Palestine/Israel

This letter is written and signed by Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter, Jose Saramago, Noam Chomsky and John Berger, it has been forwarded to major newspapers.

The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner - and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis - there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails .

On the story we almost never hear about—the Palestinian one—and an anniversary few of us have ever considered

By Sandy Tolan

07/11/06 "Mother Jones" -- -- Under the pretext of forcing the release of a single soldier "kidnapped by terrorists" (or, if you prefer, "captured by the resistance"), Israel has done the following: seized members of a democratically elected government; bombed its interior ministry, the prime minister's offices, and a school; threatened another sovereign state (Syria) with a menacing overflight; dropped leaflets from the air, warning of harm to the civilian population if it does not "follow all orders of the IDF" (Israel Defense Forces); loosed nocturnal "sound bombs" under orders from the Israeli prime minister to "make sure no one sleeps at night in Gaza"; fired missiles into residential areas, killing children; and demolished a power station that was the sole generator of electricity and running water for hundreds of thousands of Gazans.

By Tony Judt

By the age of 58 a country – like a man – should have achieved a certain maturity. After nearly six decades of existence we know, for good and ill, who we are and how we appear to others, warts and all. And though we still harbour occasional illusions about ourselves, we know they are, for the most part, just illusions. In short, we are adults.

But the state of Israel, which has just turned 58, remains curiously immature. The country’s social transformations – and its many economic achievements – have not brought the political wisdom that usually accompanies age. Seen from outside, Israel still comports itself like an adolescent: confident of its uniqueness; certain that no one “understands”; quick to take offence, and to give it. Like many adolescents, Israel is convinced – and aggressively asserts – that it can do as it wishes; that its actions carry no consequences; that it is immortal.

The Silence of Elie Wiesel: How to be a Good Victim
By M. SHAHID ALAM


"Captain Gordon Pim stated in his speech that it was a philanthropic principle to kill natives; there was, he said, "mercy in a massacre."

Sven Lindqvist, Exterminate the Brutes (1996)


At last Mr. Elie Wiesel has spoken of the 'dispossessed' in Palestine. It is ap-propriate that he should do so; that is what the world has long come to expect of him. A holocaust survivor and Peace Laureate, Mr. Wiesel has dedicated his life to preventing another holocaust, acting on the conviction that "...to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all..."

The Ball is in Europe's Court

By Oren Medicks


Palestinian Land Loss

The death of Yasser Arafat is seen by many people of good will as a chance to revive the peace process. Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is hailed as a moderate leader. A leader who has openly opposed the armed Intifada. The Palestinians are bathing in the exciting energies of a democratic election campaign just like a prisoner bathing in a small pool of sun entering his cell through a tiny skylight. One of the reasons they have elected Abu Mazen was to appease Bush and Sharon, hoping that in return, the strangling Israeli grip on their lives will loosen a little. In Israel, too, many are fed up with fighting, and wish to lead a normal life - only they have their own ideas of what normality means. Optimism is desirable, filling our sails and motivating us for action, but we must remain sober, or else the same wind might drive our fragile boat against the hard rocks of reality...