Al-Jazeera report miscellani
I was just listening to Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak on Al-Jazeera trying to justify his inhumane participation in the Israeli siege of Gaza by refusing to allow the opening of the Rafah border crossing. His words translated (going from memory about a half hour ago here, but this is about right): 'stuff in, stuff out, but its occupied so the occupier controls the crossing'. He's claiming that the other side of the Rafah border crossing is "occupied" because Palestine is occupied. Basically Mubarak hates Hamas because they have close ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood who in turn are the key (most popular) opposition to his dictatorial regime. So he wants to see Hamas smashed to protect his own rear, even though the vast majority of Egyptians are united in supporting the opening of the crossings for humanitarian aid and defensive arms to the Palestinians. As usual, a tinpot Arab dictator with US support is standing against his people.
At the same time, Egyptians are coming out in increasing numbers to protest the government's actions and demand the border crossings be opened. Mubarak's stooges are teargassing them, beating them, arresting them, and blocking them from reaching protest sites. Nor is this limited to Egypt. Al-Jazeera's correspondent in Jordan reported on what he called possibly the largest demonstrations in Jordanian history as political factions from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Communists to the Trade Unions all are united in condemning Israel and Egypt. As protestors approached the Egyptian and Israeli embassies in Amman, they were fired on by tear gas and beaten.
But the worst suppression of protests was by the Israelis in the West Bank (if we leave Gaza out of it anyways), where at at least 3 demonstration sites at Qalandiya, Jayyous, and Hussan (near Bethlehem), Israeli forces opened fire with *live ammunition* on *unarmed* protestors. One shouldn't be shocked at this though, it has become standard Israeli procedure and unarmed demonstrators are regularly shot dead by Israeli troops. Today at least one AFP reporter was hit and sent to hospital.
In Pakistan Al-Jazeera's Islamabad correspondent reported not just the anger among extremist Salafi types, but the Pakistani Senate also explicitly condemned the hypocritical double-standard of western governments in saying that Pakistan had to fight terrorism while they support Israeli terrorism. Unmentioned, but what US observers (especially in Washington) should take note of is that if they want the Pakistanis to fight the Taliban for them, the fact that the Pakistani Senate is raising formal protests saying that the US is selective in its choice of what terrorism it condemns, then their willingness to commit Pakistani resources and lives to fight US enemies is going to shrink.
Jazeera also reported on widespread protests around the world including ones they showed in Turkey, Sudan, the Philippines, Kenya, Australia, and India (past days have shown protests in many other spots around the world). Most of these protests condemned Arab leaders' complicity in the massacres just as strongly as the Israelis committing them.
All this on top of the reporting directly from Gaza where several more children were reported killed today, the bombing continues non-stop, flour/bread which people already had to wait hours in line for (give great credit to the brave and patient Gazans who are always shown waiting patiently and neighborly in line despite the chaos being visited on them) has now reportedly begun to run out, the funerals are growing, and the firmness of the people is clearly holding strong.