Saturday, January 26, 2008

A thousand little eyes for an eye

Failed Qasam missiles

The Qassam missiles that Hamas uses to fire at southern Israel are pathetic little toys. They have a maximum range of 9 kilometers and hardly ever hit their targets.

Since 2001, according to Israeli sources, these missile have caused just 10 Israeli deaths and 433 (probably mainly minor) injuries. Mortar shells, which have a range of 3 kilometers, have caused a similar number of deaths and 150 wounded. Two of the dead and 70 of the injured were army personnel.

I would hate to think how many Palestinians have died or lost their eyes and limbs in Gaza over that 7 year period; how many families have been blown apart in their homes or lost their livelihoods; how much of the infrastructure has been obliterated with F-16 laser-guided missiles and Apache helicopter cluster bombs. I wish someone would publish the statistics and bet you the ratio would be at least 1000:1.

UNRWA reports that, in just 5 months in 2006, the Israeli army killed 382 and severely injured 1,229 people in Gaza, the vast majority of whom civilians. The UNRWA appeal for help for the imprisoned 1.4 million Palestinians paints an extremely distressing picture of the suffocating conditions in the Gaza strip. It is worth reading, if only to put things into perspective.

Hamas fires missiles at southern Israel because the Israelis who have entrapped a whole nation by sealing the Strip's borders, sea shores and skies are a sly and vindictive bunch. Like a bully in a school playground, they punch, pinch, strangle, stab and slap the other kids, when the world is looking away, then moan with excruciating pain when the poor kids try to wriggle out of their grip or hit back.

Moses, or whoever, thought eye for an eye would keep humanity in check. These sub-humans in army uniform with chips on their shoulders will not be satisfied until they have gouged out a thousand Palestinian children's eyes for an Israeli one, before dinner.

I don't care what God Hamas worships, the world should not keep quiet while trigger- happy Israeli army and intelligence bandits, their pockets stuffed with American dollars, commit genocide and torment a defenceless people for years on end.

If you are an Israeli hothead, please don't give us any BS about having left Gaza voluntarily. You left the tent because you could not stand the stench. Now you are urinating all over it from the outside. Don't complain when a smelly, one-eyed and one-legged Palestinian kid emerges from the tent and lops a little Qassam at you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Beware of Syrians bearing gifts

A belated Happy New Year to everyone and my apologies for the long absence (not that I harbour any delusions of grandure on the blogosphere).

I have missed so much of the region's news and good writings on my favourite Syrian and non-Syrian blogs in the last five months.

Having neglected my own blog over that period, it is interesting to see that only one insult, two commercial adverts and one genuine "where are you?" message have been left in the comments section for my return. That really sums it up. Blogging is all about registering a presence in cyberspace, self indulgence and massaging each other's egos. And why not?

I am still recharging my batteries and not in a fighting mood, so I will not hurl insults at the Syrian regime or curse the Americans, Zionists, Fundamentalist Christians and Islamofascists. Not yet anyway. Right now I just hope 2008 will bring sanity to our region.

I am in fact in a generous mood. So, as a New Year's present to all my Palestinian and Israeli friends I have posted an extremely rare (in fact the only known) film of Jerusalem in 1917, never seen by the public until last year.

Would you like to see what Jerusalem was like in the aftermath of the 1st World War? British troops entering the City and people and animals going about their business? Evidence of how, until 1917, Jewish, Muslim and Christian families had lived together in complete harmony?

Would you like to see Lord Balfour in person promising a chunk of Palestine to the first wave of Jewish immigrants?

....I thought you would!

Here you are, download this absolutely amazing historical archive/documentary clip with a choice of two formats:

Full resolution high quality PC version: File size 224 megabytes, 15 minutes in duration, AVI(DivX) format. Unzip the file then use a fairly recent version of Microsoft Media Player to view.

Lower resolution version , for iPod, PDA or mobile phone: File size 83 megabytes, 15 minutes in duration. Format MP4. Unzip the file then copy it to your portable device.

New link to video here:

Watch the clip and say thank you, Philip I, for letting me see history in the making.

Having watched with your own eyes what actually happened in Palestine in 1917, perhaps some of you will stop pretending that it didn't happen or believing your political leaders' and grandmother's fairy tales about what happened.

God bless your soul Albert Kahn!