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Moral Values, Occupation Routine & Other Struggles


Moral Values, Occupation Routine & A Lot Of Struggles

TOI-Billboard August 14 - 2004

[] Picks of the week: - Bereaved parents planning anti-recruitment campaign (Ma'ariv) - Sharp debate between "Geneva" and "Peace Now" Sima Kadmon, Yediot Aharonot, August 13 (appeared only in Hebrew; translation by TOI-staff) - Israeli-Palestinian summer youth camp in Austria [the translated information is based on a radio report, Kol Yisrael, August 11]

[] Also this week (chronicle of peace events & underreported occupation routine)

[] Did you already read (?) - if not, here follow urls

~&~&~&~&~&~

[] Picks of the week:

-- Bereaved parents planning anti-recruitment campaign (Ma'ariv)

Accuse country’s leaders of callous and cynical indifference, caring only about their careers and personal ambitions

Eitan Rabin - Maariv internet 11 Aug. 2004

http://www.maarivintl.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=10636

A group of bereaved parents has begun organizing an anti-induction campaign, aimed at getting recruits to refuse to join the IDF. The campaign will coincide with the annual August induction, when most high school graduates begin their three-year national service.

The have prepared a flyer, which will be distributed outside the main induction base at Tel Hashomer. Maariv has obtained a draft of the flyer, and brings its main points to the public.

“We are not recommending you refuse to join the IDF. On the contrary, we encourage you to join, since the country’s oligarchy and political elite needs an army to ensure nothing happens to their ill-gotten gains, which they have amassed at the expense of the average Israeli, having been given a license by the politicians to pillage the national economy, by purchasing major publicly owned economic assets for a pittance”.

“Do not be fooled by the officers spinning good lines about joining elite units. Forget the stories about battle and glory; you are young, inexperienced and easily deceived. The truth is that your chances of returning ali ve are not great, and if you fall on duty you will be forgotten after a few months, as unimportant to the powers that be as the earth under which you will lie for eternity”.

“As a national serviceman your sole value to them is as canon fodder. They pay you NIS 15 a day, which is clearly all they think you are worth. If you die your parents will receive the country’s thanks, platitudes soon fo rgotten and a NIS 1,200 check”.

“Your commanders are no better, seeing you as stepping stones to higher rank. Negligence and indifference abounds, resulting in the needless deaths of dozens of soldiers every year”.

The organizers are all bereaved parents who feel the army has abandoned them. They believe the army has glossed over the blunders that caused their sons to die in vain, covering up for incompetent but well-connected offic ers.

They all complain that bereaved parents of national servicemen are the stepchildren of the Defense Ministry, compared to widows and children of regular army personnel.

The IDF spokesperson would not take questions on the issue, other tan a laconic statement saying the IDF cares about all its fallen and their families. ~~ --Sharp debate between "Geneva" and "Peace Now" Sima Kadmon, Yediot Aharonot, August 13 (appeared only in Hebrew; translation by TOI-staff)

"The Only Game in Town" - by Sima Kadmon, Yediot Aharonot, August 13

(...) This week, there was an intensive debate in "The Majority Headquarters", the coalition of political parties and extra parliamentary movements which organized the giant rally at Rabin Square two months ago. The debate mainly concerned the slogan to be used in a projected new publicity campaign. Yariv Oppenheimer, general manager of Peace Now, offered a simple text "The majority decided: get out of Gaza". But the Geneva Initiative organizers made clear that they will not take part in any campaign which does not explicitly refer to the need for negotiations with the Palestinians. The problem is far deeper than the drafting of a slogan. In everybody's view, it is vital that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip takes place. If the withdrawal is blocked, it would be taken as a proof of the impossibility of ever evacuating settlements and ending the occupation: "If even Sharon could not do it, then no prime minister could ever do it". On the other hand, in order for the left wing camp to do such a far-reaching step as supporting a Likud government, much more than a withdrawal from Gaza is needed.

It is no secret that the left is unhappy with the Sharon plan, which denies altogether the existence of a Palestinian negotiating partner. On the other hand, everybody understands that this is "the only game in town", at least for the next two years. That is the reason for the debate going on inside the left. The leaders of Peace Now and the Labour Party, and some in Yahad/Meretz, feel that the left should take the lead in supporting the Gaza Disengagements; the Geneva people, to the contrary, tend to stand aside rather then find themselves supporting Sharon.

Tzali Rehsef, one of the founders of Peace Now, thinks that the left wing should lead this campaign, and be ready to cooperate with moderate elements who support disengagement, in the political centre and even in the right-wing: "Public support for the Gaza Disengagement must be mobilized, in face of the big anti demonstrations organized by the settlers - and if we don't do it, nobody will".

To the contrary, Yossi Beilin is torn between his colleagues in the Israeli left and his Palestinian partners. In the last weekend, some seventy central Israeli and Palestinian activists of the Geneva Initiative held a met at the Moevenpiek Hotel on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea - the place where what came to be known as the Geneva Document was worked out a year ago. The conspicuous feature of the recent discussions was the Palestinians' strong reservations about the whole idea of a unilateral Israeli "disengegement".

Quite a few of the Israeli initiators of Geneva support the idea of disengagement, among them [former Labour minister] Yuli Tamir, [Yahad/Meretz KM and kibbutz leader] Haim "Jumes" Oron, [maverick Likud member] Nehama Ronen and [former Labour Party leader] Amram Mitzna (who even supports Labour's entry into the government, in marked difference from his previous positions). The Palestinians, however, regard "disengagement" as a Sharon trap.

As they see it, Sharon has undertaken this unilateral step out of his apprehension of Geneva becoming the dominant diplomatic initiative, and with the intention of buttressing Israeli hold over the West Bank - just as Menachem Begin gave up Sinai in 1982, in order to get a free hand for the big settlement-creation drive of the 1980's and 1990's.

Further, the Palestinians regard Sharon's move as deliberately promoting a situation of chaos and gang warfare in Gaza, in order to weaken the pragmatic elements in the Palestinian society. For these reasons, the Palestinian participants strongly condemned their Israeli colleagues for accommodating themselves to the Sharon plan instead of fighting it.

At the conclusion of the debate, Israelis and Palestinians agreed upon the drafting of a new position paper, entitled "From Gaza to Geneva" - i.e., a paper setting out the possible ways of transforming the unilateral action and making of it a stage in a process leading to a comprehensive agreement.

[P.S. from Adam Keller: The Geneva Initiative's own website (http://www.heskem.org.il/DisplayItem.asp?id=98) gives (in Hebrew only) an account of the meeting in which the disagreements between Israelis and Palestinians are not mentioned, and which rather concentrates on the main points needed, in the initiators' view, in order to move "from Gaza to Geneva." These points, now in the process of being elaborated into a detailed document, include: - Giving a greater role to third parties, regionals and international; - Complete ending of the occupation of the Gaza Strip, including evacuation of the Israeli-ruled "Philadelphi Corridor" which separates the Gaza Strip from Egypt; - Opening the air and sea ports to unhindered Palestinian use, while finding security arrangements which do not necessitate Israeli military presence; - Economic agreements regarding both the fate of infrastructure left behind by Israel and the creation of jobs for the chronically-unemployed Palestinian population; - Creating a "judicial-political linkage" between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, so as to prevent a permanent division between them; - Ways to reach cease fire, so as to facilitate the opening of formal negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships. ] ~~

--Israeli-Palestinian summer youth camp in Austria [the translated information is based on a radio report, Kol Yisrael, August 11]

On August 11, the Kol Yisrael radio morning news magazine reported on an Israeli-Palestinian youth summer camp held in Austria, with some hundred participants - Israelis from Hasomer HaTzair [loosely connected to the the Meretz/Yahad Party] and the Learning and Working Youth [affiliated to the Histadrut, Israel's trade-union federation] and Palestinians from the Red Crescent Youth.

The 18-year old Leil Patishi of Hashomer HaTzair told that this was the first such camp since the Intifada outbreak, and getting it organized had taken enormous effort. As she told, "it was decided in advance that we would not try to sweep the difficult issues under the carpet. Of course, much of the time was spent in ordinary activities like in any summer camp, games and hikes and athletics, but we also talked a lot, talked about everything, about the suicide bombings and also about what the army is doing. Sometimes we had bitter arguments, shouting at each other, but it ended in a good way, with a much better understanding of each other.

Both Israelis and Palestinians would like to meet again. We are trying to find a way to meet right here, without needing to go abroad again, but it is very difficult. They live under occupation and can't come to us, and we also are not allowed to go to nearly all the places where they are. We try to find a solution, but we may have to wait until a European country again invites all of us." ~~~

[] Also this week (chronicle of peace events & underreported occupation routine)

Saturday, August 7, Arafat made a proposal to the Israeli government via a visiting Gush Shalom delegation: Palestinian elections, general cease-fire, negotiations. From: info@gush-shalom.org. Read all about it at: http://www.gush-shalom.org/pr/pr7-8-2004-eng.html

Sunday, Aug. 8, we received information that Nea Nabhan and her two sons, Mohammed and Samah al-Masri were expelled from the West Bank town of Jericho to Gaza City. The reason given: "the woman carrying an identity card issued in Gaza should not stay in the West Bank unless she had a permit from the Israeli army to move from Gaza to the West Bank." Nabhan has been living in Jericho with her husband - who does hold an identity card issued in the West Bank.

Also August 8, former deputy Mossad director, Shmuel Toledano, attacked Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon saying that the IDF under his leadership had lost its morality and military ethics. More in: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/461995.html

Monday, August 09, The Israeli Supreme Court rejected LAURA MILO'S petition to be granted a conscientious exemption from the Israeli army. More on the bitter struggle of the conscript COs: http://www.refuz.org.il/

Tuesday, August 10, B’Tselem created a media uproar by issuing its report "The Forbidden Road Regime in the West Bank - An Apartheid Practice". From: Summary at: http://www.btselem.org/English/Publications/Summaries/Forbidden_Roads_2004.asp

Wednesday, August 11, a tour of MK's and members of the press was organized by Peace Now visiting the illegal outposts that are NOT included in the official lists distributed by the Defense Ministry. From: See also: http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/homepage.asp?pi=25

Wednesday August 11, a British journalist was detained at Ben-Gurion International Airport denied entry by the Security Forces on the grounds that "she is a left-wing activist who could not be objective in her portrayal of local events and who could unknowingly assist violent organizations" (Haaretz). The journalist, 26-year-old Eva Jasiewicd, was interrogated for seven hours by Defense Ministry officials. The questioning resulted in a ministry decision to deport her from Israel within days.

"The truck that was to refurnish the construction site with bricks got stuck in the check-point and the work on the construction site was therefore somewhat delayed. However work in the house proceeded smoothly and fast in the afternoon" - a quotation from the daily ICAHD reports about the international workcamp at Anata, where volunteers are rebuilding the Kabu'ah family’s home; full reports available from

About 1000 Palestinians, Internationals and Israelis continued day after day their March Against the Wall. An activist from New York (Karl) was detained and released on condition that he would not further participate in the march but mostly the army and border police were unable to stop the marchers. The number of chanting and singing protesters was simply too much. From: See also: http://www.palsolidarity.org/ ~~~

[] Did you already read (?) - if not, here follow urls

{} In the name of Zionist values By David Zonshein Aug. 10

"(...) after hundreds of days of service in the territories, as a soldier and a commander, and after I had been an active partner in the destructive policy that has crushed any value in which I was educated and turned me into an active partner in harming the security of the state (...)"

Full text http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/462531.html Hebrew/òáøéú http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=462573

{} Some Order in the Mess Uri Avnery on "Gaza Disengagement" http://www.gush-shalom.org/archives/article316.html

{} A unilateral danger - By Zvi Bar'el

"To disengage from Gaza peacefully requires disengaging from the slogan according to which there is no Palestinian partner." [The political insider Bar'el comes to a conslusion not so different from the one of Avnery!] http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/461645.html

{} Labor's acquiescence - By Amira Hass

[this article can be seen as complementary to the Bar'el one - from the Palestinian ground]

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/463077.html

{} De-development Israeli style -- by Sam Bahour http://www.ramallahonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1966

{} Putting a stop to checkpoint cruelty (Haaretz editorial Mon., August 09) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/462086.html

{} IDF Demolishes Three Archeological Buildings in Hebron http://www.palestinemonitor.org/new_web/august_update_archive.htm Tuesday August 10, 2004

{} In response to the White City celebrations in Tel Aviv, a group in Jaffa is offering an alternative look at the city's history.

Whitewash -- By Esther Zandberg

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=Jaffa&itemNo=463608

{} About 2700 (!) South Koreans demonstrating in Bethlehem: http://www.imemc.org/headlines/2004/August/week2/081004/Korean.htm

{}
Elia Zureik/ Israel and Me: Enigmas of departure http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-1-111-2033.jsp

-- The Presbyterian Church in the United States advocates divestment from all companies profiting from the harming of innocent people, whether Palestinian or Israeli. We recommend signing the petition of Jewish Voice for Peace support them. (They need it.) http://ga3.org/campaign/pcusa/eg6i3i41jde38j --

-- On August 19th California's Gambling Control Commission will vote on the casino license application of Irving Moskowitz, the leading funder of militant Israeli settlers. See what you can do about it at:

http://www.stopmoskowitz.org/letter0804.shtml --

TOI-Billboard is the 'ezine' of the independent THE OTHER ISRAEL bi-monthly peace newsletter, existing since 1983, and published by its editors Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt from a Tel-Aviv suburb

Selected articles The Other Israel latest printed issue on site: http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/

One time free sample from: otherisr@actcom.co.il US addresses from: aicipp@igc.org NB: Don't forget to include your postal address

Visit also the archive of issues since 1994 - and see scanned earlier ones of the first ten years (this part is still under construction) http://israelipalestinianpeace.org

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