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MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 3/15/2002: Like so many words, this one "conspiracy" is overused and misused by many. That makes it all the more important to know whom to trust and rely on, whom to take seriously, whom to discount.

There is a huge historical conspiracy afoot at the moment. The goal is nothing other than to use the ruler of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah, to twist the Middle East to American dictate and Israeli designs.

It is a conspiracy similar to what was done to use Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to force and bribe a "peace" between Egypt and Israel more than two decades ago. That "peace" was followed by so many dastardly historical explosions and so many millions of Arab, Muslim and Palestinian dead -- including the Iran-Iraq War, the Lebanon War, the Algerian War, the Gulf War, the Afghan War, the Palestinian Intifadas, the apartheid-style "Peace Process"; all coupled with growing repression and deception which in fact was the crucible from which al-Qaeda was born leading to 9/11 and leading to today's potentially catastrophic situation.

It is a conspiracy organized and managed by many of the same forces - the CIA, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Mossad, the White House/National Security Council and a group of intensely involved sub-agentss who work with these forces and whose goal has always been to further Israeli interests and American goals, while subjugating the Palestinians and always dividing and weaking the Arabs -- among them Henry Siegman at the Council on Foreign Relations, Judith Kipper at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, James Zogby at the so-called Arab-American Institute, Fouad Ajami at Johns Hopkins University..and this is just a few who make up the public face of this vast conspiracy. More to follow...much more.

And this is also the oveall context for author Muna Hamzeh's thoughtful and important article that follows, as difficult as it may be for many people to understand and accept.


By Muna Hamzeh*

March 14, 2002

Until this week, the killing of collaborators had never been turned into a public display in the Occupied Territories. In the first Intifada, collaborators were killed, but their bodies were never hung in public or tied to the backs of pick-up trucks and dragged through the streets. But twice this week, once in Ramallah and once in Bethlehem, Palestinians killed three collaborators and made a public display of their bodies. In the first case on March 12, the body of Ra'ed Naem Odeh was hung upside down at Al-Manara Square in the center of Ramallah. The Al-Aqsa Brigade said they shot and killed him on suspicion of collaborating with the Israelis to assassinate one of the Brigade's senior members, Muhanad Abu Halawa and two of his comrades, earlier this month.

Today in Bethlehem, Mahmoud Sabatin and Deifallah, were shot dead by group of Palestinian militiamen. The bullet-riddled body of Mahmoud Sabatin, was then tied to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged from neighboring Beit Sahour to Bethlehem. He was dragged into Manger Square were the militiamen attempted to hang him but were prevented from doing so by Palestinian police. Both men were killed on suspicion of collaborating with Israel and leading to the assassination of the military leader of the Fatah hawks in Bethlehem, Hussein Obeiat in November 2000. I was still in Dheisheh the day Obeiat was assassinated. We drove to the scene shortly after an Israeli Apache gunship shelled Obeiat's car as it drove down a street in Beit Sahour, killing him instantly and two women who were walking by. It was clear that day that the Israelis would have not been able to assassinate Obeiat had they not had help from collaborators. How else would a gunship have shown up at the precise moment that Obeiat drove by?

Between the start of the Al-Aqsa Intifada on September 29, 2000 and February 5, 2002, the Israeli military - with the help of collaborators - has been able to assassinate 62 Palestinians. This number, provided by LAW, a Palestinian human rights group, includes 20 innocent bystanders who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Turning the killings of collaborators into a public display may seem like a barbaric act for those of us who don't support violence in any form. Yet the issue of collaborators has long been swept under the carpet at a very high cost to the Palestinians, as all the assassinations have shown. The Palestinian Authority has failed to address the issue or even deal with it. How could it when many collaborators work within Arafat's security forces and ministries.

When Arafat first arrived in Gaza in May 1994, I was working on a documentary film for Channel Four in London that kept me in Gaza for extended periods of time for nearly six months. Some of the Palestinians we were filming were members of the Fatah Hawks resistance fighters, who later joined Arafat's security forces because they sincerely believed that was how they could best help build a Palestinian state. I remember how angry these young men were when they reported to work, only to discover that some of those higher ranking than themselves were collaborators, whom they had personally kidnapped and interrogated in the first Intifada. Within a few months after the inception of Arafat's Authority, many of these former Fatah Hawks lost faith in their leadership for its clear lack of commitment to rid its ranks from those willing to sell their fellow countrymen for a buck.

The fact that the Palestinians are willing, for the first time, to make such a public display of the killings of collaborators underlines the extent of the need to rid themselves, once and for all, of those willing to commit the highest act of treason. Perhaps the hanging in Ramallah two days ago and the lynching in Bethlehem today will make the hundreds of other collaborators consider the cost of their collaboration. Hizbullah in South Lebanon was able to succeed in riding itself of collaborators and the Palestinians have to do the same if the resistance is going to have any chance at bringing the occupation to an end.

For their part, the Israelis will continue to recruit collaborators in whatever way they can. They detain young teenagers, torture them physically and psychologically and then seduce them with money as a way to end their pain. After rounding up 600 men in Dheisheh this week, the Israeli military was not able to arrest a single person that they claim is a member of a "terrorist" group. Instead, the army released all 600 men with the exception of 70. Then they released 50 more, until the final count of who they actually took away was only 20. According to sources in Dheisheh, all 20 males are between the ages of 16-18 and non "have anything to do with anything". How many of those will be tortured into collaboration? How many will succumb to the coercion? And how can a 16 year old civilian, with no training on how to handle pressure under torture be expected to resist the temptation of ending his horrible physical and psychological pain? Clearly, the Palestinians need to create a the conditions whereby young detainees are de-briefed upon their release. And they need to create the conditions whereby it would be impossible for un-repenting collaborators to live within Palestinian society.

Up until now, those known to have collaborated with the Israelis have been able to return to their homes and live their lives unharmed. True, no one socializes or mingles with them. But they are there, watching what takes place around them and reporting it to the Israelis. At this stage in the game, when Israel has no red lights to stop it from committing its war crimes, collaborators need to be ostracized and forced to leave the Palestinian Territories. The damage they have done historically, and in this Intifada particularly, cannot be downplayed or overlooked anymore. The fact that the Palestinians have been able to produce so many collaborators can no longer be excused or ignored.

And perhaps it is time for Palestinian resistance fighters to learn another lesson from Hizbullah . Their fighters were never seen parading down the streets, with their guns in hand, and their faces exposed for all to see. The South Lebanese say the identity of the fighters was never revealed to the local population. In the end, Hizbullah was able to rid South Lebanon of their occupiers without signing any agreements, let alone agreements that contain one degrading compromise after another.

As brutal and barbaric as the scenes of this week's hanging and lynching may seem, it is time to clean house. It is time to impose some serious internal changes. We are quickly reaching another Sabra and Shatilla and another Palestinian Nakba. We need to rethink our strategies before we wake up one day and discover that the unthinkable has happened, again. And when that happens, not even Allah will be able to save us.

* Muna Hamzeh is author of "Refugees in Our Land: Chronicles from a Palestinian Refugee Camp in Bethlehem."

Comment on these article(s)

March 2002


Saudi Future Unstable; More Money to Secretly flow to Palestinians
(March 29, 2002)
What goes on in public and on CNN/Al-Jazeera is one thing. This is political theatre meant for all to see. But like the proverbial icberg the great bulk of what is going on is beneath the waves and hidden from regular view.

Arafat Surrounded - And A Letter from Bir Zeit University near Ramallah
(March 29, 2002)
"Reports are rampant, breaking news that there is a planned incursion, occupation, total destruction... who knows of Ramallah and so we have to act and act quickly."

Saudis plead, Bin Laden emals, Arafat sits, Jesse offers...US and Israel prepare
(March 28, 2002)
With the #2 summit Saudi suffering a stroke and hospitalized (how appropriately) at the American University in Beirut, the Arab League summit was even more of a circus and disaster than we had predicted.

The "Saudi Peace Plan"...of 20 Years Ago
(March 28, 2002)
In April 1981 Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia unveiled the "Saudi Plan" which then dominated the Arab League summit held in Fez, Morocco, in November.

Saudis Humiliated, Betrayed, and now "Invited"
(March 28, 2002)
Quite literally as Saudi Royal "Crown Prince" Abdullah was following his script in Beirut no matter what, the U.S. Government was announcing in Washington that he had "accepted" to visit the Bush Presidential Ranch in Texas at the end of next month.

"The summit is heading toward total chaos"
(March 27, 2002)
Today's "Arab Leaders" always seem to manage to bumble themselves from one disaster to another. Then the controlled media and commentators they either own or manipulate in one way or another mostly cover up for them, including such subsidized and sponsored English-language publications as "Middle East International" in the UK and "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs" in the U.S.

Arafat Unheard at Summit - Secret Israel Phone Calls to Cairo and Amman
(March 27, 2002)
How much is factual, how much is disinformation from Mossad, how much is twisted and spun....these are all legitimate questions needing consideration, especially these days. But there's no doubt Irish author Gordon Thomas has considerable connections in the murky world of intelligence and especially with the Israeli Mossad, and he's been on target with quite a few things in the past.

They Call This A Summit?
(March 26, 2002)
Readers of MER won't be nearly as surprised as most may be that journalists are already proclaiming the grand Arab summit in ruins and as the BBC correspondent concluded this evening, "they might as well go home now before it starts".

What a Mess the Arab World is in
(March 26, 2002)
Such a mess. "Arab Leaders" who are mostly inept and corrupt and miserably repressive. An Arab League that is impotent and crippled. Arab media that can't figure out whom to interview about what.

Huge Damascus Demo Screams About Sharon and Warns Arab Summiteers
(March 26, 2002)
History is repeating itself after 20 years, but everything is even worse today for the vast Arab world and its fast growing now over 200+ million.

"Grand Plan" For War On the Palestinians
(March 25, 2002)
As the impotent Arab League run by the corrupt and repressive Arab "client regimes" prepares to meet and do nothing real and serious as usual; the Israelis, with an American wink and much under-the-table help, are preparing even bigger assaults against the Palestinians.

Vital History - Origins of Israel's "Arab Problem"
(March 25, 2002)
In 1947, the then representative of the Zionist Organization in Washington, Nahum Goldman, urged David Ben-Gurion not to declare a "Jewish State" but rather to hold out for finding some way of accomodation with the Palestinians that could lead to a unified "bi-national state" ...

Draft Text of Arab Summit Resolution - More of the Same Sweet Nothings
(March 25, 2002)
Much too weak, fractured, and frightened to actually act in any serious and independent manner -- even in the face of such repeated Israeli and American provocations and humiliations -- the grand "Arab world", meeting in summit in Beirut later this week, is poised to essentially do nothing.

Europeans See Americans Far Better Than Americans See Themselves
(March 23, 2002)
Time magazine was wrong a few months ago, but understandably so under the circumstances and few really expect much more from the mass American media .

Cheney Admits US will attack Iraq 'for Israel's sake'
(March 22, 2002)
While the mostly co-opted and cowardly "Arab leaders" -- the Arab "client regimes" -- fly their lavish private jets into Beirut 20 years after the Israelis besieged the city, destroyed the country, and attempted at great cost to bring Lebanon under their and American domination ...

Threatening With Nukes Could Well Lead to Use of Nukes - Part 1
(March 22, 2002)
One dreadful day they will be used. That likelihood seems now to be growing, especially as irresponsible leaders in both the US and UK keep publicly threatening to do just that rather than insisting that such weapons should never ever be used ...

Marching toward an American Police State - Part II
(March 22, 2002)
The above title was used to headline an article published on Wednesday, the same day we now learn the federal government was raiding Muslim homes and organizations in the Washington DC area.

U.S. Shifting to Large once Secret Qatar Military Base for Regional Control
(March 21, 2002)
The Americans have apparently agreed to let the Saudis off the hook when it comes to Prince Sultan Airbase, the largest and most sophisticated in the region, as long as they are on the hook when it comes to controlling the Arab Summit and fronting politically with "the Saudi Plan".

A Plea to US and Europe: Don't Participate in Killing and Torture of our People
(March 21, 2002)
All of the American "client regimes" in the Middle East -- including the main ones in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan -- use censorship, intimidation, torture, and the omnipresent secret police, to control their societies and prevent popular expression against their policies and corruption.

NewsFlash: Some U.S. Forces Beginning to leave Saudi for Qatar
(March 20, 2002)
Just days after Vice-President Richard Cheney visited Saudi Arabia and other countries in the area there are reports coming from the region that U.S. military forces are beginning to move out of Prince Sultan Air Base, a facility the U.S. is said to have spent tens of billions of dollars to make the most modern command base in the region.

Marching toward an American Police State - "Washington Scene"
(March 20, 2002)
A FOX NEWS cameraman was accosted by Pentagon Police outside the building on Tuesday -- as he was shooting pictures of an arrest being carried out by Virginia State Police on a highway that runs alongside the Pentagon but outside Pentagon property!

Squeezing and Smothering Arafat To Death
(March 20, 2002)
The Israelis, and the Americans of course, have Yasser Arafat right where they want him now. He either does as he is told and paid or he's a way or another.

More Humiliation for the Arabs both in Palestine and at the upcoming Arab Summit
(March 19, 2002)
It's terribly humiliating of course, but the Israelis have now told Arafat, in public, that he can go to the Arab Summit in Beirut if he does as he's told and declares the fighting ended.

(March 18, 2002)
We already know it was a CIA operation back in the late 1980s that resulted in American-created anthrax spors being sent to Iraq and paid for by the U.S. Congress. We've just learned that a secret CIA team has recently gone to Northern Iraq to secretly meet with the Kurds and help prepare the coming war there.

Angry Demonstrators Condemn both Israel and U.S. in Arab world
(March 17, 2002)
For a second straight day, thousands of Arabs took to the streets across the Middle East on Saturday to burn Israeli and American flags and express anger over the rising Palestinian death toll.

Greater CIA Regime Being Thrust on Palestinians
(March 17, 2002)
Now the Israelis ... are proposing to try to save the "Authority" of Yasser Arafat by putting CIA "monitors" in Palestinian cities, offices, and jails; and CIA listening amd "monitoring" devices throughout the Palestinian bantustans and "occupied territories".

Has The U.S. Lost Its Way?
(March 16, 2002)
We comprise slightly less than 5 per cent of the world's population; but we imbibe 27 per cent of the world's annual oil production, create and consume nearly 30 per cent of its Gross World Product and - get this - spend a full 40 per cent of all the world's defence expenditures.

Transfer? Expulsion? Jordan is Palestine? Approaching the End Game
(March 16, 2002)
If the Palestinians are unable to strike further in view of Israel's and the CIA's unprecedented war to crush them into submission Sharon will undoubtedly say his tactics are working.

Massive New Super Bomb Being Built To Kill Saddam and Threaten All
(March 15, 2002)
With its soldiers beginning to even look a bit like the Centurions in the Star Wars saga, the U.S. appears intent on enforcing the new "new world order" through brute force as well as technological marvels and overpowering firepower and information gathering capabilities.

(March 15, 2002)
Like so many words, this one "conspiracy" is overused and misused by many. That makes it all the more important to know whom to trust and rely on, whom to take seriously, whom to discount.

Manger Square has become a wild, blood-drenched place
(March 14, 2002)
After nearly 35 years of increasingly brutal military occupation since the 1967 war, Palestinian society itself has been tortured and disfigured. The Israelis have used informers and all kinds of means to bring the Palestinians to their knees ...

The U.N.'s latest cowardness, impotence, and duplicity
(March 13, 2002)
It should be a Saturday Night Live skit...the U.N. uttering (or is the correct word stuttering) the term "Palestinian State" after the U.S., Europe, Ariel Sharon and nearly everyone else has other than the crazy Israeli racist fundamentalists.

The Latest As Israel's Slaughter of the Palestinians Escalates Still Further
(March 12, 2002)
Israeli forces killed 31 Palestinians on Tuesday in their biggest offensive in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel captured the territories in the 1967 Middle East war.

Journalists Carefully Targeted by Israelis
(March 12, 2002)
Israeli forces fired for 10 to 15 minutes from tank-mounted machine guns on a hotel where journalists were photographing armor targeting the al-Amari refugee camp early Tuesday.

"Nazi Behavior" Charges Arafat As Israelis Crush Palestinians into Submission
(March 12, 2002)
Nothing like this has happened to the Palestinians since the 1967 War. And this time the cowardly "Arab leaders" are simply watching and pretending; while those who claim to be supportive of the Palestinians in the U.S. are, disorganized, inept, impotent, demoralized, and used up.

Two Poems
(March 11, 2002)
These two unpublished poems were written by a 25 year old Israeliwoman at the time of the first Intifada.

Black Friday and Saturday in the once Holy Land
(March 10, 2002)
The war in 1973 was intense and almost lead to a nuclear confrontation -- remember the infamous "Kissinger nuclear alert"? But for most Palestinians alive today there hasn't been such a bloody day in their lives as on Friday at least 44 Palestinians were killed, hundreds injured.

Israelis Kill and Rampage - U.S. Rhetorically Complains but in Reality Helps
(March 9, 2002)
Serious and urgent questions need to be asked: Why have not the governments of Egypt and Jordan at the very least broken political relations with Israel; and why in fact are these governments actually preventing demonstrations against what the Israelis are doing?

The Israeli Spy CoverUp
(March 9, 2002)
In addition to the "spy coverup" there is now a "media coverup". "We stand by the story" said a FOX News spokesman on 20 December. But now "The Story No Longer Exists" and FOX News has covered up the story of what happened, and why.

American Univ in Washington - Second Rate and Third Class
(March 8, 2002)
When it comes to international affairs and matters relating to the Middle East serious and honest people should keep away from American University in Washington, DC.

Now the US Says it was the Iranians and the Palestinians not the Libyans. Right!
(March 8, 2002)
You just gotta love the Americans, no shame at all. All these years they have been repeatedly and loudly insisting it was the Libyans who bombed Pan Am 103 out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland - more than a decade of sanctions ensued in fact.

Israeli Spying on US - Spiked Story from FOX News - Who Done It?
(March 7, 2002)
Just who pressured FOX News? Why did FOX News cave in so easily? What now months later when an expanded story is not just coming back to life in foreign publications but appears to be the greatest spy scandal ever involving the Israelis spying on the Americans?

Israeli Spying On The U.S. - Essential Background
(March 6, 2002)
The world of spying, like the world of "black ops", is full of confusion, disinformation, and false leads. Those in the media, even the biggest establishment news outlets, usually lack the means (as well as the will) to penetrate very far into this world on their own.

LeMonde on the Israeli Spy Ring in U.S.
(March 5, 2002)
Tremendous pressure was brought to bear in a coverup in which the U.S. government is now thought to have participated.

Israeli Spy Rings Rolled Up in U.S.
(March 5, 2002)
Israeli spying on the U.S. has long been going on; but it is usually covered up or glossed over by the major American news media.

Arafat in Dog Kennel, Sharon in Twilight Zone, Hosni Lost in Space
(March 5, 2002)
After some 20 years in power Hosni Mubarak, chatting with George Bush II today at the White House, has helped lead his country to nowhere, the Palestinians to disaster, and the Arab world to impotent feebleness. More on Mubarak and his shameless Egypt to come -- for he as well as Saudi Abdullah are Lost in Space.

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