USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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Archive for September, 2007

Ha’aretz: A month before he wed, Dabah found himself without a home

Posted by uscsjp on September 25, 2007

By Fadi Eyadat
Kaid Dabah has dreamed of living in Carmiel, near his hometown of Dir al-Asad, since he was 15 years old. He was drawn to the neighboring town’s orderly streets, quiet and clean neighborhoods, and entertainment and leisure options that his village lacked. As an adolescent, he remembers, he longed above all for personal freedom and presumed he would find it in Carmiel, out of his family’s reach.In August 2004, at age 28, Dabah and his fiancee decided to realize that dream and buy a home in Carmiel. The housing crunch in his village only reinforced his decision and persuaded his parents. He found an apartment on He’asif Street in Carmiel’s Givat Ram neighborhood.”Within a week, I had reached an agreement with the owner on the price and signed a contract with him. I worked on the bank, and they approved a mortgage for me. I thought I was at long last making the dream come true,” Dabah said. But the Jewish National Fund had other plans.

“A month before the wedding, after I had signed the contract and made a down payment of NIS 40,000 to the apartment’s owner, the lawyer called me and told me to come see him as soon as possible,” he continued. When Dabah arrived for a meeting, the lawyer informed him that the land on which the apartment building stands belongs to the JNF.

“The lawyer said to me: ‘I’ll give it to you straight: The JNF doesn’t sell to Arabs and you can’t buy the apartment.’ I felt my world cave in,” Dabah said. (article continued)

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25th Anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre

Posted by uscsjp on September 17, 2007

Electronic Intifada: For 40 hours in September 1982, members of the Israeli-allied Lebanese Phalangist militia raped, killed, and injured a large number of unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly people inside the encircled and sealed Sabra and Shatila camps. The estimate of victims varies between 700 (the official Israeli figure) to 3,500.

On 6 June 1982, the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in retaliation for the attempted assassination of Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in London on 4 June. The Israeli secret services had that same day attributed the attempted assassination to a dissident Palestinian organization backed by the government of Iraq, which was at the time eager to deflect world attention from its recent setbacks in the Iran-Iraq war.[1] The Israeli operation, planned well in advance, was called “Operation Peace for Galilee.”

Initially, the Israeli government had announced that its intention was to penetrate just 40km into Lebanese territory. The military command, however, under the orders of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, decided to execute a more ambitious project that Sharon had prepared several months earlier. Having occupied the south of the country and destroyed any Palestinian and Lebanese resistance there, simultaneously committing a series of violations against the civilian population,[2] Israeli troops proceeded to penetrate as far as Beirut. By 18 June 1982 they had surrounded the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) armed forces in the western part of the Lebanese capital.

According to Lebanese statistics, the Israeli offensive, particularly the intensive shelling of Beirut, caused 18,000 deaths and 30,000 injuries, mostly among civilians. (article continued)

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Naomi Klein: How war was turned into a brand

Posted by uscsjp on September 17, 2007

Political chaos means Israel is booming like it’s 1999 – and the boom is in defence exports field-tested on Palestinians

Naomi Klein — Saturday June 16, 2007 — The Guardian

Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president’s chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hizbullah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith. At a glance, things aren’t going well for Israel. But here’s a puzzle: why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it’s 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China’s?

Thomas Friedman recently offered his theory in the New York Times. Israel “nurtures and rewards individual imagination”, and so its people are constantly spawning ingenious hi-tech start-ups, no matter what messes their politicians are making. After perusing class projects by students in engineering and computer science at Ben-Gurion University, Friedman made one of his famous fake-sense pronouncements. Israel “had discovered oil”. This oil, apparently, is located in the minds of Israel’s “young innovators and venture capitalists”, who are too busy making megadeals with Google to be held back by politics.

Here’s another theory. Israel’s economy isn’t booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it. (article continued here)

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Electronic Intifada: “How Will I Care For My Children?”

Posted by uscsjp on September 10, 2007

Rami Almeghari:

“May God close the eyes of anyone who attempts to shut down the al-Salah charitable society that provides us our living.” So said Halima Abu ‘Isa, a 45-year-old widow and mother of two in reaction to the decision of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to close down 103 Palestinian charities.

The monthly allowance of 900 shekels (US $230) that Abu ‘Isa receives from al-Salah, an Islamic charity with links to Hamas, is the only thing that stands between her and destitution. She lives in a rented house in the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah and is the sole caretaker of two children since her husband died eleven years ago in a road accident.

“Why do they want to close down these charities that have provided me and so many others with dignity and spared us from begging,” Abu ‘Isa asks. “How will I care for my children and repay my debts if, heaven forbid, they cut off my allowance?” She strongly blames those who have taken this decision.

The Palestinian government in Ramallah, appointed by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas in June, without the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council, issued a decree last month ordering the closure of 103 Palestinian charities alleging financial improprieties. In a 29 August statement, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemned the decision as illegal and called “upon the government in Ramallah to rescind this decision that will cut off humanitarian and emergency aid to thousands of Palestinian families…” (full article here)

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Hamas bans Gaza outdoor prayer

Posted by uscsjp on September 4, 2007

Hamas has banned outdoor prayer gatherings in the Gaza Strip, just days after supporters of the rival Fatah group used them to mount mass protests.

About 20 people were injured on Friday when Hamas security forces broke up the biggest show of opposition to the group since it took control of Gaza in June.

The thousands of protesters accused the Islamists of violating civil liberties and using mosques to spread propaganda. (link)

Earlier, dozens of women defied a ban and staged a peaceful protest in Gaza.

The Fatah supporters called for an end to the arbitrary arrests and the alleged beatings of their family members by Hamas.

The Islamist group has insisted it conducts its arrests for reasons of law and order.

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