Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This is what US aid to Israel looks like

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 6:18 AM ET

A Palestinian woman carries her daughter after she was injured by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah (GAZA)


Photo

AP

Wed Jun 27, 5:40 AM ET

The bodies of two wounded Palestinians are seen inside a car as they are taken to the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday June 27, 2007. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday killed eight Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, Palestinians said. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 10:42 AM ET

A woman carries a girl injured by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza June 27, 2007. (Ismail Zaydah/Reuters)

Photo

AFP

Wed Jun 27, 2:25 PM ET

A wounded Palestinian child lies on a hospital trolley in Gaza City following an Israeli offensive. Nine Palestinians were killed on Wednesday as Israel launched twin offensives in the Gaza Strip, triggering the deadliest violence since Hamas fighters overran the territory 12 days ago.(AFP/Mohammed Abed)

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 3:48 PM ET

A wounded Palestinian woman lies on the ground after she was injured by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza, June 27, 2007. (Ismail Zaydah/Reuters)

Photo

AP

Wed Jun 27, 5:30 AM ET

A Palestinian man carries a wounded boy at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City,Wednesday, June 27, 2007. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday killed eight Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, Palestinians said. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 8:46 AM ET

A Palestinian woman carries her daughter after she was injured by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza June 27, 2007. (Ismail Zaydah/Reuters)

Photo

AP

Wed Jun 27, 10:50 AM ET

A Palestinian man carries a boy who was wounded in an Israeli army operation into Shifa hospital in Gaza City, June 27, 2007. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday killed ten Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, Palestinians said. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 9:29 AM ET

Palestinian children wait in line to receive food distributed at a soup kitchen in the West Bank city of Hebron June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Nayef Hashlamoun (WEST BANK)

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 6:14 AM ET

People carry a wounded Palestinian girl (L) and a boy after they were injured by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza June 27, 2007. Israeli forces killed at least 10 Palestinians, most of them gunmen, on Wednesday in their biggest raid in the Gaza Strip since Hamas Islamists took over the territory two weeks ago, medical workers and residents said. REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah (GAZA)

Photo

AP

Wed Jun 27, 5:26 AM ET

A Palestinian woman carries her wounded daughter at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday June 27, 2007. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday killed eight Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, Palestinians said. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 9:29 AM ET

Palestinian children wait in line to receive food distributed at a soup kitchen in the West Bank city of Hebron June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Nayef Hashlamoun (WEST BANK)

Photo

AP

Wed Jun 27, 9:02 AM ET

Palestinians carry the body of a badly wounded man at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday June 27, 2007. Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday killed eight Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, Palestinians said. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Photo

Reuters

Wed Jun 27, 5:07 AM ET

A woman carries a Palestinian girl injured from an Israeli tank shell in Gaza June 27, 2007. Israeli forces killed at least 10 Palestinians. REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah (GAZA)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Reply to UCI-Chancellor's Message on British Boycott

On June 15th, the Chancellor of UCI, Michael Drake, published a message regarding the recent boycott of the apartheid state by the British University and College Union (UCU).

Instead of honoring the brave stance that the UCU is taking against a country that openly practices apartheid; he voiced his contempt against their actions.

Chancellor's Message on British Boycott

Below is a response from a UCI Alumnus.


Dear Chancellor Drake,

I am writing in response to your message published June 15th 2007 strongly opposing the recent vote by the British University and College Union (UCU) to propose an academic boycott of Israel. In my opinion, your message was one-sided and misleading.

First, your statement accusing the UCU of attempting to "shun an entire community of scholars based on what appears to be political opposition to the policies of the incumbent government" is a distortion of the truth.

The boycott movement against Israel , including UCU's recent proposal, is not based on a political position, rather it is based purely on moral and ethical grounds.

Contrary to your above quoted statement, the boycott movement is not a reaction to the policies of a particular government, past or incumbent. Rather, the boycott campaign is targeted at those who support and justify an illegal occupation, one which has been going on for decades and which violates international law and universal principles of human rights. This is stated clearly in the Palestinian Civil Society's (PCS) call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) in June 2005, which initiated the recent world-wide campaign of non-violent resistance against illegal Israeli policies and practices.

Furthermore, the academic boycott is not directed at the entire community of Israeli academics, as you mention. The academic boycott is aimed only at those institutions which openly support and justify Israel's illegal occupation and inhumane policies. In its call on June 2005, the PCS extended its hand to Israelis and invited conscientious Israelis to support them, "for the sake of justice and genuine peace".

Second, I do agree that an intellectual and open discussion is essential to arrive at a better understanding of any situation, particularly one that is as charged as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. However, to establish a meaningful dialogue, there needs to be a minimum level of understanding between all parties; a common grounds or reference to which all parties agree. In the case of the Palestinian/Israeli issue, no meaningful or effective dialogue can occur without all parties agreeing to stand against any group or government (Israeli or Palestinian) which violates international law and universal principles of human rights.

We may differ on how effective an academic boycott may be in terms of ending injustice and supporting the oppressed. However, one who views the current academic boycott movement in support of the basic human rights of Palestinians as oppressive to Israeli scholars clearly does not have a good understanding of the reasons behind the movement or the goals it aims to achieve.

Sincerely,

Huda Shaka`
UCI alumni

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fatah Torturing Hamas Members

"Any one who speaks Arabic can tell that the torturers are Dahlan's thugs. After beating the Hamas people viciously, they force them to chant for Dahlan, "With our lives and blood we will redeem you o Dahlan!" Also at the end they force them to chant,"Hamas is Shiite, Hamas is Shiite!" Which of course is not true, but it is supposed to put Hamas in the Iranian camp; a sleazy sectarian attempt. Is there any doubt that Israel is behind this thug Dahlan?"

WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised



Just a reminder that Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Did they jump or were they pushed?

An interesting read about Hamas' motivations for its actions in Gaza...

Hamas acted on a very real fear of a US-sponsored coup

Washington's fingerprints are all over the chaos that has hit Palestinians. The last thing they now need is an envoy called Blair

Jonathan Steele
Friday June 22, 2007
The Guardian

Did they jump or were they pushed? Was Hamas's seizure of Fatah security offices in Gaza unprovoked, or a pre-emptive strike to forestall a coup by Fatah? After last week's turmoil, it becomes increasingly important to uncover its origins. The fundamental cause is, of course, well known. Israel, aided by the US, was not prepared to accept Hamas's victory in last year's Palestinian elections. Backed by a supine EU, the two governments decided to boycott their new Palestinian counterparts politically and punish Palestinian voters by blocking economic aid. Their policies had a dramatic effect, turning Gaza even more starkly into an open prison and creating human misery on a massive scale. The aim was to turn voters against Hamas - a strategy of stupidity as well as cynicism, since outside pressure usually produces resistance rather than surrender.

The policy shocked even moderate western officials like James Wolfensohn, the former World Bank chief, whom the Americans had appointed to help Gaza's economy before the Hamas election victory. "The result was not to build more economic activity but to build more barriers," he said this week while explaining why he resigned in disagreement with US and Israeli strategy.

It is also well known that Hamas was as surprised by its election victory as everyone else and that it offered its rival, Fatah, a coalition government of national unity. The offer was refused. If this was done initially out of wounded pride, Fatah's rejection of Hamas's regularly repeated overtures increasingly appeared to be coordinated with Washington as part of the boycott strategy.

Reports have been circulating for months of a more sinister side to the boycott. According to them, the US decided last year on a plan to arm and train Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard in a deliberate effort to confront and defeat Hamas militarily. Israel has already locked up several dozen Hamas legislators and mayors from the West Bank. The next stage was to do the same in Gaza but have Palestinians, rather than Israelis, run the crackdown.

Arming insurgents against elected governments has a long US pedigree and it is no accident that Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security adviser and apparent architect of the anti-Hamas subversion, was a key player in Ronald Reagan's supply of weapons to the Contras who fought Nicaragua's elected government in the 1980s.

Documents doing the rounds in the Middle East purport to have evidence for Abrams's "hard coup" strategy. One text recounts Washington's objectives as expressed in US officials' conversations with an Arab government. These are, among others, "to maintain President Abbas and Fatah as the centre of gravity on the Palestinian scene", "avoid wasting time in accommodating Hamas's ideological conditions", "undermine Hamas's political status through providing for Palestinian economic needs", and "strengthen the Palestinian president's authority to be able to call and conduct early elections by autumn 2007".

The document is dated March 2, less than a month after Saudi Arabia brokered the Mecca agreement under which Abbas finally agreed with Hamas on a unity government. The deal upset the Israelis and Washington because it left Hamas's prime minister Ismail Haniyeh in charge. The document suggests the US wanted to sabotage it. Certainly, according to Hamas officials whom a depressed Abbas later briefed, Abbas was told to scrap Mecca at every subsequent meeting he has had with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert or with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Abrams.

Most ominously, the document of US objectives outlined a $1.27bn programme that would add seven special battalions, totalling 4,700 men, to the 15,000 Abbas already has in his presidential guard and other security forces, which were also to be given extra training and arms. "The desired outcome will be the transformation of Palestinian security forces and provide for the president of the Palestinian Authority to able to safeguard decisions such as dismissing the cabinet and forming an emergency cabinet," the document says.

Alastair Crooke, a former Middle East adviser to the EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and current head of a research institute in Beirut, points out that Israel blocked some arms deliveries. It was wary of sending too many into Gaza for fear Fatah might lose them, as indeed has happened. In this sense, only part of the plan went ahead. (Britain has played a small part in helping Abbas's security forces. It has provided about £350,000 of "non-lethal" equipment this year for protecting the Karni freight crossing between Gaza and Israel.)

But Crooke says Hamas was irritated that the Mecca deal was being sabotaged, notably by the refusal of Mohammed Dahlan, Fatah's long-time Gaza strongman and head of the Preventive Security Forces, to accept the authority of the independent interior minister appointed to the unity government. "Dahlan refused to deal with him, and put his troops on the streets in defiance of the interior minister. Hamas felt they had little option but to take control of security away from forces which were in fact creating insecurity," Crooke says.

Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas spokesman, confirms the movement thought it had to move fast. In his words, last week's events were "precipitated by the American and Israeli policy of arming elements of the Fatah opposition who want to attack Hamas and force us from office".

While Hamas has successfully blocked the US-Fatah plans for Gaza, Abbas is trying to implement them in the West Bank by forming an emergency government. The policy is doomed since the constitution says such a government can only last 30 days. Parliament has to renew it by a two-thirds majority, and parliament is controlled by Hamas. The only sensible policy for Abbas must be to end the effort to marginalise Hamas. He should go back to the Mecca agreement and support a unity government. Even now, Hamas says it is willing to do so.

Where does all this leave the White House idea to involve Tony Blair as a Middle Eastern envoy? It creates a "coalition of the discredited" - Bush, Olmert and Blair -and sounds like something from a satire since Blair has no credibility with Hamas or most other Palestinians. Better to leave it to the Saudis to revive the Mecca deal, or wait until Abbas realises he has fallen into a trap. Neither common sense nor democratic principles, let alone time, are on Fatah's side.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Israeli" Troops Kill Muslim Women

West chooses Fatah, but Palestinians don't

They prefer Hamas, which represents an alternative to Fatah's acceptance of the Israeli occupation.

By Saree Makdisi, SAREE MAKDISI, a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA, writes often about the Middle East.
June 20, 2007

IN THE WEST, there's a huge sense of relief. The Hamas-led government that has been causing everyone so much trouble has been isolated in Gaza, and a new government has been appointed in the West Bank by the "moderate," peace-loving Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.

So why then do Palestinians not share in the relief? Well, for one thing, the old government had been democratically elected; now it has been dismissed out of hand by presidential fiat. There's also the fact that the new prime minister appointed by Abbas — Salam Fayyad — has the support of the West, but his election list won only 2% of the votes in the same election that swept Hamas to victory. Fayyad and Abbas have the support of Israel, but it is no secret that they lack the backing of their own people.

There is a reason the people threw out Abbas' Fatah party in last year's election. Palestinians see the leading Fatah politicians as unimaginative, self-serving and corrupt, satisfied with the emoluments of power.

Worse yet, Palestinians came to realize that the so-called peace process championed by Abbas (and by Yasser Arafat before him) had led to the permanent institutionalization — rather than the termination — of Israel's 4-decade-old military occupation of their land. Why should they feel otherwise? There are today twice as many settlers in the occupied territories as there were when Yitzhak Rabin and Arafat first shook hands in the White House Rose Garden. Israel has divided the West Bank into besieged cantons, worked diligently to increase the number of Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem (while stripping Palestinian Jerusalemites of their residency rights in the city) and turned Gaza into a virtual prison.

People voted for Hamas last year not because they approved of the party's sloganeering, not because they wanted to live in an Islamic state, not because they support attacks on Israeli civilians, but because Hamas was untainted by Fatah's complacency and corruption, untainted by its willingness to continue pandering to Israel. Fatah leaders were viewed as mere policemen of the perpetual occupation, and the Palestinian Authority had willingly taken on the role of administering the population on behalf of the Israelis. Hamas offered an alternative.

Here in the U.S., Hamas is routinely demonized, known primarily for its attacks on civilians. Depictions of Hamas portray its "rejectionism" as an end in itself rather than as a refusal to go along with a political process that has proved catastrophic for Palestinians on the ground.

Has Hamas done unspeakable things? Yes, but so has Fatah, and so too has Israel (on a much larger scale). There are no saints in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinians, frankly, see a lot of hypocrisy in the West's anti-Hamas stance. Since last year's election, for example, the West has denied aid to the Hamas government, arguing, among other things, that Hamas refuses to recognize Israel. But that's absurd; after all, Israel does not recognize Palestine either. Hamas is accused of not abiding by previous agreements. But Israel's suspension of tax revenue transfers to the Palestinian Authority, and its refusal to implement a Gaza-West Bank road link agreement brokered by the U.S. in November 2005, are practical, rather than merely rhetorical, violations of previous agreements, causing infinitely more damage to ordinary people. Hamas is accused of mixing religion and politics, but no one has explained why its version of that mixture is any worse than Israel's — or why a Jewish state is acceptable but a Muslim one is not.

I am a secular humanist, and I personally find religiously identified political movements — and states — unappealing, to say the least.

But let's be honest. Hamas did not run into Western opposition because of its Islamic ideology but because of its opposition to (and resistance to) the Israeli occupation.

A genuine peace based on the two-state solution would require an end to the Israeli occupation and the creation of a territorially contiguous, truly independent Palestinian state.

But that is not happening. Fatah seems to have given up, its leaders preferring to rest comfortably with the power they already have. Ironically, it is Hamas that is taking the stands that would be prerequisites for a true two-state peace plan: refusing to go along with the permanent breakup of Palestine and not accepting the sacrifice of control over borders, airspace, water, taxes and even the population registry to Israel.

Embracing the "moderation" of Abbas allows the Palestinian Authority to resume servicing the occupation on Israel's behalf, for now. In the long run, though, the two-state solution is finished because Fatah is either unable or unwilling to stop the ongoing dismemberment of the territory once intended for a Palestinian state.

The only realistic choice remaining will be the one between a single democratic, secular state offering equal rights for both Israelis and Palestinians — or permanent apartheid.

Carter blasts US policy on Palestinians

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press Writer Tue Jun 19, 7:41 PM ET

DUBLIN, Ireland - Former President Jimmy Carter accused the U.S.,

Israel and the European Union on Tuesday of seeking to divide the Palestinian people by reopening aid to President Mahmoud Abbas' new government in the West Bank while denying the same to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was addressing a human rights conference in Ireland, also said the Bush administration's refusal to accept Hamas' 2006 election victory was "criminal."

Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with Abbas' moderate Fatah movement.

Hamas fighters routed Fatah in their violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last week. The split prompted Abbas to dissolve the power-sharing government with his rivals in Hamas and set up a Fatah-led administration to govern the West Bank.

Carter said the consensus of the U.S., Israel and the EU to start funneling aid to Abbas' new government in the West Bank but continue blocking Hamas in the Gaza Strip represented an "effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples."

"All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two, but there's no effort from the outside to bring the two together," he said.

The U.S. and European countries cut off the Hamas-led government last year because of the Islamic militant group's refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel. They have continued to send humanitarian aid to Gaza through the United Nations and other organizations.


In the latest crisis, the U.S., Israel and much of the West have been trying to shore up Abbas in hopes that the West Bank can be made into a democratic example that would bring along Gaza.

During his speech to Ireland's annual Forum on Human Rights, the 83-year-old former president said monitors from his Carter Center observed the 2006 election that Hamas won. He said the vote was "orderly and fair" and Hamas triumphed, in part, because it was "shrewd in selecting candidates," whereas a divided, corrupt Fatah ran multiple candidates for single seats.

Far from encouraging Hamas' move into parliamentary politics, Carter said the U.S. and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, sought to subvert the outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the reins of political and military power.

"That action was criminal," he said in a news conference after his speech.

"The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah," he said.

Carter said the U.S. and others supplied the Fatah-controlled security forces in Gaza with vastly superior weaponry in hopes they would "conquer Hamas in Gaza" — but Hamas routed Fatah in the fighting last week because of its "superior skills and discipline."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Whose Coup, Exactly?

Abbas's appointing a new prime minister was itself entirely illegal. The new 'emergency government' is illegal, too. According to the Basic Law of Palestine (as amended in 2003), which serves as the constitution of the PA, Abbas can do neither of these things. Nor can the new 'emergency government' claim any democratic mandate. This means that Abbas and the Fayyad government are ruling by decree, outside the framework of the Basic Law. So on what basis is that government supposed to govern -- and on what basis are foreign governments supposed to deal with it?

According to the Basic Law, Abbas has violated a whole stream of Articles as well as the spirit of its checks and balances, which were designed during the Arafat era partly to limit the power of the presidency. With full US and Israel support (if not their insistence), Abbas has baldly trashed numerous provisions of the Basic Law, including:
  • The President can sack his Prime Minister (Article 45) but he cannot legally appoint a new Prime Minister that does not represent the majority party (i.e., Hamas).
  • In the event that a President sacks the PM, the Government is considered to have resigned (Article 83), but the serving Cabinet (here, the Hamas-led Cabinet) is supposed to govern until a new Cabinet is confirmed by the Legislative Council (Article 78).
  • Only the Legislative Council can confirm the new PM and Cabinet and the new officials cannot take their oaths (Article 67) or assume their duties (Article 79) until this is done. We might now look for the Fayyad government to go to the Legislative Council for post hoc approval, but if the Legislative Council cannot vote for lack of a quorum -- because too many of its members are in jail or refuse to participate -- then the Cabinet cannot be legally confirmed. The Basic Law provides no remedy for conditions where the Legislative Council cannot vote to confirm the Cabinet or the actions of the President.
  • The President can rule by degree during emergencies (Article 43) but the Legislative Council must approve all these decrees at its first meeting.
  • The President cannot suspend the Legislative Council during a state of emergency (Article 113).
  • The President has no power to call early elections, either.
  • The Basic Law has no provision whatsoever for an "emergency government."

Complete Article

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Robert Fisk: Welcome to 'Palestine'

How troublesome the Muslims of the Middle East are. First, we demand that the Palestinians embrace democracy and then they elect the wrong party - Hamas - and then Hamas wins a mini-civil war and presides over the Gaza Strip. And we Westerners still want to negotiate with the discredited President, Mahmoud Abbas. Today "Palestine" - and let's keep those quotation marks in place - has two prime ministers. Welcome to the Middle East.

Who can we negotiate with? To whom do we talk? Well of course, we should have talked to Hamas months ago. But we didn't like the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people. They were supposed to have voted for Fatah and its corrupt leadership. But they voted for Hamas, which declines to recognise Israel or abide by the totally discredited Oslo agreement.

No one asked - on our side - which particular Israel Hamas was supposed to recognise. The Israel of 1948? The Israel of the post-1967 borders? The Israel which builds - and goes on building - vast settlements for Jews and Jews only on Arab land, gobbling up even more of the 22 per cent of "Palestine" still left to negotiate over?

So what will we do? Support the reoccupation of Gaza perhaps? Certainly we will not criticise Israel. And we shall go on giving our affection to the kings and princes and unlovely presidents of the Middle East until the whole place blows up in our faces and then we shall say - as we are already saying of the Iraqis - that they don't deserve our sacrifice and our love.

How do we deal with a coup d'├ętat by an elected government?

Complete Article

CIA Meddling in Palestinian Affairs

"After overtaking the Palestinian Authority's Preventive Security headquarters in Gaza City on Thursday afternoon, Hamas fighters report they have seized tens of thousands of highly valuable intelligence documents, including correspondence between the PA and others, including the CIA, regarding security issues.

'If we release these documents, the entire world will be shocked, not just the Palestinians. The dozens of armored vehicles, RPG launchers and rockets, the hundreds of thousands of bullets we have – they are all nothing compared to the documents and data discs we uncovered.

'There are video tapes of surveillance against our fighters and their homes, wiretaps on our calls, the PA's entire method of operation has been exposed,' he said.

The Hamas man said that the documents also implicate several Arab nations of involvement in the internal Palestinian power-struggle in an attempt to impair Hamas. According to the Hamas source the papers also document the PA's cooperation with the American CIA against Palestinian organizations, especially Hamas.

Releasing the documents would entail the approval of the Hamas leadership, said the Hamas source, saying that the documents would be used to prove the justness of Hamas' fight against the Palestinian security forces.

The WorldNetDaily news website reported Muhammed Abdel-El, the spokesperson for the Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees group, as saying: "The CIA files we seized, which include documents, CDs, taped conversations, and videos, are more important that all the American weapons we obtained the last two days as we took over the traitor Fatah's positions."

Another Hamas official, quoted by WND, said the CIA documents they browsed so far contain "information about the collaboration between Fatah and the Israeli and American security organizations; CIA methods on how to prevent attacks, chase and follow after cells of Hamas and the Committees; plans about Fatah assassinations of members of Hamas and other organizations; and American studies on the security situation in Gaza."

Full Story

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gaza's Boiling

It has been in the media spotlight for the past few days now, so I think it's important to discuss the current situation in Palestine.

Fighting has broken out between Fatah and Hamas, resulting in deaths of many. Unfortunately, certain people label this tension and animosity in Gaza as a civil war. Instead, it should be referred to as street cleaning- cleansing Gaza from the corrupt Fatah leaders who haven't shown any dedication to the Palestinian people. Hamas on the other hand, from day one has been involved in providing services, orphanages, clinics, and other social work for the suffering Palestinians.

Hamas has been held at gunpoint since their victory in the democractic elections over a year ago. Immediately after the declared victory in the elections, the International community has marginalized the Palestinians by cutting off funding. As the Palestinians were being suffocated, it became clear that Hamas had to do something to maintain the livelihood of the Palestinians. So Hamas decided to form a coalition government with Fatah to offer a front that will be accepted by many nations. Hamas' willingness to share its power with this corrupt entity goes to show you just how far Hamas is willing to go for the sake of the Palestinians. However, bringing Fatah into the picture has done nothing yet costed everything. If Hamas' sole intention was based on acquiring power, they would not have been resilient in forming this unity goverment.

As this newly formed government showed no signs of progress for the Palestinian people, tensions began rising between the two parties. Then, when minor fights broke out, Mr. Abbas became a slave to Israel and the United States. He was presented with one-of-a-kind honorarium- WEAPONS. Rather than putting out the fire and promoting peace, Israel and the United States ignited the fire and are currently witnessing it burn.

With the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, many are pessimistic about the newly cleaned streets. Corruption has fled and the elected party has emerged victorious in this epic battle. Having Hamas completely in charge of the Palestinian governement is ideal for a sucessful future of a suffering nation. The coalition involving Fatah has not for one second, brought any benefit to the Palestinians. Instead, Fatah goes and sides with Israel for some cash and guns.

As Malcolm X would have said, "its a case of the chickens coming home to roost".

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fearless



"If you're not ready to die for it, take the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary." - Malcolm X

Monday, June 11, 2007

OC Register: UCI deals with claims of Anti-Semitism

A very nicely written article appeared in the OC Register yesterday. The article was titled, "UCI deals with claims of anti-Semitism."

Anti-Semitism is a term that has been thrown at the MSU for many years now. Some people (Zionists) claim that many of the programs put on by the MSU target the Jewish faith and Jews in general.

This is obviously a complete fabrication.

The MSU has explained countless times that their criticisms are of the apartheid state of "Israel" and the political ideology of Zionism. Zionism is a 19th century political ideology that supports the establishment of a Jewish state on Muslim Palestine by any means necessary.

Now, criticizing this movement is clearly not criticizing the Jewish faith. The issue is with the ideology of Zionism and the apartheid system that is being enforced in occupied Palestine under its banner.

In one part of the article, Clown (rabbi) Yonah Bookstein says, "I am a constant voice to point out injustice and hatemongering."

How can a person who cannot even recognize the obvious and blatant injustice against the Palestinians be a source "to point out injustice" anywhere?

This was the same Clown that was cheering and clapping when Rabbi Weiss described the burning of his synagogue in New York.

The article goes on to describe how the numerous claims of anti-semitism on campus turn out to be completely false and made up.

Below is an excerpt:

"Sometimes, officials said, the stories of anti-Semitism are simply fiction.

A young man reported to his father in 2004 that he was being harassed and assaulted for being a Jewish UCI student, leading the infuriated dad to e-mail campus authorities and castigate them for doing nothing.

"My son has been assaulted both physically and verbally on campus," the father wrote in an e-mail, adding that "it appears campus security takes no action."

On further investigation, concerned UCI officials had to report to the boy's father that he wasn't a harassed student, in fact, he wasn't a UCI student at all. He was not then, nor had he ever been, enrolled at UCI. Campus officials were surprised, however, to learn that the young man has now applied to enroll at the campus for fall 2007.

Max Gibson, the San Diego resident who marched in a turban around UCI, e-mailed a campus administrator on May 22 that he was "at UC Irvine campus, and as a young Jewish Republican, I am so, so, so enraged."

Gibson went on to say that he had "been spit on, received death threats and been insulted heavily this last week."

In an interview with the Register, Gibson, who is not a UCI student, repeated his allegations that he was spit on and threatened.

Campus police have a different version of the tale, saying that Gibson recanted when asked to discuss the threats.

According to a memo in which Assistant Police Chief Jeff Hutchison recalled the conversation, Gibson said, "I'm really sorry, but I
embellished a bit"

"He said that no one had actually threatened his life, but four MSU students told him they would have their friends take care of me,"
Hutchinson reported that Gibson told him. "I said, "So you do not believe your life is in danger or that anyone is planning to kill you?"
Mr. Gibson replied, "No, no. Not at all." I asked Mr. Gibson about the spitting incident and he said that the spit from the MSU student's
mouths, who he argued with, would land on him as they argued. I asked him if he wished to file a formal crime report on any of these
incidents. He declined to do so."

*Swastika incident*

According to the campus police, a widely reported incident where swastikas were sprayed on campus was actually a protest against
university police who broke up a loud party.

The swastikas were sprayed from a paint can found near the party site, and vulgar expressions that accompanied the swastikas made it clear they were directed toward the "fascist" actions of the university, not a
racial slur, police chief Paul Henisey said."

The Race to Presidency

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Pledge Alllegiance to Apartheid

As the 2008 elections creep closer and closer, what stance do the current presidential candidates have towards our relationship with the apartheid state of "Israel."

Are they going to work on establishing a JUST solution to the current situation in the Middle East?

Or are they going to continue spending YOUR money supporting the apartheid in occupied Palestine?

Excerpts From the Jerusalem Post...

Question: What's the importance of Israel as a strategic ally and how would your administration manage ties between the two countries?

John McCain: If elected President of the United States , I will strengthen America 's bedrock commitment to the security of the State of Israel.First and foremost, we must continue to provide Israel with whatever military equipment and technology required to retain Israel 's qualitative military advantage and to defend itself.

Just as important is the strengthening of our diplomatic ties. As President, I will invite Israel to play a leading role in the League of Democracies that I have proposed - an organization of like-minded nations working together in the cause of peace.

Hillary Clinton: Israel is an important ally and strategic partner of the United States . Our nations are united by shared values, a commitment to democracy, and a belief in the dignity of men and women. We are also united by a common strategic interest in fighting back against the forces of terrorism and nihilism.

Barack Obama: Israel is our most reliable ally and the only established democracy in the Middle East. Israel 's security and close US-Israel cooperation is the linchpin of so much of what we want to achieve in the Middle East.

I would continue and deepen the strategic dialogue between our nations' defense establishments, insist on fully funding military assistance to Israel to ensure it can defend itself, and expand cooperation on the development of the Arrow and other missile defense systems

Mitt Romney: In January, I had the good fortune of traveling to Israel , a beautiful, historic and diverse country with a people I respect and admire. America 's friendship with Israel is based on our common interests and common values. Israel 's democracy has flourished and its economy has prospered in spite of multiple wars it has had to fight and the diplomatic and economic isolation by most of its neighbors. Israel is a trusted friend and ally in an increasingly hostile region.

Bill Richardson: I am firmly committed to one of the United States ' closest and most important allies - the State of Israel. Throughout my career, I've steadfastly supported Israel , obtaining a consistently pro-Israel voting record in Congress and defending Israeli interests as Ambassador to the United Nations. As Governor of New Mexico, I'm proud that my state has invested heavily in Israel 's economy. We re-opened New Mexico 's trade office with Israel and in 2005 generated $27.7 million in Israeli-New Mexican trade. We also invested $10 million in the form of Israel bonds. This is the first bond purchase of its type in New Mexico 's history.

Sam Brownback: I am tempted here to discuss all the reasons why I support Israel , to thank the people of Israel for bringing the message of G-d into this world, and to explain my commitment to a united Jerusalem that has always been, and should always remain, the capital of the Jewish people. But I will limit my answer only to the importance of Israel as a strategic ally of the United States .

I submit that the United States and Israel share not only democratic values, but also a common moral vision.

America learns from Israel 's example. We learn when the people of Israel take great risks for peace, when Israeli response teams are first on the ground in disaster sites around the world, and when Israel removes from danger thousands of Ethiopian Jews and welcomes them into the country with open arms.

=====================================================

Interesting to see how many of the candidates believe this country shares the same moral values with the apartheid state.

Brownback must be joking or something...

"Some 60 percent are considered to be living in poverty compared to 20 percent of the general population, according to figures from Meyers-JDC-Brookdale, a prominent Israeli social research institute.

Ethiopian immigrant leaders express disappointment that many of their Israeli-born children with fluent Hebrew have fared no better and complain that the real problem is discrimination by white Israelis.

'These aren't isolated incidents, it's pure discrimination,' said Batia Eyob, director of an immigrant advocacy group that has documented a rise in anti-Ethiopian behavior in the past five years.

Ethiopians complain of problems finding employers to hire them but say the discrimination starts at school.

Figures show a dropout rate among Ethiopians of 23 percent by the age of 17 compared to 15 percent for other Israelis. Ethiopian youngsters say they find themselves the butt of racial slurs from some teachers as well as pupils.

Asher Balata, 18, said he hit his school principal "because he called me a nigger" and ended up expelled just months before high school graduation.'

'These aren't isolated incidents, it's pure discrimination,' said Batia Eyob, director of an immigrant advocacy group that has documented a rise in anti-Ethiopian behavior in the past five years.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Muslim-Jewish Tensions at UC Irvine

KCET on Muslim-Jewish Tensions at UC Irvine

The Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine’s political events are distorted and out of context, which leads to people judging the Muslims on campus out of fear or prejudice, rather than listening objectively to what we have to say. One of our goals is to show people what Islam is all about.

This means that we will try to educate students on campus about issues that we feel we need to stand for. The Muslim Student Union has no "feud" with Jewish students at UC Irvine.

The MSU does not agree with the racist political ideology of Zionism. This is greatly at odds with how we see Judaism, however; we believe Judaism is a rich, beautiful faith that is rooted in the Abrahamic traditions.

Jews, as well as Christians, are considered our "brothers and sisters of the book" in Islam, and we are taught to treat them with respect. If we were to be anti-Semitic, it would go against the very ideals that our religion preaches. The conflict on this campus is over politics, not faith.

Marya Bangee
Spokesperson MSU-UCI

The Forgotten Pearl Harbor


Today, marks the 40th anniversary since an American Naval ship, the USS Liberty, came under attack off the coast of Egypt. There was an air bombardment which lasted about 25 minutes, followed by an attack from nearby navy vessels. In the end, a total of 34 American sailors were murdered in broad day light and by whom? Our dearest ally, the apartheid state of "Israel."

The Israelis claim that the attack was "a case of mistaken identity." They say that they confused the USS Liberty with an Egyptian ship, al-Quseir, which was supposedly firing on Israeli forces in the Sinai.

"But there was no Egyptian naval bombardment that day; nor did the al-Quseir bear any resemblance to the Liberty."

About six hours prior to the attack, Israeli planes were flying above the Liberty, studying the situation and observing the clearly marked American ship.

"A 5' by 8' American flag was hoisted early that morning and was flying all day until it was shot away by attacking aircraft. Within several minutes, it was replaced by the giant 9' by 13" holiday ensign, which flew for the duration of the attack."

The USS Liberty was unarmed and was one of the most technically advanced naval ships of that time. It consisted of "dozens of large antennas, including a large moon-bounce "satellite-dish" mounted on a tall structure near the stern. It may have been one of the most easily identifiable ships of any navy in the world. With a displacement of 10,000 tons, it was four times the size of the antique Egyptian transport it is claimed to have resembled. Freshly painted, the Liberty carried 10' high white identification numbers on its bow. Egyptian hull markings are painted black."

Many of the survivors are outraged that it has been 40 years and they still do not understand why they were attacked.

Why would Israel bomb an American navy vessel?

Well, there is a couple of explanations. First, the USS Liberty's sole purpose was to collect observations and data of the happenings in Egypt and Israel. Israel did not want to let the word get out of the atrocities that it was committing in Egypt.

Another explanation is that Israel wanted America to get involved in the 1967 war. So, by sinking the USS Liberty and blaming the Egyptians, America would be dragged into the war.

The 1967 US Navy Court of Inquiry originally accepted the Israeli version, but the chief attorney is now saying there was a cover-up.

"In not one of these investigations were any of the Liberty's surviving crewmembers permitted to publicly testify.

Recently, high government and military officials have suggested that not only was the attack deliberate, but that the US government covered up the incident. In 2003, an Independent Commission of Inquiry found that Israel committed "an act of war" against the United States (see Findings of Independent Commission).In addition, the Navy's chief attorney to the original 1967 military Court of Inquiry has issued a statement that orders to cover-up the incident were issued by President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara [see Statement of Captain Ward Boston, USN, JAG (Ret.) (PDF)]. "

FAQ on the USS Liberty

Thursday, June 7, 2007

'Sailing to Gaza'

A group comprised of about 50 internationals is sailing to the Gaza Strip in an attempt to visit the most densely populated area in the world. Israel withdrew from Gaza and left it under the control of the Palestinian Authority, but yet it controls every one of its entrances.

A member of the group, Greta Berlin:
"We tried to enter Palestine by ground. We tried to enter by air. Now we are going to go by sea.

We must do everything we can to bring to the world's attention to the fact that Israel's military blockade is causing death to the people of Gaza.

Israel has no right to prevent us from going. So we're going. International law says that we have the right to visit Gaza. Remember, in July 2005, when Israel told the entire world that Gaza was no longer occupied? If it's no longer occupied, why shouldn't we go?"

'According to international law, the waters of Gaza for all 40 kilometers of its coast belong to the Palestinians, and Israel has no right to control those waters. Even the Oslo agreements state that the coast of Gaza belongs to the people who live there.'

Click Here For More Information

Note:

One of the internationals embarking on the trip is Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who recently gave a lecture at UCI during the MSU's "Holocaust Memorial Week."

The week was dedicated to the remembrance of the many Holocausts that have occured throughout history. Hedy Epstein enlightened us about the European Holocaust, Imam Abdel Aleem Musa lectured on the African Holocaust, and Professor Ward Churchill ended the week discussing the American Holocaust.

1967 War: An Unfinished Chapter

By Ismail Haniyeh

WHEN the Israeli leaders launched their expansionist war in June 1967 they never envisaged that 40 years later they would still be haunted by the consequences. At the time, they were driven by one strategic objective: to end the conflict by seizing all that remained of Palestine and complete the process of ethnic cleansing that started in 1948.

They did not realise the resolution of this conflict would take much more than military superiority. The occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai peninsula was portrayed as the victory of David over Goliath. For the next two decades the Palestinian experience was drowned out by the clamour of Israeli hubris. The world paid little attention to the expropriation of Palestinian land, the apartheid regime established by the occupation and the systematic destruction of Palestinian livelihoods.

It was only in 1987 that the world awoke to the reality of a popular Palestinian uprising –– intifada. A new generation had come of age, thirsty for freedom and peace with dignity in its own land. The two decades since have confirmed that my people will not repeat the mistakes of 1948. They will remain rooted in their land, whatever the price, and pursue their legitimate right to resist the occupation.

That right is supported by, for example, UN Resolutions 2955 and 3034, which affirm the "inalienable" right of all peoples to self-determination and the legitimacy of their struggle against foreign domination and subjugation "by all available means".

Israel's fateful error was to underestimate the resolve of the Palestinians. Tens of thousands have been killed or wounded by the Israeli army since 1967. During 2006, the number of Palestinians killed reached 650. Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel –– about 40 per cent of the male population. Today three-quarters of the Palestinian people are displaced: there are five million Palestinian refugees throughout the world.

With the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, we were told that things would get better. But life became more hellish as Israel accelerated settlement building and seizures of our land. Meanwhile, the world was fed the fallacy that Israel was defending its "threatened existence". In reality, it is Israel, through the prosecution of colonial war, that has threatened the Palestinians' right to live in their land. And when they were most needed, the world's most powerful states refused to ensure respect for the international law that "the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible".

In contempt of the will of the international community, Israel continues to build its annexationist apartheid wall across the West Bank. Which western state\n would, in the 21st century, accept that its citizens be literally caged and locked into cantons? Undaunted by repression, my people have embraced democracy as a means of struggle and governance. Yet in response the world's most powerful democracies have imposed an economic blockade against my people, while Israel continues to kill, expropriate and destroy with impunity. The humanitarian catastrophe in the occupied West Bank and Gaza is clearly designed to subvert the elected government and create a client authority that concedes every wish of the occupier. There can be no exit from the impasse without sanctions being lifted and Israel's release of the hundreds of millions of dollars of our money it has seized.

In the 1967 war, Israel conquered the land of Palestine but it did not conquer the people. And in its attempt to debase and dehumanise my people, Israel has debased and degraded itself before the family of nations. The 1967 war has over 40 years engendered\n successive wars and destabilisation of the Middle East. The increasing mistrust between the Arab-Muslim peoples and the western world is rooted in the conflict in Palestine.

The first step to change this catastrophic climate is for the West to engage with the Palestinian National Unity government, which envisages the establishment of an independent state on all the Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967, the dismantling of all the settlements in the West Bank, the release of all 11,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the recognition of the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes."

With the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, we were told that things would get better. But life became more hellish as Israel accelerated settlement building and seizures of our land. Meanwhile, the world was fed the fallacy that Israel was defending its "threatened existence". In reality, it is Israel, through the prosecution of colonial war, that has threatened the Palestinians' right to live in their land. And when they were most needed, the world's most powerful states refused to ensure respect for the international law that "the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible".

In contempt of the will of the international community, Israel continues to build its annexationist apartheid wall across the West Bank. Which western state would, in the 21st century, accept that its citizens be literally caged and locked into cantons? Undaunted by repression, my people have embraced democracy as a means of struggle and governance. Yet in response the world's most powerful democracies have imposed an economic blockade against my people, while Israel continues to kill, expropriate and destroy with impunity. The humanitarian catastrophe in the occupied West Bank and Gaza is clearly designed to subvert the elected government and create a client authority that concedes every wish of the occupier. There can be no exit from the impasse without sanctions being lifted and Israel's release of the hundreds of millions of dollars of our money it has seized.

In the 1967 war, Israel conquered the land of Palestine but it did not conquer the people. And in its attempt to debase and dehumanise my people, Israel has debased and degraded itself before the family of nations. The 1967 war has over 40 years engendered successive wars and destabilisation of the Middle East. The increasing mistrust between the Arab-Muslim peoples and the western world is rooted in the conflict in Palestine.The first step to change this catastrophic climate is for the West to engage with the Palestinian National Unity government, which envisages the establishment of an independent state on all the Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967, the dismantling of all the settlements in the West Bank, the release of all 11,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the recognition of the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

If Israel is serious about peace, it has to recognise these basic rights of our people. The 1967 war remains an unfinished chapter. Nothing will stop our struggle for freedom and to have all our children reunited in a fully sovereign state of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital. ––The Guardian, London

The writer is the Palestinian prime minister.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

UCI College Republicans sponsor "terrorists"

By Mohamad Abdelfattah

After attending a wonderful ceremony celebrating and affirming religious tolerance at UCI, I decided to check out an event being put on by the College Republicans featuring three self-proclaimed former terrorists. I was disturbed to find out that the event was completely dedicated to demonizing the religion of Islam and its followers. It was the furthest thing from the spirit of the ceremony I had attended earlier that morning.

The alleged former terrorists Walid Shoebat, Zak Anani and Kamal Saleem each discussed their supposed radical Islamic lives of the past. The first to speak was Kamal, who described his intense childhood. He claimed, "at 7 years of age, I went on my first mission into Israel…we went through an underground tunnel with 50 kg of TNT on my back." I find it difficult to believe that at seven years of age this guy held 110 pounds of explosives on his back, when my own seven year-old brother has difficulty carrying his backpack to school everyday. Kamal's story seemed to be staged as part of a play – he kept referring to his notes and would raise his voice at certain times to dramatize his act.

Next up was Zak Anani who who told us that he grew up in Lebanon and at age thirteen joined a radical Islamic movement. Interestingly, his biography on Shoebat’s website indicates his level of “religiosity”: he refused to pray and actually killed a fellow Muslim for asking him to pray the early morning prayer! Yet, he claimed that his religion inspired him to kill hundreds – by the age of eighteen, he was allegedly personally responsible for the deaths of 223 people. By the way, he does not provide the context. Apparently his activities occurred during the civil war when most factions, Muslim and non-Muslim, were all busy killing each other; yet, somehow his actions committed as a Muslim stand out and indict the entire religion.

His hatred of Islam is intense. He said, "There isn't really radical Islam, they're either Muslim or non-Muslims.” In other words, our fight terrorism is in reality a war against all Muslims. The neo-con mantra “You’re either with us or you’re against us” has been translated into “You’re either Muslim or you’re non-Muslim.” Talk about religious intolerance.

The final person to speak was Walid Shoebat, a self-professed ex-PLO fighter. Walid claims to be Palestinian. He also makes the claim that he used to be a terrorist with the PLO, but provides absolutely no documentation or proof that would support his claims.

I will spare the readers the details of the terrorists’ stories and why I think they are mostly lies and fabrications. The more important issue is the point behind “touring” those three self-proclaimed terrorists around US college campuses. Even if the stories told by the speakers are true, it is obvious that such events are staged by intolerant right-wing groups to promote Islamophobic sentiments and justify the discrimination against Muslims in America and abroad.

Members of the Muslim Student Union (MSU) are always accused of being hypocritical in that they organize events attacking Zionism and Zionists yet criticize events against Islam or Muslims. To rational human beings, the difference should be obvious.

Unlike Islam, Zionism is not a religion but a man-made political ideology (just like socialism or capitalism). An attack on Zionism is an attack on its racist ideas and the oppressive practices of its subscribers, not an attack on a specific religion or its followers.

On the other hand, events such as the one recently sponsored by the College Republicans that equate Islam, one of the three Abrahamic religions, to terrorism promote religious intolerance, to say the least. Had the College Republican event targeted political parties or groups (PLO, Hamas, Hizbullah for example) the situation would have been different and I may have considered some of the arguments presented. However, their speakers chose to misrepresent the whole religion of Islam and its 1.5 billion followers worldwide. That is straight up Islamophobia.

As an Muslim American I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know Muslims from all over the world, but I have yet to meet a "radical Muslim". Yes, we have all seen them on CNN and FOX News, but I am yet to see one in person. I am yet to meet a Muslim who declares "jihad" on innocent civilians or vows to kill every “infidel”. I am yet to see the avocation of killing Americans along with the "death to America" cry that our media portrays of every other Middle Eastern man with a beard or woman with a scarf.

I went to the College Republican event hoping to get a glimpse of what I have so often heard and read about. I must say I was disappointed. The speakers at Monday night’s event are well-overpaid. I could easily find ten people with Middle-Eastern accents to put on a more convincing act. And if their stories are indeed true, why aren’t these people rotting in Guantanamo?

Murder of Yahya al-Jabari

The "Israeli" Occupation Forces committed another crime today, this time in Hebron.

They invaded the home of Yahya al-Jabari, a 67-year-old Palestinian man and murdered him right as they entered the house. His 65-year-old wife confronted them and began to scream at the soldiers, they went on to shoot her and seriously wound her as well.

They IOF continued and shot the rest of the family, including women and children.

"Hospital officials said in all seven members of the family of the dead man, Yahya al-Jabari, were wounded."

Below is some footage at the scene of the murder.

Monday, June 4, 2007

'Apartheid Resurrected' Speaks Truth to Power

For the past two weeks the New University has printed a number of articles criticizing the Muslim Student Union's "Israel: Apartheid Resurrected" week, calling it anti-Semitic, extremist, and uninformative. However, unfortunate as it may be to those who made the previously mentioned claims, the week did not embody any of those characteristics.

Alex Chazen was right when he said that someone would come forth correcting the statement that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Judaism. Zionism, as it is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is "an organized movement of world Jewry that arose in Europe in the late 19th century with the aim of reconstituting a Jewish state in Palestine. Modern Zionism is concerned with the development and support of the state of Israel." Zionism, by being a movement which supports the development of a nation, is thusly not in any way the same as Judaism. Judaism is a way of life derived through the scriptures given to humanity by God. Simply because a significant group of Jews support the political idea of Zionism does not make it the same as the religion of Judaism itself. To learn about a religion, look to its scriptures, not to its followers.

The "Israel: Apartheid Resurrected" week was thus aimed not to coerce a desire to "kill a few Jews" but to expose the state of Israel for what it truly is: a land that practices apartheid, not peace. The evidence is irrefutable. If simply "showing off the beautiful culture of the [Palestinian] people" were enough to put an end to the typical student's apathy, I am sure a different approach to the week could have been taken. However, the fact of the matter remains that Israeli forces are causing destruction to Palestinians every day, and people are still in denial of the fact that Israeli forces are occupying the land of the Palestinians and murdering them without reason.

Sadly people like Alex Chazen need more information than this in order for the Palestinians to "earn them [his] respect or concern." I guess the fact children are being brutally oppressed, that Palestinian houses are being razed and destroyed to make more room for Israeli settlers, that the apartheid wall forces some people to carry up to three permits every day simply to get to work, is not enough reason to have respect for human beings. Perhaps he agrees with Rabbi Yaacov Perrin that "one million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail," or maybe he agrees with former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Maier when he said, "There was no such thing as a Palestinian people…It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist." This would, of course, make perfect sense as the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated pieces of land in the world today.

Reut Cohen claims that MSU members to whom she has spoken "don't support a two-state solution," and implies that this means they "want Israelis out [of Palestine]." However, supporting a one-state solution is not the same as "wanting Israelis out." The land of Palestine should be returned to its rightful owners, and a democratic state should be established in which all those residing on the lands of Palestine can live in freedom, equality, and peace. If Israel were truly a democracy, perhaps these goals would have been achieved.

Cohen goes on to claim that MSU members have "harassed and intimidated" those who are Jewish or pro-Israel, where this is not the case in the slightest. Many of these "incidents documented on [their] cameras" are not harassment nor were they committed by MSU members. Perhaps they were more random idiots like the "young male wearing a head scarf covering his face and holding a sign reading: 'Death to Israel--Death to America.'" Although this student was not a member of the MSU, teacher Gary Fouse and his colleague unfortunately bought into that poor man's ruse to discredit the Muslim Student Union, just as Cohen tries to do by falsely accusing MSU members of intimidation.

While certain people like Chris Kilpatrick believe that "MSU harbors extremists that support ideas similar to those who seek the destruction of humanity," the truth is quite the opposite. If speaking out against the oppression of massive amounts of people is not a humanitarian cause, I'll be honest and tell you that I don't know what is. "Israel: Apartheid Resurrected" week was dedicated to further the voices of the oppressed Palestinian peoples. When one disregards the horrific circumstances of millions of people in order to further their own political gain, I would consider that to be pretty extremist and destructive to humanity. To do that would be up to par with ignoring the Jewish Holocaust. So what is the FBI really investigating here? The MSU does not harbor extremism nor does it support anti-Jewish sentiments. It seems that these calls for investigations are only in efforts to suppress one thing: the truth.

Zoya Ahmad

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Taxpayer Money Supports Apartheid



Just exactly how much aid do we give to the apartheid state??

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Media Campaign Against MSU

Recently, in the media you have seen many Zionists speaking about UCI and their views on the events the MSU has organized this past spring.

You had a clown for a rabbi appear on a local radio station and address his "concerns" about UCI. He claims our week was designed at "creating an atmosphere of hate on campus" and that "MSU's only goal is to intimidate Jewish students."

Complete lies and fabrications.

The MSU's goal of the "Israel: Apartheid Resurrected" week was to inform and educate the campus about the oppression of millions of people in Palestine at the hands of Israel with the full backing of our government.

If our true goal was to intimidate Jewish students on campus, why not then dedicate our entire campus events towards this goal? We put on events all year long, addressing many different issues.

Have we ever organized events in which we demonized Judaism or the Jewish people? NO, quite the contrary, we even brought a rabbi to speak about the differences between Judaism and Zionism.

In our programs, you will hear us criticizing Zionism, not Judaism. Zionism is not a religion but a man-made political ideology (just like socialism or capitalism). An attack on Zionism is an attack on its racist ideas and the oppressive practices of its subscribers, not an attack on a specific religion or its followers.

You also had an AFI member who appeared on FOX News with Walid Shoebat, a self-proclaimed ex-terrorist. Walid claims that he used to be a terrorist with the PLO, but provides absolutely no documentation or proof that would support his claims.

He says, "MSU is a group that openly gives funds for terrorism, openly calls for the toppling of the United States of America, and openly raises funds for terrorism."

His claims have absolutely no basis. There is absolutely no evidence to back these claims because they are complete LIES, which is not surprising coming from Walid Shoebat, who makes a living off lies and deceiving the masses.

This same AFI member documents almost all of the MSU events, so please provide some evidence to support these absolute ridiculous claims.

If the media was really interested in why the MSU does what it does, why not ask the MSU to explain for themselves? Why bring some off campus rabbi or MSU-hater to answer these questions?

It is clear that there is a certain agenda that the media is trying to push along.