Gideon Levy: the most hated man in Israel

Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?

 

ASHLEY COMBES / EPICSCOTLAND

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For three decades, the writer and journalist Gideon Levy has been a lone voice, telling his readers the truth about what goes on in the Occupied Territories.

 

 

 

Gideon Levy is the most hated man in Israel – and perhaps the most heroic. This “good Tel Aviv boy” – a sober, serious child of the Jewish state – has been shot at repeatedly by the Israeli Defence Force, been threatened with being “beaten to a pulp” on the country’s streets, and faced demands from government ministers that he be tightly monitored as “a security risk.” This is because he has done something very simple, and something that almost no other Israeli has done. Nearly every week for three decades, he has travelled to the Occupied Territories and described what he sees, plainly and without propaganda. “My modest mission,” he says, “is to prevent a situation in which many Israelis will be able to say, ‘We didn’t know.’” And for that, many people want him silenced.

The story of Gideon Levy – and the attempt to deride, suppress or deny his words – is the story of Israel distilled. If he loses, Israel itself is lost.

I meet him in a hotel bar in Scotland, as part of his European tour to promote his new book, ‘The Punishment of Gaza’. The 57 year-old looks like an Eastern European intellectual on a day off – tall and broad and dressed in black, speaking accented English in a lyrical baritone. He seems so at home in the world of book festivals and black coffee that it is hard, at first, to picture him on the last occasion he was in Gaza – in November, 2006, before the Israeli government changed the law to stop him going.

He reported that day on a killing, another of the hundreds he has documented over the years. As twenty little children pulled up in their school bus at the Indira Gandhi kindergarten, their 20 year-old teacher, Najawa Khalif, waved to them – and an Israel shell hit her and she was blasted to pieces in front of them. He arrived a day later, to find the shaking children drawing pictures of the chunks of her corpse. The children were “astonished to see a Jew without weapons. All they had ever seen were soldiers and settlers.”

“My biggest struggle,” he says, “is to rehumanize the Palestinians. There’s a whole machinery of brainwashing in Israel which really accompanies each of us from early childhood, and I’m a product of this machinery as much as anyone else. [We are taught] a few narratives that it’s very hard to break. That we Israelis are the ultimate and only victims. That the Palestinians are born to kill, and their hatred is irrational. That the Palestinians are not human beings like us… So you get a society without any moral doubts, without any questions marks, with hardly public debate. To raise your voice against all this is very hard.”

So he describes the lives of ordinary Palestinians like Najawa and her pupils in the pages of Ha’aretz, Israel’s establishment newspaper. The tales read like Chekovian short stories of trapped people, in which nothing happens, and everything happens, and the only escape is death. One article was entitled “The last meal of the Wahbas family.” He wrote: “They’d all sat down to have lunch at home: the mother Fatma, three months pregnant; her daughter Farah, two; her son Khaled, one; Fatma’s brother, Dr Zakariya Ahmed; his daughter in law Shayma, nine months pregnant; and the seventy-eight year old grandmother. A Wahba family gathering in Khan Yunis in honour of Dr Ahmed, who’d arrived home six days earlier from Saudi Arabia. A big boom is heard outside. Fatma hurriedly scoops up the littlest one and tries to escape to an inner room, but another boom follows immediately. This time is a direct hit.”

In small biographical details, he recovers their humanity from the blankness of an ever-growing death toll. The Wahbas had tried for years to have a child before she finally became pregnant at the age of 36. The grandmother tried to lift little Khaled off the floor: that’s when she realised her son and daughter were dead.

Levy uses a simple technique. He asks his fellow Israelis: how would we feel, if this was done to us by a vastly superior military power? Once, in Jenin, his car was stuck behind an ambulance at a checkpoint for an hour. He saw there was a sick woman in the back and asked the driver what was going on, and he was told the ambulances were always made to wait this long. Furious, he asked the Israeli soldiers how they would feel if it was their mother in the ambulance – and they looked bemused at first, then angry, pointing their guns at him and telling him to shut up.

“I am amazed again and again at how little Israelis know of what’s going on fifteen minutes away from their homes,” he says. “The brainwashing machinery is so efficient that trying [to undo it is] almost like trying to turn an omelette back to an egg. It makes people so full of ignorance and cruelty.” He gives an example. During Operation Cast Lead, the Israel bombing of blockaded Gaza in 2008-9,  “a dog – an Israeli dog – was killed by a Qassam rocket and it on the front page of the most popular newspaper in Israel. On the very same day, there were tens of Palestinians killed, they were on page 16, in two lines.”

At times, the occupation seems to him less tragic than absurd. In 2009, Spain’s most famous clown, Ivan Prado, agreed to attend a clowning festival on Ramallah in the West Bank. He was detained at the airport in Israel, and then deported “for security reasons.” Levy leans forward and asks: “Was the clown considering transferring Spain’s vast stockpiles of laughter to hostile elements? Joke bombs to the jihadists? A devastating punch line to Hamas?”

Yet the absurdity nearly killed him. In the summer of 2003, he was travelling in a clearly marked Israeli taxi on the West Bank. He explains: “At a certain stage the army stopped us and asked what we were doing there. We showed them our papers, which were all in order. They sent us up a road – and when we went onto this road, they shot us. They directed their fire to the centre of the front window. Straight at the head. No shooting in the air, no megaphone calling to stop, no shooting at the wheels. Shoot to kill immediately. If it hadn’t been bullet-proof, I wouldn’t be here now. I don’t think they knew who we were. They shot us like they would shoot anyone else. They were trigger-happy, as they always are. It was like having a cigarette. They didn’t shoot just one bullet. The whole car was full of bullets. Do they know who they are going to kill? No. They don’t know and don’t care.”

He shakes his head with a hardened bewilderment. “They shoot at the Palestinians like this on a daily basis. You have only heard about this because, for once, they shot at an Israeli.”



I “Who lived in this house? Where is he now?”

How did Gideon Levy become so different to his countrymen? Why does he offer empathy to the Palestinians while so many others offer only bullets and bombs? At first, he was just like them: his argument with other Israelis is an argument with his younger self. He was born in 1953 in Tel Aviv and as a young man “I was totally nationalistic, like everyone else. I thought – we are the best, and the Arabs just want to kill. I didn’t question.”

He was fourteen during the Six Day War, and soon after his parents took him to see the newly conquered Occupied Territories. “We were so proud going to see Rachel’s Tomb [in Bethlehem] and we just didn’t see the Palestinians. We looked right through them, like they were invisible,” he says. “It had always been like that. We were passing as children so many ruins [of Palestinian villages that had been ethnically cleansed in 1948]. We never asked: ‘Who lived in this house? Where is he now? He must be alive. He must be somewhere.’ It was part of the landscape, like a tree, like a river.” Long into his twenties, “I would see settlers cutting down olive trees and soldiers mistreating Palestinian women at the checkpoints, and I would think, ‘These are exceptions, not part of government policy.’”

Levy says he became different due to “an accident.” He carried out his military service with Israeli Army Radio and then continued working as a journalist, “so I started going to the Occupied Territories a lot, which most Israelis don’t do. And after a while, gradually, I came to see them as they really are.”

But can that be all? Plenty of Israelis go to the territories – not least the occupying troops and settlers – without recoiling. “I think it was also – you see, my parents were refugees. I saw what it had done to them. So I suppose… I saw these people and thought of my parents.” Levy’s father was a German Jewish lawyer from the Sudetenland. At the age of 26 – in 1939, as it was becoming inescapably clear the Nazis were determined to stage a genocide in Europe – he went with his parents to the railway station in Prague, and they waved him goodbye. “He never saw them or heard from them again,” Levy says. “He never found out what happened to them. If he had not left, he would not have lived.” For six months he lived on a boat filled with refugees, being turned away from port after port, until finally they made it to British Mandate Palestine, as it then was.

“My father was traumatised for his whole life,” he says. “He never really settled in Israel. He never really learned to speak anything but broken Hebrew. He came to Israel with his PhD and he had to make his living, so he started to work in a bakery and to sell cakes from door to door on his bicycle. It must have been a terrible humiliation to be a PhD in law and be knocking on doors offering cakes. He refused to learn to be a lawyer again. He became a minor clerk. I think this is what smashed him, y’know? He lived here sixty years, he had his family, had his happiness but he was really a stranger. A foreigner, in his own country… He was always outraged by things, small things. He couldn’t understand how people would dare to phone between two and four in the afternoon. It horrified him. He never understood what is the concept of overdraft in the bank. Every Israeli has an overdraft, but if he heard somebody was one pound overdrawn, he was horrified.”

His father “never” talked about home. “Any time I tried to encourage him to talk about it, he would close down. He never went back. There was nothing [to go back to], the whole village was destroyed. He left a whole life there. He left a fiancé, a career, everything. I am very sorry I didn’t push him harder to talk because I was young, so I didn’t have much interest. That’s the problem. When we are curious about our parents, they are gone.”

Levy’s father never saw any parallels between the fact he was turned into a refugee, and the 800,000 Palestinians who were turned into refugees by the creation of the state of Israel. “Never! People didn’t think like that. We never discussed it, ever.” Yet in the territories, Levy began to see flickers of his father everywhere – in the broken men and women never able to settle, dreaming forever of going home.

Then, slowly, Levy began to realise their tragedy seeped deeper still into his own life – into the ground beneath his feet and the very bricks of the Israeli town where he lives, Sheikh Munis. It is built on the wreckage of “one of the 416 Palestinian villages Israel wiped off the face of the earth in 1948,” he says. “The swimming pool where I swim every morning was the irrigation grove they used to water the village’s groves. My house stands on one of the groves. The land was ‘redeemed’ by force, its 2,230 inhabitants were surrounded and threatened. They fled, never to return. Somewhere, perhaps in a refugee camp in terrible poverty, lives the family of the farmer who plowed the land where my house now stands.” He adds that it is “stupid and wrong” to compare it to the Holocaust, but says that man is a traumatized refugee just as surely as Levy’s father – and even now, if he ended up in the territories, he and his children and grandchildren live under blockade, or violent military occupation.

The historian Isaac Deutscher once offered an analogy for the creation of the state of Israel. A Jewish man jumps from a burning building, and he lands on a Palestinian, horribly injuring him. Can the jumping man be blamed? Levy’s father really was running for his life: it was Palestine, or a concentration camp. Yet Levy says that the analogy is imperfect – because now the jumping man is still, sixty years later, smashing the head of the man he landed on against the ground, and beating up his children and grandchildren too. “1948 is still here. 1948 is still in the refugee camps. 1948 is still calling for a solution,” he says. “Israel is doing the very same thing now… dehumanising the Palestinians where it can, and ethnic cleansing wherever it’s possible. 1948 is not over. Not by a long way.”



II The scam of “peace talks”

Levy looks out across the hotel bar where we are sitting and across the Middle East, as if the dry sands of the Negev desert were washing towards us. Any conversation about the region is now dominated by a string of propaganda myths, he says, and perhaps the most basic is the belief that Israel is a democracy. “Today we have three kinds of people living under Israeli rule,” he explains. “We have Jewish Israelis, who have full democracy and have full civil rights. We have the Israeli Arabs, who have Israeli citizenship but are severely discriminated against. And we have the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, who live without any civil rights, and without any human rights. Is that a democracy?”

He sits back and asks in a low tone, as if talking about a terminally ill friend: “How can you say it is a democracy when, in 62 years, there was not one single Arab village established? I don’t have to tell you how many Jewish towns and villages were established. Not one Arab village. How can you say it’s a democracy when research has shown repeatedly that Jews and Arabs get different punishments for the same crime? How can you say it’s a democracy when a Palestinian student can hardly rent an apartment in Tel Aviv, because when they hear his accent or his name almost nobody will rent to him? How can you say Israel is a democracy when… Jerusalem invests 577 shekels a year in a pupil in [Palestinian] East Jerusalem and 2372 shekels a year in a pupil from [Jewish] West Jerusalem. Four times less, only because of the child’s ethnicity! Every part of our society is racist.”

“I want to be proud of my country,” he says. “I am an Israeli patriot. I want us to do the right thing.” So this requires him to point out that Palestinian violence is – in truth – much more limited than Israeli violence, and usually a reaction to it. “The first twenty years of the occupation passed quietly, and we did not lift a finger to end it. Instead, under cover of the quiet, we built the enormous, criminal settlement enterprise,” where Palestinian land is seized by Jewish religious fundamentalists who claim it was given to them by God. Only then – after a long period of theft, and after their attempts at peaceful resistance were met with brutal violence – did the Palestinians become violent themselves. “What would happen if the Palestinians had not fired Qassams [the rockets shot at Southern Israel, including civilian towns]? Would Israel have lifted the economic siege? Nonsense. If the Gazans were sitting quietly, as Israel expects them to do, their case would disappear from the agenda. Nobody would give any thought to the fate of the people of Gaza if they had not behaved violently.”

He unequivocally condemns the firing of rockets at Israeli civilians, but adds: “The Qassams have a context. They are almost always fired after an IDF assassination operation, and there have been many of these.” Yet the Israeli attitude is that “we are allowed to bomb anything we want but they are not allowed to launch Qassams.” It is a view summarised by Haim Ramon, the justice minister at time of Second Lebanon War: “We are allowed to destroy everything.”

Even the terms we use to discuss Operation Cast Lead are wrong, Levy argues. “That wasn’t a war. It was a brutal assault on a helpless, imprisoned population. You can call a match between Mike Tyson and a 5 year old child boxing, but the proportions, oh, the proportions.” Israel “frequently targeted medical crews, [and] shelled a UN-run school that served as a shelter for residents, who bled to death over days as the IDF prevented their evacuation by shooting and shelling… A state that takes such steps is no longer distinguishable from a terror organisation. They say as a justification that Hamas hides among the civilian population. As if the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv is not located in the heart of a civilian population! As if there are places in Gaza that are not in the heart of a civilian population!”

He appeals to anybody who is sincerely concerned about Israel’s safety and security to join him in telling Israelis the truth in plain language. “A real friend does not pick up the bill for an addict’s drugs: he packs the friend off to rehab instead. Today, only those who speak up against Israel’s policies – who denounce the occupation, the blockade, and the war – are the nation’s true friends.” The people who defend Israel’s current course are “betraying the country” by encouraging it on “the path to disaster. A child who has seen his house destroyed, his brother killed, and his father humiliated will not easily forgive.”

These supposed ‘friends of Israel’ are in practice friends of Islamic fundamentalism, he believes. “Why do they have to give the fundamentalists more excuses, more fury, more opportunities, more recruits? Look at Gaza. Gaza was totally secular not long ago. Now you can hardly get alcohol today in Gaza, after all the brutality. Religious fundamentalism is always the language people turn to in despair, if everything else fails. If Gaza had been a free society it would not have become like this. We gave them recruits.”

Levy believes the greatest myth – the one hanging over the Middle East like perfume sprayed onto a corpse – is the idea of the current ‘peace talks’ led by the United States. There was a time when he too believed in them. At the height of the Oslo talks in the 1990s, when Yitzhak Rabin negotiated with Yassir Arafat, “at the end of a visit I turned and, in a gesture straight out of the movies, waved Gaza farewell. Goodbye occupied Gaza, farewell! We are never to meet again, at least not in your occupied state. How foolish!”

Now, he says, he is convinced it was “a scam” from the start, doomed to fail. How does he know? “There is a very simple litmus test for any peace talks. A necessity for peace is for Israel to dismantle settlements in the West Bank. So if you are going to dismantle settlements soon, you’d stop building more now, right? They carried on building them all through Oslo. And today, Netanyahu is refusing to freeze construction, the barest of the bare minimum. It tells you all you need.”

He says Netanyahu has – like the supposedly more left-wing alternatives, Ehud Barak and Tzipip Livni – always opposed real peace talks, and even privately bragged about destroying the Oslo process. In 1997, during his first term as Israeli leader, he insisted he would only continue with the talks if a clause was added saying Israel would not have to withdraw from undefined “military locations” – and he was later caught on tape boasting: “Why is that important? Because from that moment on I stopped the Oslo accords.” If he bragged about “stopping” the last peace process, why would he want this one to succeed? Levy adds: “And how can you make peace with only half the Palestinian population? How can you leave out Hamas and Gaza?”

These fake peace talks are worse than no talks at all, Levy believes. “If there are negotiations, there won’t be international pressure. Quiet, we’re in discussions, settlement can go on uninterrupted. That is why futile negotiations are dangerous negotiations. Under the cover of such talks, the chances for peace will grow even dimmer… The clear subtext is Netanyahu’s desire to get American support for bombing Iran. To do that, he thinks he needs to at least pay lip-service to Obama’s requests for talks. That’s why he’s doing this.”

After saying this, he falls silent, and we stare at each other for a while. Then he says, in a quieter voice: “The facts are clear. Israel has no real intention of quitting the territories or allowing the Palestinian people to exercise their rights. No change will come to pass in the complacent, belligerent, and condescending Israel of today. This is the time to come up with a rehabilitation programme for Israel.”



III Waving Israeli flags made in China

According to the opinion polls, most Israelis support a two-state solution – yet they elect governments that expand the settlements and so make a two-state solution impossible. “You would need a psychiatrist to explain this contradiction,” Levy says. “Do they expect two states to fall from the sky? Today, the Israelis have no reason to make any changes,” he continues. “Life in Israel is wonderful. You can sit in Tel Aviv and have a great life. Nobody talks about the occupation. So why would they bother [to change]? The majority of Israelis think about the next vacation and the next jeep and all the rest doesn’t interest them any more.” They are drenched in history, and yet oblivious to it.

In Israel, the nation’s “town square has been empty for years. If there were no significant protests during Operation Cast Lead, then there is no left to speak of. The only group campaigning for anything other than their personal whims are the settlers, who are very active.” So how can change happen? He says he is “very pessimistic”, and the most likely future is a society turning to ever-more naked “apartheid.” With a shake of the head, he says: “We had now two wars, the flotilla – it doesn’t seem that Israel has learned any lesson, and it doesn’t seem that Israel is paying any price. The Israelis don’t pay any price for the injustice of the occupation, so the occupation will never end. It will not end a moment before Israelis understand the connection between the occupation and the price they will be forced to pay. They will never shake it off on their own initiative.”

It sounds like he is making the case for boycotting Israel, but his position is more complex. “Firstly, the Israeli opposition to the boycott is incredibly hypocritical. Israel itself is one of the world’s most prolific boycotters. Not only does it boycott, it preaches to others, at times even forces others, to follow in tow. Israel has imposed a cultural, academic, political, economic and military boycott on the territories. The most brutal, naked boycott is, of course, the siege on Gaza and the boycott of Hamas. At Israel’s behest, nearly all Western countries signed onto the boycott with inexplicable alacrity. This is not just a siege that has left Gaza in a state of shortage for three years. It’s a series of cultural, academic, humanitarian and economic boycotts. Israel is also urging the world to boycott Iran. So Israelis cannot complain if this is used against them.”

He shifts in his seat. “But I do not boycott Israel. I could have done it, I could have left Israel. But I don’t intend to leave Israel. Never. I can’t call on others to do what I will not do… There is also the question of whether it will work. I am not sure Israelis would make the connection. Look at the terror that happened in 2002 and 2003: life in Israel was really horrifying, the exploding buses, the suicide-bombers. But no Israeli made the connection between the occupation and the terror. For them, the terror was just the ‘proof’ that the Palestinians are monsters,  that they were born to kill, that they are not human beings and that’s it. And if you just dare to make the connection, people will tell you ‘you justify terror ’ and you are a traitor. I suspect it would be the same with sanctions. The condemnation after Cast Lead and the flotilla only made Israel more nationalistic. If [a boycott was] seen as the judgement of the world they would be effective. But Israelis are more likely to take them as ‘proof’ the world is anti-Semitic and will always hate us.”

He believes only one kind of pressure would bring Israel back to sanity and safety: “The day the president of the United States decides to put an end to the occupation, it will cease. Because Israel was never so dependent on the United States as it is now. Never. Not only economically, not only militarily but above all politically. Israel is totally isolated today, except for America.” He was initially hopeful that Barack Obama would do this – he recalls having tears in his eyes as he delivered his victory speech in Grant Park – but he says he has only promoted “tiny steps, almost nothing, when big steps are needed.” It isn’t only bad for Israel – it is bad for America. “The occupation is the best excuse for many worldwide terror organisations. It’s not always genuine but they use it. Why do you let them use it? Why give them this fury? Why not you solve it once and for all when the, when the solution is so simple?”

For progress, “the right-wing American Jews who become orgiastic whenever Israel kills and destroys” would have to be exposed as “Israel’s enemies”, condemning the country they supposedly love to eternal war. “It is the right-wing American Jews who write the most disgusting letters. They say I am Hitler’s grandson, that they pray my children get cancer… It is because I touch a nerve with them. There is something there.” These right-wingers claim to be opposed to Iran, but Levy points out they vehemently oppose the two available steps that would immediately isolate Iran and strip Mahmoud Ahmadinejadh of his best propaganda-excuses: “peace with Syria and peace with the Palestinians, both of which are on offer, and both of which are rejected by Israel. They are the best way to undermine Iran.”

He refuses to cede Israel to people “who wave their Israeli flags made in China and dream of a Knesset cleansed of Arabs and an Israel with no [human rights organisation] B’Tselem.” He looks angry, indignant. “I will never leave. It’s my place on earth. It’s my language, it’s my culture. Even the criticism that I carry and the shame that I carry come from my deep belonging to the place. I will leave only if I be forced to leave. They would have to tear me out.”



IV A whistle in the dark

Does he think this is a real possibility – that his freedom could be taken from him, in Israel itself? “Oh, very easily,” he says. “It’s already taken from me by banning me from going to Gaza, and this is just a start. I have great freedom to write and to appear on television in Israel, and I have a very good life, but I don’t take my freedom for granted, not at all. If this current extreme nationalist atmosphere continues in Israel in one, two, three years time…” He sighs. “There may be new restrictions, Ha’aretz may close down – God forbid – I don’t take anything for granted. I will not be surprised if Israeli Palestinian parties are criminalized at the next election, for example. Already they are going after the NGOs [Non-Government Organizations that campaign for Palestinian rights]. There is already a majority in the opinion polls who want to punish people who expose wrong-doing by the military and want to restrict the human rights groups.”

There is also the danger of a freelance attack. Last year, a man with a large dog strutted up to Levy near his home and announced: “I have wanted to beat you to a pulp for a long time.” Levy only narrowly escaped, and the man was never caught. He says now: “I am scared but I don’t live on the fear.  But to tell you that my night sleep is as yours… I’m not sure. Any noise, my first association is ‘maybe now, it’s coming’.  But there was never any concrete case in which I really thought ‘here it comes’. But I know it might come.”

Has he ever considered not speaking the truth, and diluting his statements? He laughs – and for the only time in our interview, his eloquent torrents of words begin to sputter. “I wish I could! No way I could. I mean, this is not an option at all. Really, I can’t. How can I? No way. I feel lonely but my private, er, surrounding is supportive, part of it at least. And there are still Israelis who appreciate what I do.  If you walk with me in the streets of Tel Aviv you will see all kinds of reactions but also very positive reactions. It is hard but I mean it’s…it’s…what other choice do I have?”

He says his private life is supportive “in part”. What’s the part that isn’t? For the past few years, he says, he has dated non-Israeli women – “I couldn’t be with a nationalistic person who said those things about the Palestinians” – but his two sons don’t read anything he writes, “and they have different politics from me. I think it was difficult for them, quite difficult.” Are they right-wingers? “No, no, no, nothing like that. As they get older, they are coming to my views more. But they don’t read my work. No,” he says, looking down, “they don’t read it.”

The long history of the Jewish people has a recurring beat – every few centuries, a brave Jewish figure stands up to warn his people they are have ended up on an immoral or foolish path that can only end in catastrophe, and implores them to change course. The first prophet, Amos, warned that the Kingdom of Israel would be destroyed because the Jewish people had forgotten the need for justice and generosity – and he was shunned for it. Baruch Spinoza saw beyond the Jewish fundamentalism of his day to a materialist universe that could be explained scientifically – and he was excommunicated, even as he cleared the path for the great Jewish geniuses to come. Could Levy, in time, be seen as a Jewish prophet in the unlikely wilderness of a Jewish state, calling his people back to a moral path?

He nods faintly, and smiles. “Noam Chomsky once wrote to me that I was like the early Jewish prophets. It was the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid me. But… well… My opponents would say it’s a long tradition of self-hating Jews. But I don’t take that seriously. For sure, I feel that I belong to a tradition of self-criticism. I deeply believe in self-criticism.” But it leaves him in bewildering situations: “Many times I am standing among Palestinian demonstrators, my back to the Palestinians, my face to the Israeli soldiers, and they were shooting in our direction. They are my people, and they are my army. The people I’m standing among are supposed to be the enemy. It is…” He shakes his head. There must be times, I say, when you ask: what’s a nice Jewish boy doing in a state like this?

But then, as if it has been nagging at him, he returns abruptly to an earlier question. “I am very pessimistic, sure. Outside pressure can be effective if it’s an American one but I don’t see it happening. Other pressure from other parts of the world might be not effective. The Israeli society will not change on its own, and the Palestinians are too weak to change it. But having said this, I must say, if we had been sitting here in the late 1980s and you had told me that the Berlin wall will fall within months, that the Soviet Union will fall within months, that parts of the regime in South Africa will fall within months, I would have laughed at you. Perhaps the only hope I have is that this occupation regime hopefully is already so rotten that maybe it will fall by itself one day. You have to be realistic enough to believe in miracles.”

In the meantime, Gideon Levy will carry on patiently documenting his country’s crimes, and trying to call his people back to a righteous path. He frowns a little – as if he is picturing Najawa Khalif blown to pieces in front of her school bus, or his own broken father – and says to me: “A whistle in the dark is still a whistle.”

Gideon Levy’s book ‘The Punishment of Gaza’ is available from Verso Books. You can buy it HERE.

You can watch Johann’s speech to the Protest the Pope rally  HERE.

You can follow Johann Hari’s updates on Israel and other issuesHERE.

Jewish men go on rampage in Paris streets and clash with pro-Palestinian demonstrators

Shocking scenes as 150 Jewish men go on rampage in Paris streets and clash with pro-Palestinian demonstrators

  • About 150 men took to the streets armed with metal bars and sticks
  • None were arrested despite going on the rampage in front of police
  • Six pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested over synagogue break in 

By PETER ALLEN

A group of 150 Jewish men were seen brandishing iron bars and cans of pepper spray as they clashed with Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Paris.

Video footage of the clashes show the group chanting racist slogans as they roamed the streets.

It came as President Francois Hollande warned that he did not want to see ‘the Israeli-Palestinian conflict imported into France’.

Scroll down for video

 
A still taken from the video shows dozens of men in Paris walking down the streets armed with chairs and other weapons, before clashing with pro-Palestinian demonstrators

A still taken from the video shows dozens of men in Paris walking down the streets armed with chairs and other weapons, before clashing with pro-Palestinian demonstrators

 

 
 
Around 150 mainly young men were seen carrying weapons, like chairs, and chanting racist slogans as they went on the rampage

Around 150 mainly young men were seen carrying weapons, like chairs, and chanting racist slogans as they went on the rampage

 

 

 
 
INCREDIBLE FOOTAGE of Israeli/Palestinian violence in Paris
 

 

French Jewish groups have complained about an increase in anti-Semitism in recent months, with many accusing Muslim youths of targeting them.

But a video shot close to the Place de la Bastille on Sunday, and verified by police before being posted on YouTube, appears to show pro-Israel groups are also actively involved in clashes.

 

 

In Paris, CRS riot police did not arrest any of the group, thought to be linked to the Jewish Defence League, despite them openly fighting in broad daylight.

In the video, those amongst the group can be heard chanting ‘**** you Palestine’ as they smash up chairs and metal tables to be used as missiles.

 
CRS riot police did not arrest any members of the rampaging group, thought to be linked to the extremist Jewish Defence League, despite them openly fighting in broad daylight

CRS riot police did not arrest any members of the rampaging group, thought to be linked to the extremist Jewish Defence League, despite them openly fighting in broad daylight

 

 
 
The group were carrying gas canisters, pepper spray, metal bars and wooden sticks, and some wore crash helmets while others simply covered their faces

The group were carrying gas canisters, pepper spray, metal bars and wooden sticks, and some wore crash helmets while others simply covered their faces

 

 

The men are armed with gas canisters, pepper spray, metal bars and wooden sticks and some wear crash helmets.

The video shows the men running towards pro-Palestinian demonstrators, before skirmishes break out.

Six pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested on Sunday, accused of trying to break into two Paris synagogues. Two Jewish men were reportedly injured.

A protester wearing a gas mask holds a fake rocket during protests in Paris over the weekend

A protester wearing a gas mask holds a fake rocket during protests in Paris over the weekend

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators were said to have tried to break into two Paris synagogues on Sunday which resulted in six arrests and two Jewish men being injured

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators were said to have tried to break into two Paris synagogues on Sunday which resulted in six arrests and two Jewish men being injured

In the wake of the clashes Mr Hollande said the country will ‘redouble vigilance’.

He was due to meet the head of Jewish umbrella group CRIF today.

Alexis Bachelay, a Paris MP for the ruling Socialist party, said: ‘There has evidently been a media manipulation about who really got assaulted.

‘These are extremely serious facts that need to be investigated thoroughly by the police. It is not the first time that young French people of Muslim origin are stigmatised by the media.

‘French people of Muslim origin should be protected by the law when demonstrating. They should not be attacked by radical groups like the LDJ’.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2693423/Jewish-vigilantes-rampage-Paris-attack-pro-Palestinian-demonstrators.html#ixzz37r94syfV 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

‘Sderot cinema’: Image shows Israelis gathering to watch nighttime attacks on Gaza

Southern Israeli city is in the Negev desert close to the Gaza Strip.

 


Journalist Allan Sorenson posted this photo on Twitter, which he told The Stream was taken in Sderot on July 9.

Sderot cinema. Israelis bringing chairs 2 hilltop in sderot 2 watch latest from Gaza. Clapping when blasts are heard.

RAMADAN DUA LIST – Guidelines, Tips & Dua Suggestions

Allah loves to hear you make dua to Him.
RAMADAN DUA LIST – Guidelines, Tips & Dua Suggestions
 

Bismillah

One of the reasons most of us are excited about Ramadan is because it is in this beautiful month that we are hoping to get our duas accepted. And honestly truth be told not a single one of us is not in need of a dua being answered.

What is Ramadan Dua List?
What duas should I make?
Are there any Ramadan Specific duas?

RAMADAN DUA LIST
A list consisting of personal duas + duas from Sunnah and Qur’an that you intend to make during the month of Ramadan in the form of a book or a printout. These duas can be made throughout the day at any time or you can allot specific timings to specific duas. A List will improve productivity + ensure you do not forget any dua.

DIVIDE YOUR DUAS INTO 6 PARTS
1st Part
 – Atleast 10 duas that you intend to make during Fajr Salaah. The Duas need to be less than 10. Do not overwhelm yourself. If you can make alot of dua then go ahead, whatever floats your boat.
2nd Part – Repeat the same with different set of duas for Dhohr.
3rd Part – Repeat the same with different set of duas of Asr.
4th Part – Repeat the same with different set of duas for Maghrib.
5th Part – Repeat the same with different set of duas for Isha.
6th Part – Atleast 20 Duas that you intend to make before breaking fast and during Qiyaam or Tahajjud. These duas need to be special and the ones that you want the most. Make sure you include duas that balance deen and duniya. Do not forget to include Ummah in this particular section.

DUAS IN SUJOOD
List down atleast 4 duas that you will and should make in every single sujood. Again make sure these are the duas that you need the most. I would repeat my advise and admonish you not to increase the number.

ARE THERE ANY RAMADAN SPECIFIC DUAS?
Yes! There are 2 authentic Ramadan Specific duas.
Dua 1: “After” breaking fast.
Note: All the duas that circulate during Ramadan “before” breaking fast are da’if. It is best to say bismillah and break your fast. And then make the following dua. Simple and easy.

ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الأَجْرُ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ ‏

Zahabaz Zama’u wab tal latil uruqoo wa sabbatal ajr InshaAllah
Thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward is sure, if Allah wills.

Marwan ibn Salim al-Muqaffa’ said: I saw Ibn Umar holding his beard with his hand and cutting what exceeded the handful of it. He (Ibn Umar) said that the Prophet (ﷺ) said when he broke his fast: Thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward is sure, if Allah wills.
{Sunan Abi Dawud – Hassan}

Dua 2 : During Last 10 Days of Ramadan.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي 

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-’afwa, fa’fu ‘anni
O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-’afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).”
{At-Tirmidhi}

SOME DUA WORDINGS & IDEAS
(Please feel free to include these in your list)

Include Ummah and their hardships in your dua list.
Muslims from Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Kashmir, Srilanka .. the list is endless.
Single mothers.
Widows.
Couples with fertility issues.
Single muslims struggling to get married.
Muslims with diseases.
Muslims in Debts.
Dua for protection against fitna of grave, Dajjal and Hell fire.
Dua to be amongst Sabiqoon mentioned in Surah Al Waqiyah and under the shade of Allah’s throne on the Day of Judgment.
To drink water from the fountain of Al Kauthar from Prophet’s  hands on Day of Judgment (salallahu aleyhi wasallam).
Dua for your progeny,your husband,parents,siblings and inlaws (even if you are single).
Dua for money/bling and financial security – You can make dua to be a billionaire with Allah anything is possible.
Dua to make you a rich muslim who spends in the path of Allah and is not greedy or stringy or one who spends money on wrong affairs.
Dua to be free from grudges, jealousy,ungratefulness and hatred.
Dua for Muslim Prisoners and their families.
Dua for humanity and Orphans.
Dua for studies and goals in life.
Dua for Jannatul firdous al alaa.
Dua to be the neighbour of Prophetﷺ and his companions (salallahu aleyhi wasallam and radiallahu anhuma).
Dua to ward off hardships that one’s qadr might have and replace them with blessings.
Dua to keep us humble and on the right path without hardships being reminders to humble us.
Dua for good health for self and loved ones.
Dua for calling us to Mecca and Madina for Hajj and Umrah time and again!
Dua for Muslims who have Psychological diseases and hardships.
Dua for Cancer patients.
Dua for protection against punishment of grave and the pain of death.
Dua to cross the bridge of Siraat with the speed of light and more.
Dua for protection against black magic and evil eye.
Dua to make family ties strong.
Dua to be the Oolil Albaab/People of sound understanding.
Some suggestions from the top of my head! 

TWO DUA TIPS
Tip 1 – Recite the Dua Prophet Muhammad ﷺ often made.

اللهم آتنا في الدنيا حسنة، وفي الآخرة حسنة، وقنا عذاب النار

Allahumma atina fid-dunya hasanatan, wa fil-akhirati hasanatan, wa qina ‘adhab-annar
O our Rubb! give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the punishment of the Fire

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The supplication most often recited by the Prophet (ﷺ) was: “Allahumma atina fid-dunya hasanatan, wa fil-akhirati hasanatan, wa qina ‘adhab-annar (O our Rubb! give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the punishment of the Fire).”‘
{Al-Bukhari and Muslim}
In the narration of Muslim it is added that whenever Anas supplicated, he used to beseech Allah with this Du’a.

Tip 2 – Purchase Fortress of the Muslim
Purchase atleast 10 copies. Consider this an investment. Gift it to your friends/family/reverts you know of. 
Keep it handy at all times specially during Ramadan. Have free time? Open the book and start making duas from it.
An online version is available but I highly recommend that you purchase a hardcopy. Once you are online there are so many distractions. And personally I like to sit on my prayer mat and make dua in the seclusion of my room. I do not like distractions and I reckon no one else does. Gifting it to others and they benefiting from it will gain you more reward, and who doesn’t want extra reward in Ramadan? 
Get highlighters in 5 different colours and mark your duas. 
For instance all duas marked with green are the ones you intend to make in Fajr Salaah and the ones with red in dhohr and so on. That way you will be dividing your duas and making sure you make all of them without getting tired or disinterested.

DUA POINTERS THAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER

  1. It is from the sunnah to repeat your dua 3 times.
  2. It is from the etiquette of dua to make it in a moderate voice.
    Not too loud.
    Not too low.
    O people! Don’t exert yourselves, for you do not call a deaf or an absent one, but you call the All- Listener, the All-Seer.
    – Prophet Muhammad
    {Sahih Al Bukhari}
  3. Call Allah using His Beautiful Names
    Al Wali – The Protecting Friend.
    Al Qareeb – The One who is Near.
    Al Wakeel – The Most Trustworthy.
  4. If Allah granted the dua of Shaytan do you think he will not grant your dua?
  5. Remember that the reply of dua comes in 3 forms
    a) Yes.
    b) Yes but on a later date, not immediately.
    c) Some difficult/trouble is waved off.
    “No believer makes Dua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated.”
    - Aisha radiAllahu anha
  6. Make dua for your friends and Ummah, Angels will make the same dua for you. It is an absolute win win situation. Make sure you make dua for atleast 10 close friends.
  7. Begin & End your dua by sending Salaam on Prophet Muhammad.

    Invoke blessings at the beginning and the end of your supplications. Allah is sure to accept both blessings and it is unlikely that He would not accept what is in between.”
    – Abu Sulaiman Ad-Darani“Duaa is suspended between heaven and earth and none of it is taken up until you send blessings upon your Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.”
    – Umar radiAllahu anhu

    Study this in details HERE

  8. Some Salaf made dua for 20 years and were still hopefull that their dua will be accepted and responded to. Always remember this if you tend to get impatient.
  9. Dua is a form of Worship. You get rewarded for making dua. This itself should be reason enough for us to be constantly engaged in making dua.
  10. When Allah mentions dua in Qur’an he establishes a direct connection with you. Even Prophet Muhammad is moved away from inbetween. Usually Allah commands prophet Muhammad to “tell it” to the people. But when it comes to verse about Dua “qul” is removed. This conveys pure tawheed. Dua makes a “direct” connection between you and Allah, not even Prophet Muhammad, no messenger, no wali is between you and Allah.
    SubhanAllah take a moment and visual a pure direct connection that is established between you and Allah whenever you start making dua!!
    Fathkuroonee athkurkum
    So remember Me; I will remember you.
    {Surat Al Baqarah 2: Ayaah 152}
  11. Dua is more likely to be answered in sujood, before tasleem in fard Salaah, between Adhan and Iqamaa, before breaking fast, 1/3rd end of the night also known as tahajjud or qiyaam ul layl, when it rains,.. to name a few.
    Learn to combine these.
    Example – Dua in Sujood during Ramadan at Tahajjud on the possible odd nights of laylatul Qadr!
  12. To humble yourself before Allah whilst making dua, confess your sins.
  13. Know that Allah is shy and will not return a servant empty handed.
    Salman Al-farsi narrated that the Prophet said:
    “Indeed, Allah, is Hayy, Generous, when a man raises his hands to Him, He feels too shy to return them to him empty and rejected.”
    {Tirmidhi}
  14. Make dua with sincerity & Humility. You must ensure that your heart/Qalb submits totally, sincerely and wholeheartedly to Allah. Allah does not listen to an absent heart.
    “O you who believe! Enter into Islam wholeheartedly, without reservation…”
    {Surat Al Baqara 2 : Ayaah 208}
    Your Qalb/Heart cannot be compartmentalized. You cannot dedicate one piece of it to Allah and another to some other illah/god, like wealth, status, career, spouse and so on.
  15. Make dua with Yaqeen and certainity. Make sure you put your faith in the dua and be positive that Allah will answer it. Have Tawakkul-this is going to happen! Don’t say I don’t know if this is going to work. If you are not committing any major sins it will work – bi’ithinillah. Be firm and don’t be hesitant that Allah will not answer you.
  16. Allah loves it when you make dua.
  17. Allah gets angry when you do not ask him or make dua to Him.
    “Whoever does not call upon Allah, He will be angry with him.”
    - Prophet Muhammad
    {Sunan Ibn Majah}
  18. Dua is your weapon against everything and everyone.
  19. Only dua has the power to change Qadr/Destiny. Make dua that if there are hardships written in your qadr that Allah replaces them with blessings instead.
  20. Your dua is more likely to be accepted if you constantly and sincerely repent. Repentance cleanses you of your sins and you are in a purer state when you plead Allah.
  21. Be Patient. Do not be in a haste. Keep negative thoughts concerning your dua and Allah at bay. Erase them totally if possible.
    “(The du’aa’) of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not hasty in seeking a response and does not say, ‘I prayed but I have not had a response.’”
    - Prophet Muhammad
    {Sahih Al Bukhari & Sahih Muslim}

DUA SUGGESTIONS

a)    Dua for the best of both worlds
Rabbana atinafee addunya hasanatan wafee al-akhiratihasanatan waqina AAathaba annar.
Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.
{Surat Al Baqarah 2 : Ayaah 201}

b)    Dua during Distress (Keeping in mind as humans we are never “totally” free from distress,thus making this dua constantly is very beneficial.)
La ilaha il-lallah Al-`Alimul-Halim. La-ilaha illallah Rabul- Arsh-al-Azim, La ilaha-il-lallah Rabus-Samawati Rab-ul-Ard; wa Rab-ul-Arsh Al- Karim.
None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the incomparably great, the compassionate. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the rub of the mighty throne. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah the rub of the heavens, the rub of the earth, and the rubb of the honorable throne.{Sahih Al Bukhari}

c)     Dua for Spouse and Children
Rabbanahab lana min azwajina wathurriyyatinaqurrata aAAyunin wajAAalna lilmuttaqeena imama
Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.
{Surat Al Furqan 25: Ayaah 74}

d)    Dua for Forgiveness and a Beautiful End
Rabbana faghfirlana thunoobana wakaffir AAannasayyi-atina watawaffana maAAa al-abrar
Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die in the state of righteousness along with Al-Abrar (those who are obedient to Allah and follow strictly His Orders).
{Surat Ali Imran 3: Ayaah 193}

e)    Dua for Protection against Debt, Oppression, Sadness.
Allahumma Inni A’udhu Bika Minal-Hammi Wal-Hazani Wal-Ajzi Wal-Kasali Wal-Bukhli Wa Dala’id=Dain Wa Qahrir-Rijal
O Allah, I seek refuge in You from sadness, grief, helplessness, laziness, being stingy, overwhelming debt, and the overpowering of men
{Tirmidhi}

f)      Dua for Guidance & Protection against harm 
Allahumm-aghfir li, warhamni, wa-hdini, wa ‘afini, warzuqni
O Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, guard me against harm and provide me with sustenance and salvation
{Sahih Muslim}

g)    Dua for Guidance towards the best of Manners
Inna salati wa nusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi rabbil-alamin, la sharika lahu, wa bidhalika umirtu wa ana min al-muslimin. Allahummahdini liahsanil-amali wa ahsanil-akhlaqi la yahdi li ahsaniha illa anta wa qini sayy’al-a’mali wa sayy’al-ahaqi la yaqi sayy’aha illa ant.
Indeed my salah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am one of the Muslims. O Allah, guide me to the best of deeds and the best of manners, for none can guide to the best of them but You. And protect me from bad deeds and bad manners, for none can protect against them but You.
{Sunan An Nasai}

h)   Dua for Safety and Wellbeing
Allahumma inni as’alukal-huda wat- tuqa wal-’afafa wal-ghina
O Allah! I ask you for your guidance, piety, safety and wellbeing and contentment and sufficieny.
{Sahih Muslim}

i)      Dua for Protection Against Hellfiire
Rabbanaisrif AAanna AAathaba jahannama inna AAathabahakana gharama Innaha saat mustaqarran wamuqama
Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment. Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to dwell.
{Surat Al Furqan 25: Ayaat 65-66}

j)      Dua for confessing your Sins – Dua of Yunus aleyhi salaam. If you know what verse follows this verse you will never stop making this dua! SubhanAllah. May Allah answer our prayers as He responded to the call of our beloved Prophet Yunus aleyhi salaam.
La ilaha illa anta subhanaka inneekuntu mina aththalimeen
[none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah)], Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.
{Surat Al Anbya 21: Ayaah 87}

FOLLOWING VERSE -
Fastajabna lahu wanajjaynahumina alghammi wakathalika nunjee almu/mineen
So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.
{Surat Al Anbya 21: Ayaah 88}

May Allah make us from the believers whom He saves!! Ameen

k)    Dua for protection against an oppressor or when you are feeling totally helpless – Dua of Nuh aleyhi salaam
Rabbahu annee maghloobun fantasir
Indeed, I am overpowered, so help(me).
{Surat Al Qamar 54: Ayaah 10}

l)      Dua for the best disposal of your Affairs – Dua of Ibrahim aleyhi salaam
HasbunaAllahu waniAAma alwakeel
Sufficient for us is Allah , and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.
{Surat Ali Imran 3: Ayaah 173}

m) Dua for Job Security + Marriage –  Musa aleyhi salaam. One of my favourite Duaas. This dua ensured Musa aleyhi salaam got a job security for 8-10 years and got him married.
Rabbiinnee lima anzalta ilayya min khayrin faqeer
My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.
{Surah Al Qasas 28: Ayaah 24}

n)   Dua for seeking Allah’s Mercy
Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum! Bi rahmatika astagheeth!
O Living, O Self-Sustaining Sustainer! In Your Mercy do I seek relief
{Tirmidhi}

o)    Dua for entrusting your affairs with Allah – Dua of Yaqoob aleyhi salaam
Innama ashkoo baththee wahuzneeila Allahi
I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah
{Surah Yusuf 12: Ayaah 86}
Waofawwidu amree ila Allahi inna Allahabaseerun bilAAibad
And I entrust my affair to Allah . Indeed, Allah is Seeing of [His] servants
{Surah Ghafir 40:Ayaah 44}

p) Dua for Protection Against Hellfire, Grave & Dajjal
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min ‘adhabi jahannam, wa min ‘adhabil-qabr, wa min fitnatil-mahya wal-mamat, wa min sharri fitnatil-masihid-dajjal.
“O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the mischief of Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (Antichrist).”
{Sahih Muslim}

q)    Dua for acceptance of dua!
Rabbana wtaqabbal duAAa
Our Lord, and accept my supplication.
{Surat Ibrahim 14: Ayaah 40}

DUAS FOR CHILDREN
SubhanAllah nearly every week we get emails from sisters asking us for duas that might get them pregnant. I pray Allah answers your dua for a poius, healthy and beautiful progeny this Ramadan.
Here are some of the duas you can make.

1. Dua of Zakkariyya aleyhi salaam
Rabbi hab lee min ladunka thurriyyatantayyibatan innaka sameeAAu adduAAa
“My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”

{Surat Ali Imran 3: Ayaah 38}

2. Dua of Zakkariyya aleyhi salaam
Rabbi la tatharnee fardan waanta khayru alwaritheen
“My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.”
{Surat Al Anbya 21 : Ayaah 89}

3. Dua of Ibrahim aleyhi salaam for his sons Ismael and Ishaq 
Rabbi hablee mina assaliheen
“My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.”
{Surat As Saffat 37: Ayaah 100}

4.   Dua from Surat Al Furqan
Rabbanahab lana min azwajina wathurriyyatinaqurrata aAAyunin wajAAalna lilmuttaqeena imama
“Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”
{Surat Al Furqan 25: Ayaah 74}

5.  Dua from Surat Al Ahqaf
RabbiawziAAnee an ashkura niAAmataka allatee anAAamta AAalayya waAAalawalidayya waan aAAmala salihan tardahuwaaslih lee fee thurriyyatee innee tubtuilayka wa-innee mina almuslimeen.
“My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.”
{Surat Al Ahqaf 46: Ayaah 15}

CRYING WHILE MAKING DUA

Crying and Beseeching Allah in times of hardship comes naturally. Especially when we are feeling helpless. This problem arises when we are surrounded with blessings and yet our heart yearns for the sweetness of crying out to Allah either in repentance or in humble gratitude. Here are few tips that might help you:
1. Imagine yourself lying alone in your grave.
2. Imagine your sins that Allah in His ultimate mercy covered and has still kept hidden.
3. Imagine seeing Hellfire.
4. Imagine standing naked on the day of judgment waiting to receive your book of deeds.
5. Imagine Allah turning away from you or making you blind on the day of judgment.
6. Imagine the innumerable blessings of Allah that you DO NOT deserve yet Allah has showered you with.
7. Imagine the diseases and hardships Allah has saved you from which others are suffering with. Rape, Marital Abuse, Cancer, Abusive Parents and the list of evil things which could have happened but DID NOT is literally ENDLESS!
8. Last and the MOST IMPORTANT make a constant small effort to gain more knowledge. The greater knowledge you have about the seerah, names of Allah and Tafseer of the Qur’an inshaAllah the greater will be your humility, fear and Love of Allah. We pray Allah keeps us away and saves us from being those who have knowledge but are arrogant. Knowledge is beneficial only when it increases us in humility.

If someone is new to Islam and is wondering why should I even be crying or trying to cry?

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“No man will enter the Fire who weeps for fear of Allah, Most High, until the milk goes back into the udders. And the dust (of Jihad) in the cause of Allah, and the smoke of Hell will never be combined.”
{Sunan An Nasai}
 

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said Allah will give shade to seven (types of people) under His Shade (on the Day of Resurrection). (one of them will be) a person who remembers Allah and his eyes are then flooded with tears.
{Sahih Al Bukhari}

I pray every single dua we make this Ramadan gets accepted. One of the duas that I wanted to be answered the most took 3 YEARS! So if you have been making dua for something please do not give up. I am extremely grateful to Allah for not anwering my dua for those 3 years. I learnt so many lessons in deen and duniya as a consequence of that dua not being answered for so long. There is always so much wisdom behind Allah’s plan which we seldom cannot see or get irritated with.
 
“Had Allah lifted the veil for His slave and shown him how He handles his affairs for him, and how Allah is more keen for the benefit of the slave than His own self, his heart would have melted out of the love for Allah and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to Allah.
Therefore if the pains of this world tire you do not grieve. For it may be that Allah wishes to hear your voice by way of dua. So pour out your desires in prostration and forget about it and know, that verily Allah does not forget it.” 

- Ibn al Qayyim (rahimahullah)
 
Be consistent and ask for whatever you want. Allah is the owner of the heavens and the Earth! For Him nothing is impossible.

No person by himself is capable of fighting against the current of misfortune or trials, nor can humans fend off  the blows of disaster & tests when they strike. This is because man was created weak and fragile. However, when in times of difficulty, the believer places his dependency and trust with his Lord; he knows that all difficulties can be overcome. By leaving your affairs to Allah, by depending upon Him, by trusting in His promise, by being pleased with His decree, by thinking favorably of Him, and by waiting patiently for His help, you reap some of the greater fruits of faith and display the more prominent characteristics of the believer. When you incorporate these qualities into your character, you will be at peace concerning the future, because you will depend on your Lord for everything. As a result, you will find care, help, protection, and victory.

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer


 
 
 
 
 
fasting

A number of ancient health practices are proving to be effective in multiple ways. We recently posted an article about meditation,

and how neuroscience can now explain what happens to the brain when we meditate. Now, scientists have discovered the first

evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. The study was published in the

June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of

prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting

shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. (1)

Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time,

patients did not eat which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch,

changing the signalling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.”  (1)

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration

of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to

recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.  What we started noticing in both our

human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the

blood cells come back. ” - Valter Longo, corresponding author. (1)

Again, because fasting significantly lowers white blood cell counts, this triggers stem cell-based regeneration of new

immune system cells.  More importantly, it reduces the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumour progression and cancer.(1)

It’s also noteworthy to mention that fasting protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial where patients fasted for 72 hours prior to chemotherapy.

“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may

mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.” Co-Author Tanya Dorff   (1)

Fasting is a tradition that’s been incorporated into many ancient cultures, from Vedic to Buddhist and more, fasting should not be confused

with starvation. It’s the process of restrain and control from the sensorial experience of eating and at the same time making sure you are

doing it correctly. When I fast, I usually do water fasts and I have been doing them for almost eight years now and I always feel great and

full of energy after doing so.

More Research

1. Fasting helps protect against brain disease:

Researchers at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have found evidence that fasting for one or two days a week can prevent

the effects of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. Research also found that cutting the daily intake to 500 calories a day for two days

out of the seven can show clear beneficial effects for the brain.

2. Fasting cuts your risk of heart disease and diabetes:

Regularly going a day without food reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that fasting releases a significant

surge in human growth hormone, which is associated with speeding up metabolism and burning off fat. Shedding fat is known to

cut the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Doctors are even starting to consider fasting as a treatment.

3. Fasting effectively treats cancer in human cells:

A study from the scientific journal of aging found that cancer patients who included fasting into their therapy perceived fewer side effects

from chemotherapy. All tests conducted so far show that fasting improves survival, slow tumor growth and limit the spread of tumors.

The National Institute on Aging has also studied one type of breast cancer in detail to further understand the effects of fasting on cancer.

As a result of fasting, the cancer cells tried to make new proteins and took other steps to keep growing and dividing. As a result of these steps,

which in turn led to a number of other steps, damaging free radical molecules were created which broke down the cancer cells own DNA

and caused their destruction! It’s cellular suicide, the cancer cell is trying to replace all of the stuff missing in the bloodstream that it needs

to survive after a period of fasting, but can’t. In turn, it tries to create them and this leads to its own destruction

Again, make sure you do your research before trying this out. Hopefully this can kickstart you further into looking into it if you are truly interested.

Related CE Article: Can We Eat To Starve Cancer? The Diet That Keeps Cancer Away

Sources:

(1) https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=new-year-new-understanding

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208152254.htm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1373164/Regular-fasting-lower-risk-heart-disease-diabetes.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/18/fasting-protect-brain-diseases-scientists

hts

Boycott Israel Campaign

Boycott Israel Campaign

 

 

 


The boycott of Israeli products and companies supporting Israel is a peaceful means of putting international pressure on apartheid Israel and follows in the footsteps of the successful boycott against South African apartheid. Help end Palestinian suffering by boycotting Israel today!

 

 


The guilty companies (Boycott Israel card [front])

The guilty companies (Boycott Israel card [back])

 

Why are these companies on the boycott list?


Summary of how each company on the boycott list is supporting Israel:

 

 

PLASTICS

 

Keter


Israels Keter Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of plastic consumer products. The Israeli plastics giant is privately owned by the Sagol family, and has a turnover of $1.1 billion, 90% of which is derived from overseas sales.

 

Its product range includes garden furniture, outdoor storage solutions and sheds, shelving systems and utility cabinets, tool boxes and storage products for the DIY market, household products, baby and toddler products.

Its brands, subsidiaries, and sister companies (all owned by the Sagol family) include ‘OutStanding Solutions’ (Keter garden storage), Lipski (plumbing accessories), Allibert (bathroom accessories), Curver (plastic home & food storage), Jardin (garden furniture), and Contico Europe (plastic storage boxes). Keter products are also sold under the Black & Decker, B&Q and Homebase brands.

Whilst the profits end up in Israel, not all the products are produced in Israel, for example Allibert has factories in France & Belgium, whilst Curver has factories in Poland & Hungary. Keter has 12 factories in Israel, 2 of which are in the illegal settlements.

Stanley toolboxes are also made in Israel by Israeli plastics company ZAG (90% owned by Stanley).

For more information see the Shopping Can Kill campaign.

 

FOOD & DRINK

 

Strauss


The Straus Group is Israels second largest food company with a turnover $1.8 billion in 2010 and 13,500 employees operating twenty-five production sites in twenty-one countries around the world. Its brands in the USA include Sabra (hummus dips) and Max Brenner (chocolate cafes). Strauss Coffee is currently the fifth-largest coffee company in the world, dominating the central and eastern European markets (Doncafe) as well as Brazil.

 

The Strauss Group on its website, on the page on “Corporate Responsibility – Community Involvement” reveal their deep rooted support for the Israeli army, and in particular the infamous Golani platoon, known for its brutality, which the Strauss group has “adopted” for over 30 years.

Danone


In July 1998 Danone opened its R&D facility in Israel – the Danone Insitute, and later the same year in October 1998 Mr. Franck Riboud, on behalf of Danone received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.[Jubilee Award]

 

Danone owns a 20% share of Israel’s second largest food company, the Strauss Group. Danaone Israel is the hub supplying Danone products to the whole Middle-East including Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Jordan.

Tivall


Israeli food company Tivall is one of the world’s leading suppliers of meat-substitute products. It has a turnover of $74 million and has 451 employees[59] It has a manufacturing base at Kibbutz Lochamei Hagetaot in Northern Israel, and a new facility in the Czech Republic.

 

Tivall brand products can mainly be found in health food stores – their website mentions Holland & Barrett, Fresh & Wild, and Planet Organic. But most of their sales are through the supermarkets who rebrand Tivall products as part of their own frozen “Meat-free” range. This includes Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. Morrisons also stocks Tivall brand Frankfurter. Waitrose online site Ocado sells a full range of Tivall products.

Osem


Osem is Israels 4th largest food & beverages company (by turnover) after Tnuva, Strauss and Coca-Cola. It has a turnover of $712 million and nearly 5000 employees with 14 factories in Israel.

 

Its brands include Beit Hashitah (pickles), Of Tov (frozen meat products), Habait (ready made cakes) and Sabra Salads (ready-made salads and spreads). Osem also owns 58% of meat-substitute manufacturer Tivall Foods.

According to Osem’s website its products are sold in Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrison, with each store marketing them under their own label. Waitrose online site Ocado sells a range of Osem products from soups, crackers and croutons. Tesco online sells a range of Osem cakes.

In April 2009, Osem UK announced its acquisition of Yarden GB. Yarden GB’s product range includes chilled meats and Yarden wines from the Golan Heights Winery, located in Katzrin on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Golan Heights Winery exports 38% of all Israeli wines, its wine brands also include Gamla and Golan. According to Yarden GB’s website its products are available in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Budgens, Somerfield, Waitrose and Harrods. Waitrose online site Ocado sells a range of Yarden meat and houmous products.

Nestlé


Nestlé is the world’s largest food company, it owns 53.8% share of leading Israeli food manufacturer Osem, an investment worth over $850 million.

 

In 1998, Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe on behalf of Nestle, received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu [Jubilee Award]. Following the award in June 2002 Nestle opened its Research & Development Centre in Israel, in Sderot. And since then it has steadily increased its investment in Israel, its initial 10% stake in Osem has now grown to a controlling 53.8%. Nestle also owns Nespresso Israel Ltd in Tel Aviv which supplies coffee brewing equipment. In 2010 Nestle acquired a 51% stake in Israeli babyfood company Materna Laboratories for $72 million.

Nestle has 9 factories in Israel, which after China(18) and Russia(11) is the highest number in any country in Asia – disproportionately high when one considers its size and population. And in May 2011, Nestle announced plans to build another factory in Israel, an ice cream plant worth $40 million.

Nestlé also owns 30% stake in L’Oréal, another company on the boycott list.

Coca Cola


A detailed account of Coca-Cola’s links to Israel is provided here:

 

http://www.inminds.com/boycott-coca-cola.html

A summary:

From 1966 Coca-Cola has been a staunch supporter of Israel. In 1997 the Government of Israel Economic Mission honored Coca-Cola at the Israel Trade Award Dinner for its continued support of Israel for the last 30 years and for refusing to abide by the Arab League boycott of Israel.

Every year Coca Cola bankrolls the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Awards which honors companies that have contributed most to the Israeli economy. In 2009 a Coca-Cola sponsored award went to Israel’s Lobby AIPAC for its successful lobbying of the Senate to reject of the UN call for “immediate ceasefire” and endorse the continuation of the Israel military assault on Gaza.

In 2008 Coca-Cola tasked the Israeli venture capital Challenge Fund to locate suitable investments in Israel with a promise of “a blank cheque” . This agreement is exceptional in the Israeli venture capital industry.

In 2009 Coca-Cola hosted a special reception at the Coca-Cola world headquarters to honour Brigadier-General Ben-Eliezer. Ben-Eliezer is a wanted war criminal, during the Six-Day War his unit was responsible for the execution of over 300 Egyptian POWs. Under Sharon, Ben-Eliezer served as Defence Minister presiding over the massacre at Jenin.

For the past two decades, nearly every year, Coca-Cola has sponsored the JCC Maccabi Games whose stated aim is to cultivate Jewish youth in an informal setting to “encourage their identification with the state of Israel”. As part of this, Coca Cola has sponsored young children to visit Israeli military bases and spend time with war criminals in order to engender empathy, in their own words “visit an air force base.. talk with the pilots that are the elite Israel Defense Force units..meet fighters of the army.”.

Coca-Cola Israel, Israel’s third largest food & beverages company, owns dairy farms in the illegal Israeli settlements of Shadmot Mechola in the Jordan Valley and a plant in the industrial zone of Katzerin in the occupied Golan Heights.

Eden Springs


Eden Springs is an Israeli water cooler company that in Israel steals water from the Salukia spring in the the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights. This is in violation of UN resolution 242 and Article 55 of the Hague Regulations which specify that you cannot acquire territory by war and that you cannot plunder the natural resources of occupied territory. To clarify, the water in Eden Springs Coolers found in the UK is sourced locally, but the profits go back to Israel to finance its illegal activities.

 

 

Sodastream


SodaStream is an Israeli company manufacturing and distributing home carbonating devices and flavorings for soft drinks. The company’s main plant is located in the industrial zone of Mishor Edomim which is an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Kav LaOved, the NGO committed to protecting the rights of disadvantaged workers in Israeli companies, has reported that SodaStream factory workers, in particular Palestinians, are paid less than half the minimum wage and has described the working conditions in the factory as “one of the worst”, with workers being fired if they complain of the conditions.

 

SodaStream brands include: SodaStream, Soda-Club, AlcoJet, Sprudelino, Aquabar, Gazoz, Aquafizz, Aquabubbler, Penguin, Sodamaker, Fountain Jet and Edition1. Its products are available in Argos, Asda, Comets, Currys, Harvey Nichols, Homebase, John Lewis, Robert Dyas, Selfridges and House of Fraser.

Starbucks


Howard Schultz, the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks who also owns 31.6 million shares of Starbucks stock (worth around $1.4 billion in Nov 2011) is an active zionist.

 

In 1998 he was honoured by the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah with “The Israel 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Tribute Award” for his services to the zionist state in “playing a key role in promoting close alliance between the United States and Israel”. The ultra-right wing Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah funds Israeli arms fairs chaired by the butcher of Jenin, General Shaul Mofaz, and the zionist media pressure group honestreporting.com, they were also implicated in the production and distribution of the infamous islamophobic film ‘Obesession’. Starbucks proudly displayed the award on the company’s website under the section of ‘awarda and accolades’ the Starbucks company has won, however, once the boycott started to bite the award mysteriously disappeared from its website.

Howard Shultz work as a propagandist for Israel has been praised by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as being key to Israel’s long-term PR success. On April 4th 2002, whilst the Israeli army was slaughtering Palestinians in Jenin Howard Shultz made a provocative speech blaming the Palestinians, suggesting the intifada was a manifestation of anti- Semitism, and asked people to unite behind Israel. Starbucks also sponsors fund raisers for Israel.

At a time when other businesses were desperately pulling out of Israel, Starbucks decided to help Israel’s floundering economy and open Starbucks in Israel. The venture failed but Shultz has vowed Starbucks will “return to Israel in due course”.

Starbucks has opened outlets in US bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the illegal torture centre in Guantanamo Bay. Customer Relations say “Starbucks has the deepest respect and admiration for U.S. military.. who risk their lives to protect Americans and our values of freedom and democracy”. Petty Officer Barry Tate who is serving in Guantanamo Bay agrees that Starbucks is helping “lift the morale” of the guards and interrogator’s at Guantanamo Bay.

McDonald’s

 

McDonald’s Corporation is a major corporate partner of the Jewish United Fund and Jewish Federation. According to the Jewish United Fund, through its Israel Commission it “works to maintain American military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel; monitors and, when necessary, responds to media coverage of Israel”. The Jewish United Fund also runs “Fun-filled Summer Family Missions to Israel” where families get to “visit an army base and meet with Israeli soldiers” and “visit our sister city, Kiryat Gat and see the important work we are doing there”. Kiryat Gat is built on stolen Palestinian land – the lands of the villages of Iraq Al Manshiya and Al-Faluja whose residents were ethnically cleansed in 1949 in contravention of International Law. Through its “Partnership to Israel” programme, the Jewish United Fund provides $1.3 million annually to help further settlement and development of Kiryat Gat. The Jewish Federation, through its Israel Action Network is tasked to fight “efforts to boycott Israeli products” and “campaigns, such as equating Israel with apartheid South Africa”.

Another way McDonald’s supports the Jewish United Fund is by running a partnership scheme whereby they will match any donation an employee make to the Jewish United Fund with its own equal size donation.

McDonald’s first restaurant in the Middle East was in Israel, opened in 1993, since then it has 160 restaurants in Israel (1996) with a 60% market share, employing around 4000 Israelis. Since April 2009 McDonald’s has also opened 15 branches of McCafe chain in Israel, with plans to open 10 new branches every year.

McDonalds discriminates against its Arab workers, in 2004 it sacked an Arab worker in Israel because she was caught speaking arabic to another Arab employee. Arabic, along with Hebrew, is the official language of Israel spoken by 20% of the population.

According to the American Jewish Committee (AJC), whose Executive Director “regularly meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”, McDonald’s in July 2001 immediately pulled an advertising campaign in Egypt when the ADC contacted them to complaint that the singer featured in the advert had in the past performed a song critical of Israel. Within 24 hours of the complaint, the advert was cancelled and according to the Egyptian franchise of McDonald’s “all copies of the tapes were whisked ‘back to the main offices’”!

 

Israeli Fresh Produce


In 2010 exports of Israeli fresh agricultural produce was worth $1.41 billion and most of it, some 87% was exported to Europe (UN Commodity Trade Statistics). Fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in Israel and on its settlements in the West Bank can be seen on sale at all the major supermarkets and greengrocers. Always check the label – avoid Israel and West Bank.

 

Until recently the main player was Israeli state owned company Carmel Agrexco, responsible for about 60-70% of all Israel’s agricultural exports. But in September 2011 Agrexco went bankrupt. This was due in part to fact that Agrexco has been the target of a sustained international boycott campaign. It has been recently reported that the Israeli Bickel Export Group has acquired Agrexco with plans to revive it in 2012 (target sales 50 million euros).

With the privately owned Israeli company Mehadrin Tnuport Export (MTEX) set to take Agrexco’s place as Israel’s biggest agricultural exporter the focus of the international boycott campaign is now firmly on MTEX with actions already having taken place (Nov 2011) outside its UK headquarters in Borehamwood and its French headquarters in Chateaurenard.

MTEX is Israel’s largest grower and exporter of citrus fruit responsible for 65% of overseas sales of Israel’s most recognisable brand on the supermarket shelves – JAFFA. They supply most of the supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsburys. MTEX ownes 50% of Miriam Shoham Ltd whose mangoes and pomegranates are available in Tescos and Asda.

Hadiklaim, the Israeli Date Growers Cooperative, which includes illegal settler plantations in the Jordan Valley, sells 65% of all Israeli dates. Its dates have brand names King Solomon, Jordan River, Tamara, Karsten Farms / Kalahari and Bomaja. Agrexco date brands include Jordan Plains and Jordan Valley.

Most supermarkets sell fresh herbs sourced from the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank. These include basil, sage, chives, rosemary, parsely, sorrel, marjoram, mint, thyme and tarragon. They are labelled ‘West Bank’ or ‘Israel’. ‘West Bank’ never refers to Palestinian goods as they don’t make it past the military checkpoints. Often settlements goods are labelled ‘Produce of Israel’ to avoid payment of tariffs when entering the EU – according to the EU-Israel Association Agreement goods produced outside the recognised borders of Israel (ie on the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian Occupied Territories) are not exhempt from import duties. A July 2008 Channel 4 news report revealed herbs grown on the illegal No’omi settlement on the West Bank, destined for the UK, were being mislabelled ‘produce of Israel’ in breach of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

Other Israeli fresh produce brands to avoid include Edom (peppers, tomatoes and mangoes), Carmy (sweet potatoes), AdaFresh (herbs), Arava (peppers, Tomatoes, herbs) and Tali (table grapes).

 

 

..Information on other companies to follow shortly..

 

 

 

[Jubilee Award]On October 14, 1998, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu presented a select group of international business people with the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel”. The Jubilee Award, marking Israel’s fiftieth year of independence, recognizes those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.

 

Frequently Asked Question

 

Why so many companies?


Our strategy is to have a focused campaign where individual Israeli companies are targeted wherever possible rather than wide boycotts of whole stores. This means that whilst there are more brands on the list, they are actually easier to boycott. So for example whilst B&Q and Homebase are major sellers of Israeli plastic giant Keter’s products we are calling for a focused boycott of each Keter related brand – OutStanding, Lipski, Jardin, Allibert, Curver and Contico, rather than a blanket boycott of these stores.

 

 

Why are some of the brands in the previous Boycott Israel Campaign missing from this campaign?


Over time many companies have reconsidered their support for Israel and some have divested from Israel due to many reasons including the accumulated pressure of the boycott. These changes are reflected in the new card.

 

 

Disney

Disney, working with the Israeli embassy, was given 1.8 million dollars by Israel to promote Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at a special exhibition at its Epcot centre in Florida, strategically positioned so that every visitor to the centre would have to walk through the exhibition in order to reach the exit. Jerusalem is an illegally occupied Palestinian city and under international law can NEVER be the capital of Israel. The exhibition has since been removed so Disney is no longer on the boycott list.

 

 

Sara Lee

Sara Lee has divested its large stake in the Israeli textile giant Delta Galil so it along with its two dozen plus brands have all been removed from the boycott list.

 

 

Nokia

Nokia Ventures Organization which had so heavily invested in Israel is no longer part of Nokia and is now called BlueRun Ventures and has many investors now. Note that Nokia is still one of its investors, but its stake in Israel is now no more prominent than countless other technology companies who are not on the boycott list, so Nokia has also been removed from the list.

 

 

Arsenal FC

Following a concerted campaign, Arsenal Football Club’s contract with the Israeli Tourism board to promote Israel as the teams “official and exclusive travel destination” on its digital perimeter boards (to an estimated 700 million viewers in 198 countries) was not renewed. Subsequently, Arsenal FC has been removed from the boycott list. Note that Arsenal still runs ‘Arsenal in the Galilee’ coaching project in Israel.

 

 

Selfridges

Selfridges flagship store in London was picketed for stocking a range of settlement products including Ahava and soon a boycott of the store followed. It no longer sells Ahava Dead Sea products on its website, although it does advertise Estee Lauder Origins ‘body scrubs’ which include Dead Sea salts. As part of our strategy of a more focused boycott campaign where individual Israeli brands like Ahava are targeted, Selfridges in no longer on the boycott list.

 

 

Danone

Whilst Danone is still on the boycott list, it has gone through some changes and lost some of its famous brands and these are no longer on the boycott list. Jacob biscuits is now owned by United Biscuits; HP foods and Lea & Perrins is now owned by H.J. Heinz; and similarly Galbani and LU Biscuits are also no longer owned by Danone.

 

 

 

Anti-Muslim monk stokes Burmese religious tensions

Anti-Muslim monk stokes Burmese religious tensions

Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu teaching a class in MandalayTime magazine labelled Wirathu “the face of Buddhist terror”

This week, religious violence has once again flared in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Hundreds of Muslim homes have been burnt to the ground in Sagaing region after being attacked by Buddhist mobs.

In just over a year, more than 200 people, mostly Muslims, have been killed and many more displaced as unrest has spread from Rakhine state in the west to towns across the country.

Many are blaming a controversial monk and the nationalist organisation he helps lead for the rising tensions.

In a classroom at one of Mandalay’s most famous monasteries, a teacher is at work. Shin Wirathu is taking a class of young monks at Masoeyin through the five precepts or pillars of the Buddhist faith.

This morning, he is lecturing on the importance of avoiding sexual misconduct.

“Yes, venerable monk,” the young men chant in unison, as Wirathu softly delivers his advice on the need to avoid temptation.

Buddhist monk Kaylar Sa, who was part of the Saffron movementMonk Kaylar Sa said the 969 movement was unnecessary

When the class is over, he shows me outside. On the wall of the monastery courtyard are graphic posters of the Buddhist victims of recent religious and ethnic violence in Rakhine state in western Myanmar.

They are unpleasant viewing. The pictures from October last year show dead children with their heads cut open and the bodies of women with their internal organs spilling out of their torsos.

Wirathu said he put them up as a reminder to Buddhists that the country is under attack from Muslim “invaders”.

“Muslims are only well behaved when they are weak, ” he said. “When they become strong, they are like a wolf or a jackal; in large packs they hunt down other animals.”

Wirathu believes there is a Muslim “master plan” underway to turn Myanmar into an Islamic state.

If he is right, it is a long-term project. Latest estimates suggest that of Myanmar’s 60 million people, 90% are Buddhist and about 5% Muslim.

“Over the past 50 years, we have shopped at Muslim shops and then they became richer and wealthier than us and can buy and marry our girls,” Wirathu said. “In this way, they have destroyed and penetrated not only our nation but also our religion.”

‘Master plan’

Joon Mosque in Mandalay, in Myanmar, formerly known as BurmaMuslims keep watch over Joon Mosque, the biggest in Mandalay, every night

Wirathu’s solution lies in a controversial nationalist organisation called 969. It calls on Buddhists to shop, sell property and marry within their own religion.

Small, brightly-coloured stickers have been distributed to clearly brand businesses as Buddhist-owned.

Supporters of 969 argue it is a purely defensive organisation, created to protect Buddhist culture and identity. Listening to the rhetoric of Wirathu and 969′s leaders, there is no doubt it is squarely aimed at Muslims.


Start Quote

We are just preaching and posting on the internet and Facebook for the safety and security of our nation”

WirathuBuddhist monk

“In the past, there was no discrimination based on religion and race. We all stayed together in a brotherly way,” Wirathu said. “But when their [Muslim] master plan has been revealed we can no longer stay quiet.”

From Rakhine state in the west, to more central towns like Meiktila and Okkan, the link is being made between heightened religious tensions and the preaching and activities of monks and 969.

The outbreaks of violence usually have a depressing symmetry.

A small flashpoint, often a crime or perceived insult, perpetrated by a Muslim against a Buddhist, triggers a disproportionate wave of reprisals against the entire Muslim community.

Ten years ago, under the military junta, Wirathu was jailed for his anti-Muslim views. Now in these times of change, his message is widely disseminated through social media and DVDs. Far from being condemned, Wirathu now has backing from the very top.

In June, as his infamy reached its peak, Wirathu appeared on the front cover of Time magazine labelled “The face of Buddhist terror”. Burmese monks were outraged and Myanmar’s President Thein Sein quickly leapt to Wirathu’s defence.

The Time issue was banned and a statement released with the president lauding Wirathu as a “son of Lord Buddha”.

‘Obstacle to reform’

Smar Nyi Nyi, a veteran of the 1988 student uprising Smar Nyi Nyi said religious tensions distracted the public from important issues

There is no shortage of theories inside Myanmar as to why Wirathu is now flavour of the month.

One theory is that continuing ethnic and religious violence could be used by the military as a pretext for maintaining a dominant role in Burmese politics. It is certainly an argument Myanmar’s generals have made before.

“We are also wondering about this,” Kaylar Sa, a monk jailed for his part in the Saffron revolution of 2007, told me as he chain-smoked his way through a pack of Red Ruby cigarettes.

He pointed out that the government has acted decisively and violently to end monk-led demonstrations against an army-backed copper mine last year, and yet now was unwilling to tackle them over hate speech.

“At the moment, we firmly believe that the 969 movement is unnecessary,” he said. “If this movement continues to be taken seriously, it could become an obstacle to democratic reform.”

A short drive from Wirathu’s monastery, Muslim volunteers guard Joon Mosque, the biggest in Mandalay, each night. The men told me that in the event of a Buddhist attack, they expect no protection from the (Buddhist-dominated) police or the army.

Smar Nyi Nyi, a veteran of the 1988 student uprising and one of the elders at the mosque, took me to one side. He expressed views that many Burmese share, that shadowy elements within the establishment are stoking the unrest.

“Everybody is talking about the violence between Buddhists and Muslims,” he said. “Nobody is interested in the dam on the Irrawaddy River. No one is interested in the gas pipeline. If somebody is controlling things, he is a smart man!”

Some Muslims cling to the hope that there exists a silent majority of moderate Buddhists appalled by recent events, secretly rooting for them.

“Most of the Buddhists, they are just onlookers ” a retired Muslim doctor tells me with a shrug. “A few might pass a heartfelt regard and say they’re sorry, but that doesn’t come above the surface.”

For Wirathu, each fresh outbreak of religious conflict reinforces his view that Myanmar is part of a global war on militant Islam and that he is being badly misunderstood.

“We don’t use drones – we haven’t killed [Osama] Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or the Taliban,” he told me.

“We are just preaching and posting on the internet and Facebook for the safety and security of our nation. If we are all protecting our own nation who’s the bad guy – Wirathu or Barack Obama?”

Five hurt, shops and mosque damaged in Myanmar by violent Budhists

Five hurt, shops and mosque damaged in Myanmar violence

An angry mob take to the streets of Mandalay in central Myanmar early on 2 July 2014A mob that included monks gathered on the streets of Mandalay in the early hours of Wednesday

Related Stories

Five people have been injured in clashes between Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar’s second city of Mandalay.

The incident was apparently triggered by a claim that a Buddhist woman had been raped by one or more Muslim men.

Armed groups gathered on the streets on Tuesday evening, hurling rocks and bricks and damaging shops. They only dispersed early on Wednesday morning when the police fired rubber bullets.

Myanmar has seen several outbreaks of violence targeting Muslims since 2012.

Muslims are a minority group in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.

The BBC’s Jonah Fisher says tensions rose when a blogger posted that a Buddhist woman had been raped. The post was then shared by one of Mandalay’s most controversial monks – Ashin Wirathu – on his Facebook page.

Wirathu is the leader of the controversial 969 group and was previously jailed for inciting religious hatred. The 969 group are opposed to what they see as Islam’s expansion in Myanmar.

On Tuesday evening, a group of Buddhists gathered in a Muslim area of Mandalay, ransacking shops and burning vehicles, according to reports.

Throughout the night, the police kept angry groups of Buddhist and Muslim men apart, says our correspondent.

Both sides were armed with primitive weapons including iron rods, sticks and swords. Four rioters and a policeman were hurt. Muslim shops were damaged and the windows of a mosque were smashed.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mandalay police said a man had been charged with rape.

Myanmar police force stand guard on the street of Mandalay in central Myanmar early on 2 July 2014.Mandalay police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowds early Wednesday morning
Controversial Buddhist monk Wirathu (centre) who is accused of instigating sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims through his sermons, stands with other monks in support of five Buddhist monks who were forced to give up their robes outside a courthouse in Yangon, Myanmar, on 20 June 2014.Wirathu (C) is accused of instigating violence between Buddhists and Muslims through his sermons
Rohingya women and their children wait to receive treatment at a makeshift clinic in the Thet Kae Pyin camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Rakhine state, 24 April 2014. Many Rohingya Muslims are displaced in Rakhine state and are now living in refugee camps

Rakhine violence

Much of the violence between the two groups has taken place in Rakhine state in the west of the country, where at least 200 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced in 2012.

Many of the displaced – mostly Muslims – continue to live in refugee camps.

Those clashes were sparked by the rape and murder of a young Buddhist woman.

The violence continued throughout 2013. The last reported clash happened in January in Rakhine state, killing more than 40 people, according to the United Nations.

There have been particularly bitter and long-standing tensions between the Rakhine people, who are Buddhist and make up the majority of the state’s population, and Muslims.

Most of these Muslims identify themselves as Rohingya, a group that is considered stateless and is rejected by both Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh.

The clashes have posed a challenge for Myanmar’s nominally civilian government, which was elected in 2010 after decades of military rule.

President Thein Sein has previously said that the Rakhine violence puts the country’s moves towards democracy in danger.

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Blackwater’s top manager threatens “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator

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Blackwater personnel escorting Paul Bremer, an American civil administrator, upon his arrival in Ramadi, Iraq, in March 2004. CreditPeter Andrews/Reuters
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WASHINGTON — Just weeks beforeBlackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports.

After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.”

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Document: State Department Documents on Blackwater Episode

“The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves,” the investigator, Jean C. Richter, wrote in an Aug. 31, 2007, memo to State Department officials. “Blackwater contractors saw themselves as above the law,” he said, adding that the “hands off” management resulted in a situation in which “the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and in control.”

His memo and other newly disclosed State Department documents make clear that the department was alerted to serious problems involving Blackwater and its government overseers before the Nisour Square shooting, which outraged Iraqis and deepened resentment over the United States’ presence in the country.

Today, as conflict rages again in Iraq, four Blackwater guards involved in the Nisour Square shooting are on trial in Washington on charges stemming from the episode, the government’s second attempt to prosecute the case in an American court after previous charges against five guardswere dismissed in 2009.

The shooting was a watershed moment in the American occupation of Iraq, and was a factor in Iraq’s refusal the next year to agree to a treaty allowing United States troops to stay in the country beyond 2011. Despite a series of investigations in the wake of Nisour Square, the back story of what happened with Blackwater and the embassy in Baghdad before the fateful shooting has never been fully told.

The State Department declined to comment on the aborted investigation. A spokesman for Erik Prince, the founder and former chief executive of Blackwater, who sold the company in 2010, said Mr. Prince had never been told about the matter.

After Mr. Prince sold the company, the new owners named it Academi. In early June, it merged with Triple Canopy, one of its rivals for government and commercial contracts to provide private security. The new firm is called Constellis Holdings.

Experts who were previously unaware of this episode said it fit into a larger pattern of behavior. “The Blackwater-State Department relationship gave new meaning to the word ‘dysfunctional,’ ” said Peter Singer, a strategist at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute, who has written extensively on private security contractors. “It involved everything from catastrophic failures of supervision to shortchanging broader national security goals at the expense of short-term desires.”

Even before Nisour Square, Blackwater’s security guards had acquired a reputation among Iraqis and American military personnel for swagger and recklessness, but their complaints about practices ranging from running cars off the road to shooting wildly in the streets and even killing civilians typically did not result in serious action by the United States or the Iraqi government.

But scrutiny of the company intensified after a Blackwater convoy traveling through Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, just over two weeks after Mr. Richter sent his memo, fired on the crowded traffic circle. A 9-year-old boy was among the civilians killed. Blackwater guards later claimed that they had been fired upon first, but American military officials who inspected the scene determined that there was no evidence of any insurgent activity in the square that day. Federal prosecutors later said Blackwater personnel had shot indiscriminately with automatic weapons, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers.

Founded in 1997 by Mr. Prince, a former member of the Navy SEALs and an heir to an auto parts fortune, Blackwater began as a small company providing shooting ranges and training facilities in rural North Carolina for the military and for police departments. After the American-led invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq, it ramped up to become a global security contractor with billions of dollars in contracts for the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The company’s gung-ho attitude and willingness to take on risky tasks were seductive to government officials in Washington. The State Department, for example, secretly sent Blackwater guards to Shenyang, China, to provide security for North Korean asylum seekers who had gone to the United States Consulate there and refused to leave for fear the Chinese government would force them to go back to North Korea, according to company documents and interviews with former Blackwater personnel.

But Blackwater’s rapid growth and the State Department’s growing dependence on the contractor led to unbridled hubris, according to several former company officials. That was fostered, they said, by Mr. Prince, who not long before the Nisour Square shooting gathered employees in front of Blackwater headquarters in Moyock, N.C., and demanded that they swear an oath of allegiance.

Saying that the business was on the verge of being awarded lucrative new contracts, Mr. Prince told the workers that they had to take a pledge — the same one required of those entering the United States military — “to display our commitment to the war on terror,” several former employees recalled.

As he was speaking, the employees were handed copies of the oath, which had a Blackwater bear paw logo on top, and told to sign and return it to their supervisors after reciting the words. But some balked.

This was an oath for soldiers, not the employees of a private company, and many in the crowd were veterans who believed that it was inappropriately being linked to the company’s commercial prospects.

“It was kind of like pledging allegiance to Erik,” said a former Blackwater employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he had been required to sign a nondisclosure agreement with Blackwater. “That’s how a lot of us interpreted it.”

Soon after State Department investigators arrived in Baghdad on Aug. 1, 2007, to begin a monthlong review of Blackwater’s operations, the situation became volatile. Internal State Department documents, which were turned over to plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Blackwater that was unrelated to the Nisour Square shooting, provide details of what happened.

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The Blackwater Shooting


The Blackwater Shooting

Witnesses shed new light on the killing of 17 Iraqis by American contractors in Baghdad.

 Publish DateAugust 27, 2012. Image CreditJohan Spanner for The New York Times

It did not take long for the two-man investigative team — Mr. Richter, a Diplomatic Security special agent, and Donald Thomas Jr., a State Department management analyst — to discover a long list of contract violations by Blackwater.

They found that Blackwater’s staffing of its security details for American diplomats had been changed without State Department approval, reducing guards on many details to eight from 10, the documents said. Blackwater guards were storing automatic weapons and ammunition in their private rooms, where they also were drinking heavily and partying with frequent female visitors. Many of the guards had failed to regularly qualify on their weapons, and were often carrying weapons on which they had never been certified and that they were not authorized to use.

The armored vehicles Blackwater used to protect American diplomats were poorly maintained and deteriorating, and the investigators found that four drunk guards had commandeered one heavily armored, $180,000 vehicle to drive to a private party, and crashed into a concrete barrier.

Blackwater was also overbilling the State Department by manipulating its personnel records, using guards assigned to the State Department contract for other work and falsifying other staffing data on the contract, the investigators concluded.

A Blackwater-affiliated firm was forcing “third country nationals” — low-paid workers from Pakistan, Yemen and other countries, including some who performed guard duty at Blackwater’s compound — to live in squalid conditions, sometimes three to a cramped room with no bed, according to the report by the investigators.

The investigators concluded that Blackwater was getting away with such conduct because embassy personnel had gotten too close to the contractor.

On Aug. 20, 2007, Mr. Richter was called in to the office of the embassy’s regional security officer, Bob Hanni, who said he had received a call asking him to document Mr. Richter’s “inappropriate behavior.” Mr. Richter quickly called his supervisor in Washington, who instructed him to take Mr. Thomas with him to all remaining meetings in Baghdad, his report noted.

The next day, the two men met with Daniel Carroll, Blackwater’s project manager in Iraq, to discuss the investigation, including a complaint over food quality and sanitary conditions at a cafeteria in Blackwater’s compound. Mr. Carroll barked that Mr. Richter could not tell him what to do about his cafeteria, Mr. Richter’s report said. The Blackwater official went on to threaten the agent and say he would not face any consequences, according to Mr. Richter’s later account.

Mr. Carroll said “that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” Mr. Richter wrote in a memo to senior State Department officials in Washington. He noted that Mr. Carroll had formerly served with Navy SEAL Team 6, an elite unit.

“Mr. Carroll’s statement was made in a low, even tone of voice, his head was slightly lowered; his eyes were fixed on mine,” Mr. Richter stated in his memo. “I took Mr. Carroll’s threat seriously. We were in a combat zone where things can happen quite unexpectedly, especially when issues involve potentially negative impacts on a lucrative security contract.”

He added that he was especially alarmed because Mr. Carroll was Blackwater’s leader in Iraq, and “organizations take on the attitudes and mannerisms of their leader.”

Mr. Thomas witnessed the exchange and corroborated Mr. Richter’s version of events in a separate statement, writing that Mr. Carroll’s comments were “unprofessional and threatening in nature.” He added that others in Baghdad had told the two investigators to be “very careful,” considering that their review could jeopardize job security for Blackwater personnel.

Mr. Richter was shocked when embassy officials sided with Mr. Carroll and ordered Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas to leave Iraq immediately, according to the documents. On Aug. 23, Ricardo Colon, the acting regional security officer at the embassy, wrote in an email that Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas had become “unsustainably disruptive to day-to-day operations and created an unnecessarily hostile environment for a number of contract personnel.” The two men cut short their inquiry and returned to Washington the next day.

Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas declined to comment for this article. Mr. Carroll did not respond to a request for comment.

On Oct. 5, 2007, just as the State Department and Blackwater were being rocked by scandal in the aftermath of Nisour Square, State Department officials finally responded to Mr. Richter’s August warning about Blackwater. They took statements from Mr. Richter and Mr. Thomas about their accusations of a threat by Mr. Carroll, but took no further action.

Condoleezza Rice, then the secretary of state, named a special panel to examine the Nisour Square episode and recommend reforms, but the panel never interviewed Mr. Richter or Mr. Thomas.

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department official who led the special panel, told reporters on Oct. 23, 2007, that the panel had not found any communications from the embassy in Baghdad before the Nisour Square shooting that raised concerns about contractor conduct.

 

“We interviewed a large number of individuals,” Mr. Kennedy said. “We did not find any, I think, significant pattern of incidents that had not — that the embassy had suppressed in any way.”

ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്‍ ചരിത്രം വിസ്മരിച്ച പരിഷ്‌കര്‍ത്താവ്

ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്‍ ചരിത്രം വിസ്മരിച്ച പരിഷ്‌കര്‍ത്താവ്

 
 
 
 
 
 
ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്റെ നെഞ്ചിലേക്ക് വെള്ളപ്പട്ടാളം വെടിയുതിര്‍ത്തിട്ട് 213 സംവത്സരങ്ങള്‍
പൂര്‍ത്തിയായിരിക്കുന്നു. 1799 മെയ് 4-നാണ് മൈസൂര്‍ കേന്ദ്രീകരിച്ച് നീണ്ട 15 വര്‍ഷം അധിനിവേശ വിരുദ്ധ
പോരാട്ടം നയിച്ച ആ ധീരദേശാഭിമാനി രക്തസാക്ഷിയായത്. സുല്‍ത്താന്റെ ധീരസാഹസിക സാമ്രാജ്യത്വവിരുദ്ധ
പോരാട്ടങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് മേല്‍ വര്‍ഗീയതയുടെ സ്റ്റിക്കറൊട്ടിച്ച് കൊളോണിയല്‍ പാരമ്പര്യം പേറുന്ന
ചരിത്രമെഴുത്തുകാര്‍ അദ്ദേഹത്തെ ബോധപൂര്‍വം വിസ്മൃതിയിലാഴ്ത്താന്‍ ഗൂഡാലോചന
നടത്തുകയായിരുന്നു. സവര്‍ണ മേല്‍കോയ്മയുടെ ഫ്യൂഡല്‍ മനസ്ഥിതിയുള്ള നമ്മുടെ ഭരണ-സാംസ്‌കാരിക
നേതൃത്വം ഔദ്യോഗിക ചരിത്ര മുഫ്തിമാരുടെ ഫത്‌വ പിന്‍പറ്റി സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യപോരാളികളുടെ പട്ടികയില്‍നിന്ന്
സുല്‍ത്താനെ എന്നന്നേക്കുമായി പടിയടച്ച് പിണ്ഡം വെക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു. ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ സിംഹഭാഗവും വെള്ളക്കാരുടെ
അരുതായ്മകള്‍ക്കൊപ്പം നിന്ന്; ഒടുവില്‍ തങ്ങളുടെ സിംഹാസനത്തിന് ഇളക്കം തട്ടിയപ്പോള്‍ മാത്രം ബ്രിട്ടീഷ് വിരുദ്ധരായിത്തീര്‍ന്ന
സവര്‍ണ നാട്ടുരാജാക്കന്മാരെല്ലാം ദേശീയ ബിംബങ്ങളായി വാഴ്ത്തപ്പെട്ട ഔദ്യോഗിക ചരിത്രം കൂടി ഈ സെന്‍സര്‍ഷിപ്പിനോടൊപ്പം
ചേര്‍ത്തുവായിച്ചാല്‍ വര്‍ഗീയതയുടെ തിമിരം പിടികൂടിയത് ആര്‍ക്കാണെന്ന് അനായാസം ബോധ്യപ്പെടും.
 
കൊളോണിയല്‍ പ്രേതബാധയേല്‍ക്കാത്ത വായനകളും ചരിത്രാന്വേഷണങ്ങളും ശക്തിപ്പെട്ടു വരുന്ന വര്‍ത്തമാനകാലത്ത് സുല്‍ത്താന്റെ
ജീവിതവും പോരാട്ടവും മുന്‍വിധികളില്ലാതെ വിശകലന വിധേയമായിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യ സമരത്തിന്റെ പ്രേരകോര്‍ജമായും
ആധുനിക ഭരണപരിഷ്‌കാരങ്ങളുടെ ഉപജ്ഞാതാവായും സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ അടയാളപ്പെടുത്തപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. ‘ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ നടന്ന ഏറ്റവും വലിയ
സാമ്രാജ്യത്വ വിരുദ്ധ സമരത്തിന്റെ പ്രതീകമാണ് ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്‍. ഇവിടുത്തെ മറ്റ് രാജാക്കന്മാരും പ്രഭുക്കന്മാരും മണ്ണിനും പെണ്ണിനും
വേണ്ടി മരിച്ചപ്പോള്‍ ഒരാദര്‍ശത്തിന്റെ ആള്‍ത്താരയില്‍ ‘ഞാന്‍ കീഴടങ്ങുകയില്ല’ എന്ന ഓംകാര നാദത്തോടെ അല്ലാഹു അക്ബര്‍ എന്ന
മന്ത്രവാക്യത്തോടെ ആത്മത്യാഗം ചെയ്ത ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്‍ പിന്നീട് തന്റെ വഴിയില്‍ കടന്നുവന്ന ഝാന്‍സിറാണി ലക്ഷ്മി ഭായിക്കും
താന്തിയോതോപ്പിക്കും നാനാസാഹിബിനും എല്ലാം ഒരു പ്രേരകശക്തിയായി മാറി. ചരിത്രത്തിന്റെ നിയോഗം ഏറ്റെടുത്ത ആ മഹാനെ
ചരിത്രകാരന്മാര്‍ എന്തെന്തു വ്യാഖ്യാനങ്ങളിലൂടെ വിലയിരുത്തിയാലും ആ ആത്മത്യാഗം ഒരു ജനതയുടെ കണ്ണില്‍ ഇന്നും നക്ഷത്ര
ഗോളങ്ങളിലെ അനന്തമായ പ്രകാശവര്‍ഷം പോലെ അനശ്വരമായ തേജസ്സ് ചൊരിയുന്നു. അത് ഇന്ത്യയുടെ ആത്മാഭിനത്തിന്റെ
പ്രകാശമായിരുന്നു.”(നവാബ് ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്‍ ഒരു പഠനം, കെ.കെ.എന്‍ കുറുപ്പ് പേജ് 166).
 
അധിനിവേശ വിരുദ്ധ പോരാട്ടത്തിന് നേതൃത്വം നല്‍കിയ ഭരണാധികാരികളിലൊരാള്‍ എന്ന പതിവു ചരിത്രമെഴുത്തിന്റെ
നാലുവരികളില്‍ ഒതുക്കാവുന്നതല്ല ടിപ്പുവിന്റെ ജീവിതം. ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സമൂഹത്തിന് ആധുനിക ഭരണപരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങളുടെ മാതൃക
സമര്‍പ്പിക്കുകയും കേരളമടക്കമുള്ള ദക്ഷിണേന്ത്യന്‍ സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങളിലെ സാമൂഹിക നവോത്ഥാനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ശക്തിപകരുകയും ചെയ്ത
പരിഷ്‌കര്‍ത്താവായിരുന്നു ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്‍. കേരളീയ നവോത്ഥാനത്തിലെ രണ്ട് സുപ്രധാന ഏടുകളായ
അയിത്താചാരങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരെയുള്ള സാമൂഹിക മുന്നേറ്റവും ഭൂപരിഷ്‌കരണ നിയമവും സുല്‍ത്താനോട് ഏറെ കടപ്പെട്ടു
നില്‍ക്കുന്നതാണ്. ഇടതുപക്ഷം ഏറെ കൊട്ടിഘോഷിച്ച ‘കൃഷി ഭൂമി കര്‍ഷകന്’ എന്ന വിപ്ലവ മുദ്രാവാക്യം പോലും ടിപ്പുവില്‍നിന്ന്
കടമെടുത്തതാണെന്ന് പലപ്രമുഖരും നിരീക്ഷിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.
 
ജന്മിമാരുടെയും ഇടനിലക്കാരുടെയും പിടിച്ചുപറിയില്‍ മുതുകൊടിഞ്ഞിരുന്ന മലബാറിലെ കര്‍ഷകരെ നിവര്‍ന്നുനില്‍ക്കാന്‍ ആദ്യമായി
സഹായിച്ചത് ടിപ്പു നടപ്പിലാക്കിയ ഭൂ-കാര്‍ഷിക നയങ്ങളായിരുന്നു. മൈസൂര്‍ ഭരണത്തെ ബ്രിട്ടീഷുകാര്‍ തകര്‍ത്തില്ലായിരുന്നെങ്കില്‍
കേരളമടക്കമുള്ള ദക്ഷിണേന്ത്യയുടെ ചരിത്രം തന്നെ മറ്റൊരുവിധമാകുമായിരുന്നു. ഇരുപതാം നൂറ്റാണ്ടിന്റെ തുടക്കത്തില്‍ നാം
നേടിയെടുത്ത സാമൂഹിക-കാര്‍ഷിക മുന്നേറ്റങ്ങള്‍ ടിപ്പുവിലൂടെ നൂറ്റാണ്ടുകള്‍ക്ക് മുമ്പ് നമുക്ക് ലഭിക്കുമായിരുന്നു. സുല്‍ത്താന്‍
മലബാറിലടക്കം നടപ്പിലാക്കിത്തുടങ്ങിയ പുരോഗമനപരമായ എല്ലാവിധ പരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങളും അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ മരണശേഷം
ബ്രിട്ടീഷുകാര്‍ റദ്ദുചെയ്യുകയായിരുന്നു. ടിപ്പുവിന് മുമ്പുള്ള പഴയ ഫ്യൂഡല്‍ നിയമങ്ങള്‍ പുനഃസ്ഥാപിച്ച് ബ്രിട്ടീഷുകാര്‍ മലബാറടക്കമുള്ള
പ്രദേശങ്ങളെ ഇരുണ്ടയുഗത്തിന്റെ പിന്നിലേക്ക് വീണ്ടും തള്ളിയിട്ടു. സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യം നേടി വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ പിന്നിട്ട ശേഷമാണ് വീണ്ടുമൊരു
തിരിച്ചുവരവിന് നമുക്ക് സാധിച്ചത്. ഭൂപരിഷ്‌കരണം നടപ്പിലാക്കിയ ഇടതുപക്ഷ ഗവണ്‍മെന്റ് സുല്‍ത്താന്റെ ഭൂ-കാര്‍ഷിക നയങ്ങളുടെ
മാതൃകയിലാണത് വികസിപ്പിച്ചെടുത്തത്. ജന്മിത്വ നാടുവാഴി ഭൂസമ്പ്രദായത്തിന് പകരം സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ നടപ്പിലാക്കിയ ഭൂപരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങള്‍
പരിശോധിച്ചാലത് കൂടുതല്‍ വ്യക്തമാവും.
 
ടിപ്പുവിന്റെ പിതാവ് സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ ഹൈദരലിഖാനാണ് മൈസൂരില്‍ ഭൂ-കാര്‍ഷിക പരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് തുടക്കമിട്ടത്.
ജന്മിനാടുവാഴികളില്‍നിന്നും കര്‍ഷകരെയും കൃഷിഭൂമികയെയും സംരക്ഷിക്കാന്‍ പര്യാപ്തമായ ഭൂവിതരണ സമ്പ്രദായം
സ്ഥാപിച്ചുകൊണ്ടായിരുന്നു ഹൈദരലിഖാന്റെ പരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങളുടെ തുടക്കം. ഇതിന്റെ തുടര്‍ച്ചയും വികാസവുമാണ് ടിപ്പുവിന്റെ
കാലത്ത് നടന്നത്. കൃഷിക്ക് മുഖ്യപരിഗണന നല്‍കുന്ന നയമാണ് ഭരണത്തിന്റെ തുടക്കം മുതലേ സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ സ്വീകരിച്ചത്. കാര്‍ഷിക
മേഖല ശക്തിപ്പെടുത്താന്‍ പുതിയ നിയമങ്ങളും നയങ്ങളും രൂപീകരിച്ചു. 1788-ല്‍ ടിപ്പു ആമില്‍ദാര്‍മാര്‍ക്കയച്ച നിര്‍ദേശത്തില്‍ ഈ നയം
തെളിഞ്ഞുകാണാം. ”കൃഷിയാണ് നാടിന്റെ ജീവരക്തം. മണ്ണില്‍ പണിയെടുക്കുന്നവര്‍ക്ക് ഈ നാട് സമൃദ്ധവും ഫലഭൂയിഷ്ടവുമായ
പ്രതിഫലം നല്‍കുന്നു. ഈ ഭൂനിയമത്തിലെ 127 വ്യവസ്ഥകളും നിങ്ങള്‍ ഉടനടി നടപ്പില്‍ വരുത്തണം. വിശേഷിച്ചും കലപ്പകള്‍
വാങ്ങാനുദ്ദേശിക്കുന്ന കര്‍ഷകര്‍ക്ക് പണം വായ്പ നല്‍കുക, ആളുകള്‍ ഉപേക്ഷിച്ച ഭൂമി ഏറ്റെടുക്കാന്‍ നടപടികളെടുക്കുക,
കൃഷിക്കാരനും അയാളുടെ അനന്തരാവകാശികള്‍ക്കും സംരക്ഷണം നല്‍കുക, കരിമ്പ്, വെറ്റില, നാളികേരം തുടങ്ങിയ കൃഷി
ചെയ്യുന്നവര്‍ക്ക് നികുതി ഇളവ് നല്‍കുക, മാവ്, പ്ലാവ് തുടങ്ങിയ മരങ്ങള്‍ ഓരോ ഗ്രാമത്തിനും 200 വീതം നട്ടുവളര്‍ത്താന്‍
പ്രോത്സാഹിപ്പിക്കുക.”
 
ഫ്യൂഡല്‍ ഭൂ-കാര്‍ഷിക സമ്പ്രദായമാണ് കാര്‍ഷിക മേഖലയുടെ മുരടിപ്പിന്റെ മൂലകാരണമെന്ന് സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ ആദ്യമേ തിരിച്ചറിഞ്ഞിരുന്നു.
അന്ന് നിലവിലുണ്ടായിരുന്ന ഭൂനിയമങ്ങള്‍ അടിമുടി അദ്ദേഹം പൊളിച്ചെഴുതി. സുല്‍ത്താന്റെ അധികാര പരിധിയിലുണ്ടായിരുന്ന
മലബാറിലെ കര്‍ഷകരും ഈ പരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങളുടെ ഗുണഭോക്താക്കളായിരുന്നു. ഭൂമി ജന്മാവകാശമായി അനുഭവിച്ചാസ്വദിച്ചിരുന്ന
ജന്മിനാടു ഈ നയങ്ങള്‍ മൂലം സുല്‍ത്താനെതിരെ തിരിഞ്ഞു വന്നത് മറ്റൊരു ചരിത്രമാണ്. കാലങ്ങളായി തങ്ങളനുഭവിച്ചിരുന്ന
സുഖസൗകര്യങ്ങള്‍ക്കറുതി വരുത്തിയ ടിപ്പുവിനെ സൈനികമായി എതിരിടാനുള്ള ത്രാണി അവര്‍ക്കില്ലായിരുന്നു.
സുല്‍ത്താനെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള നിറം പിടിപ്പിച്ച വര്‍ഗീയ കഥകള്‍ പ്രചരിപ്പിച്ചാണ് അവര്‍ സായൂജ്യമടഞ്ഞത്. പിന്നീട്, ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താനില്‍
ശക്തനായ എതിരാളിയെ കണ്ട ബ്രിട്ടീഷുകാര്‍, ഭിന്നിപ്പിച്ച ഭരിക്കുകയെന്ന കുടിലതന്ത്രത്തിന്റെ ഭാഗമായി ഈ കഥകള്‍ക്ക് ചരിത്ര ഭാഷ്യം
നല്‍കുകയായിരുന്നു. റീഡ് മൈക്കല്‍ എന്ന കുപ്രസിദ്ധ കൊളോണിയല്‍ ചരിത്രകാരനാണ് പ്രഥമമായി ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താനെ സംബന്ധിച്ച
കള്ളക്കഥകള്‍ എഴുതിയുണ്ടാക്കിയത്. റീഡ് മൈക്കലിന്റെ രേഖകള്‍ പിന്തുടര്‍ന്ന് വര്‍ഗീയ പക്ഷ പാതികളായ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ചരിത്രകാരന്മാര്‍
ടിപ്പുവിനെ വര്‍ഗീയവാദിയും മതഭ്രാന്തനും ക്ഷേത്രധ്വംസകനുമാക്കി ചാപ്പ കുത്തുകയായിരുന്നു.
 
ജാതിയധിഷ്ഠിതമായ ഭൂനിയമങ്ങളെ പൊളിച്ചെഴുതാന്‍ ധീരത കാണിച്ചതാണ് ടിപ്പുവിന്റെ പേരില്‍ പ്രചരിച്ച ദേശദ്രോഹ കഥകളുടെ
പിന്നാമ്പുറ കാരണം. ജന്മിമാര്‍ ചുമത്തിയ പലവിധ പാട്ടമിച്ചവാരണങ്ങളില്‍ ബന്ധനസ്ഥനായിരുന്ന കര്‍ഷകരെ അതില്‍നിന്ന് മോചിപ്പിച്ച്
ഭൂമിയുടെ പൂര്‍ണാവകാശികളാകുന്നതായിരുന്നു സുല്‍ത്താന്റെ നിയമങ്ങള്‍. ഭൂമിയുടെ വിസ്തീര്‍ണമനുസരിച്ച് ചുമത്തപ്പെട്ടിരുന്ന
നികുതി ഉല്‍പാദനത്തിന്റെ തോതനുസരിച്ചാക്കി. തരിശുനിലം കൃഷി ചെയ്യാന്‍ മുന്നോട്ട് വന്നവര്‍ക്ക് ആ ഭൂമി സൗജന്യമായി പതിച്ചു
നല്‍കി. വിളവിന് നാശം വരുമ്പോള്‍ നികുതി ഇളവ് ചെയ്തും മറ്റ് ആനുകൂല്യങ്ങള്‍ നല്‍കിയും കര്‍ഷകര്‍ക്ക് ഭരണകൂട ആശാസങ്ങള്‍
ഉറപ്പ് വരുത്തി. ഒറ്റപ്പെട്ട സ്ഥലങ്ങളില്‍ കര്‍ഷകരെ തുടര്‍ന്നും പീഡിപ്പിക്കാനൊരുമ്പെട്ട ജന്മിമാര്‍ക്ക് മാതൃകാപരമായി ശിക്ഷ നല്‍കി.
കര്‍ഷകരെ ദ്രോഹിച്ച ചില ജന്മിമാരെ ആ കര്‍ഷകര്‍ക്കൊപ്പം ഭൂമിയില്‍ പണിയെടുക്കുവാന്‍ കല്‍പിച്ചാണ് ഒരിക്കല്‍ ടിപ്പു അവര്‍ക്കുള്ള
ശിക്ഷ നടപ്പിലാക്കിയത്.
 
ടിപ്പുവിന്റെ ഭരണപരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങള്‍ കാര്‍ഷിക മേഖലയില്‍ മാത്രമൊതുങ്ങുന്നതല്ല. മലബാറിലേക്കുള്ള തന്റെ രണ്ടാം വരവിലാണ്
ഇവിടെ നിലനിന്നിരുന്ന സാമൂഹികാന്ധവിശ്വാസ ജീര്‍ണതകള്‍ക്കെതിരെ സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ നിലപാട് പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ചത്. മലബാറിലന്ന്
നിലവിലുണ്ടായിരുന്ന സാമൂഹികാഴിമതികളും മരുമക്കത്തായവും തെറ്റായ വിവാഹസമ്പ്രദായങ്ങളും ഉച്ചനീചത്വങ്ങളും
തുടച്ചുനീക്കാന്‍ സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ നടപടികളാരംഭിച്ചു. നായര്‍ സ്ത്രീകളുടെയും മറ്റും ബഹുഭര്‍തൃത്വരീതി അവസാനിപ്പിക്കാന്‍ അദ്ദേഹം
ഉത്തരവിട്ടു. പെണ്‍മക്കളെ വിവാഹം ചെയ്തു കൊടുക്കാന്‍ കഴിവില്ലാത്തതാണ് ഈ രീതിയുടെ കാരണമെങ്കില്‍ അവര്‍ക്ക്
ഖജനാവില്‍നിന്ന് സാമ്പത്തികസഹായം നല്‍കണമെന്നും സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ തന്റെ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥര്‍ക്ക് നിര്‍ദേശം നല്‍കി. നായന്മാര്‍ അധഃകൃത
വര്‍ഗത്തിന്റെ നേരെ കൈകൊണ്ടിരുന്ന ഐത്താചാരത്തെയും നിയമം മൂലം നിരോധിച്ചു. സ്ത്രീകള്‍ മാറു മറയ്ക്കാനും കുപ്പായം
ധരിക്കാനും അനാചാരങ്ങള്‍ ഒഴിവാക്കാനും കല്‍പന പുറപ്പെടുവിച്ചു. ജാതീയ ഉച്ചനീചത്വങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരെയുള്ള ഈ
പരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങളെല്ലാം പില്‍ക്കാലത്ത് ഒരു മുസ്‌ലിം ഭരണാധികാരിയുടെ വര്‍ഗീയ നിലപാടുകളുടെ ഉത്തമോദാഹരണങ്ങളായാണ്
സവര്‍ണ ദേശീയ ചരിത്രകാരന്മാര്‍ രേഖപ്പെടുത്തിയതെന്നത് ചരിത്രത്തിലെ മറ്റൊരു വിരോധാഭാസം.
കുറഞ്ഞ കാലയളവിനുള്ളില്‍ ഇത്തരം ബഹുമുഖ പരിഷ്‌കരണങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് തുടക്കമിട്ട ടിപ്പു കൈവെക്കാത്ത മേഖലകള്‍
കുറവായിരുന്നുവെന്ന് കെ.കെ.എന്‍ കുറുപ്പ് രേഖപ്പെടുത്തിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. ”തികച്ചും ഹ്രസ്വമായ തന്റെ ഭരണകാലയളവില്‍ ആധുനികമായ
പല ഭരണനയങ്ങളും സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ നടപ്പിലാക്കാന്‍ ശ്രമിച്ചു. ജമീന്ദാരികളും ജാഗിര്‍ദാരികളും ഇനാം ദാരികളും അവസാനിപ്പിച്ച് കൊണ്ട്
ഭൂപ്രഭുത്വത്തെ ഒരളവോളം ഇല്ലാതാക്കാനും റയറ്റുവാരിയിലേക്കുള്ള കാര്‍ഷിക പരിഷ്‌കരണത്തിന് അടിത്തറയിടാനും തരിശുഭൂമികള്‍
ജലസേചനം വഴി ഉല്‍പാദനമുണ്ടാക്കുന്നതിനായി നികുതി ഇളവ് ചെയ്യാനും അദ്ദേഹം പ്രവര്‍ത്തിച്ചിരുന്നു.
 
ശാസ്ത്രസാങ്കേതിക വിദ്യകള്‍ ഉപയോഗപ്പെടുത്താനും ആധുനികതയിലേക്ക് ഉറ്റുനോക്കാനും ആധുനികഗ്രന്ഥശേഖരണമുണ്ടാക്കാനും
വിദേശവുമായി നയതന്ത്രബന്ധം സ്ഥാപിക്കാനും ദേശീയ ഉദ്യാനം ഉണ്ടാക്കാനും പുതിയ ഇരുമ്പുശാലകളും വ്യവസായ ശാലകളും
നിര്‍മിക്കാനും സൈന്യത്തെ നവീകരിക്കാനും വിദേശങ്ങളില്‍ ഫാക്ടറി സ്ഥാപിക്കാനും എന്നു വേണ്ട അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ പ്രതിഭ ബഹുമുഖ
പ്രവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങളിലേര്‍പ്പെട്ടു (അതേ പുസ്തകം പേ. 10)
യൂറോപ്യന്‍ ആയുധ നിര്‍മാണരീതിയോട് കിടപിടിക്കുന്ന ആധുനിക ഫാക്ടറികളാണ് യുദ്ധ സാമഗ്രികള്‍ക്കായി സുല്‍ത്താന്‍ സ്ഥാപിച്ചത്.
ഇവിടെനിന്ന് വികസിപ്പിച്ചെടുത്ത മിസൈലിന്റെ നിര്‍മാണ വൈദഗ്ധ്യം പിന്നീട് യൂറോപ്പില്‍ പോലും ഗവേഷണ വിഷയമായിത്തീര്‍ന്നു.
ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ഭരണാധികാരികളും ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞന്മാരും അവഗണിച്ച സുല്‍ത്താന്റെ മിസൈല്‍ സാങ്കേതിക വിദ്യ ആദരിക്കപ്പെടേണ്ടതും
സംരക്ഷിക്കപ്പെടേണ്ടതുമായിരുന്നുവെന്ന് ഇന്ത്യന്‍ രാഷ്ട്രപതിയായിരുന്ന പ്രശസ്ത റോക്കറ്റ്-മിസൈല്‍ ഡിസൈനിംഗ് വിദഗ്ധന്‍ എ.പി.ജെ
അബ്ദുല്‍കലാം തന്റെ ആത്മകഥയില്‍ പരിതപിക്കുന്നുണ്ട് ”നാസയുടെ അന്തരീക്ഷ നിരീക്ഷണത്തിനുള്ള ‘സൗണ്ടിംഗ് റോക്കറ്റ്
പ്രോഗ്രാമിന്റെ പ്രധാനസ്ഥലം. ഇവിടത്തെ സ്വീകരണ മുറിയില്‍ വളരെ പ്രാധാന്യം നല്‍കി പ്രദര്‍ശിപ്പിച്ചിട്ടുള്ള ഒരു വര്‍ണചിത്രം ഞാന്‍
കണ്ടു. അന്തരീക്ഷത്തില്‍ ഏതാനും റോക്കറ്റുകള്‍ ചീറിപ്പായുന്ന ഒരു യുദ്ധരംഗമാണ് അതില്‍ ചിത്രീകരിച്ചിരുന്നത്. ഒരു
വ്യോമകേന്ദ്രത്തില്‍ സ്ഥാപിക്കാവുന്ന സാധാരണചിത്രം. എന്നാല്‍ എന്റെ ശ്രദ്ധയെ ആകര്‍ഷിച്ചത്, അതിലെ റോക്കറ്റ് വിക്ഷേപകരായ
സൈനികര്‍ വെള്ളക്കാരായിരുന്നില്ല, പ്രത്യുത ദക്ഷിണ ഏഷ്യന്‍ വംശജരുടെ ഛായയുള്ള ഇരുണ്ട നിറക്കാരായിരുന്നു എന്നതാണ്.
അങ്ങനെയിരിക്കെ ഒരു ദിവസം ജിജ്ഞാസ വര്‍ധിച്ചപ്പോള്‍ ഞാനാചിത്രം അടുത്തു ചെന്നു നോക്കി. ബ്രിട്ടീഷുകാരെ ആക്രമിക്കുന്ന
ടിപ്പുസുല്‍ത്താന്റെ സൈന്യമായിരുന്നു അതില്‍. ടിപ്പുവിന്റെ സ്വന്തം നാട്ടില്‍ വിസ്മരിക്കപ്പെട്ട ഒരു വസ്തുത ഇതാ ഭൂഗോളത്തിന്റെ
 
എതിര്‍വശത്തുള്ള ഒരു രാജ്യത്ത് ആദരപൂര്‍വം അനുസ്മരിക്കപ്പെടുന്നു. റോക്കറ്റ് യുദ്ധ സങ്കേതത്തിലെ വീരനായ ഒരു ഭാരതീയനെ നാസ
ഇപ്രകാരം ആദരിച്ചത് എന്നെ അഭിമാന പുളകിതനാക്കി” (അഗ്നിചിറകുകള്‍ – എ.പി.ജെ അബ്ദുല്‍ കലാം പേജ് 57,58).
 
മുന്‍വിധിയുടെ വര്‍ഗീയ കണ്ണടകള്‍ മാറ്റിവെച്ച് സമ്പന്നമായ പൈതൃകങ്ങളെ തിരിച്ചറിയുവാനും ആദരിക്കാനും നമ്മുടെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ-
സാംസ്‌കാരിക നേതൃത്വങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ഇനിയുമെന്നാണ് സാധിക്കുക.