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The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
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5 August 2006 | issue 2012

Israelis take revenge on the troops who saved a village


The United Nations (UN) observation post at Khiam, southern Lebanon, was destroyed by an Israeli guided missile on Tuesday of last week, killing four UN observers.

Michael, a former Irish soldier who served in Lebanon, told Socialist Worker, “Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Molloy contacted the Northern Command of the Israeli Defence Forces six times to ask that the shelling be stopped so the UN observers could get out.

“Thirty minutes after the last call the post was hit.

“I think one reason the Israelis didn’t respond is that Johnny Molloy fought at At Tiri and the Israelis remember these things.”

In April 1980, Irish soldiers protected the inhabitants of the village of At Tiri from almost certain slaughter in a short but intensive battle with the South Lebanon Army, an Israeli-backed militia.

One Irish soldier was killed and several others were badly injured in the battle.

Today At Tiri is under attack once more.   “Look at the UN reports of what is going on, they say At Tiri is experiencing ‘aerial bombardment’ and ‘intensive shelling’,” said Michael.   “I fought to save that village and the Israelis are destroying it.”

He added, “On the same day as the Khiam UN base was bombed there were five other incidents in which shells landed in the vicinity of UN sites.”

The massacre at Qana also repeated an earlier attack.   “In 1996 Israeli tanks fired shells into a Fijian UN post in the town and killed over 100 women and children,” said Michael.

Another former Irish soldier, David, said, “The area where we served has been thrown back to the Stone Age by the Israelis.   Things that can’t even remotely be considered as military targets are simply being bombarded off the face of the earth.”

Michael said, “Only this morning I got a call from my friend whose seven year old niece lost half her leg in an attack.

“I’m hearing some terrible atrocities.   People are pleading, ‘Please, please help us.’   If the US says to Israel tomorrow to stop, they will.”


© Copyright Socialist Worker


5 August 2006 | issue 2012

The rage increases in Lebanon every day

Ghassan Makarem from the Samidoun activist network in Beirut spoke to Socialist Worker about the new mood of resistance and solidarity sweeping through the city
The streets of Beirut are becoming more and more radical, day after day.

It’s still quite early days, but you can see a new movement coming together.

Young activists, environmental campaigners, human rights groups, religious organisations — they’re becoming radicalised by what’s happening.

We could tell at the beginning of last week that the whole atmosphere in Beirut was getting more political.

It’s now three weeks since the refugee crisis started and the relief operations are running more smoothly.

So people now have the time and energy to go to demonstrations and meetings, before going back to the relief work.

The atmosphere on the ground is leaning against the government, against the Arab regimes, against the “international community” — and for solidarity with the resistance.

There’s much more talk about solidarity nowadays and a lot more open agreement with Hizbollah.   Last week there was a poll in the newspapers that showed support for Hizbollah was running at over 80 percent.

The last time anything like this happened here was in the 1970s, when the Palestine Liberation Organisation was based in Lebanon.   Those ideas of radicalism and anti-imperialism are coming back.   Our isolation is a problem though — we need more support from people in other Arab countries.

Of course the issues related to sectarianism, the way Lebanon’s politics and civil society are organised around religious and ethnic divisions, haven’t gone away.   But at the grassroots level you don’t see any of that any more.

A new segment of young activists have now gone beyond sectarian divisions and it’s not just people from secular backgrounds, but also people who are part of religious groups.

Activists

The Samidoun network held a coordinating meeting with other relief organisations on Sunday night.   Volunteers involved in the relief effort discussed what political demands we would be raising.

We agreed that we would start pressuring the government to either do more in terms of the relief effort or step aside, and we also passed policy supporting the right of Lebanon to resist the Israeli oppression.

We also agreed not to accept money from the US government for aid — a lot of refugees have already indicated that they will refuse any such aid.   We’ve been telling all US aid agencies that they have to publicly condemn the Israeli aggression if they want to continue operating here.

The new mood of resistance and radical politics was out on the streets last Sunday at a huge demonstration outside a United Nations (UN) building in central Beirut.

The demonstration was called by youth factions of all the political parties, along with everyone participating in the relief effort, to protest against the planned visit to Beirut that day of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

On Sunday morning news broke of the Israeli massacre at Qana.   By noon everyone started coming to the square downtown where the protest was being held.   Most of the people there were refugees or people from Beirut involved in the relief effort.

The UN building was right next to that square.   When people reached the square, some of the demonstrators decided to go across to the building to protest there and to try to break in.

People are very angry with the UN.   Last week their emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland accused the resistance of “hiding behind civilians”.   People saw this as him handing an excuse to the Israelis to target civilians.

Rather than seriously tackling the humanitarian problems, we see the UN haggling with local politicians over logistical issues and kickbacks — people are fed up with this.

We also want to see a clear position from the UN against the Israeli aggression — and that means a security council resolution, we all know Kofi Annan’s words don’t mean anything.

The fact that Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, phoned up Rice and told her she was not welcome is significant.

Anger

The government is responding to pressure from below, but also pressure from Hizbollah and other politicians such as the speaker of the parliament.

Everyone is calling for the government to take a clear position and distance itself from the US.   Some politicians, including Michael Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, are talking about the need for a “national unity government”.

But for the moment Hizbollah is reluctant to call for the government to resign — they are very careful about the Shia-Sunni divide and don’t want to be seen to be playing on sectarian issues.

We’ve also seen the right wing pro-US political forces getting marginalised.   And on the ground, everyone is thinking and acting in terms of solidarity.


© Copyright Socialist Worker


5 August 2006 | issue 2012

George Galloway: Blair, Olmert and Bush are murderers

Missile strike by US taxpayer paid and supplied laser-controlled BSU 37/B bunker buster bombs used in the village of Qana, Lebanon killing 56 people including 34 children.

The Bush administration (and the US taxpayer) has shipped 2.5 tons, 100 GBU-28
Missile strike by US taxpayer paid and supplied laser-controlled BSU 37/B bunker buster bombs used in the village of Qana, Lebanon killing 56 people including 34 children

The Bush administration (and the US taxpayer) has shipped 2.5 tons, 100 GBU-28 "bunker buster bombs" after the attacks on Lebanon began on 12 July.

by George Galloway UK MP

“Expanding and strengthening” the onslaught against the people of Lebanon.   That was Israel’s response to the international outcry over the slaughter of 56 civilians, most of them children, in Qana.

And with the world’s eyes turned to the increasingly savage offensive in southern Lebanon, Israel has tightened the noose of collective punishment around the Palestinians in Gaza.

Accompanying all this are the barely concealed calls in Washington for an assault on Iran and Syria.

No one should be in any doubt which way the chain of cause and effect runs.   George Bush, with Tony Blair at his heel, is backing Israel to the hilt because the US wants Hizbollah’s resistance in Lebanon smashed as a prelude to an attack on Iran.   In Washington, Blair alluded to such a war.

Catastrophe

It is their perverse reaction to the catastrophe engulfing the occupation in Iraq, where the number of US forces is now increasing rather than being “drawn down” as was promised to military families earlier this year.

To the Iraq disaster we can add Afghanistan, where Britain lost three more soldiers on Monday.

Where two wars have failed, perhaps a wider one might succeed.   Such is the logic that is tearing hundreds of Lebanese civilians to shreds and is bringing us to the brink of a gigantic conflagration.

That is also the reasoning behind US, British and Israeli talk of imposing a foreign force in southern Lebanon.   This is not a plan for peace — it is a step to further war.

Blair using British airports

The belligerent forces — Israel, armed by the US, with Blair using British airports to act as quartermaster — are talking of sending troops as an alternative to a ceasefire.

They want the war to continue until Israel wins, and they want to deploy forces in southern Lebanon to help Israel win.   They are becoming more anxious to get other countries to send those troops precisely because Israel is not winning.

Its generals have been shocked by the effectiveness of Hizbollah’s military resistance.   Politically, the invasion of Lebanon — for that is what it is — is already a disaster for Israel and the US.

It has strengthened the national resistance in Lebanon, with Hizbollah at its centre.   Lebanon’s pro-Western Government speaks of Hizbollah as resistance fighters.

Far from reopening sectarian and confessional divisions, which the US and Israel hoped would embroil Hizbollah in civil war, the assault on Lebanon has rallied huge numbers of Christians, Druze and Sunni Muslims behind the banner of Hizbollah.

Across the Middle East anger is boiling at Israel and the US certainly, but also at the corrupt kings and puppet presidents who are allowing the massacre of Lebanon to take place.

Millions are taking inspiration

Millions are taking inspiration from the Lebanese resistance.   It is that resistance that could halt the wider war drive and bring some relief to the besieged Palestinians.

Make no mistake, if that resistance is broken, the result will be no kind of peace, but an even wider war.

If Israel, the US and Britain win in southern Lebanon, I warn you not to be Iranian; I warn you not to be Syrian; I warn you not to be an infant in Gaza; I warn you not to be old in Bint Jbeil; I warn you not to thirst for freedom in Egypt; I warn you not to cry out for justice in Jordan; I warn you not to demand democracy in Saudi Arabia — for if the imperialist forces win in Lebanon, more Middle Eastern countries will be dragged into the maw of war, and the hand of reaction will be strengthened everywhere.

Fire will be lit under every throne

But if they are defeated, if the resistance led by Hizbollah halts the invasion of Lebanon, if it refuses to kneel before imperial might, then a fire will be lit under every throne and in every corrupt chancellery from the Atlantic coast of North Africa to the banks of the Euphrates.

It will speed the day when the impoverished masses across the region take control of their destiny.   It will give new hope to the Palestinians.

It will inspire those Israelis, currently few in number, who know the next six decades cannot be like the last and that there must be justice for Palestine.   It will bring us closer to a durable peace.

And, in humbling the masters of global military and economic power, it will embolden everyone who is fighting for a better world.


© Copyright Socialist Worker
5 August 2006 | issue 2012

Palestinians face attacks in West Bank and Gaza

by Andy Lawson in Nablus and Matthew Cookson

With the gaze of the world’s media fixed on Lebanon, Israel’s onslaught on the Palestinians continues.   The Gaza Strip has been under siege for a month and, on 19 July, an assault on the West Bank city of Nablus began.

Israeli tanks rolled into the city as part of a four day siege operation aimed at assassinating a leading member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade from Belata refugee camp in Nablus.

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) troops took over the buildings and hills surrounding the main local government compound, which they destroyed using bulldozers and tank shells.   Everyone was ordered out of the old city.

People were forced to walk straight through IDF gunfire.   Five Palestinians were killed.

A member of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade from the refugee camp said, “Every week since 2002 we have had Israeli soldiers in our camp or in the old city.

“Every family in this camp has sons either killed or arrested by the Israelis.   I have been shot three times, and the Israelis killed my cousins.   Any time there is a suicide bomber from Belata, they bulldoze their family’s house.”

A member of Islamic Jihad from Nablus explained how last year Israeli tanks entered the old city, bulldozing a part of it in order to gain sniper positions.

He showed Socialist Worker the places where civilians had been shot in the killed by the IDF.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are continuing to face up to the Israeli siege.

Doctor Mona El Farra, who works at the al-Awda hospital in Jabalia refugee camp, said, “Israel launched a big assault against Gaza last week in the east.   Thirty two people were killed in two days.

“Most of these were ­civilians, with children among them.   There was also a lot of damage done to the infrastructure.

“Israeli intelligence has been ringing people and saying, ‘We are going to launch a rocket attack on your home.   You have 15 minutes to leave.’

“This has happened in many places across Gaza.

“Israel shelled a home in Jabalia and killed a mother and her two daughters.   Entire families are being killed by Israeli shelling.   Israel is taking advantage of the media silence on Gaza while everyone is concentrating on Lebanon.

“There are rumours that Israel is preparing for a new assault on Gaza.   There are things happening all the time — gunboats firing on people, assaults on refugee camps.

“There is a mood among the population of tiredness and being without hope.   But we are not giving up.   We feel empowered when we hear of the support for us and solidarity demonstrations around the world.”

Birmingham delegation deported
A solidarity delegation from Birmingham was prevented from entering Palestine last week by Israeli authorities.

Respect member Salma Iqbal was on the delegation.   She said, “We had raised funds to set up a library in a refugee camp in Ramallah and were taking children’s books there.

“We had gone to great lengths to inform Israel about our trip, where we were going and what we were doing.

“The authorities at Tel Aviv airport allowed left Labour MP Lynne Jones and a woman trade unionist through, but then they stopped a Muslim woman.   They held us for hours before deporting us.”

Lynne Jones and other delegation members refused to enter the country in solidarity with those stopped at the airport.


© Copyright Socialist Worker


 
Published on Thursday, August 3, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
I Am Deafened By Your Silence, Eli
by Ruani Seneviratne Freeman


Chinese United Nations soldiers watch as heavy equipment is used to dig for bodies under the rubble of a home that was hit in a US paid for and supplied weapon, Israeli missile strike in the village of Qana, east of the port city of Tyre, July 31, 2006. 

Photo: AP/Kevin Frayer

Chinese United Nations soldiers watch as heavy equipment is used to dig for bodies under the rubble of a home that was hit in a US paid for and supplied weapon, Israeli missile strike in the village of Qana, east of the port city of Tyre, July 31, 2006.
On July 31st, Israel missiles struck Qana, a village in Southern Lebanon, flattening apartment buildings over fifty-eight civilians.

Among them, toddler girls with miniature gold earrings and a baby boy with a pacifier around his neck.

They were among thirty four children murdered in their beds along with twelve adult women and a 94 year old man.

There were no U.S. marines helping to find these bodies.

That task was left to relatives who worked to find the remains of spouses, children, siblings and parents.

The people of Qana knew the drill — they had done it ten years ago when, during Israel’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ bombing campaign, more than 100 civilians sheltering at a base run by U.N peacekeepers were massacred.

Last Friday, a senior Israeli officer was quoted as saying that Israel was calling up its reservists in order to expand its invasion of Lebanon because lack of consensus on a ceasefire agreement was a clear signal to Israel that the “international community” approved of its war.   In Israeli parlance, that “community” has a membership of one: the United States.


But there comes a time when one is forced to take stock of all those ‘better than nothing’ compromises.

What the American government is saying or doing vis-à-vis Ms. Rice is a matter that I cannot quarrel with.

The Bush-Rice team gives $15,139,178 per day to the Israeli military and they have never claimed that they were “on the side” of peace, stability, global solidarity, equity, justice, human rights, and all those other buzz words of the progressive world.

It is that latter group with whom I am concerned.

What however are American progressives doing for the innocents of the world?

Here’s what: support for Israel’s current onslaught (codenamed ‘Summer of Rain’) from all but eight members of the House; biased coverage from National Public Radio; which gave David Horowitz (Jerusalem Post) a voice, but no airtime for Palestinian journalists on the Lebanon issue; silence from MoveOn, the most efficient, well-oiled liberal machine in action, capable of galvanizing progressives from coast to coast to the tune of millions in a single day over its causes.  

As for the Democratic Party itself?   Does it exist?

I have often consoled myself with that old saying that something is better than nothing at all, and there have been times where indeed I was grateful that I had been spared greater harm.

But there comes a time when one is forced to take stock of all those “better than nothing” compromises.

That day has already dawned twice in my adult life.

First, in 2000, then in 2004 when I could have fought harder for Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, or Howard Dean and instead acquiesced to the will of the Democratic Party.

During these years, I also threw my support behind organizations that I felt were keeping the wolf from my door, or the feds from my phones.   MoveOn topped that list.

I wrote the petitions, I signed the checks, I attended the parties, I voted for the ads.   I did these things because I believed that MoveOn — and by extension the Democratic Party — was, by being better than nothing, quite possibly speaking for me.

I was wrong.

MoveOn, no less than the Democratic Party, has an agenda that conceals its racism and Judae-centrism under a veil of supposed commitment to egalitarianism.

MoveOn had, as a source of alternative analysis of US policies — one would have to be a political neophyte to imagine that American foreign policy is separate from its domestic policy, and Eli Pariser is no neophyte — the obligation to use its power to move the masses of American progressives (who form the bulwark of its membership, may I add), to speak out against the war-fuelled hegemony of Israel.

That MoveOn would, like any corporate lobbying outfit, decide to say nothing about the indiscriminate bombing and invasion by Israel of Lebanon and US support of the same indicates one thing: that it does what is politically expedient, but refuses to push the limits of what US citizens know about US foreign policy, and hence are allowed to feel about the worth of some people versus others.

In the wake of its successes, MoveOn has abandoned its commitment to the progressives who held its hands while it was learning to walk.   Organizers always face a question of whether to organize around what their constituents recognize as their self interest, versus being true to the ideals that underlie their mission.

Perhaps those who read this particular forum may feel that my criticism of MoveOn is misplaced.   Perhaps they feel that concentrating on saving PBS is enough work for the day.   Perhaps they are right.   But if that were the case, why do we live in a country pervaded by the same kind of incremental assaults on personal liberties that, left untended and remarked upon, lead to the holocaust?   Have we forgotten Kristallnacht that we cannot seem to recognize it when it is being perpetrated in Lebanon?

Let me remind you.   During Kristallnacht, 1574 synagogues and more than 7,000 Jewish shops and 29 department stores were destroyed.   More than 30,000 Jewish males were taken to Dachau, Buchenwalkd and Sachsenhausen.   It is known, this “Night of Broken Glass,” as the official beginning of the holocaust.   The Third Reich did not perpetrate these acts under cover of darkness.   They did them in full view of its citizens.

People who lack the courage to speak when their neighbor — or their sister on the other side of the globe cowering in terror in a shelter in Lebanon — is being persecuted do not suddenly gain it when they watch entire populations being incinerated.   The blood of those 58 people who were shelled to death in their beds by Israel today is on the hands of those same good people who held their peace and concentrated on simply sheltering a few of the oppressed then.   But they should be glad.   Now they can wipe a good portion of that blood on our hands.   After all, many of them are dead.   We are still alive, still have voices and have chosen to remain silent.   It is we who support organizations too cowardly to challenge us to examine the consequences of our action and, more importantly, inaction.

Audre Lorde once said, “there are no single-issue struggles because we do not live single-issue lives.”   In the end, the big picture is the only one that holds the truth.   It’s a picture that organizations like MoveOn — and the progressives who are silent today — are not merely not seeing, they aren't interested in acknowledging exists.

Eli. Elishama.   Your name means God Hears.

God hears.
Common Dreams © 1997-2006




Bint Jbeil And Tyre Targets of Israeli Terror Campaign




This video shows the awful misery of those who are left with nothing.

In Bint Jbeil the unfortunate elderly and frail faced an agonising time as Israel bombs and flattened their town.

As www.turntoislam.com states: "Its awful how both Blair and Bush can let this continue....

TheWE.cc adds:

Blair and Bush not only let this continue, the US taxpayer is paying for the Israel military and supplying the bombs.

Blair and the Labour UK government has allowed passage of these bombs through the UK airfields.

It is not clear if they are still doing so."
[Note from TheWE.cc:

WWW.TURNTOISLAM.COM is a proselytising website

To download the videos you must register with the site if you enter.

We have included this video — from YouTube — and the one below — from YouTube — because we believe they are invaluable in understanding the present Lebanon horror

You access Google and YouTube only, when you view these videos from here.]

Lebanon "Fog of War"


Lebanese Doctors and Civillians Speak Out against the Terrorism they are facing from Israel.

Chemical Weapons, Cluster Bombs, Massacres Shocking Documentary About the War in Lebanon and the tradgedy in Qana.

Lebanese testimonials to the war.

Doctors Speak Out Against War Crimes.


Video taken from Sky News, placed on YouTube:

Galloway wipes the floor with Sky News anchor

Sky News anchor: Joining me now is a man who’s not known for sitting on the fence.   He passionately opposed the invasion of Iraq and now he feels that Hizbullah is justified in attacking Israel.   The Respect MP for Bethnel Green is in our London studio.   A very good evening, uh good morning to you Mr. Galloway.   How do you JUSTIFY your support for Hizbullah and its leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah?

She might as well have punched him in the face and handed him a gun.




 U.S. to Israel:                     
 — An apocalypse of Evil being created                     
 — 500 'bunker buster' bombs                     
More on the building of the wall.
US and Israel's use of chemical agents


He was just shooting at children to amuse himself.
The celebration of Jerusalem day, the US missiles that rained onto children in Gaza,
and, a gathering of top articles over the past nine months
April 2004

US missiles — US money — and Palestine
March 2004

A young Palestinian man hitting an Israeli teargas bomb with his shoes away from demonstrators.

Israeli occupation soldiers killed two demonstrators and injured more than a hundred of them during anti-Wall demonstrations in the West Bank.
February 2004

A Palestinian elderly woman screaming in despair, complaining to God, as an Israeli occupation army bulldozer started to prepare her land for the construction of the separation wall in the village of Dair Qidees, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
January 2004

Israeli occupation soldiers guarding bulldozers demolishing Palestinian homes.

A Palestinian man, perhaps who has lived in one of the homes, sits on the ground watching, his small daughters around him.
December 2003

Palestinian boys cry over the body of their father.

8 Palestinians were killed and 40 were injured,in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.

Many homes were destroyed during a savage Israeli occupation raid on the refugee camp on Tuesday.
November 2003

A Palestinian family in Jenin, moments before the Israeli occupation forces blew up their home.
October 2003

Tom Hurndall, the peace activist who was shot by Israeli occupation forces while helping to shield some Palestinian children, is declared to be brain dead.

Two Palestinian children were among about 100 Palestinian civilians injured in the Israeli air raids on Gaza Strip, which also resulted in killing 10 civilians.
September 2003

See the home blow up.

Blowing up more Palestinian homes as a collective punishment is a daily Israeli practice (paid for by US money) to control Palestinians under occupation.
The life and death of Kamala Sawalha

A student leaves her house every night, leaving her two young children at home, spends the next several hours traveling by taxi and on foot to get to the university in the neighboring town — just 15 minutes away.

Kamala wanted very badly to study — otherwise, it would be hard to understand the sacrifice she made for it.

To get up before dawn every morning, to leave the babies with their grandmother, to spend hours on the road in the heat and cold, even when pregnant, in order to get to the campus on time; to risk being shot or subjected to endless humiliations around every turn, and then to travel the whole way back — in a taxi where possible and on foot where necessary....

“Suddenly we were facing the soldiers,” he recounts.  The jeep was parked on the left side of the road and its right door was open.  Kamala let out a long scream.  It was the last sound she would ever make.

At 11:30 A.M., they buried Kamala Sawalha in the town cemetery.
Children trying to commit suicide
Now the landscape itself has changed
More Palestinian mothers are giving birth at home because they dare not risk ride to hospital.
Punching an arab in the face.

The father went through it and now the son is going through it and no one talks about it around the dinner table.

Furer is certain that what happened to him is not at all unique. 

Here he was — a creative, sensitive graduate of the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, who became an animal at the checkpoint, a violent sadist who beat up Palestinians because they didn’t show him the proper courtesy, who shot out tires of cars because their owners were playing the radio too loud, who abused a retarded teenage boy lying handcuffed on the floor of the Jeep, just because he had to take his anger out somehow.



 
For archives, these articles are being stored on TheWE.cc website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.