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PALESTINIAN CIVIL WAR DRAWS CLOSER
July 25, 2001
PALESTINIAN CIVIL WAR DRAWS CLOSER
"Hamas had already rebuilt itself and has reached a degree of popularity where it could exploit the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and take over power." Professor Ali Jarbawi
PALESTINIANS TURN FIRE ON ARAFAT AIDE AFTER ARRESTS By Phil Reeves in Jerusalem
[The Independent - 25 July 2001]: Yasser Arafat cut short a visit to the Gulf yesterday and sped back to the Gaza Strip to try to head off the outbreak of a serious internal conflict after gunmen surrounded the house of the head of Palestinian military intelligence - his cousin - and blasted it with gunfire.
The show-down came after the Palestinian Authority, reacting to intense pressure from Israel and the US, arrested five members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of activists that has been prominent in the 10-month intifada.
As Mr Arafat contemplated the perilous fissures within the Palestinian population of the occupied territories - having flown home early from the United Arab Emirates, cancelling a visit to Jordan - Israeli security officials were piecing together the final hours of 18-year-old Israeli settler, Yuri Gushtzin.
The youth's shot, repeatedly stabbed and mutilated body was discovered on the West Bank yesterday in what appeared to be the latest brutal sectarian killing to blight the Middle East conflict. His remains were transferred to the Israeli authorities, which were last night working to establish why he was killed and by whom, amid strong suspicions of political motive.
If proved, then there will be even stronger pressure from Israel on Yasser Arafat and his coterie to round up and jail militant elements. Mr Gushtzin lived in the settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev in the northern suburbs of Jerusalem. Police believe he was killed in the Palestinian town of Ramallah, and his body later dumped in the nearby West Bank under control of the Israeli military.
Since the start of the intifada, Ramallah has been the scene of several horrific killings of Israelis, including two reserve soldiers were lynched by a mob and a 16-year-old boy, who was shot dead in a car after being lured into the occupied territories by a Palestinian woman whom he got to know on the internet. In April, a 37-year-old Israeli was also killed there in what seem to be similar circumstances to yesterday's killing. Witnesses in the Gaza Strip said that late on Monday an angry crowd surrounded the home of Moussa Arafat, the intelligence chief, and pounded it with rocks after news of the arrests circulated through the teeming, blockaded strip.
Some 20 gunmen - including militants from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the mainstream Fatah - blasted the building with guns. The security guards fired back, but aimed over their heads.
A Palestinian official denied the Palestinian Authority was making political arrests, but confirmed some activists had been detained on "grounds of discipline". It is not the first eruption of violence between the Palestinian authorities - which before the intifada were reviled as hugely inept, compromising and corrupt by many Palestinians on the street - and radicals committed to continue what they see as a national war against Israeli occupation. The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly argued that this important reason is why they cannot fulfil Israel's demand - which is underscored by the never-implemented Tenet ceasefire and Mitchell report - to jail militants.
Israel has submitted a list of activists that it wants behind bars. The latter are becoming more outspoken in their criticism of Mr Arafat and his coterie.
"The Palestinian Authority should stop political arrests. It should liaise with the resistance against the (Israeli) occupation and not confiscate rifles," a senior leader of the group told journalists. Security has been heightened in Israel in recent days, partly because Monday was the closing ceremony of the Maccabiah Games - the so-called Jewish Olympics - but also because of the risk of reprisals after a group of armed Jewish settlers shot dead two young Arab men and a three-month-old baby outside their village close to Hebron.
That attack has prompted the Palestinian leadership to emulate Israel, and issue a list of more than 50 names of Jewish militant settlers whom it demands that Israel should now arrest for attacking Arabs.
HONEYMOON BETWEEN ARAFAT, HAMAS ENDING President Yasser Arafat's Authority would risk civil war if its police tried to arrest activists fighting Israeli occupation. By Wafa Amr
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (Reuters - 24 July): Clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Palestinian Authority (PA) forces over a ceasefire order have revealed the Authority's weakness and the growing influence of the Hamas group, analysts said on Tuesday.
President Yasser Arafat's Authority would risk civil war if its police tried to arrest activists fighting Israeli occupation while the 10-month-old Palestinian uprising against occupation continues and peacemaking stays stalled, the analysts added.
"Popular support now for a crackdown against Hamas is nil, and this puts the Authority in a very difficult position... The Authority will be compelled, with great reluctance, to accept the presence of Hamas as a parallel authority," Palestinian political analyst Khalil Shikaki said.
"But the minute an alternative (to the uprising) emerges, either returning to peace talks or adhering to a meaningful ceasefire, one of the things the Authority will do will be to crack down on anyone who violates the law," Shikaki said.
Fighting in Gaza on Monday between police and gunmen, which Palestinian officials claimed was triggered by Hamas, underscored the rivalry between the PA and the group, as well as tensions between the Authority and other groups.
Bullets flew after reports the Authority had arrested four members from Arafat's Fatah faction and ordered the dismantling of an armed group which had rejected his orders to cease fire against Israelis and hand over arms.
A day before the violence erupted, Palestinian security forces shot and wounded three activists who planned to fire a mortar bomb at Israeli military targets on occupied Arab land in the Gaza Strip.
Israel says Arafat is not doing enough to bolster a US-brokered truce, demanding he arrest activists and stop attacks against armed Jewish settlers and soldiers in occupied areas of the West Bank and Gaza. But Arafat has said he is not in control of security in occupied areas. Palestinians blame Israel for the on-going violence.
Security chief's home targeted
In Monday's violence, involving about 20 gunmen and hundreds of protesters, bullets and stones chipped away at the apartment building of a Gaza security chief whose men carried out the arrests of the four activists.
A senior Palestinian official said at least 100 policemen spent four hours trying to disperse the crowd by shooting over the protesters' heads.
Aware of the fragile domestic situation, the policemen were careful not to wound any one and no arrests were made.
A recent opinion poll showed that Palestinian society, alarmed by a death toll that continues to rise and an Israeli government led by right-winger Ariel Sharon, is moving towards radicalization.
A growing number of Palestinians, the survey showed, support armed struggle and Hamas' suicide attacks inside Israel.
According to the poll, conducted jointly by Palestinian and Israeli research institutes, 70 percent of the Palestinians surveyed believe that armed confrontations have so far achieved Palestinian rights in ways that negotiations could not.
Hamas denies it trying to topple Arafat
Shikaki said since the Intifada, or uprising, began in September, and hopes for peace with Israel crashed, Palestinians began to question the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, and its popularity began to wane.
Palestinian security officials accused Hamas of instigating Monday's unrest to test the strength of the Palestinian Authority as part of a plan to topple it.
But Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank, said Hamas had no intention of targeting the Authority. "We are not seeking to replace the Authority," he said.
A senior Palestinian official said the PA was beginning a new phase in its relationship with Hamas.
"We will keep the order and put an end to all forms of chaos that has prevailed since the Intifada began. We will not allow the formation of an authority within authority."
Palestinian officials said Hamas had taken advantage of an absence of authority in Palestinian areas to rebuild its military wing and infrastructure, which were nearly destroyed by the PA in a major crackdown in 1996 after suicide bombings in Israel.
Palestinian analyst Ali Jirbawi said the Authority was paying the price for allowing the Intifada turn into chaos.
He said the Authority wanted to use the Intifada to extract improved conditions for peace negotiations, whereas the Palestinian people sought full liberation.
Jirbawi noted that Monday's clash in Gaza erupted after the Authority attempted to prevent Hamas attacks against Israelis.
But he said it could be too late to rein in the occupation-resisting group.
"Hamas had already rebuilt itself and has reached a degree of popularity where it could exploit the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and take over power," Jirbawi said.
THE CHANGING FACE OF THE SOUTHERN GAZA STRIP Popular Resistance Committees By Toufic Haddad
Introduction When compared with its ’87 predecessor, there is an air of despair that languishes about the discourse and reasoning of Palestinians concerning the present-day Intifada. This has much to do with the fact that this Intifada lacks a popular / civil element which characterized its predecessor and which gave creativity and sustenance to its cause, thus drawing world attention and sympathy towards it. Furthermore the ’87 Intifada’s ability to break the rule of the traditional elite in the occupied territories through the mobilization and organization of Palestinian masses across the ’67 occupied territory refugee camps, villages and cities was an achievement in itself of the grassroots movement regardless of the larger political goals it was attempting to achieve (such as an end to the occupation, or the establishment of a Palestinian state.) [See Building of a Palestinian State: The Incomplete Revolution, Glen Robinson, Indiana University Press 1997]. Precisely because this Intifada has failed to fully reshuffle the centers of power and decision making within Palestinian society in favor of the masses, has meant that many amongst the Palestinian masses doubt the Intifada’s ability not to be manipulated as cards in the future hands of Palestinian Authority negotiators.
This predicament becomes more vivid in the southern Gaza Strip where the brutal colonialist nature of the occupation is revealed in full. The creation of the Popular Resistance Committees at the beginning of this Intifada in the south of the Gaza Strip represents an attempts on behalf of Palestinians in these communities, (both camps and cities) to create an alternative to the PA-Israeli occupation polarity that has crucified the popular Palestinian struggle since Oslo. In this sense, they represent one of the first genuine creations of the current Intifada. Typically marginalized by the mainstream media, (including local Palestinian) their presence is unavoidable on the current political map of forces in the Gaza Strip, particularly the south. T.H
The Mutaradeen: An Afternoon with the Popular Resistance Committees Khan Yunis / Rafah, the Gaza Strip
By Toufic Haddad
I June 28. I have been promised an interview with one of the founders of the Popular Resistance Committees in the Khan Yunis / Rafah area, though there is something about the clammy air of this southern Gaza city that doesn’t seem right today. My contact’s mobile telephone continues to ring causing him to lurk off in search of privacy to speak. He returns minutes later with a message.
“Something’s gone wrong and the person we’re supposed to meet can’t talk to us. We’re trying to arrange something else.”
Five minutes pass filled with small talk of the day’s political development.
“What do people down here think of Colin Powell in Ramallah today meeting with Arafat?”
“What’s there to think about it? It’s theatre. The entire process is theatre.”
“And the cease fire?”
“Arafat didn’t decide to start the shooting, so I don’t see how he expects to stop it. Down here, one day hasn’t past without a [Palestinian] military operation being carried out by someone.”
Another cellular phone rings. He goes off to answer it and then returns: “We will talk with another founder of the Committee. They will come to pick us up, but we will go first to the hospital. An accident has taken place and people have been hurt.”
II My interest in the Popular Resistance Committees was whetted when I once was in Gaza City, just after the outbreak of the Intifada. While standing on the street about to flag down a taxi, a young boy came around the corner handing out leaflets, one of which he gave me. The leaflet showed the picture of the latest shaheed [martyr] of the Intifada, and wrote several paragraphs describing his successful military attack which resulted in the killing of two Israeli soldiers. The leaflet signed by the “lijan al moqawama al sha’ biyya” (Popular Resistance Committees hereafter PRC) features an emblematic signature that has vague resemblances to the “Moqawama” signature of Hizbullah and has steadily made appearances on the graffiti galleries of Gaza’s ramshackle streets. Save the dedicated efforts of a locally based alternative news source (1), the stories of these committees and their presence on the Palestinian political and military scene has gone without much coverage. However the mainstream media marginalization of the emergence of these committees during this Intifada has more behind it than a mere disinterest in throwing their audiences off the superficial balance of forces represented in their Palestinian–Israeli pantomimes. Rather, such marginalization has to do with the fact that today, Palestinian resistance forces are coalescing in different, previously uncharted forms during this Intifada, with the Popular Resistance Committees being the most structured and unified among these new hybrids.
Attempts aimed at trying to understand the emergence of the PRC’s must take into consideration two essential factors that contributed to their formation: First, their “localness” and second, their extended marginalization amongst the inhuman gamut of marginalized communities within Palestinian society.
Here “localness” implies quite simply the immediate neighborhoods and communities within which Palestinians are born and grow up. In southern Gaza, the clannish traditions of original villages that have been carried over into the refugee camps, is now imbued with a street-toughened collective refugee consciousness that is steeped in the colossal failure of the Oslo agreements. Gaza’s hermetic sealing over the past ten years together with the internal closure siege policies implemented throughout this Intifada have greatly contributed to the importance of the local scene as the nest of the next phoenix of Palestinian resistance activity. It is here where the importance of the extended marginalization of certain localities gains significance: Quite simply, certain things become possible at the bottom, which are not possible at the top.
And southern Gaza is pretty much as low as you go around these parts. Indeed, people in Rafah and Khan Yunis will make fun of those in Gaza City, because they have access to the sea. While hundreds scramble about the polluted shores of the Gaza City coastline, the south of the strip is land-locked by the settlement block of Gush Qatif. Sweltering in the desert summer climate, these communities continue to represent the last frontier of uninterrupted Palestinian resistance activity throughout the Intifada up to and including the ‘cease-fire’.
III “Who are the PRCs?”
“They are our neighbors, our brothers, our friends and our family. Many of them were wanted in the first Intifada and either were imprisoned, avoided capture or escaped to neighboring countries where they were trained in military techniques. After Oslo,the mutarradeen [literally, the ‘hunted or pursued’] who were outside the country were not allowed back with the PA, forcing many to make do with secret tunnels beneath the Egyptian-Gaza border. Once in, they don’t stray far from home.”
And home is the well-known streets and alleyways of their camps and cities. Nothing much has changed in the southern Gaza strip after Oslo except the redeployment of the Israeli troops to military installations and settlements on the fringes of each community (Gush Katif settlement block, Morag settlement and the Egyptian-Gaza border, technically controlled by the Israeli army). The camp streets have remained sandy and garbage strewn tainted with the dank smell of open sewers trapped in the humid alleys. Rather than turning into the “Singapore of the Middle East”, the only job opportunities that ever opened up to the graduated youth of the first Intifada in Gaza was in the Palestinian Authority security services to which many joined in droves. Otherwise, the little hope sprouted after Oslo, gradually shriveled in the desert climate of the southern Gaza Strip.
IV A small tainted window car pulls up to the curb where we stand. We shake hands with the three men inside, then climb in and start driving. Their eyes, tobacco yellowed and fatigued, seem perpetually attentive to the faintest of sounds and movement.
After cordial but brief introductions, one of them begins to explain: “We’re sorry about the delays and the fact that the person you were supposed to meet is unable to do so. I will replace him as there has been a bad accident and everyone is shaken up. A group went out today to fire some mortars at an Israeli settlement. They were 120 mm mortars, a step up from the 80 mm we have been using so far. It was only the second time we try using them and our people were a little nervous because of the Israeli army as well as the PA and the cease-fire agreement they are trying to enforce. The group fired off three mortars, but the fourth one, after being dropped down the shoot, did not fire. When our people approached the launcher to go fix it, the mortar exploded. Four people were injured: one lost both his legs and an arm, another lost both his legs, another lost an arm, and the last has two broken legs. We are going to the hospital right now to see them.”
We pull into Khan Yunis Municipal Hospital where a group of about 60 men between the ages of 25 and 40 stand about. Some are armed, other bedeck self-inflicted tattoos indicative of former prisoners, and all pay close attention to each new visitor to the hospital. There is a sense of sadness in the collective camaraderie of those who sit about to hear the latest news of those being treated inside. Yet there is also a sense that they are prevented from fully expressing their pain when the primary feeling they exude is that of the desire for self-preservation and fear of assassination. Pulling out a copy of BTL, I explain to the PRC leader who has offered an interview what I do and what I am interested in. His attention becomes focused upon the cover photo of the magazine he now holds within his hands showing the unforgettable carnage of the Tuffah Gate, in Khan Yunis Refugee Camp - a scene of countless exchanges of fire in this Intifada that has witnessed the destruction of over 50 homes. He smiles, then comments “I know this building well.”
We sit on the parking lot curb as I take out my tape recorder. “I don’t have much time [he says] but if you wish to ask questions pleased do.”
V Q: What are the Popular Resistance Committees all about? A: At the beginning of the Intifada many of us in the south who were active in the first Intifada found a need to go beyond the traditional factionalism and form a body that unites popular forces beneath a wide banner unbounded by a particular political ideology. This was needed primarily for self-defense purposes in the beginning of the Intifada as there were high levels of youth being killed relentlessly, especially in the south of the Gaza Strip. In the beginning, and up until today, our means of resisting the occupation were very limited both financially and materially. We began going about collecting donations from local businessmen which permitted us to get started. We soon developed our means and began producing quantities of explosives, collecting old mines left behind by the Egyptians from before the ’67 occupation and manufacturing local versions of mortars [hown] utilizing some of our people who had experience in these fields.
Q: What is your feeling as to the context before the Intifada that permitted the formation of these committees? A: Our people emerge from a tier of honest and noble nationalists who felt we as a people were continuing to suffer the humiliation of the occupation. All factions were feeling dissatisfied with the gimmicks witnessed at the negotiations table. It became clear to us all that there was a necessity to build a framework for shouldering the responsibility of what the situation demanded from a national perspective.
Q: How did the PA react to your formation? A: At the time, they couldn’t do much about it because people were being killed every day and in great numbers. Also, many of our people work in the PA and have remained honest throughout these years. Either these people joined our forces, or remained in their uniforms and ensured we received assistance from within, however without making this public. We are aware that there are limitations on what the PA can do and say as a result of international pressure and we don’t expect them to necessarily conduct themselves with full militancy. Likewise at the same time, we do expect to take our own liberty and fulfill our responsibility to defend our homes and children and resist the occupation.
Q: What is the factional make up of the committees? A: You find people from all walks of the political spectrum – from Islamists to the Left, as well as independents unaffiliated with any political party. In general it is the honest individuals from each party who maintained their dignity throughout the Oslo years. Due to the make up of the political map in the south, the great majority of our people come from Fateh while a considerable number also come from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Q: To what extent do the PRCs represent a movement with a wide refugee base? A: A great majority of the residents of the south are refugees in origin, whether they reside in the camps themselves or within the city. And no doubt, the refugee issue has great importance to all of us. But first and foremost we are all Palestinians, whether refugees or original residents of the towns and we all suffer beneath the occupation. Many popular forces consolidated around the formation of the PRCs and the communities where we began our work fully supported our initiatives [refugee and non-refugee alike].
Q: What happened after the PA signed the cease-fire agreement? A: Many representatives from the PA came to us and tried to convince us to quiet down. Our response to them was very straight forward and clear: if we are convinced that a cease fire for a limited period of time, serves the national cause, then we will abide by it. However if we feel that the national cause demands that we continue, we will continue.
Q: What is the extent of the non-military activities you conduct? A: In our first months, all our energies were being poured into solely military activities. However after two to three months of the Intifada, a political branch of the committees was formed which subsequently formed several committees dedicated to serving the communities social needs. This included visiting and helping the wounded, seeing how we could help out with the families of martyrs and special cases in the camp that were particularly suffering. Overall however our political not to mention our military activities are limited due to our financial constraints.
Q: How would you describe your overall relationship with the PA? A: In general our relationship with the PA vacillates considerably from states of tension, to those of relative calm. Overall however, it is more characterized by a relationship between individuals (both amongst us and with them) rather than a relationship of “the resistance” versus the “Palestinian Authority.” We find it important to maintain good relations with the honest and decent people in the Authority.
Q: What do you do then if or when the PA is pushed to arrest individuals from the Islamist factions, or even the nationalistic ones? A: If this becomes the case, the Palestinian Authority will not begin to arrest people in a retroactive fashion. This was what Abu Amar said himself. Additionally, according to what the American press said, the PA refused to arrest people according to the list that was given to them by the enemy when they agreed to a cease-fire. However we will not remain with hands clasped, if anyone comes to arrest the sons of the resistance, particularly if the situation is calling for it [resistance].
Q: Do you have any comments as to where this Intifada is heading? A: As long as the occupation exists, the resistance will continue and it is our legitimate right to do so until we are freed from it.
Q: You say your goals are the end to the occupation. But do you have any internal agendas that call for social and political transformation of Palestinian society? A: We clearly desire that the situation will not return to the way it was before the Intifada. This includes an end to political arrest [by the PA of the opposition], the ability to freedom of speech and expression as well as many other issues. Democracy is also something important as it improves our collective aptitude and competence and puts the right people in the right positions. It also improves many societal issues that relate to human rights. We aspire to be a democratic and modern society and we work hard so that our future is such. We do not choose to arrive at a day where there is open confrontation with the PA, as we are one people: they are our friends and family, and many of them are honest [shurafa’]. We also must confess to ourselves that many of us, before we decided to form the PRCs were sons of the PA [i.e. were working with the PA]. However, at the same time, we aren’t interested in a return to the situation ante bellum.
Q: What will your reaction be if Sharon goes for a full-scale military assault into PA areas to crush or liquidate the resistance? A: Despite the modesty of our means, the Palestinian people do not lack courses of action to defend itself and inflict harm on its enemy. It has been shown countless times that as much as the enemy attempts to escalate the situation by using new means, the resistance finds new ways to meet these challenges. In any case, we will never surrender or capitulate to the enemy.
I sense his desire to attend to the developments of the situation in the hospital and amongst other resistance leaders, so I thank him for his time and turn off the tape-recorder. We are soon informed that a new problem may be arising with the PA as it seems that after the accident occurred, the victims were evacuated to the hospitals, but their weapons were left behind. There is talk the PA took them and that they [the PRC] will have to negotiate their return.
VI There are several levels to the complete disarray of Palestinian discourse in this Intifada. On one level there is the Palestinian Authority’s typically incompetent gesturing in front of the cameras, fully confident in their skills of spinning and counter-spinning the Palestinian cause with the mastery of a puppeteer. On another level, the political parties find their nook in the spotlight, pricking, with iconoclastic glee, the balloon of the PA-Israeli media spectacle. And on a third level, Palestinian ‘civil society ’ continues to churn out foreign funded interviews and publications (in English) that few read, all the while claiming the monopoly on virtue and reason.
Yet far from the maddening crowd can be heard the voices of the voiceless. Their isolation is seen not solely in the lonesomeness of their ‘illegal’ guns, ideas and lives but is also felt in the betrayal of all the structures that were ever designed to help their resistance and minimally protect and defend their humanity: the PLO, the PA, the political parties and their associated organizations within ‘civil society’. While everyone with credentials, a website and a job fights it out in the virtual and electronic revolution, it is the anonymous refugees and the invisible unemployed who fight the real struggle, which for them is a struggle for the basic necessities of living.
The PRCs are distinguished in their ability to translate a recognition of (their own) human rights with a struggle in which they are prepared to sacrifice. Indeed the search and struggle for such a life will continue to be fought most valiantly by those who lack it most and simply decided and organized themselves to do something about it. After all, in as much as the mutarradeen are objects being pursued, they are also subjects in pursuit.
(Published in "Between the Lines" July 2001 - P.O Box 681 - Jerusalem)
DISASTEROUS ARAB-AMERICAN AFFAIRS IN WASHINGTON-PART 1
(July 31, 2001)
The Arabs are so weak in the Middle East and in the world for reasons that go deep into history and culture. This isn't a genetic matter, it's the way they are politically and socially organized in "modern times" that creates an absurd situation whereby a small resourceless country like Israel can dominate some 23 Arab countries with a population nearly as large as the United States.
IMPRISONED, TRAPPED, AND UNPREPARED BY ARAFAT
(July 31, 2001)
Arafat has once again trapped and imprisoned his own people -- keep reading. Wherever he has set up his headquarters corruption, repression, nepotism, and scandal have followed. And always these realities of what we have termed the "Arafat regime" are exploited to further fracture and weaken the Palestinian people -- a people whose basic claim to independence, "return", and reparations should at this point be unassailable.
DECEPTIVE AND OUT OF FOCUS REPORTS
(July 30, 2001)
About that report published "in full" in the Saudi Royal Family London newspaper Al-Hayat over the weekend and then, it now appears erroneously, picked up by Israel's top newspaper Ha'aretz. We already mentioned that the whole thing seemed suspicious. And sure enough with the Monday dawn of a new week and a little fast checking it seems the author, long-time military analysis and close CIA confidant at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Anthony Cordesman, says he didn't write it and the whole thing looks like a set-up.
AMERICAN STUDY: ISRAEL WOULD BE UNABLE TO REPEL ALL-OUT ARAB ATTACK
(July 30, 2001)
The report in Saturday's Ha'aretz is not up to their usual standards as names are misspelled and context missing -- it appears to be a journalistic quickie. But even so, and though the Israelis aren't going to admit it, they are becoming more nervous and insecure about their future. And among other reasons that's why they choose the heretofore unelectable Ariel Sharon as their Prime Minister.
CREEPING TEMPLE AND CREEPING EMBASSY
(July 29, 2001)
In 1967, as the Israeli army took control of all of Jerusalem, the Israeli Flag flew on what the Jews call "the Temple Mount" for the first time since Christ and Mohamed walked the area. Sensing what this could lead to General Moshe Dayan quickly ordered the flag lowered, turned the area that the Muslims call "the Noble Sanctuary", al Haram al Sharif, back over to the Islamic authorities, and though Israel claims sovereignty it's flag has never flown again over the area of the Temple Mount
THE BLEAK FUTURE TODAY IN THE HOLY CITY OF JERUSALEM
(July 29, 2001)
It was "radical" groups that emplanted themselves in the city of Hebron a long time ago, back in fact when the Labor party was still supreme in Israeli affairs. And just look today at that city where the common forefather of both the Jews and the Arabs is buried.
POTENTIAL EXPLOSION IN JERUSALEM SUNDAY
(July 28, 2001)
Arab leaders have warned that a messianic Jewish organisation's plan to make the first move towards rebuilding the Biblical Temple in Jerusalem is a "dangerous step" that could lead to uncontrollable consequences.
JEWS PREPARE FOR JERUSALEM THIRD TEMPLE- AND SO FINALLY DO THE ARABS
(July 28, 2001)
After today's previous MER article was published -- "God War Emerging In Holy Land" -- this Agence France-Presse article has just come over the wires. Characteristically the representatives of the Hashemite Kingdom -- the regime that has been most complicitous in secretly collaborating with the Israelis for decades to control the Palestinians sandwiched between them -- are publicly posturing in one way while actually acting in another.
RELIGIOUS WAR EMERGING IN THE HOLY LAND
(July 28, 2001)
In the years since the turn of the millenium the Arab-Israeli conflict is being transformed into an even more dangerous and potentially cataclysmic Muslim-Jewish war. Ariel Sharon's "visit" to the Temple Mount last year, accompanied by a huge military force, helped sparked Intifada II -- make no mistake about that.
WAR CRIMES TRIALS FOR SHARON ET. AL.?
(July 27, 2001)
In the end the Israelis are likely to find a way to deal with this new situation. They have great resources at their disposal when it comes to the media, intelligence information, lobbying capabilities, help from key governments in the US, UK, and Germany. They have a long history of twisting things to their advantage one way or another. And those opposed to them have a long reputation for much the opposite in fact.
TWISTING ARAFAT UNTIL HE IS DEAD OR GONE
(July 27, 2001)
The Israelis probably prefer Arafat dead at this point; but not at their own hand, at least not directly. Indeed, many of those who used the "Oslo Peace Process" to end Intifada I probably thought Arafat would have either been assassinated or died by now, leaving behind a "peace process" legacy as did Anwar Sadat when he was gunned down by his own soldiers just a few years after reluctantly signing on-the-dotted-line at Camp David 1.
"WARNING! ELECTRIC FENCE" - "WARNING! ISRAELI ARMY"
(July 26, 2001)
NEWSFLASH Thursday Evening 9pm ET: An Israeli teenager has been killed in a shooting attack in the West Bank and three bombs have gone off in the West Bank near Israeli vehicles. The attacks came hours after Palestinians buried a militant killed in an Israeli missile attack. Israeli tanks also shelled Palestinian police posts in a village north of Ramallah and a checkpoint run by Force 17, an elite unit of the police, south of the town, not far from the site of the shooting, said Palestinian security sources.
DEATH, REPRESSION, AND DESTRUCTION EVERYWHERE. SHARON'S POLICY TO PROVOKE VIOLENCE IS WORKING
(July 26, 2001)
Everywhere the settlements continue to expand even as the Israelis constantly twist their words as well as the facts. The Israelis know very well what they are doing and what they want -- they are taking the land and the resources from the indigenous people and then isolating the people in what amount to ghettos and concentration camps calling them "autonomous" areas.
ISRAELI RIGHT STRIKES WHILE ISRAELI LEFT WRITES
(July 25, 2001)
The Israeli army is partially mobilized and positioned for a quick and multi-directional assault on the forces of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, ironically armed by the Israelis themselves in years past. Draft mobilization offices have been opened by the Israelis in key U.S. and European cities. The Israelis propaganda machine has been beefed up and already beginning to operate on all cylinders.
PALESTINIAN CIVIL WAR DRAWS CLOSER
(July 25, 2001)
"Israel says Arafat is not doing enough to bolster a US-brokered truce, demanding he arrest activists and stop attacks against armed Jewish settlers and soldiers in occupied areas of the West Bank and Gaza. But Arafat has said he is not in control of security in occupied areas. Palestinians blame Israel for the on-going violence"
WHAT'S UP FOR ARAFAT?
(July 25, 2001)
Ariel Sharon has always been scamming everyone. His long career in the military is full of deception and treachery in public while committing blood-curdling massacres in private. In the most notorious case of all, the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps of 1982 ...
OFFICIAL PLO VERSION OF CAMP DAVID
(July 25, 2001)
The latest dueling, in advance of the "big bang" which Arafat himself now says is definitely coming -- and whose real purpose by the Israeli right-wing is to end the "Oslo Peace Process" once and for all -- is a battle for public opinion conducted through a convoluted debate over who offered what to whom and who is responsible for the failing of the "peace process".
REGIONAL WAR POSSIBILITIES
(July 24, 2001)
The following two articles are from publications associated with Janes Intelligence Weekly in the U.K. But what's looked at here are the short-term implications and the correct assessment that the very weak and in most cases U.S.-controlled Arab "client regimes" in the region will find one way or another to avoid any military clashes with the vastly superior Israelis.
PALESTINIAN CIVIL WAR LOOMS
(July 24, 2001)
Those who have read MER for some time know that we have long indicated that one of the Israeli goals was to foment a Palestinian civil war.
Some of the Israelis, dubbed the "peace camp", preferred to twist Arafat into totally succumbing and signing some kind of "end of conflict" agreement along with creation of a rump and everywhere-controlled Palestinian State.
NEW BATTLE FOR HISTORY
(July 24, 2001)
The latest dueling, in advance of the "big bang" -- whose real purpose by the Israeli right-wing is to end the "Oslo Peace Process" once and for all -- is a battle for public opinion conducted through a convoluted debate over who offered what to whom and who is responsible for the failing of the "peace process".
ARMIES AND POLITICIANS POSITIONING THEMSELVES FOR "BIG BANG" AND THEREAFTER
(July 23, 2001)
Ehud Barak is in the U.S. explaining why his former "peace partner" Arafat is really a big thug who can't possibly be believed or trusted, and how he Barak proved it, kind of sacrificing himself he continually implies.
THE BIG LIES
(July 21, 2001)
Goebbels himself could not have done a better job. For those who don't recognize the name, check back in the not too distant history books under the heading Nazi Information Ministry.
ISRAEL SET TO ATTACK ACCORDING TO CIA
(July 20, 2001)
At first we had the adjective "cowardly" as a preface to "Arabs" in the headline. Let's be clear what we mean here. We're not talking about the Arab peoples, nor about those who do the brave struggling...and the real suffering...and the bleeding and the dying.
WAR DRUMS IN THE HOLY LAND
(July 20, 2001)
No way to know for sure, but if we had to predict at this moment the "Big Bang" (see previous "War Drums" articles for context) will be heard not this week but next after the Maccabiah games have ended and the G8 leaders survive Genoa.
AMERICANS GET ANOTHER WARNING
(July 19, 2001)
With the unprecedented "Red Zone" in Genoa; with key Washington buildings surrounded by concrete and high-tech survelliance; and with Americans warned again by their government to "beware" following on last month's Threatcon Delta alert; the "terrorists" have already accomplished a small part of their goal.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND ARAB LEAGUE OFFER LITTLE BUT WORDS AND A FEW BUCKS
(July 19, 2001)
It's that little old problem rearing it's ugly head again -- calls that come much too late and even then call for much too little. Worse yet the calls come in very self-serving ways from persons and institutions whose past records make them not very credible, and certainly not very potent.
FINALLY BURYING OSLO
(July 18, 2001)
The "Oslo Peace Process" -- which would have been more aptly named the "Rabin" or the "Clinton" -- has been brain-dead for some time now; kept alive only by extraordinary life-support efforts by its parent surrogates.
INDIA-PAKISTAN SUMMIT COLLAPSES, INDIA IMMEDIATELY ANNOUNCES MAJOR MILITARY ESCALATION WITH ISRAEL
(July 18, 2001)
With both Turkey and India the Israelis are developing formidable military, financial, and intelligence alliances surrounding the Arab and Muslim worlds. These relationships tremendously strengthen the Jewish State financially, militarily, and strategically at a very critical time.
TINDERBOX AWAITS MATCH
(July 17, 2001)
"This could result in a bloodbath and thereby set the entire
region aflame. It's not out of the question that demonstrations
could topple unpopular regimes in Jordan, Egypt or Saudi
Arabia... The tinderbox is awaiting a match."
(July 17, 2001)
It's beginning to appear that it's just a matter of time now for Arafat to finally be gone. As far as the Israelis and Americans are concerned, it no longer really matters like it use to.
ISRAEL PUSHES PALESTINIANS TOWARD CIVIL WAR
(July 17, 2001)
"No power in the world can stop the resistance operations that come as a reaction to the Israeli aggression ... we have nothing more to lose."
ISRAELIS PUSHING HARD TO PROVOKE MORE PALESTINIAN ATTACKS
(July 16, 2001)
A few years ago when the Americans essentially forced Yasser Arafat to sign one of those deals, this one about Hebron, that was supposed to push the "peace process" forward, it was foreseeable that sooner rather than later Hebron would once again erupt.
MUBARAK REGIME EARNS ITS PAY ONCE AGAIN
(July 15, 2001)
Today the Egyptians hosted Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat in Cairo. It's a replay of this kind of thing they've been doing for quite some years now. The Egyptians are at it again, fronting for the Americans as they have ever since the original Camp David extravaganza in 1978.
WAR DRUMS FROM ISRAEL
(July 15, 2001)
Longtime top adviser to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Osama el-Baz, has issued a not-so-veiled warning to the Israelis not to attack Syria. The head of Egyptian military intelligence rushed to Israel a few days ago supposedly to warn the Israelis not to dethrone Yasser Arafat.
RACE TO NUCLEAR WAR
(July 14, 2001)
While the Israelis and the Arabs confront each other in a conflict that may now last for a very long time and even lead to a Middle East holocaust in the future; and while the other "peace process" in Northern Ireland also collapses due to its similar duplicitous nature; it is in the subcontinent that the race toward a possible nuclear conflagration is furthest advanced at this moment in history.
MORE U.S. DUPLICLITY - COLIN POWELL NOW IN CHARGE
(July 13, 2001)
It was another top General turned State Department Secretary who gave Ariel Sharon the behind-the-scenes "green light" back in 1982 - General Alexander Haig.
PREPARING FOR THE WAR OF HIS CHOOSING
(July 13, 2001)
What we feared has come true: Two ethno-national groups, living in
each other's backyards, are going through a proces of regression to
superstitious tribalism. The sounds of the drums are heard throughout
the land calling both tribes to gather around the campfire, dress in the
colors of war and head out to battle to eliminate the very last member
of the other side.
(July 13, 2001)
What are we to call this situation? "War Watch"...no, the sides are far too uneven, it's not really going to be a war...not unless one or more of the Arab regimes should find itself cornered or facing revolution.
WEST WING PARTIALLY EVACUATED
(July 12, 2001)
A few barks from the sniffers dogs and even after all the security checks required to get into the White House grounds the Secret Service pulled the alarm and quickly began the evacuation procedure.
ISRAELIS GENERALS' PLAN TO "SMASH" PALESTINIANS
(July 12, 2001)
Israeli generals have updated plans for an all-out assault to smash the Palestinian authority, force out leader Yasser Arafat and kill or detain its army, according to a report published Thursday in London.
JANES "FOREIGN REPORTS" DETAILS ISRAELI INVASION PLAN
(July 12, 2001)
The report that a force of some 30,000 Israeli troops is preparing to take on Arafat's "Authority" and bring it to an end was just published in one of the most reputable international publications, one published by the Janes Intelligence network in the U.K. and available only to members who pay a sizeable yearly subscription fee.
ISRAELIS PREPARE WAY TO TAKE OUT ARAFAT REGIME AND TO TAKE ON IRAN'S NEW WEAPON SYSTEMS
(July 11, 2001)
Whatever the truth of Israel's latest allegations against both the Arafat Authority and Iran, there should be little doubt what the Israelis are really up to at this point, with Shimon Peres leading the charge.
BULLDOZERS PREPARING THE WAY FOR THE "BIG BANG"
(July 11, 2001)
It's all part of the same game. The Israelis think they have the Palestinians trapped. They publicly debate how to put them in their place with bulldozers, expulsions, invasion, awaiting the "big bang".
ISRAELIS UNDER SIEGE WITH ARAFAT FACING HIS OWN
(July 10, 2001)
Nearly half of the Israeli Jewish population got a stern warning yesterday - don't drink the water. Today Israel's lifeline, it's international airport between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, is under virtual siege with huge traffic jams as all vehicles undergo the kind of rigorous fender-to-fender inspection previously reserved for just "Arab" cars with special blue plates.
ALGERIA READY TO EXPLODE
(July 10, 2001)
While the legacy of British colonialism still lingers in Palestine and Kashmir, still threatening cataclysmic conflict in both regions, in Algeria it is the legacy of French colonialism, which also of course still has loud echoes in Lebanon and Syria.
WAR IS IN THE AIR - Part 2
(July 10, 2001)
The Egyptians are arming with missiles to deter Israeli strikes against Egyptian cities or strategic targets such as the Aswan dam. These may be conceived as deterrent weapons; but they also could be used in other situations.
WAR IS IN THE AIR - Part 1
(July 9, 2001)
"The stage, therefore, has been set for the outbreak of the
next wear: wall-to-wall political approval for a military solution
to the current crisis, the appropriate international preparations
during the period of restraint."
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE "RIGHT OF RETURN" BUT WERE TOO AFRAID TO ASK
(July 7, 2001)
"Who will compensate me and my family for all the
suffering we went through? Financial compensation
cannot replace the right of return....The main thing
is to go back to where I belong."
THE STAGE IS NOW SET
(July 7, 2001)
This is the way such things are done these days. Lots of testing of the waters. Lots of preparing the way. Lots of trial balloons. If (probably no longer when) the Israelis "remove" Arafat one way or another -- just as it was they who put him where he is in the first place -- it will no longer come as such a great shock.
FENCING THE PALESTINIANS IN - "UNILATERAL SEPARATION"
(July 6, 2001)
Having to a considerable extent succeeding in colonizing the "occupied territories", especially the most important areas around Jerusalem and the most cultivatable areas along with the crucial water resources, the Israelis are now ready for more fences and barricades.
STOPPING SHARON - PROBABLY TOO LATE
(July 6, 2001)
He's not likely to be stopped now. He's prepared most of his life for this moment in history. And as Israeli Prime Minister for just the past few months he's already visited the American President twice, Downing Street, and now both Germany and France, applauded in public more for his "restraint" as the "new Sharon" rather than for his war criminal past and the neo-apartheid oppression machine he now bears full responsibility for.
ISRAEL SHAHAK DIES AS CALAMITY HE FORESAW APPROACHES
(July 5, 2001)
Just what "cease-fire" is Sarid talking about? And if he really wants a serious outside force, why is he not appealing to the U.N. under Chapter 7 and why are not the Arabs included?
ISRAELIS TO NOW KILL MORE PALESTINIAN ACTIVISTS
(July 4, 2001)
Ariel Sharon and his government are preparing the way to kill more Palestinian street and faction leaders using various forms of high-tech assassination. They are also preparing world public opinion not only for bringing the Arafat "Authority" to an end but for killing and expelling as many Palestinians as circumstances will allow.
THE REAL ARAFAT
(July 3, 2001)
Of course Sharon's comment yesterday is ridiculous. Problem is the strategy behind it is not. "You must comply, resistance is futile" is indeed the loud message from Sharon to Arafat; and Sharon does intend to prove his words in the weeks and months ahead, make no mistake about that.
THE REAL SHARON, MASKED AND PREPARING FOR ANOTHER "GREEN LIGHT"
(July 2, 2001)
Ariel Sharon has Yasser Arafat cornered now -- right where he wants him. Sharon has in essence forced Arafat to publicly call off the Intifada -- or else Sharon made it rather clear, most of all to his American allies, that he would call off Arafat's regime whatever the consequences.
5 PALESTINIANS KILLED SUNDAY
(July 1, 2001)
Five Palestinian militants have been killed by Israeli forces, three in a pinpoint helicopter attack and two in a clash with soldiers.
The helicopter fired missiles at a car in which the three men were travelling near Qabatiye in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security officials said.
SYRIA STRUCK FOR SECOND TIME SINCE SHARON BECAME PM
(July 1, 2001)
The Arabs have an amazing tolerance for being struck. Partly it is because of their weakness of course; coupled with their long history of subjugation and occupation. But those who know Arab society also are aware that after taking it and taking it there sometimes comes a moment of powerful emotional uproar screaming for revenge.
SHARON PLAYS THE PALESTINIANS OFF AGAINST EACH OTHER
(July 1, 2001)
While Ariel Sharon uses the greatest pressure of all so far in order to bow the Arafat regime into submission -- the possibility of crushing Arafat's "Authority" through brut military force -- at the same time he holds out the carrot.