ISRAEL LISTED ON A ‘REAL’ SHIT LIST

ADL sure to respond shortly…..

Israel ranks among Western world’s most corrupt countries

Receiving a score of 6.1 out of 10 Israel is in 22nd place out of 33 OECD members; meanwhile, U.S. drops out of top 20 least corrupt countries.

Israel ranks among the most corrupt countries in the Western world, according to a study released by the International Transparency Organization on Tuesday.

ministers - Dror Artzi - October 22 2010 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, surrounded by ministers at Sunday’s cabinet meeting at Kibbutz Degania.
Photo by: Dror Artzi

Out of 178 countries – 1 being least corrupt – Israel was listed at number 30. But when compared to other member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Israel fared much worse.

The least corrupt countries were listed as Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore.

Israel received a score of 6.1 out of 10 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks countries according to the perception of corruption in the public sector.

That score positions Israel in the 22nd place out of 33 members of the OECD.

In May 2010, the OECD unanimously voted in favor of accepting Israel as a member of the group. However, Israel is the organization’s poorest member, with the widest social gaps.

Israel’s CPI score has not significantly improved since 2007. In 1997, Israel received a relatively high score of 7.9 ranking number 15 in the world, but has deteriorated considerably since then.

However, Transparency International identified Bhutan, Chile, Ecuador, Macedonia, Gambia, Haiti, Jamaica, Kuwait, and Qatar as states where improvement had been made over the past year.

“As opposed to Israel, other countries are improving, and that is a problem,” said Transparency International Israel CEO Galia Sagi on Tuesday.

“Even though corruption is discussed and condemned, politicians are not doing enough to deal with it. If the political leadership does not prioritize this issue, nothing will change,” said Sagi.

The United States, meanwhile, has dropped out of the “top 20″ in a global league table of least corrupt nations, tarnished by financial scandals and the influence of money in politics.

The U.S. fell to 22nd from 19th last year, with its CPI score dropping to 7.1 from 7.5. This was the lowest score awarded to the U.S. in the index’s 15-year history and also the first time it had fallen out of the top 20.

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DEFAMATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND SELF DETERMINATION

The ADL wants to pretend that people who speak out against what Israel has done and continues to do are not motivated by the Nakba, the occupation, the siege of Gaza, apartheid, war crimes, etcetera, but by something else. It has to pretend that’s the case in order to dodge the real issues. That’s a deliberate strategy. The ADL doesn’t want Americans to judge Israel based on the facts; it wants to judge Israel based on marketing images.

Image by David Dees
ADL: Hate Bills, Our Specialty


‘The Burning Truth of White Phosphorus’: Responding to the ADL’s ‘Anti-Israel’ List

by Alex Kane

Among the groups on the Anti-Defamation League’s list of the “top ten anti-Israel groups in America” was Students for Justice in Palestine, a  nationwide group of organizations on a variety of college campuses working on Palestine solidarity in universities.

SJP chapters have been instrumental in moving the cause of Palestinian justice and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement forward in the United States.  At Hampshire College, the SJP chapter successfully pressured the college’s board of trustees to divest from holdings it had in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation, a first in the United States.  Last academic year at the University of California, Berkeley, the SJP chapter there attracted international attention for its groundbreaking effort to push their college to divest from companies complicit in the Israeli occupation, although their initiative was ultimately felled by a veto from the president of the student government.

It’s no wonder why the ADL is targeting the group.

Immediately after the ADL’s release of the “top ten anti-Israel groups in America” list, a number of SJP chapters quickly organized to put out a response, calling the list a “disingenuous and misguided attempt to vilify students that criticize Israel’s occupation, which denies Palestinian human rights and self-determination.”

For more on SJP’s response to the ADL, I recently caught up with Yaman Salahi, a student at Yale Law School who is involved with SJP at Yale.

Alex Kane: What was your immediate reaction to SJP being included on the ADL’s list?

Yaman Salahi:  Given the ADL’s record for smearing anyone speaking out for Palestinian freedom, for justice and human rights, it was not surprising. But the idea was kind of creepy — what kind of person would be interested in this kind of Top 10 list? What’s the point of the list? Why did the ADL create it? There’s no real useful substance in it at all, there are not even compelling factual findings. To the extent that the ADL smears activists supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom and equality, it just didn’t seem like a very effective smear.

I think that the list really has a marketing function. The ADL list is an exercise in branding. The ADL recognizes that SJP and groups like JVP [Jewish Voice for Peace] have a growing influence on fair-minded people. It recognizes that these groups are breaking out of the activism circle and have growing influence on the mainstream. It recognizes that these groups are getting savvier by the day and are learning how to mobilize and intervene effectively.

Nowhere in its report does the ADL challenge the basis for our activism. Nowhere in its report does it say: “Israel should, in fact, be allowed to use white phosphorous as a weapon against civilians.” Nowhere does it say: “Israel should be allowed to bomb, indiscriminately, the civilians of Gaza.” Nowhere does it say: “Israel has a right to demolish the homes of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, and hand their properties over to Jewish settlers.” Those are all the implications though because that is the kind of stuff we speak out against. But the ADL report constructs a vacuum completely devoid of moral principles and ethical concerns, nowhere acknowledging our motivating principles, and implies that if you object to any of these kinds of injustices, that you are simply “anti-Israel.” It can avoid the burning truth of white phosphorous by relying on these kinds of sophomoric labels. But if its definition of “anti-Israel” is nothing more than holding Israel to universal standards of decency and justice, then “anti-Israel” can only be a badge of honor.

So the ADL is engaging in a branding campaign to combat the fact that we are social justice and human rights activists coming together to put a stop to a real wrong. It wants to dismiss all of these legitimate and compelling concerns and rely simply on the label “anti-Israel.” It doesn’t even define “anti-Israel” — instead, the ADL relies on whatever preconceptions exist in readers’ minds to define the term for themselves. So you can see, it brings together not only ten very different organizations, all over the political spectrum, in order to imply some sort of “guilt” by association, but also to brand all these groups as nothing more than “anti-Israel.” It wants to distort the causality by suggesting that we are irrationally “anti-Israel,” that we have no legitimate reason for our attitudes. In fact, activists speak out against Israel because of what we know about Israel’s history and because of what we know about what Israel does every day to the Palestinians. The ADL wants to pretend that people who speak out against what Israel has done and continues to do are not motivated by the Nakba, the occupation, the siege of Gaza, apartheid, war crimes, etcetera, but by something else. It has to pretend that’s the case in order to dodge the real issues. That’s a deliberate strategy. The ADL doesn’t want Americans to judge Israel based on the facts; it wants to judge Israel based on marketing images.

AK: What do you think SJP’s inclusion on the list says about the state of the Palestine solidarity movement in the U.S., and specifically on campus?

YS: I think it reflects the tremendous growth of student activism on the issue. By and large campus organizations are autonomous of one another, but now, networks are beginning to form. I think that these networks have a lot of potential. I believe that the response issued by SJP and signed by over 60 campus groups is the first coordinated action of that scale. It’s really promising because such networks can be leveraged in support of much more ambitious and effective campaigns, on a national scale. I think that the ADL sees the writing on the wall, and that is why it wants to focus on SJP. I think it believes that the divestment Debate at UC Berkeley was just the tip of the iceberg, and that because it can’t argue on the merits, the ADL has to resort to ad hominem attacks instead.

Nevertheless, it’s important not to react triumphantly. Just because the ADL puts us on its blacklist doesn’t mean we are guaranteed to succeed. We will succeed, but only if we are serious and work hard. The best way to honor this report is for students to find ways to provoke meaningful discussion and action on their own campuses. Students must always re-focus the discussion on Israel’s actions, because the ADL and other groups like it want to derail all discussions about Israel’s actions. We have to provoke the discussions that they can’t win.

AK: What do you think the list itself tells us about the ADL?

YS: It re-affirms that the ADL can’t be taken seriously when it comes to the Middle East. It has no moral authority. It is nothing more than a cheerleader for Israel, with absolutely no fidelity to values of justice or equality. It can’t cite a single progressive value that would support the creation of such a McCarthyist list. Seriously, what value does it promote? None. That’s not the ADL’s only unprincipled position lately. It took the shocking position that Muslims trying to build a mosque in New York City were doing something “offensive.” It’s almost as if the ADL was saying that, in order to avoid offending anyone, Muslims should only build mosques at the back of the bus. As far as the ADL is concerned, Muslims and Arabs have fewer rights than others. It can’t be taken seriously. It just honored Rupert Murdoch — what kind of organization that cares about racism, equality, civil rights would celebrate Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News?

AK: Do SJP chapters plan on capitalizing on the attention the ADL has given you guys, and if so, how will you capitalize on it

YS: I can’t really speak for any SJP chapter on this. I think the fact that so many groups came together to issue that joint statement says that there’s definitely an intention to use this opportunity to contribute to the public discourse, to defend student activism, and to make sure that Israel is accountable for its actions. However, to be honest, the ADL’s report itself didn’t get very much attention. Generally, only Israeli newspapers and a couple Jewish-American publications covered it, and most focused on the inclusion of Jewish Voice for Peace.  This focus itself reflects a characteristic of public discourse that I think can only be described as a form of racism: many people only pay attention when the right-wing Israel defenders attack Jews or Israelis, but insofar as they’re only attacking Arabs, Muslims, or other human rights activists, not very many people are interested. It’s funny, in a way, though, that the ADL would include JVP on this list. It goes back to the whole guilt by association thing. Here, the ADL is basically saying: “Look, JVP hangs out with Arabs & Muslims!” In other words, they’re Arab-lovers! Last time people talked like this, they lost. I think this attack by the ADL is a good opportunity for SJPs to gain access to public forums and respond. I hope people can use the opportunity to draw more attention to the real issues, like Israeli war crimes and the occupation of Palestinian land.

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TERRORISM: THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES

Isn’t Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and inscrutable?  As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries, and Western powers interfere in their internal affairs by overthrowing and covertly manipulating their governments, imposing sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, and arming their enemies.

They hate us for our occupations

By Glenn Greenwald*


AP

In this Sept 11, 2007 file picture, plumes of fire and smoke fill the sky after a suicide car bomb explosion hit fuel tanker trucks on the main highway south of Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a task force to study what causes Terrorism, and it concluded that “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies”:  specifically, “American direct intervention in the Muslim world” through our “one sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan” (the full report is here).  Now, a new, comprehensive study from Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer, substantiates what is (a) already bleedingly obvious and (b) known to the U.S. Government for many years:  namely, that the prime cause of suicide bombings is not Hatred of Our Freedoms or Inherent Violence in Islamic Culture or a Desire for Worldwide Sharia Rule by Caliphate, but rather.  . . . foreign military occupations.  As summarized by Politico‘s Laura Rozen:

Pape. . . will present findings on Capitol Hill Tuesday that argue that the majority of suicide terrorism around the world since 1980 has had a common cause: military occupation.

Pape and his team of researchers draw on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world that was partially funded by the Defense Department’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. They have compiled the terrorism statistics in a publicly available database comprised of some 10,000 records on some 2,200 suicide terrorism attacks, dating back to the first suicide terrorism attack of modern times – the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 241 U.S. Marines.

“We have lots of evidence now that when you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns, … and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100% of the terrorist campaign,” Pape said in an interview last week on his findings.

Pape said there has been a dramatic spike in suicide bombings in Afghanistan since U.S. forces began to expand their presence to the south and east of the country in 2006. . . . Deaths due to suicide attacks in Afghanistan have gone up by a third in the year since President Obama added another 30,000 U.S. troops. “It is not making it any better,” Pape said.

Pape believes his findings have important implications even for countries where the U.S. does not have a significant direct military presence, but is perceived by the population to be indirectly occupying.

For instance, across the border from Afghanistan, suicide terrorism exploded in Pakistan in 2006 as the U.S. put pressure on then Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf “to divert 100,000 Pakistani army troops from their [perceived] main threat [India] to western Pakistan,” Pape said.

Imagine that.  Isn’t Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and inscrutable?  As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries, and Western powers interfere in their internal affairs by overthrowing and covertly manipulating their governments, imposing sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, and arming their enemies.  Therefore (of course), the solution to Terrorism is to interfere more in their countries by continuing to occupy, bomb, invade, assassinate, lawlessly imprison and control them, because that’s the only way we can Stay Safe.  There are people over there who are angry at us for what we’re doing in their world, so we need to do much more of it to eradicate the anger.  That’s the core logic of the War on Terror.  How is that working out?

* * * * *

Akbar Ahmed, the Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, was on Bloggingheads TV yesterday with Robert Wright discussing convicted attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, and said this:

Take the case of Faisal Shahzad.  He seems to be, if you put him in a category . . .  he grows up with the reputation of being a party guy, a party boy in the tribal areas [in Pakistan]. . . . He then comes to America and all the pictures are of a modern young man. . . . He changes, but he changes, again, for interesting reasons. The media would have us believe that it’s the violence in the Koran and the religion of Islam.  But hear what he’s saying.  He’s in fact saying:  I am taking revenge for the drone strikes in the tribal areas.  So he’s acting more like a tribesman whose involvement in Pashtun values . . .  one of the primary features of that is revenge, rather then saying I’m going to have a jihad or I’ve been trained by literalists . . . .

That is confirmed by mountains of evidence not only about what motivated Shahzad but most anti-American Terrorists as well:  severe anger over the violence and interference the U.S. brings to their part of the world.  The only caveat I’d add to Professor Ahmed’s remarks is that a desire to exact vengeance for foreign killings on your soil is hardly a unique attribute of Pashtun culture.  It’s fairly universal.  See, for instance, the furious American response to the one-day attack on 9/11 — still going strong even after 9 years.  As Professor Pape documents:  “when you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns . . . and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100% of the terrorist campaign.”  It hardly takes a genius to figure out the most effective way of reducing anti-American Terrorism; the only question is whether that’s the actual goal of those in power.

* I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. I am the author of two New York Times Bestselling books: “How Would a Patriot Act?” (May, 2006), a critique of the Bush administration’s use of executive power, and “A Tragic Legacy” (June, 2007), which examines the Bush legacy. My most recent book, “Great American Hypocrites”, examines the manipulative electoral tactics used by the GOP and propagated by the establishment press, and was released in April, 2008, by Random House/Crown.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

ISRAEL REJOICES AT WIKILEAKS’ REPORTS

Our rejoicing propagandists have changed their tactics now: no longer “the most moral army in the world,” a contention any reasonable person can see is ridiculous. Now they say: “We are terrible, like all the rest.”

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


Israel is relieved not to be the only war criminal

The voice of joy, the voice of rejoicing is heard in Israel: The Americans and British have also committed for war crimes, not only us.

By Gideon Levy

The voice of joy, the voice of rejoicing is heard in Israel: The Americans and British have also committed for war crimes, not only us. WikiLeaks’ revelations have inflamed all our noisy propagandists: Where is Goldstone, they rejoiced, and what would he have said? They were relieved. If the Americans are allowed to do it, so are we.

Indeed, the Americans are not allowed, and neither are we. When the traffic police stop a driver for speeding, the argument that “others do it” will not help him. When Richard Goldstone exposes war crimes in Gaza, the claim that “everyone does it” will not help us. Not everyone does it, and when they do, they should be excoriated and penalized.

According to the logic of Israeli propagandists, some of whom are disguised as journalists, Israel should now proudly look at the rest of the world: They killed more people there. There is no need to improve prison conditions in Israel – in China the situation is much worse; there is no need to upgrade health services – in America 50 million people have no insurance; no need to reduce the gap between rich and poor – in Mexico it is greater; we can continue to assassinate without trial – the British also do it; human rights are protected here – the Iranians are much worse; Israel has no corruption – look what’s happening in Africa; the United States has the death penalty – let’s have it too; it is even permissible to kill dissident journalists – look at the Russians.

Yes, war is cruel, the world is full of crimes and injustice, but not one of them exonerates Israel, even if Israel’s sins seem pure as snow compared to those of the great United States. Now is the time to sharply censure America, not to forgive Israel.

It is the task of all patriots and people of conscience to express their fury over any such revelations, especially, of course, in their own country. Israelis must aspire to a more just and much more law-abiding country, without reference to what is going on in the world. True, we are not the worst; far from it. The number of civilians killed in Iraq, as was revealed, is a thousand times more horrific than the number killed in Gaza. So what? Even if the world holds us to a harsher standard, our hands do not become any cleaner. The world is more strict with us for various reasons, some justified, and at the same time treats us favorably and turns a blind eye to many other things. And in any case, the determining factor should be what we see in the mirror, if we look at it honestly.

Our rejoicing propagandists have changed their tactics now: no longer “the most moral army in the world,” a contention any reasonable person can see is ridiculous. Now they say: “We are terrible, like all the rest.” That claim does not hold water, especially because Israel is not judged only by one or another of its military operations, but by its decades-long occupation, with no end in sight. Such a lengthy occupation is unparalleled in the modern world and a disgrace to Israel, no matter what America is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks has proven that in the end the truth will out; it is hard to hide anything in this era. Goldstone also showed it, albeit much less dramatically. Some two years after Operation Cast Lead, even the Israel Defense Forces is still dealing with it here and there, investigating and trying officers and soldiers who did what the Goldstone report, which so infuriated Israel, said they did.

Israel should thank Goldstone, and America should thank Julian Assange. Their revelations prove the futility of war and its crimes. Imagine how much hatred America has sown in Iraq, with its thousands of mourning families, and how much hatred Israel has sown in Gaza, with its thousands of mourning families and its ruination.

How futile are all the assassinations and the torture, abuse and false arrests, with Iraq and Gaza looking as they do.

What are we brandishing? More than 100,000 dead in a terrible, useless war, the whim of a democratic leader? True, George W. Bush should now be sent to The Hague. But the fact that others are doing it, as Assange’s revelations show, is the consolation of fools, and theirs alone.

 

 

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NO NEW SCHOOLS BUILT IN GAZA DUE TO THE TWISTED ‘LOGIC’ OF THE ISRAELI MILITARY

The Israeli military said that the sites selected for the new schools are too close to Palestinian government buildings in Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City. Since Israel considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization, any government building in Gaza (where Hamas is the ruling party of the government) is considered by Israel to be a ‘terror’ location, and thus a legitimate target for bombing raids.

UN School destroyed in Israeli attack in 2009 (photo by alethonews)

Israeli military prevents UN from building new schools in Gaza; 40,000 students without schools

by Saed Bannoura


Nearly two years after the devastating Israeli invasion of Gaza that left 1400 dead and over 30,000 families without homes, many of the schools that were destroyed in the invasion have yet to be rebuilt. Now a United Nations effort to rebuild schools in Gaza has been cut short by the Israeli military, which refuses to give the UN permission to build several schools.


The Israeli military claims that the schools could be used by Hamas to plan terror attacks against Israel. This, despite the fact that multiple UN and international investigations have found no evidence that Hamas has ever used a school in this way, and the fact that the armed wing of Hamas has not knowingly attacked Israeli civilians for over 5 years.

According to UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna, over 40,000 students were kept out of school this year due to a lack of facilities, and Israel’s refusal to allow the construction of needed facilities merely exacerbates this problem.

Since June 2007, when the elected government of Hamas took office in accordance with the Palestinian Constitution, the Israeli government has refused to recognize the elected government, and has imposed a devastating siege on the entire population of the Gaza Strip. The United Nations and other international agencies have called this siege ‘collective punishment’, which is a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Building materials, even for schools and hospitals, have been among the many items forbidden from entering the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of tons of building materials donated by international aid groups and foreign governments were seized by the Israeli military and sold for profit inside Israel.

The Israeli military said that the sites selected for the new schools are too close to Palestinian government buildings in Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City. Since Israel considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization, any government building in Gaza (where Hamas is the ruling party of the government) is considered by Israel to be a ‘terror’ location, and thus a legitimate target for bombing raids.

Source via Uruknet

IRAQILEAKS AND THE GREAT AMERICAN COVER-UP

US and Iraqi soldiers escort detainees after a raid, in 2008 – AP Photo

Today, seven and a half years on from the order to invade, the largest leak in history has shown, far more than has been hitherto known, just what was unleashed by that declaration of war. The Iraqi security services tortured hundreds, and the US military watched, noted and emailed, but rarely intervened.

Torture, killing, children shot – and how the US tried to keep it all quiet

The largest leak in history reveals the true extent of the bloodshed unleashed by the decision to go to war in Iraq – and adds at least 15,000 to its death toll

So now we begin to know the full extent of what Tony Blair called the blood price.

A detainee tortured with live electrical wires here, children shot by US troops at a checkpoint there, insurgents using children to carry out suicide bombings somewhere else; on and on, through 391,832 documents. At the Pentagon, these messages were the day-to-day commonplaces of staff inboxes; for Iraqis, they detail, in the emotionless jargon of the US military, nothing less than the hacking open of a nation’s veins.

Today, seven and a half years on from the order to invade, the largest leak in history has shown, far more than has been hitherto known, just what was unleashed by that declaration of war. The Iraqi security services tortured hundreds, and the US military watched, noted and emailed, but rarely intervened. A US helicopter gunship crew were ordered to shoot insurgents trying to surrender. A doctor sold al-Qa’ida a list of female patients with learning difficulties so they could be duped into being suicide bombers. A private US company, which made millions of dollars from the outsourcing of security duties, killed civilians. And the Americans, who have always claimed never to count civilian deaths, were in fact secretly logging them. At a conservative estimate, the new documents add at least 15,000 to the war’s death toll.

It was yesterday morning when WikiLeaks, the crowd-funded website which achieved worldwide fame for releasing Afghanistan material earlier this year, uploaded nearly 400,000 US military documents. Covering the 2004-09 period, they consist of messages passed from low-level or medium-level operational troops to their superiors and ultimate bosses in the Pentagon. They are marked “Secret”, by no means the highest of security classifications.

The Pentagon’s response was to say that the leak put the lives of US troops and their military partners in jeopardy, and other official sources dismissed the documents as revealing little that was new. An answer to this came from Iraq Body Count, the British organisation that has monitored civilian deaths since 2003: “These Iraq logs … contain information on civilian and other casualties that has been kept from public view by the US government for more than six years…. The data on casualties is information about the public (mainly the Iraqi public) that was unjustifiably withheld from both the Iraqi and world public by the US military, apparently with the intent to do so indefinitely.”

The Iraq War Logs are US documents, and so detail only a few incidents involving British troops. Two, dated 23 June 2008, record a pair of Shia men who say they were punched and kicked by unidentified British troops. Both men had injuries that were consistent with their stories. There is no record of any formal investigation. Another log, dated 2 September 2008, records that a civilian interrogator working with the Americans claimed British soldiers had dragged him through his house and repeatedly dunked his head into a bowl of water and threatened him with a pistol. The log says his story was undermined by inconsistencies and an absence of injuries.

Here are the main areas where there is fresh, and significant, information:

Civilian death tolls

The Pentagon and the Iraqi health ministry consistently refused to publish a death toll of civilians, even denying such a record existed. “We don’t do body counts,” said US General Tommy Franks, who directed the Iraq invasion. The Iraq War Logs reveal just how hollow his words were.

Since the beginning of the war, The Independent on Sunday has asserted that the true death toll of civilians in the war was far higher than military officials were suggesting. As early as 2004 the IoS reported that the Pentagon was in fact collecting classified casualty figures and that academics believed the death toll might be as much as 100,000 – or more.

The logs detail 109,032 deaths, some 66,081 of which are civilians. Iraq Body Count said yesterday that an analysis of a sample of 860 of the Iraq War Logs led it to estimate the information in all the logs would add 15,000 extra civilian deaths to its previous total of 107,000. To these should be added military deaths, and IBC’s revised total deaths in Iraq would now be around 150,000, 80 per cent of them civilians.

However, some care needs to be taken in using this data. The information in the logs is by no means a comprehensive tally of all deaths.

The death toll of civilians is in stark contrast to President Bush’s words in 2003, when he said that new technology meant troops could go out of their way to protect Iraqi civilians. “With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians,” he said.

Torture

The leaked documents provide a ground’s-eye view of abuses as reported by US military personnel to their superiors, and appear to corroborate much of the past reporting on such incidents. Beatings, burnings and lashings surface in hundreds of the documents, giving the impression that the use of cables, metal rods, wooden poles and live electrical wires to torture detainees was far from rare. Although some abuse cases were investigated by the Americans, most in the archive seem to have been ignored.

Early on, space for detainees was limited, and Iraqis would pack them into makeshift jails. In November 2005, American soldiers found 173 detainees with cigarette burns, sores and broken bones crammed into a police internment centre near Baghdad. The log states: “Many detainees are coughing…. Approx 95 were being held in one room and were sitting cross-legged with blindfolds, all facing the same direction. According to one of the detainees questioned on-site, 12 detainees have died of disease in recent weeks.”

In August 2006, a US sergeant in Ramadi heard whipping noises in a military police station and walked in on an Iraqi lieutenant using an electrical cable to slash the bottom of a detainee’s feet. He later found the same Iraqi officer whipping a detainee’s back. The American provided sworn statements and photographs of “circular whip marks [and] bleeding on back.” No investigation was initiated.

But some of the worst examples came later in the war. In one case last December, 12 Iraqi soldiers, including an intelligence officer, were caught on video in Tal Afar shooting to death a prisoner whose hands were tied. In another, US forces found a detainee with two black eyes, a bruised neck and “scabbing on his left ankle”. The detainee said he was electrocuted by Iraqi soldiers in Mosul in order to obtain a confession. Iraqi officials stated he was injured after attempting to escape.

Amnesty International condemned the revelations in the documents and questioned whether US authorities had broken international law by handing detainees to Iraqi forces known to be committing abuses “on a truly shocking scale”. The UN special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, said there was a duty on the US administration to investigate whether its officials were involved in or complicit in torture.

Al-Qa’ida’s use of special needs patients as suicide bombers

A doctor allegedly “sold lists” of patients with special needs to al-Qa’ida so they could be strapped with remote-control explosives and detonated in busy markets in Baghdad. According to the Iraq War Logs, in October 2008 a GP was arrested by US forces on suspicion of passing on the names of 11 female patients to insurgents.

A file stated that the women were “likely used in the 01 February 2008 dual suicide attack on local markets”, referring to two women with Down’s syndrome who were fooled into wearing explosive vests and blown up in co-ordinated attacks on pet bazaars in central Baghdad. The explosions, which Iraqi officials said were detonated by mobile phone, killed at least 73 people and wounded more than 160.

It wasn’t an isolated incident – on 4 April 2008, a “mentally retarded” teenage boy blew himself up at a funeral in Diyala Province, north-east of Baghdad, killing six and injuring 34. He had, the log suggested, the “facial features of a person with Down’s syndrome” and was part of an “ongoing strategy” to recruit individuals with learning difficulties. And, on 28 February 2008, a mentally ill teenage boy was shot and injured by a US patrol while attempting to flee his kidnappers who were intending to use him as a suicide bomber.

An analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that, on average, 30 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated every day between 2004 and 2009 – with vulnerable children handpicked as pawns for slaughter. A US soldier wrote in March 2007: “A 12- to 14-year-old boy wearing a back pack and on a bicycle rode into the intersection. The patrol passed through the intersection and the boy detonated his explosives targeting the passing vehicles.” A year later, in February 2008, the log stated: “S2 [military intelligence] assessment: recent reports indicated… AQI [al-Qa'ida in Iraq] is recruiting young local nationals and also using mentally handicapped persons to target CF [Coalition Forces] within the dragoon OE [operational environment].”

Private contractors

The documents reveal details of the largely unaccountable, and sometimes gung-ho, actions of private security firms. According to a New York Times analysis, the leaked documents “sketch, in vivid detail, a critical change in the way America wages war: the early days of the Iraq war… ushered in the era of the private contractor, wearing no uniform but fighting and dying in battle, gathering and disseminating intelligence and killing presumed insurgents.”

Among companies named in the Iraq war logs is a US firm called, of all things, Custer Battles. During the six years covered by the reports, at least 175 private security contractors were killed. Most of the dead were Iraqi drivers, guards and other staff.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism says the war logs detail 14 wrongful killings of civilians by the American security company formerly known as Blackwater. It is alleged that in one-third of the cases, Blackwater guards fired on civilians while guarding US officials. The company has earned more than $1.5bn (£950m) since the 2003 invasion. On 14 May 2005 the logs allege that Blackwater shot a civilian car, reportedly killing the driver and injuring his wife and child. The guards drove on and left the injured woman and child. A year later, on 2 May 2006, Blackwater guards opened fire on an ambulance attending the scene of an IED, killing the civilian ambulance driver.

Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services in 2009 after an incident in 2007 in Nisour Square, Baghdad, in which its security guards were involved in a shooting that killed 14 civilians. After the Nisour massacre the Iraqi government demanded that Blackwater leave the country. Xe Services is still one of the US government’s largest security contractors.

Shooting of surrendering men

A US Apache helicopter was ordered to kill two Iraqi insurgents who tried to surrender. The pilots of the helicopter were advised by a military lawyer that the men could not surrender to an aircraft, and thus were still targets.

The gunship launched a Hellfire missile at the truck, but the men fled the vehicle and ran into a nearby shack. The crew received further instructions to kill the men, and succeeded by firing 300 rounds a minute from the Apache’s 30mm cannon.

Up to 30 children killed by US soldiers at checkpoints

As many as 30 children died at the hands of US forces at military checkpoints, the Iraq war logs have revealed. Violent “escalation of force” (EOF) incidents as vehicles were slowed down and searched “often” resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians, according to the classified documents.

One entry described how a six-year-old Iraqi was hit as troops fired several rounds with light machine guns. It read: “While crossing the street, patrol had an EOF where patrol fired 3 rounds of M249. One round ricocheted off the concrete hitting a 6yr old LN [local national] 250m down the road. Medical Facility reported that the 6yr old LN died of wounds upon arrival.”

Another detailed an incident in June 2005, where US soldiers fired warning shots at the grill of a car from 150m away. When the car finally stopped, seven were dead – including two children – and two were injured, because their parents had told them to lie on the floor of the car for safety. The logs detail the deaths of “significant” numbers of Iraqi civilians, including an unborn child, at checkpoints between 2004 and 2009. Of 834 people killed, 80 per cent were civilians – bringing the total dead to 681.

A photographer embedded with the First Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division in January 2005, in Tal Afar, north-west Iraq, witnessed the deaths of Camille and Hussein Hassan, who were travelling with their six children. Rakan Hassan, 11, was shot in the spine and paralysed – and his family was offered just $7,500 (£4,782) in compensation by the US Army for the loss of the two parents at $2,500 (£1,594) each, and an extra $2,500 (£1,594) for damaging the car (pictured). And on 29 September 2004, a car approaching a checkpoint was fired on by US soldiers and swerved off the road into a canal 1.5km north of Saqlawiyah, near Ramadi. It sank, drowning six people – two women, three children aged between five and eight, and a baby.

Analysis of the logs by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Channel 4’s Dispatches showed that, over the six-year period, four times as many civilians were killed in EOF incidents than those listed as insurgents.

Source

ISRAEL FEARS LOSING ITS STATUS OF ‘ETERNAL VICTIM’


On the March: Palestinian women protest the construction of the separation barrier near their town, as depicted in ‘Budrus,’ a film opening in cities across the U.S. this month.

The zionist wants you to believe that every Palestinian is an armed terrorist or potential suicide bomber. They have been painting that picture for over 62 years enabling Israel to maintain the status of ‘eternal victim‘.

The reality of the situation is that most Palestinians that are actively involved against the occupation of THEIR land are employing non violent resistance as the primary method of their struggle. A new film, Budrus, depicts this as it pertains to the struggle against the wall of apartheid in one occupied village and how this inspired others to follow.

The film depicts one village’s protest against this expropriation in 2003 and 2004 by a coalition that included members of Fatah and Hamas, as well as Israeli Jews and international supporters. Due to their protests, the route of the barrier around Budrus was eventually changed to hew closer to the pre-1967 borders.

Since 2004, nonviolent resistance against the separation barrier has grown far beyond Budrus. Similar movements are active in about 10 Palestinian towns and villages, including high-profile instances in Bi’lin and Ni’lin.

Loss of the status mentioned above will result in loss of funds collected to maintain the scam of the century…. THAT is Israel’s greatest fear…. not an uprising or an Independent Palestine, loss of funding.

The italics are taken from a Forward article which appears below…. a must read about a film that is a must see!

How Will Jews React to ‘Budrus’?

A Film Highlighting Non-violent Resistance to Israeli Policies, and Israel’s Tough Response, To Get U.S. Premiere, With Jewish Support.

Protesters in the Palestinian town of Budrus were growing frustrated. After months of nonviolently demonstrating against the Israeli separation barrier being built through their olive groves, the demonstrators faced increased force from Israeli border police who were firing tear gas and swinging batons. Young Palestinians began tossing rocks at the soldiers despite pleas from protest organizers, and Israeli forces occupied the town, sending live ammunition down the narrow streets.

These scenes, which took place in the West Bank six years ago, are now coming to a mass audience in America in “Budrus,” a new documentary premiering in New York in October.

For American Jews whose image of Palestinian resistance to Israel is dominated by violence and terrorism, the film promises to highlight the current wave of Palestinian civic resistance.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, who has yet to see the film, views the situation the film depicts as part of a broader trend that he supports — and he thinks American Jews will see it that way, as well.

“You can’t follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict generally and not be aware that there seems to be growth in the assertiveness and the extent of nonviolent protest, and I think it’s a constructive development,” he said.

Not every Jewish communal official agrees. The American Jewish Committee’s associate director of communications, Ben Cohen, who has not yet seen the film, predicted that American Jewish reaction to the movie will be skeptical. “Most people are not going to assume that because the soldier is armed and the activist is not [in one frame], all the violence is on one side,” he said.

The documentary, which has won plaudits on the film festival circuit, depicts a mostly nonviolent series of protests against the separation barrier that Israel has set in place between its citizens and West Bank Palestinians. The long trail of fences and walls was built in response to the second intifada, an extended campaign of suicide bombings against civilians by Palestinian terrorist groups. But the ostensible security barrier often deviates from the internationally recognized Green Line that separates Israel from the occupied territory to go deep into the West Bank, taking in acres of Palestinian land, and sometimes separating villagers from their own fields, groves and farms.

The film depicts one village’s protest against this expropriation in 2003 and 2004 by a coalition that included members of Fatah and Hamas, as well as Israeli Jews and international supporters. Due to their protests, the route of the barrier around Budrus was eventually changed to hew closer to the pre-1967 borders.

Protest Leader: Iltezam Morrar features prominently in the film as an unlikedly leader of the protests against the barrier.  

just vision
Protest Leader: Iltezam Morrar features prominently in the film as an unlikedly leader of the protests against the barrier.

“This film came out of a constant question that we got: ‘Where’s the Palestinian Gandhi?’” said Ronit Avni, founder and executive director of the American not-for-profit organization Just Vision, which produced the film. Avni said that audiences told her: “If Palestinians adopted nonviolence, there would be peace. That is the assumption that is dominant in the Israeli and the American Jewish public.”

Since 2004, nonviolent resistance against the separation barrier has grown far beyond Budrus. Similar movements are active in about 10 Palestinian towns and villages, including high-profile instances in Bi’lin and Ni’lin.

As in Budrus, the army has routinely broken up the protests by using tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, and sometimes, live fire. On the Palestinian side, cases of stone throwing have occurred. Protesters have been injured and killed in these demonstrations. The Israeli army says that more than 100 soldiers have been hurt, some seriously. Still, few question these demonstrations represent a fundamental break with the tactics of the recent past.

Avni’s group, which advocates nonviolent cooperative efforts between Israelis and Palestinians toward resolutions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, created the documentary mostly from footage taken by activists and observers during the events in Budrus. Coupled with contemporary interviews, the footage depicts the efforts of Ayed Morrar, a local activist, to organize protests against the separation barrier. His daughter, Iltezam, a teenager at the time, plays an important role in the protests and in the film, at one point throwing her body into a pit being dug by an Israeli bulldozer, effectively halting work on the barrier.

The film graphically depicts the sometimes aggressive response of the Israeli security forces tasked with protecting the demolition crews and controlling the crowds at Budrus. A female Israeli border patrol officer, seen in the film hitting Palestinian women with a baton, narrates some of the footage.

“Part of what this unarmed resistance is about…[is], you are trying to hold up a mirror; you shame the wrongdoers into changing their behavior,” said the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation’s senior research fellow and co-director Daniel Levy, who has participated on panels following screenings of the film. “It’s easy to say all the inequities of the occupation are because of Palestinian violence. As soon as you don’t have that place to go to, the idea is, you have to look deeper inside yourself.”

But Cohen said that the Palestinian nonviolent strategy will not win sympathy from American Jews. He said that the participation of local Hamas leaders in the protests invalidated them because of that group’s role in sponsoring numerous terrorist attacks.

“If I see Hamas participate in a demonstration, it doesn’t have to end in a specific terror act for me to underline the point that Hamas’s presence belies the claim of nonviolence, because Hamas is based on violence,” he said.

He rejected the view that the proximate goal of a particular rally mattered more than the broader ideology of the participants.

Supporters of “Budrus” say that this film is bound to spark debate among American Jewish audiences. Indeed, a Jewish group is among its funders.

At a panel discussion about “Budrus” that followed a screening at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival earlier this year, there was “this incredibly civil conversation,” said Elise Bernhardt, executive director of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, which funded the film through its Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Film.

“To my mind, whether I agree with the perspective, it doesn’t matter, because I think what [the] filmmakers are after is to get a conversation going about what are the options here to solve this problem,” Bernhardt said.

Budrus was not the first town to adopt nonviolent tactics against the separation barrier. But according to Mohammed al-Khateeb, a leader of the protests in Bi’lin and of a committee that coordinates protest activities around the West Bank, Budrus’s success in changing the route of the barrier was influential.

“If we use the violence it will be confused, and the Israelis will use the military reason and the military excuse and the security excuse to attack and to strengthen their occupation under the security regime,” Khateeb said.

The film opened in theaters in Britain at the end of September. After its U.S. premiere in New York in early October, “Budrus” is scheduled to appear at theaters in New York, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles and Denver.

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.


Also see an earlier post including a trailer of the film HERE

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ PALESTINIANS ARE THE SAME AS ANY OTHER PEOPLE

Such immense violence has been inflicted on Gaza, for so long. So much has been done to dehumanize the people living here, that we in the west have come to regard Palestinians in Gaza not as whole people, but as mere objects of pity; not as complex, thinking political beings, but as “recipients of humanitarian aid.”

‘Same as any other people’

By Jared Malsin

I’ve been critical in the past of feature reporting on Palestine that takes the form of “Palestinians + X” where X is anything other than violence. You see feature stories in the Western press Palestinian soccer teams, Palestinian musicians, basketball players, as if it were somehow remarkable that Palestinians engage in the full spectrum of human pursuits that people all over the world do. Sometimes these stories are couched in terms of “how remarkable these Palestinians are able to do [X activity] in spite of the occupation.” But sometimes not.

I tire of these features. I believe that these reports unintentionally and implicitly reinforce the racist expectation that Palestinians are extremists or inherently violent. So much time and journalistic energy is spent proving the tautological point that a certain group of people (Palestinians) are, in fact, human.

Well, I’m going to go against the grain of my own criticism today with this post, about a day of sports and art activities for kids staged in Gaza today. The reason I’m posting these photos is that, my spirits were personally lifted when I walked into Yarmouk stadium this afternoon to find kids running a relay race and teenagers painting murals in the late afternoon sun.

Such immense violence has been inflicted on Gaza, for so long. So much has been done to dehumanize the people living here, that we in the west have come to regard Palestinians in Gaza not as whole people, but as mere objects of pity; not as complex, thinking political beings, but as “recipients of humanitarian aid.”

Activities like today’s sports day do, in their own way, represent a non-trivial effort to overcome this dehumanization.

The games today also had an up-front political message. Banners were draped everywhere in the stadium proclaiming “No Gaza siege,” and “It’s our right to practice sports without [what] Israel imposes.”

The event was also a space to allow Palestinian youths to narrate their political circumstances. You can see in the photos below, what these young artists chose to depict was not all smiles and cheer: there are scenes of Israeli tanks crushing houses, Israeli soldiers aiming their guns at Palestinian children.

“It’s a message from the Palestinian people that we love life, and we have the right to practice sports the same as any other people,” said Ali Nazli, the head of the Al-Jazeera Sports Club in Gaza, which organized the event along with the British charity IF (International Friends).

The day’s activities included an attempt to break the world record for highest number of participants in a 12-hour-long relay race. The race was called “Gaza 100.” A simultaneous event was being held in London, to help raise awareness of the situation in Gaza, said Mahmoud Lubbad, the representative of IF in Gaza.

“These kids love life like all others all over the world,” Nazli told me. “The siege is a violation of human rights, and if we transmit this message, maybe the world will hear.”

I asked him if he thought anyone would listen. He said, “There is a heightened awareness throughout the world.”

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Source

PETE SEEGER: IN LIEU OF A TRIBUTE


It was my hope that I would never have to write this post. My public silence on the issue at hand until now was my way of protecting the image of a man so great, a man who has been the inspiration to millions of activists throughout the world.  I tried to keep to myself what I am about to tell you all, hoping it would never happen.

But, it is happening, it’s official, Pete Seeger will be taking part in a Virtual Rally For A better Middle East. The event is sponsored by an organisation known as the Arava Institute. One of the major players is the Jewish National Fund.

The Arava Institute has not been hiding the fact that there is opposition to Seeger’s participation in the event. They published an article which originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post whitewashing the entire concept of the Boycott and Divestment Movement.

In part, the article states; What could be a more positive, non-political message of coexistence than that, right? Not according to over 40 organizations, led by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, which published a letter on Sunday calling on Seeger to “join the growing list of artists who have respected the Palestinian boycott call,” referring to cancellations this summer by the likes of Elvis Costello and the Pixies.The letter cited recent events in the Beduin village of Al- Arakib, where illegal structures have been torn down four times this year by the Israel Police. The letter also focused on the participation of the Jewish National Fund as a partner in the online presentation. 

“The JNF, a partner organization in ‘With Earth and Each Other,’ has been engaged in the ‘Judaization’ of Palestine for more than 100 years. After the 1948 expulsion of two thirds of the Palestinian people from their lands, the JNF planted fast-growing non-native trees on the ruins of Palestinian villages in a deliberate attempt to prevent refugees from returning to their land.”

In a separate letter to Seeger, Jeff Halper, chairman of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) wrote: “I hope that you will decide to join these artists of conscience and once again make a bold stand for justice.

The movement is gathering strength, the violators of civilized norms are fearful, and change is in the air.”

Seeger, long sympathetic with Left-wing causes, has been donating some his royalties for the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” to the ICAHD for over ten years.

Halper noted that one of the JNF’s most recent activities has been “the planting of a forest to cover a Beduin village [Al- Arakib] in the Negev from which the residents have been forcibly removed.”

 

From a very disturbing YNet article; Then, as now, Seeger whole-heartedly believed that songs can bring change. Seeger, America’s most important folk-music singer, says time and again that dialogue and non-violent actions are the only way to solve conflicts.

Many Palestinian organizations, including Adallah, signed a petition calling on Seeger to withdraw from the rally, but he won’t hear of it. That’s not to say that he supports Israel’s current policies. “My stand is supporting the boycott of Israeli products. I don’t know much about the artistic boycott taking place, but I understand the financial boycott. I don’t think there will be a human race here in another 50 years unless the entire world finds a way to communicate – whether it’s with pictures or music or food or sports. Words may come later, but we have to find a way to (talk) in some way”.

Now is not the time to sit around the campfire and sing Kumbayah!  In order to move forward people have to communicate, not talk.  A boycott is a very clear form of communication.  Aside from which, it is the method of communication chosen by the victims in this crime of occupation – and as such it should be respected. After an extremely honorable life, one bordering on sainthood, he is creating great harm in his final years.  As we can see, his act is being greatly exploited by the criminals . The silence of the students in Michigan this past week speaks much louder than Pete singing in that concert. Bottom line is, Pete has now made himself complicit in war crimes.

In his own words; “In 1967 I performed at a joint Israeli and Arab event (at the Hilton Tel Aviv, days before the Six Day War broke out). Before that I performed in Lebanon, where they asked me not to come to Israel. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse; Israel adopted large scale force while Palestinians use small scale force.

“Little by little I understood more how Zionism started. Of course, after the horrible experience of Hitler many people went to Israel. On the other hand, had I known more then, what was going to happen to Jews everywhere, I would consider how to prevent this terrible situation going on right now.”

There IS a way to prevent and stop the situation that is going on right now….. CHANGE YOUR MIND AND PULL OUT OF THE COMING EVENT! IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

The above was written out of love for the man, not out of anger. Pete Seeger has been a part of my life for over 60 years and a man I have known personally for over 50 of those years. He has always been there for humanity and has ‘paid the price’ for his dedication. I can honestly say, that despite all of the above, I love the man dearly, but at the moment I must say that I don’t like him very much.

Entertaining First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and WW2 Troops…


and more recently at President Obama’s innauguration…


DON’T TARNISH THE IMAGE ….. WE HAVE SEEN TOO MANY OF OUR IDOLS FALL ALREADY!

FASCISTS TO MARCH IN NORTHERN ISRAEL

The rightwing organization Our Land of Israel will hold a demonstration Wednesday in front of the offices of the Islamic Movement in Umm al-Fahm to protest what it claims is police failure to act against the movement.

Some 70 members of the organization are expected to participate, led by Kach activists Itamar Ben Gvir and Baruch Marzel. Thousands of police officers will provide security, and serious clashes are expected – as took place last year during a similar demonstration.

I ask why a group that was declared illegal will be protected instead of being arrested….


Baruch Marzel to march in Umm al-Fahm

Our Land of Israel group to hold protest rally in northern city against police ‘servility’ towards Islamic Movement. Clashes expected as last year

The rightwing organization Our Land of Israel will hold a demonstration Wednesday in front of the offices of the Islamic Movement in Umm al-Fahm to protest what it claims is police failure to act against the movement.

Some 70 members of the organization are expected to participate, led by Kach activists Itamar Ben Gvir and Baruch Marzel. Thousands of police officers will provide security, and serious clashes are expected – as took place last year during a similar demonstration.
About three months ago the High Court approved the demonstration despite police claims, based on past experience and intelligence information, that the demonstration would likely end in public disorder. The Supreme Court even permitted the demonstrators to approach about 50 yards closer to the center of the city than last year, when clashes led to the injury of 15 police and 12 civilians.
The demonstration is to be held after the holidays, and organizers have chosen the day after the memorial day for Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of Kach.

Rightist march in Umm al-Fahm, 2009 (Photo: George Ginsberg)

“Nothing is more symbolic than the fact that one day after the twentieth anniversary of his murder, Rabbi Kahane’s followers will arrive to continue his struggle against the Arab enemy in the Islamic Movement,” said Marzel. “It is our right to march and demand that the obsequiousness towards this terror movement be stopped. We demand that (leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, Sheikh) Raed Salah and his partners be made illegal. They made Kach illegal, so the Islamic Movement should be even more so.”

‘This time we’ll bring more’

“Following the court’s ruling, it was agreed that we would be permitted to demonstrate inside the city before the Islamic Movement offices,” Ben Gvir told Ynet. “After the flotilla to Gaza we wanted to demonstrate against the leader of the movement, Sheikh Raed Salah. The police refused, and we appealed to the High Court. In the end, because the sheikh is still in detention, we gave up on the demonstration in front of his house, but we’ll get as close as possible to the movement’s offices. We’ve also increased the number of people, and instead of 50 like last year, there’ll be 70.”

“We want to protest the failure of the police and law enforcement agencies to act against the Islamic Movement and Sheikh Salah,” Ben Gvir continued. “We can’t have terror activities within the State of Israel. The Islamic Movement acts illegally. It must be shut down along with its offices, and its activists must be arrested.”
“When (leftwing organization) Peace Now comes to Hebron they say it’s freedom of speech, a legitimate right, and then when we demonstrate they say it’s provocation,” Ben Gvir said. “Why don’t we have the same rights as the leftists? They allowed the Islamic Movement to demonstrate in Tel Aviv with PLO flags. There’s a state within a state here. They do what they like in Umm al-Fahm and this (police) neglect must stop.”

Source

NUGGETS OF ISRAELI RACISM


“Non-Jews exist to serve Jews” and other nuggets of racism

Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Viva Palestina convoy enters Gaza





Video of Adeeb at one of the demonstrations challenging Israeli soldiers

(all societies include some bigots and racists but only in Israel do they get state funding and official support and laws to advance racism)



Sephardi chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Non-Jews exist to serve Jews (Rabbi Yousef is also a spiritual head of a major official political party in Israel)









Proposal sponsored by Gideon Ezra and seven other MKs, says tourists should get Israeli viewpoint.
(Israel has long reduced the number of permits for operating as tour guides to native Palestinians to miniscule numbers compared to those give to Israeli Jews (most new immigrants), something like 1 to 50 or 100 when the two parent populations are now each 5.5 million even without the ethnically cleansed refugees)

Israeli settler sewage water dumped on Beit Ummar land -Video



To understand some of the background, I recommend these books: Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schafer, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years by Israel Shahak, The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand. Ofcourse one could have criticim of other religions (e.g. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism) especiallty when they are used to justify wars and conquests instead of being about personal relationship between humans and their God (crusades foe example).  That is why I am convinced that any society that aspires to be modern and avoid conflict should start by insisting on separating state from religion.


“This cooperation (between Israeli and Palestinian security forces) has reached unprecedented levels under the quiet direction of a three-star US Army General, Keith Dayton, who has been commanding a little-publicized American mission to build up Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.”
Al Nakba, documentary (200 min) -produced by Al Jazeera- was first broadcasted in Arabic on the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe. It was translated into English in 2009 and then into four different languages: French, German, Spanish and Italian. Al Nakba won the prize for the best long documentary about Palestine in Al Jazeera Fifth International Film Festival (Doha/Qatar) and the audience award in Amal Ninth Euro-Arab Film Festival (Santiago/Spain). It participated in other film festivals in Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine.




Karma Nabulsi- Diary (of the Palestinian situation)

PRESIDENT CARTER JOINS WEEKLY DEMONSTRATION IN SHEIKH JARRAH

Report from beyond the green line: Al Ma’asara celebrates four years of joint struggle and houses set on fire from tear gas in Nabi Saleh

Posted by Joseph Dana

The unarmed and largely non-violent protests against the occupation returned to the West Bank on Friday. From Al Ma’asara to Sheikh Jarrah to Ni’ilin, Palestinians joined by Israeli and international supporters demonstrated against the occupation and for joint struggle against Israeli repression of non-violence in Palestine. The following is a collection of reports from certain villages complete with photos and video.

Al Ma’asara
The demonstration held today in Al Ma’asara marked four years of weekly protests as part of the popular struggle against the Israeli occupation, the confiscation of land through construction of settlements and the Separation wall. Hundreds of participants from France, Italy, Spain, England and other countries stood alongside Palestinians peacefully protesting Israel’s failure to comply with international law. Also present were Israeli activists from Anarchists Against the Wall, Active Stills and Ta’ayush as well as Luisa Morgantini, former vice President of European Parliament.

The Israeli forces stopped the demonstration long before reaching its destination and immediately made use of sound bombs and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the activists, despite the peaceful nature of the demonstration. An older French activist was injured when a high velocity tear gas canister shot into the air by the Israeli forces struck him in the head.Two Israeli activists were detained after crossing the line formed by the soldiers. The demonstrators held fast and refused to leave for another hour until the two activists were released. The residents of Al Ma’asara together with international supporters declared their intentions to continue the struggle to defend their rights. You can read more from Israeli activist/journalist Haggai Matar here (Hebrew).

Nabi Saleh
House burnt by tear gas canisters attack; houses invaded and used as military outposts; soldiers shooting on sight whomever in their range; making arrests; collectively punishing a population by mass tear gas attacks; snippers shooting rubber bullets; and live ammunition shot towards protesters – another long Friday of harsh Israeli army repression was the share of Nabi Saleh residents, bravely standing up for their freedom against the strangulating occupation and the Halamish settlement, built itself on the village’s lands.

Demonstration in Nabi salih, Palestine, 22/10/2010.Demonstration in Nabi salih, Palestine, 22/10/2010. 

The demonstration’s initial march was even shorter than usual as it met with an immediate unprovoked attack by Israeli border police, shooting tear gas canisters directly at the protesters, a conduct which persisted throughout the demonstration and which violates even the army’s own regulations.

Demonstration in Nabi salih, Palestine, 22/10/2010.Demonstration in Nabi salih, Palestine, 22/10/2010. 

This attack was soon followed by an army break-in and takeover of several houses within the village, using them and especially their roofs as military outposts. During the second Intifada the Israeli army took over houses for months in a row, and now residents say the houses taken over during the demonstration are likely to be repeatedly taken over in the coming Fridays. The army soldiers took the liberty (with, in many cases, twisted pleasure) to shoot on sight whomever was in their range. Only in few cases stones were thrown back to ward off the army’s incursion. Snipers used rubber bullets and close to the end of the army’s incursion into the village, soldiers also shot live ammunition towards the protesters. Several protesters sustained non-serious injuries, mostly from tear gas canisters shot directly at them.

Within the army’s unprovoked and cruel attacks inside a populated area, two houses were hit by tear gas canisters. In one of the houses a fire erupted as a result. The fire consumed some of the family property (mostly mattresses and the internal walls paint). Protesters came to put out the fire, and later own Palestinian fire department tracks arrived.

In a separate incident two Palestinian protesters were arrested for no justified reason. On Thursday night, prior to the day of the demo, as is the case on many nights since the demos has started – the Israeli army has invaded the village and patrolled it. No arrests were made. Some 10 army jeeps were involved in this Friday’s army incursion into Nabi Saleh. The three village’s youth who were arrested during last Friday were released on Tuesday and Thursday to the joy of their families, friends and supporters.

Ni’ilin

Protest against the apartheid wall, Nilin, Palestine,22/10/2010Protest against the apartheid wall, Nilin, Palestine,22/10/2010 

Around 50 demonstrators marched from the village to the separtion wall the cutting through the village land, even though it is the olive harvest season many are not allowed to go and work on there land. Few minutes after the demonstration reached the wall the army started to shoot many tear gas canisters. Moments later the armed forces open the gate a crossed to the other side of the wall shooting and chasing the demonstrators, few of the demonstrators responded with stones to slow down the soldiers. not like the last few months soldiers came from different directions trying to surprised the demonstrators. The soldiers attack was stopped few times by tear canisters that were thrown back on them. after almost 3 hours when both sides went back.There were no injures or arrests during the demo.

Protest against the apartheid wall, Nilin, Palestine,22/10/2010Protest against the apartheid wall, Nilin, Palestine,22/10/2010 

Sheikh Jarrah

The Elders made a visit with their entourage of security guards.

Posted AT

IDF’s IMAGE REMAINS TARNISHED DESPITE ATTEMPTS TO POLISH IT

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


At the beginning of the month I posted a piece about an IDF support group visiting universities in Michigan to ‘untarnish’ their image….

Below is a video showing the ‘welcome’ they received….

Univ. of Michigan students protest IDF speakers

by Adam Horowitz

This video was just posted from a silent protest yesterday during a presentation from two IDF soldiers at the University of Michigan. They certainly know how to clear out a room. The students are wearing the names of Palestinians killed by the IDF:




Posted AT

Also see this report….

WIKILEAKS ‘LEAKS’ THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ

The War Logs
A trove of nearly 400,000 secret field reports from Iraq, obtained by the group WikiLeaks, sheds new light on such issues as civilian deaths, detainee abuse and the involvement of Iran.  | Overview »

Reports Detail Iran Aid to Iraq Militias

By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ANDREW W. LEHREN

Civilians Paid War’s Heaviest Toll

By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ANDREW W. LEHREN

Detainees Suffered in Iraqi Hands

By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ANDREW W. LEHREN


All of the above from the New York Times
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Also see the following Reuters report that appeared in HaAretz….

Leaked Iraq documents depict abuse in Iraq

Files also detail well-known U.S. concerns about Iranian training and support for Iraqi militias.

LITERALLY BREAKING THE LAW WITH THEIR OWN HANDS

A short video follows the article posted showing what results when IDF soldiers heed the words of the rabbinical ‘authorities’ in question. They have disregarded every law written to protect the rights of the people and have created their own code of hatred against all of humanity. They have not ‘taken the law into their own hands’ as the old saying goes, they have literally broken the law with their own hands.

What is particularly disturbing is that leading Israeli rabbis, who are meant to be the spiritual and moral guides of the Jewish people, are actually encouraging racism, physical violence and even the killing of Palestinians.


From April 2009…. 31-year old Bassem Abu Rahmeh was killed in Bil’in on Friday. He was killed because an Israeli soldier fired a long-range tear gas canister at his abdomen, from a distance of a few yards.

Hate-filled Israeli rabbis incite violence against non-Jews

Vitriolic racism and hatred has become the Israeli norm

By Omar Radwan

Israel appears to be awash with Jewish hate preachers. In the past, rabbis who issued racist edicts or offensive remarks about Palestinians or non-Jews were generally dismissed as radicals and extremists who were no more than a trifling annoyance to be ignored in the hope that they would simply go away. However, it is now clear that ignoring this problem has only made it worse. In the current climate in Israel, extremist hate preaching has apparently become the norm and it is being embraced, not just on the extreme political right but also by a disturbing number of Israelis in general, be they preachers, politicians, settlers or simply ordinary citizens. Hate-filled Israelis have become emboldened over the years by the knowledge that they can say and do almost anything without fear, knowing that they will not be condemned or, if they are, that nothing will come of it. That is due to the widespread support for their views across Israeli society as well as their religious leaders and the political elite.

What is particularly disturbing is that leading Israeli rabbis, who are meant to be the spiritual and moral guides of the Jewish people, are actually encouraging racism, physical violence and even the killing of Palestinians.

It is no longer shocking to read headlines such asLeading rabbi encourages IDF soldiers to use Palestinian human shields“. This particular headline relates to Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, who taught his students that “according to true Jewish values, your lives come before those of the enemy, whether he is a soldier or a civilian under protection. Therefore, you are forbidden from endangering your own life for the sake of the enemy, not even for a civilian.” This sort of teaching, no doubt, goes some way towards explaining why the number of cases in which Palestinian children are being used as human shields by Israeli forces is increasing.

Vicious levels of discrimination against non-Jews have now escalated to the point that when Israelis of a more reasonable persuasion do something as simple as, for example, rent a property to an Arab, rabbis are now calling for them to be shunned and boycotted by their own Jewish communities. A recent report in Haaretz quoted a letter signed by a group of 18 prominent rabbis, including the Chief Rabbi of Safed, who wrote that renting properties to Arabs would deflate the value of Jewish homes and, “The neighbours and acquaintances [of a Jew who sells or rents to an Arab] must distance themselves from the Jew, refrain from doing business with him, deny him the right to read from the Torah, and similarly [ostracize] him until he goes back on this harmful deed”.

It is not just Muslims who are on the receiving end of this campaign of hatred; even Christians in the region have long been subjected to disturbing and widespread campaigns of abuse from Israeli Jews. “I hate to say it”, said Roman Catholic Father Massimo Pazzini of the Church of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa, “but we’ve grown accustomed to this. Jewish religious fanatics spitting at Christian priests and nuns has become a tradition.”

The term “hate preacher” has often been used in the Western media about Muslims but it seems more appropriate to describe some of the Israeli rabbis for their recent statements and guidance.


Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

In the run-up to the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian “peace negotiations” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef wished that “all the nasty people who hate Israel, like Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], vanish from our world”. He went on to say, “May God strike them down with the plague along with all the nasty Palestinians who persecute Israel.”

Although his statement was immediately condemned by America it did not come as a surprise to people who were already familiar with his 2001 call for the annihilation of Arabs, at which point he also said it was forbidden to be merciful to them.


Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro

In his controversial book The King’s Torah, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro sanctioned the murder by Jews of non-Jews, including babies and children, who may pose an actual or potential threat to Jews or to Israel.

“It is permissible to kill the Righteous among non-Jews even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” he wrote. “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments because we care about the commandments there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

This edict was seemingly made in response to the arrest of a Jewish terrorist who confessed to murdering two Palestinian shepherds in the West Bank, and was thus used to justify the killings.


Mordechai Eliyahu

According to a report by Khalid Amayreh in November 2009, “During the Israeli onslaught against Gaza earlier this year, Mordecahi Elyahu, one of the leading rabbinic figures in Israel, urged the army not to refrain from killing enemy children in order to save the lives of Israeli soldiers. He had even petitioned the Israeli government to carry out a series of carpet bombing of Palestinian population centres in Gaza. ‘If they don’t stop after we kill 100,’ said the rabbi, ‘then we must kill a thousand. And if they do not stop after we kill a thousand, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop, we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to stop them’.”

According to Eliyahu’s obituary in the Daily Telegraph in June this year

Rabbi Eliyahu wrote to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to say that, according to Jewish war ethics, an entire city (he referred to Gaza City) holds collective responsibility for the immoral behaviour of individuals.

Thus, he continued, there was no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians during a potential massive military offensive in Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket attacks. He ended his letter quoting from the Psalms: “I will pursue my enemies and apprehend them and I will not desist until I have eradicated them.”

He extended his hatred to those individuals worldwide who even show the slightest incidental support for Palestinians and said of the hundreds of thousands killed in 2004 by the Asian tsunami “those who died were paying for their governments’ support of the Palestinians.”

With statements such as these it is paradoxical Muslim preachers such as Dr Zakir Naik and Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, whose views are very moderate in comparison, are labelled as extremists. Although for years now Muslim leaders have (often undeservedly) been vilified as the most hate-filled preachers in the world, that title is now surely more deserved by Israeli rabbis such as those mentioned above.

By any means necessary, no matter how immoral, or corrupt.

It is strange for the spiritual leaders of a “chosen” people who stake their claim to the “holy” land use methods to achieve their goals that are decidedly “unholy”. One recent ruling by Rabbi Ari Schvat, for example, gave “his blessing to female agents of Israel’s foreign secret service, Mossad, who may be required to have sex with the enemy in so-called ‘honey-pot’ missions against terrorists.” While there is apparently no limit on Jewish men using sex in an effort to infiltrate the enemy, he did make a few remarks about Jewish female ‘honey-pots’ stating, “If it is necessary to use a married woman, it would be best [for] her husband to divorce her… After the [sex] act, he would be entitled to bring her back.” He also added, “Naturally, a job of that sort could be given to a woman who in any event is licentious in her ways.” So, not only are these rabbis genocidal, but sexist as well.

That such comments are not causing moral outrage amongst conservative Jews in Israel and, indeed, in Jewish communities worldwide, is worrying. The concept of a woman defiling herself and committing any act of lewdness or adultery is something alien to most religions but the fact that Jewish women are being given the green light by Israel’s rabbis to use such lascivious means to achieve the goals of Mossad demonstrates further that Israel really does not have any moral line across which it will not go.

The standard response to an article like this is to condemn it as “anti-Semitic”. That is neither the intention nor, it is contended, the result; the statements quoted have been issued or uttered by rabbis and well-publicised. Some may even be directly responsible for the subsequent killings of innocent Palestinian civilians. Instead of lining up to shoot the messenger, detractors should pause instead and really consider what these rabbis have said; and then decide whether reporting anti-Gentile statements made by rabbis really does qualify as anti-Semitism. There are many Jews and rabbis in congregations all over the world who are desperate for peace in the Holy Land and are striving to stand up for the common humanity of us all, regardless of our faith background.

According to New York-based Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, rabbis like those quoted above “do not and cannot represent Judaism or the Torah,” Indeed, Rabbi Weiss goes one step further: “The Zionist State of ‘Israel’, which is a rebellion against the Almighty, cannot represent the Torah or world Jewry true to the Torah.” Referring to Rabbi Ovadia Yusef in particular, Rabbi Weiss added: “This rabbi is a member of Sephardic Jewry, Jews from Arab countries. If he would only look back at his own community’s history, he would realize that Jews can, and did, live peacefully with Arabs, for many centuries. When Jews were persecuted, killed and expelled in other parts of the world, the Arab countries provided a safe haven and welcomed Jews with open arms. In Palestine as well, Jews enjoyed this hospitality when Palestinians and Jews co-existed in harmony for many generations, as is well-documented in Jewish books of that era. It was only Zionism, with its theft and oppression of the Palestinian people, that put an end to this co-existence.” (http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Statements/20100819.cfm)

Racism and extremist preachers must be challenged, not least when they ply their wares in volatile areas like the Holy Land, where words can and all too often lead to murderous acts. People of faith and good faith must stand up to incitement to hatred; it would be refreshing to hear more leading rabbis condemning the hate preachers in Israel. Their silence is deafening.

Originally posted at Sabbah’s Blog

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


IDF Soldiers Torture Palestinians

WARNING: This Video Contains VERY DISTURBING Images


Posted at Uruknet

FOREIGN CAPITAL GOT NETANYAHU ELECTED

Netanyahu’s millionaire list

By Jared Malsin

 

I sure hope some investigative journalists have a field day with this. Ynet published today a leaked list of non-Israeli millionaires who he approached for money during his 2007 campaign to lead the Likud party.

“According to estimates,” Ynet reports “98% of the funds donated to Netanyahu came from abroad.” So, it was Americans, and Brits and Australians, who funded Netanyahu’s comeback.

Here are all the usual suspects: Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson tops the list. Lots of real estate magnates like Donald Trump and Mort Zuckerman. There’s also media figures: Haim Saban and Sam Zell, the television executive who bought, then ruined, the Tribune Company.

Also there’s David Geffen, who backed Obama during the Democratic primary, but apparently felt the need to support Netanyahu in the primary elections of the main right-wing faction in Israel.

Via Twitter, Ali Abunimah points out the name of Nasser Khalili, who is likely Nasser David Khalili, the Jewish Iranian-born art collector.

Here’s the photo of the document, from Ynet (That’s reportedly Netanyahu’s handwriting):

 

Source

FASCIST SETTLERS DESECRATE MUSLIM CEMETERY

It’s bad enough that the illegal settlers of the West Bank make life unbearable for the local Palestinians, now they are desecrating their graves as well….

“The spraying of slogans the likes of ‘Kahane was right’ is a popular phenomenon, especially as the anniversary of Rabbi Kahane’s murder approaches”.


Wiesenthal Center condemns Salonica cemetery desecration

Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, has sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, expressing disgust at the desecration of the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki (Salonica). FROM
OOPS……. Wrong article and image posted…..

BUT…… WHERE IS THE CONDEMNATION FOR THE FOLLOWING?
 

W. Bank Palestinian cemetery desecrated

‘Kahane was right’ slogans sprayed on Kafr Qaddum headstones. Security forces investigating

The Muslim cemetery at Kafr Qaddum, a West Bank village located some eight miles west of Nablus, was vandalized Friday.

Security forces called to the scene found several headstones desecrated with “Kahane was right” slogans, hailing Rabbi Meir Kahane, the late leader of the radical Kach movement, and Stars of David.

IDF forces launched an investigation and together with Civil Administration officers, erased the slogans.

IDF and Civil Administration sources told Ynet they viewed the incident as very serious, “Even more serious that the desecration of the mosque several weeks ago,” and one which jeopardizes the area’s fragile stability.

The Judea and Samaria Police launched a concurrent investigation, saying forensic investigators collected evidence from the scene.

Extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir, a known Kahane supporter, denied any involvement in the act: “The spraying of slogans the likes of ‘Kahane was right’ is a popular phenomenon, especially as the anniversary of Rabbi Kahane’s murder approaches.

“We had nothing to do with the Kafr Qaddum incident. Personally, I think it’s wrong to desecrate a cemetery, but I’m hardly moved by it. The Mount of Olives cemetery is desecrated daily, and I have yet to hear any condemnation from those shrieking now.”

Source

‘SHOCKING NEWS’ FROM THE OCCUPATION

Though innocent, “Threat of electrocution” made him confess to stone throwing, after which his head was slammed against a cupboard. He was also punched in the stomach, and a second interrogator shocked him with a handheld device, making him dizzy and shiver. He then signed a confession in Hebrew he couldn’t understand, was transferred to Salem Interrogation and Detention Center, after which he was taken to Megiddo Prison, in violation of Fourth Geneva’s Article 76, pertaining to the rights assured protected persons detained under occupation.


Israel Shooting and Electric-Shocking Palestinian Children

by Stephen Lendman*

Defence for Children International (DCI) Palestine Section (DCI/Palestine) “is a national section of the international non-government child rights organisation and movement (dedicated) to promoting and protecting the rights of Palestinian children,” according to international law principles.

Two earlier articles addressed their work, accessed though the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/04/imprisoning-palestinian-children.html

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/09/israeli-soldiers-sexually-abuse.html

Both covered Israel’s systematic, institutionalized use of torture of Palestinian children as brutally as against adults. DCI/Palestine’s latest September Bulletin adds more, saying:

“For the first time….three (documented) cases of children reporting being given electric shocks by Israeli interrogators (occurred) in Ari’el Settlement.” Each was accused of stone throwing. Electric shocking extracted confessions although the boys maintain their innocence.

DCI and PACTI (the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel) demanded Israel investigate reports that a Gush Etzion settlement interrogator “attached car battery jump leads to the genitals of a 14-year old boy in order to obtain a confession to stone throwing.”

The August 5 incident involved four boys walking near a road used by settlers when an Israeli jeep approached. “Just for fun,” one boy waved. The jeep turned, was joined by others, and chased the boys. They were seized, blindfolded, painfully shackled, detained, and taken to the Zufin settlement, then to the Ari’el settlement where one boy, Raed, was interrogated.

Though innocent, “Threat of electrocution” made him confess to stone throwing, after which his head was slammed against a cupboard. He was also punched in the stomach, and a second interrogator shocked him with a handheld device, making him dizzy and shiver. He then signed a confession in Hebrew he couldn’t understand, was transferred to Salem Interrogation and Detention Center, after which he was taken to Megiddo Prison, in violation of Fourth Geneva’s Article 76, pertaining to the rights assured protected persons detained under occupation.

A second incident involved a 17-year old boy, Malek, falsely accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. About 30 soldiers arrested and brutalized him like Raed before transferring him to Ofer Prison. On arrival, he was painfully struck on the head, then interrogated and threatened with physical violence and rape if he didn’t confess. “He denied both accusations” during a two hour interrogation.

On September 15, 13-year old Khalil was arrested and accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail. At 1AM, Israeli soldiers smashed windows of his family’s home, searched it, and took him to Ma’ale Adumin settlement. Though innocent, he was threatened with rape and intimidated to confess. He signed a six page document in Hebrew he didn’t understand and has been detained at Ofer prison.

An earlier incident involved 16 year old Moatasem, arrested on March 20. He remains in administrative detention without charge or trial, at best hoping for a December release. Like the others, from arrest to detention, he was brutalized. During interrogation, he was asked about a plot involving a riot, bullets and weapons with no further explanation, something he knew nothing about and said so. On March 25, he was ordered administratively held for six months, then extended three more on September 26.

On average, from January 2008 – September 2010, Israel held over 300 Palestinian children captive, about 10% of them aged 12 – 15. Usually when complaints or requests for investigations into child arrests and mistreatment are submitted to the Judge Advocate General’s Office (JAG), responses aren’t forthcoming or issued raised are denied.

Shooting Children Collecting Building Gravel

Separately, DCI/Palestine reported on 12 incidents from May 22 – October 14, 2010, involving children aged 13 – 17, collecting gravel near Gaza’s border fence with Israel. Under siege, Israel banned construction materials, forcing hundreds of men and boys to scavenge for what they can find, collecting gravel, placing it in sacks, loading it on donkeys, then selling it to builders for concrete.

In border watch towers, Israeli soldiers at times shoot and kill donkeys. They also target workers, usually shooting at their legs. In recent DCI/Palestine-documented cases, children reported being shot while working from 50 – 800 meters from the border.

In addition, a UN January 2009 – August 2010 study reported at least 22 Gazan civilians killed and 146 injured by live fire adjacent to Israel’s border, including 27 children.

Of DCI’s 12 documented cases, nine “were on, or outside the 300 metre exclusion zone unilaterally imposed by the Israeli army when they were shot.” Under all circumstances with no exceptions, international law prohibits targeting noncombatant civilians. Israel, of course, flouts all international laws with impunity.

On November 10 and 11, DCI/Palestine in cooperation with DCI’s International Executive Council and DCI International Secretariat, Geneva, will conduct an International Children’s Conference titled, “Protective Environment – Active Participation,” under the motto – “Together We Build and Change.”

DCI explains that “Child participation is one of the four basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Under occupation, involving them is especially important to address their collective needs, interests, and concerns. The upcoming conference thus encourages children to participate and facilitates it “by finding the spaces for them to carry it out.”

Some Final Comments

On October 19, palestinethinktank.com published a wide-ranging interview with Khaled Mesh’al, since 1996, Chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau. Exiled in Damascus, he became the movement’s overall leader after Israel assassinated Abdul ‘Aziz Rantisi in 2004. His comments below are based on a July published interview in Jordan’s Arabic language Al-Sabeel newspaper.

(1) Negotiating with Israel

Calling it a thorny and sensitive issue, he stressed that it’s “not absolutely prohibited….from a legal or political perspective,” but must be subject to “equations, regulations, calculations, circumstances, contexts and proper management….” Otherwise, “it becomes a negative and destructive tool.”

Currently, he calls it the wrong choice, given the imbalance of power favoring Israel, saying it “refuses to withdraw from the (seized) land, and does not recognise Palestinian rights.” Negotiations under such conditions are fruitless. Israel demands but won’t give. On equal fair terms, negotiations are very acceptable.

(2) Recognizing Israel

As things now stand, he believes recognition means legitimizing occupation, “aggression, settlement(s), Judaization, murders, arrests, and other crimes and atrocities against our people and our land.” Recognition must be earned, not demanded or given, based on equity for both sides. Israel shows no sign of agreeing.

(3) Suggesting Israel and international insistence on recognition a sign of weakness, not stength

“Without a doubt, the enemy is concerned about (its) future….no matter” its regional strength. “The demand for recognition is certainly a sign of weakness, an expression of….inferiority, (and) a feeling that it is illegitimate and still rejected” by regional states “as alien” intruders.

However, superiority feelings also come into play, or in other words, the way “Western nations deal with third world countries,” believing they alone dictate terms from a position of strength, including negotiating preconditions.

(4) Why Israel and the international community reject Hamas’ proposed long-term truce

First, “the logic of power.” Second, “they see Arab and Palestinian parties making (better) offers.” Third, Israeli and Western experience suggests pressure works best, forcing adversaries or counterparties to succumb.

(5) Hamas’ resistance model

It’s “a natural and authentic part of the experience of the Palestinian struggle” for liberation and ending the occupation.

(6) Hamas and international relations

First, the “conviction that the Palestine battle (is for) humanity against Israeli injustice and oppression. Second, “the necessity of promoting (the) legitimate right to resist occupation and aggression.” Third, the importance of using the world stage to address injustice. Fourth, concern for developing relations at all levels. Fifth, doing it begins in the region, “the plant (to) harvest (in) the West.”

(7) Hamas and Jews

“We do not fight the Zionists because they are Jews; we fight them because they are occupiers,” and commit crimes against the Palestinian people. The struggle isn’t about religion.

(8) Hamas and women

“Women in the Islamic concept of thought, jurisprudence, mandate and role are – indeed – one half of society, and (have) been given (their) prestige and respect. However, there is a huge difference between respect and appreciation for women and (their) rightful role (on the one hand), and abusing (them) and presenting (them) as cheap commodit(ies) as is done in the Western civilization (on the other).” In Palestine’s struggle for liberation, women play a distinctive role,”not only as mothers, wives and sisters,” but as activists, teachers, fighters, and providers of logistical assistance.

(9) Zionism’s future

It “has no future in the region.” It’s in decline, and except for attacking Beirut in 1982, Israel hasn’t won a war since 1967. “This is an important indicator of the Zionist project’s ability….In my estimation, the ‘Greater Israel’ project has come to an end, simply because the Zionist enemy is no longer able to accomplish it, and because Israel continues (self-destructively) on the same path as did apartheid South Africa.”

(10) Israel’s role as a regional strategic asset

It’s no longer so, especially after the Goldstone Report and Gaza Flotilla massacre. As a result, “Israel is falling morally, and its true ugly face is being exposed. This is a very important development.” It signifies “premature aging of this enterprise….In short, the Zionist project, like all other” forms of occupation, colonizations, and aggression, “has no legitimacy because it is alien to our region and lacks the elements of survival.” It will end like all the others.

(11) The region’s future

It’s very much in flux with years before better resolution. However, we’re “confiden(t) and hop(eful) that the future will be to the benefit of the nation and the Palestinian resistance and cause….Our reading is not fanciful, and is certainly not defeatist.” It’s realistic and achievable.

“We are a great nation, proud of ourselves, our religion, our land, our history, our culture and identity.” Palestine and Jerusalem as one is “our beating heart and an indicator of our life and survival.”

*Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.



Also view the following related video



TO THOSE THAT KEEP ASKING “WHERE IS THE PALESTINIAN GANDHI”? ….

We found him….. IN AN ISRAELI JAIL CELL

Israel Crushes A Palestinian Gandhi: Bil’in Organizer Sentenced to 18 months

Posted by Joseph Dana

Adeeb Abu Rahmah, a protest leader from Bil’in, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by the Military Court of Appeals, for his involvement in organizing demonstrations. The decision dramatically aggravates the one-year sentence originally imposed in the first instance.

Adeeb Abu Rahma, a protest leader from Bil'in was Sentenced to 18 months imprisonment Picture Credit: Oren ZivAdeeb Abu Rahma, a protest leader from Bil’in was Sentenced to 18 months imprisonment Picture Credit: Oren Ziv

 

Judge Lieutenant Colonel Benisho of the Military Court of Appeals accepted the Military prosecution’s appeal in Adeeb Abu Rahmah’s case today, which demanded to harshen the already heavy-handed one-year sentence imposed on him by the prior instance back in July. The court sentenced Abu Rahmah 18 months of imprisonment with bail of 6,000 NIS and suspended sentence of 1 year. An appeal filed by the defense both on the severity of the punishment and on the conviction itself was denied.

Adeeb Abu Rahmah’s sentence is the first to be handed by the Military Court of Appeals in a series of recent trials against high-profile Palestinian anti-Wall grassroots organizers. The harsh and imbalanced decision is likely to affect other cases, most notably that of Abdallah Abu Rahmah – the Bil’in organizer declared human rights defender by the EU – who was too recently sentenced to a year in jail by the first instance of the military court.

Adeeb Abu Rahmah’s case relied heavily on the forced confessions of four minors arrested in nighttime raids by Israeli soldiers. The four attested in court to having been coerced into incriminating Abu Rahmah and other organizers during the course of their police investigations. They were also questioned unlawfully, denied consol and without their parents being presents and, in some cases, late at night.

The ruling in the appeal concludes 15 months of unfair legal procedures, held amidst a massive Israeli arrest campaign, which ended with an upheld conviction of incitement, activity against the public order and entering a closed military zone.

 

 

This precedent-setting decision is the first time in recorded history of the Israeli Military Court of Appeals in which a Palestinian is convicted with a charge of incitement. Even the original one year sentence dramatically exceeds precedents set by the Israeli Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals’ even harsher sentence highlights the lack of equality before the law between Israelis and Palestinians, who are tried before two different legal systems. For instance, in a case of a Jewish settler convicted of incitement to murder, the court only imposed an eight months suspended sentence.

Attorney Gaby Lasky (Defense): “Today the court of appeals has shown that it is serving as one more instance of political repression not as an actual court where justice is served. The court admitted what we all knew – that the entire system is trying to make an example of Adeeb in order to silence the entire Popular Struggle movement against Israel’s occupation.”

Background

Having served his original one-year prison term in full, Adeeb Abu Rahmah should have been released immediately after hearing the sentence. The military prosecution, which hoped for an even harsher sentence as part of its ongoing efforts to use legal persecution to suppress the Palestinian popular struggle, petitioned the Military Court of Appeals, asking that Abu Rahmah remains incarcerated despite having served his sentence.

In a clearly politically motivated decision, Judge Lieutenant Colonel Benisho of the Military Court of Appeals decided to remand Abu Rahmah until a decision in the appeal, saying that “This is an appeal filed to set the proper punishment in a unique case regarding which a general punishment level has not yet been set.” The judge chose to completely ignore the punishment level set forth by the supreme court in similar and even harsher cases. Benisho also ignored a supreme court precedent instructing the courts to only extend the remand of convicts past the time they were sentenced to in very extreme situations.

 

 

Source

EGYPT ALLOWS FLOTILLA ACTIVISTS ENTRY INTO GAZA

Despite the fact that one of the organisors, George Galloway, was deported from Egypt and declared a ‘persona non grata’ earlier this year, he was allowed entry into Egypt yesterday and was one  of 300 activists that crossed the border into Gaza. The activists arrived at the Egyptian port of El-Arish.


‘Viva Palestina’ activists deliver tons of aid to Gaza Strip

Most of the activists arrived at the Egyptian port El-Arish on flights from Syria, while just 30 activists made the journey with the aid supplies by ship.

Over 300 activists from Syrian aid flotilla “Viva Palestina” crossed Thursday the Egyptian Border into Gaza by land with tons of medical equipment and food supplies for the residents of the coastal enclave.

According to the organizers of the flotilla, which departed from the Syrian port of Latkia, activists transported products worth in excess of $5 million.

Most of the activists arrived at the Egyptian port El-Arish on flights from Syria, while just 30 activists made the journey with the aid supplies by ship.

Egyptian security services barred a Mauritania citizen who arrived with the group from crossing the border into Gaza and his passport was taken for inspection. While 12 Mauritania activists remained with him pending the inspection, the remaining activists crossed the land border with Gaza uneventfully.

Viva Palestina activists claimed the point of their aid flotilla was to “break the siege on Gaza” despite the fact that Israel recently lifted many of the restrictions imposed on the enclosed coastal strip.

Israel imposed the blockade in 2007 after Hamas wrestled control over the territory in a violent coup.

During a visit to Syria on Tuesday, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter called for Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip. Carter made the remarks in the forum of a delegation known as The Elders, who met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hamas leaders in Syria.

“The blockade is one of the most serious human rights violations on Earth and it must be lifted fully,” said Carter from Syria.

Besides Carter, the Elders delegation includes former Irish president Mary Robinson and former UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. While in Gaza, the group described Israel’s blockade as an “illegal collective punishment” and “an impediment to peace.”

 

 

 

Source

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