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Closed Zone, a short animated video about Gaza March 6, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel.
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This video is excellent

From ClosedZone.com:

Despite declarations that it has “disengaged” from the Gaza Strip, Israel maintains control of the Strip’s overland border crossings, territorial waters, and air space. This includes substantial, albeit indirect, control of the Rafah Crossing.

Check out the website, and the interview with Yoni Goodman, the director of this academy award-nominated film.

It’s good to see human rights organizations taking a different approach to spreading word about the injustice being carried out against Palestine.

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Israeli TV airs telephone call January 20, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel, Uncategorized.
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This is heart-wrenching.

The UK’s telegraph newspaper has the full story.

A powerful poem January 18, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel.
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Saw this poem online somewhere, which I think describes the plight of the Palestinians quite well:

Look into my eyes
And tell me what you see.
You don’t see a damn thing,
’cause you can’t possibly relate to me.

You’re blinded by our differences.
My life makes no sense to you.
I’m the persecuted Palestinian.
You’re the American red, white and blue.

Each day you wake in tranquility,
No fears to cross your eyes.
Each day I wake in gratitude,
Thanking God He let me rise.

You worry about your education
And the bills you have to pay.
I worry about my vulnerable life
And if I’ll survive another day.

Your biggest fear is getting ticketed
As you cruise your Cadillac.
My fear is that the tank that just left
Will turn around and come back.

American, do you realize,
That the taxes that you pay
Feed the forces that traumatize
My every living day?

The bulldozers and the tanks,
The gases and the guns,
The bombs that fall outside my door,
All due to American funds.

Yet do you know the truth
Of where your money goes?
Do you let your media deceive your mind?
Is this a truth that no one knows?

You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of Zionists.
I’m terrorized in my own land
And I’m the terrorist?

You think you know all about terrorism
But you don’t know it the way I do,
So let me define the term for you,
And teach you what you thought you knew.

I’ve known terrorism for quite some time,
Fifty-five years and more.
It’s the fruitless garden uprooted in my yard.
It’s the bulldozer in front of my door.

Terrorism breathes the air I breathe.
It’s the checkpoint on my way to school.
It’s the curfew that jails me in my own home,
And the penalties of breaking that curfew rule.

Terrorism is the robbery of my land,
And the torture of my mother,
The imprisonment of my innocent father,
The bullet in my baby brother.

So American, don’t tell me you know about
The things I feel and see.
I’m terrorized in my own land
And the blame is put on me.

But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is our land and there we’ll remain
Until the day our homeland is secure.

And if that time shall never come,
Then we will never see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will my fight for justice cease.

And if I am killed, it will be in Falasteen.
It’s written on my every breath.
So in your own patriotic words,
Give me liberty or give me death.

The terrorism that America knows of is nothing compared to the acts of terrorism that Israel carries out against Palestine every day.

The Gaza Diary January 11, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel.
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Interesting reading.  A small excerpt is below:

My younger brothers spend their free time out with their friends, or playing basketball and soccer at youth clubs. They are passionate about sports, play station, and music. They play the guitar and are exceptional students. My brother who’s in collage is obsessed with computers and gadgets, he’s an engineering student who comes up with the most ingenious projects for his classes. He listens to music and plays the guitar and prays regularly. He’s an honor student who has big goals and big dreams.

So please understand why I am infuriated when I see how we are portrayed on television. Hordes of bearded, teeth-gnashing, stone throwing blood thirsty savages in rags and tatters. And please don’t blame me for feeling utter rage against the state of Israel, that has been intentionally targeting the unwary, guiltless, promising children and youth of the Gaza Strip in its vicious attacks over the past 5 days. Already, between 40 and 50 children are dead while hundreds lie in the hospitals, seriously injured or disabled for life.

The people of Gaza have been suffering for decades under systematic and tyrannical oppression by Israel, the latest of its measures has been the siege and closures imposed on the strip that have completely devastated the livelihoods of Gaza residents and caused the economy to fall into an unprecedented and crippling depression. The people of Gaza have long been denied the means that have been afforded to the residents of countries with the same, possibly less, resources. And yet the amount of resourcefulness and zeal we demonstrate is a testimony to the potential of progress and advancement that lies within us.

To the rest of the world, Israel represents the democratic, civilized, patriotic, western, state whose representatives are well groomed, clad in smart suits and silk ties and talking all sorts of political correctness, stringed with terms such as self defense, civilian population, Palestinian terrorists and middle east peace.

And so after Israel launched its military offensive against Gaza 5 days ago, claiming that offensive was a retaliation against Hamas’ firing rockets into Israel following the cessation of the period of calm, to many, the Israeli attacks were justified. Never mind that Israel failed to at least ease the siege that has been slowly killing us over the past year (to be more precise over the last 3 years.) Never mind that Israel continued its incursions into the strip and its murder of innocent civilians throughout the truce. Never mind that compared to Isaeli gunships, war planes, tanks and other weaponry, Hamas rockets seem like toys. Never mind that our children are robbed of anything that resembles a normal life and future.

And yet we are continuously accused of being on equal terms with one of the strongest military forces in the world.

So while being cooped up in the house, watching local news stations when we have electricity, still in a state of disbelief, I wonder if the rest of the world would be so harsh in its judgments if they had the opportunity to understand. I wonder if people would as easily accept the unsubstantiated claims that the engineering faculty building of the Islamic university, which has been flattened during the attacks, was a workshop that produced qassams, if they had seen my brothers reaction. When he came back from a walk to the university building the next day, his face was white as a sheet and he had tears in his eyes. “Its all gone he said, even the project (electric car) we’ve been working on all semester.” We’d seen pictures, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Did he seriously have any hope that the car had survived.

Read the full thing at “Syria Comment”. I’m looking forward to more.

[Via Lebanese Chess]

Obama promises new tack on Iran January 11, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Iran, Israel, News Commentry, USA.
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According to the BBC, Obama is promising a new tack on Iran once he begins his presidency on January 20th 2009:

President-elect Barack Obama says the US will take a new approach to dealings with Iran under his leadership.

Mr Obama said in a US TV interview screened on Sunday that “Iran is going to be one of our biggest challenges”.

He said he was concerned about Iran’s support for Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah and Tehran’s nuclear enrichment programme.

The incoming president told ABC’s This Week presenter George Stephanopoulos he would break away from President George W Bush’s policy on Iran and seek a much broader approach with the Islamic state.

“We are going to have to take a new approach. And I’ve outlined my belief that engagement is the place to start,” Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama, who won the US presidential election in November, takes office on 20 January.

In the interview, he promised “a new emphasis on respect and a new emphasis on being willing to talk, but also a clarity about what our bottom lines are.”

He added he believed his administration would “move swiftly” in its new approach with Tehran.

Mr Obama had earlier said there should be no pre-conditions in discussions with the Iranian leadership.

“Iran is going to be one of our biggest challenges and as I said during the campaign we have a situation in which not only is Iran exporting terrorism through Hamas, through Hezbollah but they are pursuing a nuclear weapon that could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race,” Mr Obama said.

I’m amazed and disappointed that president-elect Obama feels compelled to speak about Iran and say they are exporting terrorism, while failing to say anything about Israel’s terrorist actions against the Palestinians, and their on-going violence against Gaza.

However, he does say:

“What I am doing right now is putting together the team so that on 20 January, starting on day one, we have the best possible people who are going to be immediately engaged in the Middle East peace process as a whole,” Mr Obama said.

Let’s hope this team has some people who have the common sense to speak out against injustice and inhumanity, and hold Israel accountable for its war crimes against Palestine.

Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask January 9, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel, News Commentry.
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Excellent article by Robert Fisk from the UK’s Independent newspaper.

So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised?

Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead – almost all civilians, most of them children and women – in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians?

It outlines some of the atrocities Israel has committed against Palestine, and the lies they tell to cover them up.

Read the full article: Why do they hate the west so much, we will ask.

Israel brings Gaza airstrikes to the Web January 6, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel, News Commentry.
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As reported by CNET:

The Israel Defense Forces this week extended its airstrikes on Gaza to the Web, posting video footage of its air assault against Hamas militants on YouTube and using Twitter to spread its message.

According to various news reports, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) created its own YouTube channel carrying videos that include black-and-white aerial footage of attacks on Hamas weapon sites, and clips of Hamas terrorists loading rockets into trucks.

An IDF spokesperson said it is using the platform to “help us bring our message to the world,” by offering “exclusive footage showing the IDF’s operation success” in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces YouTube channel has 34 videos so far, and with over 13,000 subscribers and 970,000 channel views, seems to be a popular channel.

However, it’s important to note that what Israel says they are doing is not always the case, as highlighted in the BBC news article, Propaganda war: trusting what we see?

Israel released video of an air attack on 28 December, which appeared to show rockets being loaded onto a lorry. The truck and those close to it were then destroyed by a missile.

This was clear evidence, the Israelis said, of how accurate their strikes were and how well justified. A special unit it has set up to coordinate its informational plan put the video onto YouTube as part of its effort to use modern means of communications to get Israel’s case across.

The YouTube video has a large caption on it saying “Grad missiles being loaded onto the Hamas vehicle.” As of Saturday morning UK time, more than 260,000 people had watched it.

It turned out, however, that a 55-year-old Gaza resident named Ahmed Sanur, or Samur, claimed that the truck was his and that he and members of his family and his workers were moving oxygen cylinders from his workshop.

This workshop had been damaged when a building next door was bombed by the Israelis and he was afraid of looters, he said.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem put Mr Sanur’s account on its website, together with a photograph of burned out oxygen cylinders.

Mr Sanur said that eight people, one of them his son, had been killed. He subsequently told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “These were not Hamas, they were our children… They were not Grad missiles.”.

It seems like Israel is also using Twitter to justify it’s attack against Gaza, with the Israel Consulate in New York recently signing up and holding a Twitter conference.

With Israel banning international media from Gaza, despite the supreme court ordering the government to allow foreign reporters in, it’s hard to get the real truth, and there’s little incentive for Israel to tell us what’s really going on.

Fortunately, Al-Jazeera were in Gaza already and have been reporting from the inside.  Track updates on the AJGaza Twitter account, and the AlJazeeraEnglish channel on YouTube (which has footage you won’t see on US television, as US companies refuse to carry AlJazeera, depriving Americans the right to see what’s really going on).

Hopefully we’ll see an end to these attacks soon.  Various organizations have online petitions (such as CAIR), and are holding protests around the US, and around the world, calling for Israel to stop it’s bombardment of Gaza and embrace a ceasefire.

The time to speak up for justice and humanity is now.

Nowhere to run for those trapped in Gaza December 30, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel.
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A depressing video about the situation in Gaza, and what it’s like for those who live there while Israel continue their bombing campaign.

Why Palestinians have a right to be angry December 29, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel.
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Read a great comment on a blog post, and thought I’d share it here:

They have seen their land stolen. They have seen their homes demolished. They have seen their industry destroyed. They have been subject to arbitrary arrest and torture. They have seen relatives killed with impunity. They have been branded Terrorists for protesting. If they do not resist it is said that things are finer because they have acquiesced. If they try to fight back, although they lack the means to be really effective, they are called criminals and apologists for their tormentors say, “see, there’s wrong on both sides. Both act violently.” And since the most powerful nation on earth is controlled by their tormentors, they have no effective way to address their plight politically. They never did. They are lied about constantly, attacked regularly, and their resources are controlled by their enemies, and stolen. They lack drinking water while those who stole their land fill swimming pools with their water. They have watched their centuries old olive trees bulldozed by their tormentors. And aren’t those trees a symbol of the peace they have never been honestly offered? Can there be any justice in a nation that acts as their persecutor does? The most oppressed people on earth are prevented by the United States from even asking for justice. They can’t be heard. One great Israeli leader even claimed that they don’t exist. But they keep bleeding and dying. And America remains in the clutches of AIPAC.

This sums up the plight of the Palestinian people very well, and I pray that the violence in Gaza comes to a peaceful end soon

Israel to destroy attacker’s home July 4, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel, News Commentry.
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The BBC reports:

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the army to prepare to demolish the home of the Palestinian who killed three Israelis in Jerusalem.

The order follows advice by Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz that the proposed demolition could create legal difficulties, but would not be illegal.

This looks like it is going to be yet another case of Israel breaking international human rights law while the world stands by and does nothing.

Israel are probably going to get away this by labelling this incident a terrorist attack, though as security expert Bruce Schneier points out, there’s so much stupidity in the name of terrrorism nowadays:

Is everything illegal and damaging now terrorism?

Israeli authorities are investigating why a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem rammed his bulldozer into several cars and buses Wednesday, killing three people before Israeli police shot him dead.

Israeli authorities are labeling it a terrorist attack, although they say there is no clear motive and the man — a construction worker — acted alone. It is not known if he had links to any terrorist organization.

It seems like any government can do anything to anyone in the name of terrorism nowadays, from bulldozing their homes down, locking them up without evidence or trial, stopping them from travelling on an airplane, etc.