torsdag, februari 17, 2011

Clueless

“I was at the bazaar, haggling with a local about a British bayonet with an 1842 date stamped on it,” the 30-year-old Air Force vet recalled. “I thought it was the coolest thing, but I couldn’t understand why there was a British bayonet in Afghanistan.”

Från New York Times.

onsdag, februari 16, 2011

måndag, februari 14, 2011

Alla hjärtans dagar

En hjärtlig hälsning från ett ibland hjärtlöst land från eder Bloggare samt kvatershästen Mubarak.

lördag, februari 12, 2011

Offerlamm




Hus och stall revs tidigare i veckan i Khirbet Tana. Byn har förstörts fyra gånger tidigare, skillanden denna gång var att Fays Yosef Hanani förvägrades rätten att ta ut sina får och lamm från stallskjulet. . .tre lamm krossades när taket revs. Modigt och manligt gjort sv IDF. . .

En skrattframkallande artikel

Stod för några dagar sen och pratade med en vältränad Secret Service-kille, vaktades en VIP från amerikanska ambassaden som besökte den radikala bosättningen Beit Hadassah; vad VIP:aren gjorde där fick jag självfallet inte veta och fotomöjlighet förbjöds, men det bestående minnet var av säkerhetskillens totala okunskap gällande situationen i Hebron, Israel och Mellanöstern. Visst han hade bara varit där i tre månader, och SÄPO-typer tenderar att ha större biceps än hjärna, men att han på fullaste allvar trodde att vi rörde oss med livvakter i Hebron fick mig att skratta gott.

Läste sen idag en artikel på Counterpunchs hemsida om olika uttalanden som politiker i USA har fällt med anledning av situationen i Egypten. . .och plötsligt framstår muskelmannen från Secret Service som påläst. Jag har markerat godbitarna:

When US politicians are forced to discuss critical Middle East matters, more often than not their remarks either display an ignorance of facts, are shaped more by political needs than reality, or are just plain dumb. Commentary about the popular revolt in Egypt provides a case in point.

There was no doubt that the events in Cairo were momentous and, therefore, deserving of response. In the case of most US political leaders, however, struggling to come up with the right TV sound bite didn't require actually knowing anything about Egypt. All that was needed was to frame the issue through either the prism of partisanship or that of unbending loyalty to Israel. The result was a string of comments, some bizarre, others dangerous.

The new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, for example, cornered the market on incoherence and contradiction when she observed that "Mr Mubarak should... immediately schedule legitimate, democratic, internationally recognised elections," adding however that "the US should learn from past mistakes and support a process which includes candidates who meet basic standards for leaders of responsible nations -- candidates who have publicly renounced terrorism, uphold the rule of law, [and] recognise Egypt's... peace agreement with the Jewish state of Israel."

In other words, Ros-Lehtinen supports a democracy where we (not they) set up the criteria. Not quite "respect for the will of the people," but still better than former Republican speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's partisan tirade.

Gingrich, who is reported to be considering a presidential run, is shallow and remarkably uninformed about most Middle East issues. He gets by largely because he sounds so authoritative and always has a clever quip or two. In Gingrich's assessment of the current situation, "there's a real possibility in a few weeks... that Egypt will join Iran, and join Lebanon, and join Gaza, and join the things that are happening that are extraordinarily dangerous to us."

Having thus displayed almost no understanding of the Middle East, Gingrich goes on to ridicule US President Barack Obama's "naiveté", charging that Obama "went to Cairo and gave his famous speech in which he explained that we should all be friends together because we're all the same... and there are no differences between us. Well, I think there are a lot of differences between the Muslim Brotherhood and the rest of us."

Gingrich's parting shot was to state that the US administration "doesn't have a clue". Then, in order to demonstrate that he does, Gingrich offered this "advice" to Obama: "study Reagan and Carter and do what Reagan did and avoid what Carter did."

If the need to take a partisan shot is central to some, more important for others, both Democrats and Republicans, is the need to make this all about Israel. Presidential aspirant and former governor Mike Huckabee, for example, used the occasion of the Egyptian uprising to make his 15th trip to Israel where he lamented that "the Israelis feel alone... and they cannot depend upon the United States, because they just don't have confidence that the US will stand with them."

Representatives Shelley Berkley and Anthony Weiner, both Democrats, worried about "Arab democracies". Weiner observed that "Israel has been seared by the experience recently of seeing democracy elect their enemies," while Berkeley shockingly added "the reality is this: democracy as we think of it and democracy as it is often played out in the Middle East are two different things."

Trying to sound smart and concerned with defence matters, and failing miserably, was Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr Jackson said that "US military technology can't fall into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood or... Iran's allies in Egypt. Our partnership with Egypt has provided [them] with a technological military advantage... it must be secured and not allowed to fall into the hands of enemies." A number of other members of the US Congress focussed on the threat they believe the uprising poses to the Suez Canal and therefore to the price of oil. They, therefore, are pressing the White House to use this crisis to focus on renewing efforts to pass an energy bill in Congress.

What has been so disturbing about all this is that there have been plenty of instances during the past few decades where American political leaders had not only the opportunity, but were challenged with the imperative, to learn more about the Arab world. Despite this, they failed. As a result, they continue to frame critical issues as mere political issues. A transformative uprising in Egypt or Tunisia comes to be seen as being about Israel, or as a club to use against one's opponent.

The reality, of course, is that Egypt is about Egypt. No one in Tahrir Square is waiting for Newt Gingrich's, or even Barack Obama's blessing. And the silly US TV anchor, who recently tried to get the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman to say that he would recognise Israel as a Jewish state, was just that -- silly.

And just as silly was Eliot Abrams, one of the neo- conservative ideologues-in-residence in the Bush White House who wrote an article last Sunday attempting to give Bush credit for the uprising in Egypt, since Bush advocated for democracy while Obama has not. The reality is more complex. Bush did speak about democracy, but then went on to pursue regional policies that were so wildly unpopular with the Arab public that governments friendly with the US felt compelled to subdue their own public's outcry in order to maintain their friendship and support for the US. Arab leaders found that their embrace of and cooperation with the US could be politically costly. Demands on their friendship only served to delegitimise their rule at home. When the US's favourable rating is 12 per cent in Egypt (and lower still in Jordan), cosying up to America can be quite costly.

US politicians may need to hear themselves talk, but they need to realise that, in fact, until they have at least a basic knowledge of the Arab world and work to change America's policies across the region, they will have no constructive role to play. They can threaten to withhold aid and make more demands, but the wiser course might be to simply assert US principles, take a more humble back seat role and let the situation play out. The Egyptians in Tahrir Square may cheer the US's pulling the plug on their president, but they won't be cheering for the US. When the dust settles, US regional policies will still be the same, and Arab anger at those policies, and the US, will not have changed either.

Guide i Hebron

En av de roligare uppgifterna i Hebron med omnejd är att dra runt olika besöksgrupper. . .ibland omnämns man också som just guide. . .

Since 2000 however, Palestinians are prohibited to walk on Al Shuhada, despite the fact that many families live right next to it. As a result, Ayman had to stay at the junction, and we were guided temporarily by Mats Reimbertsson of the EAPPI. According to Mats, Hebron has been 'a box of dynamite' for a long time. 'However', he went on saying, 'the last few months have been relatively peaceful, the alleged reason being that the settler community recently realised themselves that there deeds were worsening Israelis international reputation.'

torsdag, februari 10, 2011

Hata ur skägget

Dov Lior, chifsrabbi i Keryat Arba-bosätningen är en trevlig prick som passerar oss ibland. Nu har han upprepat sina tidigare uttalanden om att dödandet av icke-judar är en berättigad syssla. Samt lite annat gott och smått om alla andras ondska. Detta påminer inte så lite om andra skäggiga gubbars hat för alla som inte läser just deras heliga bok på rätt sätt. . .

Sitter hatet kanske i skägget?

onsdag, februari 09, 2011

Blind man´s bluff

Hebron, earlier today. 17 year old taken for questioning.

Mitzpe Avihai evacuated


Polisen och IDF utrymde tidigt på morgonen 3 familjer från den illegala bosättningen på Kulle 18 eller om man så vill, Mitzpe Avihai. Bosättningen har blivit utrymd sex gånger tidigare men återuppbyggs alltid strax därefter, i direkt strid med ett beslut från Israels högstadomstol.
Förra gången bosättningen utrymdes så attackerades omkringliggande Palestinska hem, i enlighet med en sk. Price Tag Policy, dvs. bosättare tar ut sin ilska på Palestinierna. Grymt. . .men effektivt. Vi får se vad som händer denna gång.

tisdag, februari 08, 2011

Fint besök



Ett styck spansk minister på besök i Hebron. Protester följde så klart. . .

En rapport från våra kollegor i CPT

A call came for the members of the Hebron team to come quickly to the street on Friday, 21 January 1:30 p.m. The military had stopped people going home after Friday prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque and CPT found the people bottled up in the narrow exit tunnel of the Old City. Soldiers and the Palestinians were yelling at each other, and soldiers were pointing guns at the crowd. CPTers encouraged the soldiers to calm down, stop yelling, and let the people go home. Instead, the soldiers continued bellowing and tried to force the people to move back by putting guns in their faces.

To protect the people whom the soldiers were threatening, young boys with fruit carts lined up their carts to form a blockade that gave the crowd some space from the soldiers. While a soldier shouted into one boy’s face, the boy calmly ate his apple and refused to budge. Someone else passed out candy. One upset young man went up to the soldiers and pleaded with them. The soldiers eventually arrested him and forced him into the military compound. Later, CPTers learned from the boy that he was simply asking the soldiers to let his father get to the hospital for a shot. The boy said that after the soldiers arrested him, they blindfolded him, made him kneel, tied his hands behind him, and pounded on his head.

When asked why they were behaving in this manner, the military said they saw someone with a gun. The soldiers chased one or two young men and accused them of carrying the gun. The soldiers then brought one terrified youth down to their gate with great show. At that point, soldiers released the crowd. Some, however, stayed on, concerned for the boy whom the soldiers had detained. One of the merchants from the souk told the CPTers, "Forget any gun. This is a military exercise, the purpose of which is to discourage people from coming to Friday worship at the mosque."

The young boy the soldiers had arrested when he asked them to let his father go to the hospital came by to tell CPT his story and to thank the CPTers who had tried to monitor what happened to him inside the gates. He said the other boy remained in custody.

torsdag, februari 03, 2011

tisdag, februari 01, 2011

Wow...



. . .och USA är oroade över att Egypten får demokrati och lika rösträtt för alla?!?