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The Newsletter
4th Quarter 2000

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Moros: JUETENG For Deliverance?

Understanding The Mindanao Conflict
Samuel Tan

Ethnic Cleansing In Mindanao
Fred Hill

After Abubakar's Fall: What? 
Patricio Diaz

Is Federalizing The Republic The Solution To Mindanao?
Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.

Constitutional Accommodation of a Bangsamoro Islamic Region
Soliman Santos, Jr.

Mindanao Movements
Nash Maulana

Sulu Saxophone
Carolyn Arguillas

Explaining Erap's
B(ad) Movies

Said Sadain, Jr.

The Palestinian Intifada
Zafar Bangash

Creative Writing Section
What's Inside:

A Muslim's prayer for peace
by Aminah Sharief Goling

In my own Mindanao
by Geejay Arriola

Abdul on the eve of an ambush
by Said Sadain, Jr.

Then & Now
by Macario Tiu

Death On The Tarmac
by Fr. Picx Picardal
Spirits In The Box
A Short Story

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(Zafar Bangash' "Intifada accepted as the new reality as West works to save zionist plans" appears in the fortnightly Muslimedia International, Dec. 2000. As peacemakers scramble to diffuse the Palestinian intifada with so much eloquence and arguments across negotiating tables and august halls, the streets can only hold very limited words: rage, rage, rage ....)

The Palestinian Intifada by Zafar BangashSix weeks after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada in Palestine, Palestinian youth and children are continuing to die on a daily basis and Palestinian towns and villages in Ghazzah and on the West Bank remain under military attack by the Israeli army and airforce. As we went to press, the death-toll stood at nearly 200 Palestinians martyred, as Israel continued to use heavy artillery, tanks and helicopters against slogan-shouting and stone-throwing protesters.

IntifadaThis is in addition to the more than 6,000 injured or maimed. Collective punishments, uprooting and destruction of their olive trees, and attacks by gun-toting zionist settlers who prowl the streets freely, are all common features of life under zionist occupation.

The American media, especially television, have stopped referring to the West Bank and Ghazzah as occupied territories; Palestinian youths protesting against zionist atrocities are called "rioters".

Most people in Palestine have known no other life except under zionist occupation. There is not a single family that has not had someone killed, tortured, imprisoned or humiliated in some way or another by the zionists.

The Israelis have laid siege to Palestinian towns and villages in an attempt to starve them into submission. If animals were treated in this manner, there would be protests in the west. And all this is done in the name of the "peace process" which was going to herd Palestinians into Bantustans run by Arafat and his henchmen to do the zionists’ dirty work for them. The only peace on offer to the Palestinians was and remains the peace of the graveyard.

They were not even protesters...they were simply Palestinians.Israel’s policy has become clear in the six weeks since the new intifada erupted: use maximum force against unarmed protestors, blockade Palestinian towns and villages so that no food or medicine reaches them, deny them livelihoods to teach them a lesson, and grab as much land as possible to create new ‘facts’ on the ground.

While this policy is in force, a deliberate campaign has been launched to blame Palestinians for the mayhem. The west, especially the US, has been a ready ally in this; Israeli barbarity is sacred.

The new land-grab policy has already shifted Arafat’s demands from Israel vacating the West Bank and Ghazzah to merely pulling Israeli tanks to where they were before the intifada: surrounding Palestinian towns and villages from a distance.

Meanwhile, zionist settlements are being expanded at a furious pace. This is especially evident in places like Beit Jala near Jerusalem, and around Hebron, Ramallah and Tulkarm. Israel has decided to cordon off Palestinians into disjointed cantons and to erect huge barriers to prevent their access into Jewish areas.

Such enclaves would not only keep the Palestinians bottled up but would also make them easy targets for elimination if the need arises. The zionists have had enough practice doing this over the last six weeks using helicopter gunships, long- range artillery and missiles without evoking much concern abroad. The whole exercise has boiled down to one of media and perception manipulation.

The Palestinians must stop "rioting" and Yassir Arafat must end Palestinian "violence" and return to the "peace process," are standard mantras heard from Tel Aviv and Washington since the latest intifada started on September 28.

The mindboggling hypocrisy of such pronouncements is evident even to the most simple-minded unless one happens to be a zionist or their puppet.

US president Bill Clinton falls into the latter category, although one wonders why he should still be so obsequious now that his presidency is ending and he is no longer running for office. True, his wife Hillary desperately needed Jewish support in her New York senate contest (she refused a US$50,000 cheque from American Muslim Council), but that too is behind the Clintons now.

The real reason is that the Palestinians, as well as Muslims and Arabs in general, are considered as the "other" by the west. For years they have been projected as "terrorists". Their image as victims just does not fit the bill; it is far easier to demonise them than to sympathise with them.

Anthony Cordesman, member of the American think-tank, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has even suggested in a secret report leaked on the internet, that Arafat and the Israelis must crush the intifada even if it means using torture. CSIS has close links with the US government and Cordesman is a former staffer at the US national security council. His opinions clearly reflect American government policy, although such statements would not be made in public. The zionists are already executing Cordesman’s plan with far greater ruthlessness.

If Palestinian children are being killed by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers, it is because their mothers "want them to get shot" in order to gain international sympathy, according to zionist propaganda. Presumably, Palestinian mothers enjoy seeing their children killed; perhaps they were even happy living under zionist occupation.

The Palestinians are not "rioting"; they want the zionists off their backs who have made life hell for them. The "peace process" was a thinly-disguised attempt to hoodwink the Palestinians into believing that they would get a state.

In reality, the Palestinian Authority was given responsibility for garbage collection and for rounding up Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters resisting zionist occupation, while the enclaves remained under complete Israeli military control. They were not even linked to each other. Arafat went along with this apartheid-style scheme because he was bribed by the Americans. They had already pumped him up by giving him the Nobel Peace prize, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. Such rewards are reserved for Muslim traitors; Anwar Sadat of Egypt also received this "honour."

The peace process blew up in Arafat’s face because the Palestinians were not prepared to put up with yet another oppressor; they had had too much of the zionists to tolerate Arafat’s Authority as well for much longer.

The spark was provided by Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the Haram ash-Sharif on September 28, sanctioned and approved by the "dovish" Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak. When Palestinians protested this sacrilege and desecration, they were shot and killed by the Israeli army.

Zionist violence against Palestinians is so gruesome that it should not need arguing at all. Even the November 3 report by Physicians for Human Rights put squarely blamed the Israelis but, the moment CNN, America’s global mouthpiece, for instance, mentions Palestinian casualties, the zionists accuse it of pro-Palestinian bias.

Perhaps everyone should simply parrot Israeli propaganda and forget that the Palestinians even exist. Some zionist commentators have gone so far as to call the Palestinians "animals" (Barbara Amiel in the Canadian magazine, McLean’s).

Such racist cant would not be tolerated against anyone else, but Palestinians and Muslims are fair game. An equally obscene effort is underway to project Palestinian stone-throwers as a threat to Israeli soldiers firing live ammunition from high-powered rifles. How many Israeli soldiers have been killed by stone-throwing children?

The so-called peace process is dead, shot to pieces, like the young children, by Israeli helicopters and tank-mounted machine guns. There will be no peace in the holy land so long as the zionists remain in occupation. The Palestinians’ only solution is a Hizbullah-style resistance. Neither America nor the United Nations will come to the Palestinians’ rescue; the liberation of Palestine and al-Quds is the duty of all Muslims. People like Arafat and his henchmen have no role to play in it; the intifada has already demonstrated that it, and not Arafat, now determines policy on the ground.

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