1) 499 Palestinian children under the age of 18 were killed by the Israeli occupation forces (Palestine Affairs Council)
2) Anti-Semitism, Real and Imagined (Z-Net)
3) Suicide Attack in Israel Kills 15 (Assoicated Press)
4) Chronology of recent suicide bombings in Israel (Reuters)
5) Unlawful killings must be prevented (Amnesty International)
Gaza April 30th 2002 Wafa: The Palestinian health Minister Dr. Riyadh Alza'noon said that since the beginning of the Alaqsa Intifada on the 28th of September 2000, the Israeli forces killed 499 Palestinian children under 18 years of age.
He said that the majority of these kids were killed by the Israeli USA made gunship Apache helicopters, artillery, tanks, and machinegun fire, while they were attending their life in their houses, schools and neighborhoods.
He reviewed the cold blooded murder of Ahmad Aldorra whom the Israeli soldiers
shot at for over 20 minutes while his father tried to protect him, furthermore
he mentioned Bassam Balbisi the ambulance driver who was also killed by
the Israelis while he attempted to aid Aldorra, he also
reminded the case of five children of the same family that died while returning back from school, when they ran into an Israeli exploding object.
He said that the ratio of the wounded of all degrees among the children has reached about 40% of the total Palestinian wounded due to the Israeli aggression.
Watching former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak to Congress
a few weeks ago, I must admit, I was almost sucked in. No, not by his distorted
version of reality in the Occupied Territories, nor by his opportunistic
and transparently disingenuous comparisons between Yasir Arafat and Osama bin Laden.
Nor by his insistence that there is no political solution to terrorism,
but only a military one: a claim, the absurdity of which is evidenced by
the fact that after decades of trying to bring peace by way of tanks and
guns, most Israelis feel
less secure than ever. (It is also disproved by the fact that such military actions have themselves amounted to terrorism, but that's another story for another column).
However, after only a few minutes of his sales pitch -- a plea for the
U.S. to give the green light to whatever slaughter is deemed necessary by
Israel in the West Bank -- I did find myself overcome by an emotion that
unhealthy and deeply disturbing.
And that feeling was a profound shame and revulsion at the fact that this
man and I share a faith tradition; a common religious heritage; a kinship
of sorts. And as he spoke -- not only for Israel, but to hear most American
tell it, for Jews everywhere -- I felt the pangs of collective guilt rising up in me in a way I had never felt before.
And that of course was tragic. Who, after all, was this meshugganah to speak for me? Who appointed him, or for that matter any Israeli leader, the "spokesperson of the Jews?"
Who deemed Zionism to be synonymous with Judaism, and decided that to be
Jewish means to support the evisceration of Palestinian rights, the slaughter
of innocent children under the rubric of stamping out terrorism, or the
firing on ambulances to ensure that those wounded by their actions will die slowly, rather than receive the emergency assistance to which they are entitled under international law and all notions of basic human decency? Who was
Netanyahu to make me feel guilty as a Jew?
The answer, unfortunately, to all of these questions, is that an ironic
combination of overt Jew-haters and pro-Israeli Jews are the ones who have
inculcated the above-mentioned beliefs in so many. Neo-Nazis, for example,
insist that all
Jews are Zionists and support the actions of Israel: a claim that allows them to weave their hateful narratives of Judeo-inspired evil, undisturbed by critical thought.
But on the other hand, the blurring of the lines between Judaism (a religious and cultural tradition stretching back over five-and-a-half-millennia) and Zionism (a political and ideological movement less than a century-and-a-quarter old)
has also been perpetrated by much of the organized Jewish community itself.
It is this community that has sought to silence Jewish criticism of Israel
and the Zionist enterprise with cries of "anti-Semitism" or "self-hate."
It was the head of the New Orleans Jewish Federation who, in the early 1990's,
be removed from my position in the main anti-David Duke organization because I had written a column criticizing Israel for its support of South Africa's apartheid governments.
To the person in question, a criticism of Israel made me little better than Duke himself: a man who has said Jews should "go into the ashbin of history," held birthday parties for Hitler in his home, and called the Holocaust "bullshit."
To Zionists and Nazis alike, it is one for all and all for one so far as
the Jewish community is concerned. To attempt to decouple the concepts of
Zionism and Judaism, or anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, are seen as lost
causes by both groups. As one writer in Commentary recently explained: "To defame Israel is to defame the Jews."
But it is indeed necessary to decouple these concepts: to demonstrate that
one can oppose Zionism without prejudice towards Jews as Jews, and also
to show that one's support for Israel doesn't necessarily insulate oneself
charge of anti-Semitism.
Indeed, such support often goes hand in hand with a deep antipathy for
Jewish people. Consider the words of Billy Graham, who has been exposed
in a taped conversation with Richard Nixon exclaiming his love for Israel
simultaneously ranting about the "Jewish-controlled media" and their pernicious behind-the-scenes political machinations.
Indeed, most fundamentalist Christians profess their love for Israel, all
the while propagating the belief that Jews are destined for a lake of fire
unless they accept Jesus as their personal savior: in other words, unless
they cease to be
Their Zionism is opportunistic at best: based solely on the hope that once
the Jews return to Israel, the Messiah will soon follow, damning the Jews
to hell in the process. Their goal of conversion is itself intrinsically
hostile to Judaism,
irrespective of their "love" for the Holy Land: after all, to convert the Jews to Christianity would be to complete an act of spiritual genocide; to end Judaism altogether.
The fact that these fine folks might plant trees in Israel or say prayers
for her survival hardly compensates for their desire to eradicate Judaism
just as surely as Hitler sought to do so. And yet, few in the organized
have condemned Billy Graham, nor do they speak much at all of the anti-Semitism so embedded in evangelical Christianity, as mentioned above. Perhaps they're too busy trying to garner acceptance from the majority, or being grateful
for their support of Israel to notice.
At the just completed conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the same persons who criticize anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism gave a rousing ovation to right-wing Congressman, Tom Delay. And why?
Because he said that Israel was entitled to the West Bank, which he called
by the Biblical names of Judea and Samaria. That he also said earlier this
month that Christianity is the "only viable, reasonable, definitive
answer" to life's key
questions -- a statement dripping with contempt for the very Jews about which he claims to care so much -- apparently matters less to some than his messianic support for "Eretz Yisrael."
Of course, this all has a certain logic to it. After all, the early Zionists
cared only about acquiring land, and had no problem with anti-Semitism,
per se--and in the case of Theodore Herzl and Chaim Weizmann actually claimed
understand and even sympathize with it. As I have noted previously, it was Herzl (the father of Zionism) who issued the ultimate in self-hating, anti-Semitic pabulum when he noted that anti-Semitism was "an understandable reaction to
The continued blurring of the lines between Zionism and Judaism is of course
actually dangerous for the Jewish community. So long as Zionists insist
on the inherent linkage between the two, it will only become more and more
that some critics of Israel will also blur the lines, transforming a righteous condemnation of colonialism, racism, and imperialism, into a condemnation that includes anti-Jewish bigotry as well.
In recent weeks there have been desecrations of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries,
apparently carried out in protest of Israel's latest incursions and depredations,
and these have occurred in places as far flung as Tunisia, France, and
Anti-Semitic propaganda, like the Czarist hoax, The Protocols of the Elders
of Zion -- which professes to "prove" a Jewish plot for world
domination -- is popping up throughout the Arab world, with snippets of
its poison even finding
space on otherwise left-progressive websites like Indymedia.
In the understandable rush to condemn Israeli actions, at least one pro-Palestinian
listserv operated by ostensible left/progressive radicals, has distributed
one of David Duke's commentaries on the conflict: a column filled with
anti-Jewish invective, which of course undermines the credibility of the sender and the righteousness of their insights on the struggle for Palestine.
To be sure, we who criticize Israel must unequivocally condemn all such
anti-Jewish actions: not only because they are hateful on their own terms,
but because they help perpetuate the lie told by the government of Israel
supporters: that they are the Jews and the Jews are they.
And this is an idea that both weakens the struggle against the Occupation
-- by making all criticisms of it suspected of anti-Jewish bias -- and puts
the Jewish community at greater risk, as they (we) become increasingly seen
Firsters, instead of people committed to principles of peace, justice, and fairness: those concepts that I learned in Hebrew School were paramount to my people.
What's more, tolerating anti-Semitism within the movement for justice in
the Middle East is especially risky for the very Palestinian people we seek
to defend. The more that anti-Jewish rhetoric and imagery animates the struggle
Israeli occupation and brutality, the more that Ariel Sharon can transform his maniacal drive for power and land into a fight for survival of the Jewish people.
And the more successful he is in casting the debate in these terms, the
more Israeli Jews and their U.S. supporters will accede to ever-intensified
levels of violence, ever more death and destruction wrought upon the victims
Let it be made clear that Zionism's problem is not that it is Jewish nationalism, per se, but rather a form of ethnic supremacy in thought and action. And more than that: a form of European supremacy to boot.
After all, there were Jews who had remained in and around Palestine continuously
for millennia, without substantial conflict with their Arab and Muslim neighbors.
Likewise, many Jews lived under Muslim rule in the Ottoman Empire,
where they received a generally warm reception--far better indeed than the treatment received from Christian Europe, which expelled them from one place after another.
These Jews, unlike the European Jews who sought to displace said Arabs
from their land, lived there peacefully and sought no grand designs for
"Greater Israel." They did not create Zionism, nor lead the charge
for the development of
a Jewish state. For that, it took a decidedly Western, European and frankly white Jewish community.
The Jews who were most indigenous to the land of Israel, or those of Africa,
or the rest of Asia Minor -- in short those who were most directly Semitic
peoples -- were never the problem. Nor indeed was their faith. A decidedly
mentality, itself an outgrowth of European thought and culture from the late 1800's forward, was the fuel for the Zionist fire. Zionism's problem is that it is a form of white supremacy and Western domination.
And like all derivations of white supremacy, it neglects one of the most obvious ironies of all: namely, the close genetic relationship between the dominant and the dominated; the reality that the oppressor is oppressing family.
As recent research has demonstrated, there is no significant biological
difference between Palestinians and Jews in the Middle East. Any Jew with
Semitic roots is, in effect, Arab--for whatever that's worth. All of which
is to say that
Zionism and its effects, by virtue of its immiseration of the Palestinians, is perhaps the most profound and institutionalized form of anti-Semitism on the planet today.
Tim Wise is an antiracist essayist, lecturer and activist. He can be reached
By JASON KEYSER
.c The Associated Press
RISHON LETZION, Israel (AP) - A pool hall popular with Israeli teen-agers
became the latest Palestinian target Tuesday when a suicide bomber set off
nail-studded explosives and killed 15 people. It was the first such attack
in more than three weeks, and the first since the Israeli army began pulling
out of the West Bank's main cities.
The dead included the bomber. At least 60 people were wounded, authorities said.
Haim Cohen, a police commander, said the attacker walked straight into the Sheffield pool hall in this city of 100,000, 10 miles south of Tel Aviv. ``He entered all of a sudden into the hall and then he exploded,'' Cohen said.
Suicide bombings had been happening every few days until Israel consolidated its West Bank offensive. But there have been none since April 12, when a bomber blew herself up at a bus stop in Jerusalem, killing six people while Secretary of State Colin Powell was in the region trying to end the violence.
Al Manar TV in Lebanon said it received a claim of responsibility for the bombing from the Islamic militant group Hamas. A Hamas spokesman, Mahmoud Zahar, told The Associated Press he could not confirm it, but said: ``If it is a martyrdom operation, it means that Israel has lost its war against the Palestinians and the Palestinian resistance has proved that it is capable of reaching the enemy everywhere.''
On Wednesday morning, police reduced the death toll to 14 plus the bomber, after saying earlier that 16 people were killed.
Since Israeli-Palestinian violence erupted in September 2000, there have been nearly 60 suicide bombings. An attack on March 27 that killed 28 people set off Israel's large-scale military operation two days later, aimed at uprooting what Israel called a ``terrorist infrastructure.''
In a strong statement with a rare choice of words, Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority called suicide bombings ``terrorist crimes.'' It said it would ``take firm and strict measures against those who are involved in this operation and will not be light-handed in punishing those who have caused great harm to our cause.''
Public opinion polls have shown that many Palestinians believe suicide bombings are a legitimate weapon.
David Baker, an official at Sharon's office, blamed the Palestinian Authority. Speaking to The Associated Press, he said ``it is clear that the Palestinian Authority has not given up its terror actions and has not given up its murderous path.''
The latest bombing came as President Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were meeting in the White House. It also came amid efforts to strike a deal which would end Israel's military siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and allow the completion of the withdrawal from the West Bank.
Sharon cut short his U.S. visit to head home, while Bush offered him condolences and registered ``his disgust with this wanton waste of life,'' a Bush adviser said.
Sharon said the attack was ``proof of the true intentions of the person leading the Palestinian Authority'' - placing the blame squarely on Arafat's shoulders.
``The battle is not done,'' Sharon declared at a televised news conference before leaving Washington.
Israeli Education Minister Limor Livnat, traveling with Sharon, told Israel Army Radio that Israel might expel Arafat because of the attack.
``It could be that in the end there will be no choice and we will have to expel Arafat,'' she said, adding that she had no indication Sharon had made such a decision.
Outside the pool hall, young women and men cried as they looked up at the bombed-out building. Emergency workers tried to help many to ambulances as police investigators scoured the area for evidence.
Part of the ceiling on the top floor collapsed. A sign read ``Sheffield Club, snooker, cafeteria.'' A shop called Baby World occupied the ground floor.
Israel's Channel 2 TV said no security guard was posted outside the hall, despite new rules ordering places of entertainment to provide security.
Meir Nitzan, the mayor of Rishon Letzion, said more than 60 people had been taken to hospitals, some in critical condition.
Yeruham Mandola, a spokesman with the Israeli ambulance service Magen David Adom, said part of the three-story building had caved in. ``Some of the wounded are trapped in the building,'' he said.
An Israeli woman identified on Israel Radio as Hanit Azulai said she headed home when she heard ``a huge explosion.''
``I turned the corner and I saw the whole building go up before my eyes.''
Amit Elor, an off-duty soldier, was just outside when the blast occurred, ``All of a sudden we heard this loud blast with noises. I went in to help. It's simply shocking what is going on here.''
A U.N. spokesman said Secretary-General Kofi Annan was appalled by the suicide bomb attack in Rish Letzion.
``Such attacks are morally repugnant and only set back the prospects for a peaceful settlement,'' spokesman Fred Eckhard said.
It was not clear how the bombing would affect Israel's plans to withdraw from Bethlehem, the only Palestinian city where it still has a large military presence.
Israeli, Palestinian and international negotiators had discussed exiling 13 suspected militants in the church to Italy, but the deal was delayed Tuesday when officials in Rome said they hadn't received an official request.
A U.S. diplomat acknowledged the Italians had largely been kept in the dark.
All day, negotiators went back-and-forth over the deal, which would deport the 13 and transfer 26 others to Gaza, possibly under U.S. and British auspices.
One of the top wanted men inside the church, Abdullah Daoud, said he and the other 12 agreed to exile in Italy. Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said the agreement was sealed and he had ordered troops to prepare to withdraw from Bethlehem.
Bush has been pushing for Israel to withdraw from all the Palestinian-run areas it has occupied since March 29.
Sharon wants to sideline Palestinian leader Arafat but the Bush administration believes Sharon should accept Arafat as the leader of the Palestinians.
Arafat came under sharp criticism at home for agreeing to the deportations - considered by many Palestinians to be the bitterest of punishments.
A leader of Arafat's Fatah movement in the West Bank, Hussein al-Sheik, said approving exile set a dangerous precedent. The leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, called one of his followers inside the church, Aziz Abayat, and pressured him to reject the deal. ``Sheik Yassin told us that ... anyone who accepts exile does not represent the movement's position,'' Abayat said.
The standoff in Bethlehem began April 2, when more than 200 people fleeing Israeli forces ran into the Church of the Nativity. About 75 have since emerged from the basilica.
Those remaining inside include the 39 gunmen, as well as civilians, clerics, policemen and 10 foreign supporters who slipped past Israeli guards last week.
05/08/02 01:59 EDT
05/08/02 03:09 ET
* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
7 May 2002
Amnesty International today called for an independent
investigation in response to reports that more than 500 members
of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) have been killed by the
security forces at Lisne Lek in Rolpa district since 3 May. The
organization warned there could be more killings as the security
forces' operation is continuing and several hundred Maoists are
reportedly being surrounded.
The official figures given are: 548 Maoists, three
soldiers and one policeman killed. "So far, no figures have been
released with the number of Maoists wounded or arrested. That
could be an indication that the security forces went out to
deliberately kill rather than arrest, a common practice in
Nepal," Amnesty International said.
Amnesty International is urging that the bodies are not
immediately disposed of and that the scene of the killings is
safeguarded to ensure that an independent investigation can
verify the exact circumstances of the killings. It calls upon the
authorities to give full cooperation to any inquiry, including by
providing prompt and unhindered access to the areas concerned.
An independent investigation team, from the National
Human Rights Commission of Nepal or a similar body, should be
given powers to ascertain whether international human rights and
humanitarian law standards have been respected and to recommend
criminal prosecution of anyone found to have been responsible for
Amnesty International is concerned that the figures of
people killed, as provided by the Ministry of Defence, suggest
that international standards which require the security forces to
respect the right to life and refrain from using lethal force
unless absolutely necessary have not been respected. While
acknowledging the grave threat to law and order in the country
posed by the Maoists, Amnesty International is maintaining that
in such circumstances, it is important for the security forces to
respect the right to life and uphold international standards on
the use of force and treatment of prisoners.
Amnesty International has also expressed concern at
rewards for the capture, dead or alive, of senior Maoist leaders
issued by the authorities recently. "Such announcements amount to
an encouragement by the authorities for the security forces to
violate the right to life. They undermine the rule of law and
guarantees of due process as laid down in the Constitution."
In a report Nepal: A spiralling human rights crisis issued on 4
April 2002, Amnesty International expressed concern about an
escalation of human rights abuses committed by the Maoists and
security forces, especially since the declaration of a state of
emergency in November 2001.
The right to life is not explicitly guaranteed in the
1990 Constitution of Nepal. Under Article 4 (2) of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which
Nepal is a party, there can be no derogations from the duty to
uphold the right to life even "in time of public emergency which
threatens the life of the nation". The Nepal Treaty Act of 1993
stipulated that provisions in international treaties to which
Nepal is a party will supercede Nepalese law where there is
Since the start of the "people's war", there has been
increasing concern that the authorities have failed to impose
strict limitations on the use of force and firearms by the
security forces or to take appropriate actions against abuses.
This concern has heightened after the army was called out and the
state of emergency imposed in late November 2001. Since then, the
number of alleged unlawful killings have increased dramatically.
The reported incidents have included killings of civilians in
reprisal for the killing of police and army personnel by members
of the CPN (Maoist); killings of armed members of the CPN
(Maoist) in circumstances where they could have been taken into
custody or where they already had been taken prisoner, and the
avoidable use of lethal force.
For a copy of the report Nepal: A spiralling human rights crisis