RoadMap to Apartheid

[PShift (4zzz fm 102.1 Fridays at noon) broadcast on 20 Sept 2013 – ‘Roadmap to Apartheid’]

Six years ago, almost to the day, a Palestinian citizen was killed by Israeli forces on Wednesday morning in Al-’Ayn refugee camp, west of Nablus, during an Israeli incursion into the refugee camp which began on Tuesday 18 September 2007.

His name was Muhammad Khalid, the son of Ridha and Weam.

On 20 May 2012 — 25 Israeli soldiers broke into Weam Khalid’s 2 bedroom unit in the nighttime terrorising her five children, smashing her furniture and taking her husband, Ridha Khalid, away to an undisclosed location for an indeterminate period.

Mr Khalid was employed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) in the occupied territories which is funded (in part) by the Australian government. Ridha remains in detention to this day. What can be done to free Ridha Khalid? Can people visit him in prison?

***

‘Al Tariq’ and ‘Justice for Palestine’ will be showing the film Roadmap to Apartheid at 7pm on Saturday 21 September 2013 at the ETU hall in South Brisbane (CEPU Bldg cnr Peel & Merivale Streets South Brisbane).

***

With the crisis in Syria on a knife’s edge, PShift is going to revisit the middle east and the reasons it came to this. We talk about Palestine and the apartheid state of Israel.

One year ago on PShift (12 Sept 2012) I played the song ‘Pegale le duro al fiero’ (Strike the beast hard). For me it captures the attitude and hope that lies in any long & difficult struggle – like the one in Palestine, like the struggle in Chile against the dictatorship of Pinochet and like our own struggle here in Qld against the mini dictator Joh Bjelke Petersen.

Here are the words to the opening stanza of the song (this version was played in the 1980s by the band ‘Frontera’. Sue Monk sings solo on the opening lyrics that say:

Strike the beast hard
because if you don’t it will leave you hunger;
strike it because they’ll kill you
and they’ll cover you with earth,
sing your thousand songs
and set out walking with your wounds,
and together we’ll go to the forest
to sing, then, to life.

When the sun scorched the earth
a child was being born in the mountain,
in a cradle or hard stone
that poisoned him.
He opened his eyes to the world
and saw nothing but misery,
he touched the cruellest inferno
where the fire attacked him;
he grew up among the brambles
where the smoke was like grape-shot.

He rises up above the Andes
with his warrior’s poncho
seeking a path,
a path that he desired,
that he wanted as a child;
he never complained about being
American by blood,
sowing his determination
and with his hands pulling out
the spur of evil.

***

PShift interview with Sabrina Khan around four questions:

1. Could you please introduce yourself?
2. What is the work of Australian Ambassador for Al Tariq?
3. What is your understanding of democratic rights?
4. Can you describe the ‘save the water’ program in Palestine?

***

‘Al Tariq’ and ‘Justice for Palestine’ will be showing the film Roadmap to Apartheid at 7pm on Saturday 21 September 2013 at the ETU hall in South Brisbane (CEPU Bldg cnr Peel & Merivale South Brisbane).

***


In 1982 there was a demonstration in Brisbane King George Square to protest the Sabra and Chatilla Massarce [Arabic: مذبحة صبرا وشاتيلا.]

There was worldwide condemnation of the attacks including this small demonstration in King George Square organised by the Brisbane Palestinian Human Rights Committee.

In 1982 in Brisbane the Palestinian Human Rights Group (PHRC) was formed for the reason of offering solidarity and support for the victims at Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps. We tried to organise a political campaign around their demands. This campaign was not the first, nor the last, that people in Brisbane have organised in support the central demand of the the Palestinian people – the right of return to their homeland.

This demonstration occurred only days after Maronite Christian Phalange militia massacred the undefended refugees at Sabra and Chatilla (in Beirut) under Israeli military supervision. The Sabra and Shatila massacre was carried out in September 1982.

On September 1 1982, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was expelled from Beirut. Two days later, Israel deployed its armed forces around the refugee camps.

Ariel Sharon, Israeli Defense Minister at the time, and then Prime Minister Menachem Begin, decided to occupy West Beirut, informing only then Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir and not consulting the Israeli cabinet. The same night Sharon began preparations for entering the Sabra-Shatila refugee camps. Thus on September 15, the Israeli army reoccupied West Beirut.

The US government had given written guarantees to the Palestinians that it would ensure the protection of the Muslims of West Beirut. Israel’s occupation violated its peace agreements with Muslim forces in Beirut and with Syria.

By noon of September 15th 1982, the IDF had completely surrounded the Sabra-Shatila camps, and controlled all entrances and exits by the means of checkpoints. The IDF also occupied a number of multi-storey buildings as observation posts. Amongst those, was the seven-story Kuwaiti embassy, which, according to TIME, had “an unobstructed and panoramic view” of the camps. Hours later, IDF tanks began shelling the camps.

Ariel Sharon and Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan met with the Lebanese Phalangist militia units, inviting them to enter the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps to clean out “terrorist nests”. Under the Israeli plan, Israeli soldiers would control the perimeters of the refugee camps and provide logistical support while the Phalangists would enter the camps.

The meetings concluded at 3:00 p.m. September 16 1982.

An hour later, 1,500 Christian militiamen assembled at Beirut International Airport, then occupied by Israel. Under the command of Elie Hobeika, they began moving towards the camps in Israeli Defence Force supplied jeeps, following Israeli guidance on how to enter the camps. The forces were mostly Phalangist, though there were some men from Saad Haddad’s “Free Lebanon forces”..

The first unit of 150 Phalangists, armed with guns, knives and hatchets entered the camps at 6:00 p.m. Immediately the unit began slitting throats, axing, shooting, and raping, often taking groups outside and lining them up for execution. During the night the Israeli forces fired illuminating flares over the camps. According to a Dutch nurse, the camp was as bright as “a sports stadium during a football game”.

There was worldwide condemnation of the attacks including this small demonstration in King George Square organised by the Brisbane Palestinian Human Rights Committee.

In 1982 in Brisbane the Palestinian Human Rights Group was formed for the reason of offering solidarity and support for the victims at Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps. We tried to organise a political campaign around their demands. This campaign was not the first, nor the last, that people in Brisbane have organised in support the central demand of the the Palestinian people – the right of return to their homeland.

Listen to the show ‘live’ at http://ondemand.4zzzfm.org.au/the-paradigm-shift/

[Thanks to Andy Paine for helping out with the show. And also to FRONTERA (Sue Monk, Sergio Aldunate, Lachlan Hurse, and others) who sang this Ruben Giliando expose of the need to fight US imperialism. This recording is from a cassette tape called ‘Living In The Colonies — What’s Left?’ recorded in the mid 1980s at a time of struggle against the Bjelke-Petersen government. The gig was put on at the Migrant Resource Centre in West End circa 1985. See workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2012/09/14/…beast-hard/]

The show ended with Phil Monsour singing ‘No more lies, silence’

Ian Curr
20 Sept 2013

One thought on “RoadMap to Apartheid

  1. The full doco says:

    [youtube=http://youtu.be/UQz-L9t-QQ0]

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