On suicide bombings in Israel (fwd)

John Cox hazel_motes52 at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 4 06:10:44 MST 2001


(Please circulate and act accordingly- i.e. write
similar letters to your media outlet.   Also below is
an article by Ali Abunimah that is insightful.).

Sent to:

public.information at turner.com, community at cnn.com,
Mike.Hanna at turner.com, Eason.Jordan at turner.com,
Gerald.Levin at twi.com, RickDavis at turner.com

Dear CNN:

Please indulge with me in giving you a little
background regarding  your coverage of terrorism in the
Middle East.  This coverage seems to portray to viewers
that terror is a Palestinian or Arab phenomenon and you
bolster that with ample interviews of Zionist self-
declared "experts", selective journalism, and outright
untruths. You challenge every Arab and Muslim leader to
condemn the suicide bombings.  That is fair (I condemn
it strongly too).  However, while they are given time
to spout their hate filled messages that try to equate
Palestinians with the Taliban, why not challenge
Israeli apologists to condemn Israeli terrorism
equally?

Did you know that terror was first adopted in the
modern Middle East by Zionists and continues to be a
method of choice for Israeli leaders? The first
airplane hijacking was committed by Israel. On 12
December 1954 a civilian Syrian airliner was hijacked
by Israel shortly after take-off. The first car-bomb
was an invention of Zionists, as was the assassination
of United Nations personnel. A Zionist truck-bomb blew
up the King David hotel in Jerusalem killing 88 in
1946.  Zionist terror in the 1930s and 1940s has been
neglected in the discussion about terrorism in the
Middle East. But then again terrorism by Zionists today
is also neglected.

Both former prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak
Shamir, as well as current Likud-leader Ariel Sharon,
were terrorist commanders responsible for numerous
atrocities, including acts against Jews. The archives
of Haganah contain the names of forty Jews who were
killed by Begin's and Shamir's groups (Nahum Barnea and
Danny Rubenstein, Davar, 19 March 1982). The Zionist
record of terror is long and bloody before the creation
of Israel. In the single month of July 1938, the Irgun
killed 76 Palestinians in terrorist attacks (Simha
Flapan, Zionism and the Palestinians, St. Martin's
Press, 1977, ch. 2). Before the Arab countries engaged
in the Palestine/Israel conflict and before Israel
became officially a state, Zionsit forces have already
committed several of their massacres including the
infamous one at Deir Yassin in April 9, 1948.  More
than half of the 531 Palestinian villages and towns
were depopulated by Israeli military terror before
Israel was established in May 15, 1948 and thus before
the beginning of the first major Arab Israeli war
(according to Israeli historians).  This ofcourse
continued after the state was established. According to
Israeli historians hundreds (perhaps thousands) of
Palestinian civilians were killed by Israel in the two
years following its establishment. Ofcourse the
atrocities including the killing of unarmed civilians
and prisoners of war continued in the 1950s (e.g. Kibya
massacre by Shamir forces)), 1960s (use of napalm on
civilian areas), 1970s (Sharon's "cleaning" of areas in
Gaza), 1980s (Sharon's massacres and carpet bombings in
Lebanon, Rabin's killing of Children in the first
intifadah) and till today.

The more recent terrorism resulted in 13 months in the
killing of 800 Palestinians and injuring 24,000.  One
third of the victims are children.  Yet, not once did
CNN state that killings such as those of five boys in
Gaza last week were acts of terrorism.  In the
meantime, you bring in Benjamine Netanyahu to make the
most racist and bigoted statements on your shows.  In
the New York Times (12 September 2001), there is a
revealing quote: "Asked tonight what the attack (of
9/11) meant for relations between the United States and
Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister,
replied: 'It's very good.' Then he edited himself:
'Well, not very  good, but it will generate immediate
sympathy.'"  And while the media's attention was
diverted by the tragedy, Israeli occupation forces
stormed the Palestinian cities of Jenin and later
Jericho killing scores of people, injuring over 120,
and demolishing many homes and other buildings.  These
were acts of terror that Netanyahu's government was not
being challenged on.  Is one to believe that the value
of life of the victims of Palestinian terrorism is any
more important than victims of Israeli violence?

Finally, when will you all in the media start to dig a
bit beneath the shroud/veil of the cycle of violence (a
symptom) to uncover the root causes (occupation,
oppression, ethnic cleansing)?  I would be happy to
give you background, connect you with key people to
interview or help in any other way so that we can start
to arrive at the truth which is the only way to lead to
long-term treatments for the etiology of the disease.

Sincerely,

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Ph.D.

_____________________________

Bombs and Wreaths

by Ali Abunimah

December 2, 2001

Once again Israelis are shocked and horrified that
innocent men, women and children have been blown up by
suicide bombers in the heart of Jerusalem and in the
mixed Palestinian-Jewish city of Haifa. No decent
person can refrain from condemning such attacks in the
strongest terms. Such deeds harm not only their
innocent victimsin this case also likely to include
Palestinian citizens of Israel--but debase the just
cause of Palestine which is one that has no need to
stoop to the levels of cruelty and dehumanization that
Israel has routinely used against us.

Yet I find myself starting to feel cynical and jaded
even in the face of such horror and misery. As a
Palestinian I find that the media asks and challenges
me about views on such horrific bombings. I dutifully
repeat my condemnation, and state that I oppose the
targeting and killing of all innocent civilians
regardless of whether they are Israelis or
Palestinians.

I wonder why I am so rarely asked by the same media how
I feel when Palestinians are killed. No one asked how I
felt last week when five Palestinian schoolboys were
killed by a bomb planted by the Israeli occupation
forces in their refugee camp in Gaza. I wonder why it
is not demanded of Israelis and pro-Israeli Jews who
appear on TV to condemn the violence that is committed
in their name against Palestinians the way I am asked
to condemn violence by Palestinians against Israelis.

I watch in amazement the latest US envoy General
Anthony Zinni laying a wreath in Jerusalem at the site
of the bombings there in memory and mourning for yet
more innocent dead. But where was the American wreath
for the five boys killed in Gaza? Why do twenty-six
dead Israelis make a crisis that mobilizes the whole
world and saturates the media, while the targeting and
killing of hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians,
one third of them children, and the suffocation by
siege of three million more is simply background noise
unworthy of attention?

In response to the attacks, US Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld said that "the only way to defend
against terrorists is to go after the terrorists."

This can only be understood as an endorsement of
Israels policy of extrajudicial executions which last
week took the life of a senior Hamas leader, put an end
to a tacit ceasefire with Hamas, and directly triggered
the latest round of suicide bombings. Perhaps Rumsfeld
is giving a green light for even greater atrocities
that have yet to unfold. After a brief meeting with
President Bush, Israels prime minister Ariel Sharon is
flying back from Washington to direct the vengeance
operations in person. What will it be this time? More
F-16 attacks? More death squad killings? More shelling
of refugee camps? More houses destroyed? More
kidnappings? More torture? An even tighter blockade of
the occupied territories? These are the regular items
on the Israeli menu.

None of these are likely to satisfy the Israeli
governments appetite, after all, all have been tried
and continue to be tried relentlessly and without
mercy.  Perhaps this time Sharon will order the
specialto fulfill his dream and either kill Yasir
Arafat or at least send him back into exile. After all,
as US Secretary of State Colin Powell put it this
morning, this is the "moment of truth" for Arafat.
(When, Mr. Powell, does Israels moment of truth
arrive?)

My response to all of this is a big shrug. So they send
Arafat back to Tunis or assassinate him, the occupation
will still be there. The Israelis will be the losers
because they will no longer have the decrepit old man,
their "bin Laden" to blame for all their problems. They
will come face to face with the fact that it is their
occupation and their attempt to crush all opposition to
it that is the fuel of the conflict. Palestinians will
be neither better off nor worse off. Some even think
that a return to direct military occupation without the
intermediary of the Palestinian Authority can only
sharpen the confrontation and hence bring it to its
conclusion more rapidly.

Certainly no serious person believes that Arafat and
his lieutenants, nominally controlling a few divided
scraps of land in the occupied West Bank and Gaza,
bombed daily by the Israeli army, can through coercion,
arrests and torture do what Israel with all its might
has failed to dobring about an unconditional end to all
resistance against the occupation or attacks on Israeli
civilians. Rumsfeld revealed that even he doubts that
Arafat can succeed when he told NBCs "Meet the Press"
that Arafat "is not a particularly strong leader, and I
don't know that he has good control over the
Palestinian situation." But Zionist orthodoxy in the
United States, enforced by Israels intransigent and
powerful lobby, demands that all the ugly symptoms of
53 years of relentless and unspeakably brutal
dispossession and repression of millions of people by
Israel, and decades of US collusion and support for
these policies, be blamed on one man. All too aware of
its assigned role, the Palestinian Authority has
declared a "state of emergency." This amounts to little
in practice since all the means of repression and
arbitrary rule at the disposal of the PA are already in
full use while none of the means that could actually
improve the lives of Palestinians are granted to it by
the Israeli occupier.

This morning the BBC World Service asked Mr. Rolf
Mayer, a former minister in the last Apartheid
government of South Africa whether from his experience
he thought that the onus was on the Israeli government
or the Palestinians to act to end this conflict. Mayer
said that it was not until the Apartheid governmentthe
side with the powergave up the dream of perpetuating
white rule that South Africa could move forward, and
that therefore it was up to Israelthe side with the
powerto decide to end its occupation. Mayer said that
negotiations take place in the context of conflict and
therefore the demand that all violence be stopped as a
precondition for negotiations was one which would have
doomed the South African peace talks to failure.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Apartheid South Africa
and Israel were close military and political allies. So
it is saying something when even Israels former
Apartheid friends are telling it to see reality in a
different way. And it is remarkable to think that when
everyone in the world sees things clearly, only the
United States government and media pretend they do not.

So last week the burden of death fell on Palestinians.
This week on Israelis. The only surprise will be if in
the coming week dozens more innocent people are not
killed.

Mr. Zinni said he will stay in the region until he
succeeds in getting a ceasefire. But if US policy is
going to continue to ignore the root causes of the
conflict, then I advise Mr. Zinni to do two things:
start looking for a comfortable house and find a
reliable supplier of wreaths.

Ali Abunimah http://www.abunimah



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