THE OTHER ANTI SEMITISM

Carlos Latuff

Zionists and their supporters in the United States are very quick to scream ‘anti-Semitism’ when anyone dares to condemn or criticise an action of the Israeli government or any of their policies. They expect everyone to accept and support any such actions. The backers of these zionists do not realise (or maybe they do) that when speech is suppressed, it is the beginning of other supressions…
They also do not realise that the pro Israeli propaganda they spread eventually manifests itself in a hate movement against Palestinians living in the United States. A people without a Lobby, a people without a land, a people that are as Semitic as the Jews… who are NOT screaming anti Semitism…. but maybe they should…
Here is an article from Dissident Voice… just one incident of many….

When Israel’s Supporters Suppress Speech,
US Policy is the Loser
by George Bisharat
One day in 1981, my late father, Maurice Hanna Bisharat, returned from a long day at his Sacramento, California medical office with an extra bounce in his step, his eyes dancing with excitement. His friend, Michael Himovitz, the young owner of a local art gallery, had called, offering to hold a one-person show of my father’s paintings — mostly California landscapes.

My father had taken up painting after immigrating to this country from Palestine in the late 1940s and, although an amateur, had won a national art award within two years. But the demands of medical practice, raising a large family, and other avocations took their toll. It had been many years since my father’s art had been publicly exhibited, and he was tickled.

My father was not a politician, but like any Palestinian living in the United States, he felt obligated to relate his people’s experience to American friends. Educated and articulate, he spoke publicly in defense of Palestinian rights, and was a frequent commentator on Middle East events in the local media. Michael, a Jew, was perfectly aware of this side of my father’s life. It did nothing to diminish his appreciation of my father’s art, nor to inhibit their friendship.

Some weeks later I saw my father sitting, stony faced. He turned to me and whispered: “I just got a call from Michael. My show has been canceled.”

Michael, it transpired, had been visited by a group from the Sacramento Jewish community. Their message: “If you show Bisharat’s art, we will boycott your gallery and close you down.”

Michael may have been as crushed as my father, apologizing: “I just can’t risk it; it’s my livelihood.” The indirect message to my father, of course, was: “If you speak critically of Israel, you will suffer pain.” Fortunately, art was not my father’s livelihood, and he survived this incident. But a deep sense of outrage never left him.

So when former New York Mayor Edward Koch and Rafael Medoff ask incredulously in a recent commentary critical of President Jimmy Carter’s recent book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid “Are Jews suppressing speech?” — or when 14 Carter Center advisory board members resign in protest of the president’s positions — the answer, for me, is not so straightforward.

The fact is that “Jews” are not suppressing speech. Michael Himovitz certainly didn’t suppress my father’s attempts to explain the Palestinian perspective to his fellow citizens. Many American Jews hold views not dissimilar to my father’s — supporting peace, reconciliation and equal rights for Palestinians and Jews.

Yet, a minority of Jews, backed by some non-Jewish supporters, stridently protests any unflattering portrayal of Israel, often with unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism. Indeed, insinuations of anti-Jewish bias are now being unfairly raised against Carter. And some supporters of Israel, apparently, are willing to exploit economic clout to punish those who, like my father, buck the trend and defend Palestinian rights.

Nor is the example of my father isolated. Numerous variations are documented in former Illinois Republican Rep. Paul Findley’s book, They Dare to Speak Out. More chilling, these efforts at intimidation are not always the spontaneous responses of individuals, as in my father’s case, or likely in the resignations of the Carter Center advisory board members.

On the contrary, the pro-Israel lobby, joined by the Israeli government, sustains a systematic campaign to shape American public opinion. For example, the Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) harangues journalists over alleged “mistakes.” In 2002, CAMERA attacked National Public Radio, claiming anti-Israel bias, including failure to report Israeli deaths. Two Boston area businessmen associated with CAMERA organized a boycott of local NPR affiliate WBUR that significantly reduced revenue. Meanwhile, a scrupulous study of NPR’s coverage by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) showed that, in fact, NPR had disproportionately reported Israeli deaths.

Honest Reporting is a media organization that mobilizes 140,000 subscribers worldwide. Its website once touted “major editorial changes at CNN which greatly shifted public perception of the Arab-Israel conflict.” The impetus, according to the Jerusalem Post, was “up to 6,000 e-mails per day to CNN executives, effectively paralyzing their internal e-mail system.”

The Israeli government also applied pressure to CNN, according to verbatim notes of a conference call in 2000 obtained by advocate/researcher Phyllis Bennis. In the call, Israeli government spokesman Nachman Shai outlined Israel’s media strategy with 30 to 60 US Jewish leaders, focusing concern on CNN, and especially two Palestinian reporters. “We are putting real pressure on the heads of CNN to have them replaced with more objective pro-Israel reporters that are willing to tell our side of the story.”

Monitoring media to ensure accuracy is a public service. Yet, as besieged journalists have concluded, the goal of this campaign is not truth, but pro-Israeli advocacy, and silencing dissent. WBUR’s general manager, Jane Christo, described CAMERA’s message as: “Report our point of view, or we’ll shut you down.”

Dissenting American Jews are not spared. Jilian Redford, head of the Hillel Jewish student group at the University of Richmond was dismissed in 2004 after protesting the Israeli Embassy’s repeated e-mail propaganda directives. Redford saw Hillel’s mission as facilitating Jewish religious life on campus, not doing hasbara (Hebrew for “propaganda”) for the Israeli government. To reiterate: This is not a “Jewish” campaign. In fact, hasbara, coordinated with, if not directed by right-wing Israeli governments, is unrepresentative of largely liberal American Jews. Many, like Michael, would no doubt be horrified by the actions of these self-appointed guardians of thought. Nor does the Israel lobby “control” the media, as publication of Carter’s book and this article attest.

But the price of our still mostly one-sided exposure to Middle East affairs is high, and it is much greater than the hurt inflicted on my father and others like him. Americans are shielded from diverse perspectives about a pivotal conflict, and are thus hampered in critically evaluating US policies. Our unconditional support for Israel is a principal cause of global anger against us.

Last summer our government ran diplomatic cover for Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, prolonging the attack for weeks. Israel killed more than a thousand Lebanese, mostly civilians, heavily damaged the country’s civilian infrastructure, and displaced a quarter of the population. The consequence: National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, delivering the annual US threat estimate in mid-January, moved the Lebanese group Hezbollah — which has not targeted Americans for decades — up to second place. Meanwhile, UPI editor Arnaud de Borchgrave reports that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other prominent Israelis are urging a public relations blitz to instigate a US strike on Iran.

It is one thing to match ideas with ideas, facts with facts, perspectives with perspectives. It is different to threaten, bully, discredit and harass opponents of one’s views — whether they are writers, artists, Jewish dissidents, ex-presidents or anyone else. And in this case, our resulting ignorance is not bliss. It is downright dangerous.

George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and writes frequently on the Middle East.

ISRAEL CREATES ITS OWN ENEMIES

Growing up in New York I literally saw the entire world when I rode the subway. Passengers sat reading newspapers in every language in existence. As a child I sometimes found it amusing trying to read the names of the various newspapers… but always got a chuckle when I saw someone reading the Yiddish language daily, The Forward…. it always amused me that The Forward was read backwards (Yiddish, like Hebrew and Arabic is read from right to left).
Times have changed in New York, as in most other places. Most immigrants have been absorbed into the ‘melting pot’ and now read newspapers in English. The Forward, due to the passing of most Yiddish speakers, is no longer a daily, and is no longer in Yiddish.
Joining the 21st century, it even has it’s own Website and their articles can be read online. This is truly revolutionary, and would have been unheard of in years gone by. Internet technology was not known to most of the older immigrants, neither did it exist back then.
Anyhow…. enough nostalgia for now…. the point of this post is that I found a very intersting article on the site of The Forward…. it might answer some questions as to how the Lobby and others are so quick to label anyone that dares criticise Israel as an anti-Semite…. it’s very cleverly called Not All Critics Are Our Enemies, and can be read HERE.

MORE ON THE MURDER OF ABIR ARAMIN


Yesterday I wrote about the ‘white washed cover-up’ of this child’s murder. CounterPunch also ran the following article regarding the situation…. it is a must read…. It is written by a Jewish Israeli woman that also suffered the loss of a child due to the current madness…

“We Are All Victims of the Occupation”
Let Our Children Live
By NURIT PELED-ELHANAN

Bassam Aramin spent nine years in an Israeli prison. He belonged to Yasser Arafat’s Al Fatah in the Hebron area and attempted to throw a grenade at an Israeli army Jeep in occupied Hebron. Last Wednesday morning, an Israeli soldier in a jeep in his village of Anata, on the West Bank, shot his nine year old daughter, Abir, in the head. The soldier will not spend an hour in jail. In Israel, soldiers are not imprisoned for killing Arabs. Never. It does not matter whether the Arabs are young or old, real or potential terrorists, peaceful demonstrators or stone throwers. The army has not conducted an inquiry in Abir Aramin’s death. Neither the police nor the courts have questioned anyone. There will be no investigation. As far as the Israeli Defense Forces are concerned, the shooting did not happen. The army’s official account of her death is that she was hit by a stone that one of her classmates was throwing “at our forces.”

We who live in Israel know that stones thrown by 10 year olds do not blow brains out. Just as we see every day the Israeli jeeps circling Palestinian children on their way to and from school and greet them with stun-bombs, “rubber” bullets and riot control gas.

A bullet penetrated Abir Aramin’s skull, while she was walking to school with her sister. I saw her just afterwards at Hadassah Hospital, where she slept quietly in a huge hospital bed. Abir’s face was white. Her huge eyes were closed. By then, she was already brain dead, and the doctors decided to allow the rest of her to die. I saw clearly that her head had been shot from behind, and I will testify under oath to that fact. A young student who witnessed her shooting told journalists that the Israeli border police, who are part of the IDF, drove up to the girls as they came out of their school examinations. “The girls were afraid and started running away. The border police followed them in the direction in which they were retreating. Abir was afraid and stool against one of the shops at the side of the road. I was standing near her. The border policeman shot through a special hole in the window of his jeep that was standing very close to us. Abir fell to the ground I saw that she was bleeding from the head.”

Abir Aramin is dead. The doctors at Hadassah will not disclose the cause of her death to her parents or her friends. Her family has requested an autopsy. Her father, Bassam Aramin, is one of the founders of Combatants for Peace. My son, who served as an Israeli soldier in the occupied territories, is also a member. They are friends. Bassam told us that he cannot rest until his daughter’s killer convinces him that nine year old Abir threatened his life or the life of the other soldiers in his jeep. I fear he will never have the chance to rest.

Abir Aramin has joined the thousands of other children killed in this country and the territories it occupies. She will be welcomed by my own little girl, Smedar. Smedar was killed in 1997 by a suicide bomber. If her killer had survived, I know he would have been sent to prison for his crime.

In the meantime, I sit with her mother Salwa and try to say, “We are all victims of occupation.” As I say it, I know that her hell is more terrible than mine. My daughter’s murderer had the decency to kill himself when he murdered Smadar. The soldier who killed Abir is probably drinking beer, playing backgammon with his mates and going to discotheques at night. Abir is in a grave.

Abir’s father was a warrior, who fought the occupation –officially a “terrorist,” although it is a strange logic that calls those who resist the occupation and dispossession of their people as terrorists. Bassam Aramin is still a fighter –but as a peace activist. He knows, as I know, that his little dead girl takes all the reasons for this war to her grave. Her small bones could not bear the burden of life, death, vengeance and oppression that every Arab child here grows up with.

Bassam, as a Muslim, believes he must pass a test –as a man of honour not to seek revenge, not to give up, not to neglect the struggle for dignity and peace on his own land When he asked me where we find strength to go on, I said the only thing I could think of: from the children who are left to us. His other children, my three living sons. From the other Palestinian and Israeli children who have a right to live without their elders forcing them into being occupiers or occupied. The so-called enlightened, western world does not get what is happening here. The whole enlightened world stands aside and does nothing to save little girls from murderous soldiers. The enlightened world blames Islam, as it once blamed Arab nationalism, for all the atrocities the non-Islamic world is inflicting upon Muslims. The enlightened west fears little girls with scarves on their heads. It is terrified of boys in keffiehs. And in Israel, children are educated to fear, most of all, the fruits of the Muslim womb. When they become soldiers, they see nothing wrong in killing Palestinian children “before they grow.” But Basam and Salwa and all of us–Jewish and Arab victims of the Israeli occupation – want to live together rather than die together. We see our children sacrificed on the altar of an occupation that has no basis in law or justice. And, outside, the enlightened world justifies it all and sends more money to the occupiers.

If the world does not come to its senses, there will be nothing more to say or write or listen to in this land except for the silent cry of mourning and the muted voices of dead children.

Nurit Peled-Elhanan can be reached: nuritpeled@gmail.com

RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT??

This has got to be the strangest AP report I ever saw regarding a court decision in Israel.
Kids are being killed, women are being raped, but the courts have time to render a decision like this… Strange country that Holy Land…..
Thanks to my friend Mirah at AdopTalk for alerting me to this …

Israeli court: Family can have dead soldier’s sperm

JERUSALEM (AP) — In a precedent-setting decision, an Israeli court has ruled that a dead soldier’s family can have his sperm impregnated into the body of a woman he never met.

Keivan Cohen, 20, was shot dead in 2002 by a Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip. He was single and left no will. But at the urging of his parents, a sample of his sperm was taken two hours after his death and has been stored in a hospital since.

When the family tried to gain access to the sperm, however, the hospital refused, on the ground that only a spouse could make such a request.

Arguing that their son yearned to raise a family, his parents challenged that decision in court. On January 15, after a four-year legal battle, a Tel Aviv court granted the family’s wish and ruled the sperm could be injected into a woman selected by Cohen’s family.

The ruling also ordered the Ministry of Interior to register any children born as a result of the insemination as children of the deceased.

“On the one hand I’m terribly sad that I don’t have my boy; it’s a terrible loss,” Rachel Cohen said in an interview in Monday’s Chicago Tribune. “But I’m also happy that I succeeded in carrying out my son’s will.”

Cohen did not return phone calls from The Associated Press.

Irit Rosenblum, a family rights advocate who represented the Cohen family, said the ruling was significant because it set a precedent for those seeking to continue bloodlines after death.

At the trial, Rosenblum presented testimony, including video recordings, in which Cohen expressed his desire to have children.

“He always said he wanted children,” she told The Associated Press. “But there were no regulations in the law that deals with using sperm from dead people.”

Rosenblum said soldiers increasingly have been leaving sperm samples, or explicit instructions on post-mortem extraction, before heading to battle.

She said she knew of more than 100 cases of Israeli soldiers who, before last summer’s war with Lebanese guerillas, asked to have their sperm saved if they were killed. American soldiers have also begun donating sperm before heading to Iraq, she said.

“I think it is a human revolution,” Rosenblum said. “Ten years ago, who would believe that a human being can continue after he has died. I think it is great for humanity.”

Rosenblum said the woman who is to act as surrogate mother has requested to remain anonymous.

VIOLENCE IS NOT THE SOLUTION


Three innocent people are dead due to the actions of a suicide bomber in the southern Israeli city of Eilat. These actions solve nothing. All they do is perpetuate the present situation and continued polices of oppression of the Israelis against the Palestinians.
Israel is looking for any excuse not to grant statehood to Palestine. These irresponsible actions by terrorists only strengthen the argument for Hamas and Fatah to get their act together and prove to Israel and the rest of the world that they are able to and willing to govern the people of Palestine.
Violence against civilians by either side is not the answer and must be condemned by all of us that want to see a just solution to the crisis we are facing.
Below is a report from the Associated Press about the incident…

Israel bakery bomber kills 3

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian suicide bomber attacked a bakery in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat on Monday, killing three other people, police said. It was the first suicide attack in Israel in nine months and the first ever to hit Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city.

Two Palestinian militant groups, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, claimed joint responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for Islamic Jihad, which has carried out dozens of suicide attacks, told The Associated Press that the attacker came from the West Bank, but gave no other details.

The bomber struck a small bakery in a residential neighborhood. Shattered glass was visible on the sidewalk outside, alongside bread trays scattered by the blast.

Benny Mazgini, 45, said he was in an apartment across the street when the building shook from the force of the blast.

When he ran outside, Mazgini said, he saw body parts scattered on the sidewalk outside the bakery.

“It was awful — there was smoke, pieces of flesh all over the place,” Mazgini said.

Police cordoned off the area, and Bruno Stein, Eilat’s police commander, said the police believed there could be more bombers in the city.

“Our assumption is that it’s not one bomber, and there might be more bombers in Eilat right now,” Stein said. Israeli emergency services raised their alert level to the highest.

Police initially suspected the blast was either an accident or criminal incident.

The attack was the first suicide bombing to hit Eilat, which is distant from Israel’s major population centers and has been largely insulated from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also was the first suicide bombing in Israel since last April, when a bomber struck a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing 12 people.

Suicide bombings in Israel are sharply down from their height four years ago, when hundreds of Israelis were killed in dozens of attacks. However, a renewal of such violence could derail current efforts by the U.S., Israel and moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to renew long-stalled peace talks.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, one of the groups claiming responsibility for Monday’s attack, is linked to Abbas’ Fatah Party. However, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Abdul Rahman condemned the violence, saying: “We are against any operation that targets civilians, Israelis or Palestinians.”

There was no immediate reaction from Hamas, the radical group that now controls the Palestinian parliament and Cabinet. Hamas came under intense criticism last April for failing to condemn the Tel Aviv attack.

Eilat is located on the Red Sea near the Jordanian and Egyptian border, and al Qaeda operatives have been active in both neighboring countries. However, there was no indication the group was involved in Monday’s attack.

The Israel-Egypt border, which runs near Eilat, is regularly crossed by smugglers entering Israel, according to police. Though the smugglers for the most part bring drugs and prostitutes into Israel, local officials in Eilat raised the possibility that the bomber had used the smuggling route to cross from Egypt.

In August 2005, a group thought to be linked to al Qaeda fired a rocket from Jordan at Eilat, causing no casualties. Al Qaeda also has carried out deadly attacks on hotels in Jordan and in Taba, just across the Egyptian border from Eilat.

Some Palestinian tourism agencies run tours to Eilat, providing another possible route for attackers to reach the city, a four-hour drive from the central cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

IF THIS IS NOT APARTHEID, WHAT IS IT?

Carlos Latuff
The Electronic Intifada obtained a document proving that Israel is an apartheid state… the following intoduction and link at the end is from their website….

President Jimmy Carter angered Israel and its friends by describing “the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine’s citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank.”

Now, The Electronic Intifada has obtained an Israeli Ministry of Defense Powerpoint presentation which provides a frightening glimpse into the mindset of the bureaucracy of apartheid.

The first page of the document bears the name “Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories” as well as the acronym “COGAT” at the bottom of each page. These appear to refer to the unit of the Israeli army that enforces the occupation against the Palestinian civilian population.

The top of the first slide also bears the names and insignia of the “State of Israel” and the “Ministry of Defense.” Dated January 12, the presentation is titled “Key Measures for easing the daily lives of the Palestinian Population.”

Far from that, the document provides detail of the regime of severe movement restrictions, bureaucratic ethnic cleansing and political manipulation and fostering of collaborators that Israel operates in the the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The document, in English, appears to be genuine. While its exact purpose or audience is not known, it may have been designed to impress foreign diplomats with Israel’s generosity to the Palestinians.

To see the entire doccument click HERE…. you will need Acrobat to see it (free download)

BEST QUOTE OF THE YEAR, DECADE OR MAYBE CENTURY…..

This was just sent to me by my cousin…. it is way to funny not to share with y’all….it’s pretty much the best quote ever…..

‘I AIN’T GONNA STUDY WAR NO MORE’

David Baldinger

Tomorrow, the 27th of January, there will be a mass demonstration in Washington to end the war in Iraq.
Presented HERE is a video I ‘borrowed’ from the Poetry Man entitled
“What would Martin Luther King say, today?”
It is worth the few minutes it takes to watch it. It will be worth more if you go to Washington tomorrow, if you can, and bring that message to the government in person.
TIME TO BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

Details of the Demo and transportation can be found HERE…

PETER, PAUL AND MARY lyrics – “Down By The Riverside (Study War No More)”

http://www.OldieLyrics.com

(Traditional. Adapted and arranged by Robert DeCormier, Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers)

I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield,
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield,
Down by the riverside
Study war no more

I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more

I’m gonna walk with that Prince of Peace,
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
I’m gonna walk with that Prince of Peace,
Down by the riverside
Study war no more

I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more,
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more

I’m gonna lay down that atom bomb
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
I’m gonna lay down that atom bomb,
Down by the riverside
Study war no more

I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more

I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more

HOW THE LOBBY GETS ITS WAY

Carlos Latuff
One wonders how, after almost 60 years of Israel literally breaking every international law in the books, after ignoring every UN sanction against them, a group like the infamous ‘Lobby’ still finds ways to ‘make friends an influence people’
Sam Bahour sent me the following article this morning that he found in the Christian Science Monitror. The article was written by Jim Abourezk who is a former Democratic senator from South Dakota. It is worth reading….

The Christian Science Monitor
from the January 26, 2007 edition

The hidden cost of free congressional trips to Israel

Branded as ‘educational,’ these trips offer Israeli propagandists an opportunity to expose members of Congress to only their side of the story.

By Jim Abourezk

SIOUX FALL, S.D. – Democrats in Congress have moved quickly – and commendably – to strengthen ethics rules. But truly groundbreaking reform was prevented, in part, because of the efforts of the pro-Israel lobby to preserve one of its most critical functions: taking members of Congress on free “educational” trips to Israel.

The pro-Israel lobby does most of its work without publicity. But every member of Congress and every would-be candidate for Congress comes to quickly understand a basic lesson. Money needed to run for office can come with great ease from supporters of Israel, provided that the candidate makes certain promises, in writing, to vote favorably on issues considered important to Israel. What drives much of congressional support for Israel is fear – fear that the pro-Israel lobby will either withhold campaign contributions or give money to one’s opponent.

In my own experience as a US senator in the 1970s, I saw how the lobby tries to humiliate or embarrass members who do not toe the line.

Pro-Israel groups worked vigorously to ensure that the new reforms would allow them to keep hosting members of Congress on trips to Israel. According to the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper, congressional filings show Israel as the top foreign destination for privately sponsored trips. Nearly 10 percent of overseas congressional trips taken between 2000 and 2005 were to Israel. Most are paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, a sister organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the major pro-Israel lobby group.

New rules require all trips to be pre-approved by the House Ethics Committee, but Rep. Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts says this setup will guarantee that tours of Israel continue. Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported consensus among Jewish groups that “the new legislation would be an inconvenience, but wouldn’t seriously hamper the trips to Israel that are considered a critical component of congressional support for Israel.”

These trips are defended as “educational.” In reality, as I know from my many colleagues in the House and Senate who participated in them, they offer Israeli propagandists an opportunity to expose members of Congress to only their side of the story. The Israeli narrative of how the nation was created, and Israeli justifications for its brutal policies omit important truths about the Israeli takeover and occupation of the Palestinian territories.

What the pro-Israel lobby reaps for its investment in these tours is congressional support for Israeli desires. For years, Israel has relied on billions of dollars in US taxpayer money. Shutting off this government funding would seriously impair Israel’s harsh occupation.

One wonders what policies Congress might support toward Israel and the Palestinians absent the distorting influence of these Israel trips – or if more members toured Palestinian lands. America sent troops to Europe to prevent the killing of civilians in the former Yugoslavia. But when it comes to flagrant human rights violations committed by Israel, the US sends more money and shields Israel from criticism.

Congress regularly passes resolutions lauding Israel, even when its actions are deplorable, providing it political cover. Meanwhile, polls suggest most Americans want the Bush administration to steer a middle course in working for peace between Israelis and the Palestinians.

Consider, too, how the Israel lobby twists US foreign policy into a dangerous double standard regarding nuclear issues. The US rattles its sabers at Iran for its nuclear energy ambitions – and alleged pursuit of nuclear arms – while remaining silent about Israel’s nuclear-weapons arsenal.

Members of Congress may not be aware just how damaging their automatic support for Israel is to America’s interest. At a minimum, US policies toward Israel have cost it valuable allies in the Middle East and other parts of the Muslim world.

If Congress is serious about ethics reform, it should not protect the Israel lobby from the consequences. A totally taxpayer-funded travel budget for members to take foreign fact-finding trips, with authorization to be made by committee heads, would be an important first step toward a foreign policy that genuinely serves America.

• Jim Abourezk is a former Democratic senator from South Dakota.

CINDY ON HILLARY…..


My readers are well aware of who Cindy Sheehan is and what she stands for. She is outspoken, brave and wise…

Hillary Clinton would like us to think the same of her. Perhaps those in the Lobby do, but the reality is as follows….

Hillary for President?
by Cindy Sheehan
http://www.dissidentvoice.org
January 21, 2007

Thirteen people killed in a helicopter crash yesterday in Iraq. Four other soldiers and one marine were also killed.

30 people dead in the last two days in a war that Senator Hillary Clinton has supported since she first voted “yea” to give Bloody George carte-blanche to invade Iraq and her continuing support via her “yea” votes on giving the war-addict in the White House the key to the treasury.

Soon after Camp Casey in August, 05, I was meeting with some Hollywood people who pretended that they supported me, but really were big money donors and supporters of Hillary. I was told that the Senator was really against the war, but she was waiting for the politically correct time to come out against it. I was told that she was the best hope for the Democrats in 2008, and I should give her a break.

I don’t know who Mr. and Mrs. Hollywood and Mr. Hollywood Got Rocks thought that they were talking to. My son was used as a “soldier of Christ” in BushCo’s crusade against the world and a political pawn in such pro-war Democrat’s moves to the White House. I was disgusted and noted this in many blogs that I wrote at the time.

I supported the candidate for Senate in New York that ran a very courageous, anti-war race against Clinton: Jonathan Tasini. CODEPINK New York did amazing work dogging the Senator and her supporters everywhere that she went and outing the fact that she is a Republican in Democratic clothing. Unfortunately, the people of New York spoke and Clinton, the pro-war candidate beat out Jonathan. The conservative area that she and President Clinton moved their carpet bags to after their presidency was over had a major impact on the last elections.

I, my sister, Dede, and another Gold Star Mother, Lynn Braddach, whose son, Travis Nall was killed in Iraq in 2003, met with Sen. Clinton in DC in September of 2005. We poured our hearts and souls out to her. We cried as we told her of our sons and our fear for the people of Iraq and the escalating body count of our brave young people. She sat there stone-faced and walked out and told Sarah Ferguson, of the Village Voice, “My bottom line is that I don’t want their sons to die in vain . . . I don’t believe it’s smart to set a date for withdrawal . . . I don’t think it’s the right time to withdraw.” She may as well have slapped us in the face using Bloody George’s line and using our son’s
sacrifice to justify her war-mongering.

On Thursday, January 18th, Senator Clinton introduced a meaningless bill to put a cap on the number of soldiers that can be in Iraq set at January 1st levels. It is as weak and meaningless as the non-binding resolution and a politically safe move, since almost ¾ of the country oppose the war and oppose Bloody George. When she introduced her Senate bill last Thursday, over 1000 of our young people have come home in body bags and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have died while she was waiting for the best political time to be semi-against the war. How many of our troops are lying in Walter Reed with devastating injuries that could have been prevented if a Senate leader like Clinton would have taken a moral, instead of political stance?

This occupation of Iraq can’t be won by being smarter — it was lost before we went in. The US, again, were big losers in a capricious military expedition with the support of Senator Clinton. She is an amazingly brilliant person and she cannot say that she was fooled, or lied to by George. We, the American public can be brilliant to, and we can’t buy that baloney.

In 2005, I was dying to support Hillary for president: finally a bright woman with experience. However, she is a champion fence sitter and politically heartless.

I, again, affirm my commitment to peace. I don’t care if it is a man or a woman; Democrat or Republican; white or black; Christian, Jew or otherwise. I will only support a candidate who is courageously and uncompromisingly committed to peace.

Hillary Clinton is not that person. She never will be. History speaks louder than words.

A RIGHT TO LEAVE RATHER THAN A RIGHT OF RETURN~~ TRANSFER FOR CASH

Just when I was beginning to think that certain ‘respected’ rabbis could not sink lower than low…. they prove me wrong. Instead of finding ways to achieve unity among the people living in the Holy Land, two such rabbis came up with a different plan altogether…. offering payment to Palestinians to leave the area. A Right To Leave…. Rather than a Right of Return. Their ‘plan’ is apparently well researched and is meant to sound humanistic rather than fascistic…
Well, I personally doubt there will be line-ups at the rabbis’ homes to get these bucks…. but, considering that they both live in an illegal settlement, it might be wise for them to start packing themselves….
The Palestinians are here to stay, but the settlers’ days of squatting on their land are numbered.
Below is an article from the Jerusalem Post telling of the rabbis’ plans….

New proposal: Transfer-for-cash plan
By MATTHEW WAGNER
A new proposal designed to solve Israel’s Arab demographic concerns suggests offering a million Palestinian residents of refugee camps in Judea and Samaria incentives totaling as much as $50 billion to convince them to leave the area.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Kohanim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and MK Benny Elon (National Union-National Religious Party) have joined forces to promote the proposed program, which they said would be funded by the state. The two men, who are next door neighbors in Beit El, propose paying the refugee camp residents $50,000 to $100,000 each if they agree to emigrate.

“Those poor people have been suffering for six decades,” said Elon. “I believe that if we give them the option of leaving they will grab it.”

Elon said that he was astounded to discover that Palestinians who want to leave had difficulty getting to Ben-Gurion Airport, for security reasons.

Elon said many western countries, including Canada as well as some in South America, were open to immigrants, especially if they brought cash with them. He said he hoped to gain the cooperation of western countries for the program by emphasizing its humanitarian dimension.

Aviner, a respected halachic authority, has written an article advocating the transfer-for-payment idea, which appeared this weekend in Be’ahava U’Be’emuna, a pamphlet that is distributed in thousands of synagogues across the nation every Shabbat.

“Arabs are busy killing Jews or providing aid, cover and legitimacy to terrorists,” Aviner said in a telephone interview.

“There is no end in sight. I do not want to keep killing them to protect myself. So the best solution is to encourage them to leave,” he said. “As soon as the word gets around that Israel is paying compensation to anyone who leaves, it will have a snowball effect.”

Aviner quoted the Koran as well as the Bible to demonstrate that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people.

Arabs who agreed to stop all terrorism against Israel and to accept second class citizenship, without voting rights, would be allowed to stay, Aviner said.

MK Ibrahim Sarsour (United Arab List-Ta’al) called the proposal “satanic,” “fascist,” and “nearly Nazi.”

“Palestine is an integral part of Waqf-administered sacred Islamic land,” said Sarsour, who is also the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel. “It belongs to the Muslim people. Benny Elon and others like him will have to trample over our dead bodies to remove us from this place.”

Sarsour said “Islam” was willing to normalize relations with a sovereign Israel within the Green Line. He said all Jews living in the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem must leave their homes or renounce Zionism and agree to second-class citizenship, without voting rights.

“But Elon is trying to push for the option of conflict and extinction of both peoples,” he said.

Sarsour said “zealots” like Elon and Aviner had caused the destruction of the Second Temple, and that history could repeat itself.

“The weak do not stay weak forever, nor do the strong,” Sarsour said.

CARTER ON CARTER…..


Jimmy Carter answers his critics in an honorable way. He has been silent until now regarding the criticisms and condemnations aimed at him since the publication of his controversial book.
Honesty is not necessarilly welcome in some circles. For years the ‘Lobby’ has stiffled any anti zionist thoughts towards their actions. For whatever reasons, they have been successful in many cases, covering up the crimes committed by Israel, the crimes against the Palestinian people in particular.
Thanks to a man like Carter for bringing these issues to light… without fear of this once powerful ‘Kosher Nostra’.
The days of silence are coming to an end… too much is now known by the outside world as to what is really going on in Israel/Palestine.
The truth will get out and the TRUTH SHALL SET US FREE.
Below is an Associated Press report on Carter’s views….

Carter defends controversial book as ‘accurate and needed’ By The Associated Press
ATHENS, GEORGIA – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said the storm of criticism he has faced for his recent book has not weakened his resolve for fair treatment of Israelis and Palestinians.

“I have been called a liar,” Carter said at a town hall meeting on Saturday, the second day of a three-day symposium on his presidency at the University of Georgia.

“I have been called an anti-Semite,” he said. “I have been called a bigot. I have been called a plagiarist. I have been called a coward. Those kind of accusations, they concern me, but they don’t detract from the fact the book is accurate and is needed.”

Following the publication of the book: “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” 14 members of an advisory board to his Carter Center resigned in protest. Those former board members and other critics contend the book is unfairly critical of Israel.

“Not one of the critics of my book has contradicted any of the basic premises … that is the horrible persecution and oppression of the Palestinian people and secondly that the formula for finding peace in the Middle East already exists,” the 82-year-old Carter said.

Carter said he was pleased the book has stimulated discussion of an issue that has been “omitted from the public consciousness” for at least the last six years.

“Israel needs peace and the Palestinian people need peace and justice and I hope my limited influence will help to precipitate some steps,” he said.

Also Saturday, Carter, at times emotional, told his audience how he saved the 1978 Camp David peace talks when it appeared Egyptian president Anwar Sadat would leave.

Carter said in the first three days of the talks Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin often argued. After about a week, Carter said, Sadat reached a breaking point and packed his bags to return to Egypt – and Carter “knelt down and prayed and I asked God to help me.”

Carter said he then walked to Sadat’s cabin.

“Sadat and I stood with our noses almost touching and I told him that he had betrayed me and betrayed his own people and if he left our, friendship was severed forever and the relationship between the United States and Egypt would suffer.”

Sadat agreed to stay, and the Camp David Accords were signed after 12 days of negotiations.

The three-day conference was arranged to mark the 30th anniversary of Carter’s 1977 inauguration.

MANY JEWS OUTRAGED BY SETTLER’S ACTIONS

They say that ‘every black cloud has a silver lining’. This is proving to be true as more and more Jews in Israel are speaking out, even condemning the vile outbursts of the settler woman in Hebron. It’s not often that Tommy (Yosef) Lapid says anything worth repeating, but he finally issued a statement in his capacity as Chairman of Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
The following Reuters report speaks about it….



Yad Vashem chairman slams settlers for abusing Palestinians

By Reuters

The head of Israel’s central Holocaust memorial on Saturday assailed Jewish settlers who harass Palestinians in a tinderbox West Bank city, saying the abuse recalled the anti-Semitism of pre-World War Two Europe.

Yad Vashem chairman Yosef Lapid’s unusually fierce and public attack was prompted by Israeli television footage showing a Hebron settler woman hissing “whore” at her Palestinian neighbour and settler children lobbing rocks at Arab homes.

The spectacle stirred outrage in the Jewish state, where many view the settlers as a movement opposed to coexistence with a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Lapid, a Holocaust survivor who lost his father to the Nazi genocide, said in a weekly commentary on Israel Radio that the acts of some Hebron settlers reminded him of persecution endured by Jews in his native Yugoslavia on the eve of World War Two.

“It was not crematoria or pogroms that made our life in the diaspora bitter before they began to kill us, but persecution, harassment, stone-throwing, damage to livelihood, intimidation, spitting and scorn,” Lapid said.

“I was afraid to go to school, because of the little anti-Semites who used to lay in ambush on the way and beat us up. How is that different from a Palestinian child in Hebron?”

Hebron has been a frequent flashpoint of more than six years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. Some 400 settlers live there, under heavy Israeli military guard, among 150,000 Palestinians.

Hebron settlers were not immediately available to respond to Lapid’s criticism, but Israel Radio broadcast earlier comments by the community’s spokesman, Noam Arnon, in which he played down the televised harassments as “fringe incidents.”

“In six years, 37 Jews have been murdered in Hebron, and now they’re preoccupied with curses?” Arnon said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered a cabinet-level probe last week into Palestinian allegations that abuse by Hebron settlers is commonplace and routinely ignored by Israel.

Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh said he hoped for an Israeli crackdown against the settler “provocateurs”, but Palestinian officials called for comprehensive action.

“If they are serious about coexistence, the Israelis must take practical steps on the hundreds of daily violations against Palestinians in the old city,” Hebron Governor Arif Jabari said.

Jabari’s apparent pessimism was shared by Lapid, a former justice minister.

“We Jewish citizens of Israel wave a reprimanding finger at most,” he said. “Worse still, I tolerated this silently as justice minister too.”

The World Court has branded the settlements illegal but many Jews claim a biblical birthright to the West Bank, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, a move billed as breaking the diplomatic deadlock with the Palestinians. The rise since of Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist group whose charter calls for the Jewish state’s destruction, has hardened settler resolve not to leave the West Bank.

Lapid said while there was no comparing the Holocaust with Palestinian suffering from Israel’s policies, this did not mean Israelis could not be culpable.

“It is inconceivable for the memory of Auschwitz to warrant ignoring the fact that there are Jews among us who behave today towards Palestinians just like German, Hungarian, Polish and other anti-Semites behaved towards Jews,” he said.

POLITICAL CRITICISM VS. ANTI SEMITISM

Carlos Latuff

You can draw George Bush but not Ehud Olmert….
Watch THIS brilliant video to see why.
Thanks to Carlos Latuff for creating it and Norman Finkelstein for publishing it.

ISRAEL SEES PEACE IN TWO YEARS…. I WANT IT NOW!

Here are some nice thoughts…. In two years time, Palestinian children playing in the school yard will not be slaughtered by the Israeli Border Police. In two years time, Palestinian villages will not be invaded by Israeli tanks which slaughter innocent civilians living in that village. In two years time, innocent civilians in shopping malls, in the streets will no longer be gunned down by Israeli forces. I can go on endlessly, but you can find Israel’s aggressions against Palestine in my archives… go search….

IN TWO YEARS????? WHY NOT NOW????

The reality is that under the present Israeli Administration we will never see peace in this region…. that has been proven by past actions and attitudes.

The Associated Press offers a ‘Breaking News Bulletin’ discussing Israel’s Peace Plan….. I wouldn’t take it too seriously, but it is worth the read….

——————————————————————————–

Israeli Officials Formulate Peace Plan
By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, January 18, 2007

NETANYA, Israel (AP) —

Israel and the Palestinians can wrap up a final peace deal within two years, Israel’s deputy defense minister said Thursday, but cautioned that the international climate for such talks would not remain favorable for long.

The deputy minister, Ephraim Sneh, has formulated a new peace plan together with Defense Minister Amir Peretz of the moderate Labor Party, a junior partner in Israel’s centrist coalition. He is one of several leading Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, to recently articulate new ideas for re-energizing peace efforts.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to meet in coming weeks with Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to explore ways to accelerate peacemaking. The so-called Quartet of Mideast negotiators — the U.S., EU, U.N. and Russia — will convene ahead of those talks, Rice said.

Sneh told an academic conference on Thursday that a peace deal is still possible, even though previous rounds collapsed over explosive issues such as the fate of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements.

“Two years are enough to conclude a detailed agreement,” Sneh said at the Netanya Academic College. “We should discuss, maybe for six months, the principles, and move forward about the details of final status agreement.”

He appealed for urgent action, saying the timing was favorable because moderate Arab states want to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We have an opportunity, but I don’t know for how long will it last,” he said. “We have to do it very, very quickly.”

Nearly four years ago, Israel and the Palestinians accepted the internationally backed “road map” peace plan that was to have led to Palestinian statehood by 2005. But the plan foundered soon after it was presented. Both sides have failed to carry out obligations that were to be fulfilled before negotiations on a final deal could be launched.

Olmert and Abbas held their first substantive meeting on Dec. 23 in an effort to the peace talks moving again. To build confidence, Olmert pledged to ease travel restrictions on Palestinians, and to transfer $100 million in frozen funds to the Palestinians, whose finances have deteriorated sharply over the past year because of an international boycott of the militantly anti-Israel Hamas government.

But travel restrictions remain onerous, and nearly a month later, less than $10 million in frozen funds have been released.

Abbas, whose Fatah faction is locked in a bloody power struggle with Hamas, needs the concessions to prove to the Palestinian people that there are benefits to engaging Israel in dialogue designed to lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Also in Netanya, the head of the European mission monitoring operations at the Egypt-Gaza border urged Israel to stop restricting operations there, saying disruptions only promote “extremism and terror.”

Israel, citing security alerts, has kept the Rafah terminal — Gaza’s main gateway to the outside world — closed for about 80 percent of the time since Palestinian militants from Gaza kidnapped an Israeli soldier in June.

On Thursday, the head of the European monitors, Italian Lt. Gen. Pietro Pistolese, said it was counterproductive to deprive Gaza’s 1.4 million people of access to the rest of the world.

“It is vital that there is a return to normal operations at Rafah as soon as possible,” Pistolese said. Keeping the border closed “only encourages more people to resort to extremism and terror,” he said.

At the same gathering, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, who arrived in the region in December 2005 with a mandate to help reform the Palestinian security forces, said his team was here for the long haul.

“We are not going away anytime soon,” Dayton said in a rare public appearance.

Dayton said he works on projects designed to produce tangible results, such as improving security at the Karni cargo crossing between Israel and Gaza.

The crossing, Gaza’s lifeline, has been closed repeatedly by Israel because of security warnings; the crossing has been the frequent target of attacks by Palestinian militants.

A senior Western official said security at the crossing has improved significantly with the gradual deployment of Abbas’ elite Presidential Guard, starting in November.

In December, the number of trucks leaving Gaza increased by 20 percent, to more than 1,000. The movement is still far below the minimum 400-a-day quota outlined in the November 2005 agreement on Gaza’s border, reached after Israel withdrew from the coastal strip.

In other news, Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Nablus shot dead a Palestinian gunman in an early morning gunfight, Palestinian security officials and paramedics said. The Israeli army said troops operating in the city shot an armed man, but had no information on his condition.

SPECIAL POSTING ON ADOPTION~~BY REQUEST

A very dear friend asked me to post this for her… it is of interest as it involves members of Herr Lieberman’s party. Not only do they have no regard for the Palestinians… it looks like they have no regard for children either.
Below is the post….

“Israel Beiteinu MK Sofa Landver has called on the government to improve the process whereby families adopt children from abroad and to reduce the $20,000 fee.

“Landver is chairwoman of the Knesset’s Public Petition’s Committee, which met Tuesday to discuss the plight of families hoping to adopt internationally. She told The Jerusalem Post that sometimes adoptions performed independently of state-licensed nonprofit organizations were less expensive and far more straight-forward.”
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467757091&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

This is a huge mistake! Over the past two decades American adoption has become increasingly privatized. It is riddled with corruption and exploitation. Those trying to adopt are faced with scams and rip-offs on a daily basis. Expectant mothers and those who represent them take money for expenses and often – over 50% – decide not to place the child for adoption. It is nearly impossible to prosecute these cases of the difficulty to prove that it was the intent to not go through with the adoption and thus commit fraud. Many people have lost thousands and thousands of dollars and had their dreams and hearts shattered. Two adoption facilitators were arrested for taking money after showing photos of Russian children that did not exist.

On the other side of the coin are expectant and new mothers who are exploited both domestically and internationally by baby brokers. Many nations have halted international adoptions or tightened regulations (most recently China) because of trafficking in human lives. Babies are stolen and sold, offered as orphans when they are not. There is a very fine line between gray and black market and countries in political and financial turmoil are ripe for corruption.

Adoption needs to be government regulated to protect all the parties, especially the most vulnerable – the children. Without government regulations it changes from finding a healthy home for children who need a family, to procuring babies as merchandise for those who can afford to pay the fee – no questions asked. Pedophiles, abusers, murderers and other deviants have obtained children via private “adoption.”

Human lives are far too important to be put in the hands of entrepreneurs with nothing but their bottom line in mind. Israel must investigate American adoption before making this dreadful decision. More than a dozen children by Americans from Russia have been killed by their adopters because of lack of screening and counseling in private entrepreneurial adoptions. Two other children were taken in by pedophiles who violated them physically and via photos on the Internet. These are just the tip of the iceberg. It has caused not only harm to the children, but shame to the US and international conflict which Israel can ill afford.

Mirah Riben, author “shedding light on…The Dark Side of Adoption” (1988) and “The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry” (2007
www.advocatepublications.com

WHEN SHAME ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH

Yesterday it was reported that Olmert was ‘ashamed’ of the actions of the vile settler woman in Hebron that taunted a Palestinian family. We all know that Olmert’s words were nothing but ‘lip-service’ to make him look like the outstanding citizen a Prime Minister is supposed to be. We all know exactly what and who Ehud Olmert is and if there should be any shame displayed at all, it should be from the entire nation of Israel for allowing the likes of him to assume that position.
HaAretz, which is a left leaning Israeli newspaper really took me by surprise by the editorial that appeared today. They must be commended for their honesty and integrity on this matter… Read the following and see for yourself….

Being ashamed is not enough

By Haaretz Editorial

When the prime minister says he was “ashamed,” referring to the behavior of Hebron settler Yifat Alkobi, whose profanity unleashed at the Abu Ayshe family sent them reeling into their home over the Hebron market, we should tell him that a prime minister was not elected to be ashamed, but to take action. When the government under his leadership decides to set up a ministerial committee to deliberate the issue of enforcing the law against Hebron settlers because “it is impossible to accept such brutal behavior,” the shame belongs to all of us.

After all, there is no need for a committee to learn the facts and take action. To date no prime minister has proved brave enough to accept the challenge and remove this festering wound of settlement activity, this outcast Jewish settlement, which has managed to drive 30,000 Palestinians from their homes and their shops, and transform the Palestinian center of Hebron into a ghost town. The profanities of Alkobi are peripheral to this entanglement.

The Jewish settlement in Hebron was the first organized illegal outpost, which was set up following the Six-Day War by Rabbi Moshe Levinger on seder eve, 1968 at the city’s Park Hotel. Several dozen guests who had come to celebrate the seder in the city refused to return to their homes. They included the historic founders of the settlement movement, who identified this means of illegal activity under cover of the law: takeover by devious methods, lobbying and force, exploiting Israel Defense Forces soldiers and politicians to gain protection, while rolling their eyes, as if all this constituted moral Zionism, to which any opposition implied treason to one’s people and motherland. Alkobi is only a natural outgrowth of the Levinger family.

If a peace agreement is ever signed with the Palestinians, the Hebron settlers will have to end their illegal holiday at the Park Hotel, which has been going on 38 years too long, because no border will be able to include this outrageous enclave inside a large Arab city. Following the 1994 massacre by Baruch Goldstein of Muslims praying in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Yitzhak Rabin should have seized the opportunity to remove the Jewish settlement, but he was deterred. And since then, no leader has even dared think about doing so.

The IDF has law enforcement authority over the Hebron residents, Jewish and Arab alike, and so does the Israel Police, but no one is willing to confront them, knowing the government is not really interested in such enforcement. The soldiers lack the backing and the incentive to enforce the law in a place that has been lawless for years. There is no point in again going over the matter of law enforcement when the presence of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, in a time of conflict – as opposed to the conditions of peace – is blatantly illogical.

The bully settlement in Hebron is an example of the national stupidity that overtook Israel when it decided to settle forcefully in every place of religious significance, regardless of political realities. This is another obstacle that must be removed, and if Ehud Olmert would succeed in carrying out only this one essential deed, it would be possible to describe his tenure in office as having had positive results.

MARTIN LUTHER KING~~ A REPOST FROM THE ARCHIVES

The following was posted on the 27th of August, the day before the anniversary of the Great March on Washington. I post it again in honour of Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday is officially celebrated today in the United States.
May we all learn from this man and may racism become a thing of the past very soon…


It was 43 years ago tomorrow that Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I Have A Dream Speech’ at the Great March on Washington for Peace and Freedom. To see a video of the complete speech, click HERE.
I was there along with a quarter of a million fellow Americans. It was the most gratifying day of my life as I was on the organising committee for that March the entire summer. To witness such a success was most rewarding. To hear the words of the great Dr. King, spoken live, were most encouraging. The last paragraph of his speech is the part that has stayed with me every day of my life since then…
“And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
But…what I see in every day life in Israel reminds me that those words are still just a dream. We have a long way to go before it becomes a reality.
I see discrimination daily… it is as ugly now as it was 43 years ago. I see it more from Americans in Israel than from anyone else… here is an incident that occurred just the other day…
I was in a gift shop and an American tourist entered. The conversation went as follows…
Tourist— Do you have any Arab toy soldiers?
Clerk— No, why would you want them anyway?
Tourist— So I can teach my grandson how to kill them.
Me— Have you ever met an Arab?
Tourist— Of course not, I keep away from them because they all want to kill me.
Me— I have met thousands of Arabs, I have never met one that wants to kill me, but I have met hundreds of American Jews, like yourself, that want to kill Arabs.
What possesses a person to be so hateful? What possible reason could there be, was he trying to impress the clerk with his ‘machoness’, his reverent zionism, or was it just plain stupidity? My guess is that it was the latter. But I do see a rise in this hatred being imported from the United States. The most extremes of the Judeo nazis of the past were also imports, the kahanas, the goldsteins , may their names be erased from memory. It must not be tolerated or it will be thought of as acceptable thought. It isn’t.
Israel has tried openly to show their opposition to this type of thought. Racism is illegal in Israel(in the books), racist orgnisations are outlawed (in the books)… we all know that is a load of bull! Racism is alive and well in Israel… and is strengthened by the hatred that is imported from the States.
I want to see the dream fulfilled… I want to see a world without hatred. I want to see an Israel/Palestine without walls, I want to see peace.
Perhaps if we all go back to the top of this post, click on the speech and listen to it carefully, more of us will realise that there is another way….
‘DEEP IN MY HEART, I DO BELIEVE, WE SHALL OVERCOME ONE DAY.’

ISRAELI ARABS (PALESTINIANS) RACIALLY PROFILED


Israel constantly denies that its Arab citizens are treated any differently than its Jewish ones. In plain, simple English… that is nothing but a lie.
The following report that I have linked HERE is from the Electronic Intifada, it is true… I have seen it happen at the airport, I travelled with Palestinians and witnessed their harassment while I was allowed through security without a problem… simply because I am a Jew. The Palestinians I speak of are Israeli citizens, carrying Israeli passports.
Yet, the State of Israel denies these antics…. makes one wonder what else they might be lying about.
Read the report by clicking the following headline…

Suspected Citizens: Racial Profiling against Arab Passengers by Israeli Airports and Airlines
Report, Arab Association for Human Rights and Center Against Racism, 12 January 2007

"ISRAEL’S EXISTENCE IS A REALITY"~~ HAMAS LEADER SAYS

Carlos Latuff

It all comes down to one major issue…Hamas does acknowledge the existence of Israel as a reality… BUT formal recognition will only be considered when a Palestinian state has been created, the movement’s exiled leader Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday.
This seems fair and reasonable enough to me… hopefully Israel will take note of this and act appropriately…
Below is a report from Reuters that discusses this….

Hamas leader says Israel’s existence is a reality

Reuters
By Sean Maguire and Khaled Oweis

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Hamas acknowledges the existence of Israel as a reality but formal recognition will only be considered when a Palestinian state has been created, the movement’s exiled leader Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday.

Softening a previous refusal to accept the Jewish state’s existence, Meshaal said Israel was a “matter of fact” and a reality that will persist.

“There will remain a state called Israel,” Meshaal said in an interview in the Syrian capital, in what appeared to be clearest statement yet by the Islamist group on its attitude toward the state it previously said had no right to exist.

“The problem is not that there is an entity called Israel,” said Meshaal, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997. “The problem is that the Palestinian state is non-existent.”

Israel and Western governments have put financial sanctions on the Hamas-led Palestinian government for refusing to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace accords. The embargo has hit the Palestinian economy hard.

Meshaal said Hamas would defy the Western conditions, which he described as blackmail, and would refuse to consider formal recognition of Israel until a viable Palestinian state was established.

Changing the Hamas charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, was also a matter for the future, he said.

“The distant future will have its own circumstances and positions could be determined then,” he said in a wide-ranging interview.

Past concessions to Israel by Palestinian negotiators went unrewarded, he argued, and his Islamist group would drive hard bargains over key issues such as recognition.

“For Israel to suck us into bargains in stages and in packages – this road constitutes an attempt to weaken the Palestinian position.”

1967 BORDERS

Asked about Meshaal’s comments Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev responded that Hamas had said in the past it wanted to wipe Israel from the map and there was no indication it had changed its position.

Meshaal said Hamas backed Arab demands that a Palestinian state should include Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem and that Israel should accept the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes lost in a 1967 war and before.

“As a Palestinian today I speak of a Palestinian and Arab demand for a state on 1967 borders. It is true that in reality there will be an entity or state called Israel on the rest of Palestinian land,” said Meshaal.

“This is a reality but I won’t deal with it in terms of recognizing or admitting it,” he added.

A vast gulf exists between the Hamas goals for a state and Israel’s insistence that it will never give up Arab east Jerusalem or allow Palestinian refugees to return from abroad.

Meshaal called for international pressure on Israel to accept Palestinian demands in the interest of regional peace and security. He criticised U.S. financial and political backing for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as interference.

Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah are locked in a power struggle that has sparked deadly armed clashes that some fear will lead to a Palestinian civil war. Meshaal called for renewed dialogue between the groups to try to form a national unity government.

In his interview Meshaal did not threaten armed action by his Islamist group against Israel but warned that Palestinian frustration over a stalled peace process could lead to attacks.

Hamas has largely abided by a November 26 truce which has calmed Israeli-Palestinian violence in Gaza. It launched dozens of suicide bombings against Israel during a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000 but halted them in early 2005.

(Additional reporting by Nadim Ladki and Allyn Fisher-Ilan)

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