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SILVIA'S ROOM
Alain Ménargues: I am a free man and I intend to stay that way. Interview by Silvia Cattori November 2004
Alain Ménargues: Je suis un homme libre et j'entends le rester. Entretien réalisé par Silvia Cattori November 2004
Dieudonné : "La vérité finira par se savoir". Entretien réalisé par Silvia Cattori, Novembre 2004
La Palestine appartient aux Palestiniens selon des religieux juifs. Entretien réalisé par Silvia Cattori, Novembre 2004
Israël détruit. L’ONU en est réduite à transférer les sans abris. Entretien réalisé par Silvia Cattori, 19 octobre 2004
Les Palestiniens sous les bombes accusent Kofi Annan. Octobre 2004
Palestinian children have the right to live 15 August 2004
Jean Ziegler sur le banc des accusés 25 juillet 2004
Jean Ziegler in the dock 25 July 2004
L’antisémitisme a bon dos 19 juillet 2004
The Kids of Market Street 22 March 2004
Hamas: A Palestinian resistance movement 22 March 2004
Palestine: It’s war. A war of annihilation 20 March 2004
Palestinians thirsty for a united front 18 March 2004
To the European parliaments members... 03/15/2004
If we can take inspiration from his sacrifice, Tom Hurndall won't have died in vain 01/14/2004
CIDINFO : Un site où les falsifications sont reines 01/05/2004
Palestinian children have the right to live
Silvia Cattori, 15 août 2004

When 1500 prisoners began a hunger strike meant to attract the world’s attention to the abominable circumstances that exist in Israeli prisons, the authorities immediately made clear that they would not yield, that the Palestinians could ‘continue their hunger strike until they died’.

This shows that Palestinians are not seen as human beings by Israel.

In these merciless conditions boys of the age where they become men are arrested every day in Palestine by the occupation forces.

Without reason, without justification.

Monday August 9 Mohammed Abbodra, a boy of sixteen from the Balata refugee camp, has been torn from the love of his mother, arrested in the totally arbitrary way by the men of the israeli border police.

Since then, Mohammed has fallen into the silence of the unknown. His mother, dying from fear, still does not know where the occupation forces have imprisoned her son, the eldest of seven children.

The Mohammed case shows, once more, how much the Palestinian people, left to themselves without any protection and being on the total and arbitrary receiving end, is vulnerable.

Israel is the only ‘democracy’ in the world that throws children of 14 in jail, while they are not charged with anything, without any legal process, without any human concern.

These imprisoned children are subjected, as the adults, to humiliations and terrible tortures such as sleep deprivation: something that has severe consequences for them.

In this way, after having killed their fathers, Israel intends to break the morals and the bones of boys before they become adults, the age of rising against oppression…

We urge all Israeli to demand from their government the immediate liberation of all the innocents that have been imprisoned unjustly because they’re Palestinians.



Jean Ziegler sur le banc des accusés
Silvia Cattori, 25 juillet 2004

M. Jean Ziegler, rapporteur spécial de l’ONU sur le droit à l’alimentation, se trouve aujourd’hui sur le banc des accusés pour avoir documenté - sous une estampille officielle - les violations par Israël du droit à l’alimentation et des droits humains dans les territoires occupés.

Dans une lettre du 14 juillet 2004, adressée à l’ambassadeur M. Smith - président de la 60eme session de la Commission au droit de l’homme – avec copie aux plus hautes instances de l’ONU, « United Nations Watch » accuse en substance M. Jean Ziegler d’avoir agi sur des critères « non objectifs » qui n’auraient pas de rapport avec les termes de son mandat et de s’être servi de sa position aux Nations Unies comme d’une tribune politique pour lancer des déclarations publiques contre Israël.

United Nations Watch demande au Secrétaire général de l’ONU, Kofi Annan, et au Haut Commissaire aux droits de l’homme, Louise Arbour « de mettre fin au mandat de M. Ziegler. »

Les accusations contre M. Jean Ziegler ont commencé quand, en août 2003, celui-ci a établi un dossier qui établissait que la politique du gouvernement israélien était directement responsable de la catastrophe humanitaire et ses conséquences sur l’alimentation de la population palestinienne. Ces accusations, lancées aussi bien par des porte paroles de l’Etat hébreu que par des organismes pro israéliens, ont redoublé d’intensité depuis que M. Jean Ziegler a demandé à l’entreprise américaine Caterpillar de cesser de fournir à Israël des bulldozers utilisés par ce dernier pour détruire des maisons et tuer des innocents en Palestine.

United Nations Watch est une ONG basée à Genève, qui se dit concernée « par la juste application de la Charte des Nations Unies ». Elle est, gouvernée par un Conseil d’administration composé de représentants du Congrès Juif Mondial et d’anciens représentants du gouvernement des Etats-Unis. Parmi eux Edgar M. Bronfman, David A. Harris, John Bolton, Jeane Kirkpatrick. 1

Dans ses accusations, United Nations Watch n’entre jamais en matière sur la véracité (ou non) des faits rapportés par M. Jean Ziegler. Elle s’en tient uniquement aux termes étroits du mandat (lié à la nourriture) et aux principes de neutralité fixés par l’ONU, que M. Jean Ziegler n’aurait, d’après elle, pas respectés. Toute l’argumentation de United Nations Watch consiste à s’appuyer sur la définition juridique du mandat pour écarter les éléments documentés par M. Jean Ziegler ; éléments inattaquables d’un point de vue moral.

Selon United Nations Watch, M. Jean Ziegler profiterait de son mandat pour faire autre chose que ce pourquoi il a été mandaté. Il serait ainsi coupable d’abus de pouvoir, d’être sorti du principe d’équité, d’avoir eu une attitude discriminatoire pour s’être rendu en Cisjordanie et Gaza, alors qu’il y aurait, selon United Nations Watch, quantité de pays où la situation de l’alimentation serait plus grave, et d’avoir porté contre Israël des « accusations » qui n’auraient pas de rapport avec les termes du mandat qui lui a été confié.

Les actions de M. Jean Ziegler, affirme United Nations Watch dans son réquisitoire, « constituent (a) un abus flagrant du mandat qui lui a été confié par la Commission des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies ; (b) une violation criante des principes d’impartialité, de non - sélectivité et d’objectivité qui régissent le travail des rapporteurs spéciaux ; et (c) une violation ouverte des principes d’égalité de la Charte des Nations Unies(...)Finalement, les mode et pratique de discrimination de Jean Ziegler contre l’Etat Juif contreviennent directement au plan d’action contre l’antisémitisme du 21 juin 2004 du Secrétaire général de l’ONU Kofi Annan qui rejette la démonisation du sionisme et qui stipule que les Juifs, partout, doivent sentir que les Nations Unies est aussi leur maison, et encourage une action particulière dans ce sens de la part des Rapporteurs spéciaux. »

Les semaines et les mois à venir diront comment M. Kofi Annan et Mme Louise Arbour vont réagir aux accusations d’antisémitisme portées contre leur rapporteur spécial pour le droit à l’alimentation.

Combien de temps la vérité touchant la politique de l’Etat hébreu dans les territoires qu’il occupe, sera-t-elle étouffée ? Combien de temps encore, cette vérité, sera-t-elle l’otage du pouvoir de toutes ces officines pro israéliennes qui agissent au niveau des médias et des centre de décisions politiques ?


(1) United Nations Watch est une ONG dont la façade est à caractère universel, mais qui sert principalement ou même exclusivement les intérêts d'Israël. C'est une organisation créée et contrôlée par des personnalités d’origine Juive, dont l’activité principale est de protéger la politique d'Israël à l'ONU. Une lecture de leur site www.unwatch.org en dit assez sur la nature des gens qui composent son conseil d'administration. Tous ses membres sont connus pour leur engagement inconditionnel envers l'Etat d'Israël et le sionisme. United Nation Watch n'est pas la seule association avec un statut d'ONG accréditée à l'ONU qui est soutenue par des organisations juives (déclarées ou cachées). Elles sont très actives dans les couloirs de l'ONU et ne sont que des relais de gouvernements ou d'intérêts commerciaux ou financiers. United Nations Watch n’est donc qu’une des multiples ONG créé par le gouvernement israélien avec l’aide du conseil juif mondial et des organisations juives américaines.


Jean Ziegler in the dock
Silvia Cattori, 25 July 2004

Jean Ziegler, UN special investigator on the right to food, now is in the dock because he documented – in an official investigation – the Israeli violations of the right to food and the human rights in the occupied territories.

In a letter dated July 14th 2004, to the ambassador M. Smith – Chairperson of the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights – with copies to the highest levels on the UN, “United Nations Watch” (UN Watch) accuses in essence M. Ziegler to have acted upon “not objective” criteria that had no relation with his mandate and to have used his position inside the United Nations as a political platform for making public statements against Israel.

UN Watch demands from the Secretary general of the UN, Kofi Annan, and from High Commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbor, “to end the mandate of M. Ziegler”.

The accusations against M. Ziegler began when, in August 2003, he created a file that showed that the policies of the Israeli government were directly responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe and its consequences on the food of the Palestinian population. These accusations, stated as well by the spokesmen of the Hebrew State as by pro Israel organisations, have doubled in intensity since Jean Ziegler demanded the USA corporation Caterpillar to stop selling Israel bulldozers used by the latter for destruction of houses and for killing innoscents in Palestine.

UNW is a NGO based in Geneva, that states that it is concerned “with the right application of the United Nations Charter”. It is governed by an administrative Council composed of representatives of the World Jewish Congress and former representatives of the United States government. Among them are Edgar M. Bronfman, David A. Harris, John Bolton, Jeane Kirckpatrick. 1

In its accusations, the UN Watch never considers the truth (or not) of the facts reported by Jean Ziegler. They rely solely on the narrow mandate (with respect to food) and on principles of neutrality stated by the UN, that, according to them, Jean Ziegler did not respect. The whole argument of UN Watch consists of basing themselves on the legal definition of the mandate in order to eject the facts documented by Jean Ziegler; unassailable facts from a moral point of view.

According to UN Watch, Jean Ziegler took advantage of his mandate to do something else than what he was allowed to do. In this way he was guilty of abuse of power, had disregarded the principle of equality, had had a discriminatory attitude by going to Transjordan and Gaza, while there were, according to UN Watch, enough countries where the food situation was worse, and had stated against Israel “accusations” that had no relation with the mandate that he had been trusted with.

The actions of Jean Ziegler, affirms the UN Watch in their requisitory, “are (a) a flagrant abuse of the mandate given him by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights ; (b) a blatant violation of the principles of impartiality, non – selectivity and objectivity that govern the work of Special Rapporteurs; and (c) an overt breach of the equality principles of the Charter of the United Nations (…) Finally, Mr. Jean Ziegler’s pattern and practice of discrimination against the Jewish state directly contravenes UN Secretary general Kofi Annan’s 21 June 2004 action plan against anti-Semitism which rejects the demonization of Zionism, stipulates that “Jews, everywhere, must feel that the United Nations is their home too”, and urges particular action from Special Rapporteurs”.

The coming weeks and months will show how Kofi Annan and Louise Arbour will react to the accusations of anti-Semitism on behalf of their special investigator on the right for food.

How long will the truth on the policies of the Israeli state in the territories that it occupies be suppressed? How long still, this truth, will it be the hostage of the pro-Israeli cabals that act towards the media and the centres of political decisions?


(1) United Nations Watch is a NGO of which the façade is universal, but that serves mainly or exclusively the interests of Israel. It’s an organisation created and controlled by persons of Jewish origin, whose principal activity is to protect the Israeli policy at the UN. Their site www.unwatch.org tells enough about the kind of people that form its administrative council. All members are known for their unconditional efforts towards the Israeli state and Zionism. The UN Watch is not the only organisation with a NGO status associated with the UN that is supported by Jewish organisations (openly or secretly). They are very active in the corridors of the UN and are just puppets of governments or of commercial or financial interests. UN Watch thus is just one of the many NGO’s created by the Israeli government with the aid of the world Jewish congress and the American Jewish organisations.

Translated from French by : Foppe


L’antisémitisme a bon dos
Silvia Cattori, 19 juillet 2004

Sharon – quoi qu’il fasse ou dise - ne fait que de poursuivre le projet sioniste et de continuer, malgré toutes les protestations, la même politique raciste qu’ont mené tous les gouvernements – colombes et faucons - qui ont l’ont précédé.

La France a bon dos. L’Etat juif d’Israël cherche à y étendre sa politique du « diviser pour mieux régner » en poussant les Français, donc les Chrétiens, à la détestation des Arabes et des musulmans. Donc à exporter « sa » guerre raciste chez eux aussi.

Les français ne sont pas racistes. Les Arabes ne sont pas racistes. Les sionistes le sont assurément. Et ils accusent les Arabes (et les Français) d’antisémitisme à tout va ?

La France est le pays, après les Etats- Unis, qui compte le plus grand nombre de Juifs. C’est pourquoi le sionisme parvient à imposer ses desideratas avec autant d’arrogance dans ces deux pays.

Or la nature raciste du sionisme pose problème. Les Français devraient réagir sans plus tarder. Devraient désigner nommément et combattre toutes ces organisations sionistes qui sèment le trouble et surtout, exiger des autorités françaises que ces organisations véritablement racistes soient mises hors la loi.

Le plus révoltant dans cette escroquerie de l’antisémitisme « qui menace » les Juifs en France, est qu’Ariel Sharon a choisi le moment où les victimes palestiniennes de sa politique génocidaire, sont au fond du fond : à l’agonie. C’est encore une manière de nous détourner du vrai de vrai, la sienne : de la souffrance atroce d’un peuple jeté hors de sa terre pour faire – comble du cynisme - de la place aux Juifs venant de France…

Si Ariel Sharon peut déclarer que les Juifs sont en danger en France - avec un tel aplomb, tout en sachant que ce n’est pas vrai – c’est parce que ses « troupes » pro israéliennes en France, lui ont préparé le terrain de longue date.

Il convient de se rappeler ici que ce ne sont pas les autorités de l’Etat Juif d’Israël qui ont les premiers lancé la campagne d’intoxication qui a sévit dans toutes les villes de France depuis belle lurette et a abouti à la déclaration de Sharon le 18 juillet 2004. Des campagnes destinées à pousser la classe politique à entrer dans la danse d’un antisémitisme imaginaire ou exagéré, et à parler des bons « Juifs » persécutés, tout en désignant les « vilains » Arabes et les musulmans comme les coupables…

Comme si la guerre qui sévit au Moyen Orient ne leur suffisait pas ! Les noms des personnes qui veulent que les Français soient en guerre permanente contre les Arabes et les musulmans, ne sont pas de nous inconnus. Tarik Ramadan les a désignées ces personnes peu nettes. Les foudres se sont ensuite déchaînées sur lui.

Ces pro israéliens, influents dans les médias et dans la classe politique française, n’ont eu de cesse de nous marteler que les Arabes sont trop nombreux en France, que le voile est une agression, que les Juifs sont menacés par eux, etc. Résultat. Ils ont insensiblement préparé l‘ensemble de la classe politique française à faire de l’antisémitisme plus imaginaire que réel, un problème majeur. (L’usage du mot antisémitisme, de nos jours, est inapproprié. Le mot raciste devrait s’appliquer à chacun sans distinction)

Le plus pénible - durant ces longs mois de mensonges et d’épouvantail autour de l’antisémitisme - fut d’entendre les appels à la vigilance et des menaces contre des amis de la Palestine, venant de personnes dont l’on ne s’attendait pas ; je veux parler de membres d’associations et des personnalités issues de l’UJFP, entre autres.



The Kids of Market Street
By Silvia Cattori, March 22nd, 2004
Translated from French by Vero Itani

As I was walking down Market Street for the first time on this chilly morning of December 16th, far was I from thinking that, a few minutes later, I would be in the middle of my worst nightmare. So much so, that it took me several months before even being able to recount it.

Market Street is a narrow street filled with dilapidated small shops, each one holed like having been hail-damaged. The street separates Balata camps into two halves. Lively and inquisitive kids assail foreign visitors with questions, practising the few words of English they have learned: “ What's your name? Where are you from?"

Women were shopping and were greeting me with a "Salam Aleykm!" ("Peace be with you") when, out of a sudden, coming out of nowhere, bullets were whizzing over our heads, deafening grenades were exploding all around us. Astoundingly, all these people were thrown into horror, into terror.

The peaceful and quiet street that was Market Street a few seconds earlier, had gone into a dreadful and ghastly place. Small girls running away as fast as their little legs could make them. Boys running towards the iron made monsters that were spitting out blackish smoke, were shouting "Jais ! Jais!". Mothers trying to grasp at least one of them in their run, were screaming "Omar, Ahmed, Raed..." But the kids were deaf to their supplications and were already flying away like fire balls. Would they had wanted to listen to the women that they were unable to: they yielded under stress of necessity: defend the camp, stand up for their jailed or murdered father, brother, uncle or grand-father was for them the absolute necessity. They could not refrain from it, they could not help it, they had to go because the pain tormenting them inside had to come out: as if the tanks had brutally stirred it all up.

What was wrong with the soldiers? Were they mad? They were waging war against children: shooting at them like birds. Throwing asphyxiating bombs under the houses. And all of it for no reason whatsoever. Opposite them was not even the shadow of a fighter. Nothing was there to justify of their action against the poor people who had been thrown out of their homes in 1948.

What these barbarians shut down into their mammoth tanks were looking for in a street full of kids such as this one , was as clear as incredible: didn't the Israelis Air force colonel, Yiftah Sepctor, admit one day that the soldiers sent to the Palestinian territories were free to kill children ? Had hunting children, with heavy war artillery, using machine-guns against catapults become a normal activity for the occupying army? It looks like it.

Speed up towards them, drive back, slow down, stop... their driving clearly showed that they only wanted to attract the innocent kids in a deadly game…Harass them, provoke them : until the children reach such a state that they could not understand anything anymore and would give themselves up to the Israeli muzzles. A pervert and criminal game between an army and some kids.

And if the eldest were between 12 and 14 and were the main target, younger children of 4 or 5 were not left over. Aiming their weapon, soldiers shouted through speakers: "come on.. come on.. you son of a bitch..".

Those kids were lost and did not know what they were doing anymore. But the soldiers very well knew what they came for. So, they went on provoking them, spoiling them.

They shot the children, humiliated the parents! In the middle of all that.

In the chaos, there was a Palestinian photographer haunted with the need to immortalise the violence of the powerful inflicted on the powerless. Unmindful of himself, he would take position where danger was the worst. There too, was an elderly man sitting on his doorstep as if he was staring at nothing, as if he froze to what was occurring before him. At the back, I could notice a coster-monger who was watching his oignons and oranges fall; with the dazed attitude that take the defeated. These man had become their own shadows: ghosts unable to defend the dignity they had left. A young women dressed with a traditional dark blue gown, with a white scarf covering her head, was sweeping the pavement without looking up at the "jais", as if they were not there. It looked like it was her way of resisting to the violent war : keeping up with her daily tasks, she was showing them that she was in her rights and that whatever they wanted to inflict on her, she would simply stand up to them and would not leave.

There was about 20 kids injured. At that point, I saw a boy, his head was bleeding and he collapsed unconscious in a pool of dirty water. I immediately understood that the boy who was bending down on him in a fright was his twin brother. In chock, I fell on my knees and cried powerless. Screams of pain rended the air. His name was Nour EMRAN. He had turned 12. He died a few days after in Rafidia' Hospital and did not come out of coma. His brother had been shot at in the back: enraged he had thrown stones towards the tank and was injured as he was running away.

Under the shots of the soldiers that was targeting the ambulances, the young first-aid had a hard task. One of them humbly told me: "This is our life". And seeing my stupefaction, he added: "You did not see nothing yet... they will come back."

When there was no more shots, Market street was not. Children were haggard. In a state of chock, they were looking around, not understanding.

It must be denounced and there is no other way of saying it: shooting at children is murder.

Balata camp is an enormous jail keeping in 35000 prisoners half of which are children. It is surrounded with hills that settlers and Israeli military camps - that have been set by the State of Israel - deface. From the heights, these illegal occupants dominate the Palestinians. At any time of the day and of the night, they activate their guns, kill civilians, destroy houses. This is unacceptable.

We must protect this people that Israel bully and abuse. We have to go on telling the world about it, this way we might get its attention.

The Palestinians, crushed down, who welcome us wishing us "Salam Aleikm" are entitled to security, peace and justice, too.



Hamas: A Palestinian resistance movement
By Silvia Cattori, 22 March 2004
Translated from French by D. Foppe / E. Davidsson
www.ism-suisse.org

In what other country are handicapped political opponents being hunted down with airplanes and missiles ? In our country, Switzerland, the disabled are treated with respect. All kinds of facilities exist to make their life bearable.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was a political opponent of one of the most brutal illegal occupation regimes in the world. This regime, based on hatred towards the Arabs, assassinated him. His blood and his assassination do not seem to pose a moral problem for Israeli Jews who have brought notorious war criminals to power.

Who are the murderers ? Those who, like the Palestinians, defend themselves or those who expell them from their land and kill them ? Those who violate Palestinian land and airspace with missiles and rockets or a people which rises up against their oppressors ?

Murdering a handicapped person who leaves the place of prayer in a wheel chair is obviously a crime. Sheikh Yassin, however, is not a criminal but a man who called on his people to resist unlawful occupation.

Sheikh Yassin resisted spiritually and that was his honour. Resistance against a military occupying power, including by armed struggle, is an internationally recognized legal right of any occupied people. When Alexandre Adler tells us that Yassin "incarnates the radicalisation of the battle against the West" he serves us an indigestible dish of Israeli propaganda. Alexandre Adler takes care not to mention that Hamas is a popular resistance movement, that Hamas struggles inside a united front of all Palestinian political parties and religious movements in a just combat: To liberate Palestine from Israeli (Zionist) occupation.

Destroying Hamas is like destroying a whole people.

In designating resistance movements such as Hamas as a terrorist organisation, the apologists of Israeli occupation try to let us forget who are the real oppressors and facilitate the dirty work of the occupation forces. When the European Union designated the political wing of the Islamic movement Hamas as a terrorist organisation, it gave Israel the green light for assassinating Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. This is extremely grave.

Instead of facilitating assassinations, Europe should protect the Palestinian people who are doubly victimized: By Israeli machine guns and by Western media disinformation.



Palestine: It’s war. A war of annihilation
By Silvia Cattori, March 2004
Translated from French by Foppe Dykstra

I have returned from Palestine broken. Not because I’m faint hearted, or because – at Ben Gurion airport - the Israeli police perpetrated the ultimate humiliation by taking, until hell freezes over, the tools of my trade: professional recorder Nagra, Mackintosh pc, camera Leica, with their precious contents.

I returned broken because of what I saw, of what I came to understand of the tragedy of which I was a witness: the war of racist extermination that Israel wages against civilians without the power to defend themselves, and who the world refuses to see.

There are thousands of young people who say they are ready to sacrifice their lives to protest against the abominations Israel perpetrates on their relatives.

The Palestinians are in great danger.

I believe that few people really understand the magnitude of the horrors that the Israeli soldiers commit in the torture spots, in the open air prisons that are in Gaza, Naplous, Balata, Jenin, Tulkarem and so many other villages – prisons that share the same kind of tragic.

What happens in Palestine is far more terrible than what people imagine from the outside, and what cannot be exposed by images because Israel protects itself: Israeli soldiers have orders not to let journalists and cameramen near the places where they perpetrate their atrocities. They intimidate witnesses, force them to go away threatening them with their arms, or even killing them.

This why, coming back, I feel the disgust when I comprehend what I understand. And tonight I have decided to get out of my hole of silence to say it. I hear, day after day, in all the media persons who pronounce intimidations, spreading thinly veiled threats against those who denounce the occupation and the apartheid system of the State of Israel.

We can no longer support the accusations of anti-semitism. We must have the courage to rebel before too much evil is perpetrated.

Shame on those who look the other way from the harsh reality in Palestine. Shame on the men and women who still want to throw a cover over the perfidious crimes committed by the State of Israel. In stead of condemning the criminal policies of this State, in stead of distancing themselves from its genocidal policies.

Who has heard the cries of sorrow from the international volunteers, of whom some lost their lives, who have accompanied the Palestinians left in the greatest solitude during the past three years – like Kelly and Mika who now assist in the agony of villages like Naplous, or Laura in Rafah, (2) – who have described to us the horrors of which they have been sincere witnesses ?

Which governments in the end will comprehend that one cannot let just some international volunteers defend, with their bare hands, millions of Palestinians threatened by tanks and the savagery of soldiers that commit crimes when ordered. One wonders.

Where are the international organisations that possess four wheel drive vehicles and large resources ? Except heroic exhausted Palestinian rescue groups we did not see one organisation really act where the Israeli army commits its operations and where there is humanitarian urgency.

Luckily there still are, from all over the world, some brave souls, from all religions and beliefs (Christians, Muslims, Jews) who suffer from this ghastly situation and try to do something before it is too late.

This is what today Elias Davidsson (3), with whom I had long conversations since my return from Palestine, and who understands the terrible system that the Israeli army implemented, wrote me:

“I understand the urgency. It’s absolutely necessary that the Palestinians get military protection against the genocide that the Israeli are preparing. It’s urgent. The governments must be warned. Putting the Palestinians in ghetto’s is – like this was done to the Jews – the first phase of extermination. Because the Zionists, contrary to the South Africans – do not want to exploit the Arab labour, but simply want to get rid of them. The Zionist policy is far closer to the policy of the nazi’s than to the policy practiced by the white minority in S Africa (….)”

We must make the governments interfere before it’s too late.

(1) The Israeli border police have seized the tools of my trade – without any justification, no reason at all – after it has passed all security checks. They told me that I could depart quietly promising to send my belongings the next day. Despite the efforts of my company, I’ve had no chance whatsoever of getting back my stuff. What happened to me is common and nothing to be amazed off.

(2) We have translated and spread their writings See the websites: www.ism-france.org and www.ism-suisse.org

(3) Elias Davidsson, composer, born in Palestine, now lives in Iceland.




Palestinians thirsty for a united front
By Silvia Cattori, March 18, 2004, Translated from French by V.I

No one is able to get a whole night sleep in these lands of Palestine : Israeli military air and land forces daily wreck and ruin it. Some night are even more distressing and traumatising than others. Just like last night in the old city of Naplouse, where inhabitants did not have a wink of sleep because of the Israeli troops 'disturbance and detonations.

After the daily harassment; at night: the battalions burst in homes, break open doors, smash walls, kidnap at random ; creating a situation of inconstancy for the population already thrown in chaos and fear. The Soldiers snatch men and teenagers and qualify then as "wanted". But every Palestinian is potentially "Wanted". "Wanted" they say to drag them and pull them in like cattle.

The occupying illegal force' servants could not care less of what is happening : children weeping, injured suffering, elderly agonising.

The Palestinians are in great danger. And the danger comes as much from their invaders military control as -and it is sad to admit it- it emerges from the Palestinian authority.

An authority terribly discredited by the large majority of the population.

The Palestinian force came out of the Oslo agreements. It is becoming, for the Palestinians living away from Ramallah, an obstacle for their strong will of unity and fair administratorship.

It's in this context of great frustration that a murder has been attempted on Naplouse 'Syndic last December.

A few days ago in Naplouse, all the political forces and religious leaders of the opposition met: they demanded that Arafat get rid of the corrupted men he placed. They insisted on him giving them the guaranty of letting them govern the city. They asked to unite and rule to restore justice and equity.

The current situation is a dangerous one because if the actual Palestinian government is fighting, it is more to keep its sovereignty than insure the security of its people. Trapped by his commitment to the Oslo agreements to disarm his people, Arafat overhang all the Palestinians who did not want to give up their freedom and dignity. Now, Israel is pursuing them with the savageness of another era.

Numerous voices are raising in Palestine, especially in refugee camps. The corrupted administrators surrounding the authority do not want to listen to them or even hear thear thirsty for united front. This voices say the same thing to Arafat: dissolve the Palestinian administration and join the people in its heroic struggle for justice and freedom.



To the European parliaments members who voted for a disgraceful resolution that squandered the rights of Palestinians
By Silvia Cattori and Pierre-Yves Salingue, www.ism-suisse.org, 15 Februry 2004
Translated from French

On October 23rd 2003, the European Parliament adopted by a large majority a resolution known as “Peace and Dignity in the Middle East”.

Many of you believe that this resolution is crucial in the Palestinian conflict, however you have voted on it without consulting with the Friends of Palestine. It may have been that you were busy in the preparation for Geneva Accords while voting for this resolution. It may be that now you will doubt your vote. The resolution that you have supported violates the basic legitimate Palestinians rights to “terminate the occupation”, and the right of return, which is recognized under international law.

We will address some aspects of this resolution to show how detrimental this resolution is for the Palestinian victims.

. “Peace and Dignity in the Middle East” condemns and rejects all acts of terrorism committed by any Palestinian organization, against Israeli people, and demands the Palestinian authority to fight without mercy these terrorist acts, until such organizations are destroyed.

· Declares victims of Palestinian terrorism as innocent victims whether they are civil or military and condemns terrorism as impeding the peace process.

· Requests the Palestinian Authority to adopt a reasonable approach concerning the question of the right of return, which affects around 4, 5 million Palestinian people. The solution must be fair and even handed, suitable to all concerned parties. The solution should take into consideration the fact that not all Palestinian refugees can come back to their places of origin. It must also take into account the demographic concern of Israel.

You were of the opinion that you knew how to resolve in the best way the questions and the problems of humanity. You must have been surprised by the reaction of the Palestinian Refugees, who do not seem to appreciate the sacrifices that again are asked from them. You may be surprised that Palestinian Refugees obstinately do not want to understand that the time has come for them to start to think in reasonable and realistic way, which simply means, to give up their right to return.

It may be that your evaluation of the facts on the ground was wrong.

It is obvious that Palestinian people longs for peace, exhausted after years of military occupation. However this peace cannot be achieved by surrendering their rights. The large majority of Palestinians understands that this kind of peace will lead to more suffering, destructions, and violence.

The negotiations that may be based on this resolution ask the Palestinians to abandon all their rights that they have fought for during last 55 years.

You failed to differentiate between the opinion of the Palestinian elite and the opinion of the vast majority of the Palestinian people; those from the refugees camps, from the occupied villages and from the destroyed areas. The vast population did not benefit from the Oslo peaceful process. This process of endless negotiations only benefited to the Palestinian elite.

The second Intifada was a movement, which aimed to overthrow the corrupt elite, which misused the international donor’s money. Unfortunately the Intifada failed to achieve its target.

Today you want to force the Palestinian people, who already have sacrificed a lot and suffered a lot as a result of corruption and betrayal, to accept any outcome of the negotiations. This kind of negotiations is rejected by the majority of the Palestinian people.

When you voted for this resolution, you dealt with the friends of Palestine and the solidarity movements with Palestinians, in the same manner you dealt with the Palestinian people. You failed to consult both the Palestinians and the solidarity movements.

The weird fact is that you think that you can resolve all the problems of Palestinian without consulting them.

A parliamentarian who voted the text may manipulate a simple citizen. If any person criticizes the resolution, it can be easily argue within the framework of the resolution that such criticism is one sided and exaggerated. The response could be in the form of: “We are against occupation. We are against an excessive use of force by the army. We are in solidarity with the pilots, who object to their missions in the Occupied Territories. We are with prisoners` rights, for the removal of settlements…” As such the layman who criticizes, will be told: you are exaggerating…

The problem is that within the resolution you have voted, the word settlements is not used in a way that reflects the reality of it a s a tool of colonialism. The resolution did not request the destruction of the wall of security. The resolution simply asked Israel to stop building the wall or to ensure that while building, it will not affect the final border of the future Palestinian state.

What is obvious is that the result of such a resolution fails to safeguard the rights of Palestinian people but rather just protect the rights of the Palestinian elite; the privileged from Ramallah and Jerusalem. They are in a hurry to negotiate to regain the power and the profitable deals interrupted by the second Intifada.

The Palestinian elite is jubilant about such negotiations, especially that President Bush favors, such negotiations, as it will help in the creation of the future cooperation between all the partners and in the creation of the free market zone in the region. Additionally to this cooperation, all the parties will cooperate in the battle against the illegal immigration, crimes and terrorism.

You must be happy to have amended the resolution in order to support t the Geneva Accords.

But this resolution is a win – lose game, and not a zero sum game.

You permitted yourself to abolish a right to return. The concept of right to return is recognized under the declaration of Human Rights, under the International Convention of Political and Civil Rights, and under the United Nations resolutions 194. But no reference to any of the above was made in your resolution.

Your resolution also failed to differentiate between resistance and terrorism. As such the resolution requests the repression of all kinds of the resistance, and by that denies the right to end the occupation.

Your resolution also recognizes the demographic concerns of Israel, as such you are promoting the demographic preference of one nation and the ideology of Zionist and Jewish state.

The adoption of the resolution had a perfect timing, as it leads toward the Geneva Accords. While the focus on public attention was on the details of the Geneva Accords, no attention was given to the crimes committed by Israel in the Occupied Territories.

Nowadays any aid granted by United States is conditional on fighting terrorism. Both: your resolution and Geneva Accords failed to differentiate between resistance and terrorism. As such, any aid that may be given to the Palestinian non-governmental organizations will be based on the same condition. By that, your resolution and Geneva Accords adopt the ideology of United States. In the same view, any opposition to the resolution, by Palestinian people or the friends of Palestinian people and the solidarity movements, will be considered as an act against peace.

It is a high time to decide whether we speak about terrorism, or resistance, simple implantations or colonies, the security wall or the apartheid wall, demographic concerns of Israel or the legitimate right to return…





If we can take inspiration from his sacrifice, Tom Hurndall won't have died in vain
By Silvia Cattori, January 14 2004
Tr. from French by Dean Thom

Tom Hurndall passed away on January 13 2004. He was barely 22 years old. In fact, Tom had already ceased to live the life of an enterprising and passionate young man since April 11 2003 when an Israeli soldier aimed and shot him in the head, with the sole objective of killing him, otherwise he would have aimed for his lower body.

His assassination took place at Jebna, a poverty-stricken area of the Rafah refugees camp - the place where the most suffering in Palestine occurs - when all he wanted to do, along with his ISM colleagues, was protect the children from the abuse of the Israeli army.

Tom was a simple man. A photographer who wanted to bring the attention of the world upon this apocalyptic universe where Israeli madness had condemned so many. That is why we want to remember Tom. How he selflessly put his life aside to help the victims of the violence that the world chooses to ignore.

When I arrived in the ISM offices on April 12 2003, there were about 15 exhausted internationals all huddled up. No-one dared break the silence. An oppressive silence. Tom's bleeding body - which his colleagues had baptised "Thomas" since his arrival in Rafah, so as not to confuse him with the other Tom, also British - was the focus of attention.

The events of the previous evening had traumatised everyone. Tom was lying on a hospital bed now. He was still breathing, but deep down everyone knew that their colleague would not wake up again. That was hard to accept. The war, the violence, poignant situations where games were played with people's lives, had marked their young faces since their arrival in Rafah.

How can you contain this powerful anger that eats away at you? It takes time to sit back in order to digest this barbarism in its purist form that is so incomprehensible.

Everyone would remember these difficult times shared with Tom, where crazy soldiers came from Israel, shooting at Palestinian children and teenagers, for no other reason than to amuse themselves, to take out a Palestinian. Everyone knew that life had no place here in Jebna. But each of them had more or less decided in his heart of hearts that he would not leave. It would be impossible to leave these persecuted people alone. Everyone knew above all that it was essential for Israel who wanted to steal more land than it had already done, to "clean" Jebna, whatever the cost.

When he had to answer the questions of the media, to wash his hands of responsibilty, the military Commander would lie. He basically said Tom was armed, that he fired at the military and ended up being shot in the exchange of fire that followed.

Gentle Tom. It took six months of struggling from Tom's family to get a public enquiry into his death opened. This admirable family is still fighting today for the defence of the Palestinian people that they have discovered as a result of Tom's death, are being dehumanised. "We cannot stay silent and allow such people as Tom et Rachel, Brian Avery, Ian Hook and James Miller to become such tragic victims. If we do not stand up and make the Israeli government aware of its actions, there will be no end to these terrible losses in Palestine", Tom's sister affirmed with indignation.

Why, in 2003, was the decision taken by the Chief of the Israeli miltary to shoot internationals?

We have to put ourselves in the minds of the Israeli military to be able to answer this. They lead a war of destabilisation and mass destruction against the Palestinians. A war accompanied by massacres that are hidden from the rest of the world. The internationals who find themselves in these areas that Israel has targetted for its murderous operations, hinder the army, and are considered as potential enemies to Israel.

Tom the photographer - like the cameraman Miller - wanted to witness these strange operations which drive the soldiers - amongst other things - to kill a certain number of children each day, in order to force their panic-filled parents, having already destroyed their houses, to flee. Israel was the first to be surprised by the endurance of the habitants of Jebna who insisted on remaining on their own patch of land despite the months of continued bombardments and arbitrary executions.

Tom wasn't killed by coincidence. He denounced the barbarism of the batallions of soldiers sent to Rafah with assault tanks and F16s to lead an insane war against children who resisted with rocks, and who were regularly killed by shells. Tom was one of those people who understood that in the logic of military strategy, a Palestinian child is a time bomb. And that to kill one, to kill dozens each month, is just part of the system. And that was unacceptable for him.

Tom was killed because he got in the way of the Israeli military carrying out their crimes. These internationals who see Palestinians as human beings, are considered by Israel, as enemies of the war, as people to be fought.

Israel wanted to make them flee in terror. The opposite happened.

That's why, unable to kill them all, Israel the jailer who holds Palestine under lock and key, has multiplied its restrictions in order to filter them and prevent them from entering Palestine. These restrictions destined to isolate the Palestinians, are particularly worrying.

The world has never been aware of the seriousness of the criminal actions taken by Israel to torture the Palestinians and to provoke, through small massacres, their "voluntary" or forced departure. And the leaders of this world have never been so lazy, so deaf or so blind. Jenin, Balata, Naplouse, Rafah, and Tulkarem are tortured towns where to kill is easy, where the soldiers have no conscience and show themselves to be brutal.

They soulessly and involuntarily execute orders which have something to do with this "ethnic cleaning", this "transfer", that started in 1948, that Sharon is obsessed with achieving.

And we, who are lucky enough to live in security, do not have the right to keep this privilege for ourselves.



CIDINFO : Un site où les falsifications sont reines
Par Silvia Cattori, 5 janvier 2004, www.oulala.net

En Palestine, Israël se sert d’un arsenal militaire impressionnant pour tuer tout espoir de paix juste. Hors de Palestine, Israël peut encore se servir d’un vaste réseau de désinformateurs, pour tuer toute vérité dans l’œuf.

Cidinfo (1) ne recule devant rien pour magnifier les tortionnaires et dégrader les témoins de leurs actes odieux. Diffamer ceux qui témoignent de la réalité criminelle de l’occupation israélienne fait partie de la guerre à laquelle, d’une certaine façon, quantité de sites inféodés à Israël, participent.

Donc, si vous êtes en quête de vérité sur ce dur conflit, méfiez-vous des sites qui font allégeance à Israël ; ils ont généralement pour vocation de travestir les faits et de déshumaniser les victimes palestiniennes ainsi que toutes les personnes qui témoignent de leurs souffrances.

www.cidinfo.org est l’un de ces sites. L’exemple ci-dessous vous permettra de voir comment des individus peu scrupuleux falsifient les faits pour tenter de noircir les témoins des brutalités perpétrées par l’armée israélienne. De le savoir devrait vous inciter à être très attentif aux pièges qui vous guettent : pièges qui servent à décrédibiliser les défenseurs du droit, sur un conflit qu’Israël et ses soutiens ont tout intérêt à dénaturer.

Quand Cidinfo déconstruit des articles qui décrivent comment les soldats israéliens vont à la « chasse » d’enfants palestiniens, comment ils s’amusent à les humilier, à les attirer par des leurres, à les exciter jusqu’à les rendre fous, et à tirer sur eux comme sur des pigeons, il participe à la guerre unilatérale qu’Israël mène en Palestine. Ce sont des procédés qui visent à empêcher toute évocation par les témoins directs de la réalité atroce qui prévaut : des témoins affligés qui désirent contribuer à la compréhension de la situation et à favoriser la paix.

La tactique de Cidinfo est de faire des questions réponses sous des airs faussement naïfs : « Sylvia Cattori ne serait elle pas une affabulatrice, qui invente des histoires et des scènes à partir d'histoires entendues de ci de là? Pour Cidinfo, il était évident que Sylvia Cattori n'a pas assisté à la mort de l'enfant comme elle le dit, mais l'a simplement rencontré à l'hôpital, et a décidé, trois mois après cette rencontre, d'inventer de toutes pièces la scène de la mort de l'enfant et sa présence sur les lieux au même moment, et à quelques mètres de là!!!... ». www.cidinfo.org

Quand j’ai découvert de quelle façon Cidinfo se saisit d’un fait, observé sur le terrain, pour le travestir en affabulation, j’ai éprouvé cette même sensation glaçante, d’irréalité, cet état de stupeur qui modifie instantanément votre conscience et vous remplit de douleur que je ressentais aux check points, quand je recherchais un reste d’humanité dans les yeux des soldats israéliens pour tenter de les dissuader de brutaliser les Palestiniens.

Il faut être dépourvu de toute humanité pour s’emparer d’un évènement tragique, filmé, et vouloir en nier la véracité. Inhumains mais pas fous, ces individus savent ce qu’ils font. Il s’agit pour eux de sauvegarder l’image de victime dont Israël a longtemps su se parer. C’est ainsi, en camouflant la vérité sur les épurations ethniques et les massacres que, depuis 1948, Israël a pu gagner du temps et des terres, sans que le monde ne se rende vraiment compte que cet Etat s’est construit sur la dépossession et les mesures répressives qu’il a imposées à tout un peuple.

Ces personnes qui se rangent du côté des crimes, du côté de l’insoutenable, du côté d’un Etat raciste, ne se soucient pas de morale. Tout est bon qui peut souiller les témoins. Ainsi, ce qui témoignait de mon sérieux, Cidinfo l’a transformé en péché. En effet j’avais pris soins de rectifier l’âge de Nour quand j’ai pu contacter Balata. L’agence Reuter, que Cidinfo donne comme exemple de professionnalisme, s’est également trompée. Nour n’avait pas 13 ans mais 12 ans. (2)

Ce sont ces mêmes personnages cyniques qui - sous divers pseudonymes et sur le même mode -interviennent dans les forums pour tenter de désorienter les lecteurs, et pourrir le débat, comme ici : « Sylvia Cattori a-t-elle vu le frêre du petit Nour se faire tirer dans le dos par les soldats israéliens ? Est elle certaine que Nour a été tué d’une balle de mitrailleuse lourde qui crache plus de 500 balles à la seconde ? Comment peut elle omettre de dire que l’enfant est mort d’un tir de balle...en caoutchouc, alors qu’elle le savait ? Pourquoi dit elle que l’enfant a 12 ans alors que dans deux autres de ses textes, il a 15 puis 14 ans ? Pourquoi, alors qu’elle a rencontré Nour à l’Hôpital le jour de sa mort, et a écrit un article le lendemain disant qu’elle l’avait vu à l’hôpital, ne disait elle pas dans cet article qu’elle avait vu mourir l’enfant dont elle parlait ? ».

http://www.oulala.net/Portail/article.php3?id_article=1241

Tout en sachant que les intervenants ne prendraient pas ma réponse en considération, mais par égard pour la souffrance des Palestiniens que ce genre de questions vise à faire oublier, j’ai répondu ce qui suit : « Les soldats israéliens vont chaque jour à Balata pour tuer des enfants. Il me paraît assez étrange que votre préoccupation soit de savoir si l’enfant avait 12 ou 15 ans et quelle sorte de balle l’a tué. Votre principale préoccupation ne serait-elle pas tout simplement de décrédibiliser les témoignages et les dénonciations de ceux qui ont pris la peine et le risque d’aller voir sur place les violences que l’armée israélienne fait subir à la population civile palestinienne, notamment aux enfants ? Par égard pour ceux qui pourraient être troublés par vos insinuations - qui ont vraisemblablement pour objectif de faire croire que je ne suis jamais allée à Balata, donc, que les violences des soldats israéliens contre les enfants que je dénonce n’existent pas - je précise ce qui suit. J’ai écrit plusieurs textes en décembre 2003. (Voir www.ism-suisse.org) Dans « Violences israéliennes gratuites au camp de Balata » j’ai décrit la situation en général et le niveau de violence dont j’avais été témoin. Dans un paragraphe, j’ai indiqué au passage que j’avais profité d’une accalmie pour rendre visite aux enfants blessés, parmi lesquels Nour Emran, touché en pleine tête et dans le coma, et j’ai donnée l’âge qu’on m’avait indiqué le jour de l’accident : 15 ans (on avait aussi parlé de 14 ans). Je n’avais pas développé les circonstances dans lesquelles cet enfant avait été touché n’en ayant pas eu le temps, ni surtout le cœur à ce moment là. Vous vous étonnez que je n’aie pas écrit davantage ? Moi je suis étonnée d’avoir autant écrit dans un contexte de guerre si perturbant. Pourquoi suis-je revenue sur ces faits trois mois plus tard ? Je suis revenue sur ces épisodes traumatisants au moment où je m’en suis senti la force. Il m’a fallu en effet des mois avant de pouvoir revenir sur ces moments que j’avais vécu, c’est ce que je souligne au début de mon texte « Les enfants de Market Street », où je ne décris du reste qu’un épisode de cette longue journée. Nour a été pris pour cible vers 16 heures de l’après midi. J’ai raconté dans ce texte certains aspects que je n’avais pas développé dans les textes écrits en décembre 2003 à Balata : l’attitude des soldats qui provoquent les Palestiniens en proférant des injures grossières, la peur tétanisante, la tragédie de ces deux frères jumeaux. Comme j’avais toujours un doute sur l’âge précis de Nour j’ai demandé récemment confirmation à Balata. Nour avait 12 ans (il faisait plus âgé que son âge). Par ailleurs je n’ai jamais mentionné nulle part avec quelle balle Nour a été tué. Je ne me livre pas à ce genre d’expertise. Les soldats israéliens utilisent toutes sortes d’armes et de balles : balles réelles, balles en acier recouvertes de caoutchouc, gaz toxiques, etc... Ce qui m’importe et me révolte, et qui devrait vous importer et vous révolter, est que ces armes tuent des enfants. L’armée israélienne tire avec des armes de guerres sur des enfants partout en Palestine. Des armes qui n’ont pas été conçues pour tuer des civils mais pour faire la guerre contre des armées. Et cela est inacceptable. Tirer sur des innocents, les mutiler, les assassiner, est devenue une routine pour l’armée israélienne. Mais cela n’a pas l’air de vous préoccuper : vous préférez, pour couvrir l’armée israélienne, répandre le doute sur la réalité des crimes qu’elle commet ».

Cidinfo ment effrontément. Il n’a bien évidemment pas pris en compte mes précisions comme vous pouvez le constater par vous même. Il en a encore profité pour chercher à me faire dire ce que je n’ai pas dit. (3)

Dans son déni de la vérité, partant d’un évènement tragique - qui montre de quelle façon perverse les soldats d’Israël attirent des enfants dans des pièges mortels - Cidinfo n’hésite pas à falsifier les faits.

Nour n’a pas eu droit à la vie. Il n’a connu que violence et humiliation. C’est de cela que Cidinfo devrait parler. De la souffrance des Palestiniens. Quant à dire que la mère de Nour a envoyé à la mort son fils, comme le suggère Cidinfo dans son « dossier » (4) c’est vouloir encore une fois calquer son discours sur la propagande israélienne. Une mère palestinienne n’est pas différente de toutes les mères du monde. Aucune mère n’envoie à la mort son enfant en Palestine.

(1) CIDINFO, Collectif pour l'Information et Contre la désinformation au Proche-Orient.
(2) Photo de Nour Emran dans le coma, prise par le photographe qui m’accompagnait à l’hôpital.
(3) Témoignages écrits dans un contexte de guerre - où il était difficile de se déplacer - que Cidinfo cherche à mettre en doute à des fins de propagande. 19-12-2003 Violences israéliennes gratuites au Camp de Balata - Silvia Cattori 18-12-2003 Naplouse : Les violences israéliennes continuent - Silvia Cattori 15-12-2003 La volonté d’être utile - Silvia Cattori 14-12-2003 Les tortionnaires de Bachir Uways sont toujours en poste - Silvia Cattori 12-12-2003 Balata, ou la mort à petit feu - Silvia Cattori 09-12-2003 Une douleur d’homme - Silvia Cattori
(4) www.cidinfo.org « Mensonges sur la mort d’un enfant »
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