“Israel has the right to….”

10429287_877684545593807_4737092620179463038_nMohammed Dawoud shared ‎أيمن العالول‎’s photo

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

Scan

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

Scan 1

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

Scan 2

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

Scan 3

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–

10479034_673600676054251_4952232759416078089_n

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.

Corporate Greed Protected

As MacDonald workers demonstrate peacefully for a fair wage in Illinois they come under attack by the very forces supposed to protect them in exercising their rights. Governments choose to protect Corporations and their ever growing demands for profit rather than the people on who they depend on delivering their services. Wages and conditions of service are sacrificed to this end.

Monsanto had become a name symbolising the predatory nature of the corporate beast and today people across the globe are taking them on. Governments respond not by supporting the people, those who elected them democratically through the ballot box, but by drafting increasingly draconian laws to protect their paymasters. Thus curbs on the Internet and freedom of speech are being proposed.

Diverting our attention. Instead of targeting foreigners aim at corporate interest

Another mining disaster with huge loss of life in Turkey concentrates the mind (or should concentrate the mind) on maintaining safety standards. As we well know from long and bitter experience it is likely to be the first thing that goes when private hands take over our industries and services. The low pay and shocking conditions described by Dickens is back with a vengeance. Instead of railing at the corporate interest that recreates and maintains servitude politicians of all major parties are paralysed with fear that the corporate lobbyists will withdraw the largesse and favours they like to bestow on the political elite. Don’t blame them, blame the foreigner as responsible for the countries ills. UKIP and the right thrive on it and the others trip over themselves to outdo thmm to create a climate of racism and xenophobia.

The history of opposition to the current power group all but vanishes as the corporate media represents its own and other corporate interest exclusively. However stories emerge that give a different picture. Seumas Milne reminds us of the emerging information correcting common views of the miners’ actions which shows not only the importance of the struggle but the lengths taken to close down any debate through misinformation and downright lies. In most cases it is just ignored as programmes like the BBC’s supposedly impartial question time goes out of its way to ignore the likes of Bob Crow and Arthur Scargill, but goes out of its way to drag in Nigel Farrage. It seems to justify this by selecting those who demonstrate the larger political interest, not stopping to think that it has been instrumental in creating the celebrity status of the so-called “fruit cake”.

It is not only the right that opposes European dictat from Brussels but lack of media oxygen does not allow the message of the left to be heard. It is to do with class, unions and targetting corporate interest as the problem creating crisis after crisis. Far from solving the problem it is recreated in ever more alarming form with ever increasing debt bubbles. Those with the control of huge financial resources look after themselves and their friends, including politicians of all the major parties using resources of the state (ie our money paid in taxes nationally and locally) to implement their disastrous projects. People don’t matter as greed overtakes need and the most vulnerable are discarded without a thought.

Gaza Diary. From Mohammad Arafat

Mohammad wrote: “My weekly article A Picture of Life in Living in Gaza has many different pictures and scenes. It has tragic sad pictures and happy ones. No one can doubt that many Shakespearean tragedies happen in Gaza. Torturing is still torturing, killing is still killing, besieging is still besieging and bombing is still bombing, but that cannot prevent us from speaking about the beauty of Gaza. Away from talking about political speech and the traps of it and the bad things that it results, I want to mention and to speak about the beautiful side of the young Gaza, so I made a debate with my heart leaving my mind a side. We began to look at and to flip all the pictures of this city, the sad and the happy, and the good and the bad until we found a beautiful picture that portrays the beautiful simple life and the atmosphere of this Holy city. We finally agreed to write about that picture to show the fabulous sweet side of Gaza. We chose that picture which can let readers fly and swim in the core of imagination that they will never get bored of. Gaza is a city located 19 miles north of Egypt. It’s considered as the only way that links Asia with Africa. Many ancient traders talk about the profits of this city and the importance of its place. It has a long golden shore with a beautiful glittering sea called the Mediterranean Sea. This sea has an old seaport called (Mina’ Ghaza). Many tourists and visitors come to this city to enjoy its fabulous beautiful places like the Al-Emary Al-kabeer Mosque in Sheja’eia lane, barqouq castle in Khanyounis, Al-Basha castle museum in the middle of Gaza and especially the seaport in the west of Gaza. The simple life of Gazan people is accepted although there are many wars and clashes can interrupt their life and their children’s. They live as others as nothing threat them because they know their fate so they have no fear. When Gazans wake up every day at dawn after hearing the caller of the Al-Fajr prayer and having ablution, they go to the mosque asking God to pour from his mercy on them and their families and to give them the appropriate livelihood they wish. The atmosphere at dawn freshens prayers’ spirits and minds. The fresh breeze expels the sad atmosphere in Gaza lanes and replaces it with a happy one. Purity of prayers lightens the dark street that the power abandoned. In the morning and after an hour from dawn, the white pure Gazan moon disappears saying good bye to the orange young sun after shaking his hands and hugging him. The sun lightens the dark silent innocent homes and shelters of poors asking them to begin their lively day. It appears and welcomes the energetic proud workers that go to their work and the hopeful little pupils that go to their schools to begin a lovely day of working and studying. The sun lightens the nests of the cute tiny birds pulling them to fly out their nests and to begin a concert full of twitting and chirping and to start a trip full of happiness and vital work. Children of those birds wake up after a long journey of sleeping and dreaming of the breakfast ,that they will have, under their mothers’ smooth light bodies. The mothers fly under the fading sun of the morning after awaking their children looking for some worms and grains for the breakfast on the brown fertilized lands and among the old long trees of olive, orange, and lemon. They look for their targeted food among the Gazan farmers who wipe the sweat from their heads by their tired hands and among the rusty axes that the farmers use for plowing the lands. After filling their stomachs with live worms and fresh seeds, the mothers go back to their nests safely hopefully that the food is enough for their entire families. In the afternoon and when the trees have no shades, the fading sun turns into firing ball that warms the pure glancing Mediterranean Sea water forcing the swarms of fish to wake up and to travel happily towards the golden wet beach of Gaza for the fishers to fish. The fishers begin their fishing by the name of God so he offers them the flaring fish that they and their families dream of. Before the sun gets exhausted and tired and before he prepares his luggage to travel, he watches the workers who go back to their homes finding their children waiting for their hugs and kisses. He then waves his hands to them saying ,see you tomorrow. In the twilight, the sky turns into red and the sun becomes so tired so he disappears asking the moon to appear dancing under the sparkles of the stars and lighting the dark homes and lanes in the clear night in order to let the innocent Gazans sleep and dream as they want and as they wish. This is a simple life of Gaza Done by: Mohammad Arafat 8th of may 2014″

Gaza perspective on Mothers’ Day. From Mohammad Arafat

HAPPY MOTHER DAY FROM THE CHILDREN WHO LOST THEIR MOTHERS….
This gift is for those mothers who died in all over the world….
To My Non-existent Mother
I don`t know how long you have been died. I don`t remember or even I don`t want to try to remember that. My brain forces me to think about you and my heart also does. I`m living without those brain and heart. They are apart from me. I don`t want to think about your death. I just want to let my little mouth speak about your humanness with me and my brothers and sisters, but I don`t think I can keep my sorrow inside my heart without telling it to you during these lines.
Mum, I missed your voice that used to call my name in every morning before going to school with my little brother. I was always going to school, but now I`m not. I don`t need the school because I`m looking for a job to feed my sisters and brothers that you left. I missed the tea you used to make for me. I loved the tea so much as the heart loves the Oxygen. But now, I forced myself not to love it and not even to think of it. Mum, I missed your everyday kiss. You used to kiss me every day while waiting the bus of the school. Do you remember that? I think you missed that too. Mum, I need your face that was always emerging and smiling at me whenever I enter the home after going back from the school. I missed your stories that you were narrating to me before sleeping every day. I missed your voice and your small mouth that was speaking to me. I missed the times that I used to see you in when you were praying in the midnight. Mum, I know you were praying for me and for my family. Mum, I missed the days that I was sick in. You were not sleeping. You used to force yourself to stay with me in every night I was sick in. Mum, I cannot complete. I really want to stop talking about those fabulous things. My soul missed all of those things and missed the founder of them.
Mum, I cannot form words to tell you my story after your death. I`m so depressed and down. Many gave me help. Many took after me. Many sympathized me, but actually no one of them could replace your humanness and love with me and my family. All my words are frozen between my throat and my tongue. I don`t have hands to melt those words. I don`t have brain to do something for them. I`m just a dead body with a soul without senses after you left. The only thing that can melt those words is your returning to me. I know you have gone without returning, but I know I will travel to you to Paradise soon.
Mum, I don`t know where to begin. I don`t know how to begin. I don`t know how to speak and how to form words, but I will try. I don`t know what will happen to my sisters and brothers that you left. I know what happened to my dad. I want to tell you what happened to him, but I`m afraid I hurt you. But I will tell you his story. Mum, my dad has passed away after two months of your death. He got a clot in his brain that drove him to paralysis. I with my brothers and sisters could not help him. We could not know what he needed and what we had to do for him because we are still babies and we don`t understand the life well. After two days of his paralyzing, he passed away. No one helped us in burying him. We begged for help from many, but they were just deaf. So, we did our best to drive him to the grave yard. We found a cart in the street. We carried our dad on it and went to the grave yard. We just put him beside an empty tomb without burying him. We asked God to look after him then. My mum, sorry for making you sad about my dad`s story, but that is the truth.
Mum, if you were here with us, we would never see what happened to us. Ahhh my mum, no one feels what we felt. No one sees what we saw. No one can tolerate what we tolerated. Every child in this life has a mum and a dad except me. I cannot deny that many children lost their parents, but I`m sure that what happened to me did not happen to anyone. I`m the only one who lives without a mother.
Mum, I`m still nine years old and I`m the eldest between my brothers and sisters. My responsibilities began to be increased for my brothers and sisters after your and my dad`s death.
Mum, I don`t want to increase my and your sorrow. What I said is enough. I don`t want to remember what happened to you and my dad. I just wrote you this letter to congratulate you in this holy day, the mother day.
Happy mother day to you my non-existent mother.
This is a gift for the non-existent mothers who died during the wars in Palestine, Syria, Egypt and in all over the world.
Done by: Mohammad Arafat