By Martin Love

As the U.S. “empire” frays, there is Zubeidi and his colleagues…

September 15, 2021 - 22:49

It has been reported that Zakaria Zubeidi, one of the four of six escapees from maximum security Gilboa Prison in the West Bank who was recaptured by Zionist thugs, has been admitted to an ICU at an Israeli hospital after repeated rounds of torture that included breaking one of his legs and then hanging him upside down by his broken leg, among other atrocities.

As for the two escapees who have not yet been recaptured, it has been suggested that one of them MAY have been able to cross into Lebanon, given some unconfirmed evidence that someone may have figured out a way to cross the border. But this may just be very wishful thinking.

It anyway goes almost without saying that the Apartheid state is the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism (not Iran or any other country), and this has often been the case ever since 1948 when Zionist terrorists perpetrated the notable massacre of hundreds of innocent Palestinian villagers at a place called Deir Yassin near Jerusalem in an effort to so frighten Palestinian natives that they would leave their homes and become refugees. 800,000 Palestinians did become refugees back in 1948 and many Palestinian villages and towns were emptied and then wiped from the maps of what became “Israel”.

Zionist terrorism has been rampant ever since 1948 and one only has to look at what the IDF has done to Gaza repeatedly and many more Palestinians across the Middle East including more massacres such as at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps near Beirut and beyond. Not to mention the fact that some observers have been convinced that Zionists may have also been at bottom responsible for 9/11 in New York City even though it is clearer some Saudis were, and 14 of the aircraft hijackers who plowed into the World Trade Center were Saudi citizens.

Max Boot, an American Zionist Jew and commentator, and apologist claimed this week that the American “global war on terror” over the past 20 years has been a huge success. Why? Because he says, there has not been another 9/11 and that by one count a mere 107 people have been killed in jihadist attacks in the U.S. since September 11, 2001. And half of them are accounted for by carnage at a Florida nightclub. Boot has it all wrong.

Because the U.S. had enormous world sympathy after 9/11. (Boot adds that more Americans are dying of Covid 19 every two hours than died of alleged Islamic terrorism in the past 20 years.) The U.S. did not capitalize on the sympathy it had, but as everyone knows went on to launch or support various wars that have killed millions of people and destroyed any pretense the U.S. had as a fair arbiter of disputes anywhere. U.S. greed and war profiteering have been the norm ever since, and not one of the “wars” has been won, or won anything but the virtual bankruptcy of the U.S. financially and morally. Afghanistan is the current case in point. Are the chickens now coming home to roost? Some of them and many more to come back home in time. Boot among many others are nothing but shills for Zionists interests, suggesting that the decades-long U.S. fealty to the Apartheid state may well be the centerpiece of the ultimate downfall of the U.S. 

The so-called “empire” affliction in the U.S. at least has been diminished this summer and at long last at least some in the current Biden Administration are waking up to the fact that “nation-building” by the U.S. anywhere is not a winning policy. Because, simply, the U.S. has been “nation-destroying” for decades reaching all the way back to the Vietnam War sparked by a false flag incident in the Gulf of Tonkin in the mid-1960s. Also, one could argue that the U.S. had long been even worse than the Apartheid state as the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the past 30 years, but on the other hand one has to dig deep and understand the deeper policies spawned by alleged U.S. allies like “Israel” that have led the U.S. by the nose to what some call “evil” foreign policies. The opportunity costs of the latter have been beyond enormous and increasingly reveal, even if too many Americans remain victims of propaganda of the sort that Max Boot has postured.

Iran and friends of Iran just need to wait a while for the day the U.S. currency implodes. At that time Allah only knows beforehand the troubles the U.S. will encounter affecting all Americans.

But back to Zakaria Zubeidi. One American Greta Berlin, who over a decade ago led with friends the “Free Gaza Movement” and literally broke the siege of Gaza briefly when she led a small boat that sailed into Gaza’s harbor. She has offered up a short biography of Zubeidi and It’s worth quoting:

Zakaria Muhammad 'Abdelrahman Zubeidi, 46, is the former Jenin chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and a "symbol of the Intifada". One of eight children, his father was prevented from teaching by the Israelis after he was arrested in the late 1960s for being a member of Fatah. He worked instead as a labourer in an Israeli iron foundry, did some private teaching on the side, and became a peace activist. The first Israeli Zubeidi had ever met was the soldier who came to take away his father away, leaving the mother to raise their children alone. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, during the First Intifada, Israeli human rights activist Arna Mer-Khamis opened a children's theater in Jenin, "Arna's House", to encourage understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Dozens of Israeli volunteers ran the events, and Samira, believing that peace was possible, offered the top floor of the family house for rehearsals. Zubeidi, then aged 12, his older brother Daoud, and four other boys around the same age formed the core of the troupe. In 1989, at age 13, he was shot in the leg when he threw stones at Israeli soldiers. He was hospitalized for six months and underwent four operations, but was left permanently affected, with one leg shorter than the other and a noticeable limp. At age 14, he was arrested for the first time (again for throwing stones) and jailed for six months. At that time he had become the representative before the prison governor for the other child prisoners.

On his release, he dropped out of high school after one year. A year later, he was re-arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails and imprisoned for 4 and a half years. In prison, he learned Hebrew, and became politically active, joining Fatah. On his release following the 1993 Oslo Accords, he joined the Palestinian Authority's Palestinian Security Forces He became a sergeant, but left, disillusioned, after a year, complaining: "There were colleagues whom I had taught to read who were promoted to senior positions because of nepotism and corruption." He went to work illegally in Israel, and for two years earned a good living as a contractor for home renovations in Tel Aviv and Haifa. He was eventually arrested in Afula and, after being briefly imprisoned for working without a permit, deported back to Jenin. He became a truck driver, transporting flour and olive oil, but in September 2000 lost his job when the West Bank was sealed off due to the Second Intifada. On 3 March 2002, one month before the main assault on the refugee camp, his mother was killed during an Israeli raid into Jenin. She had taken refuge in a neighbor's home and was shot by an IDF sniper who targeted her as she stood near a window. She subsequently bled to death.

Zubeidi's brother Taha was also killed by soldiers shortly afterward. Aside from grieving for lost family members and friends, Zubeidi was greatly embittered by the fact that none of the Israelis who had accepted his mother's hospitality, and whom he had thought were his friends, tried to contact him. In a 2006 interview he stated angrily, "You took our house and our mother and you killed our brother. We gave you everything and what did we get in return? A bullet in my mother's chest. We opened our home and you demolished it. Every week, 20-30 Israelis would come there to do theatre. We fed them. And afterward, not one of them picked up the phone. That is when we saw the real face of the left in Israel." Losing hope in the Israeli peace camp, he joined the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, an armed wing of Fatah. Arna's son, Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis, did return to Jenin in 2002 and looked for the boys who had been in the theater group. Zubeidi had turned to armed resistance, Daoud was sentenced to 16 years in prison for militant activities, and the other four were dead. In 2004, Mer-Khamis completed a documentary film about the group, Arna's Children. Israel tried to assassinate him four times.

In one such attempt in 2004, an Israeli police unit killed five other brigade members, including a 14-year-old boy, in a jeep carrying Zubeidi. On November 15, following Arafat's death, Israeli forces launched an incursion in Jenin to kill him, but he evaded them; in the raid, nine Palestinians were killed, including four civilians and his deputy, "Alaa". The raid uncovered an arms cache. Prior to these incidents, another attempt on his life had been made by a Palestinian; Zubeidi had his hands broken as a punishment. In September 2005 he declared that his group's cease-fire was at an end after Samer Saadi and two other militants were killed by Israeli forces in Jenin. Nevertheless, Zubeidi told a Swedish nurse, Jonatan Stanczak, that he wanted to re-establish his links with the Jewish peace movement. The way he spoke of Arna's project led Stanczak to contact Mer-Khamis and within six months they re-established the Freedom Theater in Jenin, which opened in February 2006. On July 6, 2006, the IDF attempted to capture Zubeidi at a funeral, but he escaped after an exchange of gunfire. He was on Israel's most-wanted list for some years until he handed over his guns to the Palestinian National Authority and accepted an Israeli amnesty. In mid-2007, he renounced militancy and committed himself to cultural resistance through theater. On July 15, 2007, the Office of the Israeli Prime Minister announced that Israel would include Zubeidi in an amnesty offered to militants of Fatah's al-Aqsa-Brigades.

In 2008, he was hired by Juliano Mer-Khamis (who was later murdered) as director of the Freedom Theatre in the Jenin refugee camp, where children could study theatre and experience the growing art and music culture surrounding the Palestine International Film festivals. On 28 December 2011, Israel rescinded Zubeidi's pardon. On 29 December 2011, Israel rescinded Zubeidi's pardon and Zubeidi stated to Ma'an News Agency that he had not violated any of the conditions of his amnesty. He was advised by PA security officials to turn himself in to Palestinian custody lest he be arrested by Israel's security forces. A week before Zubeidi was notified about the cancellation of his amnesty, his brother had been arrested by the PA. Zubeidi was then kept in detention without charge by the Palestinian Authority from May to October 2012. Zubeidi undertook to study for a master's degree from Birzeit University, where he was supervised by Abdel Rahim Al-Sheikh, Professor of Cultural Studies, with a thesis entitled The Dragon and the Hunter, that focused on the Palestinian experience of being pursued from 1968 to 2018. 

On 27 February 2019, before he could complete his dissertation, Zubeidi was arrested again, on suspicion of having engaged in terrorist activities, and in May he was charged before an Israeli military court with carrying out at least two shooting attacks on civilian buses in the West Bank. Zakaria Zubeidi was at the Gilboa Prison since his arrest, and on September 6, 2021, he escaped from the Gilboa Prison in Israel's along with five other Palestinian prisoners. Five days later, on September 11, 2021, Zubeidi was caught near the Israeli village of Kfar Tavor.  On September 12, 2021, Zubeidi was transferred from the site where he was being held unlawfully, to a medical center in Haifa for injuries sustained from torture and brutal beating by occupation forces.

It's not hard to say that Palestinians may be the bravest people in the world. 

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