File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0103, message 62

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 23:32:18 -0500 (EST)

Washington - 3/12:
   If barbed wire were used, the symbolism would be too much like concentration
camps of old.  It's quite worse than Apartheid ever got.  The White South
Africans never did to the Blacks the kinds of things the Israelis are doing
to the Palestinians.
   The Israelis -- always with American, European, and world Jewry complicity
-- use other means than barbed wire and official looking concentration
camps.  The result is the same however, especially with the new Sharon/Peres
policy of "trenches", on top of military checkpoints, on top of colored
identity passes and license plates, on top of the new high-tech means of
following, monitoring, and targeting those who are Palestinian.
   Have those who continue to support the Israelis no shame?  Have those
who support the Palestinians no power?


     Ariel Sharon appears on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer"

RAMALLAH, West Bank, 12 March, CNN -- Israeli soldiers have fired tear
gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of Palestinians trying to tear down
an army blockade using a bulldozer.

About 1,500 Palestinians, led by Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo,
marched towards a barrier north of the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday
to protest against the blockade.

It had been constructed using tanks, trenches and ramparts the previous
day, in an effort to cut off all access to the town, which is home to about
50,000 people.

The violence broke out when a bulldozer, draped in a Palestinian flag was
driven at Israeli positions.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had earlier defended the tightening
of the blockade.

The new leader said the move had been in response to reports that Palestinians
were allegedly stepping up their plans for further attacks against Israelis.

His office said in a statement: "In light of specific information on an
attack from within the city of Ramallah, the closure has been intensified
and operational activity has been intensified in order to thwart the attack.

"The policy of Prime Minister Sharon is to make things easier...but it
will act in those places where terrorist activity is carried out, all this
as part of a policy to thwart attacks and fight against terrorists and
those who send them."

Sharon's adviser, Raanan Gissin, said the blockade was aimed at preventing
attacks on Israelis, both by restricting travel and by exerting pressure
on Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat.
The statement, released before talks between European Union representatives
and Arafat, gave no details of the attack.

Sharon was expected to face opposition against the measure from coalition
partners at the first cabinet meeting since he took power last week.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh,
both of the Labor Party, have questioned the effectiveness of the move.

But Sharon laid out his policy on CNN's Late Edition over the weekend,
when he said he would not negotiate with the Palestinians as long as there
was violence.

During the interview he did offer sympathy to the plight of Palestinians,
and spoke of a willingness to "ease conditions" of those living in the
West Bank -- but only once the violence had stopped.

"There is a famous saying, 'It's hard to be a Jew,'" he said.

"It's also hard to be a Palestinian. I know that. I would like to take
all those steps, but first of all it should be quiet.

Sharon said he sent a message to Arafat, telling him that he would "like
very much to ease the conditions" of Palestinians.

Sharon said it was a "major mistake" of Ehud Barak, his predecessor, to
negotiate with the Palestinians while violent clashes were erupting between
Israelis and Palestinians. He said Barak made too many concessions and
Israel became "weaker and weaker."

"I think that Arafat has not reached yet the point that he understands
that he's facing now a different government," the 73-year-old ex-general

Israeli media reports said the closure was part of a new army plan, approved
by Sharon, under which troops will cut up the West Bank and Gaza into dozens
of smaller areas, and tightly control each subdivision.

The blockades on the West Bank and Gaza, which hampers Palestinian movement,
have been criticised by the international community for creating an economic

Hussein al-Sheikh, a representative of Arafat's Fatah movement in the West
Bank, told Army Radio the blockades would not douse the uprising.

"Do they think this blockade will lead the people to raise the white flag?
I say this is stupidity.

"I am sure that this blockade pushes people into a more serious situation
and act more strongly in the Intifada."
Hardline Palestinians have called for "days of rage" against Israeli troops
on Wednesday and Friday this week.

Arab foreign ministers met in Cairo on Monday to prepare for an Arab summit
expected to focus on the Palestinian situation.



[The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees - Jerusalem - 12 March
The Israeli government has severely tightened the closure and siege of
Palestinian towns and villages in the past week, further isolating communities
from each other and strictly limiting freedom of movement throughout the
Occupied Palestinian Territories. Last week, Israeli bulldozers dug a two-meter
wide ditch across the road connecting Ramallah with Bir Zeit and 33 outlying
villages, denying approximately 70,000 residents access to the city of
Ramallah. In the process, Israeli forces destroyed water, electricity and
telephone networks. The Israeli army has also erected a new checkpoint
at the Jerusalem airstrip, opposite Qalandia Refugee Camp, to prevent West
Bank residents from reaching Jerusalem.

Checkpoints, barriers, and the destruction of major roads prevent Palestinians
from traveling and keep goods from reaching villages. This situation has
led to a national health emergency. The vaccination system is completely
paralyzed due to the inability of primary and emergency health care units
to travel to rural areas that lack health services. The vaccination program
at UPMRC clinics in Turmus Ayya and Sinjil is not functioning. This program
is conducted in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, and
although the nurse giving the vaccinations lives nearby, the vaccination
serum is not arriving to the clinics due to road closures.

Two million Palestinians, or 68% of the population, live in rural areas
that now lack access to hospitals and are without educational and health
services in their communities. Many health clinics located in these remote
areas are forced to close because physicians and nurses are unable to reach
their clinics due to the blockade. Furthermore, ambulances cannot reach
dozens of villages due to the destruction of roads. Palestinians are being
denied access to health care services, and this puts pregnant women, children,
and those suffering from chronic diseases at particular risk.

Israel is trying to force the Palestinian civilian population into political
submission by denying them basic rights and services.

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