A thousand mirrors: Nakbas near home-their homeland, our homeland #Sundayreading

Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 5:00 IST | Agency: DNA

This 15th May, the Nakba was remembered in many parts of the world. It is the Palestinian day of catastrophe. Palestinians fled their lands in the wake of the 1948 war — never to be able to return.

They hold on to keys, real and symbolic, asserting their right to return to their lands, adding flesh to ‘the struggle of memory against forgetting’. Palestine has become a codeword for injustice to a people who had to flee their homes unwillingly. Most leading university campuses in the West have some form of Palestine solidarity activism.

The present author was denied a competitive position due to his involvement with such initiatives at one point. Palestine spills over to general activism against militarism and occupation. Activist forces, however marginal and removed from the Middle East, support Palestine. The Nakba was a time when millions were frantically trying to prevent knots from untying — ancient knots out of which selfhoods emerged and thrived. Leaving behind the land of ancestors is something subcontinentals know too well.

Once, I was chatting with a friend who is very passionate about Palestinian rights, their denied statehood and most importantly, their right to return to their ancestral homes in Palestine from their diasporic homes, including many in refugee colonies.  He is a Bengali baidya, born and raised in the CR Park locality of New Delhi. The discussion turned to ancestral origins and he revealed his family was from Dhaka. I asked him, so what about your right to return? He looked perplexed. I said, I am guessing your East Bengali family, like most others, did not flee Dhaka voluntarily.

Like Palestinians, their ancestral abode, even if razed or occupied, is as sacred to them. The Rs 20,000 per square foot property value of CR Park almost hid the earlier name of this ‘posh’ locality — East Pakistan Displaced Persons (EPDP) Colony. Most ‘EPDP’ colonies are not ‘posh’ — especially those inhabited by people from backward castes. Such colonies, authorised and unauthorised, have been the site of state repression, including large-scale massacres, as in Marichjhhapi in 1979. My friend answered ‘that is different’. Yes, there are differences from Palestine, but what prevents anyone from seeing the similarities?

Palestinians are not the world’s largest or longest displaced people. What determines its pre-eminent position in the ‘global’ mindscape? Imperialism, that unfashionable word, also determines the pecking order of resistances and solidarity causes, inside our heads. If the child of Bengali refugees cared only about Bengal and nothing about Palestine, that would be termed ‘insular’ and ‘inward’ looking. Our sensibilities are skewed indeed.

People who question such fundamental things as the nation-states in the subcontinent do not call for the right to return of Muslims who fled Ambala and Kolkata, or Hindus who fled East Bengal. What do these blind spots reveal? What is so natural about the displacement from Ambala to Multan that it merits no call for justice and the ‘right to return’? When did the national constitution become an excuse to suspend humanity, especially with regards to homestead connections that predate all sub-continental constitutions?

It is harder to confront one’s immediate surround. We know them — the university rebel who is a docile son at home, the fire-eating caste-hating savarna who predictably marries a savarna, etc. Distant ‘cause’-mongering helps preserve the semblance of an ethical pedestalled self, and hides disturbing mismatches between rhetoric and action.

Why not have this and that — a cafeteria choice of causes.  Because not all causes stand a crucial test: does it hit home? Is one directly affected by the consequences of one’s actions in the furtherance of a cause? It matters.

The writer is a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Crocodile tears on the West Bank #Palestine


Expressions of solidarity for the Palestinian people have little meaning unless they become a powerful collective voice that can build pressure on Israel

The day U.S. President Barack Obama came to Ramallah, I was supposed to go to Haifa. The plan was to see one bit of ’48 — the Palestine that Israel took over during the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948. But the roads closed in Ramallah and Jerusalem; the checkpoints were on high alert; my visit to Haifa was cancelled.

I walked around Ramallah, uphill, downhill. The police whizzed past in trucks and vans; several protests were to be held. I saw one of these. Many of the banners bore a prominent key: the key to return, the right of the Palestinian people to return home.

As the day wore on, Obama and Palestinian President Abbas stood stiffly next to each other on television screens. Unlike the official images of the day before in Israel, the Ramallah meeting showed the leaders cold and unsmiling. What they said officially, said little about the misery and hope of real people. Perhaps, leaders get used to talking about the people they speak for in people-less terms. But the Palestinians were not missing. Despite the official cacophony of speeches, the barricaded and gun-toting security, I had no trouble seeing the people who become phantoms in official meetings. I had already seen them in stubborn flesh and blood in the days leading up to Obama’s visit. I had been to Jerusalem, Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron, and several villages on the road between Ramallah and Nablus, and the road between Bethlehem and Hebron. I had seen what people wrote and drew on the illegal wall Israel has built through their land and lives. I had heard what those I met had to say.

Apartheid wall

Obama, like all tourists and pilgrims, went to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a church beautiful because it is simple. But the beauty that spoke to me was elsewhere — in, for instance, the brave hope of the key of return I saw everywhere in the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. (The giant key above the rough arch at the camp entrance says on it: Not for sale.)

But before that hope in the future can be stoked, the unfolding present intrudes. One of the inescapable images of the present, in Bethlehem and elsewhere, is the wall Israel has been building despite its being declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. This Separation Barrier, which Palestinians call the Apartheid Wall, snakes its way across, between and around hills, farms, groves, villages, roads and houses throughout the West Bank, separating people from their neighbours, their schools, their hospitals, their shops, their land, their trees, their crop, their wells and springs. The wall is made of concrete. In places it is supplemented by, or growing into a wall from, electrified fencing, deep trenches, roads for patrol vehicles, electronic ground and fence sensors, thermal imaging and video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, sniper towers and razor wire. The wall does not run along the Green Line; it runs through the West Bank, on occupied Palestinian land. The plan is for the wall to be as long as 650 km.

In Bethlehem, the wall blocks the old entrance to the city from Jerusalem. A house I visited used to be across Rachel’s Tomb, a shrine visited by different communities. The house is now walled in on three sides. The house is called Sumud House; sumud means steadfastness.

If a third Intifada is brewing, the wall is one of the faces of the enemy. The wall across the Aida Refugee Camp, which was set up in 1950, has rows of Intifada martyrs painted on it.

Part of the wall is burnt; a watchtower with sniper-windows stands charred, testimony to the anger of people in the camp. The graffiti on this part of the wall sends sharp and eloquent messages, and not just to the Israelis: “No one can talk about the camp better than the people of the camp,” says one. An activist spoke to me ruefully about the numerous delegations that visit the wall, spray-paint words and images of solidarity on it. “We tell them to speak to people first,” he said. But many come with their readymade messages; like other genuine causes, this last bastion of colonialism can also be turned into a solidarity cottage industry.

Najwan Darwish, a poet I was on a literary panel with in Ramallah, read a poem about the bleak situation in Palestine today: “I tried once to sit in one of the vacant seats / but the word reserved was lurking there like a hyena. / I did not sit. / No one did. / The seats of hope are always reserved.” Darwish added, “I hate the word suffering. Suffering makes me think of victims.”

He was also wary of the word solidarity: too many people use solidarity merely as a means of self-expression. But solidarity is important, of course; we have the South African model in relatively recent memory. We also have the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to build international pressure on Israel.

This is the way I unravelled this call to revisit solidarity. Having seen and heard what I did in Palestine, it would be impossible to shy away from solidarity. But my own little solidarity means nothing by itself; it can only mean something if it grows into an Indian solidarity. And Indian solidarity can only mean pressuring our government to end the deepening “strategic” relationship between India and Israel — an alliance that means the purchase of arms from Israel, joint investment and industry ventures, collaborative research and educational programmes, and cultural exchange. Israel the occupier spends a great deal on building Brand Israel that can be sold in countries like ours. Our solidarity with Occupied Palestine is only worthwhile if we make sure India does not contribute to subsidising the Israeli colonial war machine.

(Githa Hariharan is a writer.)


Obama in Occupied Palestine #mustread

MAR 23, 2013


Sign: US leads terrorism (Raad Adayleh)
I am a Palestinian from the Bethlehem area but who also happens to hold a US passport.  The latter does not allow me to enter Jerusalem and the US government will not protect this or other rights I have (including family reunification). Meanwhile, any Jewish American can come and get automatic citizenship and live on stolen Palestinian land in our city. It is hard to describe the level of frustration that I had watching the theater of media frenzy (devoid of any real substance) about Obama’s visit.  Obama gave a new lifeline to war and conflict by avoiding human rights and international law.  It is the missing ingredient that for the past 65 years precluded peaceful resolution. It is the twisted logic that says the insecurity of the thief must be the only thing to be dealt with by ensuring the victims first recognize the legitimacy of the theft and the legitimacy of the need for the thief to first have full security and immunity from accountability for the theft before the victim is put in the room with the armed thief so that they can work out something (vague and without reference to International law). That formula has been shown to be a disaster and has kept Apartheid and colonization going.   Israel has no incentive to allow a Palestinian sovereign state let alone redress the injustice (e.g. refugees, theft of land and resources etc) as long as it continues to get unconditional check from our tax money and guaranteed veto of the US at the UN protecting it from International law.  This plus over $12 billion in profits from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (captive market, natural resources etc.) ensures the occupation continues.  But Israeli and American governments are thinking short term.  Long term, the changing reality (in the Arab world) and demographics in Palestine will ensure change. Obama alluded to this when he told Israelis that no wall will be tall enough and no iron dome will be strong enough and that peace is imperative.  The problem is he failed to follow his own logic and press Israel to change and instead repeated the same failed logic that “bilateral” negotiations between a strong occupier/colonizer and a weak leadership of colonized/occupied people is the way to go.
Below are some of the things that happened during Obama’s short visit.  You be the judge of their value or relevance to bringing peace.
Palestinian and American security coordinate to clean streets of any thing that might allude to Palestinain rights (refugee signs, maps of historic Palestine etc).  They change all manholes in targeted areas spending millions for excessive “security” for the unwanted visitor to Bethlehem and Ramallah. Palestinian security preemptively arrest dozens and suppress peaceful demonstrations succeeding in isolating Obama from seeing Palestinian anger.
Massive traffic jams, and on days of visits an essential siege and curfew on Ramallah area (Thursday) near Al-Muqata and Bethlehem (Friday).  The preparations create significant damage to economy and livelihood of tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Selected choreographed visits by Obama to Hertzl’s and Rabin’s tombs (the former who called for ethnic cleansing, the latter who executed it) but not to Yasser Arafat’s tomb.
American flags placed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) along the streets removed by Palestinian activists. PA security officials suppress demonstrations and prevent activists from getting near Obama. At Ramallah demonstration, PA security dressed in civilian cloths attack demonstrators.
Obama calls on Palestinian officials­­ to resume bilateral negotiations that led to nowhere in the past 20 years, to accept Israel as a “Jewish state”, and not to seek implementation of International law via International bodies like the UN or the International Court of Justice.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the Palestinian mission in Geneva has put out mild drafts that do not take advantage of the strong  findings of the UN Human Rights Council (see item link below).
Obama brokers a deal by pressuring Turkey to accept a tepid Israeli statement of regret for the deaths of Turkish citizens with some compensation for families and restoring Turkish-Israeli strategic relations (presumably including military cooperation). Turkish demands for lifting the siege on Gaza is dropped.
Obama, like his predecessors, identified Hizballah, Syria, and Iran as a dark axis of evil while Israel as a perfect model of democracy and beauty.
Obama in his speeches adopts the Zionist myths that Apartheid Israel is redemptive and that it is the guarantee against another holocaust (it is actually the reverse). Obama fails to mention that this “great and technologically advanced country” is actually built on top of Palestine and by destroying 530 villages and towns and by looting property and patrimony of millions of Palestinians.
Obama will send John Kerry to try and restart the “Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.”
Obama defines what we Palestinians want (supposedly a vague “viable state”) even though for most of us, we want return to our homes and lands and freedom from racism and apartheid.
Obama will give Jordan $200 million to help Syrian Refugees.
Obama reminds the Israelis that his administration developed unprecedented support to the apartheid state of Israel especially in the field of security.
Obama highlighted the Iron Dome system and praised it but now documented data show that they are less than 30% effective as opposed to the government insistence that they had 90% success).
Obama claimed the West Bank is in good shape because of Abbas and Fayyad and compared to Gaza which he claimed is miserable under rejectionist Hamas.
What Obama and his large entourage fail to mention during this supposed “historic visit”: human rights, international law, the tenth anniversary of the murder of US Citizen Rachel Corrie, Palestinian rights and security, justice, land confiscation, apartheid laws, illegality of settlements, US opposition to Palestine joining the UN, applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention, how much taxpayer money is given to Israel, the siege on Gaza, the freedom of movement, the attack on US citizens’ rights by Israel….
While Obama meets Israeli children, Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian Children
Amira Hass writes on Humanitarian hush money: The generous aid given to the Palestinians through various channels is the reward offered by Western states in exchange for the tolerance they show toward Israeli apartheid.http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/humanitarian-hush-money.premium-1.501672
A brave Palestinian confronts Obama asking if he had come here to bring peace or to continue arming Israel for war instead of dealing with the substance Obama claims this “heckler” proves democracyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiPH-olTfuA
Palestinians build another tent village on our lands while Netanyahu and Obama speak about Iran and continue colonial settlement expansion on natve Palestinian lands. Video with message to Obama
Netanyahu: Leaked video shows how he lied to the US and the world
A short documentary on the relevant issues of the peace process (From the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R94Ss8hRqhk
and here is from Jewish Voices for Peace a short course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
A young Jewish American makes a lot more sense than Obama
Goldstone again? Source: rights groups fear Palestinian cave-in at UN could scuttle action on settlements
Mazin Qumsiyeh

India-Palestine Solidarity Takes A Leap Ahead At The Mumbai conference


By Bindu Desai

08 December, 2012

Firstly I must thank my friend Rupa for letting me know about this conference! It was held at the University Club House about 3 kms from my home. I was initially intrigued by the flyer of the ‘India Palestine Solidarity Forum’, which included these quotes:

Mahatma Gandhi (1946) :

But in my opinion, they (the Jews) have erred grievously in seeking to impose themselves on Palestine with the aid of America and Britain and now with the aid of naked terrorism. Why should they depend on American money or British arms for forcing themselves on an unwelcome land? Why should they resort to terrorism to make good their forcible landing in Palestine?

Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar (1949) :

The Zionists are a threat to World Peace

Nelson Mandela ( 1994) :

When the Palestinians are free, our struggle will be complete.

I quickly decided to attend and come December 1, made my way to the meeting hall. Scheduled to open at 10.00 am, I reached a little early. I was surprised to see the gate to the clubhouse building shut and a posse of policemen all around. I went up to the gate and said I was there to attend the conference, a lady signaled to the police to open the gate and I was soon at the meeting hall where only 3 people were sitting. I introduced myself to them. One was a distinguished elderly gentleman Maulana Azhari who was from Malegaon. He nodded vigorously when I mentioned Hemant Karkare’s and Teesta Setalvad’s name. I then went to meet the other 2: former Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat and his wife Niloufer Bhagwat. We started chatting and were puzzled to find only the 4 of us there.

Soon Feroze Mithiborwala, General Secretary of the Forum, joined us and related that he had got a call from the Registrar of the Bombay University, as a letter had been sent to him from the Marine Drive Police station. The Marine Drive police station is in the same vicinity as the Israeli consulate and it appears that there are certain police officers who are beholden to them. The organisers received very good cooperation from the University, but due to the police letter stating that the conference organizers had not been granted the ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) the University would have to withdraw permission. The Registrar made it clear that if the police withdrew the letter, they will let the organizers proceed. Here Husein Dalwai (MP Rajya Sabha) & Additional Commissioner of Police Krishna Prakash supported the organizers. Thus when they finally got the police station to give us the letter, even though the police NOC was not really required. Feroze’s colleagues were awake till 1.30am sorting the NOC matter out. There was also an attempt by a certain rightwing teachers union to book the hall on those very dates, but even that attempt was foiled & dealt with. It seems the Israeli Consulate and their friends had exerted pressure to get the conference cancelled. Amazing how the Israelis monitor any activity that reveals the truth about Palestine.

Chatting with the Bhagwats, I recognized Niloufer’s name from her previous writings. Coming home that evening learnt via the internet that Admiral Bhagwat had protested the promotion of a communal minded officer to his staff and was dismissed by the then Defense Minister George Fernandes. Niloufer Bhagwat has been active for decades in defending the rights of minorities. The Bhagwats are determined and dedicated individuals who take the Constitution of India seriously.

Soon the hall filled. The organizers included Dalit leaders, active among them Kishore Jagtap. Many students from radical Dalit groups attended and the hall was nearly full. Later I read that Feroze and Kishore were detained for a day by the Mumbai police when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Mumbai on July 17, 2009. Apparently this was to prevent Feroze and Kishore from organizing a protest of US policies in Asia and elsewhere.

The curtain opened to reveal a ‘brick wall’ symbolizing the ‘Siege of Gaza’ and a banner that had photos of Indian and International leaders and heroes with Yasser Arafat’s photo in the centre. The conference was originally scheduled for 17th November but had to be delayed as the Government of India (GOI)’s bureaucracy moved slowly. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was very cooperative; the delay was bureaucratic and not political. Delegates from Pakistan & Iran were not granted Conference visas, though all the other Indian embassies cooperated. One Palestinian delegate Hisham Jamjoun was not allowed to leave Occupied Palestine (Israel) and enter Jordan to catch his flight to India & thus he missed the conference. As it happened the delay was fortunate as the weekend of November 17th Bombay was under lockdown (Bandh) due to the death of Mumbai’s right wing Shiv Sena’s ‘supremo’ Bal Thackeray.


Inaugural Session:

Feroze Mithiborwala gave the keynote address. Israel cannot subdue Gaza, he said, and called Israel an apartheid state which should be treated as such & called for the boycott of Apartheid Israel. He also stated that “the Israeli occupation of Palestine, is the central geopolitical crisis of our times & thus its both a moral as well as a political imperative for the Indian & Asian people’s movements to play a decisive role”.

There was a general mood of buoyancy in the audience as the UN resolution upgrading Palestine’s status had recently passed 138 to 9. Feroze rightly remarked that except for the US, Israel, Canada and the Czech Republic the other 5 states included some whose names were insignificant & one did not even know. Rather like Bush’s ‘Coalition of the Willing’ I thought! He declared that the walls that divide us will break one day and that our goal was a free Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. He was happy to hear from the Palestinian Ambassador to India Adli Sadeq that India had co-sponsored the UN resolution and worked hard to lobby for votes. He felt the fight against Zionism was part of a larger struggle against US and Western Imperialism as well as Manuvad (the laws of Manu that serve to justify caste in India). The Palestinian resistance is the vanguard of the global struggle against Imperialism & Zionism & thus the struggle for the liberation of Palestine is a struggle for the liberation of the world. He also stated that the international scenario is changing rapidly & the Western powers are on the decline, as Asia & the other former colonized nations & continents continue to rise.

He lauded the help given by Dalits and Other Backward Castes to help organize this conference at every level. This is also due to the fact that now the Bahujan ideologues have understood the strategic alliance between Manuwad & Zionism, both of which are fascist religio-supremacist ideologies.

Advocate Niloufer Bhagwat was happy that the conference was being held in Mumbai as the city had always been on the side of the Palestinian people who she noted were determined to find new ways to attain their freedom.

Ambassador Adli Sadeq thanked India for its support for the Palestinian cause from the days of Mahatma Gandhi. He praised the Government of India for acting at the UN in concert with the spirit of the Indian people. He pointed out that Israel was guilty of preemptively bombing Gaza. Palestinians were to be assaulted and then blamed too!

Rabbi Weiss (USA) of the Neturei Karta who are religious Jews opposed to Zionism, declared that Judaism had been hijacked by Zionists into a base materialism. The Commandments of the Torah, clearly say not to steal or kill and Israel does both. He called Israel a “rogue state that had resulted in an endless river of blood”. Jews had flourished in every Arab & Muslim country prior to the formation of Israel and that Jews would not be destroyed no matter what happened to Israel. Israel was an impediment to peace, Zionism a racist & supremacist flawed ideology.

Paul Larudee (USA), one of the founders of the movements to end the siege of Gaza, described how Palestine has been home to people from all over the world through the ages. He declared that Jerusalem belongs to all of us. He urged India to be ‘an honest broker’ as the USA clearly could not be one. He was really enthused & buoyant at the fact that the Palestine solidarity movement was now breaking new ground, in a country as crucial as India.

Mr. Abdullah Abdullah of Fatah and the International Relations Commission thanked the GOI for sponsoring the UN General Assembly resolution. President Mahmoud Abbas had delayed this move at the UN till after the US presidential election but when Barack Obama’s stance was unchanged, President Abbas went ahead with the resolution. Most people on this earth supported the Palestinian cause. He pitied those who opposed the UN General Assembly resolution. Mr. Abdullah felt that in a unipolar world the US wanted global hegemony. But he differentiated between the policies of the US government and the people of the US, remembering & paying his tribute to Rachel Corrie who was murdered in Gaza. He felt the solidarity movement had to be rebuilt; Palestinians have to get their house in order and consolidate Palestinian unity.

Former Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat felt that super capitalism was the problem with petrodollars used to buttress Western banks.

Songs and Slogans:

A group of singers led by the famed cultural icon, Sambhaji Bhagat came on stage and sang songs in Marathi & Hindi about social issues. One dealt with the colonization of the mind by the US, no need for troops, or physical occupation of a country. They sang with fervour and the audience erupted with loud and enthusiastic slogans:

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

Palestine Zindabad! (Long Live Palestine!)

One Asia! United Asia!

As the hall reverberated with the force of the many voices that shouted in unison the Palestinian delegates were visibly moved. The slogan ‘Palestine Zindabad’ and ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ was repeated several times.

A little girl with a ‘hammer’ then proceeded to demolish the Apartheid Wall that besieged Gaza & all of Palestine to loud applause.

At lunch I met several remarkable individuals including Advocate Yusuf Muchala who had been very active with the Srikrishna Commission’s investigations of the 1992-93 massacres of Muslims in Bombay engineered by the Shiv Sena.

Session on the Colonization of Palestine

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh from Bir Zeit University said there are two responses to discrimination: fight or flight. The Palestinian people were forced to flee in 1948-49 when Israel destroyed 530 towns and villages. Palestinians have a long history of resistance from 1891 till today with 15 major uprisings. The separation ‘wall’ that Israel has built is 767 kms long; 1.5 million trees have been uprooted. 87 % of the district of Bethlehem has been taken over by Israeli settlements. There is apartheid in the distribution of water, in the building of roads, in employment.

Israel is one of the largest supplier of arms to India. It has a well organised system to infiltrate Indian media and supply it with pro-Israeli stories. Bilateral trade was presently $5 billion and is expected to grow rapidly. Professor Mazin was much influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and reiterated that the conflict in Palestine was not a religious one but a struggle of an oppressed people regardless of religion. He was Christian and prior to the formation of Israel Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together without violence. He maintained that peace in Jerusalem is necessary for peace worldwide.

Dr Haider Dukmak, a Palestinian from Lebanon, spoke that in Al Quds (Jerusalem) the Judaisation had begun with stones and was now proceeding with increasing settlements to Judaisation of people. The area around the Al Aqsa mosque was being modified with tunnels being dug and access to the mosque being made increasingly difficult.

Session on Indo-Israeli ties, a betrayal of our anti-colonial legacy

Dr Tasleem Rehmani felt that the recent policies of the GOI were not so much anti-Palestinian but pro-Israeli as economic interests are paramount in this post 1991 unipolar world. Indian political leadership feels that Israel is helpful to them in this regard and in promoting Indo-US ties. A sea change from the days when Yasser Arafat was warmly welcomed by Indira Gandhi, he called her his sister and she had reciprocated those sentiments by calling him her brother. The present government would respond to public pressure, he gave the example of the statement of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) when Gaza was bombed. The MEA statement was full of pieties about both sides needing to show restraint and about peace talks. 2 days later reacting to public sentiment the Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid criticized Israel’s use of ‘indiscriminate force’ and reiterated India’s support for Palestinian independence with Jerusalem as its capital.

Dr Suresh Khairnar emphasized that the Palestine issue was not an Islamic issue but a human one. He had been to the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria, so different from the areas of the cities that tourists frequented. The people living in these camps had been forced into exile. On Indira Gandhi he said that though he was jailed by her during the Emergency, he admired her stand on Palestine, her support for their cause never wavered. Dr Khairnar pointed out that Ayatollah Khomeini had also been emphatic in stating that the Palestinian issue was not an Islamic issue but a human one.

S S Yadav, a well known economist affirmed that Dalits were with Palestine as they too were suffering like the Palestinians, their land was taken away, and they too were humiliated and discriminated against.

Maulana Azhari a respected cleric from Malegaon, first addressed the guests from Palestine in Arabic. Switching to Hindi he related how India’s policies had been much appreciated in the Arab world. He was in Misr(Egypt) in the late 60s when Dr Zakir Hussain, President of India was warmly welcomed while General Ayub Khan though from a Muslim country, Pakistan, was not. He stressed that it was the policies followed by India that were respected, not the religions of a nation.

The speakers spoke from their heart, in Arabic, English, Hindi and Marathi. Sometimes translations were not provided but I sensed that our Palestinian guests got the gist of what the speaker was saying.

In the last session we had speakers from various political parties, namely Amil Patel (MLA, Congress), Abu Asim Azmi (MLA, Samajwadi Party), Ramdas Athawale (ex-MP & National President, RPI) & Com. Uday Choudhary (CPI). They all stated that India should once again take a clear position in their support for Palestine.

The next day, December 2nd.

The students set the tone for the second day by their enthusiastic slogans:

Palestine Zindabad!

One Asia, United Asia!

Struggle is our slogan! We will win!

Our wealth is our right! No one is handing it to us!

Before the session started Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh presented Jyoti Badekar and Kishore Jagtap with keffiyehs. They in turn took the keffiyehs and placed them on a small set of bricks adorned with the Palestinian flag and a banner of the India Palestine Solidarity Forum.

A short video was shown that conveyed the reality of Gaza. We were asked not to avert our eyes as for change to occur we had to know what happened repeatedly in Gaza. Jets flew in, bombs exploded, mayhem ensued. The plumes of smoke, the people running helter-skelter, then rescuers trying their best to get the wounded to hospital. Heartbreaking to see those jets deliver their ordinance on an unarmed , defenceless populace, their menacing sounds as they flew in, the loud explosion of bombs, the buildings going up in flames Our Palestinian guest stopped the video halfway stating he did not want us to see maimed and horribly injured children…

Session on the History of the Palestinian Resistance:

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh had worn a kurta today. He looked very dapper in it! He began his talk with a Namaste and a few words in Hindi which delighted the audience. He told us he was from Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. He related that the first Zionist settlement was established in Palestine in 1880. The first resistance to it took place in 1881. In 1929 women led by Matiel Moghannam protested against British policies in Palestine. The protest was non-violent. Indeed Professor Mazin said Matiel Moghannam was called the Palestinian Gandhi. A more widespread protest took place in the mid-30s. Armed resistance was used. Prof Mazin said that an oppressed people have the right indeed an obligation to resist including armed resistance.

Displaying a chart which detailed the structure of the Palestine Liberation Organization(PLO) he pointed out that the PLO had many wings including Labour, Women, Child Welfare etc.

He described how in the 1987 Intifada 12 children were taken to a nearby valley where Israeli soldiers broke their arms and legs. They left one child’s leg unbroken so he could walk to the nearest village and get help. “To exist is to resist” he said. All simple acts of day to day life like farming, going to school, as well as arguing with soldiers, climbing the ‘separation wall’, sitting in front of a bulldozer constituted such acts. He told us that an activist who had founded the International Solidarity Movement was not allowed to come to India by Israeli authorities. Professor Mazin, though holding an American passport could not go to Jerusalem while an American Jew could go anywhere in Palestine. He urged us not to get disheartened by the inaction of governments. People change first, governments are the last to change he declared.

Basel Mansour (Palestine) displayed a map of Palestine which showed us how relentlessly Israel had expropriated Palestinian land. He spoke about the wall and settlements which are illegal according to International law. The wall isolates 29 Palestinian areas and takes 13% of the 5600 square kms that form the West Bank. When the wall on the border with Jordan is completed 37% of the land will be stolen as settlements grow.

There are officially 300 Israeli check points in the West Bank. In some areas additional check points are erected every 100 meters and these are not included in the total of 300. A hundred kilometers of roads have been constructed in the West Bank for exclusive use by settlers. The wall cuts villages in half, and destroys the local economy. Non-violent resistance is an imperative as the Israeli military is very strong. He continued” We try to keep them ‘busy’ by creative non-violent resistance. In Bil’in with international support creative acts occur every week with different themes. For instance one week we put mirrors in front of the soldiers so it appeared as though they were carrying our protest signs. We have tied ourselves to olive trees, used as a float a model of the Marmara (the ship on its way to help Gaza which was stormed by the Israeli soldiers resulting in many deaths). We have played tennis using a tear gas canister as a ‘ball’. We have used cyber media. Our protest has been partially successful in that some of the wall around Bil’in has been removed, the land reclaimed. We bring diversity of ideas to our protest. Some Israelis also support us. We use Israeli law though we do not trust their legal system. We use it to show how the system functions. We have been called the new ‘Gandhians’ because of our non-violent resistance. The Israeli military has used many weapons and ways to deter us: nightly raids, burning houses and farms, collective punishment, arresting people including children.”

Maysoum (Palestine) began with leading us in cheering: Palestine Zindabad! Yasser Arafat Zindabad! She spoke about those imprisoned by Israel, at present 4700 individuals; 185 under the age of 18; 470 from Gaza, 534 from the West bank. 200 have spent more than 20 years in prison. Prison thouh functions as a ‘university’ where prisoners learn of the history of the area, the many past struggles, the ideas with which to confront Israel etc. Apartheid exists in prison between Palestinian and Israeli detainees. Hamas and Fatah prisoners are also segregated. Since 1967 800,000 Palestinians have been jailed by Israel. Upon release prisoners are often deported, they cannot visit their families, not many countries want them as they are considered ‘dangerous’. She moved many in the audience to tears when she said she could see in our eyes the love we had for Palestine and she therefore felt that she was in Palestine!

Saeed Yaqin (Palestine) whose village was destroyed by Israel in 1984 said that yesterday he felt he had a home again in India. He was clearly touched by the warmth and affection of the attendees to the conference. He remarked on the ‘order’ in Israel’s ideology, “ to kill our smile, our people, our livelihood”. He warned that all religious sites in Palestine were in a precarious state due to Israeli neglect and their policies. The ‘Bantustans’ in Palestine were worse than in South Africa…

Vida Warde, a Palestinian who lives in Beirut spoke eloquently about the “Right of Return” & said that one day soon, all the millions of Palestinian refugees will march back home & brave the Israeli bullets, but will never give up their struggle & soon one day, Palestine will be free.

There was also ceremony where all the international delegates were feted with well crafted mementoes as a token of our affection & respect. The words inscribed herein stated the following.

“We the people of India hereby honour your commitment & sacrifice for the cause of the liberation of Palestine. This is our common struggle against imperialism, Zionism & all forms of racism, oppression & exploitation. It is only then that we will achieve our common human ideal of a just & peaceful world”.

The house all rightly feted both, Feroze Mithiborwala with the title ‘Ibn-Palestine’ or the ‘Son of Palestine’ & Kishore Jagtap with ‘Bharat Gaurav’ or ‘Pride of India’. The house was up on its feet for both these organizers, who have succeeded in laying the foundations for the Palestinian movement in this generation.

I left the conference deeply impressed by the efforts of the organizers, the large and attentive audience, the passion and sincerity of the speakers. May the bond that Dalits and other oppressed minorities in India feel for the Palestinian people grow from strength to strength as both struggle to create a just society. Their identification with the Palestinian cause should act as a brake on the GOI’s headlong rush for closer ties with the Zionist state.

The degree to which Israel and its allies watch any dissent from their policies is sobering. Looking up Paul Larudee and Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh’s name on Google I was astonished by the vitriol that pro Zionist groups had poured on them. But these efforts to defame brave individuals who are not afraid of opposing unjust laws fail. Though the Mumbai meet was ignored by the English media, its message will spread by other creative means & the message has travelled & wide.

The indomitable spirit of the Palestinian people will prevail! They will succeed in their efforts to be treated as equals with the right to full citizenship, freedom for their land, with Jerusalem as its capital. It is a dream we all share and will work for from Bethlehem to Bombay!


UN makes resounding vote in favour of Palestinian statehood


Overwhelming majority votes to recognise Palestine as non-member state as US and Israel are left to condemn decision

Palestinians celebrate in the West Bank

Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah after the general assembly voted to recognise Palestine as a non-member state. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations general assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to recognise Palestine as a state, in the face of opposition from Israeland the US.

The 193-member assembly voted 138 in favour of the plan, with only nine against and 41 abstentions. The scale of the defeat represented a strong and public repudiation for Israel and the US, who find themselves out of step with the rest of the world.

Thursday’s vote marked a diplomatic breakthrough for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and could help his standing after weeks in which he has been sidelined by Palestinian rivals Hamas in the Gaza conflict.

Abbas, who flew from Ramallah, on the West Bank, to New York to address the general assembly, said: “The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: enough of aggression, settlements and occupation.”

A Palestinian flag was unfurled on the floor of the general assembly after the vote.

Several hundred people turned out in Yasser Arafat square in Ramallah on the West Bank, waving flags and singing along to nationalist music to mark the occasion.

In his address, Abbas noted the symbolism of the date, the 65th anniversary of the UN partitioning what had been British-ruled Palestine into Jewish and Arab countries. In the decades that followed, the idea of an independent Palestine had often been in danger of disappearing but had been “miraculously” kept alive, he said.

The general assembly resolution had finally given legitimacy to Palestine, he said. “The general assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the state of Palestine.”

Israel and the US immediately condemned the resolution. The office of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, described Abbas’s speech as incitement and full of lies about Israel.

Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said: “Because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards.”

The only way to a Palestinian state was through direct negotiations, he said.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, described the vote as “unfortunate and counterproductive”. She said: “Only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve: two states for two people, with a sovereign, viable and independent Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel.”

Thursday’s resolution raises Palestine from being a “non-member observer entity” to a “non-member observer state”. The key is the final word, which confers UN legitimacy on Palestinian statehood and, while it cannot vote at the general assembly, it will enjoy other benefits, such as the chance to join international bodies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).

While important, the resolution is limited, elevating Palestine only to the status of the Vatican, which until Thursday had been the only other non-member observer state. For Palestinians, the idea of an independent state bears little reality on the ground, given the degree of Israeli involvement in the West Bank and Gaza.

The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, speaking after the vote, disputed that the resolution conferred statehood on Palestine. “Today’s grand announcements will soon fade and the Palestinians will wake up to realise that little in their lives has changed,” Rice said. “This resolution does not establish Palestine as a state.”

But the coalition against the vote was thin. Apart from Israel and the US, those voting against were Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.

European countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland all voted yes. Britain and Germany both abstained, with Britain saying Abbas had failed to promise he would resume peace negotiations with Israel.

Some countries, especially in Europe, switched from abstention to support out of a feeling that Abbas needed to be bolstered after eight days of conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians earlier this month. An estimated 158 Palestinians died in Gaza, and six Israelis were killed.

The Israeli and US governments had put pressure on the Palestinians not to press the issue to a vote and threatened significant retaliation –  mainly in the form of punitive financial measures. They have since largely backtracked over the threats, concerned that withdrawal of major funding might undermine Abbas at a time when he is particularly vulnerable.

The prospect of the Palestinians applying to bodies such as the ICC is one of the main reasons for Israeli opposition, fearful that the Palestinians might try to launch a case over Jewish settlements on the West Bank or over military attacks on the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian officials say they have no immediate plans to do so but it remains a new and useful lever for the future.

The Obama administration, in an effort to try to persuade the Palestinians to drop the vote, sent deputy secretary of state Bill Burns to see Abbas on Wednesday. But Abbas turned down his pleas.

The US, Israel and Britain wanted the Palestinians to give explicit pledges they would not seek to join the ICC any time soon and also to resume peace negotiations with the Israelis that were abandoned in 2010 over a settlement expansion.

In Ramallah, hundreds watching on a television in the square cheered enthusiastically for Abbas as he denounced Israel’s most recent assault on Gaza.

When the Israeli ambassador began addressing the UN, the crowd in the square watching on a giant television screen began booing. Prosor’s speech was suddenly cut, and nationalist music fired up.

But the mood of the crowd did not appear to be that of people who thought they were marking a great national moment, or who had hope that the general assembly’s recognition of Palestinian statehood amounted to anything like the birth of a real country.

Palestine’s first women racing team finds freedom behind the wheel #Goodnews #Genderequality



Ramallah: With her bright orange pedicure, Michael Kors handbag and skinny jeans, Maysoon Jayyusi hardly looks like a Palestinian speed racer — until she gets behind the wheel.

The minute she starts up her SUV, she’s off — coursing ahead of the rest of the traffic, weaving among bewildered locals in the crowded streets of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

It’s easy to see why the team she heads — the Middle East’s first female speed racing team — has been dubbed the “Speed Sisters”.

The group of six women, Muslims and Christians from their 20s to mid-30s, have battled sceptical parents, the realities of the Israeli occupation and a sometimes disapproving public to become local stars and even the subject of a documentary.

“We feel we are free when we’re doing this,” teammate Mona Ennab, 26, said. “It’s a way to escape everything around us.”

Jayyusi, 36, said her love of speed was born out of frustrating hours stuck in long lines at Israeli checkpoints.

“I feel such depression at the checkpoints, but this speed makes me feel like I’m powerful, it helps me expel my depression,” she told AFP.

“When the soldier finally lets you past, you feel like you want to fly.”

Jayyusi had to take lessons behind her parents’ backs after graduating with a business degree from Bir Zeit University, saving up her salary to pay for them.

“They didn’t think I needed my licence, and it was expensive,” she said.

But it paid off. In 2010, the skills displayed in her daily commute drew notice and she was approached by the head of the Palestinian Motor Sport and Motorcycle Federation, Khaled Qaddoura.

He offered Jayyusi the chance to participate in a training camp for drivers sponsored by the British Council, along with several other women, all with different levels of experience — and the Speed Sisters were born.

Ennab also started driving without her family’s permission before she was old enough to even take lessons. “I used to steal my sister’s car and drive it around without a licence,” she laughed.

Behind the wheel, she shows no fear, throwing her car around an obstacle course of cones in the parking lot of a West Bank slaughterhouse — the best place available for the team to practise — with what might seem reckless abandon.

Ennab grins cheekily as onlookers gasp at the sound of screeching tyres, watching the rear end of the car swing seemingly out-of-control in a semi-circle as she lets it “drift” around the cones.

— ‘I feel total freedom’ —

For the women, getting behind the wheel is also a way to escape social demands.

“In our culture, there is a lot of pressure to listen to your parents, but when I get in the car, I can do what I want with it,” Jayyusi said. “I feel total freedom.”

Both women at first kept their speedracing secret from their families. Jayyusi’s parents found out thanks to a local newspaper report.

“My mum was like ‘Oh my God, you’re going to die!,” she recalled, adding that her mother is still too afraid to watch her drive — though supports her fully.

Ennab’s family has also come round to their daughter’s need for speed, and her mother is now a fixture at all her competitions across the West Bank.

Betty Saadeh, 31, another team member, faced no such challenge.

A glamorous blonde who drives a sleek Peugeot sportscar thanks to a sponsorship deal with a local branch of the French carmaker, she comes from a family of racers and said her only pressure is competition from relatives.

“My dad is a champion racer in Mexico and my brother is too,” she said. “It’s in my blood — there’s definitely a family rivalry.”

Saadeh was born in Mexico then lived in the United States, but moved back to the West Bank with her family at the age of 13.

“I want to be here, it’s my country. Why not show the world that Palestinian women can do anything?”

For Saadeh, racing isn’t political but she says she’s proud to represent the Palestinian Territories.

“When I compete with the Palestinian flag, it shows what we want, that we want a country, that we deserve a country.”

There is no escaping the fact that Israel’s presence in the West Bank affects the team’s ability to practise and drive.

Their one-time practice spot by the Ofer military prison has become unusable because of the debris — stones, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters — left behind from clashes between protesters and Israeli troops.

And long-distance rally driving in a territory carved up into three administrative areas and dotted with military checkpoints is impossible, Jayyusi said

Undaunted, the women have major ambitions, boosted by a recent trip to the famed Silverstone racetrack in Britain.

“I want to compete internationally at Formula One,” Saadeh said. “My dream is to race at Silverstone as a professional.

The Facts – Crash course genocidal Israel

  1. There is a 130 year long record of religious Jewish opposition against the zionist scheme | Source Neturei Karta
  2. The sole one starting terrorism in the middle east is Israel, King David Bombing  July 1946, before any state of “Israel” was founded at all. | Source
  3. During the King David bombing, zionist terrorist organisations killed 91 people with a single bomb attack. So far the myths who started bombings | Source
  4. Israel committed over 77 massacres during the Nakba | Overview of all massacres
  5. The first massacre of the Nakba in Deir Yassin where zionist terror organisations behaved like nazi’s in WWII | Source | Video
  6. Deir Yassin is just one of the examples how Israel wipes of complete villages off the map of this very earth.  Every red dot on this map represents a vanished Palestinian town |Map
  7. Skipping some massacres, but this footage of Sabra & Shatilla could easily be mixed up for Holocaust footage | Photos | Documentary
  8. Holocaust comparisions do not make me happy, but this footage must be seen and please make up your own mind | Photos Hashoah vs Al-Nakba
  9. And before you jump into conclusions, this footage of Abu Ghraib style “trophy pictures” of Israel’s own soldiers says it all | Photos
  10. The Nakba, intended to ethnic cleanse Palestine for the sake of the greater Israel never ended. | Article by Alan Hart
  11. It goes on even today. In a continuous process of ethnic cleansing | Overview & resources
  12. Most people do not even have the slightest idea of the magnitude of the genocide on Palestine which killed est. 5.1 Million Palestinians since 1948 Research
  13. Genocide is committed in 2 ways: By direct violence or passively: by deprivation |Research by Dr. Gideon Polya
  14. The policies of Israel to deprive people are similar to those which cause the death of 1 in6 million, so 1 million Jewish people who died due to deliberate deprivation by the Nazi’s during world war 2. Yet, Israel is doing the same on Palestine. | More
  15. These deprivation policies are even proven for Israel went to Supreme Court to prevent documents about near starvation from leaking | Source
  16. Every mean possible is deployed by Israel to deprive cause illness and death while it keeps displaying a bodycount cause by direct aims and confirmed hits only. To be very clear: The alleged rockets from gaza have killed 21 Israeli in 11 years | SourceIsraelproject
  17. Israel inciting alleged threats of Gaza is hiding the facts about the myths about the home made flares | The Facts | The Footage
  18. Israel accusing Iran of being a so called nuclear threat was revuked before by the IAEA |Source Febr 2012
  19. Israel itself, is denying any investigation into it’s own nuclear arsenal which it’s possession it has been denying as in forever. While in Vanunu already exposed pictures of the Dimona nuclear weapon plant from 1985 | Footage
  20. Aside from this, US gave Israel, short before the Cast Lead Massacre 1000 GBU-39 bunker busters which it pounded indiscriminately on high dense urban areas of Gaza |Source
  21. In the soil of Gaza, 75 Tons of depleted uranium were found after the assault on Gaza |Report 1 | Report 2 | Report 3
  22. These weapons not only kill on impact, but while Israel folds it hands, kills on passively by causing cancer, increasingly as well | Report
  23. Which fits the zionist plan: “Shoot them, kill them, otherwise give them cancer” | Report
  24. If one gets inflicted by diseases like cancer: Deprive them of medical aid | Overview of facts of death due to deprivation of medical aid
  25. Or Israel kills by denying access to medical aid,  173 children died this way | Report
  26. 35 babies died (still births) before they could be born, because their mother was denied access to medical care, as well as 18.000 women a year develop complications during pregnancy due to restrictions of movement to medical aid facilities | Report, Facts, Resources and Video footage
  27. In a shocking  report of Israeli Physicians for Human Right it shows, that even inside 1948 (which is called Israel nowadays) people of Palestinian origin are severely infringed on their rights to medical assistance, treatments and even denied access. Causing high deathrates, less survival chances if inflicted by a terminal disease and even factor 4 to 5 reducing birthrate caused by racist policies | Report by PHR Israel
  28. Dialysis supplies, which cost about 29 dollar per treatment are prohibited from entering or delayed, causing continuously over 400 lives to be in danger, making the ill hostage of deliberate politics | Facts, Resources, Footage
  29. Cancer and Thallasamia patients neither have medications | Facts & Footage
  30. May 19, 2012:  204 types of medication and 218 types of medical consumables are depleted. 200 others are on their way to depletion. Because the siege on Gaza | Source
  31. While UN is celebrating “Long and healthy Lives” achievements, Israel prevents entry of vaccines, which is an obligation of UNRWA in Gaza for the refugees who also lack action or use of their mandate, putting Gaza’s children at vunerable ages at risks aside those they already are exposed to by all other factors | Facts
  32. Like water pollution: Only 5% of Gaza’s water is fit for human consumption. Supplies for aquifiers are prohibited from entering, causing water born diseases, blue baby syndrome, pollution and environmental damage. | Facts, footage, resources
  33. March 5, 2012 Again dams are flooded deliberately | Report
  34. “Access to safe water is a  fundamental human need and therefore a basic  human right.” ~ Kofi Annan | Website RighttoWater, legal resources, reports, research
  35. Israel steals 85% of Palestine’s water | Facts
  36. Israel if not stealing or destroying poisons water wells, flooding sewage or even directly poisoning orchards deliberately | Report
  37. Israel cuts electricity supplies, fuel, causing a severe crisis and blackouts sometimes over 18 hours a day. Directly targeting all which is functioning on electricity as well like dialysis machines, Intensive care and heart units, nurseries,  and at the moment even endangering the ability to do surgeries | Report by UN
  38. Electricity cuts also prevent aquifiers to work, sewerage and waterpumps, violating human rights but also endangering health | Report by Muftah
  39. May 24, 2012: Even emergency rooms in Gaza now face dangerous situations and shut down | Report
  40. While it slained 1500 people, of which 352 children only during 1 of the many massacre Operation Cast Lead on Gaza in 2008-2009, during 22 days | Photos | Videos | More
  41. With not only “traditional” ammunition launched by tanks, naval vessels, drones, F16′s but also previously mentioned Nuclear as well as chemical weaponry like white phosphorus which is forbidden by law | Report
  42. Israel deploys 24 hours a day drones and has an enhanced remote killing technology  called ” Spot and Shoot ” | Report
  43. With which it commits extra judicial killings in Gaza, turning the open air prison not only into a concentration camp but effectively into an extermination camp as well | Report 1 |Report 2 | Report 3
  44. Over 825 people have been killed this way by drones only,  in the last 5 years in Gaza |Report
  45. Snipers at the Gaza border shoot at over 1 mile range people working on their lands to death. Seems to be more for fun than danger | Report
  46. An example: This is 17yr old mentally disabled Khames, he was shot by snipers 10 times in head and upperbody | Case study
  47. Already in 2004 doctors in Gaza cried out to this world about the shocking rise of deaths by snipers who are merely hunting kids | Report 2004
  48. Not only in Gaza, in the west bank as well: A sniper shoots a 4 year old girl and paralyses her, she died earlier this year of wounds and complications | Report
  49. Or are hunted to death in a chase: An example: A healthy 30 year old worker chased to death | Report
  50. Or wounded, are refused treatment, and dumped by the army aside of a road, where one man died  this way | Report
  51. People are abducted and vanishing for Israel’s organ trade, sometimes corpses returned with missing bodyparts | Report
  52. Hit and Run Attacks. Cars used to kill. Or to disable. Hence even people in wheelchairs are ran over. None of the attackers has been punished for murder . Yet one of the attacks received an award | Overview 
  53. Prisoners are deliberately neglected and refused medical aid. As extermination tool |Report
  54. Israel uses over 105 torture techniques since 1967 resulting in at least 66 documented cases of torture deaths | Report
  55. Israel deliberately wounds and kills unarmed civilians with riot dispersal gear (tear gas, rubber bullets etc) in illegal ways causing death like Mustafa Tamimi | Overview, facts
  56. Israel arms settlers which caused an increase of racist induced settler violence wounded and deaths | Report
  57. Israel inciting so called dangers from Palestinians, it violent every day In the first 3 months of 2012, over 1000 attacks on Palestinians | Overview Jan – Mar 2012
  58. Not only killing inside Palestine, also those who want to visit it. Like the Mavi Marmara Massacre: 9 deaths | Overview, Footage, Facts

This list can go on for ever for in over 60 years, there still has not come an end to this genocide.

Original Article here

BBC censors “Free Palestine” lyric in on-air performance

English: Around 1,000 people attended the demo...

Image via Wikipedia

Saturday, 02.04.2012,

Broadcaster claims that allowing the lyric would have “comprised impartiality”

The word “Palestine” was censored in a freestyle performance aired on the 1xtra network in February last year, during which the BBC production staff covered it up with the sound of broken glass according to a report by TheNewStatesman.com.

The artist Mic Righteous had been performing a song, rapping the lyrics, “I still have the same beliefs

I can scream ‘free Palestine,’ die for my pride still pray for peace, still burn a fed for the brutality they spread over the world.

The BBC Trust attempted to defend its decision in a ruling passed down on Jan. 31, releasing a statement.

“Mic Righteous was expressing a political viewpoint which, if it had been aired in isolation, would have compromised impartiality,” the company said.

The censored version of the song was also reportedly aired in April and drew complaints from audience members who couldn’t believe that such a measure would be taken.

The BBC’s own guidelines allow for “individual expression” for “artists, writers and entertainers”, as long as services “reflect a broad range of the available perspectives over time.”

The network also argued that a late night music show was not the appropriate place to get into political debate as it was not obvious when these other views would be aired.

Amena Saleem, of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said according to the New Statesman: ‘”In its correspondence with us, the BBC said the word Palestine isn’t offensive, but ‘implying that it is not free is the contentious issue’, and this is why the edit was made.”

The UN Security Council calls Israel the “occupying force” in the West Bank and Gaza, however, which means that the occupation is not a statement of opinion. The network hasn’t addressed that fact yet according to reports, which is a key issue.

Nine complaints saying that the BBC demonstrated bias against Palestinians have been ignored by the network as well.

The PSC also pointed out that the BBC didn’t ban the song “Free Nelson Mandela,” the leader against South African apartheid, in 1984 even though Mandela was considered to be a terrorist by Western governments at the time.

According to New Statesman, the BBC Trust said it is not “proportionate or cost-effective” to proceed further with the complaint despite those who point out the highly disproportionate nature of the censorship of the song in the first place.


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