Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My settlement tour: Katrina meets Alice's Wonderland

Its almost 2 am, and I've very tired. I've spent the entire day touring the settlements-a tour of the surreal. I just don't know how else to describe it, but I"ll try. Here's a rough draft and more extended version of an article I wrote for Aljazeera:

Using roads that had been previously blocked off to them, Palestinian from all walks of life-the young and the old, men, women, children, and families, resistance fighters and security forces, slowly filtered into the former colonies after day break to take a glimpse of what was inside.

In the infamous colony of Nezarim, which had strategically split Gaza into two sections and was for so long a pillar and much-hated symbol of the occupation, nothing was left untouched by departing Israeli forces. Trees were uprooted, electricity lines were cut, and vegetation inside greenhouses and around the land had not been watered in over 15 days, leaving a dry and dead landscape.

Palestinians salvaged what they could from the rubble, including copper wires and scrap metal which sells for 8 shekels ($ 2) a kilo in this impoverished territory.

Some children picked large mangoes off a razed tree, while others took to scavenging for leftover toys and books; some found Jewish skullcaps and wore them while posing, oblivious to the irony, next to Hamas flags. Others tied orange anti-disengagemetn ribbons to their heads. All were elated and awe-struck, expressing relief and excitement at seeing the occupation depart. Everybody wanted a souvenir.

“We can finally move freely throughout Gaza and play without anyone shooting at us,” said one, 14-year-old Abdullah Yunis, as he surveyed the remains of ploughed over sniper tower that overlooked his refugee camp.

Amidst the curious crowds, a Palestinian photojournalist walked around in a vest stapled with pictures he took of Palestinians martyrs killed by Israelis forces in years past, including the youngest victim-4-month-old Iman Hijju of Khan Yunis.

“I want them to witness this historic moment with me. I want to also make sure that people never forget what they died for,” he said.

Palestinians wandered around in disbelief, trying to absorb the scene and the moment. For some, like 26-year old Omar Budran, who lost a leg to an Israeli helicopter gunship that fired at a group of Palestinians not far from the settlement in the crowded Nusseirat refugee camp two years ago, the day was particularly poignant.

“It’s an incredible day for me. I am overwhelmed with happiness, and I am optimistic what the future might bring,” he said.

Palestinian forces could do little to stop the largely curious crowds from touring the settlements, though officials say they will take control of the areas in coming days.

“No one in the world can prevent people from expressing heir joy at seeing an occupation depart,” said one Palestinian security officials futilely guarding the gates to the infamous former colony, adding that security forces were making sure the flimsy tarp and wire remains of the greenhouses were kept in tact.

Many Palestinian boys, backpacks still on shoulder, skipped school in favor of the exploratory visits to the abandoned colonies that for so long were a source of their grief and misery.

In the former colony of Kfar Darom, young refugee children from the camp of Dair al-Balah played in an abandoned playground.

“It’s the most fun we’ve ever had, there’s nothing like this in our refugee camp,” laughed 12-year-old Reem Idayn, as she slid down a slide.

Nearby, Palestinian security officers who had been up since 3am for the handover of the settlement lands dozed off under the shade of a large mulberry tree, while young children clamored for a photo opportunity in an abandoned but not yet demolished sniper tower that overlooked a pockmarked UN school.

Across the now-flattened electric fence of the former colony, 53-year-old Sulayman Tawaysha continued to watch the scenes in disbelief along with his six children. The entire family had been up since 3am to see the soldiers leave, at which point they erupted in ululations of joy and put on fireworks display.

“I feel free, for the first time, we all feel free,” said Tawaysha, as his youngest daughter, Buthoor, served coffee and date cookies to celebrate. Her mother, a newly hired headmistress, was at a local school trying in vain to convince schoolchildren to attend classes.

“Tonight will be the first time we can sit outside after sunset without the fear of being shot at by the nearby troops,” added Tawaysha.

The Tawaysha’s house was occupied over twenty times by Israeli forces throughout the Intifada, 17 donoms of their land and 3 buildings they own worth $600, 000 were razed to the ground.

Further south, Palestinians drove past the Abo Holi checkpoint for the first time in 6 years without having to stop and wait for orders to pass, though a traffic jam ensued as Palestinian forces took down a watchtower that Israeli forces had abandoned but not dismantled.

“I can’t believe it-I spent so many miserable nights sleeping here at the checkpoint, waiting for it to open, suffering at their whim,” said taxi driver Samir Dogmosh as he drove through unhindered.

In Neve Dekalim in southern Gaza, the large synagogue in the shape of a star of David, built in “memory” of the former settlement of Yamit in Sinai, was still standing. Flags of Palestinain factions were hoisted on top. Inside charred anti-disengagement literature and flyers advertising “tours” to Gush Qatif as “New Zionism plus Torah True Living in Action” littered the vacated, and mostly undemolished, former settlement stronghold, juxtaposed against the impoverished Khan Yunis refugee camp. “Let us help you to sense the magic being felt daily in this beautiful part of our homeland,” read the flyer.

Everything was in tact, including the settlemetn "town centre", the school, adn the marketplace. Israeli ani-disengagemetn graffiti was hastily spraypainted over and posters of Marwan Barghouthi were put up instead.

Beyond the former colony, Palestinians swarmed the Khan Yunis beach in the fertile and formerly fenced off enclave of Mawasi, which had been off-limits to them for since the start of the Intifada.

“Today I am here to enjoy this historic day with my only son, Abdullah,” said Khan Yunis resident Um Abdullah as she sat under a tin-sheet shelter erected by the seaside, her son playing in the sand nearby. "I came to swim," explained her 4-year-old son, expertly.

Young boys surfed on broken refrigerator doors; children ran boisterously around abandoned sea shacks and flew kites; and families took the day off to picnic.

I had an urge to jump in the sea, to scream and laugh and run unrestrained all at once just like those children. IT was, for a people long deprived of it, the sweet and intoxicating taste of freedom.

But in the end, somehow, I couldn't help but feel like a small hamster, who was released from the confines of a small, decrepit cage with a vexing obstacle course to maneuver around, to a more spacious, less restrictive one, basking in the elation of its new-found freedom, forgetting, for just a moment, that it was still walled in from all sides.

Check out some of my picturse at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gazawia/

54 Comments:

Blogger The Rambling Reseller said...

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1:44 AM  
Anonymous anmerker said...

A day of joy!

2:46 AM  
Anonymous zionist infiltraitor said...

the reason why there were restrictions, was to keep palistinians from killing their jewish neighbors. This means, if there were no roaming gangs of palistinian gunmen thirsty for jewish blood, there would be no need to place restrictions on palistinians.

There are something like a million muslim arabs living in isreal - peacefully. Why can't palistinians live near jews?

I have jewish neighbors and i feel no need to shoot at them or fire rockets at them.

But that's all you palistinians seem to want to do - kill, kill, kill. You are a disgusting people - a condemned people - your children run around like confused animals in front of terrorist gunmen - where are the parents?

I bet your son becomes a suicide bomber some day, no doubt he will be snatched away like so many other sons by jihadist gangs, brainwashed, and sent to kill jews who could, if you only stopped your killing, be your best friends.

You support murderers and thugs, you support people who seek to annihilate humanity. Where the jews live - they bring life, hope, happiness, and vitality. Where you live - there is only misery and bloodshed, poverty and ignorance. Blame falls on you, not the jews.

In gaza palistinians spend their time murdering their sisters and torching christian villages, while isrealis develop next generation intel microprocessors and pioneer stem cell research.

Why is that?

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Father who love his doughter said...

Hello to you
Just one comment. You wrote:
<< In the former colony of Kfar Darom, young refugee children from the camp of Dair al-Balah played in an abandoned playground.
“It’s the most fun we’ve ever had, there’s nothing like this in our refugee camp,” laughed 12-year-old Reem Idayn, as she slid down a slide.>>

So, the terrible sattelers (living there rightly or not) build a playground for their children. But youe people your government, your Arafat, took all the money they got from the donating countries and... bought guns, and rockets, and bombs. They didn't think to build a playground for children. They think the children shuld stay misrable so they can be used as a living-bombs.
So, give us a break and look directly into the the eyes ot truth and ask your leadership - why didn't that children had a playground?
That blame is not the israeli/occupation blame, its tottaly yours.
Have a goog life! Realy. LIVE! don't waste your life hating!

10:42 AM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

This is great, Laila. I want to send to informationclearinghouse, but don't want to compromise if the material is for Al-Jazeera or do anything without your permission. Well, send in, if it's OK. Everyone needs to read this. The tiny vignettes (there were a few) that the western press offered weren't nearly as gripping as this story.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Zionist Infiltrator and Father Who Loves his Duaghter: You are right. we are a hateful, racist bunch. Shame on us for not wanting to live side-by-side with 7000 Jewish colonists who illegly occupied more than 30% of our land in Gaza-leaving no land for squaldid (UN controlled-not PA controlled) refugee camps, abused our natural resources for their pleasure and at our expense, and controlled more than 90% of the drinkable water for their organic orchids, while many died of thirst and water-borne illnesses.

Oh, and another thing: don't ever, EVER, bring my son into this.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila,

Not that I'm endorsing your hate mail, but you can't really call your blog "Raising Youssef" and write about him extensively and then tell your commenters to not "EVER bring my son into this."

1:59 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Dear anonymous-
its one thing to write extensively about him, and out daily trials and tribulations. Its quite another to say he will become a suicide bomber who will "no doubt" be snatched away and brainwashed to kill Jews.

2:03 PM  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Laila,

Aside from the zionist infiltrator and the various anonymouses who come and spout ignorant venom regularly, there are clearly several jews/israelis who read your blog because it is an intelligent and well-written depiction of the "other" side, one we haven't necessarily all been exposed to.

However, I sense you may not be interested in your blog being inadvertantly used as a platform for dialogue- perhaps you want to make this clear?

2:11 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

PP-I would very much like it to be a platform for diaolgue. I don't think there is anything to "diaologue" about with I thought. If I Don't reply to every comment its only because I am extremely pressed of time-i didn't even sleep yesterday!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

SOrry I mean nothing to diaolgue about with ZI though. Otherwise I think it is a great platform for intelligent dialogue.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:05 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said...

Let us dialogue: my comments are more for zionist infiltrator and Father who love his daughter. Before Zionism arrived in Palestine in the late 1800's, Palestine was a melting pot of cultures, languages and religions. Muslims, Christians and Jews lived peacefuly side by side, it was the European immigrants who brought with them this idea of creating an exclusive Jewish state, in-the-place-of and in-spite-of Palestine, and that the indiginous inhabitants would just have to leave..this is when the problems began. The greatest injustice ever perpitrated by the Zionist movement to the world community was that "Palestine was a land without a people for a people with out a land".

Come and live in peace with us don't deny our existence, bulldoze our homes, terrorize our children, who if they had a playground to play wouldn't be able to because you never know when an Israeli sniper will open fire. Come with us, leave this Zionist ideal behind and join us in the 'peaceful' dismantling of Israel and let's rebuild Palestine to be the shining example to the world that Muslims, Christians and Jews CAN live together, side-by-side...in Peace!

8:01 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

I am so thankful to have access to your blog and to your interviews on Flashpoints! radio.
I so wanted to be in Rafah a couple of days ago to go to the beach with A. and with Abu J. and Abu A and their families.

I think I'm in love, which is insane as I'm old enough to be your father, but there you have it.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Jan Ginckels said...

hi, just heard you on studio brussel, and I hope with you that now things will start to get organised & improve for all of you. Wish you all the best

Jan

8:45 PM  
Blogger amit said...

hello Laila.

you are in some way at the front page of the "blogia" of tapuz in Israel.

the link to your blog is recommended.

I read most of what you wrote and felt ashame of what my people done.

I do not want to open a global argue about who started what althoug I am sure we, the Israelies carry great deal of the suffer.

any way, you are writing well and it is an important way of view.

keep on writing.
wish my English could be better.

good night from the Galil.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. You write very well, but honestly, I find your lack of objectivity disturbing. This post seems like propaganda, when the news is filled with images of Palestinians dancing as they burn synagogues and articles on how they are looting the greenhouses (which you claim were destroyed?) which will only cause harm to their own people. It does not seem like Abbas has any control. yes, the occupation - but there is also an element of self-responsibility which seems to be sorely lacking and worrisome for the future...

1:23 AM  
Anonymous ZI said...

laila if you can not use your rational mind to discern the difference between the hamas and pa and islamic jihad, the actions of the palistinians, and the isreali people and the west and all the good they stand for and do, then you must be deranged or brainwashed.

This BS has gone on long enough. You deserve to be occupied and subdued and oppressed. The people in gaza have never held up any agreement, and have caused so much pain and suffering to themselves and israelies. All you do is take and take and take and never give, all you do is talk and talk and complain but never DO. That is why you live in a cage.

Actions speak louder than words - all we have seen is barbarism by your lot - barbaric fanaticism - pure evil - hoards of gun toting men shouting their war chant allah ackbar like rabid dogs - NO! It cannot be rationalized or accepted - your people act like animals and are an abomination and should be ashamed of yourselves. Only when you hang your head low, and come crawling to the civilized word and beg for forgiveness - only then will your integrity begin to be redeemed.

Only when you see jews and non-muslims as real people - your brothers and sisters - will there be any hope for your people. You are blinded by hate and ignorance and catch phrases that have no meaning.

Why can't you see the difference? Why can't you see what is good and what is evil? Mental disease I tell you.

You should be emulating the jews and the west at every opportunity - why do you want to go through the same BS we had to go through before realizing that hate is not worth it? The west was shaped the hard way - by war - do us a favor learn from us and don't repeat our mistakes.

One of these days the hammer is going to fall - do you want to be standing under it or not?

7:01 AM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Blaming the victims--one of the pillars of Zionism. Demonising the victims--another pillar of Zionism.

Palestinians "loot," but raking in forty million for greenhouses and then trying to resell some of the stuff back is what? Good business, of course.

As if Palestinians need help from Israelis to grow tomatos anyway.

Excuse me, check out Walid Khalidi's All That Remains for edification regarding how Christian and Muslim houses of worship fared during the destruction of four hundred eighteen Palestinian villages in 1947-8.

And for real "barbarism" check out Christian Peacemaker Team reports on the "antics" of those plucky settlers in Hebron. Gideon Levy also has a harrowing story in Haaretz regarding the behavior of the citizens of the "light unto the nations."

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Florinda said...

hmm, umkalil. When Arabs had control of the Old City, urinals were installed at the western wall. When the Israelis took over in '67, Dome of the Rock went unscathed, and still remains today, 38 years later...and how long did it take the Palestinians to burn synagogues once they had access to Neve Dekalim?

I can't believe you are trying to justify this behavior! Take responsibility for yourselves. No excuses...

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Father who love his doughter said...

Hello
I asked very simple question. I didn't get answer. Israeli children play in playgrounds, but their parents know that they cat be hurt by Qassam rocket or suicide bomber at any time. This is no excuse. Think about your "leadership" and where it got you.

12:02 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Two hundred fifty Palestinians were killed before a suicide bombing occurred in the second intifada.

Palestinians have been killed at a rate of 3-1 during this intifada.

There is no symmetry in this conflict. A largely unarmed population is occupied by a government which maintains this occupation via one of the most powerful armies in the world, totally aided by the world's superpower.

123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 686 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

Think about the "violence" of occupation with its resultant arrests, house demolitions, land confiscations, apartheid conditions, checkpoints . . . .

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the a-symetry in victims:

Isralis are random victims, they come from all genders, all age groups. The distribution is unified among all groups in population.

On the Palestinian side MOST victims are male in ages which are called "military aged" (16-35) which mean that MOST Palestinians who die are those that activly engaged in some kind of resistence.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

A transript of parts of the interview with Laila on Radio All for Peace are now on our website. Please go to :

http://www.allforpeace.org/viewarticle.aspx?articalid=434&lang=1

Mike Brand
Radio All for Peace

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Zi said...

uma yes it's called asymetrical warfare. Both sides fight with what they have. What we all should concentrate on is what motivates each side, and the values of each side.

Isreal is a modern westernized country fighting a defensive conflict against terrorists who seek its destruction.

The palistinians are a proxy terrorist outpost of the arab world who have been manipulated into fighting the arab world's perpetual war against isreal; a war which the arab world cannot wage conventionally because... 'war is unfair'.

Your excuses are as thin as spring ice uma, so flimsey and tenuous and decietful. You must laugh when we buy them, in light of the incessant sloganeering of the militant palistinian factions; broadcasting their real intentions and beliefs for all the world to hear and see.

You must upgrade your BS! To believe that even the question of who is in the right or wrong is up to debate is obsolete. We know who is right - the isrealis, we know (or should by now) who is on the side of goodness and who will, when this is over, forgive you all for the wound you have left festering on the soul of humanity for all these years.

The internet has opened the flood-gates of information and the truth is shining through about your people and their struggle to 'kill every last jew/non-muslim who DARES to challenge arab-islamic cultural, political, and military hegemony.'

You have failed thusfar because the arab-islamic model is a grand failure. If you want to be respected globally you must enter the 21st century and stop living in the shadow of a violent and narcissistic madman.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said...

Sam Keen is the author of the book 'Faces of the Enemy', for ZI and any others who feel themselves filled with such blinding anger here is an excerpt:

Start with an empty canvas
Sketch in broad outline the forms of
men, women, and children.

Dip into the unconsciousness well of your own
disowned darkness
with a wide brush and
strain the strangers with the sinister hue
of the shadow.

Trace onto the face of the enemy the greed,
hatred, carelessness you dare not claim as
your own.

Obscure the sweet individuality of each face.

Erase all hints of the myriad loves, hopes,
fears that play through the kaleidoscope of
every infinite heart.

Twist the smile until it forms the downward
arc of cruelty.

Strip flesh from bone until only the
abstract skeleton of death remains.

Exaggerate each feature until man is
metamorphasized into beast, vermin, insect.

Fill in the background with malignant
figures from ancient nightmares – devils,
demons, myrmidons of evil.

When your icon of the enemy is complete
you will be able to kill without guilt,
slaughter without shame.

The thing you destroy will have become
merely an enemy of God, an impediment
to the sacred dialectic of history.


Can we agree that we need understanding in this situation? Let us move forward in our quest for peace and not let the wake drive our boat...please read my previous post above...

6:53 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

According to the Palestine Monitor, 944 of Palestinian deaths were combatants, which is 25.7 of the total deaths; 50.6 percent were noncombatants, and the status of 870 or 23.8 percent is unknown.

My "people" include Christians as well as Muslims and Palestinian Jews. Twenty percent of Palestinians, when one includes Palestinians in exile and in diaspora are Christians. Christian Palestinian leaders include Hanan Ashrawi, George Habash, and the late Edward Said, to name a few.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Dear FWLHD:

Israeli settler children play in playgrounds built on land they stole from Palestinian refugees. I wonder if their parents explain that to them. Its unlikely you can understand Palestinain people in your mode of gross sweeping generalizations, grouping them collectively into one easily identifiable and detestable image in your mind. Sorry to burst your bubble, but we're not all qassam-throwing, jew-hating, violence-obsessed people. In even the smallest, most down-trodden refugee home, you will find love, happiness, dreams, hope-you just have to look a little harder. If there is not room for playgrounds in side-by-side cement block ghettos under the constant rain of Israeli sniper fire, then children create playgrounds with empty barrels and piles of sand; if there are no toys, they make one out of a cola botle and string; if there are not parks, they plant seeds. As one refugee told me yesterday "they tried to even take our dreams away from us, but they can never occupy our minds."

10:40 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Also, I"ll be writing another post i hope tonight or tommorow about my experience going today to the now porous former killing zone that is the Rafah border.

10:42 PM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

ZI.
You are not in any position to accuse anyone of letting hate consume them, your posts are foul, disrespectful and full of bile. Shame on you.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Father who love his doughter said...

Hello
I'm happy that you spend time to answer me.
I don't think that the palestinians are "all qassam-throwing, jew-hating, violence-obsessed people". But I'm very unhappy because of the fact that the other side of you is so hidden.
Why in Israel there are thousends of people supporting the peace proccess and the idae of independent palastine state, while there is no one in your side who say that maybe your leadership is dragging you people down to suffer and uses your misery. During the years 1995-2000 you had a chance to build wonderfull life, you got a lot of money to improve your vilages and cities, but the PA used this money to buy guns. Jews, during decades of suffer, always improved their life, thier education and contributed to the humanity. Blaming *only* the occupation, *only* Israel is not just an easy way, it is working against the peace-loving, life-loving palestinians. Improve yourselvs and your life conditions stop saying "but we are under occupation" so what? Jews didn't have a state for centuries!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said...

Father who love his doughter, I think you can agree that it is hard to build a better life when metophrically speaking, you have a soldier standing on your neck with a gun pointed down at your head.

I feel Laila is giving us (and the world) a 'clear, first hand view' into the world of Palestinians daily lives with this blog. It's on my daily list of websites to visit.

I would like to recommend another website:
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/

5:33 PM  
Anonymous ZI said...

Issa you are so full of it. Your rabble the palis do the most horrendous things - start a gigantic intifada - destroy everything they own just to kill some jews, and you have the audacity to blame people for simply defending their lives from palistinian terrorist monsters.

The extent of the palis cage is a testement to the sheer malignancy of the disease called hatred in your society - no place can live peacefully near jews - everywhere there are walls to protect normal people living normal lives from your crazed young allah ackbar yelling fanatic men.

You turned amusment parks, housing complexes, schools, playgrounds, orchards, playing fields, beaches, even the ocean, into a battleground to fight your jihad against jews, and your suprised when these places become destroyed? abandonded? Walled in?

doo do doo do dooo do I think I've just had a taste of the 'arab parallel universe'

oh yeah.. and only 2% of the palistinians are christian. The rest left a long time ago to live normal lives - I guess they didn't care to much about the whole jihad against the jews thing, and were more interested in living in peace with their neighbors.


and father whole loves daughter - occupation means all of isreal - isreal to the arabs is occupying all of their land and they will not stop until all the jews are driven out - this is a typical example of what happens when non-muslims try and assert self determination in the land of jihad loving freaks called the muslm world.

This happens everywhere in the muslim world - it is not about zionism - it is about defending the culture of freedom from the culture of barbarism.

State-hood is just a vehicle for the jihad against isreal to continue - palistinians in fact do not want a state, the terrorist like their ambiguous position and would rather be as close to jews as possible because it makes killing them easier.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said...

zi, you have serious anger issues.

Jews, Muslims and Christians lived peacefully together in Palestine AS Palestinians until the late 1800's when European Jews arrived, fresh from unjust persecution, their heads filled with Zionist rhetoric.

Please follow the link I provided in my last post:
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/

And then you will truly understand how we got to where we are today.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous ZI said...

please explain this website to me issa - is it a zionist conspiracy?

http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/

I mean, all those pictures of muslims and nazis prancing around together must be photoshopped right?

And I like how your pet site proclaims that the 1948 war was an inevitability and that the isrealis were, 'according to american intelligence' destined to win! Yes of course, there must always be something about our intelligence agencies somewhere or else the arab-parallel-universe would implode!

8:19 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said...

zi, you have too much anger to be rational. For your own sake get help. :0(

Amin Al Husseini was no more represetative of Islamic beliefs then, than Osama Bin Laden is now. The two of them are marginal players, leave them on the margin. They, like the Nazis, are (were) fanatics...as is this whole 'Christian Coalition' movement in the United States led by Pat Robertson.

Let's move forward, give dignity back to Palestinians...end the occupation.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous ZI said...

I thought we were taking about the past - history - issa - you know the glorious one where everyone lived happily together under ottoman muslim domination and occupation! Now you want to 'move forward.' Well in that case we should address the little problem of islamic jihadists' and their tyrannical domination over the minds and lives of palistinians...

...Yes, husseini was just a minor player, that's exactly what that website says, except it doesn't - in his life-time he presided over the arab league, the muslim brotherhood, and the world islamic congress. His death in 1974 was a major event for the arab world - with guests such as yassir arafat attending. Yep just like osama!

Funny you don't even try and defend him, you just hope I buy your BS about him being a minor player - thanks but I can read.

And neither do you defend osama - interesting, so you don't like osama then? Are you sympathetic to is cause but not his methods? Just wondering, and I doubt I will get a straight answer. Last I checked osama was quite popular in the muslim world so I wouldn't get your hopes up about your analogy there buddy.

Ah yes, and Pat Robertson - the rotund little christian every muslim on the planet knows by heart - the one man who is constantly equated with the likes of Osama Bin Laden and Zarqawi and Zarwhiri - except there really is no rational way to morally equate the two, and I'm sure you know that but reality is just too hard to swallow.

And lastly I agree! Let us bring dignity back to the palistinians - end the jihad against israel and live in peace with your israeli neighbors!

10:36 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

ZI:
so much to say here, tired and no time. I"ll make i brief.
Husseini wasn't even an elected official. Israel has an ELECTED leader, and a series of ministers and army chiefs that serve under him, who are established war criminals, many cowering from indictments against them. Without digging deepers inot its roots, stop deceiving yourself into thinking the Zionist myth you've been bottelfed is an unfallable and rosy one. Deserts weren't meant to bloom. And perhaps we wouldn' be facing his problem in the first place if you realized the land actually had a people.

I will not tolerate personal insults here. I am a proud and devout Muslim. I do no belong to a culture of barbarism, neither am I a freak. I do not insult your religion, in fact as a Muslim I respec and revere all prophets, Christian and Jewish included. So don't insult mine.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous ZI said...

When genocidal jihadists fight amongst women and children, women and children are bound to get killed. Now, is that the fault of the israeli military defending their people from the genocidal jihadists? Or is it the fault of the jihadists?

So when some women and children die in these insurgencies, there is always going to be a handful of eurocrates in belgium who can argue convincingly that such and such constitutes a war crime. Plus, one should not be suprised that billionarie arab oil tyrants, with some bribes and arm twisting, can get UN war crimes indictments passed. I mean, we all know there is some serious palm greasing going on up there.

And so what happens is Israel, the only accountable party in this conflict, gets some war crimes indictments, while the faceless, and absolutely terrifying genocidal jihadists down in P town get away scott free.

Now, granted, there are always going to be some bad apples, and no doubt, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but they are exceptions to the rule, and are not representative of israeli values and israeli society. Nor do they represent correct israeli military doctrine or tactics.

We often forget the sheer volume incidents between israeli soldiers and palistinians. So one many such incidents may result in someone getting shot or hurt, and so that makes the news.

Anyway, I recommend you watch this video about pallywood - http://seconddraft.org./movies.php

Correct me if I'm wrong, but have there been any UN war crime indictments against any palistinians ever? All those suicide bombings, and... not a peep from the UN as far as I can tell. I don't know about you, but that makes me doubt the impartiality of the UN war crimes tribunal. But maybe it's just me... I guess perhaps it is in fact 'legal' to suicide bomb pizza parlors full of civilians then, right?

And as for religion, I am an athiest, and you have my enthusiastic permission to insult and defame darwin and the scientific method all you want; granted it just ain't the same as making fun of wacky J or moped, but you have to work with what ya got I reckon.

5:36 AM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

zi

If you read carefully, I said that Christian Palestinians in exile, in Israel, and the occupied territories number twenty percent.

Instead of your coming to conclusions why Palestinian Christians have left Palestine, allow Palestinian to speak for themselves:

"In 1948, when the state of Israel was created, about 20 per cent of the total population in Palestine was Christian, 35 per cent of whom were driven out and became refugees. Now, entirely due to the Israeli occupation and the hardships that occupation have inflicted on the Palestinians, the Christian population is down to 1.8 per cent."

http://www.jerusalemites.org/jerusalem/christianity/53.htm

2:40 PM  
Anonymous ZI said...

Oh I undserstood you umkhalil, but the way you phrase it is very misleading. No there are only 2% christian now. The rest have left. So your 57 year old number of 20% is basically meaningless. What does it mean? Are you trying to imply that christians are committing the same acts of terror in their struggle against israel? Or even supporting such acts in fevered anticipation of returning to their liberated homeland? Have there been any christian suicide bombers?

Last I heard christians have more or less abandoned any form of armed struggle against israel, and recently, (more like always) have been the target of muslim agression and oppression. So when the palistinian muslims get frusterated - they take it out on the alcohol-drinking, pork eating, christian fifth column. There are countless examples of this, (heck, what was that whole lebenese civil war about) So don't test me...

Of course, there was a time when both christians and muslim palistinians tactily embraced another form of religion - pan-arab nationalism - a secular, racist, socialist doctrine of 'arab' supremacy modelled after national socialism, but that time is long past. Funny how no one is questioning the fact that most people in the middle east are not arab, they have just taken up that label after 1400 years of arab-islamic imperialist oppression and indoctrination. But anyway... Islamic supremacism is now at the forfront, and gaza is the battleground.

So the aim of yours is to make the struggle not simply a jihadist struggle against a non-muslim minority in the arab-muslim world, but some kind of global struggle against opression that the jews seem to be so good at - a struggle that transcends islam and and christianity, and even judaism - you want to claim the moral high-ground to justify your barbarism.

Because that's all you have - this idea of oppression. If you were not oppressed, you would have no reason to fight. I mean it would be crazy to fight This big army next door unless they were really making your life miserable right?

So the justification for offensive jihad is this idea of oppression. But where did this oppression come from? I argue it is out of self defense, and that the israelis default to peaceful, fair, and mutually beneficial co-existence in the abscense of armed struggle.

But it seems, that in this environment, palistinians default to militant jihadism and terrorism - at any cost. Realizing this fact is a very important milestone, for it reinforces the idea that this is neither a cycle of violence nor a desperate struggle against oppression. Because no matter what the israelis do, the jihad against them will continue.

You can witness the absurdity in that video link I posted - a video of, among other things, hundreds of palistinians staging a mock attack on a jewish outpost. One thing I notice right off is how healthy and well dressed all these palistinians are - some of them even in the latest american fashions. These are not desperate, starving oppressed people afraid of every step they take, lest they are hit with a sniper's bullet - these are engraged, intolerant, hooligans - brimming with jew hatred. Course, that video was shot in 2000, and I'm sure 5 years of sustained intifadah has made life more difficult.

And I was thinking about that phrase - culture of barbarism, laila. Yes, that is a harsh word, but it is true. It is barbaric to live in a society where the man with the biggest stick runs the show - you are too civilized and reasonable, and should know better than to accept the situation you are in right now.

The only solution to barbarism is democracy - a system where, in the context of this conflict, compromises would be reached that are mutually beneficial through diologue between elected officials - not fighting.

If there was democracy, the armed conflict would end in an instant, for instead of being cowed by islamic gangs intoxicated by jihad and the thought of absolute power and paradise, palistinians would be able to elect people who promised them the tangible things; things most women for example are much more capable of appreciating - education, jobs, healthcare - women and fathers would vote for these, and not jihad, and gaza would become a paradise of resorts and casinos and fields of olives and greenhouses - grown with the help of jew, muslim, and christian.

So I think you should re-think who your enemy really is. Ask yourself whether these islamic gangs believe in democracy - that is the litmus test.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Unlike you, I do not feel insulting and defaming anyone is a fruitful-let alone honorable- tactic (are the "Israeli values" you refer to?)

5:51 PM  
Blogger Abu-Issa said...

zi, I am a proud Christian Palestinian living in exile...whether I'm in Canada, the United States or the UK I remain Palestinian. The blood in my veins and the feeling in my heart is Palestinian.

I live my life as best as I can and as such dispel this myth of the 'barbaric Palestinian'. Here in the West that is an uphill battle with the usually one sided media reports on the TV, radio and in the newspapers.

With her blog, Laila, I feel, is doing the same thing humanizing the Palestinian people, though obviously with a streetlevel view of the situation in Palestine.

Let us get back to reading her blog!

We all want peace in Palestine, now let's do something about it by moving forward and not dwelling on old wounds.

5:57 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

"Palestinian Christians are not suffering at the hands of the Muslims, but at the hands of the Israelis, and the bullet-scarred statue of the Virgin Mary in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is a poignant testimony to this fact. We are witnessing before our very eyes the gradual de-Christianization and de-Islamization of Arab Jerusalem due to persistent Israeli measures aimed at deliberately destroying the Arab character of the City, while the Western world, spearheaded by successive U.S. Administrations, displays utter insensitivity, if not outright acquiescence, to this demographic crime"

Please read all of this excellent story, "Arab Christians Are Arabs."

http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13583&Itemid=1

7:16 PM  
Anonymous ZI said...

yes, laila I think you're right, I shall now start the long arduous task of retracting all my insulting remarks, and I'll start with Hitler -

Dear Hitler,

I didn't really mean all that stuff I typed in that heated online debate - I think you are a swell guy worthy of admiration! Jews? What jews? You didn't kill no jews!... I'm telling ya there's a few people down in p-town who could use a little advice if you know what I mean -- oh, your busy? You're in hell? Wading through molten lakes of brimstone?! Searching for Satan's remote control?!! -- Damn. Nevermind then.

Dear human cannibals in the congo,

I now fully respect and admire your practice of human cannibalism. It must be boring living in the jungle with plenty of food, so I can rationalize why the thought of hunting Ed from down-stream sounds so appealing to you.

Dear Palistinians terrorists -- I mean liberation -- organizations,

I really didn't mean to call you jihad loving freaks, or jew-hating annihilators of humanity - I think your noble jihad against the jews is totally justified and is a model for muslims suffering oppression everywhere! Btw, when is the next suicide bombing scheduled?


Dear Zarqawi,

You know, this whole time I've been saying the nastiest things about you, but after hearing your latest audiotape off al-jizz, I have to admit I got a little weepy, especially when you started to pour your heart out about the Rafidite Ibn Al-'Alqami; the Shiite vizier of the last Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, Al-Musta'sim, who opened the gates of Baghdad to the Mongol armies. I mean what a bastard! Those Rafidites sure betrayed the sunnis back in the day, no reason to trust them now - peace out brother.


ps. keep up the good work! - Allah is so pleased that he's preparing another hurricane for the crusaders!

3:21 AM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

Again, it's worse than pointless responding to such hatred, Um El-Haddad. Ignore him and he'll have to find another forum for his hatred.

Give my salaam to my friend George Azar if you see him

8:14 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

Urk. I meant, of course: Um Yousef

8:51 PM  
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4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zi;

You are a delusional racist who buys into your tribe's propaganda.

This is the opinion of a non-Jew, non-Arab atheist.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there literally Palestinian refugees? If the Israelis are such a loving kind humane people,that they claim to be,why then are there Palestinian refugees living outside Israel/Palestine too fucking frightened to cross back into Israel?

1:08 PM  
Blogger olivebranch said...

Greaaaaaaat post !!!!
I really am enjoying your blog, I have now read almost ALL of it (I read the first posts on this one aswell).

I would like to speak to you some time =-) send me an email: lukey@iinet.net.au

[olivebranch] - http://olivebranchoptimism.blogspot.com/

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's quite tragic to read some of the posts here and see the true racist side of humanity.

I am extremely pessimistic about the Israel/Palestine conflict. The whole world is now informed about the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people, but thanks to the US veto power with the UN, no two state will ever be resolved.

I find it extremely humane how the Palestinians have accepted a two-state proposal, even though it will deny them justice it would result in the least bloodshed.

For some reason a man who is sent to the brink of insanity from living under impossible conditions is seen as a monster when he ends his life and those of innocent people (I'm talking about suicide bombers).
You can't ask a person who you have robbed of their rights, food, money, land, and country to show you compassion.

These posts are not serving any use if they are mindless tic-for-tat comments. Someone said it best above when they said we need to look at motives and values, not actions.

7:24 AM  

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