by Taha Muhammad Ali
At times ... I wish
I could meet in a duel
the man who killed my father
and razed our home,
into a narrow country.
And if he killed me,
I'd rest at last,
and if I were ready -
I would take my revenge!
But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who'd put
his right hand over
the heart's place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they'd set -
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.
Likewise ... I
would not murder him
if it were soon made clear
that he had a brother or sisters
who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
Or if he had a wife to greet him
and children who
couldn't bear his absence
and whom his gifts would thrill.
Or if he had
friends or companions,
neighbors he knew
or allies from prison
or a hospital room,
or classmates from his school…
asking about him
and sending him regards.
But if he turned
out to be on his own -
cut off like a branch from a tree -
without a mother or father,
with neither a brother nor sister,
wifeless, without a child,
and without kin or neighbors or friends,
colleagues or companions,
then I'd add not a thing to his pain
within that aloneness -
not the torment of death,
and not the sorrow of passing away.
Instead I'd be content
to ignore him when I passed him by
on the street—as I
that paying him no attention
in itself was a kind of revenge.
B'Tselem's Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Annual Report (1 January 2009 to 30 April 2010)
In its planning policy in East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Municipality severely violates the Palestinians' right to housing. One-third of the 70 square kilometers annexed to the city in 1967 were expropriated from Palestinian owners in order to build 12 settlements in which, at the end of 2008, almost 194,000 Jews lived. At the same time, Israeli governments and the Jerusalem Municipality have invested great efforts in limiting new Palestinian construction. They did this, in part, by not drawing up outline plans for the Palestinian neighborhoods; by classifying broad expanses of land as “green spaces” on which building is absolutely forbidden; by setting very low building percentages compared to those in the Jewish settlements in the city; and by imposing conditions for beginning the planning process that greatly increased the cost. Israel's policy results in a much higher housing density in Palestinian neighborhoods (11 square meters per person) than in Jewish areas (24 square meters per person). Lacking any real possibility to build lawfully, many residents built without a permit. In 2009, the Jerusalem Municipality demolished 48 buildings in East Jerusalem, in which 247 Palestinians lived, compared with 89 buildings in 2008, in which 404 Palestinians lived. In 2010, until the end of April, the Municipality did not demolish any houses in East Jerusalem.
What the Gaza flotilla probe reveals about Netanyahu, Barak, and Ashkenazi
The disparities between the accounts are not great. All three justified the maritime blockade of Gaza as a security necessity, intended to prevent arms smuggling. They said that the decision-making before the interception of the Turkish flotilla was reasonable and that the hitches were operational in nature, and they made an effort to defend the concept of army investigations and also to afford the soldiers and commanders immunity from criminal responsibility.
30 Italian organizations join Freedom Flotilla 2
30 talijanskih organizacija civilnog društva namjerava se priključiti Flotili slobode 2 (12. kolovoz 2010.)
Više od 30 organizacija civilnog društva i desetci uglednih osoba u Italiji odlučili su sudjelovati u Flotili slobode 2 koja do kraja ove godine namjerava pokušati probiti izraelsku blokadu Pojasa Gaze. Organizacije su oformile odbor koji će uspostaviti odnose između Europske kampanje za okončanje opsade Gaze, koja je jedan od organizatora flotile, i talijanske javnosti i održati niz sastanaka s talijanskim političarima na kojima će tražiti prekid nepravedne blokade Pojasa Gaze. U Europskoj kampanji tvrde da je do sada 10 000 ljudi iz Europe izrazilo želju da sudjeluje u ovoj Flotili slobode 2. Zbog velikog broja brodova i međunarodnih aktivista flotilu će pratiti i velik broj medija. Do sada je više od 35 medija izrazilo želju da s brodova prati predstojeći pokušaj proboja blokade. Organizatorima je cilj da što više medija bude na brodovima kako bi se lakše razotkrila moguća kršenja ljudskih prava aktivista od strane izraelskih vlasti.
Deadly Attack on the Freedom Flotilla Was the Breakthrough That Made the World See Israel's Cruelty in Gaza
The Freedom Flotilla was not able to deliver its 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, but it accomplished something more important — it finally broke the blockade on the world's understanding of the Gaza crisis. The Israeli attack on the flotilla must be seen alongside the Israeli attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 as marking the period in which the world's understanding of the Israeli occupation irrevocably shifted. In this opening, the brutality of the Israeli occupation came into full view and the issue of Palestinian persecution was placed on op-ed pages and even legal briefs. In the end, these events may mark when the age of Israeli impunity came to an end. In a generational sense, Operation Cast Lead and the flotilla attack can be understood as the anti-1967 war. It was the 1967 war that helped solidify Israel's image in the eyes of the world, and in particular of American Jewry, as the scrappy underdog beating the odds. That image has now changed forever, and the ongoing siege of Gaza has caused many to consider what Zionism has built in the Middle East. The Goldstone report stands as the defining indictment of this era.
Gaza flotilla video mashup: Internet Killed Israeli PR
Mossad's Brodsky Too Hot for Germany to Handle
Germany decided that helping solve the al-Mabouh assassination was one potato that was too hot to handle when it released Mossad spy “Uri Brodsky” on bail and told him he could leave Germany immediately for Israel. The German 'cave' is breathtaking in its abjectness. I presume that Angela Merkel thinks she already has enough irons in the fire regarding the complexity of the EU-German relationship with Israel, that she wanted nothing to do with further complications like imprisoning a Mossad killer and getting to the bottom of the most breathtaking and doltish international assassination in recent years.
The Tears of Gaza Must Be Our Tears
You may have the bulldozers, planes and helicopters that smash houses to rubble, the commandos who descend from ropes on ships and kill unarmed civilians on the high seas as well as in Gaza, the vast power of the state behind you. We have only our hands and our hearts and our voices. But note this. Note this well. It is you who are afraid of us. We are not afraid of you. We will keep working and praying, keep protesting and denouncing, keep pushing up against your navy and your army, with nothing but our bodies, until we prove that the force of morality and justice is greater than hate and violence. And then, when there is freedom in Gaza, we will forgive ... you. We will ask you to break bread with us. We will bless your children even if you did not find it in your heart to bless the children of those you occupied. And maybe it is this forgiveness, maybe it is the final, insurmountable power of love, which unsettles you the most. And so tonight, a night when some seek to name names and others seek to hide names, let me do some naming. Let me call things by their proper names. Let me cut through the jargon, the euphemisms we use to mask human suffering and war crimes. “Closures” mean heavily armed soldiers who ring Palestinian ghettos, deny those trapped inside food or basic amenities—including toys, razors, chocolate, fishing rods and musical instruments—and carry out a brutal policy of collective punishment, which is a crime under international law. “Disputed land” means land stolen from the Palestinians. “Clashes” mean, almost always, the killing or wounding of unarmed Palestinians, including children. “Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank” mean fortress-like compounds that serve as military outposts in the campaign of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. “Targeted assassinations” mean extrajudicial murder. “Air strikes on militant bomb-making posts” mean the dropping of huge iron fragmentation bombs from fighter jets on densely crowded neighborhoods that always leaves scores of dead and wounded, whose only contact with a bomb was the one manufactured in the United States and given to the Israeli Air Force as part of our complicity in the occupation. “The peace process” means the cynical, one-way route to the crushing of the Palestinians as a people.