STANDING OVATION AGAINST THE OCCUPATION

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It was refreshing to see a review on an American Jewish Website of a new film against the occupation. Even more refreshing was reading opinions taken in that review that for sure would not be popular in Israel. For example, One of the main characters in the film, Phil, is a village leader and charismatic big brother to the children in Bil’in. Young, broad-shouldered and full of hope, he has a following of young boys who look up to him. Phil, a Palestinian, is always pushing for peaceful resistance, even as grenades and tear gas are lobbed and rubber bullets fired at the villagers. It is important to see another, less publicized side to the resistance — a non-violent approach. At points during the film, it is hard to imagine how Phil maintains dedication to peaceful resistance as progress seems non-existent and Israeli military incursions are continual.
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The above is not at all what the zionists would have you believe. Despite what looks like pro Israeli undertones in much of the review, the film itself seems worth looking into.
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Images of Occupation at Sundance

’5 Broken Cameras’ Tells Human Story of Life in West Bank

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Two Eyes, ‘5 Cameras’: Director Emad Burnat got his first video camera to film his son. It would up opening an unusual candid window on Palestinian life under occupation.
COURTESY OF SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
Two Eyes, ‘5 Cameras’: Director Emad Burnat got his first video camera to film his son. It would up opening an unusual candid window on Palestinian life under occupation.*

Selling out a screening or getting a standing ovation at Sundance is hard enough for a seasoned filmmaker, let alone for a farmer from the West Bank. But director Emad Burnat, from the village of Bil’in, brought Park City, Utah, to its feet with his debut documentary about his family’s life beyond the security barrier and amid Israeli settlements.*

Shot from his own perspective, “5 Broken Cameras” is a refreshing change from documentaries with political agendas that reverberate throughout. Instead of an embedded political message, the film focuses on one person’s reality and his child’s vantage point.*

There’s no escaping the situation, but Burnat, who ends up filming his village’s non-violent response to Israeli settlement building and construction of the security barrier, begins his documentary by explaining that he actually bought his first video camera to film his son, who was born in 2005.*

Over the seven years of filming, Burnat used six cameras, five of which were destroyed. The life and death of each camera has its own distinct chapter in the film.*

Co-produced by Israeli Guy Davidi, the film gives the majority of airtime to Burnat; however, footage of Israelis from all walks of life joining villagers from the West Bank in non-violent protest is one of the most powerful parts of the documentary.*

Armed with a video camera, Burnat documents the changing landscape of his village and the surrounding area as the security barrier is built, settlements spring up and religious Jews move into complexes that tower over Palestinian villages in the disputed territory. Similar to the 2009 film “Budrus,” about a Palestinian village’s nonviolent response to the security barrier, “5 Broken Cameras” does not focus on media attention, but rather on family and personal experience through the eye of the camera lens.*

Burnat has a way of constantly juxtaposing joy and pain. Footage of army aggression and village protests sits alongside happy family events, footage of his son, Gibreel, and his patient and brave wife, Soraya. In between bursts of occasional gunfire, he captures the innocence of Gibreel’s childhood. The child’s laughter, first words and intimate family moments illustrate how life continues even in challenging times.*

One of the main characters in the film, Phil, is a village leader and charismatic big brother to the children in Bil’in. Young, broad-shouldered and full of hope, he has a following of young boys who look up to him. Phil, a Palestinian, is always pushing for peaceful resistance, even as grenades and tear gas are lobbed and rubber bullets fired at the villagers. It is important to see another, less publicized side to the resistance — a non-violent approach. At points during the film, it is hard to imagine how Phil maintains dedication to peaceful resistance as progress seems non-existent and Israeli military incursions are continual.*

While viewers who have knowledge about the West Bank may be aware that non-violent protest is not the norm, the point of Burnat’s film is to represent his experience, from his point of view. The film’s goal is not to show whether the rationale for the barrier and checkpoints — to reduce bombings — has been vindicated.*

Instead, the audience witnesses the progression of the villagers’ anger as little seems to change for the better in Bil’in. Indeed, things get ever worse as the IDF enforces laws that are not explained to the villagers.*

Burnat and Davidi focus on youngsters in Bil’in rather than on hardened villagers that audiences often see in documentaries about the West Bank. This approach offers a glimmer of hope when hope seems fleeting. Instead of seeing enraged Palestinian children as rock throwers on the road to extremism, the film suggests that the children in the village are committed to a non-violent approach to resistance. In “5 Broken Cameras,” the kids carry banners in protest, and in one scene Gibreel hands an Israeli soldier a symbolic olive branch as he passes through the barrier. This illustrative scene depicts not only the positive interaction between two people, but it shows as representative interaction between Palestinian and Israeli that is deliberately not violent.*

As the documentary progresses, we witness Gibreel’s growth from a baby to a sensitive boy. He and the audience become aware of what is going on around him, and the physical separation between the Arab and Jewish West Bank is seen through the eyes of a child. He sees the division between two populations, not just a line to separate two lands. The disturbing image of young boys with peyes and tzitzis playing in beautiful apartments in settlements that peer down at Palestinian children in semi-permanent shacks sticks with the viewer. Men dressed in suits and black hats throw violent punches at Burnat as he films. It is hard not to share a sense of frustration.*

While the film focuses on peaceful demonstration and a non-violent approach to Palestinian protest, “5 Broken Cameras” lacks explanation as to why Israeli soldiers entered the village of Bil’in in the first place. The trade-off in offering an individual perspective is that the film does not show the broader clash of systems that has led to terrorism, on the one hand, and Israeli incursions and searches, on the other. Throughout the film, viewers see uniformed IDF soliders launching grenades and tear gas at villagers during what look like non-violent protests. The villagers are understandably upset, but the lack of context undermines any larger claim for justice.*

Nevertheless, “5 Broken Cameras” subtly reinforces hope for peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians, a much needed belief when peace seems far-fetched. The co-production of this film, combined with the portrayal of Palestinian children and villagers who resolve to accomplish political change through peaceful means, can only strengthen even a discouraged viewer’s resolve to achieve peace. As Burnat says: “It takes strength to turn something negative into something positive.” 

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

IT’S NATURAL FOR CRIMINALS TO SUPPORT CRIMINALS

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The phrase ‘Birds of a feather flock together’ never had more of a meaning as in the case of the Adelson’s support of Netanyahu and Gingrich. The following should not come as any great surprise to too many people; The casino company owned by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been under federal investigation for the last year for alleged bribery of foreign officials, ABC News reported over the weekend.
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According to ABC, Sands casinos was allegedly cooperating with Chinese organized crime groups, known as triads, who allegedly organized high stakes gambling and sex junkets.
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Interesting, no? Surprising, no?? Just shows to go’ya what zionism is  ….. ORGANISED CRIME!
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So the following should also not surprise too many; Several months ago, Adelson contributed $5 million to Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich super PAC. More recently, Adelson’s wife gave another $5 million to the same super PAC, providing a major lift to the former House Speaker’s campaign.
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The HaAretz report dealing with this can be read HERE
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Report: Adelson under criminal investigation for alleged bribery of foreign officials

American billionaire, close ally of Netanyahu, and main donor to Gingrich’s campaign has been under federal investigation for his casino empire’s alleged involvement in a corruption scandal in China, ABC reports.

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All of the above brings back a nursery rhyme from my childhood…
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Here’s another video, one that shows exactly what you support when you support zionism….

LOOK INTO MY EYES AND TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE ….
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DEMAND THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT STOP SUPPORTING THESE INHUMANE POLICIES. DON’T SUPPORT CRIMINALS OR THOSE THAT SUPPORT THEM!

STAYING HUMAN IN THE DEN OF THE BEAST

Restiamo Umani- Stay Human
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Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
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Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”  It does matter that a mother died this week who has not seen her two sons for years (one for 9 and the other 18 years) because they are in Israeli jails and the jailers refused family visits.  It does matter that a survey in Israel showed that 70% of Israeli Jews believe themselves to be God’s chosen people.  It does matter that while many Jews support ethnic cleansing and genocide, few Jews oppose these things.  It does matter that a Casino billionaire and Zionist Jew is the largest contributor to Newt Gingrich who is a leading presidential candidate in the US.  It does matter that this leading
presidential candidate denies our five thousand year history and thus tries to erase the rights of 11 million Palestinians (most of us refugees thanks to US/Israeli policies over 63 years).  It does matter that the sitting US President who promised us “change” decided it is more important to pander to the Israeli lobby than to save America from its self-destructive
(Israeli-made) foreign policy.  It does matter that some Palestinian politicians continue to try to play games with our minds: reconciliation coming or going, going to UN coming or going, talking or exploring or negotiating with Israeli officials.  It does matter that American soldiers urinated on the dead bodies of Afghans.  It does matter that the profiteering elites are pushing for a war on Iran.   It does matter that many enjoy heat and nice homes while many Palestinians were made homeless (even this past year) and millions around the world sit shivering in horrific conditions created by the greed of others.  So indeed, our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.
Restiamo Umani- Stay Human.
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Now for this week’s selections of links about things that matter.
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Video: Football game at checkpoint
 
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Restiamo Umani- Stay Human:
Video and website dedicated to our martyred
Italian friend Vittorio Arrigoni  (we still await trials in Gaza, delayed twice inexplicably)
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The Jewish winner of the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards in High School prose! Fighting a Forbidden Battle:
How I Stopped Covering Up for a Hidden Wrong by Jesse Lieberfeld, 11th grade
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God rules all in 2012 Israel, even the state.  Israel: Not what you thought, not what the world thought, not what Israelis imagine themselves to think. Israeli society isn’t secular, it isn’t liberal and it isn’t enlightened.
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UN Office on Humanitarian Affairs:
Home demolitions in the occupied Palestinian areas
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In scandalous new campaign video,
Obama takes Israel pandering to dangerous levels
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The ‘Arab spring’ and the west: seven lessons from history: Drawing on the British Pathé archive, Seumas Milne picks out the recurrent themes of imperial efforts to control the Middle East
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Action item: Time to occupy AIPAC that works against US public interest to serve an apartheid system
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Preparing for the next conquest: What does Libya tell us about Intervention in Syria and Iran?  By Richard Lightbown
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The zionist ‘solution’…
 

THE REBIRTH OF THE OCCUPATION ~~ OWS PT. 2

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Chippy Dee Adds….
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OWS is taking its’ act on the road – they are going to be in a different city park every Sunday.  They’re “Occupying Town Squares”.  Today they were at Wash. Sq. reaching out to people.  Loads of NYPD were on hand but seemed to be behaving.  Weather was quite cold but bright and sunny. (Related report after photo essay)
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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The 1% responds…
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Dreaming Big OWS Organizers Plan Spring Offensive
BY NATHAN SCHNEIDER
 

It’s bizarre how often nowadays one hears Occupy Wall Street talked about in the past tense — bizarre, especially, if one was at the strategy meeting of OWS’s Direct Action group on Jan. 8. Around 150 of the movement’s most restless radicals sat on the hardwood floor and in folding chairs at 16 Beaver Street, a block from the Charging Bull in downtown Manhattan. The purpose was a big-picture strategic discussion about where the movement’s tactics had taken it so far and where to go in the coming months. As if to match the scale of the conversation, huge sheets of paper were spread across the center of the room, which scribes markered up with the gist of what was being said.

There was no lack of confidence to go around — just the kind of infectious naivété that drove some of these same people to take and hold Zuccotti Park back in September. They reviewed their favorite things about what they’d done since then: moments that captured the world’s attention and, especially, the ones in which they shed their own fear and had enough fun to want to continue. For better or worse, a lot of this is still fixated on defying the NYPD, rather than really challenging the economic order or movement building A lot of them spoke highly of the barricade-removing hijinks of New Year’s Eve, which was fun if you were there but didn’t play very well in Peoria.

“We’re somewhere between a movement and a revolution,” concluded Austin Guest, a 31-year-old with sideburns on only one side of his thick, brown beard. He added that, if they wanted to, they could bring down Bank of America in six months. Whenever there was a break, someone would jump up on a chair and start telling radical jokes. Why do anarchists only drink coffee? How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Somebody else would already know the punch line and shout it out, while others burst into laughter until they could hardly breathe. This was not the mood one would expect to find in a bygone movement.

Nor would one expect the litany of upcoming actions reeled off by a woman named Tammy, who, as part of the Interoccupy project, was helping to coordinate occupations nationwide. There would be “Occupy the Dream” protests on MLK Day. On Jan. 20, Move to Amend would be organizing actions throughout the country against corporate personhood. There was Occupy Education on March 1, a global day of action on May 12 and actions against the G8 and NATO summits in Chicago later that month. Other people added more: an Egypt solidarity march on Jan. 21, a day recognizing violence against women on Feb. 14 and a mobilization in D.C. marking the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4.

In the minds of many, the crown jewel was the global general strike that Occupy Los Angeles called for May Day— though pulling anything close to that, given the state of organized labor in the United States, would seem next to impossible. “I’m totally in love with the general strike,” said one middle-aged man, describing himself as an artist who for years has lived below the poverty line. “To me it’s analogous to seeing the face of God.” He also suggested bringing 10,000 people to Battery Park to watch the sun set on the summer solstice, led by Native American shamans.

After the open brainstorming, the facilitator, a tall man with a blond rattail, tried to guide the meeting toward specific “throughline projects.” These, he explained, are big ones that the whole group can put its energy behind, that would string the isolated days of action into an overarching story, disrupt the pillars of support for corporate power and liberate more space that a new kind of world could fill. Breakout groups discussed what these projects might be.

One group centered its discussion around mounting occupations of foreclosed homes and defunded schools. The group that attracted the most people was devoted to shutdowns: banks, ports, malls, you name it. A New Jerseyan named Chris, who started the famous We Are the 99 Percent blog, called for balancing these disruptive actions with making the movement “a healing force.” Lots of fingers wiggling high in the air — this went without saying. People had already been talking about setting up childcare enters, schools, kitchens, free clinics and worker-owned co-ops, especially in the public spaces they’re hoping to re-occupy in the spring.

From start to finish, there was almost no talk of the presidential elections — what virtually everyone else in this country thinks of when they think of politics for the year ahead. The closest those at the meeting came was one quick mention of protests at both parties’ conventions and a call for voter noncooperation.

By omission, it seems, this movement intends to create a countervailing narrative to the election-year joust among the powers that be, to get people thinking about a whole different kind of politics. It’s no small task to compete with an election that will spend more money spent in it than ever before imaginable; the movement will need to offer people something more hopeful, more compelling and more tangible than any presidential candidate can promise to deliver.

In order to do so, some believe that the movement needs a national coming-together, an Occupied convention to hammer out points of unity. A group working to develop what it calls the “99% Declaration” — controversial for its embrace of legislative demands and representative politics — has called for a “National General Assembly” in Philadelphia on July 4, with delegates elected through its website. The General Assembly at Occupy Philadelphia has countered by passing its own “National Gathering Process Proposal,” which insists that it would only host such a convention if it were planned and peopled by the other Occupy GAs.

One of that proposal’s drafters, Nathan Kleinman, explained to me at the Jan. 8 meeting, “This is not about the gathering itself, this is about how to organize one.” As always in the movement, process takes precedence. Kleinman is also one of the creators of Interoccupy, where conference calls are now being used on a daily basis by Occupy activists around the country to work together on a variety of projects.

Another national convergence is also in the works, with the same organizers as the occupation at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. (Though it has now joined the Occupy fold, Freedom Plaza was actually being planned months before Occupy Wall Street was first called for in July.) Dubbed “NOW DC” — the National Occupation of Washington, D.C. — it’s supposed to begin on Mar. 30 and run for as long as one month. Several of those behind it met in New York on Jan. 7 (at the office of this newspaper) to start setting NOW DC in motion. They also came to 16 Beaver the next day. While Occupy Wall Street was still deciding what to do for the next few months, this group was well into discussing how to do it.

“The Occupy movement isn’t really into planning the way we are,” said Kevin Zeese, a onetime Ralph Nader campaign manager, during the NOW DC discussions. And he’s right. Even while meeting to plan and strategize, those at 16 Beaver weren’t ready to do away with the improvisational, reactive free-for-all that had brought Occupy Wall Street to the world’s attention in the first place. An organizer with a red, white and blue bandana over his long, curly hair pointed out that their most carefully planned marches had tended to stay on the sidewalks, where police wanted them. “We took the road only when we didn’t plan ahead,” he said. “Let’s just remember that.”

Nathan Schneider is an editor at WagingNonviolence.org, where an earlier version of this article was published.

Source

HUSHING UP APARTHEID

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A few weeks ago I posted THIS dealing with Israeli parents not wanting their children to see  the ugliness of Apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. One of the parents was quoted as saying “I don’t want my children to be taken on apartheid roads, with a jeep in front and a jeep behind, and for them to feel that this is totally normal,” he said, referring to a military escort.
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Today it was reported in HaAretz that Israeli Police cancelled a government program to allow high school students to tour Hebron with Breaking the Silence on Sunday, after pressure from right-wing settlers groups.
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Breaking the Silence is an organisation made up of Israeli soldiers who served in the Occupied West Bank. Their SITE is full of testimonies regarding actions taken during their service,testimonies that the Israeli government obviously does not want you to know about.
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Hence the following;
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Israel Police cancel school tour of Hebron with Breaking the Silence

Decision comes hours after Education Ministry says it would allow students to visit Hebron on Sunday and meet with members of group that collects testimony from soldiers who have served in the West Bank.

Israel Police cancelled a government program to allow high school students to tour Hebron with Breaking the Silence on Sunday, after pressure from right-wing settler groups.

The decision came hours after Haaretz revealed that the Education Ministry would allow students from a Jerusalem high school to visit Hebron on Sunday and meet with members of Breaking the Silence, a group that collects testimony from soldiers who have served in the West Bank.

The program would have marked the first time the Education Ministry has granted a school permission to tour Hebron with Breaking the Silence, which says it seeks to “raise awareness about the reality in the territories and the moral cost of controlling a civilian population.”

Students from the school – the Hebrew University Secondary School, better known as Leyada – were to be accompanied not only by their teachers, but also by the Education Ministry’s supervisor for the school and deputy director for the district.

The program was meant to be part of an effort to expose students to both sides of the sociopolitical spectrum.

Speaking to Army Radio, a Breaking the Silence spokesperson said that the meeting was cancelled over “pressure and the inability of Hebron police to protect us from settler violence.”

“Our tours in Hebron are always coordinated with Hebron police over fears that people will try to harm us…. Now, after the story in Haaretz pressure was applied and we won’t be able to make it to the meeting,” the representative told Army Radio.

Around 1,000 high school students have been to Hebron since Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced the ministry’s program to encourage visits last year. The itinerary here includes a visit to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Beit Hadassah museum on the history of Hebron.

The ministry’s website says this program “strengthens Jewish tradition among young people in the State of Israel … and deepens historical knowledge.”

On the trip, students planned on visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs, meeting a Palestinian resident and touring the city led by people from Breaking the Silence, a nongovernmental organization. They were also supposed to meet with a resident of the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba and hold a discussion at Beit Hadassah.

“When they announced the [Education Ministry's] initiative last year, I said the condition would be that the students would not be exposed only to part of the tradition, but also to the problematic aspects,” said Gilad Amir, Leyada’s principal.

“Our students must be exposed to the politics … to be raised as involved citizens. The greatest concern is that we will raise citizens who aren’t interested and don’t care. The exposure must be balanced with a variety of opinions.”

Amir welcomed what he called “the Education Ministry’s open-mindedness in allowing a balanced visit to Hebron.”

A parent who declined to be named commented on Sa’ar’s initiative. “This whole story is very fraught and uncomfortable in several ways. It’s quite clear that the Education Ministry is trying to promote a political line in its tours, and that’s not proper for a state agency,” the parent said. “Under these conditions, I prefer there to be a minimum balance, and I think Breaking the Silence provides it.”

The parent said the visit was to take place a month ago but was postponed because some parents demanded more information and greater parental involvement. The parent said that at a parent-teacher meeting on the trip, “one of the things that came up was the commitment to proper balance, and the school met this condition fairly.”

The parent added that the Education Ministry had tried to keep Breaking the Silence out of the visit “and impair the balance to promote a political line, but in the end it agreed.”

According to Breaking the Silence’s director, Dana Golan, “We were invited to speak, so, as we do with every Israeli group that invites us, we will come with the goal of showing the reality of the occupation and its implications in Hebron.”

JUST WHO IS BEHIND THE NEW ANTI-MUSLIM FILM SCREENED IN NEW YORK?

Surprise! Surprise!! …. This should give you a hint ;)
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The agenda of the people behind this film are clear: protecting Israel’s illegal settlement project and entrenching further U.S. support to Israel and its colonies.
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Image by Carlos Latuff
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The agenda behind the anti-Muslim film screened to NYPD: protecting Greater Israel

by Alex Kane

Revelations that the New York Police Department (NYPD) showed 1,500 officers an Islamophobic film (Phil Weiss covered it here) filled with images of “Muslim terrorists” killing Christians and children is testament to how anti-Muslim sentiment has become the norm in law enforcement. But just as important to recognize is the right-wing Zionist agenda–protecting the Greater Israel project– behind the film’s distribution.

As the New York Times‘ Michael Powell reported, the film, “The Third Jihad,”

was financed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit group whose board includes a former Central Intelligence Agency official and a deputy defense secretary for President Ronald Reagan. Its previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel…

Repeated calls over the past several days to the Clarion Fund, which is based in New York, were not answered. The nonprofit group shares officials with Aish HaTorah, an Israeli organization that opposes any territorial concessions on the West Bank. The producer of “The Third Jihad,” Raphael Shore, also works with Aish HaTorah.

And financing the Clarion Fund are a familiar host of philanthropic organizations that are tied to West Bank settlements, according to a Think Progress document Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton released yesterday.

The agenda of the people behind this film are clear: protecting Israel’s illegal settlement project and entrenching further U.S. support to Israel and its colonies.

Sheldon Adelson (to take one example of many) opposes any evacuation of illegal settlements in Jerusalem, and is a financial backer of the group One Jerusalem, which advocates for continued Israeli control of the holy city. Other major backers of the Clarion Fund include: the Jewish Communal Fund ($27, 880), a donor to aChristian Zionist group that has provided settlement infrastructure and to the Hebron Fund; the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation, which provides much of the financial muscle to evict East Jerusalem Palestinians from their homes; and the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust, which (as I reported here) gave “$25,000 [in 2006] to the Central Fund of Israel (CFI), which the New York Timesdescribed as a multimillion dollar ‘vehicle’ used to ‘channel donations’ to West Bank settlements.”

But why attack Islam and American Muslims if your number one concern is protecting Israel’s settlement project? The answer is that it fits into their goal of entrenching further U.S. support to Israel and its colonies and squelching any political opposition to it.

Muslim-Americans are a natural constituency for those looking to boost support for the Palestinians in the U.S. Thom Cincotta, the author of a important report that traces how tax dollars flow to anti-Muslim law enforcement trainings, told me last year that:

All of the rhetoric around these [anti-Muslim] trainings leave very little room for Muslim-Americans to dissent from U.S. foreign policy or domestic counter-terrorism policy. There’s the notion that if anyone is outspoken, then they are providing ideological support for terrorism…

So when you demonize, or paint legitimate advocacy groups or community groups as potential terrorists merely for speaking out against U.S. policy and because there is some vague overlap between the political goals of, say, an al-Qaeda—related to for instance, U.S. occupation of a foreign land—it leaves very little room for dissent and it stifles free speech.

You could see these trainings through the lens that by stigmatizing groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations or the Islamic Society of North America and other groups, in the domestic political sphere, it’s an attempt to silence a key bloc who support Palestinian rights in the United States. Without that vocal bloc pushing Congress, it’s hard to see how U.S. foreign policy with regard to Israel is going to change.

And the Islamophobic political climate that the Adelsons and Moskowitzes have helped create has found a home in the NYPD–the same department who has been arbitrarily spying on New York City Muslims in a program characterized by a former police official as “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.” It all comes full circle.

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Written FOR

DON’T CALL ME INVENTED! ~~ CALL ME A PALESTINIAN FROM PALESTINE!!

The Scribbling of an ordinary Palestinian from occupied Palestine
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Don’t call me invented, because my roots in this land are as old as the land itself.
I am part of the land and the land is part of me. My blood and sweat have since the dawn of history watered this land, kept it green and blooming and gave the poppies their colour. I have a history in this land that is older than the history of your invented entity and older than the history of the colonial powers that support you. It is my homeland you stole in order to create an invented homeland for yourself. It is my cultural heritage you stole in order to create an invented identity for yourself. It is my history you twisted in order to create an invented history for yourself. It is my homes, my villages, my playgrounds you erased in order to create an invented home for yourself. It is my groves, my fields, my flowers you stole in order to invent for yourself a link to this land. It is my olive tree you uprooted and replanted in your colonies in order to invent a place for yourself in this land. You stole my land, you stole my home, you stole my field, you stole my Hannoun, you stole my olive tree. You stole my Yaffa, you stole my Haifa, you stole my Beisan, you stole my Ramlah, you stole my Tabaria, you stole my Tarshiha, you stole my Jrash. You stole my Dabkah, you stole my Dal’ouna, you stole my Thoub, you stole my food. You stole my books, you stole my history, you stole my tales, you stole my songs. You stole my identity and you call me invented? It is you who is invented, living in an invented entity, creating for yourself an invented identity.
Don’t call me invented because Palestine is as old as time itself and “Israel” is the invented entity.
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Call me a Palestinian from Palestine*

Don’t call me homeless, because I have a home thousands of years old.
I have a home in Jrash which you demolished, erased from your map. I have a home whose stones still stand as witness to your crimes, still stand witness to what once was and to what will be. I have a home that will be rebuilt with the same stones and on the same spot where it originally was and where it should be. I have a home in Jerusalem which you occupy, a home that will be liberated. I have a home in Hebron which you closed, a home that will be reopened. I have a home in Gaza which you bombed, a home that will be rebuilt. I have a home carved in my heart. I have a home in An-Naqab, I have a home in Tabaria, I have a home in Bisan, I have a home in Jenin, I have a home in Jerusalem, I have a home in Safad. Every part of Palestine is my home; every olive field is my sitting room, every hilltop is my balcony, every meadow is my playground, every stone is my chair, every bit of shadow beneath a fig tree is my bed. The land of Palestine is my ground, the sky over Palestine is my roof. All of Palestine is my home, my one and only home.
Don’t call me homeless, because I have a home and it’s called Palestine.

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Don’t call me voiceless, because I have a voice even if you don’t want to listen.
I have a voice that roars in the midst of the storm. I have a voice that breaks the silence of those who sing non-stop of humanity, of human rights to every other people and every other nation, but are blind, deaf and mute to the Zionist crimes. I have a voice that silences the lies, silences the hasbara. I have a voice that sings of freedom, of liberation and of return. I have a voice that is louder than the whips of oppression, louder than the bullets of the occupation. My voice is my heart that beats every second to write in blood the name of my beloved Palestine. My voice is my eyes that see Palestine as it will always be; one from the river to the sea. My voice is my body that stands steadfast, only armed with a belief in a just cause, to face your bulldozer, your bombs, your tanks and your war planes. My voice is my hand that plants the lands you so savagely murder, that waters the olive and the fig tree that you so mercilessly massacre. My voice is my fingers that draw Palestine free of occupation and colonization. My voice is the children who memorize the names of the villages you erased, and write these names in their hearts, in their copybooks and on their maps. My voice is the children who cherish the keys to their homes, hold on to them, dream of the homes that are theirs, the homes that once stood under the blue sky of Palestine, and wait for the day to return and rebuild them. My voice is the children who count the number of trees you uproot, and replant a thousand tree for every tree you kill. My voice are the children who wake up to the sound of your planes, go to school despite your tanks, play in the alley of Palestine despite your bombs, fly kites despite your F-16, face your machine gun with their slingshot. My voice is the children who continue to dream of freedom and return every day despite your terror, despite your killing machines. My voice is the parent who plants the love of Palestine in the hearts of children. My voice is the youth who raises the flag of Palestine in the face of oppression. My voice is the elderly who passes the heritage of Palestine to the future generations. My voice is the farmer who draws Palestine in every field, on every hilltop, on every flower and on every leaf. My home is the teacher who teachers the children a song about Palestine. My voice is the refugee who swears to return to Palestine.
Don’t call me voiceless, because every cell of me screams: Palestine.

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Don’t call me a terrorist, because you are the one terrorizing my family and my homeland.
You occupy our home, colonize it with aliens and expel us from our birthplace. You kill our children while sitting in their classrooms, you kill our parents while on their way to work, you kill our friends while waiting at checkpoints. You bomb our schools during the day while we are at our desks, you bomb our homes at night while we are asleep, you bomb our streets while we play, you bomb our fields while we pick the olives, you bomb our ambulances while they rush us to hospital. You kidnap our siblings from their beds, from their schools and from their workplace, you torture our comrades and imprison them in dark cold dungeons. You demolish our homes over our heads, uproot our trees and destroy our fields to build colonies and roads for aliens who don’t speak the language of the land. You steal our drinking water, you starve our children and our olive trees to fill your swimming pools and to water you European exported flowers and trees. You walk our roads armed from head to toe, you burn our mosques and besiege our churches, you teach your children that “a good Arab is a dead Arab”. You steal our homeland, steal our homes and fields, steal our heritage. You massacre our songs, our tales, our laughter, our books and our dances. You attack us with phosphorous bombs and F-16 and markavas. You shoot our pregnant mothers, our baby brothers, our children. You threaten our existence every day, every minute, every second.
Don’t call me a terrorist because it is you who is the personification of terrorism.

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Don’t call me invented, because my roots in this land are as old as the land itself.
I am part of the land and the land is part of me. My blood and sweat have since the dawn of history watered this land, kept it green and blooming and gave the poppies their colour. I have a history in this land that is older than the history of your invented entity and older than the history of the colonial powers that support you. It is my homeland you stole in order to create an invented homeland for yourself. It is my cultural heritage you stole in order to create an invented identity for yourself. It is my history you twisted in order to create an invented history for yourself. It is my homes, my villages, my playgrounds you erased in order to create an invented home for yourself. It is my groves, my fields, my flowers you stole in order to invent for yourself a link to this land. It is my olive tree you uprooted and replanted in your colonies in order to invent a place for yourself in this land. You stole my land, you stole my home, you stole my field, you stole my Hannoun, you stole my olive tree. You stole my Yaffa, you stole my Haifa, you stole my Beisan, you stole my Ramlah, you stole my Tabaria, you stole my Tarshiha, you stole my Jrash. You stole my Dabkah, you stole my Dal’ouna, you stole my Thoub, you stole my food. You stole my books, you stole my history, you stole my tales, you stole my songs. You stole my identity and you call me invented? It is you who is invented, living in an invented entity, creating for yourself an invented identity.
Don’t call me invented because Palestine is as old as time itself and “Israel” is the invented entity.

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Don’t call me Israeli Arab, because there is no such thing as an Israeli Arab.
I am a Palestinian from Palestinian Yaffa. I am a Palestinian from Palestinian Acca. I am a Palestinian from Palestinian Beisan. I am a Palestinian from Palestinian An-Naqab. I am a Palestinian from Palestinian Al-Jalil. I am a Palestinian from Palestinian Beir As-Sabi’. I am a Palestinian from Palestinian An-Nasirah. I am a Palestinian from Palestinian Al-Quds. This land has my features imprinted in every stone, every tree, every cloud, every flower and every creek. You can force me to speak your language, but the land I walk on, the sky above me, the wind and the rain and the rainbow whisper my name: Palestinian. You can force me to write my name in your alphabet, but engraved in the rocks, drawn in the sky, printed in the leaves of trees is one word in Arab: Palestinian. You can force me to carry the ID card of your entity, but the blood that runs in my veins screams I am from Palestine, Ana min Falasteen. You can force my tongue to sing your invented anthem, but my heart will always sing Palestine. You can force my hand to write “Israel” on the map, but my eyes will only see Palestine. You can force me to study the invented history of your entity, but my mind will repeat the massacres you committed, the villages you erased, the on-going Nakba you are causing. You come from the USA and you claim a right to my homeland. You come from Germany and you illegalize my existence, my heritage and my history in this land. You come from France and you lock me up in ghettos in my own homeland. You come from Russia and you silence my mosques and my churches. You come from Ukraine and you deny me my birthright and my rights. But listen, and listen carefully: I am a Palestinian from Palestine, this is my home and I am here to stay till the end of days.
Don’t call me Israeli Arab, because I am a Palestinian from Palestine.

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Don’t call me a Palestinian of the Palestinian Territories because it is called Palestine.
Don’t give me a fraction of my homeland and call it a solution. Don’t give me oppression and call it peace. Don’t give me a Bantustan and call it a home. Don’t give me a prison and call it freedom. Don’t draw the borders of my existence according to your whims and interests and call it a state. My home is not a disfigured result of a till-death-do-us-part-marriage between the occupier and the champions of negotiators-for-life that yields a Bantustan on 20% of my homeland. My home is not a “lets legitimize the Zionist racist colonization of Palestine and hope they accept us and allow us to live with them one day” tale for the sake of fame and a shoulder pat from “conditional-supporters”, while giving the Zionist usurpers a right to my land which they stole and continue to colonize… a right to my home which they destroyed and continue to destroy…. a right to my village which they ethnically cleansed and continue to do so to the rest of Palestine… a right to Palestine, the Palestine they raped and continue to rape for over 63 years, a rape they are proud of and celebrate very year while denying us even the tears and the memories and the names of the victims they massacred and the villages they erased. My Palestine is the home that is mine since the dawn of history till the end of history. My Palestine is the home of my ancestors, the home between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
Don’t call me a Palestinian of the Palestinian Territories, because I am a Palestinian from Palestine.

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Don’t call me a dreamer, because I refuse to surrender and I know that one day Palestine will be free.
Don’t call me unrealistic, because I refuse to surrender and I know that one day Palestine will be free.
Don’t call me crazy, because I refuse to surrender and I know that one day Palestine will be free.
I know that one day, Zionism will be defeated. I know that one day, occupation will be history. I know that one day, justice will prevail. I know that one day, the sun will shine again over Palestinian farmers working in Marj Ibin Amer. I know that one day, the sea will hear the whispers of Palestinian fishermen watching the sunset over Acca. I know that one day, the gentle breeze will race the laughter of Palestinian children along the streets of the old city of Jerusalem. I know that one day, Palestinian refugees will return to build their villages and their homes. I know that one day, Palestine will be free of the Zionist colonists, the cowards and racists that they are, for they don’t know justice, they don’t want justice, they fear justice and thus they have no place in this land. Those who destroy the land, will never be part of the land. Those for whom the land is the parent, the sibling, the child, the friend and the entire existence will always be part of the land.
Don’t act as if I don’t exist because I am here, and here I will stay, forever.
Don’t call me anything but Palestinian because there is only one home for me; Palestine.
Don’t call me anything but Palestinian because there is only one Palestine; from the River to the Sea.
Don’t call me anything but Palestinian because that is what I am: a Palestinian from Palestine.

*

Found at THIS wonderful Website


FACEBOOK IS THE ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Referring to his interrogation, Gharra said: “An officer from a police station in the Talpiot area in Jerusalem contacted me more than once and asked me to go immediately to the police station to be interrogated in a case that I knew nothing about. I refused to do so as these kind of invitations are illegal. The next day I received a printed invitation to my room in the students’ dorms.”

According to Gharra, the letter stated, “If you do not arrive to the station immediately, we will come and arrest you in the late hours of the night.”

Khalil Gharra (www.arabs48.com)

“We won’t be silenced,” say students arrested over Peres boycott call

Yara Sa’di*
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Three Palestinian students at the College of Engineering in Jerusalem (JCE) have been put under house arrest for a week and instructed not to contact any of their peers for using the social media website Facebook to urge a boycott of a speech by Israeli President Shimon Peres.

A couple of weeks ago, students received a message from the college authorities, notifying them of a visit by Peres scheduled for 10 January. The message emphasized that attendance during Peres’ speech was “compulsory.”
Three Palestinian students then posted on the college’s Facebook page that they would not attend the speech and asked others to follow suit. In response almost all the Palestinian students of the college boycotted the speech.

Following the event, the three students who urged the boycott were called for an interrogation at an Israeli police station. They were accused of threatening other students, as well as racism. They were then put under house arrest for a week, outside Jerusalem, and were instructed not to contact other students.

“Intense debate”

Khalil Gharra, one of the three targeted students, told The Electronic Intifada, “There was an intense debate on the Facebook page of the college’s first year students between students who rejected the college’s policy regarding the compulsory attendance of Peres’ speech and others who supported it.”

He added, “The debate revolved around the commitment of the students to the decision of the college, and around how the college should not be forcing students to attend a lecture delivered by a ‘political symbol.’ This act contravened the students’ freedom of expression. Within this context, I expressed my opinion, saying that I wouldn’t attend the lecture. And I advised others to do the same.”

Gharra added that another debate is now taking place on Facebook regarding the punishments that the police imposed on him and his friends. He said that many Palestinian students have protested over the case, and have expressed their support for the targeted students.

Referring to his interrogation, Gharra said: “An officer from a police station in the Talpiot area in Jerusalem contacted me more than once and asked me to go immediately to the police station to be interrogated in a case that I knew nothing about. I refused to do so as these kind of invitations are illegal. The next day I received a printed invitation to my room in the students’ dorms.”

According to Gharra, the letter stated, “If you do not arrive to the station immediately, we will come and arrest you in the late hours of the night.”

At the station he was told that he was accused of threatening behavior and of incitement to racism. Ghara said, “I denied all the charges against me. Later the interrogator consulted other interrogators and officers who are in charge of the case, and he decided that I should be deported from Jerusalem and that I’m not allowed to contact any student till 25 January. Moreover, he decided to put me under house arrest until 21 January.”

“Political persecution”

Ghara argued that this specific case should not be viewed separately from other restrictions on Palestinian student activism in Israeli universities. He said, “It’s clear to me from the investigation’s course that the case is about political persecution. However, they won’t stop us from our political activism. I won’t bend to the policy of repression that the police and the intelligence are practicing on Arab students. Our activism is legal and it’s our right to organize and express our opinion.”

Alaa Mahajna, the students’ lawyer, also argued that the case is not criminal but political. He said, “The students are suspected of threatening and incitement to racism following Shimon Peres’ speech. However, Peres is a controversial political figure, some consider him to be responsible for murdering more than a hundred innocent people during the Qana massacre [in Lebanon] in 1996, when he was the prime minister of Israel. The argument about whether to attend or boycott the speech was conducted through the public sphere — Facebook — where everyone could express his or her opinion. As a lawyer, I don’t see any legal basis for the suspicions against the students.”

“These legal actions are part of the whole process of political persecution, which aims to shut down the voice of the Palestinian students in Israeli universities,” he added.

Palestinian students in the college are organizing a petition to express their support for the targeted students, emphasizing their right to protest.

Moreover, the Palestinian students association at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem released a statement condemning the violation of the right to free expression. The association also confirmed the importance of boycotting Israelis who are involved in war crimes, referring to Peres’ role in the Qana massacre.

*Yara Sa’di is a postgraduate student and activist from Haifa.

 

 

Source

PLIGHT OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN HELD CAPTIVE IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

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Stories about child torture, imprisonment and sometimes even worse have long been hidden by the Israeli censorship machine, but slowly they are trickling out for you to read about …. here is just one from The Guardian. It is followed by a video and testemonies about other Palestinian child prisoners…
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The Palestinian children – alone and bewildered – in Israel’s Al Jalame jail
Special report: Israel’s military justice system is accused of mistreating Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones
By Harriet Sherwood in the West Bank

The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is a squat toilet, the stench from which has no escape in the windowless room. The rough concrete walls deter idle leaning; the constant overhead light inhibits sleep. The delivery of food through a low slit in the door is the only way of marking time, dividing day from night.

This is Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel. It is one of a handful of cells where Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks. One 16-year-old claimed that he had been kept in Cell 36 for 65 days.

The only escape is to the interrogation room where children are shackled, by hands and feet, to a chair while being questioned, sometimes for hours.

Most are accused of throwing stones at soldiers or settlers; some, of flinging molotov cocktails; a few, of more serious offences such as links to militant organisations or using weapons. They are also pumped for information about the activities and sympathies of their classmates, relatives and neighbours.

At the beginning, nearly all deny the accusations. Most say they are threatened; some report physical violence. Verbal abuse – “You’re a dog, a son of a whore” – is common. Many are exhausted from sleep deprivation. Day after day they are fettered to the chair, then returned to solitary confinement. In the end, many sign confessions that they later say were coerced.

These claims and descriptions come from affidavits given by minors to an international human rights organisation and from interviews conducted by the Guardian. Other cells in Al Jalame and Petah Tikva prisons are also used for solitary confinement, but Cell 36 is the one cited most often in these testimonies.

Between 500 and 700 Palestinian children are arrested by Israeli soldiers each year, mostly accused of throwing stones. Since 2008, Defence for Children International (DCI) has collected sworn testimonies from 426 minors detained in Israel’s military justice system.

Their statements show a pattern of night-time arrests, hands bound with plastic ties, blindfolding, physical and verbal abuse, and threats. About 9% of all those giving affidavits say they were kept in solitary confinement, although there has been a marked increase to 22% in the past six months.

Few parents are told where their children have been taken. Minors are rarely questioned in the presence of a parent, and rarely see a lawyer before or during initial interrogation. Most are detained inside Israel, making family visits very difficult.

Human rights organisations say these patterns of treatment – which are corroborated by a separate study, No Minor Matter, conducted by an Israeli group, B’Tselem – violate the international convention on the rights of the child, which Israel has ratified, and the fourth Geneva convention.

Most children maintain they are innocent of the crimes of which they are accused, despite confessions and guilty pleas, said Gerard Horton of DCI. But, he added, guilt or innocence was not an issue with regard to their treatment.

“We’re not saying offences aren’t committed – we’re saying children have legal rights. Regardless of what they’re accused of, they should not be arrested in the middle of the night in terrifying raids, they should not be painfully tied up and blindfolded sometimes for hours on end, they should be informed of the right to silence and they should be entitled to have a parent present during questioning.”

Mohammad Shabrawi from the West Bank town of Tulkarm was arrested last January, aged 16, at about 2.30am. “Four soldiers entered my bedroom and said you must come with us. They didn’t say why, they didn’t tell me or my parents anything,” he told the Guardian.

Handcuffed with a plastic tie and blindfolded, he thinks he was first taken to an Israeli settlement, where he was made to kneel – still cuffed and blindfolded – for an hour on an asphalt road in the freezing dead of night. A second journey ended at about 8am at Al Jalame detention centre, also known as Kishon prison, amid fields close to the Nazareth to Haifa road.

After a routine medical check, Shabrawi was taken to Cell 36. He spent 17 days in solitary, apart from interrogations, there and in a similar cell, No 37, he said. “I was lonely, frightened all the time and I needed someone to talk with. I was choked from being alone. I was desperate to meet anyone, speak to anyone … I was so bored that when I was out [of the cell] and saw the police, they were talking in Hebrew and I don’t speak Hebrew, but I was nodding as though I understood. I was desperate to speak.”

During interrogation, he was shackled. “They cursed me and threatened to arrest my family if I didn’t confess,” he said. He first saw a lawyer 20 days after his arrest, he said, and was charged after 25 days. “They accused me of many things,” he said, adding that none of them were true.

Eventually Shabrawi confessed to membership of a banned organisation and was sentenced to 45 days. Since his release, he said, he was “now afraid of the army, afraid of being arrested.” His mother said he had become withdrawn.

Ezz ad-Deen Ali Qadi from Ramallah, who was 17 when he was arrested last January, described similar treatment during arrest and detention. He says he was held in solitary confinement at Al Jalame for 17 days in cells 36, 37 and 38.

“I would start repeating the interrogators’ questions to myself, asking myself is it true what they are accusing me of,” he told the Guardian. “You feel the pressure of the cell. Then you think about your family, and you feel you are going to lose your future. You are under huge stress.”

His treatment during questioning depended on the mood of his interrogators, he said. “If he is in a good mood, sometimes he allows you to sit on a chair without handcuffs. Or he may force you to sit on a small chair with an iron hoop behind it. Then he attaches your hands to the ring, and your legs to the chair legs. Sometimes you stay like that for four hours. It is painful.

“Sometimes they make fun of you. They ask if you want water, and if you say yes they bring it, but then the interrogator drinks it.”

Ali Qadi did not see his parents during the 51 days he was detained before trial, he said, and was only allowed to see a lawyer after 10 days. He was accused of throwing stones and planning military operations, and after confessing was sentenced to six months in prison.The Guardian has affidavits from five other juveniles who said they were detained in solitary confinement in Al Jalame and Petah Tikva. All confessed after interrogation.

“Solitary confinement breaks the spirit of a child,” said Horton. “Children say that after a week or so of this treatment, they confess simply to get out of the cell.”

The Israeli security agency (ISA) – also known as Shin Bet – told the Guardian: “No one questioned, including minors, is kept alone in a cell as a punitive measure or in order to obtain a confession.”

The Israeli prison service did not respond to a specific question about solitary confinement, saying only “the incarceration of prisoners…is subject to legal examination”.

Juvenile detainees also allege harsh interrogation methods. The Guardian interviewed the father of a minor serving a 23-month term for throwing rocks at vehicles. Ali Odwan, from Azzun, said his son Yahir, who was 14 when he was arrested, was given electric shocks by a Taser while under interrogation.

“I visited my son in jail. I saw marks from electric shocks on both his arms, they were visible from behind the glass. I asked him if it was from electric shocks, he just nodded. He was afraid someone was listening,” Odwan said.

DCI has affidavits from three minors accused of throwing stones who claim they were given electric shocks under interrogation in 2010.

Another Azzun youngster, Sameer Saher, was 13 when he was arrested at 2am. “A soldier held me upside down and took me to a window and said: ‘I want to throw you from the window.’ They beat me on the legs, stomach, face,” he said.

His interrogators accused him of stone-throwing and demanded the names of friends who had also thrown stones. He was released without charge about 17 hours after his arrest. Now, he said, he has difficulty sleeping for fear “they will come at night and arrest me”.

In response to questions about alleged ill-treatment, including electric shocks, the ISA said: “The claims that Palestinian minors were subject to interrogation techniques that include beatings, prolonged periods in handcuffs, threats, kicks, verbal abuse, humiliation, isolation and prevention of sleep are utterly baseless … Investigators act in accordance with the law and unequivocal guidelines which forbid such actions.”

The Guardian has also seen rare audiovisual recordings of the interrogations of two boys, aged 14 and 15, from the village of Nabi Saleh, the scene of weekly protests against nearby settlers. Both are visibly exhausted after being arrested in the middle of the night. Their interrogations, which begin at about 9.30am, last four and five hours.

Neither is told of their legal right to remain silent, and both are repeatedly asked leading questions, including whether named people have incited them to throw stones. At one point, as one boy rests his head on the table, the interrogator flicks at him, shouting: “Lift your head, you.” During the other boy’s interrogation, one questioner repeatedly slams a clenched fist into his own palm in a threatening gesture. The boy breaks down in tears, saying he was due to take an exam at school that morning. “They’re going to fail me, I’m going to lose the year,” he sobs.

In neither case was a lawyer present during their interrogation.

Israeli military law has been applied in the West Bank since Israel occupied the territory more than 44 years ago. Since then, more than 700,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been detained under military orders.

Under military order 1651, the age of criminal responsibility is 12 years, and children under the age of 14 face a maximum of six months in prison.

However, children aged 14 and 15 could, in theory, be sentenced up to 20 years for throwing an object at a moving vehicle with the intent to harm. In practice, most sentences range between two weeks and 10 months, according to DCI.

In September 2009, a special juvenile military court was established. It sits at Ofer, a military prison outside Jerusalem, twice a week. Minors are brought into court in leg shackles and handcuffs, wearing brown prison uniforms. The proceedings are in Hebrew with intermittent translation provided by Arabic-speaking soldiers.

The Israeli prison service told the Guardian that the use of restraints in public places was permitted in cases where “there is reasonable concern that the prisoner will escape, cause damage to property or body, or will damage evidence or try to dispose of evidence”.

The Guardian witnessed a case this month in which two boys, aged 15 and 17, admitted entering Israel illegally, throwing molotov cocktails and stones, starting a fire which caused extensive damage, and vandalising property. The prosecution asked for a sentence to reflect the defendants’ “nationalistic motives” and to act as a deterrent.

The older boy was sentenced to 33 months in jail; the younger one, 26 months. Both were sentenced to an additional 24 months suspended and were fined 10,000 shekels (£1,700). Failure to pay the fine would mean an additional 10 months in prison.

Several British parliamentary delegations have witnessed child hearings at Ofer over the past year. Alf Dubs reported back to the House of Lords last May, saying: “We saw a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, one of them in tears, both looking absolutely bewildered … I do not believe this process of humiliation represents justice. I believe that the way in which these young people are treated is in itself an obstacle to the achievement by Israel of a peaceful relationship with the Palestinian people.”

Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, who witnessed the trial of a shackled 14-year-old at Ofer last month, found the experience distressing. “In five minutes he had been found guilty of stone-throwing and was sentenced to nine months. It was shocking to see a child being put through this process. It’s difficult to see how a [political] solution can be reached when young people are being treated in this manner. They end up with very little hope for their future and very angry about their treatment.”

Horton said a guilty plea was “the quickest way to get out of the system”. If the children say their confession was coerced, “that provides them with a legal defence – but because they’re denied bail they will remain in detention longer than if they had simply pleaded guilty”.

An expert opinion written by Graciela Carmon, a child psychiatrist and member of Physicians for Human Rights, in May 2011, said that children were particularly vulnerable to providing a false confession under coercion.

“Although some detainees understand that providing a confession, despite their innocence, will have negative repercussions in the future, they nevertheless confess as the immediate mental and/or physical anguish they feel overrides the future implications, whatever they may be.”

Nearly all the cases documented by DCI ended in a guilty plea and about three-quarters of the convicted minors were transferred to prisons inside Israel. This contravenes article 76 of the fourth Geneva convention, which requires children and adults in occupied territories to be detained within the territory.

The Israeli defence forces (IDF), responsible for arrests in the West Bank and the military judicial system said last month that the military judicial system was “underpinned by a commitment to ensure the rights of the accused, judicial impartiality and an emphasis on practising international legal norms in incredibly dangerous and complex situations”.

The ISA said its employees acted in accordance with the law, and detainees were given the full rights for which they were eligible, including the right to legal counsel and visits by the Red Cross. “The ISA categorically denies all claims with regard to the interrogation of minors. In fact, the complete opposite is true – the ISA guidelines grant minors special protections needed because of their age.”

Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told the Guardian: “If detainees believe they have been mistreated, especially in the case of minors … it’s very important that these people, or people representing them, come forward and raise these issues. The test of a democracy is how you treat people incarcerated, people in jail, and especially so with minors.”

Stone-throwing, he added, was a dangerous activity that had resulted in the deaths of an Israeli father and his infant son last year.

“Rock-throwing, throwing molotov cocktails and other forms of violence is unacceptable, and the security authorities have to bring it to an end when it happens.”

Human rights groups are concerned about the long-term impact of detention on Palestinian minors. Some children initially exhibit a degree of bravado, believing it to be a rite of passage, said Horton. “But when you sit with them for an hour or so, under this veneer of bravado are children who are fairly traumatised.” Many of them, he said, never want to see another soldier or go near a checkpoint. Does he think the system works as a deterrent? “Yes, I think it does.”

According to Nader Abu Amsha, the director of the YMCA in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, which runs a rehabilitation programme for juveniles, “families think that when the child is released, it’s the end of the problem. We tell them this is the beginning”.

Following detention many children exhibit symptoms of trauma: nightmares, mistrust of others, fear of the future, feelings of helplessness and worthlessness, obsessive compulsive behaviour, bedwetting, aggression, withdrawal and lack of motivation.

The Israeli authorities should consider the long-term effects, said Abu Amsha. “They don’t give attention to how this might continue the vicious cycle of violence, of how this might increase hatred. These children come out of this process with a lot of anger. Some of them feel the need for revenge.

“You see children who are totally broken. It’s painful to see the pain of these children, to see how much they are squeezed by the Israeli system.”

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Testimonies from the Heart of Darkness
Another child detained. (Tamar Fleishman)
By Tamar Fleishman – The West Bank 

‘This place is the carbuncle on the ass of the occupation,’ said Dalit Baum as the gates of Ofer prison closed behind us.

The Palestinian residents of the West Bank, who had been living under occupation for over forty years and are deprived of their basic rights, are brought to justice in military courts.  This entire legal system- investigators, prosecutors and judges- is comprised of men and women, in uniform, who are subordinated to and serve, not the principles of justice and law, but the mechanism of the occupation.

Ofer prison/detention center/court sits on Palestinian lands that had been confiscated from their owners.   

For some months I sat in court and documented what was taking place there. I had witnessed the attempts of the system to create an illusion of a court house that concurs to the articles of the treaties and the international law, while in reality it was nothing more than a cynical farce.

In this place, aside from the adults, children of all ages are incarcerated as well. Helpless children whose faces I had seen screaming without sound. Children who are hunted down in the streets, in the allies and in their parents’ homes, in the dark of night and in broad day light.

To these children who are tortured and treated with violence, whose physical and mental scars will never heal, whose childhood had been taken away from and crushed, to the children who are incarcerated, to the children who had finished serving their time and the children who had yet to be notified of the date of their imprisonment which hovers above them like a perpetual threat to their daily lives- For all these children I have a duty to tell the story ..

The first time I crossed the threshold and entered the gates of the court, before understanding and learning the rules of the place, the rules of arbitrariness and of the erasing of human beings, on entering the hall in which young grief and pain stricken people are trailed, my gaze was fixed on the face of a teenager with handcuffs on his arms and legs, and two streams of tears piercing his cheeks. The tears ran down from his black shinning eyes in silence and his gaze was hung on the distant corner of the room where his mother sat, her facial features were the same as her son’s, tears were running down her cheeks, her eyes shining towards his holding with him a shrieking conversation without sound or language, that went back and forth from the mother to the son and from the son to the mother.

Yazun

 

At the court I saw Yazun Ta’ar Hamuda Elhatib, a seventeen year old from Ramallah, he was accused of: “throwing stones”. Upon seeing his parents’ faces who sat at the back row, the row preserved for the relatives of the detainees- as far as possible from their loved ones- for fear that they might touch each other, the mother touch her son or the father his child (while I, a stranger, was entitled to sit on the benches in the front), the face of Yazun lit up with an enchanting and wide smile, the father hurried to ask his son whether he needed anything, Yazun: “No, nothing”. The father: “Perhaps money for the canteen?”, Yazun smiled: “No need”. Suddenly, as though from an inner source the smile came off, his face fell and he started tearing. He immediately collected himself, whipped his cheeks and hurried to put on the smiling mask that he used to hide his sorrow and pain, a tool for overcoming his yearnings and for soothing his parents.

 

Wasim

And I also witnessed at the juvenile hall the frail fifteen year old Wasim Said Saadi Elharhi from Hebron, accused or one arbitrary thing or another.

Wasim had the face of a young child and the entire time he sat detached from what was taking place, as though it had nothing to do with him and his fate, and when judge Sharon Rivlin Ahai reported that the plea bargain that was being settled between both sides would include a fine of 3000 Shekels, the child’s father rose and shouted that he hadn’t the means to pay such a sum.

The judge said to him: “What are we going to do with his kid? (phrasing it in plural as though she and the father were partners)- he isn’t walking down good paths…” Wasim looked at his father with a yearning and longing gaze as the judge proceeded and finished with a patronizing tone: “He should get a profession and be a man!” Wasim remain in detention.

Outside the hall I asked the father what was Wasim’s crime and he replied: “You know, we live near the Cave of Machpela, he stole a gas bottle from the soldiers”. Then a person standing near us explained: “he means a gas grenade”.

As the weeks and months pass and one goes on visiting this place, the faces, the names and the stories emerge as a thick web of despair and sorrow for the shattering of life and the loss of hope, for childhood and adolescence entrapped in a splint with no way out.

This must be told to everyone, the children and teenagers, the specific stories the likes of which are thousand others, are a portrait of the Palestinian society and to us, the Israeli society, they must serve as a warning sign, a mirror that portrays our reflection. 

(Translated by Ruth Fleishman)

- As a member of Machsomwatch, once a week Tamar Fleishman heads out to document the checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. This documentation (reports, photos and videos) can be found on the organization’s site: www.machsomwatch.org. She is also a member of the Coalition of Women for Peace and volunteer in Breaking the Silence. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.


Source

HAS ANTI COMMUNISM FINALLY GONE OUT OF STYLE?

Is McCarthyism finally as dead as the man himself?
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I was totally bewildered this morning when I read the following obituary in the New York Times. It reports the death of a sportswriter for the US Communist Daily Worker, yet it is totally free of anti-Communism.
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I don’t remember the name (some things did happen before I was born ;) ) but a friend wrote me the following… the article is so free from anti-communism it leaves me slightly bewildered I remember collecting signatures, my mother did the collecting that threatened boycotting baseball … or remember my mother telling me this. The signatures were carried to Branch Rickey by Ben Davis and Pete Catchione and Paul Robeson so my story goes, but what is real and what is fantasy who knows …
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The obit appears below, if it is an indication of a new trend, it is a most welcome one. Hopefully Islamophobia is next on the list to go.
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Bill Mardo, Writer Who Pushed Baseball to Integrate, Dies at 88

Bill Mardo, a sportswriter for the Communist Party newspaper The Daily Worker who fought major league baseball’s color barrier in the 1940s when the mainstream American news media was largely silent on the subject, died Friday in Manhattan. He was 88.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his companion, Ruth Ost, said.

In the years before the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson as the first black player in modern organized baseball, Mr. Mardo was a leading voice in a campaign by The Daily Worker against racism in the game, a battle it had begun in 1936 when Lester Rodney became its first sports editor.

Mr. Mardo, who joined The Daily Worker in 1942, oversaw its sports coverage, together with Nat Low, during World War II, when Mr. Rodney was in the Army. Mr. Mardo had a deferment, having lost vision in one eye from a childhood virus.

The Daily Worker asked fans to write to the New York City baseball teams urging them to sign Negro league players at a time when the major leagues had lost much of their talent to military service. A milestone in baseball history and the civil rights movement arrived in October 1945 when Robinson signed a contract with the Dodgers’ organization, having reached an agreement with Branch Rickey, the Dodger general manager, two months earlier.

Mr. Mardo covered Robinson’s first spring training, with the Dodgers’ Montreal Royals farm team in 1946, and wrote of the hostility toward him in parts of segregated Florida.

As Robinson was concluding a brilliant 1946 season, Mr. Mardo wrote that racism would be smashed by the arrival of black players, which, he said, “in one fell swoop does as much to arm and educate the American people against this monstrous lie as do all the pamphlets in the world.”

After Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers in 1947, Mr. Rodney and Mr. Mardo called on the owners of the other 15 teams in the majors to sign black players.

Rickey had not acknowledged being pressured by The Daily Worker. But in recounting the campaign to shatter baseball’s color bar, Arnold Rampersad wrote in “Jackie Robinson: A Biography” (1997) that “the most vigorous efforts came from the Communist press, including picketing, petitions and unrelenting pressure for about 10 years in The Daily Worker, notably from Lester Rodney and Bill Mardo.”

Mr. Mardo was born William Bloom in Manhattan on Oct. 24, 1923. His interest in left-wing politics arose when he read a copy of The Daily Worker as a teenager, and he became a member of the Communist Party. He changed his name to Mardo as a tribute to his sisters Marion and Doris when he began his career in journalism.

Apart from reporting on baseball, Mr. Mardo wrote a boxing column for The Daily Worker, “In This Corner.” He left the newspaper to work as a Washington reporter for the Soviet news agency Tass in the early 1950s. He later worked in direct-mail advertising.

His marriage in the 1950s ended in divorce, and he had no children.

In April 1997, Mr. Mardo and Mr. Rodney (who died in 2009) spoke at a symposium at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus marking the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers.

Mr. Mardo noted that Rickey had not signed blacks when he ran the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades and suggested it was not idealism but pressure from black sportswriters, trade unions and the Communist Party that persuaded him to sign Robinson.

“Where were you looking all those years, Mr. Rickey?” Mr. Mardo said. “Istanbul? The South Seas?”

But on April 10, 1947, when the Dodgers announced they were bringing up Robinson from Montreal, Mr. Mardo, sitting in the Ebbets Field press box, could only exult.

“There’s time tomorrow to remember that the good fight goes on,” he wrote for the next day’s Daily Worker. “But, for today, let’s just sit back and feel easy and warm. As that fellow in the press box said, ‘Robinson’s a Dodger’ — and it’s a great day, isn’t it?”


THE STATE OF THE UNION ~~~ WHAT IT MEANS TO PALESTINE

The U.S. government has informed Israel that it will recommend that Congress approve a three-year extension of loan guarantees to Israel, worth $3.8 billion. The announcement came after several months of worry in Israel that the loan guarantees would not be extended, despite Israel’s request. (Full report HERE)
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And this is where the money goes…..
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Eyewitness to Israel’s ethnic cleansing

Purdue University professor Bill Mullen traveled to Palestine with a delegation of academics to find out about the obstacles facing Palestinian students and educators.

 

24-jerusalem-darkened-blues-1.jpg

In Hebron, graffiti artists have renamed Shuhana Street “Apartheid Street” (Bill Mullen | SW)

AT 4:45 a.m. on the morning of August 2, 2009, the family of Miraym Al-Ghawi was awakened by pounding on the door of their home in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. A small bomb was detonated, throwing open the door. Through it walked masked and armed Israeli commandoes, who dragged the Al-Ghawis, including the six Al-Ghawi children, into the night.

They collected the family’s belongings in trucks and dumped them outside the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, where they were ransacked. The Al-Ghawi’s youngest child, age 4, stood and watched as commandoes set fire to her bed and her playthings. The daughter still cannot sleep without her mother. Medical experts have diagnosed her ailment as “settler trauma.”

Miraym Al-Ghawi told us this story as we visited Palestine as part of a delegation sponsored by the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). Five U.S. professors from the delegation, myself included, talked with the Al-Ghawis in Sheikh Jarrah, once one of the liveliest Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

Since 1967, however, nearly 9,000 Palestinians have lost their residency rights in East Jerusalem, 15 Israeli settlements have been built, and Palestinians now have access to less than 15 percent of the available land. The Al-Ghawi family is one of four families in East Jerusalem evicted since 2008 as part of Israel’s annexation, settlement and “de-Arabization” plan for Palestine.

The plan has been effective: unemployment among Palestinians in East Jerusalem is now nearly 35 percent, while the poverty rate is nearly 50 percent. Palestinians in East Jerusalem make up about 35 percent of the population and pay 33 percent of all municipal taxes, while the Israeli municipality spends less than 5 percent on services for East Jerusalem.

A 163-kilometer “separation wall” in Jerusalem denies more than 22,000 residents easy access to their work and markets. There are currently more than 270 Palestinian prisoners from East Jerusalem and 197 detainees. Eight of the prisoners are children.

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ISRAEL’S COLONIZATION of Palestine is a de facto totalitarianism meant to strangle decades of resistance by an entire people. But it has not succeeded.

After her eviction, for example, Miraym Al-Ghawi set up a tent near a fig tree outside their former residence and in defiance stayed there for six months. On 17 occasions, the municipality forced her to tear down the tent; 17 times, she rebuilt. She has repeatedly paid out fines levied against her private “occupation” of her own former home.

Today, she rents an apartment in a neighborhood near Sheikh Jarrah, but comes every day to sit near her old residence in order to demonstrate her refusal to be displaced. She remains engaged in a court battle for her house even as parking lots and playgrounds are built in Sheikh Jarrah for newly arrived settlers on confiscated Palestinian land.

And this is just one story of the terror and violence of the Israeli police state that saturates daily life under occupation.

On a Sunday morning in Hebron, for example, we walked through a Palestinian open market along Shuhada Street. The street sits beside the Ibrahim Mosque, where in 1994 American-born Zionist settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Arab worshippers and wounded 125 others. The massacre set off Palestinian riots and protests in which Israeli soldiers murdered 19 more Palestinians.

The street, known as Apartheid Street by locals, has now been closed off at numerous access points by Israeli security forces in order to stop or monitor Palestinian movement, protect newly arrived settlers and restrict commerce. Checkpoints, concrete blocks and impromptu walls appear at nearly every turn.

The market itself is under constant siege by settlers who live above street level and throw trash, feces and even acid onto merchants and shoppers below. Numerous storefronts along the street are closed. Israeli police sealed one of them shut because a demonstration was held at the site.

As we walked through the marketplace, Israeli soldiers perched overhead on street corners and at one point marched two abreast in three rows straight through the market center. No detail escapes the attention of Israeli authorities–even a 100-meter stretch of sidewalk is divided by a three-foot wall, Palestinians on one side, settlers on the other. Children as young as 2 peddled “Palestine” bracelets on the streets as they tried to help their families scratch out an existence in a strangulated economy.

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THE USACBI campaign began in 2009 in response to the call by Palestinian civil society to join the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement against Israel. It supports and models the mission statement created in 2004 by PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. The original PACBI statement read in part:

Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression, we, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

These nonviolent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

USACBI supports each of the above principles and calls for a number of measures to demonstrate support for them. For example, the campaign asks signatories to:

1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;

2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;

3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by academic institutions, and place pressure on your own institution to suspend all ties with Israeli universities, including collaborative projects, study abroad, funding and exchanges.

The USACBI call has thus far been signed by nearly 600 U.S. professors, 200 cultural workers, 200 international supporters and 44 organizations. It seeks to point out that the Israeli occupation has damaged or destroyed academic or intellectual freedom, especially for Palestinians living under occupation.

For example, Israel routinely restricts the movement of Palestinian students, forcing them to attend apartheid schools, making them pass through walls and checkpoints on a daily basis, and severely limiting their ability to choose a university within Israel/Palestine or to study abroad.

Israel has severely restricted the number of students from Gaza who may attend Birzeit University, the most prestigious research university in the West Bank. Palestinian students who do travel abroad to study or seek re-entry to Palestine are often labeled “security risks” or denied entry.

Palestinian universities like Birzeit in Ramallah consistently face a “crisis of funding,” according to university president Khalil Hindi, with whom we met on our delegation visit. Though the universities operate under Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority is the sole source of funds for the university, and Israel provides nothing.

Israeli academics, meanwhile, often produce research that colludes with the occupation regime, while the state heavily monitors what Palestinian scholars can produce. We met with a group of scholars at the Mada al-Carmel Arab Center for Applied Social Research in Haifa. The center’s advisory board chair Dr. Nadim Rouhana told us that the activities of the Mada Center are heavily monitored by Israel, while Palestinian scholars attached to Mada often work or study in Israeli universities that reproduce intellectual and social apartheid.

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IN ADDITION to attacking the absence of academic freedom in Palestine, USACBI seeks to illuminate the structural relationship between Israeli apartheid and higher education as it impacts Palestinians. As Palestinian scholar George Bisharat has written:

Many Israeli academic institutions either benefit from, or participate in, Israeli government actions that violate Palestinian rights. For example, Tel Aviv University sits in part on land belonging to Sheikh Muwannis, a Palestinian village whose residents were expelled by Jewish militias or fled in fear in March 1948. Hebrew University in Jerusalem uses over 800 acres of land illegally expropriated from Palestinian private owners in the West Bank after the 1967 war. Bar Ilan University has established a branch in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank…

Finally, discrimination against students who are Palestinian citizens of Israel in admission policies is widespread as revealed by the decision of the heads of Israeli universities in 2003 to reverse experimental admission policies that had increased the number of Arab students.

On our delegation visit, we met with Anan Quzmar from the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University in the West Bank. The campaign supports the BDS and USACBI campaigns as part of a larger international strategy to destroy apartheid/colonial education in Palestine. According to the campaign:

– Eight of the 11 universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been shelled or broken into by the Israeli Army since September 2000.

– Hebron University and the Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron were closed down by Israeli military order for much of 2003, and students had to physically break down the gates to their universities, in defiance of the Israeli Army, to reconvene classes and demand their right to an education.

– Birzeit University has been closed down by Israeli military order 15 times in its history and all Palestinian universities and the majority of Palestinian schools, including kindergartens, were closed down by military order between 1987-1992, denying a whole generation their right to education.

– More than 700 children, 200 university students and 39 teachers have been killed by the Israeli military since September 2000.

– More than 3,000 Palestinian children have been arrested by the Israeli military since September 2000, and some 300 children are currently held in Israeli prisons and detention centers.

– Two presidents of Birzeit University student council were imprisoned in 2004, and four of the 11 members of the student council were imprisoned in the same year. Currently, some 80 students from Birzeit University are held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, 10 of whom are being held without charge or trial, including human rights worker and sociology student, Ziyad Hmeidan.

The Right to Education mission statement calls for “trade unions, education institutions, social and political movements and concerned individuals around the world to support the right to education in Palestine.” The campaign is founded on principles established in UN resolutions that declare education a human right. It calls for scholars, students and activists to “establish connections with Palestinian universities, students and faculty, through solidarity or academic exchange.”

This strategy is meant to counteract the deadly and ongoing collaboration between American and Israeli universities, such as the new partnership between Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Technion is Israel’s leader in “applied science” research and the development of killing machines like the unmanned armored tanks used in Israel’s 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead that massacred more than 1,400 Gazans.

In December, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans for a $2 billion research campus in New York in partnership with Cornell and Technion. USACBI’s mission seeks to shut down forever such deadly collaborations.

Perhaps the most fitting symbol of the need for educators to play a role in the liberation of Palestine was graffiti on the wall of a Palestinian school in Hebron: “To learn or not to learn–that is the question.” The words beckon not just to the education of future generations of Palestinians, but to the education of people everywhere about the urgency of ending Israel’s colonial regime.

 

>What you can do

For more information about the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, or to pledge your support, go to the USACBI website.

Find more information about the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University at its website.

Contact the Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem to learn more about organizing efforts to defend Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Source 

 

THE MESSAGE IS CARVED IN THE WALL

Israelis should prepare themselves for the next generation of Palestinians, a much more savvy generation interlinked with a global world and a region that values rights over an artificial border. Soon, if the current trajectory continues, Palestinians will tell Israelis: “You win! You get it all–the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, the Jordan Valley, the settlements, all the water, and guess what? You get us too! Now, where do we sign up for our health care cards?”
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Image by David Baldinger
The Wall Will Fall (Spirit Is Stronger Than Concrete)
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The writing has always been on the wall 
Sam Bahour *
The human body is an amazing creation. It’s not only the most complex system known to mankind, but it embodies within it signals that tell its owner that something has gone wrong. A similar signaling system exists in political bodies. Those tasked with reading the signals–be they individuals, physicians or politicians–can choose to consciously ignore the warning signs. The Middle East peace process between Palestinians and Israelis has been emitting SOS signals for decades, but only recently are those signals being received and analyzed for what they are transmitting- -a clear and irreversible message that the entire paradigm of “two states for two peoples” has collapsed. 
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Like doctors who peddle medications instead of practicing medicine, many politicians are under the influence of their narrow political interests and prefer not to call situations by their name. After so many years of failure–political, legal, diplomatic and economic–those who are paid to diagnose and treat reality are being replaced with voices from all corners of the world, voices convincingly making the case that the entire premise undertaken by the Palestine Liberation Organization, starting as far back as 1974, is no longer feasible.  
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Some will say that the PLO was tricked by the West into a path that was never intended to succeed. Others may claim that the PLO had no option but to acquiesce to the pressures placed upon it to enter, more recently, the Oslo peace process, in hopes that the West (mainly the US) would then pull its weight in bringing Israel in line with international law and UN resolutions. Regardless of the analysis of the past, very few people on the ground who are intimately involved in the attempt to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli “conflict” would venture to spend any additional political credit on the notion that two independent states, Israel and Palestine, remain a way out of this man-made tragedy.  
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The measures were many, each of them a warning signal that sounded over and over again, but largely fell on deaf ears. The ignoring of a refugee population. A prolonged military occupation, unaccountable to the Fourth Geneva Convention. The launching of the illegal Israeli settlement project. The continued use of military force against Palestinians wherever they reside: Jordan, Lebanon, inside Israel, or the occupied territory. Assassinations and mass murder of Palestinians, from Lebanon to Tunis to every Palestinian city, in broad daylight for all to see. Seven hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians arrested and detained, many without charge and many tortured. A lopsided peace agreement (Oslo) that merely institutionalized the reality of military occupation. The election of Israeli prime ministers who, one after another, represented political programs that explicitly forbade the emergence of another state between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River. The list goes on and on. Each one of these signals emitted a deafening sound that was heard by all, and ignored by all who could change the course of events.  
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One of Israel’s founding ministers of education and culture, Professor Ben-Zion Dinur, said it most sharply, according to the book “History of the Haganah”: “In our country there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don’t agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force.” With this theme as its explicit backdrop, it is no wonder that newly-established Israel had little chance of being a normal state among the community of nations. These words rang out long before the creation of the PLO and long before the unacceptable phenomenon of suicide bombings entered the scene.  
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Israel was founded on the infamous fallacy that it was built on a “land with no people, for a people with no land.” Instead of acknowledging that this fallacy is a form of outright racism, Israel is legislating it into its laws. Since its inception, Israel has arrogantly refused to address the most crucial prerequisite of its establishment as a conventional state: accepting the Palestinians, those people that just happened to be living in that “empty” land that Israel was created on.  
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After over six decades of conflict and dispossession of the Palestinians, and after two decades of Palestinian political recognition of Israel on part of their lands, the Israeli people choose to sustain the conflict. They are bent not only on keeping their boot of occupation on the necks of Palestinians living under it, but on embarking on an accelerated path to disenfranchise, yet again, Palestinians who remained in Israel and assumed Israeli citizenship.  
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Today, Israel seems determined, more than ever, to forcefully prove the original premise of its statehood–an Israel with moveable borders and a Jewish-only population. Twelve Israeli prime ministers before Binyamin Netanyahu, six of them after the signing of Oslo, have failed at this nonsensical endeavor. He, too, will fail. If Israel cannot produce a leader to move the country from being a pariah to being a member of the Middle East, only Israel’s Jewish population will be to blame.  
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This should not come as a surprise for Israelis who have studied their own history. Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, understood it well when he said, “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we came here and stole their country. Why should they accept that?” The fact of the matter is: Palestinians even accepted “that” and are still being rejected and punished.  
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It is clear that Israel has no plans to reach any form of lasting peace with Palestinians or concede to a two-state solution. Its spread of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory has created new facts on the ground that make it impossible to form a contiguous Palestinian state, even on the 22 percent of historic Palestine that Palestinians have been reduced to and agreed upon.  
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In light of this continuing Israeli policy of outright aggression and negation of Palestinian rights, Israelis should prepare themselves for the next generation of Palestinians, a much more savvy generation interlinked with a global world and a region that values rights over an artificial border. Soon, if the current trajectory continues, Palestinians will tell Israelis: “You win! You get it all–the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, the Jordan Valley, the settlements, all the water, and guess what? You get us too! Now, where do we sign up for our health care cards?”
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*Sam Bahour is a Ramallah-based management consultant.
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Written FOR

NEW YORK’S SUICIDE PACT WITH ISRAEL

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New York City is home to the world’s largest Jewish community living outside of Israel — around 2 million people. It is also home to one of the largest Arab communities in the United States — more than 370,000, according to U.S. Census figures.

It would be a sick tribute to the militarized profit system if America’s foremost urban symbol of ethnic diversity and cosmopolitanism, New York City, winds up home to an institution devoted to stealth.

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NYC’s Deadly Deal with Israeli Apartheid
BY
SHERRY WOLF
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A deadly drone, modeled on the dragonfly insect, with a 9-inch wingspan. Four-wheeled mini-robots with panoramic video-imaging capabilities that perform surveillance without risk of harm to their human monitors. Unmanned armored bulldozers that can demolish property without exposing their distant operators to retaliation. These are just a few of the weapons in an arsenal developed or under development by New York City’s newest partner — the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

A few days before Christmas last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans for a $2 billion research campus to be constructed in partnership with Cornell University, Technion and the City of New York.

Proclaiming that “New York City’s goal of becoming the global leader in technological innovation is now within sight,” Bloomberg pledged $100 million in taxpayer money for the new venture. It will be added to a $350 million gift to Cornell from alumnus Charles F. Feeney to fund construction of the 2 million-square-foot state-of-the-art research institute to be built on Roosevelt Island, which lies in the East River between Manhattan and Queens.

New York’s media, including its “paper of record,” the New York Times, ran with the giddy story of the estimated 20,000 construction jobs, 600 new businesses, billions in projected revenue and 30,000 permanent jobs that will supposedly result from the research campus. Touting sophisticated environmental standards of construction and energy use, press releases have also heralded the educational opportunities this campus could offer not just experts, but budding scientists in New York’s public schools.

With rare exceptions like WBAI’s Law and Disorder and the website Mondoweiss, the media neglected to mention Technion’s extensive military and political connections to apartheid Israel. Shir Hever, an Israeli researcher, explains that Technion “has all but enlisted itself in the [Israeli] military.”

Technion is a sort of MIT and Harvard rolled into one. Founded in 1923, before the state of Israel, Technion’s first palm tree was even planted by none other than Albert Einstein. The Haifa-based university schools the military and academic elite of Israel.
According to Montreal-based social justice collective Tadamon, 80 percent of Israel’s NASDAQ companies and 74 percent of its electronic companies are run by Technion graduates. Active-duty Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, officers and reservists are granted a range of perks by the university — none of which are available to Palestinians, who do not serve in a military that largely exists to maintain and extend Israel’s 64-year occupation of Palestinian land.

Under the anodyne classification of “applied sciences,” Technion’s research accomplishments read like a what’s what of science fiction, full of unmanned drones, pilotless surveillance gizmos and driverless bulldozers.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Technion’s D9 unmanned armored tank performed so magnificently during Israel’s massacre of 1,400 Gazans in the 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead that the IDF doubled its order.

Journalist Max Blumenthal reported about the drone plane based on the dragonfly, with a 9-inch wingspan and 8-inch body.

According to a quote Blumenthal cited from the American Technion Society website, “The plane’s relatively low speed enables it to easily enter rooms through small windows and to send back photos from a miniature camera.”

Technion personnel have worked on means to track human eye movements — in collaboration with Elbit, a key developer of Israel’s apartheid wall, illegal under international law, that slices through the occupied West Bank.

Technion is also a global expert in developing mini-robots capable of traversing rubble and planting bombs, as well as building “surveillance snakes” — whose goal is to explore the tunnels that are crucial for transporting desperately needed banned goods into blockaded Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians barely scrape by.

In this era of neoliberalism, Technion’s invention of clever military gadgets that require minimal labor is a budget-cutter’s dream come true.

Not surprisingly, Palestinians aren’t the only victims of Technion’s “applied sciences.” North America’s own apartheid wall along the U.S.-Mexico border uses surveillance technology developed by Technion. And stealth drones that the United States has used to such deadly effect in Pakistan are also developed by Technion.

With U.S. unemployment still devastatingly high — even the right-wing New York Post admits real unemployment is 15.6 percent — it’s hardly surprising that news of this enormous construction and research project is widely viewed as a boon to New York’s economy.

But under the guise of research, this deal would cement a lucrative bond between the financial capital of the U.S. empire and Israel’s military-industrial complex.

Protest against this deal has already appeared from the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). Calling on Cornell to scrap its joint campus project with Technion, the USACBI argued:

They provide the knowledge that under- girds Israel’s ongoing colonial project. Technion, like all Israeli academic in- stitutions, is deeply complicit with Israel’smilitary, providing it with the technological infrastructure to maintain
and expand its ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land.

Is it any wonder that an institution best known for stealth technology is hiding its real actions, in cahoots with the billionaire mayor and other city officials, beneath a cloak of academic respectability?

What is true of Cornell’s collaboration with Technion is also the case for New York City. Since New Yorkers are being asked to pay $100 million toward this deal, we should at least be able to debate whether we want to bankroll apartheid’s wars and ghettos.

We have to question the reason for this research in the first place. Why must there be unmanned contraptions used to spy on and target a hungry, dispossessed population? Why are billions of dollars and great mental effort being directed toward developing machines that kill or maim — or help to do so — surreptitiously anywhere in the world?

True, many major research institutions have contracts with military and espionage outfits the world over. But the architects of this colossal deal, which would use significant public funds, have been mute about the nefarious activities of one of its partners.

Why? If they have nothing to hide, let them pitch the deal for what it is — a contract with apartheid’s enforcers.

Why, we have to ask, in a city known the world over for its multiculturalism and diversity, is a research institution that will serve ethnic cleansing even tolerated?

New York City is home to the world’s largest Jewish community living outside of Israel — around 2 million people. It is also home to one of the largest Arab communities in the United States — more than 370,000, according to U.S. Census figures.

It would be a sick tribute to the militarized profit system if America’s foremost urban symbol of ethnic diversity and cosmopolitanism, New York City, winds up home to an institution devoted to stealth.

Source

THE GROWING MYTH OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN ISRAEL

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‘Racist’ settlement enterprise premised on ‘ethnic cleansing’….
‘Israelis are the people who took away Arab land.’….
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Two bold statements by one bold member of the Israeli Knesset. The statements are taken from a Forward to a new book written by Ben White. The book is “Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy,” The Forward was written by  Hanin Zoabi, a name familiar to Israelis as the target of slander by the government. A name belonging to a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset who dares to speak out for the interests of the Palestinians that she represents.
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But, that is too much for the Israelis to swallow. They have hounded her since she dared sail on the Mavi Marmara in an attempt to break the illegal siege on the Gaza Strip. 
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And Ben White, who exactly is he? Ben is a freelance journalist, writer, and human rights activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.  Ben’s articles have appeared in a variety of publications, and his first book, ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’, was praised by Desmond Tutu, Ilan Pappe, and Ali Abunimah, among others. Key words in his description are, of course, ‘human rights activist’, needless to say, words that are synonymous with anti Semitism (sic).
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Jewish leaders have accused White of anti-Semitism in light of various articles he published over the years. In 2002, White wrote that he is not an anti-Semite but that he could understand why other people are. He also charged that Israel’s “ongoing crimes” against the Palestinians are one of the reasons for global anti-Semitism.
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The ‘Jewish leaders’ cited are undoubtedly spokesmen for the ADL and their likes. It looks like Israeli leaders are taking lead from these morons in helping to spread their vicious hatred and lies against the Palestinians. With the likes of a Gingrich apparently taking lead in the Republican Primaries, we can expect more of the same from their camp as well.
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The Ynet report that sparked this post can be read HERE.
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The book itself can be ordered HERE


REMEMBERING A MARTYRED CHILD

 
Palestinians attend the funeral of Abir Aramin after she was killed by Israeli soldiers in Anata refugee camp near Jerusalem, 19 January 2007. (MaanImages/Moamar Awad)
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In the life of a child it is a normal practice to celebrate their date of birth every year…
In the life of a Palesinian child this is not always the case, instead of a celebration we often wind up mourning that child on the anniversary of their murder by Israeli authorities.
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Such is the case of our beautiful Abir Aramin, slaughtered by Israeli Border Guards on her way to school one morning, five years ago this week. Below is a report written this past September with some background information…
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Lest We Forget
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Abir Aramin, age 10, killed and ‘bought’ by the State of Israel

BY SAMI KISHAWI* 

In early January 2007, ten-year-old Abir Aramin held her sister’s hand and began her routine walk to school before a rubber bullet penetrated the back of her skull. She died in a nearby hospital shortly thereafter. Three and a half years later, in mid-2010, the Israeli-run Jerusalem District Court ruled that the State of Israel was indeed responsible for her death. On September 25, 2011, almost five years after the murder of an innocent young Palestinian girl, the Jerusalem District Court determined that Israel must pay NIS 1.6 million, or $430,000 USD, as compensation to the Aramin family. The two Israeli Border Guard officers involved in the shooting were never tried in court, but so goes the justice system from the seat of a Palestinian.

This entire situation — the murder, the investigation, the trial, and the subsequent rulings — exemplifies the hypocrisy and the exceptionalism so heavily defended in the court of law. Immediately after Abir’s death, her family hired a physician to perform an autopsy. According to the report, Abir had indeed been killed by a rubber bullet that caused both immediate and severe brain damage. Meanwhile, Israel’s police force dismissed the conclusion and argued that Abir was hit by a stray rock by a Palestinian rioter. With the help of Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Aramin family published the autopsy report to dispel any doubt that she was killed by the bullet of an Israeli Border Guard officer.

The publication of this autopsy report made it virtually impossible for Israel to set aside and ignore the investigation into Abir’s death. Four officers were questioned although each claimed absolutely no shots were fired. The officers also defended the theory that Abir’s death was a result of a stone thrown by Palestinian rioters. According to the police’s self-investigation, the Border Guard officers on duty at the time were dispersing “severe riots“. Eyewitness accounts contradicted these alibis, all of which saying that the officers were in fact following Abir as she approached her school. B’Tselem conducted its own investigation of the scene of the murder and concluded that no riots took place on that day.

After much deliberation and even more waiting, the court confirmed in 2010 that Abir’s death was due to negligence in the form of a bullet fired in violation of orders. A compensation was yet to determined and the involved officers received nothing more than informal reprimands.

Thirteen months later, the court decided on an adequate compensation determined by “the customary sum of compensation awarded in similar cases”, according to Ynet. Two of the four investigated officers were fined NIS 10,000, or almost $2,688 USD — the price of a used 1995 Toyota Camry.

What is most disturbing about the court’s ruling is not the fact that Israel’s apology comes only in the form of a check but rather, the unenthusiastic, lackadaisical, and irresponsible way the Israeli justice system handled the case. The court’s decision took over four and a half years to make although the evidence and testimonies was collected and verified only days after Abir’s death. The Border Guard officers lied under oath, telling investigators that they never fired a single bullet even though the evidence collected in the back of Abir’s head said otherwise. They were never charged with perjury.

And as a matter of fact, they were never charged with anything really. A petition made its way to Israel’s High Court demanding two Border Guard officers be tried in court for their involvement in the shooting of the ten-year-old child. The petition was rejected in July.

There have been many Abir Aramins in the past, and this entire case is only proof that any future cases like this one will be dealt with in the most inexcusable and carefree way possible. Clearly, doing justice for murdered Palestinians, even young schoolchildren barely as tall as their school desks, is not as urgent as one would expect.

The life of a child cannot be bought. It cannot be brought back either, but the check meant to appease the Aramin family is nothing more than dirty money. It comes from an establishment that refuses to practice complete responsibility of its actions. A child was left for dead while the individuals responsible for putting her in that condition skated away with measly fines that had more to do with their poor cooperation in the investigation than with their actual actions. Had the scenario been reversed, had an Israeli child been killed under jurisdiction of a Palestinian court, Israel would not have rested until justice was served complete with fines, jail time, and an assortment of other maximum punishments.

Tragically, Abir Aramin was Palestinian, and so the rule of justice grounded on equality never included her.

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Written For

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*Sam Kishawi is a Palestinian-American student and citizen journalist at the University of Chicago. He is an active member of various local and national grassroots movements dedicated to preserving the rights of the Palestinian people. He is currently pursuing a career in the health sciences and hopes to one day find the intersect between medicine and politics in Gaza City, his family’s hometown. His writing and photography has been featured on Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, KABOBfest, Islamic Horizons, and a small collection of related outlets. This blog serves to promote the Palestinian identity and to trace his own political understanding and development. In 2011, American Friends Service Committee awarded him with the organization’s annual Inspiration for Hope Award.

ISRAEL: WELCOME TO THE 10%

 A new numbers game …. A new S H I T List ….
MEMBERSHIP OPEN.. JOIN US NOW ;)

10 percent of Israeli academics labeled ‘anti-Zionist’ by campus watchdogs

Survey comes up with the names of more than 1,000 Israelis, 800 of whom are academics but also including authors, journalists, public intellectuals, and past and present cabinet ministers.

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Three self-proclaimed watchdog organizations have labeled about 10 percent of Israeli academics as anti-Zionist, according to a recent study by a group of academics, artists and university students who aim to counter the categorizations. The organizations, which are open about their activities, are Im Tirtzu, IsraCampus and Israel Academia Monitor.

The group’s survey came up with the names of more than 1,000 Israelis, 800 of whom are academics but also including authors, journalists, public intellectuals, and past and present cabinet ministers, that appear on a list maintained by the trio of organizations.

Members of the group include political scientist Prof. Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Israeli Film Directors Guild chairman Rani Blair; and the chairman of the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum, Uri Rosenwaks. They recently created the Blacklist website (blacklist.co.il), which invites visitors to check whether they themselves appear on the lists.

“There is a real concern for the future of Israeli democracy and about McCarthyism against anyone who criticizes the government’s policies in the occupied territories or social aspects,” Gordon said. “Every week new names appear on these sites, and we wanted to examine the extent of the phenomenon. The people who will be hurt most are junior faculty members who are trying for university positions and are wary of being ‘marked out,’” Gordon said.

Israel Academia Monitor said in a statement: “We are not a right-wing organization, but rather an organization that is unaffiliated politically and that keeps its distance from politics. Our role is to protect the universities from political forces, and especially from the extreme left, that exploits the institutions for its needs and acts as if they were its private playing field.”

University of Haifa economist Prof. Steven Plaut, one of the founders of IsraCampus, said in a statement: “Our main function is to quote what these teachers say and write ideologically and politically in order to bring it to the attention of the public. The issue is not an ideological argument, but rather publicizing the anti-Israel group that openly supports the enemy,” Plaut said.

Im Tirtzu said: “We are not familiar with the study, but spin and manipulation cannot obscure the gravity of the deeds of the extreme left. Anyone who signs petitions in support of the refusal to perform military service, of Azmi Bishara and of the boycott against Israel, and who silences students, are marking themselves.”

STILL WAITING FOR THE FIRST FLOWERS OF THE ARAB SPRING

 New Yorkers stand in solidarity with those civilians arrested in Egypt.
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Braving sub freezing temperatures, Egyptians and their supporters demonstrated yesterday at the Egyptian Consulate in New York. The messages on the signs speak loud and clear …. no commentary is necessary.
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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Remembering the Martyrs
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And the Revolution Itself
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Here’s to A Brighter Future!
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THE PEOPLE SAY ‘CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE’!

Giving the term ‘People Person’ a whole new meaning …
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Why and Where the Demos …… Click HERE
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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At Foley Square, NY
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March Down Broadway
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Destination Liberty Park
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ISRAEL BREAKS ITS OWN PROPOSED LAW FORBIDDING THE COMPARISON TO NAZISM

A proposed Bill in the Israeli Knesset would outlaw the comparison of zionism to nazism, but the government continues to euphemise the term every day of its existence.
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“Jewish State” is euphemism for Jewish fascism
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine 

 

Benyamin Netanyahu, the notorious liar-prime minister of the apartheid Zionist regime, has been regurgitating his characteristic racist venom of late. He has been quoted as saying that the root-cause of the Palestinian question is “the persistent Palestinian refusal to accept a Jewish state.”

Speaking at a synagogue in the Netherlands during a recent visit during which he reportedly discussed “mounting international hostility to Israel,” Netanyahu argued that Israel was a “beleaguered democracy, confronting great threats and challenges.

“There are those who cast Israel as a pariah state every time we exercise the inherent right of self defense.”

Well, for those people who are closely aware of the basic realities of the Israeli-Palestinian situation, Netanyahu’s words are tantamount to fornicating with words and truth.

The fact that Netanyahu’s mendacious words find their way to publication in the media doesn’t alter this fact. A publicized  big lie is still a big lie, even if and when uttered and repeated by famous people.

The truth of the matter is that Israel is a huge crime against humanity, a thoroughly deformed entity that is based on genocidal ethnic cleansing, brash racism, sheer brutality, oppression and mendacity. It is a psychotic country that views every conceivable crime and violation of international laws and norms as “legitimate self-defense.”

Take for example the incessant demand that Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state. One would get a cacophony of answers as to the exact meaning of a “Jewish state” depending on whom you ask.

However, it is amply clear that the most credible and authentic  answer one would get is that a  Jewish state is one that rules according to  Halacha, or  Jewish religious laws as codified in the Talmud.

Hence, it would be a  mockery of language and  an insult to common sense to claim that Israel can be both a democratic and Jewish state.

The two are simply an eternal oxymoron since one constitutes  the anti-thesis of the other.

One of the most fundamental aspects of democracy is that all citizens, irrespective of their races, sexes, ad faiths, are treated equally under the law. However, according to halacha,  non-Jews living under Jewish religious law are viewed as water carriers and wood hewers. In other words, full-fledged slaves.

Often  ignorant and naïve westerners don’t always fully understand this matter and may be prompted to view Jewish racism even in an anecdotal manner. However, one should always be  unflinching  in viewing facts as facts, and Jewish racism, with all its ugly and virulent manifestations, is a  solid fact of life  that only people who lack intellectual honesty would deny or downplay.

Some Israeli apologists would strive to argue that Talmudic laws, which establish inherent and intrinsic superiority of Jews over non-Jews, can be moderated to give a semblance of justice to Gentile citizens of the state.

However, it is clear that such an argument is a tendentious evasive tactic at best and a deliberate and malicious lie at worst.

In  fact, Israel is already applying the spirit if not the letter of Talmudic laws in many spheres against non-Jews in both ” Israel” and the “occupied territories.”

Indeed, whether we are talking about budgets for local councils, water allocation, and basic treatment before courts, citizenship laws, or any other conceivable aspect of life, institutionalized discrimination and racism against non-Jews is the modus operandi of that treatment.

In short, non-Jews can’t find equality or justice in a Zionist let alone a Jewish state.

Today, Israel is drifting into a convulsive mood of religious fascism and right-wing secular jingoism. The alliance between these two conspicuous trends in Israel puts Israel in a situation resembling Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s whereby blatant and violent racism is the prevalent model.

When invoking the German-Nazi paradigm, we have to keep in mind that the holocaust didn’t start with Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Bergen Belsen but with something that was ostensibly much less nefarious, like for example the anti-Jewish Nuremberg laws, Mien Kampf and the virulent Nazi indoctrination, e.g. the Hitler Youth organization. Kristalnacht, which occurred in November, 1938, was a delayed effect of a cause that had evolved steadily and gradually throughout Nazi Germany.

We can easily draw many genuine similarities between Nazi Germany, especially in the 10-15 years leading up to the outbreak of the Second World War, and Israel today, especially under the current premiership of Netanyahu.

This week, the Israeli and foreign media reported that Israel has effectively expelled as many as 10,000 Palestinian children form East Jerusalem because one of their parents didn’t possess residency rights in the occupied Arab town.

No similar or even remotely similar action has been taken against Jews. This means that draconian and highly vindictive measures, such as violent ethnic cleansing, are reserved for non-Jews in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories just as was the case in German prior to the holocaust.

In addition to that, Israel is beginning to apply brashly discriminatory laws against whoever wishing to obtain the Israeli citizenship. According to one law, approved by the Knesset and government last year, anyone seeking the Israeli citizenship would have to recognize that Israel is a Jewish state and that non-Jews can’t hope for equal rights and treatment.

But the said law can actually lead to much harsher ramifications and repercussions not sufficiently expressed in its rather euphemistic wording.

The law can enable law-enforcing authorities to harass, evict and even deport a Gentile, e.g. Arab citizen.  Some Jewish religious authorities have already produced Talmudic interpretations that would allow a Jew to even murder a Gentile in order to extract his or her organ if the Jew needed one.

It is true such morbid and sickening ideas are not widespread among the religious elite in Israel. But it is also true that equally nefarious practices and beliefs are condoned and readily accepted by Talmudic sages who are wielding excessive political power in the Jewish state, including the army.

Take for example, Ovadia Yosef, the charismatic spiritual leader of the Haredi party, Shas.

Last year, this man was quoted as saying during a Sabbath homily in West Jerusalem that non-Jews, whether Muslim or Christian or even Hindu were actually beasts of burden, such as donkeys, whom the Almighty created solely to serve Jews, the master race, the chosen people. His comments raised no eyebrows among the religious or political establishments in Israel. Those few people who criticized him did so on the ground that his offensive statements constituted a public relations disaster. But virtually none, rabbis or otherwise, disputed the halachic validity of Yosef’s utterances.

Yosef is not a marginal figure in Israel. He commands the allegiance of hundreds of thousands of ultra-fundamentalist Jews. He is also the undisputed guru of the Shas party, an ultimate kingmaker in the Israeli government and Knesset. The current Israeli minister of interior Eli Yeshai is answerable to Yosef.

I know that the Jewish clout in America and Europe makes it hard for a popular uprising against the Nazis of our time. However, the world, including the United States, Israel’s guardian-ally, would suffer disastrously if it didn’t move, sooner than later, to stem the tide of Jewish Nazism.


ISRAEL IS STEALING A NATION’S IDENTITY TO CREATE THEIR OWN

A professionally made YouTube video released by the “Matteh Binyamin Regional Council” – an entity that represents dozens of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank – aims to convince Israelis that Jewish settlers, not Palestinians, are the true caretakers of the region’s olive trees and the historic heirs of its olive culture.
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Hummus and falafel are already “Israeli.” Now they’re coming for Palestine’s olive oil too

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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Zionism’s cultural appropriation of indigenous Palestinian folklore and cuisine – such as hummus, falafel and maftoul – as “Israeli” has long irked Palestinians, especially when these same cultural products are used in international propaganda and marketing efforts which deny Palestinians’ rights and history.

Now, Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are attempting to steal perhaps the most important symbol and source of economic sustenance for rural Palestinians: olive oil and olive culture.

A professionally made YouTube video released by the “Matteh Binyamin Regional Council” – an entity that represents dozens of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank – aims to convince Israelis that Jewish settlers, not Palestinians, are the true caretakers of the region’s olive trees and the historic heirs of its olive culture.

The video is an example of the of the increasingly slick and sophisticated propaganda efforts being aimed at the Israeli population as well as the outside world.

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Synoposis of the settler video

The title of the video is “The miracle of the oil canister and the plate of hummus,” an allusion to the Hannukah myth known as the “Miracle of the Oil.”

The action is a comedy sketch set in what appears to be a restaurant in a Palestinian town within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.

An Israeli is seated at a table eating hummus and olive oil. He is a caricature of a naive liberal and secular Israeli.

He finds the olive oil delicious and asks one of the two Arab waiters (the Arabs are also depicted in a stereotypical fashion as among other things deceptive) how the oil is made.

The Arab waiter tells how oil has been made for “thousands of years.” While he is speaking, the video cuts not to scenes of Palestinians harvesting olives and making oil, but rather to religious settlers wearing skullcaps doing it using modern technology.

The gag is that at the end: the Israeli diner finishes his meal thinking he ate delicious oil made by Palestinians. But then the two waiters go to the kitchen and have a joke about the fact that the oil is made by settlers and they serve it in their restaurant. They reveal the Hebrew label on the bottle which says “Binyamin Oil, Olive Oil, Fine cold-press.”

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A reminder: Israel’s destruction of olive trees and olive culture

Israeli settlers and the Israeli state routinely destroy Palestinian olive trees, and the settlers regularly attack Palestinians attempting to care for their trees or harvest them as The Electronic Intifada has reported. B’Tselem has also documented and filmed the settlers’ regular attacks on Palestinian olive farmers.

But there’s nothing new in this. After Zionists expelled much of the Palestinian population from the country in 1948, they had to decide what to do with olive groves all over the country. As Meron Benvenisti recounts in his book Sacred Landscape (2000):

At first officials responsible for Jewish settlement thought that the production of olive oil might constitute a profitable venture, but it very quickly became clear that the Jewish agricultural sector was not set up to sustain this labor-intensive branch.Only a fraction of the olive groves were cared for and cultivated, whereas the vast majority were neglected. Tens of thousands of dunams of olive trees were uprooted to make room for field crops. (165)

It is in this historic and present-day context that the settlers are now claiming to care for the olive trees.

Settlers cloak themselves in stolen Palestinian culture

At the end of the video, the following messages appear:

To the mountains of Binyamin and Shomron, Hebrew farmers returned, to grow olive trees lovingly as per the traditions of their forefathers, which is thousands of years old.

The olive groves cover 3,000 dunams and the olive presses produce 500 tons of fine olive oil per year.

Who made the video?

As mentioned, the video is “Presented by the Matteh Regional Council,” but toward the end, a logo appears for an online public relations firm called Rogatka. The company’s website states:

Our clients include the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Likud, ‘Latma’ – media watchdog and satire, and others.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is a think tank for Israel’s military establishment and it was there that NGO Monitor, an extreme group that launches defamatory attacks on Israelis, Palestinians, Jews and others who criticize Israel, was founded.

Latma TV is a “satirical” web-based show, run by The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick. But rather than producing satire, it disseminates Islamophobic and racist incitement,including a recent video that spread the lie of a Muslim “rape epidemic” in Norway.

And of course the Likud is the political party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rogatka, it would seem, is one of the key shops pumping out propaganda for Israel (Phan Nguyen has more about Rogatka and who is behind it, on Mondoweiss).

And here’s another interesting connection. One of Rogatka’s clients is the Adelson Center for Strategic Studies in Jerusalem, which was established with a $4.5 million gift from billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson was recently in the news for giving a campaign group linked to US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich a $5 million gift, soon after Gingrich claimed the Palestinians are an “invented people.”

The goal of this particular video – aimed as it is at Israelis – is first to convince the local population that all of the olive trees, like the land, belonged always and only to Jews, perhaps before taking the same campaign internationally. In effect, it is part of a campaign to ‘un-invent’ the Palestinians, to destroy their culture and claim what’s left as “Jewish.”

With thanks to Dena Shunra for providing translation and contributing analysis.

Videos documenting settler attacks on farmers and destruction of olive trees

A couple of reports remind us how settlers really feel about olive trees.

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Written FOR

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