Tag Archives: Palestine

Petition! Lift Travel Restrictions from Palestinian Journalist!

SIGN THE PETITION To:  Israeli and Palestinian Authorities  -Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh, who lives in the West Bank, has been invited to attend a media conference in Germany. As required, he set about to request all of the necessary travel documents, including a visa that needs to be granted from the German representative office in Ramallah. After routine questioning regarding his political affiliations, it was not only determined that he was not a member of any party, nor formally associated with any organisation, but it was clear that he had never been arrested or detained by Israeli authorities. Mr Amayreh was granted an entry visa to Germany. However, the Israeli military authorities have refused to give him a permit to leave the West Bank. No Palestinian can travel abroad without receiving such a permit beforehand, otherwise he or she would be turned back once arriving at the Israeli-controlled border terminal at the Allenby Bridge.

Mr Amayreh then went to his local District Coordination Office in Dura, where he was informed that his information was forwarded to the Shin Bet (General Security Services) of the Israeli government. Then two days later, the GSS informed the Palestinian office that Amayreh was “barred from leaving the West Bank for security reasons.” No further explanation was given.

His fortune in obtaining the required travel permission did not change as he applied to the Civil Administration Headquarters in Hebron, a metallic pen holding persons seeking the mandatory permission even to go to East Jerusalem for medical treatment, where it is not unusual to find them huddled and waiting their turn for ten or more hours, under the watchful eye of Israeli military watchtowers.

The Palestinian Civil Affairs Coordination Office in the West Bank was also unable to mediate on his behalf, as they too are entirely dependent upon the decisions, without clarification, evidence or justification, made by the Israeli Security division.

There is indeed no justification for the violation of this man’s civil and human rights, and along with him, the rights of all others who are denied freedom of movement with no justification whatsoever. The Occupation authorities, while they have no sovereignty over citizens of the Palestinian Authority, dictate what must be done with those citizens and the world seems to consider the violation of their rights acceptable and normal praxis. These people are not pawns on a chessboard, but are individuals who seek the basic liberties that all democracies are obligated to provide for their people. The Palestinian Authority does not exercise its duty of guaranteeing civil liberties to its own citizens, and treats them as if they shall be subject to the whims of the Occupier.

We ask for the immediate revision of the decision regarding Mr Amayreh, so that he is granted the documents necessary for him to exercise his freedom of movement allowing him to continue to provide for himself and his family in the work that he is employed in, as well as for the Palestinian Authority to assume a position that sets the freedoms of its citizens as a priority that is greater than the perceived “security” risks declared by the agency of the State of Israel.http://www.petitiononline.com/k1h2a3l4/petition.html

http://palestinethinktank.com/2008/05/28/petition-lift-travel-restrictions-on-palestinian-journalist/

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Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry: Lies are Truth

The people in the press staff of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry are talented science fiction writers. Almost nothing that they write has any bearing on reality, and it seems that they use Orwell’s 1984 as a guidebook for news dispatches. All that they need to do is look at the facts on the ground (terminology that was invented by the hasbara commission, more than likely, because it is something different than reality. It has a bit of the sense of imposition of a negative reality that cannot however be challenged by ‘ordinary’ people), and turn them on their heads. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. That’s exactly how the Israeli PR staff represents reality with their warped mirror.

I do suggest, for those who, like myself, find some pleasure in reading nonsense to subscribe to their newsletter or to read it on their site. It is just about as absurd a thing one can find to read. The trouble with it is: it’s taken seriously by the Big Mass Media and a lot of the dispatch services never verify any of the information that is released. If you wonder just why everyone is so wrong about Israel and Palestine, look no further.

On 7 May, this was their press release. I will deconstruct it. Their original in Israeli Blue.

Behind the Headlines: Hamas holding civilian population in Gaza hostage.

How’s that for a shock headline? It is as if the people of Gaza are in a concentration camp and kept hostage. Well, they are, of course, but it’s not Hamas who has locked them in and thrown away the keys, but this does not matter. Israel KNOWS that people are going to notice sooner or later that Gaza has become the place on earth where the greatest number of people are confined and held hostage, but passing the stick to Hamas is going to resolve any nasty questions about who is keeping them prisoner.

By seizing the fuel, food, and medical supplies that Israel is transferring to the Gaza Strip, and using the supplies itself, the Hamas terror organization is basically holding the civilian population of Gaza hostage.

Ah, so all of these wonderful things have been delivered by generous Israel to Gaza? No one has seen any of it, so it must be the bad guys of Hamas who have diverted all of it and probably are storing everything in warehouses, or selling it on the black market. The crossings have all been closed, but no one should become aware of the fact, unless they wonder how a million and a half people can get by without replacement of the material that is consumed. Naturally, it’s not a good idea to indicate to people that a blockade has been made in order to break the resistance of these people, which at least are classified as civilians by the people who bomb them indiscriminately when it suits them. But for Israel, all that material has arrived, in fact, Israel itself is transferring it to the Gaza Strip! But since things have a material presence, they don’t just disappear, the culprit for these enormous quantities of goods simply NOT BEING THERE has got to be the bad guys. Hamas can’t let anyone see all the truckloads of material, including fuel, that Israel is donating. Seizing it for political purposes, so they can justify the uprising. Well, of course, none of that is true. Since the siege started last fall, nothing has entered into the Gaza Strip, and very little has gotten out. The population is indeed being held hostage, but Israel is doing a three card shuffle – blame it on Hamas (repeat as well that they are a ‘terror organization’ so that it’s easier to insert in a copy and paste journalist report.

 

Israel has continued to supply fuel, food, medical supplies and other humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip, despite Hamas attacks precisely on those crossings Israel must use to transfer the supplies. 

Israel has supplied nothing, nor have they let anyone else do so. Yet, to deny material sustenance would be a crime against humanity, because the occupier is obligated to provide for the people who are being occupied. However, Israel will state that they no longer occupy the Gaza Strip. “We left! The settlers are gone,” they say. Well, one does not have to have colonial presence to exact control over a territory. All that needs to be done is to control its borders, and Israel does just that: stick them in the prison and let them fight it out between themselves is the policy that Israel has decided to enact in order to bring Gazans to their knees or, failing that, make them beg for Fatah to take control of the elections Hamas won, therefore, giving Israel the electoral results they wanted but were denied. Israel controls the air space, territorial waters, offshore maritime access, and the border between Israel and Gaza, with most of the crossings being closed even for those needing medical assistance. Egypt controls the southern border. This means that they are committing crimes against humanity by denying Gazans aid, food, fuel and freedom of movement. But, they won’t admit it. In fact, that’s what the lie about Hamas taking the materials is there to cover. 

 

It is apparent that Hamas is targeting the crossings in order to prevent the transfer of humanitarian aid to the civilian population, thus both needlessly depriving its own population as well as causing an artificial humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Clearly, Hamas wants to create a crisis in order that international pressure will be placed on Israel.

It is apparent to those who invent this lie, and it is tragic that many believe it! Hamas does not have any control over the crossings of incoming goods. Nothing has been turned back or stashed away for the simple reason that nothing has been delivered! The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is far from artificial. It is real and evident to anyone who has access to view it. Clearly, the crisis was created by Israel, but passing the buck of the ‘international pressure’ is the only remedy that Israel can come up with. They have no intention to break the siege. It is in their interests to continue it to the bitter end. Unfortunately, neither Gazans nor Hamas can do anything to change this. We are going to see a long, hot summer ahead, and Israel is doing damage control. 

Recent reports indicate that not only is Hamas depriving the civilization population, it is allocating the supplies for its own use.

Then, we get a flaming headline:

Hamas steal fuel from the civilian population

A Jerusalem Post report, on the 29th of April, ( ) states that Hamas stole 60,000 liters of fuel from the civilian population of Gaza. This was confirmed by the head of the Palestinian Authority’s gas agency, who added that Hamas gunmen had raided the Palestinian side of the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, stealing at least 60,000 liters of fuel meant for the Gaza power station, for use in their own vehicles.Of course, this quote is in quite a few papers, all of them stating that Mohahed Salama stated as such to Israeli Radio. I’ve been unable to find any other source to confirm this. As a matter of fact, Israel doesn’t like to quote him when he stated something much more sinister: 

 

Mojahed Salama, head of the PA Petrol Agency in Gaza, said that fuel imports Sunday showed a 40 to 50 percent reduction in diesel and benzene supplies and a 12 percent reduction in fuel for Gaza’s power plant. “We sent the supplying company the same daily requests, but they said they were sorry and that because of the new imposed sanctions they could only send us a reduced quantity”, Salama told Reuters. A spokesman for Dor Alon, the Israeli energy company that supplies Gaza, said the company had “received instructions” from the Defense Ministry and was “acting according to those instructions”.
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-172296528.html

So, who is stealing fuel from the civilian population? Ask the Israeli Defence Ministry all about their instructions.

Of course, these international reports are very worrying if one takes them by the soundbites provided by Israel. Take the London Independent report:

The London Independent reports on the artificial crisis caused by Hamas, which even caused the UN to suspend food aid to 650,000 refugees in the Gaza Strip after running out of fuel for its delivery vehicles. An emergency tanker sent to the Nahal Oz terminal was turned back by demonstrators, and was forced to return empty.  EU condemns Hamas actions which lead to further suffering of the Palestinian population.Now, that sounds really awful. But, if someone actually did read the article they would find these quotes:

 

Both sides agree that storage tanks on the Gaza side of the terminal are full, with stocks of up to 1 million litres of fuel. But Mahmoud Khozendar, the distributors’ vice-chairman, said that was only enough to meet three or four hours’ demand. They needed at least 10 times as much as Israel was prepared to deliver.Did you see what I saw? That last line kind of sticks like a pin in the cheek. They needed at least 10 times as much as Israel was prepared to deliver.

 

And this quote from the same article:

 

Last night Hamas proposed a six-month cease-fire with Israel, saying the Gaza Palestinian group would stop firing rockets into the Jewish state if Israel lifts its blockade of the coastal strip at the same time, Egypt’s state run Mena news agency reported.

The report came after a day of closed-door meetings between Egypt’s powerful intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who has been mediating between Hamas and Israel, and Hamas’ strongman, Mahmoud Zahar.

Under the international boycott imposed after Hamas seized Gaza by force last June, Israel’s declared policy has been to allow in enough fuel, food and medical supplies to keep people alive, but not enough for them to live well.

So, even the best article that Israel propaganda experts could fine from an independent source point out something that doesn’t make Israel look too wonderful:

Namely, Hamas has offered a cease-fire of the Qassam Rockets (which at any rate cause limited damage). It is willing to come to a solution to have the blockade lifted. Evidently, while this is what Israel claims is behind the blockade, when action is taken to do so, they refuse to accept it and blame Hamas of being terrorists and depriving their own people of things they need to live. Ah, but remember, Israel admits it will KEEP PEOPLE ALIVE, at some level of survival, but they are going to have to suffer. Sounds like Auschwitz to me. 

On 24 April, the Presidency of the EU stated that Hamas activities were obstructing and even preventing humanitarian work by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).This is terrible news. Let’s see what else is on that press statement by the EU:

 

…the Presidency urges regular and unrestricted delivery of fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip in order not to aggravate further the humanitarian crisis there. The Presidency reiterates the EU’s call on all parties to work urgently for the controlled re-opening of the crossings in and out of Gaza for both humanitarian reasons and commercial flows.In other words, they are calling on Israel to put an end to their policies and to urgently act so as not to aggravate the humanitarian crisis that everyone knows is in full swing.

 

But let’s conclude this press release.

 

Hamas nationalizing fuel supplies meant for the civilian populationIn another report, Nissim Keinan of Israel’s Second Radio channel reported on 4 May that Hamas was in fact holding the civilian population hostage. 

 

Nissim Keinan, nationally famous for his Voice of Israel broadcasts from the Sderot and Gaza regions, told Arutz-7 the IDF Gaza offensive accomplished a “drop in the ocean” of what needs to be done.

Who is this reporter? I never heard of him, but he’s very famous in Israel. Here is something to give us an idea of who our source is:

 

Nissim Keinan is the voice heard several times a day on national radio, reporting from the south on Kassam rockets in Sderot, terrorist activity from within Gaza, and nearly everything else that goes on in that area of the country.

Speaking with Arutz-7´s Hebrew newsmagazine on Monday, Keinan said, “Yes, it was a successful operation, but it appears that the terrorist activity will simply revert right away to the way it was before. We’re talking about looking for a needle in a haystack – because Beit Hanoun, where the offensive took place, is just a small town of 30,000 people; but what about Beit Lahiya and all its terrorists? And what about Jebalya, and the entire area of the Shati refugee camp, and the Khan Yunis area, and Dir el-Balach – I mean, the entire place is swarming with terrorists. Just because you took care of one place and confiscated weapons and ammunitions, it still doesn’t mean that you´ve achieved the goals.”

“In any event,” Keinan continued without stopping, “it´s strange to hear the army talk of such great successes, when really it was just a routine operation. They moved the Kassam launchers southward, true – but you can fire Kassams from the south too, you know, and they also fire them from the north. Yes, the accuracy of the firing has been impaired, but they were never accurate; they just shoot and it hits wherever it hits.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/115008

The Summer Rain Offensive was a Drop in the Ocean of what needs to be done? So, Keinan thinks that 197 civilians and 48 children killed by the IDF is a good and positive thing? Sounds again, a hell of a lot like Auschwitz to me. So, I leave you to speculate on his final words here:

He stated that Hamas has nationalized all the fuel supplies transferred by Israel for the civilian population, and for operation of the electricity plant, and is using it solely for its own purposes. In addition, food sent by the donor countries is allocated in accordance with Hamas instructions. Of the thousands of tons of grains, food and fuel that were transferred, none was able to reach the civilian population.All of a sudden, he cares about the civilian population of Gaza? And I am Santa Claus.

 

See also Israel has what you like! Hasbara Instructions

PALESTINE THINK TANK IS BORN!!

Haitham Sabbah, Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon are very pleased to announce their new site. Palestine Think Tank. It is a site containing news, analysis, art and more to further the cause of justice for Palestinians. It concentrates on many aspects of the resistance, but also focuses on the issues affecting the entire Middle East. Please visit us at www.palestinethinktank.com, share this news with those who might be interested, and if you have a blog or site, consider linking to us. We also have a forum for those interested in interactive communication.

Together with us are some of the most insightful and talented writers, activists and artists around. Contributors include Khalid Amayreh, Ramzy Baroud, Adib Kawar, Ernesto Paramo, Wael Al Saad, Nadia Hasan, Iqbal Tamimi, Richard Jones, Nahida Izzat, Razan Al Ghazzawi, Khaled Islaih, Steve Amsel, Ben Heine and many more. www.palestinethinktank.com contains both original material and material from other sources that we believe deserves to be considered.

We are people from different backgrounds who live in different countries. We speak different languages and believe in different religions, or even believe in no religion at all.

These differences are not a problem to any of us.

Differences are what makes the world a wonderful place because everyone is unique. It allows us the possibility to learn more about the world and gain insights we would never have access to otherwise.

Celebrating our differences, we understand that there is a belief that unites us and unites all the people involved in creating this website. It is the belief that Zionism is wrong. Zionism is racism. For Zionism to happen, it means the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of the land of Palestine. We accept nothing about Zionism as being positive, yet we believe there are some people who don’t know exactly what Zionism is, and therefore assume it is something different than an ideology, and therefore, is beyond criticism.

We wish to educate those who don’t know what Zionism is so that they are able to see how damaging it is and how it is a just cause to stop it. We hope www.palestinethinktank.com will be a space for free discussion and wide-ranging analysis.

We believe that the just struggle of the Palestinian people is the greatest liberation struggle of our times, and we aim to render service to their cause through presenting as many aspects of their history, culture and struggle as we can. We intend to give space to many Arab voices as well, since the full realisation of the potential of people in the entire Arab world has been hindered for far too long by the “International Community”. It is far easier to promote an idea of “the Arab” that cleanses Israel and the West from all responsibility for the instability and lack of progress that in some cases is evident than to listen to the complex arguments and reasoning that people from these countries and who understand the history of the Arab World are able to present.

We hope to be able to provide a site full of valid content that is at the service of the Palestinian people especially. Their steadfastness is an inspiration to all mankind, and to those of us in particular who feel close to their cause or are Palestinian, it is a message of love, hope and humanity that we hope we are worthy of.

Content of www.palestinethinktank.com is intellectual property of the authors. All material that does not appear in this site as the original source will always be credited for authors and source.

The material here may be reproduced elsewhere, but we request that you kindly cite our source and post a link to the page on www.palestinethinktank.com from where it was taken. We will also build up our links and community as time develops, so that we can all work towards our goal with the energy and imagination required.

www.palestinethinktank.com contains a forum, which is a space to discuss arguments related to the Middle East. We hope that it will allow all of us to broaden our horizons, engage in constructive debate and present a social network that will be useful to all of us.

www.palestinethinktank.com will be in two languages, in English predominantly, and Arabic.

We accept original articles as well as suggestions for material published elsewhere.

Khalid Amayreh – Shimon Peres: the lying old man

Does Shimon Peres carry the genes of a pathological liar?

The question may sound facetious to many, but Peres’s apparent inability to distinguish between truth and falsehood makes the question quite valid.

At 84, Peres continues to dish out a daily staple of lies, including obscene lies.

This week, the “hero” of the Qana-1 massacre, told foreign correspondents based in Israel that “Hamas was standing in the way of Palestinian statehood.”

Well, this is, of course, a blatant lie, to say the least, because every honest person under the sun, Jew or gentile, knows well that the main obstacle impeding the realization of peace in the Middle East has been the intensive colonization of Palestinian land and unending expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied territories that belong to another people.

So how can we possibly buy the argument that Hamas is responsible for the building on the West Bank of hundreds of Jewish settlements, inhabited by hundreds of thousands of fascist-minded “settlers” who view non-Jews as animals in the shape of humans who should be enslaved by the “master race” as water carriers and wood hewers?

To be sure, Hamas is not an organization of angels. However, blaming the Islamic movement for the liquidation of the two-state solution is noting short of a pornographic lie.

Indeed, from its very inception, Hamas entrusted “peace negotiations” to the PLO, and said on numerous occasions that it would live with a Palestinian state covering the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Moreover, the movement, many of whose leaders have been brutally murdered by Israel, repeatedly voiced a willingness to reach a ceasefire with the Israeli occupation army on condition of parity and reciprocity.

Hence, it was Israel – not Hamas – that rejected peace, first by stealing Palestinian land from rightful proprietors at gunpoint and then, by pursuing a genocidal assault against the Palestinian people’s very existence. Needless to say, this ongoing onslaught has certain hair-raising commonalities with the Nazi onslaught against European Jewry during the Second World War.

Peres is not stupid, he knows the power of words and the magic of sound-bites. However, he often doesn’t say what he means, nor does he mean what he says, all for the purpose of eluding a world that dreads confronting Zionist lies.

Peres’s conception of “Palestinian state” is incompatible with the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, as well as being incompatible with international law and human rights.

“Mr. Peace,” as he is occasionally deceptively dubbed, would like the Palestinians to “settle for” a deformed, truncated and territorially discontinuous entity on “parts” of the West Bank, without East Jerusalem and certainly without the repatriation of millions of Palestinian refugees who were uprooted from their homes and towns and villages around this time sixty years ago, in a drama of deportation and exile that continues to this date.

Hamas, like 99% of Palestinians, does reject such a scandalous sell-out of inalienable Palestinian rights. Indeed, even Mahmoud Abbas, the Chairman of the American puppet regime in Ramallah, whom Israel views as “moderate” and an “acceptable peace partner” openly rejects such a humiliating surrender to Zionism.

A classical example of the consummate Zionist leader, Peres may think that deceiving the world and frustrating the hapless Palestinian Authority regime into capitulating to the Zionist reality will be good for the Jews and for peace.

He is absolutely wrong. Palestinians may be in a state of weakness at the present as opposed to Israel, a powerful state that draws much of its military, economic and technological superiority from its tight domination of American politics and policies. However, this anomalous situation can’t be perpetuated forever. Nazi Germany (Israel is undoubtedly an updated version of the Third Reich despite all the fanfare and hasbara to the contrary) didn’t last forever. Nor did diabolical Stalinism, which had much in common with Zionism in certain respects. A fact that is well known to historians.

Coercing the Palestinians to surrender to Zionism, either through brute force as Israel has been doing, or economic inducements as Peres is trying to do, or both, would only keep the embers of injustice smoldering thinly beneath the surface.

So, what Peres and his ilk view as “Jewish ingenuity” will eventually be proven an expression of visionless arrogance and poor statesmanship.

In addition to uttering his usual quotable but mendacious sound-bites about the Palestinians and their enduring plight, Peres is spending time these days trying to convince the world that Iran is Nazi Germany number-2 and its President Ahmadinejad is Adolph Hitler.

Well, how could any person with an iota of honesty and rectitude compare Nazi Germany, which destroyed Europe and caused the death of tens of millions of people, with Iran, a third world country whose only “crime” is its refusal to be subservient to the American-Zionist hegemony?

Besides, it is amply clear that Peres, who played a key role in introducing nuclear weapons to the Middle East via the French connection several decades ago, is utterly unqualified to lecture the world about an alleged Iranian nuclear threat.

To be sure, Israel, which possesses a huge arsenal of hundreds of nuclear bombs and warheads that are trained toward Teheran, Cairo, Damascus and Beirut (and perhaps Berlin as well), has no right to incite the west against the Islamic Republic. In the final analysis, Iran has an inalienable right to develop nuclear technology and even nuclear weapons to deter the mad dogs of Zionism, both in Tel Aviv and in Washington, D.C.

Nuclear weapons, like all weapons of mass destruction, are ugly and evil. However, America and Israel are first and foremost to blame for transforming our world into a jungle where one must be a fox, or a tiger or a venomous cunning snake in order to survive.

Israel claims that it has never threatened to decimate any country or any people and that its nuclear stockpile is for “peaceful purposes.”

But Israel has been decimating the Palestinian people for sixty years and some of its leaders who have a Hitlerian mentality are already threatening to inflict a holocaust on their victims.

For sure, had the Palestinians been strong, Israel would not have destroyed their towns, demolished their homes, bulldozed their farms before expelling them to the four corners of the globe.

In conclusion, Peres and other Zionist leaders can’t be trusted to tell the truth since Zionism and truth are inherently incompatible.

During his stint as Prime Minister in 1996, flowing the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Peres oversaw the Qana-1 massacre in Southern Lebanon when the Israeli Wehrmacht knowingly and deliberately murdered more than a hundred Lebanese civilians, including numerous children who had sought refuge at the UN peace-keeping forces’ headquarters at the village of Qana.

For those who have forgotten or don’t know, neither Peres nor Israel has had the moral courage to say “sorry.”

Obviously they both lack the moral caliber to do so. And their crimes are too colossal and too numerous to be atoned for.

Censorship and Press Freedom: at home and away

Today marks the celebration of International Day of Press Freedom. Like many celebrations that we are called to recognise, rather than feel joy at how wonderful things are, we are reminded of just how much goes haywire. Reporters Without Borders lists those killed in 2007. They write that there has been: 129 journalists, 7 media assistants and 63 cyberdissidents jailed, 8 journalists killed since the beginning of the year, the latest in the list of horrors, Fadel Shanaa.

While all normal people with conscience recognise that it is essential to insist upon obtaining justice for the operators of information who are killed while doing their work in areas where violence is manifest, we notice that there are other ways to prevent the dissemination of information, and this restriction of freedom is nothing less than censorship.

I remember thinking that censorship was something done in the 40s by priests who had to approve the films that the Italian public was allowed to watch. When I was young and naïve, I thought it was something that only totalitarian or ultra-repressed societies would dare to use. I now know much better, and it’s not only the Big Media that simply does not allow content in that they disapprove of, it is far more sinister. It seems as though the journalists are aware of what is expected of them and they produce it without needing to be steered. In 2004, I translated portions of a book by Giulietto Chiesa that I consider to be fundamental reading. An excerpt of it states:

It is very evident that these dutiful defenders of America will not allow the powerful, or should we say “the Power”, to be criticised in any way whatsoever. These are people already well versed in the art of bowing and scraping to “the Power”, wherever it may be, so just think what they’ll be like when “the Power” actually becomes “the Empire”! So, quite often, they find themselves in the inglorious position of defending those who already have ample defensive (and offensive) capabilities of their own. And there are lots of these defenders: the majority of political commentators, for example, would never have got where they are without giving cast iron proof of their absolute loyalty to “the Power”.

All this needed time to come about. It was a long, complex and contradictory gestation. It didn’t all go smoothly, as always happens when the forces in play are real and not the abstract schemes of utopians that just happen to be in power. You make your plans as you go along, on the spur of the moment, but then you need intellectuals to give them form, glorify them in the eyes of the public, ennoble them and explain them. These propagandists have to be trained, convinced and, if necessary, bribed and corrupted. And then all obstacles, doubters, non-believers and wise guys have to be got out of the way. Playing it clean if possible, but dirty if necessary. For those of you who’ve forgotten, an instructions manual has already been written for this and it’s enough to follow it. It’s called The Prince by Nicholas Macchiavelli and it’s free, because it’s out of copyright.

The aim, therefore, is to stifle the discussion and silence the adversaries, an aim that is much more ideological than you would care to think. It also explains perfectly, for example, why the whole of the Italian press (and not only the Italian press) often say the same things. The rule is that the people controlling the media have to be totally reliable: they don’t even have to be told what to say. They already know it by heart. They have already internalised the rules of the game. Being reliable is something that requires lengthy training and considerable single-mindedness. On every level of the information hierarchy you have to prove that you have a total disregard for the truth, a complete readiness to deceive and an absolutely impenetrable cynicism. This, as a rule, is the only way of getting up to the next level.”

Yes, absolutely impenetrable cynicism is the key to containing any adversaries to “the Power”. And, what is quite interesting is that in our day and age, anyone with access to a computer is allowed to enter at some level of the information hierarchy by contributing to forums, leaving comments to articles, writing letters, and the latest and most popular form of this is to create a weblog that reflects one’s own musings and at times the information one finds and would like to share.

Weblogs are the ideal for the technically inept as well as being cost free or with very limited costs. This is why there are millions of them. A social network has grown out of these weblogs, and that is the blogging community. Most of us with a blog have a blogroll, listing blogs that are about topics that we or our readers are interested in, blogs by our friends and links that we would like to share with someone else in a public way. Sometimes we add the links with distraction (and putting them up doesn’t mean endorsing all content or even knowing who the owner is, as some try to use as an excuse to attack bloggers whose own content stands up to attacks by critics who would love to see the blogs shut down), sometimes because we read an article on the blog that we liked and add to the blogroll so that we can check out the rest later. At any rate, the blogging community has grown into a unit where we are dedicated supporters of other bloggers and we stand united in moments of difficulty.

The Palestine – Iraq blogging world has been recently under severe attack. Our blogs are being targeted for destruction. In the past few weeks, many of us have seen a spam note from Blogger. Machetera wrote about the censorship in a series of articles (also here). This spam note has driven Desert Peace’s Steve away (and his contribution to this post follows), and I shortly followed suit, not without having undergone the violence against the principle of Voltaire brought upon me by Tony Greenstein.

In fact, there are many who call themselves progressives or leftists who love censorship. In the very words of Tony Greenstein, in an article he wrote, bragging that my blog was “dead”, he stated that he had worked to exercise the power of censorship. He decides what is appropriate. He is the arbiter of the truth and the judge of the limits of discourse. He determines single-handedly who has got to be flushed down the wastewater system. But, he is wise enough to recognise his limits. He can’t do it alone. No one listens to him, so he has to enlist the help of “the Power”.

“It is gratifying to announce that the anti-Semitic sewer, going by the name of ‘PeacePalestine’ has now died a death. After I had it taken down for a day or so, because of its libellous comment, Google decided in any case it was a ‘spam’ blog. Who are we to disagree?!!!”

Apparently, he doesn’t know not only did Google not find it anti-Semitic OR libelous, which were his claims, resulting in its immediate reinstatement, but Tony doesn’t know that Spam Blogs are computer generated blogs to sell things or increase profit in some way.

Yet, Tony himself claims that he too received the spam notice, bringing him into that honourable category of the enemy of the Zionists who are operating to close their opponents down.

“But I’ll let fartypants into what I think is the story and it’s not one of censorship. I wrote to Google not so long ago saying that there was stuff that was personally libellous and yes they should take the whole of the cesspit down. However they decided not to and Rizzo was the one who crowed over that.

Now she has moved the blog anyway because it was deemed a ‘spam’ blog. The secret is that this blog was also blocked for the same reasons. What that meant was that nothing could be posted here for a day or two. It was an automatic process triggered by the software Google use, nothing to do with censorship. Clearly Rizzo had had enough and maybe wanted to put the past, including all the racist rubbish behind her (here’s hoping) and make a fresh start. let’s hope so.

I don’t know whether Google is particularly pro-Zionist, after all when I tried to get the blog taken down they refused. However I’m indifferent as to whether or not they take an anti-Semitic blog down because it’s libellous.To be blunt I couldn’t care less if one section of the Right censors another section. I regard Rizzo’s blog and the activities of those like Atzmon around it as doing nothing but a service for Zionism. It is no accident that when it comes to the historica division in diaspora Jewry between the anti-Zionist Bund and the Zionists, that Atzmon clearly and explicitly takes the side of the latter. If this is pro-Palestinian then fine.”

Now, let’s look carefully at what’s behind his claims.

First of all, he admits that he acted to get me shut down, and it is because of the content, deeming at any rate (falsely) that it is in the Right, as if that alone were reason enough to have it shut down: Hmmm, take a look at this quote by Noam Chomsky-

“If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

And John Pilger writes:
“If we don’t believe in free expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

Obviously, Tony hides behind the white flag of it being libelous, which was deemed untrue by Google. Then he claimed it was anti-Semitic, and there again, they ran it through their machines and they disagreed. So, it comes down to the matter of it being “on the Right”, which to him is good enough reason to have it closed, and I do dare him to show even ONE post that is on the Right, we remain with the real reason. It’s just his personal despising of me and of those whose right to free speech I ardently defend and support. Tony does not believe in my right of expression, nor in that right being allowed for a long list of people. If he were in a totalitarian State, what would his actions be? He would be the censorship boss of the Minculpop at the very least, which is the activity he engages in more than any other and it has been widely documented on my blog. In fact, he would be just another weird figure in the cyberspace if he were not so hellbent on censorship, which is what my blog community fights against. Those who do not believe in freedom of expression don’t even know when they are acting as censors or even that they do so. They find an ideological and “progressive” reasoning for it, without ever having to support that there is any truth behind their gagging. If he can’t shut them down or have them kicked out of town, he writes articles against all of his critics and at times, we even have to waste precious time to correct his myriad errors.

Yet, it is interesting to note, that while he thinks Blogger and Google are not particularly pro-Zionist, why is it that when he claims he has gotten the same spam note, and it was resolved in a jiffy, Steve’s blog, my blog, Layla Anwar’s blog, Crimes and Corruption of the New World Order and now Laila El-Haddad’s Raising Yusuf and Noor (A mother from Gaza), have all together found this “robot” so unkind and deliberately rude. It doesn’t respond to our letters, it lies that in 4 days it will take care of everything. Tony is certain it’s all bona fide… What more proof do we need that it’s a pro-Zionist for real?

Google has some more to answer for as well. Google has stopped indexing Uruknet as a news source. This is not the first time. I must have at least 10 letters in my archives to them regarding this matter, none of them had received any kind of feedback, although I encourage all to write to them (Uruknet has a form prepared on this link so that you can easily let Google know you are on to what they are doing to the most important source of information on Iraq). The webmaster of Uruknet is of an intelligence and dedication that are not rare, they are unique. She has indicated some interesting statistics to me about the indexing:

Google news has not only stopped indexing Uruknet, but it has blacklisted articles of other sites that cite Uruknet. For example, it indexes UN Observer, but it has not put in this article: http://www.unobserver.com/layout4.php?id=4725&blz=1 because, obviously, it cites Uruknet. http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&tab=bn&scoring=n&q=site%3Awww.unobserver.com&btnG=Search. If an article of any site cites a word of Uruknet, it is immediately pushed off by google.news. (Now I see why my stuff has vanished from there! Not only is Uruknet my favourite site, I think we would all be lost without it).

Google.com censors not only 90% of Uruknet, but also the sites that cite it as can be detected by the results of google.com search for the word “uruknet”: 188,000. The same search by yahoo.com 1,240,000.

Do we need any more proof? But, don’t go thinking that they don’t want any news about Iraq to get out. The webmaster of Uruknet tells me that a US-Friendly blog about Iraq was initially given the ‘spam’ treatment, but, like Tony’s site, it was quickly reinstated once the content was judged as being just fine with “the Power”.

Following the contribution of Steve, who, as another victim of this campaign, I will list a few things that I consider advice for other bloggers.

Steve writes:

Musings from one whose freedom was denied….

 

 


How dare I, a Jew living in Israel criticise the injustices practiced in my country. How dare I speak out against the genocide of my brothers on the other side of the wall of apartheid.

 

Try to censor me if you must, but I assure you I will not be silenced.

Daily Kos was the first to cut me off with a ban…. I dared to defend my brother and friend Benjamin Heine. He too dared to criticise the inhumane policies of zionism…. he too was banned from Daily Kos. The post that got me banned can be seen HERE.

Just what is Daily Kos afraid of?

Blogspot was the next culprit that attempted to silence me. Early in January I logged in as usual only to find that ‘Robots have determined that my Blog is a Spam Blog’. I was given the opportunity to challenge this ‘charge’ via an automated response. I was assured that I would receive an answer with 4 days. In 4 days I received another automated answer with the same ‘charges’. This ‘game’ continued for FOUR months until finally, without notice, my Blog was unlocked. By then, I had moved on to greener pastures and choose not to use Blogger any longer, feeling that their censorship game was not worth the hassle and I would rather Blog than engage in a fight with closed minded Websites.

Attempts to silence others continues. The zionists actively engage in desperate ways to have Blogs closed down. Most notable among these is one Tony Greenstein, a resident zionist in Britain. He has made it a full time job writing letters, falsely accusing pro Palestinian bloggers of anti Semitism, among other things. His prime targets are Mary Rizzo of PeacePalestine, and Gilad Aztmon, an ex Israeli also living in Britain. He claims to be an anti zionist himself, but I have yet to see him attempt to close down their vicious sites or attack them. His actions are contemptible, as he himself is.

The censorship continues; Google not only owns and controls Blogger, it also owns YouTube. A video depicting the crimes against the people of Palestine and five minutes later it is removed from YouTube. Again I ask, what are they afraid of?

As I mentioned earlier, ‘try to censor me if you must, but I assure you I will not be silenced!’

I say this on behalf of all of my Brothers and Sisters who went through the same hassles as I did. We will all continue to spread the truth and the truth will make us free!

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!

Mary’s tips for bloggers:
1) Back up all your material. I learned this the hard way, and if not for my faithful group of friends, I don’t know how I would have salvaged almost 4 years of material.
2) Create a mirror blog with a completely different provider. It takes moments to open a new blog, so register your name and convert your content. You never know when you may need it.
3) You CAN still work with your Blogger template, so leave a message for your readers that you have moved. I found this out weeks later, and in the meantime, many readers were disoriented. Two had done an international phone search (unsuccessfully) and in the end reached someone close to me to get the number, because they thought I was dead. Now how is THAT for readership loyalty!
4) If possible, go for private hosting options. This week, Haitham, Gilad and I are going to unveil our newest creation. Not that private hosts are failsafe, but they are certainly not going to be arbitrarily censored by the provider or those who the provider serves.
5) Build and maintain a network community. They will come to your aid when you need it, they will inform others of your tribulations. This means not only that you share readership and exchange tips and material, but you can depend upon them when push comes to shove. I have not been let down by these people, and their generosity and kindness is only equalled by their intelligence. Not only bloggers are part of the community, but commenters and readers.
6) Open a blog or site yourself. The more voices we have out there, the harder it will be to censor us all.
7) Defend the sites under attack, and don’t be afraid of not being “indexed” if you link to a good site. If and when Google dies, another site will come to replace it. There is an alternative to everything, but there is no alternative to the right of freedom of expression of an individual, of the unique character of his or her site, and that is what we MUST defend, in order to support the causes we care about.

Khalid Amayreh – An evil state that will disappear one day

Occupied East Jerusalem
30 April, 2008

Just as Israel inaugurated its misbegotten birth with genocidal ethnic cleansing sixty years ago, the evil brat of Zionism is marking its 60th anniversary with yet another spate of bloodletting.

On Sunday, 27 April, the Israeli “Defense” Forces (a more appropriate appellation would be the Jewish Wehrmacht) murdered a mother and her four children in Beit Hanoun, a northern Gaza suburb.

The mother and her kids reportedly were having breakfast when an artillery shell fired from an Israeli Merkava battle-tank hit their home, killing them instantly and mutilating their bodies.

The graphic, blood-splattered images of the mutilated children and their mother raised no eyebrows among Israeli leaders and the Zionist-Jewish public opinion. After all, these Nazi-minded and Nazi-hearted Zionists have been doing this for more than sixty years. And the world seems to be coming to terms with these crimes as a fact of life. This is at least how Israel views world reactions to its crimes against the peoples of the Middle East.

Anyone familiar with the Zionist way of thinking would tell you that whenever a pornographic carnage is committed by the Israeli occupation army, Israeli leaders don’t indulge in soul-searching over the barbarian behavior they engage in. Instead, they just activate their hasbara machine in order to control the resulting public relations damage and help exonerate Israel of any wrong doing before the eyes of the world.

Thus, these evil child killers have told us that their victims were killed not by Israeli artillery shells, but rather by Palestinian explosives! Well, didn’t these wicked liars claim that Muhammed Durra was killed by Palestinian snipers in order to tarnish Israel’s image?

This is of course not the first time the Israeli army murders an entire family in order to inflict “shock and awe” on a people as bent on living and surviving as Israel is bent on killing and murdering. Israel’s history, after all, has been an uninterrupted concatenation of massacres and war crimes. In fact, one would exaggerate very little by saying that Israel itself is a crime against humanity, and for that matter a continuing crime against humanity.

The latest carnage in Gaza didn’t occur in isolation. The entire Gaza Strip has been languishing under a harsh blockade that has much in common with the Nazi blockade of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland in 1943.

This is a truth that many people in Europe and North America can’t bring themselves to accept, at least openly, because it is not politically correct to do so. Well, does the West need to see a full-fledged holocaust in Palestine in order to cast the holocaust guilt off its shoulders? Must Palestinian children be slaughtered every morning and every evening in order to finally bring about the long-awaited recuperation of Europe from the holocaust complex?

As a result of barring the estimated 1.5 million Gaza inhabitants from accessing food, work, medicine and fuel, the vast bulk of the population has been forced into abject poverty and virtual starvation.

Ill people who can’t find the needed medicine and required medical care in local health facilities, are left to succumb to their illnesses. It is believed that more than 200 innocent Gazan patients have so far died as a direct result of the callous Nazi-like siege.

This happens as Israeli officials appearing on western TV screens keep assuring the mostly nonchalant or morally-apathetic western audiences that under no circumstances would Israel allow a “humanitarian crisis” to develop in Gaza. Well, what, apart from lies, do we expect from Zionism, a Godless, satanic ideology based on murder, theft and mendacity?

What do we expect from a state that sends its crack soldiers to raid and terrorize orphanages and boarding schools in Hebron in the dead of night?

What do we expect from a state that confiscates donated food for orphaned children whose parents had been murdered by the Israeli army…a state that orders its soldiers to raid inventory warehouses and steal shoes, clothes, even underwear, of orphaned children under ten years of age?

What do we expect from a state whose soldiers murder 12-year-old school kids, and then verify the kill by emptying 20 more bullets into the small victim’s body to make sure that the dead or dying little girl or boy doesn’t pose a threat to the security and safety of the heroic soldier?

What do we expect from a state whose army bulldozers crush peace activists to death and then tells the world that “ the bulldozer driver acted in accordance with outstanding instructions and did nothing wrong.”

Obviously, a sate as such is a Nazi state par excellence.

Well, I know that Israel has produced good scientists and built good hospitals and made impressive achievements in science, technology and other fields.
But this doesn’t mean much in moral terms. Nazi Germany, too, produced many good scientists, built many good hospitals and made impressive achievements in science and technology.

Besides, what is the point of inventing advanced electronic devices and then using the technology in murdering and maiming sleeping children and women and other innocent civilians?

Indeed, what is the point of building a prosperous state on a foundation of oppression, mass murder and ethnic cleansing?

Israel may appear modern, vigorous and democratic to much of the outside world. But for us, the Palestinians, Israel is and will always be a murderer, a thief and a liar.

Israel stole our country away from us, ethnically cleansed our people, destroyed our homes, bulldozed our towns and villages, poisoned our water wells lest we return, and then expelled the bulk of our people to the four corners of the globe…these are the very people Israeli leaders and spokespersons now shamelessly call “terrorists.”

Yes, Israel is militarily and economically powerful; it has a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons, and pro-Israeli pressure groups control the American government as well as much of the media and show business in the United States.

So what?

Evil states, like evil people, do not last forever. And Israel will be no exception.

El Khoudary: Secretary General of UN has to take his responsibility

Manuel Musallam: Gaza would not die of hunger since it seeks freedom
Gaza Strip, 25 April, 2008 (PCAS) MP Jamal N. El Khoudary Chairman of PCAS beside Manuel Musallam pastor of Latin church in Gaza, held a joint press conference at Gaza today. Both confirmed that Gaza wouldn’t give up or die until it gets freedom at the end.

They said that siege is getting harsher by time and sneaking in all aspects of life. All this associated with great silence from all sides. They requested a quick intervention to ends the siege from all the people in this world.

Independent lawmaker, Mr. El Khoudary said that siege is hitting the life of Palestinians, especially after the UNRWA stopped its work due to the massive fuel crisis.

El Khoudary expressed solidarity of Palestinians towards UNRWA and urged the UN Secretary General, Ban ki Mon to adheret to his responsibilities regarding the siege on Gaza.

“Stoppage of UNRWA services would increase the crisis of Gaza and leave more people as the victims of poverty and hunger, especially since the poverty rate is 75% now. I wonder till when the world will be silent? Where are the morals of this world? The world is seeing all violations in Gaza and remains in silence.” El Khoudary said.

He touched upon the last repercussions of fuel crisis indicating that 32 water and sewage wells stopped.

Chairman of PCAS added that Israel is manipulating the fuel crisis in order to refuel Gaza back and to say there no siege.

“People need fuel to get food stuff from the crossings! But there is no fuel. About 90 medical materials of basic necessity are not available.”

By his part Pastor Manuel Musallahm asserted that Gaza would not die because of hunger but it will die in of battlefield seeking freedom.

He expressed his solidarity with 1.5 million civilians in the big jail of Gaza. “Israeli occupation is trying to preach their dignity and bury all of them supported by the blind world.”

Pastor Musallam said that there are about 11 thousand Palestinians captured by Israel among them children, women and ministers. Yet, the world says not a word about them while for one Israeli soldier trapped in Gaza in a battlefield, the world is turning things upside down.

At the end of his discourse, he appealed and asked all Christians to pray for Gaza and thanked all those who sympathized with Gaza.