A HOUSE DIVIDED IN DIVIDED JERUSALEM


Since 1952 a Palestinian family owned a home in East Jerusalem. In 1998 an addition was added to the home, without obtaining a building permit from the city which claimed it was it was a renovation rather than an extension… therefore not requiring a permit.
Read this excerp from the following posted article;
A few months after Kurd’s 1998 renovation, it came to the attention of the Knesset Yisrael Committee, a Jewish property rights group, that potentially illegal work had been carried out on the house and that ownership of the land was disputed.

A court case was filed and it was ultimately determined that settlers should be allowed to live in half of the house, which is built on land that Knesset Yisrael says belonged to Jews before 1948, when the state of Israel was founded and Jordan took over the West Bank in the ensuing war.’

So we have a home, owned and built by Palestinians… and we have a Jewish family living in half of it without their permission. And this the zionists call justice….
Jewish ‘settlers’ that move to a predominantly Palestinian community so they can ‘not talk to them or allow their children to play with their’s’…
Good zionist logic… as riddled with hate as the rest of their philosophy is.
Here is a piece that was published by Reuters yesterday…. it’s worth the read.

A divided house, and divided lives, in Jerusalem

By Luke Baker

JERUSALEM, Oct 30 (Reuters) – If they look out of their windows, Fawzia al-Kurd and Bryna Segal share the same view from the same house across the rooftops of East Jerusalem.

But that’s where their shared vision ends.

Kurd, a 54-year-old Palestinian, raised her five children in the house, which sits half-way up a hill in Sheikh Jarrah, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Arab East Jerusalem.

Segal, a 25-year-old Jewish settler born in Israel to parents from New York, moved in nearly four months ago.

The large home, built of cream-coloured Jerusalem stone, has been in Kurd’s family since 1952, when she says her father-in-law was granted permission by the Jordanian authorities, which then controlled East Jerusalem, to build it.

For decades, including the years that followed the 1967 Middle East war, when Israeli forces defeated the Jordanian army and captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Kurd and her family lived in the house without particular problems.

Then in 1998, hoping to move her eldest son in with her, she renovated half the house to create a separate unit — a two-bedroom home for her son and his family.

Because the work was a renovation rather than an extension, she says the Jerusalem municipality told her she did not need a building permit, and so the changes went ahead unchecked.

Then the problems began.

Eight years on, the person living next door to Kurd and her husband is Segal, with her husband and two young children. A third is on the way.

“It’s hard, every day it’s so hard,” says Kurd, a mild-mannered, religious woman who keeps her hair covered with a traditional hijab headdress. “I cannot bear it.”

For Segal, a simply dressed woman who also keeps her hair covered for religious reasons, it’s equally odd.

“We don’t talk to one another,” she says, playing with one of her sons at a playground near the house. “We don’t bother them and they don’t bother us.”

RISKY RENOVATION

Property disputes are not uncommon in Jerusalem, a city that both Palestinians and Israelis want as their capital. But the one between Kurd and Segal is notably quirky.

Since 1967, when Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognised internationally, the Jewish population in the traditionally Arab area has grown rapidly, with wealthy Jewish organisations buying up properties and moving settlers in.

There are now estimated to be about 200,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem, alongside about 250,000 Palestinians.

As the population balance grows ever closer to even, property disputes become more heated.

A few months after Kurd’s 1998 renovation, it came to the attention of the Knesset Yisrael Committee, a Jewish property rights group, that potentially illegal work had been carried out on the house and that ownership of the land was disputed.

A court case was filed and it was ultimately determined that settlers should be allowed to live in half of the house, which is built on land that Knesset Yisrael says belonged to Jews before 1948, when the state of Israel was founded and Jordan took over the West Bank in the ensuing war.

Lawyers challenged the ruling, but the settlers moved in, with the first group taking up residence in 2000. Since then other families have come and gone. Segal moved in in June, after transferring from a settlement in the West Bank.

“We like living in places that are important,” she said when asked why she wanted to live in this shared house. “We wanted to be in Jerusalem.”

There are now seven Jewish families living cheek-by-jowl with Palestinians in the small neighbourhood. They are protected 24 hours a day by two armed Israeli guards.

Segal and her husband, who is looking for work, pay $300 a month rent for their house, which she says is the largest and nicest among the small settler bloc in the district. The rent doesn’t go to Kurd, but she didn’t say who it does go to.

$10 MILLION? NO THANKS

While the guards say they have to deal with very few problems, tensions are constantly present between the Jewish and Arab families in the area and between Kurd and the Segals.

The Jewish community has installed a small playground for their children, which Arab children are not allowed to use, says Segal. The armed guards stop them. The Arab children play on grass nearby or in the street.

“I don’t want my kids playing with Arab kids, and they don’t want to play with each other,” says Segal.

Kurd, who speaks Hebrew, says she refuses to speak to the Segals. Segal says she has tried to talk but has been rebuffed. “They took my house, why would I speak to them?” says Kurd.

She used to have a doorbell that played a prayer from the Koran, but she accuses the Segals of cutting the electricity. Their front doors open just inches apart.

An Israeli flag flies above the Segal’s side of the house, as they do from all the other Jewish houses in the neighbourhood. Inside Kurd’s home, there is a tapestry map of the region showing Palestine before Israel’s founding.

Kurd holds out hope that lawyers will get the settlers evicted. But it’s also unclear if she does have ownership of the land the house is built on since another Arab family can show ownership back to at least 1933.

More court cases are pending.

Kurd says a settler group offered her $10 million to give up her side of the house. She refused.

“What would God think of me if I did such a thing?” she says, sitting on the green sofa in her front room, looking out the window over East Jerusalem, the same view the Segals have. (Additional reporting by Roleen Tafakji)

WHY A RIGHT OF RETURN IS A MUST

‘Roots’ by the late Ismael Shammout
As the image so strongly shows, roots are an integral part of a human being. Roots keep us alive, nourish us, make us who we are. What happens to a tree when its roots are destroyed also happens to a man..
Imagine going off to a university in a foreign country. Now imagine staying in that country to work as a doctor for a few years. Now imagine wanting to return to your homeland and family. Now imagine NOT BEING ALLOWED TO!
Only in Israel…. where a Palestinian is a persona non grata… only in Israel where a Jew from anywhere in the world that was not born here can ‘return’, but a Palestinian that was born here cannot.
Is this man a criminal? Is this man a terrorist?? No to both! He is a cardiologist.
As Israel moves to the right, Palestinians are being forced to move period! This is in violation with every Human Rights edict ever set down by the United Nations.
PALESTINIANS NEED A RIGHT OF RETURN!
PALESTINIANS NEED PALESTINIAN STATE!
ISRAEL NEEDS IT AS WELL TO GUARANTEE EVER SEEING A JUST PEACE!!

Below is an article by our beloved Amira Hass that appears in today’s HaAretz…

Palestinian cardiologist treating patients in the U.S. may not be allowed to come home

By Amira Hass

Dr. Tareq Ramahi, a 45-year-old cardiologist, is one of the great hopes of Al Quds University in Abu Dis. University management is hoping that Ramahi will expand the medical faculty, which currently comprises only three full time professors. During 2004-2006, Ramahi was a visiting professor at Al Quds. Now he has agreed to become a full staff member, and has begun developing a program of study in cardiology.

He will be able to accomplish this if the Israeli Interior Ministry allows him to reenter the country in three weeks’ time from a trip to the United States, where he is presently attending a conference and treating patients.

From Yale to Abu Dis

Ramahi said, on September 27, that the Interior Ministry official at Ben-Gurion International Airport had told him: “You have been coming here too often and it is not for certain that we will give you permission next time.” He recommended that Ramahi apply for a work permit. But experience teaches us it is not simple for a Palestinian, even a doctor and professor, to receive a work permit in Israel, even if the work takes place in the occupied territories.

Ramahi completed his medical studies at Yale University and his residency at Yale’s medical center. He later taught at Yale for seven years, and at other universities, all the while caring for patients. For four years, he headed the cardiac transplant ward at Yale and then headed similar departments at other American hospitals.

His curriculum vitae reveals his work as a senior practitioner at other academic institutes and medical centers, as well as his contributions to scientific publications. What brings a person like this to a distant university beyond the wall of Abu Dis? What motivates him to waste hours traveling and at roadblocks in order to teach students in Hebron, because the Al Quds-affiliated hospitals in Jerusalem are closed to them?

He was born in Jerusalem’s Augusta Victoria hospital in 1961. Three years later, his parents went to work in Jordan and Saudi Arabia and later, when he was still a boy, immigrated to the U.S. In 1994, his parents returned to the West Bank, because they wanted to care for his maternal grandmother who was living in el-Bireh.

His father died in 1996. His mother received Palestinian residency from the Israeli authorities; her ID card is that of a resident of the territories. Since they settled in the West Bank, he has visited her several times a year for two or three weeks. What is more natural than a son visiting his parents, he says. And what is more natural than giving a helping hand to improve medical services in the place where you were born? The fact that he is an American citizen and works in the U.S. cannot erase his caring for, and ties to, the Palestinian people.

In addition to teaching, he cares for patients in Augusta Victoria’s Ramallah clinic (70 percent of whom are refugees), because they cannot come to East Jerusalem.

At first he got a work permit for three months as part of the United Nations Development Program, which was aimed precisely at people like him – Palestinians living abroad who have excelled in development fields and have been hired to work and help establish institutions in the Palestinian Authority. They receive entry visas through the Israeli Foreign Ministry for several months at a time. In certain cases, the visas have been extended and these individuals have continued to work in the same, or other, Palestinian institutions and then obtained work permits through these bodies.

But Palestinian universities and institutions have found that in the past six years, it has been difficult to obtain work permits through the Civil Administration. In other words, since the outbreak of the intifada, the granting of work permits to Palestinians, another Israeli prerogative, has been frozen nearly altogether.

Civil Administration changes its tune

The solution is, therefore, coming and going with a tourist visa. This suited Dr. Ramahi: His work in the U.S. made it necessary for him to attend a conference or take care of patients abroad every month and a half or two, for several weeks at a time. In effect, his work abroad subsidizes his work in the territories.

It seemed as if Israel was prepared to accept this arrangement, more or less, until recently. At the start of this year, and more so since April, Israeli authorities have been preventing people like Ramahi from returning. Lecturers at universities, music teachers, doctors, advisers to government offices in the PA are all vital for a society that wishes to develop but their return is being prevented. For Ramahi, and especially for the university, his students and patients, there is reason to fear that he will join the list of those refused entry.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said, “The Interior Ministry does not prevent people from entering but asks foreign nationals coming to Israel to have a suitable visa. If they wish to work within Israeli borders, they need a work permit, and if they wish to visit or work within the borders of the PA, they must arrange a suitable permit with the military authorities.”

The Civil Administration was asked whether the arrangement of work permits for Palestinians had been renewed after a prolonged freeze, and what the possibilities were for Ramahi to get a work permit, but no response was forthcoming.

Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al Quds University, informed Ramahi that the Israeli authorities did not recognize the university, and therefore, according to past experience, it could not request a work permit on his behalf.

APOCALYPSE NOW


Today, the government of Israel ushered in a new era, an era that will be the beginning of the end to zionism as we know it today. State zionism has for almost 60 years been the brutal enemy of the Palestinian people. Zionism is responsible for a good percentage of that people living either in the Diaspora or languishing in UN sponsored refugee camps. Zionism is responsible for the cold blooded murder of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians, including women and children in just the past 4 month period. Zionism is responsible for building a wall of apartheid making the occupied lands of Palestine the biggest concentration camp in the history of the world.
Today, with the admittance of an open fascist to the government of Israel all of the above has been legitimised by the zionist beast.
Today we witness the beginning of the Apocalypse that will usher in the end of zionism. No justice loving person anywhere in the world will be able to accept what happened in Israel today. No peace activist anywhere will either. There can be no ‘fence sitting’ on this issue.. no one can remain silent.
I call on all progressive minded people all over the world to act on this immediately. Write to your government representatives… ask that they protest the actions of the Israeli government. Ask that they recall the ambassadors representing them in Israel. Israel must be isolated and told in a very LOUD voice from the entire world that fascism is not acceptable in this day and age.
I call on you to do this NOW…. before they put their agenda into action. We do not need more human transfers from this country… we need a Just Peace…. we need an INDEPENDENT PALESTINE WITH A RIGHT OF RETURN….. NOW!

JUST WHO IS THIS FASCIST LIEBERMAN?

A black flag was just raised in Israel. Herr Lieberman was approved as a full member of the Israeli government and a minister to boot (pun intended). What exactly is known about this evil creature? As time goes on more will be known…. but to date there is enough to know that this is bad news to both Palestine and Israel.

Following is an essay written by Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh. I posted an essay by him the other day comparing zionism to nazism. This piece gives a pretty clear picture of just who Lieberman is and why he is a threat to democracy. Thanks to Umkalil for posting this on her blog.

The essay originally appeared in Comment.

Enter Adolph Lieberman
By Khalid Amayreh

Have you ever wondered why almost everybody in Israel and north America is silent about the imminent inclusion of the Nazi-like figure of Avigdor Lieberman into the Israeli government of Ehud Olmert?

Just imagine how Jews and their supporters and apologists would react if George W. Bush were to include to into his cabinet figures such as David Duke.

Well, we all remember how Zionist circles around the world reacted rabidly to the brief inclusion of Jorge Haider’s Freedom Party into the Austrian government in 2000. Then Jewish and Zionist circles from Sydney to California waged a virulent campaign of vilification against everything Austrian to the extent that neutral and peaceable European country was made to look as if it were a modern-day reincarnation of the Third Reich.

Now, in Israel, we have the rising star of a Judeo-Nazi figure, a vile Moldovan, a little Stalin that combines characteristic Zionist racism with Stalinist brutality, who is about to join the government of Israel, the so-called only “true democracy in the Middle East.”

For those who still don’t know Lieberman, a thuggish figure by every shred of imagination, we are talking about the head of the fourth largest political party in Israel, Yisrael Beitenu, or Israel is our Home.

Lieberman is more than just “controversial” as the Jewish and Jewish-controlled media would portray him, mainly in order to evade facing the reality of his fascist-mindset.

He is actually a dangerous demagogic politician and warmonger who advocates ethnic cleansing, genocide and nuclear wars. In fact, the man can be viewed as a Hitler-in-the-making with very little exaggeration.

Lieberman’s thuggish behavior is very well known even among Jews in Israel. In 1999, the former Moldovan immigrant attacked and savagely beat, some say bit, a neighbor’s child for allegedly beating his own son.

The affair was publicized in Israel but eventually died down when Lieberman’s star rose, first as a lawmaker representing Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union and second as cabinet minister in Ariel Sharon’s government 2001-2003.

As a cabinet minister Lieberman espoused Nazi-like ideas so brazenly that then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres had to warn him that he might be summoned to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity if he decided to turn his racist ideology into effect.

On 8 March, 2002, the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot quoted him as saying the following during a cabinet meeting:

“At eight o’clock, we bomb all commercial centers, at 12 o’clock we bomb all fuel stations, and at two o’clock in the afternoon, we bomb all the banks, and we keep the border crossings open.”

More to the point, Lieberman’s election platform spoke of disenfranchising non-Jews in Israel, expelling Palestinians from the Galilee, and ethnically cleansing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza by way of expanding Jewish settlements and confining Palestinians to Bantustans and townships as was the case in apartheid South Africa.

Lieberman also suggested on several occasions that Israel bomb Tehran as well as the Aswan Dam in Egypt.

Now this Lieberman is apparently slated to become Israel’s deputy-prime minister and, more significantly, Minister for handling Strategic Threats facing Israel.

Well, would that include giving him at least a partial authority over Israel’s estimated 300-400 nuclear bombs and missiles? Everything is possible in this strange state that is yet to wake up from a nearly congenital collective psychosis that makes her murder children on their way to school and drop 1.5 million cluster bombs in Lebanon, all under the rubric of ensuring security.

It is true that Lieberman is not the only Nazi-like political figure in Israel’s long criminal history. After all, it is really difficult to locate an Israeli leader whose hands are not stained with the blood of Arab civilians and whose mind is not infested with criminal racism. Indeed, murder, terror and racism are as Israeli and Zionist as apple pie is American and boomerangs are Australian.

Nonetheless, Lieberman can be especially dangerous because his Zio-Nazi ideology is given democratic legitimacy. Well, do we have to remind ourselves that Adolph Hitler was also elected by the people in a free and fair election?

Indeed, Lieberman, whose party controls 11 seats of the 120-seats making up the Israeli Knesset, draws support from wide sectors of the Israeli Jewish public beyond his immediate constituency which more or less support his fascist ideas about disenfranchising and even expelling non-Jewish citizens of Israel who make up nearly one forth of the population.

Hence, it is misleading to dismiss this man and his manifestly racist party as a marginal phenomenon in Israel. In fact, one would exaggerate little by saying that Lieberman effectively reflects and represents the feelings of a majority of Jews in Israel. Yes, maybe other politicians, like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and opposition leader Benyamin Netanyahu, who boasted repeatedly about having succeeded in reducing the Israeli Arab birth rate, don’t speak as brazenly as he does, especially in public. However, it is amply clear that most of these politicians and leaders from the Zionist and religious-Zionist camps as well as the so-called center-left more or less hold the same ideas held by Lieberman, as evidenced from the policies and practices of successive Israeli governments throughout the years.

And now a few words to the Europeans.

It is really difficult to understand, let alone justify, European silence on the inclusion of this Nazi-like figure into the Israeli government.

Doesn’t Europe, which wasted no time in imposing draconian sanctions on the Palestinian people for electing Hamas, realize that this man is a million light years more extremist and more racist than anything advocated by Hamas?

How could Europe continue to have business as usual with a government one of whose ministers calls openly for disenfranchising and de-legitimizing nearly one forth of the population on no other ground than them being adherents of different religions?

Or is Europe emulating the American administration of George Bush by walking in the path of hypocrisy and moral duplicity and playing blind, deaf and dumb when Israel displays her own fascism before the whole world?

Europe should remember that fascism doesn’t become benign when espoused by Jews.

© Copyright palestine-info.co.uk

To read a brilliant ‘opinion piece’ by Tamar Gozansky, former Communist member of the Knesset, click HERE.

NEVER AGAIN

A Palestinian woman laying a wreath during a memorial ceremony on Sunday marking the Kafr Qasem massacre’s 50th anniversary
Fifty years have passed since one of the bloodiest pogroms agains a Palestinian village took place. Fifty years have not healed the wounds left open by the Israeli troops that massacred 47 innocent civilians returning home from work that day.
The wounds fester as fears of ‘repeat performances’ are in the air as the likes of Herr Lieberman enter the government.
Israel must learn from the history of the Jewish people… the cry after the war was NEVER AGAIN!!
It wasn’t NEVER AGAIN TO US…. IT WAS SIMPLY NEVER AGAIN!
We must insure that it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN…..TO ANYONE!

Below is an article just posted on HaAretz….

Kafr Qasem residents mark 50th anniversary of massacre

By Yuli Kromchenko and Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondents, and Agencies

Residents of the Arab Israeli village of Kafr Qasem held memorial ceremonies in recent days marking the 50th anniversary of the 1956 massacre in which Border Police killed 47 Arab citizens who were returning to their village from work.

On Sunday, the official anniversary, residents marched and visited the cemetery where the massacre’s victims are buried, laying wreaths in their memory.

Kafr Qasem council head Sami Issa criticized during the ceremony the addition of Yisrael Beiteinu to the coalition.

“This is not the way to achieve peace,” said Issa.

Lieberman has called for certain Israeli Arab communities to be transferred to Palestinian Authority control, in exchange for the retention of West Bank settlement blocs.

The founder of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Abdullah Nimer Darwish, Hadash MK Dov Khenin, and Latif Douri, who documented the survivor’s stories, also participated in the ceremony.

Schools throughout Israel also marked the anniversary, following a directive from Education Minister Yuli Tamir, who instructed schools to devote time to discuss the massacre and the events that occurred following it, including the court ruling that a command was “blatantly illegal,” and in such a case, soldier should not have obeyed it.

According to the directive, “The massacre and the trial that followed it have become markers in the national psyche of Israeli society and have instilled in generations of commanders and soldiers a moral border one should abide by.”

On October 29, 1956, during the first day of the Sinai war, three Border Police received a command to shoot anyone who broke the curfew imposed on Kafr Qasem.

The troops shot and killed 47 of the village’s residents as they were making their way home from work, unaware of the newly imposed curfew. Among the dead were women and children.

The soldiers involved in the incident were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, but all received pardons. The brigade commander was sentenced to pay the symbolic fine of 10 prutot (old Israeli cents).

A memorial commemorating the massacre was recently raised in the village. According to the Kafr Qasem municipality, a museum dealing with the events of October 29 will open its doors to the public on the incident’s anniversary.

This also just in from HaAretz…. obviously some people never learn and will have to be taught the hard way.. perhaps a good, stiff prison sentence will mellow this fascist beast.

Wife of right-wing activist charged with racist incitement

By Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondent

Elisheva Federman, the wife of extreme right-wing activist Noam Federman, was indicted Sunday for incitement to racism.

The Jerusalem District Attorney based the indictment presented to the city’s Magistrate’s Court on remarks made by Federman, a resident of the West Bank city of Hebron.

The remarks were recorded on two occasions – first, by Haim Yavin in the documentary film series “Land of the Settlers,” and later by a Channel 10 team in a story on Purim celebrations in Hebron, which was never aired.

To Yavin, Federman said, “We are talking about people who are subhumans… there is nothing to be done except for throwing them out of here, and not to Jordan, but far, because if they’re in Jordan they will try to return. As far as possible.”

“I say in the best circumstances we need to expel them… If they don’t leave? We’ll kill them… They’re enemies. We have to fight them. If they don’t leave, we’ll start bombing them. That’s the only thing that will help… We don’t need to put on airs. We’re in a war. A la guerre, comme la guerre – we must act as if we’re in a war,” she said.

“The entire Arab street supports the suicide bomber… everyone is complicit in such an act. We can give them an ultimatum to leave here with their possessions intact, and if not, we’ll simply send… planes and bomb them and hold on to our land,” she added.

In remarks made off the record, Federman said, “Whoever wants to remain alive should leave, and whoever doesn’t will be killed. There is no choice.”

In conversation with a Channel 10 reporter, Federman praised Baruch Goldstein, a West Bank settler who opened fire on Muslim worshippers at Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs in 1994 before being beaten to death.

“The 39 Arabs Goldstein killed is a drop in the bucket compared to what needs to be done. There needs to be a real war. We need to conquer this land once and for all,” she said.

Federman is charged with one count of incitement to racism and two counts of attempting to spread incitement.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS REGARDING ISRAEL/PALESTINE

Browsing through the Blogesphere I came across this cute post at Chocoholic Madness. It’s a really cute blogsite… worth a visit.

The rules of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict

Rule # 1: In the Middle East, it is always the Arabs that attack first, and it’s always Israel who defends itself. This is called “Retaliation”.

Rule # 2: The Arabs, whether Palestinians or Lebanese, are not allowed to kill Israelis. This is called “Terrorism

Rule # 3: Israel has the right to kill Arab civilians, this is called “Self-Defense”, or these days “Collateral Damage”.

Rule # 4: When Israel kills too many civilians. The Western world calls for restraint. This is called the “Reaction of the International Community”.

Rule # 5: Palestinians and Lebanese do not have the right to capture Israeli military, not even a limited number, not even 1 or 2. This is called “Kidnapping”.

Rule # 6: Israel has the right to capture as many Palestinians as they want (Palestinians: around 10000 to date, 300 of which are children, Lebanese 1000s to date, being held without trial). There is no limit; there is no need for proof of guilt or trial. This is called “War on Terrorism”.

Rule # 7: When you say “Hezbollah”, always be sure to add “supported by Syria and Iran”. this is called: “Axis of Evil”

Rule # 8: When you say “Israel”, never say “supported by the USA, the UK and other European countries”, for people (God forbid) might believe this is not an equal conflict. This is called “Helping our Friends”

Rule # 9: When it comes to Israel, don’t mention the words “occupied territories”, “UN resolutions”, “Geneva conventions”. This could distress the audience and is called “Anti-Semitism”.

Rule # 10: Israelis speak better English than Arabs. This is why we let them speak out as much as possible, so that they can explain rules1 through 9. This is called “Neutral Journalism”.

Rule # 11: If you don’t agree with these rules or if you favor the Arab side over the Israeli side, you must be a very dangerous anti-Semite. You may even have to make a public apology if you express your honest opinion like Mel Gibson. this is called “Democracy”.

A PALESTINIAN’S VIEW ~~~ CAN ZIONISM BE COMPARED TO NAZISM

‘Life Prevails’ by the late Ismael Shammout

I have written a number of essays recently comparing events in occupied Palestine to events that took place in Eastern European countries that were occupied by the nazis.
The zionists cannot see the similarities, they condemn anyone that can. At the same time they never deny those similarities… they ignore them.
People living and suffering as a result of this brutality cannot ignore it, neither can any justice loving person that is aware of the situation. Mary Rizzo presented the following essay on her blog as part of a series. I present it here to give you a Palestinian’s view of the situation.

Zionism must be Dissolved for Peace
By Khalid Amayreh (Al-Khalil, occupied Palestine)

As a Palestinian who has been living under the yoke of Israeli military occupation for over 39 years and who lost three innocent uncles to the occupation’s bullets, I should have no problems comparing Israel with Nazi Germany.

It is true that Israel has not introduced gas chambers into Palestinian towns and villages. However, Israel has been killing and tormenting Palestinians non-stop in a variety of ways which, in their brutality and sheer evil, don’t really differ in substance from Nazi behaviour.

Moreover, it is paramount to remember that the German holocaust didn’t start with Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, but rather with an idea, with a book and with a Kristalnacht, the sort of things that are so rampant in Israel’s collective thinking these days as the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift toward religious and jingoistic fascism.

This is not liberal Zionism giving way to religious Zionism as some pro-Israeli apologists would argue. There is no such a thing as liberal Zionism or democratic Zionism. These are contradictions in terms.

Zionism, we are told, is about “building a national homeland for the Jews.” However, for millions of its victims, Zionism is about the extirpation, expulsion and dispersion of the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland to the four corners of the world by way of organised terror and violence. This is the ugly side of Zionism that much of the West doesn’t want to see.

Indeed, from the very inception, Zionism viewed Palestine as a land without a people for a people without a land. This arrogant denial of my people’s very existence didn’t originate in ignorance of reality. It was rather an expression of virulent and violent racism, very much like those white European barbarians who exterminated six million native American Indians and called the genocide “Manifest Destiny.”

The Zionists did know that Palestine was populated by hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims. In 1898, a Zionist delegation visiting Palestine to assess the feasibility of making it a Jewish State, sent a pithy telegram summing up the situation. “The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man.” Yet, the Zionist movement insisted with unflinching determination on wresting the bride from her lawful husband.

That was a sheer act of rape, it still is an act of rape and will always be an act of rape, no matter how much the mythmakers are celebrated and their myths are glorified.

In fact, despite the passage of fifty years of “Jewish Statehood,” Israel’s undeclared but ultimate goal remains the expulsion of most or all of Palestinians from the area extending from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.

Indeed, any casual observer of the Israeli media these days will be affronted, nearly on a daily basis, by remarks and statements by Israeli officials, including Knesset members and cabinet ministers, calling for “transferring” the Palestinians, not only from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, but also from Israel proper.

“Transfer” is not an innocent term. It is no less than a euphemism for genocide, at least a partial genocide, since it is almost impossible to effect the wholesale removal and ethnic cleansing of millions of people from their motherland without resorting to mass murder and mass terror.

Well, was not this the method used quite liberally by the legions of Zionism to force the bulk of the Palestinian people to flee their hometowns and villages in 1948? Didn’t Menachem Begin, in his book The Revolt refer to the Deir Yassin Massacre as a miracle because it made hundreds of thousands of terror-stricken Palestinians flee in fear.

It is imperative that we call the spade a spade, especially when in the hands of our gravediggers. The Zionists are comparable to Nazis because their actions and behaviour are comparable and similar to Nazi actions and behaviour.

For as the Nazis sought to obliterate Jews as a people, the Zionists have been seeking to obliterate the Palestinians as a people. This is more than Golda Meir saying dismissively “what Palestinians?” or some Israeli officials referring to us contemptuously as “Never-landers.” The systematic destruction of some 460 Palestinian towns and villages by Israel (1948-52) was a Nazi act of the highest order. It embodied total disregard and total denial of “the other” on no ground other than the victims being non-Jewish. (The relics of some of these towns can still be seen even today and are meticulously documented in Walid Khalidi’s monumental work All That Remains).

Unfortunately, this modus operandi of hateful racism and terror remains Israel’s central policy toward the Palestinian people. There is no clearer proof of Israel’s malicious intent than the intensive building of hundreds of Jewish-only settlements on occupied land. Yes, everything here is “Jewish-only.” Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only roads, Jewish-only pools, even Jewish-only rights, since non-Jews are viewed by a growing segment of Israeli Jews as children of a lesser God or even outright animals.

And now we have this evil gigantic wall whose stated goal is to prevent Palestinian guerrillas from infiltrating into Israel whereas its real purpose is to carve and steal as much Palestinian land as possible.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in Hague ruled that the Wall was illegal and ought to be dismantled. However, Israel, backed by its guardian-ally, the United States, arrogantly defied the ruling and implicitly accused the court and its judges of anti-Semitism.

In addition to the settlements, inhabited by the most violent and racist-minded Jews anywhere in the world, Israel has always sought to make Palestinian lives so unbearable in order to coerce them to emigrate.

To effect this evil goal, successive Israeli governments (Labor and Likud alike) employed every conceivable legal trick, including the introduction of dual justice systems, a liberal one for Jews and a harsh one for non-Jews.

One expression of this judicial apartheid is the open-ended incarceration of thousands of Palestinian activists, students, professionals and college professors as well as politicians, including lawmakers and cabinet ministers, without charge or trial. (Since 1967, Israel has arrested over 800,000 Palestinians).

When the notoriously insidious system of institutionalised repression failed to make significant numbers of Palestinians emigrate, Israel resorted to brazen physical harm in the form of terrorising and killing the Palestinians at the slightest “provocation”, very much like Hitler’s forces did throughout Nazi-occupied Europe more than sixty years ago.

Needless to say, Israeli “pacification” raids and incursions would leave many children and women killed, homes destroyed, farms pulverized, furniture vandalized and roads and infrastructures thoroughly bulldozed. In short, everything, every conceivable crime is committed by this Nazi-like entity, all under the rubric of fighting terror. And then much of the Western media would just parrot the Israeli narrative as if the Israeli army spokesmen were the paragons of veracity and honesty.

In the final analysis, when Jews (or anybody else) behave like Nazis, they should be compared to Nazis. Indeed, a country that sends its F-16 fighter-bombers to drop one-tonne bombs on apartment buildings in the middle of the night, where children and women are asleep, is not morally that far from the Gestapo mentality.

Moreover, an army whose soldiers blithely and gleefully murder children on their way to school and then verify the killing by emptying twenty more bullets into the child’s head, as happened with Iman al Hamas in Rafah nearly three years ago, and then the soldier is exonerated and given financial compensation, is not really an army of professional soldiers, but an army of thugs, gangsters and common criminals. It is an army that differs very little from the Wehrmacht.

Yes, Palestinian suicide bombers carried out attacks against Israeli civilians and killed scores of innocent Israelis, often in retaliation for the killing of Palestinian children by the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers. I totally and unhesitatingly condemn these suicidal crimes against innocent Israelis.

Nonetheless, Israel can’t push the Palestinians to the edge of physical extermination and national demise and at the same time shout “Hamas, terror, suicide bombings.”

The American poet Auden wrote:

I and the public know,
What all school children learn,
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return.

Indeed, what would any people do after 59 years of Nazi-like oppression that transcends reality? What would any people do when forced to choose between death at the Jewish slaughterhouse and death as suicide bombers?

Israel claims it doesn’t kill Palestinian children and civilian deliberately. This is a cardinal lie. Mistakes happen once, twice, ten times. But when the killing of civilians happens nearly on a daily basis, it means it is policy. In the final analysis, killing knowingly is killing deliberately.

Today, Israel, like the Gestapo did to the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto, is barring millions of Palestinians from accessing food and work. In Gaza, Israel, under the pretext of freeing a captured Israeli soldier, has bombed or destroyed the bulk of civilian infrastructure there, including schools, colleges, streets, bridges, charities as well as thousands of homes. Israel has also destroyed the only power station in Gaza, forcing 1.4 million Gazans to live in total or partial darkness.

This is the same Israel whose army has just destroyed much of Lebanon and dropped 1.5 million cluster bombs throughout southern Lebanon.Well, 1.5 million bombs can kill at least 1.5 million children.

I know that pro-Israeli apologists, including some who claim to be followers of the lofty leftist traditions of standing up against oppression, are tempted to create a certain moral symmetry between Israel and the Palestinians.

But, in all honesty, one might ask what symmetry is there between the rapist and his victim, between the occupier and the occupied, between the armed fanatical settler and the terrified Palestinian peasant who has to rely on Western peace volunteers for protection from settler vandalism and savagery?

Is there hope for a peaceful solution to this enduring bitter conflict? Certainly there is, and it lies in dismantling Zionism and the creation of a unitary, civic and democratic State in Palestine-Israel whereby Jews and Arabs live equally as citizens as many Jews and Arabs are living in Europe today.

I say Zionism ought to be dissolved because the concept of “Jewish State” necessarily implies intrinsic racism against non-Jews.

Fortunately, there are Jews of conscience and good will who would agree with this solution. These are our natural partners for peace.

The situation is not hopeless… as seen on THIS CNN video. These are just a few of the ‘Jews of conscience’ as mentioned in the essay.

PALESTINIANS IN ISRAEL DENOUNCE FASCISM

As the day approaches for the swearing in of Herr Lieberman, Palestinian legislators and activists in Israel had the following thoughts…

This is an excerp from the Ynet site.

Arabs launch protest against Lieberman joining coalition

Roee Nahmias Published: 10.28.06, 18:56

The Arab sector in Israel is concerned about Lieberman joining the cabinet. Members of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee of Israel agreed in a meeting in Nazareth Saturday to fight Israel Our Home’s addition to the coalition.

Those attending the meeting agreed to hold a demonstration across from the Knesset on Monday In addition, it was agreed that the Arab parties will hold activities in the coming weeks warning against “the danger of adding Lieberman to the cabinet.”

Higher Arab Monitoring Committee Chairman Shawki Khatib has spoken out against Lieberman’s addition to the coalition in the past few days.

“The inclusion of Avigdor Lieberman to the coalition has a black flag waiving above it. There is no better time ‘to celebrate’ this foolish act than the 50th anniversary of the massacre in Kfar Kassem. Lieberman’s inclusion is a message of ostracization to more than one million citizens of the State.

“The touch of racism and the expulsion of Arabs must be nipped in the bud. The day that Lieberman will be sworn in as a cabinet minister will be a black day for the State of Israel, and it will legitimize racism, fascism, and the expulsion of Arabs, which will be put at the center of Israeli policy.

“This puts all of our futures and democracy in danger. We call all the Members of Knesset to reject this step. We call to all proponents of peace, democracy, and equality, to all those to whom the future of the peoples is important, to stand up and protest in order to prevent this dangerous move,” wrote Khatib in an announcement published this weekend.

This is one of the most serious crisis Israel has ever found itself in. It is not reversable and must be if democracy is ever to exist in this country. All progressive minded Israelis must protest the entry of these fascists to the government. All progressive minded people throughout the world must do the same. LETS HAVE A REAL LOBBY FOR ISRAEL.. A LOBBY THAT GUARANTEES THE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!

JUST WHO IS THIS HERR LIEBERMAN??

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… so all I will do here is present a picture of Lieberman…. you can tell allot just by looking at his hate filled face..

Sheesh…. I downloaded the wrong nazi… this is the butcher and his mentor…. Sorry…

Ooops… wrong nazi again… this is Herr Kahana…Grand Dragon of Judeo-nazism


Ahhhhhhhhh…. finally the right nazi..
but… come to think of it, I can see why I kept making mistakes…. they all look so similar… don’t they?

Click HERE to get a choice of 13 videos… showing the life in Palestine on an average day….. 13 videos filled with the horrors of occupation….if you really want to see what life is like on the ‘other side of the wall’ watch them. This is the lifestyle the likes of Lieberman has given to our brothers and sisters. Damn him!

THREAT TO OLIVE HARVEST… THANKS TO HERR LIEBERMAN


Olive Tree by the late Ismael Shammout

With the prospect of Palestinians having one of the most successful olive harvests in recent years, the Israelis had to think quickly how to prevent this. A good crop equals good money in the pockets of the Palestinian farmers that grow the olives and good money to the merchants that process and sell them.
An occupied nation with food on its tables is not what the occupier wants. Starvation and want are two key ingredients for a successful occupation. Lieberman’s entrance into the government is a guarantee that this will happen. As the Jews in the European ghettos starved under the nazi rule… so will the Palestinians under Herr Lieberman’s rule.
And as always….. the western world sits back and watches it on TV in between episodes of the Bold and the Beautiful…..
HaAretz just published this report on the situation… an overall picture, not just of the olive harvest.

So much for another kind of olive harvest

By Akiva Eldar

Who remembers nowadays that Amir Peretz made dismantling illegal outposts a condition for Yisrael Beiteinu joining the government – with the agreement of the knight of law and order, Avigdor Lieberman? What became of Peretz’s vows to reexamine the separation fence route designed by a settler who the attorney general admits misled the High Court? Anyone interested in the fate of Palestinian olive grove owners will discover that, as far as they are concerned, Lieberman can move right into the Defense Minister’s Office.

Peretz’s celebratory promises that this year’s olive harvest would be different than those of past years are shattered daily at Israel Defense Forces checkpoints. Even the High Court injunction to permit farmers to work their land makes no impression on security forces.

Members of the Yesh Din-Volunteers for Human Rights organization, who go out to the field every day, reported yesterday that the IDF had completely blocked access to groves in five West Bank villages. The IDF prevents farmers in three villages from entering their land on the west side of the separation fence. Another six villages were informed their lands had been closed or seized by the military. In at least one case, farmers were thrown off their land without being presented any orders at all. Farmers in 10 villages were ordered to harvest olives on specific dates and seek advance permission from security officials before entering their land.

According to the IDF spokesman, these orders were intended only to assure that farmers would coordinate their efforts with the IDF, and only dealt with the minimal tracts of land permitted in the High Court ruling. One brief hour after the spokesman responded, four thugs from Havat Gilead attacked olive harvesters from the village of Farata. None of the perpetrators were detained.

Peretz missed the opportunity to demand that, in return for Lieberman joining the government, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert grant a smidgeon of his promise to discuss the Syrian president’s threats to make peace – not to mention the Arab peace initiative. Peretz’s right to exist in the Defense Ministry rests on his (for now) determined stand on the Gaza Strip. Peretz remains the only solid obstacle preventing IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz from reoccupying it. One can readily find a hint of this in his statements this week regarding his lack of desire to grapple with a hypothetical dysentery outbreak in Gaza.

Someone apparently told Peretz that Halutz’s southern adventure would lead to the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and grant responsibility for 1.3 million Palestinians to Israel. The Defense Ministry knows the statistics. Military administration in the territories would cost the Israeli taxpayer at least NIS 1 billion per month.

Peretz’s ability to restrain Halutz will depend on the number of Qassam rockets that fall on the defense minister’s hometown, Sderot, over the next few days. The number of Qassam missiles is directly connected to the number of Palestinians killed in IDF attacks.

Empowering Abbas

Amid the chaos that grips the territories, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has almost no influence on developing events. Olmert says Abbas is weak. Olmert is the only man in the world who can empower him. He can do this by handing the chairman – and only the chairman – thousands of aging, female and young prisoners. Tens of thousands of the prisoners’ relatives will impose a siege on Hamas offices in Gaza until Khaled Meshal orders Gilad Shalit returned home.

But Abbas concluded long ago that salvation would not come from Olmert. His most recent meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush convinced him that as long as Hamas is in power, America is lost to him. Even if Haniyeh sings “Hatikva,” Israel’s national anthem, in Rabin Square, the U.S. will cover its ears. The latest draft on a unity government that Hamas delivered to Qatar failed to receive even one line of international press, not to mention Israeli media notice.

Hamas failed, once again, to pronounce the word “Israel,” or declare (of course), “We recognize the State of Israel.” On the other hand, the document includes recognition of international law and a commitment to honor all agreements signed by the PA and Fatah, while demanding the rights and interests of the Palestinian people be guaranteed. Hamas also promises to employ legitimate means in the battle for ensuring Palestinian rights and ending the occupation. They differentiate these means from terror (some interpret this as a reference to Israeli terror). The document declares that the goal is bringing about the creation of a Palestinian state within territories occupied in 1967.

Yesterday, a baseless rumor was circulating that after the end of the Id al-Fitr holiday, the chairman would disband the government and announce the establishment of a temporary, technocrat government until the next elections. In these elections, parties that wish to run would be required to recognize previous agreements, including recognition of Israel, and denounce terror before the polls are opened. Just in case Hamas fails to accept these terms happily, the Americans have equipped Abbas’ Presidential Guard with their finest weapons and a lot of greenbacks.

The honor of the court

Piercing statements by Attorney Orit Koren, who is responsible for High Court appeals in the State Prosecutor’s Office, left no room for doubt. This violation of court orders is an extraordinary act that deserves an aggressive response.

“There is no need to describe the gravity of these acts committed in defiance of an interim order handed down by the honorable court,” wrote Koren regarding the behavior of the construction company.

She added that defiance of the order to cease building took place with no permit and contrary to the legal plan. If that is not enough, work to open the road at a building site in the Matityahu Mizrach settlement contradicts the plan created to rectify the original violation. The road crossed through two lots earmarked for residential units and another lot designated as open public space.

After all these harsh statements, one might assume the state prosecutor has decided to join Peace Now in requesting an immediate injunction to stop construction, return things to their former state and take action regarding this apparent contempt of court. Right? Not at all.

“Despite these statements, in light of humanitarian circumstances that have developed,” the prosecution writes, “there is reason to permit aspects of the plan to be completed over an interim period, ‘temporary preparations’ of the road.”

Koren explains that blocking public vehicles from using the only access route to the Heftziba Company’s housing complex will injure 80 needy (ultra-Orthodox) families that rely on public transportation to reach shopping centers and services in the veteran community of Modi’in Elite. One wonders if the sympathetic prosecutor would have shown the same consideration if Palestinians had built hundreds of residential units on Jewish land without permits and later defied a court order to stop construction.

Michael Sfard, the attorney for Peace Now who has been involved in settlement issues for years, says the prosecutor’s position is evidence that systematic tolerance of law violations is not the sole domain of settlers and politicians. Sfard warns that the prosecutor’s statements will be broadly quoted by those who build illegal outposts and annex land in the West Bank. He doubts the High Court has the authority to authorize a breach of law, as the prosecution requests.

Every request granted

Thousands of Palestinian families spent their holidays far from their parents and children. According to data from the statistics department of the PA Ministry of Prisoners Affairs, last June about 10,100 Palestinian prisoners, including 335 minors and 104 women, were being held in Israeli incarceration facilities and prisons. Some 369 prisoners have been held for more than 12 years. In other words, they were imprisoned before the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the PA, and were not released after the Oslo Accords. Of these veteran prisoners, 45 have been held for more than 20 years, and seven of the 45 have been held for more than 25 years.

Most of the prisoners – 55 percent – were never tried or convicted. They might actually be considered kidnapped. Attorney Amit Gurewitz spent two days in military court at the Ofer military base. In the last issue of the journal “Hapraklitim,” (Prosecutors), published by the Tel Aviv Attorneys Association, he described how a state of law sends people to jail. Hundreds were detained on the same day. Every request to prosecute was granted. Not a single arrest failed to be extended.

Prisoners are led in groups of five to the cabin where the judge sits. Defendant Morad Yousef was detained half a year ago because he was suspected of throwing rocks in 2001. The prosecution has still not had the time to prepare an indictment. His attorney does not have firsthand knowledge of his “classified” case. The judge is also reading the case for the first time.

His attorney says, “He was not arrested immediately after incrimination. Thus, he is not dangerous and should be released.”

The judge does not respond. He tells the prosecution, “I examined the investigation and found the basis of evidence at this point.”

Next case: Rafat Salem Okat. The judge: “Just a minute, I will read the file … The prosecution may have difficulty supporting each risk separately but the entirety reveals a clear picture.” The attorney: “This is a classic case for dismissal.” The prosecution: “Risk of danger, risk of flight.” The judge extends the remand by another eight days. In another case the judge decides, “Because a problem makes it difficult to examine the defense attorney’s claims, the defendant will remain in custody until the resumption of the hearing.”

“It is possible to discuss the security situation and the justice of arrests,” writes Gurewitz, “But it is difficult and shameful to cloak this in the pretense of a ‘trial.'”

ZIONISTS HAVE GONE OFF THE DEEP END IN BRITAIN

Thanks to Mark Elf at Jews sans Frontiers for bringing this to my attention….
A British Muslim group has just been accused of being anti-Semitic for printing an article of mine. The accuser is ENGAGE, Britain’s ‘official’ exposer of anti-Semitism.

THIS article.. which links to THIS article on MPAPUK’s site (MPACUK is the UK’s Leading Muslim civil liberties group, empowering Muslims to focus on non-violent Jihad and political activism).
I am speechless at both their chutzpah and ignorance.
Check it out for yourselves… see what I mean about them going off the ‘deep end’.
All I can say is… IF THE SANDAL FITS, WEAR IT!

The following was posted by Mark on his blog….
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
A Jew controls MPACUK
This is terrible! I just took a peek at the zionist smearsite, Engage, and they have a post accusing the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK of antisemitism. I know it’s no big deal to be accused of antisemitism by Engage but this time they are accusing them of antisemitism over a post that likens the zionists’ wall to the Warsaw Ghetto. See this:
If we posted every time MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, wrote something ignorant and offensive about Jews or about Israel then Engage would be full of MPAC stories. But here’s a taste for you:

“Zionists get very defensive when a comparrison is made to the present situation in Occupied Palestine to that of the Jews living under nazi occupation. In that light, I will not add any commentary here, except to ask one question…. CAN YOU SEE THE SIMILARITIES???”

Read the rest here on the MPAC website.

Perhaps MPAC ought to read Anthony Julius’ piece on the history of the blood libel. It is a very old theme. It is the Nazi regime that murdered literally millions of Jewish children. And MPAC is accusing the “Zionists” of doing the same.
Ok, did you follow the link? Did you see where MPAC got their post from? They got it from Desert Peace, an anti-zionist blogs run by a Jewish blogger based in Jerusalem. The MPAC piece makes this abundantly clear. Our intrepid watchdogs against antisemitism are so good at seeing antisemitism where it isn’t and yet they didn’t see this link at the end of the piece they are so keen to use to accuse this Muslim group of antisemitism:
Source: desertpeace.blogspot.com
Now why didn’t they level their tiresome false allegation at this Jewish chap based in Jerusalem? Surely they weren’t concerned for their credibility; they have none. I just don’t understand why this zionist site would pick on Muslims for running a post from a Jew’s site. Perhaps Alf Green from Engage could pay us a visit to enlighten us.
Thanks Mark…

ISLAM AND THE WEST

Image by the late Ismael Shammout
Islam is not a new religion…. it’s been around quite awhile. Perhaps not as long as Judaism or Christianity…. but long enough to be considered one of the ‘top three’, especially since it has over one and a half billion followers.
Still… due to ignorance it is relegated to the same framwork as many of the new cults that pop up in our societies every other day or so.
Islam is not a cult… it is very real but very misunderstood.
HaAretz (to my surprise) just published the following article about what it might be like to be a Muslim living in the West… it’s definitely worth reading.

Targeting Muslims – the new Inquisition By Bradley Burston

Were I a Muslim living in the West, I’d be mad as hell. Not to mention terrified.

Were I a Muslim living in the West, I’d begin to believe that a new Inquisition had begun. An inquisition aimed at no one but Muslims.

Were I a Muslim living in the West, my wife, or my sister, or my daughter might well decide to wear a headscarf or a veil when she went out in public.

Perhaps it would be because she was tired of men and boys ogling her, objectifying her. Perhaps it would be because she felt she was entitled to her dignity. Perhaps she simply might prefer modesty and privacy to fashion slavery.

Perhaps she just thought it was a free country.

And perhaps, on that last point, she would have been mistaken.

For years, and especially since 9/11, law-abiding Muslims have been verbally and physically attacked across North America and Europe. They are scorned for their faith, shunned for their piety, falsely condemned for dual-loyalty, blamed for the crimes of terrorists they abhor.

Of late, however, there has been a disturbing new trend, particularly in Europe, where cabinet ministers and influential lawmakers have increasingly made it their mission to combat, of all things, the head scarf and veil worn by growing numbers of Muslim women and girls.

In Germany, the states of Baden-Wurttenberg and Bavaria recently introduced legislation to outlaw the wearing of head scarves in schools.

Bavarian Education Monika Hohlmeier said the head scarf was increasingly being used as a political symbol. To the understandable ire of Muslims, Hohlmeier went on to say that it was acceptable to wear Christian crosses or Jewish symbols.

In Spain, home to the original Inquisition, Minister for Social Affairs Juan Carlos Aparicio was quoted as having said that the Muslim veil was “not a religious sign but a form of discrimination against women,” and having compared it to genital mutilation.

In Britain, the government minister for race and faith relations, Phil Woolas, was quoted this week as demanding that Muslim teaching assistant Aisha Azmi, 24, who refused to remove her veil at work, be fired for that reason.

“She should be sacked,” Woolas was quoted as telling the Sunday Mirror. “She has put herself in a position where she can’t do her job.”

Azmi worked at the Headfield Church of England junior school in Dewsbury, which took pains to state that her suspension had nothing to do with religion.

The scarf issue had already taken center stage when former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, now an MP and Leader of the House of Commons, voiced public objections to the wearing of the niqab, a full-face veil, at face-to-face meetings with his constituents.

The national debate has since widened, with David Davis, a top Conservative Party official, taking the anti-veil stance to a new level.

”What Jack touched on was the fundamental issue of whether in Britain we are developing a divided society,” Davis said. ”Whether we are inadvertently encouraging a kind of voluntary apartheid.”

The anti-veil arguments dovetail with a parallel campaign, which takes as its premise the concept that Islam itself renders its adherents incapable of integrating into Western societies.

“If you are going to have Islamic schools, the question is whether they are going to embrace Western values,” Patrick Sookhdeo, a Pakistan-born Anglican priest in England who converted from Islam, told the New York Times this month.

“I would argue that Islamic values are not compatible with Western values,” he said.

And what Western values might these be? Are they the time-honored Western values of intolerance for people of color, suspicion and marginalization of non-Christians, fear and loathing of non-Whites? Exploitation of and contempt for the residents of former imperial possessions and colonies?

At this point, there will be a pause for the springloaded Islamophobes among us to suggest that it is any society’s right and duty to protect itself against elements that may foment terrorism. There will be those who will argue that the veil may both mask and encourage extremism.

Perhaps it is time for us in the Western world to declare that Islam has a right to exist.

Perhaps it is time for us to recognize that non-violent, non-Judeo-Christian religious observance is a right, not an act of war.

Scarves don’t explode. Veils do not kill. The niqab does not incite.

It takes courage to wear the veil in the West. Certainly, no one should be forced to wear it against her will. But those who do so voluntarily, have chosen to brave ridicule, and perhaps to risk their own livelihood. They have made a choice for self-respect, in the face of all that is vacuous in contemporary Western civilization, where the worship of the superficial has taken on the potency and universality of a state religion.

We in the West have allowed the veil to become the symbol of all that we do not know and do not trust about Islam.

In the Age of Paris Hilton, however, the West desperately needs women who devote themselves to serious pursuits, to the betterment of society, women who believe that self-esteem and dignity are worthy values. If they choose to wear a veil, and we take offense, that is wholly our problem. We have no business making it theirs.

APARTHEID WALLS….THEN AND NOW

This is the second installment of my ‘Then and now series’… an attempt for us to learn from historical facts and not repeat the blunders of the past.
Hatred is not a new concept… but it has survived the ages. That is not an indication that it is here to stay… it must be fought against and eliminated.
When hatred is expressed by the very people that were themselves hated, it is even worse. These people should know better and be in the forefront of the battle against it.
Below is a collection of photos and cartoons… of the walls at the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, built by the nazis… and of the Apartheid wall separating Israel from Palestine…inspired by the nazis.
Just as the walls of Jericho ‘came tumbling down’, so will this one… and both our peoples will be free.
To take a ‘virtual tour of the Warsaw Ghetto click THIS.
For updates on the apartheid wall click HERE.
To see and hear a beautiful song in Hebrew and Arabic that was posted by Chet, click HERE…. it truly shows that there is hope…

CHILD LABOUR…..THEN AND NOW

Zionists get very defensive when a comparrison is made to the present situation in Occupied Palestine to that of the Jews living under nazi occupation. In that light, I will not add any commentary here, except to ask one question…. CAN YOU SEE THE SIMILARITIES???

The following is taken from THIS report on the holocaust…
Children and adult prisoners
Children under the age of around 12 were generally deemed unfit for work and were therefore immediately taken to the gas chambers. However, death may have been preferable because those who were allowed to work were treated with equal contempt by the SS.

Upon having their prisoner ID tattooed on them, the children were sent to work in either a factory, quarry, or some other strenuous and monotonous place of work. Their shifts lasted from 10 to 14 hours. After the day’s work was finished, the children were subjected to incredibly long roll calls, during which some even died. This routine continued for what could be months until the prisoners were either sent to the gas chambers or died from malnourishment or exhaustion.

Between the time of registration into the camp and death, prisoners were subjected to a number of demeaning and torturous ordeals. Prisoners were often beaten, whipped, or hung from beams with their hands behind them. This ordeal was done with their feet just inches from the ground. Prisoners were also regularly shot so that the SS could maintain a feeling of control.

These dreadful ordeals combined to create a genuinely miserable experience within the camps. As a result, many inmates embraced or welcomed death.

The following is taken from THIS report on Israeli prisons.Thanks to Sabbah for originally posting this segment.
Forced labor for Palestinian children in Israeli prison

Many Palestinian children in Israeli Telmond Prison are being exploited by “forced labor in which they must work eight hours for a few shekels,” as reported by the Prisoners Information Center.

One of the children made a statement after his release. “The prison administration has forced all prisoners in Telmond Prison to work eight hours for very low wages.” He went on to say, “The Israeli soldiers come to the chambers at seven and force us to go with our legs tied with chains.” The child added that his job was to stand under guard and pack plastic spoons in boxes.

Even injured political prisoners are forced to work, according to Friday’s Nablus-based report. A former prisoner stated, “I had a broken bone but the soldiers forced me out of my cell to work anyway, without any consideration for the pain.”

There are approximately 375 Palestinians in Telmond Prison, with most of them being children. The oldest Palestinian in Telmond is 22 years old. The child laborers are given two meals per 24 hours, one at 11:00 pm and another at 6:00 am.

Israeli prison officials also attempt to extract information from children regarding members of the armed resistance and engage in frequent psychological abuse

According to the Information Center there are 200 children less than 16 years old in Israeli prisons begin subjected to some of the worst forms of exploitation and humiliation. A total of 376 Palestinian children are currently imprisoned in Israeli prisons and detention camps.

EID-EL-FITR MUBARAK


The Glorious Holy Month of Ramadan is coming to an end… ushering in the wonderful feast days of Eid-el-Fitr. A time for joyous celebrations with families, a time to feel completely renewed and refreshed.
That’s how it’s spelled out in the books…
Unfortunately in Palestine the book is written differently… families are divided, family members are denied entry to join in the celebrations, families are mourning their loved ones killed by Israeli forces.
It’s time for all to celebrate! It’s time for all families to be together!
Damn those that won’t let this be!!
Let us hope that soon the situation will be different and we can all be together… secure in our own Homeland…. secure with a Right of Return… and THE RIGHT TO STAY!
In the meantime…. EL-EID-MUBARAK!!! Make the best of it and try to enjoy.
Never give up the dream and hope that all will be good one day… Click HERE for some wonderful inspiration from the Beatles.

UNDERSTANDING WILL LEAD TO PEACE

I have always believed that understanding leads to compassion, compassion leads to love, and love ultimately leads to peace.
There are over 1.4 billion Muslims in the world today. What do we know about them? What do we know about their beliefs?
Too many of us collectively condemn the entire Islamic community because of ignorance,because of the the actions of a handful.
There are ‘bad seeds’ in every nation… the Christans had their nazis, the Jews had their kahanas, Islam has its terrorists. Yes… Islam has it’s terrorists… you read me right. BUT… are all Muslims terrorists? Are most Muslims terrorists?? NO!
They are people like anyone else with a belief system similar to the Judeo-Christian communities in the world.
Not all Christians were nazis… again, just a handful were… same with the Jews… less than a handful follow the ideals of the judeo nazi movements.So why the enormous anomosity towards Islam? Ignorance is the answer… Ignorance which leads to fear and hatred.
Take the time (4 1/2 minutes) to see what I am talking about.
Open up your hearts and your minds to these people. The results will be worth every minute… the results will lead to PEACE!
Thanks to Chet for posting this on his Blog…
Please watch the video ‘WHAT DOES ISLAM REALLY TEACH?’ HERE.

ABBAS AT THE CROSSROADS

The Israeli press is definitely not the best place to get reliable updates on the situation/crisis in the Palestinian Authority…. but surprisingly I found this following article on HaAretz’s site a few minutes ago. It appears to be factual and hopefully might answer some questions that people have about where Abbas is and why… In the meantime, the only victors in the present crisis are the Israelis… unity can lead to recognition… recognition can lead to statehood.

Here is the article…

Fighting on two fronts, Abbas is at a crossroads

By Danny Rubinstein

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has reached one of the most important crossroads in his life. On Monday, he found himself in a bitter struggle with the head of the opposition in Fatah, Farouk Kaddoumi, and two of his supporters during the preparations for a meeting of the movement’s central committee in Amman.

Abbas did not get the support he expected from his colleagues on the committee. The situation was so bad that the gathering was canceled – though officially, it was merely postponed for a week.

Aides to Abbas suspect that Kaddoumi is cooperating with Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, who is based in Damascus, and that the two are making a bid to take over the Palestine Liberation Organization and move the Palestinian leadership out of the territories.

Thus Abbas now finds himself embroiled in infighting and tension not only with Hamas, but also inside his own movement. And those who are supposed to back him up – the United States, the Quartet, the Arab states and Israel – consider him to be a weak leader who makes a lot of mistakes.

Under any other circumstances, Abbas would have resigned his post. But now, his aides maintain, this possibility does not exist, since it would mean relinquishing all power in the Palestinian Authority to Hamas. His associates say that as a leader with a sense of national responsibility, he cannot quit.

The current crisis began over the simple question of who would head the Fatah Central Committee session. Following Yasser Arafat’s death, it was decided that Kaddoumi would be Fatah’s secretary-general, and during a previous session in Amman, three months ago, Abbas agreed that Kaddoumi could run the meetings. But that angered people close to Abbas, who demanded that he not give in this time.

This is about a lot more than protocol. It is about a bitter struggle for power: Kaddoumi and two other members of the central committee, Ahmed Ghnayem and Mohammad Jihad, are veteran opponents of the peace process and the Oslo Accords, and refuse to come to the territories.

Abbas had asked Kaddoumi and his two colleagues to return, at least to the Gaza Strip, which Israel evacuated. However, they have refused, arguing that the Israeli occupation of Gaza is still not over.

Moreover, Abbas was informed that Kaddoumi had visited Damascus and met there with Meshal about how to include Hamas in the PLO and what positions Hamas leaders would receive in the Palestinian national leadership.

Both Kaddoumi and Meshal believe that the Palestinian leadership should not be based in the territories, since there, it is at Israel’s mercy. Abbas and his supporters maintain that the leadership in the territories enjoys more freedom of action than has been granted to Palestinian politicians by the Syrian regime in Damascus.

One serious problem for Abbas is that veteran members of the Fatah Central Committee do not fully support him. Some clashed with him during the period when there was friction between him and Arafat; others have personal gripes against him.

In an effort to counter this problem, Abbas developed ties with younger members, such as Mohammad Dahlan and Jibril Rajoub, and he is pressing to add 21 younger members to the central committee, whose 15 current members are in their seventies and refuse to allow any changes.

This mess is having a negative effect on Abbas’ ability to deal with both the Hamas government in Gaza and the Hamas leadership in Damascus. Despite backing from Jordan and Egypt, Abbas has been unable to convince Hamas even to accept the Arab peace initiative, which calls for recognition of Israel in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 lines. The question now is whether Abbas has the strength to announce the dissolution of the Hamas government, thereby risking the possibility of civil war.

A NIGHT OF CONTRASTS~~~~~BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

Oh well…. I guess I will be called an anti-Semite for pointing the truth out to you…surely won’t be the first time… and definitely not the last. But… there is no way in hell that I will keep these feelings to myself… they must be heard and something must be done about the situation… it cannot continue… or we won’t…simple as that!

Last night Jews throughout Israel celebrated the end of the Holiday season. There was, as we say in Yiddish…Tantzen in der gassen… Dancing in the streets.
As should be! Celebrating the Law, the Torah…. The Book that teaches us to love, to be compassionate, to treat all as we would ourselves. Truly a Book worth celebrating…
Here are a few photos from last nights celebrations… you can feel the joy of these people …

BUT…. on the other side of the wall, on the same night… every Judeo-Christian ethic known to man was violated. Instead of celebrating, these people were mourning. Burying loved ones murdered by those that should have been celebrating life and love. Instead they were practicing death and hatred…you can feel the pain of these people…


Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of some of those killed by Israeli missile strike


Palestinians inspecting a destroyed car after an IAF air strike in Gaza on Saturday. (Reuters)


funeral of child


Israeli attacks cause overnight carnage in Gaza Strip;
seven dead, dozens injured

In my youth… one of our favourite campfire songs was this one written by Pete Seeger. It’s so sad that not everybody loves Saturday night these days…. but here’s hoping that they will… one day real soon!

Everybody Loves Saturday Night

Everybody Loves Saturday Night

Everybody Loves Saturday Night
Ev’rybody loves Saturday night.
Ev’rybody loves saturday night.
Ev’rybody, ev’rybody, ev’rybody. ev’rybody,
Ev’rybody loves Saturday night.

(Nigeria:)
Bobo waro fero Satodeh,
Bobo waro fero satodeh,
Bobowaro, bobowaro, bobowaro, bobowaro,
Bobowaro fero Satodeh.

(France:)
Tout le monde aime Samedi soir.

(China:)
Ren ten si huan li pai lu.

(Russia:)
Vsiem nravitsa sabbota vietcheram.

(Czechoslovakia:)
Razhdi ma rad sabotu vietcher.

(Spanish:)
A todos les gusta la noche del Sabado.

(Yiddish:)
Jeder eyne hot lieb Shabas ba nacht.

(Italian:)
Tutti ama Sabato sera.

(German:)
Eider man hat dem Samstag abend.

(Portugese:)
Todas gostan dos Sabados noite.

(Danish:)
Alle elsker Lordag asften.

(Norwegian:)
Alle elsker Lordag kveld.

ENTRY DENIED…THE CONTINUING SAGA

Sam Bahour has been working overtime getting this type of information out to his friends, despite his own personal problems with the system. I felt the least I could do is publish what he sent me so the audience is that much wider… hopefully.
The text under the photos is Sam’s… not mine.
The related article was updated on HaAretz this evening.
The photos are from today’s Al-Quds, Palestine’s most popular daily newspaper…

The one from page 1 is how Palestinians entered Jerusalem yesterday for Friday prayers this Ramadan month. So much for the separation wall. What is it called…Freedom of Religion?
The man pictures to the left in the page one pic is Husam Khader. An elected Palestinian lawmakers imprisoned in Israeli jails for several years now…so much for political immunity. Then they have the gall to ask where our leaders are!
Determination and humanity live on,
The one from page 2 is the main checkpoint for those wanting to cross from Ramallah to Al- Ram, two Palestinian cities. It is the infamous Kalandia Checkpoint. Al-Ram is on the way south from Ramallah, towards Jerusalem. The caption explains the picture: masses waiting for Israeli soldiers to approve them to pass, one by one. A Palestinian helping an Israeli soldier, the occupier, who fell on the curb while walking backwards. So much for no one to talk to. What is it called…Humanity?

Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al-Quds University

Heads of Palestinian universities call for greater freedom of movement

By Tamara Traubman, Haaretz Correspondents

The presidents of Palestinian universities published an open letter Saturday calling for the international academic community to work against the Israeli policy of restricting movement within the Palestinian territories and entry into them.

The letter stated that since the beginning of the year, and even more so since the Hamas victory in January parliamentary elections, thousands of foreign passport holders of Palestinian or other origin were denied residency or permission to work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“Israel has illegally taken hold for itself the right to authorize or reject work permits for foreigners to territories of the Palestinian Authority,” the letter said.

“Many of them are of Palestinian origin, and currently hold foreign passports because their identity cards were canceled while they worked or studied abroad, or because their requests for family reunification were rejected by Israeli occupation authorities,” it added.

The drafters of the letter wrote that many of those denied entry into the territories are students attending institutions of higher education, and “their contributions to civil society, educational institutions and the private sector are of great value to the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

In the letter, the presidents ask the international academic community “to support with appropriate collective activity,” efforts to change Israeli policy on freedom of movement, and to promise “freedom to education and other activities in Palestine.”

Fourteen presidents of universities and other institutions of higher education signed the letter, including the presidents of Al-Quds and Bir Zeit universities and the Islamic University of Gaza.

COMMEMORATING ISRAEL’S BLOODIEST POGROM

Thanks to Sabbah for bringing this to my attention via his blog. Today is the 53rd anniversary of one of Israels bloodiest pogroms against the Palestinian people. An event that is all but completely erased by the zionist beasts that orchestrated this horror. The ‘almost late’ Ariel Sharon was the leader of the mob that was responsible. The following is taken from a CounterPunch article that Sabbah dug out of the archives. The complete article is found HERE.

Israeli historian Avi Shlaim describes the massacre thus: “Sharon’s order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants. His success in carrying out the order surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what happened at Qibya was
revealed only during the morning after the attack. The village had been reduced to rubble: forty-five houses had been blown up, and sixty-nine civilians, two thirds of them women and children, had been killed. Sharon and his men claimed that they believed that all the inhabitants had run away and that they had no idea that anyone was hiding inside the houses.”

As Sharon lies near death… let us again ponder the ‘rewards’ that await that beast.

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