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Why No Sympathy for Palestinians? Bulldozers continue to Destroy Their Homes and Lives as Zionists Continue to Force Arabs from Their Homes

FromAlex James

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April 18, 2012

European Zionists invaded Palestine in 1917 and have been wiping Palestine and Palestinians off the map gradually, just as European Monarchs wiped other native populations around the World. At one time, European Monarchs had the entire World under physical occupation including China. As explained by John Perkins, ex-economic hitman for the owners of the World Bank/IMF, if bribes don’t work, democratically elected presidents are overthrown or dictators are invaded to take over a nation’s resources.


Zionist banksters haven’t left the rest of the World in peace either. In the US, around 10 million homes have been foreclosed on since the crisis started. European nations are being foreclosed on as well.

From Yamit to the Jordan Valley, the IDF Continues to Force Arabs from Their Homes


Three decades after the IDF expelled Bedouins from Sinai, destruction and demolition of Arab homes continues throughout the West Bank.


by Amira Hass

April 16, 2012

Last week, evacuees of Yamit marked the 30th anniversary of the demolition of their illegal settlement in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. Radio reports blithely skirted the fact that the construction of these Sinai settlements was preceded by mass destruction. Under orders from then-defense minister Moshe Dayan and Southern Command head Ariel Sharon, in 1972 the Israel Defense Forces secretly expelled 1,500 Bedouin families from the Al-Ramilat tribes, from a 140,000 dunam area. As Oded Lipschits wrote in a February 2002 column of the kibbutz movement journal Hadaf Hayarok, his memory of those facts was jogged when the IDF demolished houses in Rafah in 2002. Referring to what happened in the Sinai years earlier, he wrote, "A group of members from kibbutzim in the region, including me, started to investigate. We went out and toured the area, and were stunned by the dimensions of the wreckage, and by the number of persons who were expelled. The IDF and the government denied the facts that we presented, and claimed that they had merely evacuated a few nomads from state lands onto which the nomads had recently encroached."

An inquiry committee ultimately established that the expulsion was carried out without government authorization; Dayan had acted upon his own initiative. There were some censorious rebukes about "transgression of authority," and some low-ranking officers were demoted. Nonetheless, the Golda Meir government carried out a pre-prepared plan to build settlements on the very same region from which the Bedouins had been expelled. Lipschits wrote, "Sadat and top Egyptian officials wrote in retrospect that the Israeli government's decision to establish a large Israeli city [Yamit] was the straw that broke the camel's back, and caused Egypt to give up hopes for a peace agreement, and to initiate the Yom Kippur War."

Destruction and Dejection

Now, moving from Lipschits and the Sinai to today's occupied territories: destruction and demolition continues all the time. Silence is maintained, even without coercive actions taken by the censor, and the goal of using "C" areas to prevent natural Palestinian growth is promoted all the time. New master plans developed by Israel have left the Palestinians in area C out, so building remains forbidden. Connecting to water and electrical grids is illegal, and each act of demolition is "legal" and "authorized."

Since the beginning of the current year, through April 3, the Civil Administration has demolished 184 Palestinian structures, and 338 people have lost their homes, according to data compiled by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA ). For example, during the week of March 21-27, authorities demolished 24 structures, including six residential structures. That week, 36 people, including 13 children, lost their homes. Six structures belonging to the herding communities of Tel al Hema and Frush Beit Dajan, in the northern Jordan Valley, were destroyed. Dafna Banai and Dorit Hershkowitz of the Checkpoint-Watch grassroots movement visited al Hema two days after the demolition. Following is Banai's translated March 29th report, from the Rebuilding Alliance website:

"On Monday, March 26, 2012, darkness fell on Khabis Sawaftah's family. While the family members were busy with their morning tasks, two bulldozers, 12 vehicles from the Civil Administration, Border Police personnel and about 40 additional soldiers descended upon them, ordering them out of their home. Khabis, his wife and their five children stood 20 meters away, with the soldiers standing between them and their house. The family watched Civil Administration personnel dump their belongings - sacks of lentils and rice, blankets and mattresses, schoolbooks and clothing - all tossed around as if they were garbage.

When they finished emptying the house of its inhabitants' things, Civil Administration personnel entered to photograph the empty structure (to prove that the compassionate occupier destroys only empty homes and not, God forbid, their contents ). Then it was the reaper's turn; in a few minutes the home was turned into a pile of stones, boards and plastic sheeting.

The family cat refused to abandon her kittens; the house was demolished around them. A few hours later the family saw the cat climbing out of the rubble, carrying her six kittens, hale and hearty. The chicken that hid in the aluminum stove also survived but, traumatized, refused to leave it.

The lives of Khabis and his children (the oldest is 13 ) have been destroyed. Khabis is a wage laborer, the poorest of the poor, living on land belonging to our friend N., which is registered in his name in the tabu - the land registry. N. employs him to cultivate the fields and take care of the date palms in return for meager pay and housing. But Khabis somehow managed to survive. Now the house is gone. Everything that provided even a minimum of security - a place to lay their heads, store some food and get shelter from the burning sun and the rain - all gone.

People from the UN, the Red Cross (which brought a small plastic tent ) and many politicians from the Palestinian Authority arrived a few hours later with fine, encouraging words. After they departed, however, Khabis was left with his pain, helpless.

What happens now? What can he say to Khaled, his 13-year-old son, who refuses to greet the Jewish women two days after their countrymen destroyed his life, looking at us with such justifiable hatred. We sit with the family, the little girl on the ground in the tent, doing her homework, listening to the family tearfully repeat what occurred during those forty terrible minutes. And we have nothing at all to say in reply. Because, no matter how much solidarity we feel, we can't even begin to imagine how terrible it must be when a bulldozer demolishes your home."

Civil Administration data relayed to Haaretz indicate that desist orders for illegal building were issued on December 19, 2011, and a demolition order was passed on to the family weeks later, on January 12.

Amira Hassis the Haaretz correspondent for the Occupied Territories. She joined Haaretz in 1989, and has been in her current position since 1993. As the correspondent for the territories, she spent three years living in Gaza, which served as the basis for her widely acclaimed book, "Drinking the Sea at Gaza." She has lived in the West Bank city of Ramallah since 1997. She is also the author of two other books, both of which are compilations of her articles.

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Copright © 2012 and Haaretz Newspaper




The Disgusting Attacks on Gunter Grass


by Tariq Ali

April 10, 2012

The German writer Gunter Grass (The Tin Drum) had already predicted the response to his poemin SdZ. There is no reason to be surprised, but there is every reason to be disgusted. Within Germany both the elite and a layer of the population by their words and actions appear to have accepted the disgraceful Goldhagen thesis whereby all German were guilty for the crimes of the Third Reich. This thesis has now been developed further: all Germans are guilty for eternity for the crimes of the Third Reich.

Behind this thinking is the Zionist and Zionophile argument that the crime against the Jews of Europe was unique in the annals of history. This was true as far as the method of extermination was concerned, but not in any other way. The  Belgians massacred the Congolese in greater numbers: over 10 million according to the historian Adam Hochschild. The killing of Armenians during the First World War was systematic and we could go on and discuss the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but comparing one massacre or genocide to another is a futile exercise. Raul Hilbergthe most authoritative historian of the Judeocide was angered by the uses that were being made of that crime today.

Some members of the extreme-right government and Lieberman in particular, that rules Israel today have used proto-fascist language against the Palestinian Arabs. Are we not allowed to point that out? That the Israeli government pushed the Bush administration to make war on Iraq is hardly a secret. Nor is the statement of the Israeli Ambassador to the US the day after the fall of Baghdad: “Don’t stop. Move on to Damascus and Teheran.’  Are we not allowed to rebuke him? The targeting and killing of young Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere is fine, is it?

Gunter Grass was very mild in his criticisms. He concentrated on Israeli warmongering in relation to Iran. He could have said a lot more. The fact that it needs political courage to say even what he did in Germany or France is a sad reflection  on the political culture of both these countries. As for the attacks on Grass for his wartime activities, these are beneath contempt. The Israelis were delighted when the former Italian minister, Gianfranco Fini, whose party is in lineal descent from Mussolini, went to Israel and praised the Wall. He was forgiven his party’s past. So the past only matters if a person is critical of Israel. The former Nazis in various positions in the postwar Federal republic who pushed through reparations and backed Israel, they were never criticized either.

German citizens should ponder the following: it was not the Palestinians who were responsible for the murder of millions of Jews during the Second World War. Yet they, the Palestinians, have become the indirect victims of the Judeocide. Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return to others. So why no sympathy for the Palestinians?

Tariq Aliis a military historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, public intellectual, political campaigner, activist, and commentator. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and regularly contributes to CounterPunch, The Guardian and the London Review of Books. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which are "The Duel" (2008) and "The Obama Syndrome" (2010). He can be reached at

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