Pretoria, South Africa: Workers and students protest the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama, June 28, 2013. One said he viewed Obama as a “disappointment” and thought Nelson Mandela would too.
Great, great signs!
Calibre 3 shooting range & professional training centre, Gush Etzion, Palestinian West Bank from Israel: In This Land
8 avril 2013
L’article qui suit a suscité une tempête en Israël. Différents groupes réclament des poursuites judiciaires contre elle.
La grammaire intérieure du jet de pierres
Lancer des pierres est un droit et un devoir de naissance pour qui se trouve sous domination étrangère. Lancer des pierres, essentiellement, est une métaphore de la résistance. La poursuite des lanceur de pierres, qui comprend l’arrestation de gamins de huit ans, fait inséparablement partie, même si ce n’est pas toujours écrit, de la description du rôle des représentants de la domination étrangère – non moins que les tirs, les tortures pendant les interrogatoires, la spoliation des terres, les entraves à la liberté de mouvement et même la distribution de l’eau. La violence de soldats âgés de dix-neuf ans, de commandants âgés de quarante-cinq ou de bureaucrates et de juristes, cette violence est réelle. Ils sont enrôlés pour défendre les fruits d’une violence impliquée par le fait même de la domination étrangère – ressources, bénéfices, privilèges, jouissance de la force.
La résistance et le fait de se tenir debout (soumoud) face à la violence physique et surtout institutionnelle : c’est la phrase fondamentale de la grammaire intérieure de la vie palestinienne dans ce pays. Jour après jour, heure après heure, instant après instant. Sans répit, sans trève. Et, malheureusement, non seulement en Cisjordanie (y compris Jérusalem-Est) et dans la bande de Gaza, mais aussi dans les frontières de la souveraineté israélienne (avec quelques différences dans les modes de violence et de résistance). Mais des deux côtés de la Ligne verte s’entassent des couches sédimentaires de suffocation, de souffrance, d’amertume, d’angoisse, de colère et d’interrogation: comment les Israéliens peuvent-ils être aveugles au point de croire que leur violence pourra durer toujours ?
Souvent, lancer des pierres, dans les faits, dérive du désœuvrement, de l’excès d’hormones, de l’imitation, de la bravade, de la concurrence. Mais dans la grammaire intérieure des rapports entre le dominant étranger et le dominé, le lancer de pierre est le prédicat du sujet : Je n’en peux plus de toi, le dominant. Après tout ces jeunes pourraient choisir d’autres manières de dissiper l’excès d’hormones, sans risquer d’être arrêtés, condamnés à de lourdes amendes, voire blessés ou tués.
Même si le droit et le devoir sont de naissance, il faut apprendre à développer les modes de résistance et de la station debout, les règles et les limites (un exemple : la distinction entre citoyen et homme armé, entre enfant et porteur d’uniforme. Un autre exemple : les limites de l’arme et ses échecs dans le passé). Il serait logique que dans les écoles palestiniennes on donne aux élèves des cours élémentaires de résistance : comment réaliser des actions massives de terrain, en zone C ; comment se conduire en cas d’irruption de soldats au domicile privé ; comparer différentes luttes anticoloniales dans différents pays ; comment se servir de caméras vidéo pour documenter la violence des représentants du régime ; méthodes pour fatiguer le système militaire et ses représentants ; journée hebdomadaire de participation au travail sur les terres situées par-delà le mur de séparation ; comment mémoriser les éléments d’identification du soldat qui t’a jeté menotté sur le sol de la jeep pour pouvoir porter plainte par la suite ; quels sont les droits lors d’un interrogatoire et comment les faire reconnaître en temps réel ; comment surmonter la peur devant les enquêteurs ; essais d’actions de masse destinées à faire respecter la liberté de mouvement. À dire vrai, cela ne ferait pas de mal aux adultes de suivre aussi de tels cours, au lieu peut-être des exercices de marche au pas, de dispersion de manifestations et de recherches de posts suspects sur Facebook.
L’engagement des élèves des écoles, il y a deux ans, dans le programme de boycott des produits en provenance des colonies semblait un pas dans la bonne direction. Mais ça s’est arrêté là, sans suite, sans élargir le contexte. Et pourtant des cours comme ceux-là conviendrait comme un gant à la tactique qui a présidé à la démarche auprès de l’ONU. Révolte civile en diplomatie et sur le terrain. Alors pourquoi ces cours sont-ils absents du cursus d’études des enfants palestiniens ? L’opposition prêtée par avance aux Etats donateurs et les représailles de la part d’Israël comptent parmi les moyens de la domination étrangère – et font partie de la Hasbara. Mais il y a aussi l’inertie, la paresse, l’intérêt personnel de certaines couches sociales, des calculs erronés, une mauvaise compréhension de la situation. Le système de raisonnement de l’Autorité palestinienne a créé depuis presque vingt ans un principe fondamental – l’adaptation à ce qui existe. Et c’est ainsi qu’est née la contradiction, le conflit entre la grammaire intérieure de l’Autorité palestinienne et celle de son peuple.
Traduit de l’hébreu par Joëlle Marelli
 L’auteure se réfère implicitement aux villages de tentes récemment construits par des Palestiniens sur des terres confisquées par les autorités israéliennes, actions collectives qu’elle compare à des actions similaires effectuées par des groupes juifs sionistes à l’époque du Mandat britannique.
[In English: The inner syntax of Palestinian stone-throwing | Haaretz (the full text of the article is available to subscribers and registered users only)]
March 18, 2013
Roger Waters is the most famous rock star to have publicly supported the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
A founder of Pink Floyd — a British rock group which has sold more than 250 million albums — Waters decided to become active in the international Palestinian solidarity movement following a trip to the West Bank in 2006. Shocked by the oppression that he witnessed, Waters spray-painted the words “we don’t need no thought control” — a line from one of his biggest hits — on Israel’s wall.
More recently, Waters has served as a juror on the Russell Tribunal for Palestine, an initiative aimed at drawing attention to how Western governments and companies aid Israel’s violations of international law. In that capacity, he addressed the United Nations during November last year.
Visiting Brussels for the tribunal’s final session, Waters said he would explore the idea of releasing a single urging musicians not to perform in Israel. He intends to discuss this project with Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who assembled many well-known musicians to record Sun City, a protest song against apartheid in South Africa during the 1980s.
Waters spoke to The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin.
David Cronin: Do you think the campaign for a cultural boycott of Israel is having an impact?
Roger Waters: I’d like to think that it was.
My experience when I speak to people to and say “don’t go” is either they reply “that sounds good” or they say “don’t you think it’s better to go there?”
Well, no, I fucking don’t.
I think that the kind of boycott that was implemented against the apartheid regime in South Africa back in the day is probably the most effective way to go because the situation is that the Israeli government runs an apartheid regime in Israel, the occupied territories and everywhere else it decides. Let us not forget that they laid waste to most of Lebanon around the time I started getting involved in this issue. They destroyed airports, hospitals, any public buildings they could.
They are running riot and it seems unlikely that running over there and playing the violin will have any lasting effect.
DC: Have you personally asked any fellow musicians to boycott Israel?
RW: Yeah, I have.
DC: Would you prepared to say who those musicians were?
RW: No, I wouldn’t be. It was entirely private between me and them.
All I would say is that part of my involvement here in the Russell Tribunal today and tomorrow is that I am about to publish an open letter written to all my colleagues in the music industry, asking them to join me in the BDS movement. This is not just to colleagues in the UK or US but around the world.
What caused me to write this public letter was an affair where Stevie Wonder was hired to play a gala dinner for the Israeli Defense Forces on 6 December last year. I wrote a letter to him saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. It wouldn’t be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a UN ambassador for peace. It wasn’t just me. Desmond Tutu also wrote a letter.
To his eternal credit, Stevie Wonder called them [the gala’s organizers] up and said “I didn’t quite get it” [and canceled the performance]. This happened one week after I made a speech to the UN. Neither of these events were reported anywhere in the mainstream media in the United States of America.
Both events were almost as important as [TV personality] Kim Kardashian’s bra size. The way they are not being reported means the media must be under instructions from somewhere not to report these things to the American public, on what grounds I cannot guess.
DC: How do you feel about the support for Israel offered by David Cameron’s government in your native Britain?
RW: Cameron has absolutely adopted Tony Blair’s wolf’s clothing that he [Blair] adopted so eagerly and happily when he went to war in Iraq on George Bush’s coat-tails.
Cameron is entirely content for Great Britain to be a satellite nation of the US. None of us can quite understand why.
There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The EU’s diplomatic emissaries [in the West Bank] joined together [recently]. They protested the settlements and asked for sanctions. This is almost unprecedented. But the governments of these emissaries have done nothing and continue to do nothing.
I have been very disillusioned with UK foreign policy really since [Harold] Wilson [a Labor Party prime minister during the 1960s and 1970s]. It was such a political turnabout from [Labor leaders] Keir Hardie and [Clement] Attlee and the principles of British socialism. It was a precursor for taking over the country with the appalling monetarist strategies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. I’m quite ashamed of the way we have behaved. The UK has been royally fucking the world over for centuries — not least you bog Irish.
DC: One of your fellow jurors on the Russell Tribunal, Stéphane Hessel, died recently. Did you know him well?
RW: I knew him very little. What a brave, eloquent, good-hearted, brilliant man.
DC: As a musician, have you had a chance to check out the vibrant Palestinian hip-hop scene?
RW: I haven’t. But if it thrives, I can’t find anything negative about that, so long as it’s not about bling and booty and wearing a baseball cap sideways. So long as it’s about protest and realism, rather than the flight from realism that hip-hop is in the US.
DC: In your speech to the UN, you paid tribute to Rachel Corrie. Is there anything you would like to say about Rachel Corrie, given that it’s the tenth anniversary of her murder?
RW: Her parents attended the [Russell Tribunal] session in New York [last year]. It was very moving.
DC: Do you support the hunger strikes being undertaken by a number of Palestinian prisoners?
RW: The thing about political prisoners is: it doesn’t matter if you are in the Maze [in Northern Ireland] or in a prison somewhere in Israel, your options are very limited. Hunger strikes or dirty protests are some of the very few options to bring attention to your specific predicament.
I respect the brave men and women who go to those lengths. As we know, hunger-striking is not like going on a diet. It is real, dangerous and painful. You don’t do it without compelling reasons.
David Cronin is a contributing editor with The Electronic Intifada. His book Europe’s Alliance With Israel: Aiding the Occupation is published by Pluto Press.
Copyright © 2013 ElectronicIntifada.net.
[Photo: Roger Waters, British rock legend and co-founder of the group Pink Floyd, visits Israel’s wall surrounding the West Bank town of Bethlehem, 21 June 2006. (© MaanImages/Magnus Johansson)]
"GET THE HELL OUT OF OUR LAND…"
A group of Palestinian men, waving the Palestinian flag and holding up posters, protest against the closer of the main south-west entrance to Hebron, as Israeli soldiers look on, West Bank, 08 March 2013. The entrance was closed by Israeli troops due to its proximity to the Jewish settlement Beit Hagay. (© EPA, via Operation Palestine)
March 6, 2013
Last Tuesday, a Cairo court ruled that the “government must destroy all tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip due to alleged security risks. President Mohamed Mursi’s national security adviser Essam Haddad said, Egypt would “not tolerate the two-way flow of smuggled arms through the tunnels that is destabilizing its Sinai peninsula.” Wael Hamdy, the “leftist” lawyer who brought the case said “I filed the case because I was worried about the state of national security in my country after the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power and its unclear policies and links with Hamas.”1
Hearing these sentiments reminded me of a common trend by Egypt’s so called “leftists” that repeat government propaganda and assigning misplaced blame (to the easiest scapegoat) on Palestinians in Gaza as the cause of some of their most serious problems. The most recent attempt to blow up tunnels as a way to deal with Sinai’s security issues strikes me as placing a band-aid on a bubbling volcano.
Even a shallow reflection of the causes of the volcanic eruptions spilled onto the Earth’s surface reveals deep contradictions in this logic. Firstly, nearly every family in the Sinai is heavily armed with an Ak-47, Katusha rocket, and/or RPG, including the Bedouin who are highly discriminated against by, and resentful of the Egyptian government as well as ‘Jihadists’ that have taken refuge there and were heavily armed by the West, during the NATO invasion of Libya – (and which is well documented that they entered the Sinai, through Sudan and Libya)
To better understand the situation in Gaza as it relates to the tunnels, the Rafah border and security in the Sinai/Egypt, we must first recognize that Hamas was democratically elected, and came to power in 2007. Yet Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip has been a policy since 1994-long before Israel and the US severely intensified the siege. The current intensification which began in 2007 was in direct response to, and solely designed to collectively punish Gazans for voting in a way that was unfavorable to Western/Israeli ‘democracy’. Since then, Gaza has been completely sealed off from the rest of the world – caged in, locked out – by land, by air and by sea.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights describes the US/Israeli closure “as a form of collective punishment by the Israeli authorities. The current closure regime violates numerous principles of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”
So when Egyptians speak of security, it must be clear that only cause for concern is Egyptian security – since thousands of Palestinians have been indiscriminately massacred by Israeli attacks, while trapped inside Gaza with no escape, due to Egypt’s role in the imposed siege, making the Egyptian government, directly complicit in their deaths. In which case, it’s well worth noting that an estimated 60% of residents in Rafah and Al-Arish on the Egyptian side are Palestinian and most have families on both sides of the border; so there is quite literally no difference between the people.
In essence, what this lawsuit does is officially close the only remaining lifeline for Palestinians, denying them of their most basic human needs which quite literally has Gazans, sleeping in the rubble of their homes, and will strangle the entire strip – and accelerate the somewhat slow paced genocide, far more dramatically.
Also, it must be stated that by upholding the closure Egyptians are complicit and equally responsible in aiding and abetting the zionist aims of starving, depriving and punishing the people of Gaza for the sin of participating in democracy, while being Palestinian.
It seems that most Egyptians are somehow deluded into thinking the siege will make them more safe, secure, strong or free! Many of the same Egyptians would concede it would be better if the border was open and operating freely, as it would ensure the authorities to oversee the flow of goods – which would solve all of the above stated problems – not to mention add millions in tax revenue for the Egyptian people.
Most importantly, since Mursi became president and after “retiring” Tantawi and Anan – these so called “leftists” seem to have completely disregarded the most significant player in Egyptian politics: the Egyptian military industrial complex – which controls up to 40% of the economy and has a long, deep, direct relationship with the military industrial complex. It seems to fine with them that the ‘security’ of the Egyptian revolution is completely compromised to US business interests, along with their Saudi/Qatari alliance + IMF/U.S. banks which are guaranteed to LOCK the status quo; and will never make Egypt strong or free!
In fact that Camp David actually LIMITS the number of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which must be approved by Israel before increasing troop levels, or heightening security – which is a security recipe for disaster–and is yet another huge cause of past and future eruptions, just waiting to happen.
That’s why to use “security” as a basis of the claim to destroy tunnels, brings up the deep contradiction which is not only NOT based on proof, or logic – completely undermines the stated goal of ‘security’, and disregards the logical solution altogether.
The problems in the Sinai are like the lava that’s created deep within the Earth-which begin to rise, when they’re ignored. When these gas bubbles build up pressure over time and reach the surface, the high pressure inside will cause them to burst explosively on reaching the atmosphere. The situation in the Sinai are waiting to erupt – which will inevitably cause an explosive situation and one that we have not yet begun to see, in terms of ‘security’ if not properly addressed. This is the time to look deep within, to understand and analyze the depths of the magma (a mixture of liquid rock, crystals, and dissolved gas expelled onto the Earth’s surface).
Egypt-Gaza tunnels must be destroyed: Cairo court, CAIRO | Feb 26, 2013 2:07pm EST http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/26/us-palestinians-tunnels-egypt-idUSBRE91P0UV20130226
Photo circulated over the weekend shows Border Police officer shaking hands with masked settlers who proceeded to harass Palestinians who just moments before had been denied access to their land; Border Police: Officers were trying to stop the settlers.
By Amira Hass
March 3, 2013
A Border Police officer was caught on camera this weekend near a West Bank village shaking hands with a masked Israeli settler, and then reportedly stood by while that man and his friends proceeded to harass a group of Palestinian cattle herders.
The incident occurred after the officer and his comrades from the Border Police and the Israel Defense Forces barred the same Palestinian shepherds from herding their cattle on land belonging to their village Umm al-Amad, near Beit Amra.
The group of Israelis – which included two masked men – arrived on foot from the settlement of Otniel shortly after the Palestinians were denied entry to the fields.
Rather than blocking the Israelis’ access to the land, as they had the Palestinians, one of the officers shook the hand of one of the masked men and then let the whole group cross the fields undisturbed.
The soldiers and cops then stood by as the settlers threatened the young shepherds and approached the adjacent Palestinian homes, according to witnesses belonging to the Arab-Jewish Taayush activist group.
Sources in Umm al Amad say that Israeli security forces and settlers regularly block the cattle-herders’ access to the land.
The Border Police denied allowing the settlers to harass the Palestinians, saying the photo in questions was taken as the cops were asking the masked individuals to leave/ shortly before – and before the settlers began throwing rocks at the Israeli forces.
"Border Police officers seek to enforce law and order in a manner that treats all sides equally," a spokesperson for the Border Police said, adding that the officers prefer to settle issues that come up via peaceful dialogue whenever possible.
"Such dialogue, which incorporates both sides without bias, should not be seen as an attempt to take sides," the spokesperson said.
Copyright © 2013 Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd.
[Photo: Border Police officer shakes hand with masked settler. (© Guy, Taayush)]
I turn with admiration to the masses of our heroic Palestinian people, to our Palestinian leadership, to all forces, parties and national institutions. I salute them for standing by our fight to defend our right to freedom and dignity.
I draw my strength from my people, from all the free people in the world, from friends and the families of the prisoners who continue day and night chanting for freedom and an end to the occupation.
My health has deteriorated dramatically and I’m hung between life and death. My weak body is collapsing but still able to be patient and continue the confrontation. My message is that I will continue until the end, until the last drop of water in my body, until martyrdom. Martyrdom is an honor for me in this battle. My martyrdom is my remaining bomb in the confrontation with the tyrants and the jailers, in the face of the racist policy of the occupation that humiliates our people and exercises against us all means of oppression and repression.
I say to my people: I’m stronger than the occupation army and its racist laws. I, Samer al-Issawi, son of Jerusalem, send you my last will that, in case I fell as a martyr, you will carry my soul as a cry for all the prisoners, man and women, cry for freedom, emancipation and salvation from the nightmare of prisons and their harsh darkness.
My battle is not only for individual freedom. The battle waged by me and by my heroic colleagues, Tariq, Ayman and Ja’affar, is everyone’s battle, the battle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and its prisons. Our goal is to be free and sovereign in our liberated state and in our blessed Jerusalem.
The weak and strained beats of my heart derive their steadfastness from you, the great people. My eyes, which started to lose their sight, draws light from your solidarity and your support of me. My weak voice takes its strength from your voice that is louder than the warden’s voice and higher than the walls.
I’m one of your sons, among thousands of your sons who are prisoners, still languishing steadfasting in the prisons, waiting for an end to be brought to their plight, their pains and the suffering of their families.
The doctors told me I became exposed to stroke because of the disorder of my heartbeats, the shortage of sugar and the drop in blood pressure. My body is full of cold and I can’t sleep because of the continued pain. But despite the extreme fatigue and chronic headaches, as I move on my chair, I’m trying to summon all my resources to continue on the road till its end. There is no going back, only in my victory, because I’m the owner of Right and my detention is invalid and illegal.
Do not be afraid for my heart if it will stop, don’t be afraid for my hands if they will be paralyzed. I am still alive now and tomorrow and after death, because Jerusalem is moving in my blood, in my devotion and my faith.
— Samer Al-Issawi