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Archives: July 2003

Wed Jul 30, 2003

WHEN FORCE IS CONSIDERED, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGITIMACY PROVIDED BY UNITED NATIONS, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADDRESS

Let me now turn to four current threats to world peace, where true leadership and effective action are badly needed. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 30, 03 | 8:21 pm

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS SECURITY COUNCIL SHOULD SEEK EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO ALLEVIATE SUFFERING OF PEOPLE OF IRAQ

Kofi Annan Particularly Concerned about Situation of Iraqi Children

Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s statement to the Security Council today at Headquarters on the humanitarian situation in Iraq:
More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 30, 03 | 8:12 pm

Full text of Tony Blair's foreword to the dossier on Iraq

Tony Blair's foreword to the British dossier assessing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq:

The document published today is based, in large part, on the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). The JIC is at the heart of the British intelligence machinery. It is chaired by the Cabinet Office and made up of the heads of the UK's three Intelligence and Security Agencies, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, and senior officials from key government departments. For over 60 years the JIC has provided regular assessments to successive Prime Ministers and senior colleagues on a wide range of foreign policy and international security issues. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 30, 03 | 7:51 pm

Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address

For the full text of the address, click at the link. Below is the part in which Bush talked about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.

Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 30, 03 | 7:42 pm

Tue Jul 29, 2003

Imperial Perspectives

The great modern empires have never been held together only by military power but by what activates that power, puts it to use and then reinforces it with daily practices of domination, conviction, and authority. Britain ruled the vast territories of India with only a few thousand colonial officers and a few more thousand troops, many of them Indian. France did the same in North Africa and Indochina, the Dutch in Indonesia, the Portuguese and Belgians in Africa. The key element is imperial perspective, that way of looking at a distant foreign reality by subordinating it to one's gaze, constructing its history from one's own point of view, seeing its people as subjects whose fate is to be decided not by them but by what distant administrators think is best for them. From such willful perspectives actual ideas develop, including the theory that imperialism is a benign and necessary thing. In one of the most perceptive comments ever made about the conceptual glue that binds empires together, the remarkable Anglo-Polish novelist Joseph Conrad wrote that "the conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion and or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish believe in the idea -- something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to." More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Jul 29, 03 | 3:23 am

Sun Jul 27, 2003

The Times Scoops That Melted: Cataloging the wretched reporting of Judith Miller

If reporters who live by their sources were obliged to die by their sources, New York Times reporter Judith Miller would be stinking up her family tomb right now. In the 18-month run-up to the war on Iraq, Miller grew incredibly close to numerous Iraqi sources, both named and anonymous, who gave her detailed interviews about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Yet 100 days after the fall of Baghdad, none of the sensational allegations about chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons given to Miller have panned out, despite the furious crisscrossing of Iraq by U.S. weapons hunters. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 27, 03 | 5:44 pm

Tue Jul 22, 2003

Playing skittles with Saddam

The gameplan among Washington's hawks has long been to reshape the Middle East along US-Israeli lines, writes Brian Whitaker.

In a televised speech last week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt predicted devastating consequences for the Middle East if Iraq is attacked.
More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 22, 03 | 12:49 am

Caesar's Favor

George Caesar, the Imperator of the new Rome, likes Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). He has invited him to the White House and showers him with compliments. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 22, 03 | 12:41 am

Sun Jul 20, 2003

Broken promise: Why I quit Iraq

America's approach to governing Baghdad has failed to involve Iraqis, says ISAM al-KHAFAJI, who returned home to help rebuild his country
Friday, July 18, 2003 - Page A13

On July 9, with deep sorrow, I respectfully submitted my resignation as a member of the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council to U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 20, 03 | 7:50 pm

Intelligence Scam

July 15— The most sophisticated intelligence operation in the world was fooled by a low-level diplomat from Africa, intelligence sources told ABCNEWS.
More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 20, 03 | 7:14 pm

Sky News reporter quits over bogus Iraq story

Sky News was today facing its first credibility crisis after it admitted it had carried a fake news report at the height of the Iraq war and accepted the resignation of the reporter responsible.
More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 20, 03 | 4:31 pm

Sat Jul 19, 2003

Palestinians 'reduced to begging'

AP Geneva
Saturday July 19, 2003
The Guardian

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have been "reduced to begging" by Israeli military action, and Israel is breaching international law by failing to provide much-needed aid, a UN expert said yesterday.

"There is a permanent, grave violation of the right to food by the occupying forces. There is a catastrophic humanitarian situation," said Jean Ziegler, UN special expert on the right to food.

Palestinian villages are encircled by troops, preventing food being delivered and farmers freaching their fields, he said. Many villages had to buy their water because sources had been cut off.

Mr Ziegler also cited the destruction or confiscation of fertile Palestinian land for military zones or Jewish colonies. "We saw thousands of olive trees destroyed by bulldozers," he said.

Trucks of food sent to Palestinian villages either as aid or for sale are stopped at roadblocks and unloaded. Villagers must find another truck to load the food again after inspection and complete the journey, he said.

According to the World Bank, almost one child in 10 in Gaza and the West Bank is suffering from severe malnutrition.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1001294,00.html
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 19, 03 | 12:25 pm

Fri Jul 18, 2003

Palestinian Students Attempt to Reopen University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 14, 2003

By Paul D. Pierce
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

Hebron--Students at the Palestinian Polytechnic University, wielding sledge hammers, attempted to reopen the institution today in defiance of a one-month extension of their campus' closure, imposed by the Israeli army on Saturday. Students object to the continued disruption of classes since their summer session was scheduled to begin yesterday.

Israeli authorities forced closure of both Polytechnic and Hebron University beginning in January, 2003. They claimed that several suicide bombers had been students at the Polytechnic University. So, six months ago, the Israeli army had removed the front gate, leading to the campus, and welded it across the main entrance to the university building to prevent access to the facility.

Today, after students regained access, administrators arrived and requested that students leave the area. Campus authorities had the custodian padlock the front entrance to the building shut. The administration feared that students might be injured or that the Israeli army would destroy equipment in the building.

Student leaders expressed frustration with the collective punishment imposed by Israeli authorities and demanded that they be able to continue their education. Five members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams observed the action in support of an open university this morning. CPTers were also on hand to counter any violence that might occur in response to the student's initiative.

Nearly 200 additional students arrived to support the action and listen to two hours of music and speeches demanding the renewal of classes. Palestinian flags flew and banners were displayed that said, "Don't violate our right to education" and "This is the beginning of a new life and new country." The festive gathering ended without any intervention by the Israeli military. Students say they will continue with a daily presence on campus to press for reopening of the university.

Currently, students at Palestinian universities located in Hebron are forced to attend classes in other locations due to the closures and are prevented from using libraries and laboratory facilities on their own campuses. The closure delays completion of courses and disrupted plans of students slated to graduate this year. Approximately, 2,500 students attend the Polytechnic University and about 2,000 were slated to attend classes during the summer term.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) wrote a letter to US President George Bush in June seeking his support for the re-opening of Hebron University as an important step on the Roadmap to Peace in the Middle East. Bush had made comments supporting Iranian student's right to demonstrate for free speech and open universities, and CPT hopes his concern extends to those students at the Palestinian Polytechnic University as well.

Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical initiative to support violence reduction efforts around the world. To learn more about CPT's peacemaking work, please visit our website at: http://www.cpt.org
Photos of our projects may be viewed at: http://www.clubphoto.com
Login as: cptheb@palnet.com


Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 18, 03 | 9:06 pm

Academic Freedom on Campus: The Activities of the Union of Jewish Students

Speech delivered by Ben Young, Jewish Student (Queen Mary and Westfield College) at a meeting of Jews for Justice for Palestinians in London, 28 June 2003

With thanks to Ben Soffa.


It is reasonable to believe that University campuses are open fora which are conducive to free discussion. However, in the case of Israel/Palestine, this is not so. The NUS (National Union of Students in Britain) have never campaigned on this issue or discussed it in depth at the Annual Conference. At individual universities there is often a bar on full-ranging and free exploration of this issue. The prime reason for this is the policies and activities of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).

Therefore, in my speech about academic freedom on campus, I shall be looking at how the Union of Jewish Students tries to stifle any discussion about Zionism or Israel/Palestine and how the progressive organizations and we as progressives have to counteract that.


More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 18, 03 | 8:15 pm

Thu Jul 17, 2003

The Best Show in Town

The most talented director could not have done better. It was a perfect show. Television viewers all over the world saw heroic Israeli soldiers on their screens battling the fanatical settlers. Close-ups: faces twisted with passion, a soldier lying on a stretcher, a young woman crying in despair, children weeping, youngsters storming forward in fury, masses of people wrestling with each other. A battle of life and death. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 17, 03 | 4:41 pm

US Leans On Belgians to Spare Sharon From Trial

Mohamed Shaukat Abu Rudeina believes that his family will never receive justice. "It's all over," he says. "The world has changed since Sept. 11, 2001. The Americans rule the world." More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 17, 03 | 4:24 pm

French and Jewish extremists unite on Net against Arabs

Extreme-right and neo-Nazi groups in France have formed an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim alliance on the internet with extremist Jewish groups, a report published yesterday said. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 17, 03 | 4:14 pm

Oxford Investigating Professor Who Rejected an Israeli Student

LONDON, July 8 (JTA) — An Oxford University professor could be fired after rejecting a graduate student because he is Israeli.

Andrew Wilkie, a professor of pathology, dismissed an application from Amit Duvshani to work in his laboratory in late June, partly on the grounds that the Tel Aviv University student had done his mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces.

"I am sure you are perfectly nice at a personal level, but no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army," Wilkie wrote Duvshani in an e-mail that has been widely circulated.
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 17, 03 | 3:12 pm

Wed Jul 16, 2003

Ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem

Annika Hampson talks to Abu Mayaleh, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem who refuses to be ethnically cleansed

Naif Abu Mayaleh owns two little shops in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem, right on the border of the Jewish Quarter close to the entrance to the Al-Buraq Ash-Sharif, or Wailing Wall. Last month an Israeli settler organisation offered him a blank cheque, plane tickets and US visas in exchange for his properties.

Abu Mayaleh snubbed the offer, "my people have paid for this city with their blood. I cannot, I will not, sell to these people." Having refused to sell his properties, Abu Mayaleh has become a victim of a campaign of terror waged by a group of extremist settlers.

A frail man of 51 years who looks many years older, Abu Mayaleh spoke of how the settlers physically abused him and have vandalised his shops on countless occasions throughout the past 26 years, since the Yeshiva was established in the late 1970s.

"I'm old enough to be their father and they treat me worse than a dog," he stated. He said they know his name, and hurl insults at him when he prays. He claimed they beat him and broke his front teeth. His leg has a large scar around his ankle where they kicked him. "I am desperate," he beseeched, "I have nobody to turn to. They come and do what they want and I am utterly helpless."

Abu Mayaleh's shops sell tourist souvenirs: postcards, hand-painted pottery from the West Bank, boxes inlaid with mother-of-pearl, carved wooden nativity figures, and glass cabinets lined with Bedouin jewellery. But nearly 40 per cent of Abu Mayaleh's merchandise -- estimated at thousands of dollars -- now has been destroyed. Piles of smashed pottery and broken glass are collected in cardboard boxes at the entrance to his shop, and a heap of damaged rosewood crosses are piled on the table, dirty with mud from the settlers' boots.

The settlers are from the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva, located in an Arab property across the road from Abu Mayaleh's shops. Ateret Cohanim is a Jewish group dedicated to establishing and consolidating a Jewish presence in the Old City -- a political aim spearheaded by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and dating back to 1967 and the Israeli occupation of the Old City, along with the rest of East Jerusalem.

Although relatively small and populated only by a handful of extremist messianic Jewish settler groups, the settlements in and around the Muslim Quarter of the Old City play a significant role in perpetuating and exacerbating the tensions in Arab East Jerusalem, and their presence are seen by the Palestinians as a major provocation.

The settlers are determined to expand their grip on the Old City and have governmental support, both in terms of legal "creativity" and financial backing, to help achieve this aim. They adopt a variety of tactics in order to take possession of the properties. They harass Palestinian owners and use more fraudulent, underhanded methods such as contracts signed illegally by secondary leaseholders.

The Israeli stranglehold on Palestinian residential expansion by severely limiting building and renovation licenses has further played into the hands of the settlers. Today, settlers have seized and occupied at least 78 Palestinian properties in the Old City, most of which are located adjacent to Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Dome of the Rock). Ateret Cohanim, just one of the settler organisations, alone has over 30 properties in the Muslim Quarter.

In comparison to the settlers, who are backed politically by the prime minister of Israel and secure financial support from across the world, Abu Mayaleh believes he is simply a pawn in the ongoing political game, which has cast a crippling blight over the non-Jewish areas of the Old City, and is aimed at creating new de facto realities which will affect the outcome of the peace negotiations on the final status of Jerusalem to favour Israel.

With little other choice, Abu Mayaleh opens his shop each morning, waits for the increasingly elusive tourists. He laughs at the roadmap and Sharon's commitment to evacuate some "illegal" outposts.

"What kind of 'painful concession' is that?" he asked. "He is offering to dismantle a few caravans in the desert while the Jews are swallowing Jerusalem." He sipped his tea, picked up his prayer rug and concluded, "I pray to God to help me out of this situation. He alone can help me now."


Al-Ahram Weekly, 12-18 June 2003

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/642/re9.htm

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 16, 03 | 11:54 pm

Ramallah Diary: Desolation Road

The old bus that took me to Birzeit College when I was a student traveled a road that had been paved by the British. It was a narrow meandering road that snaked unobtrusively through the hills, following their contours, straddling their sides. The views along both sides of the road were attractive, but the drive itself was bumpy and rattling, especially if you'd just consumed a large meal. The road was hardly wide enough for two vehicles. Impatient drivers often ended off the road, their car resting under some olive tree in the valley. The first slope you came to after leaving Ramallah had the worst blind corner. Once you had passed it safely and driven one mile downhill, you arrived at an intersection where a small dirt road led to the Mahraka, the abandoned garbage dump from which the smoke of dying embers could still be seen trickling up. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 16, 03 | 11:35 pm

Nablus - Another Nakba

NABLUS, West Bank. If crossing Kalandia and on to Ramallah brought tears, then travelling to Nablus from Ramallah by UPMRC ambulance is beyond tears, beyond words, beyond description, beyond anything I could have imagined experiencing. All senses are numbed; you ride on a sea of despair.

The roads are empty - for Palestinians are not allowed to travel in their own country. On the Western side of the huge dual carriageway, miles and miles of ‘confiscated land’ lie empty - with every living thing removed by order of the illegal Israeli Occupation Force. The East side is garlanded with miles of high-electrified fencing - barriers that enclose the thousands of illegal houses of the illegal Israeli occupiers. More...

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Jul 16, 03 | 5:32 pm

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Intelligence Unglued

The glue that holds the Intelligence Community together is melting under the hot lights of an awakened press. If you do not act quickly, your intelligence capability will fall apart--with grave consequences for the nation.
More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 16, 03 | 4:15 pm

16 Words, and Counting

After I wrote a month ago about the Niger uranium hoax in the State of the Union address, a senior White House official chided me gently and explained that there was more to the story that I didn't know.

Yup. And now it's coming out. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 16, 03 | 4:00 pm

return

i can't help it.
i don't care how far you think the analogy extends itself.
when i see you making that bus driver climb up and down
on and off the roof of his bus
for your amusement
for hours in the hot sun
i think of how we once had to dance and sing for them
while they shot our parents.
More...

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Jul 16, 03 | 12:14 am

Tue Jul 15, 2003

It Wasn't Suppose To Be Like This

"Quit beating around the bush," snaps the Wall Street Journal: "America faces a guerrilla war." And so it does. But an odd paralysis still grips the U.S. military command. While the number of American soldiers killed or wounded in ambushes increases by the day, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and proconsul Paul Bremer continue to speak of "remnants" and "bitter-enders" who can't get with the program, even as word spreads through the ranks that there is a well-organized resistance campaign underway in Iraq. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Jul 15, 03 | 2:31 am

Mon Jul 14, 2003

Irish reporter held in Israel

The editor of a daily Irish language newspaper has said the Northern Ireland man held by Israeli police was working as their correspondent. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 14, 03 | 10:31 pm

Sun Jul 13, 2003

Pilger & Fisk on Iraq Coverage: The Real Danger Lies Within

OSLO - If the reality in Iraq is one thing and the reporting of it remains another, it is because much of the media wants it that way, say two leading journalists who have been reporting the 'other' side of the Iraq story. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 13, 03 | 7:14 pm

Seeds of the 'new Holocaust'?

In an incendiary polemic, Baruch Kimmerling attacks the violent policies of Ariel Sharon and argues that failure to see that Israeli and Palestinian fates are intertwined could reduce the Jewish state to a footnote in history. Chris Bunting reports More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 13, 03 | 6:53 pm

In Tenet's Words: 'I Am Responsible' for Review

Following is the text of a statement yesterday by George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, as provided by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Legitimate questions have arisen about how remarks on alleged Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa made it into the president's State of the Union speech. Let me be clear about several things right up front. First, C.I.A. approved the president's State of the Union address before it was delivered. Second, I am responsible for the approval process in my agency. And third, the president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 13, 03 | 6:52 pm

What I Didn't Find in Africa

Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?

Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 13, 03 | 6:18 pm

BLAIR MUST RESIGN IF NO WMDs ARE FOUND

EXCLUSIVE: Glenda Jackson attacks PM

TONY Blair must quit if weapons of mass destruction are not found in Iraq, former minister Glenda Jackson said yesterday. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 13, 03 | 5:51 pm

ANGRY MANDELA ATTACKS WARMONGER BLAIR

NELSON Mandela said yesterday he was "pained" by Tony Blair waging war on Iraq.

In an astonishing attack on the Premier and President Bush, he said in London: "To see young political leaders of the developed world act in ways that undermine some of the noblest attempts of humanity to deal with historical legacies, pains me greatly and makes me worry immensely about our future." More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 13, 03 | 5:46 pm

Sat Jul 12, 2003

Bush team united Iraq front unravels

The familiar drip, drip, drip of a brewing political scandal echoes through the power centers of Washington and London these days as the Bush administration and the government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair are pelted daily with increasingly pointed questions about the case they made for going to war against Iraq. The admission that the president made an apparently false allegation against Iraq in his State of the Union address was supposed to help put the issue to rest. Instead, it reopened fissures inside the administration and in Blair’s government over the validity of their case for war. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 12, 03 | 2:15 pm

Fri Jul 11, 2003

Prof 'sorry' for ban on Israeli student

AN Oxford professor has apologised for refusing an application by an Israeli student - because of his nationality. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 11, 03 | 12:53 am

Uni Admissions Scandal

The Israeli student at the centre of the Oxford university admissions scandal has told TJ that his rejection has made him think twice about applying to other universities in Britain. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 11, 03 | 12:41 am

ROAD MAP TO SUSTAINABLE ETHNIC CLEANSING

There are three words or phrases that are not permissible in the U.S. mainstream media in application to the Israel-Palestine conflict: racism, ethnic cleansing and international law. This follows from the deep, deep bias of the media favoring Israel and hostile to the Palestinians. The evidence of Israeli racism is overwhelming, and criticism of that racism is a commonplace in Israel, but it is suppressed here. Israel is explicitly a "Jewish state," with special rights inhering in Jewishness, including the right to occupy land; it has engaged in a long-term systematic expropriation of Palestinian land and demolitions of Palestinian homes strictly for Jewish-settler benefit; and its occupation has long been characterized by brutal maltreatment of Palestinians, who have been publicly described by Israeli leaders as "lice," "grasshoppers," "two legged animals," and numerous other epithets. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 11, 03 | 12:29 am

Why Blair can't issue the Mother of All Apologies

Play for time. Delay, bob, weave. Leave the opponent no chink, never retreat, feint, jab, deflect blame, force the enemy into error, deny non-existent accusations with passion. Never apologise. The arts of political spin are as old as Demosthenes. But they have rarely been deployed more effectively than by the present British Prime Minister, as witnessed before the Commons Liaison Committee yesterday. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 11, 03 | 12:16 am

Thu Jul 10, 2003

Academic campaigner backs Oxford's Israeli rejection

A leading campaigner for academic freedom today offered his support to the Oxford don at the centre of a new row over a boycott of Israel.

Andrew Wilkie, Nuffield professor of pathology at Oxford University, is facing possible disciplinary action after refusing to consider an Israeli student for a PhD because of his nationality.
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 10, 03 | 9:25 pm

Oxford don rejects student because he is from Israel

An Oxford University professor is facing disciplinary action after rejecting an Israeli student's application to work with him because he had a "huge problem" with his country's "abuses on the Palestinians", it emerged yesterday. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 10, 03 | 9:18 pm

Sun Jul 06, 2003

The Face of Brian Avery

image

On April 5th, 2003, Brian Avery’s life changed forever.
An Israeli sniper fired his machine gun through Brian’s face
And pulverized it beyond recognition.
The Apartheid Wall, the Roadmap to Peace - I never really understood it all -
Till I saw the scars on Brian's face.
Till I saw the brutality, injustice and hypocrisy of the Occupation -
Quilted into the stitches on his cheeks.
Every line, every ridge –
Is a story of courage, of struggle, of grief beyond description;
And his eyes are pools of hope.


The lines on our palms may tell our fortune,
But the lines on Brian's face tell the tale of brutal oppression:
This scar on his chin...is the humiliation of a Palestinian man at a West Bank checkpoint, stripped and searched for hours.
This scar on his forehead... is a pregnant woman who couldn’t make it to the clinic in time.
This one on the left cheek... is the Israeli soldier who couldn't bear to kill innocent children anymore, so he killed himself.
This one on his temple... is a suicide bomber from Gaza whose existence was so painful that he blew himself up in a bus filled with Israelis.
This one on his lip... is a five-year-old Palestinian girl whose home was demolished by a Caterpillar bulldozer.
Her father and brother were shot. She hasn’t said a word since then.

On April 5th, 2003, Brian Avery’s life changed forever.
He was wearing a fluorescent red vest, with a big white cross on the front and the back.
He carried no weapon,
He even put his hands up in the air!
The press said it was an 'unfortunate accident.'
But Tom Hurndall is brain dead; Rachel Corrie and James Miller paid with their lives –
So it was no accident that Brian lay in critical condition in Jenin Hospital.
We may never understand the trials of those in Palestine,
We may never risk our own lives to take pregnant women to a clinic, under the watch of snipers and tanks,
But we know in our hearts that the brutal attack on Brian was no accident.

In the face of an illegal occupation, Brian chose to step in harm’s way:
He protected those who didn’t have a choice.
In this scar near the ridge of his nose... is the untold story of a grateful people
They have nothing to give him but rivers of tears.
They run their fingers gently down the scars on his face;
They hold him in their arms and rock back-and-forth;
They try to speak but their words choke in their throats -
They love him like a brother.

I know this because it is etched into the most beautiful face on earth
I've seen with my own eyes... the face of Brian Avery.

Neesha Mirchandani
June 20, 2003
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 06, 03 | 12:08 am

Thu Jul 03, 2003

Israel takes another leap towards institutionalized apartheid

A law forbidding Israeli citizenship for Palestinians from the Occupied Territories who marry Israelis passed its first reading in the Knesset on June 18. This is another milestone on Israel's road to open, institutionalized apartheid. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 03, 03 | 1:05 pm

Outrage as Oxford bans student for being Israeli

An Oxford University professor has provoked outrage by rejecting an application from an Israeli PhD student purely because of his nationality. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 03, 03 | 12:55 pm

Iraq: The US must ensure humane treatment and access to justice for Iraqi detainees

(Baghdad) Amnesty International called on the United States today to give hundreds of Iraqis detained since the beginning of the occupation the right to meet families and lawyers and to have a judicial review of their detention. The organization also called on the US to ensure that detainees are treated humanely and that excessive use of force is investigated. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 03, 03 | 12:45 pm

Israel cuts off ties with BBC

Israel declared over the weekend that it is cutting off ties with the BBC to protest a repeat broadcast on non-conventional weapons said to be in Israel. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 03, 03 | 12:39 pm

Arabs should thank Israel for lesson in propaganda

The Israeli government and its apologists are expert in the art of playing the martyr, especially when it comes to castigating any and all media outlets that fail even briefly to fawn over the Jewish state like lovesick teenagers. The latest target of the world's most fearsome "David" is the British Broadcasting Corporation, which recently re-aired a documentary about Israel's weapons of mass destruction programs. The Israelis cannot refute any of the BBC's reportage, but there is no need to do so when they can accuse the company of being "anti-Semitic" in the manner of the Nazi
press of 1930s Germany. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 03, 03 | 12:30 pm

IFJ Letter to Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel

On behalf of the International Federation of Journalists, the world’s largest organisation of journalists’ groups, I express the sincere hope that the efforts being made to end the violence that has destroyed the lives of so many Israelis and Palestinians over the years will succeed in creating conditions for a lasting solution to the conflict in the region. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 03, 03 | 12:08 pm

Wed Jul 02, 2003

The Road to Coverup is the Road to Ruin

Mr. President, last fall, the White House released a national security strategy that called for an end to the doctrines of deterrence and containment that have been a hallmark of American foreign policy for more than half a century.

This new national security strategy is based upon pre-emptive war against those who might threaten our security. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 02, 03 | 9:47 pm

The Imperial Presidency Redux

The weapons-of-mass-destruction issue -- where are they? -- will not subside and disappear, as the administration supposes (and hopes).

The issue will build because many Americans do not like to be manipulated and deceived. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Jul 02, 03 | 9:26 pm