Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Gaza 'diet' begins

The ongoing closure of the al-Mintar (aka Karni) crossing, the main route for both commercial and humanitarian supplies into Gaza, has resulted in an estimated loss of some $10.5 million, and the depletion of Gaza's main food staples, according to a report by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humantarian Affairs (OCHA).

The crossing, considered to be Gaza's commercial lifeline, was shut down unilaterally by Israel for 21 days in January, before Hamas came to power, and again on 21 February, despite promises in a border and access agreement, that was brokered by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, not do so.

Wheat grain stocks are dwindling as a result, and flour mills in Gaza have shut down, with residents having to rely on their home supplies. In the impoverished Strip, the overwhelming majority of residents bake their own bread.

In addition, the UN and the World Food Programme warned that sugar, which has increased in price at least 25% since the closure, as well as cooking oil, would run out in two days.

Last week, prime ministerial adviser Dov Weisglass was quoted as saying at a meeting that the idea behind the closure policy was "to put the Palestinians on a diet but not make them die of hunger."

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has decided the crossing will remain closed on Thursday, despite earlier promises to open it indefinitely to "humanitarian aid" for Palestinian residents. In addition to serving as an export and import hub for merchandise, fruits, and vegetables-many of which are in peak season now and beginning to rot- medicines, vaccines, and kidney dialysis wash are also transported through al-Mintar.

The Israeli army initially said the Gaza closure was due to "security threats" to the border, citing concerns that tunnels were being dug under the crossing and of the transfer of avian flu.

No such tunnels were ever found, and health officials have dismissed fears of bird flu spreading, saying "it knows no boundaries." Further, there has been no evidence yet of infections in Gaza, and Israeli has prevented the entry of reagents to detect the virus.

Israel has been trying to pressure the PA to accept Kerem Sharom crossing as an alternative crossing, a proposal Mahmud Abbas rejected today. According to a senior Palestinain official responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Access and Movement Agreement brokered by Condoleezza Rice, only 4-8 cargo trucks would be allowed through the alternative crossing. The Rice agreement spoke about over 160 trucks a day, though even before the closure, only 60 trucks were allowed to transport goods through Karni. The agreement also talked about Kerem Shalom as a parallel border-not a substitute which would allow Israel exercise complete control and the ability to shut down al-Mintar/Karni at its leisure.

The UN report also said that that Israel remains responsible, as an occupying power for ensuring public order and the health and welfare of the Palestinian population.

"International humanitarian agencies do not have the capacity to take over the running of PA services , even if the security situation allowed. Humanitarian assistance from the international community does not relieve Israel of this responsibility."

OCHA director David Sheere said that the humanitarian situation has already seen a sharp deterioration since last months' legislative elections due to tightened Israeli control, adding that the situation will only get worse if aid is withheld.

"We were concerned that the PA might not be able to pay salaries and that will have an enormous impact, the fact that approximately 1 million people will not have a breadwinner, and what the implications might be if around 70, 000 armed security forces are not receiving any money in an area where 65% of the population is already under the poverty line."


Blogger moi said...

Such a sad post, but that's the reality. Sometimes I really can't comprehend how the world sits and watches such tragedies take place.

I was watching al-Jazeera the other day and they had a report about a new barrier/fence in Gaza, now in the water rather than land. This is supposedly Israel's new way of preventing 'attacks', although the report showed that such measures are just hurting those who make their living through fishing. Laila, can you tell us more about this?

4:06 AM  
Anonymous johnie said...

hi Laila

you said Israel was only planning to let 4-8 cargo truck through the alternative crossing at Kerem Sharom which is why Abbas rejected the idea, is there anywhere i can find additional information on this...

many thanks

12:02 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Totally off topic

This comment is totally but since people here are interested about newsI think my reflections are interesting.

They are a bit provocative but they make sense.

Back in april 2002 touring Jenin after the Israeli incursion in the camp the UN envoy said :"We have expert people here who have been in war zones and earthquakes and
they say they have never seen anything like it," ." It is horrific beyond belief "- He said.

Open the page in a new window to see the BBC web page

In jenin around 52 palestinians died in a week of fighting according to a UN report
released some time later.

September 1999 , after a surge of bombings in moscow, the russian army invaded Chechnya for the second time in 6 years.
September 1999 before the assault on Grozny , a Russian Air Force General said that more than 2,000 militants had been killed and some 250 rebel strongholds and training centres had
been destroyed in Chechnya and Dagestan in the previous 50 days alone, acording to the bbc .
The Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev also vowed to continue the bombing of the breakaway republic of Chechnya until ( quote) " the very last bandit is liquidated", end of quote.

Click here and open the window in another page.

Grozny was bombed from air and from the ground.

By November , less than 2 months later,
acording to the russian authorities 220 thousand chechen civilians had become refugees..,20% of the total population of the region.But the UN chief declared: No Chechen 'catastrophe.

Click here to see the page open in another window

Just imagine 20% of the palestinian population being displaced in 2 months and the UN representative saying : No Palestinian " Catastrophe".

In short ladies and Gentlemen

For the UN envoy when Israel enters Jenin this event is described as " horrific beyond belief ".
It turns out 52 people died in one week of fighting.

When the Russian army does shell Grozny and 220 thousand people fled this is not a catastrofe, according to another UN envoy. ( Nor it is horrific ).

October 21 , 1999 , when Grozny was under russian siege explosions rocket the market place.

188 people killed over 400 injured.

Horrific ? No way.

More than 100 thousand chechens died but the crime of the century is the apharteid wall according the the intelectuals.

Give me a break is my final comment.

3:41 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Market attack, October 21 ,99

Putin contradicts Russian army spokesman on Chechen explosions

HELSINKI, Finland (CNN) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russian operations in Chechnya had "nothing to do with the explosion in Grozny" that killed scores of people in the city's central market.

Putin's remarks contradicted an earlier statement from an army press spokesman who said a Russian attack "hit the market because they were selling weapons there."

The Russian prime minister agreed that the market was an "arms depot," but theorized that the explosion may have been "the result of clashes between rival groups."


" Chechen officials said 118 people had been killed and about 400 others were wounded. Reuters reporters on the scene said they counted at least 90 bodies.

One rocket hit a maternity clinic and local officials said about 30 bodies had been recovered from the rubble, including several newborn children, and a number of women who had just given birth.

Most of the casualties happened in the city's central market, which was littered with shattered bodies and pools of blood after six rockets exploded amid the stalls. The attack happened in early evening, when people were shopping for food or sitting at open air cafes, witnesses said.

"It was dark and then all of a sudden, the place was illuminated and something was sparkling in the air. Then we heard the explosions," said Umar Madayev, a survivor.

Hundreds of terrified people, many screaming and crying, ran for cover as the rockets exploded in the market. Surrounding streets were jammed with survivors and others trying to escape. Some onlookers tried to help wounded survivors who staggered away from the devastated area. ".

Where did a new holocaust was taking place back in 2002 and 2003 ? In palestine.

It is brutal but true : Dead people do not complain . The chechens got killed and therefore had no chance to complain or lobby the un or amnesty international. The world media and the un turned a blind eye

Click here to see cnn article

Click here to see the UN representative reaction to the events that engulfed the region

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really quite simple ... Have your new govenment recognize Israels right to exist. As long as Hamas refuses to, the rest of the world will refuse to recognize you.How long do you think the europeans will bankroll you and do you think any muslim countries are going are really going to help you?What really galls me is your acceptance of any monetary or any aid of any kind from western infidel nations. I KNOW I would not accept anything from anyone I hate with the passion you guys do You got a new government start getting a new life without any help from Israel or any other infidel country. Can't your muslim brethren feed you? Why do you need to go always with your hands open to the U. N. crying , begging and whining for food , money or any little grievance you think offends me.Need food. Ask Jordan or Egypt, Need electricity.... get it from Jordan or Egypt.....Need water... hey can't you get it somewhere else?Or better yet why not really work and pay taxes like the rest of the world and build your own infrastructure. The world has given you billions of which you squandered and let Arafats wife live in the lap of luxury.. get it from her. I know as a resident of one of those western infidel nations I am tired of my hard-earned money going to a bunch of whiners and crybabies ... get off the street protesting cartoons .... get a JOB and get a LIFE. If you have the cash to buy an american or an Israeli flag to burn, then you my dear have the cash to have something to eat that day.Start by having all those men out on the street every day potesting this or that to bring a broom and some garbage bags instead and start doing something productive.Your country is really quite a pigsty.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh,anonym above...
I already said everything you said this time,but it´s always good to remember again. There were no comments,by the way!!
And I agree 100% with you.
But I should be very glad if them do not accept my money anymore,because I have to wake up very early in the morning to work,otherwise I do not eat,like most of the people in this world.
And to pay taxes.And there is nobody to cry to,and nobody to blame,just imagine it.

8:47 AM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Israel remains responsible, as an occupying power for ensuring public order and the health and welfare of the Palestinian population.

One has to conclude that the UN and the PA as well as Hamas are preventing Israel from fulfilling her obligations.

As everyone knows public order in Gaza has been deteriorating.

Since public order cant be maintained with Apache helicopters only.., the only way Israel could fulfill her obligations would be to deploy her troops back in Gaza and the west bank.

But I am sure Hamas would resist . The UN would also condemn Israel. So one has to conclude that the UN herself and the palestinian authority are preventing Israel from ensuring public order in Gaza and the west bank and therefore are preventing the Israeli state from fulfilling her obligations, judging for a un report at least.

This paradox only shows the bias of the UN against Israel.

If israel ocupies it is blamed for ocupying.

If it does not occupy the UN does point out that Israel is responsible for public order in Gaza and therefore is also guilty.

Israel has all the obligations.

The Palestinian authority has no obligation , not even the obligation to ensure public safety in palestinian areas despite the fact there are 70 000 Palestinian authority security officers paid by the EU , by the way.

I did post in a blog 2 pictures of Grozny , one taken in 2000 another in 2005.

When it comes to chechnya, as far as I am aware there are no reports with hundreds of pages..; The secretary general does not make declarations about the deteriorating situation of the chechens...;

This only shows the incredible UN double standarts.

Copy and paste the web adress bellow to see 2 pictures of grozny

( Or click in my name to view my profile and next click in my blog. Thank You)

12:43 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Dear solitairio aka Peter:
Israel fulfils its obligations as occupier by allowing Palestinians free access for their goods and humanitarian supplies through commercial crossings, and for people to the West Bank and through Rafah. You don't like that? Its simple: end the occupation, and Israel can be relieved of those duties.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Dear Anonys: I'm going to paste a small segment of an American skinhead petition to rid the US of Mexicans. Think long and hard-could this be you I wonder? All you'd have to do is insert "Palestinian" where "Mexican" is. Looks like you've found yourself a new ally: the skinhead.

"I believe we should all work together to kick the [mexicans] out of the [U.S.] Not just [illegal immigrants], but all [Mexicans]. They stink and do not deserve to live in this great country. They take jobs that could be done by people who are actually worth a damn. They rob people "

And lest you forget, we don't have a country, remember?

12:59 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

A nation of beggars

By Amira Hass

It is not the Palestinians who should be welcoming the European Union's decision to hastily donate another $142 million before the Hamas government is formed. It is Israel that ought to be pleased that the Western states will continue compensating the Palestinians for the economic decline that is a product of the Israeli occupation.

For it is not natural disasters that have transformed the Palestinians into a nation that lives on handouts from the world; it is Israel's accelerating colonialist process. One facet of this is the continued takeover of Palestinian lands (whether "private" or public lands, it is the same thing), expansion of construction only for Jews, and de facto annexation by Israel of extensive tracts of Palestinian territory, while simultaneously breaking up the West Bank into enclaves and enclosures for Palestinians.

Another facet of this colonization is a regime of excessive restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of Palestinians between their enclosures and enclaves within the West Bank, and between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The pledged European donation, part of which is intended to pay salaries in the Palestinian public sector, shows that Europe is having a difficult time preventing Israel from robbing in broad daylight Palestinian tax and customs monies, amounting to between $50 million and $65 million a month. It also shows that Europe assesses that the U.S. will not pressure Israel to return the stolen funds - in contrast with the pressure it exerted at the beginning of the intifada, when Israel also blocked the transfer of tax monies.

Indeed, the funds are levied at Israeli ports and within Israel, but on Palestinian private sector transactions. This is Palestinian money, which by every standard of proper administration must not accrue interest in the Israeli treasury when it should be transferred to the Palestinian health or education ministries.

The money constitutes about two-thirds of the income that derives from Palestinian economic activity. One-third - about $35 million a month - are taxes directly levied on economic activity within the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These sums could be much higher, and could help to balance out the donations and handouts to the Palestinian ongoing budget, were it not for the Israeli measures taken against the Palestinian economy and its potential for development.

These measures are not newly imposed on the occasion of Hamas' ascendance. No - Israel has destroyed and continues to destroy Palestinian agriculture, the two Palestinian national vegetable gardens - in the eastern and in the western sections of the West Bank - by means of the separation fence and de facto annexation of the Jordan Rift. Destruction of lands, prevention of access to cultivated lands and orchards, imposition of marketing impediments, harm to water sources - all of these have made destitute tens of thousands of proud farmers, and reduced their contribution to the national income.

Even before the current intifada, Israel hurt Palestinian industry's chances to develop, while channeling it into "industry regions" adjacent to Israel. Through its control over most of the West Bank territory (60 percent - all of the Area C - which Israel set aside for expansion of the Jewish settlements), control was achieved through imposition of maximal restrictions: on construction permits, Palestinian developments plans, transfer of factory buildings out of residential neighborhoods, and the upgrading of industrial facilities.

Another method was based on restriction of movement from one region to the other. These restrictions have existed since 1991, but have grown more harsh in the past five years. You don't need to be an economist to understand just how unworthwhile it is to manufacture, to employ, to market or to trade when it takes a truck loaded with raw materials or finished goods eight hours to reach its destination, instead of one hour.

Another method of impairing Palestinian development potential is cutting off access to institutions of higher learning. Israel does not permit Gazans to study in the West Bank, where the educational institutions are better, and does not permit East Jerusalem Palestinians to study in the West Bank. The checkpoints and the creation of fenced-off enclosures compel students from the West Bank to live near their university, even if it is only 20 kilometers from home. This is an additional financial burden that many families cannot bear. The thinning out of the universities' sources of income also affects their level.

There are no lack of economists who can prove the connection between Israeli methods of control and decline of the Palestinian economy. Abundant studies trace the direct line between the draconian restrictions on movement and the transformation of the majority of the Palestinian people into a nation of charity recipients, and it is a safe bet that the initiatives to continue giving them handouts of various sorts will go on unabated.

Therefore, the Palestinians should be worried and concerned, not happy, about Monday's announcement by the EU foreign ministers. It signals that the European states are going to continue forfeiting any opportunity to exert political pressure to put a stop to the Israeli policy of colonization, which has systematically sabotaged the economic capability of the Palestinians. By transferring the funds, they are covering up, and will continue to do so, for their political helplessness, and for their decision not to quarrel with the U.S., which supports this Israeli policy.

With the establishment of a Hamas-led government, other formulas will be found to continue providing the Palestinians a safety net of contributions and handouts. The government of Israel will cry foul and scream "Aid to Hamas!" but will quietly be pleased at the prospect.

1:19 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

As I already wrote public arguments lead nowhere . Layla will keep believing in what she believes and I also think my point of view make sense. Neither side will change it`s views.
A comment : I am not anonymous lol( I wish my english were that better). I have always identify myself.


Israel fulfils its obligations as occupier by allowing Palestinians free access for their goods and humanitarian supplies .../../ Its simple: end the occupation, and Israel can be relieved of those duties.

A final thought : Your reasoning is based on strenght . (Israel either ends the ocupation which means withdrawing from jerusalem , dismantle all the setlements.., expelling more 200 thousand people ( the setlers) , or we will keep demanding that israel will fulfill all conceivable obligations.

This is your position.

End the ocupation, dismantle the setlements..,or we will keep making impossible demands .

An example of impossible demand : Free movements of people and goods from Gaza.
Just last year...,a palestinian girl tried to blow a israeli hospital.

She was from Gaza.

In 2005 wafa bass was being treated in a Israeli hospital.

And she tried to enter Israel from Gaza.

" Taking advantage of the fact that she had access into Israel and was due to be seen by doctors at the hospital on Monday, she agreed to a request by Al Aksa Brigade commanders in Gaza to don the explosives and blow up as instructed, in a "crowded area in the hospital."

Since some people are ready to enter israel from gaza and blow up civilians ..., Israel cant allow free movement of goods and people into israel.

This is obvious.

No one does enjoy to be blown up.

Another impossible demand :Israel has the obligation of maintaining public order.

How can Israel maintain public order if she has no troops in Gaza?

Israelis are powerfull but not that powerfull..,lol.

So your position is : Either Israel does dismantle all the setlements and expells 200 thousand from their homes ( the settlers) withdraw or the palesinians and the un will keep making impossible demands to Israel and will continue to blame Israel for any conceivable problem..

This has been the minset of the palestinians for 50 years - Blame Israel.

The jews wanted to partition palestine in 47 - They were guilty.

(And the pali respond accordingly shooting the jews).

Israel was guilty of the Nabka and Egyptians reacted accordingly : They vowed to destroy Israel in 1967.

Israel was guilty of the ocupation and Egypt did rwact accordingly - It did invade in 1973...;

And the blame game has been going on.

And will go on.., for how long ?

PS : Hamira Hass.
I am neither a jew or a israeli.

Sometimes she is right but other times she is always ready to blame Israel , God knows why.

2:12 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Hamira Hass : What I meant is that I am not a Israeli.., or a Jew.
There are some Israeli fellows ready to blame Israel .That includes Hamira ..
But who cares..? I have no obligation of agree or even be pissed off with her opinions because I am neither Jew nor Israeli.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

It really seems like the money the US and Europe give is hush money to keep the Paletstines quiet about their being occupied by an ever growing Isreal.
While it's true Hamas could just pay lip service to the world and proclaim they recongize Israel, it would scare me too - because where are the borders? In this case, a little hypocracy might go a long way, however. Instead of perceiving a sheep in wolf clothing, maybe the world will finally see the sacrifical lamb?

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you solitario,for all the explanations I am not so patiente like you.
We also said before,there is only HER point of view,but I keep believing that´s Laila it´s smart enough and know very well,why Israel cannot just open the borders and let them "just visit" the relatives in the oder side,in West Bank.
Like a robot she still keeeping the eyes shut,and blaming Israel,and I still like I said before waking up very early in the morning to work and pay my taxes because I have no one to blame,and to pay my accounts.
Just ask Arafat´s wife,to help you just a bit.
Just ask to your brothers,to help you a bit.
You just act like you were not under a corrupt government.
THOSE should take care of you.
I see in my job a lot of Palestinians every day,studying in USA they just do not seem to be so hungry,or so worried.
By the way they get their US visas in Jerusalem,how do they got there?
Give me a break,all those men,very strong and grown up,instead,burn flags,they should WORK.
If Israel do not by your stuff,feed your people,help each other between you.
Again,ask for help for one of the TWENTY TWO arab countries in the whole world.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The video appeared on the Hamas site at almost the same time that the US State Department made clear that it would make no attempt to block Hamas from participating in the January 25, 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections. The EU and UN also agreed that Hamas, which appears on official EU and US lists of terrorist organizations, could participate in the elections.

The video includes the following:

Scenes of Hamas terrorists in military-style training
The opinion that including female suicide terrorists in Hamas ranks has led to Palestinian mothers being more willing to encourage their sons to become suicide terrorists
The promotion of Shahada (death for Allah) as better than life (a message parallel to that of the Palestinian Authority, as can be seen here
A refusal to disarm, despite running in parliamentary elections
The hope that Hamas will continue to be "a home for all Palestinian and jihad fighters"
The opinion (also parallel to that of the PA) that the recent voluntary Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is the first step in the destruction of Israel
Finally, the promise of more terrorism, as Hamas' military commander promises to Israelis, "we will make all of Palestine [i.e. Israel] a hell for you"
Palestinian Media Watch has added a segment of an August 2005 broadcast by Muhammad Deif, commander of Al-Qassam Brigades, the terrorist wing of Hamas (also posted on the Hamas website), in which he reasserts the Hamas goal to "liberate" the Israeli cities of Jerusalem, Safed, Haifa, Jaffa and others.

"The suicide bombing of Reem Riyashi brought a change in the Jihad operations with the participation of women, so a mother no long stops her son when he goes to battle in Jihad operations.

Ahmad Yassin [former spiritual head of Hamas]: "We seek Shahada [Martyrdom]. We seek the eternal life, not the worthless worldly life."

Ismaeil Haniya [Hamas head in Gaza]: "Continue the resistance [terror], keep your weapon, the legitimate weapon of the resistance. Beware not to abandon it! Hamas will continue to be, Allah willing, a home for all Palestinian and Jihad fighters that want to fight for the sake of Allah [and] for the liberation of our land... The Zionist withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank is the first step in the liberation of the rest of our occupied land."

Muhammad Deif [Commander of Hamas' terrorist wing]: "Today you are leaving Gaza because it is a hell. Tomorrow we will make all of Palestine a hell for you."

Hamas website, August 2005

Muhammad Deif: "Without this Jihad, this effort, this forbearance and fighting on the frontier, Gaza wouldn't have been liberated. I pray to [Allah] to assist us and to assist you in liberating Jerusalem, the West Bank, Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Safed, Nazareth, Ashkelon, and the whole of Palestine."
[Hamas websites, August & October 2005. Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Safed, Nazareth and Ashkelon are wholly within the pre-1967 borders of Israel - Ed.]

*** Nothing to eat?
Open the borders?
Public order and the health and welfare of the Palestinian population.
It´s Israel´s obligation?
You are really funny,that´s might be a joke from you.
Just take a look at the government YOU have chosen.
And that´s the way they are taking care of YOU.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And lest you forget, we don't have a country, remember?

Right.. there never has been or never will be a Palistine. You are all just a bunch of squatters.

The name "Palestine" was the name the conquering Romans gave the ancient Land of Israel so as to obliterate the JEWISH presence in the Holy Land! Despite being conquered and controlled by the Romans, Greeks, Turks and numerous others, only TWO nations have ever existed there over the last 3,000 years... ancient "Israel" and again "Israel," re-established in 1948! To the Arab people as a whole no such entity as "Palestine" ever existed prior to the early 20th century and there was certainly never an ancient Palestinian Arab nation!
The Palestinian claim that the Land for centuries sustained a thriving Palestinian culture is not authorized by the facts of history. Yet the world community has given this claim a receptive hearing. PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat in his speech before the U.N. in 1974 declared, "The Jewish invasion began in 1881 . . . Palestine was then a verdant area, inhabited mainly by an Arab people in the course of building its life and dynamically enriching its indigenous culture."

What happens when this claim is compared with the personal observations of the following recognized authorities? In 1738 Thomas Shaw observed a land of "barrenness.... from want of inhabitants." In 1785 Constantine Francois de Volney recorded the population of the three main cities. Jerusalem had a population of 12,000 to 14,000. Bethlehem had about 600 able-bodied men. Hebron had 800 to 900 men. In 1835 Alphonse de Lamartine wrote, "Outside the city of Jerusalem, we saw no living object, heard no living sound. . .a complete eternal silence reigns in the town, in the highways, in the country . . . The tomb of a whole people."

In 1857, the British consul in Palestine, James Finn, reported, "The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a body of population."

The most popular quote on the desolation of the Land is from Mark Twain's THE INNOCENTS ABROAD (1867), "Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies....Palestine is desolate and unlovely.... It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land."

...The records of history simply do not confirm today's Palestinian claim of Palestinian roots and culture in a "verdant area" since the Arab rule of the land (A.D. 640-1099).

In the Six-Day War, Israel captured Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. But they didn't capture these territories from Yasser Arafat. They captured them from Jordan's King Hussein. I can't help but wonder why all these Palestinians suddenly discovered their national identity after Israel won the war.
The truth is that Palestine is no more real than Never-Never Land. ...Palestine has never existed an autonomous entity. It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their homeland.

The first time the name was used was in 70 C. E. when the Romans committed genocide against the Jews, smashed the Temple and declared the land of Israel would be no more. From then on, the Romans promised, it would be known as Palestine. The name was derived from the Philistines, a Goliathian people conquered by the Jews centuries earlier. It was a way for the Romans to add insult to injury. They also tried to change the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina, but that had even less staying power.
Palestine has never existed -- before or since -- as an autonomous entity. It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their homeland.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous KarenM said...

In today's New York Times (Saturday, March 4) on the front page is an article about the three crossings in and out of the Gaza Strip. Much of it has already been written by Laila, so much that as I read I wondered if they had gotten the particulars from her. There is a bit of detail as to how Israeli goods are brought into Gaza via conveyor belts so that the drivers never enter. Mention is also made of Karni being shut down in January due to tunnels being suspected, but never found.

An excellent article to learn more...

KarenM in NC

6:19 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...


Right out of the Zionist playbook...I think that you forgot
a few; let me help: Jews made the desert bloom, cleared the swamps of malaria, land without a people for a people without a land, there is no such thing as a Palestinian...arabs and jews have been fighting for thousands of years...arabs place a different value on life than "we" do

Normally, I'd ignore the attempt to distract and obfuscate, takes up too much time to refute the racist drivel...but you're kinda a "back in the day" Zio, a golden oldie...blast from the're so bad you're good...

11:19 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i haven't sat down to read all the comments here, but i have read some of them, and if you will permit me as a jew to suggest this:

essentialy i see several things here.
A there are extremists on both sides who are attempting to permenantly derail the process.
B the process of creating an indepentant state cannot historicaly be done with out incredible undescribable suffering of the people in that country
C neither side can rationaly make allowences for the other, lest the other strike out against them (and you know hamas will try if given the oppertunity, and i wouldn't doubt that if certain segments in isreal had their way they would also.

the problems of which you describe are not only isreals fault. the fault belongs to those extreemists who do not want these processes to continue. personaly i hope and pray daily that a way can be found to deal with the extremists with out compremising the health, and needs of people like your self. i cry bitterly about these kinds of problems.

and about what i said regarding to transfer of control:
essentialy transfering control of a child nation such as gaza and the west bank is exceedingly difficult especialy when you have extreemists hurting both their own side and the other in order to demonize and therefore reject their partners in peace. i would wish that isreal would for instance create some kind of special tunnel or even a train going on supports across the negev to allow the palistinians access to both sections with out the worry of extreemist abusing the capacity. and also, i wish that there could be some way to permit a slow transfer, the creation of an infostructure, government according to the wishes of those who would be govered, with out it's being abused by extremists.

i am not appologizing for you difficulties, i only ask, please don't your self become an extreemist. they only add to the problems. the people of isreal are not inherently evil, nor are the palastinians. i hope that things go well for you and that a solution can be found with out hatred or malace to the problems you and many like you face. above all, please don't become an extremist.


(and i don't know if you would mind, but i'll remember you during prayers, that things should be well for you and those like you. if there was a way i could get aid to you and people like you i would donate as much as i could to help peole like you. we are not all hatefull of the palastinians)and here are blessing that your little boy should grow up in a time where he doesn't have to know this kind of hatred and he and the isrealies can live in real peace, and that always his needs should be met.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i want to add one more thing. (having finnished now reading the rest of the comments.)

the history books i studied from as a child where from about 1970 or 1960, so they came before this whole campaign. the report essentialy that there was always in the area now known as isreal a constant jewish and arab presence scince the time the jews where reportedly exiled from that land. meaning, this country has always at least in recorded history been shared by jews and arabs. we lived together in that land, and while it is true it was not independant and did not regard it's self as such, it was however for a long time owned by the arab world. at the time and all through out history, jews where permited to live in isreal in peace and harmony, much more so that we where ever permited in the west. apperantly the arab population surged at some point in the last 150 years as did the jewish population at the same time. both of us where already here at the begining of the existance of isreal. it is true that jewish farmers caused massive portions of isreal to bloom that had previously lain baren. the arabs who lived there had led a life the did not much involve this kind of farming, and so had never really tried.

i just wanted to interject the facts here for a second.

it does not take away from the fact there are now two entirely seperate nations in a country that is hardly even big enough for one of them. and again i hope and pray that there will be peace and that yousuf will never know the kind of trouble our generation has known, and that what little he does know about it he will forget in years of peacefull coexistance.

10:01 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

To justify their colonialisation which began in the 1880's, Zionists go to great lengths to negate the existence and the achievements of the people indigenous to the land. One early Zionist, however, said the following:

"In 1891 Ahad Ha'Am opened many Jewish eyes to the fact the Palestine was not empty, but populated with its indigenous people when he wrote:

" 'We abroad are used to believe the Eretz Yisrael is now almost totally desolate, a desert that is not sowed ..... But in truth that is not the case. Throughout the country it is difficult to find fields that are not sowed. Only sand dunes and stony mountains .... are not cultivated.'" (Righteous Victims, p. 42)

Anyone who would like to know about Palestinians' life prior to 1948 should read Dr. Walid Khalidi's Before Their Diaspora. A friend of mine from Canada leafed through my copy...she was astounded because before looking at the book she actually believed Zionist propaganda that Palestine was "a land without a people for a people without a land."

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have read all the comments. What can I say, if we could mix them all together maybe we would get a better picture. There was always non-jews in Israel, two thousand years ago the New Testament calls Galilee "Galilee of the Gentiles". There was always a mixture of peoples, ancients romans, Greeks, different Arab tribes, immigration from all over. Jews are as indigenous as arabs to this area - both are semitic peoples. The comments on Chechnya are tragic and true. There are indeed parts of this world which do not get the humanitarian help or world attention they need. Palestine/Israel always had people but it was a backwater place with lots of absentee turkish and arab land owners, not thriving, and desolate in some areas. Turkish law taxed landowners according to how many trees one had.

The way forward is not to argue the past - you will get no where and will just continually argue thinking in black and white. Think the future. Both sides are right in some ways, and error in others. Both sides have fears. Mothers always hope for their children,no one wants hate and war. I have seen this in is both Israeli and Palestinian mothers. Sick of the conflict, tired of the retoric. Tired of all the arguments blaming each other, delving into history to say this or that. A Palestinian taxi driver once told me that it will never be quiet in Israel/Palestine. I try to hope. Donna

7:47 PM  
Blogger umkahlil said...


You obfuscate by admonishing Palestinians to disregard their history and you have provided no documentation regarding the number of absentee landowners.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta and Dr. Walid Khalidi have documented their figures regarding population and land ownership using census figures.

My father comes from Ramallah. It was settled in the 1500's by Christian Arabs who migrated from a place called Edrah, near present day Ma'an in what is now southern Jordan. Please don't ask me to disregard my heritage and my past.

Your comments regarding Palestine as a "backwater" place are racist. And even if it were, does that give Eastern European colonists a superior right to the land? Pick up Dr. Khalidi's book and invest a couple hundred dollars in Dr. Abu Sitta's Atlas of Palestine to read about the six hundred and thirty villages that were decimanted circa 1948 if you want to know about the area.

There were around fifty thousand Jews in Palestine before Zionist colonisation started in 1880. An Eastern European Jew or an American Jew or an Ethiopean Jew is no more "indigenous" to Palestine than I am to Germany, where I currently live. The human and civil rights of the people living on the land were disregarded when the "Jewish" state came into being. 750,000 people were ethnically cleansed deliberately and this is documented by Zionist historians.

No matter how hard Zionists try to obfuscate by telling us to disregard history justice will prevail. Dr. Abu Sitta has shown that in addition to right of return being an inalienable right that it is also feasible.

If insisting on the implementation of ROR is black and white, then I'm black and white and so is the UN which has reiterated year after year Resolution 194 which says the refugees should be allowed to return. If wanting to go home to be buried is black and white, then I'm black and white.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can I say? You accuse me of being racist? Of asking you to ignore your heritage? Did I ask you to ignore it, did I say that? Never would I. And racist because I called Palestine of the 1800's "backwater" which it was , it was populated but it was no important centre. Did I admonish the Palestinians people in my comments to disregard their history?- I never said that and never would. Do you really read what I say or did you just read into it what you think I am saying?

As to the "indigenous" comment. Jews and Arabs all orginally hail from the Middle East however far back you go ( thousands of years) and if you delve into the history of these two peoples they belong and originate from the Middle East/Arabia area - not Europe. You jump the gun and judge rather quickly.

When one can not comment without being labeled "racist" what does that say? It is tiring. You do not know me. I do not pretend to know all the anwers or have all the information at my fingertips but this is a blog, not a PHD exam. I am not fighting or defending any cause, just learning.

I don't want only to see in black and white, choosing my prism to fit my own viewpoint. That's why I read Laila's blog, to see outside my own box and in a different colour. Her colour. You assume alot from my comments. Donna

11:40 AM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

"And racist because I called Palestine of the 1800's "backwater" which it was , it was populated but it was no important centre."

Donna, you did not specify 1800's here. Again, if you will look at some of our history books, especially Dr. Khalidi's Before Their Diaspora, you will see that Palestine had a history and a culture before the first Jewish colonists arrived from Eastern Europe, and the term "backwater" is insulting.

And when you consider that we have struggled to maintain our history and culture in light of the Zionists' attempts to annihilate even our identity (which continues to this day--check out the Miftah website regarding the inordinate efforts Palestinian artists had to make just to get one gallery to show their works in NYC)your remarks strike a sensitive cord. Kamal Nasser was a family friend, a gifted poet; he was assasinated by Ehud Barak in 1972; Ghassan Kanafani was assasinated, one of our most gifted writers...haven't you heard "there is no such thing as a Palestinian"; or "a land without a people for a people without a land"?

"Racist," maybe too strong, but definitely a colonial mentality to apply the term "backwater" for an area not deemed an "important centre."

Who really knows where they were living a couple thousand years ago? My particular group of Christian Arabs probably migrated to southern Jordan and then Palestine from from what is present day Yemen. Does that mean that I'm indigenous to Yemen and should ethnically cleanse the Yemenis living there now and say that it's my country?

There is no future without considering the past. There will be no peace for a piece. Simple. No peace without justice and justice means the right of return which is an inalienable right, part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reiterated over and over again by the UN in Resolution 194.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Laila, why are you living in the past? What does it get you?
In order to change your luck you need to become responsible people.
1. Recognize Israel within 1967 borders
2. Disarm gangs and homocide bombers.
3. Recognize previous aggreements with Israel
Terrorism will not get you anyware, look at past 100 years.

4:06 AM  

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