Marwan Barghouti expects to win next Palestinian presidential

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					$2 APRIL 2008 . Issue 13 501 N. Brookhurst St,. Suite 306, Anaheim, CA 92801 T.877.535.8555 F.714.535.7263 TheIndependentMonitor@Gmail.Com

       Marwan Barghouti expects to win next
         Palestinian presidential election
                                            Presidential, an interview                       order to seal a prisoner exchange       Israel, Barghouthi said the Israelis
                                            published on Sunday re-                          deal with Israel. Barghouthi is high    “continue to construct settlements,
                                            ports.                                           on Hamas’ list of prisoners it wants    to confiscate lands, to try to trans-
                                                 The Italian newspaper                       freed in exchange for the release of    form Jerusalem into a purely Jew-
                                            La Stampa spoke with                             captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.   ish city, and to suffocate the Pales-
                                            Barghouthi in his cell in                            “Palestinians in 2006 voted         tinian economy.”
                                            Israel’s Hadareim prison.                        against the collapse of the peace           “What Hamas did in Gaza is
                                                 “Once      Abu     Ma-                      process, against renewed occupa-        obscene, and weakens the Palestin-
                                            zen [Mahmoud Abbas]                              tion of the West Bank, and against      ian cause. The people’s unity is all
                                            resigns, I will run in the                       corruption within Fatah. However,       we have, our history. If we don’t
                                            presidential election, and                       it was Fatah who convinced Hamas        act, the divisions will destroy us.
                                            I will win thanks to Fatah                       to take part in the previous elec-      Hamas must restore Gaza to the
                                            support,” Barghouthi said.                       tions as they are part of the Pal-      president, Abu Mazen, and come
                                                                                             estinian people,” said Barghouthi,
                                                 Palestinian President                                                               to an agreement on a new govern-
                                                                                             commenting on Hamas’ victory in
                                            Mahmoud Abbas has of-                            the 2006 parliamentary elections.       ment with a security apparatus
                                            ten mentioned Barghouthi                                                                 without factions and fix the date
                                            as a potential successor.                            Barghouthi was seized by Is-        of the elections in 2008. We are at
                                                                                             raeli forces in 2002 and is serving     a crossroad and Israel isn’t helping
                                                 Meanwhile the Lon-                          five life sentences.
                                            don-based pan-Arab Al-                                                                   us: with their politics of aggression
    Bethlehem – Ma’an – Jailed              Hayat newspaper reports                              In response to a question about     they think they can crush us, and
Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi that senior Hamas leader Khalid                               the Annapolis conference and            instead it strengthens the hardlin-
expects to win the next Palestinian Mash’al will travel to Cairo soon in                     renewed peace negotiations with         ers within Hamas,” he added.

          Rabbi: Hang Arab children from trees
   From Press TV                        where they fall flat on their face
                                        and scream ‘help.’ Not for the sake
                                        of satisfying the need for revenge
    A Zionist cleric has urged the      but for the purposes of deterrence,”
Israeli regime to give the green        he wrote.
light to the massacre of Arabs in
retaliation for Palestinian attacks.        In the newsletter Eliyahu pro-
                                        poses “hanging the children” of
    In an article published in the      those who attacked the Mercaz
newsletter Eretz Yisrael Shelanu        Harav yeshiva from a tree.
Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of
Safed, has urged the Israeli regime         The rabbi added: “We’ll stay
to officially allow “revenge against    here. We need to live with those
Arabs to restore Israel’s deter-        who understand very well the lan-
rence.”                                 guage of revenge.”
    “I’m not talking about indi-            On Wednesday, Mossawa
vidual people in particular, I’m        Center, an Arab human rights
talking about the state. [Israel] has   group, called for a probe into Eli-
to pain them to the point where         yahu’s remarks.
they scream ‘Enough,’ to the point

                                                   Remembering the Nakba ….. 2
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                                                   Neocon coup backfires ......… 12           TIME-DATED MATERIAL – DO NOT DELAY                             Permit No. 620
                                                   Crucifying Reverend Wright … 13
                                                   Lizards above humans ..........…14
                                                   Arabs Launch Viva Tennis ….... 16
                                                   Palestinian Stand-up …............. 23
                                                   Israel appoints war criminal …. 25
                                                   End US aid to Israel? …............. 27
2 April 2008                                                                            EDITORIAL                                                             THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

                                                       Remembering the Nakba
  The Independent Monitor

           In Memory of
                                                                                                   stand him in the bathtub, holding to the        weapon. You can lose all your property and
                                                                                                   rails and give him a nice warm bath despite     belonging, but you will never lose educa-
                                                                                                   his protestations. While cleaning him, I re-    tion once you acquire it!”
                                                                                                   flected on the fact that I just graduated
                                                                                                   from changing my toddler children’s dia-        One question continues to perplex my
                                                                                                   pers and saw myself as an inseparable link      mind is why did my father in 1967 choose
                                                                                                   between my father and my children.              me—out of six siblings—when I was 11
                                                                                                                                                   (when Israel occupied the West Bank and
                                                                                                   Born in Ramallah, Palestine before the dis-     Gaza) to be his assistant when he buried
                                                                                                   covery of penicillin, my father was the sole    deep in the ground his treasured old cop-
                                                                                                   survivor of his eight siblings who, except      ies of his newspaper Sawt Al-Sharq for
     Bishara Costandi Al-Mashni                                                                    for my father, all succumbed at very young      fear that the Israelis will hurt him if they
               1908-1999                                                                           age to common childhood diseases.               discovered them. I never asked him that
  Publisher of Sawt Al-Sharq Arabic-                                                                                                               question and it only occurred to me after
         Spanish Newspaper                                                                          At age 16, my father taught English for the    his death.
   Cuba, Havana, circa 1930–1949                                                                    Catholic archdiocese in remote villages in
    “Teach Your Children Reading,                         By Sami Bishara Mashney                   Jordan. A few years later, like many others    Unlike the majority of Palestinians, my
   Writing and Mastery of the Media”                     For The Independent Monitor               pursuing a livelihood, he immigrated to         father was one of the lucky ones who did
                                                                April 12, 2008                     Havana, Cuba where he remained there for        not lose their homes and property when
     501 N. Brookhurst St., Suite 306                                                              24 years. In Cuba, he worked in the textile     the Zionists occupied Palestine in 1948 and
       Anaheim, CA 92801-5226                                                                      industry and published an Arabic-Spanish        1967 till today and perpetrated the Nakba
        877.535.8555 Telephone
          714.612.0157 Mobile                      “Daddy, daddy, seedo (grandpa) died,            newspaper called Sawt Al-Sharq (voice of        on us.
         714.535.7263 Facsimile                    seedo died!”                                    the orient).                                                                                                                 Growing up in Ramallah, I saw with my
                        These were the pleading words, excitedly        His writings in the 1940s were critical and     own eyes the Laji’een (refugees), who fled
                                                   uttered in March 1999 by my very young          premonitional of the Zionist scheme to          their homes and orange groves fearing the
                 PUBLISHER                         daughter and son, frantically running to-       steel Palestine from the Palestinians. In       advancing Zionist terrorist groups who
        PERCEPTIONS SYSTEMS PUBLISHING             wards me, as I exited my car with a gallon      1948, the Zionists violently stole Palestine.   committed several massacres to scare the
                                                   of milk for them to drink which I just pur-     This is known as the Nakba (the catastro-       Palestinians to flee Palestine and leave
                                                   chased from the nearby grocery store.           phe). As a direct result of the Nakba, the      it to the Zionists to selfishly have it for
                                                                                                   majority of Palestinians were transformed       themselves alone to create their racist “Jew-
                                                   My father Bishara Mashni (seedo) lived          from comfortable landowners to penniless        ish” state when the world is moving away
               CHIEF EDITOR                        with us in Anaheim, CA after a long             dispossessed refugees.                          from Apartheid and racism. The refugees
            SAMI BISHARA MASHNEY                   journey which started in 1908 when he                                                           arrived penniless and with only the items
                                                   was born in Ramallah, Palestine. When           In 1950, my father returned permanently         they could carry while trekking the long
                                                                                                   to Ramallah, Palestine and married my           torturous journey on foot with their chil-
              DEPUTY EDITOR                        my father’s health deteriorated, the doctor
             RASHAD AL-DABBAGH                     wanted to transfer him to a “skilled nursing    mother. They had six children. From that        dren, elderly, the sick, etc.
                                                   facility.” I was skeptical and I asked a few    point on, he once again taught English in
                                                   questions. I was assured that it is not a bad   Palestine and Jordan and also worked as an      Whenever I think of my father, I think of
             LAYOUT DESIGN
                                                   place. So, I agreed. There, I realized that     English and Spanish translator till the late    all Palestinians who suffered much more
                1-866-233-8782                     this was a nursing home where powerless         1970s. He educated many generations and I       than my father did, who, as children, had
                                                   unwanted humans are warehoused like             met many people who, after knowing who I        to sell sticks of gum and Aspirin tablets in
       CONTRIBUTING EDITORS                        chattel. The eyes and facial expressions of     am, told me that my father taught them.         the streets to make ends meet, who could
               MICHAEL GILLESPIE                                                                                                                   not afford to go school and had to meni-
                                                   the employees were cold, loveless and even      As a young child, I was continuously very
                NOOR HIGLEY                                                                                                                        ally work as ‘Attaals (human carriers), and
                                                   maniacal. The residents lacked power, love      sick for four years. My mother tells me that
                                                   and affection. They depended totally on                                                         carry on their bodies other people’s grocer-
              STAFF WRITERS                                                                        whenever I had to see a doctor, my father       ies for a few piasters to feed their children
              MICHAEL GILLESPIE                    the non-existent affection of the employ-       will carry me on his back and walks for 12
                                                   ees. I told my wife Manal that I will not                                                       and elderly.
             ANN PERKINS-PARROTT                                                                   miles to the nearest doctor.
             RASHAD AL-DABBAGH                     leave my father there and will transport                                                        These people suffered much more than
                DAVE AOSSEY                        him to my home even if he dies in my car.       We all love our parents and I do too. My        my dad and many died without being
                 SAMIR TWAIR                       She agreed. Then, I literally carried my fa-    father had a reputation of unmitigated          respected, loved and surrounded by loved
                 SARAH PRICE                       ther to my car with his oxygen tank in tow      honesty. My mother told me that once, af-
                VANESSA ZUABI
                                                                                                                                                   ones. No Nakba movies were made about
                                                   and took him home to die of old age while       ter being paid by his employer his monthly      them like the cathartically countless Holo-
                NOOR HIGLEY                        being respected, loved and surrounded by        salary, he goes home and realizes that he       caust movies made by the same people who
                                                   my mother, sister, daughter-in-law, grand-      was inadvertently overpaid ten Jordanian        supported and continue to shamelessly
               GHASSAN RUBEIZ
                                                   children and myself.                            dinars. So, he immediately takes a taxi to      support the Nakba visited upon us by the
                DAVE AOSSEY                                                                        his employer and returns the overpay-           Apartheid Jewish state. History is yet to be
                                                   Before he died, he spent a few months with      ment.
                 FRANK SCOTT                                                                                                                       written and Zionists will be hunted down
               MICHAEL GILLESPIE
                                                   us. I installed in his room handrails which
                                                   he grabbed on to walk around. When he                                                           tomorrow like Nazis have been and are be-
                                                                                                   My father instilled in us the value of educa-
                                                   lost his bowel control, I used to immedi-                                                       ing hunted now. Stay tuned!
               CARTOONIST                                                                          tion and always told me that “education is a
                KHALIL BENDIB                      ately clean him up. Every Sunday, I would
                CARLOS LATUFF

               WEB MASTER
                 NADER TAWIL

             RASHAD AL-DABBAGH


           MEDIA IS POWER!
 The Independent Monitor is the National
 Newspaper of Arab Americans. It provides
 an independent forum for Arab Americans
 and friends. All opinions expressed in The
 Independent Monitor are those of the individual
 authors and are not necessarily those of The
 Independent Monitor, its publisher or staff.
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                        COMMUNITY                                                                        April 2008   3

  ADC Welcomes Dania                                                             Ferial Masry runs for
  Shami, Legal Advisor                                                           California Assembly
                                                                                                                            American, is running again for
                                                                                                                            California’s 37th Assembly Dis-
                                                                                                                            trict seat in 2008.
                                                                                                                                However, her opponent
                                                                                                                            David Hare of Camarillo suc-
                                                                                                                            cessfully blocked a local pre-
                                                                                                                            convention     recommendation
                                                                                                                            that the party endorse New-
                                                                                                                            bury Park schoolteacher Ferial
                                                                                                                                Masry, who was the party’s
                                                                                                                            endorsed-nominee in 2004 and
    WASHINGTON, DC – The            the Nationalities Services Center                                                       2006, fell just short of the 60 per-
American-Arab Anti-Discrimina-      in Philadelphia representing pri-                                                       cent threshold needed to secure
tion Committee (ADC) is pleased     marily refugees and asylum seek-                                                        an endorsement. That means
to welcome Ms. Dania Shami, JD,     ers. She revived and was President                                                      that the party cannot contribute
as Legal Advisor. Ms. Shami, who    of the Muslim Law Student’s As-                                                         money to either candidate or
is fluent in Arabic, has a BS in    sociation at Temple which raised                                                        mention a preferred candidate
Finance and a BA in Government      over $1000 for Hurricane Katrina                                                        on mailers sent to Democratic
and Politics from the University    victims through a Fast-A-Thon.            In the 2004 election Ferial Masry             voters.
of Maryland. In 2007, Ms. Shami     Additionally, she was an intern       was a write-in candidate in the Prima-
                                                                          ry! But, even so, Ferial qualified in the       If you would like to make contri-
graduated from the Temple Uni-      with the Education and Outreach                                                   bution by check, please make the check
versity Beasley School of Law.      department at ADC in 2000.            Primary because of those who believed
                                                                          in her! They were energized and their       payable to:
    While at Temple, she was            To report an incident of          energy was contagious! Over 40% of          Friends of Ferial Masry
a member of the Temple Interna-     discrimination, contact ADC’s         the voters who got to know Ferial voted     2008 Committee
tional and Comparative Law Jour-    Legal Department. You may re-         for her in the General Election.            1212 S Victory Blvd.
nal. She also participated in the   port an incident online at: http:                                                 Burbank, CA 91502
Temple Law Immigration clinic at    //            Ferial Masry, a Saudi-born Arab-

                                                              Sam Rasoul becomes
                                                              presumptive nominee
                                                  House of Representatives.                   lived victory only to guarantee sure
                                                 – Drew Richardson            The seat is held by Republican          defeat for the party and myself in
                                                 described a need for     Congressman Bob Goodlatte.                  November.”
                                                 party unity Thursday                                                     By pulling out of the race, Ri-
                                                 when he announced            “Nevertheless, it has become
                                                                          obvious to me over the last many            chardson said he will allow Rasoul
                                                 that he will no longer                                               to begin his general election cam-
                                                 seek the Democratic      weeks that my opponent has won
                                                                          the support of a majority of our            paign against Goodlatte a month
                                                 nomination in a race                                                 or two earlier than he might have
                                                 for U.S. Congress.       party’s activists and perhaps had
                                                                          done so prior to my entry into the          been able to do before.
                                                     Both Richardson      race,” Richardson wrote in a state-             “I congratulate the presump-
                                                 and challenger Sam       ment. “If I were to continue with           tive nominee, Mr. Rasoul, and
                                                 Rasoul      previously   my campaign I have concluded,               wish him and his supporters well
                                                 announced         they   even if I were to be successful, the        and good luck over the coming
                                                 would run for the 6th    win could badly divide our party.           months,” Richardson said.
                                                 Congressional dis-       I personally would be left with, at
                                                 trict seat of the U.S.   best, merely having won a short-
4 April 2008                                                          COMMUNITY                                                                         THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

    National Arab                                                                   AAI Delivers Letter to
 American Service Day                                                                Condoleezza Rice
     Serving Communities, Con-        Arab-American commitment to                   Regarding American
                                                                                         Entry into
          necting People              serving their local communities.
            MAY 17. 2008                  For more information about
    The National Arab-American        starting a service project in your
Service Day is an annual event        city, or joining in on a project
sponsored by NNAAC. The Serv-         already planned, contact Arwa                   Occupied Palestine                               The letter notes that this mat-
ice Day fosters leadership and        Algharazi at 313-843-2844 or aalg                                                            ter has been brought to the atten-
community engagement through                                                                   tion of the Department of State
                                                                                      WASHINGTON – March 17,                       several times over the past thirty
volunteerism and service. Hun-                                                    2008 – The Arab American In-
dreds of Arab Americans around                                                                                                     years. In spite of official measures
                                                                                  stitute (AAI) sent a letter to Sec-              promised by the Israeli govern-
the country join together with                                                    retary of State Condoleezza Rice
their friends and family to serve                                                                                                  ment, “documented cases indicate
                                                                                  on Friday expressing continued                   that, in practice, procedures used
those outside of the Arab Ameri-                                                  concern over the treatment of
can community.                                                                                                                     to determine which Americans
                                                                                  Americans attempting to legally                  may enter remain discriminatory,
    The mission of the National                                                   enter Occupied Palestine by the                  abusive, and internationally un-
Arab-American Service Day is to                                                   Government of Israel. The letter,                lawful.”
foster and encourage volunteerism                                                 signed by 29 organizations, states
and service among diverse com-                                                    the signatories’ concern regarding                   AAI and the American-Arab
munities, build bridges and con-          Last year’s Arab American Service Day   the ongoing burdensome bureau-                   Anti-Discrimination Committee
nect people through the common           in the city of Hamtramck, Michigan       cratic requirements, harassment,                 (ADC) held a conference call for
experience of service and highlight                                               and humiliation that Americans of                reporters on Wednesday, March
                                                                                  Arab, and particularly Palestinian,              19 regarding the letter, the broader
                                                                                  descent often face when trying to                issues surrounding the difficulties
                                                                                  enter Israel or Occupied Palestine.              our citizens face, and next steps to
                                                                                  Many Americans of Palestinian                    resolve this issue. Dr. James Zogby,
                                                                                  descent have deep ties and family                President of AAI, and Kareem
                                                                                  connections to the region, ties that             Shora, National Executive Direc-
                                                                                  are in jeopardy because of these                 tor of ADC, led the teleconference
                                                                                  procedures.                                      discussion.

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THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                    COMMUNITY                                                                       April 2008   5

      UCLA Honor Student Elias Ibrahim Dies in
                  Pool Accident
                                           cue him.                                    to him by an uncle.                        ate the presence of Palestinians. Today
                                               He was buried March 17 in the city          During the moving two-hour             the site is called Mexico Park for the
                                           of Colton. After a family dinner in the     ceremony, Elias’ father said his son       trees planted and paid for by Mexican
                                           Riverside home of his uncle, Dr. Mo-        was a vegetarian because he objected       Jews.
                                           hammed Ibrahim, the extended family         to the slaughter of animals for human           In 1956, Ahmed immigrated to
                                           drove to the candlelight ceremony at        consumption. He wanted to help Third       the U.S. and over the years, Aisheh
                                           UCLA, the alma mater of his uncle,          World people by serving in Doctors         and eight of their nine children fol-
                                           Prof. Mahmood Ibrahim.                      Without Borders after completing           lowed. Despite the chaos, turmoil and
                                               Professors, student activists, Theta    medical studies.                           financial depravation of losing their
                                           Chi fraternity brothers and family              Although only one year younger         home and land, the second generation
                                           members offered emotional testimo-          than Elias, his sister Diana, a junior     of nakba Ibrahims numbers, three phy-
                                           nies about Elias who was readily recog-     majoring in premed studies at the Uni-     sicians, a university professor, chemist,
                                           nizable on campus for his effervescent      versity of California Riverside, looked    accountant, two restaurant owners and
                                           smile, curly, shoulder-length hair and      up to him as a best friend and confi-      a businessman.
                                           the bicycle he rode to save time for get-   dante. His brothers, Yassin, 11, and           At the memorial service, mourners
                                           ting to classes and meetings.               Zacharia, 8, adored him.                   held glass candle containers bearing
                                                A founding member of Students               Elias was one                         a photo of Elias with the statement: A
             By Samir Twair                for Justice in Palestine, the charismatic   of 27 grandchil-
     For The Independent Monitor           achiever represented Abraham’s Vision,      dren of Ahmed and
                                           a dialogue group between Jewish and         Aisheh Ibrahim,
                                           Muslim students, at a February confer-      who were forcibly
    Several hundred UCLA students          ence at United Nations headquarters in      expelled by the Is-
held candlelight memorials March 14        New York.                                   raelis in mid-June
and 17 at Bruin Plaza for Elias Ibrahim,                                               1948 from their
21, son of Dr. Nizar and Tatyana Ibra-         He was an organizer of Palestine
                                           Awareness Week, a member of the Rus-        village of Jimzu
him of Riverside.                                                                      near Ramle. They
                                           sian Club, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
    Elias was to graduate with hon-        Club, Muslim Student Association and        traveled from their
ors this spring from UCLA where he         Social Justice Speaker Series.              home in Newark,
maintained a Merit Scholarship GPA,                                                    N.J. for the funeral
participated in more than 15 student            Elias was born in Russia where his     of their grandson.
organizations and was accepted in the      father was attending medical school.
                                           At the age of 2, he was reading Russian         Ahmed and
top 99 percentile to UCLA’s School of                                                  Aisheh         were
Medicine.                                  and after his parents moved to the U.S.,
                                           he was reading Arabic and English by        moved from one
    He died in the early hours of March                                                refugee camp to another in the early       candle that shines twice as bright, burns
                                           age 5. In kindergarten, he memorized                                                   only half as long along with the words
14 when he struck his forehead on the      all the bones in human and animal           years of the nakba. Their family farm-
wall of a UCLA swimming pool and                                                       lands, olive press and flour mill were     “A son, a brother, a peacemaker and a
                                           skeletons from a coloring book given                                                   friend to all…”
drowned before his friends could res-                                                  plowed under by the Israelis to obliter-

                                                                                         Arab-American Elected
                                                                                          CYD Regional Director
                                                                                           SAN JOSE – The Califor-
                                                                                       nia Young Democrats (CYD)
                                                                                       and the California College
                                                                                       Democrats (CYD) have re-
                                                                                       turned from the 2008 Cali-
                                                                                       fornia Democratic Party State
                                                                                       Convention revved up for
                                                                                       the upcoming election year
                                                                                       with a fresh board of elected
                                                                                       officers to rally California’s
                                                                                       young Democrats to bring
                                                                                       even more young voters to
                                                                                       the polls for California’s June            ple in California and across the na-
                                                                                       Primary and November General               tion are showing up to vote in record
                                                                                       Election.                                  numbers, and they’re turning out
                                                                                           Arab American Democrats’               and voting for Democrats.”
                                                                                       founder and current chair of its               “The California College Demo-
                                                                                       Orange County chapter, Rashad              crats have elected the most diverse
                                                                                       Al-Dabbagh was elected Regional            and talented slate in the history of
                                                                                       Director. In his voluntary post, Al-       our organization,” said Nick War-
                                                                                       Dabbagh will be responsible for            shaw, the newly re-elected California
                                                                                       membership recruitment, outreach           College Democrats President. “With
                                                                                       and development in three counties:         these leaders who represent the di-
                                                                                       Orange, Riverside and San Ber-             versity and passion of the students of
                                                                                       nardino.                                   our golden state, the California Col-
                                                                                           The new CYD board was elected          lege students will turn out in record
                                                                                       into office at the annual State Con-       numbers in June and in November.”
                                                                                       vention. “We have an excited group             The Arab American Democrats
                                                                                       of young leaders and we are going to       currently have two chapters char-
                                                                                       reach out to young voters, get them        tered with the California Young
                                                                                       engaged and to the polls and make          Democrats –a chapter in Orange
                                                                                       2008 the year of the young voter,”         County and another in San Fern-
                                                                                       said Rocky Fernandez, the newly            ando Valley.
                                                                                       elected CYD President. “Young peo-
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                 THE OCCUPATION                                                                        April 2008   7

          Volunteers Prepare to Set Sail to Gaza
              By Sarah Price                 to go between the two as much as they          Tentative date to set sail is August        “By receiving these grants, not only
      For The Independent Monitor            can, to bring Palestinians what they       5. They want to sail sometime between       are we recognized as being something
                                             need and bring more Europeans in to        Aug. 1-21, because that is when Europe      worthwhile to do, we’re recognized as
                                             help. But part of why they’re doing it     is on vacation, there will be a lot of      being credible.
                                             is because Israel says they don’t occupy   boats on the Mediterranean, and they            “The majority of the money we’ve
                                             Gaza anymore, and they want to chal-       may be able to get more boats to join
                                             lenge that.                                them. Also, the weather is more per-
                                                   “So we don’t need [their] permis-    mitting then, than it will be a couple of
                                             sion to come then,” she says. “We have     months later.
                                             permission from several Palestinian           “I want it to look like the storm on
                                             NGOs. We are not going through Is-         Normandy!” she says.
                                             raeli or Egyptian waters. We are going          The volunteers range in age from
                                             straight from international waters to      20-85 and come from 13 different
                                             the Port of Gaza. We are challenging       countries, including Israel and Pales-
    In August 2008, 70-100 people            Israel to stop us. They have no right
from all over the world and from all                                                    tine, with two survivors of Nakba and
                                             to stop us in international waters, and    the Holocaust. They will also carry
ages and walks of life will set sail on      we’re not going to let them board us if
the Mediterranean Sea. But this is no                                                   10-12 journalists and documentarians
                                             they try.”                                 from around the world. They currently
summer vacation outing; it’s a mission
of mercy.                                       They are, however, considering          have 70 volunteers on the list, most of
                                             what Israel might do.                      whom are veterans of human rights ac-                     Greta Berlin
     Led by activist Greta Berlin, the                                                  tivism and have been there before. But
volunteers will sail the 20-hour journey         “We have had a committee for the                                                   gotten has been from the non-Arab
                                             past year, that does nothing but work      a lot will depend on how many boats
from Cyprus to Gaza to bring humani-                                                    they can get and how many people the        community,” she adds. “We think it’s
tarian and medical aid to Palestinians.      on contingencies. Other organiza-                                                      mostly because they don’t really know
                                             tions, like Greenpeace, have been very     boats can hold. Money is another is-
     “We’re going to go between Cyprus                                                                    sue.                      we’re doing it. Once they do, we think
                                             helpful with                                                                           they’ll be very helpful.”
and Gaza as much as we can,” says            it – bringing                                                     “We’ve       got
Berlin. “We have 4 doctors on board,         up problems                                                   about $70,000 raised          Berlin, who was shot in the leg by
and some want to stay and work at the        and solutions                                                 but we need about        Israeli soldiers in 2003, while trying to
clinics and hospitals. Others will stay to   we wouldn’t                                                   $250,000.    People      tear down the apartheid wall near Jenin
help the fishermen and schools.”             think of.”                                                    can donate through       with the International Solidarity Move-
    This is not their first attempt to                                                                     the website (http://     ment, is not deterred by the crises she
                                                  They be-                                                                          knows she could face on this mission.
make this journey: “We were supposed         lieve they are                                      ,
to go last summer, and then Hamas            more likely to                                                and it is set up as          “People don’t understand that
took over and then all our support was       use sabotage,                                                 a nonprofit organi-      once you feel it, the calling to Palestine
withdrawn. Within two days we lost           like planting                                                 zation now, so the       doesn’t go away. It haunts you and no
all our funding, because they didn’t         bombs        or                                               donations are a tax      circumstance is scary enough to keep
want to be affiliated with Hamas, and        arms on their boats, than an outward       write-off.”                                 you away,” she explains. “I’d rather die
thought their support would mean they        attack at sea, so they will have people        Most of the donations have come         in Gaza, doing something that’s impor-
were.”                                       with them who are solely there to in-      from human rights grants, which is          tant to me, than safe at home in front of
    Their intent is to set up a ferry        spect volunteers, equipment and ves-       encouraging to her.                         my TV, watching Law & Order.”
service between Cyprus and Gaza, and         sels before anyone boards.

                Untold Stories of the Nakba: Nina
                         Bazouzi Cullers
                                             cation, no matter the cost. When the       to their home across town, Cullers and      Palestinian society in 1948 and the
                                             disaster that was the Zionist’s aggres-    her family moved to Bethlehem. After        exile of more than 700,000 Palestinians
                                             sion unexpectedly came, it shattered all   finishing school herself, Cullers taught    from their homes and homeland. It is
                                             their hopes and dreams.”                   fellow refugees at schools in the Dhe-      estimated that more than 50 percent
                                                 On January 5, 1948, Cullers’ world     isheh refugee camp. In the mid-1960s,       were driven out under direct military
                                             was wrenched apart when the nearby         she went to study in Lebanon and            assault by Israeli troops. Others fled
                                             Hotel Semiramis was blown up by            graduated just as the 1967 war broke        in panic as news spread of massacres
                                             the Haganah, a Zionist militia, killing    out. Because she was not in the West        in Palestinian villages like Deir Yassin
                                             20 people. “It terrorized our neigh-       Bank when Israel occupied it, she was       and Tantura. Nearly half the Palestin-
                                             borhood and sent a number of our           not allowed to return - separating her      ian refugees had fled by May 14, 1948,
                                             neighbors fleeing,” says Cullers. “We      from her family and making her a refu-      when Israel declared its independence
                                             stayed hoping that things would calm       gee for the second time.                    and the Arab states entered the fray.
                                             down soon. Before they left, many of            Cullers came to the U.S. on a              Israel depopulated more than 450
                                             our neighbors gave my father the keys      church-sponsored speaking tour and          Palestinian towns and villages, destroy-
                                             to their homes and asked him to look       ended up staying - teaching school in       ing most while resettling the remainder
 Nakba survivor Nina Bazouzi Cullers
                                             after their properties.”                   Maryland, marrying her husband in           with new Jewish immigrants without
                                                  Things did not calm down, how-        1970 and having four children. She is       regard to Palestinian rights and desires
    IMEU, Mar 26, 2008 – For four                                                       now retired and lives in Virginia. Cull-    to return to their homes. Israel still
months in 1948, 11-year-old Nina             ever. After a series of other bombings
                                             in the neighborhood and the massacre       ers feels it is important for Americans     refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to
Bazouzi Cullers huddled in her grand-                                                   to know what happened to her and            return to their homes and to pay them
mother’s basement in the Old City            of more than 100 Palestinians in the
                                             village of Deir Yassin, Cullers and her    hundreds of thousands of other Pales-       compensation, as required by interna-
of Jerusalem, hoping to return to her                                                   tinians. “Many Americans are unaware        tional law.
nearby home which she had fled, fear-        family went to live in her grandmoth-
                                             er’s basement. “We had very little time    of what the Zionists did to the innocent         Today, there are more than 4 mil-
ing for her life.                                                                       Palestinians,” she says. “The US contin-
                                             to think about what to take with us,”                                                  lion registered Palestinian refugees
    Cullers was one of three children        she explains. “My father rolled up two     ues to support Israel regardless of the     worldwide. The Nakba is a root cause
of Greek Orthodox parents living in          oriental rugs, to help insulate us from    fact that Israel has defied UN resolu-      of the ongoing conflict between Israel
the affluent Katamon suburb in west          the dampness, and a kerosene heater.       tions and international law. Americans      and the Palestinians. Israel’s denial of
Jerusalem. “My parents were both from        That was all that we took from our         need to hear from survivors of the          its expulsion of the Palestinians and
the Old City in Jerusalem,” Cullers          home. The Zionists then captured our       Nakba, just as the world has heard and      seizure of their homes and properties
says. “After they got married in 1935,       area along with most of Palestine.”        continues to hear from the survivors of     for Jewish use continues to inflict pain
they had hopes of living comfortably in                                                 the Holocaust.”                             and to generate resistance among Pal-
a nice residential area. Their main hope        After four months in her grand-
                                             mother’s basement, hoping to return           The “Nakba” (“catastrophe” in            estinians today.
was to give their children the best edu-                                                Arabic) refers to the destruction of
8 April 2008                                                     THE OCCUPATION                                                       THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

American activist beaten Jenin Arab-American
 and arrested by Israeli University Under Siege
   occupation forces
                                                                                     JENIN,      Occupied     Palestine         Israeli forces “set up barriers and
    Blake Murphy, an American                                                   (Palestine News Network) – On March         aircraft began flying low and soldiers
activist working with the Interna-                                              24th, Israeli forces have besieged the      were jumping out. Dozens of soldiers
tional Solidarity Movement (ISM)                                                Arab-American University near Jenin         are in the neighboring mountains.
in the West Bank, was beaten and                                                City. Students are appealing for help.      All faculty, students and staff are
arrested by Israeli army and po-                                                     Via telephone, Student Council         forbidden to move. They have spread
lice forces on March 14, 2008. He                                               Member, Murad Abu Rabb is                   themselves throughout every corner
now faces a series of evidently false                                           asking that humanitarian and media          of campus.”
charges from the Israeli authorities                                            institutions intervene to lift the              A brother and sister were in the
due to his work supporting non-                                                 siege. “The presence in such density        roads nearby and instead of passing
violent resistance to the occupa-            Blake Murphey arrested             on the campus and neighboring               home were held for hours under
tion in Palestine and is due to be                                              area is unprecedented. Helicopters          interrogation, reported their father
deported to the United States in the                                            are circling overhead and they are          Khalid Kamil.
immediate future.                       his trial. While in custody, Blake      launching flare bombs.
                                        has been denied a translator in                                                         In an adjacent village Israeli
    While in custody Blake has had      court, he has been brought before           Israeli forces have arrested at least   soldiers used dogs and explosives
many of his legal rights abused by                                              30 students, while 10 others students       inside homes, forcing several families
                                        a judge without his lawyer being
the Israeli authorities. Blake was                                              and staff are still unable to leave the     outside. They were also blowing
                                        informed, and he has been made to
arrested during the weekly dem-                                                 besieged student housing buildings.         up water wells, as reported by
                                        appear for a trial that was cancelled
onstration in the village of Bi’lin,                                            “We expect them to break down the           eyewitnesses.
                                        without him being informed.             doors at any moment.”
where the separation wall annexes                                                                                               Journalists were unable to get
much of the Palestinian villages             Blake Murphy had been work-            All roads in the area are closed,       close, while one photographer was
land. Blake was picked out of the       ing for the last 8 and a half months    while hundreds of residents, students       severely beaten. All were threatened
demonstration by the Israeli forces,    in Occupied Palestine with the          and staff re unable to move. Director       with arrest and beatings if they did
violently assaulted, with pepper        ISM. For over 6 months he was           of Public Relations for the University,     not leave, including reporters from
spray put in his eyes before being      working as the media coordina-          Jamal Sana, said that the siege on his      Reuters and Al Jazeera.
taken off and subsequently ar-          tor for the ISM and was therefore       building began “abruptly at 3:00 am.”
rested.                                 highly involved in supporting
                                        Palestinian non-violent resistance
    Blake Murphy had to be taken

                                                                                  Al-Nakba: 60 Years of
                                        toward the occupation. It is for this
to hospital due to his injuries         reason that he was targeted by the
caused by the soldiers. He ap-          Israeli authorities.

peared in court on March 15, and
at that time the judge prolonged             The International Solidarity
his detention until March 18. He        Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-
was then told that he would have        led non-violent resistance move-
                                                                                     Al-Nakba, the catastrophe of the       to go back home according to UN
to reappear in court on March 18,       ment committed to ending Israel’s       Palestinian people who were ethnically      Resolution 194 (The Right of Return),
only to be told that this was not the   illegal occupation of Palestine. The    cleansed from their homes, lands, and       The Geneva Conventions regarding
case, after spending 8 hours of that    ISM calls for full compliance with      villages by the Zionists before and         refugees, and other Internationally
day locked in a room meant for          all relevant UN resolutions and in-     after the creation of the State of Israel   Recognized Laws! Now after more
8along with 15 others waiting for       ternational law.                        on May 15th 1948! More than 750,000         than 57 years, the Refugees are still
                                                                                Palestinians were made homeless             living in camps while Israel continues
                                                                                refugees, forced to live in inhumane        to ignore countless UN Resolutions. In
                                                                                conditions and squalid refugee camps        fact, till this very day, Israel continues
                                                                                that were set up by the UN. These           to create yet more homeless refugees
                                                                                refugee camps were only supposed            in Palestine, some for the 3rd and 4th
                                                                                to serve as a “temporary” solution          time in their lives!
                                                                                until the refugees were permitted
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                             THE OCCUPATION                                                                     April 2008     9

             Deaths of four “terrorists”

      Palestinian mourners attend the funeral of four fighters in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 13 March 2008, after undercover Israeli commandos drove into the
                                          city the previous evening and assassinated the four. (Luay Sababa/MaanImages

             By JR Malsin                the funeral.                              Palestinians have splintered, rag-         ism” have in Israel, indeed in any
                                              The assassinations had re-           tag bands of armed men defend-             country. At the moment that un-
                                         sulted in a moment of terror, and         ing their territory.                       dercover Israeli forces opened fire
    BETHLEHEM,            Occupied                                                                                            in a busy street in Bethlehem, the
Palestine – Few other words shut         then sadness. Shehadah and his                 One could argue that with acts
                                         comrades had visited my office            of “terrorism,” there is no clearly        attack affected terror. In general,
down critical thought as com-                                                                                                 the shooting generated a sense of
pletely as the word “terrorist.”         hours before they were killed.            defined battlefield, and that Isra-
                                         Their cousins are my coworkers.           el’s only choice is to assassinate         unease, anxiety and fear.
Few other labels are so morally
loaded, so totalizing, so antitheti-     After speaking to those who knew          Palestinian fighters whenever it                Sirens screamed and phones
cal to reasoned, measured debate.        them, my impression is that they          has the chance.                            lit up as families checked on their
Almost no other term evokes such         were decent people, activists who,             This argument, however, is            loved ones. The four men were
facile, muddled thinking.                their tactics aside, took extraordi-      weak, and is predicated on a lack          fathers, brothers, sons and neigh-
                                         nary risks to fight for the ideal of      of respect for the rule of law. If         bors. Whether they are labeled re-
    Thus, after a local leader of        freedom.                                                                             sistance fighters or terrorists, their
Islamic Jihad and three other                                                      there is a criminal case against
                                              Three of the men were mem-           a group of terrorists, they ought          deaths are an undeniable trauma
Palestinian “terrorists” have been                                                                                            for the community in which
killed by Israeli special forces in      bers of Islamic Jihad, and one,           to be arrested and tried, not mur-
                                         Ahmad Balboul, was an activist            dered in the street. At best, the          they were embedded through an
Bethlehem on Wednesday night,                                                                                                 unavoidable web of relationships.
12 March, few outside of Palestine       with the armed wing of Fatah, the         killings were an act of extrajudi-
                                         al-Aqsa Brigades.                         cial assassination, illegal under          A colleague, a journalist who
will mourn their deaths.                                                                                                      covered Shehadah’s activities for
                                              No “civilians” were killed,          Article Three of the Fourth Ge-
    In the eyes of many in Israel,                                                 neva Convention.                           years, told me, “It is like a novelist
Europe, and North America, an-           making the attack, by some ac-                                                       losing one of the biggest heroes in
other menace has been eliminated.        counts, a pinpoint assassination.              Then there is the political           his story.”
Mohammad Shehadah, Issa Mar-             Indeed, if all four were members          context. Israel chose to kill these
                                         of “terrorist” organizations, what        four men at the precise moment                  Rather than stop attacks
zouq, Imad al-Kamel, and Ahmad                                                                                                against Israel, the Bethlehem
Balboul will likely be remembered        is so bad about their deaths?             when the violence was beginning
                                                                                   to ease. Palestinian and Israeli           shooting has already caused the
as murderous scum.                            First, there are the circum-                                                    opposite. The momentary lull in
                                         stances of the attack. These men          negotiators, judging by the infor-
    In Palestine, however, and in                                                  mation that has leaked out of the          violence is over. Islamic Jihad re-
Bethlehem in particular, these           were fighters, but they were not                                                     sponded by launching a barrage
                                         in a combat situation at the time.        meetings, were on the verge of
men, and the event of their deaths,                                                reaching a ceasefire. The rocket           of projectiles on the areas around
will be remembered differently.          They were sitting in a car, waiting                                                  the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian-
                                         for their dinner. The Israeli special     attacks from Gaza had all but
    I had just sat down at a res-                                                  stopped. Hours before the assas-           sponsored ceasefire talks appear
                                         forces drove up, disguised as Pal-                                                   to be moot, and Israel is back on
taurant down the street from             estinian civilians, and opened fire       sination, Hamas leader Ismail
my Bethlehem office when the                                                       Haniyeh had once again extended            war footing. Palestinian Authority
                                         without warning.                                                                     President Mahmoud Abbas will
shooting took place. My phone                                                      his offer for a truce.
began to ring; friends, some with             They did not even have the                                                      come under even more pressure to
                                         chance to move. Their bullet-rid-              Israel responded, apparently          withdraw from negotiations with
voices trembling, calling in the                                                   deciding to speak with bullets.
news. They described shattered           den bodies were still sitting up-                                                    Israel, for the sake of credibility
glass, a pool of blood in the street,    right when passersby pulled them               By striking deep in the ter-          among his own people.
and a car that appeared to have          from the car.                             ritory supposedly ruled by the                  Assassinations will not end
been “showered with bullets.” Af-             It was the moral equivalent of a     Palestinian Authority, the assas-          “terrorism.” Such killings will only
ter scribbling notes on a napkin,        team of Palestinians, disguised as        sination was yet another reminder          deepen feelings of distrust and
I dropped the menu and rushed            Israelis, driving an Israeli car into     that Palestinian self-rule is an           anger among Palestinians towards
back to my office. Grown men             Tel Aviv and gunning down four            illusion. More importantly, for            Israel. It is my belief that only a
were shouting, on the edge of            off-duty Israeli soldiers.                Palestinians, the attack resulted in       negotiated political agreement, in
weeping, while I frenziedly typed.                                                 a moral sense of violation, of one’s       accordance with international law,
                                              But even straightforward             home being invaded, one’s family
    Bethlehem was eerily deserted        statements of equivalence such as                                                    will resolve this conflict. It is just
                                                                                   murdered.                                  such an agreement that, I fear, be-
the following Thursday and Fri-          this have limitations. While a Pal-
day, the result of a general strike      estinian attempting such an attack             Aside from the moral and              came an even more distant possi-
called in honor of the dead. The         in Israel would surely face death,        political ramifications of assas-          bility after that Wednesday night.
faded green doors of the shops           the Israeli commandos were fer-           sination, there is the effect that              JR Malsin is a Jewish American
were shuttered. Earlier on Thurs-        ried safely out of Bethlehem by           Wednesday night’s attack had out-          Journalist. He is an editor at the
day, tens of thousands had stood         their military forces. Israel, with       side of all ethical calculus.              Palestinian Ma’an News Agency in
shoulder to shoulder in Manger           its powerful conventional army,                The attack had the same effect        Bethlehem.
Square, under the midday sun, for        is still occupying Palestinian land.      in Bethlehem that “acts of terror-
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                   THE OCCUPATION                                                                        April 2008   11

                       Palestine Land Day:
             Time for reflection and demonstration
    March 30, 2008 – For Palestin-           the road, shouting from their
ian Land Day, some just walked               cars, leering. Jeeps stopped, as did
on the land, did not really dem-             larger APCs. And this was after the
onstrate, but instead took in the            demonstration. No one was left but
air, reflected, watched the subtle           me and the woman with her small
steps of the hills.                          children.
    For others it was a day to shout             I talked to kids with their
at occupation forces and hold non-           sheep; two of them were about 13
violent demonstrations. In Umm               years old. They were so kind in just
Salamuna, between Hebron and                 two moments of interaction.
Bethlehem in the southern West                   My grandfather was a farmer.
Bank, there was demonstration                He had cows for milk and corn.
of between 150 and 200 people                I watch this land and remember
around 1:00 pm, the number esti-             him.
mated by residents.
                                                 Palestinian Land Day is to
    I walked with a friend from              mark both the loss of the land to
Umm Salamuna. He told me that                Israeli confiscation, but also the
Israeli soldiers had arrived at 7:00         sacredness it holds for the people,
am and began blocking the roads.             and the steadfastness of those who
“They put up rolls of barbed wire.           remain the original inhabitants of
You could get in, but you couldn’t           historic Palestine, and all that that
get out.”                                    entails.
    Another woman who I did                      Throughout the West Bank
not know before, also from Umm               demonstrations were held for
Salamuna, walked with me and                 Land Day, and tomorrow more
her three little kids before sending         are planned. Al Khader has plans
two to their grandparent’s house.            for tomorrow. Al Walajah near the
“Are you afraid?” She asked me as            Cremisan Winery will be dem-
a larger than usual jeep pulled up           onstrating on Friday. Yesterday
in front of us. “No,” I answered             Tulkarem held a cultural festival
plaintively. She laughed. She was            in honor of the Day, which really
not afraid either.                           becomes a week of remembering
    Settlers drove up and down               where one comes from.

                         Seven Days of “Disney Magic”
           By Tammy Obeidallah               a six-month old baby nearly torn apart             I could put off educating and            all, it was “for the kids” and it was “my
                 Staff Writer                during a nightly missile strike by the        explaining the hideous truths in this         mom’s money.” At least that is what I
                                             Israeli Air Force. I had seen images          world to my children. When they are           keep telling myself.
                               All     my    of the children in hospitals suffering        older, I will explain it to them. But
                       friends and fam-                                                                                                        Then I realized it is all about
                                             without medicine and surgeons trying          hearing their happy shouts as yet an-         choice. Being geographically far re-
                       ily know I would      to perform by candlelight. People were        other animal wandered past on our
                       die of caffeine                                                                                                   moved from Gaza, I get to choose the
                                             starving.                                     Animal Kingdom safari, or seeing them         amount of time I devote to this cause.
                       withdrawal before                                                   run into the arms of Disney characters
                       I would ever set           My thoughts were interrupted as                                                        I can write two articles one month and
                                             my son bounded into the room, shriek-         or hear delighted screams as they rode        then disappear for two months in favor
                       foot in Starbucks.                                                  the flying Dumbos again, I was glad.
                       They know I go        ing, “Are we going to Magic Kingdom                                                         of “other things.”
                       through life with a   tomorrow?”                                         Glad that they didn’t have to hear             The people of Gaza have no such
                       less-than-perfect          “Yes,” I smiled, knowing the kids        the nightly missile attacks, the tanks,       choice.
                       complexion for        had to be there by 10:30 to enjoy their       the bombs. Glad that they didn’t have
                                                                                           to know the fear that the next one                  Next month will mark the 60th
shunning make-up and skin care prod-         “character breakfast” during which                                                          anniversary of Al-Nakba. We will all
ucts such as Olay, Loreal, Estee Lauder      Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and           might hit our tiny home. Glad they
                                                                                           didn’t have to know the pain of losing        remember it in our own way. I am
and Revlon. They know I left a note          Eeyore would frolic amongst the ta-                                                         choosing to drive to New York and par-
under the windshield wiper of a van          bles.                                         a family member or a dear neighbor.
                                                                                           Glad that they didn’t have to see tiny        take in the demonstration across from
bearing the Caterpillar logo that said            The next morning I sat at the                                                          the United Nations building. I am not
“Shame on you, accomplices to mur-                                                         babies nearly ripped in half by those
                                             Crystal Palace, trying to scarf down          Israeli bullets I helped buy.                 pretending that this small sacrifice will
der.” And last but not least, they know      another Mickey Mouse waffle in be-                                                          redeem me. Taking one day off work
every time I pass one of the kiosks in       tween snapping pictures of my kids                 Yes, it was selfish. I am still strug-   and driving ten hours from Ohio to
the mall selling Dead Sea products, I        parading around with Tigger. Gaza was         gling with the fact that I, too, can be       New York City is nothing compared
shout, “Crime in progress--receiving         conveniently forgotten.                       selfish and stoop to the hypocrisy that I     with the humiliation and suffering Pal-
stolen property!” at potential custom-                                                     so often criticize in our politicians, our    estinians have experienced for the past
ers.                                              Out of sight and out of mind,            media and many others. And I wonder
                                             CNN was not reminding me of the                                                             60 years; it is the least I can do.
     So it was shocking to many, includ-                                                   if the occasional self-indulgent act is
                                             weeping, ululating women to remind            acceptable or even excusable? After
ing myself, when I agreed spend a week       me of what was transpiring over 8,000
at a Disney World resort in Orlando,         miles away. There was no footage of the
Florida.                                     men, angrily waving guns in the air,
     In my own defense, it wasn’t my         carrying a white, black and green and
money; my mother had been saving             red-wrapped body of a young martyr
ever since my two children were born         to a premature grave. And I didn’t have
to realize her dream of providing them       Internet access, so I couldn’t see the lat-
with seven days and six nights of “Dis-      est victim: an infant who, two months
ney Magic.” At ages five and three, now      prior to being born, had the back of his
was the perfect time to take them.           head blown out by an Israeli bullet. No
     As we were packing, Gaza–that           doubt it was made in the USA.
narrow strip of land that is home to              But that was so far removed now.
1.2 million people–was under siege.          And as much as I hate to admit it, I was
I had seen pictures on the Internet of       glad.
12 April 2008                                                                        MIDDLE EAST                                                         THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

                     Gaza ‘Bombshell’ Took a Year to Fall
                             US Coup Backfires
 By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa                leadership in Gaza.                              by revelations that
             al-Omrani                                In an article entitled ‘The Gaza            emerged in the imme-
         Inter Press Service                     Bombshell’, the magazine purports to “lay        diate wake of the Gaza
                                                 bare a covert initiative” approved by the        upset regarding a failed
      CAIRO - A recent article in Vanity         White House and implemented by the U.S.          plan to extirpate the
Fair magazine “exposing” a U.S.-planned          State Department “to provoke a Palestin-         Hamas leadership,” IPS
coup attempt against Palestinian resist-         ian civil war.”                                  reported from Cairo
ance movement Hamas last year has                                                                 on Aug. 21. “According
                                                      Relying on confidential documents           to Hamas officials, the
ignited a storm of debate about Washing-         and former administration officials,
ton’s Middle East policies. Yet for more                                                          ‘Dayton Plan’ — named
                                                 author David Rose writes that after Ha-          after U.S. General Keith
than nine months, details of the plot were       mas’s unexpected victory in the 2006
reported in the independent Arabic press                                                          Dayton — had been
                                                 Palestinian legislative elections, the U.S.      scheduled to take place
— and elsewhere — leading some observ-           administration drew up a plan to arm
ers to ask: where was the mainstream                                                              on Jul. 13.”
                                                 Fatah cadres with the aim of forcefully
media?                                           removing Hamas from power in Gaza.                    Citing        Hamas
      From the very beginning, Hamas has         Under the terms of the arrangement, Rose         spokesmen, the article
publicly insisted that what happened in          writes, Fatah received arms and financing        noted that that the
Gaza last year came in reaction to plans         through a handful of Washington’s Arab           operation “was to be
being hatched against it,” Tarek Abd al-         allies, including Egypt and Jordan.              led by Fatah-affiliated
Gaber, former news correspondent for                                                              strongman Mohamed
                                                      According to sources cited in the           Dahlan with logistical
Egyptian state television covering Israel        article, the plan was to be jointly coordi-
and the Palestinian territories, told IPS.                                                        support from the U.S.
                                                 nated by U.S. Lieutenant-General Keith           Central       Intelligence
      Hamas has been widely blamed in            Dayton and long-time Fatah strongman             Agency.”
much of the mainstream media for car-            Mohamed Dahlan.                                                                               fact that can no longer be debated.”
rying out a “violent coup” against the                                                                 The article went
                                                      But the conspiracy was stillborn. Af-       on to quote Essam al-Arian, a leading             Although the Vanity Fair article
Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Gaza           ter a Jordanian newspaper leaked details
Strip last summer. After six days of heavy                                                        member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood         serves to vindicate Hamas’s Gaza takeover,
                                                 of the plot, Hamas pre-emptively seized          movement — which controls a fifth of         Mansour went on to question the timing
fighting, Hamas wrested control of the           control of Gaza on Jun. 14 and arrested
territory from the government of PA Pres-                                                         the Egyptian parliament and is ideologi-     of its publication.
                                                 much of Fatah’s leadership throughout the        cally close to Hamas — as saying: “The so-
ident Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the U.S.-         territory.                                                                                         “Why did the media take so long to
backed Fatah movement, in mid-June.                                                               called Dayton Plan aimed to manipulate
                                                                                                  the Palestinians into waging war against     break the story?” he asked. “I suspect the
                                                      Instead of driving the Islamist group                                                    article was only published now to further
      Hamas fighters quickly seized all          from power, Vanity Fair writes, “U.S.-           each other.”
official institutions and symbols of gov-                                                                                                      aggravate the rift between Hamas and
                                                 backed Fatah fighters inadvertently                   So why, then — if details of the U.S.   Fatah and divert attention from develop-
ernance in the Gaza Strip, including the         provoked Hamas to seize total control of
presidential residence in Gaza city.                                                              plan were so readily accessible for the      ments elsewhere.”
                                                 Gaza.”                                           last nine months — are Vanity Fair’s dis-
      Declaring a state of emergency from                                                         closures being treated by the mainstream          According to Eissa, Egypt’s official
                                                      White House and State Department                                                         press has yet to mention the contentious
the Fatah-ruled West Bank, Abbas an-             officials have strenuously denied the            media as new information?
nounced the dissolution of the previous                                                                                                        Vanity Fair report.
                                                 article’s claims. Nevertheless, the Gaza              Mohamed Mansour, professor of me-
national unity government, led by Hamas-         “bombshell” has received wide coverage                                                             “Even now, the state press hasn’t re-
affiliated Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh.                                                         dia at Cairo University, says the belated
                                                 in the western news media, with several          reporting proves the overwhelming bias       ported on the Vanity Fair story,” he said,
Hamas leaders in Gaza, however, refused          commentators comparing the magazine’s                                                         noting that al-Dustour, by contrast, had
to recognise the declaration, and have re-                                                        against Hamas in much, if not all, of the
                                                 “revelations” to the Iran-Contra scandal         western media.                               published translated selections from the
mained in control of the territory.              of the 1980s, which also involved the cov-                                                    article in the first week of March.
      Most western capitals, led by Wash-        ert — and illegal — supply of arms to the             “Western media institutions do
                                                                                                  everything in their power to tarnish the          Eissa added: “Like much of the west-
ington, quickly condemned the takeover,          Middle East.                                                                                  ern media, the official Arab press would
placing blame for the dangerous turn of                                                           image of the Palestinian quest for state-
                                                      Yet according to many local observ-         hood,” Mansour told IPS. “This can only      rather ignore Hamas than publish stories
events squarely on Hamas. The refrain            ers, the existence of the so-called “Dayton                                                   that might serve to justify the resistance
was taken up by much of the western                                                               be attributed to the Zionist influence on
                                                 Plan” has been fairly well known since the       western, particularly American, media — a    group’s actions.”
media, which consistently portrayed the          upset in Gaza more than nine months
dispute as one between “extremist” Hamas         ago.

in the Gaza Strip and “moderate” Fatah in
the West Bank.                                        “Hamas has consistently and publicly
                                                 stated that what happened in June came in
      Many Arab capitals, too, denounced         reaction to the Dayton Plan, which aimed
Hamas’s seizure of the volatile territory.       at the group’s destruction,” said Ibrahim
The day after the upset, Egyptian Presi-

                                                                                                       WEDDING SERVICES
                                                 Eissa, editor-in-chief of independent daily
dent Hosni Mubarak was quoted in the             al-Dustour, which published Hamas’s al-
state press as describing what happened as       legations last summer.
“the overthrow of Palestinian legitimacy.”
                                                      “But the group’s claims received little
      “What happened in the Gaza Strip was       coverage in the mainstream Arab media
nothing less than a military coup d’etat,”
Mohamed Basyouni, former Egyptian
                                                 — even (Arabic language news channel)
                                                 al-Jazeera didn’t give the issue much at-
                                                                                                                      ADAM KHALIFA AFARA
ambassador to Israel and current head of         tention,” Eissa told IPS. “The plot allega-
the Shura (upper parliamentary) Council’s
committee for Arab affairs, told IPS at the
                                                 tions were only covered in a handful of                                       (714)855-0222
                                                 independent newspapers and on websites
time. “It was totally illegitimate.”             sympathetic to Hamas.”
      Yet in its April issue, the U.S. leisure        Abd al-Gaber agreed that Egyptian
magazine Vanity Fair makes a startling           state media wholly neglected to convey
claim: that Hamas’s takeover of the terri-       Hamas’s point of view regarding the rea-
tory was prompted by a secret U.S. plan          sons for the Gaza seizure.
aimed at extirpating the Islamist group’s
                                                      “The official press took the U.S. line
                                                 and simply blamed Hamas for every-
                                                 thing,” he said. “The White House insisted
                                                 on calling Hamas’s actions a ‘coup’ regard-
                                                 less of the circumstances, and official me-
                                                 dia — in the west and in the Arab world
                                                 — repeated this mantra.”
                                                      One notable exception to this was the
                                                 Egyptian English-language state broad-
                                                 sheet al-Ahram Weekly. In its Jun. 21 edi-
                                                 tion, only one week after the Gaza upset,
                                                 the newspaper quoted Hamas leader Yehia
                                                 Moussa at length about the failed plot.
                                                      “[U.S.-backed Fatah fighters] were
                                                 planning to carry out a bloody coup
                                                 against Hamas involving the murder of
                                                 hundreds of people, including Hamas’s
                                                 political and religious leaders,” Moussa
                                                 was quoted as saying. “But we managed to
                                                 thwart their plans before they could carry
                                                 them out.”
                                                      Nor did IPS miss the story. In August
                                                 of last year, in an article devoted to Fatah’s
                                                 declining popularity (’Bush Could Have

                                                                                                         (866) 615-0333
                                                 Given Fatah That Kiss of Death’), IPS
                                                 explicitly cited the Dayton Plan as a chief
                                                 reason for Fatah’s deteriorating image on
                                                 the Arab Street.
                                                      “Fatah’s image has also been tarnished
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                       U.S NEWS                                                                 April 2008   13
                                                        Wright writes a letter to the NY Times

The Reverend presents his thoughts on Obama and
   calls the newspaper’s editor a sensationalist
     BET News -- Controversy stem-         difference between
ming from the remarks of Sen. Barack       Shiites and Sunnis
Obama’s former reverend, Jeremiah          prior to 9/11/01
Wright has recently gotten a lot of        in the Oval Of-
attention. So much, in fact, that last     fice, but also how
week Obama was compelled to pub-           important it would
licly address race for the first time      be to have a man
during his campaign, in what some          who knew what
are hailing as an historic speech on       Sufism was; a man
race relations.                            who understood
    The Rev. Wright, though, has been      that there were
quiet through the swirl, not making        different branches
any statements publicly. But a letter      of Judaism; a man
sent earlier this month to New York        who knew the dif-
Times journalist Jodi Kantor, written      ference    between
by the pastor gives us some insight        Hasidic Jews, Or-
into his thoughts on Obama, before         thodox Jews, Con-
the release of his taped sermons.          servative Jews and
                                           Reformed      Jews;
     In the letter below, the Rev.         and a man who was
Wright, praises Obama while lighting       a devout Christian,
up the writer for saying he was “disin-    but who did not
vited” to the event where Obama an-        prejudge     others
nounced his presidency among other         because they be-
claims. “I have never been exposed to      lieved something
that kind of duplicitous behavior be-      other than what he
fore, and I want to write you publicly     believed.
to let you know that I do not approve                                                  even only) honest candidate offering       way, you do not have to worry about
of it and will not be party to any fur-         I talked about how rare it was         himself for public service as the per-     hearing anything else from me for you
ther smearing of the name, the reputa-     to meet a man whose Christianity            son to occupy the Oval Office.             to edit or “spin” because you are more
tion, the integrity or the character of    was not just “in word only.” I talked                                                  interested in journalism than in truth.
                                                                                           Your editor is a sensationalist. For
perhaps this nation’s first (and maybe     about Barack being a person who
                                                                                       you to even mention that makes me              Forgive me for having a momen-
even only) honest candidate offer-         lived his faith and did not argue his
                                                                                       doubt your credibility, and I am look-     tary lapse. I forgot that The New York
ing himself for public service as the      faith. I talked about Barack as a per-
                                                                                       ing forward to see how you are going       Times was leading the bandwagon in
person to occupy the Oval Office,” he      son who did not draw doctrinal lines
                                                                                       to butcher what else I had to say con-     trumpeting why it is we should have
wrote. He also called the newspaper’s      in the sand nor consign other people
                                                                                       cerning Senator Obama’s “Spiritual         gone into an illegal war. The New York
editor a sensationalist.                   to hell if they did not believe what he
                                                                                       Biography.” Our Conference Minister,       Times became George Bush and the
March 11, 2008                                                                         the Reverend Jane Fisler Hoffman, a        Republican Party’s national “blog.”
Jodi Kantor                                    Out of a two-hour conversation          white woman who belongs to a Black         The New York Times played a role in
The New York Times                         with you about Barack’s spiritual           church that Hannity of “Hannity and        the outing of Valerie Plame. I do not
9 West 43rd Street                         journey and my protesting to you that       Colmes” is trying to trash, set the        know why I thought The New York
New York,                                  I had not shaped him nor formed him,        record straight for you in terms of who    Times had actually repented and was
New York 10036-3959                        that I had not mentored him or made         I am and in terms of who we are as the     going to exhibit a different kind of
                                           him the man he was, even though I           church to which Barack has belonged        behavior.
                                           would love to take that credit, you did     for over twenty years.
    Dear Jodi:                                                                                                                        Maybe it was my faith in the Jew-
                                           not print any of that. When I told you,
                                                                                            The president of our denomina-        ish Holy Day of Roshashana. Maybe
     Thank you for engaging in one         using one of your own Jewish stories
                                                                                       tion, the Reverend John Thomas,            it was my being caught up in the
of the biggest misrepresentations of       from the Hebrew Bible as to how God
                                                                                       has offered to try to help you clarify     euphoria of the Season of Lent; but
the truth I have ever seen in sixty-five   asked Moses, “What is that in your
                                                                                       in your confused head what Trinity         whatever it is or was, I was sadly mis-
years. You sat and shared with me for      hand?,” that Barack was like that when
                                                                                       Church is even though you spent the        taken. There is no repentance on the
two hours. You told me you were do-        I met him. Barack had it “in his hand.”
                                                                                       entire weekend with us setting me up       part of The New York Times. There
ing a “Spiritual Biography” of Sena-       Barack had in his grasp a uniqueness
                                                                                       to interview me for what turned out to     is no integrity when it comes to The
tor Barack Obama. For two hours, I         in terms of his spiritual development
                                                                                       be a smear of the Senator; and yet The     Times. You should do well with that
shared with you how I thought he was       that one is hard put to find in the 21st
                                                                                       New York Times continues to roll on        paper, Jodi. You looked me straight in
the most principled individual in pub-     century, and you did not print that.
                                                                                       making the truth what it wants to be       my face and told me a lie!
lic service that I have ever met.                As I was just starting to say a mo-   the truth. I do not remember reading           Sincerely and respectfully yours,
    For two hours, I talked with you       ment ago, Jodi, out of two hours of         in your article that Barack had apolo-
about how idealistic he was. For two       conversation I spent approximately          gized for listening to that bad infor-         Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.,
hours I shared with you what a genu-       five to seven minutes on Barack’s           mation and bad advice. Did I miss it?                  Senior Pastor
ine human being he was. I told you         taking advice from one of his trusted       Or did your editor cut it out? Either         Trinity United Church of Christ
how incredible he was as a man who         campaign people and deeming it un-
was an African American in public          wise to make me the media spotlight
service, and as a man who refused to       on the day of his announcing his can-
announce his candidacy for President       didacy for the Presidency and what do
until Carol Moseley Braun indicated        you print? You and your editor pro-
one way or the other whether or not        ceeded to present to the general public
she was going to run.                      a snippet, a printed “sound byte” and a
     I told you what a dreamer he was.     titillating and tantalizing article about
I told you how idealistic he was. We       his disinviting me to the Invocation
talked about how refreshing it would       on the day of his announcing his can-
be for someone who knew about Islam        didacy.
to be in the Oval Office. Your own             I have never been exposed to that
question to me was, Didn’t I think it      kind of duplicitous behavior before,
would be incredible to have somebody       and I want to write you publicly to let
in the Oval Office who not only knew       you know that I do not approve of it
about Muslims, but had living and          and will not be party to any further
breathing Muslims in his own family?       smearing of the name, the reputa-
I told you how important it would be       tion, the integrity or the character of
to have a man who not only knew the        perhaps this nation’s first (and maybe
14 April 2008                                                                  U.S. NEWS                                                       THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

     Defense Lawyer Speaks at Ames, IA Peace Rally
         Lizards Above Humans at Guantanamo
                                             the      government
                                             resisted everything
                                             the defense lawyers
                                             tried to do. The
                                             first hurdle was a six
                                             month procedure to
                                             obtain the security
                                             clearance the gov-
                                             ernment demanded.
                                             Then,       Campbell
                                             was presented with a
           By Michael Gillespie              protective order that
                Staff Writer                 said if she divulged
                                             any      information
                                             about      Guantana-
     Des Moines lawyer Angela Camp-          mo she might be
bell spoke at Iowa State University on       charged with con-
March 24 about her experience repre-         tempt and treason.
senting four men detained by the Bush             “So, we went
administration at Guantanamo Bay,            ahead and signed
Cuba.                                        those papers, and I
    Campbell told an appreciative au-        went to move to en-
dience of more than 300 who gathered         ter it into my cases,
in Memorial Union’s Great Hall for the       and the govern-
                                                                                                More than 100 marched some two miles for peace.
Fifth Annual Peace Rally, March, and         ment       resisted,”
Fair that the best way to understand the     said Campbell.                                   Once Campbell and other lawyers        “His dad panics because they don’t
importance of civic justice is to hear           Even though the Supreme Court,          were able to find out the names of their    have a hospital. So he takes his little
from someone who hasn’t had any.             in Rasul v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466 (2004),      clients despite government efforts to       [identification] card [that indicates he
    “When I first got involved, what         had affirmed that the detainees had         keep even that information secret, sev-     once worked for a rebel group that had
I was expecting was to meet with ac-         the right to legal representation, the      eral of the lawyers developed a strategy.   been funded and supported by the U.S.
tual terrorists, people who had done         government decided that they didn’t. It     They decided to travel to Afghanistan       government], and he goes and finds a
something wrong, actual criminals.           took Campbell another six months to         and attempt to contact detainees’ fami-     U.S. convoy and he says, ‘Hey, I used to
I’m a criminal defense lawyer, so that       get that protective order entered over      ly members in order to obtain personal      work with you guys, and my son is dy-
prospect didn’t scare me. Everyone has       the government’s objections.                information and news from home that         ing. Can you come and help us?’
the right to due process; everyone has            “In the meantime, they had estab-      would encourage the detainees to place          “They say, ‘Yes,’ and they send some
the right to trial; everyone has the right   lished a bunch of different rules for       their trust in their lawyers.               men and a stretcher to his house and he
to know what they’re charged with, and       Guantanamo Bay. One of them was                 In Kabul, in February 2006, four        invites them into his house. They take
none of those things were happening at       that if you went down and met with          lawyers and the media representa-           Muhebullah and say they are taking
Guantanamo Bay,” said Campbell.              your client and they didn’t agree that      tive who accompanied them found             him to a hospital. The next thing he
    Campbell agreed to represent             you were their lawyer, you only got         the country too dangerous for travel.       hears from Muhebullah is a letter from
the four captives in November 2005.          three chances to convince them that         They ran an ad in local media asking        the Red Cross telling him that he is in
Because the government resisted all          they could trust you and you could be       anyone who knew detainees to come           Guantanamo Bay,” said Campbell.
motions for habeas corpus protections        their lawyer,” said Campbell.               and talk with them. Coincidentally,             Campbell also got personal infor-
for the detainees, it was almost a year           The first group of lawyers to arrive   within a few days, the first detainees      mation about Muhebullah from his
before she was able to get permission        at Guantanamo, lawyers who already          were released from Guantanamo, and          father, information about a son born
to visit Guantanamo. Eventually she          had security clearances, discovered         that stirred interest in the lawyers’ ad    only a month before he was injured in
learned that three of her clients had        something that made their jobs very         and encouraged detainees’ relatives         the air raid, a son he had not seen or
been released.                               difficult, said Campbell.                   and friends to contact the lawyers in       heard from in almost six years.
     “When I first got the cases, I                                                      Kabul.
                                                  “When all of the detainees were                                                        “He also showed me the letters that
thought it would be a pretty standard        asking for lawyers, what the military,           Campbell was able to make contact      they let them write from Guantanamo,
case. I would get to meet the client, like   on orders from the Department of            with the father of her fourth client,       which say, ‘This is a letter from your
I do in criminal defense work. I would       Justice, had done, was they had sent        a young Afghani who had been des-           son Muhebullah,’ and then all the text
get to find out what charges he was go-      in additional interrogators to say, ‘OK,    ignated by the Bush administration as       is blacked out, and then it’s signed,
ing to be charged with. None of those                                                    an enemy combatant and assigned the         ‘Muhebullah.’ Because you see eve-
                                                                                         detainee identification number 974.         rything in Guantanamo is classified,
                                                                                         His name is Muhebullah. His father,         so if he was to say something about
                                                                                         Haji Yar Muhamad, had lost an eye and       Guantanamo or about his life or his
                                                                                         a leg while a member of a U.S.-funded       treatment, that would be classified,”
                                                                                         and -supported group of fighters who        said Campbell.
                                                                                         resisted the Soviet occupation of Af-
                                                                                         ghanistan during the 1980s.                     After two years of argument about
                                                                                                                                     whether U.S. law applied in Cuba,
                                                                                              From Haji Yar Muhamad, Camp-           when the government finally allowed
                                                                                         bell learned how her client had come        her to visit Guantanamo, Campbell
                                                                                         to be captured by the U.S. military in      took the information she had gath-
                                                                                         February 2003. Muhebullah, 18 years         ered in Afghanistan and was able to
                                                                                         old, had been asked by his father to        persuade Muhebullah to allow her to
                                                                                         investigate what they thought was an        represent him.
                                                                                         attempt to break into the compound
                                                                                         where they lived. When he went out              Campbell described a road mishap
                                                                                         to investigate, Muhebullah realized         at Guantanamo that casts light on the
                                                                                         that the disturbance was actually an air    government’s insistence that U.S. law
                          Music was provided by So Much Fun.                                                                         does not apply in Cuba.
                                                                                         raid, and minutes later he was severely
things happened. None of the four            I’m the lawyer you asked for. Why           injured by the blast of a bomb dropped           “We were driving in the bus go-
gentlemen that I represented ever had a      don’t you tell me what you want to tell     or a rocket fired by U.S. military air-     ing to the prison with the Private, she’s
trial. None of them were ever charged        me?’ So the detainees, for good reason,     craft.                                      probably 20, and she slams on the bakes
with any crimes. None of them ever           started to not believe people when they                                                 and swerves off the side of the road, al-
                                                                                             “He’s knocked unconscious, he
will be,” said Campbell.                     showed up and met with them, and                                                        most into the ditch. We’re all yelling at
                                                                                         has shrapnel imbedded, he’s bleeding
    Campbell said that instead of            they would refuse to meet with the                                                      her, ‘What are you doing? You’re gonna
                                                                                         everywhere, he’s blown out one of his
providing procedural protections,            lawyers,” said Campbell.
                                                                                         knees, and he’s blinded,” said Campbell.                         Continued page15A
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                              U.S. NEWS                                                                 April 2008   15
A Continued from page14                        of the time. He was blind for a couple        Nor would the government tell her                The events in the Great Hall fol-
kill us!’” said Campbell.                      of months. He doesn’t know how long           what was going to happen to her client      lowed a peace march on Lincoln Way
     “She’s like, ‘Well, there’s this iguana   he was unconscious. One of his legs is        or allow her to see him.                    from the Hy-Vee parking lot to the uni-
in the middle of the road, and if I hit it I   now about two inches shorter than the              “So, we went to Afghanistan and        versity, a distance of about two miles.
                                               other because the bomb had blown out          we showed up at the prison, and we          William Meyers, a Democratic candi-
                                                                   his knee. You can         said, ‘We’re lawyers from the United        date for the U.S. House of Representa-
                                                                   see the shrapnel          States and we are here to see our cli-      tives in Iowa’s Fourth District, spoke
                                                                   imbedded under            ents,’ and they looked at us and they       about the need to end the war and
                                                                   his skin,” said           said, ‘OK,’ and they went and got them.     bring the troops home. Terri Jones’s
                                                                   Campbell.                 And so we verified that they were really    son, U.S. Army Reserve Specialist Ja-
                                                                          “He said, ‘By      there. Both of those governments have       son Cooper, committed suicide at age
                                                                     the time I got out      filed affidavits in a court case that say   23, four months after returning from
                                                                     of the hospital         the other one is running [the prison],”     duty in Iraq. Jones spoke eloquently
                                                                     wing of the pris-       said Campbell.                              about the need for additional funding
                                                                     on, the interroga-                                                  for the treatment of veterans suffering
                                                                                                  “There were some Guantanamo            from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
                                                                     tions had stopped.’     detainees we met with who told us that
                                                                     They only inter-                                                    (PTSD). Catholic Workers Ed Bloomer
                                                                                             the U.S. is running that prison. The        and Kirk Brown spoke in favor of non-
                                                                     rogated for a year,     guards are United States guards, the
                                                                     and then they left                                                  violent direct action to end the war.
                                                                                             rules are United States rules, they’re      Bloomer and Brown were arrested on
                                                                     them there for an-      wearing Guantanamo clothing, so it
                                                                     other four [years].                                                 March 19 after occupying and tempo-
      AglaCampbell spoke about her work as a Guantanamo defense                              is clearly Guantanamo-based,” said
                                                                   What he did say                                                       rarily shutting down an Armed Forces
                             lawyer.                                                         Campbell, who noted that she had
                                                                   was that he could                                                     Recruiting Station in Des Moines.
will get fined $5,000 under the Endan- see one other person from his cell, an                encountered two U.S. Army Colonels
                                                                                             at the prison in Afghanistan and recog-        Music was provided by So Much
gered Species Act.’ So, the Endangered Arab man who couldn’t talk to him                                                                 Fun and It’s True. Members of the
Species Act applies in Guantanamo, but because he spoke Arabic. They started                 nized one of them by name, a name she
                                                                                             had seen on an affidavit.                   Ames High School Progressive Club
the Geneva Conventions do not,” said feeding them eventually, because of the
Campbell.                                     Red Cross and other aid organizations
     Campbell said she is often asked got involved. The Arab man had kept a
about torture in the Guantanamo sugar packet off of his tray, and that was
prison.                                       a breach of one of the rules. So they
                                              did what is called ‘urfing.’ They sent in a
     “I can’t tell you if every story [of
                                              bunch of men to beat him up to punish
torture] is real. I can’t tell you if it is
                                              him for keeping the sugar packet. And
systemic. All I can tell you is what
                                              in doing that they ripped open the side
Muhebulla told me. I asked him if he
                                              of his jaw and he wasn’t able to eat for a
was ever tortured, and he said, ‘No,’ he
                                              month,” said Campbell.
wasn’t,” said Campbell.
                                                  Campbell and other lawyers went
     “But he then described what we
                                              back to Afghanistan in February 2008
would call the classic definitions of tor-
                                              and met with members of Parliament
ture. They’re sort of borderline in the
                                              there. The Afghani lawmakers told
government’s opinion. He described
                                              Campbell and others lawyers that
how, when they first got there, they
                                              they were unaware of any diplomatic               Catholic Workers Ed Bloomer and Kirk Brown spoke in favor of non-violent
would be given an orange and seven
                                              negotiations regarding the release of                                   direct action to end the war.
beans to eat, for the day. For a year.
And they would get so hungry that                                                                 Campbell said that during the six      read a list of names of war dead. A
they would eat the orange peel, God               “The reason we went there was that
                                                                                             months her client has been back in Af-      coalition of local peace and social jus-
forbid! And that was a breach of one we were afraid that what they were do-                  ghanistan the Afghanistan government        tice organizations, including Alliance
of the rules. One of the rules was that ing was transferring people from U.S.                has been able to clear him of any crimi-    for Global Justice, American Friends
you couldn’t eat the orange peel, and so custody in Guantanamo to U.S. cus-                  nal or terrorist activity, something that   Service Committee, Americans United
if you ate the orange peel, you would be tody in Afghanistan,” said Campbell.                they U.S. government could not do in        for Change, Ames for Darfur, Ames
punished,” said Campbell.                         “Even though we’ve been their              six years.                                  Friends Meeting, Ames High Progres-
     “I asked what the punishment was,        lawyers for several years, even though                                                     sives, Ames Progressive, Catholic Peace
                                                                                                  “What I think is really going to
and he said, ‘Well, they would put us in a we’ve filed law suits, even though there          make a difference is if people can im-      Ministry, Catholic Workers, Cedar
room without any clothes and it would are a hundred of us, even though many                  pact everyone on their own individual       Valley United for Peace and Justice,
                                                                                             level, because that’s how we can elimi-     Central Iowa Operation Democracy,
                                                                                             nate hate, and we can eliminate fear,       Des Moines Ecumenical Committee
                                                                                             and we can eliminate racism. Until we       for Peace, Iowa Citizen Action Net-
                                                                                             can eliminate all these things that are     work, ISU Democrats, Methodist Fed-
                                                                                             in our society here, we’re never going      eration for Social Action-Iowa Chap-
                                                                                             to be able to eliminate what happens        ter,, Onion Creek Farms,
                                                                                             overseas with our own people. So,           Progressive Coalition of Central Iowa,
                                                                                             that’s the first step. Acceptance, and      Socialist Workers, STAR-PAC, Story
                                                                                             love, and peace,” concluded Campbell,       County Democrats, University of
                                                                                             who received a standing ovation from        Iowa Anti-War Committee, Time for
                                                                                             her audience.                               Peace, Women’s International League
                                                                                                                                         for Peace and Freedom, and Working
                                                                                                 Campbell’s was the keynote ad-          Families Win sponsored the event.
                                                                                             dress at the annual event to mark the
                                                                                             beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq
                                                                                             in March 2003.

      Terry Jones, left, spoke about the need for more funding for mental health treatment
         for veterans like her son, the late Jason Cooper, who suffered from PTSD.

be really cold and they would keep us          of them own very powerful law firms
awake for a long period time by play-          and many of them are Public Defend-
ing loud music so we couldn’t sleep for        ers and actually employees of the fed-
a few days. But we were so hungry we           eral government, the U.S. government
would have eaten the plate if it wasn’t        refuses to tell us what they do with
made of something that we couldn’t             people. So when my guy got released,
break,’” said Campbell.                        all it said was, ‘We are notifying you
    “I also asked him if he had been           that your client has been released to
beaten up, if he had experienced any vi-       the custody of Afghanistan.’ And then
olence. He said, ‘No,’ he personally had       when I asked, ‘Well, where?’ they said,
not, because was in a hospital for most        ‘We can’t tell you that,’” said Campbell.
16 April 2008                                                            U.S. NEWS                                                    THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

     Arab Entrepreneurs Launch Viva Tennis!
         By Vanessa Zuabi               tennis. Saleh explains, “Prior to Viva
            Staff Writer                Tennis, tennis players and fans would
                                        have to go to multiple sites to find in-
                                        formation, but Viva Tennis put it all
                                        on one website.” Viva Tennis caters to
                                        tennis players and the families of ten-
                                        nis players looking to find people to
                                        play with, coaches, tennis classes and
                                        training camps.
                                             The idea for Viva Tennis began
                                        in December 2005 and was inspired
                                        by frequently used social networking       says Saleh. Unlike any other sports       where he graduated in 2002. In addi-
                                        sites such as MySpace, Facebook and        website, Viva Tennis’ unique inter-       tion to being co-founder of Viva Ten-
                                        online fantasy basketball games. Both      active Fantasy Tennis game feature        nis, he is currently a senior project
                                        frequent players of fantasy basket-        allows individuals to act as managers     manager for Ingram Micro.
                                        ball, Naffa and Saleh could not find a     of a tennis team and compete with             Naffa played tennis for much of
                                        similar online game for tennis. Saleh      other teams seasonally. Individu-         his life and played for the national
                                        explains that “we found there were         als are able to create teams of up to     Jordanian team. He was the first and
                                        no fantasy tennis games online and         six people (Three male players from       only Jordanian to have an interna-
    The game of tennis has become       we decided to look into building one       the top 100 and three female players      tional ranking. He represented his
one of the most popular international   of our own.” What began as a simple        from the top 100 ranking) and teams       country in numerous international
sports today and appeals to a wide      idea slowly developed into a compre-       can accumulate points based on the        tournaments including the Davis
variety of individuals throughout       hensive website that unites the entire     real-life performances of those play-     Cup. At the age of 17, he came to
the world. Until recently however, a    tennis community. “We wanted to            ers on the team. Whoever ends the         California to attend college and
forum did not exist for tennis play-    make the site a combination of a Fan-      season with the most points will win      continued playing tennis. He gradu-
ers, coaches, fans and families to      tasy Tennis game, a social networking      a grand prize. Winners earn a trip        ated from San Diego State University
easily find information about ten-      system and a search engine and direc-      fro 2 to the Los Angeles Open Men’s       and played for their Division 1 men’s
nis, network within the tennis com-     tory for tennis establishments, clubs,
munity and discuss issues related       coaches, after-school programs and
to the sport. Saif Saleh and Khalid     academies.” Saleh describes.
Naffa recognized this problem and           The site (
sought to remedy it by co-founding      includes updates on international, an interactive      tournaments, match scores, and links
social-networking site that allows      to tournament websites. “All the in-
individuals in the tennis community     formation is located in one place in
to communicate more easily and ob-      a clear and user friendly fashion,”
tain information about the world of

                                                                                                 Co-founders of Viva Tennis: Saif Saleh and Khalid Naffa

                                                                                   Final. Ultimately, the various features   tennis team. Following graduation he
                                                                                   found on Viva Tennis serve to attract     became a private coach and director
                                                                                   individuals of all interests and back-    of Advantage Tennis Academy at the
                                                                                   grounds and provides a forum for a        Irvine Tennis Club where he worked
                                                                                   wide audience to appreciate the sport     for 5 years before returning to Am-
                                                                                   of tennis.                                man, Jordan where he currently re-
                                                                                        Viva Tennis is also an excellent     sides.
                                                                                   forum for coaches, businesses and              Both Naffa and Saleh seek to ini-
                                                                                   tennis establishments “to advertise       tially reach out to an American audi-
                                                                                   their services to people who are in-      ence and get them more involved in
                                                                                   terested and read reviews to get some     the sport of tennis. “Tennis in Europe
                                                                                   information on the coach, academy,        and abroad is more popular than in
                                                                                   after-school programs or whatever it      the United States so our main focus
                                                                                   is that they are looking for,” explains   with Viva Tennis is to attract a wide
                                                                                   Saleh.                                    variety of people and allow them to
                                                                                        Saleh and Naffa, of Palestinian      understand tennis from a fun, unique
                                                                                   and Jordanian descent respectively,       perspective,” explains Saleh. Viva
                                                                                   each brought a unique component of        Tennis has the potential to bring
                                                                                   their background and experience to        together a wide variety of people
                                                                                   the table when building the Viva Ten-     throughout the world in an effort to
                                                                                   nis site. The two became good friends     celebrate the sport of tennis. Regard-
                                                                                   and roommates when Saleh moved to         less of age, experience, nationality
                                                                                   the United States. Saleh, whose family    or location, Viva Tennis appeals to a
                                                                                   comes from Beit Nabala in Palestine,      diverse community and “will spread
                                                                                   was born and raised in Jordan and         the game, making it easier for people
                                                                                   completed his Bachelors in engineer-      to connect with the services they
                                                                                   ing from Jordan University of Science     want and also allow people within the
                                                                                   and Technology before coming to the       same community to get in touch with
                                                                                   United States to complete a Masters       each other based on their common
                                                                                   in Business from Cal State Fullerton      interest in tennis.”
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                       U.S. NEWS                                                                         April 2008    17

Iraq War Protest Spreads to                                                                     FROM THE CORRIES:
 San Diego’s North County                                                                                                                      LET ME STAND ALONE BOOK
                                                                                                                                                  LAUNCH EVENTS
                                                                                                                                             BERKELEY, CA: Saturday, April 5th
           By Dave Aossey                                                                                                                           at 8:00PM
                                                                                                                                              King Middle School, 510-848-6767
             Staff Writer
                                                                                                                                                       1781 Rose Street
                                                                                                                                                         Berkeley, CA
      March 19th, 2008, as many
                                                                                                                                                Tickets $12-$15 - Purchase at
of us know, marked the fifth                                                                                                          or at the door.
anniversary of America’s illegal
                                                                                                                                             Guest Readers: Nadia Barhoum, Nora
invasion and occupation of Iraq.                                                                                                         Barrows-Friedman, Nadine Ghammache,
On that day five years ago the                                                                                                            Patricia Hemphill, Sandra Lupien, Lisa
nighttime skies over Baghdad                                                                                                              Nessan, Sangina Patnaik, Liat Weingart,
were alight with real weapons                                                                                                             Camille Baptista, and Keryan Dawoud.
of mass destruction in what                                                                                                                  SEATTLE, WA: Monday, April 7th at
Neoconservative war profiteers,                                                                                                                       7:30 PM
Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wol-                                                               Friends,                                           Seattle Town Hall, 206-634-3400
fowitz once termed “Shock and                                                                I am thrilled to announce the release                    1119 8TH Avenue
Awe,” but what Iraqi civilians                                                          of my daughter Rachel’s writings in the new                   Seattle, WA 98101
still stoically refer to as “The Air   L to R: Aliana Aossey, Gabby Aossey,             book Let Me Stand Alone? The Journals of
Show.”                                                                                                                                        Guest readers include: Torrey Berk-
                                       Morgan Ruby protesting at Canon City             Rachel Corrie, published by W.W. Norton &        son, Nada Elia, Judith Kolokoff, and Nina
    Of course, not much has                      Park in Carlsbad                       Co. and available in bookstores and online!                        Laboy.
been made of this dubious an-                                                           I am also excited to invite you to attend            OLYMPIA, WA: Tuesday, April 8th at
niversary in the national press.            Murphy.                                     a series of book launch events across the                     7:00PM
A few protests were covered nationally,          Sponsored by the North County          country that Craig and I will be participat-              Orca Books, 360-352-0123
but with the death count among the          Coalition for Peace and Justice             ing in during the month of April. We hope                     509 E. 4th Avenue
troops reaching an incredible 4,000         ( the rally was attend-       that you and your friends will join us to cel-
young men and women and casual-             ed by approximately seventy people                                                                       Olympia, WA 98501
                                                                                        ebrate Rachel’s book at one of these events
ties among Iraqi civilians eclipsing        with participants from as far away as       and that you will use the attached flyer to         OLYMPIA, WA: Wednesday, April 9th
multiple hundreds of thousands, what        Escondido, Rancho Bernardo and Po-                                                                      at 7:00 PM
                                                                                        help us spread the word about each one.
meager attention is paid to the Occupa-     way making the trip. Protesters, young                                                           The Evergreen State College, Library
tion of Iraq tends to be focused on the     and old, lined Pacific Coast Highway              We are particularly excited that the            Underground, 360-867-5213
over-hyped “troop surge” – a truly sus-     overlooking Carlsbad State Beach,           first book event, on Saturday, April 5th in         Event Sponsored by TESC, Friends of
picious event credited with restoring       waving antiwar signs and American           Berkeley, California, will be filmed by C-        the Library and TESC Writing Center
order to Baghdad, though a deteriorat-      flags and eliciting approval from nearly    SPAN for later broadcast on the program                  2700 Evergreen Parkway, NW
ing order it has become as the cease fire   all passers-by - a positive response that   ?Book TV?. This is a wonderful way to                        Olympia, WA 98505
between the US and Muqtada al-Sadr’s        was all the more significant given San      launch Rachel’s book and the book tour.
                                                                                                                                            PORTLAND, OR, Tuesday, April 10th
Mahdi Army has frayed.                      Diego’s North County, home to Camp          We want to make sure the audience is filled                at 7:30 PM
                                                                  Pendleton      and    for C-SPAN so if you are in the Bay Area,
                                                                                                                                              Powell?s Bookstore on Hawthorne,
                                                                  numerous other        please join us that evening and bring your                    800-878-7323
                                                                  military facilities   friends! The event is sponsored by KPFA
                                                                                                                                                   3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
                                                                  and installations,    Radio Station and additional information
                                                                  is one of the most                                                                 Portland, OR 97214
                                                                                        and advanced ticket sales can be found
                                                                  conservative, pro-    at their website              Guest readers include: Diane Adkin,
                                                                  military regions                                                       Jennifer Grosvenor, William Seaman, and
                                                                                        index.php?#1584. More detailed informa-                       Jeffrey St. Clair.
                                                                  of the state.         tion about all the events is listed below and
                                                                                                                                              FREDERICK, MD: Monday, April
                                                                       Jeeni Criscen-   on the attached flyer.                                     14th at 7:00 PM
                                                                  zo of the North             Working on the book was an alternate-           Delaplaine Visual Arts & Education
                                                                  County Coalition      ly exhilarating and challenging process.                 Center, 301-698-0656??
                                                                  for Peace and Jus-    We agonized over every editing decision?                    40 South Carroll Street
                                                                  tice helped organ-    Which pieces would Rachel have included?
                                                                  ize the event.                                                                  Frederick, Maryland 21701
                                                                                        Which would she have wanted to work on
                                                                                                                                             WASHINGTON, DC: Tuesday, April
                                                                   “People are          further? However, we knew how much                        15th at 6:00 PM
                                                              discouraged,” she         Rachel wanted her writing to have a wider              Busboys & Poets, 202-387-POET
                                                              stated, referring         impact and we still believe deeply that the
                                                              to the powerless-                                                                      2021 14th Street NW
                                                                                        questions she pondered and the realities
      Citizens of North County protesting the Occupation of   ness that Ameri-                                                                     Washington, D.C. 20009
                                                                                        she witnessed are universally important to
               Iraqi at Canon Park in Carlsbad              cans feel regarding         confront. It is a true milestone for our fam-        NEW YORK CITY: Friday, April 18th
    Yet, while some higher profile anti-                    the     Occupation,         ily, and for Rachel, that her words in this
                                                                                                                                                    at 6:30PM
war rallies were held around our nation “many believe that demonstrating                book reach the world.                                  COOPER UNION, WOLLMAN
during the week of the anniversary, on doesn’t do any good, and obviously the                More information about Let Me Stand
Saturday March 15th a small but impor- Bush Administration doesn’t care what                                                                51 Astor Place (8th Street between 3rd
                                                                                        Alone, including how to purchase it, can be
tant gathering took place at Canon City people think - but we’re here to show                                                                           and 4th)
                                                                                        found at If we
Park in Carlsbad, in the heart of San that there is opposition.”                                                                                        New York, NY
                                                                                        are not scheduled to be in your area during
Diego’s conservative North County.              Throughout the rally the busy                                                                  Guest Readers Include: Kathleen
                                                                                        the April book tour, but you would like to
    The Reverend Timothy Mur-               Coast highway resonated with honks                                                           Chalfant, Nick Flynn, Marie Howe, Denis
                                            of solidarity and peace signs flashed       organize a future reading, you can contact                O?Hare and Lili Taylor.
phy, representing the Pilgrim United                                                    us through this website as well.
                                            from passing cars. Surprisingly, as well,                                                        IOWA CITY, IA: Tuesday, April 22nd
Church of Christ in Carlsbad, ad-
                                            almost no hostility toward the protest-          As Craig wrote in the introduction to                   at 7:30 PM
dressed the gathering as the rally began
around 1pm.                                 ers or disapproval was encountered          the book: Words were sacred to Rachel,                University of Iowa, Iowa Memorial
                                            either verbally or by way of familiar       and her words have become treasures to                    Union, 319-335-3255
     “We refuse to define, as a zero sum    hand gestures - clearly a sign that the                                                             Black Box Theater, Room #360
                                                                                        us. They are what we have left and are an
game, that in which our security is         American public has lost faith in the       immense gift to our family. With this book,                 125 N. Madison Street
gained at the expense of others,” stated    Bush Administration’s foreign policy        we offer that gift to you.                                       Iowa City, IA
the Reverend, paraphrasing the words        and is fed up with the war.
of the General Secretary of the Nation-                                                      We look forward to seeing you in Ber-             MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Thursday,
al Coalition of Churches. The Pilgrim           As those in attendance duly ex-         keley, Seattle, Olympia, Portland, DC, New               April 24th at 7:00 PM
Church has a history of supporting an-      pressed, hopefully by next year there       York, Iowa City or Minneapolis! Please do            Micawber’s Book Store, 612-215-2575
tiwar and other liberal causes, and one     won’t be a need to rally against the        help us spread the word                                      2238 Carter Avenue
of their priorities is building awareness   continued Occupation of Iraq. But if
                                            there is, opposition to war is certainly        Thank you!                                                   St. Paul, MN
of these issues with the residents of
North County, explained Reverend            gaining momentum in North San Di-               Cindy Corrie
                                            ego County.
18 April 2008                                                                 U.S. NEWS                                                      THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

       Obituary: Edward Rafeedie, 79; federal judge
       ruled on 1990 kidnapping of Mexican doctor
        By Jocelyn Y. Stewart               outcry and strained relations between       actually lived there when it was occu-
         Los Angeles Times                  the two countries.                          pied by Britain. He recalled throwing
                                                Rafeedie’s ruling that the kidnap-      stones at the British soldiers.”
    U.S. District Judge Edward              ping violated a U.S.-Mexico extradi-            Back in the U.S., Rafeedie gradu-
Rafeedie, whose decisions in sev-           tion treaty surprised and angered           ated from Venice High School. During
eral high-profile trials -- including the   government agents. The U.S. Supreme         World War II, he traveled the carnival
1990 case of a Mexican doctor accused       Court overruled the judge’s decision.       circuit with a portable electric horse-
of torturing a U.S. drug enforcement        But in 1992 Rafeedie granted a re-          race game called Derby. After serving
agent -- earned him a reputation as a       quest for dismissal, arguing that the       two years in the Army during the Ko-
no-nonsense jurist with an independ-        evidence did not support the charges        rean War, Rafeedie followed the lead
ent streak, died of cancer Tuesday at       against Alvarez Machain.                    of a carnival friend who was studying
his home in Malibu. He was 79.                   “His decisions in the Alvarez case     law and enrolled at USC. Later in life
     President Reagan appointed Ra-         were very courageous in the midst of a      he described himself as “the only carny
feedie to the federal bench in 1982,        very contentious case; the government       to ever get to the federal courts.”
one of 13 judges named by the presi-        and the public at large were opposed            In 1957, Rafeedie graduated from
dent during a four-year period in the       to the defendant,” said Paul Hoffman,       USC with a bachelor’s degree in law,
1980s who came to form a conserva-          former legal director of the American       and two years later graduated from the
tive majority at the U.S. courthouse in     Civil Liberties Union of Southern Cal-      university’s school of law, according to        ‘HE WAS JUST A FAIR MAN’ : Fed-
Los Angeles. The distinction of being a     ifornia and one of the attorneys who        his biography. Rafeedie worked in pri-     eral Judge Edward Rafeedie stunned the
“Reagan judge” was not always a pre-        represented Alvarez Machain. “I don’t       vate practice for nearly a decade until    Justice Department when he ruled the U.S.-
dictor of Rafeedie’s decisions.             think he was in general perceived to be     then-Gov. Ronald Reagan appointed          instigated kidnapping of a Mexican doctor
                                            soft on criminals or in criminal cases. I   him as a Municipal Court judge in          illegal. (Los Angeles Times)
     In 1990, Rafeedie stunned the Jus-
tice Department when he ruled that          think he was just a fair man.”              1969. Two years later, he joined the       case of Jarek Molski, who filed 400
the kidnapping of Dr. Humberto Al-              The son of Palestinian immi-            Superior Court, where he remained          lawsuits alleging violations of the
varez Machain was illegal and ordered       grants, Rafeedie was born Jan. 6, 1929,     for 11 years. He presided over several     Americans With Disabilities Act, Ra-
him returned to Mexico. Alvarez             in Orange, N.J. When he was 7, the          high-profile state cases, including the    feedie ruled that Molski could not file
Machain had been accused of helping         family moved to Santa Monica, and,          contested conservatorship of Grou-         any more suits in Los Angeles federal
drug traffickers torture and kill U.S.      five years later, Rafeedie was working      cho Marx, the Britt Ekland and Rod         court without approval from a judge.
drug agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena,         in the old Pacific Ocean Park, operat-      Stewart palimony trial and part of the     The jurist called Molski a “hit-and-
who was murdered in Mexico in 1985.         ing rides.                                  Bob Dylan divorce case. He sentenced       run plaintiff ” and accused the disa-
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Adminis-                                                      daredevil Evel Knievel to jail for at-     bled man’s attorney of assisting in the
                                                 “He was born in America, and           tacking a television executive with a      “abusive litigation practices.”
tration paid a band of Mexican citizens     then his parents took him back” to the
to kidnap Alvarez Machain in Mexico                                                     baseball bat.                                   Stephen Yagman, who represent-
                                            Middle East for a time, said his daugh-
and flew him to the U.S. to stand trial     ter-in-law, Elizabeth Rafeedie. “He             Rafeedie also presided over a          ed Molski’s attorney, called Rafeedie
-- an act that caused an international                                                  public corruption case in the City of      mean-spirited and cruel. “This judge
                                                                                        Industry, imposing a 10-year prison        is trying to bar the door to the federal
                                                                                        term on businessman and city founder       courthouse,” Yagman said in 2005.
                                                                                        James Marty Stafford.                           Rafeedie traveled internationally
                                                                                            “I thought it was important for the    to discuss legal matters. In Oman, he
                                                                                        public to see that white-collar crimi-     evaluated the nation’s judicial system
                                                                                        nals should be treated no differently      and offered recommendations. In the
                                                                                        than a fellow who walks into a bank,”      Palestinian Territories, he gave lec-
                                                                                        Rafeedie said in a 1986 Times article.     tures to judges on intellectual proper-
                                                                                        “There’s a perception anyway that          ty law, and, in the Republic of Georgia,
                                                                                        white-collar offenders always get off. I   he participated in seminars on judicial
                                                                                        think that needs to be corrected.”         independence and the rule of law.
                                                                                             On the Los Angeles County Supe-           “His major concern was try the
                                                                                        rior Court bench he earned distinc-        cases fairly and efficiently,” said Laurie
                                                                                        tion for eliminating a backlog of cases    Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law
                                                                                        through a system of calendar man-          School and former federal prosecutor
                                                                                        agement. The efficient management          in Los Angeles. “He was a judge who
                                                                                        of trials remained a key concern for       wanted to get the job done.”
                                                                                        him. He argued in a law journal article        Rafeedie is survived by his wife,
                                                                                        that most trials last two to three times   Ruth Alice; a son, Fred, of Malibu;
                                                                                        longer than they should because of         a daughter, Jennifer Trunkett, of Los
                                                                                        “slavish adherence to trial procedures     Angeles; and four grandchildren.
                                                                                        which are outmoded, inherently inef-
                                                                                        ficient and time wasting.”                     A service will be held at 10 a.m.
                                                                                                                                   Thursday at St. Monica Catholic
                                                                                            In his courtroom, trials that attor-   Church, 725 California Ave., Santa
                                                                                        neys predicted would last two weeks        Monica. Memorial donations may be
                                                                                        could be reduced to two days.              sent to the City of Hope, 1055 Wil-
                                                                                            Rafeedie had detractors. In the        shire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                     U.S. NEWS                                                                    April 2008   19

     March 15: 10,000 Protest Iraq War in Los Angeles
     People Hit the Streets to Stop the War on the 5th
        Anniversary of the Illegal Invasion of Iraq
                                                                      12 noon,        from hundreds of Southern California        stated policy not to give numbers to
                                                                      thousands       schools. A large, militant contingent of    the press. This, along with the LA
                                                                      of    peo-      over 200 young people wore red shirts       Times coverage, is a deliberate attempt
                                                                      ple were        and marched together. Other students        to demoralize the anti-war movement-
                                                                      cheering        lined the front banners, chanting “Iraq     -to make people who just participated
                                                                      for speak-      for Iraqis, troops out now!” and “Alto a    in a great and significant event feel like
                                                                      ers    and      la guerra, stop the war!”                   their voice was not counted. But these
                                                                      musicians           Once the marchers arrived at the        are just the institutional and media
                                                                      at      the     main rally point at Sunset and Ca-
                                                                      o p e n -       huenga, at least 10,000 people stood at
                                                                      ing rally.      the CNN building. Protesters chanted
                                                                      Speak-          “CNN, can’t you see? Put the peace
                                                                      ers from        march on TV!” Despite strong, cold
                                                                      various         winds and scattered rain, many thou-
                                                                      organiza-       sands stayed at the rally site for hours.
                                                                      tions and
    LOS ANGELES – The March 15                                        music by             The main rally was chaired by
march and rally in Los Angeles on         Mojow and the Vibration Army, Wil-          Jim Lafferty, National Lawyers Guild
the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war       B and Avis Harrell filled the area. As      and Interim General Manager of
showed that mass opposition to the        the marched stepped off, thousands of       KPFK; Jennifer Caldwell, ANSWER
criminal war is still organized and       people filled in behind the lead ban-       Coalition; Carlos Alvarez, coordina-
strong. At least 10,000 people took to    ners, chanting and waving signs in          tor of Youth & Student ANSWER; and
the streets in a regional protest in LA   the air. Former U.S. Congresswoman          Christine Araquel, Alliance for Just
to demand an immediate end to the         Cynthia McKinney, Vietnam vet Ron           and Lasting Peace in the Philippines.
war. That same day, tens of thousands     Kovic, actor Mike Farrel and others         The crowd heard known speakers and
more marched in hundreds of cities        helped lead the protest.                    community organizers; musicians
                                                                                                                                  mouthpieces of the pro-war establish-
across the United States.                                                             played anti-war songs. Singer Tom
                                               The march filled the six-lane street                                               ment in Washington. They want to si-
    The action was initiated by the                                                   English delivered a moving ballad for
                                          from sidewalk to sidewalk on Hol-                                                       lence the anti-war movement, a move-
ANSWER Coalition and built by a                                                       peace after Theresa Bonpane, Office
                                          lywood Blvd. from Vine to Schrader-                                                     ment that can’t and won’t be silenced.
broad coalition of progressive organi-                                                of the Americas, led a moment of
                                          -many blocks away. During the march,        silence for the 1 million Iraqi dead            In spite of these attempts to play
zations in LA. Hundreds of additional     people at the front of the march could      and 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed in the       down the importance of March 15 in
organizations and individuals en-         see the marchers still joining the action   war. Los Duggans and award-winning          LA, news of the protest reached to all
dorsed and supported the protest.         7 blocks behind them. The demonstra-        filmmaker also performed portions of        areas of the United States and all con-
    Demonstrators began gathering         tion was overwhelmingly youthful,                                                       tinents in the world. The vast majority
at Hollywood and Vine at 11 a.m. By       with students pouring into the march                                                    of people in the U.S. are against the
                                                                                                                                  war and they heard our message loud
                                                                                                                                  and clear. All of us who marched in LA
                                                                                                                                  on March 15 were part of a global day
                                                                                                                                  of action to stop the war. The anti-war
                                                                                                                                  movement is the REAL story!
                                                                                                                                      Congratulations and thanks to all
                                                                                                                                  who worked so hard to make March
                                                                                                                                  15 a success, especially the hundreds
                                                                                                                                  of dedicated volunteers. Buses, car-
                                                                                                                                  pools and “peace trains” came to the
                                                                                                                                  demonstration from across the South-
                                                                                                                                  land. Thousands of people came from
                                                                                                                                  schools, places of worship and local
                                                                                      the multimedia anti-war performance         community centers. The demonstra-
                                                                                      piece “Proving Ground.”                     tion marked an important step for the
                                                                                                                                  anti-war movement in LA and across
                                                                                          It was a very large turnout; the        the country.
                                                                                      biggest anti-war action in Southern
                                                                                      California since fall 2007, far exceed-          As Bush defends the war and Con-
                                                                                      ing organizers’ expectations.               gress remains inactive, the people of
                                                                                                                                  the United States are speaking loudly
                                                                                                                                  for an immediate end to the racist war
                                                                                         The Anti-War Movement is the             on Iraq. We are organized and we are
                                                                                      Real Story                                  fighting back. A strong, united people’s
                                                                                          The protest was covered by major        movement can and will change his-
                                                                                      English- and Spanish-language me-           tory. That’s what has always changed
                                                                                      dia outlets in Los Angeles, California      history.
                                                                                      and worldwide, including NBC, CBS,
                                                                                      ABC, Fox News, AFP, UPI, LA Daily
                                                                                      News, Telemundo, Unavision, Azteca,
                                                                                      La Opinon and other TV, print and
                                                                                      radio media.
                                                                                           Although the LA march was a top
                                                                                      news story across the globe, the Los
                                                                                      Angeles Times’ coverage of March 15
                                                                                      was shameful. It covered a tiny pro-
                                                                                      war rally in Washington, D.C. while
                                                                                      only dedicating a small picture caption
                                                                                      to a protest of 10,000 people in the city
                                                                                      they supposedly represent.
                                                                                         In addition, the LAPD grossly
                                                                                      undercounted the march, despite their
20 April 2008                                                            U.S. NEWS                                                    THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

      Desperate ADL leaders smear Switzerland as
                ‘financier of terrorism’
        By Michael Gillespie             ment includes the delivery of 5.5        duit for the transmission of sensitive    in the USA. More worrying to the
    for The Independent Monitor          billion cubic meters of gas per year     U.S. domestic political intelligence      leaders of Zionist organizations,
                                         via pipeline by 2012 and is said to      to Israeli intelligence organizations     no doubt, is that Falk is but one
    The U.S.-based Anti-Defama-          be worth between 10 billion and 22       through its in-house “fact-finding”       of a growing number of American
tion League (ADL) smeared the            billion Euros, depending on factors      operatives and its “official friends”     Jews, many of them accomplished
government of Switzerland as a “fin-     including energy market prices.          including government officials, in-       and influential public figures, who
ancier of terrorism” in early April          The European Union, China,           vestigators, and intelligence officers.   are daring to publicly question and
on the basis of that country’s recent    Japan, and others maintain trade re-     Until an FBI counter-intelligence         criticize Israeli policies they see as
agreement to import natural gas          lations with Iran. Switzerland is not    investigation and the resulting news      insupportable.
from Iran.                               among the top ten countries receiv-      coverage and scandal curbed ADL                The pro-Israel lobby’s popular-
                                                                                  spying, officials from all levels of

    Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline     ing Iranian exports of commercial        government, municipal, county,            ity and political influence in the
Calmy-Rey traveled to Iran for the       goods or raw materials.                  state, and federal, were among those      USA are diminishing as Americans
signing of the agreement between             The US and Iran broke off diplo-     favored by the ADL with expense-          from all cultural backgrounds ques-
the Swiss energy trading company         matic relations in 1980. Switzerland     paid trips to Israel where they were      tion and find fault with the politics
EGL and the state-owned National         represents US interests in Iran and      wined, dined, and debriefed by            behind failed socially and economi-
Iranian Gas Export Company (NI-          Iranian interests in Washington.         friendly officers of Israel’s security    cally destabilizing wars in Iraq and
GEC). Calmy-Rey met with Iranian         When he was asked whether the            and espionage agencies.                   Afghanistan and a run-amok global
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad            deal might influence Switzerland’s            The ADL’s false charge against       war on terrorism. Popular support
on March 17.                             mediation role, Knuchel pointed out      the government of Switzerland came        for President Bush has plummeted
    The ADL lashed out against           that a State Department spokesman        less than two weeks after the United      as his administration’s policies have
one of the world’s older continuous      had said there was no change in US       Nations Human Rights Council              led to charges that the U.S. govern-
republics and democracies in paid        policy.                                  (UNHRC) appointed a new Special           ment has engaged in kidnapping,
advertisements placed in The New                                                  Rapporteur on the situation of hu-        torture, and extra-judicial execu-
                                            So why is the ADL so upset with                                                 tions. According to Global Policy
York Times, The International Herald     Switzerland?                             man rights in the Palestinian ter-
Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and                                             ritories occupied since 1967. The         Forum data, since 1973 the U.S. has
major Swiss newspapers on April 8.           The ADL once sought and              new special investigator, Professor       used its veto to block U.N. Security
                                         gained wide recognition as a civil       Richard Falk, is a world-renowned         Council draft resolutions critical of
    “As the Swiss government pur-        right monitoring organization but                                                  Israel 40 times, not to mention the
sues its own narrow economic in-                                                  Jewish-American professor of in-
                                         today is recognized as an ethnic and     ternational law. Falk has been the        many instances when political pres-
terests, it is bankrolling the world’s   political special interest group with                                              sure or other inducements made the
leading sponsor of terrorism,” de-                                                Albert G. Milbank Professor of
                                         a documented history of espionage        International Law and Practice at         use of the veto unnecessary. This,
clared the ADL’s full page ad.           activity. The ADL, under a per-                                                    while Israel has steadfastly refused
                                                                                  Princeton University since 1965, and
                                         manent injunction issued by then-        is currently Visiting Distinguished       to come into compliance with U.N.
    “The reproaches in this adver-       California U.S. District Court Judge     Professor in Global and Internation-      Security Council Resolution 242,
tisement do not fit the facts,” said     Richard Paez in September 1999, is       al Studies at the University of Cali-     unanimously adopted on November
Swiss foreign ministry spokesperson      enjoined from engaging in illegal        fornia, Santa Barbara. Falk wrote         22, 1967. UNSCR 242, which has the
Lars Knuchel.                            spying against Arab-American and         in late June 2007 that “to associate      force of international law, calls for
                                         other civil rights groups. Judge Paez    the treatment of Palestinians with        “the establishment of a just and last-
    “The gas contract signed be-         was nominated to serve on the U.S.                                                 ing peace in the Middle East” based
tween the Swiss and Iranian com-                                                  th[e] criminalized Nazi record of
                                         Ninth District Court of Appeals in       collective atrocity” was not an “ir-      on “withdrawal of Israeli armed
panies does not violate international    1996 and confirmed by the Senate                                                   forces from territories occupied in
sanctions taken by the United Na-                                                 responsible overstatement.” Falk’s
                                         in 2000. The injunction was part of      appointment as the UNHRC’s spe-           the recent conflict” and “termination
tions and the US. Numerous coun-         the settlement of litigation following                                             of all claims or states of belligerency.”
tries which are much bigger than                                                  cial investigator on Israeli actions in
                                         the ADL spy scandal of 1993, which       Palestine has enraged Israeli politi-     The “land-for-peace” formula, based
Switzerland maintain trade relations     revealed that the ADL had become a
with Iran,” pointed out Knuchel.                                                  cians and the leaders of the pro-Is-                          Continued page21A
                                         clearinghouse for illegally obtained     rael lobby and Zionist organizations
   The Switzerland-NIGEC agree-          and retained information and a con-
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                   U.S. NEWS                                                               April 2008   21
A Continued from page 20
                                          country in the heart of Europe gave       medical services.” The Office of the     a victory for good sense and human
on UNSCR 242 and subsequent               the world the International Com-          United Nations High Commissioner         rights, said he was a highly qualified
resolutions, was the official policy      mittee of the Red Cross (ICRC),           for Human Rights (OHCHR), which          rapporteur, and added that if Israel
of seven successive U.S. presidents       the world’s most widely-recognized        supports the UNHRC, is also located      was concerned about human rights
who have acquiesced to, tacitly ap-       and respected independent, neutral        in Geneva.                               it would have ended its prolonged
proved, or actively supported Israel’s    organization ensuring humanitarian             Israel actively opposed UN-         occupation long ago.
non-compliance with U.N. resolu-          protection and assistance for victims     HRC’s appointment of Falk as Spe-
tions and the Geneva Conventions,         of war and armed violence. Swit-          cial Rapporteur for human rights in
while the U.S. Congress has pro-          zerland is known, too, for the Ge-                                                     The United Nations General As-
                                                                                    Palestine. According to a March 26       sembly established its Human Rights
vided Israel with billions of dollars     neva Conventions, also established        UNHRC press release, Ambassador
in direct aid year after year, roughly    in 1863, which first set recognized                                                Council on March 15, 2006. The
                                                                                    Itzhak Levanon of the Permanent          move to create the UNHRC was op-
one-fifth of America’s entire foreign     standards for international law re-       Mission of Israel to the United Na-
aid budget, as well as arms and ma-       garding humanitarian concerns.                                                     posed only by the United States, the
                                                                                    tions Office and Specialized Institu-    Marshall Islands and Palau, which
teriel. Seasoned observers say this            Switzerland is home to the           tions in Geneva said members of the
has had the effect of handing Israel                                                                                         are bound to the United States
                                          United Nations Office at Geneva           Council were missing an opportu-         through Compacts of Free Associa-
a license to steal and kill at will and   (UNOG), the largest UN duty sta-          nity to show the world that UNHRC
the weapons with which to carry out                                                                                          tion, and Israel.
                                          tion outside of UN headquarters in        genuinely sought improvement, the
the crimes, and growing numbers of        New York. With some 1,600 staff,          chance to make a difference, and the          The inescapable conclusion
Americans are increasingly skeptical      UNOG is a focal point for multi-          prospect of laying the groundwork        seems to be that the policies, posi-
of and disenchanted with what they        lateral diplomacy and one of the          for better cooperation with Israel.      tions, and actions of the United
see as inordinate and malign Israeli      world’s busiest intergovernmental         Warren Tichenor, U. S. Ambassador        States and Israel with regard to hu-
influence over U.S. Middle East for-      conference centers. The regional of-      to the United Nations and other In-      man rights, especially in the illegally
eign policy. The ADL’s hyperbolic         fice of the United Nations Relief and     ternational Organizations in Geneva,     occupied territories of Palestine,
rhetoric is viewed by many observers      Works Agency for Palestine Refugees       said the United States respected the     run contrary to those of the larger
as evidence of desperation as popu-       in the Near East (UNRWA) is located       integrity of the procedure to elect      international community and to
lar support in the USA for Israel,        in Geneva. Since it was established       candidates but expressed its con-        international law, which is why ADL
and willingness to overlook Israeli       in 1949 to provide relief for victims     cern on the mandate holder selected      leaders are so loudly smearing the
crimes and excesses, turns to vocal       of the world’s largest refugee crisis,    for the task of assessing the human      Swiss, who host an important seat of
opposition.                               a direct result of Israel’s armed ex-     rights situation in the Occupied Pal-    multilateral human rights diploma-
    The ADL’s inflammatory charges        pulsion of Arab citizens from what        estinian Territories. Tichenor noted     cy. Militant Zionist leaders, bereft of
against Switzerland have come as          had been British Mandate Palestine,       that this had long been a particularly   rational moral arguments as a result
something of a surprise to the in-        UNRWA has provided services for           sensitive mandate and said the Unit-     of own their insistence on exclusiv-
ternational community of nations as       four generations of Palestinians          ed States hoped that it would not be     ist, expansionist policies backed by
well as the Swiss themselves. Swit-       refugees. Today, many of the 4.5          conducted with bias and partiality.      coercive armed force, are now con-
zerland is most widely known for its      million registered Palestinian refu-      Speaking for Palestine, Moham-           fronted by growing numbers around
long-standing policy of neutrality,       gees in the 58 camps in UNRWA’s           mad Abu-Koash, Ambassador of             the world and across the political
which was established in 1674 and         area of operations (Jordan, Syria,        the Mission of Palestine, said it was    spectrum who are refusing to acqui-
internationally recognized by the         Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza)         ironic that Israel, which claimed to     esce any longer to Israel’s well-docu-
Congress of Vienna in 1815. During        live in appalling conditions. On          be representing Jews everywhere,         mented crimes and excesses. Will
WWII, the policy of armed neutral-        March 6, a coalition of eight Brit-       was campaigning against a Jewish         they persist in blaming their victims
ity and non-alignment discouraged         ish-based aid agencies and human          professor who had been nominated         and casting aspersions on any and all
Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime from          rights groups reported that Israel’s      for the post of Special Rapporteur       who attempt to assist them? When
invading Switzerland (population          blockade of the Gaza Strip has cre-       on the situation of human rights in      the principles, ideals, and values that
4 million), while the Swiss, the only     ated the worst humanitarian crisis        the Occupied Palestinian Territory.      undergird human civilization and
nation in continental Europe to           there since the Israeli occupation        Abu-Koash noted that Falk is the         inform international law go long ig-
successfully resist the onslaught of      began in 1967. John Ging, director        author of 54 books on international      nored by the world’s most powerful
fascist militarism during the 1930s       of UNRWA in Gaza, told Reuters            law and wondered if those who had        and influential states, human suffer-
and 1940s, provided sanctuary for         news agency, “The whole infrastruc-       campaigned against Falk’s appoint-       ing multiplies, and popular opposi-
more war refugees per capita than         ture is in a state of collapse, whether   ment had read that many books.           tion to illegitimate power grows.
the United States. In 1863, the small     it’s water, sanitation, or just the       Abu-Koash called Falk’s nomination

                           TAKE ACTION:
                 Contact Dept. of Justice to Honor Plea
                   Agreement for Dr. Sami Al-Arian
    LOS ANGELES – Dr. Sami                                                                                                   for preserving the integrity of the
Amin Al-Arian, a former Florida                                                                                              judicial process, call for the im-
university professor, was arrested                                                                                           mediate release of Dr. Al-Arian so
in 2003 by the U.S. government,                                                                                              that he may leave the country per
on charges of funding terrorism. In                                                                                          the plea agreement.
December of 2005, he was acquit-
ted on 8 of the 17 charges brought
against him. In April of 2006, Dr.                                                                                               Send letters, emails and faxes
Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a single                                                                                          urging U.S. Deputy Attorney Gen-
count of conspiracy and had all the                                                                                          eral Mark Filip to immediately re-
other charges dropped. He agreed                                                                                             lease Dr. Al-Arian. Please include
to be deported. However, Dr. Al-                                                                                             “Attn: Deputy Attorney General
Arian’s incarceration was extended                                                                                           Mark Filip - Release Dr. Al-Arian”
thereafter for refusing to testify                                                                                           in the subject header.
against former associates.                                                                                                       Write to:
    Despite a lifted civil contempt                                                                                              Deputy Attorney General Mark
charge in 2007, the Justice Depart-                                                                                          Filip
ment subpoenaed Dr. Al-Arian to
testify before another grand jury         in federal detention.                     extremely ill due to severe dehy-
in 2008. As the plea agreement                                                      dration.                                       U.S. Department of Justice
                                              As a result of the strike, Dr.
signed with federal prosecutors in                                                                                               950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
                                          Al-Arian was recently transferred             To date, Dr. Al-Arian has been
April 2006 removed the possibility                                                                                                Washington, DC 20530-0001
                                          from his Virginia prison to a medi-       imprisoned for five years, despite
of cooperation, Dr. Al-Arian has
                                          cal facility in North Carolina. He        a jury’s failure to return a single               Fax to: 202.307.6777
rejected this demand and is cur-
                                          has lost nearly 30 pounds and is          guilty verdict against him. Demand
rently on his second hunger strike                                                                                                Email to:
22 April 2008                                                                      iNTERNATIONAL                                                                THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

     How long can we afford to stay in Iraq?
            Ghassan Michel Rubeiz                    The political situation in Iraq remains       House are closely tied to the future course       economist, Iraq expenses are expected to
        For The Independent Monitor             gloomy. Iraqi leaders are not reconciled;          of stability in Iraq.                             reach three trillion by 2017, in contrast to
                                                the country is divided; ethnic cleansing                Determination to succeed is admi-            much lower government estimates.
                                                does not stop and a national political vision      rable, but has it never occurred to the                As the dollar value falls, the stock mar-
                                                is absent.                                         Vietnam-veteran senator that America has          ket declines, the housing crisis deepens, the
                                                      Few observers have analyzed the causal       already achieved “success” of some sort in        national deficit skyrockets and entitlement
                                                connection between the surge and security          Iraq? American forces in 2003 succeeded to        reserves (for Social Security and Medicare)
                                                in Iraq. Measuring the specific impact of          knock off Saddam Hussein, to disband the          erode, and as the economic and social se-
                                                the surge on the war is complicated. Many          army and to remove the Baath party from           curity of the nation worsens on every front,
                                                analysts attribute the improvement in secu-        power. But since those initial achievements       how long can we afford to stay in Iraq?
                                                rity, in part, to the self imposed withdrawal      continued war has come at a high collateral             The current cost of the Iraq war is 12
                                                of Muqtada Sadr and his powerful Mehdi             cost.                                             billion dollars a month. With a monthly
                                                militia from armed conflict with US forces              The occupation has demolished the            twelve billion dollar budget we can provide
                                                and with Sunni factions. Moreover, troop           socio-economic infrastructure, displaced          medical insurance to millions of Ameri-
                                                increase has been accompanied by massive           about ten percent of the population, al-          cans, protect the national border, reduce
                                                infusion of money into the pockets of local        lowed massive ethnic cleansing and tol-           teen age pregnancy, divert youth from
                                                Sunni militias in recent months.                   erated the split of the country into three        jail, place more students in college, restore
     Yesterday, Central Command Com-                 Contractually, the army pays 80,000           ethno-sectarian zones. Moreover, the US           economic security to neglected neighbor-
mander Admiral William Fallon resigned          Iraqi insurgents 300 US dollars a person           occupation has had the counterproductive          hoods, improve the quality of education
under pressure from the Administration.         per month to join the national security            effect of mobilizing terrorists worldwide to      and employ many people who are out of
Fallon, who was in charge of the entire         forces.                                            join forces with local Iraqi insurgents in        jobs.
Middle East region, has held critical views          In this deal we do not know how much          fighting unwelcome US presence on Arab                 In defining national security within
on the surge and on Bush’s Iran war-op-         money is also being secretly funneled to           and Islamic soil.                                 a paradigm of force the US is generating
tion policy. Other politicians believe in the   militia and tribal leaders. We do not know               The military surge was adopted as a last    insecurity to its homeland and in the rest
magical effects of the surge.                   what would happen to security if this mili-        resort to attempt to reverse the downward         of the world. The surge is a symptom of a
     Incidents of violence in Iraq have been    tary bankrolling were to be withdrawn. Are         spiral in Iraq. Instead of assuming respon-       desperate and short-sighted foreign policy.
cut by 60% since the US troop surge that        the alleged results of the surge a function of     sibility for the tragic failure of US policy in
started in late January 2007. The improve-      military perseverance and troop dedication         Iraq, the Bush administration had chosen
                                                to cause or an artifact of bribery of a nation     to allow political and economic conditions            Dr. Ghassan Michel Rubeiz is a Leba-
ment in the level of security in Iraq has led
                                                that is starving?                                  to reach catastrophic proportions.                nese-American Middle East analyst. He
army chiefs and the American administra-
tion to rush to judgment that success in the          It is not clear who first conceived of the         Can a foreign and distrusted military
occupied country is only a matter of time.      idea that the US war in Iraq could be won          establish security in Iraq and facilitate po-
     It is true that last year’s increase in    with more US boots on the ground. Some             litical reform? Iraq’s political problems can
American troops has allowed soldiers to         Republicans are counting on the surge to           never be solved militarily. As long as Iraq’s
establish zones of security in previously       save America from its current dismal fail-         neighboring countries are frustrated with
explosive Baghdad neighborhoods and the         ure in Iraq. Twice as many Republicans as          US Middle East policy, and as long these
Iraqi army has gradually gained some skill      Democrats see progress as a result of troop        regimes feel marginalized, the US will face
and confidence in defending the country         increase. John McCain, the Republican              insurmountable difficulties in stabilizing
against suicidal insurgents. While the US       presidential nominee, claims intellectual          Iraq.
troop surge in Iraq has reduced American        ownership of the surge in order to promote             Even if the surge policy ultimately suc-
fatalities significantly, it has not signifi-   his campaign. The Arizona senator argues           ceeds in improving security how long can          maintains his personal blog at
cantly reduced the danger to Iraqis. Casu-      that America is not ready to leave Iraq in         the US economy sustain the cost of the Iraq Contact him at
alty rates among Iraqis remain high and         the near future; the surge is merely the ini-      war? The occupation has already cost the
quality of life continues to be worse than it   tial step in the long march toward victory.        US one trillion dollars, and according to
was before the war.                             McCain’s chances for winning the White             Joseph Stiglitz, a reputable Nobel laureate

     US boycotts anti-racism conference over Israel
                                                                form for criticising Israeli       this point why the United States should           General Assembly had passed a $4.17
                                                                policies.                          participate in the meeting itself,” he            billion budget for 2008-09, voting 142-1
                                                                     The UN’s first World          said.                                             for the two-year budget, which only the
                                                                Conference Against Rac-                  Casey said in response to a journal-        US voted against because of provisions
                                                                ism, Racial Discrimina-            ist’s question that he did not know what          for the conference.
                                                                tion, Xenophobia and               conversations were taking between the                 US envoy Mark Wallace said Wash-
                                                                Related        Intolerance,        United States and its allies.                     ington opposed the budget because it
                                                                held in 2001 in Durban,                 But he added: “Certainly we would            contained funding for a follow-up to
                                                                was condemned by the               encourage others not to participate in            a 2001 racism conference in Durban,
                                                                United States, Canada              this event, again, because it shows eve-          South Africa.
                                                                and Israel for descend-            ry sign in its second version of being as              The United States and Israel
                                                                ing into what they claim           noxious an event as the first one was.”           walked out of that conference because
                                                                “anti-Semitism”, a term                                                              they said it was targeting Israel as a rac-
                                                                observes say has been                  Last December, the United Nations
                                                                                                                                                     ist state.
                                                                abused to mean any
                                                                criticism of Israel, while
                                                                it used to strictly refer to
                                                                anti-Jewish sentiments in
                                                                the past.
                                                                   “Unfortunately, some
                                                              bad ideas don’t ever seem
                                                              to die,” State Department
                                                              deputy spokesman Tom
                                                              Casey told reporters. “So
                                                              there are now plans afoot
   US sees ‘no reason’ to attend Dur-                         to hold a Durban II con-
ban conference against racism as it             ference that is tentatively scheduled for
would inevitably criticise Israel.              2009.”
                                                    Casey said preparations for the
    WASHINGTON - The United                     conference were launched in August.
States said Thursday it saw “no reason              “We haven’t participated in those
at this point” to attend the 2009 UN            discussions. We have ensured that
conference on racism in South Africa            there will be no funding for those
amid fears that it will become a plat-          discussions. And we see no reason at
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                   ARTS & CULTURE                                                                      April 2008   23

    Palestinian Comedian Stands Out in Stand-up
             By Josh Dulaney                    He wore the Hollywood cliché well.       of directors of Chris-
         The Sanbernandino Sun              Sex. Drugs. Punch lines.                     tian Mission to Gaza,
                                                “The adrenaline rush (of the stage)      a Corona-based min-
                                            doesn’t last too long,” Nazareth says.       istry that supports
    “I came to America for freedom,”        “When you’re down, you resort to alco-       a Baptist church in
said Rizkallah. “Within a year, I was       hol or drugs to get you back up.”            his homeland. There,
in bondage to alcohol, drugs and the                                                     a beleaguered congre-
American dream. I was less free than in         Nazareth knows the story. The 45-        gation of 150 - led by
the Middle East.”                           year-old is just happy he’s in it. A co-     a tireless middle-aged
                                            median buddy in 1992 invited him to a        pastor - feed, clothe
     A native of the Gaza Strip, his fam-   concert. At a church. There, the jester
ily moved to Kuwait when he was 3 be-                                                    and deliver medicine
                                            met Jesus.                                   to some of the area’s
cause his father’s construction business
was floundering under the geopolitical          In earnest he describes the experi-      1.5 million Muslim
storm of the imminent Six Day War in        ence in three words: “I got saved.”          refugees.
1967.                                            The clean soul with a newly clean            Nazareth       often
                                                                                                                                           “The same thing he always found
    Growing up in one of the region’s       life wrote a clean set of stand-up, and      receives communication from the pas-
                                                                                                                                      funny - the way religious people act,”
comparatively progressive nations,          Nazareth soon toured an untrod com-          tor, telling of terrorist bombs set off in
                                                                                                                                      said Nazareth. “How they determine
Nazareth - who prefers to go by that        edy trail - churches. Houses of prayer       his bookstore, gunfire from the rooftop
                                                                                                                                      what’s acceptable and what’s not. He
one name in public - lived a life not       became houses of humor. The boy              of his church and exploding rockets
                                                                                                                                      would find the people who attack him
uncommon to many American boys.             from the Palestinian territories trans-      launched from Israel that petrify his
                                                                                                                                      funny. Especially when they make po-
He played soccer, water-skied and went      figured into an American man of faith,       own children. Last year, terrorists mur-
                                                                                                                                      litical statements.”
bowling for fun.                            mixing evangelistic zeal with the heal-      dered one of the church’s volunteers.
                                            ing balm of laughter.                                                                          Though the coffee shop and the
    At 19, his parents sent him to                                                           He says the Christians there are
                                                                                                                                      couch are fine places for political dis-
America to study engineering. He                Funny thing is, he makes more            the minority of minorities - hated by
                                                                                                                                      cussion, his act is bereft of political
landed at the University of Toledo in       money now than he did then, and the          Israelis because they are Palestinian,
                                                                                                                                      barbs. Instead, he focuses on the things
Ohio. He quips that his Greek Ortho-        travel isn’t as bad. He gets to pick where   hated by Palestinians because they are
                                                                                                                                      that tend to unite American evangeli-
dox parents always heard Americans          he plays, and doesn’t have to labor for      Christian.
                                                                                                                                      cals, so that his shows become a blend
frequently say “Holy Toledo,” so they       a week at a time in some burg off the            American pastors unknowingly             of denominational piety and down-
thought it was a good place. He also        byway.                                       contribute to the problem, he says.          home patriotism.
ran a fish restaurant there.                     He’s performed all over the United          He likens it to a foreigner coming          His current tour is called “Free to
     But Toledo was no joke. He grew        States, from death row in Missouri to        to America to learn about evangelicals,      Laugh.”
bored with the Midwest and engineer-        Amish country in Indiana - a place           only to be told he should learn about
                                            called Shipshewana. Tupelo, Miss., and                                                        “I want them (the audience) to
ing, and moved to Huntington Beach                                                       them by asking folks in a gay bar in San
                                            Paducah, Ky., have received him, too.                                                     leave thinking, `I live in the greatest
to live with his aunt. He studied ac-                                                    Francisco.
                                            The only state he hasn’t performed in                                                     place on earth.”’
counting at a community college, de-                                                         Nazareth, who met his Christian
livered baby furniture, cleaned houses      is North Dakota. Apparently, there’s no                                                       He confesses that he still, if only
                                            market in Fargo for born-again Pales-        wife in Gaza, has a different take on
and worked at a sandwich shop.                                                                                                        occasionally, dreams of meeting Jay
                                            tinian comedians.                            what some characterize as the Israeli
                                                                                                                                      Leno again, as a guest on the “Tonight
     He ran a marathon in pursuit                                                        occupation of Palestinian land.
                                               Everywhere else, evangelicals love                                                     Show.”
of finding enjoyable things to do,                                                           “The majority of the people (in
even if they wouldn’t bring him             him.                                                                                           “For my own satisfaction, yes,” he
                                                                                         Gaza) want to live life,” says Nazareth.
income. He then hopped on stage                 But he’s careful to play down his                                                     said. “Being on the Leno show gets you
                                                                                         “Their children are cold and hungry. If
at an open-mic night in a comedy            Palestinian roots among his audience                                                      the approval of the comedy commu-
                                                                                         you’re a father or mother, don’t let your
club. The drunken laughter hooked           of fundamentalist pastors and congre-                                                     nity. But as a Christian, when I meet a
                                                                                         political leaders or party convince you
the young man, who soon became              gations, at least until the show is over.                                                 celebrity, it’s just another person. I wish
                                                                                         that the power of evil should stop good.
a joke junkie whose fix was the funny.      The churches he performs in are largely                                                   I had the opportunity to tell you about
                                                                                         The fear of terrorism causes apathy
The young man took his stand - his          ignorant of their Palestinian brethren,                                                   Jesus.”
                                                                                         among (Christian) believers to the cry
stand-up, really - and would live, or       while ironically sending political and       of people hurting in other countries.”            But what about the Hollywood
die, comedy.                                financial support to Israel.                                                              clich gone wrong? Or right, depend-
                                                                                             That’s as deep as he wants to wade
    He toured California, Arizona and           “If I tell people I’m from the Gaza                                                   ing on one’s perspective. That rubs him
                                                                                         in the murky waters of international
Washington state, pursuing a nascent        Strip after the show, there’s no prob-                                                    funny, too.
                                                                                         politics. The comedian eschews the
dream, playing the clubs that now-fa-       lem,” Nazareth says. “If before the          wonkish for the wacky, saying Jesus              “By now, I should be famous and in
mous comedians played. Met Jay Leno         show, there’s a problem. One day I will      wouldn’t vote for anybody.                   a rehab center.”
through a friend backstage at the “To-      come out of the closet.”
night Show” - stuff like that, he says.                                                      But what would Jesus find funny?
                                                Today, Nazareth is on the board

          Conscious Rap Bubbles Up In Saudi Arabia
    Think nightlife is getting the          like people to hear our words and            Islamic      values,”
short end of the stick in Seattle?          listen to our message before they            Mansour said.
Filled with righteous indignation           judge us.”                                       That     sounds
over the way hiphop gets por-                    As MSNBC points out, in Sau-            suspiciously like
trayed as Capitol Hill’s downfall?          di Arabia it’s illegal for men and           conscious rap.
We do, and we are, so it was a              women to socialize together and
healthy shock to the system (and                                                             Blue Scholars’
                                            alcohol is not permitted, so the             Sabzi in a 2007
yet oddly familiar) to read about           nightclub scene is non-existent.
this Saudi hiphop group which,                                                         inter-
                                            Hiphop without clubs? Hiphop                 view says it best:
to the great chagrin and social             without alcohol?!
shame of the guys’ fathers and                                                               “We hope and
wives made it onto MTV Arabia.                   Some things, however, are ex-           we think that we
From the MSNBC story about                  actly the same there as they are in          are touching on
Dark2Men:                                   the decadent, tolerant West:                 just straight hu-
    “There are a lot of Saudi rap-               “If you’re a rapper, people             man qualities that
                                                                                                                    The members of Dark2Men. Photo: Faiza Ambah - Wash-
pers, but they’re underground               immediately assume that you are              really apply to
                                                                                                                                      ington Post
because of the wrong impression             into the things they see on televi-          everybody.       You
people have of them,” Farhan                sion. We don’t want to be them,              know, I don’t think
told MTV’s “Hip HopNa” co-host              we want to create our own style.             there’s very many people that which is—I mean, the reason you
Qusai Khidr, a Saudi rapper who             We rap about problems faced by               are like, “Oh, justice, I don’t care can shake your ass is because you
has lived in Florida. “We would             young Saudis and we promote                  about that. I care about my ass,” have the freedom to do so.”
24 April 2008                                                            ARTS & CULTURE                                                      THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

                                 Omar Offendum:
                         Syrian-American Rapper Offers
                              a Different Perspective
    One would be forgiven for assum-        were Arabs living pretty incognito and      word artist. “The more people I meet       music could be the next step. “The
ing that hip-hop is all about the bling,    then all of a sudden there was this         and work with, the better the synergy      Axis of Evil guys opened for us before
the booze and the babes. In the same        microscope on us. That works to your        is. From artists in Lebanon to Canada      and there’s good synergy between us.
vein, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched        disadvantage when you walk into an          to the US, we are all trying to show the   Hopefully there will be an audience
to say that Arab culture is all about       airport, but to your advantage when         human aspect of things and our love of     and similar reception for us as the time
violence, extremism and misogyny,           you’re trying to record a song.”            hip-hop,” he says, hoping that the is-     passes. Different audiences gravitate
right? Not quite. Stereotypes are ram-           Those recordings, discussed a mix      sues that have connected                   to different aspects - whether it’s the
pant, and while politics and the media      of everything from suicide bombings         them can                                    rhythms, the political activism or the
machine may try to perpetuate those         to alcoholism, racial profiling                                                          words themselves.
misconceptions, there will always be        to drug abuse and                                                                           “Considering the things that are
people on the other side trying to break    relationships      gone                                                                  happening here in the Middle East,
them - or at least, offering up a differ-   bad. They got no-                                                                        one would hope that the message of
ent perspective.                            ticed for the political                                                                   peace and justice is something eve-
     Omar Chakaki, aka Offendum,            aspect of their music                                                                     ryone will pick up on and connect
is one of those people. He’s an Arab-       and their conscious                                                                        with,” Omar adds. In his efforts
American musician and architect of          activist sentiment. “We                                                                    at connecting with more people,
Syrian descent who found his voice          always felt the aspect of                                                                   Omar Offendum is working on
and cemented his identity in the world      being honest about our                                                                      wrapping up three projects in-
of hip-hop. “Arab culture is commodi-       experiences and being                                                                        cluding a solo album entitled
fied and made to look violent, materi-      true to ourselves was the                                                                    ‘Syriana Americana’ that he
alized and misogynistic in much the         most important part of art                                                                    believes will be a turning point
same way that hip-hop is. But it’s the      in general, and hip-hop in                                                                     in his career.
opposite case on both sides which is        particular. There is such                                                                           “When you live in two
why I identified with hip-hop from an       an importance placed on                                                                         places and your heart is in
early age,” Omar says.                      ‘keepin it real’ - and if you’re                                                                 both places, you start finding
    Raised in Washington DC, Omar           not doing that, no one will                                                                       these connections. That’s
                                            listen,” Omar says.                                                                               what makes the world a
                                                 For Omar, keeping it real                                                            smaller place.”
                                            meant acknowledging that                                        translate to audi-         To check out Omar Chakaki
                                            the Arab-Muslim bubble he                         ences Arab and beyond.               aka    Offendum’s   music, visit
                                            was raised in was far from the
                                                                                            After the success of the Axis of or email
                                            reality. The group took artistic license
                                            and wrote a song from the perspective       Evil comedy tour in Dubai and the
                                            of a suicide bomber and an Israeli sol-     region, Omar hopes that his kind of
                                            dier as it was these kinds of issues that
                                            Americans were now more open to un-
                                            derstanding and learning about from a
                                            different point of view.
                                                “I had a very sincere desire to find
                                            an authentic Arab-American voice that
                                            talked about everything and ultimately
                                            be accepted in the hip-hop and artistic
                                            community,” he says. Based in Los An-
                                            geles, Omar regularly travels around
                                            the US and the Middle East perform-
                                            ing alongside other musicians he has
                                            connected with, forming something of a
                                            global Arab hip-hop community.
began experimenting with hip-hop                 Thanks to the internet and web
in his teens. Where the predominant         sites like myspace, Omar found like-
culture was white, his friends (all of      minded artists who were looking to
Middle Eastern descent) saw hip-hop         spread the same kind of message.
as more appealing thanks to the seem-       Groups like Euphrates, out of Montreal
ingly familiar rhythms and the incor-       (who have performed in Dubai on
poration of poetry, which they saw as a     several occasions) and the US based
common denominator with their own           Philistines, shared Omar’s ideas and
heritage.                                   have since collaborated on a number
     “Arabs appreciate poetry as a back-    of projects.
bone of our language and we listened to          Their first collaborative effort was
people in the hip-hop community say-        ‘Free the P’, a complication CD of hip-
ing some really powerful things with        hop and spoken word dedicated to the
their music and getting their message       youth of Palestine, but inspired by the
directly out there for people to really     global struggle for peace and justice.
listen to,” he says. While attending the    “We wanted to get Arab rappers to-
University of Virginia, Omar and his        gether but then realized that there were
friend, Mr Tibbz, set up the NOMADS         so many people who were not neces-
(Notoriously Offensive Male Arabs           sarily Arab, but that identified on a hu-
Discussing S**t) and started perform-       man level with the same ideas. It ended
ing at local bars, frat parties and func-   up not being limited to Arab artists and
tions.                                      that’s ultimately what we wanted - to
     At first they were just two kids who   grow as a person, we needed to open
rapped. But then 9/11 happened. “We         our ears to other voices.”
became the ‘Arab rappers’ and people            Those voices included a Jewish
started actually listening to the words     anti-Zionist woman, MC Invincible,
we were saying. Generally speaking,         the Narcysist from Euphrates and Su-
that’s what happened in the US - there      hair Hammad, an acclaimed spoken
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                         ANALYSIS                                                                   April 2008   25

               Barak Appoints War Criminal Yaron
    By Francis A. Boyle                      into the refugee camps because “the         Yaron’s appointment were instrumen-         three Palestinian women under in-
                                             fighting serves their purposes as well,     tal in prompting Washington to seek         ternational treaties including the Nu-
                                             so let them participate and not let the     Yaron’s recall. Israeli papers reported     remberg Principles, which forbid war
     Israeli Prime Minister Ehud             IDF do everything.”                         that the behind-the-scenes diplomatic       crimes and crimes against humanity.
Barak has nominated former Major                                                         fury which resulted over Yaron’s nom-
General Amos Yaron to serve as di-                Under the terms of the Fourth Ge-                                                       The plaintiffs, Fatimeh Ali Aidi,
                                             neva Convention of 1949, which was          ination came after the Department of        Zeineb Sa’ad and Samia A. Khatib, all
rector-general of the Israeli Defense                                                    Defense received hundreds of letters
Ministry, while Barak himself retains        signed by both the United States and                                                    three of whom resided in the Shatila
                                             Israel, by his complicity in the massa-     from Arab-Americans and liberal             camp, each asked for $100,000 in pu-
the portfolio of Minister of Defense.                                                    Jewish groups protesting Yaron’s pres-
According to the 1949 Fourth Ge-             cre, Yaron allowed the willful causing                                                  nitive damages and an undetermined
                                             of “great suffering” and “serious inju-     ence in the United States.                  amount in compensatory damages
neva Convention, Yaron, whose ap-
pointment must be confirmed by               ry” to the residents of the camps, who          Several meetings were held              against Yaron. The Complaint stated
the Israeli Cabinet, is a war criminal by    were legally “protected persons” there-     between Israeli Defense Minister            that the husband of Fatimeh Ali Aidi,
virtue of his command responsibility         under. In so doing, Yaron was guilty of     Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister Shi-          the father and sister of Zeineb Sa’ad,
for the murder of about 2000 Palestin-       “grave breaches” under Article 147 of       mon Peres, and U.S. Secretary of State      and the mother, sister and five nieces
ian and Lebanese civilians during the        the Fourth Geneva Convention. In            George Shultz over the question of          and nephews of Samia A. Khatib, were
1982 Sabra and Shatila refugee camp          other words, because of his command         Yaron’s suitability to serve as Defense     “murdered in the Shatila Camp by
massacre in Beirut, Lebanon. Should          responsibilities during the Sabra and       Attaché in light of his involvement         agents of the defendant Yaron” and the
Yaron’s appointment be confirmed,            Shatila massacre, Yaron was person-         in the Beirut massacres. The Israeli        IDF during Israel’s occupation of West
the U.S. government will be aiding           ally responsible for the commission of      daily Davar, associated with the Labor      Beirut in September 1982. The lawsuit
and abetting the work of an infamous         “war crimes” under general principles       Party, first broke the story of the meet-   stated that Yaron was guilty of violat-
war criminal. In Fiscal Year 2000, Is-       of both customary and conventional          ings between U.S. and Israeli officials     ing the Fourth Geneva Convention of
rael is scheduled to receive $1.92 bil-      international law.                          over Yaron in its October 22 edition,       1949, which prohibits the killing of
lion dollars in U.S. military aid out of a       On August 1, 1986, the Israeli gov-     indicating that Washington and Tel          civilians under military occupation
total annual U.S. aid package to Israel      ernment announced that it was nomi-         Aviv had agreed that Yaron would be         and incriminates an occupying power
worth $2.94 billion.                         nating Yaron as its Military Attaché to     recalled but not immediately. Both          even if its “agents” carry out the kill-
                                             the United States and Canada. Imme-         sides later denied that a deal had been     ing. Citing the Nuremberg Principles,
     In June 1982, Israel invaded                                                        made, although a spokesperson for the       which were designed to prevent the
Lebanon, driving as far north as the         diately thereafter, this author and Mr.
                                             Abdeen Jabara, Esq. who had recently        Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.,        repetition of crimes against humanity
capital, Beirut, purportedly in an ef-                                                   Yossi Gal, confirmed that the negotia-      such as were committed by the Nazi
fort to expel the Palestine Liberation       become President of the American-
                                             Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee          tions had indeed taken place. On Oc-        occupying power in Europe during
Organization. In August 1982, special                                                    tober 24, 1986 the Reagan administra-       the Second World War, the suit alleged
U.S. envoy Philip Habib negotiated the       (ADC) in Washington, D.C., decided
                                             to launch a campaign to prevent the         tion officially accepted Yaron’s Letter     that Yaron’s position of authority, and
withdrawal of Palestinian forces from                                                    of Accreditation.                           knowledge of the ongoing massacre,
Beirut. According to that agreement          United States government from ac-
                                             cepting Yaron’s diplomatic credentials          Undaunted, ADC’s Abdeen Jabara          rendered him personally responsible
the United States government guaran-                                                                                                 for the actions of the Phalangists.
teed the safety of the remaining Pal-        and admitting him into the country.         flew to Ottawa to convince the Cana-
estinian civilians and obtained Israel’s     Together, the two of us drafted tel-        dian government to refuse diplomatic             Yaron was served with a summons
assurance that its armed forces would        egrams to Secretary of State George         accreditation to Yaron as Israel’s Mili-    to appear in court as he left his Chevy
not enter West Beirut. Israel, breaking      Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar         tary Attaché to Canada. To its great        Chase, Maryland apartment for work
its own pledge, occupied West Beirut         Weinberger, and Attorney General            credit, on March 5, 1987 the Canadian       on the morning of May 5, one day after
and surrounded the Sabra and Sha-            Edwin Meese pointing out that Yaron         government refused to accept Yaron’s        the suit was filed. On May 20, 50 dem-
tila refugee camps on September 15,          was responsible for the commission of       diplomatic credentials. Explaining the      onstrators picketed Yaron’s apartment
1982.                                        “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva       move, External Affairs Minister Joe         building, calling attention to current
                                             Convention for the role that he played      Clark said that Canada did not con-         efforts by France, Israel and the Soviet
    On September 16, then Brigadier          in supervising the Sabra and Shatila        sider it “appropriate” to accept Yaron’s    Union to bring Nazi war criminals to
General Amos Yaron, acting under             massacre. As such, the United States        credentials. Officials of the External      justice, while Yaron continued to enjoy
orders from the Israeli Ministry of          government was under an absolute            Affairs Ministry indicated privately        diplomatic status in the United States.
Defense under General Ariel Sharon,          obligation under the Fourth Geneva          that Canada had based its decision on       On May 26, a motion to dismiss the
allowed Phalangist troops to enter           Convention to prosecute Yaron for           the findings of the Kahan Commis-           case was filed by lawyers representing
the refugee camps even though the            these heinous war crimes should he          sion Report.                                Yaron, claiming that he enjoyed dip-
same troops had previously engaged           set foot on United States territory.                                                    lomatic immunity as Israel’s Military
in massacres of Palestinians living in                                                        On March 28 the Jerusalem Post
                                             Therefore, the telegrams argued, the        reported that Yaron had asked his           Attaché, that the statute of limitations
Lebanon. The killing at the refugee          United States government must not                                                       had expired, and that the international
camps went on for three days. During                                                     superiors to cut short his Washington
                                             allow Yaron to enter the country for        assignment. A “cool” reception from         treaties cited by the plaintiffs allowed
nighttime Phalangist operations, Yar-        any reason other than prosecution.                                                      only governments, not individuals, to
on’s troops fired illumination rounds                                                    the diplomatic community in the U.S.,
                                             Otherwise, the United States govern-        followed by Canada’s refusal to accept      bring legal action for alleged treaty
so the Phalangists could continue            ment would be in breach of its own                                                      violations.
their bloody work. Israeli troops, un-                                                   his appointment to Ottawa, were fac-
                                             obligations under the Fourth Geneva         tors leading to Yaron’s request to be           During the course of the Yaron lit-
der the command of Yaron, blocked            Contention.
the exits of the camps to prevent the                                                    considered for a territorial command,       igation, the United States Department
refugees from escaping and supplied              ADC sent similar telegrams to           according to their sources.                 of State took the official position that
the Phalangists with at least one bull-      the ambassadors for all states parties          Apparently, Canada had rejected         Yaron possessed diplomatic immunity
dozer, which was used to cover bodies        to the Fourth Geneva Convention             Yaron’s credentials with Washington’s       under the 1961 Vienna Convention on
with rubble.                                 of 1949, requesting that pursuant to        approval.                                   Diplomatic Relations and the U.S. Dip-
                                             common article 1, their governments                                                     lomatic Relations Act of 1978. Yet, at
     According to the official Is-           had an obligation to intervene with the          In the meantime, this author,          the exact same time the U.S. State De-
raeli Commission of Inquiry into             United States government to demand          Abdeen Jabara, Linda Huber, Esq., an        partment was also involved in efforts
the massacre (the so-called Kahan            that the latter not accept Yaron’s dip-     attorney in Washington, D.C., Profes-       to put former U.N. Secretary Gen-
Commission), Yaron, who was                  lomatic credentials. A few European         sor Linda Malone, now of the William        eral Kurt Waldheim on the so-called
present on the roof of the IDF for-          states did indeed take this matter up       and Mary School of Law, and Albert          “watch list” in order to bar his entry
ward command post overlooking                with the United States government. In       Mokhiber, Esq., then ADC Legal Af-          into the United States on the alleged
the Shatila camp on the evening of           the meantime, this author sent a letter     fairs Director and later its President,     grounds that he might have been an
September 16, knew then that women           to the Legal Adviser to the Israeli For-    convened at ADC Headquarters for            accomplice to the commission of war
and children were being killed by            eign Ministry stating that in the event     the purpose of preparing a civil law-       crimes during the Second World War.
Phalangist militiamen who had en-            Yaron were to set foot upon United          suit against Yaron on behalf of some        The U.S. Department of Justice so
tered the camps by prior arrangement         States territory, he would personally       of the victims of the Sabra and Sha-        barred Waldheim as of April 27, 1987.
with the Israeli military. Not until the     sue Yaron in a U.S. court for his role in   tila massacre. This author and Linda        By contrast, Yaron was directly respon-
morning of September 18 did Yaron            the Sabra and Shatila massacre.             Huber agreed to serve as Attorneys of       sible for the murder of about 2000 in-
move to end the killings. Israeli mili-                                                  Record for three Palestinian women          nocent Palestinian and Lebanese civil-
tary intelligence later underestimated           These vigorous efforts by this          who survived the massacre. The suit
                                             author, Jabara, the ADC, and others                                                     ians, including women, children, and
the death toll at between 700 and 800,                                                   was filed in the United States District     old people. Unlike Waldheim, how-
which was criminal enough. In his            led the Reagan administration to hold       Court for the District of Columbia on
                                             up Yaron’s Letter of Accreditation for a                                                ever, not only was Yaron permitted to
testimony to the Kahan Commission,                                                       May 4, 1987. The Complaint alleged          enter the United States, but the U.S.
Yaron said he was “happy” about the          period of three months. According to        that Yaron bore responsibility for the
decision to send the Phalangist forces       the Israeli Press, these protests against   murder of the family members of the                          Continued page 26 A
26 April 2008                                                                ANALYSIS                                                          THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

                                                                                          U.S. State Department to
A Continued from page 25

government also accorded him full          lingering controversy” about his role
diplomatic privileges and immunities
under the Vienna Convention. The
                                           in the 1982 Sabra and Shatila mas-
                                           sacre. This “lingering controversy”
                                                                                       Israel: “An American Citizen
gross hypocrisy involved in these two
contemporaneous decisions by the
                                           was fueled by ADC’s “Send Yaron
                                           Home” campaign. According to the               Is an American Citizen”
U.S. government could not have been        Jerusalem Post, although the Reagan          By James Zogby – Washington Watch
more blatant.                              administration initially accepted Yar-
    Nevertheless, the Federal District     on’s posting to Washington, it had                For thirty years now, I have been
Judge who handled the Yaron case           since been actively trying to encour-      demanding that my government, in
decided to defer to the wishes of the      age Israel to recall him. Eventually       Washington, protect and defend the
Department of State in this matter.        Yaron returned home to Israel, where       rights of its citizens of Arab descent
The Judge observed that this was not       he currently lives and works with his      when they travel to Israel and the Pal-
                                           fellow war criminals in the IDF and        estinian lands occupied since 1967.
a criminal tribunal, but only a civil
action.                                    the Israeli government.                           I never felt that this was an unrea-
                                                Under basic principles of interna-    sonable request to make, nor did I feel
    Hence, the Judge ruled that Yaron                                                 that it should have been difficult to ful-
was immune from civil proceedings          tional law, the U.S. government must
                                           be concerned about directing billions      fill. It was not a sensitive or complicated
in United States courts irrespective of                                               policy matter, like the “thorny” issues
                                           of U.S. tax dollars to the control of an                                                        James Zogby is the founder and
whether or not he would be immune                                                     of settlements, land confiscations, col-
                                           acknowledged war criminal such as                                                          president of the Arab American Insti-
from criminal proceedings in some                                                     lective punishments or other violations
                                           Yaron. Accordingly, the U.S. govern-       of international law. Even these the U.S.                     tute (AAI).
other forum. The Judge basically
ignored expert Affidavits submitted        ment must discontinue all military         has, at times, criticized, though been
                                           assistance to Israel if Yaron’s appoint-   loathe to act more decisively to stop.         persists.
to the Court independently by three
American Professors of International       ment is confirmed. Also, there is no              What I have asked of the last five           It appears that Israel has its own
                                           statute of limitations for war crimes.     administrations was, quite simply, to          view of U.S. citizenship, seeing three
Law, all of whom stated under oath
                                           Should Yaron attempt to return to          do what any government is required to          classes:
that acknowledged war criminals
such as Yaron were both criminally         the U.S., the U.S. government is           do; and that is, to protect and defend its          American Jews whom they see
and civilly liable for the commission      obligated to prosecute him for war         own citizens and, in this case, require        as having “birthright advantages,”
of their international crimes, whether     crimes. The same conclusion fol-           Israel to live up to its treaty obliga-        other U.S. citizens who are respected
                                           lows for any other State where Yaron       tions.                                         and protected, and then, finally, Arab
in United States courts or elsewhere.
                                           might travel. Legally, General Yaron              The U.S. passport, the prized pos-      Americans whose rights as U.S. citizens
    Despite this setback, ADC con-         is just like General Pinochet: Hostis      session of any U.S. traveler, says quite       Israel does not fully recognize.
tinued to mount its nationwide             humani generis--The enemy of all           clearly on the opening page: “The                   In somewhat tacit acknowledge-
campaign to convince Yaron that an         humankind!                                 Secretary of State of the United States        ment of this shameful attitude, the U.S.
acknowledged war criminal was not                                                     of America hereby requests all whom            State Department has issued a travel
wanted by the American people to be                                                   it may concern to permit the citizen/          advisory for U.S. citizens going to the
roaming the streets of their capital,          Francis A. Boyle is a professor of     national of the United States named            West Bank and Gaza in which they
and that he should go home. Exactly        international law. He served as Attor-     herein to pass without delay or hin-           state the following: “American citizens
one year after the Israeli government      ney of Record in the lawsuit against       drance and in case of need to give all         whom Israeli authorities judge (based
press office had quietly announced         General Yaron in Ali Aidi v. Yaron,        lawful aid and protection.”                    on their name or other indicators)
the appointment of Yaron, the Jeru-        672 Fed. Supp. 516 (D.D.C. 1987),                 There is also the 1951 Treaty of        may be of Palestinian origin are likely
salem Post of Aug. 1, 1987 reported        Palestine Yearbook of International        Friendship, Commerce and Navigation,           to face additional, and often time-
                                                                                      signed by the U.S. and Israel, in which        consuming, questioning by immigra-
that Yaron was to resign his diplo-        Law, Vol. V, 1989.)
                                                                                      Israel agrees that U.S. citizens traveling     tion and border authorities. ...persons
matic position “for reasons related to a                                                                                             judged by the Israeli authorities to have
                                                                                      there be permitted “to travel therein
                                                                                      freely, to reside at places of their choice;   claim to a Palestinian Authority ID are
                                                                                      to enjoy liberty of conscience...and           subject to Israeli law and regulations
                                                                                      to bury their dead according to their          that apply to residents of the West
                                                                                      customs.” The Treaty also prohibits            Bank and Gaza, regardless of the fact
                                                                                      “unlawful molestations of every kind,”         that they hold U.S. citizenship. ...In ad-
                                                                                      and guarantees U.S. citizens “the most         dition, American citizens considered to
                                                                                      constant protection and security.”             have or to be eligible for a Palestinian
                                                                                                                                     ID who entered Israel via Ben Gurion
                                                                                             As many Arab Americans and              Airport might be required to depart via
                                                                                      most especially those of Palestinian           the Allenby Bridge to Jordan.” (empha-
                                                                                      descent will testify, this treaty has been     sis added)
                                                                                      “honored more in the breach than in
                                                                                      the observance.” Over the many years                In response to what can only be
                                                                                      that I have worked on this issue, we           described as Apartheid treatment, the
                                                                                      have recorded countless cases where            U.S. government rather lamely adds in
                                                                                      Arab Americans (even those with U.S.           its advisory that, “the U.S. government
                                                                                      diplomatic passports) were detained at         seeks equal treatment for all American
                                                                                      entry and exit, treated harshly and in a       citizens regardless of national origin
                                                                                      humiliating manner, and in some cases          or ethnicity. American citizens who
                                                                                      held for hours and subjected to long           encounter difficulties are encouraged
                                                                                      and often humiliating interrogation.           to contact the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv
                                                                                      Palestinian Americans, even those              or the U.S. Consulate General in Jeru-
                                                                                      born in the U.S., have been forced to          salem....”
                                                                                      surrender their U.S. passports. Israel              After my organization in Wash-
                                                                                      requires Palestinian Americans, even           ington wrote to the Secretary of State
                                                                                      those born in the U.S., to secure a Pal-       (in a letter signed by 29 other Arab
                                                                                      estinian travel document upon entry            American organizations) protesting
                                                                                      and exit. Others have been denied en-          this state of affairs, the department
                                                                                      try when attempting to visit their fami-       spokesperson, at a press briefing, re-
                                                                                      lies; while still others have been denied      sponded more forcefully saying that,
                                                                                      the opportunity to remain with their           “Our view, that an American citizen
                                                                                      families, bury their dead in ancestral         is an American citizen is an American
                                                                                      plots, or conduct normal business on           citizen. There are no second classes.
                                                                                      family-owned properties.                       ...You have a blue American passport,
                                                                                             At times, past administrations have     you should be treated like an Ameri-
                                                                                      intervened in individual cases, some           can citizen. ...We expect all American
                                                                                      burials were allowed, some visas were          citizens to be accorded the rights that
                                                                                      given or extended. Former National             any other American citizen would be
                                                                                      Security Sandy Berger, and former Sec-         accorded.” To that, I can only add,
                                                                                      retary of State Madeleine Albright, and,       “Amen.”
                                                                                      more recently, Secretary of State Rice,             The question arises, however, what
                                                                                      have raised this issue directly with the       the U.S. government would do when its
                                                                                      Israeli government, but the problem            expectations are not met. I have been
                                                                                      remains because the Israeli behavior           waiting for an answer to that question
                                                                                                                                     for more than thirty years.
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                          THE LOBBY                                                                       April 2008      27

                   Should the U.S. End Aid to Israel?
                        Funding Our Decline
             By Alison Weir                         In violation of the Arms Export
                                               Control Act, which requires that US
     04/04/08 “”               weapons only be used in “legitimate
-- April 1st I participated in a debate in     self defense,” Israel used American
San Francisco that raised the question         equipment during its two invasions of
of US aid to Israel.                           Lebanon, killing 17,000 the first time
                                               and 1,000 more recently, the vast ma-
     It was highly appropriate that this       jority civilians. It used American-made
debate was held two weeks before tax           cluster bombs in both invasions, again
day, since in Israel’s sixty years of ex-      in defiance of US laws, causing the
istence, it has received more US tax           “most hideous injuries” one American
money than any other nation on earth.          physician said she had ever seen, and
     During periods of recession, when         which, in one day in 1982 alone, re-
Americans are thrown out of work,              sulted in the amputation of over 1,000
homes are repossessed, school budgets          mangled limbs.
cut and businesses fail, Congress con-              It has used US military aid to con-
tinues to give Israel massive amounts of       tinue and expand its illegal confiscation
our tax money; currently, about 7 mil-         of land in the West Bank and Golan
lion dollars per day.                          Heights, and has used American F-16s
     On top of this, Egypt and Jordan          and Apache Helicopters against largely
receive large sums of money (per capita        unarmed civilian populations.                        Israel’s blockade of Gaza is collective punishment of 1.5 million people
about 1/20th of what Israel receives) to            According to Defense for Children                                   (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)
buy their cooperation with Israel; and         International, Israel has “engaged in
Palestinians also receive our tax money        gross violations of international human     perts advocated forcefully against sup-     Committee (AIPAC), Israel’s powerful
(about 1/23rd of that to Israel), to re-       rights and humanitarian law.” Between       porting the creation of a Zionist state     American lobbying organization.
pair infrastructure that Israeli forces        1967 and 2003, Israel destroyed more        in the Middle East. President Harry
have destroyed, to fund humanitarian                                                                                                        Bad as the above may appear, it
                                               than 10,000 homes, and such destruc-        Truman’s reply: “I am sorry gentle-         pales next to the indirect damage to
projects required due to the destruc-          tion continues today. A coalition of UK     men, but I have to answer to hundreds
tion wrought by Israel’s military, and                                                                                                 Americans caused by our aid to Israel.
                                               human rights groups recently issued         of thousands who are anxious for the        American funding of Israel’s egregious
to convince Palestinian officials to take      a report stating that Israel’s blockade     success of Zionism. I do not have hun-
actions beneficial to Israel. These sums                                                                                               violations of Palestinian human rights
                                               of Gaza is collective punishment of 1.5     dreds of thousands of Arabs among my        is consistently listed as the number one
should also be included in expendi-            million people, warning: “Unless the        constituents.”
tures on behalf of Israel.                                                                                                             cause of hostility to Americans.
                                               blockade ends now, it will be impossi-           Through the years, as noted above,
     When all are added together, it           ble to pull Gaza back from the brink of                                                      While American media regularly
                                                                                           our aid to Israel has not resulted in a     cover up Israeli actions, those of us
turns out that for many years over half        this disaster and any hopes for peace in    reliable ally.
of all US tax money abroad has been            the region will be dashed.”                                                             who have visited the region first-hand
expended to benefit a country the size                                                          In 1954 Israel tried to bomb US        witness a level of US-funded Israeli
                                                    In addition, Israel uses US military   government offices in Egypt, intending      cruelty that makes us weep for our
of New Jersey.                                 aid to fund an Israeli arms industry        to pin this on Muslims.                     victims and fear for our country. While
     It is certainly time to begin debat-      that competes with US companies.                                                        most Americans are uninformed on
ing this disbursement of our hard-             According to a report commissioned               In 1963 Senator William Fulbright
                                                                                           discovered that Israel was using a se-      how Israel uses our money, people
earned money. It is quite possible that        by the US Army War College, “Israel                                                     throughout the world are deeply aware
we have better uses for it.                    uses roughly 40 percent of its military     ries of covert operations to funnel our
                                                                                           money to pro-Israel groups in the US,       that it is Americans who are funding
     To decide whether the US should           aid, ostensibly earmarked for purchase                                                  Israeli crimes.
                                               of US weapons, to buy Israeli-made          which then used these funds in media
continue military aid to any nation, it                                                    campaigns and lobbying to procure                The 9/11 Commission notes that
is essential to examine the nature and         hardware. It also has won the right to
                                               require the Defense Department or US        even more money from American               Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s “animus
history of the recipient nation, how it                                                    taxpayers.                                  towards the United States stemmed-
has used our military aid in the past,         defense contractors to buy Israeli-made
                                               equipment or subsystems, paying 50 to            In 1967 Israeli forces unleashed       from his violent disagreement with
whether these uses are in accord with                                                                                                  U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.” The
our values, and whether they ben-              60 cents on every defense dollar the US     a two-hour air and sea attack against
                                               gives to Israel.”                           the USS Liberty, causing 200 casualties.    Economist reports that “ the notion of
efit the American taxpayers who are                                                                                                    payback for injustices suffered by the
putting up the money.                               Israel has used US aid to kill and     While Israel partisans claim that this
                                                                                           was done in error, this claim is belied     Palestinians is perhaps the most pow-
     1. What is the history and nature         injure nonviolent Palestinian, Ameri-                                                   erfully recurrent theme in bin Laden’s
                                               can and international activists, as well    by extensive eyewitness evidence and
of Israel?                                                                                 by an independent commission report-        speeches.”
                                               as American servicemen. Israeli sol-
     Describing Israel is always dif-          diers in an American-made Caterpillar       ing on Capitol Hill in 2003 chaired by           The Bottom Line
ficult. One can either stay within the         bulldozer crushed to death 23-year-old      former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of           In sum, US aid to Israel has desta-
mainstream paradigm, or tell the truth.        Rachel Corrie; an Israeli sniper shot       Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer.                bilized the Middle East; propped up
I will opt for the truth.                      21-year-old Tom Hurndall in the head;            In 1973 Israel used the largest air-   a national system based on ethnic
     Drawing on scores of books by di-         Israeli soldiers shot 26-year-old Brian     lift of US materiel in history to defeat    and religious discrimination; enabled
verse authors, the facts are quite clear:      Avery in the face. In 1967 Israel used      Arab forces attempting to regain their      unchecked aggression that has, on oc-
Israel was created through one of the          US-financed French aircraft to attack       own land, triggering the Arab oil em-       casion, been turned against Americans
most massive, ruthless, and persistent         a US Navy ship, killing 34 American         bargo that sent the US into a recession     themselves; funded arms industries
ethnic cleansing operations of modern          servicemen and injuring 174.                that cost thousands of Americans their      that compete with American com-
history. In 1947-49 about three-quar-               Israel has used US aid to imprison     jobs.                                       panies; supported a pattern of brutal
ters of a million Muslims and Chris-           without trial thousands of Palestinians          During its 1980s Lebanon inva-         dispossession that has created hatred of
tians, who had originally made up 95           and others, and according to reports        sion, Israeli troops engaged in a sys-      the US; and resulted in continuing con-
percent of the population living in the        by the London Times and Amnesty             tematic pattern of harassment of US         flict that last year took the lives of 384
area that Zionists wanted for a Jewish         International, Israel consistently tor-     forces brought in as peacekeepers that      Palestinians and 13 Israelis, and that in
state, were brutally forced off their          tures prisoners; including, according       created, according to Commandant            the past seven and a half years has cost
ancestral land. There were 33 massa-           to Foreign Service Journal, American        of Marines Gen. R. H Barrow, “life-         the lives of more than 982 Palestinian
cres, over 500 villages were completely        citizens.                                   threatening situations, replete with        children and 119 Israeli children.
destroyed, and an effort was made to                                                       verbal degradation of the officers, their        By providing massive funding to
erase all vestiges of Palestinian history           3. Are these uses in accord with
                                               our national and personal values?           uniform and country.”                       Israel, no matter what it does, Ameri-
and culture.                                                                                                                           can aid is empowering Israeli suprema-
                                                    Not in my view.                             Through the years, Israel has
     The fact is that Israel’s core identity                                               regularly spied on the US. According        cists who believe in a never-ending
is based on ethnic and religious dis-               4. Do these uses of US aid ben-        to the Government Accounting Office,        campaign of ethnic cleansing; while
crimination by a colonial, immigrant           efit American taxpayers?                    Israel “conducts the most aggressive es-    disempowering Israelis who recognize
group; and maintaining this exclusion-              While some Israeli actions have        pionage operations against the United       that policies of morality, justice, and
ist identity has required continued            served US interests, the balance sheet      States of any ally.” Secretary of Defense   rationality are the only road to peace.
violence against those it has dispos-          is clear: Israel’s use of American aid      Caspar Weinberger said of Israeli spy            It is time to end our aid.
sessed, and others who have given              consistently damages the United States,     Jonathan Pollard: “It is difficult for me
them refuge.                                                                                                                                Alison Weir is Executive Director of If
                                               harms our economy, and endangers            to conceive of greater harm done to         Americans Knew. For more information on the
     2. How has Israel used our mili-          Americans.                                  national security,” And the Pollard case    US-Israel relationship she especially recommends
tary aid in the past?                               In fact, this extremely negative       was just the tip of a very large iceberg;   the books by Donald Neff, Paul Findley, Kathleen
     In all of its wars except one, Israel     outcome was so predictable that even        the most recent operation coming to         Christison, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer,
has attacked first.                            before Israel’s creation virtually all      light involves two senior officials of      Grant Smith, Stephen Green, George Ball, and
                                               State Department and Pentagon ex-           the American Israel Public Affairs          John Mulhall.
28 April 2008                                                             THE LOBBY                                                    THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

  Former Knesset Speaker Speaks at Chapman
     By Jeff Warner, April 4, 2008              In talking about the new war on
                                           terror, Burg pointed out that it is
                                           fundamentally different from wars
   Avraham Burg gave a philo-              between nation-states. The war on
sophical and optimistic talk at            terror is a war about the narrative of
Chapman College on Thursday,               each side – it is about values. The
April 3.                                   democratic side has values of indi-
     Burg comes from a Zionist             vidual rights whereas the extremist
family. He was a leading figure in         side has values of fear. Burg said
Israeli politics for over 20 years, ris-   that if the democracy side adopts
ing to become Speaker of the Knes-         the other side’s values, democracy
set from 1999-2003. But, Burg is a         loses. He suggested that the politics
realist who said, “Whoever wants a         of fear and Guantanamo and the use
full democracy with a Jewish major-        of torture will not help the democ-
ity cannot hold onto the entire land       racy side to win this war of ideas.
from the Jordan River to the Medi-             Burg modified Samuel Hunt-
terranean Sea, because it is a land        ington‛s idea that the 21st century
that has people of another nation          will be dominated by a clash of civi-
with different national aspirations.       lizations – the modern Christian
“ In October 2003 Burg caused              world vs. the pre-modern Islamic
a sensation when he published an           world. Burg said the battle will be
article in the British newspaper           a conflict between democracy and
The Guardian titled “The end of            theocracy, and the battle will not
Zionism,” that called for a quick          necessarily be against a far away
withdrawal from the West Bank              enemy – the enemy is commonly
and Gaza Strip. In the same year           within our own society, and may
he published an article in the Israeli     even be within your own family.
newspaper Yeduoth Ahronoth in
which he declared, “Israel, having             Of course Burg was referring to
ceased to care about the children          the conflict between humanism and
of the Palestinians, should not be         fundamentalism that is occurring
surprised when they come washed            within all the monotheistic reli-
in hatred and blow themselves up in        gions – Christianity and Judaism as
                                           well as Islam. Burg suggested that       He pointed out that although each        that extremists have is not captured
the centers of Israeli escapism.”                                                   nation insists on its national iden-     the government, hold the govern-
                                           this conflict is sort of self-induced.
    For his talk at Chapman, Burg          Technology and the modern world          tity, there is reconciliation among      ment hostage. He identified the
stood back from the Israeli-Pales-         move so fast, and are so hectic, that    the nations and they no longer re-       Israeli extremists as the messianic
tinian conflict to ask broader ques-       traditional people attempt to escape     sort to killing the other at the first   settlers who believe.
tions of how to achieve peace in           into the slower, familiar world of       problem. The big test, he said, is           He said most Israelis want
the world. This is not a new theme         religion and fundamentalism.             how Europe will integrate its large      three things in relation to the land
for Burg whose activism pushed                                                      Muslim minority – now about 30           between the River Jordan and the
him to adopt a liberal, reconcilia-            Burg said that for a society to      million people, but when Turkey is
                                           transform itself to modernism, it                                                 Mediterranean Sea: (1) Greater
tory approach to the Middle East                                                    admitted to the EU there will be 100     Israel in control of all the land, (2)
conflict. He wrote, “All of my life        invariably goes though violence,         million Muslims in Europe – into
                                           sometime internal and sometimes                                                   a Jewish state, and (3) a democracy.
I’ve been an activist of the peace                                                  the greater society.                     Burg said that all three are impossi-
camp... I’m ready to go a very long        external. As examples he cited the
                                           French Revolution, the American              During the Q&A Burg ad-              ble, and the want that most Israelis
way to bring people together, from                                                  dressed some Israeli-Palestinian is-     seem ready to give up is all the land,
dialog to acceptance and then              Civil War, and the Crusades. He
                                           was optimistic that the current          sues. He said that everyone knows        that is, most Israelis are ready to ac-
compromise.” His talk at Chapman                                                    what a two-state solution will look      cept a Palestinian state on part of
expanded on this message.                  violence in the Islamic world means
                                           that Islam is in the process of adopt-   like – essentially the 2000 Clinton      the land.
     In talking about specific con-        ing modernity and a humanistic           parameters. He said the most Israe-         When asked about AIPAC,
flicts, Burg said that to make peace       value system.                            li and most Palestinians, and many       Burg called the organization that
each side must understand their en-                                                 of the government leaders in Israel      worst thing to ever happen to Israel.
emy’s fears. The psychological and             Burg was also optimistic in          and Palestine want a Palestinian
                                           that he sees Europe’s conversion to                                               He said the extremist position of
physical needs of the other must be                                                 state to emerge. He said the barrier     AIPAC is commonly more extreme
satisfied.                                 modernism essentially complete.          to achieving a two-state solution is     than the Israeli government.

        Congress recognizes Jewish refugees
          from Arab countries for first time
    By Shlomo Shamir -                     of the resolution, U.S. officials        estinians in the Middle East,            ted from public discussion on
   Haaretz Correspondent                   involved in Middle East peace            but also Jewish people who               the peace process,” said Rep.
                                           negotiations which also refer-           themselves were dispossessed             Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
   The U.S. House of Rep-                  ence the Palestinian refugee             of their possessions and their               Another co-sponsor of the
resentatives on Tuesday ap-                question are to “also include            homes, and were victims of               bill, Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-
proved an unprecedented                    a similarly explicit reference           terrorist acts,” one of the bill’s       N.J.), said the United Nations’
resolution recognizing Jewish              to the resolution of the issue           co-sponsors, Rep. Joseph                 unwillingness to acknowledge
refugees from Arab countries               of Jewish refugees from Arab             Crowley (D-N.Y.) said.                   the plight of Jewish refugees
who were forced to flee their              countries.”                                  “Jewish refugees outnum-             “is completely unacceptable
homes in the aftermath of the                  “The world needs to un-              bered Palestinian refugees,              and long over due, and this is
creation of the state of Israel.           derstand that it is not just the         and their forced exile from              one of the things this resolu-
   According to the language               Arabs and it’s not just the Pal-         Arab lands must not be omit-             tion seeks to address.
THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                                      THE LOBBY                                                                   April 2008   29

  The senator, his pastor and the Israel lobby
         By Ali Abunimah
       The Electronic Intifada

    US Senator Barack Obama was
widely hailed for his 18 March speech
calming the media furor about the
sermons of his pastor for twenty years
Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright’s
remarks, Obama said, “expressed
a profoundly distorted view of this
country -- a view that sees white rac-
ism as endemic, and that elevates what
is wrong with America above all that
we know is right with America; a view
that sees the conflicts in the Middle
East as rooted primarily in the actions
of stalwart allies like Israel, instead
of emanating from the perverse and
hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”
     It might seem odd for Obama to
mention Israel and “radical Islam” in
a speech focused on US race relations,       Senator Barack Obama addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) forum on Foreign
especially since Wright’s most widely                           Policy in Chicago, March 2007. (Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images)
reported comments were about Amer-
ica’s historic and ongoing oppression      candid when speaking to Jewish lead-        Jewish American leaders for insisting       figure in national politics who likely
of its black citizens.                     ers in Cleveland just one day before        that “Whoever is doing business with        gets most of his notoriety from the
     But for months, even before most      the debate. In a little-noticed com-        South Africa is wrong, but Israel is        ADL? Surely if anti-Semitism were
Americans had heard of Wright,             ment, reported on 25 February by the        ... subsidized by America, which in-        such an endemic problem among
prominent pro-Israel activists were        Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Obama            cludes black Americans’ tax money,          African Americans, there would be
hounding Obama over Wright’s views         tried to contextualize Wright’s critical    and then it subsidizes South Africa”        someone other than Farrakhan for the
on Israel and ties to Nation of Islam      views of Israel. Wright, Obama ex-          (“Jackson Draws New Criticism From          ADL to have focused its ire on all these
leader Louis Farrakhan. In January,        plained, “was very active in the South      Jewish Leaders Over Interview,” As-         decades.
Abraham Foxman, National Director          Africa divestment movement and you          sociated Press, 16 October 1987). As a          By contrast, neither Senator Joe
of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL),       will recall that there was a tension that   presidential candidate, Jackson raised      Lieberman (Al Gore’s running mate
demanded that Obama denounce Far-          arose between the African American          the same concerns in a high profile         in 2000 and the first Jewish candidate
rakhan as an anti-Semite. The senator      and the Jewish communities during           meeting with the Israeli ambassador,        on a major party presidential ticket),
duly did so, but that was not enough.      that period when we were dealing with       as did a delegation of black civil rights   nor Senator John McCain have been
“[Obama has] distanced himself from        apartheid in South Africa, because Is-      and religious leaders, including the        required so publicly and so repeat-
his pastor’s decision to honor Far-        rael and South Africa had a relation-       nephew of Martin Luther King Jr,            edly to repudiate extremist and racist
rakhan,” Foxman said, but “He has          ship at that time. And that cause -- that   on a visit to Israel. For many African      comments by Israeli leaders or some
not distanced himself from his pastor.     was a source of tension.”                   Americans, it was intolerable hypoc-        well-known radical Christian lead-
I think that’s the next step.” Foxman          Obama implicitly admitted that          risy that so many Jewish leaders who        ers supporting the Republican party.
labeled Wright “a black racist,” adding    Wright’s views were rooted in opposi-       staunchly supported Civil Rights and        Foxman, whose organization devotes
in the same breath, “Certainly he has      tion to Israel’s deep ties to apartheid     the anti-apartheid movement would           enormous resources to burnishing
very strong anti-Israel views” (Larry      South Africa, and thus entirely rea-        be tolerant of Israel’s complicity.         Israel’s image, has rarely spoken out
Cohler-Esses, “ADL Chief To Obama:         sonable even if Obama himself did               Thus, Reverend Wright, who has          about the escalating anti-Arab racism
‘Confront Your Pastor’ On Minister         “not necessarily,” as he put it, share      sought a broader understanding of           and incitement to violence by promi-
Farrakhan,” The Jewish Week, 16            them. Israel supplied South Africa          the Middle East than one that blames        nent Israeli politicians and rabbis.
January 2008). Criticism of Israel, one    with hundreds of millions of dollars        Islam and Arabs for all the region’s
suspects, is Wright’s truly unforgivable                                                                                                That is no surprise. African Amer-
                                           of weaponry despite an international        problems or endorses unconditional          icans, Arab Americans and Muslims all
crime and Foxman’s vitriol has echoed      embargo. Even the water cannons that        support for Israel, stood in the main-
through dozens of pro-Israel blogs.                                                                                                share some things in common: indi-
                                           South African forces used to attack         stream of African American opinion,         viduals are held collectively responsi-
     Since his early political life in     anti-apartheid demonstrators in the         not on some extremist fringe.               ble for the words and actions of others
Chicago, Barack Obama was well-in-         townships were manufactured at Kib-             That is not to say that Jewish con-     in their community whether they had
formed about the Middle East and had       butz Beit Alfa, a “socialist” settlement    cerns about anti-Semitic sentiments         anything to do with them or not. And
expressed nuanced views conveying          in northern Israel. Until the late 1980s,   among some African Americans                the price of admission to the political
an understanding that justice and fair-    South Africa often relied on Israel to      should simply be dismissed. Racism in       mainstream is to abandon any foreign
ness, not blinkered support for Israel,    lobby Western governments not to            any community should be confronted.         policy goals that diverge from those of
are the keys to peace and the right way    impose sanctions.                           But as they have done with other com-       the pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian lobby.
to combat extremism. Yet for months            And the relationship was durable.       munities, hard-line pro-Israel activists
he has been fighting the charge that       As The Washington Post reported in          like Foxman have too often tried to
he is less rabidly pro-Israel than other   1987, “When it comes to Israel and          tar any African American critic of Is-
candidates -- which means now ad-                                                                                                      Co-founder of The Electronic Inti-
                                           South Africa, breaking up is hard to        rael with the brush of anti-Semitism.       fada, Ali Abunimah is author of One
hering to the same simplistic formulas     do.” Israeli officials, the newspaper       Why must every black candidate to
and unconditional support for Israeli                                                                                              Country: A Bold Proposal to End the
                                           said, “face conflicting imperatives:        a major office go through the ritual         Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metro-
policies that have helped to escalate      their desire to get in line with the        of denouncing Farrakhan, a marginal
conflict and worsen America’s stand-                                                                                                        politan Books, 2006).
                                           West, which has adopted a policy of
ing in the Middle East. Hence Obama’s      mild but symbolic sanctions, versus
assertion at his 26 February debate        Israel’s longstanding friendship with
with Senator Hillary Clinton that he is    the Pretoria government, a relation-
“a stalwart friend of Israel.”             ship that has been important for stra-
    But Obama stressed that his ap-        tegic, economic and, at times, senti-
peal to Jewish voters also stems from      mental reasons” (“An Israeli Dilemma:
his desire “to rebuild what I consider     S. African Ties; Moves to Cut Links
to be a historic relationship between      Are Slowed by Economic Pressures,
the African American community and         Sentiment,” The Washington Post, 20
the Jewish community.”                     September 1987).
    Obama has not addressed to a na-          In 1987, Jesse Jackson, then the
tional audience why that relationship      world’s most prominent African
might have frayed. He was much more        American politician, angered some
30 April 2008                                                          CALENDAR OF EVENTS                                                           THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR

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                                                                                          Saturday, May 10, 2008
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Discrimination Committee (ADC) for                                                        Featuring                                       PALESTINIAN SUMMER
its 2008 Annual National Convention:                                                      Ralph Nader, Esq.,                              CELEBRATION
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                                                 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
    hank you for sending The Independent Monitor to me and for your great                     Alf shokr dear Sami for publishing the small eulogy for my beloved Aunt
effort in having this newspaper published. Your article about the coin is very            Marie in The Independent Monitor (I just wished that the second page was
good and very interesting. I am sending you herein pictures of the coins and              included as well – but no problem at all). I’m obliged for your consideration in
currency we used in Palestine up to, and including, half of the year 1948. Also,          the first place.
and enclosed, is a $50 check, my subscription for the Monitor for the next two
years. Sami: you are doing a great job, and most, if not all, Arab Americans              Also, I LOVED your editorial about the coin and your courage to always debate
support you the very best. Please continue doing your great work.                         the Zionists whenever possible. I am amazed that some people are still adamant
                                                                                          not communicate with Zionists – which is the only way to prove them wrong in
Jamal Zeid                                                                                public forums. I respect you a lot, Sami.

                                                                                          Ghassan H. Elias

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THE INDEPENDENT MONITOR                                     SOCIAL EVENT                                                April 2008   31

                                         HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANAL

    (L to R) Manal & Sami Mashney,
          Zuhair & Maha Tawil                                                                     (L to R) Fatme Azzam, Manal & Sami
                                                                                                         Mashney & Lutfi Azzam)

                                                  (L to R) Maro Vacalo, Fred Karam, Manal
                                                           Mashney & Nada Karam

    (L to R) Said Rafidi, Sami & Manal                                                            (L to R) Manal Mashney, Eman & Dr.
         Mashney & Sophie Rafidi                                                                    Bassam Younes & Sami Mashney

                                              (L to R) Basel, Martha, Nahida, George & Marlene
                                                          Abdo, Elyas & Najat Khury

                                                                                                  (L to R) Sami Mashney, Carol & Sami
    (L to R) Manal Mashney, Hanan &                                                                     Kandah & Manal Mashney
      Suhail Kassis & Sami Mashney

                                              (L to R) Miranda, Sami, Manal & Beshara Mashney

                                                                                                 (L to R) Sami Mashney, Alfredo & Rima
(L to R) Nick, Eleni, Maro & Kosta Vacalo,                                                             Mantoura & Manal Mashney
Miranda, Sami, Manal & Beshara Mashney,
       Suzanne & Hanna Zabaneh

                                               (L to R) Manal & Sami Mashney, Patricia & Bob
                                             Hamra, Katia & Saad Karam & Reem & Musa Samawi

                                                                                                  (L to R) Sami Mashney, Najat & Elyas
       (L to R) Rima Mantoura &                                                                         Khury & Manal Mashney
             Manal Mashney

                                               (L to R) Dr. Bassam Younes, Dr. Samir & Mayssa
  (L to R) Sami Mashney, Samir & Afaf          Azzam, Maurice & Nadia Karkar, Waad and Ban
        Khoury & Manal Mashney                                                                          Rola & Walid Haddadin