Monday, March 12, 2007

BBC reporter kidnapped in Gaza

I was saddened to learn that my friend and colleague, Alan Johnston, the BBC's Gaza correspondent, was kidnapped today.

Alan and I crossed paths many times when I was in Gaza, particularly when I did some freelance work for the BBC or went into their studio to record a radio segment, but also on the field-during Disengagement and other, more mundane press conferences.

Alan and I used to always joke about the day he would get kidnapped-what kind of biscuits his captors would serve him, and how he would take his tea (catch-and-release kidnappings in Gaza have in recent years become so frequent as to become banal). I always used to tell him that he had such a comforting and mellow voice-so much so that I could hardly imagine him getting angry, even at a kidnapper.

This isn't the first time they've tried to come for him of course. As a pre-caution, Alan's office removed the "BBC" sign by their multi-lock door in Gaza.

Alan is one of those few foreign reporters who are actually stationed in Gaza at a time when most opt to remain in their comfy confines far away in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, and parachute in when the occasion arises.

All of the major groups (Hamas, Fatah, even al-Aqsa Martrys Brigades, who vowed to dispatch their own little search party to find Alan) have condemned the kidnapping, though I am sure press releases are of little comfort to someone in captivity. A friend in Gaza tells me word on the street is that the Dogmosh clan is behidn the kidnapping( they are a sort of mafia-ish family clan located in Gaza City responsible for a spate of kidnappings and tit-for-tat killings of Hamas security forces. The Dogmosh family were seeking to pressure police to release clan members detained for criminal actions).

Kidnapping has died down as phenomenon in Gaza, though whether that is because there are less foreigners, more security, or simply less public support is anyone's guess.

It is such a low and reprehensible act that everyoen seems to detest in Gaza (but clearly not those who keep doing it). My guess is , the reason it keeps happening is because in order to persuade the groups to release their captives, they are offered all sorts of carrots-in the past this has come in the form of pay raises, job promotions, or simply employment.

It has been a tactic many have staunchly disagreed with, saying it simply provides rewards the actions of the kidnappers and provides others with an incentive to continue doing it. The defense has been that at least such actions have prevented a single act of kidnapping form turning bloodly, as in IRAQ.

In this case, I would say the demands will be greater-the BBC is a big name, and if it is indeed the Dogmosh clan behind it, it was committed as a strategic time, only days before the formation of the Unity Government. The clan will likely be demanding the release of their detained members or some sort of official pardon.

Here's hoping for Alan's quick release...our thoughts are with you Alan.

65 Comments:

Blogger sasa said...

Alan is a far braver reporter than I am. His work - and yours Laila - is something we should all aspire to produce.

He, you and a few others are Gaza's voice. We badly need you all right now.

Sasa.

12:40 AM  
Blogger Nora said...

Thanks for writing about Alan - I really hope that he will be released soon. It's so hard to understand how any Palestinians can do such a thing (even the Daghamshe-clan, whom I had the horrible experience of having as neighbours during my four years in Gaza!). Such incidents lead to less foreigners daring to come to Gaza - less witnesses to report on what's happening. I guess it just goes wihtout saying that the main thing is to get the Law-Enforcement mechanisms back in place in Gaza, so the place again can be a safe place (well as safe as you can be when you have a occupying force encircling you) for Palestinians - and the few foreigners who want to stay.
Keep up the execellent work, Umm Yousef!

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Alan is one of those few foreign reporters who are actually stationed in Gaza at a time when most opt to remain in their comfy confines far away in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, and parachute in when the occasion arises."

It seems harsh to criticise non-Arab journalists for not living in Gaza when you as a native prefer to avoid living there.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Who said that I prefer to avoid living there?

3:47 PM  
Blogger sister in uk said...

Assalamualaikum Sister,
i've just recently come across your blog. Mashallah, its nice and refreshing to see a muslim sister in the field of journalism.
Yep, like you, i too felt quite saddened to hear about this journalist. Pray that he gets released soon.

Can i ask something? In your oppinion, do you think the condition in Gaza is much worse than it has ever been? How do you combat the lack of media interest on a population that is being oppressed?

Walaikumsalam

11:21 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Laila

Kate Adie, whose own broadcasts from Tianamen Square give here a Been there, Got the T-Shirt right to speak, introduces Alan on Saturday's "From our own correspondent"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/

He tell an amusing story about his thoughts on the dangers of being kidnaped.

Happy Mothers Day for Tomorrow. (The Americans get the date wrong)

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are versions of this song all over Ireland. The term "croppy" is said to be a nickname given to the rebels of Wexford during the 1798 rebellion because of their close-cropped hair, and for many generations the term was synonymous with "rebel". In another version the croppy boy does not die at the end but goes into exile. (taken from The Irish Songbook)

It was early, early in the spring
The birds did whistle and sweetly sing,
Changing their notes from tree to tree
And the song they sang was Old Ireland free.

It was early early in the night,
The yeoman cavalry gave me a fright;
The yeoman cavalry was my downfall
And I was taken by Lord Cornwall.

'Twas in the guard-house where I was laid,
And in a parlour where I was tried;
My sentence passed and my courage low
When to Dungannon I was forced to go.

As I was passing my father's door
My brother William stood at the door;
My aged father stood at the door
And my tender mother her hair she tore.

As I was going up Wexford Street
My own first cousin I chanced to meet;
My own first cousin did me betray
And for one bare guinea swore my life away.

As I was walking up Wexford Hill
Who could blame me to cry my fill?
I looked behind, and I looked before
But my aged mother I shall see no more.

And as I mounted the platform high
My aged father was standing by;
My aged father did me deny
And the name he gave me was the Croppy Boy.

It was in Dungannon this young man died
And in Dungannon his body lies.
And you good people that do pass by
Oh shed a tear for the Croppy Boy.

3:56 AM  
Blogger freespeechlover said...

a great blog. i'm glad i found this. i listened to your interview which was wonderful, very interesting. i'm glad to have a place to go to listen to commentary about gaza who knows gaza. your "from the ground up" knowledge is so so helpful.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to bring you bad news but Tanya Reinhart has died:

http://www.qumsiyeh.org/tanyareinhart/

Inna-Lillahi-Wa-Inna-Ilaihi Raji-Un (To Allah we belong, and to Him Is our return)

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Palestine Forever said...

Salam Mrs. El-Haddad


Would Mr. Johnston have had less to worry about if the BBC didn’t use the same old rhetoric that the pro Israeli terror - American media uses? Referring to freedom fighters as “terrorists”. Referring to martyrdom operations as “suicide bombings”. Being in the industry, you are familiar with how the media can legitimize Israeli apartheid terrorism. May God protect your friend.

However, it should be noted that the CIA, on its own website has admitted to aiding and abetting the killing of innocent civilians in what is called false flag operations. How can we expect less from the terrorist Mossad or Shin Bet?

See www.informationliberation.com and click on Terror Storm.

I thank your Network, Al Jazeera for its presence at our Washington, D.C. demonstration against the terrorists who currently control our government.

Palestine Forever

A note to my fellow Americans…



SPOON-FED NEWS CAUSES BLINDNESS

FOX and CNN 24 / 7 propaganda machines are undermining objective media.

Take action: Call your cable provider and tell them that they have 30 days to carry the Al Jazeera “English” Channel on “basic cable” and if they refuse to, boycott them by cancelling their service.

“If everybody watches CNN, what does CNN watch? The Al Jazeera English Channel.”

Friends of Al Jazeera

http://www.friendsofaljazeera.org/

http://english.aljazeera.net/HomePage

7:50 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

"Would Mr. Johnston have had less to worry about if the BBC didn’t use the same old rhetoric that the pro Israeli terror - American media uses?"


I don't think this is relevant to the equation. Abducting a reporter is not justified under any conditions, and belonging to a certain media outfit or employing particular words does not make it any more so.

Besides, I assure you the kidnappers do listen or watch the BBC in english, which Alan reports to. This has nothing to do with his reporting.

And bye the bye, the BBC's official policy is to use neither "terrorists" nor "Freedom fighters", but "fighters" or "resistance fighters" depending.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Alan is one of those few foreign reporters who are actually stationed in Gaza at a time when most opt to remain in their comfy confines far away in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, and parachute in when the occasion arises."

Comfy confines-aka-places they are not likely to be kidnapped. While I am sure that creature comfort is an issue, personal safety is as well.

Daphna (Tel Aviv)

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daphne I am sure all of palestine was safe BEFORE the zionist invasion, the ethnic cleansing and the slow genocide you zionist practice

now almost no place is safe

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm....
didn't Gaza get a whole lot more dangerous AFTER the Israelis left?

Lets see,
inter-factional fighting...check!
increased kidnappings...check!
wanton destruction of Israeli greenhouses left behind for the palestinans....check!

I am no friend of Israel but it seems that most of the problems that Gazans have now are their own fault.
It's time to get it together already!

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Increased border closures...check!
Continued illegal detentions...check!
Highest number of civilian casulaties by Israeli army, including children, in one year..check!

Get a grip on reality. Thigns are a mess in Gaza, yes, but not least of all because of Israel's continued occupation.

p.s. kidnappings actually DECREASEd, not increased, since the Disengagement.

3:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Video: Gaza After Disengagement

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/gaza.html

8:42 PM  
Blogger Raz said...

I do not usually use such language but BULLSHIT. The only people responsible for the situation in Gaza are the Palestinians. The border which is closed is the border to Israel and it is Israels right to close it if only for the fact that whenever it is open someone from the Palestinian side attacks it. There were dozens of attacks or attack attempts on the Karni passage whenever it was open. So Israel closed it. Why should we risk our soldiers' lives if the Palestinians themselves do everything in their power to disrupt the work of the passage? The border to Egypt was open for a long time and if it wasn't used for so much weapon smuggling it would have stayed open for, well, probably for ever. How is yes or no occupation responsible for Palestinians ruining greenhouses left for them? How come you cannot have industry to provide people with work and build an economy but you can build ever improving missiles in dozens of secret factories? and the tunnels? why not smuggle medicines in these tunnels if you can smuggle just about anything which can shot or exploded?
On one hand this blog is great because it is one of the few places where I as an Israeli can get direct interaction with Palestinians. On the other hand so many of the comments posted here make me think that maybe it is true and a lot of our neighbors are simply not willing to accept the concept of Israel, as a Jewish State, alongside a Palestinian state. How can any person, any person, support suicide terrorists?
nothing makes this right. It is the most immoral thing which a human can do. and you guys made it into an industry! As long as 'main stream' people, like 'Palestinian forever' support these and other actions we will not have peace.
Guys, if you think of the way things were 15 years ago you can see that Israel is moving in the 'right' direction - it is pulling out of land and is doing all it can to create an infrastracture for peace. So far Israel has done a lot - mainly pulled our of land. the Palestinians have only caused damage and death and it is now their turn to make an effort.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

Not to mention the frequent attacks on fishers.

Some disengagement

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Palestine Forever said...

Salam, Mrs. El-Haddad

“I don't think this is relevant to the equation. Abducting a reporter is not justified under any conditions, and belonging to a certain media outfit or employing particular words does not make it any more so.”


While the essence of this statement/idea is meritorious, it is unfortunate that the U.S. and “Israel” terror regimes do not agree.

However, some things should be considered. In a perfect world scenario both sides of an issue would be fairly represented. If not by one media, then certainly by another equally as popular. Since this cannot happen, the masses must suffer the gatekeepers that they have.

It should be realized that most people for various reasons lack the ability to think for themselves, based even on their own previous understanding of any given issue. The mind set of the people, public opinion, can be changed or manipulated very easily. This is the power of the mainstream media. With this power comes responsibility.

Therefore, can information or “propaganda” or the absence of it be considered a weapon? It is generally agreed upon that words have consequences. The pen mightier than the sword.

Winning public opinion in a country with 300 million is half the battle.

For this reason some of us who know take strong exception to even the slightest attempt at subtle mind control by the media.

I have noticed that the BBC has broken its “official policy” many times. Perhaps the BBC only does this with its American version. For some time the BBC featured a regular commentator/reporter who would deliberately mispronounce Hamas. He would pronounce it “Ham-Ass”. Some of the BBC’s reporting sounded like it could have been written by the “Israeli” Broadcasting Service. Should we be thankful that at least the BBC addresses the issue?

By now, how many Journalists have been killed or deliberately targeted by the U.S. or “Israel”? Who’s keeping score?

Why did the U.S. deliberately bomb the Kabul offices of Al-Jazeera TV? Why do the “Israeli” occupation terrorists deliberately fire on and kill those holding cameras? What is the latest on Mr. Tayseer Allouni? And should we really feel sympathy for Bob Woodruff since it is the mission of the American mainstream medias to sell the Iraq massacre to the American public?

"The people will believe what the media tells them they believe." - George Orwell

Again, may the Holy One protect your friend.

Palestine Forever

1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i woulkd like to point out that if you are a palestinian your chances of getting kidnapped are better then ever

israhel now holds 10,000 kidnap vistums and takes more every day

as far as the lawlessness in gaze and the west bank once again israhel can take a bow...after destroying the infratsture and kidnapping ever politician or leader they can find and starving the people to death (if not extra-judiacially executing them) there is chaos in the territies

and its not just that....the zionist who have invaded palestine also control USA and can get them to fight their wars in iraq and iran while israhel lost a war with hezbollah after killing 1200 innocent civilians

there is just no excuse for israhel....obviously they do not deserve a nation...add to that they do it all on US welfare...nevr have supported themselves and are incapable of doing honest work

israhel's bviggest exports are US secrets (to whomever will buy...China, Russia)extacy, and slavery

no they do not deserve a country anywhere

3:10 AM  
Anonymous rattttu said...

raz,

For a 'real economy' you need gateways to the outside world, for export/import. Gaza has none that it controls.

The border crossing with egypt was not used for arms smuggling. Money-smuggling, perhaps. But arms? I've yet to hear this. (Yes, there are lots of tunnels going UNDER the border, but they're still there alright; the closure of the border crossing has no bearing on them).

The border crossing with Egypt is under complete Israeli control - albeit by remote control. It was closed as a means of political pressure, after the capture of the soldier Shalit.

A 'real economy' in Gaza is a vital Palestinian and Israeli interest. Giving Gaza a gateway to the outside world, that would not depend on the political situation, is in everybody's interest. I disagree with what you say about Karni but let's assume it's security reasons that keep it closed. The border with Egypt is closed for other reasons: a means of pressure. The result is the biggest prison on earth.

People's right to travel and trade is so basic, it should not be something for negotiation. It should not depend on the political situation. Whatever wrongs you think the Palestinians (all the Palestinians, Raz?) have done, incarcerating 1.3 million people is not the way forward.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous raz said...

I appologize for repeating myself and not adding much to the discssion but a lot of the comments here need to be answered individualy. Fishing boats are used to smuggle weapons. no one can say if it is often, sometimes or rarely but they are used. for over 10 years the palestinians have done nothing to stop this but as the same time they are objecting Israel's right to act. This translates, as far as i see, to: "We dont want to do anything against it but we also dont want you to do anything agains this. just let us smuggle weapons which we will use against you." At least, thats how it sounds from over here.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RAISING CHILDREN PROPERLY: Hamas television broadcast a video dramatization on Wednesday in which the four-year-old daughter of female suicide bomber vows to do what her mother has done. The child is an actress, but the point was clear

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

video: Gaza Strip

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17386.htm

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Broken record is what the zionists, israelis and their supportes sound. It is never their fault. The Palestinians are baaaaaad we are gooooood. The Palestinians diiiis we are daaaat.
I heard all of your Bull$hiiiiiiiiit and I am sick of your lies and evil

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

israhel has lots of free weapons and uses them to steal more land daily

palestine has weapons they use to defend their lives and land

israhel must renounce violence, recognize palestine and move back to the pre '67 borders....it is called international law

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UN Panel: Gaza Strip Virtually 'Imprisoned'

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21432278-5005961,00.html#

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.pchrgaza.org/

IOF kidnapped 61 Palestinians, including 6 children, in the West Bank.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Candle said...

Really sad..

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raz is this you idea 'israhel moving in the right direction'?

UN: Poorest Palestinians living a "meagre existence totally reliant on assistance, with no electricity or heating"

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=19790

4:23 PM  
Blogger Torontoman said...

Raz, I think you've brought up some excellent points, and I'm glad that as an Israeli you are willing to conference with Palestinians. The Palestinians that perform the tasteless act of suicide bombing are not in the right mental state and your concern for the state of Israel's safety is rightly grounded. As for the smuggling of weapons, it does happen of course and Israel does have the right to keep itself safe. Where I would diverge from your line of thinking is that Israel's hands are clean from any involvement or responsibility for the Palestinian course of action. Israel maintains an ILLEGAL occupation, and the Israeli military are building an ILLEGAL wall that does not conform with the green line, and stretches far into what is Palestinians territory. Israeli's that denounce this act by their own military are silenced (sometimes very harshly) and so the military maintains these illegal acts as security precautions. We can sit here in our comfortable virtual meeting grounds and go back and fourth with a tit-for-tat attitude, about how this Palestinian was killed because this Israeli was killed or we can look at things that will make that region safe. The building of a wall has made Israeli towns near it hot zones for clashes. Other actions by the military would suggests that they don’t want peace, they want to make a Jewish only state and want to flush out the Palestinians, whether they be Muslim, Christians, or Jews opposed to their ethnic cleansing policy. The waiving of the right of return, the issuing of different licence plates, the treatment of non-Jews in Israel and Palestine as second class citizens, a lack of representation in the Knesset are all contributing factors to why Palestinians act the way they do.

During the last proposed roadmap presented by Kofi Anan on behalf of the US, one of the Israeli tenants to accepting the roadmap was ‘the Israeli control over Palestine, including the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, plus its airsace and electro-magnetic spectrum (radio, television, radar,etc.)

You can argue security concerns, but I think that if you looked at any argument for this, you’d definitely find some weakpoints. The problem is the mentality of the Israeli military and pro-Zionist elements outside the country. And with the billions of dollars they receive in foreign aid from the US everyear you can see how this oppression can continue. If suddenly the aid was yanked out of Israel’s annual allowance, the economy would crumble. Palestine does have learned people as Israel does, doctors, professors and other scholars, people who would live to build up the economy and turn Palestine from a down-trodden slum into a vibrant economy like Tel-Aviv, but without control of their water, electricity, exports and access to the outside world, this can’t happen. And with the freeze on international aid to the country, they are unable to have a working government and the militias will control the streets, ensueing chaos. Until they have a working state of their own, that is not under occupation, or subject to the apartheid laws that are imposed on them, their will be no peace, and there can’t be any peace.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Raz said...

Tornotoman and a couple of anonymouses, I am not claiming Israel is perfect. Far from it probably. But we try. The wall is a good example - there are constant struggles within Israel about the wall and where it should pass. The vast majority of Israelis would agree that first; the wall must provide security for Israel. Second, it must stay as close to the green line as possible whilst allowing it to fulfill its purpose. But the closer it is to the green line the easier it would be to fire missiles on our Airport and stop the country's economy. And that's where things become tough. What do you do? Stay close to the line and put your whole economy at risk? Or not? Think for yourselves what any other country in the world would do. The airport is of course just one example. Just to show you a little better why we are so paranoid - during the confrontation in the north last summer (I think no one here wants to discuss this so I am only using it as an example) a rocket was fired on an oil refinery in Haifa bay and landed 50 meters from a container full of somesupperbadchemicals. Had the rocket hit 50 meters to the right thousands of people would have been dead. Now, should we take the risk with the Palestinians who are trying for a year now to hit the power plant in Ashkelon (next to Gaza. Had we not pulled out of the stip this would have been outside their range)? Should we bring the whole of Israel into kassam range from the west bank? Big problem. However, we do do our best to insure minimum damage to the population and every piece of the wall is brought to the supreme court by human rights organizations and many parts of the wall were moved to create what the court defines as a correct balance between Israel's right to security and the Palestinians' rights. (We can argue about the ability of an Israeli court to make such a balance but this comment is too long as it is (.
About the Jewish only state - off course we want a Jewish state. We don't want a Jewish only state but we do want a Jewish state. One in which the Jews have a solid majority and in which we can live in safety. The right of return means throwing this away and is therefore a 'red line' for us. This is only reinforced when you realize that those 'wanting' to return are mostly people who were born outside Israel / Palestine and have no affiliation to it. This makes you wander why they have to settle in Israel out of all places. About discrimination of non Jewish Israeli citizens - you are right. I can offer a bunch of explanations but the essence is that people who should have equal rights are not always given the opportunity to exercise these rights. I can only say that we are improving and that we will continue to improve. However, there are many 'citizens' of Israel who resent its very existence. And with these people I do have a big problem. Again, seeing as this is not my blog I will stop at that.
Finally I want to emphasize two key differences which I have mentioned partly between Israel and the Palestinian authority:
1. Both sides do things that should not be done. Israel, however, does many of these things as a bi-product of trying to defend its people. When we find out about these things we try to improve them. We have a supreme court which is increasingly involved in keeping a (not THE but at least A) balance between our security needs and our neighbors' rights. Only today the army canceled an order which put certain restraint on Palestinians in the West Bank because of the belief that it would not be approved but the Supreme Court. We also have an active and criticizing media. Last week three policemen were suspended after an Israeli website posted a film of them assaulting a Palestinian Youth. An investigation was launched and if the person attacked was indeed an innocent bi passer (unfortunately a lot of children and youngsters are used as stone throwers. stones kill.) the policemen will be punished severely. The same is now happening with pictures of a military dog biting an innocent Palestinian woman. Our neighbors on the other hand see killing us and disrupting our lives as a goal. Not all of them off course but many and maybe a majority. This is why they launched an unprecedented attack when we pulled out of Gaza. If Gaza would have been quiet for a short time the border to Israel would have been opened and life in the strip would have been much much better. But they are firing rockets at us, approximately 7 a day and the strip is filling with weapons smuggled by see, land and tunnel. Everyone here is now talking about a military operation which will need to take place to stop this because hundred of thousands of Israelis live under fear of rockets and it is a matter of time until they have a 'big success' such as hitting a school or chemical plant. As we try to minimize friction they do all in their power to increase it.
2. We want a peaceful solution. The vast majority of Israelis want two states living in peace next to each other. We want to visit Gaza and Jericho. And we want Palestinians visiting Israel. We truly want peace. The Palestinians have yet to accept the two states solution. They do not accept the concept of a Jewish State and want to eliminate this 'anomaly' from the region. Surveys from last week show 52% (I think) of Palestinians do not want their government to reject terror and accept Israel. The unity government does not recognize Israel. This is the Palestinian democratic decision.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Torontoman said...

Laila, I apologize for turning your comment board into an essay bank, but we’re making some headway.

Raz,
Listen to what your saying about this wall. Your justification for the wall not following the line is because the closer to the green line it is, the easier it is for missiles to hit. This does not give the Israeli military the right to occupy more land in the Palestinian territory so that they can be farther from Israel. Those occupied places that the wall stretches into are later settled by Jewish settlers to whom the Zionist parties around the world have said that it is legal Israeli territory. Where will this stop? As Israel expands, it will need more land by this logic, until The Palestinians are boxed into smaller zones in the strip and the West bank. This is not a solution and will drive more Palestinians to take on insane actions, which goes against the idea of keeping Israel safe.

As for the right of return, I will have to disagree with you. People who want are fighting for the right of return are Gazans and people from the Westbank, who crossed over into egypt or other areas and are trying to get back to their homes and families, or whats left of them. The action that your talking about is that of the Israeli military having a law pertaining to the right of Jewish peoples, even those not born in Israel, those that have no connection to it, to come back to populate a land and to ensure a Jewish majority, even if it means denying Palestinians rights so as to drive them out of the country. The government went as far as to fund a fact finding mission several years ago to seek out obscure old quasi Jewish tribes in India to help populate the state.

The wall is illegal, in needs to be ripped down, not repositioned, not realligned. You can't achieve peace by blocking out your problems (and by taking more of their land, it insights anger). You need one country, where everyone lives, equal rights, no special treatment. It has been done in the region before, it can be done again. The Palestinians need to know that the Israeli people want peace, and they won't begin to understand that when the military seems to be speaking for the Israelis when it demolishes their homes, uproots their olive trees and occupies more of their land. The trust is not their and factions within Palestine, people who are angry and have been angry for decades, are recruiting more and more young people, to certain death mind you, to be martyrs. The Palestinians do not have the firepower that the IOF has and the meaningless loss of life is disgusting.

Something that will bring change: the Israeli military withdraws to borders set by the UN and honours every Security Resolution imposed upon it (for a 2 state solution). This will ensure that the Palestinians will have nothing to complain about, they’ll have their land, their country back, and their dignity. This road has never been taken, but is the clearest path to peace. And if there’s a problem after that, THEN Israel will have actual justification for defending itself. It has the firepower, the money and the smarts to do it.

For every other pro-Palestinian reading this, keep your emotions in check. There are Israelis that listen to reason and are willing to talk, so give them something to talk about and not Anonymous bullying. They could care less, don’t give them that option.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

toranto man you are well spoken and have shown an understanding of the situtation in israel/palestine


but what you dont get is that israhel will never acomodate palestine with anything but more slow genocide and ethnic cleaning simply because they can afford not to....thanks to unending US welfare and political coverage at the UN by USA


israhel can go on being the big monkey ravaging the ME cause they can afford to


why can they afford to? because AIPAC owns USA with the very welfare moneys sent to support israhel brought back to USA to buy politicians

Nancy Pelosi ran to change a bill requiring george the zionist moron bush from having to ask congress to wage war on iran after being booood at an AIPAC pow wow

AIPAC is under federal inditement for passing US secrets to Israhell which franklin has already been sentenced to 12 year. does pelosi care? no she gets her paycheck from AIPAC and how much is decided by how much welfare is sent to israhel and how much the US supports Israhel in the UN

toanto man you believe in the sincerity of the israheli .... you are naive

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Raz said...

Torontoman,
Everything you say would have sounded great. a year and a half ago.
But we did exactly what you suggested in Gaza. We threw 7000 people out of their houses (and a few more in the West Bank) exactly because we believed this would be a first stage which will give all parties a break from fighting in one front and will allow us to build trust and move forwards. Our current government was originally elected because the key to its agenda was a second disengagement in the West Bank. It is true that there is European presence in the Gaza / Egypt border but no one can say this is justification for a fully fledged war. It would have disappeared with time.
And I think this exactly what is happening - we did EVERYTHING the UN required in Gaza. It makes sense to start in one place and once you see it works move to the next. We started planing the second stage - massive evacuation of settlements from the West Bank. We went exactly according to your plan. We had no presence in Gaza, no walls in Gaza, no nothing.
Look what we got out of Gaza, what pulled us back there (and as I said - the way things are going will bring a huge military operation in Gaza soon).
And look for yourself what you said Israel should do if 'the right thing' fails. I think we are now at the THEN.

BTW, the wall is very close to the green line. Again, not perfect but we are taking about few (i think 3 but i am not sure) percent of the area of the West Bank being 'in dispute' with regard to the wall. Can you honestly believe that this is the problem? You do not get everything you want in one go. You get some, you then give some back and get some more.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kidnapping! Murder! Rape!

Hoorah!

Let's give them a state!

8:18 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Interesting, so by your standards, Columbia, Honduras, and South Africa (countries with the highest rates of kidnapping, murder, and rape respectively in the world) don't "deserve" to be "given" states?

And out of curiosity, who arrogated you dominion over granting statehood anyway?

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

• It's not about deserving to be given a state; Gaza has a state. Colombia, Honduras and South Africa are established countries, and we can't go take their states away from them because they have lawless people in them. And I agree that Palestinians in general should not be blamed for the actions of a few. The question becomes what is the government doing about it. In other states, the gov’t does what they can to prevent crime. Hamas recently took credit for shooting an electric worker near Karni crossing. I do believe that most Palestinians want peace, but the sad thing is that they don't seem to be the vocal active ones. Israel is not always perfect, no, and it is truly awful that people are missing school, and are separated from thier families. However, until both sides can agree that human life is the absolute highest value, beyond anything else, I don't think we're likly to make very much progress.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the premise here is: "The Palestinian Government must take action to improve security and the well-being of the Palestinian people."

Simple enough.

So Israel and the US withold tax revenue. Israel controls all border crossings, regulating interstate commerce. Israel sets up internal checkpoints, regulating intra-state commerce. Further, Israel is building a wall that not only does not follow the "border" but at times surrounds settler outposts that are not contiguous.

In the name of security, the IOF controls movement of people, the Israeli state determines who, based on geographic location, can marry whom. They take actions that overide the actions taken by the PA, rendering it almost completely powerless.

In essence, the Palestinians have almost no control over their day-to-day existence. So now the notion is that once they "do something" then maybe things will get better.

Yes, it is all clear now - blame the inmates for the condition of the prison.

John

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so raz what is it you want to do?

as far as you are conserned you zionist stole palestine fair and square and have even given so back! but the natives are not cooperating nor grateful

so now what raz?htmow

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

John- I guess I'm not sure what you mean by withholding tax revenue. If you're talking about taxes from Israeli citizens, I'm cunfused as to why money from Israeli taxes would have to go directly to another country that they are at war with (and yes, I think Hamas' statment that they will continue resistance in all it's forms, taken together with the shooting of an Israeli exlectric worker at Karni Crossing, and the continuous rocket attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon can only be interpreted as warfare). If you're talking about tax revenue from Palistinians, why is that money being collected by Israel and the US to begin with? Shouldn't the gov't be doing it's own tax collection?
As for the borders, as much as I agree that it is very difficult for Gaza not to have open trade on all it's borders, doesn't Israel have the right to control it's borders with other countries? If Israel doesn't want any open borders with anyone, isn't that their right as a soverign nation? Yes, it's difficult for Gaza to not have an open border with it's neighbor, but the way to achive that goal isn't through continued rockets, it's through the Gov't stepping up and saying that attacking civilian towns is unacceptable.
Think about it this way: As long as those attacks continue without visible protest from the majority of Palistinians, people can point to that and say "Look, whatever Israel is doing is out of security concerns. Yes, sometimes they shoot children, and there are checkpoints all through the West Bank keeping fathers from thier families, and children from thier schools, but it's to protect lives, so it doesn't matter" If, however, the Palistinan people stood up and put their foot down, and were model neighbors, no rockets, no suicide bombers, (or at the least large vocal protests of those actions when they do happen) only peaceful resistance of all the mistreatment, that excuse would go away. Yes, it would be difficult, but it's worked before. You can't control what Israel does, but you can stop offering even the semblance of justification for it. Think of India, they won independance from England, and the whole world was against them.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Emily:

Its actually Palestinian tax revenues (not on Israeli citizens, on Palestinians) that Israel is withholding, illegaly. The taxes are subject to a (highly unjust) economic agreement signed by the then ruling Fateh party and Israel subsequent to Oslo, according to which the monies must be routed via Israel first-but not withheld (the reason for the routing was most likely to allow for the withholding of money as a punitive measure in a scenario like this).

Israel has the right to control ITS borders; not Palestinian borders, which it is currently doing. It also has a responsiblity, according to Geneva and other conventions, to provide for the welfare of the people it occupies, and this includes access and freedom of movement for goods and people.

And I'm confused, since when was the onus on the Occupied people, not the Occupier/Colonizer?

"If the Indians would just act more civilized, we wouldnt' need to colonize them."

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Laila- I’m confused. You’re saying that the Palestinian gov’t collects tax money, gives it to Israel, who is then supposed to give it right back, and they aren’t? Why on earth was an agreement drawn up that involved giving money to one party, who then gives it right back? I’ll have to do more research into that, since I was unaware of the situation.
Also, to the best of my knowledge, Israel is no longer directly involved in the border between Gaza and Egypt. Last I heard, that was being controlled by Egypt and the UN. Is that incorrect?
As for your other comment: No, the whole responsibility for the conflict does not lie on the Palestinians. I wasn’t saying that it did, at all. Israel makes mistakes, and I think all reasonable people would agree with that. The statement I was making wasn’t that Palestine is the whole problem, but that you have the power to move towards peace regardless of what Israel does. Yes, the best situation is both sides working together towards peace, but sitting around waiting for the other side to make the first move won’t get you anywhere. If the goal is peace, the fastest way to get there is to stop handing Israel excuses for war. If Gaza stops firing rockets into Sderot, and returns Gilad Shalit, all the reasons Israel has been giving for its actions go away, and if they continue the whole world will see the unfairness of the situation. As it stands, people are able to rationalize Israel’s actions because Gaza keeps giving them reasons. Is the important thing handing out blame, or is it creating a world where your child doesn’t have to fall asleep each night in spite of sonic booms?
I agree, the whole responsibility doesn’t fall on Palestine, but just because you aren’t required to doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything in your power to work toward peace. No, India should not have had to go to the lengths it did to get independence, but they stepped up and it paid off. The same thing can be said of the civil rights movement in the US. Should they have had to protest to be allowed to use the same water fountains, and to go to the same schools? No, but they did, and rather than using violence they used the incredibly powerful tool of peaceful protest. The brilliance of peaceful resistance is that it has the power to highlight so clearly any brutality that occurs on the other side. Two people beating each other up is a fight, and it’s harder to blame one side or the other. I think that is roughly what is happening in Israel right now, Israel harasses someone at the boarder, so someone from Gaza shoots a rocket at Israel, so Israel goes in and flattens a house, and Gaza goes and blows up a café. However, one person opening up a fire hose at another peacefully trying to eat at a diner shows something else entirely. The most powerful tool you have in the pursuit of peace is to draw a clear contrast between the situation that the Palestinians are being put in and how they are acting. If you act in ever way like a peaceful country but you continue to be treated as if you are at war with Israel, I can practically guarantee you that the tide of world opinion will shift in your favor, and things will change. Not tomorrow, or in a month, or maybe even a couple years, but it will work; It has worked before.
So no, you don’t have to, you don’t need to be the one to fix the problem. You can sit and wait for Israel to change, but after almost 60 years, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Israel sees the cost of backing down as too high, and as long as there are continued attacks from Palestine, I don’t think that opinion will change (right or wrong). But if the attacks stop, then people will start to reconsider. They’ll move out of the protective wall they’ve built around themselves, and start looking at the other side. I know this solution is harder on the Palestinians, and that’s not terribly fair, but I honestly think that it will be the fastest route to peace, and I guess I’m more interested in that than I am in the fairest route to peace. Like I said, human life matters more than anything else, and getting to a peaceful situation saves the most lives on both sides. I think the work of peace needs to be done by everyone to the absolute best of their ability, rather than in exactly fair portions. (And for what it’s worth, I’m talking about what Palestine can do here because I think you have the power to affect what happens in Palestine. When I’m talking to Israelis, I talk about what they can be doing. I agree with you, they can be doing more than they are.) Sorry this was so long, I hope it made sense. If it didn’t, please ask, I’ll be more than happy to clarify, since I think an awful lot of the problems are caused by neither side listening to the other. Thanks!

8:54 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Emily:
I've sAID it a million times beofre, I"ll say it again.

NO, the border is NOT controlled by the Egyptians and the UN, or the Palestinians for that matter. One side, the Palestinians "operate" their side of the border. On the other Egyptians operate theirs. However, the only way the border can function as a whole is for Israel to allow EU monitors to go to their posts from their base in Kerem Shalom (in Israeli territory). If they allw them to go serve (under the auspices of the Access and Movement Agreement, brokered by teh U.S. a couple of months after disengagement), then the border can open. If they are not present, the border will not operate (on either side, and there is a backlog of people). Contrary to populare belief, people cannot simply barrage through teh border even if the monitors are no there (they've tried before, chaos ensues, and Egyptians don't allow them through). According to the AMA, the border was to return to Palestinian control within a year. This never happened.

It is also important to note Israel's "actions" against Gaza were ongoing long before Gilad Shalit was captured. Immediately following the disengagement, they continued control of and tightened border control, including the commercial crossing, resultin gin millions in losses to the agricultural sector, stopped issuing travel permits (to the West Bank and Jerusalem) for basically of Gazans, continued its freeze on family re-unification permits (denying my husband, for example, a right to come visit or live in Gaza) and on and on.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Re taxes (again, the part about Israel collecting it for the PA has to do with maintaining control and bargaining over the monies):

"In 1994 Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiated the Paris Protocols to establish interim economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as part of the Oslo Accords. As part of this agreement Israel was to collect an import tax on goods headed to the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) and Gaza on behalf of the PA. This tax revenue amounts to around $60 million a month, and in 2005 accounted for two-thirds of the PA’s total revenue.4 Since the January elections, Israel has refused to transfer these funds, which is clear breach of the Paris Protocol agreement."

-American Friends Service Committees

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Emliy said...

Laila- About the borders, why is the EU staying in Israeli territory? It seems like the problem you decribe could be fixed (or at least removed from Israeli control) by moving the EU observers to a base in Egypt or Gaza?

Also, why isn't the PA collecting their own taxes now that they have their own official gov't? Why continue to rely on Israel to do that for them, when it's clearly not working?

9:49 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Because there is an agreement that governs this, and the EU follows it. That, and Israel doesn't want them to, it allows them to continue controlling Gaza without actually being inside of it. Occupation by proxy (and remote control), if you will.

Re taxes: they can't, Israel won't let them. These are all things the PA WANTS but can't get-they are after all the backbones of sovereignty. Again, you are forgetting who controls the borders, the trade, etc...remember, good that are headed to Gaza or the West Bank must first pass through Israeli port authorities. So that is when they tax them FOR the PA (incidentally, they are double taxed-by Israel also).

10:33 PM  
Blogger Raz said...

I am sorry to continue this discussion in light of the disaster from today but I think it is very important. I will just say many here in Israel are deeply saddened by what happened and would like to see our government try and help.
Laila, lets assume everything you say is right. I think it is a very wrong way of presenting things but lets assume it is right. You are caught up on symptoms of the problem. The essence is that the democratically elected Palestinian government announced to the whole world that it does not recognize Israel's right to exist and that it supports all forms of resistance (i.e. it supports any form of terror). In addition to the statements we are seeing this in the field - rockets launched all the time and an unbelievable amounts of weapons being brought into the Strip. This is what is important. None of the Pro Palestinian people who write here referred to these key issues. Would it not be Israeli suicide to let Terrorist organizations grow even more? How come the Palestinians did not give anything back after the disengagement except for missiles? Please don't say it is because of the borders or the freedom of movement. Israel made a very big step forwards. there were still things which needed to be done but one huge step was taken. The next step should have been taken by the Palestinian side. Didn't have to be as big, but something. Instead, the Palestinians just used Israel's actions, which were supposed to be good for the Palestinians themselves, and used it to attack Israel even more than they did before. What conclusion should we come to? That we should start by giving Palestinians everything they want (and a lot of it they deserve - but that is besides the point) and hope that after that they will show us some mercy and accept our presence here? How do we know that such a point exists? how do we know they will not attack us even if we split Jerusalem and go back to the 67 boarders? Things progress in stages each side showing the other side it is worthy of its trust. But here the Palestinian side seems reluctant to do anything. The best we could get is an offer from some of the movements to halt attacks for 10 years. Just some. so we cannot retaliate but other movements are still allowed to attack us (as they said they will). We want piece but not at the price of our existence.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that no one has a single problem with the US giving $50 - 86 million (the fianl amount is as of yet undetermined) directly to Fatah to Buy Weapons!! What a great idea! Just so long as Fatah uses the weapons to eliminate or subdue Hamas this is a good thing.

Condi Rice said she wants to be sure the money goes to the "right" side. I suppose she really has no problem with the Palestinians killing each other as it all fits in so nicely with the attitude of: "They are just doing it to themselves."

Let's not complain about weapons in Palestine without considering the source...

No offense to anyone here but I am amazed at how little knowledge people have of the various "agreements" - including Oslo.

InshaAllah we all one day understand each other better!

John

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Raz, "We want piece but not at the price of our existence." Exactly! Israel thinks that if it stops fighting for even a moment, it will be pushed into the sea. This isn't a completly unreasonable thing to think, since leaders in Iran and Syria, and (in point of fact) Hamas, keep saying that flat out. That's the other good reason for Palistine to try peaceful protest as India and the American Civil Rights movment did. It would go a very long way to estabilshing the sort of trust Israel needs to go further towards insuring that all people have the rights they deserve.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raz? why does israhel have a right to exist?

pardon me but palestine was stolen and turned into israhel

why should anyone recognize it? because hitle was mean to the jews? well it wasn't palestinians who have lived on and owned the land for thousands of years...supposedly it weas the germans nazi...take it up with them


god did not give you the stolen land....its stolen

2:08 AM  
Blogger Raz said...

anonymous - this is the one point I truly dont see any point in discussing or negotiating. We will indeed fight with any means we have and for as long as it takes for our right to exist. If we need to stay in war for another 100 years, so be it. Whilst I (and the majority of the Israeli public) are willing to talk to anyone and negotiate just about anything to advance peace, our right to exist is not negotiable.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

31st Land Day Anniversary - "We will continue to claim our land!"

http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1424.shtml

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you zionist just don't change do you raz? so whats there to talk about?


Planning For Ethnic Cleansing In Palestine
By Nizar Sakhnini, Uruknet 3/27/2007
Annie’s Letter - A Compilation
Zionist ethnic cleansing operations of 1948 were planned way before 1948. Ethnic cleansing was part and parcel of the Zionist plans for the creation of the Jewish State they had in mind.
The Haganah, an illegal military organization, was formed in 1920 headed by an elected political leadership and was transferred to the joint authority of the Jewish Agency Executive and the Va’ad Leumi in 1929. The Arab rebellion in 1936-39 was quelled by the British forces in cooperation with the Haganah. Palmach, the Haganah’s strike force, was formed in 1941.
In 1931, a group of the Haganah members seceded from the organization and became knows as the Irgun Tzeva’i le’umi or its acronym, Etzel.
In 1940, a small group led by Abraham (Yair) Stern, seceded from Etzel and began to operate separately under the name "Etzel in Israel" (the Stern group).
In 1939 differences of opinion emerged between Stern and Raziel, then commander of the Irgun, which led to a split in the organization and the establishment of the new organization Irgun Zvai Leumi Beisrael, which later became to be known as the Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Lehi). Yitzhak Shamir was one of the leaders of Lehi.
By the end of WWII, Haganah, Etzel, and Lehi joined together to carry out terrorist actions against the mandate government in Palestine. Moshe Sneh, head of the Haganah national headquarters, laid down the foundations for an alliance with Etzel and Lehi, which grew into the "Hebrew Resistance Movement". (Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion: A Biography. New York: Delacorte Press, 1977, p. 130)
http://www.uruknet.info/?p=31674

resist zionist agression through any means necessary

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Anon 1:21- So why would Israel ever compromise for peace with someone who won't even agree that Israel has a right to exist? Is your goal peace in the area, or the elimination of Israel? I refuse to blame Israel for being unwilling to line up and march into the sea.

(also, laila, I would love to hear what you think about the rest of my post about peaceful resistance. I genuinly think it would work, if you have reason to think otherwise I'd be interested in discussing that, and if you agree that would also be good to know! thanks!)

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palestinians cling to 'right of return'
By Martin Patience
BBC News, al-Amari refugee camp, West Bank


As you wind your way through the tight alleyways of the al-Amari refugee camp it's almost impossible not to rub your jacket against the dirty walls.


The sun barely reaches these parts of the camp, which echo with sound of young children playing.
But it's in alleyways like these across the Middle East that one of the thorniest issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies - the Palestinian refugees and their "right of return".

Arab leaders currently holding a summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, have urged Israel to accept an Arab peace initiative first proposed in 2002.

Under the plan, Arab nations would recognise Israel if it withdraws from all land occupied in the 1967.

The plan demands the establishment of a Palestinian state and also calls for a "just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem", based on people returning to their homes or the payment of appropriate compensation.

1948 refugees

But how many Palestinian refugees would be expected to return to what is now Israel is not clear.

According to the United Nations, 750,000 Palestinians fled from or were forced to leave homes and land that is now located inside Israel in 1948 when the Jewish state was established.



The right of return represents our memory, our heritage, our culture. When we Palestinians insist on the right of return, it's us saying to the Israelis that you cannot strip of us everything
Mahdi Abdul Hadi
Palestinian academic

Including descendants of these people, there are now 4,375,050 Palestinians registered as refugees with the UN.

Khamees Sayyid Ahmed has lived in the al-Amari refugee camp for almost 60 years.

Sitting in his bare-walled home, an electrical heater is positioned at his feet, a single bar glowing red with heat.

The 76-year-old's story is characteristic of many of Palestinian refugees from the period.

Sea of tents

Mr Ahmed says that he grew up on a small holding in a village called Nana, now destroyed, located close to the Israeli town of Ramleh.


I remember my village like I remember that I need to pray. I will never forget my village
Zeinab
Palestinian refugee

The family owned several acres of land where they grazed cows, sheep and goats. They also grew tomatoes.

When he first arrived in al-Amari refugee camp he says that there was just sea of tents.

By the 1970s, the family was living in the four-room house that they currently reside in.

But despite the permanence of the houses - the tents went decades ago - Mr Ahmed insists he would return to his land inside Israel immediately.

"If Israel gives me a tent I would go back to my land tomorrow," he says.

Zeinab, his wife, is from the same village. She says that they would unwilling to accept any form of compensation for the lost land.

"They could fill this house with gold and I still wouldn't accept it," she says.

'Right of return'

For most Palestinians - still without a state - this is an issue that they continue to cling to.

A survey conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research published in 2003 stated that more than 95% of the refugees they interviewed insisted on maintaining the "right of return".

But it is unlikely most of the refugees would exercise the right if given the choice, insists says Mahdi Abdul Hadi, chairman of the Palestinian Academic Society for International Affairs in East Jerusalem.

"The right of return is a huge taboo, no Palestinian will break it," he says. "For us the right of return represents our memory, our heritage, our culture.

"When we Palestinians insist on the right of return, it's us saying to the Israelis that you cannot strip of us everything."

But for most Israelis, Palestinian refugees returning to land which is now inside Israel is a non-starter.

If all the refugees were to return to Israel, there would cease to be a Jewish majority in the Jewish state.

But Mr Ahmed and his wife are unmoved by this.

"I remember my village like I remember that I need to pray," says Zeinab. "I will never forget my village."

As Zeinab speaks, one of her 15 children, Youssef, gently nods in agreement.

For many Palestinians, this is an issue - like the rusty key to their old home that hangs from a hook in the Sayyid Ahmeds' living room - that will passed on from generation to generation unless a solution is reached.

"I feel the same way as my parents," says 35-year-old Youssef. "I want to return to my land."


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/6506101.stm

Published: 2007/03/29 12:17:09 GMT

© BBC MMVII

1:58 PM  
Blogger JohnB said...

I think that emily is on to something as I have been thinking about the same sort of thing. That is that peaceful resistance on a mass scale may be what is needed in Palestine.

It has been too easy for the Israelis to respond to the violent acts: they serve as a justification for their disproportionate responses.

In my view, now is the time when the Palestinian's most need their own "Mother Jones" to step forward and lead them in a new form of rejection of the Israeli occupation.

JohnB

Laila - if I may mention, I started my own blogsite and made this my first topic. It is at: ruminationsinbellevue.blogspot.com. I would be delighted if you had a moment and took some time to view it. Your comments would be appreciated!

John

4:09 AM  
Blogger Raz said...

There is no need for peaceful resistance. The peaceful part will be enough to get the Palestinians a state of their own, control of the boarders and the whole lot. By the way, this was all offered to Yasser Arrafat by Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton in 2000 but he rejected the offer (I dont know why).
All that is only true if what the Palestinians want is a peaceful solution. If their long term goal is what is being presented by the anonymous guy a few comments up (that is, eliminate the Jewish state) then that might not work.

4:54 PM  
Blogger JohnB said...

Why would there be "no need" for peaceful resistance? What possible preference could one have for the current model of resistance? All that is being accomplished is to give additional reasons to the IOF to tighten the stranglehold - unless that is the reason why the current model is preferred.

I would posit that if Israel and Palestine truly lived as two states rather than having Israel having their own and occupying another, then maybe some of the issues would resolve themselves.

When you take away a person's ability to get an education, gain employment, marry, travel freely - you take away their dignity. To lead your own life without the need for a specialized ID card that designates what one is allowed and not allowed to do - well, that is something many of us take for granted but it is the essence of freedom.

The person or goup who takes that away for whatever reason is inhumane. It was wrong of us here in the US to do it to persons of Japanese descent during WWII. It was wrong in South Africa during the Apartheid years and it is wrong of Israel to do so now.

Excuses such as "ensuring the rule of law" or "protecting our citizens' safety" are just that: excuses to put someone down.

There was a time not so long ago here in the US where it was acceptable in many areas to hang a man and/or burn down his home just for being a Negro. What I read here is that it is ok to shoot, imprison, launch a missile or destroy a person's home for being a Muslim or Palestinian.

Wrong is wrong. "Remember that any man who denies justice to someone he hates, prepares the way for a denial of justice to someone he loves."

John

4:07 AM  
Blogger *thinkerbell* said...

hi laila...i read ur blog about alan and i wanted to no wat happened to him i often heard of him as my father was a part of the bbc network an his bravery an reportins was diner table news...may god be with him..pls tell me as i am anxious to no

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Barsawad said...

Congratulations for Being a 'Blog Of Note'! They, at Blogger, had to give you that; they couldn't ignore your site any more.

11:25 AM  
Blogger tere616 said...

Hi Laila, I read about him a couple days ago in one of Indonesian newspaper. I'm eager to know his condition ? Is he all right ? Am wondering why they kidnaped journalist ? Journalist is the most neutral person in the world ...

Will put a link to your blog ...

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In respect to the issue of the right to the return, I, as an Israeli (and in particular one who survived serious injuries in a suicide bombing), am opposed to the right of Palestineans to return to Israel. The demographic, and therefore security, issues are simply too great. However (and I suggest this half seriously and half in jest) if the other Arab countries want to be involved in the peace process, why not arrange a sort of offset of liabilities? The Arab countries that forced out hundreds of thousands of Jewish citizens over the last 60 years or so, and confiscated their homes and their property and their assets can take said assets and homes and property and accumulated earnings, and transfer them as reparations to the individual Palestinean families that fled or were forced out in 1948. No, they will not be able to return, but it will allow them to establish better lives where they are as well as provide a "cleaner" starting point for peace.

As the millions of decendents of Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Yemenite, Egyptian and other Mizrachi Jews who found themselves uprooted from their homes and stripped of their belongs will tell you: sometimes you just cannot go back. The reality has changed. A solution as I propose would not be an ideal one from anyone's point of view (I doubt said Mizrachi Jews would be thrilled) but given that it will be a cold day in hell before the Arab countries would transfer said reparations to the Jews that were expelled, it might be a workable compromise.

Daphna

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Gulliver_on_tour said...

Getting back to the original subject matter i.e. the kidnapping of Alan Johnston, you said -

"Besides, I assure you the kidnappers do listen or watch the BBC in english, which Alan reports to. This has nothing to do with his reporting."

My understanding is that nobody has heard from Alan's kidnappers. How can you be so certain that you give a reader an "assurance" about the kidnappers?

2:47 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Hi Gulliver
That should read "DO NOT" listen to or watch BBC in english. But you are right, I have no literal assurances, I meant that figuratively, I assumed my readers could..well, read into that. My point was simply that this is, as far as public speculation and the best expert guesses go, an internal matter; a purely criminal rather than political act, in which the captors expect some sort of return on their "investment" by way of a post in the government, money, etc. etc.

3:05 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home