nettime's_slouch on Fri, 5 Apr 2002 06:28:28 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> o jerusalem digest [kapoor (WLUML statement), jakoby (said)]

Harsh Kapoor <>
     WLUML statement on the current situation in Palestine/Israel
"roya.jakoby" <>
     Edward Said on Palestine...

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Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 23:40:42 +0100
From: Harsh Kapoor <>
Subject: WLUML statement on the current situation in Palestine/Israel

4 April 2002

The international solidarity network Women Living Under Muslim Laws 
(WLUML) is well placed to identify extreme Right political projects 
hidden under religious/ethnic agendas and their devastating effects 
on progressive forces at large and on women in particular.

The present escalation in Palestine/Israel is not due to a conflict 
between religious and ethnic communities. Clearly, it is the result 
of the coming to power in Israel of extreme Right forces mercilessly 
bent on implementing a colonial project.

Unfortunately, its brutality sparked off the hijacking of the 
legitimate protest and struggle of the Palestinians by extreme right 
fundamentalist forces within them. We know from experience that the 
rise of such forces will inevitably work against the interests of 
people, especially minorities and women in Palestine.

We here pay tribute to the progressive people in Israel who have for 
decades now struggled against the colonial project of their 
successive governments and today continue to do so under such violent 
and dangerous circumstances. We pay tribute to Israeli women and men 
who have refused to participate as soldiers in the war against the 
Palestinian people. We pay tribute to those who demonstrate daily 
against occupation of Palestinian land, be it by creating new 
settlements, by evictions, by destruction of properties or by 
military occupation. We pay tribute to those who physically joined, 
as human shields, the Palestinian villages attacked by the Israeli 
army, the Palestinian plantations of orange trees and olive trees 
that were pinpointed for destruction by the Israeli army.

We especially pay tribute to the Women in Black anti war movement and 
to all the women organizations that have consciously and stubbornly 
attempted and succeeded in bridging the divide between Jews and 
Arabs. We fully support their struggle and share their analysis of 
the fascist nature of the present government of Israel.

We also pay tribute to all those from Arab countries who have 
struggled for a just peace in the region without falling into the 
arms of fascist fundamentalists, without adopting hatred and racism 
as rallying elements of their struggle. We pay tribute to all those 
who fight fundamentalist fascism from within their own contexts. We 
pay tribute to all those who have recently met with their fellows in 
peace making within Israel, confronting the accusation of betrayal 
for doing so and bearing with the following threats they suffer.

We pay tribute to all those Palestinians women and men who, under 
such a deluge of fire from the Israeli government and army, maintain 
their human and political links with Israeli progressive and anti war 
forces in the hope of building a durable and just political 

We pay tribute to all those who, in Europe and especially in France 
these days, confront the rise of anti-Semitic racism - i.e. racism 
against "Jews" as well as racism against "Arabs" or "Muslims"- and 
the terrorist acts of destruction that are now taking place against 
synagogues or shops owned by French Jews. We pay tribute to the 
Muslim religious authorities and ordinary immigrants from North 
Africa who have arrived at the scene of these barbarities to show 
their solidarity and speak up against racism.

We call on international media to - at last - give visibility to 
progressive forces within Israel and within Palestine who offer the 
only viable alternative to the war in the region.

In order to immediately stop the bloodshed, we call upon the UN 
Security Council to take extraordinary but necessary measures, 
including steps to enforce an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal from 
Palestinian cities and send UN peacekeeping troops to 
Palestine/Israel. We call on the Security Council to force the 
Israeli government to immediately implement past UN resolutions that 
it has systematically disregarded. By failing to act decisively, the 
UN Security Council becomes an ally in the massacre of Palestinians 
by the Israeli government.

We demand that the women and men from Israel and from Palestine who 
have actually worked hand in hand towards a just peace during the 
past decades of conflict be the ones to be called to the negotiation 
table. No other group can bring peace to the region.

The petition below will help the lawyers in Belgium who are suing 
Ariel Sharon for war crimes.

They need 1,000,000 signatures. Please sign and forward the petition 
to all your contacts.


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Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 12:04:59 -0500
From: "roya.jakoby" <>
Subject: Edward Said on Palestine...

Edward Said
Al-Ahram Weekly Online
14 - 20 March 2002, Issue No.577
AL-AHRAM, Cairo est. in 1875

What Price Oslo?

Due weight given to decades of Palestinian suffering, to the
human costs of Israel's destructive policies: this, writes Edward
Said, is the only possible framework for negotiations

The television images on Al-Jazeera have been burningly clear. There
is a kind of Palestinian heroism in evidence there that makes this
the story of our time. An entire army, navy, and air force supplied
munificently and unconditionally by the United States have been
wreaking destruction on the 18 per cent of the West Bank and 60 per
cent of Gaza afforded Palestinians after ten years of negotiations
with Israel and the US. Palestinian hospitals, schools, refugee camps
and civilian residences have been at the receiving end of a merciless,
criminal assault by Israeli troops huddled inside their helicopter
gun-ships, F-16's and Merkavas, and still the poorly armed resistance
fighters take on this preposterously more powerful force undaunted and
unyielding. In the US, CNN and newspapers like The New York Times
fail, to their discredit, to ever mention that "the violence" is
uneven and that there aren't two sides involved here, but only one
state turning all its great power against a stateless, repeatedly
refugeed, and dispossessed people, bereft of arms and real leadership,
with the aim of destroying this people, "dealing them a terrible blow"
as the war criminal who leads Israel shamelessly put it. As an index
of how deranged Sharon has become, I might quote here what he said to
Ha'aretz on 5 March: "The PA is behind the terror, it's all terror.
Arafat is behind the terror. Our pressure is aimed at ending the
terror. Don't expect Arafat to act against the terror.

We have to cause them heavy casualties and then they'll know they
can't keep using terror and win political achievements." Besides
symptomatically revealing the workings of an obsessed mind bent on
destruction and sheer, unadulterated hatred, Sharon's words indicate
the failures of reason and criticism loosed on the world since last
September. Yes, there was a terrorist outrage, but there's more to the
world than terror. There is politics, and struggle, and history, and
injustice, and resistance and yes, state terror as well.  With
scarcely a peep from the American professorate or intelligentsia, we
have all succumbed to the promiscuous misuse of language and sense, by
which everything we don't like has become terror and what we do is
pure and simple good -- fighting terror, no matter how much wealth,
and lives, and destruction is involved.  Swept away are all the
Enlightenment precepts by which we attempt to educate our students and
our-fellow citizens, replaced by a disproportionate orgy of
vindictiveness and self-righteous wrath of the kind that only the
wealthy and the powerful, it would seem, have the right to use and act
upon. No wonder then that a fourth-rate thug like Sharon feels
entitled (by emulation and derivation) to do what he does when in the
greatest democracy on earth, laws, constitutional rights, writs of
habeas corpus and reason itself are consigned to the rubbish bin in
the pursuit of terror and terrorism. As educators and as citizens, we
have failed in our mission by allowing ourselves to be bamboozled in
this way, without so much as an organised public discussion about a
defence budget that has shot up to $400 billion while 40 million
people remain without health insurance.

Israelis, Arabs and Americans are told that love of country requires
such expenditures and such destruction because a good cause is at
stake. Nonsense. What is at stake are material interests that keep
rulers in power, corporations making profits, people in a state of
manufactured consent, just so long as they don't get up one morning
and start to think about where, in this mad technologised rush to
bomb and kill, we are going.

Israel is now waging a war against civilians, pure and simple,
although you will never hear it put that way in the US. This is a
racist war, and in its strategy and tactics, a colonial one as well.
People are being killed and made to suffer disproportionately
because they are not Jews. What an irony! Yet CNN never refers to 
"occupied" territories (always rather to "violence in Israel" as if
the main battlefields are the concert halls and cafes of Tel Aviv and
not in fact the ghettoes and besieged refugee camps of Palestine that
have already been surrounded by 150 illegal Israeli settlements). For
the past ten years, the great fraud of Oslo was foisted on the world
by the US, with hardly an awareness that only 18 per cent of the West
Bank were given up, and 60 per cent of Gaza. No one knows geography
and it's better not to know, since the reality on the ground is so
astonishing, considering the verbal hoopla and self-congratulation.
And that pseudo-pundit -- the insufferably conceited Thomas Friedman
-- still has the gall to say that "Arab TV" shows one-sided pictures,
as if "Arab TV" should be showing things from Israel's point-of-view
the way CNN does, with "Mid-East violence" the catch-all word for the
ethnic cleansing that Israel is wreaking on the Palestinians in their
ghettoes and camps. Has Friedman (or CNN for that matter) ever tried
to point out the difference between an attacking army fighting a
colonial war on the territory of the people it has occupied for 35
years, and the people defending themselves against that butchery? Of
course not, for indeed why should Friedman ever bother to say honestly
that there is no Palestinian occupation, there are no Palestinian
F-16's, no Apache helicopters, no gunboats, no Merkava tanks, in
short, no Palestinian occupation of Israel. So much for Friedman's
credentials as an honest commentator and reporter who has utterly
failed, in unadorned terms, to explain the US view or to understand
the Arab and Palestinian cause. Can he not see that he and his
writings are part of the problem, that in their maundering
self-justifications and the dishonesty in which he shows no sign of
the self- criticism he keeps hectoringly expecting of others, he
actually aggravates the ignorance and the misperceptions rather than
reducing them? Poor journalist and educator, he.  The picture you get
here is that Israelis are battling for their lives instead of for
their settlements and military bases on the occupied lands of
Palestine. No maps have been run for months in the American media. On
8 March, hitherto the bloodiest day for Palestinians of the 16-month
Intifada, CNN's main evening news specified the death of 40 "people"
and failed even to mention the death of several Red Crescent workers
killed while their ambulances were prevented by Israeli tanks from
getting to the wounded. Just "people," and no pictures of the hell
they've been living in this the 35th year of military occupation. Tul
Karm is undergoing a siege of sieges with 24 hour curfews, electricity
and water cut-off, systematic round-ups and the removal of 800 young
men, the wanton smashing of refugee houses, wholesale destruction of
property (and I'm not speaking of nightclubs or sports facilities but
of shacks and lean-tos that furnished twice displaced refugees with
hovels for bare subsistence) and limitless cases of sadistic cruelty
to unarmed and undefended civilians who are pushed and beaten and left
to bleed to death, women allowed to give birth to stillborn babies
while they wait needlessly at Israeli road-blocks, old men made to
strip and take off their shoes and walk barefoot for a gum-chewing
18-year-old waving around an M-16 that my taxes have paid for.
Bethlehem, its town center and university destroyed, flattened at
5,000 feet by valiant Israeli bombers swooshing in with their
marvelous F-16's which I've paid for too. Balata camp, Aida and
Dheheisheh and Azza Camps, the tiny villages of Khadr and Husam, all
battered into rubble without even a mention by the US press, whose New
York editors so obviously have no problems with it, with a few
exceptions here and there. The uncounted dead and wounded, the
unburied and unassisted, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands
of lives maimed, distorted, catastrophically marked by wantonly caused
suffering, all of it ordered at a safe distance from the action in
leafy, calm West Jerusalem by men for whom the West Bank and Gaza are
distant rat holes filled with insects and rodents that must be
"subdued" and driven out, taught a lesson in the accepted jargon of
Israel's superb military. On Tuesday, in the biggest attack of all,
Ramallah has been invaded and is being ravaged by 140 Israeli tanks,
thus completing Israel's re-conquest of the already-occupied
Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian people are paying the heavy, heavy unconscionable
price of Oslo, which after 10 years of negotiating left them with
bits of land lacking coherence and continuity, security institutions
designed to assure their subservience to Israel, and a life that
impoverished them so that the Jewish state could thrive and prosper.

In vain during those 10 years did some of us warn that the distance
between the US-Israeli language of peace and the appalling realities
on the ground was never bridged, never even intended to be bridged.
Words and phrases like "peace process" and "terrorism" took hold
without reference to any real referent. Land confiscations were
either overlooked or referred to as "bilateral negotiations" that
were taking place between a state consolidating its hold on
territory it wanted at all costs, and a mediocre set of uninformed
negotiators whom it took four years to acquire, much less use, a
reliable map of the land they were negotiating over. The worst
misrepresentation of all is that in the 54 years since 1948, never has
a narrative of Palestinian heroism and suffering been allowed to
emerge. We are all depicted as violent fanatic extremists who are
little more than the terrorists that George Bush and his cabal have
imposed on the consciousness of a stunned and systematically
misinformed population, aided and uncritically abetted by an entire
army of commentators and media stars -- the Blitzers, Zahns, Lehrers,
Rathers, Brokaws, Russerts, and their ilk. The Israeli lobby is
scarcely needed with such faithful disciples trailing happily in its
ranks.  But now that the Saudi peace proposal has become the point of
discussion and of hope, it is necessary, I think, to put it in its
real, as opposed to its supposed, context. First of all, this is the
re-cycled Reagan plan of 1982, the Fahd Plan of 1983, the Madrid plan
of 1991, and so on: in other words, it follows a series of plans many
times put forward which in the end both Israel and the US have not
only refused to implement, but have actively torpedoed. The way I
see it, the only negotiations worth having should be on the phases of a
total Israeli withdrawal and not, as was the case with Oslo,
bargaining over what pieces of land Israel was willing very
grudgingly to give up. There's been too much Palestinian blood
spilled, too much Israeli contempt and racist violence dispensed for
any serious return to Oslo-style negotiations brokered by that most
biased of honest brokers, the United States. Everyone is aware,
however, that the old Palestinian negotiators haven't given up on
their dreams and illusions, and that meetings have been occurring
throughout the raids and bombings. But I would argue that due weight
be given to decades of Palestinian suffering and the real human costs
of Israel's destructive policies before any negotiations accord undue
status to Israeli governments that have trampled on Palestinian rights
the way they have demolished our houses and killed our people.  Any
Arab-Israeli negotiations that do not factor in history -- and for
this task a team of historians, economists, and geographers with a
conscience are needed -- are not worth having, just as Palestinians
must now elect a new set of negotiators and representatives in the
hope of salvaging something from the present calamity.  In short, in
whatever meetings that now occur between Israeli and Palestinian
representatives, the gravity of Israeli depredations against our
people has to be given attention and not simply brushed aside as so
much past history. Oslo, in effect, pardoned the occupation, excusing
it for all the buildings and lives destroyed over the first 25 years
of occupation. After so much further suffering, Israel cannot be
excused and allowed to walk away from the table with not even a
rhetorical demand that it needs to atone for what it did.  I will be
told that politics is about what is possible, not about what is
desired, and that we should be grateful to get even a small Israeli
pullback. I disagree strongly. Negotiations can only be about when the
total withdrawal will take place, not what percentage Israel is
willing to concede. A conqueror and a vandal cannot concede anything:
he must simply return what he's taken and pay for the
abuses that are his responsibility to bear, just as Saddam Hussein
should and did pay for his occupation of Kuwait. We are still a
considerable distance from that goal, although in the meantime the
extraordinary unbowed bravery of all Palestinians in Gaza and the
West Bank has in effect politically and morally defeated Sharon, who
will lose his seat in the not too distant future. But, that in two
decades his armies can invade Arab cities at will, killing and sowing
destruction without so much as a collective Arab peep speaks reams for
the Arab world's leaders.  Lastly, what the various Arab rulers who
are so delicately silent now while Palestine is being raped on TV
think they are doing, I don't know, but I can imagine that deep in
their souls they must feel no small amount of shame and disgrace.
Powerless militarily, politically, economically and above all morally,
they have little credibility and no real standing, except as obedient
pawns on the American-Israeli chessboard. Perhaps they feel they are
playing a waiting game. Perhaps. But they (like Arafat and his men)
haven't learned the power of systematically disseminated information
as a way of protecting their people from the onslaughts of those who
consider all Arabs militant, extremist, terrorist fanatics. The good
news is that the time for that sort of irresponsible and contemptible
behavior is very short. Will the new generation do any better?  It is
for a whole new attitude toward secular education to decide the
answer, whether collectively we go down again to disorganisation,
corruption and mediocrity or whether at last we can become a nation.



>(If you are calling from abroad, please remember to
>dial 972 and to drop the first zero.  For example,
>Shimon Peresí number would be 972-2-6753231)
>Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister
>Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Israeli Defense Minister
>Yael Dayan
>Colette Avital
>Naomi Chazan
>Ran Cohen
>Tamar Gozansky
>Dan Meridor
>Ophir Pines-Paz 
>Mossi Raz
>Yossi Sarid

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