Archive for June 2007
Paul Usiskin has an editorial in Today’s JC:
They are one of the poorest sectors in Israel’s economy and neither contribute to nor benefit from Israel’s consistent growth. The discrimination against them is the culmination of nearly 60 years of betrayal of Palestinian Arabs.
I would add, betrayed both by the Jewish citizens of Israel and by the Arab nations. Palestinian citizens of Israel simply don’t fit anyone’s political agenda.
“Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to support Israel and pursue peace, democracy and human rights at the same time.”
I am a moderate when it comes to Israel but not, I hope, vacuous. It is an uncomfortable position with traffic coming at me from both sides. I am a Zionist and define Zionism as a non-negotiable commitment to the right of the state of Israel to exist and an equal commitment to the pursuit of peace as the highest value, to democracy and human rights. That exposes me to the rage of Israel’s critics on the one side and to the Jewish “realists” and cynics on the other.
This just in on the Taayush list:
Dar ElHanoun is an Arab-Palestinian village within Israel that finds itself right now in a desperate state. Although the village is more than 80 years old, the Israeli authorities are refusing to recognize it, and have recently expressed their intention to demolish the whole village and remove its residents.
Dar ElHanoun urgently needs international solidarity with its struggle, and this is why we are sending this open letter.
We are Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel, activists of Taayush – Arab-Jewish Partnership. In the past 6 years we have been working closely with the residents of Dar ElHanoun for improving the living conditions in the village and struggling for their rights. The fruits of our efforts are now seriously threatened by the Israeli authorities.
In order to allow people outside Israel to help us and take part in our campaign, we have founded the International Committee for Dar El-Hanoun (ICDH).
We invite you to join our mailing list for Dar ElHanoun at:
By joining the mailing list you will get current information about how you can help an old Arab village in Israel in its struggle, learn more about the unrecognized Arab villages in Israel, and promote Arab-Jewish solidarity
Below please find more information about Dar ElHanoun and Taayush, together with information about how to make donations or other contributions to our campaign.
Thank you very much for your help,
International Committee for Dar El-Hanoun (ICDH)
Taayush – Arab-Jewish Partnership
*** PLEASE POST FURTHER ***
For many years we have been involved in a group of peace activists in Israel, Taayush – Arab-Jewish Partnership.
In Taayush we have constantly taken part in the struggle against the grave discrimination by the Israeli authorities against the Arab-Palestinian Israeli citizens who live in “unrecognized” villages. We think that the international community should become more aware of the disgraceful situation of these villages. Tens of thousands of Arab citizens of Israel live in such villages, without having access to basic facilities, including electricity, telephone, transportation, health or education systems.
One of those villages is Dar ElHanoun, an old Arab village in Wadi Ara, in the heart of the State of Israel.
Dar ElHanoun dates back to the 1920s and its residents are Israeli citizens who legally own their lands. However, Dar ElHanoun is not recognized by the State of Israel. As a result, the village has no paved road leading to it, no electricity and telephone connection, no health, education or post services. Against most of the houses of the village there are demolition orders pending.
The Israeli authorities are now openly calling for the eviction of Dar ElHanoun and the demolition of its houses.
As part of our activities, in August 2001 we had a big voluntary work camp in Dar ElHanoun. In this camp we worked together, Arabs and Jews, to pave some 100 meters of the access route to the village, previously a dirt track, as well as the village square. We cleared the remains of three houses demolished since 1997 and constructed a children’s playground. For more details and photos see link below.
The residents of Dar ElHanoun are determined not to give in. They have decided to remain on their land and keep the struggle until their full rights are recognized.
After years of struggling with the residents of the village, and a constant failure of the Israeli government to recognize the mere existence of Dar ElHanoun, we have decided to launch an international campaign.
On 5 May 2007 we held a demo near Dar ElHanoun (see link below). Following the demo, and as a first step in the international campaign, we are inaugurating the International Committee for Dar ElHanoun (ICDH – see link below).
At this stage you would help us enormously if you could subscribe to our mailing list at:
By subscribing to the mailing list you will get up-to-date information about the situation in Dar El-Hanoun, and on what you could do to help us. Joining the list is simple and quick.
Your email address and your details will be kept confidential. Traffic is expected to be reasonably low, and you can unsubscribe from the list at any time if you so choose.
Please visit our website (link below) and join our mailing list.
What else can you do to help?
1. Let your friends know about Dar ElHanoun and the unrecognized Arab villages in Israel:
* Send this email, or a another message with a link to our site, in a wide distribution.
* Add a link to our website in relevant sites.
* Distribute copies of the leaflet that you’ll find in our web site.
Our website is http://www.geocities.com/dar_elhanoun/icdh.html
2. Send a donation to Taayush for helping the legal and public campaign of Dar ElHanoun.
Checks drawn to “Taayush-North” can be sent to:
POB 45896, Haifa, Israel
Please mention “Dar ElHanoun” in a cover letter.
Notify our moderator (email@example.com) about your donation, or for
further questions about tax-free donations.
3. Send a protest letter to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, with a copy to your nearby Israeli embassy or consulate. You can find an example for such a letter in our site.
Address for sending letters:
Mr. R. Bar-On
Minister of the Interior
Kaplan St. 2
4. In case you are in Israel, please accept this as an open invitation to visit Dar ElHanoun, in a beautiful area of Wadi Ara watching over the Hadera coastline. Please coordinate a visit by sending an email to our moderator.
For more details – see our webpage:
Thank you so much for your help,
International Committee for Dar El-Hanoun (ICDH)
“President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday described Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip as a “coup” and warned that the militant group’s conflict with the moderate Fatah movement could lead to the creation of two Palestinian entities.” read more
Of course, there was the obligatory “root cause” attribution to Israel. Fair enough, Israel is the biggest contributor to the plight of Palestinians, with the British, Turks, and Arab states close at hands. But here’s a thought. While Israel may be easy to blame, others have just as much to contribute to the solution. The Palestinians themselves first and foremost, the Arab states next. I’d prefer to leave the US and Europe out: lets keep this a family business.
Here’s a plan: an Arab league force deployed in Gaza & West Bank to establish a rule of law, and create the atmosphere for peace talks. These talks will take the Arab / Saudi initiative as a baseline, and start by setting the criteria and time-line for establishing an independent Palestinian state.
Political chaos means Israel is booming like it’s 1999 – and the boom is in defence exports field-tested on Palestinians.
Indeed, an iconic piece of British intellectual colonialism if I’ve ever seen one. Here are a few gems:
Much of this growth has been in the so-called homeland security sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2bn, an increase of 20%. The key products and services are hi-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems – precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories.
Right. before 9/11 we didn’t have police. And if we did, their job was to kindly ask members of the public to please avoid stepping on the lawn at Royal Ascot. Perhaps Ms. Klein would care to check the figures on the size of the homeland security in Britain during the reign of the IRA. But that’s just an aside. The bit I love is precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories. Hello? Give me a call lady. I’ll give you a list. It starts with concrete blocks, wooden battons, barbed wire, goes on to tear gas, and down to 5.56 calibre ammo. Lots of it. believe me, occupation is a low-tech business. Advanced technologies are needed to stop planes & buses from blowing up.
Or this, my favorite:
It’s no coincidence that the class projects at Ben-Gurion that so impressed Friedman have names like Innovative Covariance Matrix for Point Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images, and Algorithms for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance. Thirty homeland security companies have been launched in Israel during the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country’s universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups – something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott.
Ur, what exactly is Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images? Obstacle Detection and Avoidance? Never mind. Is sounds evil, so it must be good. In case you’re a nitpick, I recommend a little known tool called google.
What’s this? geology? robotics? oh, stop it. we’re dealing with a bad, bad, state here. don’t be a killjoy. Anyway, while we’re at it: most military research funding in Israel comes from the US. The Israeli army doesn’t bother with Universities, which have funny ideas about publishing their results, or get skirmish about the way their used. It holds its own R&D.
I say again. Intellectual colonialism: the perception that as a Brit you have a god-given right, no – duty, to wag your finger at whoever around the world you think is misbehaving. The arrogance that lets you think you don’t even have to bother with getting your facts right. The astonished insult when the nations you wag your finger at can’t be bovvered.
And I’m bloody fed up with it.
There were five of them. They stood over me and shot my legs from the knee down. One of them put his Kalashnikov to my head. Instinctively I moved the barrel aside and the bullet hit my hand.
The speaker? A Palestinian policeman and Hamas voter.
When Hamas was voted in I was happy. I mean, a government voted out for corruption, peaceful transition of power. You don’t see that every day.
But apparently, there’s more to democracy than election. One thing they forgot is the principle of continuity: any new administration is bound by the commitments made by past administrations. The other is the idea of concentration of power. Political parties do not own military force, the state does. That one, actually, is the stale legacy of Arafat. When he got hold of the steering wheel, he intentionally left ‘uncontrolled’ militias which he could feed and starve to regulate the temperature of the flames. Now, finally, the PLO is calling for general disarmament.