On “Obama vs. Netanyahu” — What Does It Mean?

from the series, “All People’s Liberation”, by Collision Course Video:

The political establishments of the US and Israel — long time partners in settler-colonialist and ethnic cleansing projects against the Palestinian people in historic Palestine — had a series of exchanges from May 19-May 24, 2011, because the changing situation across the Arab world has prompted some differences in the US and Israeli agendas.

Breaking down these changing circumstances and agendas, and what they will mean for the Palestinian and other peoples of the Middle East, Dr. Hatem Bazian (UC Berkeley professor) and Jeffrey Blankfort (writer and radio host) had this conversation.

The video is by Collision Course Video Productions, for the series on “All People’s Liberation.”

Palestinians plan fresh protests to mark war anniversary

Committee behind last weekend’s protests says they were ‘just the beginning’, and calls for further marches on 5 June

Palestinian protesters cross the Israel-Syria border

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 22 May 2011

Palestinian refugees are planning a fresh round of marches on Israel next month, amid signs that grassroots protests could gain momentum from deep disillusion over the prospects for peace talks and the impact of the Arab Spring.

A committee behind demonstrations last weekend, in which 14 people were killed on the Lebanese and Syrian borders, have called for further protests on 5 June to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The rallying call is likely to be given added impetus by Israel’s rejection on Friday of Barack Obama’s explicit backing for a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.

The committee, which said last weekend’s protests were “just the beginning”, said thousands would march to the pre-1967 “green line” between Israel and the West Bank, the border with Gaza, the fence between the occupied Golan Heights and Syria, and Israel’s international border with Lebanon. Continue reading

Why I blew the whistle about Palestine

Israel’s attack on Gaza and the disastrous ‘peace talks’ compelled me to leak what I knew

Ziyad Clot,  The Guardian, Saturday 14 May 2011

In Palestine, the time has come for national reconciliation. On the eve of the 63rd commemoration of the Nakba – the uprooting of Palestinians that accompanied the creation of Israel in 1948 – this is a long-awaited and hopeful moment. Earlier this year the release by al-Jazeera and the Guardian of 1,600 documents related to the so-called peace process caused deep consternation among Palestinians and in the Arab world. Covering more than 10 years of talks (from 1999 to 2010) between Israel and the PLO, the Palestine papers illustrated the tragic consequences of an inequitable and destructive political process which had been based on the assumption that the Palestinians could in effect negotiate their rights and achieve self-determination while enduring the hardship of the Israeli occupation.

My name has been circulated as one of the possible sources of these leaks. I would like to clarify here the extent of my involvement in these revelations and explain my motives. I have always acted in the best interest of the Palestinian people, in its entirety, and to the full extent of my capacity. Continue reading

Palestinian unity: details still unclear

al Jazeera

[While details of the PA-Hamas deal are still largely unclear, the largest question is whether or how Palestinian people–in Gaza, in the West Bank, inside Israeli areas, and throughout the diaspora–can assert some meaningful level of control over the process, or will be manipulated once again.  At the same time, there is concern from the (US/EU) imperialist powers about how they may control or strongly influence this process–through their old corrupt subordinates in the PA and through the traditional US-tied Egyptian military, which is being touted as “the Palestinian deal-makers.” — Frontlines ed.]

Ramallah, Occupied Palestine: Demo in support of Egyptian people, 5 Feb – PA arrests I


February 05, 2011
The Palestinian Authority security agents in civilian clothes arresting demonstrators in Ramallah 5th Feb 2011,

the demo in solidarity with the Egyptian & Tunisian uprisings

————————————————-

Charlotte Silver, The Electronic Intifada, 9 February 2011
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11788.shtml

On Saturday, 5 February, cities around the world and throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank held demonstrations in solidarity with the people’s uprising in Egypt against Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade-old regime. In Ramallah, security forces belonging to the Palestinian Authority attempted to pacify a protest of 2,000 persons.

In the West Bank, demonstrating solidarity takes on a dual and potentially treacherous significance, as Palestinians can easily indict their own government for similar charges heard from Egyptians and earlier, Tunisians. The fate of Egypt has direct consequences for that of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, where elections for the Palestinian Authority have not been held even though the terms of office for the legislative council and president have long since expired. Egypt has also played a key role in internal Palestinian politics, actively supporting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction against rival Hamas. Continue reading

Middle east, the fire grows: “Israel says ready for Friday protests”

Ma’an News Agency, Jerusalem
10/02/2011

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli security forces are preparing for “any fallout” from the mass protests in Tunis and Egypt, an Israeli official told the Hebrew-language website Enyan Merkazi.

Police, border guards, army, intelligence forces, and the Mossad are on alert, according to the report.

With Facebook groups calling for protests Friday, against both the Hamas and Fatah governments in the West Bank and Gaza, and Israelis protesting a recent hike in water and electricity prices, the official said there are fears that protests will spread to Palestinian areas in Israel.

Training drills were conducted during the previous week, the officials said, and preparations were made for the rapid closure of main roads across the country.

Forces will be thickest around the Palestinian population centers of Haifa, Accre, Jaffa, Lod, Ramla, Jerusalem, and Bersheba, the official said. Continue reading

“The Palestine Papers” reveal how Palestinian “leaders” betrayed the fight over refugees

Negotiators agreed just 10,000 to return
PLO agreed Israel could be a ‘Jewish state’
US suggested Palestinians live in Latin America

Ian Black and Seumas Milne
guardian.co.uk
Monday 24 January 2011 

 

Palestinians had agreed to limit returning refugees to 10,000 according to leaked documents. Photograph: Khaled Omar/AP

Palestinian negotiators privately agreed that only 10, 000 refugees and their families – out of a total refugee population exceeding 5 million – could return to Israel as part of a peace settlement, leaked confidential documents reveal. PLO leaders also accepted Israel’s demand to define itself as an explicitly Jewish state, in sharp contrast to their public position.The latest disclosures from thousands of pages of secret Palestinian records of more than a decade of failed peace talks, obtained by al-Jazeera TV and shared exclusively with the Guardian, follow a day of shock and protests in the West Bank, where Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders angrily denounced the leaks as a “propaganda game”. The documents have already become the focus of controversy among Israelis and Palestinians, revealing the scale of official Palestinian concessions rejected by Israel, but also throwing light on the huge imbalance of power in a peace process widely seen to have run into the sand.

The latest documents to be released reveal:

• The-then Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, repeatedly pressed in 2007-08 for the “transfer” of some of Israel’s own Arab citizens into a future Palestinian state as part of a land-swap deal that would exchange Palestinian villages now in Israel for Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Continue reading

Al-Jazeera will release ‘Palestine Papers’

By Janine Zacharia, Washington Post Staff Writer

January 24, 2011

JERUSALEM – Palestinian negotiators were willing in 2008 to concede sections of East Jerusalem to Israeli control as part of a final peace deal, according to a newly exposed cache of memos that al-Jazeera TV said came from the talks. 

Minutes detailing the concession came from a meeting in Jerusalem in June 2008 between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators mediated by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The document is one of more than 1,600 that al-Jazeera’s English-language Web site is calling the Palestine Papers, which it plans to post, WikiLeaks-style, over the next several days. 

Palestinian negotiators were quick to deny the reports, telling the Associated Press that parts of them had been fabricated.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said late Sunday, in a tweet, “The U.S. government is reviewing the alleged Palestinian documents released by Al-Jazeera. We cannot vouch for their veracity.” Continue reading

The Israeli state’s war on children: 1,500 arrested in a year

East Jerusalem: Palestinian youths throw stones at Israeli occupation forces for third day in September 2010. 18 stone throwers were arrested for commiting “acts of violence.”

Counterpunch, December 13, 2010

by Jonathan Cook

Israeli police have been criticised over their treatment of hundreds of Palestinian children, some as young as seven, arrested and interrogated on suspicion of stone-throwing in East Jerusalem.

In the past year, criminal investigations have been opened against more than 1,200 Palestinian minors in Jerusalem on stone-throwing charges, according to police statistics gathered by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

That was nearly twice the number of children arrested last year in the much larger Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

Most of the arrests have occurred in the Silwan district, close to Jerusalem’s Old City, where 350 extremist Jewish settlers have set up several heavily guarded illegal enclaves among 50,000 Palestinian residents.

Late last month, in a sign of growing anger at the arrests, a large crowd in Silwan was reported to have prevented police from arresting Adam Rishek, a seven-year-old accused of stone-throwing. His parents later filed a complaint claiming he had been beaten by the officers. Continue reading

East Jerusalem, Palestine: Israeli occupation forces target, arrest Silwan’s children

The Electronic Intifada, 1 December 2010

by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours

Earlier this year, “Mahmoud” came home to see a letter with his name on it, instructing him to come to the “Russian Compound” prison facility in Jerusalem. The 15-year-old Palestinian resident of the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem went to the prison with his father, mother and aunt. He was interrogated for seven hours.

“I felt nervous,” said Mahmoud, as he quietly explained what happened to him from the office of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a news and information center run by Silwan residents. “They took me to a lawyer, then they took my clothes,” he recalled. “It wasn’t a good situation.”

Mahmoud spent one week in the Russian Compound in a room with four other teenagers. Israeli police claimed that he threw stones at an Israeli police car and Israeli settler cars passing through Silwan. He wholly denies the charge. “I didn’t know how long I would be in the prison. I kept thinking, ‘Will I go home or not? Will I go home or not?’ It was very bad,” Mahmoud said. “A lot of my friends are in jail. It’s normal,” he added. “But I always think that I will go back [to prison]. I’m afraid of the soldiers and the police.”

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, approximately 51 Palestinian children have been arrested in Silwan since mid-September, when clashes erupted after an Israeli settler security guard shot and killed neighborhood resident Samer Sarhan. “After the killing of Samer Sarhan, the Israeli police intensified its campaign to arrest more children. They announced that they will be putting more fines on the people and to have more children in house arrests for long times outside of their village in order to stop them from throwing stones at settlers,” explained Muna Hasan, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s Public Relations Coordinator. Continue reading

A Nation Behind Bars: 8500 Palestinian Political Prisoners abused, denied medical care, tortured in Israeli prisons

Intifada Palestine

By Reham Alhelsi

The 8500 Palestinians are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, cousins, they are our families, they are us, every single one of us. Their pain is our pain, their suffering is our suffering, their struggle is our struggle, their captivity is our captivity and their freedom is our freedom. We are their voice and they depend on us to keep their issue alive and not forgotten.


While the whole world demands the release of the Zionist soldier Gideon Shalit, who was captured by Palestinians in Gaza while he was on a mission to kill and destroy, the so-called “free world” continues to ignore that the Zionist entity holds a whole nation hostage.

The Palestinian people in occupied Palestine have been held hostage by a brutal military occupation, confined to ghettos built on their own lands. Some 2.5 Million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are captives in their own homes, towns and villages, with military checkpoints locking them up, controlling and limiting their movement. 1.5 Million Palestinians are held hostages in the open-air prison Gaza, not allowed to leave even for urgently needed medical treatment.

In addition to that, there are over 8500 Palestinians locked up behind bars in Israeli dungeons. These 8500 Palestinians unite occupied Palestine from the River to the Sea; they unite Jerusalem with Yafa, Jenin with Ara, Hebron with Nazareth, Gaza with Akka. These 8500 Palestinians unite families, unite the pain, unite the hope and unite the struggle for freedom.

Almost every Palestinian family has had at least one family member detained by Israel. Almost every Palestinian family has been abused by Israeli soldiers while visiting their loved ones. Almost every Palestinian family has known the pain of waiting, the fear of what might happen behind bars, the hope for a near release and a safe return home. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of detention, has felt it directly through its members. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of freedom, for we pay the highest price for the sake of this freedom, and we love our freedom, we cherish our freedom and we yearn for our freedom and would always fight for it. Continue reading

The long, unjust imprisonment of PFLP general secretary Ahmad Sa’adat

Ahmad Sa’adat: A Prisoner of Conscience

By Stephen Lendman

Ahmad Sa’adat is  the 1967-founded Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s (PFLP) General Secretary, one of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners, sentenced in 2002 to 30 years in prison “for a range of ‘security-related’ political offenses,’ ” including his prominence in a prohibited organization.

A 1993 document stated that: “The strategic aim of the PFLP’s struggle alongside the other forces of the Palestinian revolution is to liberate Palestine from Zionist colonial occupation. The PFLP aims for the establishment of a democratic state on the entire Palestinian land, with its capital in Jerusalem. This state would guarantee legal rights and equality of opportunity to all citizens, without discrimination on the grounds of religion, sex, belief or color. It would oppose Zionism and imperialism and be oriented towards democratic unity with other Arab countries.”

“Achieving this aim presupposes a radical solution for the Palestinian national cause and readiness to wage a prolonged, complicated and difficult struggle (against Zionism), a racist, aggressive, expansionist, settler-colonial entity which aims at elimination of our people.” Great sacrifices are needed to prevent it.

Sa’adat’s Background

Born in 1953 in Deir Tarif village near Ramallah in the West Bank, the son of dispossessed refugees, he became an activist after the 1967 Six Day War. In 2001, he was elected PFLP General Secretary, replacing Abu Ali Mustafa, assassinated by Israel on August 27 that year.

In February 1969, Israel first arrested him for PFLP activities, detaining for three months – then for 28 months in 1970, 10 months in 1973, and 45 days in 1975. That year, he graduated from United Nations WRA’s Ramallah Teaching Training College, specializing in math. In 1976, he was arrested again and held four years. In April 1981, he was elected to PLFP’s Central Committee. In 1989, he was arrested and detained nine months, again in 1992 for 13 months, then released but declared a “wanted person,” subject to re-arrest without cause. Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Rabah Mohanna of the PFLP on the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation

Dr. Rabah Mohanna

[The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has articulated over many years the demand for a single secular, democratic state in historic Palestine, and the demand for a two-state solution based on a return to 1967 borders, with a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. These two views continue to be vigorously debated among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, in Gaza, in presently constituted  Israel and throughout the Palestinian diaspora.  In this interview, which appeared on a blog on the Middle East, Dr. Rabah Mohanna of the PFLP Politburo assesses the current political situation and prospects for the advance of  the Palestinian struggle for national liberation.-Frontlines ed.]

November 24, 2010

In the Gaza HQ of the Popular Front

Interview by Flora Nicoletta

“We will transform every grain of sand into a mine under your feet.” Javara (Mohammad El-Aswat), the PFLP military commander of the Gaza Strip who was assassinated in a safe house belonging to Dr Rashad Mosmar, on the back of Es-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, by the Israeli Occupation Forces on a night of October 1973.

Dr Rabah Mohanna, a health doctor, is a prominent figure in Gaza. He is a member of the Politbureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a leftist group with a glorious past. On his email address are mentioned two numbers: 48, the year of his birth. His first name means winner; the root of his surname means happiness.

Here, Dr Rabah Mohannah gives us an assessment of the situation in Palestine seen from the headquarters of the PFLP in Gaza.  “From 1948 to this day there are in the Gaza Strip some socio-economical and political characteristics proper to the Gazans, but all of them come within the whole Palestinian issue, I mean Palestinians in historical Palestine, Palestinians in the West Bank and Palestinians living in exile. Continue reading

‘Economic prison zones’ exploit Palestinian labor, create dependency on Israel

 

Map of industrial zones, Israeli military bases, Zionist settlements and areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank

[This article describes the so-called industrial development zones being set up by Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Turkey, Japan and the EU imperialist powers in the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and within Israel. The article also sets forth a plan for economic development that does not factor in:  The Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and ongoing siege of Gaza; Israel’s severe restriction of trade and movement between Gaza and the West Bank; and Israel’s slicing up  the West Bank into isolated cities and towns–all of which has made an independent Palestinian economy and state impossible. Economic development based on meeting the needs of the people in the West Bank and Gaza can only take place after Israel’s military and economic siege of Gaza is broken, the Israeli occupation forces and the 500,000 Zionist settlers are driven out of the West Bank,  the Apartheid Wall is demolished, and the corrupt and collaborationist Palestinian Authority is toppled. This could be an important step toward the liberation of all of historic Palestine by the people’s forces.–Frontlines ed]

MERIP Report, November 19, 2010

Economic Prison Zones

by Sam Bahour

When a project mixes the feel-good words of jobs, economic development and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, how can anyone complain? These things are some of what the international community has been promising to deliver through the construction of industrial free trade zones in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The free trade zone model has been promoted locally and globally by powerful third parties like the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and Japan for two decades, but none has much to show for the enormous efforts and amounts of money spent to bring these zones to life.

Nonetheless, the project’s proponents expect the zones to constitute the economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. They hope that, by bolstering Palestine’s economy, the zones will make Palestinians less prone to social upheaval, less insistent on their national rights and more amenable to the status quo. The idea is that a peace agreement with Israel will ensue.

While this expectation is unlikely to be realized — at least not in the way that the projects’ advocates anticipate — these mega-employment projects present a serious challenge to those who strive to build an independent and viable economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. Because the zones will depend on Israeli cooperation to function, and because they will exist within an Israeli-designed economic system that ensures Palestinian dependence on Israel, they cannot form the basis of a sovereign economy. Relying on them will perpetuate the status quo of dependency. Continue reading