The Independent

Palestinian, intellectual, and fighter, Edward Said rails against Arafat and Sharon to his dying breath

The last time I saw Edward Said, I asked him to go on living. I knew about his leukaemia. He had often pointed out that he was receiving “state-of-the-art” treatment from a Jewish doctor and - despite all the trash that his enemies threw at him - he always acknowledged the kindness and honour of his Jewish friends, of whom Daniel Barenboim was among the finest. Robert Fisk remembers Edward Said. 

Peace activists prepare mass protest after Briton is gunned down by Israelis

“Hundreds of protesters are expected to gather today at the place where Tom Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper as he tried to rescue Palestinian children trapped under fire. The 21-year-old British peace activist was still in a coma yesterday, and there was little sign of brain activity as hopes that he might survive faded.” Justin Huggler reports for The Independent. 

Israelis trained US troops in Jenin-style urban warfare

“The American military has been asking the Israeli army for advice on fighting inside cities, and studying fighting in the West Bank city of Jenin last April, unnamed United States and Israeli sources have confirmed. Reports that US troops trained with Israeli forces for street-to-street fighting have been denied. If the US army believes the road to Baghdad lies through Jenin, there is reason for Iraqi civilians to be concerned. During fighting in the Jenin refugee camp last April, more than half the Palestinian dead were civilians.” Justin Huggler of The Independent files a disturbing story on the institutionalization of war crimes, from Warsaw, to Jenin, and perhaps to Baghdad, too. 

Palestinians subject to Israeli 'torture lottery'

Israeli security forces in Hebron have allegedly forced Palestinians to submit to a macabre “lottery”, in which the victim had to choose their own “punishment” by picking a slip of paper out of a pile. On the pieces of paper were written various acts of violence, including having a hand or leg broken, and, Palestinians say, being beaten to death. The Independent’s Justin Huggler reports. 

Review: 'Palestine' By Joe Sacco

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“In 1991-2, Sacco, having “heard nothing but the Israeli side”, toured the occupied territories, seeking to immerse himself in Palestinian existence. The fruit of his labours emerged as a mini-series of nine comics, now a single set with an introduction by one of Sacco’s primary influences, Edward Said. Sacco is formidably talented. A meticulous reporter, he scrupulously interprets the testimonies of dozens of victims of the Israeli regime into cartoon form. He is also a gifted artist whose richly nuanced drawings tread a delicate path between cartoonishness and naturalism. His layouts shift in style to match the material: stories told to him emerge in symmetrical panel grids, while incidents in which he is involved, or engage his emotions, are rendered in a far looser style, in which images and captions slide across the page. ” Charles Shaar Murray reviews Palestine in the Independent. 

The human cost - 'Does Tony have any idea what the flies are like that feed off the dead?'

On the road to Basra, ITV was filming wild dogs as they tore at the corpses of the Iraqi dead. Every few seconds a ravenous beast would rip off a decaying arm and make off with it over the desert in front of us, dead fingers trailing through the sand, the remains of the burned military sleeve flapping in the wind. “Just for the record,” the cameraman said to me. Of course. Because ITV would never show such footage. The things we see — the filth and obscenity of corpses — cannot be shown. First because it is not “appropriate” to depict such reality on breakfast-time TV. Second because, if what we saw was shown on television, no one would ever again agree to support a war. Robert Fisk writes in The Independent. 

Israeli troops devastate West Bank village market

Israeli soldiers demolished 62 shops at a market yesterday, destroying the livelihood of hundreds of Palestinians. In the early morning, about 300 troops streamed into the market, just outside the village of Nazlat Issa. They brought seven bulldozers. Villagers poured out to protest as the bulldozers tore down the village market, the main source of income for Nazlat Issa’s 2,500 residents. Justin Huggler reports in the Independent.