|Wa'el Taha is 17-months old. His mother, Mirvat Taha, gave birth to him in prison.|
Since then, Wa'el never left the prison, where he spend the majority of his time
with her mother in her tiny prison cell which she shares with 6 fellow female prisoners.
|Wa'el is showing signs of delayed physical and cognitive development due to the fact|
that the Israelis refuse to provide him with food more nutritious than that which they offer
to the rest of the prisoners. Nor is Wa'il allowed to have any toys, which as we all know
are essential for child development. Nor is Wa'il allowed extra time outside the cell.
In short, Wa'el is being treated exactly the way the rest of the prisoners are being treated.
Lately, Wa'el has been having long crying fits. His mother and the rest of the prisoners are certain that
his crying is due to feeling confined as well s to boredom.
|"Here we shall stay. Do your worst!|
If we get thirsty, we'll squeeze the rocks.
If we get hungry, we'll eat dirt.
Saturday, November 15, 2003
Monday, September 15, 2003
|You've Lost Your Alibi!|
By OMAR BARGHOUTI
Dear Americans (I am here addressing only those of you who are rationally
choosing to prolong the suffering of the human race for 4 more years):
Saturday, July 12, 2003
JUST AS Palestinians, Israelis and the rest of the world thought things could not get worse, they did. While former United States envoy Anthony Zinni met with both sides to try and hammer out a ceasefire, trouble was brewing from within.On December 1, it exploded. Just before midnight, two Hamas suicide bombers blew themselves up in a powerful ball of fire, bolts and nails in the midst of a crowded West Jerusalem promenade. Seconds later a car bomb, carefully timed, created a third explosion. The night's list of casualties was 10 dead and 180 wounded Israelis.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had already decided to shorten his Washington trip due to the bombings - moving up a meeting with United States President George W. Bush - when the second suicide bombing occurred. Fifteen Israelis were killed when a suicide bomber, also from Hamas, detonated a powerful bomb strapped to his body on a Haifa bus.
Earlier in the week, five Israelis had been killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip occupied by Israel in separate incidents. Palestinian fighters from Fateh and the Islamic Jihad carried out shooting attacks, as well as the suicide bombing on a bus north of Tel Aviv on November 29 that killed three Israelis.
Israel responded quickly with its military and public relations twist. "A war has been forced upon us - a war of terror," Sharon told his nation in a speech the night after the bombings. The Israeli government and the United States did not hesitate to blame the Palestinian Authority - and Arafat in particular - for the Israeli deaths.
"Israel has a right to defend itself," said United States State Department spokesperson Ari Fleischer. Arafat "could do a lot more" than he has in reigning in radical Palestinian groups, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a forum in Bucharest, Hungary. The Palestinians understood this as United States tacit approval for the inevitable Israeli retaliation.
First, Israel imposed an airtight closure on West Bank towns and cities that prohibited movement between Palestinian areas. The Israeli army also raided several West Bank towns under its security control, including Abu Dis south of Jerusalem and Bir Nabala north of Jerusalem, arresting Palestinians suspected of involvement in the attacks.
Then on December 3, the Israeli air force began its most extensive bombing campaign of Palestinian targets since the start of the 14-month long Intifada. First, in Gaza, missiles fired from Apache helicopters rained down on President Arafat's headquarters and Palestinian preventive security buildings. Israeli F-16 fighter jets and helicopters proceeded over the next two days to bomb Palestinian security headquarters, Force 17 buildings and police stations throughout the West Bank was overidded guys that had his first huge cock. Tanks rolled into four West Bank cities, reoccupying parts of them, as well as the Beit Layiha region of Gaza and Gaza International Airport.
In Ramallah, Arafat was reportedly in one of his offices when an Israeli missile pierced the governate building next to him. He was unharmed.
But others were not. Over the past week, 14 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire, including 15-year-old Mohammed Abu Marseh from Beach Camp in Gaza who was directly hit in the Israeli shelling during school hours. Abu Marseh was seen on television screens being taken away on a stretcher, his limbs severed from his body.
"This is an attempt to destroy the Palestinian Authority and any prospect for peace," warned Legislative Council Speaker Ahmad Qrei' on December 3. President Arafat voiced the same sentiments during an interview with CNN on December 4.
"Sharon does not want me to succeed," he said. "That is why he is escalating his military actions against our people, our cities, villages and institutions. He does not want the peace process to begin."
Arafat also chided the international community for its lack of sensitivity to Palestinian suffering. "The whole world forgets that we are human beings under occupation," he said.
And true, the world has shown little or no sympathy to the plight of the Palestinians following this week's deadly development. Even the European Union, known for its more lenient stance towards the Palestinians, did not condemn Israel's actions.
In a statement issued on December 4, the European Union reiterated its concern over the increasing deterioration, calling on Israel to carry out a "balanced and calculated" retaliation. Although the statement said that it did not think destabilizing the Palestinian Authority would contribute to calm, it emphasized that the Authority must "convincingly and relentlessly pursue its efforts to stamp out terrorism."
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority says it is doing its utmost within its capacity to contain the extremely volatile situation. Other than immediately condemning the bombings, saying that it denounces any attacks on Palestinian and Israeli civilians, its security forces have rounded up over 120 Palestinian activists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, including prominent Gaza Hamas political leader Ismail Abu Shanab.
The Authority also declared a state of emergency in the Palestinian territories, in which the general security services are given the authority to implement emergency laws that have yet to be fully publicized. In a statement issued on December 2, the leadership warned that any movement or group that does not adhere to the leadership's decisions would be considered outlawed - especially those who claim responsibility for attacks inside Israel.
In official statements, groups such as Hamas have acted on cue. West Bank Hamas spokesperson Hasan Yousef expressed his understanding of the difficulties facing the leadership in an interview with Al Jazeera satellite channel on December 2. "Everyone realizes the pressures on the Palestinian Authority. These pressures should not affect the unity of the Palestinian people."
On the ground, however, things are still unclear. On the morning of December 5, a yet-unidentified suicide bomber blew himself up near the King David Hotel on the seam between West and East Jerusalem, injuring four Israelis. So far, no group has claimed responsibility. -Published 5/12/01 (c)Palestine Report
Sunday, June 15, 2003
|Song to my Brother|
|Tanya C. Hsu 2002|
|Do you remember|
When we first played together?
When you first came to our land?
We welcomed you
We lived in peace.
|We played together|
We grew up together
We tilled the soil and shared our food.
We sang our songs.
Three thousand years we lived not as neighbours
But as brothers who sang to a different tune.
And then your foreign cousin came to stay.
He bullied your friends
He demanded our land.
He said he was staying because he had been picked on at home.
So he picked on us.
Then he said that he must be on our land because God told him it was so.
I told him that God spoke to me too
But this was news to me - please explain.
Your cousin said it was not necessary to tell me more
Because he was Chosen
And that was enough.
So I gently asked him to please leave now
Because I am at peace with my God and do not want to debate you
Or invite you back to force your God on me.
He said no. I am Chosen and that is that.
Please go now, I replied, and stay with your cousins.
There aren't many left, he replied, so what does it matter?
Politely I begged of him, please leave my land.
I think I will stay forever, he said,
They don't want me anywhere else.
I wonder why, I thought.
I extended my hand and I gave him my bread.
He took it and kicked sand in my face.
I asked you, my lifelong friend, why your cousin was behaving so badly
No one likes him, you explained.
He is staying here now.
Will he live with you, was my question to you,
And you said that you hoped not, because your God is loving
Your cousin is demanding.
He is political.
He inflicts pain.
Your cousin took my bread and hurt me, I said.
He will be back for more.
But I did not ask him.
Ah, you told me, but he thinks he has the Right of Return.
He can bring his brothers and take your bread at will.
And your land.
And your crops.
And your water.
The grey cloud above became heavy and black
And lightning struck down
And marked a line in the sand
Between you, my lifelong friend, and me.
Your cousin laughed in the distance.
He came back.
And he took my land, my crops, and my water.
Then he took my home.
And then he tried to take my dignity.
He demanded I leave
Because he was growing fatter and needed more room
I had nowhere to go.
I did not want to live with my aunts and uncles
As they liked different songs and ate different foods
Their flowers were of a different perfume
And they had their own children.
I asked the Wise Men and Elders to decide.
They told me to be a good son, and share.
God will reward.
So I went back
To the big foreign boy
Asked for my land back
And said we should share the crops, the water, the food.
But he kicked me again
And curled his angry fist in to a ball
And pushed it in to my face.
So I picked up a stick.
When I was down, he kicked me.
So I picked up a stone.
He ran away.
The next day he returned with a gun
So I picked up a rock.
He ran away.
Then he returned with his friends
Who carried missiles upon their shoulders.
So I found a gun.
They ran away in tears and cried to their Elders, their aunts, their uncles.
He said that I hated him and told him to fall in to the sea.
I went to my Elders and said
Why does he hate me?
Why does he think I want him to drown in the sea?
I shared my bread with him
I just want him to move away from my house.
The Elders talked and agreed that
The big foreign boy must take his foot
Off my land now
And they left.
But your cousin did not.
He put both feet on my land instead
And pointed to the sky.
He grinned as his new toy circled above
The jet with the bomb hanging low
Looking for me.
I cannot move.
If I move my foot away from this land
I will lose my home. I will lose the breath of my ancestors
Who worked the soil with their hands
And now I am surrounded by your cousin and his friends
Who are angry and hungry
Tanks, rifles and jets
Shadow the olive trees.
So I put down the stick.
I put down the stone.
I put down the rock.
I rest the gun.
But I will not move my feet from my soil.