30 September, 2006

IDF commander: We fired more than a million cluster bombs in Lebanon
By Meron Rappaport
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/761781.html

"What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs," the head of an IDF rocket unit in Lebanon said regarding the use of cluster bombs and phosphorous shells during the war.

Quoting his battalion commander, the rocket unit head stated that the IDF fired around 1,800 cluster bombs, containing over 1.2 million cluster bomblets.

In addition, soldiers in IDF artillery units testified that the army used phosphorous shells during the war, widely forbidden by international law. According to their claims, the vast majority of said explosive ordinance was fired in the final 10 days of the war.

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The rocket unit commander stated that Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) platforms were heavily used in spite of the fact that they were known to be highly inaccurate.

MLRS is a track or tire carried mobile rocket launching platform, capable of firing a very high volume of mostly unguided munitions. The basic rocket fired by the platform is unguided and imprecise, with a range of about 32 kilometers. The rockets are designed to burst into sub-munitions at a planned altitude in order to blanket enemy army and personnel on the ground with smaller explosive rounds.

The use of such weaponry is controversial mainly due to its inaccuracy and ability to wreak great havoc against indeterminate targets over large areas of territory, with a margin of error of as much as 1,200 meters from the intended target to the area hit.

The cluster rounds which don't detonate on impact, believed by the United Nations to be around 40% of those fired by the IDF in Lebanon, remain on the ground as unexploded munitions, effectively littering the landscape with thousands of land mines which will continue to claim victims long after the war has ended.

Because of their high level of failure to detonate, it is believed that there are around 500,000 unexploded munitions on the ground in Lebanon. To date 12 Lebanese civilians have been killed by these mines since the end of the war.

According to the commander, in order to compensate for the inaccuracy of the rockets and the inability to strike individual targets precisely, units would "flood" the battlefield with munitions, accounting for the littered and explosive landscape of post-war Lebanon.

When his reserve duty came to a close, the commander in question sent a letter to Defense Minister Amir Peretz outlining the use of cluster munitions, a letter which has remained unanswered.

'Excessive injury and unnecessary suffering'

It has come to light that IDF soldiers fired phosphorous rounds in order to cause fires in Lebanon. An artillery commander has admitted to seeing trucks loaded with phosphorous rounds on their way to artillery crews in the north of Israel.

A direct hit from a phosphorous shell typically causes severe burns and a slow, painful death.

International law forbids the use of weapons that cause "excessive injury and unnecessary suffering", and many experts are of the opinion that phosphorous rounds fall directly in that category.

The International Red Cross has determined that international law forbids the use of phosphorous and other types of flammable rounds against personnel, both civilian and military.

IDF: No violation of international law
In response, the IDF Spokesman's Office stated that "International law does not include a sweeping prohibition of the use of cluster bombs. The convention on conventional weaponry does not declare a prohibition on [phosphorous weapons], rather, on principles regulating the use of such weapons.

"For understandable operational reasons, the IDF does not respond to [accounts of] details of weaponry in its possession.

"The IDF makes use only of methods and weaponry which are permissible under international law. Artillery fire in general, including MLRS fire, were used in response solely to firing on the state of Israel."

The Defense Minister's office said it had not received messages regarding cluster bomb fire.

The Dream Philosophy of Paranoids

Kill Arabs, Cry Anti-Semitism


By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein09122006.html

A central thesis of my book Beyond Chutzpah is that whenever Israel faces a public relations debacle its apologists sound the alarm that a "new anti-Semitism" is upon us. So, predictably, just after Israel faced another image problem due to its murderous destruction of Lebanon, a British all-party parliamentary group led by notorious Israel-firster Denis MacShane MP (Labor) released yet another report alleging a resurgence of anti-Semitism (Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism, September 2006). To judge by the witnesses (David Cesarani, Lord Janner, Oona King, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Melanie Phillips) and sources (MEMRI, Holocaust Education Trust) cited in the body of the report, much time and money could have been saved had it just been contracted out to the Israel Foreign Ministry. (The report's statement that "we received no evidence of the accusation of anti-Semitism being misused by mainstream British Jewish community organizations and leaders" perhaps speaks more to the selection of the witnesses than the reality.)

The single novelty of the report, which mostly rehashes fatuous allegations already disposed of in Beyond Chutzpah, is the new thresholds in idiocy it breaks. Consider the methodology deployed for demonstrating a new anti-Semitism. The report defines an anti-Semitic incident as any occasion "perceived" to be anti-Semitic by the "Jewish community." This is the school of thought according to which it's raining even in the absence of any precipitation because I feel it's raining. It is the dream philosophy of paranoids, especially rational paranoids, for whom alleged victimhood is politically serviceable. The report includes under the rubric of anti-Semitic incidents not just violent acts and incendiary speech but "conversations, discussions, or pronouncements made in public or private, which cross the line of acceptability," as well as "the mood and tone when Jews are discussed." The wonder is that it didn't also tabulate repressed anti-Semitic libidinal fantasies. In the category of inherently anti-Semitic pronouncements the report includes "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" (only comparisons of contemporary Arab policy to that of the Nazis are permissible) and "theories about Jewish or Zionist influence on American foreign policy" (even if Jewish and Zionist organizations boast about this influence).

Much of the evidence of pervasive British anti-Semitism requires real strains in credulity. * The lone item listed under the ominous subheading "The Blood Libel" is a Syrian television series "that would be possible for viewers in the UK to seeif they had suitable satellite receiving equipment." It also notes the unreferenced "case of a Jewish university lecturer who was subjected to an anti-Semitic tirade from a student in the middle of a lecture and subsequently asked to explain to the university authorities why he ha upset the student." Is it anti-Semitic to wonder whether this is a crock? And then the report cites the warning of the London Assembly Conservative Group that "there is a risk that in some political quarters 'views on international events can, almost subconsciously, lead to subtly different attitudes to, and levels of engagement with, different minority groups.'" The new anti-Semitism business must be going seriously awry when British conservatives start sounding like Lacan. Finally, it is anti-Semitic for student unions to advocate a boycott of Israeli goods because this "would restrict the availability of kosher food on campus." Maybe Israel can organize a "Berlin airlift" of gefilte fish.

Although claiming that, in the struggle against anti-Semitism, "none of those who gave evidence wished to see the right free speech eroded," and "only in extreme circumstances would we advocate legal intervention," the report recommends that university authorities "take an active interest in combating acts, speeches, literature and events that cause anxiety or alarm among their Jewish students," and it registers disquiet that "classic and modern anti-Semitic works are freely available for ordering on the Amazon.com website," and that "the United States in particular has been slow to take action" in closing down "anti-Semitic internet sites." It is at moments like this that even the least patriotic of souls can take pride in being an American.


* The police data on an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in itself proves little because, as the report concedes, the spike might be due to more incidents being reported and a coarsening of British life generally, as well as the "spillover" from the Israel-Palestine conflict. In addition, there is little evidence of "organized," "politically motivated" anti-Semitic attacks; there is no evidence that perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks were disproportionately Muslim; and most of the suspects in the incidents were adolescents. For 2005 the report cites a couple incidents that were "potentially" life-threatening. It cites no comparative data for other minorities in Britain, although tacitly acknowledging that "the level of prejudice and discrimination by Jews in Britain remains lower," a considerable understatement . On a related note, it deplores that "less than one in ten [anti-Semitic] incidents reported to the police resulted in a suspect becoming an accused" , but cites no comparative data indicating whether this ratio is aberrant.

Norman Finkelstein's most recent book is Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (University of California Press). His web site is www.NormanFinkelstein.com.

27 September, 2006

By Ghali Hassan*

For its entire existence, Israel has been portrayed as a “civilised” society with Western “liberal democratic principles”, defended by an “heroic” army. Western media coverage has been bluntly biased in favour of Israel regardless of the enormity of Israel’s war crimes and Israel’s violations of international law and civilised norms. This Israel, however, is a fabrication, rather than a reality. It is built on a fiction.

Decades-long vilification and dehumanisation of Arabs and Muslims by Western governments, the inherently racist media and the Zionist entertainment industry of Hollywood have conditioned successive generations of Westerners (and non-Westerners) to blind anti-Arab/anti-Muslim racist stereotypes. From the U.S. to Europe and to Australia, the increasing persecution and alienation of Muslims and Arabs has been legitimised through governments’ introducing new laws and legislation singling out Arabs and Muslims. In addition, Western governments are using the event of 9/11 and the “threat” of terrorism to instill fear, encourage Islamophobia and secure public consent to perpetuate war against Muslim and Arab nations.

In the U.S., the Zionists’ influence – led by the pro-Israel Jewish lobby and the Christian Zionists – on the U.S. media, educational system, political institutions, and national psyche is total. For example, the Palestinians “are almost completely dehumanised”, wrote the late Edward Said. However, all Muslims, regardless of nationality bear the brunt of today’s racism. According to a Washington Post poll taken in March 2006, a majority of American citizens believe that “Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence”. And so, the killing of Muslims, and the destruction of their countries becomes more acceptable to a Western public and neutralises anti-war sentiments [1]. In other words, racism mobilises the public behind war. I recount this racism because once again we face the rising threat of a new and more powerful clone of Fascism.

By contrast, the “Israelis” – Jews who live in Israel – are portrayed as “civilised” and “peace-loving” people. Israeli soldiers, who deliberately train to kill Palestinian school children and women, and use Palestinians as human shields, are portrayed as “heroes”. Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity are not only covered-up in Western media but also justified as “self-defence” operations. The so-called “Jewish State” where 25 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line with the highest child poverty rate in capitalist countries, is called the “shining light on the hill”. The high levels of corruption among Israeli politicians and military elites, and the massive military aid provided by Western governments are taboos in Western media.

Based on its current ideology of a “Jewish-only State” and its brutal treatment of Palestinians, Israel is an Apartheid state [3, 4]. Although anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism is endemic to the militarised “Israeli society”, Israeli laws also discriminate against any non-Jews. Even Jews are classified according to their ethnicity, and Americans – Israel’s unquestionable supporters – are considered “unworthy Gentiles”. In fact, Israel is the only state where racial contempt and the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians is an official ideology [5], and has been Israel’s formidable tool of occupation and expansion. Israel is doing everything to normalise and legitimise this Fascist ideology.

Like Germany under Adolf Hitler, Israel is meticulously pursuing genocide in Palestine. Israel treats Palestinians in particular, and Arabs in general, as Untermenschen [subhumans]. Israeli leaders consider all Palestinians (men, women and children) as legitimate targets, and justify the daily murder of defenceless Palestinians as “militants” and “terrorists”. As during Fascism, Western media – with relentless efforts – have normalised and legitimised Israel’s terror and brutality in the Western conscience. The illegal Israeli occupation of Arab lands, the daily murder of innocent Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation forces, the destruction of vital civilian infrastructures, and the illegal kidnappings, imprisonment and torture of Arabs are not considered grounds for legitimate resistance. There are at least 10,000 Arab prisoners (mostly Palestinians and Lebanese) in Israeli prisons; including hundreds of women and children. Israel – backed by the U.S. and Western governments – has a total monopoly on violence in the region.

While Israel is portrayed as a “democracy”, Israel denies basic human rights to more than 1.2 million “Israeli Arabs” (20% of Israel’s population) – Palestinians who remained within Israel’s created borders in 1948. As a “Jewish-only State”, Israel abnegates the right of the Palestinian minority to national equality based on the formula of “democratic” principles. In addition, Israel is systematically dividing its Palestinian minority into separate ethnic entities in order to assimilate them into “Israel society” and removes Palestinian national identity. Israeli leaders and a large majority of “Israelis” are in favour of ethnic cleansing (‘transfer’) all Palestinians. The criminal and illegal policy is continuing in different parts of Palestine, including Jerusalem where, until recently, Palestinians made up the majority of the population [2].

Furthermore, following HAMAS’s victory in the January Palestinian legislative elections, Israel, backed by the U.S. and the EU, imposed collective punishments on the entire Palestinian population (in Gaza and the West Bank) in order to coerce the population and undermine the democratically-elected HAMAS government, on the fabricated pretext that the resistance and political movement must renounce violence and recognise Israel. But when has Israel recognised the Palestinians and renounced violence?

As I write theses lines, Gaza, the largest Concentration Camp in history, continues to be under siege and constant bombardment by the Israeli army. At least 250 Palestinian civilians, 65 of them children and at least 30 of them women, were killed by the Israeli army since June 25, 2006. The 1.4 million Palestinian prisoners in the Camp are on the verge of mass starvation. The siege is part of Western governments’ collective punishment of the Palestinians for practicing their democratic rights.

In addition, Israel has been assassinating and kidnapping the democratically-elected leadership of HAMAS. The aim of these illegal and criminal policies is to bring-down the HAMAS government and to destroy the democratic aspirations of the Palestinians. Accordingly, Palestinians have only one choice; to submit to Israel’s terror and brutal occupation or risk being terrorised and starved to death by a brutal force.

On his visit to Israel on August 30, 2006, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has for the first time urged Israel to stop the daily killing of innocent Palestinian civilians, and has called on Israel to stop the indiscriminate shelling and bombing of Gaza. “Two hundred Palestinians have been killed since the end of June … This must stop immediately”, Annan said. “The closure of Gaza must be lifted; the crossing points must be opened”, he added. It is encouraging, but it was also ineffective and deceptive. It is important to remember that Kofi Annan was in the Middle East to serve Israel-U.S. interests at the expense of the Palestinians, and Arabs in general.

Meanwhile in New York, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland told reporters; “Gaza is a ticking time-bomb … You can not seal off an area which is a little bit bigger than the city of Stockholm and have 1.4 million people, of whom 800,000 are youth and children and then have 200 artillery shells a day going in there, virtually every day, seal off the borders … for people to live or even humanitarian supplies to get in”. Egeland stopped short of condemning Israel’s terror against the Palestinians. Gaza is a concentration camp, almost completely cut off from the outside world. The only difference between Gaza and the Concentration Camps is that the Camps had electricity and water, Gaza has none.

In Lebanon, in addition to the massive and indiscriminate destruction of the economy and civilian infrastructures, a large number of civilians, mostly women and children were massacred by the Israeli army. At least 1500 Lebanese civilians, a third of them children, were massacred during the Israeli aggression, and several thousands injured. The Nazi-like criminal attacks were designed to break the will of the Lebanese people resisting Israel’s terror. The U.S.-UK governments openly supported Israel’s war crimes and purposefully delayed an immediate “ceasefire”, preferring more bloodshed and destruction.

Just as the aim of U.S.-Israel is to destroy HAMAS and the Palestinian will to resist the Israeli occupation, the aim of the U.S.-Israel war on Lebanon is the destruction of Hizbullah as a political and resistance movement against Israel’s terror and the control of Lebanon. This U.S.-Israel ideology is flawed and failed because ideological aims are not achieved by violence and terrorism. Like HAMAS, Hizbullah is a grassroots organisation and is deeply embedded in the Lebanese society.

For 34 days, Israel indiscriminately dropped tonnes of U.S.-made bombs on Lebanon. The U.S. not only backed Israel’s terror but continued shipping more bombs to Israel and allowed Israel to destroy as much of Lebanon infrastructure and economy in flagrant violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions. In several Israeli attacks on Lebanese villages on the border with Israel, the Israeli army ordered the population to leave their villages. Once the people gathered their belongings and started leaving in trucks, minibuses and cars, they were cowardly attacked by Israel’s “heroic” army on open roads. Western media were quick to cover-up the atrocities calling these war crimes “daring operations” and “surgical strikes”.

Israel used terrorism openly and deliberately without being held accountable for its actions. When asked to justify Israel’s war crimes against innocent civilians in Lebanon and Gaza, Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Daniel Carmon said: “We cannot for sure prove that all the civilians in southern Lebanon were purely innocent civilians … There is hardly any distinction between Hezbollah and the civilian population … This whole region was a region in which you could not make the distinction between one and the other”. Carmon rightly defined Israel as a terrorist sate when he said; “Terrorism deliberately, deliberately targets civilians, innocent civilians”. This has been part of Israel’s racist ideology since its inception in 1948 on Palestinian land.

Unashamedly, Western leaders and the mass media called Israel’s aggression and war crimes, “legitimate Israel self-defence”, deliberately contradicting reports by the UN, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International showing that Israeli forces were violating humanitarian laws and deliberately targeted civilians and hence committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

To shield Israel from the responsibility of war crimes and remove Israel’s crimes from historical memory, an immediate international “donors” conference was held in Sweden on August 31, 2006. The conference was nothing more and nothing less than a shameful propaganda and had nothing to do with “aid” to Lebanon. Its aim was the removal of the suffering of Lebanese from Western conscience. The “erosion of historical memory” is very important in time of an ongoing propaganda campaign to prepare the public for another war, probably against Iran.

After allowing Israel to completely and indiscriminately destroy Lebanon, the rich West pledged $347 million (the EU promised $117 million and the U.S. $230 million) in “aid” to rebuild Lebanon. It is estimated that the destruction of Lebanon economy and infrastructure will need more than $15 billion to repair and bring to a pre-war level. The Gulf Arab states will provide the rest of the $950 million. It is suggested that the “aid” is just part of war-profiteering. The conference’s naked hypocrisy was summed-up in the statement of Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson: “Our message should be clear and firm: you are not alone … War may be the business of some, but peace will always be our common duty”, he declared. Switzerland was the only Western country to condemn Israel’s war crimes against Lebanon.

Furthermore, it is true that world public opinion has shifted in favour of resistance against Israel’s terror, however, Jews remain silent. With the exception of a very few individual Jews, the vast majority of Jews and major Jewish organisations around the world unconditionally support Israel crimes against Palestinian civilians, and Arab civilians in general. Recently, America’s main organisation of Modern Orthodox rabbis (the Rabbinical Council of America) called on the Israeli military to be less concerned with the defenceless Lebanese civilians during Israel’s indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Lebanon.

Jews around the world were quick to condemn those who criticised Israel’s deliberate destruction of Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and economy. Any criticism of Israel is immediately linked to past crimes against Jews. The charge of so-called “anti-Semitism” is used as a tool to bully and intimidate those who dare to criticise Israel’s terror and war crimes in the Middle East. The charge proves to be a deadly tool and has been used efficiently by Israel and Zionists around the world. For example, when German Minister for Development Aid, Heidemarie Wieczoreck-Zeul called for a UN probe into Israel’s indiscriminate use of cluster bombs to attack population centres and innocent Lebanese civilians, the Minister was accused of being “anti-Semitic” by the president of the Central Council of German Jews. The same charge was labelled against Ken Roth, the director of HRW for his very minor criticism of Israel’s deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on Lebanon.

In addition to this massive and well-established propaganda campaign in favour of Israel, Western governments continue arming Israel with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. For example, successive German governments supported Israel’s terror and provided Israel with new weapons (such as nuclear submarines). The justification in creating this excessively-armed and violent monster is that Israel is under threat and that by not arming Israel, Germany will risk accusations of being “anti-Semitic” and Germans’ image will be damaged world-wide. Of course, these are falsehoods. Israel was never under any threat and remains free from threat today. It is Israel who has never stopped attacking its neighbours, and who has refused to live in peaceful coexistence.

Under the UN fig-leaf, European governments (the EU) were quick to provide the largest military force masquerading as a UN force to protect Israel from a devastated Lebanon. The recent shameful and unjust UN Resolution (1701) – crafted by the US, Israel and France – is just a case in point. Despite the enormity of Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel is overwhelmingly supported by Western governments, despite Israel’s ongoing occupation of Lebanese territory and the illegal holding of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

The indiscriminate destruction of Lebanon by Israel serves Europe’s strategic interests and provides an “opportunity” for Europe to exert its old imperialist role in the Middle East. For decades, Lebanese and Palestinian civilians remained unprotected and subjected to daily Israel’s terror. As in 1982, the UN force is on Lebanon soil to protect Israel and watch Israel commit more war crimes against the civilian population. The Israeli siege (blockade) of Lebanon has been passed to the EU forces and Europeans may die protecting Israel-U.S. interests.

Just as Resolution 1701 was announced, Israeli forces – using the occasion to avenge their defeat in a cowardly fashion – raced into Lebanon and occupied more Lebanese territory. Israeli warplanes indiscriminately dropped thousands of cluster bombs on population centres. According to the UN, there are “359 separate cluster bomb strike locations that are contaminated with as many 100,000 unexploded bomblets”. Jan Egeland, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator said: “Every day, people are maimed, wounded and are killed by these weapons – It shouldn’t have happened … What's shocking and ... completely immoral, is that 90 per cent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution”, Egeland said. The reality is that Israeli was given time to commit more crimes just after Resolution 1701 was announced. Egeland also failed to condemn the ongoing flagrant Israeli violations of the so-called “ceasefire”.

Furthermore, the “Israelis” have been killing and ‘ethnic-cleansing’ Palestinians for six decades, often with UN complicity. Tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians, mostly women and children have been needlessly murdered by the “Jewish Sate” with full knowledge of the UN, and the U.S. Since 1948, the UN has shown itself to be a tool for promoting U.S.-Zionist and Western interests at the expense of the Palestinian people and against the vast majority of world public opinion.

In all its wars against Arabs, almost all Israeli attacks were premeditated acts of aggression deliberately and indiscriminately targeting civilians. The so-called Israeli “heroic” army is a myth fabricated by Israel and the West to promote fabricated images. For six decades, Israeli soldiers are trained to kill school children, women and unarmed demonstrators, and to assassinate unarmed Palestinian men. The modern and expensive U.S.-supplied F-16s, Apache and Cobra helicopters, and the Israeli Merkava tanks have terrorised defenceless a population by bombing schools, houses, hospitals and refugee camps. It’s a different story when Israeli soldiers confront an enemy (like Hizbullah fighters) trained and prepared to fight back. Israel has rarely fought a real war and won.

The “six-day” war was a myth designed to enforce a fabricated image of Israeli military superiority over the Arabs. It is “the myth of invincibility”. In 1967 there was no “six-day” war when the Israeli army – backed by Western forces – allegedly “defeated” a “threat” by the “Arab armies”. It was a premeditated and pre-emptive act of aggression against Jordan, Syria and Egypt who were armed with primitive second-hand Russian bric-a-brac. The heavy air and land attacks were orchestrated by Western governments and Israel, which saw Arab forces, retreated. A halt to Israel’s aggression was enforced by Western powers and allowed Israel to expand by illegally occupying Arab lands in Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza.

Whereas the pretext of WMD was a fabricated lie to justify the Anglo-American aggression against Iraq, needlessly destroying the country and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, we saw another fabricated “threat” used to annex Arab land. In 1982, Menachem Begin admitted that Israel was not threatened by the Egyptians, and that the “threat” was a fabricated lie to justify attacks on the Arabs.

Although Israel withdrew from Egyptian territory after signing a peace treaty with Egypt, Israel still illegally occupies the Golan Heights in Syria and the Palestinian Territories, including Jerusalem. UN Resolution 242 called on Israel to unconditionally withdraw from all occupied Arab land. In addition to its non-compliance of Resolution 242, Israel is in violation of countless UN Resolutions.

In recent times, the heavily-armed Israeli army was unable to break the lightly-armed Palestinian Resistance and occupy the Jenin Refugee Camp or the Gaza in six days. The recent Israeli aggression against Lebanon is another example. Despite the enormity of the war crimes committed against Lebanon, the Israeli army was defeated on the border by the heroic Resistance of Hizbullah fighters.

Furthermore, very few people know today that in 1973 Israel was defeated and the war against Egypt marked a turning point in the course of history of the Middle East. On October 6, 1973, Egyptian forces were able to cross the Suez Canal – the largest water barrier ever crossed in the history of warfare – and overcome Israel’s enormous fortified sand barriers, and broke through Israel’s Bar Lev line. Israeli General Ishi Javitch admitted on September 16, 1974 that; “The Arab armies have achieved a major portion of their objectives. They proved that they are able to overcome fear and to fight a war with unparallel valour. They proved that they are able to cross the Suez Canal barrier. They took the Canal by force”. The reality of the 1973 war is clearly displayed at the Cairo’s Museum in Egypt.

Finally, since 1948, Israel is perpetuating a myth that has led the world to believe that everything “Israelis” do is heroic, peaceful and democratic and must be supported. And so a decades-long massive propaganda campaign and billions of dollars – U.S. and European taxpayers – in aid have gone to support this fabricated Israel at the expense of the native defenceless Palestinian people. If the present Israeli genocidal policies continue to be tolerated, it would expand and initiate a Palestinian holocaust.

It is therefore incumbent upon all civilised peoples in the world not only to expose Israel as a violent and racist “Jewish-only sate” in gross violation of international law and civilised norms, but also to oppose with all their might Israel’s militarism and occupation of Arab lands.

Most importantly, however, Israel must be held accountable for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Peace does not come with perpetual violence. Israel must renounce violence and withdraw from occupied Arab lands, allows the re-emergence of independent Palestine for all Palestinians to return to.



* Ghali Hassan live in Perth, Western Australia.

Footnotes:

[1] Rami El-Amine, Anti-Arab Racism, Islam and the Left, Mrzine, September, 2006.
[2] Elodie Guego, 'Quiet transfer' in East Jerusalem nears completion, Forced Migration Review, 06 September 2006.
[3] Uri Davies, Israel: An Apartheid State. Zed Books: London (1987).
[4] Chris McGreal, Worlds Apart, The Guardian, 06 February, 2006.
[5] Gideon Levi (2006). One Racist Nation, Ha’aretz, 27 March, 2006.

22 September, 2006

Ramadhan (Ramadan) is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. It's when Muslims all over the world spend 30 days fasting and bettering themselves in principles of faith.

Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from sexual intercourse (during fasting), violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, angry and sarcastic retorts, and gossip. People are meant to try to get along with each other better than they normally might. All obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided. Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm.

Fasting during Ramadan is not obligatory for several groups for whom it would be excessively problematic. Children before the onset of puberty are not required to fast, though some do. However, if puberty is delayed, fasting becomes obligatory for males and females after a certain age. According to the Qur'an, if fasting would be dangerous to someone's health, such as a person with an illness or medical condition (this can include the elderly), that person is excused.

The reason Muslims fast is to discipline their body and mind. The absence of food and drink and other pleasures provides a perfect opportunity to concentrate on prayer and worship. Not having the luxuries of life to hand makes it easier to reflect on life and be grateful for what we do have. Muslims use this month to start afresh and give their life a new direction.


Read more at Wikipedia
Here is an idiotic Q&A about Ramadhan LOL

Photo was taken in Kuwait city, the capital.

20 September, 2006


YES WE HAVE GRASS IN KUWAIT!
Originally uploaded by radiant guy.
I've seen two kind of msgs and comments about agriculture (grass/plants) in Kuwait and the other GCC countries (That's will include Kuwait, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman).

Some people just became surprised when they see some photos taken in Kuwait or any other GCC country and goes :O
How come you have plants over there?!!!!

WAKE UP people!
First of all, we are living on Earth, we have the exact atmosphere!
It's the 21st century!
shake that 6th century stereo type of the Arab desert, we don't live in a tent just in the middle of a starry desert with goats around us, a camel on the left, a mercedes benz on the right and an oil field in the back of the tent!
I also seen some comments comparing the agriculture in the Arab desert with the agriculture in the occupied territory of Palestine...
First of all, Palestine have a cool weather and natural source of consumable water by humans, animals and plants plus fertilized soil; while the GCC countries are using complex sea water processing to have consumable drinking water, the desert's alkaline soil needed to be fertilized so the plants could survive plus it's extremely hot over here; around 50 Celsius (around 120 Fahrenheit) in shades!
That's why they need to be watered and sprayed by water all the time or the Sun will letterly burn them.

Despite these facts about the Arab deserts, plants and grass can be found everywhere!
I could upload some photos but probably some ignorants will say, they are all photoshopped, I guess you should come over and see your self!

It's not a miracle to grow plants and grass in Palestine, but for SURE IT'S in the Arab desert!

14 September, 2006


Memorial for 9/11 victims
Originally uploaded by radiant guy.
May their souls rest in peace

11 September, 2006

07 September, 2006

Everybody should watch this video from FOX NEWS