Recently in Middle East Category

... just not our current regime.

From Ha'aretz:

GAZA - Palestinians held a symbolic funeral yesterday for U.S. student Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer as she protested the demolition of a house in the southern Gaza Strips's Rafah refugee camp.

Holding a stretcher draped with an American flag, some 1,000 Palestinians marched through the refugee camp as a sign of mourning for the 23-year-old American who was killed on Sunday.

"We fly a U.S. flag today to show our support to all American peace lovers - those like Rachel," said Palestinian farmer Hassan Abu Toa'ma, 24.

It was a rare change of pace for Rafah, where American flags have more often been burned than held in reverence since the Palestinian uprising began in late September 2000.

Israel's army and civilians

Ha'aretz has a good column by an Israeli on the deaths of civilians at the hands of the Israeli Army.

I'll quote the end:

Israel's efforts at obfuscation are intended above all to keep our conscience clean. This is false posturing that can no longer be countenanced. When the IDF demolished a mosque on the "Philadelphi" route on the outskirts of Rafah and immediately claimed that the building had been abandoned, no one asked why the mosque had been abandoned. Here is the real sequence of events: first the Gaza Strip is occupied, then settlements are established in it, then guarded roads are built to protect the settlers. In the next stage, after the Palestinians begin to rebel violently against the occupation, we begin killing them until they are forced to abandon the mosque and indeed the entire area. Finally the "abandoned" mosque is demolished. But to us it seems that only the Palestinians destroy holy places, such as Joseph's Tomb. Our conscience is pure and unblemished, always.

I am so angry my hands are shaking.

I do not want one more American dollar going to Israel. It is behaving like an apartheid state -- persecuting the Palestinians with brutal force, and murdering people who try to prevent this outrage.

Yesterday an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) bulldozer ran over and killed an unarmed American woman, Rachel Corrie aged 23. This page has more information. Be warned: there are graphic photographs of what happened to her, but I think it is very important that such picture are shown to the world.

We give nearly $3 billion a year to Israel at this point, and it's being used to kill people. They are requesting an additional $12 billion for this year.

I do not want the blood of Palestinians or anyone else on my hands.


Related Stories from Google News.


See earlier coverage of the activists on James's site.

A happy story from Palestine

Palestinian-Israeli hotline melts hate

Sammy Waed never thought he would become friends with an Israeli soldier, especially one who had occupied his hometown of Ramallah.

But a month ago, the 20-year-old called a new hotline and ended up speaking to Arik, a 23-year-old from Tel Aviv.

"Arik told me how much he hated his army service, because he was in the middle of a civilian population, policing children and causing harm to innocent people," Waed said.

"Before, I thought Israelis didn't care at all when innocent Palestinians suffer and are killed," he said. "But now I know they do care. And now I have hope that there can be peace."

Waed is just one of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians who are using the Hello Shalom-Hello Salaam hotline, a phone service that enables Palestinians and Israelis to reach out across the divide of hate, violence and mistrust that characterizes the two worlds.


Barry vs. Joshua Michael Marshall

My letter, and Mr. Marshall's response, regarding UNSCOM weapons inspectors, is featured on the front page of Salon today.

He chooses to ignore the fact that the weapons team had U.S. spies on it.

UN Resolution

The BBC has a good summary of the timetable for the next steps, now that the Iraq resolution has passed.

Yikes! Who's in charge here?

From the London Times:

Attack Iran the day Iraq war ends, demands Sharon

ISRAEL’S Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on the international community to target Iran as soon as the imminent conflict with Iraq is complete.

In an interview with The Times , Mr Sharon insisted that Tehran — one of the “axis of evil” powers identified by President Bush — should be put under pressure “the day after” action against Baghdad ends because of its role as a “centre of world terror”.

Britain's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, responds.

Depressing Afghan women post of the day

The Afghan Supreme Court has dismissed a female judge for not wearing an Islamic headscarf during a meeting with President Bush and his wife last month, government sources said on Saturday.

Marzeya Basil was among a group of 14 female government officials who attended computer and management courses in Washington at the invitation of the U.S. government and who met Bush and his wife, Laura.

To repeat myself: I don't want to keep hearing about how we bombed the hell out of an already crushed country because we cared about its women.

Despite a shortage of qualified Arabic linguists in the intelligence and defense fields, the Army has fired a significant number of trained language specialists from the military’s Defense Language Institute, or DLI, in Monterey, Calif., because they are gay.

Just trying to be fair by making sure people see this.

I have never argued that attacks on civilians are justifiable. I think it really lowers the world's view of the Palestinian struggle.

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