Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Arabic Media Internet Network

Arabic Media Internet Network,


September 4, 2001, amin.org, The dance of death, by Khalid Amayreh*,
September 6, 2001, amin.org, Apartheid roads and other discriminator policies, by Daoud Kuttab,
September 12, 2001, amin.org, *PA prevents journalists from reporting on Palestinians celebrating terror attacks,
September 13, 2001, amin.org, America is a great country but, by Daoud Kuttab,
September 14, 2001, amin.org, PA impose new ban on filming celebrations,

September 14, 2001, amin.org, PA impose new ban on filming celebrations,In a letter to Deputy Minister of the Interior Ahmed Said Tamimi, the Paris based Reporters sans frontières (RSF), protested the numerous cases of intimidation of journalists in the territories under the Palestinian Authority's control. "There are some subjects that the Palestinian authorities do not wish to have tackled," said Robert Ménard, the organization's secretary-general. "We ask you to act in order to stop hindrances to the right to inform, regularly encountered by journalists in the territories under your control," he added.

On 11 September 2001, some Palestinians expressed their joy, in front of cameras, following the attacks in the United States. Since then, in an effort to avoid shocking public opinion any further, the Palestinian authorities have tried to stop these demonstrations. According to information collected by RSF, that same day, police forces and armed gunmen prevented journalists in Nablus from covering celebrations following the New York and Washington attacks.

Moreover, on 14 September, five journalists were detained by the Palestinian police. They were covering a demonstration at the Nusseirat refugee camp in memory of the perpetrator of the 9 September suicide-bomb attack in Nahariya, Israel. A Reuters photographer and editor, an Associated Press TV (APTV) cameraman, the correspondent for the Abu Dhabi satellite television station and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer were released an hour and a half later, after police confiscated their videotapes and film. During this commemoration, a portrait of Osama bin Laden was held up by young people. Four of the detained journalists were Palestinians and one was Norwegian.

September 12, 2001, amin.org, *PA prevents journalists from reporting on Palestinians celebrating terror attacks,

PA prevents journalists from reporting on Palestinians celebrating terror attacks

The Associated Press (AP) on Wednesday September 12, protested to the Palestinian Authority about threats against a freelance cameraman who filmed Palestinians celebrating terror attacks in the United States.

The videographer, on assignment for Associated Press Television News, was summoned to a Palestinian Authority security office and told that the material must not be aired. Calls in the name of the FATAH militia, an armed group associated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah group, warned him he would be held responsible and made what he interpreted as threats on his life.

Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat's Cabinet secretary, said the Palestinian Authority ''cannot guarantee the life'' of the cameraman if the footage was broadcast.

The cameraman then requested that the material not be aired. In light of the danger, APTN has not released the footage of the rally in Nablus. AP news stories reported worldwide on the demonstration in Nablus and AP distributed still pictures and video of similar rallies in east Jerusalem, Lebanon and elsewhere.

An AP still photographer did not take pictures of the Nablus rally after being warned at the scene not to do so. The protest by AP Chief of Bureau Dan Perry said, ''I ask the assurances of the Palestinian Authority that you will protect our journalists from threats and attempts at intimidation and that no harm would come to our freelance cameraman from distribution of the film.''

September 13, 2001, amin.org, America is a great country but, by Daoud Kuttab,

America is a great country. It stands for the best things people can hope for. The US constitution, the first amendment, the respect or individual rights are unmatched the world over. These are not just words on paper, for every American these values are experienced every day in every state of the union.

Unfortunately, though, sometimes that is as far as it goes. Once outside the US or in dealing with foreign policy these values are often replaced with a variety of other considerations. People who have not lived in America, especially those people who have been on the receiving end of some of the distorted US foreign policies have little appreciation for what America stands for.

The ugly and despicable attack on US governmental and commercial institutions needs to be seen in this vein. This is not to excuse this act which must be denounced.

For years people in the Middle East have suffered from this double faced US foreign policy. Human rights, the great Wilsonian concept of the people’s right to self determination seems to stop when the subject of discussions are Palestinians.

Some might ask why now. What has the US done recently to trigger this unprecedented response? While this is an important question the answer is not necessarily in any specific action by the US but rather in the fact that people around the world have much more access in real time with full color to acts, events and pronouncements of American official regarding foreign policy issues. The spread of satellite television, for example, has meant that stories about say the human suffering of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation enter the sitting rooms of hundreds of millions of people every day. And when top US officials defend or justify human rights violations in third world countries, few people can go back and think of the rosy American picture as the defender of rights and protector of freedoms.

When Vice president Dick Chaney told Fox television last month that the US “understands” Israel’s need to assassinate top Palestinian officials, his statement was widely broadcast all over the Arab and Moslem world. To have a senior US official understand the use of an ally of US apache helicopters in an offensive attack was hard to fathom. Some commentators said that even Timothy McVee was entitled to a trial, while Israeli generals are acting as judge jury and executioner with full support from the world of human rights and democracy. Shortly after Cheney’s statements I wrote an oped in the long Island daily Newsday (8/13) saying that Cheney is adding fuel to the raging fire of the Middle East.

Unfortunately the US support for Israel and justification for its brutality against Palestinians continued. The highly publicized withdrawal of American from the Durban conference for fear that Israel would be tainted ‘racist’ did little to reverse the anti American feelings of many people around the world. All this simply added to the poisonous feelings in the non western world. Even the most moderate and pro US country in the region, Saudi Arabia was expressing strong anti American positions in public.

The public attacks against Americans by many of its Arab allies in the region didn’t satisfy a population that daily saw humiliation against fellow Arabs and Moslems with Arab governments completely inept in responding to it.

Shortly after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington President Bush spoke to the American people calling what happened as an attack against America’s values. He ended by saying “we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.” For Americans living in this great country these words sounded true and genuine. But for many around the world who have not seen these values translated in US foreign policy, these words were empty rhetoric.

The values that America stands for are the envy of well-informed human beings around the world living in authoritarian countries. Those of us who have lived in America and have experienced this great country try our best to tell people around the world about it with the hope that these values can be emulated. Those who only see the results of American foreign policy often hamper our efforts by pointing to this contradiction.

In the past the US government was able to get away with this duplicity. Friendly countries would protect the US image and government controlled media would ensure that America’s policies are defended. Globalization which has been the main vehicle for the success of America has also brought with it media instruments (internet and satellite) that circumvent government controlled media and allow the people a free access to the reality of the US foreign policy. Is it possible that the very instruments of its own success haunt America?

*Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian American journalist living in Jerusalem. He is the director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University.

September 6, 2001, amin.org, Apartheid roads and other discriminator policies, by Daoud Kuttab,

My personal assistant Jumana was in tears. Her husband Nadim has been pressing her to quit her job and try with us in Ramallah and apply for another job in Jerusalem. The reason is simple. Her daily trip from Jerusalem's Beit Hanina neighborhood to Ramallah and back has become a nightmare. She was upset because she didn't want to leave a job she liked with colleagues and friends just because of the Israeli check post. But she knew deep inside that her husband was right. The difficulty of movement for Palestinians has become unbearable and there are no signs that it will get better.

Mary Habash has the reverse problem. She has a good paying job as executive secretary in a international agency in Jerusalem. But her daily trip from the Ramallah district of Bir Zeit to Jerusalem and back has also become unbearable. If she finds a job in Ramallah, it might mean losing as much as half her salary.

Joseph Handal also has a great job working as a cameraman for French Television. His daily trip to Jerusalem has also become a nightmare. He has no plans of quitting his job but the daily problems at the checkpost seem to have no end. The fact that he and other Palestinian journalists, working for reputable western media organs are accredited by the Israeli government press office, mean little to Israeli soldiers, apparently with new orders banning even professional journalists from the free movement guaranteed by international treaties and accepted norms.
The seemingly upturn in harassment against Palestinian professionals is just the latest result of a general policy of discrimination against Palestinians. The reality of the 11-month Al Aqsa intifada has certainly eliminated one favorite Israeli justification- security. Despite the many levels of closures and restrictions of movement, Palestinians wishing to enter Jerusalem and Israel have had little trouble. So the policy of closure and restrictions of movement simply effect those who by Israel's own admission are the kind of people who are not involved in acts of violence, suicide bombings etc.

Major changes are happening every day to the road system in and around Jerusalem. The multi layered check posts are supported by an Israeli policy of closing every side road in the Palestinian neighborhoods. This policy is making the dual road policy much clearer. Israelis have their own well paved, well lit and well protected roads and
Palestinians have their own single pot filled road with numerous checkpoints on the road. And for those Palestinians who wish to use the Israeli roads A dual military and settler vigilante terror campaign is being enforced. Until recently this discriminatory policy applied to Wrest Bank and Gaza Palestinians. By Israeli military decree these Palestinians are not allowed to enter Jerusalem or Israel without permission. Practically no permissions are being given these days. Even Palestinians with permission have for years been banned to use their cars and since 1967 Palestinians have not been allowed to sleep or purchase property in Jerusalem or Israel. The latest policy affects Palestinians from East Jerusalem who Israel considers Israelis residents (but not citizens). A Palestinians from Jerusalem can not go see his relatives in the West Bank unless he or she can show utility bills proving that he/she lives in say Ramallah or Bethlehem.

There is no doubt that the basic source of all these policies is the overall Israeli government's continued policy of occupation and exclusive Jewish settlement activity. For years Palestinians have been complaining about this discriminatory policy but with little attention. The UN conference on racism seems to have given attention to some of these issues of discrimination that are based solely on Palestinian's national origin. The US and Israel seem more intent on de-legitimizing this international messenger rather than dealing with the message. If the message of the
Durban conference is that all human beings are equal, hen it is high time that policies of discrimination and racism clearly practiced on the ground, on the roads and in all aspects of the lives of Palestinians come to and end. The sooner this happens the sooner that Palestinians and Israelis can live in freedom and tranquility.

*A Palestinian columnist from Jerusalem. He is the director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University.

September 4, 2001, amin.org, The dance of death, by Khalid Amayreh*,

In Palestine, death begets death, in a grisly dance of the macabre. On Tuesday, a Palestinian dressed as an ultra-orthodox Jew exploded himself on the streets of West Jerusalem. He died instantly; 15 Israelis were injured. One, a policeman, is critically wounded. Another policeman, who confronted the bomber before his suicide, says he died smiling.

No one has yet confessed to the attack. But Israeli sources suspect the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), whose leader, Abu Ali Mustafa, the Israeli army murdered in Ramallah, on 27 August.

Despite the repression that Israel will now almost certainly unleash, Palestinians seem to support the suicide-bombers. According to a survey published last week by the Palestinian Center For Public Opinion Studies, in Beit Sahur, close to 80 per cent of respondents condoned suicide bomb attacks against Israelis.

In many ways, they have been driven to it. As the Israeli occupiers continue to narrow peoples' horizons, and turn Palestinian towns, villages and even small hamlets into detention camps, the sense of powerlessness mounts. Now most Palestinians believe that until Israelis feel real pain they will continue to be deaf to Palestinian cries for freedom and justice. Their sense that their way of life is being pitilessly strangled to death, and which is likely to continue as long as Ariel Sharon is in power, can only lead to a massive drift towards favoring "martyrdom operations" as the Palestinians' last weapon, and hope.

The suicide bombings have grown out of Israel's brutal flaying of Palestinians since the Intifada began. Throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel has recently resorted increasingly to armored incursions into densely populated residential Palestinian areas.

In the last few weeks, such incursions have happened daily, and in a familiar pattern. Israeli tanks and armored vehicles rumble into PA-controlled neighborhoods, destroy private and public buildings, and kill and wound with abandon, before finally returning to base. And when, as often, the outnumbered and scantily-armed Palestinians resist, the Israeli army unleashes its awful fire-power, machine- gunning whole areas, with a staggering contempt for human life.

Following the Israeli army's re-occupation of Beit Jala on 28 August, Israeli troops made as many as 10 incursions into Hebron and various parts of the Gaza Strip, killing 10 Palestinians, resistance fighters and civilians alike. In Hebron, the most serious incursion took place on 30 August, when Israeli troops advanced through the Wadi Al-Hairriya neighborhood in order to "clear terrorist hideouts" and prevent firing upon settlers in the Jewish enclave in downtown Hebron. The Palestinians resisted. Young men, determined to defend their homes, returned fire; and all hell broke loose. The Israeli army began shooting indiscriminately in all directions. Israeli soldiers then seized rooftops overlooking downtown Hebron and rained bullets on to shops, markets, motorists, and anything moving in the streets.

At one point they killed a doctor who was helping an injured child. According to eyewitnesses, Hussein Ikdeimat, 50, was blasted to death as he rushed from his clinic to help a child casually gunned down by an Israeli bullet.

Then, after a brief hiatus, Israel attacked Hebron again. On 3 September, the Israeli army fired several heavy artillery shells at the Abu-Senineh neighborhood in Hebron, killing two Palestinians, Amjad Al-Jamal, 17, and Isam Batash, 25. That brings the death toll in Hebron to six, in three days.

Attacks were not confined to Hebron. On the same day, the Israeli army advanced through the Yibna refugee camp near Rafah at the southern edge of the Gaza Strip. There, true to form, Israeli forces destroyed six more houses, bringing to 25 the number of houses destroyed in Rafah in 48 hours.
Rafah and its surrounds have suffered more than any other Palestinian locality since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada last September. Hundreds of houses are now rubble, vast tracts of farm land lie desolate, families have had to bury a hundred young men and children, and hundreds of others will carry the mutilations and injuries of Israeli bullets and bombs as long as they live.

The machine-gunning of huge swathes of the occupied territories, suggests that Israel is not merely after "terrorists" but is intent on killing, maiming and cowing the bulk of ordinary Palestinians, many of whom fear even walking the streets lest an Israeli bullet turn them into a statistic. In such a climate, Palestinians have begun to think that fear is the only weapon they have with which to fight fear.

And so the stakes increase. If the PFLP turns out to be behind Tuesday's attack in Jerusalem, it will herald a ratcheting up of the violence. The PFLP, and other Palestinian leftist factions, are not known for suicide bombings, something that so far has been the preserve of Islamists. If the PFLP is responsible, it will confirm that human bombs had won popular support. A day earlier, the PFLP had claimed responsibility for four car-bomb explosions in occupied Jerusalem in revenge for the death of their leader. If it was responsible for the recent bombing, it will be up to the world to convince the Palestinians that they have another choice; a world whose efforts in that direction have so far been close to nil.

*Palestinian journalist based in Hebron.

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