Friday, September 19, 2003
UN General Assembly -in special emergency session- passes resolution demanding Israel drop its threat against Arafat
VOTE: 133 to 4, with 15 abstentionsThe four negative votes were Israel, United States, Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
You can pick your headline -- UN chides Israel, UN scolds Israel, UN demands Israel . . .
And then there's Reuters, straightforward, succinct: UN Backs Arafat.
Meanwhile, SAME DAY, Kofi Annan Rings Peace Bell, marking International Day of Peace
19 September – Secretary-General Kofi Annan rang the Peace Bell at United Nations Headquarters in New York today to mark the annual International Day of Peace. From the press release:
The International Day of Peace has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly as “a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and peoples to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the day”. It is meant to still the guns for some very practical reasons: so that humanitarian assistance can be delivered more easily; so that civilians can gain safe passage away from besieged areas; so that crops can be planted, or shelter erected, free from the threat of instant destruction; so that refugees and displaced persons can have at least some respite from the hostilities that have routed them from their homes.Feel sick? Blatant hypocrisy got you down? GO IMMEDIATELY TO THE WIESENTHAL CENTER LINK BELOW, AND SIGN PETITION TO KOFI ANNAN, DEMANDING THAT THE UN CONDEMN PALESTINIAN TERRORISM.
But, of course, the Day of Peace should also be a pause for reflection by the wider international community on the threats and challenges we face. In some parts of the world, the dominant threats to peace and security are seen as new and potentially more virulent forms of terrorism, the proliferation of non-conventional weapons, the spread of transnational criminal networks and the ways in which all these things maybe coming together to reinforce one another. But for many others around the globe, poverty, disease, deprivation and civil war remain the highest priorities. . .
September 19, 2003
UN ONCE AGAIN CONDEMNS ISRAEL
Join Wiesenthal Center Campaign to Demand UN Condemnation of Palestinian Terror GroupsThe Simon Wiesenthal Center said today that more than 5,000 of its members have sent e-mail letters to the United Nations General Assembly, protesting its condemnation of Israel again for its recent Cabinet decision, which in principle, decided to remove Yassir Arafat. The email campaign to the United Nations points out that since its founding, the UN has passed over 1,000 resolutions condemning Israel, but never one explicitly condemning the Arab groups for their consistent campaign of terror against the Jewish State.
“When will the United Nations General Assembly finally get it right? They have passed so many resolutions, but avoided the one resolution that is the real obstacle to Middle East peace: terrorism,” said the Wiesenthal Center’s Dean and Founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier. “Israel has signed peace accords with Egypt and Jordan, and an unofficial peace exists between Israel and Syria, but that was possible only because those countries have not allowed terrorists to operate on their soil and launch attacks against Israel.
Terrorism erodes confidence and destroys any possibility for moderation and compromise. No nation sitting in the chamber of the United Nations facing similar terrorist attacks would act differently than Israel,” Hier concluded.
The Center’s online petition shows photographs and contains detailed information about the ‘gang of four’:
Yassir Arafat, leader of Fatah
Led by Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat, the Tanzim (al-Aqsa Brigades) is the armed wing of Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Tanzim was established as a quasi-military force to offset the growing power of other Palestinian Islamist groups. The group targets civilians and has carried out indiscriminate bombings of buses and restaurants without any regard for human life.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas leader
Radical Islamic organization that defines its highest priority as Jihad (Holy War) for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of an Islamic Palestine "from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River". It has become the leading perpetrator of horrific crimes against humanity unknown since the days of the infamous S.S. and voices the strongest opposition to the peace process through its deliberate suicide attacks against innocent Israeli men, women and children.
Dr. Ramadan Shalah, leader of the Islamic Jihad
Founded by Palestinian students in Egypt, they have become the most prominent Palestinian terrorist group to adopt Islamic Jihad ideology. It views the "Zionist Jewish entity," Israel, as the main enemy of the Muslim brothers and the first target for destruction. It promises suicide bombers who leave behind their families a ticket to heaven, which includes palaces, virgins and eternal wealth.
Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader
Established as an organizational body for Shi'ite fundamentalists led by religious clerics who use terror and hatred of Jews as a means of attaining political objectives. The destruction of Israel and the liberation of Jerusalem are deemed a religious obligation.
The petition concludes:
If the UN is going to pass another Middle East resolution, then it should finally pass the one that can lead the way to peace in the Middle East - CONDEMN TERRORISM NOW!The Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.
For more information, contact the Wiesenthal Center's Public Relations Department at (310) 553-9036.
Newsweek reporter covers Rachel Corrie story for MotherJones.com
the ISM & Electronic Intifada don't like it one bitJoshua Hammer is the Jerusalem bureau chief for Newsweek. He is the author of Chosen by God: A Brother's Journey, about his younger brother's decision to become a member of an ultraorthodox Hasidic community, and A Season in Bethlehem: Unholy War in a Sacred Place, which was published in September.
Hammer has now written "The Death of Rachel Corrie" in the Sept/Oct 2003 issue of Mother Jones. The anti-world is seething and whining about it, so I figure it must be good. It's at least good enough for the ISM to send out this Action Alert for all pro-terror advocates to immediately write to Mother Jones to complain:
Some of you may have already caught the terribly-written article by Joshua Hammer, the bureau chief for Newsweek in Jerusalem, published in Mother Jones Magazine about the death of Rachel Corrie and the International Solidarity Movement. The article is ridden with inaccuracies, half-truths, and misrepresentations that seem to be the result of poor journalism, including the reliance on right-wing websites for information, and plagiarism.Must be good, huh?
Please take a few minutes to write to Mother Jones Magazine, expressing your disappointment with such poor standards of journalism for such a reputable magazine. Ask that they retract the article and give the ISM space to present itself and the circumstances surrounding Rachel’s death accurately.
Cindy Corrie, right, and husband Craig, the parents of American International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie carry two olive trees they later planted in the Rafah Refugee Camp in southern Gaza Strip Friday, Sept. 19, 2003. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Here's a quote that the Electronic Intifada really hates, apparently the only one Hammer uses to describe Corrie's Evergreen College:
"The radical ideologies espoused every day at Evergreen State College are of every nasty branch of extremism," one columnist recently wrote. "Anti-Americanism. Anti-God. Anti-life. Anti-Israel. Anti-capitalism. Anti-tradition."
See also this story from the "Green Left Weekly" about how the IDF, Civil Administration and Israeli police are interfering with completion of a Rachel Corrie memorial mural in East Jerusalem.
Arafat threatens suicide over expulsion
Story in the New Zealand Herald
Speaking in his partly demolished West Bank headquarters in Ramallah, Arafat pointed to his machinegun lying on the floor and said he would use it to kill himself if Israel tried to deport or assassinate him.Arafat raises a good question - IS there anyone in Palestine who does not dream of martyrdom? I only wish we knew the answer.
"I am a Palestinian soldier ... I will use my gun to defend not only myself but also defend every Palestinian child, woman and man and to defend the Palestinian existence," the 74-year-old former guerrilla leader said. [is that former guerilla, or former leader?]
"Is there anyone in Palestine who does not dream of martyrdom?"
Palestinians describe suicide bombers, who have killed scores of civilians in Israel, as martyrs.
Todah to Esther Sarah, for the tip.
Rutgers Student Hits Israeli Minister Sharansky with Pie
We should all be ashamed of raising this Jewish child to be a pro-Palestinian "activist"Abe Greenhouse, the same lovely young Jewish man who had himself photographed putting a note in the Kotel that said, "Stop the motherf*cking occupation" has now gained additional notoriety by throwing a pie in the face of Natan Sharansky Thursday night.
Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and Israel's Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, was about to address a crowd of about 500 people on "a Jewish perspective of the road to peace" when Greenhouse threw a cream pie directly in his face.
Greenhouse was removed by campus police and later charged with disorderly conduct; according to WNBC, he was released on his own recognizance.
Y-Net, Yediot Ahronot (Hebrew) reported that Sharansky changed clothes, and began his speech saying, "I hope the pie was kosher."
Read more at Ha'aretz: "Sharansky says campus is 'real' Israeli-Palestinian battlefield. No kidding.
IsraelInsider provides the more shameful background on Abe Greenhouse, as well as his phone number and various email addresses.
NewJersey.IndyMedia.org has an article by "Jews for a Free Palestine," headlined "Zionazi Minister Natan Sharansky Gets Pie in Face from JATO's (Jews Against the Occupation) Abe Greenhouse." It says, "Nice Going Abe! Tomorrow night is peach pie in Princeton."
from comments to cross-post at ISRAPUNDIT:
I was there and what that kid did was so awful...from my seat in the back all I saw was someone getting tackled, who I thought was a student tackling a body guard...and then everyone got quiet and stood up and I stayed seated cause I was scared! who knows what that kid could have done. talk about immaturity though...and I agree we should email the president of the university.Richard L. McCormick, President
Posted by Dara at September 19, 2003 05:53 PM
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Vice President for Student Affairs
Thursday, September 18, 2003
WAR OF THE WORDS
by Dan SternThere was a time when you thought you might have to write this story. You knew if the mood of the day had become infected with the mistakes of the past that the moment would come and you would have no choice. You are now witnessing a resurgence in the kind of anti-Semitic acts and language that preceded the rise of the Third Reich and that you thought had been buried with its fall. Jewish cemeteries are being desecrated. Synagogues are being torched. Jewish students are being bullied out of their European classrooms with little or no protection from the schools. Hate crimes targeting Jews in France generate no response from the government. International politicians are growing braver in their bigoted remarks. Fanatical Muslim terrorists are gaining legitimacy through cease-fire negotiations and recognition from Western countries as justifiable entities. And you see that in the slightest of semantic shifts, this mood has assumed an anti-Israel veil. And so you know—that moment to tell your story has come sooner than you imagined. You will defy the political correctness and cultural sensitivity that have belied the obvious and will clear the confusion clouding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the newest manifestation of history's favorite pastime.
It is the early fall of 2002, months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, three days after the first anniversary of September 11, and two years into the new Palestinian intifada against Israel. You enter the congested auditorium and sit toward the far back where the only available seats remain and wait for her to appear onstage, the guest speaker. After some time, the sound of hands meeting hands and shrieks of devotion erupt throughout the room. You get up on your toes and squint and barely make out the features of the woman you’ve seen on the news countless times in the past. She waves appreciatively and takes a seat. So there she is: Hanan Ashwari, former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Her invitation to speak at the University of Colorado at Boulder has been met with much criticism, notably by the state governor and Congressional leaders. Her supporters call her a moderate voice of peace in the region, one who has even visited the White House. Her detractors call her an apologist for terrorism who does with words what Hamas does with explosives.
You are a strong proponent of Israel, the lone democracy in the Middle East. You view the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular, as the perpetrators of their own wounds, unable to see that the enemy is within. You are also a secular Jew and fourth-generation New Yorker who was living in Manhattan on Sept 11, 2001, and so have come here tonight with a certain emotional and cultural context.
Still, you are open-minded and are aware that you’re a product of your upbringing and your surrounding society and thus experience the world as a 21st century American. You welcome a sign of hope from the Arab side of the Middle East conflict and embrace any possibility of a peaceful resolution. And so you sit and you listen.
The first thing you notice when Ashwari addresses the crowd is how elegantly she speaks. There is a hint of regal grace in her voice, with a bit of soothing grandmotherliness gently blended in. Her vocabulary is sharp, her cadence almost poetic. Witty and knowledgeable, she comes off quite charmingly. The faces around you respond to her, ready to receive whatever ideas she may offer.
The “occupation"—she cuts right to it. She tells of the poverty, the despair, the whole wretched affair. She tells of her years living under military watch, the humiliation, the loss of dignity, the abuses, the rich Palestinian culture being swept carelessly, deliberately, into the sea.
Occupation. The word repeats itself over and over until all others fade away and you are left with that simple mantra Ashwari has provided. Occupation. Occupation. Occupation.
The transfixed audience members sit on their fury, breaking into applause whenever they find the chance to show their support for the Palestinian cause. It’s the least they can do to express their outrage with Israel.
“We are the first occupied people to be held responsible for the security of its occupiers,” she says. An explosion of cheers! What a line. You yourself are gripped by its lyrical and clever appeal.
Ashwari begins to recount more stories of victimization at the hands of Israeli soldiers, of children growing up in pitiful conditions, and her soft, rhythmic voice lulls you deeper into her world. You might side with the Israelis but those tales of suffering don’t fall short of touching you.
Once she has her grip wrapped firmly around your heart, she moves on to the “myth of the generous offer at Camp David.” Nothing was put down in writing, she says. Nothing. Her convincing tone exudes truth and the audience responds accordingly. But you’ve heard that Arafat was in fact handed what he had been publicly asking for all along and yet he turned it down. He was afraid, you've heard, that if he went back to his people having accepted it that his body would've been dragged through the dirty streets by the thugs who want nothing less than all of Israel. And you’ve heard that even Clinton has said Arafat missed his opportunity. But you weren't there, and competing accounts exist, and despite what seems most likely, you can't know for sure. Regardless, this is a minor detail in a sweeping conflict and so you continue to listen to Ashwari for signs of reason amidst the images of young stone-throwers and throngs of armed men eerily hooded in black masks crowding the Palestinian streets. But Ashwari, sensing she has won over the audience, decides to suddenly drop any illusion of temperance and goes in for the kill.
Listen. Here is what she tells you:This rapid-fire barrage of words improbably strung together, and the sympathetic cries of support from this American audience, cognitively mutes you. It's all so obviously untrue. Where do you even begin to address such claims? The only thing that comes to mind are the words of one of the modern era's most effective leaders: "The greater the lie, the greater the chance it will be believed." Adolph Hitler wrote this before his sudden rise to power when few were paying attention.
“Israel wants a unilateral war and annexation, not peace.”
“Israelis believe Palestinians are genetically inferior.”
“Israelis started the argument that Palestinians want to destroy Israel.”
“Israel supported the oppression of human rights in Palestine.”
“There is a democratic recession in the Arab world because of the war on terrorism.”
“Israel will use the US attack on Iraq to get rid of as many Palestinians as possible.”
We don’t need America, Ashwari continues, to tell us how to build a democracy. “We know how.” “Stop getting in our way.” “Get the Israeli Army off our backs and we will hold elections.” Now you’re thoroughly baffled. Where in the Muslim world is there a democratic system? And how is Israel, birthed in 1948, and the United States, only a couple centuries old, retroactively responsible for the oppression and absence of human freedoms that have plagued Arabs for 500 years?
These outright lies strike less of revisionist history than of a history in a parallel universe. And in this universe it is the Jews who kill in the name of their Lord, for Ashwari says the Israelis need to “stop bringing God into the conflict.” And now you don't know whether to laugh or cry, because you’ve never, not once, heard of a Palestinian suicide bomber who blew himself and others up without evoking the name of Allah. Those were Arabs, not Jews, that flew planes into our buildings, all eagerly awaiting those 70 black-eyed virgins promised to them in heaven. And it was the Palestinians that celebrated these religious heroes in the streets when word of the burning flesh from our singed towers reached their villages. But you see the nods of the audience agreeing that, yes, the Israelis need to leave God out of this already.
Ashwari's universe also records her Palestine as a hotbed of tolerance, overflowing with equality—a place seemingly perfect prior to Israeli intervention. Muslims accept all religions, you are told, and respect all cultures. You try to see it but all that comes is the thought of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during World War II doing all he could to support and further Hitler's "Final Solution," and you also think of the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, being used as a trash dump under Arab rule. Even in current times, you see the common practice of Palestinians destroying Jewish holy sites in their region.
You tell yourself that, fine, yes, the Israelis need to stop building settlements in Palestinian territory. That you will concede. The construction of new homes certainly is a policy you don't support. But it occurs to you that if Palestinians are so accepting, almost to a flaw as Ashwari would have you believe, then why can't Jews live on Arab soil? Why can't they reside there just as more than a million Arabs, including Palestinians, do in Israel as full, equal citizens? These are not Arabs under so-called occupied territory but rather Israeli Arabs who are bestowed with all the freedoms of Israeli Jews and who compose nearly one-fifth of Israel's population. It would be as if Italians declared that no French could live in their country or vice versa. Such discrimination would be obvious, so why is this case any less clear? Where is the tolerance that Ashwari's people simply cannot contain? Nowhere in the Palestinian or pan-Arab world is there a single positive recognition of anything Jewish or Israeli. Nowhere. There is only anachronistic stereotyping and crude hatred whose longevity defies their absurdity. How strange, this people supposedly interested in peace who lack any hint of acceptance for their neighbors.
That's why mentions of settlements and occupation are so useful. All good magicians know to use distractions to avert attention from the real matter at hand, in this case the cultural loathing of Jewish, and consequently Israeli, existence. After all, you know that when Hamas and Arafat's terroristic Fatah faction, and the vast majority of Palestinians who support their policy of eviscerating civilian body parts, refer to occupation, they are referring to all of Israel, not merely the West Bank and Gaza Strip. That is why not a single Palestinian school book or governmental agency indicates the word Israel anywhere on their maps. That is why the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed in 1964, three years before the so-called occupation. What occupied land was Arafat's terrorist organization liberating then?
There is, however, a strange respectability to Hamas's medieval mentality. Never have they tried to disguise their motives, unlike some spokespersons. They hate Jews, want all of Israel to themselves, plan to execute this agenda through indoctrination of their youth, and that's precisely what they say and that's precisely what they do. You'll take a Hamas thug over a Hanan Ashwari any day.
You came here looking for Ashwari to, among other things, issue an outright condemnation of Hamas—its philosophy and practices. But she seems to maintain the same attitude as the French, that Hamas remains a necessary player in the peace process, which, no matter how you view the Israeli actions in the disputed territory, can mean only one thing. The closest she gets to conceding it may be wrong for Palestinians to dress their youth up in bombs and shrapnel is the lazy delivery of a line that half drowns in the wake of a preceding applause: “Of course we did use negative means to get attention, but now we’re trying.” You look down at the flyer in your hand that announces Ms. Ashwari as the moderate voice of peace, and you furrow your brow and kind of shake your head. You think of the small children in your family, nieces, nephews, all talking about trains and dolls and singing to Sesame Street, and you are haunted by endless video footage of Palestinian boys and girls the same age, cloaked in suicide mission vests and armed with grenades and guns, yearning to become martyrs the way American kids hope to become firemen, screeching, "Kill the Jews! Kill the Jews!" It doesn't quite seem real.
You feel completely disconnected from Ashwari now. The hope is gone, and that is the most disturbing part of all—that you know so many view her philosophy as a ray of light and yet you see her, at best, as a fine teller of tall tales. If she is hope, where does that leave Israel?
Having lost the will to listen anymore, your mind drifts to the irony hidden within all this. Had the Nazis not tried to eradicate any trace of Jewish blood from the earth, had historic anti-Semitism encompassing the Arab, European, and Russian people not filled the Jews with such well-grounded fear, there would never have been any need for the modern state of Israel. Jews would not have been compelled to cling to one another for survival. The Arabs, the world, created the very problem (Israel) that they now struggle to control and seemingly destroy.
But irony is merely entertainment for those few lonely free thinkers of the earth and plays no role in politics. So you return to the beating of Ashwari’s packaged noise and discover she is relating Israel’s plans to build a wall sectioning off Gaza and the West Bank to “Apartheid.” After all, if the Israelis want to protect themselves from unrelenting terrorists, they are the bad guys. But logic matters little. It’s the buzzwords that stick with people. They might walk away retaining nothing of substance but they’ll be equipped with those verbal untouchables: “occupation” and “Apartheid.”
Ashwari knows her audience. It seems she knows well America's weakness, especially on college campuses: the blind affection for the underdog. You watch her strategy unfold so effortlessly, so invisibly. This is what she plays on: the trend to view the stronger side as morally wrong. Bottom line, if one's country has might, it must be guilty of something heinous. And you figure she knows the other element to prey on because she does it so well, the element a friend recently pointed out to you: Americans have an image of injustice, an existing paradigm of a victimized people. This image includes persons with darker skin who are poor, uneducated, and have adopted desperate measures. And this is exactly what is found in the Palestinians. It's become the norm to consider struggle and despair the result of outside forces, never internal defects, for declaring an intrinsic weakness would imply a racist view. And yet you know that this same poor, uneducated, desperate society dwelled in that arid region preaching hatred of everything non-Islamic for so long that Mark Twain, in his visit to the land in 1867, wrote, "Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound. Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live here." This, a century to the year before Israel "occupied" the Palestinian territories after an Arab invasion. And yet here is Ashwari, demanding that the Israelis stifled the once-flourishing Palestinian culture, a culture which incidentally was "occupied" by Egypt and Jordan prior to 1967 but which never, not once, expressed interest in being its own, distinct state.
Within your disheartened mindset something begins to make itself known. It is your post-modern relativist education tugging away, reminding you that situations are not judged in terms of absolute truth but rather different perspectives, none more true than the rest. You still want to believe this all boils down to Israel's presence in the West Bank and Gaza, because that could be resolved. This whisper from within brings you back, and just in time, for Ashwari honorably tells the crowd that, no, she will not compare mortality figures between Israelis and Palestinians. A death, she says, is a death. One death is a massacre. The crowd applauds. You applaud. Before the last pair of hands has clapped, Ashwari proceeds to compare the disparity in numbers. Jenin soon makes its anticipated appearance. A massacre. An outrage. War crimes. And yet the paradox: Why would the Israelis not just attack from the air? Why risk troops going carefully door to door knowing armed terrorists were awaiting them if they just wanted a massacre? And what of the gross exaggeration of hundreds, even thousands, of deaths when in fact both sides eventually concurred it was only a few dozen, most of whom were armed terrorists? Here Ashwari returns to her silence on figures.
You genuinely wonder whether Palestinian families fear the Israelis. After all, Israel has the Bomb. Many of them. Enough, in fact, to wipe out pretty much every last one of the 200 million Arab Muslims that engulf the not quite 6 million Jews in Israel. Do they sit in their homes at night terrified of the Israeli Army's capability like Israelis would if they knew Hamas had acquired nuclear weapons? You suspect they don't, because they know the Achilles' heel of the Jewish state rests in its compassion and value for human life. They know in their hearts that this whole mess would end overnight (overnight!) if the Palestinians embraced Israel as a legitimate country.
Ashwari even nags about how no one talks about Israel’s nuclear power, only Iraq’s alleged intentions, as if the two are in the same boat, let alone same ocean. Here is Saddam, a man who poisoned his own people, killed his own family members, engaged arbitrarily in mass murder, fostered an environment of oppression, and has threatened every country in the region. And there is Israel, a country that fresh out of the Holocaust not only tried a Nazi executioner in a court of law but deliberated painstakingly over whether to sentence him to death (Adolph Eichmann was ultimately Israel's first and only execution). Israel, the land that only a few decades back was presided over by a female prime minister who said, “I can forgive the Arabs for killing our children, but I can’t forgive them for making us kill theirs.” You can’t recall ever hearing such tenderness directed at another ethnic or religious group emerge from the lips of a Palestinian leader. Never. Not once. You have, however, seen mobs of Palestinians dragging bloodied carcasses through streets ("informers" who collude with Israelis) and throwing Israeli soldiers out windows to be pummeled to death by the civilian masses. The idea that no one gets arrested for doing this is so disturbing, though not nearly as disturbing as the fact that it doesn't even seem to occur to most people that the perpetrators should be lawfully apprehended for these gruesome acts. It's just the way things go in the Palestinian world, a world so eager to gain autonomy and control its own military right beside Israel. There seems to be no civilized law, certainly little enforcement if there is. Perhaps when there is a democracy, you imagine, such developments as freedom of speech and press, economic opportunities, women's rights, and civil liberties will ensure that bodies aren't beaten in public in front of cheering throngs. Until that day, the only Palestinians that will get to enjoy those rights are those living in Israel proper. You chuckle sadly to yourself as Ashwari rants about democracy among the Palestinians, for there is only one place on earth where Palestinians hold office in a truly democratic system: the Israeli parliament.
But these are mere details that fail to address the searing religious and cultural hatred for a nation of infidels right in the Palestinians' own backyard. And despite your moral relativistic education, you can't help but sense deeply that there is a right and a wrong side here, a good and an evil. And despite your respect for the teachings of Gandhi and King, you know with utter certainty that a laying down of arms by the Israelis would be tantamount to inviting one big suicide bomber to walk right in uncontested. Having heard the moderate voice of the Palestinians you are now convinced, with the greatest disappointment, that the struggle will endure long into the future until freedom of thought and an open exchange of ideas flood the Arab world and drown the theocratic dogma.
What will add to your frustration, to your fears, is that the mainstream media will report this event as if it were a traditional speech, in which valid positions were defended, righteous concerns voiced. It will note the speech sparked controversy, but not quite say why. It certainly won't mention Ashwari's remark regarding accusations of "genetic inferiority" or her ludicrous charge that Americans and Israelis are responsible for the lack of an Arab democratic movement. This would call her other claims into question immediately, and the media can't seem to bring itself to do that. This is the same media that is unable to define what "occupation" means according to common Palestinian usage and which deems the current conflict a "cycle of violence" when in fact every single Israeli strike is aimed at rooting out the terrorists responsible for blowing up people and places in Israel. This is the same media that doesn't even call them terrorists, that refers to the human bombs that gravitate toward young women and children (so as to wipe out the young generation and the ability to bear more children) as "militants," which certainly doesn't carry the same connotation. A militant fights for a seemingly noble cause, the unreported cause in this case being to drive every last Jew into the sea. The public perception resulting from this media confusion has become firmly one of "violence between the two," rather than one side trying to quell the religious-based hatred and violence of another. This is the same media that has taken Hamas's blanket statement of primitive hate and cloaked it in such concepts as political vengeance and tit-for-tat, creating complexity where there is none. The media's claims of "Hamas's revenge killings" give off the impression that such murders are in response to Israeli military action, which they're not. You imagine Hamas and Islamic Jihad getting equally irate with the media, demanding, "These suicide bombings are in response to Israelis being Jews, you idiots! Just read our damn Website!" But the media just doesn't get it, and so the average reader and viewer will soak up the stories and think, “Why don't those Israelis just end their occupation?”—the very lexicon Ashwari is instilling in her audience tonight.
Why would the media do this? you hear people asking. Seems a bit paranoid, something along the lines of a conspiracy theory, no? And it does, until you recall that only 60 years ago, the countries of Europe and much of the rest of the world, including Arab countries and the United States, turned their collective heads as the Germans burned, shot, starved, and gassed to death two out of three Jews on the European continent. You also recall that those in the 1930s who pointed in fear to the increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric, to the lies spreading about the Jewish people, to the creation of Jewish ghettos, were labeled paranoid. Accusations of paranoia are convenient means of discrediting the accuser and making him feel guilty. You know though that the more passionately you argue your case, the more biased and thus less trustworthy your views will appear. You cannot believe that what shouldn't require proving does in fact require it, and that your battle for truth has become political Chinese finger cuffs: the more you struggle, the less progress you make. You know that many people, certainly those who are pro-Palestinian, will see what you're doing as contorting this simple fight over land into a comparison between Jews and Arabs, and an insulting comparison at that. They'll also say your description of Arab anti-Semitism reflects one small part of the equation. But weren't the Arabs the ones who made this into the theo-cultural face-off that it is? And even if what you're saying is only one facet of the equation, you can't help but look at the visceral disgust exhibited for Jews, at the way Palestinians educate their youth in violence and intolerance, at the glorification of killing in the name of Allah. You look at this and think, how can anyone who is pro-Palestinian consider this remotely acceptable, even if it is only one small part? They will call your words propaganda and even hateful. But your malicious propaganda will consist of nothing more than shining a light on what the Palestinians themselves inundate their people with in the mosques, on state-run television, and at summer camp. They just won't want to listen. They would rather hold on to the naively idealistic belief that an entire culture simply cannot be largely driven by hate. The assumption that people are generally good, and the conclusion that this must therefore be a mere political battle over land, will persevere over the evidence blowing up in the public's face.
So what do you do when the world looks at the growing incidence of the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Europe, the burning of synagogues, and attacks on Jewish children as unrelated to race or religion? And what of the political figures who do call these crimes what they are but say they are understandable responses to what's going on in Israel? You'll shrug to yourself and accept the truth—anti-Israel protests have become the politically correct expression of anti-Semitic sentiment that has been momentarily hiding in shame since the Holocaust. Occupation? Sure, whatever it takes to justify finishing the job.
Ashwari begins to wrap up the evening when you suddenly hear a frenzied chorus of screams coming from outside the building. Ashwari concludes her remarks and receives a standing ovation and you flow outdoors into the warm autumn night to see what's going on. You immediately make out two camps. One is pro-Israeli, and it is singing peace songs and holding a candlelight vigil. The other is pro-Palestinian, many of Arab descent, and it is hollering at its opposing group, holding various signs, the most disgusting of which equates Israelis with Nazis, an increasingly common depiction. Addressing the illogical affront such a sign represents would mean falling into their trap: If you dignify it with a retort, you lend credibility to the nonsense. And yet you know the comparison has already caught on, that people, relatively intelligent people, do in fact make that connection.
You feel a sudden rush of your inherited past wash over you and so you grab a flag of the young Jewish state and stand with the pro-Israelis. The pro-Palestinian group begins to encroach on the pro-Israeli protestors. On you. You see in their eyes a seething rage that conjures in you an unfamiliar fear and an accompanying strength. They move in closer, and you can see that it's quite simple: they want to fight. A pro-Israeli protestor finds a policeman and tells him to help and only then the officers form a barrier between you and your counterparts. The angry mob of pro-Palestinians proceeds to shout the standard Jewish obscenities so prevalent in the Arab world. They slowly push back the line of police officers, one of whom will be quoted in the papers tomorrow as stating the protestors were all "well-behaved."
A friend present that night, whose views are less formed than your own, will later tell you the only difference between the pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli camps was that the former was not as organized as the latter. And you wonder, Is that what some people see? Do they not witness the hate spilling out of the pro-Palestinians' hearts, the hope and restraint emanating from the pro-Israeli side? You know that even this could be twisted by claiming the former are the victims and are thus desperate and angry. But this desperation and anger existed before 1948. And that, ultimately, is the key here.
You look on at the anti-Jewish (not anti-Israel) banners, at the incitement, at the shoving. You listen to the growls for "death to the Jews" and chants that "Hitler should've finished the job." You shut your eyes and think of the long and tired history of persecution against Jews, the cultural and religious abuse going back centuries, today's young generation of Palestinian schoolchildren dressed up as suicide bombers yearning for martyrdom. And you know: This has nothing to do with land, nothing to do with those thin strips of desert along the eastern Mediterranean. The Palestinians, an extension of the Arab world, want the same thing they wanted before Israel became a nation. The rest—the "facts," the arguments, the land disputes, the checkpoints, the settlements, the curfews, the military patrols, the targeted killings of Hamas masterminds, the detainment of suspected terrorists, the humiliation, the poverty, the refugee camp crackdowns—is self-serving commentary. Anyone who genuinely believes that the Israelis fueled this monster with their military actions doesn't want to accept the truth—that this has nothing to do with land.
The tension dissipates, promising to return another night, and both groups of protestors eventually disperse. You walk away and overhear people chatting about this part of the evening or that part, the words "occupation" and "Jews" (not Israelis) littered carelessly about, and you think to yourself, if things ever get to the point where the public perception of Israel becomes so grossly distorted that it poses an imminent threat to the country's very survival, you'll write about this evening, not because you hope it will help, but because you'll have to. Because history will have come calling. Because this has nothing to do with land.
Kol hakavod, Daniel. Thank you.
The author can be reached at email@example.com
DEBKA headlines: Wanted HAMAS terrorist commander killedWanted Hamas terrorist killed, three Israeli soldiers wounded - one seriously - in gun battle over his detention early Thursday in Gaza Strip’s Nusayrat refugee camp. Two would-be suicide bombers and their controller - Jihad Islami and Tanzim - captured on West Bank.
Hot Spit! Bush tells Palestinians they must have a leader who fights terror
President George W. Bush speaks to reporters after hosting a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II
at the presidential retreat, Camp David, Maryland, September 18, 2003. Bush acknowledged that his Middle
East peace plan had stalled, and blamed what he called the failed leadership of Palestinian President Yasser
Arafat. Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters
From AP/White House:
CAMP DAVID, Md. - President Bush told Palestinians on Thursday that they must have a leader who fights terror if they want peace. He said Yasser Arafat "has failed as a leader" and blamed him for forcing the resignation of a prime minister committed to the peace process. . .
On Mideast peace efforts, Bush said he regretted that former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas had been forced to resign. "At every turn he was undercut by the old order," Bush said. He specifically noted that he was referring to Arafat. "Hopefully, at some point in time, a leadership of the Palestinian Authority will emerge which will then commit itself 100 percent to fighting off terror," Bush said.
"I remain committed — solidly committed — to the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security. Yet that will only happen with new Palestinian leadership committed to fighting terror not compromised by terror," he added.
Speaking of the President, a recent James Carroll opinion piece in the Boston Globe reaches, and I do mean reaches, this conclusion:
The Globe accepts Letters to the Editor ONLINE.
NB: Hyperbole is spelled h-y-p-e-r-b-o-l-e
A Palestinian child stares at Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade militants
in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday Sept. 17 2003.
(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
From a profile of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade published by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel, this is an English translation of a routine invoice, dated two years ago -almost to the day- from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade to the Office of Fouad Shoubaki, Yasser Arafat's chief financial officer for military expenses. The handwritting in the margins is thought to be that of Shoubaki himself.
Source: IDF Spokesperson's Office
Fouad Shoubaki Office’s handling of the “Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades” Request for Financial Aid
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades
The debts which we have accumulated until now are estimated to be NIS 38,000. The following are the details:
1. The cost of posters of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: Azam Mazhar, Usama Jubara, Shadi Afuri, Yasser Badawi, Ahed Fares (addition in handwriting of 2,000 shekels).
2. Costs of printed announcements, invitations and mourners shelters for martyrs (addition in handwriting of 1,250 shekels).
3. Cost of sticking photos of martyrs on wooden boards and also of the martyrs Thabet Thabet and Mahmud Al Jamil (addition in handwriting of 1,000 shekels).
4. Cost of memorial ceremonies for the martyrs. Memorial ceremonies were held for the martyr Azam and the martyr Usama (addition in handwriting of 6,000 shekels).
5. Costs of electricity products and various chemical materials (for manufacture of explosive charges and bombs). This is the greatest expenditure (the cost of one ready explosive charge is 700 shekels at least). We require on a weekly basis 5 – 9 explosives charges for squads in various areas (addition in handwriting of 5,000 shekels per week x 4 = 20,000 shekels per month).
6. The cost of bullets. The cost of a Kalashnikov bullet is 7 – 8 shekels, and an M-16 bullet costs 2 – 2.5 shekels. We need bullets on a daily basis.
7. Note: there are 3,000 Kalashnikov bullets at a cost of 2 shekels per bullet. We require that you transfer to us immediately a sum of money for us to purchase them (addition in handwriting of 22,500 shekels for kalashnikov bullets and 60,000 shekels for M-16 bullets).
In conclusion, all the glory and pride to those supporting the brave resistance against the oppressive occupation.
From the revolution until victory.
Palestinian Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades
16 September 2001
Addition in handwriting: 25,000 Dinar = 150,750:6
To hell with the New York Times
It is grossly unfair to continually bash Israel and hold her responsible for both sides in this war she did not seekI can just imagine the editorial board meetings at the New York Times: Hey, let's take the beleaguered and isolated State of Israel and put it through the wringer again ::enthusiastic applause::
Is today's editorial about the fact that two recent suicide bombers came from the hundreds of Palestinian criminals released by Israel as a "good will gesture," uncalled for by the road map and scorned by the Palestinian leadership? No.TODAY'S EDITORIAL IN THE NEW YORK TIMES accuses Israel of so poorly understanding the Palestinians that they have caused Arafat to be propelled "back into the warm embrace of his besieged and increasingly desperate people." It's Israel's fault, you see, that tens of thousands of Palestinians cling to, and celebrate, a leader who provides them with less than nothing, makes himself mega-rich in the process, and demands that they blow themselves up.
Is today's editorial about Araft offering HAMAS portfolios in his new and improved "Abu Ala" government? No.
Is today's editorial about how King Abdullah's government promised that Jordan's banks would refuse business from known terrorists, and then within 24 hours backed down and rescinded that order, after being reprimanded by HAMAS? Nope.
I know, today's editorial in the New York Times is about the six-month-old Arab girl from Gaza who received highly advanced eye surgery in Israel, which restored her sight. No, not today, though I'm sure that story will be found somewhere in the Times at some point.
Last guess. Today's editorial is about how Abu Mazen's resignation as prime minister came just one day after multimillion-dollar fraud charges were dropped against his brother by the kingdom of Jordan (WorldNetDaily). No, that's not in the New York Times and never will be.
The Times goes on and on with this ridiculous criticism: it is Sharon's government that should "pull back from their explosive language" -never mind that the PA is constantly churning out antisemitic incitement- and it is Sharon's government that should somehow "alter the Palestinian political dynamic." What Israel does is Israel's fault, and what the Palestinians do is Israel's fault.
The Times gives Israel one back-handed break: it is relieved, whew, that Israel's foreign minister issued a clarification that killing Arafat is not official policy. Yeah, good. Who wants to imagine a world without Arafat? (See Jerusalem Post editorial, "Enough," Sept. 11, below in full.)
With Israel being so stupid and inept, the Times has to spell out for them what it is they should do: "outflank [Arafat] by empowering his reformist rivals." Pretty clever, huh? and only slightly reminiscent of the road map / Abu Mazen period. How many Jews were killed in that effort? It would have worked, only guess who screwed it up? According to the Times, Sharon "failed to grasp the opportunity" --
He freed a few hundred prisoners, lifted a few roadblocks and handed out a few thousand work visas to Palestinians. But he did nothing about the core issue: ending Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Oh, and in case you thought that Arafat elbowed, stonewalled and sabotaged Abu Mazen out of power, it's apparently not true. The Almighty Times says that Abbas "resigned in disgust with Israel," presumably for failing to alter that pesky Palestinian political dynamic, which, after all, the Palestinians can't do themselves.
The Times does see a light at the end of the tunnel. "Israel has something of a second chance" - Hallelujah- in the person of Abu Ala, the newly appointed (not elected) prime minister, Arafat's fellow terrorist and Yes-Man. I guess that means Abu Mazen was Israel's first chance. What are they using - a BBC timeline?
Anyway, with this "second chance" in place, the Times makes is clear that all Israel has to do now is withdraw from "occupied lands." This is The Core Issue: "ending Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."
The Times assumes what? That if you get those Evil Jooooos out of the terror-tories, then the ethnically cleansed West Bank and Gaza will suddenly be peaceful? That if the Arabs don't have to share the air they breathe with infidels, they will suddenly stop blowing themselves up?
Settlers BAD, Abu Ala GOOD
Now IF ONLY Israel would help "those trying to ease him from power." Do you see any Palestinians trying to ease Arafat from power? It doesn't matter. Israel should find them and help them, help them by giving them something more, something new. Great idea. Israel should help them, give them, fix them, get out of their way. Withdraw from "occupied" lands.
Then what will the Times say when that doesn't work? Withdraw to the '67 borders? If that doesn't work, withdraw from Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv? Whatever it takes to pacify the Palestinians, Israel should do. All Jews, stop breathing. That surely will ease Arafat from power.
And if Israel doesn't follow the exhortations of the Times? Then the US "can do much more to push Israel." The Times likes it when the Bush Administration uses loan guarantees "as a stick to prod Israel." They call that a "small step in the right direction."
That "right direction," out and away from the terror-tories, must be West. It seems to me that The Times is calling for the US to prod Israel, with a stick, into the sea. To appease terrorists.
"Israel's Threats Against Arafat" can be found online at
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
United States Vetoed Anti-Israel Measure in the Security Council
The U.S. Tuesday vetoed a Security Council resolution, backed by Islamic and nonaligned nations, demanding that Israel back off its threat to deport Arafat. Eleven Council members voted in favor of the measure, while Britain, Germany, and Bulgaria abstained. U.S. UN Ambassador John Negroponte said the resolution failed to include "a robust condemnation of acts of terrorism; an explicit condemnation of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Aksa Martyrs Brigades as organizations responsible for acts of terrorism; and a call for the dismantlement of infrastructure, which supports these terror operations."Amen.
Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said after the vote, "This was a resolution which in a very macabre way criticized the victims of terror rather than the perpetrators of terror."
Asked if Jerusalem would take the vote as a green light to expel Mr. Arafat, Mr. Gillerman said: "The Israeli cabinet has decided in principle that Yasir Arafat is an obstacle to peace and he should be removed. The Israeli cabinet and Israel do not seek a green or amber light from anyone."
He added, "It will do what is necessary when necessary in order to protect its people." New York Times.
Third North American Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement @ RUTGERS
Students "determined to hold the conference as planned"The homepage of said Jew-hating fest assures one and all that "We WILL be holding the conference in New Brunswick, whether in public or private space - so book now! "
From their 9/12 "Urgent Call to Action" --
Today, Rutgers University officials have CANCELLED the Third National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, scheduled for October 10-12, 2003 at Rutgers University.
Yet, the students at Rutgers University are determined to hold the conference as planned.
In canceling this widely supported conference throughout North America, the university administration has trampled on constitutional rights, muted free speech, and has betrayed its pledge to fairness and education.
This is an attack on peace and justice activists everywhere. It is an attack on our society as a whole and on our right to free expression and assembly.
But the university administration has gone much farther, and has taken a shameful overt political stand in favor of Israeli Apartheid. As the university cancels the Palestine conference, it is simultaneously supporting an overarching pro-Israel program called "Israel Inspires", organized by the likes of AIPAC and Hillel International along with others, which will be held at Rutgers to "neutralize the Palestinian movement".
According to the official website of "Israel Inspires", the president of Rutgers University, Dr. Richard L. McCormick, "pledged his support for Israel Inspires, and asked to be personally involved in Hillel's positive pro-active initiative." In fact, President McCormick will appear tonight as a keynote at a pro-Israel event hosted by Zionists groups at Rutgers University. Featured participants at the "Israel Inspires" program during the weekend of October 10-12 will include the arch-Zionist Richard Perle and former CIA Director, James Woolsey. They will join the president of the right-wing Hudson Institute, Herbert London, and the publisher & CEO of the Jerusalem Post, Tom Rose. On September 18, 2003, Israeli Minister, Natan Sharansky, will be featured as the opening speaker of the anti-Palestinian year-long program.
Palestine solidarity students and activists have the same right to assemble and hold a conference. They have the right to demand that their university is not invested in another Apartheid system, and that they are not party to the suppression of the Palestinian people. They have the right to express their views and be heard without intimidation and constant harassments.
Palestine solidarity students and activists should not be silenced by anyone. The Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim communities should not be marginalized and positioned as conspirators.
These attacks on the organizers of the Palestine conference and the movement have mirrored the escalating assault on the Palestinian people, and have intersected with the attacks against our civil liberties and constitutional rights. The movement for peace and justice is at a crossroad today, and our society is being tested and pushed to the limits.
WORKSHOPS will include:
History of pro-Palestinian organizing in the U.S.
This workshop will examine the developments in pro-Palestinian organizing over the past decades. As activists we must understand our own history in order to avoid repeating or mistakes as well as draw upon our successes for future success.
Campus representatives will present their experience in historical and contemporary context. These experiences and others should be provided in a written presentation and wall displays: wall journals of campus activism from as many campuses as possible - where photos, letters, flyers, etc. will be pasted and presented for display and discussion from coast to coast. This will be both empowering and highly educational, highlightingboth success and failure.
Deconstructing zionist propaganda
In this workshop activists will examine Zionist material and handbooks to analyze the tactics used to call attention away from the atrocities committed by Israel. The workshop will include discussion on how to counter each false claim.
The Apartheid Wall, and its Effect on the People of Palestine
Activists from the US and Palestine will discuss the Apartheid Wall, its effects on Palestinian life and society and the growing movement in opposition to the wall. Participants will brainstorm about campaigning against the wall internationally.
Women in the Struggle for Liberation
This workshop will focus on Palestinian women organizing in Palestine and the diaspora, as well as upon the role of women and women's groups in solidarity organizing in North America. Women and their organizations and institutions have often been at the forefront of the Palestinian struggle for liberation, and women have been some of the strongest and most prominent voices in the solidarity movement.
Divestment Research: How-to
This workshop will provide a basic guide to divestment research - finding out the companies in which your university invests, and their ties to apartheid Israel. It is a workshop providing information needed to set up a divestment campaign at a university and a site for strategizing for campus activism.
Dialogue of Unity
This panel will include representatives from main forces in the movement, including national democratic and Islamists. This will highlight how various movements can come to a united front despite many factors especially when their very existence as a people is at stake.
Attacks on immigrants and political repression
In the course of our work, our movement, which includes many immigrants, and our communities, which are often immigrant communities, are deeply affected by the targeting of immigrants and immigrant communities for legal and political persecution. This targeting and persecution must be addressed and combated, as must its effects in the production of fear.
Palestine and anti-Imperialist/anti-Globalization Movements
This workshop will explore the role of anti-imperialist and anti-globalization movements in doing solidarity work with Palestine, as well as the centrality of the Palestinian struggle to those movements' work. It will provide a space for discussion of Palestine solidarity work within those movements and highlight ways to deepen the alliance.
Right of Return
This workshop will focus on the centrality of the Palestinian refugees' right of return to their homes and homeland to our organizing as Palestine solidarity and divestment activists.
Queer voices in the movement
This workshop will focus on exploring the voices of the queer community as part of an international movement for human rights, and how that encompasses the movement for Palestinian liberation, and explore strategies for action and organizing.
In the Jewish Community: Jewish antiZionist voices
This workshop would feature Jewish voices against Zionism, that reclaim Jewish identity outside that imposed by the framework of Zionism, and feature Jewish activists who have reclaimed Jewish identity and provide a new framework for Jewish activism.
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS include:
As'ad AbuKhalil - As'ad AbuKhalil received his B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from the American University of Beirut, and his Ph.D. in Comparative Politics from Georgetown University. He is associate professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, and Research Fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
Reem Abu-Sbaih - Reem Abu-Sbaih is a co-chair of Al-Awda New York and works with the Arab American Family Services Center She has worked with detainees and their families, as well as with the Special Registration process.
Tariq Ali - Tariq Ali is a writer, journalist and film-maker. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and contributes articles and journalism to magazines and newspapers including The Guardian and the London Review of Books.
Rima Anabtawi - Rima Anabtawi is a coordinator of Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and co-coordinator of its Events committee. She is a Palestinian American writer and activist, and has worked in Palestine with the Medical Services Relief Program in Gaza.
Anthony Arnove - Anthony Arnove is editor of the acclaimed best-seller "Iraq Under Seige". He is also a member of the editorial board of the "International Socialist Review".
Hatem Bazian - Dr. Hatem Bazian is a native Palestinian who immigrated to the US in pursuit of higher education. His twenty years of experience as a Palestinian activist have earned him the role of a local media spokesperson on Middle East issues. He currently teaches at UC-Berkeley where he graduated with a Ph.D. in Islamic studies, specializing in Islamic Law and the history of Muslims in Jerusalem. Dr. Bazian has also authored numerous articles on various aspects of the Middle East. In the past, he has also played a significant role in the civil rights, anti-Apartheid, and affirmative action movements at Berkeley. Dr. Hatem Bazian holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies. He teaches Arabic and Maliki Fiqh at the Zaytuna Institute. Dr.Bazian is the Director of Al-Qalam Institute of Islamic Sciences, Berkeley.
Richard Becker - Richard Becker is West Coast Regional Co-coordinator of the International Action Center and International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition steering committee member. Becker has traveled to Palestine and Iraq on numerous occasions.
Mahdi Bray - Imam Mahdi Bray is a longtime civil and human rights activist, currently serving as the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (NICWJ) and the Interfaith Alliance and hosts a Washington, DC based television and radio talk show. Bray was actively involved and insturmental in the success of the anti-Apartheid movement in the United States that helped upend the system in South Africa. Bray worked in the 1960s in coalitions with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and other activist groups.
Scott Cooper - Scott Cooper works in the Boston area with the New England Committee to Defend Palestine and the Amer Jubran Defense Committee. Scott will address anti-zionism from the perspective of an individual raised as an Orthodox Jew.
Lamis Deek - Lamis Deek is an organizer with Al-Awda-New York and a recent law school graduate from Brooklyn. She has explored the role and leadership of women in Arab and Muslim organizing.
Ayman El-Sawa - Ayman El-Sawa recently helped to establish the Central New Jersey Coalition for Peace and Justice. His organization has grown very quickly and reaches the community with teach-ins, demonstrations, and performance events.
Brian Flanagan - Brian Flanagan is a former member of the Weather Underground and Students for a Democratic Society. He brings depth of experience and time-worn reflection on the topic of direct action, particularly as it relates to anti-imperialist solidarity movements.
Sara Flounders - co-director of the International Action Center, Sara Flounders is co-coordinator of the Iraq Sanctions Campaign, and has traveled to Iraq and Palestine with international antiwar delegations.
Jeannette Gabriel - Jeannette Gabriel is coordinator of the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee who works with the immigrant detainees at the Passaic County Jail and the campaign to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti.
Jess Ghannam - Jess Ghannam is a psychologist and a professor at the University of California-San Francisco. He is active in Al-Awda San Francisco and works in unity with student groups in the Bay Area.
Samia Halaby - Samia Halaby is a Palestinian artist born in Quds prior to the nakba. She has taught in American universities for eighteen years ending with ten years at the Yale School of Art. Samia explains the connection of art to the resistance movement in Palestine.
Larry Holmes - Larry Holmes is an organizer with the International Action Center , co-founder of the workfare organizing group Workfairness and a longtime activist for social justice.
Randa Jamal - Randa Jamal is an organizer with Al-Awda NY/NJ - The Palestine Right to Return Coalition. She was co-chair of the April 20, 2002 Palestine focused rally in Washingon D.C.
Isma'il Kamal - Isma'il Kamal is an organizer with the Muslim Students Association national organization and with the Sudanese American Society. He has engaged in outreach with the MSA with national antiwar organizations and other groups and communities.
Rama Kased - Rama Kased is a student and co-chair of Al-Awda NY/NJ - The Palestine Right to Return Coalition. Rama is a Palestinian activist who has often spoken about the right of return at national rallies, including those in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.
Charlotte Kates - Charlotte Kates is an organizer with New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine. She is a second year law student at Rutgers.
Tarek Kazaleh (Excentrik) - Tarek Kazaleh (Excentrik) has been touring with Iron Sheik performing hip hop and spoken word, including having shows cancelled in Baltimore and forced outdoors in New Jersey. He is a cultural worker and performer.
Eyad Kishawi - Eyad Kishawi is an activist with the Free Palestine Alliance and works with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in San Francisco to create the Divestment Resource Center, a central provider of services to divestment activists nationally.
Ibrahim Makkawi - Dr. Ibrahim Makkawi, Professor of Educational and School Psychology, is a member of Abnaa' el-Balad Movement in 1948-Occupied Palestine.
Joseph Massad - Joseph Massad is assistant professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University. He is Assistant Editor of the Journal on Palestine Studies.
Carl Messineo - Carl Messineo is a co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice, and a member of the Steering Committee of the International ANSWER coalition. The PCJ has coordinated mass and political defense and representation for numerous demonstrations and actions in the DC area.
Nadine Naber - Nadine Naber is a postdoctoral graduate student in women's studies. She is a founder and steering committee member of the Arab Women's Solidarity Association.
Elias Rashmawi - Elias Rashmawi is a coordinator of the Free Palestine Alliance and a member of the International ANSWER Coalition Steering Committee. He is a longtime activist in the Palestinian community and supporter of divestment struggles
Dick Reilly - Dick Reilly is a longtime Palestine solidarity activist and a central figure in Chicago's Palestine solidarity work.
Snehal Shingavi - Snehal Shingavi is a graduate student and is active with Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley. He was one of the primary researchers on Berkeley's divestment campaign and the UC Divest campaign, and has worked to prepare a guide to divestment research.
Lynne Stewart - Lynne Stewart is the attorney who has just victoriously defeated charges of "supporting terrorism" imposed upon her by John Ashcroft due to her defense of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. She is a longtime people's attorney and committed to radical defense of constitutional rights.
Brenda Stokely - Brenda Stokely is a labor leader and president of AFSCME District Council 1707 in New York. She is also Co-Convener of NYC Labor Against the War.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard - Mara Verheyden-Hilliard is a co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice, and a member of the Steering Committee of the International ANSWER coalition. The PCJ has coordinated mass and political defense and representation for numerous demonstrations and actions in the DC area.
Zeina Zaatari - Zeina Zaatari is a graduate student in the department of anthropology at UC Davis and an organizer and activist around Arab and women's issues.
The Crux of the Biscuit is to be found in the conference's Mission Statement:
"Just as the 3rd Conference condemns the racism and discrimination inherent in Zionism underlying the policies and laws of the state of Israel, the 3rd Conference rejects any form of hatred or discrimination against any group based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation."
UPDATE: See "City considers Hillel rally permit" in The [Rutgers] Daily Targum Thurs., Sept. 18.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Shalom from Jerusalem,
An extremely trying year is drawing to a close here in Israel. Our soldiers in particular have had an especially difficult year. The approaching New Year does not appear to offer respite. Additional reserve soldiers are being called up at this moment.
Israel's combat soldiers, regular and reserves alike, have their hands full. There are numerous spectacular successes in protecting the Jewish people, many of which go unreported.
Lately most soldiers are only getting two days leave to see their families after 18 days of active duty. They are being attacked and shot at; they're on alert all the time. Many of their friends have been seriously injured; they have attended many funerals of comrades. Most are only 18 or 19 years old; compare this life to teenagers you know!
In the past we have sent delicious treats including Pizza, Burgers, Ice Cream and Soup to these soldiers on your behalf to cheer them up and let them know you support them.
Now, once again in honor of Rosh haShana, you have the opportunity to send New Year wishes and a gift to their families.
We will give, in your name, a presentation package including Honey, Chocolate and traditional Honey Cake, to the soldiers and their families. As usual you can also send your personal blessing for the New Year and your messages of gratitude and support.
Our soldiers and their families always appreciate your gifts and greetings -- they love to know that they have support from all around the world and that people appreciate their daily trials and tribulations.
Visit our site to see what the soldiers are saying to us and read what people like you have said to the soldiers. For further details and to send the Honey Package, or for that matter Pizza, Ice Cream or Burgers, please go to www.PizzaIDF.org.
We wish you all a Shana Tova, a year of peace, prosperity and good news.
and their Families for Rosh haShana
Honey, Chocolate and Honey Cake
for a soldier's family
Soldier's Package $16.95
Honey, Chocolate and Honey Cake
for five soldiers' families
Patrol Package $74.95
Honey, Chocolate and Honey Cake
for ten soldiers' families
Section Package $139.95
Honey, Chocolate and Honey Cake
for thirty soldiers' families
Platoon Package $379.95
Dennis Prager at the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado's Men's Event
SAVE THE DATE
Dennis Prager will be back for the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado Men's Event,
to be held November 6, 2003 at BMH-BJ.
Cocktails and Dinner 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Dennis Prager will be speaking at 7:00PM.
For Info: Charlene Engleberg, 303.316.6499 or firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no fee to attend and no minimum gift. The Men's Event is generously sponsored by Mizel Family Foundations.
netwmd offers quick-stop democracy
One click will send 11 emails opposing Palestinian Solidary Movement's planned conference at Ohio StateYou can send the text provided, or edit however you would like. Your email will be automatically sent to:
Ohio State University's President, Karen A. Holbrooknetwmd, War to Mobilize Democracy, "strives to provide its readers with the tolls and information they need to truly participate in, and not just talk about, the democratic process." GO FOR IT.
Ohio State University's Secretary of the Board of Trustees, David O. Frantz
U.S. Senator George Voinovich, representing Ohio
U.S. Senator Mike Dewine, representing Ohio
Ohio Governor Bob Taft
Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Householder
President of the Ohio Senate, Doug White
Ohio State University's Director of Media Relations, Elizabeth Conlisk
Editor, Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
Editor, Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio)
Editor, Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
Click here, and follow the link to "HELP STOP TERROR SUPPORTERS FROM MEETING AT OHIO STATE."
KRAUTHAMMER: What makes the Bush haters so mad?from Time Magazine
Bill Moyers may have his politics, but his deferential demeanor and almost avuncular television style made him the Mr. Rogers of American politics. So when he leaves his neighborhood to go to a "Take Back America" rally and denounces George W. Bush's "government of, by and for the ruling corporate class," leading a "right-wing wrecking crew" engaged in "a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States way of governing," you know that something is going on.Continued . . .
That something is the unhinging of the Democratic Party. Democrats are seized with a loathing for President Bush — a contempt and disdain giving way to a hatred that is near pathological — unlike any since they had Richard Nixon to kick around. An otherwise reasonable man, Julian Bond of the N.A.A.C.P., speaks of Bush's staffing his Administration with "the Taliban wing of American politics." Harold Meyerson, editor at large of The American Prospect, devotes a 3,000-word article to explaining why Bush is the most dangerous President in all of American history — his only rival being Jefferson Davis.
The puzzle is where this depth of feeling comes from. Bush's manner is not particularly aggressive. He has been involved in no great scandals, Watergate or otherwise. He is, indeed, not the kind of politician who radiates heat. Yet his every word and gesture generate heat — a fury and bitterness that animate the Democratic primary electorate and explain precisely why Howard Dean has had such an explosive rise. More than any other candidate, Dean has understood the depth of this primal anti-Bush feeling and has tapped into it.
Whence the anger?
Unsupervised Palestinian children support Arafat by burning tires
keywords: environmental pollution, ideological pollution, child abuse and neglect
A boy leaps over a burning tire as he holds a poster of Yasser Arafat during a demonstration of students supporting the Palestinian leader in the Rafah Refugee Camp, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
What to do with used tires, from Burning Issues:
THE SOLUTION: TRUE RECYCLING and REDUCTION:
Rubber from used tires can now replace 10% of the rubber in new tires.
REUSE: Retreaded tires, New technologies
RECYCLE: Rubberized Asphalt Roads
(Just 2,832 miles of CA roads out of the total 149,000 miles could reuse all of the tires not currently recycled.)
OR CREATE ANOTHER PROBLEM: TIRE BURNING
Increase in deadly, toxic pollutants known to cause well documented illnesses:
Dioxin, Mercury, Small Particulates, Zinc, Nitrogen Oxides, etc.
Cancer, Asthma, Nerve Disorders, Reproductive Disorders,
Interference with the emerging new technologies of reducing and recycling.
See also "Child Neglect: A Guide for Intervention"
Iran to Pay $400M to Suicide Bomb VictimsNewsday.com
By Associated Press
September 15, 2003, 4:40 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has ruled that the Iranian government must pay more than $400 million in damages to eight Americans injured in a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina said the attack at a crowded pedestrian mall was carried out by members of the radical Islamic group Hamas. Urbina said evidence shows the organization receives training, money and operational support from Iran.
Powerful explosive devices loaded with nails, screws, pieces of glass and chemical poisons killed five people and wounded nearly 200 in the Sept. 4, 1997, attack.
The lawsuit is among dozens filed against Iran under a 1996 U.S. law that allows Americans to sue nations that sponsor terrorism for damages suffered in terrorist acts. The Iranian government has not responded formally to any of the lawsuits.
In the Jerusalem bombing decision, issued Wednesday, Urbina awarded nearly $110 million in compensatory damages, which compensates for actual harm, to the eight Americans directly injured in the attack and $13.5 million in compensatory damages for emotional suffering to four family members of the victims. He also awarded $300 million in punitive damages to be shared among victims.
Victims of foreign terrorism who win judgments against Iran are allowed to collect a portion of their compensatory damages from the U.S. government. Frozen Iranian assets in the United States serve as collateral for the payments.
A paramedic tends one of the injured from the 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda Street.
A US court has ruled that Iran must pay more than 420 million dollars to 12 US victims of the attack
carried out by the Iran-supported Palestinian group Hamas(AFP/File)
Monday, September 15, 2003
Boker tov, Colorado!
Cherry Creek School District: 8th grade teacher placed on leave for showing 9/11 videoI can't even talk about this. You have to read it.
Today's Denver Post
Sign petition calling for UN & World Leaders to Prosecute As War Criminals the Organizers of Suicide/Homicide Bombings Against Civilians
At 10:15 pm, there are 120,695 Total Signatures
To: UN and World Government Leaders
We, the undersigned, petition the United Nations, its Security Council and World Government Leaders to join Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to declare that homicide/suicide bombings and acts of terror against civilians are "war crimes against humanity."
Furthermore, we insist that the United Nations, its Security Council and World Government Leaders declare that raising infants and children to become suicidal/homicidal bombers is a violation of fundamental human rights, a breach of the Geneva Convention and a war crime. We ask that those political, governmental, military and religious organizations and their leaders and supporters be prosecuted by the International War Crimes Tribunal to the fullest extent of International Law.
It is our firm belief that when these genocidal war crimes cease, populations will not have to conduct defensive actions against terrorism. When that happens, there stands to be improved chances of peace in the world through negotiation and civilized conflict resolution. The petitioners firmly believe that conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere can and must be resolved by diplomatic, political and negotiated means, but that when civilians are attacked by terrorists, there is no recourse but for defensive measures.
We have signed this position and sent it to people of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds and political beliefs with the hopes that the UN and World Leaders will not only vote to divest countries of their weapons of mass destruction, but upon the immorality and criminality of raising of innocents to kill other innocents.
Kol hakavod to Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the UN
He made us proud this day
The following is a speech that was delivered today by Ambassador Dan Gillerman at the Security Council:
Mr. President,I emailed a copy to President George W. Bush at email@example.com - couldn't hurt, especially if he receives one or two million of them. I think 'll send another in the morning.
At the outset allow me congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency for the month of September.
Three days ago on September 13th we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn. That was a time of hope for the people of the region and of the world, that the leadership on both sides was committed to a peaceful and negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At that time, and despite well-founded reservations, Israel was willing to believe that Yasser Arafat had abandoned the path of terrorism and embarked on the road to true reconciliation and mutual recognition. It was on the basis of that commitment, that Mr. Arafat entered Palestinian authority territory to implement his obligations under signed agreements.
Unfortunately, as we have all known for some time, Mr. Arafat lied. Israel, like other members of the international community, has come to this conclusion reluctantly and painfully. More than any other state we invested a great deal in Mr. Arafat's word, and were willing, against our better judgment, to heed calls from other states to forgo or forgive Mr. Arafat's failures even at the earliest stages of the peace process.
As much as we all hoped for the opposite result, it is abundantly clear that the person with the standing to deliver a fair and genuine peace on the Palestinian side has done the most to bury its chances. We cannot ignore the facts. His continuing rejection of Israel's right to exist, his denial of the ancient ties of the Jewish people to its homeland, and his support of terrorists and their tactics has brought untold suffering to the region, and denied the promise of peace and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians, alike.
He has sought to turn a political and resolvable conflict into a seemingly intractable religious and cross-cultural struggle. Among the litany of deliberately missed opportunities, the Palestinian leadership, under Mr. Arafat's control, rejected at Camp David the opportunity for the establishment of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel, in favor of the path of terrorism that he, as one of its masterminds, has never really abandoned.
Since September 2000, 869 Israeli citizens have been killed, and nearly 6000 wounded in suicide bombings and terrorist attacks that deliberately targeted the innocent. There is hardly a single Israeli citizen today who has not been affected, directly or indirectly, by Palestinian terrorism. The equivalent number of casualties in a country with a population of that of the UK, Mr. President, would be 84,609 citizens. This figure may give us all some pause in comprehending the devastating impact that the Palestinian leadership's refusal to confront the terrorists in its midst has had on the people of the region.
Tragically, Mr. Arafat's rule has brought considerable pain and havoc to Palestinian society as well. The brazen refusal of the Palestinian leadership to fulfill its obligations to dismantle terrorist organizations, and join the global campaign against terrorism has exacted a heavy toll on Palestinian society.
By allowing terrorists to set-up shop in the heart of Palestinian civilian areas, in grave violation of international humanitarian law, Mr. Arafat has seriously endangered the lives of innocent Palestinian civilians.
By stifling dissent, preventing the emergence of democratic institutions and violating the human rights of Palestinians, including the Palestinian Christian community, he has set back the development of a vibrant and responsible Palestinian society. By allowing only one voice while nurturing a myriad of competing security and terrorist organizations, he has succeeded in perpetuating his own corrupt rule at the expense of the welfare of Palestinian civilians.
Events of recent days have proven again that Mr. Arafat is determined to prevent any process of genuine reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. I dare say, there is hardly a diplomat in this room who would not admit privately that Mr. Arafat represents a significant obstacle to this process. He has shunned every outstretched hand, while placating the international community with pathetic rhetoric that has been belied almost daily by his actions. The result has been paid in the blood of Israelis and Palestinians.
He is amongst a select group of terrorist entrepreneurs who have brought airplane hijackings, massacres of Olympic athletes, the killing of children sleeping in the shelter of their own beds, and suicide terrorism, to a region that yearns for peace and stability. And he is at the helm of those who have been supporting mega-terror attacks, in the style of the bombing of the twin towers, to bring the region to the brink of catastrophe. Today such immoral tactics, stamped with Mr. Arafat's label of origin, are callously and indiscriminately exported beyond our region.
Knowing all this, for how long will there be states among us who are willing to continue the charade of touting Mr. Arafat as a legitimate leader committed to the welfare of his people and peaceful relations with his neighbors. The ruin that Mr. Arafat has left behind in Jordan, in Lebanon, and in the West Bank testify that he has brought nothing but despair and devastation to his own people and to other people in the region.
One need not rely on Israeli declarations to come to this conclusion. Courageous members of Palestinian society and responsible Palestinian and world leaders have themselves admitted that Mr. Arafat's cruel, authoritarian and corrupt rule is designed to perpetuate his own power not to benefit his people.
Since efforts have been underway to restart the peace process through the Road Map, Mr. Arafat has played a wholly destructive role at every step of the way. He has actively sought to prevent the Palestinian Prime Minister from fulfilling the Palestinian obligations under the Road Map. He has sabotaged attempts to establish and new and different leadership in the Palestinian Authority, which stood at the basis of President Bush's vision.
He has refused to allow the consolidation of security forces under the control of an empowered minister for internal security, so that finally, responsible Palestinians can act to completely dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, as they are morally and legally obligated to do.
After voicing his active objection to the appointment of Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Arafat pressured members of the Palestinian legislative council to narrow Mr. Abbas' control. He has acted to undermine Mr. Abbas from the beginning of his tenure to the very end, until Mr. Abbas was compelled to resign and admit publicly that Mr. Arafat had not given him the authority to fulfill the obligations that the Palestinians had taken upon themselves.
He has continued to encourage acts of terrorism and violence, and kept renegade terrorist groups like the Tanzim under his direct control so that at any given moment he could scuttle efforts to renew dialogue by directing the murder of innocent civilians. And he has worked to prevent efforts made to introduce transparency and accountability in Palestinian Authority finances, so that money can continue to be funneled into his private accounts. He has signed peace agreements with one hand, and signed checks to terrorists and suicide bombers with the other.
The decision of the Israeli cabinet last Thursday merely states the obvious that Mr. Arafat is an obstacle to peace. This realization was a driving force in the call for reform in the context of the Road Map, and it is even more relevant today as the prospects for restarting the peace process risk being doomed to failure.
In other instances, members of the international community have recognized that certain leaders are so destructive to the rights of their own people and to the security and stability of their region, that their legitimacy must be questioned. Mr. Arafat is no exception.
How many more children have to die? How many more concerted peace efforts need to be scuttled before the world is willing to denounce Mr. Arafat's role in a clear voice?
And yet, Mr. President, when is the Security Council galvanized into action? Was it galvanized to act after the horrific suicide bombings which killed twenty-two and injured 135 on a crowded bus in downtown Jerusalem filled with orthodox Jewish families and children returning from prayers at the Western Wall? Was it galvanized to act this past Tuesday when two suicide bombings, at a cafe in Jerusalem and a bus stop in Central Israel, killed a total of fifteen and injured more than seventy Israelis, just hours apart.
The Council may have already heard that these latest attacks were perpetrated by terrorists recently released by Israel as part of a goodwill gesture towards the Palestinian leadership. They are further evidence that every gesture made by Israel, and every risk taken for the sake of peace has been answered with criminal action and inaction on the part of the Palestinian leadership, under Mr. Arafat's control.
Let us take a moment to consider the price of Israel's goodwill gestures made at the behest of the international community in the hope that Mr. Arafat's leadership will respond in kind. It is the price paid by Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter Nava who were among those murdered in the terrorist attack in Jerusalem this past Tuesday. Dr. Applebaum, a renowned specialist in emergency medicine and the head of the emergency room at Shaare Zedek Hospital, who himself had treated countless terror victims, had brought his daughter to the Jerusalem cafe for a heart-to-heart talk on the very eve of her wedding.
It is the price paid in lives because ambulances carrying the injured from a terrorist attack must slow down so that they can be checked as a result of intelligence reports indicating that terrorists are attempting to booby-trap ambulances to explode upon arrival at hospitals.
It is the price paid in fear by courageous Israeli civilians who do not know when or where the next attack, resulting from Mr. Arafat's encouragement or acquiescence, will come.
It would be a grave error if the Council were to come to the aid not of the victims of terrorism, but of their sponsor and perpetrator.
The Council's focus should be directed first and foremost at terrorism and at its facilitators, and not at the response to terrorism. Pressure should be directed against the problem and not against those who are its victims.
The efforts of the Palestinian representative in this chamber do not advance the interests of the Palestinian people, but the personal interest and corrupt rule of Mr. Arafat himself. High-minded rhetoric about the so-called legitimacy of Mr. Arafat's leadership and the illegitimacy of Israel's interference, are meaningless and hypocritical in the face of the hundreds of dead and injured innocent civilians killed with the direct approval or acquiescence of Mr. Arafat himself. What country, faced with terrorism of this unprecedented magnitude and duration, would not hold the person who has both orchestrated the terror and refused to suppress it, directly and criminally responsible?
In perpetuating this game of legitimizing Mr. Arafat, we fundamentally undermine our efforts to allow an empowered Palestinian Prime Minister to work to implement the Road Map and reach a peaceful solution. Such a policy serves the interests of no one other than the terrorists that Mr. Arafat continues to support. It is time we expressly admitted that he is part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Israel holds out hope that a new and different Palestinian leadership that categorically abandons the ways of Mr. Arafat, will be ready to fully and responsibly implement its obligations to fight terrorism and incitement. If it does so, it will find in Israel a willing partner ready to make painful compromises, as it has proven before, to realize President Bush's vision.
Our discussions today take place on the tails of September 11th, the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in history, and the signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington on 13 September 1993. These two events are a haunting and vivid illustration of the devastating effects of terrorism and of the promise and possibility of peace if terrorism is abandoned and the vision of peace between Israelis and Palestinians is vigorously pursued.
Time and again, the world has held out hope that Mr. Arafat has rejected the path of terrorism for the path of peace; the hope that he has become a responsible statesman and not remained a professional terrorist. In the two years following September 11th, Mr. Arafat has continued to demonstrate that he is on the wrong side of history and that he refuses to learn any lessons about the effects of terrorism for both Israelis and Palestinians.
Rather than taking responsibility to build a genuine, democratic Palestinian society that can live in peace with its neighbors, he has turned Palestinian victim-hood into a professional enterprise and Palestinian suffering into a source of power and personal prosperity. We will bring no benefit today to the cause of peace, or to the legitimate rights of Palestinians and Israelis, if we come to the defense of someone who has brought only suffering and the promise of further bloodshed.
Thank you, Mr. President.
UPDATE: See JPost: "UN to vote on resolution protecting Arafat"
As Gillerman was speaking, the Palestinian envoy to the UN Nasser al-Kidwa got up and left the discussion hall.