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  Tuesday  April 2  2002    01: 39 AM

Israel/Palestine

Words fail me.

Here are some words from an Israeli...

Letter From Israel
The Auschwitz Logic

So this is the Auschwitz logic in a nutshell. Ramallah is not Auschwitz. Israel is not the Third Reich. We have no death- camps and we haven't massacred one third of the Palestinian population in gas chambers. Therefore, everything we do is quite all right. We may fill the occupied territories with tear gas and blood, we may kill and injure and torture and blackmail and dispossess, we may surround millions by electric fences and tanks in tiny enclaves, we may hold them under siege and daily bombing, we may make pregnant women walk to hospitals, and we shoot ambulances too, don't we. But as long as we fall even an inch short of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, it's all fine and good, and don't you dare make the comparison.
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The IDF is not allowing journalists in and they are shooting the journalists there. Everyone is fair game. Check out coverage by Ha'aretz and Guardian. The best coverage is Palestine Independent Media Center.

April 1, 2002 Ė 8:45 PM Today the Israeli military attack on humanitarian infrastructure and civilian population continues.

In Ramallah the 4th day under complete 24 hour curfew
- Many houses without water, electricity, and telephones
- Food is becoming scarce
- Soldiers make house to house searches ransacking and looting homes and
shops
- 100ís of men and youths arrested and detained
- Tanks patrol the streets opening fire randomly and indiscriminately
- Many foreign reporters have left the area after pressure from the Israeli
government
- Buildings such as the Kassabe cinema/theatre have been destroyed, Al Haq Ė
a local Human Rights organization, HDIP a Health Research Institute is
currently being ransacked and destroyed.

The list of atrocities continuesÖ
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Life here has totally stopped; itís dead

Letís start from the beginning. It has been 4 days since [the Israelis] invaded Ramallah. They started entering on Friday morning around 4am and it was really like a war. All that you could hear was shaking from the sound of the tanks and helicopters. You thought at the beginning that it was the start of the war. Clashes started. What do you expect? They were entering with tanks, so there was some resistance, but with kalashnikovs, light weapons.
(...)

Of course, we have had so many sleepless nights but this was the worst, actually, worse then the ones before. The people were really surprised this time because they started entering all the homes and shooting at anything - even cats on the streets. The sound of tank bombing was unbelievable. And they demolished something to do with the electricity so there was no electricity and we couldnít follow the news so we didnít know what was going on.
(...)

There were 6 tanks in my neighborhood. They crashed through 6 cars, they didnít have to, there was space for their tanks to go past, but they destroyed the cars anyway. They entered my neighborís house with their dogs.
(...)

The worst thing is that so many people are living without electricity or water. And the food is finishing. It will be really serious if this continues. Some people are injured, and some are just ill and they need to get to hospital and get treatment. But the Israelis donít let any ambulances get though to help people.

Yesterday, 5 policemen were just sitting in their place and the Israelis shot them. It was so clear there was no resistance. All the blood was on the floor, not high on the walls. It was clear they were sitting on the floor when they were killed. They showed it on TV. All of them were shot in the head when they were sitting on the floor.

The Israelis entered all the big buildings here with their tanks. But there are so many normal shops in the buildings; normal shops selling cell phones, clothes, computers and other things. They stole things from the shops, computersÖso many things. They also stole computers from students and turned their homes upside down.
(...)

The West always asks about [Palestinian] attacks against civilians. But they must ask what is the cause of these attacks: the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people, which creates so much anger amongst people. Like at the checkpoints, for example. Every day we have to walk 20 minutes and more across the Israeli checkpoint to reach the University. It takes more than a hour to get through and they sometimes arrest people. Even to get to Al Ram Ė not even Jerusalem - we have to go through the checkpoints.

This is all about civilians. Itís all about humiliation, about punishing a whole people. This is terrorism.
(...)

Also, the Western media is totally biased. There is so much rage and anger here, especially at the last speech by Bush. The Israelis are fighting the Palestinian people, not terrorism. The whole Palestinian nation is imprisoned. What do they expect? This [Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians] will happen, whether we are with it or against it. What do they expect for people living in poverty, in a hopeless situation and with this daily humiliation that everyone feels. Everyone feels so angry about it every day.

And now they are talking about civilians. Until when do the Palestinians have to face all this? I donít understand it when they talk of the two sides having to stop the violence. When they say that they donít distinguish between the criminal and the victim.

One of the top 10 armies in the world is invading a civilian city. People here are helpless, they feel like this situation will never end. They are seeing soldiers with all kinds of weapons entering their homes, doing what ever they like. A few days more and people will have nothing to eat. And people are talking about violence between two sides!
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