BLACK, PROUD AND RACIALLY OPPRESSED IN ISRAEL

Some 120,000 Jews of Ethiopian origin reside in the country, many of them having arrived in three airlift operations in the 1980s and early 1990s. Many continue to face socioeconomic difficulties, racism and other barriers to social integration – including segregation in schools, and challenges stemming from the Rabbinate’s refusal to recognize the community’s religious leaders.
*

Thousands of Ethiopian Israelis protest racism in Jerusalem march

By Max Schindler*

Thousands of Ethiopian Israelis and their supporters marched through central Jerusalem on Wednesday to call attention to a recent groundswell of racism and discrimination.

Thousands of Israeli Ethiopians and supporters demonstrate Wednesday in Jerusalem (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Holding picket signs and shouting “a new generation demands change,” the demonstrators joined a wave of protests triggered by a Channel 2 report last week that a group of homeowners in Kiryat Malachi—a Southern town with a large Ethiopian population— signed a pledge to neither rent nor sell to Israelis of Ethiopian origin.

The news sparked outrage in the Ethiopian community and demands by activists for a response from the government.

Mulet Araru, a 26-year-old university student, led the protest after walking for three days from Kiryat Malakhi, some 60 kilometers from Jerusalem. In a hoarse voice, Araru addressed the crowd, declaring, “I have no other land,” infusing his speech with traditional Zionist rhetoric and slogans.

The protestors marched from the Knesset to Independence Park, with a quick stop in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in the neighborhood of Rechavia. At the Knesset, opposition MKs Tzipi Livni (Kadima) and Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) addressed the crowd.

The atmosphere seemed tense at times, with activists sprinting towards Netanyahu’s home. Most demonstrators were students of Ethiopian origin, many of high school age.

Thousands of Israeli Ethiopians and supporters demonstrate Wednesday in Jerusalem (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills)

With differing and sometimes competing protest signs, the crowd spanned the ideological spectrum. Some demonstrators hoisted Israeli flags while others clutched photos of Nelson Mandela and sharply criticized Israel’s treatment of their community.

One Israeli-Ethiopian man held a sign asking “Is there a future for me in this state?” Others carried posters appropriating phrases and symbols from the American civil rights movement and black American figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

Thousands of Israeli Ethiopians and supporters demonstrate Wednesday in Jerusalem (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Some 120,000 Jews of Ethiopian origin reside in the country, many of them having arrived in three airlift operations in the 1980s and early 1990s. Many continue to face socioeconomic difficulties, racism and other barriers to social integration – including segregation in schools, and challenges stemming from theRabbinate’s refusal to recognize the community’s religious leaders.

*Max Schindler is a student at Cornell University who is spending the year volunteering on a kibbutz and writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

Source

WHEN COMMENTS SPEAK LOUDER THAN POSTS

EYEWITNESS TO RACISM
*
*
Sometimes a post can literally ‘hit home’ and invite comments that seem louder than the post itself. Case in point is one from yesterday about the Rabbinical Defense of RacismChief rabbi of Safed sees nothing wrong with overt racism
*
Today a comment from someone calling themself ‘Gloriousforest’  appeared on that post… it says it all;
*
Thank you for this. I remembered reading about the “dont-rent-to-Arabs” incident when I was in Canada, before coming to Israel, and the name Safed didn’t stick. I visited Safed for two days during my Christmas holiday when my parents came to visit and I’m happy to have read this reminder as we were presented with such a positive view of Safed – both by the guidebook (Lonely Planet) and the people in the area.

They repeatedly told us how wonderful the Orthodox community is in Safed, how it is nothing like that in Jerusalem or Beit Shemesh, how it’s an open, peaceful, loving society. I found it a little odd that the Arab history seemed to have been erased (and the Arab quarter renamed the Artists’ Colony) but I didn’t say anything. This reminder really sheds new light on the situation and I will think twice before returning to Safed and spending my money there.

We can see from this comment that racism not only destroys lives, it rewrites history. It tries to justify its satanic evils by creating a history that never was and certanly one that will not last.

Go a step further, think twice not only before coming to Safed, but think twice before coming to Israel period!

A political boycott can be just as effective as a cultural one!

BOYCOTT RACISM!!

 

THE OCCUPATION FOR JOBS CONTINUES

Yesterday at Union Square, NYC…
*
*
Photos © by Bud Korotzer
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
The 1% Responds as best they know how….
*

OCCUPYING THE DREAM

*
Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos © by Bud Korotzer
*
For the 1st time, on the evening of January 15th, Martin Luther King’s birthday, at 7 PM candles were lit in countries throughout the world in an act of solidarity with King’s values and with the people who share them.  In NYC it was a bitterly cold night with sub-freezing temperatures, yet about 500 people gathered on the steps of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, mostly Wall St. Occupiers and their allies, many of whom had walked there from Liberty Square in lower Manhattan, about a 9 mile walk.  At 7 PM candles were lit and everyone began a 10 block walk along Broadway, past Columbia University to Riverside Church.  The streets were empty because of the cold but the participants walked slowly singing along the way and holding their candles.
*
*
*
*
*

Once the walkers arrived at the church they were welcomed in by ushers and helped to seats in the beautiful vaulted main assembly hall.  The huge room was warmly lit and filled with people.  Many were Occupiers.  The program made King and the Occupiers their focal point acknowledging that he would have fully supported their goals: ending war and creating social and economic justice.  They are the embodiment of his ideas today.  

There was music and very many speeches, mercifully short.  Unfortunately most of the speeches were lacking in passion.  I don’t remember hearing anyone mention the wars and thought about how it would have been better to play a recording of the speech MLK made there exactly a year before he died when he condemned the role of the U.S. in the Viet Nam War and urged the U.S. government to end the war.  About 3 quarters of the way through the program an Occupier stood up and said “Mic-check”.  Since loudspeakers are not allowed at the camp site the people there developed a method of communication that would allow everyone to hear what a speaker is saying.  The person wishing to communicate with the crowd shouts “mic-check”, people repeat the phrase and then the person wishing to convey their thoughts to the crowd speaks in short sentences which are then repeated by the entire crowd so that everyone can hear what is being said.  It is slow but effective.  The Occupier in the church then began speaking about what he learned from King and the crowd repeated word for word.  Another then stood and expressed his love for King and told about how he learned non-violence from him.  Then another spoke of learning to use passive resistance to change society.  And another discussed what he meant to her and how she learned to be a decent human being with good values from him.  All this was communicated using the mic-check technique.  In effect the Occupiers hijacked the program and brought their passions to the meeting.  They brought their OCCUPY banner to the front of the room and placed it on the dais.  To their credit, the program organizers did not interrupt them, and instead said, “Mic-check.  We love you all.”  The event ended with the church choir singing some very lively gospel music and young people dancing in the aisles.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

The thousands in the church learned about King and about who the Occupiers are and what they want. There would have little doubt that King, if he had not been murdered, would be 83 years old today and be pleased to see his values carried on with strength, intelligence, courage and great enthusiasm.

*
TOWARDS THE END OF THE EVENT OWS  SPONTANEOUSLY TOOK  OVER  AND GAVE THE EVENT SOME JAZZ
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

 

 

RABBINICAL DEFENSE OF RACISM

Chief rabbi of Safed sees nothing wrong with overt racism

BY 

SOPHIE CROWE
*
*
 

Shmuel Eliyahu comes from a long and prestigious rabbinical line; his father, Mordechai, was chief rabbi of Israel, and he is now chief rabbi of Safed, or Tsfat in Hebrew, a largely Jewish town in the northern Galilee region of Israel.

Eliyahu, who identifies as ultra Orthodox and religious Zionist, has earned notoriety over the years for his very public and very offensive statements about non-Jews – read Palestinians– in Safed.

Safed, noted as the center of Kabbalah, a branch of Jewish mysticism, is one of Judaism’s four holy cities and has seen an influx of ultra Orthodox Jews in recent years.

Palestinians have also been migrating to the town as students in Safed College, which now has a roughly equal balance of Jews and Palestinians.

The most recent controversy is Eliyahu’s call on Safed’s Jews, last October, not to rent rooms or apartments to Palestinians.

He signed a petition, known as the “rabbis’ letter,” bidding landlords to turn away Palestinian tenants, signed by 18 other rabbis, many from Safed. 50 other rabbis lent their verbal support for the letter.

After much stalling, Israel’s Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, said in November he will open a criminal investigation against Eliyahu to ascertain whether he is guilty of racist incitement. The investigation will not broach the controversial letter, focusing on personal remarks made by Eliyahu.

Some of the statements for which Eliyahu faces investigation include: “Arab culture is very cruel,” “a Jew should not run from an Arab – a Jew should make an Arab run,” and “chasing Arabs out of Jewish neighbourhoods is an important strategy.”

The rabbis’ letter of October was buttressed by PR tactics. Posters went up with the refrain, “Don’t rent to Arabs. Don’t give work to Arabs. Don’t give Arabs any foothold in our community.”

This campaign saw some results, such as rioting by Jewish youth outside a house in which Palestinian students were living.

One elderly Jewish resident of Safed who rents to three Palestinian students said he received threatening calls from people who claimed they would burn down his house should he refuse to follow orders.

This kind of activism is not new to Safed. The Palestinian population endures harassment of varying degrees at regular intervals.

On Wednesday evening Jewish extremists attacked four Palestinian students at a bus stop in Safed, pelting them with stones. The four are now in hospital with light wounds. In March, two cars belonging to Palestinian students were set alight.

Posters mysteriously appeared in the town in 2005 sounding the alarm that Jewish girls had been snatched and were being kept in a nearby Palestinian village.

At the time Eliyahu had confirmed to media that “this is another type of warfare the Palestinians are using against us,” though he later denied responsibility for the signs.

As rabbis are state employees in Israel, observers objecting to Eliyahu’s apparent carte blanche to indulge in hate speech have repeatedly lobbied the government to hold him accountable. The state’s response has been studied silence.

Political leaders have indeed noticed Eliyahu, though not in the way imagined by those pointing to the splenetic judgments that recurrently pour from his direction.

Last April, Eliyahu was given an award at a conference titled, “Land of the Nation, or Land of all the Nation’s Citizens,” held in Ramla.

At this gathering, Eliyahu confirmed that “everyone realizes the enormity of the danger” of renting to Palestinians – they “eat one neighbourhood then another.”

The Minster for Science and Technology, Daniel Hershowitz, presented him the award for his “actions, effort and devotion to the Jewish nature of the land of Israel.”

This gracious appreciation for the man’s work can help to explain why the state apparatus prefers to stay quiet when rights groups demand Eliyahu be held responsible for racial incitement.

It can also account for why this government has proven incapable of addressing the growing racism in Israeli society – because they also espouse views many deem to be racist.

The same month, April, Eliyahu published a letter commenting on the progress of Judaization in Safed.

“It is necessary to see this struggle as action completing the Law of Return and the declaration of a Jewish state, as a continuation of the redemption of lands by the founders of the state and as action completing the government’s decision on Judaizing the Galilee,” his letter read.

This puts him with the mainstream of Israel’s leaders, for whom minimizing the presence of Palestinians in the Galilee is top of the agenda. Eliyahu is merely louder than his patrons in the government when he characterizes Palestinians as a threat to Jewish Israelis.

Many critics of Israeli society believe, with increasing and gloomier certainty, that racism has been normalized and legitimized throughout the country.

In Safed, these attitudes are particularly vocal and have a clear target in the Palestinian minority, moving one Haaretz writer last year to call Safed “the most racist city in Israel.”

For his part, Chief Rabbi Eliyahu is unrepentant. The idea of him facing charges, he told the Israeli media source Arutz Sheva, was “very funny.”

Source

REWRITING THE BIBLE IN ISRAEL

It is written…..
*
When you shall besiege a city a long time, and wage war to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against fruit trees… Only the trees which you know are not trees for food, you may destroy and cut them down to build siege machinery against the city waging war with you. (Deut. 20:19-20)
*
The Tree of Life vs The ‘Angels of Death’
*
*
BUT
*
The ‘Chosen Few’ apparently rewrote one of the Five Books of Moses
*
Settlers Cut More Than 100 Olive Trees Near Salfit
SAED BANNOURA
*
A number of fundamentalist Israeli settlers cut on Friday more than 100 Palestinian Olive trees, including some ancient Roman trees that belong to residents of Yasouf and Jam’een towns, near the central Went Bank district of Salfit.

Local sources reported that the settlers came from the Tapoah illegal settlement, and started cutting the trees that are located in Al-Mafqa’a area, near Yasouf.

The sources specifically blamed one settler who owns more than 100 sheep, as he repeatedly harassed the residents and is believed to be behind incitement that led to the attack.

The settlers are attacking Palestinian orchards and lands in that area in an attempt to force the Palestinians out, so that they can expand the settlement.

Earlier on Friday, settlers attacked and punched two Palestinian youth in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Soldiers, stationed at the area, kidnapped the two Palestinians; the settlers were not even detained.

Written FOR
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Trees are such a precious part of Judaism that there is even a day dedicated to them,
Tu b”Shvat. This year it will fall at sunset on the 7th of February.
*
The settlers are not only damaging the trees as seen above, they are destroying the world as can be seen in the following video…
*

SPEAKING OF INVENTED NATIONS….

Here’s one the Newt overlooked … created and paid for with YOUR tax dollar$
*
*
‘Israelis’ in Jerusalem answer the question “Where ya from?”
*

20 POINTS THAT PROVE PALESTINE IS VERY REAL

This despite the venomous attacks by newts and other such creatures …
There are many books and references available to document each point.
*
*
20 punti/points
Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
*
1- Palestine is the Western part of the Fertile Crescent: an area that includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In this Fertile Crescent the first human agriculture developed.  Here the first domestication of animals (e.g. goats, donkeys, camels) and plants (e.g. wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, olives) happened. 

*

2- This is also where civilization began including development of the first alphabet (by Phoenician Canaanites) and the first laws.  It was where we first developed sciences like astronomy, engineering, and mathematics

*

3- The original inhabitants of the Western part of the Fertile Crescent were called Canaanites and the original language was called Aramaic which Jesus spoke (he was born in the country called then Palestine and thus he was Palestinian)

*

4- The old Aramaic language gave rise to derived languages including Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew and this language group is called Semetic languages

*

5- Arabic alphabet evolved in Southern Canaan (today’s Jordan and Palestine) while the Latin alphabet evolved in Northern Canaan (Phoenicia, present day Lebanon and Syria). The Alphabet used in Europe today came from our part of the world.

*

6- The people of Southern Canaan including Palestine endured many invasions of armies with nearly 15 times that local people were ruled by kings or emperors (Persian, Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid, Israelite etc). 

*

7- Local religious ideas evolved over the ages from Cananitic Pagan ideas to monotheistic ideas to Christianity (first century), Rabbinical Judaism (3rd century), Islam (7th Century).,

*

8- Palestine was always multi-cultural, multi-religious society despite attempts to homogenize it in certain periods (e.g. the Crusaders killed and exiled Jews, Muslims, and Christians of other sects).

*

9- Jews of today, like Christians and Muslims of today come from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  They are thus genetically (biologically) heterogeneous.

*

10- Before the wave of European Jewish immigration, Palestinians were of various religions: about 85% Muslim, 10% Christian, 5% Jewish and others. For hundreds of years Palestinians of various religions lived in relative harmony.

*

11- Zionism is a political idea that spread among a minority of European Jews who adapted to the European notions of ethnocentric nationalism and thus claims Jews of today should gather in Palestine and create a Jewish state because of discrimination in Europe.  Socialist Jews and other Jews believed in fighting for equal rights.  Zionists thought that anti-Jewish feelings in Europe serves their interests and thus even collaborated with racists.  There was a transfer agreement between the third Reich and the Zionist movement. Zionists also lobbied Western governments not to take in European Jewish refugees so that they all go to Palestine.

*

12- Zionism started in the mid 19th century with formation of the “Jewish Colonization Association” and became an international movement in 1897 at the first World Zionist Congress.  To achieve its goals, its leaders advocated transferring the native non-Jewish Palestinians.

*

13- The United States and other Western countries under influence of a Zionist lobby pushed for the creation of a “Jewish state” of Israel in Palestine despite the wishes of the native people. 

*

14- Between 1947-1949, 530 Palestinian villages and towns were completely destroyed and their people made refugees.  This process of forcing Palestinians out of their land continued in other forms since the founding of Israel in May 1948.  Today 70% of the 11 million Palestinians in the world are refugees or displaced people.

*

15- Current day Israel has a set of discriminatory laws that fit the descriptions given in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Every month, the Israeli Knesset takes on more such racist laws.

*

16- In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank (including the old city of Jerusalem) and Gaza strip.  Together these two areas are 22% of historic Palestine.  Israel began immediately to build Jewish colonial settlements in these Palestinian lands. Contrary to International law, there are now over 200 settlements on our lands housing over 0.5 million Jewish colonial settlers.

*

17- Israel has built walls around the remaining Palestinian enclaves (ghettos, people warehouses, cantons, reservations) and isolated them from each other and from the rest of Palestine.  These walls separate Palestinians from their lands, from other Palestinians, from schools, from hospitals etc.  As an example, the Bethlehem district houses 180,000 natives, some 50,000 of us living there are refugees from 1948 period.  All of us are restricted now to develop and live on only 13% of the original Bethlehem district size. 87% of the district is now under control of Israeli settlements, military bases, closed military zones etc.  The Bethlehem people are isolated behind a wall and even Jerusalem (6 km away) is off-limits to us.

*

18- Colonialism involves violence.  Over 80 massacres were committed against native Palestinians.  Over 60,000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers. This is ten times more than the number of Israeli civilians (most colonial settlers) killed by Palestinians.  Palestinians resisted colonialism over the past 130 years mostly by using non-violent popular resistance something not widely discussed in the Western countries because of attempts to vilify the victims. 

*

19- Palestinians and other Arab countries in conflict with Zionism have been “unreasonably reasonable” as one diplomat described it.  We accept all elements of International law` and all UN (United Nations) resolutions on the issue.  Israel by contrast, violated over 60 UN Security Council resolutions and over 200 UN General Assembly Resolutions.  Without the USA using its veto power to shield Israel from International law at the UN SC, the number would have been doubled.

*

20- We Palestinians demand and are struggling for our right to return and to self-determination.  We call for a democratic pluralistic state for people of all religions in our historic homeland of Palestine.  We call for equality and justice.  People in Europe and around the world can support us by using education, by coming to visit us, and by Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS).  This is a collective human struggle similar to what happened in challenging apartheid in South Africa. 

*

There are many books and references available to document each point.

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

*
If Martin Luther King was with us today he would be one of the leaders of Occupy Wall Street. He would have been 83 years old today but that would not have stopped him from being with the 99%.
*
Even the Daily Forward commented in an Editorial this weekend that Only now, after wandering for 40 years, are we beginning to see what King tried to show us about feeding the hungry and paying an honest wage. Perhaps now, on his 83rd birthday,  we can honor his life by resuming the journey. They overlook the fact that many Americans never left that journey and have been a part of it without losing sight of the goals.
*
One such American is Harry Bellafonte, a man who at 84 continues the journey. Last night in New York he was the guest for a Question and Answer period after the showing of the film ‘Sing Your Song’. A film dedicated to his life of struggle and the struggle itself. Photos are presented at the end of this post.
*
There are hundreds of others who never left the struggle, in fact one comment that I received from one such activist that I sent the Forward Editorial to was; We weren’t left “lost and wandering” – we were destroyed by the murder of King, Bobby Kennedy, and the attack and murder of so many Panthers (which continues today – many are still in prison).  The movement got ripped to shreds by the violence of the ruling class who stopped at nothing, including Cointelpro.  It wasn’t as benign or willy-nilly as that editorial makes it sound.  And they only marked King for death when he came out against the Viet Nam War.  What the editorial says about King is nice but their portrayal of the situation at that time is lacking. Obviously it was the Forward themselves that was lost during this period along with the rest of the commercial media.
*
I raise my glass in a virtual toast to all that continue that journey and to the leaders such as Martin Luther King who led it for us. As we celebrate his birthday this weekend, let us remember him with the love he had for all of us, as so clearly stated in his dream…
*
*
Photos © by Bud Korotzer
*
*
*
*
*

WHEN THE OCCUPATION BECOMES A FAMILY MATTER

*
Being in Israel without a permit became a criminal offense, even for someone who had lived there with his family for a number of years. After the start of the second intifada in 2000, it became harder to get a permit even to visit relatives in Israel. Palestinians say that because of these difficulties many families prefer that their children not marry Israeli citizens.
*

A glimpse into the life of an Israeli-Palestinian couple

What if Israel goes back to barring Israelis from Palestinian Authority territory? What if the trend of anti-Arab legislation continues and the state decides to strip their children, or them, of their citizenship?

By Amira Hass

The occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 united, for the first time since 1948, the Palestinian community that remained within Israel. Families that were divided with the founding of the state came together, friends saw each other after 19 years, refugees in the West Bank and Gaza hastened to revisit their birthplaces (now destroyed, or resettled by Jews ). Palestinians from both sides of the Green Line met at work, school and places of entertainment. This reunification naturally resulted in a number of marriages.

In the early 1990s Palestinians began noticing a drop in the number of requests for citizenship or residency in Israel on the basis of family reunification that received approval.

Before this period the issue of where a couple would live was less important: Israel granted residents of the occupied territories freedom of movement, relatively speaking, and even those whose applications for family reunification in Israel were turned down were not completely cut off from each other.

This changed radically in January 1991, when Israel imposed sweeping restrictions on freedom of movement on the Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A system of permits and separation was implemented – between the West Bank and the Strip on one side and between Israel and each of these territories on the other (but affecting only Palestinians, not Jews).

Being in Israel without a permit became a criminal offense, even for someone who had lived there with his family for a number of years. After the start of the second intifada in 2000, it became harder to get a permit even to visit relatives in Israel. Palestinians say that because of these difficulties many families prefer that their children not marry Israeli citizens.

The economic hardship in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, coupled with the restrictions on movement, splits families: The Israeli spouse lives and works in Israel, with or without the children. There are families in which some of the children have Israeli citizenship and others do not.

There are many such families living in the West Bank and the Strip; some by choice, to get away from the hostile, patronizing atmosphere in Israel, others because they have no choice. In today’s hermetically sealed Gaza Strip, the Israeli-born wives of Gaza men must negotiate bureaucratic hurdles, aided by human rights organizations such as Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual, for permission to travel between their nuclear families in the Strip and their families of origin inside Israel.

The oversight is less strict in the West Bank, and less strict than it was in the first years of the second intifada.

Israelis who live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip lose their state social benefits – but not the Israeli Jews who live in the settlements.

“Mixed” Palestinian couples live under a constant cloud of uncertainty and fear of the future. What if Israel goes back to barring Israelis from Palestinian Authority territory? What if the trend of anti-Arab legislation continues and Israel one day decides to strip their children, or them, of their Israeli citizenship?

WHAT MAKES A HERO? …. AND HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE ONE

*
I received an email from Yoav Shamir. He is an Israeli director/producer/cinematographer.
In part, here is what he had to say;
I hope you are well. I am writing to you because I know you appreciated my previous films such as “Checkpoint” and “Defamation”, and I need your help with my new film “10% – What makes a hero”.*

Before I proceed with what kind of help am I asking for and why -let me tell you a little bit about the film.

“10%” is my new feature length documentary- it deals with a very simple question: “What make some people do good, while most people look away? What makes some people do good even when there is a potential personal toll? Some people will refer to them as Altruistic, some will call them heroic.

Examples from recent history would be the Non Jews who saved Jews during the holocaust, even though there was a serious risk potential doing so, the white South Africans who fought Apartheid while most whites enjoyed the benefits of this racial system, those few who straggled alongside the ANC paid many times a serious personal toll.

Are there some common patterns to all the individuals mentioned above? Common traits? A Psychological blue print?

The film follows a Stanford University research that attempts to tackle this question, as it highlights Palestinian and Israeli peace activists. The head researcher is the famous Prop. Philip Zimbardo (who back in the 70’s conducted the famous “Stanford Prison Experiment”), alongside with an Israeli and a Palestinian team.*

Best to see what Yoav has to say about the film….*

*

To read more about Yoav Shamir and to find out how to help produce the 10%, go to THIS Website. Keep in mind that no money is coming from the big shots in Hollywood…. this is truly a people’s project for the people.

PALESTINIAN ‘SNEAK ATTACK’ IN JERUSALEM

Graffiti by night…..
*
As the photos show, the art includes the map of Palestine with the Arabic prounoun أنا (“I” or “me”) and an image of a woman wearing a kaffiyeh with the word “revolt.” This image is a reminder of the central role women have played in Palestinian popular struggle. The artists plan to undertake similar actions in coming days and weeks.
*

Photos: Palestinian graffiti artists penetrate heavily fortified heart of West Jerusalem

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 
*

Palestinian artists penetrated the heavily fortified heart of West Jerusalem overnight and painted graffiti bearing political messages on walls, doors, construction sites and other surfaces.

The artists struck in two areas, the West Jerusalem city center (near Jaffa Road and King George Street) and the German Colony/Talbiyye area.

The city center is today full of bars and restaurants frequented by Israeli Jews and tourists. Talbiyye was a once prosperous Arab neighborhood. These areas and large swathes of West Jerusalem were ethnically cleansed of their Palestinian populations in 1948 and are now almost exclusively Jewish.

As the photos show, the art includes the map of Palestine with the Arabic prounoun أنا (“I” or “me”) and an image of a woman wearing a kaffiyeh with the word “revolt.” This image is a reminder of the central role women have played in Palestinian popular struggle. The artists plan to undertake similar actions in coming days and weeks.

*

*
**
*
*

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHO LOVES ISRAEL MORE THAN ALL

Image by Bendib
*

The phony war over which US party loves Israel most

Josh Ruebner* 

*

“No Aid to Israel?” wonders a recent Facebook ad sponsored by US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. “Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich say they would start foreign aid to Israel at zero. Reject their extreme plan now!” the ad implores, directing people to sign a petition to that effect on my.barackobama.com (“Stand against “zeroing out aid to Israel””).

After signing the petition, the caption underneath a beaming photo of the president declares that “Any plan to cut foreign aid to zero across the board is dangerous and ignorant. It’s up to us to get the word out about it. Donate now to help us spread the facts about the Romney-Perry-Gingrich plan to wipe out foreign aid to allies like Israel.”

As Salon writer Justin Elliott correctly notes, “the Obama ads are incredibly dishonest. First of all, the Republican candidates were talking about setting foreign aid at zero each year as a starting point in discussions about how much to give, not setting it at zero as a matter of policy” (“Obama’s dishonest Israel adsSalon, 12 December 2011).

However, the Obama campaign is far from unique in employing a breathtakingly simplistic strategy of artifice and vituperation (both against opposing candidates and against Palestinians) to bolster their pro-Israel street cred in a transparent ploy to attract campaign donations and votes. US support for Israel, once a carefully nurtured bipartisan consensus, is fast degenerating in the context of the 2012 presidential election into a mud-slinging partisan contest as to which party, in the words of Mitt Romney, who leveled the accusation against Obama, is more guilty of having “thrown Israel under the bus” (“Mitt Romney accuses Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus”,” CBS News, 19 May 2011).

Last month’s presidential forum organized by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) managed to ratchet up the rhetoric another notch. Invoking the ghost of Neville Chamberlain, Michele Bachmann accused Obama of having “confused engagement with appeasement.” Romney blamed Obama for “immeasurably set[ting] back the prospect of peace in the Middle East.” Rick Perry asserted the administration has unleashed a “torrent of hostility towards Israel.”

Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich took to the airwaves the next day to dub Palestinians an “invented people.” Unnoticed until recently, Rick Santorum topped all other comers when he stated in November that “all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians” (“Pro-settler Santorum claims Mexico and the West Bank,” Salon, 6 January 2012).

This rhetoric occasioned Arab American Institute founder James Zogby to lament that “all of this goes beyond the normal platitudes offered up in an election year. It was dangerous, shameful and crass pandering, making it clear how far today’s GOP has moved from the reality-based foreign policy of the Bush-Baker era” (“GOP candidates discuss Israel-Palestine,” 12 December 2011).

Obama’s clear legacy of support for Israeli policy

Notwithstanding this political hot air, no political elite, whether in the Democratic or Republican Party, can legitimately be accused of “throwing Israel under the bus,” least of all Obama. On behalf of protecting Israeli occupation and apartheid, the president has employed the only US veto at the UN during his term to derail a mild condemnation of Israel’s illegal settlements and backtracked on his hope to see Palestine admitted as a member of the UN this year, while deploying the full arsenal of US diplomacy to block the initiative behind the scenes.

Also lost in the heat of this faux electoral debate is the fact that the Bush and Obama administrations, with a bipartisan rubber stamp in Congress, have tag-teamed to ramp up to unprecedented levels both military aid to Israel and the joint research, development and field testing of anti-missile projects financed separately by the Pentagon. According to the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries in 2007, the US is scheduled to provide Israel with $30 billion in tax-payer funded weapons between 2009 and 2018, a 25 percent average annual increase over previous levels (Memorandum of understanding, 2007 [PDF]).

While presidential candidates make risible claims that the other party is abandoning support for Israel, this increasing partisan sniping is no laughing matter to those advocating for a strong US-Israel relationship. In September, the Center for Strategic and International Studies released a policy paper by Haim Malka, deputy director of its Middle East Program, warning that this “partisan wedge is likely to deepen, posing considerable challenges to Israel and the US-Israeli partnership.”

This burgeoning fear led two stalwarts of the Israel lobby — the Anti-Defamation Leagueand the American Jewish Committee — to issue a National Pledge for Unity on Israel, which beseeches “national organizations, elected officials, religious leaders, community groups and individuals to rally around bipartisan support for Israel while preventing the Jewish State from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season” (“National pledge for unity on Israel”).

However, instead of calming the waters, the pledge initiative served only to roil them more. The ultra-alarmist Emergency Committee for Israel’s Bill Kristol responded in Washington Jewish Week with a dismissive “You must be kidding” statement, accusing the organizations of needing “a refresher course on the virtues of free speech and robust debate in a democracy” (“Should Israel be a partisan issue in American politics?,” 2 November 2011).

Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, declared that “This effort to stifle debate on US policy toward Israel runs counter to this American tradition.”

Far from rethinking US policy on Israel

Yet Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of “liberal” Israel lobby group J Street, lamented in The Washington Post that this debate is redefining what it means to be “pro-Israel” and rendering it the “exclusive property of the political right. In doing so, they are breaking new ground. Their agenda is not to ensure bipartisan support for aid to Israel or nurturing US-Israeli ties based on shared interests and values” (“What pro-Israel should mean,” 16 December 2011).

Instead, he rather naively accused the candidates of “seek[ing] political advantage,” as if everything that politicians do were not based on their political calculus of what is expedient to them.

While fretting about Israel as an electoral issue has been confined largely so far to the self-described “pro-Israel” crowd, an open and honest debate about US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians desperately needs to take place in the broader body politic as well.

However, this debate must be one which is more substantive and critical than the cotton candy served up in this electoral circus. For far too long, the US political system has treated Israel as a sacred cow, leading to unconditional military and diplomatic support for its illegal 44-year military occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its human rights abuses of Palestinians.

Now that Israel is becoming just another issue over which the parties squabble, even if it is to trip over each other in a modern day redux of “who lost China?” (a debate over communism that raged for much of the twentieth century), US support for Israel is becoming in the process normalized as a political issue.

Proof of this normalization occurred after the bipartisan failure of the super-committee to produce a deficit reduction plan, triggering across-the-board budget cuts in 2013. Because of this deadlock, regular appropriations of US military aid to Israel are set to substantially decrease for the first time since President Gerald Ford’s 1975 “reassessment” of US policy toward Israel.

Obama was to have requested a record-breaking $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget, the level at which weapons to Israel was expected to plateau until 2018.

However, according to Nathan Guttman, writing in the Jewish Daily Forward, Israel will lose an estimated $250 million yearly from its military aid package when across-the-board budget cuts take effect. Surprisingly, Guttman notes, AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel lobby in the US, has yet to publicly protest the upcoming cuts in military aid to Israel, because it “may fear a backlash if Israel is singled out for special treatment in the face of broad cuts favored by both Democrats and Republicans” (“Israel faces $250 million slash in aid,” 2 December 2011).

Even as these tangible cuts to military aid to Israel are in the offing, AIPAC and the rest of the Israel lobby also may have noted to its chagrin that inane electoral posturing over Israel has also seeped into the hallowed halls of Congress itself, thereby undermining the bipartisan consensus on Israel it has so laboriously constructed over the years.

According to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s 112th Congressional Report Card, 35 of the 37 Members of Congress rating -5 or worse are Republicans — the only Democrats deserving of the dubious distinction are Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York) and Representative Steve Rothman (New Jersey’s ninth Congressional district). This demonstrates that the most significant Congressional initiatives on Israel and the Palestinians last year were largely partisan affairs designed to undermine, constrain and humiliate any White House attempts to pressure Israel, even if only in the slight, ineffectual way that Obama did during the early days of his term (“Report card for the 112th congress (2011-2012)”).

Although the elites of the Democratic and Republican parties are far from rethinking USpolicy toward Israel, much less even considering abandoning it, the normalization of Israel as a political issue is already commonplace at civil society levels and in political discourse. Exasperated by political leaders seemingly incapable of policy change, dozens of university campuses and community organizations are deriving lessons learned from the global South African anti-apartheid movement to organize boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel and companies that profit from its human rights abuses of Palestinians. And even in the rarefied pages of The Washington Post, columnist Walter Pincus suggested in October that it is “time to examine the funding the United States provides to Israel” (“Unites States needs to reevaluate its assistance to Israel”).

By continuing to level sophomoric accusations against each other’s mythical abandonment of Israel, the presidential candidates are inadvertently and perhaps counter-intuitively helping to normalize the question of US support for Israel and providing fodder to the strengthening currents in civil society truly questioning failed US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.

As is the case in all processes of social and political change, this grassroots ferment is a necessary prerequisite for a broad-scale policy change at the political level. Such a policy review, although a long ways off as demonstrated by the 2012 election cycle, is nevertheless essential if the US hopes to broker a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of human rights, international law and UN resolutions, rather than continuing to obstruct its attainment.

*Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and a former analyst of Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service.

*

Man points at television screens showing Barack Obama

The Obama administration and its predecessor ramped up unprecedented levels of military aid to Israel. (Issam Rimawi / APA images )

 

Written FOR

IT’S ALL OUT WAR AGAINST PALESTINIAN CHILDREN ~~ ISRAEL’S 8th DEADLY SIN

 The New Year has seen an increase in attacks against innocent Palestinian children living under the occupation. These attacks go unnoticed and unmentioned in the Western media, but they can be seen on this site…
*
The following video is the picture that the zionists want you to believe is the truth about Israel (I call it zionism’s seven deadly sins), but the reality appears afterwards … NO ONE GIVES ISRAEL THE RIGHT TO KILL OR HARM CHILDREN, THE 8th DEADLY SIN
*
*
Now, click on the headlines to get the full reports …
*
Settlers Attack Two Children In Hebron

A group of fundamentalist Israeli settlers attacked on Sunday two Palestinian children in Tel Romeida neighborhood, in the center of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

*Leave the Children Alone

Unfortunately, Israel’s long-term plans include victimizing Palestinian children. According to Defense for Children International – Palestine Section, 105 children under 18 still remain in Israeli jails. Furthermore, the organization said that since 2008, it has documented 38 cases of children being held in solitary confinement. Children are routinely taken from their homes in the middle of the night, shackled, blindfolded and separated from their parents when interrogated.

*Medics: Toddler hit by settler car

 A Palestinian toddler was injured Tuesday after she was hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler east of Hebron, medics said.

Military court approves illegal interrogation of a minor

Major Sharon Rivlin, a judge at the Ofer Military Court, accepted as admissible the testimony of a 14 year-old Palestinian boy who was unlawfully arrested in the dead of night, questioned without being allowed sleep, denied his right to legal counsel and not told of his right to remainsilent.

*To say SORRY is not enough!

*

IF THERE WAS A REVOLUTION IN 2011, WE WERE THERE

 The works of our Associate artist Carlos Latuff were part and parcel of every protest that took place in the world this past year as can be seen in this video produced for the Islam Channel.
*
*
He continues non-stop as the protests continue in 2012….
*
*
*

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

*

And let’s not forget how Israel and the USA are dragging the world to fight a war against Iran…
*

FINALLY, A HANDBOOK ON HOW TO SMASH ISRAELI APARTHEID

“Targeting Israeli Apartheid is the guide many of us in the movement have been waiting for. This forensic, clear and systematic account details the where, who, how and why of the flows of capital and contracts which enable the colonisation of Palestine to continue.” 
*
*

Taking its cue from the unified Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, Targeting Israeli Apartheid examines the Israeli economy and details the Israeli and international companies complicit in Israeli state repression. Based on original research in Palestine, the book shows how these companies can be targeted and provides the international BDS movement with the information necessary to bring the Palestinian struggle to the doorsteps of those who profit from Israeli apartheid.

The book begins by examining the Israeli economy industry by industry and suggesting where the movement should focus its campaigning energy in order to be most effective. Part two contains five in-depth geographical case studies. The final section looks at how campaigners can bring the fight home to the UK.

The rationale for this book is simple: information for action.Targeting Israeli Apartheid: a BDS Handbookprovides the international BDS movement with the information necessary to bring the Palestinian struggle to the doorsteps of those profiting from Israeli apartheid.

The book begins by examining the Israeli economy industry by industry and suggesting where the movement should focus its campaigning energy in order to be most effective. Part two contains five in-depth geographical case studies. The final section looks at how campaigners can bring the fight home to the UK.

Targeting Israeli Apartheid picks out Barclays Bank as the British bank with the most substantial investments in Israeli companies, including companies based in Israeli settlements. The book goes on to examine the investments of several British universities and UK pension funds revealing investments in companies based in Israeli settlements and arms companies supplying weapons to the Israeli state. Finally, the book shows how charities registered in the UK donate to the Israeli army and settlements.
 
“Targeting Israeli Apartheid is the guide many of us in the movement have been waiting for. This forensic, clear and systematic account details the where, who, how and why of the flows of capital and contracts which enable the colonisation of Palestine to continue.”
– Ewa Jasiewicz – Coordinator of the Free Gaza movement
Click here to order a copy of Targeting Israeli Apartheid: a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Handbook
*
Click here to download a copy
Source

OCCUPATION ON ICE PART TWO

*
For the second year in a  row Palestinians and their supporters occupied the ice rink at Rockefeller Centre in the heart of Manhattan. Since the rink refuses to include the Palestinian flag in their collection, the ‘occupation’ did it on their own to have it fly proudly with the others.
*
The event was organised by the group Existence is Resistance.
*
Photos © by Bud Korotzer
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
A glimps at last year’s event …
*

CAPTAIN ISRAEL RETURNS

Captain Israel is back, and better than ever!

by gangreentv
*

Captain Israel, the hyper-masculine comic book creation published by ultra-right Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs is so over-the-top in its portrayal of all things Israel as perfect in every way, that it’s almost a self-parody.

But fiddling about in Photoshop and altering a few word bubbles gives the good captain the culture-jam treatment, flipping the script and turning his anti-Palestinian propaganda campaign into self-reflexive hasbara humor. (Click on the first image below to view it larger, and then click in the upper right hand corner to scroll to the next page.)

From Capt Israel #2 – The Venomous BDS:

*
*
The original:
*
*
Found at Mondoweiss

MESSAGE FOR ABE FOXMAN … DISAGREEING WITH ISRAEL IS NOT DEFAMATION

There comes a time when we must insist on common sense. We must reject the absurd. There comes a time when we must say, “Enough.” Real anti-Semitism exists. Real, ugly, hatred of the Jewish people is all too easy to find.
*

When ‘Anti-Semitism’ Is Abused

Disagreeing With Israel Doesn’t Make One a Bigot

Real Anti-Semitism: We should all fight anti-Semitism. But some apparently need a reminder about the difference between real anti-Semitism and honest debate about Israel.
GETTY IMAGES
Real Anti-Semitism: We should all fight anti-Semitism. But some apparently need a reminder about the difference between real anti-Semitism and honest debate about Israel.

By Sarah Wildman*

We were raised to be vigilant. We were taught to fight oppression, admonished to be New Jews — strong, muscular, defiant.

We were told to look for the signs, the slogans and the double-speak. We learned at the knee of those with tattooed forearms; knelt at the feet of those who lost brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, parents, grandparents, lovers, spouses, children.

We have cried, we have wailed, we have lit thousands upon thousands of memorial candles. And we have sworn, again and again, that we would never forget.

That is why when anti-Semitism is falsely applied, we must also stand up and decry it as defamation, as character assault, as unjust. That is why when we debase the term by using it as a rhetorical conceit against those with whom we disagree on policy matters, we have sullied our own promises to our grandparents. For if we dilute the term, if we render the label meaningless, defanged, we have failed ourselves, our legacy, our ancestors, our children.

I am speaking of the recent rise of the bogeyman of anti-Semitism wielded to criticize everyone, from the American ambassador to Belgium (himself the Jewish son of a Holocaust survivor), who was trying to negotiate the uncomfortable lines of Muslim-Jewish conflict in modern Europe, to foreign policy bloggers at Media Matters for America and ThinkProgress, the online magazine housed at the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, responding to a story about divisions on Israel policy in the Democratic Party, freely called these blogs anti-Semitic.

Commentary took up her lead, and The Jerusalem Post than found a historian to ruminate over word choices on the blogs, likening their use to classic anti-Semitism. In the meantime, Elliott Abrams of The Weekly Standard took on Thomas Friedman, beginning his piece, “If you were an anti-Semite dedicated to spreading your hatred of Jews….”

We should know by now that supporting the State of Israel does not mean uncritical support by all, that Jewish identity is not always under attack when a government of Israel faces criticism. Love for the Jewish state does not, by definition, mean a love for all things the state undertakes. For some that may mean fighting the segregation of women in Beit Shemesh; for others that means pushing for Israel to get out of the territories.

We can — we must — write about these things. We can argue over borders and refugees, democracy and lack of democracy, worry over the increasingly uncomfortable tension between the ultra-Orthodox and the secular in the state to which so many of us in the Diaspora feel connected.

We can do so because such criticism is not, by definition, anti-Zionism. We can do so because such criticism is not, by definition, anti-Semitism.

There comes a time when we must insist on common sense. We must reject the absurd. There comes a time when we must say, “Enough.” Real anti-Semitism exists. Real, ugly, hatred of the Jewish people is all too easy to find.

But when we are forced to sift through the thousands of posts of an organization affiliated with the Democratic Party in order to come up with six or seven sentences that may, taken out of context, feel uncomfortable to the community with regard to Israel, that should not lead to pointing fingers, libeling writers and screaming about hate speech. We cannot jump up and shout that these think tanks are harboring anti-Semites or brewing hatred because we disagree with something they have written. We cannot call that anti-Semitism. We can call it policy disagreement.

When we take apart a speech about anti-Semitism by one of our ambassadors who has, through observation and analysis, come to the reasoned conclusion that the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and the failure of the peace process, has an impact on Jewish communities abroad, we should not call for his resignation. Instead, we must acknowledge that when Israel takes an action against the Palestinians — whether we agree with that action or not — the action may, and often does, reverberate elsewhere. But we cannot call those who acknowledge these things anti-Semitic. We can call that an uncomfortable truth.

And when Haredi men and women put their children in striped pajamas and place a yellow star emblazoned with the word “Jude” on their chests and parade in the streets of Jerusalem to protest the secular world, we can call that spitting on the graves of our ancestors.

And we can weep that we have lost all perspective.

Enough.

*Sarah Wildman is a columnist for the International Herald Tribune and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and is a contributing editor to the Forward.

Written FOR

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

U S CONGRESS TO PALESTINE: STATEHOOD OR SESAME STREET….

You can’t have both!
*
‘Young children should not be penalized’
*
Palestinian Sesame Street put on hold

Iconic children’s program ails because of funding freeze by US Congress as punishment for UN statehood bid

It’s quiet time on Palestinian Sesame Street.

The iconic children’s program, known as “Sharaa Simsim” in Arabic, has been put on hold for the 2012 season because of a funding freeze by the US Congress.

*Adding insult to injury….*

Even as the freeze put Palestinian Sesame Street on hold, the State Department is investing $750,000 in the Israeli version of the show, which is now filming its newest season with an emphasis on teaching children the value of fairness.

This is what the US Congress is putting a halt to….

*Promoting message of peace, tolerance

“Sharaa Simsim”, the Palestinian show, debuted in 1996 and has produced five seasons since, with long intermissions for fundraising. It has promoted a message of peace and tolerance that Israeli critics say is often missing from Palestinian airwaves.

The main characters Haneen, a red-headed orange Muppet, and the green rooster Kareem have became household names for Palestinian children.*

The full AP Report can be seen HERE

« Older entries Newer entries »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,163 other followers