A strange question!!! Mohammad S. Arafat. Gaza

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I was chatting with a new friend from Australia after adding me on Face Book. It was a very long conversation with lots of questions and answers about Gaza and its people. He asked me a tremendous number of questions and I answered all of them. The first question that I was asked, after I told him that I`m a Gaza, was” Where does that place locate?”
I smiled a little bit and sent him a smiling face. And then I asked him instead of answering his strange question” Have you ever seen mutilated children full of blood spread in the ground and under rubble in the Media?”
“Yes for sure. I have seen many of them, but why do you ask?” he retorted.

Now it`s my turn to answer his first question” So here Gaza locate”. The friend stayed silent for more than two minutes; however, I thought that he would unfriend me directly. After the two minutes have gone, he sent me another strange message” How can I come to you and kiss your forehead??” and then he sent me a crying face. I was shocked and cried a little bit and said to me “we are known by our blood. What a miracle”.
I`m not kidding when I say the people of Gaza are the greatest and the bravest in all round the world. I don`t say that because I`m one of them, but our rare behaviors forced my pen to write these humble words. I must admit that we are the bravest in all the sides, from the men to women and from the youngest to eldest. We all are one person called Gaza and our widow mother Palestine.

The second question that he asked me after crying” Tell me more about Gaza please!!”, I answered him without thinking” We are the greatest and the bravest people in all over the world”. He stayed silent again for a while and asked me” How come?”
My fingers typed directly as if I entrusted them my mind” Lets first speak about our men. When I speak about the Gazan men, I speak about the LIONS of Palestine. They are our honor that many countries missed these days. They are the first and the last defenders who protected our boarders and our families from the oppressive enemy. They stayed more than thirty days resisting the enemy. They did not know the taste of food except having three dates every day. Our men stayed at their homes and lands and refused to evacuate them in order not to let the despoilers steal them.

Beside of our men, there are our great women who refused to be the victims of the murderers. They have done what no one did. Many of them did not sleep during their nights staying beside their sick and injured children and husbands in the protective edge operation on Gaza. Many of them did not cry over their children and stayed patient when they were killed. Most of them returned to their destroyed homes under the danger and looked for food and clothes under the rubble for their children. They did not eat for days to save the food for their families. They breasts got dry and empty of milk and that did not stop them from feeding their children. I must say that they are the LIONESSES of the LIONS of Gaza.

I cannot deny that our children are brave as well even if they are children. They did not resist like the men and the women, but they did a lot of things that brought the word HUMANITY back to the dictionary of the human rights. Our children used to drink from the grimy water and the water of the toilet while the other children are drinking coca cola and Pepsi in the biggest restaurants in the world. Many of our children got killed in the sake of their countries while the others are enjoying their time in the amusement centers and cinemas. Our children studied under the destroyed schools refusing the let the enemy makes them illiterate and the other are asking their parents to let them join special schools. Our children see the death follows them in every moment and every step. The bloody sharpened dagger of the enemy follows them whenever they try to smile even if a small hidden smile. The joy of our children is imprisoned inside the jail of silent of the leaders of humanity. So I must consider them the SONS of the LIONS who will lead the humanity of the world after they missed it.

Mr. Pen( A pen for Palestine)

“As the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population”

I quote from an article “The catastrophe inflicted on Gaza–and the costs to Israel’s standing”. Under international law, as the occupying power Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population.

Generally countries build up their defence systems in the light of threats from other powers who similarly spend huge fortunes on increasingly sophisticated armaments. Arms industries are also significant earners and enlist political leaders to help sell their wares indiscriminately. Even royalty is dragged in on their account on diplomatic missions. The Palestinian territories have no match for Israel’s economic and military might.

In the past it has been possible to some extent for the Israeli Government to rely on secrecy to cover its activities. The availability of social media has changed all that so the figures for casualties in Gaza have been plain for all to see:

“Of the fatalities whose identity and status have been verified so far, 86 percent are civilians, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Of those tabulated in its most recent update, 226 are members of armed groups; 459 are children.”

When in 1985/6 Mordechai Vanunu told the Sunday Times about Dimona and the highly dangerous nuclear arsenal held by Israel the official position was neither to confirm or deny the situation. It seems that although facts are there clear for all to see this is still the position. You pretend you didn’t see it. While this is harder and harder to sustain it remains a position shared with many of Israel’s supposed allies in the United States and Europe. As the United Nations speaks of “war crimes” it will be interesting to see if there is a variation in changes to policy of different states. Certainly rhetoric is changing markedly as there appears to be much less willingness to defend the indefensible in many quarters. As far as the people are concerned demonstrations have erupted far and wide with tangible effects on the BDS movement targeted at Israel’s economy, particularly where firms are operating on stolen Palestinian territory.

“It is—as usual—a matter of elementary simplicity to dispense with those declared objectives and the mendacious protestations and justifications Israel has fabricated around them. Gaza is not a sovereign state firing rockets across an international frontier: it is an occupied territory held under tight Israeli control. Sealed off by land, sea and air, even its population registry remains in Israeli hands. Internationally recognized as the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population whose very capacity for life it has been obsessively reducing to ruins. And in any case the sequence of events leading to this bombardment was triggered not by rockets from Gaza but by the recent Israeli crackdown in the West Bank, which culminated in the burning alive of a Palestinian teenager by Jewish fanatics—and, beyond that, five decades of grueling military occupation.”

Note: Interesting to see in the Independent’s article on arms sales that supply to “Israel and Palestinian Territories” accounts for nearly £8,000 million, well over half the total, yet there is no marker re. concerns for human or civil rights! What, we might ask, is the division between Israel and the Palestinian Territories? Were rockets supplied to Gaza, or stones to be thrown in the West Bank?

As civilians die drone manufacturers are laughing

The only pain that the Israeli Government and it allies, the arms manufacturers and suppliers feel is in their pocket. It is reported that shares in an Israeli based company have risen sharply during the conflict between Israel and Gaza. As with earlier attacks on Gaza arms manufacturers like Elbit Systems regard it as a laboratory for perfecting their trade in death and destruction. One such system called om/elbitmain/area-in2.asp?parent=3&num=36&num2=36″ title=”Perfecting Hermes drone system”>Hermes has reportedly been used on Gaza.

Engines for drones are manufactured here in the UK in Shenstone, West Midlands at UAV, only a few miles from where I am sitting and where regular vigils are held with prayers and meditation in solidarity with past and future intended victims – many, many innocent women and children right now in Gaza.

Many businesses world wide invest in Israel activities on stolen Palestinian land and some are getting increased attention. French based Veolia is one such attracting attention from Dumpveolia. Veolia are getting worried and appear to be moving away from their Israeli business.

This week in Birmingham a demonstration succeeded in closing a Sainsbury’s store in Union Row due to their sourcing of goods from occupied territories. Demonstrators have returned to UAV in Shenstone.

Bibi rattled and riled

While the established media are still prevaricating about what is going on in Gaza, we the ordinary people take to the streets and social networks and see that what is happening daily are war crimes. Still the politicians and sycophantic journalists are saying “maybe” war crimes have been committed. Looking at posts on Facebook and Twitter there’s no “maybe” about it.

In the first place the secrecy beloved by states like Israel and agencies like the NSA and GCHQ (which Edward Snowden recently declared is worse than the NSA – good grief!) is harder to maintain. Israel still maintains it isn’t nuclear power after Mordechai Vanunu blew the whistle in 1986 in the ungrateful Sunday Times. (it now barely utters a word about the man who subsequently spent 18 years, much in solitary, and now another 10 held in Israel against his will. 58 MPs invited him to Britain last month but the Sunday Times was virtually silent, apart from a couple of paragraphs).

That the social media counts is shown by Netanyahu’s (aka Bibi) reaction by offering bribes to young people with scholarships when they tweet something favourable to Israel. I call that scraping the barrel. Hard to stomach as it may seem Hamas also recognises that the world is at last seeing what has been happening to the Palestinian people under occupation and is seeking a long term end, not the capitulation that Israel and supporters such as the US and British Governments would wish. Even the UN seems to accept that scenario. As Ban Ki-moon deplores the shelling of the UN school in Gaza where at least 13 were killed he is reluctant to apportion blame to Israel.

One commentator guaranteed to get Bibi rattled and riled is Daniel Barenboim, holder of Israeli and Palestinian nationality. He can claim to offer both an informed and balanced view on Gaza and stating the obvious – that a military solution will never solve anything – speaks to everyone.

“Israel has the right to….”

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US Defence Secretary John Kerry is asserting that “Israel has the right to… defend itself”. What does this statement imply given the information that is now coming in from Gaza. Are the sophisticated weapons held by Israel, bank rolled by the US, supported by other western governments defence weapons consistent with defence? Earlier attacks on Gaza using white phosphorus and depleted uranium made commentators ask if the Israeli defence industry was using the residents of Gaza as guinea pigs in the use of new and increasingly deadly technology.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) did not deny using the shells in the conflict. “As a rule, the IDF only employs weapons that have been determined lawful under international law, and in a manner which fully conforms with the laws of armed conflict,” a spokesperson said in response to a request for specific comment on the deployment of flechettes.

Do they believe their own propaganda?

Israel believes it has the right to flout international law, and does so with impunity. It holds a stockpile of nuclear weapons and continues to hold Mordechai Vanunu in Israel against his will for telling the world they were held at Dimona, supposedly a textile factory. Vanunu believes that nuclear power is dangerous for the future of the world whoever holds them. Israel’s secrecy compelled him to speak out. Now we hear NATO deploys Israel’s non-existent nuclear war heads on submarines gifted to Israel by the German government. This would give Israel the capability of a nuclear strike anywhere on the planet. US President JFK was strongly opposed to Israel’s possession of nuclear capability.

Israel takes the right to confiscate Palestinian land, to demolish Palestinian houses and olive groves. Yael Dayan, former member of the Knesset and daughter of the Israeli General Moshe Dayan, believes Israel should return to the 1967 borders. I had the pleasure of meeting her in Tel Aviv in 2004 when she spoke passionately about peace and the rights of Palestinians.

Israeli leaders believe they have the right to do whatever they want, and because there is little said by their partners in the world of big finance they get away with – well literally – murder. Genocide. How long can world “leaders” sit by staying dumb particularly when the people they are supposed to lead rise up and demonstrate their concerns about the treatment of fellow human beings in the Israel apartheid state.

The Harsh Conditions of Palestinian Prisoners from Bahaa Mohammad Abuwarda, Gaza

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ScanThe bitter current situation that our heroic prisoners face inside the dark and enigmatic Israeli jails is one of the most important issues which every leader, follower, child, student, scientist, worker, farmer should work for. Not only the Palestinian people are the ones who are responsible for fighting against the Israeli military forces for freeing the prisoners, but also it is the liability of all the Arab countries for standing next to Palestinians and supporting them financially and emotionally, encouraging them to be patient in order to encounter their enemies and free their home and land from the filthy hands of the Jewish. For this, I am not going to fold my arms in front of the agonies and hardships that our jailers expose to inside seclusion cells and prisons, that are far away from the orange eye of the sun, and sit at the end of the caravan.Since I am having one of the sharpest weapons which is the English language, I am expected to start my new simple journey in writing reports and articles by which I can deliver the message of our prisoners to every corner of the world. Depriving the Palestinian prisoner of seeing his parents, wife, children and friends, sitting with them, sharing them their happiness and sadness and also depriving the prisoner of hugging his little boys in a particular way can be considered one of the most heinous crimes that prisoners suffer from at the present time. Of course, it is a trouble that leaves psychological problems inside prisoner’ssouls and their relatives as well. What sins and what faults did small children and aged people do to be deprived of seeing their fathers and sons? This question is left for you, READER. It is quite clear that the Israeli authorities impose revengeful, unjustifiable and inhuman punishments against wide strip of people which require unity to be removed. Under the title of “Suffering of Deprivation and Hope to Meeting”, the international organization of human friends released a report in which it showed the problems and difficulties which prisoners’ families and detainees go through when visiting their sons in jails and how this problemincreases from oneminute to another as a result of the aggressive and strict procedures taken by military forces in the sacrileges of international laws and traditions. In addition, the report shed some light on the hard conditions and barriers that Zionists write on the panel for visitors and families to read before visiting their prisoners. The next paragraphs show some of these difficulties.

The journey of suffering

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The report showed prisoners’ families go from dawn at three o’clock and return back their homes before midnight in most cases. Even though the distance between the jail and their homes doesn’texceed more than one hour or two, the period of visiting is forty five minutes or less than that, depending on pragmatic cases. Throughout investigating times, visiting is not allowed. This temporal period expands to seventy days in some cases. The report added that after visitors being delivered by coaches to meet their detainees and throughout the journey of suffering and torture, they must pass and in big numbers lots of military hindrances. After a long time of waiting , changing buses, inspection and bothering by the army, they might be given the permission to visit their prisoners. Such elements changed the process of visiting into a real tragic disaster. What prompts attention most and increases the beats of hearts is that sometimes the administration of jails says to some families: ” Your son is not here. We don’t have this name in the list.” They aim at shocking the families. The report added that a pile of Zionist procedures that taken against prisoners and their relatives resulted in complicating and stopping the process of visiting in most cases. The number of prisoner is approximately 9000 ones. It means that, at least, nine thousands of families are deprived of communicating and sitting with their sons in addition to their friends, uncles, aunts, teachers, grandfathers, grandmothers, etc.

The curses and insults

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The administration of jails, in addition to inspection and what mentioned before, forces prisoners and their families to take their clothes off before and after visiting in the middle of a stream of curses, insults, offenses and bad words directed to them.The meeting between prisoners and their families doesn’t start as soon as entering the hall of jail. Instead, they have to row after an insulting iron window and a glassy wall to start talking. Every one should cry as loudly as he or she can to hear each other. This is because of the two insulators and the too many voices that talk to each other during those few minutes. Each of the families and their prisoners try to concentrate on each others lips in order to translate what is said. Sometimes they use microphones to hear each other. Moreover and according to the report, one of the conditions of the occupation authorities is that families should have a permission by the International Red Cross from its security apparatus before visiting their jailers.According to the Zionists security authorities, brothers who are more than thirteen years old are not allowed to visit their relatives at all for security reasons. In every visit, the number of members who are allowed to visit their prisoners don’t exceed two.

The incorporeal weakening of prisoners

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These measures, according to the report, shape a ring in the policy of the Zionist occupation authority that taken against the rights of prisoners in general. This can be cleared in the picture if the prisoner becomes ill of the methods of torture and subjugation. From the first moment of arresting and hurling him in the jail until he becomes free, the image of weakening him can be presented by the unhealthy care taken against him, the rooms that are crowded with people, the unfair verdicts that are taken against him, the process of tormenting that he exposes to, the courts which legislate hostile, unfriendly and antagonistic laws versus him, and the tragic circumstances that he lives in.It is difficult for this article to include all what prisoners confront inside jails which assures that the main reason beyond jailing prisoners is to weakening and destroying them physically, mentally and emotionally. At last, we should collaborate our efforts for removing their sufferance, deprivation and divestment and achieving their hope to return back to their families as well.

THE LAST MOMENTS–

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From Mohammad Arafat, Gaza

It was a dark frightening night full of black big bats and ugly owls. The atmosphere was really quiet except the fluttering of the wings of the bats and the hoot of the owls. Under a high tree, there was a small house with a couple was living in it. At the door, there was a wife was wiping her husband`s tears of his sad eyes and he was wiping hers as well. She asked him while the tears were falling hardly from her tired eyes” Will you come back to us?” He nodded his head and said sadly” I don`t know, but if I don`t come back, you have to bring up this son”, pointing his finger at the child in his mother`s womb. Then he put his hands on her blown belly asking the little baby to take care of his mother. After a long conversation with the baby, he carried up his gun and put on his military uniform and the Palestinian scarf too. He fastened the boots and became ready to start his journey towards the unknown future. Her tears fell down to the earth before the husband blocked the wells of her tears with his rough fingers and cheered her up by telling her “I love you darling”. Then he kissed her right hand and her forehead. He hugged her along hug and she did that to him too. He stepped towards his first moments of his journey looking at her sad small face that was coiled with a brown veil that he gifted her in the first day of their marriage. He went and his face still looking at her smiling mouth waving his right hand while the left one was busy carrying the gun and finally he said” Good bye darling. See you on Paradise”

No show by Vanunu after an invitation from 68 British MPs

We learned from Jeremy Corbyn that 68 Members of the 2 Houses of Parliament had signed the letter of invitation to Vanunu. This was a notable increase, although Khalid Mahmood who had assured me he supported, had not signed, nor Gisela Stuart, who said she would consider it. Jeremy said he would make sure they did next time. I did not identify any MPs there other than Jeremy, who himself had to leave for a while, apart from a brief appearance by Baroness Jenny Tonge. Hopefully that would not be the case if VM was there himself!

After an introduction by Jeremy, Avigdore Feldman spoke of the 30 years he had represented VM after being brought by force to Israel. He said that the Israelis did not want to kidnap him in England. It was in his view the most horrific human rights abuse to a single person with the intent of punishing him until the end of his life. He mentioned the effect of the 11+ years of detention in solitary confinement on VM’s mental health and the main restrictions he continues to face including not being allowed to speak with anyone who is not an Israeli citizen. Very difficult where he lives in East Jerusalem. He has now approached the court 10 times but they still claim he has some terrible secret. He denies he has any as he knew the situation 30 years ago.

A book on Israeli armaments 1948-2011 doesn’t mention Vanunu in its 500 pages. He is a “non-being” and nuclear weapons are not an issue in Israel. How many have been developed since? why does Israel go on lying that they don’t have nuclear weapons while Vanunu is charged with revealing them? The Government is continuing to lie to the people living with an air of unreality, yet since the beginning o f the development of nuclear weapons in Israel in 1965 some 2-3,000 people worked on it but maintain a “stupid solidarity”. He is pessimistic about VM’s future. He remains in solitary isolation. He was a whistleblower before there was any support for such people and he acted on his own initiative.

This was followed by a clip from the BBC film made by Christopher Mitchell where VM speak of his sacrifice of freedom and life for this case. This was in response to the Chernobyl disaster. The Sunday Times seriously debated publishing its article in 1986 by VM is glad that it did and feels that his mission was accomplished. When he was released from prison in April 2004 he spoke to the press in English, breaching the conditions imposed on him. He maintained the price was worth it.

Peter Hounam, a journalist based in Scotland, had spoken the evening before at the Front Line Club. He felt that it would have been difficult to protect VM even if he hadn’t been taken to Rome. He did the right thing because highly destructive fusion weapons were being developed. The press hardly ever cover it. Israel worked with South Africa on highly sophisticated delivery systems. Each had the same type of weapon. South Africa launched its weapons from a base in the Cape into the South Atlantic. There was close collaboration with South Africa providing fissile materials and Israel technical expertise. (Israel launched medium range missiles onto the Med.) Israel now has 6 submarines which can fire Cruise Missiles, 5 of which given free by the German Government as part of reparations for WW2. They were not supposed to be used for nuclear purposes but equipped so they could. More. They can reach any part of the world. If, as is being claimed, these Israeli weapons are being deployed as part of NATO then this implies massive collusion with Israel’s cover up of their very existence. If we are still wondering why governments and media remain silent while VM goes to jail for warning of danger to humanity we know that all are implicated. We need to think more realistically why countries are not are not speaking out or helping VM.

The Sunday Times should be asked what it is doing to help VM. There was a small piece last Sunday and there will probably be something this weekend. The British Government has been silent on Vanunu’s abduction and has an obligation to see him returned to Britain.

Nancy Walters from Amnesty International said they had been taking the matter seriously for decades and referred to the late Alex York. She asked us to go to the website where there is a petition to get the ban on travel for VM lifted. There is a need to push the UK Government to tell Israel of their Human Rights commitments and violation of Civil Treaties.

In discussion I pointed out that there were two Face Book Causes: Free Mordechai Vanunu with over 5000 supporters and Tell Nuclear Truths (TNT) with over 20,000. Surely these should be taken into account in any campaign. I said that I had come along on behalf of Eileen Fleming who has been leading campaigns and written extensively in books and articles, some recently published in the Arab Daily News.

Concern was expressed over Germany’s actions and it was urged that questions should be asked. Was this recent? Evidently it was about 5 months ago. There had been a political row in Germany which resulted in a fatality.

Jeremy Corbyn referred to future opportunities to raise issues in the wider context of meetings on restricting nuclear weapons. UN 2015 – last month there had been a failure of NPT to convene a weapon free conference. All have said that they are in favour of it. 142 states are supporting a conference in Vienna in December on the Humantarian effects of nuclear arms.

One speaker felt the International Trades Union movement should give support and that VM’s fate was tied up with that of Palestinians. Avigdor Feldman said that he had not previously been in favour of associating the two issues but as things are now so bad he had altered his mind.

As for VM himself. He had made a decision not to speak to Israeli journalists. It was felt that here were some among them who do support him. It is understood that he is stubborn, but that is what has carried him through this ordeal.

Avigdor Feldman was asked to take our love and support to VM and we were asked to send him e-mails, requesting that he doesn’t reply in contravention of the conditions inposed on him.

Prince Charles promotes a history lesson

A passing remark by Prince Charles during his visit to Canada had disproportionately provoked a vigorous response from Russia. President Putin sees the crisis in the Ukraine as a threat from fascist forces but finds himself the butt of Charles’ comment comparing him with Hitler. The history lesson that ensued is personal pointing out not only the British royal family’s history of links with Hitler but the German origins of his family and his own links with the Nazi past. I doubt whether it will go onto the National Curriculum as things stand.

In the year commemorating the centenary of the beginning of World War 1 no one promoting the sacrifices of so many wants reminding of its architects, which of course includes Charles’ own great grandfather, George V:

“Charles’ great grandfather George V was one of the three ‘great’ architects of World War One, the so-called ‘Cousins’ War’, four years of mindless slaughter that began exactly a century ago. With two more Saxe-Coburg Gotha cousins, George’s hapless subjects slugged it out in trench warfare with Germany’s Wilhelm II and Russia’s Nicholas II’s unfortunates leaving, by 1918, a total of some ten million dead for no discernible purpose.”

The writer continues reminding us that Charles’ family name changed at this time from Saxe-Coburg Gotha to Windsor in order to distance himself from any German link because of widespread public hostility…

“When in 1917 ill-mannered soldiers began pointing out that German Gotha bombers from another branch of the King’s family business were killing them, George V blithely announced that his surname was changing from ‘Saxe-Coburg Gotha’ to the more English-sounding ‘Windsor’.”

A history of the monarchy and the obsession with secrecy, maintenance of an elite and advancement of capitalism add discomfort to Charles inheritance, but a personal attack on his continuing expenditure on ensuring a positive PR against even higher costs of keeping the lid on anything else doesn’t help the monarchist cause. Not a bit. Thus at Highgrove Diana is a taboo subject. She, it is explained, tried to protect her sons from the unreality of their life as royals. While she is mentioned in books large sums are paid to ensure they are not seen here when they claim that the “arrangement of an accident” was something desired by the Windsors themselves.