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<nettime> o jerusalem editorial digest


from: Zahikim@aol.com
     Editorials about Palestine
from: JSalloum@aol.com
     Intifada 3
from: JSalloum@aol.com
     Cyber attack

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From: Zahikim@aol.com
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 17:02:03 EDT
Subject: Editorials about Palestine

To Whom,

I got a message at work saying that you are interested in alternative info 
and viewpoints on the Middle East. Here are two editorials that I recently 
wrote.

Hope you can find a way to use them,

Kim Jensen
1442 Excelsior Avenue #1
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 482-9505

Kim Jensen is a writer and editor who has lived and taught in the Middle 
East. She is a regular contributor to several publications, including Boston 
Book Review and Al Jadid Magazine.


Palestinians are Facing an Escalation of Violence and Repression

Word Count: 650

Two weeks ago, ninety-four out of one hundred US Senators signed a letter to 
President Clinton, urging him to continue to give unconditional support to 
Israel, and to veto any "anti-Israel" security council resolutions. In the 
Congress, Reps Gilman (R-NY) and Gejdenson (D-CT) have sponsored a bill which 
would place exclusive blame for the current violence in Israel on the 
Palestinians. In the meantime the two main Presidential candidates (who 
refused to let Arab-American presidential candidate Ralph Nader even to sit 
in the audience at the debates), are practically tripping over each other to 
prove their unfailing loyalty to this openly racist state.

It shouldn't be any surprise then that the Palestinian people refuse to 
pacify their justified anger, in order to re-enter a lopsided peace process 
sponsored by the greatest military ally of Israel. Again and again, the 
United States claims to be an "honest broker" of peace in the Middle East, 
and yet by clearly siding with Israel and continuing to offer it six billion 
dollars in aid and weaponry a year, the US gives Israel the green light-not 
for peace, but for war. 

This past week, Amnesty International issued two separate statements 
concerning Israel's violation of human rights; and it is urging a ban on all 
transfers of attack helicopters to Israel who has been using them to "fire on 
Palestinian civilians, including children." Amnesty International has 
re-iterated its call for an International investigation into the very serious 
human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories. Also, the UN commission on 
Human Rights has condemned Israel's "disproportionate and indiscriminate use 
of force in violation of international law...which constituted a war crime 
and a crime against humanity."

Now in the most recent turn of events, the supposed dove, Ehud Barak, for 
whom 97% of Arab citizens voted in the last elections, has invited extreme 
rightwing war criminal, Ariel Sharon, into his government. This invitation 
should lay to rest any false notions that Ehud Barak is or ever was a man of 
peace. Although Israeli pundits and ambassadors would like to portray him as 
someone on the scale of Ghandi in his generosity toward "the other," nothing 
could be further from the truth. On his watch, the territories have seen an 
expansion of illegal Jewish settlements the likes of which the Likud had ever 
overseen. The violence of the current military campaign against Palestinian 
mourners and demonstrators is unparalleled in the history of Israeli 
occupation of the Palestinian territories. It is clear that the government of 
Israel, lead by Barak, intends to murder and maim an entire generation of 
Palestinians with impunity. They are now threatening to seal off the 
territories in an apartheid-like attempt to starve and bomb Palestinians into 
total submission. It's a very very frightening prospect.
         
But Palestinians have proven that they will not settle for anything less than 
justice and self-determination. For 52 years, since Israel was founded on the 
ruins of Arab villages and towns, Palestinians have been fighting and dying 
for their cause, and they are not about to stop now. It is their legitimate 
national right to liberate themselves from illegal occupation. So if we 
Americans would like to help the cause of peace in that region, we need to 
start by acknowledging the history that has led to this current debacle. 
         
As American citizens we must demand that our government stop all military and 
financial aid to this rogue State which is in violation of numerous UN 
resolutions and which uses excessive force to solve all of its problems. 
Innocent children are dying, and not just the stone throwing youth. Access to 
hospitals is blocked by the Israeli military; civilian apartments and homes 
have been bombed; villages are under siege; fanatic settlers have been 
murdering poor peasants all week. The situation has become intolerable. The 
Palestinian population is in dire need of protection- not tomorrow, not in a 
week or a month, but right now.


Palestinians Demand Freedom From Israeli Occupation 


The turbulent events during the past weeks in both Yugoslavia and in 
Palestine offer us an opportunity to gage, yet again, the ongoing hypocrisy 
of US foreign policy. Both countries have been experiencing popular 
uprisings, violence, and political upheaval, yet both of these separate yet 
simultaneous revolts have been treated very differently by the US 
administration and media.

Spurred by an election victory which President Milosevic threatened to annul, 
Yugoslavs of all stripes have poured into the streets in protest. They 
occupied government buildings by force, set fires, beat people they 
considered collaborators. To his credit, Milosevic did not employ brutality 
to quash the protests; and he finally submitted to the overwhelming evidence 
of his defeat. Had Milosevic let loose a military response using live 
ammunition, tear gas, tanks, helicopters, and rockets, of the sort that we 
have seen in Israel, no doubt he and his regime would have been condemned 
roundly in the West and perhaps even threatened with another war. As it 
happened, all the West European and American leaders-who desire to see 
Yugoslavia as yet another "free market" playground-praised this change of 
Serbian leadership as nothing short of a revolution.

In the Arab World another popular revolt has been shaking up the status quo, 
though in the United States it has been framed in an entirely different 
light. The Palestinian people, utterly disenchanted with their 33 year 
occupation, tired of constant Israeli provocation and violence, infuriated by 
the increase of Jewish theft and settlement of their land-have bravely stood 
up yet again, frustrated with a "peace process" which would deny them 
sovereignty over their own lands, control of their borders, water rights, 
their capital as East Jerusalem (which is still considered an occupied city), 
and the right for refugees to return to their homes. Considering that 
Palestinians have lost, in a 50 year Zionist land grab, 80% of historic 
Palestine, it should be clear to anyone concerned about human rights and 
"ethnic cleansing" why Palestinians are so angry.

But even as the whole world watched Israel's use of brutal and repressive 
force against a largely unarmed people, the US administration and media 
continue to divide the blame evenly, deploying the usual arsenal of cliches: 
"cycle of violence," "spiral of violence," "age-old conflict," "masked Arab 
rioters" etc. And even as the world watched the supposedly "unforgettable" 
footage of an innocent boy, Rami al-Durrah, being gunned down in cold blood, 
the Israeli side is still permitted to set the news agenda with its arrogant 
ultimatums and threats, its blame-the-victim rhetoric. And even though 
everyone knows that there have been more than 2500 Palestinian casualties in 
the popular uprising for the democracy and liberation, Barak is still allowed 
to appear as if he's the only leader interested in maintaining the peace.

Indeed, Israel is interested in "maintaining peace"-a peace of Palestinian 
surrender and submission which would allow them to quietly slip out of the 
international headlines, so they can continue to steal land unchecked. This 
includes the land of those other Palestinians-the so-called "Israeli-Arabs" 
whose situation is less publicized.  

Meanwhile, the US promotes this sort of submissive "peace" not only in 
Israel, but all over the Arab world where US-friendly dictatorships rule with 
an iron fist (and American-made weaponry). The popular demonstrations that 
have erupted in Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan are not a cause for American 
elation and joy as they are in Yugoslavia. No, these demonstrations are 
viewed as a "de-stabilization" and a threat to US interests in the region. 
This sort of self-serving hypocrisy is the very reason that the US government 
lacks credibility among the oppressed people of the world.

In the last two weeks, both the Serbians and the Arabs have demonstrated 
their inalienable right to take their rulers to task. Of the two 
"revolutions" only the Palestinian one was met with bloody repression. 
Courageously facing down the most sophisticated military power in the region, 
Palestinians have been willing to die for the cause of self-determination in 
their homeland. The question, then, begs to be answered-how long will this 
US-Israel friendship stand in the way of the legitimate rights of the 
Palestinian people? And how long will the corporate media continue to act as 
the mouthpiece of the Pentagon and the State Department- regurgitating all 
the usual cliches, in an effort not to inform the public, but rather to 
conceal the true history of the Zionist conquest of Palestine?

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From: JSalloum@aol.com
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 00:07:33 EDT
Subject: Intifada 3

October 25, 2000

Al-Aqsa Intifada

By Noam Chomsky 


After three weeks of virtual war in the Israeli occupied territories, Prime 
Minister Ehud Barak announced a new plan to determine the final status of the 
region. During these weeks, over 100 Palestinians were killed, including 30 
children, often by "excessive use of lethal force in circumstances in which 
neither the lives of the security forces nor others were in imminent danger, 
resulting in unlawful killings," Amnesty International concluded in a 
detailed report that was scarcely mentioned in the US. The ratio of 
Palestinian to Israeli dead was then about 15-1, reflecting the resources of 
force available.

Barak's plan was not given in detail, but the outlines are familiar: they 
conform to the "final status map" presented by the US-Israel as the basis for 
the Camp David negotiations that collapsed in July. This plan, extending 
US-Israeli rejectionist proposals of earlier years, called for cantonization 
of the territories that Israel had conquered in 1967, with mechanisms to 
ensure that usable land and resources (primarily water) remain largely in 
Israeli hands while the population is administered by a corrupt and brutal 
Palestinian authority (PA), playing the role traditionally assigned to 
indigenous collaborators under the several varieties of imperial rule: the 

Black leadership of South Africa's Bantustans, to mention only the most 
obvious analogue. In the West Bank, a northern canton is to include Nablus 
and other Palestinian cities, a central canton is based in Ramallah, and a 
southern canton in Bethlehem; Jericho is to remain isolated. Palestinians 
would be effectively cut off from Jerusalem, the center of Palestinian life. 
Similar arrangements are likely in Gaza, with Israel keeping the southern 
coastal region and a small settlement at Netzarim (the site of many of the 
recent atrocities), which is hardly more than an excuse for a large military 
presence and roads splitting the Strip below Gaza City. These proposals 
formalize the vast settlement and construction programs that Israel has been 
conducting, thanks to munificent US aid, with increasing energy since the US 
was able to implement its version of the "peace process" after the Gulf war. 

For more on the negotiations and their background, see my July 25 commentary; 
and for further background, the commentary by Alex and Stephen Shalom, Oct. 
10. 

The goal of the negotiations was to secure official PA adherence to this 
project. Two months after they collapsed, the current phase of violence 
began. Tensions, always high, were raised when the Barak government 
authorized a visit by Ariel Sharon with 1000 police to the Muslim religious 
sites (Al-Aqsa) on a Thursday (Sept. 28). Sharon is the very symbol of 
Israeli state terror and aggression, with a rich record of atrocities going 
back to 1953. Sharon's announced purpose was to demonstrate "Jewish 
sovereignty" over the al-Aqsa compound, but as the veteran correspondent 
Graham Usher points out, the "al-Aqsa intifada," as Palestinians call it, was 
not initiated by Sharon's visit; rather, by the massive and intimidating 
police and military presence that Barak introduced the following day, the day 
of prayers. Predictably, that led to clashes as thousands of people streamed 
out of the mosque, leaving 7 Palestinians dead and 200 wounded. Whatever 
Barak's purpose, there could hardly have been a more efficient way to set the 
stage for the shocking atrocities of the following weeks. 

The same can be said about the failed negotiations, which focused on 
Jerusalem, a condition observed strictly by US commentary. Possibly Israeli 
sociologist Baruch Kimmerling was exaggerating when he wrote that a solution 
to this problem "could have been reached in five minutes," but he is right to 
say that "by any diplomatic logic [it] should have been the easiest issue to 
solve (Ha'aretz, Oct. 4). It is understandable that Clinton-Barak should want 
to suppress what they are doing in the occupied territories, which is far 
more important. Why did Arafat agree? Perhaps because he recognizes that the 
leadership of the Arab states regard the Palestinians as a nuisance, and have 
little problem with the Bantustan-style settlement, but cannot overlook 
administration of the religious sites, fearing the reaction of their own 
populations. Nothing could be better calculated to set off a confrontation 
with religious overtones, the most ominous kind, as centuries of experience 
reveal. 

The primary innovation of Barak's new plan is that the US-Israeli demands are 
to be imposed by direct force instead of coercive diplomacy, and in a harsher 
form, to punish the victims who refused to concede politely. The outlines are 
in basic accord with policies established informally in 1968 (the Allon 
Plan), and variants that have been proposed since by both political groupings 
(the Sharon Plan, the Labor government plans, and others). It is important to 
recall that the policies have not only been proposed, but implemented, with 
the support of the US. That support has been decisive since 1971, when 
Washington abandoned the basic diplomatic framework that it had initiated (UN 
Security Council Resolution 242), then pursued its unilateral rejection of 
Palestinian rights in the years that followed, culminating in the "Oslo 
process." Since all of this has been effectively vetoed from history in the 
US, it takes a little work to discover the essential facts. They are not 
controversial, only evaded. 

As noted, Barak's plan is a particularly harsh version of familiar US-Israeli 
rejectionism. It calls for terminating electricity, water, 
telecommunications, and other services that are doled out in meager rations 
to the Palestinian population, who are now under virtual siege. It should be 
recalled that independent development was ruthlessly barred by the military 
regime from 1967, leaving the people in destitution and dependency, a process 
that has worsened considerably during the US-run "Oslo process." One reason 
is the "closures" regularly instituted, must brutally by the more dovish 
Labor-based governments. As discussed by another outstanding journalist, 
Amira Hass, this policy was initiated by the Rabin government "years before 
Hamas had planned suicide attacks, [and] has been perfected over the years, 
especially since the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority." An 
efficient mechanism of strangulation and control, closure has been 
accompanied by the importation of an essential commodity to replace the cheap 
and exploited Palestinian labor on which much of the economy relies: hundreds 
of thousands of illegal immigrants from around the world, many of them 
victims of the "neoliberal reforms" of the recent years of "globalization." 
Surviving in misery and without rights, they are regularly described as a 
virtual slave labor force in the Israeli press. The current Barak proposal is 
to extend this program, reducing still further the prospects even for mere 
survival for the Palestinians. 

A major barrier to the program is the opposition of the Israeli business 
community, which relies on a captive Palestinian market for some $2.5 billion 
in annual exports, and has "forged links with Palestinian security officials" 
and Arafat's "economic adviser, enabling them to carve out monopolies with 
official PA consent" (Financial Times, Oct. 22; also NYT, same day). They 
have also hoped to set up industrial zones in the territories, transferring 
pollution and exploiting a cheap labor force in maquiladora-style 
installations owned by Israeli enterprises and the Palestinian elite, who are 
enriching themselves in the time-honored fashion. 

Barak's new proposals appear to be more of a warning than a plan, though they 
are a natural extension of what has come before. Insofar as they are 
implemented, they would extend the project of "invisible transfer" that has 
been underway for many years, and that makes more sense than outright "ethnic 
cleansing" (as we call the process when carried out by official enemies). 
People compelled to abandon hope and offered no opportunities for meaningful 
existence will drift elsewhere, if they have any chance to do so. The plans, 
which have roots in traditional goals of the Zionist movement from its 
origins (across the ideological spectrum), were articulated in internal 
discussion by Israeli government Arabists in 1948 while outright ethnic 
cleansing was underway: their expectation was that the refugees "would be 
crushed" and "die," while "most of them would turn into human dust and the 
waste of society, and join the most impoverished classes in the Arab 
countries." Current plans, whether imposed by coercive diplomacy or outright 
force, have similar goals. They are not unrealistic if they can rely on the 
world-dominant power and its intellectual classes. 

The current situation is described accurately by Amira Hass, in Israel's most 
prestigious daily (Ha'aretz, Oct. 18). Seven years after the Declaration of 
Principles in September 1993 -- which foretold this outcome for anyone who 
chose to see -- "Israel has security and administrative control" of most of 
the West Bank and 20% of the Gaza Strip. It has been able "to double the 
number of settlers in 10 years, to enlarge the settlements, to continue its 
discriminatory policy of cutting back water quotas for three million 
Palestinians, to prevent Palestinian development in most of the area of the 
West Bank, and to seal an entire nation into restricted areas, imprisoned in 
a network of bypass roads meant for Jews only. During these days of strict 
internal restriction of movement in the West Bank, one can see how carefully 
each road was planned: So that 200,000 Jews have freedom of movement, about 
three million Palestinians are locked into their Bantustans until they submit 
to Israeli demands. The bloodbath that has been going on for three weeks is 
the natural outcome of seven years of lying and deception, just as the first 
Intifada was the natural outcome of direct Israeli occupation." 

The settlement and construction programs continue, with US support, whoever 
may be in office. On August 18, Ha'aretz noted that two governments -- Rabin 
and Barak -- had declared that settlement was "frozen," in accord with the 
dovish image preferred in the US and by much of the Israeli left. They made 
use of the "freezing" to intensify settlement, including economic inducements 
for the secular population, automatic grants for ultra-religious settlers, 
and other devices, which can be carried out with little protest while "the 
lesser of two evils" happens to be making the decisions, a pattern hardly 
unfamiliar elsewhere. "There is freezing and there is reality," the report 
observes caustically. The reality is that settlement in the occupied 
territories has grown over four times as fast as in Israeli population 
centers, continuing -- perhaps accelerating -- under Barak. Settlement brings 
with it large infrastructure projects designed to integrate much of the 
region within Israel, while leaving Palestinians isolated, apart from 
"Palestinian roads" that are travelled at one's peril. 

Another journalist with an outstanding record, Danny Rubinstein, points out 
that "readers of the Palestinian papers get the impression (and rightly so) 
that activity in the settlements never stops. Israeli is constantly building, 
expanding and reinforcing the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. 
Israel is always grabbing homes and lands in areas beyond the 1967 lines - 
and of course, this is all at the expense of the Palestinians, in order to 
limit them, push them into a corner and then out. In other words, the goal is 
to eventually dispossess them of their homeland and their capital, Jerusalem" 
(Ha'aretz, October 23). 

Readers of the Israeli press, Rubinstein continues, are largely shielded from 
the unwelcome facts, though not entirely so. In the US, it is far more 
important for the population to be kept in ignorance, for obvious reasons: 
the economic and military programs rely crucially on US support, which is 
domestically unpopular and would be far more so if its purposes were known. 

To illustrate, on October 3, after a week of bitter fighting and killing, the 
defense correspondent of Ha'aretz reported "the largest purchase of military 
helicopters by the Israeli Air Force in a decade," an agreement with the US 
to provide Israel with 35 Blackhawk military helicopters and spare parts at a 
cost of $525 million, along with jet fuel, following the purchase shortly 
before of patrol aircraft and Apache attack helicopters. These are "the 
newest and most advanced multi-mission attack helicopters in the US 
inventory," the Jerusalem Post adds. It would be unfair to say that those 
providing the gifts cannot discover the fact. In a database search, David 
Peterson found that they were reported in the Raleigh (North Carolina) press. 

The sale of military helicopters was condemned by Amnesty International (Oct. 
19), because these "US-supplied helicopters have been used to violate the 
human rights of Palestinians and Arab Israelis during the recent conflict in 
the region." Surely that was anticipated, barring advanced cretinism. 

Israel has been condemned internationally (the US abstaining) for "excessive 
use of force," in a "disproportionate reaction" to Palestinian violence. That 
includes even rare condemnations by the ICRC, specifically, for attacks on at 
least 18 Red Cross ambulances (NYT, Oct 4). Israel's response is that it is 
being unfairly singled out for criticism. The response is entirely accurate. 
Israel is employing official US doctrine, known here as "the Powell 
doctrine," though it is of far more ancient vintage, tracing back centuries: 
Use massive force in response to any perceived threat. Official Israeli 
doctrine allows "the full use of weapons against anyone who endangers lives 
and especially at anyone who shoots at our forces or at Israelis" (Israeli 
military legal adviser Daniel Reisner, FT, Oct. 6). Full use of force by a 
modern army includes tanks, helicopter gunships, sharpshooters aiming at 
civilians (often children), etc. US weapons sales "do not carry a stipulation 
that the weapons can't be used against civilians," a Pentagon official said; 
he "acknowleged however that anti-tank missiles and attack helicopters are 
not traditionally considered tools for crowd control" -- except by those 
powerful enough to get away with it, under the protective wings of the 
reigning superpower. "We cannot second-guess an Israeli commander who calls 
in a Cobra (helicopter) gunship because his troops are under attack," another 
US official said (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 3). Accordingly, such 
killing machines must be provided in an unceasing flow. 

It is not surprising that a US client state should adopt standard US military 
doctrine, which has left a toll too awesome to record, including very recent 
years. The US and Israel are, of course, not alone in adopting this doctrine, 
and it is sometimes even condemned: namely, when adopted by enemies targeted 
for destruction. A recent example is the response of Serbia when its 
territory (as the US insists it is) was attacked by Albanian-based 
guerrillas, killing Serb police and civilians and abducting civilians 
(including Albanians) with the openly-announced intent of eliciting a 
"disproportionate response" that would arouse Western indignation, then NATO 
military attack. Very rich documentation from US, NATO, and other Western 
sources is now available, most of it produced in an effort to justify the 
bombing. Assuming these sources to be credible, we find that the Serbian 
response -- while doubtless "disproportionate" and criminal, as alleged -- 
does not compare with the standard resort to the same doctrine by the US and 
its clients, Israel included. 

In the mainstream British press, we can at last read that "If Palestinians 
were black, Israel would now be a pariah state subject to economic sanctions 
led by the United States [which is not accurate, unfortunately]. Its 
development and settlement of the West Bank would be seen as a system of 
apartheid, in which the indigenous population was allowed to live in a tiny 
fraction of its own country, in self-administered `bantustans', with `whites' 
monopolising the supply of water and electricity. And just as the black 
population was allowed into South Africa's white areas in disgracefully 
under-resourced townships, so Israel's treatment of Israeli Arabs - 
flagrantly discriminating against them in housing and education spending - 
would be recognised as scandalous too" (Observer, Guardian, Oct. 15). 

Such conclusions will come as no surprise to those whose vision has not been 
constrained by the doctrinal blinders imposed for many years. It remains a 
major task to remove them in the most important country. That is a 
prerequisite to any constructive reaction to the mounting chaos and 
destruction, terrible enough before our eyes, and with long-term implications 
that are not pleasant to contemplate.

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From: JSalloum@aol.com
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 13:23:26 EDT
Subject: Cyber attack

                       Arabs unify in cyber-war' against Israel
                       Hackers crash Israel's most high-profile
                       websites

                       Ranwa Yehia
                       Daily Star staff

                       Arab internet users all over the world succeeded in
                       crippling two major Israeli websites on Wednesday in
                       an attempt to counter-attack Israel's efforts to
                       overload Hizbullah websites.
                       Alerted by an article published in The Daily Star on
                       Tuesday detailing how Israelis have established a
                       site to attack Hizbullah's, Arab users began a
                       counter-offensive. By 1pm Wednesday, the main
                       Israeli government website (www.israel.org) and the
                       Israeli Foreign Ministry's website
                       (www.israel-mfa.gov.il) had been downed by hackers.
                       The Jerusalem Post website issued a report at 2.10pm
                       confirming that the Israeli Foreign Ministry website
                       was down.
                       "Spam (overloading) and hacker assaults have also
                       been detected on a number of other government sites
                       as well as the IDF (Israel Defense Force) website.
                       Ministry sources told Israel Radio the attackers
                       were traced to "Islamic internet sites," according
                       to the Jerusalem Post.
                       An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said: "The site
                       itself was not damaged, but at the moment, no one
                       can access it."
                       The official said the website attack could be traced
                       to a "pro-Palestinian and pro-Shiite Muslim" website
                       in the US that urged internet users to flood the
                       Foreign Ministry site.
                       Several local internet service providers (ISPs) had
                       published The Daily Star article early Wednesday.
                       Activity was detected soon afterward, with the
                       article being widely circulated through e-mail.
                       Chat rooms frequented by Arab users throughout the
                       world were also mobilized, with information about
                       how to attack Israeli websites posted and updates on
                       which websites have already been targeted.
                       "If we continue like this, we should arrive at a
                       time when an Israeli website is crippled every hour.
                       This is our new battle," said one internet user who,
                       like others interviewed, requested anonymity.
                       Another internet programmer said that the attack
                       against Israeli websites was more professional than
                       the attack staged by Israeli supporters over the
                       past two weeks to cripple Hizbullah websites.
                       "While the Israelis and their supporters simply
                       overloaded Hizbullah websites and those related to
                       the resistance and intifada to eventually cripple
                       them, our attack was destructive," he said.
                       The programmer explained that Lebanese hackers
                       detected the security loophole on the Israeli
                       websites, allowing them to have full control over
                       all data on these sites.
                       "Hence, all data was deleted," the programmer said.
                       Another difference is that while it requires
                       thousands of Israeli supporters to overload a
                       Hizbullah or resistance related website, it can take
                       one person using one single dial-up connection to
                       hack and crash an Israeli website.
                       "Both are illegal, but this is war," the programmer
                       said.
                       By 10pm Wednesday, the two Israeli websites were
                       still down.
                       The Jerusalem Post reported earlier Wednesday that
                       "the newest Arab target is Israel's virtual
                       government."
                       The English-language daily quoted an Israeli Foreign
                       Ministry official as saying that the ministry's site
                       was "neutralized for several hours late Monday night
                       by a flood of intentional web traffic, most likely
                       e-mail messages and requests."
                       The attack has caused the near-total collapse of
               [Image] Israel's ISP system, according to the Jerusalem
                       Post.
                       Arab internet users are making sure they stage their
                       attacks from individual PCs or internet cafes to
                       reduce the possibilities of an Israeli
                       counter-attack that would cripple their systems.
                       One such person, identifying himself as Walid, said
                       he intended to hack the Knesset server late
                       Wednesday night. "We'll target and hack Israeli
                       websites one by one. This will continue," he said.
                       Walid added that the attacks may get fiercer, with
                       an e-mail war between Israel and Arabs seeing an
                       exchange of viruses designed to crash systems.
                       More websites are being built to attack Israeli
                       sites. One is www.ummah.net/unity/defend/. Its front
                       page has Hizbullah's logo with the word "UNITY."
                       Similar to an earlier website,
                       www.members.tripod.com/irsa2000, it instructs users
                       to target Israeli websites by pressing on a button
                       that would initiate hits on these sites every second
                       in an attempt to overload and eventually cripple
                       them.
                       An e-mail circulated about the website urges users
                       to log on and help defend Hizbullah.
                       Hackers have since broken into a Hizbullah website
                       which was downed last week, www.hizballa.org, and
                       replaced its home page with an image of an Israeli
                       flag and an instrumental recording of "Hatikva," the
                       Israeli national anthem.
                       The website's front page said: "This page was
                       uploaded to protest against the Arabic attacks in
                       the past few days."

                       Related stories

                          * Israeli website tries to shut down Hizbullah's
                                                                DS 26/10/00
               
            
                      Copyrightę 2000 The Daily Star. All rights reserved.

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