Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “Palestine”

One of the reasons that I am concerned about the Israel-Palestine conflict is that one of the effects of it is to drive Christians out of the part of the world where Christianity started. But like other conflicts it illustrates the poison of competing nationalisms. There are also parallels with the disintegration of Yugoslavia — also the result of competing nationalisms, which were fanned by bigger nations, as predicted by Samuel Huntington.

Clarissa's Blog

A nuclear power is waging an endless war on a tiny area that wants to gain its freedom from the big and powerful neighbor. There is a forced and cruel displacement of people from the lands they have inhabited forever, a genocide. The nuclear power is using anti-Muslim sentiments to consolidate the persecution of the people who fight for independence. The inhabitants of the small area are using terrorism to defend their right to independence, bringing their acts of terror into the very heart of the powerful conqueror. The appalling poverty plagues the people who have almost lost all hope for having a state of their own. The land has been destroyed by endless war.

Of course, you must have realized by now that I’m talking about Russia and Chechnya, right?

As the recent flare-up of the conflict between Israel and Palestine intensifies, everybody is plastering their Facebook pages, blogs…

View original post 143 more words

USA dumps Unesco

Yesterday, 107 member nations in UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, voted to admit Palestine as a member. UNESCO protects world heritage sites and leads global efforts to bring clean water to the poor. They even manage a tsunami early-warning system in the Pacific.

The U.S. was one of just 14 countries that voted “no” to Palestinian admission.

But within hours of the vote, the Obama Administration announced it would stop paying its $80 million in total yearly dues to UNESCO, which amounts to over 20 percent of UNESCO’s total budget. Why? Because the vote triggered decades-old U.S. legislation that requires that the U.S. stop paying any UN body that accepts Palestine as a member—even though official U.S. policy is to support a Palestinian state.

That has to change.

You see, the Israeli government and its right-wing supporters in the United States don’t even want a symbolic recognition of the Palestinian’s right to self-determination or participation on the world stage. That’s what the law is really about. The Israelis have already announced that they are expediting the construction of even more settlements and withholding life-sustaining tax monies that belong to the Palestinian Authority as punishment for the vote.

The U.S. is endangering its status at the UN and impoverishing critical global program needs simply because Palestinian admission to UNESCO angered Israel.

Please write your U.S. representatives now. Tell them to waive the portion of the law that bars the president from making funding decisions based on the national interest, and to work towards repeal of the law.


If you live outside of the United States, send a message to the Obama administration that this policy is harmful for the whole world.

Don’t let this go unanswered,

Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director
Jewish Voice for Peace


from A Jewish Voice for Peace

Commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall

Of all the activities to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago, this one seems the most appropriate.

Palestinians tear down chunk of wall – Yahoo! News:

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) – Palestinians tore down a chunk of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier on Monday in a protest staged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down.

A truck was used to pull down the wall section to the cheers of an estimated 150 Palestinian activists and foreign supporters near the Qalandia refugee camp just outside Ramallah.

Israeli troops used teargas and stun grenades in a brief clash with stone-throwing Palestinians who then dispersed.

‘Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and marks the first day of a week of resistance to the apartheid wall in Palestine and around the globe,’ the Stop the Wall campaign said in a statement.

And if all the speeches abouty what a good thing it was that the old one fell were applied to the new on that has arisen in the mean time, they might be less of a waste of breath.

Gaza clash of civilizations gets most media coverage

Though its originator died last year, the media coverage given to the Gaza conflict shows that the “clash of civilizations” thesis put forward by Professor Samuel Huntington is still valid.

The Guardian reported Ugandan rebels kill scores of civilians in Congo and Sudan:

Between last Friday and Sunday, rebel fighters killed 13 people in attacks on three villages in north-east Congo. A spokesman for the Congolese army said tracking the rebels, who are renowned for their bush skills, was difficult due to the lack of roads in the area. The worst attack occurred at Nagero, the headquarters of Garamba national park, where the LRA leader, Joseph Kony, was believed to be hiding. Among the eight victims were two park rangers and the wives of two wardens.

Kony, a self-proclaimed mystic, began his rebellion in northern Uganda against President Yoweri Museveni in the late 1980s, but soon turned on the local population. More than 20,000 people, mostly children, were kidnapped, becoming sex slaves, porters or fighters. At least 10,000 people died, while 1.6 million were forced into displacement camps.

But by far the greater media coverage is given to the intercivilizational conflict in Gaza, whereas the one in central Africa is intracivilizational, and therefore attracts less media attention.

Where there is a local conflict that does not involve different civilisations, there is less interest and participation by other countries – in Rwanda or the Congo, for example. Though other countries have become involved either in supporting one side or the other in the conflict or in trying to bring about peace between the belligerent parties, these are usually neighbouring countries from the same civilisation.

Huntington likened the different civilizations to geological tectonic plates, and predicted that most conflicts, and the most severe ones, would take place on the “fault lines” between civilizations. Gaza is on one of the fault lines, and the north-east Congo is not.

Congo church massacre: witnesses

Though the death toll and the destructiveness has been comparable, the conflict going on on the borders of Uganda, Sudan and the DRC has had far less media coverage than the comparable conflict of Israel and Gaza. This tends to confirm the “clash of civilizations thesis of Harvard professor Samuel Huntington, who died last week.

The Times – Congo church massacre: witnesses:

Attackers hacked to death scores of people who sought refuge at a Catholic church in remote eastern Congo the day after Christmas, officials and witnesses said on Monday, and the Ugandan army and a rebel group accused each other of carrying out the massacre.

Survivors and witnesses said the killings occurred close to Congo’s border with Sudan, near to where the armies of those two countries and Uganda began an offensive this month to root out the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, according to Ugandan army spokesman Capt. Chris Magezi.

A UN spokesman, Ivo Brandau, said 120 homes were set ablaze in the area and that thousands of people have fled for fear of further attacks.

The latest massacre is part of an upsurge of violence that has lasted a week. The Times – LRA rebels rampage in Congo:

Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebels killed almost 200 people in a campaign in northeast Congo, a UN agency said in a report released Monday.

Since December 25, the rebels have killed 40 people in the Faradje district, 89 around Doruma and 60 in the Gurba area alone, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Professor Huntington argued that in the post-cold-war world, violent conflict would come not from ideological friction between nations, but from cultural and religious differences among the world’s major civilizations.

He identified those civilizations as Western (including the United States and Europe), Latin American, Islamic, African, Orthodox (with Russia as a core state), Hindu, Japanese, “Sinic” (including China, Korea and Vietnam) and Jewish.

While not every conflict since the Cold War ended in the early 1990s has been a conflict between civilisations, it is the inter-civilisational clashes that get the most media coverage. The Lord’s Resistance Army represents a conflict within the African civilisation, even though it crosses national borders. It therefore draws less media coverage than the Israel-Palestine one in Gaza, even though the number of deaths is roughly the same.

Hamas condemns the Holocaust

This article is unlikely to get much coverage in the Western media.

We are not engaged in a religious conflict with Jews; this is a political struggle to free ourselves from occupation and oppression

But it should be made clear that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian government in Gaza denies the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. We condemn it as we condemn every abuse of humanity and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender or nationality.

And at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection they have been waging against us

blog it

Hat-tip to The Western Confucian.

The Gaza bombshell

The hypocrisy of the USA is astounding. It recognises the “independence” of Kosovo led by the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army), yet encourages boycotts of Hamas-led Gaza. It complains about genocide in Darfur, yet stands idly by while Israel rains cluster bombs on the children of Lebanon.

clipped from www.vanityfair.com

After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.

The United States has been involved in the affairs of the Palestinian territories since the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel captured Gaza from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan. With the 1993 Oslo accords, the territories acquired limited autonomy, under a president, who has executive powers, and an elected parliament. Israel retains a large military presence in the West Bank, but it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

blog it

In the mean time

Earlier this week, American peace group Jewish Voice for Peace expressed outrage at the terrible loss of life in the latest escalation of violence in the Middle East in Gaza and Sderot. We also called for an immediate joint ceasefire, and an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has barred food, medical supplies and fuel from an already desperately poor and malnourished 1.5 million Palestinians.

Today, we mourn the loss of 8 students at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Jewish Voice for Peace believes the loss of just one person is one life too many. There is no difference in the immeasurable heartache felt by the parents of dozens of children killed in Gaza last week, or the parents of the 8 students killed yesterday in Jerusalem. All killings must stop.

British double standards on WMD and terrorists

The British government uses double standards over weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and also over which “terrorist” governments it recognises and fails to recognise.

How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret | Politics | The Guardian:

The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian.

The document reveals how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN’s authority on weapons of mass destruction.

The dossier was made public this week, but the FCO succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The removal of a negative reference to Israel from a draft of the discredited Iraq weapons dossier released this week illustrated the double standards which contribute to Palestinian anger and violence, a Labour MP said today.

Richard Burden, chair of the British-Palestine all-party parliamentary group, was responding to the revelation in today’s Guardian that a comment on Israel flouting United Nations resolutions was removed from the “Williams draft” after the Foreign Office appealed to the information tribunal, which had ordered the document’s publication.

But the Birmingham Northfield MP insisted the international community should “not be afraid” of saying that “Israel has been developing weapons of mass destruction for some years”.

Burden compared the government’s reluctance to offend Israel to the reaction after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006. He said that after the Islamist group called a truce the response was “to ignore that and refer to them as terrorists”.

blog it

As Burden points out, the recent revelations about British double standards on the question of WMD in the Middle East also highlight other double standards as well — denouncing Hamas as “terrorists”, but recognising the UDI by the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army), which is just as much a terrorist organisation as Hamas.

Post Navigation