Archive for the ‘Opinion others’ Category
“There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us [the jews], and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.” RabbiYitzhak Shapira
It is unbelievable to understand the zionist crimes of burning and killing the Palestinian children, it cant be justified but only in the minds of those mentally sick criminals. Burning the Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsheh alive by zionist settlers last week wasn’t the first nor would be the last in the series of the zionist crimes against the Palestinian natives and specially the children. This is deep rooted in the Torah and the zionist rabbinical breaching, it is an institutionalized and state sponsored terror. TheTorah dictates:
“Now go and smite Amalek [Palestinians], and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman,infant and suckling, ox, and sheep, camel and ass,”
And Rabbi Jack Reimer breaches:
“I am becoming convinced that Islamic Fundamentalism, or, as some people prefer to call it, ‘Islamo-fascism,’ is the most dangerous force that we have ever faced and that it is worthy of the name: Amalek. We must recognize who Amalek [Arabs] is in our generation, and we must prepare to fight it in every way we can. And may God help us in this task.”
The zionist “spiritual” leaders and the former zionist chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef says:
“It is forbidden to be merciful to them [Palestinians]. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”
Rabbi Mordecahi Elyahu promises:
“If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand. And if they do not stop after we kill a thousand, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop, we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to stop them.”
Also the Rabbinic Council of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank urged the zionist army “to ignore Christian morals and exterminate the enemy in the north (Lebanon) and the south (Gaza Strip). Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira urges killing the Palestinian children:
“In any situation in which a non-Jew’s presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created…When a non-Jew assists a murderer of Jews and causes the death of one, he may be killed, and in any case where a non-Jew’s presence causes danger to Jews, the non-Jew may be killed…The [Din Rodef] dispensation applies even when the pursuer is not threatening to kill directly, but only indirectly….. There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”
The zionist deputy minister of religion and MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan speculates:
“[Palestinians] are beasts, they are not human.”
The zionist Mk and law-maker Ayelet Shaked insists that ALL the Palestinian mothers should also be killed and not only their sons, as she wrote on her Facebook page:
“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just.”
This is the fanatic discourse within which the zionist settlers live, not only the jewish terrorist groups in West Bank but also all the zionist settlers including their political and spiritual leaders who inflame the rage of their citizens. The jewish terrorist groups in the West Bank are estimated officially to be a few hundreds of active members but it is far more than that if you consider the “sleeping” member. They are organized in Talmudic teaching circles called “yeshivots” (religious sessions) in which they are fed with the religious and national hate. in 2014 only over 400 attacks where held by these groups including burning houses, mosques, churches and torching Palestinian fields. However, are these acts visible for the zionist government? No, not at all, “It is difficult to see that there are those within my people capable of such acts,” President Reuven Rivlin said.
AND, these criminal acts are neglected and even passively encouraged as charges are seldom taken against the perpetrators. The few cases in which that the murderers are caught, the legal tricks are played of releasing the criminal because the perpetrator is“mentally ill” of that who burned Al-Aqsa mosque, or the case is closed because there is no sufficient evidences (like the current case of the Duma toddler), or simply the government and the police turn a blind eye and forget about the whole matter. However, sometimes the zionist government even promotes the criminals to a higher position like that soldier who shot a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detanee.
This criminal discourse could explain why over 94% of the “israeli” jews backed shelling the children of Gaza, and, in a nation where a detailed book of how to kill children becomes a bestseller, then there is a grave moral problem based on religious discourse that calls for murdering children “deliberately” and not only in war time.
The “pricetag” terrorist groups have regular and almost daily attacks not only on Muslim religious sites but also on Christian Churches and properties where they write “Jesus is pig” and “Mary the whore” and in these cases no one was caught or arrested over years simply because the zionist government doesn’t want to make a big fuss of it and to keep it under the carpet.The recent years has witnessed a rising increase in the zionist terror against the Palestinian natives both Muslims and Christians and it is not going to stop. It is needless to say that the responsibility of protecting the occupied civilians is on the occupying forces, but does “israel” consider the Palestinian occupied or just ademographic threat that should be ethnically cleansed? It is needless to say that the PA was created to protect the settlers but not the Palestinian natives as they raided the Palestinian villagesafter the burning or the toddler of Duma. Who else would protect the Palestinian unarmed civilians against the coming horror of the armed-to-teeth zionist settlers? We dont trust the United Nations either, but only God and our humble abilities to resist the lunatic invaders !! Sami, the bedouin.
(Source / 01.09.2015)
The world knows little of the Islamic State terror group’s brutal leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but a new article from counterterrorism expert Will McCants provides one of the most extensive accounts yet of his background.
McCants, director of the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution, wrote an upcoming book on the Islamic State — aka ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh — and researched Baghdadi’s life to explain his rise to become one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.
Since Baghdadi became the self-proclaimed “caliph” of ISIS in 2014, he has only appeared in public once, at a mosque in Mosul, Iraq. He was rumored to have died in an air strike earlier this year, but ISIS subsequently released a statement from him along with proof that he was still alive.
Even with new information about his life tricking out in the press, Baghdadi — aka Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Al-Badri — remains a mysterious and reclusive figure.
Here’s what we know now about his background, as laid out by McCants in his Brookings essay:
- Baghdadi was raised in a lower-middle-class family in Iraq. His relatives claimed to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.
- His father taught at a mosque. When Baghdadi was a teenager, he led neighborhood children in Quran recitations.
- Baghdadi’s family had ties to late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party. Two of his uncles were involved with Saddam’s security services, and two of his brothers served in the military under Saddam. One died during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
- Members of Baghdadi’s family were also thought to be Salafis, who follow a strict form of Islam that has been associated with ISIS’ extreme interpretation.
- Baghdadi was thought of as a quiet type, but when he read the Quran, his “quiet voice would come to life” and he would pronounce “the letters in firm, reverberating tones,” according to McCants.
- He was also known for having a temper. Once, when he saw women and men dancing together at a wedding, he got upset and forced them to stop.
- Even in his youth, Baghdadi developed a reputation for being pious and following a strict interpretation of Islam. His nickname was “The Believer,” and one of his brothers told McCants that Baghdadi “was quick to admonish anyone who strayed from the strictures of Islamic law.”
- Baghdadi wasn’t a strong student in high school, but he went on to earn a doctorate degree in Quranic studies. He reportedly wanted to study law for his undergraduate degree, but his grades weren’t good enough, so he studied the Quran instead.
- He became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that seeks to establish Islamic states across the Middle East, but his views were more extreme than many of the others in the group. Baghdadi was reportedly drawn to the extremists, including his older brother, who wanted to overthrow un-Islamic rulers.
- Outside his religious studies, Baghdadi was fond of soccer. He was the star of a soccer club at a mosque at which he taught, and people compared him to the famous Argentinian player Lionel Messi. (This fits with an interview published earlier this year with a man who said he knew Baghdadi before he became ISIS’ “caliph.”)
- Baghdadi is thought to have two wives and six children. McCants reports that the caliph’s first wife, Asma, was the daughter of Baghdadi’s maternal uncle.
- He was initially involved with al-Qaida, which sent him to Syria after he was released from his detainment at the US-run Camp Bucca in Iraq in the early 2000s. There, he was tasked with “ensuring that AQI’s online propaganda was in line with its brand of ultraconservative Islam,” according to McCants. Today, ISIS is known for its online propaganda that’s highly effective at recruiting young people to join the terror group.
- After ISIS broke away from al-Qaida, he was put in charge of religious affairs in some areas of Iraq. He became valuable to ISIS because the group needed religious scholars to establish legitimacy.
This telling of Baghdadi’s background suggests that his radicalization began long before he was imprisoned at Camp Bucca in the early 2000s. Although he was captured as a “civilian detainee” while he was visiting a friend who was wanted by American authorities, it’s clear Baghdadi had already begun forming his extremist ideology by this point.
These details water down the notion that Baghdadi was radicalized while in American detention.
Baghdadi likely knew what he was doing.
“For the ten months he remained in custody, Baghdadi hid his militancy and devoted himself to religious instruction,” McCants wrote.
He was also able to meet and befriend ex-Baathists who would later join him in ISIS. The group’s leadership is now thought to be made up largely of former Saddam loyalists, but that doesn’t mean Baghdadi isn’t devout or that he’s just a religious figurehead for the organization.
McCants concluded: “The bare facts of Baghdadi’s biography show an unusually capable man. … Although the New York Times recently reported that he himself is making arrangements for a succession in the event of his demise by devolving many of his military powers to subordinates, his blend of religious scholarship and political cunning won’t be easily replaced.”
(Source / 01.09.2015)
Dr Ghada Karmi
No issue has been so much at the heart of the Palestine cause, or so resistant to resolution, as the right of return. Palestinians world wide see it as the basis of their case. Enshrined in international law and historical precedent, it has acquired an almost sacred quality for Palestinians, an untouchable right that no one can dispute. Generations of refugees have been reared on the expectation of return to their homeland. Their position derives not only from natural justice, but is also underpinned legally by UN Resolution 194, passed by the General Assembly in December 1948. It called on the newly-formed Israeli state to repatriate the displaced Palestinians “wishing to live in peace with their neighbours… at the earliest practicable date”, and to compensate them for their losses. A Conciliation Commission was set up to oversee the repatriation of the returnees. Though never implemented and frequently ignored since then, Resolution 194 has remained the legal basis for the “right of return”.
Yet, far from this fundamental plank of the Palestinian case being recognised as such and forming the core of any final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ignoring it has become the norm in political discourse. It simply either does not feature any more, or if it does, it is mostly as a bargaining chip in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The marginalisation of this fundamental right is not new; it started soon after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, when the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) began to consider the possibility of setting up “an authority” on any liberated part of Palestine. Prior to that date, Palestine’s total liberation had been the PLO’s aim and this would mean the return to the homeland of all displaced Palestinians. By the late 1970s, though, the idea of partial liberation had developed into the aim to create a Palestinian state. In 1988, the independent “State of Palestine” was declared by the PLO on the 1967 territories, confirming the official Palestinian acceptance of the two-state solution that has been with us ever since.
In 1992, at the Madrid peace conference that followed the Gulf war, a so-called multi-lateral track was established without reference to the refugees. After protest by the PLO the issue was included, but Israel insisted it would refer only to those displaced by the 1967 war, and not those displaced in 1948 when the state was created. The whole thing came to nothing in the end, largely due to disagreement with Israel over definitions. The 1993 Oslo Accord took UN resolutions 242 and 338 as its basis, both of which deal with the refugee issue obliquely, and make no reference to Resolution 194. The issue was relegated along with others to “final status talks” between Israel and the Palestinians which have never been held. Palestinian acceptance of the Oslo terms, as well as the two-state solution, inevitably excluded the right of return, though this was never admitted explicitly. Talks at Taba between the two sides in January 2001 were a slight improvement; the Israelis offered a recognition of Israel’s moral and legal responsibility for the refugee exodus of 1948, but there would be no right of return to Israel, and the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries was brought up as if it were an equivalent issue.
A certain official prevarication about the Palestinian right of return first became apparent in 2002, when the Palestinian Authority is reported to have proposed dropping it as “an obstacle in the talks”. By 2011, when the revelations about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process between 1999 and 2010 were published by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian newspaper, it became clear that the Palestinian leadership was indeed prepared to cede the right of return in its negotiations with Israel. They agreed that only a token 10,000 refugees and their families would return there, and that Israel could not be expected to compromise its Jewish character by taking in any more. These offers were made without authorisation from the Palestinian people, let alone the refugees; in fact, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told George Mitchell, US envoy to the peace talks, in 2009, “On refugees, the deal is there.”
To assert against this background of appeasement that the right of return is the sine qua non of any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem is viewed today as “unrealistic” and old-fashioned, even an obstacle to peace, as if the passage of sixty-seven years had disqualified the Palestinians from entitlement to their homeland. Israel, conversely, shows no such ambiguity in its perennial and unambiguous rejection of the right of return. Through this process, the Arab discourse about the right of return has become deliberately vague, responding to Israel’s anxieties. The latest obfuscation of this right, supposed to lure Israel to the negotiating table with the Arabs, is the Arab peace plan, first devised in 2002. The plan included an ambiguous clause about the return of the Palestinian refugees, but without specifying whether refugees were to be “returned” to Israel or to the Palestinian state that would be created. No details of numbers of returnees or mechanisms for their repatriation were provided, but the plan spoke of achieving “a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.”
When Israel was founded in May 1948, many Western states saw it as a moral and necessary act to compensate Jews for the damage inflicted on them by Nazi Germany. A faraway country, Palestine, in a backward region, mostly under Western control and without the capacity to resist, must have seemed an ideal refuge for the stricken European Jews. As all Arabs know, in this euphoria of settling the post-war Jewish refugees and at the same time solving the centuries-old “Jewish question” which had plagued Europe and its Jews, the West ignored the cost to the native population of Palestine.
The resulting tragedy for the Palestinian people has been documented endlessly; despite Israeli propaganda to the contrary, this was both inevitable and predictable, given the determination of Israel’s founders to create a state for Jews in a land that was not Jewish. They recognised from the beginning that they would have to reverse Palestine’s demography, by converting the existing Arab majority into a Jewish one. As Yoram Bar Porath put it bluntly to the Israeli daily, Yediot Ahronot, on 14 July 1972, “There is no Zionism, colonisation or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.” Rafael Eitan, Israel’s Chief of Staff, told the New York Times on 14 April 1983, “The Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimetre of Eretz Israel.”
This thinking inevitably caused the flight and expulsion in 1948 of between 750,000 and 900,000 native Palestinians, three-quarters of the total population of Mandate Palestine. A third of them had already been evicted by Jewish militias before Israeli statehood was declared, in line with Zionist strategy, and it was this Palestinian dispossession that formed the background to Resolution 194. Israel rejected UN demands root and branch, even though the terms of its admission to UN membership required adherence to UN resolutions, including 194. When the UN Mediator for Palestine, the Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte, who was appalled by the refugees’ plight, tried to push for repatriation in line with Resolution 194, dissidents from the Irgun terror gang under Menachem Begin (who later became Israel’s prime minister) assassinated him in September 1948. Nothing since has succeeded in shifting Israel’s opposition. In sixty-seven years, it has not repatriated a single refugee or even apologised for its deeds in 1948, demanding instead that the refugees settle in other states and find compensation from international funds.
There is no doubt that this Israeli obduracy, supported by powerful Western states, has persuaded many in the Palestinian leadership to compromise on the right of return. And no wonder; every serious peace plan since Resolution 194 has foundered on the refugee question. Today, the refugee camps appear to be a permanent feature of the Arab countries in which they were established. The refugees and their descendants number some 5.8 million, living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, suspended in an anomalous existence, all too often without rights or a future. By what logic could the displaced Kosovans be repatriated in 1999, or the displaced people of Bosnia-Hertzogovina be offered return and compensation under a strict international administration with built-in monitoring, while the Palestinians remain in limbo?
Watering down the right of return, and pandering to Israel, is not the way to solve the problem. Only solutions that can reconcile the right of Palestinian return with the existence of an Israeli Jewish community which, whether we like it or not, now exists and has acquired rights too, can succeed. The two-state solution, currently promoted, cannot do this. There is only one solution for this sixty-seven year old impasse that addresses the rights of Palestinians, Israelis and the needs of justice. Difficult as it is to envisage, only a unitary state in Israel-Palestine can encompass the returning Palestinians and ensure the continued existence of an Israeli Jewish community, however egregious their presence in that land.
Neither side can win the war over exclusive ownership of historic Palestine. Israel’s attempt to do so has only caused unending conflict and suffering for Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. The UN made Israel and must now unmake it, not by expulsion and displacement as in 1948, but by converting its aggressive and hate-filled legacy into a future of hope for both peoples in one state. If that happens, the Palestinians’ right to return will have been fulfilled.
(Source / 01.09.2015)
GENEVA, Aug 27 (UNHCR) – With almost 60 million people forcibly displaced globally and boat crossings of the Mediterranean in the headlines almost daily, it is becoming increasingly common to see the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ being used interchangeably in media and public discourse. But is there a difference between the two, and does it matter?
Yes, there is a difference, and it does matter. The two terms have distinct and different meanings, and confusing them leads to problems for both populations. Here’s why:
Refugees are persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution. There were 19.5 million of them worldwide at the end of 2014. Their situation is often so perilous and intolerable that they cross national borders to seek safety in nearby countries, and thus become internationally recognized as “refugees” with access to assistance from States, UNHCR, and other organizations. They are so recognized precisely because it is too dangerous for them to return home, and they need sanctuary elsewhere. These are people for whom denial of asylum has potentially deadly consequences.
Refugees are defined and protected in international law. The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol as well as other legal texts, such as the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention, remain the cornerstone of modern refugee protection. The legal principles they enshrine have permeated into countless other international, regional, and national laws and practices. The 1951 Convention defines who is a refugee and outlines the basic rights which States should afford to refugees. One of the most fundamental principles laid down in international law is that refugees should not be expelled or returned to situations where their life and freedom would be under threat.
The protection of refugees has many aspects. These include safety from being returned to the dangers they have fled; access to asylum procedures that are fair and efficient; and measures to ensure that their basic human rights are respected to allow them to live in dignity and safety while helping them to find a longer-term solution. States bear the primary responsibility for this protection. UNHCR therefore works closely with governments, advising and supporting them as needed to implement their responsibilities.
Migrants choose to move not because of a direct threat of persecution or death, but mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunion, or other reasons. Unlike refugees who cannot safely return home, migrants face no such impediment to return. If they choose to return home, they will continue to receive the protection of their government.
For individual governments, this distinction is important. Countries deal with migrants under their own immigration laws and processes. Countries deal with refugees through norms of refugee protection and asylum that are defined in both national legislation and international law. Countries have specific responsibilities towards anyone seeking asylum on their territories or at their borders. UNHCR helps countries deal with their asylum and refugee protection responsibilities.
Politics has a way of intervening in such debates. Conflating refugees and migrants can have serious consequences for the lives and safety of refugees. Blurring the two terms takes attention away from the specific legal protections refugees require. It can undermine public support for refugees and the institution of asylum at a time when more refugees need such protection than ever before. We need to treat all human beings with respect and dignity. We need to ensure that the human rights of migrants are respected. At the same time, we also need to provide an appropriate legal response for refugees, because of their particular predicament.
So, back to Europe and the large numbers of people arriving this year and last year by boats in Greece, Italy and elsewhere. Which are they? Refugees or migrants?
In fact, they happen to be both. The majority of people arriving this year in Italy and Greece especially have been from countries mired in war or which otherwise are considered to be ‘refugee-producing’ and for whom international protection is needed. However, a smaller proportion is from elsewhere, and for many of these individuals, the term ‘migrant’ would be correct.
So, at UNHCR we say ‘refugees and migrants’ when referring to movements of people by sea or in other circumstances where we think both groups may be present – boat movements in Southeast Asia are another example. We say ‘refugees’ when we mean people fleeing war or persecution across an international border. And we say ‘migrants’ when we mean people moving for reasons not included in the legal definition of a refugee. We hope that others will give thought to doing the same. Choices about words do matter.
(Source / 28.08.2015)
A solidarity tent in Susiya with the Israeli settlement of the same name in the background
On July 12, 2015, Israel announced that it would seek to carry out demolition orders of structures in the Palestinian village of Susiya in what is known as Area C, an area that covers 60 percent of the West Bank, under Israeli control, including the tiny school that consists of four classrooms, three toilets and a kitchen. Before the school was built in 2010, the original classrooms were made of tents that were destroyed by a heavy storm.The school and kindergarten are among the 170 structures in Susiya that face demolition orders. Other structures include 32 residential tents, 26 animal shelters, 20 water cisterns, 20 latrines and two health clinics. The demolition orders can be implemented at any time.Israel says the structures can be demolished because they were built without permits and are illegal. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Israel has rejected more than 90 percent of building permit applications. That means most Palestinians must choose between building without a permit or not building at all.Seventy-year-old Sara Nawaja’a has witnessed three waves of displacement in her lifetime.
The King Hussein / Allenby bridge is the only exit point to the outside world and back for West Bank Pslestinians. The old wooden bridge is long gone and its concrete replacement links Jordan and what should be Palestine as it straddles the Jordan river. Calling it a river glorifies it. It is almost a trickle. But on the Palestinian side the border is completely controlled by Israel.
Holders of the Palestinian Authority passport can’t travel directly to the Allenby bridge. They gather at Istirahet Ariha (Jericoh Service station), where a quasi border exists between The PA areas and Israel.
Busses take Palestinians and their luggage to the exit point of the Allenby bridge where their documents are processed and if permitted to travel, and some are denied this right by Iseael, have to locate their luggage and catch another bus to the Jordanian border post, where their documents are processed and luggage searched.
Palestinians from Jerusalem (holders of the blue Jerusalem residency card) can travel abroad through Tel Aviv airport, but in terms of Arab countries they can only fly to Cairo and Amman. Travel to most Arab countries is through Jordan. They travel directly from Jerusalem to the bridge either in a private taxi or share a bus ride. Both type of vehicle carries yellow Iaraeli number plates.
So there are two types of Palestinian here a Jerusalem Pslestinian and a West Bank Palestinian. The third type, Palestinians from Gaza are not allowed to travel via Jordan. Their only exit point is the almost permenatly closed Rafah crossing to Egypt.
To complete the story, a fourth type of Palestinian, those who are Israrli citizens can travel to Jordan and Egypt but not to other Arab countries. Members of the same family can hold different travel documents and be separated at border controls on that basis for processing.
It is truly astonishing that one people living in their homeland can have such different circumstances in their every day life but also when they travel.
On my recent trip to Palestine / Israel, I experienced this first hand. My initial entry point was Tel Aviv airport, where I was processed and admitted quickly. In the past I had endured long waits of two to three hours and some intense questioning. I was joining my wife and son who had travelled before me for a holiday with my in laws.
I had reasons to spend a few days in Jordan. We took a taxi to the Allenby bridge and we were separated because my wife holds a Jerusalem ID card and my din and I hold Britush passports but no Jerusslem ID.
We were processed reasonably quickly and were on our way to the Jordanian side. Again we were separated and had to cart the luggage around between processing points. The whole crossing experience took about three hours.
The return journey was truly upsetting and humiliating. It took about six hours from start to end.
The facilities on both sides are inadequate for dealing with the huge numbers crossing in both directions, particularly during the summer holidays. The bridge us now open for extended hours but we encountered great overcrowding.
The immediate impression is that the Israelis treat the Palestinians as a lesser people. They shout at them in their broken Arabic to push them back in the various queues. If their papers are not completely in order, they send them back as if they are sending back animals. It was truly upsetting.
I heard people round me saying how humiliating the experience is. How the ‘yahud’ or Jews humiliate them as they return to their homeland. ‘When will this end’? I heard a woman ask. ‘The Yahud enjoy this’, I heard another say.
My own experience was bearable. My son and I were separated from my wife on the Jordanian side because of her Jerusalem ID, whereas we have British passports and are regarded as tourists. We were treated very well by the Jordanians, but the facility was very crowded.
Busses took us from the Jordanian to the Israeli side. Boarding was chaotic. There were a couple of waits on the Israeli side before we were allowed off. Then there was the chaos of taking the luggage off the bus and checking it through to the other side.
The personal security check took one hour due to the shear numbers. Again Israeli officials often shouting ‘Rukhi’ or go back in their broken Arabic.
An hour later we got to passport control. My wife was allowed through but my passport and Adam’s were sent to the back office. I was called an hour later and asked of my relation to my wife!
The delay and then mild interrogation were unnecessary but seemed to be designed to show Palestinians with other citizen ships who is boss, the occupier!
“What is your father’s name? Where were your parents born?” As it happens they were both born in Jerusalem. The next question was expected. “Do they have a Jerusalem ID”? No, they never did. A question repeated on two other occasions. The reason for asking the question is that if either dud, they would want to take it away, in their efforts to reduce the number that gave residency rights in Jerusalem. Again what is your father’s name, he asked?
Any way, 20 minutes later we had our visas and took transport home.
A car journey which used to take one and a half hours door to door through open borders before 1967 now can takes up to half a day and lots of humiliation.
Crossing the bridge is ultimate humiliation not only because of the testament they receive but the fact that they are reminded that Israel controls their lives, almost every aspect of it. Most do not speak to Israeli Jews except at checkpoints, to seek permits for various matters and then at the Alkenby bridge.
Israel must realise that the occupation and the humiliating interactions Palestinians have with Israeli Jews add to the hatred and do not bring acceptance.
Separation breeds mistrust and fear of the other. It is time this ended, for everyone’s sake.
(Source / 27.08.2015)
Has the PA president actually resigned or not?
By Dr. Hani al-Masri
Has the Palestinian president — and the rest of the PLO executive committee members who announced their resignation — actually resigned or not? Saeb Erekat denied that he has (perhaps to justify his appointment as the new head of the committee) despite the fact that Ghassan Shakaa and a number of other ExCo members who resigned confirmed the news. However, the president resolved the matter by confirming his resignation, along with the resignation of his executive committee colleagues.
What has been happening in the Palestinian arena recently suggests that the bigger picture is being missed while we focus on relatively minor events. The Palestinian leadership is almost schizophrenic in its behaviour and this is casting a shadow on surrounding forces and figures.
This is evident in the statements made by the PLO and Fatah executive committees, as well as those issued by various secretary-generals and leaderships. They called for having regular Palestine National Council (PNC) meetings at a time that they are defending the decision to hold an extraordinary meeting. We’ve even had two different statements being made by two left-wing factions accepting an invitation to a regular and an extraordinary PNC meeting at the same time.
Similarly, we saw how they dealt with inviting Hamas and Islamic Jihad to attend the meeting. Some Fatah officials (and those belonging to marginal factions) say something and its exact opposite at the same time. They said that Hamas does not want to attend unless there is a serious invitation for it to participate and unless it is involved in the preparatory committee, while a left-wing official explained that Hamas was not invited because its refusal to attend if invited will intensify the division, as if not inviting Hamas would reinforce unity.
The same is seen in a more tragic manner when referring to the upcoming extraordinary PNC session agenda. Everyone knows that it is not a complete agenda and it is almost fully focused on filling the gap resulting from the resignations. The most that may happen is a political debate, as extraordinary sessions do not normally evaluate events and the lessons learnt, accountability and changing the political programme.
Another issue is happening more behind the scenes than in the open — several Palestinian leaders have spoken to me about it — and that is the president’s wish to renew the legitimacy of the PLO and protect it from internal and external threats by means of calling for a PNC meeting. Such threats include Hamas agreeing on a long-term truce with Israel, thus allowing its successors to continue on the same path. This is why Mahmoud Abbas is in such a hurry and called for an extraordinary session, because an ordinary session requires many months of preparations instead of just a few weeks.
Isn’t is odd, though, that the less prominent factions represented in the current executive committee and seeking to be represented in the next cohort are those who are calling for the meeting to be held quickly? This is so that they can maintain their factional interests; they will not be able to do this if it is truly representative of all factions across the political spectrum.
Is the goal to secure a safe and quick exit for the president or a safe exit for the people and cause led by the president, which will allow him to ensure that the Palestinian ship will be able to carry on despite the storms? Wouldn’t it be better, if the president wants a safe exit, for him to leave after unity has been achieved? Or at least after he takes serious action to unite the people from the various factions and set them on a new path after the previous failures?
The improvisational preparation for the extraordinary PNC session will lead to the spread of discord and controversy within the PLO and the factions and independents; indeed, this has already happened, with their competition to see who would win membership in the executive committee and central committees. In the best case scenario, this would lead to the election of a committee with questionable legitimacy because the process was held by a group of chosen, not elected, participants who excluded other factions. This would lead the latter, who have great popular influence and weight, to boycott them.
The worry is that if the national institutions are structured on the basis of one person’s whims or those from a particular dominant faction, Abbas may not have a safe and swift exit from office. He may thus decide to stay on, or leave in a way that is damaging for him, his people and the cause.
If a normal session was called it would have to have a complete agenda, which means that the executive committee must present a comprehensive report on its work. There may also be the need to change the political programme, as the negotiations path set by the Oslo Accords has led to the disaster of reinforcing the occupation, expanding illegal settlements, political division and the marginalisation of the cause. In addition, a normal session would require the participation of two-thirds of the council members — around 500 people — and this is not guaranteed, especially if Hamas, Islamic Jihad and independent members boycott it. There are also those who cannot attend due to the fact that they have not been issued a national number or the Israelis refuse to issue a permit to enter Ramallah, which is where the meeting will be held.
The solution lies in committing to the option of holding a regular session and forming a preparatory committee made up of the members of the PLO’s interim members or members of the various factions across the political spectrum, especially those who signed the Cairo Agreement. This committee will handle the legal and political portfolios. An Arab capital accessible to all members of the PNC must be chosen as the venue. If the minimum number of members do not attend, for one reason or another (such as Hamas boycotting the meeting, for which the movement would bear the full responsibility for its actions), this would constitute the extenuating circumstances outlined in paragraph (c) of Article 14 of the PLO charter. This allows for holding an extraordinary session with the number of those who are able to attend. The solution would not be to violate the charter by jumping straight to the exception outlined by Article 14, because the general rule set out in paragraphs (a) and (b) stipulates the need to fill the gap in the executive committee by means of a complete committee in attendance of all of its members through an ordinary session.
A partnership based on a new social agreement and political programme followed by everyone is the key to national salvation. The mutual unwillingness of Fatah and Hamas to cooperate and the fact that the minor factions give priority to their own and their leaders’ interests over and above the national interests is what hinders the formation of a new PNC, as stipulated by the Cairo Agreement. It also prevents the current council from convening and making sure that the various Palestinian groups and forces participate in a place to which they can all travel.
(Source / 27.08.2015)