Israel’s Palestinians Speak Out By Nadim Rouhana

Dandelion Salad

By Nadim Rouhana
12/14/07 “ICH

The Annapolis peace talks regard me as an interloper in my own land. Israel’s deputy prime minister, Avigdor Lieberman, argues that I should “take [my] bundles and get lost.” Henry Kissinger thinks I ought to be summarily swapped from inside Israel to the would-be Palestinian state.

I am a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship–one of 1.4 million. I am also a social psychologist trained and working in the United States. In late November, on behalf of Mada al-Carmel, the Arab Center for Applied Social Research, I polled Palestinian citizens of Israel regarding their reactions to the Annapolis conference and their views about our future, and how they would be affected by Middle East peace negotiations.

During Israel’s establishment, three-quarters of a million Palestinians were driven from their homes or fled in fear. They remain refugees to this day, scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza, the Arab world and beyond. We Palestinian citizens of Israel are among the minority who managed to remain on our land. Like many Mexican-Americans, we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us. We have been struggling ever since against a system that subjects us to separate and unequal treatment because we are Palestinian Arabs–Christian, Muslim and Druze–not Jewish. More than twenty Israeli laws explicitly privilege Jews over non-Jews.

The Palestinian Authority is under intense pressure to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This is not a matter of semantics. If Israel’s demand is granted, the inequality that we face as Palestinians–roughly 20 percent of Israel’s population–will become permanent.

The United States, despite being settled by Christian Europeans fleeing religious persecution, has struggled for decades to make clear that it is not a “Christian nation.” It is in a similar vein that Israel’s indigenous Palestinian population rejects the efforts of Israel and the United States to seal our fate as a permanent underclass in our own homeland.

We are referred to by leading Israeli politicians as a “demographic problem.” In response, many in Israel, including the deputy prime minister, are proposing land swaps: Palestinian land in the occupied territories with Israeli settlers on it would fall under Israel’s sovereignty, while land in Israel with Palestinian citizens would fall under Palestinian authority.

This may seem like an even trade. But there is one problem: no one asked us what we think of this solution. Imagine the hue and cry were a prominent American politician to propose redrawing the map of the United States so as to exclude as many Mexican-Americans as possible, for the explicit purpose of preserving white political power. Such a demagogue would rightly be denounced as a bigot. Yet this sort of hyper-segregation and ethnic supremacy is precisely what Israeli and American officials are considering for many Palestinian citizens of Israel — and hoping to coerce Palestinian leaders into accepting.

Looking across the Green Line, we realize that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has no mandate to negotiate a deal that will affect our future. We did not elect him. Why would we give up the rights we have battled to secure in our homeland to live inside an embryonic Palestine that we fear will be more like a bantustan than a sovereign state? Even if we put aside our attachment to our homeland, Israel has crushed the West Bank economy–to say nothing of Gaza’s–and imprisoned its people behind a barrier. There is little allure to life in such grim circumstances, especially since there is the real prospect of further Israeli sanctions, which could make a bad situation worse.

In the poll I just conducted, nearly three-quarters of Israel’s Palestinian citizens rejected the idea of the Palestinian Authority making territorial concessions that involve them, and 65.6 percent maintained that the PA also lacked the mandate to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Nearly 80 percent declared that it lacks the mandate to relinquish the right of Palestinian refugees–affirmed in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948 and reaffirmed many times–to return to their homes and properties inside Israel.

Palestinians inside Israel have developed a history and identity after nearly sixty years of hard work and struggle. We are not simply pawns to be shuffled to the other side of the board. We expect no more and no less than the right to equality in the land of our ancestors. Israeli Jews have now built a nation, and have the right to live here in peace. But Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic, nor can it find the security it seeks by continuing to deny our rights, nor those of Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, nor those of Palestinian refugees. It is time for us to share this land in a true democracy, one that honors and respects the rights of both peoples as equals.

Nadim Rouhana is Henry Hart Rice Professor of Conflict Analysis at George Mason University and heads the Haifa-based Mada al-Carmel, the Arab Center for Applied Social Research.

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Annapolis “The Tumult And The Shouting Dies…” By Uri Avnery

Dandelion Salad

By Uri Avnery
12/04/07 “ICH

“THE TUMULT and the shouting dies, / The captains and the kings depart…” Rudyard Kipling wrote in his unforgettable poem “Lest We Forget” (“Recessional”)


King George departed even before the tumult had died. His helicopter carried him away over the horizon, just as his trusty steed carries the cowboy into the sunset at the end of the movie. At that moment, the speeches in the assembly hall were still going ahead at full blast.

This summed up the whole event. The final statement announced that the United States will supervise the negotiations, act as a referee of the implementation and as a judge throughout. Everything depends on her. If she wants it – much will happen. If she does not want it – nothing will happen.

That bodes ill. There is no indication that George Bush will really intervene to achieve anything, apart from nice photos. Some people believe that the whole show was put on to make poor Condoleezza Rice feel good, after all her efforts as Secretary of State have come to nought.

Even if Bush wanted to, could he do anything? Is he capable of putting pressure on Israel, in the face of vigorous opposition from the pro-Israel lobby, and especially from the Christian-Evangelist public, to which he himself belongs?

A friend told me that during the conference he watched the televised proceedings with the sound turned off, just observing the body language of the principal actors. That way he noticed an interesting detail: Bush and Olmert touched each other many times, but there was almost no physical contact between Bush and Mahmoud Abbas. More than that: during all the joint events, the distance between Bush and Olmert was smaller than the distance between Bush and Abbas. Several times Bush and Olmert walked ahead together, with Abbas trailing behind.

That’s the whole story.

SHERLOCK HOLMES said in one of his cases that the solution could be found in “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” When it was pointed out to him that the dog did nothing, he explained: “That was the curious incident.”

Anyone who wants to understand what has (or has not) happened at Annapolis will find the answer in this fact: the dog did not bark. The settlers and their friends were keeping quiet, did not panic, did not get excited, did not distribute posters of Olmert in SS uniform (as they had done with Rabin after Oslo). All in all, they contented themselves with the obligatory prayer at the Western Wall and a smallish demonstration near the Prime Minister’s residence.

This means that they were not worried. They knew that nothing would come out of it, that there would be no agreement on the dismantling of even one measly settlement outpost. And on the forecast of the settlers’ leaders one can rely in such matters. If there had been the slightest danger that peace would result from this conference, they would have mobilized their followers en masse.

THE HAMAS movement, on the other hand, did organize mass demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank towns. The Hamas leaders were very worried indeed.

Not because they were afraid that peace would be concluded at the meeting. They were apprehensive of another danger: that the only real aim of the meeting was to prepare the ground for an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Ami Ayalon, a former admiral who once posed as a man of peace, and who is now a Labor member of the cabinet, appeared during the conference on Israeli TV to say so quite openly: he was in favor of the conference because it legitimizes this operation.

The line of thought goes like this: In order to fulfill his obligation under the Road Map, Abbas must “destroy the terrorist infrastructure” in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. “Terrorism” means Hamas. Since Abbas is unable to conquer the Gaza Strip himself, the Israeli army will do it for him.

True, it may be costly. In the last few months, a lot of arms have been flowing into Gaza through the tunnels under the border with Egypt. Many people on both sides will lose their lives. But “What can you do? There is no alternative.”

It may be that in retrospect, the main (if not the only) outcome of Annapolis will be this: the conquest of the Gaza Strip in order to “strengthen Abbas”.

Hamas, in any case, is worried. And not without reason.

In preparation for such a confrontation, the Hamas leaders have become even more shrill in their opposition to the meeting, to which they were not invited. They denounced Abbas as a collaborator and a traitor, reiterating that Hamas would never recognize Israel nor accept a peace agreement with it.

BACK TO the White House: if the three leaders agreed there in secret deliberations that the Israeli army will invade the Gaza Strip, that is very bad news.

It would have been better to get Hamas involved – if not directly, then indirectly. The absence of Hamas left a yawning gap at the conference. What is the sense in convening 40 representatives from all over the world, and leaving more than half the Palestinian people without representation?

The more so since the boycott of Hamas has pushed the organization further into a corner, causing it to oppose the meeting even more vociferously and incite the Palestinian street against it.

Hamas is not only the armed body that now dominates the Gaza Strip. It is first of all the political movement that won the majority of the votes of the Palestinian people in democratic elections – not only in the Gaza Strip, but in the West Bank, too. That will not change if Israel conquers the Strip tomorrow. On the contrary: such a move may stigmatize Abbas as a collaborator in a war against his own people, and actually strengthen the roots of Hamas in the Palestinian public.

Olmert said that first of all the “terrorist infrastructure” must be eliminated, and only then can there be progress towards peace. This totally misrepresents the nature of a “terrorist infrastructure” – regrettable from a person whose father (like Tzipi Livni’s father) was a senior Irgun “terrorist”. It also shows that peace does not head the list of his aspirations – because that statement constitutes a deadly land-mine on the way to an agreement. It is putting the cart before the horse.

The logical sequence is the other way round: First of all we have to reach a peace agreement that is acceptable to the majority of the Palestinians. That means (a) to lay the foundations for a State of Palestine whose border will run along the Green Line (with limited swaps of territory) and whose capital will be East Jerusalem, (b) to call upon the Palestinian people to ratify this agreement in a referendum, and (c) to call upon the military wing of Hamas to lay down their arms or to be absorbed into the regular forces of the new state, similarly to what happened in Israel, and join the political system in the new state.

If there were an assurance that this is the way things will go ahead, there is still a reasonable chance of convincing Hamas not to obstruct the process and to allow Abbas to manage it – as Hamas has agreed in the past.

Why? Because Hamas, like any other serious political movement, is dependent on popular support. At this point, with the occupation getting worse from day to day and all the routes to peace seemingly blocked, the Palestinian masses are convinced that the method of armed resistance, as practiced by Hamas, is the only one that offers them any hope. If the masses become convinced that the political path of Abbas is bearing fruit and is leading to the end of the occupation, Hamas, too, will be compelled to change course.

Unfortunately, the Annapolis conference did nothing to encourage such hopes. The Palestinian public, like the Israeli one, treated it with a mixture of distrust and disdain. It looks like an empty show run by a lame duck American president, whose only remaining pleasure is to be photographed as the leader of the world. And if Bush gets the UN resolution he wants to hide behind – another resolution that nobody will take seriously – it will not change anything.

Especially if it is true, as reported in the Israeli press, that the Israeli government is planning a huge expansion of the settlements, and if the army chiefs start another bloody war, this time in Gaza.

THEN DID this spectacle have no positive side at all? Will it be forgotten tomorrow, as dozens of other meetings in the past have been forgotten, so only people with an exceptional memory are aware they ever happened?

I am not sure that this is so.

True, it was only a waterfall of words. But in the lives of nations, words, too, have their value.

Almost the whole of humanity was represented at this conference. China. India. Russia. Europe. Almost all Arab governments lent their support. And in this company, it was solemnly resolved that peace must be established between Israel and an independent and viable State of Palestine. True, the terms were not spelled out, but they were hovering over the conference. All the participants knew what they were.

The representatives of the Israeli mainstream joined – at least pro forma – this consensus. Perhaps they did so tongue in cheek, perhaps only as a ploy, perhaps as an act of deceit. But as our sages said ages ago: he who accepts the Torah not because of itself will in the end accept it for itself. Meaning: if somebody accepts an idea from tactical calculation he will be compelled to defend it, and in the end he will convince himself. Even Olmert has already declared on his way home: “Without the Two-State Solution, the State of Israel is finished.”

In connection with this, a competition between cabinet members is already developing, and that is a good sign. Tzipi Livni has set up more than a dozen committees of experts, each one charged with dealing with a particular aspect of peace, from the division of water to the allocation of television channels. (For those with a good memory: this is happening 50 years after I proposed the setting up of exactly such an apparatus, which I called the “White General Staff”, as opposed to the “Khaki General Staff”).

True, the Annapolis conference was no more than a small step, taken under duress. But it was a tiny step in the right direction.

The consciousness of a large body of people changes only in a long and slow process, at an almost geological pace. This cannot be detected with the naked eye. But, as Galileo Galilei murmured to himself: “And yet it does move!”
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Annapolis Hypocrisy Hides Occupied Palestine Reality by Stephen Lendman

Outside the Middle East Peace Conference (videos)

12.03.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Dec. 3, 2007

linktv

For more: linktv.org/originalseries
“Palestinian Prisoners Set Free,” Dubai TV, UAE
“PA Security Officers Implicated in the Killings of Israelis,” IBA TV, Israel
“Egypt Allows Palestinian Pilgrims to Pass Through Rafah,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Demonstrations in London to End the Siege on Gaza,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Negroponte to Talk to PKK,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
“Media Hypes Iranian Nukes,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“UAE Turns 36,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Iran – UAE Relations,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Nawaz Sharif Banned from Running in Pakistani Elections,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

Annapolis Hypocrisy Hides Occupied Palestine Reality by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, December 3, 2007

Against the sham backdrop of Annapolis, life in occupied Palestine is a daily struggle to endure and survive what Edward Said once referred to as Israel’s “refined viciousness.” This article addresses one week of it no different than most others. It shows the road to peace isn’t through Annapolis nor can it be achieved without a willing partner or with the legitimate Palestinian government excluded. Talks are futile as long Israel spurns peace, violates international law, attacks Palestinian civilians, seizes their land, destroys their homes, restricts their movements, conducts targeted assassinations, denies them essential services, and holds Gaza under a medieval siege in the world’s largest open-air prison while blaming the victims.

Unreported is that the West Bank is also under siege that’s been tightened in recent weeks on targeted communities. Palestinian civilians are severely impeded especially in their movement in and out of Jerusalem. Other communities affected include Nablus, Tulkarm, Bethlehem, Jenin, Hebron and Ramallah. None of this is reported in the mainstream.

Each week, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports on conditions on the ground by documenting Israeli human rights violations in the Territories. They’re systematic, unending and savagely brutal by a nation pretending to want peace in the latest theatrics going nowhere. Against a backdrop of talks, photo-ops and high-sounding rhetoric, here’s the reality on the ground from November 22 to 28. It’s much like most previous weeks and those yet to come. It’s why talk of peace is pretense, and the struggle continues. Here’s an unreported snapshot of life in occupied Palestine amidst all the Annapolis hoopla:

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF):

— killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank; one victim was extra-judicially assassinated; two others were killed by banned flechette shells that propel metal fragments on detonation for maximum destructive effect against human targets; an Israeli Air Force raid killed another five Palestinians in Gaza early Saturday and wounded eight others as part of its regular terror-inflicting operations the IDF complements with savagery on the ground;

— wounded 28 Palestinians, including four children and an Israeli human rights defender; prevented ambulances from reaching victims to provide medical aid and transport to hospitals; one or more victims bled to death as a result;

— conducted 12 incursions into the West Bank and two into Gaza; targeted in the West Bank were al-Bireh and the neighboring al-Am’ari refugee camp; Ramallah; Jenin town and refugee camp; Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya; and Nablus and neighboring Balata and Ein Beit al-Maa refugee camps; Gaza targets included al-Shouka village, east of Rafah; in all cases, civilians were victimized;

— conducted air strikes at locations in Gaza including against the Palestinian naval police in Khan Yunis and Hamas’ Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades military wing;

— arrested 30 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank plus 12 in Gaza making the total number of arrests this year 2476 in the West Bank; year to date Gaza arrests weren’t reported but may be comparable in number to the West Bank; as many as 12,000 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons under deplorable conditions, most are uncharged under administrative detention, and Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem estimates 85% of them are subjected to torture or abuse; Israel continues making more unreported illegal arrests than the number of prisoners theatrically released; most are near the end of their unjustified sentences;

— destroyed one house and razed 7 donums (about 2 acres) of agricultural land in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza;

— destroyed buildings and factories in the Gaza Erez industrial zone that remained after others there were destroyed earlier;

— allowed one patient to die because she was denied access to treatment outside Gaza;

— continued construction of the illegal annexation wall in the West Bank on seized Palestinian land;

— used force to disperse peaceful demonstrations protesting the wall’s construction in Bal’eom village, west of Ramallah, and al-Ma’sara, south of Bethlehem;

— continued illegal West Bank settlement activities;

— allowed Israeli settlers to continue attacking Palestinian civilians and their property; attacks also injured 13 Palestinian civilians traveling in a minibus;

— continued to violently beat Palestinians attempting to bypass checkpoints to enter Jerusalem; this happens mostly on Fridays when they wish to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque;

— seized the homes of three Palestinian families for use as military sites; and

— Israeli settlers attacked a Hebron school causing damage; they broke windows, uprooted trees, demolished walls and tried to burn down the building; Settlers also attacked a private home; they set fires, broke windows and damaged a car and barnyard; in both instances, IDF forces were nearby but didn’t intervene as they almost never do in situations like this so settlers can freely terrorize Palestinian civilians.

In addition, the IDF has kept all Gaza border crossings closed for almost 17 months as part of a total siege on the Territory. Rafah International Crossing bordering Egypt is Gaza’s only connection to the outside world, and it’s been closed since June 25, 2006. Currently, around 6000 Palestinians are trapped on the Egyptian side unable to return home. Most have depleted their funds and rely on spotty assistance. Deaths have resulted, now at least 19 in number.

The result is a humanitarian and economic disaster. The flow of essential food, medical supplies and fuel as well as construction and other materials have been severely impeded or stopped altogether. Conditions became especially severe after the Israeli government declared Gaza a “hostile entity” on September 19, 2007 and escalated further collective punishment measures. Fuel supplies, already low, were cut again and are at critical levels. In addition, plans were to scale back electricity December 2 until Israel’s Supreme Court ruled November 30 the action must be postponed for at least a week pending a full presentation of the proposed operation.

The Court’s directive stopped short of an injunction halting the measure. Instead the justices said they “assumed that until the required additional information and necessary clarifications are received, the plan to limit electricity to (Gaza) will not begin to be implemented.”

Now a delay of at least three weeks is likely because authorities have 12 days to provide the requested information after which groups opposed have a week to file briefs with their positions. At the same time, the Court approved the government’s plan for further fuel supplies cuts that attorney Hassan Jabarin, representing the Adalah center for Arab minority rights in Israel, said “constitutes serious harm to the basic principle of international humanitarian law.” He added that international law prohibits collective punishment for any reason or using a civilian population for political purposes. Gaza fuel supplies were already low, and further cuts threaten all aspects of civilian life – health services, sewage disposal, drinking water wells, transportation, commerce, industrial production, agriculture and education.

Other collective punishment measures include allowing only nine basic materials into Gaza. The result is severe shortages of everything including vital supplies. Local markets ran out of many goods and can’t get banned ones. In addition, prices have risen sharply and in some cases fivefold making them unaffordable. People report being unable to get razors and shaving material, coffee, diapers, printing paper or even shoes, socks, underwear, wool clothes or jackets. Medical supplies are also exhausted so critical items like life-saving drugs and oxygen aren’t available.

Other banned items include furniture, electrical appliances, headstone materials for graves and cigarettes. Restricted also are fruits, milk and other dairy products. In addition, severe restrictions have been imposed on fishing. This affects 35,000 people in coastal communities, including 2500 fishermen as well as 2500 support staff and their families. In addition, Palestinians in Gaza aren’t able to enter Israel or the West Bank for any purpose including essential medical care unavailable in the Strip. The result is predictable – needless deaths and great human suffering.

UNRWA Gaza field office director, John Ging, expressed great concern about Israel’s actions with comments about “crushing sanctions, significantly adding to the human misery and suffering of 1.5 million civilians in Gaza (that) are in fact counterproductive to their stated purpose….You must be on the ground for days and weeks to begin to appreciate the full horror of the situation….living conditions continue their relentless downward spiral, to what can now only be described as truly appalling.”

Ging continued saying: “The impact on the medical situation for those affected is quite simply atrocious (with) essential drugs….in chronically short supply or have run out altogether (and) 800 patients needing treatment abroad (can’t) leave Gaza (and are enduring great) physical suffering and mental anguish. The food situation is equally bad (for 80% of Gazans).” UN “handouts” can only provide 61% of their daily caloric intake to sustain life.

After two years of UN service in Gaza, Ging added that the occupation caused the education system to collapse with a 90% literacy and numeracy failure rate the evidence. He also felt “compelled to discard the usual niceties of diplomatic speak” for blunt talk about the appalling Israeli policy of collective punishment and inhumane illegal sanctions against defenseless civilians suffering hugely.

None of this was on the table at Annapolis, and Ging’s boss, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, didn’t raise them. Nor was the following discussed: the refugees’ right of return, ending the occupation, the rights of Palestinian Israeli citizens, the annexation wall, dismantling West Bank settlements, Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital or a legitimate integrated Palestinian state and not one cantonized in the West Bank and separated from Gaza. The so-called “peace process” instead demands that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state; give up their right of self-defense against the world’s fourth largest military power; legitimize an ideology of racism, ethnic cleansing and colonization; and have a Palestinian security force be Israeli enforcers against the legal rights of their own people.

Fatah Palestinian Authority (PA) Security Force Repression Ordered by Quisling President Mahmoud Abbas to Please Israel and Washington

Many thousands of Palestinians in communities throughout Gaza and the West Bank took to the streets on November 27 in peaceful protests against the sham peace offensive they denounce. Demonstrations were organized by several political parties and civil society organizations and were held in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarem, Bethlehem and Nablus in defiance of a Fatah-imposed ban on them. As a result, they were repressively met by hundreds of Fatah security personnel. Fist fights broke out, dozens were arrested, and police beat demonstrators with batons to disperse them. They also used tear gas and fired indiscriminately in the air and into crowds that responded by throwing rocks. One civilian died from a gunshot to the chest. Thirty others were injured, some seriously.

Journalists covering the event were also attacked, beaten, detained and prevented from doing their jobs. In addition, the evening before (November 26) and throughout November 27, demonstration organizers were arrested. Some were later released. Others remain in custody. Similar protests also took place around the region as Palestinian refugees and their supporters in other Arab countries publicly demanded their right to return be honored according to UN Resolution 194 Israel won’t even acknowledge, let alone observe.

The scene in Gaza was another story. Huge crowds of well over 100,000 (some estimates were 250,000) assembled to protest and were addressed by the legitimate Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh. He denounced the Annapolis talks saying they “don’t represent the Palestinian people.” The sentiment in the streets was powerful with chants of “No recognition of Israel, America is the head of the snake,” and cries calling Abbas a traitor by tens of thousands of outraged and unrepresented people.

One woman summed up the prevailing sentiment saying: “We don’t want more alleged peace conferences, which bring us more suffering. We prefer poverty to accepting shameful peace.” Others expressed similar views preferring to suffer than to give up their legitimate rights long denied and won’t be resolved at Annapolis or what follows next. And their allies extend beyond Hamas. They include Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Liberation Party, Palestinian Liberation Organization-linked parties and responsible intellectuals who believe real peace won’t come through Annapolis or other sham processes like it.

Life in the Occupied Territories goes on where Palestinians won’t accept surrender for peace. Their struggle for freedom and justice continues. Israel remains defiant so expect many more weeks on the ground like the last one. It’s so future generations can be free because past ones endured so much for them.

Ramallah Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Summit

Palestinians have allies everywhere outside seats of power, and 300 of them gathered on November 22 in Ramallah. Activists, union members and NGO representatives came to plan a global civil resistance campaign against Israel’s repressive occupation and rule. Their aim: an action plan for boycott, divestment and sanctions that proved successful liberating India from Britain and South Africa from white supremacist apartheid. Where negotiation fails, pressure may succeed and conference participants see it as a priority in the current environment.

The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) convened the conference along with the OPGAI Coalition (Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative), PACBI (The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) and Stop the Wall (The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign). Dr. Allam Jarrar of PNGO called the conference an historic event 60 years after the Palestinian Nakba. Now “we are beginning to revise the strategy of our struggle for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, foremost among them our rights to self-determination, independence and (right of) return. The boycott campaign will re-vitalize popular resistance and restore dignity” as well as dispel the myth that Palestinians can only engage in negotiations that have never worked and won’t now.

The balance of power can only shift through sustained and effective pressure, and Stop the Wall representative Jamal Jum’a believes that the BDS movement today is so diverse and widespread the Zionist Lobby can’t destroy it. Neither can Annapolis obscure it. Only ineffective resistance can do it that must be avoided. To prevent it, consensus was reached that building a civil resistance campaign is crucial, and recommendations were made as follows:

They involve forming a Steering Committee for the Campaign and more:

(1) The local Palestinian BDS Campaign:

— consumer boycott of Israeli products by Palestinians; use of local alternatives instead; dialogue with Palestinian companies to support them and expand employment of the Palestinian work force;

— educate by reviewing the Palestinian curriculum to ensure its historic accuracy; enlist students in the BDS campaign; urge the Ministry of Education to urge private schools stop selling Israeli products and refrain from normalization projects with Israeli organizations;

— media awareness pressure to stop advertising Israeli products; public awareness measures to support the boycott; and

— mechanisms for campaign building and promotion by forming popular boycott committees to raise public awareness, initiate action and build a popular culture supporting boycott instead of normalization that’s futile; pressure PA officials to support the effort and express solidarity with other Global South popular struggles to gain theirs in return.

(2) An Arab World Campaign

— cooperate and coordinate with other Arab world anti-normalization committees; lobby for reactivating the Arab League boycott committee; inject BDS into the mainstream Arab media; urge Arab investors to support the Palestinian economy; promote Palestinian products in Arab countries.

(3) An International/Global Campaign

— an overall strategy to challenge Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state and a colonial apartheid one; the boycott to include targeting Israel’s economy, academia, culture and sports.

Success depends on building alliances with unions, faith-based organizations and other potential allies in the Arab world, throughout the Global South, and with marginalized Global North communities. In addition an emphasis must be placed on coordinating global activities and campaigns to build a worldwide BDS effort.

On its web site, the Palestine BDS Campaign targets Israel with punitive non-violent measures “until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.” As representatives of Palestinian civil society, it “call(s) upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience (everywhere) to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel (like) those applied (against apartheid) South Africa….for the sake of justice and genuine peace.” It must include an end to occupation and colonization, granting Arab Israeli citizens equal rights to Jews, and letting Palestinian refugees return to their homeland as stipulated under UN Resolution 194.

These are fundamental principles of international law applying to all nations. They’re not negotiable, and no nation gets a pass. Peace isn’t possible until Israel goes along and becomes a member in good standing in the world community. Up to now, it’s never been one. It’s about time that changed, and it’s hoped an effective BDS campaign is the way to do it because other ways for 60 years haven’t worked.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on www.TheMicroEffect.com Mondays at noon US Central time.

Stephen Lendman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Stephen Lendman

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

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© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2007
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Al Jazeera: US withdraws Annapolis resolution

Dandelion Salad

Al Jazeera English
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2007
4:42 MECCA TIME, 1:42 GMT

The United States has withdrawn a resolution it presented to the UN Security Council endorsing the relaunch of Middle East peace talks agreed in Annapolis, Maryland.

US officials did not give a reason for Friday’s move but diplomats indicated that Israel, which is a close ally of Washington, did not want the UN involved in the process.

“We looked at this matter, talked about it and at the end of the day the secretary [of state Condoleezza Rice] believes that the positive results of Annapolis speak by themselves,” Sean McCormack, US state department spokesman, said.

Continued…

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MIR: Arabpolis (video)

Dandelion Salad

linktv

Arab nations attend the Annapolis Peace conference in full force. Is this a show of pan-Arab solidarity with the Palestinians? Are they afraid of Iran ? Or is there another reason that Annapolis became Arabpolis?

The answers to these questions and more on Link TV ‘s Mosaic Intelligence Report.

For more visit http://www.linktv.org

Added: November 30, 2007

A different venue, but the pious claims and promises are the same By Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk
ICH
11/29/07 “The Independent


Haven’t we been here before? Isn’t Annapolis just a repeat of the White House lawn and the Oslo agreement, a series of pious claims and promises in which two weak men, Messrs Abbas and Olmert, even use the same words of Oslo.

“It is time for the cycle of blood, violence and occupation to end,” the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday. But don’t I remember Yitzhak Rabin saying on the White House lawn that, “it is time for the cycle of blood… to end”?

Jerusalem and its place as a Palestinian and Israeli capital isn’t there. And if Israel receives acknowledgment that it is indeed an Israeli state – and in reality, of course, it is – there can be no “right of return” for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled (or whose families fled) what became Israel in 1948.

And what am I to make of the following quotation from the full text of the joint document: “The steering committee will develop a joint work plan and establish and oversee the work of negotiations (sic) teams to address all issues, to be headed by one lead representative from each party.” Come again?

We went through all these steering committees before – and they never worked. True we’ve got a date of 12 December for the first session of this so-called “steering committee” and we have the faint hope from Mr Bush, embroidered, of course, with all the usual self-confidence, that we’re going to have an agreement by 2008. But how can the Palestinians have a state without a capital in Jerusalem? How can they have a state when their entire territory has been chopped up and divided by Jewish settlements and the settler roads and, in parts, by a massive war?

Yes of course, we all want an end to bloodshed in the Middle East but the Americans are going to need Syria and Iran to support this – or at least Syrian support to control Hamas – and what do we get? Bush continues to threaten Iran and Bush tells Syria in Annapolis that it must keep clear of Lebanese elections, or else…

Yes, Hizbollah is a surrogate of Iran and is playing a leading role in the opposition to the government of Lebanon. Do Bush and Condoleezza Rice (or Abbas or Olmert for that matter) really think they’re going to have a free ride for a year without the full involvement of every party in the region? More than half of the Palestinians under occupation are under the control of Hamas.

Reading the speeches – especially the joint document – it seems like an exercise in self-delusion. The Middle East is currently a hell disaster and the President of the United States thinks he is going to produce the crown jewels from a cabinet and forget Afghanistan and Iraq and Iran – and Pakistan, for that matter. The worst element of the whole Annapolis shindig is that once again millions of people across the Middle East – Muslims, Jews and Christians – will believe all this and will then turn – after its failure – with fury on their antagonists for breaking these agreements.

For more than two years, the Saudis have been offering Israel security and recognition by Arab states in return for a total withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories. What was wrong with that? Mr Olmert promised that “negotiations will address all the issues which thus far has been evaded”. Yet the phrase “withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories” simply doesn’t exist in the text.

Like most people who live in the Middle East, I would like to enjoy these dreams and believe they are true. But they are not. Wait for the end of 2008.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Outside the Middle East Peace Conference (video)

11.28.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Outside the Middle East Peace Conference (videos)

Dandelion Salad

WHYNotNews

While representatives of countries from all around the world met at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, groups of their constituents gathered outside the gates and held forth with their own positions that demonstrated the complexity of the peace process.

see

11.28.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

11.28.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Nov. 28, 2007

linktv

For more videos: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Olmert & Abbas Begin Serious Talks,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Annapolis Doomed to Fail,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Annapolis Draws Mixed Reactions,” Jordan TV, Jordan
“Palestinian Anti-Annapolis Demonstrator Killed,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Palestinians React to Annapolis,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Who are the Winners & Losers in Annapolis?” IBA TV, Israel
“The Golan Heights & Annapolis,” Syria TV, Syria
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Added: November 29, 2007

see

11.27.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Al Jazeera: Annapolis: Middle East peace deal (videos)

Annapolis Statement: “Palestinian Bantustan” by Francis A. Boyle

Bush at the Middle East Peace Summit (videos; updated)

Separate but unequal in Palestine: The road to apartheid by Mohammed Khatib

11.27.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Nov. 27, 2007

linktv

For more videos: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Palestinians Remain Divided During Annapolis,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“The Road to Annapolis,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“What Do Palestinians Think About Annapolis?” Dubai TV, UAE
“What Do Syrians Think About Annapolis?” Dubai TV, UAE
“The Plight of the Palestinian Refugees,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Israelis Are Skeptical About Annapolis,” IBA TV, Israel
“Night Classes at Iraqi Universities,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
“Egyptian Divorce Rate is Soaring,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

see

Al Jazeera: Annapolis: Middle East peace deal (videos)

Annapolis Statement: “Palestinian Bantustan” by Francis A. Boyle

Bush at the Middle East Peace Summit (videos; updated)

Separate but unequal in Palestine: The road to apartheid by Mohammed Khatib

Al Jazeera: Annapolis: Middle East peace deal (videos)

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

Inside Story

Diplomats from Arab leagues and nations descend on America’s city for peace deal.

see

Annapolis Statement: “Palestinian Bantustan” by Francis A. Boyle

Bush at the Middle East Peace Summit (videos; updated)

Separate but unequal in Palestine: The road to apartheid by Mohammed Khatib