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16 avril 2017 7 16 /04 /avril /2017 08:32

Israël arrête un député palestinien

 

 
  • Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFP
  • Mis à jour
  • Publié
 
 

Les autorités israéliennes ont de nouveau arrêté un député palestinien, portant à 13 le nombre de parlementaires détenus par l'Etat hébreu, a indiqué aujourd'hui l'ONG palestinienne Club des prisonniers palestiniens. Ahmed Atoun, député palestinien de Jérusalem depuis 1996 sous l'étiquette du Hamas, a été arrêté à l'aube.

Banni de la ville sainte par Israël, ce parlementaire du mouvement islamiste au pouvoir dans la bande de Gaza s'est ensuite installé à Ramallah, en Cisjordanie, territoire palestinien occupé depuis 50 ans par l'armée israélienne.

Son arrestation porte à 13 le nombre de parlementaires, sur les 132 que compte l'assemblée palestinienne, détenus dans des prisons israéliennes. L'armée israélienne a confirmé deux arrestations dans les rangs du Hamas, sans fournir plus de détails.

Le Parlement palestinien ne siège plus depuis 2007, année où le Hamas et l'Autorité palestinienne se sont livrés une quasi guerre civile pour le pouvoir à Gaza. En 2006, le mouvement islamiste avait remporté la majorité aux élections, mais avait ensuite été privé de sa victoire.

Outre M. Atoun, "les forces d'occupation israéliennes ont arrêté à l'aube 14 Palestiniens dont sept habitants de Jérusalem", a ajouté le Club des prisonniers. Parmi eux figure Fayez Abou Ouarda, l'un des porte-paroles du Hamas en Cisjordanie.

Plus de 6.500 Palestiniens, dont 62 femmes, sont actuellement emprisonnés par Israël et 500 d'entre eux sont sous le régime extra-judiciaire de la détention administrative qui permet une incarcération sans procès ni inculpation.

 

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2017/04/12/97001-20170412FILWWW00219-israel-arrete-un-depute-palestinien.php?redirect_premium

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15 avril 2017 6 15 /04 /avril /2017 09:04

British-Palestinian professor ‘may never see family again’ after being denied entry to Israel

 
 

‘I was clearly on a wanted list. He had a pile of papers, he was pointing to tweets they said I had written. They were clearly ready for me’

 

A British Palestinian man has been denied entry to Israel under its controversial law banning supporters of the boycott movement.

Professor Kemal Hawwash, of Birmingham University, was attempting to visit relatives in east Jerusalem with his wife and five-year-old son for the Easter holidays when he was detained.

Professor Hawwash left his family in tears as he was forced to fly back to the UK, an experience he said left him “personally devastated”.

He told The Independent he fears he may never be able to see elderly relatives living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories again.

“I go regularly every year to visit my family,” he said, “so this was not an out of the ordinary visit.

“Whenever I go it is for family visits, I don’t undertake any political work while I’m out there.”

Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), was the first British citizen to be refused entry to Israel under the law, which bans anyone found to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering the country.

Professor Hawwash said he was taken away by an officer a few minutes after he presented his passport at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

“I was clearly on a wanted list. He had a pile of papers, he was pointing to tweets they said I had written. They were clearly ready for me.”

Professor Hawwash said the officer told him: “We have a problem with you.”

After telling the officer he had been vice-chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign until January and was now on its executive committee, he was accused of being part of an “anti-Israel organisation”.

The officer then questioned him about some posts on his Twitter feed, which apparently glorified Palestinian terrorists, but Professor Hawwash said the tweets he was shown had been translated into Hebrew.

He said he asked to see the English originals before he would comment.

When asked for comment, the Israeli embassy in London accused Professor Hawwash of praising “the perpetrators of terror as martyrs”.

“Israel is seeking a peaceful resolution to its conflict with the Palestinians. Those who promote extremism should not be allowed to foment their hatred in Israel.”

kamel-hawwash6.jpg
 
The document barring Professor Hawwash from entry (Supplied)

Professor Hawwash said his “heart sank” when he was given a document citing Israeli law barring him from entry.

His wife and five-year-old son were allowed to enter Israel, but he was put on a plane to Brussels around 12 hours after his initial questioning and told he would need to apply for permission to visit in the future.

“A couple of hours before the flight I was taken for a full body search,” he added, “even though I had just come from Birmingham and Brussels and hadn’t been out of the airport. Just part of their humiliation practice.”

“Upon arrival in Brussels I was handed over to the Belgian police. You’re made to feel like a criminal.”

He said he was “personally devastated” and feared he would not be able to see elderly relatives if he was not allowed entry in the future.

“When she heard from my wife that I wasn’t going to be allowed in, my mother-in-law actually said: ‘That means I’m not going to see Kamel before I die.’”

kamel-hawwash4.jpg
 
Professor Hawwash left his family in tears as he was forced to fly back to the UK (Supplied)

 

Richard Burden, Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield, said it was “utterly shocking” Professor Hawwash was denied entry.

He said: “Following the Knesset’s decision to pass the new entry restrictions I had already been in touch with the government and the Israeli Embassy over how this ban would affect people living in Britain.

“My constituent Kamel Hawwash is being denied entry not only to Israel, but to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and access to his family – it is utterly shocking that now he may never see them again.

“The relaxed attitude our ministers are showing to Israel’s actions is scandalous. Human rights defenders in Israel have rightly spoken out against this new law preventing peaceful campaigners from visiting their country.

“It is time for British ministers to speak out too.”

pro-palestine-bds.jpg
 
Pro-Palestinian BDS movement supporters take part in a rally in central London (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Ben Jamal, director of the PSC, said: “The bottom line is that Israel is using its new boycott law to ban foreign human rights activists.

“The BDS movement peacefully pressures Israel to comply with international law and cease human rights violations. It draws directly from the tactics of Gandhi and Mandela to effect positive change.

“According to the Israeli government, human rights activism is a security threat. Fundamental democratic norms and freedoms don’t matter.

“The British government must demand that Israel ceases this harassment.”

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-professor-kamel-hawwash-palestinian-citizen-israel-ban-entry-anti-bds-law-see-family-easter-a7682471.html

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15 avril 2017 6 15 /04 /avril /2017 09:03

Avec les oiseaux de passage en Terre sainte

12.04.2017
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15 avril 2017 6 15 /04 /avril /2017 09:00

British-Palestinian professor ‘may never see family again’ after being denied entry to Israel

 
 

‘I was clearly on a wanted list. He had a pile of papers, he was pointing to tweets they said I had written. They were clearly ready for me’

 

A British Palestinian man has been denied entry to Israel under its controversial law banning supporters of the boycott movement.

Professor Kemal Hawwash, of Birmingham University, was attempting to visit relatives in east Jerusalem with his wife and five-year-old son for the Easter holidays when he was detained.

Professor Hawwash left his family in tears as he was forced to fly back to the UK, an experience he said left him “personally devastated”.

He told The Independent he fears he may never be able to see elderly relatives living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories again.

“I go regularly every year to visit my family,” he said, “so this was not an out of the ordinary visit.

“Whenever I go it is for family visits, I don’t undertake any political work while I’m out there.”

Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), was the first British citizen to be refused entry to Israel under the law, which bans anyone found to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering the country.

Professor Hawwash said he was taken away by an officer a few minutes after he presented his passport at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

“I was clearly on a wanted list. He had a pile of papers, he was pointing to tweets they said I had written. They were clearly ready for me.”

Professor Hawwash said the officer told him: “We have a problem with you.”

After telling the officer he had been vice-chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign until January and was now on its executive committee, he was accused of being part of an “anti-Israel organisation”.

The officer then questioned him about some posts on his Twitter feed, which apparently glorified Palestinian terrorists, but Professor Hawwash said the tweets he was shown had been translated into Hebrew.

He said he asked to see the English originals before he would comment.

When asked for comment, the Israeli embassy in London accused Professor Hawwash of praising “the perpetrators of terror as martyrs”.

“Israel is seeking a peaceful resolution to its conflict with the Palestinians. Those who promote extremism should not be allowed to foment their hatred in Israel.”

kamel-hawwash6.jpg
 
The document barring Professor Hawwash from entry (Supplied)

Professor Hawwash said his “heart sank” when he was given a document citing Israeli law barring him from entry.

His wife and five-year-old son were allowed to enter Israel, but he was put on a plane to Brussels around 12 hours after his initial questioning and told he would need to apply for permission to visit in the future.

“A couple of hours before the flight I was taken for a full body search,” he added, “even though I had just come from Birmingham and Brussels and hadn’t been out of the airport. Just part of their humiliation practice.”

“Upon arrival in Brussels I was handed over to the Belgian police. You’re made to feel like a criminal.”

He said he was “personally devastated” and feared he would not be able to see elderly relatives if he was not allowed entry in the future.

“When she heard from my wife that I wasn’t going to be allowed in, my mother-in-law actually said: ‘That means I’m not going to see Kamel before I die.’”

kamel-hawwash4.jpg
 
Professor Hawwash left his family in tears as he was forced to fly back to the UK (Supplied)

 

Richard Burden, Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield, said it was “utterly shocking” Professor Hawwash was denied entry.

He said: “Following the Knesset’s decision to pass the new entry restrictions I had already been in touch with the government and the Israeli Embassy over how this ban would affect people living in Britain.

“My constituent Kamel Hawwash is being denied entry not only to Israel, but to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and access to his family – it is utterly shocking that now he may never see them again.

“The relaxed attitude our ministers are showing to Israel’s actions is scandalous. Human rights defenders in Israel have rightly spoken out against this new law preventing peaceful campaigners from visiting their country.

“It is time for British ministers to speak out too.”

 
Pro-Palestinian BDS movement supporters take part in a rally in central London (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Ben Jamal, director of the PSC, said: “The bottom line is that Israel is using its new boycott law to ban foreign human rights activists.

“The BDS movement peacefully pressures Israel to comply with international law and cease human rights violations. It draws directly from the tactics of Gandhi and Mandela to effect positive change.

“According to the Israeli government, human rights activism is a security threat. Fundamental democratic norms and freedoms don’t matter.

“The British government must demand that Israel ceases this harassment.”

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-professor-kamel-hawwash-palestinian-citizen-israel-ban-entry-anti-bds-law-see-family-easter-a7682471.html

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15 avril 2017 6 15 /04 /avril /2017 08:57

Avec les oiseaux de passage en Terre sainte

12.04.2017
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15 avril 2017 6 15 /04 /avril /2017 08:50
A century of rubbing salt in Palestinian wounds is surely enough, even for Britain
 
 
 
The Balfour declaration, 100 years ago, was devastating for our people. Yet Theresa May says she will be marking its anniversary ‘with pride’
 
 

A Palestinian teacher gives a lesson in front of a cement wall separating them from an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

During his recent visit to Ramallah, Boris Johnson re-emphasised Britain’s long-standing support for the two-state solution and its position that illegal Israeli settlements are an obstacle to peace. Last December Britain also supported UN security council resolution 2334, which reiterated the illegality of settlements.

Yet last month, at the UN human rights council, the British government chose to abstain on key resolutions devised to hold Israel to account for its human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories and its illegal settlement building. This clearly demonstrates that Britain refuses to put pressure on Israel to stop its continuing theft of Palestinian land. In February the red carpet was rolled out at No 10 to welcome Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, who represents a hard right, increasingly racist government. Britain’s foreign secretary was proud to assert that the two countries have just made their biggest joint trade deal.

There is certainly no red carpet in dealing with the Palestinians. In 2011 Britain upgraded the status of the Palestinian representative office from a delegation to a mission. In effect, the upgrade was only symbolic, because it did not entail any diplomatic privileges. Yet since then we have witnessed nothing but a downgrade in our status. Embassy staff no longer have the same entitlements as other diplomats. We are told that this is because of Britain’s non-recognition of Palestine.

In the wider institutional context, there is a hostility towards those who criticise Israeli occupation. This was clearly demonstrated in the heavy-handed clampdown on student activities during Israeli Apartheid Week. Equating activism for Palestinian rights with radical Islam, and conflating legitimate criticism of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians with antisemitism, is wrong. The fight for Palestinian rights should not be criminalised.

However, the Conservative government seems to be increasingly isolated in its unconditional support for Israel. Parliament and the main opposition parties are highly critical of Israeli violations of international law, and have supported steps to censure Israel and empower the Palestinians. In 2014 parliament voted to recognise Palestine. and there have been numerous debates on Israeli breaches of international law, including the treatment of children in military detention, and illegal settlements. A select Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into the UK’s policy on Palestine/Israel is currently underway.

Government plans for the centenary of the Balfour declaration, on 2 November 2017, sum up perfectly its one-sided approach. The declaration led to the creation of Israel but at the same time signed away the Palestinian people’s inheritance and created generations of refugees. Despite this, Theresa May told Conservative Friends of Israel in December that the declaration was “one of the most important letters in history”, and that the anniversary was a date her government “will be marking with pride”. This rubs salt in the wound for every Palestinian, as will a royal visit to Israel this year – the first since 1948.

Palestinians, like any other people in the world, have a right to self-determination. Palestinian refugees want to exercise their right of return, as enshrined in UN resolution 194. It is clear that Israel will never give them this without international pressure.

The window on the two-state solution is closing fast as Israel grabs more land for its illegal settlements. The Palestinians have compromised to a point where they have nothing left to give up. What can Mahmoud Abbas bargain with in his forthcoming meeting with Donald Trump? As for its people, especially the generation born over the last 25 years, since the Oslo accords and the charade of the “peace process” began, what hope do they have?

This year – which marks 50 years of occupation, 10 years of the siege of Gaza strip and 100 years since the Balfour declaration – is an apt time for Britain to redress this century-old wrong, to work to end occupation and create an independent, sovereign Palestine. Otherwise the region will continue to be destabilised for years to come. Britain will be haunted by the consequences of Israel’s conduct, and its own complicity with it.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/12/palestinian-britain-balfour-declaration-theresa-may

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15 avril 2017 6 15 /04 /avril /2017 08:48
A century of rubbing salt in Palestinian wounds is surely enough, even for Britain
 
 
 
The Balfour declaration, 100 years ago, was devastating for our people. Yet Theresa May says she will be marking its anniversary ‘with pride’
 
 

A Palestinian teacher gives a lesson in front of a cement wall separating them from an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

During his recent visit to Ramallah, Boris Johnson re-emphasised Britain’s long-standing support for the two-state solution and its position that illegal Israeli settlements are an obstacle to peace. Last December Britain also supported UN security council resolution 2334, which reiterated the illegality of settlements.

Yet last month, at the UN human rights council, the British government chose to abstain on key resolutions devised to hold Israel to account for its human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories and its illegal settlement building. This clearly demonstrates that Britain refuses to put pressure on Israel to stop its continuing theft of Palestinian land. In February the red carpet was rolled out at No 10 to welcome Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, who represents a hard right, increasingly racist government. Britain’s foreign secretary was proud to assert that the two countries have just made their biggest joint trade deal.

There is certainly no red carpet in dealing with the Palestinians. In 2011 Britain upgraded the status of the Palestinian representative office from a delegation to a mission. In effect, the upgrade was only symbolic, because it did not entail any diplomatic privileges. Yet since then we have witnessed nothing but a downgrade in our status. Embassy staff no longer have the same entitlements as other diplomats. We are told that this is because of Britain’s non-recognition of Palestine.

In the wider institutional context, there is a hostility towards those who criticise Israeli occupation. This was clearly demonstrated in the heavy-handed clampdown on student activities during Israeli Apartheid Week. Equating activism for Palestinian rights with radical Islam, and conflating legitimate criticism of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians with antisemitism, is wrong. The fight for Palestinian rights should not be criminalised.

However, the Conservative government seems to be increasingly isolated in its unconditional support for Israel. Parliament and the main opposition parties are highly critical of Israeli violations of international law, and have supported steps to censure Israel and empower the Palestinians. In 2014 parliament voted to recognise Palestine. and there have been numerous debates on Israeli breaches of international law, including the treatment of children in military detention, and illegal settlements. A select Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into the UK’s policy on Palestine/Israel is currently underway.

Government plans for the centenary of the Balfour declaration, on 2 November 2017, sum up perfectly its one-sided approach. The declaration led to the creation of Israel but at the same time signed away the Palestinian people’s inheritance and created generations of refugees. Despite this, Theresa May told Conservative Friends of Israel in December that the declaration was “one of the most important letters in history”, and that the anniversary was a date her government “will be marking with pride”. This rubs salt in the wound for every Palestinian, as will a royal visit to Israel this year – the first since 1948.

Palestinians, like any other people in the world, have a right to self-determination. Palestinian refugees want to exercise their right of return, as enshrined in UN resolution 194. It is clear that Israel will never give them this without international pressure.

The window on the two-state solution is closing fast as Israel grabs more land for its illegal settlements. The Palestinians have compromised to a point where they have nothing left to give up. What can Mahmoud Abbas bargain with in his forthcoming meeting with Donald Trump? As for its people, especially the generation born over the last 25 years, since the Oslo accords and the charade of the “peace process” began, what hope do they have?

This year – which marks 50 years of occupation, 10 years of the siege of Gaza strip and 100 years since the Balfour declaration – is an apt time for Britain to redress this century-old wrong, to work to end occupation and create an independent, sovereign Palestine. Otherwise the region will continue to be destabilised for years to come. Britain will be haunted by the consequences of Israel’s conduct, and its own complicity with it.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/12/palestinian-britain-balfour-declaration-theresa-may

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14 avril 2017 5 14 /04 /avril /2017 07:49
L’agenda de Trump en Libye ? « Empêcher les Russes d’y reprendre pied »
 
 
 
 
 
 

Selon des informations recueillies par MEE, Washington aurait demandé aux pays arabes impliqués dans des initiatives de paix en Libye de suspendre toute initiative le temps d’impulser une nouvelle stratégie

 
Le plan de partition de la Libye, dont parle le quotidien britannique The Guardian, est une option pour l'instant rejetée par les pays de la sous-région et l'Union européenne (AFP)
 
 
 
10 avril 2017
 
 

ALGER – « Vous avez sans doute remarqué qu’au plan des négociations, il ne se passe rien depuis quelques semaines ? C’est parce que Washington a demandé une pause pour étudier le dossier libyen. »

Selon ce diplomate algérien, contacté par Middle East Eye, la Maison Blanche souhaite prendre « tout son temps » pour voir de quelle manière « ramener la stabilité dans le pays » et surtout « empêcher les Russes d’y reprendre pied ».

À LIRE : Le plan secret de la Russie en Libye

Dans ce contexte, l’information publiée ce lundi par The Guardian, selon laquelle un haut conseiller de Donald Trump chargé de la politique étrangère à la Maison Blanche aurait soumis un plan de partition de la Libye, carte à l’appui, ne serait selon lui, « pas étonnante ».

« Je préfère toutefois penser que ce n’est pas qu’un test pour voir comment les pays de la région réagiront car Alger, comme Le Caire – sans parler des Libyens eux-mêmes – ont toujours été opposés à cette idée », précise-t-il.

Selon The Guardian, un diplomate européen à qui le conseiller américain Sebastian Gorka aurait dessiné ce plan de partition sur un bout de nappe lors d’une rencontre, aurait même répondu qu’une partition serait « la pire solution » pour la Libye.

Ce plan prévoit de diviser le pays en trois parties en s’inspirant du découpage ottoman, basé sur trois provinces : la Tripolitaine au nord-ouest, le Fezzan au sud-ouest et la Cyrénaïque à l’est, sur une bande allant du nord au sud.


La cheffe de la diplomatie européenne Federic Mogherini, à Alger dimanche et lundi, a insisté sur la nécessité d’un accord politique (AFP)

La cheffe de la diplomatie européenne, Federica Mogherini, en visite à Alger dimanche et lundi, a rappelé que « l’Union européenne partage la même approche que l’Algérie » sur le dossier libyen consistant « à trouver une solution sur la base de l’accord politique avec la participation de tous les Libyens ».

Le quotidien britannique souligne que les alliés européens craignent que la Maison Blanche ne revienne sur le soutien appuyé de l’administration Obama au Gouvernement d’union nationale (GNA), basé à Tripoli et mené par Fayez el-Sarraj.

 

 


Le chef d’état-major algérien Ahmed Gaïd Salah s’est entretenu avec des militaires américains à Abou Dhabi (Twitter)

 

Mais selon les informations recueillies par MEE, la Maison Blanche n’aurait pour l’instant pris aucune décision.

« En février dernier, le chef d’état-major et vice-ministre de la Défense Ahmed Gaïd-Salah, s’est rendu à Abou Dhabi, aux Émirats arabes unis pour participer au 13e salon de la défense internationale [IDEX] et en marge de cet événement, a rencontré, avec une délégation de cadres de l’armée, des militaires américains », confie une source algérienne proche du dossier. « Ils ont parlé de la situation au Sahel et bien sûr, de la Libye au sujet de laquelle le président Trump n’avait pas encore décidé ce qu’il allait faire. »

Personne n’a d’ailleurs été nommé au poste d’envoyé spécial en Libye pour la Maison Blanche depuis le départ, en janvier, de Jonathan Winer.

Traduction : « Alors que je quitte le poste d’envoyé spécial, mon vœu pour les Libyens est qu’ils trouvent et qu’ils se mettent d’accord sur une vision commune pour leur futur national. Merci beaucoup, au revoir »

Sebastian Gorka aurait d’ailleurs, selon The Guardian, l’ambition d’occuper ce poste pour lequel il serait en concurrence avec Pete Hoekstra, ancien membre du Congrès et lobbyiste, et Phillip Escaravage, ancien représentant des services de renseignements américains qui a travaillé en Libye depuis plus de dix ans.

Alger a également eu l’occasion de présenter sa vision des choses lors de la visite d’Abdelkader Messahel, ministre des Affaires maghrébines, la semaine dernière à Washington pour la quatrième session du dialogue sécuritaire. Il y a notamment rencontré Justin Siberell, coordonnateur pour la lutte contre le terrorisme et l’extrémisme violent au département d’État.

« À la demande des Américains qui ont parlé aux Émiratis et aux Égyptiens, le projet de nouvel accord remplaçant celui de Skhirat, et d’un sommet entre les président Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, Béji Caïd Essebsi et Abdelaziz Bouteflika a été gelé », souligne encore le diplomate algérien. « Nous attendons de savoir quel est le programme de la Maison Blanche. »

http://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/l-agenda-de-trump-en-libye-emp-cher-les-russes-d-y-reprendre-pied-1665254526

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14 avril 2017 5 14 /04 /avril /2017 07:46

Donald Trump, who doesn't read books, is ignorant of history – and so is his pet chump Sean Spicer

 
 
 
 
Robert Fisk Middle East Correspondent
 

The White House press spokesperson apparently could not grasp that Hitler used a chemical weapon called Zyklon B, with which the Nazis gassed up to a million of the six million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust

When I wrote a few weeks ago that the Middle East would at some point reach out and grab America’s crackpot President, I never guessed it would do so at such speed. Nor that the entire fandango would come wrapped up in a Hitler fiasco which dumped the White House madmen back in another hole. Nor, indeed, that an American media which had identified Trump as insane should so quickly fall into line and regard the firing of 59 Cruise missiles at Syria as a change of US foreign “policy”.

What were they talking about? There is no policy – because the President appears deranged, because most of his colleagues are barking, and because Washington no more cares about the Arab world when Syrians are gassed than it does when the Egyptian President “disappears” his own people, or when the Saudis bomb civilians in Yemen, or when US-supported Iraqi forces kill civilians trapped in Isis-held western Mosul.

But let’s start with Hitler. A President who doesn’t read books and reacts instead to night-time television news pictures obviously doesn’t know his history. The same clearly applies to his pet chump Sean Spicer.

It’s not just a question of leaving Hitler’s ghost alone; never, ever, compare anything to the horrors Hitler unleashed on the world in the Second World War. Obviously, if the White House really wanted to dump on Assad – whose name, I notice, they still cannot pronounce correctly – it should have compared the Syrian President with Saddam Hussein, who really did use gas “against his own people”.

But there’s a problem there, too. Because the moment you mention Saddam, you recall for your audience all the lies and “fake news” the George W Bush White House spewed out about the Iraqi dictator before its illegal 2003 invasion – “fake news” assisted at the time, let us remember, by The New York Times. And then you also remind your audience that the whole Iraqi adventure ended in a bloodbath for Iraqis and utter catastrophe for the United States. So Saddam is out – and Hitler has to be brought back to life yet again.

And yes, we compared Saddam to Hitler. Indeed another well known chump, the son of our present Queen, reportedly told a woman who had lost relatives in the Holocaust that Putin was doing in Ukraine “just about the same as Hitler”. Moscow called this “outrageous”. That was almost exactly two years ago.

Of course, Spicer simply could not grasp that Hitler used a chemical weapon called Zyklon B with which the Nazis gassed up to a million of the six million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust. No, they were not fired from the air. Actually, they were dropped through the roof of the gas chambers. But Hitler certainly did use gas “on his own people” since many of the murdered Jews had been German citizens, some of whom had actually fought for their country in the First World War.

And there’s a clue for poor old Spicer. He might, I suppose, have referred to the German use of chemical weapons in the First World War. But the Kaiser doesn’t actually have the cachet of Hitler in the hate stakes, and the British then used gas themselves (so we can’t compare Arab dictators to the Brits). Besides, I have my doubts that Spicer could even give the dates of the First World War. Nor Trump, for that matter.

In his sloppy excuses later, Spicer actually apologised not only to survivors of the Holocaust but to “anyone who was offended”. That would include anyone who cares about the truth and about history and about facts.

Then Spicer said his words were a “blunder” and that they were “inappropriate” and “insensitive”. But they were not “insensitive” – they were a disgrace. Arab leaders have also made some pretty “insensitive” and “inappropriate” comments about the Holocaust, so now I suppose we must put Spicer alongside them.

Did Assad use chemical weapons in the recent attack? Or was this an al-Qaeda weapons store which the Syrians blew up (which wouldn’t actually let Syria off the hook, since the aftermath of such an attack would obviously kill civilians)? The problem is that we know Assad’s opponents have chemical weapons – some captured, I suspect, from Syrian government stocks before Assad handed them over to the West for destruction on Putin’s orders. Other chemicals passed across the northern frontier of Syria from Turkey (Nato member and a “friend” of the West, before Erdogan went bonkers). And if the Syrian military did use chemicals “on their own people” why should they do so when they are now winning their war with Isis and when such use would clearly embarrass Putin?

Yet oddly, the American media have fallen back into Saddam mode. Not only are they seriously talking about Trump’s “policy” in the Middle East (something he clearly doesn’t have) but are talking, in The New York Times last week, about Assad’s “depravity” – precisely the word the US press used about Saddam when they were supporting Bush’s path to war in Iraq and publishing his lies about the Iraqi dictator.

Oddly, the Americans started suggesting further missile strikes, not just if Assad uses chemicals, but if he uses barrel bombs again. The trouble with this argument is that the regime has been using barrel bombs for three years. Was this also a change in Trump policy? I doubt it. I think the White House are just so ill informed and plain dumb that they don’t know when barrel bombs were first used in the Syrian war.

Trump’s team then appeared to roll back on the barrel bombs threat. Perhaps someone tipped them off about this little bit of history, too?

Gas, cruise missiles, barrel bombs, Hitler and the American media. Mix them all up and I suppose you get Trump’s new policy in the Middle East.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/sean-spicer-assad-hitler-holocaust-offence-gas-his-own-people-donald-trump-doesnt-know-his-history-a7679641.html

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13 avril 2017 4 13 /04 /avril /2017 08:52

Déclaration du Freedom Theatre de Jénine en ce 4 avril 2017 : RÉALISER LE RÊVE DE LA RÉSISTANCE CULTURELLE

 

 
mardi 11 avril 2017 par Freedom Theatre

Date anniversaire de l’assassinat du Juliano Mer Khamis en 2011 et du siège du camp de réfugiés et de la ville de Jénine par l’armée israélienne en 2002.

Le 4 avril, comme tous les ans, le Freedom Theatre (Théâtre de la Liberté) entreprend de célébrer la résistance culturelle, en mémoire de Juliano Mer Khamis. C’est une journée qui a pour nous une forte valeur symbolique car, il y a six ans, Juliano a été assassiné par un inconnu devant le Freedom Theatre. Le 4 avril, nous commémorons aussi la bataille de Jénine, en 2002 : notre peuple a alors affronté une invasion brutale menée par les forces d’occupation.

Les principes fondamentaux du Freedom Theatre consistent notamment à stimuler les consciences et à réimaginer la réalité afin de créer une perspective progressiste, opposée à toute tentative de fracasser les rêves des gens ou d’entraver par des contraintes la réalisation de leurs aspirations.

En ce 11e anniversaire, nous entreprenons de nouveaux travaux inspirés par les messages inscrits sur les murs du Théâtre de pierres.

Nous avons poursuivi le rêve d’Arna et de Juliano : transformer le Freedom Theatre en mouvement culturel national, en créant des formes créatives et artistiques qui expriment la justice, l’égalité et la liberté. Nous demandons à des amis du monde entier de s’associer au Freedom Theatre dans cette mission et de participer à la célébration de notre anniversaire. Nous commémorons aussi le meurtre de notre co-fondateur Juliano et nous formulons à nouveau notre exigence de justice. Nous nous joignons aussi aux habitants du camp de réfugiés, notre peuple, pour commémorer la bataille de Jénine, en 2002.

L’art a toujours été un instrument puissant à l’usage des opprimés contre leurs oppresseurs. Cette réalité est particulièrement forte en Palestine, où l’expression artistique fait partie intégrante de la lutte pour la liberté, la justice et l’égalité. Nous sommes face à la pire occupation au monde, qui révèle le vrai visage d’un colonialisme défini par le régime militaire et l’impérialisme répressif, dans un contexte de politiques racistes où les divisions se fondent sur l’appartenance ethnique.

Ces circonstances poussent le Freedom Theatre à élaborer des lignes directrices pratiques visant à structurer notre travail et à définir notre rôle dans la révolution palestinienne. Nous nous considérons comme un élément d’un mouvement social qui cherche à alimenter et à renforcer une plateforme authentique de résistance culturelle.

La résistance culturelle revêt différentes significations aux yeux de différentes personnes. Cependant, même sans définition normalisée, nous parvenons à identifier un ensemble commun d’objectifs et de visions au cœur d’initiatives artistiques ancrées dans la conviction que l’art et la culture jouent un rôle crucial dans la vie et la société.

Cette perspective culturelle agit comme un "soft power", une puissance de persuasion au sein du peuple. Elle nous unit si bien qu’un mouvement culturel collectif pourrait caractériser la prochaine génération, leurs critiques constructives débouchant sur une évaluation sérieuse de la situation palestinienne.

Le Freedom Theatre a continué à appliquer ce principe au long de ses nombreuses années d’expérience, et nous souhaitons l’intégrer à tout ce que nous faisons, en nous appuyant sur notre analyse de la réalité qui nous entoure.

Nous pensons que la résistance culturelle est un outil parmi d’autres, au sein d’un contexte plus vaste de résistance. Cette conception a automatiquement des implications sociales et organisationnelles associées à la notion de changement. Au Freedom Theatre, nous utilisons des formes artistiques variées, allant du théâtre au multimédia, pour nous opposer aux diverses occupations qui nous atteignent en tant que Palestiniens.

Selon certaines personnes, la résistance culturelle se limite à l’utilisation de la dimension symbolique et du sens pour combattre les forces d’oppression. Nous pensons cependant que la résistance culturelle a également pour rôle de créer une identité collective, celle du "rebelle face à l’injustice". C’est aussi un outil permettant d’approfondir la compréhension et de promouvoir une pensée analytique progressiste afin d’apprécier pour ce qu’elles sont les politiques qui s’appuient sur des principes de domination et de pouvoir autoritaire.

Nous pensons que la résistance culturelle dans le contexte palestinien ne se substitue pas à une autre forme de résistance. La résistance palestinienne peut être comparée à une mosaïque dont la culture constituerait un simple fragment ; mais ce fragment est précieux, car il donne à la mosaïque son style, sa signification, sa direction.

Dans son message pour la Journée mondiale du théâtre 2017, l’actrice française Isabelle Huppert a déclaré ceci : « Le théâtre, pour moi, c’est (…) l’absence de haine », suggérant « à ceux qui ont (…) envie de nous gouverner d’être attentifs aux bénéfices inimaginables apportés par le théâtre ».

Nous envoyons aujourd’hui un message d’amour à tous les théâtres du monde et à tous ceux qui travaillent pour le théâtre - acteurs, metteurs en scène, formateurs, scénographes, régisseurs, techniciens, étudiants et spectateurs – et nous disons maintenant : « Place au théâtre ! »

http://www.ujfp.org/spip.php?article5541

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