in response to the article below, i have but two latin words:
non sequitur

israel's closing of these universities got so little press that even i missed it. fortunately a kind reader of this site brought it to my attention - thank you.

shooting men, women & children of all ages wasn't enough, so not long ago israel destroyed many tons of food destined for palestinians, to starve them; starving them wasn't enough, so now israel is robbing young palestinians of a university education, lest they should become more educated. the best prisoner is the one who is homeless, starving, uneducated, and bleeding from gunshot wounds. reminder: israel receives more us aid than any other country in the world - our taxes are financing this madness. i know, i was only going to say two words.

it would appear israel is attempting to push the palestinians into the following paradox, in which most americans now are trapped:
"until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."
-george orwell's "1984"

while on the subject of the jewish state (doesn't the us stand for separation of church & state?), i cannot help but also highlight the following recent developments:
"Sharon denies corruption claim" 1/7/03
"Sharon speech blackout fans election turmoil" 1/10/03
"U.S. hears Israel's plea for billions in arms aid" 1/7/03
"Stimulate America's economy, not Israel's" 1/7/03




Israel closes Palestinian universities after bombings

January 6, 2003


TEL AVIV, Israel-- In response to a twin suicide bombings that killed 22 people, Israel decided Monday to close three Palestinian universities, intensify raids against suspected militants and bar Palestinian officials from holding key meetings in the West Bank and abroad.

A few hours after the announcement, Bir Zeit University near Ramallah-- considered the most prestigious Palestinian university-- received orders from the military to immediately evacuate the premises of all staff and students, said university head Hanna Nasser. No Israeli confirmation was available.

The blasts went off seconds apart Sunday evening in a crowded, old part of Tel Aviv, killing 22 bystanders and wounding more than 100 in the deadliest Palestinian attack in nearly a year. Several of the dead and many of the wounded were foreign workers.

A splinter group of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militia linked to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility. The bombers were identified as two young men from the West Bank city of Nablus.

In Washington, President Bush called the attack "a despicable act of murder" and said Secretary of State Colin Powell had called Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to express America's condolences.

The blasts came just three weeks before Israel's Jan. 28 general election and ended a period of six weeks without bombings, one of the longest of relative calm in the past 27 months of fighting. The deadliest bombing was in March, on the eve of the Jewish Passover holiday, when a blast in a hotel killed 29 people.

In a first response to Sunday's attacks, Israeli helicopters fired missiles at metal workshops in the Gaza Strip.

In an overnight meeting, Israel's security Cabinet decided to bar Palestinian officials from attending a meeting in London this month where they were to discuss reforms demanded by the United States as a first step toward the establishment of an independent state, said Raanan Gissin, an aide to Sharon.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told the British Broadcasting Corp. that the attacks emphasize the need for political dialogue. "I hope very much that the Israeli government will think again," he said.

The Israeli Cabinet also decided to shut down three Palestinian colleges and universities that incite to "terrorism," Gissin said.

Bir Zeit received its closure order Monday morning, said Nasser, the president. An-Najah University-- the largest in the West Bank and a Hamas stronghold-- will likely be closed, said Gissin.

An-Najah officials said they have not been informed that the university will be shut down. Founded in 1976, the university-- which has some 10,000 students-- was closed from 1987 to 1991, during the first Palestinian uprising, and before that for periods of several months at a time.

The Cabinet also decided to prevent the Palestinian Central Council from meeting in Ramallah on Thursday and to place travel restrictions on senior Palestinian Authority officials, who will now have their cars inspected at checkpoints, Gissin said.

The PCC, a key decision-making body in the Palestinian Authority, was to discuss a first draft of the Palestinian constitution, a reform demanded by the Americans as a first step toward statehood.

Gissin said Israel will also increase "pinpoint" attacks, meaning it will hunt down and kills Palestinian militants-- acts which the Palestinians condemn as assassinations.

"They violated the trust so we have the right to take such defensive measures to make sure that such horrible terrorist activities don't take place," Gissin said.

Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said the Israeli government's decisions would only add "fuel to the fire." The Palestinian Authority condemned the bombings.

The Nablus splinter group of the Al Aqsa militia identified the bombers as Samer Nouri, 19, and Burak Burak Khelfi, 20. There was also a less specific claim of responsibility from the Islamic Jihad, which did not name the attackers.

After the bombing, Sharon was quick to blame Arafat, though without mentioning his name. "All attempts to reach a cease-fire, even today, are failing due to the Palestinian leadership that continues to support, fund and initiate terror," Sharon told a public gathering in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority issued a statement, saying it "strongly condemns and fully rejects all crimes against civilians and the idea of revenge." The statement called for international intervention to help restore calm.

In the past, waves of Palestinian terrorism have helped hard-line parties in Israeli elections. With voting set for Jan. 28, Sharon's Likud Party, hit hard by a corruption scandal, stood to gain. However, the proximity of the election also worked against a tough response, which would be seen by opponents as electioneering.

Also, Israel was picking up clear indications from the United States to keep the Mideast conflict on a low burn while the U.S. prepares for a possible attack on Iraq.

Two bombers set off explosives strapped to their bodies in around 6:30 p.m. Sunday in a pedestrian area filled with working class shops and restaurants near Tel Aviv's old, defunct central bus station.

One of the bombers blew himself up near a fast food restaurant called "McChina." The explosion ripped through the outdoor restaurant, overturning wooden picnic tables and showering glass on the sidewalk. The other bomber hit a commercial area nearby.

Many of the victims were foreign workers, thousands of whom live in the area. Several of the wounded were treated on the sidewalk.

At least six of the dead are foreign workers, including two Romanians, one Bulgarian and one Ghanian, police spokesman Gil Kleiman said.

Hours later, Israeli attack helicopters fired at least four missiles at metal workshops in Gaza City, witnesses said. Eight people were lightly injured. The Israeli military said the workshops were used for making weapons, including mortars and rockets.

last updated: 01.06.2003