Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Support ethnic cleansing for only $150!

Been extremely busy with my most recent move down South, unpacking and all that entails, amdist a flurry of radio interviews across various public station throughout he country (in one local station, I was barraged with callers who kept referring to me as part of the "so-called" Palestinian people...).

Amidst all that, I continue to call back home with great concern; family and friends have been without electricty for going on a week; they receive a few hours of electricity a day, sometimes not at all, from the government's generators. Some, like my Aunt and my cousin's wife, use that time to recharge their laptops and blog about what's happening here and here (the latter started as a family blog, but has evolved, according to the author, who is my friend and relative, into something of a war journal). The food in the fridges has rotted, and many stores have shut down. Check out my Aunt's blog for a particularly chilling account of the terrorizing sonic boom attacks.

So anyways, amdist this al, I'm getting very little sleep thinking of what's going on back home. so in my restlessness, I'm flipping through the television channels-and realize we have free cable, probably left over form the previosu tenants. I don't usually watch much TV, or at least try not to here, because the substance-or lack thereof-is so deprssing to me. Then lo and behold, I come across a channel, some sort of religous channel, speaking about the historical persecution of Jews; it talks about the bravery of Schindler in rescuing many Jews and the gratitude they showed; then, the man goes on to tell the audience that they too can be as brave as Schindler; that for the trivial sum of $150 they can "save" a "persecuted Jew" in Russia, and all over the world, and bring them to Israle; his heartfealt call is followed by an encouraging statement from Christian Zionist preachers, "God's plan is unfolding in our lifetime, and you can be a part of it! Bring the children of Israle back to the Promised Land!".

Uh huh.

Now, I wonderd, does this grand plan ential the displacement and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? hmm. Maybe they shoudl include that in the small print.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a misleading title and piece.

Ethnic cleansing is the forced displacement of civilians, specifically due to their religion or nationality.

I find the Zionism of fundamentalist Christians weird at best. But bringing another Jew to Israel will hardly result in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. This is not the 1948 war.

If you want to continue being perceived a sane voice, I suggest you focus on your personal experiences as a Gazan. These poisonous forays do you no good.


7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Jew I do not want to ethnically cleanse you or any group! I sincerely pray for a day when both sides can live beside each other in peace and prosperity. I believe there is enough to go around for all of us if we stop wasting our resources. This will not happen through use of bombs and bullets. This will not happen by tying to out do the other with hatred and might. All that has been tried and it is getting us nowhere. We will only get to a peaceful resolution when we can find empathy for the other side rather than hatred and accept our common humanity. I believe our common humanity is larger then our ethnic identities. We will only get to a peaceful resolution when we can find LEADERS who chose and desire a true peace rather then trying to win with might, bombs and bullets. This goes for both sides, I believe.

-Jeff in the USA

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salam Laila,

Uh, my heart is with them back home. I know exactly what you mean about the TV here and the adds to suck more money in order to TRY to catch up to our numbers and fill the "promised" land so we can't have it or return as the case may be. We know what they believe and we also know what we believe, before the end of time we will get our land back. I fail to understand if it was theirs why in the first place did they leave it? Also, shouldn't God's choosen pleople want to live in their land in peace, oh wait I am confusing Jews with zionists.

Best of luck with everything and I heard that there is a deadline that the palestinians gave did you hear about that?

As for the so called palestinians, we will prevail 'til the end of time, they are the so called ignorants

Your reader,
Um Younis, from Gaza living in USA

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....it's interesting to learn about children of Israel. Does it mean that eventhough I was born in Ukraine but am also part of the same kindergarden? It all depends whom you listen to and of course your own stand with this issue.

Last February I had a chance to find out that being Jewish entitles one to have some extra privilegies when it comes to entering Israel even on an expired visa. Thanks to my nice Jewish name.

An American-Jewish friend of mine said that they just gave you a break. I wonder if an Arab fellow received the same break.

To finish the story I should add that such a bright idea I recieved from a friend of mine who lives in one of Gaza's refugee camps. As soon as I told him my worries about not having a visa he said ''Don't you know that you are Jewish so you will get in ''

...and so I did just after a short soft interrogation which included a trivial question about being Jewish (so much loved by anti-semites) and a friendly advice to accompany my next visit with better paperwork.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an issue countries are wrestling with all over the world: is immigration invasion?

What are the political implications of people arriving in a country who have a different language, different culture, different religion from the natives?

Israel and its Arab neighbours shows this most sharply, with large scale migration to the area from the 1900s onwards, but the process is being replicated in Europe and America with large influxes from quite different cultures.

At least the Jews and Arabs share common roots.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All that Christian Zionism is a load of bollocks, excuse my English. However, can we agree that if immigrants settle within the 67 borders then there's no ethnic cleansing going on? And if not why not?

BTW Laila, how long u staying in the US?

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila .. that is all SO SICKENING me and right now, to be honest, I am hell of worried what is to come still! I'm afraid it will first get worse before it'll be better!
I follow the developments very closely and all I can tell to everyone is HANG ON GUYS!!
These Christian Zionist preachers are nothing but a nightmare doing their best to even increase hatred ... they should be forbidden to spread their TOTALLY twisted version of reality!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only say that there is no link to your cousin's wife blog.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think that if the Palestinian thugs released the IDF soldier the seige would end?
Do you think that if the Palestinian thugs stopped lobbing rockets into Israeli towns that Israel would back off?
I do...
It seems to me that Palestinians like to march in the streets. Possibly your Aunt and others you know could march for the release of this young man so that the Palestinian people could start building a life.

12:37 AM  
Blogger ياسمين حميد said...

"Do you think that if the Palestinian thugs released the IDF soldier the seige would end?Do you think that if the Palestinian thugs stopped lobbing rockets into Israeli towns that Israel would back off?"

I do not...
And even if they do, the tiniest incident would be reason enough for israel to strike again

AND, anon, did YOU march for the release of the 9000 palestinian captives in israel?

4:08 AM  
Blogger Isaac Demme said...

I've seen that same commercial on TV more than once (and not just on TBN by the way).
It sickens me as well to see the Bible used in such an overtly political way, especially if such immigrants end up in West Bank settlements.

7:04 AM  
Blogger tafka PP said...


I am no fan of bible-bashing TV networks, and further fully appreciate that you are furious that people with what you perceive as no connection to your homeland (in this case, Russian Jews) are effectively sponsored to move there, while you find yourself humiliated, ruled over and robbed of basic rights and priviledges.

But none of the horrors that the Palestinians are going through change the fact that Jews from the Former Soviet Union were, and still are persecuted for simply being Jewish. So why the quotation marks?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big brother, little brother

This reminds me of how me and my big brother used to fight. If he had something I wanted, I would try and get it from him. He would stop me. At some point I would start hitting him and he would tell me to stop before I regretted it. But I kept hitting him and bugging him so he held me at arm's length so I couldn't reach him. Finally I started throwing things at him and he warned me again, and then once more again. But I carried on since I wanted what I wanted so badly.

What should my big brother do in this situation? He has something I want, but he doesn't think I should have it. Mum and Dad are out so there's no adjudicator to turn to.

So he hit me hard, and I ran and reeled from the pain. I learned my lesson. When it happened I squealed and cried, but I did stop bugging him. Until the next time.

Of course he could have given me what I wanted, but we both knew I would have just started wanting something more.

Who was in the right here, who's in the wrong? I don't know. But what happened was inevitable, and is exactly the same as what's happening in Gaza now.


10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Laila,

Israel is not concerned with ethnic cleansing or displacement. the palestinians were displaced by JORDAN (which is actually the eastern 3/4ths of "palestine") and pushed back into Israel. Israel granted them full citizenship, but their response was Intifada. Isarel is now GIVING back land that was not given to them in 1948 (however Was won through DEFENSIVE wars with Every Single Arab Nation that surrounds Israel), but the response to this cannot be stealing a soldier and more rockets... i'm sure if israel wanted to just drop some bombs in gaza they could easily ethnic cleanse, but this is not their goal - their goal is to continue to give back land until they reach the pre-1967 borders, retreive the kidnapped soldier, and live peacefully with its neighbors.

my prayers are with you and your family.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honestly have nothing constructive to say at this hour, othat than the fact that it is wicked cool that one of the posters in this comments section used one of the names of the Beastie Boys as an alias.
- David

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UN envoy attacks Israel over Gaza
An emergency meeting of the UN's new human rights body on the Gaza crisis has heard condemnation of Israeli policy and its effects on civilians.
Israel was violating in Gaza the "most fundamental norms of humanitarian law and human rights law", UN envoy John Dugard told the special session.

But Israel, which threatens to broaden military action, said the Human Rights Council was ignoring its concerns.

The meeting was called by Muslim states with support from Russia and others.

UN aid agencies warn of a humanitarian crisis in the territory as Israel confronts the Hamas-led government.

Food and medicines are running low, and there have been power and water shortages since the Israelis began military action last Tuesday.

Bridges have been bombed along with the Strip's only power station.

Aid workers had cautiously welcomed the debate in Geneva but feared it might become bogged down in a political slanging match, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports.

'Bombarded and terrorised'

Mr Dugard, the keynote UN speaker, told the session that Israel's conduct was "morally indefensible".

"Over 1,500 rounds of artillery have been showered on Gaza," he said.

"Sonic booms terrorise the people. Transport has been seriously disrupted by the destruction of roads and bridges. Sanitation is threatened."

While expressing sympathy for the Israeli soldier whose capture sparked Israel's offensive last week, he said that Israel's military action was a "disproportionate use of force against civilians".

Mr Dugard, a UN special rapporteur on human rights in Gaza, also accused the so-called Quartet of Mid-East mediators - the US, EU, UN and Russia - of failing to rein in Israel.

'Absurd' meeting

Itzhak Levanon, Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said the session was a "planned and premeditated" attack on his country.

The Human Rights Council... ignores the rights of one side and holds a special meeting to defend the rights of the other side
Itzhak Levanon
Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva

And he suggested the newly created Council was continuing the alleged anti-Israeli bias of its discredited predecessor, the Human Rights Commission.

"We find ourselves in an absurd situation in which the Human Rights Council, convened into urgent session, ignores the rights of one side and holds a special meeting to defend the rights of the other side," he said.

The United States has also suggested that the Council is returning to what they see as the bad old ways of the discredited Human Rights Commission.

That body often focused on Israel's alleged human rights abuses, while ignoring serious violations in other parts of the world, our correspondent notes.

The special session may run into Thursday, diplomats say.

Inevitable debate

Given the situation in Gaza, there was never much chance that the subject would be ignored by the UN's top human rights body, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says.

The request submitted by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference - a group of 57 largely Muslim states - argued there was a "serious and escalating situation" in Gaza.

The resolution being debated calls on "Israel, the occupying power, [to] end its military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory... and refrain from imposing collective punishment on Palestinian civilians".

Meanwhile, Israel's security cabinet instructed the army to begin a long battle focusing on "institutions and infrastructure facilitating terrorism" in response to a Palestinian rocket attack on the Israeli city of Ashkelon.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/07/05 17:26:55 GMT


3:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here it is:
On Wings of Eagles

helping Jews make the journey home to Israel


you are aware that immigrants to zion get placed in illegal settlement colonies right?

laila you are right

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this over one soldier? Bullshit! THe Israelis have been trying to topple the Hamas government since day one.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did Hamas kidnapp the soldier?
Who is controlling Hamas? (He who has the money has the control).
Did Hamas and Gaza-people expect to get away with it at no cost?
What is the real the price for kidnapping?
What would it take for Gaza to be ruled by LAW?

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:07 -- yes, all this over one soldier. If they wanted to topple Hamas they could have done this in January.

Today a Kassam rocket was launched at Sderot, exploding near the marketplace and wounding 7. This is more than the number of Palestinian civilians wounded in 2 weeks.

Isn't it strange that Laila has not condemned this, or any other attack on Israeli civilians?

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing that drives me crazy about this conflict is that both sides do not seem to use their heads but would rather just fight. The only conclusion I can come up with it that people do not really want peace! ?

Does Hamas really think the can win and armed struggle against the the Israeli military machine? For every rocket they fire at Israel and every bomber they send over to Israel, Israel retaliates with these incursions and MANY more Palestinians die and suffer. Hamas is kidding themselves and the Palestinian people are paying a dear price for their delusions. Neither side is going to vanish so peace and accepting the other side and working out a COMPROMISE is the ONLY answer. We can fight and kill for the next 100 years or we can accept this now and get on with life the way it was meant to be ( in peace )!


2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gee with the assault going on in gaza hymie i was kinda hoping you would all just drop dead

2:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minister says Israel will swap Palestinian prisoners for soldier

Conal Urquhart in Gaza City
Friday July 7, 2006
The Guardian

An Israeli minister said Israel was prepared to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the freedom of an Israeli soldier held captive for almost two weeks.
It was the first public admission that Israel was willing to contemplate a prisoner exchange to free Corporal Gilad Shalit, who was captured during a raid on Israeli positions near Gaza on June 25.

Avi Dichter, the minister of public security, told a conference today: "The release of the soldier Gilad Shalit is a must ... Israel will need to, after some time, release prisoners as a reciprocal gesture. Israel knows how to do this. Israel has done this more than once in the past."

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, told reporters Israel had agreed to withdraw from Gaza and free some prisoners in return for Cpl Shalit's freedom.

The minister said that the release of Palestinian prisoners would be conditional on the cessation of Palestinian attacks on Israel. Mr Dichter's comments suggest an acceptance of the proposals of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to resolve the crisis.

Israel has killed about 40 Palestinians in Gaza to secure the release of Cpl Shalit and halt the firing of rockets at Israel. But despite the attacks, the main efforts in freeing the soldier have been made by foreign diplomats outside Israel and Gaza.

Earlier this week Mr Mubarak travelled to Saudi Arabia to request the help of King Abdullah to ask Syria to bring pressure to bear on Khaled Meshal, a Hamas leader in Damascus. Palestinian diplomats say the captors of Cpl Shalit have become more reasonable and accepted a prisoner exchange will not be simultaneous.

Violence continued in northern Gaza as Israeli tanks took up new positions in Beit Lahiya. Palestinians fired rockets at Israel and the army fired hundreds of shells at northern Gaza. Four Palestinians were killed in airstrikes today after a day of fighting which saw the death of 24 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.

2:30 AM  
Blogger tassoula said...

good morning (as good as i hope that it will be from now on) from greece.i just heard news from gaza and i still wonder why one nation keeps another without a country.why one nation gives to another the reason to start a war and the same nation try to say to the rest of the univers that it is not started this war.this war that both nations (not gonverment) SHOULD DO SOMETHING)!!!!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Jewish leaders urged the Arabs to remain in Palestine and become citizens of Israel. The Assembly of Palestine Jewry issued this appeal on October 2, 1947:

"We will do everything in our power to maintain peace, and establish a cooperation gainful to both [Jews and Arabs]. It is now, here and now, from Jerusalem itself, that a call must go out to the Arab nations to join forces with Jewry and the destined Jewish State and work shoulder to shoulder for our common good, for the peace and progress of sovereign equals."

On November 30, the day after the UN partition vote, the Jewish Agency announced: “The main theme behind the spontaneous celebrations we are witnessing today is our community's desire to seek peace and its determination to achieve fruitful cooperation with the Arabs....“

Israel's Proclamation of Independence, issued May 14, 1948, also invited the Palestinians to remain in their homes and become equal citizens in the new state:

"In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions....We extend our hand in peace and neighborliness to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all."

8:56 AM  
Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Laila, I thought you were living in Ghaza. What happend? And should you still list your location as "Gaza city"?

Not being fascious, just wondering!

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many Palestinians stayed during the Nakba, despite being terrorized and hounded to leave, so now they did the "right thing"! Maybe many were just in the right place at the wrong time, which is often the case when a group is attacked to be ousted. Remember, who is it who sells arms to Israel? The U.S.A. These are not armaments available to the Palestinians, so they abduct a single soldier to make a desperate case! But Olmert says that a Jewish life is worth more than any Palestinian life. Where have we heard this before?
Also, some Christianfascists are hoping to bring about Armaggedon in the Middle East, so that their Savior will return and this assault on Gaza must make them quite glad. You notice how silent Bush is? I am appalled by what is going on and beg the Israelis to stop their terrorizing of a civilian population. I don't care where Laila is now and am glad she and Yousef are "safe" in North Carolina. (I lived there once, too, and it is not always a safe place for minorities.) In case anyone wants to accuse me of being anti-Semitic, go right ahead. I grew up in a household where my father mourned the Jewish friends and culture that was being destroyed in Poland during the war. He never got over the loss. I went to study Polish-Jewish relations at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow before Schindler's List was published in the U.S. (1986). I made pilgrimages to Auschwitz and Majdanek. My book of poetry, This Is Not a Place to Sing is about that journey. Believe me, I know genocide when I see it and I am seeing it going on against the Palestinians. The world MUST deal with this reality before anything will change for Israelis or Palestinians. For Peace and Justice!!!!!

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Much as it spoils your theory, most Palestinians left Before there were any battles in their area. They simply fled out of fear, which is a normal thing to do. Then their Arab "brothers" blamed them for runnig away and they tried to reduce their "shame" in the eyes of those "brothers" by saying they were driven out.

The truth is that only in a few cases (noticeably the case of Lod and Ramla) were the Palestinians ordered out by the Israelis. Check in any Good historical sources and see for yourself (I recommend any and all books by Benny Morris).

Several months ago Laila posted
something about an old refugee woman in Lebanon, dreaming about the village of Jish, which she left as a 7 year old girl.
Well, Jish is still there, it is fully populated, and not by jews but by Arabs- both Moslems and christians. It is a pretty' peaceful and prosperous village, known in the area for its excellent restaurants!
I really do do not think that the Arab family that maybe lives now in this woman's house would want to give it back to her. Do you?

Sad as it was for the refugees, it was their side that started the war, and threatened to exterminate the jews. Wars create refugees, but these refugees are not normally still "refugees" 60 years on!
What happened to the Palestinian refugees after they arrived in areas controlled by their arab "brothers" -penned in refugee camps for dozens of years- is certainly not Israel's fault.

As for your "I know genocide when I see it"- well, obviously you do not. Genocides tend to result in fewer people in the side complaing of it, not more. There are now a lot more Palestinians then in 1948, or 1967. Ergo- there cannot have been any genocide.

My parents were sole survivors of large families exterminated by the Nazis. Please do not sully the memory of the Holocaust for your cheap propoganda purposes.
The Palestinians have a real problem that needs to be solved. Their cause is not helped by spurious comparisons.

Thank you.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude don - welcome to 2006. if you're going to write something online Please make it coherent/understandable.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad truth about Gaza, is that if Hamas leaders simply would've focused all their efforts, money, sweat on building up part of the new nation which Israel willingly walked away from, then they would be on the way to prosperity and more peace.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the Nazis did was unspeakable
and it was done with the help - or lack of it - of western powers. I am very sorry for your dead or anyone's dead in that horror, not only Jews, but Gypsies, homosexuals, leftists of all stripes, etc. But those homes that once belonged to Jews in Poland, for example, were "given" to local people, and there was little if any compensation to the legitimate owners. To my mind that is a similar situation with whole villages, as well as individual homes where Jews now live, in Palestine. I don't see how you can not see the horrible similarities between what happened at the hands of the Nazis and what is happening at the hands of the Israeli government. Here in the U.S., the Cherokee were hounded from their ancestral homes and force marched to Oklahoma. Many would call what happened to them genocide. Their revenge has been to multiply and thrive in that place they were force marched to; many died along the way. Palestinians have "thrived" under horrible conditions in permanent refugee camps for 50 years or more. This is simply not right. I do not have any propaganda purposes but feel that many who suffered tremendous losses during the Nazi Holocaust do have blinders on when looking at what has been happening in Palestine. And now this horrible escalation!!!! Where will it end? do you think, orly, where will it end.

11:40 PM  
Blogger BHCh said...


You may find out that most countries give advantages to immigrants of the same ethnicity. Obviously this does not apply to the US, but it does apply to Germany or Britain.

Of cause most Arab countries apply extremely rigit requirements whereas even Arabs from other countries are not given citizenship.

Russia still has plenty of anti-semitism and it keeps resurfacing in lots of other places. Again, Arab countries lead the world.

5:24 AM  

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