Palestinian struggle for freedom.

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  1. PAFAce
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    Recent news that Israeli covert operatives were probably responsible for the murder of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh does not come as a surprise to anyone who is aware of Israel's past. What can be astounding, however, are the double standards applied to different countries of the same region.

    I will allow you to form your own opinions from the following:

    Israel's infamous covert assassinations program

    Long history of Israel's 'covert killing'

    By Heather Sharp
    BBC News, Jerusalem

    The Islamic movement Hamas claims that the death of one its senior commanders, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, is the latest in Israel's history of assassinating individuals it believes to have been behind attacks on its citizens.

    Israel's general policy is to neither confirm nor deny allegations about the activities of its intelligence agents but it is notable that many of its enemies meet suspicious and violent deaths.

    "We are witnessing an intense intelligence struggle, most of it is covert, some of it overt," said Ronen Bergman, author of By Any Means Necessary, and other books and articles on Israel's covert operations.

    Among the best documented of Israel's assassinations were a wave of killings of pro-Palestinian militants in Paris, Nicosia, Beirut and Athens, carried out in response to the hostage crisis at the Munich Olympics in 1972 which resulted in the deaths of 11 Israelis.

    Methods used included a booby-trapped telephone, a bomb planted in a bed, and a raid in Beirut in which current Defence Minister Ehud Barak dressed as a woman.

    There are even claims that a poisoned chocolate was later used to kill a commander of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in East Germany in 1978.

    In 1987 Israel made no attempt to disguise their assassination of Khalil al-Wazir - known as Abu Jihad - the Palestine Liberation Organisation's military leader and second in command.

    Israeli commandos crept into Tunisia, where the PLO's exiled leadership was based, and shot him several times in his own home before escaping by sea.

    It was an operation in which Mr Barak is also believed to have been involved.


    Covert failure

    In 1997 during the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first term in office, one special operation went humiliatingly wrong.

    Israeli agents tried to kill Khaled Meshaal, who was then a fund-raiser for Hamas based in Amman.

    Disguised as Canadian tourists, they injected poison into his ear - but he was rushed to hospital before it took full effect.


    Mr Meshaal's life was literally saved by Jordan's then King Hussein, who was outraged by the attack and - boosted by pressure from then US President Bill Clinton - demanded the Israeli government hand over the antidote.

    The agents - who had been arrested - were exchanged for an Israeli apology and the release of 20 prisoners, including Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Hamas's spiritual leader.

    Mr Meshaal has gone on to become Hamas's Damascus-based leader.

    Targeted killings

    As the second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising, raged in the years after 2000, Israel turned its sights on militant leaders within Gaza and the West Bank.

    Militant groups sent waves of suicide bombers to attack Israeli civilian targets such as buses and cafes.

    Part of Israel's response was the controversial policy it described as "targeted" killings - Amnesty International described them as "extra-judicial".

    Palestinians say dozens of militant figures, including Sheikh Yassin and another senior Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, were killed, in many cases by missiles launched from helicopters.

    But in 2008, allegations of Israeli action farther afield intensified with the death of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, implicated in numerous bomb attacks and a wave of hostage-taking in Lebanon in the 1980s.

    Hezbollah wasted little time in blaming Israel for his death in a car bomb in Damascus.

    The group is thought to have been trying to avenge his death ever since.

    'Revenge'

    Investigative journalist Mr Bergman says the past three to four years have seen the Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria alliance "far more exposed" by Israeli intelligence, and on the defensive.

    Even in recent weeks, the deaths of two Hamas members in a bombing in Lebanon, an attempt to bomb an Israeli diplomatic convoy in Jordan, and the mysterious killing of an Iranian scientist - though a quantum physicist, not a nuclear specialist - offer more material for speculation.

    Targeting Mr Mabhouh would fit with Israel's historical policy, Mr Bergman adds.


    "In some cases Israel has decided to close the circle and take revenge on people who were behind symbolic acts of terrorism - not necessary the most violent or lethal acts," he said.

    And this can happen years after the incident in question.

    Hamas claims Mr Mabhouh is the mastermind of the capture and killing of two Israeli soldiers, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Saadon, in 1989.

    Sgt Sasportas's body was located seven years later, from a sketched map supplied by the Palestinians, and dug up from underneath a road that had been built over it.

    The incident was an emotional one for the public in a country where most people serve in the military.

    Mr Mabhouh's brother said Israel had been trying to kill him for years, and had unsuccessfully attempted to poison him six months earlier in Beirut.

    But the reports remain confusing, with allegations that he was electrocuted, suffocated and poisoned all circulating - as well as reports that Hamas initially announced that he had died from bone disease a week earlier.

    And this incident, like many before it, may remain shrouded in mystery, even as Hamas vows to take revenge.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
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    Mordechai Vanunu - The whistleblower for Israel's nuclear program.

    Profile: Mordechai Vanunu

    Mordechai Vanunu, 50, is reviled as a traitor, has been disowned by his own parents and is a hero of the global anti-nuclear movement.

    One thing that opponents and supporters agree on is that he showed incredible determination by surviving 18 years in a prison run by Israel's secret security services – the first 11 of them in solitary confinement.

    Vanunu, the man who told the world about Israel's nuclear weapons programme
    , almost refused to walk free from prison today after declining until the very last moment to supply authorities with the exact address of where he was going to live.

    And far from showing contrition when he did exit the gates, he told a scrum of reporters that he was "proud and happy that I did what I did".

    His ironically titled poem I am Your Spy, composed in prison, bears eloquent testimony to his belief that he has been invested with a mission to save the Middle East from nuclear catastrophe.

    "I have no choice. I am a little guy, a citizen, an ordinary fellow, but I will do my duty. I have heard the voice of my conscience. And there's nowhere to run," he wrote.

    Vanunu, who has been nominated more than once for the Nobel Peace Prize, settled in Israel as a boy when his devoutly Jewish family emigrated in 1963 from Morocco. His parents had been well-to-do business people there.

    After three years of national service, seeing combat in the 1973 Middle East war, he went to work at the secret Dimona nuclear plant in the southern Negev desert in 1976. He passed rigorous security tests.

    Often working nightshifts, he found time to study philosophy and geography at the nearby University of Beersheba where associates say that he began his drift to the Left, becoming increasingly active against Israel's ill-fated 1982 war in Lebanon.

    He was dismissed from Dimona in 1985 for "instability", but when he left Israel there was no sign that he was regarded as a security risk. He went backpacking around the world, carrying with him photos taken inside Dimona.

    His dealings with the media began in Australia where he contacted Newsweek magazine and said that "for the good of the world" he was ready to sell a story about Israel's nuclear capacity.

    He later broke off discussions because, he said, he was "too frightened to go ahead".


    It was about this time that he dropped in to an old Anglican church in the Kings Cross area of Sydney and became a member. He took part in discussion groups and it was during one of these that he revealed his connection with Dimona.

    News of this reached a South American journalist who offered to act as an agent for the story and went to Madrid where he contacted The Sunday Times.

    Unsatisfied about how much he was personally to receive, the journalist contacted the Sunday Mirror, which published a report on September 28.

    A week later The Sunday Times story appeared, but by then Mr Vanunu had disappeared from a London hotel where he had been talking to the newspaper.

    He had been lured to Italy by Cheryl Bentov, a female Mossad agent, who had posed as an American student called Cindy.

    In Rome Vanunu was drugged and beaten by Mossad agents and jailed for espionage at Shikma prison in the coastal town of Ashkelon, where he remained until this morning.


    The completion of his sentence is unlikely to lead to a reunification with his father Shlomo, a former rabbi, who has disowned his eldest son. His mother has never visited him behind bars.

    He crossed what Israelis of all political persuasions regard as a red line. He abandoned Judaism and converted to Christianity – too much for his Orthodox parents to bear.

    Vanunu has since been legally adopted by a couple from Minnesota, Nick and Mary Eoloff, who have travelled to Israel for his release.

    "We believe that what he did was an act of civil disobedience and not a crime," Nick Eoloff said. Vanunu's brother, Meir, has been supportive and voiced concern for his safety.

    Vanunu now signs his letters with the initials JC, having adopted a new name - John Crossman - which he chose in reference to the Cross of Christ. His first act on gaining his freedom today was to take Communion at an Anglican cathedral.

    Even thought the Israeli authorities have denied him the right to travel or talk to foreigners – restrictions that he likened to apartheid – Vanunu wants to visit the United States and the UK and to study and teach history.

    Thanking his supporters today as he left prison, and showing the defiance that has allowed him to survive almost two decades behind bars, he said: "I am a symbol of the will of freedom, that you cannot destroy the human spirit... I will continue to speak against all kinds of nuclear weapons, against all democracies' nuclear weapons."
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Note: Israel was not sanctioned or condemned by any country. Instead, Mr. Vanunu was demonized as a traitor in Israel. Let's not even begin the comparison with Iran
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
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    Amnesty International's report on "Operation Cast Lead" - also known as War on Gaza in Israel and the Arab World

    Amnesty details Gaza 'war crimes'

    Israel committed war crimes and carried out reckless attacks and acts of wanton destruction in its Gaza offensive, an independent human rights report says.

    Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed using high-precision weapons, while others were shot at close range, the group Amnesty International says.


    Its report also calls rocket attacks by Palestinian militants war crimes and accuses Hamas of endangering civilians.

    The Israeli military says its conduct was in line with international law.

    Israel has attributed some civilian deaths to "professional mistakes", but has dismissed wider criticism that its attacks were indiscriminate and disproportionate.

    Amnesty says that some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the 22-day Israeli offensive between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009, which agrees broadly with Palestinian figures.

    More than 900 of these were civilians, including 300 children and 115 women, it says.

    In March, Israel's military said the overall Palestinian death toll was 1,166, of whom 295 were "uninvolved" civilians.


    Pattern

    says many of the hundreds of civilian deaths in the conflict "cannot simply be dismissed as 'collateral damage' incidental to otherwise lawful attacks - or as mistakes".

    It says "disturbing questions" remain unanswered as to why children playing on roofs and medical staff attending the wounded were killed by "highly accurate missiles" whose operators had detailed views of their targets.

    Lives were lost because Israeli forces "frequently obstructed access to medical care," the report says. It also reiterates previous condemnations of the use of "imprecise" weapons such as white phosphorous and artillery shells.

    The destruction of homes, businesses and public buildings was in many cases "wanton and deliberate" and "could not be justified on the grounds of military necessity", the report adds.

    "All of those things occurred on a scale that constitutes pattern - and constitutes war crimes," Donatella Rovera, who headed the research, told the BBC.

    The document also gives details of several cases where it says people - including women and children posing no threat to troops - were shot at close range as they were fleeing their homes in search of shelter.


    Israeli officials responded saying the military targeted only areas where Palestinian militants were operating, and accused Hamas of turning civilian neighbourhoods into "war zones".

    "We tried to be as surgical as is humanly possible in a difficult combat situation," Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told the BBC.

    Human shields

    The Amnesty report says no evidence was found that Palestinian militants had forced civilians to stay in buildings being used for military purposes, contradicting Israeli claims that Hamas repeatedly used "human shields".

    However, Amnesty says Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups had endangered Palestinian civilians by firing rockets from residential neighbourhoods and storing weapons in them.

    It says local residents had in one case told researchers that Hamas fighters had fired a rocket from the yard of a government school.

    The Israeli military has repeatedly blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties, saying its fighters operated from buildings like schools, medical facilities, religious institutions, residential homes and commercial premises.

    In the cases it had investigated, Amnesty said civilian deaths "could not be explained as resulting from the presence of fighters shielding among civilians, as the Israeli army generally contends".

    However, Amnesty does accuse Israel of using civilians, including children, as human shields in Gaza, forcing them to remain in houses which its troops were using as military positions, and to inspect sites suspected of being booby trapped.


    It also says Palestinian militants rocket fire from the Gaza Strip was "indiscriminate and hence unlawful under international law", although it only rarely caused civilian casualties.

    declined to comment on the Amnesty International criticism, but said: "We believe the leaders of the occupation state must be tried for these crimes."

    Thirteen Israelis were killed, including three civilians, during the offensive, which Israel launched with the declared aim of curtailing cross-border rocket attacks.

    GAZA CIVILIAN DEATHS
    # Children: 300
    # Women: 115
    # Men over 50: 85
    # Civilian men under 50: 200
    # Non-combatant police: 240
    # Total: 940 Source: Amnesty International

    ----------------------------------------------------
    Talk about disproportionate response. The complete report is here:
    ISRAEL/GAZA OPERATION ‘CAST LEAD’: 22 DAYS OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION

    The United Nation's Fact Finding Report on Occupied Palestinian Territories - The Goldstone Report
    HUMAN RIGHTS IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
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    Jewish Students To Counter Israeli Apartheid Week

    by JTA

    Israeli Apartheid Week features a series of events held in cities and on campuses worldwide that organizers say aims “to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system,” as well as to build boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns.

    Jewish university students across Canada are coordinating campaigns to counter Israeli Apartheid Week.

    Working with local federations, the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy and Hillel, students will get a one-week head start on the sixth annual Israeli Apartheid Week, which is slated for March 1-7, with a campaign called “Size Doesn’t Matter.”

    The Jewish campaign will stress that for a small country, Israel has achieved global renown in science, medicine, technology, business and humanitarian aid. It begins the last week of February.

    The second national push, to run concurrently with Apartheid Week, will be called “The Truth Campaign,” and will feature posters with the messages “Don’t Twist the Truth” and “Don’t Play With the Truth.”

    A third, undisclosed campaign involving “social media” will be “a surprise,” according to Hillel of Greater Toronto. Several pro-Israel speakers are slated to appear at Ryerson and York universities and the University of Toronto.

    Jewish Students To Counter Israeli Apartheid Week
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    The Sixth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2010

    Mark your calendars - the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will take place across the globe from from the 1st to the 14th of March 2010!

    Since it was first launched in 2005, IAW has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. Last year, more than 40 cities around the world participated in the week's activities, which took place in the wake of Israel's brutal assault against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. IAW continues to grow with new cities joining this year.

    IAW 2010 takes place following a year of incredible successes for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the global level. Lectures, films, and actions will highlight some of theses successes along with the many injustices that continue to make BDS so crucial in the battle to end Israeli Apartheid. Speakers and full programme for each city will be available soon.

    The Sixth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2010 | Israeli Apartheid Week 2010
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    History of Israeli Apartheid Week

    Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. IAW will be running for the sixth consecutive year in 2010, with events taking place between March 1-14 all over the world. The week’s events will include lectures, multimedia events, cultural performance, film screenings, demonstrations, and more.

    The past few years have seen a sharp increase of literature and analysis that has sought to document and challenge Israeli apartheid, including reports issued by major international bodies and human rights organizations and findings published by political leaders, thinkers, academics, and activists. Many of these efforts have highlighted the role that could be played by people and governments across the world in providing solidarity with the Palestinian struggle by exerting urgent pressure on Israel to alter its current structure and practices as an apartheid state.

    Prominent Palestinians, Jewish anti-Zionists, and South Africans have been at the forefront of this struggle. At the same time, an international divestment campaign has gained momentum in response to a statement issued in July 2005 by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations calling for boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel . Important gains have recently been made in this campaign in countries like South Africa , the United Kingdom , Canada and the United States .

    The aim of IAW is to contribute to this chorus of international opposition to Israeli apartheid and to bolster support for the BDS campaign in accordance with the demands outlined in the July 2005 Statement: full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, an end to the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands – including the Golan Heights, the Occupied West Bank with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip – and dismantling the Wall, and the protection of Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in U.N. resolution 194.

    In previous years IAW has played an important role in raising awareness and disseminating information about Zionism, the Palestinian liberation struggle and its similarities with the indigenous sovereignty struggle in North America and the South African anti-Apartheid movement. Join us in making this a year of struggle against apartheid and for justice, equality, and peace.

    History of Israeli Apartheid Week | Israeli Apartheid Week 2010
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    The dark side of Israeli Apartheid Week

    By Leonard Stern, Ottawa CitizenFebruary 25, 2010

    Beginning Monday, university campuses play host to an annual event known as Israeli Apartheid Week, where Israel is assigned the role of Jew among the nations — singled-out, cursed and harassed.

    Some Jewish students at Canadian universities will discreetly choose to stay home, to avoid having to answer for the Jewish state. The whiff of something medieval hangs over this March ritual.

    This isn’t about Jews, say the organizers. It’s about Zionists. Problem is, the activist groups behind Israeli Apartheid Week are doing everything to erase the distinction.

    One of those organizations, the Ottawa Public Interest Research Group, refused in 2008 to promote a lecture on African development because Jewish students at the University of Ottawa happened to be organizing it. The event had zero connection to Israel but OPIRG said it wouldn’t partner with the Jewish students’ union due to the latter’s “relationship to apartheid Israel.”

    Demonizing Israel has become a central and unifying activity for those who practise radical politics. Consider Carleton University’s Womyn’s Centre and the Canadian Arab Federation. The first is a feminist organization; the second participated in a notorious conference in Egypt organized by fundamentalist Muslims who institutionalize violence against women. Both groups are endorsing Israeli Apartheid Week.

    The perfidy of the Jewish state is a unifying belief just as the perfidy of Jews always was. The fascist right said Jews were bolsheviks and blamed them for the scourge of communism; the totalitarian left said Jews were financiers and blamed them for the predations of capitalism.

    Of all the sponsors of Israeli Apartheid Week, the participation of gay and lesbian groups is most disheartening. Harvard University’s Alan Dershowitz tells an anecdote about the time he gave a speech and spotted an anti-Israel sign in the crowd, held aloft by a gay rights group. Dershowitz reminded the protesters that Israel is the one country in the Middle East where they’d be able to hold a gay rights sign in public and not be lynched.

    Israel’s official government website celebrates Eytan Fox, one of the country’s best known filmmakers. Fox’s recent movie The Bubble, about a love affair between two men, Arab and Jew, won an award from the U.S.-based Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, for its sensitive depiction of gay people.

    Films like that aren’t being made in Syria or Gaza. Gay Muslims have to flee to democratic countries if they want to come out. Israel itself recently took in a gay Palestinian from the West Bank town of Jenin. The man settled in Tel Aviv, moving in with his partner, an Israeli. Thousands of couples — Arab, Jewish, mixed — show up for the gay pride parade in Tel Aviv.

    Yet back in Canada, gay student groups denounce Israel as their enemy. They aren’t protesting against the many Muslim countries where homosexuality is criminalized — where, as Der Spiegel recently reported, men suspected of being gay are found with their genitals amputated and anuses sealed with glue.

    (When Israel last year suffered an isolated act of homophobic violence — a gunman shot up a gay nightclub — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly expressed his personal horror.)

    So am I saying Israel is a beacon of enlightenment and that anyone who disagrees is an anti-Semite?

    No, I’m not. Israel is a flawed country, as are all countries. Criticizing Israel does not make one an anti-Semite anymore than criticizing the government of France makes one anti-French. But it’s one thing to criticize France and another to declare the French nation illegitimate and to advocate its dismantling.

    For that’s what Israeli apartheid week is about. As Michael Ignatieff noted during apartheid week last year, “International law defines ‘Apartheid’ as a crime against humanity. Labeling Israel an ‘Apartheid’ state is a deliberate attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself.”

    It is the fanatical, disproportionate focus on Israel — no other country is subjected to a week-long hatefest at university campuses — that points to something darker going on.

    The classic giveaway of prejudice is holding the hated group to a double standard. Israel is denounced for its designation as a Jewish state, with a Star of David on its flag. Israel’s accusers never complain that Muslim states have the half-crescent symbol of Islam in their flags. As the legal scholar Robbie Sabel notes: “For various Arab states to denote themselves Arab Republics is not objectionable, but a Jewish state is racism and apartheid.”

    Saudi Arabia officially prohibits the practice of non-Muslim religions; Egypt has persecuted its minority Christians; Turkey and other Muslim countries make sure the Kurds remain stateless and dispossessed — and campus activists couldn’t care less. It’s Israel, and Israel alone, that consumes them.

    Israeli Apartheid Week represents a strange, collective stalking. I don’t know why they do it. What’s scary is that, as the unconscious instruments of an ancient hatred, they don’t always understand their own obsession.

    Read more: The dark side of Israeli Apartheid Week
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    It seems this year they will push even harder to make people perceive SAIA as a religious campaign, rather than what it actually is, a campaign about the systematic apartheid conducted by Israel. It's always fun to be around the campus at this time of the year. Combine passionate youth looking to spread the truth with organizations trying to suppress them, and you can imagine what happens.

    The Israeli Apartheid Week began at my university, the University of Toronto, after a group named Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) was formed by three students. It's grown in popularity ever since then, and is probably the best example of "freedom of speech" seen around campus.

    Unfortunately, there are many people who try to disrupt the activities during IAW. Special lectures given by experts, former Israeli soldiers and others are generally disrupted by rowdy specifically for the purpose of squashing the activities. There is mass vandalism around the campus, where IAW or SAIA posters are generally ripped off the walls and sign posts within hours of being put up, so much that SAIA has to use special glues that make it impossible for anyone to take down the posters quickly. You also see protesting against the University's governing bodies for allowing SAIA to use university premises for IAW. It's generally a very eventful week, and regardless of who you are, you really get the sense of the levels of tension that exists.

    There are many, many organizations that support SAIA and IAW, including Jews against Zionism etc. No Muslim councils officially support IAW because when they did in the past, Jewish groups (in particular the more extremist Hillel group) countered with anti-Islam campaigns. Hence, religious groups (except for Jewish groups) tend to stay away from IAW so as not to divert attention from the core issue of Apartheid and Occupation towards religion. If anything, it is these Jewish groups that defend Israel's actions that are responsible for increasing antisemitism.

    This is exactly what I'm talking about. Those who are against IAW try to make this into an antisemitic activity. However, it is far from it. Many of the lecturers and activists are Jewish, former Israeli citizens etc. Also, group membership is not closed to any religion. There are those who think that Israel represents Judaism, and there are many who say that this idea is completely wrong. Criticizing a country over the occupation and systematic displacement of an entire people from their land is in no way a religious issue, it's an issue of basic rights.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
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    Israel's new war on Islamic sites

    In a move that appears to be a celebration of the 16th anniversary of the massacre of 29 worshippers by the terrorist Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli government has proclaimed that the Ibrahimi Mosque in Khalil (Hebron) and Masjid Bilal ibn Rabah (mosque) in Bethlehem are "Jewish Heritage sites".

    Goldstein, an American-born Israeli settler who served as a medic in the military, opened fire on worshippers at a mosque in Hebron on February 25, 1994, killing 29 and wounding more than 150, before being subdued and beaten to death.

    The announcement by the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, though not surprising, is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks on Islamic historical and religious sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    It is consistent with the Israelis' long-standing ambition to dispose of all non-Jewish religious symbols and presence in Palestine.

    While the Israeli government was announcing the annexation of the Islamic sites, dozens of settlers attempted to storm into Jericho on the pretext that they were visiting an ancient synagogue.

    Under the Gaza-Jericho Agreement of May 1994, Israel agreed to dissolve its civil administration and "transferred its powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority".

    Israel disinterested in peace

    In his first reaction to the annexation of the Ibrahimi Mosque, Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League, said: "This proves that Israel is not interested in peace and negotiations."

    The question is: when was Israel ever interested in such? When has it ever recognised the rights of the Palestinians? Israel’s founding fathers made no secret of the fact that they wanted all of historic Palestine, but without the Palestinians and all that is associated with their history.

    Hence, David Ben Gurion recorded in his memoirs, The Revolt: "The partition of the Homeland [Israel] is illegal. It will never be recognised. The signature by institutions and individuals of the partition agreement is invalid. It will not bind the Jewish people. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever."

    Everything that has happened in Palestine since 1948, and in Jerusalem and Hebron in particular over the past year, can be explained in the context of this statement.

    Those who ignore it, not least the Arab and Muslim leadership, do so at their peril.

    That having been said, the timing of these latest provocations against the Ibrahimi Mosque has not gone unnoticed.

    The Israeli moves come at a time of huge embarrassment for the European patrons of the Zionist project, who saw their passports, among them diplomatic documents, being used illegally to carry out the murder of a Palestinian figure in Dubai, a "moderate" and thus by definition a friendly country.

    Crude distraction?
    Is Israel trying to divert global attention from the Mabhouh assassination? [AFP]

    In as much as the announcement of the new "heritage sites" coincides with the anniversary of the Goldstein massacre, it has been pointedly described as a crude distraction away from the issue of the criminal responsibility for the Dubai murder and the discomfort it has caused many in Europe.

    Observers have rightly noted that while the European Union maintains its proscription of Hamas as a "terrorist organisation", they are yet to produce any evidence that the organisation has carried out a single military operation outside Occupied Palestine.

    This is in stark contrast to the Israeli government, which threatens, attacks and occupies the lands of neighbouring countries, and assassinates its opponents in other sovereign nations.

    Nevertheless, Israel continues to receive the patronage and support of the European Union.

    If nothing else, the Zionists have surely perfected the art of gradualism, taking Palestinian territory inch by inch and brick by brick. Thus, when the Israeli government partitioned the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994 and took two-thirds of it for Jews, it was safe to assume that was not the end of the affair.

    PA surrender

    While many Palestinians hold the occupation authorities responsible for the escalating tensions and damage to the mosque, they are embittered equally with the Palestinian Authority (PA) for having surrendered the area adjoining the second most important mosque in all of historic Palestine, as part of the "Hebron Protocol" of 1996.

    Today, the security agencies loyal to US General Keith Dayton, the US security coordinator between Israel and the Palestinians, and the PA prevent young people living in Hebron from going to the Ibrahimi Mosque to defend it against Jewish settlers.

    With the greatest sense of foreboding they point out that today it is the Ibrahimi Mosque but tomorrow it could be Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest mosque in Islam, which is under serious threat.

    Salih al-Razim, the imam of the Ibrahimi Mosque, recalls that during the last five years the occupation authorities have prevented systematically the call to prayer in the mosque, particularly the daily maghrib (sunset) prayer, and all prayers on Saturdays.

    Typically, the occupiers’'claim that the mosque was being annexed because it was in a state of disrepair is disingenuous because they themselves have deliberately obstructed more than 90% of maintenance efforts by the mosque authorities. In effect, theirs is only a device to intervene and seize control of the mosque.

    "Second Temple"

    Since the Palestinians have maintained the Ibrahimi Mosque for more than one thousand years there is nothing preventing them from doing so today apart from the occupation authorities.

    Meanwhile, in April 2009 the same authorities took a huge stone from the Khatouniyah Palace and embedded it in the square in front of the Knesset, claiming that this was a stone from the "Second Temple".

    Fakhri Abu Diyab, a member of the Council for the Defence of Real Estate in Silwan, reported that the Israeli operation was monitored and documented even though some of it took place in the early hours of the morning.

    Several months later, in late December 2009, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage reported the theft of archaeological artifacts of historical importance from the Umayyad palaces in Al-Khatouniyah.

    The stones in question were transported to the Ma'ale Adumim colony-settlement where some were off-loaded in a dump; other items were taken to warehouses run by the Israeli antiquities department in the Rockefeller Museum, ironically the former Palestine Archaeological Museum.

    It is believed that the Islamic relics will be given cosmetic treatment and then reappear, miraculously, as "Jewish" relics. We know this because it’s not the first time that this has been done.

    Mosque destruction

    Scores of mosques were destroyed across Palestine in 1948 (as reported inter alia in Haaretz on July 6, 2009) and in the succeeding years as part of the deliberate policy to obliterate the Islamic identity of the country. Many were converted into museums, night clubs and restaurants.

    The Great Mosque (Jaame'a al-Kabir) in Bir al-Saba'a (Beersheba) was used as a detention centre and subsequently as a court before it was abandoned.

    The Afula Mosque was converted into a synagogue and Al-Qaysayrieh Mosque became a restaurant.

    None of these acts will give legitimacy to the claims of the Zionist Occupation. The presence of the Palestinian population in Hebron and Jerusalem represent the greatest obstacle to the process of annexation and Judaisation.

    This latest outrage could well signal the beginning of a new phase in the conflict - one that has the potential to resonate well beyond Palestine.

    Daud Abdullah is the director of the Middle East Monitor- an independent media research institution founded in the United Kingdom to foster a fair and accurate coverage in the Western media of Middle Eastern issues and in particular the Palestine Question.
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  11. Ghareeb_Da_Baal
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    Ghareeb_Da_Baal SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
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  12. DESERT FIGHTER
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    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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    waste of space even to abuse these monkeys
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  13. AZADPAKISTAN2009
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    Nice to see people can look beyond the superficial layer of what media says and people are doing something to help fellow human being ... :pakistan::yahoo:
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    You wont find that solomon in such threads.
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    Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth. (Quran 7:159)

    Verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians - all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. (Quran 2:62)

    Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. (Quran 3:113-114)

    And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account. (Quran 3:199)
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