Saturday, December 27, 2008

Israeli Allies of Bush-Obama Administration Continue War On Palestinians

The Israeli allies of the Bush-Obama Administration have a long history of using their U.S. government-supported Israeli military machine to deny the Palestinian people their full self-determination rights and their right of return, to continue the illegal Israeli government occupation of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem and to eliminate Palestinian political activists who are involved in resisting Israeli militarism in the Middle East, as indicated by some of the following column items that appeared in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown, during the early 1990s:

Did Rabin Order Assassination Of Publisher?

A 35-year-old Palestinian newspaper publisher, Hani Abed, was assassinated in early November 1994, when his “car blew up…in the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis as he opened its trunk.” (LA Times 11/4/94). The Palestinian Authority’s minister of justice, Freih Abu Medein, asserted that “this is the first bullet in the dirty war the Israelis are beginning” and “cited a report…in the British newspaper The Observer” that [the now-deceased] Nobel Peace Prize Winner Yitzhak Rabin “had authorized an assassination campaign against leaders of the militant organization Hamas.” ( LA Times 11/14/94).

(Downtown 11/23/94)

Israeli Government Shut Gaza Press Office

One reason why it’s often hard to get much information about Palestinian resistance to the Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip is that the Israeli government has had a habit of shutting down the Gaza Office for Press Services. As the London-based Article 19 human rights organization noted in its 1991 report, Information Freedom And Censorship:

“The closure of Palestinian press agencies has further deprived foreign journalists of valuable information from Palestinian sources. The Gaza Press Office was shut for a month in January, 1988. The Palestinian Press Service [PPS]…was closed in March, and in the same month the Bethlehem Press Office was closed for six months. In August, Haya Press Service was shut down for a year and its co-owner…Nabil Joulani, was served with six months’ administrative detention. The Gaza Office for Press Services was closed in January, 1989 for a year…The Holy Land Press Service was closed for two years from June…”

(Downtown May 26, 1993)

Peace In The Middle East?

According to PLO Foreign Minister Farouk Khadoumi, “Israel has not fulfilled the program contained in the peace agreement” and “the most important issues now are the return of the refugees, the liberation of the prisoners, an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, an end to the policy of confiscating more land and the return of East Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty.” In Khadoumi’s views, talks between the PLO and the Israeli government “have not been successful up until now because the principal issues have not been resolved, Israel continues to hold 40 percent of the territory, and the refugees are not returning.” (Granma International 12/20/95)

After a 29 year-old Palestinian activist named Yehya Ayyash was killed in early January 1996 “by a booby-trapped cellular telephone that blew up the right side of his head,” Israel Radio “quoted unnamed sources as saying Israel had carried out the killing” (Boston Globe 1/7/96); and Hamas’ military wing charged that Ayyash had been “assassinated” by “the Israeli Secret Service, the Mossad” (NY Times 1/6/96). According to the Times, “if Mr. Ayyash’s killing was an Israeli hit, there was little doubt that it was approved by [then-] Prime Minister Shimon Peres, since the secret service would not conduct so sensitive a mission on its own.”

(Downtown 1/24/96)

Israeli Human Rights Violations

The Israeli Establishment has a history of violating the human rights of folks who live on land it occupies in violation of UN Security Resolution 242. As Amnesty International observed in its 1990 Report:

“About 25,000 Palestinians…were arrested in connection with the Intifada (uprising) in the Occupied Territories. Over 4,000 served periods in administrative detention without charge or trial…Thousands of Palestinians were beaten while in the hands of Israeli forces or were tortured or ill-treated in detention centres. At least eight were reported to have died as a result. Over 260 unarmed Palestinian civilians—including children—were shot dead by Israeli forces, often in circumstances suggesting excessive use of force or deliberate killing. Others died in incidents where tear-gas was possibly deliberately misused…”

Despite its policy of continuing to violate human rights in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, the Israeli Establishment still gets “$3 billion a year in aid” from the Democratic Clinton regime because “no American Administration wants to pick a fight with Israel during an election year,” according to the NY Times (9/28/96).

Coincidentally, as Downtown observed in its Jan. 15, 1992 issue (“Holy Land Nuclear War Preparations: A Look At Nuclear Israel and Its Special Influence”), “Seventy-eight pro-Nuclear Israel PACs donated more than $5.7 million to 477 candidates for the U.S. Congress during the 1988 U.S. election campaign;” and [former] U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, for instance, received over $272,000 in pro-Nuclear Israel PAC campaign contributions between 1978 and 1988.

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 10/9/96)

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