When I crossed the Malak Hussein Bridge to come to Palestine I noticed that people were carrying fewer suitcases and more large gallon or two-gallon jugs of water. Sometimes when I travel I see such containers, but in the past they were always filled with olive oil. I’ve been thinking about that a lot as I think about the lack of water here in Palestine. There was a report on Al Jazeera English recently about the problem of water resources in Palestine, largely due to the Zionist state stealing water from Palestinian resources:
Obviously Israeli theft of water, like everything else, which contributes to Palestinians’ lack of water, is a problem here. But imagine my surprise when this afternoon I learned that my hometown is helping to produce and exacerbate the whole-sale theft of Palestinian water. It seems that this summer mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited the Zionist state and after that he announced that Los Angeles “would engage in joint cooperation wtih Israel on water issues. “This involves both working with Kinrot and Mekorot National Water Company” (download fact sheet on website for flyer with quotations, more facts, and how you can help). For those of you who are still not convinced as to why it is necessary for academic institutions to boycott the Zionist state, particularly its academic, cultural, and sports institutions, notice how American academic institutions are participating in this (perhaps it is time to also start boycotting American academic institutions as well). The agreement states that:
* Israeli companies will have access to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) facilities for pilot projects
* Forsees the installation of Israeli technologies in the DWP facilities
* Entails cooperation in water R&D ventures and academic studies, which will encompass the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
* Includes the transfer of know how from Kinrot to the Los Angeles municipality on how to set up a water technology incubator.
Really, I think they forgot to say that the Zionists would teach the Los Angelenos how to steal water, land, resources (Or do you forget Mayor Villaraigosa that Los Angeles is also stolen land like Palestine and that all of its resources once belonged to the indigenous tribes and later to Mexico before the U.S. stole it in 1848?). Clearly this mayor cannot see the connection, though I know that there are many who do get it. Here is another problem with this collaborative venture: Mekorot is a government-owned company and it steals water form land it annexed (read: stole) from Palestinians. Further, “Mekorot has applied a system of pricing whereby Palestinians are charged exorbitant rates while Israeli settlers occupying land in the West Bank enjoy a lower pricing scheme. Mekorot is effectively stealing Palestinian water and then re-selling it to the same communities.” You can download the flyer from the BDS linked website from above, but I will also upload it here. It also contains information about what you can do to help: waterfa
It seems that these “collaborative projects between the Zionist state and the Americans do a lot to help Americans realize their imperial vision of the world. Of course, we see it in Iraq and Afghanistan every day. For instance on Raed in the Middle’s blog today he highlights the deceptive double-speak used by the Americans in the media to make it seem as if they are making plans to withdraw troops when in fact the opposite is closer to the truth:
I read about a leaked copy of the US-Iraqi agreement a few days ago when a radio station in Iraq mentioned some of its details, then it was mentioned in some Arab newspapers like Al-Qabas and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. A couple of days ago, one Iraqi website (linked to an Iraqi armed resistance group) published the leaked draft on their web page for less than a couple of days before their website went offline….
There are many outrageous articles in the agreement that violates Iraq’s sovereignty and independence, and gives the U.S. occupation authorities unprecedented rights and privileges, but what has draw my attention the most (so far) are three major points:
1- the agreement does not discuss anything about a complete US withdrawal from Iraq. Instead, it talks about withdrawing “combat troops” without defining what is the difference between combat troops and other troops. It is very clear that the US is planning to stay indefinitely in permanent bases in Iraq (or as the agreement calls them: “installations and areas agreed upon”) where the U.S. will continue training and supporting Iraqis armed forces for the foreseeable future.
2- the agreement goes into effect when the two executive branches exchange “memos”, instead of waiting for Iraqi parliament’s ratification. This is really dangerous, and it is shocking because both the Iraqi and U.S. executive branches have been assuring the Iraqi parliament that no agreement will go into effect without being ratified by Iraq’s MPs.
3- this agreement is the blueprint for keeping other occupation armies (aka Multi-national forces) in Iraq on the long run. This explains the silence regarding what will happed to other occupiers (like the U.K. forces) after the expiration of the UN mandate at the end of this year.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Oslo, my Iraqi friends, beware of what you sign. For any agreement promising a removal of troops will bring double the troops; anything promising peace and security for Iraqis will bring war and insecurity. You get the picture. The Americans, like the Israelis, love to force “peace agreements” on people that are really more like promises of escalating war. Perhaps this is yet another reason why Vice Presidential candidates Joseph Biden and Sarah Palin are racing to kiss the ass of the Israeli lobby or AIPAC as soon as they are nominated: Palin rushed to tell her AIPAC friends that she wants to have strong ties with Israel and Biden promises to have equally strong ties and protect his colonizing friends from Europe. American law enforcement is also learning really well from the Israeli Terrorist Forces as it targets journalists at this year’s Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Of the journalists targeted were three from Democracy Now!, including Amy Goodman, and their show today covers, in detail, just how clearly the police was targeting, harassing, beating up, and jailing journalists in particular. So far inside the U.S. American police seem to just be roughing up and arresting journalists–but beware the U.S. does indeed kill journalists in Iraq so this could come to an American town near you. Likewise, the Israeli Terrorist Forces (ITF) are experienced at targeting journalists–Palestinian and international alike:
According to information obtained by PCHR [Palestinian Centre for Human Rights], and the testimony of Wafa Abu Mezyed, a Reuters soundman who was wounded in the attack, at approximately 17:00 on Wednesday, 16 April 2008, Fadel Subhi Shana’a, 23, a cameraman, and Wafa Younsi Abu Mezyed, 25, a soundman, both working for Reuters, were near al-Ihasn Mosque in Juhor al-Dik village, southeast of Gaza City, documenting crimes committed by IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces] in the area. When they finished their work, Shana’a and Abu Mezyed traveled in their sport utility vehicle bearing “TV” and “Press” markings towards Salah al-Din Street to leave the village. Abu Mezyed Sated: “When we were traveling towards Salah al-Din Street, Israeli military vehicles were nearly 700 meters away from us. We stopped and got out of the vehicle and Shana’a started to [document] the military vehicles. We were wearing bulletproof suits and carrying cameras. When I was driving a number of children away from us, I was surprised by a shell falling near Shana’a who was standing near the vehicle. I saw him falling on the ground and I was wounded by shrapnel to the left hand. Another shell hit the back of the vehicle, and I was wounded by shrapnel to the pelvis and the right foot. I cried and ran towards ambulances to save us.”
The Palestinian journalist bloc has documented the hardships that the Palestinian people are suffering, reflected in the difficult and unfortunate situation of Palestinian media. With the recent Hamas-Fatah infighting and events in Gaza, Palestinian media organizations have become an easy target for those who want to vent their anger and revenge. In the West Bank, literally a massacre took place against Palestinian media organizations and journalists at the same time that scores of international journalists managed to enter the Gaza Strip due to the relaxed atmosphere and security provided there without any attacks against them. [click link here to read the very long list of violations targeting journalists]
I am a Palestinian journalist from Gaza. At the age of 17, I armed myself with a camera and a pen, committed to report accurately on events in Gaza. I have filed reports as Israeli fighter jets bombed Gaza City. I have interviewed mothers as they watched their children die in hospitals unequipped to serve them because of Israel’s embargo. I have been recognized for my reporting, even in the United States and United Kingdom, where I have won two international awards. I have also been beaten and tortured by Israeli soldiers.
The above is just a small sampling of what happens to people who report on the reality of the situation here in Palestine. Apparently there are truths in Minneapolis/St. Paul that the U.S. government doesn’t want to let out of the bag either.
There has been a strange rumor circulating in the media the past few days, but I didn’t know what to make of it, especially since it came from an Israeli source and Israelis have perfected the art of deception. It was an article that mentioned the ITF would end its occupation of southern Lebanon. But today the National is reporting that such a deal is moving through the UN and that the last couple of remaining villages like Ghajar in South Lebanon may finally be liberated. It seems too good to be true, but be careful ya Lubnan: as your citizens are far to aware that every time the Zionist state signs an agreement your people will have hell to pay in more ways than one. For instance, here there is supposed to be a truce, but a truce is something that the ITF violate on a daily if not hourly basis. Take a look at this report released today:
The National and International Department at the Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO, issued a press release documenting the Israeli violations during the month of August as the Israeli army killed 2 Palestinians, shot and wounded 131, including 26 children, demolished 5 homes, and 22 patients died in Gaza due to the ongoing Israeli siege.
Importantly, this same report shows how disingenuous the Zionist state is when it says it is doing some sort of goodwill gesture to release political prisoners:
The department also said that while Israel released 198 detainees in August as part of its “good will” gesture towards president Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli soldiers kidnapped 344 Palestinians during the same month.
I still haven’t counted up to that high of a number because I started my count with the day of the release of the prisoners, which was towards the end of the month. But I have a few more to add ot the list:
Wednesday, September 3rd, Beit Lahem: Israeli forces on Wednesday morning seized ten Palestinians during raids in the West Bank. According to Israeli sources, the arrestees were from Nablus and Qabatiya in the northern West Bank as well as Halhul in the southern West Bank. Palestinian security sources said that Israeli military vehicles invaded the old city of Nablus and forcibly searched several homes before they arrested 6 young men. The sources identified the arrestees as, 16-year-old Ra’id Hamdan, 17-year-old Nasr Mabroukah, 21-year-old Ramiz Jum’ah, 20-year-old Eyhab Al-Arboudi, his brother 23-year-old Tha’ir and 19-year-old Zahi Fatayir.
Wednesday, September 3rd, Jenin: Jenin – Ma’an Israeli forces on Wednesday arrested an Islamic Jihad activist in the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya, Islamic Jihad sources said. “Dozens of Israeli military vehicles raided the town and launched a search campaign allegedly looking for wanted activists affiliated to the Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades. Then, the invading forces apprehended Shadi Zakarnah after they ransacked his family home,” the forces said.
That brings my count up to 163.
And one final little Ramadan bit. I did not have time to comment on this new Human Rights Watch report from Lebanon a couple of weeks ago about the abuse of domestic workers. I’m glad it’s out; it is a problem regionally, something I have seen in Jordan as well, and certainly something that is a problem in the U.S. though that is not on the radar screen and I do not suppose we’ll be seeing a similar such report documenting abuse of domestic workers in the U.S. In any case, now Human Rights Watch has some new report about treating workers well during Ramadan. Is it just me or is this odd? Shouldn’t they be treated well every day of the year? Or better yet, shouldn’t this modern-day form of slavery be abolished?