In the name of Allah

Innovative Minds Newsletter

1 September 2002

Contents Editorial
  1. Boycott McDonalds

  2. Boycott Coca-Cola Update

  3. Muslim Mandela

  4. Guide To Picketing

  5. Picket Diary

  6. Bosnia - Revisiting Genocide in Europe

  7. Sports Boycott of Israel

  8. An Islamic Approach to Palestine

  9. Letter from an Israeli company

  10. How does the leader
    of an oil-rich country live?

  11. Justice for Palestine Rally

  12. Cultural Boycott of Israel

  13. Boycott News - new look

  14. All searches lead to Islam?

  15. Boycott News Ticker

  16. Judaism & zionism

  17. Being Muslim...

  18. Bride of Palestine: Story of a 17 year old Martyr

  19. Israelis feel boycott's sting

  20. Mother of the Homeless

  21. "Boycott Israel" cards most popular

  22. Israel - Something Fundamentally Wrong
































An old Palestinian man lived alone in Palestine. He wanted to dig his potato garden, but it was very hard work for him.His only son, who would have helped him, was in an Israeli prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his predicament.

Shortly, he received a letter from his son: "For God's SAKE, Dad, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the GUNS!"

At 4 A.M. the next morning, a dozen Israeli soldiers showed up and dug up the entire garden, without finding any guns.

Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asking him what to do next.

His son's reply was: "Now plant your potatoes, Dad!!! This is the best I can do for you at this time.!!!!!"


Newsletter Feedback

Whilst our newsletters have, alhamdullah, been very well received there have also been problems.

We aim to publish an issue every month but unfortunately we have fallen short - our last newsletter was published three months ago.

For us its a juggling act of how best to utilise our limited resources, and to try and strike the right balance between content and frequency. We are guided by your comments. People have welcomed the new format and suggested that the newsletter is becoming an e-magazine in its own right, separate from the website.

For people wanting to keep up to date with the boycott campaign we suggest keeping an eye on the new Boycott Ticker, apart from giving the latest boycott related news it also shows up coming events and lists recent updates to the website.


Assalaamu Alaikum

This September sees the second anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. It marks the day the Palestinians took their destiny out of the hands of corrupt arab rulers and put their trust in Allah.

They have strived in the way of Allah armed with stones and their faith against the might of the israeli army equipped with the best America can furnish. The F16 fighter jets with their 1 ton missiles, apache attack helicopters and air conditioned tanks have all failed - they have proven no match for the Intifada. After two years of brutal suppression, and re-occupation, the intifada is untouched and has grown from strength to strength.

Israel Bleeding

In contrast, israel is bleeding from a mortal wound. Its economy is on the verge of total collapse with no sign of recovery despite cash injections from uncle Sam. Even the official figure for inflation is a sky rocketing 8.5%, contrasting sharply to israeli government target of 2-3%.

Figures revealed by israels own Central Bureau of Statistics shown a 2.9% fall in GDP, the worst predictions were for a fall of 1.5%. A wave of lay-offs has hit the traditionally untouched hi-tech sector, with unemployment officially soaring at 10.5%. Even in the military sector, the state-owned defence contractor, Israel Military Industries, is set to lay off 1,000 workers from its current payroll of 3,700.

In June Value Added Tax (VAT) was raised by a full percent to 18%. Electricity prices have shot up by 11.2%, domestic water prices have increased by 9.1%, bus fares are up 4%, rents have increase by 3.9% - all basic living costs from food to telephone charges have all shot up.

Crippled by Strikes

The zionist state has been crippled by a series of general strikes - workers demanding a cost of living raise. Last week a general strike by 1.5 million public service workers brought the country to a standstill - flight in and out of israel had to be suspended, radio and television broadcasts stopped and health workers only dealt with emergencies.

Far from pay rises, all the workers have seen is pay cuts - in what has been dubbed "hysterical cuts" senior employees have seen their salaries slashed by 10-15% and the unlucky entry-level workers have had to endure even greater wage cuts.

Foreign investment, a life-line for the zionist state, has also dried up. Figures reveal that investors have lost $5 billion of the $6.5 billion invested in israel between 1999-2001. No one is prepared to invest any more.

The government is so short of money that its cost cutting includes shutting down several embassies and consulates around the world!

At this critical time, the importance of the global boycott of Israel and of the collaborating companies that give it its life-line cannot be overemphasized. Israel is counting every penny - every penny matters - ensure yours don't go to Israel!

Jews fleeing Israel

Israelis once used to a high standard of living are finding it impossible to survive and are leaving israel in droves. In a recent survey, conducted by the zionist council, an israeli newspaper revealed that 47% of all non-religeous jews and 23% of religious jews were considering leaving the country! This has terrified the zionist establishment - without jews there is no israel.

The Jewish Agency has been scouring the globe for Jews who could be persuaded to come and live in Israel with no success. Jews outside of israel are avoid israel like the plague - immigration to israel is down a whopping 27%. The economic problems of the former Soviet Union has always ensured a steady stream of new settlers for the zionist state every year - not so this year, immigration to israel is down 46%!

From zionist to Muslim

Of the few Jews who did immigrate to Israel is the story of Yosef Cohen. He and his family moved to an illegal settlement on the occupied Gaza Strip from New York four years ago - classic foot soldiers for zionism.

However, after chatting on the internet with a Muslim cleric on philosophy and religion Yosef saw the truth of Islam. His wife Lana also started to study Islam and was attracted by its message. She says "it provided her with the meaning of life". To the horror of the authorities, the couple with their four children converted to Islam and have moved to the Arab neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Yosef Cohen became Yosuf Hatab.

Today Yosuf wears a jalabia and his wife, Lana, wears a traditional Muslim head covering. The children spend their days in the "Al Aqsa" kindergarten run by Hamas near the Temple Mount in the Old City. The family members pray according to Muslim tradition, and the children speak Arabic as fluently as their Palestinian neighbours. Yosuf reaffirms the right of Palestinians to defend themselves by any means necessary and says that suicide bombings are unavoidable and that a Palestinian state should be established from the Mediterranean until the Jordan River. Zionism's foot soldiers have become the champions of the Islamic struggle in Palestine. The Interior Ministry's apartheid system of classification cant cope with with this, and has refused to recognise Yosefs Muslim identity. Yosef finds the humour "What would happen if I would die tomorrow? They could end up burying me as a Jew."

Searching the Andes for would-be zionists

So Jews in Israel are leaving, Jews outside Israel are refusing to come to Israel, and of the few that do come - some are becoming Muslim! In desperation a zionist delegation has climbed the remote mountains of Peru to find a community of Andes Indians who, not versed in the politics of the middle east, with economic bribery agreed to move to israel.

After a 12 day crash course 90 Andes Indians were transformed in to Jews and shipped to the West Bank to serve in illegal front-line israeli settlements. So thorough was their indoctrination that in an interview one of the new zionists openly revealed what he had learnt from his training "The Arab has the instinct of murder and killing like all gentiles, and only Jews do not have that instinct - that is a genetic fact." He became unglued when the reporter asked "But if you were not born a Jew genetically, don't you have that instinct?".

Loosing the war

On the war front, israel is loosing. Despite the brutal crack downs and re-occupations the resistance continues, more and more soldiers are arriving home in body bags. More and more soldiers are refusing to serve the zionist SS - at the last count the refusniks numbered over a 1000 which for such a small population is alarming.

For those that are continuing to serve in the zionist army its beginning to dawn on them that the state may not be around long enough to offer them protection for their crimes. The IDF is concerned that the International Criminal Court will prosecute its soldiers for war crimes, and for the first time it was revealed that field commanders are seeking legal advise from attorneys before performing actions which would violate international law like demolishing Palestinian houses.

Dangerous End Game

It seems that the end game may soon be in sight, inshallah. Yet this is the most perilous game for Muslims. Whilst we have consistently won liberation struggles - from Afghanistan to Algeria, we have however always - bar one exception - lost the end game - lost the peace, the exception being the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Every time just when victory is in sight our leadership sells us short and capitulates. Our blood is sold cheaply at a bargaining table, a deal is done in our name and we end up with less than Justice, less than what Islam demands. We must be careful this doesn't happen with Palestine. There can be no going back to Oslo, no sell out for 22% of Palestine, no two state capitulation.

Innovative Minds Newsletter


1. Boycott McDonalds

With the recent scandal involving McDonalds cohert use of animal fats in its products and the ensuing law suite in the States McDonalds is already in the dog house as far as Muslims are concerned. Here is another reason to say no to McDonalds:

1. The Chicago Jewish Community website reveals that McDonalds Corporation whose global headquarters is based just outside Chicago is a major corporate partner of the Jewish United Fund.

The Jewish United Fund in their own words "works to maintain American military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel; monitors and, when necessary, responds to media coverage of Israel".

Through its "Partnership to Israel" programme, the Jewish United Fund provides $1.3 million annually to help the development of Kiryat Gat - an illegal israeli settlement built on the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages of Iraq Al Manshiya and Al-Faluja.

The Jewish United Fund also pays for Christian leaders and high school kids to visit israel for indoctrination.

2. McDonalds chairman and CEO Jack M. Greenberg is an honorary director of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., of Metropolitan Chicago.

3. McDonalds has 80 resturants in israel providing 3000 israelis with jobs during this critical period when the israeli economy is on the verge of collapse.

For full details with references please see:


McDonald's Gets Grilled in Africa

"They use our money to kill our children in Palestine," reads an advertisement run by several Moroccan dailies to rally support for a boycott of American products -- including McDonald's -- in Morocco.

The advertisement names a large number of United States brands, from Marlboro to McDonald's, that Moroccans are being called upon to boycott as a sign of rejection of U.S. backing of Israel in the conflict against the Palestinians.

"We, as civil society, have the duty to mobilize citizens for a cause that is ... central to us," says Hassan Serrat, a reporter from the Renewal daily newspaper.

Officials from McDonald's Morocco, which has 16 restaurants in the country, say the campaign will probably result in a huge loss in profits for the food chain...

Full Story:

2. Boycott Coca-Cola Update

Coca-Cola has recently agreed to build plant at Kiryat Gat - yes the same illegal settlement mentioned above in the McDonalds boycott. Intel is already facing possible legal action with regards to its chip plant built on the same stolen land.

Their support of Israel is nothing new, 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.

In 2001 the Coca-Cola World Headquarters hosted and was the main sponser of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala.

Coca-Cola Israel sponsers training programs for its workers on subjects including the Israeli-Arab conflict. The course content is created by a company funded by the Israeli government. Apparently a lot of its workers comming from the former Soviet Union are not indoctrinated in zionism and need assistance in "integrating".

In February 2002, Coca-Cola teamed up with "Friends of Israel" to cosponser a lecture given by the infamous zionist correspondent Linda Gradstein at the University of Minnesota.

For full details with references please see:


Gaza - A Poem

by Connie Al-Ramahi
July 24, 2002

A tiny, lifeless body,
All wrapped in white,
Janazah prayers are done,
Day turns to night.

Another faceless casualty
Of injustice and hate.
How can one so innocent
Suffer such a fate?

His smile was a guiding light,
His laughter, a sweet song.
A father's grief, a mother's tears
Flowing all night long.

Broken toys are scattered,
Heaps of rubble on the ground.
No more laughing children,
Bitter weeping, the only sound.

The innocence of childhood
Savagely taken away.
Hollow faces filled with pain,
Look too old to play.

A lifetime filled with sorrow,
With rage and bitter pain.
We ask Allah for victory,
Our prayers are not in vain!

3. Muslim Mandela

Earlier this year the Muslim community in Britain was honoured by a visit from a unique personality.

Imam Achmad Cassiem the Chairman of the Islamic Unity Convention, a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, was in the UK to address the Prisoners of Faith Conference organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

Jihad at age 15

Imam Achamd Cassiem had chosen at the tender age of 15 to join the armed struggle against the oppressive apartheid regime in South Africa. Two years later, aged 17 he was arrested and became one of the youngest people to be imprisoned on Robben Island. Nelson Mandala, a fellow inmate at Robben Island, commented "My goodness, they're even locking up school kids now". He has spent in total over two decades imprisoned, tortured, under detention or under banning orders.

A teacher by profession, his articulate words carry the weight of both knowledge and experience. When Imam Achmad Cassiem speaks of Islamic struggle and the way to achieving victory, he's not building castles in the sky - his words are the words of an Islamic revolutionary who's been there and done it - they command respect.

Exclusive interview

We were lucky to be granted an exclusive interview with him.

We asked him about Palestine. His insights based on his experience of the anti-apartheid struggle and its eventual capitulation with the apartheid regime, are very revealing and need to be studied by all Muslims, especially Palestinians:

"...At the moment people are trying to buy in to this idea that israel is an apartheid state... I think we must avoid saying that because I know what the intention is, if we accept that idea then it means that israel - the zionists and the Palestinians can resolve their differences like the differences in South Africa were resolved - through talks and reconciliation... we have been short changed in South Africa because the revolution was aborted... I would advise the Palestinian people please understand if you make maximum sacrifices - make maximum demands."

Listen to the interview at:


Imam Achmad Cassiem gave several incredible lectures whilst in the UK. One of them is available now on the web-site and inshallah in the near future two more will be added.

Muslims in South Africa

In this lecture, Imam Achmad Cassiem looks at the history of Muslims in South Africa, and shares with us insights and lessons learnt by their experiences.



A few quotes from the interview and lectures of Imam Achmad Cassiem:

"We cannot treat the Qur'an like a supermarket and say
I like salat,
I like giving zakat,
I like going on hajj,
I like to fast during Ramadan but don't talk to me about Jihad..."

"Reconciliation between oppressor and oppressed is not possible because oppressed and oppressor are not brothers,
they are enemies.

And that is why the Prophet (SAW) said
"help your brother whether he is oppressed or he is an oppressor",
so the companions of the Prophet asked
"it is easy to help my brother if he is oppressed but how do I help him if he is an oppressor?"
And the Prophet (SAW) replied "prevent him from oppressing others".
That is our reconciliation."

"The first time armed struggle is made permissible for Muslims is in Surah Hajj -surah 22 ayat 39,

Allah says
"permission is given to you to fight because you have been wronged"

- that principle essentially means that the only people in the world who have the sole justification for resorting to armed struggle,
to violence,
to force
are the oppressed people - nobody else has that right or justification.

But more importantly it is immoral, irrational, it is obscene for an oppressor to tell the oppressed how they should respond to oppression, so if there are two principles that we should teach all oppressed people then it is those two principles"

4. A to Z of Picketing

Picketing is a form of public protest and aims to draw attention to the realities of Palestinian suffering by exposing those that help to sustain it. It embarrasses those shoppers that know they shouldn't be shopping there, informs those shoppers that are not aware of the moral objections as well as irritating supporters of Israel generally. The companies themselves become aware of the protests and news of pickets goes all the way to the top.

The A to Z of Picketing is a guide to to what you need to know about organising and sustaining pickets. Information on the stores being targeted for picketing. A map to help you locate your closest picket with contact details, local maps, times and comments. A detailed step-by-step guide to setting up your own picket, with answers to frequently asked questions about picketing and the law. All essential preparation for picketing.

The "A to Z of Picketing" is located at:


Below Poverty Line

75% of Palestinians are now living below the poverty line ($2 per day per person). The povertry line in "Israel" is $20 per day per person.

48% of all Palestinian women and 45% of children under 5 years are now aneamic. Before the intifada, 20% of Palestinian women were aneamic.

30% of all Palestinian children suffer malnutrition.

Figures compiled by Palestinian Institute for Research & Health Information, reported in As-Safir newspaper July 24 2002.

5. Picket Diary

There are regular pickets at Marks & Spencer and Selfridges stores up and down the country. Ever wondered what its like to picket outside a store? In the picket diary activists share their experiences of the picket lines at M&S - read their diary - be inspired in to action!

From Sister Alaa's Diary:

"Anyone who pickets know the great feeling you get afterwards when you feel that you really did something to help your fellow muslims. I know people are generally apprehensive about picketing and I used to be like this too, but honestly the reward you get out of it far outweighs any of the reasons you may have not to want to do it."

The Picket Diary is located at:


Generous offer to the Palestinians

Oslo Agreement to the Palestinians: You are going to have 22% of the 100% which was originally yours.

Barak's "Generous" offer to the Palestinians: We are going to give you 80% of 22% of 100% of the land which was originally yours.

Sharon's "Peace" plan to the Palestinians: We are going to give you 42% of 80% of 22% of 100% of the land which was originally yours, and this 42% will remain under continuous curfew.

American Christian Zionists to the Palestinians: We are asking Sharon to give you 0% of 42% of 80% of 22% of 100% of the land which was originally yours.

Bush's "Peace" plan to the Palestinians: I trust Sharon's judgment, since he is a 'man of peace,' but where the hell is Palestine?

Blair's "Peace" plan to the Palestinians: We started this whole mess. But right now I go along with Bush's extraordinary "vision."

6. Bosnia - Revisiting Genocide in Europe

Last month saw the seventh anniversary of the massacre of Muslims in Srebrinica. Seven years on, the question is what did we Muslims learn from it?

We present a moving 15 minute talk by Demir Mahmutcehajic. He revisits the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia, drawing from the personal experiences of his family, he directs us to the lessons every single Muslim must learn from Bosnia. The talk may be short but the point raised will stay with you.

"As part of my presentation , I wanted to have my father with me. He is here in London, a victim of torture and oppression. But when I asked him to come and stand here in front of you and say it himself - how it was, he declined he said its too painful for him to even remember, to think about it...

Sometimes when he's in a good mood and he feels that he wants to talk about it he tells us bits and pieces - never a full story. What we know is that in 13 months that he spent in a concentration camp in western Herzegovina, he was imprisoned by the Croats, he says that not a single bone in his body was left untouched, he says that not a single nerve in his whole body not feel the pain of beating and torture. Four months he spent in a cell deep underground, there was water up to his waist and there was only one plank of wood on which he was sitting, sleeping, doing everything. They use to throw bread in to the water. Four months he spent like that.

He said the worst fear he had through out that period is whats happening with his family - whats happening with his daughter, his wife, myself and other members of the family. And he said the worst torture was when those animals brought a woman in a cell next to his cell and they told him thats his daughter and he could hear screaming, hear all horrible things, and they made him belive that was his daughter.

What did they want from him? So that they did such horrible things to a person who isn't a practicing Muslim, he doesn't pray five times a day, he doesn't know much about Islam?..."

Listen to the lecture to find the answer:


"If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel" - Ben-Gurion
(First Prime Minister of Israel)


One day, or rather night, in 1956 I sat up at his house [Ben-Gurion's] till three in the morning. That night, a beautiful summer night, we had a forthright discussion on the Arab problem.

"'I don't understand your optimism," Ben-Gurion declared.

"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country.

Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs.

We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them?

There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault?

They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?

They may perhaps forget in one or two generations' time, but for the moment there is no chance.

So it's simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out... "

From: Nahum Goldmann, The Jewish Paradox: A personal memoir - New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1978, pp. 99-100.

7. Sports Boycott of Israel

Whilst israeli sportmen and women travel freely around the world to represent israel at sporting events, the sporting talent of Palestine is wasted by illegal occupation and apartheid, curfew, imprisonment and attack, in refugee camps and exile.

Whilst israeli football teams enjoy playing at international venues, Palestinian children are shot whilst playing on their door steps. Why?

The sports boycott exists as a way to express people's growing outrage over Israeli occupation and disregard for international law.

A page dedicated to the Sporting Boycott of israel has been launched. On it we place details of forth comming sports fixtures featuring israeli participation. Contact details, sample protest letters, etc. are provided.

On the first event featured, the football match between Leyton Orient Vs Maccabi Tel Aviv on July 31st, we saw three brave activists run on to the pitch with Palestinian flags and a huge banner calling for a boycott of israel and an end to the occupation - the israeli team got the message in no uncertain terms!

The next protest event is the Scotland Vs Israel under-21 football match on September 4th.

Just announced is the Manchester United Vs Maccabi Haifa game on 18th September.

Get involved today.


Israeli match sparks protest

Plans for Scotland's Under-21 football team to play a friendly against Israel have triggered an angry response from pro-Palestinian campaigners.
Those opposed to the game going ahead have written to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) in protest against the policies of Israel in the Middle East conflict.

A demonstration was held outside Hampden Park in Glasgow on Friday afternoon and a protest letter was handed to officials.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress has given its backing to the protesters.

General secretary Bill Spiers said: "We have written to the SFA and the Scottish Executive expressing concerns about the game.

"At a time when Palestinian boys can't get to a football pitch because of restrictions on them we think it seems particularly inappropriate."

Full Story:

8. An Islamic Approach to Palestine

During the 54 years of occupation we have witnessed the failure of un-Islamic approaches to the issue of Palestine from Camp David to Oslo, from pan-arabism to the PA. Now listen to an Islamic approach to the issue of Palestine - a very thought provoking lecture by Imam Al-Asi which reflects on where we are and where we need to be and how to get there and what will happen if we don't.

A must for every Muslim.

"..after the first world war when the European powers took the middle-east. A French general, Gouraud , went up to the grave of Salah-u-din who had liberated Palestine 900 years ago. He went up to the grave and he kicked that grave and he said 'It is now that the crusades have come to an end!'

... if we continue [the way we are] then don't be surprised if an Israeli general or even Sharon himself goes to Al-Medina in Hijaz and he stands just like Gouraud stood next to the grave of Salah-u-din, he stands next to the grave of the Prophet (SAW) and he kicks it with his foot and he says 'Now Gazwath Khaybar has ended!'"

Listen to the lecture and QA session at:


Christian Aid calls to sanction Israel

Britain's biggest trade union Unison has now been joined by Christian Aid, one of the country's largest international non-governmental organisations, in urging British MPs to demand the suspension of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement.

This agreement which came into force on 1 June 2000, is an extensive free trade arrangement that liberalises goods and services, permits free movement of capital and economic, social, political and cultural co-operation.

Europe accounts for 23 percent of Israeli exports, and 40 percent of Israel's imports are from Europe.

Full Story:

9. Letter from an Israeli company

Recently we received a message from an Israeli company:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have just accessed your web-site and was most distressed to find an error in your listings.

Our company, Hlavin Industries Ltd., manufacturer of cosmetic products is not located in Barkan, i.e., across the "green line" but in Raanana, Israel, solidly inside the 1967 borders. The Hlavin facility in Barkan is a separate facility, of separate ownership, which manufactures plastic products, not cosmetics

We expect, in the interest of fairness, that you would check your information before suggesting a boycott of our products.

We demand that you immediately remove our name from the list of companies to be boycotted.

We expect your prompt reply.


Leah Weitz, Export Manager
Hlavin Industries Ltd.
Raanana, Israel


After verifying the error we replied:

Dear Leah Weitz,

Greetings of Peace,

Thank you for bringing to our attention an error in our listing of companies located on the illegal settlements. We are sorry if this has caused you unnecessary distress.

We have updated our settlement listing, you will be pleased to see that your company is no longer mentioned and is replaced by Hlavin the plastics manufacturer based in Barkan.

I hope you understand that the settlement list is primarily used by people living within the borders of Occupied Palestine, and that outside of this people are boycotting all israeli companies and also non-israeli companies that give support to the zionist entity.


Boycott Committee


We trust that the significance of an Export Manager of an Israeli company contacting us, concerned at being included on the boycott list is not lost on the reader.


Even zionist tours to Israel are shrinking

Only two years ago, it took 50 buses to drive the kids from Young Judea around Israel's highways. This summer only four buses were hired to drive the 14 Americans and 150 Britons from the sister organization Federation of Zionist Youth.

"We have hit rock bottom, from here we can only go up," says Moshik Toledano, vice president of Young Judea in Israel, regarding this year's summer tours. The same sad picture is reflected in other movements that organize summer youth tours here.

These tours, which have been taking place for decades, were so successful in the 1990s that they attained a 100 percent growth rate over that 10-year period.

The findings of a survey that pointed to a rate of assimilation of more than 50 percent among American Jews shook up the community, and contributed to the growing stream of young people aged 15-18 who were sent to Israel during the summer months.

Full Story:

Israeli peace protesters may face treason charge

The Israeli peace group, Gush Shalom, sent letters to 15 senior officers advising them that they could be charged with war crimes for imposing collective punishments or making hostages of civilians violated the Geneva convention. It said the officers had been identified by their own statements to the media.

Mr Sharon was reportedly enraged by the letters, has ordered the attorney-general to see if treason charges can be brought aganst Gush Shalom. Its letters warn officers that evidence "has been compiled and put in a file ... which is likely to be submitted as evidence to an international war crimes tribunal".

Full Story:

10. How does the leader of an oil-rich country live?

June 3rd marked the 13th anniversary of the ascention of one of Islams greatest champions - Imam Khomeini. Below we quote a few paragraphs from a piece which originally appeared in Crescent Newspaper in 1985. A foreign delegate attending a womens conference in Iran recounts her impressions on a visit to Imam Khomeini's house:

The main door is a simple iron door, leading to a yard about six meters long. It has three rooms, inside each of which you will find a mattress and a cushion, and a simple sofa used by the Imam for sitting and sleeping on. The kitchen is under the stairs. There is a small room for him alone for studying, praying, reading and listening to the news; it is furnished with a chair, a small table, and some book shelves.

The foreign press correspondents were surprised when they saw the house of the leader of the Ummah. They were even more surprised when they saw the Imam's food which was composed of a boiled potato, an orange, and a small chunk of bread. They asked the Imam's wife: 'Where do you sleep?' She answered simply, 'Just where we sit.'

The wife of the Imam described his life. 'He sleeps from 9 pm until 2 am when he wakes up for the night prayers. He continues his nawafel prayers until the Adhan for fajr prayers. He completes his fajr prayer and then waits till sunrise, when he goes to have his breakfast with his family, his wife, two daughters (one of them lost her husband who was martyred at the war front), his son 'Ahmed and his grandsons. He always eats with them and never alone. After that he goes to his room to listen to the news and read the newspapers.'

'From the time we were married he has never ordered me to get him something. If he needs anything, he says so indirectly. For example, if he needs a shirt, he says: "Do we have a shirt in the house?" Then I understand that he needs a shirt, and I get it for him.'

'He insists on preparing things for himself: he prepares his food, his tea, and washes the cups and puts them back in the right place. If there is anything wrong he fixes it himself.'

'One day he was meeting some leaders. He saw that the light was on in the next room. He went into the room, himself put the light out and came back to his place. People were astonished at what he had done.'

'Once he was separating a sheet of two-ply tissue paper. When someone asked him to use both of them, he replied, "I only need one of them."'

'He prefers the simplest food, and does not eat from a variety of dishes at any one meal. He eats only to survive. This is very important for him, and he is very very organised'.

The Imam respects women very much. For example, when his grandsons come to visit him, he asks them first of all to go and see their grandmother and kiss her hand.

There are no servants in his house. The guests are served by the Imam's family, usually his two daughters who won't allow their mother to get anything, since they try to make her life as comfortable as they can...

Now pick the leader of any other country, oil-rich or not, East or West, capitalist or socialist, democracy or dictatorship - it doesn't matter and compare and contrast their lifestyle and we begin to understand the strength of Islamic leadership and why kufaar fears it.

To read the full article with photos:


US exports to Saudi
plunged to a 12-year low

US exports to Saudi Arabia in the first half of 2002 plunged to a 12-year low - a drop of 30.5 percent from the same period in 2001, the Foreign Trade Division of the US Census Bureau said in figures released on the internet.

Exports of beverages and tobacco plunged by 55 percent to just 59.6 million dollars from 132.5 million dollars.

A grass-roots campaign to boycott US products in Saudi Arabia was launched in April following what Saudi nationals said was a Washington-backed Israeli military offensive against Palestinians.

The campaign was conducted from mosques, schools and universities, and through newspapers, the internet and mobile phone text messages urging consumers to shun products originating from the United States.

Full Story:

Delta Airlines pilot refuses to fly Israeli deputy

A Delta Air Lines subsidiary refused to fly Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior from Cincinnati because the pilot thought Melchior posed a security risk.

Melchior waited on a plane for more than an hour before the pilot evacuated it, saying there was a security risk.

When Melchior disembarked, he said he was told he could not get back on the plane.

The Israeli embassy in Washington has taken the matter up with the State Department, Melchior said.

This is the third time an Israeli official has been pulled from a flight because of a pilot's sense of a security risk.

He deplored the "singling out of Israeli diplomats... and removing them from a plane in such a manner."

Full Story:

11. Justice for Palestine Rally

We launched the last newsletter on the eve of this rally, inviting people to attend. If you missed it we have an extensive photo-report of the event which attracted over 50,000 people and some excellent speakers.

John McFadden of Britians largest trade union UNISON, which has 1.4 million members pledged support for the boycott:

"UNISON has called for all workers in this country from this day to boycott Israeli goods and to show solidarity with the Palestinian people."

Jeremy Corbyn, Member of British Parliament spoke about double standards:

"And when the United States and Britain give lectures to Iraq and to other countries about UN resolutions. Israel is in breach of more than all the other states put together. Normally when a country is in breach of international law some sanction is applied against them but in the case of Israel a bottomless pit of United States aid is made available, a bottomless pit to supply arms, and a bottomless pit to continue that diplomatic support..."

Yvonne Ridley, Journalist and Anti-War activist, recently back from Jenin, she talked about what she saw there:

"... there was a military map that was left behind by the Israeli soldiers - it was written in Hebrew and it clearly marked out military targets and the date of that map was 1997 - Jenin wasn't an accident or a knee jerk reaction, it was planned for years by the Israeli butchers."

It has been widely reported that Yvonne Ridley has since converted to Islam.

See the photo report, listen to the speeches:


Next Palestine Rally - Sept 28

The next huge London rally in support for Palestine is on Saturday 28th September 2002..

Start preparing today - ensure your local Mosque knows about it - announce the event at each Jumah Prayers from now till the rally, start booking coaches for the event, designing banners - get your community involved.

Keep an eye on the Events Calendar for full details:

Saudi Arabia bans 200 foreign companies for importing Israeli goods

Saudi Arabia has blacklisted about 200 foreign companies during the past 10 months for importing $150 million of Israeli products into the oil-rich kingdom.

The companies had forged certificates of origin of Israeli products in order to bring them into the Saudi market.

The companies - including 72 from Jordan, 70 from Cyprus, 23 from Egypt and 11 from Turkey - will not be able to trade in Saudi again. The other banned companies come from the United States, Britain, Singapore, Thailand, Portugal and Poland.

Saudi authorities verified the goods originated in Israel after making checks on items imported by the companies, which include vegetables, seeds, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Full Story:

12. Cultural Boycott of Israel

The logic for the cultural boycott is the same as that for the sporting boycott.

At a time when Palestinian artists have no freedom, their artistic talent being crushed under the brutal occupation, it is totally unethical to carry on 'business as usual' with Israel. Israel must be isolated in the world. Peaceful pressure must be brought to bearn on cultural events that invite israeli participants - show them that people demand they to do the right thing - boycott israel.

Currently we are protesting the Tate Britain for hosting an exhibition by Israeli artist Ori Gersht. We urge you to write letters of protest to the Tate - a sample letter is provided.


What if 158,000 Americans were killed?

In the last 20 months 1% of the Palestinian population has been killed or wounded by Israel.

In the USA that would be equivalent (if we take 1% of the American population) to 158,000 dead and 3,600,000 injured.

Figures for 28/9/00 - 31/5/02, compiled by Palestinian Institute for Research & Health Information, reported in As-Safir newspaper July 24 2002.

13. Boycott News - new look

Now that our news section has grown to over 350 articles, we have redesigned it to ease usage. The articles are sorted in to 15 categories such as academic boycott, arms boycott, cultural boycott, sports boycott, tourism boycott, economic boycott, etc. Within each categoty they are sorted chronologically and newest 30 addition to the archive are tagged "new". The old mixed chronological order is also still available.

We regularly update the Boycott News section, its fast becoming our most popular page.

Check it out at:


IHRC - Subscribe Now!

We have had the privilege to work closely with the Islamic Human Rights Commission on several campaigns. They are quiet a unique organization - the only group we know of that is prepared to defend Muslims anywhere in the world. In fact they have also in the past campaigned on behalf of oppressed non-Muslims.

They have an excellent mailing list which we highly recommend you join. Their action alerts and campaign updates are always well researched and worth following. They post around 2-4 messages a week so it wont clog up your inbox. To subscribe just send an empty email to Dont delay - do it now!

14. All searches lead to Islam?

Since launching the Boycott Israel Campaign we have been the constant target of the zionists. Just last week there was an unsuccessful attack against our server.

As part of our security routine, we regularly scan our web server logs for any suspicous activity. One culprit got a shock when we traced his IP address back to his place of work and reported him to his managing director.

During such a scan yesterday we can across an unusual entry in the log. The entry had nothing to do with security. One of the things the logs reveal is where a visitor came from in order to get to our site. In the case of search engines it tells us what key words the visitor was searching for which lead them to our site.

We found that a person using Google UK search engine ( searched on the phrase "finger nail clippers". Of the top ten results returned by google, they selected the ninth entry which lead them to our site!

So what was it on our site which attracted this visitor to our site, and how did a search on finger nail clippers lead to our site?

It was a short article on the lifestyle of Imam Khomeini (a different article to the one above), Googles return entry read:

Lifestyle of Imam Khomeini ...
And so the remaining assets of a man who had spent about 90 years of his life in utter popularity, included eye-glasses, finger-nail clippers, beads, the Qur'an, prayer- mat,turban, clergymen's clothes and some religeous books...

It amazes us how again and again people find Islam whilst looking for anything but Islam.

The article happens to be an interesting one, since its short we have reproduced it below. The article reminds us that political activity must flower from solid Islamic roots - if a person does not live the life of a Muslim he is not fit to lead Muslims.


Lifestyle of Imam Khomeini

To get an idea of the Imam's simple living and his belief that extreme care must be taken in spending the Baitul-mall (muslim treasury), it is enough to note that, it was according to his view and emphasis that in article 142 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic, the supreme Court is obligated to investigate the assets of the leader and upper layer of responsible authorities of the Islamic Order, before and after their incumbency or assignment, to insure that, no unlawful increases have been made. Imam Khomeini was the first person to submit a list of his meagre assets to the state supreme Court.

Immediately after the Imam's ascension, his son, in a letter that was printed in the newspapers, asked the Judiciary Power to investigate the assets of the Imam again in accordance with the Constitutional law.

The result of the investigation was published in a statement dated July 2 1989 by the Supreme Court. This statement revealed that during the lapse of time, not only nothing had been added to the Imam's assets, rather, a land lot that was inherited from his father was given to the indigent people of the place during his life and by his order.

The only immovable asset of Imam Khomeini is his old house in Qum, which, since his deportation in 1964, it has actually been and is available to the objectives of the Movement and used as a centre for gatherings by student-clergies and public referrals and it actually lacks the appelation of personal property. The said list of assets which was prepared in 1979 and at the time of the Imam's ascension, after lawful control, revealed no addition, but reduction.

It was mentioned that the deceased had no personal assets except some books. The few rudimentary utensils necessary for simple living that was in the house, belonged to his wife. The two second hand rugs were not personal property and ought to go to the needy Seyyeds. Personal cash was zero; if any thing there was, it was religeous alms belonging to the people left with the Reference Authority for religious expenses, and the heirs could not touch such funds. And so the remaining assets of a man who had spent about 90 years of his life in utter popularity, included eye-glasses, finger-nail clippers, beads, the Qur'an, prayer-mat, turban, clergymen's clothes and some religeous books.

Those were the list of all the assets of a man who not only was the leader of an oil-rich country with tens of millions of population, rather, he ruled over the hearts of many more millions, the people who, when he issued mobilization order, lined up as candidates for martyrdom. These were the people who, upon hearing of the Imam's heart illness lined up at the hospital entrance ready to offer their hearts to him. The secret of so much popularity may be searched for, only in his faith, asceticism and truthfulness.

Source: The Narrative of Awakening, Hamid Ansari(p251-253)


Irish fly the Palestinian flag in solidarity

In Republican areas this summer the Palestinian flag has been strung up alongside the Irish tricolour, whilst Unionists have reacted with a profusion of Israeli flags displayed alongside the Union Jack.

The notorious Loyalist leader Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair, has reportedly even draped his pet alsatian Rebel with a Magen David flag. Loyalist paramilitary wings have a long history of connections with neo-Nazi groups such as Combat 18.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: “It’s true that historically the republicans have been more associated with the Palestinians, and the Loyalists have looked more towards the Israeli side.

“But right now I think the majority of republicans actively identify with the Palestinians, whereas with the Loyalists it’s more of a reaction rather than being based on any ideological feelings.”

Full Story:

Performing artists avoiding Israel

Backing out of a concert performance with the legendary conductor Zubin Mehta is like skipping a golf date with Tiger Woods or a dinner with Julia Child. But the unthinkable is becoming epidemic here as the world's great musicians take a pass on Israel because they fear for their security or disagree with the government's policies.

"Fifty percent or more of the foreign artists have canceled," said Mehta, music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In the current production of Richard Strauss's opera "Salome," he said, "we've had eight cancellations in the cast."

The orchestra announced today that it was forced to cancel an eight-concert tour in the United States next month because no insurance company would cover the performances due to concerns about possible terrorist attacks, said a spokeswoman for the orchestra, Dalia Meroz.

"They think our orchestra is a target for terrorism," Meroz said.

Israel also used to be a regular stop on the pop music circuit, hosting the likes of Madonna, Eric Clapton, R.E.M. and Santana. But it has been more than a year since a mega-star played here. In some cases, Israeli artists have been disinvited from playing abroad. And the Tel Aviv film festival was canceled this year because the organizers feared no stars would come.

The problem goes beyond the arts. In March, the European football federation suspended soccer matches in Israel, citing security concerns. Israeli home games are scheduled to be played in Cyprus.

Influential academics, angry at the Israeli government's actions against Palestinians, are pushing a boycott of Israel that hundreds of university professors have joined. And on the economic front, some Norwegian supermarkets label Israeli products with stickers so customers can decide whether to buy them.

"Israel is not the flavor of the month, that's for sure," Mehta said. "The world is turning against it."

Full Story:

15. Boycott News Ticker

A Boycott News Tocker has just been launched. In a small unintrusive window you can see the latest 25-35 boycott related news headlines scrolling across. Click on a headline to reveal a pop-up window with the news story for that headline. An events section keeps you informed on upcomming events related to the campaign - pickets, lectures, rallies, etc.

Do you have a website? If so, please consider supporting the campaign by placing the news ticker on your website.

It may infact end up bringing visitors to your site because we are planning an affiliate program where all websites that display the news ticker will get their websites advertised for free on the ticker on a rotation basis. So imagine if a 100 websites display the ticker, your website will end up being advertised on a 100 other like minded websites. The details have yet to be worked out, but we will keep you informed.

For details on how to add the ticker to your site see:

(dont worry its very easy - just copy & paste 4 lines)


Board of Deputies worried by boycott

Jewish community leaders are calling for a counter-attack against a pro-Palestinian campaign to get British stores to boycott Israeli goods.

Board director-general Neville Nagler declared “It is essential that well-known stores do not succumb to such tactics.”

“We are, therefore, urging members of the Jewish community, as well as the wider British public, to make every effort to support those stores that continue to sell Israeli products.”

Full Story:

16. Judaism & zionism

Listen to Rabbi Goldstein of the Neturei Karta (Jews against zionism) address a Muslim audience, giving them a historic overview of zionism and the creation of the zionist state, he explains zionisms incompatibility with Judaism.

The zionists breed on anti-semitism - they justify their existance by it and they silence their opposition by branding them with it. It is important for Muslims to see through their lies and be able to explain to others the difference between zionism, a racist ideology which we oppose, and Judaism, a religion which we respect as divenly revealed.

Listen to the lecture at:


New Boycott Flyer

We were requested to create a double-sided A5 colour flyer highliting three of the boycott companies - Estee Lauder, Marks & Spencer and Timberlands. The flyer is available for you to download at print resolution as a PDF file.

The front side is of generic design and can be used as a poster on its own. We've also made it into a e-card for our Islamic Card Centre.

17. Being Muslim...

I see a girl in Manchester Piccadilly station. She has a full mouth, high cheekbones and velvety brown eyes. But what captivates me is the white cotton scarf covering her head. People know she is Muslim because of her veil, and I wish my appearance had the same effect.

I envy her because I am too weak to wear the veil, too scared that doors will close and that opinions will be formed long before friendships are. Islam doesn't oppress me; fear does. I live a half-life, a double-life: not quite a Muslim and not quite a westerner. My parents raised me as a Muslim. They gave me everything I wanted but I coveted the freedom enjoyed by non-Muslim friends and, because I derived no satisfaction from religion, I sought solace in hedonism.

I was 18 when I left home for university, and my limited knowledge of Islam meant I only saw negatives. Religion was bad because it stopped me from wearing what I wanted, tasting what I wanted and doing what I wanted. And what I wanted was to be like everyone in mainstream society. So I set out to have fun.

I was the toast of my friends. But I was the scourge of the Muslim community, who viewed me with pity and distaste. I remember going into a shop to buy some things I shouldn't have been buying. The man behind the counter greeted me: "Asalaam alaikum." I looked at him blankly. "I'm sorry, I don't understand you," I lied. "No, I'm sorry," he said, "I thought you were a Muslim." "I used to be," I whispered, as I left the shop, crying.

Too ashamed to talk to my parents about my guilt and too impatient to unravel my dilemma to my friends, I never said anything. And the silence was devastating. I was bereft of purpose and support. My sense of isolation intensified when I saw other Muslims being part of society without compromising their faith. When people spoke about Islam, their eyes would light up and their voices resonated with pride and love. I once shared their enthusiasm, but my lifestyle was leading me so far away from religion that I could barely remember anything about it.

So I went to the university prayer room. I performed the intricate washing ritual, an act of purification and preparation. I took my place on the prayer mat to recite verses from the Koran, but my lips froze. I couldn't remember any verses - the same verses I had repeated every day as a child. I panicked. I prayed to Allah, pleading with him to let me remember. The words didn't come flooding back, but I muddled through the prayer.

I decided that I didn't want to muddle through any more and shut myself away for days, poring over books and piecing together the fragments of my knowledge. As my awareness increased, so my appetites diminished. I would go out, but I wouldn't stay out. My clothes were less revealing, but fell short of complete coverage.

Had it not been for these cosmetic changes, I would have gone through university life with my religious identity concealed. But I told people I was a Muslim and, post- September 11, this revelation prompted a tidal wave of questions. People quizzed me about jihad - the holy war. I was reluctant to talk about it because my views were at odds with those held by most people living in the western hemisphere.

I once broached the subject of the Middle East conflict during a conversation. I explained that there was an international community of Muslims, a nation state: the ummah. Every Muslim is a member of this community so when one is murdered, it is an assault on Muslims throughout the world. I was shouted down. My peers accused me of sympathising with terrorists. I have not spoken about September 11 or jihad since.

I have left university and now feel better equipped to cope with the irreconcilable differences of being British and Muslim. You can be born and raised in this country, benefit from its education and live freely and comfortably thanks to the solid British economy. But you can also be oppressed. Stay silent when your religion is being lambasted in the press. Look on helplessly when Muslims are being persecuted in their homeland and then watch them being punished by the British asylum system. Stuff your veil into your handbag because you'll never get that job if you cover your head. Sacrifice prayer times and fasting to keep up with the crowd and stay in with the boss.

I am in my mid-20s now and loosening the ties with my past, although I still have the same friends I started university with. They know my values are changing and they respect my decision to learn more about Islam. So I have overcome one set of hurdles - the conflict between the desires of youth and the duties of religion. But I want to work as a headhunter and this line of work sits uncomfortably with the demands of my faith. Long hours, business travel and face-to-face meetings mean my values will be tested again and the disharmony will continue.

For now, I will try to pray at the appointed time instead of cramming in three or four prayers together when I get home. Nor will I break my fast. When people ask me why I'm not having lunch, I won't tell them I'm on a diet - I'll tell them I'm a Muslim.

Article appeared in The Guardian, 18 June 2002


Arabs boycott U.S. goods

Zamzam Cola- which previously exported only to Iraq and Afghanistan - is benefiting from a grass-roots campaign by Arabs and Muslims to boycott American goods as a way to punish the United States for its backing of Israel. Set off by the latest Palestinian uprising, the boycott is especially directed at well-known American products like Coca Cola and McDonald's.

"After Arab countries in the region started boycotting some American goods, including Coca, demand for Zamzam began," said Bahram Kheiri, the Iranian beverage company's director.

He wouldn't give sales figures, but said Zamzam has started exporting to Bahrain and is discussing orders with "about 50 big companies" in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Indonesia. Zamzam is sweeter than Coke and has a built-in appeal for Muslims because it takes its name from a holy spring in Saudi Arabia.

The boycott is being urged across the Middle East and North Africa by Muslim preachers, students, intellectuals and - in Saudi Arabia, a main U.S. ally - even some advisers to the Saudi king. The appeal is delivered inmosque sermons, leaflets and Internet sites.

It's difficult to say how hard American companies are being hit by the boycott - and how much of the economic pain is inflicted on Arab businesses selling U.S. products.

Of the six McDonald's franchises in Jordan, two have closed for lack of business - one in the capital Amman and one near a Palestinian refugee camp. In Morocco, a government official who asked not to be identified estimated sales of Coca Cola could fall by half in the country's north, a base for Islamic groups. In the United Arab Emirates, sales of the local Star Cola are up by 40 percent in the past three months.

In Dubai, business appears to be down at such American fast food chains as McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hardee's, and up at local restaurants. In Saudi Arabia - in a sign of concern at the boycott's effect - prices have been cut up to 50 percent on some U.S. imports and ads for fast food franchises point out they are Arab owned and managed.

Respected Muslim cleric Sheik Youssef al-Qaradawi issued a religious ruling in the Gulf state of Qatar saying American products should be viewed like Israeli products - which have long been banned in the Arab world. In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, mosque preacher Sheik Omar bin Saeed al-Badna argued the boycott would be good for the kingdom's economy.

"Boycotting American food and drinks means more business for Saudi, Lebanese and other restaurants, as well as local producers of soft drinks. This will be good for the majority of Saudis," he said.

Full Story:

18. Bride of Palestine: Story of a 17 year old Martyr

In a modest house in the Deheisheh refugee camp, the mourning for martyr Aayaat al-Akhras took place. I was surprised to hear pleasant ululations and singing near the house, and to see the martyr's patient mother receiving women coming to congratulate her. With great difficulty, I managed to speak to her, and she described to me the last morning Aayaat left home. She said:

"Aayaat woke up unusually early, or rather she did not sleep at all that night. She prayed the morning prayer, then sat down to read from the Qur'an. She wore her school uniform, and told me she was going to school to revise the lessons she had missed. I was surprised as the day was Friday, a public holiday for all the country's schools! But she told me it was the most important day of her life, so I prayed that Allah help her and grant her His pleasure.

The mother continued: As soon as I finished that sentence I noticed a sparkle in her eyes as if I had given her hope, and given her success through those words. She looked at me with her radiant smile, and said: That is all I ask of you, Mother. And she went out quickly with her sister Samaah to school.

Martyr Aayaat al-Akhras was born on 20 February I985, a student in the 3rd year of secondary school [sixth form], the fourth of her 7 sisters and 3 brothers. She was known for her excellence in her studies, as she achieved excellent results in the first term of this year. Despite knowing the time for her operation, she continued her revision, and spent long hours of the last night revising, and went to school to attend the last lesson to emphasise to her colleagues the importance of knowledge which she had always stressed.

Regarding that, her friend Hayfaa said that she had advised her and her friends to remember the importance of their studies, and to be determined to pursue their studies whatever the circumstances and the dangers.

Hayfaa', who still refuses to believe the news of Aayaat's martyrdom added: For a week, Aayaat had been keeping the pictures of all martyrs in her school desk, on which she had written many slogans about the excellence of martyrdom and martyrs. But I never imagined that she intended to join them, for she had been collecting the pictures of martyrs since the beginning of the Intifada, which made her more determined to achieve the highest grades at school.

The martyr's mother continued, after a tear could not but flow down her cheek: Then her sister Samaah came back at 10 without her, and I felt worried and my heart beat began racing, for security conditions were very severe, and the camp could be attacked at any moment. And I felt the painful nightmare of worries and the interminable torrent of questions: where had she gone? Was it conceivable that she may have realized her dream in martyrdom? But how? And her fiance? And the wedding clothes she has prepared?

And while the mother was struggling between the voice of reason in denial and her heart indicating she had undertaken a martyrdom operation, news came that a martyrdom operation had taken place in Nataynya, and that the bomber was a girl. The mother added, tears choking her voice, "Then I became certain that Aayaat would not return, and that she had become the bride of Palestine. She was determined to get revenge for 'Issa Farah and Saa'id 'Id Who were martyred when helicopters shelled their house next to ours." ...

For the full article with photo see:


What about suicide bombings?

Extract from an interview by a western journalist with Shaykh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah:

What about the suicide bombings against Israeli civilians? What would Fadlallah say to me, I asked, if I were an Israeli father who had lost one of his three daughters to a suicide bomber? How would he counsel me?

"I would tell you that the person who killed your daughter is under occupation," Fadlallah said. "You have driven him to desperation. My advice to you would be to join forces with those who want to end the occupation. Then your other two daughters would be safe."

Washington Post, 7 June 2002

We killed children by fracturing their heads with sticks

Testimony of an Israeli soldier who participated in the massacre at al Duwayima Village, on 29th October 1948:

"Killed between 80 to 100 Arabs, women and children.

To kill the children they fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one house without corpses. The men and women of the villages were pushed into houses without food or water. Then the saboteurs came to dynamite the houses.

One commander ordered a soldier to bring two women into a house he was about to blow up.

Another soldier prided himself upon having raped an Arab woman before shooting her to death.

Another Arab woman with her newborn baby was made to clean the place for a couple of days, and then they shot her and the baby.

Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered "good guys" became base murderers, and this not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination. The fewer the Arabs who remained, the better."

Quoted from the Israeli newspaper Davar, 9 June 1979


19. Israelis feel boycott's sting

Relations between the Goldyne Savad Institute of Gene Therapy at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital and the Norwegian Veterinary School have long been warm.

So it came as a shock when Professor Ingrid Harbit, who heads the Oslo school, sent Goldyne an e-mail on April 22 rejecting its request for a DNA sample because of Israeli military activities in Palestinian areas.

"(Against) this background, I find it impossible for me to deliver any material to an Israeli university," she said in the note.

Many Israelis fear that their country is fast becoming an international pariah after a rash of cancellations by foreign artists and sports figures, as well as calls within international academic and business circles for a boycott of Israel -- either for safety reasons or to protest the Ariel Sharon government's handling of the Palestinians.

The creeping isolation has added to the psychological and economic pressure on Israelis as they struggle to maintain a semblance of "life as normal" amid the bloodshed.

"It's reconfirmed the Israeli sentiment growing since the start of the intifada that 'the whole world is against us,' " said Chemi Shalev, a writer and commentator for the mass circulation Ma'ariv newspaper.

Experts also warn of practical ramifications. Israel already is suffering from the effects of the global economic downturn and the cost of fighting the Palestinians.

On Monday, Finance Ministry officials said they estimated that the economy would record about $10.5 billion in lost output this year -- half coming from the effects of the Palestinian uprising and half from the world economic slowdown. The intifada's cost to individual Israelis works out to about $1,000 per person.

The already shaky economy contracted 0.6 percent in 2001 and is expected to post another 1 percent drop this year. The jobless rate stands at 10.5 percent.

Effects Of Isolation Feared

Senior Israeli economist Yoram Gabai, noting that resource-poor Israel is almost totally dependent on selling goods it produces to the outside world, said, "Isolation means economic collapse, not just a decline in standard of living."

"Faster than expected, we will find ourselves in the time warp of (white- dominated) Rhodesia in the 1970s and South Africa in the 1980s: enforced isolation from without and an isolationism from within," Gabai predicted. "The enormous price of isolation will drag us into withdrawing from the (occupied) territories, either in the context of a peace treaty or without one as a unilateral act."

The pressure being applied from abroad has drawn stinging criticism from Israeli officials.

Science, Culture and Sports Minister Matan Vilnai said the boycott in the cultural sphere was "understandable given the security situation and daily images on TV." But he condemned any shunning of the country for its military tactics as "contemptible" at a time when Israelis were "fighting for our lives. "

The primary reason cited by many people choosing to stay away is fear for their safety. There has been an alarming 42 percent drop in tourism in the first half of this year from the same period a year earlier.

Eight foreign cast members recently canceled their scheduled participation in a new opera production of the Israel Philharmonic, while well-known performers who once regarded Israel as a natural stop on their tour circuit also have given the country a wide berth, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers rock group, which canceled last year.

More recently, the Bremen Opera and Venice Baroque Orchestra called off scheduled appearances at the Jerusalem arts festival in May, and the Belgian Groupov theater group canceled for "ideological reasons."

Huge Drop In Tourists

Israeli arts and cultural institutions are hunkering down to weather the storm.

An Israeli museum spokeswoman said that attendance by foreign visitors had dropped by 80 percent since the conflict began and that the number of local visitors had been halved. It still mounts exhibitions but now closes on Sundays because of the fall in numbers.

"We are trying our best to carry on, to let people know we are open for business," she said.

The famous Masada desert fortress and the grave of Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion, were among 58 tourist sites given a temporary reprieve from closure after an 80 percent drop in admission receipts.

Sports figures also have given Israel the cold shoulder. In March, UEFA, European soccer's governing body, barred Italian team AC Milan from playing a match in Jerusalem, and several players from the English soccer team Chelsea stayed away from a game with Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Israeli business executives have had to travel overseas to meet counterparts who are hesitant to come to them, and foreign student programs have seen attendance fall.

An increasing number of people cite Israeli activities in the West Bank mounted as part of its "war on terror" as the reason they want to break academic and financial links to Israel.

"The Israeli government appears impervious to moral appeals from world leaders. However, there are ways of exerting pressure from without," Professor Steven Rose, a Jewish academic from Britain's Open University, wrote in a letter to the Guardian newspaper in which he opened a campaign to suspend European funding of Israeli universities.

In May, Britain's largest lecturers union urged universities and colleges to consider severing academic links with Israel to protest its "illegal and barbaric" incursion into Palestinian areas.

Soon afterward, Mona Baker, a professor of translation studies at Manchester University, triggered an outcry after sacking two liberal Israeli academics because she did not wish to "continue an official association with any Israeli under the present circumstances."

Foreign businesses, trade unions and European states also have begun pressure campaigns.

In April, 34 Swedish personalities signed an article in a national newspaper urging a boycott of Israel and calling on the European Union to suspend its trade agreement with Israel until "there is respect for life, freedom of moment and property."

Norway's second-largest food chain, Coop Norge, also called for a boycott of Israeli goods.

Arabs Firmly Endorse Boycott

More predictably, similar calls are resounding throughout the Arab world.

Ahmed Khazaa, head of the Arab League's central boycott office in Damascus, recently told member states that an Arab ban on business with companies that trade with Israel was a "noble, peaceful" way to express support for Palestinians.

Advertisements for Marlboro cigarettes have disappeared from many public places in Syria, while Uncle Ben's rice and Mazola oil are on a 50-item list compiled by a government panel organizing a boycott of American goods.

Israelis who have traveled abroad have also felt the sting of anti-Israeli sentiment.

Pop singer Achinoam Nini, better known as Noa, had just completed singing the peace song "Hawks and Sparrows" in June when two protesters mounted the stage at London's Barbican Theater, seized her microphone and proclaimed that they were obstructing her concert to "make a political point."

Article By Danielle Haas
San Francisco Chronicle
6 August 2002


Britain bans Israel label on goods from West Bank

Supermarkets must no longer use “produce of Israel” labels on vegetables, fruit, flowers, wine and fruit juice grown and packed in the occupied territories of Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
The instruction from the Government has angered Israeli diplomats and some businessmen, who believe that the decision is connected to an aggressive campaign for a boycott of Israeli goods.

The Israeli Embassy’s official response is that it is still “studying” the likely impact of the change, though privately representatives say they are shocked by the move. It is the first time the Government has issued instructions that clearly differentiate between Israel and the occupied territories.

It means that produce from Israeli-owned co-operatives and farms in the occupied territories will not qualify for preferential rates of import duties at ports. Exporters will have to pick up the bill or pass on the cost to customers in Britain.

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Muslim Vendors Boycott New York Post

Word has it that these days it can be difficult to buy a copy of the New York Post in some New York neighborhoods. The reason is simple: Muslim newsstand vendors are boycotting the newspaper because the daily paper is publishing false information about Muslims, and turning American society against them.

Abdullah, a Yemeni man who works at a newsstand in Brooklyn, asks why he should sell a newspaper that, he says, publishes untrue opinions about his country. "Think about it," Abdullah explains, "a customer reads in the paper that the vendor is a murderer and illiterate. I don’t think he’ll come back to me after reading something like that. If Poles had to distribute anti-Polish newspapers I’m sure they wouldn’t do it."

Abdul from Nassau and Manhattan Avenues, gave up selling the Post after reading it for a few months. He said he hoped the editors would become less vitriolic and report the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with less bias. "Unfortunately, the stupid opinions continued so I said ‘No, thank you’ to the distributor. You haven’t been able to buy this daily paper here for more than a month," Abdul told the paper.

Boycott organizers say almost 500 merchants are taking part in the campaign by refusing to sell the Post in their newsstands, grocery stories or other businesses. In Staten Island alone, some 100 merchants have joined the boycott.

The campaign began spontaneously several months ago, but is now coordinated by a the Arab-American Muslim Federation.

The New York Post is published by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. News Corporation was one of three US companies that was lauded for their support of Israel at the America-Israel Friendship League Partners for Democracy Awards dinner (25th June 2001). Murdoch himself co-chaired the dinner. Currently News Corporation is the target of a Muslim boycott of companies supporting israel. For further details see :

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In a New York park, a young boy was attacked by a savage dog. A passerby happened to see that and came to the rescue. Having tackled the vicious dog, he strangled it to death.

A reporter for the New York Post was watching all this and took snap shots for a front page picture in the next day's issue.

Approaching the hero, he says: "Your heroic feat shall be published in tomorrow's New York Post under the headline 'Brave New Yorker rescues boy'.

"I'm not from New York," replied the hero.

"Oh in that case we'll change the headline: 'Brave American rescues boy from savage dog'.

"I'm not American either," replied the brave hero.

On being asked about who he really was, the hero replied: "I'm a Pakistani."

Well, the next day the headline on the front page of the New York Post read: "Muslim Fundamentalist strangles dog to death in New York park. FBI investigating possible link to Al-Qaeda."

20. Mother of the Homeless

It was almost 4 p.m. and Aisha knew exactly what she was going to do.

Living and working in downtown Chicago, it was part of her daily ritual: whatever money she had earned at work, every weekday, she would use for food.

Not for herself. But for the homeless.

She would prepare sandwiches, put them in two large grocery bags, then walk around the tall buildings in downtown Chicago giving them out to the poor and homeless who otherwise would be scratching the garbage baskets outside fast-food places, collecting bits of food.

Aisha didn't make just any kind of sandwiches though. She was well aware of the needs of the homeless and needy. She knew what was necessary for their diet, what was good and bad for their digestion, and what kind of food she had to make for them.

Eventually homeless people figured out where her apartment was and they would sometimes also come by. Her apartment building's management was not happy about it. But it was Allah's pleasure Aisha was after.

She was known among the Muslims in Chicago as the mother of the homeless. I did not know how long she had been a Muslim.

The first time I met her was when we were thinking of starting a soup kitchen to be run by Muslims in Chicago.

She came by Sound Vision for a meeting. A well-to-do Muslim engineer who himself had just came out of a homeless shelter, losing everything to his former wife, was also present. We were both pleasantly surprised about Aisha's level of knowledge about the food habits of homeless people.

But it seems, no one was there to make sandwiches for Aisha when she became homeless herself.

From helping the homeless to becoming homeless

How could a person go from helping the homeless to becoming homeless herself?

Masjids go up. Schools get built. World disasters attract donations. But we failed to get that soup kitchen up in Chicago.

Masjids were reluctant to give space for this project and the cost of renting a place in downtown, where the homeless are found, was prohibitive. And very few of us were interested. We lost contact with each other.

The next time I saw Aisha was at an Islamic center in Chicago. I was there to drop off my wife to the Quran class she used to conduct there.

I saw some worried faces in a corner of the busy hallway of the Islamic center. It was a Sunday around noon: the prime time of activities in Islamic centers: very busy, hectic, meetings, kids, phones, cell phones, hugging, kissing, shouts of 'Salam' and loudspeakers with lectures. But these faces in the corner were distinctly alone.

I was wondering about them when I spotted Aisha. "What are you doing here?" It took her a few minutes to recognize me and open up.

These people were waiting for Zakat committee members to see them and process their applications. The committee members were nowhere to be found. Weekend Islam is a difficult business.

To my surprise Aisha was homeless herself and was looking for a loan.

She needed it to pay a one month advance so she could rent an apartment. She had already secured a new job. She wanted to pay back that money to the Islamic center as soon as she earned it.

How Aisha Became Homeless

Here's what happened: Aisha had met a fellow Muslim who expressed an interest in her. They married and he convinced her to stop working. She did.

But her husband later left for Tableegh, never to return, leaving her penniless, and eventually homeless. The dilapidated apartment building which was their home was eventually closed down by the city of Chicago because of a number of violations.

Aisha was left with no money and no shelter. She was alone. She was homeless. She was in need.

How the mosque's Zakat committee failed her

As a Muslim, Aisha turned to the first Muslim institution that is supposed to help people in need: the Masjid.

When she came to the Masjid for help, thankfully, this was one of the mosques that had a Zakat committee in place to help Muslims who were in situations like Aisha's. This is also a Masjid with a net worth of over $4 million, so its administration was definitely in a financial position to help the needy.

But she received no money from the committee. She had filled out the Zakat committee's application form to get some financial assistance. This was her third visit to the Masjid. The committee had difficulty meeting.

I had no reason to not believe Aisha, the Mother of Homeless in Chicago. I knew the Masjid.

Sometimes I give Friday Khutba (sermon) there as well. I started looking for its leaders. I learned that the Zakat Committee people were not there. The poor people would have to come back again. I offered the leadership my personal guarantee. But nothing worked.

Sometimes systems and processes become inhumane without us meaning to make them like this. I felt I should never give Khutba there anymore. I remembered to be patient.

Personal donations helped her out

Aisha did eventually get back on her feet that day, with the help of some personal donations from Muslims who didn't have enough even for themselves, but did have the heart and compassion to help her out immediately. No wonder the lowest income group pays the highest proportion of their income in charity as compared to better off people in society. May Allah reward them with the best and give Barakah (blessing) in their livelihood.

There are at least four lessons we can learn from Aisha's sad and true story.

One: behind the homeless and the hungry person you see in America, the land of abundance and opportunity, is a human being who never had any intention of becoming destitute and needy.

Two: our Islamic institutions have failed to adequately provide for the needs of those who are truly destitute and in dire circumstances. There has to be an organized, discreet and systematic way to run Zakat committees and the distribution of these funds to those who need them. There has to be immediate follow through on each case where someone in need asks for assistance.

Three: Sister Aisha's knowledge of the homeless, experience, talents, and confidence should have given her a place in the leadership of the community so she could guide us in establishing these programs for the poor.

Four: Imams, presidents, or whoever is most available in Masjids should be authorized to disperse some Zakat funds immediately for urgent needs without the committee processes which are subject to erratic volunteerism.

How many others Aishas are out there?

Where is Aisha today?

How can we know? We failed her.

May Allah reward her wherever she is. Allah never fails His servants.

Article by Abdul Malik Mujahid ©


Israel dumps chemical, nuclear waste in West Bank

Palestinian Authority's 'minister for the environment' Yousef Abu Safiyya, has accused (Israel) of turning the Palestinian Authority- ruled area of the West Bank into a vast dumping-ground for its domestic industrial, chemical and nuclear waste, thereby creating a potentially catastrophic environmental nightmare.

The secret dumping was first discovered after the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PA), and although some dumping- grounds have been discovered, the minister said that there may still more to be found. He claimed that the PA had the equipment to monitor dumping.

The PA has also discovered hundreds of barrels in the north of the West Bank over the last two years, and are presently talking to Israeli authorities about 223 barrels of toxic waste in the Janin area which the Israelis refuse to collect. "I met with the Israeli minister for the environment and asked her to apply the Basil treaty, which is the relevant international instrument on the movement of toxic material, but she replied that international treaties do not apply to Palestinians because they have no state," Abu-Abu Safiyya said.

The Israelis turned down the request to remove the waste out of hand. "They told us that they could not receive the barrels because Israeli law bans the movement of toxic material inside Israel except on the approval of top officials," Dr Abu Safiyya explained.

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Dutch hang flags in solidarity with Palestine

More than 20,000 Palestinian flags hang outside Dutch balconies in several Dutch cities - the work of a solidarity campaign organized by Dutch and Palestinian associations.

Organizers said hanging the Palestinian flags was also an act of solidarity with Greta Duisenberg, wife of the European Central Bank CEO, who has been recently sued for insisting on hanging the Palestinian flag outside the balcony of her home in an upper class neighborhood in Amsterdam.

Duisenberg took part in a demonstration April 13 in solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada. She decided to keep the Palestinian flag outside her home balcony as an expression of her sympathy with the Palestinian resistance and their legitimate right to an independent state, and her rejection of the Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people.

She has found great support among the Muslim minority, especially for standing up against Jewish pressure groups.

On May 27th, the Jewish Union in Holland, a non-governmental organization that represents Dutch Jews, announced plans to file a complaint to the preliminary court in Amsterdam in order to sue Duisenberg for “anti-Semitism”...

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Norway Trade Body Calls For Boycot of Israeli Products

The Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions, has severely criticized Israeli aggression against Palestinians and expressed their fury at Israel’s damaging of the 1993 Oslo agreement, reported Norwegian daily newspaper, Aften Posten on May 15.

On a speech delivered on Labor Day, the head of the organization Gerd-Liv Valla called for a boycott of Israeli products until the violence ceased.

Some supermarkets in Norway are identifying goods from Israel by sticking yellow labels on them, to give consumers the option of purchasing or not purchasing them.

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Boycott hits "Saudi American" bank

Deposits at one of the biggest banks in the Middle East, Saudi American Bank (Samba), fell by almost $600m (£410m) in the first three months of the year.

Some Saudi investors are thought to be moving their money to other banks as part of a wider boycott of US products in protest of its perceived bias towards Israel and against Arabs.

Samba is 22.8% owned by the US' Citibank, and is Saudi Arabia's second largest bank with 57 branches and 2,236 employees.

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21. "Boycott Israel" Cards Most Popular

The Islamic Card Centre has always been a popular feature of our web-site. We have delivered well over a 100,000 e-cards over the years. Our cards have favoured innovative rather than traditional designs and we have always included political messages starting with a Quds Day card.

With the launch of the Boycott Israel campaign we introduced some designs to complement the campaign. With the recent addition of a new boycott card we now have 6 cards with boycott themes out of a total of 32 cards. These have proven to be most popular with our visitors. The statistics for the last six months show that 39% of all cards sent from the card centre have boycott israel themes, also the two most popular cards are boycott cards:

Most Popular E-Cards

  1. Boycott Israel: List of companies to boycott [card28] 21%
  2. Boycott Israel: Johnson & Johnson [card30] 9%
  3. Eid Milad un-Nabi Mubarak [card25] 6%
  4. Best Spouse: Romance! [card17] 5%
  5. Trust in Allah [card9] 5%
  6. Shahadat [card8] 5%
  7. Marriage: Romance![card18] 4%

In fact the new boycott card [card32] just introduced has proven more popular in the last 10 days than some other cards have in six months! All this is an indication of the politicalization of the Muslim masses who are no longer prepared to ignore the persecution of fellow Muslims and non-Muslims.

Visit our Islamic Cardcentre at:


Bush, Sharon and US defense contractors sued

A Washington-based human rights group has filed a lawsuit against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President George Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and United States defense contractors as well as some Christian and Jewish organizations that are financially supporting the development of illegal settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

The suit was filed for punitive damages and injunctive relief specifically demanding that the president and the secretary of state "cease providing military assistance to Israel until they have reported to Congress the misuse of American military assistance by Israel," as required under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 on behalf of 21 Palestinians, most of them United States citizens.

"These plaintiffs are not militants even by Israel’s definition. None committed any crimes, before their houses were destroyed, killed, or assaulted.... ," said Attorney Stanley Cohen, who filed the lawsuit this week for Solidarity International for Human Rights, a non-profit Palestinian-American organization based in Washington.


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22. Israel - Something Fundamentally Wrong

Extract from an interview in Al-Ahram newspaper with Karen Armstrong, the former Christian nun now turned author of many books on the world's religions including Islam.


Earlier, in the mid 1980s, Armstrong was commissioned by Channel Four television in Britain to make a documentary about the life of St. Paul. This required visits to the Holy Land and to Jerusalem. However, when Armstrong went to Israel and saw the kind of racism against Arabs that dominated Israeli society, she realised that "there was something fundamentally wrong" going on in Israel.

"I was deeply shocked that people could call other people 'dirty Arabs' when some 30 or 40 years before they had talked in Europe about 'dirty Jews'. I was struck by the inability of the Jewish people to learn from past sufferings, but of course it is human nature that suffering does not make us better. The problem with Israel now is that it cannot believe that it is not 1939 any more; the Israeli people are emotionally stuck in the horrors of the Nazi era," she says.

Could it be that this is an Israeli ploy to manipulate public opinion? Armstrong answers that "I don't think that this is the case at a profound level. Of course, there are politicians who will use this, but I think there is a profound inability among Israelis to believe that they have left the past behind. They still regard the present as a period of Jewish weakness, when in fact it is a period of Jewish power."

"The West has to share a responsibility for what is happening in the Middle East. If it had not persecuted the Jews, there would not have been the need for the creation of the State of Israel. The Muslim world did nothing to the Jews, and the Palestinians are paying the price for the sins of Europe. Therefore, a solution has to be found because there will be no peace in the world without one. But if Israel has America behind it, it does not have to worry about what the rest of the world thinks. This gives a sense of omnipotence. At the moment there is no hope; they, the Israelis, can do what they want because America will always support them. I wish Europe would play a better role, but Mr Blair is running after Mr Bush like a poodle."

Armstrong believes that the Israeli occupation is responsible for the kind of violent resistance it meets from the Palestinians. "The resistance will be as ruthless and violent as the occupation is," she says. "Every occupation breeds its own kind of resistance." Armstrong believes that the phenomenon of the Palestinian suicide bombers has more to do with politics and hopelessness than it does with religion. "I don't think people sit at home and read the Qur'an and say, yes, I must go and bomb Israel. This is not how religion works, and I see just absolute hopelessness when people have nothing to lose. Palestinians don't have F- 16s, and they don't have tanks. They don't have anything to match Israel's arsenal. They only have their own bodies."

"Violence of any sort always breads violence, and the occupation itself is an act of extreme violence, domination and oppression. The way things have been moving has been aggressively against the Palestinians."

While she believes that there has been a shift in the way British public opinion views the Palestinian struggle, she warns that the killing of civilians could create a backlash. "In the news coverage after every suicide bombing you see Israeli mothers with their children talking in plain English about their sufferings. One does not get to see the same sufferings of the Palestinian mothers and their children, though they are the weaker party in the conflict."

Armstrong thinks that charges of anti-Semitism in Europe play into the hands of the Zionist lobby in America because "this will discredit anything Europe says. They say Europe is anti- Semitic because for the first time Europe is becoming aware of the plight of the Palestinians. It is part of a campaign to discredit European input in any future peace process."

Media Bias

Armstrong explains how the media in the US attempted to silence opposing voices after 11 September. For example, she had been commissioned by the New Yorker magazine to write an article on Islam, but the article was killed and the magazine published one by the academic Bernard Lewis instead.

"They thought I am an apologist for Muslims, because my article was about the prophet as a peacemaker, and this did not suit their agenda as much as Lewis's did. Both Lewis and Kramer are staunch Zionists who write from a position of extreme bias. But people need to know that Islam is a universal religion, and that there is nothing aggressively oriental or anti-Western about it. Lewis's line, on the other hand, is that Islam is an inherently violent religion," she said.


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French companies boycott Israel

When yet another French client cancelled sales from Israeli plastic films manufacturer Polyon Barkai Industries recently, marketing manager Haim Levy wrote an open letter to the French media.

“When I see such bias in the French media, I understand why there is such discrimination against Israel, and why so many companies are pulling orders,” Levy said. “Our company’s European sales have declined 30 to 40% since September 11...”

“There is a real problem here,” he added.

Inon Elroy, commercial attache at the Israeli Embassy in France, agreed. “I can’t say that there is not a problem. There is,” said Elroy.

Elroy said there has been a significant decrease in economic activities between the two countries. Over the last few years, trade between France and Israel had increased to more than $2 billion. However, the balance of trade was heavily skewed in France’s favor, with only about 36% of products coming from Israeli producers, and the percentage declining each year.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics’ foreign trade report published this week, exports to the EU, the country’s leading trading partner, fell 7.2% from the beginning of the year, to $1.9b. for the first four months. Exports to France were $213.6m. during the period, while imports were $376.9m. Declines from the same period last year were 17% and 13%, respectively.

With many European companies cancelling orders from Israeli trading partners, Levy said they tend to use one of three types of excuses. “We have distributors who will tell us their clients don’t want to buy Israeli products. Other companies tell us straight out, ‘We won’t buy Israeli.’ The rest blame the cancellation on the economic difficulties in Europe.”

Elroy notes that the problem is not only ideological. “Senior businessmen prefer not to take risks in uncertain situations or invest money in unstable countries. If they have a choice between two similar products from Israel or, let’s say, Singapore, they’d prefer Singapore. Their assumption is that in a time of war economic activities and production are paralyzed.”

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Israel: Foreign Investments Shrinking

In yet another blow to the Israeli economy, foreign investors withdrew a net $152 million from Israel in June 2002, according to the monthly report by the central Bank of Israel. Although the bank did not specify the reason for the drop, economists said it was a result of the unstable political situation caused by the deepening Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A sharp fall in the foreign residents investment was witnessed as investments reached the microscopic sum of $31 million in Israel in Q2 2002. This is compared to $1.025 billion in the first quarter of the year and $4.368 billion in 2001, most of which was invested during the first half of the year.

The withdrawal of foreign investments marks a new drop for the already failing Israeli economy, with inflation, tourism crisis and unemployment presenting greater problems.

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