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Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin’s admission: Israel “expelled Arabs” across Palestine in 1948

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin is cursed with a penchant for intellectual honesty

On 09.03.10, By Max Blumenthal

In a little noticed article on page 19 of the September 1 edition of Maariv, the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, assailed the actors and artists who have refused to perform at the theater in the Jewish settlement of Ariel. As a proud advocate of Greater Israel and professed friend of even the most fanatical members of the settlement enterprise (see his remarks at the recent funeral of murdered settlers in Kiryat Arba), Rivlin’s attack would not have been significant if he hadn’t revealed some uncomfortable facts in the process.

Seemingly lost in his anger at the lefty artists, Rivlin conceded that the founders of Israel, the cream of the kibbutznikim, had carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing to a massive degree. “I say to those who want to boycott – Deer Balkum [‘beware’ in Arabic],” Rivlin said to Maariv. “Those who expelled Arabs from En-Karem, from Jaffa, and from Katamon [in 1948..] lost the moral right to boycott Ariel.”

So according to one of the most powerful politicians in Israel, the official story of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which denies that Palestinians were forced from their homes in 1948 (they “abandoned their homes…at the request of Arab leaders,” the ministry’s website claims), is false. The Nakba happened after all. But in Rivlin’s view, those who carried out the Nakba have no “moral right” to oppose settlement activity because they stole more from the Palestinians than the settlers intend to steal.

As it is said, there is no honor among thieves.

Here is a complete translation of the Hebrew-only Maariv report (thanks to the great Aki Orr for translation assistance):

Rivlin castigates the boycotting artists (“Ma’ariv” Sept. 1, bottom of page 19)

Rubi Rivlin, Chairman of the KNESSET, yesterday viciously attacked Israeli artists, players, and writers, who imposed a cultural boycott on the town of ARIEL, due to its location beyond the “Green Line” [in territories conquered in 1967]

“I say to those who want to boycott – Deer Balkum [“beware” in Arabic] Those who expelled Arabs from En-Karem, from Jaffa, and from Katamon [in 1948..] lost the moral right to boycott Ariel” said Rivlin to “Ma’ariv” yesterday.

Rivlin described the artists’ call for a boycott as “lacking intellectual honesty” adding that those who settled in Ariel and other places in Judea and Samaria [the official Israeli name for the occupied West Bank] did so “due to the orders of society, and some may say – due to the orders of Zionism.”

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Comments Off on Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin’s admission: Israel “expelled Arabs” across Palestine in 1948

Letting Torturers Go Free

By Sherwood Ross | Consortium News | August 6, 2010

Although U.S. officials have attributed the torture of Muslim prisoners in American custody to a handful of maverick guards or limited to a few “high-value detainees,” such criminal acts were widely perpetrated, likely involving large numbers of military personnel, a book by a survivor suggests.

According to Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen raised in Germany and defamed as “the German Taliban,” torture at the several prisons in which he was held was frequent, commonplace, and committed by many guards.

In his book, Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, he writes that his beatings began in 2001 on the flight from Pakistan (where he was pulled off a public bus and sold by Pakistani police for $3,000) to his first imprisonment in Afghanistan. Kurnaz wrote:

I couldn’t see how many soldiers there were, but to judge from the confusion of voices it must have been a lot. They went from one prisoner to the next, hitting us with their fists, their billy clubs, and the butts of their rifles.

This was done to men who were manacled to the floor of the plane, Kurnaz said, adding:

It was as cold as a refrigerator; I was sitting on bare metal and icy air was coming from a vent or a fan. I tried to go to sleep, but they kept hitting me and waking me. … They never tired of beating us, laughing all the while.

On another occasion, Kurnaz counted seven guards who were beating a prisoner with the butts of their rifles and kicking him with their boots until he died. At one point, Kurnaz was hung by chains with his arms behind his back for five days:

Today I know that a lot of inmates died from treatment like this.

When he was finally taken down and needed water, “they’d just pour the water over my head and laugh,” Kurnaz wrote. The guards even tortured a blind man who was older than 90 “the same way the rest of us were,” he wrote.

At Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo, Cuba, Kurnaz said:

During the day, we had to remain seated and at night we had to lie down. If you lay down during the day you were punished. … We weren’t allowed to talk. We weren’t to speak to or look at the guards. We weren’t allowed to draw in the sand or whistle or sing or smile. Every time I unknowingly broke a rule, or because they had just invented a new one … an IRF (Immediate Reaction Force) team would come and beat me.

Once when he was weak from a hunger strike, Kurnaz wrote, “I was beaten on a stretcher.”

During his earlier imprisonment at Kandahar, Pakistan, Kurnaz writes:

There were weaker, older men in the pen. Men with broken feet, men whose legs and arms were fractured or had turned blue, red, or yellow from pus. There were prisoners with broken jaws, fingers and noses, and with terribly swollen faces like mine.

Not only were the wounds of such men ignored by guards but complicit doctors would examine him and other prisoners and advise guards as to how much more they could stand before they died. On one occasion, he saw guards beating a prisoner with no legs.

Still worse, Kurnaz said doctors participated in the tortures. A dentist asked to pull out a prisoner’s rotten tooth pulled out all his healthy ones as well, he wrote, adding that another prisoner who went to the doctor to treat one finger with severe frostbite had all his other fingers amputated.

I saw open wounds that weren’t treated. A lot of people had been beaten so often they had broken legs, arms and feet. The fractures, too, remained untreated. I never saw anyone in a cast.

Prisoners were deliberately weakened by starvation diets, he said. Meals at Guantanamo consisted of “three spoonfuls of rice, a slice of dry bread, and a plastic spoon. That was it,” he wrote, adding that sometimes a loaf of bread was tossed over a fence into their compound.

Prisoners who should have been in hospital beds instead were confined to cells purposefully designed to increase their pain, Kurnaz wrote. He described his experience this way:

Those cells were like ovens. The sun beat down on the metal roof at noon and directly on the sides of the cage in the mornings and afternoons.

All told, I think I spent roughly a year alone in absolute darkness, either in a cooler or an oven, with little food, and once I spent three months straight in solitary confinement.

Prisoners could be put in solitary confinement for the tiniest infractions of the most ridiculous rules, such as not folding a blanket properly, Kurnaz said. “I was always being punished and humiliated, regardless of what I did,” he wrote., noting that once, he was put in solitary for 10 days for feeding breadcrumbs to an iguana that had crawled into his cage.

Besides regular beatings from the Immediate Reaction Force, which commonly entered cells with clubs swinging, Kurnaz received excruciating electroshocks to his feet and was waterboarded in a 20-inch diameter plastic bucket filled with water, he said.

He described the experience as follows:

Someone grabbed me by the hair. The soldiers seized my arms and pushed my head underwater. … Drowning is a horrible way to die. They pulled my head back up [and asked], ‘Do you like it? You want more?

When my head was back underwater, I felt a blow to my stomach…. ‘Where is Osama?’ ‘Who are you?’ I tried to speak but I couldn’t. I swallowed some water. … It became harder and harder to breath, the more they hit me in the stomach and pushed my head underwater. I felt my heart racing.

They didn’t let up. … I imagined myself screaming underwater. … I would have told them everything. But what was I supposed to tell them?

It should be noted that U.S. and German authorities had decided as early as 2002 that Kurnaz was innocent, that he really was a student of the Koran in Pakistan when he had been seized by bounty hunters and sold to the Americans as a “terrorist.” Yet they continued his abuse for years.

On yet other occasions, Kurnaz, like so many other prisoners, was hung from chains backwards so that “it felt as though my shoulders were going to break,” he said, adding:

I was hoisted up until my feet no longer touched the ground. … After a while, the cuffs seemed like they were cutting my wrists down to the bone.

My shoulders felt like someone was trying to pull my arms out of their sockets. … When they hung me up backwards, it felt as though my shoulders were going to break. … I was strung up for five days. … Three times a day soldiers came in and let me down (and) a doctor examined me and took my pulse. ‘Okay,’ he said. The soldiers hoisted me back up.

I lost all feeling in my arms and hands. I still felt pain in other parts of my body, like in my chest around my heart.

A short distance away Kurnaz said he could see another man hanging from chains, dead.

When Kurnaz was transferred within the Guantanamo prison system to “Camp 1,” he was put in a maximum security cage inside a giant container with metal walls, he wrote, adding:

Although the cage was no smaller than the one in Camp X-Ray, the bunk reduced the amount of free space to around three-and-a-half feet by three-and-a-half feet. At the far end of the cage, an aluminum toilet and a sink took up even more room. How was I going to stand this? …

I hardly saw the sun at all. They had perfected their prison. It felt like being sealed alive in a ship container.

Although some U.S. politicians and right-wing radio talk show hosts ridiculed the harm of sleep deprivation against prisoners, this techniques was an insidious practice used earlier in Bolshevik Russia to torture enemies, a method known as “the conveyor belt.”

In 2002, Kurnaz wrote, when General Geoffrey Miller took over command of Guantanamo, “The interrogations got more brutal, more frequent, and longer.”

Miller commenced “Operation Sandman,” in which prisoners were moved to new cells every hour or two “to completely deprive us of sleep, and he achieved it,” Kurnaz said. “I had to stand and kneel twenty-four hours a day,” often in chains, and “I had barely arrived in a new cell and lay down on the bunk, before they came again to move me. …

“As soon as the guards saw me close my eyes … they’d kick at the door or punch me in the face.” In between transfers, “I was interrogated … I estimated the sessions lasted up to fifteen hours” during which the interrogator might disappear for hours at a time.

I sat chained to my chair or kneeling on the floor, and as soon as my eyelids drooped, soldiers would wake me with a couple of blows. … Days and nights without sleep. Blows and new cages. Again, the stabbing sensation of thousands of needles throughout my entire body.

I would have loved to step outside my body, but I couldn’t. … I went three weeks without sleep. … The soldiers came at night and made us stand for hours on end at gunpoint. At this point, I weighed less than 130 pounds.

Finally, in August 2006, Kurnaz was released to Germany and testified by video-link in 2008 to the U.S. Congress. During his five years of confinement, he was never charged with a crime.

And so it happened that, during the presidency of George W. Bush, tens of thousands of innocent human beings, Kurnaz among them, were swept up in dragnet arrests by the invading American forces or their allies and imprisoned without legal recourse, the very opposite of what America’s Founders gifted to humanity in the Constitution.

Yet, pretty much the only people implicated in these human rights crimes to face any punishment were a handful of low-ranking guards at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib’s prison whose true crime — in the eyes of Official Washington — apparently was to allow photographs of their actions to reach the public.

After the photographs of sadism at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in May 2004, shocked the world, President George W. Bush called the revelations “a stain on our country’s honor and our country’s reputation.”

He told visiting King Abdullah of Jordan in the Oval Office that “I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners, and the humiliation suffered by their families.” Bush told the Washington Post, “I told him (Abdullah) I was equally sorry that people who have been seeing those pictures didn’t understand the true nature and heart of America.”

A year later, Private Lyndie England and 10 others from the 372nd Military Police Company were convicted of abusing Abu Ghraib prisoners. But the truth was that their actions followed in the footsteps of “war on terror” prison guards across the spectrum of Pentagon and CIA detention camps, often following direct orders from Bush’s White House.

Although President Bush made the Abu Ghraib revelations sound like an aberration that inflicted some un-American acts of “humiliation” on a small groups of detainees, the Abu Ghraib photos actually gave the world a glimpse into far greater crimes of every sordid type.

While a handful of guards like Ms. England — notorious for posing with naked Iraqi prisoners — were convicted and jailed, the many other hundreds or thousands of military guards, interrogators and doctors and dentists involved in widespread tortures have never been prosecuted for their crimes.

Sherwood Ross is an American writer who worked in the civil rights movement and for national magazines and wire services. Today, he runs a public relations firm for good causes. Reach him at sherwoodross10 (at)

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | 2 Comments

And the hits just keep on coming: ‘The Book the IPCC Plagiarized’

Anthony Watts | September 3, 2010

I have to hand it to Donna Laframboise of nofrakkingconsensus, she’s a tireless detail ferret. She’s already found a boatload of errors in the various IPCC reports, now she finds word for word copying from a book to write the health effects section of the IPPC WG2 report.

Donna writes in “The Book the IPCC Plagiarized”:

It appears unlikely that a good faith, bona fide review of the scientific literature took place prior to the writing of significant sections of the IPCC’s first health chapter. Instead, the climate bible surreptitiously incorporated numerous opinions expressed a few years earlier by the activist-oriented person in charge of writing this chapter.

Then the media told the world that the IPCC’s proclamations regarding global warming and diseases such as malaria were the considered, consensus view of thousands of experts.

Of course we’ve been saying for some time that the “malaria link” to global warming is unsupported, one might even call it hyped, seeing how bad the correlations (or lack thereof) are. Now we find the IPPC didn’t really bother to check research. They just copied it from a doomsday book by an activist. See below.

Donna points out this word for word similarity between the book and the 1995 WG2 report:

McMichael’s 1993 book, page 154:
In eastern Africa, a relatively small increase in winter temperature would enable the malarial zone to extend ‘upwards’ to engulf the large urban highland populations that are currently off-limits to the mosquito because of the cooler temperatures at higher altitudes – e.g. Nairobi (Kenya) and Harare (Zimbabwe). Indeed, such populations around the world, currently just outside the margins of endemic malaria, would provide early evidence of climate-related shifts in the distribution of this disease.

Climate Bible’s 1995 Working Group 2 report, page 574:
Hence, it is a reasonable prediction that, in eastern Africa, a relatively small increase in winter temperature could extend the mosquito habitat and thus enable faciparum malaria to reach beyond the usual altitude limit of around 2,500 m to the large, malaria-free, urban highland populations, e.g. Nairobi in Kenya and Harare in Zimbabwe. Indeed, the monitoring of such populations around the world, currently just beyond the boundaries of stable endemic malaria, could provide early evidence of climate-related shifts in malaria distribution.

another example:

McMichael’s 1993 book, page 150:
Sandstorms in Kansas (USA) and in the Sudan have been accompanied by increased illness and death from bronchitis and asthma.

Climate Bible’s 1995 Working Group 2 report, page 578:
Sandstorms in Kansas (USA) and the Sudan have been accompanied by increases in bronchitis and asthma.


Read the whole IPCC train wreck here. It’s not just a couple of sentences, there’s plenty more where this sample came from.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | Comments Off on And the hits just keep on coming: ‘The Book the IPCC Plagiarized’

JINSA: Road to Peace Runs Through Tehran

By Ali Gharib | September 3rd, 2010

As noted in  the September 2 Talking Points, the hard-line neoconservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) is pushing the old neocon meme that the ‘road to Middle East peace runs through’… well, anywhere but Jerusalem. This time, of course, it’s Tehran.

The latest JINSA Report, the organization’s policy e-newsletter, calls Iran the “elephant” in the room that went unmentioned in U.S. President Barack Obama’s Iraq address, as well as the “elephant” in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The JINSA Report says that prospects for long-term success in Iraq will be “short-lived” unless the U.S. figures out what the elephant is and “how to tame it or remove it.” JINSA’s description of Iranian involvement in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories makes clear this prescription applies to those strategic challenges as well.

This theme is of course familiar to anyone who has followed JINSA since the run-up to the Iraq War. Just after September 11, 2001 — on September 14, to be exact — the top U.S. policy priority listed in the JINSA Report was the provision of  ”all necessary support to the Iraq National Congress, including direct American military support, to affect [sic] a regime change in Iraq.” (The Iraqi National Congress and its leader, the neocon darling Ahmad Chalabi, have since been revealed to have had extensive ties to Iran, with Chalabi even accused of spying for the Islamic Republic, making JINSA’s outrage at Iranian influence in Iraq somewhat ironic, to say the least.)

On March 19, 2002, just one year prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, JINSA made the exact same point about Iraq it is now making about Iran: in order to bring regional actors at odds with the U.S. to heel, the U.S. must remove their patron (in Iraq’s case, Saddam Hussein) from power. This 2002 JINSA Report warns:

…the Oslo process in the 1990s had shifted attention from the greater dangers posed by Iraq. We believed, then and now, that only after the regional situation was stabilized in America’s favor would the Palestinians be prepared to acquiesce to legitimate American and Israeli demands about security and legitimacy. It wouldn’t work the other way around.

This analysis should be of no surprise coming from JINSA, an organization funded by Irving Moskowitz, the bingo and gambling magnate who has had a close relationship with both the Likud party of Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu and the most radical settler movements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Unsurprisingly, Moskowitz has also funded leading neoconservative institutions here — notably AEI, Center for Security Policy and Hudson — which connects him to figures instrumental in implementing the invasion of Iraq. Co-founded by Michael Ledeen, Richard Perle, and Stephen Bryen, JINSA itself is advised by the likes of Anne Bayefsky (see Eli’s recent post), John BoltonDick Cheney, Douglas Feith, and Jim Woolsey.

Dyed-in-the-wool neoconservatives like the JINSA advisers have a known fondness for the policies of the Likud party. So it’s again no surprise to see that Netanyahu has long promoted the position that first solving the Iran problem will suddenly allow Israel some latitude in Arab-Israeli peacemaking. This notion, known as ‘reverse linkage’ rather than the militarily-accepted ‘linkage’ that says the opposite, was espoused by Netanyahu’s National Security Advisor, Uzi Arad, just they were coming into office. In March 2009, Arad told Reuters:

[T]he order of priority is: blunt Iran first, move vigorously on peace after, and based on that. Should you act in the wrong order…you will have a sterile, perhaps failed process with the Palestinians and at the same time you will end up with a nuclear Iran.

So now those same figures who brought us the Iraq war are using the same talking points — eerily echoing the Israeli right — to drum up support for escalating measures against Iran. We’ve seen this movie before.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Is the World Bank deliberately concealing disappointing West Bank economic “growth” figures?

By Ali Abunimah | September 2, 2010

An August 31 press release from the World Bank states:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has achieved strong results in recent years, but the resurgence of growth remains dependent on donor assistance.

  • in the first half of 2010, the economy saw 7% real growth;
  • in the West Bank, unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2009 fell to 18% from 20% in the same quarter of 2008;
  • unemployment in Gaza also dropped, falling from 45% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 39% in the last quarter of 2009;
  • the PA has unified its cash transfer programs into one consolidated program that has greatly increased the efficiency of the PA’s social safety system and is one of the most advanced in the region;
  • the PA has improved its budgeting process, budget execution and financial reporting capacity; and introduced commitment controls to reduce spending.

What is very interesting is that the press release provides no breakdown for growth in the West Bank separate from the Gaza Strip. What we have instead apparently is a 7% overall growth figure.

In June a highly informed source who has since been proven correct on a number of other issues told me:

World Bank figures due to be published in coming weeks are likely to show that economic growth in the Gaza Strip in the first quarter of 2010 has exceeded that in the West Bank. While virtually all economic growth in the West Bank is a result of foreign aid, much of the growth in Gaza is attributable to a “parallel economy” that has emerged thanks to the tunnels. This has even created a small new class of nouveaux riches in Gaza.

At the time the source told me that what we’d probably see as a result is the World Bank and PA emphasizing the overall growth figure, rather than dwelling on disappointing results in the West Bank — where a huge politically-motivated aid effort has been aimed at shoring up the Israeli-backed collaborator regime of Mahmoud Abbas and illegally-appointed “prime minister” Salam Fayyad.

Could this be what is happening here? Perhaps the World Bank has provided a West Bank/Gaza breakdown somewhere else? (I haven’t had time to conduct a thorough search yet, but a quick search didn’t reveal it). But I do think its significant there is no breakdown in the press release. It’s a safe assumption that if there had been stellar performance in the West Bank, the World Bank would have emphasized it.

The whole narrative of “Fayyadist” state building depends on the notion that the West Bank economy is booming. There are claims, for example, of a “property boom” in Ramallah, which as I explained tells us nothing about the true state of the West Bank economy.

Indeed a recent Save the Children study found that outside the Ramallah bubble, poverty conditions across much of the West Bank are even worse than in Gaza. My recent Los Angeles times op-ed references that and debunks more “Fayyadist” myths.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Illegal Occupation | Comments Off on Is the World Bank deliberately concealing disappointing West Bank economic “growth” figures?

Fascism in Ramallah

By Khalid Amayreh | The People’s Voice | September 4th, 2010

The American-backed, Israeli-tolerated Palestinian Authority has been unmasking its ugly face. In recent days and weeks, ruthless and undisciplined Security forces have been suppressing public dissent, especially opposition to futile talks with Israel. Such talks are looked upon by most Palestinians as a clear surrender to Israeli whims and dictates.

In the West Bank, the Mukhabarat or intelligence Personnel, have been harassing and even beating opposition figures. Clearly undemocratic, even barbaric methods, have been used to intimidate, harass and even terrorize civic leaders and public figures who dared to voice their opposition to the PA decision to unconditionally join so-called peace talks with Israel even though the apartheid Israeli regime continues to vehemently refuse to freeze settlement expansion and stop the ongoing aggressive Judaization in East Jerusalem.

In Ramallah, the seat of the police state without state, known as the Palestinian Authority, or PA, respectable public figures have been assaulted and beaten without any justification. What kind of government would allow ignoramuses and school dropouts to beat and mistreat professors, doctors, engineers and civic leaders, the crème de la crème of society?

Understandably, this repressive behavior represents a serious retreat from the rule of law the PA has been claiming it wants to establish. In fact, what the Palestinian people have seen in recent days and weeks is that the PA is upholding the law of the truncheon, rather than the rule of law. […]

Needless to say, an authority that beats civic leaders and public figures, some of whom spent the prime of their lives in Israeli jails, dungeons, and detention camps, is neither national nor respectable. On the contrary, it is anti-national as its general behavior is decidedly incompatible with fundamental national dignity.

We have seen some PA officials and spokespersons deny the obvious, namely the indulgence of security personnel in acts of repression. However, it is sad that lying to the public has by and large become a modus operandi for PA spokespersons whose spasmodic discourse tells much about their way of thinking.

Unfortunately, lies, even brash, unsophisticated lies, are not only uttered by manifestly ignorant security figures, who continue to indulge in every conceivable violation of the law with total impunity. These lies are often echoed and reiterated by high-ranking officials, such as the President of the PA Mahmoud Abbas and his unelected and controversial Prime Minister Salam Fayyadh.

For example, both routinely claim that the PA doesn’t detain people because of their ideological and political convictions. Needless to say, these claims are not true because innocent people are being arrested on a daily basis because of their ideological and political convictions.

None the less, the insistence on lying by people who are supposed to set an example of virtue and honesty to their people shows that these leaders either lie knowingly, since it is unlikely that they are unaware of what is going on. Or that they don’t know what is going on, which is a greater calamity.

Recent days and weeks saw PA security forces storm and desecrate several mosques in the West Bank. The manner in which these mosques were stormed infuriated ordinary, un-politicized citizens who are not affiliated with any political orientation, which really generates a lot of disdain and anger toward the Fatah organization and its authority.

We all know that prior to the establishment of the PA regime in the early 1990s, Israeli soldiers and officers were often reluctant to enter mosques with their boots on. Hence, the disgusting behavior of PA “soldiers” should be severely condemned by all free-minded Palestinians.

Besides, the sweeping arrests of young Islamist activists, who do very little if any besides observing their religious duties, remains a stigma of shame incriminating, even criminalizing, PA treatment of its own people.

There is no moral or legal justification for the recurrent arrest and maltreatment of people because of their political views. The Palestinian law, which the PA government claims to uphold, says so.

Cynically, the PA continues to invoke the so-called “Gaza coup” to justify and extenuate the gravity of its own crimes against its own people. However, while the Gaza government, which was democratically elected by the people, is not without mistakes, it is sufficiently obvious that there is no real comparison between what is happening here in the West Bank and what is happening there in the Gaza Strip.

Here, there is a systematic persecution bordering on an inquisition. What else can be said about the illegal and illegitimate incarceration of thousands of innocent people on no grounds other than the fact that they are religious and supportive of an Islamic political party, Hamas, that won the elections in 2006.

To be sure the arrests are only one aspect of PA repression of its citizens. According to human rights organizations, thousands of teachers and civil servants have been summarily and un-apologetically fired from their jobs for no reason other than having a relative who happens to be an affiliate of Hamas.

If this is not fascism, what is fascism then?

Interestingly, this blind disregard for the rule of law takes place while the PA is continuing rather shamelessly to invoke national unity by urging Hamas to sign a worthless Egyptian document that would perpetuate fascism and tyranny.

Needless to say, Hamas must never ever accept such an arrangement. In the final analysis, the Palestinians have not been struggling for ages to finally settle for a police state without a state which is what the PA is all about!!

More to the point, we all know deep in our hearts that the main motive behind this stupid and barbarian inquisition (barbarian because several people have died under torture in PA custody), has more to do with a sick desire on the part of the PA to obtain a certificate of good conduct from Israel and the US government, especially the American general Keith Dayton who runs the PA security apparatus, than with any legitimate security concerns.

Finally, it is crystal clear that no matter how savagely and brutally the PA treats its own people, especially the political opposition, the thuggish Israeli government would never grant the PA any real award, probably apart from allowing PA officials to walk through Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks. Israel, as we all know, treats the PA as a beggar or quisling entity, and neither the beggars nor the quislings can be choosers, even if they claim sovereignty and dignity.

There are those who argue that savaging the Palestinians is a sin-qua-non for the PA. This argument shouldn’t be dismissed easily. There are real fears among Palestinians that the PA security forces would be eventually used to suppress any opposition to any unacceptable deal with Israel, a deal that would liquidate the Palestinian cause. Some say this is the raison d’etre of the PA security forces.

This is the real looming danger that all free and dignified Palestinians must be vigilant about.


Khalid Amayreh is a journalist living in Palestine. He obtained his MA in journalism from the University of Southern Illinois in 1983. Since the 1990s, Mr. Amayreh has been working and writing for several news outlets among which is, Al-Ahram Weekly, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), and Middle East International. He can be reached through

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | 1 Comment