Archive for November, 2016

PFLP mourns and salutes Comrade Fidel Castro, a revolutionary inspiration for the world

PFLP
Press Release

Fidel Castro with George and Hilda Habash

Fidel Castro with George and Hilda Habash

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine extends its condolences to the Cuban people, the Palestinian people and the revolutionary movements of the world upon the loss of the former prime minister and president of Cuba and the historic international revolutionary leader, Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, on Friday, November 25, 2016.

Castro’s internationalist revolutionary commitment to fighting imperialism and capitalism – manifest in the revolutionary victory against US imperialism and its puppet Batista regime in the 1959 Cuban revolution – consistently stood with the oppressed peoples of the world in their confrontation of imperialism, Zionism, racism and capitalism. Throughout his life, Fidel was a supporter and an example of revolutionary struggle in Latin America, in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and throughout the continent. From Angola to South Africa, Palestine to Mozambique, Bolivia to El Salvador, Castro’s legacy of international revolutionary solidarity and struggle continues to serve as an example in practice that transcends borders toward revolution, democracy and socialism. Read more »

Fidel: Heart of Gold

By Julie Webb-Pullman

Fidel at José Martí Memorial, May Day 2006

Fidel at José Martí Memorial, May Day 2006

The passing of Fidel Castro is of a baton, not just a life. The values he represented and the ideals he struggled for and in many areas achieved, will not die with him but continue to advance, not only in Cuba, but everywhere.

Fidel was not driven by money or power but by an insatiable quest for social justice and human dignity. He realised that human essence itself was at the centre of any revolutionary struggle, like José Martí before him.

Martí, the father of Cuban independence, and a guiding light of the Cuban revolutionary process, said in 1882:

Contemptible times, these: when the only art that prevails is that of piling one’s own granaries high, sitting on a seat of gold and living all in gold, without perceiving that human nature will never vary, and the only result of digging up external gold is to live without gold inside!

Fidel’s principled practice of power rested on according primacy to the human, rather than materialistic.

US intelligence reported that Castro:

…places particular importance on maintaining a ‘principled’ foreign policy . . . [and] on questions of basic importance such as Cuba’s right and duty to support nationalist revolutionary movements and friendly governments in the Third World, Castro permits no compromise of principle for the sake of economic or political expediency.

Fidel realized that we are only human insofar as we recognize and support the humanity of others, and that there are no borders to humanity – we are all interconnected, and must recognize and act from our common humanity not only in our own country, but with other people everywhere.

Converting a Russian naval base into a medical school that trained hundreds of doctors from scores of countries around the world, and supporting freedom struggles in the Congo, Palestine and Angola confirm this utterly principled approach.

Like Gaza under the Israeli siege, Fidel Castro did not choose the US blockade of Cuba, which caused such immeasurable hardship to the Cuban people and immeasurable damage to their economy.

Despite this blockade, rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world as successive United Nations votes demonstrate, Fidel Castro led his country through almost 50 years of social and political progress that has in some way benefited every single Cuban citizen bar none, as well as the illiterate, the sick and the disaster-affected in numerous other countries.

Also, against all odds, Fidel Castro led his country and his people through a ‘special period’ few expected Cuba to survive, conditions far worse than those that have brought down many lesser regimes.

The reason Fidel Castro survived as President, that he and his country got through such unprecedented hardship, is that he had the support of the vast majority of Cubans. Why?

It was not just that he always stood firm against imperialism whatever the cost, at times being the only world leader to do so. It was also because of the humanity of the man, his empathy for the vulnerable, the poor, and the suffering, and his commitment to fight for the dignity of all.

Some simple but little-known examples from daily life: Fidel made one of his first actions the creation of icecream parlours in the middle of the major cities, with subsidized prices, so every family could afford to take their children there for a treat.

Another was to guarantee a birthday cake from the state for every child until age six – a magnificent confection covered in icing that one sees almost daily in Havana being delivered by bicycle, motorbike or on foot.

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To those very personal touches can be added the numerous population-based advances in education, health care and other areas that will undoubtedly be covered by others.

But to me it is Fidel’s humanity, his recognition that the essence of the fight against injustice is true awareness of ourselves and others, that is his greatest legacy.

“We are winning the battle for ideas… They discovered ‘smart weapons’ but we discovered something more powerful, namely, the idea that humans think and feel,” Fidel said in Caracas in 1999.

This is the ‘gold inside’ that Fidel devoted his life to discovering, and passing on.

Although Fidel’s death is undoubtedly a major loss to Cuba and to the world, this baton is being carried by those everywhere who believe that a better world for all is possible.

It has already arrived in Standing Rock. Fidel, presente.

Proposed Israel law “gives green light to theft of Palestinian land” – UN expert

Press Release
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Amona outpost. (Picture: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

Amona outpost. (Picture: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

GENEVA (21 November 2016) – A proposed Israeli law enabling the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land would deal another severe blow to hopes of a lasting peace, a United Nations human rights expert has warned.

Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk said he was deeply concerned at the proposal to legalize more than 100 illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, which passed its first reading in the Knesset on 16 November.

“Unauthorized outposts, most of which have been established on private Palestinian land and are located deep within the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under Israeli domestic law. Their retroactive ‘legalization’ will be another nail in the coffin for the two-state solution,” said Mr. Lynk.

“These outposts undermine the Palestinian right to self-determination, violate their rights to property, freedom of movement and development, and continue to confine the Palestinians into smaller and smaller cantons of non-contiguous lands within their own territory.” Read more »

Why Is Israel Silencing the Call for Prayer in Jerusalem?

Article – Ramzy Baroud

As I was growing up, I was always reassured by the sound of the Muadhin making the call for prayer in our refugee camps main mosque in Gaza. Whenever I heard the call very early in the morning, announcing in a melodic voice that the time for … Read more »

The Balfour and Cambon Declarations

Mazin Qumsiyeh
From: Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle (2004)

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The events leading up to the support of Britain and France for Zionist aspirations have received little historical discussion. In examining historical documents of powerful nations like France and Britain, we find these nations issuing declarations to support the Zionist aspirations. This came in France first with a letter sent from Jules Cambon, Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry to Nahum Sokolow (at the time head of the political wing of the World Zionist Organization based in London) dated June 4, 1917: Read more »

Palestine-Israel: Obama’s Final Days

Tareq Baconi
Al-Shabaka Policy Briefing

0319-Obama-Palestinians_full_600 (400 x 267)

American presidents have more than once used their final days in office to make crucial decisions regarding Israel/Palestine. Ronald Reagan recognized the PLO in 1988. Bill Clinton issued the Clinton Parameters in 2000.

If President Barack Obama intends to salvage some of his legacy as power transitions from the Democrats to the Republicans, he has a number of options.

The simplest, most powerful, and least destructive measure would be an explicit reaffirmation of the illegality of any form of Israeli sovereignty beyond the 1967 line, including East Jerusalem. Read more »

President-Elect Donald Trump must ensure continued efforts toward a Palestinian state

American Muslims for Palestine
Press Release

Al Aqsa mosque compound (400 x 268)

(WASHINGTON DC 11/10/2016) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education organization advocating for Palestinian human rights, expresses deep concern over President-Elect Trump’s potential plans for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Though it is still unclear what Mr. Trump will do as president, AMP’s concerns stem from comments and promises he made during his campaign.

Specifically, AMP asserts the status of Jerusalem has not been resolved and supports Palestinians’ rights to Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. AMP rejects the promises Mr. Trump made to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September to declare Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of Israel.” AMP strongly opposes moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and also is deeply troubled by comments suggesting a Trump administration would forgo the idea of a Palestinian state. Read more »

Meshaal: no stability in the area without Palestinians getting their rights

Hamas

meshaal (400 x 205)

Chairman of Hamas political bureau Khaled Meshaal has urged the president-elect of the United States Donald Trump to revise his country’s foreign policy and bring U.S. support of the Israeli occupation to an end.

“The Palestinian people have been wronged by the biased U.S. policies that favor Israel,” Meshaal said in a speech he delivered during the 11th Youth for Jerusalem Conference in Istanbul on Thursday, stressing that there will not be stability in the area without the Palestinians getting their rights.

He asserted the Palestinians’ total adherence to the liberation of Jerusalem and the entire land of Palestine.

“Jerusalem is the icon and heart of Palestine’s struggle and we will not cede an inch of it,” he said.

“Jerusalem is the key to war and peace in the region,” he added, calling on Arab states to assume their roles towards protecting the holy city from Israel’s schemes.

The Infamy of the Palestinian Elites: An Imminent Split within Fatah?

Ramzy Baroud
Source: Counterpunch

Picture: Press TV

Picture: Press TV

The Fatah movement is involved in a massive tug-of-war that will ultimately define its future. Though the conflict is between current Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, and once Gaza strongman, Mohammed Dahlan, is in no way motivated by ending the Israeli Occupation, their war will likely determine the future political landscape of Palestine.

The issue cannot be taken lightly, nor can it be dismissed as an internal Fatah conflict. The latter is one of the two largest Palestinian factions, the largest within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and has single-handedly pushed Palestinians into the abyss of the ‘peace process’ and the great Oslo Accords gamble, which has come at great cost and no benefits. Read more »

Joint Report Estimates that 554 Palestinians Arrested in October 2016

Addameer
Press Release

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Palestinian prisoners’ affairs institutions (the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) issued the following monthly joint report, reviewing the situation of Palestinian prisoners in October 2016.

The prisoners’ affairs institutions stated that 554 Palestinians were arrested in October 2016 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including 130 children and 11 women, including one minor girl. Read more »

Hamas: Balfour declaration is void, criminal

Hamas
Press Release

balfour (400 x 205)

The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas on Wednesday pledged to stay committed to the right of return and liberating all of Palestine.

“Our right to the land of Palestine is sacred and cannot be erased by a void promise from one criminal to another,” Hamas said in a press statement on the 99th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, confirming that the Movement will not give up a single inch of Palestinian lands.

Hamas asserted that the right of return remains an inalienable individual and collective Palestinian right that does not fall under statutes of limitations.

“We will not permit any attempt to tamper with Palestinian rights or give up the right of return,” the statement underlined, confirming that Hamas will never recognize the Israeli occupation or the accords that give legitimacy to its colonial land theft.

The Movement reaffirmed its position from resistance, including armed resistance, as the chosen path to deter the occupation and restore Palestinian rights.

Hamas stressed that Palestinian unity remains an essential necessity in the fight against Israel’s occupation, urging all Muslims to regard that the struggle to liberate Palestine as the top priority that unites all Muslims and ends the schisms dividing the Muslim Ummah.