Recent blog entries for sja

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 12:29:16 -0800 (PST)
From: susan abulhawa
Subject: PfP Delivers Playgrounds to Khan Younis and Rafah

PfP Delivers Playgrounds to Khan Younis and Rafah

Keeping with its mission of building playgrounds and recreation areas for +Palestinian children living under military occupation, PfP has delivered two+playgrounds to Gaza for the municipalities of Khan Younis and Rafah. Susan +Abulhawa and Mark Miller traveled to Gaza earlier this month to assemble the+playground in Khan Younis with local volunteers.

Photos from the installation at Khan Younis (click here) are available on +PfP's website where a full account of the installation will appear in the +next few days. ( Information regarding +the installation at Rafah will be made available upon completion of that +project.

PfP wishes to thank ANERA (Americans for Near East Refugee Aid, for their invaluable assistance in making this project a +reality. PfP also wishes to thank its donors and friends who gave so +generously toward these playgrounds. Additionally, PfP extends its +appreciation to American Playground, Inc. as well and the municipalities and+people of Khan Younis and Rafah.

For more information about Playgrounds For Palestine, please visit

To make a donation or for information, visit PfP's website (click here) or +write to: ( )

private prejudice vs. public offense

My husband and i had to pick up my car at local Pep Boys. We decided not to use their service as it was too expensive. So we paid the diagnose/misc fee of $55 and my husband also asked for a spark plug kit.

We were speaking to each other.

"dear, can we afford another twenty some dollars?" 
I demurred him, "no, we can't. but of course, we can put
the charge  on our credit card and continue to incur jewish 
interest. And if we can't pay off the interest in our life
 time, our son can inherit our debt as a gift of life..."

Admittedly, it has been my private, very biased, totally without any scientific merit to credit jewish people as the sole inventor and pusher of interest rate fueled financial services industry. But i do not, to the very far stretch of my imagination would anticipate that our very low pitched private conversation can ignite a protest from one of the two Pep Boys' employees who served us at the autopart counter. She is a clean goodlooking, tall young girl. "Excuse me, what's your comment about interest rate? I am a jew. I very much take offense of your comment." I do not know how to respond to this gril who not only sell Pep Boys' autoparts but also police people's private conversation" and make her disliking of my personal prejudice a public protest before the other Pep Boy employee.

There is no excuse for her to volunteer telling me about her jewessness when it wasn't called for. Do i take offense of her sense of'being offended'? I do. Not only for myself, but mostly for her and for people like her.

22 Jul 2002 17:06:09

Dear Friends,

1. Two new books, to which i've contributed, are being published. One, SHATTERED ILLUSTIONS, can be ordered. My contribution is an old article i wrote titled: "US aid to Israel: Tax dollars soaked in blood".

the other is in the works. It deals with Jenin with a forward by Chomsky and Charlie Reese. will send more info on that in the near future.

Noam Chomsky is also a contributor to 'Shattered Illusions.'

2. Those of you in PHilly, there will be a fundraiser for Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga). if interested, email me privately.

3. Teh playground is being delayed. everyone is under curfew and a new report indicates taht 67% of Palestinian children are malnourished, many are facing starvation.

4. this list will again be silent for a while. i am working on a documentary and tending to pressing personal matters. I will also be traveling back to Jenin in a couple of months.

5. Two of my friends who have been living in the Occupied Territories for the past two years (at least) as human shields, observers etc. are coming back to the states for a short while. they'll be giving talks around teh country--mostly on the west coast. if you'd like to have them speak in your town and are willing to set up the talk, let me know. i'm trying to set up a schedule for them on the east coast. they are both tireless activists, who have risked their lives numerous times to protect Palestinian civilians. they've been in Jenin since april and were the first people to talk with some of the residents who fled. they've also been living through the latest bombardment and curfews.

warm regards to you all, susie


Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations
315 Lexington Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10016
Tel: 212-689-7215 * Fax: 212-689-9073
Compatriots from Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and all of Cuba:

I had said that we would all respond to Mr. W. Bush. Our children, our teenagers, our young students; our workers, farmers, professionals; our journalists, historians, artists, intellectuals, scientists; the fighters of yesterday and of today; the youths, the adults, the elders and especially the mothers, the sons and daughters, and the close relatives of all those who have suffered themselves and their loved ones during 43 years of brutal terrorism, aggressions and a murderous blockade maintained by successive U.S. Administrations against our people. They have all been tearing to pieces Mr. W. Bush's statements in Miami.

He went too far in his speech. He was rude. He insulted, he lied, and he threatened. He would only need to add now that the heroic people he pretends "to free", have all been forcibly mobilized to take part in the huge and enthusiastic demonstrations of Sancti Spiritus and Holguin before, and in this enormous rally held today here, in Santiago de Cuba.

Perhaps no other country has ever witnessed such an imposing, combative and sound political movement. Perhaps, never before a small nation had the strength of character and the courage to resist such a powerful adversary. This is an unprecedented confrontation that is taking place in a new historical stage between the force of just ideas and the murderous ideas of the brutal force.

When the arrogant use of force is imposed in violation of every right, ethic and reason, demagogy and lies remain the only possible ideological support.

Hardly two thirds of a century has passed since Humanity went through the bitter experience of Nazism. Fear was Hitler's inseparable ally against his adversaries. First, he was tolerated as a buffer and a potential ally against communism. Then, he was made concessions. He recovered the Ruhr, a crucial zone for military build-up, and went on to annex Austria to the German Third Reich. Then, without a shot, he conquered a large part of Czechoslovakia. Later, his fearful military force enabled him to strike a non-aggression pact with the USSR on August 23, 1939, that is, 9 days before the outbreak of a war that would inflame the whole world. The lack of vision and the cowardice of the statesmen in the strongest European powers of the time opened the way to a great tragedy.

I don't think that a fascist regime can be established in the United States. Serious mistakes have been made and injustices committed in the framework of its political system--many of them still persist--but the American people still have a number of institutions and traditions, as well as educational, cultural and ethical values that would hardly allow that to happen. The risk exists in the international arena.

The power and prerogatives of that country's President are so extensive, and the economic, technological and military power network in that nation is so pervasive that due to circumstances that fully escape the will of the American people, the world is coming under the rule of Nazi concepts and methods.

I do not intend to exaggerate or dramatize. But, the truth is that there's a growing tendency to question and override the very existence and the role of the United Nations.

Last September 20, 2001, when Mr. W. Bush proclaimed that those who did not support his war project against terrorism would themselves be considered terrorists and exposed to his attacks, he was overtly disregarding the UN prerogatives. At the same time, based on his military power he was assuming the role of world master and policeman. For those of us familiar with the Marxist literature, that day was the 18th Brumaire of Mr. Bush*. Future historians should take note of the political leaders' reaction in most countries. It was panic and fear that came over most of them.

Such conceptions and methods contradict the idea of a democratic world order based on principles and norms that ensure safety and peace for all of the peoples.

Long before the terrorist attacks of September 11, Bush had promoted enormous budgets for the research and production of more deadly and sophisticated weapons, although the cold war was over, the old adversary no longer existed and the weakened State that replaced it lacked both the economic resources and the will to face up to the overwhelming force of the sole hyperpower.

Why was that colossal military build-up program conceived, and for what purpose?

In a recent speech made on the occasion of the bicentennial year of the West Point Military Academy, an institution well-known for its remarkable role in the military history of the United States, Mr. W. Bush threw a fiery harangue at the graduation ceremony of 958 cadets. However, his remarks were also addressed to the United States and the entire world.

Some of the ideas expressed there are a reflection of his thinking, and that of his closest advisors, long before the brutal attacks of September 11, which now serve as an excellent pretext to justify what was already then a rather dangerous, inadmissible, unsustainable and peculiar idea of the world. He said for example:

"If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long."

"In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act."

"Our security will require transforming the military you will lead, a military that must be ready to strike at a moment's notice in any dark corner of the world. And our security will be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives."

"We must uncover terror cells in 60 or more countries...Along with our friends and allies, we must oppose proliferation and confront regimes that sponsor terror, as each case requires."

"We will send diplomats where they are needed, and we will send you, our soldiers, where you're needed."

"We will not leave the safety of America and the peace of the planet at the mercy of a few mad terrorists and tyrants. We will lift this dark threat from our country and from the world."

"Some worry that it is somehow undiplomatic or impolite to speak the language of right and wrong. I disagree. We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America will call evil by its name. By confronting evil and lawless regimes, we do not create a problem, we reveal a problem. And we will lead the world in opposing it."

"Generations of West Point officers planned and practiced for battles with Soviet Russia. I've just returned from a new Russia, now a country reaching toward democracy, and our partner in the war against terror."

As you can see, he doesn't mention once is his speech the United Nations Organization. Nor is there a phrase about every people's right to safety and peace, or about the need for a world ruled by principles and norms. He only talks of alliances between powers, and of war and more war. He speaks of war on behalf of peace and liberty, words that coming from him sound as meaningless and empty as soap bubbles. His entire speech is no more than a sweetened exaltation of chauvinism, and of the superiority of his country?s culture, glory and power.

The miserable insects that live in 60 or more countries of the world chosen by him and his closest assistants--and in the case of Cuba by his Miami friends--are completely irrelevant. They are the "dark corners of the world" that may become the targets of their unannounced and "preemptive" attacks.

Not only is Cuba one of those countries, but it has also been included among those that sponsor terror. And, on top of it all, the cynical fabrication that Cuba produces bio-weapons; they simply overlook the fact that the entire world knows it is a colossal lie.

What is the difference between that philosophy and methods and those of the Nazis? Why is it that so many governments are trembling with fear and keeping silent?

It is not a simple coincidence that the fascist right forces are gaining ground in various European countries.

The American people will refuse to educate their children in such a philosophy.

In the face of such cowardice, many peoples of the world will look hopefully to the American people as the only one capable of putting a straightjacket on, or stopping, the bigots in their lust for power, abuse and conflict. Many peoples in the world showed their unanimous solidarity with the American people after the attacks of September 11; our noble and generous people did too, and certainly not out of hypocrisy or fear.

We would like for those West Point cadets to come to Cuba as tourists some day, when Americans are again free to travel, but not as invaders.

Who has actually reaped the benefits of the terrorist attacks of September 11? Those that President Eisenhower defined as the military-industrial complex; those whose authority had been called into question by the electoral fraud; the Miami terrorist mob; those who want to destroy the United Nations; those who advocate the predominance of hegemonic policies and who want to reshape the world as they wish.

I don't believe for a second that anyone--whatever his position--who could have prevented the obnoxious crime of the Twin Towers deliberately allowed it to happen in a yearning for popularity and power or for any other purpose.

But, calling things by their name, as Mr. Bush said in West Point he likes to do, I'd say that I think the President of the United States has made serious mistakes in the way he has handled the situation after the tragedy. I shall mention only a few made both domestically and overseas:

He should have never implanted fear in the minds of the American people.

He should have kept calmed.

He should not have adopted hasty decisions without even considering other possibly more promising options, which would have been unanimously supported by all governments, by the most influential religions and by the fundamental political trends, from both the left and the right.

He should not have identified over half of the countries in the Third World as his enemies, much less as terrorists.

He should not have pursued a path that will have the effect of multiplying the number of bigots and suicidal persons in the world, thus seriously complicating the struggle against terrorism. The Palestinians' is a case in point: for every Palestinian that has been murdered, the number of walk-in suicide bombers has markedly increased, which has led to a predicament with no way out in sight.

He should not have concealed the intelligence reports he received, particularly that of August 6, which has given rise to all sorts of doubts and guesses. It is necessary to be valiant and transparent with the people. No one can believe that this is impossible for security reasons. Those of us who have lived and struggled for decades against thousands of terrorist plans and actions originated in the United States are perfectly familiar with the nature of such intelligence reports, whose sources need to be highly protected by those who draft and forward them.

He should not have met with, or accepted the presence at that meeting in Miami of, well known characters that have organized, directed and carried out thousands of terrorist attacks against Cuba and other countries, including several hundreds inside the territory of the United States.

For many years and until September 11, the Cuban American National Foundation financed, organized and publicized countless terrorist actions and plans to murder Cuban leaders. Today, that same organization continues to fund the defense, protection and impunity of the worst terrorists while waiting for the Cuban Revolution to be destroyed by the United States. Everybody knows this, both in Miami and the White House. Mr. Bush's intimate relationship with these terrorists completely undermines his moral authority and disqualifies him as a world leader to fight against terrorism.

He should not have allowed the fabrication of that stupid lie about Cuba developing bio-weapons. As for the alleged theoretical capacity to produce them, needless to say that even when all governments could lie that doesn't mean they all do.

CUBA, JUNE 8, 2002.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations

GoodDAY Philadelphia followed Susan Abulhawa to a Philadelphia School and aired a segment on Friday, May 17. They used some of Susan's footage filmed in Jenin and also provided insight to the Playgrounds For Palestine mission.

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