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Purported international solidarity is devaluating Palestine

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By Ramona Wadi

An exhibition showcasing the difficulties of Palestinian people under Israeli violations after the conference held for the 'International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People' [Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu]

An exhibition showcasing the difficulties of Palestinian people under Israeli violations after the conference held for the ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’

Another symbolic international day for Palestinian rights has degenerated into the usual stale observations and recommendations that do little other than try to impart a semblance of balance between the coloniser and the colonised. Perhaps the UN has preferred to remain loyal to the monstrous history it spawned by approving the Partition Plan on 29 November 1947, rather than address its complicity in the dispossession, ethnic cleansing and displacement of the Palestinians.

Departing from a jeopardising premise, Fiji’s Peter Thomson presided over the 71st session of the UN General Assembly and declared that peace between Israel and the Palestinians is “fundamental to our efforts to realise the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and to ensure that they are able to enjoy lives of dignity, opportunity, prosperity and equality.” The Palestinian people have endured a history of premeditated killing for decades because the UN upholds obscurity as a priority over the anti-colonial struggle. Peace, therefore, can be eliminated from the convenient rhetoric as it is nothing but a euphemism for oblivion in the context of Israeli colonial violence and international acceptance and complicity.

Not to be outdone, the Head of the EU Delegation to the UN, João Vale de Almeida, presented a summarised version of the perpetual concerns and condemnations, but added a slight variation to the usual rhetoric. The EU, he claimed, is “alarmed by the advancement in the Knesset of the ‘Settlement Regularisation Bill’ which would allow for the ex post ‘legalisation’ of Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank and de facto confiscation of private Palestinian land.” It is mystifying, to say the least, how an international institution that is normally so well-informed can express “alarm” over violations that have occurred blatantly and in a clear, calculated sequence following the original Zionist plan for Greater Israel. There was more likely to be advance knowledge and acquiescence, not alarm, over the proposed legislation.

Almeida made another obfuscating comment regarding Gaza: “Militant activity and the dire situation in Gaza feed general instability and constitute a recipe for renewed conflict.” He provided no context for the Palestinian resistance in Gaza; no mention of how Israel’s Operation Protective Edge destroyed the enclave and displaced Palestinians in a space that is completely besieged. Hamas “and other militant groups” are also urged to stop “the illicit arms build-up.” Presumably the EU, like Israel, wishes there to be a defenceless population that is completely stripped of the right to defend itself against Israel’s state of the art military technology. Almeida’s statement encourages the abuse of Palestinian civilians by Israel whenever it chooses to field test its latest weapons on live targets before marketing them internationally and thus exposing international hypocrisy with regards to alleged support for Palestinian rights.

Perhaps the symbolic commemoration of “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” should be scrapped, since the UN, the EU and other international institutions are incapable of articulating the trajectory between the initial and the current colonial violence against Palestinians. All of the futile statements which simply rehash decades of other repetitive rhetoric do not help the Palestinians in any way. Sporting a keffiyeh for the macabre day, which is a backdoor commemoration of the UN Partition Plan as well as purported international solidarity, is humiliating, not a show of support. In the absence of a commitment to support Palestine’s anti-colonial struggle, one can conclude that the international agenda for this “day of support” is to devaluate Palestine and downgrade it even further from a symbolic presence to a passive memory.

(Source / 02.12.2016)

Written by altahrir

December 2, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Ramona Wadi

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Neither Israel nor the PA want education to succeed in Gaza

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By Ramona Wadi

Palestinian children learn about musical instruments in Gaza's first music school on 7th November 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Palestinian children learn about musical instruments in Gaza’s first music school on 7th November 2016

For Palestinians whose concept of education remains an integral part of both intellectual development and anti-colonial struggle, the news that 15 new schools are set to open in Gaza next year is most welcome. According to Ma’an news agency, Gaza’s deputy education minister Ziab Thabet has announced that the schools will open despite issues such as a shortage of building materials and the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to employ teachers.

Nevertheless, the news juxtaposes education and implosion as experienced by Palestinians in Gaza. While the illegal blockade enforced by Israel upon the enclave has been a perpetual source of oppression, its Operation Protective Edge in 2014 intensified the existing incarceration by the deliberate targeting of schools and universities, thus disrupting academic progress under the perpetual pretext of “security” concerns.

We should recall UNESCO’s January 2015 report, in which the absence of protection for educational institutions during the military offensive was noted. It also revealed that “student deaths” in Gaza amounted to 24.7 per cent of the total recorded civilian deaths. “Deaths”, of course, doesn’t convey the full picture; these students were killed by Israel.

Another observation was Israel’s targeting of students specialising in education and business, two areas which are necessary in order to build a sustainable society. Indeed, UNESCO’s report provided the missing link between the generalised concept of destruction — which formed a major part of reporting while the atrocities were being perpetrated — and the deliberate intention to destroy the only avenue that can, in the long term, enable Palestinians to construct and maintain a semblance of independence and normality.

At the start of the current academic year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (UNOCHA) released a brief statistical report which exposed the deliberate consequences shaped by Israel in 2014 and exacerbated by the PA which, for three consecutive years, has refused to allocate an operational budget for education in Gaza. “At least 20 new schools need to be built in Gaza each year to keep pace with population growth,” said the UN, “but only 20 new schools have been built over the past eight years (all in 2013).” The combined impediments with regard to education, including power shortages and lack of income to satisfy basic needs, have led to a decline in students’ academic performance. “Student performance in Gaza is falling behind that of the West Bank,” says UNOCHA.

It is evident that both Israel and the PA have targeted Palestinian competence in a manner which may prove to be irrevocable, when considering the methodical and premeditated restrictions imposed upon Palestinians in Gaza. The decline in academic standards, however, should not be interpreted as an acquired Palestinian characteristic but the reflection of a scheme targeting several aspects of life and resistance in the enclave. Individually, violating the right to education has stalled ambitions and personal development. From the collective aspect, the destruction of Gaza’s education system is a direct targeting of the people’s resistance through education, as well as a practical obstacle for Hamas, given that the movement has always insisted upon education as a priority, as well as a prelude to, and necessary component of, anti-colonial resistance.

(Source / 17.11.2016)

Written by altahrir

November 17, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Posted in Ramona Wadi, Uncategorized

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Saudi Medical Clinics Provide Treatment for 12,000 Syrians in Jordan

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Saudi Clinics receive Syrian Refugees at Zaatari Camp in Jordan

Amman- Saudi specialist clinics treated around 12,796 Syrian patients in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan in October.

Medical Director of the Saudi specialist clinics Hamid Mufalani said that the clinics have witnessed a great number of patients, which was proven by medical statistics for the month of October.

Mufalani explained that 3,906 patients visited the children’s clinic, 317 patients visited the cardiovascular clinic, 704 patients visited women health clinic, 1,341 Syrian refugees received treatment in general medicine clinic while surgery clinic dealt with 176 cases and the bone clinic received 688 cases.

For his part, Regional Director of the Saudi National Campaign Dr. Badr bin Abdulrahman Al-Samhan said that the Saudi specialist clinics provide health care according to the medical and psychological needs of the Syrian refugees.

(Source / 05.11.2016)

Written by altahrir

November 5, 2016 at 3:11 pm

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Palestinian memory is being wiped out by fabricating history

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By Ramona Wadi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) stands next to the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, as he lies in state at the Knesset plaza, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) stands next to the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, as he lies in state at the Knesset plaza, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem September 29, 2016

Fabricating history has become imperative across Israeli society to enforce the colonial narrative. The death of Shimon Peres has served as fuel for a debate that shouldn’t exist, given that Palestinian narratives about displacement and massacres are supported by historical evidence. Departing from MK Ayman Odeh’s reaction to Peres’s funeral, which was attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a recent op-ed in YNet News declared: “Instead of serious research aimed at finding the truth, the world now sees reality through different stories, with each community, group, people and country having its own.” Memory has been deemed to be “the disease of narrative thinking.”

While not obliterating the Nakba, the op-ed has shifted the historical knowledge of early Zionist colonisation to a later date without acknowledging the existence of Israel as a colonial entity. By 1948, the colonisation of Palestinian territory was not simply a hypothetical scenario, but a very real experience for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. It must be added that the international community’s scheming on behalf of Israel in this regard has even corrupted the chance to refer to Israel as a colonial entity, something which would challenge the foundations of Israel’s fabricated history.

Apart from a divisive approach that separates Palestinians living in Israel from Palestinians elsewhere, be it in the diaspora or the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, the condescending attitude that Palestinians have had their future decided for them decades ago is an insult to their tenacity about land and memory; this is something that they share with the struggles of other indigenous peoples. It also reinforces a false requirement for compromise by feigning abhorrence at such condescension. The repetitive history is not down to Palestinian responsibility but Israel’s adherence to the original Zionist plan for “Greater Israel”. Palestinians have a duty to resist occupation because of the fabricated history forced upon them by Zionist colonialism and the international community.

To dismiss memory as a mere collection of different stories is degrading and dangerous. If Palestine was left untarnished, memory would have taken a different course and its expression would not be debated within the context of a coloniser attempting to sabotage the remaining vestige of Palestinian authenticity. Memory is not a mere reflection of nostalgia; it is abundant and alive precisely because of its ties with actual events which, in turn, evolve into a narrative.

Hence, the notion of memory narratives as “different stories” is misleading, deliberately so. A story can be interpreted as anything while memory narratives are an expression combining history and an experience of that history. The parameters of narratives are vast due to the inclusion of memory, yet can still be channelled and analysed precisely due to historical facts which can be verified.

Zionism, however, has sought to dictate to Palestinians how their memory and narratives should evolve and how they should be interpreted. It is documented how the colonial state embarked upon shaping its own history through education and academia in order to garner legitimacy at an international level. Distortion has already occurred through colonisation; it is the disappearance of Palestinian memory that Israel is seeking to achieve, along with the disappearance of the people themselves.

(Source / 14.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 14, 2016 at 10:28 am

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Women’s Boat to Gaza bedreigd

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By Engelbert Luitsz                     ©                (

Het genie van het zionistische discours zit hem in het vermogen het Palestijnse verzet tegen hun onteigening als Palestijnse agressie af te schilderen en de zionistische ijver om met geweld hun revolutionaire status quo af te dwingen als joodse zelfverdediging.

Walid Khalidi


De positie van het schip de Zaytouna-Oliva vanmorgen.

Opnieuw zullen twee schepen proberen de belegerde Gazastrook te bereiken om internationale aandacht te vragen voor de humanitaire ramp die zich daar voltrekt. Deze keer gaat het om een initiatief van uitsluitend vrouwen. De Zaytouna-Oliva en de Amal-Hope II zullen echter net als vorige pogingen niet hoeven te rekenen op enige medewerking vanuit Israël.

In 2010 voeren zes schepen richting de Gazastrook met meer dan 600 opvarenden uit 37 landen. Onder hen bevonden zich de bekende Zweedse schrijver Henning Mankell, nobelprijswinnares Mairead Corrigan uit Noord-Ierland en de Nederlandse antropologe Anne de Jong. Het schip de Mavi Marmara werd in het holst van de nacht geënterd door Israëlische militairen met speedboten en helikopters (in internationale wateren!). Daarbij werden negen activisten ter plekke vermoord, een tiende zou een paar jaar later alsnog bezwijken aan zijn verwondingen, en er vielen tientallen gewonden.

In 2015 probeerde een viertal schepen het opnieuw. Drie maakten rechtsomkeert toen de Israëlische marine in actie kwam, maar de onder Zweedse vlag varende Marianne werd naar een Israëlische haven geloodst, waarna de opvarenden werden vastgenomen. Dit gebeurde een jaar na de enorme verwoesting die Israël in de Gazastrook had aangericht, maar ook nu werd humanitaire hulp geweigerd door de bezetter. De Marianne was geen vrachtschip, het had een beperkte lading die voornamelijk bestond uit zonnepanelen en medische hulpgoederen.


Women’s Boat to Gaza

The Palestinian Information Center (PIC) schrijft dat het Israëlische dagblad Maariv melding maakt van instructies aan de Israëlische marine om de twee schepen die nu onderweg zijn te onderscheppen en de opvarenden te arresteren. Die zouden pas worden vrijgelaten na het ondertekenen van een verklaring waarin ze beloven nooit meer terug te komen.

Het is een selecte groep deze keer, maar wel een die alleen al door de diversiteit een statement maakt. Velen van hen komen uit een land met een eigen geschiedenis vanbezetting of kolonialisme, zoals Noord-Ierland, Zuid-Afrika, Algerije, Australië en Nieuw-Zeeland.

Natuurlijk zal men proberen, net als bij vorige gelegenheden, het voor te stellen alsof deze actie tegen het land Israël gericht is, dat ze terreur verheerlijkt en dat er veel ergere dingen gebeuren in de wereld. Maar waar we stiekem op hopen is dat er nu eindelijk eens massaal door de joodse bevolking van Israël wordt geprotesteerd tegen de waanzin om deze mensen tegen te houden en daarmee de bevolking van de Gazastrook en de westerse wereld nog meer te vernederen.

Ik heb er alleen geen vertrouwen in dat dat ook kan gaan gebeuren. Wanneer bloedbaden onder Palestijnse burgers door meer dan 90% van de bevolking worden toegejuicht lijkt het tij niet meer te keren. Decennia van indoctrinatie hebben een gevaarlijke slachtoffercultuur gecreëerd, waarmee in principe elke misdaad kan worden goedgepraat. De Israëlische historica Idith Zertal merkte al eens op dat de talloze herdenkingen in Israël in feite een vorm van geheugenverlies zijn: “Ze gaan namelijk niet om het herinneren, maar om het bewerkstelligen van een politiek effect.” Alleen zo kan hulp aan de slachtoffers van Israëlische agressie worden voorgesteld als een aanval op Israël of zelfs op “de joden”.

Een van de schaarse roependen in de woestijn van het Beloofde Land, Gideon Levy, is niet bang de waarheid te zeggen, ook niet naar aanleiding van de dode en nu ten onrechte bejubelde Shimon Peres: “De hele wereld is tegen ons? Onzin! Het is Israël dat tegen de wereld is.” Die “antisemitische en Israël-hatende wereld die wij zelf hebben verzonnen.” Levy past daarmee in het rijtje critici van het zionisme waartoe ook Hannah Arendt behoorde. Toen zij door de joodse geleerde Gershom Scholem om die reden scherp werd aangevallen vanwege haar gebrek aan Ahabath Israel – “liefde voor het joodse volk”- was haar duidelijke antwoord dat zij nooit liefde voelde voor een collectief, niet voor Duitsers, niet voor joden, niet voor de arbeidersklasse – zij hield alleen van mensen.

En dat zal men in Israël ooit moeten gaan begrijpen, net als de joden in de “diaspora” die door Israël worden gegijzeld zullen moeten begrijpen dat kritiek is terug te voeren op door het zionisme aangericht menselijk leed, niet op abstracte religieus-politieke concepten. De missie van de Women’s Boat to Gaza is juist om de aandacht te vestigen op al die individuen die lijden in wat vaak eufemistisch de grootste openluchtgevangenis ter wereld wordt genoemd. Het zijn de gezichten van de kinderen, de vaders en moeders, de vissers, de boeren, de herders, de studenten en de arbeiders waarop het ongeloof na 70 jaar nog niet is verdwenen, die een nachtmerrie vormen voor de zionistische propaganda. Het gaat om mensen, niet om een “volk”, zo’n administratief gegeven dat een machiavellistische boekhouder onopgemerkt kan laten verdwijnen uit het grootboek der geschiedenis.

Written by altahrir

October 3, 2016 at 10:26 am

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Why I’ll vote for the Jewish candidate in US presidential election?

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By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj

Let me start off with a confession: I didn’t get it right when I speculated the Republican Party would not nominate Donald Trump for US president. I argued in an earlier column that if they did, the narcissistic Trump would most likely run as an independent candidate.

I had posited, or hoped in such scenario Bernie Sanders would do the same and run against the Democratic Party establishment’s nominee. The Republican leadership however, chose Party unity over what was best for America. And Sanders folded under the Democratic Party for the obvious reasons.  

Four major candidates running for the final election could have signaled an end to the absolute two-party reign over US politics since 1792.  The governing duopoly has made American election process lengthy, expensive and stale, unlike the shorter, less costly and the much more dynamic European elections.

Today, American voters are left to choose between the lesser of two evils. The disapproval rating of Clinton and Trump hovers around 60%.  Possibly for the first time in American history, the new White House resident will be the least disliked of the two party picks.

In 2000, electorates were faced with similar quandary. They had to choose between George W Bush/Dick Cheney or Al Gore/Joe Lieberman tickets. Else, cast their votes for the alternative that had little or no chance of winning.

Three years later, it became very clear that “evils” flock together. To make the case for war, Bush’s greatest asset in US Senate was none other than Gore’s running mate, Lieberman. The Democratic vice presidential candidate who ran against the “evil” Republican, was the most faithful warrior in Bush’s loyal “evil” army in US Senate.

Hilary Clinton wasn’t far behind Lieberman. With her eyes on the White House, she proved to be an opportunist, voting to the sentiment of the majority of Americans who at the time supported the war. Leadership is front of the wagon, not behind it; Clinton failed her biggest leadership test.

Experience aside, Clinton and Trump are not much different: She’s wicked in politics, he’s evil in business. She supported unjust wars. He exploited workers and bankrupted businesses.

That’s why in 2016, I refuse to vote for the lesser evil and have decided to cast my vote next November for the Jewish US presidential candidate.

Jill Stein refuses to sell her soul to “evil doers” and financiers of US elections. She speaks for millions of students who are overburdened by bank loans. Her Green Party platform advocates living wages for hard working Americans. She stood up to American Zionist financiers of the two-party system: Shedlon Adelson supporting Trump and Haim Saban backing Clinton.

Heads or tails, Zionist financiers can always count on a winner in the White House.

Stein is the only candidate with the courage to tell Israeli leaders that US taxpayers’ money will be contingent on peace talk. Unlike current and previous presidents, Stein promised to withhold U.S. financial aid if Israeli continues flaunting American human rights values.

In an interview with the Israeli Newspaper Haartz, Stein warned Israel, “Home demolitions, occupation, assassination, apartheid…” against Palestinians wouldn’t be tolerated in her administration.

Despite my dissatisfaction with Barak Obama’s presidency especially on the Palestine question. The truth to be said however, Obama broke the mold of the Party establishment candidate. He rattled the status quo and won. He had created more than 14 million jobs since February 2010 and 20 million new Americans have gained health insurance coverage under his Affordable Care Act.

On the International front, he ended most of Bush and the Zioncon’s wars.  He ended America’s last cold war relic and established relationship with Cuba. And to a lesser extent, he stood up to the hubris Israeli rightwing prime minister and the powerful Israeli lobby in Washington. Even though, last week he cowered and agreed to grant Israel $38 billion of US taxpayers’ money in next ten years, the largest set-aside entitlement foreign aid package ever.

Still, optimistic as it maybe, but I’m hoping Obama will garner the audacity before he leaves office and proclaim an enforceable peace framework and to recognize Palestine.

Back to US election, it could be rationally argued that if it wasn’t for eight miserable years under Bush, American voters might not have taken a chance on someone, like Obama from outside the Party establishment.

The worst that could happen in November is electing the less experienced evil. Unfortunately, Americans would most likely suffer as a result. But hopefully short pain, long term gain. The bigger the evil in the White House, the better the chance is for no evil next election’s round.

American should vote for the greater good, not the lesser evil.

* Mr Kanj ( writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.


Written by altahrir

September 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

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PalMed: Israeli force-feeding law incitement to murder

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BRUSSELS, (PIC)– The Assembly of Palestinian doctors in Europe (PalMed) warned on Wednesday of the serious upshots of an Israeli bill to force-feed Palestinian hunger-striking detainees, saying the law amounts to a legitimization of murder. PalMed Chairman, Dr. Mondher Rajab, slammed the Israeli force-feeding law, dubbing it a barefaced incitement to the murder of Palestinian hunger-strikers in Israeli jails and a call to torture. PalMed charged that the force-feeding law flagrantly violates the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Malta 1991 which states, “forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable.” The Assembly also said that feeding induced by threats or coercion is inhumane and that it violates the 1975 World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo which explicitly states that force-feeding is a crime and a form of torture. The statement also pointed to the serious health complications of this cruel measure on the prisoners’ health; as it is very painful and it may lead to death as what actually happened with a number of Palestinian prisoners. In earlier statements, the Assembly called on international health institutions, and human rights organizations, including the United Nations, the Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders, to immediately condemn the Israeli decision and pressure the occupation government to cancel it, improve the prisoners’ detention conditions, and allow doctors’ visits to check on the prisoners’ health status. The Supreme Court of Israel on Sunday ruled to allow for the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike after a panel of judges rejected a petition which called to cancel the force-feeding bill. The Knesset voted the “force-feed” bill into law in July 2015, with 46 MKs voting in favor and 40 voting against.  The ruling upheld a 2015 law to allow force-feeding as constitutional, despite a range of objections by human rights organizations. Hunger strikes have become a high profile means by which Palestinians can peacefully resist their capture and arbitrary detainment by Israeli authorities.   There are currently three Palestinians – detained without charge – in Israeli prisons who are on hunger strike one of whom, Al-Qadi, 25, slipped into a coma last week.

(Source / 14.09.2016)

Written by altahrir

September 14, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Zorg / Health

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