Archives: August 2003

Wed Aug 27, 2003

How and Why Did Iraqi Die? 2 Tales of Anger and Denial

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 26 — Any of Ali Muhsin's neighbors can describe the scene after he was shot by the Americans. First he stumbled around the corner, dripping blood, and collapsed near the front door of his home. His neighbors hailed a taxi to take him to the hospital, but then a Humvee roared down the street and blocked the way. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 27, 03 | 1:28 pm

Tue Aug 26, 2003

Crying Wolf: Anti-semitism, the Jewish Press in Britain, and Academic Boycotts

Mona Baker

A summary of this response appeared as a letter in the London Review of Books: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n17/letters.html

In a recent article published in the London Review of Books, Judith Butler selectively refers to aspects of a disagreement we had on the Academics for Justice discussion list in December 2002 in order to level a dishonest charge against me that allows her to resolve her own personal anxieties over being a Jew who is highly critical of Israeli policies and at the same time “emotionally invested in Israel” and painfully aware that “No label [other than anti-semite] could be worse for a Jew, who knows that ethically and politically, the position with which it would be unbearable to identify is that of the anti-semite”. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 26, 03 | 6:51 pm

Children's author faces Jewish wrath

Jewish pressure groups are calling on a publisher to withdraw a children's book about a Palestinian boy growing up amid the intifada on the West Bank. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Aug 26, 03 | 12:33 pm

Mon Aug 25, 2003

A Weapons Cache We'll Never See

DELMAR, N.Y. — Some 1,500 American investigators are scouring the Iraqi countryside for evidence of weapons of mass destruction that has so far eluded them. Known as the Iraq Survey Group and operating under the supervision of a former United Nations weapons inspector, David Kay, they are searching mostly for documents that will help them assemble a clear, if somewhat circumstantial, case that Iraq had or intended to have programs to produce prohibited weapons. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 25, 03 | 11:19 pm

The philosophers of chaos reap a whirlwind

PARIS The intensification of violence in Iraq is the logical outcome of the Bush administration's choice in 2001 to treat terrorism as a military problem with a military solution - a catastrophic oversimplification.

Choosing to invade two Islamic states, Afghanistan and Iraq, neither of which was responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, inflated the crisis, in the eyes of millions of Muslims, into a clash between the United States and Islamic society. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 25, 03 | 9:30 pm

A Drug for the Addict

It was a putsch. Like any classic putsch, it was carried out by a group of officers: Sharon, Mofaz, Ya'alon and the army top brass. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 25, 03 | 7:53 pm

Sat Aug 23, 2003

Now We Are The Iraq Extremists

THE "liberation" of Iraq is a cruel joke on a stricken eople. The Americans and British, partners in a great recognised crime, have brought down on the Middle East, and much of the rest of the world, the prospect of terrorism and suffering on a scale that al-Qaeda could only imagine. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Aug 23, 03 | 2:04 am

Tue Aug 19, 2003

Palestinian crusader wins peace prize

Hanan Ashrawi, the outspoken advocate for the Palestinian cause, has won the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize. However, the jury's choice, which was unanimous, has already drawn heated opposition from the Jewish community. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 19, 03 | 10:50 pm

Mon Aug 18, 2003

Casual Disregard for Media Safety

The International Federation of Journalists has called for an independent and open inquiry into the killing yesterday afternoon of a cameraman in Iraq by US troops, only days after the Federation accused the Pentagon of a “cynical whitewash” over a previous attack on media in which two journalists were killed.

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 18, 03 | 12:55 pm

Cameraman killed by U.S. troops: News agency calls for investigation

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, an award-winning journalist who had covered some of the world's hottest spots, has been shot dead while filming near a U.S.-run prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Eyewitnesses said Dana, 43, was shot by soldiers on an American tank as he filmed outside Abu Ghraib prison in western Baghdad. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 18, 03 | 12:18 pm

Sat Aug 16, 2003

Israel Draft Resisters Parents' Forum

A letter from Matan Kaminer, presently on trial in an Israeli military court, to Stephen Funk, who finds himself in a rather similar situation for having refused to disregard his conscience towards service in the US Marines in Iraq.

'Open Detention', Tel Hashomer Camp, Israel

August 12, 2003

Dear Stephen,

Is this what they call "globalization"? We live half a world from each other, we have led quite different lives, and yet we are both in the same situation: conscientious objectors to imperial war and occupation, we are both standing military trial this summer. Reading your statement I couldn't help but smile at the basic sameness of military logic around the world – including its inability to understand how anybody could be enough against a war to resist going to kill and die in it. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 2:44 pm

Al-Jazeera Accuses US of Harassment in Row Over "Bias"

30 July 2003: (The Independent) A day after Paul Wolfowitz, the US Deputy Defence Secretary, claimed that the Arabic Al-Jazeera television channel was "inciting violence" and "endangering the lives of American troops" in Iraq, the station's Baghdad bureau chief has written a scathing reply, complaining that in the past month his offices and staff in Iraq "have been subject to strafing by gunfire, death threats, confiscation of news material, and multiple detentions and arrests, all carried out by US soldiers". More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 2:38 pm

The sets for the prisoner release show

It comes as no surprise that Israel released the Palestinian prisoners and detainees that it did: people convicted of minor security offenses whose terms were up soon in any case; administrative detainees who are being held without trial, and without the right to present a defense, by order of army or Shin Bet security service commanders; car thieves and laborers convicted of being in Israel illegally. It is also no surprise that Israel is presenting this as a far-reaching gesture. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 2:13 pm

Dividends of Fear: America's $94 Billion Arab Market Export Loss

The U.S. share of world merchandise exports to the Arab Middle East slid from 18% in 1997 to 13% in 2001. This occurred during import demand growth averaging 1% per year and voracious demand for high value-added capital goods among Arab economies. The hardest hit U.S. export sectors include civilian aircraft, agriculture, heavy transportation, as well as telecommunications and industrial equipment. On the demand side, the broad U.S. export downturn is driven by growing Arab boycotts against U.S. consumer and industrial goods. These occur as a response to the perceived loss of U.S. regional foreign policy legitimacy as seen through the eyes of Arab buyers. On the supply side, the increasing restrictions on Arab business travel to the United States, and surging U.S. fear, xenophobia and legal campaigns leveled against Arab business are positioned to accelerate the toll on future trade. The IRMEP estimates that America has already lost U.S. $31 billion in exports between 1998 and 2002. If the trend continues, the U.S. stands to lose an additional U.S. $63 billion through 2007 for a ten year export loss of U.S. $94 billion. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 2:00 pm

Absent Voices

This Saturday a convoy of Jewish and Arab Israeli peace activists will venture into the olive groves of Anin, a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank close to the pre-1967 border with Israel. They will be there to help Anin's farmers prepare for the autumn harvest, hoping to use their Israeli citizenship to defy military restrictions and reach more than 2,500 acres of fields that have been off-limits to the villagers since Israel recently erected its apartheid wall. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 1:48 pm

1 in 4 North American immigrants leave

One quarter of immigrants from North America who arrived in Israel since 1989 have left the country for good, according to a Haaretz analysis based on Interior Ministry border control statistics regarding immigrants. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 1:44 pm

Philosopher Honderich Hit with "Anti-Semite" Slur in Germany

The distinguished British philosopher Ted Honderich, is threatening to sue the head of the Holocaust museum in Frankfort for calling him an anti-Semite. The director, Micha Brumlik , levelled the charge last week after Honderich's book "After The Terror" was published in Germany in July. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 1:38 pm

First Palestinian Prisoner to Defend PhD Thesis in Israeli Prison

On 16 August 2003, at approximately 10 am, Nasser Abdullah Abdel Jawwad Odeh, will defend his doctoral thesis from Megiddo Military Prison, the first time a Palestinian prisoner has been allowed to do so. A thesis committee will convene at Najah University in Nablus and hear his defence on Saturday by mobile phone. Odeh, a 38-year-old father of two from Deir Balout, was able to secretly complete his thesis, entitled "Islamic Tolerance Towards Non-Muslims", whilst serving a 12 year sentence. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 16, 03 | 1:30 pm

Tue Aug 12, 2003


For three decades now Iraq has endured injustice and a brutal genocide that has now culminated in a new horror, the invasion of the USA and its ally Britain. The suffering, intense as it is, will continue and may increase unless the United Nations’ organisations and the sincere efforts of the non-government organisations from all over the world can interfere and deliver some serious aid and provide trusted security for the terrible conditions which the miserable people of Iraq are enduring. The post-war situation is undeniably critical and creates the threat that a massive revolution could break out as a result. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 12, 03 | 6:11 pm

Learning to Be Stupid in the Culture of Cash"

You might think that reading about a Podunk University's English teacher's attempt to connect the dots between the poverty of American education and the gullibility of the American public may be a little trivial, considering we've embarked on the first, openly-confessed imperial adventure of senescent capitalism in the US, but bear with me. The question my experiences in the classroom raise is why have these young people been educated to such abysmal depths of ignorance. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Aug 12, 03 | 2:50 pm

Wheels of Justice


Education and action against war and occupation in
Iraq and Palestine

The Wheels of Justice is a nationwide tour in a fully decorated bus that brings first hand witness accounts from Iraq and Palestine to challenge and educate Americans on the repercussions of war and occupation both on people abroad and Americans at home.

Having seen and lived with war, terror and occupation in Iraq and Palestine, participants in the Wheels of Justice offer first-hand experience irrespective of partisan politics and sound-bite sloganeering. To build upon the growing domestic opposition to war against Iraq and occupation of Palestine, the Wheels of Justice Tour will cover the United States with education, outreach, training, active nonviolent resistance, and community-building all across the western United States.

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 12, 03 | 1:36 pm

Racism reinforced

New Israeli citizenship law targets Palestinians and empowers Israel's transfer policies. Jonathan Cook writes from Jerusalem

Morad as-Sana and his wife Abir returned home from their honeymoon in Istanbul last Saturday to the news that the Israeli parliament had passed a law two days earlier that will make their planned life together impossible. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 12, 03 | 10:17 am

Cry, the beloved two-state solution

As negotiations with the Palestinians lurch forward and the separation wall snakes its way through the West Bank, two veteran leftists have reached a startling conclusion: There cannot be two states for two peoples in this land.

1. The groundwater

Meron Benvenisti and Haim Hanegbi did not exchange views. Benvenisti lives in Jerusalem, on the edge of the desert, and is trying to write a last book, a summing up. Hanegbi lives in Ramat Aviv, not far from the sea, and is trying to formulate a last, definitive, manifesto. Yet this summer both Benvenisti and Hanegbi reached an intriguing point in their conceptual development. They both reached the conclusion that there is no longer any prospect of
ending the conflict by means of a two-state solution.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Aug 12, 03 | 9:34 am

Mon Aug 11, 2003

Preventive War 'The Supreme Crime'

08/11/03: SEPTEMBER 2002 was marked by three events of considerable importance, closely related. The United States , the most powerful state in history, announced a new national security strategy asserting that it will maintain global hegemony permanently. Any challenge will be blocked by force, the dimension in which the US reigns supreme. At the same time, the war drums began to beat to mobilise the population for an invasion of Iraq . And the campaign opened for the mid-term congressional elections, which would determine whether the administration would be able to carry forward its radical international and domestic agenda. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Aug 11, 03 | 7:51 pm

Sat Aug 09, 2003

The Academic Boycott of South Africa: Symbolic Gesture or Effective Agent of Change?

From the early 1960s until very recently, scholars in South Africa were subjected to various forms of boycott within the international academic community. The academic boycott, strongly supported by the African National Congress and agencies of the United Nations, was part of a much broader sanctions campaign including political, economic, cultural, and sports elements designed to express condemnation of the policy of apartheid and to force change in the racial policies of the South African government. The academic boycott was intended to "isolate" scholars in South Africa by depriving them of the formal and informal sources of information needed to further their research and of the conduits through which they could bring their own work to the attention of the international community.

Manifestations and Levels of the Boycott

At least eight manifestations of this boycott can be recognized:

1. Scholars refusing to travel to South Africa or to invite South Africans abroad;
2. Publishers, journals, and the like, refusing to publish South African manuscripts;
3. Scholars abroad refusing to collaborate with South African scholars;
4. Publishers abroad refusing to provide access to information (for example, books or computer software);
5. International conferences barring South Africans;
6. Institutions abroad denying South African academics access;
7. Institutions abroad refusing to recognize South African degrees;
8. Scholars abroad refusing to act as external examiners for theses presented at South African universities. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Aug 09, 03 | 5:40 pm

Fri Aug 08, 2003

Letter to President Clinton about Iraq

January 26, 1998

The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 08, 03 | 9:31 am

Former Vice President Al Gore Criticises Bush

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Thank you for your investment of time and energy in gathering here today. I would especially like to thank Moveon.org for sponsoring this event, and the NYU College Democrats for co-sponsoring the speech and for hosting us. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 08, 03 | 12:57 am

Thu Aug 07, 2003

Career officer does eye-opening stint inside Pentagon

After eight years of Bill Clinton, many military officers breathed a sigh of relief when George W. Bush was named president. I was in that plurality. At one time, I would have believed the administration's accusations of anti-Americanism against anyone who questioned the integrity and good faith of President Bush, Vice President Cheney or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 07, 03 | 1:07 pm

Wed Aug 06, 2003

Bring Them Home Now! Statement of Purpose

BRING THEM HOME NOW! is a coordinating committee of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and others opposed to the ongoing war in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless challenge to armed Iraqis resisting occupation to "Bring 'em on." More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 06, 03 | 4:05 pm

Tue Aug 05, 2003

The unreported cost of war: at least 827 American wounded

US military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 05, 03 | 7:28 pm

Ignorant Citizens Destroying Freedom

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, "Ignorant and free has never been and never will be." He is right, of course. Furthermore, this simple proverb may best explain the cause of America's rush to moral and political destruction.


Posted by: nachoua on Aug 05, 03 | 2:48 pm

Journalists Are Killers too...!

FPF - The Netherlands - March 25th - 2002 - The international journalist organization CPJ's research indicates, that at least 37 journalists were killed in 2001 because of their work as journalists. They either died in the line of duty or were deliberately targeted for assassination - even with "friendly fire" by their governments - because of their reporting or their affiliation with a news organization. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Aug 05, 03 | 2:33 pm

Mon Aug 04, 2003

Nationalist tendencies running rampant

When Ariel Sharon formed his second government, he announced that he personally would head a single ministerial committee: the one that deals with the non-Jewish population. The prime minister, it was understood, intended to attend personally to the advancement of the population's Arab sector. Five months later, the Sharon government declared that a Knesset vote against the law depriving Palestinians married to Israelis of the right to Israeli citizenship amounted to a vote of no-confidence in the government. Thus, the government forced the Knesset to accept its position and to enact a law that grossly discriminates against Israel's Arab citizens.

Thursday's vote exposed the self-righteous hypocrisy, not only of the government, its ministers and the Knesset coalition (including Shinui), but also of the Shin Bet security services. In recent years, Shin Bet has been making great efforts to foster its image as the more tolerant body within the Israeli government with regard to the Arab minority.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Aug 04, 03 | 5:29 pm

Occupation is "Cancer Tumor of Israeli Society" says Jewish Stat Pianist

"'We don't have to build a wall but have to build bridges,' the famous musician, a vocal critic of the Jewish state, added in reference to the Apartheid Wall Israel is building .." More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Aug 04, 03 | 1:44 pm

US Warns of Financial Sanctions Over Security Fence

The U.S. State Department has prepared a proposal, awaiting the approval of President George W. Bush, that calls for cuts in loan guarantees to Israel matching its outlays for the construction of the security fence east of the Green Line. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on Aug 04, 03 | 1:30 pm

The reek of injustice

Emma Williams says good and conscientious Israelis live in denial of what is being done to the Palestinians

Living in Jerusalem for the past two and a half years has meant living Israeli fear: the fear of taking children to school and hearing a suicide bomber detonate himself outside the school gates; of not wanting to go to a restaurant or bar or coffee shop for fear of being blown up; of hesitating to call Israeli friends for fear that one of their children had been killed in the latest Palestinian terrorist atrocity.

Living in Jerusalem also means seeing the suffering imposed on three million Palestinians because of these fears. The realities are ugly, difficult to talk about, difficult to believe: the brutality, the injustice, the silencing, the denial, the racism — above all, the Occupation.

Most Israelis never go to East Jerusalem; most Palestinians avoid the West. Jerusalem is desperate, beautiful and divided — so clearly divided that you could put up a wall along the seam. Indeed Israel is putting up a wall, but not along the seam. It doesn’t so much divide Israelis from Palestinians as Palestinians from each other, and Palestinians from Israeli settlers, grabbing yet more land in the process; all part of the extremists’ plan to make any future Palestinian state unworkable by expanding the network of colonies, intersecting roads and industrial developments, leaving the Palestinians living between the mesh, in ghettoes.

Unhappy word, ghetto; but there is no other word for the enclosures being built around Palestinian towns. Qalqilya, a once thriving market town of 45,000 people, is now shut off from the world by a fence and wall of concrete 24 feet high. There is one exit, guarded by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), who determine whether the occupants, their produce, their food and medicines may or may not pass. The word ‘ghetto’ comes from mediaeval Venice. It described the walled-off quarter in which Jews were obliged to live: a barbarous, discriminatory policy.

But they were allowed out of the ghetto when they wanted. And even in the worst days of P.W. Botha, the Bantustans were nothing like as restrictive as life in some of the West Bank cities or Gaza — surrounded by a massive barrier, with armed guards at the only entrance that allows through selected foreigners and a handful of Palestinians with special permits. It is hard to describe the pricking alarm you feel when approaching the giant wall and its concrete watchtowers, manned by IDF soldiers who, for whatever reason, sometimes fire in the direction of the children within. I can say this from experience; it happened to my children, who are six and nine, when I took them to the local zoo.


Posted by: Mona Baker on Aug 04, 03 | 10:46 am

Barenboim concert thrills West Bank

The controversial Israeli pianist and conductor, Daniel Barenboim, has played a rare concert for Palestinians in Ramallah in the West Bank.

Daniel Barenboim has attracted criticism in Israel for giving recitals in the West Bank.

However he says his concert was not about politics, but about using music to bridge the divide between Israelis and Palestinians.

And he hopes, eventually, to create a Palestinian youth orchestra.


Posted by: Mona Baker on Aug 04, 03 | 9:10 am

Sun Aug 03, 2003

Peace with America

A line of cars hundreds of meters long now stretches every day on the road that connects the villages of the Tul Karm area, in the West Bank. The Palestinian drivers sometimes have to wait for hours in the punishing sun. They now have to cross an iron gate in the new separation fence, located next to Nazlat al-Garbiya, and go through a check by Border Police, car after car, in order to move from a village in the north to a village in the south within areas under occupation. Since the advent of the cease-fire, the lives of the residents in this area have taken a turn for the worse. Their district seat, Tul Karm, remains under tight siege, as before. Last Wednesday night, tanks burst into the city and the residents awoke to the sounds of gunfire and explosions. They have definitely heard about the promises Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made to U.S. President George Bush about easing the restrictions on the Palestinians, but for them, life just keeps getting harder.

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 03, 03 | 12:49 pm

Sat Aug 02, 2003

When will Israel become a homeland?

The glorious saga of the operations to rescue the surviving remnants of the Jewish people had to end in a ridiculous farce; that's what happens when an establishment that has become outdated insists on using its final ounce of strength to squeeze out the last drops of the old myth, in order to justify the continuation of its bureaucratic existence. Once again the immortal words echo from the mouth of a courageous emissary: "I am a Jew. I have come to take you to Israel," and in a "secret and dangerous" operation they arrive in the homeland, via a circuitous route, six elderly Jews from the sad Iraqi Diaspora, in what clearly looks like scraping the bottom of the barrel of the ingathering of exiles. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 02, 03 | 10:56 pm

Israel’s Apartheid Wall Fact Sheet

by Scottish Friends of Palestine • Thursday July17, 2003 at 11:20 AM

For a detailed map illustrating the ghettos created by the wall see http://www.poica.org/casestudies/Changing%20Wall%20Path%2016-06-03/index.htm

Imagine a concrete wall up to1000 km long, eight metres high with a round watchtower every 200 metres. Visions of a Stalag come to mind, of a huge prison camp. Such an entity cannot exist, surely, without international condemnation echoing in the halls of the good and the great through- out the world.

The1000 km does not exist, yet. However, by the end of 2002,115 km had been constructed at a cost of $ 1million per kilometre. This is Israel's very own Apartheid Wall or "Seam Zone". It is twice the height of the former Berlin Wall and could end up 30 times as long.

And yet there has been no reaction, of any consequence, from the international community.

Eventually, the1000 km may not all be solid concrete. There will be deep, impassable four metre wide trenches flanking the route, a barbed wire fence and a road patrolled by the Israeli army. In places there will be smooth stretches of sand, constantly monitored for footprints. There will be electronic sensors. All buildings within 35 metres of the Wall, on the Palestinian side, will be razed to the ground.

The Purpose

And the purpose of this monstrosity? Security according to Israel, to separate Israeli from the West Bank Palestinian. Not so, according to the Palestinian.

If you want security, end the occupation, acknowledge the rights of the Palestinian people and observe international law as it applies to the question of Palestine.The wall will entrench the occupation, squeeze the Palestinian under occupation further into their ghetto and make life more and more intolerable. It is a recipe, not for achieving security, but for guaranteeing further instability and violence in the region.

With the boundary between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank being about350 km long, why does the route of the proposed wall come to1000 km? The answer lies in the route of the Wall. It is set to loop deep into Palestinian occupied territory, embracing clusters of illegal settlements, enclosing much fertile land and important subterranean water reservoirs . Every conflict in Palestine has resulted in expansion by Israel. In1948 , the nascent Israeli state expanded vastly outwith the area determined by the United Nations partition resolution. In 1967 there was further expansion into the West Bank and Gaza Strip (not forgetting the Syrian Golan). The current conflict is no exception, with the wall construction being used as an opportunity to confiscate about10 % of the West Bank.

Israel argues that the construction is temporary, contingent on the state's perception of the "security situation." Experience has long shown that, in the absence of external pressure, particularly from the United States, Israel has never relinquished any land it has occupied.

Horrific consequences - the Ghetto of Qalqilya

The consequences for the Palestinian living close to the wall are nothing short of horrific. Take the case of the once prosperous market town of Qalqilya. Already the town is surrounded on three sides by the wall. Very much as if enclosed by a bottle. The bottle-neck is the only way in and out of this town of 000 42 residents. Gates at the long neck, overlooked by a watchtower, controls the flow in and out of the town - one person or vehicle at a time. For the residents of Qalqilya, their town can be transformed into a prison at the whim of any occupation soldier.

More than 500 1acres, one third of Qalqilya's town land has been confiscated. Forty five per cent of the district land has been similarly appropriated. A wealthy town, with about half the water resources of the West Bank, the area - the most important agricultural basket in the West Bank, producing about42 % of all its fruit and vegetable - was an exporter to Israel and the Gulf states. Now the 000 18 residents of nine villages, together with 19 artesian wells, are trapped to the west, between Israel and the Wall. Access to the rest of the West Bank will, once again, be at the whim of the occupier.

One of Qalqilya's affected villages is Jayyous, where the wall deviates up to 6 km from the Green Line (the 1948 Armistice Line). It virtually encircles about 500 homes, cutting them off from their land. In the process, an80 metre swathe has been cut through the centuries old olive grove. Of the960 trees owned by Mayor Salim (some 500 years old), only 50 remain.

Such circumstances are, in reality, part of the strategy leading to the slow process of ethnic cleansing in occupied Palestine. Already Palestinian businesses have relocated to the east of the Wall. Where the monthly family income in Qalqilya was once $000 1, it is now closer to $60.

Building for Domination - make the occupation irreversible

In tandem with the Wall project, there is the Trans-Israel Highway which runs from North to South through a17 % swathe of the West Bank. It has a buffer zone the width of three football pitches on either side. Its creation, as with the Wall, was only possible by the demolition of Palestinian homes and the virtual desertification of Palestinian land.

This Highway complements the 250 miles of the settler-only apartheid road system, which criss-crosses the West Bank. The dual effect could be to cut the West Bank into 200 enclaves. All totally reliant on Israel and injections of foreign aid - with no prospect of establishing a viable Palestinian state.

Settlements currently take up1 .6% of total land in the West Bank. Together with the road network which services the settlements, the settlers and their settlements control an effective46 % of West Bank land.

When the PLO accepted the Oslo Peace Accords, they agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state on22 % of historic Palestine. Of this22 %, under18 % is now controlled by the Palestinian people.

In the words of Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition, there is no intention to allow a viable Palestinian state.

Sources: Building a Barrier to Peace, The Scotsman, 31/01/03, Between Walls and Snipers, The Jordan Times 5 /12/ 02

Scottish Friends of Palestine 31 Tinto Road Glasgow G2 43AL


Posted by: Mona Baker on Aug 02, 03 | 9:53 pm

Fri Aug 01, 2003

Italian Says She Gave U.S. Uranium Info

ROME - A journalist for an Italian news magazine has come forward, saying it was she who turned over to U.S. diplomats some documents purportedly showing that Iraq (news - web sites) wanted to buy uranium from Niger. The documents turned out to be forgeries. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 01, 03 | 8:09 pm

US death toll hits 50 as assault increase by Iraqi guerrillas

29 July 2003: American casualties in Iraq since President George Bush declared the war over reached the critical figure of 50 yesterday. Fifty young American lives have thus been sacrificed since 1 May in a growing guerrilla war that Washington and London still will not acknowledge. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 01, 03 | 4:35 pm

War on truth

In Baghdad, the rise and folly of rapacious imperial power is commemorated in a forgotten cemetery called the North Gate. Dogs are its visitors; the rusted gates are padlocked, and skeins of traffic fumes hang over its parade of crumbling headstones and unchanging historical truth. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Aug 01, 03 | 4:21 pm