Monday, August 31, 2009

Solving The Palestinian Problem

Special Dispatch - No. 2513
August 31, 2009 No. 2513
Dr. Mamoun Fandy: The Palestinians Are Their Own Worst Enemy

In his column in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, liberal Arab intellectual and scholar Dr. Mamoun Fandy calls on the Palestinians to take advantage of the current global political climate, which he says is favorable to them, to advance their cause. He says that the Arabs must confront the Palestinian leadership with its shortcomings - such as its rejection of the political proposals offered to the Palestinians, its damaging adherence to a "resistance" aimed at self-glorification, and the Hamas-Fatah schism - and states that the Palestinians must decide right now whether to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Following are excerpts from Dr. Fandy's column: [1]

"Where should someone who wants to mediate in solving the Palestinian problem go? Should the Europeans and the Americans go to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, or to Hamas in Gaza? Who should former U.S. senator George Mitchell or EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana talk to...?

"Today, there is in fact no Palestinian partner [for peace] - and the idiotic warring Palestinian factions can take 'credit' for that. There are of course those who make a living from the [intra-Palestinian] struggle, with their writing or their television programs, but they are not confronting the Palestinian [leadership] with this truth. But it's better to discuss the Palestinian problem like adults, not like adolescents.

"In terms of international [climate], there has never been a better opportunity than there is right now for solving the Palestinian problem. Europe supports the Palestinians and wants a U.N. resolution establishing a Palestinian state, like the resolution that established the state of Israel - and Javier Solana is pushing for this. [U.S. President] Barack Obama is most certainly the best U.S. president ever for the Arabs in general - and for the Palestinian problem in particular. The ones who oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state today are the Palestinians and the Israelis - in that order...

"The birth of a new state in the Middle East - which is an unstable region from the outset - must have international support and aid, and must [contribute] to the stability of the entire region. A state that only adds to the anarchy is undesirable. A Palestinian state will add to the region's stability if it has a strong and cohesive leadership, and if it is led by a forceful individual. One such Palestinian leader is Muhammad Dahlan, a powerful security figure, who despite Hamas's opposition to him has the best capabilities and the most [correct] outlook [to bring about] the birth of a Palestinian state that is a partner in the region's security and stability...

"The behavior of the various Palestinian factions, and the rivalry between them, looks to the world like efforts to maintain the status quo. [Hamas prime minister] Isma'il Haniya and [Hamas political bureau head] Khaled Mash'al have so far shown no political maturity proving that they want a solution instead of rejecting one."

"There is no doubt that the occupation and Israel's establishment of settlements contribute nothing to solving [the Palestinian problem]. But in our articles in Arabic, which are not directed at Israel, we must confront the Palestinian leadership with its shortcomings. Condemning Israel must not be a free pass for the Palestinian factions to commit folly against their own people and their own cause. Those of us with any sense will reject any immunity from criticism for the Palestinian leadership.

"It is important that we be honest in criticizing the Palestinian situation, which is precarious in the best of cases. Once I was invited to a meeting with the Palestinian foreign minister, in an important country. During the meeting, the Palestinian foreign minister was shown a map of the Israeli settlements. When the minister took hold of the map, I immediately realized why the Palestinian cause is going nowhere: He looked at the map, but [could not make head or tail of it]. It was obvious that he had never looked at a map in his life. I wondered: Why, when we have the best intellectuals from the best universities in the world, do we let these leaders represent us… This is a question that the Palestinians must answer for themselves.

"The people in Gaza or in the West Bank want a state like everyone else has. They want a better life under a sovereign state that respects their humanity. In this aspect, Gaza is no different than Lebanon, Egypt, or Syria. The [Palestinian] people are tired of this pointless 'resistance' - because resistance must have a political goal.

"States and movements do not fight or resist unless there is a political goal behind the war or the resistance. To date, the Hamas leadership, and even many in the Fatah leadership, have not convinced us that they are striving to attain a particular logical and practical goal. If the goal [of the resistance] is for a few members of the leadership to be recognized as symbols of resistance and [national] honor - we are perfectly willing to give them this recognition, but there is no need to sacrifice innocent lives in order to accomplish such a limited goal.

"However, if the goal is realizing the dream of establishing a Palestinian state, and for this people to live in dignity like other peoples - then that is a different struggle, which requires new strategies. The first [of these] strategies is the creation of a united leadership for the future Palestinian state - one that will convince its enemies to negotiate with it and to give it the land. It is easy to convince friends - but solving the problem requires first of all convincing enemies…

"The Palestinians today are the worst enemy of their own cause. The time has come for us to tell them this openly, out of love, and not out of vindictiveness.

"Global political circumstances have changed since Barack Obama entered the White House. There will never be a political situation better than there is now for the Arabs, and particularly for the Palestinians. Thus, the Palestinians must be flexible with Obama if they wish to solve their problem; they must unite their leadership, and they must commit to a cessation of violence and to return to the discussion table to deal with the two-state solution presented in the Arab [peace] initiative... No one in the international community who wants a solution seeks three states [Gaza, Ramallah, and Israel]. Israel too must understand that this time there will be no way around accepting a Palestinian state alongside it.

"The era of delay is over. We already know that Israel will not accept such a state without intense international pressure… At the Fatah [Sixth General Conference], [2] the Palestinians must... create the impression that they are a people worthy of independence - and not a people in some adolescent stage, in which its sons consume each other.

"The Palestinians again face an historic choice: whether to be part of the solution or part of the problem. They also [now] have [an opportunity] to give Palestine a cohesive leadership, with a single address - to which the whole world can come if they want to talk."

[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 27, 2009

[2] The article was published prior to the conference, which took place August 4-5, 2009 in Bethlehem.

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Wildfires Interrupting the Urban Experience

A dry lightning storm is a storm where the rain never reaches the ground. It evaporates in midair, trailing down from swollen cumulus clouds in long, graceful strands called virga. The electrical charges from a dry storm do not trail off before they hit the ground, however; they rip into the mountains like artillery.*
In British Columbia, there are over 140 active fires in the Interior, with 146 fires throughout the province itself. Most of the fires, however, are located in the Kamloops area, northeast of Vancouver. It has been an unusual summer of very hot, very dry weather. Anticipated rain simply has not materialized. And very hot atmospheric conditions have prevailed. Vancouver does not normally experience temperatures of 30-Celsius, day upon day, and it has this year.

Thousands of residents were forced to leave their homes for safety away from the blazes, over the past two months. The province's Forests Minister has cautioned B.C. residents that "There is a high likelihood that we will see new lightning-caused fires arise in the southern portion of the province and that existing fires will begin to exhibit extreme fire behaviour."

The valued and immensely valuable forests of British Columbia have been under siege thanks to the Mountain Pine Beetle, which has wrought havoc in the forests of both Alberta and British Columbia. A warmer-than-anticipated winter in the interior failed to kill off the beetle larvae and they surged into destructive force, killing off valuable timber.

Now the wildfires have, and are continuing to take their toll. The province sets aside $62-million annually to fight forest fires. This year over $253-million has been spent to date, fighting the wildfires that refuse to allow themselves to be controlled through the efforts of fire crews.
Most fires are slow moving, and fighting them is closer to hoeing a garden than being in combat, but when fires blow up, they move with awesome fury, and if people aren't prepared, they die.*
Every year at about this time in California, wildfires blast through the mountains and foothill areas of the State, sending thousands of residents in those crowded areas away from their homes, many of which will be burned to the ground, despite the best efforts of fire-fighting crews, determined to bring those fires under control. A fire vehicle with two seasoned firefighters tumbled off the side of a mountain today, killing both men.
"Probably the worst thing that's happening now is what's called urban interface - that is, houses in the forest. When it's a question of saving structures rather than just trees, we're more likely to take risks. Basically, if you're protecting a structure and the fire's coming at you, you don't retreat. You stay put and try to work the fire around either side."
Thousands of people have been evacuated to safety, leaving 12,500 buildings at risk in the heat-driven fires that have doubled in size overnight, according to news reports. Some 14,000 hectares of bone-dry brush in the mountains towering above no fewer than five heavily-populated towns in a 26-kilometre stretch from La Crescenta to Pasadena, are in the fires' sights.

"These fires are still totally out of control. This is a huge and is a very dangerous fire. The fire is moving very close to homes and to structures", California State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger informed news media.
The drier the fuels, the hotter they burn and the faster the fires spread, and fuel moisture levels that should be at 15 or 20 percent are down in the single numbers. Low relative humidity and unstable air (wind) compound the problem. Fires are generally slow-moving creatures, moving a few chains an hour. But sometimes they can explode up a hillside or across a canyon, and the mountains all around... scorched by... drought are likely... to produce such behaviour. *
One supposes the situation somewhat resembles houses built in a flood-plain, falling victim to rising waters resulting in abnormal conditions that create cresting floods that wreak destruction on human habitation. Why is it, some might enquire, that despite the continual episodes of wildfires in these areas, people insist on building their homes there, and then suffer the trauma of flight and potential loss of home?

The allure of living close to nature. By a species grown arrogant that they have the means to control nature. And we simply do not learn by our sad experiences.

* All excerpts from FIRE by Sebastian Junger

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Under Our Noses

The ends people will go to, to ensure one does not become unduly involved. And assuming due penitence having been expressed, no further monitoring need be undertaken. System of protocol to the contrary. There's that old adage of giving a guy a break, not hitting a fellow when he's down, assuming the best, not the worst, and opting to be a good guy, not a jerk. A man's house is his castle, after all. Intruders are those who make their way into the private confines of a man's castle, and make indelicate enquiries.

Some neighbours of Philip Garrido, however, were obviously the nosy, suspicious type. Having made a 911 call to alert public agencies that a neighbour, a nice but peculiar fellow who was once accused, convicted, and did prison time for a major sexual offence, was living in peculiar circumstances. In that, a rapist who was obviously not supposed to be in the company of minors had children about, and people seemed to be living in some degree of squalor in the backyard.

The investigating deputy obviously knocked at the door of Mr. Garrido's home, and not wanting to appear too inconveniently intrusive, asked, is everything OK? Never entered the house, did not take the time to look around the grounds, poke into the shed, have a peek into the tent. Short cut to concluding an irritating nuisance call. "I can't change the course of events, but we are beating ourselves up over this and we are the first to do so", according to the Sheriff of Contra Costa county. Yep.

Mr. Garrido was originally sentenced for a kidnap and rape conviction to 50 years in prison. But in the spirit of benign forgiveness he served a fraction of that time, and was released on lifetime parole. Which meant, of course, that his assigned parole agent had an obligation under the law to regularly visit the man, to enquire politely whether he was behaving himself. His wife could attest to the fact that her husband was being good and carrying himself honourably.

Eighteen years of forced concealment in the backyard of a house occupied by a sex offender on lifetime parole, regularly checked by an assigned parole officer, and no hint of anything amiss. A child of eleven, brutally abducted from her home, and kept prisoner as a sex slave to a seriously unhinged psychopath, yet no one the wiser for it, save the man's wife, who felt that life was unfolding as it must, inexorably.

The child struggling with her fears and the horror her existence took on, and finding it within herself to separate herself from that existence. Discovering from an inner source of strength that she could survive. Surrendering her autonomy to the demands of someone insane enough to confide to police that this would result in the final analysis as "the most powerful heart-warming story."

Two babies, then infants, then young girls, along with their mother, confined to the misery of life within a miserable few square feet of a hovel. The children completely without school, never seen by a doctor, and obviously seldom seen by neighbours who exercised no modicum of curiosity about the peculiar presence of the three, assuming much and asking nothing.

Even while the man conducted religious services for those pathetic few who might be interested in his efforts to initiate his own inimitable take on religion in a tent erected beside the infamous shed. Of course the young girl grown to womanhood became complicit in her bondage. She allowed herself to be schooled in the art of human contact at a remove, representing herself as a capable businesswoman, a daughter of her captor.

"How could that go on under all of our noses?" marvelled one of the neighbours, shivering with dread that it did. Well, society in general - how could it?

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Toxic Piety

The holiest month in the calendar year for Muslims is now ongoing. Ramadan is the period of the year dedicated to religious spirituality and devotion, at a more concentrated level than is usual, even for a religion whose adherents represent as utterly devoted to their all-encompassing holy muse, as it were, that controls every aspect of life from cradle to grave. In that same tradition Ramadan is seen as a month of jihad; on a personal level a struggle to become, inwardly, a more fervently observant and pure Muslim.

On the other hand, the other kind of jihad, the one best known to those outside the conventions of Islam who have witnessed first hand and by news distribution, the jihad expressed by violence and destruction, is also encouraged, celebrated and expressed. Since there is a historical tradition of violent jihad - warfare mounted in support of Allah's wishes to spread the faith - there is a certain legitimacy within the heritage of the religion reflecting past such events.

Battles of note within the tradition of Islam ranging from the year 614 in the battle of Badr, to 630 represent the conquest of Mecca; later a defining battle that saw Islam ensconced in Spain, and finally the 1973 Yom Kippur War with Israel. Islamist jihadists are called to jihad, to do battle in the name of Allah. But these struggles in the sacred name of Allah don't necessarily target the despised West, so much as they do Muslims themselves.

With massive bomb blasts exploding in Iraq killing scores of people, injuring manh hundreds of others. And Afghanistan experiencing one attack after another at the hands of pious mujaheddin, excoriating the Muslim government over its complicity with the West in surrendering to the concept of democracy where only Islam should rule. African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu find themselves targeted.

For fanatical Islamists dedicated to re-establishing a version of universal Shari'a and a political victory that would see Islam's umma revisit its former glory in conquest of reluctant nations outside Islam, the targets are also closer to home. And for Muslims dedicated to Islam it is somehow not seen as blasphemous and injurious to Allah to bomb and destroy mosques, to slaughter other Muslims, simply because factions within Islam detest one another.

Radical Islamists target their moderate brethren-in-religion in countries as diverse as Indonesia, Philippines, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Chechnya, and Bosnia during the holy month of Ramadan, when activities are stepped up notably. Al-Qaeda has not been mute in exhorting that Ramadan campaigns of terror materialize "to come closer to Allah through the blood of infidels". And moderate Muslims are seen as betrayers of the faith, as needful of death as infidels.

"In such pious times, participate in jihad and continue the support to the mujaheddin", urged a spokesman for the Pakistani Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. "Nowadays, infidel forces want to destroy Islam and the Koranic orders. The fight [against the infidels] is not the responsibility of Taliban and Arab mujaheddin alone; rather it is the responsibility of the entire ummah [Muslim world]."

As a counterbalance, the director of Islamic studies at University of Delaware mourns the current state of Islam in the world: "Ramadan is about returning to the fountain of truth and drinking from it as deeply as possible. Unfortunately, for some Muslims, murder and mayhem rather than prayer and fasting have become a way to celebrate Ramadan."

Of course Islamic nations, their clergy and their academics, experts in Islam, have an obligation to exert themselves in an all-out effort to contradict, to disown and to decry the mass murderers who claim that their atrocities are led by their piety, the dedication to the spirit of jihad as exemplified by the offensives mounted by the Prophet Mohammad, who had Allah's ear.

And, it would appear, to save themselves as much as their religion, they are responding.
From Bangladesh which has begun a public awareness campaign rejecting calls for violent jihad, to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Indonesia, steps are being taken to apprehend terrorist attacks, to campaign against militancy and the provocation leading to bloodshed.

In the spirit of Ramadan.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Monsters Among Us

Eighteen years of anguished torture. There are monsters roaming this Earth, and they manage, somehow, to foil the attempts of law enforcement, to achieve their ghoulish ends, horribly victimizing the innocent. Psychopaths who have no hesitation in abducting, imprisoning, torturing, enslaving and sexually assaulting children. What is inexplicable in a situation such as the abduction, incarceration and serial rape of 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard in 1991 was that the wife of her abductor was fully knowledgeable and complicit.

It's incomprehensible that a woman might have no compassion for the horrible fate of a child. That any woman would remain faithful and loyal to a man she knows has raped once, been convicted, and remains on lifetime parole, and then embarks on yet another, more horrific escapade of abduction and rape. A pair of psychopathic misfits who most certainly deserve one another, which still presents as a mystery of misbegotten proportions. It is, however, a fallacy to believe that woman are not as capable of inhumanity as are men.

Both of her abductors are now in custody. And the woman who was once a girl who had the extreme misfortune to be at the right place at the wrong time, and who suffered horrendous abuse over a nineteen-year period during which her childhood vanished, her life subsumed by being held furtively as a sex slave to a ravening lunatic for whom she bore two children is now free. Free to resume an education? To raise her two unfortunate children? Free to muse on the horror that her life represented?

Will she ever be free of the memory of what she was exposed to, what she was forced to experience; of the tragedy of her life and that of her two children? Will she be able to resume a life resembling normalcy? Will her two children ever be free from the knowledge of their conception? Will all three of them ever be capable of experiencing trust and hope and love and contentment and satisfaction and happiness and the exultation of freedom - aspiring for their futures?

Miss Dugard's presence was never discovered, despite that there were neighbours living beside the property where two sheds represented her home. The regular visits of parole officers whose purpose it was to ensure that a known sex offender did not re-offend did nothing to reveal her presence, nor that of her children. Police, investigating a neighbour's complaint that Mr. Garrido, a known sex offender, was in the presence of two children, found nothing amiss, years ago.

Society with all its safety nets, its policing agents, its judicial system, its security oversights and its child welfare agencies, did nothing whatever to rescue Miss Dugard and her children from their nightmare of existence. An odd combination of circumstances did that. Rescue, at last. What will their future hold for them?

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Warm Welcome

An understanding and warm welcome awaits Iran, in the open arms of the world community via the gracious auspices of President Barack Obama - if only Iran's governing council, its Supreme Leader and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, step back from the abyss of completely alienating the international community by its continued stubborn insistence on nuclear availment toward weaponization. Oh, throw in dire threats directed toward Israel. And while we're at it, the obsessive victimization of its own people.

While it's true that President Obama is extremely persuasive, a real charmer, a charismatic world leader, a true intellectual, and a politician extraordinaire, it seems Iran has turned a deaf ear. Iran does have difficulty, alas discerning any criticism emanating from the world of the West. Does a righteously adamant theocracy listen to the mad ravings of a degenerate political entity, whose society celebrates a pornographic social compact? Quite obviously, it is the United States, that great Satan, that must humble itself.

Humble itself a trifle more, that is, if it hopes to seek advantageous status with the Iranian regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Khamenei is infallible, unquestionably, since he speaks in the words of Allah and the Prophet Mohammad, while America and its allies represent frail fragmented bits and pieces of a secularized religious illusion, a demented figment of deranged minds. There is no possibility of a mutually-beneficial platform for acceptance and understanding.

Does an Supreme Leader of the only legitimate God consort with a haplessly confused mendicant?

Values, reason, imperatives are so far removed from one another, there is no possible basis for either reconciliation or for harbouring a wish to achieve a mutually gratifiable position of acceptance, one of the other. What other country of the world beside Sudan has as its foreign minister an administrator who directly orders torture, rape and murder as a serviceable solution to society's ills? Saeed Mortazavi is seen in an extremely lurid light by Canada, for example.

Is there another country of the world that elevates a former intelligence chief in the special branch of the Revolutionary Guard responsible for international affairs, and who oversaw the conception, planning, financing and execution of the destruction of a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires resulting in 85 deaths and countless injuries to the position of minister of defence? Ahmad Vahidi, along with Mohsen Rezaee once chief of the Revolutionary Guards, is of great interest to Interpol, to Israel, to Argentina.

But then, Iran has long been accustomed to stretching a very long arm into the international community to pluck away those of its critics, its errant citizens who find fault with the regime. And those malefactors, including Mostafa Tajzadeh, former deputy interior minister, and newspaper editor Saeed Laylaz, for example, now on trial as "plotters of recent riots and disturbances" post-election, are preparing themselves for "maximum punishment" for the crime of sedition.

The former regime adversaries, now pale, ill, recanting their crimes, await sentencing. It can be no worse, surely than that meted out to the young Iranians who have been arrested, and gently questioned, eliciting the response of guilt of having succumbed to the blandishments of agents of the West to bring anguish to the Iranian regime. Their loving parents are free at their leisure to pick up the mangled bodies.

Ah, a big welcome mat laid out for the Islamic Republic of Iran. So Iranian administrators can return in triumph to all future United Nations Human Rights Councils' conventions to share their expert opinion and their experience in handling their malcontents. And identifying the true human rights abusers in this world.

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Unfortunate Realities

In present-day Germany it is a crime to deny the Holocaust, and it is seen as a criminal offence to celebrate Nazism. Germany takes its responsibility for the Holocaust seriously indeed. The country grieves that it could have descended to such an abyss of human moral degradation, that its World War II government could have turned Europe into a charnel house. It holds sacred the memory of the six million Jews who perished in a deliberate and fairly successful dedication to remove world Jewry from existence.

Germany, an entirely different country now, respects and holds dear its relationship with Israel. It has done penance for its monumental atrocities against its then-political adversaries, against the handicapped, against Gypsies, against homosexuals, against Europe's Jews. Germany now represents itself as a bulwark of stern antagonism against racism. And when the Berlin-based newspaper Bild purchased the historical Nazi blueprints representing 29 sketches of the Auschwitz death camp, and published them it did a great service to the world.

Setting at rest all those conspiracy theories that Jews invented the concept of the Holocaust, an event that never did occur, other than in the demented minds of the Jewish remnants of European Jewry. This week, in Germany, a ceremony took place whereby Bild placed those documents into the hands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, to be removed to Israel, and to be placed at the memorial site of Yad VaShem, for all to see, the believers and the doubters.

The greatest doubter of all, an institutionalized doubter, the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose President Ahmadinejad is so fond of denying the existence of the event, and who enjoys declaring Iran's intent to destroy Israel, and who brandishes before the world the fact of Iran's nuclear installations and its dedicated uranium enrichment program leading to nuclear weaponization, might wish to visit Yad VaShem. Then again, he might, decidedly not wish to make that trip.

On his acceptance of the Auschwitz blueprints, Mr. Netanyahu stated "We cannot allow evil to cause massive death. We must stop evil in due time." Clearly, alluding both to the failures of the past, and the opportunities of the future. "There is a connection between despotism and terrorism, between freedom and peace ... military barbarism knows no limits. We must prevent the spread of these armies on time so that humanity can be saved."

For it is undeniably a fact that the destruction of Israel through nuclear weaponry in the hands of an fanatically Islamist Iran which oppresses and sacrifices its own people, has aspirations on a much wider scale than merely demolishing Israel. The Western world is quite well aware of this seemingly nebulous agenda, fraught with possibilities. "World leaders must act in time to avoid the fate of the Holocaust victims. We cannot allow those who are looking to cause mass death and threaten the Jewish State", Mr. Netanyahu pleaded.

How ironic then, it is that Germany, the source of the original Holocaust, finds itself in political and trade collusion with the very country recognized as "Aryan", the Nazi ideal, which gloats that although the original Holocaust never occurred, it is prepared to conduct another Holocaust. And is Germany horrified at this perpetuation of atrocious intent?
One might think so. On the other hand, an unfortunate reality impinges on the serene comfort that repentant Germany's offences against humanity could never be repeated.

Something is amiss in the State of Denmark - no, make that Germany; apologies to Denmark - for even while German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks on the world stage against economic ties with Iran, the country's own recently released statistics reveal that Germany has outranked France as Iran's largest trading partner. Giving aid and comfort where it is least due, in the larger interests of business and the bottom line.

Data released by Germany's Federal Statistical Office (Germans love their statistics) indicate an increase in exports to Iran, reaching a high of $6-billion in 2008. Wait, we're not finished, not yet. A joint German-Iranian business conference in Hamburg discussed the manner in which both countries could improve business relations, along with their political relationship. The current administration of Chancellor Merkel is subsidizing investments in Iran, providing German industry with $400-million in credit guarantees.

More latterly Basell Polyolefine, a German petrochemical company signed a $1.3-billion trade deal with Iran, and technology obtained from Siemens is being used by the Iranian regime to crack down on internal internet and cellphone access. Enabling Iran to better control the political malcontents causing grief to the ruling Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, and his acolyte, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who, Us Blaspheme?

There was a time when the Christian Church was powerful enough to invoke blasphemy as an offence sufficiently serious to consign the blasphemer to torture for his undesired slights, or death. No one need take the name of the Lord in vain. Now, however, enlightened society accepts that there are some, sufficiently ill-mannered in the community to impudently question the reverence with which believers hold faith in the Almighty. Worse, artists are free to portray religious symbols in the most atrociously offensive manner, and with complete impunity.

However, in steps another religion, that of Islam, which contends with Christianity for recognition as a religion of world-wide instruction and obligatory respect. Islam stands second to Christianity for the vast number of its faithful. And where once the Roman Catholic Church was able to protect itself from the calumny of doubters seeking to cast insolent skepticism on its rites and rituals and claims to the ear of God, that church now reels under the weight of criticism on a wide level of areas.

Whereas Islam, which rules with the heavy hand of presenting to its unquestioning faithful as the over-arching authority in all matters of human endeavour, existence, societal and cultural, political and legislative organization, will not, can not and does not accept criticism or doubt in its holy infallibility. Once devout Christians reacted to the demands of the Church much as Muslims now do in response to Islam's claim on its worshippers. That is no longer the case.

And it is Islam alone that reigns and rules as a formidable force that informs its adherents how they may live their lives, in minute detail, which the faithful is never free to question, observing and respecting the covenant without fail five times each day. As well as every minute of every day. The very thought of a slight against Islam by the West is enough to send believers into a frenzy of hysterical blame and emotion-led carnage.

Through the auspices of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, Islamic states have attempted to put forward into a (currently non-binding governmental) resolution the criminalization of the incidence of defamation of Islam, equating it with a human rights violation. Insults to Islam were to be seen as a "serious affront to human dignity", representing a blatant violation of religious freedom.

It would also have been very agreeable to the Islamic states if the General Assembly had agreed to encourage the imposition of Shari'a. And it's instructive to witness how many Western countries, the number of academic institutions, the growing cadre of unions in the West have that have handily and charitably succumbed to the 'need' to exercise a type of respectful moral relativity.

So here is Ireland, re-establishing the crime of blasphemy. Recognized acts of blasphemy against any religion (which stands for a kind of code-speak for Islam) will, from October henceforth, be recognized as a crime. Any forbidden "abusive or insulting" speech directed against any religion will be ripe for justice. Fines for blasphemous libel stand at $38,000; a stupendous 'fine' as punishment for any who would take the name of the Lord (Allah) in vain.

Thus, Danish-style cartoons lampooning the hypocrisy of Muslims who defend violent jihad while declaring in the same breath that Islam is a religion of peace and understanding will not clear the air in Ireland, but instead slam such perpetrators of outraged religious anguish among the faithful into penury, and perhaps prison as well. A powerful tool with which to silence voices of dissent. Freedom of speech? Perish the thought. Keep it quietly in your head, don't share it, stifle it.

A useful incentive to encourage people to offer humble respect where none is due.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ilegal Interrogation Methodology

One expresses one's culture's values by patiently expressing love and forbearance in facing off against another culture's values that are expressed through tribal brutality relishing bloodshed as a method of expressing contempt for the other.

In expressing patience and a belief that reason may prevail, one culture makes itself even more vulnerable to the predations of the other that interprets its forgiving patience as a sign of weakness, encouraging the second culture to the belief that its trajectory of inflicting ever greater wounds on the first will ultimately result in the sought-after victory.

The emotionally tender Western niceties of enlightened intelligence extended toward the emotion-hardened jihadists whose perception of their divine mission to destroy Western culture for the greater glory of Islam does service to the jihadists, encouraging their bloody excesses and their infiltration into Western defences that appear ripe and ready for conquest.

Bullies, whether of the ordinary garden-variety sociopaths, or vengeance-seeking religious psychopaths react to appeasement with greater emphasis on their aspirations.

That it is seen as an indictment of Western sensibilities that CIA operatives acted brutishly in the interrogation procedures of mass murderers is an outright absurdity. Rabid jihadists whose function is to destroy lives and instill terror in populations need not be shielded from sensitively untoward interrogation techniques.

The American Council for Civil Liberties would do far better to concern themselves with the state of affairs within civil society as it applies to civil society. There is nothing civil about a society that breeds, through interpretation of religious texts, mass murderers on the justification of sublime orders to do the will of a superior being.

So-called high-value prisoners accused of planning, mounting and successfully executing mass murder have no expectation of being handled with kid gloves, nor should they have. The extraction of useful information from them that might conceivably prevent other planned attacks are certainly a high priority, on the other hand.

If such information can be extracted by more delicate means to prevent additional atrocities, well and good, but it is highly unlikely.

It seems fairly ludicrous for new interrogation techniques to be mounted emphasizing friendliness, love and compassion, to bridge the defence mechanisms, to attempt to make a connection between interlocutor and prisoner of some kind of emotion that would lead hardened jihadists to abandon their purpose and alert their enemies to forthcoming attacks.

The self-flagellation that is currently taking place in America over self-concerning brutal techniques of information extraction is badly misplaced. And it is also more than a little hypocritical, given the unassailable fact that, while decrying the use of 'torture' on mass murderers, the United States has no hesitation in using drones for the purpose of dispatching jihadists calling themselves Taliban, in Pakistan, in targeted assassinations.

If torture is inexcusable as a methodology for extracting vital self-protective information during a war situation, then how are planned and executed assassinations of determined enemies of the United States seen? Can one technique logically be disowned as unworthy of a civilized culture, and the other condoned as a necessity to gain the upper hand over an enemy?

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Blood Libel

In Medieval Christendom the blood libel held that Jews murdered Christian children to drain their blood to make matzoh for Passover. The old Medieval legends of Christian children being abducted and murdered by Jews, to illustrate how blood-thirsty and evilly dangerous Jews were to society were a mainstay, serving to vilify, slander and isolate Jews. And to ensure that whatever treatment was meted out to Jews could be seen as justified, a people apart; feared, scorned and hated.

It's nothing less than amazing that Scandinavian countries with their reputation for high-mindedness, social justice and modelling as moderate and socially just societies find justification within their value system of judging Israel as wanting in every conceivable social-justice indice. It is useful to recall that tiny Denmark alone among all other countries occupied by Nazi Germany refused to give up its Jews to the fascist killing machine; all of Denmark was defiant.

In Scandinavia in general there is a consensus among anti-Semites that Jews control the media. In European countries in general the trifecta of international Jewish control of the news media, of financial institutions, and of the political arena served well to inculcate a miasma of suspicion, dread and hatred against Jewish interests. The message was simple and fairly direct - of Jewish aspirations to control the world, a useful racist libel that refuses to die.

It is a general propaganda tool that has been absorbed by Arab governments, and pretty well universally accepted. Not that Jews excel academically, scientifically, financially, politically, and pull more than their weight in the world of arts and sciences and the humanities, but that there is a purpose to all of this; world domination. Propagandists have enjoyed a field day taking up the cudgel of blame and libel against Jews; in particular Israel, emblematic of all Jews.

It came easily to the attention of Palestinians that whatever outrageous charges they might make against Israel would be believed by the outside world. Portrayal of Palestinians as innocent of any wrong-doing in their David-and-Goliath battle against a brutal state, was earnestly embraced by socialist governments, their media and their social activists.

Little surprise then that if Palestinian spokespeople claim to have first-hand knowledge by unnamed witnesses of official Israel abducting innocent Palestinians for the very particular purpose of harvesting body parts, it would sound reliable and true to type.

So Swedish Aftonbladet whose cultural affairs editor's dearest wish is to see a 'free Palestine', publishes as fact a libel that it is a well established practise for the Israeli army to murder Palestinian civilians to harvest their organs for sale to those requiring transplants. The charge is so blatantly absurd, the grounds for belief in its accuracy so grounded in spite, the 'journalist' who filed the story so clearly a propagandist yet the newspaper exercised its option to publish a charge clearly in need of verification.

It's reassuring that the Swedish ambassador to Israel deplored the story and its publication, declaring that the government of Sweden was offended by it, as would be most Swedes. And obviously freedom of the press mitigates against interference by government. Yet this is not an isolated incident, although it is an egregiously alarming one. Resulting, understandably, in overt antagonism between the two countries.

All the more so, that evidence has emerged that the government of Sweden actually funded the purported research that resulted in the story and its publication.

Maariv's Swedish correspondent, Liran Lotker, revealed that the material appearing in the article first appeared in a book published in 2001, authored by the very same individual who wrote the later article. Funding for the book itself came partially from Sweden's Foreign Ministry, and from Swedish labour unions along with groups in the Palestinian Authority geography.

Does not that plot sicken? All the more so when it is also revealed that Israel's Government Press Office stated that quasi-journalists employed by Aftonbladet enter Israel not to write stories but to participate in anti-Israel protests.

In this particular instance, the author of the controversial piece, Donald Bostrom, in a Voice of Israel Radio interview, admitted he is not quite certain if the testimony which was used to give credence to his story as first-person narratives, given him by a number of unidentified Arabs was in fact true. Despite that the story claims is to be fact.

Israel's outrage over the blood libel has encouraged Aftonbladet to headline a succeeding issue of its paper with the statement: "Israel fighting against Swedish freedom of the press"; encouraging the public to respond in defence of free speech. Equating freedom of speech with the freedom to slur and slander through lies and stupefying innuendo.

Sweden is free to do as it will, just as it felt morally free to assume neutrality during the calamity that befell Europe's Jews during World War II, through their collective agony of systematic mass annihilation.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Burial of Reason

What precisely is that ingredient, that collective emotional hysteria that afflicts Muslims that they react in such an incendiary manner as to riot and blame and agitate and end up committing murder in the course of protecting the sanctity of their religion? Other religions may be targeted for criticism ranging from innocent-to-ignorant teasing, all the way to blasphemous and racist-inspired vicious slander, and their adherents, while hurt and outraged, do not riot, do not threaten, do not commit murder in honour of their God.

Yes, in some countries of the West where Muslims are numerous, protesters took to the streets after the publication of those notorious Danish cartoons, and the demonstrations were of an outraged, but peaceful nature. Signs were carried denouncing the depictions of the Prophet Mohammad reading "United Against Incitement", "Muhammad, Symbol of Freedom & Honour", "United Against Homophobia", "Muhammad, Mercy to Mankind"; all of which sentiments cannot be faulted.

Except for the fact that Islamic jihad has indeed led to incitement, and fanatical jihadists are intent on demonstrating their sublimely murderous mission without mercy to mankind, and the symbolism of freedom and honour in murder-and-suicide missions somehow escapes rationality, and then again, fundamentalist Muslims and national theocratical laws do indeed unite against homosexuals to the extent that in many such countries the death penalty ensues for that crime.

If, then, most peace-loving Muslims believe in the spirit of that signage, how do they balance those beliefs with the reality of what has been unfolding around the world through the auspices of Islam high-jacked by the fanatics around them? How is it that the collective of Muslims muster the courage to march against a perceived indignity to their Prophet whom they claim is a man of peace, serving a peaceful deity, yet they are disinterested in protesting against those among them who besmirch Islam by making of it an instrument of death?

Is the world outside Islam truly intent on slandering Islam and vilifying its adherents out of a sense of vulgar spitefulness? Or is the world reacting as it must, as it should, to an emphatically fascist culture of domination and angry denunciation resulting in mass bloodshed, both among Muslims themselves and non-Muslims? How can their perspective be so completely warped that they cannot identify that they support those whose mission is to degrade Islam?

For under the guise of Islamic zeal these jihadists threaten and incite and demand fear while violently demonstrating their capability in blood-letting. Why are these people and their violently deadly endeavours not deplored and denounced by the great masses of Muslims whose ire and outrage is so readily invoked against non-Muslims who point out the hypocrisy inherent in complacently accepting the violence from co-religionists?

Now that this unanswered question dangles like a huge void of reason demanding rationality and perspective, perhaps another question is in order. Why is it, how is it that the Western world has become so culturally sensitive to the fearsome reaction of Muslims that they have become complicit in misdirecting blame and failing to face reality?

Why is it that kindly exculpatory explanations ensue from the currently dominant, political left of the West, excusing bad behaviour on the part of the Muslim world?

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Dispute Settled

Well, good thing that's over and done with. And relatively few dead, relatively little material damage. What's a few dozen civilian deaths, in any event, given the larger picture? It's the lamentable result of people incautiously cleaving to the wrong side.

The wrong side on this particular occasion representing an alter-image of Islamist jihad. As for the material damage, what does one mosque more or less matter? No, this is no insult to Allah, the destruction of one of His houses of worship. It's just the way things are done. There. Rafah's Ibn Taymea mosque will be rebuilt. With EU funding.

And it's a great pity that there occurred that disruption. Just when Gazans were accustoming themselves to the earlier fundamentalist dictates of Hamas, intent on ruling Gaza as a respectable fundamentalist Islamic state should be ruled.

(Along comes a critic, with the absurd name of 'father of Mohammed' - Abu Mohammed al-Maqdessi - to claim, absurdly that Hamas's rule has been found wanting.)

So is it much wonder that some deluded cleric feeling he was infinitely better positioned to serve Islam than Hamas came along to preach his version of universal and fanatically-inspired (al-Qaeda connections, you know) Islam? A torch of hope and righteousness unto the benighted. That kind of arrogance needed to be addressed.

Well, Fatah did that too, and look where it got them. Humiliation. Not to mention some rather unfortunate deaths. The worst thing, however, being loss of control of Gaza. Some justice that represented. But the alpha sect and tribe proved its mettle, and that, quite simply, was that.

Until along came Abdel-Latif Moussa, declaring (rather prematurely) his own, personal Islamic rule. That gentle and devout man was obviously, albeit pious to a tender degree, most impetuous and unmindful of the hornet's nest he stirred.

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The New Afghanistan

Afghan citizens are being encouraged to vote for the second time in their history, for another government leader. Which new leader, needless to say, could be the current one. This is a democratic exercise, Afghan-style. Where a good proportion of the population is facing the reality of reprisals from the Taliban, should they cast their vote, and have their finger painted for swift identification. Fearful would-be voters will not vote.

Of course, the current leader, President Hamid Karzai, is exhorting his people to vote for the leader they already have Of whom it has been said there is no direct hint of corruption in a corrupt society where his politically influential brother is associated with the drug trade, and where members of President Karzai's government are known to have become wealthy on poppies and opium, many of whom are former war lords with blood, not merely drugs on their hands.

All seems to be fair in war and politics, no stone unturned for advantage. And President Karzai has been upturning many stones, letting loose lizards who have been celebrated for their violence against their own people. His closest opponent in the race for election, a former cabinet minister (foreign affairs) Abdullah Abdullah, is breathing hot behind him, but President Karzai remains in first place showing for popular support.

How popular that support is, may be debatable, since many Afghans, particularly those outside the capital, complain that safety and security have little improved; have in fact, become more dire with the Taliban now in possession of substantial parts of the country and threatening, despite the presence of foreign troops, to challenge for even more. But Karzai has always made his position clear; his willingness to reach peace with the Taliban.

Not to submit to their previous reign, a powerfully oppressive fundamentalist version of Islam, but to invite them into a partnership, a regime under his command. Feeling that, for all practical purposes, the Taliban are Afghans, and many of them are not fully committed to the fanatical cause of the Taliban leadership, finding employment and security with them, and safety for their families.

President Karzai may be a very nice man, wholly committed to his country's future, and willing to make difficult compromises to achieve some semblance of balance and social and political stability, but he has no hesitation in making deals with the devil. He has sacrificed the dignity and human rights of Shia women by signing into law at the insistence of the Shia mullahs the withholding of food from sexually non-compliant wives, and made it legal that they must seek permission from their husbands to venture outside their homes.

He has welcomed the presence of controversial war lords back to the country from (self-imposed?) exile in Turkey, for the support given him through tribal bloodlines. He begs the international community to continue to agree that his country requires the ongoing presence of foreign troops, while castigating those foreign troops for taking insufficient care in their skirmishes with the Taliban, that sacrifice innocent civilians.

The foreign troops and their representatives are fairly well convinced that neighbouring Iran has provided the Taliban with weaponry used to combat, battle and IED foreign troops (and just incidentally Afghan civilians, along with foreign diplomats, aid workers and others working tirelessly to assist the country to achieve a working level of civil administration) causing substantial death numbers among the foreign troops.

Iran, however, is a friend of Afghanistan, insists President Karzai. He and his country must, after all, live next to Iran, and one must have open diplomatic inroads in the neighbourhood. His closest contender for the presidency agrees, insisting that it has never been proven that Iran is responsible for arming the Taliban. Yet the Western powers continue to insist that it is their duty to save Afghanistan from itself.

Hoping to imbue the country gradually with values commensurate with those of their own; tolerance for others, acceptance of civil behaviour in dealing with those unlike themselves. The necessity for providing sound educational opportunities for the children of Afghanistan. The provision of at least standard health services for the population, in the provinces, outside the major cities. The training of an uncorrupt civil service.

And lastly to train adequate numbers of reliable military and police to ensure that the country will, over time, be able to fend for itself, finally. For this, many sacrifices in lives lost, time spent, massive funding expenditures are made by foreign countries. Seeing, while they labour, the indecisiveness of the people they attempt to serve, along with social inequities revealing tradition and their ancient culture.

Intrusive corruption everywhere they turn; in the civil service, the police, the government, the army. And worse, the dreadful position of women as inferior to the male population in every conceivable way. Still, not quite as horrible as the conscienceless sexual abuse of young boys unable to protect themselves in a society that feeds off its vulnerable youth and its women.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mid-East Solution to Israel-Palestinian Conflict!

The Fatah Conference has concluded. The Palestinian Authority under Fatah has reported on the results of the conference and some points are made crystal-clear. Fatah must resist the continued occupation of Palestinian lands. An occupation that succeeded by force of arms, not by a UN-mandated partition of the land.

(Force of arms were presented by a unified Arab-country attack against the fledgling State of Israel, whereby some Palestinian Arabs fled, others remained; some were coerced to leave, others were encouraged by the invading Arab armies as a temporary measure; they could return triumphant when Israel was beaten.)

Fatah and the PA will continue to oppose the recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. (The creation of the State of Israel had a singular purpose; to provide shelter to Jews world-wide. A dire necessity given the reality that no country in the world stood prepared to provide shelter to Jews rather than see them annihilated. The Nazi-inspired and enacted Holocaust taught Jews that those who seek help must be prepared to help themselves, a lesson well learned and deeply ingrained.)

The prime solution as the Palestinian Authority under Fatah sees it is not that much different from what Hamas envisages; destruction of the Jewish State. Neither recognizes a Jewish State. Fatah demands, in exchange for a peace agreement, the right of return and restitution for Palestinian refugees; (those 'refugees' include the original 700,000 who fled, as well as their ten-fold-in-number descendants. No Arab country has stood forward to offer return or restitution to the like number (800,000) Jews tossed out of Arab lands, their property confiscated.)

Peace can be achieved. Jerusalem must remain undivided, and must not be permitted to become 'Judaized'. It must be returned to the Palestinians. (Who never owned it; it was administered by the Turks, by the British, by the Jordanians.) An undivided 'holy' Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state. The solution leading to peace: Muslims, Christians and Jews living in a single, democratic state. (Presumably Muslim Arabs will cease killing one another, cease killing Christian Arabs, and cease murdering Jews, in a single state.)

Boycotting of Israeli products at home and abroad must proceed apace. (In fact the propaganda boycott has been wildly successfully, disseminated throughout the international community.)

Herewith the statement issued by the Palestinian Authority/Fatah, as published in MEMRI:

Inquiry and Analysis - No. 541
August 16, 2009 No. 541
Fatah Sixth General Conference Resolutions: Pursuing Peace Option Without Relinquishing Resistance or Right to Armed Struggle
By: C. Jacob *

On August 13, 2009, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas declared the end of the Fatah Sixth General Conference, during which the movement's amended political plan was ratified.(1)

This report will examine three aspects of the results of the conference: what, if any, changes were made in Fatah's charter; the stance taken by 'Abbas in his opening speech, which he stated should be viewed as expressing Fatah's political plan; and Fatah's updated official political plan.

No Change to Fatah Charter Calling for Elimination of Israel

Fatah's internal charter, which was posted on the website of the Sixth Fatah General Conference, was not discussed at the conference; in any event, no changes were made to it, and it still includes the following:

* Section 17: "Popular armed revolution is the imperative and only way to liberate Palestine."

* Section 19: "Armed struggle is a strategy, not a tactic. The armed revolution of the Arab Palestinian people is a crucial element in the battle for liberation and for the elimination of the Zionist presence. This struggle will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated."(2)

The political plan that was ratified at the conference refers to the charter as follows: "The goals, principles, and methods, as they are written in Chapter One of the charter, are the basic point of departure for our movement, and are part of the ideological and political identity of our people. They are also the identity of the movement and its fundamental charter, since they were the basis for the beginning of the Palestinian revolution of our time and for liberation from the imperialist and racist yoke..."(3)

The plan ratified by the Fatah conference adopts peace as a strategic option, but states that pursuing the armed struggle against the occupation is a legitimate right.(4) Among the other types of resistance, the movement calls for adopting the model of resistance to the separation fence as conducted in the West Bank villages of Bil'in and Nil'in. The plan also calls to bequeath the legacy of the armed struggle to the Palestinian people.

The plan sets terms for renewing negotiations, first among them a halt to the settlements and also to any changes that Israel is making in Jerusalem. It opposes the idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, and includes a demand for the right of return, and restitution, for Palestinian refugees.

Following are the main points of the plan:

"Fatah launched the armed struggle for liberating the homeland. This method, and other methods of legitimate resistance [<,i>muqawama], are the right of the Palestinian people, recognized by international law, as long as our land is under occupation. The movement adopts a just and comprehensive peace as a strategic option, with various means of obtaining it; however, it will not accept stasis. It espouses various means of armed struggle in order to restore our inalienable rights...

"The struggle emanates from the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation and the settlements, expulsion and racist discrimination; and this right is guaranteed by international law. Our revolutionary struggle began with the armed struggle against the armed robbery of our lands, but it has never been limited to armed struggle alone. Rather, it [has included] diverse means and methods – among these [also] peaceful means of struggle such as intifada, demonstrations, strikes, civil uprising, clashes with settler gangs, political, media, judicial, and diplomatic struggle, and negotiating with the occupation authorities.

"Thus, the Palestinian people's right to carry out armed struggle against the armed occupation will remain an inalienable right confirmed by international law. The method, timing, and place of struggle are determined based on the capability of the individual and of the public, on external and internal circumstances, on balance of power, on the need to defend the movement, and on the people's ability to carry out revolution, to stand fast, and to continue the struggle.

"In Fatah's judgment, the end does not justify the means. Some means contradict the movement's overall long-term goals – particularly when the movement has from the outset proposed humane solutions ensuring future coexistence among Muslims, Christians and Jews in a single democratic state. Since its founding, the Fatah movement has opposed harming civilians, whoever they are, just as it opposed transferring the battle arena abroad. Likewise, it has opposed the weapons anarchy, the chaos, and the use of weapons for negative [purposes]..."

"The Fatah movement clings to the Palestinian people's right to resist the occupation by all legitimate means, including the right to implement the armed struggle, as guaranteed by international law as long as the occupation and the settlements continue and as long as the Palestinian people is stripped of its inalienable rights. [Following] are the types of struggle in the current phase:

"Fatah espouses all types of legitimate struggle, and clings to the peace option without limiting [the means for attaining it] to negotiations [only]. Among the types of struggle that can be successfully carried out in the current situation [in order to] support and activate negotiations, or as an alternative to negotiations if its aims are not accomplished, are the following:

* "Stimulating the popular struggle against the settlements, following the current successful paradigm – the ongoing confrontation in Bil'in and Nil'in against the settlements and the fence, and for the rescue of Jerusalem and against its Judaization. Our mission is to recruit all residents to join [this confrontation] activity and to gain popular participation of Arabs and foreigners, and to offer all help from the Palestinian Authority apparatuses in order to bring about its success. The most important activities must be headed by the movement's leaders from the Palestinian Authority and from the public [institutions].

* "Devising new forms of struggle and resistance by means of popular initiative and initiatives by leaders on the ground, and by means of the determination of our people to stand fast and to resist, as guaranteed by international law.

* "Boycotting Israeli products here and abroad, by means of popular activity, particularly consumables for which there are local alternatives, and implementing new forms of civil uprising against the occupation. [Also, implementing] activities for escalating the international campaign for boycotting Israel, its products, and its institutions, utilizing the experience of South Africa.

* "Raising proposals and discussing strategic Palestinian alternatives in the event that the current negotiations fail to make progress – among them raising the idea of a united democratic state opposed to racism and to the hegemony of the occupation, and the development of the struggle against apartheid and Israeli racism, or a return to the idea of establishing a state within the 1967 borders and other strategic alternatives.

* "Pursuing continuous activity to free the prisoners and detainees, to end the external siege, and [to remove] the internal roadblocks.

* "Appealing to the U.N. and the Security Council to [discharge their] responsibility of ending the conflict and the occupation, and causing the Security Council to pass binding resolutions based on Chapter Seven of [the U.N.] charter.

* "Renewing direct and close contacts with the Israeli peace camp and renewing its activity for a just peace without linking this with normalization – which is a policy that must be resisted as long as the occupation continues..."

"There must be continued commitment to educating [the people] for the struggle, for constant readiness to join the resistance against the occupation, and for sacrifice for the sake of the homeland. Field leaders must be trained by means of regular movement meetings, courses, and distribution of flyers by the movement. Field leaders and movement activists must be continuously taught about the heritage of the armed Palestinian struggle; and ceremonies must be held to celebrate battles and commemorate the history of the struggle, with constant readiness for sacrifice..."

"Continuing negotiations without achieving real progress within a specific time [frame] constitutes a threat to our rights, and will become a futile [activity] that Israel can exploit as a cover for continuing [the building of] settlements and deepening the occupation. In order for the negotiations not to become pointless, we must verify that the PLO will be committed to the following rules when the time comes for negotiating:

* "A link must be created between the negotiations and actual progress on the ground, [to be measured by] clear signs, the most important of which is insistence on a complete halt to the settlements, particularly in Jerusalem, and also a complete halt to changes in the characteristics of Jerusalem, and to its Judaization. These are two conditions that must be met, and if they are not, negotiations must not be renewed. Likewise, it must be verified that (Israel) stops the incursions [into PA territory], the arrests, and the assassinations; that it lifts the siege from our people in Gaza and the roadblocks in the West Bank; that it withdraws to the lines of September 28, 2000 as a first step towards [withdrawal to] the June 4, 1967 lines – [all this] as clear signs of progress on the ground and of creating a link between [this progress] and progress in the negotiations.

* "Negotiations must be based on the main U.N. resolutions (181, 194, 242, and 338), and will be in the framework of the Arab peace initiative, as long as this leads to attainment of our strategic and interim goals.

* "There must be a continuation of activity to convene a new international peace conference that will confirm our rights, and that will move in the direction of rapid negotiations leading to a peace agreement that actualizes our goals.

* "There must be insistence on the setting of a clear and binding timetable and a deadline for [concluding] the negotiations.

* "There must be opposition to postponing negotiations on Jerusalem and the refugee problem, or any other issue of the final settlement.

* "There must be opposition to the idea of a state with temporary borders.

* "There must be absolute opposition, from which there will be no withdrawal, to recognizing Israel as a 'Jewish state,' in order to protect the refugees' rights and the rights of our people on the other side of the Green Line [i.e. Israeli Arabs].

* "There must be insistence on involving international elements in the negotiations, and on an arbitration mechanism for [resolving] disputes that may arise over the implementation of the agreements in a way that will be binding for both sides.

* "There must be insistence on international oversight and on a mechanism for international peacekeeping in order to ensure implementation of the agreements.

* "Success in obtaining our goals by means of negotiations requires the establishment of a professional national committee that is capable of conducting negotiations. Such a committee will continue to be subordinate to the PLO, and will be overseen by a supreme committee, which will include Palestinian factions and individuals. [There will also be] an additional [Fatah] movement committee, to monitor the negotiations and to submit a report to [Fatah's] central committee and revolutionary council.

* "A referendum must be held to approve the peace agreement that will be obtained via the negotiations over the final settlement...

* "There must be intensive activity to free the prisoners. We will not sign a final agreement unless this is done...

* "Efforts must be made to implement the right of return and restitution for refugees, and they are entitled to have their property restored. Likewise, the refugee problem should [be handled] uniformly, with no differentiation based on the refugees' location – including the refugees in the 1948 territories. Likewise, Fatah considers it essential to preserve the refugee camps until the [refugee] problem is resolved, so that they will serve as fundamental political evidence for the refugees who have been deprived of the right to return to their homes. It is essential that UNRWA be retained as the international address and that [the existence of] the refugee problem be recognized until they return to their homes and their cities. At the same time, it is necessary to act to improve the situation of the refugees and of the refugee camps, and to stress that the PLO is the source of political authority of the Palestinian refugees...

* "There must be an emphasis on opposition to the idea of forced resettlement of the Palestinian refugees or to a call for an alternative homeland. There will be no resettlement in Lebanon nor an alternative homeland in Jordan..."

* "Fatah opposes the call to declare Israel a Jewish state, and it adopts the demand of our people in the 1948 territories [i.e. the Israeli Arabs] that Israel recognize them as citizens with full rights."

"There will be no peace if Jerusalem is not restored as the eternal capital of the Palestinian state. Fatah considers all Israeli decisions to annex Jerusalem, to build settlements in it, to expel its residents, and to change its characteristics to be null and void, and the results [of such decisions] must be removed. There must be action to implement U.N. resolutions condemning all attempts to Judaize Jerusalem, which is an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and therefore Fatah adheres to the following:

"The realization of [the vision of] holy Jerusalem as the eternal spiritual capital of Palestine, of the Arab homeland, and of the Muslim and Christian world... Jerusalem must be provided with all types of support in order to defend it and resist its Judaization, the construction of settlements in it, and its isolation from the rest of the Palestinian territories..."(5)

"The continuation of the state of schism between the two parts of the homeland threatens the future of the national cause of the Palestinian people, and Hamas will bear the responsibility for the continuation of this schism. We must move ahead in order to succeed in the general national dialogue, headed by the dialogue with Hamas [aimed at] ending the schism in Gaza and establishing a national unity government that will hold simultaneous elections for the presidency and for the Legislative Council. [The dialogue is also aimed at] unifying the security apparatuses so that they will protect the security of the homeland and the people, dealing with the results of the coup and the schism, achieving national reconciliation, and freeing all the prisoners. Failure of the dialogue due to Hamas obstinacy will not change its [top]-priority [status], and will not detract from our determination to continue the dialogue. However, it will oblige Fatah to adopt alternatives:

* "Rebuilding the Fatah movement in Gaza in accordance with the requirements of the existing situation, and giving full help to our organization [the Tanzim] so that they will be able to deal with the [current] schism.

* "Directing the movement's energy to reinforcing the popular activity and motivating the Palestinian people to deal with the schism and the dictatorship.

* "Denouncing acts by Hamas that deviate from [our] norms and from the Palestinian leaders' traditional [ways], and [denouncing] the crimes that it is carrying out towards the Palestinian people.

* "Demanding Arab security assistance for the interim.

* "Reinforcing media activity in the Arab and Islamic street, to expose the truth about Hamas's policy and deeds."

In his speech opening the Fatah conference, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas said: "The popular resistance being carried out by our people against the settlements, the separation fence, and the destruction and expropriation of homes is an example of our people's ability to devise various forms of struggle that can penetrate the conscience of the world and mobilize the support of the peoples.

"I salute and express my esteem for our people in Jerusalem, in Bil'in, in Ni'lin, in Ma'sra, and in all the places where defenseless demonstrators armed only with hope, determination, and belief in victory [hold] demonstrations that express their opposition to the deeds of the occupation...

"While we stress that we espouse the option of peace and negotiations based on the U.N. resolutions, we retain our fundamental right to legitimate resistance guaranteed by international law. This right is also linked to our perception and to the national consensus, which is what must determine the appropriate forms of the struggle and the proper timing for [each] – while learning lessons from the past and making sure that we are not dragged into places where the steadfastness of our people and our adherence to our moral superiority and to the principles of our struggle might be harmed."(6)

* C. Jacob is a Research Fellow at MEMRI

(1), August 13, 2009.
(3), August 13, 2009.
(4) Fatah political bureau chairman Nabil Sha'th declared at the conference that the plan sets out the forms and methods of the struggle, and that it stresses the Palestinian people's right to armed struggle as guaranteed by international law, and also that diverse types of struggle devised during the Intifada of the Stones (1987-1991), including methods of struggle such as those used in Bil'in and Nil'in, and various types of political and diplomatic struggle and negotiations. Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), August 10, 2009.
(5) Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), August 10, 2009.
(6) Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), August 5, 2009.

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Resurgent Anti-Semitism

The Obama Administration has absorbed and surrounded itself with competently-political Jewish insiders within the Democratic party, giving it a legitimization of the need required to demonstrate to America that there is nothing racist in the attitude of President Obama; he is a great emancipator. Willing to open shut doors, and make diplomatic overtures to regimes that oppress their own people while threatening the security of the international community.

It is toward Israel that the world increasingly has turned, to reform itself of its unacceptable tendencies to self-protection. A protection of state and population that has been found wildly wanting to the world at large. For the world sees that protection as predicated on the subjugation and oppression of another population, one that shares the territory within which Israel exists, and has done so since UN-declared partition in 1948. Israel must free itself of the need to dominate others.

Israel's new government is icily informed by America's new government that it must cease and desist from all initiatives, new and ongoing, to absorb land through settlements, outside the original green line of its inception as a nation. That the country is that of a nation is overlooked in the complaints that it is an apartheid state, even while a quarter of its citizens is non-Jewish with full citizenship. That it is often from within that 'other-national' citizenship that Israel finds itself embattled is also handily overlooked.

That the government and the independent judiciary agreed to permit illegal Arab squatters to be removed from Jewish-owned land that had been in Jewish hands for the last 80 years is a matter for indignant denunciation from the United States and Arab states. Yet belligerent anti-Israel Gulf State Arabs have been permitted to purchase privately-owned land within Israel, and there is no word of concern other than from Jews. Incipient destabilization only Israel worries about.

A decade and a half ago Jews were jubilant at the news that everywhere one looked, the incidence of anti-Semitism was in the decline. It was uncivil to make publicly known one's anti-Jewish feelings, and people generally kept those racist proclivities private. Much can happen in the space of several years; as emigration from Muslim countries increased and Europe and North America became increasingly populated with Muslim immigrants, anti-Semitism has resurfaced.

Now, because Muslim-generated propaganda against Jews and the State of Israel has been generally accepted, and even embraced by Western intelligentsia, unions, academic institutions and churches, (even the World Archaeological Congress; who must hold with the PA that the Jewish heritage-value Dead Sea Scrolls properly belong to the Palestinians) suddenly it is no longer socially ignorant to profess one's criticism of a state created by and for Jews whom the world has traditionally obsessed over, victimized and abandoned to fate.

A new obsession has emerged, one obsessing social and civil and church groups again, and while none of these groups would ever admit to harbouring the collective blight of expressive racism, and declare themselves emphatically non-anti-Semitic, they see nothing amiss in passionately slandering Israel. Sufficient unto the day is the subterfuge of a universal anti-Israel blight shielding avid practitioners from the charge of anti-Semitism.

Israel is held to a standard not demanded of any other country on the face of the Earth. Other countries may defend themselves, may declare themselves to be uni-religious, uni-ethnic, uni-social-heritage devoted, but not Israel. Not even when the country has absorbed well over a million people of other faiths than Judaism, other ethnic backgrounds and given them equality.

The Palestinian Authority under Fatah, formerly the PLO, is considered the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, languishing in its self-imposed refugee status for want of a peace agreement with Israel. Yet immediately following the Fatah General Conference the armed wing of Fatah attacked Jewish Israelis, riddling their vehicles with bullets, injuring the occupants.

Emboldened and stimulated, no doubt, by Fatah's re-endorsement of the Al Aksa Martyr's Brigade during the General Conference. Is it likely that any humanitarian or social justice group, any country's diplomat, any academic institution outside Israel, any trade union representatives will stand up and publicly admonish the Palestinian Authority for insisting "The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades are the jewel in Fatah's crown. We must strengthen their status ... maintain them in a state of alert."

Whereas puckish cartoons lampooning Islam and its Prophet on the basis of reality in today's world sees a delicately sensitive handling of the issue from the West in the wake of a ferocious and bloody backlash from outraged Muslims the world over, vicious fascist posters depicting Nazi-era caricatures of Jews are considered perfectly fine for academia's student mobs of Arabs and their sympathizers.

All are animated by the specificity of Jew-hatred. Israel-bashing has become an accepted device by which those whose sympathies are easily led and those whose deep-seated hatred for Jews can be construed as legitimate criticism of a Democratic state. Deeply satisfying as a device for those who finally feel free to express their detestation of all things Jewish.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

History: Zionist-Enabled Holocaust

Special Dispatch - No. 2486
August 12, 2009 No. 2486
Article in Syrian Government Daily: The Holocaust – Part of a Reciprocal Conflict between Hitler and the Jewish Capitalists; Its Real Victims Are the Germans and the Palestinians

In an article titled "What We Should Know About Hitler and the Jews," published June 15, 2009 in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, author Nasr Shimali states that in his June 4 speech at Cairo University, U.S. President Barack Obama "did not stand with the Palestinians against their killers." He then explains that the Holocaust was part of a "reciprocal murderous conflict" between Hitler and the Zionist Jewish capitalists, and goes on to claim that the real victims of the "lie about the annihilation of seven million Jews" are the German and Palestinian peoples.

Following are excerpts from the article.

"President Obama's [June 4, 2009] speech at Cairo University concerning the Nazi crimes against the Jews was missing something very serious. The omission was intentional… because, as is generally the case with American speeches, it was meant to serve the interests of American economic monopolies. This is why we saw Obama siding with the Jews in Germany against their killers without pointing to the causes of the fighting.

"However, he did not stand with the Palestinians in Gaza against their killers, and he justifies the crimes of their murderers, despite the close similarity between what happened in Germany and what has happened in Palestine.

"Therefore, we must mention what needs to be known about the reasons for the clash between Adolph Hitler's government and the Zionist Jews. This is something which the Americans and the Europeans deliberately neglect in their speeches."

"[In the 1930s,] Hitler's Germany was preparing to avenge its defeat in World War I. [Hitler and his government] wanted to implement a worldwide imperialist enterprise. They believed that Germany deserved such an imperialist enterprise no less than the U.S. deserved one. Germany's way of achieving this was to unite Europe under its rule, whether by peaceful means or by war, so that it would equal the U.S. in size and [thus] be capable of competing with it geographically, demographically, economically, and militarily.

"[The Germans wanted] Berlin, rather than Washington, to succeed London and Paris as the imperial center of the world.

"Germany's project was colonialist, imperialistic, and racist, precisely like the American project. [The Germans] understood the significance of getting Jewish capitalism on their side. However, the Zionist Jews clung to their alliance with London and Washington, even conspiring with these two governments against Nazi Berlin.

"In 1934, Jewish Zionist hostility towards Germany became patently clear. This [Jewish] hostility was manifested in a very real way: by launching an economic boycott against Germany, in coordination with the Western capitalistic monopolies and governments. Hitler, for his part, strongly pressured the German Jewish capitalists. Thus, the reciprocal murderous conflict between the two sides began to escalate, and this unmitigated internal conflict played a role in precipitating World War II."

"The Jewish Zionists Declared War on Germany on September 5, 1939"

"When World War II broke out, each of the two sides - German and Jewish-Zionist - blamed the other. The fact is that according to World Jewish Congress president [sic] Chaim Weizmann, it was the Jewish Zionists who declared war on Germany on September 5, 1939.

"Hitler said, 'The Allies and the Jews want to eliminate us - therefore, it is they who will be eliminated from the face of the Earth.' On the other side, the Jews and the Allies said, 'Hitler and the Nazis want to eliminate us, but it is they who will be eliminated.'

"There was a fierce struggle among various parties of international capitalism, for exclusive control of the natural resources of the colonized, oppressed nations - indeed, for the natural resources of the whole world. The Zionist Jews opposed Germany because of their precise calculations of possible losses and gains, not because of hatred for the Germans or love for the Americans. The two racist, usurious camps spewed out chauvinistic declarations of war, each viewing its enemy as a wild beast that must be slaughtered.

"In sum, the scope of their crimes was more or less the same - except that the Allies' crimes were greater and more extensive.

"The war declared by the Jews against Germany was mentioned at a closed meeting on July 24, 1942. Hitler said that he was going to shut down their [the Jews'] towns or neighborhoods, one after another. To clarify his intent, he said, 'This Jewish scum [must] leave the country and emigrate to Madagascar or to any other Jewish homeland.'

"In other words, Hitler treated the Jews like a combatant, hostile minority, and thus, by some universal wartime logic, imprisoned those of them who lived close to the front lines. The German command was concerned that the Jews might engage in hostile propaganda, and also feared that they might spy for the Allies and also engage in arms smuggling, sabotage, and black marketeering. The Germans believed that the Jews excelled in all these activities."

"Before the war, Hitler's efforts to prompt the Jews to emigrate were successful. He wished for them to find a homeland outside Europe. He suggested Madagascar, under German oversight, as such a homeland, and had no objections to their emigrating to Palestine, hoping that they would be at his service after he was victorious (which was what Napoleon had hoped as well).

"Hitler believed that the Jews had a special talent for reclaiming land, and for banking. In short, his view of the Jews was not much different from that of Cromwell, Napoleon, Churchill, and Roosevelt. The Jews however, aligned themselves with his enemies, so he fought them along with his enemies.

"In 1939, the total number of Jews in the whole world, according to League of Nations statistics, was approximately 11 million; after the war, in 1947, the same census organization [sic] put their number at some 12 million. How can President Obama, master of scholars that he is, say at Cairo University that Hitler killed seven million [sic] Jews?"

"The Lie about the Annihilation of Seven Million Jews... Generated Immense Financial Gain, and Zionists and the Israeli Entity Benefited From It"

"Indeed, Obama did not surprise us, because this is [only part of the] persistent American efforts, throughout American history, to convince public opinion of the vileness and lack of honor of their enemies. They are doing this right now regarding the Palestinian victims; exaggeration and lies are being used to serve American interests.

"The lie about the annihilation of seven million Jews because of their race generated immense financial gain, and both the Zionists and the Israeli entity benefited from it. However, as French scholar Robert Faurisson said, the [real] victims are the German people - except for its leaders - and the entire Palestinian people."

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Friday, August 14, 2009

The United Church of Canada Proudly Presents ...

The United Church of Canada presents a gift to Canada; yet another righteous attempt to shame and defame and profane the relationship of cultural decency between it and the State of Israel. Replacing it with the disgrace of a church allowing itself to be overrun by the hugely 'sensitized' portion of its membership that insists on portraying Israel as an apartheid regime. A designation so hugely popular with anti-Semites who passionately resist the label they so honestly earn.

Slurs against Canadian Members of Parliament for purportedly having ownership of dual citizenship, and that they "are affiliated with the State of Israel", rule the day, as well as the agenda of the conference taking place in Kelowna. Another proposal referring to "questionable positions of Canadian Members of Parliament" viz-a-viz Israel, casting aspersions on Canadian politicians who may have a favourable view of another democratic country presents as another self-incriminating device.

But prejudicing public opinion further by insisting that Israel has earned the full condemnation of the United Church of Canada for what is termed their oppressive 'occupation' of a land mass whose residents insist on using as a bloody, violent launching pad for attacks against a country and its people is the icing on the cake. Requiring full diplomatic, social, institutional, business isolation of Israel in response to her iniquitous behaviour.

The proposal that insists that "Israeli institutions, including universities, are involved in an ongoing way in the development and maintenance of this exclusionary regime directed at Palestinians", which requires the United Church of Canada to exact its measure of social justice by enacting a full boycott of Israel, reveals the depths of hatred and vengeance that being Jewish exacts still yet in this modern world.

To claim otherwise, as the Independent Jewish Voices, who have given their full support to the United Church members who insist on threatening, punishing and isolating Israel, is a farce. And speaks more than adequately to their unabashed self-revulsion as Jews in a non-Jewish world, which has impressed upon them their uniqueness, one that they heartily reject.

That the United Church has determined that the better part of valour in this particular instance is to retreat, and set aside the proposals for the interim, speaks to nothing but their own insecurity, the dualism of their wish to ingratiate themselves with both 'sides' of the issue.

They can claim no credit for friendly relations and cultural sensitivities, and political knowledge and historical background in their role in this craven affair.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Palestine: The Sacred Slogan of the Arab World

Special Dispatch - No. 2488
August 13, 2009 No. 2488
Iraqi MP Iyad Jamal Al-Din: Hizbullah Uses 'Sacred Slogan' of Palestine for Its Political Agenda

Following are excerpts from an interview with Iraqi MP Iyad Jamal Al-Din, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on June 26, 2009:

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit
To view the MEMRI TV page for Iyad Jamal Al-Din, visit

Interviewer: "Are you a secular person in Islamic clothing, or are you a Muslim employing secular discourse?"


Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "First of all, I am neither Islamic nor secular."

Interviewer: "You are not an Islamic person?"

Iyad Jamal "Al-Din: No, I'm not. First of all, secularization cannot be used to characterize a person. It characterizes a political regime. A person cannot be characterized as secular or non-secular.


"I have read the Koran, and I have not found the adjective 'Islamic' there. The Koran contains the words 'Muslim,' 'believer,' 'polytheist,' and 'hypocrite,' but 'Islamic' is not to be found anywhere in the Koran.


"There is no clear distinction between the terms 'Islamic' and 'Muslim.' I call myself a Muslim - I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger.

Interviewer: "You mean this is the term found in the Koran, not 'Islamic.'"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Those who use this new term - 'Islamic' - did not define its meaning. What distinguishes it from the word 'Muslim'? Many people feel insulted when they are called non-Islamic - as if it's a curse - but I am proud not to be Islamic, because I don't know what it means. I know what 'Muslim' means - it is someone who recites the two shahadas."

Interviewer: "Did the term 'Islamic' appear along with the political Islamic movements?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Yes. This term appeared following World War II to refer to political Islamic movements. These are political movements that use religion as a ladder to rise to power, just as some political parties use money, the media, weapons, or militias as a ladder to rise to power.


"We are people who aspire to power. We agree upon a political platform and we convince the voters by saying: 'If you vote for us, we will do this and that.' Either we will say the truth, or we will lie. But saying: 'Vote for us, so we can teach you how to pray,' or "vote for us, so we can show how to flagellate yourself properly over the death of Hussein' - this is inconceivable nonsense. It makes a mockery of the people.


"In our view, sectarian quotas run counter to human rights, and constitute a disgrace to humanity. Do you consider yourself a Shiite more than an Iraqi, or vice versa? I consider myself, first and foremost, a human being and a citizen. In my view, Iraqi citizens come first, not Iraq, because Iraqis are more valuable than Iraq."

Interviewer: "Yes, people are more valuable than land."

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "People are more important than time and place. People's primitive instincts, their instinct of fear, is aroused when one says: 'As a Shiite, you are oppressed,' 'As a Sunni, you are in danger,' 'As a Kurd, you are deprived of your rights'... This makes a mockery of the people."

Interviewer: "Especially since everybody is doing this - the Shiites, the Kurds, and the Sunnis."

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Exactly. We talk about the rights of Iraqi citizens. There is no difference between the poor - whether Kurdish, Sunni, Shiite, or Christian. As for the issue of minorities... When you classify people as Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmen, and so on, you are destroying [the notion] of an Iraqi person."

Interviewer: "Why?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Because then you start calling for the rights of imaginary groups, not individuals. You are not calling for the rights of Shiite individuals, but of the Shiite nation."


Interviewer: "From 2003 - perhaps for the first time in 1,400 years - Iraq is ruled by the religious. How would you sum up this return to power?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "It has been a miserable and bleak experience. We have seen nothing but growing poverty, despite the abundance of money. Services are in a bad way, even though Iraq has opened up to the whole world. The public coffers are being plundered like never before in history."[...]

"The Palestinian Cause is the Pretext for the Lack of Political and Economic Development... Hizbullah Is Using the Same Exact 'Sacred' Slogan"

"Will Hizbullah make do with confronting Israel and liberating the land, or does it have another agenda - that of a vast, religious, Islamic state? That is the question. There are sacred slogans, such as the liberation of Palestine and of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian cause. For a long time the tyrants have been living in the shadow of these slogans, and the Arab peoples have been suffering oppression, as a result of the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian cause is the pretext for the lack of political and economic development. When liberties are denied - it is because of Palestine. When Saddam Hussein oppresses the Iraqi people for 35 years - it is in the name of Palestine, because 'no voice is louder than the sound of battle.' Hizbullah is using the same exact 'sacred' slogan as well. It uses the Palestinian cause just like any other political power.

Interviewer: "Using it?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Yes, because only Allah knows one's true intentions. Saddam attacked Israel with missiles - 38 missiles, I think. Gamal Abd Al-Nasser fought [Israel], for 50 years, Qadhafi has been shouting in the name of Palestine, and all the Arab rulers speak in the name of Palestine. But look at the state the Arabs are in. Look at the state of the Arabs in Palestine - the Arabs living within the 1948 Green Line..."

Interviewer: "Does Hizbullah bear responsibility for the problem of development in the Arab world?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Others share this responsibility. It is not the only one that fought for Palestine. Hizbullah was founded in 1982, and Palestine was lost in 1948. From 1948 to Judgment Day - I don't know how long this conflict will last. There are people who raise the banner of Palestine, yet oppress their people in the name of Palestine. People like Saddam say they will liberate Palestine, but lose their own homes. He said he would liberate Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and then he lost Iraq in its entirety. The slogan of Palestine is an enticing but deceiving slogan. It is enticing because any thief, smuggler, or liar can claim to be liberating Palestine, and history will sing his praises."


Interviewer: "Do you think that Hizbullah is using the slogan of Palestine as a cover for its political agenda?"

Iyad Jamal Al-Din: "Undoubtedly, in my opinion. As I said, anyone can use the Palestinian cause. Show me one Shiite Lebanese - although I don't have the right to intervene in Lebanese affairs, because the people in that country are free... But is there any voice among the Shiites in Lebanon other than the voice of Hizbullah and its ilk? Aren't there any intellectuals? Why is someone like Ali Al-Amin oppressed - and he is just one person, with no political party, militia, newspaper, radio, or TV station behind him? He does not constitute a threat. He just has an opinion. They burned down his house and his office. Isn't that a disgrace?"


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