To Hell with Gaza

February 17, 2009

i’m sick of talking about gaza. i don’t know if you’re tired of hearing about it but i am definitely sick of talking about it. i want to talk about something a little different, something like the West Bank. yesterday, the israeli military designated 425 acres near an already illegal settlement in the palestinian west bank. in plain english, israel is seizing more palestinian land and paving the way for the construction of 2,500 settlement homes. there’s good news though, the israeli government still has to approve before construction begins and you know how fair those guys are. c’mon, 9 appeals have been filed by palestinian landowners and only 8 have been rejected.

okay, never mind that the israeli settlements and the military occupation of 1967 territory (which includes the west bank) is illegal under UN security resolutions 242 and 338, when you are occupying a land militarily, aren’t the civilians (and their basic needs) your responsibility? stop thinking, the answer is yes. i get it, israel doesn’t want to freeze the settlements because…well, it just doesn’t want to but why can’t they stop the hourly humiliation of palestinians? allow me to paint you a picture of life for palestinians in the west bank. and trust me, by the time i’m done, you will be booking your next holiday there. first, let me just say one thing: there are 290,000 israeli settlers living in west bank settlements at the moment and the otherwise jobless palestinians are the ones who build their illegal homes for those settlers.  so anyway, here’s what life in the west bank looks like. you ready? you’re gonna fucking love it.

curfews are imposed on palestinians for periods up to 2 weeks without time-out or apology or explanation. schools and universities are impossible to get to. commerce is fucked. there are purposely ruined water and electrical systems everywhere. half the kids are malnourished. more than 60% of the population lives on $2/day. gum chewing israeli soldiers treat all palestinians as terror suspects. they are given full reign by their government to do as they deem fit at checkpoints where thousands of palestinians wait for hours under the sun, medical supplies and produce rot inside trucks, men are forced to take off their clothes, dozens of youth kneel, parents are insulted and humiliated in front of their kids, the ambulances and the sick inside them are often stopped. i won’t get into how people die when they are shot at from tanks because when those men, their children and wives die, they are considered terror suspects. besides, israel always announces that it “regrets” those deaths. well, thank you. thank you very much.

by the way, i recommend visiting the west bank in the winter coz when you check into the Four Seasons over there, the state-of-the-art heating system is just…well you have to go and find out for yourself. and one more thing, please don’t forget to post your comments on trip advisor…

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Not in the Mood

February 15, 2009

media has been reporting for a over a week now that the palestinian and israeli sides are close to a deal. the egyptians said that a truce could be agreed upon “in days”. so the “days” passed and yesterday olmert (who for some reason is still speaking) said that israel is not conducting any negotiations and will certainly not reach any understandings with hamas. quelle surprise? he said, “we emphasize that what stands on israel’s priority now is the release of gilad shalit, the young israeli soldier seized by hamas a few years ago. okay, let’s get one thing straight, there’s nothing wrong with discussing prisoners but shouldn’t the release of gilad shalit be part of separate talks on a possible exchange for hundreds of palestinian prisoners held in israeli jails? the main issue to be discussed is why the fuck is the crippling blockade of gaza still there, STILL restricting the delivery of basic supplies, food and fuel. so stop pulling tricks out of your hat and linking the fate of a young soldier to the opening of the crossings into gaza. it’s very sad that gilad is help in prison but it has nothing to do with a population of 1.5 million people living in extreme poverty and humiliation. 

but you know the saddest thing is that it’s always little people like gilad or other soldiers who pay the price. i watched ‘the reader’ last night. kate winslet was brilliant in her role as one of the 6 german women who were put on trial for the murder of 100s of jews in the camps. it’s absurd how it’s always a handful of low-ranking officials pay for what governments do. it happened in the US after the abu gharib prison scandal when a few american soldiers were tried for the torture of iraqi prisoners when they were applying orders that came from way up above. orders instructing them that torture os standard operating procedure when handling “terrorists”…that’s such a gross injustice. it’s like taking 10 israeli soldiers and punishing them for the palestinian bloodbath last month. it’s olmert, barak and livni should serve life sentences. i personally think they should share cells with bush, chaney and condi. but that’s not gonna happen. besides there’s a new israeli monster about to take over now. his name is netanyahu and he’s going to justify every monstrous decision with “israeli security”. 

israel has worked itself up into a state of paranoid hysteria about looming threats from hezbollah, iran and hamas. let’s break it down, shall we? in 2006, israel tried to wipe hezbollah off the map. instead, it made it stronger politically and killed 1,200 lebanese people in the process. in early 2009, israel tried to finish hamas off. instead, hamas is now a hero and 1,300 palestinians died in the process. for years, israel has been repeating that iran’s nuclear programme is an existential threat to israel…never mind that it’s tried to get US permission to attack iran last year, never mind that israel’s arsenal of 200+ nucelar warheads could easily wipe iran off the map if a threat were to materialize…but israel’s policy is exactly like that of the US: prevention is better than cure. let’s just vaporize anything that poses a threat.

israel’s irrational fears didn’t just come out of nowhere. they are a result of decades of being pampered and indulged by the US. these fears are a result of 6 decades of military supremacy. and now with netanyahu, at head of the right-wing “national bloc” as the clear front-runner for prime minister, israel is going dangerously to the ultra-nationalist right in paranoid defiance of much of the world. and you know as well as i do that netanyahu is not loving obama very much. he’s not in love with a US president who’s attempting to be even-handed in the middle east. he will do anything to frustrate obama’s objectives and the scary part is that he will lead an israel that is so entrenched in its fears. israelis are so afraid of enemies outside, enemies around, enemies within which means they will back any “tough” leader. and the saddest part is that this “tough” leader is opposed to any territorial concession, whether to palestinians or syrians. he even refuses to discuss occupied jerusalem. and last week, he planted a tree on the golan heights to tell syria that part of land is ours forever. don’t you just wanna fuck that guy in his face? i know i do.

i never thought i’d say this but livni sounds a dream come true right now but she can at best put together a coalition of 55 members, which is far less than the 61 seats that are minimum. 

what all this means is that obama’s life is now going to be harder. as if he didn’t have it bad enough already. he has to come with some sort of package deal to guarantee that both iran and israel has freedom from attack. convince israel to agree to a 2-state solution and give palestinians a sovereign state. history tells me that israel is not going to listen to obama just like that. here’s a fun fact dating 40 years back: in 1967, when israel thought that US monitoring was about to stand in the way of its conquest of palestinian land, they attacked and crippled the USS Liberty, the american electronic surveillance ship. my guess is that they’re still not in the mood for any fair intervention from the US.

first off, happy valentine’s…especially to the single people!

now, the israeli elections. why are they interesting for you to know about? well…we all know that the new israeli government will affect the lives of the people of gaza and the west bank. but besides the palestinians and hamas, the new israeli government will have to handle hezbollah in lebanon. it will also have to decide how hard it will be on iran. and on a more universal level, it will be very interesting to see how well all that will sit with the new american administration who are clearly waiting for the new israeli coalition to fall into place before they can intervene substantially. so far obama has been different from the clown who single-handedly destroyed the world without admitting any mistakes or announcing radical reconsiderations when everything going on in the world was radical.

when bush was around, american policy was that everyone else must change their policy except for them. they were lovely 8 years when the US media flacks were always preaching at arab and muslim societies that they must change. today, it’s a little refreshing to hear obama say that the US will no longer dictate middle east policy, which is why george mitchell was hired. of course, those are still words because obama and mitchell are both waiting quietly until the new israeli government is formed, which brings us back to the messy israeli elections.

on february 10th, a new israeli prime minister was to be announced but none of the competing parties were able to secure enough parliamentary seats for it to be clear cut. technically, the vote tally confirms livni’s win. her kadima party won more seats than the rival likud party but both went on TV and declared victory. livni got 28 seats and netanyahu’s likud party got 27. i think you need 60-something seats to be a sure win. what all this mean practically is that it’s not up to the israeli voters anymore, it is now up to the politicians to decide the future of the israeli government. it will be weeks of haggling before we know who is the next israeli prime minister and before a ruling coalition is formed.

livni is pretty much the only one who is talking about a 2-state solution. she’s the only one talking about a peace process. sure, a “peace process” is not “peace” but at least she believes in talking to palestinians. meanwhile, netanyahu is against the diplomatic solution or any sort of negotiations with palestinians. so you ask yourself, how can the rockets stop if there are no negotiations? how can there ever be a ceasefire? how can the security israeli citizens want so badly be achieved when no negotiations will happen. let me tell you something very interesting about the hypocrite netanyahu. in a statement to the israeli parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee in february of 2007 (one monday morning exactly 2 years ago), the israeli prime minister ehud olmert said and i quote him word for word: “benjamin netanyahu was the one who established hamas. he gave it life, freed sheikh yassin and gave him the opportunity to blossom”. i believe olmert was referring to the time when hamas militias were encouraged by the israeli government as a way of weakening yasser arafat and hamas’s rival faction, fatah.

well that same netanyahu today brags about his hardline approach towards hamas, trying to give the impression that he is the only one who can provide security for israelis. okay, listen here motherfucker. you were PM from 96-99 and there wasn’t a moment of security for israelis. since then israel changed government 5 times and there was never a moment of peace or security for its citizens during those 10 years either.

but what’s even very interesting today (apart from israel’s very fragmented political scene) is the rise of the right wing in israel. avigdor lieberman, the leader of ultra-nationalist yisrael beiteinu, made the biggest gains. his party came in 3rd after likud. and netanyahu remains hopeful of uniting the right-wing parties, much more than the “moderate” livni who by the way dared to say there was no humanitarian crisis in gaza during the war last month. but anyway, under the israeli electoral system, shimon peres, the israeli president, will have to ask the person deemed most likely to be able to cobble together a ruling coalition, to form a government and become prime minister. and that’s most likely going to be mr. netanyahu. YAY!

what both ivni and netanyahu are doing today is flying to jerusalem to butter up lieberman and get him under their wing. like everywhere in the world, the fundamentalists are calling the shots now. this lovely extremist by the name of lieberman has put a new question on the table. not only is he shitting on the 1967 question (which requires israel to return to the 1967 borders, freeze israeli colony activity and dismantle all israeli settlements), he is putting 1948 question back on the table. this far-right freak now wants to drive any non-Jew out of israel. he wants what is basically called ethnic cleansing. and you thought hamas were bad! by the way, just so you know, hamas’s rockets which were supposedly the cause of the last war were not the real problem. it was israel that broke the truce on november 4th (and that’s after 18 months of keeping gaza under siege). israel broke the truce the minute hamas started talking about a two-state solution. the second hamas became less extreme, israel provoked it to return to its extreme ways. hmmm? the next logical question then is: is stagnation the end game whoever becomes the next israeli PM? will there never be peace? let us now, as arabs, shoulder some of the responsibility even though we are not in power. the peace process doesn’t depend on who’s forming the israeli government, substantial negotiations with palestinians will depend on a central leader for palestinian people. in the name of fairness, we have to admit to that.

the other very interesting thing about the israeli elections this year was that only 65% of israelis turned out to vote. the second-lowest in israel’s history. could this mean that 45% of israel’s population is silent because it doesn’t identify with any political party available?

and since we’re talking about everything that is interesting, i want to leave you with the most interesting thing i learned recently. in 2005 and to the surprise of all, including the leaders of hamas, the administration of george bush inexplicably demanded that Israel and the palestinian national authority permit the participation of hamas in the 2006 palestinian general election – EVEN THOUGH hamas did not recognise the right of Israel to exist. hold on a minute, is that the same bush who thinks anything different from him is a terrorist? the same bush who put hamas on the top of the terrorist list? that SAME GUY insisted that hamas enters the elections? why would the US (israel’s jerk-off buddy) want an extreme religious party is in charge of palestinians? is that because extremists would be easier to shift the focus away from israeli occupation? could it be because when an intelligent and secular (non-religious) palestinian opinion takes over, it would reclaim the moral high ground from israel and rationally tell the world about the suffering of palestinians? could it be because when extremists are in charge, palestinian deaths would seem justified? let’s be honest, there’s so much to gain from extremists running the show. so many unqualified, greedy and insanely ambitious people stay in power when there is “terror” to be fought, so many billions of dollars to be “earned” when there is a war on terror. i still stand by my opinion that hamas are part of the national struggle for palestinian liberation. they are not however the ones will bring palestinians to their salvation. that’s for fucking sure.

muslims always speak of how zionism has failed and i agree. after all, the “democratic” israel is not the state of its people BUT it is the state of jewish people and that’s just as FUCKED as wanting to have an Islamic state of palestine. we CANNOT turn to any religion for political solutions. human beings always have and always will be the ones who make history not gods. both societies (israeli and palestinian) have been hijacked by extreme religious parties: hamas and the far-right israeli settlers. hamas believes in the greater land of palestine under islamic sharia and the far-right israelis want only jews in their land. this is why there is violence and terror. and you know what happens when there’s terror: the little people like you and me will remain afraid. that way, we are much easier to control. we will not ask questions and we will stay exactly where the power-hungry politicians want us to be: down at the fucking bottom, bending over and taking it whichever way they give it to us… but since fundamentalists on both sides are on the rise and neither one of them is going away, let’s bringing them both into the political process (and that includes HAMAS) because that’s the only thing in anyone’s power to do to minimize violence at this stage.

and happy valentine’s of course…

Taxi Driver

February 10, 2009

i was in abu dhabi yesterday, a 2-hr drive from Dubai. my cab driver was a 50-something iraqi man with lots of stories. the fact that i was listening to music didn’t seem to bother or stop him. he had a lot to get off his shoulders and me telling him i was half palestinian seemed to open his pandora’s box. naturally, i had to remove my headphones. in a nutshell, he was a respected doctor in iraq one day before he drove taxis and had to be away from his wife and kids who now live somewhere in jordan. by the way, besides telling passengers his life story, he also uses the services of chinese hookers to let off some steam. c’mon, he’s only human. anyway, he was a doctor back in the day…back in the day when iraq was as nice as Dubai was. once upon a time, before the US decided to use its great military power as a license to give Iraqis “political and social change” , iraq was in fact a large, prosperous and diverse Arab country. iraq was one of the few arab countries with a large, educated and competent professional middle class. before bush’s operation iraqi freedom, mcdonald’s intervention, pizza hut democracy for muslim terrorists, iraq provided the largest number of readers in the arab world as well as doctors, architects, philosophers, thinkers, poets. before i go any further, i don’t want to give the impression that saddam had nothing to do with his people’s struggle. he sure did, it wasn’t just the monkey bush and his dad’s role in the first gulf war in 1991 that fucked iraqis- saddam hussain was a special kind of asshole. a unique brand of cocksucking motherfucker whose death was a blessing for his people. however, in my humble opinion, chaney, rumsfeld, rice, bush should suffer the same fate that saddam did. i know what you’re thinking, the bush administration is gone so who cares. but no the historical picture is important because for iraqis, like palestinians, their violence is never seen in the context of struggle to be rid of occupation and corrupt local leaders but as part of a pathological desire to terrorize and threaten. as if they’re just born that way. 

starting with the first gulf war in 1991 and continuing today with bush’s legacy of “regime change” in iraq, it was and still is the people of iraq who pay  a heavy price in poverty, malnutrition and illness. like palestinians, iraqis are seen by the US government the way you would play station game: a universe you enter, destroy and rebuild and exit when and how you see fit. the words “terrorism”, “evil” and of course “freedom” are the best accessories for this game especially since the majority of americans (unlike europeans) have no real contact with people of the middle east and therefore have no sense of the fabric of life their government’s bombs would tear to pieces. the complex nature of the middle east’s traditions, religions, culture, habits and histories are also lost on uninformed strategic planners in the US and its direct allies, mainly israel.

i know what you’re thinking: why drag israel into it? i must be doing this because i’m a conspiracy-obsessed arab who thinks jews are behind ever disaster. well no. i’ll tell you what be a conspiracy theory: believing that coca-cola is the work of zionist evil or sending madonna death threats because she wears the kabbalah string. being aware that israel’s security is one of the two main pillars of US policy in the middle east is NOT a conspiracy. it is a fact (the other pillar, of course, being the ocean of inexpensive oil, which we’ll get to in a second). the pentagon and US state department committees are populated with men from the very right wing Jewish Institute for National Security, JINSA. JINSA spends the bulk of its budget taking retired US generals and admirals to israel who then come back home to write in US papers and magazines and appear on American TV equating israeli security with american security.  

but anyway, back to iraq, the other main pillar of US middle east policy is the oil. the mother of all reasons behind operation mcchiken fillet freedom/milkshake brings all the boys to the basra yard. are you still with me? good because second to saudi arabia, iraq has the largest oil reserves on earth and the $1.1 trillion worth of oil has been and always will be a direct goal for US strategy. you might be thinking the following: but saddam was a bad guy and US freed iraqis from his tyranny. that might have been a great by-product of finishing the man off but the real annoying thing about saddam was that he had committed much of the $1.1 trillion worth of oil to russia, france and some other players. that’s why he was a bad boy and NOT because US couldn’t tolerate his war crimes. the US didn’t have problems with saddam’s decade-long war and chemical warfare he was unleashing on iranians in the 80s. 

when the bush administration came up with the “axis of evil” in 2002, it included north korea, iraq and iran. the funniest thing about that was that iraq was the only one out of the three that didn’t have weapons of mass destruction and it was the only one that got fucked. in the case of korea, the US faced the challenge by offering the country economic and energy aid. today, obama is offering iran the same to deal with their looming threat but in the case of iraq, the US offered them war. so why the double standards man? in early 2003 when the US was preparing for its war on iraq, colin powell gave a lovely speech to the UN that was designed to anger the American people enough to get them to support the war. okay, let’s forget the fact that weapons of mass destruction were never in iraq in the first place and we’re even willing to overlook the fact that al qaeda and bin laden have no ties to iraq. let’s just take colin powell’s words about saddam hussein’s regime and how much it violated human rights and UN resolutions. sure saddam was a dick. but what is disgustingly hypocritical about US position then and NOW is that everything they accused saddam of are the exact violations israel is guilty of conducting in Palestinian territory since 1948 and more recently last month:

– torture

– illegal detention

– assassination

– assaults against civilians with missiles and helicopters

– annexation of territory

– transportation of civilians for the purpose of imprisonment

– denial of rights of free passage

– economic de-development

– killing of UN personnel

– attacks on hospitals and ambulances

– punishment of families

– house demolitions

– destruction of agricultural land

– illegal settlement

all that with unconditional support from the US, with every kind of military and intelligence aid from the US and, most beautifully, billions and billions of US tax-payer money. but anyway, we shouldn’t speak of the dead. bush and his BS are gone. let’s see what obama does now.

by the way, tomorrow, i’ll have more on the current US middle east policy vis-a-vis the israeli elections, the results of which will be announced in a few hours. the reason i was jumping from iraq to palestine is because in the tight race for israeli elections, they’re talking a lot about iran being a major threat to israel. well, before bush’s war on iraq, iraq was also a major threat to israel. it was the only arab country that had the human, natural and infrastructural resources to take on israel’s brutality. has anyone heard of the time when menachem begin’s airforce bombed iraq “preemptively” in 1981? well guess what, that israeli strategy of killing all the “terrorists” before they get to us was the mother of the US post 9/11 “preemptive” war on iraq, which needless to say yielded nothing of its stated anti-terror objectives.

funny enough, the war in iraq is bringing about some positive change in iraq. although i have to say, it was hard to convince the iraqi doctor turned cab driver of that. while driving me around, he went on and on about how bitter he was to be serving rich arabs who didn’t stand up for his country when it was under war. well my dear cabby, arab regimes need US money. they also need  the US to shield them from their own people. they’re afraid because a lot of them are involved in crimes against humanity and of stripping away civil liberties. so they keep their mouths shut and pray to allah that the wars will pass so they can stay in power…so, just drive the cab man and let’s leave it at that…

All Aboard?

February 7, 2009

will israel ever exist like any other country or will it always be above all obligations? does everyone in the israeli cabinet have a 12-inch dick made of gold? does their shit not stink or is it just me? Will israel ever assume the rights and responsibilities of every state on this planet or will its fundamentalism be tolerated without any questions? To be perfectly honest, I don’t want an honest answer to my question because the historical record is not very reassuring. In 1948, Jews took 78% of a land called “Palestine” for an age-old biblical reason. Fine, keep the fucking 78% coz right now it would be unfair to take it away from the israeli citizens living there but then in 1967, israel occupied the other 22% of Palestine (west bank and gaza). i don’t want to sound like a broken record but that’s the only way to set the record straight: according to UN security council resolutions 242 and 338, that’s illegal military occupation. anyway, the point i was making is that till today, israel doesn’t play by the rules that apply to all countries.

yesterday, the UN relief and works agency (Unrwa) stopped importing aid into gaza, after its supplies were stolen. Unrwa said that 10 lorries loaded with humanitarian supplies were seized by hamas members so it suspended all imports of aid gaza until the aid is returned and they have assurances from hamas. so far, so fair. so now hamas has said the seizure was a mistake and that they are working to return the lorries. still fair. but you know what also happened yesterday, the israeli navy captured and diverted a ship from lebanon carrying more than 60 tonnes of aid to gaza. they opened fire, then five Israeli soldiers boarded the ship, beat and threatened the passengers. they blindfolded them and drove them back to south lebanon. according to the owner of the vessel, the israelis destroyed its communication equipment and confiscated the phones of those on board. don’t worry though because the Lebanese prime minister condemned the attack on the ship. he made phone calls to “international parties in order to exert pressure on Israel”. bless him for trying but something tells me those calls went straight to voicemail. okay, I’m gonna be fair. israel did all that to examine the cargo on the ship. everything is always about security with israel. everything Israel does (and gets away with), she does in the name of self-defense. when She imposes a media blackout, it is for the “security of journalists”. hold on, isn’t it up to the reporters of BBC and CNN (and their bosses) to decide on their own safety? i can’t help but think that everything israel does is part of the “israeli self-defense against palestinian terror” campaign. First of all, the ship israel attacked was searched in Lebanon and Cyprus before it headed for gaza. i believe israel has Hezbollah as a scapegoat for doubting lebanon authorities but what about the cypriot authorities? Are those “terrorists” too?

but you know what the real problem is: israelis live in constant fear and paranoia. the sad part is that the fear is genuine. but although israeli citizens are rightfully scared, they only have their government to blame. remember the israeli press release about hamas using palestinians as human shields during the war last month? well let’s throw that back in their faces? the picture of israelis battling for their lives is in fact israel battling for its illegal settlements and military bases. when you are an occupier, someone will always want you to get the fuck off their back. is very fucking simple. palestinian bloodbath parties every few years is not going to get you security because that naive assumption that palestinians will get tired and ask hamas to leave is very…what’s the word…naive. the oppressed will never get tired of fighting off oppression. he ain’t got nothing else to lose. revise your strategy israel. you will never be secure unless you put an end to your 42 year old military occupation and admit to the gross injustice you committed 61 years ago. We’ve all heard about Palestinian violence. Yes, it fucking exists and yes, there are terrorists but those terrorists don’t exist in a vacuum. terrorism cannot be discussed without the context of the occupation which creates it.

so once again, when the hell is something substantial going to be demanded of Israel? and who will demand it? Obama? If he is to do that, we have to organize opinion in the US to make them see the Palestinian side of things. That will take time and dedication. Those holocaust museums and award-winning holocaust films didn’t happen on their own and neither did they materialize over night. So dear Palestinos (and anyone who loves him or her a Palestino) go out and tell the Palestinian story. In the words of her majesty Madonna, “what are you waiting for, nobody’s gonna show you how. why wait for someone else to do what you can do right now?”

Big Time Sensuality

February 4, 2009

so the palestinian president is on the european leg of his blond ambition tour. touring europe begging for money, or understanding or whatever the hell he thinks he’s doing. did you see the hat he wore while he was in paris? i gotta say it’s very funky. as for his illuminating speech…mmm, not so much. mr. abbas offered to work with the winner of Israel’s parliamentary elections scheduled for february 10. very good so far. diplomacy is the way to do it.

then he says, “we will work with anyone the Israelis choose, but on the condition that they don’t bring us back to the starting point”. er, can you be more abstract? “as long as you don’t bring us back to the starting point”??? are you shitting me? might us well say “as long as you give us peace”. just hold an olive tree branch and sing lennon’s “imagine” while you’re at it. you’re not a beauty pageant mr. abbas. be clear and be concise about conditions that can end your people’s suffering and root out the real reasons for palestinian violence. you’re a politician, not a fucking beggar. no wonder no one respects arabs. i understand you’re not in the position of power, which is why like every weak entity in the world, all you can do is repeat the truth about israel’s military occupation until palestinians gain the much-needed understanding. have you learned nothing from arafat? have you learned nothing from the useless oslo negotiations? there’s no room for vagueness.

israel is very clear when they lay down their 3 conditions:

1) hamas must renounce violence

2) hamas must recognise Israel

3) hamas must agree to abide by prior agreements

so mr. abbas, you can say something like this:

1) israel must renounce the military occupation and return to the 1967 borders

2) hamas DOES recognize israel, which is why their charter doesn’t include the “islamic state of palestine” anymore. they are happy to stick with 1967 territories. forget the hardliners. those exist everywhere (even in israel). their voices won’t be heard if there is a strong voice asking for palestinian rights

3) israel must abide by UN security resolutions and geneva conventions

while in paris, mr. abbas “discussed” working with hamas. you don’t “discuss”, you go sit with hamas and you come up with a clear message. that’s why you are the president. otherwise, do what mr arafat should’ve done and say “listen palestinians, i don’t know what the hell i’m doing. i must resign”. but seeing that you won’t resign mr. abbas, i suggest you give the hat back to bjork and say something of substance.

Where’s Mandela?

February 2, 2009

this might really shock you so make sure you’re sitting down okay? there’s fresh rocket fire from palestinian territory on southern israel. not shocking? okay how about this: israeli military bombed several targets in gaza hours after the israeli prime minister promised a “severe and disproportionate response”. still nothing? okay if you’re not shocked then you probably knew all along that the ceasefire was a joke. so you ask yourself the 1,300 palestinians died for nothing? of course they did. and the 6,000 were injured and disfigured for nothing? yes. and the tens of thousands of breadwinners were traumatized into paralysis? yes, yes, yes.

for those who aren’t familiar with the israeli/palestinian “conflict”. let me tell that this war game is part of a pattern. this happened in the late 80s with the first intifada (palestinian civilian uprising). by the way, during the 80s, palestinian students were prevented from studying. the universities were closed for 4 years. nice eh? anyway, this palestinian uprising/terror and the israeli terror/defense happened again in 2000 with the 2nd intifada after that war criminal sharon visited the mosque (google it: his face alone is vomit-inducing). okay, i’m being biased. i’ll be fair now. why don’t those annoying palestinians just stop? well the thing is, palestinians are royally fucked. as in fucked without permission, without lubricant and without a kiss goodbye. they are fucked by their own representatives before anyone else takes a turn. 

for years, palestinians have been made vulnerable to accusations of terror and violence because their leaders don’t have the common sense to say, before anything else, that according to every human rights declaration (including the UN charter) every human being has the right to resist military occupation. that should be the starting point of every palestinian negotiation NOT signing “peace agreements” that perpetuate the myth that palestinians threaten israeli security. the first task is to correct the error and highlight that israel is a colonial power that should withdraw before any real peace can happen. not insisting on that was the rotten foundation of the Oslo “peace process” and Camp fucking David. 

so now, please take off your blindfold and get those ear plugs out: palestinians will continue to fight while israel continues its unbroken history of military occupation of land that is illegally conquered as per UN security council resolutions. palestinians will continue to revolt as long as all entrances and exits to their territories are controlled by israel. they will continue to fight as long as gaza is fenced off by barbed wire, as long as their water supply and electricity is controlled, as long as their pathetic substitute for a “country” is divided into 63 cantons besieged by israeli troops and punctuated with illegal settlements. settlements that are INSIDE palestinian territory but have their own road network that is banned to “non-Jews” who are also referred to as “thieves”, “cockroaches”, “grasshoppers” and “snakes”. 

for some magical reason, palestinian suffering is not nearly as important. maybe it’s true. maybe they are cockroaches. but even the most insignificant cause can rise to the top of the list of priorities with the right PR. didn’t you hear about paris hilton? for some reason palestinian plight is erased from everybody’s memory, starting with the destruction of palestinian society in 1948 and the expulsion of 68% of its native people who happen to be refugees today in arab countries where they are forbidden full status as residents, where there are so many regulations over their work and travel, where the local secret services harass them and make their lives miserable. and THAT my friends is the cause of the rocket fire. so that’s history. now back to the future. 

the main lesson from the war in gaza last month is that neither side learned any lesson. but make no mistake because both sides know exactly what they are doing. they’re foolish and short-sighted but they know what they want. one of israel’s stated aims for the assault (air, ground and naval) was to stop hamas’s rocket fire. so hamas is sending out a few rockets now to say “er, fuck you bitches”. hamas wants to discredit the israeli officials before the february 10 elections. remember how israel vowed to continue the war until hamas was eliminated. they arrogantly promised to keep going until rocket fire was no more. well, the “fuck you” factor from hamas is huge now but don’t you worry about the israeli government because now they are happy with having given hamas a “serious blow”. now that they know hamas cannot be eliminated, the goal is suddenly to give hamas a blow. well, livni, barak and olmert. i think you need to give me a blow job coz your mouths are of no use otherwise. there is a struggle inside israel now between candidates over who will be the most extreme in handling hamas. er, excuse me one second please: didn’t the al-aqsa martyrs brigades, a military wing of FATAH, claim responsibility for these latest rockets. aren’t fatah hamas’s main rivals? doesn’t that mean that hamas didn’t fire the rockets? 

but you know who gave livni and barak the biggest “fuck you”? it’s benjamin netanyahu, the leader of the likud party. this guy wasn’t even part of the assault on gaza and he’s the one who appears likely to win the february 10 elections. but listen here palestinians, if you think netanyahu is about to give you a break, well snap out of it because he’s gonna fuck your mother up the ass then issue a press release saying you used your mother as a human shield. israel was fighting “terror”. 

ah TERROR. don’t you just love that word. i watched two documentaries this week that follow american and british troops in afghanistan. the most amusing thing about it were the soldiers. first they were young, cute and completely in character. the sweetest thing is that they believed they were there to liberate afghanistan from the shackles of terror. i mean no disrespect to the soldiers. if you are a mother, child, wife, sister, girlfriend of one of these soldiers, please don’t be upset. i just want to fill you in on a little secret, the mother, child, wife, sister and girlfriend of suicide bombers in afghanistan also believe their loved one is doing something noble. and that young afghani blowing himself up believes he is protecting his country like your soldier believes he is sent there to protect the UK and the US. so instead of hating each other, you should cry on each other’s shoulders coz you’re two sides of the same coin. you’re the butt of the joke. let me fill you in on a bigger secret: china will soon catch up with the united states in oil consumption and it has become more urgent for the US to control both persian gulf and caspian sea oil supplies more tightly. and THAT is why your soldiers are there. THAT is why afghanistan is interesting. THAT is why it was also interesting in the 80s too when the US bankrolled the jihadis to fight the Soviets. yes, the US paid for the jihadis in the 80s who gave rise to the taliban in the 90s who then bombed the world trade center. the british and american troops in afghanistan today are not there to free the chicks from wearing burqas. the anti-americanism there is not because afghanis hate or resist modernization. if you want to modernize, just throw IPODS from the sky and fly back home. 

i think you know who benefited from this quite a bit.  since 9/11 and the so-called “war on terror”, israel has invaded jenin and jericho and bombed gaza, ramallah and other places causing so much material damage and further de-developing palestinian economy using US weaponry while singing the song about fighting global terrorism. how the hell do you make the connection between bin laden and palestinians’ struggle for liberation? i’ll never know. 

seriously, palestinians are tired. like really tired. not only do they have to resist a nuclear power without having armor, artillery, navy, army or an airforce of their own, they have to fight this stupid PR war as well. you know they can’t. so please help them do it. the only weapon the weak really have is to keep telling the truth over and over again. constantly reminding the world of the real picture. and one day, the weak shall be free.  share this with everybody especially americans and israelis. why should you do that? remember south africa? remember the liberation struggle that ended the apartheid? yeah, that one. it didn’t succeed because only black people were part of it. the apartheid ended because BOTH blacks and whites stood up for the truth.

so c’mon man, share the love please.

When It Rains, It Pours

January 31, 2009

this is too much of breaking news to remain only on the blog. believe it or not, the truth about israel’s crimes against the palestinians is being told all around the world this week! it’s not arab leaders who are telling the truth. but that, of course, is not breaking news. so, the first occurrence is in israel itself…

1) yesh din, an israeli human rights group, got its hands on classified information (compiled by the israeli defense ministry itself) which will help palestinians sue the israeli government for damages. on basis of that information, yesh din’s lawyer said that the israeli government is “systematically violating international law and the property rights of Palestinian residents” for being involved in the illegal construction on land owned by Palestinians in the West Bank. gets better. yesh din said it would begin running advertisments in palestinian newspapers to encourage people to take legal action, and will also offer legal counsel. wouldn’t be nice if palestinians in charge were doing the same for their people? did you know that laborers who build israeli settlements are in fact palestinians? this should give you an idea of how misled and misguided palestinians are. as edward said wrote in 2000, “palestinian workers should immediately be provided by the Authority with alternative employment. can’t a few dollars be spared from the millions spent on useless security and unproductive bureaucracy? this is of course the failing of the leadership but in the end it is also those individuals who know better (doctors, lawayers, intellectuals, teachers) who have the power of expression”. so don’t go for second best baby, put your love to the test, you know, you know, you’ve GOT TO! make him express how he feels and then you know your looooove is real. EXPRESS YOURSELF!

2) we move up to europe now. remember the discouraging news last week about how difficult it would be to try israel in court for war crimes because the israeli government likes to wipe its ass with geneva conventions and the fact it is not one of the 108 states signed to the international criminal court. well, one of the unlikely scenarios actually happend. and spain is behind it. i have to say that there was already so much to love spain for: almadovar, the insanely sexy people etc. but if you too have an aversion to bullshit, you will love spain for its court this week. it was announced in madrid yesterday that spain’s high court will launch a war crimes investigation into seven Israelis, including a former defence minister, over a 2002 attack that killed 14 civilians and a Hamas commander in gaza. spanish law allows the prosecution of foreigners for such crimes as genocide, crimes against humanity and torture committed anywhere in the world. of course, someone has to piss on the parade. ehud barak, the israeli defence minister. the insanely unsexy short lump of fat with glasses who looks like a cross between danny devito and joe pesci…if you crossed their faces with their asses. so that dick described the legal case as “delusional”. no sir, you’re “delusional”. this is not godfather part 4 and you’re not marlon brando. your government has to pay because the decision to drop a one-tonne bomb from an F-16 plane onto a housing block in 2002 WAS a crime.

3) the 3rd bizzare incident of truth is a very interesting one indeed. you know jimmy carter? the former US president (late 70s). on wednesday (that’s 3 days ago), he said that “US presidents have always been unable or unwilling to take on Israel’s supporters in the US”. you know what’s very funny about US presidents: the second they leave office, they start telling the truth. they start fighting for palestinian rights harder than arafat ever did. although, i have to say that arafat didn’t have a clue what he was signing to the last 10 years of his life nor did he bother explaining to his people the mess he was leading them to but you know what i mean. so carter went on to say, “there is no way to have a permanent peace in the middle east without the inclusion of hamas. hamas has got to be involved before peace can be concluded”. he also said that reconciliation between hamas and fatah, the faction led by mahmoud abbas, the palestinian president, had been “objected to and obstructed by the US and Israel”. how very interesting? are you listening obama? i think your ears are big enough to take in all the necessary information. don’t be selective please. i hope obama is willing to knock heads in israel. if not for anything but to remind them that the arab peace initiative has been sitting on the table for 7 years now and the occupation of land isn’t funny anymore. he can also remind them that there is an entire generation of traumatized youth in palestine who are easy prey for extremists. so c’mon black jesus. yes, you can! speaking of selective hearing, i ask myself, how come obama is willing to sit with iran, who (like hamas) are against the existence of israel? hmmm, could it be fear? 

4) the 4th occurence of truth was slightly more dramatic. and you know that means a middle easterner was involved. there was “storming off the stage”. words like “guilt” were used. it was the turkish prime minister at the world economic forum in davos. he left the forum after a furious exchange with israeli president shimon peres. he couldn’t take it when peres was defending israel’s latest attack on gaza. he made a very good point when he told him that turkey was always a honest broker in the truce talks between syria and israel and now israel goes and does this without even informing turkey it was planning to attack. peres, who’s normally calm, became a little hysterical when he used bizzare statements like “there was no siege of gaza. there was never a day of starvation of gaza”. okay dickbrain, it’s not 1948 anymore, we all have TVs and internet so go eat your pubic hair and choke on it. then he used the famous israeli magi word, the one they use when they have nothing to say: IRAN. he told the turkish PM: “all hamas wanted was to bring rockets from IRAN”. what the fuck does that have to do with anything the he was saying to you. besides mr peres, your new best friends obama and ms. clinton are publicly announcing they are prepared for unconditional talks with iran so go rewrite the press release. the world is now following the US with its urgent need to speak to iran. the best part was when the turkish PM told peres, “i feel that you feel a bit guilty. you kill people…” it’s fucking amazing, please youtube it. you’ll find that it’s very cool….if you happen to like it when bullshitters are caught bullshitting that is.

Lemon Tree

January 27, 2009

you might have heard of the demonstration in london against the BBC after the network refused to air a charity appeal for the victims of gaza. BBC’s main reason is that it doesn’t want to be biased. and you know that means BBC doesn’t want to APPEAR biased. this is about PERCEIVED impartiality and not actual impartiality.

because the humanitarian crisis in gaza is so entrenched in politics, BBC is finding it difficult to put the opportunity to alleviate human suffering over appearing biased. i guess ben bradshaw, the british health secretary and ex-BBC journalist, put it best when he said: “i’m afraid the BBC has to stand up to the israeli authorities occasionally”. but i guess it’s not so easy to be in the shoes of BBC today because they have been accused by israelis of being pro-palestinian. please youtube this israeli spoof of BBC covering gaza. the SNL-type of clip is too insensitive to be funny but check it out anyway. there’s this “palestinian” woman wailing in arabic about her house being demolished and losing her family and the comedian playing the BBC anchor is translating to the audience that the israelis raped her and her kids. the spoof is basically accusing BBC of overdramatizing the war in gaza. as if it needed overdramatizing, as if demolishing houses and killing people is any better than rape. if you want to copy SNL, i’ll let you in on a little secret: the reason SNL is funny is because it gives voice to that which opposes the right wing. SNL is not funny because it supports the government. so let SNL do comedy and you…just go jerk off. 

 

the point is that BBC didn’t have a problem airing emergency appeals before today. they have done so for emergencies resulting from natural disasters and wars. they’ve done so for the humanitarian crisis in Congo recently. and if BBC’s excuse is its worry over the actual delivery of aid to gaza, stop your bullshit because the british government is already undertaking a major relief effort for gaza and has offered full support for the 3 charities taking part in those efforts. so move your ass BBC. this is a humanitarian crisis. stop politicizing it and it will stop being political. 

okay, next. i’ve been raving lately about the appointment of george mitchell as middle east envoy. ever since i heard that he’s going to lead the talks and negotiations in the arab/israeli conflict, i’ve been happy because he seems neutral. but to tell you the truth, there doesn’t seem to be much left to talk about for poor mitchell. the powers that be have set the rules. it is now confirmed that the US will NOT be talking to hamas. how can you still exclude the party that you recognize as being one of the main proponents in the ceasefire argument? doesn’t the whole world agree by now that the ceasefire is between israel and HAMAS? who’s george going to talk to, my mother? what the US is now saying they want to talk to the moderate parties like egypt and saudi. they want to return to the arab peace initiative proposed by saudi in 2002, which asks israel to return the 1967 territories and stop the settlements. okay, this sounds good until you hear what benjamin netanyahu, whose party is favored to win the israeli elections, said. netanyahu said that his government will NOT return the 1967 territories and will have to continue to meet the needs of natural growth of the israeli settlements in the west bank. so what exactly is there left to talk about? 

i saw a beautiful film last night called “lemon tree”. it’s about a palestinian woman trying to protect her lemon grove after an israeli defense minister moves in next door and threatens to tear down all the trees because palestinian snipers could hide there. the widow goes to court. i won’t spoil the ending for you but let’s just say, it’s a very realistic ending. darwin was right about who survives in this world. so anyway, find a copy of the film. it’s beautifully acted and written. the politics is just a backdrop. i especially liked the wife of the israeli defense minister who tries to help the palestinian woman and the doomed love story between the palestinian widow and the much younger attorney. if anything, it gives artistic meaning to a situation that doesn’t make any sense. if you can’t find the film anywhere, call your “chinese” dvd lady. 

before i bid you farewell, i want to inform those who believed in the ceasefire that clashes on the gaza/israel border have just broken out. one israeli soldier died, several israeli soldiers are left wounded and one palestinian farmer died. so much for a ceasefire. go watch “lemon tree”. and make sure to tell the chinese lady that you need subtitles.

Dear Pamela

January 26, 2009

today marks the first trial ever in the international criminal court ICC. lubanga, the militia leader in congo, is being tried for training and using children in his war, children as young as 11 and 12. by the way, the ICC steps in when the country in question refuses to try the criminal or is unable to do so. so congo is too poor or corrupt so they have to hand it over to the ICC. now israel of course belongs to the other category which will refuse. the israeli cabinet decided yesterday that it will provide full legal backing to any of its soldiers accused in a foreign court of “war crimes” after taking part in the last war. but that’s not the real problem because the ICC doesn’t have jurisdiction over the Israel/Gaza conflict because israel is not signed up to the ICC jurisdiction. There are 108 states signed so far and Israel is way too smart to adopt the court’s jurisdiction. I know what you’re thinking. ICC prosecutors accused Sudan (which also didn’t sign up) for committing war crimes in darfur so why not prosecute israel? because sudan is sudan and israel is israel. snap out of it. besides, palestinians don’t have george clooney flying to the gaza strip and raising money for them. 

so if the ICC won’t work. what will? palestinians can also try the international court of justice. Hold on, that one cannot force israel to do anything. remember when they stood with their hands tied after israel continued the building of the wall which breached international law? i’m just curious what israel has on all these people to keep them quiet like that? sex tapes? nude pictures? why the fuck can’t anyone speak?

okay the third option is a requirement of the geneva conventions. under the geneva conventions, countries are obliged to try their own citizens or soldiers for war cimes. now, i don’t know about you kids but i’m betting on this one. all my hopes hang on this one and NOT because the fuckhead ehud olmert is refusing to even publish the names of the soldiers but because the israeli cabinet likes to use the geneva conventions as toilet paper. so like you, i’m very optimistic about this option.

but seriously, there IS hope. the final option is something called “universal jurisdiction” which allows any country to take legal action against any person anywhere in the world if that person is suspected of war crimes. even though the world seemingly stood by while the war in gaza was happening, there was lots of evidence gathering going on. today, amnesty international cites “undisputable evidence” by a fact finding team that the israeli army in fact used white phosphorus in densely populated civilian residential areas in gaza. here’s something sick though: in response to that, an israeli spokesperson on tv said today: “now you have to remember that hamas fired rockets first. our operation is self-defense”. listen you moronic baboon, you’ve already convinced the world that hamas is a terrorist organization because it resists you so we’re questioning YOUR government’s acts of “self defense”. we’re questioning if your “victim” government on ITS war crimes so answer the question. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE EVIDENCE OF YOUR GOVERNMENT’S ILLEGAL USE OF WEAPONS? he went on to say that he was very disturbed by the world’s “deafening silence” to hamas’s  targeting of israeli civilians while israel does its best to limit civilian deaths. so let’s look at some statistics in this latest war. hamas killed 13 israelis, 10 of which were soldiers. israel killed nearly 1300 palestinians 65% of which were civilians. the other 35% of which is not even confirmed to be hamas fighters yet. the truth is your government wants to wipe out hamas at whatever cost. you’re not trying to avoid shit. but the beauty in all this is that israeli leaders have discovered that wiping out hamas is not an easy task because hamas doesn’t exist in men on the ground but in the minds of people yearning to be free.

the next time you hear an israeli spokesperson say that israel does its best to avoid civilian casualties, tell them “israel TARGETS civilians on purpose”. why should you say that? because israel wants to punish the palestinians for democratically electing an organization that stands for resisting them. it wants to show palestinians the price for that choice. the new york times recently reported israeli officials as saying: “an offensive that caused average people to suffer puts pressure on Hamas in real and specific ways”. i think the israeli PR machine is losing its consistent messaging. hmmm, regroup boys. regroup. the casualties in this war are no accident. they are part of the plan to scare people into submission. but it is a very stupid plan of course because palestinians have little to lose. and when you have little to lose, you have little to be scared of and your will to fight for your right is anything but little.  The funniest thing about Palestinians is, as Edward Said (google him) said, their “annoying facticity”. we are an annoying FACT. we are here and we’re not going away. Like a piece of food stuck in the throat of the Israeli government, forever reminding them of what they had done to us. 

The biggest mistake in the Israeli argument is that it continues its occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians while proclaiming a “desire for peace”. you CAN actually have peace. you CAN stop Hamas’s rockets by stopping the occupation of the 1967 territories and by stopping the siege of Gaza. But the real issue is not rockets, it is the fact that the Zionist project’s use of force to displace the Palestinians does not really go with their peace mantra. You can’t put up a Live 8 concert and sing about peace while blowing up your audience. Just doesn’t work. Theodore hertz, the father of political zionism openly said that for zionism to succeed in Palestine “might takes precedence over right”. vladimir jabotinsky, one of the extreme right wing Zionist leaders whose disciples form today’s likud party, said that “Zionism is a colonial adventure and there it stands or falls by the question of armed force”. 

We all know that when the monkey from Texas was in charge, diplomacy took a back seat and the use of armed force was the preferred tool of US foreign policy. But now things are different. (by the way I’ve made a decision not be pessimistic about Obama’s administration coz if we all keep saying he won’t change anything, it will be a self-fullfilling prophecy so let’s give the man a chance to disappoint us before we get disappointed). Obama launched what his secretary of state hillary clinton described on her first day as an “era of robust diplomacy”. In English, political solutions and negotiations, not wiping people out. I know what you’re thinking, hillary creeps you out when she smiles. i know, she creeps me out too. she was the one who first accused obama of working with terrorists when she was running against him in early 2008. it wasn’t sarah palin. but this is politics. they’re all hypocrites so get over it. besides, you should admire hillary. she suffered the embarrassment of the world’s most famous blow job and look where she is now. let’s hope she’s ambitious enough about “diplomacy” in the middle east. ambitious enough to tell livni to suck it. god, how i wish to tell livni to suck it. god i would make her swallow and i wouldn’t even have the courtesy to drink pineapple juice. i would eat tikka and fucking garlic naan for a WEEK! anyway, the point is that the israeli government knows that the current US administration may not give them the same unlimited American support they’ve enjoyed for the last 42 years. george mitchell, the special envoy to the middle east appointed by obama, will tour the region very soon. this alone is a major change from the days when the door was left open for israel to undermine the basis of peace.

i want to leave you with a little story about the gaza zoo, which was opened in 2005 and had 40 types of animals. today, it reeks of death because of the animals that were shot dead. the lions were shot first by israeli soldiers, there was a pregnant camel that was shot as well, the foxes all ate each other!!! don’t know what the hell that’s about but it happened. anyway, i remember the israeli military spokesperson who came on tv a few weeks ago to show a tape the israeli army filmed that shows how hamas booby trapped the zoo. so is that why you killed the animals? couldn’t you just shell the zoo from the sky? you certainly didn’t have a problem defending your shelling of a UN school in the name of self-defense and now you have to enter a zoo to show us footage of booby traps and shoot the animals? THIS is terror my friends. terror is making sure nothing which normal people can enjoy will be allowed to palestinians because they elected hamas. what i want to know is where is pamela anderson and bridget bardot to protect the palestinian animals? 

if you happen to know pamela anderson or someone who knows her, please make her aware of the animal rights violations going on in gaza. maybe she’ll come down. and even if nothing comes out of it for the animals, at least the palestinian boys will be very happy to see pamela…they haven’t had sex in a reeeeeeeeeeeeally long time.