A MESSAGE FROM PALESTINE TO US CONGRESS: TAKE YOUR MONEY AND SHOVE IT!



Well, if American aid to the Palestinians is meant to help them help themselves (the US, the Palestinian’s ultimate tormentor and Israel’s guardian-ally, enabler, guarantor, and sustainer of Israeli insolence and territorial aggrandizement), then this aid is welcomed and appreciated and all of us Palestinians will have a standing ovation in America’s honor and solemnly say “thanks America for your most altruistic help.”

However, if this aid is meant as bribe money to encourage or entice Palestinians or certain Palestinian elements to sell off their people inalienable national rights, then, we are sorry; we can’t accept your money.

A message to Congress: Take your money and shove it
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
 
After four grim years of mutual recriminations, cold war and deep mistrust, the two main Palestinian political camps, the nationalist Fatah and Islamic Hamas, reached an auspicious agreement to end their differences.

The four-year rift exhausted the Palestinian people, seriously weakened the traditionally-strong fabric of the Palestinian society, and nearly caused an irreversible implosion within the Palestinian community at home and in the Diaspora.

And, above all, it made the prospects of peace in the region as remote as ever if only because a divided nation can’t get its acts together, especially when an increasingly fascist Israel, which always searches for pretexts and red herrings in order to evade and circumvent peace, sought to utilize the inter-Palestinian front to evade real peace and keep up building peace-killing settlements for fanatical Jews.

Needless to say, many if not most of these so-called settlers, are taught a morbid, venomous ideology which inculcates in them a certain belief that the whole universe was created solely for them and that non-Jews were created by the Almighty solely to serve Jews.

Interestingly, both Israel and its allies, including Israel’s obedient dog, which is US Congress, have rather vehemently and opportunistically, even obscenely manipulated the Palestinian rift to throw the proverbial propaganda ball into the Palestinian and Arab courts. Hence, one would be affronted when hearing ostensibly respectable US senators and congressmen remark gloatingly, saying “Let the Palestinians first have peace amongst themselves; peace with Israel will only come when the Palestinians learn to live in peace with themselves.”

Similarly, opportunistic Israel raved and ranted on every conceivable occasion, claiming that the Palestinian division, not Israel’s “lebensraum” policy in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, was impeding peace since the Palestinians didn’t have a unified leadership.

Now, after painstakingly achieving the long-awaited reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Israel is fretting, like a woman who has just received a bad divorce deal in court, threatening the Palestinians with doom and reprisals, as if the Palestinians were supposed to perpetuate their internal difference for ever and ever for the sake of despicable Zionist thugs, many of whom originated in Eastern Europe and Russia and who brought with them a genocidal ideology along with every form of racism, fascism and jingoism to the Holy land.

And, unsurprisingly, Congress didn’t lag behind. Indeed, no sooner than Hamas and Fatah representatives had announced their rapprochement in Cairo on Thursday, 28 April, than several Congressional figures warned that the US would stop financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Well, if American aid to the Palestinians is meant to help them help themselves (the US, the Palestinian’s ultimate tormentor and Israel’s guardian-ally, enabler, guarantor, and sustainer of Israeli insolence and territorial aggrandizement), then this aid is welcomed and appreciated and all of us Palestinians will have a standing ovation in America’s honor and solemnly say “thanks America for your most altruistic help.”

However, if this aid is meant as bribe money to encourage or entice Palestinians or certain Palestinian elements to sell off their people inalienable national rights, then, we are sorry; we can’t accept your money.

More to the point, if Congress insists that aid to the PA or to a prospective Palestinian national unity entity hedges on the resumption of inter-Palestinian strife, which I am sure would instill in Israel and her allies a lot of mirth, glee and gloat, then we have no alternatives but to look our American interlocutors in the eye and say, “Sorry friends! Take your money and shove it.”

There is no doubt that Israel has been taken by surprise by the reconciliation pact in Cairo, an auspicious feat that complements the great historic changes now taking place in the Arab region.

Avigdor Lieberman, who combines Stalin’s ruthlessness and Hitler’s nefariousness, along with characteristic Zionist depravity, was quoted as saying that Israel was preparing “an arsenal of reprisals against the Palestinians.”

The more public relations savvy Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu reiterated old stands that Israel wouldn’t resume peace talks with a Hamas-Fatah government due to the participation of Hamas, as if the good tidings of peace were hovering over the Middle East prior to the reconciliation agreement.

Netanyahu, a real thug, with a neck tie and an amazing ability to fornicate with language to change and distort the truth, once again invoked the terror issue, ignoring the clarion and cardinal fact that Nazi-like Israel is the ultimate expression, embodiment of terror in our time.

Netanyahu invoked the fact that Hamas didn’t recognize Israel. Well, does Israel recognize Palestine? Does amorphous Israel have fixed borders? Hamas will never ever recognize such a state, which was born in terror and genocide and mendacity.

Likewise, Congress along with happy-go-lucky Hillary Clinton is re-invoking the so-called Quartet conditions for talking to Hamas. These anachronistic “Nay-set” includes, abandoning armed resistance, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous agreements between the PA and Israel.

Well, these impossible blackmailing conditions are illogical and preposterous to say the least.

First, Hamas has been serious and sincere about observing the tahdia or calm in the Gaza Strip, often in the face of Israel’s murderous provocations. However, rather than meeting appreciation and praise from Washington as well as hard opposition from some other Palestinian factions, Hamas only received malice and vilification from the U.S., which only underscores America’s pornographic subservience to Israel and her wantonly hegemonistic Jewish lobby.

As to negotiations with Israel, it is well known that Hamas, which is not part of the PLO, never took part in these futile negotiations. Hence, the resumption of whatever negotiations wouldn’t hedge on Hamas’ approval.

Finally, asking Hamas to accept previous agreements between Israel and the PLO is really ridiculous since nearly all these agreements, including the scandalous Oslo Accords, are essentially vague so much so that even Israel and the PLO themselves don’t agree on a common understanding of these agreements.

An advice to the PA
Finally, an advice to the PLO and its leadership: Don’t be obsequious or complacent vis-à-vis Israel or any of its obedient dogs. These people have no iota of morality or honesty, let alone justice in their moral set of ideals. They are willing to blackmail us to the last drop of our blood. They would embark on the unthinkable to keep us in a state of enslavement to Zionism.

Hence, you should be able to seriously threaten the Zionist regime to dismantle the whole autonomous regime once and for all; in addition, of course, to terminating irreversibly any vestige of “security coordination” a revolting and repulsive factor in inter-Palestinian discordance.

Don’t display weakness or cowardice or indecisiveness. Our destiny as a people is not to be perennially enslaved by those racist thugs from Eastern Europe who want to build their glory at our expense.

ISRAELI RIGHTWING REPRESENTED IN US CONGRESS

Is Israel’s Rightwing in Eric Cantor’s District?

By David Swanson *

In May 2009, Congressmen Eric Cantor (R., Va.) and Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) wrote to President Barack Obama about U.S. policy toward Israel. Their staff sent the letter as a PDF but forgot to change the name of the file to something other than “AIPAC Letter Hoyer Cantor May 2009.pdf.”

AIPAC stands for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a group widely recognized as one of the most effective at lobbying Congress, and a group that consistently promotes the positions of the rightwing party of the Israeli government. AIPAC also has the distinction of having lobbied against accountability for an Israeli attack on a U.S. ship and in favor of leniency for a man convicted of selling U.S. secrets to Israel. In a separate case, six years ago, two AIPAC employees were indicted for obtaining U.S. secrets from a U.S. military employee who pled guilty. After powerful Congress members like Jane Harman (D., Calif.) lobbied on their behalf, the charges were dropped.

That’s what it means to be an effective lobby group: having your way. Need sanctions on Iran? You got em. Support at the United Nations for illegal settlements in Palestine or a blockade and bombing of Gaza? Not a problem. In fact, it would be our pleasure to provide the weapons needed, whether it’s for bombing Gaza, bombing Lebanon, or killing Turkish and American peace activists on an aid ship as happened last year. We’d be honored, and don’t let cost be a consideration! That would be an insult in these times of huge budget surpluses in Washington! (Warning, this paragraph contained sarcasm.)

We give $3 billion in “military aid” to Israel every year, more than we give to any other country. This is justified by the need to protect Israel from all the other countries in its region, most of which we also give or sell arms to. Last fall, when pressure was building in Washington to cut off foreign aid spending, Congressman Cantor proposed making an exception for Israel that would help guarantee it $30 billion over the next decade by hiding that funding in the U.S. “defense” budget. That proposal didn’t fly, but neither has any funding of Israeli weapons been cut.

Is there any spending here in Virginia that Congressman Cantor has defended this tenaciously? Would there be if we could afford it?

Cantor is listed on Maplight.org as the top recipient of campaign money from “pro-Israel” groups in the U.S. House of Representatives, having taken in over $200,000. These groups, most of them affiliated with AIPAC, dump tens of millions of dollars into U.S. elections each cycle. And they certainly appear to get what they pay for. In February, continuing a decades-long pattern that has made the United States the leader in U.N. vetoes, President Obama instructed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to veto and overrule the other 14 Security Council members’ backing of a resolution condemning as illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The problem here is more specific than the wild-west financing of U.S. elections. The problem is that the interests of the Israeli government, far from always representing the Israeli people, in no way represent those of the American people or the people of Virginia. Our views may align or diverge. But the Israeli government’s hostility toward Iraq or Iran, Lebanon or Palestine, or to independent democratic rule in Egypt and the rest of the region, need not be our own. That should be for us to decide, open to foreign input, but free of foreign financial pressure. AIPAC raises its money in the United States but advances the agenda of a foreign nation, diverging often from the majority views of both Americans at large and Jewish Americans in particular.

Later this month, Congressman Cantor will be a featured speaker at AIPAC’s annual conference in Washington DC, but over 100 peace and justice organizations will be holding a counter-conference called “Move Over AIPAC.” I wonder if Eric Cantor will get the message.

* David Swanson is an author and blogger in Charlottesville, Va.

Taken FROM

Image by Skulz Fontaine

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS EDITORIALIZES ZIOLIES

Publishing Propaganda, Ignoring Facts:
The NY Daily News puts the Lies in Editorialize
The following piece was co-written by myself and the outstanding journalist/blogger Alex Kane and was originally published on Mondoweiss under the headline: “Zuckerman rag prints bald-faced lies on upcoming flotilla to Gaza.”I have added some more of my own observations on the New York Daily News editorial below.

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Zuckerman rag prints bald-faced lies on upcoming flotilla to Gaza
by Alex Kane and Nima Shirazi

It comes as no surprise that a newspaper owned by Mort Zuckerman, an ardent Zionist, would be anti-Palestinian and that it would strongly oppose efforts to break the Israeli naval blockade by sending a flotilla of ships to Gaza. But a recent editorial printed by the Zuckerman-owned New York Daily News is a particularly egregious example of U.S. media’s aversion to the facts on Israel/Palestine. The bald-faced lies–which follow recent Israeli pronouncements about the “terrorists” organizing the upcoming international flotilla to break the Israeli blockade–printed would be laughable only if it wasn’t going to be read by thousands of people.

The editorial states:

Sponsors of the flotilla are happily playing with fire, as they did a year ago in sailing into the blockade under the guise of delivering medicines and the like to Gaza. In fact, some of those ships carried suicidal fighters instead of useful goods. Nine of the brigands died when Israeli commandos were forced to board and came under assault.

To claim that those aboard the Mavi Marmara were the aggressors is to completely invert reality. The attack was conducted in international waters after Israel cut off all communications from the ships and surrounded the flotilla with over 20 naval vessels and warships, along with multiple helicopters. In addition to the 45 highly-trained and heavily-armed commandoswho rappelled onto the largest ship, the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, murdering 9 civilians and wounding about 60 more, about 650 other Israeli troops, including surveillance and support troops alongside those who actually boarded the ships, took part in the illegal assault on the flotilla.And then there’s these howlers:

No one of any credibility disputes that Israel’s blockade is legal under international law. In coordination with Egypt, Israel barred sea-going shipments into Gaza in 2009 after years of Palestinian mortar and rocket attacks on Jewish soil.

As a board of inquiry put it:

“Israel imposed the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip for military-security reasons, which mainly concerned the need to prevent weapons, terrorists and money” from entering.

The UN has recognized the blockade’s legitimacy under international law. Now, it must prevent this perilous propaganda ploy.

First of all, the naval blockade has been in place since 2007, along with the land and air blockade–not 2009 as the editorial claims. The “board of inquiry” the Daily News refers to is the Turkel Commission, the name for the Israeli investigation into the flotilla events–hardly a neutral source of facts about the blockade of Gaza.And finally, it appears that Zuckerman’s newspaper likes to make up facts. The UN has not “recognized the blockade’s legitimacy under international law.” In fact, various UN reports have labeled the blockade illegal. The UN fact-finding mission on the 2008-09 Gaza conflict, known as the

Goldstone report, stated that the blockade was a form of collective punishment and that it was therefore in “violation of the provisions of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” The UN report on the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara also clearly states that the blockade is illegal. In 2009, the Associated Press reportedthat “U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay has accused Israel of violating the rules of war with its blockade stopping people and goods from moving in and out of the Gaza Strip.”*****

Alex Kane, a freelance journalist based in New York City, blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia in the United States at alexbkane.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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UPDATE:In addition to the points made above, the Daily News editorial is littered with deliberate falsehoods, absurd implications, and libelous accusations. Even the most cursory research reveals the shameful ignorance and heavy propaganda of the authors and their despicable intent.

Among the errors is the claim that the “only goal” of the 2011 flotilla “is to deliver humanitarian supplies to residents of Gaza,” which the editorial authoritatively declares “is a lie.”

Clearly, the editors who wrote this piece of garbage know nothing of the actual goals of the flotilla organizers. For instance, the Free Gaza movement, which has sent numerous boats to Gaza in the past few years, states on their website that their intention is “to break Israel’s illegal stranglehold on1.5 million Palestinian civilians.” Furthermore, they continue that, along with their “coalition partners, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza; IHH — the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief; the International Committee to End the Siege on Gaza; Ship to Gaza Sweden and Ship to Gaza Greece,” they seek to defy “Israel’s criminal closure of the Gaza Strip” and “sail as an expression of citizen nonviolent, direct action, confronting Israel’s ongoing abuses of Palestinian human and political rights.”

Free Gaza’s mission statement reveals, contrary to what the Daily News ignorantly claims, the actual goals set forth by the movement. Here is what they state:

We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine’s right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.

We have not and will not ask for Israel’s permission. It is our intent to overcome this brutal siege through civil resistance and non-violent direct action, and establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world.

Doesn’t sound much like their “only goal is to deliver humanitarian supplies.”Likewise, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, which “advocates the fundamental right of the Palestinian people in Gaza to live in peace and dignity without being subjected to any form of collective punishment such as the cutting of supplies of food, fuel and medicine or their denial of free access to travel outside Gaza Strip,”

declares its own goals this way:

[The ECESG] urges the participation of politicians and non-politicians alike to honor their duty to stop the suffering of one and a half million people trapped in Gaza under the most inhumane conditions. Supported by international and humanitarian law, the ECESG encourages all peoples of conscience and human rights advocates to intensify their efforts to highlight this life-threatening issue and end the catastrophe.

The U.S. Boat to Gaza describes the upcoming flotilla as an “international effort to break the blockade of Gaza and to end the occupation of Palestine.” Additionally, as an American delegation, the US Boat believes that “from the deck of The Audacity of Hope, we will be in a powerful and unique position to challenge U.S. foreign policy and affirm the universal obligation to uphold international law and human rights.”In their mission

statement, the U.S. Boat organizers declare that they “are taking action to help break the blockade which is suffocating the lives of the people of Gaza and denying them their liberty” and are joining “others from across the world to support an end to the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.”All flotilla organizers stress, as the U.S. Boat does, that “we agree to adhere to the principles of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance in word and deed at all times.” Naturally, the editors of the Daily News are uninterested in these inconvenient facts, labeling the flotilla vessels “warships in disguise” and describe flotilla organizers as “terrorists…disguised as humanitarians.” Without providing any evidence, the article presents as fact the outrageous suggestion that the “ships carried suicidal fighters instead of useful goods.” Not only is the assertion that Hamas and al Qaeda operatives were aboard the flotilla ships untrue, it has been

repeatedlyproven falseby journalists such as Max Blumenthal.While the editorial describes the flotilla organizers as “Islamic extremists” seeking to smuggle weapons “under the guise of delivering medicines and the like to Gaza,” such allegations are absurd. The “brigands” it refers to are the

nine unarmed Turkish citizens(including one Turkish American) who were executed by Israeli soldiers in international waters.The writers also state, without hyperbole, that the nine activists “died when Israeli commandos were forced to board and came under assault.” Died? Forced to board? Came under assault? The nine passengers killed during the Israeli assault didn’t just “die,” they were shot to death by Israeli troops who illegally boarded their ship. To claim that the Israeli commandos “came under assault” is to outrageously invert the roles of aggressors and victims.

Last year, an

UN report on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla massacre found, not only that the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law and constitutes collective punishment (which is a war crime), but also:

“The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.”

The report also found “clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: willful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health,” and stated that Israel had seriously violated its obligations under the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the “right to life…torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…right to liberty and security of the person and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention…right of detainees to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person…[and] freedom of expression.”Additionally, in July 2010, domestic Israeli policy and its occupation conduct had been

found to violatethese very same statutes (among others) by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.Based on both “forensic and firearm evidence,” the fact-finding panel

concluded that the killingof Turkish-American citizen Furkan Dogan and five other Turkish citizens by the Israeli troops on the Mavi Marmara “can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions.”Furthermore, even propagandistic Zionists such as the New York Times‘s Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner has admitted that all 10,000 tons of aid goods aboard the Mavi Marmara was “

unquestionably humanitarian in nature.” The aid included 6,000 tons of cement, more than 2,000 tons of iron, 100 prefabricated houses, 500 wheelchairs, crutches, medical equipment, wood and glass for building, electric generators, water purifiers, a mobile dental care facility, and food. The cargo had also been confirmednot to be transporting any weaponry by authorities before its departure.Another aid ship, the

MV Rachel Corrie which carried 550 tons of cement, 20 tons of paper for printing school books, 25 tons of school supplies, 12 tons of sports equipment and 150 tons of medical supplies, was also illegallyseizedby the Israeli Navy a few days after the Mavi Marmara massacre.The

need for medicine and health care supplies in Gaza is very real, despite what the editors of the Daily News may want their readers to believe. Since June 2007, “the number of Palestine refugees unable to access food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationery and safe drinking water, has tripled” and over 80 UN and aid agencies agree that “the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed.” At the end of 2009, a UN reportfound that “insufficient food and medicine is reaching Gazans, producing a further deterioration of the mental and physical health of the entire civilian population since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against the territory,” and “blamed the blockade for continued breakdowns of the electricity and sanitation systems due to the Israeli refusal to let spare parts needed for repair get through the crossings.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has “called on Israel to end the blockade of Gaza,” stating, “In particular, the Government of Israel should allow unimpeded access to Gaza for humanitarian aid and the non-humanitarian goods needed for the reconstruction of properties and infrastructure.”The United Nations – which the Daily News calls upon to stop the upcoming flotilla -

reported in January 2010 that Gaza is in “socio-economic crisis” and is suffering from the “severe deterioration of the already precarious living conditions of the people in Gaza and have further eroded a weakened health system.” The UN’s World Health Organizationwarns specifically that the brutal Israeli blockade – a clear example of collective punishment, which is illegal under international law – and the 2008-2009 winter massacre of Gaza “have led to on-going deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health.” The report notes that “many specialized treatments, for example for complex heart surgery and certain types of cancer, are not available in Gaza and patients are therefore referred for treatment to hospitals outside Gaza” continuing that “many patients have had their applications for exit permits denied or delayed by the Israeli Authorities and have missed their appointments. Some have died while waiting for referral.”The UN also points out that “there are often shortages” of drugs and disposables “on the ground mainly because of shortfalls in deliveries” and that “[d]elays of up to 2-3 months occur on the importation of certain types of medical equipment, such as x-ray machines and electronic devices. Clinical staff frequently lack the medical equipment they need. Medical devices are often broken, missing spare parts or out of date.”

Furthermore, the report notes that sixteen health workers were killed and twenty-five injured while on duty by Israeli strikes. Also, fifteen of Gaza’s twenty-seven hospitals, forty-five of its 110 Primary Health Care services, and twenty-nine of its 148 ambulances were either damaged or destroyed in the Israeli assault. None of these facilities have been able to be repaired in the past two years due to the fact that Israel refuses to allow building materials into Gaza.

In June 2010, the WHO

saidthat medical equipment valued at $20 million, including “CT scanners, X-ray machines, fluoroscopes, infusion pumps, medical sterilization gases, laboratory equipment, UPS (uninterrupted power supply) batteries and spare parts for support systems such as elevators” and which were “urgently needed in Gaza had been piling up for a year waiting for clearance from Israel.”The WHO also

renewed its call “to allow for the unimpeded access into the Gaza Strip of life-saving medical supplies, including equipment and medicines, as well as more effective movement of people in and out of the territory for medical training and the repair of devices needed to deliver appropriate healthcare.” The statement continued:

“It is impossible to maintain a safe and effective health care system under the conditions of siege that have been in place now since June 2007,” Tony Laurance, the head of the WHO’s office for Gaza and the West Bank, said in the statement. “It is not enough to simply ensure supplies like drugs and consumables. Medical equipment and spare parts must be available and be properly maintained.”

By December 2010, the Ministry of Health in Gaza was warningthat “137 types of medicine and 150 of essential medical supplies are out of stock in Gaza, among those supplies are drugs used to treat cancer and kidney patients” and that a mere “37% of required medical supplies reached the Strip this year so far.”Thankfully, the Daily News didn’t burden its readers with these annoying facts.

The Daily News editors claim that “the true aim is to provoke a confrontation that serves as a rallying point in a drive to portray Israel as an amoral, oppressive force.” Anyone familiar with Israel history knows full well that no artificial provocation is required for Israel to be portrayed as “amoral” and “oppressive.” The actions of the Israeli government and military over the past six decades prove that such a depiction is accurate, if not woefully inadequate to describe the war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and institutionalized discrimination necessary to continue Zionist domination of Palestine.

It should also be pointed out that, when mentioning mortars and rockets shot from Gaza into Israel, the Daily News states that the Palestinians were attacking “Jewish soil.” Jewish soil? Describing the State of Israel, which was established after years of massive (and illegal) Jewish immigration and months of deliberate and violent ethnic cleansing to eliminate the majority of native Muslim and Christian inhabitants from the area, as “Jewish soil” is disgusting. What does the Daily News think about the 20% of the Israeli population who are Palestinian Arabs and whose ancestors have owned and lived on the land for centuries if not longer? Whose “soil” are they living on?

Lastly, the photograph accompanying the Daily News piece shows a young Palestinian boy stocking shelves in a Gaza grocery store. The obvious implication is that there is no

humanitarian crisisin Gaza and that the 1.5 million Palestinians there are in no need of humanitarian aid, let alone human rights solidarity.Naturally, this suggestion ignores the fact that, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,

61% of Gazans are “food insecure,” of which “65% are children under 18 years;” the level of anemia in infants is as high as 65.5%, about 70% of Gazans live on less than $1 a day, 75% rely on food aid, and 60% have no daily access to water. It also sidesteps the fact that, as Rebecca Sargent of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network has noted, “Much of the population remains unemployed and thus have no money to buy supplies for themselves. U.N. Resolution 1860calls for the unfettered access of aid and commercial goods to Gaza, although it would appear this call has been mostly ignored by the Israeli government’s blockade.”The photo of the Gaza grocery store is clearly another piece of propaganda meant to signify to the reader, “hey, with

storeslike these, can we really believe that Gaza’s inhabitants are victims of deliberate deprivation, discrimination, and occupation?”Apparently, according to Zuckerman’s Daily News editors, where there’s a market, there’s no suffering, right? To answer this question, one need only look at these pictures of the Warsaw Ghetto marketplace in the 1940’s:

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I suppose, if we are to believe the Daily Newseditors, there was nothing too offensive going on there, I mean, just look at all those warm coats, high heels, and storefronts!

And hey, if these children were smuggling food into the Ghetto, I suppose they had a good reason. But if Palestinians do the same in Gaza, clearly it’s because they are all murderous anti-Semites.

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While the Daily News ends its piece by urging the UN to prevent the upcoming flotilla from sailing to Gaza this June, it is clear that the “perilous propaganda ploy” it warns against is actually its own unadulterated hasbara.
Original posted AT

ISRAEL’S LATEST PSYCHOSIS ~~ PEACEOPHOBIA

 Image is by Mahmoud Al Tamimi, 11. ‘’Art for Peace’’ project for Jerusalem children in Jerusalem.
The mere thought of Hamas and Fatah finally burying the hatchet has caused sleepless nights for the zioright in Israel. The possibility of a unified Palestine, leading to an end to the Occupation has been their biggest nightmare since the creation of the state of Israel.

Fear of Peace … or is it the fear of losing the 3.5 BILLION Dollar$ a year which the American taxpayer unwillingly GIVES to Israel is great cause for alarm. What if there no longer is an ‘enemy’? What if a United Palestine achieves the Statehood they have been waiting for since 1948? For sure, unity will lead to statehood, statehood will lead to the end of the occupation, BOTH will lead to Peace. Can Israel live with these results?

The zio press seems to think otherwise; An Editorial in Today’s Jerusalem Post raises many invalid points regarding these matters…

The question of Palestinian Statehood is the greatest fear as can be seen in THIS ultra right column…

According to THIS article in the more moderate Daily Forward, White House: Palestinian Unity Government Must Renounce Terror, Accept Israel …. What about Israel renouncing terror and accepting Palestine? Why has this become a one sided issue as far as the Obama Administration is concerned?

Israel’s Left Wing Haretz raises a completly different viewpoint …. Israel can redeem itself by recognizing a Palestinian state, It can be read HERE.

ANOTHER REPORT from HaAretz raises Netanyahu’s concerns Netanyahu presses for U.S. action over Fatah-Hamas dealCan you imagine a war free zone in the Middle East? Can you imagine an Israel and a Palestine acting as good neighbours, both recognising each other’s ‘place in the sun’?

PEACE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY FEAR!  OR BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION!!

NEWS AND VIEWS FROM DOWN UNDER WORTH PEEKING AT

Palestine, peace, Wikileaks and Gitmo crimes

Prepared by Antony Loewenstein

The last month has seen a continuation of the Arab revolutions. NATO-backed Libyan rebels continue to struggle against once Western foe then friend Gaddafi forces. A majority of post-Mubarak Egyptians profoundly mistrust American intentions in their country. Hamas and Fatah reconciliation may be on the cards (but caution is required). Egypt says it is about to open its closed Gaza border. Syria remains in turmoil. Throughout it all, the Obama administration has been flat-footed and desperate to show vision when all the US really knows is backing autocrats who guarantee “stability”.

In Australia, there has been a ferocious debate over imposing a boycott on Israel – much more on this below – and what’s been clear is the major disconnect from public debate (Arabs largely excluded) with the reality in Palestine itself. Israel’s occupation continues to deepen in the West Bank along with growing Israeli racism and yet most politicians and journalists speak about a “peace process”. Zionism is killing its own off-spring.

In other news:

- My investigation for Australian magazine New Matilda on the Greens Party, its embrace of BDS against Israel and electoral fortunes. After an intense campaign of smearing by the Murdoch press and silence by the Zionist lobby and Jewish community, my response for the publication is here. The Murdoch attacks continued but it was a clear lesson in how the corporate press and political forces react when anybody dares challenge apartheid Israel.

- My coverage of the Greens, BDS, Murdoch and ignoring Palestinians is here, here, here, here , here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here , here and here.

- Interview on Sydney’s 2SER Radio explaining why the BDS movement is vital to remind people that Israel continues to illegally occupy Palestine.

- Interview on ABC TV News24 about American kill teams in Afghanistan and democracy uprisings in the Middle East (comments that upset conservative critics).

- My review in Sydney’s Sun Herald of recent books about Wikileaks.

- My story for Australian magazine Crikey on the lack of Arab voices in the Australian debate over Israel/Palestine and BDS.

- Story in Sydney Morning Herald over the Marrickville BDS council meeting in Sydney (here were events on the night) plus my appearance on ABC Radio AM and audio of my speech plus SBS TV News. Here’s video footage of my speech and an interview in the pro-settler Jerusalem Post.

- Interview in the Australian on Australia’s immigration detention and the flawed privatised system of British multinational Serco.

- Appearance on ABCTV News 24 on human rights in China, Wikileaks revelations about abuses in Guantanamo Bay and the UN war crimes report on Sri Lanka.

- Article on ABC online about the revelations in the Wikileaks-released Guantanamo Bay files and what they say about Western “values”.

- My first book, the best-selling My Israel Question, has just been released as an e-book and is available via the Kindle, iBook and other formats. The title is currently being translated into Arabic and Indonesian and will be released in various nations over the coming 12 months. My second book, The Blogging Revolution , is also being updated, in light of the Arab revolutions, and will be released in Australia, India and globally later this year.

For a daily dose, check out Antony’s website, Twitter and Facebook.

ISRAEL CAN HAVE A PEACE PARTNER WITH A UNIFIED PALESTINE, BUT WILL PALESTINE HAVE ONE?

“The State of Israel can and must reach a peace agreement with the entire Palestinian people, with all its factions, through a Palestinian Unity Government which represents them all. ”

Image

Former Knesset Member Avnery

Gush Shalom Welcomes Reconciliation Agreement Between Hamas and Fatah

Jerusalem –  The Israeli Human Rights group, Gush Shalom, issued a press statement on Thursday  welcoming the reconciliation agreement between the two Palestinian rival groups Hamas and Fatah in Cairo on Wednesday.

Former Knesset Member Avnery,  Gush Shalom activist, said “I wholeheartedly welcome the agreement reached by the Palestinians in Cairo. Palestinian unity, overcoming the malignant split, are not a threat to Israel, but a top Israeli interest. “

“The State of Israel can and must reach a peace agreement with the entire Palestinian people, with all its factions, through a Palestinian Unity Government which represents them all. ” Avnery added.

Earlier on Wednesday delegations headed by Musa Abu Marzoka, member of Hamas Politburo member, and Azzam al-Ahmad, member of Fatah central committee started talks to reach the long awaited unity deal mediated by the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Nabeel al-Arabi.

In a first response to the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority must decide whether it wants peace with Israel or reconciliation with Hamas.

Responding to PM Netanyahu  statmenet, Avnery said  “Prime Minister Netanyahu responded with the predictable futile refusal and rejection, and proved that his government has no solution and no way forward. The State of Israel destroyed the previous Palestinian Unity Government, resulting in a lot of bloodshed of Israelis and Palestinians alike, a serious error which must not be repeated.”

Avnery continued to say “ The State of Israel should support and encourage Palestinian unity, and contribute its share by opening the ‘Safe Passage’ between Gaza and the West Bank – as Israel undertook to do in the Oslo Agreement but never implemented. “

The Islamic movement, Hamas, is at loggerheads with Fatah, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, since Hamas won the parliamentary elections in January of 2006. In the summer of 2006 Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip ending months of bloody conflict with Fatah allied security forces. Egypt and other Arab countries past attempts of reaching a reconciliation deal between the two largest Palestinian factions have failed

Source

PALESTINIAN UNITY; IF THE US CONGRESS IS AGAINST IT, THEN IT MUST BE OK


Hopes of seeing Palestinian Unity have reached a new level this week as can be seen in the following reports…..
Fatah, Hamas in unity govt ‘understanding’
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 Fatah and Hamas sign reconciliation deal
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Questions about “Hamas-Fatah reconciliation”

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Needless to say, the zionists are downplaying the situation….

PA Unity Deal is Cosmetic, Bogus

BUT ….. the most interesting views come from the ‘Good Ole USA’ ….. If they don’t like it, I LOVE IT!
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House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen released a statement saying that, “The reported agreement between Fatah and Hamas means that a Foreign Terrorist Organization which has called for the destruction of Israel will be part of the Palestinian Authority government. US taxpayer funds should not and must not be used to support those who threaten US security, our interests, and our vital ally, Israel.
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How quickly they forget … does anyone remember  the name Jonathan Pollard?
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Congress says will halt US aid if PA merges with Hamas
US House members enrages by PA’s newfound desire to reconcile with Hamas, say it will render Ramallah ineligible for Washington aid funds  

WASHINGTON – Senior congressmen said Thursday that if the Palestinian Authority follows through on its intention to reconcile with Hamas, the move may jeopardize the United States’ aid to the Palestinians, and perhaps even bring it to a halt.

The United States Foreign Assistance Act names stipulations for such aid, which the Palestinian Authority – if it forms a government with Hamas – will fail to meet. The US considers Hamas a terror organization, and naturally, will halt any funds which may fund their way to it.

House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen released a statement saying that, “The reported agreement between Fatah and Hamas means that a Foreign Terrorist Organization which has called for the destruction of Israel will be part of the Palestinian Authority government. US taxpayer funds should not and must not be used to support those who threaten US security, our interests, and our vital ally, Israel.

“According to existing US law, such a hybrid government cannot be a recipient of US taxpayer funds because the law stipulates that the PA government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist, among other things.

“By entering into this partnership with Hamas, Abu Mazen’s Palestinian leadership has shown again that it is not a partner for peace. If reports are correct, the PA would then be standing with those who want only death and destruction for Israel,” Ros-Lehtinen’s statement said.

‘PA making the wrong choice. Again’

Congressman Gary Ackerman, the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, echoed the sentiment: “The purported deal, which does not require Hamas to accept Israel’s right to exist, or the binding nature of prior Palestinian commitments, or even to require Hamas to temporarily forgo violence against Israel… is a recipe for failure, mixed with violence, leading to disaster. It is a ghastly mistake that I fear will be paid for in the lives of innocent Israelis.

“Rather than seizing the dynamic of this amazing Arab Spring to simply push for national elections and constitutional reform, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority has once again naively decided to test the trustworthiness of a bloody-handed bunch of terrorist want-to-be theocrats.

“While this step may be popular among Palestinians, many of whom wish to preserve the fantasy that they can have peace and so-called ‘resistance’ (also known in English as terrorism). As in prior cases, the United States will be compelled by both law and decency to withhold any assistance that could fall into the hands or control or even partial control of anyone reporting to, or belonging to a terrorist entity, as is Hamas,” said a statement by Ackerman.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey Nita Lowey, the highest ranking Democrat on the House foreign aid subcommittee, issued her own statement, warning that “Unless Hamas accepts the Quartet Principles, which include renouncing violence and recognizing Israel, the formation of a unity government with Fatah will be a deathblow to the peace process…

“A unity government with Hamas would put US assistance and support at risk, based on restrictions I authored as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.”

Source

See THIS report for a more realistic view of the situation….

Fatah and Hamas: Palestinian reconciliation will end Israeli occupation

Forging Palestinian unity is regarded as crucial to reviving any prospect for an independent Palestinian state, but Western powers have always refused to deal with Hamas because of its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

EXPLANATION AND SORT OF APOLOGY FOR ‘MOCKING JESUS ON ISRAELI TV’

Just before Easter I posted a video called ‘Mocking Jesus On Israeli TV’….
It can be viewed here….
It apparently caught the attention of one of the scriptwriters who responded with the following comment;

I am one of the scriptwriters

This video wasn’t played on the tv, only on the internet pilot, on flix website, before bip bought the program. it didn’t offend anyone that time, although there are many Christians in Israel.

The intention of the video didn’t mean to offend the feeling of the Christians, it’s a parody on the Israeli chauvinist 70′s tv programs, by exagerating, so it’s critical about the israeli system. other programs were about 1967 war, and Adam and Eve etc. this program put an anti-militaristic agenda in Israeli tv. So it’s funny that website like you attacks it.
http://www.flix.co.il/tapuz/showVideo.asp?m=1337219.

The translation here is not accurate (eg there is no f-word), and this is one of the reasons for all the trouble. It seems like someone wanted to pour oil on this fire.

Sorry for anyone who was offended by it. :)

Let us hope that this apology is sincere and this type of ‘parody’ is not used again to express one’s feelings.

TIMELY TOON ~~ INTIFADA 101 (LIBYAN STLE)

Image by Kahlil Bendib

click on image to enlarge

PARKS NOT PALESTINIANS

The use of national parks to push the Palestinian population out is not a new phenomenon. Already in 1986 residents of the South Hebron Hills village of Susiya  were expelled from the caves in which they lived. In their place the Susiya National Park was established.

Plan for National Park Threatens to Strangle East Jerusalem’s Issawiya Neighbourhood

Jerusalem’s District Committee for Planning and Construction recently approved a new plan to establish part of a “national park surrounding the walls of Jerusalem” on lands belonging to the East Jerusalem village of Issawiya. From the residents’ perspective, this eliminates the last remaining land reserves for Issawiya’s development.

Issawiya_national_park

A view of the last land reserve in East Jerusalem’s Issawiya, which has been confiscated for construction of a national park. 

The village of Issawiya in East Jerusalem suffers from harsh planning problems. Several areas of the village lack basic infrastructures including roads and sewers. The existing roads are narrow and inappropriate for the extent of movement within the village today. Residents complain of a lack of schools, playgrounds and other public facilities.

An additional serious problem is the difficulty to attain building permits. As a result, residents are forced to build without permits, and to later cope with high fines and home demolitions. During 2010, 15 homes and structures in the village were demolished, directly impacting the lives of 46 people.

The current master plan does not permit high rise buildings. Residents relate that building permits for the few multi-story buildings that do exist in the village were obtained through shady deals with the authorities, such as agreement to land confiscation in exchange for a building permit.

Declarations of the Jerusalem Municipality in its exchanges with the residents, concerning the intention to build “beautiful things” in the village such as a mall or swimming pool, do not convince the residents, who are first and foremost interested in construction of residential buildings in a sufficient amount to meet the growing village’s needs.

In the framework of the “Jerusalem 2000” master plan, some 90 dunams were added to the plan of the village. The plan theoretically ensures new construction or the permit of buildings up to four stories. In practice the plan creates difficulties and numerous demands , such as arrangement of parking, access roads and sewers appropriate for building at this height. Development expenses required to meet these needs fall on the residents.

It should be noted that in numerous cases it will not be possible to transform two story buildings (the maximum height permitted in the previous master plan) to four story buildings without completing dismantling and rebuilding from scratch.

These heavy expenses are out of reach of East Jerusalem residents, 65% of whom lived below the poverty level in 2008. It appears that the new master plan will not solve the housing crisis of Issawiya residents. An alternative master plan prepared by the Israeli association Bimkom, in cooperation with the residents, was rejected by the municipality in 2010.

In addition to the lack of possibility to build tall buildings, the village has no room for expansion. From the West it is closed off by the settlement of French Hill and from the North, by the lands located between Issawiya and the Separation Wall, where the Jerusalem Municipality plans to build a dumping ground for construction material. From the East and South the national park is being planned. Until publication of the latest plan, there remained a slope between the village homes and the campus of Hebrew University. The new plan confiscates this area from the residents.

The use of national parks to push the Palestinian population out is not a new phenomenon. Already in 1986 residents of the South Hebron Hills village of Susiya  were expelled from the caves in which they lived. In their place the Susiya National Park was established.

However, the national park surrounding the walls of Jerusalem, in the framework of which confiscation of Issawiya lands will be conducted, will impact a much larger population located throughout several East Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

Residents of Silwan have suffered from this planned park for several years already. Following establishment of the “City of David” tourist attraction in the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan, a fourth of all public lands were closed off to the village residents. The 11555 Town Planning Scheme designates 70% of the neighbourhood’s lands for the establishment of car parks, open areas, parks and archaeological sites. Participation of the settler association Elad in designing the plan and funding its creation was strongly criticized by Yossi Havilio, the then legal advisor to the Jerusalem Municipality.

An additional expression of the destruction threatened by a national park to Silwan is the plan for Hamelech Park, in the framework of which the the neighbourhood of Al Bustan will be transformed into a biblical park through extensive home demolitions and the uprooting of hundreds of Palestinians.

Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC). 

Source

BOB DYLAN ~~ DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S NOT ALRIGHT … IN IMAGE AND VIDEO

Image by Skulz Fontaine
 
Hey Bob….. The following is what you seem to think is alright….. Don’t think twice, it’s NOT!
Still not convinced? Maybe this will help …

Boycott From Within

Boycott from Within is a group of Israeli citizens that supports the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Listen to activist Ofer Neiman  discuss the Boycott from Within movement, its goals and what impact he thinks it will have on ending the Israeli occupation.

COMING TO ISRAEL SOON: A NEW TURKISH FLOTILLA AND DURAN DURAN

The Mavi Marmara off the coast of Istanbul in May 2010. Photo by: AP

Actually, the Flotilla is bound for Gaza, but Israel seems to think that’s a part of Israel….

Turkey: Israel shouldn’t repeat its Gaza flotilla mistake

Israel mustn’t attempt to stop a planned aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip, Turkey’s Foreign Minister told in an interview on Monday, adding that Turkey could do nothing to stop organizers from launching the flotilla.

Turkey said on Thursday it had received a request from Israel to help stop activists sailing to Gaza on the first anniversary of an Israeli raid on a Turkish ship, but it said the flotilla plan was not Ankara’s concern.

Full report HERE

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Here’s another group to add to your Boycott List….
HERE you can see who is and who is NOT boycotting Israel….

View to a thrill: Duran Duran announce Tel Aviv summer show

British pop icons join several veteran acts arriving in Israel, in what is slowly becoming a hot summer for Israel’s music lovers, albeit of the more nostalgic variety.

Read about it HERE

John Taylor, left, and Simon Le Bon of the band Duran Duran performing at The Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles, March 23, 2011. Photo by: AP

ZIO TAX-EXEMPTIONS CHALLENGED ~~~ IT’S A START

It has long been established that a tax-exempt organization that violates the laws against racial and ethnic discrimination within American borders would likely lose its exempt status. But the IRS has not taken action when that discrimination occurs overseas.

JNF Challenged on Discrimination

But No Precedent Bars Group’s Land Sale Restrictions in Israel

What Remains: In the village of Al-Arakib, a Bedouin woman sits amid the ruins of her family’s<br />
house, demolished last year by Israeli officials because it was built without a government permit.” /></span></div>
<div><span style=Getty Images-What Remains: In the village of Al-Arakib, a Bedouin woman sits amid the ruins of her family’s house, demolished last year by Israeli officials because it was built without a government permit.

A challenge to the tax-exempt status of Jewish National Fund’s American arm introduces a new wrinkle into an ongoing debate over how the Internal Revenue Service should treat charities whose foreign operations run counter to public policy of the United States.

A coalition of anti-Zionist groups has claimed in its challenge that JNF ethnically discriminates by refusing to sell or lease its land in Israel to non-Jews.

It has long been established that a tax-exempt organization that violates the laws against racial and ethnic discrimination within American borders would likely lose its exempt status. But the IRS has not taken action when that discrimination occurs overseas.

Tax law experts say that the coalition’s argument has little chance of success.

“We could argue that this would clearly be illegal and therefore violate the public policy doctrine in America, but the question is, since it’s happening in Israel, can we apply the same analysis?” asked Nicholas Mirkay, a law professor at Widener University.

The current narrow ban on tax-exempt organizations opposing the public policy of the United States has only been applied by tax authorities to organizations that break American law, practice racial discrimination in an educational environment in the United States or advocate civil disobedience.

The ban was affirmed by a landmark 1983 Supreme Court ruling in a case involving Bob Jones University, an evangelical Christian school in Greenville, S.C., that sued the IRS after the agency revoked its tax exemption over the school’s policy banning interracial relationships. The Supreme Court sided with the IRS, stating that “an institution seeking tax-exempt status must… not be contrary to established public policy.”

But the ruling did little to define what the Supreme Court meant by “established public policy.” So far, the precedent has been applied in only a narrow set of instances. Efforts to lobby the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of American groups that fund exclusively Jewish settlements in the Israel-occupied West Bank, for instance, have gained little traction. Some opponents of these settlements have argued that they conflict with long-established American foreign policy that labels the settlements as “impediments to peace.” But legal experts say American foreign policy has never been interpreted to fall within the rubric of established public policy.

The new complaint takes a different tack. In a March letter to the IRS, the groups opposed to JNF’s exempt status focus on the alleged racial discrimination practiced by the organization’s Israeli arm — a set of facts closer to the facts of the Bob Jones case, which also dealt with racial discrimination.

The letter targeting JNF was issued by the Stop the JNF Campaign, an international effort targeting the historic Zionist organization, which owns about 13% of all land in Israel. The campaign’s website criticizes JNF for its role in the “on-going displacement of indigenous Palestinians from their land.”

The campaign is endorsed by 108 organizations internationally, according to the website, including American Jews for a Just Peace, Al Awda-NY: The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, Churches for Middle East Peace and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

Jodi Bodner, an American spokeswoman for JNF, did not respond by press time to questions she had requested be submitted by e-mail.

In its letter to the IRS, the Stop the JNF Campaign writes that JNF activities in Israel and the West Bank “are both contrary to the public policy of the United States and inconsistent with activities of a charitable or environmental organization.” It cites what it calls “discriminatory” JNF policies against selling land to Palestinians, among other things.

“We want to make it clear that this is an issue of popular concern, that this is an issue of concern among taxpayers,” said Emily Katz Kishawi, an activist with the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and a spokeswoman for the campaign.

Legal experts who give the campaign little chance of success highlighted the fact that charities violating the public policy doctrine abroad face no risk of losing their exempt status.

“If you denied housing to an Arab here in the United States, that would probably violate some housing statute. It would seem to me you have some illegality there,” said Mirkay.

But Mirkay said that this doesn’t mean a charity would lose its exempt status for practicing racial or ethnic discrimination abroad. “There’s nothing that says you can take what would be an illegal act in the United States and say if you’re doing it abroad, that somehow violates public policy,” he said.

But he pointed to signs that the agency is taking a hard look at the question.

In March 2010, an official with the IRS division that handles exempt organizations told a tax law convention that the agency was preparing to address the international activities of tax-exempt groups in a new publication, according to The Exempt Organization Tax Review, a trade publication. And in August, a right-wing pro-Israel organization called Z Street filed a lawsuit claiming that its application for tax-exempt status was being delayed because it opposed the Obama administration’s Middle East policies. Tax law experts called the Z Street claims far-fetched, though the case is still pending.

Recent statements “seem to point to the fact that the IRS has definitely got its radar up on this issue,” Mirkay said. “The question is how they’re going to proceed.”

Another tax law professor warned that the alleged discriminatory activities of JNF and the facts of the Bob Jones case are not necessarily parallel. “I do not think racial [discrimination] in America, with our own unique history, is the same as the unique situation of Israel and the Palestinians,” Ellen Aprill, a professor at Loyola Law School, wrote in an e-mail.

The Stop the JNF Campaign comes at a time when land-use policies of JNF are coming under increased criticism. The U.S. Department of State’s annual report on human rights in Israel, released in March, noted that the organization does not allow land it owns to be leased or sold to non-Jews.

And JNF has come under fire in relation to the repeated demolition of Al-Arakib, an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev that sits on land where JNF plans to plant a forest.

Still, not all of JNF’s critics support the campaign’s tactics.

“I don’t disagree with the basic statements that the authors of this campaign put forward in their letter,” said Doni Remba, executive director of the Jewish Alliance for Change, which has partnered with Rabbis for Human Rights — North America in its own campaign against JNF policies toward the Bedouin. Remba said that he, too, opposed JNF policies barring land sales to non-Jews.

But he criticized the effort to strip the organization of its not-for-profit status. “This tactic is the tactic of a movement that is anti-Zionist,” Remba said. “It is opposed to the very existence of the Jewish National Fund, and of institutions like it, and of the State of Israel. We are a pro-Israel and Zionist organization, so we support, obviously, the State of Israel, and we want there to be a Jewish National Fund. We believe that JNF has to redefine itself for this day and age.”

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

How Your Tax Dollars Fuel the Hatred of Muslims

Public servants are regularly presented with misleading, inflammatory, and dangerous information about the nature of the terror threat.
The decade after the 9/11 attacks has seen the creation of a profitable cottage industry of self-styled “experts” on Islam. As Sarah Posner recently noted in an article on Religion Dispatches, anti-Muslim fear-mongers, ranging from politicians to national security experts, have “cultivated a wide-ranging conspiracy theory that totalitarian Islamic radicals are bent on infiltrating America, displacing the Constitution, and subverting Western-style democracy in the U.S. and around the globe.” 

What hasn’t gotten a comprehensive look, at least until now, is how public tax dollars have been funding parts of this industry under the guise of counter-terrorism trainings for city and state law enforcement across the country, which after 9/11 has gotten heavily involved in fighting terrorism.

A recently released report by the Political Research Associates, a group that monitors the right in America, puts the spotlight on how “public servants are regularly presented with misleading, inflammatory, and dangerous information about the nature of the terror threat.” The report, titled, “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace:  Private Firms, Public Servants, and the Threat to Rights and Security,” examines frames—like “Islam is a terrorist religion,” or “mainstream Muslim-Americans have terrorist ties”—and how they are propagated to law enforcement officers. 

These trainings have caught the eye of Senator Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security committee, and Senator Susan Collins, a ranking member. A March 29 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano from the senators reads, in part:  “We are concerned with recent reports that state and local law enforcement agencies are being trained by individuals who not only do not understand the ideology of violent Islamist extremism but also cast aspersions on a wide swath of ordinary Americans merely because of their religious affiliation.”  

The letter asks the attorney general to provide a list of grant programs being used to fund counter-terrorism trainings and asks about “improved oversight” of these trainings—demands that mirror the recommendations made in the Political Research Associates’ publication.

AlterNet recently caught up with Thom Cincotta, the author of the report and a Political Research Associates’ staff member, to delve into more detail on this subset of the anti-Muslim cottage industry. 

Alex Kane: How did this project come to be?

Thom Cincotta: At the Political Research Associates, we have been, for the past two years, looking at the growth of the domestic security apparatus, particularly how local police have been mobilized to fight terrorism—specifically in new forms of collaborative bodies like intelligence fusion centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces. This mobilization represents a tremendous, unprecedented growth of our domestic intelligence apparatus, and with the new powers, capabilities and resources at the hands of that bureaucracy, there are risks for our civil liberties. 

In examining that infrastructure, we have had an eye out for opportunities for the politicization of intelligence-type policing, and during the course of our investigation into fusion centers, we noticed some courses being offered at the local level. Specifically, in Massachusetts, we noticed that one company called Security Solutions International in May 2009 was offering a seminar on the “radical jihadist threat” that was hosted by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The description of that course included things like the “legal wing of jihad in America,” and that right away set off red flags that this course content might not simply be looking at detecting valid terrorism. 

Source

THOUSANDS BID ‘BELLA CIAO’ TO VITTORIO ARRIGONI

Thousands of Gazans Participate in Slain Italian Activist’s Funeral

Gaza City – On Monday, politicians, NGO workers, and activists took part in the funeral of Vittorio Arrigoni who was killed last Friday by a Salafist group in Gaza. Palestinian police officers carried Arrigoni’s coffin and marched in the funeral. Those in attendance carried his picture and, in reference to his killers, chanted, death for terrorists! According to Palestinian security sources, the body of Arrigoni was transported from Gaza City to Rafah, to be handed to his parents at the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Palestinian police officers told local media that they would continue to investigate the murder of Arrigoni and that they will bring the murderers to justice. Police officers themselves decided to participate in the funeral on Monday to honor this solidarity activist that sacrificed his life for Gaza.
Leaving Gaza, Palestinians attend funeral …..
At the funeral in Italy …..
From one who knew him best …..
I’ll quote now from In Gaza, a blog written by Eva, one of Vittorio’s ISM colleagues:
Stay human, he always said. And so was the title of his book on the Israeli massacre of Gaza in 2008-2009. Stay human.
Viks blog, Guerilla Radio, gave voice to Palestinians who have strong voices but are denied the microphone.
During the Israeli war on Gaza, we all worked together, riding in ambulances, documenting the martyred and the wounded, the vast majority (over 83%) civilian. Vik was always on the phone, Italian media taking his words and printing them for the public to see.
Aside from the loss of a compassionate, caring human, activist, and friend, I am saddened by the group that did this. Surely they knew Vik was with them, for them. But in every society, including my own, there are extremists, people who act with misguided guidance.
Vik was there, among the war casualties, among the on-going martytrs unspoken in the corporate media, celebrating Palestines beauty and culture, dancing Dabke at my wedding celebration.
He was there to joke with us, to counsel us, to smoke shisha by the sea…He wrote the truth, spoke the truth, stayed human.
Vik, my brother, allah yerhamek, bless you for your humanity and your great contribution to Palestinian justice. I will miss you, your smile, your humble, fun personality.
Yatikalafia ya Vitorrio.

photo by Shadi Nasser
The following is taken from Vittorio’s FaceBook page….

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN PALESTINE THIS WEEK

Soldiers, Settlers, Sheep and more….
Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Below is a a brief four minute video of sights and sounds from Friday and Saturday in Palestine.  We had participated in the demonstration in Beit Ummar where soldiers tried to prevent farmers from getting to their lands.  We were partially successful getting through the soldiers’ lines and entering one of the plots that is threatened near a colonial settlement.  Settlers dumped their sewage on 3 acres of land of Beit Ummar the day after our peaceful demonstration.  In another sideline, we succeeded in helping a poor family cure their injured donkey (named Ra’d or Thunder); medicines donated by a Beit Sahour veterinarian.  A day later we got the family a sheep and her baby lamb but soon found out we were not giving them a decent sheep (old, teeth missing) so we returned it and brought a far better sheep and her weaned lamb. The family will get milk, butter and cheese now. The cost was nearly $750.  $200 was already donated by a friend in the US. Let us know if you want to contribute to this or similar projects.  

Great Video: Beit Sahour, the Shepherds’ field, this Easter

Video of my talk on popular resistance at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI that generated some opposition (and lies from a local Zionist leader)

This is brilliant (Yale students put fliers explaining evictions):

Flyers threaten eviction, raise awareness

Students for Justice in Palestine: Discriminatory evictions are real By Omar Mumallah, Abeer Obaid, Samer Sabri, Yaman Salahi

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Quick note to those in Palestine: Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 26
April at 7pm (Beit Sahour at Jadal Center) for a panel discussion about
September 2011 Declaration of a Palestinian State: What Should Activists Do?
With Palestinian activists Lubna Massarwa, Murad Jadallah and Muhammed
Mustafa, moderated by Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh.

EASTER HAS BEEN TURNED INTO AN ISRAELI/JEWISH FESTIVAL

DaVinci’s masterpiece redone….. (click on image to enlarge)

NO ….. this is not meant to be a comical post as you might imagine from the image, this is a very serious matter.
Events of this week reminded me of an old Jewish joke, first some background… it must be known that in many synagogues in New York, ‘tickets’ must be purchased to secure a seat during the High Holidays….
There was an instance when a man came to one of these synagogues to visit a friend, told the guy at the door that he was only going in for a few minutes to visit with Mr. Greenspan. The guard replied with’ OK, but you better not let me catch you praying!”
That was what it was like in Jerusalem this Easter. Christian Pilgrims were allowed to visit the Holy City but access to their Holy Sites was denied. Despite a statement and appeal from Kairos Palestine, this situation has not changed. It was not only Palestinian Christians that were affected, it was tourists as well.
This was literally seeing in action what Gideon Levy wrote about yesterday in a piece he called  At home and abroad, Israelis ignore the rest of the world.
It can be read HERE.
In the real world, behaviour such as this is completely not acceptable, in Israel it seems to be the norm…
Following are some related reports…
Honestly, is this the type of country you want to continue supporting? THEN WHY ARE YOU??
Join the Boycott and Divestment Movement…. start with THESE products.
Israel is boycotting you, get them back where it hurts!

FEELING THE HATE OVER AND OVER AGAIN

DISCLAIMER ….. The title of the following video is misleading; What the Jews Say About Jesus Christ …  The ridiculous opinions expressed in the following clip are NOT those of most Jews, only the extremists. But, these are the opinions that seem to garner the most attention unfortunately. Attention that eventually backfires in the form of anti Semitism, against ALL Jews.
Ironic is the shot of the woman mouthing off while in the background signs are seen reading ‘Never Again’ ….. YET these people are doing it again!
The video that I presented yesterday about Mocking the Crucifixion also does NOT represent the thinking of the majority of Israelis …. but the hatred and ignorance obviously exists and must be countered. Only then will anti Semitism itself be countered and eventually disappear.

ISRAELIS; LIVING LIFE IN A VACUUM

No one seems to travel as much as the wandering Israeli, and no other nation turns it back as much on the rest of the world. You might expect such a tourism-loving people to open its eyes and ears to what can be seen and heard around the globe; instead, we keep walling ourselves in against what the world thinks and feels.

At home and abroad, Israelis ignore the rest of the world

You might expect such a tourism-loving people to open its eyes and ears to what can be seen and heard around the globe. Instead, we keep walling ourselves in against what the world thinks and feels.

By Gideon Levy

More than 300,000 people are on their way home now. They once again traveled and vacationed abroad. The traveling nation is visible, very much so, but blind. You’ll see and hear them in all four corners of the earth, but they’ll come home without seeing much and understanding even less.

Some 20,000 will come from the Sinai without seeing Egypt, thousands of students come home from Poland every year without exchanging a word with a Pole, and tens of thousands come back from Goa or the Tierra del Fuego without listening to what the Indians of South America or the Indians of India have to say. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have “done” America and Europe, east and west, and they will come home as oblivious and closed in as they were when they left.

No one seems to travel as much as the wandering Israeli, and no other nation turns it back as much on the rest of the world. You might expect such a tourism-loving people to open its eyes and ears to what can be seen and heard around the globe; instead, we keep walling ourselves in against what the world thinks and feels.

Every journey begins with a national scare campaign, a barrage of terror threats and travel warnings, which almost never materialize and which we don’t listen to anyway. The latest one, over the weekend, was that another global terror attack was on its way. And what are we supposed to do? Be extra careful? How exactly? Not travel? Not take cabs? Countless more Israelis have died in terror attacks inside Israel than abroad, without any travel warnings.

Alongside the threats of the Counterterrorism Bureau comes the usual threat about the whole world being against us. The Poles are anti-Semites, hardly anything needs to be said about the Turks and Germans, the Swedes all hate us and so do the French. Nearly every young person will come back with some fabricated story about some appalling anti-Semitic incident.

After the intimidation comes your ordinary Israeli condescension. The Americans are square, the Indians are primitive, the South Americans are backward, the Turks are Muslim, the Brits are old-fashioned, the Scandinavians are naive and the Italians are ridiculous. Israelis are the chosen people. We’ll teach them all a lesson in improvisation, resourcefulness and trickery.

It’s not that we don’t have anything to teach the world, but how about some modesty? Maybe the world can teach us something too? No sir. People around the world who haven’t heard about the murders in Itamar are seen as ignoramuses − yet what do we know about them? Zilch.

Then comes the coming together. Between the Chabad House in Nepal and Moshe’s hummus place in Thailand, Israelis come in tight bunches − Israelis with Israelis, no foreigners allowed. They eat shawarma and shakshuka, schnitzel in a pita and pizza on a plate just like back home, including croutons and cornflakes from Israel. That’s why they went all that way − to be Israelis at home and Israelis abroad. Even when in Rome they don’t do as the Romans do.

You could expect something different to come out of all this welcome travel. These trips were supposed to provide some openness, modesty, curiosity and knowledge. They could have taught us that despite everything we’re told, the world is not entirely against us and we’re not always the world’s chief concern; that there’s a world without Israel and it’s rich with culture and lessons. They were supposed to expand our knowledge and understanding that sometimes we too should listen to what the world has to say.

But we insist: International law doesn’t concern us, and neither do international institutions and organizations. We don’t care about world opinion, or the opinions of other governments, and we don’t even want to hear about the lessons from other nations’ pasts.

There have been closed-in nations that traveled here and there. But this combination of complete apathy to the world and endless traveling around it is a truly Israeli invention. Why? Because as the bumper sticker says, Israeli is best, bro.

Source

DON’T BLAME GOLDSTONE ALONE FOR THE GAZA WHITEWASH …. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION KILLED OFF U.N. INVESTIGATION

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


‘The Palestine Cables': Obama administration killed off independent U.N. Investigation into Israeli war crimes in Gaza

By Alex Kane*

It was a shocking event in a twenty-two day assault filled with them:  the Israeli military shelled a United Nations compound in Gaza City January 15, where humanitarian aid like fuel and water pumping stations were stationed as well as hundreds of Palestinians displaced by the Israeli bombardment.  John Ging, the Gaza Director of Operations of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) described the scene on Democracy Now!

This morning, there were three rounds of white phosphorus which landed in our compound in Gaza. That set ablaze the main warehouse and the big workshop we have there for vehicles. At the time, there were 700, also, people displaced from the fighting. There were full fuel tankers there. The Israeli army have been given all the coordinates of all our facilities, including this one. They also knew that there were fuel tankers laden with fuel in the compound, and they would have known that there were hundreds of people who had taken refuge.

It was one of a number of incidents during “Operation Cast Lead” where the Israeli military attacked United Nations facilities.  But the possibility of an further inquiry that would investigate violations of international law during these attacks was killed following intense U.S. lobbying, according to newly published State Department cables released by WikiLeaks and reported on by Foreign Policy‘s Colum Lynch.  The efforts by the Obama administration to scuttle any investigation is similar to their efforts on the Goldstone report, and shows in detail how the U.S. uses its muscle in international forums to protect Israel.

A report was published in May 2009 on nine incidents where U.N. facilities were attacked by Israel.  The full report was never published, although a summary of the U.N. report stated that the “Government of Israel is responsible for the deaths and injuries that occurred within the United Nations premises” in seven of the nine incidents investigated. 

A number of recommendations were made for further follow-up, which included seeking compensation from Israel and seeking public statements from Israel that allegations of Palestinian fighters firing from within UNRWA facilities were unfounded.  The most controversial recommendation included in the report was the call for an “impartial inquiry” into violations of international humanitarian law.  But the possibility of that inquiry was quashed in the cover letter to the summary of the report, written by Ki-Moon.  “As for the Board’s recommendations numbers 10 and 11 [which called for further inquiries], which relate to matters that did not largely fall within the Board of Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, I do not plan any further Inquiry,” Ki-Moon wrote.

And despite Moon’s insistence at a press conference that the work of the board of inquiry was “completely independent,” State Department cables tell a much different story of U.S. pressure on Moon to kill off the possibility of an independent investigation.

Lynch reports:

The most controversial part of the probe involved recommendations by Martin that the U.N. conduct a far-reaching investigation into violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli forces, Hamas, and other Palestinian militants. On May 4, 2009, the day before Martin’s findings were presented to the media, Rice caught wind of the recommendations and phoned Ban to complain that the inquiry had gone beyond the scope of its mandate by recommending a sweeping investigation.

“Given that those recommendations were outside the scope of the Board’s terms of reference, she asked that those two recommendations not be included in the summary of the report that would be transmitted to the membership,” according to an account contained in the May 4 cable. Ban initially resisted. “The Secretary-General said he was constrained in what he could do since the Board of Inquiry is independent; it was their report and recommendations and he could not alter them, he said,” according to the cable.

But Rice persisted, insisting in a subsequent call that Ban should at least “make clear in his cover letter when he transmits the summary to the Security Council that those recommendations exceeded the scope of the terms of reference and no further action is needed.” Ban offered no initial promise. She subsequently drove the point home again, underlining the “importance of having a strong cover letter that made clear that no further action was needed and would close out this issue.”

Ban began to relent, assuring Rice that “his staff was working with an Israeli delegation on the text of the cover letter.”

After completing the cover letter, Ban phoned back Rice to report that he believed “they had arrived at a satisfactory cover letter. Rice thanked the Secretary-General for his exceptional efforts on such a sensitive issue.”

At the following day’s news conference, Ban flat-out rejected Martin’s recommendation for an investigation. While underscoring the board’s independent nature, he made it clear that “it is not my intention to establish any further inquiry.” Although he acknowledged publicly that he had consulted with Israel on the findings, he did not say it had been involved in the preparation of the cover letter killing off the call for an investigation. Instead, he only made a request to the Israelis to pay the U.N. more than $11 million in financial compensation for the damage done to U.N. facilities.

*Alex Kane blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia in the United States at alexbkane.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.  Read all of ‘The Palestine Cables’ reports here.

Source

HUMAN RIGHTS AND ZIONIST WRONGS

On Easter, mocking Jesus, and more

Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

On Easter, Palestinian Christians and Muslims from the West Bank are still forbidden from entering Jerusalem (except holders of special permits, I am not one of those few). In Bethlehem, we still hold the religious observances but it is not a festive occasion since the economy is still devastated by the colonial occupation (Israeli apartheid system) and what is left of the tourism business is controlled by Israeli Zionists.

Mocking Jesus and the crucifixion on Israeli TV


[By the way: the Ashkenazim are descendants of European Khazars, the vast majority of them converted to Rabbinical Judaism in the 8th-10th century AD, see  and Shlomo Sand’s book and on the issue of genetic studies, see my analysis as a Medical Geneticist here: 

[Opinion] Recognising Palestine?: The efforts of the Palestinian Authority to push for statehood are nothing more than an elaborate farce, writer says.

Pressure on law conference threatens free speech by Cecilie Surasky (Jewish Voice for Peace): “Why were these mainstream Jewish organizations so troubled by the academic pursuit of legal approaches to securing Palestinian rights and freedom?”

Pictures of the killers of Vittorio Arrigoni: The lead terrorist it turns out was a Jordanian who tried to kill his partners with a grenade (killing one and injuring another) and then killed himself. He is believed by many to have once worked for Jordanian intelligence services and had arrived in Gaza recently, recruiting young people with a “Salafist” ideology (perhaps to discredit Hamas)

Take Action: House Resolution Provides Israel Impunity for Gaza Crimes
[I urge all people around the world to pressure their governments also on the now clear attempts to subvert and divert the Arab revolutions to serve Western interests. The call should be to end support for the regimes but also not meddle in the uprisings. Supporting the regime of Bahrain and Yemen while trying to interfere in Syria and Libya is not acceptable.]

Egypt girl that helped “incite revolt” (as the system described it) or promote freedom (as we call it). I shared this video before but it is worth sharing again to remind us (Arabs and non-Arabs) of what this is REALLY about. Watch it to the end.


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