August 30, 2007
The Language of Force

by Uri Avnery
Soon after coming to power, Ariel Sharon started to commission public opinion polls. He kept the results to himself. This week, a reporter of Israel’s TV Channel 10 succeeded in obtaining some of them.

Among other things, Sharon wanted to know what the public thought about peace. He did not dream of starting on this road himself, but he felt it important to be informed about the trends.

In these polls, the public was presented with a question that came close to the final Clinton Proposal and the Geneva Initiative: Are you for a peace that would include a Palestinian state, withdrawal from almost all occupied territories, giving up the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, and dismantling most settlements?

The results were very instructive. In 2002, 73 percent (seventy-three percent!) supported this solution. In the next two years, support declined, but it was still accepted by the majority. In 2005 the percentage of supporters slipped under the 50 percent line.

What had changed in these years?

The TV presenter painted in the context: in 2002 the second Intifada had reached its climax. There were frequent attacks in Israeli cities, people were being killed. The majority in Israel preferred to pay the price of peace than to suffer the bloodshed.

Later, the Intifada declined, together with the Israeli public’s readiness for compromise. In 2005, Sharon carried out the “unilateral separation.” It seemed to many Israelis that they could manage without an agreement with the Palestinians. The readiness for peace dropped below the half mark.

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A popular Israeli saying has it that “The Arabs understand only the language of force.” This poll may confirm what many Palestinians think: that it is the Israelis themselves who don’t understand any other language.

Both versions are true, of course.

I have often said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a clash between an irresistible force and an immovable object. A clash is a matter of force.

The present lamentable state of the Palestinians, with half of them living under occupation and the other half as refugees, is a direct result of the Palestinian defeat in the 1948 war. The first part of that war, from December 1947 to May 1948, was a clash between the Palestinian people and the Hebrew community (the “yishuv”). It resulted in a resounding defeat for the Palestinians. (When the armies of the neighboring Arab states then entered the fray, the Palestinians became irrelevant to the struggle.)

That was a military defeat, of course, but its roots extended far beyond the narrow military field. It followed from the lack of cohesion of Palestinian society at the time, its failure to set up a functioning leadership and a unified military command, to mobilize and concentrate its forces. Every region fought alone, without coordination with the next one. Abd-al-Kader Husseini in the Jerusalem area fought independently of Fawzy al-Kaukji in the north. The yishuv, in contradistinction, was unified and strictly organized, and therefore won – in spite of the fact that in numbers it was hardly equal to half the Palestinian population.

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Hamas leaders mock Mahmoud Abbas and his supporters in Ramallah for expecting an Israeli withdrawal without armed struggle.

They point out that even the Oslo agreement (to which they object) was achieved only after six years of the first Intifada, which convinced Yitzhak Rabin that no military solution was possible.

They aver that Ehud Barak left south Lebanon in 2000 only after the resounding success of the Shi’ite guerillas

Their conclusion: even a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders will not come into being unless the “Palestinian resistance” inflicts on the Israelis sufficient casualties and damage to convince them that it is in their interest to withdraw from the occupied territories.

The Israelis, they say, will not give up one square inch without being compelled to do so. Sharon’s poll may well reinforce them in that belief.

The people around Abbas respond by mocking Hamas for believing that they can win against Israel by force of arms.

They point to the immense superiority of Israeli forces. According to them, all the violent actions of the Palestinians have only provided Israel with a pretext to reinforce the occupation, steal more land, and increase the misery of the occupied population.

And indeed, the personal situation of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is now incomparably worse than it was on the eve of the first Intifada, when they could reach any place in the country, work in all Israeli towns, bathe on the Tel Aviv seashore, and fly from Ben-Gurion airport.

Both views contain much truth. Yasser Arafat understood this. That

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stop Palestinians Hollocaust

May. 02, 2007 at 03:58 AM

amira hass is an Israeli writer , not Palestinian – Jan. 06, 2007 at 05:32 PM

The Discrimination Game
The Occupier Defines Justice
By AMIRA HASS

On Jerusalem’s Jabotinsky Street, opposite the President’s Residence, a medium-sized plaque is fixed on a locked gate, enclosing a broad building and a lovely garden: “This building was the location of the British Mandate Government’s High Military Court, which held the trials of the Hebrew resistance fighters from the Haganah, Etzel and Lehi.” The sign bears the emblems of the Jerusalem municipality and the three resistance organizations. It further notes: “The resistance fighters refused to acknowledge the authority of the court to judge them, and asked to be recognized as prisoners of war.”

The speaker of the Palestinian Authority’s parliament, who was arrested two weeks ago by the Israel Defense Forces, also refused to acknowledge the authority of the Military Court to judge him. Obviously the two latest detainees, whose arrest was deemed by Israel to be the appropriate solution to its shortcomings in releasing kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, will make the same declaration. Nasser A-Shaer, the Palestinian education minister and deputy prime minister, and Mahmoud Ramahi, chief whip of the Palestinian Legislative Council, were arrested on Saturday and Sunday. Incidentally, the Palestinians have lately ceased using the verb “arrested” in regards to the arrests of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers. Instead they use the verb “abducted.”

These three detainees/abducted join about 10,000 other Palestinian prisoners and detainees. As with the prisoners of the Hebrew resistance, who saw themselves as POWs regardless of their actions (killing British soldiers or Arab civilians), some Palestinians request that their prisoners be declared POWs. Others prefer the definition of political prisoners. Let’s let the definitions rest. In any case, from the offense to the jailing, Israel, as an occupying force, plays around with the definitions as it sees fit.

On Sunday, at 4:30 A.M., IDF soldiers shot and killed a worker, Jalal Uda, 26, and injured three other Palestinian civilians. This happened not far from the Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus. Palestinian newspapers referred to it as the “crime scene.” The young men rode a taxi in a road bypassing the checkpoints. For the last several weeks the army has again forbidden young men under age 32 from leaving Nablus. But people have to make a living, and thousands are looking for hidden routes. An offense punishable by death, so it seems. The soldiers acted as prosecutor, judge and executioner. According to the rules of occupation, when soldiers kill Palestinian civilians, they and those who sent them are never criminals, suspects, accused or convicts. The brigadier general who limits the age of those who exit the Nablus compound, by virtue of his belonging to the “Defense Army” can also not be considered a criminal, suspect or convict.

When a Palestinian kills an Israeli–soldier or civilian–his name, picture and details of his indictment will be published. He will automatically be condemned to life in jail, and his prime minister or the leader of his organization will be considered responsible and hence a target for arrest or assassination. The soldiers who kill Palestinian civilians are sheltering under the wide apron of the occupation army. Their names will not be known in public, and their prime minister and commanders will not be deemed accountable.

The Palestinian detainees are led to a military court: The same military establishment that occupies and destroys and suppresses the civilian population is the one that determines that to resist occupation–even by popular demonstrations and waving flags, not only by killing and bearing arms–is a crime. It is the one to prosecute, and it is the one to judge. Its judges are loyal to the interest of defending the occupier and the settler.

Allegedly every Palestinian is tried, convicted and jailed as a private person who committed a criminal offense. But a sharp discrimination in the conditions of imprisonment proves that the Palestinian security prisoner is punished not as an individual, but as a representative of a group, as part of its overall suppression. Contrary to international law, the majority of Palestinian prisoners and detainees are not held in the occupied territory, but rather inside Israel. Contrary to popular myth, Israel does not respect the right to regular family visits.

The army does its best to disrupt the visitation schedule, using various security and technical excuses. Only relations of the first degree (parents, siblings and children) are allowed to visit the prisoners, but hundreds of them have not had the privilege of any visits for several years. The right to make daily use of a telephone is given to the most dangerous of criminal prisoners, and is den

you just read and memorise :-

Quiz Yourself on ‘Israeli Democracy’
Post Your Comment 2 comments eMail to a friend

Posted on APRIL-22-2002

Is it Israeli Democracy or “Jewish Democracy”, you be the judge. Are you aware that:

Prior to the 1948 war, Palestinian Christians and Muslims were a two-third majority of the population of Palestine, who owned and operated 93% of Palestine’s lands?

Prior to the 1948 war, most Israeli Jews were persecuted and dispossessed European Jews who made a one-third minority of the population?

For Israel to become a “Jewish majority” it opted to expel and dispossess the two-third Palestinian majority?

80% of the Palestinian people were dispossessed from their homes, farms, and businesses and have been kept out for the past 54 years?

95% of Israel’s lands (which is mostly owned by Palestinian refugees) is open for development to Jews only?

Only one of the 45 Zionist Jews who sign the Israeli “declaration of independence” on May 14th, 1948 was born in Palestine. The other 44 were mostly Jewish refugees who escaped their anti-Semitic Europe countries, such as Tsarist Russia, Germany, and Poland.

Israeli-Palestinian citizens live almost in segregated communities (or ghettos) because development is strictly limited outside their villages? Ironically, the word “ghetto” was invented to describe the living conditions of Eastern European Jews in Tsarist Russia!

For just being “Jewish” you gain an automatic citizenship in Israel? Plus tens of thousands of dollars in subsidies too.

Palestinian Muslims or Christians refugees, who were born in the country and later expelled, cannot gain Israeli citizenship? Of course, unless they convert to Judaism first!

Pretending to be Jewish in Israel is punishable by law with up to one year’s imprisonment? On the other hand, if you pretend to be a Muslim or Christian the law does you no harm!

When the Palestine problem was created by Britain in 1917, more than 92% of the population of Palestine were Arabs and there were at that time no more than 56,000 Jews in Palestine? That Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Palestinians at that time lived in peace with each other?

Palestinians in the early 20th century owned 97.5% of the land, while Jews (native Palestinians and recent immigrants together) owned only 2.5% of the land?

Close to 4 million Palestinian Muslims and Christians are being subjected to Israeli laws that are different than the laws governing the 4.5 million Israeli Jews? Is this a “democratically” elected apartheid, or not, that is the question?

In the occupied West Bank there are “Jewish Roads” and “Non-Jewish Roads”?

Israel issues national identify cards where the religion of the card holder is clearly shown in bold type?

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza drive vehicles with license plates that have different coloring than the cars driven by Israeli settlers?

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza hold ID cards that are of different colors than the cards held by Israeli settlers?

The only form of Judaism recognized by the “Jewish state” is Orthodox Judaism, so most US Jews could not get married in Israel. Furthermore, the only conversion to Judaism recognized is Orthodox, so most US converts aren’t Jewish enough.

Just prior to the 1948 war, Jews owned under 7% of Palestine’s land, and to increase their share after the war, they passed the “Absentees’ Law” which dispossessed the Palestinian majority land owners who later became “absent”. What is even more tragic was the passage of an oxymoron law, called “Present Absentees’ Law,” which dispossessed the Palestinian-Israeli citizens who became internal refugees in Israel. It is worth noting that the internal Jewish refugees were not dispossessed as a result of this racist law.

The U.S. funneled into the Israeli economy over 130 billion dollars, which is almost twice the amount devoted to rebuilding Western Europe after WW II!

Israeli democracy is a facade for “Jewish Democracy?”

Israel has nuclear weapons, and it was close to dropping one on Cairo in 1973?

Israeli soldiers use human shields in battle to minimize their casualties?

Israel killed over 20,000 Lebanese and Muslims (90% of whom are civilians) with American made and paid for weapons?

The concept of “transferring” European Jews to Palestine and “transferring” the Palestinian people out is central to Zionism. Ben-Gurion, the 1st Israeli Prime Minister, eloquently articulated this essential Zionist pillar, he stated in 1944:

“Zionism is a TRANSFER of the Jews. Regarding the TRANSFER of the [Palestinian] Arabs this is much easier than any other TRANSFER. There are Arab states in the vicinity . . . . and it is clear that if the [Palestinian] Arabs are removed [to these states] this will improve their condition and not the contrary.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 159) Note

IS THERE ANY JUSTICE IN THIS SO CALLED CIVILIZED WORLD

The 59th Nakba Anniversary…
5 Million Palestinians are living in the Exile
May 15th, 2007 marks the 59th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe). The year 1948 witnessed a mass deportation of a 750,000 Palestinians from their cities and villages (85 % of the Palestinian population at the time), massacres of civilians, and the razing to the ground of more than 500 of Palestinian villages, by the Israeli Hagana gangs. Those Palestinians were distracted in 59 camps among many Arab states, where they lacked their main human rights.
In 1967, Israel continued its war against the Palestinians; another 350,000 Palestinians were banished away from the West Bank. In 2007, the total number of the Palestinian refugees reached 5 million Palestinians, who are still waiting to return to their homeland. The Apartheid Segregation Wall and siege are the recent Israeli tools to expel more and more Palestinians.
Through their long years of struggle, the Palestinians have proved that they are clinging to their right of return to their homeland (Palestine). UN 194 resolution granted all Palestinian refugees the right of return to their homeland, another 135 UN resolutions assured the same right of return. Along the 59 past years, the Palestinians believed in their fair case, right of return and Palestinian national identity never retreated; the Palestinians are now convinced more than ever in the Palestinians right in their land and the establishment of the Palestinian independent state within 1967 boundaries.
DAIR in PLO assures the Palestinians right of return to their homeland is legitimate and internationally recognized.
DAIR calls upon the International society to uphold to its moral responsibilities towards the Palestinians, solve the Palestinian question according to International resolutions, and end the Palestinian refugees’ crisis.
DAIR also plea to the United Nations through its bodies to secure and safeguard the Palestinian refugees in exiles, especially the Palestinian Refugees in Iraq who are facing daily killing, torture, and terror actions.

Department of Arab and International Relations

Ramallah
May 15th, 2007