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PLEADING FOR PEACE; ANALYSIS IS WAR

August 18, 2001

FOREIGNERS PROTEST AT ISRAELI MILITARY CHECKPOINT
By Paul Holmes
BETHLEHEM, West Bank, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Everything stops for tea in Britain, or so they say. So when Angie Zelter and her fellow foreign protesters found their way from Palestinian-ruled Bethlehem to Jerusalem blocked by Israeli soldiers and police on Saturday, Zelter ever so politely ventured a few words of advice.

"Would you like to take a tea break?" Zelter, a 50-year-old potter from Cromer in eastern England, asked the helmeted Israeli soldier staring her in the face. "If you did, we could walk through to Jerusalem."

Amid all the violence and bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians, it was a somewhat surreal scene at the Israeli military checkpoint on the main road from Bethlehem in the West Bank.

On one side were the 50 or so pro-Palestinian demonstrators from Britain, France, Italy and the United States clutching placards that read "End the Occupation." They sang "We Shall Have a State" to the tune of "We Shall Overcome" and waved little plastic Palestinian flags.

One, a Palestinian-American called Heidi, WAS a Palestinian flag. Why else would someone wear red slacks, a green jacket and a black T-shirt with the words "Free Palestine" emblazoned in white across her chest?

Facing the group were Israeli soldiers, police and border police clutching their weapons and barring the way.

An Israeli policeman filmed the protesters with his home video camera. Some of the demonstrators filmed him back with their home video cameras. Everyone smiled. Even the policeman.

way from it all, elderly Palestinian women in traditional embroidered dresses shuffled past, dragging plastic crates of figs and other produce towards Bethlehem.

The group has been protesting in and around Jerusalem in support of Palestinians engaged in the uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Saturday's action, they said, was intended to draw international attention to the harsh restrictions Israel has placed on the movement of almost all Palestinians since the violence erupted last September after peace talks stalled.

Israel calls the blockade a security measure against attacks on its citizens. Palestinians call it collective punishment.

"The West Bank and Gaza are a total prison," said Luisa Morgantini, a leftist Italian member of the European Parliament. "There are not two sides that are equal. There is one side which occupies and another side which is occupied."

The khaki-clad soldiers and blue-uniformed police were not impressed. Having summoned reinforcements, they linked arms and moved heavy plastic barriers across the road.

Within an hour it was all over. Short of a bit of pushing and shoving, there was no violence. No one was hurt. No one was arrested. And having made their point, the protesters turned their backs on the Israelis and headed off the way they came. "It was expected," said Zelter. " And I think it's a total disgrace."

FROM NORFOLK TO JERUSALEM TO PLEAD FOR PEACE
By Robert Fisk in Jerusalem

[The Independent - 19 August 2001]: When Angela Zelter tried to talk to an Orthodox Jew last week, she got an earful. "I greeted him with 'Shalom' and he and his friends told us we were 'friends of terrorists'," she says. "One of them told me: 'Fuck you, your friends killed our babies.' We were spat at." But being a member of the International Solidarity Movement to End the Occupation has its rewards. Ms Zelter a potter from Norfolk -- and her friends from Britain, France, Italy and America have their little victories in Jerusalem and on the West Bank, preaching non-violence to a population that admires suicide bombers, pleading with Palestinians not to throw stones, ostentatiously monitoring the Israeli army's debilitating, endless checkpoints.

I watched several of the "internationals" men and women telling Palestinians not to throw stones at the police outside Orient House last week. A day later, they were standing beside Israeli troops at a roadblock in Qalandiya in the West Bank, holding placards proclaiming themselves "international observers". Palestinians told them there was less harassment while they stood there. As many as 80 men and women from Europe and the United States along with at least five Israeli women and a Colombian have been trying to persuade the Palestinians that the world has not forgotten them, that it is possible to resist an occupation without violence.

At one checkpoint, the monitor was a retired Israeli policewoman formerly a police major while Ms Zelter spent some minutes trying to encourage a young Israeli tank driver to meet her at the group's hotel and travel with them in plain clothes to meet Palestinians. The Israeli might not be the only man frightened of these formidable ladies from "Women in Black", who regularly meet at the foot of Nurse Edith Cavell's statue near the National Gallery in London.

Tough is not the word for them. Up to 20 Western men and women sleep every night in the Palestinian town of Beit Jalla -- the shooting gallery which regularly appears on every television news programme -- risking their lives under the Israeli tank shells which invariably follow the appearance of Palestinian gunmen in the town's streets.

Jerry Levin, the CNN reporter once kidnapped in Beirut, and his wife have stayed there, along with a clutch of French and Britons, at least five Jews among them. Ms Zelter says Arafat's men have turned up most recently and appear to be keeping the gunmen off the streets perhaps because of the presence of the "internationals".

Edward Mast and his wife Linda Bevis from Seattle are spending their honeymoon to show "solidarity" how painfully old-fashioned that word seems amid the Palestinian-Israeli war with those under occupation. "I want to be part of the non-violent resistance to occupation," Mast says. "And to register my protest as an American at what is happening here." Last week, in perhaps the most dramatic incident of its kind, the group turned up at the West Bank village of Al-Khader to remove an Israeli roadblock made up of rocks and two carbonised buses that was preventing villagers from driving to their fields.

"We eventually got the Palestinians to understand what we wanted to do and an 11-year-old boy turned up with a JCB digger," Zelter says. "He was very brave and very professional, and I think the other Palestinians were afraid. But we formed a human shield and he moved the stones and pushed one of the buses to one side and the people could then take their vehicles to their fields. Some Israeli soldiers were watching from a hill. An army truck moved towards us, but stopped."

At 2am the next day, the Israelis returned and re-erected the roadblock. Then the group returned to play football on a field the Israelis had deemed "forbidden" because it overlooked a road for Jewish settlers -- though not close enough for a Palestinian to throw a stone even with a slingshot, as one of the women explained. Again, the Israelis watched. An army jeep drew up, then retreated when the driver saw that Westerners were playing in the football game. Al- Khader are football champions in this part of the West Bank.

It's easy to dismiss the "internationals" as a bunch of do-gooders out of their depth "ageing hippies", as one Western journalist called them. But the message is all too real for the Israelis. Israel refuses to allow international monitors to police the Israeli- Palestinian war. But the men and women of this solidarity campaign are proving that they can throw a blanket over the sparks, persuade Palestinians to play football rather than throw stones.

Perhaps a real monitoring force disciplined and without political leanings could do even better. It might at least take its cue from the last words of Nurse Cavell, which Ms Zelter remembers: "Patriotism," the English heroine said as she faced a German firing squad in the First World War, "is not enough."

SHARON 'PLANNED TO SEND TANKS INTO BETHLEHEM'
By Uzi Mahnaimi, Gillo

[Sunday Times, UK, 19 August]: ISRAEL'S prime minister, Ariel Sharon, wanted to send troops and tanks into the suburbs of Bethlehem last week, but was stopped from turning one of Christianity's most sacred spots into a battle zone only after a row with his top commanders, military sources claimed this weekend.

Sharon was enraged when Palestinians fired light arms on Tuesday at Gillo, a Jewish settlement built on land expropriated in 1967 from the Arabs of Beit Jalla, a suburb that lies just a mile from the centre of Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity.

The Fatah gunmen claimed they had opened fire in response to the Israeli army's demolition of a Palestinian police station the previous night.

Sharon pushed for a lightning takeover of Beit Jalla, using tanks and paratroopers, under the codename "an eye to Zion".

It was initially claimed the operation was cancelled only because of intense lobbying by America.

News of the disagreement emerged as Israeli tanks moved early yesterday into a Palestinian-controlled area in the southern Gaza Strip. One Palestinian was reported killed and 10 injured in the clashes that followed.

Aides said Sharon wanted "an eye to Zion" to be completed by Wednesday lunchtime, before his meeting with David Sutterfield, the American envoy.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the defence minister, wanted something that would look good on the main evening news.

But Shaul Mofaz, the army chief of staff, preferred the operation to be carried out under cover of darkness.

While the three men haggled, Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, telephoned his men and told them to stop firing - knowing full well that the Israelis monitor his calls. When the message reached Ben-Eliezer and Mofaz, they agreed to abort the operation.

WHEN JOURNALISTS FORGET THAT MURDER IS MURDER
By Robert Fisk

[The Independent, UK, 18 August]: 'It's not the words Israelis and Palestinians use about each other that concern me. It's our submission to them'

What on earth has happened to our reporting of the Middle East? George Orwell would have loved a Reuter's dispatch from the West Bank city of Hebron last Wednesday. "Undercover Israeli soldiers," the world's most famous news agency reported, "shot dead a member of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction yesterday in what Palestinians called an assassination." The key phrase, of course, was "what Palestinians called an assassination". Any sane reader would conclude immediately that Imad Abu Sneiheh, who was shot in the head, chest, stomach and legs by 10 bullets fired by Israeli "agents" had been murdered, let alone assassinated. But no. Reuters, like all the big agencies and television companies reporting the tragedy of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, no longer calls murder by its real name.

Back in the days of apartheid, no one minced their words when South African death squads gunned down militant opponents. They talked about murder and assassination. They still do when Latin American killers murder their political opponents. I've yet to find a newspaper which shrinks from reporting the "murder" -- or at the least "assassination" -- of IRA or UDA gangsters in Belfast. But not when the Israelis do the murdering. For when Israelis kill, they do not murder or assassinate, according to Reuters or CNN or the most recent convert to this flabby journalism, the BBC. Israelis perpetrate something which is only "called" an "assassination" by Palestinians. When Israelis are involved, our moral compass our ability to report the truth dries up.

Over the years, even CNN began to realise that "terrorist" used about only one set of antagonists was racist as well as biased. When a television reporter used this word about the Palestinian who so wickedly bombed the Jerusalem pizzeria last week, he was roundly attacked by one of his colleagues for falling below journalistic standards. Rightly so. But in reality our reporting is getting worse, not better.

Editors around the world are requesting their journalists to be ever softer, ever more mealy mouthed in their reporting of any incident which might upset Israel. Which is why, of course, Israelis are so often reported as being killed by Palestinians while Palestinians, some as young as 10, are killed in "clashes" -- "clashes" coming across as a form of natural disaster like an earthquake or a flood, a tragedy without a culprit.

One sure way of spotting Israel's responsibility for a killing is the word "crossfire". Mohamed el-Dura, the little Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza last year, became an iconic symbol of the Palestinian "intifada". Journalists investigating the boy's death, including The Independent's Jerusalem, correspondent were in no doubt that the bullets which hit him were Israeli (albeit that the soldiers involved may not have seen him). Yet after a bogus Israeli military inquiry denounced in the Knesset by an Israeli member of parliament, all the major Western picture agencies placed captions on the photo for future subscribers. Yes, you've guessed it, the captions said he was killed in "crossfire".

Wars have always produced their verbal trickeries, their antiseptic phrases and hygienic metaphors, from "collateral damage" to "degrading the enemy". The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has produced a unique crop. The Israeli siege of a city has become a "closure", the legal border between Israel and the occupied territories has become the "seam line", collaborators for the Israelis are "co-operators", Israeli-occupied land has become "disputed", Jewish settlements built illegally on Arab land have become "neighourhoods" -- nice, folksy places which are invariably attacked by Palestinian "militants".

And when suicide bombers strike "terrorists" to the Israelis, of course the Palestinians call them "martyrs". Oddest of all is Israel's creepy expression for its own extrajudicial murders: "targeted killings". If a dark humour exists in any of this dangerous nonsense, I must admit that Israel has found a real cracker in its expression for Palestinians who blow themselves to bits while making bombs: they die, so the Israelis say, from "work accidents".

But it's not the words Israelis and Palestinians use about each other that concern me. It's our journalistic submission to these words.

Just over a week ago, I wrote in The Independent that the BBC had bowed to Israeli diplomatic pressure to drop the word "assassination" for the murder of Palestinians in favour of Israel's own weird expression, "targeted killings". I was subsequently taken to task by Malcolm Downing, the BBC assignments editor who decreed this new usage. I was one-sided, biased and misleading, he said; the BBC merely regarded "assassination" as a word that should apply to "high-ranking political or religious figures".

But the most important aspect of Mr Downing's reply was his total failure to make any reference to the point of my article the BBC's specific recommended

choice of words for Israel's murders: "targeted attacks". The BBC didn't invent that phrase. The Israelis did.

I don't for a moment believe Mr Downing realises what he did. His colleagues regard him as a professional friend. But he has to realise that by telling his reporters to use "targeted killings", he is perpetrating not only a journalistic error but a factual inaccuracy. So far, 17 totally innocent civilians including two small children have been killed in Israel's state-sponsored assassinations. So the killings are at the least very badly targeted indeed. And I can't help recalling that when the BBC's own Jill Dando was so cruelly shot dead on her doorstep, there was no doubt that she was killed by a man who had deliberately "targeted" her. But that's not what the BBC said. They called it murder. And it was.

Within the past week, CNN, the news agencies and the BBC have all been chipping away at the truth once more. When the Jewish settlement at Gilo was attacked by Palestinian gunmen at Beit Jalla, it once more became a "Jewish neighbourhood" on "disputed" land even though the land, far from being in "dispute", legally belongs to the Palestinian people of Beit Jalla ("Gilo" being the Hebrew for "Jalla"). But viewers and readers were not told of this.

When the next state-sponsored assassination of a Palestinian Hamas member took place, a television journalist -- BBC this time -- was reduced to telling us that his killing was "regarded by the Israelis as a targeted killing but which the Palestinians regard as an assassination". You could see the problem. Deeply troubled by the Israeli version, the BBC man had to "balance" it with the Palestinian version, like a sports reporter unwilling to blame either side for a foul.

So just watch out for the following key words about the Middle East in television reporting over the next few days: "targeted killings", "neighbourhood", "disputed", "terrorist", "clash" and "crossfire". Then ask yourself why they are being used. I'm all for truth about both sides. I'm all for using the word "terrorism" providing it's used about both sides' terrorists. I'm sick of hearing Palestinians talking about men who blow kids to bits as "martyrs". Murder is murder is murder. But where the lives of men and women are concerned, must we be treated by television and agency reporters to a commentary on the level of a football match?


August 2001


Magazine






IDEOLOGICAL CEASE-FIRE OR SELL-OUT AT DURBAN?
(August 31, 2001)
It's not likely this is the end of it, but indications are that the Arafat crowd -- as of the moment still in the pay of the U.S., Israel, and the despicable Arab "client regimes" -- has found a way to back away from the badly needed ideological confrontation, with the help of non other than that slimmy man for all seasons who never misses an opportunity to interject himself Jesse Jackson.

ASHRAWI SPEECH IN DURBAN
(August 31, 2001)
Hanan Ashrawi is no real hero, and she's made some terrible hard-to-forgive political mistakes in the "peace process" years in her search for the limelight and VIP status.

DURBAN AND ROBINSON AND ANNAN
(August 31, 2001)
A pamphlet distributed at the United Nations anti-racism conference in South Africa equating the Star of David with a swastika has prompted the UN human rights commissioner, Mary Robinson, to declare at an official dinner: "I am a Jew".

"GO BACK IMMEDIATLEY OR WE ARE GOING TO SHOOT" - MARY ROBINSON COMES OUT JEWISH
(August 30, 2001)
Talk about humiliation. When the U.N.'s top human rights official was in occupied Palestine last year her car was shot at by Israeli settlers -- the Israeli army doing nothing to stop them. Now we learn that the very same Mary Robinson is herself Jewish and has been using her position to head off the urgently needed world censorship of Israel for its racist and apartheid-like policies.

HABASH AND CARLOS HAVE THEIR SAY
(August 30, 2001)
Aging guerrilla leader Carlos the Jackal called from his French jail cell Wednesday for worldwide attacks on Israel and the United States in support of the Palestinian uprising.

A LAND WITHOUT HOPE
(August 29, 2001)
Gaza is the largest prison in the world. Most of its one million plus inhabitants, in a sense inmates, have never been let out. Whether the term be "ghetto" or "concentration camp" or just "prison", the historical parallels are all too damning.

THE U.S. MAKES IT ALL POSSIBLE
(August 29, 2001)
What we should all be thinking when the U.S. State Department spokesman gets in front of the cameras is -- "You've Got To Be Kidding!" Instead, the American government with its super sophisticated PR apparatus dishes it out. The gullible, or should we say complicitous, corporate media then broadcasts it -- not just CNN, also the rest of the networks along with PBS followed up by the big daily newspapers and newsweeklies --all lemming-like.

TIME TO SUSPEND ISRAEL FROM U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY
(August 28, 2001)
The American President and Vice-President both are giving public expressions of support to the Israelis; while the American CIA, military and Congress make Israeli policies possible with a continual flow of money, guns, and information.

"INVITING HELL TO BREAK LO0SE" - PFLP LEADER ASSASSINATED TODAY
(August 27, 2001)
The Israelis are clearly planning to totally crush the Palestinians -- Minister Uzi Landau is publicly saying as much -- probably thinking they can buy themselves still more years to consolidate their grip on the occupied territories and probably scheming for the opportunity to push as many Palestinians as they can across the Jordan and into a Hashemite Kingdom that will eventually, sooner or later, implode into a Palestinian State.

A MOST COURAGEOUS AND DEDICATED ISRAELI JOURNALIST
(August 26, 2001)
If we had an award for Middle East Journalist of the year, the Israeli writer Amira Hass would be very high on that list. A few years ago, long before it became politically correct to term Israeli policies "apartheid like", especially in Jewish and American circles, Amira Hass was doing just that in her writing and speaking.

ISRAEL WINNING PROPAGANDA WAR - MASSIVELY
(August 26, 2001)
The terribly weak, confused, and co-opted Arab regimes, Arafat's included, are miserably losing the "propaganda war". Sure, the Israelis have suffered in some quarters in some ways; but nothing compared to the Palestinians.

THE LATEST FROM GAZA GHETTO
(August 25, 2001)
About 400 fanatical "settlers" have forced their way into homes in the middle of Hebron, a city of 120,000 Arabs. About 6000 fanatical "settlers" contnue to occupy about 35% of the Gaza Strip, amidst more than 1 million Palestinians.

ISRAEL'S IDEOLOGICAL FOUNDATION
(August 25, 2001)
If you want to understand what the Israelis are doing, and why, you have to understand the ideological underpinnings of what is called "Revisionist Zionism". This article was published many years ago in The Washington Post by Mark Bruzonsky, today the Publisher of MER.

JUST IMAGINE, A MILLION + INJURED IN A YEAR
(August 24, 2001)
If adjusted for differing population sizes, these would be the dead and casualties figures if a foreign military power occupied the United States and did to Americans what Israel, with U.S. money and arms, is doing to the Palestinians. And that's just in the past year or so.

WITH ARAFAT AND COMPANY IN COMMAND, THERE IS NO HOPE.
(August 24, 2001)
As usual there is no serious introspection and self-criticism here. Arab and Palestinian Americans have failed miserably over a very long period of time to even establish viable organizations and publications. Moreover they have no lobbying and professional presence even worth discussion in the crucial capital of Washington, DC, even today.

SUICIDE BOMBERS - MADE BY ISRAEL AND THE USA
(August 23, 2001)
It didn't begin this way. A few generations ago Arabs and Jews lived together in the same neighborhoods of the once Holy Land. In the 40's the famous Arab mayor of Haifa Hassan Shukri's only son married a Jewish woman.

ISRAELIS "DEBATE" BOTH "SEPARATION" AND "DEPARTURE"
(August 23, 2001)
Two rather insightful articles follow about how confused and insecure many Israelis have become, even though this often comes across to others as heightened arrogance and self-centeredness. In the first from Ha'aretz some Israelis are hedging their bets and wondering just what the future holds. There is a deep down awareness, not quite conscious for many, that what they are doing to the Palestinians could possibly in the future backfire in an orgy of hatred and recriminations far beyond today's situation.

KILLING AND DESTROYING - THE ISRAELI WAY
(August 21, 2001)
Even as the U.N. Security Council gathered to demonstrate once again how badly it has been neutered and cast aside when it comes to the Middle East, the Israelis are further unleashing their basic policy of killing, destroying, repressing. General Barak, the previous PM, is busy taking credit for having "exposed" the Palestinians and "fathered" the concept of "unilateral separation" (i.e., apartheid forever).

UN NOW AND THEN
(August 20, 2001)
Today's United Nations is pretty much an "appendage of the (U.S.) State Department". And that's not our phrase, it's one used by a senior U.N. official not that long ago in one of those quiet unpublicized off-the-record Washington discussions.

THE "PEACE PROCESS" FRAUD AND CONSPIRACY
(August 20, 2001)
Professors Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Tanya Reinhart -- Jewish American, Palestinian American, and Israeli -- all have explained this month why the "Peace Process" was a fraud, a deception, a conspiracy, from the start.

PLEADING FOR PEACE; ANALYSIS IS WAR
(August 18, 2001)
Everything stops for tea in Britain, or so they say. So when Angie Zelter and her fellow foreign protesters found their way from Palestinian-ruled Bethlehem to Jerusalem blocked by Israeli soldiers and police on Saturday, Zelter ever so politely ventured a few words of advice.

A SUICIDE BOMBER'S WORLD
(August 18, 2001)
In a sense, a very important sense, the "Suicide Bombers" now so much in the news should have stamped on them "Made in Israel, Encouraged by USA". There were few if any "Suicide Bombers" just a few years ago. The phenomena first arose out of Israel's destructive invasion of Lebanon in and before 1982, then the occupation of about 10% of that country which only ended last year.

DATELINE WASHINGTON: ONE ARAB DISASTER AFTER ANOTHER
(August 17, 2001)
Months ago now the relatively new group of Muslim "client organizations" headquartered in Washington repeatedly promised at one press conference after another a wave of civil disobedience throughout the U.S. in view of what Israel and the U.S. are doing to the Palestinians.

ANTI-US/ISRAEL DEMOS IN SOUTH AFRICA
(August 17, 2001)
The pathetically weak and terribly mislead Arab and Muslim groups in the US aren't doing any protesting worth mentioning about this or anything else; but thousands of South Africans are doing the work for everyone...and "internationals" are on the way.

WHY WE HAVE ALL BECOME SUICIDE BOMBERS, DR EYAD SARRAJ-MER FLASHBACK
(August 16, 2001)
A few weeks ago I said that the struggle of Palestinians today is how not to become a bomb and that the amazing thing is not the occurrence of the suicide bombing, rather the rarity of them.

HAVE WE A PREDICTION HERE? YASS?
(August 16, 2001)
Beneath that thick Israeli arrogance, many Israelis are really far more confused, and far more fearful, than they are going to admit. Theirs' is a complicated psychology especially as the scars of the Holocaust remain deeply buried and only occasionally visible.

DEATH IN BETHLEHELM, MADE IN AMERICA
(August 15, 2001)
While the Israeli Army surrounds Bethlehem and many of the "autonomous Palestinian population centers" created through the Apartheid-style "peace process", it is American weapons and money that make the brutal military occupation possible.

ISREALI STORM TROOPERS BEAT, SHOOT, TORTURE, KILL
(August 14, 2001)
How ironic that the Jewish Israelis are acting like modern-day storm troopers, perpetrating ongoing Crystal Nachts, their victims akin to dark images from the Warsaw Ghetto of yesteryear...and so many "Good Israelis", so sadly reminiscent of the "Good Germans" of their own terrible past when they themselves were powerless victims, are cheering with mindless hatred

USED "PEACE PLAN" FOR SALE CHEAP - CAVEATE EMPTOR!
(August 14, 2001)
Gee..isn't this interesting. With the legitimacy of the Jewish State of Israel -- i.e. Zionism -- about to be challenged by much of the world in Durban; and with the "peace process" itself about to be finally condemned as a "new form of apartheid" -- just as so many of the independent experts have been saying for years now -- the Israelis are embarking on a major international public relations campaign whose top dogs are none other than soft barkers Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, chief architects and salesmen of the very same.

SALAMI ESCALATION
(August 14, 2001)
The Israelis are preparing everyone psychologically for more. Rather than everything at once, Sharon's tactics are a war version of "triangulation" which has become so famous in American political infighting. In this way he gets to be called "restrained" by many, creates the climate of confusion and anticipation that he wishes, uses Peres and Eliezer to confuse world opinion and even some of the more gullible Arab "leaders", and craftily prepares for that day when the tanks will roll in and roll over...and not just leave after a few hours of death and destruction.

NOW RUSSIANS PREDICT MID-EAST WAR SOON
(August 13, 2001)
The Israelis have been trying for years now to "reconfigure" the Middle East to their further advantage. That's really what the war for Lebanon that erupted most fiercely in 1982 was all about; and its what the various responses to the Intifada have always been about as well -- most especially the disengenous "peace process" which has now worse than collapsed.

A PEOPLE CRUSHED, DISPOSSESSED, TORTURED...
(August 13, 2001)
"His was not an act of 'mindless terror', the words Israeli spokesmen use. He was the logical product of a people who have been crushed, dispossessed, tortured and killed in terrible numbers." Fisk on the 'Suicide Bomber'

ON TO DURBAN...WITHOUT THEM - PART II
(August 12, 2001)
Well we weren't expecting United Nations officials to heed our advice about Durban and get on with things, with or without the constantly threatening and vetoing Americans (see Part 1 published yesterday). In recent years some of their colleagues at the very highest levels of today's U.N. have in fact resigned in moral disgust -- and even said so in public.

EGYPT MIGHT MOVE ARMY INTO SINAI?
(August 12, 2001)
It's not likely to happen -- Egypt's Third Army moving into Sinai for the first time since 1973 -- but it could. And in the Middle East there are historical precedents that this is sometimes the way big wars start with an initial bombardment of threats, bluffs, feints, and then the confusion takes on a life of its own.

SYMBOL OF PALESTINE CAPTURED AND RAPED
(August 11, 2001)
"Israeli riot police on horseback yesterday charged into protesters sitting outside Orient House, the barricaded mansion that serves as an unofficial Palestinian capital, reopening the battle for Jerusalem. The occupation of Orient House, headquarters of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in Jerusalem, by the Israeli army is one of the biggest acts of aggrandisement since the intifada began 11 months ago."

ON TO DURBAN...WITHOUT THEM
(August 10, 2001)
Conclusion first: Let the Americans and the Israelis stay home. So be it. There's been enough blackmail and bribery and vetoing for such a very long time now. The Americans and the Israelis have been two against the whole world so many times when it comes to the international community of nations. It was just a few years ago that the U.S. single-handedly black-balled Boutros Ghali and sent him packing.

SHARON OF ISRAEL - DANGEROUSLY CUNNING
(August 10, 2001)
Ariel Sharon has a terrible history of brutality and murder, and indeed by the usual definitions these days he is at the very least indictable as a war criminal. Even so, especially now in his new role as Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon is an extraordinarily crafty and sophisticated strategist as well as tactician.

ISRAEL FLAG FLIES OVER ORIENT HOUSE
(August 10, 2001)
They never ever let Yasser Arafat come to Jerusalem. And Arafat missed his moment on the day of Feisal Husseini's burial earlier this summer when he could have, and should have, called their bluff. Now the Israelis, commanded by General Sharon, have done what they have been planning to do for some time, using the excuse of yesterday's terror bombing on Jaffa Road -- they have closed Orient House, the very symbol of things Palestinian in East Jerusalem, as well as many other organizations associated with the PA.

ORIENT HOUSE CLOSED - STRATEGIC BLOW AGAINST PALESTINIANS LIKELY
(August 9, 2001)
NEWSFLASH -- 8/09/2001, 9:30pm -- For first time Israel has closed down Orient House in Jerusalem along with nine other offices associated with the Palestinian Authority

USS LIBERTY - ABANDONED AT SEA AND AT HOME BECAUSE?
(August 9, 2001)
Tonight at 8pm (ET) on the History Channel part of the story about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on 8 June 1967 is going to be told. But from preliminary indications, just part, and not necessarily the most important historical parts which really involve top secret intrigue at the highest levels of the CIA, NSA, and White House complete with super secrets of state the Americans continue to want to keep out of sight out of mind.

THE REAL USS LIBERTY STORY
(August 9, 2001)
The real questions -- and answers -- have been avoided for a very long time by the American Government, and in this case also by the "free and independent" American media. And from the preliminary indications, tonight's History Channel documentary about the USS Liberty doesn't actually answer the key questions (as it could) nor even deal with the key subject of the crucial role of the CIA (as it should).

THE CRUCIAL ISRAELI-TURKISH-US MILITARY ALLIANCE,THE ARABS ARE SURROUNDED
(September 9, 2001)
It was just a few years ago that in all likelihood the Mossad and CIA helped the Turk's capture Kurdish Leader Abdullah Ocalan after first pushing him out of exile in Syria, the Moscow, then Greece, and then grabbing him in Nairobi. It was three years ago last month that MER first published an article about the great importance of the new military alliance that has developed between Israel and Turkey -- "New U.S./Turkey/Israel Alliance Circumvents and Bottles Up The Arabs." And it was two years ago that the prolific and courageous British journalist, Robert Fisk, first gave us some of the details behind the new strategic military relation Turkey actually courted with Israel.

WITH THE HELP OF U.S. ARMS MANUFACTURERS, THE CIA, CONGRESS, AND THE PENTAGON
(August 8, 2001)
The Israelis are controlling, repressing, dispossessing, and assassinating the Palestinians not on their own. They are doing so with the constant and considerable help of American arms manufacturers, the CIA, and of course the U.S. Congress (which of course is supposed to represent the will of the American people) which constantly appropriates billions yearly for Israel and sanctions (or the threat thereof) against Israel's foes

HIZBULLAH ON A ROLL
(August 7, 2001)
Israeli security forces have completely shut down access in and out of five large Palestinian towns following the killing of a pregnant Jewish settler, Israeli public radio said Monday, quoting security officials. The army sealed off the West Banks towns of Nablus, Tulkarem, Jericho, Ramallah and Qalqilya, the radio said, adding that it had partially closed the towns of Hebron, Bethlehem and Jenin.

WILL THE REAL YOSSI BEILIN PLEASE STAND UP
(August 4, 2001)
Like in the movie LION OF THE DESERT, those who profess sympathy and understanding can often cause the most harm. The well-meaning Lieutenant Colonel who befriends Omar Muhktar, lures him into deceptive "peace negotiations" in the desert, and then salutes him as his own involvement leads to Muhktar's being hanged from the gallows, is an illustrative symbol from the past.

SHARONS PUBLIC RELATIONS WAR
(August 7, 2001)
One thing about countries that have democratic features and most especially a professional and independent press -- sometimes insightful even amazing little tidbits result either from leaks or investigations. Like today's story about how Ariel Sharon himself is also the Commanding General in Israel's public relations war, shaking up and countermanding his troops in this arena as well.

ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE PROJECTS WAR IN 2002
(August 6, 2001)
Israeli sources said military intelligence has drafted a report that warns of the increasing likelihood of regional war in 2002. The report said the war could be sparked by either an Israeli offensive against the Palestinian Authority or an escalation in tension along Israel's border with Lebanon

TARGET EVERYONE EVERYWHERE
(August 5, 2001)
It has not happened yet, but it is now the direction things are heading. Soon the Palestinians may start responding to Israel's increasingly brutal military occupation, unprecedented anywhere else in the world of our day, by targeting Israeli political leaders and maybe Zionist leaders outside of Israel.

EGYPT IN THE ERA OF THIEVES
(August 5, 2001)
The Egypt of Hosni Mubarak and associates has terribly betrayed itself. It is a regime of sadistic torture and omnipresent corruption. It is a country of gross repression and escalating fear. And to a certain extent all this is at least in part the legacy of the Camp David agreement Egypt was tricked and bribed into signing two decades ago, and for which Anwar Sadat was assassinated by his own soldiers on military parade.

IRAEL ENFLAMES PALESTINIANS- HATRED WILL LAST LONG INTO THE FUTURE
(August 5, 2001)
In the past week the Israelis have substantially escalated the conflict with the Palestinians and risked enflaming not only the Palestinians but Arabs and Muslims around the world. Now senior Palestinian political leaders are being targeted.

ASSASSINATION POLICY EXPANDED- EXPECT A NEW LEVEL OF CLANDESTINE WARFARE
(August 4, 2001)
In a sense it would be like the going after the associates of Jerry Adams and his Sein Fein colleagues in Northern Ireland. It was a policy followed to a lesser extent by the White South African government when it tortured and murdered persons associated with the ANC, almost in fact secretly poisoning Nelson Mandela in his prison cell

"SECRET PLAN" TO SEND OBSERVERS TO ISRAEL
(August 3, 2001)
The very idea that the Americans and the Brits, after their long history of treachery and deception in the Middle East, are now going to do something other than continue on in that tradition is rather ludicrous. All the current talk at the moment -- especially from the Europeans and the usually gullible "peace" and "human rights" NGOs -- about helping the Palestinians by sending them "observers" is indeed a fitting CIA response to the predicament the American government finds itself in at the moment.

ISRAEL THREAT TO INVADE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES IS REAL
(August 3, 2001)
The Palestinians and their allies and supporters are extremely ill-prepared for what is happening. Israeli military might remains overwhelming, and political support remains amazingly strong, especially in view of today's situation with Ariel Sharon Prime Minister, the "peace process" undergoing slow and tortuous cremation, and Israel attacking Palestinians in the occupied territories with tanks and gunships heretofore reserved for real warfare between armies.

11 YEARS, 1.5+ MILLION DEAD, SEETHING HATRED EVERYWHERE
(August 2, 2001)
Eleven long bloody years. In the years just before the Gulf War there was the destruction of Lebanon, the terrible bloodletting of the U.S.-instigated Iran-Iraq orgy, the Kissinger-legacy of the Kurdish sell-out.




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