Freed Palestinian to continue struggle

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    Freed Palestinian to continue struggle

    A young militant from Gaza, released in the recent Israeli-Palestinian prisoner exchange, says she has "no remorse." A moment of confusion interrupted a suicide attack on a border checkpoint. Prison, she says, "did not kill my feeling that martyrs and martyrdom are a humble thing to offer as a sacrifice for the homeland."

    [ Unattributed, Associated Press, Failed Palestinian bomber released in prisoner swap says struggle against Israel must go on, Washington Post, October 19, 2011, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/2011/10/19/gIQAzy3EyL_print.html ]

     
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    An exchange of troubles

    The Jerusalem Post has a much longer story featuring Wafa al-Biss, a would-be Palestinian suicide-bomber imprisoned in Israel for over six years, after she was unable to set off a bomb when approaching a Gaza border checkpoint. [ Petra Marquardt-Bigman, Warped mirror: the Palestine of Wafa al-Biss, October 23, 2011, at http://blogs.jpost.com/content/palestine-wafa-al-biss ]

    The JPost columnist presents this as a parable, claiming "the story of Wafa al-Biss is very instructive." Her attempt to dehumanize Wafa al-Biss descends to quoting the discredited, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who admitted to trading almost anything for stories about Iraq, 1998 through 2005. [ Franklin Foer, The source of the trouble, New York, May 21, 2005, at http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/features/9226/ ]

    The Guardian (UK), which for decades has practiced evenhandedness unknown in the U.S., has a reflection on motives behind the recent prisoner exchange, featuring a picture of Wafa al-Biss meeting with neighborhood children in Beit Lahia, Gaza. [ Deborah Orr, Is an Israeli life really more important than a Palestinian's?, October 19, 2011, at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/19/israeli-lives-more-important-palestinian ]

    In that exchange, Israel released over 1,000 Palestinians, while in Gaza Hamas released one Israeli soldier, who had been captured while on he was patrol near the Gaza border. Over 4,000 Palestinians remain in Israeli prisons. [ Nasser Ziad, A viewpoint: Released Palestinian prisoners are heroes, BBC (UK), October 23, 2011, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15419949 ]

     
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    Re: An exchange of troubles

    In Response to An exchange of troubles:
    [QUOTE]The Jerusalem Post has a much longer story featuring Wafa al-Biss, a would-be Palestinian suicide-bomber imprisoned in Israel for over six years, after she was unable to set off a bomb when approaching a Gaza border checkpoint. [ Petra Marquardt-Bigman, Warped mirror: the Palestine of Wafa al-Biss, October 23, 2011, at http://blogs.jpost.com/content/palestine-wafa-al-biss ] The JPost columnist presents this as a parable, claiming "the story of Wafa al-Biss is very instructive." Her attempt to dehumanize Wafa al-Biss descends to quoting the discredited, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who admitted to trading almost anything for stories about Iraq, 1998 through 2005. [ Franklin Foer, The source of the trouble, New York, May 21, 2005, at http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/features/9226/ ] The Guardian (UK), which for decades has practiced evenhandedness unknown in the U.S., has a reflection on motives behind the recent prisoner exchange, featuring a picture of Wafa al-Biss meeting with neighborhood children in Beit Lahia, Gaza. [ Deborah Orr, Is an Israeli life really more important than a Palestinian's?, October 19, 2011, at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/19/israeli-lives-more-important-palestinian ] In that exchange, Israel released over 1,000 Palestinians, while in Gaza Hamas released one Israeli soldier, who had been captured while on he was patrol near the Gaza border. Over 4,000 Palestinians remain in Israeli prisons. [ Nasser Ziad, A viewpoint: Released Palestinian prisoners are heroes, BBC (UK), October 23, 2011, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15419949 ]
    Posted by AppDev[/QUOTE]

    Fundamentally her veiwpoint is correct. I can understand the pressures of living under occupation for generations. It is the most moronic act of the last 12 israeli governments. Why would one not feel that israel is the enemy? They have guns you don't. The illegal settlers assault your home with israeli army support. If you resist the settlers you get arrested by the military and thrown in jail  as a "terrorist"
     
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    Claims of an historical mistake

    On Friday, October 28, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas declared that it was a mistake for Palestinians to reject the 1947 U.N. General Assembly resolution 181, proposing to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. [ Dan Williams, Reuters, Abbas faults Arab refusal of 1947 U.N. Palestine plan, Yahoo News, October 28, 2011, at http://news.yahoo.com/abbas-faults-arab-refusal-1947-u-n-palestine-214330387.html ]

    Between 1918 and 1939, during the British Mandate to govern Palestine, immigration raised the Jewish population of Palestine from about 60,000 to about 460,000, while the Arab population grew from about 700,000 to about 1,070,000. With those trends before World War II, Palestinian Arabs appeared destined to become a minority. However, the 1947 U.N. proposal would have awarded well over half of Palestine to Jews, including most of the valuable coasts and plains, at a time when Jews were about one-third of the population.

    The growing Jewish population of Palestine was much more organized and politically engaged than Palestinian Arabs. Arab "notables" had sold many tracts of farmland to immigrant Jews at greatly inflated prices, allowing them to evict Arab tenant farmers, and had left evicted Arabs to shift for themselves during the years of the Great Depression. Fragmentation of Palestinian Arab society, with landowners enriching themselves at the expense of tenant farmers, forms a critical backdrop to 1947-1949 events.

    The United States forced Resolution 181 through the U.N. by threatening to cut off post-war foreign aid to Greece and to bankrupt Liberia with a rubber embargo. In 1947, the great majority of Palestinian Arabs were outraged by what they saw as a sellout. The "notables" who served as Palestinian Arab leaders were in no position to accept the U.N. proposition, whether or not they stood to benefit from it.

     
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    Re: Freed Palestinian to continue struggle

    In Response to Freed Palestinian to continue struggle:
    [QUOTE]A young militant from Gaza, released in the recent Israeli-Palestinian prisoner exchange, says she has "no remorse." A moment of confusion interrupted a suicide attack on a border checkpoint. Prison, she says, "did not kill my feeling that martyrs and martyrdom are a humble thing to offer as a sacrifice for the homeland." [ Unattributed, Associated Press, Failed Palestinian bomber released in prisoner swap says struggle against Israel must go on, Washington Post, October 19, 2011, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/2011/10/19/gIQAzy3EyL_print.html ]
    Posted by AppDev[/QUOTE]

    Why is she called a "militant" when what she really is is a terrorist?
     
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    Speculation

    Reader "StalkingButler" [10/31/2011 5:44 AM EST] asked, "Why is she called a 'militant' when what she really is is a terrorist?"

    The one was certain and the other speculation. By her own account, the motive of Wafa al-Biss was not to create terror but to kill Israeli Jews. She was sentenced to prison for attempted murder.

    If, instead, the topic were an Israeli Jewish militant, living in an illegal West Bank settlement, trying to kill Palestinian Arabs, that reader might not have asked the same question.

     
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    Re: Freed Palestinian to continue struggle

    By her own account, the motive of Wafa al-Biss was not to create terror but to kill Israeli Jews. She was sentenced to prison for attempted murder.

    Therefore she is, by definition and her own words, a terrorist.


    If, instead, the topic were an Israeli Jewish militant, living in an illegal West Bank settlement, trying to kill Palestinian Arabs, that reader might not have asked the same question.

    Since I have never once in my life heard an Israeli settler called a "militant" I think that this supposition is irrelevant.
     
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    Selective ignorance

    Militants among Israeli Jews who have become West Bank settlers are common, described almost daily in Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post and other Middle East news media. Killings of Palestinian Arabs by those settlers are so frequent as to receive little prominent mention outside the region. Only selective ignorance would obscure such ordinary knowledge to someone familiar with Middle East events.

    Israel's "thought police" as represented by reader "StalkingButler" are outdone by Israeli armed forces, who have maintained, since conflicts starting in the late 1940s, a ratio of near ten Palestinian Arabs killed for every Israeli Jew. It is a measure of Palestinian Arab desperation that militants are recruited from among them in growing numbers. The genuine hopelessness of their situation is shown when Israeli Jews and supporters miss few opportunities, in private, to dismiss Palestinian Arabs as "children" or "Bedouins"--when not using outright slurs.

     
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    Re: Selective ignorance

    In Response to Selective ignorance:
    [QUOTE]Militants among Israeli Jews who have become West Bank settlers are common, described almost daily in Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post and other Middle East news media. Killings of Palestinian Arabs by those settlers are so frequent as to receive little prominent mention outside the region. Only selective ignorance would obscure such ordinary knowledge to someone familiar with Middle East events. Israel's "thought police" as represented by reader "StalkingButler" are outdone by Israeli armed forces, who have maintained, since conflicts starting in the late 1940s, a ratio of near ten Palestinian Arabs killed for every Israeli Jew. It is a measure of Palestinian Arab desperation that militants are recruited from among them in growing numbers. The genuine hopelessness of their situation is shown when Israeli Jews and supporters miss few opportunities, in private, to dismiss Palestinian Arabs as "children" or "Bedouins"--when not using outright slurs.
    Posted by AppDev[/QUOTE]

    I did go to Haaretz to see what you're talking about and found this: "Israel's Education Ministry decided Tuesday to follow the recommendations of the Shin Bet and close down the Dorshei Yehudcha yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, following its students' involvement in violent acts against Palestinians and Israeli security forces." An example of the Israeli authorities shutting down a yeshiva that had become violent in order to protect Israeli security forces and Palestinians. Now it's your turn. Find me an example of either of the Palestinian authorities taking an action to prevent violence against Israelis. Good luck with that.
     
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    Did not hear, did not see

    There are few remedies for those who spent their lives shuffling through the "Amen" chorus, wearing earplugs and eyeshades. What they did not hear or see, they chose not to hear or see. Others know about longstanding Israeli militants, starting in the 1930s with Irgun and Lehi, with frequent connivance of Haganah--together sometimes called the Jewish terror groups of pre-Israel Palestine.

    As documented by Jewish "revisionist" historian Benny Morris--no pacifist--on April 9, 1948, Irgun and Lehi carried out the brutal "Plan D" massacre of Dayr Yasin village, with logistics and covering machine-gun fire supplied by Haganah. It was intended to, and it did, strike terror in Arab communities of Palestine, provoking wholesale flight during al-Nakba.

    "Whole families were riddled with bullets...groups of old men, women and children were trucked through West Jerusalem's streets...[Irgun] men raped a number of Arab girls...Haganah razed...villages to the ground...." [Chapter 5, Morris, Righteous Victims, Knopf, 1999]

    In 1977, militants occupied the Israeli government, with elevation of former Irgun commander Menachem Begin as prime minister. Nowhere does militancy run stronger than in West Bank settlements, to continuing alarm of even Israeli reactionaries like the Netanyahu government. The current code word from the Israeli-apologist press is "ultranationalists," but they are no kind of nationalists at all, taking up arms against Israeli forces as well as Palestinian Arab neighbors.


    [ Associated Press, Israel shuts radical seminary in West Bank, Newark Star-Ledger (NJ), November 2, 2011, at http://www.nj.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/israel-shuts-radical-seminary-in-west-bank/4d89a78c4ed44bf88165d4d5ff71a607 ]
    "Israel's education ministry has shut down a religious high school in an ultranationalist settlement in the West Bank and has cut off funding to an adult seminary there, saying students and staff have been involved in violence against Palestinians and the Israeli military."

    [ Super-Zionist, Settlers from Yitzhar killed Palestinian rock-thrower near Nablus, Israel Insider, January 27, 2011, at http://israelinsider.net/profiles/blogs/claim-settlers-from-yitzhar ]
    "Palestinian sources say Uday Quddus, 19, died in hospital after being shot in chest by settlers from Yitzhar, in Burin, a village near Nablus."

    [ Jonathan Cook, Rabbi preaches slaughter of gentile babies, Pacific Free Press, August 4, 2010, at http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/6762-rabbi-preaches-for-the-killing-of-non-jews-and-their-babies.html ]
    "[Rabbi Yitzhak] Shapira's book, The King's Torah, published last year, is intended to offer ideological justifications for...killing Palestinians, even children."

     
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    Dark omens

    A reader with what seems an uncertain sense of history tries to make more out of it by shouting in capitals but does not get much across. However, it was surely world wars that made the modern situation in Palestine. European Jews had been slowly settling there since the early 1800s but by 1918 controlled only a few towns and owned only a tiny fraction of the territory.

    After World War I, representatives of the defeated Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Sevres with France, Great Britain and Italy. Initially France was to regulate the Ottoman Eyalet of Damascus, a large province once stretching from southern Turkey (as known today) into Sinai, including but not distinguishing within it the territory of modern Palestine.

    By 1923, after the Turkish War of Independence and more treaties and agreements, France regulated modern Syria and Lebanon, and Britain regulated modern Palestine, Jordan and Iraq, directly governing Palestine under the British Mandate from the League of Nations--never recognized by the United States. Among other provisions, the Mandate called for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

    Under the Mandate, Britain made way for increasing immigration, provoking Arab resentments but also allowing profiteering by Arab landowners, as foreign investment subsidized immigrants. In what looks like a harbinger of the present, when Irgun and Lehi first split off from Haganah in the early 1930s, they began to harass and attack the British protectors. Similarly, some of today's Israeli militants have attacked the security forces of their own country.

    Rather than emerging from a long history, a modern identity for Palestinian Arabs has been largely forged out of shared misery since their Catastrophe of 1948. It is a modern invention, increasingly fed by the growth of militant groups since the first Intifada of 1987. What started as angry protests has turned increasingly regimented, as the recent incident at Eilat showed, with Shin Bet and Amman caught off-guard.

    We can hope Wafa al-Biss succeeds at education and not at recruiting militants, but so far omens look dark. Israel's head of government seeks support to wage war on Iran. [ Associated Press, Israel fires missile that can strike Iran, WTOP, November 2, 2011, at http://www.wtop.com/?nid=220&sid=2374403 ]

     
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    Re: Freed Palestinian to continue struggle

    Appdev You are fundamentally wrong. Jews always lived there. Sure some arrived some left. Some were forcibly converted and then changed. The issue is who owned land. The israeli position given the lack of guts of the english mandate is that no one owned land during the ottoman empire because this was not good for their land claims. There was no catastrophe. This is a myth. The issue is that a bunch of terrorists took land from people who lived there. English law and much of the law around the world gives ancestral possession for land in conflict. Israel denied this and further stole land and houses based on non judicial hearings, much in emulation of the national socialist party of germany.
     
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    Land ownership in Palestine

    A reader seems sure "Jews always lived [in Palestine]," but the prophet Moses, for whom the sea is said to have parted to reach the Holy Land, would likely disagree. A problem modern-day Palestinian Arabs endure in asserting land claims has been that under historic regimes only a few people owned land, while most lived on it with unwritten agreements or by local consent.

    During Ottoman rule, the Land Registry Law of 1858 set up a system of recording deeds, but its use over the next 60 years was erratic. Immigrant Jews were much more likely to record deeds than settled Arabs. In the early 1920s, British rulers revived the Turkish registry and designated large tracts of land that had been owned by Ottoman sultans and shieks as "state lands" held in trust.

    Of territory within the 1948 boundaries of Israel, according to a 1946 survey by the British Government of Palestine, an estimated 71 percent was state lands. Britain transferred those to Israel. Of the remainder, about 8.6 percent of the 1948 territory of Israel had been recorded in the registry as owned by Jews and 3.3 percent had been recorded as owned by Arabs who remained in Israel. [ noted in Appendix 2, Isi Liebler, The Case for Israel, Council for Australian Jewry, 1972 ]

    The remaining 17 percent of the 1948 territory of Israel is usually counted as having been occupied by Palestinian Arabs who fled, during what they often refer to as al-Nakba (the Catastrophe). Land ownership records are fragmentary, legacies from both centuries of Ottoman rule and 26 years of British Mandate.

     
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    Re: Freed Palestinian to continue struggle

    The Israeli government should inform the Palestinian Authority and Hamas that the lady in question will be shot on sight if she approaches any checkpoint.
     
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    Oppression and assassination

    Three generations of Israelis have oppressed Arabs living in Israel and neighboring territories, as Arabs fought and resisted, usually with much less organization and resources. Throughout, aside from return to Egypt of Sinai territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war, the U.S. has adopted one-sided outlooks of Israeli politicians, refusing most of the time even to speak with representatives of Hamas, PLO, Hezbollah or other militant groups of Palestinian refugees. Had the U.S. continued to demonize Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army in the same way, transition in Northern Ireland from chronic insurgency to fitful peace might never have been achieved.

    Resignation earlier this year of George J. Mitchell, Jr., who brokered the Northern Ireland agreements, as chief U.S. Middle East envoy ended hopes that the Obama administration might make some progress that had eluded all its predecessors since the Carter administration. [ Steven Lee Myers, Mitchell resigns as chief Middle East envoy, New York Times, May 14, 2011, at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/14/world/middleeast/14mitchell.html ]

    Former Sen. Mitchell was crippled by U.S. policy--insisting that before any negotiations, Arab participants recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by agreements previously signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which does not represent other Arabs. The U.S. does not insist that as a precondition Israel recognize Arab Palestinians' right of return to their 1948 homes in Israel or of compensation for their losses if they choose not to return, as called for in Resolution 194 of the U.N. General Assembly. [Article 11] It does not insist that Israel agree in advance to return the Golan Heights to Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt, as called for by U.N. Security Council Resolution 242.

    In addition to attacks on Palestinian Arabs by individual Israelis, notably militant West Bank settlers, Israel's army engages in systematic killings, as recently called to attention in the imprisonment of former Israel Defense Forces soldier Anat Kam, for showing documented evidence to newspaper reporter Uri Blau. [ Catrina Steward, Former Israeli soldier jailed for leaking assassination policy, London Independent (UK), October 31, 2011, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/exsoldier-jailed-for-leaking-israeli-assassination-policy-6255048.html ] [ Uri Blau, IDF ignoring High Court on West Bank assassinations, Haaretz (Israel), November 26, 2008, at http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-ignoring-high-court-on-west-bank-assassinations-1.258296 ]

     

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