Friday, October 20, 2006

Call from the Forward Newspaper.

I got a call from a journalist in NY from the Forward. She wanted to know what I thought about the contraversy surrounding the creating of the film school in Jordan online. As an artist, I preferred to express my point of view, which is that of tolerance. It was amazing that the bloggers are still creating a stir several weeks after the event. Later I went online to check if I've been missing anything, and indeed I had.

Here's some quotes and thoughts from another website I found. It seems there are lots of various links to the Google search Katzir and Jordan, so there might be others that have different views. I'm just quoting one of the first links to show up.

It's called : The Black Iris of Jordan.
http://www.black-iris.com/2006/10/03/jordanian-bloggers-the-red-sea-film-school/

Jordanian Bloggers & The Red Sea Film School
Published October 3rd, 2006 in Jordan, Movies, News, Israel and Blogging. 505 Views
Tags: Blogging, Israel, Movies, News.

An article in Israel’s Jerusalem Post caught my attention today. Keep in mind the source and try and read carefully, especially with regards to the name (of the King).

Arab bloggers fume that Jordan’s new Red Sea film school is open to Israelis

Jordanian King Abdullah II’s promise earlier this month to create a Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts in Jordan (RSICA), which will include Israeli film students, has caused a stir among bloggers on line from all over the Middle East.

“I read what blogger Laith Majali posted about the film school and it said the school is also open to Israelis. Imagine, sitting next to you will be an Israeli who is an IDF reservist and who may have killed or maimed an Arab a few kilometers away from the film school. And then we in Jordan will help him make films about evil and terrorist Arabs. This is like Israeli film schools admitting skinheads and neo-Nazis,” writes one anonymous blogger on amatalqa.blogspot.com, the blog of an LA film student.

The project, which was initiated on September 20 in New York by the Jordanian king along with the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California, hopes to enroll men and women from the Middle East in a specialized learning environment dedicated to teaching all disciplines of the cinematic arts.

Participants in the inauguration ceremony also included Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the School of Cinema-Television; Frank Price, chair of the school’s Board of Councilors and USC trustee; Samer Mouasher, commissioner of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan; as well as Israeli filmmaker Dan Katzir; and producer of Syrian descent Malek Akkad, producer of the film Halloween.

To initiate the film school, Hussein drew on the expertise of Jewish filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who recommended the partnership with USC.

Spielberg, who did not attend the event, wrote in a press release: “When His Majesty the king approached me on the subject of a Jordan-based, world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel, I immediately saw the importance and significance of such a venture for the people and the future of the region. I knew as a trustee of USC and a member of the school’s Board of Councilors that the university had the exact expertise he needed for this incredible initiative.” It was Spielberg’s comment about including Israel in the vision for improving the film industry in the region that made bloggers angry.

Among the comments on majali.blogspot.com were: “…world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel The New Middle East? You can count me out.”

Another commentator by the name of Shlomo responded: “Thank you. I can’t [wait] to learn filmmaking in Jordan to make films about terrorist Arabs.”

“People seem to be very skeptical about this project,” Katzir told The Jerusalem Post in an interview last week. “I believe that King Hussein was extremely brave to initiate this program a day after the [president] of Iran made some comments attacking Israel and there was a tense atmosphere in New York.” [read]

I wanted to point out some of the article’s discrepancies but decided to leave it to the imagination of the reader. Fellow blogger Natasha has a good post on the irresponsible journalism that’s worth a read.

+ Amin Matalqa
+ Laith Majali

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34 Responses to “Jordanian Bloggers & The Red Sea Film School”
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1 hamede
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 12:38 pm
I dont think it is a good idea.

2 Iman
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 2:14 pm
It’s a great initiative if it was aimed for all Arabs, but it’s not a good idea to include israelis. I mean if you want to have diplomatic relations with a country fine, but cooperating with it on cultural/social levels is different… if the israelis were at ‘peace’ with the Palestinians and weren’t threatening any of their other neighbors, it would be fine… but at the current time, it’s wrong to do so because jordan would be fully embracing a country that still poses a threat to its ‘brethren.’

3 Nas
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 2:47 pm
Iman, but don’t numerous Palestinian organizations, schools, universities etc, have cultural/social/educational cooperation and/or ties?

4 Muhammad Arrabi
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 2:51 pm
“I believe that King Hussein …”

King Hussein?
It was mentioned twice in the article

5 Iman
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 3:11 pm
Nas, I knew you were going to ask this …

when done on a state level, it’s entirely different!

Muhammad, I noticed that too!

6 Hamzeh N.
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 3:27 pm
I don’t think this institute is going to be exclusive to only Jordanians and Israelies. Who said that Arabs can’t join?

7 Nas
Oct 3rd, 2006 at 3:29 pm
Iman, well first of all, technically there is no actual palestinian state to begin with. second of all it makes little sense to say the people are allowed to cooperate with them but not the states. we tend to complain when it happens the other way around.

8 Amin Matalqa
Oct 4th, 2006 at 12:43 am
Think of it like this. If Seeds For Peace works between Israelis and Palestinians, then it should absolutely work for Arabs in general and Israelis. This is the perfect place for both sides to see the humanity in each other. How can people not see the potential in this amazing concept.

Steven Spielberg recently handed out 250 video camera to be split among Israelis and Palestinians. The idea behind that is that they would video-tape their lives and exchange tapes. Learn who they are. Learn from each other. I think it’s the most amazing idea. I’m really curious to find out what the results are going to be like when those tapes get exchanged soon.

9 Shu Fazee3
Oct 4th, 2006 at 4:35 am
“Iman, but don’t numerous Palestinian organizations, schools, universities etc, have cultural/social/educational cooperation and/or ties?”

At the present, most don’t. There is a boycott that was initiated. Second, when the palestinians refuse to deal with Israelis, they are starved and sanctions are imposed on them by Israel, West, US, and now Arabs. You can see that on the news as we speak.

http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=315_0_1_0_C

But it all depends on your values and self-respect. Israelis detest Arabs. All this talk about demographic threat is targeted at Arabs, who are Israeli citizens. All the killings and land grabs are targeted at Arabs not jews.

Besides, would you hire a KKK engineer just because he is nice to you? THey only hate you and other people in the US but don’t mind you living in Jordan. Would a black country knowingly deal with a White supremacist?

The question is how much self-respect do we have. I can’t understand how Arabs can be so naive so as to ignore the pernecious racist aspect of zionism. Did you see the ease by which Israelis can murder Arabs, women and children, in Lebanon? Do you not have any problem with that? How can you tell if you are dealing with good israelis or bad ones? do yo ureally belive an Israeli will confess to you about how many Arabs he abused or killed? if an Israeli is not willing to openly condemn the occupation and to endorse the universal declaration for human rights for Arabs (which included right of non-jews to return) that’s a pretty good sign you are being suckerd with a smile and empty words. Cant we just get along? RIGHT!

10 Nas
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:02 am
“There is a boycott that was initiated. ”

there has to be something there for a boycott to be initiated.

“Israelis detest Arabs”

not all do and vice versa.

The question is how much self-respect do we have. I can’t understand how Arabs can be so naive so as to ignore the pernecious racist aspect of zionism. Did you see the ease by which Israelis can murder Arabs, women and children, in Lebanon? Do you not have any problem with that? How can you tell if you are dealing with good israelis or bad ones? do yo ureally belive an Israeli will confess to you about how many Arabs he abused or killed? if an Israeli is not willing to openly condemn the occupation and to endorse the universal declaration for human rights for Arabs (which included right of non-jews to return) that’s a pretty good sign you are being suckerd with a smile and empty words. Cant we just get along? RIGHT!

that’s all fair point. however i do see the idealism behind the desire to get along with the person you’re forced to live next door to. there’s an inevitability to these things. i guess hope is a rare thing in our region, but im not willing to relinquish it yet.

11 Shu Fazee3
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:10 am
“Think of it like this. If Seeds For Peace works between Israelis and Palestinians, then it should absolutely work for Arabs in general and Israelis.”

Amin, Did it work for Palestinains or are you blind? Or may be you are desperate to come up with any reason to rationalize a terrible position you find your self in.

Seeds For Peace is great PR for Israel. It’s done so by exploiting Palestinian children to break the ice with rest of Arabs. how did it work? Did you see a study that shows Israelis who go through Seeds for Peace make sacrifices for equality? Where are they?

Amin, ever asked yourself why Seeds For Peace does not bring together Israelis and Skinheads/NeoNazies? Isn’t this a conflict that also needs special attention?

Here is why Israel does not care about this but cares to be seen shaking hands with misguided Arabs.

– the Israelis do not dialoug with Skinheads and Neo-Nazis? because there is no pressure on them from the West to do so. So there is no political value in it for Israel.

– Everything has to do with benefit to Israel not to other party. Heck all this stuff about dialoug suddenly collapsed when the Palestinains refused to recognize Israel. And the West supports this Israeli position too.

– there is no economic and political value for Israel to dialoug with Skinheads but there is so much to be gained for Israel to expand in the Arab and Muslim world in terms of new markets and speher of influence.

12 Shu Fazee3
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:19 am
“however i do see the idealism behind the desire to get along with the person you’re forced to live next door to. ”

Lets be honest. Getting along with the neigbhourhood bully is not idealism its survival and self-serving.

From my expereince, only those whoes work or projects are impacted by good relations with Israelis/Jews tend to defend zero-substance “co-existance.”

There is something sinister about turning selfishness into some sort fo a great cause for peace. I don’t see the same people who are drooling over ties with Israelis beign equally eager to improve ties with Syria or Iran, both of which are closer to us culturally but we seem to have troubled relations with. Why? because there is not material benefit for from Syria or Iran.

All we are saying is that “Etha Bu’lee’tum Fas’tateeroo”

13 Nas
Oct 4th, 2006 at 5:47 am
“its survival and self-serving.”

that too.

“equally eager to improve ties with Syria or Iran”

well lets be fair here, compared to other arab nations jordan probably has the better relations with these two countries right now. heck its the only country that will even host an iranian diplomat. nevertheless, this isn’t about culture and the comparision while sound in theory is also a bit unfair since we are talking about the distance between a neighbour and a brother.

14 Lah Lah
Oct 4th, 2006 at 6:26 am
“Steven Spielberg recently handed out 250 video camera to be split among Israelis and Palestinians. The idea behind that is that they would video-tape their lives and exchange tapes.”

WOW! so Spielberg the billionair managed to squeeze 125 video cameras for the Palestinains. Just 125 video cameras and he is a hero for justice. What’s your point Amin? Did he condemn the occupation and expulsions or that not needed in your book to make a zionist a hero and a symbol of co-existance.

Let me guess what palestinian films will NOT be accepted: nothing on exthnic cleansing, nothing on brutality of occupation.

We will see all sorts of PR films about how happy palestinains are and may be the occasionsal film about a bad day at the checkpoint.

And of course lots of Israeli films about suicide bombers.

15 Iman
Oct 4th, 2006 at 12:20 pm
Iman, well first of all, technically there is no actual palestinian state to begin with.

umm. That. is. True!

second of all it makes little sense to say the people are allowed to cooperate with them but not the states.

How so? The way I see it is that cooperation on a state level has a lot more weight. When a State officially and fully embraces another not only politically but also culturally and socially then I am going to believe that it has more effect than when a group of individuals do!

we tend to complain when it happens the other way around.

Not true.

I am an adovcate of working together and bridging differences - and when some Palestinian people engage in social and cultural efforts side by side with israelis, it’s because they are trying to live in peace and harmony. I look at it as their own individual yet collective attempt to engage in ‘peace talks’ their own way. Though overall, I don’t see a problem with another state to engage in such social and cultural program, I do find it a problem when an established, sovereign and influential state like Jordan engages in cultural and social projects with another state like israel that is not at peace with the people of Stateless Palestine at such crucial time when ensuring peace and stability for the people of Palestine should be the main priority.

Who said that Arabs can’t join?

No one. My main concern with this is not really the project/initative or its mission; it’s more with the timing and what needs to be given more priority. I don’t see the need for cultural and social exchange with a state that continues to pose threats to neighbors.

16 Nas
Oct 4th, 2006 at 4:13 pm
How so?

because it’s hypocritical

I do find it a problem when an established, sovereign and influential state like Jordan engages in cultural and social projects with another state like israel that is not at peace with the people of Stateless Palestine at such crucial time when ensuring peace and stability for the people of Palestine should be the main priority.

so basically you’re saying it’s alright if Palestinians engage in peace efforts with Israelis, just not the state of Jordan?

and i gaurentee you that if and when Palestine ever becomes a soveriegn state the biggest relations it’s to have is with it’s neighbour to the west. moreso than it already does. culturally, socially and economically.

it’s more with the timing and what needs to be given more priority. I don’t see the need for cultural and social exchange with a state that continues to pose threats to neighbors

there is no such things as “good” timing in this conflict and moreover bridging cultural difference does help resolve the larger issues. that being said, should we ignore Israel completely when it comes to such projects. for example, the red-dead sea project to refuel the dead sea and bring much needed water into Jordan is probably the biggest undertaking in our history and will solve a great deal of our problems with water. should we abandon it because of israel, or is this an exceptional case that warrents our state working with theirs?

and as hamzeh said, the intent here is to create an institute that is open to everyone in the middle east.

17 Beddee Floos
Oct 4th, 2006 at 4:46 pm
To all jewish supremacist out there. Let me put your minds at ease and save you time. You can throw the best arguments you have learned from your Zionist Talking Points but you will only sound smart to yourelvs and to those who already support you for whatever self-serving reasons, but in a day or two, an Israeli will kill and Arab in cold blood, and nothing you say will matter.

It’s perverse and utterly obsence for you to come here to discuss peace when the killings are ongoing. I have never heard of such “peace-making” in my life. You are callous, cruel, and calculating. And for those who go along with you, they are not heros for peace, they are benefiting from this personally. Feel free to make peace with them, you will not go too far because they represent less than 1% of Jordanians who also do not give much weght to your words as your cruel nature is constantly being reaffrimed by your brutality which we see daily on TV.

So say all you want. It falls under the category of Hasbara.

18 upyernoz
Oct 5th, 2006 at 5:36 pm
personally, i can’t see anything wrong with the film school. the analogy to employing a KKK engineer is laughable. israelis, like everyone anywhere, are individuals. probably many israelis wouldn’t want to go to a school in the arab world (they are like the people quoted in the article). but the few that do will be a self-selecting group, so they won’t be the KKK types

as for the argument that states can have relations, but cultural exchanges are taboo. i understand the rule as you articulate it. but you don’t explain why i or anyone else should adopt your rule. usually its the opposite–cultural exchanges precede diplomatic recognition (that’s how the restoration of ties between the u.s. and vietnam worked, just to pick a random example)

anything that makes people deal with other people on a human level is a good thing. cultural boycotts targetting all israelis as israelis don’t accomplish anything. in fact, after several decades the record is fairly clear that they haven’t. i understand why people are attracted to hardline policies in the face of the latest news of some horrible action perpetuated by the israeli government, but that doesn’t mean the hardline policies actually make sense, or are at all productive.

at least that’s how i see it.

19 Haki
Oct 6th, 2006 at 7:59 am
Zionazi said: “anything that makes people deal with other people on a human level is a good thing.”

Really? Great. Then we want you to open your film scools in Israel to Neo-Nazis and Skinheads. I think this will help you deal with each other on a human level. After all, you have so much in common when you think of it. Zioniats and White Supremacists and Aryans have demographic threats they would like to deal with.

When you do the above, then we will open our shcools to you.

20 upyernoz
Oct 6th, 2006 at 12:36 pm
so let’s see, you’re “argument” comes down to labeling me a “nazi” merely because we i advocated talking.

because that’s why nazis were bad. all they did was talk.

21 Habibi
Oct 6th, 2006 at 1:31 pm
“so let’s see, you’re “argument” comes down to labeling me a “nazi” merely because we i advocated talking.”

Actually this is worse than nazi. the nazis did not play victim to the people they brutalized.

in your case, everyday you kill arabs, every day you repress them, every day you discrimninate agianst them, but you come over here with your sad violin and weep for peace. What a freak show dude!

To you this is a cheap adventure, and expereince: the Hebrew Hasbara Brigades in action, trying to win hearts an mind on the cheap. Low budget, zero substance co-existance with no ethical responsiblities and no standards of civilized conduct.

Peace does not work this way, you stop the almost daily murders then you come and talk about peaceful co-existance. so go shove your cheap dialoug somewhere else.

22 upyernoz
Oct 6th, 2006 at 2:31 pm
the nazis did not play victim to the people they brutalized

sure they did. the nazis came to power claiming that germany’s woes were all caused by the jews–including its humiliating defeat in world war one.

in your case, everyday you kill arabs, every day you repress them, every day you discrimninate agianst them, but you come over here with your sad violin and weep for peace. What a freak show dude!

To you this is a cheap adventure, and expereince: the Hebrew Hasbara Brigades in action, trying to win hearts an mind on the cheap. Low budget, zero substance co-existance with no ethical responsiblities and no standards of civilized conduct.

Peace does not work this way, you stop the almost daily murders then you come and talk about peaceful co-existance. so go shove your cheap dialoug somewhere else.

my case? i’ve never killed an arab, or anyone else for that matter. as far as i know i’ve never repressed or discriminated against them. do you even know who i am? what country i live in? what languages i speak? maybe that would be a good idea to find out before you call me a “freak show”

look, there’s no need for name calling. i’m not saying that israel isn’t causing intense suffering to a lot of people. that’s the unfortunate reality. and i’m not saying that israeli policy makers and their supporters should be left off the hook at all for their crimes. and honestly, i don’t see any conceivable way you could interpret what i have written so far to think that i have. i’m not even trying to claim that the film school will solve the israeli-palestinian conflict.

in fact, all i’m saying is that having a film school in jordan that also allows israelis to attend is not a bad idea. obviously, these will be israelis who don’t mind working with arabs. they do exist, you know. just like there are arabs who are willing to work with israelis. people are individuals and should be judged on an individual level.

23 basal magli
Oct 6th, 2006 at 4:46 pm
“these will be israelis who don’t mind working with arabs.”

Thank you your highness for your graciousness. We are most humbled by your royal willingness to come down and touch an Arab.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Everything you said is worthless. there is only one thing that matters.

Are you willing to uphold the Universal Declaration for Human Rights for jews and Palestinians alike. Meaning, non-jews who have been expelled have an inalianble right to go to their homes, and not only jews who enjoy the right of return.

UDHR “Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

Yes, or no? No halfass answers please. yes or no. If no, don’t even bother posting because what you will hear from me will not please you. It will only confirm everything I said about your likes.

24 lksfadljk
Oct 6th, 2006 at 8:55 pm
Wasn’t it Condaliza Rice who said to the world that we should see crisis as an opportunity? Let’s see the crisis of giving up a seat in our universities to Israelis as an opportunity.

Sure, they can enroll in our film schools. All we’d need to do is to set up an illegal “Security fence” wall and several checkpoints around their residence so that they won’t be able to reach their schools. We’ll instill curfues on them while every other student will be allowed to roam wherever they please. Why not even drive a tank into their living room while they are watching TV? They did it in Nablus, we’ll do it in Aquaba. We won’t let them drive on the same streets we do. Perhaps two Apartheids make a right? and Yahweh help them if they try to take their car across any of the checkpoints. These are just a couple of quick ideas I’m throwing out here. Opportunity.

25 zaquen
Oct 8th, 2006 at 8:20 am
“anything that makes people deal with other people on a human level is a good thing.”

I agree. I don’t see how this film school idea is a bad thing. It seems like a lot of people want to believe that Israelis are one dimentional…not all Israelis hate Arabs, not all Israelis agree with their government…

26 upyernoz
Oct 8th, 2006 at 10:42 am
Thank you your highness for your graciousness. We are most humbled by your royal willingness to come down and touch an Arab.



Are you willing to uphold the Universal Declaration for Human Rights for jews and Palestinians alike. Meaning, non-jews who have been expelled have an inalianble right to go to their homes, and not only jews who enjoy the right of return.

for some reason you and habibi seem to think i’m israeli, or even some high ranking israeli official. it’s very odd debating someone whose entire counter-arguments (if i can call them that) seemed to be premised entirely on an incorrect assumption about who i am.

here’s my question, is there anyone who is able to argue for the anti-film school position without just dismissing what i say as “worthless” or pretend that i am some kind of arial sharon clone? if not, that speaks volumes about the weakness of your position. honestly, this is no different from when i try to write about the debacle of the iraq war and end up being accused of personally murdering people in the world trade center

27 lksfadljk
Oct 8th, 2006 at 4:48 pm
I’m sure anyone can agree that not every Israeli hates arabs or agrees with the Israeli government. That is needless to say. But why admit Israelis into a Jordanian university? To collect tuition fees from them and make money? To make the university a little more reputable abroad? What else is there to gain from giving this privelege to an already over-priveleged Israeli?
If you want a social and cultural exchange, this isn’t excatly an exchange. An exchange would be to take one Israeli student and drop him into the film school in Jordan, and to take one Jordanian student and throw him to some university in tel aviv. Those are how exchange programs usually work. As I said before, this is just another case of giving privilege to and already over priveleged israeli.

28 upyernoz
Oct 9th, 2006 at 9:18 am
An exchange would be to take one Israeli student and drop him into the film school in Jordan, and to take one Jordanian student and throw him to some university in tel aviv. Those are how exchange programs usually work.

you’re right. that would be better.

29 Shlomo The IDF Pacifict
Oct 12th, 2006 at 7:13 am
SHALOM ARABS!!! I am Shlomo again. Remember me. i love the idea of film school where I can go and relax after I kill arab family of five. but i am sure you will understand since peace means you have to compromise, dialoug, and reach out. I want to reach out…oh…never mind the blood on my hand. love conquers all.. Peace brothers…Sorry but I have to leave now. I see an arab kid in my crosshair. have to clean some land….Shalom…shlomo

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http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/773817.html

IDF troops kill five family members in Gaza clashes

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Israel Defense Forces troops killed six Palestinians, among them five relatives, during raids in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday, witnesses and medics said.

They said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes. Of the five relatives, three were armed militants of the ruling Hamas party’s militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old daughter Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on the man as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.

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The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

“This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups,” he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

In a separe incident Wednesday, IDF troops killed a would-be suicide bomber attempting to infiltrate the security fence south of the Karni crossing and a wanted militants in Nablus.

Troops operating in Nablus Wednesday also killed a wanted Palestinian militant from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Abdullah Mansour, who they said attempted to detonate explosive near their position. Mansour’s relatives said he was killed by a single bullet to the head as he looked outside his window at gunbattles taking place outside between militants and IDF troops.

The IDF’s offensive in Gaza, ongoing for almost four-months, was launched after IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted and two of his comrades killed in a cross-border raid on June 25. Israel has since mounted several major military operations in Gaza aimed at retrieving Shalit and stemming cross-border rocket fire by militants. Around 230 Palestinians, half of them civilians, have been killed.

The governing Palestinian faction Hamas, some of whose gunmen took part in Shalit’s abduction, says the soldier should be traded for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Israel has publicly refused a prisoner swap although political sources expect it to relent as part of an Egyptian-brokered deal.

30 Ariel Berg
Oct 12th, 2006 at 5:30 pm
Hi my partners in peace, I want to sign up for the Spielberg Peace Scholarship for IDF Soldiers to attend the Jordanian film school in Aqaba. Please see my CV below. I am still adding to it as we speak. Stay tuned. I love Arabs and love peace. Lets unite the moderates and stop the extremists…Peace..Ariel Bergm, IDF

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IAF missile strike on Hamas man’s Gaza home kills 8-year-old girl

By Amos Harel, Mijal Grinberg and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents and Reuters

Oct 13, 2006

At least two Palestinians were killed and seven injured, one seriously, in an Israel Air Force missile strike on the Gaza City home of a Hamas leader Thursday night.

An IDF spokesman confirmed the air strike targeted the house of a Hamas commander, Sharaf Farwana, in the Sajaiyeh section of Gaza City near the border with Israel.

Farwana survived the attack, but the strike killed his brother, 25-year-old Aiman Farwana, and a 8-year-old girl.

The latest strike came after six Palestinians were killed in a clash between the Israel Defense Forces and militants in southern Gaza earlier in the day.

Shortly after the IAF strike, Palestinian gunners fired a Qassam rocket at Sderot. The rocket slammed into a electrical powerline and plunged the city into darkness. There were no reported casualties.

Also Thursday, a Hamas militant identified as Majid Darbiya was gunned down in Beit Lahia by unknown assailants.

Hamas vows revenge
A spokesman for the Hamas military wing earlier on Thursday vowed the group would take harsh revenge for the IDF operation in Gaza, in which six people - including four militants - were killed.

Five of the dead were members of the same family.

“In light of the ugly crimes in Khan Yunis and the northern Gaza Strip, we will bombard and strike in every place, north and south. The response will be powerful and will cause the earth to tremble. The enemy must now wait patiently for our actions,” he said.

Witnesses and medics that said troops backed by helicopter gunships entered the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, at dark, touching off clashes.

Of the five family members killed, three were armed militants of the ruling party’s militant wing. They were identified as Abed Rahman Kadiah, 25, Salah Kadiah, 25, and Naeel Kadiah, 22. The other two family members were bystanders, named as Adal Kadiah, 40, and his 13-year-old son Suhaib Kadiah.

The fourth militant, Mohammed Barakha, 23, was killed later Thursday as clashes raged into the afternoon. IDF troops opened fire on Barakha as he advanced toward them under cover of a large crowd.

The IDF confirmed its forces were operating in the area looking for facilities used by militants. Troops fired on gunmen who tried to attack them, an army spokesman said. At least 11 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes.

“This is an area believed to conceal tunnels and other forms of infrastructure used by terrorist groups,” he said.

Militants fired anti-tanks missiles at troops raiding the area, but there were no casualties among the soldiers.

Earlier Thursday, the Israel Air Force destroyed the house of a Hamas militant in the Jabalya refugee camp, which the IDF said was being used as a storehouse for weapons.

Also Thursday, two Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip landed in open fields in the western Negev. There were no injuries in either incident, but some farmland was destroyed in one of the blasts.

In overnight raids in the West Bank early Thursday, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted militants. Troops came under explosives and gunfire while operating in Nablus and Tul Karm. There were no soldier casualties in either incident. A Palestinian was wounded during the Nablus operation, but his condition has not yet been confirmed.

31 mike
Oct 17th, 2006 at 7:57 am
i see that censorship is alive and well in jordan. too bad. i will always love arabs, as well as zionists. just wish things didn’t have to be this way.
until this is deleted: peace to all!

mike

1 Mental mayhem
Trackback on Oct 3rd, 2006 at 12:02 pm
2 Mental mayhem
Trackback on Oct 5th, 2006 at 2:19 pm
3 An Israeli Education at The Black Iris of Jordan
Pingback on Oct 16th, 2006 at 4:27 am


An Israeli Education
Published October 16th, 2006 in Jordan, Palestine, News and Israel. 160 Views
Tags: Israel, News, Palestine.

In light of recent debates on Jordan’s Red Sea Film School being open to everyone including Israelis as well as a recent decision by the Israeli army to ban new Palestinian students from entering Israeli universities, I thought this was an interesting article…

When Jordanian student Said Saleh Abu Ghosh chose to pursue a Master’s degree in desert studies he knew he’d have to also earn a PhD. Partially for the education and career benefits that go along with an advanced degree but also because he knew he would have to cover up his graduate study work. A native of Amman, Jordan, Abu Ghosh is currently researching the medicinal properties of algae at Ben Gurion University’s Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies - in Israel.

“We Jordanians don’t write on our CV that we studied in Israel. I did it once applying for a good job and they didn’t take me. When I deleted ‘Israel’ and applied to another job they accepted me. A PhD will cover up my Israeli Master’s. I have to be realistic,” Abu Ghosh admits.

A razor-stubbled, good natured mid-20-something, who is often decked out in lab whites and safety goggles, Abu Ghosh is one of a growing number of Jordanians who make their way to Israel each year to participate in desertification and land degradation studies despite pressure back home.

“I came here because in Jordan we’re two-thirds desert with limited resources. This school has professors who are international experts in the field of desertification and algae research,” Abu Ghosh relays. “Also, I needed to improve my English and I wanted to study with people from different backgrounds.”

Although Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, relations between the two countries remain largely icy, largely due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jordan, according to US Census Bureau figures, is at least 50 percent Palestinian.

Regardless, Jordanians and a wide range of other nationalities opt for environmental studies at the Albert Katz Institute because the school’s team of professors and researchers is renowned globally for breakthrough desertification technologies including drip irrigation, solar energy harnessing, algae cultivation and brackish water salmon farming.



Dana Rassas of Amman is already on the fast track to ambassadorship. She earned her undergrad in Utah and is currently completing her Master’s in Environmental Studies in Israel. She’ll go to the US for a PhD in law or environmental policy and will eventually return to the Middle East to work as a government lobbyist.

Regarding her Israel studies Rassas, a Palestinian with relatives in Jerusalem, adheres to caution. “I’m selective about who to tell in Jordan. I told my best friends I’m here and that’s it. Others I didn’t tell,” she admits. Rassas concurs with Abu Ghosh, saying her motives for earning a PhD include covering up the Israel leg of her education.

For Rassas, living alongside Israelis has been a learning experience that has included altering pre-existing notions. “I asked a fellow student something about God and when she said she doesn’t believe in God I was shocked. ‘You’re Jewish and you don’t believe in God?’ And she was a rabbi’s daughter! I had to differentiate between being Jewish culturally and ideologically,” she explains.

Maya Negev, an Israeli Albert Katz Master’s student, grew up in a liberal Jerusalem household. Currently mapping the country’s sixth to twelfth-graders to gauge their environmental literacy levels, she ultimately hopes to serve in an influential role fostering co-existence and environment. In working towards that goal, she volunteers at a Beersheva Arab-Israeli youth club and helps Hebron’s Palestinian farmers harvest olives.

Negev is neither surprised nor alarmed by the code of silence taken up by Jordanian colleagues regarding their studies. “With two-thirds of Jordan being Palestinian refugee, it’s hard for them to acknowledge a country where the Zionist is the enemy. But our studies together are surely influencing,” she reports.

“We have so much more in common than different. Even if I knew it before, it was emphasized when I slept and talked and ate with these people. We all have the same hopes so we’re all interested in the same things from the same angles. And the bottom line? The environment knows no borders.”

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5 Responses to “An Israeli Education”
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1 red_enclave
Oct 16th, 2006 at 5:40 am
An interesting article, I wonder if they would be given the cold shoulder by their colleagues, would there be discrimination? It’s just a thought. In fact I’ve never heard of desert studies. This si the first time. But I have to admit that the Israelis are very well educated @ expert in that field. Look at the land, it used to be arid and barren but now they have managed to grow plants on the former wasteland. Saudi Arabia too should do something about their land. (no connection to Israel here!)

2 lksfadljk
Oct 16th, 2006 at 1:47 pm
” Look at the land, it used to be arid and barren but now they have managed to grow plants on the former wasteland.”

OMG yes! They made the desert bloom!

please.

3 Iman
Oct 16th, 2006 at 3:08 pm
In fact I’ve never heard of desert studies. This si the first time.

first time for everything, which brings me to ask if this is your first time hearing of desert studies, how did you conclude that ‘israelis are very well educated @ (did you mean &?)expert in that field?’

lksfadljk,

Ugh! Please show some sensitivity to readers who may happen to respect God!

4 lksfadljk
Oct 16th, 2006 at 4:23 pm
Sorry for my lousy sarcasm. I get too excited sometimes in my responses (and I was being 100% sarcastic.. it’s hard to tell on the Internet)

5 Salam
Oct 17th, 2006 at 6:26 pm
Jordanians being staunchly anti-Zionist has little to do with the Palestinian roots of the bulk of its population. Egypt is not Palestinian and does not even have a Palestinian population that can influence affairs yet the government and the people are also repulsed by Israel and their brutality. Morocco and Mauritania are the same, leaders shake hands with Israel while the people throw up at the sight of the flag of the state of the war criminals of Israel. Fact is, even if there were not a single Palestinian sole in Jordan, Jordanians are overwhelmingly Arabs and/or Muslims, and human beings who are, like other human beings, are instinctively revolted at the sight of injustice and repulsed by anti-arab supremacist.

So even if all Jordanians with Palestinian blood or “nasab” leave today (and that’s over 70% of Jordan) the majority of Jordanians will still be loath to shake hands with the violent Israelis. And with the rising Islamist cultural influence and a rebound of traditional leftists in Jordan, expect rejection of Israel to become a consensus except for a dirty dozen and their surrounding parasites.

Of course if Israel stops acting out its deeply disturbed supremacist ideology, things may change. We have seen that in the heady days of the peace process.

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