Witness for the prosecution
Playwright Joshua Sobol has decided to support the petition of the pilots against flying combat missions in the territories. Cautious of drawing historical analogies, he sees dangerous signs of fascism in the Israeli public's chorus of support of militantism.
Joshua Sobol, in the past you were against refusal in the army. Now you are one of the writers who is supporting refusal. Why? What made you change your attitude?
"I became convinced that the Israeli government is not offering any alternative to the use of force. It took me time to reach that conclusion. Three years is no little time. But at the end of three years I found that the policy of this government is war. This government has no policy other than war."
A suicidal process - is that really the case?
"Yes. By not recognizing our boundaries and not confining ourselves to living within the Green Line we are returning ourselves to the situation that existed before the War of Independence. With our own hands we are tearing down our achievements in the War of Independence. And we are constantly maneuvering ourselves into a suicidal confrontation with a suicidal Muslim world. What do you suppose will result from the clash of two suicidal forces? Yes, mutual suicide. All we have to do is wait for the day on which both sides have the doomsday weapon and that will be that."
Are you seriously talking about utter destruction?
"That possibility exists. I see a scenario in which an insane Jewish underground reaches the mosques on the Temple Mount by means of light planes or sends a squad there to perpetrate a massacre like the one Baruch Goldstein perpetrated [in the mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, in which 29 Muslim worshipers were murdered], only on 10 times the scale. I really have the feeling these days that I am living within the Jerusalem syndrome. I feel that I am living within a horrific historical drama. Horrific. It is absolutely clear to me that if the present course of things is not brought to a halt, both nations are on the road to perdition. That's why I feel the need to do something before we pass the point of no return. That's why I feel the need to stop this drama before it reaches its tragic conclusion."
Palestine/Israel: One state for all its citizens
Peace in Palestine through territorial partition is a doomed fantasy and the time has come to discard it. While it may once have worked on paper, in practice the Israeli state has succeeded, through the relentless colonization of the Occupied Territories and lately its grotesque separation barrier, in its long-standing goal of rendering any workable partition impossible.
While Israel was conceived as a state for Jews, Edward Said explained in 1999, the "effort to separate (Israelis and Palestinians) has occurred simultaneously and paradoxically with the effort to take more and more land, which has in turn meant that Israel has acquired more and more Palestinians." The result is that Israel can in the long run only remain a "Jewish state" through apartheid or, as some Israeli Cabinet ministers demand, ethnic cleansing.
thanks to Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
After three years of carnage, does this secret plan provide a new road to peace in the Middle East?
Israeli opposition politicians, intellectuals and former Palestinian ministers have united to propose a peace plan to put an end to years of bloodshed in the region.
Eyewitness account of the invasion of Rafah
Then the streets started screaming and we were running almost without thinking, down the edges of the street around the people who had lost their fear, around donkey carts loaded full, ran until we fround a corner to turn into and then we ran past families and children, through narrow streets far enough from the main street not to know the worst, far enough that we were the ones spreading the news that the army had come back.
Old men's eyes opened wide and mothers pulled their children inside, casting weary gazes in the direction from where we had come. We found Sea Street and a taxi and headed towards Block J. A machine gun fired from a tank as it entered Yibneh. It was maghreb time. The sun burning a hole in the sky as it fell behind the wall at the edge of town.
When we'd come to Yibneh the camp was already in exodus mode. Donkey carts piled high with furniture, men removing the doors of their homes from the hinges, children holding the keys to their homes on neon green keychains, the modern picture of a refugee descended from refugees, meeting exile every other generation.
thanks to Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
'All Israelis are to blame' for Rafah
"As far as I'm concerned, if they find a tunnel under somebody's house, they can bury them in it, but how is this our fault? I used to say that anyone who listened to suicide bombers was crazy, but after what happened here, I say that every Jew, wherever he is, all the Israelis, are to blame for what happened here," Jamal Yussuf declared yesterday.
Yussuf, an UNRWA worker, lives in the Yabneh refugee camp, one of several that make up the large camp at Rafah on the
Egyptian border. As he spoke, he gestured toward his four-story house, taken over by Israel Defense Forces troops in an operation in the camp from Friday until yesterday. Almost all the walls of Yussuf's home are riddled with shrapnel. Its dusty contents have been thrown to the floor and holes have been drilled in the walls to serve as shooting slits for IDF snipers.
Palestinians are now 'illegal residents'
by Amira Hass
One of the questions raised immediately after it became clear that for the most part, the separation fence would not be built along the length of the Green Line, but in fact somewhere to the east of it, was the fate of the Palestinians living to the west of the fence. As of now, this fate is shared by approximately 12,000 persons living in 15 Palestinian villages and towns, from Salim in the northern West Bank to Mas'ha, to the south of Qalqilyah (near the settlement of Elkana). They are shut in between the separation fence to the east, and the Green Line to the west. As construction of the fence continues, deep into the territory of the West Bank, more Palestinians will find themselves in this situation.
The issues are real; already, the most serious concerns have been proven true. Even before the Palestinians had a chance to come to terms with the loss of their land for the sake of the series of fortifications that is known as the "obstacle," they discovered that their ordinary lives had been completely disrupted - that it was possible to further disrupt their already disrupted reality of internal closures in the West Bank, curfews on cities and villages and military attacks. Farmers cannot make their way to their land; hothouses and orchards have been destroyed; olives are left unpicked; teachers and students fail to get to school because the gate of the separation fence is not opened on time; feed for the livestock does not arrive consistently - and the animals are being sold or slaughtered, or left to die; water pipes for drinking or irrigation have been cut; siblings and parents are not permitted to visit; garbage trucks are unable to complete their routes; cesspits are not being drained on time. All of the above examples have been documented, with a hundred different variations, in all of these trapped communities.
A bureaucratic, official answer to the question was given last week. The regular disruption of ordinary life will henceforth be defined and delineated in a series of new army orders. They will gradually apply to tens of thousands of additional Palestinians that will soon find themselves living or working between the fence and the State of Israel. The latest army orders create a new category of Palestinian resident - "long-term resident" - a category that distinguishes between Palestinians living west of the fence and those living to its east, a new classification that will command the attentions of the swelling Israeli military bureaucracy.
thanks to Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
Shock Therapy and the Israeli Scenario
Total War in the Middle East?
"Israel has been urging America to invade Syria, but America seems to be reluctant. So, in order to force the hands of America, Israel is going to invade Syria," Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told the official Bernama news agency recently. "When that happens, the Americans will have to support Israel due to domestic political reasons that make Jewish votes a major factor in its presidential election."
It's hardly a secret that pro-Zionist financial contributions exact disproportionate influence on American politics and foreign policy. Israel "has become a veritable state of the United States," Mitchell Kaidy wrote in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs back in 1997. "Indeed, with media cooperation and assistance, Israel has ascended to the ranks of an affluent, belligerent yet untouchable super-state." It is precisely this inviolable status that allows Ariel Sharon and the Likudites to do almost anything they please.
"No one in authority will admit a calamitous reality that is skillfully shielded from the American people but clearly recognized by most of the world: America suffered 11 September and its aftermath and may soon be at war with Iraq, mainly because US policy in the Middle East is made in Israel, not in Washington," wrote Paul Findley, a former congressional representative. "Israel is a scofflaw nation and should be treated as such. Instead of helping Sharon intensify Palestinian misery, our president should suspend all aid until Israel ends its occupation of Arab land Israel seized in 1967."