Palestinians Under Occupation Fight Bravely While Those in Exile Fail Miserably
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Palestinians Under Occupation Fight Bravely While Those in Exile Fail Miserably


MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 2/21/2002: 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. For what appears to lie ahead now is more ominous than anything to date, except possibly the first war in 1948 that led to Israel's creation and the "Nakba" (the "Disaster").

Manipulating both the affairs of his own country as well as that of the superpower, General Ariel Sharon is clearly planning a major escalation to attempt to liquidate the Palestinian fighters and vanquish the Palestinian struggle. The Israelis will likely attempt to do this when the now worldwide American "War Against Terrorism" has the world's attention focused elsewhere. By handling the conflict as they are the Israelis are getting the world use to the idea that jet fighters and combat tanks can be legitimately used to brutalize an occupied people without access to modern weapons or even means of defense. The likelihood is the Israelis are now setting the stage for even greater ruthlessness and bloodshed than anything so far; possibly included an attempt to ethnically cleanse considerably more Palestinians and to restructure the political affairs of the entire region, which could even include turning Jordan into "the Palestinian State".

Though the Palestinian fighters of the Intifada have in many ways shown remarkable courage and resourcefulness the great problem they face is that the Palestinian people have not been able worldwide, especially in the USA, to make their struggle truly understood and appreciated. Partly this is the price they are paying for their terribly corrupt and inept "leadership", i.e. the Arafat "regime" of the "Palestinian Authority" and its mostly third-rate crony-type spokesmen and representatives.

But its more than that...much more. While the Palestinians under occupation have proven to be extraordinarily resourceful and resilient, the Palestinian "Diaspora" has proven to be extraordinarily confused, cowardly, and incompetent While the Palestinians of the Intifada have fought remarkably in challenging their Israeli occupiers, the Palestinians living abroad, especially those in the U.S., have failed miserably in the crucial battle for hearts and minds...even though this is a much easier fight.

There's much more that needs to be said about this situation; with specific finger-pointing for the deserving organizations and individuals. We've done some of this difficult analysis and reporting in the past; there's much more necessary now.


By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) - 21 February: Israeli warships fired at Palestinian security compounds along the Gaza Strip coastline and tanks rumbled into areas in southern and eastern Gaza on Thursday in a three-pronged night-time assault.

For a second day in a row, Israel helicopters launched missiles at Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's West Bank headquarters, missing the Palestinian leader who aides said was in his office at the time but was unscathed.

A defiant Arafat said after the attack, which he described as "Israeli rudeness": This is an attempt to make the Palestinian people and its leadership kneel, but they don't know that this people and their leadership are the mighty people."

The missile strike signaled the depths of Israeli fury after Palestinians killed six soldiers in a West Bank ambush on Tuesday, the latest in a wave of heightened attacks on Israelis which included a suicide bombing that killed two teenagers.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian doctors said five people, one a gunman, another a 37-year-old civilian and the rest not yet identified, had been killed and around 40 people wounded in the Israeli raids, which began shortly after midnight.

After the raids ended, an Israeli warplane fired three missiles at a Palestinian security building in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, Palestinian officials said.

The attacks were part of a stepped-up response by Israel's government which ordered more ferocious and varied retaliatory strikes against the Palestinians Wednesday. Since the fierce Israeli sea, air and land strikes began, 21 Palestinians have been killed.

The Israeli bombardments of Palestinian security installations were among the heaviest since an uprising against occupation began in September 2000. The violence has raised international concern the conflict could spiral out of control.


The United States put most of the blame for the spiraling violence on Arafat, who it said had "not yet taken adequate action." But the State Department also said the Israeli air strikes worked against the "objective of reducing the violence."

In New York, the Palestinians demanded late Wednesday an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli bombardments.

Diplomats said they planned private consultations on Thursday on the request backed by Yemen, the current head of the Arab group at the United Nations, as well as Syria, the only Arab nation on the 15-member council.

The night silence along Gaza's Mediterranean coast was broken as naval gunships traded machinegun fire with Palestinian security compounds and 10 tanks rumbled into a southern Gaza refugee camp shortly after midnight.

Seven tanks and several armored personnel carriers raided another Palestinian-ruled town, east of Gaza City where they later blew up the Voice of Palestine headquarters, knocking radio and television transmissions off the air.

Israel has accused the Palestinian Authority-run Voice of Palestine of inciting violence, a charge Palestinians deny.

Loudspeakers on mosques called for Palestinians with weapons to confront Israeli forces and fierce fighting erupted throughout the Gaza Strip, lasting for about three hours until the naval ships and troops pulled back.

The Gaza strikes followed a meeting with key cabinet members Wednesday, in which political sources said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon approved an increase in the scale and variety of military reprisals.

"We are in a war, a war that had been launched against us by the coalition of terror that has been established by Chairman Arafat after choosing a strategy of terror," Sharon later told American-Jewish leaders.


Israel has said it has no intention of personally harming the Palestinian leader. The strikes were the closest Israel has come to hurting Arafat in a conflict which international mediation has failed to curb.

Frightened Rafah residents grabbed their children and fled deeper into Palestinian-ruled territory as the tanks plunged about 700 meters (yards) deep into the Brazil refugee camp from the Israeli-controlled Gaza-Egypt border.

Israeli bulldozers destroyed a Palestinian police position in Rafah and troops took over the rooftops of several buildings in the refugee camp, a Palestinian security official said.

Earlier, Israeli warplanes destroyed a Palestinian security building with a missile during an air attack on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jenin. No one was hurt.

Most of the 21 killed were members of the security forces, but at least five civilians have died. A leader of Hamas's military-wing in Gaza and another Hamas activist were also killed.

Thirty-five Palestinians, including two suicide bombers, and 10 Israelis have died in the surge of violence since Monday.

At least 884 Palestinians and 273 Israelis have been killed since the Palestinian revolt began after peace talks froze.


By Suzanne Goldenberg in Karnei Shomron, West Bank

[The Guardian Monday February 18, 2002]: A devastating wave of Palestinian attacks on the symbols of Israeli military occupation - a Jewish settlement, an army base and a road block - struck Israel to its core this weekend, badly shaking its faith in the warrior prime minister, Ariel Sharon. In the Jewish settlement of Karnei Shomron yesterday, sobbing girls linked arms and quietly sang at a vigil for two teenagers blown up by a suicide bomber. But the adults of this West Bank outpost were overcome by anger - much of it directed against Mr Sharon, who they say has failed to live up to his 50-year legacy of crushing Israel's Arab enemies.

"As of right now, what I see from the results is that this man has failed," said Bob Duchanov, a builder from New York who has lived in Karnei Shomron for 17 years. "There is no security in the country."

As if on cue, three hours later came another suicide bombing which, though thwarted, deepened a feeling of unease amid a spate of attacks that have killed seven Israelis since Thursday night.

"Ariel Sharon's strategy is collapsing," said the Ma'ariv newspaper. "At this stage, as difficult as it may be to say so openly, the Palestinians are losing the battles to a superior force, but Israel is losing the war."

In Ma'ariv's weekend opinion polls, some 49% of Israelis agreed, saying the "national leadership has lost control of the security situation".

However, 44% disagreed, reflecting what the paper's political analyst, Hemi Shalev, called "steadily growing confusion" as Mr Sharon fails to deliver a political or a military solution to 17 months of bloodshed.

Three policemen were injured in yesterday's foiled bombing of an army base in Pardes Hanna. Two Palestinians - the bomber, who blew himself up after a police chase, and another man - were also killed.

The two suicide attacks follow the killing of an Israeli soldier at a roadblock near Ramallah on Friday night.

The attacks suggest new levels of sophistication by Palestinian militants, targeting soldiers and Jewish settlements - which are considered illegal under international law - rather than civilians in Israeli cities in an apparent attempt to mute international criticism.

Saturday night's attack was also a double first: the first time a suicide bomber has penetrated a heavily guarded Jewish settlement, and the first time the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has used a suicide bomber, usually the preserve of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The force of the explosion embedded nails in walls 25 metres from the pizza counter where a house painter from the West Bank town of Qalqiliya - himself a teenager of 18 - blew himself up, shattering the windows in seven nearby shops and killing Keren Shatsky, aged 14, and Nehemiah Amar, 16. The mall, built less than a year ago, is a magnet for teenagers: Keren was waiting for her mates after planning a surprise birthday party for a friend. In destroying such innocent pleasures, Palestinian militants magnified doubts about Mr Sharon's strategy for dealing with the uprising, which includes assassinations, tank invasions of the West Bank and Gaza, and the bombing of Palestinian security installations by F-16 warplanes.

Israeli helicopters fired missiles on security installations in the West Bank city of Nablus early yesterday, and tanks roared into the el-Buriej refugee camp in Gaza on Saturday, killing three Palestinian police. In the West Bank city of Jenin, a Hamas commander was blown up by a car bomb.

For the adults of Karnei Shomron, it was not enough. "After more than a year of this, we should have been able to see results," said Yitzhak Shwartz, whose photography shop was gutted by the blast. "Sharon has no plan. The job of this government is to defend its citizens and it is not doing that. It doesn't solve our problems to blow up empty buildings. It does not do anything."

For many here, there was a disturbing synchronicity to events. As Keren Shatsky waited for her friends at Karnei Shomron, barely an hour's drive away in Tel Aviv the Israeli left was mustering for a peace demonstration.

The turnout by past standards was hardly impressive - charitably placed at 5,000 people - but it was the largest since the start of the Palestinian uprising, and a sign of the growing radicalisation of the Israeli left as well as the right.

Opinion polls at the weekend showed 35% of Israelis support what is coyly known here as "transfer" - the wholesale expulsion of the Palestinians - and there is a growing clamour to re-invade and re-occupy the entirety of the territories.

"Let them go into every single Arab city and make the 90% of them who are good point out the 10% of them who are rotten apples, and get rid of all the rotten apples," said Mr Duchanov. "Forget what the world says - let's do what has to be done."


By Phil Reeves in Jerusalem

[The Independent, UK, 16 February 2002]: Israel's armed forces have suffered one of their most disastrous 24-hour periods since the start of the Palestinian intifada, with a devastating guerrilla attack on one of their main battle tanks and the death of the commander of an elite undercover unit, possibly killed by his own army's demolition work.

The army launched an inquiry yesterday into how a large mine managed to destroy a heavily armoured and highly sophisticated Merkava-3 tank, billed as one of the safest fighting machines in the world. Three of the crew were killed, and a fourth was injured in the attack inside the Gaza Strip. As the army contemplated the possibility of flaws in its standard work-horse tank, it was hit by another disaster - the death of the commander of a "Duvdevan" unit during a pre-dawn raid in the West Bank.

Reports said that 34-year-old Lt-Col Eyal Weiss was killed when a wall collapsed on him while military bulldozers were knocking down an adjoining house used by a suspected Islamic Jihad leader, whom the unit had arrested in the village of Saida. This, too, will be the subject of a military inquiry. The attack on the tank was treated as highly sensitive by Israel, prompting government censors yesterday to impose a ban on the publication of photographs showing the wreckage on the grounds that it would "damage the security of the state".

The Palestinians have never before destroyed any of the many scores of Merkava tanks which have been operating in the occupied territories during the conflict. The blast blew off the tank's turret.

A diplomatic source said: "It's the first time that a tank has been badly damaged like this, and it's changed the rules entirely."

The bombing, on Thursday night, happened close to a road controlled by the Israeli army between Gaza's Karni crossing and Netzarim, a little-populated Israeli settlement inside the strip. The army has torn up orchards and palm groves on much of the surrounding landscape to prevent such attacks. Yesterday Israeli tanks and bulldozers demolished homes and other buildings near the scene.

An Israeli Defence Forces spokesman, Lt-Col Olivier Rafowich, said it was a "carefully planned operation" against "the best we have". According to the army, the mine comprised about 50kg of explosives. It was a double ambush - one bomb set off to lure the armoured vehicle to the scene for a much bigger second blast.

The Israeli media presented the attack as a defining moment in the conflict.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper said: "The tank's reputation for invincibility has now been shattered and makes the conflict appear even more like Lebanon."

The attack is the latest in a series of problems faced by the army which include a revolt by more than 220 reservists who have signed a petition refusing to serve in the occupied territories.

Responsibility for the tank attack was claimed by the Popular Resistance Committee, a coalition of Palestinian groups fighting the intifada, including Hamas and Fatah. It issued a leaflet saying the attack was in answer to Israel's killing of five Palestinians during a large-scale raid on Gaza this week. A Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Ismael Abu Shanab, was triumphant. "The operation is an appropriate response to the invasion by Israeli tanks into Palestinian areas.

"It is a change in the balance of forces in favour of the Palestinian resistance," he told The Independent.

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! 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)
Just like in the once Holy Land, the politically cancerous situation in Kashmir has been left unresolved by the international community and has now become dangerously life-threatening.

911 Was Really 'Massive Blown Back'
(February 11, 2002)
"The course that Sharon, Bush and his British cheerleader, Tony Blair seem set upon will probably in the long run destabilize the Arab moderates, to the delight of the reactionary regimes in Syria, Iraq and Iran and the only true beneficiaries will once again be the extremists and the terrorists."

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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