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Archives: November 2004

Tue Nov 30, 2004

The “Pianist” of Palestine

Roadblock Concerto at Gunpoint

When I watched Oscar-winning film The Pianist I had three distinct, uneasy reactions. I was not particularly impressed by the film, from a purely artistic angle; I was horrified by the film's depiction of the dehumanization of Polish Jews and the impunity of the German occupiers; and I could not help but compare the Warsaw ghetto wall with Israel's much more ominous wall caging 3.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in fragmented, sprawling prisons. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 30, 04 | 9:56 pm

Defend Academic Freedom at Columbia University - Press Release

11/24/04--ADC expresses its deep concern over increased attempts to silence free speech and academic freedom at Columbia University.

Professor Joseph Massad, an untenured junior faculty member in the department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) has been the target of a campaign designed to intimidate academics critical of Israel and U.S. foreign policy in the Arab world. Citing "the duress of coercion and intimidation," Professor Massad has decided not to teach his course on Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies next semester.

A "special report" in the New York Daily News on November 21 accused the MEALAC department of "promoting an I-hate-Israel agenda, embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and teaching that Zionism is the root of all evil in the Mideast." Arguing that "Columbia has been infected with a contingent of faculty members whose hatred for Israel has eclipsed any academic mission that makes sense," a November 19 New York Sun editorial went so far as to demand that Columbia University President expand his investigation to include "the content of the scholars' research." At least one Congressman, Representative Anthony Weiner, has publicly called for Professor Massad to be fired. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 30, 04 | 10:05 am

ADC Denounces New Efforts to Chill Academic Freedom

WASHINGTON, DC - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expressed deep concerns over emerging efforts designed to chill any criticism of Israel in American colleges and universities by labeling it as "anti-Semitism." In particular ADC cited a new website for monitoring the political views of professors and a Sept. 17 speech by Harvard University President Lawrence Summers equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 30, 04 | 10:03 am

WHY JEWS SHOULD SUPPORT DIVESTMENT

Shamai Leibowitz is an Israeli human rights lawyer in Tel Aviv who has defended cases before the High Court. He is also an Orthodox Jew, a former tank gunner in the IDF and part of a group of 1000 soldiers who have refused to serve in the occupied territories due to the immorality of the Occupation.

As an Israeli citizen and former tank gunner in the Israeli army, I feel the need to explain why I, along with many other Jews, support divestment from Israel.

We are asking the city of Somerville, as well as other cities and civic institutions, to divest from companies involved in selling arms, bulldozers and military technologies that are used to by the Israeli army to commit war crimes against Palestinians. As people committed to human rights for all, we call upon Americans to demand that their tax-dollars are not invested in companies that sell equipment and ammunition that fuel Israel's consistent and appalling violations of international law and human rights. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 30, 04 | 9:59 am

Columbia vows swift action on anti-Israel professors

NEW YORK - Columbia University president Lee Bollinger plans "specific steps" soon in response to allegations that professors and lecturers at the Ivy League university made vitriolic and malicious comments against Israel in classes.

Bollinger made the pledge in a Wednesday phone call to Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman. Bollinger didn't detail the character of the steps, but emphasized "the matter will be handled immediately." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 30, 04 | 9:56 am

Meanwhile: The olive tree and its shadow of hope

WASHINGTON Massive Israeli incursions and Palestinian deaths, retaliatory suicide bombings and Israeli deaths - this is the stuff of headlines. But smaller stories of peace and justice are also played out every day, and never more so than during the season of the Palestinian olive harvest from mid-October to the end of November.

For days, busloads of Israelis have been pouring into the fields and villages of occupied Palestine to join other activists from around the world in protecting families from Israeli soldiers and settlers so they can pick the glossy blue-black fruit.

The Rabbi for Human Rights bus was overcrowded at the start of the season. "This is the kind of trouble we hope often to have," said the group's coordinator to Adam Keller, of the Israeli peace organization Gush Shalom, who kept a diary. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 30, 04 | 9:52 am

Sat Nov 27, 2004

Who Can We Trust?

There are so many major problems in this country now; so much that literally depends upon concise and accurate information, that this simple phrase ­"Who can we trust," may be the difference between life and death. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 27, 04 | 6:34 pm

Economic 9/11 coming?

Dollar crashing, national debt exploding, massive trade deficits...can another 9/11 be expected, this time of the economic variety? The cynically minded will imagine that the Bush Reich will welcome the opportunities provided by total economic chaos and destruction in Amerika. Why? Because they make the game rules and profit... More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 27, 04 | 3:15 am

Iraq: Child malnutrition almost doubles after US invasion

A study conducted by the Fafo Institute for Applied Social Science, a Norwegian research group, found that acute malnutrition among Iraqi children between the ages of six months and five years has increased from 4 percent to 7.7 percent since the US-led invasion in March last year. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 27, 04 | 3:05 am

What the Dollar's Collapse will mean to the World

Over the last few days, there has been a number of articles in the media about the steady decline of the $US against the Euro. While many economists have forecasted the possiblity of the dollar declining against the Euro for sometime, most do not comprehend the significance of this. Some believe that the decline of the dollar against the currencies of American's trading partners will help correct the USA's trade deficit, and the dollar will stop falling when the trade imbalance is corrected. However, the evidence is that the opposite is happening - the $US has declined 40% against the Euro over the last 2 years, and during this time America's trade deficit has continues to deteriorate. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 27, 04 | 2:53 am

Thu Nov 25, 2004

'Kerry and the Gift of Impunity

Iconic images inspire love and hate, and so it is with the photograph of James Blake Miller, the 20-year-old Marine from Appalachia who has been christened "the face of Falluja" by prowar pundits and "The Marlboro Man" by pretty much everyone else. Reprinted in more than a hundred newspapers, the Los Angeles Times photograph shows Miller "after more than twelve hours of nearly nonstop deadly combat" in Falluja, his face coated in war paint, a bloody scratch on his nose, and a freshly lit cigarette hanging from his lips.

Gazing lovingly at Miller, Dan Rather confessed that, "for me, this is personal.... This is a warrior with his eyes on the far horizon, scanning for danger. See it, study it, absorb it. Think about it. Then take a deep breath of pride. And if your eyes don't dampen, you're a better man or woman than I." A few days later, the LA Times declared that its photo had "moved into the realm of the iconic." In truth, the image just feels iconic because it is so laughably derivative: It's a straight-up rip-off of the most powerful icon in American advertising (the Marlboro Man), which in turn imitated the brightest star ever created by Hollywood (John Wayne) who was himself channeling America's most powerful founding myth (the cowboy on the rugged frontier). It's like a song you feel like you've heard a thousand times before--because you have.
More...

Posted by: Hazem on Nov 25, 04 | 6:37 pm

Iraq's Forbidding "Triangle of Death”

BAGHDAD, Nov. 22 -- For Hassan Abu Mohammed, the trip from Baghdad to the sacred Shiite Muslim city of Karbala was ritual, started by his grandfather and adopted by his father. Each week during the holy month of Ramadan, he loaded a car with enough chicken, rice, lentil soup and kibbe, a dish of ground lamb and bulgur wheat, to feed at least 150 people. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 25, 04 | 1:32 am

Dead-Check in Falluja

In April 9, 2003, the day the statue of Saddam Hussein was being toppled in Baghdad, symbolizing the promised liberation of Iraq, I was embedded with a Marine unit engaged in fierce combat about 30 miles north of the city, on the outskirts of Baquba. Late that afternoon, the Humvee I was in was following about 50 feet behind a Marine Light Armored Vehicle when it pulled alongside a Toyota pickup pushed to the side of the road, its doors riddled with bullet holes. The head of at least one occupant was visible in the truck, but I couldn't determine if he was moving or not. Nor did I see any weapons. As our Humvee stopped behind the truck, a Marine in the vehicle ahead of us leapt out, pointed his rifle into the window of the pickup and sprayed it with gunfire. It was a cold-blooded execution. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 25, 04 | 1:24 am

Israel's Battle in Fallujah

It has become clear that Israel played a major role in the battle for Fallujah, despite the American concern to conceal this fact. What news leaked of officers, soldiers, and even rabbis of dual citizenships that took part in the battles, some of which were killed by the resistance's bullets, is only the tip of the iceberg. The killing of an Israeli officer in Fallujah exposed the existence of a large number officers, snipers, and paratroopers in Iraq. Based on Israeli press statistics, Israel currently has no fewer than 1,000 officers and soldiers scattered around the American units working in Iraq. In addition, 37 rabbis are operating within the American troops, which leads to believe that the real number is greater; since Ha'aretz admitted that others are concealing their Jewish identities, which makes them self-driven Israeli citizens. Currently, there is a recruitment campaign coinciding with the escalation of the operations in Iraq, which seeks to send further assistance there. Amongst these campaigns is the incitement of Rabbi Irving Elson in his latest speech given in New York to allocate further "Fighting Rabbis" and encourage them to enlist in the American forces, in addition to another rabbi's advisory stating that those killed in Fallujah are "martyrs."
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 25, 04 | 1:17 am

Wed Nov 24, 2004

No Longer a Christian


I was told in Sunday school the word "Christian" means to be Christ-like, but the message I hear daily on the airwaves from the “christian ” media are words of war, violence, and aggression. Throughout this article I will spell Christian with a small c rather than a capital, since the term (as I usually hear it thrown about) does not refer to the teachings of the one I know as the Christ. I hear church goers call in to radio programs and explain that it was a mistake not to kill every living thing in Fallujah. They quote chapter and verse from the old testament about smiting the enemies of Israel. The fear of fighting the terrorists on our soil rather than across the globe causes the voices to be raised as they justify the latest prison scandal or other accounts of the horrors of war. The words they speak are words of destruction, aggression, dominance, revenge, fear and arrogance. The host and the callers echo the belief in the righteousness of our nation's killing. There are reminders to pray for our “Christian” president who is doing the work of the Lord: Right to Life, Second Amendment, sanctity of marriage, welfare reform, war, kill, evil liberals. . . so much to fight, so much to destroy. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 24, 04 | 4:23 pm

Bono's New Casualty: 'Private Ryan'

As American soldiers were dying in Falluja, some Americans back home spent Veteran's Day mocking the very ideal our armed forces are fighting for ­ freedom. Ludicrous as it sounds, 66 ABC affiliates revolted against their own network and refused to broadcast "Saving Private Ryan." The reason: fear. Not fear of terrorism or fear of low ratings but fear that their own government would punish them for exercising freedom of speech. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Nov 24, 04 | 3:27 pm

Professor of international law accuses Harvard of hiring " War criminal"

11/23/04 "ICH" -- A Harvard University Law School alumni and professor of international law and human rights has started a campaign to boycott the prestigious university he once attended as a result of Harvard’s hiring of Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith to join its law school faculty.

Goldsmith was identified earlier this year as one of several legal experts who drafted memos for the White House and the Justice Department saying the military could skirt the rules of the Geneva Convention when interrogating Iraqi prisoners. Legal experts have said that word about bypassing the Geneva Convention trickled down the military chain of command and lead to widespread abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on Nov 24, 04 | 3:20 pm

Tue Nov 23, 2004

Fallujah 101 : A history lesson…

A history lesson about the town we are currently destroying.

There is a small City on one of the bends of the Euphrates that sticks out into the great Syrian Desert. It’s on an ancient trade route linking the oasis towns of the Nejd province of what is today Saudi Arabia with the great cities of Aleppo and Mosul to the north. It also is on the desert highway between Baghdad and Amman. This city is a crossroads. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 23, 04 | 11:42 pm

No one is taken in by the US lies

The graves of Falluja show the reality of Iraq's occupation

In an ideal world, the US-appointed interim prime minister of Iraq, Ayad Allawi, would find himself answerable for his craven obeisance to his American overlords, instead of using this week's Sharm el-Sheikh conference as an excuse to condemn those who are fighting back against occupation.
A year and a half ago, CIA wings wafted him and his ilk back to long-suffering Baghdad, the ancient capital of a resilient Arab people, who had somehow survived two devastating wars, 13 years of history's most punitive sanctions, the all-consuming degradations of life under a totalitarian regime, the destruction and occupation of their country by a motley crew of US soldiers, British tag-alongs, "a coalition of the coerced and the bribed" - to use John Kerry's once radical phrase - and the harpies and carpetbaggers in the form of American private contractors, corporate swine, exiled Iraqi fraudsters, and professional torturers. Iraqis watched helplessly as their country's infrastructure was destroyed - electricity, sewerage, houses, hospitals, schools, libraries, bridges, roads - and as their national treasures were allowed to be looted, and their natural resources robbed.
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 23, 04 | 5:33 pm

The No-Partner Myth

Will Israel take steps to address Palestinian grievances or continue myth-making?

The leader and symbol of the Palestinian people is dead. His departure from the political scene has far-reaching implications, particularly for Israeli-Palestinian relations. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 23, 04 | 3:31 pm

Press Release: The launching of "Israel Academia Monitor"

It is with great pleasure that we announce the official opening of the web site for Israel Academia Monitor, at the web address: http://israel-academia-monitor.com/

Israel Academia Monitor is an Israeli watchdog group that monitors abuses of academic freedom and politicalization of Israeli campuses by extremists and radicals in Israeli academia who probably damage Israel because they want to be accepted by the enemy or by some of Israel's worst adversaries. We have modeled ourselves in part on the highly successful "Campus Watch" organization and monitoring group in the United States. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 23, 04 | 8:08 am

Mon Nov 22, 2004

What happened in the Fallujah Mosque?

OPEN LETTER TO marines
By Kevin Sites
Correspondent
NBC News

Since the shooting in the mosque, I've been haunted that I have not been able to tell you directly what I saw or explain the process by which the world came to see it as well. As you know, I'm not some war-zone tourist with a camera who doesn't understand that ugly things happen in combat. I've spent most of the last five years covering global conflict. But I have never in my career been a "gotcha" reporter hoping for people to commit wrongdoings so I can catch them at it. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 22, 04 | 11:33 pm

Hatred 101: Columbia's Learning Curve on Israel

Special Report: Columbia is at risk of becoming a poison Ivy, some critics claim, and tensions are high. In classrooms, teach-ins, interviews and published works, dozens of academics are said to be promoting an I-hate-Israel agenda, embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and teaching that Zionism is the root of all evil in the Mideast.

In the world of Hamid Dabashi, supporters of Israel are "warmongers" and "Gestapo apparatchiks."

The Jewish homeland is "nothing more than a military base for the rising predatory empire of the United States."

It's a capital of "thuggery" - a "ghastly state of racism and apartheid" - and it "must be dismantled."

A voice from America's crackpot fringe? Actually, Dabashi is a tenured professor and department chairman at Columbia University. And his views have resonated and been echoed in other areas of the university.
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 22, 04 | 8:44 am

Children pay cost of Iraq's chaos

BAGHDAD -- Acute malnutrition among young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the United States led an invasion of the country 20 months ago, according to surveys by the United Nations, aid agencies and the interim Iraqi government. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 22, 04 | 3:28 am

Sharon prepares to sabotage Palestinian elections

Uri Avnery says that Sharon will do his utmost to sabotage the upcoming Palestinian presidential elections, which are likely to be won by Mahmud Abbas - Abu-Mazen. He argues that the election of Abu-Mazen could pave the way for US endorsement of a Palestinian state, risking both Sharon's plan to annex 58 per cent of the West Bank and the future of the settlements. He warns that Sharon will do anything to prevent this. "For example, bloody attacks, acts of 'terrorism' that can be attributed to the new chairman, civil war, anarchy." More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 22, 04 | 1:50 am

Not What You Think

11/20/04 -- With all of the political hoopla and heifer dust that is spread about the Middle East, you might think we are totally dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Actually, we are not. 
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 22, 04 | 1:40 am

Sun Nov 21, 2004

Presbyterians Establish ‘Criteria’ for Divestment

The Presbyterian Church (USA) may have a list of companies to “divest” from by spring 2005, lest Jewish anti-divestment campaigns complicate plans set during the Nov. 4-6 meeting of the PC(USA)’s Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) team in New York City, NY. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 21, 04 | 7:29 pm

RESOLUTION TO DIVEST, IN PRINCIPLE AND PRACTICE, FROM ISRAEL

Text of the divestment resolution adopted by the National convenstion of the National Lawyers Guild, on October 24, 2004, in Birmingham, AL.

WHEREAS the Israeli government with its illegal occupation and expansionist program in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip is engaged, and has been engaged in grave human rights violations including but not limited to: the use of live ammunition on unarmed civilians (including men, women, and children); massive and disproportionate use of force including the firing of missiles from Apache helicopter gunships against defenseless civilian populations; illegal mass arrests and institutionalized torture (including men women, and children); the willful destruction of agricultural land; the deprivation of water; forced malnutrition with concomitant health consequences including stillborn deaths and irreversible developmental damage to children; the mass demolition of homes and confiscation of land; hostage taking and extra-judicial assassinations; denial of medical service s to the sick and wounded; the use of human shields (including children); the targeting of schools, and hospitals; the building of illegal fortified "Jewish-only" Israeli colonies/settlements on confiscated land connected by "Jewish-only" bypass roads, and the heavily subsidized transfer of hundreds of thousands of its own civilian population into these colonies/settlements; More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 21, 04 | 7:26 pm

'That weasel word'

As an increasing number of intellectuals speak out against the Israeli onslaught in Palestine, very few have broken the conspiracy of silence in Britain. In Oxford, Omayma Abdel-Latif meets the Irish poet Tom Paulin

We are fed this inert
This lying phrase
Like comfort food
As another little Palestinian boy
In trainers jeans and a white teeshirt
Is gunned down by the Zionist SS
Whose initials we should
-- but we don't -- dumb goys
Clock in that weasel word
Crossfire
-- Tom Paulin, "Killed in the Crossfire," The Observer, (18.02.01)
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 21, 04 | 7:04 pm

A Heartless War

The U.S. strategy is now focused entirely on inspiring fear in the minds of Iraqis. To hell with winning their hearts.

For some time now, American political discussion has seemed to revolve around little stock phrases, such as "defining moment" (at the time of the first Gulf War), "the end of history" (at the end of the Cold War), "the economy, stupid" (in the early Clinton years), "shock and awe" (as the second Gulf War began). Sometimes there's a revival of one or another. One of these is "winning hearts and minds." It became popular during the Vietnam War and is enjoying a vogue in the context of the war in Iraq. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 21, 04 | 6:49 pm

The Role of Boycotts in the Fight for Peace: Notes on Post-Election Strategy

After the election of George Bush, it took less than a week for peace activists to reach a consensus: "Stand and fight."

The U.S. election is simply unacceptable. No president, no matter how large the vote, has any authority to commit war crimes, to destroy cities from the air, to create inhuman prison systems beyond the rule of law, to violate the sovereignty of states. No franchise anywhere entitles any leader to subjugate foreign peoples, or to violate international law. Far from being a democratic "mandate" for Bush, the election is a mandate for world-wide resistance. As James Madison wrote: "Elective despotism is not the government we fought for."

Notwithstanding the consensus of defiance, questions of strategy remain to be addressed. How and where and by what means do we carry on the fight for peace? Do we continue to work within deformed, money-drenched elections? Or do we move into a new phase of direct, economic actions?

At the turn of the 20th century, when imperialism was in its ascendancy, British economist J.A. Hobson, wrote: "Consumption alone vitalises capital and makes it capable of yielding profits...It is idle to attack Imperialism or Militarism as political expedients or policies unless the axe is laid at the economic root of the tree."

No country is more market-driven, more intertwined with foreign commerce and trade, more dependent on the good will of workers and consumers, than the United States. Its war machine depends on parts produced in foreign countries, and there is growing feeling throughout the world that farmers, entrepreneurs, workers and consumers should do unto the U.S. what the U.S. does unto others.

As peace organizations formulate strategy and co-ordinate actions, the teachings of Arundhati Roy, the most visionary and sagacious strategist on the world stage, take on immediate significance. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 21, 04 | 10:36 am

Sat Nov 20, 2004

New bill in Congress targets Teachers who dare question US support to Israel

The Israeli lobby has launched an all-out drive to ensure congressional passage of a bill, approved by the House and now before a Senate committee that would set up a federal tribunal to investigate and monitor criticism of Israel on American college campuses. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 20, 04 | 7:56 am

Terririaing those who are praying

11/19/04 "ICH" -- Abu Talat calls me frantic. The deafening roar of hundreds of people in a confined area yelling, “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) reverberate behind his panicked voice. 
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 20, 04 | 4:38 am

Fri Nov 19, 2004

Sell-by date of war crimes about to expire in Somerville, MA?

Tension and apprehension filled the air in the Boston suburb of Somerville, Massachusetts on the night of Monday November 8, 2004. The Somerville Board of Aldermen held a public meeting to consider a non-binding resolution to divest from Israel bonds and from companies who profit from the human rights abuses carried out by Israel against Palestinian people. If it passes, it will be the first such resolution in the world to be passed by a city. The Presbyterian Church and the National Lawyers Guild have already voted to divest and The Anglican Church is considering it.

Companies targeted include Caterpillar, United Technologies, General Electric, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. Caterpillar has been the target of numerous boycott campaigns since American Rachel Corrie was killed by a D-9 bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier. She was trying to protect the home of a Palestinian pharmacist from demolition at the time. Caterpillar's D-9 is used by Israel to destroy homes (sometimes with people still inside). It is also used to destroy land, uproot olive trees and build the so-called separation barrier/apartheid wall. When complete, the wall may appropriate up to 45% of the occupied West Bank, including much of its most arable land and water resources. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 19, 04 | 7:49 pm

US Perbyterians warned to change “anti-Israel” stance

NEW YORK - Special safety precautions were taken in Presbyterian churches throughout the United States on Sunday after leaders received threats that churches would be burned by Monday if they did not demand a reversal of what a letter writer called their "anti-Israel" policy. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 19, 04 | 4:39 pm

Thu Nov 18, 2004

Slash and Burn

To see photos for this item, go to: http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album18

11/17/04 "ICH" -- She lays dazed in the crowded hospital room, languidly waving her bruised arm at the flies. Her shins, shattered by bullets from US soldiers when they fired through the front door of her house, are both covered by casts. Small plastic drainage backs filled with red fluid sit upon her abdomen, where she took shrapnel from another bullet.

Fatima Harouz, 12 years old, lives in Latifiya, a city just south of Baghdad. Just three days ago soldiers attacked her home. Her mother, standing with us says, “They attacked our home and there weren’t even any resistance fighters in our area.” Her brother was shot and killed, and his wife was wounded as their home was ransacked by soldiers. “Before they left, they killed all of our chickens,” added Fatima’s mother, her eyes a mixture of fear, shock and rage. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 18, 04 | 7:53 pm

Eyewitness: Ghost city calls for help

As US-led troops battle rebels in the Iraqi city of Falluja, aid agencies have warned that civilians are left with little food and no drinking water. The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, an Iraqi journalist and resident of Falluja who reports regularly for Reuters and the BBC World Service in Arabic.

We are publishing his and other eyewitness accounts from the city in order to provide the fullest possible range of perspectives from those who are there:
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 18, 04 | 12:30 pm

Eyewitness: Fear remains after assault

As US forces say they have overall control of Falluja, the BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, an Iraqi journalist and resident of Falluja who reports regularly for Reuters and the BBC World Service in Arabic.

We are publishing his and other eyewitness accounts from the city in order to provide the fullest possible range of perspectives from those who are there:
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 18, 04 | 12:24 pm

What She Said

"They don't have snow days in Palestine, they have military invasion days." (International Solidarity Movement activists, describing Palestinian children's lives under Israeli military occupation.)

She said, go play outside,
but don't throw balls near the soldiers.
When a jeep goes past
keep your eyes on the ground.
And don't pick up stones,
not even for hopscotch. She said,
don't bother the neighbors;
their son was arrested last night.
Hang the laundry, make the beds,
scrub that graffiti off the walls
before the soldiers see it. She said,
there's no money; if your shoes
are too tight, cut the toes off.
This is what we have to eat;
we won't eat again until tomorrow. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 18, 04 | 8:55 am

Wed Nov 17, 2004

Snuff Films and War Crimes in Iraq: Executing Injured Prisoners in Fallujah

The recently broadcast NBC footage taken by an American journalist embedded with a Marines unit attacking Fallujah was unambiguous. In a badly damaged mosque, a US soldier has indeed shot dead from a close range, execution-style, an injured person who, according to the journalist himself, was severely injured, unarmed and did not pose any imminent threat. In fact, several other Iraqis were reportedly found in Fallujah with single-bullet marks in their heads indicating a similar fate. It can be accurately concluded that US soldiers are still committing war crimes in Iraq with frightening ease and nauseating impunity. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 17, 04 | 10:01 pm

Judge grants delay in Al-Arian trial

TAMPA - A federal judge has granted a request to delay the trial of a former professor suspected of terrorist ties, in part because of the publicity over Sami Al-Arian during the U.S. Senate race, as well as the amount of evidence in the case.

By moving the trial start to April 4, U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. gave the former University of South Florida professor and his co-defendants less than the six additional months they sought. The trial had been scheduled to start in January. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 17, 04 | 9:53 pm

Anglican Peace and Justice Network Statement on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

We, as members of the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, representing 23 Provinces of the worldwide 75,000,000 member Anglican Communion, have visited the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem over these last 8 days, and during that time have been inspired by the faith of the people in the diocese, while also being exposed to the draconian conditions of the continuing Occupation under which so many Palestinians live. We have heard from Israeli Jewish voices, and from Palestinians, both those who reside in Israel and those who live under Occupation. We note the continuing policies of illegal home demolitions, detentions, checkpoints, identity card systems and the presence of the Israeli military that make any kind of normal life impossible. We have seen and heard the effects of the overwhelming presence of settlements or colonies in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in Gaza, and the bypass roads and highways that connect them while disconnecting Palestinian villages, one from another. We have seen the destruction of precious arable lands and restrictions on precious water resources. Finally, and shockingly, we have been exposed to the separation wall that violates international boundaries, causing mayhem in Palestinian daily life and further defines Israeli intentions to appropriate land from the Palestinians. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 17, 04 | 8:24 pm

"Look upon your works, ye Israel, and despair" - a comprehensive, critical analysis of conditions in Palestine under the iron boot of the State of Israel

"Real armies attack armies, but the mighty Israeli army is ganging up on refugee camps and murdering women and children…It is not a heroic act to use state-of-the-art machines of death against impoverished civilians who even have a hard time securing food for their kids."

- Husni Zurub, Mayor of Khan Younis
25th October 2004
---------------------
Since the rapid deterioration in the health of President Yasser Arafat, listeners throughout the world have been constantly regaled with pre-reports, predictions by uninformed BBC commentators, of the hypothetical violence which they say will follow the President's death. Not, you will note from Palestinian informed commentators. It is clearly in Israel's interest to increase the output of this propaganda and to foment the unrest which they predict. Now is an apposite time to examine the violence, death and destruction visited upon the Palestinian people by the Israelis just in the past two months within the context of International Law so that readers may decide for themselves who is perpetrating the violence.

I have searched all the statistical information that I can find together with individual reports detailing each Israeli attack on Palestinians over the past 60 days - I have earnestly attempted to ensure that I have not duplicated the reports or figures therein. If there was any doubt I omitted items: it has taken two weeks to collate all the information. The confusion, as well as the difficulty of information collecting, is something I feel quite certain that the Israelis have factored in to their cold, cruel plan for Palestine - the crimes are so numerous and come so fast, and the destroyed telecommunications and devastated landscape so dislocating, that few will have the time or the persistence required to reach the truth. The totals are almost certainly an underestimate as more statistics will come in later: there is an approximate margin of error of plus or minus 3% - 4%. More...

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Nov 17, 04 | 7:09 am

Tue Nov 16, 2004

A War Crime in Real Time

The obliteration of Fallujah continues apace. Article 6(b) of the 1945 Nuremberg Charter defines a Nuremberg War Crime in relevant part as the ". . . wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages. . ." According to this definitive definition, the Bush Jr. administration's destruction of Fallujah constitutes a war crime for which Nazis were tried and executed. There is nothing surprising about that. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 16, 04 | 11:35 pm

To The Father in Fallujah Who Buried His Son in His Garden


Lift your warm son's body and scream as you haven't screamed before and ask them what has your son done to them? More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 16, 04 | 8:46 pm

Speech on Accepting the Sydney Peace Prize

It's official now. The Sydney Peace Foundation is neck deep in the business of gambling and calculated risk. Last year, very courageously, it chose Dr Hanan Ashrawi of Palestine for the Sydney Peace Prize.

And, as if that were not enough, this year - of all the people in the world - it goes and chooses me!

However I'd like to make a complaint. My sources inform me that Dr Ashrawi had a picket all to herself. This is discriminatory. I demand equal treatment for all Peace Prizes. May I formally request the Foundation to organize a picket against me after the lecture? From what I've heard, it shouldn't be hard to organize. If this is insufficient notice, then tomorrow will suit me just as well.

When this year's Sydney Peace Prize was announced, I was subjected to some pretty arch remarks from those who know me well: Why did they give it to the biggest trouble-maker we know? Didn't anybody tell them that you don't have a peaceful bone in your body? And, memorably, Arundhati didi what's the Sydney Peace Prize? Was there a war in Sydney that you helped to stop?
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 16, 04 | 3:38 pm

Sharon's Gaza Pullout: Not Gonna Happen!

We gather here at difficult times, when it seems that the Palestinian cause has been almost eliminated from the international agenda. The Western world is hailing the new "peace vision" of Sharon's disengagement plan. The day this plan passed in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) last week was hailed by Le Monde as a historical day. Who would pay attention to the two line news piece that on that same day, the Israeli army killed 16 Palestinians in Khan-Yunes?

It is pretty much known even in the West that Sharon's plan is not about ending the occupation. With regard to the Gaza strip, the disengagement plan published in the Israeli papers on Friday, April 16, specifies that "Israel will supervise and guard the external envelope on land, will maintain exclusive control in the air space of Gaza, and will continue to conduct military activities in the sea space of the Gaza Strip". In other words, the Palestinians will be imprisoned from all sides, with no connection to the world, except through Israel. Israel also reserves for itself the right to act militarily inside the Gaza strip. In return for this "concession", Israel would be permitted to complete the wall and to maintain the situation in the West Bank as is. The innovation in the Bush-Sharon agreement that approved this plan is that this is not a proposal awaiting the approval of the Palestinian people. Now the Palestinians are not even asked. It is Israel and the U.S. who are determining the facts on the ground. Israel marks the land that it desires, and builds a wall on that route. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 16, 04 | 9:01 am

“Let them drink sand!”. War crimes in Fallujah

The United States is bringing "democracy" to Iraq on the same terms that the Russians imposed its federal mandate on Chechnya, a region which has Iraq's future written in its rubble. The advocates of intervention in Iraq, the epigones of Wolfowitz , should take a walk through Grozny, and measure against its ruins the fate of their proclaimed ambition to bring democracy to Fallujah and other cities in Iraq. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 16, 04 | 1:43 am

Dogs Eating Bodies in the Streets of Fallujah

11/15/04 "ICH" -- It never fails to get my adrenaline flowing when my hotel rumbles from a car bomb detonating in central Baghdad. 
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 16, 04 | 12:49 am

Doctor is haunted by siege of Fallujah

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Dr. Ahmed Ghanim's nightmarish week began with a phone call in the operating room of a triage center in downtown Fallujah. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 16, 04 | 12:38 am

AP Photographer Flees Fallujah

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - In the weeks before the crushing military assault on his hometown, Bilal Hussein sent his parents and brother away from Fallujah to stay with relatives. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 16, 04 | 12:33 am

Mon Nov 15, 2004

Rivers of Blood

In far away
Fallujah
children are dying,
holding hands
with mothers
and sisters,
with brothers
and fathers… More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 15, 04 | 11:40 pm

Sun Nov 14, 2004

The Passion of Arafat

In the last ten days of his life the world held its breath following what appeared to be an everlasting battle between a giant freedom fighter and the angel of death. Many of us were following the news with care, many of us were praying for the president's recovery. Apparently, not all of us: we also had a chance to see some necrophiliac Israeli ministers who would not let go, for them this was an opportunity to entertain themselves with fatality, an opportunity not to be missed. They tried to convince us for the last time that Arafat was a terrorist, that the notion
of him being buried in Jerusalem amongst ‘Jewish Kings’ was inconceivable. These Israeli leaders insisted on telling us that this great man was an ‘enemy of peace’. But as it seems, their viciousness didn’t prevail. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 14, 04 | 9:15 pm

Rejoice not


"Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth, Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him." This biblical injunction (Proverbs 24:17) is one of the most profound Jewish moral tenets. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 14, 04 | 7:46 pm

Why i fear for the dream of my life

I was born 54 years ago in a refugee camp in Gaza. My parents were illiterate and, like thousands of others, were forced to leave their home town in 1948 to create space for the Jewish immigrants pouring into Palestine from Europe. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 14, 04 | 7:40 pm

Presbyterians Threatened Over Mideast Policy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Presbyterian Church (USA) has stepped up security at its headquarters and advised its churches to be on alert after receiving a letter threatening arson attacks because of its policies in the Middle East.

The handwritten letter, received Wednesday at the church's Louisville headquarters, threatened to set churches on fire while people were inside in retaliation for "anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes," Jerry L. Van Marter, director of the Presbyterian news service, said Saturday.
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 14, 04 | 4:04 pm

The Passing of Arafat: With Him Goes the Two-State Solution

As the pictures of the human waves have shown, not only his supporters grieved over his death. The more than 100,000 who converged in the Ramallah funeral included many who opposed his political line to various degrees. Even those who categorically opposed his idiosyncratic policy of "la-am," or yes-no, found themselves sharing in this communal sense of loss and sorrow. Arafat was more than just a leader. He was beyond doubt an emblematic Palestinian phenomenon that will not be replaced anytime soon.

Beyond the typical veneration of symbols, Arafat had another attribute that gave him his revered status in the minds and hearts of a majority of Palestinians: his assumption of the role of the political frame of reference. What Arafat did was, more often than not, perceived as somehow linked to a plan to achieve liberation and justice. People joked about, even derided his tactics at times, but he was the lowest common denominator among the diverse Palestinian political parties. He was the closest to the average person's analysis of the situation: emotive, not always rational, indulging in an exaggerated, but widely popular sense of autonomy. One Palestinian refugee once put it as such: "He speaks like us, without those big words that meant absolutely nothing to us. He is truly one of us." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 14, 04 | 4:02 pm

Sat Nov 13, 2004

Die, then vote. This is Falluja


Iraqi elections were postponed to save Bush. That led to today's carnage


The hip-hop mogul P Diddy announced at the weekend that his "Vote or Die" campaign will live on. The voter registration drive during the US presidential elections was, he said, merely "phase one, step one for us to get people engaged". More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 13, 04 | 11:09 pm

Holy War: Evangelical Marines Prepare to Battle Barbarians

NEAR FALLUJAH - With US forces massing outside Fallujah, 35 marines swayed to Christian rock music and asked Jesus Christ to protect them in what could be the biggest battle since American troops invaded Iraq last year.

Men with buzzcuts and clad in their camouflage waved their hands in the air, M-16 assault rifles beside them, and chanted heavy metal-flavoured lyrics in praise of Christ late on Friday in a yellow-brick chapel.

They counted among thousands of troops surrounding the city of Fallujah, seeking solace as they awaited Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's decision on whether or not to invade Fallujah.

"You are the sovereign. You're name is holy. You are the pure spotless lamb," a female voice cried out on the loudspeakers as the marines clapped their hands and closed their eyes, reflecting on what lay ahead for them. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 13, 04 | 6:40 pm

I am Fallujeh

I am Fallujah.

I am Fallujah.
Once before I endured the colonial arrogance of another nation upon my soil. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 13, 04 | 4:23 pm

This night in Fallujah: Lailat Al Qadr in Ramadan

Tonight, in Fallujah
We wait
For the known
For the follow-up
To the fighter planes
To the rockets
To the long days of shelling
To the depleted uranium killing us slowly, More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 13, 04 | 2:23 am

Fri Nov 12, 2004

Iraq : the unthinkable becomes normal

11/11/04 "New Statesman" -- Edward S Herman's landmark essay, "The Banality of Evil", has never seemed more apposite. "Doing terrible things in an organised and systematic way rests on 'normalisation'," wrote Herman. "There is usually a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set of individuals . . . others working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalise the unthinkable for the general public."
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 12, 04 | 2:33 am

Thu Nov 11, 2004

Hidden tragedies in helpless city

Mohammed Abboud said he watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death at their Falluja home yesterday, unable to take him to hospital as fighting raged in the streets and bombs rained down.

"My son got shrapnel in his stomach when our house was hit at dawn, but we couldn't take him for treatment," said Mr Abboud, a teacher.

"We buried him in the garden because it was too dangerous to go out." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 11, 04 | 8:50 am

Wed Nov 10, 2004

Bush will now celebrate by putting Falluja to the torch

The world is fated to four more years of brutal confrontation

If you imagine the rest of us have a problem living with George Bush for another four years, spare a thought for the 55 million Americans who voted against him. John Kerry is fated to be stuck with the label of a loser and is already being blamed for his lack of charisma, his absence of passion and his electoral misjudgment of being born on the eastern seaboard rather than the deep south. Yet in fairness to Kerry, more Americans backed him than supported Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, and some of them queued for two hours in their determination to vote for him. There may be more conservatives in America than ever before, but there are also more Democrats.

Unfortunately this does not add up to a case for a recount. The US does not run a proportional system and the winner takes all. In George Bush's case, he not only took the White House, but he also took a clean sweep of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and he will now have the opportunity to take a majority of the supreme court. All the checks and balances that the founding fathers constructed to restrain presidential power are broken instruments. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 10, 04 | 7:42 pm

An Open Letter to Congressman Weiner

An Open Letter to Congressman Weiner,

I met you in the Spring of 1988 when you were the friend of a classmate of mine in college. Years have passed since then. You are no longer Senator Charles Schumer's Legislative Aid, but a Democratic Congressman in a district of Brooklyn and Queens, and I am now a Professor of English at Georgetown University. Like you, I am an American-Jew and condemn anti-semitism wherever I see it.

Yet unlike you, I do not share your belief that you have shared recently with The New York Sun that Professor Joseph Massad at Columbia University is an anti-Semite and should be fired for the exercise of so-called bias in the classroom. I have known Professor Joseph Massad for ten years personally and have read many of his incisive books, essays, and articles that have widely expanded our knowledge of the historical sources and effects of Zionism in this world, and I find your charges of anti-Semitism against him dishonest, defamatory, and even barbaric in its conflation of the criticism of various forms and practices of various Zionist ideologies with the hatred of and the discrimination against Jews. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 10, 04 | 9:01 am

Tue Nov 09, 2004

THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS - MEDIA COMMUNIQUÉ

THE COREN TAPE:
ISLAMIC CONGRESS SAYS MEDIA AND TWO JEWISH GROUPS OWE APOLOGY TO ORGANIZATION, ITS PRESIDENT, CANADIAN MUSLIMS, AND THE CANADIAN PUBLIC

The Canadian Islamic Congress today said that the Canadian media and two Canadian Jewish groups owe CIC, its president, Muslims, and the Canadian public an apology.

Following the controversial airing of the Michael Coren Show on October 19, Canadian news media launched a relentless and unfair attack against the Canadian Islamic Congress and its president -- and are still doing so -- while covering up for weeks the outrageous statements made on the same show by Adam Aptowitzer, then the Ontario chairman of the B'nai Brith Institute of International Affairs. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 09, 04 | 10:14 am

We're All Israelis Now

Three years ago, as the pungent odor of what was left of the World Trade Center slowly pervaded my neighborhood, I wrote a piece called "We're all Israelis Now." I didn't invent the idea; in the hours since the attacks I had heard several commentators say essentially the same thing, although our meanings were in fact diametrically opposed. For them, the September 11 attacks had constituted a tragic wake up call to America about the mortal threat posed by Muslim terrorism, which Israel had been living through for decades and whose methods the US would now have to copy if it wanted to "win the war on terror."

For me, however, the attacks suggested a more troubling scenario: That like Israelis, Americans would never face the causes of the extreme violence perpetrated against us by those whose oppression we have supported and even enforced, and engage in the honest introspection of what our role has been in generating the kind of hatred that turns commuter jets into cruise missiles. Instead, my gut told me that we'd acquiesce to President Bush's use of the war to realize the long-held imperial, even apocalyptic visions of the neoliberal Right, ones that find great sympathy with its Israeli counterpart. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 09, 04 | 10:06 am

Neo-Con Agenda: Iran, China, Russia, Latin America ...

Washington - An influential foreign-policy neo-conservative with longstanding ties to top hawks in the administration of President George W Bush has laid out what he calls "a checklist of the work the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term."

The list, which begins with the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq and ends with the development of "appropriate strategies" for dealing with threats posed by China, Russia and "the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America," also calls for "regime change" in Iran and North Korea.

The list's author, Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), also warns that Bush should resist any pressure arising from the anticipated demise of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to resume peace talks that could result in Israel's giving up "defensible boundaries." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 09, 04 | 9:59 am

Mon Nov 08, 2004

We Had To Destroy Fallujah in Order to Save It

""The similarities between the Vietnam and Iraq wars become more marked with each passing week.We are now told that the U.S. forces have surrounded Fallujah and are about to unleash a full-scale attack to recover it from the insurgents. They are already bombarding the town with howitzers and missiles, so we can be fairly certain that the town will be destroyed and that civilian casualties will be very heavy. Fallujah must be destroyed in order to save it from control by a resistance to the U.S.-invasion/occupation and U.S. control, as was the case with Ben Tre in Vietnam, about whose destruction the famous phrase "We had to destroy the town in order to save it" was coined by a U.S. officer implementing the destruction. Then as now the U.S. right to invade and destroy in order to shape the politics of a distant country was taken as a given by the media and ready-access intellectuals. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 08, 04 | 7:59 pm

Sat Nov 06, 2004

“First Protect Your Vote”

Lessons for Democrats on Fixing Elections from Chicago

There is one mantra among all others that has driven electoral work in Chicago, by both Machine hacks and the occasional independent campaign seeking to unseat the machine: protect the vote. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 06, 04 | 4:06 pm

“It's nothing personal. We don't want you here”

On any other day but this one, the village of Ahmad al-Hamadi, on the green banks of the Euphrates, would be an idyllic place. In the rich agricultural gardens along the great river, it is easy to understand why this part of Iraq was the original biblical paradise. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 06, 04 | 4:02 pm

“Columbia unbecoming” in the clear light of the day

Over the past several weeks, claims of intimidation in the department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) of Columbia University have hit newspapers around the world. Accusations of one-sidedness and anti-Americanism abound. It is all based on a previously unreleased film Columbia Unbecoming, which purports to document incidences of intimidation and anti-Semitism in the classroom. The “underground documentary” that has been touted by major New York City press has been released. We can finally begin an honest discussion.
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 06, 04 | 1:02 am

Thu Nov 04, 2004

This is no passing phase. This is now an era

Once it looked like an aberration. Now it is an era. George W Bush's tenure of the White House was born in 2000 to an electoral quirk, the fruit of a Florida fiasco, the arcane algebra of the US electoral system, and a split decision of the supreme court.
It seemed to be the accidental presidency, one that would stand out in the history books as a freak event.

Yesterday that changed, changed utterly. President Bush and his Republican army recorded a famous victory, one that may come to be seen as more than a mere election triumph - rather, a turning point in American life, a realignment.

For 12 hours that fact was obscured by the fate of Ohio, and the desperate Democratic desire to see if that pivotal state might be wrested from Republican hands. By late morning the challenger John Kerry realised it was a vain hope. This was no Florida 2000. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 04, 04 | 4:53 pm

Joseph Massad responds to Intimidation…

The recent controversy elicited by the propaganda film "Columbia Unbecoming," a film funded and produced by a Boston-based pro-Israel organization, is the latest salvo in a campaign of intimidation of Jewish and non-Jewish professors who criticize Israel. This witch-hunt aims to stifle pluralism, academic freedom, and the freedom of expression on university campuses in order to ensure that only one opinion is permitted, that of uncritical support for the State of Israel. Columbia University, the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, and I personally, have been the target of this intensified campaign for over three years. Pro-Israel groups are pressuring the university to abandon proper academic procedure in evaluating scholarship, and want to force the university to silence all critical opinions. Such silencing, the university has refused to do so far, despite mounting intimidation tactics by these anti-democratic and anti-academic forces.
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 04, 04 | 4:47 am

Wed Nov 03, 2004

WHAT IS TERRORISM? A BIASED CANADIAN MEDIA EVADES THE REAL QUESTION

(This op-ed was accepted for publication by one Canadian newspaper, but the management turned it down)

On October 19, four Canadians willingly entered a television studio and found themselves in a media minefield. I was one of them. We gathered in good faith, each bringing considerable experience, ethical conviction, and personal credibility to a discussion of the theme question, "What is Terrorism?"

Our television host did not set out to ask who terrorists are, where they operate, how they do it, or even why (although each of these issues inevitably emerged in debate). Instead, he asked point-blank for a definition: what is terrorism? And in doing so, he opened a Pandora's box of history, emotion, frustration, uncertainty and fear, that left none of us unscathed.

The four of us on that TV show struggled to define a kind of violence that has been called the scourge of our times. Its definition has eluded the international community since 1937, since before the creation of Israel, and before the independence (or even existence) of most Arab and Muslim countries on the map today.
More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 03, 04 | 8:35 pm

Of Human Wreckage and Zionists Dreams - Withdrawal from Gaza?

11/02/04 "ICH" The sea was warm. A kingfisher perched momentarily atop a rusting reinforcing rod with a tiny fish in its bill. Its iridescent beauty was a glistening tear drop on the face of this weeping land. Strings of boats were streaming out of the harbour with the powerful mother ship towing the tiddlers astern. The Prophet in action. Later they would become the long skein of lights lying 5 kilometres from shore all night. They strayed no further mind you because the sea is also occupied in addition to the land and the air.

I am here to advance the work of the charity I founded with the voyage of the Dove and the Dolphin in February last year. The second object of this charity is ‘to relieve poverty, distress and hardship among the Palestinian people and to promote the welfare of Palestinian children’. I was also here to be a witness and to stand with my Palestinian brothers and sisters. I wanted to see this part of Palestine again 2004 years since the birth of the Christ 80 miles away and in the 56th year of the nakba (catastrophe – literally the story of the falling down).

I entered through the Erez ‘crossing’ 5 days ago. The place was deserted apart from Nabil Sha’ath, a Palestinian Authority minister plus his wife and little girl. After passing the rifles I was put through the ‘milking machines’ as the Palestinians call them. This is a series of turnstiles and automated gates designed to ‘process’ up to 120,000 folk who went north each day to work before the second intifada ( shaking loose the chains). Thence followed a very lonely walk down the 300 metre long concrete tunnel. I was welcomed on the one hand by a smiling Yousef, the taxi driver, and on the other by a ‘blimp’ at 1000 ft with its suspended camera and a circling ‘drone’ higher up (?armed or for surveillance). We drove through Beit Hanoun, Beit Jahlia and Jabalya and scenes of devastation that would match World War battlegrounds. In this land though there was no opposing force but flea bite Kalashnikovs and a few RPG’s only. Dozens upon dozens of homes and businesses had been raized in these last few weeks. Later I saw the human wreckage that survived. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 03, 04 | 8:29 pm

From the Coalition to End Apartheid in Israeli Anthropology 1

Ahoti (Sistah-Heb) - For Women in Israel; NGO No. 58-036-274; P. O. Box 4027, Tel Aviv 61040, Israel. Ph. +972-3-525-0959

For all matters re this issue, please use the following e-mail address: ahoti_sistah@yahoo.com

Enclosed please find a complaint we have filed in March with Israel’s State Comptroller about the various violations of cultural rights performed by Israeli Anthropologists.

We hope you can call attention to these violations in your forthcoming faculty meeting so that our complaint might help reformulate the scientific relations between your department and Israeli Anthropologists working from Israeli universities and with the Israeli Anthropological Association.

Sincerely,
Orna Zaken, CEO
on behalf of Ahoti, the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow, and Mossawa. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 03, 04 | 11:54 am

Weapons dust worries Iraqis

Provisional Government Seeks Cleanup; U.S. Downplays Risks

Despite assurances from the U.S. military that depleted uranium from exploded munitions does not pose a significant health threat, Iraq's provisional government is asking the United Nations for help cleaning up the low-level radioactive, metal dust spread across local battlefields by U.S. and British forces during the Persian Gulf wars. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 03, 04 | 2:37 am

The war on Iraq has made moral cowards of us all

More than 100,000 Iraqis have been killed - and where is our shame and rage?

11/01/04 "The Guardian" -- The full scale of the human cost already paid for the war o­n Iraq is o­nly now becoming clear. Last week's estimate by investigators, using credible methodology, that more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians - most of them women and children - have died since the US-led invasion is a profound moral indictment of our countries. The US and British governments quickly moved to cast doubt o­n the Lancet medical journal findings, citing other studies. These mainly media-based reports put the number of Iraqi civilian deaths at about 15,000 - although the basis for such an endorsement is unclear, since neither the US nor the UK admits to collecting data o­n Iraqi civilian casualties.
More...

Posted by: nachoua on Nov 03, 04 | 2:30 am

Tue Nov 02, 2004

Confirmed and confessed

Between Sept 29 and Oct 15, fifteen days in all, I killed thirty children. Two children per day.

Two dead children per day is more or less four bereaved parents per day. Why more or less? Because some of them were brothers. So, two dead children for one pair of bereaved parents. Perhaps that's better, because these parents are bereaved anyway, so they are just bereaved twice, and another pair of parents is released from being bereaved. But perhaps it is less good, because to be bereaved is worse than being dead, and being twice bereaved is
twice worse than being dead. So I don't really know what to decide.

All these children I killed in the Gaza Strip, and all of them I killed by mistake. That is, I knew that there were children there, and I knew I would kill some of them, but since I knew it would be by mistake I did not feel so pressured about it. Because everybody makes mistakes. Only the one who does nothing does not make mistakes. Mistakes happen, we are all human beings. That is what I think is so nice about my mistakes, they make me so human and fallible, is it not so? More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Nov 02, 04 | 6:48 pm