Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

logolittle.jpg (9114 bytes)

TiM GW Bulletin 2002/3-5

Mar. 29, 2002

Futility of Violence (By Uri Avnery)

"Tempt Not a Desperate Man" (Shakespeare)

Teenage Girl: An Unlikely Suicide Bomber; “Adolf” Derschowitz: Warmonger Masquerading as “Liberal”

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONAMIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS

              


HIGHLIGHTS

Tel Aviv                                 1. “Tempt Not a Desperate Man” (Shakespeare);

                                                     Futility of Violence (by Uri Avnery)

Jerusalem                              2. Teenage Girl: An Unlikely Suicide Bomber

Jerusalem                              3. “Adolf” Derschowitz: Warmonger

                                                    Masquerading as “Liberal”  

Ramallah                               4. Israelis Rampage, Murder in Cold Blood;

                                                  Even an American MSBNC TV Crew Fired UponApr. 2, 2002

Ramallah                               5. Israeli Occupation Will Bring More Terror

                                                 (By Dr. Maria C. Khoury)Apr. 2, 2002

1. “Tempt Not a Desperate Man” (Shakespeare)

Futility of Violence (By Uri Avnery, an Israeli Peace Activist and Knesset Member)

PHOENIX, Mar. 29 - There is not much good news to report on this (western) Good Friday.  “The crisis in the Middle East is reaching a boiling point,” the talking heads on major American TV networks have been saying all day. 

As night fell on Good Friday, a Palestinian official said Israeli troops had taken over the top and bottom floors of Yasser Arafat’s office building in Ramallah, with the Palestinian leader trapped on the floor in between.  Five Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed, 25 of Arafat’s guards were wounded, and at least 60 Palestinians were detained in the assault on this West Bank city, launched after Israel declared the Palestinian leader its enemy, the MSNBC news reported today.

And what was the effect of the latest military assault of Israel?  Another suicide bombing.  Hours after the Israeli attack on Arafat’s compound began, a Palestinian teenage girl blew herself up at a Jerusalem shopping mall, taking two other lives along with her own, and injuring 20 others.

As we noted in our September 11 editorial, written the same day, “Collateral Damage Hits Home,” violence is futile, and “madness begets madness:”

“One only needs to look at the Middle East for an example of futility of violence.  To stop anti-American terrorism, Washington must stop its own state terrorism.  Both brands of terrorism are despicable and inexcusable.”

The same goes for Israel.  To stop anti-Israeli terrorism, Israel must stop its own state terrorism.  Both brands of terrorism are despicable and inexcusable. 

And futile. One only has to consider the terrible toll of 20 dead and 170 wounded Israelis in the Netanya suicide bombing at the start of Passover earlier this week, for example, to realize it.

But don’t take our word for it.  Listen to what He, who died for us 1969 years ago today, had to say about using violence to repel violence (also excerpted from our Sep. 11 “Collateral Damage Hits Home” piece):

Matthew 26:52 - "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."

William Shakespeare also warned, “tempt not a desperate man.” For, “desperate men do desperate things,” as we put it in a post-Dayton 1995 TiM Bulletin (“Green Interstate”).

But all these sensible warnings fall on deaf ears when people’s hearts are filled with hatred and thirst for vengeance.  Or when they are ready to sacrifice themselves, such as the suicide bombers.  Not seeing a forest for the trees, such people lash out at an enemy only to make him an even more determined foe. 

That’s what has happening in the Middle East on this Good Friday.  That’s what has been happening in the Middle East for the last 18 months.  A vicious circle of violence is spinning even more furiously into more vicious violence.  Further than ever from peace, the legacy of the war hawks is an ever-growing pile of human corpses, both Palestinian and Israeli, most of them innocent civilians.

And now, with that as our editorial preamble, here is a piece published by the Israeli daily Haaretz on Mar. 23.  The “Queue of Bombers” was written by Israel’s well-known peace activist and Knesset (parliament) member, Uri Avnery (also see “Before Apologizing, Sharon Had Virtually Declared War on U.S.,” Oct. 2001).  We bring it to you with Mr. Avnery’s personal permission:

A QUEUE OF BOMBERS

By Uri Avnery 

March 23, 2002 | Ha'aretz

When a whole people is seething with rage, it becomes a dangerous enemy, because the rage does not obey orders.

When it exists in the hearts of millions of people, it cannot be cut off by pushing a button.

When this rage overflows, it creates suicide bombers - human bombs fuelled by the power of anger, against whom there is no defense. A person who has given up on life, who does not look for escape routes, is free to do whatever his disturbed mind dictates. Some of the suicide bombers are killed before they reach their goal, but when there are hundreds of them, thousands of them, no military means will restore security.

The actions of General Mofaz during the last month have brought this rage to an unprecedented pitch and instilled it into the hearts of every Palestinian, be he a university professor or a street boy, a housewife or a high-school girl, a leftist or a fundamentalist.

When tanks run amok in the center of a town, crushing cars and destroying walls, tearing up roads, shooting indiscriminately in all directions, causing panic to a whole population - it induces helpless rage.

When soldiers crush through a wall into the living room of a family, causing shock to children and adults, ransacking their belongings, destroying the fruits of a life of hard work, and then break the wall to the next apartment to wreak havoc there - it induces helpless rage.

When soldiers shoot at everything that moves - out of panic, out of lawlessness, or because Sharon told them "to cause losses" - it induces helpless rage.

When officers order to shoot at ambulances, killing doctors and paramedics engaged in saving the lives of the wounded, bleeding to death - it induces helpless rage.

When these and thousand other acts like them humiliate a whole people, searing their souls - it induces helpless rage.

And then it appears that the rage is not helpless after all. The suicide bombers go forward to avenge, with a whole people blessing them and rejoicing at every Israeli killed, soldier or settler, a girl in a bus or a youngster in a discotheque.

The Israeli public is dumbfounded by this terrible phenomenon. It cannot understand it, because it does not know (and perhaps does not want to know) what has happened in the Palestinian towns and villages. Only feeble echoes of what really happened have reached it. The obedient media suppress the information, or water it down so that the monster looks like a harmless pet. The television, which is now subject to Soviet-style censorship, does not tell its viewers what is going on.

If somebody is allowed to say a few words about it, for the sake of "balance," the words are drowned in a sea of chatter by politicians, commentators acting as unofficial spokespersons and the generals who caused the havoc.

These generals look helplessly at a struggle they do not understand and make arrogant statements divorced from reality. Pronouncements like "We have intercepted attacks", "We have taught them a lesson", "We have destroyed the infrastructure of terrorism" show an infantile lack of understanding of what they are doing. Far from "destroying the infrastructure of terrorism", they have built a hothouse for rearing suicide-bombers.

A person whose beloved brother has been killed, whose house has been destroyed in an orgy of vandalism, who has been mortally humiliated before the eyes of his children, goes to the market, buys a rifle for 40 thousand shekels (some sell their cars for this) and sets out to seek revenge. "Give me a hatred gray like a sack," wrote our poet, Nathan Alterman, seething with rage against the Germans. Hatred gray like a sack is now everywhere.

Bands of armed men now roam all the towns and villages of the West bank and the Gaza strip, with or without black masks (available for 10 shekels in the markets). These bands do not belong to any organization. Members of Fatah, Hamas and the Jihad team up to plan attacks, not giving a damn for the established institutions.

Anyone who believes that Arafat can push a button and stop this is living in a dream-world. Arafat is the adored leader, now more than ever, but when a people is seething with anger he cannot stop it either. At best, the pressure-cooker can cool off slowly, if the majority of the people are persuaded that their honor has been restored and their liberation guaranteed. Then public support for the "terrorists" will diminish, they will be isolated and whither away. That was what happened in the past. During the Oslo period there were attacks too, but they were conducted by dissidents, fanatics, and the public aversion to them limited the damage they caused.

American politicians, like Israeli officers, do not understand what they are doing. When an overbearing vice-president dictates humiliating terms for a meeting with Arafat, he pours oil on the flames. A person who lacks empathy for the suffering of the occupied people, who does not understand its condition, would be well advised to shut up. Because every such humiliation kills dozens of Israelis.

After all, the suicide-bombers are standing in line.

---

Uri Avnery is a former member of the Irgun who became one of Israel's most famous peace activists and a member of the Knesset. He is a journalist and an author of several books.

---

After reading the above piece, we asked Mr. Avnery: “Does your position change at all after the Netanya bombing, or becomes even more entrenched in believing that violence only breed violence?”

He replied today (Good Friday): “No, my opinions do not change when events confirm them. Violence indeed breeds violence.”

Unfortunately, today’s suicide bombing at Jerusalem's SuperSol supermarket also only served to confirm the validity of such views.  The supermarket was filled with last-minute shoppers stocking up for the Jewish Sabbath when the suicide bomber struck.

As Israel’s prime minister Ariel Sharon ordered his troops to wage war against Arafat, at least 20 people were hurt and three people, including the bomber, were killed in the blast at a shopping mall in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood of Jerusalem (see the BBC map and photo at our web site). 

This time, the suicide bomber was a Palestinian teenage girl.  MSNBC aired today her “suicide note,” i.e., the video she had left behind before she went on her mission.  As we watched and listened to her, we could not help but wonder what made a beautiful young woman commit such a terrible act.  And then we thought of Shakespeare... “Tempt not a desperate man.”

Or a woman… Or a teenage girl… As Mr. Avnery points out, how can Arafat stop desperate Palestinians who prefer death for a cause to life in virtual slavery?

Wish prime minister Sharon and his warmongering friends in the Israeli cabinet would understand that.  Wish chairman Arafat and his warmongering friends among the Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah etc. would understand that.  Wish our Pretzel Prez warrior, his warmongering Veep and his cabinet would understand that.  

Wish they would understand the futility of violence first and foremost for the sake of the young men and women for whose future they all claim to fight while stuffing the "death merchants" coffers with U.S. taxpayers money.

Come to think of it, consider this a Part 4 of our "What Your Tax Dollars Buy" mini-series.

---------------

2. Teenage Girl: An Unlikely Suicide Bomber

PHOENIX, Mar. 29 - Those who advocate racial profiling at airport security checkpoints would have probably missed today’s suicide bomber at Jerusalem’s SuperSol market.  No beard, no Mislim head gear, no “typical” middle-eastern features… In fact, the pretty 18-year old Ayat Akhras might have been mistaken for a fashion model. 

That would have been a deadly mistake.  For, this Palestinian teenage girl managed to fool everyone, including her own family, about what her real raison d’etre was. 

Here are some excerpts from today’ Associated Press report:

DHEISHEH REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP), Mar. 29 - The day before she blew herself up outside a Jerusalem supermarket, Ayat Akhras sat with her fiancÚ and talked about graduating from high school and getting married in the summer.

Akhras, 18, detonated explosives strapped to her body on Friday afternoon, during the shopping rush before stores close for the Jewish Sabbath. A security guard, who blocked Akhras from entering the store, was killed, along with a woman shopper. More than 25 people were wounded.

The quiet, diligent schoolgirl never let on that she had joined the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militia affiliated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, and that she planned to carry out a suicide attack. The deception stretched from her home to her school.

Classmate Rania Abdullah said she saw Akhras at about 8:30 a.m. Friday in the streets of the Dheisheh refugee camp, never guessing where her friend was headed.  “She said 'Hi,' and then I continued walking. I was surprised when I heard that she blew herself up in Jerusalem,” Abdullah said. 

Standing in front of Akhras' house in Dheisheh, near the town of Bethlehem, some of her friends said they were pained at losing her, but they understood her reasons.  “It was a courageous act and all of us wish to be in her shoes,” Abdullah said, as others hugged pictures of the dead teenager to their chests.

No one was more in the dark over Akras' plans then her fiance, Shadi Abu Laban. He'd spent Thursday evening at her family's home and listened as his bride-to-be spoke of the exams she was preparing for. She was determined to graduate before marrying, her family said.

“I will never forget her, she will always stay alive inside my heart,” Abu Laban said, his voice shaking.

In a farewell video prepared by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the high school senior heaped scorn on Arab leaders.

“I am going to fight instead of the sleeping Arab armies who are watching Palestinian girls fighting alone, it is an intefadeh until victory,'' she read from a statement, her head wrapped in a traditional Palestinian headdress. Intefadeh is Arabic for the uprising (or intifada - TiM Ed.).

Hours after her daughter carried out the attack, Fatma Akhras was in shock. “Why didn't she tell me she was going to die?” she screamed. “I would have stopped her.” Female relatives held her hand as she wept.

“It was a personal decision, if we prevented her once, she would try to do it again,” the teenager's father, Mohammed, said. He said he did not know that his daughter had joined Al-Aqsa, which was recently declared a terrorist organization by the State Department.

Palestinians spilled into the streets of the crowded camp, clapping and cheering when they heard the news. Al-Aqsa gunmen fired rounds in the air, while residents proffered chocolates and sweets. […]

For the full AP report, click here (at our web site).

---

TiM Ed.: Israel's Ariel Sharon, seconded by the Bush administration, wants Arafat to put a stop to suicide bombers, such as Akhras. Fine. Good idea. But how was Arafat supposed to have done it when even the girls' parents and fiancÚ were in the dark about her plans?  And just how is Arafat supposed to do that now that Israel has cut off his electricity and all other means of communication with the outside world?

Meanwhile, Sharon can put a stop to Israel's military assault on the Palestinians by just picking up his phone. Why isn't he? Why isn't someone in Washington asking Sharon to do just that - if they really care about innocent Palestinian lives being lost, as the Bush administration officials profess, such as Colin Powell did today?

---------------

3. “Adolf” Derschowitz: Warmonger Masquerading as “Liberal”

PHOENIX, Mar. 29 - We received the following comment just over a week ago from Prof. J.P. Maher of Chicago, whose name should be familiar to old-time TiM readers.  Mockingly calling the Boston attorney and Harvard law professor “Adolf” Derschowitz (whose real first name is Alan), Prof. Maher noted that, “in Serbia (during WW II), it was 100 Serbs killed for every German death.” 

With which we concurred and added our own two-cents worth from this writer's September 1999 “Tour de Serbia.”  “Been there, both as a child, and during "Tour de Serbia 1999," this writer wrote, referring to his Kragujevac “Sumarice” memorial visit.

“Adolf” Clinton is what the Serbs also called the former American when NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 (see the photo cartoon at our web site).

What brought this on?  In a column published in the Jerusalem Post on March 11, Derschowitz advocated a sort of “scorched earth” retaliation by Israel for every suicide bombing.  “The point is to make the automatic destruction of the village the fault of the Palestinian terrorists who had advance warnings of the specific consequences of their action,” argues this alleged Harvard “liberal.”

“Your point, their village,” is how Dr. Zhivago responded to a similarly ruthless comment by a Bolshevik commander (“Strelynikov”) in Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize-winning novel.

Warmongers never learn, do they.  And every once in a while, the latter day “liberals” show their real autocratic face.  Here are some excerpts from the “final solution” Derschowitz proposed to the Middle East crisis:

New response to Palestinian terrorism

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Alan M. Dershowitz

March, 11, 2002

----------------------------------------------------------------------

US Secretary of State Colin Powell is surely correct in pointing out that Israel's current policy has not succeeded in curbing terrorism. But Powell has suggested no alternative policy. Surely the US cannot expect Israel simply to absorb terrorist attacks without any response.

In light of the willingness of suicide bombers to die in the process of killing Israelis, the traditional methods of deterrence and retaliation seem insufficient. To succeed, Israel must turn the Palestinian leadership and people against the use of terrorism and the terrorists themselves. One way to do this is to make terrorists directly bear the responsibility for losses inflicted on the Palestinian cause as a direct result of their terrorism.

Here is my proposal. Israel should announce an immediate unilateral cessation in retaliation against terrorist attacks. This moratorium would be in effect for a short period, say four or five days, to give the Palestinian leadership an opportunity to respond to the new policy. It would also make it clear to the world that Israel is taking an important step in ending what has become a cycle of violence.

Following the end of the moratorium, Israel would institute the following new policy if Palestinian terrorism were to resume. It will announce precisely what it will do in response to the next act of terrorism. For example, it could announce the first act of terrorism following the moratorium will result in the destruction of a small village which has been used as a base for terrorist operations. The residents would be given 24 hours to leave, and then troops will come in and bulldoze all of the buildings.

The response will be automatic. The order will have been given in advance of the terrorist attacks and there will be no discretion. The point is to make the automatic destruction of the village the fault of the Palestinian terrorists who had advance warnings of the specific consequences of their action. The soldiers would simply be acting as the means for carrying out a previously announced policy of retaliation against a designated target.

Further acts of terrorism would trigger further destruction of specifically named locations. The "waiting list" targets would be made public and circulated throughout the Palestinian-controlled areas. If this automatic policy of destroying targets announced in advance is carried out with the full support of the entire government, including those who are committed to a resumption of the peace process, a clear message will be sent to the Palestinian people:

Every time terrorists blow themselves up and kill civilians, they are also blowing up one of their own villages.

Over time, the Palestinian residents of these villages will place the blame where it should be placed: directly on the Palestinian terrorists who engaged in terrorism against Israel with full knowledge the consequence would be the destruction of their homes. Those villagers whose homes were coming up on the list would have an incentive to pressure the terrorists to desist. […]

(The writer is a professor of law at Harvard. His latest book is Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age.)

Alan Dershowitz

For the rest of Derschowitz’s Jerusalem Post column, click here (at our web site).

---------------

4. Israelis Rampage, Murder in Cold BloodApr. 2, 2002

Even an American MSNBC TV Crew Fired Upon

RAMALLAH, Mar. 31 - Some Easter Sunday in Holy Land, this March 31!  While Christian worshippers world over were praying for peace, Israeli troops in Ramallah, West Bank, were murdering their Palestinian foes in cold blood. 

Some “civilization!”  Some “allies” we have…  Such Israelis could make the Red Chinese communists proud.  They also execute prisoners in China with a shot to the head.  But even there, they first hold a trial. 

The most troubling part for a decent, non-partisan American, besides watching our pitiful, waffling Pretzel Prez in (in)action, is that we’ve most likely paid for the Israeli murder weapons.  

Guess the Israeli barbarism was too much even for the New World Order media lapdogs.  This time, the CNN, and not just the foreign press, also carried news of the atrocities.  Here’s an excerpt from its Mar. 30 report, which is still available at its web site:

CNN Correspondent Michael Holmes has been watching events unfold from Ramallah. He spoke with CNN's Kyra Phillips on Saturday.

HOLMES: Kyra, I have some new information for you, certainly, as it applies to the death toll here in Ramallah. I am actually, literally, standing in a room with five dead Palestinian gunmen who have been shot in what is an office block. The British Consul is in here. There's a restaurant. There's Western Union in this building. The five appeared to have been living there for some time. There's like a small living quarters, which is right next to some dental chair, dental surgeries there.

The five men, all clustered together, have been shot at very close range. Two of them in the head. One in the back of the head. Another was shot in the back. They are very close together. It would require a forensics team to work out what exactly happened. But there are dozens and dozens of shell casings there. So we can add another five to the death toll—Kyra. […]

…An interesting thing from this scene that I'm at now is, as I said, there are dozens and dozens of shell casings. The vast majority, in fact, almost all of those shell casings are from M-16s, which is the usual weapon of the Israel army. We found maybe half a dozen shells from AK-47s, which is what you normally see Palestinian gunmen using. It's a very curious scene.

---

To read the full CNN report, click here (at our web site).  The M16, of course, is also the weapons of choice of the U.S. military. 

And now, here’s an excerpt from the Mar. 31 London Observer about the same murder of give Palestinians.  Unlike the watered-down CNN version, some of the Observer’s descriptions are rather graphic:

Without mercy: Israelis execute Arafat's elite guards  

Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor

Ramallah, Sunday, March 31, 2002

The ambulancemen were carrying the first body out of the Cairo-Amman bank in the centre of Ramallah when I came across them.

His knees were doubled up in rigor mortis. One of the legs of his green parachute jumpsuit had been burned through to the skin by a round fired at such close quarters that the muzzle flash had ignited the fabric. A gaping wound was visible in his chest - also apparently from a burst of fire from close range. What killed him, however, was the gunshot to his temple.

A few minutes later, the paramedics brought the second body, that of a young man, also in Yasser Arafat's elite guard unit, Force 17.

Someone had taken off his boots, revealing his blue socks. The wounds that he had obviously been clutching when he died were also to his upper body. But what must have killed him, like his colleague, was a shot fired at close range to his temple that had demolished the back of his head.

The third body was of an older man, in his forties, grey-haired with a moustache. Someone had pulled his parachute suit above his head to hide the wound. When the stretcher-bearers put him down, the covering was pulled back. The wound was to the head.

What happened on the third floor of the Cairo-Amman bank at midnight on Friday during Israel's occupation of the Palestinian city of Ramallah can only be surmised. But in the few minutes after Israeli soldiers stormed the Palestinian position, five men were wounded and five men were put to death by the Israelis, each with a single coup de grace administered to the head or throat.

Maher Shalabi, bureau chief of Abu Dhabi television in Ramallah, was in his office in the same building when he heard several bursts of heavy shooting on the floors below. 'I heard heavy shooting; maybe it was an exchange of fire. But I believe this was an execution.'

Hassan Asfour, a senior Palestinian negotiator, added: 'They were executed in cold blood. This is a clear example of the collective execution policy adopted by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people.' […]

The coups des graces administered for these five men are a metaphor for what the Israeli incursion is hoping to achieve inside Ramallah. By isolating Arafat within his headquarters, Sharon hopes to decapitate the Palestinian Authority.

[…] On every corner yesterday stood Israeli tanks. The devastation that these tanks have wrought inside the Palestinians' most attractive city has to be seen to be believed.

Roads have been dynamited or torn up by tanks. Buildings are burned and shattered. Everywhere there is rubble, spent ammunition and broken glass.

A little later, I met Hossam Sharkawi and Mohamed Awad, two senior officials in the Palestinian Red Crescent who I had met before. Sharkawi, a co-ordinator for emergency services, told me the Israelis had arrested five of his drivers.

'They have them blindfolded and handcuffed. I cannot understand what the Israelis are thinking. They also used one of our ambulances today as a human shield. They sandwiched it inside a convoy.'  

Sharkawi was able to reveal something of life inside Arafat's compound. 'We know there are injured inside,' he said. 'But they have been blocking ambulances entering to give treatment.' How many injured he could not say.

'All that we hear is that there may be between 50 and 100 people trapped with Arafat inside the building, without food, or water or any electricity and no telephone communication.' He shook his head and walked away.

---

For the full Observer story, click here (at our web site).  

---

TiM Ed.: Of course, there are two sides to each coin.  Nothing is quite black and white at times of war, nor is anyone lily white.  According to Israeli Arutz Sheva News Service's Apr. 1 report, Chief of IDF Planning Branch, Maj.-Gen. Giora Eiland, revealed on Mar. 31 an incident in which Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulances were exploited by the Arabs for non-emergency purposes. Here's an excerpt from that story:

Following a gun battle between IDF forces and Arab troops within Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, PLO officials requested that Israel allow a Red Crescent Ambulance to enter the compound in order to evacuate two wounded gunmen to a nearby hospital. Israel agreed to this demand on humanitarian grounds. Upon the vehicle's exit, Israeli forces inspected it. Inside they found fourteen healthy Arabs along with the two wounded men, who were trying to smuggle themselves out of the besieged building.

In a letter released today, the President of Israel's Magen David Adom (Red Star of David) condemned the adverse use of the red crescent emblem in other incidents. This past week, IDF soldiers detained an ambulance driver working for the Palestinian Red Crescent close to the Rama Bridge south of Ramallah. The ambulance was smuggling an explosive belt and other explosive charges which were hidden under a stretcher on which a sick Arab child was lying. The driver admitted that he was smuggling the charges in order to transfer them to Tanzim activists in the Ramallah Region.

The Magen David Adom president demanded that the Red Crescent organization observe its neutrality and refrain from the harmful use of ambulances and preventive emblems in terrorist activities.

---

Meanwhile, Israel’s state-sponsored terror isn't limited only to Palestinians.  Yesterday (Apr. 1), an MSBNC reported from Ramallah said on live TV that he and his driver had been shot at by an Israeli soldier.  After they had identified themselves as an American TV crew, and had raised their hands as a surrender sign, the Israeli fired 10 to 15 rounds at their vehicle.  They were lucky to escape with their lives, by putting the car into reverse, and hightailing out of trouble.

We’ve also just received an unconfirmed report out of Ireland that a Cork Peace Alliance member had been shot by an Israeli tank at a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem.  

In addition, here's an excerpt from an Apr. 1 Agence France Presse (AFP) report about seven other foreigners being shot at and wounded by gunfire from an Israeli tank:

Israeli troops opened fire Monday (Apr. 1) during a demonstration in support of the Palestinians near here, wounding seven foreigners and a Palestinian cameraman, organizers said. The group Solidarity International said a 26-year-old Australian woman was hit in the stomach with shrapnel during the incident in the town of Beit Jala and was rushed into surgery. A Frenchman, 54, was shot in the head. The other foreigners wounded were two Britons, two Americans and a Japanese, the group said. The one Palestinian wounded was a cameraman for Associated Press Television (APTV). An earlier toll supplied by hospital sources listed five foreigners and two Palestinians wounded. 

Israeli officials had no immediate comment and said they were investigating the incident. Jerome Lallemand, an activist for the group International Civic Campaign for the Protection of the Palestinian People who witnessed the incident, said about 60 people were demonstrating in support of the Palestinians. "An Israeli tank blocked their way and Israeli soldiers opened fire in their direction," Lallemand told AFP.

---

TiM Ed.: To see Israel's "democracy" at work in Bethlehem on Apr. 2, just click here for an AP photo.

---

Meanwhile, could someone please explain to us why our Pretzel Prez at least isn’t expressing his outrage that Israelis are shooting at Americans?  After all, isn’t his first and foremost job protection of American lives and property?  Isn’t that why he declared “war on terrorism?”  What is the difference between an American being shot at by an Israeli or by Osama bi Laden, except that we’ve probably paid for the former weapon and ammo?

Could someone also please explain to us why Ariel Sharon isn’t being hauled off to the Hague War Crimes Tribunal to join Slobodan Milosevic?  Or why is it that Israel does “have the right to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism,” according to the Bush administration, but Serbia did not against Albanian terrorism? 

Why did NATO bomb Serbia when it tried to defend its ancient and sovereign land (Kosovo) against Albanian secessionists, but is now watching passively Israel’s incursion into the (Palestinian) West Bank territory ? (in contravention of the UN Security Council resolution which Washington also SUPPORTED!).

Asked on MSNBC news last night (Apr. 1) to comment about the Israeli atrocities, foreign minister, Simon Peres, said that his country cannot concern itself with its image at a time it is fighting a war for survival. 

Hm… The Serbs in Kosovo also fought (and lost) an existential war - against NATO, which sided with the terrorists! (prompting some TiM readers in 1999 to suggest that its acronym really stands for “North American Terrorist Organization” - see NATO’s War and “Peace” at our web site).

Guess logic, reason, fairness and consistency have never been the hallmarks of imperial governments.  At least now Americans can see plainly the double standard Washington is applying to its foreign policy.  It will be interesting to see how our Pretzel Prez digs himself out of this hole that Israel has dug for his “war on terrorism,” undermining the “coalition” that used to include some now outraged Arab countries.

--------------

5. Israeli Occupation Will Bring More TerrorApr. 2, 2002

TAYBEH, Apr. 2 - You’ve been hearing us say over and over again, including in Item 1 of this TiM Bulletin, that violence breeds violence; that Israelis reprisals for the suicide bombings will only lead to more terrorist attacks.  What’s been happening since Israel launched its latest invasion of the West Bank is a sad confirmation of this truism.

Well, here is now also an eyewitness account by a Greek Orthodox Christian academic from Boston who managed to escape last week from Ramallah to her home in Taybeh.  Dr. Maria Khouri’s report has been forwarded to us by a TiM reader from Virginia:

Occupation Will Bring More Terror

By Dr. Maria C. Khoury

The War on terror has never terrorized so many of us as currently in the Holy Land. There is nothing more terrifying than hearing the Israeli fighter jets above your head and you just don't know exactly where they will drop the bomb. It seems like it will drop right now above your head, and as the sound whooshes away, there is a great sign of relief some other place will be bombed instead.

This week it was mostly Ramallah, the city where I spent three hours trying to get out of last Thursday. It's difficult to even find the right words to describe the panic, the fear, and the anxiety in the streets among the people. There is nothing like thousands of people looking for taxis at the same time to get home as soon as possible because the Israeli Army is about to totally reoccupy the city. This means military tanks and armored jeeps on almost every street, house invasions and thousands of men between 16-45 years of age collected and detained.

There are a few exceptions, however.  Some are just shot dead in cold blood, and maybe they are on Israel's most wanted list. I am sure there is some good reason for the democracy of Israel to execute these people right on the spot.

Each time the Israelis assassinate people, like the five generals, all in their 50's, in Arafat's compound all shot in the head in close range and found without weapons, these men are someone's fathers. They are someone's brothers. They are someone's husbands. Hate and revenge continue. Thus, a brand new generation of "terrorists" will be born in Ramallah following these brutal killings which also included four young men shot to death at the Islamic youth club.

I am loosing my English on this side of the world because I used to think these things were massacres and war crimes. But I try to keep in mind what the Israeli government says, these Palestinians were terrorists so, of course, Israel has a right to defend itself. In three days alone, 25 bodies lie dead in the Ramallah hospital because no one can even bury the dead since Ramallah has been closed off as a military zone and everyone is under virtual house arrest.

Please pray for Ramallah, because actually the people cannot even go to church and pray on Sunday. Fr. Ibrahim Hijazin prayed alone with the sisters at the Latin Church, because not a single soul was willing to risk walking the streets of Ramallah with snipers on most buildings ready to shoot anyone in site.

My cousin, Fr. Iacoub Khoury conducted the liturgy just with Fr. Meletios at the Greek Orthodox Church. For many years I used to think it is terrible that people are not allowed to enter Jerusalem and pray at the Holy Sepulchre, but now people can't even get out of their houses and attend their local church. Most of the neighborhoods in Ramallah have been without electricity and without water for the last four days. Some neighborhoods have the electricity turned on for a few hours in the afternoon.

The building that has the office for the Greek Cultural Center in the middle of Ramallah received 10 rockets and caught on fire. No one can actually go and access the damage because we can't move from our present locations. Many buildings were bombed and destroyed but the only thing that personally bothers me about this particular destruction is the 10 out of the 12 illustrations that a Greek artist Fotini had completed for me where at the cultural center. Beautiful illustrations for a new children's book I was working on called "My Favorite Saints" for elementary ages featuring one saint for each month. I suppose this building had some terrorists in it also.

But the horrid conditions the Israeli army creates for us bread terrorism. The total humiliation and dehumanization of the Palestinian people is worse than the Nazi's did to the Jews in concentration camps. How can these people that have suffered so much in history turn around and conduct worse atrocities towards another group of people? And how can the United States continue to blindly support Israel with billions of dollars each year?

We have lived for the last 18 months with terror. For us terror means Apache helicopters dropping bombs in our neighborhoods, F-16 jets dropping bombs and assassinating Palestinian leaders, Israeli soldiers invading homes and destroying everything in their site while looting, tanks firing rockets into schools, Israeli soldiers with machine guns preventing people from going to work and school, checkpoints in all the Palestinian cities and villages that cut them off from each other.

Terror is when the ambulances cannot get to injured people and take them to the hospital. Terror is when the Israeli army continues to demolish Palestinian homes leaving thousands of people homeless. For us living in the Holy Land, terror means the occupation that we feel and experience daily not having independence or any basic human rights. Terror to me means when the world is silent and allows Israel to be above all international laws and United Nation Resolutions.

What does terror mean to you?

---

Note about the author: Dr. Maria C. Khoury holds a doctor of education degree from Boston University, a masters degree from Harvard University, and a bachelor degree from Hellenic College, the only Greek Orthodox Christian seminary in the Western hemisphere. She is the author of three children's Orthodox Christian books and has received a research award for her doctoral thesis. Dr. Khoury taught at Boston University for 10 years prior to moving to her husband's village of Taybeh, following the Oslo Peace Agreement. She is currently involved in fundraising one million dollars to help 30 needy families for the housing project in Taybeh, and is employed by the Latin Patriarchate Schools, Jerusalem, in enriching the English language teaching in Palestine.  

---------------

For some past TiM articles on Middle East, check out… TiM Middle East Bulletins.

…or go directly to… Futility of Violence: “Tempt Not a Desperate Man” (Shakespeare) Israel’s Hi-Tech Goes Bye Tech (Jan 2002), “Before Apologizing, Sharon Had Virtually Declared War on U.S.,” (2001)Clash of Greens (2001)Spies Galore, Enemy Within, Foxes at the Gate"Israel Stabs America in the Back; Rothschilds' Land on Syrian ... ,  "Ayatollah Klintonmeini" Morphs into "Sultan of Little Rock",   "Klinton's Amerika: Israel's Tomahawk",  "NWO's Control of Israel's Economy" - by Barry Chamish,   Wrong Allies Accused by Hoagland - Djurdjevic's letter to WP

-------------

Also check out.. "Bush League All-Stars," “Enronizing Pretzelitis:” New Alzheimer Strain Strikes Potus Potatus Primus Censorship Comes to America, Collateral Damage Hits HomeGrotesque and Pathetic War,  Clash of GreensEnd of Folly, Not of World

Plus... Stitching Together the New World Order Flag wpe35.jpg (40845 bytes)

-------------

Feedback: Home:logolittle.jpg (9114 bytes) Search:

Also, check out... Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns:  "Christianity Under Siege," "Silence Over Persecuted Christians", "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail,"  "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"

Or Djurdjevic's NEW DAWN (Australia) magazine columns: "Macedonia: Another Farcical American Oil War,"  "Anti-Christian Crusades,"  "Blood for Oil, Drugs for Arms", "Washington's Crisis Factory,"  and "New Iron Curtain Over Europe"