Socialist Worker

Arab voice from Haifa: keep looking to Beirut and Gaza not to Haifa

Ameer Makhoul, director of Ittijah, the Union of Arab Community Based Associations in Haifa, Israel, has issued a letter urging people not to be fooled into believing that attacks on Haifa are equivalent to Israel's assault on Lebanon and Gaza

Issue No. 2011

Haifa, July 19, 2006

Dear friend,

Thanks to everyone who contacted Ittijah to ask if we are safe as we are based in Haifa. It’s very encouraging. It shows again what friends are for.

Me, my colleagues and our families are safe and will take care to ourselves, but PLEASE keep one eye on to the great crime of the terror state of Israel in Lebanon. With the other eye look at the ongoing destruction of Gaza.

Keep your ears aware of two voices. With one ear listen to Tel Aviv where Israel makes decisions about war and destruction, while the other listens to the voices of the victims in Beirut, south Lebanon and Gaza.

This is not a war - it’s Israeli aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity. On 16 July the Israeli Chief of Staff declared with a big smile, “The southern neighbourhood of Beirut (Al-DaHiya) doesn’t exist any more”.

Some 81 percent of Israeli public opinion is urging the government to continue and to escalate the aggression.

The state of Israel behaves as a terrorist entity. The Israeli government and media are well satisfied with the support and understanding they get from the international community. The Chief of Staff perceived this support as a green light to continue with the destruction of Lebanon.

What about guilt? The whole world shares the guilt. Lebanon is being totally destroyed - with ethnic cleansing, war crimes and acts of “mini” genocide - with the total support of the US, while the European Union is silent and understanding. On 17 July British prime minister Tony Blair even declared the need to send international forces in order to protect Israel's northern border!

International legitimacy is something Israel has never seriously committed to. It has become a tool, which is abused by Israel to justify their crimes. It is abused in order to oblige the Palestinians and Lebanese to conform to the requirements of US-Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

I urge all of you not to accept the Israeli narrative, which is trying to give one view of the war. The media coverage that shows a balance between Beirut and Haifa ends up supporting the Israeli aggression. The Israeli foreign ministry and media strategy is to focus the international media on Haifa, not on Beirut and not on Gaza. This is the attempt to oblige the whole world to look through Israeli glasses.

I also want to make clear that we, the Palestinian citizens of Israel, reject the Israeli propaganda, which is trying to say that we are in the same boat. We are not.

We are not part of the Israeli total public support for the Israeli war. We are not part of the Israeli media that adopted the role of a military vehicle.

We are not victims of the Lebanese resistance to Israeli aggression, but victims of Israel, which is putting us at risk all the time by both its internal and external policies.

We are part of the Arab peoples and specifically the Palestinian people - our people are suffering the Israeli aggression in both Gaza and the refugee camps in Lebanon. This is our ‘boat’, and our hearts are there these days, not in Haifa where we based.

So, please keep asking about our safety it’s important for us and for you, but the most important is to keep raising your eyes to Beirut, South Lebanon and Gaza, and decide what you can do to stop the Israeli crime.

Sincerely

Ameer Makhoul
Director
Ittijah – Union of Arab Community Based Associations
(UN ECOSOC Special consultative status)
PO Box 9577
Haifa 31095

Tel: +972 4 850 7110
Fax: +972 4 850 7241
Mobile: +972 54 4862 171
Website: www.ittijah.org

This letter posted at: http://samidoun.blogspot.com/2006/07/message-from-haifa.html


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