REMEMBERING THE PRICE OF FREEDOM

Unlike some people that never stop crying, Palestinians have developed the following attitude instead of pulling out their ‘victim status card’ every chance they get;

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We didn’t cry during farewell!
For we didn’t have time, nor tears, Nor was it farewell
We didn’t realize that the moment of farewell was farewell
So how could we cry?”
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On Land Day, Palestinians Remember the Price of Freedom

Shahd Abusalama

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My drawing of “the ruins of my homeland” (Shahd Abusalama)

 

We didn’t cry during farewell!
For we didn’t have time, nor tears, Nor was it farewell
We didn’t realize that the moment of farewell was farewell
So how could we cry?”

Said Taha Muhammad Ali, one of the leading poets on the contemporary Palestinian literary scene, describing his expulsion from his homeland. He was 17 years old, old enough to remember the gloomy day when he was ethnically cleansed from his original village, Saffuriya, together with most of its inhabitants and more than 600,000 Palestinian from 512 other village, during the 1948 Nakbha. But in 1949, Taha returned to Nazareth, making it his home.

However, my grandparents and hundreds of thousands couldn’t. They had fled to Gaza. They thought that it would be a matter of two weeks and then they would be back. But ever since then, they lived and died in Gaza’s refugee camps.

Ethnic cleansing has continued in many forms. On March 30, 1976, more Palestinian land in the north was confiscated so that Jewish settlements could be built on its ruins. But Palestinian people rebelled against the Israeli occupation and confronted its forces. A popular uprising took the form of peaceful marches and a unique general strike that provoked the Israeli occupation forces, causing their murders of six heroes, together with the wounding or detention of hundreds of other people. Their only crime was that they refused to give up their land and protested non-violently, but powerfully, against dispossession.

It is significant as the first time since 1948 that Arabs in Israel organized a strong response to Israeli policies as a Palestinian national collective. That’s why this day was etched in the history of the Palestinian struggle and ever since, Palestinians have commemorated March 30 as “Land Day”, to emphasize our embrace of Palestinian land and our rejection of the criminal occupation and its illegal settlement. In Gaza, I joined several thousands of people to march toward Erez checkpoint calling for the end of occupation and for our legal rights of the land.

March 30, 2012 marks the 46th anniversary of Land Day. As I welcome this immortal day, a flood of memories flows through my mind. I can’t remember my grandfather well, as he died when I was very young. But I can very clearly recall my memories of my grandmother, who helped raise me.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky! “

Only when I got older did I learn that lullabies are songs sung to kids until they fall asleep. I never slept to a lullaby. Yet I can’t count the times I slept while listening to my grandmother telling her favorite, most touching story, the story of Nakba, the story of her stolen lands. Unlike other kids around the world, The Nakba was my lullaby.

“Behind every great man there is a woman.” This proverb could not find a better example than my father. He always said, “I have God in the sky and my mother on the ground.” She had been always his role model and the reason he embraced the resistance during his youth. Now his resistance is centered on planting his patriotic values and his love for the homeland in his children, in us, so we, the third generation, carry on demanding our people’s stolen rights.

I vividly recall how her steady, wide eyes struggled with tears every time she narrated that story. She must have repeated it thousands of times, and I am sure she would never have stopped if she were still alive. My siblings and I heard it many times. And, every time, her wrinkles evoked the same feeling, her voice shook the same way, calmly flowing with memories, then suddenly rising in anger as she said the same proverb: “The homeland is ours and the strangers fire us.”

“Your grandfather used to go every day to a high hill in north Gaza called Alkashef,” I remember her saying. “People used to see him sitting on the top, pondering his raped homeland, Beit Jerja, and crying.” Their wound was too deep to be healed or forgotten.

In Beit Gerga, my grandparents were farmers, living for the glories of the land as the majority of Palestinians did then. Every single day after their expulsion, they said, “Tomorrow we will return.” They were simple and uneducated people who didn’t understand the political games of Israel and its allies. They died before smelling their precious sand again.

The generation of the Nakba is dying. But another revolutionary generation was born, the generation of Intifadas, to which my parents belong. My father has always described his resistance, and his 15 years of youth inside Israeli prisons, as “the price of homeland and the cost of freedom and dignity.”

My father’s friend Jabber Wshah, who was released in the same 1985 swap deal, has another amazing Palestinian mother. Jabber is just as inspiring as my dad. He now heads the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and always prioritizes the political prisoners’ issue.

I love sitting with elderly people who witnessed the Nakba to listen to their stories, even if they are mostly alike. They remind me of my grandmother and my memories of her, which I cherish very much. Jabber is another example of a man born from a great woman’s womb. I met his mother once in a festival for the prisoners released in the Shalit exchange.

Her mother does not know her own date of birth, but assumes she is in her 80s. I heard her telling the story of when her son Jabber was sentenced to two lifetimes. She described how she stood, proudly and strongly, and confronted the Israeli court for being unfair to her son, then started singing for Palestine, for resistance. “I didn’t cry nor scream,” she said. “If Netanyahu is hardheaded, we are even more so. We’ll never stop resisting. Resistance will continue until we restore out rights. I had four sons in prison at that time, and I walked to prison every day for 15 years hoping to meet them.”

She made me proud to be the daughter of a Palestinian mother when she said, while pointing to her breast, “My milk was fed to my sons, the milk of our homelands.” She continued firmly, “As long as there are Palestinian women giving birth and bringing up new generations, we will breastfeed them the milk of our homeland, we will breastfeed them with toughness and resistance.” Then she smiled and said that she told a CIA officer the same thing while looking at him in the eye, adding, “The land of Palestine is for her people, not for you!”

Palestinians have spent more than six decades sacrificing, paying the price of freedom for themselves and their lands that were stolen by the Zionist entity. You can rarely find a Palestinian family from whom none were killed, or have experienced imprisonment or deportation, or have had their houses demolished or lands confiscated. Not only people have paid the price for the freedom of the lands, but even the trees, stones, and even sands.

Israel continues to build more and more illegal settlements on what is left of our lands, leaving less than 22% for Palestinians. They openly violate all international agreements, but no agreements, nor human rights organizations, can limit Israel’s daily violations and crimes against Palestinians and their lands. That’s why the Palestinian resistance will never die. Many more Land Days will happen, and they will be celebrated in one way or another, every day of every coming year, inside or outside the occupied lands, until we restore our stolen rights.

For this 46th anniversary of Land Day, I’d like to share a poem with you. I wrote it last May, speaking for every Palestinian refugee whose nostalgia grows with every passing day. This is to emphasize our spiritual attachment to our stolen lands, from which our grandparents were ethnically cleansed, and to stress our right to return.


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My drawing of our embrace of the right to return to our stolen lands (Shahd Abusalama)

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My village, in which I didn’t live a single day
Has been living inside me everyday
Since I was born, I grow and my nostalgia
Grows more and more till it tears me up
It wasn’t me who chose to live far away
And neither my grandparents did
They were beaten, cleansed and dispossessed
Into tents of exile their souls were left
Gone with their olive groves and citrus fields
Leaving a wound to never be healed
Since my grandparents fled away
They thought they would return the next day
They died, but no need to sigh
As, their heritage, their songs and memories persist
They say that elderly people die
And after that the young will forget
But no way
Until return, Palestinians will resist
Our tears of hope will never dry
And when we return to our homelands
From ashes, trees will rise high
And white doves will over fly
And we’ll caress with our bare hands
Every precious berry of sand
This dream might not happen soon
But it absolutely will one day

Source 

DAY OF POGROMS AND TERROR THROUGHOUT PALESTINE

PEACEFUL LAND DAY DEMOS MET WITH ISRAELI MILITARY TERRORISM
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Israeli border police officers use pepper spray as they detain an injured Palestinian protester during clashes on Land Day after Friday prayers outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on March 30.
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More photos and related reports HERE
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Land Day
Updates by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
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Two of our  friends were among the over >150 people injured today by the Israeli occupation forces.  Demonstrations were held in dozens of locations in Palestine and the border areas of Palestine.  Other demosntrations were held for Land Day in cities around the world.  The ambulance took our friend and home guest Don Bryant (US Citizen) to the hospital as he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister.  We quickly gathered the rest of the group and rushed to the hospital.  There we find many injured people (I counted 8 in the emergency room and two at the X-ray).  One of the injured there was our friend Yusef Sharqawi hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet that fractured his shoulder blade. Mohamed Zakout, 20 year old was shot and kileld by Israeli forces in Gaza as he participated in a demonstration near the Erez checkpoint.  In Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces used horses to trample on people and arrested 36 individuals.  Before all is done Israel will likely to arrest 300 people.   Below is our video and other relevant videos.

Some of my students have more logic/sense than the political leadership of the USA, Israel and the “Palestinian authority” combined.  For example, last week we had a lively discussion about roles of politiciansin creating the problems and perpetuuating the disastrous human rights violations here. I don’t teach this course human rights but I coach it so after we exchanged significant information about these issues all of it showing the bad things of politics (collaborations, agreements of surrender, etc), I asked to take time for us to talk just about the positives (no negatives).  I was surprised at some of the good comments that came out: persistance of the Palestinain people, demonstrations and many forms of popular resistance happening, the fact that rights are not lost for people even when their leadershuip is corrupt and weak, the fact that many were martyred/injured/imprisoned for their work for Palestine, the fact that while some collaborated and even sold their conscience and tehir heritabe, more simply refused ……

So it is that we can always look at the glass half empty or half full.  We can always curse the darkness or light a candle and hope for the best.  We can feel depressed and powerless or we can actually do something.  I was anxious before the demonstrations today.  Our mind racing to worry about level of participation/attendance and about Israeli authorities’ violent reaction to peaceful demonstrators (there is afterall a long history of that including shooting at unarmed demonstrators). We have to remind myself of the positives and forget all the  negatives (or at least just learn from them lessons and keep them in the back of our mind).  The march was a success even before it started.  The thousands who tried to arrive to us here in Palestine got an education THROUGH the process of preparing to come to nearby boerders and they each  told many othesr where they are going and why.  This ripple effect that started montsh before today’s events is critical. Here are a few other positives before, during and after this event today:

-37 Indian activists were stranded in a ship off the port of Beirut for 36 hours.  Activists in India mobilized speaking to parliamentarians and other officials and the indian embassy was able to get the Lebanese government to finally issue the visas for them.  This ensured atht more people because aware of our predicament here: not onlt the Zionist regime but the col;lusion sometiems of Arab regimes.  It also meant more avtivism in india will be growing and more boycotts, divestments and sanctions.
- Hundreds of actvists from different countries did not know about each other or their commen interests until this event. The process of linking together via physical meetings and internet empowered many of tehm and they became more active in tehir local communities.  I know of several example where new projects (e.g. on boycotts divestment, sacnction, different ways of media work etc) were started in some copuntries or localities because they learned from the networking with other activists.
-Activists learned via doing how to work in team efforts, how to make collective decisions etc.  These skills are useful for any kind of collective work.
-The attempts by the Zionist manipulated media to hide and ignore the brutality of the apartheid regime is backfiring.  More and more people stopped seeking news via these corporate outlets and started to get news directly via blogs, live feed, email etc.
-Israeli  Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said about the events today “It’s important to remember that this is the first day. The Nakba and Naksa days are ahead of us, and that is where the challenge will be.”  It is obvious that they start to worry!
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Our video in Bethlehem
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Other videos
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More links to reports can be found HERE

SUDDENLY GAZA EXISTS …

Only for the purposes of deporting Palestinians from Israeli held areas and further separating a people from their families and loved ones…
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Israel to deport Palestinian woman on hunger strike to Gaza

Hana Shalabi, a member of the Islamic Jihad, stopped taking food after IDF troops seized her in the occupied West Bank on February 16.*

A Palestinian woman on hunger strike in protest at her detention without charges by Israel will be deported to the Gaza Strip under a deal ending her fast, her representatives said on Thursday.

Hana Shalabi, a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group, stopped taking food after Israel Defense Forces troops seized her in the occupied West Bank on February 16, becoming the second Palestinian detainee in quick succession to go on hunger strike.

Qadoura Fares of the Palestinian Prisoners Club said Shalabi had agreed to three years’ exile in Gaza, which is geographically separate from the West Bank and under Israeli blockade, “in return for ending her strike and being freed”
“We reject deportation, but this is her decision and her own life,” Fares told Reuters.

Shalabi’s lawyer, Jawwad Boulous, confirmed the agreement but said he did not know when it might be implemented given her deteriorated health. An Islamic Jihad spokesman said he had no knowledge of the deal.

An Israeli official said: “I am aware there were negotiations of that sort.” The official did not immediately elaborate.

Citing the need to protect intelligence sources from exposure in court proceedings, Israel held Shalabi without charge under so-called “administrative detention”.
But her original six-month detention was trimmed to four months by military judges on March 4.

Israel had previously held Shalabi for 25 months but released her in October under a prisoner swap with the Islamist militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza and, like Islamic Jihad, is deeply hostile to Israel.

Shalabi’s father, Yehia, said that since the exchange his daughter had not been active in Islamic Jihad.

Source

WHY LAND DAY STILL MATTERS

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Why Land Day still matters

Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.

By Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis
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Every year since 1976, on March 30, Palestinians around the world have commemorated Land Day. Though it may sound like an environmental celebration, Land Day marks a bloody day in Israel when security forces gunned down six Palestinians, as they protested Israeli expropriation of Arab-owned land in the country’s north to build Jewish-only settlements.
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The Land Day victims were not Palestinians from the occupied territories, but citizens of the state, a group that now numbers over 1.6 million people, or 20.5 percent of the population. They are inferior citizens in a state that defines itself as Jewish and democratic, but in reality is neither. 
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On that dreadful day 36 years ago, in response to Israel’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of acres of Palestinian land for “security and settlement purposes,” a general strike and marches were organized in Palestinian towns within Israel, from the Galilee to the Negev. The night before, in a last-ditch attempt to block the planned protests, the government imposed a curfew on the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra and Kabul, in the Western Galilee. The curfew failed; citizens took to the streets. Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as those in the refugee communities across the Middle East, joined in solidarity demonstrations
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In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed, about 100 wounded, and hundreds arrested. The day lives on, fresh in the Palestinian memory, since today, as in 1976, the conflict is not limited to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but is ever-present in the country’s treatment of its own Palestinian Arab citizens. 
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The month following the killings, an internal government paper, written by senior Interior Ministry official Yisrael Koenig, was leaked to the press. The document, which became known as the Koenig Memorandum, offered recommendations intended to “ensure the [country’s] long-term Jewish national interests.” These included “the possibility of diluting existing Arab population concentrations.” 
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Israel has been attempting to “dilute” its Palestinian population — both Muslims and Christians — ever since. 
Thirty-six years later, the situation is as dire as ever. Racism and discrimination, in their rawest forms, are rampant in Israel, and are often more insidious than physical violence. Legislation aimed at ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Israel is part of public discourse. Israeli ministers do not shy away from promoting “population transfers” of Palestinian citizens — code for forced displacement. 
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Israel’s adamant demand that the Palestinians recognize it as a “Jewish state” leaves them in a situation of having to inherently negate their own existence and accept the situation of inferiority in their own land. Recent efforts in the Knesset to link loyalty to citizenship threaten to target organizations and individuals who express dissent and even the revocation of citizenship, a practice unheard of in other countries. 
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Budgets for health and education allocated by the Israeli government to the Arab sector are, per capita, a fraction of those allocated to Jewish locales. Although hundreds of new Jewish towns and settlements have been approved and built since Israel’s creation, the state continues to prevent Arab towns and villages from expanding, suffocating their inhabitants and forcing new generations to leave in search of homes. Palestinians living in Israel are heavily discriminated against in employment and wages. 
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The message is clear: Israel has failed, abysmally, in realizing its oft-cried role as “the only democracy in the Middle East,” with such discriminatory policies, and a culture of antagonism and neglect vis-a-vis a fifth of its citizens. The original Land Day marked a pivotal point in terms of how Palestinians in Israel — living victims of Israel’s violent establishment — viewed their relations with the state. Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation. 
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The names of the six victims of Land Day are written on the front of a monument in the cemetery of Sakhnin, accompanied by the words: “They sacrificed themselves for us to live … thus, they are alive ? The martyrs of the day of defending the land, 30 March 1976.” On the back of the monument are the names of the two sculptors who created it: one Arab, one Jewish. Maybe it is this joint recognition of the tragedy of Palestinians that is required in Israel to get us beyond the chasm of denial. 
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For our part, as second-generation Palestinians born and raised outside Palestine, who have decided to return to live in this troubled land, we view Land Day as an ongoing wake-up call to Israeli Jews and Jewry worldwide to understand that land, freedom and equality are an inseparable package ? the only one that can deliver a lasting peace to all involved. 
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Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business development consultant from the Palestinian city of El Bireh in the West Bank. He blogs at http://www.epalestine.com. Fida Jiryis is a Palestinian writer from the Arab village of Fassuta in the Galilee. 
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Written FOR
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A SETTLEMENT WITHIN A SETTLEMENT

Fifteen settler families occupied a Palestinian home in Hebron near the Haram al Ibrahimi mosque, on the night between Wednesday and Thursday.
Photo from THIS report
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The IDF called the move “an irresponsible move and a dangerous provocation that may inflame spirits, especially ahead of Land Day.
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BUT …. are they doing anything about it?

Settlers Move Into Hebron Home Near Patriarchs Cave

IDF Says Move Is a ‘Dangerous Provocation’

JERUSALEM — Several dozen settlers moved into a home located near the Cave of the Patriarchs that they say they purchased.

The settlers moved into the house after midnight Wednesday night. They say they have papers proving ownership, according to reports.

The Palestinian owner of the house was taken by the Palestinian police for questioning, according to Ynet, citing sources in Hebron.

The IDF moved in to the area after news of the takeover became public. It declared the immediate area a closed military zone. The IDF and police have opened an investigation into the ownership of the home.

The IDF called the move “an irresponsible move and a dangerous provocation that may inflame spirits, especially ahead of Land Day.”

Settlers reportedly have been purchasing homes and land in Hebron for many years, though many of the purchases have been legally contested, according to Ynet.

Source

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY WITH APARTHEID!

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Don’t worry, be happy with apartheid, occupation, non-nation status…
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OR
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BOYCOTT THE FOLLOWING TO SHOW HIM THERE IS SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT AND NOTHING TO BE HAPPY ABOUT HERE!
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Bobby McFerrin, the ten-time Grammy Award winning musician will be in Tel Aviv in May for the Tel Aviv White City Music Festival. McFerrin’s most famous hit is the 1980′s song Don’t Worry Be Happy and he will perform at the festival alongside some of the biggest names in Israeli music at the festival. McFerrin will give four concerts in Tel Aviv between May 1 and May 10.
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ISRAEL: WHERE PEACE IS A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY

Personal testimony details the experience of one activist on way back to Israel from Apartheid Week, BDS events in Europe*

They threatened to make me spend the night there. They said things suggesting that they were tapping my phone, reading my emails, and bugging my apartment. They tried playing good cop, bad cop, and took turns leaving the room.

Israeli interrogated en route back to Israel for her activism in Palestinian cause

The activist tells of her experience being held for hours, harassed and intimidated by Israel Security Agency officials – for doing nothing illegal or suspicious.

By Leehee Rothschild*

I arrived at Luton airport for my flight back to Israel, after spending one month in the UK and France, participating in Israeli Apartheid Week and BDS events. That, along with my ongoing activism for Palestinian rights, made me a security risk of the highest level for the Israeli state.

The troubles began at the Israeli security counter before check-in. I answered all the questions correctly: “Did you pack alone?” “Yes.” “Has your luggage been with you at all time?” “Yes.” The security person wasn’t really listening; he was checking his lists instead. A higher ranking security person was called over; my passport was taken away. This person seemed fascinated by my whereabouts while abroad, demanding names and details of people I had met, which I didn’t share.

They announced that all my luggage must be inspected, marking my bags with yellow stripes and the number six, the highest level in Israeli airport security profiling. In my carry-on bag, I was allowed only “Purse, mobile, book, and coat,” in a plastic bag.  Finally after about 45 minutes, I was allowed to leave, taking only what they allowed me in the carry-on; I was already checked in, in a marked seat of their choosing. I was instructed to go through British security, and head straight to the gate.

At the gate, I was taken into a small room. The plastic carry-on bag was taken away for inspection, and I had to strip behind a curtain. For what seemed like I ages I stood shivering in tights and an undershirt while they scanned my cloths, from jeans to bra. Then another woman scanned me, feeling me all over, touching the clothes I still wore with gauze, taking samples for “chemical inspection.” When I protested, she said that objections will make me miss my flight. They finally returned my clothes, then spent another 20 minutes checking my phone contacts. They walked me onto the plane five minutes before the flight took off.

On the Israeli side, the ordeal continued. The passport inspector took my passport, and made me follow another security officer through long corridors and stairs. She locked my plastic carry-on bag in a small cupboard, checked my pockets, and showed me into a nearby room for “questioning.”

Two men and a woman were sitting inside. The men introduced themselves as Shavit, “Head of the extreme left and right department in the Internal Security Services,” and Reshef. The woman was never introduced. They called her Karin, and explained that she had been instructed to remain silent throughout the whole process.

I was interrogated for over three hours. They said they were just “getting to know me better” and I asked whether I was allowed to leave. I wasn’t. They claimed they were unrelated to the inspections in London, and that our conversation wasn’t taped, and they were unhappy with the fact that I doubted both statements. Shavit explained that because of my activities, which were all legitimate, they must warn me that some of the Palestinians I collaborate with might try to use me to transfer people, or things into Israel, people who may be terrorists, things that might be bombs, and they want me to acknowledge this risk. Then he said that they wanted to understand what drove me to be an activist. I said I don’t want to talk to them. They didn’t seem to care.

Mostly, I remained silent. Silent as they asked where I had been abroad, the meetings I attended and the lectures I gave. Silent, when they asked whether I was involved with international projects like the Welcome to Palestine initiative, the Gaza flotilla, the Global March to Jerusalem. Silent when they asked about Anarchists Against the Wall meetings, and when they offered their “assistance” in getting permits for demonstrations, or delivering messages to the soldiers in the West Bank with tips on how to better deal with demonstrations. Frustrated with my non-cooperation they asked personal questions, about my family, my studies, my relations with fellow activists, my apartment, and my looks, their attitude alternating between friendly and offensive.

Reshef said that I don’t look like an anarchist as he went through my clothing items, remarking on each one. Shavit warned him that this was sexual harassment, then tried to persuade me to meet up for coffee, and have a friendly chat. I was silent to that as well, braiding my hair, biding my time.

They threatened to make me spend the night there. They said things suggesting that they were tapping my phone, reading my emails, and bugging my apartment. They tried playing good cop, bad cop, and took turns leaving the room.

After nearly three hours, when I remained steadfastly silent, they gave up. Before releasing me, Shavit warned me again not to be used by anyone. He said that for now, I’ve stayed within the law, but once I broke it, I’d better remember that they are watching me, and that they view me as a leader, so I could be held responsible for leading other people into illegal acts. Then he went out to get a security officer and my passport. Another 20 minutes elapsed before I was finally escorted through passport control, and left the airport.

They recommended that I keep it private, which was one motive for publishing this story. This so-called friendly conversation, just like the less friendly police raid on my house about a year ago, are meant to intimidate and threaten me and others like me. They want us to know that we are being watched, tapped, and followed. They try to frighten us into submission, and to terrorize us into silence. They will fail. Three hours of interrogation were a small price to pay compared with the suffering of my Palestinian partners, and I will keep on raising my voice for freedom and justice, until the whole world will chant along.

*Leehee Rothschild has been active in the Palestinian struggle for over a decade. She currently works with Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott From Within. She writes about activism and political struggle on her blog, Radically Blonde and other publications.

 

Written FOR

PEACE SHOULD BEGIN IN JERUSALEM, NOT END THERE

Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian cause. East Jerusalem should be the capital of the Palestinian state. If Jerusalem is lost, the whole concept and idea of Palestinian statehood is lost, and the possibility of peace is lost. And Jerusalem is an important place for all of humanity, a holy place for Muslims, Christians, and the Jewish people. It should be the place where peace begins.
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Mustafa Bargouti: Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian cause

by Elsa Rassbach* 
mustafa barghouti Mustafa Barghouti at a demonstration in Bil’in, 2010. (Photo: Dan Halutz)

Every year on March 30th Palestinians around the world celebrate Land Day, which commemorates a general strike and marches in 1976 against Israeli land appropriation, an event that was a pivotal event in bringing about Palestinian national unity. This year Palestinians throughout the Middle East and in the Diaspora will commemorate Land Day by calling attention to the dangers facing Jerusalem.

The Israeli government has long denied most Palestinians – whether Muslim or Christian – access to Jerusalem, even to visit holy sites. The organizers of the Global March allege that through methods of ethnic cleansing, Israel has been forcing Jerusalem’s remaining Arab inhabitants out, thus endangering the multi-religious, multi-ethnic character of the city that is the intended capital of Palestine.

On March 30th, the Palestinians will attempt to get as close to Jerusalem as they can: whether at the borders of Lebanon and Jordan, at checkpoints in the West Bank, or at the Erez crossing in Gaza. There will also be a demonstration in Jerusalem itself. The Palestinians will be joined by supporters from five continents. An eminent Advisory Board includes the Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire. Solidarity vigils and actions are also planned on March 30th at Israeli Embassies and other locations in sixty cities around the world.

The Palestinian coalition organizing this Global March to Jerusalem is perhaps unprecedented in its breadth. Equally unprecedented is the Israeli campaign against the March, which has included faux Websites and Facebook pages to mislead participants regarding gathering places. After seventy supporters from India, Malaysia, Pakistan and other Asian countries visited Iran on their way to Lebanon to join the March, the Israeli press alleged that the March is directed from Iran and that violent “clashes” with Israeli forces are planned.

Among the most outspoken Palestinian supporters and organizers of the Global March is Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, 58, the well-known nonviolence advocate. As General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Bargouti played a key role in recent attempts to bring Hamas and Fatah together. He is medical doctor educated in the former Soviet Union, the US and Jerusalem; he founded and leads Palestinian Medical Relief society, which provides health care in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 2005 Dr. Bargouti ran for presidency of the Palestinian National Authority and won 19% of the vote. He resides in Ramallah in the West Bank.

Elsa Rassbach: You have joined with Palestinians from many different political perspectives and many places in the world to call for a Global March to Jerusalem. What is this initiative about?

Mustafa Bargouti: It’s an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people. It will take place on Land Day, March 30th, a day that symbolizes the unity of Palestinians in the struggle for freedom and dignity and against theft of their land. We hope to bring to the world’s attention the very grave violations that Israel is committing against Jerusalem. Both the UN and The International Court of Justice hold that annexation of East Jerusalem, which is part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, is a violation of international law.

ER: But there is illegal Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land throughout the Occupied Territories and also within Israel. Why the focus on Jerusalem?

MB: Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian cause. East Jerusalem should be the capital of the Palestinian state. If Jerusalem is lost, the whole concept and idea of Palestinian statehood is lost, and the possibility of peace is lost. And Jerusalem is an important place for all of humanity, a holy place for Muslims, Christians, and the Jewish people. It should be the place where peace begins.

Today in Jerusalem you see the Israeli system of segregation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing in the sharpest possible way. If a Palestinian man from Jerusalem marries a woman in Ramallah, only sixteen kilometers away, he will not be able to live with her. The Israelis will never grant her the right to move to Jerusalem, but if he moves to Ramallah, he will lose his ID and his residency permit in Jerusalem. And the permit may be withdrawn for political reasons as well. Though I was born in Jerusalem and worked there as a medical doctor for fifteen years, after I ran for president in 2005, the Israeli Army thereafter has refused to allow me in. Most Palestinians including Christians and Muslims, also cannot enter.

But any Jewish person from anywhere in the world who decides to immigrate to Israel, whether from Siberia or the United States, will immediately be granted the right to live in Jerusalem or anywhere else in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Jerusalem is accessible to every Jewish person. It should be accessible to everybody. Many Jewish people from Israel and other parts of the world agree and are participating in and even organizing the Global March.

ER: Among the demands of the March is “the right of return.” Why would Palestinians who live in historical Palestine support such a demand? 

MB: This demand means a lot to us, too, because there are huge numbers of refugees living in Gaza and West Bank who are denied access to the place they were forced to leave. Even Palestinians living in Israel who carry Israeli citizenship are not allowed to return home to their villages in Israel like Iqrit and Kafr Bir’im. The right of return is a right recognized by international law under a special UN resolution, 194. We do understand that its implementation will have to be negotiated, but the right itself has to be respected.

ER: Last year on May 15th, Nakba Day and also Israeli Independence Day, Israeli soldiers killed dozens and wounded hundreds of unarmed Palestinians who tried to cross over the borders of Lebanon and Syria. Could the Global March lead to a repeat of such violence? 

MB: The March will be an act of peace, an act of nonviolence, and that’s why Palestinians everywhere are united in supporting it. It reflects the consensus of Palestinians today on adopting nonviolence totally. We know that Israel is capable of terrible violence. All the organizers in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Israel/Palestine are aware of this risk. We hope that the U.S. and the European countries will pressure Israel not use violence against our nonviolence.

*Elsa Rassbach is a filmmaker and journalist. Member of CodePink living in Germany.  Part of the European organizing committee of Global March to Jerusalem.

 


Written FOR

‘NO’ CAN MEAN YES WHEN IT COMES TO ENDING APARTHEID!

This is just sick!

Bloomberg Warns BDS Will Lead to ‘Massacres’ as Park Slope Co-op Holds Initial Vote on Boycott Tonight … Report HERE

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Early last week I posted THIS regarding the BDS Movement. I asked my readers one question; Is the BDS Movement Anti-Semitic? Included in the post was a poll conducted on behalf of the Park Slope Food Coop as to whether or not remove Israeli products from their shelves.
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The results of the vote were as follows…

Is the Park Slope Food Coop’s potential ban of Israeli products anti-Semitic?

1214 votes casted
351 voted Yes (28%)
863 voted No (71%)
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Regardless of the poll’s results, A New York food co-op, servicing thousands of Brooklyn residents of varying ethnicities and backgrounds, voted against a proposed boycott of Israeli goods and produce on Tuesday night.
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That from a combined HaAretz and AP report found HERE
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Brooklyn food co-op votes against boycott of Israeli products

Park Slope Food Co-op, a common meeting ground for Brooklyn residents and Jews of all denominations, reached the decision following months of deliberations.

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That’s Democracy! Despite what the first survey indicated, the CoOp decided otherwise;

Initially discussed at a co-op member board meeting over two years ago, the proposed boycott was brought to a vote on Tuesday night, with 1,005 members voting against the boycott and 653 voting in favor.

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Obviously influenced by the following….

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Public Advocate and Brooklyn resident Bill de Blasio said he was proud of his neighbors for doing the right thing, calling the proposal inflammatory and destructive.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called the idea “ill conceived” and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer denounced the proposed boycott as “an anti-Semitic crusade.”

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BUT…. the decision cannot stop the Boycott. It’s up to the consumers themselves. I am confident that the original supporters of the proposal and those that voted in the first poll will continue to boycott Israeli products and we will see the boycott grow in other areas of the business sector as well.

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‘NO’ CAN MEAN YES WHEN IT COMES TO ENDING APARTHEID!
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Look for the Bar Code
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Say NO to Bar Code 729!
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ISRAEL FEARS LOSING ITS VICTIM STATUS // TWO VIEWS

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Take for example, the recent Human Rights Council resolution to form a fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people” passed last week. Israel began ranting about how the HRC was hypocritical and biased and had an “automatic majority” against Israel. Obviously predicting what Israel would try to do, the decision also called on Israel “not to obstruct the process of investigation and to cooperate fully with the mission.”*
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Listening to the rabid statements coming out of Israel’s leaders over this past week has pointed to something border lining on the comical. Israel is paranoid and comes across sometimes as a little bit pathetic.

Of course, in the international arena, Israel’s tirades are taken as ‘defensive’ and the fact that the United States backs Israel at just about every turn stifles any real criticisms of its approach. But objectively speaking, Israel is ridiculous in just how much it attacks, not militarily this time, but through its never ending war of words.

Take for example, the recent Human Rights Council resolution to form a fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people” passed last week. Israel began ranting about how the HRC was hypocritical and biased and had an “automatic majority” against Israel. Obviously predicting what Israel would try to do, the decision also called on Israel “not to obstruct the process of investigation and to cooperate fully with the mission.”

Of course this is exactly what happened. Israel says it would refuse to cooperate with the mission, calling the Council “preposterous.” The United States was the only country that voted against the proposal. But instead of the United States bashing the council and its resolution, why doesn’t it ask why Israel is so hell-bent on not cooperating with its probe? If Israel is so confident that it has done no wrong, it should not be worried about anything. And if the United States claims it is opposed to settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, then why doesn’t it allow the mission to come to Palestine and see for itself? Because, it is no different than the Goldstone Report on Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza in which 1,400 were Palestinians killed. Much like many of the oppressive regimes in the region that are being slapped with sanctions and even military intervention, Israel will fight the world tooth and nail defending its actions but won’t allow anyone in to see for themselves if there is any truth to the “preposterous” claims being made.

The Human Rights’ Council is not the only example, though. Israeli officials were on EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton like a bad rash last week when she dared include the children of Gaza among others in reference to the horrible shooting at a school in Toulouse France, which claimed the lives of three Jewish children.

“Israel is the most moral country in the world and despite the fact that it has to fight terrorists who operate from within civilian populations, the IDF makes every effort possible not to harm that population,” said its foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. Prime Minister Netanyahu also criticized Ashton and asked for an apology.

“What makes me angry is the comparison between the premeditated slaughter of children to the defensive surgical activities of the [Israel Defense Forces] aimed at hitting terrorists who use children as shields,” he said.

What no one asked was – even if this were completely true – and we Palestinians were these horrible terrorist monsters who tie our children to rocket launchers, isn’t it still tragic what happens to these kids? Who said the life of one child is more valuable than another? Ashton was only speaking about children and young people killed “in all sorts of circumstances”; aren’t Gaza’s children worthy of this sympathy too?

The fact of the matter is that with Israel, “the best offense is a defense” and so it attacks at every possible opportunity. Thankfully, when the fact-finding mission does come to Palestine (on condition that Israel allows it to enter) it will not need Israel’s cooperation. All it needs are eyes, ears and a sense of justice to see just how unjust Israel’s settlement policy really is.

Israel attacks, not out of self-defense most of the time, but as a way of silencing any voices of truth about its nature. What better way to fend off criticism than to constantly cry wolf and play the innocent victim in a sea of murderous terrorists? It has worked for them this long, so why would Israel stop now?

Editorial written FOR
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Ignoring Israel’s complete domination

By Amira Hass

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Israel’s position in its periodic report to the donor-coordination group for the Palestinian Authority reminds one of the boy who kills his parents and then demands an orphan’s pension. Israel describes the failings of the Palestinian economy as if the colonialist occupation is not their primary cause.

The authors of the report express the view that the dependence of the Palestinian Authority on foreign aid will not diminish in the coming years. In doing so, they are showing disrespect for the intelligence of the donor countries’ representatives, who met last week in Brussels. Who better than these delegates knows the great service the family of nations is doing to Israel by providing massive, ongoing aid to the Palestinians? Taxpayers around the world are the ones who are relieving Israel of its obligations as an occupying power and repairing the damage it is causing. It turns out it’s easier for the family of nations to fund the occupation than to force Israel to put an end to it. The guys in our finance and defense ministries – upon whose data the report is based – state, in fact, that the donor countries should get their checkbooks ready, because our policy this year won’t be different.

With smug arrogance, the report’s authors ignore Israel’s complete domination over the resources essential to economic progress and expansion: land, water, time, a Palestinian population registry, currency, territorial expanse, air space, radio-frequency spectrums, territorial contiguity, banking services and television broadcasts, freedom of movement, border crossings, foreign nationals who are allowed entry and the duration of their stay, highways, and personal and communal security.

With all the precision of a shopkeeper, the drafters of the report recount all of the measures that Israel, in its great magnanimity, has taken “to support economic growth in the West Bank.” But beyond all the means of support detailed in the report, there are the unmentioned hours wasted by Palestinian, American and European bureaucrats seeking to convince their Israeli counterparts to put them into practice.

The number of tourists coming to the West Bank city of Bethlehem last year, for example, was 1,174,280 (compared to 1,092,811 – note the precision! – in 2010 ), according to the report. Then there was the extension of the hours of operation at checkpoints; the agreement over the Palestinian police presence in Area B (which is under Israeli military control and Palestinian civil responsibility ); construction of a visitors’ lounge for meetings between Palestinian and Israeli business people at one of the checkpoints; the drilling of four wells in a nature reserve’s eastern aquifer; 17 (again, note the precision! ) preparatory meetings (regarding water infrastructure ) with representatives of the U.S. State Department and USAID; one meeting with a Dutch representative over Israeli-Palestinian cooperation; 434,382 cars, owned by Palestinian citizens of Israel, that were allowed passage via the West Bank town of Jenin; consideration of a Palestinian request for a customs exemption for cars owned by foreign investors and the disabled; and approval of 2,777 requests for changes of address on ID cards from Gaza to the West Bank (of 3,857 people who sought approval ).

With a whiff of the theories of economist Milton Friedman, the report sneers at the size of the Palestinian public sector. But if there is anything that assures Palestinian social stability – and in turn quiet and prosperity for Israel – it is the regular (if unreasonably low ) salaries paid to that public sector. Since the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO were drafted in the 1990s, payment of wages has been a major means by which support of and dependence on the PA leadership has been buttressed. The adaptability of the Palestinian leadership to Israel’s policy of carving out Palestinian territorial enclaves was based in part on that very internal instability.

And what about the bloated Palestinian security forces, which are an inseparable part of the public sector? They are subcontractors for the Israeli Shin Bet security service and the Israeli army, who have tasked them with participating in controlling, suppressing and containing the various manifestations of Palestinian resistance. It’s as if the big Israeli boss is not only benefiting from the workers supplied by the subcontractor, but is also complaining that there are too many of them.

 

Source

 

J STREET REMOVES PEACE FROM ITS AGENDA

 At a time of regional upheaval, J Street could have played a constructive role in reaching out to the region’s new actors, and attempting to bridge the polarization. At least for balance, it might have found the courage to invite representatives of some of those Olmert killed. Instead J Street has given its platform to a man indicted for corruption who exacerbated the conflict and lost the confidence of his electorate. Olmert has not come to J Street to promote the cause of peace. More likely, he has come to whitewash his reputation and airbrush his past. Israel’s public will see through the charade, even if J Street, in a far-off fantasyland, cheers. By honoring Olmert’s words and condoning his actions, J Street risks giving peace, Israel and itself a bad name.
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J Street Stumbles by Inviting Olmert

Pro-Peace Group Errs in Honoring Architect of Two Wars

GETTY IMAGES

By Nicolas Pelham*

J Street’s decision to offer Ehud Olmert the keynote address at the peace lobby’s annual conference indicates a loss of moral compass. When Olmert takes to the podium tonight, delegates will applaud the Israeli prime minister who orchestrated the punishing siege on Gaza, launched two wars, killing 2,500 Lebanese and Palestinians and pulverizing their infrastructure. He was Israel’s only prime minister since Yitzhak Shamir not to withdraw from territory Israel occupied following the 1967 war. Israel’s leading human rights organization, Btselem, a participant in this year’s J Street conference, called the invitation a mistake.

Undeniably, Olmert speaks a more humanitarian language than most Israeli politicians on the right. During his 2006 election campaign for Israeli prime minister, he promised to withdraw from the West Bank, unilaterally if need be, to something akin to the 1967 lines. But he balked. When the moment of reckoning neared, he waged war, first in Lebanon shortly after his election, and then in the winter of 2008 when he invaded Gaza. By his own admission, he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were just then close to agreeing to the small print of a two-state settlement. Olmert had also accepted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer to mediate a peace agreement with President Assad and then, once talks had begun, torpedoed them with a Gaza adventure that embroiled Israel in allegations of war crimes. He lambasted Israeli settlers for their attacks against Palestinians, but continued to sponsor and defend their expanding settlements.

It might be that Olmert’s warmongering was unwitting, and that the blood that he has on his hands was forced by so many adverse events on his watch. Both the Lebanon and Gaza wars were retaliation for intense cross border attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas, including thousands of rockets that rained down on southern Israel. But he was leader of the region’s most powerful state, not a mere victim of circumstance. When the moment called for caution and cool appraisal, Olmert showed himself a loose cannon, jeopardizing the lives of Arabs and Jews alike. He seemed forever tugged back by the moorings of his early career when he denounced peace with Egypt and was Jerusalem’s most hard-line mayor to date.

As prime minister, his sugar-coated words stood at odds with his actions. He lambasted Israeli settlers for their attacks against Palestinians, but continued to sponsor and defend their expanding settlements.He endorsed a sovereign Palestine, but when Palestinians elected their own government sought to topple it, first by withholding the Palestinian customs revenues required to run it and then with a punishing siege, which he refused to lift even when Gazans agreed to hold fire. He denied Gaza such basics as fuel and toiletries, and reduced the enclave back to the age of donkey travel. Gaza’s plight triggered an escalation, which spiraled first into Gilad Shalit’s abduction and then full-scale invasion.

By contrast, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has captained a more steady ship. While sparing his public the pipes of peace, he has repaired much of his predecessor’s damage. He has eased, considerably, the siege on Gaza and removed many of the roadblocks and obstacles that Olmert retained across the West Bank. He has brought back Israel’s captured soldier alive, in exchange for a mass Palestinian prisoner release. He even halted the settlement construction Olmert pursued, just for a bit. The military occupation of the West Bank remains with all its associated injustice, but while Olmert rushed to escalate and radicalize, Netanyahu has largely calmed. Contrast Netanyahu’s sanguine and low-key response to the cross-border attack near Eilat last August with Olmert’s ill-judged rush into war following a less violent penetration of its border with Lebanon. Even a government-appointed commission condemned Olmert’s judgment as “misguided and rash.” Olmert insists that that ending the conflict justified his lethal means. Netanyahu has been more circumspect about shedding blood for elusive goals.

At a time of regional upheaval, J Street could have played a constructive role in reaching out to the region’s new actors, and attempting to bridge the polarization. At least for balance, it might have found the courage to invite representatives of some of those Olmert killed. Instead J Street has given its platform to a man indicted for corruption who exacerbated the conflict and lost the confidence of his electorate. Olmert has not come to J Street to promote the cause of peace. More likely, he has come to whitewash his reputation and airbrush his past. Israel’s public will see through the charade, even if J Street, in a far-off fantasyland, cheers. By honoring Olmert’s words and condoning his actions, J Street risks giving peace, Israel and itself a bad name.

*Nicolas Pelham has worked as a journalist and analyst in the Middle East for 20 years. He currently reports for The Economist from Jerusalem.

Source

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

ZION’S DOUBLE STANDARDS REGARDING MURDER

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What about Jewish murderousness?
By Khalid Amayreh

The title of this article might be viewed as particularly provoking to many Jews, especially those who are accustomed to shutting up western critics of Israel. The more racist-minded Jews, and there are certainly too many of those, might hasten to dismiss it as plainly anti-Semitic.

This week, one Israeli writer, scrawled a screed entitled “Western World is Blind,” in which he argued that “despite Muslim murderousness, the west refrained from admitting Islam is the problem.”

Hence, I thought that if they can write about “Muslim murderousness.” I, too, should be able to write about Jewish murderousness as well. After all, Jewish terror, has always been an outstanding phenomenon, past and present.

I don’t think that Muslims are angels or totally immune from evil urges to commit murder.

However, I also do believe that the given the large number of Muslims in the world (1.6 billion human beings), the number of Muslims who resort to murder is quite negligible. I am saying this with no intention to lessen or mitigate the gravity of violence and terror perpetrated by nominal Muslims and groups such as al-Qaeda.

This is despite the real, legitimate grievances of Muslims around the world, such as in occupied Palestine, Syria , Iraq , Sudan , Chechnya , eastern Turkistan , Afghanistan , Pakistan and Burma .

On the other hand, there is irrefutable evidence that there are far more Jews per capita who indulge in murder and terror. This is a plain fact in occupied Palestine where nearly every adult Israeli Jew stands guilty for mistreating, harassing, persecuting or even killing a Palestinian.

The bottom line here is that if murderousness is measured by the sheer numbers of innocent victims murdered knowingly and deliberately, then there is no shred of doubt that Israeli Jews will emerge the ultimate winners.

Well, in fact Israeli Jews have always been the winner as far the disproportionately high number of their terror’s innocent victims. I know saying this is not politically correct in places like New York, Paris and London. But one has to be honest and truth must be told.

The murder of four Jews at the hands of a French Muslim citizen has been condemned by Muslims in Europe and the Middle East, both individuals and organizations. However, instead of forming a united front against terror and murder, involving people of good-will, Muslims and Jews alike, we saw that many Jewish leaders and intellectuals, as well the usual shipyard dogs of the Zionist media, granted themselves a sort of carte branch, to attack, vilify and demonize Muslims.

In May 2007, a Jewish French immigrant by the name of Jullien Soufir, lured 35-year-old Taysir Karaki, a taxi driver from Beit Hanina, an East Jerusalem neighborhood and a father of five, to his apartment in Tel Aviv. Soufir decapitated Karaki with a dagger. Soufir, who had been frequenting a synagogue nearby, bragged about his crime.

In March 2009, a Tel Aviv court ruled Soufir paranoid and schizophrenic and that he was unfit to be tried for murder. He was released after all sorts of extenuating circumstances were concocted. I don’t know where Soufir is spending his time now, but I suppose he is being allowed to travel abroad, especially to France.

Now, does Soufir’s crime allow one to speak of Jewish murderousness (as opposed to Muslim murderousness) and French or European blindness to Jewish terror?

Of course, the murder of Karaki was not an isolated case of Jewish terror. Jewish terror, especially by Talmudic-minded settlers in the West Bank, is a matter of daily occurrence. Read B’tselem’s reports and you will get a pretty good idea of what I am talking about.

In fact, the monstrosity and shocking regularity of Israeli (Jewish) crimes in Palestine and Lebanon present an absolute indictment of Israel as a crime against humanity.

Israeli crimes are too numerous to be counted and too nefarious to be forgotten with the passage of time. Israel’s history is actually an uninterrupted chain of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Again, the Toulouse school crime is gruesome, but the genocidal “Jewish” crimes, such as Dir Yasin, Dawaymeh, Sabra and Shatila, Ibrahimi mosque, and recently in Gaza, make what happened in Toulouse look quite insignificant.

The perpetrator of the Toulouse school is believed to have been a member of al-Qaeda, a group which is hounded and mercilessly fought in all Muslim countries, including the Gaza Strip.

But can anyone tell us how Israeli and Jewish circles treat Jewish terrorists and murderers, active and potential? Does anyone remember what happened to the Jewish murderer of Kayed Salah, the Hebronite shop keeper, who was killed in cold blood in 1988 by a “rabbi” named Moshe Levinger? As far as I know, the Kahanist rabbi didn’t serve a single day in jail?

We know and the world knows that Jewish murderers and terrorists are not only admired, honored and celebrated in Israel, but also made to benefit from a shockingly racist, even fascist, justice system that treats them as innocent, even if found guilty in court.

In a society where non-Jews, who constitute nearly 50% of the population living under Israeli control, non-Jews are treated as Children of a lesser God, or Untermenschen, using the Nazi term. It is simply difficult for Gentiles, especially defenseless, helpless and unprotected Gentiles such as the Palestinians to receive justice and equality.

Most Israelis know this fact too well, but they often think that is the way it should be.

A final note: It is noted that Israeli propagandistic circles are trying to team up with their “colleagues” in France to form a common “civility front” against Muslims, e.g. terrorists.

Well, we saw how France behaved in Algeria a few decades ago. Probably Hitler would have had much to learn from the French experiment in the North African country. But the solidarity between France and Israel, which we see these days, reminds us of the umbilical alliance between the apartheid Jewish state and the United States, the country whose forefathers murdered millions of Native Americans and called the genocide Manifest Destiny

ISRAEL: THE ONLY SPOILED BRAT IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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For 64 years Israel has gotten everything it wanted from the Western World, PLUS SOME..
For almost as long, Israel had violated almost every UN Resolution aimed at them for International Crimes committed.
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Yesterday it was reported and posted HERE that Israel was seeking ways ‘to penalize PA in wake of UN human rights probe’.
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Today they seemed to have found the way…. or at least they think they did…
One might call this tactic ‘cutting off their nose to save their face’….
But, as always, they will probably get their way and there either won’t be a settlement probe, or there will be a whitewashing version of it.
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Israel cuts contact with UN rights council, to protest settlements probe

Israel’s Foreign Ministry orders envoy to Geneva to ignore all phone calls from rights council commissioner; ‘The council sparked this process’, says a senior Israeli official.*

Israel decided Monday to sever all contact with the United Nations human rights council and with its chief commissioner Navi Pillay, after the international body decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.

The Foreign Ministry ordered Israel’s ambassador to Geneva to cut off contact immediately, instructing him to ignore phone calls from the commissioner, a senior Israeli official said.

Israel will also bar a fact-finding team dispatched by the council from entering Israel and the West Bank to investigate settlement construction.

“We will not permit members of the human rights council to visit Israel and our ambassador has been instructed to not even answer phone calls,” said the official. “The secretariat of the human rights council and Nabi Pilawai sparked this process by establishing an international investigative committee on settlements, and we will thus not work with them anymore and will not appear before the council,” said the official.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday that the move by the UN body proves that the Palestinians do not want to renew negotiations with Israel. “We are dealing with Al-Qaida terror on the one hand and diplomatic terror by Abu Mazen on the other,” Lieberman said, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Bureau and the Foreign Ministry said then that Israel would not cooperate with the UN committee. The Prime Minister’s Bureau decided Friday that the committee’s members – who are yet to be determined – would not be allowed into Israel.

Israel is also considering sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in response to the human rights council decision.

From

THE RESETTLED OCCUPATION AND OPPOSITION TO WAR IN IRAN

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Last week the OWS folks were kicked out of Zuccotti Park by the NYPD. They resettled and set up camp in Union Square Park, which is a public park. The photos show the new ‘home’.
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But first enjoy this most fitting video that was sent to me … 
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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Meanwhile, in Times Square, The Granny Peace Brigade, ‘celebrated’ the Persian New Year, Nowruz. Included in their celebrations were the demands not to wage war against Iran…
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NYPD: FROM RACIAL PROFILING TO DOWNRIGHT INTERNAL ESPIONAGE

NYPD surveillance document reveals spying on Palestine solidarity movement

Alex Kane

 

(Photo: Getty Images/Newsday)

The Associated Press reveals today that New York Police Department (NYPD) intelligence agents traveled around the country and spied on a number of social justice groups and individuals, including those in the Palestine solidarity movement.

The revelation, based on a 2008 police document the AP obtained, is the latest in their months-long investigationinto New York Police Department spying. The AP series has exposed the NYPD’s massive surveillance of Muslims communities in the Northeast. (Read more Mondoweisscoverage of the NYPD spying operation here.)

From the AP:

In April 2008, an undercover NYPD officer traveled to New Orleans to attend the People’s Summit, a gathering of liberal groups organized around their shared opposition to U.S. economic policy and the effect of trade agreements between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

When the undercover effort was summarized for supervisors, it identified groups opposed to U.S. immigration policy, labor laws and racial profiling. Two activists — Jordan Flaherty, a journalist, and Marisa Franco, a labor organizer for housekeepers and nannies — were mentioned by name in one of the police intelligence reports obtained by the AP.

“One workshop was led by Jordan Flaherty, former member of the International Solidarity Movement Chapter in New York City,” officers wrote in an April 25, 2008, memo to David Cohen, the NYPD’s top intelligence officer. “Mr. Flaherty is an editor and journalist of the Left Turn Magazine and was one of the main organizers of the conference. Mr. Flaherty held a discussion calling for the increase of the divestment campaign of Israel and mentioned two events related to Palestine.”

Flaherty is a long-time journalist and community organizer who was the first writer to break the story of the Jena 6. He has also reported from Gaza for theElectronic Intifada.

The document detailing the surveillance activities can bedownloaded here. Flaherty wasn’t the only activist involved in Palestine-related work that caught the attention of the NYPD. The police memo also reads:

There may be a counter demonstration by a Palestinian organization held near Washington Square Park on May 8,2008 against the 60 year independence of Israel…

The second counter demonstration pertains to the celebration of the Nakba (destruction) being held at the Civic Center of San Francisco. The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (AL-A WDA) is sponsoring the event to be held on May 10, 2008.

These revelations could also be further proof that the NYPD is operating outside federal guidelines on counter-terrorism operations, as weak as they are. These guidelines allowed the NYPD to “attend any public event or gathering on the same basis as another member of the public,” according to Faiza Patel of the Brennan Center at NYU School of Law. But the guidelines also “say that the NYPD can’t retain the information it gathers from such public events unless it is connected to suspected criminal or terrorist activity.”

Source 

HAS ISRAEL FORGOTTEN WHO THE OCCUPIER IS?

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There was a bizarre reaction by Israel after the United Nations’ Human Rights Council decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.
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Lieberman said Friday that the move by the UN body proves that the Palestinians do not want to renew negotiations with Israel. “We are dealing with Al-Qaida terror on the one hand and diplomatic terror by Abu Mazen on the other,” Lieberman said, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
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The above is taken from THIS HaAretz report.
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Israel mulls ways to penalize PA in wake of UN human rights probe

Top ministers Lieberman, Ya’alon and Steinitz reportedly support freezing the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.

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Is this or is this not a classical case of ‘blaming the victim’? Has Israel forgotten who the occupier is and who is the one in violation of human rights? Or, is this merely the Hasbaric method of showing the world that ‘might is right’, even when it is wrong?
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In any event, this happening just a week before the Jewish Festival of Passover, the celebration of Freedom itself, Israel has once again proven its disregard for human rights and humanity as well. All made possible by the blind support given by the Western ‘Democracies’.
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THE ISRAEL YOU WON’T FIND ON CNN

But despite CCTV footage of the riot, Jerusalem police told Haaretz that no one was arrested because no complaint was filed.
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No arrests after racist mall riot
Israeli police have made no arrests after hundreds of football fans attacked
Palestinian workers at a Jerusalem shopping mall.
(MaanImages/Mimmi Nietula, File)
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TEL AVIV, Israel  — Israeli police have made no arrests after hundreds of football supporters attacked Palestinian workers at a shopping mall in Jerusalem, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Friday.

The assault in Malha mall on Monday was “a mass lynching attempt,” cleaner Mohammed Yusuf told Haaretz.

An Israeli police spokesman did not respond to inquiries from Ma’an, but witnesses told Haaretz that hundreds of football fans flooded the mall after a match and chanted anti-Arab slogans, screaming “Death to the Arabs.”

The football supporters verbally abused and spat on three Palestinian women who were in the food court with their children. When Palestinian workers tried to help them, the mostly-teenage rioters assaulted them.

“They caught some of them and beat the hell out of them,” bakery owner Yair told Haaretz.

“They hurled people into shops, and smashed them against shop windows. I don’t understand how none shattered into pieces. One cleaner was attacked by some 20 people, poor guy, and then they had a go at his brother who works in a nearby pizza shop and came to his rescue.”

Attackers asked Jewish shop owners for knives to use as weapons but none obliged, onlookers said.

Malha’s executive director Gideon Avrahami described the incident as “a disgraceful, shocking, racist incident; simply terrible.”

But despite CCTV footage of the riot, Jerusalem police told Haaretz that no one was arrested because no complaint was filed.

Later Friday, a YouTube video emerged showing a portion of the incident at Malha Mall. 

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According to the US-based website Electronic Intifada, the clip shows fans dressed in Beitar colors shouting “death to the Arabs” in Hebrew. 

The post said unchecked racism against Arabs is endemic in Israeli soccer.

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ANOTHER HUNGER STRIKER CLOSE TO DEATH IN ISRAELI JAIL

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Palestinian hunger striker in danger
Battling against administrative detention, Hana Al-Shalabi has refused food for over a month, her health rapidly deteriorating, reports Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

Hana Al-Shalabi, 24, was released from Israeli jails several months ago as part of the so-called Shalit deal. However, the young Palestinian woman was rearrested two months ago “on secret charges” and sent for administrative detention without charge or trial, ostensibly in order to make her suffer.

This, says Eissa Qaraki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of the prisoner portfolio, is a deliberate Israeli policy aimed at hounding and harassing the released prisoners and destabilising their lives.

But Hana Al-Shalabi wouldn’t succumb to the unjust detention order. She resorted to the only means available to her and other inmates to voice their grievances: hunger strike.

On 18 February, she began an open-ended hunger strike to protest against this “illegal, illegitimate and immoral” open-ended incarceration, using her lawyer’s words.

On Sunday, she entered her 32nd day of fasting amid fears for her life as her health deteriorated rapidly.

Her family and human rights organisations in the occupied territories appealed to the UN and Red Cross to intervene and press the Israeli authorities to free her and also put an end to the blatant practice of detaining people for prolonged periods reaching up to 12 years and without trial or charges.

However, it is unlikely that Israel would reconsider the sinister practice that dates back to the British Mandate era and is reserved particularly for Palestinians “who wouldn’t keep quiet”. In the Israeli lexicon, “not keeping quiet” means supporting, even by peaceful means, one of the Palestinian liberation movements, such as Hamas or the Islamic Jihad.

Earlier in the week, Al-Shalabi was forcibly transferred to an Israeli hospital after a medical examination by a foreign physician. It is unknown if she was force-fed by Israeli medics or was only put under medical observation due to her deteriorating health.

Qaraki quoted Doctors for Human Rights, who examined the woman, as testifying that Al-Shalabi was no longer able to stand on her feet, was suffering from nausea, severe headaches and pain in the abdomen, as well as her heart slowing.

The Palestinian official held the Israel occupation fully responsible for Al-Shalabi’s life. He accused the Israeli authorities of behaving callously and inhumanely with regard to the Palestinian woman, saying: “Israel’s behaviour is vengeful and has no iota of legality or legitimacy or even humanity.”

Qaraki further denounced what he called “Israeli sadism and cannibalism”, accusing Israel of “allowing a given prisoner to reach the edge of the grave before intervening to save his or her life.”

Last month, the Israeli authorities met — if partially — the demands of Adnan Khadr at the last moment after he maintained an uninterrupted hunger strike for 66 days, the longest strike ever. An Israeli military court decided to release Khadr, apparently fearing that his death would spark widespread protests and violence throughout the occupied territories.

Khadr is due to be released next week.

The Israeli authorities have proposed to many prisoners a “plea bargain deal” whereby they would leave their country either for good or for a specific number of years. However, the prisoners refused the offer.

There are currently as many as 25 Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in Israeli detention centres, and the number is likely to increase as more prisoners are joining the “empty bowl” battle against the oppressive practice of administrative detention.

The “administrative detainees” in Israeli jails include some 26 elected lawmakers, as well as a large number of intellectuals and professionals.

Earlier, Aziz Duweik, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who was abducted and sent to jail for administrative detention more than two months ago, praised Al-Shalabi, saying she was at the forefront of the battle to end the unjust practice.

“Administrative detention is only a euphemism for holding people captive or hostage for political reasons. This is the reason the Israeli authorities don’t tell the detainee why he is being detained. It is a draconian and unjust practice that has got to stop,” Duweik was quoted by his lawyer as saying.

Meantime, Israel is worried that “administrative detention” is beginning to lose its deterrent and punitive effects on Palestinians. Hence the dilemma facing Israel. Israel’s ultimate goal is to crush Palestinian aspirations for freedom and statehood and break their will to resist.

The Israeli occupation army has rearrested many of the prisoners released in the Shalit deal, either on concocted charges or without any charge at all.

The Israeli army has also murdered at least two of the released prisoners, one in Gaza during the latest Israeli aggression on the coastal enclave and the other during a raid on the town of Yatta near Hebron last week.

Hamas views the re-arrest of released prisoners as a grave violation of the Egyptian-brokered prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group.

Hamas officials, including Sheikh Saleh Aruri, who oversees the implementation of the agreement, have accused Israel of reneging on promises made to Egypt to refrain from re-arresting released prisoners.

He called the re-arrest of some 10 released prisoners “a clear indication of Israeli ill-will”. He also called on the Egyptian government to press the Israeli government to respect the agreement.

Written FOR

A TALE OF TWO CITIES ~~ GAZA AND TOULOUSE

I hope and pray that the Toulouse ‘s murder won’t be repeated. But I know too well that this won’t happen as long as Israel continues to murder Palestinians, torment them, steal their land, and narrow their horizons.

One of the messages that keeps repeating itself throughout the Torah is “don’t oppress the aliens, for you yourselves were oppressed in the land of Egypt .” Had Jews paid real attention to these timeless words, the Toulouse incident probably wouldn’t have occurred.*

Mouse over to 2:30 to see ziotube’s take on the tragedy….

SHAMEFUL!*

Latma’s 138th episode of the Tribal Update brings you Count Von Snobbenberg presenting Katherine Ashton with a new title following her amazing comparison between the Jewish children murdered in Toulouse to children in Gaza.*

 Death in Gaza, Death in Toulouse
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem 

Is there a connection between the al-Qaida attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse in southern France and the recurrent murder of Palestinian civilians by Israel in the occupied territories?

This is a question that Israeli officials and propagandists hate to hear. In fact, upon hearing the question, Zionists get convulsive, irate and defensive.

I am in no way suggesting that the attack on the Toulouse school was justified, and I am not one of those who are convinced that Israel’s occupation of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians, evil and barbaric as it is, makes every Jew under the sun guilty, let alone a legitimate target for revenge.

However, attacks against Zionist Jews, even abroad, must not be all that surprising in light of what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians and other Muslims for the past 64 years. It would be utterly naïve to pretend that Toulouse is located on a different planet.

Some Palestinian advocates would have a perfectly legitimate right to paraphrase Golda Meir’s infamous quote that “we may forgive Palestinians for killing our children, but we can’t forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”

So, if the killing of Jewish civilians is an acceptable justification and explanation for making Israel murder Palestinian children, then by the same token, killing Palestinian (and Lebanese) children should be a “legitimate” justification for the killing of Jewish civilians by aggrieved Arabs and Muslims.

In fact, I have no intention to create a moral symmetry between the two cases, as there is none in fact since Israel is the Palestinian people’s ultimate tormentor and grave-digger.

Unlike Palestinian children, who are murdered by Israel in order to break the Palestinian people’s will for survival and resistance, Israeli civilians are occasionally killed by Palestinians in the context of confronting a colonialist enterprise in Palestine that is aimed at effecting the annihilation of the Palestinian national existence.

The unrelenting narrowing of Palestinian horizons by a fascist-minded Israeli establishment, that is backed almost completely and without reservations by a wantonly obsequious American government that is at Israel’s beck and call provokes and invites defensive reactions on the part of the victims.

The American-English poet Auden said:

I and the public know,

What all school children learn,

Those to whom evil is done,

Do evil in return.

Besides, Israel is telling the Palestinian that “you have three choices: Either enslavement as water carriers or wood hewers, or deportation to the desert, or physical extermination.”

Israeli officials who are PR-sophisticated probably wouldn’t use the same words, but settler and religious leaders who seem to reflect more accurately the collective spirit and mindset of Zionist Jews would not hesitate even for one second to say it as it is. This is religion for them, not a merely changeable political discourse.

The problem doesn’t stop at incendiary words and declarations, such as Daniela Weiss’s who told a group of settlers a few years ago that the way to deal with the Palestinians was “Joshua’s way.” In other words, massacres, more massacres and still more massacres.

As we all know, Israel has been quite liberal in using Joshua’s sword against Palestinian Civilians. Not a month passes without several Palestinian children killed knowingly and deliberately by Israel. Indeed, as Israel is trying to reap maximum political and propaganda capital from the tragic incident in Toulouse, several Palestinian families are mourning the murderous deaths of their children at Israel’s murderous hands.

During Israel’s blitz on Gaza four years ago, more than 360 Palestinian children were killed by the “most moral army in the world.” Hundreds others were maimed and incinerated white Phosphorus.

The killer of the four Jews in Toulouse has paid with his life for his sinful act, but tens of thousands of Israeli killers, including child killers, are celebrated as heroes throughout their society. They probably will never be prosecuted for their murderous crimes.

Similarly, the innocent Palestinian, Lebanese and other Muslim victims around the world will go unwept by a morally duplicitous world media that views Jewish blood as purer as and redder than Muslim blood, whereas the morally right thing to do is not to differentiate between blood and blood, including Jewish blood and Muslim blood.

But the tragic truth is that the differentiation and discrimination is deep-rooted in the Jewish-Zionist mindset, including Talmudic circles which distorted the Commandment Thou shall not murder to mean “don’t murder a Jew” but you may very well murder a goy, even if he is totally innocent.

The killing of innocent people, whether Muslims or Jews or Christians or others, as a retaliation, is wrong and unethical. But wrong and unethical don’t mean “inevitable.” I believe the Toulouse killing was inevitable and Israel must bear at least a big share of responsibility for the incident.

This is unless Israelis and their leaders are a carbon copy of that Jewish mother in Russia whose son has been called up to serve the Czar in the war against Turkey. The story was related by the Israeli writer Uri Avery a few years ago. “Don’t overexert yourself’” she implores him, “Kill a Turk and rest. Kill another Turk and rest again…”

“But mother,” the son interrupts, “What if the Turk kills me?”

“You?” exclaims the mother, “But why? What have you done to him?”

I lost my three innocent paternal uncles to Israeli bullets a few decades ago. And up to this moment, I have never received a word of apology, or mea culpa from Israel, let alone compensation and damages for the horrendous crime.

Why does Israel behave in this manner? Do Jews really think that their lives have sanctity while ours don’t? Do Jews think that the Chosen People complex allows them to belittle the worth and value of non-Jewish lives as is clear from Israel’s words and deeds? Aren’t all humans humanly equal?

I hope and pray that the Toulouse ‘s murder won’t be repeated. But I know too well that this won’t happen as long as Israel continues to murder Palestinians, torment them, steal their land, and narrow their horizons.

One of the messages that keeps repeating itself throughout the Torah is “don’t oppress the aliens, for you yourselves were oppressed in the land of Egypt .” Had Jews paid real attention to these timeless words, the Toulouse incident probably wouldn’t have occurred.

LOVE, NOT WAR, FILLING MIDDLE EAST FACEBOOK PAGES

Love has finally gone ballistic since an Israeli couple told Iranians “WE LOVE YOU”
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Roni Edry and Michal Tamir with their children at home in Tel Aviv, March 21, 2012.
Photo by: Tomer Appelbaum
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Iranians shocked by ‘Israel loves Iran’ Facebook initiative

New York Times, Washington Post report on the initiative started by two Israelis who sent a Facebook message to Iranians last Thursday saying, ‘We will never bomb your country. We love you.’

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A week ago, fear and hatred seemed to dominate the Middle East. Then, a simple online call for peace turned those sentiments upside down – at least briefly.

The trigger was the Facebook message two Israelis sent to Iranians last Thursday: “We will never bomb your country. We love you.” Since then, the website has been swamped with mutual expressions of love and admiration between Israelis and Iranians.

Launched by Roni Edry and his wife Michal Tamir, the initiative was enthusiastically received around the world. It appeared as the main news item on CNN’s website and Al Jazeera. The New York Times and the Washington Post reported about it at length, as did media from Sweden to China.

The couple, who runs a small preparatory school for graphic design called Pushpin Mehina, now devote most of their time to their private peace enterprise. They and six friends work shifts in what they call the “situation room,” going over hundreds of daily messages from Iranians and posting them on Facebook.

“You want to cry when you read them,” says Tamir, trying to put her crying baby to sleep, while her husband is talking to another journalist.

“A little girl who sent us a message that in her school they forced her to trample on Israel’s flag. Then when she saw Roni and our daughter it was very difficult for her…Iranians see our page and break down with excitement. They always thought we hated them. The power of this initiative is that it bypasses governments,” she says.

An Iranian landscape architect named Majid began an equivalent Iranian initiative, opening a Facebook page called “Iran loves Israel.” He says he heard about the Israeli page on a free radio station broadcasting to Iran from Prague, and immediately joined in.

“The responses to the page were extraordinary,” says Majid, 34, a father of two. “Don’t forget the Internet in Iran is blocked and it’s very difficult to surf. I had no reason to think the Israelis were bad people, but in recent days I’ve found them to be very civilized,” he says.

Shaidi Shahin, a young Iranian living in India, filled her Facebook page with expressions of love for Israel. “When I read what the Israeli couple had written,” she writes to me, “I started crying.”

Michael, an oil engineer from Shiraz, says “it’s not a political issue. We only say we like each other, because we have no reason to hate. I’ve never met an Israeli. But when I found that the value of life in Israel is like in Iran, I realized these were good people.”

“We’re not naive. It’s not like the world will change if we say ‘I love you,'” says Tamir. “We’re all afraid, but we want to stop a second before it’s too late. Can we prevent war? Who knows?”

 

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