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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

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September 4, 2012

September 4 Is a Sad Day.

September 4, 1997 was the day my niece Smadar was killed.  For my family and I it will forever be a sad day, a day that brings bad tidings. It was September 4 when that phone call came from my mother telling me that there was an explosion in Jerusalem, even as I was watching the horror live on CNN.  Those words: “there was an explosion and we can’t find Smadari” will forever ring in my ears.  Hours later it was confirmed and I was on my way to Jerusalem, for the funeral.

No one warned me that I would see those words in the morning paper in Jerusalem as I arrived from the airport: “The granddaughter of peace activist, ret. General Matti Peled…”  It was still dawn.  I still don’t know what to say on this day or what to think as September 4 approaches.  That day I would cry in my sisters arms like a baby, and would feel that way over and over again, each year, even now, all these years later.

As we drove away from the grave site, Elton John’s new version of “Candle in the Wind” was playing on the radio and Nurit, my sister would never forgive herself for leaving her baby girl alone buried in the dirt. Then, for seven days and six nights, the house where I was born, and where Smadar lived ,would see so many faces. That the door of the Jerusalem apartment through which Generals and diplomats once entered and on which now a sticker reads FREE PALESTINE, was open for people who sought to find light at the end of their darkened lives.

At the time Smadari was killed Bibi Netanyahu was Prime Minister. He was asked to stay away, and spare himself the indignity of facing our family. Today Bibi is once again Prime Minister. Among those who did come to pay respects at the time was Ehud Barak.  The General, decorated soldier and now Israel’s “defense” minister – personally responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Israelis and Palestinians. At the time he was the head of the Labor party and people had hope he would be different. Today Barak is an all powerful “Defense” minister standing at the head of Israel’s unstoppable war machine – placing the full weight of the mammoth he leads so that death maintains its dominion.

Each year I try and each year I fail to somehow face this terrible day. And each year September 4  just brings more sadness. It brings more sadness because of a girl that was killed, and because so many thousands have died since from the same preventable cause – Israeli terrorism.

This terrorism is part of the discourse among Israelis and Israeli supporters; It faces you at Ben Gurion airport where Palestinians humiliated each and every day; You meet Israeli terrorism at the weekly peace marches in the West Bank, where participants are shot and arrested, and it thrives in Israeli jails where hundreds of thousands of palestinians have been tortured for decades; Israeli terrorism is unstoppable in Gaza where millions are locked up in an open air concentration camp, and where Israeli pilots drop bombs on civilians and then congratulate themselves on a job well done. And now Israeli terrorism has even reached as far as Persia, with Israeli threats to bomb Iran and terrorize its 75 million people.

If we want little girls to stop dying in this place, its time to stop Israeli terrorism. Meanwhile, September 4 will remain a day when my sweet, 13 year old niece Smadar died.

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Elias Khoury – Syrians, you are alone!

Posted: 09/04/2012 by Mary Rizzo

Lebanese novelist and intellectual, Elias Khoury

Syrians, you are alone!

Written by Elias Khoury published in al Quds al arabi (Translation from Arabic by Giacomo Longhi, translation to English by Mary Rizzo)

Ghiyath Matar, the martyr in Daraya who, with a gesture that confirms the nobility of the Syrian revolution, had distributed water and flowers to the Syrian soldiers, was kidnapped by the secret service on 6 September, 2011 and returned to his family four days later as a battered corpse.

Ghiyath Matar today weeps for his city, Daraya, as he sees more than three hundred martyrs assassinated by the blind machine of the Assad army thugs and shabbiha that have devastated as the Tatars had done, eliminating anyone who they had at the range of their guns.

But the regime, not content with this inhuman massacre, ratcheted up their ferocity by sending a reporter from Addounia TV, owned by Rami Makhlouf, to traipse around with tele-cameras among the corpses still fresh with blood to interview the injured, including a woman who seemed to be at her last breath.

Two massacres: the first an expression of the drunkenness to kill anyone around with an incredible bloodlust, the second an expression of insensitivity, meanness and contempt, she wanted to record the voices and images of the event in order to terrorise Syrian men and women with the prospect of a similar fate to that of the inhabitants of Daraya, Baba Amro, Azaz and other places.

The criminal does not erase the traces of his crime, but he is actually proud in front of everyone, convinced that the support of Russia and Iran will save him from the abyss, preventing the any sort of fulfillment of his own end.

Yesterday the torturer Bashar surpassed his own father the assassin, resolving his psychological conflict with the father figure, whose effigies filled Syria of the phantom threat of a new Hama.

Last Sunday, as I watched the images of the victims of Daraya, I was reminded of a meeting in Beirut, in the house of the Arabist, Frenchman Michel Seurat, who was killed after a kidnapping. It was 1981, Beirut was experiencing devastating moments under the Israeli invasion.

That day I asked the Syrian intellectual Elias Morcos, who came from Lattakia, how the situation in Syria was, from where he received the news of the massacre in Hama. Morcos did not answer directly, but told me about Genghis Khan. When I showed surprise that Morcos, a Marxist-realist, took refuge in a metaphor, he looked at me: “What do you want me to say?”. Then he told me how the secret service men had raided a bar in Lattakia, where he was having coffee, ordering everyone to kneel.

The pain veiled his eyes with water that did not look like tears. This authoritative man, who had been a leading intellectual of our generation and whose political and moral conduct was irreproachable, found himself on his knees with others.

I was reminded of Elias Morcos not because the secret services humiliated those men like they did with the entire Syrian people, but because instead of speaking of the Assad regime, or perhaps precisely to talk about it, he had to turn to the image of the Mongols invading the Arab Levant.

They are the Mongols and with them there is no truce, nor under the oaks – as Mahmoud Darwish once wrote – or in the darkness of the tomb.

A bloodthirsty appetite dominates the machine of the regime, which has lost all legitimacy and power. The lie of its anti-imperialism became apparent. The aircraft MiG and Sukhoi never dared to stand up against the Israeli Air Force when it bombed Syria. The mission of the regime has nothing to do with anti-imperialism and resistance, its real mission is to bend his knees and humiliate the people of Syria.

The Syrians are alone in front of the machinery of death.

All verbal support of the United States and Europe is a false, misleading, cynical lie.

The deafening silence of the world in the face of the repressive machinery of Assad is not due, as is often said, to the fact that Syria lacks that oil that arouses appetites for profit and domination by the West, but it is due to Israel. The destruction that the regime has inflicted on Syria, Israel could not even dream about. When the regime will fall, and it will be inevitable, Syria and the Syrians will have ahead of them long years of reconstruction.

Do not believe the analysis that the reason for the lack of support for the Free Syrian Army is the fear of the Arab states regarding Islamic fundamentalists.

The reason is neither the lack of oil nor the fear of fundamentalists. Western countries and in particular the UN does not fear political Islam, which in fact it is building alliances with States where there are such parties in power.

The only reason is to strengthen the racist component of Israel, whose insolence and arrogance has reached the point of making accusations of racism against South Africa which has decided to apply a special label for the goods produced in the occupied West Bank.

Bashar Assad is carrying out a task that for others has so far been impossible: he is destroying Syria and its social fabric. Then what good does it do to supply arms and aid to those who want its fall?

If it remains forever, whether its Russian and Iranian allies merrily dance to the rhythm of bombs and massacres, Assad will lose power after destroying the country from north to south. His allies will be covered with shame and hated by all Syrians and Arabs.

The perpetrator of Damascus has never been so vital to Israel as he is now, so do not expect anything from those who claim to be a friend of the Syrian people.

The Syrian people are alone.

They are alone in defending the dignity of the human being in the entire Arab world. Alone, shedding their own blood, giving humanitarian and moral meaning to politics.

What can I say to you who are alone?

Your solitude, my brother, you can only compare to that of the Palestinians, who have found themselves in front of every bloody turn taken by Israeli savagery. I know well, brother, that these words do not stop the bleeding, do not dry your tears, do not console the heart of a grieving mother.

I tell you that you’re alone.

I tell you to persevere in your solitude, your insistence on taking ownership of the dignity submerged in the blood of your sons and daughters, your efforts in defending the ruins of houses destroyed by cannons and fighter planes, are the road that you have to singlehandedly defeat the torturer who would like to once again make you go down on your knees.

I know that you do will not kneel. I know that your mission, crowned by blood, is now the value of our human dignity. I have nothing but these words of mine that bow in tribute to your sacrifices and your victims.

http://www.sirialibano.com/siria-2/siriani-siete-soli.html

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