Monday, May 22, 2006

[political-researchp] Bloglines - Yahoo News: "Settlers can kill, shoot, attack, do anything"

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Yahoo News: "Settlers can kill, shoot, attack, do anything"

Palestinians, Israelis horrified at Hebron 'jungle'
"There is no justice. It's a jungle law here. Settlers can kill, shoot, attack, do anything," complains Palestinian coffeeshop owner Hani Abu Haikal to a group of visiting Israelis in war-torn Hebron.

Settlers attack schoolchildren
Palestinian school children from Um Touba village, in the West Bank, were attacked on Sunday morning by an extremist settlers group living in the Ma'oun illegal settlement outpost.

Palestinian film focuses on Israel's 'apartheid' wall
"We are proud of South Africa, that you have brought that evil down. I wish that after you watch the documentary you do something about it," he told the audience. The film documents the establishment of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, and the growth of this phenomenon during each Israeli prime minister's tenure. It also looks at the impact of the settlements on the peace process from a Palestinian point of view.

Abbas powerless to speak for Palestinians -Olmert [Translation: "We won't negotiate with ay-rabs"]
"So how can he represent that government in the most crucial, complex and sensitive negotiations, about which there are so many divisions within the Palestinian community?" the Israeli leader said. Olmert spoke as his two top deputies met Abbas at an economic summit in Egypt

Israeli forces fire tear gas at Nablus market, close Beita-Ousrin road
Israeli Forces also closed the Beita-Ousrin road with an earth mound to stop residents from using it. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli military bulldozers dug three big holes on the road on Saturday evening. This action came after Israeli settlers were shot at on the Za'atara bypass road, south of Nablus.

Hamas: Israel can't use PA tax money for medicine
Hamas on Sunday stated that Israel did not have the right to use money taken from Palestinian taxes - not even in order to buy medical supplies for Palestinians.

Olmert and the Administration / The U.S. wants time, not convergence
The success is in the fact that the visit will be conflict free, because the Americans will shower Olmert with respect as only they know how; they will welcome him with warm words and red carpets, and they will stand and applaud his address to Congress.

This false news item would, perhaps, deserve no special mention, if it were not typical of the whole media coverage, not only of this specific demonstration, but of all joint demonstrations of Israeli peace activists and Palestinians. More than that, it throws light on the close connection between the Israeli media and the occupation regime. Without this connection, it is doubtful if the occupation could have lasted for the 39 years it has so far.

Palestinians, Israelis horrified at Hebron 'jungle' 
by Jennie Matthew
Sun May 21, 2:37 AM ET

"There is no justice. It's a jungle law here. Settlers can kill, shoot, attack, do anything," complains Palestinian coffeeshop owner Hani Abu Haikal to a group of visiting Israelis in war-torn Hebron.

He tells them he was arrested last year after hardline Jewish settlers, who live in the occupied West Bank city, attacked and broke the windows of his hilltop villa while he was entertaining Christian and Israeli friends.

And when his elderly father collapsed in shock, it took three days to negotiate an ambulance to take him to hospital. When he died, settlers danced around the ambulance going to the cemetery, handed out sweets and called death to Arabs.

As Hani talks, some of the visiting Israelis, descendants of Jews who lived in Hebron before deadly riots in 1929 forced them out, drift away distracted.

But 58-year-old Jerusalem lawyer Amnon Birman gets up and comforts him. "I was so shocked. You know my mother was born here. My great-grandfather was a grand rabbi," Birman says.

Heavily guarded by soldiers, the nine Israelis walk around downtown Hebron, controlled by Israel, to see the homes where their descendants once lived in harmony with Arabs but which today resembles a war zone.

The once bustling Palestinian market, now occupied by Jewish squatters, is a deserted mesh of barbed wire, camouflage netting, a rooftop Israeli sniper and walls defaced by Hebrew graffiti proclaiming "Death to the Arabs".

The group watches a Palestinian father slither on the sand under waist-high barbed wire in a dank, smelly alley as a short cut from his isolated home to the Palestinian-controlled sector. Pregnant, his wife cannot get through.

Nearby Jewish children set fire to abandoned Palestinian debris, the tassels of their prayer shawls dangling under their shirts. Settlers routinely attack Palestinian children, prompting international peace observers such as 78-year-old John Lynes from Britain, to walk them to school each day.

"Chiefly it's stone throwing, but they are also deliberately trying to terrify them. Quite often young kids and sometimes grown-ups," says Lynes. Born Jewish and now a quaker, cries of "Nazi" from the settlers fall on deaf ears.

Three years after a crazed Jewish settler assassinated 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in 1994, Hebron was split in two.

Most of the 166,000 Palestinians live in H1 under Palestinian control, but at least 10,000 are still trapped in the Israeli-controlled H2, held hostage to curfews, restrictions and intimidation by 500 Jewish squatters.

But things in Hebron weren't always the same. In the early 20th century, a moderate Jewish community once lived in peace with the Arabs.

Abu Haikal's grandfather ran a grocery shop with a Jewish partner and lit the homes of Jewish neighbours on the Sabbath, which under Jewish law is considered work. During the 1929 riots, he personally shielded Jews from death.

"I used to ask my father why did you protect them? He told me we lived with the Jews and looked after each other as humans," says Hani, unable to quite understand how it could have changed in a generation.

Against a backdrop of heightened Arab fear about Zionist intentions for a state in Palestine, 67 Jews were killed and another 60 were wounded in Hebron during riots in 1929 that the British proved unwilling or powerless to stop.

Despite the massacre, the descendants of those who survived are livid that today's hardline settlers seek to legitimise their presence -- in defiance of international law -- as their ancestors' natural successors.

"I see them as lunatics, thieves and liars. My grandfather believed in friendship with the Arabs," said Birman, whose daughter was seriously wounded in a Palestinian suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 1997.

"I don't know how you can let 400 or 500 people dominate the lives of tens of thousands. It's unbelievable," he said.

Shulamith Rahav is a retired art appreciation teacher from Tel Aviv whose father survived the massacres. Her grandfather, who taught at a Jewish seminary specialising in mysticism and tolerance, uncle and aunt were killed.

"I remember the values instilled in me by my father. The lesson was no more travesties, no more stealing and to remember all men are created in the image of God," she says, as a crowd of hostile settlers, some armed, gather round.

"We're not against settlers being here, but against what's happening here," she shouts back, Palestinians such as Hani having long since drifted away.'


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