22 January 2009

Israel's crimes in Gaza - The Aftermath

From a hill just outside the Gaza Strip, Israelis watch the air assaults on Gaza and dance in celebration of the attacks, 8 January 2009. (Newscom)


Why Israel won't survive

By: Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 19 January 2009
Source : http://electronicintifada.net

The merciless Israeli bombardment of Gaza has stopped -- for now -- but the death toll keeps rising as more bodies are pulled from carpet- bombed neighborhoods.

What Israel perpetrated in Gaza, starting at 11:30am on 27 December 2008, will remain forever engraved in history and memory. Tel al-Hawa, Hayy al-Zeitoun, Khuzaa and other sites of Israeli massacres will join a long mournful list that includes Deir Yasin, Qibya, Kufr Qasim, Sabra and Shatila, Qana, and Jenin.

Once again, Israel demonstrated that it possesses the power and the lack of moral restraint necessary to commit atrocities against a population of destitute refugees it has caged and starved.

The dehumanization and demonization of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims has escalated to the point where Israel can with full self- righteousness bomb their homes, places of worship, schools, universities, factories, fishing boats, police stations -- in short everything that sustains civilized and orderly life -- and claim it is conducting a war against terrorism.

Yet paradoxically, it is Israel as a Zionist state, not Palestine or the Palestinian people, that cannot survive this attempted genocide.

Israel's "war" was not about rockets -- they served the same role in its narrative as the non-existent weapons of mass destruction did as the pretext for the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Israel's real goals were to restore its "deterrence" fatally damaged after its 2006 defeat in Lebanon (translation: its ability to massacre and terrorize entire populations into submission) and to destroy any Palestinian resistance to total Israeli-Jewish control over historic Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

With Hamas and other resistance factions removed or fatally weakened, Israel hoped the way would be clear to sign a "peace" deal with chief Palestinian collaborator Mahmoud Abbas to manage Palestinians on Israel's behalf until they could be forced out once and for all.

The US-backed "moderate" dictatorships and absolute monarchies led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia supported the Israeli plan hoping to demonstrate to their own people that resistance -- whether against Israel or their own bankrupt regimes -- was futile.

To win, Israel had to break Palestinian resistance. It failed. On the contrary, it galvanized and unified Palestinians like never before. All factions united and fought heroically for 23 days. According to well-informed and credible sources Israel did little harm to the modest but determined military capacity of the resistance. So instead Israel did what it does best: it massacred civilians in the hope that the population would turn against those fighting the occupier.

Israel not only unified the resistance factions in Gaza; its brutality rallied all Palestinians and Arabs.

It is often claimed that Arab regimes whip up anti-Israel anger to distract their populations from their own failings. Actually, Israel, the US and subservient Arab regimes tried everything -- especially demonizing Iran and inciting sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims -- to distract their populations from Palestine.

All this failed as millions of people across the region marched in support of Palestinian resistance, and the Arab regimes who hoped to benefit from the slaughter in Gaza have been exposed as partners in the Israeli atrocities. In popular esteem, Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions earned their place alongside Hizballah as effective bulwarks against Israeli and Western colonialism.

If there was ever a moment when the peoples of the region would accept Israel as a Zionist state in their midst, that has passed forever.

But anyone surveying the catastrophe in Gaza -- the mass destruction, the death toll of more than 100 Palestinians for every Israeli, the thousands of sadistic injuries -- would surely conclude that Palestinians could never overcome Israel and resistance is a delusion at best.

True, in terms of ability to murder and destroy, Israel is unmatched. But Israel's problem is not, as its propaganda insists, "terrorism" to be defeated by sufficient application of high explosives. Its problem is legitimacy, or rather a profound and irreversible lack of it. Israel simply cannot bomb its way to legitimacy.

Israel was founded as a "Jewish state" through the ethnic cleansing of Palestine's non-Jewish majority Arab population. It has been maintained in existence only through Western support and constant use of violence to prevent the surviving indigenous population from exercising political rights within the country, or returning from forced exile.

Despite this, today, 50 percent of the people living under Israeli rule in historic Palestine (Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip) are Palestinians, not Jews. And their numbers are growing rapidly. Like Nationalists in Northern Ireland or non-whites in South Africa, Palestinians will never recognize the "right" of a settler-colonial society to maintain an ethnocractic state at their expense through violence, repression and racism.

For years, the goal of the so-called peace process was to normalize Israel as a "Jewish state" and gain Palestinians' blessing for their own dispossession and subjugation. When this failed, Israel tried "disengagement" in Gaza -- essentially a ruse to convince the rest of the world that the 1.5 million Palestinians caged in there should no longer be counted as part of the population. They were in Israel's definition a "hostile entity."

In his notorious May 2004 interview with The Jerusalem Post, Arnon Soffer, an architect of the 2005 disengagement explained that the approach "doesn't guarantee 'peace,' it guarantees a Jewish- Zionist state with an overwhelming majority of Jews." Soffer predicted that in the future "when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it's going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful."

He was unambiguous about what Israel would have to do to maintain this status quo: "If we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day." Soffer hoped that eventually, Palestinians would give up and leave Gaza altogether.

Through their resistance, steadfastness and sacrifice, Palestinians in Gaza have defeated this policy and reasserted that they are an inseparable part of Palestine, its people, its history and its future.

Israel is not the first settler-colonial entity to find itself in this position. When F.W. de Klerk, South Africa's last apartheid president, came to office in 1989, his generals calculated that solely with the overwhelming military force at their disposal, they could keep the regime in power for at least a decade. The casualties, however, would have run into hundreds of thousands, and South Africa would face ever greater isolation. Confronted with this reality, de Klerk took the decision to begin an orderly dismantling of apartheid.

What choice will Israel make? In the absence of any political and moral legitimacy the only arguments it has left are bullets and bombs. Left to its own devices Israel will certainly keep trying -- as it has for sixty years -- to massacre Palestinians into submission. Israel's achievement has been to make South Africa's apartheid leaders look wise, restrained and humane by comparison.

But what prevented South Africa's white supremacist government from escalating their own violence to Israeli levels of cruelty and audacity was not that they had greater scruples than the Zionist regime. It was recognition that they alone could not stand against a global anti-apartheid movement that was in solidarity with the internal resistance.

Israel's "military deterrent" has now been repeatedly discredited as a means to force Palestinians and other Arabs to accept Zionist supremacy as inevitable and permanent. Now, the other pillar of Israeli power -- Western support and complicity -- is starting to crack. We must do all we can to push it over.

Israel began its massacres with full support from its Western "friends." Then something amazing happened. Despite the official statements of support, despite the media censorship, despite the slick Israeli hasbara (propaganda) campaign, there was a massive, unprecedented public mobilization in Europe and even in North America expressing outrage and disgust.

Gaza will likely be seen as the turning point when Israeli propaganda lost its power to mystify, silence and intimidate as it has for so long. Even the Nazi Holocaust, long deployed by Zionists to silence Israel's critics, is becoming a liability; once unimaginable comparisons are now routinely heard. Jewish and Palestinian academics likened Israel's actions in Gaza to the Nazi massacre in the Warsaw Ghetto. A Vatican cardinal referred to Gaza as a "giant concentration camp." UK Member of Parliament Gerald Kaufman, once a staunch Zionist, told the House of Commons, "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow, [Poland]. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed." Kaufman continued, "my grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza." He denounced the Israeli military spokesperson's justifications as the words "of a Nazi."

It wasn't only such statements, but the enormous demonstrations, the nonviolent direct actions, and the unprecedented expressions of support for boycott, divestment and sanctions from major trade unions in Italy, Canada and New Zealand. An all-party group of city councillors in Birmingham, Europe's second largest municipal government, urged the UK government to follow suit. Salma Yaqoub of the RESPECT Party explained that "One of the factors that helped bring an end to the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa was international pressure for economic, sporting and cultural boycotts. It is time that Israel started to feel similar pressure from world opinion."

Israel, its true nature as failed, brutal colonial project laid bare in Gaza, is extremely vulnerable to such a campaign. Little noticed amidst the carnage in Gaza, Israel took another momentous step towards formal apartheid when the Knesset elections committee voted to ban Arab parties from participating in upcoming elections. Zionism, an ideology of racial supremacy, extremism and hate, is a dying project, in retreat and failing to find new recruits. With enough pressure, and relatively quickly, Israelis too would likely produce their own de Klerk ready to negotiate a way out. Every new massacre makes it harder, but a de-zionized, decolonized, reintegrated Palestine affording equal rights to all who live in it, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and return for refugees is not a utopian dream.

It is within reach, in our lifetimes. But it is far from inevitable. We can be sure that Western and Arab governments will continue to support Israeli apartheid and Palestinian collaboration under the guise of the "peace process" unless decisively challenged. Israeli massacres will continue and escalate until the nightmare of an Israeli- style "peace" -- apartheid and further ethnic cleansing -- is fulfilled.

The mobilizations of the past three weeks showed that a different world is possible and within our grasp if we support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Although they will never get to see it, that world would be a fitting memorial for all of Israel's victims.

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006)

16 January 2009

Hijab covers the man's eyes - not the woman's!

You look at me and call me oppressed,
Simply because of the way I'm dressed,
You know me not for what's inside,
You judge the clothing I wear with pride,
My body's not for your eyes to hold,
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mold,
I'm an individual, I'm no mans slave,
It's Allahs pleasure that I only crave,
I have a voice so I will be heard,
For in my heart I carry His word,
" O ye women, wrap close your cloak,
So you won't be bothered by ignorant folk",
Man doesn't tell me to dress this way,
It's a Law from God that I obey,
Oppressed is something I'm truly NOT,
For liberation is what I've got,
It was given to me many years ago,
With the right to prosper, the right to grow,
I can climb moutains or cross the seas,
Expand my mind in all degrees,
For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY,
When He sent Islam,
To You and Me!

by Izdehar Albowyha

11 January 2009

10 ways how you can help the innocent people of Gaza

Who's paying the price ? Children, women and innocent civilians...

Im sure you are fully aware of the suffering bestowed upon the innocent empty handed, hungry, weak and 'locked in' innocent muslim civilians within the already opressed Gaza Strip.

See the counter on the right to see how many civilians are dead and injured , third of them women and children !

Are you from the UK? Dont feel helpless thinking there is not much you can do, there is so much you can do to help. First and foremost, make sincere prayers to Allah, ask our creator for help and send them your charity , 1.5 million people require aid in terms of vital medical supplies, blankets, food, water etc..

The beneath 10 point guide has been taken from : www.iengage.org.uk

What can YOU do to help the Palestinian people of Gaza? Read the ENGAGE 10 Point Guide and get working TODAY!

'During the last seven years, 14 Israelis have been killed by mostly homemade rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, while more than 5,000 Palestinians were killed by Israel with some of the most advanced US-supplied armaments in the world', Seumas Milne, The Guardian, 30 December 2008.

1. Contact your MP by phone and in writing via email.

You can find contact details for your MP on the Parliament website, www.parliament.uk or you can find your MP through the search facility on www.theyworkforyou.com. Phone your Member of Parliament TODAY and make sure that s/he notes your dismay and disappointment at the Government’s refusal to condemn the assaults on Gaza and its refusal to demand an immediate stop to all military activity. Ask your MP why Israel's bombings of mosques and university buildings in Gaza have gone uncriticised.

MPs do work for you, so get writing and insist on your MP seeking clear answers on your behalf from the Foreign Secretary to questions such as these:

(a) Why has the UK not clearly condemned the savage bombardment of Gaza by the Israelis?
(b) Does the UK Government accept that the Israeli action is barbaric and a crime against humanity?
(c) How does the UK Government think it will be able to legitimately defend its position as a member of the Quartet brokering peace in the Middle East when it fails to condemn the actions of a state which threatens beyond all doubt prospects for a lasting peace?
(d) Does not the Government’s refusal to condemn the Israelis insinuate complicity in the latter’s attempt to rout a democratically elected government and seek peace on its term and its terms alone? Is this the Government’s idea of a lasting peace in Palestine?
(e) The Government failed in summer 2006 to call for a ceasefire while the Israelis bombed Lebanon repeatedly destroying much of the country’s infrastructure. Refuse to allow it to sit back and do nothing once again.
(f) Does the UK Government not accept that its refusal to condemn the Israelis renders hollow all its protestations on its commitment to peace in the Middle East and its PREVENT agenda, on tackling the causes of radicalization in the UK?

2. Call for a Debate in the Houses of Parliament

Ask your MP to raise the brutal Israeli bombardment in Gaza as a matter for debate in the Houses of Parliament. What reasons does the Government have for remaining silent on this matter? Why has it not been more forthright in its utter condemnation of the atrocity? Does the Government think that committing funds to humanitarian aid absolves it from addressing the causes of the disaster?

3. Government representations to the UN

Ask your MP to insist that the Government condemn the murderous actions of the Israelis in the UN. The UN is another member of the Quartet (along with the US, EU and Russia) and is similarly responsible in forcing Israel to halt military action and cease its belligerent breach of international law.

4. Demonstrate

Demonstrate against the outrageous conduct of the Israelis. Much of what Israel seeks to do is to compel others to accept that it is the victim in this war. Demonstrate against its lies and deception and show your solidarity with the true victims of Israeli attacks.

The Stop the War Coalition are organizing demonstrations all this week. Also check the website, www.stopwar.org.uk for further details of these and other demonstrations across the country.

Join as many demonstrations as you can and urge others to come with you. Keep up the pressure, vote with your feet, and show that you will not sit back and allow this massacre to go unchallenged. Remember, silence is complicity.

5. Raise Your Voice and Your Pen

What is happening in Gaza is all over the news, on TV, on radio and on internet discussion forums. The Israeli Media Strategy document procured by ENGAGE shows clearly that dominating the news, controlling the dissemination of information and framing the war is as much a part of Israel’s assaults on Gaza as the raining down of missiles. Challenge what you see and hear and be the voice of the Palestinian people who are prevented from speaking for themselves.

(a) Is the news dominated by Israeli spokespeople? If so, ask why. There are two sides in this war and the views of both must be made available to us. How else are we to judge who is the victim and who the aggressor? Say no to Israeli spin and Israeli centred news coverage.
(b) Is the radio coverage unbalanced? What interviewees are invited to take part on news programmes on the Gaza assaults? How often do you hear Palestinian and Hamas representatives?
(c) Call in to news programmes, on your local radio station or national radio stations, and contribute your comments and views to what is going on. Don’t restrict your outrage and fulminating to shaking your fists at the television. Do something, speak out.

Contact details for major TV stations:
BBC:
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints 03700 100 222
ITV:
dutyoffice@itv.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 0844 881 4150
Channel 4:
http://help.channel4.com 0845 076 0191
Sky News:
news@sky.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 0870 240 3000
ITV Teletext:
webmaster@teletext.co.ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 020 8323 5000

Newspapers:

Daily Telegraph - 020 7931 2000
The Guardian - 020 7278 2332
The Independent - 020 7005 2000
The Times - 020 7782 5000
Financial Times - 020 7873 3000
Daily Mail - 020 7938 6000
Daily Mirror - 020 7293 3000
Daily Express - 0871 434 1010
The Metro - 020 7651 5242
The Sun - 020 7782 4000
The Scotsman - 0131 620 8620
The Herald - 0141 302 7000

6. Blogs and Discussion Forums

The internet is among the most popular forms of present day news consumption. Some internet blog sites are read by more people than some national newspapers. Capitalise on the trend of consuming news online and join in on discussion threads and post comments to blogs and news items that are discussing the events in Gaza.

Your comments will be read by a multitude. Don’t be swayed or alarmed by false or incendiary posts. Keep calm and write with clarity and conscience. Reject the lies and propaganda of the Israeli media and PR machine. Don’t allow Zionists to dominate and distort the public’s perception of what is taking place in Gaza.

7. In the Mosques

Go to your local mosque and ask them to formally write an urgent letter TODAY to your MP making the points above and demand a meeting with the MP.

Ask your local mosque to begin collections for the Palestinians and to make the issue of Gaza the content of the Friday sermon. Ensure that your mosque uses its position in the local community to protest on the community’s behalf on what is taking place in Gaza.

While Muslims pray for the souls of those that have lost their lives in recent days, take steps to prevent the further loss of life. Make sure your mosque is actively involved in more than just being a place for prayer.

8. Interfaith Initiatives

Ask your local mosque and community centres to seek out Christian and Jewish places of worship and centres in your local community and join together in initiatives to bring peace to Palestine. Muslims, Jews and Christians reside in the Palestinian Territories and all faith groups should be working together to denounce the murderous actions of the Zionists in Israel and work for interfaith harmony and social peace.

9. Online petitions

Create or sign online petitions to be presented to your MP and the Government demanding that they call for an immediate stop to all military activity by Israel. Urge all your friends to sign a petition and insist that your elected representatives heed the protests of their electorate.

A petition calling for the Government to impose economic sanctions against Israel is currently underway and you can sign it here.

10. British Banks and Charities working for the Palestinians

Write to Lloyds TSB and Barclays Bank anew and insist that the banks reverse their decisions on closing the bank accounts of Interpal and Ummah Welfare Trust. The work of these charities will be needed now more than ever. Insist that the banks re-open the charities’ accounts so that you might donate and contribute to the provision of emergency aid to the embattled Gazans.

**** FINALLY: BOYCOTT ALL GOODS WHICH COME FROM ISRAEL AND COMPANIES WHICH SUPPORT THEM ! ****

May Allah bring peace to the Ummah , May his mercy scatter on the four corners of this Earth.. Ameen