NPK-info 17-08-2001- Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.palestina-komitee.nl

* Joint Statement by the Orient House and MIFTAH, 15-8-2001
- ".....The Orient House and the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of
Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) urge the international community to take a
firm stance against Israel's illegal occupation of the Orient House in east
Jerusalem. In particular, we call upon the governments and institutions of
European states (specifically the European Union) to take an active and
direct role in upholding the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people,
in accordance with international legality and legitimacy........."
- Zou de Nederlandse regering al gereageerd hebben?

* Israeli police 'carry out routine, organized cruelty', Robert Fisk in
Jerusalem, 14-8-2001
* Orient House is in Our Hands! Uri Avnery, 11.8.01
* There Is No Generous Occupation, Nir Bir'am, Ma'ariv 5 August 2001
* Commentary; Neocolonial Invitation to a Tribal War, Los Angeles Times,
August 13, 2001
- "The facts on the ground are the living reality for the desperate
- "It was articulated in the early years of the occupation by Moshe Dayan,
one of the Israeli leaders most sympathetic to the Palestinian plight, who
advised his Labor Party associates to tell the Palestinians that "you shall
continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave." "

NPK/WL, 17-8-2001

Date: August 15th, 2001

Joint Statement by the Orient House and MIFTAH
The Orient House and the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global
Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) urge the international community to take a
firm stance against Israel's illegal occupation of the Orient House in east
Jerusalem. In particular, we call upon the governments and institutions of
European states (specifically the European Union) to take an active and
direct role in upholding the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people,
in accordance with international legality and legitimacy. The Israeli
occupation of the Orient House in the early hours of Friday August 10th,
2001, constitutes a serious violation of international law and a blatant
disregard to the Palestinian-Israeli understandings reached following the
Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. Ariel Sharon's government has directly
violated the pledge made by Israel in October 1993, in which Israel's
Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, declared, in a letter sent to the late Johan
Jorgen Holst, the Norwegian Foreign Minister at the time, that Israel shall
not hamper the activity of Palestinian institutions functioning within the
boundaries of east Jerusalem. Recent statements made by Israeli Foreign
Minister, Shimon Peres, that the Orient House shall only be closed for 6
months, and not permanently (as stated by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon in the wake of the incursion on August 10th), are yet another example
of the 'apologist' role assumed by the Israeli left in dealing with the
current crisis, and the conflict at large. Mr. Peres has willfully adopted
Sharon's policy of repression and mentality of occupation, with all its
anachronisms and misperceptions. The Orient House and MIFTAH strongly reject
the position adopted by Shimon Peres as a shortsighted attempt to defuse the
situation and mislead the international community by willfully undermining
the urgency of an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Orient
House, and the immediate reopening of all Palestinian institutions recently
shut down in east Jerusalem. To that end, and in light of the urgency in
taking firm steps against Israel's illegal actions, we demand that the
European Union and the governments of European states:

-Boycott their official meetings (particularly European dignitaries) with
the Israeli government until the Orient House and all institutions recently
closed down are reopened, taking into consideration that these institutions
are predominantly funded by the European Union and are an essential element
of Europe's political and economic investment in Middle East peace.
-Provide immediate international protection in the occupied Palestinian
territories, including east Jerusalem, taking into consideration that
peaceful Palestinian and non-Palestinian demonstrators against the closure
of the Orient House are being met with excessive Israeli police brutality.
 -Take up their committed role as mediators in the Middle East Peace
Process, publicly underline the European position vis-à-vis the closure of
the Orient House, and act according to the Berlin Declaration of 1999.
-Condemn Israel's illegal policies in east Jerusalem, through settlement
expansion, home demolition, and ID confiscation; the implications of which
only prove that Israel has not abided by signed agreements and has blatantly
violated the very letter and spirit of the peace process itself since the
Madrid Peace Conference of 1991.

For further information, please contact:
Public Information Department
Tel: 00972-2-585 1842

Israeli police 'carry out routine, organized cruelty'

By Robert Fisk in Jerusalem

14 August 2001

The Arabs called it a "day of rage" but the Israelis were the ones
demonstrating their rage outside Orient House yesterday. The Palestinian
youth who dared to hold up a Palestinian flag made of paper was seized
by six border guards and plain-clothes police, kicked, beaten, punched
in the face and back and then kneed in the groin in front of us all.

Many of the police had been brought down from Haifa, where a Palestinian
suicide bomber had blown himself up a few hours earlier in a vain effort
to murder Israelis in a café, and there was a tangible desire to inflict
pain on some of the crowd.

A tall, thin young man with shaggy brown hair who tried to escape a
policeman's grasp at the iron security barriers was dragged back into
the police lines and set on by eight men. There must have been 20
television cameras and a score of photographers running level with the
Shin Bet intelligence boys as they dragged the man screaming up the road
towards Orient House, kicking him in the chest and forcing back his head
until he choked. The moment he was in the back seat of a white police
van, an Israeli plain-clothes man in a red shirt set upon him. As he was
held down from the other side of the vehicle, the Israeli kicked him
again and again between the legs until the young man was crying in a
high, animal voice.

It was, as one of the foreign protesters muttered, enough to turn a
Palestinian into a suicide-bomber. It was also very, very weird. Here we
were, perhaps a hundred journalists watching a hundred "peace"
demonstrators, European, American, Christian and Jew, and Palestinian,
and every few minutes, on a signal from a fat policeman in a blue shirt,
his colleagues would run amok.

After all the talk of Israel being a peace-loving state among the
nations, founded upon the rule of law, the police would suddenly prove
that those constant Palestinian complaints of beatings and brutality
were true, right in front of us. A border guard became so fascinated by
the beating of one man - he could not take his eyes off the fists that
were hammering into the man's stomach and ribs - that he forgot to keep
the press at bay and allowed me to walk up to the van as one of his
colleagues viciously assaulted another man.

Every police force can lose its cool - we have our bad eggs in Britain -
but this was calculated, routine, organized cruelty. A lot of the border
guards were grinning when the Palestinians screamed. After a while it
was obscene to watch.

I walked over to the Israeli mounted police. One of the officers was
sitting in the saddle, smoking a cigarette and laughing as he talked on
a mobile phone. A Shin Bet man patted the lead horse. "Most of these are
Hannovers," he said of the breed. "We've got Hannovers and quarters.
They take really good care of them."

Up the street, closer to Orient House, his colleagues were taking good
care of their prisoners. In front of the horrified eyes of a group of
humanitarian workers, one of them American, they beat the captured
Palestinians all over again.

The crowd had no chance of seizing back Orient House, occupied by
Israeli troops and police after Thursday's Jerusalem suicide bombing
that massacred 15 Israelis.

They were kept all of a quarter of a mile from the building. But the
horses were ridden into the crowd; a couple of stun grenades were fired
into it. Just one officer realized, after more than an hour, that this
piece of state bullying was a public relations disaster.

"Stop carrying them," he shouted as two Palestinians were dragged past
the cameras under a rain of blows. "Let them walk."

But they could no longer stand upright. One of them had his shirt
dragged over his head to reveal a back covered in red welts. A thought
kept recurring in our minds: if this is what the Israeli police do to
Palestinians in front of us, what do they do to them behind our backs?

Nor was it difficult to guess what these young men were thinking. Just a
few hours before, they had heard that a 10-year-old Palestinian girl had
been shot dead by Israeli troops in Hebron, in another of those
notorious "clashes", as the press likes to call them, and that, after a
night of grieving, her 60-year-old grandmother had died of a heart

A little after midday yesterday, the little girl and her grandmother
were buried together in the same grave.

Uri Avnery

                                 Orient House is in Our Hands!

     Forget about the battle of Negba. Forget about the battle of Ammunition
Hill. Forget about the Entebbe raid. All these are overshadowed by the
latest exploits of our forces. Songs will be sung about them, victory albums
will proclaim their glory.
     In a daring action, in the middle of the night, the elite units of the
border police and the picked commandos of the paratroops stormed the "Orient
House" in East Jerusalem and the Palestinian governor's office in Abu-Dis.
In a heroic battle, the two empty buildings were conquered. Our glorious
forces suffered no casualties.
     Every Jewish heart was filled with pride when the Israeli flag was
hoisted over these two fortresses of the cruel enemy. Every man and woman
sang the praises of our valiant male and female fighters. And when the
generalissimo, Interior Security Minister Uzi Landau, was photographed at
the scene of the immortal victory - who did not share his joy at the
realization of the dream of generations? The governor's house conquered!
Orient House in our hand!
     If there is cynicism in this description, that's because Orient House
is very close to my heart. I was a frequent guest there, I have spent there
many many hours, both happy and sad. I love this beautiful building of
simple elegance and elegant simplicity.
     Minutes after the signing of the Oslo agreement on the White House
lawn, I stood, with many others, Israelis and Palestinians, on its stairs.
We embraced each other, feeling that it was the right place to be at this
moment, because for us Orient House was a symbol of the struggle for peace.
      Several times, when right-wing demagogues in Israel tried to achieve a
cheap victory by "closing Orient House", I was with the peace activists who
rushed to the building in order to express our solidarity with its
defenders. Again we stood on these special stairs, Israelis and Palestinians
together, while in the street hate-mongering Cahanists were shouting their
blood-thirsty slogans, under the protection of the Border Police,.
     How many hours did we spend in this building with the unforgotten
Faisal Husseini, talking about peace? About united Jerusalem that will truly
be "ours" - ours, both Israelis and Palestinians. About the refugee problem,
for which Faisal proposed solutions that were amazingly moderate and
sensible. About borders. About the settlements. About a relationship that
will last for generations.
     How many demonstrations for peace did we plan in this building? Against
the provocative settlements in Jebel Abu-Gheneim ("Har Homa") and
Ras-al-Amud. For the release of Palestinian prisoners. How many times did we
celebrate there? A joint concert of Palestinian and Israeli musicians. The
marriage of a Palestinian cabinet minister. Always together, side by side,
with mutual respect and equality.
     The "conquest" of this building is a cynical, treacherous, stupid, evil
and disastrous act.
     A c y n I c a l act, because it utilizes the terrible suicide attack at
the Jerusalem restaurant, the suffering of the families and the fury of the
public, to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with "the fight
against terrorism". The extreme right, headed by Sharon, Landau & Co., just
waited for an opportunity to do what they wanted to do. The blood served as
a pretext.
     A t r e a c h e r o u s act, because it is a brutal violation of a
solemn promise. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres signed this undertaking on
behalf of the State of Israel in the wake of the Oslo agreement. It said
that Israel would not close any existing Palestinian institution in
Jerusalem. Another piece of papers torn by the government in which Shimon
Peres serves as a Foreign Minister.
     A  s t u p I d  act, because it officially confirms the fact that East
Jerusalem is an occupied city. As long as the big Palestinian flag was
hanging from the flagpole at Orient House, it represented the hope of the
city's 200 thousand Palestinian inhabitants that the problem would be solved
by peaceful means. This hope has now been struck down. Like their brethren
on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, they have now been convinced that
"the Jews understand only the language of force". The teachings of Faisal
Husseini will be displaced by the teachings of Hamas. The conquered building
will become a symbol of occupation and resistance - much more so than at its
times of splendor.
     An  e v i l  act, because it sends an unequivocal message to the
Palestinian people and the whole world: this is the end of the peace
process. At Camp David the mantra of "Undivided Jerusalem, eternal capital
of Israel" was put aside. Even Ehud Barak, who was quite insensitive to
Palestinian aspirations, understood that there can be no peace without
giving East Jerusalem back to the Palestinians (or at least appearing to do
so). Now come Sharon and his henchmen and throw us many years back. What
they are saying is: Peace is out! No Oslo, no Madrid, no nothing. War
against the Palestinians, War against the Arab world, today, tomorrow, for
generations to come.
     A  d I s a s t r o u s  act, because it is a step in a terrible
direction. After Orient House, after Abu-Dis, what is left to conquer? Once
people start to run amok, they cannot stop. The right-wing demagogues who
feed on the occupation will not be satisfied with this.  Their appetite is
growing. Where to go now? One doesn't have to search long: just around the
corner, the golden Dome of the Rock is shining. No doubt, that is the real
aim of this madness: the Temple Mount, the Holy Sanctuary, the Dome of the
Rock, al-Aksa. That is where the dance of the daemons started, where Ehud
Barak and Shlomo Ben-Ami let Sharon loose. And That is where it will end, in
a regional blood-bath. I do not know when this will happen. But as from this
week I am convinced that it will come, if the world does not pound on
Sharon's table with an iron fist.
     Who will be the accomplices in this crime? Usi Landau, the smiling
fanatic, a right-wing bully disguised as a civilized human being.  Ehud
Olmert, the mayor of West Jerusalem and military governor of East Jerusalem,
a mayor making war on half his city, a cynical politician if ever there was
one, a man without principles, who treads on human bodies on his way to
power (see: the tunnel incident). Defence Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, a
man for every season and every policy, whose sole interest is in himself.
Shimon Peres, who always objects to Sharon's actions and always serves him
faithfully. Avraham Burg, who hopes to become Labor's chairman, who was
rejoicing with us on the stairs of Orient House on the day of Oslo and is
now eager to join the Sharon government. At the head of the pyramid: Sharon
himself, determined to close every door and window that could serve as an
opening, not only for now but forever, in order to "inherit the land" and
fill it with settlements, as commanded by a god he does not believe in. And
in the background, Binjamin Netanyahu is trying to outflank Sharon on the
right, causing him to move even more to the right.
     Indeed, a small step of the occupation, a giant step towards disaster.

There Is No Generous Occupation
By Nir Bir'am
A Leftist Israeli Writer
Ma'ariv 5 August 2001,

When Rene Des Cartes discovered himself as a speculative suspicious thinker
he enthused, with certain logic, facts that doubted the existence of God.
One such evidence is the principle of cause and outcome. Des Cartes thought
a grand outcome would not result of a trivial cause and vise versa.

Des Cartes is truthful yet wrong at the same time. Here is a contradicting
example. The cause: Yehuda 'Atzion + 12 weird men with a blonde woman = One.
The outcome: Chaos, bullets, rocks and more. This is a significant incident
where the outcome is grand compared to the trivial cause. Unfortunately, Des
Cartes did not have the honor of knowing Yehuda 'Atzion.

We needed Des Cartes because of this new fashion, known as the Left,
spreading in the Israeli context. This new fashion is based upon looking at
things from a very narrow angle and persistently striving to get in the

Question: How many cases of tormenting Palestinians do we remember during
the last decade? Answer: Dozens plus hundreds that we were not aware of.

The shock by their behavior was behind the blame directed at soldiers from
Samson unit. Only the naïve believe insults, punches and oppression are the
norm under occupation. Why can't the Palestinians travel on selected
highways? Why do they stand in long queues at roadblocks? Simply, because
the army must separate them from settlers!

Only the good-natured prefer getting touched by a single incident projected
by the media. But the Palestinians are discriminated against every day
regardless of the current Intifada. Discrimination against the Palestinians
began ever since Israelis settled there and will continue until they leave
the settlements.

Attackers commit suicide inside Israel and the army assassinates those
wanted. Palestinians meet Israeli soldiers at roadblocks in a suffocating
atmosphere for both. Another insult, a curse, more despair and another
mourning. The killing of Arabs and Jews continues and hatred grows until it
explodes. Things, simply, are just like that.

There is no enlightening, generous or kind occupation. Occupation breeds
many such cases. But we only care to be touched by selected incidents and
then condemn soldiers and leaders, the Left and the Right together. These
are not cruel words. It is an anticipated outcome of brutality in the first

The Left does not seem shocked by settlers appropriating highways -Yes,
before the current Intifada- nor by raids on homes in the night or by the
prevailing anguish and poverty. The Left seem to be shocked only when the
mask falls off the real face of occupation, when the illusion of
enlightening occupation evaporates or when our wailing is heard from Gaza to
Tel Aviv.

As long as the army's goal is to protect settlers -which should be as long
as they live in their settlements- there will be more strikes and more
insults. The army is a Jewish one committed to discriminate, insult and
strike the Palestinians in order to protect those Jews living amongst
Palestinians on Palestinian land.

Every thing is abusive, frustrating and painful for every Palestinian. It is
meaningless to talk about one kind of pain. The situation will continue to
be as such as long as our soldiers and settlers are suffocating them.
Occupation has none but one face.

We could simply be like the Right and reject the vision. But we cannot look
at the occupation through a microscopic lens that only concentrates on a
single point to the extent that the general picture -that of occupation as
seen by the whole world- gets distorted or fades in the muse of Ron bin

From: F r e e d o m

Los Angeles Times
August 13, 2001

Commentary; Neocolonial Invitation to a Tribal War

BYLINE: NOAM CHOMSKY, Philosopher and social critic Noam Chomsky is
author of "A New, Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor, and
the Variable Standards, of the West" (Verso, 2000)

BODY: "What we feared has come true," Israeli sociologist Baruch
Kimmerling writes in Israel's leading newspaper. Jews and Palestinians
are "regressing to superstitious tribalism.... War appears an
unavoidable fate," an "evil colonial" war. This prospect is likely if
the U.S. grants tacit authorization, with grim consequences that may
reverberate far beyond.

There is, of course, no symmetry between the "ethno-national groups"
regressing to tribalism. The conflict is centered in territories that
have been under harsh military occupation since 1967. The conqueror is
a major armed power, acting with massive military, economic and
diplomatic support from the global superpower. Its subjects are alone
and defenseless, many barely surviving in miserable camps.

The cruelty of the occupation has been sharply condemned by
international and Israeli human rights groups for many years. The
purpose of the terror, economic strangulation and daily humiliation is
not obscure. It was articulated in the early years of the occupation
by Moshe Dayan, one of the Israeli leaders most sympathetic to the
Palestinian plight, who advised his Labor Party associates to tell the
Palestinians that "you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever
wishes may leave."

The Oslo "peace process" changed the modalities, but not the basic
concept. Shortly before joining the Ehud Barak government, historian
Shlomo Ben-Ami, a dove in the U.S.-Israeli spectrum, wrote that "the
Oslo agreements were founded on a neocolonialist basis." The intent
was to impose on the Palestinians "almost total dependence on Israel"
in a "colonial situation" that was to be "permanent." He soon became
the architect of the latest Barak government proposals, virtually
identical to Bill Clinton's final plan.

These proposals were highly praised in U.S. commentary; the
Palestinians and Yasser Arafat were blamed for their failure and the
subsequent violence.

That presentation "was a fraud perpetrated on Israeli ... and
international ... public opinion," Kimmerling writes accurately. He
continues that, a look at a map suffices to show that the
Clinton-Barak plans "presented to the Palestinians impossible terms."
Crucially, Israel retained "two settlement blocs that in effect cut
the West Bank into pieces." The Palestinian enclaves also are
effectively separated from the center of Palestinian life in
Jerusalem; the Gaza Strip remains isolated, its population virtually

Israeli settlement in the territories doubled during the years of the
"peace process," increasing under Barak, who bequeathed the new
government of Ariel Sharon "a surprising legacy," the Israeli press
reported as the transition took place early this year: "The highest
number of housing starts in the territories" since the time when
Sharon supervised settlements in 1992, before Oslo. The facts on the
ground are the living reality for the desperate population.

The nature of permanent neo-colonial dependency was underscored by
Israel's High Court of Justice in November 1999 when it rejected yet
another Palestinian petition opposing further expansion of the
[Jewish] city of Maale Adumim established to the east of Jerusalem,
virtually partitioning the West Bank.

The court suggested that "some good for the residents of neighboring
[Palestinian villages] might spring from the economic and cultural
development" of the all-Jewish city. While they try to survive without
water to drink or fields to cultivate, the people whose lands have
been taken can enjoy the sight of the ample housing, green lawns,
swimming pools and other amenities of the heavily subsidized Israeli

Immediately after World War II, the Geneva Conventions were adopted to
bar repetition of Nazi crimes, including transfer of population to
occupied territories or actions that harm civilians. As a so-called
high contracting party, the U.S. is obligated "to ensure respect" for
the conventions.

With Israel alone opposed, the United Nations has repeatedly declared
the conventions applicable to the occupied territories; the U.S.
abstains from these votes, unwilling to take a public stand in
violation of fundamental principles of international law, which
require it to act to prevent settlement and expropriation, attacks on
civilians with U.S.-supplied helicopters, collective punishment and
all other repressive measures used by the occupying forces. Washington
has continued to provide the means to implement these practices,
refusing even to allow observers who might reduce violence and protect
the victims.

For 25 years, there has been a near-unanimous international consensus
on the terms of political settlement: a full peace treaty with
establishment of a Palestinian state after Israeli withdrawal, an
outcome that enjoys wide support even within Israel. It has been
blocked by Washington ever since its veto of a Security Council
resolution to that effect in 1976.

It is far from an ideal solution. But the likely current alternatives
are far more ugly.




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