• ’Israeli fire at Gaza border protests causing wounds not seen since 2014 war’

    Some 1,700 wounded within month ■ Doctors say wounds ’devastating,’ most will result in disabilities ■ WHO: Lack of medical equipment endangering wounded

    Amira Hass Apr 22, 2018


    The live-fire wounds suffered by more than 1,700 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over the past month have been unusually severe, Palestinian and foreign doctors say.
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    Since the series of demonstrations known as the March of Return began on March 30, Israeli soldiers have killed 37 Palestinians and wounded about 5,000, of whom 36 percent were wounded by live bullets.

    Doctors at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital said they haven’t seen such severe wounds since Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. The aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres said its medical teams have given postoperative care to people “with devastating injuries of an unusual severity, which are extremely complex to treat. The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities.”
    Since April 1, MSF has given postoperative care to 500 people with bullet wounds, mostly in the lower extremities. Most were young men, but some were women or children.
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    “MSF medical teams note the injuries include an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist,” the group said in a report on April 19.
    It quoted Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF’s head of mission in Palestine, as saying, “Half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone. These patients will need to have very complex surgical operations and most of them will have disabilities for life.”
    The report concluded: “Apart from regular nursing care, patients will often need additional surgery, and undergo a very long process of physiotherapy and rehabilitation. A lot of patients will keep functional deficiencies for the rest of their life. Some patients may yet need amputation if not provided with sufficient care in Gaza and if they don’t manage to get the necessary authorization to be treated outside of the strip.”

    The London-based group Medical Aid for Palestinians echoed MSF’s findings. It quoted a Shifa surgeon as saying, “The bullets used are causing injuries local medics say they have not seen since 2014. The entrance wound is small. The exit wound is devastating, causing gross comminution of bone and destruction of soft tissue.”
    The group’s April 20 report also said that Gaza surgeons had performed 17 amputations – 13 legs and four arms. In addition, a boy shot by Israeli soldiers on April 17 had his left leg amputated in Ramallah. His parents said he was playing soccer near the Israel-Gaza border fence east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp.
    Both aid groups repeatedly used the same word to describe the bullet wounds – “destruction.”
    To cope with the flood of patients, both official and private medical institutions in Gaza have beefed up their presence near the demonstrations that are taking place along the Gaza-Israel border.
    The Palestinian Health Ministry set up five field clinics near the protests in order to stabilize patients before they reach the hospital. Each clinic has three beds plus several mattresses, and is staffed by up to 10 doctors and 15 nurses, plus volunteers.
    In addition, the Palestinian Red Crescent has set up five emergency treatment stations. MSF has brought in surgical teams that work alongside Gazan teams at the Shifa and Al-Aqsa hospitals.
    Yet the World Health Organization says the lack of medication and nonreusable medical supplies like bandages is undermining the ability to give patients proper care. The Palestinian Health Ministry urgently needs stocks of 75 essential drugs and 190 types of nonreusable medical supplies.
    The WHO also criticized Israel for harming medical personnel, saying 48 medical staffers have been wounded by Israeli fire while trying to evacuate the wounded. At least three were hit live bullets. In addition, 13 ambulances were hit by live bullets or tear gas grenades.
    Between March 30 and Thursday, 1,539 Gazans were wounded by live bullets and around 500 by sponge-tipped bullets, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Of the victims, 62.3 percent were hit in the lower body, 16 percent in the upper body, 8.2 percent in the head or neck, 4.8 percent in the stomach and four percent in the chest. In addition, 4.7 percent had multiple injuries.
    On Friday, the ministry said 729 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli bullets or riot-control equipment, of whom 305 required hospital treatment. Of the latter, 156 were hit by live bullets.
    Fifteen of the 305 hospitalized patients were women, it added, while 45 were children. Altogether, 500 minors have been wounded by Israeli fire since March 30.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/689010 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Israeli minister : Natalie Portman’s boycott of Netanyahu borders on anti-Semitism - Israel News - Haaretz.com


    Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman’s decision not to accept the Genesis Prize and her statements on the matter border on anti-Semitism. Portman said she would not accept the award in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was scheduled to speak at the award ceremony to be held in Jerusalem.
    “Natalie Portman has played into the hands of the worst of our haters and of the worst of the anti-Semites in the Middle East,” Steinitz said in an interview on Sunday with the Kan public broadcasting corporation. Portman had made a serious mistake and owes Israel an apology, the energy minister said.
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    “Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. Boycotting Israel has elements of anti-Semitism,” Steinitz asserted, adding that Portman would not have boycotted China or India. Boycotting the ceremony because of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s participation practically constitutes a boycott of Israel, Steinitz asserted.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/689012 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt : All for the kids |
    The story of a Filipina domestic worker in Cairo

    On a hot summer day in 2012, two smartly clad Filipina women arrived at the JW Marriott Hotel on Cairo’s ring road, toting handbags in the crooks of their arms as they had often observed their madams doing. They lingered in the lobby for hours over small cups of coffee as they waited for a phone call.

    In one of the rooms upstairs was Coco, another Filipina woman, in Cairo for the first time. She was accompanying her madam from Alexandria and had prepared carefully for the occasion, bringing along a scarf to cover her hair so as to avoid being questioned by the hotel staff. She knew she would not be able to take any belongings with her when she left and so had resorted to layering multiple sets of underwear beneath her dress.

    In the late afternoon, Coco’s madam was deeply absorbed in a televised game show she had been avidly following that summer. Taking this as her cue, Coco snuck into the bathroom. She pulled the flush hard and with its sound masking that of the room’s door, slipped out. The keycard she had taken, which she hoped would operate the lift, did not work. Coco saw a guard approaching and grew nervous. She turned to take the stairs and he caught up. The hotel guard questioned her in Arabic, a language Coco had yet to learn. Her heart thumping, she made a phone signal with her hands and feigned an air of calm while repeating the word raseed, so as to give the impression that she was simply heading out to buy cell phone credit. The guard conceded. Once in the lobby, Coco dialed the number she had memorized months ago. On the other end, Sandra, who was sipping cold coffee in anticipation of this call, instructed Coco to head to the taxi stand. Coco was frantic. What does a taxi in this city look like? she wondered. Still terrified of being caught in the act of escape, she scanned the windows for something resembling a white car with a yellow sign on top.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/689018 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • الإدارة الأمريكية تلغي مصطلح “الأراضي المحتلة” في فلسطين | رأي اليوم

    Le dernier rapport annuel du Département d’Etat US sur les droits de l’homme dans le monde n’utilise pas l’expression "territoires occupés" mais parle "d’Israël, du plateau du Golan, de rive occidentale du Jourdain et de Gaza".


    https://seenthis.net/messages/688940 via gonzo

  • Palestinians uncover history of the Nakba, even as Israel cuts them off from their sources

    For Palestinian historians researching the 1948 exodus of their people, the greatest challenge is getting access to the few surviving documents of the period: most are locked away in Israeli archives
    By Dina Kraft Apr 20, 2018


    When Salim Tamari was researching his book on Arab neighborhoods in the Jerusalem area that were destroyed or conquered during the 1948 war, he had to ask Jewish-Israeli colleagues to go to the Israel State Archives to retrieve material for him. As a Palestinian, he did not have a permit to travel to the city, just 33 kilometers (20 miles) from his office in the West Bank.
    He was seeking family papers, photos and diaries – precisely the kind of primary source material vital to piecing together any period in history. However, this material is often out of reach for Palestinian historians of the Nakba (the Palestinian term for the formation of Israel, which means “Catastrophe” in Arabic).
    While Israelis will celebrate 70 years of the Jewish state this week, it is remembered as a national trauma by the Palestinians. Over 700,000 lost their homes in wake of the War of Independence and millions of their descendants live in refugee camps scattered throughout the Middle East.
    Telling the social history of this period from a Palestinian perspective is a challenge.
    When Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes – the matter has long been the subject of fierce debate – the contents were often looted or confiscated, among them the letters, books and photo albums needed to help tell the history of that period and the life that preceded it.
    The limited material that remained was collected and cataloged by the nascent Israeli authorities and stored in archives. In the case of some 30,000 books collected and housed by the National Library of Israel, for example, the belongings were labeled “absentee property” and, like other materials, placed out of reach of the majority of Palestinians.
    One archive of particular interest for demographic and ethnographic information is that of the Haganah (the underground, pre-independence army of British Mandatory Palestine’s Jews). This contains the so-called “Village Papers” – intelligence collected on individual villages before the war began. The materials include hand-drawn maps of Arab villages; the number of people living in them; and those they had incriminating information on who might be tapped as informers. None of it is digitized.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/688711 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Syrie : des ratés dans l’opération Hamilton - Le Parisien

    Des incidents auraient empêché le tir de plusieurs missiles samedi dernier sur la Syrie. Ces révélations embarrassent le ministère de la Défense.

    « Information classifiée ». Traduction en langage courant : circulez, il n’y a rien à voir ! C’est ce refrain qu’entonne la ministre de la Défense, Florence Parly, depuis que des informations sur l’opération Hamilton (les frappes occidentales exécutées le week-end dernier contre les installations chimiques du régime syrien) laissent penser que le succès ne fut sans doute pas aussi total qu’on le laissait croire au sommet de l’Etat.
    De quoi s’agit-il ? Plusieurs missiles qui auraient dû être tirés par les forces françaises n’ont pu l’être du fait d’incidents techniques. Dans les airs, un des cinq Rafales engagés n’a pu tirer son deuxième Scalp. Conformément à la procédure prévue, le pilote a dû le larguer manuellement au-dessus de la mer, comme le révélait dès lundi sur son blog le journaliste spécialisé Jean-Marc Tanguy.
    Sur mer, c’est peut-être une panne informatique qui aurait empêché les deux frégates multimissions (FREMM) de lancer leurs nouveaux missiles de croisière navals (MdCN). Trois de ces nouveaux missiles d’une portée de 1 000 km ont néanmoins pu être tirés depuis la frégate de réserve qui accompagnait les deux autres bâtiments. Au total (avions et navires), Paris indique avoir tiré douze missiles de croisières sur les cibles syriennes.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/688667 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Invitation de Pascal Boniface - Communiqué du Consul général - Consulat Général de France à Jérusalem
    Pierre Cochard, Consul général de France à Jérusalem
    20 avril 2018

    Les réseaux sociaux ont diffusé les images de l’agression inadmissible dont Pascal Boniface a été la cible à son arrivée à l’aéroport Ben Gourion à l’occasion de sa venue, à l’invitation du Consulat général et de l’institut français de Jérusalem, pour trois conférences dans le cadre d’un cycle de débats d’idées.

    Cette agression est bien sûr indissociable des messages souvent haineux diffusés contre le directeur de l’Institut des relations internationales et stratégiques et contre le Consulat général après l’annonce de ces conférences.

    Pascal Boniface, directeur de l’un des plus importants think tanks français en relations internationales, qui bénéficie du soutien de nos autorités, y a accueilli le 28 novembre dernier, l’ambassadrice d’Israël en France pour une conférence.(...)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/688605 via Loutre

  • Israel-Gaza
    Natalie Portman says, Enough !

    Natalie Portman says, Enough !

    The Gaza killings have hurt Israel’s image in the world, and tonight the damage got even bigger. In an astonishing move, the Israeli-American film star Natalie Portman, 36, informed an Israeli foundation she would not show up at the awards ceremony for Israel’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, because, as the JTA reports:

    The [Genesis] foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

    The statement is surely a reference to Israel’s killing of nearly 40 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, which have shocked Jews around the world.

    The $1 million prize was announced last November. Tonight Hasbara Central is burning midnight oil to try and counter this stunning blow from a woman who was born in Israel, and has in the past spoken out in support of the Jewish state. In the highly-competitive world of media and film, we can only guess what kind of courage this move has taken, not to mention the potential family tensions with Israeli relatives.

    Portman has long resisted calls to boycott the state. She has been highly critical of Benjamin Netanyahu, decrying his racism, but insisted:

     “I feel like there’s some people who become prominent, and then it’s out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel,” Portman said. “I do not. I don’t want to do that.”

    She directed a film based on liberal Zionist hero Amos Oz’s Jerusalem memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness.

    And recently Portman has been outspoken about sexual harassment in Hollywood.

    This is a shock for all Israel supporters. Daniella Greenbaum, columnist at Business Insider:

    The Genesis Prize ceremony has just been cancelled because Natalie Portman, who was awarded the prize, has decided that recent events in Israel make her “uncomfortable participating in any public events in Israel.”

    this is ridiculous and a shanda and sad and someone with more of a following than me like @jpodhoretz or @bariweiss or @Yair_Rosenberg should tell the world

    Portman won an Oscar in 2011 for her role as a ballerina in Black Swan, and she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Jackie, a 2016 biopic about Jacqueline Kennedy. Her acting talent is unquestionable. We can only hope that she continues to get excellent roles, following this courageous act.

    Lately one of us wrote that Israel had lost American Jews with the killings of unarmed protesters. This is a sign that assertion is true.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/688388 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • The Genesis prize ceremony, held annually in israel will be cancelled this year, because the recipient, israeli born Natalie Portman turned the prize down in protest of israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters in Gaza. #BDS

    https://seenthis.net/messages/688331 via Palestine | فلسطين

  • New York : Barnard College Votes For BDS By 64%-To-36% Margin – The Forward

    One Of The Most Jewish Colleges In The Country Just Voted For BDS By Nearly 2-1 Margin
    Read more: https://forward.com/fast-forward/399159/one-of-the-most-jewish-colleges-in-the-country-just-voted-for-bds-by


    Students at Barnard College, the elite women’s school in New York City, voted this week to ask the university administration to divest from eight companies that do business in Israel.

    The referendum, which was written by students from Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine, listed ways that companies like Hyundai, Boeing and the Israeli national water carrier Mekorot allegedly violate international law, before asking whether the student government should encourage Barnard to divest from companies that “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.”

    The 64%-36% victory for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign came at what Hillel International describes as the most heavily Jewish school in the country that is not officially Jewish. There are approximately 850 Jewish students at Barnard out of a total undergraduate population of around 2,500. Some 1,153 participated in the vote.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/688089 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypt : How to make LE89 bn in fuel subsidies disappear: Egyptians brace for steep price hikes | MadaMasr


    A sense of wariness overtakes many Egyptians from April to July each year, the three months in which Parliament discusses the upcoming state budget and makes decisions which may affect large swaths of the population. This year, that general worry about potential cuts is less undefined, as Egyptians are buckling up for an imminent hike in fuel prices.

    Public attention to the subsidy allocations stipulated in the annual state budget has increased in recent years, since the government imposed an austerity program in 2014, which included subsidy cuts and new consumption taxes, in an effort to rein in the state’s growing budget deficit.

    This year is likely to see steeper hikes in fuel prices than those seen in years past, as the government’s structural adjustment program, approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November 2016, comes to an end. Liberalizing fuel prices before the close of 2019 was one of the several terms of the three-year program, which must be met to ensure the continued dispersal of the IMF’s US$12 billion loan to the Egyptian government.

    However, the structural adjustment program, which introduced a host of other measures with inflationary repercussions, got off to a rough start. Once the exchange rate was floated on November 3, 2016, the value of the Egyptian pound fell more than originally projected. This resulted in a significant rise in the nominal value of fuel subsidies in the state’s budget for the two fiscal years following the IMF agreement. While the nominal value of fuel subsidy allocations in the state budget seems to have drifted away from the targets initially stipulated in the agreement, documents released by the IMF after its second review of the program’s implementation at the close of 2017 show that the government remains determined to achieve the 2019 target of lifting fuel subsidies altogether.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/688091 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • The biography of the founder of the Palestinian Popular Front makes it clear: The leftist leader was right -

    Israelis considered George Habash a cruel airline hijacker, but Eli Galia’s new Hebrew-language book shows that the PFLP chief’s views would have been better for the Palestinians than Arafat’s compromises

    Gideon Levy Apr 13, 2018


    George Habash was Israel’s absolute enemy for decades, the embodiment of evil, the devil incarnate. Even the title “Dr.” before his name — he was a pediatrician — was considered blasphemous.
    Habash was plane hijackings, Habash was terror and terror alone. In a country that doesn’t recognize the existence of Palestinian political parties (have you ever heard of a Palestinian political party? — there are only terror groups) knowledge about the man who headed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was close to zero.
    What’s there to know about him? A terrorist. Subhuman. Should be killed. Enemy. The fact that he was an ideologue and a revolutionary, that his life was shaped by the expulsion from Lod, changed nothing. He remains the plane hijacker from Damascus, the man from the Rejectionist Front who was no different from all the rest of the “terrorists” from Yasser Arafat to Wadie Haddad to Nayef Hawatmeh.
    Now along comes Eli Galia’s Hebrew-language book “George Habash: A Political Biography." It outlines the reality, far from the noise of propaganda, ignorance and brainwashing, for the Israeli reader who agrees to read a biography of the enemy.
    Presumably only few will read it, but this work by Galia, a Middle East affairs expert, is very deserving of praise. It’s a political biography, as noted in its subtitle, so it almost entirely lacks the personal, spiritual and psychological dimension; there’s not even any gossip. So reading it requires a lot of stamina and specialized tastes. Still, it’s fascinating.
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    Galia has written a nonjudgmental and certainly non-propagandistic biography. Taking into consideration the Israeli mind today, this isn’t to be taken for granted.
    Galia presents a wealth of information, with nearly a thousand footnotes, about the political path of Habash, a man who was considered dogmatic even though he underwent a number of ideological reversals in his life. If that’s dogmatism, what’s pragmatism? The dogmatic Habash went through more ideological changes than any Israeli who sticks to the Zionist narrative and doesn’t budge an inch — and who of course isn’t considered dogmatic.

    The exodus from Lod following an operation by the Palmach, 1948.Palmach Archive / Yitzhak Sadeh Estate
    In the book, Habash is revealed as a person of many contradictions: a member of the Christian minority who was active in the midst of a large Muslim majority, a bourgeois who became a Marxist, a tough and inflexible leader who was once seen weeping in his room as he wrote an article about Israel’s crimes against his people. He had to wander and flee for his life from place to place, sometimes more for fear of Arab regimes than of Israel.

    He was imprisoned in Syria and fled Jordan, he devoted his life to a revolution that never happened. It’s impossible not to admire a person who devoted his life to his ideas, just as you have to admire the scholar who has devoted so much research for so few readers who will take an interest in the dead Habash, in an Israel that has lost any interest in the occupation and the Palestinian struggle.
    The book gives rise to the bleak conclusion that Habash was right. For most of his life he was a bitter enemy of compromises, and Arafat, the man of compromise, won the fascinating historical struggle between the two. They had a love-hate relationship, alternately admiring and scorning each other, and never completely breaking off their connection until Arafat won his Pyrrhic victory.
    What good have all of Arafat’s compromises done for the Palestinian people? What came out of the recognition of Israel, of the settling for a Palestinian state on 22 percent of the territory, of the negotiations with Zionism and the United States? Nothing but the entrenchment of the Israeli occupation and the strengthening and massive development of the settlement project.
    In retrospect, it makes sense to think that if that’s how things were, maybe it would have been better to follow the uncompromising path taken by Habash, who for most of his life didn’t agree to any negotiations with Israel, who believed that with Israel it was only possible to negotiate by force, who thought Israel would only change its positions if it paid a price, who dreamed of a single, democratic and secular state of equal rights and refused to discuss anything but that.
    Unfortunately, Habash was right. It’s hard to know what would have happened had the Palestinians followed his path, but it’s impossible not to admit that the alternative has been a resounding failure.

    Members of the Palestinian National Council in Algiers, 1987, including Yasser Arafat, left, and George Habash, second from right. Mike Nelson-Nabil Ismail / AFP
    The Palestinian Che Guevara
    Habash, who was born in 1926, wrote about his childhood: “Our enemies are not the Jews but rather the British .... The Jews’ relations with the Palestinians were natural and sometimes even good” (p. 16). He went to study medicine at the American University in Beirut; his worried mother and father wrote him that he should stay there; a war was on.
    But Habash returned to volunteer at a clinic in Lod; he returned and he saw. The sight of the Israeli soldiers who invaded the clinic in 1948 ignited in him the flame of violent resistance: “I was gripped by an urge to shoot them with a pistol and kill them, and in the situation of having no weapons I used mute words. I watched them from the sidelines and said to myself: This is our land, you dogs, this is our land and not your land. We will stay here to kill you. You will not win this battle” (p.22).
    On July 14 he was expelled from his home with the rest of his family. He never returned to the city he loved. He never forgot the scenes of Lod in 1948, nor did he forget the idea of violent resistance. Can the Israeli reader understand how he felt?
    Now based in Beirut, he took part in terror operations against Jewish and Western targets in Beirut, Amman and Damascus: “I personally lobbed grenades and I participated in assassination attempts. I had endless enthusiasm when I was doing that. At the time, I considered my life worthless relative to what was happening in Palestine.”
    “The Palestinian Che Guevara” — both of them were doctors — made up his mind to wreak vengeance for the Nakba upon the West and the leaders of the Arab regimes that had abandoned his people, even before taking vengeance on the Jews. He even planned to assassinate King Abdullah of Jordan. He founded a new student organization in Beirut called the Commune, completed his specialization in pediatrics and wrote: “I took the diploma and said: Congratulations, Mother, your son is a doctor, so now let me do what I really want to do. And indeed, that’s what happened” (p. 41).
    Habash was once asked whether he was the Che Guevara of the Middle East and he replied that he would prefer to be the Mao Zedong of the Arab masses. He was the first to raise the banner of return and in the meantime he opened clinics for Palestinian refugees in Amman. For him, the road back to Lod passed through Amman, Beirut and Damascus. The idea of Pan-Arabism stayed with him for many years, until he despaired of that as well.
    He also had to leave medicine: “I am a pediatrician, I have enjoyed this greatly. I believed that I had the best job in the world but I had to make the decision I have taken and I don’t regret it .... A person cannot split his emotions in that way: to heal on the one hand and kill on the other. This is the time when he must say to himself: one or the other.”

    Militants from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Jordan, 1969.1969Thomas R. Koeniges / Look Magazine Photograph Collection / Library of Congress
    The only remaining weapon
    This book isn’t arrogant and it isn’t Orientalist; it is respectful of the Palestinian national ideology and those who articulated and lived it, even if the author doesn’t necessarily agree with that ideology or identify with it. This is something quite rare in the Israeli landscape when it comes to Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular. Nor does the author venerate what’s not worthy of veneration, and he doesn’t have any erroneous romantic or other illusions. Galia presents a bitter, tough, uncompromising, very much failed and sometimes exceedingly cruel struggle for freedom, self-respect and liberation.
    And this is what is said in the founding document of the PFLP, which Habash established in December 1967 after having despaired of Palestinian unity: “The only weapon left to the masses in order to restore history and progress and truly defeat enemies and potential enemies in the long run is revolutionary violence .... The only language that the enemy understands is the language of revolutionary violence” (p.125).
    But this path too met with failure. “The essential aim of hijacking airplanes,” wrote Habash, “was to bring the Palestinian question out of anonymity and expose it to Western public opinion, because at that time it was unknown in Europe and in the United States. We wanted to undertake actions that would make an impression on the senses of the entire world .... There was international ignorance regarding our suffering, in part due to the Zionist movement’s monopoly on the mass media in the West” (p. 151).
    The PFLP plane hijackings in the early 1970s indeed achieved international recognition of the existence of the Palestinian problem, but so far this recognition hasn’t led anywhere. The only practical outcome has been the security screenings at airports everywhere around the world — and thank you, George Habash. I read Galia’s book on a number of flights, even though this isn’t an airplane book, and I kept thinking that were it not for Habash my wanderings at airports would have been a lot shorter. In my heart I forgave him for that, for what other path was open to him and his defeated, humiliated and bleeding people?
    Not much is left of his ideas. What has come of the scientific idealism and the politicization of the masses, the class struggle and the anti-imperialism, the Maoism and of course the transformation of the struggle against Israel into an armed struggle, which according to the plans was supposed to develop from guerrilla warfare into a national war of liberation? Fifty years after the founding of the PFLP and 10 years after the death of its founder, what remains?
    Habash’s successor, Abu Ali Mustafa, was assassinated by Israel in 2001; his successor’s successor, Ahmad Saadat, has been in an Israeli prison since 2006 and very little remains of the PFLP.
    During all my decades covering the Israeli occupation, the most impressive figures I met belonged to the PFLP, but now not much remains except fragments of dreams. The PFLP is a negligible minority in intra-Palestinian politics, a movement that once thought to demand equal power with Fatah and its leader, Arafat. And the occupation? It’s strong and thriving and its end looks further off than ever. If that isn’t failure, what is?

    A mourning procession for George Habash, Nablus, January 2008. Nasser Ishtayeh / AP
    To where is Israel galloping?
    Yet Habash always knew how to draw lessons from failure after failure. How resonant today is his conclusion following the Naksa, the defeat in 1967 that broke his spirit, to the effect that “the enemy of the Palestinians is colonialism, capitalism and the global monopolies .... This is the enemy that gave rise to the Zionist movement, made a covenant with it, nurtured it, protected it and accompanied it until it brought about the establishment of the aggressive and fascistic State of Israel” (p. 179).
    From the Palestinian perspective, not much has changed. It used to be that this was read in Israel as hostile and shallow propaganda. Today it could be read otherwise.
    After the failure of 1967, Habash redefined the goal: the establishment of a democratic state in Palestine in which Arabs and Jews would live as citizens with equal rights. Today this idea, too, sounds a bit less strange and threatening than it did when Habash articulated it.
    On the 40th anniversary of Israel’s founding, Habash wrote that Israel was galloping toward the Greater Land of Israel and that the differences between the right and left in the country were becoming meaningless. How right he was about that, too. At the same time, he acknowledged Israel’s success and the failure of the Palestinian national movement. And he was right about that, too.
    And one last correct prophecy, though a bitter one, that he made in 1981: “The combination of a loss of lives and economic damage has considerable influence on Israeli society, and when that happens there will be a political, social and ideological schism on the Israeli street and in the Zionist establishment between the moderate side that demands withdrawal from the occupied territories and the extremist side that continues to cling to Talmudic ideas and dreams. Given the hostility between these two sides, the Zionist entity will experience a real internal split” (p. 329).
    This has yet to happen.
    Imad Saba, a dear friend who was active in the PFLP and is in exile in Europe, urged me for years to try to meet with Habash and interview him for Haaretz. As far as is known, Habash never met with Israelis, except during the days of the Nakba.
    Many years ago in Amman I interviewed Hawatmeh, Habash’s partner at the start and the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which split off from the PFLP in 1969. At the time of the interview, Habash was also living in Amman and was old and sick. I kept postponing my approach — until he died. When reading the book, I felt very sorry that I had not met this man.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/686630 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Ventes d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite et guerre au Yémen - par @tonyfortin (Observatoire des armements)

    A l’occasion de la visite du prince héritier saoudien à Paris les 8-10 avril, retour sur les ventes d’armes françaises et la guerre au Yémen. Que vend-on ? A qui ? Pourquoi ? Et pour quelles conséquences ?

    #armements #armes #Yémen #crimes_de_guerre #France #Arabie_saoudite

    https://seenthis.net/messages/686534 via Fil

  • Egypt Video | How the state supports the rich through its taxation system | MadaMasr

    It may seem that the issue of tax revenues relates more to the state than to the citizen in their day-to-day life, but this is far from the truth. Average citizens have found themselves making the most significant contributions to tax revenues through the consumption of goods and services, from cigarettes to mobile phone services, while corporations and landowners pay the least.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/686631 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Son of a bitch, what a video
    We should thank the soldiers in that video for sharing their genuine emotions and rejoicing at the sight of an unarmed Arab flying in the air after being shot

    Gideon Levy Apr 12, 2018


    Let’s say the soldiers in that video clip didn’t cheer and hoot, using foul language. Let’s say they recited Yehuda Amichai’s poem “God has pity on kindergarten children” before kneeling to take aim at demonstrators, and that after using live fire to shoot an unarmed protester they recited “El Malei Rachamim,” the Jewish prayer for the soul of the dead, assuming the protester had been killed like dozens of others. Let’s say the soldiers were shocked, meeting later for soul-baring talks into the night to discuss values.
    Let’s imagine some of them required psychological aid for trauma or post-trauma, with a few joining Breaking the Silence, confessing their deeds and repenting. And then a leftist filmmaker would make a movie about them, showing how deep was their sacrifice, how agonizing their suffering, just like in “Waltz with Bashir” or “Foxtrot.” How beautiful we could be. And then came this video and ruined everything.
    Let’s say the sharpshooters were value-driven soldiers, who had to carry out their duty while suffering wrenching pangs of guilt. Would that make them better human beings? More humane? More moral? They would tug at our heartstrings much more than those lowlifes in the video. No scandal would erupt and the beautiful soldiers would continue aiming at and shooting protesters.
    Half the country was shocked for a moment by the video. This was after two Fridays in which army snipers had killed and wounded hundreds of unarmed people who endangered no one, with Israel remaining silent. The country lived in peace with the massacre, justifying it in unified chorus. Then came the video and halted the celebrations for a moment. Is that how one talks? Is that how one takes photos? Not nice, soldiers. Even the campaign’s commander Avigdor Lieberman said that the soldier who took the pictures should be demoted. A miniature scandal over etiquette. Soldiers are allowed to kill and wound civilians to their hearts’ content but one doesn’t talk like that and one doesn’t film it.
    One should learn from the pilots. This wouldn’t have happened to them. When they dropped a one-ton bomb on a residential building in Gaza they didn’t cheer in the cockpit and they didn’t curse. Their language is as pure as the driven snow. You won’t hear them saying: “The son of a bitch. What a clip. Wow, we got someone in the head, he flew up with his leg in the air. Go, you sons of bitches.” That’s not their style. Some of them actually squirm during the debriefing session, even though they never the see the whites of their victims’ eyes, like their brothers-in-arms, the snipers, do. Maybe that’s why pilots are more value-driven.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/685932 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Egypte Bien plus qu’une biographie - Ahram Hebdo

    Dans Al-Mawlouda (la baptisée), la cinéaste Nadia Kamel retrace la biographie de sa mère, l’activiste Nayla Kamel (1931-2010). Un riche parcours que la mère raconte à sa fille. Une fresque de la vie politique et sociale de presque un siècle.


    Le succès d’une biogra­phie repose principale­ment sur deux choses : la personnalité dont on relate l’histoire et l’écriture, ou l’art de raconter. Ce sont les deux éléments qui poussent le lecteur à « dévorer » acharnement les quelques 551 pages de la biogra­phie de Nayla Kamel. Pourtant, il n’est pas question d’une célébri­té, mais d’une personne connue dans les milieux de l’intelligent­sia et le mouvement d’activisme communiste des années 1950. Un « personnage » charmant, ensor­celant, dont il est difficile de ne pas tomber amoureux, d’en être passionné sans même la connaître, comme l’a remarqué l’écrivain Mahmoud Al-Wardani au bout de sa lecture. Quant à la narration, elle est assurée par des enregistrements sonores accordés à sa fille, la cinéaste Nadia Kamel, qui a commencé ce projet en 2001 et l’a poursuivi jusqu’à la mort de la mère. « Maman avait 70 ans et moi la quaran­taine », écrit Nadia dans l’intro­duction de l’épopée de sa mère. « Après sa mort, je me suis trouvée toute seule avec en mission l’écri­ture. Je devrais donc m’inspirer du secret de la nar­ration à partir de sa voix s’infiltrant dans mon être ».

    Mais qui est Nayla Kamel ? Baptisée Marie Eliae Rosenthal ? C’est dans ce titre, Al-Mawlouda (la baptisée), que résident tout le drame et la probléma­tique de sa personne : être née en Egypte d’un père égyptien juif, militer parmi la gauche égyptienne et payer cher le prix de son militantisme (en prison), sans se rendre compte — que très tardivement — de la réalité de son statut comme « étrangère » et « juive ». « Je ne connais pas d’autres nationalités », disait-elle à l’enquêteur qui voulait la déporter de l’Egypte lors de l’agression tripartite en 1956 (dans le cadre des politiques nationalistes et du panarabisme instauré par Nasser, les juifs d’Egypte furent suspec­tés d’être des sympathisants sionistes, notamment que la plupart de ces juifs avaient des origines euro­péennes).

    Nayla Kamel est née au Caire en 1931 d’un père juif égyptien, né lui aussi au Caire en 1909. Sa mère, elle, née dans l’un des villages italiens en 1902, a joint toute seule l’Egypte, et lorsqu’elle avait rencontré le père, ils sont tombés amoureux et ils ont insisté pour se marier malgré l’opposition de leurs familles (à cause des reli­gions différentes). La biographie dépasse le statut personnel de Nayla Kamel, qui est pourtant fondamen­tal, pour être un document historique important du rôle joué par des Egyptiens d’origines européennes au mouvement politique égyptien depuis le début du XXe siècle. Elle y relate ses premières sources d’influence lors de la Seconde Guerre mondiale et la haine du fascisme italien, puis sa découverte précoce, à l’âge de 15 ans, du mouvement communiste à travers les acti­vités du club italien. L’engagement studieux et le tra­vail politique organisé dans la clandestinité, puis la connaissance des détentions politiques à maintes reprises.

    Sa connaissance de l’écrivain et opposant, Saad Kamel, la vie politique et culturelle très mouvementée des années 1950, puis leur mariage et leur arrestation un mois plus tard après leur mariage pour passer 5 ans de prison avec travaux forcés. A travers ses différentes stations de sa vie relatées, on reconnaît des aspects de la vie sociopolitique de l’époque, et on fait la connais­sance de près, à travers la famille de son mari, du modèle d’une famille de la classe moyenne, prototype des années 1950-1960, classe qui s’est effondrée au cours des années. Jusqu’à arriver à l’histoire généalo­gique de sa propre famille, le statut de juive qui ne l’a jamais quittée et tous les malentendus qui s’en suivent et desquels elle a beaucoup souffert.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684439 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • ’I was just following orders’: What will you tell your children? - Opinion

    ’How did you destroy villages?’ one daughter will ask. ’How did you agree to imprison two million people?’ another will whisper. The answers will only make their weeping louder

    Amira Hass Apr 08, 2018


    Maybe the day will come and young Israelis – not one or two, but an entire generation – will ask their parents: How could you? If the question is asked, our situation will already be better because it will signal the post-herd stage of the Israeli existence.
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    The problem is we cannot know when this will happen. In another 70 years? In another 50? How low can we sink in our choosing to go along with the herd, wicked and enjoyable in its own right? What nadir must we reach before the young people are shocked about what their parents and grandparents did and stop imitating them, an emulation that is also an upgrade of sorts.
    Let us allow ourselves a minute of optimism, and assume that the question will be asked before it is too late. With just a bit more optimism, let us say they will be the 4-year-olds of today, or those who are born in another few months. Congratulations.

    A man fills a bucket with water brought by a water tank carriage as Palestinians face a water crisis in Gaza City, Gaza on May 9, 2016.Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency /
    The question “how could you?” will split into a few sub-questions. For example: Why did you consent? You really didn’t know? Don’t talk nonsense — after all, the information was published in real time, and in abundance. You didn’t need to wait for someone to be released from a forced labor camp in Siberia and appear at the door a few months later to tell the story.
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    Why didn’t you care? Why did you remain silent? How could you have gone out hiking on the weekends, watch television and movies, go shopping in the new mall and work on your master’s degree in history of the gulags or run a business from your home, choose concerts and plays in London and go to the soccer game every week – and also renovate the house as if everything was normal?
    The parents may be embarrassed and say: “You have to understand, it wasn’t just us. Our neighbor Adina too, who was a famous professor of the history of anti-Semitism, lived normally – between her trips abroad, conversations in the supermarket and interviews on radio and television. She too remained silent on those matters, and loved to hear the later sonatas of Beethoven and Bartok.” And then the mother will correct the father: “What’s the matter with you? She wasn’t an expert in anti-Semitism, but on species of butterflies going extinct.” The argument between the two will spill over into other arguments, and that is how they will avoid answering their daughter’s question.

    Other parents may apologize. “You must understand,” they will say. “We were afraid of terrorism.” And the children will press on: How does the fight against terrorism turn into destroying water pipes and cisterns for collecting rainwater, and quotas for drinking water for specific groups of people at a time when we were enjoying an abundance of water? The father will twist and turn and say he “was not responsible for the quota. Ask the children of Mordechai and Ori about that, and nu, what was his name, the infrastructure minister?” The son – forgive him for his interruptions, he is a teenager – will yell: But you drove the bulldozers that destroyed the cisterns. Grandpa told me about it, proudly, before he died. The father will correct him: “An excavator, not a bulldozer — and I was among the soldiers who aimed their rifles at the little buggers who didn’t throw stones at the drivers.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684351 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Israel is the terrorist

    Young Palestinians are not carrying out acts of terror- they are leading a desperate struggle against an army that is a thousand times stronger than they

    Ilana Hammerman Apr 05, 2018


    About a week ago, on the highway between Hermesh and Mevo Dotan, two soldiers were killed and two were injured by a car that was driven by a resident of Barta’a. There are not many Israelis who know where these settlements are located and in what kind of reality they exist. But the vast majority probably have no doubt who was the terrorist here, and who, the innocent victim, and they hope for the fulfillment of the vow made by President Reuven Rivlin, who declared after the incident: “We will not rest until we bring all the collaborators to justice; we will not allow terrorism to become a reality.”
    The problem is that terror has long since become the reality, and the entity that has allowed and is allowing this to happen is the State of Israel. Look at the map and find Barta’a, and maybe you’d even be interested in going there and seeing and hearing how its residents live and what their surroundings are like. I happened to do so a few days before the car-ramming incident, and it was completely clear to me – and not for the first time – that this reality is a product of the ongoing policy of terror pursued by generations of Israeli governments, and that it is this policy that gives rise to the acts of resistance against it.
    What’s amazing is only that there aren’t more such acts, because it’s really and truly an intolerable situation. Barta’a al-Sharqiya is located east of Wadi Ara, between the Green Line and the separation barrier. In that location the fence makes a major detour into the West Bank in order to include in Israeli territory four settlements with names as fresh and pleasant as the fruit of the field and its fragrances: Shaked (Almond), Reihan (Basil), Hinanit (Daisy) and Tal Menashe (Dew of Menashe).
    Within this enclave there are also four Arab villages, the largest of which is Barta’a al-Sharqiya. This entire enclave, with its fences, checkpoints and military forces, exists and thrives only for the benefit of the settlers who settled in it and next to it. The people who have been living for ages in the Arab villages in this part of the country suddenly found themselves penned in and subject to a diabolical maze of orders and regulations: They are not allowed to enter Israel to the west, while to the east, in the West Bank– their natural living space – two checkpoints were set up for them, via which they must leave and enter during opening hours and with the permission and good graces of the soldiers and private security guards posted there.
    A few are also allowed to bring food and merchandise in their cars via the checkpoints, with restrictions. Palestinians who live outside the enclave – who are members of the same nation as those living within it, and often their relatives – are not permitted to enter unless they have “special permits.”
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    Farmers from outside the enclave found themselves cut off from their land, and they too must request special permits and must enter and leave through special gates and at predetermined opening hours, in order to cultivate their fields. The settlements of Hermesh and Mevo Dotan are also situated in the area of the West Bank, but outside the enclave. The point is that every such settlement that is built In the West Bank – in which not a single dunam belongs to the State of Israel – disrupts the lives of the Palestinian villages in the area in ways that a free citizen would find difficult even to imagine.

    That’s the reality there, and it’s one of state-sponsored terror, the State of Israel. Because what is land confiscation on a huge scale, what are restrictions on freedom of movement, and with it freedom of employment and commerce, home demolitions, the imposition of curfews and closures, the building of innumerable fences and walls and the deployment of military forces armed to the teeth, in the heart of a Palestinian civilian population, in order to protect an Israeli civilian population that settled among it by force – what are all these if not terror, in other words, a war against unarmed citizens?
    And so, in this situation a young Palestinian girl stands in the back yard of her home in Nabi Saleh and slaps an Israeli soldier who was sent to her village only in order to guard the settlement of Halamish, which also thuggishly stuck itself deep inside the area of the West Bank; and in this situation two young women arrive at the checkpoint in the heart of Hebron, each one separately, with a knife in their hand or their bag, and the armed soldiers – who are there in order to protect a violent Jewish settlement, which expelled tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians and incessantly abuses those who survived – shoot them dead.
    And in this situation demonstrators emerge in the heart of the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem or the outskirts of the village of Beit Ummar, carrying stones and tires for burning and incendiary devices, to confront soldiers armed with machine guns and stun and gas grenades, who invade their communities and their homes day and night and injure and kill those who resist them and flee from them; and in this situation a young man comes from Barta’a and runs over and kills and injures soldiers – who are posted there only to protect the settlements that were generously built north and south of his village, and because of which the crowded village is doomed to economic and human strangulation.
    What are the acts of these young people? Terror? No, this is a desperate struggle by groups and individuals, who from the day they were born have nothing to hope for, against an army that is a thousand times stronger than they. And what is this army defending: The security of its country? No, it is defending the choice of Israeli governments to use terror to impose the “state of the Jewish people” on the entire region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
    I would like to make these things clear out of a belief in the power of words to shape consciousness. And sometimes political involvement as well.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684211 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • Après Paypal, c’est Youtube qui s’y met :

    YouTube censure la critique contre Israël
    Pour la Palestine, le 6 avril

    Blumenthal a déclaré que ses commentaires étaient “motivés par une forte opposition à la discrimination systémique israélienne contre les Palestiniens” et son “attachement à l’égalité des droits pour tous”. Il a qualifié la décision de YouTube de “politique et probablement sous la pression de puissants intérêts pro-Israël ».

    Entre chasse aux fausses fake news et aux faux antisémites, la liberté d’expression est bien encadrée...

    #Palestine #Youtube #censure #liberté_d'expression #criminalisation_des_militants

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684210 via Dror@sinehebdo

  • Pourquoi le Prince héritier d’Arabie saoudite diabolise les Frères musulmans ? Par Al-Quds Al-Arabi - Actuarabe

    Mohammed Ben Salman veut tout simplement masquer le soutien apporté par le Royaume d’Arabie saoudite à l’extrémisme dans le monde et faire porter le chapeau aux Frères musulmans, qui ont incarné dans les années 60 et 70, après avoir fuit les persécutions des régimes militaires en Egypte, en Syrie et ailleurs, l’instruction et la modération. Ils ont ainsi contrebalancé l’extrémisme salafiste des religieux saoudiens, dont les chefs de la police religieuse sont une incarnation.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684207 via actuarabe

  • Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, regarding the worsening situation in Gaza


    It is with grave concern that I note the violence and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip in the context of recent mass demonstrations. Since 30 March 2018, at least 27 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by the Israeli Defence Forces, with over a thousand more injured, many, as a result of shootings using live ammunition and rubber-bullets. Violence against civilians - in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza – could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or “the Court”), as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities.

    I remind all parties that the situation in Palestine is under preliminary examination by my Office. While a preliminary examination is not an investigation, any new alleged crime committed in the context of the situation in Palestine may be subjected to my Office’s scrutiny. This applies to the events of the past weeks and to any future incident.

    I am aware that the demonstrations in the Gaza Strip are planned to continue further. My Office will continue to closely watch the situation and will record any instance of incitement or resort to unlawful force. I urge all those concerned to refrain from further escalating this tragic situation.

    Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing in any other manner to the commission of crimes within ICC’s jurisdiction is liable to prosecution before the Court, with full respect for the principle of complementarity. The resort to violence must stop.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684213 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • As Saudi prince arrives, ties with France more complex than before


    But analysts note the 32-year-old Prince Mohammed has emphasized closer ties with U.S. President Donald Trump just at a time when Macron has in turn sought to improve relations with Iran and vowed to preserve the nuclear deal.

    Several Western and Arab diplomats describe the November exchange as tense. According to three officials, the meeting was dominated by Prince Mohammed threatening to curb relations with France if Macron did not alter his desire to dialogue with Iran, Riyadh’s regional rival, and push business interests there.

    Macron, the officials said, reminded Prince Mohammed of France’s position in the world as a nuclear power, permanent member of the Security Council member and that France was free to do what it wanted.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684098 via Nouvelles d’Orient

  • RSF demande une enquête indépendante après la mort du journaliste palestinien Yaser Murtaja touché par un tir de Tsahal
    RSF | 7 avril 2018

    Reporters sans frontières (RSF) dénonce avec la plus grande fermeté l’usage disproportionné de la force par l’armée israélienne qui a conduit à la mort du journaliste palestinien Yaser Murtaja, alors qu’il couvrait les manifestations à Gaza, le 6 avril. RSF réclame une enquête indépendante. (...)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684019 via Loutre

  • Gaza, un communiqué du ministère des affaires étrangères français, un tout petit peu plus ferme que le précédent. Mais encore loin du compte : l’armée israélienne tue de manière délibérée des manifestants non armés !

    Paris, le 7 avril 2018


    Situation dans la bande de Gaza

    La répression des manifestations dans la bande de Gaza a une nouvelle fois causé la mort de neuf personnes et fait plusieurs centaines de blessés. La France réitère sa réprobation des tirs indiscriminés de l’armée israélienne. Toute la lumière doit être faite sur ces graves événements.

    La France demande aux autorités concernées de faire preuve de la plus grande retenue et souligne que l’usage de la force doit être proportionné, conformément au droit international humanitaire, afin d’éviter de nouvelles victimes.

    Seule une levée des restrictions imposées à Gaza, avec les garanties de sécurité nécessaires pour Israël, permettra de répondre à la crise humanitaire et de prévenir l’escalade des tensions.

    Au-delà, la France reste convaincue qu’il ne peut être mis fin à la violence que par la reprise d’un véritable dialogue en vue de mettre enfin en œuvre une solution politique permettant à deux Etats, Israël et la Palestine, de vivre côte à côte en paix et en sécurité.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/684001 via Nouvelles d’Orient