Saturday, February 21, 2009

Comment Of The Week

HoiHa said...

Graf Sampras - I get where you are comming from (I may not agree but I understand it).

However, I have a problem with the way Dubai handled this. If they had wanted to make a political and/or human rights statement, so be it. But, IMHO, the essence of making such a decision is to do so while ACCEPTING the consequences of standing up for that principle.

While what happened in Gaza occurred after they had agreed to host the event, there nonetheless was sufficient time following Gaza for Dubai to stand up and say they would not be allowing Israeli players' visas. Had they done that, then the onus would have been on the WTA and the ATP to make the decision as to whether to move the event out of Dubai or to take some other action.

The problem is Dubai did not do this - they tried to have their cake and to eat it too, if you will. This is not principled action IMHO. When Ghandi and Martin Luther King acted, they did so having accepted the fact that their actions for the greater good would mean they would have to accept the consequences of those actions which, for them and many of their followers, meant jail and imprisonment.

That is principle. That is standing up for what you believe at any cost.

Dubai further undermined it's position by granting Ram a visa - for if they were standing on principle and were really uniting behind the "Hamas" cause, then they would have been willing to accept the consequences that they would have faced from the ATP tour.

Sorry if that offends but it's really how I see it. We are entitled to stand up for rights we believe in but we lose credibility when we are not willing to accept the consequences that taking such an action entails.

Post: The Final Verdict


b said...

HoiHa - I'm not sure that anyone on this board, including Graf_Sampras, agrees that the manner in which Peer was supposedly banned was appropriate. If the country indeed has a policy on granting visas to Israelis they should have made it clear.... last year....

Some of us are upset because the West is reacting as if there is no legitimate reason for this ban.

If Dubai really wants to make a statement and principled stand, they'll announce in the near future, that they are dropping the tournament unless xyz happens - money goes both ways and I think the WTA and ATP need the $$ more than they need the tourism and entertainment at the expense of the Palestinian children.

If it weren't for financial and political pressure there would still be apartheid in SA and (then) Rhodesia.

And I'm still sickened by the amnesia-induced statements of how "sports and politics don't mix".

This whole thing made me sick to my stomach. Both sides.

On the plus side, it was a fantastic tournament, though, the parts I caught online. Loved that the royals, esp the princess, came to give the trophies..... Was a great ceremony... (He was more covered than she was...)

Graf_sampras said...

WTA Tour - Dubai consider appealing fine

Eurosport - Sat, 21 Feb 15:51:00 2009

Organisers of the Dubai Championships will decide in the next few days whether to appeal the record $300,000 they have been fined by the WTA.
TENNIS Dubai - 0
More Stories

* Record fine for Dubai Championship
* Roddick withdraws from Dubai event

The punishment was given after Israeli Shahar Peer was barred from taking part in this week's tournament because she was denied a visa for the United Arab Emirates.

"There is an appeal situation if we want to use it, in the WTA rule book, but we have not gone into detail on it," Colm McLoughlin, managing director of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free, said.

"I recognise the WTA have an issue with their rules. We are looking at it (the fine) and will respond in a few days.

"When we assess it, if we decide we have to pay the fine then we will pay it. But we have not made that decision. We have to sit down and just look at it.

"Neither Dubai Duty Free nor the tournament issues visas. We request them. It is the immigration authorities and sometimes the security people who make the decisions."

The UAE, like most Arab countries has no diplomatic ties with Israel and routinely denies entry to its citizens.

Tensions have been heightened after the three-week Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, which killed 1,300 Palestinians and 14 Israelis.

The attack ended in January but caused anger in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Israel said it acted in defence of rocket attacks from the Gaza strip.

After international condemnation for excluding Peer the UAE on Thursday changed its policy of barring Israeli athletes.

Israeli doubles specialist Andy Ram was given special permission to compete in next week's men's tournament in Dubai, ensuring the event goes ahead as planned.

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Comment 1 - 15 of 15
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Actually it's WTA who made a politics out of­ sports. The Dubai organisers never refuse Israelis,­ it's the host nation that made the policy. Then,­ why the organiser has to bear punishment. It's WTA­ who is using sports to pressure the country.
From jakadurjana, on Sat 21 Feb 10:37PM
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I think all Israeli players should be banned from­ playing in any country not just Dubai ! A country that­ kills innocent women and children and destroys UN­ projects and has no value for human rights should not­ be encouraged to continue to do so .. In fact all free­ nations should boycott Israel and take a stance against­ its atrocities not just the UAE.
From mkhalifa2000, on Sat 21 Feb 9:20PM
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Sami Ridajal, HIV R.I.P. (2009) Son of a Prostitute.
From rc_alcock, on Sat 21 Feb 7:41PM
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Refusing to pay the fine will only lead to the whole­ tournament being removed from Dubai, so it won't­ happen.

By the way.
To all those urging death and­ destruction on Jews. Are you advocating the same policy­ against Sri Lankans. Far more civilians have died in­ the recent fighting there. Or are you just like that­ because you hate jews. The answer is obvious.
From big_davey_b, on Sat 21 Feb 6:37PM
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Dubai should not only banned all Jews from entering­ their country but all Jews should be shot on sight.
From samiridajal, on Sat 21 Feb 6:15PM
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Congrat`s to Venus !
From Igor K, on Sat 21 Feb 5:55PM
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Congratulations to Venus, I knew it was only Serena who­ could have stopped you, but when she couldn't, I­ realized that the TROPHY IS YOUR LIMIT. Keep it up.
From fidela244, on Sat 21 Feb 5:45PM
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Hey Serrannos I heard you'd died, what a shame will­ have to put my glass of champagne down...........
From rc_alcock, on Sat 21 Feb 5:30PM
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From serrannos, on Sat 21 Feb 5:07PM
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Hey, I'm an open minded girl from US, I'm­­ interested in exotic things, photography, dating and­­ sports...I have my photos on --- T a l l h u b Co m­­ ---, I love tall guys!
Do you love traveling and have­­ some experience? Just find me out.
From Dcs V, on Sat 21 Feb 5:05PM
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From serrannos, on Sat 21 Feb 4:22PM
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Appeal..... more like the Israeli tennis player who­ should appeal for a breach of their human rights...­ When all the other player from other countries gain­ entry without a hitch - to compete in a sporting­ competition...
This is a breach of human rights and a­ public show of prejudice... Thank heavens for the­ international condemnation of such actions....
Tis a­ sad world we live in...
From Cath W, on Sat 21 Feb 4:19PM
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with DUBAI holding all the purse strings, the WTA is­ utterly powerless to do anything about this other than­ to cry and issue angry sounding press releases.

other­ than the public relations battle, the WTA is virtually­ impotent in this debate.
From jay, on Sat 21 Feb 4:18PM
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Hope they don't pay the fine and get banned from­ holding tennis events in the future until Dubai "­ The gold plated turd " becomes­
From rc_alcock, on Sat 21 Feb 4:12PM
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Sports men and women are not above. if a country­ decides not to grant work permit it is up to them. This­ is not a question of sentiments regarding Shaha Peers.­ Appeal is justifie

Graf_sampras said...

players should not be excluded from games because of political reasons.

BUT REALITY informs "games".

WHEN will people realize or acknowledge that?

there is hypocrisy going on all over the place about how "injustice" was served to PEER "for being israeli"

while it is CLEAR that it stems from a political situation .

when people gather around the 'rules of the game" and it is a pretense to avoid looking at the very REAL connections about human societies and their activities -- such as a game of tennis.

it can NOT be isolated - anymore that SOME HERE - who take offense at this matter about peer -- because "tennis should not be politized" because the "offender" against "shahar" in tennis was dubai --

and YET some of the same people talk about how CHINA ought to be isolated or boycotted in GAMES because of a POLITICAL reason -- such as TIBET (where, for historical fact -- TIBET ALWAYS was part of china, buddhism or no -- AND CIA OPERATIONS for DECADES had encouraged tibet to "detach" -- again -- another of the WEstern intrusions into the affairs of nations elsewhere) .

as it is -- Dubai has actually responded, quite positively in changing its Immigration rules -- NOW making what is to the islamic world a RADICAL , REVOLUTIONARY change of accepting israelis

DESPITE ISRAEL's THEFT of palestinian land -0-- and oppression of palestinians.

WHERE is the outrage about THAT?

there is HYPOCRISY i see all over.

it is about the same as what is NOW EMERGING as the HYPOCRISY of OBAMA's ascendance to CONTINUE the BUSH TORTURE , "non-combatant enemies have no rights" IDIOCY. !!!

i am VERY disappointed at what is emerging as the USUAL western oriented double standards and hypocrisies.


welllllllllllll good for him.....!!

now because he BOYCOTTED Dubai "due to dubai's poltical mixing with tennis"


SINCE THAT IS THE CASE -- and the COVER is taken off...and the FAKE neutrality is unfolded.........


that UNDERPINS the ENTIRE shahar peer episode. !!

the hypocrisy abounds -- it is breathtaking to witness!

Graf_sampras said...

why doesn't the WTA hold a tournament IN ISRAEL -=- give it "MASTERS" level --

and then PUT THEIR MOUTH where their money is --

have ISRAEL accept ANY MUSLIM OR ARAB players -- give visas to people from SAUDI ARABIA to which israel does not give visas...

and THEN Place POSTERS all over the place about


since the WTA -- for upholding its "rules of neutrality for the sake of EQUALITY AND JUSTICE"

a political platform IN and of ITSELF....

is playing this game ...

THEN let us see them REALLY talk about JUSTICE !!!!

and point fingers at ISRAEL and what it REALLY does in palestine!

or better yet -- let RODDICK and PEER and BILLIE JEAN KING go and GIVE TENNIS CLINICS in Palestine and gaza and try to find a FLAT piece of court after israeli bulldozers passed!! to COVER UP the BOMBING craters

as a show of ISRAEL's CIVILITY --and let them hand their visas and IDs as "tennis players' to a CHECKPOINT GUARD who will wave them on -- in passage because "they are not terrorists" -- and her name happens to be

ARMY SARGEANT SHAHAR PEER -- holding a TENNIS RACQUET in her ARMY KNAPSACK ready for a game of tennis in between BOMBINGs and kicking down of palestinian homes with cowering children !

the hypocrisy is breathtaking in its depth and sophistication...amazing.

Graf_sampras said...

if anything -- as the WTA HAS taken a political stand by insisting to DUBAI to honor the "equality rules" -- which is correct in and of itself -- because it stand for what these same rules derive from -- human dignity and justice --

SO HAS DUBAI taken a political stance - by excluding peer -

and YET dubai has also taken a change of stance in , just today, changing its immigration rules.

BUT NONE OF THOSE THAT SPEAK about the injustice from Dubai towards peer

speak or wish to confront

the REASON WHY dubai had a standing policy against israelis...whether dubai applies them incoherently or inconsistently is beside the point.

and THAT REASON is -- on AT LEAST equal political footing, indeed, FAR MORE consequential on a day to day basis because of VERY REAL suffering inflicted upon an ENTIRE PEOPLE

by a STATE that was created THROUGH THEFT, and even begun by SELF_ADMITTED TERRORISTS like David Ben Gurion and the Stern Gang and others

who practiced TERROR upon palestinians to wrest palestinian land away...and CONTINUE THESE practices today as a STATE TERROR.

now -- i ask those that take so much umbrage at this treatment of Peer by DUBAI because "dubai mixed politices and tennis" ...........

where WERE YOU while every minute of the least 50 years of israel's existence

the PALESTINIANS were classified by israelis as half human in order to justify the THEFT of land and their subjugation?

you are perhaps calling YOURSELVES

"stand ups" for JUSTICe and the 'american way"?

don't make me laugh!

because you FIT exactly what an american poet had said -- whether it applies to americans or others:

"we americans -- CAREFULLY nurture an attitude of studied, detached indifference to the suffering of others...even if WE are the cause of it".

THIS is a case of a "carefully nurtured attitude" of trying to DETACH oneself from the palestinian suffering UNDER ISRAEL the THIEF --

by USING the SORRY excuse of "one must not mix politics and tennis like dubai did"

because it FREES people's consciences froM REALLY confronting NOT ONLY what is the REAL reason and SOURCE of the reaction by DUBAI to israelis -- the oppression of palestinians ...but frees people from confronting THEIR own consciences that are by their own positions reflective of HARDLY being

infused with TRUTH and justice! because things happen to involve entities - israel - WTA, USA west oriented worldviews --

that are REFLECTED in the OPPRESSION BY israel of the palestinians - whose LAND they STOLE!

what does THAT say about people then?

they wish to shed tears about some israeli SOLDIER being denied a visa to play tennis --

and then don't have the GUTS to look at WHY -- and that WHY is :

the DEAD , Suffering, maimed palestinians -- who fight for their own dignity as a people --


one might as well say:>

the native american indians have NO rights whatsoever to claim anything concerning the land that was stolen from them by the white man.

because: as in israel , it also goes in the USA......


even if it is NOT right!

Graf_sampras said...

as Mahatma Gandhi said - while watching how the ZIONISTS "created" the State of Israel , first by TERROR and BOMBINGS of hotels and embassies in palestine - and then forcing the british to ensure that "the PALESTINE MANDATE" would INCLUDE the DISPOSSESSIOn of palestinians -- or else there would be MORE terror -

"THe europeans who came to palestine should have stayed in europe ..." ad he was vilified for it - because it showed he was "cold" towards israelis.

but NO - he SAW that the EVIL perpetrated against europeans that called thesmelves JEWS (hell -- not even ALL native "jewish" israelis in palestine actually BELIEVE those europeans are real jews - and these , minorities today, are called "SABRA" or "Desert flower") --

was a great injustice that did not become corrected by perpetrating ANOTHER injustice upon others - such as the palestinians.

Graf_sampras said...

Graf_sampras said...

Dr. Norman Finkelstein answers questions from the audience following his talk at the University of Alberta on January 22, 2009.

Controversial scholar slams Israeli 'massacre' of Gaza civilians

01.23.2009 | Express News

By Geoff McMaster

January 23, 2009 - Edmonton-Israel's attack on Gaza had little to do with self-defense and everything to do with instilling fear among Palestinian people, says political scientist Norman Finkelstein.

Invited to speak on campus by the Edmonton chapter of the Palestine Solidarity Network, Finkelstein accused Israel of deliberately killing Gaza civilians in order to cement their control over the occupied territory.

He said the incursion was only the latest in a more than 60-year history of "terrorizing the Arab world periodically into submission, and reminding them who is in charge in the Middle East."

Following its defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, Israel was waiting for an opportunity to seek revenge, Finkelstein claimed. It turned to Gaza when "the feebly armed resistance, Hamas, had defiantly resisted Israeli dictate.

"As Israel targeted schools, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, UN sanctuaries... and slaughtered and incinerated Gaza's defenseless civilian population, Israeli commentators gloated that Gaza was to Lebanon as a second sitting for an exam is to the first: a second chance to get it right.

"There's no pretense here that this war had anything to do with rocket attacks-it's about getting it right," and restoring Israel's "deterrence capacity" he said, adding that Hamas fired rockets into Israel only after Israel broke a ceasefire agreement and killed seven militants.

The son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein received his doctorate at Princeton University in 1988 and has since been a fervent and controversial critic of Israeli aggression in Palestine. In five books, including The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering and Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, he has attacked what he sees as the Israeli/U.S. propaganda machine.

Along the way, his polemical style has alienated many commentators on the Middle East, among them the pro-Israeli author and lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has charged that he is "guilty of various forms of intellectual dishonesty" and that his "entire literary catalogue is one preposterous and discredited ad hominem attack after another." Finkelstein's supporters include the prominent political dissident Noam Chomsky.

Finkelstein has held a number of academic appointments but was last year denied tenure at DePaul University in Chicago, some contend because of the controversial nature of his work. He is now an independent scholar and active public intellectual.

Some 400 people crowded into Dinwoodie Lounge in the Students Union Building Thursday to hear him speak. He had intended to discuss the non-violent example of Mahatma Gandhi in resolving the Middle East conflict but decided to change his topic at the last minute because of the crisis in Gaza.

Even before the Gaza invasion, he said, Israel had "starved the population" and "reduced it to abject despair" through a long-standing blockade. When United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, visited Gaza, she reported having witnessed "a civilization being destroyed," he said.

In December Israel sent in the full weight of its military arsenal, achieving a kill ratio of 100 to one, said Finkelstein. More than 1,300 Gaza civilians were killed in the conflict, one third of them children, according to the latest figures from the United Nations. Last Sunday Israel and Gaza's Hamas leaders reached a ceasefire agreement.

In addition to terrorizing the population, Israel was also intent on discrediting Hamas, who had signaled it was ready to agree on a resolution to end the conflict, said Finkelstein.

The international community-including the vast majority of the United Nations Assembly, the International Court of Justice, and a number of prominent human rights organizations-supports a two-state solution, he said, involving a full withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories to pre-1967 borders and a provision to properly take care of refugees.

"There can't be a worse disaster for Israel, because Israel wants to keep the West Bank, and always needs someone who it can claim doesn't want to negotiate. So it pulled Hamas out of the hat, and now Hamas won't co-operate, it wants to settle," said Finkelstein.

He accused Canadian political leaders of unwittingly helping to bring about the demise of Israel by supporting its disregard of the rule of law.

"If Israel continues on this path, there can't be any doubt that it will be destroyed," said Finkelstein. By endorsing an unjust war against civilians, "Harper, Ignatieff and the rest support putting Israel in a path where it can't possibly survive much longer. And when that destruction comes to pass, the blood will be on their filthy, filthy hands."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has consistently blamed Hamas for the provoking the Israeli attack on Gaza, and two weeks ago Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff agreed that Israel was justified in taking action to defend itself.

Finkelstein also derided the "absolutely ghastly press and media" in Canada, singling out the Globe and Mail, for their pro-Israeli bias.

Nonetheless, he said, "this massacre was the last time Israel will get a free ride. People now know too much, the myths have been dispelled and the truth is out there. People are appalled and disgusted at the state which has become in some sense Satanic in its constant, incessant desire to wage war, war and more war."

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Graf_sampras said...

written by a palestinian blogger makes sense:


The way to end racial conflict in the American South was not for Rosa Parks and blacks to give up their rights to the front of the bus and ‘let everyone live in peace’, but by ending the system that denies someone the right to sit in a certain part of a bus depending on their skin color. Similarly, peace in Palestine will not come when Palestinians give up their right to own a piece of land because of the religion to which they were born; but rather, when we abolish the system that assigns plots of lands, houses and villages to people based on what version of god they believe in.

I will never consider there to be peace in Palestine so long as I can visit my grandfather’s house in Atteel and look a few kilometers west to see my land that I can not visit, own, or sell. The day I can reclaim that land, I will visit it once, savor the feeling, and the very next day, I’ll sell my share of it to the highest bidder regardless of their religion, race or ethnicity, and donate the money to an educational institute that will teach the children of Palestine, regardless of their religion, race or ethnicity about the importance of equality and justice, about Rosa Parks, and about how peace could never be achieved on the basis of racist exclusion, whether it be from the front of a bus or from an orange grove.

Graf_sampras said...

"when a man kills -- he is called a murderer...when a group is called a terrorist group....when the STATE kills...and in war. it is called NOBLE".

"what does it matter to the women , the children, the old and sick, ....that they die or suffer from a bayonet or the atom bomb? or that they suffer and die in the name of communism, liberation, or the holy name of democracy? they are still dead"....

mahatma gandhi.

Graf_sampras said...

i remembered something from History...something that is not COMMONLY known or understood or "accepted" in america especially..:

and it has a similarity to what israel does in palestine -- that the Jewish Scholar Finkelstein talked about: that israel intentionally ...SQUEEZES palestinians into "Abject" positions to show who's boss:

and that somethingfrom history is this (i repeat it is NOT something that even surfaces in american language :

did you know that in the FIRST world war -- when germany was becoming a prosperous nation for its generally more socialist economy -- and becoming a rival to the British empire and its "partner and soon-to-be rival" across the ocean - USA --

the USA and ENGLAND conspired to SQUEEZE germany economically - throught naval blockades without ANY provocation from germany?

it was done SIMPLY to DESTROY germany's economy.

RESULT? a depression arrived in germany....

it went on and on and on - the war was ended - (which was actually escalated by the participation of the USA under president Wilson) -

and germany tried to recover -- from the assault which actually began as an 'economic sanction' -- the SAME tactic the USA and england USE TODAY against "chosen threats"....

but the CONSEQUENCE of the ORIGINAL "economic war" with naval blockade in the northern coasts of germany that basically closed her off from trade until her economy couldn't bear the effect ....

was - the humiliated german people , EVENTUALLY HARDENED their position -- and .....feeding on the continuing depression and recession (a LOT of which also began from the monetary shenanigans by the bankers of england and USA -- just like in today's implosions globally) --

WHO COMES TO POWER in a situation like that?


named Adolf Hitler.

WHO were some of the people HE blamed?

the ROTHSCHILDS -- the greatest bankers of their times -- jews...

and so -- the world war number 2 began....

BUT -- WHO CREATED THE CONDITIONS many years before that?

you all now know the answer.

if you want to CHECK - go ahead, STUDY HISTORY, the history of economics, monetarism, the gold standard, the pound sterling, the dollar as incipient world hegemon -- and \

realize that BEHIND the great horror and tragedy of the holocaust and world WARs 1 - 2 -

like today ....

were WARS FOR MONEY.....and domination of countries by

in PARTICULAR -- TWO countries..........

england and when HER empire collapsed in banktruptcy from world war 2 -- handed over to the USA. ...and where the
REAL WAR -- behind those tragedies on human lives --

was a WAR FOR CURRENCY dominance waged BY the united states against the entire world .

you don't believe me?

go and check online, then

ask yourselves WHY one of the legendary US generals --

GENERAL SMEDLEY BUTLER in those years between the wars - said THIS:

"AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY HAS ALWAYS BEEN GEARED TOWARDS GATHERING AS MUCH OF THE WORLD'S RESOURCES UNTO OURSELVES AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER NATIONS...the true purpose of our Military is to make the world safe for Capitalism and our economic and cultural has nothing to do with democracy, freedom, or is about doing the will of our Big Money, Big Banks, big Finance, Big Corporations, our Chamber of Commerce...the US military is its BIG muscle, they have their "brains" -- people who do the planning and indentifying and deciding which are going to be our enemies and be destroyed -- I was its CHIEF enforcer...tne trouble with americans is:

we get nervous whenever our Dollar can not buy 6 percent at we get nervouos and we want the dollar to buy 100 percent abroad....and where the dollar goes...the flag follows..where the flag goes.....our Military Follows...WAR is a RACKET by the MONEYED CLASS.".

Graf_sampras said...

Peer pressure for Israeli player

Peer in action against Barbara Strycova at the ASB Classic in NZ [GALLO/GETTY]
Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer has rejected calls for her withdrawal from the ASB Classic tennis tournament over Israel's invasion of Gaza, saying she can take no responsibility for her nation's military action.

A New Zealand protest group said it had written to Peer asking her to withdraw from the WTA tournament as part of a comprehensive international boycott of Israel.

The group, Peace and Justice Auckland, said it had received no reply from Peer and would protest outside the tournament venue on Thursday when the fifth-seeded player was scheduled to play a quarterfinals match.

Boycott request

"On the eve of the tournament last Sunday evening we wrote to Shahar requesting she respect international calls for a comprehensive boycott of Israel and withdraw from the tournament," protest leader John Minto said in a statement.

Peer was provided with extra security as she played a second round match on
Wednesday, beating Barbora Zahlavova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

She later told journalists she could do nothing about the politics of the Middle East.

"I have nothing to do with this," she said.

"I'm Shahar Peer. I came here to play tennis.

"I know I'm from Israel and I'm proud of my country and that playing tennis is what I'm going to do tomorrow."

Peer, 21, said she had tried to ignore the events in Gaza but her own brother, a military reservist, had been called up.

Right to protest

"Two days ago, I was crying a bit, actually more than a bit, so it was a hard time for me," she said.

"I hope as soon as possible it will end and we will all be happy, because no one wants to be in a war."

Peer said she had never previously been the focus of protests and had even been the first Israeli to play in the Muslim country of Doha, Qatar, where she was warmly received.

She said the protesters had the right to express their view.

"It's their choice and they are choosing what they want to do," she said.

Peace and Justice Auckland said their letter to Peer highlighted the attacks and invasion of Gaza by the Israeli army and the heavy death toll of Palestinians.

"The sports boycott of Israel is a key part of any boycott campaign because it is much more visible than a trade or investment boycott and can have an important psychological impact," Minto said.

"We saw this with the successful sports boycotts against apartheid South Africa which had a big impact in South Africa and around the world."

Graf_sampras said...

Comment: UAE right to ban Peer
By Steve Kaless

Bigger issues are at stake n Dubai [GALLO/GETTY]
The next time a group of athletes from Palestine are prevented from representing their country at an international tournament because they cannot negotiate the roadblocks perhaps they should reason with the machine gun ladened Israeli guards that "To discriminate against one player in this way smacks of bigotry and racism."

This was a line in the statement from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations in relation the to Shahar Peer debate, which is currently raging in the world of tennis.

But the UAE are well within their rights to deny Peer a visa, perhaps the only failing is that it isn't part of a more global approach.

In the aftermath of Israel's attack on Gaza, author Naomi Klein called on an international boycott of Israel over the continuing policy and treatment of those living in Palestine.

A boycott of all sporting teams and individuals should be part of that boycott.

It is often argued that politics should be kept out of sport, but this is naïve to say the least.

It is a cliché used to approve the skimming over of a country's human rights record in order to enjoy the economic benefits of sport, for example the Beijing Olympics.

Make no mistake; politics and sport have long been convenient bedfellows.

To argue for the end of politics and sport would be a call for the end of the Olympic movement as well as all government funding of sports, as these decisions are always made on political grounds as well as sporting ones.

Somewhat predictably America has gotten involved with two politicians, Shelley Berkley and Eliot Engel, writing to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

They wrote "we hope you will not repeat this unfortunate decision, and in the future will allow Israeli athletes and those of other peaceful nations entry into your country without bias."

Other peaceful countries? It would be hard work to name a country that isn't peaceful if Israel is allowed onto the list.

And I wonder how easy it would be for a group of tennis players from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine to get into the United States these days.

It is also encouraging that finally the Palestine issue is gaining proper support from other Arabic countries who in the past have been too silent in their condemnation of Israel in order to remain on the right side of the United States.

But the political and economic clout of the region's countries is growing and with that growth should come the confidence to stand up for issues they believe in rather than simply falling into line on orders from a foreign power.

While a boycott of Israeli goods such as the BIG campaign may have direct economic results, if this episode proves anything it is that a sporting boycott is certainly capable of keeping the issue in the headlines and therefore the public consciousness.

The most public display of the boycott against the South African apartheid regime was the sporting ban of teams playing against South African sides.

It may have had only a minimal impact on the day to day lives of people in the country's shanty towns, but it was certainly a vehicle of change.

The same can be said here, stopping Peer from playing in Dubai won't bring back any of the 1,200 dead that were killed by Israeli bombs in the last conflict but it is a message to Israel that it can no longer act with impunity on the international stage.

The UAE were right, I only hope other countries can show the same amount of courage.

Graf_sampras said...

Shahar Peer:

"I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE for M government's decisions"....

oh? a citizen is not responsible for what her country DOES? wow. then why say: "I am PROUD of my country?"


however a Fellow Female Jew sees it differently :


Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president's chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hizbullah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith. At a glance, things aren't going well for Israel. But here's a puzzle: why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it's 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China's?

Thomas Friedman recently offered his theory in the New York Times. Israel "nurtures and rewards individual imagination", and so its people are constantly spawning ingenious hi-tech start-ups, no matter what messes their politicians are making. After perusing class projects by students in engineering and computer science at Ben-Gurion University, Friedman made one of his famous fake-sense pronouncements. Israel "had discovered oil". This oil, apparently, is located in the minds of Israel's "young innovators and venture capitalists", who are too busy making megadeals with Google to be held back by politics.

Here's another theory. Israel's economy isn't booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it. This phase of development dates back to the mid-90s, when the country was in the vanguard of the information revolution - the most tech-dependent economy in the world. After the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, Israel's economy was devastated, facing its worst year since 1953. Then came 9/11, and suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack, and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners.

Within three years, large parts of Israel's tech economy had been radically repurposed. Put in Friedmanesque terms, Israel went from inventing the networking tools of the "flat world" to selling fences to an apartheid planet. Many of the country's most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of 24-hour-a-day showroom, a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war. And the reason Israel is now enjoying supergrowth is that those companies are busily exporting that model to the world.

Discussions of Israel's military trade usually focus on the flow of weapons into the country - US-made Caterpillar bulldozers used to destroy homes in the West Bank, and British companies supplying parts for F-16s. Overlooked is Israel's huge and expanding export business. Israel now sends $1.2bn in "defence" products to the United States - up dramatically from $270m in 1999. In 2006, Israel exported $3.4bn in defence products - well over a billion more than it received in American military aid. That makes Israel the fourth largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain.

Much of this growth has been in the so-called homeland security sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2bn, an increase of 20%. The key products and services are hi-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems - precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories.

And that is why the chaos in Gaza and the rest of the region doesn't threaten the bottom line in Tel Aviv, and may actually boost it. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the "global war on terror".

It's no coincidence that the class projects at Ben-Gurion that so impressed Friedman have names like Innovative Covariance Matrix for Point Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images, and Algorithms for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance. Thirty homeland security companies have been launched in Israel during the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country's universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups - something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott.

Next week, the most established of these companies will travel to Europe for the Paris Air Show, the arms industry's equivalent of Fashion Week. One of the Israeli companies exhibiting is Suspect Detection Systems (SDS), which will be showcasing its Cogito1002, a white, sci-fi-looking security kiosk that asks air travellers to answer a series of computer-generated questions, tailored to their country of origin, while they hold their hand on a "biofeedback" sensor. The device reads the body's reactions to the questions, and certain responses flag the passenger as "suspect".

Like hundreds of other Israeli security start-ups, SDS boasts that it was founded by veterans of Israel's secret police and that its products were road-tested on Palestinians. Not only has the company tried out the biofeedback terminals at a West Bank checkpoint, it claims the "concept is supported and enhanced by knowledge acquired and assimilated from the analysis of thousands of case studies related to suicide bombers in Israel".

Another star of the Paris Air Show will be Israeli defence giant Elbit, which plans to showcase its Hermes 450 and 900 unmanned air vehicles. As recently as last month, according to press reports, Israel used the drones on bombing missions in Gaza. Once tested in the territories, they are exported abroad: the Hermes has already been used at the Arizona-Mexico border; Cogito1002 terminals are being auditioned at an unnamed American airport; and Elbit - also one of the companies behind Israel's "security barrier" - has set up a deal with Boeing to construct the Department of Homeland Security's $2.5bn "virtual" border fence around the US.

Since Israel began its policy of sealing off the occupied territories with checkpoints and walls, human rights activists have often compared Gaza and the West Bank to open-air prisons. But in researching the explosion of Israel's homeland security sector, a topic explored in greater detail in my forthcoming book, it strikes me that they are something else too: laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested. Palestinians - whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling Hamastan - are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.

So in a way Friedman is right, Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn't the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target "suspects". And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource.

· Naomi Klein's new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, will be published later this year by Picador; a version of this article appears in the Nation, and

Graf_sampras said...

This article is from a jewish site:

"ASHKENAZIM" (jews of ashkenaz extraction - i.e- eastern european - polish, romanians, etc.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It is Just to Boycott Shahar Peer
By Will

I want to add a more forceful argument after Abou Mack's post on this subject. While he has doubt about a sports boycott, I am fully supportive, in principle and in this case in particular.

1. The star tennis player joined the Israeli military in 2005 and went through basic training.

2. Her induction was used for PR purposes by the military.

3. She served in the "IDF program for outstanding athletes."

4. The Israeli military is a belligerent occupying force that has violated international law consistently in various forms since its inception.

5. By willingly serving and putting hr public image to the military's use, she abetted violations of international law.

6. The Israeli military recently killed more than 1000 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilians.

7. There is an active, organized boycott movement that makes clear demands and is part of a political program. It was launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

8. She has shown no understanding for why people would be angry to see a former IDF soldier after the Gaza offensive. Her statement claims she is a victim of discrimination. She has not made any comment regarding the immobility of Palestinian athletes living under the occupation forces she served for.

She also claimed it is an "injustice," without any sense of irony for what upsets people about seeing her play -- to call missing a tennis tournament after the massacre perpetrated by the military she served perpetrated is a farce.

This is the kind of rank hypocrisy boycott movements MUST be directed towards -- this is the double standard that privileges Israel over the Palestinians and maintains its cruel occupation, dispossession, and robbery of them.


The Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships is not boycotting her directly, rather her visa was denied on "security" grounds and to avoid a boycott by Arab viewers. Companies in the Arab world must be pressured directly and forcefully to boycott Israel. The people of Dubai should also pressure the government to deny Lev Leviev a license to do business there.

Israel has not yet earned normalization and the people of the region must do everything it can to deny it to them. Until Palestinians have the same freedoms and rights as Israelis, they do not deserve a place in international events.

Finally, those who think politics are disconnected from sports are nuts. If Peer was raised in a refugee camp in Gaza under Israeli occupation and siege, she would never have the chance to achieve her level of skill in tennis. And this argument is ahistorical, read Dave Zirin to see how they are suffused together historically. Patriotism runs through almost all sporting contests; American presidents through the first pitch of baseball games; Jesse Ownens' gold in the 1936 Olympics was important as a rebuke to Nazism; sports diplomacy between countries is extremely common; the United States and some allies boycotted the 1980 Olympics, and so on. This is a naive and silly counter-argument.

Graf_sampras said...

Ethnic Ashkenazim Against Zionist Israel

This website and the associated organization of the same name have the mission of providing Jews and non-Jews with the intellectual tools to stand up to Zionist intimidation and manipulation.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
KABOBfest: It is Just to Boycott Shahar Peer
KABOBfest: It is Just to Boycott Shahar Peer explains in simple and straightforward language why all decent human beings should support the boycott of Israeli athletes.
Sharon Peer in Jewish Nazi Military Uniform

The USHMM web site points out in The Movement to Boycott the German Berlin Olympics of 1936 that the American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee supported a boycott of the German Nazi games.

Jews that would have supported a boycott of the German Nazi Olympics are hypocrites to reject a boycott of Jewish Nazi athletes today.

Graf_sampras said...



Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction
by Naomi Klein, The Nation, January 7, 2009

It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.

In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era." The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions—BDS for short—was born.

Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause, and talk of cease-fires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is even emerging among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. It calls for "the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions" and draws a clear parallel with the antiapartheid struggle. "The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves.… This international backing must stop."

Yet even in the face of these clear calls, many of us still can't go there. The reasons are complex, emotional and understandable. And they simply aren't good enough. Economic sanctions are the most effective tools in the nonviolent arsenal. Surrendering them verges on active complicity. Here are the top four objections to the BDS strategy, followed by counterarguments.

1. Punitive measures will alienate rather than persuade Israelis. The world has tried what used to be called "constructive engagement." It has failed utterly. Since 2006 Israel has been steadily escalating its criminality: expanding settlements, launching an outrageous war against Lebanon and imposing collective punishment on Gaza through the brutal blockade. Despite this escalation, Israel has not faced punitive measures—quite the opposite. The weapons and $3 billion in annual aid that the US sends to Israel is only the beginning. Throughout this key period, Israel has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in its diplomatic, cultural and trade relations with a variety of other allies. For instance, in 2007 Israel became the first non–Latin American country to sign a free-trade deal with Mercosur. In the first nine months of 2008, Israeli exports to Canada went up 45 percent. A new trade deal with the European Union is set to double Israel's exports of processed food. And on December 8, European ministers "upgraded" the EU-Israel Association Agreement, a reward long sought by Jerusalem.

It is in this context that Israeli leaders started their latest war: confident they would face no meaningful costs. It is remarkable that over seven days of wartime trading, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's flagship index actually went up 10.7 percent. When carrots don't work, sticks are needed.

2. Israel is not South Africa. Of course it isn't. The relevance of the South African model is that it proves that BDS tactics can be effective when weaker measures (protests, petitions, back-room lobbying) have failed. And there are indeed deeply distressing echoes of South African apartheid in the occupied territories: the color-coded IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the settler-only roads. Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician, said that the architecture of segregation that he saw in the West Bank and Gaza was "infinitely worse than apartheid." That was in 2007, before Israel began its full-scale war against the open-air prison that is Gaza.

3. Why single out Israel when the United States, Britain and other Western countries do the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan? Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against Israel is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work.

4. Boycotts sever communication; we need more dialogue, not less. This one I'll answer with a personal story. For eight years, my books have been published in Israel by a commercial house called Babel. But when I published The Shock Doctrine, I wanted to respect the boycott. On the advice of BDS activists, including the wonderful writer John Berger, I contacted a small publisher called Andalus. Andalus is an activist press, deeply involved in the anti-occupation movement and the only Israeli publisher devoted exclusively to translating Arabic writing into Hebrew. We drafted a contract that guarantees that all proceeds go to Andalus's work, and none to me. In other words, I am boycotting the Israeli economy but not Israelis.

Coming up with our modest publishing plan required dozens of phone calls, e-mails and instant messages, stretching from Tel Aviv to Ramallah to Paris to Toronto to Gaza City. My point is this: as soon as you start implementing a boycott strategy, dialogue increases dramatically. And why wouldn't it? Building a movement requires endless communicating, as many in the antiapartheid struggle well recall. The argument that supporting boycotts will cut us off from one another is particularly specious given the array of cheap information technologies at our fingertips. We are drowning in ways to rant at one another across national boundaries. No boycott can stop us.

Just about now, many a proud Zionist is gearing up for major point-scoring: don't I know that many of those very high-tech toys come from Israeli research parks, world leaders in infotech? True enough, but not all of them. Several days into Israel's Gaza assault, Richard Ramsey, the managing director of a British telecom specializing in voice-over-internet services, sent an email to the Israeli tech firm MobileMax. "As a result of the Israeli government action in the last few days we will no longer be in a position to consider doing business with yourself or any other Israeli company."

Ramsey says that his decision wasn't political; he just didn't want to lose customers. "We can't afford to lose any of our clients," he explains, "so it was purely commercially defensive."

It was this kind of cold business calculation that led many companies to pull out of South Africa two decades ago. And it's precisely the kind of calculation that is our most realistic hope of bringing justice, so long denied, to Palestine.

This column was first published in The Nation

Graf_sampras said...

Click to Print
The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

'Israel must change "counterproductive" Gaza policies'
Feb. 22, 2009

Banning lentils and pasta from Gaza does not help the cause of peace, two visiting congressmen told The Jerusalem Post on Friday morning, after making a rare visit to Gaza the previous day.

"When have lentil bombs been going off lately? Is someone going to kill you with a piece of macaroni?" asked Rep. Brian Baird (D-Washington).

He and Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) called on Israel to end the economic isolation of Gaza and to open the crossings into the area, which have been closed since Hamas's coup there in June 2007.

Their call came two days after the cabinet agreed to link the full opening of the crossings to the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been held in Gaza since June 2006.

Ellison said he had taken the efforts to free Schalit to heart and had a copy of his dog tags in his office.

"I have met with his family and prayed for his release. But you know he is not going to get out any faster by inflicting pain and punishment on 1.5 million Palestinians [in Gaza]. It is not going to happen that way," he said.

Israel's policy toward Gaza "is not designed for success or to win the release of Gilad Schalit."

The congressmen visited Gaza Thursday, the same day as Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who made a separate visit. Both marked the first time in over five years, since the 2003 killing of three US security contractors, that American politicians had entered the Strip.

"We are not emissaries for the Obama administration," Baird said. "Keith and I are simply two American citizens, members of the US Congress, who wanted to understand the situation and to see what can be done to help."

They did not meet with any members of Hamas while in Gaza, he said. "It was strictly a humanitarian visit."

The two men described themselves as supporters of Israel.

They said they were struck both by the destruction Israel had leveled in Gaza during its recent 22-day military operation, as well as the harmed caused by the closure of the crossings to all but basic humanitarian aid.

The ban on lentils and pasta was symbolic of a policy that was "idiosyncratic and arbitrary. You look stupid and petty and over-controlling when you this," Baird said.

This kind of action only fostered extremism, he said.

Maj. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, told the Post that lentils and pasta would be allowed into Gaza as of Sunday.

Some 100,000 tons of supplies had been allowed into Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead, but the list of items deemed to be essential had not included lentils and pasta, he said.

Baird told the Post already on Friday that even if the IDF changed its stance on those two items, the issue was much larger.

"Let's not get hung upon lentils and macaroni," he said.

The crossings needed to be open to provide Gaza with more aid, traffic of people and the construction material and other goods necessary to the economy. Baird said.

"It is not just bringing in material, it is building up the domestic capacity so people can have real jobs and make their own things," he said.

The two men spoke in advance of their visit to Sderot later on Friday to see the damage caused to the people who live in the western Negev, who have endured eight years of rocket attacks from Gaza.

Israel's policy toward Gaza was not helping stop the rockets, Baird said.

"What you are doing now is going to create more rockets in the long run," he said.

Ellison added, "When people have been deprived and feel beat down long enough, you cannot make them do what you want by beating on them more. They are used to that. They know that. They have been without and they can be without," he said.

"The children [in Gaza] did not abduct that soldier, neither can they release that soldier, and neither can children stop a rocket from going off," Baird said.

As Americans, they were acutely aware while in Gaza that the IDF had used American-made weapons to attack the Palestinians, they said.

Ellison, who is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, recalled how they had walked on a road where a number of the homes had been flattened by the IDF.

"We came upon a temporary shelter, it was just cinder blocks that were set up in an eight by 10 square, and they had some kind of a tarp and a sheet over it to stop the rain. They were making tea and we walked up and said, 'Salaam aleikum," Ellison said.

The people in the shelter welcomed them and made them tea.

"We asked them how are you coping with all of this, and they talked to us," he said. "They told us their stories. I will admit and I was a little reluctant to say that I was an American congressmen. Quite frankly, it might have been the IDF launching the bombs, but they all said made in America."

Still, "no treated us with anything but the greatest respect and kindness," Ellison said.

Baird said he was particularly troubled by the "apparent targeting" of hospitals, schools and relief centers.

It would be a "remarkable coincidence if the rounds accidentally fell" on those institutions, he said.

As a licensed neuropsychologist and the father of twin four-year-old boys, he was particularly struck by the remains of what had been a play area for children in a treatment center at Al-Quds Hospital, which had Disney characters painted on the walls.

"It is very disconcerting to say the least," he said.

Similarly, he said, it was upsetting to see that an American school had also been bombed, "of all the iconic things you could destroy," he said.

The bombing had not only killed people, but also "an institution that taught core American values like tolerance," Baird said.

At the school, he found a little book on baseball with a question the teacher had asked about legendary first baseman Jackie Robinson, who broke the color line in the major leagues.

"They are trying to teach Israel about tolerance using baseball, for goodness sakes, and that is now destroyed," Baird said.

What struck Ellison is that "Gaza is like the land of kids, statistically. Fifty-six percent of the people are under 18. Wherever you go there are these little guys running around. And they know Barak Obama. They are hopeful about Barak Obama. They say his name and a smile breaks across their face."

The two men said they had also traveled to the West Bank, where they met with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, and spoke with people about Israeli travel restrictions and closures in the territories.

Baird and Ellison said they heard from doctors, medical technicians and patients about how difficult it was to move around.

"When you are making a child undergoing chemotherapy and his mother and father stand in line for hours to try to get to a hospital, you are not creating friends, you are not improving security, you are creating rage," Baird said.

As a father, he could only imagine how he would feel in that situation, he said.

What was needed here, both he and Ellison said, was for all sides to take some courageous stands.

"Israel has legitimate security concerns, but we have to find a way [to make a change]. We all have to run some risks here. And that means the US, too," Ellison said.
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Graf_sampras said...








Graf_sampras said...

the palestinians --= by israeli design - are not allowed to sell lentils for israel..."too dangerous"....

would go the wisdom...

as daily - one more means of livelihood destroyed...just "to show who's boss".....

maybe palestinian kids , instead of having to become "adults" such as rebuilding any semblance of a hut or shelter after bombings as punishment...could BECOME TENNIS PLAYERS like Shahar peer?.........

any suggestion on how palestinian kids might be allowed to do that in palestine?......

u know...just wondering....