Terrorists Begin To Eat Again
The Arab terrorists officially ended their hunger strike today. Some 3,000 terrorists imprisoned in Israeli prisons announced 18 days ago that they would not eat unless their demands were met. These included four hours of daily recreation time, air conditioning, electric toasters, photocopiers, no search of visiting children, increased payment for workers, the use of computers, no plastic/glass barriers during visits, no isolation or collective punishments, and more.
The terrorists announced the end of their strike in light of "understandings" they had reached with the Israel Prison Service. Prison officials flatly rejected this, however; Prison Commission Yaakov Ganot said that he had given in on nothing, and had "dealt firmly with the strikers."
Of the 3,800 imprisoned terrorists - 70% of whom are estimated to have Jewish blood on their hands - several hundred did not take part in the strike. Of the remainder, only 600 remained steadfast in their refusal to eat throughout the 18 days. One guard in the Ketziot Prison said that the "strike" was observed "very loosely, to say the least." Among those who snuck a bite in the very first days was terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, who earlier had praised and encouraged the hungry terrorists.
PALESTINIAN LEADERS TRICK THEIR PEOPLE AGAIN
Ariel Natan Pasko, 19.08.2004 23:18
Barghouti eats during a hunger strike. Arafat rips off the Palestinian treasury. Hamas leaders hide while they send off others to die. This article takes a look at these phenomena.
What do Marwan Barghouti, Yasser Arafat, Ahmad Qureia, and leaders past and present of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others, have in common? Besides encouraging their followers to kill Jews in Israel, they regularly pull the wool over their followers' eyes, lying, cheating, and profiting from the suffering of the Palestinians. They habitually sacrifice average Palestinians, in their struggle against Israel, while protecting themselves and their loved ones from harm.
The latest is the case of Marwan Barghouti, West Bank leader of Arafat's Fatah movement, founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade (outlawed as a terrorist organization by the US) and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Barghouti is serving five consecutive life terms in an Israeli prison for his involvement in terrorist activities that caused the deaths of many Israelis.
What did he do?
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, along with Fatah's Barghouti, recently called on Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli prisons to start a hunger strike. They've been into it for a few days now, the prison authorities report that over 2,000 prisoners are starving themselves. The Palestinian Authority and Israeli Arab groups have organized demonstrative solidarity days with the hunger strikers, but not Barghouti, he was caught on a hidden video camera in his cell...eating!
That's right, while his fellow prisoners were refraining from food, Marwan Barghouti, the Tanzim terrorist leader, was caught on camera feeding his face. First he covered the door and window of his cell - so as not to be seen - then he washed his hands and pigged out. According to Prison Services spokesman Ofer Lefler, Barghouti asked wardens for the food and ate without knowing that a camera was filming from a small hole in the wall. Israel wanted to catch him, to show fasting prisoners how their leader was behaving, Lefler said. "I want to show the world and the Palestinians that we are dealing with terrorists," Lefler continued, "Barghouti is sitting on a pot of meat and he sends his friends to die."
Then there's Yasser Arafat. No, he wasn't caught eating yet, but he did tell the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, that the hunger strikers are "shaheeds" (martyrs-I guess he's planning their early demise) saying, "Your release is at the top of our list of priorities. Together we will continue fighting until the establishment of our own state with Jerusalem as its capital. [Minister of Internal Security Tzahi] Hanegbi says that he doesn't care if you starve to death. I say to him that he does not scare us when he says we will die since we are all prepared to be Shaheeds." Arafat threatens martyrdom every so often to encourage his people to kill themselves, but when faced with real opportunities to be a martyr himself, he backs off (see my April 2004 article, "Arafat Plays Victim Again).
Yasser has done a good job of making sure Suha - his wife - and little girl Zahwa - aged nine - are safely absconded in France, far from any real danger. That's while other nine-year-old Palestinian children attend terrorist summer camps, dreaming and praying for martyrdom (i.e. to kill Israelis and themselves). Suha lives on over $150,000 a month, with $millions more in the bank. In fact, the French have been carrying out an investigation into Suha's accounts, it seems she might be involved in Yasser's money laundering activities. Yasser has been accused of having skimmed over the years $1-3 billion from Palestinian funds, for private usage. So, while Yasser Arafat encourages the children of his people to sacrifice their lives for the cause, he makes sure his daughter is safe in France, and while millions of ordinary Palestinians are in starvation-type conditions, living from day to day, Arafat's wife allegedly lived at a $16,000 a day hotel (suite plus 19 rooms) in Paris when she first got there, shopping in the most exclusive Parisian shops, and now has a mansion in an exclusive Parisian neighborhood.
Charges of corruption in the PA are rife, and recently Arafat was forced to admit - in a speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council - to making "mistakes" and pledged to clean up the Palestinian Authority. But he refused to sign anti-corruption legislation.
In a "stormy and tense" follow-up meeting afterward, with pro-reform legislators, Arafat told them, "[that his speech] was enough and that there is no need for any signatures," said Azmi Shouabi, one of the meeting's participants.
Then there's Ahmad Qureia (Abu Ala) the Palestinian Prime Minister and another Fatah leader. He's been embroiled in what's been called the "PA cement scandal". Several Arab companies have been importing cement from Egypt on behalf of Israeli contractors. The Egyptian cement is then used to build parts of the separation fence, as well as new houses in Jewish communities in Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza). They've been making a lot of money. And, according to reports, the Al-Quds Cement Factory in Abu Dis, in eastern Jerusalem, has been accused by others in the PA, of supplying material for the construction of the fence in Abu Dis itself, and Jewish communities in Yesha. That factory is co-owned by the family of the PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia. So while Qureia screams about "the settlements and the wall," he and his family are pocketing profits from their construction.
Maybe the Hamas and Islamic Jihad people are better?
Not a chance. While calling for more Israeli deaths - read, more Arabs killing themselves in terror attacks against Jews - Hamas and Jihad leaders scrambled like rats to hide in the woodwork every time Israel attempted another "targeted killing". After Israel picked off Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab last year, all the top Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were reported to have gone into hiding. That scenario repeated itself several times over the next year as Israel eliminated terrorist leaders Sheikh Yassin, Rantisi and others.
Shortly after Abu Shanab's departure last year, I had to pay a condolence call, where I tried to cheer up a mourner by telling him a joke. I told him, "I heard on the radio that one of the top Hamas officials was on a live telephone interview with Al-Jazeera TV [which is very important for their propaganda campaign], when he heard something outside, the sound of helicopters in the distance. He immediately told the reporter, 'I am sorry, this interview is over, I have to go now'. Click went the phone." I told him, "The good news is that all the top Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists are reported to have gone into hiding. They're all running like rats. Those so-called 'holy warriors' who send off others to murder and die, they're terrified." That cheered him up, and it should cheer us up as well. For all their rhetoric, all these terrorist leaders aren't running to be martyrs either. And do you think any of their sons or daughters are becoming suicidal bombers? Not a chance...
Compared to Arafat, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders (many who are now dead), who regularly incite the Palestinian masses to sacrifice themselves for Palestine, Barghouti's little indiscretion - eating during a hunger strike - seems rather mild. And, can we really fault old Yasser for trying to better himself from the Palestinian's pocketbook, or, Ahmad's avaricious behavior?
It really is indicative of a much broader problem, that Palestinians face, the perfidy of their "leaders".
But then again, they are terrorists aren't they? And the biggest victims of Palestinian terrorism are the so-called Palestinian people themselves...
Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at:
(c) 2004/5764 Pasko
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MIM: Ramzy Baroud is the editor of the Palestine Chronicle which is a mouthpiece of the Islamic Association of Palestine aka Hamas. The spokesman for the IAP, Rafiq Jaber sits on the editorial board of the PC and is also the spokesman for the Bridgeman Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview ,Illinois . Baroud and his wife Suzy are active members of Paul Findley's CNI "The Council for the National Interest' a Saudi funded political front for Hamas, which advocates the destruction of Israel. Baroud's article appeared on the Ramallah Online website which used to be linked to Palestine4 Ever. net , a suicide bomber gallery website which was removed from the internet, after it was exposed and outraged people complained to the ISP . The domain owner, Rosemary Davis, aka Shady Hantouli worked with two children's charities : The Palestine Children's Relief Fund and the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund. Baroud also has ties to the Islamic Center of Boca Raton and Ibrahim Dremali and his second wife Lamyaa Hashim, aka Um Ahmad. Hashim's 'charity' the Health Resource Center Palestine, was closed down in 2003 after it was proven to be linked to Hamas and the IAP. ICBR Imam Ibrahim Dremali's brother was the HRCP "Gaza Coordinator ".
In 2002 Baroud wrote a piece of detailing Hashim's being barred from entering Gaza by the Israeli army, claiming she was delivering 'medical supplies', The piece was entitled ," Lamyaa Hashim, a true Palestinian at Heart",
Baroud failed to mention that one of the reasons Hashim was barred from entering Gaza , besides funding Hamas and the IAP, was that she had grabbed a soldiers gun and written a piece about the incident which appeared on the Al Qaeda website Al Banyan. She called the story :"A Day in Gaza",and spent 3 pages boasting about her action.
Baroud's piece is amusing in it's clumsy rhetoric and self congratulatory tone. Ironically, Baroud should himself have been in the same place as the 'hunger strikers' he feels such a viseral affinity for. Note that Baroud is an American citizen and works for Al Jazeera .
Ramzy Baroud , The Palestine Chronicle
Today I will fast in solidarity with 2,800 Palestinian political prisoners currently carrying out a hunger strike in 10 Israeli jails. Those prisoners are not "murderers" as Israeli officials describe them, but courageous individuals who have endured for the sake of freedom and liberty, principles that most of us only understand as clichés and mindless slogans.
I demand that the United States government stop using my tax money to arm the Israeli occupation forces with bullets, tear gas, riot-gear and other deadly means to subdue Palestinian prisoners during freedom riots.
I demand Arab and Muslim governments to stop paying lip service to the Palestinian cause and to quit holding fancy dinner banquets in the honor of deprived orphans and suffering widows. Instead, I urge them to achieve a collective, perpetual and meaningful campaign, supporting the Palestinian struggle in alliance with all forces of peace around the world.
I demand that the PA and its ruling Fatah party stop their inner fighting and meaningless power struggle, especially since they have acquired neither political nor territorial sovereignty to begin with. I demand that they remain focused on the collective self-determination of their people and that they side with the freedom deprived prisoners.
I petition myself to remember that at any given moment, there is a Palestinian man or woman, stripped and humiliated, beaten while hanging from a rusty and damp ceiling, somewhere in Israel, handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded, yet refusing to be subdued, all because he or she attempted to protect a village, a people, a past, an idea, a fleeting dream. I demand that I imprint on my own heart, the pain endured in those lonely cells and the pain of thousands confined by the greater prison wall that is sucking the life out of the West Bank and Gaza. Lest I forget, I declare my own hunger strike.
-Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Arab-American journalist. He is editor in chief of PalestineChronicle.com and head of Research & Studies Department at Aljazeera.net English.
MIM: This rock throwing teenager and potential suicide bomber recruit in the picture below was commemorated in a UN funded exhibition from the Sakahini Cultural Center which was entitled 100 Shaheeds. A bio and photo of his slingshot were part of the exhibition. Note that the so called 'cultural' center relates that some of it's "activities are tranferred to outside of Ramallah.... to break the Israeli siege "http://www.sakakini.org/shaheed/biographies.htm
15 years old. Fares came from the Zaitoun quarter in Gaza. Before going to school, he would stand in front of a tank and throw stones at it. He would repeat this ritual on his way home from school. His family found out that he was participating in the clashes when they saw the now famous news photograph that depicts him throwing stones at a tank. His parents tried to dissuade him from going, saying he was too young, but he would respond, "I am a grown-up." He now had to sneak out of his house, his head wrapped in a Kouffieh. Fares was always the one closest to the tanks, and once a Palestinian police man tried to take him away to protect him, and was shot in the hand as he tried to shield the boy from the gunfire.
On November 8th, he left his house early and told his friends he was going to stone tanks again on his way to school. This time, the soldiers tried to chase him, but he ran away. They fired several bullets at him, and shot him in the neck, killing him instantly. After his death, his mother talked about Fares: "All my children are disabled and Fares was the only one without a disability. I dreamed that my son would grow up to help us raise his brothers and sisters. He'd asked me to throw him a birthday party, but he died thirteen days before his birthday…I'd already started preparing for the party…."
"The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre Foundation is a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture in Palestine. The Sakakini was founded in 1996, and is located in Ramallah in a restored traditional mansion.
The Sakakini works in three areas: The visual arts, Palestinian identity & narrative, and holding regular public activities such as: Art exhibits, concerts, literary events, film screenings, children's activities, & lectures. Our goals & areas of work are:
Nurturing the visual arts:
Developing visual artists' creative skills, nurturing new talents, and exhibiting and collecting art works.
Recording & disseminating Palestinian narrative:
Organizing projects that express intimately and creatively the Palestinian experience. Developing programs exploring Palestinian cultural heritage, and collective memory.
Energizing cultural life:
Organizing regular, diverse, and public art events. Organizing outreach programs to encourage the emergence of new audiences for the arts in vasrious segments of society, and age groups. As such, the Sakakini conducts 6-8 activities monthly ranging from concerts, art exhibits, book readings, poetry readings, kids activities, film screenings, and other seasonal programs. In addition to long term projects in the three fields described above. The Sakakini also transfers some of its activities outside of Ramallah, such as to Bir Zeit, Gaza City, and Bethlehem, to break the Israeli siege.
Current sources of revenue are: Donations, project-specific grants, members' dues, and partial coverage of overhead costs by the Al-Karmel literary quarterly located in the Sakakini building. The Sakakini's first funding priority is to secure more donations to cover its running costs deficit, and to contribute to the endowment fund to enable the Centre to pursue its activities in financial security. The target of the endowment is $2,000,000, so far, the Centre has managed to acquire $128,000.
Past and current projects are funded by grants from private individuals, and also from organizations such as: The Ford Foundation,the Prince Claus Fund, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, the German Fund for Palestinian NGOs, the Swiss Development Corporation, The Australian Aid Agency, the Ramallah Representative Office of the Netherlands, the Jerusalem US Consulate General's Public Affairs Office, the Jerusalem French Consulate General, the Pontifical Mission to Palestine, UNESCO, UPA, etc.
How was the Sakakini Cultural Centre Founded?
Since its opening in May 1996, the Sakakini functioned as a branch of the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, albeit with programmatic independence. Within a year of its opening, consultations by the director assessing the Sakakini's work recommended that in order for it to better fulfill its mission and serve the local community, the Sakakini should change its status into a non-governmental organization (NGO).
For that purpose, a founding board made up of artists and philanthropists was convened by the Director in July 1997, and among its tasks were the drafting of bylaws, and helping in fundraising. In May 1998, the Sakakini obtained its NGO registration from the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, and a tax-exempt status granted to non-profit organizations from the Ministry of Finance. In August 1998, an agreement was signed with the Ministry of Culture, whereby the Sakakini's building remains the property of the Ministry, while its premises are used rent-free by the new Sakakini-NGO. The Sakakini's general assembly meets annually and elects the Centre's board of Directors, which nominates the Centre's Board of Trustees.
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