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Israel Terrorizes Orphanages

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    SAVE ORPHANS FROM ISRAELI STATE TERROR April 24, 2008 Khalid Amayreh in Hebron http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2008/04/24/palestinian-islamists-
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 24, 2008
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      April 24, 2008
      Khalid Amayreh in Hebron

      Palestinian leaders and Christian peace activists as well as
      representatives of human rights organizations operating in the
      occupied Palestinian territories on Thursday made an impassioned
      appeal to "all men and women of conscience all over the world" to
      help stop Israeli army plans to close down and take over several
      orphanages and boarding schools sheltering thousands of orphans and
      impoverished students. Many of the orphans' parents had been killed
      by the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish terrorists, also known
      as "settlers."

      The appeal was made during a press conference at the main Girl
      Orphanage in downtown Hebron. The Israeli army has repeatedly raided
      the orphanages, boarding schools and affiliated institutions,
      vandalizing property, seizing food, cloths and shoes and confiscating
      several buses and cars.

      The Israeli army accuses the Islamic Charitable Society, the largest
      and oldest in occupied Palestine, of teaching school
      children "radical ideas."

      However, the Charity lawyer Muhammed Farrah dismisses the charges
      as "a big canard and a blatant lie."

      "We have challenged them to produce a shred of evidence proving their
      claims. And so far they have failed to prove any of their

      Art Arbor, a Christian Peace-maker Team (CPT) member spoke at the
      beginning of the press conference, saying he was pretty sure that
      Israeli charges against the Hebron Charity were "baseless."

      "As a former headmaster in Canada, I can say I have seen here some of
      the finest students and teachers anywhere, I have seen good teachers
      and good students fully engaged. Last week I attended an English
      class where teachers and students were having fun, I saw teachers who
      produce students who will act to make the world a better place.

      "But all this is threatened now. And I want to tell you that what the
      Israeli army is doing is not an assault on terror but an assault on
      innocent people who take care of each other.

      " In fact, it is the IDF that is engaging in terror and we are here
      to try to stop it."

      Taking the floor after Arbor was Nisreen Shawar, a local English
      teacher. She accused the Israeli state of waging "an all-out
      vindictive onslaught of smear, hate and vengeance against innocent
      Palestinians whose sole crime is their insistence on living and

      "We have been wrongfully accused of being terrorists and promoting
      terror. We are not terrorists, and we don't teach terror. We are
      actually doing what school teachers all over the world do, namely
      making children better people for a better future. We teach kids to
      be kind, to tell the truth, to be mentally alert, physical sound and
      morally straight. We teach kids the same subjects taught anywhere in
      the world."

      Shawar compared the "terror canard against the Palestinians with the
      blood libel against Jews in Europe during the Middle ages."

      "The only difference is that these canards are now made by Jews in
      order to justify Israel's slow-motion genocide against our people."

      Nago Humbert, Head of the Swiss Medecins du Mond Agency, lashed out
      at the immense brutality and savagery being inflicted on the
      Palestinian people by the Israeli state and army.

      "Closure of schools, storming orphanages in the dead of night,
      destroying bakeries, confiscating food and clothes, throwing orphan
      kids onto the streetÂ…What is happening here? What is the lasting
      image Israel is going to leave in the minds of these kids when they
      grow up?"

      Humbert, who spoke in French, said he couldn't really understand what
      the Israeli army's ultimate goal by acting in this manner."

      "How can we teach Palestinian children non-violence when Israel is
      doing to them all this, when Israeli soldiers are throwing kids from
      their orphanages onto the streets. Israel is destroying all our

      Paul Rehm, an American Christian peace activist from New York
      described the callousness inherent in the Israeli army's assault on
      Hebron's orphanages and other charitable institutions.

      "How can we really relate to these callous acts, confiscating school
      buses, raiding orphanages and terrorizing innocent children?,"

      Rehm quoted Martin Niemoller, the famous Nazi-era German priest, who
      lamented the German people's silence in the face of the enormous
      atrocities the Third Reich committed in the course of the Second
      World War.

      "When the Nazis came for the Communists, I remained silent; after all
      I was not a Communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I
      remained silent; after all I was not a social democrat. When they
      came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; after all I was
      not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I
      didn't speak out; after all I was not a trade unionist. When they
      came for me, there was no one left to speak out."

      Two representatives from President Jimmy "Carter's Center" in
      Ramallah also showed up at the press conference and one of them
      delivered a statement from the former US President.

      The statement urged the Israeli government to rescind military orders
      to shut down and expropriate school buildings, orphanages and
      supporting businesses.

      Far from being fazed by nonviolent protests against its draconian
      measures in Hebron, the Israeli army last week stormed a bakery owned
      by the Islamic Charitable Society, seizing ovens and other equipments
      used to provide bread for thousands of orphans and needy students.

      The occupation army also raided and weld-sealed a cloth-making
      facility employing grown-up orphan girls. Israeli soldiers reportedly
      warned the girls that they would be jailed for up to six years if
      they didn't heed orders to leave the small cloth factory.

      Palestinian leaders in Hebron have accused the Israeli state
      of "resorting to a dirty game whereby all they have to do to wreck a
      given Palestinian institution is to invoke the name of Hamas."

      "It is enough to claim that a given institution is associated with
      Hamas to destroy that institution. This is very much like Nazi
      Germany behaved toward political opponents prior to the Second World
      War," said Muhammed Hirbawi, a Hebron civic leader.

      Hirbawi said the Israeli occupation army was acting as a policeman, a
      plaintiff, a General Prosecutor and a judge combined.

      "This shows that non-Jews can't really obtain justice under the
      Israeli justice system. This is why the Palestinians need a third
      party to protect them from Israel's wanton criminality."

      The Israeli army has not given really convincing reasons for its
      brutal onslaught against the Hebron charities. However, Israeli
      officials are saying privately at least that Israel is doing what the
      Western-backed Palestinian Authority wants.

      Last month, an Israeli government official was quoted by the Israeli
      radio as saying that "what we are doing in Hebron is in the interest
      of (PA Chairman Mahmoud) Abbas."

      The PA denies any connivance with Israel against the Hebron charities.



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