Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 14:55:09|
|Bismillah and salam,|
Here is an excellent commentary on Israel's history and its future. From
Please always check the alternative news sources and support by them subscribing as they were the only ones who had a shred of truth in covering news the past little while.
>From the Unthinkable to the Probable in Israel/Palestine January 10, 2002
By Doug Dowd
Since our birth in 1776 and Israel"s rebirth in 1948, the two nations have had
some important thngs in common. Most important for present purposes is that in
both countries most of their peoples -- if never all -- have seen their nation's
birth as an historic act of heroism; and have seen their nation as above
The dissenting minority has always been small, much smaller in the USA than in
Israel, until just now. It is useful to give at least a brief glance at some of
the similarities, without forgetting how very different the two nations have
been and remain.
What strikes one first is that both came into being by ferociously displacing
the peoples who were there prior to, during, and after their birth processes:
the Palestinians, in Israel, the numerous "Indian" tribes in North America. In
neither case have most of the people of either nation ever comprehended the deep
wrongs -- war crimes? -- committed over their entire existence to the original
Indeed, something like the opposite of comprehension defines the attitudes of
most of the citizens of both countries. In the USA such attitudes have been long
and continuously represented in books and films, implanted in our minds from
childhood on, where "the redskins" are caricatured and bestialized, their
killers given heroic status.
In Israel, the Palestinians who fight against the loss of their land, their
rights and their lives, are similarly misrepresented when they are almost
uniformly described as "terrorists." In our earliest days, those who sought to
oust the British were of course called "patriots"; those who blew up Jerusalem's
King David Hotel in 1947 were and are seen as heroes by Israelis, but that act
was described by the British as "a terrorist attack": the first recorded usage
of the term. Terrorism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
One could go on and on with such a discourse concerning similarities. But let me
turn to some differences. The Jews who created the Zionist movement over a
century ago also began gradually to settle there in the early decades of the
20th century. That process was much speeded up and its numbers greatly
multiplied after World War II.
The first settlers had good reasons to leave the lands where they had been
ghettoized, those who from the 1930s on who faced mass slaughter had even
stronger reasons, of course. The emigrating Jews in both cases were also able to
see themselves as returning to the lands of their distant ancestors.
Nothing like that was true for those who created the American Revolution, of
course. In both cases, however, the "newcomers" were stealing the lands and
ruining the lives of those already there.
And now we can see an all too close comparison between the "Indian removal" of
the entire 19th century and that of Palestinians' removal, after the1967
occupation, seen as illegal by all but the USA and Israel. The "removed Indians"
were robbed of what they saw as their sacred lands and the culture and
governments associated with them.
"Removal" was preceded, accompanied and followed by intermittent wars. Between
the wars and the direct and indirect consequences of their displacement, it is
estimated that sone 6 to 9 million "Native Americans" lost their lives, from
starvation, illness, or murder; and those who survived on the euphemistically
entitled "reservations" had much shortened and debased lives.
Those processes were spread over three centuries. Israel has existed for but
half a century. But consider what has happened to the Palestinians in that half
century, what is happening to them today, what will happen to them tomorrow.
They have "not only" lost a goodly portion of their lands, which is disaster
enough. They have also lost their livelihoods, have lost the power to control
their own destinies as individuals or as a people; and they have lost their
freeedom and their dignity. What hopes can Palestinians have now, except by
fighting? And how can they fight and possibly win against the massive -- U.S.
supplied -- weaponry of Israel?
The fighting is done mostly by young men, and by all too many children. Their
parents and grandparents once had better lives that were stolen out from under
their feet. Their grandparents could have some large hopes that what seemed to
be an incredible disaster would be short-lived, or, at worst, limited in its
Their parents learned that matters were considerably worse than that after 1967.
The massive theft of their lands was ineluctably accompanied by militarization,
increased surveillance, and violence: the elements of a police state.
After 1967, it was often noted that the distinctions between the daily life of
most Palestinians and that of South African blacks were tending to become
indistinguishable. But with each ensuing year bringing us to the present, the
South Africans were moving toward throwing over their oppressors, while the
oppression of the Palestinians, if with intermittent moments of hope, was
In retrospect, it is clear that for Israel to maintain its military occupation
of Palestinian lands, not only those lands but also Israel itself would
inexorably and unconsciously become militarized, both in attitudes and in
practice; as has happened to the attitudes and practices of the USA, consequent,
most recently, upon the Cold War.
So it was just a matter of time until Israel would accept the murderous General
Sharon as its Prime Minister; until its slogan would become Cry Havoc! and let
slip the dogs of war!
Is this what the Jews of the late 19th century had in mind when they created the
Zionist movement? Not at all, of course. Is a militaristic beast like Sharon the
sort of person they would ever have allowed to "lead" them? Of course not.
Those earlier Jews would find many differences between their ghettoization and
all that connoted and what has long been happening to the Palestinians. But
would those differences be sufficient for those pioneering Jews to say
"Ishkabibble? (My mother was a Jew; I have a right to use that word.)
And that brings us back to the USA. Earlier, I noted that Israel's coming into
being depended upon the support of the USA. The USA's continuing economic,
military, and political support over the decades has been even more so, up to
this moment. What has motivated the USA? And how was it so easy for us to ease
Israel into the Middle East?
The movtivations were many, but the two most important were 1) that the Middle
East is the oil pot of the world. 2) It is one of the geographic hot spots on
the globe. That has long been so, beginning no later than the Crusades.
Oil and the Cold War served to transform those two elements into an irresistible
rush by the USA to control the area. What would have been difficult before World
War II became relatively simple at its end. Britain had long been the
Mediterranean power, and, as regards Palestine, directly so after 1917.
But World War II was devastating for Britain at home and abroad; if was flat on
its back, economically, militarily, politically, desperately in need of a
multibillion dollar grant from the USA simply to survive. Which it got, in 1947.
At a price - just when the soon-to-be-Israelis began their uprising in. And were
called "terrorists" by the British. The would be Israelis might have had a
chance without U.S. help, but 50-50 at best.. However, kicking the British out
was only a first step, comparatively easy compared with persuading the
Palestinians to step aside.
That would have required not just courage and rifles and hand grenades, but
heavy weaponry -- from tanks on upward. From 1948 on, the Israelis got just what
they needed in that weaponry and in political support in the UN and Europe from,
of course, the USA.
And they have been getting all that ever since, air and ground weaponry and,
quite probably, nukes. All that free from the USA, along with billions every
year in non-military assistance: Israel has been # 1 on the gift list for the
USA since WWII. Nor has the USA deigned to show embarrassment in its UN record
of usually being the lonely supporter of Israel's violent policies over the
Palestinians -- among others close by -- most recently in its veto in the
Security Council of a quite sensible proposal for making peace in the area..
Dismal stuff. More than dismal, however, as the tragedy continues and deepens
for the Palestinians -- as it does for the many Israelis who also have been
killed or suffered, whether or not in support of the kind of Israel they now
Now it is clear that Sharon is determined to "settle" the Palestinian question
by any means necessary. The "second intifada" that began in September, 2000 has
killed just under 1,000 Palestinians, and close to 300 Israelis. That intifada
was, it is widely-agreed, deliberately provoked by Sharon. An old trick.
His new trick is to call Arafat "irrelevant." That carries with it the
probability that Arafat will be deposed, or even assassinated -- from either
side. If or when he goes down, it is likely that the Hamas will become the
effective power for the Palestinians: Just what Sharon wants?
He will then have even more reasons to increase his violence. The question now
is how far will he go? Sharon being what he is, the answer is likely to be found
in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. More and more he brings Conrad's Kurtz to mind;
Kurtz, who had dedicated his life to civilizing the Congolese, but with his last
breath wrote "Exterminate the brutes!" Except that Sharon doesn't even have that
familiar "mission civilatrice" as an excuse.
But Sharon can go only so far before Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria, to
say nothing of Iraq and Iran, will find themselves pushed or encouraged to take
a strong stand against the USA, to end whatever deals they have with us. Or to
face the internal consequences. And then what? It is impossible to know, but the
very possibilities are terrifying.
Writing before World War I, as Zionism was becoming a movement that had to be
taken seriously, Thorstein Veblen wrote a short essay entitled "On the
Intellectual Pre-eminence of the Jews in Modern Europe."
(It can be found in the 1945 collection The Portable Veblen, edited by Max
The Jews were in "diaspora" from their Middle Eastern beginnings soon after the
Christian era began; most importantly, and, for present purposes, most
relevantly, from the mediieval period on, when they began to settle in the
cities of both eastern and western Europe.
In all those cities, they were ghettoized. Over many centuries and up to the
beginnings of Zionism, each successive generation of Jews led two lives: one in
their ghetto living quarters, the other in the always more rapidly changing
cities, changes consequent upon the accelerating emergence of what became modern
In the ghetto, where the rabbi dominated both education and power, the
millennial-old Torah formed the entire and unchanging basis of his teaching. But
in the other life outside the ghetto modern society was racing forward. The
sharp daily contrasts, Veblen argued, could not help but to create skeptics of a
substantial portion of each generation.
And skepticism -- questioning, wondering, inquiring, imagining, each feeding and
fed by the others -- is the sine qua non of the intellectual energies that
produce science, art, literature, and music. Thus did the Jews in Europe, always
a slender minority of its population, provide a disproportionate percentage of
its scientific and cultural growth.
>From that analysis, Veblen went on to wonder: "And if and when the Jews succeed
in having their own nation state?" Then, he argued, they will become just like
all other nation states -- greedy for resources and power, nationalistic,
expansionist, militaristic. Warlike. What a pity he was right.
Is there anything to be done? One thing more than others. The Israelis must be
made to halt and to reverse their history in Palestine; while, in exchange, the
Palestinians must face the fact that a pre-1967 Israel is there to stay.
The USA must take the first steps, and do so with vigor and conviction. Yet, at
the moment we are the one nation least likely to do do so, especially with Bush
and his ilk in power.
But steeply uphill fights have always faced us, in everything worth fighting
for. And, in this case, "we" are less of a minority than usual; and such a
process would receive at least a third and very probably more than half of the
It is now being forgotten that before the second intifada, such percentages of
the Israelis were in favor of Israeli withdrawl from the occupied territories
and for the existence of a genuine Palestinian state. Now many fewer are, so
scared are they of the rising viiolence; but that fear can be productive of good
sense, given half a chance.
Most Israelis know that left to themselves without continuing U.S. support they
cannot hold out forever, and would prefer a decent alternative to "extermination
of the brutes." The USA, were it to announce such a new position, must at the
same time express its recognition that the USA itself cannot be a dominating
party to any ongoing processes of settlement. That can only be done through the
UN. And it is a certainty that the UN would vote for it.
But this USA will make no such proposal. So it is up to us, and many others we
don't know to do what we can to make that possible, to shorten the odds. We are
not alone. And even if we were?
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:01:16|
|Bismillah and salam,|
Here is an interesting follow up article and response to a positive
campaign to show support for Dan Carpenter who wrote an article about
standing up to intimidation from the Zionist lobby. It is an excellent
example of what a little bit of co-ordinated activism can accomplish.
Well done Palestine Media Watch and Al-Awda-Canada. It also shows what can happen if we all make the effort.
Remember the following powerful article???
Changing world meets unchanged worldview
Here's Carpenter's follow-up: Response to column bespeaks loss of faith :
January 09, 2002
Last Sunday's column questioning the policies of the U.S. and Israeli governments, and the worldview of the American press and people, left me grimly prepared for a batch of negative phone calls and e-mails.
Such would be appropriate, given the volatility of the issues and the limits of my expertise and eloquence.
The actual response surprised -- shocked, overwhelmed -- me.
It was not a batch of comments. It was not a Bob Knight pile. Even with allowance made for cybernetworking, it was an avalanche, and it continues.
Nor was it negative. Of the dozen or so phone calls and the nearly 300 e-mails received as of Tuesday morning, all but a handful were favorable.
>From California, Chicago, Quebec, New York, Great Britain,
Cyprus, Israel (I think indystar.com just might make a go of it),
support rolled in for the basic complaint I expressed in that article -- that Americans have been lulled into a confusion of might with right.
"You have lot of guts to write like that and I applaud you," went one representative note. "As a Muslim living in the U.S., it's been heart-wrenching to see the brainwashing in the mainstream media that is not only a devastating tool to further subjugate other nations and economies, but also corroding the very noble fabric with which this country was pulled together."
Said a non-Muslim: "It is overwhelming sometimes facing the
onslaught of patriotic fervor which squelches dissent while wrapping itself in the flag; hearing a sane voice amidst all the propaganda printed under the guise of journalism is helpful."
Has it been gratifying to be hailed as brave and prophetic by a hemisphere of strangers, including professors, clergy, journalists and persons with firsthand knowledge of the Middle East?
Not really. I'm neither brave nor prophetic, and have not had to be.
When a splash of contrarian pump-priming sets loose an outpouring of this magnitude, the writer has to feel awe, and more than a little fear, at the forces at work outside of him.
At the same time, he is reminded of the importance of choosing his words. Let me therefore insert a correction.
When I made reference in that column to "a public relations man for the Israeli government," I was describing in a too-casual way a spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League -- an ardent advocacy organization for Israeli policies to be sure, but not a component of that government. I saw the advocate as a protector of prevailing hought, come to correct me for writing sympathetically about the Palestinians; unfortunately, I left the impression with some readers that Tel Aviv had sent him.
Whatever its form, Israeli influence is a sinister threat in the eyes of many, these messages show. Many others, it is clear, feel the American government and news media have made it unnecessary for Israel to hound anyone to maintain an image as the white hats.
Lots of these writers have Arabic names. Many do not. Several who criticized Israel's policies happen to be Jewish. Many of those who are Arab denounced violence on all sides. Many simply denounced Israel and its occupation of the West Bank.
As I scanned message after message, despairing over the impossibility of even briefly replying to their far-flung authors, I felt one dominant undercurrent -- a painful frustration with government and journalism.
How is it, they seemed to be asking, that the vast herd of Americans know so little about the rest of the world and accept so much of what they're told by their so-called public servants? How can the world as viewed through your hometown newspaper and your television screen look so different when lenses are changed?
"Most of us who really want to be informed read the foreign press," a woman wrote. "We know little of what our government does in our name. I truly believe Americans are good people and would be shocked to know."
This deluge of mail was by no means free of plain partisanship, paranoia, even implied anti-Semitism. There was bitterness, as from a Palestinian who said Israeli troops killed his father in 1947, and "In my old age I wish I had fought on until they killed me."
Overall, this unprecedented experience with engaged citizens left me more hopeful than before. It demonstrated that, White House approval ratings notwithstanding, there's a true, tough patriotism out there refusing to abdicate.
"Loving one's country," a correspondent declared, "also means having the backbone to point out its mistakes."
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:04:26|
|Bismillah and salam,|
Here is an article written by French Jewish Writer Eric
Rouleau. From Le Monde Diplomatique
Le Monde Diplomatique
TERRORISM AND ISLAMISM
Politics in the name of the Prophet
The West, in ignorance and suspicion, has confused and simplified the many kinds of political Islam, and presumed a false link between terrorism and the religion of Islam.
by ÉRIC ROULEAU
Western leaders' calls to distinguish between Islam and terrorism may not be enough to check the spectre of racism. The real risk is that racist sentiment, conscious or not, will grow among ordinary people who are frightened and bewildered. The general feeling is that the West and the "civilised" democracies are waging a war (if not a crusade) against totalitarian and fanatical Muslims. Terrorist calls for jihad against "infidel crusaders" determined to subjugate Muslims have made that feeling more plausible. These worrying parallels have carved a dangerous gulf between two civilisations and two worlds, setting the well-to-do against the powerless and their pent-up frustrations and resentments.
With some notable exceptions, Western leaders and media luminaries are feeding this polarisation in two ways: they downplay the terrorists' political motivations and instead emphasise their religious identity, drawing on the muddled terminology they profess to avoid. The indiscriminate use of terms such as Islam, fanaticism, terrorism, fundamentalism, Islamism – as if they were interchangeable – leads at best to confusion and may even serve to exacerbate anti-Muslim racism. According to a survey conducted by the polling firm IFOP, 50% of the French public admit equating fanaticism with Islam (1).
Dangerous misunderstandings are inevitable when people talk about "fundamentalism" – something foreign to Islam – or even when they refer to "Islamism", which some Islamic scholars have adopted for want of a better term, although more cautious observers talk of "political Islam". Generalisations about Islamist movements and parties cause similar confusion and absence of distinction. Islamist political parties are, in fact, quite dissimilar: often they have nothing in common but their references to the Prophet and Islam, which they interpret in a number of conflicting or contradictory ways, and they span the political spectrum from left to far right.
Iran provides a prime insight into such inter-Islamist conflicts. The strongest opposition that Ayatollah Khomeini faced after his rise to power in 1979 came not from secular parties but from Islamist groups. Some of these groups were liberal (supported by the leading ayatollahs), while others were inspired by social democratic or Marxist beliefs. Following the elimination of those who opposed Khomeini's line the conflict has, in recent years, crystallised into two tendencies: the totalitarianism of the Supreme Guide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the minority; and the majority democratic, secularist faction led by President Mohammad Khatami (2). Reflecting the divisions within broader society, the Iranian clergy are also deeply split between conservatives and reformers, with both camps relying on contradictory readings of religious texts.
In Turkey, another non-Arab Muslim nation, the Islamist movement has been politically active in various guises for half a century. Respectful of the legal system established by Kemal Atatürk, the Turkish Islamists accept the secular state but condemn the government for not observing religious neutrality, as is the practice in France and the US. Turkey's "Islamic democrats", as they are sometimes known, drawing on the European Christian democratic analogy, are widely represented in Turkey's parliament and municipal councils, and their historic leader, Necmettin Erbakan, served as prime minister in a coalition cabinet in 1996-97 before his civil rights were suspended. The "Islamic democrats" see themselves as victims of discrimination: paradoxically, they are leading the fight for Turkish human rights and democracy in the hope that Turkey will be admitted to the European Union.
Egypt has several Islamist organisations with divergent viewpoints and objectives. With only one or two exceptions, these groups advocate non-violent reforms. The oldest and largest of these is the Muslim Brotherhood, which condemns violence, whether it is the Islamist "dictatorship" in Sudan or the "crimes" committed by Algeria's Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Some of the Brotherhood's younger members left the movement, however, regarding it as too conservative, to form the Wasat party (the "middle way"), which advocates political pluralism and human rights (3). Al-Wasat has a woman and a Christian on its central committee, setting it apart from other Islamic groups. In contrast to the moderation of these groups, the militant Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, joined Osama bin Laden's terrorist organisation.
There are plenty of other examples of the diversity of political Islam in the Arab and Muslim countries, from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf. Indeed, the Islamic movement has undergone various notable transformations from the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, which grew into a huge mass movement and, in its heyday, expanded throughout the region. The routing of the Arab armies during the Six-Day war in June 1967 was a defining moment, leading, as it did, to the collapse of a number of nationalist and socialist groups that were blamed for the catastrophic loss. To ease the distress and humiliation, local populations turned to their religious faith out of desperation. Forced by most regimes to meet clandestinely, the Islamists used the mosques as a political forum; and their charitable and corporate organisations provided the bearers of the Islamist message.
An outlet for protest and action
Whether out of conviction or opportunism, the Islamists shaped their political discourse to match that of their vanquished rivals. Islamic rhetoric became an instrument of mobilisation, serving as a cover for nationalist and anti-imperialist objectives. But it also had a social component, and included denunciations of the injustices, corruption, and tyranny that characterised the reigning oligarchies. Political Islam thus became one of the few outlets for protest and action. Ayatollah Khomeini's pronouncements, minus their theological references, were virtually indistinguishable from statements from Third World leaders such as the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. The leader of the Iranian revolution thus came to occupy that part of the political spectrum that the Shah of Iran bequeathed to him after having overseen the destruction of the democratic opposition parties of both the left and the right.
Although demagogic in nature, the Islamists' political and social programme gained more favour with the public than their religious message, which was primarily reactionary, misogynistic and morally repressive. This is the sole explanation for the Islamists' success following, and not before, their transformation into militant nationalists. They undoubtedly benefited from wide-ranging assistance (especially financial) from states that claimed Islamic roots, such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, which sought to strengthen their own bases after the fall of regimes hostile to their interests. It later became clear that this support was not reciprocal, since these governments did not realise that political Islam, as a brand-new phenomenon, was not necessarily sympathetic to their interests.
Faced with this threat, the Arab regimes tried to neutralise the Islamists, either by pursuing them with extraordinary brutality or by integrating them within state institutions, retaining the ability to co-opt them. The Islamists were successfully co-opted in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and Yemen, where they have representation in parliament, and in some cases in government. By contrast, the Islamists suffered appalling massacres in Syria and ruthless repression in Tunisia and Iraq. In Algeria, those who seek to stamp out the Islamists have only succeeded in prolonging a particularly bloody conflict.
It would be wrong to conclude that clashes between the established regimes and the Islamists pit supporters of secularism against its opponents. Some states opposed to political Islam have constitutions and legislation that conform to the teachings of the sacred texts. Other states fight so passionately to become more Islamic than their opponents that they have come to resemble them.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt are both examples of this phenomenon. With rare exceptions, their governments have at times colluded with the Islamists in the fight against even more fearsome rivals. Former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat protected them in the 1970s to neutralise the left-leaning Nasserists and the communists; ironically, Sadat was assassinated by an Islamist in 1981. His successor, Hosni Mubarak, stopped pursuing the Islamists after they signed up for the anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, yet Mubarak himself became the target of an assassination attempt in 1995. Jordan's King Hussein often relied on Islamist support in combating opponents of his reign. Yemen's President Abdallah Saleh won over the Islamists in clashes with Marxists in South Yemen. Sudan's former president Gaafar Numeiri took similar steps to win over political parties opposed to absolute rule and to help him overcome separatist, Christian and animist rebels in the south of Sudan.
The case of Israel is virtually identical. Successive Israeli governments discreetly supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the Occupied Territories while the Brotherhood was exclusively attacking Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which it viewed as a gang of nationalists and Marxists, all traitors to Islam. The Israeli leadership realised its short-sightedness during the first intifada, begun in 1987, when the Brotherhood gave birth to Hamas, dedicated to the liberation of Palestine through armed struggle and terrorism.
Good versus evil
United States policies have been no different from those of Israel and the Arab states. Washington has always viewed the Islamists as natural partners, implacably opposed to "communist atheists" and strongly supportive of market economics. Washington believed the Islamists would eventually take their place within the free world. The US alliance with Saudi Arabia, home to rigid Wahhabism, has continued since the second world war. In the 1950s and 1960s Muslim countries and Islamist movements fought alongside the US against Nasserism and the evil Soviet empire. It was a struggle of good versus evil, version one.
The Soviet retreat from Afghanistan, the Gulf war and the collapse of the Soviet empire changed the picture radically and brought about a new sort of Islamism, which grew in the mountains of Afghanistan. The mujahedin did not see themselves as mere back-up troops for the US; they believed, along with Osama bin Laden and his future supporters, that they had liberated Islamic land through valour, sacrifice and, in many cases, martyrdom. Their disappointment in the aftermath of victory was commensurate with their self-styled role. They had no jobs or resources, nor did they receive gratitude, compensation or inclusion in any future plans for the country.
The US, grateful nonetheless, did exert discreet pressure on reluctant governments, urging them to repatriate fighters who would go on to devote themselves to violence in Algeria, Kashmir, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, then Bosnia and Chechnya. When Egypt repeatedly refused to welcome back Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was implicated in President Sadat's assassination, the US granted him a visa in 1990, followed by permanent resident status. In 1993 the sheikh masterminded the first attack on the World Trade Centre and was given a life sentence.
The 1990-91 Gulf war sparked demonstrations and protests throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, not out of sympathy with Saddam Hussein as some claimed, but in protest at Washington's bias and double standards. Indignant nationalist and Islamist media asked why only Iraq faced sanctions for its invasion of Kuwait when Israel had occupied Arab territories for decades with impunity. And in the wake of the Gulf war, why did the US set up bases in several Gulf countries, most notably in the holy land of Saudi Arabia, if not to protect various unpopular and/or unstable regimes? The world's sole superpower became the favourite target of Islamists of all persuasions, including those who went on to adopt the Bin Laden label.
Is this a case of knee-jerk anti-Americanism? Hostility toward US foreign policy is not an intrinsically Arab or Muslim phenomenon, as some observers imply; in fact, there is now worldwide resentment in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe, within Muslim and non-Muslim communities alike. But anti-American sentiment is not irreversible; indeed, the US has been highly popular among Arab peoples at various points in recent history. Witness President Wilson's calls for the emancipation of all colonised peoples following the first world war. In 1945 President Roosevelt, together with Saudi Arabia's King Ibn Saud, sought to resolve the Palestinian problem with the cooperation of the Arab states; after the second world war the US was thought to be opposed to British and French colonialism. And during the 1956 Suez crisis, President Eisenhower called on the United Kingdom, France and Israel to end their military action against Egypt and withdraw their troops forthwith. At such moments, a Bin Laden would have had no grounds for existence.
A new historical phenomenon
Is terrorist activity inextricably linked with Islam? Terrorism is actually a worldwide scourge that has reared its head under diverse conditions and in countries as dissimilar as Germany, Japan, Italy, Argentina and Greece. Before it assumed its recent "Islamic" form, it was successively or simultaneously Palestinian, Israeli, Egyptian, Yemeni. It was also endemic, occasional, individual, nationalist or governmental in nature, and it primarily targeted local populations.
Founded by Osama bin Laden at the end of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, the al-Qaida brand of terrorism is an entirely new historical phenomenon, quite different in its make-up. Targeting US interests almost exclusively, it is transnational in its recruitment and identity since it claims to act on behalf of the umma, the Muslim nation, which is spread over five continents. This is a global phenomenon insofar as al-Qaida operates on a worldwide scale – in more than 50 countries according to the US State Department – and makes use of practices and technology made possible by globalisation.
Often influenced by Western culture, al-Qaida's members are recruited among the middle classes and work in small semi-autonomous cells even when inspired by directives from the "centre". This nebulous organisation is not the direct tool of any state; for financial and logistical support, it relies on private collaborators, charitable associations and wealthy backers. Unlike the previous generation of terrorists, who acted on behalf of organisations that also (simultaneously) engaged in non-violent political activities, Bin Laden's disciples apparently do not have any structured popular support. They are in some ways marginalised, yet they claim to speak and act on behalf of some 1bn Muslims of all religious persuasions.
Islam's highest authorities, both Sunni and Shia, condemned – almost unanimously – the suicide attacks of 11 September, although their denunciations did not receive widespread coverage in the Western media. In solemn declarations from their pulpits, they have made clear that the murder of innocents is contrary to the letter and the spirit of the holy books, as were the actions of the suicide pilots (suicide is expressly forbidden by all three monotheistic religions). What value can be ascribed to the fatwas of Bin Laden and his jihad-hungry cohorts, whose religious authority is dubious, if not non-existent?
With some exceptions, the Islamist movements of the Arab world have spoken out as well. For example, al-Nahda, the clandestine Tunisian party of Rashed Ghannoushi, issued a communiqué stating that it "unreservedly condemns the terrorism … behind these unjustifiable barbarous acts, which cannot be attributed to Muslims". Less explicit but equally categorical, other Islamist organisations have repudiated "all forms of violence, whatever their source".
Rather than focusing on Islam and its alleged relationship with fanaticism and terrorism, it may be wiser to question the sanity of the killers of 11 September, as well as Bin Laden's emerging cult of death, which parallels various infamous sects in Europe and the US. Indeed we may do well to contemplate the morbid sense of jubilation exhibited by the perpetrators of the suicide attacks.
Branded a heretic and repudiated by Islamists and Muslim leaders alike, Bin Laden appears to have earned the indulgence and sympathy of many people, both Muslim and non-Muslim. This is not as paradoxical as it may seem. In their quest for justice and recognition, the victims of globalisation also see themselves as suffering at the hands of arrogant US hegemony. Even though they show little tolerance for overbearing theologians or al-Qaida's unspeakable methods, these people have proven receptive to Bin Laden's political message. Having chosen to ignore this reality, those waging the Enduring Freedom military campaign risk lending credence to the notion of a religious war.
(1) Le Monde, 5 October 2001.
(2) See Éric Rouleau, "Islam confronts Islam in Iran", Le Monde diplomatique English edition, June 1999.
(3) See Wendy Kristianasen, "Islam on message for modernity", Le Monde diplomatique English edition, April 2000.
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:05:52|
|Bismillah and salam,|
From the Ha'aretz Jan.9/2002
Yishai: Let's restrict citizenship for Arab spouses
By Mazal Mualem
Interior Minister Eli Yishai has instructed
ministry legal advisers to look into
ways of changing legislation in order to reduce
the number of Arabs who receive
Israeli citizenship by marrying Israeli citizens.
The minister also has called on his legal team to
determine ways of lowering
the number of Arabs who left Israel during the
state's early days and are now
interested in taking up citizenship for themselves
and for their family members.
Yishai, leader of the Shas party, believes it may
be possible to establish a yearly
quota for people who fall into one of these
categories, Ha'aretz has learned. He
plans to hold a meeting of his professional staff
dealing with the issue soon,
and has already begun political contacts to garner
coalition support for
changing the legislation.
Yishai, who confirmed the moves yesterday, said
the number of non-Jews,
including Arabs, who are receiving Israeli
citizenship has grown dramatically,
and as a result, the Jewish character of the state
is being endangered.
The minister recently visited population registry
offices throughout the country,
including Ramle and Afula, and collected data.
Officials told him that in the past
year alone, several hundred Arab families that had
moved to Jordan after the
establishment of the state had returned and taken
up Israeli citizenship for
themselves and their families. Yishai believes
this is a devious way of getting
Arab refugees to return to Israel.
The current law grants Israeli citizenship to
those who can prove they held it at
one time, as well to their immediate family and
descendants, regardless of
when they left the country.
Yishai also saw data concerning the number of
Palestinians who have married
Israeli Arab women. According to ministry
officials, thousands of such
marriages, which are usually fictitious, take
place annually, and take place in
order to receive Israeli welfare benefits. Calling
this an abuse of Israeli law,
Yishai said he planned to halt such action.
At the same time, Yishai has asked his legal
advisers to look into ways of
tightening up the Law of Return so that it will
not cover such a large number of
people who are not Jewish according to Jewish law,
in particular the
non-Jewish spouses of grandchildren of Jews. One
possibility being consider
is that such individuals will not receive
citizenship until they have been in Israel
for five years. However, Yishai said he does not
plan to exclude the
grandchildren of Jews from the Law of Return.
As the Shas campaign for changing the legislation
gets underway, Deputy
Interior Minister David Azulai told the Knesset
this week that 246,037 non-Jews
have received Israeli citizenship since 1988. Of
these, 221,428 were from the
former Soviet Union.
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:07:18|
|Bismillah and salam,|
Israel imposes collective punishment on Palestinians for the killing of
4 Occupation soldiers. From the New York Times. This is considered a war crime under international law.
January 11, 2002
Israel, in Reprisal for Killings, Razes Gaza Refugee Homes
By JOEL GREENBERG
JERUSALEM, Jan. 10 — The Israeli Army retaliated today for the
killing of four Israeli soldiers
Wednesday by Palestinian militants by bulldozing dozens of houses in
a refugee camp in the Gaza
Strip, leaving hundreds of homeless people searching for their
belongings in a five-acre sea of rubble.
The action in Rafah, near the border with Egypt, was the largest Israeli
demolition operation in more
than 15 months of violent conflict with the Palestinians. Since the
start of that uprising, the army has
destroyed scores of homes and large swaths of agricultural land, actions
that have drawn strong
condemnations from human rights groups. Today, the United States
condemned the latest demolition,
which the army said was intended to deny cover to Palestinian gunmen.
"We have been very clear about the need for Palestinian action against
violence and terror," a State
Department official said in Washington. "At the same time, we do not
believe that demolitions of
Palestinian property and homes can contribute to the restoration of calm
and an end to violence."
[Agence France-Presse reported early on Friday that 12 Israeli tanks and
bulldozers had moved into
the Palestinian Authority's airport near Rafah and had begun tearing up
the runway. A spokesman for
the Israeli Army confirmed that troops and equipment were in the area,
but would not give any details
about their mission.]
An Israeli Army statement said troops had carried out "engineering
activity" on Friday, razing only 10
to 13 uninhabited homes that had "served as cover for gunmen firing on
army forces operating in the
area." The army said the structures were also suspected to have covered
tunnels serving for the
smuggling of weapons from Egypt.
But an official from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said
that 54 houses were destroyed
during today's demolition and that more than 500 people had been left
without shelter. The Palestinian
Center for Human Rights in Gaza put the numbers higher: 58 houses
destroyed and 700 people left
Throughout a day of pouring rain, men, women and children picked through
the wreckage of the
refugee camp where their homes — cinder- block dwellings with corrugated
roofs — had once
stood. They tried to salvage blankets, clothing and identity cards from
the rubble. Smashed furniture
and crushed appliances poked out from the ruins, along with a child's
bed and a bicycle.
Residents said they had grabbed their children and run when they were
awakened about 1:30 a.m. by
the roar of about a dozen Israeli tanks and bulldozers.
Samir Ghneim, 35, said he had fled with his four children minutes before
a bulldozer smashed into his
family's house. The children were shaking and frightened, he said.
His 8-year-old daughter, Maryam, said: "I heard the bulldozers and
tanks, and we ran away into the
night. My father held me, and we were crying."
Tamam Ghneim, 52, a member of the same extended family, said she and her
six children had
managed to escape through a hole in a wall shared with a neighbor's
house before her dwelling was
"This is revenge," Mr. Ghneim said. "We didn't do anything. The attack
happened in Israel, so why
us? Why do our children have to go through this?"
Today's demolitions, after the killing of the soldiers by attackers from
the militant group Hamas, raised
the possibility of a renewed slide into violence after weeks of relative
calm that followed a call on Dec.
16 by the Palestinian leaderYasir Arafat for a halt to armed attacks on
The militant Islamic Jihad group announced today that it was no longer
bound by understandings with
the Palestinian Authority to halt attacks in Israel.
The area where today's demolitions took place had been the site of
frequent fighting between
Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers posted along the border, and the
army said its forces were met
with gunfire and grenades during today's demolition. But refugees living
in the area said it has been
calm since Mr. Arafat's cease-fire call last month.
Wednesday's attack on the soldiers occurred at an army post in southern
Israel several miles away,
on the border with the Gaza Strip. The Hamas gunmen had come from Rafah,
but not from the same
refugee camp the Israelis entered today.
Since the start of the Palestinian uprising, the Israeli Army has
destroyed scores of houses in Rafah
during fighting with Palestinian gunmen along the Egyptian border.
Palestinians and Israeli human rights advocates have said that the
demolitions are part of a deliberate
campaign to clear a swath of territory along the frontier as collective
punishment for Palestinian
The army has said the demolitions, which have also been carried out in
Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, removed buildings from which
gunmen have attacked Israeli
In saying today that it was no longer bound to stop its attacks, the
Islamic Jihad cited what it called
Israel's continuing war against the Palestinians and the Palestinian
Authority's recent arrests of
Unlike Hamas, which announced a suspension of suicide and mortar attacks
after Mr. Arafat's
cease-fire appeal, Islamic Jihad did not declare a halt to attacks in
Israel. But its attacks also stopped.
Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company Privacy
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:09:04|
|Bismillah and salam,|
The latest from Edward Said from alahram weekly:
Emerging alternatives in Palestine
End the occupation: that comes first. Edward Said comments on a brave initiative
Since it began 15 months ago the Palestinian Intifada has had little to show for itself politically, despite the remarkable fortitude of a militarily occupied, unarmed, poorly led, and still dispossessed people that has defied the pitiless ravages of Israel's war machine. In the United States, the government and, with a handful of exceptions, the "independent" media have echoed each other in harping on Palestinian violence and terror, with no attention at all paid to the 35-year Israeli military occupation, the longest in modern history: as a result, American official condemnations of Yasser Arafat's Authority after 11 September as harbouring and even sponsoring terrorism have coldly reinforced the Sharon government's preposterous claim that Israel is the victim, the Palestinians the aggressors in the four- decade war that the Israeli army has waged against civilians, property and institutions without mercy or discrimination. The result today is that the Palestinians are locked up in 220 ghettos controlled by the army; American-supplied Apache helicopters, Merkava tanks, and F-16s mow down people, houses, olive groves and fields on a daily basis; schools and universities as well as businesses and civil institutions are totally disrupted; hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed and tens of thousands injured; Israel's assassinations of Palestinian leaders continue; unemployment and poverty stand at about 50 per cent -- and all this while General Anthony Zinni drones on about Palestinian "violence" to the wretched Arafat, who can't even leave his office in Ramallah because he is imprisoned there by Israeli tanks, while his several tattered security forces scamper about trying to survive the destruction of their offices and barracks.
To make matters worse, the Palestinian Islamists have played into Israel's relentless propaganda mills and its ever-ready military by occasional bursts of wantonly barbaric suicide bombings that finally forced Arafat in mid-December to turn his crippled security forces against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, arresting militants, closing offices, occasionally firing at and killing demonstrators. Every demand that Sharon makes, Arafat hastens to fulfil, even as Sharon makes still another one, provokes an incident, or simply says -- with US backing -- that he is unsatisfied, and that Arafat remains an "irrelevant" terrorist (whom he sadistically forbade from attending Christmas services in Bethlehem) whose main purpose in life is to kill Jews. To this logic-defying congeries of brutal assaults on the Palestinians, on the man who for better or worse is their leader, and on their already humiliated national existence, Arafat's baffling response has been to keep asking for a return to negotiations, as if Sharon's transparent campaign against even the possibility of negotiations wasn't actually happening, and as if the whole idea of the Oslo peace process hadn't already evaporated. What surprises me is that, except for a small number of Israelis (most recently David Grossman), no one comes out and says openly that Palestinians are being persecuted by Israel as its natives.
A closer look at the Palestinian reality tells a somewhat more encouraging story. Recent polls have shown that between them, Arafat and his Islamist opponents (who refer to themselves unjustly as "the resistance") get somewhere between 40 and 45 per cent popular approval. This means that a silent majority of Palestinians is neither for the Authority's misplaced trust in Oslo (or for its lawless regime of corruption and repression) nor for Hamas's violence. Ever the resourceful tactician, Arafat has countered by delegating Dr Sari Nusseibeh, a Jerusalem notable, president of Al-Quds University, and Fatah stalwart, to make trial balloon speeches suggesting that if Israel were to be just a little nicer, the Palestinians might give up their right of return. In addition, a slew of Palestinian personalities close to the Authority (or, more accurately, whose activities have never been independent of the Authority) have signed statements and gone on tour with Israeli peace activists who are either out of power or otherwise seem ineffective as well as discredited. These dispiriting exercises are supposed to show the world that Palestinians are willing to make peace at any price, even to accommodate the military occupation. Arafat is still undefeated so far as his relentless eagerness to stay in power is concerned.
Yet at some distance from all this, a new secular nationalist current is slowly emerging. It's too soon to call this a party or a bloc, but it is now a visible group with true independence and popular status. It counts Dr Haidar Abdel-Shafi and Dr Mustafa Barghouthi (not to be confused with his distant relative, Tanzim activist Marwan Barghouthi) among its ranks, along with Ibrahim Dakkak, Ziad Abu Amr, Ahmad Harb, Ali Jarbawi, Fouad Moghrabi, Legislative Council members Rawiya Al-Shawa and Kamal Shirafi, writers Hassan Khadr and Mahmoud Darwish, Raja Shehadeh, Rima Tarazi, Ghassan Al-Khatib, Nassir Aruri, Eliya Zureik and myself. In mid-December, a collective statement was issued that was well-covered in the Arab and European media (it went unmentioned in the US) calling for Palestinian unity and resistance and the unconditional end of Israeli military occupation, while keeping deliberately silent about returning to Oslo. We believe that negotiating an improvement in the occupation is tantamount to prolonging it. Peace can only come after the occupation ends. The declaration's boldest sections focus on the need to improve the internal Palestinian situation, above all to strengthen democracy; "rectify" the decision-making process (which is totally controlled by Arafat and his men); assert the need to restore the law's sovereignty and an independent judiciary; prevent the further misuse of public funds; and consolidate the functions of public institutions so as to give every citizen confidence in those that are expressly designed for public service. The final and most decisive demand calls for new parliamentary elections.
However else this declaration may have been read, the fact that so many prominent independents with, for the most part, functioning health, educational, professional and labour organisations as their base have said these things was lost neither on other Palestinians (who saw it as the most trenchant critique yet of the Arafat regime) nor on the Israeli military. In addition, just as the Authority jumped to obey Sharon and Bush by rounding up the usual Islamist suspects, a non- violent International Solidarity Movement was launched by Dr Barghouthi that comprised about 550 European observers (several of them European parliament members) who flew in at their own expense. With them was a well-disciplined band of young Palestinians who, while disrupting Israeli troop and settler movement along with the Europeans, prevented rock-throwing or firing from the Palestinian side. This effectively froze out the Authority and the Islamists, and set the agenda for making Israel's occupation itself the focus of attention. All this occurred while the US was vetoing a Security Council resolution mandating an international group of unarmed observers to interpose themselves between the Israeli army and defenceless Palestinian civilians.
The first result of this was that on 3 January, after Barghouthi held a press conference with about 20 Europeans in East Jerusalem, the Israelis arrested, detained and interrogated him twice, breaking his knee with rifle butts and injuring his head, on the pretext that he was disturbing the peace and had illegally entered Jerusalem (even though he was born in it and has a medical permit to enter it). None of this of course has deterred him or his supporters from continuing the non-violent struggle, which, I think, is certain to take control of the already too militarised Intifada, centre it nationally on ending occupation and settlements, and steer Palestinians toward statehood and peace. Israel has more to fear from someone like Barghouthi, who is a self-possessed, rational and respected Palestinian, than from the bearded Islamic radicals that Sharon loves to misrepresent as Israel's quintessential terrorist threat. All they do is to arrest him, which is typical of Sharon's bankrupt policy.
So where is the Israeli and American left that is quick to condemn "violence" while saying not a word about the disgraceful and criminal occupation itself? I would seriously suggest that they should join brave activists like Jeff Halper and Louisa Morgantini at the barricades (literal and figurative), stand side by side with this major new secular Palestinian initiative, and start protesting the Israeli military methods that are directly subsidised by tax-payers and their dearly bought silence. Having for a year wrung their collective hands and complained about the absence of a Palestinian peace movement (since when does a militarily occupied people have responsibility for a peace movement?), the alleged peaceniks who can actually influence Israel's military have a clear political duty to organise against the occupation right now, unconditionally and without unseemly demands on the already laden Palestinians.
Some of them have. Several hundred Israeli reservists have refused military duty in the occupied territories, and a whole spectrum of journalists, activists, academics and writers (including Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, David Grossman, Ilan Pappe, Dani Rabinowitz, and Uri Avnery) have kept up a steady attack on the criminal futility of Sharon's campaign against the Palestinian people. Ideally, there should be a similar chorus in the United States where, except for a tiny number of Jewish voices making public their outrage at Israel's military occupation, there is far too much complicity and drum-beating. The Israeli lobby has been temporarily successful in identifying the war against Bin Laden with Sharon's single-minded, collective assault on Arafat and his people. Unfortunately, the Arab American community is both too small and beleaguered as it tries to fend off the ever-expanding Ashcroft dragnet, racial profiling and curtailment of civil liberties here.
Most urgently needed, therefore, is coordination between the various secular groups who support Palestinians, a people against whose mere presence, geographical dispersion (even more than Israeli depredations) is the major obstacle. To end the occupation and all that has gone with it is a clear enough imperative. Now let us do it. And Arab intellectuals needn't feel shy about actually joining in.
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:10:48|
|Bismillah and salam,|
VIEWS OF ANGLO-JEWRY
(Letter to the Times of London from the Conjoint Foreign Committee of
the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Anglo-Jewish Association,
published 24th May 1917.)
The Holy Land is necessarily of profound and undying interest for all
Jews, as the cradle of their religion, the main theatre of Bible
history, and the site of its sacred memorials. It is not, however, as a
mere shrine or place of pilgrimage that they regard the country. Since
the dawn of their political emancipation in Europe the Jews have made
rehabilitation of the Jewish community in the Holy Land one of their
chief cares, and they have always cherished the hope that the result of
their labours would be the regeneration on Palestinian soil of a Jewish
community worthy of the great memories and of the environment, and a
source of spiritual inspiration to the whole of Jewry. Accordingly, the
conjoint committee have welcomed with deep satisfaction the prospect of
a rich fruition of their work, opened to them by the victorious progress
of the British Army in Palestine.
THE “CULTURAL” POLICY
Anxious that on this question all sections and parties in Jewry should
be united in a common effort, the committee intimated to the Zionist
organizations as far back as the winter of 1914 their readiness to
cooperate with them on the basis of the so-called “cultutral” policy
which had been adopted at the last two Zionist congresses in 1911 and
1913. This policy aimed primarily at making Palestine a Jewish
spiritual centre by ensuring for the local Jews and the colonists who
might join them, such conditions of life as would best enable them to
develop the Jewish genius on lines of their own. Larger political
questions, not directly affecting this main purpose, were left to be
solved as need and opportunity might render possible. Unfortunately, an
agreement on these lines has not proved practicable, and the conjoint
committee are consequently compelled to pursue their work alone. They
are doing so on the basis of a formula apopted by them in March 1916, in
which they proposed to recommend to His Majesty’s Government the formal
recognition of the high historical interest Palestine possesses for the
Jewish community, and a public declaration that at the close of the war
“the Jewish population will be secured in the enjoyment of civil and
religious liberty, equal political rights with the rest of the
population, reasonable facilities for immigration and colonization, and
such municipal privileges in the towns and colonies inhabited by them as
may be shown to be necessary.”
That is the policy of the committee.
Meanwhile the committee have learnt from the published statementsof
the Zionist leaders in this country that they now favour a mach larger
scheme of an essentially political character. Two points in this scheme
appear to be open to grave objections on public grounds.
NATIONALITY AND RELIGION
The first is a claim that the Jewish settlements in Palestine shall be
recognized as possessing a national character in a political sense.
Were this claim of purely local import, it might well be left to settle
itself in accordance with the general policy exigencies of the
reorganization of the country under a new sovereign power. The conjoint
committee, indeed, would have no objections to urge against a local
Jewish nationality establishing itself in such conditions. But the
present claim is not of this limited scope. It is part and parcel of a
wider Zionist theory, which regards all the Jewish communities in the
world as constituting one homeless nationality, incapable of complete
social and political identification with the nations among whom they
dwell, and it is argued that for this homeless nationality a political
centre and an always available homeland in Palestine are necessary.
Against this theory the joint committee strongly and earnestly protest.
Emancipated Jews in this couuntry regard themselves primarily as a
religious community, and they have always based their claims to
political equality with their fellow citizens of other creeds on this
assumption and its corollary – that they have no separate national
aspirations in a political sense. They hold Judaism to be a religious
system, with which their political status has no concern, and they
maintain that, as citizens of the countries in which they live, they are
fully and sincerely identified with the national spirit and interest of
those countries. It follows that the establishment of a Jewish
nationality in Palestine, founded on this theory of homelessness, must
have the effect throughout the world of stamping the Jews as strangers
in their native lands, and of undermining their hard-won position as
citizens and nationals of these lands. Moreover, a Jewish nationality,
carried to its logical conclusion, must, in the present circumstances of
the world, be an anachronism. The Jewish religion being the only
certain test of a Jew, a Jewish nationality must be founded on, and
limited by, the religion. It cannot be supposed for a moment that any
section of Jewry would aim at a commonwealth governed by religious
tests, and limited in the matter of freedom of conscience; but can a
religious nationality express itself politically in any other way? The
only alternative would be a secular nationality, recruited on some loose
and obscure principle of race and ethnographic peculiarity; but this
would not be Jewish in any spiritual sense, and its establishment in
Palestine would be a denial of all the ideas and hopes by which the
revival of Jewish life in that country commends itself to the Jewish
consciousness and Jewish sympathy. On these grounds the joint committee
deprecate most earnestly the national proposals of the Zionists.
The second point in the Zionist programme which has aroused the
misgivings of the conjoint committee is the proposal to invest the
Jewish settlers in Palestine with certain special rights in excess of
those enjoyed by the rest of the population, these rights to be embodied
in a Charter and administered by a Jewish Chartered Company. Whether it
is desirable or not to confide any portion of the administration of
Palestine to a Chartered Company need not be discussed, but it is
certainly very undesirable that Jews should solicit or accept such a
concession on a basis of political privileges and economic preferences.
Any such action would prove a veritable calamity for the whole Jewish
people. In all the countries in which they live, the principle of of
equal rights for all religious denominations is vital for them. Were
they to set an example in Palestine of disregarding this principle, they
would convict themselves of having appealed to it for purely selfish
motives. In the countries in which they are still struggling for equal
rights they would find themselves hopelessly compromised, while in other
countries, where those rights have been secured, they would have great
difficulty in defending them. The proposal is the more inadmissible
because the Jews are, and will probably long remain, a minority of the
population of Palestine, and because it might involve them in the
bitterest feuds with their neighbours of other races and religions,
which would seriously retard their progress and would find deplorable
echoes throughout the Orient. Nor is the scheme necessary for the
Zionists themselves. If the Jews prevail in a competition based on
perfect equality of rights and opportunities, they will establish their
eventual preponderance in the land on a far sounder foundation than any
that can be secured by privileges and monopolies.
If the conjoint committee can be satisfied with regard to these
points, they will be prepared to cooperate in securing for the Zionist
organizations the united support of Jewry.
(signed) David L Alexander, President, Board of
Deputies of British Jews.
(signed) Claude G Montefiore, President
London May 17, 1917
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:11:34|
|Bismillah and salam,|
British Jewish Group Calls For Dismantlement Of The Zionist State
LONDON (IRNA) - Representatives of a Jewish religious group has called
For the dismantlement of Israel as the root cause of tension and
the Middle East.
The Neturei Karta representatives made the call at a one-day
international conference on terrorism attended by Jewish, Christian and
leaders and politicians here Tuesday.
A member of the group, J. Konig, elaborating on his statements at the
conference told IRNA: "I want to see the dismantlement of the state and
peaceful coexistence of Jews with Arabs and the Arab rule." He added:
"Like we live everywhere, like we live in London, like we live in any
part of the world, we just want to be citizens, we don't want to be
Another member of the group regretted the bad image' the Israeli
has created of the Jews and caused world people to have a wrong
Rabbi Grohman, a Netuei Karta leader, elaborated on the establishment
The Zionist regime and said it was behind spread of corruption among a
of Jews. Condemning any act of violence which leads to loss of life of
people, he considered establishment of Zionist government in the
Palestine as a factor for outbreak of disputes between Muslims and Jews.
He added that before the establishment of the Zionist regime, Muslims,
Christians and Jews lived in peace in the Palestine region.
Neturei Karta has a considerable number of followers in Britain.
Meanwhile, Rabbai Hershal Gluck, chairman of the Muslim-Jewish forum
the UK, in his speech titled "looking at the past through the prism of
future", condemned terrorism as a phenomenon about destroying innocent
lives. "Too many mothers have cried for the loss of their children, and
children for their parents," he said, stressing: "It is high time to
at what divides us. It is time to call an end to the cycle."
Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders discussed the topic of
terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on American targets in New
York and Washington.
The one-day international conference was sponsored by the Institute of
Islamic Studies affiliated to the Islamic Center of Britain. Speakers
including religious personalities, politicians, university professors
and intellectuals from Britain, the United States and Iran expressed
their viewpoints regarding terrorism and the current conflicts in
Afghanistan and the Middle East.
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:16:28|
|Bismillah and salam,|
WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - The United States has so far offered no condemnation of Israel’s razing of dozens of Palestinian refugee homes in the Gaza Strip Thursday.
At a U.S. State Department press briefing Thursday, January 10, spokesman Richard Boucher indicated that no official statement of condemnation of the Israeli action had been given, although he reiterated the U.S. position denouncing house demolitions in general.
"First and foremost, it's important to remember the responsibility of Chairman Arafat to take action against violence," Boucher began. "At the same time, we've always said that we don't think demolitions contribute to restoration of calm or an end to violence… and that remains our position on this particular situation."
When asked if the Israelis had been specifically notified of this position, he said, "The Israelis are quite aware of our position on demolitions, and I'm sure in any conversations that we had about the matter we would state that position."
In an act equally condemned by the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli opposition, a dozen Israeli tanks and bulldozers razed 73 houses in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah early Thursday, Rafah's governor said, leaving at least 123 families homeless in a cold rain shower, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
The Palestinian Authority condemned the Israeli raid as a "serious crime" meant to derail the peace process, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Leader of the left-wing Israeli Meretz party, Yossi Sarid, said such actions would only bring more bloodshed. He described "the destruction of homes of Palestinian refugees" as "unjustifiable" in a statement received by AFP.
Meanwhile, Sarid, whose party has 10 deputies in the 120-seat parliament, said he would call upon Defense Minister, Binyamin Ben Eliezer, to explain the action before the house's foreign affairs and defense committee.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian group, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders), voiced fears over the medical consequences for Palestinian refugees left homeless.
"Medecins Sans Frontieres condemns this act of mass destruction of homes of innocent civilians in this winter period and fears the medical and psychological consequences for the families affected," its Gaza offices said in a statement.
It said the organization was trying to help 200 residents of a district of Rafah refugee camp "overcome this catastrophe" and that the Palestinian Authority itself did not have the means to re-house those left homeless.
Rafah's governor, Sufian al-Agha, said some Palestinian women and children had been treated for shock and cold after the operation, calling the district a "disaster zone."
"We are hoping international organizations will do something," he said. "I am surprised there has been no international stand against the Israeli practices here." He added that Israel had also destroyed some Palestinian fishing boats and motors on the Gaza coast.
The governor said there had been no firing in the area since Arafat called for an end to Israeli attacks on December 16.
"I was surprised the Israelis bulldozed these houses. There was no shooting for three weeks," he told AFP.
Meanwhile, newly homeless residents of Rafah, far away from the issuing of statements by foreign bodies, huddled under the winter rain as an Israeli flag fluttered inside the buffer zone straddling Rafah and the Egyptian border.
Homeless women sat shivering in the cold mud, AFP said in a report, trying to light a fire with soggy splinters of wood in a field of craters where their houses stood until Israeli bulldozers began to move in overnight.
People panicked, telling each other to leave the wasteland, afraid the Israelis might shoot from a sentry post on the border's no-man's-land which abuts their homes in "Block O" of Rafah's refugee camp.
The women yelled about their destroyed lives and looked over the wire-mesh border fence to the lush green date trees on the Egyptian side, a contrast to the green tile and concrete slabs beneath their feet.
In an attempt to justify the Israeli atrocity, an Israeli army spokesman claimed the buildings destroyed had allegedly provided cover for gunmen attacking army posts and provided a blind for weapons allegedly smuggled from Egypt across the border.
But the soiled bed sheets, an orange plastic baby chair, a bent bicycle frame and a bedpost tell another story.
"You are standing on my home," one Palestinian woman cried.
Some women dug in puddles of mud for their identification cards, while streams of water rushed past jagged stones, metal pipes and bashed-in white washing machines.
Others hauled out garbage bags of clothing, as children shoved each other off mounds of rocks.
Teenagers carried axes and rusty cleavers to chop wood for fires from the splintered furniture.
Abdul Ghanim, 33, pointed to his house's remains - one roofless room was still erect. Some houses had their front walls torn away, leaving them with the eerie look of a Hollywood soundstage hit by a hurricane.
"If we stayed in our house, my kids would be dead," said Ghanim, who recalled the metal din of the tanks and bulldozers approaching before he whisked his wife and four children away.
His daughter Miriam, eight, fidgeted with a pink plastic ring on her finger and said, "We were very scared. There was shooting. My father picked me up and took me out."
The family shivered in the street during the night, before Miriam headed for her final exams in history class, the last day before winter vacation.
Abdul Ghanem's cousin, Ibrahim Ghanem, bundled himself in blankets on the wet floor of a home. He had crawled on his knees through a hole in the wall that joined his home to his neighbor's, made in case of such an emergency.
"If that hole wasn't there, I would have died," he said, his nose and cheeks red from the cold.
Another camp resident, Baha Abu Libdeh, 31, made homeless along with his wife and six children, was quoted in a Washington Post article as saying that Israel's "retaliation" would only create more hatred.
"What danger does my house pose to the Israeli security?" Abu Libdeh asked. "I became homeless today, and my children will remember one thing about the state of Israel. It is the enemy."
|Re: Zionism related articles|
|01/12/02 at 15:20:02|
Bismillah and salam,
Palestinian Leadership Slams Powell Remarks On Israeli Incursions
GAZA CITY, Jan. 12 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - The Palestinian leadership condemned Saturday remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, in which he described the latest Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip as "defensive actions."
"The Palestinian leadership rejects any justification of the destruction of refugee housing in (the southern Gaza Strip town of) Rafah ... and the demolition of the landing strip at the airport nearby," a spokesman said.
On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell defended Israel's operations, calling them a "defensive action" to counter weapons smuggling.
"It's a response the Israelis have taken in response to this latest provocation," Powell said.
"The Israelis are responding to this incident of smuggling of weapons into the region by going after other ways of smuggling weapons into the region," Powell said.
"So a lot of their military activity of the last 24 hours has been to destroy routes of bringing weapons in from the southern part of the Gaza Strip," he said. "It's a defensive action on their part."
Early on Friday, Israeli occupation forces bulldozed the runway at the Palestinian-controlled Gaza International Airport, and the occupation troops closed off a main road in the Strip between Rafah and Khan Yunis.
"They [the Israelis] are now actively trying to cut through the lines and the tunnels and other things through the southern part of the Gaza Strip and it's the same kind of problem we have with the ship," Powell told reporters.
"If there are people who are trying to introduce weapons into the region, this is provocative and one would expect the Israelis to respond."
Fayez Zaidan, a Palestinian official in charge of civil aviation, said the bulldozing of the runway was "severe." However, he could not say whether the runway had been completely destroyed, as Palestinian officials were not permitted to enter.
The runway had four gashes across its smooth black asphalt, leaving mounds of brown dirt and concrete scattered, after Israeli tanks and bulldozers Friday tore up Gaza airport.
"Each day they tear away a piece. Gradually, they'll destroy the whole airport," Zaidan said, gazing over at nearby Rafah, which has been a hotbed for deadly battles between the Israeli military and Palestinian gunmen during the 15-month-old Palestinian uprising, or Intifada.
Powell also backed Israel's demand that Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat arrest and try those responsible for trying to smuggle weapons aboard the Karine A, a ship captured by Israel in the Red Sea.
"It must be politically conceivable for Mr. Arafat to do this [make the arrests] because the kind of thing we saw on that ship is inconsistent with the Oslo accord," he added. "Israelis are responding to this incident of smuggling... It's a defensive action on their part."
He and an aide later made clear that he was not including the demolition by Israeli tanks and bulldozers of more than 70 civilian homes and left more than 100 people homeless.
Israeli occupation army claimed some of the homes were used as cover by gunmen firing at its troops. But Palestinians trying to dig out their belongings said they believed they were paying the price for Wednesday's raid inside Israel.
The State Department said on Thursday that the demolitions could not contribute to an end to violence.
It is worth noting that since it came into existing, Israel has received military aid from the United States mounting up to 92 billion dollars. An annual sum of 2.5 to 3 billion dollars is given to Israel by the United States including at least 1 billion military aid.
In September, Israel has signed a two billion dollar contract with American firm Lockheed Martin to buy 52 F-16I jets, one of the most advanced fighter-bombers in the world, reported the Jerusalem Post.
The agreement is an amendment to an earlier Israeli order for 50 jets with an option to purchase more the Post reported in September.
The deal was for the same two-seat F-16I configuration as in the previous order, with deliveries expected between 2006 and 2009.
Most of the funding will come from the nearly two billion dollars in annual U.S. military aid, the newspaper said.
The new agreement covers aircraft, logistics support, training and other services.
Lockheed Martin and defense officials were reported saying the new planes will include a number of systems produced by local companies.
"Israel's sixth acquisition of F-16s demonstrates their continued confidence in the F-16I to satisfy their future defense needs," Lockheed Martin president Dain Hancock said.
Israel is believed to have the largest fleet of F-16s outside of the U.S., with the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv reporting in 1995 there were 250 in Israel's aeriel arsenal, said AFP.
Egypt has the second largest F-16 fleet, said the Jerusalem Post.
The F-16I is considered one of the most advanced fighter-bombers in the world and has been equipped with conformal fuel tanks that extend its range.
In August, a U.S. government watchdog announced that it is investigating the sale of U.S.-made arms to Israel amid growing concern over Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian resistance activists and its use of heavy weaponry.
In the past four years, America has provided Israel with about $5.2 billion worth of arms, financed largely by annual grants of military aid by Congress, reported the British daily, The Independent, in August.
Such weapons include F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft and attack helicopters.
According to the Arms Export Control Act such weapons can only be used for "legitimate self-defense", the paper said.
There is growing unease in Washington over what Israel calls "targeted killings" a euphemism for assassination - of more than 60 Palestinians suspected of involvement in resistance activities, the paper said.
The General Accounting Office (GAO) the budgetary investigative arm of Congress is doing an audit of U.S. arms sale to countries in the Middle East over the past 10 years.
Included in the audit will be an examination of export controls attached to each sale.
"Obviously during peace time when weapons are just being used on exercises the monitoring is less hard to do," a U.S. State Department spokesman.
more articles on what is going on in Palestine
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