We waited for too long in the hope that Zionist Jews would live and let live. However, to our chagrin, we discovered that they didn’t really want peace, and that they wanted only our land.
Zionism must go
By Khalid Amayreh
Day after day, Israel is proving to all and sundry that it is more of a malignant tumor whose ultimate goal is to kill, replace, destroy and liquidate than of a normal human entity wanting to live and let live.
Hence, the question that Palestinians in particular and Muslims in general ought to ask themselves and answer is whether they would be willing to live with a cancerous entity in their midst, an entity that says openly that its ultimate goal is nothing short of the total destruction of Palestine and Islam.
An entity that never stops inciting the West to wage total war on Muslims, a country that uses one controversial holocaust to inflict (and justify) another on innocent Palestinians, a regime that abuses and misuses the “Chosen people concept” to torment, savage and discriminate against non-Jews.
A few days ago, I listened carefully to the elderly leader of Shas, the so-called Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who was barking like a mad dog, braying like a mischievous donkey, claiming that his Bible and Talmud taught him that all non-Jews under the sun were created like beasts of burden to serve Jews.
I contrasted Yosef’s remarks against Chabad’s religious dogma that non-Jews are not bona fide human beings and compared the remarks further with Abraham Kook’s assertion that the difference between Jews and goyem was greater and deeper than the difference between humans and beasts and concluded that we are talking about nothing less than a new breed of Nazi-like supremacists who would want to enslaves and subjugate the rest of humanity.
Ovadia Yosef is not an anecdotal or marginal figure in Israel. He is a prominent Torah sage, as described by many Jewish intellectuals and commentators. He enjoys the loyalty and allegiance of millions of hardi Orthodox Jews in Israel and in his hands he holds the key to the survival or collapse of the current Israeli government.
Israel keeps claiming before a hopelessly-sheepish western world that it wants peace. In the meantime, Israelis, soldiers, settlers, hardeim, judges, courts, everyone, are behaving like Nazis would, each in his own way.
The government is busy legislating fascism, otherwise known as loyalty oaths. The courts are busy promulgating laws giving legitimacy to manifestly Nazi-like Jewish groups, pounding on Arab doors in Um Elfahm and shouting “you must leave, you must leave, and Kahana is coming back. Kahana is coming back!!
For those who don’t understand what “Kahana is coming back” signifies, let us give them an analogy: it is like having neo-Nazi thugs or KKK henchmen pound on Jewish doors, in a Jewish neighborhood, shouting Hitler is coming back! Hitler is coming back!!! And no eyebrows are raised, neither in government, nor among the police, not even among the intelligentsia.
The soldiers are playing the game of chance, shooting on poor and helpless Arab workers, claiming that their weapons misfired, or that they thought that their lives were at risk!!! My God! Why do these weapons misfire only when the victims are Arabs?
As to the rabbis, or most of them, they are busy explaining to their gleeful disciples that having fornication or extra-marital sex with a Christian woman, or any other non-Jewish woman, doesn’t constitute adultery because the woman in this case is not a real human being. It is rather a sin of bestiality for non-Jews are not viewed by the Jewish religious law as real human beings but rather as animals in a human shape.
As to the settlers, the real rulers of Israel today, they are busy devising the destruction of Palestinian olive groves and stealing olive crops in daytime hours while setting mosques and churches on fire at night in implementation of rabbinic edicts or the so-called “price-tag policy.”
So, everyone, the government, the army, the courts, the settlers, the synagogues, and the Knesset are busy promoting one grand Nazi-like regime similar to the German Third Reich. And when Palestinians cry out for justice or for help, or when writers or critics warn of the catastrophic consequences of looming fascism, the shipyard dogs from Sydney to California start barking uncontrollably, shouting anti-Semitism! Holocaust! Auschwitz ! Bergen Belsen ! Terror ! Suicide Bombings! And the sheepish multitudes in Europe and North America just shut up in disbelief, fearing the backlash of challenging Zionism.
I am not being phobic or hysterical about Israel. Just try to watch, let alone attend a Knesset or cabinet session in Israel today, and you will have the impression that you are going back in time and attending a Nazi cabinet session presided by Adolph Hitler, not a Jewish cabinet session headed by Benyamin Netanyahu.
I am making these analogies because Israel today is in the throes of Nazi-like seizure that is morphing the Zionist state into a Judeo-Nazi fiefdom that can inflict havoc on its subjects and victims.
In fact, readers who might suspect the veracity or accuracy of my remarks are urged to review statements by some Israeli officials, including government ministers, who are openly warning that Israel is already a fascist state par excellence.
The “goyem-are-donkeys analogy,” the theological mantra that the lives of non-Jews in general have no sanctity, the claim that all non-Jewish property belong to the Jews and other similar nefarious teachings being taught in some synagogues and yeshivot or religious schools in Israel and the occupied territories are portents for things to come.
We saw the same trends in Germany in the early 1930s. We all know the rest of the story.
Unfortunately, we can’t count on North America and Europe to rein-in Zionist madness and arrogance of power. These obsequious westerners are themselves fettered and shackled by a Zionist stranglehold unprecedented in its viciousness. Hence, the most they would or could do is to make some lukewarm statements expressing displeasure at whatever might befall the helpless Palestinians.
Does anyone really expect the whoring political establishments in Washington D.C. , Ottawa , Berlin , and Rome to stand for justice in Hebron , Nablus , Um Elfahm, and East Jerusalem ? Whores are whores and it doesn’t matter if one sells one’s body or one’s conscience to the highest bidder!!!
Israel would claim, mendaciously of course, that the so-called Palestinian Authority or PA is responsible for the Palestinian plight. Well the PA is nothing more than a disgraceful slave to the Israeli security apparatus, it is a Palestinian Judenrat in the service of Israeli interests, and blaming it for the situation facing the Palestinians is like blaming the infamous Jewish Councils under the Nazis occupation authorities for the holocaust.
Now we have reached the moment of truth. It is simply too late for peace, any peace, with Israel. And Israel would never grant us equal citizenship. So, it is either perpetual enslavement as water carrier and wood hewers in the service of the “the master race” or “Chosen people”, or preparing hundreds of millions of Muslims for the strategic task of getting rid of the dog.
We must keep this grand goal in mind and stop paying any attention to the babblings and hallucinations being spewed by bankrupt Arab officials about the so-called “peace process” or, indeed, the pornographic lies that we keep hearing from American and European leaders.
In the final analysis, these leaders don’t know what they are talking about or are willing Zionist puppets, or both.
To conclude, we must admit that we have lost the battle for Palestine for the time being. It is now imperative upon every Muslim man, woman and child to prepare for the long struggle with Zionism, which must never end without the final defeat of these Judeo Nazis who seek the destruction or humiliation of hundreds of millions of Arabs, Turks, Iranians and other Muslims. This struggle is going to take many, many years, and there will be ups and downs, but it must end with the dismantlement and collapse of this deformed entity called Israel. Victims there will be many, and setbacks as well. But we must get rid of the dog, the sooner the better. Otherwise, the dog will get rid of us in what is going to be an existential confrontation between truth and falsehood.
We waited for too long in the hope that Zionist Jews would live and let live. However, to our chagrin, we discovered that they didn’t really want peace, and that they wanted only our land.
As to dignified Jews who want to live and let live, we shall treat them like brothers and sisters. But they would have to purge the word “Zionism,” not only from their lexicons but from their minds and hearts as well.
The last month has seen growing public debate over the shambles of the Afghan war. The much-heralded counter-insurgency is failing and the Obama administration and its allies are killing more civilians than ever before. Winning hearts and minds, indeed. At such times, unembedded journalism and thinking is essential.
Compiled by Antony Loewenstein
In other news:
- Al Jazeera English’s Listening Post asked me to comment on the recent Wikileaks revelations about war crimes in Iraq.
- Exclusive report in Australian magazine Crikey on Australian troops working with the US on assassination squads in Afghanistan and beyond (and the furious establishment’s response). Sydney University Law Professor Ben Saul comments.
- Investigation in Australian magazine Crikey on local unions embracing boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, an interview with union leader Paul Howes and Israel/Palestine.
- Appearance on ABC TV News24 talking about Afghanistan, 9/11 and drugs policy.
- Responses to the recent Independent Australian Jewish Voices ad in Australia and Zionist attack on pushing for BDS and one-state solution.
- ABC Online investigation into the Western media’s seduction by the regime in Sri Lanka.
- Appearance on ABC TV News24 discussiong gay marriage, asylum seekers and internet policy.
- Sydney 2SER Radio interview about the proposed $60 billion arms sale from the US to Saudi Arabia.
- During my recent visit to the Ubud Writers Festival in Bali, Indonesia, I interviewed well-known Australian author Christos Tsiolkas.
- Interview on British website Counterfire about Israel/Palestine.
- Interview on independent Australian radio program The Wire about suicides in immigration detention and the role of multinational Serco.
- Extract of a recent interview I conducted with leading US Jewish writer Norman Finkelstein talking about the two-state solution.
- Review of the extraordinary new film by director Julian Schnabel, Miral, that tells the Palestinian story from the 1948 Nakba onwards.
- Article in literary journal Overland on flailing US policy in the Middle East.
Antony’s Blog is worth logging into daily…. You can find it HERE
UMM KHALED BEING FOLLOWED BY THE SETTLER
We met her in Jeb al Theeb during a meeting we scheduled with the residents of the village in order to introduce ourselves and explain our month-long project offering accompaniment during the olive harvest in this area under threat by the illegal Israeli settlements of Tekoa and Nokdim, home to Israeli FM Lieberman. The turnout for the meeting was less than expected, despite our best efforts (including distributing a flyer translated into Arabic by our local coordinator), due to the sudden death and funeral for a woman from the village. There were just a dozen adults, surrounded by the ever-present children.
MEETING BY KEROSENE LAMP IN JEB AL THEEB
As we reached the olive trees, our worst suspicions were confirmed: the settlers, after having denied her access to her own land, had stolen most of Umm Khaled’s olives. Not to be discouraged, we set about our work and after a couple of hours we had almost finished harvesting the few remaining olives, approximately 15 kg. Just then a settler, who had by now become a loathsome yet familiar face, arrived on the scene with his white pick-up truck, observing us from a distance, his machine gun slung over his shoulder. After a few minutes, as we continued to pick olives, he pulled out his phone and called a certain Ariel. At this point, mindful of previous experiences, we expected the arrival of IDF soldiers, who fortunately did not appear.
UMM KHALED TAKING TABOUN BREAD OUT OF THE OVEN
The two settlers eventually left and we entered the village where Umm Khaled demonstrated how Taboun, a typical Palestinian bread, is made. We ate lunch together and enjoyed the view. In the afternoon, a trail of colored aprons and backpacks came over the hill on the dirt road as the children returned from the school in the next village and spent the afternoon playing with us, overcoming the initial shyness of our first encounter.
As the sun descended upon the horizon, we headed back home, our hearts filled with wonderful memories of the day and in hopes that other people of this devastated village will follow the example of Umm Khaled, an extraordinary woman.
The Volunteers of the Harvesting Peace Project
Harvesting Peace is an Italian civilian peace intervention project in Palestine to support the olive harvest and the work of Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (www.popularstruggle.org). The project is promoted by Service Civil International – Italy, Association for Peace and Un Ponte Per. Volunteers will be providing international accompaniment for four weeks in the village of Jeb al Theeb near Bethlehem, under threat by the nearby illegal settlements and settlers.
used as a human shield during Israel`s winter offensive on Gaza. [MaanImages]
GAZA CITY – Majid Rabah, 11, says he will always remember the “black day” that Israeli soldiers ordered him to open bags they thought were rigged with explosives.
An Israeli military court gave a suspended sentence and a demotion Sunday to the two soldiers who used Majid as a human shield, in a ruling he and his family said did not do justice to the trauma.
“When will the child forget what happened? This cannot be compared to three month’s [suspended] sentence,” said Majid’s mother, Fatima Rabah, 49. She added that she didn’t expect justice from the Israeli court system, and would prefer that an international court take up the matter.
“This will give Israeli soldiers a license to do whatever they like to Palestinian children. Many Palestinian children have died from Israeli guns and no one punished them,” she said. Majid himself said he was neither surprised nor satisfied by the Israeli court’s ruling.
Human rights advocates also said Sunday’s ruling sent the message that Israeli soldiers could violate Palestinian’s rights without consequences.
“This ruling implies that it is allowed for Israeli soldiers to use Palestinians, including children, as human shields, without being punished,” said Ayed Abu Eqtash of the organization Defense for Children International.
He said the case against the two soldiers was nothing more than an exercise in “Israeli PR” in the wake of judge Richard Goldstone’s UN-mandated report on alleged war crimes in Gaza.
“Israel wants to show the international community that it is abiding by Goldstone’s recommendations, but these procedures do not lead to accountability.”
Eqtash said the Israeli Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2005 barring the military from using Palestinians as human shields, but DCI hasdocumented 15 cases in which children were used as such since then.
In the most recent documented case, on 19 August, a DCI investigation found that a 13-year-old boy from a village near the West Bank city of Nablus was beaten then forced at gunpoint to open doors in a house where the army suspected a wanted Palestinian was hiding.
Majid was used as a human shield on 15 January 2009, just as Israel’s 3-week offensive on Gaza appeared to be peaking. Israeli ground forces were smashing their way through Tel Al-Hawwa, a neighborhood of tower blocks south of Gaza City.
According to Majid and his mother, when Israeli soldiers began storming buildings in their area, families, nearly 40 people in all, in the building took shelter in the dirt-floor basement. While the others cowered in one corner, soldiers from the Givati Brigade arrived and ordered Majid, in Hebrew, to open two Samsonite duffle bags they found in a bathroom in the other corner.
In an affidavit provided to DCI, Majid gave more details: “The soldier approached me and grabbed my shirt from my neck and dragged me away. ‘He’s a child,’ my mother began shouting. I thought they would kill me.”
“I became very scared and wet my pants,” he recalled, “I could not shout or say anything because I was too afraid. The soldier dragged me 20 meters away. He pointed his weapon at me. He was shouting at me and I did not understand him, so he grabbed me and pushed me against the wall.”
Trembling with fear, he managed to open the first bag, which contained money and personal possessions brought to the basement by another resident in his building. When he was unable to open the other, one of the soldiers grabbed him by the hair, slapped him in the face, then shot the bag with his rifle, he said.
Later that day, Majid’s mother said, soldiers came to the basement to separate men from women and children, who were told to leave the building. Fearing that the men were being arrested, the women and children fled to Al-Quds Hospital, a Red Crescent installation nearby.
That same day, Israeli warplanes bombed the hospital with white phosphorus, forcing patients, hospital workers and hundreds of sheltering civilians to flee amid gunfire and shelling. Majid, his two sisters, and mother left in an ambulance to the Red Cross center in Gaza.
Foreign Ministry: Mall carts an embarrassment
Dozens of Israelis arrested every year in malls worldwide for working in sales illegally. As holiday season approaches, Foreign Ministry urges young Israelis, ‘Don’t break the law, we won’t be able to help’
The Foreign Ministry has declared a war on mall carts: The Christian holiday season, including Christmas and the New Year, is known as a record breaking period for local consumer sales. Many Israelis, mostly in their twenties, take advantage of shopping season madness in order to travel and make a killing in the local malls, often working in the country illegally.
The Foreign Ministry which is usually asked to intervene when they get into trouble is making it clear in advance this year: We won’t be able to help Israeli detainees.
A memo distributed by the head of the department of consular services for Israelis abroad Amnon Kalmar, called on consular representatives in North America and Western Europe to take steps to minimize the phenomenon of illegal mall carts during the holiday season.
Carts damage image abroad (Photo: Getty Images Bank)
According to Kalmar: “Every year many young Israelis go abroad to try their luck. They are tempted by the adventure and by the promise of fast and easy money, but the adventure usually ends with them being arrested and even deported from the country.” Talking to Ynet, Kalmar estimated that dozens of Israelis are arrested abroad every year.
“We mostly get to meet them when they are arrested for working or staying in the country illegally, and then we are asked to help them and get them out of the situation they find themselves in,” he said.
“The main problem with the whole story is expectations gap between them and us – they are convinced that we can save them and solve their problems, but in fact, we can’t intervene in any legal proceedings against them outside of Israel. The families urge us to act for their early release, but the issue isn’t even in our hands. We can’t speed up legal proceedings with a local judge,” explained Kalmar.
Kalmar said that every year the Foreign Ministry offers detainees consular, logistical and humanitarian assistance and makes sure, among other things that the detainees are held in reasonable conditions and receive kosher food and telephone calls.
Yet Kalmar stresses that these arrests are unnecessary and are harmful to Israel‘s image: “First and foremost we would like to appeal to the young Israelis who hear stories from their friends, go out to work and aren’t always aware of the destination country’s laws. After they are arrested, they can’t handle being in detention facilities and prisons and they turn to us”.
He noted that some of the detainees are forced to remain in prison for over a month. “The people involved are usually good people, who have just completed their IDF service, and it is important that they understand what they are heading for, If you work illegally you could end up in prison, deportation and a situation which leaves you unable to return to the country for a very long time, if at all.
“Our message is clear: Going abroad? Respect local laws and avoid staying and working in the country illegally.”
Reminder: No free lunches
WASHINGTON — Today the Internal Revenue Service received a 1,389 page filing demanding that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC’s) tax exempt status be retroactively revoked. The filing, submitted by the IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement, spans nearly 60 years, from the moment AIPAC’s founder left the employment of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the present.
Two core charges are:
- False Charitable Purpose. AIPAC has been investigated several times by the FBI and is currently in a civil suit over the ongoing acquisition and movement of U.S. government classified information. The filing argues that such activities reveal AIPAC does not function as a bona fide “social welfare” organization.
- Fraudulent Application for Tax Exempt Status. AIPAC’s original application for tax exempt status contains fraudulent representations and omissions. It fails to mention that AIPAC’s parent organization, the American Zionist Council (AZC) was shut down by a U.S. Department of Justice Foreign Agents Registration Act order in 1962. AIPAC incorporated six weeks later and applied for tax exempt status, but failed to reveal that the majority of its startup funding came from Israel, funneled through the AZC.
Members of the public, state charity watchdogs and the law enforcement community may download and review the complaint summary at: http://www.IRmep.org/IRSAIPAC.pdf. For a DVD of the full IRS complaint and appendix, send an email and official surface mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org .IRmep director Grant F. Smith and callers grilled IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman on National Public Radio January 1, 2010 over lax IRS enforcement toward some Israel-related nonprofits committing illegal acts overseas and violating U.S. tax laws. Shulman assured America that, “If a charity is breaking the tax law, is engaged in activities that they are not supposed to be engaged in, we certainly will go after them. Every year we pull 501(c)(3) charity status from a number of charities. We’ve got thousands of audits going on regarding charities, and so we don’t hesitate to administer the tax laws and make sure that people are following the rules.”
According to Smith, “By publicly filing this 13909 complaint with the IRS, we encourage concerned Americans and misled donors to monitor whether the IRS takes appropriate action. The clock is ticking.”
The Center for Policy and Law Enforcement is a unit of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington.
SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy
Inspiring: 100-year-old refugee gets new Gaza home in time for Eid by Rami Almeghari writing from occupied Gaza Strip
US government asked to Revoke AIPAC’s (Israel lobby) Tax Exemption
Success of BDS (Boycotts, Divestments, Sanctions) continue
Australian tourist writes open letter to Israelis about her experience with airport security. ‘I never want to go through that again even if it means not coming back to Israel,’ she says
I am a 24-year-old female Australian law student and first visited Israel last year. I had a really enjoyable trip visiting friends and as such, decided to return for a second trip to visit their newborn baby this year. However, I had an experience with Israeli security at the airport flying from Amsterdam that would make me think twice about traveling to Israel again in the future.
Before checking-in for my flight, passengers were required to undergo a brief security interview. As part of this, I was asked what I was doing in Amsterdam and who I was staying with. My answer: “Visiting two Australian friends from law school currently living in Holland.” Security asked for their names. I had nothing to conceal and neither did my friends, so I gave security their names as requested. This should have been a simple affair if it was not for the sole reason that one of my friends, born and raised in Australia, happened to have an Arabic sounding surname.
Immediately and without explanation, my bags and passport were taken from me and further security appeared demanding to know whether this girl was really Australian. I found this question offensive: she is as “Australian” as I am, just without my “stereotypical” blond hair and blue eyes. They started questioning her background, which made me think: if she or I were any type of security threat, would I openly say her name? Of course not. The situation didn’t seem rational to me.
I was directed to a different boarding gate to all other passengers. A lady was waiting for me at the gate and ordered me to follow her into an isolated, underground section of the terminal where I was placed in the custody of approximately five security officers . Needless to say, a very intimidating and confusing situation.
There, security officers spoke between themselves in Hebrew, which I cannot understand, and provided me with no explanation of what was happening even though I kept asking. Again, without any explanation, I was ordered to a private room with two female security officers with the only English instructions being “move over there and bring whatever money you have with you.”
This did not clarify things for me. I again tried to enquire what was going on because, but again, they continued to communicate only in Hebrew and still I received no response to my questions. Eventually I received a response when I asked, “Is this a random security check?” One lady paused and barked at me, “No.” I was silent after this.
In this room, I was strip searched. I was ordered to remove my shirt, pants and bra. Again, no explanation was given as to why I was being ordered to remove my clothes. The security officers still spoke in Hebrew on radios between the rooms. I was ordered to put my clothes back on and join the other security officers in the first room. I was given a chair in the corner of the room behind a partial screen to sit and wait while every item of my backpack was examined in detail, my laptop was taken from my sight and the occasional question thrown at me across the room.
‘I was ordered to remove my shirt, pants and bra’ (Archive photo: Reuters)
By this point, I was feeling very intimidated and uncomfortable. I was alone in a separate underground area of the terminal and surrounded by security officers. I was being treated as if I was guilty of a crime, yet I did not even know what the allegation was nor did I have any idea of what was happening as everyone was speaking in Hebrew and still refusing to answer my questions.
Finally I was declared no risk to security. However, my laptop, camera, iPod were put in a separate box and taken away from me without explanation. I watched all my photos from three months abroad, my laptop with important documents on it and covered only by a small piece of bubble wrap in a cardboard box, and my Australian phone disappearing down the hallway without any explanation after I had just been told I was no security threat.
I boarded the flight, completely bewildered, confused and upset about the situation that had just occurred. I was not offered any kind of apology or explanation. This process had taken over an hour.
Unfortunately, this is not the only negative experience I have had with Israeli security. Upon leaving Tel Aviv last year I underwent a routine search and a keffiyeh I had bought as a souvenir in Jerusalem was jumped upon. A security guard held up the keffiyeh in the air and stated (I remember his exact words): “Do you realize what this is?” I replied, ‘Yes it’s a keffiyeh, they are being sold everywhere in Jerusalem.” The disdain in his voice was clear as he asked again, “Yes, but do you realize what this represents? This is a symbol calling for the end of Israel.”
I was taken to a separate room and searched extensively. I ultimately lost my laptop battery as I was not allowed to fly with it and it never turned up at my destination (hence my concern for my valuables this time). I was shocked at the way I was treated for buying a keffiyeh and I was shocked at the comments of the security officer in relation to the keffiyeh.
I do understand the importance of airport screening and security measures. However, I am offended that I would be subjected to such degrading treatment solely because I am friends with an Australian woman of Arabic dissent and I was provided with no explanation or apology for this treatment. Furthermore, I found it incredibly inappropriate to refer to the keffiyeh I had in my bag an item of disdain and danger.
Despite having some of my closest friends in Israel and having an enjoyable visit both times, I walked away from the security area simply thinking, “I never want to go through that again even if it means not coming back to Israel.” Sure I could have not said my friends’ Arabic sounding surname and it would have saved a lot of hassle. However, when asked a question by security and I have nothing to hide in any way, why should I have to conceal my friends’ name?
The only positive experience in the flight from Amsterdam was one of the young trainee security officers standing uncomfortably to the side during this whole process. After I was declared not a security risk and we were alone, she took one look at me and learned forward and whispered, “I think you need a cup of tea after this.”
I hope that in the future, Israeli security officers show more respect in their work. Indeed, my time at the airport heading out of Israel was uneventful and an example of the fact not all security officers are behaving in this way but those that do are indeed having a negative impact on visitors to Israel.
El Al: Security our guiding principle
Tens of thousands of tourists are familiar with Nicki’s negative experience on her way to the Holy Land. According to figures released by the Prime Minister’s Office about half an year ago, some 300,000 people are detained every day while entering Israel, just because their name or personal profile are similar to those of a suspicious person.
A total of 100,000 tourists are detained every year, some of them having to go through the same experience Nicki went through during her two visits.
Amy Cohen’s parents, for example, were detained based on “intelligence information” received by the Immigration Authority. “They told them that they were missionaries and had to leave Israel,” says Amy. “They were released after 13 hours in custody, not before they were forced to sign a document promising not to engage in any missionary activity.”
Apart from potential missionaries or terror activists, airport security has also detained people who seemed to be trying to immigrate to Israel illegally, including some foreign sportsmen who arrived in the Holy Land to join Israeli teams and were deported instead.
“Nicki and I have been good friends for years, and she really loved Israel on her first visit,” says Yahli Shereshevsky, 28, a fellow researcher at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law. “I was amazed and shocked by the treatment given to such a lovely, innocent and kind girl.
“Beyond the shock, such an incident has a negative impact on the State’s image and character. I am a proud citizen of the State of Israel, and many times I find myself praising the country in conversations with friends from abroad. I served in a combat unit in the army and I fully understand the State’s need to defend itself.
“But the need for security checks has nothing to do with the humiliating way they are implemented. In what way would the State’s security have been harmed had they answered Nicki’s questions, apologized from the bottom of their hearts for the discomfort she suffered, and considered the need to undress her and invade her privacy by examining the pictures and files on her computer?
“Nicki’s case illustrates the damage one single person can cause in his treatment of those arriving at Israel’s gates. Unfortunately, in this case it was more than one person, and after I began investigating I discovered that this is a much more widespread phenomenon.
“I don’t think this is an intentional policy of the State or airlines, but they are responsible, and in the current situation they are helping damage the State’s image and hurting its visitors.”
An El Al spokesman said in response, “The passenger was checked in accordance with all security orders. Security is El Al’s guiding principle, and the security officers are doing an excellent job under difficult conditions.”
Troops in Gaza assault named on website
Smoke rises from explosions caused by Israeli operations in Gaza City in January of last year.
Hatem Moussa / AP
TEL AVIV // A new website listing names and photographs of dozens of Israeli soldiers involved in the onslaught launched by Israel in Gaza in late 2008 appears to have embarrassed the Israeli army.
The site, which Israeli media reported was initiated by anonymous British activists and hosted by a US-based internet service, dubbed the 200 soldiers listed as “war criminals”. The list also included the home addresses, birth dates and national ID numbers of many of the Israelis, who range from low-ranking soldiers to senior officers.
The list seemed to be part of a growing effort by activists, both in Israel and abroad, to pursue the pressing of war crime charges under the principle of universal jurisdiction against Israeli soldiers who participated in the attack. The three-week offensive launched by Israel in December 2008 resulted in the killings of about 1,400 Gazans, most of them civilians.
The disclosure of the troops’ details also appeared to expose the Israeli military’s growing difficulty in restricting such information from being revealed in the internet era, despite the army’s technology-savvy image. Data such as soldiers’ home addresses is not typically readily available to the public in Israel.
The Israeli military on Friday condemned the website, saying the data was published “without any factual basis whatsoever”. It played down the possibility that the publication may endanger troops, saying the information “poses no real threat to those whose names ended up on the list”. But the response of some senior army officials indicated otherwise. Avi Zamir, the head of the army’s manpower division, called the details’ publication a “grave event” and pledged to “support the soldiers and officers” listed.
High-profile Israeli politicians or army officers have been increasingly pulling out of visits to European countries such as Britain and Belgium, where legal action has been weighed against those involved in the Gaza operation, for fear of arrest over war crimes allegations under universal jurisdiction laws. However, no cases have gone ahead.
Nevertheless, in January, the Israeli military put off a visit by a team of its commanders to London over fears that they risked being detained. Such concerns were one of the key issues discussed during a visit by the UK’s foreign secretary to Israel earlier this month.
The website drew wide coverage in Israel because it was unusual in that it listed not only the army’s top-ranking officers, but also commanders of battalions, companies and platoons and even conscripted soldiers. “From now on, European travel may entail some risk even to a young platoon commander from the paratroopers’ brigade, who may have in the meantime been released from the army and was considering studying abroad,” wrote Amos Harel, a commentator in the Haaretz newspaper. “Beyond the threat of arrest, a publication of this nature may trigger some very unpleasant responses with which Israelis may have to contend.”
The site, which had been called “Israeli war criminals”, was removed by its hosting service on Friday because of an unspecified breach in its terms of service, Haaretz reported. Nevertheless, before its removal, the information it had gathered – written in both Hebrew and English – was rapidly replicated on other blogs and websites and remains available. Israeli media reported that the list was riddled with inaccuracies, including listing soldiers who never participated in the Gaza assault. But the reports also said that the apparently updated personal data indicate that the website’s creators collaborated with Israelis, possibly even soldiers, in gathering the details.
The introduction to the list says the information came from an anonymous source who was “presumably” serving in the Israeli military. “The people listed here held positions of command at the time of the attack,” the activists wrote. “Therefore, not only did they perform on behalf of a murderous state mechanism but actively encouraged other people to do the same.”
According to Haaretz, even the names of officers who replaced wounded battalion commanders during the war were included on the list, indicating its gatherers’ “considerable proficiency”.
THE HERO FROM MY PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
What is a hero? From my perspective several thoughts emerge in my mind when I think of a hero, specifically in a very broad sense. The word hero applies dynamically to individuals in different contexts of culture, history, gender, etc. The term hero might generally be associated with that man who is brave, generous and courageous. Considering yourself a hero, you would intimately reflect your own identity, culture, conflict and history.
For me, it had been actually wonderful when I discovered that my personality is motivated toward many interests particularly in my career. I finished my studies from the Islamic University of Gaza and I was well-prepared to be a teacher of English language. Through my early life, people around me never stop telling me that I have got a smile face and always you enjoy being close with children. There is one prime characteristic I really admire about the life of the refugee camp that its small roads always crowed with young children where they have fun and enjoy their time in such dire environment. Accordingly, my attitudes had been changed from being teacher of English language for children into being very close to them through another dimension of work which the humanitarian aid and relief work.
Personally, it would be simple to identify the concept of hero according to my perception and my experience in Palestine. Having this course of childhood inside me, the hero is the Palestinian child who grows up and builds his life in the light of such dire conflict. This perspective is due to the fact that I lived in this situation of conflict my entire life as well as being close to children though my previous work. In this regard, I shift my thoughts dramatically to recognize the child’s Smile as heroic figure. This smile would cry lots of qualities and values specifically in the context of the Gaza Strip. My hero is a young Palestinian child who keeps a smile on his face and keeps aspiring of a better future despite living a life in struggle and conflict.
During the fifth model period, we took an exercise called Butoh Dance. In this exercise, my imagination and memory had been perfectly working and I went behind the dancing world. It enhances my bodily awareness not only for individuals but rather for social groups this happened through greatly activating my inner imagination. This took place when we were asked to play the role of being a tree then later on to consider myself, old woman, old man, and child. My flash memory easily helped me in order to recall those people where I lived part of my life with. The only image that recalled in my mind was a young child who is of 12 years. It was very much expressive for me as I spent fifteen minutes with in his world before I imagine myself a child. In this moment I had the feeling that I wanted to stay as long as I can with this child since this child is close to my heart. Subsequently, I realized that dancing and getting my body part moving negatively impacted the recalled image, and then I decided to still recalling the image while lying in the ground.
It’s hard to count the characteristics that constitute the child’s smile. Ambitious, amusing, patient, bearable, conscious, knowledgeable, would ensure the strength of this young child as a hero in the time of conflict and insecurity.
The Rights of Children in Gaza
The Palestinian child is directly affected by the scenes of incursion, blood and war. The child is not given the basic childhood rights. It is even hard for her/him to find a space for fun, and also to get her/him physiological needs satisfied. The child retains memories of all means of death that his/her family passed through during the time of instability and warfare caused by the Israeli regular militant activities in his/her area.
Children around the world all share something in common in terms of love needed, compassion and smile. The Palestinian Gazan child has experienced an ongoing siege of unprecedented severity, including various blockages of fuel and electricity provisions, as well as all other energy resources. Israel has also imposed a strict closure on all the Gaza Strip border crossings, preventing movement of civilians, including patients seeking medical care.
In my following examples I would like to illustrate my definition of hero in clearer manner. There are many examples of children that inspired me while I was in my home. In this example, I will prove how the smile and the joy of children in Gaza are really heroic figures.
To start with, I remember my seven-year old sister’s smile Raghed enjoying her romantic candle light while studying her science lesson. The candle lighting at her table was not due to a special occasion. In fact, candles have become a necessity for Raghed and all children in Gaza due to the regular cut of electricity. Her smile still waves within my imaginary how she created sort of fund out of this exceptional hard situation she passed.
To move from Raghed to another aspiring childhood example named Loa’I Suboh. After the recent 23-day of war (Dec 2008 – Jan 2009) on the Gaza Strip, I started reporting some of the tragic stories directly from the mouths of children. One month after the attack, I met Loa’i Suboh, a ten-year old child who has lost his eyes in the attacks. He was injured by an Israeli air raid targeting his family in north of the Gaza Strip. Loa’i was wounded when he left the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) School with his family, as they were taking shelter on the premises. They wanted to get back to their home to fetch some personal belonging things like food and blankets. Loa’i was left bleeding for an hour and half and no one was able to have access to him and save him because of the heavy of the Israeli shelling at that time. One year after these sad events, Loa’i assured me that his blindness will never obstruct his future to be a good business man. Loa’i is an active and intelligent boy. His steadfastness and determination to complete his studies and accomplish his goals are in my opinion truly heroic, even if, sadly, his case is far from being unique.
According to data from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), 313 children under the age of 18 were killed in 23 days of war on the Strip (Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 2009:13). A great number of children has been killed or injured as a result of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The majority were killed as a result of Israeli violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), such as willful killing, violations of the principle of distinction, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. After years of occupation and conflict children already stressed were profoundly traumatized. The significant number of killing of children or leaving them with a more or less severe handicap, has increased the cases of children suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while there is no child who didn’t suffer a major trauma: from destruction of his home to loss of a parent, a sibling, from destruction of his school, playground, to the loss of a friend, a neighbor. They still dream and hope for peace and having space for entertaining.
I remember a Day of Action for children organized in one of the Refugee camps in the centre of the Gaza strip named (Al-Maghazi refugee camp). The event was called “Quest for Smile”. Through this after-school event, I saw the steadfastness of the children’s smiles, their smiles full of innocence. They eagerly assembled during this event and shared moments of joy and friendship. The event was organized in a local park fifty meters away from a demolished building. During the recent Israeli assault over the Gaza Strip, three children living in Al-Maghazi refugees camp were killed, and over 30 were critically wounded. Those children had been suffering from the ongoing insecurity of war and blockade over them. They were extremely cheerful during this event. “No words can express the joy experienced by these children during the event”, said one audience member, noting how the children couldn’t stop clapping and dancing with the costumed performers. The young children enjoyed several activities and performances, including dancing, group games, a trivia contest, and others, as well as spending some leisurely time outside with friends. It is really inspiring to see the bad psychological state of these children, and see how they bear such difficult circumstances and still have fun.
Through my experience as a humanitarian aid worker in Gaza, I realized how the children are affected by the consequences of the conflict and the conditions on the ground. I witnessed their struggle and how they fight to keep a smile on their faces. They play on the rubble of their homes and keep smiling. This is my hero personal perspective that embodied with children smile. Now I will explore etymological meaning of hero in Arabic since the Arabic language is a bit difficult in exploring the etymological words.
DePaul divests from Israeli hummus product
Today marks another win for the global boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement against corporations that profit from severe human rights violations. Chicago’s very own DePaul University just announced that their dining services will be discontinuing the sale of hummus manufactured by Sabra, an Israeli brand known for its vocal and material support of Israeli Defense Forces. The administration has temporarily suspended the sale of Sabra products and will likely move towards permanently banning the brand from campus.
A little over two weeks ago, members of DePaul’s Students for Justice in Palestine expressed concern over the sale of Sabra products after discovering that Chartwells, which provides dining services to the university, had introduced the Israeli-brand hummus to food and dining facilities throughout campus. Acting on their concern, the students compiled research and revealed that the Strauss Group, co-owner of Sabra, has direct monetary ties with elite Israeli military forces currently and historically involved in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. One week after bringing the issue to the attention of campus administrators, the university informed campaign organizers that Sabra products are set to be removed from shelves for the remainder of the school quarter and will most likely not be sold on campus in the future. (Read the email sent to administrators at the end of the post.)
The ultimate success of this modest divestment campaign isn’t that it resulted in the removal of a product from campus cafeteria shelves but, rather, that it has undoubtedly set the framework for future campaigns in college campuses throughout the United States. With exactly 156 colleges and universities using Chartwells for their campus dining needs, the BDS movement against IDF-sponsoring companies like Strauss Group and Sabra can potentially reach national heights. By discontinuing the sale of Sabra products, DePaul University has made its stance clear: Any product or company involved with flagrant human rights violations against Palestinians or any other people does not mirror the principles on which the university is founded and is therefore not welcome on campus. The administration’s quick response indicates the importance of preserving and respecting Palestinian rights by divesting from companies that do the exact opposite.
DePaul’s divestment from Strauss Group-owned Sabra products comes less than a month after a similar attempt at divestment hit the streets of Philadelphia. Over two dozen activists gathered at a supermarket near the University of Pennsylvania to protest the sale of Sabra hummus. A video of the action was released to the public via YouTube where it quickly grew in popularity and eventually prompted Strauss Group to remove all references supporting the Israeli military from its English-translated website. However, the Hebrew version of the website still maintains the corporation’s public support of IDF activity.
Major BDS campaigns generally take years of concentrated grassroots efforts before any significant progress is made but that did not deter the small group of DePaul students from voicing their concern and offering alternative solutions that fell in line with the university’s code of ethics. The efforts put into this divestment campaign, both at DePaul and in Philadelphia, serve as a model for future college BDS movements. Any institution of higher learning that promotes morality, justice, and respect must make sure to abide by its principles. If it doesn’t, it is up to the students to make sure things change for the better.
FBI RAID VICTIMS GET NEW GRAND JURY SUBPOENAS [VIDEO]
Minneapolis, MN- Three of the nine Minneapolis peace activists who’s homes were raided on September 24, 2010 received notice of new subpoenas coming from the Chicago Grand Jury ordering appearances some time after Thanksgiving. Details are being resolved with the victim’s attorneys and the Chicago US Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald. The subpoenas will likely include immunity which forces the individuals to testify or face jail time. The the activists are Sarah Martin, Tracy Molm and Anh Pham.Supporters rallied in the fresh cold evening in solidarity with the activists and to enlist further community support. A delegation of activists from Minneapolis is in Washington today to seek ‘Dear Colleague Letters’ and other action from the Minnesota Congressional Delegation.
PM Netanyahu’s conduct in respect to building freeze similar to that of prostitute
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conduct in respect to the settlement construction freeze reminded to many Israelis a famous George Bernard Shaw quote: “We have established what you are, madam. We are now merely haggling over the price.”
Earlier this week, when the Israeli price was set at $3 billion (the cost of 20 F-35 fighter jets to be supplied to the Air Force,) it turned out that while Netanyahu may not be a great success story as a prime minister, he is phenomenal as a brothel manager.
Indeed, Netanyahu has shown himself to be a real leader who through a determined insistence on his principles disproved the malicious claim that the Jews only like money, making it clear that they also like fighter jets worth plenty of money.
Truth is that using the “stealth bomber” card in this game was an almost unfair step by the Americans. After all, we have yet to see the Israeli leader who would be able to resist the “advanced fighter jet” charm. Indeed, waving an F-35 in Netanyahu’s face is similar to tempting a drug addict with a package from Columbia.
Peace through the wallet
However, it would be a pity if the Americans stop here and ignore the potential for leveraging this Israeli weakness to secure further diplomatic achievements. Israel insists that the construction freeze not be applied to east Jerusalem? Everything will be worked out with a few F-86s, known as the “sneaky bombers,” a technological wonder that can sneak its way to Iran’s nuclear reactor disguised as kohlrabi.
And you think that renouncing the “settlement blocs” is out of the question? Just give us a squadron of spaceships worth $90 billion and we’ll hand over Tel Aviv’s suburbs to the Palestinians as well.
It appears that at the end of the day, and after all the commotion, Netanyahu will end up doing the right thing about the freeze for all the wrong reasons. But why complain? After all, this past week we realized that if we fail to achieve peace through our brains, it shall arrive through the wallet.
After all, words like “principles,” “land of our forefathers” and “Minister Gilad Erdan” are merely a matter of price. When you realize that Israel’s leadership is not a determined ideologist, but rather, a prostitute with expensive taste in combat diamonds, everything looks much more optimistic. With someone like that we can do business.
AIPAC Gets Down and Dirty in Pushback vs. Defamation Suit
Washington — The espionage case against two senior officials of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington was dropped last year. But it has not been forgotten, and it’s now threatening to draw the lobby into new depths of mudslinging.
Papers filed in the civil lawsuit of former lobbyist Steve Rosen against his previous employers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee include mutual accusations of using pornographic material at the lobby headquarters, among other allegations. The papers, based on depositions taken from Rosen and from AIPAC principals, dig into the private lives of the involved parties. They also reveal in detail the close ties AIPAC officials held with Israeli diplomats based in Washington.
At issue is Rosen’s $20 million defamation lawsuit against his previous employers at AIPAC, who fired him and his colleague Keith Weissman in 2005 — several months after both had been indicted under a rarely used espionage statute because they allegedly received and passed on classified information. AIPAC, in a move that could be seen as meant to embarrass Rosen, revealed in its court filings extensive parts of the depositions, many of them dealing directly with Rosen’s personal life.
In an interview with the Forward after the court documents had been made public, Rosen said he was not deterred, and promised that when he files his own motion in December, the information in it will put AIPAC in the hot seat. “Any embarrassment I suffered as a result of what they filed will be insignificant compared to the embarrassment they’ll suffer after we file our motion,” Rosen said.
Rosen’s civil lawsuit seeks compensation and damages from AIPAC and from its outside public relations adviser, Patrick Dorton, for defamation. Rosen said he suffered severe damage to his reputation when
Dorton issued a statement on AIPAC’s behalf announcing that he and Weissman were fired because their actions did not comport with AIPAC standards. This statement was initially understood as being related to the allegations of Rosen receiving classified information and communicating it to others against AIPAC’s policy. But in its motion for summary judgment, filed November 5 with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, AIPAC cites a wider array of alleged points of misconduct that the pro-Israel lobby now says led to the decision to terminate him.
AIPAC claims that Rosen, who was director of foreign policy issues at the lobby and one of its most senior and well-known employees, had engaged in viewing pornography on AIPAC computers at the lobby’s Washington offices. Partial transcripts of the lengthy videotaped deposition of Rosen, which were made public as part of AIPAC’s motion, show Rosen admitted to surfing pornographic websites from work. But AIPAC’s lawyers insisted on more details:
Q: What type of pornography?
A: Sexual pornography.
Q: What type? Man on man, man on woman?
A: Anything. Anything that occurred to me.
Rosen also added more details than, perhaps, the attorney for AIPAC had bargained for.
“I witnessed [AIPAC executive director] Howard Kohr viewing pornographic material, [Kohr’s secretary] Annette Franzen viewing pornographic material, probably a dozen other members of the staff,” Rosen said in his deposition. He added that, according to a Nielsen survey, more than a quarter of Americans regularly view pornographic websites at their workplace.
Later in his deposition, the former lobbyist also said he had heard from directors at AIPAC about their visits to prostitutes and he claimed Kohr had routinely used “locker room language” at the AIPAC offices.
AIPAC did not seem deterred from getting dragged into a dirty debate. It also chose to include in its court filing an issue relating to Rosen’s personal life with only a vague connection to the lobby’s claim regarding Rosen’s actions being below AIPAC’s standards. AIPAC’s lawyers questioned Rosen in detail about his attempts to find male sexual companions through the online classifieds site Craigslist, an act Rosen referred to as “sexual experimentations.” This information came up in one of Rosen’s divorce cases — he has been married five times — and was supposed to remain under court seal.
The court documents also shed light on Rosen’s attempts to support himself and his family after being fired from AIPAC. The former lobbyist, as the depositions indicate, received cash gifts from several prominent Jewish philanthropists, among them some who are also major donors to AIPAC. The list includes Hollywood mogul Haim Saban, one of AIPAC’s key funders, who gave Rosen a total of $100,000; Daniel Abraham, founder of the Center for Middle East Peace, who gave Rosen, his wife and three children gifts of $5,000 to $10,000; and philanthropist Lynn Schusterman, who paid off a college loan for Rosen’s daughter. The list includes several other backers, including two described as “bundlers” who raised up to $200,000 for Rosen from other donors.
The rationale for introducing this issue is AIPAC’s claim that Rosen did not suffer any financial difficulty following his dismissal or due to Dorton’s claim in AIPAC’s public statement regarding Rosen’s supposed misconduct. Rosen believes that by supporting him these donors, many of them still active AIPAC members, demonstrated their displeasure with the manner in which the lobby treated its two former employees.
The personal and financial details that take up much of the deposition seemed to be tense at times, with flare ups between the attorneys of both sides. But the court papers also shed light on the events surrounding the FBI visit to Rosen’s home on August 27, 2004 that led to the indictment in the espionage case.
The FBI has alleged that Larry Franklin, a Pentagon analyst at the time, passed on national security information to Weissman, who in turn shared it with Rosen. The two former defendants did not know then that Franklin was cooperating with the FBI and that the information he provided them was part of a sting operation.
Rosen and Weissman learned from Franklin that Iranian forces were allegedly operating in northern Iraq and that they were plotting to kidnap Israeli operatives. They then disclosed this information to a senior Israeli diplomat, Naor Gilon, and to Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler. The depositions reveal that after being confronted by the FBI at his home, in what he described as a “very intense exchange of words” Rosen made a phone call to AIPAC’s legal counsel, who was shaken by the news and asked Rosen to come immediately to the lobby’s headquarters.
Rosen then called Rafi Barak, at the time the deputy chief of mission at Israel’s Washington embassy. Rosen convinced Barak to cancel other appointments and meet immediately at a coffee shop. He described to the Israeli diplomat the encounter he had just had with the FBI and the allegations they made about Israelis receiving classified information. “I probably made some reference to Pollard,” Rosen recalled, and Barak, according to the deposition, “got very upset too.”
AIPAC raises this episode in an attempt to prove that Rosen did not follow directly the instructions of the lobby’s lawyer to come immediately to the office. This could demonstrate how Rosen did not live up to AIPAC’s standards.
But former AIPAC staffer and now liberal columnist M.J. Rosenberg sees more to it. According to Rosenberg, if Rosen proves that his operations, including going to a foreign official to warn him about the investigation, were all part of AIPAC’s standard operating procedures, “that would mean that AIPAC is not a domestic lobbying organization at all, but something very, very different.”
In a statement released by AIPAC from Dorton, the lobbying group said, “As is demonstrated in detail in the pleadings that AIPAC has filed, this is a frivolous lawsuit with no merit. … Rosen’s claims are wildly inaccurate, are undermined by Rosen’s own admissions under oath in his deposition, and constitute a blatant attempt to detract attention from the true and relevant facts.”
The next round in this battle is expected with Rosen’s counter filing on December 2. Both sides can decide to settle the case outside the court before that, or at any phase before it reaches a jury trial.
AIPAC Bares All to Quash Lawsuit
The United States is prepared to offer Israel written security guarantees if it would help to restart stalled Middle East peace talks.
“We continue our discussions with the Israelis. If there is a need to put certain understandings in writing, we will be prepared to do that,” PJ Crowley, the US state department spokesman, said.
He declined to say what the details of the package may be.
The US has offered Israel an incentive package for a 90-day moratorium on settlement building in the occupied West Bank, but the proposed freeze would not include building in occupied East Jerusalem.
Binyamin Netanuahu, Israel’s prime minister, has asked his cabinet to consider the package of security and diplomatic incentives.
|In exchange for a 90-day moratorium on building in the West Bank, the US is reported to be offering Israel:
Vetoes on resolutions that do not favour Israel.
A promise that no more settlement freezes will be sought by the US.
20 F-35 stealth warplanes worth $3bn.
A comprehensive, signed security agreement with Israel.
Increasing pressure on Iran and Syria to curb their nuclear and proliferation activities.
But an Israeli official said on Friday the US had not yet provided the guarantees that Israel wanted, with Washington reluctant to commit to paper all the promises Netanyahu says he was offered verbally last week.
The latest snag concerned a pledge that Israel says Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, made to provide the country with 20 stealth warplanes, free of charge.
Politicians said Washington was backtracking and now wanted some sort of payment for the coveted fighter aircraft.
“It looks like the free stealth fighters have slipped,” Benny Begin, a minister from Netanyahu’s Likud party who is opposed to the proposed US deal, said.
He said that Washington was setting a trap to extract major concessions later down the line.
“One may wonder if you cannot agree to understandings from one week to the next, what could happen over three months,” Begin told Army Radio on Friday.
The Palestinians themselves have expressed outrage in private over reports of the US offer, saying it was a bribe to get Israel to fulfil basic international obligations.
Stopping short of rejecting the deal outright, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, expressed strong reservations about the proposal because the moratorium on new construction would only apply to the West Bank and not East Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital.
Erekat said that the US had not officially informed the Palestinians about the details of the proposal, but that ”they know we have a major problem in not including east Jerusalem”.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, will put the US plan before Palestinian decision-makers and call for an immediate session of Arab League officials before announcing an official decision, Erekat said.
Abbas told the the London-based Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that he refuses to link the troubled Middle East peace process with a US offer of additional military aid to its Israeli ally.
“We refuse to allow the offer of planes be linked in any way to a freeze on settlements,” Abbas said in the interview, which was published on Friday.
“The United States is an ally of Israel and we can not prevent that,” Abbas said.
“But let their aid be carried out far removed from the Palestinian peace negotiations and not be used as a pretext for giving more weaponry to Israel.”
The potential construction freeze would cover future construction as well as projects that have started since September 26, when the previous 10-month moratorium expired.
The site sparked wide public criticism, and Kadima MK Majali Wahabi even appealed to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and demanded that the site be investigated.
“Whoever incites against IDF soldiers and calls them war criminals deserves to be punished,” wrote Wahabi, who called on the police to find the culprit behind the site.
Which resulted in…
The Zymic hosting service posted a message on Thursday saying that the site was suspended for breaching its terms of service.
BUT…. thankfully it was saved on other sites and can be seen HERE.
War criminals can run, but they can’t hide!
‘War criminals’ site exposing personal details of IDF soldiers taken down
Web site called ‘Israeli war criminals’ displayed pictures, names, and details of over 200 IDF soldiers; Kadima MK says people behind site deserve to be punished.
A web hosting service removed Thursday a Web site which displayed more than 200 pictures, names and personal details of Israel Defense Forces soldiers who were dubbed by the editor “war criminals” for their actions in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008.
The site, “Israeli war criminals” was published in recent days by an anonymous source in the U.K. and declared that its goal was to focus on the personal level and not on the national level of those responsible.
The soldier listed at the top of the extensive list was IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
It was written on the site that the details of IDF soldiers and officers were most probably obtained from an Israeli soldier.
The site sparked wide public criticism, and Kadima MK Majali Wahabi even appealed to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and demanded that the site be investigated.
“Whoever incites against IDF soldiers and calls them war criminals deserves to be punished,” wrote Wahabi, who called on the police to find the culprit behind the site.
The Zymic hosting service posted a message on Thursday saying that the site was suspended for breaching its terms of service.
The latest from Remi Kanazi…
Advance Praise for Poetic Injustice
“It is through art not the news that we feel and begin to understand the long night of suffering and humiliation endured by the Palestinians. There is more truth, and perhaps finally more news, in Remi Kanazi’s poems than the pages of your daily newspaper or the sterile reports flashed across your screens.”
-Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize winner and Nation Institute senior fellow
“Some poetry is meant to make you sit in quiet contemplation. Not so with Remi Kanazi’s. Read his words out loud for yourself and your friends. Let their compassionate anger, their intricate dance of ideas, their unflinching witness, wash over you, dance with you, pick you up, and spur you to action.”
-Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse
“With Poetic Injustice, Remi Kanazi has burst onto the scene with breathtakingly honest prose that shakes the reader’s preconceived notions of the Middle East and pokes holes into the conventional wisdom that far too many people refuse to question. Run out and get this collection today—it will shake you up in a good way.”
-Cynthia McKinney, former US Congresswoman and Green Party presidential nominee
“You want to hear a voice which refuses to be silenced, and only such voices carry the deep truth about what’s happening these days, about what’s happening in Gaza or Iraq or East Jerusalem? OK. If you do, listen to Remi Kanazi and the lucidity of his anger.”
-John Berger, novelist and Booker Prize winner
“Remi Kanazi’s poetry, full of defiance and longing, allows us to feel the power and pain of Palestine’s struggle.”
-John Pilger, award-winning journalist, author, and filmmaker
“Repression creates resistance. It also generates beautiful artistic works, which become a cultural weapon in the struggle for the realisation of dreams.This book of poems is a shining example of tomorrow’s Palestine.”
-Ronnie Kasrils, African National Congress activist and former South African government minister
“Back from Gaza, Remi Kanazi’s poems make tears come to my eyes. Poetry more than any other means communicates what is deepest in man, what gives us hope beyond crime and despair.
-Stéphane Hessel, former French ambassador and participant in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
“In Poetic Injustice, Remi Kanazi lines up his word soldiers and marches into the battle of identity, occupation, loss and exile. Stripping the spin and gloss from policies and politics, Kanazi volleys truths from his own life as a Palestinian-American and as a witness to the oppression and occupations, state terrorism and racism. A poet with immense power and bravery, he underlines each phrase, word and line with devotion.”
-Elmaz Abinader, author, poet, and PEN Award winner
A personal note from Remi….
I’m very excited to share that my debut poetry collection & CD, Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine, will be out this January and is available for pre-order today!! This collection is the culmination of my work over the last five years and I’m really happy to be sharing the news with all of you. To purchase the collection, visit