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“Player’s grandma is angry”

By Linh Dinh

is the current headline on Yahoo News, but it can easily be about Britney Spears’ latest hairstyle or Brad Pitt defending Jennifer Aniston “over an uncool Jolie diss.” While enjoying the perks of empire, with its preemptive strikes, regime changes, torture and billions of bombs sold and delivered, we traffic in trivia and bad jokes. A week ago, Tahseen al-Khateeb, whose translations of Arabic poetry I’ve featured on this blog, circulated an understandably outraged email:

It’s very obvious– without a single thread of doubt– that the “conscience” of the Western intellectuals (if there’s any!) is in a deep COMA! As if the Palestinian blood is water and what’s happening in Gaza is some kind of a video game! What a shame! SLEEP WELL!


After I posted it on my blog, a young “poet” left a mocking comment: “There are also only three ‘boating enthusiast blogs’ that have mentioned it too. Shame.” It’s all a big joke, right? Just blurt any idiocy to get your name noticed. Other people’s suffering is just pornography and a chance to flaunt your hip sense of humor. Remember Kilgor in Apocalypse Now, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ‘em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like… victory.” Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out! But not everyone is so callous and nihilistic. Some do manage to wring their hands and mutter, “It’s insoluble because life is tragic and war is a part of life. Only the dead have seen the end of war, blah, blah, blah.” John Berger, for one, doesn’t think that’s adequate. As Israel started its latest bombardment of Gaza, he circulated this email:

We are now spectators of the latest – and perhaps penultimate – chapter of the 60 year old conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. About the complexities of this tragic conflict billions of words have been pronounced, defending one side or the other.
Today, in face of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the essential calculation, which was always covertly there, behind this conflict, has been blatantly revealed. The death of one Israeli victim justifies the killing of a hundred Palestinians. One Israeli life is worth a hundred Palestinian lives.
This is what the Israeli State and the world media more or less – with marginal questioning – mindlessly repeat. And this claim, which has accompanied and justified the longest Occupation of foreign territories in 20th C. European history, is viscerally racist. That the Jewish people should accept this, that the world should concur, that the Palestinians should submit to it – is one of history’s ironic jokes. There’s no laughter anywhere. We can, however, refute it, more and more vocally.
Let’s do so.
John Berger

Berger is no idle spectator. According to David Levi Strauss, “[Berger] was in Gaza until [the last week of December, 2008], working with the children who comprise more than half the population of the region. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. Over 300 dead, more than 1500 injured, so far. And these are our F-16s and missiles doing the damage. If we will not condemn the Israeli government’s actions now, when?”
The death toll is now nearly 700. Schools, clinics and ambulances have been bombed, a relief boat carrying Cynthia McKinney rammed by the Israeli navy. This, on top of a two year economic blockade that had crippled the territory. On September 22, 2007, Pepe Escobar wrote in Asia Times: “It is one of the most scandalous instances of collective punishment anywhere in the world in recent times. And what is the response of the high-minded ‘international community’? It’s the standard ‘three monkeys’ – willfully deaf, dumb and blind.”
But it’s never too late to pay attention. Consider, for example, the testimonies of Richard Falk, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, or sit through this video, Occupation 101: Voices of the Silenced Majority:

Comments (50)

  • On January 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm Bill Knott wrote:

    . . . i don’t mean to mock and am hopefully not idiotic,
    but which poets if any would be included in those
    “Western intellectuals” who should be speaking out——
    John Berger is internationally famous, but he’s a prose writer—
    there are famous poets, but none of them (I would venture to say) read this site (I haven’t seen any comments by S. Heaney or B. Collins here),
    so to whom is your post addressed? Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t be expressing your despair and frustration thus,
    but surely when Tahseen al-Khateeb says “Western intellectuals” he doesn’t mean the poets who cluster here: he means . . . well, who? Hans Magnus Enzensberger?
    I’d be curious to read YOUR list, LD, of prominent Western poets whose “conscience” should be expressing outrage.
    Name names, man, name names.
    . . .
    But, speaking generally, aren’t poets ALWAYS (or usually) speaking out in their work for the cessation of violence, and for the peaceful resolution of conflict?
    During the late 1930s/early 40s, when propagandists in England were urging poets to write in support of British defense efforts, when the press demanded “Where Are the War Poets?”,
    C. Day Lewis responded with this little sardonic:
    Where Are the War Poets?
    They who in folly or mere greed
    Enslaved religion, markets, laws,
    Borrow our language now and bid
    Us to speak up in freedom’s cause.
    It is the logic of our times,
    No subject for immortal verse—
    That we who lived by honest dreams
    Defend the bad against the worse.
    . . .
    Yeah, like poets never “speak up in freedom’s cause” in their work, and they have to be prodded provoked excoriated to do so—

  • On January 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm Linh Dinh wrote:

    Hi Bill,
    In relaying Tahseen al-Khateeb’s and John Berger’s messages, I’m using the Harriet Blog because it’s the one public forum I have access to. Granted, the poets who hobnob here are all small time pimps, hustlers and under-employed pleasure providers, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t intellectuals with an occasional opinion to upload to our 25-hits-a-day blog. Also, even our most famous poets are never harassed by the Department of Homeland Security to support or oppose anything, and no newspaper cares to wrangle an op-ed out of them. Even without a public, however, it’s never a waste of time to initiate and sustain a discussion about our most urgent issues and crises. If we could talk about nonsense, why not this?

  • On January 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm John Bloomberg-Rissman wrote:

    My only argument is that many of the poets whose blogs I read are talking about Israel’s unconscionable acts and policies in tones that Tahseen al-Khateeb, Berger (and you) would probably approve of (and yes, we all know “tones” aren’t enough). I can point you to the sites if you’d like me too.

  • On January 7, 2009 at 6:24 pm Linh Dinh wrote:

    Hi Bill,
    You contend that “poets ALWAYS (or usually) [speak] out in their work for the cessation of violence, and for the peaceful resolution of conflict,” but there have been many who were actually pro-war and violence. Most sucked, definitely, but you also have figures like Marinetti and Mayakovsky. In Communist Vietnam, it was a government-sanctioned style for decades. In any case, you don’t have to cheerlead a war to be complicit with evil. Sometimes, you merely have to do nothing or, say, smugly celebrate consumerism, as has been suggested right here on Harriet.
    Or take Apocalypse Now, considered a great movie by many. Supposedly anti-war, it is very much pro war, since it romanticizes and aggrandizes the fate of its two protagonists, the anguished Willard and the God-like Kurtz. It’s not about the tragedy of a land or people, but the inner and outer turmoils of two white guys. The natives are namesless and faceless, and the two black dudes got offed halfway down the river, one by a spear, no less! Escaping from home and woman, both of our heroes volunteered for the war. Willard confides: “When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing… I hardly said a word to my wife until I said yes to a divorce.” Kurtz writes in a letter to his wife: “Sell the house. Sell the car. Sell the kids. Find someone else. Forget it. I’m never coming back. Forget it.”
    So this film is not about the horrors but allures of the jungle, a hotbed of wild desires where you can mingle with savages, shoot them, get shot in turns, burn down acres of forests and get chased by tigers. The ultimate theme park, in short. Halfway through this romp, Lance sums it all up: “Disneyland. Fuck, man, this is better than Disneyland!”

  • On January 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm Joe Safdie wrote:

    I’m sure Bill knows a more famous example of “when propagandists in England were urging poets to write in support of British defense efforts,” namely, Yeats’ “Lapis Lazuli”:

    I have heard that hysterical women say
    They are sick of the palette and fiddle-bow,
    Of poets that are always gay,
    For everybody knows or else should know
    That if nothing drastic is done
    Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out,
    Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in
    Until the town lie beaten flat.

    Yeats goes on to say that poets’ and artists’ “gaiety” will always “transfigure all that dread,” which I think is what the youngster who left a comment in Linh’s blog thought too, though without any apparent intelligence. So I think Bill might be a little too quick to assume that “poets” will always protest against such tragedies — some current practitioners, in fact, assume they’re off the radar screen, and even if they weren’t, would somehow have to be transmitted through dull or boring or cliched language, so that even mentioning them would be counter-productive: better to hide out in irony or sarcasm.

    The thing is, dualities kill — if irony or sarcasm helps anyone to more fully appreciate and understand the murderous actions going on now in Gaza, that would be good: Tom Raworth wrote a poem for the website “Poets For the War” that was one of the best anti-Iraq war poems I know. We should bring all of our crazy metaphorical wisdom to the task . . . it’s just that not everyone sees that as part of the job description.

  • On January 7, 2009 at 9:05 pm Linh Dinh wrote:

    Hi John,
    Please do list those blogs so we can all read what’s being written. Thanks a lot!

  • On January 7, 2009 at 9:38 pm Former Berkeley Girl wrote:

    Just a brief comment here re: Apocalypse Now. I do think the film takes a strong anti-war position. For example, the “napalm in the morning” quote you mention, to me, is a frightening parody of a military zealot who embraces violence for its own sake. We’re not meant to take Duvall’s character seriously, given that he is partially anxious to clear the beaches so that his “boys” can surf. He may be quick with the quip, but his jokes are noxious. His Wagnerian helicopter pageant, while visually and aurally stunning, is also obscene, as is the subsequent scene of the attack on the Vietnamese village. More centrally, while the film does focus on Kurtz and Willard, Kurtz is portrayed as a man whose insane colonial ambitions literally destroy him. And Willard’s loss of identity without the war is a time-honored trope of the returning soldier (Odysseus, head-to-toe in the suitors’ blood, comes to mind); I think this depiction once again asks us to question rather than endorse a system that conflates masculinity and soldierhood. As for Lance’s Disneyland comment, I hear it as satirical in the extreme. His character may have seen Vietnam as a theme park, but that doesn’t mean that the film or its director endorse this analogy. I certainly agree that the film privileges the white perspective over the Vietnamese view, and this is a serious issue. However, I don’t think that this negates the film’s ability to critique the war. I’m reminded of Faulkner (who is his own can of worms, I know), who wrote eloquently about the costs of slavery on aristocratic white Southerners. While this is obviously not the central problem with slavery, I still consider Faulkner’s works to be essential to an understanding of the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the slavocracy.
    I don’t mean to take away from the larger points of your post, but AN is one of my favorite films, and I admire it specifically for the complexities it presents–yes, from the white man’s perspective, but complexities nonetheless.

  • On January 7, 2009 at 10:35 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    Thank you, Linh, for this post. And great comment by Joe Safdie.
    Kent

  • On January 7, 2009 at 10:47 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    At the same time, I believe that those of us who feel outraged over this criminal assault against Gaza should be sure to also state our indignation, however and as best we can, when terrorist acts (like criminal bombings of buses) target civilians in Israel. Acts like these are morally indefensible (under any conditions) and have also deeply hurt the just cause of the Palestinian people.
    Kent

  • On January 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    Actually, there are some practicing poets, like me for instance, who find the commentary of Linh Dinh & John Berger, & so many others of their bent, a kind of intellectual pornography.
    “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees.”
    Israel is the stick upon which they masturbate their supposed (& very public) “consciences”.
    Don’t believe a word of it.

  • On January 8, 2009 at 9:41 am Linh Dinh wrote:

    An email from artist Eric Gottesman:
    PLEASE JOIN US
    Monday, January 12 at 5:30 P.M.
    in front of the Israeli Consulate
    800 Second Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets
    We are Jews who say “Not in Our Name” to the Israeli Government.
    We ask you to stand with us as we call for:
    – an immediate end to the massacre of the Palestinian people
    – an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops
    – an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza
    – immediate steps taken to end the Israeli occupation
    We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, with our sisters and brothers in Israel who are bravely opposing the brutality of their government, and with all those around the world calling for justice and peace in the Middle East.
    There will be no speakers at this event. We will stand together in silence, holding up signs reiterating the points above.
    initiators of this call for action:
    Renate Bridenthal
    Nina Felshin
    Michelle Fine
    Sherry Gorelick
    Jane Hirschmann
    Carol Horowitz
    Esther Kaplan
    Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz
    Abigail Levine
    Alan Levine
    Richard Levy
    Donna Nevel
    Michael Ratner
    Amy Schoenwald
    Len Weinglass
    Dorothy Zellner

  • On January 8, 2009 at 9:42 am Tahseen al-Khateeb wrote:

    Linh, I salute you!
    As I salute all the living hearts!
    And to all those who are UNABLE to see [or don’t want to!] the Palestinian blood ensanguining the World’s TV screens, staining the skies . . . I say these lines of Yannis Ritsos:
    “Here the sky never for a moment lessens the oil of our eyes—
    here the sun takes upon itself half the weight of the stone we carry on our backs”
    ……
    “Be silent, the bells will ring out at any moment,
    This earth is theirs, and this earth is ours.
    Under the earth, in their crossed hands
    they hold the bell rope, waiting for the hour, they don’t sleep, they never die,
    waiting to ring in the resurrection. This earth
    is theirs and ours—no one can take it from us.”

  • On January 8, 2009 at 10:13 am Henry Gould wrote:

    My apologies to Harriet readers, authors & fellow commenters, for my previous comment, above. This was intemperate, to say the least, & pretty ugly. If ever there was a topic or an issue that called for civility and open-mindedness, this is it.

  • On January 8, 2009 at 10:58 am John Bloomberg-Rissman wrote:

    Dear Linh Dinh–
    You write, “Please do list those blogs …”: Off the top of my head: Ron Silliman’s blog, Ernesto Priego’s blog Never Neutral, Alan Baker’s blog Litterbug, my own Zeitgeist Spam, where I even attempt a bit of “poetry” in response … which, of course, can’t shine the shoes of the poem of Mahmoud Darwish’s that Pierre Joris posted at his Nomadics blog (I steal shamelessly from Darwish in my own assemblage). In the case of Ron’s and Alan’s, it’s important to read the comments, too …
    Dear Henry Gould–
    It is hard to remain temperate during this period of powerlessness on all our parts. Thanks for having the guts to admit as much. That helps all of us …
    Dear Kent Johnson–
    Couldn’t agree more. Violence is violence – and, as you astutely note, is counterproductive, to say the least, whoever perpetrates it. Not to say that “productive” violence would be more defensible … but it would seem less insane.
    Dear Tahseen al-Khateeb–
    As a Jew, I’ve always thought a very high thing would be to be a Palestinian who didn’t hate all Israelis, that didn’t confuse govt policies with the hearts of many citizens (the same hope is true re: the US, of course). I hope there still are some …

  • On January 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm Tahseen al-Khateeb wrote:

    Dear John Bloomberg-Rissam,
    I tell you, as a Palestinian, that I hate no body … for HATE is an act of WEAKNESS! But, what can you say about the Israeli war crimes? So far, 765 Palestinian civilians [most of them are children. Yes, children and infants!] were killed since the Israeli Defense Force [?!] waged war on Gaza 13 days ago. 765 killed, around 3000 injured . . . in 13 days!!!

  • On January 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm John Bloomberg-Rissman wrote:

    Dear Dear Tahseen al-Khateeb–
    Nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies these what you rightfully call war crimes. I dearly hope the perpetrators of these war crimes, all war crimes, and other crimes against humanity, including those the responsibility of the leaders of my own country, are brought to justice. If ther is such a thing as justice in this context. And I am glad that you see hate as a weakness. It’s never productive, however “good” it may feel for a moment.But please note I said and meant “all” Israelis. I know that many Israelis are absolutely appalled at their government’s policies, but are as powerless to change it as we in the US were powerless to halt the invasion of Iraq. I would think it would be a real challenge, at times like this, for anyone under siege and under attack to continue to make the distinction. That was my point; sorry I made it poorly.

  • On January 8, 2009 at 8:40 pm Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

    As I have said elsewhere, I have closely followed the conflict in Palestine for over forty years and have felt anger and outrage for four decades. I have felt it not only about the events and the injustice in particular, but, perhaps more importantly, about the lack of outrage from the global community. I can think of nothing to say here that I haven’t said, to no avail, many times before in arguments with peers, letters to the editor or blog posts. There is nothing more that I can say that has not been expressed more eloquently here by both sides. So I offer only the following meager observations:
    1. It is the power of the United States alone that allows this travesty to continue. As Jimmy Carter said: “You can not have a coalition of two.”
    2. Current tally from NPR – 7:00pm EST
    Hamas – 11
    Israel – 750.
    Is there anybody who thinks this is a fair fight? Now compare the lives lost in Israel with those on the West Bank for the last forty years.
    Is there anybody who thinks this is a fair fight?
    3. The only media outlet in the U.S. that I know of that presents the Palestinian point of view honestly is Pacifica radio, specifically, Amy Goodman’s ‘Democracy Now’. Tune in.
    4. It would be helpful to those who reference ‘Apocalypse Now’ to read ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad, on which it is based.
    5. The complacency of the media is partially at fault for the lack of outrage. 1000 dead here, 1000 dead there. The next story will relegate the horror to page five, then page ten in order to make room for the next horror. For example, it is telling that this most important post about a most important event has now been superceded by posts about Italian poets and the silly Seattle Ricin scare. Good grief! Have we lost all persepective? Yes, this is a poetry blog, but haven’t I seen many posts here by those outraged by the arrest of this poet in China or that poet in Jordan? Good God, where is our sense of priority? Where is the outrage?
    6. I know it is inappropriate to post poetry on poetry blogs (go figure), but maybe this will put things in perspective.
    Another War
    Cats streak terrified through alleys,
    dogs and shrieking children even
    running from the heat, hiding from
    smoke and fire and dust.
    Screaming half-whole mothers follow
    children who are dying, body parts,
    even naked organs in the bloody street.
    Bombs destroy the buildings on TV
    in a brilliant flash, small and neat,
    reduce the flesh within to scattered meat.
    We do what we must for victory,
    but the consequences of attack
    the victors never see.
    Copyright 2008 – HARDWOOD-77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

  • On January 8, 2009 at 9:34 pm Linh Dinh wrote:

    Hi Gary,
    Thanks for your comment. I want to point out that when I reviewed Apocalypse Now Redux for the Guardian in 2001, I did discuss Heart of Darkness. Don’t assume what people have or haven’t read. One relevant passage from that review:
    [according to Kurtz,] the US is bound to lose the war because it doesn’t have 10 divisions of noble savages. That’s why Kurtz has to raise his own army to fight his own war. The way to win this war is to be more methodically barbaric.
    This fabrication of an inspired atrocity by the Viet Cong is consistent with the movie’s preoccupation with the dark primitives. With Heart of Darkness as its ideological ballast, this is inevitable. In Conrad’s novel, the boat goes upstream towards “the earliest beginnings of the world”. Along the way they encounter Africans with “faces like grotesque masks”. One man is compared to “a dog in a parody of breeches and a feather hat walking on his hind legs”. In Apocalypse Now, Vietnam is more or less one continuous jungle, with corpses casually dangling from trees, and arrows and spears flying out of the foliage. The arrow attack scene is lifted straight from Heart of Darkness, where a black river boat pilot is impaled by a spear. The phoniness of this is breathtaking. The NVA and Viet Cong did not win a modern war with arrows and spears. But a scene from a 1901 book has to be shoehorned into a 1979 movie because of Coppola’s fascination with savages.

  • On January 8, 2009 at 10:50 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    I don’t know, Gary – but has it occurred to you that the lack of world outrage might possibly have something to do with the fact that there are elements of this history which you seem to downplay somewhat? (Actually, I don’t see such a lack of outrage, myself. I see Israel often singled out for political condemnation.)
    The elements of this history I am thinking of include the visceral hatred, the adamant and often violent opposition to the state of Israel by surrounding Arab states – which went to war to stop Israel’s foundation from the very outset – which have used time and again EVERY MEANS to achieve their stated goals of the eradication of the state of Israel –
    of course one can side with that adamant opposition, and ONLY recount the evil deeds, the inhumane deeds – thereby systematically dehumanizing your “enemy” –
    this is the kind of polemical one-sidedness & bias which I see played out in the baroque rhetorical maneuvers of Israel’s enemies in the West –
    this is exactly how conflicts are reproduced and sustained forever – by hateful polemics –

  • On January 9, 2009 at 4:31 am Tahseen al-Khateeb wrote:

    When I said that the conscience of the Western Intellectuals is in a deep coma, some said that this is brutal and unfair! The British poet Sean O’Brien WAITED until the Katyusha attacks (4 rockets) on southern Israel for his “conscience” to be awakened! And published his poem” Katyusha, Katyusha”! Where was his conscience when the Palestinian children were [and still] killed?!!
    This is the Big Question!
    What “kind” of blood the poets of the “free” World need for their souls to be awakened?!
    This is his poem:
    Katyusha, Katyusha
    Arrow of fire:
    Kingdom Come, is it
    Below or above?
    Choked in a tunnel
    With morphine and bread,
    Or charred in the wreck
    Of an olive grove?
    Katyusha, Katyusha,
    Spear of desire,
    Are there green pastures,
    A brave desert rose,
    Or must it be prison
    With pillars of flame?
    Katyusha, Katyusha,
    A grave, or a rose?
    Katyusha, Katyusha,
    God only knows.
    [http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2009/01/03/gaza-bombing-poem.html?ref=rss]

  • On January 9, 2009 at 8:45 am Doodle wrote:

    Here’s another viewpoint. He may have changed his mind, given recent events, but in an interview for the Guardian, Mourid Barghouti said that he grappled with “the dilemma of Palestinian writers, that we’re expected to address the needs of people denied self-expression under occupation, to express their pain. But this is a trap: you have to strike a balance, not sacrificing the aesthetics for your readership. I hate the terms ‘resistance poetry’ or ‘exile poetry’. We’re not one-theme poets. A moment of joy or misery is juxtaposed by its opposite. There’s no one face; I see both. I question myself all the time; if you oversimplify, you’d better quit.”
    &
    “You can’t expect people with military boots on their necks, facing checkpoints and closures, to understand your sticking to your aesthetic rules,” he says. “But my experience says you can read visionary poetry even in a refugee camp. I say ‘try it – take this adventure’.” For him, “when the poem’s written and it’s beautiful, I can endure anything.”
    “Silence said:
    truth needs no eloquence.
    After the death of the horseman,
    the homeward-bound horse
    says everything
    without saying anything.”
    (‘Silence’ translated by Radwa Ashour from Midnight and Other Poems)
    “Many times I have been asked the question: to whom do you write? Or is there any imagined reader in your mind? I think that a poet goes to the empty page to listen to his inner tune but that tune itself is composed through years and centuries by a universal orchestra. That is why we publish the poem to be read by unknown others. When I started the opening two lines of this very short poem, I realised I was talking to myself, not to my readers, as if to solidify my hatred of rhetoric and eloquence and my love for simplicity and concrete language. As a Palestinian with a negated history and a threatened geography, craving world attention and understanding, I was hesitant to have the poem published. But I decided to publish it because I needed to be its reader. I was trying to convince Mourid Barghouti that pain, even the Palestinian pain, does not mean shouting loudly.”

  • On January 9, 2009 at 9:08 am Manal Ayyoub wrote:

    “Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead – almost all civilians, most of them children and women – in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians?”

  • On January 9, 2009 at 9:54 am Linh Dinh wrote:

    Hi Manal Ayyoub,
    Thank you for your sobering list. With the American media the way it is, people here know little and remember less. I want to mention also the case of Rachel Corrie, the young American killed by an Israeli army bulldozer when she tried to protest a house demolition in Gaza. Such a clear case of homicide, and yet there was no outrage here, neither from the media nor from her cowardly government.
    Actual cockpit transmission from the D-9 bulldozer driver to the watch tower, “I hit an object […] I think the object got hit by the dobby (D-9) and he is in a severe condition.” “Did you see him?” “Yes I saw him, I think he is dead.”

  • On January 9, 2009 at 6:24 pm Linh Dinh wrote:

    John Pilger provides 40 years of context to what’s happening in Gaza, “Gaza under Fire”, in the New Statesman, 1/8/09:
    “When the truth is replaced by silence,” the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, “the silence is a lie.” It may appear that the silence on Gaza is broken. The small cocoons of murdered children, wrapped in green, together with boxes containing their dismembered parents, and the cries of grief and rage of everyone in that death camp by the sea can be witnessed on al-Jazeera and YouTube, even glimpsed on the BBC. But Russia’s incorrigible poet was not referring to the ephemera we call news; he was asking why those who knew the why never spoke it, and so denied it. Among the Anglo-American intelligentsia, this is especially striking. It is they who hold the keys to the great storehouses of knowledge: the historiographies and archives that lead us to the why.
    They know that the horror now raining on Gaza has little to do with Hamas or, absurdly, “Israel’s right to exist”. They know the opposite to be true: that Palestine’s right to exist was cancelled 61 years ago and that the expulsion and, if necessary, extinction of the indigenous people was planned and executed by the founders of Israel. They know, for example, that the infamous “Plan D” of 1947-48 resulted in the murderous depopulation of 369 Palestinian towns and villages by the Haganah (Israeli army) and that massacre upon massacre of Palestinian civilians in such places as Deir Yassin, al-Dawayima, Eilaboun, Jish, Ramle and Lydda are referred to in official records as “ethnic cleansing”. Arriving at a scene of this carnage, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was asked by a general, Yigal Allon: “What shall we do with the Arabs?” Ben-Gurion, reported the Israeli historian Benny Morris, “made a dismissive, energetic gesture with his hand and said, ‘Expel them'”.
    []
    Every subsequent “war” Israel has waged has had the same objective: the expulsion of the native people and the theft of more and more land. The lie of David and Goliath, of perennial victim, reached its apogee in 1967 when the propaganda became a righteous fury that claimed the Arab states had struck first against Israel. Since then, mostly Jewish truth-tellers such as Avi Shlaim, Noam Chomsky, Tanya Reinhart, Neve Gordon, Tom Segev, Uri Avnery, Ilan Pappé and Norman Finkelstein have undermined this and other myths and revealed a state shorn of the humane traditions of Judaism, whose unrelenting militarism is the sum of an expansionist, lawless and racist ideology called Zionism. “It seems,” wrote the Israeli historian Pappé on 2 January, “that even the most horrendous crimes, such as the genocide in Gaza, are treated as discrete events, unconnected to anything that happened in the past and not associated with any ideology or system . . . Very much as the apartheid ideology explained the oppressive policies of the South African government, this ideology – in its most consensual and simplistic variety – allowed all the Israeli governments in the past and the present to dehumanise the Palestinians wherever they are and strive to destroy them. The means altered from period to period, from location to location, as did the narrative covering up these atrocities. But there is a clear pattern [of genocide].”
    []

  • On January 10, 2009 at 11:54 am Nora Barakat wrote:

    Mira Hass, the Israeli Journalist and auther, said (with courage) in Ha’aretz, that this war is not against Hamas but against all the Palestinian people. You can’t imagine, it’s Hell here in Gaza. They are killing every thing, even life itself.

  • On January 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm Tahseen al-Khateeb wrote:

    Yes, John Pilger, “why those who knew the why never spoke it, and so denied it”?!!!!

  • On January 10, 2009 at 4:40 pm david baptiste chirot wrote:

    The government under pretext of security and progress liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children.
    They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . .
    My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing.
    –Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004
    (Leonard Peltier is now serving 33rd year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)
    For over three years now at my blog and as a volunteer worker for several organizations I have been involved with the struggle for the Human Rights of Palestinians and an outspoken critic continually of the Apartheid Wall, the siege, everything involved in this 60 years of ethnic cleaning, which reminds me so much in actions and rhetoric of what happened to my family in North America during the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Even today, the sitaution on many rezervations is not unlike a small scale model of some of the insanity and racial supremacy used against the Palestinian people.
    During this time I have been pretty much a ”voice crying in the wilderness,” as it is only in the last weeks I hear of some American blogs which have quoted or written re the massacres in Gaza, a bloodletting which has already reached almost 900 dead and 3,000 wounded. The most sophisticated, powerful and expensive weaponry in the world is being used against people who have nothing to fight back with other than some home made rockets and a meager supply of guns and ammunition. A people who since they democratically elected the “wrong government,” have endured starvation, dehydration, loss of electricity, loss of working sewage systems, the total collapse of every facet of daily life while al the while living inside the largest prison ever built by humans fort those they consider not humans.
    Under International Law, to the contrary of the non stop propaganda in the US, the acts by the Palestinians are not “terrorist” but legitimate acts of a people under foreign occupation who have been pushed to the extreme limit for decides of imprisonment, humiliation, thievery, racism, torture, death delivered when ever an Israeli feels like it—conditions which South African leaders who lived through that country’s Apartheid describe as even worse, much worse, than what they endured.
    In the USA today, until these last two weeks, it has been nearly taboo to write such things or say them except in a very safe forum. The castration of critical faculties has been carried out to such an extent that the use of a word, an image, may create an immense uproar for the person using it. When people are not allowed to say the truth which they have found, but are demanded to recant and swear allegiance to what in effect is Big Brother, is not the use of language in any form in trouble?
    Are we not living in the midst of Orwell’s Newspeak as defined and presented in his novel 1984?
    Or in this situation, described by Walt Whitman in Democratic Vistas, 1871—
    I say we had best look our times and lands searchingly in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease. Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness of
    heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us.
    The underlying principles of the States are not honestly believ’d in, (for all this hectic glow, and these melodramatic screamings) nor is humanity itself believ’d in. What penetrating eye does not everywhere see through the mask? The spectacle is appalling. We live in an atmosphere of hypocrisy throughout. The men believe not in the women, nor the women in the men. A scornful superciliousness rules in literature. The aim of all the litterateurs is to find something to make fun of. A lot of churches, sects, &c., the most dismal phantoms I now of, usurp the name of religion. Conversation is a mass of badinage. From deceit in the spirit, the mother of all false deeds, the offspring is already incalculable. An acute and candid person, in the revenue department in Washington, who is led in the course of his employment to regularly visit the cities north, south and west, to investigate frauds, has talk’d with me much of his discoveries. The depravity of our business class is not less than has been supposed, but infinitely greater. The official services of America, national, state and municipal, in all their branches and departments, except the judiciary, are saturated in corruption, bribery, falsehood, mal-administration; and the judiciary is tainted. The great cities reek with respectable as much as non-respectable robbery and scoundrelism. In fashionable life, flippancy, tepid amours, weak infidelism, small aims, or no aims at all, only to kill time. In business, (this all-devouring modern word, business) the one object alone is pecuniary gain . . . The best class we show is but a mob of fashionably dressed speculators and vulgarians . . . It is as though we were somehow endowed with a vast and more thoroughly appointed body, and then left with little or no soul.
    —Walt Whitman, Democratic Vistas, 1871
    In 2006 I began curating the Call for Mail Art and Visual Poetry at my blog “For Lebanon, For Palestine Peace–Human Rights–Liberty”
    In 2008 I began my current Call which is:
    Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual
    VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL
    No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
    GAZA-GUANTANAMO-ABU GHRAIB—THE GLOBE
    Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
    Size: No limit/Sin Limite
    No Limit on Number of Works sent
    No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
    Documentation: on my blog
    http://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com
    Addresses: david.chirot@gmail.com
    David Baptiste Chirot
    740 N 29 #108
    Milwaukee, WI 53208
    USA
    I have another blog which also has its own Call for works—
    Cronaca Sovversiva Feneon
    http://cronacasouversivafeneon.blogspot.com
    (Luigi Galleani’s Cronaca Sovversiva was regarded as the “most dangerous” periodical ever published in the USA. One of its readers and distributors, Mario Buda aka Mike Boda, is thought to be the person responsible for the “first car bomb”—exploded on Wall Street, 16 September 1920 as a “Propaganda of the Deed” in protest of the 9/11/20 indictments of Sacco and Vanzetti. Felix Feneon besides being one of the most important editors in French literary history, the greatest art critic after Baudelaire, and a writer under a great many pseudonyms and anonymously as well, was an Anarchist himself suspected of an act of the Propaganda of the Deed, and one of the Thirty in the famous Trial of the Thirty anarchists, which created a public spectacle in which Feneon’s wit featured greatly)
    I am one of the 93 original signers of John Berger’s 2006 pioneering Call for Cultural Boycott of Israel. as an example to remind people of the boycotts, sanctions and divestments directed at that other Apartheid regime, in South Africa.
    I have been writing for some years now analyses, essays, and related prose poems and short stories and Visual Poetry, of what I call “The New Extreme Experimental American Poetry and Arts,” in which the issues of silence and complicity of the US intellectuals and artists with the development of the corporate-fascist State in the US, and its attendant mechanisms, including what Le Monde calls “The New McCarthyism” are examined in terms which relate directly to the State and Military. The effects of Torture and support of Apartheid have been creating almost without ist being noticed an ever more limiting and controlled language , an ever narrower range of acceptable ideas and an unquestioning acceptance of beliefs which are created by a non-stop propaganda which turns The Great Lies into the Truths that are “taken for granted.”
    I have been writing about Guantanamo and the Guantanamo Poets, the torture prisons, the “Gitmos Across the USA” the uses of Electronic Walls as well Concrete Ones to prepare societies for their being genocided—for some years I have used the model of Rwanda to predict today’s actions by Israel as being planned way ahead of time, in the building of the Wall and the cutting off of electricity and outside communications, and the war on the Palestinian students who are kept prisoners, without any school supplies, for the last over two years, even when 7 had Fulbright Scholarships to study in the USA, as a War Against the Future of the Palestinians. The Palestinains will not be allowed to read, to become professionals, to be anything other than slave laborers who the Israelis can rent out to various private corporations.
    A lot of my work has continually been an investigation of the ways in which language is a means by which people are able to split into separate compartments poetry and the arts from politics, from life in any form off the page, canvas, or screens or to argue that there is being created a liberating language in which “the reader is ALLOWED to construct their own meanings,” when this in practice is a form of double speak. Taking language as the symtom of the corruption eating away within what makes it so easily possible for Torture, Apartheid, Walls, Prisons, illegal sales and uses of weapons, to be justified and accepted as ROUTINE—taking language in this light means to not simply refuse it, but to use paradox and contradictions to begin to take it apart and understand its mechanisms. There is already a body of work on understanding the methods and functioings of language in creating and maintaining a fascist and totalitarian State and I think that with time and work it is possible to show how this exists in the daily discourses of al kinds in the US. That is my hope, and what I am working on for the last few years now.
    In examining the “avant” and “avant garde” it is I think necessary to return the term to its shared origins with the military, as Italian Futurism understood in its calls for Violence, Speed and “War, the world’s hygiene” which was followed by Dada’s Anti War stance leading to the Anti-Art which was Anti-everything the Western establishments and institutions had shackled people with until they were marched off like sheep by the millions to die in WW1.
    In the USA today however, the “avant-garde” has been long severed from any such contamination and confrontation with the military-industrial-corporate State it exists in, limiting its critiques to such fallacies as undermining Capitalism by kicking grammar and syntax about. The Rise of the Right in this country has been accomplished not simply by the Right, but in good part by the total weakness and unwillingness to stand up in any meaningful way against the tide of fascism. A conformity has long since seized hold of so many areas of life and discourse—the stultification of minds by a Zombified “discourse” which is able to be al for Civil Rights and at the same time Support wholeheartedly Apartheid. If one listens to the spewing of propaganda in the media here, whcih is largely controlled by the MEMRI organization and its more than dubious “stories” and “disinformations” and “distranslations” of reports and events, what one is presented with is a discourse that has become as it were the back brain of Americans, instructing them to believe a great many things untrue while denying a great many which are facts before their very eyes.
    This propaganda has permeated –“trickled down”—every aspect of language including poetry, until one finds a society of persons who are “anti-war” and “for the good” and at the same time support Apartheid, bombings, massive mistranslations and mis presentations of Others and their languages and cultures, because, being “good” and having the “moral high ground,” one is assured complacently that what one thinks and believes is without question civilized and all knowing, moral and righteous, informed and “thinking outside the box.”
    Through the last several years of course I have at times encountered some unpleasantness for my ideas and blog, but since I expected it has not bothered me. What has frightened me is how incredibly unquestioning people have become in the US, how docile when it comes to the taking away of their Rights, how silent when it comes to standing up for a colleague under attack, or for the oppression of the Palestinian people until now, when it is obvious there is going to be no end to this bloodshed until the Israelis have done what they long planned to do.
    Because the history and events, the language used, the fear and the distaste, the high moral ground—because of al these things working in concert, of course no one seems to have noticed before what has been going on for 60 years with the Palestinians.
    The bombs, the Wall, the illegal settlements, the starving and water-denied persons for decades now –have al been funded wholeheartedly by the US taxpayer, convinced especially since 9/11 that the “terrorists” must be exterminated.
    “Terror “was in fact the invention of the State, by the Jacobins during the French Revolution, a model which has been followed by every State that feels the need to provide “Security” as a guise under which to extend the powers of the sate into ever sphere of existence. The Twin Towers for the Jacobins are ones easily recongized today: Purity and Terror. ” It was against such State Terror with is armies of Secret Police and spies, its censors and torturers, that several decades later in Russian arose what were to become the first groups known as “terrorists,” who, like so many “terrorists,” were against oppressive regimes and colonial powers.
    I hope that minds will be opened, harts be opened, and that other stories be listened to than the non-stop one dimensional propaganda Americans listen to almost unconsciously anymore, unquestioning, unaware, unable to believe there is any alternative than the one they are told to follow. Americans have come to accept side by side the most absurd ideas about language and the most insane ideas about the use of force, who can use it, where, when and why. The new President ran on a platform of getting out of the “wrong war” and amping up mightily “the Right War.”
    So far the president-Elect has chosen to be silent publicly—“”one President at a time”—while in private he has already for some time been complicit with what is happening now not only in Gaza but in al the prisons, torture camps, “Black Ops,” the build up going on in Colombia, the “Special Forces Units” being dropped off into evermore sites for the preparations truly of Unending War, just as in George Orwell’s 1984.
    Do not think because of what I write here that I follow only one side of the events, one side of questions, but also to study the other side’s actions and reasons for them is necessary in order to essay an ever widening understanding and compassion, and ever greater stand for Peace. To ask for Human Rights, Peace, Liberty is to ask for these for all peoples, because if they do not apply to all persons, there is immediately the dangerous disease of “American exceptionalism” which causes psychotic madness and violence to be perpetrated on the world, both by Americans and their allies.
    If one looks at the history of this particular State, one sees how these events today that we support are but the continuation of a long long history of extermination in the name of land, money, of POSSESION, of an appeal to “God” who condones every move, and to –the inhumanity of treating other humans inhumanely.
    Is it not time to learn to act and live like humans and treat others as humans—rather than the endless denial of others which one uses to bolster one’s exceptionalism?
    Or have “we’ become so Narcissistic that one day there will be the Falling of the Face into the Waters—“just lovin’ oneself to death”–—and al that will remain will be but an Echo—
    The voices of the Ghosthumous writings——

  • On January 11, 2009 at 7:54 am Linh Dinh wrote:

    Oraib Toukan, Jan 11, 09:
    If anything WWII has informed us is that there is no excuse for indifference- perhaps even more so among a society’s intellectual backbone. Today the death toll in Gaza exceeds 850 people, most of them women and children. Three thousand four hundred have been injured, amputated, and handicapped for life, and many more will be, by the Israeli army’s use of white phosphorous. Hospitals in Gaza never had the medical capability, with or without this crisis to admit casualties in such numbers. The admitted are being treated on floors often by other civilians and with no medication, utensils, or anesthetic. Images of funerals of families eradicated in their entirety like pests, have plastered the web. Two days ago, Israeli troops advised one hundred and ten civilians to escape and seek shelter in a house they designated. After they were collected there, they targeted that very house. The International Red Cross Red Crescent filed an international complaint at incidents of Israeli troops leaving babies alive, to die at their mothers rotting corpses.
    After 2 weeks of continuous bombardment, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) gave the people of Gaza three hours truce time to get water, food, and check on their families. As people rushed through total rubble, destruction, and devastation of their city, homes, and livelihoods, and with water and food supplies cut from all sides, Israel hit right at the third hour with its mightiest fist yet. Several UN refugee bunkers have also been hit and so too have their aid vehicles. So much so, that the UN halted all aid until they were given a formal agreement that their crew will not be targeted. No humanitarian aid vehicles were allowed to go through with supplies irreplaceably damaged.
    With both border crossings closed, victims have been trapped with no refugee-intent out. In fact, out of its 1.5 million people on the strip, one million of them are refugees expelled during the creation of the State of Israel. There are truly no words left to describe the act of trapping people already in a ghetto and driving them to their death thereafter. And the problem is that we are talking about people, not statistics, or media images any more, or the Penguin Classic: ‘Israel has a right to defend itself'; its people, not cactuses, for example. But people. Persons like any other. Breathing, with a heart, a conscience, and a mind that reasons, now with further passion.
    And all that aside, and since November, around two months before this pre-planned attack, Israel began refusing foreign media correspondents’ permits into Gaza- so they can strategically cut the world out from precisely this. As of January 6th, 83% of all articles published in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles times, The New York times, The Washington Times, and The Wall Street Journal were in favor of the US and Israel’s official talking points. In total indifference, these newspapers continued to splash its readers with images of distressed Israeli civilians (with Gaza burning in the background) or of fatigued Israeli soldiers. This they continue to deem more appropriate than the horrific traffic of images coming out of Gaza, because they are in fact- too gruesome.
    Predictably, congress today with all but three representatives fully backed their support of Israel in this horrific ‘operation’. Speech after speech Democrats and Republicans alike were mouthpieces for the Israeli Defense Forces. Obama will clearly not be the ugly duckling on this matter at the end of the month, not now, and probably never. Those concerned and waiting for him, might be waiting for Godot. And as they all continue to hide behind their speech podiums, the IDF is dropping more of its leaflets tonight in total black outs from the air, dehumanizing this ghetto with fright, fright of ‘further escalation’ typed out to them in Arabic. And of course in the process, making the most resilient, even more resistant.
    Indeed, a set of affairs all too close to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. As Joseph Massad of Columbia University recollected last week, in its hey day as a symbol of Palestinian resistance, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) laid flower wreathes at the Warsaw Ghetto monument to honor those fallen.
    Oraib Toukan
    Brooklyn, NY Jan 10 2009
    http://www.oraibtoukan.com
    o.toukan@gmail.com
    917-455-2201
    Below is a list of local demonstrations or actions near you. Massive demonstrations worldwide for Gaza have reflected that there really is no excuse for not crying out as loud on this part of the Atlantic as the rest of the world. An equal amount of outrage and dignity toward any victims of atrocity is a fair deal, and is one that is funded, fueled, and applauded by this government- even more so.
    LET GAZA LIVE! Stop the U.S./Israeli War Against the Palestinian People
    National March on Washington
    When: Saturday, January 10th
    Where: Assemble at the White House (north side) at 1:00 PM
    A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
    http://www.answercoalition.org
    info@internationalanswer.org
    ***
    Times Square Rally & March
    Presented by the Break the Siege Coalition
    When: Sunday, January 11th, 1 PM
    Where: Assemble at Times Square, 42nd St and 7th Avenue
    Buses leaving from:
    Brooklyn (718) 232-5905 | Bronx (718) 822-1922 | Hudson Valley http://www.hvicc.org | Queens (718) 274-2474 | Yonkers (914) 964-5600 |
    Union Square or Bay Ridge http://tinyurl.com/answer-buses
    ***
    Jews Say: Not in Our Name
    When: Monday, January 12th, 2009, 5:30 P.M.
    Where: In front of Israeli Consulate
    800 Second Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets
    ***
    Mass Community & Organizing Committee Around Gaza
    Presented by the Break the Siege Coalition
    When: Tuesday, January 13th, 2009, 6:30PM
    Where: MAS Bath Avenue Youth Center
    1933 Bath Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11214
    D TRAIN TO 20th Ave in Brooklyn
    ***
    Emergency Town Hall Meeting – A Call to Act
    Initiated by Revolution Books
    When: Tuesday January 13th, 2009, 7 PM
    Where: New York Society for Ethical Culture
    2 West 64th Street @ Central Park West NYC
    Admission: $10
    http://www.revolutionbooksnyc.org/ | 917-548-4853
    Speakers include: Cynthia McKinney, Alan Goodman, Chris Hedges, Adam Shapiro, Peter Weiss, and Najla Said
    ***
    Protest Rally and Candlelight Vigil
    Presented by Brooklyn For Peace
    When: Wednesday, January 14th, 2009, 4:30 PM
    Where: Brooklyn Borough Hall (Court and Remsen Streets in Brooklyn)
    (M, R to Court St, A, C, F, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall)
    bfp@brooklynpeace.org | (718) 624-5921
    Visit us on line at http://www.adalahny.org

  • On January 11, 2009 at 11:46 am Hnery Gould wrote:

    This Harriet post has turned into a remarkable scroll of extremely biased anti-Israel “history”, amounting to apologist propaganda for Hamas.
    Is no one interested in stepping back from polemics? Is no one willing to state that Israel might also be in the right?
    Is no one willing to remind readers that Hamas has turned Gaza into a honeycomb of tunnels, for the purpose of smuggling Iranian & other weaponry into Gaza; has purposefully set up their operations in high-density civilian areas; and finally, has instigated this current conflict by unilaterally renouncing and ending the cease-fire agreement, as part of its long-term goal of the destruction of the state of Israel?
    Am I the only one who dares to speak up here? Or have all the poets & writers who follow this blog simply accepted the bias & the propaganda?

  • On January 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

    Slaughter your dog-faced sisters,
    shred viscera and slice livers.
    Pool blood.
    Sickening yellow lymphous over under leaves,
    soak the soil with intestine juice.
    Rid earth of them forever.
    You are the zealous, but you’re right;
    your ways must prevail.
    Butcher the human flesh
    as though swine hung dangling on silver chains
    in speckled abattoirs.
    Your ways must prevail.
    A threat to freedom cannot be
    tolerated.
    Rid the earth of them forever.
    And that leaves us
    only you.
    .
    Copyright 2006 – Specimens-Selected poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

  • On January 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm Michael Robbins wrote:

    Is no one willing to remind Henry Gould that Israel is an illegal occupying power that has reduced life in Gaza to the level of that in an Apartheid-era bantustan? How many Israelis have Hamas rockets killed in the last nine years? 15. How many Palestinian civilians have Israeli forces killed just in its latest incursion? Over 900 — 40% of them women & children, according to the Red Cross.

  • On January 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm Linh Dinh wrote:

    Click here for video of a protest in Tel Aviv, 1/8/09, with various Israeli soldiers explaining why they won’t fight in Gaza.

  • On January 13, 2009 at 7:35 pm James wrote:

    as we take sides, or find fault in the long hamas/muslims and israel/zion approaches, we should remember with a little shame that this was the goal at the beginning when israel was created–to foist the leftovers of (all of europe’s) final solution on the muslims–and wash our hands of it all with a colonial wink and signature.
    jewish and muslim encroachments on europe and the u.s. are still seen by many as a kind of corruption of the ideal humanitarian/all-christian sphere we tried to achieve in the west.
    poetry, because it’s the first and best way to complicate (unravel) thought, is and should be where these problems are resolved, a sort of bitch slap to the comatose culture we’re stuck in. nobody should be surprised that our politicians are cowards (republican and democrat, old president and new), if they’ve spent any time watching them react with mock horror and compassion to the signature miseries of this new century while quietly hoping for wars to turn elections their way or hoping death counts make the news cycle at the right time.
    to be a poet is too be especially sensitive to terrorism, to desperation, and critical of state responses to it. it’s about finding responsibility, taking tallies, practicing the only kind of violence that still holds to the utter sanctity of life–which is to violate the premises through poetry. you don’t have to be, or want to be a political poet, to believe that.
    James Stotts (for a little more, follow my URL to jhstotts.blogspot.com)

  • On January 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    It seems to me that there are (at least) 3 political orientations toward Israel by surrounding Middle Eastern states and communities. There is, first, a stance which accepts Israel’s legitimacy as a nation, and includes a willingness to negotiate, forge alliances, and trade with israel. There is secondly an approach which attempts to remain neutral or aloof. And finally there is the antagonistic stance, which does not accept the legitimacy of Israel as a nation, and which is dedicated to using ANY & ALL means – suicide bombings, rocket attacks, proxy terrorism, nuclear threats, psychological warfare & propaganda (cf. statements by the Presidennt of Iran) – to achieve its goal of Israel’s defeat and destruction.
    Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, for example, represent the first option.
    Iran and its proxy groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, represent the last option.
    My beef is with those who, like many of the people writing & commenting on this Harriet post, use an array of rhetorical exaggerations and vociferous, raging polemic, which basically supports the position of the third, antagonistic stance – of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Arguments which include slogans like Michael Robbins’ “illegal occupying power”, etc. fall into this category. This type of polemic substantially aligns itself with the position calling for a dismantling of Israel as a nation.
    Such tactics undermine the good will effort to find a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which recognizes the rights of both, & which honors the legitimate rights of both peoples to live in peace in the Middle East. It is an extreme position, which hardens & makes vicious the mutual enmity; which prolongs the stalemate and crisis, with all its injustices and violence.
    Those of you who insist on taking this ideological approach need to acknowledge the bottom-line consequences and implications of your rhetorical allegiance. Your self-righteous enthusiasm, your eager appetite to attack Israel and all it stands for, merely serves as an apology for a political position dedicated to extremism and war.

  • On January 13, 2009 at 10:00 pm michael robbins wrote:

    An honest question, Henry: are you actually unaware that Israel is an illegal occupying power? That’s not a slogan, it’s virtually a definition. Israel has been in illegal occupation of the Gaza Strip & the West Bank since 1967 in violation of international law & numerous UN Security Council resolutions. Besides you, in fact, I’ve never heard anyone deny this, not even the most vociferous Zionists. It simply is not in question.
    As for your consistent dishonest attempt to claim that I wish to destroy Israel, one hardly knows what to say. It is, indeed, so utterly dispiriting & yet so horribly typical of Israel’s supporters that one is almost resigned to despair on the subject. Since no one could wish Israel’s destruction or dismantling except the most insane zealotous jihadist, I am left as stunned by the viciousness of the accusation as you would be were I to accuse you of glorying in the deaths of Palestinian children. Israel’s survival is threatened, if anything, by its ongoing warmongering, which places its increasingly militarized society in ever more dire danger from responsive attack.
    I do happen to believe that one can reasonably debate whether Israel should have been founded in the first place or whether it should have been founded on a piece of land where millions of people already happened inconveniently to be living. But everyone knows there is only one solution to this insanity (one; not zero, as some would have it): it is what is known as the two-state solution. Israel within its borders, & a Palestinian state within its.
    Pray tell, Henry, how my outrage at the murder of innocent Gazans is an indicator of a wish to see Israel destroyed? Or, as you had the temerity to suggest elsewhere, of my denial of the Holocaust? It’s amazing to me that every last Israeli citizen I know agrees with me on this one & finds your position a nauseating evasion of facts. What’s amazing about it is that you can’t see it. You can’t see that for all the horror of Palestinian terror, it pales in comparison to Israeli crimes against Arabs. I’m taking cold, hard bodies, Henry: why not find out how remarkably disproportionate the casualty figures are? I ask this in all earnestness: why not? Why haven’t you endeavored to ascertain how many more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli forces than Israeli forces by Palestinian terrorists? Or more trenchantly: why haven’t you looked into the origins of this conflict & discovered the difference in the positions from which the two sides fight? The Palestinians are reacting against the seizure of their land; the murder of their ancestors; the displacement of their families; the demolition of their homes. Israel is acting offensively, aggressively forcing its victims to respond with violence. I don’t condone that violence, but it is the violence of people striking back against their oppressors. The IDF’s violence can only be understood in the light of state repression & brutality.
    But you have said nothing new. You insist that anyone who supports the rights of the Palestinians as the victims in this conflict are rabid anti-Semities. Which of us is self-righteously enthusiastic? Only one of us is defending state military aggression. Only one of us here has spoken out in ardent defense of war.

  • On January 14, 2009 at 9:11 am Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

    Mr. Gould:
    I think you are basically correct in your assessment and I generally agree with you, but you are overlooking some significant facts. I was in Israel in 1968, the first year of the occupation. We were able to travel freely around the country and the West Bank. Since then, there have been many opportunities for peace, but I believe Israel has systematically sabotaged them all. In the intervening forty years, the screws have been tightened more and more…more settlements, more “outposts”, land confiscation, bulldozed homes, imprisoned people, checkpoints and now the wall. Israeli intransigence is legendary and any tiny excuse has been used to turn the screws tighter and KEEP THE LAND. (Gee, go figure). Blaming all of this on Hamas (before that the PLO) is like blaming the people of New York for the fact that Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

  • On January 14, 2009 at 10:50 am Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

    Analogy not so good. I think what I meant is that attacking Gaza because of Hamas rockets is like the US government bombing New York for the fact that Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

  • On January 14, 2009 at 11:44 am Henry Gould wrote:

    Michael :
    my whole quarrel has been with the one-sided nature of the polemic here, which results in a kind of tunnel vision and propaganda.
    I am glad to see that you support a two-state solution.
    However, when you write “Since no one could wish Israel’s destruction or dismantling except the most insane zealotous jihadist”, and then you write “I don’t condone that violence, but it is the violence of people striking back against their oppressors”, these two statements seem to contradict one another. Either that, or you are defending the stated aims of Hamas. If Hamas is justified in “striking back at their oppressors” – how else is one to interpret this? It seems to me like disingenuous equivocation on your part. How can you “not condone” the violence, and then in the next breath attempt to justify it? How can you justify the one (Hamas), and disqualify the other (Israel)?
    Gary :
    I am not in a position to judge the rightness or wrongness of all the relations between Israel & the Palestinians. I am basing my comments here solely on my perception that Hamas initiated the current conflict, as a tactic within their overall strategic goal of the elimination of Israel. This initiation of more conflict and violence is specifically designed to advance their own cause, which is to BLOCK the development of a 2-state peace process. & I find that Hamas, consequently, bears responsibility for the ensuing violence – at least as much responsibility as Israel bears.

  • On January 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm michael robbins wrote:

    Last point: this is almost a truism: understanding violence is not the same as justifying it. Don’t know how to make it any clearer.

  • On January 14, 2009 at 7:16 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    Almost a truism? Let’s just say it’s a truism. Apples are not oranges.
    Here’s my view, Michael : you don’t “understand” violence by means of polemics. The whole point of my posts here has been to object to the biased attack-rhetoric of blame and condemnation.
    Why? Because it amounts to a defense (a justification) of the clearly-stated political goals & methods of a group of murderous fanatics, who most certainly designed and initiated the present conflict, and who categorically oppose every attempt at peacemaking toward a 2-state solution for both sides.
    That’s the rhetorical difference between justification & understanding, in my book.
    & that’s my final answer on this thread…. I hope….

  • On January 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm Michael Robbins wrote:

    This has nothing to do with polemics: people who are daily brutalized by an occupation force will strike back with the means at their disposal. That is all that “understanding” violence means in this context. I “understand” why I was beaten & robbed by six black teenagers on the south side of Chicago. That doesn’t mean I support their right to beat & rob people. But it does mean that I don’t think the solution to such violence is to simply lock up the people responsible, because I understand that others will continue to turn to violence until the conditions that create the misery in which they live change. The State Department predicted (it was entirely predictable) that the invasion of Iraq would increase the threat of jihadist terror. Unless you want to accuse the State Department of justifying such terror, you really need to think about your conflation of an examination of root causes of violence with defending it.
    As for the tired rhetoric about Hamas, you’ve once more got your facts wrong. For no reason that I can ascertain you blame Hamas for Israel’s recent incursions. Hamas wasn’t the one that broke the cease-fire, so I’m a bit befuddled about your reasoning here. And “categorically oppose every attempt at peacemaking toward a 2-state solution” is as succinct a description of Israel’s consistent stance since 1967 as I’ve ever read. Here’s an article every US citizen should be required to read, from that well-known radical left journal The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08khalidi.html?_r=2.

  • On January 15, 2009 at 5:24 am Tahseen al-Khateeb wrote:

    To Henry Gould:
    Death comes as a master from Israel!

  • On January 15, 2009 at 8:43 am Daisy Fried wrote:

    Henry–I’m a good deal closer to Michael Robbins on this issue than to you and I think you’re engaged in a process of massive rationalization. But practically speaking, what can Israel gain by its attack on Gaza? If it wipes out every member of Hamas in this action they are heroic martyrs and more Hamas (by that name or some other) will rise up to oppose Israel, and if it doesn’t wipe out every member of Hamas then they are heroic semi-martyrs and more people rise up to become Hamas. And all those people die, die, die. Just like in Lebanon, what was it, two summers ago now? Thousands upon thousands. Israel and all its big weaponry can’t win here, so it better just do what everybody in the world knows it needs to do, and which it has never yet done: Give up all of the West Bank, stop blockading Gaza and starving its people, pull the settlers out completely, share Jerusalem, and negotiate in good faith about the right of return. Even if you can rationalize the ongoing murder, IT’S JUST NOT GOING TO WORK. Sorry to be rude, but duh. Daisy

  • On January 15, 2009 at 11:13 am Michael Robbins wrote:

    Apparently Ehud Barak is due for some of Henry’s censure: Tony Karon reminds us:
    “In 1999, the man running the Israeli military campaign, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, was asked by a journalist on the campaign trail what he’d have done if he’d been born Palestinian. His answer said it all: ‘I’d have joined a terror organization.’”

  • On January 15, 2009 at 12:16 pm Linh Dinh wrote:

    Speaking of terrorists: Weaker, stateless fighting forces are routinely labeled “terrorists,” an update on “rebels” and “guerrilas.” On the other hand, their foes, the state, has a proper army and a “Department of Defense,” formerly the “Department of War.” Change one word and the country can never be the aggressor, but merely defending itself, always, as the victim. Commenting on Gaza, Joseph Hutchison wrote, “When Israel asserts its ‘right to defend itself,’ what it really means to assert is its right to define its crimes as not crimes,” but before Israel was founded, there were Jewish paramilitary groups such as the Irgun and the Stern Gang that terrorized, as on April 9, 1948, when they massacred more than 100 Arabs in the 700-year-old village of Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem.

  • On January 16, 2009 at 4:23 am Tahseen al-Khateeb wrote:

    This is HOW Israel THINKS:
    “The Arabs are Donkeys and Beasts”
    “The nation of Israel is pure and the Arabs are a nation of donkeys. They are an evil disaster, an evil devil, and a nasty affliction. The Arabs are donkeys and beasts. They want to take our girls. They are endowed with true filthiness. There is pure and there is impure and they are impure.”
    –Rabbi David Batzri, head of the Magen David Yeshiva in Jerusalem [Israeli newspaper Haaretz, March 21, 2006]
    “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”
    Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, Feb. 27, 1994 [N.Y. Times, Feb. 28, 1994, p. 1]

  • On January 16, 2009 at 4:39 am Tahseen al-Khateeb wrote:

    Israeli Massacres:
    Details and Numbers
    “Although the Image that Israel distributes about herself is that of an oppressed nation, it is with heavy hearts that we present these crimes that stand for themselves for the brutality of the Israeli Army and the heartlessness of its soldiers who seem to have a thirst for blood. It is for the hope that the world may see a clearer picture that we present these painful facts. It is interesting to notice that today’s media does not dwell on these crimes as they do on the Holocaust. They are reported in the news for a week or two and then swept into the sea of oblivion. Those who attempt to revive the true history of Israel are charged of being anti-Semitic. So with the hope to keep those memories in mind we present this shameful history of Israel that seems to have found that the role of Goliath is more interesting than that of David.
    The King David Massacre:
    The King David Hotel explosion of July 22, 1946 (Palestine), which resulted in the deaths of 92 Britons, Arabs and Jews, and in the wounding of 58, was not just an act of “Jewish extremists,” but a premeditated massacre conducted by the Irgun in agreement with the highest Jewish political authorities in Palestine– the Jewish Agency and its head David-Ben-Gurion.
    According to Yitshaq Ben-Ami, a Palestinian Jew who spent 30 years in exile after the establishment of Israel investigating the crimes of the “ruthless clique heading the internal Zionist movement,”
    The Irgun had conceived a plan for the King David attack early in 1946, but the green light was given only on July first. According to Dr. Sneh, the operation was personally approved by Ben-Gurion, from his self-exile in Europe. Sadeh, the operations officer of the Haganah, and Giddy Paglin, the head of the Irgun operation under Menachem Begin agreed that thirty-five minutes advance notice would give the British time enough to evacuate the wing, without enabling them to disarm the explosion.
    The Jewish Agency’s motive was to destroy all evidence the British had gathered proving that the terrorist crime waves in Palestine were not merely the actions of “fringe” groups such as the Irgun and Stern Gang, but were committed in collusion with the Haganah and Palmach groups and under the direction of the highest political body of the Zionist establishment itself, namely the Jewish Agency.
    That so many innocent civilian lives were lost in the King David massacre is a normal part of the pattern of the history of Zionist outrages: A criminal act is committed, allegedly by an isolated group, but actually under the direct authorization of the highest Zionist authorities, whether of the Jewish Agency
    during the Palestine Mandate or of the Government of Israel thereafter.
    The following is a statement made in the House of Commons by then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee:
    On July 22, 1946, one of the most dastardly and cowardly crimes in recorded history took place. We refer to the blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
    Ninety-two persons lost their lives in that stealthy attack, 45 were injured, among whom there were many high officials, junior officers and office personnel, both men and women. The King David Hotel was used as an office housing the Secretariat of the Palestine Government and British Army Headquarters. The attack was made on 22 July at about 12 o’clock noon when offices are usually in full swing. The attackers, disguised as milkmen, carried the explosives in milk containers, placed them in the basement of the Hotel and ran away.
    The Chief Secretary for the Government of Palestine, Sir John Shaw, declared in a broadcast: “As head of the Secretariat, the majority of the dead and wounded were my own staff, many of whom I have known personally for eleven years. They are more than official colleagues. British, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, Armenians; senior officers, police, my orderly, my chauffeur, messengers, guards, men and
    women– young and old– they were my friends.
    “No man could wish to be served by a more industrious, loyal and honest group of ordinary decent people. Their only crime was their devoted, unselfish and impartial service to Palestine and its people. For this they have been rewarded by cold-blooded mass murder.”
    Although members of the Irgun Z’vai Leumi took responsibility for this crime, yet they also made it public later that they obtained the consent and approval of the Haganah Command, and it follows, that of the Jewish Agency.
    The King David Hotel massacre shocked the conscience of the civilizedworld. On July 23, Anthony Eden, leader of the British opposition Conservative
    Party, posed a question in the House of Commons to Prime Minister Atlee of the Labor Party, asking “the Prime Minister whether he has any statement to make on the bomb outrage at the British Headquarters in Jerusalem.” The Prime Minister responded:
    “…It appears that, after exploding a small bomb in the street, presumably as a diversionary measure– this did virtually no damage– a lorry drove up to the tradesmen’s entrance of the King David Hotel and the occupants, after holding up the staff at pistol point, entered the kitchen premises carrying a number of milk cans. At some stage of the proceedings, they shot and seriously wounded a British soldier who attempted to interfere with them. All available information so far is to the effect that they were Jews. Somewhere in the basement of the hotel they planted bombs which went off shortly afterwards. They appear to have made good their escape.
    “Every effort is being made to identify and arrest the perpetrators of this outrage. The work of rescue in the debris, which was immediately organized, still continues. The next-of-kin of casualties are being notified by telegram as soon as accurate information is available. The House will wish to express their
    profound sympathy with the relatives of the killed and with those injured in this dastardly outrage.”
    ________________________________________
    The Massacre at Baldat al-Shaikh:
    January 30-31, 1947(Palestine) : This massacre took place following an argument which broke out between Palestinian workers and Zionists in the Haifa Petroleum Refinery, leading to the deaths of a number of Palestinians and wounding and killing approximately sixty Zionists. A large number of the Palestinian Arab workers were living in Baldat al-Shaikh and Hawasa, located in the southeast of Haifa. Consequently, the Zionists planned to take revenge on behalf of fellow Zionists who had been killed in the refinery by attacking Baldat al-Shaikh and Hawasa.1
    On the night of January 30-31, 1947, a mixed force composed of the First Battalion
    of Palmakh and the Carmelie brigade (estimated at approximately 150 to 200
    Zionist terrorists) launched a raid against the two towns under the leadership of
    Hayim Afinu’am.]2 They focused their attack on the outskirts of Baldat al-Shaikh and
    Hawasa. Taking the outlying homes by surprise as their inhabitants slept, they pelted
    them with hand grenades, then went inside, firing their machine guns.3 The terrorist
    attack led to the deaths of approximately sixty citizens inside their homes, most of
    them women, elderly and children.4 The attack lasted for an hour, after which the
    Zionists withdrew at 2:00 a.m., having attacked a large number of noncombatant
    homes.5 According to a report written by the leader of the terrorist operation, “the
    attacking units slipped into the town and began working on the houses. And due to
    the fact that gunfire was directed inside the rooms, it was not possible to avoid
    injuring women and children.”6
    ________________________________________
    YEHIDA MASSACRE:
    13 December 1947(Palestine) : men of the Arab village of Yehiday (near Petah Tekva, the first Zionist settlement to be established) met at the local coffee house when they saw a British Army patrol enter the village, they were reassured espeically that Jewish terrorists had murdered 12 Palestinians the previous day. The four cars stopped in front of the cafe house and out stepped men dressed in khaki uniforms and steel helmets. However, it soon became apparent that they had not come to protect the villagers. With machine guns they sprayed bullets into the crowd gathered in the coffee house. Some of the invaders placed bombs next to Arab homes while other disguised terrorists tossed grenades at civilians. For a while it seemed as if the villagers would be annihilated but soon a real British patrol arrived to foil the well organized killing raid. The death toll of 7 Arab civilans could have been much higher. Earlier the same day 6 Arabs were killed and 23 wounded when home made bombs were tossed at a crowd of Arabs standing near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. In Jaffa another bomb killed six more Arabs and injured 40.
    ________________________________________
    KHISAS MASSACRE:
    18 December 1947(Palestine) : Two carloads of Haganah terrorists drove through the village of Khisas (on the Lebanese Syrian border) firing machine guns and throwing grenades. 10 Arab civilians were killed in the raid.
    ________________________________________
    QAZAZA MASSACRE:
    19 December 1947(Palestine) : 5 Arab children were murdered when Jewish terrorists blew up the house of the village Mukhtar.
    ________________________________________
    The Semiramis Hotel Massacre:
    5/7/1948(Palestine): The Jewish Agency escalated their terror campaign against Palestinian Arabs.
    They decided to perpetrate a wholesale massacre by bombing the Semiramis Hotel in the Katamon section of Jerusalem, in order to drive out the Palestinians from Jerusalem. The massacre of the Semiramis Hotel on January 5, 1948, was the direct responsibility of Jewish Agency leader David Ben-Gurion and Haganah leaders Moshe Sneh and Yisrael Galili. If this massacre had taken place in World War II, they would have been sentenced to death for their criminal responsibility along with the terrorists who placed the explosives.
    A description of the massacre of the Semiramis Hotel from the United Nations Documents follows, as well as the Palestinian Police report on the crime sent to the Colonial Office in London:
    January 5, 1948. Haganah terrorists made a most barbarous attack at one o’clock in the early morning of Monday…at the Semiramis Hotel in the Katamon section of Jerusalem, killing innocent people and wounding many. The Jewish Agency terrorist forces blasted the entrance to the hotel by a small bomb and then placed bombs in the basement of the building. As a result of the explosion the whole building collapsed with its residents. As the terrorists withdrew, they started shooting at the houses in the neighborhood. Those killed were: Subhi El-Taher, Moslem; Mary Masoud, Christian; Georgette Khoury, Christian; Abbas Awadin, Moslem; Nazira Lorenzo, Christian; Mary Lorenzo, Christian; Mohammed
    Saleh Ahmed, Moslem; Ashur Abed El Razik Juma, Moslem; Ismail Abed El Aziz, Moslem; Ambeer Lorenzo, Christian; Raof Lorenzo, Christian; Abu Suwan Christian family, seven members, husband, wife, and five children.
    Besides those killed, 16 more were wounded, among them women and children. The following is a text of a cable by the High Commissioner for Palestine to the Colonial Office about the massacre:
    Jerusalem. 0117 hours, Urban. At approximately 0117 hours, a grenade was thrown into the Semiramis Hotel, Katamon Quarter, causing superficial damage but no casualties. During the ensuing confusion, a charge was placed in the building and it exploded about one minute later, completely demolishing half the hotel. Witnesses have stated that the perpetrators arrived by way of the Upper Katamon Road in two taxis. Four persons are reported to have alighted from the first taxi, and one person, who apparently covered the main party, from the second. All were wearing European clothes…
    ________________________________________
    The Massacre at Dair Yasin:
    9/4/1948(Palestine): The forces of the Zionist gangs Tsel, Irgun and Hagana, fitted out with the Zionist terrorist strategy of killing civilians in order to achieve their aspirations, began stealing into the village on the night of April 9, 1948. Their purpose was to uproot the Palestinian people from their land by coming upon the inhabitants of the village
    unawares, destroying their homes and burning them down on top of those inside, thereby making clear to the entire world to what depths of barbarism Zionist had sunk. The attack began as the children were asleep in their mothers’ and fathers’ arms. In the words of Menachim Begin as he described events, “the Arabs fought tenaciously in defense of their homes, their women and their children.” The fighting proceeded from house to house, and whenever the Jews occupied a house, they
    would blow it up, then direct a call to the inhabitants to flee or face death. Believing the threat, the people left in terror in hopes of saving their children and women. But what should the Stern and Irgun gangs do but rush to mow down whoever fell within range of their weapons. Then, in a picture of barbarism the likes of which humanity has rarely witnessed except on the part of the most depraved, the terrorists began throwing bombs inside the houses in order to bring them down on whoever was
    inside. The orders they had received were for them to destroy every house. Behind the explosives there marched the Stern and Irgun terrorists, who killed whoever they found alive. The explosions continued in the same barbaric fashion until the afternoon of April 10, 1948.7 Then they gathered together the civilians who were still alive, stood them up beside the walls and in corners, then fired on them.8 About twenty-five men were brought out of the houses, loaded onto a truck and led on a
    “victory tour” in the neighborhood of Judah Mahayina and Zakhroun Yousif. At the end of the tour, the men were brought to a stone quarry located between Tahawwu’at Shawul and Dair Yasin, where they were shot in cold blood. Then the Etsel and Layhi “fighters” brought the women and the children who had managed to survive up to a truck and took them to the Mendelbaum Gate.8 Finally, a Hagana unit came and dug a mass grave in which it buried 250 Arab corpses, most of them women, children
    and the elderly.9
    A woman who survived the massacre by the name of Halima Id describes what happened to her sister. She says, “I saw a soldier grabbing my sister, Saliha al-Halabi, who was nine months pregnant. He pointed a machine gun at her neck, then emptied its contents into her body. Then he turned into a butcher, and grabbed a knife and ripped open her stomach to take out the slaughtered child with his
    iniquitous Nazi knife.”10 In another location in the village, Hanna Khalil, a girl at the time, saw a man unsheathing a large knife and ripping open the body her neighbor Jamila Habash from head to toe. Then he murdered their neighbor Fathi in the same way at the entranceway to the house.11 A 40-year-old woman named Safiya describes how she was come upon by a man who suddenly opened up his trousers and pounced on her. “I began screaming and wailing. But the women around me were all meeting the same fate. After that they tore off our clothes so that they could fondle our breasts and our bodies with gestures too horrible to describe.”12 Some of the soldiers cut off women’s ears in order to get at a few small earrings.13 Once news of the massacre had gotten out, a delegation from the Red Cross tried to visit the village. However, they weren’t allowed to visit the site until a day after the
    time they had requested. Meanwhile the Zionists tried to cover up the evidence of their crime. They gathered up as much as they could of the victims’ dismembered corpses, threw them in the village well, then closed it up. And they tried to change the landmarks in the area so that the Red Cross representative wouldn’t be able to find his way there. However, he did find his way to the well, where he found 150 maimed corpses belonging to women, children and the elderly. And in addition to the bodies which were found in the well, scores of others had been buried in mass graves while
    still others remained strewn over street corners and in the ruins of houses.14
    Afterwards, the head of the terrorist Hagana gang which had taken part in burying the Palestinian civilians wrote saying that his group had not undertaken a military operation against armed men, the reason being that they wanted to plant fear in the Arabs’ hearts. This was the reason they chose a peaceable, unarmed village, since in this way they could spread terror among the Arabs and force them to flee.15
    ________________________________________
    NASER AL-DIN MASSACRE:
    13-14 April 1948(Palestine) : a contingent of Lehi and Irgon entered this village (near Tiberias) entered the village on the night of 13 April dressed as Arab fighters. Upon their entrance to the village the people went out to greet them, the terrorists met them with fire, killing every single one of them. Only 40 people survived. All the houses of the village were raised to the ground.
    ________________________________________
    THE TANTURA MASSACRE:
    May 15, 1948 (Palestine): “From testimonies and information I got from Jewish and Arab witnesses and from soldiers who were there, at least 200 people from the village of Tantura were killed by Israeli troops…
    “From the numbers, this is definitely one of the biggest massacres,” Teddy Katz an Israeli historian said Tantura, near Haifa in northern Palestine, had 1,500 residents at the time. It was later demolished to make way for a parking lot for a nearby beach and the Nahsholim kibbutz, or cooperative farm.
    Fawzi Tanji, now 73 and a refugee at a camp in the West Bank, is from Tantura he said:
    I was 21 years old then.They took a group of 10 men,lined them up against the cemetery wall and killed them.Then they brought another group, killed them, threw away the bodies and so on, Tanji said. I was waiting for my turn to die in cold blood as I saw the men drop in front of me.
    Katz said other Palestinians were killed inside their homes and in other parts of the village. At one point, he said, soldiers shot at anything that moved.
    ________________________________________
    BEIT DARAS MASSACRE:
    21 May 1948(Palestine): after a number of failed attempts to occupy this village, the Zionists mobilized a large contingent and surrounded the village. The people of Beit Daras decided that women and children should leave. As women and children left the village they were met by the Zionist army who massacred them despite the fact that they could see they were women and children fleeing the fighting.
    ________________________________________
    THE DAHMASH MOSQUE MASSACRE:
    11 July 1948 (Palestine): after the Israeli 89th Commando Battalion lead by Moshe Dayan occupied Lydda, the Israelis told Arabs through loudspeakers that if they went into a certain mosque they would be safe. In retaliation for a hand grenade attack after the surrender that killed several Israeli soldiers, 80-100 Palestinians were massacred in the mosque, their bodies lay decomposing for 10 days in the mid-summer heat. The mosque still stands abandoned today. This massacre spread fear and panic among the Arab population of Lydda and Ramle, who were then ordered to march out of these towns after they were stripped of all personal belonging by Israeli soldiers. Yetzak Rabin, Brigade Commander then says: – There was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march ten to fifteen miles to the point where they met up with the legion-. Most of the 60,000 inhabitants of Lyda and Ramble came to refugee camps near Ramallah, around 350 lost their lives on the way through dehydration and son stroke. Many survived by drinking their own urine. The conditions in the refugee camps were to claim more lives.
    ________________________________________
    DAWAYMA MASSACRE:
    On October 29 Palestine): the Israeli army brutally massacred about 100 women and children, precipitating a massive flight of people from that village on the western side of the Hebron mountains. Mr. Walid Khalidi, author of All That Remains, says that the Palestinian inhabitants at Dawayma faced one of the larger Israel massacres, though today it is among the least well-known.
    The following are excerpts of a description of the massacre published in the
    Israeli daily ‘Al ha Mishmar, quoted in All That Remains:
    The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house
    without dead…one commander ordered a sapper to put two old women in a certain
    house…and to blow up the house with them. The sapper refused…the commander then ordered his men to put in the old women and the evil deed was done. One soldier boasted that he had raped a woman and then shot her…
    A former mukhtar (head of a village) of Dawayma interviewed in 1984 by the Israeli daily Hadashot, also quoted by Mr. Khalidi, offered another description:
    The people fled, and everyone they saw in the houses, they shot and killed. They
    also killed people in the streets. They came and blew up my house, in the presence of eye-witnesses…the moment that the tanks came and opened fire, I left the village immediately. At about half-past ten, two tanks passed the Darawish Mosque. About 75 old people were there, who had come early for Friday prayers. They gathered in the mosque to pray. They were all killed.
    About 35 families had been hiding in caves outside Dawayma, according to the
    mukhtar, and when the Israeli forces discovered them they were told to come out, line up, and begin walking. “And as they started to walk, they were shot by machine guns from two sides…we sent people there that night, who collected the bodies, put them into a cistern, and buried them,” the mukhtar told the Israeli daily.
    ________________________________________
    HOULA MASSACRE:
    26/10/1948 (Lebanon) :Houla is located in southern Lebanon, only a few kilometers from the Israeli border. When Arab volunteers gathered to liberate Palestine from “Israeli” occupation, they established their headquarters in Houla, on hills overlooking Palestine. The force was successful in fending off major attacks on Lebanese villages, but the fighters suddenly withdrew on October 26, 1948.” “Jewish militants attacked the town to avenge the residents’ support of Arab resistance forces. On October 31, Jewish militants dressed in traditional Arab attire entered the border village. Residents gathered to cheer the men, thinking Arab volunteer fighters had returned. They were wrong. The militants rounded up 85 people and detained them in a number of houses, firing live ammunition at the civilians and killing all but three. That was not enough. Jewish militants blew up the houses with dead corpses inside. They confiscated property and livestock. The three who survived the massacre, of whom one is still alive, and other town residents fled to Beirut. Following the armistice agreement between Lebanon and “Israel” in 1949, village residents returned to find their houses in rubbles and their farms burnt. Houla remains under Israeli occupation today, and has suffered the brunt of “Israeli” animosity towards Lebanon. Only 1,200 out of 12,000 people remain in the village. The Houla massacre was one of a series of massacres committed by “Israel” against Lebanese civilians.
    ________________________________________
    Salha Massacre:
    1948 (Lebanon) : After forcing the population together in the mosque of the village, the occupation forces ordered then to face the wall, then started shooting them from behind until the mosque was turned into bloodbath, 105 person were mrytyred.
    ________________________________________
    SHARAFAT MASSACRE:
    7 Febraury 1951(Palestine): Israeli soldiers corssed the armistice line to this village (5Km from Jerusalem) and blew up the houses of the Mukhtar and his neighbors. 10 were killed (2 elderly men,raeli soldiers corssed the armistice line to this village (5Km from Jerusalem) and blew up the houses of the Mukhtar and his neighbors. 10 were killed (2 elderly men, 3 woemen and 5 children) and 8 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    The Massacre at Qibya:
    14-15/10/1953 (Palestine): On the night of October 14-15, 1953 , this village was the object of a brutal “Israeli” attack which was carried out by units from the regular army as part of a pre-meditated plan and in which a variety of weapon types were used. On the
    evening of October 14, an Israeli military force estimated at about 600 soldiers
    moved toward the village. Upon arrival, it surrounded it and cordoned it off from all of
    the other Arab villages. The attack began with concentrated, indiscriminate artillery
    fire on the homes in the village. This continued until the main force reached the
    outskirts of the village. Meanwhile, other forces headed for nearby Arab towns such
    as Shuqba, Badrus and Na’lin in order to distract them and prevent any aid from
    reaching the people in Qibya. They also planted mines on various roads so as to
    isolate the village completely. As units of the Israeli infantry were attacking the village
    residents, units of military engineers were placing explosives around some of the
    houses in the village and blowing them up with everyone in them under the protection
    of the infantrymen, who fired on everyone who tried to flee. These acts of brutality
    continued until 4:00 a.m., October 15, 1953, at which time the enemy forces
    withdrew to the bases from which they had begun.16 There was a particular sight the
    memory of which remained in the minds of all who saw it: an Arab woman sitting on a
    pile of debris and casting a forlorn look into the sky. From beneath the rubble one
    could see small legs and hands which were the remains of her six children, while the
    bullet-maimed body of her husband lay in the road before her.17
    This vicious terrorist attack resulted in the destruction of 56 houses, the village
    mosque, the village school and the water tank which supplied it with water. Moreover,
    67 citizens lost their lives, both men and women, with many others wounded.18
    Terrorist Ariel Sharon, the commander of the “101” unit which undertook the terrorist
    aggression, stated that his leaders’ orders had been clear with regard to how the
    residents of the village were to be dealt with. He says, “The orders were utterly clear:
    Qibya was to be an example to everyone.”19
    ________________________________________
    KAFR QASEM MASSACRE:
    On October 29, 1956 (Palestine): the day on which Israel launched its assault on Egypt , units of Israel Frontier guards started at 4:00 PM what they called a tour of the Triangle Villages. They told the Mukhtars (Aldermen) of those villages that the curfew from that day onwards was to start from 5:00 PM instead of the usual 6:00 PM, and that the inhabitants are requested to stay home. The Mukhtar (Alderman) protested that there were about 400 villagers working outside the village and there was not enough time to inform them of the new times. An officer assured him that they will be taken care of.
    Meanwhile, the officers positioned themselves at the village entrance. At about 4.55 PM, unaware of the ambush awaiting them, the innocent farmers started flocking in after a hard day of work. The Israeli soldiers started stepping out of their military trucks and ordered the villagers to line up. Then the officer in charge screamed “REAP THEM,” and the soldiers
    riddled the bodies of the Palestinian villagers with bullets in cold blood. With the massacre practically over, the soldiers moved around finishing off whoever still had a pulse in him.
    The government of Israel took great pains to hide the truth, but after the investigation was concluded, Ben Gurion, the Israeli Prime Minister, announced that some people in the Triangle had been injured by thefrontier guards. The press also was part of the conspiracy to cover up the incident. The Hebrew press wrote about a “mistake?” and a “misfortune” , when it mentioned the victims, and it was difficult to tell whom it meant.
    More absurd than the trial of accomplices was their light sentences. The court found Major Meilinki and Lt. Daham guilty of killing 43 people and sentenced the former to 17 years and the latter to 15 years. What was remarkable about the Israeli official attitude was that various authorities competed to lighten the killer’s sentences. Finally, the committee for the release of prisoners ordered the remission of a third of the prison sentence of all those who were convicted. In September 1960, Daham was appointed in the municipality of the city of Ramle as officer for the Arab Affairs.
    ________________________________________
    Khan Yunis Massacre:
    3/11/1956 (Palestine): Another massacre is committed on November 3, 1956 when the Israelis occupy the town of Khan Yunis and the adjacent refugee camp. The Israelis claim that there was
    resistance, but the refugees state that all resistance had ceased when the Israelis arrived and that all of the victims were unarmed civilians.
    Many homes in Khan Yunis are raided at random. Corpses lie everywhere and because of the curfew no one could go out to bury them. (An UNRWA investigation later found that the Israelis at Khan Yunis and therefugee camp had murdered 275 civilians that day ).
    After the Israelis withdrew from Gaza under American pressure, a mass grave
    was unearthed at Khan Yunis in March 1957. The grave contained the bodies
    of forty Arabs who had been shot in the back of the head after their hands
    had been tied. (“IMPERIAL ISRAEL”, Michael Palumbo; London; Bloomsbury Publishing; 1990 pp. 30 – 32, citing UN General Assembly: Official Record, 11th session supplement, nop.)
    ________________________________________
    The Massacre in Gaza City:
    5/4/1956 (Palestine): On the evening of Thursday, April 5, 1956, Zionist occupation forces fired 20-mm mortar artillery on the city of Gaza. The shelling was concentrated against the city center, which was teaming with civilians going about their day-to-day affairs.29 Most of the shelling was directed against Mukhtar Street, Palestine Square and nearby streets, as well as the Shuja’iyya district.30 As a result of this terrorist massacre carried out by gangs belonging to the Zionist Army against the Palestinian people, 56 people were killed and 103 were injured, the victims including men, women and children. Some of the wounded died subsequently, bringing the death toll to 60,
    including 27 women, 29 men and 4 children.31
    ________________________________________
    AL-SAMMOU’ MASSACRE:
    13 November 1966(Palestine): Israeli forces raided this village, destroyed 125 houses, the village clinic and school as well as 15 houses in a neighbouring village. 18 people were killed and 54 wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Aitharoun Massacre:
    1975 (Lebanon) :The 1sraelis perpetrated this massacre starting with a booby-trapped bomb. Then Israeli’s detained three brothers, and killed them. They threw Their bodies on the road. 9 cicvlians were killed, 23 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Kawnin Massacre:
    15/10/1975(Lebanon): An Israeli tank deliberately ran over a car carrying 16
    people, and none of them escaped death.
    ________________________________________
    Hanin Massacre :
    16/10/1976(Lebanon): After a two- month siege and hours of shelling, the occupation forces stormed the village and turned it into a bloodbath. 20 perosn were mrtyred.
    ________________________________________
    Bint Jbeil Massacre :
    21/10/1976(Lebanon):The crowded market was the target of a sudden barrage of Israeli bombs, slaughtering a lot of people. 23 were killed, 30 were wonded.
    ________________________________________
    Abbasieh Massacre :
    17/3/1978 (Lebanon): During the invasion of 1978, the Israeli warplanes destroyed the
    mosque of the town on the heads of the women, children and the elderly who used the holy place as a shelter from the heavy Israeli shelling.80 perosn were martyred.
    ________________________________________
    Adloun Massacre :
    17/3/1978 (Lebanon): At Adloun on march 17, two cars carrying 8 passengers came under Israeli fire while they were on their way to Beirut. One passenger only escaped death.
    ________________________________________
    Saida Massacre :
    4/4/1981 (Lebanon) :One of Saida’s residential areas was targeted by the Israeli artillery which resulted in killing of many civilians and damaging to many buildings.20 perosn were kiled, 30 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Fakhani Massacre :
    17/7/1981 (Lebanon):A horrible massacre took place when Israeli warplanes raided a crowded residential area using the most developed weapons killing and wounding many citizens. 150 perosn were killed, 600 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Beirut Massacre :
    17/7/1981 (Lebanon)Israeli warplanes staged several raids on many parts of Beirut, Ouzai, Ramlet Al baida, fakhani, chatila and the area of the Arab University, killing many citizens. 150 person were killed, 600 were wounded
    .
    ________________________________________
    The Massacre at the Sabra and Shatila Camps:
    A number of events led to the decision of an extremist terrorist group of the Lebanese kata’ib forces and forces belonging to the Zionist Army to carry out massacres against the Palestinians. From the beginning of the Zionist invasion of Lebanon, the Zionists and their agents were working toward being able to extirpate the Palestinian presence in Lebanon. This may be seen from a number of massacres of which the world heard only little, carried out by Israeli forces and militias under their command in the Palestinian camps in south Lebanon (al-Rushaidiya, ‘Ayn al-Hilu, al-Miya Miya, and others).32 This massacre was thus the outcome of a long mathematical calculation. It was carried out by groups of
    Lebanese forces under the leadership of Ilyas Haqiba, head of the kata’ib intelligence apparatus and with the approval of the Zionist Minister of Defense, Ariel Sharon and the Commander of the Northern District, General Amir Dawri. High-level Israeli officers had been planning for some time to enable the Lebanese forces to go into the Palestinian camps once West Beirut had been surrounded.33
    Two days before the massacre began – on the evening of September 14 – planning and coordination meetings were held between terrorist Sharon and his companion, Eitan. Plans were laid to have the kata’ib forces storm the camps, and at dawn, September 15, Israel stormed West Beirut and cordoned off the camps. A high-level meeting was held on Thursday morning, September 16, 1982 in which Israel was represented by General Amir Dawri, Supreme Commander of the Northern Forces.
    The job of carrying out the operation was assigned to Eli Haqiba, a major security official in the Lebanese forces. The meeting was also attended by Fadi Afram, Commander of the Lebanese Forces.34
    The process of storming the camps began before sunset on Thursday, September 16,35 and continued for approximately 36 hours.
    The Israeli Army surrounded the camps, providing the murderers with all the support, aid and facilities necessary for them to carry out their appalling crime. They supplied them with bulldozers and with the necessary pictures and maps. In addition, they set off incandescent bombs in the air in order to turn night into day so that none of the Palestinians would be able to escape death’s grip. And those who did flee – women, children and the elderly – were brought back inside the camps by Israeli soldiers to face their destiny.36 At noon on Friday, the second day of the terrorist massacre, and with the approval of the Israeli Army, the kata’ib forces began receiving more ammunition, while the forces which had been in the camps were replaced by other, “fresh” forces.37 On Saturday morning, September 18, 1982, the massacre had reached its peak, and thousands of Sabra and Shatila camp residents had been annihilated.
    Information about the massacre began to leak out after a number of children and women fled to the Gaza Hospital in the Shatila camp, where they told doctors what was happening. News of the massacre also began to reach some foreign journalists on Friday morning, September 17.38
    One of the journalists who went into the camps after the massacre reports what he saw, saying, “The corpses of the Palestinians had been thrown among the rubble that remained of the Shatila camp. It was impossible to know exactly how many victims there were, but there had to be more than 1,000 dead. Some of the men who had been executed had been lined up in front of a wall, and bulldozers had been
    used in an attempt to bury the bodies and cover up the aftermath of the massacre.
    But the hands and feet of the victims protruded from the debris.”
    Hasan Salama (57 years old), whose 80-year-old brother was killed in the massacre, says, “They came from the mountains in thirty huge trucks. At first they started killing people with knives so that they wouldn’t make any noise. Then on Friday there were snipers in the Shatila camp killing anybody who crossed the street. On Friday afternoon, armed men began going into the houses and firing on men, women and children. Then they started blowing up the houses and turning them into piles of
    rubble.”40
    Author Amnoun Kabliyouk [p. 10] writes in his book about the tragedy of a young Palestinian girl who, like the rest of the children in the camp, faced this horrific massacre. Thirteen years old, she was the only survivor out of her entire family (her father, her mother, her grandfather and all her brothers and sisters were killed). She related to a Lebanese officer, saying, “We stayed in the shelter until really late on Thursday night, but then I decided to leave with my girl friend because we couldn’t breathe anymore. Then all of a sudden we saw people raising white flags and handkerchiefs and coming toward the kata’ib saying, ‘We’re for peace and harmony.’
    And they killed them right then and there. The women were screaming, moaning and begging [for mercy]. As for me, I ran back to our house and got into the bathtub. I saw them leading our neighbors away and shooting them. I tried to stand up at the window to look outside, but one of the kata’ib fighters saw me and shot at me. So I went back to the bathtub and stayed there for five hours. When I came out, they grabbed me and threw me down with everybody else. One of them asked me if I was Palestinian, and I said yes. My nine-month-old nephew was beside me, and he was crying and screaming so much that one of the men got angry, so he shot him. I burst into tears and told him that this baby had been all the family I had left. That made him all the more angry, and he took the baby and tore him in two.”41
    The massacre continued until noon on Saturday, September 18, leaving between 3,000 and 3,500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians dead, most of them women, children and elderly people.42
    ________________________________________
    Jibsheet Massacre :
    27/3/1984(Lebanon): The occupation forcers’ tanks and helicopters fired at a crowded people killing many civilians. 7 perosns were martyred, 10 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Sohmor Massacre :
    19/9/1984 (Lebanon): The occupation forces stormed the town with tanks, and military
    vehicles and ordered the inhabitants to congregate at the town’s mosque where they fired at them. 13 martyrs, 12 wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Seer Al Garbiah Massacre :
    23/3/1985 (Lebanon): The massacre took place at Al- Husseinieh building where people took shelter from the shelling of the Israeli soldiers who stormed the town with a huge number of military vehicles.7 persons were martyred.
    ________________________________________
    Maaraka Massacres:
    5/3/1985(Lebanon): The occupation forces planted an explosive device in the Husseinieh building of the town .It was detonated during the distribution of aid to the citizens who lost their lives. 15 perosns were killed.
    ________________________________________
    Zrariah Massacre :
    11/3/1985(Lebanon): Following heavy shelling the occupation forces stormed the town with about 100 vehicles and perpetrated a butchery, killing children, women and the elderly. 22 civlians were slaughtred.
    ________________________________________
    Homeen Al-Tahta Massacre :
    21/3/1985(Lebanon): After attacking the village with 140 army vehicles, the occupation forces ordered the inhabitants to gather at the school of the village. They then destroyed it over their heads. 20 incoent person were martyred.
    ________________________________________
    Jibaa Massacre :
    30/3/1985(Lebanon): A huge enemy force attacked the town and put it under siege, .When some people tried to escape the siege, the enemy soldiers fired at them, killing and wounding a lot of them. 5 perosn were killed, 5 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Yohmor Massacre :
    13/4/1985 (Lebanon): At one O’clock in the morning, an Israeli armored force entered the town using civilian cars and opened fire at the houses which resulted in the killing of 10 people, among them a family of six people.
    ________________________________________
    Tiri massacre :
    17/8/1986 (Lebanon): Merciless crimes against civilians increased in the town with the occupation forces cutting the hands and ears from the head. 4 perosns were killed, 79 were crippled and wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Al-Naher Al-Bared Massacre (Palestinian camp):
    11/12/1986(Lebanon): The Israeli warplanes raided this Palestinian refugee camp killing many of the refugees. 20 person were killed , 22 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    Ain Al-Hillwee Massacre(Palestinian Camp) :
    5/9/1987(Lebanon): The enemy jet fighters launched two raids killing 31 and wounding 41 others. The refugees were hit by a thin raid while they were evacuating
    casualties, 34 more being killed.
    ________________________________________
    OYON QARA MASSACRE:
    20 May 1990, an Israeli soldier lined up Palestinian labors and murdered seven of them with a sub-machine gun. 13 Palesinians were killed by Israeli forces in subsequent demonstrations at the massacre.
    ________________________________________
    Siddiqine Massacre:
    25/7/1990(Lebanon): The Israeli warplanes bombed a house, among the 3 killed a four years old child.
    ________________________________________
    AL-AQSA MOSQUE MASSACRE:
    October 8, 1990:
    As an extension of the Zionist policy based upon exercising control over the city of Jerusalem and emptying it of its [Arab] residents by various and sundry means, such as Zionist terrorism and shedding the blood of the Palestinian people – a policy which Zionists have acted upon on numerous occasions – Zionist authorities undertook on Monday, October 8, 1990 to carry out this heinous massacre against Palestinian worshippers.
    Several days before the events of the massacre began, the “Temple Trustees” group distributed a statement to the media on the occasion of a religious festival of theirs which they call “the Throne Festival”. In the statement the organization announced that it intended to stage a march to the Temple Mount (or so they call it). The statement called upon Jews to participate in this march since, according to the statement, it would involve the decisive act of placing the foundation stone for what is
    called “the Third Temple.” In addition, the founder of the organization, Ghershoun Salmoun, announced that “the Arab-Islamic occupation of the temple area must come to an end, and the Jews must renew their profound ties to the sacred area.” The march, in which 200,000 Jews took part, headed toward al-Aqsa Mosque in order for “the foundation stone” of the so-called “Third Temple” to be put in place.43 At the same time, that is, at 10:00 a.m. and a half-hour before the beginning of the
    massacre, Israeli occupation forces began placing military barriers along various roads leading to Jerusalem in order to prevent Palestinians from getting to the city.
    They also closed the doors of the mosque itself and forbid Jerusalem residents to go in. However, thousands had already gathered inside the mosque before this time in response to calls from the imam of the mosque and the Islamic movement to protect the mosque and to prevent the “Temple Trustees” from storming it and perhaps even imposing Jewish control over it.44 When the Muslim worshippers began resisting the Zionist group to prevent them from placing the “foundation stone” for their so-called temple, Zionist occupation forces began carrying out the massacre, using all the weapons at their disposal: poison gas bombs, automatic weapons, military helicopters, etc. The soldiers,
    [Israeli] intelligence men and Jewish settlers resorted to firing live ammunition in the form of a continuous spray of machine-gun fire which came from all directions and in a well planned and coordinated fashion. The result was that thousands of Palestinian worshippers of various ages and nationalities found themselves in a mass death trap. Twenty-three Palestinians were killed, and 850 others were wounded to varying degrees.45 The Israeli soldiers began firing at 10:30 a.m. and stopped 35 minutes later. They opened fire on the Palestinian worshippers randomly and in cold blood.
    Then they pursued them with clubs and rifles [outside the mosque].46 Nurse Fatima Abu Khadir, who was wounded by a bullet which fractured her wrist, states, “We went into the mosque precincts in an ambulance. I saw a large number of injured who had fallen on the ground. Then I saw lots of soldiers, hundreds of soldiers. They were about 30 meters from the ambulance and kneeling on one knee the way snipers do, and their weapons were aimed inside the ambulance. After that I couldn’t see anything.”47
    News agencies described the blessed precincts of al-Aqsa Mosque saying that blood had covered “the entire two hundred meters between the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. Blood was flowing everywhere, all over the wide steps, and had stained the white tile the length of the broad courtyard, as well as the doors of both mosques. The walls of the two mosques had long, crimson lines etched onto them by bleeding hands, and blood had stained the white uniforms of the woman
    first-aid workers. Everyone – the wounded and the more fortunate, first-aid workers, journalists, and Israeli soldiers – all of them looked as though they were swimming in blood.48
    Physician Muhammad Abu ‘Ayila relates what happened to him and to a wounded man to whom he had been trying to administer first aid, and how the Zionists’ glee at the sight of Palestinian blood spilled in the precincts of the holy mosque had blinded their eyes so much that they couldn’t distinguish between a young child and an old man, between a man and a woman, between a wounded man and one seeking to treat him. He says, “I got out of the ambulance carrying a first-aid kit. I was wearing a
    white uniform. The soldiers saw me and knew I was a doctor. But when I got to the wounded person nearest me and bent down to treat him, I got three bullets in my back in the region of the kidney. At that very moment, the wounded man near me died. But he could have been saved if I hadn’t been hit.”49 Most of the wounds, in fact, were in the head and in the heart.50
    Then, in a farce designed to justify the crime which had been committed by Zionists’ hands now stained with Palestinian blood, terrorist Yitzhaq Shamir, Prime Minister of the Zionist entity at that time, hastened to form a fact-finding committee which he called the “Zamir Committee” after its head, Tu’fi Zamir, former head of the Israeli Mossad. As for the outcome of the committee’s investigation, it was announced by Moshe Almert, head of the Media Office of the occupation government, who said,
    “The report confirms clearly that the responsibility and fault for escalating [the conflict] lies on the side of the thousands of Muslim extremists, who were attacking the holy place of the Jews.”51
    ________________________________________
    THE IBRAHIMI MOSQUE MASSACRE:
    February 25, 1994 (Palestine):
    While worshippers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron were kneeling and
    prostrating before God, turning their faces toward the sacred house of God in the
    Friday dawn prayer on February 25, 1994, showers of treacherous Zionist bullets
    began raining down on them from all directions, felling more than 350 peaceable
    worshippers, some of whom were killed, and others wounded. And thus began the
    second chapter of this terrorist massacre at the hands of terrorist settler Baroukh
    Goldstein and his helpers. As for the first chapter, it had begun at the hour for the
    final evening prayer on Thursday, at which time Jewish settlers and soldiers
    prevented Muslim worshippers from entering the sacred masque to perform the
    evening prayer under the pretext that this was the day of their “Boleme” feast.
    Terrorist settlers gathered in the outer courtyards of the mosque and began setting
    off fireworks in the direction of the worshippers. Some time after this, the occupation
    forces allowed them to go inside the mosque itself in groups. At 10:00 p.m. the
    Muslim worshippers were asked to leave the mosque, and Zionist occupation
    soldiers began beating many of them as they left.
    Hatim Qufaysha, a witness of the Zionist crime, says, “At 5:20 a.m. today everyone
    was standing up [in the mosque]. As I took off my shoes, I saw an old man wearing
    military clothes who was running along carrying a huge weapon loaded with
    ammunition. I was surprised to see him come into the mosque during the prayer. He
    opened fire, and I ran away and asked the soldier who guards the area to intervene.
    But all he did was beat me up, then I left the mosque area.52
    Eye witnesses who survived the massacre say, “We heard the sound of a muffled
    explosion. It was followed by the whiz of bullets passing over the heads of the
    worshippers.” Talal Abu Sunayna, who was shot in both shoulders, adds, “I saw a
    settler hiding behind one of the pillars in the mosque’ as he fired on the worshippers
    with his rifle. Another [Jewish] settler stood beside him loading a second rifle so that
    it would be ready to go to work next.”53 Muhammad Sari, one of the worshippers
    present at the time of the massacre, states, “People are used to attending the dawn
    prayer on Fridays in large numbers.” He estimated the number of worshippers
    present that morning at about 500. Then he added, “the muezzin announced the
    beginning of the prayer, so we knelt and made the first prostration. Then all of a
    sudden we heard the sound of heavy gun fire coming from behind us. When I turned
    around in the direction of the sound, I saw a soldier in full uniform. He had put ear
    pieces in his ears, and he was holding a rapid-firing machine gun and firing in the
    direction of the worshippers.”54 Sari was wounded in both legs when he tried to
    stand up. A number of young men were able to get over to where the attacker was
    and to protect others in the mosque with their bodies. And within moments Goldstein
    had been brought to the ground by the young men.55 But due to the heavy gun fire,
    the mosque had turned into something on the order of a slaughterhouse, filled with
    pools of blood. Muhammad Sulayman Abu Salih, a custodian at the Abrahamic
    mosque, describes the terrifying sight inside the mosque saying, “The terrorist was
    trying to kill as many people as possible. The corpses were scattered all over,
    spattering the floor of the mosque with blood. Worshippers who had been prostrate
    tried to flee in terror, and some of them fell on the floor.” Then he adds, “I shouted at
    the top of my lungs to the soldiers to come and stop him, but all they did was run
    away. The armed man reloaded his rifle at least once and killed at least seven
    people at one time, the contents of their skulls scattering all over the floor. He kept on
    shooting for ten minutes, and the army didn’t step in until the massacre was over.”
    Sheikh Ibrahim Abdeen, the imam of the mosque, says that the bullets were coming
    from several places, that it was a true blood bath. The Israeli soldiers’ reaction was
    very slow; they actually delayed the arrival of the ambulances.57 Nor did this terrorist
    massacre stop with the killing of Goldstein. When the shooting stopped, the soldiers
    came pouring into the mosque. According to witnesses of the massacre, the
    soldiers, together with a number of Jewish settlers, opened fire on those who had
    gathered around Goldstein, and not one of them survived. And thus occurred the
    second massacre. Then outside the mosque, the soldiers opened fire on the
    ambulance which had arrived at the mosque to treat the wounded; thus occurred the
    third massacre, which itself did not stop there, since the soldiers pursued the
    wounded and those seeking to treat them as far as the doors of the hospitals, where
    they proceeded to kill even more. Other forces pursued their victims’ funeral
    processions as far as the cemetery gates, where they killed still more. Hence, this
    heinous massacre carried out against worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque led to
    more than 24 deaths and injured hundreds of others.
    ________________________________________
    THE JABALIA MASSACRE:
    28 March 1994, A Jewish undercover police opened fire on Palestinian activists brutally killing 6 and injuring 49. Some of the wounded activists were taken out of their cars and shot in their heads to death.
    ________________________________________
    Aramta Massacre:
    15/4/1994(Lebanon): After blockading the town, armed men entered and ordered the people to gather at the town’s square, where they were assaulted. Then, they took the men and women to the detention camp. Later on they stormed, the district of the town, and killed whomever they saw. 2 perosns were l\killed, 6 were wounded.
    ________________________________________
    ERETZ CHECKPOINT MASSACRE:
    17 July 1994, Palestinian sources reported that the occupation forces had committed Sunday morning a disgusting massacre against Palestinian workers at Eretz checkpoint. Eyewitnesses and Israeli sources reported that 11 Palestinians have been shot dead and 200 injured. Israeli sources also reported that 21 Israeli soldiers including 1 settler were injured. Two soldiers were shot by bullets, one died. As reported by Palestinian and Israeli sources, the scene was described as a war zone which lasted for 6 hours. Four Israeli tanks and helicopters were brought by the occupation forces, while a number of settlers were taking part in firing at Palestinians. Protests had spread all over the Occupied Territories. In Gaza, Palestinians raised black flags and called for revenge. In Ramallah, shops closed while several clashes were reported. Several clashes were reported at Hebron University yesterday, and today two Palestinians were shot in Hebron.
    ________________________________________
    Deir Al-Zahrani Massacre:
    5/8/1994(Lebanon):
    The Israeli warplanes fired a “vacuum” missile at a two- story building,in Deir Al-Zahranee which was destroyed over the heads of the inhabitants. 8 people were killed , 17 wee injured.
    ________________________________________
    Nabatiyeh (school bus) Massacre:
    21/03/1994(Lebanon):
    The Israeli warplanes targeted school bus ful of puiples 4 childs were killed,10(child) Injured.
    ________________________________________
    The Sohmor Second Massacre :
    2/04/1996 (Lebanon):
    The Israeli artillery targeted a civilian car carrying eight passengers, killing all of them .
    ________________________________________
    Mnsuriah Massacre:
    On 13 April 1996, at about 1:30 P.M., an IDF helicopter fired rockets at a vehicle carrying thirteen civilians fleeing the village of al-Mansuri, killing two women and four young girls. The vehicle was a Volvo station wagon with a blue flooding light, a red crescent painted on the hood and the word “ambulance” written in Arabic. Reporters at the scene filmed the incident. The film footage shows, and testimony of UN soldiers who arrived immediately after the car was hit corroborate, that there were no weapons or any other type of military equipment in the car, only some food and clothes. Amnesty’s investigation revealed that none of the passengers were connected to Hizbullah.
    ________________________________________
    Nabatyaih Massacre:
    18 April 1996, Eleven persons were killed and ten injured in an IDF air attack on a house in Nabatiyya al-Faqwah, some three kilometers north of Nabatiyya, in South Lebanon. Eight of those killed were from one family: a mother and her seven children, including a four-day-old baby. Around 6:30 a.m., IDF helicopters fired rockets at three buildings in the village, demolishing one totally and severely damaging the other two. Lebanese families were living in the buildings. The IDF Spokesperson claimed that the helicopters fired at the building in which the eleven were killed because Hizbullah was hiding there after firing the mortars. Investigations conducted by Amnesty and HRW did not confirm this contention The IDF’s statement ignored the fact that the IDF fired at two other buildings during the same attack.
    ________________________________________
    Qana Massacre :
    18 April 1996, The “ethnic cleansing” operations carried out by the Zionist terrorist army have
    encompassed not only Palestinian civilians, but Lebanese civilians in south Lebanon
    as well.
    In an attempt to break the power of the Lebanese Hizbollah organization, Zionist
    forces undertook a military operation against south Lebanon. This operation was
    likewise based upon the Zionist mentality, supportive as it is of blood-letting and
    terrorism and based upon the belief that “exercising pressure against Lebanese
    citizens . . . will lead in practical terms to comprehensive, overall pressure on account
    of which the Hizbollah organization will be obliged to adhere to a ceasefire.”59 Given
    this reasoning, the Zionist forces bombed the shelter which was providing refuge to
    approximately five hundred Lebanese, most of whom were children, elderly and
    women who had been forced out of their homes by Israeli raids on their villages, and
    who had been unable to get to Beirut. This bombing led to the deaths of 109
    Lebanese civilians and seriously wounded 116 others. During the attack, Israeli
    forces used between 5 and 6 advanced bombs designed to explode above their
    target in order to cause the largest possible number of casualties. Moreover,
    international investigations confirmed that the Israeli forces had deliberately targeted
    the shelter.60
    Ali, one of those wounded in the attack, says, “I fled in the morning with two friends
    and went for refuge to the emergency forces in Qana. I had my wife and my four
    children with me. They led us into a shelter where there were about fifty people. Then
    suddenly the sound of bombing rang out. A first shell, then a second fell near the
    shelter, and as we were trying to get out, another shell hit the shelter directly. I don’t
    know what happened to my wife and children.”61 Fadi Jabir weeps as he talks about
    things he saw after the Israeli bombs fell on those who had left their homes to come
    to the base for the UN Fayjiya peace-keeping forces. He says, “I heard people
    shouting ‘Allahu akbar!’, and a woman fell down unconscious. I reached out to get an
    idea what had happened to her, and her brain fell into my hand.”62 As for Sa’d Allah
    Balhas, who was wounded by a piece of shrapnel in the Zionist massacre, he says,
    “In one second I lost everything: my children, 14 of my grandchildren, and my wife. I
    don’t want to live anymore. Tell the doctors to let me die.”63
    ________________________________________
    Trqumia Massacr:
    March 10 1998 :Israeli Occupied West Bank, March 10–Israeli soldiers opened fire with automatic
    weapons on a van full of unarmed Palestinian workers, killing Adnan Abu Zneid, 34, and two other Palestinians. Two more laborers were wounded as the group returned from helping to construct a building near Tel Aviv. Eyewitnesses described the Israeli gunfire as “indiscriminate.”
    Israeli Army Maj. Uzi Dayan said that the soldiers acted “according to regulations” in opening fire on the van with automatic weapons at a checkpoint outside Hebron.
    Ali Abu Zneid, 37, a cousin of the deceased, was in the van and fell uninjured under the others’ bodies. He said that the Jewish soldiers, “shot to kill.”
    Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai described the killings as an “accident”
    ________________________________________
    Janta Massacre :
    22/12/1998 (Lebanon):
    Israeli warplanes waited for the children to come home from the field to embrace their mother when they carried out this savage attack. Mother and her 6 children
    ________________________________________
    24 Of June 1999 Massacres
    24/6/1999 (Lebanon)
    Martyrs: 8
    Injures: 84
    Target: Under
    Building in
    Beirut
    In an interview with the “kolhaer” magazine, five Israeli soldiers said that the artillery commander had said to his soldiers “We are skilled marksmen. Anyhow, there are millions of Arabs… It’s their problem. Whether Arabs become one more or less is just the same…We have accomplished our duty.
    The whole issue is not about more than a group of “Arabosheem” (a racist term hostile to Arabs used by the Israelis). We should have launched more shells to kill more Arabs.
    ________________________________________
    Western Bekaa villages Massacre:
    29/12/1999 (Lebanon):
    The Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on he children who were celebrating the “eid” festival, killing eight children and wounding 11 others.
    ________________________________________
    These are just some of the massacres committed against the Palestinians and Lebanese by the Zionists. If the raids on southern Lebanon old and new were to be taken into account the true magnitude of Zionist crimes against humanity could start to emerge. If one were to go into the gruesome details of the atrocities committed in 1948 the -mopping up operations -, the deliberate humiliation and massacres of Arabs and the desecration of the holy places of both Muslim and Christian as well as the looting of these holy places and personal property by the Israeli army and settlers; one might just start to appreciate what Zionism is all about.
    IT IS WRITTEN IN TORAH:
    “Destroy all of the land; beat down their pillars and break their statues and waste all of their high places, cleansing the land and dwelling in it, for I have given it to you for a possession” Numbers 33:52,53
    “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city both men and women, young and old and ox and sheep and ass with the edge of the sword.” Joshua 6:21
    ________________________________________

  • On January 16, 2009 at 9:38 am Henry Gould wrote:

    Tahseen,
    you know you could find many, many statements from Arab sources about the Jews, which exactly mirror the hateful statements you quoted in your post before last.
    But what is your purpose showcasing the most extreme and hateful views, as if these represent the viewpoints of all Israelis? Do you want to prolong a state of war indefinitely?
    The answer is not Us vs. Them, the constant drumbeat of blame, hatred and vilification.
    The answer is Justice and Mercy : mutual understanding and reconciliation. This only begins by a toning-down of the propaganda and the verbal warfare, a recognition that both sides might have legitimate claims.
    The purpose of my comments here is not to justify the cause of one side OVER the other. The purpose of my comments is to argue that there are two sides to this dispute, and neither one is totally right or totally wrong. This is in contrast to many of the other comments here, which seek to vilify and pour condemnation on Israel alone.

  • On January 16, 2009 at 9:19 pm michael robbins wrote:

    Speaking of grandmothers:
    “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/01/16/uk.israel.debate/

  • On January 20, 2009 at 10:53 am Michael Robbins wrote:

    Three weeks:
    Gaza: 1203 dead & 5000 injured, many of them civilians.
    Israel: 10 soldiers & 3 civilians killed, 200 soldiers injured.


Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 by Linh Dinh.