1. "There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies, not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy." -- Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001
2. "The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more".... Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time - August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000
3. " [The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs." Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the Beasts". New Statesman, 25 June 1982.
4. "The Palestinians" would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls." Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988
5. "When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle." Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.
6. "How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to." Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.
7. "There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed." Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969
8. "The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war." Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972.
9. David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.
9a. Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 : "We must do everything to insure they ( the Palestinians) never do return." Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. "The old will die and the young will forget."
10. "We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves." Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.
11. "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it." - Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.
12. "We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours." Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces - Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983, New York Times 14 April 1983.
13. "We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return" David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar's Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157.
15. "We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai." David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. >From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.
16. "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." Israel Koenig, "The Koenig Memorandum"
17. "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969.
18. "We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'" Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.
19. Rabin's description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet. "We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters" Uri Lubrani, PM Ben-Gurion's special adviser on Arab Affairs, 1960. From "The Arabs in Israel" by Sabri Jiryas.
20. "There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbor than over those of a tenant. [I] tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument:...the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish...with a non-Jewish minority limited to 15 percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary." Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency's Colonization Department. From Israel: an Apartheid State by Uri Davis, p.5.
21. "Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them." Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.
22. "It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism,colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands." Yoram Bar Porath, Yediot Aahronot, of 14 July 1972.
23. "Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly." Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine,Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.-- www.rapprochement.org/
The Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People
"Only the willfully blind can miss noticing that Israel's current invasion of the West Bank is an exact replay of the June 1982 invasion of Lebanon. To crush the Palestinians' goal of an independent state alongside Israel - the PLO's "peace offensive" - Israel laid plans in August 1981 to invade Lebanon. In order to launch the invasion, however, it needed the green light from the Reagan administration and a pretext. Much to its chagrin and despite multiple provocations, Israel was unable to elicit a Palestinian attack on its northern border. It accordingly escalated the air assaults on southern Lebanon and after a particularly murderous attack that left two hundred civilians dead (including 60 occupants of a Palestinian children's hospital), the PLO finally retaliated killing one Israeli. With the pretext in hand and a green light now forthcoming from the Reagan administration, Israel invaded. Using the same slogan of "rooting out Palestinian terror," Israel proceeded to massacre a defenseless population, killing some 20,000 Palestinians and Lebanese, almost all civilians." -- First the Carrot, Then the Stick: Behind the Carnage in Palestine. Norman G. Finkelstein 14 April 2002
"Our government is not interested in peace. Like other governments propped up by the United States, Israel is used as a pawn to carry out the foreign policy of USA, Inc. The U.S. sends $3 billion a year to Israel, one-sixth of its total foreign aid budget. This blood money ensures that Yankee corporations have stable access to oil reserves and a military outpost to protect those interests. To ensure U.S. domination in the Middle East, Congress also doles out greenbacks to royal Arab families, who in turn keep oil profits pumping to American capitalists." -- April 24, 2002, U.S. must defend Palestinians, not Big Oil By Nancy Reiko Kato Special To The Examiner
"In these circumstances, America cannot ignore world public opinion. There is a nearly unanimous global consensus that United States policy has become one-sided and morally hypocritical, with clear displays of sympathy for Israeli victims of terrorist violence and relative indifference to the (much more numerous) Palestinian civilian casualties." -- Moral Duty, National Interest, by Zbigniew Brzezinsk, April 7, 2002, New York Times.
"The perception in the Middle East, from the far left to the far right, is that America is totally sponsoring Sharon ó not Israel's policies but Sharon's policies ó and anyone who tells you less is insulting your intelligence,"
"This is not a mistake or a policy gaffe," the person close to [Saudi Crown Prince] Abdullah said, referring to Mr. Bush's approach. "He made a strategic, conscious decision to go with Sharon, so your national interest is no longer our national interest; now we don't have joint national interests. What it means is that you go your way and we will go ours, economically, militarily and politically ó and the antiterror coalition would collapse in the process." -- Saudi to Warn Bush of Rupture Over Israel Policy By PATRICK E. TYLER New York Times, April 25, 2002.
Defying a U.S. request, Egypt declined to condemn a suicide bombing that killed eight Israelis and instead said Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation was justified.
Iíll bet the Bush Administration nearly fell over backwards when they heard this reply. As a matter of fact, I almost did myself, considering Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. aid. But you know what? I was delighted with Egyptís response. Donít get me wrong. In no way do I condone suicide bombings. I donít condone them anymore than I condone missile strikes in Palestinian villages and refugee camps that kill innocent men, women, and children. I donít condone them anymore than I condone Israelís demolition of Palestinian homes that leave thousands of innocent children homeless. I donít condone them anymore than I condone the hundreds of human rights violations committed by the Israeli government in their brutal occupation of the Palestinian people.-- By James J. David Brigadier General (retired), April 24, 2002, U.S. Bias an Obstacle to Peace
I said earlier that Colin Powell's trip to the Middle East would answer the question of who determines American foreign policy: America's elected leaders, or Israel and its powerful American lobby. The answer is Israel. -- Charley Reese, April 24, 2002, The End Of America's Prestige, Palestine Chronicle
A friend of mine once told a college class that nobody ever woke up in 476 A.D. (the date historians define as the fall of the Roman Empire) and said, "Gosh, I'm in the Dark Ages."
His point is plain enough. Transitions happen gradually, and the people who live through them never realize what is happening. So it is with Americans. We are living in the ruins of a once-great republic. Now an empire utterly devoid of moral authority, the United States has nothing left but its military power and its capacity to consume on credit.-- By Charley Reese, April 24, 2002, The End Of America's Prestige
US support for Israel, international silence, and Arab inability to 'act' have all contributed to the tragic collapse of the peace process, and more painfully, to the horrendous killing of Palestinian civilians throughout the past two weeks, let alone since the outbreak of the Intifada in September 2000.
Palestinian disbelief in the international will to protect the Palestinian people is significantly mounting to unprecedented levels; Palestinians feel abandoned by the rest of the world.-- Whats Next? April 20, 2002, by MIFTAH
"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." -- Jonah Goldberg, April 23, 2002, The National Review. (With hawks like this, cavalierly advocating war and the resulting death and destruction of civilian populations, who needs terrorists like bin Laden?)
The Labor Party must demand the prime minister hold a debate on evacuating settlements, and if it receives a negative reply, it must quit the government and work with all its might to advance elections. Ariel Sharon must be made to understand that he can no longer fool those who support a political solution. -- April 24, 2002, Ha'aretz Editorial, Erasing Hope
"Are Palestinian civilian men, women and children no more than rats or cockroaches that can be attacked and killed in the thousands without so much as a word of compassion or in their defense?
Phrases such as "plucking out the terrorist network," "destroying the terrorist infrastructure" and "attacking terrorist nests" (note the total dehumanization involved) are repeated so often and so unthinkingly that they have given Israel the right to destroy Palestinian civil life, with a shocking degree of sheer wanton destruction, killing, humiliation and vandalism." -- Edward Said, What Israel Has Done, April 23, 2002, PalestineChronicle.com
"A darkening portrait of human misery emerged Sunday from the West Bank, as food and water supplies reportedly dwindled and bodies decomposed in homes and on sewage-filled streets. Residents and human rights officials provided alarming accounts of unprovoked attacks by Israeli soldiers, looting, theft and needless destruction of buildings and vehicles, long-term confinements to homes, and blocked access to basic medical care." -- Siege of West Bank breeds misery, havoc By Martin Merzer, Miami Harold
"Hundreds of people are unaccounted for and more than one thousand have been arrested and taken to prison. Doctors, UN workers, human rights workers (such as from Medicins sans Frontiers and Save the Children) estimate that the Israeli assault on the Jenin camp killed between three and six hundred people. ...
If your blood doesn't run cold when US President George W. Bush calls Ariel Sharon a "man of peace" then you're getting nothing but lies packaged as news and information by a massive propaganda machine. Americans, you are paying for the dehumanization and destruction of an entire people. Jenin is only the most ominous and recent reminder of where Israel's 54 year old policies against the Palestinians are leading." -- By Jennifer Loewenstein, Oracle at Jenin, April 23, 2002, Palestine Chronicle
"Similar and even worse scenes of destruction were uncovered two days ago in other offices in Ramallah and El Bireh (as well as in Nablus and Bethlehem) which the soldiers had stormed into: in the housing bank and in all of the Palestinian Authority's offices (except for the Ministry of Planning headed by Nabil Sha'ath and the Ministry of Sport and Youth), the computers had been destroyed by various methods and documents were tossed out, torn up and disappeared. The offices of human rights organizations, independent research institutes and non-governmental health organizations were destroyed: at the Medical Relief Committees' eye center, all the eyeglasses were found broken and scattered on the floor, the same organization's warehouse for aids for handicapped people was broken into and some of the equipment was destroyed; data bases and computers used by the research institutes to monitor health, agriculture and environmental and water quality were destroyed." -- Amira Hass, So Much Damage in One Hour, April 23, 2002, Ha'aretz
Too many Palestinians and too few of us. There is no way we can cope with the number of cars here. The only solution is to cause long queues in both directions.
Obediently, people line up. They wait their turn to enter or exit their own city. Some people are held up several hours per day. The people of Qalqilya have learnt that the best defence is steadfastness.
In traffic as well as politics, aggression will quickly get you killed.
It is Ramadan and people are tired and hungry. One unshaven fellow looks longingly at my cigarette. Feeling guilty, I stomp it out. As a soldier, I may occupy his country, encircle his village, destroy his vineyards. But I know what nicotine craving is like.
Then an ambulance arrives from Qalqilya. Inside sits a silver haired Palestinian doctor. He could have been my father. He explains that he is required to attend to a woman in the village of Hable. His licence plates are the wrong colour.
I look around. My officer is not paying attention. I let the ambulance slip past.
I feel pleased, like a naughty child stealing cookies from the cupboard when mama is not looking. The doctor does not smile, but acknowledges me with a slight bow of the head. Is he supposed to be grateful?
All of a sudden the flak jacket feels lighter. I feel good about myself. Perhaps it is possible to have an enlightened occupation after all. Occupation with a human face, as it were. Two hours pass by. Two hours of cheerful optimism.
My up-beat mood is shattered by the arrival of the battalion commander. He is puffed up with rage. He has received reliable information from the local shin-bet officer. Apparently, a certain soldier on the Qalqilya roadblock, no doubt a reservist, has allowed unauthorized vehicles to pass through.
He received this information about two hours ago. From a Palestinian collaborator in Qalqilya.
-- Daniel Reisel, one of many Israeli Military Reservists refusing to serve in Occupied Palestine. Click Here to visit their web site.
Ariel Sharon is a strong and forceful man and has never equivocated in his public declarations nor deviated from his ultimate purpose. His rejection of all peace agreements that included Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands, his invasion of Lebanon, his provocative visit to the Temple Mount, the destruction of villages and homes, the arrests of thousands of Palestinians and his open defiance of President George W. Bush's demand that he comply with international law have all been orchestrated to accomplish his ultimate goals: to establish Israeli settlements as widely as possible throughout occupied territories and to deny Palestinians a cohesive political existence. -- April 21, 2002, Jimmy Carter, America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace New York Times.
"Who really is running America's Mideast policy? Last week, the astounded world saw the grotesque spectacle of President George W. Bush pleading in vain with Ariel Sharon, leader of a nation of only 6.3 million people which receives almost $5 billion in annual U.S. aid, to cease laying waste the Occupied West Bank." April 14, 2002, Eric Margolis, Why Bush dances to Sharon's tune. Toronto Sun.
"We will achieve peace on the day we accept in our hearts that Palestinians belong to the human family. On the day Israeli soldiers manning a barrier hesitate to shoot at an Arab car, as they would hesitate to shoot at a Jewish one. On the day that Arab refugees are equal to Jewish refugees. On the day that no Arab child dies from a stray bullet, even if he and all his friends were throwing stones at soldiers. Then we will suddenly learn that the argument over territory is not as difficult as we thought." -- Jewish writer Arie Caspi, quoted in Remembering Al-Nakbah By the Reverend Dr. Naim S. Ateek
The New York Times ended an April 3 editorial with this sentence: "Only the most bankrupt leadership ó spiritually, intellectually and politically ó allows this macabre, self-delusional act of ruin to pass without anguished condemnation." Those words referred to a recent suicide bombing. But they also apply to the US government and major media outlets continuing to wink and nod while the Israeli military slaughters Palestinian people.-- The slaughter of Palestinian people Monday, April 15 2002, By Norman Solomon
This week, Ariel Sharon should note in his diary: "In Jenin I founded the State of the Palestinians."
Of course, he did not mean to. Quite the contrary, his intention was to destroy the Palestinian nation, its institutions and leadership, once and for all, leaving only bits and pieces, human wreckage that could be disposed of anywhere.
In practice, something quite different happened. Faced with the onslaught of the biggest military machine in the region and the most modern arms in the world, submerged in a sea of suffering, surrounded by bodies, the Palestinian nation straightened its back as never before.-- Sunday, April 14 2002, 'In Jenin I founded...' By Uri Avnery for PalestineChronicle.com
"In order to succeed in a military and political campaign, one has to know the enemy: his weaknesses and his strength, his defects and his capabilities, his pain and his happiness. Instead, the enemy is presented only as a one-dimensional mass, ignorant and lacking feelings and thoughts. Perhaps the lies being disseminated about the Palestinians during these days of war actually express the contempt of the Israeli authorities toward the Israeli public, and an implicit assumption that it will continue to swallow them. That it will always make do with intelligence analyses, and will avoid sociological, historical and political ones, and therefore will not ask why so many Palestinians want to blow themselves up and take others with them, and how hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are holding out in intolerable conditions of shelling and continuing curfew, without water, electricity and food?" -- Monday, April 15, 2002, Profound contempt By Amira Hass
One possible consequence of the Powell visit will be that when he leaves, Israelis "will finally learn what kind of government we have," says Ha'aretz commentator Akiva Eldar. "Is this a government that is capable of making diplomatic decisions, or is it simply a sort of expanded General Staff, that can make decisions on what areas to enter, on which city to leave, on whom to exterminate and whom to liquidate?" -- Sharon plows on with W. Bank military onslaught By Bradley Burston, Ha'aretz
"The double standard is starting to show cracks, and people in Europe are starting to see that, if general values are applied to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Palestinians are viewed as human beings with a full set of rights, there is no way that Israel's conduct can be justified." --The Power of Hope in the Face of Massacres, By Tariq Shadid, MD, for PalestineChronicle.com, April 8, 2002
"Israel must step down from the war on the Palestinian territories. It must begin to end occupation and evacuate the Jewish settlements that were deliberately thrust into the depth of Palestinian lands. Its borders must be drawn, unilaterally if need be, upon the logic of demography and the moral imperative to withdraw from governing a hostile population.
"But would an end to occupation terminate the Muslim holy war against Israel? This is hard to predict. If jihad comes to an end, both sides would be able to sit down and negotiate peace. If it does not, we would have to seal and fortify Israel's logical border, the demographic border, and keep fighting for our lives against fanatical Islam."-- An end to Israeli occupation will mean a just war, Amos Oz, Sunday April 7, 2002, The Observer
MARGARET WARNER: Do you think this could spin out of control?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Well, it could spin out of control. In the meantime the United States and Israel are increasingly isolated internationally. This could hurt our ability to conduct the war on terrorism and last but not least-- and this worries me a great deal -- I think the Palestinians are being turned, largely by Mr. Sharon, into something like the Algerians: People absolutely determined to wage urban guerilla warfare brutally, ruthlessly, at any cost at enormous self-sacrifice.
And the Israelis are becoming increasingly like the white supremacist South Africans, viewing the Palestinians as a lower form of life, not hesitating to kill a great many of them and justifying this on the grounds that they are being the objects of terrorism, which is true.
But the reactions are all out of proportion, and all of that I think is a very sad spectacle and ultimately a spectacle of failure of American strategy.
-- PBS Newshour interview, April 1st, 2002.
the Commission affirmed the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation; strongly condemned violations by Israeli occupation authorities of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem; strongly condemned the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory; strongly condemned the war launched by the Israeli army against Palestinian towns and camps, which had so far resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including women and children; strongly condemned the practice of "liquidation" or extra-judicial executions carried out by the Israeli army against Palestinians; strongly condemned the establishment of Israeli settlements and other activities, such as the construction of new settlements and expansion of existing ones, the expropriation of lands, the biased administration of water resources, and the construction of bypass roads; condemned the expropriation of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, revocation of identity cards of the citizens of East Jerusalem and the imposition of fabricated and exorbitant taxes with the aim of forcing Palestinians out of Jerusalem; condemned the use of torture against Palestinians during interrogation; strongly condemned the setting on fire of the church of the Nativity and the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab mosque in Bethlehem and the shelling with artillery fire of the Al-Baik and Al-Kabir mosques in Nablus; strongly condemned the offensives of the Israeli army of occupation against hospitals and sick persons and the use of Palestinian citizens as human shields during Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas; strongly condemned the opening of fire by the Israeli army against ambulances and paramedical personnel and its preventing ambulances and the cars of the International Committee of the Red Cross from reaching the wounded and the dead; expressed grave concern at the deterioration of the human rights situation; expressed grave concern at the restriction of movement imposed on President Yasser Arafat; expressed concern at massive arrests against a large number of Palestinians and at the continued detention of thousands of Palestinians; called upon Israel to desist from all forms of violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory; called upon it to withdraw in accordance with relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the Commission on Human Rights; called upon it to implement the recommendations in the reports of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory; and requested the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of the Government of Israel.-- UN Commission on Human Rights Press Release, April 15, 2002. Click Here to read more.
BRAVO, SHARON! Ariel Sharon has succeeded:
he has rebuffed the Saudi peace proposal,
which has the backing of almost the entire Arab world.
He prefers the occupied territories and the settlements to peace and security.
Now he is happy to return to his true vocation:
waging war on the Arabs.
The price will be paid by us.
Sharon promised, Sharon fulfils.
Gush Shalom ad published in Ha'aretz, March 29, 2002
"In Hebron there's this order they call 'punitive shooting': just open fire on whatever you like. I opened fire not on any sources of fire but on windows where there was just wash hanging to dry. I knew there were people who would be hit. But at that moment it was just shoot, shoot, shoot." -- an Israeli Soldier in an interview reprinted in Harper's Magazine, April 2002.
"But first of all, Mr Powell, chief envoy of a nation solemnly dedicated to eradicating terror wherever it lurks, must tell Mr Sharon himself to eschew the paths of terrorism and return to his senses - or stand aside." -- Time to get serious: The world must stand up to Sharon. The Guardian, Tuesday April 9, 2002
"On one and the same evening, the state of Israel got two diametrically opposed offers. At the Beirut Summit, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia offered Israel a full peace with the entire Arab World in exchange for ending the occupation and withdrawing to the 1967 borders - "total peace for total withdrawal, and no further claims upon Israel."
One hour later, the suicide bomber who arrived in Netanyah made to Israel, on behalf of Hamas, a counter-offer - an offer of eternal war and indiscriminate mutual killing. By all indications it seems that the Sharon Government is about to reject the peace offer and accept the war offer."
-- March 28, 2002, Gush Shalom. Click Here to read their entire statement.
"The end of the night is the blackest part, as Farid Ghanem wrote. Yet even at this bleak hour there is no sign of any Israeli resolve to dismantle the occupation so that it can begin to negotiate over the conditions and time frame for ending it. Israel cannot even take the recent Saudi Arabian peace initiative seriously. Meanwhile, the world watches as Israel moves the lines of confrontation into every Palestinian home the Israeli army storms. And the Palestinians' goal, finally, is not to negotiate for the sake of negotiations but to end the occupation. They have no objection to negotiations if negotiations lead to that end. But they have every objection if negotiations are turned into yet another Israeli manoeuvre to prolong the occupation." -- By Azmi Bisharam, Palestinian member of the Knesset, Talking to Tanks Sunday, March 24 2002
"American politicians, like Israeli officers, do not understand what they are doing. When an overbearing vice-president dictates humiliating terms for a meeting with Arafat, he pours oil on the flames. A person who lacks empathy for the suffering of the occupied people, who does not understand its condition, would be well advised to shut up. Because every such humiliation kills dozens of Israelis." -- By Uri Avnery, Helpless Rage, March 24, 2002
FED UP WITH TENET
FED UP WITH MITCHELL
All these manoeuvres lead nowhere, and everybody knows it.
If the intention is really to put an end to the conflict,
the order of things must be turned round: first,
the solution has to be agreed upon; second,
the way to implement it must be discussed.
Otherwise, we are condemning ourselves to return
again and again to the cycle of bloodshed.
Gush Shalom ad published in Ha'aretz, March 22, 2002
The greatest pity is that the Palestinian state will eventually be established because we have no other choice, because our backs are to the wall - rather than because as victors in 1967 we understood the intrinsic moral right of another people to have the same right to self determination and statehood that we ourselves enjoy and are not prepared to give up. -- David Newman, Settler Delusion, March 20, 2002, Jerusalem Post
Arab Israelis report that in the past few months they have been afraid to enter Jewish cities, and have tried not to travel if they can help it, due to the hostility directed at them. "I'm afraid of walking around in western Jerusalem," says Sami, a 24-year-old Arab Israeli student at Hebrew University. "Last week, when I walked out of the student dorms, a civilian who saw me carrying a case called the police. I don't go out into the street unless I need something urgently, and I group all of my errands together to do them on a single day of the week. I don't take buses in the city, I take cabs, even though I'm a student and have to support myself." -- Anat Cygielman, The Usual Suspects, March 20,2002 Ha'aretz.
"Whether we like it or not, many Arabs are enraged at the United States for what they see as our moral and material blessing on Israel's killing of Palestinian Arabs -- and you cannot possibly "de-link" those inflamed feelings from what would additionally be engendered by an attack on Arab Iraq." -- Georgie Ann Geyer, March 19, 2002, CHENEY'S TRIP TO MIDDLE EAST SHOULD SOBER UP ADMINISTRATION
"Meanwhile, Cheney's words only add more conditions to an already unworkable Israeli formula, whereby the Palestinians are expected to accept Israel's assaults without questioning, without resistance, and even be held accountable for the escalation of violence. Cheney affirmed that Arafat would have to fulfill certain conditions if he were to meet with him "somewhere" in the region "sometime" in the near future! Arafat, according to Cheney, must start implementing the Tenet "ceasefire" plan; this is nothing short of (willful) political naiivety. The imperatives for implementing Tenet are bound with Israel's withdrawal to the September 2000 boundaries, let alone its cessation of aggression against the Palestinians." -- March 19, 2002 www.miftah.org
"The point here is that Israel is not the US and, mercifully, the US is not Israel: thus, even though Israel commands Bush's support for the moment, Israel is a small country whose continued survival as an ethnocentric state in the midst of an Arab-Islamic sea depends not just on an expedient if not infinite dependence on the US, but rather on accommodation with its environment, not the other way round. That is why I think Sharon's policy has finally been revealed to a significant number of Israelis as suicidal, and why more and more Israelis are taking the reserve officers' position against serving the military occupation as a model for their approach and resistance." -- Edward Said, 28 Feb. - 6 March 2002 Issue of Al-Ahram Weekly Online
"The political realities combining the unbearable Israeli occupation alongside a failed peace process that transferred the Palestinian-Israeli relationship to one of bloody confrontation will remain as long as American efforts are not serious enough to change these realities and bring pressure to bear on the Israeli government to alter its positions that remain incompatible with the peace process, which is an exchange of an end to the Israeli occupation for peace." March 18, 2002, Ghassan Khatib, The Zinni Mission, a Palestinian View
Women throw hand grenades. Children fight like soldiers. Occupying soldiers prevent food and medicine from the civilian population. Buildings and homes are destroyed. Arms are smuggled. A relatively unarmed civilian population fights one of the most powerful armies in the world.
Welcome to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April, 1943.-- Sherri Muzher, March 12, 2002, From Warsaw to the West Bank in www.ramallahonline.com
It is impossible to ignore the nature of the operation, which was a significant departure from the declared policy until now, in which a distinction was made between those who deal in terror, who must be vanquished, and the wider population, whom Israel did not want to engage in conflict. This time, the IDF caused deliberate suffering and humiliation to the broader Palestinian population. This cannot be interpreted any other way: The government of Israel, through the IDF, sought to use humiliation as a means of pressure or punishment. There is no other way to understand those photographed scenes of hundreds of people, bound and blindfolded, on their way to interrogations. -- March 18, 2002 Humiliation sows hatred in Ha'aretz.
According to Palestinian and Israeli sources, the Israeli army handcuffed, blindfolded and stamped serial numbers on the arms and foreheads of around 600 male refugees, aged between 13 and 60.
The humiliating measure, apparently aimed at boosting the Israeli public's morale, was condemned by the Palestinian leadership as "Nazi-like."
"It was the Nazis who stamped serial numbers on the arms of Jews in the concentration camps -- Israel is doing the same thing to our people," said Arafat during a televised interview Monday night.
At least eight Palestinian civilians, including a medical doctor, were killed by Israeli troops in Bethlehem and its environs in the last four days.
The targeting of medical workers and rescue teams is an additional tactic that Israel is increasingly using against the Palestinians in a bid to demoralise them.
According to Palestinian sources, over 40 per cent of the 180 Palestinians killed directly by Israeli troops or through indiscriminate bombardments this week haemorrhaged to death after Israeli troops barred rescue teams from reaching them.
In the Tulkarm camp, Israeli soldiers reportedly stood watching as two injured Palestinians, one a housewife, bled to death, while obstructing a Red Crescent ambulance from treating the dying victims.-- Jonathan Cook, 14 - 20 March 2002 in Teetering on the brink, Al-Ahram Weekly Online
"As for Israel in the US media, its spokesmen have become so practiced at lying, creating falsehoods the way a sausage-maker makes sausages, that nothing is beyond them. Yesterday, I heard an Israel Defence (even the name sticks in one's throat) Ministry official answering an American reporter's questions about house destruction in Rafah: those were empty houses, he said, without hesitation; they were terrorist nests used for killing Israeli citizens; we have to defend Israeli citizens against Palestinian terror. The journalist didn't even refer to the occupation, or to the fact that the "citizens" were settlers. As for the several hundred poor homeless Palestinians whose pictures appeared fleetingly in the US media after the (American-made) bulldozers had done their demolition, they were gone from memory and awareness completely." Edward Said in The screw turns, again
"You get used to it in a hurry, and many even learn to like it. Where else can you go out on patrol - that is, walk the streets like a king, harass and humiliate pedestrians to your heart's content, and get into mischief with your buddies - and at the same time feel like a big hero defending your country? The Gaza Exploits became heroic tales, a source of pride for Giv'ati, then a relatively new brigade suffering from low self esteem...
Initially, this was a quiet decision, still a little shy, something like 'I am just a bit weird, can't go and can't talk about it too much either.' But as time went by, as the level of insanity, hatred, and incitement kept rising, as the generals were turning the Israeli Defense Forces into a terror organization, the decision was turning into an outcry: 'If you can't see that this is one big crime leading us to the brink of annihilation, then something is terribly wrong with you!'" - from a statement by a Israeli Reservist, refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. Click here for the entire text.
"This is the moment of decision. The Israeli army today opened its widest campaign against Palestinian 'targets' ever non-stop bombardment from the air, sea and land, invasion of large Palestinian areas (especially in Gaza), house demolitions, killings, arrests and the declaring of a virtual halt to Palestinian traffic on all the roads of the Occupied Territories. This is the time when all of us, NGOs, faith-based organizations and citizens, Palestinians, Israelis and members of the international community, must arise and focus our efforts on one goal, and one goal only: To bring an end to the brutal Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza NOW." Jeff Halper, of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), March 6, 2002 as quoted by Alexander Cockburn in The Nightmare in Israel, March 8, 2002.
"In Israel, every international initiative designed to put an end to the conflict passes through three stages: (a) denial, (b) misrepresentation, (c) liquidation. That's how the Sharon-Peres government will deal with this one (the Saudi Peace Initiative), too" Uri Avneri, head of the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom as quoted by Alexander Cockburn in The Nightmare in Israel, March 8, 2002.
"We say the Palestinians behave like 'madmen,' but it is not madness but a bottomless despair...Yasser Arafat neither prepared nor triggered the Intifada. The explosion was spontaneous, against Israel, as all hope for the end of the occupation disappeared, and against the Palestinian authority, its corruption, its impotence." Ami Ayalon, former head of Shabak, Israel's security service, as quoted by Alexander Cockburn in The Nightmare in Israel, March 8, 2002.
"At 8 a.m. we'll bomb all the commercial centers ... at noon we'll bomb their gas stations ... at 2 we'll bomb their banks," (Israeli Cabinet Minister Avigdor) Lieberman reportedly told the meeting before Peres interrupted to say: "And at 6 p.m., you'll receive an invitation to the international tribunal in The Hague." -- March 7, 2002 news.yahoo.com
"We first have to give the Palestinians a very heavy blow, before we can talk peace." - Ariel Sharon to the Israeli Knesset, March, 2002.
"When you take part in extrajudicial killings ("liquidation," in the army's terms), when you take part in demolishing residential homes, when you open fire at unarmed civilian population or residential homes, when you uproot orchards, when you interdict food supplies or medical treatment, you are taking part in actions defined in international conventions (such as the 4th Geneva Convention) and in Israeli law as war crimes."
"Soldier, is there a people anywhere in the world that will not resist an occupation regime? If you were in the Palestinians' shoes, would you be willing to bow your head to a foreign ruler?" -- statement by a Israeli soldier refusing to serve in the occupation of Palestine. See www.seruv.org
"When faced with a demonstration we were told to bring in the snipers immediately. Shoot three or four of the organizers, not to let the event get out of hand because then we would have to shoot women and children and that doesn't look good in the media."
"The rules of engagement in the first two weeks [of my service] were clear: anyone who picks up a stone, shoot him. Period."
-- Israeli Reservists speaking of Israeli army abuses in Palestine as quoted in the ABC News article "Israeli Reservists Just Say No" By Gillian Findlay, Feb. 8, 2002.
"In order to prepare properly for the next campaign, one of the Israeli officers in the (occupied) territories said not long ago, it's justified and in fact essential to learn from every possible source. If the mission will be to seize a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the casbah in Nablus, and if the commander's obligation is to try to execute the mission without casualties on either side, then we must first analyze and internalize the lessons of earlier battles - even, however shocking it may sound, even how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto." -- Amir Oren quoted on Gush Shalom's web site
"This is not a time for Israelis who care about their future to sit silently. It's not only their right to go out into the streets against the Sharon government, it is their duty - to themselves, their loved ones, and yes, to a categorical moral imperative for the nation. There's no need for recommendations from a caring Jew who loves Israel, U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer, who no doubt spoke from the depths of his heart when he called on Israelis to pressure the government. Out of their ranks must come the rare alchemy that suddenly turns hesitant whispers in tens of thousands of living rooms into a march in the streets. That moment has arrived. And soon, if it hesitates, it will ring too late." -- Into the streets, once more by Gideon Samet, Friday, January 25, 2002, Ha'aretz
"In terms of power and military might, Israel's strength is waning. Israel may be a member of the Five Strongest Armies Club and the Eight Nuclear Nations Club, but it has reached the point where it has no military solution for the dispute with the Palestinians. In this reality, Sharon, as the head of a military power and the leader of the stronger side, can, and should, break the stalemate. It can be done by initiating a political compromise that will give the Palestinians hope and the motivation to begin a dialogue. There is no conflict in the world, from Algeria to Vietnam, that has been resolved without negotiating under fire. Sharon has enough credit, clout in the government and support of the people to work out agreements, even if the right wing quits the cabinet." The Bulldozer's last chance, By Yoel Marcus, January 25, 2002, Ha'aretz
"Shooting an unarmed youth is totally illegal. I am very disturbed by the number of children who were killed over the last year and a half. Was each one of these incidents a case where there was no choice and we had to shoot to kill? This is a question that should disturb all of us."
-- Former Shin Bet chief Major General (res.) Ami Ayalon in an interview on Channel One's "Yoman" program, February 1, 2002., see Gideon Levi's Feb. 6, 2002 article "Sami Kosba's 40 days" in Ha'aretz
- Israeli Reservists refusing to serve in Occupied Territories www.seruv.org
- We hereby declare that we shall not continue to fight this War of the Settlements. We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people.
- We hereby declare that we shall continue serving in the Israel Defense Forces in any mission that serves Israel's defense. The missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose - and we shall take no part in them.
Last December, Ariel Sharon proclaimed Arafat "irrelevant." And nowhere is that more true than in the lives of the 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. They wake each day to the harsh reality of an Israeli occupation modified, but never ended, by the Oslo Accords. They endure the roadblocks that turn a 20-minute drive into a six-hour one, the checkpoints that stop women in labor from reaching hospitals, the curfews, the siege, the grinding, ever-deepening poverty, the air raids, the incursions, the demolitions of homes and fields and the incremental loss of their lands. And this produces the despair that spawns the nihilism of the suicide bomber, and the rage that makes him (or, if the latest reports are to be believed, her) a hometown hero and, increasingly, a role model. Tony Karan, Jan. 29, 2002, www.time.com
There are many Israelis who are ashamed at the way the civilian population is being brutalized, and the day will come when they will apologize for the barbaric behavior of the army and for the suffering and humiliation that resulted from that behavior. Most Israelis will have no great difficulty recognizing Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, which is, in any case, reverting to its pre-1967 situation. - Ze'ev Sternhell, Feb. 1, 2002, Ha'aretz
But it is doubtful that what worked for him as a general, and blew up in his face as defense minister, will succeed now that he is prime minister. The suspicion arises that even the Lebanon War will turn into an aperitif to the dish Sharon is now boiling up in the territories in a huge pressure-cooker. By closing off all the openings for negotiations, sealing the lid on his personal foe and raising the temperature of the motives of hatred and revenge - it seems that he is consciously cooking up some big explosion. - Doron Rosenblum, Feb. 1, 2002, Ha'aretz
There were a few weeks of quiet here, which only Sharon managed not to notice. We can still return to them. We can immediately declare a halt to acts of retaliation and revenge, personal assassinations, the reoccupation of West Bank cities and the humiliation of the Palestinian leadership. We can invite the elusive General Zinni to come here, and we can even sit together with the Palestinian leadership without him, and decide immediately, without games and without fooling around with seven days of quiet, on the agreed-upon Tenet and Mitchell outlines, and work toward a final agreement whose outlines are also clear to everyone. - Yossi Beilin, Jan. 24, 2002, Ha'aretz
So American power and principle are seen by the world -- rightly, in fact -- as approving of Sharon's ongoing Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, his intention that eventually the Palestinians should be moved to Jordan, and his assassination squads against Palestinian militants. - Georgie Ann Geyer, Dec. 18, 2001, www.uexpress.com