Weekend Edition
January 26 / 27, 2008

The Blockade of Gaza
Worse Than a Crime
By URI AVNERY

It looked like the fall of the Berlin wall. And not only did it look like it. For a moment, the Rafah crossing was the Brandenburg Gate.

It is impossible not to feel exhilaration when masses of oppressed and hungry people break down the wall that is shutting them in, their eyes radiant, embracing everybody they meet – to feel so even when it is your own government that erected the wall in the first place.

The Gaza Strip is the largest prison on earth. The breaking of the Rafah wall was an act of liberation. It proves that an inhuman policy is always a stupid policy: no power can stand up against a mass of people that has crossed the border of despair.

That is the lesson of Gaza, January, 2008.

* * *

ONE MIGHT repeat the famous saying of the French statesman Boulay de la Meurthe, slightly amended: It is worse than a war crime, it is a blunder!

Months ago, the two Ehuds – Barak and Olmert – imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, and boasted about it. Lately they have tightened the deadly noose even more, so that hardly anything at all could be brought into the Strip. Last week they made the blockade absolute – no food, no medicines. Things reached a climax when they stopped the fuel, too. Large areas of Gaza remained without electricity – incubators for premature babies, dialysis machines, pumps for water and sewage. Hundreds of thousands remained without heating in the severe cold, unable to cook, running out of food.

Again and again, Aljazeera broadcast the pictures into millions of homes in the Arab world. TV stations all over the world showed them, too. From Casablanca to Amman angry mass protest broke out and frightened the authoritarian Arab regimes. Hosny Mubarak called Ehud Barak in panic. That evening Barak was compelled to cancel, at least temporarily, the fuel-blockade he had imposed in the morning. Apart from that, the blockade remained total.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid act.

* * *

THE REASON given for the starving and freezing of one and a half million human beings, crowded into a territory of 365 square kilometers, is the continued shooting at the town of Sderot and the adjoining villages.

That is a well-chosen reason. It unites the primitive and poor parts of the Israeli public. It blunts the criticism of the UN and the governments throughout the world, who might otherwise have spoken out against a collective punishment that is, undoubtedly, a war crime under international law.

A clear picture is presented to the world: the Hamas terror regime in Gaza launches missiles at innocent Israeli civilians. No government in the world can tolerate the bombardment of its citizens from across the border. The Israeli military has not found a military answer to the Qassam missiles. Therefore there is no other way than to exert such strong pressure on the Gaza population as to make them rise up against Hamas and compel them to stop the missiles.

The day the Gaza electricity works stopped operating, our military correspondents were overjoyed: only two Qassams were launched from the Strip. So it works! Ehud Barak is a genius!

But the day after, 17 Qassams landed, and the joy evaporated. Politicians and generals were (literally) out of their minds: one politician proposed to “act crazier than them”, another proposed to “shell Gaza’s urban area indiscriminately for every Qassam launched”, a famous professor (who is a little bit deranged) proposed the exercise of “ultimate evil”.

The government scenario was a repeat of Lebanon War II (the report about which is due to be published in a few days). Then: Hizbullah captured two soldiers on the Israeli side of the border, now: Hamas fired on towns and villages on the Israeli side of the border. Then: the government decide in haste to start a war, now: the government decided in haste to impose a total blockade. Then: the government ordered the massive bombing of the civilian population in order to get them to pressure Hizbullah, now: the government decided to cause massive suffering of the civilian population in order to get them to pressure Hamas.

The results were the same in both cases: the Lebanese population did not rise up against Hizbullah, but on the contrary, people of all religious communities united behind the Shiite organization. Hassan Nasrallah became the hero of the entire Arab world. And now: the population unites behind Hamas and accuses Mahmoud Abbas of cooperation with the enemy. A mother who has no food for her children does not curse Ismail Haniyeh, she curses Olmert, Abbas and Mubarak.

* * *

SO WHAT to do? After all, it is impossible to tolerate the suffering of the inhabitants of Sderot, who are under constant fire.

What is being hidden from the embittered public is that the launching of the Qassams could be stopped tomorrow morning.

Several months ago Hamas proposed a cease-f

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January 24, 2008

Hole in the Wall
Power to the (Palestinian) People!
By JEFF HALPER

The people of Palestine have done it again, taking their own fate in their hands after being let down by their own “moderate” political leadership and, indeed, the entire international community in their struggle for freedom. Early this morning they simply blew up the wall separating Gaza from Egypt, breaking a siege imposed on them by an Arab government in collaboration with Israel.

We, the peoples of the world, should take great pride and encouragement in this quintessentially civil society refusal to accept subjugation, to abandon their fate to governments, including their own, for whom the lives of ordinary people are simply grist for their political charades — Annapolis and its subsequent “peace process” being but the last cynical expression. For the Palestinians represent far more than just themselves. Their refusal to submit to the dictates of governments, or to governments’ lack of interest in the well-being of people in general, reflects the desire of billions of oppressed people for identity, freedom, a decent life and actualization of their collective and individual rights and potentials. Most of the oppressed, the “wretched of the earth” as Franz Fanon called them a half-century ago, are too preoccupied with the daunting daily struggle for survival to organize and resist. Others do resist in a myriad of ways, but are most often repressed by their own political and economic “leaders,” disappearing anonymously from view. In a few cases they have managed to mount effective resistance to oppression, even to prevail — though the billions spent on “counterinsurgency” warfare by the US, Europe, Russia, Israel and many “developing” nations augur ill for peoples attempting to overthrow oppressive regimes.

In this the Palestinians stand at the forefront, in the front lines of peoples’ insistence everywhere that their rights, well-being and fundamental values as human beings be respected by governments. And they do so (and I write this as an Israeli with great sorrow and shame) against one of the world’s strongest and most ruthless military powers — a power that has dispossessed them from 85% of their land, which is trying to transform its occupation into a permanent regime of apartheid, which has spent decades impoverishing and disenfranchising them; the fourth largest nuclear power which nevertheless casts itself as the victim. Not only have the Palestinians experienced the dehumanization all oppressed and colonized peoples experience, not only have they been made into the embodiment of the rich and powerful’s greatest fear, evil “terrorists” who may tear down their privileged “civilization,” but they have been turned into guinea pigs. Israel is able to gain an edge in the counterinsurgency industry and win entree into the heart of the American military/hi tech complex by turning the Occupied Territories into a laboratory for the development of fiendish weaponry and tactics intended for use against people.

And yet the Palestinian people — and in particular those who remain sumud, steadfast, in Palestine — continue not only to resist but to surprise and confound its would-be Israeli master at every turn. Despite unlimited control, a complete monopoly over the use of force, utter callousness and a vaunted Shin Beit, Israel’s military intelligence, Palestinians vote as they want, resist, carry on their daily lives with dignity — and blow huge holes in the walls and policies constructed in order to imprison and defeat them.

All this is not on the minds of those desperate people who surged into Egypt today. They may not have the “Big Picture.” Yet they deserve the respect and gratefulness of every person who cherishes a better world based on human rights and dignity, a world that is inclusive. As an Israeli Jew, I have been saddened and mortified that my own people, after all they have experienced, cannot see what they are doing to others. But on a larger scale, not as an Israeli Jew but as a human being, I take heart in the Palestinians’ active refusal to be ground under a global system that is producing unimaginable wealth and power for a few at the expense of the growing ranks of the wretched.

I am not a Palestinian; I am not one of the oppressed. I only hope I can use my privilege in an effective way in order to redeem the gift the people of Gaza have given all of us: the realization that the people do have power and can prevail even in the face of overwhelming power. We may each express our responsibility towards the people of Gaza in whatever way most suits us, but as the privileged we must do something. We owe the Palestinians and the Palestinians writ large at least that.

Jeff Halper is the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and a candidate, with the Palestinian peace activist Ghassan Andoni, for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. He can be reached at jeff@ic

New treaty will further bind USA to ziostan

When Bush visits his Israeli masters today he will discuss a treaty that will (1) make the USA regard any “attack” on Israel as an attack on the USA, and (2) require the USA to get Israeli permission before taking any action.

The Jews have demanded this pact before, but two recent items have increased Jewish arrogance. One was the NIE report that Iran is not a nuclear threat to Israel. The other is that, “Conditions in Washington never have been as favorable as they are now.” So says Yoram Ben Zeev, Iraeli Foreign Ministry director general for North America.

Zeev says, “Bush has been one of the most supportive presidents Israel has ever known, and the current Congress would be sure to give the idea wall-to-wall backing.”

Zeev refers to Jewish control of the U.S. Congress, which became absolute in November 2006 after the Jewish attack on Lebanon. Zionist Jews took three of the top four positions in congress: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and co-chairs of the democratic caucus Charles Schumer and Rahm Emanuel (whose father was an IRGUN terrorist). The fourth top position (Senate majority leader) is held by Harry Reid, who is not Jewish, but is married to a Jewess, and has personal investments in Khazarstan.

When the NIE report came out, an embarrassed Bush apologized for it by guaranteeing Israel an extra $30 billion in U.S. outlays. At the same time, Yoram Ben Zeev issued an internal memo calling for a military pact with the goyim NOW.

Zeev noted that the Jews had previously demanded such a pact from President Clinton, but the USA declined in the 1990s because the USA was planning to invade Iraq. The exact words are, “Israeli and U.S. officials discussed the pact during the Clinton years and in the early years of the Bush presidency, but put the idea on hold after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.”

A few Khazars question the pact, since it would technically require Jews to inform the USA about ongoing Jewish atrocities and war crimes.

Source: Jewish Telegraph Agency

COMMENT:

* With such a treaty, Jews can easily set off a bomb in a deserted plane of the Negev desert, and demand U.S. retaliation against Iran. Americans will have no choice but to comply.

* Some Khazars worry that such a pact would require them to inform the USA before Jews attack victims. This concern is ridiculous. The Khazars own the USA. Who can stop them? Why inform the Goyim? Any questioning of Jewish atrocities is “anti-Semitic” anyway.

* Jews want this pact now, while they still have the Chimp in the White House, and while American Goyim are still hypnotized. Jews know that when the USA goes into a recession in 2008, Americans will stop thinking about the “war on terror,” and start worrying about their own communities.

* I fully expect Bush to do this. He has a year to ram this pact down the throats of Americans, and there will be zero resistance in the USA.