[saymaListserv] Fwd: Kaddish for 3 Palestinian Women?

COURTNEY SICELOFF csiceloff at mindspring.com
Wed Jun 13 15:07:50 JEST 2001

Coming from the SAYMA discussion on AFSC/SERO in which there was a 
suggestion that AFSC/SERO  employ more Quakers as staff, I was struck by 
the email sent out by Ilise Cohen, the SERO Middle East Program 
director.  No additional comment is needed.
I planned to send only Ilese's email, but feel the other emails attached 
demonstrate the level of discussion/action that is generated by this program.
courtney siceloff

>From: Ilisec at aol.com
>Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 13:41:39 EDT
>Subject: Fwd: Kaddish for 3 Palestinian Women?
>To: Ilisec at aol.com
>Dear Friends,
>I have been getting many emails from people, many who are thanking me for
>sending out emails with information from grassroots peace activists and from
>organizations and groups that are working on supporting the end to the
>occupation, and end to the violence in the middle east.
>i have also received emails from people who were unhappy with the information
>that they are receiving, feeling that it does not give a fair picture of the
>situation. I can imagine that with all the feelings that arise from what is
>happening on a day to day basis, people have strong reactions, are scared,
>angry, frustrated and feeling more and more impatient. Between the military
>violence in the Occupied Territories and the violence of the suicide
>bombings, every one is on edge and under duress.
>i think it is important for us to recognize that no one can inform you of
>everything, just as the media is often only giving us particular soundbites
>where we miss much of the information that might help us make better
>decisions. I am trying to send you what you regularly do not hear (unless you
>are on all the lists i am on, which is possible).  I am happy to continue
>sending info from groups in Israel and Palestine and in the US, who will give
>you updated info about how you can support peace, justice and nonviolence in
>Israel and Palestine and other things you need to know to be better informed,
>as well as event and campaign information.
>As an organization, we cannot issue a statement every time something happens,
>(though sometimes we try). Nevertheless,  we are conscious of upholding the
>dignity, freedom, and worth of every individual, and believe that the power
>of nonviolence and love can change the world. Every loss of life is a
>tragedy, every life that is impacted by the continued violence is a tragedy.
>Every moment there is hope through the work of those on the ground AND they
>need our support. I hope you are finding your way to support an end to the
>violence, hope and a future for the people of Israel and Palestine.
>AFSC is a Quaker, pacifist organization that rejects violence and works with
>the victims of all sides of a conflict, regardless of political belief,
>religion, race or ethnicity.  AFSC received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 on
>behalf  of Quaker relief and reconciliation efforts throughout the world.
>I am always happy to have conversations with people or come speak to groups
>about the situation in Israel and Palestine. There are many factors that we
>do not always get a chance to hear about.
>thanks for your support and for continuing to hope
>Ilise Cohen
>Director, Middle East program, Atlanta-AFSC
>please read below!
>Return-path: <Awaskow at aol.com>
>From: Awaskow at aol.com
>Full-name: Awaskow
>Message-ID: <95.bf6311c.2858e9fc at aol.com>
>Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 12:08:28 EDT
>Subject: Kaddish for 3 Palestinian Women?
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>To: undisclosed-recipients:;
>X-Mailer: AOL 5.0 for Mac sub 40
>Dear Chevra,
>The article that follow show that while some dissident Palestinian groups
>carry out murderous attacks on Israeli civilians like the Tel Aviv bombing,
>the Israeli government (as well as individual settler groups) are carrying
>out lethal attacks on Palestinian civilians.
>The main difference, it seeems to me, is that formal governmental attacks are
>often not labeled terrorism whereas attacks by non-governmental groups are.
>On the one hand, we should grieve and mourn for all these children of God,
>all the more becaause they are children of Abraham.
>Just as in some of our communitiues we said Kaddish two weeks ago for the
>people who were blown up in Tel Aviv, so we should say Kaddish for the three
>Palestinian women  killed by "nail bombs" fired by the Israeli Army. (See
>And at the same time, we -- the Jewish people -- should take our share of
>responsibility for creating the over-all context in which these deaths are
>happening.  I think it is the larger share, because the settler system, and
>the Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the Palestinian neighborhoods of
>East Jerusalem is at the root of the rage that fuels much of the violence.
>I am NOT saying that no Palestinian groups and institutions  are
>war-oriented. Even if the Occupation ended entirely, and all the settlements
>were withdrawn, Hamas might still try to shatter the peacemaking process. But
>many of the anti-Occupation actions by Palestinians  that the government of
>Israel and much of the official Jewish community treats as illegitimate, we
>would probably applaud if it were Israel that were under military occupation
>(by, say, Syria).
>The articles follow.
>Shalom, Arthur
>This article by Ben Lynfield
>appeared in the Christian Science Monitor:
>The damage spread widely in this tiny Palestinian community, as befits
>the Israeli weapon that killed three civilian women Saturday night and
>deepened the mistrust that is hanging over efforts to reach a durable
>Middle East cease-fire.
>The weapon was a tank shell packed with flachettes: small, deadly darts
>that spread out in an arc of dozens of meters with such force that they
>can penetrate concrete blocks.
>The use of the weapon in populated areas, which the Israeli human rights
>group B'Tselem says violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, highlights
>the continued risks faced by Palestinian civilians despite Israeli Prime
>Minister Ariel Sharon's declaration late last month of an Israeli
>Israeli army chief of staff Gen. Shaul Mofaz says that the deaths here
>were possibly the result of "a mistake in which they used the wrong
>range. It is night, it is dark, you are fired upon, and it is possible
>to make a mistake."
>The unabated mistrust and only partially reduced violence means that the
>contacts the two sides are maintaining through CIA Director George
>Tenet, currently visiting the region, have more to do with their
>relations with Washington than any inherent belief that a lasting
>cease-fire will actually come about.
>The two sides are far apart on
>Israel's demand that the Palestinian Authority re-arrest dozens of
>militants from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, which Israel holds
>responsible for bombing attacks and who were freed at the start of the
>uprising eight months ago. The PA is refusing to make the arrests.
>"If the Israelis are killing our people daily, are we supposed to make
>arrests?" asks Industry Minister Saadi Krunz. "What would we say to our
>people? Will the Israelis arrest the soldiers responsible for killing
>these women? Do they do anything to stop these killings?"
>Dore Gold, an adviser to Mr. Sharon, says that the arrests are the
>"litmus test" for a de-escalation. "We are working to help Tenet have
>his best shot to make the cease-fire work. And if it does not work, it
>will be because of [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat, not Tenet."
>According to a report published Sunday in Ha'aretz, flachette shells
>have been banned in the West Bank by Yitzhak Eitan, the local commander,
>because of the risk they pose to civilians.
>Here in al-Hadabe, near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim, blood-stained
>sheets were visible in the shack that housed Nasra Malalha, Samia
>Malalha, and Hekmat Malalha, the first fatalities since Mr. Arafat
>declared the cease-fire. Around the structure, 1-1/2 inch flachettes
>were stuck in a rock, wooden planks, a tree, and a television antenna.
>Muawiya Hassanein, the physician in charge of emergency services at Gaza
>City's Shifa Hospital, said: "There were more than a dozen nails in each
>one." Two other people were wounded by nails, he said.
>Dr. Hassanein said he first saw cases of flachette injuries in February
>and has offered treatment for them in four instances of Israeli shooting
>since then.
>The residents of al-Hadabe, bedouin refugees from what became southern
>Israel in 1948, raise livestock for a living. At least three animals,
>too, have been killed.
>B'Tselem staffer Lior Yavne says of the weapon: "The laws of war do not
>explicitly prohibit it, but when it is used in a populated area, it is
>the equivalent of indiscriminate fire. This is prohibited by the Fourth
>Geneva Convention."
>In the perception of Israeli leaders, flachettes are not the issue. The
>army yesterday said it would not comment on the types of weapons
>soldiers were using. Officials say that continued Palestinian mortar and
>shooting attacks, as well as the injury that led to the death yesterday
>of an infant son of Jewish settlers, fly in the face of Arafat's
>declaration of a cease-fire 10 days ago. The killing of the Malalhas,
>which is being investigated by the army, was touched off by Palestinian
>gunfire, they say.
>Sheikh Sueleiman Abu Abdul-Rahman, a mosque preacher in the southern
>Gaza city of Rafah, said while touring al-Hadabe that international
>observers are exactly what is needed. "What happened here was a big
>crime," he said.
>13 June 2001
>B'Tselem publishes new report on the
>Medical Implications of Israel's Siege Policy
>Military officials acknowledge that they intentionally obstruct access to
>medical care.
>"The IDF has procedures intended to ensure that emergency medical cases will
>be able to pass through the roadblocks, to process applications of residents
>of the areas to receive medical treatments in hospitals..."
>                 From the IDF's Spokesperson's response to
>B'Tselem's report, Civilians Under Siege
>Solider:  Want to go to the hospital? No chance. No chance.
>B'Tselem: No chance?
>Soldier:  Get in, turn around, and go back.
>B'Tselem: No chance at all?
>Soldier: What blabberers. Get in and turn around.
>                 B'Tselem fieldworker Hashem Abu Hassan,
>trying to enable Lutfiya Jaludi, 41, to cross a checkpoint to get dialysis
>treatment,   7 June 2001. Tape recording on file at B'Tselem
>B'Tselem published a report yesterday entitled, "No Way Out" on the
>detrimental affects on medical treatment of Israel's siege in the Occupied
>Territories. The report presents seven representative cases from the past
>few months, including soldiers who delayed ambulances transporting patients
>and an elderly woman from Jenin who was jolted about in what became a
>two-day trip to reach the hospital in Ramallah to undergo brain surgery.
>These cases, which are not uncommon, are an inevitable result of the nature
>of the siege and the manner in which it is implemented.
>Yedioth Ahronoth's  Internet edition in a June 12,
>2001 article that covered B'Tselem's release of "No Way Out," reports that
>senior military officials
>say that since the tightening of the closures in the Occupied Territories
>last Friday following the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, Israel has not
>allowed the passing of medical teams and ambulances from the northern parts
>of the West Bank to the southern parts.

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