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Postcards from Palestine

From Ron Taylor

Friday, 4 January 2013

Thanks to HebWeb for publishing my 'Postcards'.

In the latest one (possibly the last) I had intended to answer a couple of questions that have been put to me. I forgot, but here now are those replies.

1. I am neither Christian, Muslim nor Jewish. The conflict is fundamentally about land rather than religion.

2. To contribute to the Olive Tree Campaign please follow this link for info about the campaign and this link for information about how to sponsor trees through Y Care.

From Francessca K Andrews

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Just in case the position of Hamas wasn't clear to you!

Hamas... in its own words
from Beyond Images, Sunday 18 November 2012

Years ago, Hamas declared a permanent state of war against Israel - the 'Zionist entity'.

That declaration of war is contained in the Hamas Charter (see Beyond Images Briefing 165). But it is restated regularly by Hamas leaders - in Arabic.

This mindset of war drives long-term Hamas strategy. And it's at the very root of the current, tragic escalation. Hamas are willing to cause the Palestinian people to suffer greatly, for the sake of this nihilistic mindset.

Here's the Hamas leadership, in its own words:

"The conflict will never end until Israel comes to an end...... We have clearly said that we will never recognise Israel , and today I say more than that: Israel completely does not exist in our political and intellectual dictionary....." - Usama Hamdan, responsible for Hamas international relations, Hamas Al-Aqsa TV, 24 July 2011

"We say today, so it cannot be explained otherwise, that the armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the only strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel] from the blessed land of Palestine. The Hamas movement will lead intifada after intifada until we liberate Palestine - all of Palestine , Allah willing. We say with transparency and in a clear manner, that Palestinian reconciliation - and all sides know this - cannot come at the expense of our principles, at the expense of our resistance. These principles are absolute and cannot be disputed: Palestine - all of Palestine - is from the sea to the river. We won't relinquish one inch of the land or Palestine . The involvement of Hamas at any stage with the interim objective of liberation of Gaza , does not replace our strategic view concerning Palestine and the land of Palestine ......" - Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas leader and 'prime minister' in Gaza , from speech at rally in Gaza city, 14 December 2011, broadcast that day on Hamas Al-Aqsa TV

" Israel is a vile entity that has been planted on our soil, and has no historical, religious or cultural legitimacy. We cannot normalise our relations with this entity. The history of this region has proven time and time again that occupation is temporary. Thousands of years ago, the Romans occupied the land and eventually they left. The Persians, the Crusaders, and English [also] came and went. The Zionists have come, and they too will leave. We say no to recognising Israel , regardless of the price we have to pay [for our refusal]...." - Mahmoud al-Zahar, quoted in Palestinian Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, London , 12 October 2006

We are in one-to-one contact with many organisations which are on the "front lines" in this latest phase of Israel 's public battle of ideas and information, providing them with guidance, resources and support.

I too have compasion for the Palastinians and was a NGV. I asked too many questions and was man-handled into a room ridiculed and called a Kuired which is arabic for a monkey meaning trouble cause. I was then and forced to stay in a dark room untill my aid came. lets not be fooled and our good intentions be exploited.

Francessca K Andrews

From Ron Taylor

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Ah, yes, Hamas. Not too keen on them myself, Francesca. But on two counts Hamas is very much a creation of Israel.

Firstly, Israel allowed and encouraged its establishment and growth in its early days.It was seen as a counterbalance to the secular and leftist PLO - a strategy often used by colonial expansionist powers like Israel to divide and rule. Unfortunately for Israel the strategy backfired when Hamas became a militant armed organisation and more of a military threat than the PLO.

Secondly Israel's policies towards the Palestinians have resulted in more support for Hamas which is seen by many as the only organisation prepared to stand up to Israel. Fatah/PLO is seen as having been trapped in a 'peace process' which is fact no such thing. What Palestinians see is that whilst 'talks' have been going on for two decades Israel has confiscated more and more land to build its colonies/settlements making the two-state solution, which Israel has said it wishes to see, impossible.

In my view Israel has only itself to blame for the rise of Hamas and one day it will have to talk to its leaders. After all, as someone once said, one makes peace with one's enemies, not one's friends

From Ron Taylor

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Bail for Rima - an appeal

Please watch the Youtube video below and read the appeal . Ta'ayush, the group I spend time with when in Palestine, seeks funds to help pay Rima's bail costs. If you are in the UK and wish to give a small amount you can send donations to me and I will forward to Ta'ayush. Other ways of paying at the end of the Ta'ayush appeal.




Tuesday, January 22 2013
Bailing Rima out – your help is needed

On Saturday, January 19th, the Israeli army arrested ten Palestinians farmers who came to plow their lands in Umm el Arayes in south Hebron hills in the West Bank, and five Israeli activists who came to accompany them. Among the arrested were three minor girls, one of them an 18 months old baby arrested along with her mother, father and grandfather.

As the video shows, the soldiers used excessive force on unarmed farmers and children, whose sole crime was coming to work their land. The army also brought a skunk truck, used to spill stinking water (in order to disperse what the Israeli occupation forces term “infringement of the public order”), and vehicles to transport the detainees were brought to the scene in advance – all suggesting an orchestrated mobilization by the Israeli army to prevent the farmers from working their privately owned lands, in order to make this land available for the expansion of the nearby Israeli outpost of Mitzpe Yair

While most detainees were released later that day, two women – the Palestinian mother of the 18 months old baby – Rima , and a young Israeli activist – Noam, were accused of assault (a common tactic used by the Israeli armed forces against civilian assualted by soldiers or police) and were held in detention overnight. The next day they were brought to court. The Israeli military court in Ofer demanded NIS 5000 bail (approximately 1300 US dollars or 1000 €) for the release of Rima. This excessive sum was by far more then what Rima’s family – impoverished farmers from the arid south Hebron Hills – could afford. Rima was only let go after the cost was paid for from the pockets of Palestinian and Israeli individuals, most of whom cannot truly afford it.

We now ask for your help so that this extravagant sum will not fall on the shoulders of these individuals. Donations could be paid to Ta’ayush, the Israeli activist group that works closely with Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills whose members paid the bail. The money will be specifically marked for the covering of bail and legal expanses brought about by our activity and the occupation forces relentless attempt to suppress it.

Tax-deductible donations by (American) credit card can be made here.

Alternatively, donation can be made by bank deposit to:

Bank Hapoalim
Branch 574 (‘Hapalmach’)
Account no. 160213
Swift code ‘poalilit’
IBAN: IL61-0125-7400-0000-0160-213

From Mike Huett

Thursday, 31 January 2013

I have just watched the video and I am disgusted. A cheque is on its way to you, Ron.

From Ron Taylor

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Thanks, Mike. £200 (about) raised so far. More needed.

See also

HebWeb Forum: Postcard from Palestine

HebWeb News: Postcard from Palestine 10