Tuesday, August 29, 2006

London Review of Books (UK)
August 17, 2006 Issue

As soon as the facts of the Bint Jbeil ambush, which ended with relatively high
Israeli casualties (eight soldiers died there), became public, the press and
television in Israel began marginalising any opinion that was critical of the
war. The media also fell back on the kitsch to which Israelis grow accustomed
from childhood: the most menacing army in the region is described here as if it
is David against an Arab Goliath. Yet the Jewish Goliath has sent Lebanon back
20 years, and Israelis themselves even further: we now appear to be a lynch-mob
culture, glued to our televisions, incited by a premier whose ‘leadership’ is
being launched and legitimised with rivers of fire and destruction on both
sides of the border. Mass psychology works best when you can pinpoint an
institution or a phenomenon with which large numbers of people identify.
Israelis identify with the IDF, and even after the deaths of many Lebanese
children in Qana, they think that stopping the war without scoring a definitive
victory would amount to defeat. This logic reveals our national psychosis, and
it derives from our over-identification with Israeli military thinking.

In the melodramatic barrage fired off by the press, the army is assigned the
dual role of hero and victim. And the enemy? In Hebrew broadcasts the
formulations are always the same: on the one hand ‘we’, ‘ours’, ‘us’; on the
other, Nasrallah and Hizbullah. There aren’t, it seems, any Lebanese in this
war. So who is dying under Israeli fire? Hizbullah. And if we ask about the
Lebanese? The answer is always that Israel has no quarrel with Lebanon. It’s
yet another illustration of our unilateralism, the thundering Israeli
battle-cry for years: no matter what happens around us, we have the power and
therefore we can enforce the logic. If only Israelis could see the damage
that’s been done by all these years of unilateral thinking. But we cannot,
because the army – which has always been the core of the state – determines the
shape of our lives and the nature of our memories, and wars like this one erase
everything we thought we knew, creating a new version of history with which we
can only concur. If the army wins, its success becomes part of ‘our heritage’.
Israelis have assimilated the logic and the language of the IDF – and in the
process, they have lost their memories. Is there a better way to understand why
we have never learned from history? We have never been a match for the army,
whose memory – the official Israeli memory – is hammered into place at the
centre of our culture by an intelligentsia in the service of the IDF and the

The IDF is the most powerful institution in Israeli society, and one which we
are discouraged from criticising. Few have studied the dominant role it plays
in the Israeli economy. Even while they are still serving, our generals become
friendly with the US companies that sell arms to Israel; they then retire,
loaded with money, and become corporate executives. The IDF is the biggest
customer for everything and anything in Israel. In addition, our high-tech
industries are staffed by a mixture of military and ex-military who work
closely with the Western military complex. The current war is the first to
become a branding opportunity for one of our largest mobile phone companies,
which is using it to run a huge promotional campaign. Israel’s second biggest
bank, Bank Leumi, used inserts in the three largest newspapers to distribute
bumper stickers saying: ‘Israel is powerful.’ The military and the universities
are intimately linked too, with joint research projects and an array of army

There is no institution in Israel that can approach the army’s ability to
disseminate images and news or to shape a national political class and an
academic elite or to produce memory, history, value, wealth, desire. This is
the way identification becomes entrenched: not through dictatorship or
draconian legislation, but by virtue of the fact that the country’s most
powerful institution gets its hands on every citizen at the age of 18. The
majority of Israelis identify with the army and the army reciprocates by
consolidating our identity, especially when it is – or we are – waging war.

The IDF didn’t play any role in either of the Gulf wars and may not play a part
in Bush’s pending war in Iran, but it is on permanent alert for the real war
that is always just round the corner. Meanwhile, it harasses Palestinians in
the West Bank and Gaza, to very destructive effect. (In July it killed 176
Palestinians, most of them from the same area in Gaza, in a ‘policing’
operation that included the destruction of houses and infrastructure.) They
shoot. They abduct. They use F-16s against refugee camps, tanks against shacks
and huts. For years they have operated in this way against gangs and groups of
armed youths and children, and they call it a war, a ‘just war’, vital for our
existence. The power of the army to produce meanings, values, desire is
perfectly illustrated by its handling of the Palestinians, but it would not be
possible without the support of the left in Israel.

The mainstream left has never seriously tried to oppose the military. The
notion that we had no alternative but to attack Lebanon and that we cannot stop
until we have finished the job: these are army-sponsored truths, decided by the
military and articulated by state intellectuals and commentators. So are most
other descriptions of the war, such as the Tel Aviv academic Yossef Gorni’s
statement in Haaretz, that ‘this is our second war of independence.’ The same
sort of nonsense was written by the same kind of people when the 2000 intifada
began. That was also a war about our right to exist, our ‘second 1948’. These
descriptions would not have stood a chance if Zionist left intellectuals –
solemn purveyors of the ‘morality of war’ – hadn’t endorsed them.

Military thinking has become our only thinking. The wish for superiority has
become the need to have the upper hand in every aspect of relations with our
neighbours. The Arabs must be crippled, socially and economically, and smashed
militarily, and of course they must then appear to us in the degraded state to
which we’ve reduced them. Our usual way of looking at them is borrowed from our
intelligence corps, who ‘translate’ them and interpret them, but cannot
recognise them as human beings. Israelis long ago ceased to be distressed by
images of sobbing women in white scarves, searching for the remains of their
homes in the rubble left by our soldiers. We think of them much as we think of
chickens or cats. We turn away without much trouble and consider the real
issue: the enemy. The Katyusha missiles that have been hitting the north of the
country are launched without ‘discrimination’, and in this sense Hizbullah is
guilty of a war crime, but the recent volleys of Katyushas were a response to
the frenzied assault on Lebanon. To the large majority of Israelis, however,
all the Katyushas prove is what a good and necessary thing we have done by
destroying our neighbours again: the enemy is indeed dangerous, it’s just as
well we went to war. The thinking becomes circular and the prophecies
self-fulfilling. Israelis are fond of saying: ‘The Middle East is a jungle,
where only might speaks.’ See Qana, and Gaza, or Beirut.

Defenders of Israel and its leaders can always argue that the US and Britain
behave similarly in Iraq. (It is true that Olmert and his colleagues would not
have acted so shamelessly if the US had not been behind them. Had Bush told
them to hold their fire, they wouldn’t have dared to move a single tank.) But
there is a major difference. The US and Britain went to war in Iraq without
public opinion behind them. Israel went to war in Lebanon, after a border
incident which it exploited in order to destroy a country, with the
overwhelming support of Israelis, including the members of what the European
press calls the ‘peace camp’.

Amos Oz, on 20 July, when the destruction of Lebanon was already well underway,
wrote in the Evening Standard: ‘This time, Israel is not invading Lebanon. It
is defending itself from a daily harassment and bombardment of dozens of our
towns and villages by attempting to smash Hizbullah wherever it lurks.’ Nothing
here is distinguishable from Israeli state pronouncements. David Grossman wrote
in the Guardian, again on 20 July, as if he were unaware of any bombardment in
Lebanon: ‘There is no justification for the large-scale violence that Hizbullah
unleashed this week, from Lebanese territory, on dozens of peaceful Israeli
villages, towns and cities. No country in the world could remain silent and
abandon its citizens when its neighbour strikes without any provocation.’ We
can bomb, but if they respond they are responsible for both their suffering and
ours. And it’s important to remember that ‘our suffering’ is that of poor
people in the north who cannot leave their homes easily or quickly. ‘Our
suffering’ is not that of the decision-makers or their friends in the media. Oz
also wrote that ‘there can be no moral equation between Hizbullah and Israel.
Hizbullah is targeting Israeli civilians wherever they are, while Israel is
targeting mostly Hizbullah.’ At that time more than 300 Lebanese had been
killed and 600 had been injured. Oz went on: ‘The Israeli peace movement should
support Israel’s attempt at self-defence, pure and simple, as long as this
operation targets mostly Hizbullah and spares, as much as possible, the lives
of Lebanese civilians (this is not always an easy task, as Hizbullah
missile-launchers often use Lebanese civilians as human sandbags).’ The truth
behind this is that Israel must always be allowed to do as it likes even if
this involves scorching its supremacy into Arab bodies. This supremacy is
beyond discussion and it is simple to the point of madness. We have the right
to abduct. You don’t. We have the right to arrest. You don’t. You are
terrorists. We are virtuous. We have sovereignty. You don’t. We can ruin you.
You cannot ruin us, even when you retaliate, because we are tied to the most
powerful nation on earth. We are angels of death.

The Lebanese will not remember everything about this war. How many atrocities
can a person keep in mind, how much helplessness can he or she admit, how many
massacres can people tell their children about, how many terrorised escapes
from burning houses, without becoming a slave to memory? Should a child keep a
leaflet written by the IDF in Arabic, in which he is told to leave his home
before it’s bombed? I cannot urge my Lebanese friends to remember the crimes my
state and its army have committed in Lebanon.

Israelis, however, have no right to forget. Too many people here supported the
war. It wasn’t just the nationalist religious settlers. It’s always easy to
blame the usual suspects for our misdemeanours: the scapegoating of religious
fanatics has allowed us to ignore the role of the army and its advocates within
the Zionist left. This time we have seen just how strongly the ‘moderates’ are
wedded to immoderation, even though they knew, before it even started, that
this would be a war against suburbs and crowded areas of cities, small towns
and defenceless villages. The model was our army’s recent actions in Gaza:
Israeli moderates found these perfectly acceptable.

It was a mistake for those of us who are unhappy with our country’s policies to
breathe a sigh of relief after the army withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. We
thought that the names of Sabra and Shatila would do all the memorial work that
needed to be done and that they would stand, metonymically, for the crimes
committed in Lebanon by Israel. But, with the withdrawal from Gaza, many
Israelis who should be opposing this war started to think of Ariel Sharon, the
genius of Sabra and Shatila, as a champion of peace. The logic of unilateralism
– of which Sharon was the embodiment – had at last prevailed: Israelis are the
only people who count in the Middle East; we are the only ones who deserve to
live here.

This time we must try harder to remember. We must remember the crimes of
Olmert, and of our minister of justice, Haim Ramon, who championed the
destruction of Lebanese villages after the ambush at Bint Jbeil, and of the
army chief of staff, Dan Halutz. Their names should be submitted to The Hague
so they can be held accountable.

Elections are a wholly inadequate form of accountability in Israel: the people
we kill and maim and ruin cannot vote here. If we let our memories slacken now,
the machine-memory will reassert control and write history for us. It will
glide into the vacuum created by our negligence, with the civilised voice of
Amos Oz easing its path, and insert its own version. And suddenly we will not
be able to explain what we know, even to our own children.

In Israel there is still no proper history of our acts in Lebanon. Israelis in
the peace camp used to carry posters with the figure ‘680’ on them – the number
of Israelis who died during the 1982 invasion. Six hundred and eighty Israeli
soldiers. How many members of that once sizeable peace camp protested about the
tens of thousands of Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian casualties? Isn’t the
failure of the peace camp a result of its inability to speak about the
cheapness of Arab blood? General Udi Adam, one of the architects of the current
war, has told Israelis that we shouldn’t count the dead. He meant this very
seriously and Israelis should take him seriously. We should make it our
business to count the dead in Lebanon and in Israel and, to the best of our
abilities, to find out their names, all of them.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Where Were You When You Started to Doubt the Official 9/11 Story?

From: Bronwin Peel [mailto:bronwinpeel@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 10:13 AM
To: tumeric@sbcglobal.net
Subject: [Bring it On!] Comment: "Where Were You When you Started to Doubt the Official 9/11 Story?"

New comment on your post #5962 "Where Were You When you Started to Doubt the Official 9/11 Story?"
Author : Bronwin Peel (IP: , static-67-62-139-210.dsl.cavtel.net)
E-mail : bronwinpeel@hotmail.com
URI : http://www.lettersfrompalestine.blogspot.com

A few weeks following 9/11 I was reading The New York Times and found a small one pargraph article stating the publisher was receiving calls from the families of the people on the planes who reportededly made calls home on their cell phones. When they reviewed their loved ones bills they discovered the calls were not reported on the phone bills or credit cards.  My late husband was a Palestinian and I know from experience that Arabs were often used as scapegoats as a matter of course, i.e. Arabscam in the 70s. That particular incident sponsored by the FBI led to the founding of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. I became suspicious and then after a few weeks I knew the story of the steel in the buildings melting was entirely false. My husband was a chemist who developed refractory bricks. They are used to line the inside of steel furnaces and must withstand enormous degrees of heat as it takes approximately 2400 degrees fahrenheit to melt steel. The burning buildings could not have melted steel and turned it to ashes as we were shown.

You can see all comments on this post here:
Subj: Re: The Melting of Steel Date: 8/18/2006 8:29:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time

Email Correspondence With a Professor at Kent State
From: professor@kent.edu
To: Brownwinpeel@hotmail.com
At 07:19 PM 8/17/2006 -0400, you wrote:

Dear Professor,

I'm fascinated by kinesiology. How does kinesiology respond to questions about 9/11?

My husband was a research and works chemist and later plant manager who developed refractory bricks for the steel industry. His expertise was in creating bricks that lined the walls of steel furnaces. These bricks must be able to withstand incredible degrees of heat as it takes about 2400 degrees fahrenheit to melt steel. He died in February of this year from advanced silicosis. He had breathed the silica he worked with. Before he died I asked him if it was possible for the fires in the Trade Center towers to melt the steel girders the way we were shown. He said scientifically impossible.

Bronwin Peel

Hi Bronwin,
Thanks for your letter and interest in the truth. I think your husband was right.

To answer your question, people in kinesiology generally do not respond to questions about 9/11? I am much more the exception than the rule. I try to pursue truth no matter where it leads. I have an interest in politics and sociology because as a specialist in movement for people with disabilities I understand that the problems of those labeled as handicapped are much more political and social than physical. I have written on the relationship between sport and empire. I also teach a graduate course in Ethics of Exercise, Leisure and Sport. I wrote a chapter on 9/11 because I was trying to understand what happened. That's a very brief explanation of why I am interested in 9/11.

I am also interested in personal empowerment. That is why I try to approach 9/11 from the perspective of love and not fear.

I sent a copy to a 9/11 scientific panel who might be interested in your comments.

All the best to you.


Monday, August 14, 2006

God's Chosen People

A Lebanese American friend sent me this today:

Jostein Gaarder is a leading Norwegian writer. He is author of the
>best-seller "Sophie's World" which has been translated into 53
languages and sold 25 million copies .
God's Chosen People>
>By Jostein Gaarder,
>August 5, 2006
>Israel is now history. We no longer recognize the State of Israel.
There is no way back. The State of Israel has raped the world's recognition and
will not achieve peace until it lays down its arms. The State of Israel, in
its present form is history, writes Jostein Gaarder.

There's no turning back. It's time to learn a new lesson: We no longer
recognize the State of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid
regime of South Africa, nor did we recognize the Afghani Taliban regime. Then
there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs'
ethnic cleansing. We need to get used to the idea: The State of Israel, in
its current form, is history.

We don't believe in the notion of God's Chosen People. We laugh at
this people's capriciousness and weep at its misdeeds. To act as God's
Chosen >People is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity.
We call it racism.

Limits to tolerance

There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our
tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as a justification for occupation
and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at
those >who still believe that the god of flora, fauna and the galaxies has
selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it silly, stone
tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill.

We call baby killers "baby killers" and will never accept that people
such as these have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We
just say: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing and shame on
every >terrorist strike against civilians whether carried out by Hamas, the
Hezbollah or the State of Israel!

Unscrupulous art of war

We acknowledge, and pay heed to, Europe's deep responsibility for the
plight of the Jews, for the disgraceful harassment, the pogroms and the
Holocaust. It was historically and morally necessary for the Jews to get their
own home. However, the State of Israel, with its unscrupulous art of war
and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has
systematically flaunted International Law, international conventions, and countless
UN resolutions and can no longer expect protection from the same. It has
carpet bombed the recognition of the world. But fear not! The Tribulation
will soon be over. The State of Israel has seen its Soweto.

We are now at the watershed. There's no turning back. The State of
Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until
it lays down its arms.

Without defense, without skin>
May the spirit and the word blow the apartheid walls of Israel down.
The State of Israel does not exist. It is now without defense, without
skin. May the world therefore have mercy upon the civilian population;
for our prophecies of doom are not aimed at the civilian individuals.

We wish the people of Israel well, nothing but wellness, but we
reserve the right to not eat Jaffa oranges as long as they are foul tasting and
poisonous. It was endurable for some years to live without eating the
blue grapes of apartheid.

They celebrate their triumphs>
We don't believe that Israel grieves any more for the forty killed
Lebanese children than it has wailed over the forty years spent in the desert
three >thousand years ago. We note that many Israelis celebrate such triumphs
in the same manner they once cheered the plagues of the Lord as "fitting
punishment" for the people of Egypt. (In that tale, the Lord God of
Israel appears as an insatiable sadist.) We ask ourselves if most Israelis
think >that one Israeli life is worth more than the forty Palestinian or
Lebanese lives.

For we've seen pictures of little Israeli girls writing hateful
greetings on the bombs about to be dropped on the civilian populations of Lebanon
and Palestine. The little Israeli girls are not cute when they strut with
glee at the death and torment on the other side of the fronts.

The retribution of blood vengeance

We do not recognize the rhetoric of the State of Israel. We do not
recognize the spiral of retribution and blood vengeance that comes with "an eye
for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." We do not recognize the principle of ten
or a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye. We do not recognize collective
>punishment or population thinning out as a political weapon. Two
thousand years have passed since a Jewish rabbi criticized the ancient doctrine
of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

He said: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We do
not >recognize a state founded on anti-humanistic principles and on the
ruins of an archaic national and warlike religion. Or, as Albert Schweitzer
expressed it: "Humanitarianism consists of never sacrificing a human being for a

Compassion and forgiveness

We do not recognize the old Kingdom of David as a model for the 21st
>century map of the Middle East. The Jewish rabbi claimed two thousand years
ago that the Kingdom of God is not a martial restoration of the Kingdom of
David; the Kingdom of God is within us and amongst us. The Kingdom of God is
compassion and forgiveness.

Two thousand years have passed since the Jewish rabbi disarmed and
thoroughly humanized the old rhetoric of war. Even in his time, the
first Zionist terrorists were operating.

Israel doesn't listen

For two thousand years, we have rehearsed the syllabus of humanism,
but Israel doesn't listen. It wasn't the Pharisee who helped the man who
lay by the wayside, having fallen prey to robbers. It was a Samaritan; today
we would say, a Palestinian. We are humans firstly - then Christian,
Muslim, or Jew. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: "And if you greet your brethren
only, what more do you do than others?" We do not accept the kidnapping of
soldiers. But neither do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the
abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government

We recognize the State of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It
is the State of Israel that fails to recognize, respect or defer to the
Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more - more water and more villages.
To obtain this there are those who want, with God's assistance, a
final solution to the Palestinian problem. 'The Palestinians have so many
other countries', certain Israeli politicians have argued; we have only one.

The U.S. or the world?

Or as the foremost protector of the State of Israel puts it: "May God
continue to bless America." A little child took note of that. She
turned to her mother, saying: "Why does the President always end his speeches
with 'God bless America'? Why not, 'God bless the world'?"

Then there was a Norwegian poet who let out this childlike sigh of the
heart: "Why doth Humanity so slowly progress?" It was he who wrote so
beautifully of the Jew and the Jewess. But he rejected the notion of
God's Chosen People. He personally liked to call himself a Muslim.

Calmness and mercy

We do not recognize the State of Israel. Not today, not as of this
writing,not in the hour of grief and wrath. If the entire Israeli nation
should fall to its own devices and parts of the population has to flee their
occupied areas into another Diaspora, then we say: May their surroundings stay
calm and show them mercy. It is an eternal crime, without mitigating
circumstances, to lay hand on refugees and a stateless people.
Peace and free passage for the evacuating, civilian population no
longer protected by a State. Shoot not at the fugitives! Take not aim at
them! They are vulnerable now -- like snails without shells, as vulnerable as slow
caravans of the Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, defenseless as the
women, children and elderly of Qana, Gaza, Sabra and Shatilla. Give the
Israeli refugees shelter; give them milk and honey!

Let not one Israeli child pay with his life. Far too many children and
civilians have already been murdered.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Palestinian Attempts at Nonviolence
My American friend, Jane, who lives in the West Bank, emailed me this copy of a letter she wrote to the International Herald Tribune.
Steve Chernoski (Letters, Aug. 11) to International Herald Tribune reasonably points out that Ghandian non violent resistance has been a powerful weapon for many people resisting oppression, and asks why the Palestinians have not tried this option. Of course there have been and are now countless efforts on the part of Palestinian civil society, university and high school faculties, village committees, farmers’ groups, churches, students, doctors etc. to use these techniques in their struggle. The problem is that, unlike with the US civil rights or anti war marches in the 60’s, the whole world is not watching, especially the press in the US which rarely if ever covers these events. The other problem is the unremitting violent and immediate Israeli reaction to these demonstrations, which are met with arrests, tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, and clubs.
As an example, there have been weekly demonstrations for almost two years in the small village of Beilin to protest the Wall that has confiscated large parts of the village’s orchards and fields. These marches, with plays, props, songs, chants, are led by village residents trained in, and remarkably committed to, nonviolence as the only solution. The leaders are routinely beaten or arrested during these marches, or on occasion, snatched from their beds by Israel Police the night before. In tribute to their courage, both Israeli and foreign activists have joined in these weekly demonstrations, which has made the marches somewhat safer for the Palestinians, but not safe.
In yesterday’s demonstrations, for example, Israeli soldiers began firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at the marchers before they had even reached the soldiers’ lines, and then attacked them with clubs and rifle butts, wounding 13, one Israeli youth severely enough that he was admitted for surgery to hospital and a Czech woman with a head injury from a rifle butt. Others were struck with clubs. One Japanese journalist, standing clearly to the side and filming, was shot with a rubber bullet. In another nonviolent activity this week, in which volunteers attempted to protect Palestinian school children from attacks by hostile Israeli settlers, two volunteers were seriously beaten and BITTEN by the settlers while Israeli police stood idly by.
We have all seen in the settler rampages against the removal of the Gaza aettlements that the government of IsraelI is much more understanding when the demonstrators are Jewish. The Israeli policy clearly is to stamp out Palestinian nonviolence but it is hard to see how this is of advantage to them. If nonviolence is not an option, where do they turn?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Demonstrations in Palestine

I just received this email from my friend Jane,
an American who lives in Ramallah.

Just back from the Friday demo at Beilin where the Israeli soldiers
went crazy shooting rubber bullets and sound grenades before we even
got to them, seriously wounding an Isreali boy with us, and generally
trying to show they can beat up on some body, even if not Hizbullah.
I hope to return and have ideas about how to do that, and the
committees are active in trying to get the visa issues sorted out,
but I fear that when I leave I will nto know whether or not I will
be allowed to return - hard to plan.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS in the Israeli-Arab conflict:

An email received today from my son:
Rule # 1: In the Middle East, it is always the Arabs
that attack first, and it's always Israel who defends
itself. This is called "Retaliation".

Rule # 2: The Arabs, whether Palestinians or Lebanese,
are not allowed to kill Israelis. This is called

Rule # 3: Israel has the right to kill Arab civilians,
this is called "Self-Defense", or these days
"Collateral Damage".

Rule # 4: When Israel kills too many civilians. The
Western world calls for restraint. This is called the
"Reaction of the International Community".

Rule # 5: Palestinians and Lebanese do not have the
right to capture Israeli military, not even a limited
number, not even 1 or 2. This is called "Kidnapping".

Rule # 6: Israel has the right to capture as many
Palestinians as they want (Palestinians: around 10000
to date, 300 of which are children, Lebanese: 1000s to
date, being held without trial). There is no limit;
there is no need for proof of guilt or trial. This is
called "War on Terrorism".

Rule # 7: When you say "Hezbollah", always be sure to
add "supported by Syria and Iran". this is called:
"Axis of Evil"

Rule # 8: When you say "Israel", never say "supported
by the USA, the UK and other European countries", for
people (God forbid) might believe this is not an equal
conflict. This is called "Helping our

Rule # 9: When it comes to Israel, don't mention the
words "occupied territories", "UN resolutions",
"Geneva conventions". This could
distress the audience and is called "Anti-Semitism".

Rule # 10: Israelis speak better English than Arabs.
This is why we let them speak out as much as possible,
so that they can explain rules
1 through 9. This is called "Neutral Journalism".

Rule # 11: If you don't agree with these rules or if
you favor the Arab side over the Israeli side, you
must be a very dangerous anti-Semite. You may even
have to make a public apology if you express
your honest opinion like Mel Gibson. this is called

Please learn the proper terminology and use it
appropriately to
maintain your job; this is called "Equal Opportunity

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Americans Observe Palestinian Misery
While on Tour of Israel

Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 3:58 PM

Subject: CAP tour in Jerusalem


We had a safe and uneventful trip and have concluded one week of our
tour. It has been safe, calm and peaceful here in spite of the terrible
carnage in Lebanon and Gaza. We traveled to Bethlehem, Hebron, At
Tawani, Ramallah and all over Jerusalem and surroundings, through many
military check points and new million dollar "terminals" with little
delay or harassment. The Palestinians are not so fortunate since they
are all stopped and often delayed. The "security wall" continues to be
built consuming about 11% of the small West Bank territory and new
settlements and settlement expansion goes on at a great rate. At the
present, as you know, there are no negotiations going on and the Israeli
government plans to complete its unilateral closing off of the Occupied
Territories within a year, leaveing no possibility of a viable
Palestinian state. The Palestinians, of course canot survive as a
sovereign, viable state with what Israel is unilateraly deciding for
them. Consequently, there will not be any peace for anyone in the region
for a long time. Since Israel will not recognize or deal with the
democraticaly elected Palestinian government, the radical militant
element will , of course prevail over the current moderate leadership in
the PA. that has indicated its wilingness to talk. It will be no
surprise to anyone who looks at the situation on the ground to see that
Israel is predetermining a contiunuation of instability and violence not
only here, but no doubt, all over the Middle East. It would appear that
the military power of Israel, backed by the U.S. government and its
military, has blinded both governments to the irrationality of relying
on military froce as the answer to every inconvenience, or resistance to
their control and domination. The discrimination against non-Jewish
residents of Israel is evident everywhere. When you drive from Jewish
neighborhoods into Arab neighborhods in the city of Jersualem, for
example, it is like going from a First world to a Third world country
though you are in the same minicipality, people pay the same taxes, in
fact, on average, the Palestinian Arabs in Jersualem pay more per capita
and receive far less services. The "Wall" is clearly designed not
primarily for security, but for taking more Palestinian land into Israel
while eliminating current Israeli Arab citizens from Israel.

We have interviewed about 25 leaders so far, about half Jews, half
Arabs. None have fully defended Israeli policies against the
Palestinians and only one has done so partialy though all defend the
right of Israel to exist safe and secure alongside a safe and secure
Palestinian state. The Israeli and the Palestinain publics together have
never been so suportive of a negotiated cease fire and setlement, yet
the Israeli government has closed off this possibility. Only the U.S. it
would seem, can prevent a continuing disaster long term here in the Holy
Land and throughout the M.E. You can judge the likely hood of the curent
U.S. government doing anything useful in this regard.

We have receirved the most wonderful hospitality everywhere, but will
return home with little oeptimism from what we have witnesed here on the
ground. The difficulty of the Palestinian people worsens daily. We have
much to share and much towork for as we look forward to joining you back
in the "good old U.S. A.


Mom & Dad

My reply:


Thank you, Jim, for sending this report from your
parents. It states succinctly what I observed during
the six months I spent in the West Bank.

Many Americans, including some Friends, continue to
support the aparthied practiced by the Israeli
government even though a growing number of Israelis
themselves are speaking out against it. I hope more
Americans can read reports such as this one from your
parents. Maybe by hearing about the situation from
people who have been there and seen the misery of the
Palestinians up close they will begin to understand
the anger of the Arab people and affect a change in
our government's policies before we find ourselves
truly embroiled in another world war.

A friend of mine in the West Bank, an American woman,
told me of how she was arrested by the Israelis after
she screamed at an Israeli soldier who was beating a
young Palestinian at one of the checkpoints. The
Israelis took her into "protective custody". One of
the soldiers, a woman, said to her, "you think we're
evil, don't you?" She answered, "no, I think you're
involved in an evil system." She then explained to the
young soldier how it compared to the world of her
youth spent in Alabama prior to the civil rights

In the light,