GUEST BLOG: Lois Griffiths – THESE CHAINS WILL BE BROKEN

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These Chains Will Be Broken is a collection of narratives by some of the many Palestinians, men, women and children who have been held in Israeli prisons.

John Pilger tells us , “With each story, there is a roll-call of the best of humanity: courage, struggle, determination, generosity, passion , humility and above all defiance of injustice.”

He adds that, “everyone, especially those of us on the West, subjected to unerring propganda, should read this searing and beautiful book”

The Foreword is by Khalida Jarrar, human rights actvist, feminist, elected Palestinian parliamentarian who has been imprisoned many times.

Well-educated herself, she tells of her struggle while in prison, to obtain formal educational opportunities for all prisoners, especially women.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Two of the stories that particularly moved me are that of the Galilean poet Dareen Tatour, arrested for her poem Resist My People, Resist Them and that of the youngest prisoner, Dima Ismail Al-Wawi, of the Occupied West Bank. Dima was 12 when she was ‘arrested’ by an armed illegal Jewish settler who claimed that she was trying to stab him. Her pleas, ‘I didn’t do anything’ were ignored by the military court. Female prisoners protected Duma, taking on the role of mother and older sister. Released after 2½ months, Dina shared this message with the world. “Please keep Palestine in your heart. Think of the children who are oppressed and will continue to be oppressed until this unjust occupation ends.”

I hope more people will read These Chains will be Broken. Personally I find it empowering , an insight into understanding that Palestinians will be free..free to live in a democratic one-State with equal rights for all, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.

Several years ago, Martin and I met Claudette Habesch of Jerusalem Caritas, who said to us “Whatever they do to us, we will maintain our dignity.”

Rephrasing Dareen Tatour’s Resist My People, Resist Them, a well-known Palestinian phrase is the determination to “Stay Human.”

The prisoners’ narratives show us that even under horrific conditions, the Palestinians will ‘maintain their dignity’ and ‘stay human’.

We here in New Zealand should take up their cause.

Lois Griffiths is a Human Rights Activist.

62 COMMENTS

  1. Give us a break, why don’t you Griffiths, from your endless one-sided propagandising. Imprisonment is the price you pay for trying to murder your neighbours for 73 years and inflict genocide upon them. As for your proposed one state solution: dream on. As if the jews will ever allow themselves to be at the mercy of the Arabs again, a people to whom democracy is a foreign concept. The Palestinians have held no elections for almost 16 years! Their govt. is a corrupt kleptocracy. Talk about la la land. Thanks for the incontrovertible proof that anti-Zionists are bonkers.

    • Stuff off Gaby, you propagandising ignoramus. The only one who seldom if ever presents hard facts, consistently fails to respond to evidence with countervailing evidence, ignores anything that doesn’t confirm his/her idiotic claims with anything other than the reverberations of his/her own echo chamber, is unapologetically racist and constantly resorts to insults and offensive comments when cornered on dishonest statements is yourself. This latest disingenuous deflection in response to a book review, along with a tirade against someone who consistently provides easily confirmed factual information is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

      • Awww the truth really gets your grundies in a twist, don’t it, ant? The usual invective with not a single thoughtful rebuttal, blind to your futility. Living in lalaland, just like Griffiths: all the Arabs are hapless victims of the big bad Jews and never let the truth get in the way of a childishly indignant hissy fit. Pathetic.

    • Take a break Gaby and consider the stats:
      At least 2,172 Palestinian children and 134 Israeli children have been killed by someone from the other side since 2000.
      At least 10,023 Palestinians and 1,274 Israelis have been killed by someone from the other side since 2000.

      As to elections, one has only to read “The Gaza Bombshell” to understand the situation Palestinians face:
      “After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, the author reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.”
      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/04/gaza200804

  2. This Intelligence Squared debate on the proposition “Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy” demonstrates very clearly the paucity of Zionist argument. Speaking against the proposition, Dani Dayan and Caroline Glick rage impotently, channelling tired and utterly false emotional triggers (“they want to murder all Jews”, “they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” – rather like a certain poster here) and manage to inspire a largely undecided audience to vote overwhelmingly for the affirmative 517 – 99. Caroline Glick in particular seems to be in desperate need of a rabies shot.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rk60vNUJ9Y

    • good work Brewer and aom. Our toxic secret squirrel Gaby is also in need of a whole series of rabies shots!!!

        • Foul mouth – from you thats a hoot.
          No one needs to be told what you are as its been obvious for many months. Your sounding like a bigoted zionist

  3. Ramzy Baroud’s website: ramzybaroud.net
    ‘These Chains Will Be Broken’ and others of his books are available there.

    He is also on twitter, and just a few hours ago he posted this tweet
    “Israeli forces arrest five Palestinian Children aged 7 to 11 near Hebron”
    More at the link.

    • Thank you for that Gaby. I have often thought of writing an article illustrating how Zionist propaganda succeeds in perpetrating falsehood and reinforcing prejudice.
      The Fogel family murders were carried out by teenage cousins Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad. The elder was obviously mentally disturbed – he had a previous conviction for stabbing (another Palestinian). The younger was a high school student.
      In a normal society, Amjad’s crime would be attributed to his mental disability, his young cousin would have his youth taken into account.
      The Israeli line is – “Look. This is what Palestinians do!”
      I suggest this is equivalent to using the example of Christchurch Mosque attacker, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, to suggest that all Australians share the same characteristics.
      This is egregious nonsense.
      Incidents of mass killing by nutters occur almost daily in the U.S. and in many parts of the World. I do not believe they are more frequently perpetrated by Palestinians despite 70 years of oppression that results in a death toll like this:
      134 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 2,172 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. 1,270 Israelis and at least 10,001 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000.
      To paint all Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are non-violent in their resistance, as perpetrators is racism defined.

  4. No matter what the anti Israel and anti jew haters post, nothing will (nor should) change with the Palistinians until free and fair election commences…why has it been over 14yrs since last one?
    Then when a non terrorist organisation is not in control can true talks and meaningful dialogue take place…until that time Israel is well within its rights to keep the blockade (its not illegal, nor the Egyption blockade either) and defend itself.

    • At it again ‘Im right’. Where is your evidence of anti Israel sentiments on this site? Of course, anti-Zionist sentiments are another kettle of fish with reasons having been constantly and consistently provided by a number of contributors. That said, it is encouraging to note your recognition and acknowledgement of the anti Jew-haters who despise Zionism that post here though. As an exception, it is noted that one Zionist contributor separates what he/she considers are good and ‘self-hating’ or ‘self-loath’ Jews.

      You are way off-target when you write, “nothing will (nor should) change with the Palistinians (sic) until free and fair election commences…” and there are simple answers as to why it is over 14 years since the last elections. The explanations can be found here: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2103/S00038/elections-under-fire-palestines-impossible-democracy-dilemma.htm.

    • Israel Jails Palestinian Politicians Ahead of PA Elections
      https://orinocotribune.com/israel-jails-palestinian-politicians-ahead-of-pa-elections/
      RAMALLAH, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) — Palestine on Wednesday appealed to the United Nations to prevent Israeli intervention in the upcoming general elections.
      http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-02/25/c_139764729.htm
      In the past, Abbas and other Palestinian officials stated that they would not hold elections in the West Bank and Gaza unless Palestinians in Jerusalem are also allowed to go to the polls.
      It is unlikely that any Israeli government would permit Palestinian elections in Jerusalem, as doing so would amount to acknowledging a legitimate Palestinian presence in the city, and therefore challenge the Israeli claim of sovereignty over the entire metropolis.
      https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/1/27/palestinian-elections-democracy-for-no-one
      As the ruling power in the West Bank, including in the Palestinian self-rule enclaves, Israel interferes in the Palestinian election by virtue of its ability to arrest any candidate…..As the ruling power in the West Bank, including in the Palestinian self-rule enclaves, Israel interferes in the Palestinian election by virtue of its ability to arrest any candidate….. coordinators came to activists’ homes late at night, with an Israeli army escort, to deliver the message in person.
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-presses-hamas-activists-not-to-run-in-palestinian-elections-1.9587946

    • The issue this book raises is the cruel mass imprisonment of men women and children, so many by ‘administrative detention’, meaning no charge even. Palestinians will not be free to live normal lives, until Israel is condemned strongly enough by the outside world to follow humanitarian norms.
      Israeli prisons now have Covid19 by the way.
      Shame on our NZ academic, political, media and religious elite for their silence.

      And yes Brewer is correct. the Israelis are arresting potential Palestinian candidates who don’t meet their approval.

      • Always severing cause from effect, Lois. Jail is where terrorists end up, whatever their age or gender. Also, it’s not the Israelis getting rid of potential candidates who could take down Abbas. The PA kleptocracy won’t give up their mansions and billion dollar bank accounts for anyone. Their ‘elections’ are a sham.

        https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/1611688256-report-exiled-rival-pa-president-banned-from-running-in-palestinian-elections

        • “Jail is where terrorists end up”
          …..or Prime Minister of Israel.
          “Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model. During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.”
          – from a letter that Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, and many other Jewish intellectuals sent to the New York Times on Dec. 4, 1948.
          Begin was responsible for the King David Hotel bombing which killed 41 Arabs, 28 British citizens, 17 Jews, 2 Armenians, 1 Russian, 1 Greek and 1 Egyptian.

          Yitzhak Shamir was the operations commander, and later leader, of the Stern Gang, responsible for the assassination of Lord Moyne, drove a truckload of explosives into a British police station in Haifa killing four and injuring 140, bombed the British embassy in Rome, sent 20 letter bombs to British officials. Between 4 and 6 June, 1947, carried out the Deir Yassin massacre, assassinated Count Folke Bernadotte and offered to “actively take part in the war on Germany’s side” in return for German support for “the establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich.”

          Ariel Sharon was commander of the murderous Alexandroni and then the Golani Brigade which murdered, uprooted and terrorized thousands of lifelong Palestinian residents. He later was the commander of Unit 101, an Orwellian Death Squad, which reduced villages to rubble, blowing up homes, where mostly women and children were hiding. In October 1953, Sharon assaulted the Jordanian village of Qibya blowing up forty-five houses and killing sixty-nine civilians, the vast majority women and children. Found by The Kahan Commission to bear personal responsibility For the Sabra and Shatila massacres.
          ……to name just a few.

        • Pity you have such a reading skills deficit Gaby. If you didn’t you would know from a number of previous links that Israel applies two different laws with different offences and different penalties and that one is administered by Military Courts where legal defences mean very little. You would also know that vast numbers of Palestinians, including children, are held in custody without charges. Only yesterday, Kheala uploaded a link showing your ‘brave and moral’ IDF soldiers apprehending five children aged 7 to 11 for picking flowers. Is that a very serious crime requiring imprisonment in the occupied territories?

          Once again you have made comments about a PA kleptocracy without any evidence to support your claim. That is ironic considering Netanyahu’s current legal predicament with charges of corruption.

          That segues into the news report you linked to, of a Palestinian (one favoured by Israel if I recall correctly) who has been disqualified as an electoral candidate because of his compromised record. What was the point you wanted to make? It appears that what you were trying to say is that the Palestinians require a higher ethical standard of candidates than Netanyahu is held to by Israel. Once again, your ramblings establish that you are a piss poor Zionist propagandist. Don’t give up though. Your meanderings are eliciting greater insights as to the extent of Zionist Israel’s abysmal human rights breaches from well informed sources.

      • Shame on our NZ academic, political, media and religious elite for their silence.

        Bears repeating:
        Shame on our NZ academic, political, media and religious elite for their silence.

        For shame indeed.

        • Shame on our NZ academic, political, media and religious elite for their silence.

          Everyone in Parliament should be made to sit and watch the Irish film ‘Gaza’! That is now on general release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Q1YHBOE1w

          If that is not sufficient to set a fire under the PM and FM and our politicians, they should wear eternal shame!

    • Ahh. A fact-free thumb-suck from Joe Wilson (R) S.C.
      Let’s see now.
      TOP CONTRIBUTORS 2019 – 2020
      Blue Cross/Blue Shield
      $33,434
      Pro-israel America PAC
      $21,650

      “U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson is one of several lawmakers who were publicly pranked in the premiere of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series “Who is America?”

      “A 3-year-old cannot defend itself from an assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it,” Wilson says in the show’s debut.

      “Our founding fathers did not put an age limit on the Second Amendment,” the Springdale Republican adds while sitting in his Washington office.

      Cohen, who is best-known for his role as Borat Sagdiyev in the move “Borat,” addressed the lawmaker by transforming himself into fake Israeli “anti-terror expert” character Col. Erran Morad.

      During the segment, Cohen goes to Washington to discuss the fictitious “Kinderguardians” program to arm toddlers in preschools with guns.”

      Great source Gaby.

  5. OK. Let’s deconstruct Gaby’s “excellent article” on the “war crimes” by the Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina who favours arming 3 year olds with guns.

    Quote: “Hamas terrorists were continuing their attack on the Israeli border, using firebombs tied to kites (with Nazi swastikas on them), Molotov cocktails and other explosive devices. These attacks, including tunnels, murderous kidnappings and the knifing of American tourist Taylor Force”.

    Now the first thing that strikes me is that this is almost entirely untrue. There were no tunnels, no kidnappings and the tourist, Taylor Force, was knifed in Jaffa in 2016 – over 40 miles from Gaza, two years before the Gaza protests began.
    The business of the kites is easy to understand. People in Gaza own the land contiguous with Gaza by absolute right guaranteed in International Law. They were driven off it and are now penned up behind a fence in Gaza where they can watch Israeli squatters growing crops on it. The kites have an oily rag attached (not a “firebomb”) in the hopes that it will set fire to squatter’s crops.
    The protests were not organised by Hamas and they lasted from 30 March 2018 to 27 December 2019 when Hamas stepped and called a halt.

    Here are the Palestinian casualty figures from that period:
    Live ammunition fatalities 183
    live ammunition injuries 6106
    Shrapnel injuries 1576
    rubber-coated bullet injuries 438
    Tear-gas canister injuries 1084
    One baby was killed by tear gas.

    The Israelis suffered 1 shrapnel and 4 stone throwing injuries.

    Israel’s use of deadly force was condemned on 13 June 2018 in a United Nations General Assembly resolution. Condemnations also came from human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, and Amnesty International. In late February 2019, a United Nations Human Rights Council’s independent commission found that of 489 cases of Palestinian deaths or injuries analyzed only two were possibly justified as responses to danger by Israeli security forces, deeming the rest illegal, and concluded with a recommendation calling on Israel to examine whether war crimes or crimes against humanity had been committed, and if so, to bring those responsible to trial.

    War crimes indeed Gaby. Your article’s author just got the perpetrators wrong.

  6. Hey, thanks for all the info. The best part about having a couple of idiot idealogues supporting the Israeli apartheid state is to observe the ease with which their propaganda and hatred is exposed. I’ve learned a lot from following all your rebuttals so once again, thanks!

    • Have you got all your discredited links on rotate now Gaby. You have floated this one before and the propaganda was translated into reality for you, since you don’t know the difference between fact and fiction. It seems you are also a slow learner or is it just a stubborn refusal to accept reality. Zionist Israel is racist and hesitate to breach human rights.

      • Awwwww, really got to you there, didn’t I, atom ant. Can’t endure anything that upends your lying narrative, can you? Best hissy fit yet. Yay!

    • Oh – you mean this brave Palestinian Gaby? https://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinian-businessman-pulls-out-of-us-led-conference-in-bahrain/ Seems he has some Palestinian-centric principles after all. By the way, did you notice that he was only talking about Israel’s lap-dog outfit the PA led by Mahmoud Abbas.

      On trying to find out more about the Palestinian Black Panthers, all I could find was this and similar references, “Throughout the 1970s Arab (Mizrahi) Jews built a social movement within Israel to confront their racial exclusion from the promises of Israeli citizenship. The movement crystalized in the formation of the Israeli Black Panther Party, a group that formed solidarity with the U.S. Black Panther Party as well as with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).” Is this, like Hamas, an Israeli seeded entity? Could you please elucidate?

      Your new HRW link was also intriguing. It is headed with photograph of a protest where a participant holds a sign that reads, in Arabic, “We want electricity.” The approximately 4 hours of electricity per day is controlled by Israel, not Hamas.

      • The guy was selling information to Israel, got found out and fled to Israel twenty years ago.
        Gaby is obviously a little soft in the brain department if he/she thinks pasting him up counters the literally hundreds of thousands of Jews who belong to anti-occupation organisations like B’tselem, Jews for Justice for Palestine, Jews against the occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace, Gush Shalom Breaking the Silence etc……there are around 50 of them.
        Gaby should try Miko Peled – Israeli royalty – for a change:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4ZfnpN4Dfc

      • ‘Arab Jews’????? Think you have ultimately revealed how truly confused you are. Why haven’t Hamas/PA used their millions in donations to give their people a decent electricity supply? Infantilising them, stripping them of agency, is all part of the plan, isn’t it? So transparent.

          • Yes indeed, occupied by corrupt, money-grubbing, violent, racist, nepotistic, clannish, duplicitous, selfish leaders who call themselves PA and Hamas. Total losers in every sense.

              • It’s ‘you’re’, illiterate one. And I clearly stated ‘PA’ and ‘Hamas’, not Likud, which at least represents a vibrant democracy, not kleptocratic tyrants who shoot, torture,exile and imprison opponents and have held no elections for 16 years. You morons can’t even acknowledge that the ‘Palestinians’ are 2 factions at each other’s throats.

                • You should know why the Palestinians haven’t had elections for 16 years – it has been spelled out for you. No doubt, you didn’t bother reading the information that was provided. As for, ” kleptocratic tyrants who shoot, torture, exile and imprison opponents”, Israel is guilty of all of those. The evidence has been presented on this site many times, frequently from Jewish and Israeli sources. This is just another case of you having your fingers in your ears and shouting ‘Nah-nah-na-nah-nah’?
                  As for the two Palestinian factions, did you forget that situation was engineered by Israel as well? Pity that Hamas, their creation, became the Frankenstein’s monster they couldn’t control so had to subvert the basic principles of democracy, albeit with assistance from the US and its poodles, to isolate them.

  7. Well what a turn-up Gaby – you are now relying on a report by HRW that is headed by Ken Roth who has been labeled an anti-semite because of his reports on Israel’s human rights abuses. Good one!

    If you had read the report carefully then followed the supplementary supportive link, you would have seen this, “The fact that Israel systematically violates Palestinians’ most basic rights is no reason to remain silent in the face of the systematic repression of dissent and the torture Palestinian security forces are perpetrating,” said Shawan Jabarin, executive director of the Palestinian human rights organization al-Haq and a member of the Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee.”

    Just to make it perfectly clear, unlike yourself, I am no apologist for any state or organisation adopting the measures that HRW has accused Fatah and Hamas of, or worse!

    • Another well paid stooge more like: Mosab Hassan Yousef is a Palestinian who worked undercover for Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet from 1997 to 2007. Shin Bet considered him its most valuable source within the Hamas leadership.

      • And before that he worked for Hamas, but defected because he was sickened by their brutality. He nobly saved hundreds of Israeli lives from planned terror attacks and has converted to Christianity. In short, he worked out who the good guys are. Your malice and blind bigotry are pitiful.

    • This “brave Palestinian” is Mosab Hassan Yousef AKA “The Green Prince” who worked undercover for Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet from 1997 to 2007 – another paid collaborator. Former Shin Bet Deputy Chief Gideon Ezra described Yousef’s claims as “too good to be true”, and stated that, “there are hundreds of collaborators like him. He is not unusual. He just decided to write a book about it” – to help him gain U.S. residency.
      Dear me Gaby. Hardly comparable with Miko Peled:
      Miko Peled is a peace activist who dares to say in public what others still choose to deny. Born in Jerusalem in 1961 into a well known Zionist family, his grandfather, Dr. Avraham Katsnelson was a Zionist leader and signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His Father, Matti Peled, was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and Sinai.
      Miko’s unlikely opinions reflect his father’s legacy. General Peled was a war hero turned peacemaker.
      I recommend both the video posted above and his book “The General’s Son” in which he describes how his “beloved niece Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That tragedy propelled Peled onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel’s political-military elite, and transformed him into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for human rights….”
      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14649174-the-general-s-son

      Another is Uri Avnery. A member of the Irgun as a teenager, Avnery sat for two terms in the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. He was also the owner of the news magazine HaOlam HaZeh from 1950 until its closure in 1993. He founded Gush Shalom – an Israeli Peace Activism group that objects to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and argues that the occupation is illegal and that Israel is committing war crimes on a daily basis. Here is what he had to say about the response to the 2018 Gaza border protests we discussed above. He wrote: “I dissociate myself from the [Israeli] army sharpshooters who murder unarmed demonstrators along the Gaza Strip, and from their commanders, who give them the orders, up to the commander in chief”.

      Jeff Halper co-founded ICAHD to challenge and resist the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories and to organize Israelis, Palestinians and international volunteers to jointly rebuild demolished Palestinian homes as political acts of resistance (ICAHD has rebuilt 189 Palestinian homes). Halper was nominated, together with the Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni, for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee for his work “to liberate both the Palestinian and the Israeli people from the yoke of structural violence” and “to build equality between their people by recognizing and celebrating their common humanity.”

      Avraham “Abie” Nathan was an Israeli humanitarian and peace activist who founded the Voice of Peace radio station. In 1978, Nathan began his first hunger strike to protest against the construction of Israeli settlements. In the early 1980s, he began meeting officials from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). These meetings were later outlawed by the Knesset. In 1991, Nathan went on another hunger strike for 40 days to protest against that law, which prevented meetings with alleged terrorist organisations.

      There are literally thousands of Israelis and Jews fighting for justice in Palestine. Not turncoats and collaborators, just decent, articulate people who have examined both sides and taken a principled stand.
      I guess you have never heard of them Gaby, hence you post links to disreputable Palestinian collaborators as if their pernicious testimony somehow proves something.
      Tell you what. Stand with them if you wish. I am more comfortable standing with those who do not sell out their own people but remain among them and suffer the price of their principles while maintaining fealty to truth and reality.

  8. The likes of Gaby cherry-pick instances of loony outliers (which exist in all political movements) to smear Hamas and all Palestinians. Quite simply, this is racism of a most pernicious kind. They rely on a propaganda machine which leverages off the fact that few in the Western World speak Arabic therefore rarely hear the other side of the story. Here is a rare instance of a Hamas leader making it into the Guardian – back in the days when it was a reasonably reliable news source:

    “The day Hamas won the Palestinian democratic elections the world’s leading democracies failed the test of democracy. Rather than recognise the legitimacy of Hamas as a freely elected representative of the Palestinian people, seize the opportunity created by the result to support the development of good governance in Palestine and search for a means of ending the bloodshed, the US and EU threatened the Palestinian people with collective punishment for exercising their right to choose their parliamentary representatives.

    We are being punished simply for resisting oppression and striving for justice. Those who threaten to impose sanctions on our people are the same powers that initiated our suffering and continue to support our oppressors almost unconditionally. We, the victims, are being penalised while our oppressors are pampered. The US and EU could have used the success of Hamas to open a new chapter in their relations with the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims and to understand better a movement that has so far been seen largely through the eyes of the Zionist occupiers of our land.

    Our message to the US and EU governments is this: your attempt to force us to give up our principles or our struggle is in vain. Our people who gave thousands of martyrs, the millions of refugees who have waited for nearly 60 years to return home and our 9,000 political and war prisoners in Israeli jails have not made those sacrifices in order to settle for close to nothing.

    Hamas has been elected mainly because of its immovable faith in the inevitability of victory; and Hamas is immune to bribery, intimidation and blackmail. While we are keen on having friendly relations with all nations we shall not seek friendships at the expense of our legitimate rights. We have seen how other nations, including the peoples of Vietnam and South Africa, persisted in their struggle until their quest for freedom and justice was accomplished. We are no different, our cause is no less worthy, our determination is no less profound and our patience is no less abundant.

    Our message to the Muslim and Arab nations is this: you have a responsibility to stand by your Palestinian brothers and sisters whose sacrifices are made on behalf of all of you. Our people in Palestine should not need to wait for any aid from countries that attach humiliating conditions to every dollar or euro they pay despite their historical and moral responsibility for our plight. We expect you to step in and compensate the Palestinian people for any loss of aid and we demand you lift all restrictions on civil society institutions that wish to fundraise for the Palestinian cause.

    Our message to the Palestinians is this: our people are not only those who live under siege in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but also the millions languishing in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and the millions spread around the world unable to return home. We promise you that nothing in the world will deter us from pursuing our goal of liberation and return. We shall spare no effort to work with all factions and institutions in order to put our Palestinian house in order. Having won the parliamentary elections, our medium-term objective is to reform the PLO in order to revive its role as a true representative of all the Palestinian people, without exception or discrimination.

    Our message to the Israelis is this: we do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for 13 centuries in peace and harmony; they are in our religion “the people of the book” who have a covenant from God and His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be respected and protected. Our conflict with you is not religious but political. We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us – our problem is with those who came to our land, imposed themselves on us by force, destroyed our society and banished our people.

    We shall never recognise the right of any power to rob us of our land and deny us our national rights. We shall never recognise the legitimacy of a Zionist state created on our soil in order to atone for somebody else’s sins or solve somebody else’s problem. But if you are willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce, we are prepared to negotiate the terms. Hamas is extending a hand of peace to those who are truly interested in a peace based on justice.”
    – · Khalid Mish’al was head of the political bureau of Hamas. On 25 September 1997, Mossad agents acting under orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entered Jordan on fake Canadian passports and, disguised as tourists came up from behind and transmitted a fast-acting poison into his ear.

  9. Palestinian culture is conservative as should be obvious from the fact that any overt displays of sexuality, no matter the orientation, are regarded as perverse – rather like the New Zealand I grew up in during the 40s and 50s. Nevertheless, Gay organisations such as AlQaws exist – and Israel takes advantage:

    “alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, a civil society organization founded in grassroots activism, is at the forefront of vibrant Palestinian cultural and social change, building LGBTQ communities and promoting new ideas about the role of gender and sexual diversity in political activism, civil society institutions, media, and everyday life.
    Embracing the diversity of our society, while challenging the political forces that divide us, we run community centers and events in cities and rural areas across Palestine, operate a national support hotline accessible via phone and online, build partnerships and alliances in established cultural institutions and civil society organizations, create innovative media campaigns, work to transform public discourse, and much more. Israel has sold itself internationally as a gay Mecca. (Here, here, and here, for instance.) This freedom is regularly cited by advocates for Israel in the west, making stark comparisons to Muslim societies that repress gays. Well here’s a new spin on that claim: reports that Israeli intelligence pried into Palestinians’ phone calls and internet activity so as to identify and blackmail Palestinian gays and turn them into informants against other Palestinians.”
    http://www.alqaws.org/about-us
    “Beyond Propaganda: Pinkwashing as Colonial Violence
    This analysis paper explores a paradigm shift that alQaws has been exploring over the past decade of its grassroots community organizing, which centers the experiences of queer Palestinians…….
    Pinkwashing is the symptom, settler-colonialism is the root sickness. Recognizing pinkwashing as colonial violence can help us understand how Israel divides, oppresses, and erases Palestinians on the basis of gender and sexuality.
    http://www.alqaws.org/articles/Beyond-Propaganda-Pinkwashing-as-Colonial-Violence?category_id=0

    “Haaretz has a story up on 43 reservists in Israeli intelligence who are refusing to serve because of the “political persecution” of Palestinians. The reservists write that while surveillance of Israeli citizens is strictly limited, “the Palestinians are not afforded this protection.” They declare in a letter to the Israeli P.M.: “we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories.”

    An unsigned piece in the Guardian details testimonies from intelligence veterans and exposes practices reminiscent of totalitarian countries: “Any Palestinian is exposed to monitoring by the Israeli Big Brother.” Here are selections where the recovering spooks describe using Palestinians’ sexual practices to turn them into informants, or exploit the Palestinians’ need for medical care in Israel.
    https://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/blackmails-palestinian-informants/

    • Must be a bummer for you and atom ant…being so deeply entrenched on the wrong side of history (like all the other losers: Griffiths, Minto, Bravery etc). Of course, you’re such a tiny minority. Maybe you’d have better luck with one of the other more than 120 territorial disputes in the world. Oh, sorry, forgot! No Jews involved in those.

    • Not very bright eh Gaby. Why does Israel need Arab money, are the US benefactors broke? And you do know what Trump used as a bribe don’t you? Those armaments will no doubt come back to bite some bums, like when Al Qaeda were armed to kick the Russians out of Afghanistan.

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