100 American academics call for boycott of Israeli settlements


More than 100 American professors and teaching staff at Columbia University have called for five American companies to withdraw their investment in Israeli jails over “breaches of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the website of Israeli TV channel 7 said.

The companies that invest money from the American Pension Fund included Motorola, a company which manufactures unmanned aircraft vehicles, and a company that supplies Israel with apache and F16 fighter jets.

The website attributed the reason for this campaign to Israeli negligence for the frustration of Americans towards Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. This move is significant because there are many Jewish students studying in this university, where the US President Barack Obama graduated.

Professor Kathrin Frankie, head of the legal department of the law faculty in the university, stressed the importance of the immediate Israeli breaches of international law in the occupied territories. She called for putting economic pressure on Israel so that it abided by the statutes of international law.

According to the Israeli website, sources from the organisers of this campaign said that the five American companies help the Israeli army be aggressive towards Palestinians residents in a way that contradicts international law.

The organisers said: “What we are doing now is a continuation of the university tradition against racial discrimination in the USA and apartheid in South Africa.”

The sources, the website said, pointed out the historical role that American universities played in fighting against the apartheid policy in South Africa. They noted that withdrawing investment from South Africa largely affected popular strife against apartheid.

(Source / 25.04.2013)

Drie vragen

By Marianna Laarif

Bismillaah Ar-Rahmân Ar-Rahiem, Alhamdulillaahi Rabbil ‘Alameen, was-salaatu was-salaamu ‘ala nabiyyina Muhammadin wa ‘ala ahlihi wa sahbihi wa aj’ma’een ama’ ba’d:

In de Naam van Allaah, de Erbarmer, de Meest Barmhartige.

Er was een jongeman die na een lange tijd zijn studie te hebben genoten in een communistisch land, terugkwam naar zijn thuis. Zijn familie heeft hem goed verwelkomd. Echter toen de gebedstijd is aangebroken, weigerde hij naar de moskee te gaan. Hij vertelde de familie dat hij niet zou bidden totdat een moslimgeleerde zijn drie vragen beantwoordt heeft.

De familie zijn op zoek gegaan naar een moslimgeleerde en hoorden dat er één imam is die zeer vroom is. Eenmaal bij de imam aangekomen, zei de jongeman tegen hem: “en denk je dat jij mijn vragen kunt beantwoorden, terwijl vóór jou veel mensen faalden?”
De imam zei: “vraag maar, ik zal inshAllah mijn best doen.”
De jongeman vroeg: “één, bestaat God? Zo ja, wat is Zijn vorm? Twee, wat is het Lot? Drie, als sjeytaan daadwerkelijk van vuur is gemaakt, waarom zou hij erin gegooid worden, aangezien hij de pijn van de vuur niet zou voelen.”

Net nadat de jongeman eindigde, gaf de imam de jongeman plotseling een harde klap, dat de jongeman deed schrikken, waarop hij woedend zei: “waarom sloeg u mij? Bent u niet in staat te antwoorden?” De imam zei: “welnee, maar de klap is het antwoord op jouw vragen.” De jongeman zei verbaasd: “wat bedoelt u?”

De imam zei: “wat heb je gevoeld na de klap?” De jongeman antwoordde: “een vreselijke pijn.” De imam zei hierop: “geloof je dat deze pijn bestaat?” Waarop de jongeman zei: “natuurlijk en ik voel hem nog steeds.” De imam vroeg: “laat mij zijn vorm zien!” De jongeman zei dat het onmogelijk is. “Dit is dan het antwoord op jouw eerste vraag” zei de imam.”Wij voelen het bestaan van Allaah door te kijken naar Zijn sporen en tekenen in Zijn schepping, maar kunnen Hem niet zien.”

Daarna vervolgde de imam: “heb je gisteren gedroomd over iemand die vandaag jou een klap zou geven?” De jongeman antwoordde: “nee”. “Heeft iemand jou verteld dat ik jou vandaag een klap zou geven of heb je eerder hier kennis over gehad?” De jongeman antwoordde: “nee”. “Dit is dan het lot” zei de imam. “Je weet er niks over totdat het gebeurt.”

De imam vervolgde wederom: “de hand waarmee ik jou sloeg, van wat is het gemaakt?” “Van klei” antwoordde de jongeman. “En jouw gezicht?” vroeg de imam. “Ook van klei” zei de jongeman. “Hoe voelde de klap?” vroeg de imam. “Pijnlijk” antwoordde de jongeman. “juist” zei de imam. “Ook al is de sjeytaan van vuur gemaakt, de hellevuur zal zeer pijnlijk voor hem zijn.”

Nadat de jongeman overtuigd is geraakt, liep hij met de imam naar de moskee en verrichtte het gebed en werd een vrome moslim.

Subh’aanaka Allaahumma wa bih’amdiek, ash-hadu allaa illaaha illaa anta, astaghfieruka wa atuba ilayk.

Wa ‘alaykum salaam warahmatullaah

Medical racism: Israel hospital director complains that too many African babies are being born

Israelis chant “Sudanese Back To Sudan” during a right-wing demonstration against African refugees in south Tel Aviv, 30 May 2012.

It’s a “problem” that too many babies are being born to parents from Africa, a leading Israeli medical official has told lawmakers at the Israeli parliament.

Israel’s Maariv reported yesterday the official’s comments in Hebrew:

“In Tel Aviv, today, there live approximately 80 thousand infiltrators from Africa, who constitute about 15 percent of the city’s population. In the last year about 700 babies were born to Eritrean and Sudanese mothers, and we currently have an average of about two births a day,” thus reported today Professor Gaby Barabash, director of the Ichilov Medical Center, in a hearing the Knesset held by the lobby for returning the infiltrators.

The problem is that they closed down the fence, but they did not close down the natural growth, and the number of Eritreans born here rises from year to year,” said Barabash.

Barabash’s use of the term “infiltrators” as a general term for Africans marks his comments as part of the long-standing campaign of racist incitement by Israeli leaders and officials that has resulted in horrifying demonstrations and pogroms targeting Africans in Israel, many of whom arrive as refugees.

In December, David Sheen profiled Israel’s “racist ringleaders,” the political leaders and public figures most responsible for racist incitement.

Barabash’s comments are also in keeping with the general outlook in Israel where it is socially acceptable to define the births of non-Jewish babies as undesirable or as a “demographic threat” to the so-called “Jewish and democratic state.”

Even more disturbing, Barabash played on common racist tropes of Africans and people of color as bearers of diseases, recognizable from racist discourses in other places and times, including traditional European anti-Semitic rhetoric:

Professor Barabash reported high percentages of intrauterine deaths, and also contagious viral diseases among the delivering mothers: tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS. The African population constitutes one third of the new cases of AIDS carriers [sic] diagnosed in Israel, and half of the cases of malaria carriers.

All of this testimony was taken at a parliamentary hearing organized by members who voice vocal support for mass expulsions of Africans and for the construction of a desert prison camp to hold them.

Recently, women of Ethiopian origin have accused Israeli officials of forcing them to take long-term contraceptives, allegations that came to light following an investigation into the precipitous drop in births to Ethiopian women in Israel in recent years.

A long tradition of Israeli baby-hatred

Barabash’s shocking comments also recall those made by Dr. Yitzhak Ravid, a senior researcher at the Israeli government’s Armaments Development Authority at the Herzliya Conference in 2003, who called for Israel to “implement a stringent policy of family planning in relation to its Muslim population.”

Ravid added: “the delivery rooms in Soroka Hospital in Beersheba,” an area with a large Bedouin population, “have turned into a factory for the production of a backward population” (“Herzliya conference sees verbal attacks on Israeli Arabs,” Haaretz, 18 December 2003).

Palestine’s indigenous Bedouin population has long been the target of Israeli forced removal from their lands and other racist practices.

And as David Hirst wrote of Prime Minister Golda Meir in his classic book The Gun and the Olive Branch, “The Palestinians’ birth-rate was so much higher than the Jews’ that her sleep was often disturbed, she would say, at the thought of how many Arab babies had been born in the night.”

(Source / 25.04.2013)

Why ex-Islamophobe embraced Islam

  • 528424_10151634259007125_2067526669_n.jpg

    Arnoud van Doorn’s meeting with Sheikh Abdur Rahman As-Sudais, General President of the Grand Haram and Prophet’s Mosque Affairs

In the early days of Islam, Omar, who would later become a caliph, was in a frenzied rage and set out to assassinate Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). As he passed the house of his sister, he heard her recite passages from the glorious Qur’an.
After rebuking her, something made him pause and contemplate the meaning of the verses. He had previously dismissed this new religion and listened to the hate-filled propaganda doing the rounds in the streets and valleys of Makkah. Convinced by the truth and beauty of the message, he immediately resolved to embrace Islam. The rest is glorious history.

History repeats itself in the most remarkable of ways. The city remains Makkah, but over 1,400 years later, and in the midst of all the new development, a man arrived who had a similar experience to that of the second caliph of Islam.
Just a few years ago, Arnoud van Doorn, a prominent Dutch politician from an educated and privileged family, was the vice president of the far right Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom) in the Netherlands, an unashamedly anti-immigration and anti-Islamic party led by the infamous Geert Wilders. The party had produced hate-filled rhetoric not seen in Europe since World War II. Van Doorn’s former party was responsible for producing the film Fitna, which defamed Islam, resulting in widespread protests throughout the world.

And then came his change. “My story of how I came to Islam is not remarkable,” he says very humbly. When he saw the outrage caused by the film, he made a concerted effort to study the Qur’an, Hadith collections and the biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him). After some time, he realized that Islam was the total opposite of what he had thought it was, and it then became easy to embrace the faith.
Van Doorn acknowledges that his views on Islam were formed 10 to 15 years ago based solely on negative stereotypes and prejudices spread by the media.
“For me, Islam was a violent religion that oppressed women and was no good for society,” he says.
After embracing Islam and assisted by the Toronto-based Canadian Da’wah Association, Van Doorn visited the Kingdom this week to perform Umrah. He also visited the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
Van Doorn met Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais, imam of the Grand Mosque and head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques. Al-Sudais said he was delighted that Allah had selected Van Doorn to become a Muslim. Van Doorn expressed his sorrow and regret for helping to distribute Fitna, although he had no part in its production, to which Al-Sudais quoted the Qur’anic verse stating that good deeds wipe out bad ones. Van Doorn intends to do good by making a film about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), to present a true picture of Islam.
Van Doorn’s impression of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also been transformed. “Before I came here, people asked me why on earth I was coming here!” He has been surprised by the wonderful culture and friendly, hospitable people.
He thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for all the developments taking place in Makkah and the holy sites.
Van Doorn remains a member of the Dutch Parliament and a member of the Hague City Council. In his view, the rise and success of the far right in Europe is due to the continent’s economic problems. This will only get worse, in his view, because Europe has a history of turning on its minorities when things get tough.
His advice to Muslims living in Europe is to be patient, steadfast and adhere to the standards of good conduct and fine character required by Islam. “Like it or not, we all represent Islam,” he says. “Any mistake we make could be attributed to our religion.”
Van Doorn came to the Kingdom courtesy of the Canadian Da’wah Association’s celebrity relations program, which is inspired by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who sent out invitations to regional leaders inviting them to embrace Islam, according to its president, Shazaad Mohammed, who is an Ambassador for Peace with the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), which operates under the United Nations. He is also an adviser to many celebrities.
Former guests of the celebrity program include comedian David Chappelle, former rap stars Napoleon, Philadelphia Freeway, LOON and Jack Frost, and former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. The CDA plans many such high-profile trips in future.

(Source / 25.04.2013)

Settler MK aims to change West Bank shooting laws

Orit Struk proposes letting settlers fire on suspected intruders and vandals, even if there’s no threat to their person

Female Jewish settlers practice firing weapons at the Jewish settlement of Pnei Kedem, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, in September. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Female Jewish settlers practice firing weapons at the Jewish settlement of Pnei Kedem, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, in September.

A member of Knesset for the right-wing Jewish Home party is pushing for laxer rules of engagement for West Bank settlers, which would permit them to open fire on people they suspect are damaging property on Jewish settlements, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

Orit Struk, a member of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and a resident of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, called on the committee to extend to the West Bank a bill that allows residents of Israel proper to use live fire against suspected intruders and vandals. The “Dromi Law” removes criminal liability from people who discharge a firearm at intruders whom they suspect of intention to cause material or physical damage.

Since the West Bank is not officially part of Israel, the military administration there has the power to limit the application of civil laws.

The committee will hold a special session next week to review the rules of engagement in settlements and assess the feasibility of adopting such a measure. In practice, the report said, the IDF limits the rules of engagement for Israeli civilians in the West Bank in order to curtail violence between Jews and Palestinians.

Struk argued that there is a contradiction between the stringent rules of engagement that the IDF enforces with settlers and the more lenient ones that apply within the Green Line. She noted that she had spoken to settlers who were prevented from scaring off Palestinians who were damaging their property, because they were not permitted to open fire unless it was in self-defense.

“When I spoke to the chief military prosecutor and asked him why he decided to limit the ability of West Bank residents to respond with live fire despite the fact that it is permitted by law, he responded that it is the right of the military commander [in the West Bank] to limit what the law permits,” she said.

Struk’s proposal was met with fierce opposition from left-wing politicians.

“The settlers need the Dromi Law in order to shoot at Palestinians? They are coping well without it,” MK Issawi Farij (Meretz) retorted.

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) accused Struck of “trying to legislate the Wild West existing in the occupied territories.”

“As if the fact that the settlers reside on lands that aren’t their own weren’t enough, she now wants them to be able to shoot Palestinians legally,” Rozin said.

(Source / 25.04.2013)

Hamas slams Palestinian Authority for postponing UN resolutions

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas on Thursday condemned a reported decision by the Palestinian Authority to postpone five UNESCO resolutions following US intervention.

“This step is like a reward to the occupation for its crimes and violations,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

“It is a contribution in erasing the Arabic and Islamic identity of Jerusalem, and it encourages the occupation to continue its Judaization program,” Barhoum said.

The Hamas official added that no one had the right to compromise the rights of the Palestinian people.

Israel radio reported Wednesday that the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority had agreed to postpone five resolutions condemning Israeli threats to Jerusalem’s Palestinian character as well as Israeli activity in the West Bank.

The resolutions were to be presented to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which admitted Palestine as a member in September.

Israel radio said the PA agreed to bury the resolutions as part of a deal with Jordan and Israel, brokered by Washington.

Jordan on Tuesday said Israel had agreed to allow a UN mission to “investigate and assess” heritage conservation in Jerusalem’s Old City for the first time since 2004.

“Jordan and Palestine, supported by Arab states, succeeded in pressuring Israel, for the first time since 2004, to accept and facilitate a UNESCO experts’ mission to investigate and assess the status of heritage and conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls,” a palace statement said.

The mission will start its work on May 15 “and it has to present its report and recommendations before June 1st, 2013, just before the beginning of the World Heritage Committee 37th session,” it added.

According to the palace, Israel confirmed its decision in a letter to UNESCO director general Irina Bokova and in a statement read out on Tuesday at a meeting in Paris of UNESCO’s executive board.

Israel also agreed to take part in a technical meeting of UNESCO “to discuss recent Israeli violations against the Mughrabi Gate,” in Jerusalem, it added.

The Mughrabi ramp leads from the plaza by the Western Wall, the most sacred site at which Jews can pray, up to the adjoining the sacred compound, known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after a deal was struck in March by which the Palestinian Authority confirmed a verbal agreement dating back to 1924 giving Jordan custodianship over Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem.

(Source / 25.04.2013)

Samer Issawi’s Victory Letter


Samer IssawiSamer Issawi

(translation by Tariq Shadid – see Arabic original below)

God is Great, Praise be to God
God is Great, Praise be to God
God is Great, Praise be to God

I thank God above all for this victory, and for his generosity in granting it to me.

To start this letter, I would like to offer my apology to all who supported me in this battle, a battle of dignity and loyalty to the martyrs of Gaza, and the wounded and distressed as a result of the animosity they were exposed to when the Zionists waged a failed attempt to free the Israeli soldier “from inside of the can”, as they call it. However, they found it be a wide open space, despite the advanced technology that they possess, and despite the support from all over the world, and despite having intelligence services from all countries of the world at their disposal, they were unable to liberate him.

I was wishing for my release to be immediate, and this was my standpoint, but after a number of political prisoners started an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with me, and being afraid for their well-being, and out of concern for the prisoners movement, and not wanting them to suffer for my sake from the same things I suffered during my hunger strike, I was compelled to accept the final proposal that was offered to me, which is an actual prison sentence of 8 months, effective from the moment of signing the agreement, and the return to my beloved Jerusalem.
Samer Issawi after his previous releaseSamer Issawi after his previous releasePraise be to God, the demands that I had waged my open-ended hunger strike for, out of loyalty to the martyrs, were met, and from the beginning my demands have been: defending the dignity of our nation, and shedding light upon the violations of the occupation of the agreements under the “Fulfillment of the Free” deal, and the prohibition of re-arresting freed political prisoners in this deal, rejection of the reinforcement of previous sentences, calling a halt to the policy of extradition, and the right to return to our land.

Secondly, the negotiations that were conducted with me by sending negotiation teams under the supervision of negotiation specialists and Shabak agents were very strenuous, and continued for several hours a day, but I did not budge. The first offer they made me was that I would be banished to Gaza for 10 years, but I refused this completely. Then they offered to extradite me to any country of my choice, so I told them I will not accept the idea of extradition, and that with full mental abilities, unmarred by any weaknesses of the will, I totally rejected the idea of extradition altogether, even if they extradited me to honorable Gaza. Even though it is a part of my homeland, I insisted that I wish to return to the holy lands, to my home, in the arms of my parents and my family, and to my village. I said, and I repeated: either Jerusalem, or martyrdom, there is no third choice. I refused to bow for the occupation and its humiliations, and I refused to be a bridge that gets crossed, and I refused to abandon the blood of the martyrs and the sighs of the wounded who fell for the sake of the liberation of the political prisoners.

My mere refusal to accept extradition was my first victory over the occupation, including refusing extradition to Gaza, because this calls to mind the the operations of forced expulsion that befell the Palestinians in 1948 and 1967. We are currently waging a struggle for the liberation of the land and the return of the refugees, and not to add other displaced people to them. The systematic methods that ‘Israel’ is applying, in order to expel the Palestinians from their land, and to replace the original land owners with mercenaries, is the essence of the crime, and therefore I reject the idea of extradition to any other location. I told them:

“I prefer death on my hospital bed over my expulsion from Jerusalem. Jerusalem is my soul and my life, and if I should be torn away from it it would be as if my soul was ripped from my body. There is no life without Jerusalem or without Al Aqsa, any land will be insufficient for me after Jerusalem, so my return will be to Jerusalem and to nowhere else.”

I was not considering this to be a personal issue that only concerns Samer Issawi, but a national issue with the conviction and principles that every Palestinian who loves his land adheres to. The negotiation team then understood that extradition could not be included in the possibilities, and that it should be dropped from the agenda of negotiations.

I also informed the military court that I would boycott their sessions, and that I consider this court to be illegal, and its presence on Palestinian lands illegal. How can I be judged in a court that is illegal, and where the magistrates are judging me for having entered Palestinian territories, despite the fact that their courthouse is situated on Palestinian land illegally? I told them that my representation in front of this court would be considered a recognition of its legitimacy and the lawfulness of the presence of the occupation on Palestinian land, of which there is no question whatsoever. Therefore, the military court was forced to send its magistrates to the hospital in order to learn of the reasons for my refusal to be represented in the court. I conveyed my answer to them, which ignited their irritation and ire, and this I consider to be my second victory over the occupation.

Samer Issawi making a V-signSamer Issawi making a V-signAfter they had discarded the idea of extradition, they started to talk about years of factual imprisonment , and their first suggestion was 10 years, so I started downplaying and reducing it after I asserted my determination to be released, and I managed to reach eight months, which is what I consider to be the third victory. The will of the enemy broke in the face of the will of the Palestinian people, who refuse to succumb.

After I accepted their offer to be imprisoned for 8 months, I requested the presence of the defense team, in order to complete its status, and to sign it, and to set the legal proceedings in motion to bring this agreement into the light, in order to seal the victory that I had been longing for since my imprisonment, which was to be released to Jerusalem.

Since then, I am on this bed of victory, conveying my greetings to all who stood by me, without exception, and I will not specify these mentions out of fear of complaints. I value and appreciate all who supported me in order to realize this victory, whether by deed, or action, or words, or prayer, and may God grace them with blessings on behalf of me and on behalf of the Palestinian people. I also convey my greetings to all the soldiers who took part in this battle, despite the length of it. They persisted during this long time in the face of the aggressor, and they bore with all the suffering and pain that they were exposed to by the oppression of the occupation. Still, they insisted on pursuing this battle until victory, despite all the suffering and the woes that befell them from continued arrests and injuries in their ranks, and the injuries they suffered from rubber bullets, and despite the tears they shed as a result of the tear gas grenades.

After all this suffering, here we are today, celebrating the victory that was sealed thanks to your persistence in this heroic battle, you and all the free people of the world who shared this battle with us, and this victory proves to the occupation that Justice prevails each and every time, and that Injustice and the perpetrators of it, always lose.

I send my blessings to the mothers of the martyrs and I salute the families of the wounded who sacrificed their should and their limbs, for the sake of the execution and realization of the ‘Fulfillment of the Free’, and for the sake of the one and a half million of our people in Gaza who paid a heavy price, in the form of the blockade and the starvation in order to pressure them to release the soldier. Despite this, our people in Gaza insisted on keeping this soldier in their custody, with the aim of sealing the largest prisoner exchange deal in the history of the Palestinian people. Here we are today, hanging on to all these sacrifices and achievements, with our victory in this battle that we dedicate to Gaza. I kept the promise that I made, which was either martyrdom or release to Jerusalem, and here it is. Freedom is on its way soon, God willing.

Truly, when I was remembering the martyrs and the wounded and the distressed in Gaza, who sacrificed for our release, I would feel strengthened and determined, and I would consider that backing down and giving up on victory would be like treason to those who sacrificed in order to secure our freedom under the “Fulfillment of the Free” deal. My victory is their victory, and their suffering was my suffering.

And I will not forget to salute the unknown soldiers in this battle, in written and audiovisual media, who played an essential role in this great victory that was achieved. I also salute all those who strove to support me among poets, composers and singers, and helped expose this struggle to all corners of the world, and played a role that is not of less importance than the other roles.

Now, I plead for a continuation of the popular movement and its escalation on all fronts, in order to struggle for our political prisoners. I also call for the continuation of the political and diplomatic mobilization to internationalize the issue of the political prisoners, and to turn to the International Criminal Court in order to indict the judges of the occupation under international law, for the crimes that are being perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

I salute you, and I salute your steadfastness, and I hope to meet you soon, and that we will celebrate the true victory of the liberation of Palestine, with Blessed Jerusalem as its capital. We will meet soon in the Holy City, God willing.

Your son and your brother
Samer Issawi
Kaplan Medical Center


‎‫رسالة الأسير البطل سامر عيساوي‬

‎‫الله اكبر ولله الحمد… الله اكبر ولله الحمد….. الله اكبر ولله الحمد ….‬

‎‫اشكر الله أولا وأخيرا على هذا النصر .. وإكرامي بهذا النصر …‬

‎بداية رسالتي أود أن أقدم اعتذاري إلى كل من ساندني بهذ المعركة معركة الكرامة معركة الوفاء لشهداء غزة والجرحى والمنكوبين اثر الاعتداء الذي تعرضوا له بمحاولة فاشلة من الجانب الصهيوني تحرير الجندي الإسرائيلي ” من داخل العلبة” كما يطلقون عليها ولكن وجدوها فضاء واسعا فرغم التكنولوجيا المتقدمة التي يملكونها ودعم جميع العالم لهم وعلى رأسهم أجهزة المخابرات في جميع دول العالم لم يستطيعوا ان يحرروه، فكنت أتمنى أن يتم إطلاق سراحي مباشرة وكان هذا موقفي ولكن بعد دخول عدد من الأسرى بالإضراب المفتوح عن الطعام تضامنا معي وخوفا مني عليهم وحرصا مني على الحركة الأسيرة وعدم رغبتي بان يعانوا بسببي ما اعانيه خلال إضرابي اضطررت بقبول العرض النهائي الذي اقترح علي وهو سجن فعلي لمدة 8 شهور منذ لخطة التوقيع على الاتفاقية والعودة إلى بلدي الحبيب القدس. والحمد لله تم تحقيق المطالب التي من اجلها خضت الاضراب المفتوح عن الطعام وفاء للشهداء فكانت مطالبي منذ البداية: الدفاع عن كرامة الامة, وتسليط الضوء على خروقات الاحتلال لبنود صفقة وفاء الاحرار ومنع اعادة اعتقال اسرى محررين في هذه الصفقة, ورفضا لاعادة الاحكام السابقة, ووضع حد لسياسة الابعاد وحقنا بالعودة لارضنا.

‎ثانيا أن المفاوضات التي حدثت معي وإرسال وفود التفاوض بإشراف مختصون في عمليات التفاوض ومن الشاباك كانت مضنية إلى حد كبير وكانت تستمر باليوم عدة ساعات ولكنني لم أكل ولم أمل فكان أول عرض أن يتم إبعادي إلى غزة لمدة 10 سنوات وكان هناك رفض قاطع من قبل ومن ثم عرض علي الإبعاد إلى أي دوله أختارها فقلت لهم أن فكرة الإبعاد لن اقبل بها وقلت لهم انني بكامل قواي العقلية التي لا يشوبها أي شائبة من عيوب الإرادة أنني ارفض وبشكل مطلق فكرة الإبعاد جملة وتفصيلا حتى لو كان الإبعاد إلى غزة العزة رغم انها جزء من وطني إلا أنني أريد العودة إلى الأراضي المقدسة إلى منزلي بين أحضان والدي وأهلي وبلدتي وأقول واردد إما القدس وإما الشهادة لا خيار ثالث فرفضت الخضوع للاحتلال وابتزازاته ورفضت إن أكون جسرا يتم المرور عليه ورفضت التخلي عن دماء الشهداء الذين سقطوا لأجل تحرير الأسرى وأهات الجرحى ، فمجرد رفضي الإبعاد كان بالنسبة لي انتصاري الأول على الاحتلال فإبعادي إلى غزة لان هذا الأمر يعيد للأذهان عملية التهجير ألقصري الذي حدث للفلسطينيين عام 48 وعام 67 ، ونحن ألان نناضل من اجل تحرير الأرض وعودة المهجرين وليس إضافة مبعدين آخرون لهم فالأسلوب الممنهج الذي تقوم به إسرائيل لإبعاد الفلسطينيين عن أرضهم ووضع مرتزقة مكان صاحب الأرض الأصيل لهو الجريمة بحد ذاته ، فانا ارفض قضية الإبعاد لأي مكان وقلت لهم …
‎” انني أفضل الموت على سريري في المستشفى على أن يتم إبعادي عن القدس فالقدس هي روحي وحياتي فإذا انتزعت منها تم انتزاع روحي من جسدي فلا حياة بعد القدس والأقصى، وبعد القدس لا تسعني جميع الأراضي فعودتي فقط إلى القدس وليس غير ذلك ” فانا لم أكن انظر إلى المسالة كمسالة شخصية تتعلق بسامر العيساوي بل المسالة مسالة وطنية وقناعة ومبادئ متمسك بها كل فلسطيني يحب تراب وطنه ، فهنا أدرك الوفد المفاوض أن عملية الإبعاد غير وارده بالحسبان ويجب أن يتم إسقاطها من أجندة التفاوض .

‎كما أنني قمت بإبلاغ المحكمة العسكرية أنني سأقاطع جلساتها وأنا اعتبرها هذه المحكمة غير شرعية وان وجودها بالأراضي الفلسطينية غير شرعي فكييف بحاكم أمام محكمة مكان وجودها غير شرعي والقضاة يحاكمونني على أنني دخلت مناطق فلسطينية رغم أن محكمتهم قائمة على أراضي فلسطينية بصورة غير شرعية وان مثولي أمام هذه المحكمة يعتبر اعتراف بشرعية هذه المحكمة وقانونية وجود الاحتلال داخل الأراضي الفلسطينية وهذا الأمر لن يكون ، لذلك اضطرت المحكمة العسكرية إلى إرسال قاضية إلى المستشفى لتسمع مني سبب عدم رغبتي بالمثول أمام المحكمة وأبلغتها بردي الأمر الذي أثار غيضها وحفيظتها وأنا هذا اعتبره الانتصار الثاني على الاحتلال .

‎بعد ان تم استبعاد عملية الإبعاد بدء التحدث على سنوات سجن فعلي فكان أول عرض هو 10 سنوات وبدئت الفترة بالنقصان والتقلص بعد إصراري على التحرر حتى وصلت إلى 8 شهور وهذا اعتبره الانتصار الثالت أن إرادة العدو كسرت أمام إرادة الشعب الفلسطيني الذي يأبى الظم .

‎بعد الموافقة من قبلي على عرضهم بالسجن الفعلي 8 شهور طلبت من هيئة الدفاع الحضور لأجل إتمام الصفة والتوقيع عليها وإتمام الإجراءات القانونية وإخراج هذه الصفقة إلى النور و تحقيق الانتصار الذي كنت أصبو إليه منذ اعتقالي وهو الحرية إلى بيت المقدس.

‎ومن هنا وأنا على سرير الانتصار أوجه تحياتي إلى جميع من وقف معي دون استثناء ولن اخص بالذكر خوفا من العتاب فانا اقدر وأثمن جميع من ساندي لتحقيق هذا الانتصار سواء بالفعل والعمل أو بالقول أو بالدعاء وجازاهم عني وعن الشعب الفلسطيني كل خير ، وأوجه تحيتي جميع الجنود الذين شاركوا في هذه المعركة رغم طول هذه الفترة الطويلة التي صمدوا فيها في وجه الجلاد وتحملوا كل المعاناة والآلام التي تعرضوا لها من خلال قمع الاحتلال لهم وأصروا أن يواصلوا هذه المعركة حتى الانتصار بعد كل المعاناة والآهات التي تعرضوا لها من خلال الاعتقالات المستمر في صفوفهم والإصابات التي تعرضوا لها من أعيرة مطاطية ورغم دموعهم التي سالت من قنابل الغاز المسيلة للدموع بعد كل هذه المعاناة ها نحن اليوم نحتفل بالانتصار الذي تحقق بفضل صمودكم في هذه المعركة البطولية انتم وأحرار هذا العالم الذين شاركونا هذه المعركة وهذا الانتصار يثبت للاحتلال بان الحق هو المنتصر دوما وأبدا والظالم والظلم إلى زوال.
‎أبارك لأمهات الشهداء واحيي عائلات الجرحى الذين ضحوا بأرواحهم وأعضاء من أجسادهم من اجل إتمام عملية وفاء الأحرار وتحقيق هذا الأمر ومعاناة مليون ونصف أبناء شعبنا في غزة الذين دفعوا ثمن كبير وهو حصارهم من اجل تجويعهم من اجل الضغط عليهم لأجل تسليم الجندي ومع ذلك أصر أبناء شعبنا في قطاع غزة الحبيب على التمسك والحفاظ على هذا الجندي من اجل إتمام أعظم صفقة تبادل في تاريخ الثورة الفلسطينية وها نحن اليوم نحافظ على كل هذه التضحيات والانجازات بانتصارنا في هذه المعركة التي أطلقنا عليها الوفاء إلى غزة واني كما وعدتكم كنت على الوعد والعهد ما الشهادة أو الحرية إلى بيت المقدس وها هي الحرية قادمة ان شاء اله قريبا .

‎فوالله عندما كنت أتذكر الشهداء والجرحى والمنكوبين بغزة الذين ضحوا من اجل تحريرنا ازداد قوة وعزم واعتبر أن تراجعي عن خطوتي وعدم النصر هو خيانة لهؤلاء الذين ضحوا لأجل تحريرنا بصفقة وفاء الأحرار فنصري نصرهم ومعاناتهم معاناتي .

‎ولن أنسى هنا أن احيي الجنود المجهولين في هذه المعركة من وسائل الإعلام المكتوبة والمسموعة والمرئية الذين كان لهم دورا أساسيا في هذا الانتصار العظيم الذي تحقق وتحية أيضا إلى كل من ساهم بدعمي من شعراء وملحنين ومغنين الذين شاركوا بنقل المعركة إلى أنحاء العالم وشاركوا بدور لا يقل أهمية عن باقي الأدوار.

‎ومن هنا أدعو للاستمرار في الحركة الجماهيرية وتصعيدها على كافة الاصعدة لنصرة أسرانا، وأدعو إلى مواصلة الحراك السياسي والدبلوماسي لتدويل قضية الأسرى والتوجه لمحكمة الجنايات الدولية لتقديم قادة الاحتلال لمحاكمة دولية على ما يتم اقترافه من جرائم ضد الشعب الفلسطيني.
‎أحييكم واحيي صمودكم وان شاء الله لقائي سيكون بكم قريبا وسنحتفل بالنصر الحقيقي بتحرير فلسطين وعاصمتها القدس الشريف ولقائنا قريب في قدس الأقداس إن شاء الله

‎ابنكم واخوكم
‎سامر عيساوي
‎مستشفى كابلان



(Source / 25.04.2013)


Het Joods Nationaal Fonds Nederland is een actie begonnen om geld in te zamelen voor een waterproject in het zuiden van Israël. Dit is niet zomaar een project, want het is ter ere van de inhuldiging van Koning Willem-Alexander. De prins zou toestemming hebben verleend om zijn naam hieraan te verbinden. Ik waardeer de grote, internationale betrokkenheid van prins Willem-Alexander bij het onderwerp water zonder meer, maar dit project roept bij mij wel de nodige vragen op. Berichten wijzen er bijvoorbeeld op dat het JNF betrokken is bij onteigening van grond van Palestijnen en dat het de niet-Joodse bevolking van Israël discrimineert. Ook zou het actief zijn in de illegale nederzettingen. Daarnaast zou het maar zo kunnen dat het water voor dit project uit (deels) Palestijnse bronnen komt. Dat zou mogelijk illegaal en dus onacceptabel zijn. Daarom heb ik de minister-president en de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken de volgende vragen gesteld:

1. Bent u bekend met het Koning Willem-Alexander Waterproject van het JNF Nederland in Mitspe Ramon, in het zuiden van Israël?
2. Is het juist dat prins Willem-Alexander toestemming heeft gegeven om zijn naam te verbinden aan dit waterproject? Indien neen, wat zijn dan de feiten?
3. Bent u bekend met de campagne van Palestina activisten en NGO’s hiertegen?  Wat is uw reactie op de kritiek dat het JNF betrokken is bij onteigening van grond van Palestijnen en de niet-Joodse bevolking van Israël discrimineert? Kunt u uw antwoord toelichten?
4. Is het JNF ook betrokken bij projecten in de illegale nederzettingen in bezet Palestijns gebied? Indien ja, kunt u een indicatie geven op welke schaal dit gebeurt? Kunt u uw antwoord toelichten?
5. Kent u het rapport ‘Water for one people only’? Deelt u de conclusie uit het rapport dat ‘Israel has extensively and unlawfully appropriated Palestinian water resources in the OPT for the sole benefit of those residing in Israel and Israeli colonies, while maintaining a practice of extensive destruction of Palestinian water infrastructure’ en dat ‘as such, Israel is in violation of Articles 43, 46, 53 and 55 of the Hague Regulations and Articles 49 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention’? Indien neen, waarom niet? Kunt u uw antwoord toelichten?
6. Kunt u aangeven welke waterbronnen voor het JNF project gebruikt zullen worden? Betreft het hier water dat juridisch (deels) de Palestijnen toebehoort? Indien ja, acht u uitvoering van dit project in strijd met het internationaal recht? Kunt u uw antwoord toelichten?

(Source / 25.04.2013)

Israel’s Ill-Treatment of Detained Palestinian Children ‘Widespread’

Zein Abu-Mariya (17) with his parents after nine months in Israeli custody. Credit: Pierre Klochendler/IPS.

Zein Abu-Mariya (17) with his parents after nine months in Israeli custody. 

“Three interrogators questioned me for three hours. I was handcuffed. They beat me, slapped me, kicked me, boxed me, accused me of throwing stones; played a video of a demonstration. I denied I was there. So again, they beat me up,” recounts Zein Abu-Mariya, 17, seated on a sofa next to dad.

“They pressured my son to confess,” Hisham chimes in. “‘If you don’t sign, you’ll be treated like an animal,’ they threatened.” Zein acquiesces.

In March 2012, in the dead of night, he was arrested by Israeli soldiers. Thirty-six hours later, he was brought before a judge. He stood at 35 court hearings, spent nine months in the HaSharon jail minors section; yet was never convicted.

In January, his father finally managed to bail him out. Back home, waiting for an impending court hearing, Zein strikes a defiant pose: “I don’t want to go back to jail, but I’m not afraid; I got used to it.”

He’s gone back to school, but he was held back one year. “My friends ask me what jail is like – just in case.”

Zein’s testimony – like that of many other minors – reveals one of the most painfully enduring experiences of life under occupation.

“Put yourself in their shoes,” U.S. President Barack Obama recently told young Israelis. The issue of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention provides a dramatic example of just how far the U.S. president’s plea is from being fulfilled.

In February, 236 Palestinian minors were incarcerated – 39 aged 12 to 15 – reports rights group Defence of Children International.

Each year for the past ten years, 700 children aged 12 to 17, most of them boys, are arrested by Israel – an average of two per day– estimates the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a report also published in February.

UNICEF concludes that ill-treatment of imprisoned children “appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalised” throughout the process, from arrest to interrogation, prosecution, eventual conviction and condemnation.

Its report points to practices that “amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture” ratified by Israel.

Parents aren’t always notified of their child’s arrest. Most arrests occur at night. During questioning, minors are denied access to a lawyer, or the presence of a relative. Most are accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and vehicles.

“These stones can cause death,” maintains Israeli Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson Ilana Stein. “But putting children in jail isn’t something we like.”

The report’s 38 recommendations for bettering the rightful protection of Palestinian children are assigned dutiful consideration. “We actually worked on the report with UNICEF because we want to improve the treatment of detained Palestinian children,” Stein says.

“Such Israeli reaction is good,” welcomes ‘Adli Da’ana, education officer with UNICEF in Hebron. “But on March 20, they grabbed 27 kids in the Old City of Hebron, just like that, in one fell swoop. So is this what they call re-considering their policy?”

Military laws are particularly harsh on children.

The alternative Israeli website 972.com recently brought up the imaginary case study of two 12-year-olds – one Israeli settler, one Palestinian – getting into a fight, and compared the judicial consequences.

An Israeli minor sees a judge within 12 hours; for a Palestinian child, it could take up to four days. Before seeing a lawyer, an Israeli child can be held for two days, a Palestinian child for 90 days. An Israeli child can be held 40 days without charge; a Palestinian child, 60 days.

A 12-year-old Israeli can’t be held during trial; a 12-year-old Palestinian can be held up to 18 months before trial.

Chances of bail before trial stand at 80 percent for Israeli children, at 13 percent for Palestinian children. And while there is no custodial sentencing in Israeli civilian law for a minor under 14, a 12 year-old Palestinian can be incarcerated under Israeli military law.

“The most urgent change is to ensure children spend the least possible time in jail,” urges Na’ama Baumgarten-Sharon, researcher at B’tselem, the Israeli human right organisation. “Children must be brought before a judge in much less time.”

Implemented starting Apr. 2, a military order supposed to reduce the length of pre-trial detention stipulates that Palestinian children under 14 should be brought before a judge within 24 hours of arrest and children aged 14 to 18 within 48 hours.

“Even when there’s realisation that things need to change, it’s a slow process,” notes Baumgarten-Sharon. “The only form of punishment is jail. There’s no other alternative.”

Smain Najjar lives in the Jewish-controlled part of Hebron. Only 17, he’s already been arrested four times on suspicion of stone throwing.

“The first time, it was while playing soccer with friends. I was nine. They locked me in a cold-storage box for six hours; then let me go.

“The second time – I was 11 – they held me for three hours at a nearby checkpoint because I got into an argument with a settler my age.

“The third time, they took me to the nearby settlement’s police station; I was 14.

“The fourth time – last November, during Israel’s military operation on Gaza – I spent four days at the Ofer detention centre. I’d been arrested on my way home from an evening shift at a coffee shop.”

Anxious, his mother Suad kept calling his cellphone. After a while, a voice answered, and ordered, “Stop calling this number, we’ve arrested your child.”

Smain has dropped out of school. “Maybe I’ll become a sports coach,” he says.

“We help these kids find their future, rebuild their personality. Unfortunately, sometimes we fail. Once arrested, it’s a cycle of arrests,” says psycho-social counsellor Ala’ Abu-Ayyash.

Smain likes to take refuge in his dovecote. He says the doves provide an escape from the darkness of life. The doves circle in disarray till one is caught.

(Source / 25.04.2013)