Hamas Torture Brings Gaza Reign of Fear - Jason Koutsoukis

Dalal al-Shoubaki remembers the day Hamas sent its dreaded Internal Security Service to arrest her husband Hamza last July. Three weeks ago, his tortured body was found dumped at Gaza's Shifa Hospital, with two gunshot wounds to the head. Shoubaki had been accused of collaborating with the government of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah faction holds power in the West Bank. His fate is a chilling example of the terror inflicted on dissenters who have lived under the Hamas regime in Gaza since June 2007.
In December, Mrs. Shoubaki visited him at a security compound near Gaza City. "At first I nearly didn't recognize him. There were many signs of torture. He was pale and bruised and he had trouble walking," she said. He had been regularly punched and kicked, intermittently deprived of food and sleep, hung from the ceiling for hours on end - by his feet and his arms, and in one case from the ceiling for several hours by one arm. Mrs. Shoubaki said her husband had also been electrocuted. (The Age-Australia)

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This is what a Hamas-state will look like.
A country that is already run by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The extent of the problem is illustrated by the fact that the article quotes unnamed experts as saying
"almost six years of fighting has killed 200,000."
200,000??? Most articles at least say 300,000.
Articles from 2005 said 400,000.
What is it to not know whether a death toll is 200,000 or 400,000 - for years!?!
It means that those 200,000 perhaps people are not counted, and do not count.

Can it be that nobody has died there in years? Of course not.
But the world has stopped counting. Because its attention is on other things,
where 100,000 or 200,000 disappearing people might get more attention...

Sudan's Bashir rallies Arab tribesmen in Darfur

By Andrew Heavens Andrew Heavens – Wed Mar 18, 12:16 pm ET

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan's president rallied thousands of spear-waving Arab tribesmen in Darfur on Wednesday in his latest show of defiance against international moves to arrest him for war crimes.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir vowed to confront Western "colonizers" as he addressed the gathering of Rizeigat tribespeople -- a group including clans that have produced some of the fiercest pro-government militias in the Darfur conflict.

His emotional speech came amid signs of a growing standoff between Sudan and the West following the International Criminal Court's decision to issue an arrest warrant for Bashir to face charges of masterminding atrocities in Darfur.

The president sparked international outrage this month when he expelled 13 foreign aid groups and shut down three local organizations, accusing them of assisting the court. The expelled groups -- including Oxfam and two branches of Medecins Sans Frontieres -- deny helping the ICC.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday stepped up pressure on Khartoum by saying Bashir would be responsible for every death caused by the resulting drop in humanitarian cover in the remote region.

The vast crowd of Rizeigat tribespeople, many riding horses and camels, swore a mass oath of allegiance to the president at the rally in the remote Sibdu valley area in south Darfur.

In a speech broadcast live on Sudan TV, Bashir told the gathering the West was trying to remove him from power, but he was ready to confront any attack. "These knights on horseback now have spears, but tomorrow on the battlefield they will have machine guns," he said, referring to the crowd.

Musa Hilal, a man Washington accuses of coordinating Darfur's pro-government militias, is the leader of the Rizeigat's Mahamied clan. But rebel groups have also claimed Rizeigat members and large parts of the tribe have also resisted government call-ups in the past.

Bashir invoked Sudan's colonial-era victories, including the defeat and killing of Britain's Major-General Charles George Gordon in 1885. He called for an end to fighting inside Darfur, saying the government was pushing through a string of development projects from roads to hospitals.

Tensions have been mounting in Khartoum, where state media have printed regular attacks on aid groups, accusing them of spying, and on Western powers, saying they support the ICC warrant.

Around 100 protesters gathered outside France's embassy in the capital on Wednesday and some threw stones at the building, said French diplomatic sources. France's foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday he had been misquoted by an Arab newspaper as saying France would back the interception of any plane carrying Bashir if he left Sudan.

The U.N. has warned Bashir's expulsion of aid groups would have a devastating impact on hundreds of thousands of Darfuris, many of them dependent on food aid. Sudanese government officials have said they plan to fill the gap by recruiting scores of Sudanese aid groups, assisted by the surviving foreign humanitarian organizations.

But veteran Darfur rebel leader Suleiman Jamous said this plan would not help people in rebel-held areas of the region, where state-backed aid groups would not be able to work. "Now that the government has failed to kill the people with guns, they are trying to kill them by taking their aid," he said.

International experts say almost six years of fighting has killed 200,000 and driven more than 2.7 million from their homes. Khartoum says 10,000 have died.

The conflict flared when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the government accusing it of neglecting the development of the region. Khartoum mobilized mostly Arab militias to crush the revolt and denies accusations from Washington and activists that it committed genocide during the counter-insurgency.

(Additional reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
The Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood government's recent decision to expel 13 international aid agencies has left about 1.1 million civilians without food aid, 1.5 million without health care and over a million without drinkable water—threatening starvation and disease on a massive scale.

About as many people as in Gaza.
No one cares -- it's Muslims killing Muslims.......
so no one cares
just like daily killings in Iraq...or Afghanistan

Muslim rage only happens when non-Muslims kill Muslims or when there are cartoons involved...
I think it's painful when we think about Muslim crimes against Muslims.
But whitewashing it away by saying, well that's human nature, is not a solution for the millions of dead Muslims killed or displaced by other Muslims.

If only Muslims were simply silent when Muslims are killed - as opposed to masterminding and implementing to the killing itself as the case in so many parts of the world today like Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

or here:

Date Country City Killed Injured Description
2009.03.17 Iraq Mosul 1 0 A university student is gunned down by Mujahideen.
2009.03.17 Pakistan NWFP 4 4 Islamic extremists fire rockets at a university, killing four people.
2009.03.17 Pakistan Pirwadhai 14 25 At least fourteen people are killed when a suicide bomber detonates at a crowded bus stop.
2009.03.16 Algeria Tebessa 5 0 Fundamentalists slit the throat of a shepherd, then kill his family with a bomb.
2009.03.16 Algeria Tadmait 4 5 Four local soldiers are taken out in an Islamist bombing.
2009.03.16 Algeria Oued Essania 2 0 Two people are killed in a bomb blast.
2009.03.16 Iraq Kirkuk 1 0 Sunni militants murder a doctor with a grenade.
2009.03.16 Iraq al-Mukhifa 5 0 Five al-Qaeda kidnap victims are found executed.
2009.03.16 Afghanistan Lashkar Gah 11 28 Eleven Afghans are blown to bits by a Shahid suicide bomber.
2009.03.15 Afghanistan Kabul 2 9 A suicide bomber kills two civilians outside a high school.
2009.03.15 Yemen Shibam 5 4 Four Korean tourists and a local are murdered by fundamentalist bombers.
2009.03.15 Iraq Baghdad 1 0 Mujahideen bombers murder an oil engineer.
2009.03.15 Pakistan Dera Ismail Khan 2 0 Two Sunnis are shot to death outside a mosque by Shia gunmen.
2009.03.15 Pakistan Multan 2 0 A young husband and his pregnant wife, both doctors, are brutally murdered by Islamists for being minority Ahmadiyya.
2009.03.14 Pakistan Dera Ismail Khan 2 0 Sunnis spray a Shiite couple on a motorcycle with automatic weapons, killing both the husband and wife.
2009.03.14 Afghanistan Helmand 2 0 Sunni hardliners attack a police post, killing two officers.
2009.03.13 Pakistan Bajaur 3 0 Three tribesmen are abducted and beheaded by Sunni hardliners.
2009.03.13 Iraq Baghdad 1 1 Islamic radicals kill a woman and wound a boy with a planted bomb.
2009.03.13 Iraq Orakzai 2 0 Two civilians are murdered by the Taliban.
2009.03.12 Iraq Basra 1 0 Shia gunmen take down a Sunni official.

That was just the last few days.

Yes, this is uncomfortable.
Yes, it's easier to focus on Gaza - where Israel can be blamed for everything - or to talk about Western Colonialism etc...

But we need to clean our own massive house of a spreading poison of hatred and violence that while only afllicting a minority of 1.3 billion Muslims - it's a very damaging minority.

You don't like that I am here reducing the effectiveness of the anti-Israel propoganda here by asking fellow Muslims and Arabs to look in the miroor - understandable....but not very admirable.

As the Bhudda says - BE THE CHANGE YOU SEEK IN THE WORLD - from within
Sunshade posts something about Hamas. Yigal follows it by posting something about Sudan!! Then Sunshade agrees with him taht there is a problem with Muslims and Islam. This is rather bizarre and depraved IMHO. It is like when some ANC members in South Africa burned people alive (for collaboration with the apartheid regime), the white rulers and white run media then reported on violence in Zimbabwe and concluded that Africans (blacks) are by nature violent (vs us nice white people). Now don't misunderstand me, you are free to try to villify 1.5 billion people. But don't you think you are shooting yourself in the face here. Your fight is with the people whom you stole their land (who happen to be Palestinian Muslims and Christians). Projecting your Jewish tribalism to make for a possibility of Muslim tribalism is very unlikely to succeed and even if it does, instead of fighting 10 million Palestinains and a few million other supporters (Jews, Christians, Buddhists etc from around the world including Israel who support basichuman rights) you would be fightng 1.5 billion Muslims. Seems foolish to me. But ofcourse that choice is yours. BTW have you asked yourself why this problem of Darfur is visible while the problem in the Congo where 1 million were massacred is rarely mentioned in the Western news media?
Hi Mazin,
I see you're still at least staying true to form.
You did manage to get in another "apartheid" zinger.
Fine work.....

What is most striking to me is how you can repeatedly misrepresent my positions
in order to argue with things I never said.
You say: "you are free to try to villify 1.5 billion people."
I never did that.
Read carefully. I only vilified the Muslim Brotherhood, not "1.5 billion people."
For you to refuse to accept that in order to vent some preconceived party-line
is what truly "Seems foolish to me."
Perhaps Arab pride inhibits a basic level of self-reflection....and no offense, but Jewish "tribalism" is far less a danger to world Peace than Muslim or Arab tribalism. Just fo focus on the Arab world, I suggest you read the most recent Arab Human Development Report, a UN sponsored report on the Arab world is an authentic reflection of the views and analysis of many of the most thoughtful, reform-minded intellectual figures in the Arab region.

The report presented a harsh assessment of Arab governments' efforts to stifle political freedom, saying political participation in the region has "often been little more than a ritual" and elections typically preserve the status of "ruling elites."

"By 21st century standards, Arab countries have not met the people's aspirations for development, security and liberation," the report stated. "Indeed, there is a near-complete consensus that there is a serious failing in the Arab world, and that this is located specifically in the political sphere."

But the authors charged that many Arab governments have cited traditional interpretations of Islamic law to challenge the legitimacy of international human rights norms. They said Arab governments routinely use a variety of other means to restrict individual freedoms, including the imposition of emergency laws in Egypt, Syria and Sudan that strip citizens of their constitutional rights.

The authors challenged the notion that there is a cultural aversion in the Arab world to many of the fundamental political values -- freedom of expression, association and human rights -- associated with Western democracies.

"There is a rational and understandable thirst among Arabs to be rid of despots and to enjoy democratic governance," the report stated. It cited a survey of political attitudes in Algeria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Morocco that revealed mounting concern over government corruption, poverty and the absence of independent courts capable of delivering justice to all.

The report authors insisted that pressure for political change -- while insufficient -- has been underway in the region for some time. They cited demands by local human rights organizations in Morocco and Bahrain that their governments acknowledge past rights violations and pay compensation to victims' families. "Certainly, incipient reforms are taking place," the report stated. "Some gains are undoubtedly real and promising, but they do not add up to a serious effort to dispel the prevailing environment of repression."
Congo is not mentioned much in the Arab media either - and forget about Darfur:

Where is the Arab outrage over Darfur?
Mar. 17, 2009

In recent years, a media revolution has been taking place in the Arab world, so that the media now reflect to a great extent the atmosphere of the Arab street as well as the consensus in the Arab regimes. Criticism against the crimes committed by the Zionist occupier in Palestine receives substantial resonance, whereas other horrors that take place in the region get little coverage, especially when they are the work of local players and not of Europeans, Americans or Jews. The regional condemnation of Israel doesn't reflect global humanitarian standards but is reserved especially for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The criticism against Israel, by its volume and severity, overshadows the coverage of the ongoing conflict in Darfur, for example, which in the past few years has already claimed a quarter of a million victims and created millions of refugees. The ethnic cleansing taking place in Darfur is far worse than any other regional crisis and cannot be compared to the Israeli-Palestinian political conflict, neither in volume nor in essence.

The silence of the Arab media regarding the humanitarian side of the conflict in Darfur is reinforced by the fact that Sudan is an active member of the Arab League. Moreover, some voices in the local press claim that the Western coverage of the Darfur crisis is part of a Zionist-Western conspiracy to divert attention from Iraq and Palestine and bring foreign involvement to Sudan to take control of its natural resources.

In 2007 THE INTERNATIONAL Crisis Group and the American University in Cairo held a workshop on media coverage of the Darfur crisis. The participants - leading journalists and academics from the Arab world - claimed that Arab media do not give enough attention to the humanitarian disaster in Darfur, compared both to Western media and to the attention that Arab media dedicate to other conflicts in the Middle East. Their report argues that due to lack of resources, but also lack of interest and racism, political aspects of the Darfur crisis are generally given priority over humanitarian ones, their coverage being shallow and inaccurate.

Criticism of Israel from the likes of Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Syria appears loaded with hypocrisy when all of these countries oppress minorities and bluntly violate human rights.

In Sudan, the Arab Janjaweed tribal militia is backed by president Omar al-Bashir, himself accused by the International Criminal Court of genocide. Immediately after his indictment by the ICC in July 2008, the Arab League, many of whose members accuse Israel of war crimes, issued a statement in support of the Sudanese president. Still, some voices in the Arab world backed the ICC decision and condemned the Arab League statements, among them that of Abd al-Rahman al-Rashed, director-general of Al-Arabiya TV and former Al-Sharq al-Awsat editor.

THE ARAB WORLD was silent in the 1960s when Egypt used mustard gas in northern Yemen, in the '70s when Jordan killed Palestinians, in the '80s when Syria massacred tens of thousands of its own citizens who were supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, and in the '90s when Saddam Hussein slaughtered Kurds in the north and Shi'ites in the south of Iraq. Severe discrimination is being practiced against ethnic and religious minorities in countries throughout the Middle East.

Since Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked of on camera at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Turkey has become the flag-carrier for criticism against Israel in the Middle East. Turkey, while accusing Israel of war crimes, cannot confront its own past regarding the Armenian genocide and pressures academic and diplomatic bodies to prevent any serious public debate on the subject. Today, Turkey uses cultural and military oppression to deny the right of the Kurdish minority to self-determination.

According to Reporters without Boundaries, the biggest challenge to the freedom of press in the Middle East is the self-censorship that reporters exert on sensitive issues. Due to these restrictions, the Arab reporters channel their criticism toward Israel, which remains the regional punching bag and the target of Arab and Muslim rage against every illness in the world. Arab countries would certainly benefit more from looking inward to their own societies' problems.

ALL THESE EXAMPLES do not acquit Israel from criticism. Whether Israel is conceived as a country fighting for its existence or as an aggressive occupier, external criticism is a necessary factor in balancing the conflict. An advanced dialogue is already taking place within Israel itself, and many organizations enjoy their freedom to harshly criticize the state. Similarly, crimes taking place in other countries do not exempt the IDF from its obligation to seriously investigate the reasons for the high number of civilian casualties during the last operation in Gaza.

Nonetheless, the regional media should report proportionally, since one-dimensional coverage of the conflict is misleading, demonizing and creates intense hate toward Israel and the Jews in the Arab street. This atmosphere will in turn make it difficult for the moderate Arab states to explain to their people the peace initiatives that they promote. While Arabs widely cover any Western or Israeli aggression against Arabs or Muslims around the world, they ignore Arabs or Muslims hurting other Arabs, Muslims or Africans. This gap in coverage suggests that Arabs require much higher moral standards from Israel and the West than from themselves.

Regional criticism against Israel must be made within international relationships of proportional political and international interests. Higher questions of morality and justice must be left to philosophers, or to a just and balanced media that is ready to criticize all sides without bias and in accordance to global humanitarian standards.
Sunshine allow me to say that most if not all of your contributions here are for stimulating endless and useless debates and so biased by the way. If you wish to contribute for peace that is not the way try to have wider horizons in the way you view both sides of the conflict please.

And Yigal what we will have is a Palestinian state and not a Hamas state, and please let me remind you that Fateh too are mostly Muslims even those who follow no political parties in Palestine are mostly Muslims, the Palestinian society in the majority of it are Muslims! So a state of Palestine will have a government represented by a majority of Muslims, in addition to other religious groups that will live there of course, are you saying that Islam is the issue here?

Clearly you disagree with some of my posts. That's understandable, as it is human nature for many to reflexively defend themselves and attack the messenger. I would encourage you to comment specifically on things you agree with and things you disagree with rather than generalizing about one or another's bias.
Bias is in the eye of the beholder. But if we are learn form each other and contribute to peace on this website and elsewhere - we'll need to listen harder and focus more specifically on the other's words - not what we generalize about them - or what we want to hear.

Speaking of specifics, I think it's rather unclear what type of state a Palestinian state would be.

Given the brutal Hamas coup in Gaza - that continues to this day with assasinations and killings - it's certainly hard to predict what type of governing body could emerge as a Palestinian state in the near future. Though of course, one can always fall back the excuses and blame on Israel would certainly be ready in the back pocket for anyone who wants a scapegoat - those who want real peace will need to ensure that Hamas can be removed from power or change it's ways without demanding unrealsitic pre-concessions from Israel as the only way to reform Hamas or reduce its power.

That is certainly another side of the cojnflict I would encourage you to consider - rather than faulting people for the reasonable assumption that under current conditions a Palestinian state would be very much about Hamas. .
Clearly your posts are insulting.

as it is human nature for many to reflexively defend themselves and attack the messenger. you fail to understand what so many tell you here.

BTW, Hiba is palestinians involved in Palestinain Peace movment that you claim does not exists ... so do Hiba exist?
Hi Hiba,
I pray that you are correct and that the Palestinian government will build a diverse and tolerant and prosperoous society. I know that Fatah and Palestinians are mostly Muslim.
I also think that sunshine's "horizons" are no less wide than Mazin's, just for example,
and don't think it perfectly fair for this criticism to be levelled at her, for doing exactly the same thing so many others do...

But to address your question to me: "So a state of Palestine will have a government represented by a majority of Muslims, in addition to other religious groups that will live there of course, are you saying that Islam is the issue here?"

As Peter Abelard once wrote, Yes and no. (I note you wrote "the" issue and not "an" issue...I'm assuming you're asking if I think it's the main issue)

Just as in a Jewish State (or a state of mostly Jews) Judaism is an issue, in a Muslim state (or a state of mostly Muslims) Islam is an issue. Same for Christianity, and all other religions.
And not in the abstract.
The thing is this - and this is where so many poeple seem to get lost and be unable to follow the line of reasoning, and get stuck.
It is not religion in the abstract with which we can and must deal.
Let's say religion in the abstract is perfect. Let's say that Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam,
is perfect. It means pure peace and love and happiness and everything good that can be in the world.
Does that mean we can have any confidence that a real country run by real people will actually follow any of the rules of those perfect ideals?
Of course not! Too many people are liars, and cheaters, and steal and sneak and do all sorts of crazy and underhanded things, for us to be sure that a government will really be run according to truly spirital motivations and values, instead of according to personal goals and selfish aims that only benefit a few (usually those who suggest them).
What really matters in practice is not the religion itself, which is "of G'd" and invulnerable,
but the conception of religion we humans actually put into practive through our actions and policies.

The conception of religion is a very significant issue here, both in Israel and Palestine, and beyond, and unavoidably so.
This is something both the secular and religious must internalize for peaceful coexistence to grow not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also between secular Israelis and religious Israelis and secular Palestinians and religious Palestinians.



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