Abu Kamel was the last survivor of al Safsaf Massacre; he passed away yesterday in Ein el Helweh camp in Lebanon after carrying his pain for 67 years. However, he kept telling his story to the last breath, but unfortunately it was limited to those who visited him in the camp.

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In 2003, Mahmoud Zeidan interviewed Abed Kasem Younis, Abu Kamel (born in Sufsaf in 1918) about al Sufsaf massacre. It was a unique interview because Abu Kamel was one of the two survivors who understood Hebrew and heard the Jewish gangs as they were killing the victims. His below detailed account amounts to filming. He was coming from the windmill unaware that the Zionists occupied his village:

“I was at the door when my mother, my wife and two children Monira and Kamel jumped to receive me. I’d brought them some candies. The Jewish soldiers began with me, so I gave the candies to my kids and said, “Take it; it’s the last donation from your father.”… my mother tried to hold my hand, but a Jewish fighter pulled me and pulled around 17 young men most of whom were less than 17 years old.

The Jewish fighters turned our faces back to a wall; we started to hide against each other. One young man hid his head under my arm. My brother in law, who was 35 years old started to beg the Jewish soldier, but the soldier said to him in Arabic: “ Turn your head you donkey”. Then they shot us. I swear the wall shook above our heads from the bullets.

When they shot, I was injured in my arm. Then it penetrated to the neck of the guy who was hiding under my arm. I saw his jaw spilling in my eyes. Then I got another bullet on my chest and one in the back that burnt my jacket, so I fell down; when I fell, the young guy who was hiding under my arm fell over my head, and all his blood started to pour on me. Add to this blood from son of Khaled Askoul and blood from someone called Kassem Hamad. I felt as if I had been in pool of blood. Suddenly an old woman appeared to check on us, and she stood over my head; so I told her that I was still alive; then I asked her to go and tell my mother that I was still alive, but I asked her not to come as I was worried that the Jewish soldiers might return; and unfortunately, two Jewish soldiers came fully equipped with arms and other needs.

One of them stood over my head and one was 2 meters far. He told him in Hebrew there’s someone who is still alive, kill him.

I thought either I or Khaled Askoul would be killed. However, I could see what they were doing under the Kofiyeh that was smeared with blood and covered my face. The sight was dark and blurred because of the kofiyeh and the blood. The jewish soldier called his friend and told him, “come and kill him; he posted his stin (machine gun) on his knee and shot two bullets that penetrated the young man’s waist and hit me in my chest. The young man didn’t bleed as he had lost all his blood. He bit his lip and died. The Salvation Army bombed the area; then the jewish soldiers ran away, so I held my arm and walked where women and children were hiding.”

This is how Abu Kamel Younis survived the Safsaf massacre in which 80 victims were killed on 29 October 1948. Abu Kamel kept on tediously telling his story alone to uncover the terrorist face of Zionists. He died today.

  • interviewed and transcribed by Mahmoud Zeidan
Posted by: r.m. | November 18, 2015

Another interview on terrorism

Here is an interview that KBOO – Oregan community radio – did with me late last night, edited it, and released it this morning.

http://kboo.fm/newsindepthon111715 

or

kboo_episode.2.151117.1745.69083.mp3

 

I discussed the Western media’s response to the terrorist attacks in Lebanon and France, and the absence of coverage of the attacks in Iraq.  I talked about US foreign policy, US domestic policy, and Black Lives Matter, Howard Zinn, building an alternative media, and the need for a real democracy in the US.

 

Posted by: r.m. | November 16, 2015

Critical articles on terrorism in Paris and Beirut

Where are we going now? French President Hollande‬ has called for “a pitiless war.” How many more thousands and thousands of people will be killed and killed invisibly? Their lives and deaths will not reach the western press, no condemnations will be issued when they are killed.

Vijay Prashad writes: “Macho language about “pitiless war” defines the contours of leadership these days. Little else is on offer. It is red meat to our emotions.”

Is there another way? Yes. there is.

Read Vijay’s excellent article: We are in pitiless times.  Read it once and then twice. Then share it.  It is that necessary.

What about the seen and unseen bodies?

“In ‪#‎Paris‬ there are detailed descriptions of the music venue and sports stadium where the violence took place. In ‪#‎Beirut‬ there is little or no mention of the marketplace, mosque or school that bore the brunt of the explosions.
…Not only do these narratives feed into rightist, xenophobic or Islamophobic political views, they also colour the perceptions of readers and editors at mainstream publications. Take an analysis piece that appeared in the The Huffington Post less than 24 hours after the Beirut attacks which flatly suggested that the tragedy was to be expected. “It was a matter of time before residents of Dahiyeh, the Hezbollah-controlled suburb of Beirut Lebanon, were bombed again,” a fellow at a Washington think-tank wrote. Can one imagine an article a day after the Paris bombings claiming it was just “a matter of time” before Europeans were massacred?”

Read Habib Battah’s article for more: Analysis: Just as innocent – comparing Beirut and Paris

Whose lives are unseen? In the midst of these terrorist attacks, there are other terrorist attacks that have gone (almost) unseen…

And, ISIS – where did it come from?

“The sectarian terror group won’t be defeated by the western states that incubated it in the first place. … A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of “Islamic state” – despite the “grave danger” to Iraq’s unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.That doesn’t mean the US created Isis, of course, though some of its Gulf allies certainly played a role in it – as the US vice-president, Joe Biden, acknowledged last year. But there was no al-Qaida in Iraq until the US and Britain invaded. And the US has certainly exploited the existence of Isis against other forces in the region as part of a wider drive to maintain western control.”

Read the article in full:  Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

All the while, all the while … Palestine

Among the sympathies pouring into Paris from all over the world are messages from the Palestinians of Gaza, for whom such terror has been a regular occurrence for decades—particularly for the past six years, during which they have suffered through three major assaults by Israel. Despite their own pain, which is frequently forgotten in the press of other crises, they are uniquely positioned to sympathize with the trauma of others.-

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See more at: http://wearenotnumbers.org/home/Story/124

After the Thursday terrorist attack on Beirut, I was quoted by the Institute for Public Accuracy:

 “We are not numbers. I say this as I remember the 43 people killed and the 239 wounded in this terrorist attack on a neighborhood. We are not numbers.

“Among dead and injured are books/backpacks belonging to schoolchildren. …

I was then interviewed by Flashpoints (radio station in California).

Here is that interview: https://kboo.fm/raniamasrionthedeadlybombinginbeirut  (Note: I mistakenly stated that there 3-4 attackers; the next day, we discovered that there were 2. I also mistakenly stated that the terrorist bombing happened at 7 pm local time, while it was actually at 6 pm local time.)

The next day, Real News interviewed Vijay Prashad and me, to discuss: “The Media’s Skewed Portrayal of the Bombing in Beirut. Rania Masri and Vijay Prashad say the western media’s reporting on the ISIS bombing in Lebanon is deeply racist and accepts the ISIS narrative by describing the southern Beirut neighborhood as a “Hezbollah bastion”

Here is the link that interview

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#TPP – bad news for the world.

Trade ministers from 12 countries announced the largest trade-liberalizing pact in a generation yesterday. The TPP was pushed by the United States and now has been signed by the 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Why is the TPP so bad?

Check out these 5 articles – to get a taste

(1) Why the TPP is bad for Developing countries by Foreign Policy

(2) Thanks to WikiLeaks, we see just how bad TPP trade deal is for regular people 

(3) The TPP Could Have Disastrous Results For The Climate, Environmental Groups Warn

(4) Here’s what Public Citizen says

(5) And its impact on health care

Someone tell me again how Obama is a Democrat? NAFTA was by Clinton and TPP by Obama. What does this leave for Republicans?

Posted by: r.m. | September 30, 2015

The flag is not enough.

The flag is not sufficient. I want to celebrate Palestinian liberation, and not the hoisting of a flag over the UN (which accepted the division of my home) and not the empty statements of a “Palestinian state” by those who refuse to take action to liberate but find it sufficient to call a broken neighborhood “Palestine”.

A flag, and talk of a Palestinian State, while occupation and apartheid and ethnic cleansing continue – makes a farce of the flag. Perhaps that makes it all the more suitable for Abbas to be there — a man whose presidency expired years ago, and a man who regards security coordination with the enemy to be acceptable behavior. 

What we need is strong action against the occupation, against apartheid, against ethnic cleansing — and not flag hoisting and empty statements in support of a “state.” Let’s not be fooled by empty words.

I dream of that flag being raised high on a free Palestine, on a land in which we are all equal regardless of our religion, on a land in which justice – economically and politically and socially – reigns high, and on a land for which all the refugees can return. And need we remind Abbas and others: Palestine is more than a neighborhood in Ramallah – and more than all the West Bank and Gaza.

Until that day of liberation and equality, I am inspired by the Palestinian flag raised high by those who stand and resist and fight for freedom.

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P.S. As Yousef Munayer wrote, “Somewhere along the way, statehood went from being a means to an end to being an end in itself.” I would add: that happened for the so-called leaders, but not for the people. Let’s not be fooled.

Posted by: r.m. | September 30, 2015

Talks and interviews on Palestine and Racism

Here is the link of my interview with People United from July 28, 2015 and broadcast on July 31, 2015:

(FYI, the lecture I delivered last year on Gaza can be found at:

Posted by: r.m. | July 30, 2015

latest audio interview: Palestine and more

FYI,

here is the link of an interview Said Fattouh of Arab Voices conducted with me yesterday

The direct link to the audio is http://www.arabvoices.net/archives/kpft_150729_190000av.mp3.  (Interview begins at 16.07)

Previous appearances on the show:

July 17, 2013:  http://www.arabvoices.net/archives/kpft_130717_190000av.mp3

August 20, 2003:  http://www.arabvoices.net/archives/arab_voices-082003_220000.mp3

Yes, we have a trash problem in Lebanon. Yes, we now have a serious trash problem in Beirut. (http://al-akhbar.com/node/238416)

[for pictures: click here]
So what should we do about it?

Groan and complain about the smell and the sight and “the coming of the plague” and just want it all to go away? Go away where?

– To be incinerated where it will be then transformed into poison and carcinogen? (See: http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/238317 about the dangers of incineration)

– Go to another landfill so it fills other people’s neighborhoods and upsets *their* lives and not ours because so long as we, in Beirut, don’t see and don’t smell it, then all is okay? Keep in mind that landfills are not designed properly, and thus impact environmental health and public health. Look at any of the 7 main landfills in Lebanon today – and you can see the dangers of these landfills. Case in point: look at Saida, where the UNDP was involved and the “management” of the landfill has resulted in further environmental damage!

– Throw more of our trash into the sea and then “reclaim” more land from the sea and create more economic profit for our rich real-estate millionaires and destroy more of our fragile Mediterranean Sea?

No. Let’s see it for what it is.

– a production of excess waste by ourselves, so a need to examine our own ways of life (Beirut and its neighborhoods produce up to 3000 tons/a day) (see: http://blogbaladi.com/five-ways-to-reduce-waste-until-the-garbage-crisis-is-over/ for ways to reduce our own personal garbage)

– a failure of government, truly. There was no surprise in this case; the government – every minister and every MP – knew of this situation. See this excellent interview with Bassam Kantarhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsshJKQGGQU&feature=youtu.be – as Kantar explains, the critical responsibility is to the Council of Development and Reconstruction (CDR). Seven governments have all failed

– an economic corruption where the alleged-management of our waste by Sukleen is arguably the most expensive (and still failed) waste management in the world. The collection and disposal of waste in Beirut and Mount Lebanon currently costs $130 per ton of garbage. This is almost three times the $38 per ton paid in Amman, Jordan and astronomically larger than the $20 per ton paid in Cairo. See this one example of their corruption, in collusion with CDR – http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/11479 and here is another very brief reporthttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2015/Jan-17/284408-landfill-crisis-thrusts-sukleen-in-limelight.ashx) while look at this problem that Sweden now has: (http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/11/26/sweden-runs-out-of-garbage-only-1-ends-up-in-landfills/)

– a failure to realize that these waste are not really waste. Approximately 60-70% of our waste is organic waste — in other words, beautifully rich for compost! Furthermore, as Ziad Abichaker has shown – every bit of our waste in Lebanon (no exception) can be re-used or recycled. (See:https://www.facebook.com/ziad.abichaker.7/media_set?set=a.1594781204108347.1073741834.100007294476672&type=3 – As Ziad Abi Chaker writes: “As #Beirutdrowns in #garbage we are using that same #recycledgarbage to mount a #vertical #Greenwall at #Mayrig#Gemmayze 36,660 #plastic bags were transformed into#Ecoboard and used to make this wall…#compost from#Slaughterhouse waste was added to the growing media for maximum fertility…600 evergreen plants will be used in just 10 sq.mt … As of tomorrow, part of the #garbage #Beirut is drowning under these days will be on display at #mayrig #Gemmayze transformed into a fertile #Greenwall … that garbage making the city awful today will make it #green one day very very soon…and that’s a promise… #Recycling#sustainability #vertical #garden #urban

We have solutions available, wonderful solutions that would transform our waste into gardens, and lead to ZERO landfills and ZERO incinerators. Let’s push for that route.

In the meantime, see this link for recycling centers:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152843422171582&set=pcb.10152843422436582&type=1&theater

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