CENSORSHIP IN THE ISRAELI PRESS ~~ ‘NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T’

 It’s not only the New York Times that deems what is fit to print, HaAretz in Israel seems to be doing the same as of late.
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Gideon Levy wrote a piece about the Gunter Grass controversy, it was published in Hebrew and English, then suddenly disappeared from the English pages… It was rescued, so to speak, by the folks over at Jews Sans Frontieres
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Here it is in its entirety:

Israelis can be angry with Gunter Grass, but they must listen to him
After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to the condemnation of these great people.

By Gideon Levy

The harsh, and in some parts infuriating, poem by Gunter Grass of course immediately sparked a wave of vilifications against it and mainly against its author. Grass indeed went a few steps too far (and too mendaciously ) – Israel will not destroy the Iranian people – and for that he will be punished, in his own country and in Israel. But in precisely the same way the poem’s nine stanzas lost a sense of proportion in terms of their judgment of Israel, so too the angry responses to it suffer from exaggeration. Tom Segev wrote in Haaretz: “Unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently confided in him, his opinion is vacuous.” (“More pathetic than anti-Semitic,” April 5 ). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Grass’ Nazi past, and Israeli embassies in Germany went so far as to state, ridiculously, that the poem signified “anti-Semitism in the best European tradition of blood libels before Passover.”

It is doubtful that Grass intended his poem to be published on the eve of Passover. It contains no blood libel. In fact, it is the branding of it as anti-Semitic that is a matter of tradition – all criticism of Israel is immediately thus labeled. Grass’ Nazi past, his joining the Waffen SS as a youth, does not warrant shutting him up some 70 years later, and his opinion is far from vacuous. According to Segev, anyone who is not a nuclear scientist, an Israeli prime minister or an Iranian president must keep silent on the stormiest issue in Israel and the world today. That is a flawed approach.

Grass’ “What Must Be Said” does contain things that must be said. It can and should be said that Israel’s policy is endangering world peace. His position against Israeli nuclear power is also legitimate. He can also oppose supplying submarines to Israel without his past immediately being pulled out as a counterclaim. But Grass exaggerated, unnecessarily and in a way that damaged his own position. Perhaps it is his advanced age and his ambition to attract a last round of attention, and perhaps the words came forth all at once like a cascade, after decades during which it was almost impossible to criticize Israel in Germany.

That’s the way it is when all criticism of Israel is considered illegitimate and improper and is stopped up inside for years. In the end it erupts in an extreme form. Grass’ poem was published only a few weeks after another prominent German, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, wrote that there is an apartheid regime in Hebron. He also aroused angry responses. Therefore it is better to listen to the statements and, especially, finally, to lift the prohibition against criticizing Israel in Germany.

Israel has many friends in Germany, more than in most European countries. Some of them support us blindly, some have justified guilt feelings and some are true, critical friends of Israel. There are, of course, anti-Semites in Germany and the demand that Germany never forget is also justified. But a situation in which any German who dares criticize Israel is instantly accused of anti-Semitism is intolerable.

Some years ago, after a critical article of mine was published in the German daily Die Welt, one of its editors told me: “No journalist of ours could write an article like that.” I was never again invited to write for that paper. For years, any journalist who joined the huge German media outlet Axel Springer had to sign a pledge never to write anything that casts aspersions on Israel’s right to exist. That is an unhealthy situation that ended with an eruption of exaggerated criticism like Grass’.

Grass is not alone. No less of a major figure, the great author Jose de Sousa Saramago opened the floodgates in his later years when, after a visit to the occupied territories, he compared what was going on there to Auschwitz. Like Grass, Saramago went too far, but his remarks about the Israelis should have been heeded: “Living under the shadow of the Holocaust and expecting forgiveness for everything they will do in the name of their suffering seems coarse. They have learned nothing from the suffering of their parents and their grandparents.”

NEW YORK TIMES HAS A PROBLEM FITTING IN THE FACTS TO PRINT

 Perhaps they need a little nudge…
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Last Thursday I posted Ali Abunimah’s essay….
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New York Times ad accuses BDS movement, college professors of inciting murder of Jewish children
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The post can be seen HERE
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Now, have a look at the following… (NOT FOR THE WEAK AT HEART)
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Kindly look at all of these Palestinian children.



And just so they don’t feel left out, here are some Jewish kids.

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So, tell us all again, New YorK
Times, just who is inciting the murder of whose children?
(Above courtesy of What Really Happened)
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Yesterday I posted a letter to the Editor of  the New York Times disputing the ad which appeared in their pages…
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HOW MUCH FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS THERE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES?

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As far as I can tell, the letter has not been published by the Times, but the photos presented above definitely show whose children are being slaughtered by whom.

HOW MUCH FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS THERE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES?

Posted below is a response to the advert which appeared on the Pages of The New York Times (See THIS post) …. also see this hateful video to know what we are dealing with. Presented is a letter sent to the Editor at the Times. Let’s see if it is fit for them to print, or would they prefer to get it in the form of an ad with a check enclosed …
Just how much Freedom of the Press is there?
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US-Based Professors Respond to NYT Ad Accusing Professors and BDS Movement of Inciting Murder of Jewish Children

Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
[New York Times building in New York City. Image by wallyg from Flickr.]
[New York Times building in New York City. Image by wallyg from Flickr.]

[The following letter to the editor was submitted on 28 April, 2012 to the New York Times in response to an advertisement paid for by the David Horowtiz Freedom Center that appeared in the Op Ed section of the 24 April, 2012 edition of the NYT. It was also reproduced here. The advertisement is posted below, after the list of signatories to the letter.]

To the Editor:

We are professors who teach in universities across this country. We are appalled at the advertisement by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (Op-Ed page, April 24, 2012) which compares the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) to the Holocaust and ancient blood libels. It also asks that professors who support it be “publicly shamed and condemned.” It grossly distorts the statements of such professors, which are publicly available online and can be verified.

The Horowitz Center’s advertisement seeks to shut down informed debate. Free speech and thought was a crucial right at stake in 1930s Germany and it remains so today. The discussion that took place at the University of Pennsylvania did not use any objectionable language, and included many Jewish participants, including rabbis. Your readers can hear for themselves what was said at www.PennBDS.org. It is Horowitz who uses the language of hatred and bigotry. Even those of us who do not support BDS are alarmed at your carrying an advertisement that misinforms and names individuals who do not have the money that Horowtiz has to defend themselves through his chosen medium.

We hope you will publish this letter to make this point.

1. Ania Loomba, University of Pennsylvania
2. Ajay Skaria, University of Minnesota
3. Amy Lang, Syracuse University
4. Andreas Huyssen, Columbia University
5. Anjali Arondekar, University of California, Santa Cruz
6. Ann Pellegrini, NYU
7. Antonio Feros
, 
University of Pennsylvania
8. Boris Gasparov, Columbia University
9. Brian Boyd, Columbia University
10. Bruce Robbins, Columbia University
11. Cesare Cesarino, University of Minnesota
12. Charles Bernstein, University of Pennsylvania
13. Crystal Bartolovich, Syracuse University
14. Daniel Richter, University of Pennsylvania
15. David Delgado Shorter, UCLA
16. David Eng, University of Pennsylvania
17. David Kazanjian University of Pennsylvania
18. David Lloyd, University of Southern California
19. David Pellow, University of Minnesota
20. David Shorter, UCLA
21. Elizabeth Bernstein, Columbia University
22. Ellen Kennedy, University of Pennsylvania
23. Farah Godrej, University of California, Riverside
24. Gary Fields, University of California, San Diego
25. Gillian Hart, University of California, Berkeley
26. Heather Love, University of Pennsylvania
27. Homay King, Bryn Mawr College
28. Howard Winant, University of California, Santa Barbara
29. Indrani Chatterjee, Rutgers University
30. James English, University of Pennsylvania
31. James Schamus, Columbia University
32. Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University
33. Jean Howard, Columbia University
34. Jean Lave, University of California, Berkeley
35. Jennifer Wenzel, University of Michigan
36. Jigna Desai, University of Minnesota
37. Jim Holstun, SUNY, Buffalo
38. Joel Beinin, Stanford University
39. Joel Wainwright, Ohio State University
40. John Mowitt, University of Minnesota
41. Joseph Slaughter, Cornell University
42. Josephine Park, University of Pennsylvania
43. Josie Saldaña, NYU
44. Judith Frank, Amherst College
45. Judith Surkis, Columbia University and the Institute for Advanced Study
46. Kaja Silverman, University of Pennsylvania
47. Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School
48. Kathleen A. McHugh, UCLA
49. Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania
50. Keya Ganguly University of Minnesota
51. Lucy San Pablo Burns, UCLA
52. Manan Desai, Syracuse University
53. Margo Todd, University of Pennsylvania
54. Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University
55. Mark Levine, University of California, Irvine
56. Max Cavitch, University of Pennsylvania
57. Mayanthi L. Fernando, University of California, Santa Cruz
58. Melissa Sanchez, University of Pennsylvania
59. Michael Gamer, University of Pennsylvania
60. Michael Rothberg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
61. Michelle Clayton, UCLA
62. Najam Haider, Barnard College
63. Nancy Bentley, University of Pennsylvania
64. Natalie Melas, Cornell University
65. Nguyen-vo Thu-huong, UCLA
66. Nikhil Pal Singh, NYU
67. Page Fortna, Columbia University
68. Patricia Morton, University of California, Riverside
69. Persis Karim, San Jose State University
70. Piya Chatterjee, University of California, Riverside.
71. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University
72. Raka Ray, University of California, Berkeley
73. Saadia Toor, City University of New York
74. Saba Mahmood, University of California, Berkeley
75. Sabina Sawhney, Hofstra University
76. Sheldon Pollock, Columbia University
77. Shelley Feldman, Cornell University
78. Shu-mei Shih, UCLA
79. Simona Sawhney, University of Minnesota
80. Steve Hahn, University of Pennsylvania
81. Susan Edmunds, Syracuse University
82. Suvir Kaul, University of Pennsylvania
83. Taher Herzallah, University of California, Riverside
84. Tariq Thachil, Yale University
85. Timothy Brennan, University of Minnesota
86. Toni Bowers, University of Pennsylvania
87. Toorjo Ghose, University of Pennsylvania
88. Tsitsi Jaji, University of Pennsylvania
89. Vijay Prashad, Trinity College
90. Viranjini Munasinghe, Cornell University
91. Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
92. Zachary Lesser, University of Pennsylvania
93. Rei Terada, UC Irvine
94. Ravi Palat, Binghamton University
95. Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania
96. Gregory Mann, Columbia University
97. Qadri Ismail, Univerisity of Minnesota
98. Nik Heynen, University of Georgia
99. Shefali Chandra, Washington University St. Louis
100. Jason McGrath, University of Minnesota
101. Ismail Poonawala, UCLA
102. Zohreh Sullivan, UIUC
103. Richard Dienst, Rutgers University
104. Charles E. Butterworth, University of Maryland
105. Gabriel Piterberg, Professor of History, UCLA
106. Jennifer Olmsted, Drew University
107. Katherine C. King, University of California at Los Angeles
108. Dina Rizk Khoury, George Washington University
109. Sondra Hale, Los Angeles (UCLA)
110. Caren Kaplan, Professor, UC Davis
111. Carole S. Vance, Columbia University
112. Karen Brodkin, Professor Emerita, UCLA
113. Lee Zimmerman, Hofstra University
114. Louise Fortmann, UC Berkeley
115. David Klein, California State University, Northridge
116. Barrie Thorne, University of California, Berkeley
117. Ahlam Muhtaseb, California State University, San Bernardino
118. Neil Smith, CUNY
119. Carole H. Browner, UCLA
120. Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas
121. Guy Pollio, Nassau Community College
122. Mona Mehdy, Univ of Texas at Austin
123. Snehal Shingavi, University of Texas, Austin
124. Tim Corrigan, University of Pennsylvania
125. Paul Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania
126. Michael Goldman, University of Minnesota
127. Huma Dar, UC Berkeley
128. Zachary Lockman, New York University
129. Rebecca L. Stein, Duke University
130. Dohra Ahmad, St. John’s University
131. Richard Falk, UCSB
132. Sondra Hale, UCLA
133. Gayatri Gopinath, NYU
134. Shane Minkin, Swarthmore College
135. Lisa Duggan, NYU
136. Hatem Bazian, UC Berkeley
137. Jed Esty, University of Pennsylvania
138. Christopher L. Chiappari, St. Olaf College
139. Aniruddha Das, Columbia University
140. Thomas Pepper, University of Minnesota
141. Helen Scott, University of Vermont
142. Gayatri Chakravoty Spivak, Columbia University
143. Lisa Hajjar UCSB
144. Stephanie McCurry, University of Pennsylvania
145. S. Shankar, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
146. Cindi Katz, CUNY.
147. Nada Elia, Antioch University – Seattle
148. Grace Kao, University of Pennsylvania
149. Nancy Scheper-Hughes, UC Berkeley
150. Bruce Braun, University of Minnesota
151. Katie Kane, University of Montana

Original advertisement by David Horowitz Freedom Center appearing in 24 April, 2012 issue of New York Times:


[Image from electronicintifada.net]

 

Source

MAY DAY ~~ THEN AND NOW

 First a look at NOWPhotos © by Bud Korotzer
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Read the following brilliant essay by Jacob Remes
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May Day’s Radical History: What Occupy Is Fighting for This May 1st

Occupy actions planned on May Day are tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labor movement.
Click HERE to read the entire essay …
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And  THEN
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May Day – 1947

by Howard Fast

This is a tale

. . . but not for all of you! Only for those of you who love life, and who would live it as free men. Not for all of you, but for those of you who hate injustice and wrong, who find no good in starvation, misery and homelessness. For those of you who remember when twelve million unemployed looked hollow-eyed into the future. For those of you who have heard the whimper of a child in hunger, or a man in pain. For those of you who have heard the guns and listened for the smack of the torpedo. For those of you who saw the dead that fascism made. For those of you who made the sinews of war and were given, as payment, the nightmare threat of atomic death.
It is a tale for those. For mothers who would rather see their children live than die. For workers who know that the fascist breaks unions first. For veterans who know that those who make the wars do no fighting. For students who know that freedom and knowledge are inseparable. For intellectuals, who must die if fascism lives. For Negroes, who know that Jim-crow and reaction are two sides of the same coin. For Jews, who learned from the gentle Hitler what anti-Semitism really is. And for children, for all children, for the children of every color, every race, every creed – for them, this tale is written, so that they may look forward to life and not to death.
This is a story of the strength of the people, of their own day, which they chose, and upon which they celebrate their unity and strength. It is a day which, to our lasting pride, was the gift of the American working class to the world.

They did not tell you

. . . in the histories you studied in school how May Day began, but there is much that was noble and brave in our past that the histories carefully blot out. It goes that May Day is a foreign importation, but to the men who made the first May Day in Chicago in 1886, there was nothing very foreign about it. They spun it out of native yarn; their anger at what the wage system does to human beings did not have to be imported. The first May Day took place in Chicago in the year 1886. There was a prelude to it, a picture worth recalling. For a decade before 1886, the American working class was in a process of birth and growth, and it was by no means a bloodless process. The young nation which had swept from ocean to ocean in so short a time, built cities, spanned the plains with railroads, and laid low the virgin forests, was now on the way to becoming the first industrial land. And in doing so, it turned upon those who had done the work, built with their hands all that was America, and squeezed the very life from them.
Men, women, and children too, were literally worked to death in the new American factories. The twelve hour day was a commonplace, the fourteen hour day not rare, and in many places even children worked sixteen and eighteen hours a day. Wages were low, very often well below the basic subsistence level, and mass unemployment began to come with the bitter regularity of cyclical depression. Government by injunction was the order of the day.
But the American working class was not docile. It did not accept this and bear it as its natural lot; it fought back – and it taught the entire world a lesson in worker’s militancy that has no parallel, even to this day.
In 1877, a railroad strike started in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The militia was called out, and after a brief battle with the workers, the strike was suppressed – but only locally; the spark ignited turned into a flame. The Baltimore and Ohio went out; the Pennsylvania went out, and then railroad after railroad, until the tiny local eruption had turned into the greatest general rail strike the world knew up to then. Other industries joined in, and in many areas the rail strike became a general strike.
For the first time, the government as well as the bosses became aware of what the strength of labor can mean. They called out the militia and the regular army; vigilantes were deputized. In some places, pitched battles were fought. In St. Louis, civil authorities abdicated, handing the city over to the administration of the working class. No one can calculate today what the casualties were in that violent outburst, but that they were enormous no one who has studied the facts can doubt.
The strike was finally broken, but American labor stretched and breathed with new awareness. The birth pains were over, and the coming of age had begun.
The next decade was a period of struggle, at first struggle for survival out of which grew the struggle for organization. The government did not easily forget 1877; armories began to be built in various American cities; main streets were broadened, so that gatling guns could command them; a mass anti-labor private police organization, the Pinkerton Agency, came into being; and measures against labor became more and more repressive. The red menace, which had been used as a propaganda weapon in America since the 1830s, was now built into the full-scale bogeyman we see today.
But the workers did not take this supinely. In turn, they organized. The Knights of Labor, born underground, had, by 1886, more than 700,000 members. The young American Federation of Labor, organized as a voluntary association of unions with socialism as one of their goals, was growing rapidly, class-conscious, militant, and relentless in its demands. A new slogan had come into being, a new demand, clear, unequivocal:
“Eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, eight hours of recreation.”
By 1886, American labor was a young giant, ready to try its strength. The armories were built, but the armories were not enough. The Pinkertons were not enough, nor were the gatling guns. Organized labor was on the march, and its single militant slogan echoed across the land – and the earth, too:
“Eight hours of work a day–no more!”
At that time, in 1886, Chicago was the center of the militant, left-wing labor movement. It was in Chicago that the idea was born for a united workers’ demonstration, a day that was theirs and no others’, a day when they would lay down their tools and shoulder to shoulder demonstrate their strength.
The First of May was chosen as the day of the working class, the people’s day. Well in advance, an Eight Hour Association was formed to prepare for the demonstration. This Eight Hour Association was a united front, formed out of the American Federation of Labor, the Knights of Labor and the Socialist Labor Party. Also allied with them was the Central Labor Union of Chicago, which included the most militant left-wing unions.
It was no small thing that began there in Chicago. 25,000 workers attended a pre-May Day mobilization. When May Day itself came, the Chicago workers poured from the shops by the thousands, laying down their tools, marching and gathering at mass meetings. Even that, at its inception, thousands of middle class people joined with the workers, and this pattern of solidarity was repeated in many other American cities.
Then, as now, big business struck back – with bloodshed, terror, and judicial murder. A mass meeting two days later at the McCormick Reaper Works, which was on strike, was attacked by the police, and six workers were murdered. When the workers demonstrated, in protest of this unspeakable action the next day at Haymarket Square, the police attacked again. A bomb was thrown, killing several police and workers – and though it was never discovered who threw the bomb, four American labor leaders were hanged, for a crime they did not commit, and of which they were proven innocent.
As one of these brave men, August Spies, stood on the gallows, he cried out:
“There will come a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.”
How true that is time has proven. Chicago gave May Day to the world, and on this, the sixty-second May Day, the people of the world, assembled in the might of all their millions, bear out August Spies prediction.
It was three years after the Chicago demonstration that working-class leaders from all over the world assembled in Paris to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the fall of the Bastille. One after another, the leaders of the various nations spoke.
Finally, it was the turn of the Americans. The worker who represented our working class rose, and in simple and straightforward language, he told the story of the struggle for the eight-hour day which culminated in the shameful Haymarket incident of 1886.
He painted a picture of violence, bloodshed, and brave gallantry that the delegates to that convention remembered for years afterwards. He told how Parsons had gone to his death, after being offered life if he would only separate himself from his comrades and plead for clemency. He told how ten innocent Irish miners were hanged in Pennsylvania because they had fought for the right to organize. He told of full scale battles where the workers fought armed Pinkertons, and he told much more. When he had finished, the Paris Congress adopted the following resolution:
“The Congress decides to organize a great international demonstration, so that in all countries and in all cities on one appointed day the toiling masses shall demand of the state authorities the legal redaction of the working day to eight hours, as well as the carrying out of other decisions of the Paris Congress. Since a similar demonstration had already decided upon for May 1, 1890, by the American Federation of Labor . . . this day is accepted for the International Demonstration. The workers of the various countries must organize this demonstration according to conditions prevailing in each country.”
So it was done, and May Day belonged to the world. Good things belong to no one people or nation. As the workers of country after country fitted May Day into their lives, their struggles and their hopes, they came to take for granted that the day was theirs – and that too is right, for of all nations on the face of the earth, we are most surely the nation of nations, the combination of all peoples and all cultures.

What of this May Day?

The May Days of the past light up the struggles of half a century like beacons. It was on May Day at the turn of the century that the working class first condemned imperialist aggrandizement. It was on May Day that workers marched in support of the infant socialist state the Soviet Union. It was on May Day that we celebrated, in all our strength, the organization of the unorganized. But no May Day in the past ever faced so ominous and yet so hopeful a future as the May Day we inaugurate now. Never before was there so much to be won; never before was there so much to be lost.
It is not easy for the people to speak. The people do not own the press, or the pulpits, nor do the majority of our delegated representatives in government serve the people. The radio does not belong to the people, nor are the motion pictures theirs. Big business monopoly control is well established, very well established – but the people themselves belong to no monopoly.
The strength of the people is their own, and May Day is their day – to show that strength.
There is a loud voice in the marching of millions. It is time that those who would hand America over to fascism heard that voice!
It is time for us to let them know that real wages have dwindled by almost fifty percent, that larders are empty, that here in America more and more people are feeling the pinch of hunger.
It is time to raise our voices against the anti-labor legislation, the two hundred and more anti-labor bills coming up in Congress – bills that would open the field to smash labor as surely as Hitler’s Nazism smashed German labor.
It is time for organized labor in America to wake up to this fact – to the desperate eleventh hour need for labor unity – before it is too late and no organized labor remains to be unified.
You read here a tale of men who worked twelve and fifteen hours a day, of government by terror and injunction.
That is the goal of those who seek to smash labor today. Those are the good old days they would revive, as proven by the Supreme Court decision in the United Mine Workers’ case. You will give them your answer when you march on May Day.
It is time that we recognized what the call for an American empire means, for intervention in Greece, Turkey and China. What is the price of Empire? Let those who scream for America to save the world by ruling the world look at the fate of other empires! Let them count the cost of war, in lives as well as money.
It is time we woke up to what the anti-Communist witch hunt means! Was there ever a land in which the outlawing of the Communist Party was not the prelude to fascism? Was there ever a land where the labor unions were not smashed just as soon as the Communists were disposed of?
It is time we became aware of the cost of things! The price of Red-baiting is the destruction of organized labor – and the price of that is fascism. And who is there today who will not recognize that the price of fascism is death?
For almost a hundred years, organized labor has been the backbone of American democracy. Now, evil and sinister forces are determined that organized labor must be destroyed.
May Day is the time for all liberty-loving citizens of this land to answer the reactionaries. There is a loud voice in the marching of millions! Join with us in the May Day demonstration, and give your answer to the merchants of death.
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Bottom line is…..
HAPPY MAY DAY!
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    Hat Tip and thanks to Andre

NEW YORK’S FRIENDS OF THE JENIN FREEDOM THEATRE

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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Address by Nabil AlRoee of the Jenin Theatre …
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Info Film from Jenin …
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T Shirt Fund Raiser …
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And the shirts …
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And the appreciation …
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For information on how to buy T Shirts or offer other support …

Contact Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre

Email: friends@thefreedomtheatre.org

OSLO HATE TRIAL TURNS TO STREET LOVE FEST


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40,000 sing protest Breivik with a song he hates

(Photos and Video below)

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Forty thousand Norwegians flooded the streets of Oslo in the pouring rain to defy mass murderer Anders Breivik after he derided the popular children’s song “Children of the Rainbow” as a Marxist tool to brainwash children.

The size of the crowd meant that an amazing one in every fifteen of Oslo’s 613,000 residents showed up to the rally.

Underneath a canopy of umbrellas in Oslo’s central square, tens of thousands sang the 1970s children’s song, which celebrates the very multicultural world Breivik so despises. Similar demonstrations were held throughout the country, in the social media-organized event.

After singing, people walked several blocks to the courthouse where Breivik is currently on trail, laying roses on the steps of the courthouse and the building’s security fence in memory of those he killed in a bombing and shooting rampage last summer.

Inside the court, the 33-year-old far-right extremist, who killed 77 people, remained emotionless as survivors spoke of the horror he had unleashed.

While giving testimony last Friday, Breivik cited the song as an example of how the Norwegian school system is an “indoctrination camp” for “cultural Marxism.”

He also directed venom at Lillebjørn Nilsen for his rendition of the tune, saying “he is a good example of a Marxist who infiltrated the cultural sector; he writes music that is used to brainwash children.”

“Children of the Rainbow” is a Norwegian adaptation of American folksinger Pete Seeger’s 1973 track “My Rainbow Race.”

“Breivik has used it as an example of brainwashing, but it is rather an example of the opposite,” Reuters cites Christine Bar, one of the organizers who launched the event on Facebook, as saying.

“We think it represents diversity, and it stands for the community we have chosen to live in – and which Breivik and similar people want to tear down.”

Breivik detonated a bomb near the government headquarters in Oslo last July, killing eight people. He then went on to kill another 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a Labor Party youth camp on nearby Utoya Island.

Breivik claims he carried out the attacks in self-defense, in a bid to protect Norway from multiculturalism – and an impending “Muslim invasion.”

If he is found to be sane, Breivik faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison. If declared insane, he would be kept in a psychiatric institute for as long as he is considered ill.

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Reuters / Kyrre Lien / NTB Scanpix
Reuters / Kyrre Lien / NTB Scanpix

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Reuters / Kyrre Lien / NTB Scanpix
Reuters / Kyrre Lien / NTB Scanpix

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Reuters / Heiko Junge / NTB Scanpix
Reuters / Heiko Junge / NTB Scanpix

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Reuters / Heiko Junge / NTB Scanpix
Reuters / Heiko Junge / NTB Scanpix

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Reuters / Heiko Junge / NTB Scanpix
Reuters / Heiko Junge / NTB Scan
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Video…
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OCCUPY MAY DAY ~~ STAND TALL AND FREE WITH THE 99%

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What’s happening on May Day?
On May 1st, 2012, we are creating a new kind of holiday – A People’s Holiday – one that’s not just another flavor of consumerism, but which invites us to image a world beyond consumerism.We ask you to do one of two things to commemorate this day:

  • Don’t like what you do? Don’t do it. Take one day to do something you love instead.
  • Love what you do? Do it for free. Take it to the next level and bring it to the public.
This is what it means to strike today. Join us as we imagine another way of living.

May Day Schedule

Note: this schedule is tentative. All times and locations are subject to (radical) change.

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Bryant Park

  • Bryant Park will be the site of a fun and friendly “Pop-up Occupation”, featuring free food, a free market, free services, skillshares, workshops, teach-ins, speak outs, public art, performances, discussions, and trainings.
  • This will be a staging area for direct action and civil disobedience in Midtown throughout the day: creative disruptions, bank blockades, outreach to commuters and tourists, and more!
  • Amongst many autonomous actions, this will also be the launching ground for our 99 Pickets! We will be setting up 99 Picket Lines to expose, disrupt, and shut down the corporations who rule our city — it will be an effective way for people to plug into the morning activities on May Day. Drop a line to the organizers to get plugged in: 99PicketLines@gmail.com
  • At noon there will be a guitar workshop and rehearsal for the Occupy Guitarmy with Tom Morello.

2 p.m. — March to Union Square

  • March and make music with the Occupy Guitarmy, led by Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine! OWS Music is enlisting 1,000 guitar-playing musicians to join this march. Please contact OWS Music if you would like to be a specialist.

4 p.m. — Unity Rally at Union Square

  • The May Day Solidarity Coalition has organized an historic convergence of the 99%!
  • Join Occupy Wall Street, labor unions, the immigrant justice coalition, students, and faith & community groups will hold a massive, permitted, safe rally at Union Square.
  • Musical performances by Das Racist, Dan Deacon, Tom Morello, Immortal Technique, Bobby Sanabria, and other special guests.

5:30 p.m. — Solidarity march starting at Union Square

  • A permitted, safe march from Union Square to Wall Street with a coalition of labor, immigrant, OWS, student, and faith organizations.

7 p.m. — March to staging area for evening events

  • Everyone from the solidarity march will gather together at the endpoint of our march for music, speakers, and an exciting celebration to culminate this historic convergence.

Transforming New York City

In addition to these convergences, many more actions will transform our city into a better world:

Education

  • From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Free University will spring up in Madison Square Park.
  • The Free University is an open invitation to educators around New York City to participate in May Day 2012.
  • Lectures, workshops, skill-shares, and discussions will be held — all open to the public. University professors will bring their classes to the commons.

Art

  • Arts and performances will permeate the city, transforming it into a living, walking exhibition.
  • A massive choir performance, with hundreds of people singing to draw others out. Dance brigades. Projections on buildings. Teams of clowns. Radical faeries. A Guitarmy. Acrobats. Live painting. Musicians of every kind. A beautiful explosion of art will light the way for people trying to recreate themselves and their world. Join in at call2create.org

Housing

  • Foreclosed homes will be defended, and empty homes will be reoccupied.

Work

  • Workplaces will begin to be run by workers.

Support and Solidarity

These are just some of the many local organizations supporting A Day Without the 99%:

AFSCME DC 1707
AFSCME CSEA Region 2
AFSCME Local 371 (SSEU)
AFSCME Local 372 DC 37
AFSCME Local 375 DC 37
AFSCME DC 37 Retirees Association
AFT Local 2334 (PSC-CUNY)
American Federation of Musicians Local 802
Anakbayan NY/NJ
Answer Coalition
BAYAN-USA
Brandworkers
Centro Guatemalteco Tecun Uman
Coalition for Public Education (CPE)
Committees of Correspondence
Community/Farmworker Alliance NYC CWA District 1
CWA Local 1180
CWA Local 31003 The New York Newspaper Guild
Domestic Workers United
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE)
Freedom Socialist Party
GABRIELA
Greater NY Labor-Religion Coalition
Green Party of NYC
Guyanese American Workers United
Honduras USA Resistencia
IBT Joint Council 16
IBT Local 808
IBT Local 814
Immigrant Workers Movement
Industrial Union Council New Jersey
International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees
International Action Center
International Socialist Organization
Jornaleros Unidos de Woodside
Kurland Group
La Fuente
La Pena del Bronx
Labor for Palestine
Left Labor Project
LIUNA Local 10
LIUNA Local 78
LIUNA Local 79
Long Island Workplace Project
Make the Road New York
May 1st Coalition National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
National Jobs for All Coalition
New York Broadcast Trades Council
New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
New York City Labor Against the War
New York City LCLAA
New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP)
New York Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvadore
New York Communities for Change
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Taxi Workers Alliance
NYS District Communist Party USA
Occupy Sunset Park
Occupy Wall Street
Operation Power
Organization of Staff Analysts
Pakistan USA Freedom Forum
Philippine Forum
Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York
Retail Action Project
RWDSU
School of Americas Watch (SOA Watch)
1199SEIU
SEIU 32BJ
Senegalese Workers Association
Sisa Pakari Cultural & Labor Center
TWU Local 100
UAW Region 9A
UAW Local 1981
UNITE HERE Local 100
United NY
Veterans for Peace Chapter 3 NYC
Workers United, SEIU
Workers World Party
Writers Guild of America, East Coast

If your organization would like to endorse A Day Without the 99%, please contact us.

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These General Assemblies have answered the call for a General Strike:

Occupy Atlanta, GA
Occupy Albany, NY
Occupy Amherst, MA
Occupy Baltimore, MD
Occupy Bellingham, WA
Occupy Boston, MA
Occupy Bozeman, MT
Occupy Brooklyn, NY
Occupy Buffalo, NY
Occupy Burlington, VT
Occupy Bushwick, NY
Occupy Chicago, IL
Occupy Cleveland, OH
Occupy Dayton, OH
Occupy Delaware
Occupy Detroit, MI
Occupy Durango, CO
Occupy Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Occupy Fullerton, CA
Occupy Honolulu, HI
Occupy Huntington, WV
Occupy Indiana
Occupy Irvine, CA
Occupy Las Vegas, NV
Occupy Long Beach, CA
Occupy Long Island, NY
Occupy Los Angeles, CA
Media Consortium
Occupy Melbourne, AU
Occupy Miami, FL
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Occupy Minneapolis/Twin Cities, MN
Occupy Mira Monte, CA
Occupy Naples, FL
Occupy New Jersey
Occupy Oakland, CA
Occupy Ottawa, ON, Canada
Occupy Oxnard, CA
Occupy Pasadena, CA
Occupy Philadelphia, PA
Occupy Phoenix, AZ
Occupy Portland, OR
Occupy Providence, RI
Occupy Richmond, VA
Occupy Riverside, CA
Occupy San Diego, CA
Occupy San Fernando Valley, CA
Occupy San Jose, CA
Occupy Santa Cruz, CA
Occupy Schenectady, NY
Occupy Seattle, WA
Occupy St. Louis, MO
Occupy Sydney, AU
Occupy Tacoma, WA
Occupy Tampa, FL
Occupy Venice, CA
Occupy Ventura, CA
Occupy Washington, D.C.
Occupy Williamsburg, NY
Occupy Wall Street

PETE SEEGER’S MUSIC TO BE FEATURED AT OSLO HATE TRIAL

 
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Norwegians to protest Breivik, singing song he hates

Thousands of Norwegians will take to the streets of Oslo on Thursday to sing a children’s song calling for peace and fraternity, in a protest against mass killer Anders Behring Breivik who has called it Marxist brainwashing.

They plan to sing arm-in-arm a few blocks from the courthouse where Breivik is on trial for the killings of 77 people in a gun and bomb rampage last year.

“I grew up with this song and have sung it to my child,” said Lill Hjoennevaag, one of the organizers of the demonstration.

“Everybody I know feels strongly about this song and we need to take it back,” she told public broadcaster NRK.

Lillebjoern Nilsen’s “Children of the Rainbow”, a Norwegian rendition of American folk singer Pete Seeger’s 1971 “My Rainbow Race”, is a popular song in Norway.

“Breivik has used it as an example of brainwashing, but it is rather an example of the opposite,” said Christine Bar, another organizer, who launched the event on Facebook.

“We think it represents diversity, and it stands for the community we have chosen to live in, and which Breivik and similar people want to tear down,” she added.

Breivik set off a car bomb, killing eight people, then gunned down 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a youth summer camp organized by the ruling Labour Party on July 22.

In court on Friday he attacked Norway’s schools and in particular Nilsen.

“He is a good example of a Marxist who infiltrated the cultural sector; he writes music that is used to brainwash children,” Breivik said.

He admits the killings and has described his attacks in shocking detail, but pleads not guilty, claiming the right to protect Norway from multiculturalism and Muslim immigration.

He said the Labour Party was his chief target because it had promoted mass immigration, and that its youth camp was political indoctrination with the aim of brainwashing young activists.

He expressed regrets he was unable to complete his plan of beheading former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, known as the “mother of the country”, and said he had hoped to kill many more.

On Wednesday he railed at psychiatrists who diagnosed him as psychotic, saying their report contained “evil, fictional inventions”.

Selected lyrics, as translated by Reuters, follow:

A sky full of stars

Blue ocean far as you see

An earth where flowers grow.

Can you wish for more?

Together we shall live

Every sister, every brother

Small children of the rainbow

And a fertile soil

….

But tell all the children

Tell your father, tell your mother

This is our last chance

To share one hope, one world

Source    Hat tip to Andre with thanks

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FROM A DEFENDER OF ZIONIST TERROR TO A DEFENDER OF CHILD SEX ABUSE

 
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So are people that defend it …
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Alan Dershowitz cannot go any lower than he has gone in recent days…
Aside from the witch hunts he orchestrates on US Universities, the hatred that he spews out on a daily basis in defense of zion, he is now the victor in a Brooklyn child sex abuse legal case;

An appeals court has reversed the child sex abuse conviction of Brooklyn travel agent Baruch Lebovits, who was sentenced in 2010 to up to 32 years in prison.

Alan Dershowitz, chief counsel for Lebovits on appeal, called the unanimous reversal by a four-judge appellate panel a “total victory.”

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Considering the man seems quite wealthy, there is no justification for him taking on this particular case. One can’t help wonder if Dersh would have been there if the defendant’s name was Feeney or MacPherson….

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Lebovits Abuse Conviction Is Overturned

Brooklyn Travel Agent Was Sentenced to 32 Years

Cleared: Baruch Lebovits was sentenced to 32 years in prison for allegedly molesting boys. An appeals court reversed the conviction amid questions about testimony against him.
getty images
Cleared: Baruch Lebovits was sentenced to 32 years in prison for allegedly molesting boys. An appeals court reversed the conviction amid questions about testimony against him.
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An appeals court has reversed the child sex abuse conviction of Brooklyn travel agent Baruch Lebovits, who was sentenced in 2010 to up to 32 years in prison.

Alan Dershowitz, chief counsel for Lebovits on appeal, called the unanimous reversal by a four-judge appellate panel a “total victory.”

Lebovits was not acquitted outright but instead had his conviction reversed, which could allow the District Attorney to retry the case. But Dershowitz doubted prosecutors would be able to mount a new case.

“Under the circumstances it will be impossible for the prosecution to successfully retry the case because we now have overwhelming evidence that will require that the case be thrown out,” Dershowitz said on April 25.

Lebovits, who was convicted of eight counts of sexual assault, was the most high-profile conviction secured by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes since the D.A. launched a campaign against child sex abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community three years ago.

The case against Lebovits, a Boro Park travel agent, began to unravel in April, 2011, when police arrested Samuel Kellner on charges that he paid at least one of Lebovits’ alleged victims $10,000 to falsely testify he had been abused.

Kellner was also charged with trying to extort $400,000 from Lebovits’ family in return for keeping other alleged victims from coming forward.

Hynes stood by the testimony of the one boy who did testify at trial that Levovits had abuded him. That secured Lebovits’ conviction.

Lebovits was released on bail and placed under house arrest pending an appeal, which was argued by Dershowitz earlier this year.

On April 24, a panel of the Supreme Court Of The State Of New York Appellate Division ruled that although prosecutors had sufficient evidence to bring a case against Lebovits, they acted in several ways that prejudiced the trial.

The judges found that prosecutors failed to provide his defense team with a set of notes taken by a New York Police detective that accused the sole prosecution witness of attempting to bribe Lebovits in return for retracting his complaint.

The judges also criticized a prosecutor who tried to discredit a defense witness on the stand by accusing him of being a child molester. The judges found that this charge “had no basis within the record and was improper.” A spokesman for the District Attorney’s office did not return a call for comment.


ZIONISTS SPREADING HATRED ON EVERY US CAMPUS AND IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Raising another False Flag in honour of Israel’s ‘Independence’ Day …
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Tomorrow the State of Israel will celebrate its 64th birthday. As in the past, tis the season to spread hatred and lies about Palestine, Palestinians and their struggle for nationhood and a just peace in the Middle East.
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The zionists will spend Million$ to get their message across to you, using the platforms of every major campus in the country…. here is one of the vilest pieces of ziocrap in action…
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…. with more lies culminating in the New York Times …
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New York Times ad accuses BDS movement, college professors of inciting murder of Jewish children
Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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In a sign of growing desperation among anti-Palestinian groups, a New York Times ad published today likens the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement to the Holocaust.

“The Holocaust began with boycotts of Jewish stores and ended with death camps,” begins the ad, placed by notorious anti-African American and Islamophobic agitator David Horowitz.

Citing the murder of three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse, France earlier this year, the ad says, “it is time for supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) to ask themselves what they did to contribute to the atmosphere of hate that spawned these and other murders of Jews.”

Unsatisfied with blaming supporters of Palestinian rights in general of aiding and abetting murder, the ad names specific professors whom it holds responsible, and calls on them to be “publicly shamed and condemned for the crimes their hatred incites.”

The overwrought language in the advertisement is typical of Horowitz who has made a career out of such libelous accusations. It seems that no abuse or cheapening of the memory of Holocaust victims is too outrageous for anti-Palestinian crusaders such as Horowitz.

Acceptable?

The New York Times does have “Advertising Acceptability Guidelines” which state:

The Times may decline to accept advertising that is misleading, inaccurate or fraudulent; that makes unfair competitive claims; or that fails to comply with its standards of decency and dignity.

And:

In addition, an advertisement must sometimes be declined because of the applicability of laws dealing with such matters as libel, copyright and trademark, the right to privacy, the sale of securities, the sale of real estate and political advertising.

Some things do go too far for The Times. Last month the paper reportedly rejected an ad from Pamela Geller’s anti-Muslim hate group.

Apparently however, accusing specific individuals – effectively of responsibility for the murder of Jewish children in France – for supporting equal rights for Palestinians, does not cross any lines of deceny, dignity or accuracy for this newspaper of record.

Most, but not all, the names on the ad are of professors who have endorsed the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Horowitz: Black people should be grateful for slavery

As I wrote in last December, Horowitz has a record of the most vile racism and Islamophobia:

For those who have forgotten who Horowitz, the editor in chief and owner of FrontPage Magazine is, he has engaged in continuous campaigns against Muslims and African Americans. Ten years ago Horowitz notoriously ran ads in college newspapers across the country saying that black people should be grateful that their ancestors were slaves in America and in fact owed America a debt for slavery. The ads caused an outcry on campuses all over the United States.

More recently, Horowitz has defended Robert Spencer, another notorious bigot and inspiration for Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik, as “a man of great courage and decency.”

 

Written FOR

LOOKS LIKE I’M A ‘PART TIME’ ANTI – SEMITE

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New terminology for a new day. The zionist mindset is producing a new lexicon of the English language as we speak.
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The entire Gunter Grass controversy is being dragged out and exploited to its maximum, with new accusations and more finger pointing, but today they reached a new level of idiocy with an OpEd in the Ynet News site; Finally there is the question – why did five major European papers publish an anti-Semitic poem? One must mention that the Italian Repubblica did so, yet published critical articles next to it. The answer to this seems simple because the German Suddeutsche Zeitung, the Spanish El Pais, the British The Guardian and the Danish Politiken are not contemporary mutations of the Nazi paper Der Stürmer. Like Grass, who is a part-time anti-Semitic poet, they are part-time anti-Semitic publications.
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They ask WHY? Maybe because it is the obligation of a real newspaper to report the truth, unlike some of the so called newspapers in Israel. Perhaps also it is important to show the world that ‘even a German citizen’ has the guts to speak the truth about Israel today.
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It looks like I too am a ‘part time’ anti Semite as I as well published the poem in question on more than one occasion, in fact, just in case any of you missed it, here it is again…
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What must be said
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Why have I been silent, silent for so long?,
Our generals have gamed it out,
Confident the west will survive.
We people have not even been considered.

What is this right to “preventive war”?
A war that could erase the Iranian people.
Dominated by it’s neighbor, pulsing with righteousness
Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.

Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by it’s name?,
Israel and it’s ever increasing nuclear arsenal,
Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.

We all know these things
Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:
anti-Semitic
hateful
worse

Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call is “business”, “reparation” take your pick,
As we deliver yet another submarine.
As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.
I say what must be said.

Why did I stay silent until now?
Because I’m German, of course.
I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out
I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right
To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.

Why did I wait to say it until now?
And write these words with the last of my ink?
Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?
Because it is true and it must be said,
Tomorrow will be too late.

We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders
Through the weapons we have sold
We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy
No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.

It must be said. I won’t be silent
I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;
Please shed the silence with me,
The consequences are all too predictable.
It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.

It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.
And we too, will survive.

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Originally I had no intention of even commenting on the above poem, but when I saw who was the most vocal against it and its author, I had to speak my piece. You can see my original thoughts on the matter in THIS post. I want to emphasise one paragraph from that post as it is the entire crux of the matter; Truth is not anti-Semitism, but hiding or denying it will create same. In reality, Grass is doing his utmost to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism by saying what had to be said.*

From the OpEd; Much can also be learned by looking at Israel’s reactions to Grass’ poem. Why did Prime Minister Netanyahu get involved with a poem, however ugly? Why did Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman do so also? Why did Minister of Interior Eli Yishai declare Grass persona non grata? The poet had not announced any intention to visit Israel. Israel does not usually declare which ones of its many haters will be allowed entry.

 Grass thereupon compared Minister Yishai to former DDR Minister Erich Mielke, who was head of the Stasi Secret service. If Yishai had competent advisers, they could have told him in advance that a politician cannot win a shouting match with an author who can say the most absurd things. The Israeli travel ban also enabled other German politicians to criticize Israel without risking accusations of whitewashing the anti-Semitic poem.

The Israeli government’s reactions illustrated once again the helplessness of the authorities in the propaganda war against the country. Not having analyzed it, nor having understood it, the authorities produce only ad hoc reactions to each new incident.

If there had to be any Israeli reaction at all, it should have been made by a low official who could have said: “When it was fashionable, Grass was a Nazi. When that became objectionable, he hid his past. He revealed it only late in his life, when little harm could be done to him. When it became fashionable to demonize Israel, he published his lies in poetry form.” *

Yes, Grass WAS a nazi … PAST TENSE. But why?? Perhaps to stay out of prison, perhaps to save his own life and those of his immediate family. Do any of us know what we would have done (or joined) had we lived in those horrible, turbulent days? Does anyone dare question the motives of the present Pope, who also happens to be a German? You can read about his early years HERE. On one hand, Grass has written extensively about the horrors of nazism. On the other hand, it is Jewish and zionist groups that defend the Pope’s youthful connections. Why is this? Why is Israel so afraid of the truth that it has to lie to cover it up?*

In the meantime, I personally have every intention of remaining the ‘part time’ anti-Semite that I am as I intend to continue presenting the truth about Israel on these pages.*

Grass is a part-time anti-Semite. He demonizes Israel, yet claims in his poem that he’s a friend of Israel. However false that claim is, no full-time anti-Semite would take the trouble to say it. I can honestly say that I am proud to be in Gunter Grass’ company.*

To read the OpEd in question, click HERE.

SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL

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I was born in the United States, I left there 45 years ago. I never lost my American citizenship. I immigrated to Canada, became a citizen there but left 28 years ago. I never lost my Canadian citizenship. I have lived in Israel since leaving Canada giving me 3 citizenships…
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BUT
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A man who was born here has no status whatsoever; Amir Salima, 21, from the Old City of Jerusalem, has no legal status – not in Israel, not in the Palestinian Authority and not anywhere else. He has no identity card, no passport, he cannot register for university studies, apply for a job, sign up for an HMO or open a bank account. He cannot visit the West Bank or anywhere else outside of Jerusalem. In fact, he can barely leave his house, for fear of being caught by the police.
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HERE …. in the ‘only Democracy in the Middle East???
Yup! Something is definitely rotten in the State of Israel….
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Amir Salima in his home in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday.  Photo by: Michal Fattal

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East Jerusalem man, denied residency by Israel, effectively prisoner in own home

Interior Ministry refuses to recognize 21-year-old Amir Salima as resident of the city, despite the fact that his parents and siblings are all considered residents.

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Amir Salima, 21, from the Old City of Jerusalem, has no legal status – not in Israel, not in the Palestinian Authority and not anywhere else. He has no identity card, no passport, he cannot register for university studies, apply for a job, sign up for an HMO or open a bank account. He cannot visit the West Bank or anywhere else outside of Jerusalem. In fact, he can barely leave his house, for fear of being caught by the police.

Salima is a man with no identity. The absurdity of his situation is amplified by the fact that his parents and five siblings all hold Israeli identity cards. The reason is simple: unfortunately for him, he was born in a hospital in Ramallah, and not in Jerusalem.

Over the years, the Interior Ministry turned down several requests by his parents for an Israeli identity card for their son. In three weeks, the Jerusalem District Court is set to discuss a petition he submitted against the state through the organization Hamoked: The Center for the Defense of the Individual.

Salima fell victim to a complex legal situation in which Palestinians from East Jerusalem are eligible for “residency,” under the Entry to Israel Law, similar to tourists who enter Israel for a limited stay. Residency, however, does not pass automatically from parents to children, and the law does not address a situation in which the child of residents is born outside of Israel.

Salima was born in 1991 in a hospital near Ramallah, after his mother began having labor pains while visiting her sister, who lives there. “At first it didn’t matter, he was a child and there were no checkpoints,” said his father Naim.

The problems began when Amir’s parents tried to register him for school, but through connections and good will they managed to sign him up for a school in East Jerusalem, despite his not holding an identity card.

After a long journey through the bureaucracy, he managed to take his matriculation exams, using his father’s identity number. He got high marks on the exams, but three years have passed since then during which he has essentially been a prisoner in his own home.

In one case, a police officer even sought to expel him from his house, after declaring him “illegally present.” In another case, he was caught by police and strip searched. Since then, he is reluctant to leave home.

As a result, while all of his siblings are now completing degrees in law and engineering, Amir is stuck in his room, in a small house next to Herod’s Gate in the Old City, spending most of his time in front of his computer. “Facebook, Hotmail, what else can I do?” he says.

“Dad says driving him around in his car is more dangerous than transporting hashish,” says his brother Fadi.

In the petition, Salima’s lawyer Adi Lustigman argues that the right to legal standing is anchored in Israeli law and in international agreements signed by Israel.

“Amir Salima has spent his whole life in Israel on the seam line, a son to two parents who are Israeli residents and a brother to five brothers and sisters who are Israeli residents. His whole life is centered here. There is no other place where he can go and receive status,” she wrote.

“This obtuseness toward a person, when a government body knows that he is a minor, is deplorable and reveals the system’s double standard toward the Palestinians,” the petition states.  

The petition concludes with a line from a Leonard Cohen song: “Show me the place, where you want your slave to go.”

The Interior Ministry said in response, “The family’s request was rejected due to various reasons, among them center of life. Moreover, their request was recently rejected by [an Interior Ministry] committee. Beyond that, our full response will be submitted to the court.” 

Source*

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Even WITH residency status or citizenship, when the State DECIDES you are in the way of illegal settlers moving into YOUR home, you are simply evicted.
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First forced eviction of Palestinian family in Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina to make way for Jewish settlers

Submitted by Adri Nieuwhof
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On 18 April, the Palestinian Natsheh family was evicted from their home in Beit Hanina, a Palestinian neighborhood in the north of occupied East Jerusalem The eviction was carried out by the Bailiff’s Office with police back-up. Beit Hanina’s first forced removal left two parents and nine children homeless.

Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, immediately released a statement condemning Israel’s unlawful act. “Evictions of Palestinians from their homes and properties in occupied territory contravene international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and should cease,” he said.

A few days later, the European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah followed Gaylard’s example. The EU missions expressed their deep concern about the plans to build a new settlement in the midst of Beit Hanina, reported press agency AFP. The missions reiterated the EU position that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law.

Family has been on land since 1940s

The eviction follows a court case brought against the Palestinian families by Aryeh King, founder of the right-wing settlement organization Israel Land Fund. King claimed that the property belonged to Jewish residents prior to 1948 and were purchased by a Jewish buyer 35 years ago. Palestinian owner Khaled Natsheh could not prove his ownership of his property because land transactions in Beit Hanina between Palestinians are generally not filed with the municipality, he told the Jerusalem Post. Members of the Natsheh family possessed the land as far back as the 1940s.

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court decided to grant ownership of the property to King’s “client.” Following the court decision one Palestinian family “voluntarily” left their home after King promised to waive the NIS 250,000 debt the court awarded to the Israel Land Fund for damages. However, the Natsheh family refused to move. “Even if [King] gave me a million shekels I wouldn’t give him the keys,” said Natsheh. “I’m not going to leave, I will die here. Whatever they want to do, they can do. Whatever they want, I’m not leaving the house. If they kill me, they kill me,” he told the Jerusalem Post.

The Israel Land Fund plans to build 50 apartments for settlers on the land which is located close to the Jerusalem Light Rail. King advertised the Israel land Fund’s illegal business in Beit Hanina on twitter on 28 March:

Screenshot of Arieh King’s tweet with a photo of the Natsheh family home.

Judaizing Beit Hanina

The photo in King’s tweet shows the house of the Natsheh family. In Judaizing’ Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem, with backing from Americans, Jeff Halper described the harassment of the Natsheh family.

Driving Palestinians out of their homes in “east” Jerusalem is, as you can imagine, a dirty business. But its not terribly difficult. The Palestinians are a vulnerable population, poor (70% subsist on less than $2 a day), completely unprotected by the law or Israeli courts, and targeted by determined Jewish settlers with all the money and political backing in the world – much of its coming, of course, from the US, mainly from orthodox Jews and Christian Zionists. Over the past few days settlers led by Arieh King have been harassing Palestinian residents of Beit Hanina, according to King, settlers will “very soon” take over four houses, plus an additional two houses in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where violent nighttime evictions aided by the Israeli police have become commonplace. The immediate target of window-breaking, curses, violent encounters and now a police search of the home “for weapons” is the Natsheh family of Beit Hanina.

The illegal practices in Beit Hanina of King’s Israel Land Fund are welcomed by the Jerusalem Deputy Mayor David Hadari. “The city of Jerusalem needs to remember that every government talks about a united Jerusalem, that means that Jews can build in every place, and we’ll continue to build through the entire city,” he told the Jerusalem Post.

However, East Jerusalem is occupied territory under international law and Israel has no right to demolish Palestinian property, to evict Palestinians from their homes or land, or to build on Palestinian land: no walls, no settlements and no light rail. To condemn these violations of the rights of the Palestinians is not sufficient.

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LESSONS LEARNED BY LOOKING BACK AT GAZA

The name Ayman Qwaider might ring a bell to many of my readers. Over the years I have posted many articles written by him dealing with life in the Gaza Strip. Because of the seizure I was never able to meet this young man, but we are in contact by phone and Internet on a regular basis.
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A year ago I posted THIS piece written by Ayman which tells how he was able to get where he is today. Now, after more than a year of being away from Gaza, he reflects on what he left behind, both in words and video.
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Mind The Strip, Lessons Learned

 by Ayman Qwaider

Firstly, humanity and human rights should be our prime concern as peace makers and peace caretakers. I was helped by people I have never met in my life when i was stuck in Gaza and was being prevented by Israel to go to Spain to complete my masters.   My newfound friends, who were different in colour, religion, nationality and language, assisted me without any pre-existing conditions. They initiated a media campaign to pressure public opinion so that Israel would allow me to leave Gaza, simply because we share the most important aspect of what can bring all peoples together and that is humanity. 

When I asked them why they helped me, someone that they had never before met, they replied that they believed that what was happening to me was unjust and that they were in a position to help me and so they did what they felt was natural and right.  It is important to stress here is that humanity and a belief in universal justice can transcend all nations and all tribes.  At this point, I would like to bring to your attention an important verse from Sura al-Hujurat of the Quran which highlights this point:

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

Secondly, we should never overlook or undermine our power as people to make significant changes in the world today. When I was stuck in Gaza and was struggling to leave Gaza for nearly two months, we did not give up. We created peaceful and powerful tools and strategies to put pressure on the Israeli state where we knew it would be most effective: public opinion. We were determined that our efforts would succeed, and that is first and foremost because we believed that we would succeed from the very beginning.

So, first and foremost the strategy was to affect the sphere of public opinion and second, we needed to find the proper tools and access points to achieve this goal.  Through our access to social media networks and local Catalan media and through another Spanish media contact in Jerusalem, we managed to reach the Spanish mainstream media that reported my story in the major Spanish media outlets, and it spread like a wildfire!   The major social media tools that we used included Facebook, Online Petitions and Twitter, however it wouldn’t have been successful had we not taken the effort to reach a more broad audience through traditional media outlets.  However we likely would not have been successful in reaching the mass media without firstly instigating the social media campaign.

Thirdly, we learned to never be afraid to demand your basic human rights because it is yours and no power on earth should deny you these rights.  These are not simply the rights outlined in the UN Charter or the Geneva Conventions, but God given rights, irrespective of any international organization or piece of paper that they are written on.

Fourthly, all human rights violations should be documented because it is the only way to raise awareness of these plights to a wider audience.  It is important that we stand beyond all deprived and vulnerable people. There are so many people on earth whom their voice is voiceless or they do not have the means to bring their voices to the attention of the world. Thus, it is our duty to help give them a louder voice.

And finally, in situations of injustice, never wait for others to assist you. We should always take the lead to change realities of unfairness and injustice. We should always utilize all possible means available to us in order to remove or contribute to removing injustice. Others will be convinced later and take the initiative and complete the path.

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The Video…

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Posted originally AT

FINDING SOME COMIC RELIEF IN ISRAELI SOLDIER’S VIOLENCE

Looking back at the actions of the terrorist Israeli soldier, his supposed broken pinky and the limp as he walks makes one wonder if the IDF hands out awards for ‘Best actor of the year’. If so, it’s Eisner, hands down.
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Gideon Levy has some interesting points to share about this incident….
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But first, a video produced by Latma; they  are the ‘shmucks’ of We Con The World fame. Best to watch the presentation in ‘full screen mode’ so you can read the English subtitles with less difficulty.
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Latma demonstrates that the right finds humour in this as well as in the Gunter Grass controversy. It’s definitely worth looking at. But one can’t help to wonder if they are laughing at the situations or at us?
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The videos mentioned in the following report can be seen HERE and HERE
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Violent IDF officer provides snapshot of Israeli society

Following the disturbances on the soccer pitch, the league championship action was canceled this weekend. Eisner’s violence will stop nothing, except for slightly sidetracking his career.

By Gideon Levy

Once in a while, the Israeli occupation provides some instances of comic relief to break the monotony of desperation. Funny to the point of tears is the roundish and unkempt figure of Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, limping on his way for “medical treatment,” complaining of pains, showing the cameras his bandaged pinky and his arm hanging from a brace as if it were some serious orthopedic injury. No less amusing is the claim that demonstrators broke the deputy brigade commander’s pinky. It’s also amusing to hear one of the settler leaders say the demonstrators blocked off traffic on the “Dan-Eilat highway.”

It’s funny to hear Eisner admit that it’s possible he “committed a professional error in judgment, using my weapon in front of the cameras,” and that his actions were “in order to carry out my duty and to protect my soldiers.” It’s also funny to hear the director of the IDF’s public relations branch, Roni Daniel, warn that following this incident, “People will not want to become officers in the IDF” (as if it wouldn’t have been better if people like Eisner weren’t officers in the IDF ). And it’s no less ridiculous to hear the Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, say Eisner’s actions “run contrary to IDF values” – as if IDF officers and soldiers don’t behave in exactly the same way every day in the territories, just not usually on camera.

Indeed, even the excessive storm that the blow with the rifle butt gave rise to is funny. After all, what happened? There were cameras.

A blow with the butt of a rifle? Late last week, B’Tselem published another video clip captured by Palestinian TV near the bicycle protest: Eisner is seen walking and striking nearly everything that moves with his weapon, as if he was some nightclub bouncer. Five demonstrators tasted the butt of his weapon, from the front and the back. The video also exposes the “violence” of the demonstrators and their “threat” to the soldiers: one of them began pedaling on his bike.

This section of the video was broadcast Friday night in symbolic proximity to a report on violent incidents in soccer stadiums. The behavior of the hooligans and players in the stadiums was not much different to that of Eisner. Between the IDF on the one hand, and Bnei Lod and Hapoel Ramat Gan on the other, you will find few differences. Following the disturbances on the soccer pitch, the league championship action was canceled this weekend. Eisner’s violence will stop nothing, except for slightly sidetracking his career.

But once the brief comic relief is over, the depressing reality returns and strikes you full in the face. It’s now clear that Eisner’s action was not a momentary outburst. The thought that an officer like Eisner was to preside as deputy commander of the Officers’ Training school (had it not been for the accident with the cameras ) should be a cause for concern – first and foremost to the IDF itself.

Above all, the Eisner case provides a telling snapshot of Israeli society. Immediately following the release of the video, it reacted in line with its typical parameters: the right instantly crowned Eisner a national hero; the remainder of the left expressed shock; and the vast majority of the public, presumably, thought Eisner was wronged. It is hard to imagine why.

The basic human instinct of any person, on the right or the left, should have led him to respond in shock at seeing the scenes of an officer brutally striking a demonstrator armed with only a bicycle. The basic instinct of someone who supports democracy should also be the same. What is right or left in this case? Why is the right not shocked by the behavior of a thug? Why has Eisner become its hero? If blows against Arabs mean nothing because they are not perceived as human, and striking a blow to the face of a fair-haired young Dane stirs none of the required human response, then something very sick is going on.

True, the political brainwashing machine has imposed on us in recent years (also through the media ) the assumption that a peace activist is a terrorist, that every volunteer in the territories is an anarchist, and that everyone who is critical is anti-Semitic. Nonetheless, I suspect that the people want violence – and the more the better against everyone who does not fall into line.

The end of this affair is clear and depressing: Col. Eisner will be compensated for the “wrong” he has suffered, either in the IDF or elsewhere; the hostility (and violence ) of officers and soldiers in the IDF – which is directed against demonstrators and, especially, cameramen – will be increased even more; and the public will stick to its belief that the IDF is the most ethical army in the world.

ISRAEL/PALESTINE: FILLING THE JAILS WITH OUR FUTURE LEADERS

“What is the point of holding elections in the West Bank when our candidates will be dumped behind Israeli bars either before or after elections?”
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Israel replenishing its jails with peaceful Arab students
From Khalid Amayreh in al-Khalil

 

In an effort to scuttle Palestinian resistance, including peaceful opposition, to the harsh Israeli occupation, Israel has been arresting dozens of Palestinian college students, ostensibly for involvement in peaceful political activism on their college campuses.

The semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority is nearly totally powerless to stop daily Israeli arrest raids on Palestinian population centers in the West Bank .

In recent weeks, the Israeli occupation army, in coordination, with the Shin Beth, Israel’s chief domestic security agency, stepped up a detention campaign targeting Islamist students at junior colleges and universities all over the occupied territory.

It is not exactly known how many students have been rounded up in these nightly raids. However, sources close to human rights organizations and NGOs monitoring Israeli human rights violations put the number at “dozens if not hundreds.”

“They (Israeli occupation forces) raid our towns, villages and hamlets on a nightly basis, usually in the quiet hours before dawn. They terrorize families, including sleeping children, smash furniture, and round up young students,” said Islam al-Khatib, a human rights field activist, documenting Israeli violations.

“In 99% of the cases, the students are totally innocent. But this is no guarantee against being arrested and persecuted by the Israelis. A Palestinian, especially a Palestinian Islamist, is guilty until proven innocent, in recent years, he is even guilty even if proven innocent.”

The noted escalation of Israeli repression of Palestinian students, mainly those affiliated with the Islamist Orientation, e.g. supporting Hamas, Islamic Jihad or other Islamist groups, came after the Islamic Student Bloc (ISB) in the West Bank decided to take part in student elections which many observers see as a barometer gauging public opinion in the occupied territory.

Some pundits view the participation of the ISB in college elections as a sign that rapprochement between Hamas and the PA is making progress despite its slow pace.

Fatah, the ruling party of the PA, refused to allow pro-Hamas students to highlight their activities. And in many cases, Fatah students took part in cracking down on their Islamist colleagues as hundreds of Islamist students were detained and tortured by PA security agencies.

There are dozens of student prisoners in PA jails, mostly on frivolous charges stemming from their activities within the Islamist student bloc. Some of the detained students are asked to act as informers on their Islamist colleagues in exchange for their freedom.

Israel fears the Islamists

On Wednesday, 18 April, Israeli occupation forces raided the small town of Beit Ula , 12 kilometer north west of Hebron , in order to arrest Islam Hasan el Bashishi, an IT student at the Polytechnic Institute.

El-Bashishi, said a colleague of hers, is an excellent student, academically, morally and personally.

“I don’t know why they (the Israelis) arrest people like her. Islam wouldn’t harm a fly. She is totally peaceable,” said her friend.

But she adds: “I think the Israelis want to torment and humiliate us in every possible manner. This is really a scandalous abuse of power. It is sad and lamentable that they can drag anyone out of his or her home in the middle of the night and take him to an unknown destination. Are they trying to do to us what they say the Nazis did to them?”

El-Bashish, 23, is about to graduate in May, and, in addition. She is slated to get married this summer.

However, her unforeseen arrest has turned all her plans upside down.

“This shows that there is nothing that we can take for granted here. The evil Israeli occupiers control every aspect of our lives. Yet, there are people in this world who are still asking what the hell do the Palestinians want? Throw the Jews into the sea?”

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the young student was taken to the notorious Ofer detention facility, the Treblinka, of the West Bank. Then she was transferred to the ha’Sharon jail for women where inmates are reportedly subject to systematic ill treatment including beating, sadistic abuses and sleep deprivation.

Earlier, the Israeli army arrested three other students from the same engineering college in Hebron, including Ibrahim al Awadh, Samer al-Qadhi and Osama Saad. All the three had been detained by the PA security agency in connection with their activities within the Islamic bloc.

Earlier this month, ten Islamic students from the University of Beir Zeit, near Ramallah, were rounded up by the Israeli army.

According to one lawyer, his client was asked by interrogators to choose between “ten years in jail or to stop supporting the Islamist movement.”

It is uncertain whether the Israeli crackdown on pro-Hamas students in the West Bank is done in coordination with the PA security agencies. However, it is quite certain that Fatah stands to benefit from the weakening of Hamas on campuses.

“We know that Israel has been carrying out a witch hunt campaign against Hamas. But we in Fatah can not do any thing about it. But to suggest that Fatah conspires with the Israelis against Hamas is a total lie and disinformation,” said one Fatah student leader in Hebron who asked for anonymity. Fatah resents any suggestion that it is collaborating with Israel.

None the less, it is clear that Israel is trying to intimidate potential supporters of Hamas by waving the sword of open-ended detention against them.

Meanwhile, Hamas is having second thoughts about the organization of general elections in the West Bank under the Israeli occupation. Islamist leaders have demanded “real guarantees that elections will be totally free and transparent,” a condition that is impossible to meet given Israel’s ubiquitous control in the occupied territory.

Last week, Ismael Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Hamas-led government in Gaza was quoted as saying “What is the point of holding elections in the West Bank when our candidates will be dumped behind Israeli bars either before or after elections?”

SAVING THE EARTH FOR THE PEOPLE ~~ NOT THE CORPORATIONS

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It was cold, it was raining …. BUT despite it all, scores of people gathered in front of a ‘BP’ gas station to celebrate Earth Day and to protest the destruction of our environment by the likes of ‘BP’ and other corporations. The event was organised by the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
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The ‘Defenders of the Environment’ then marched through the city streets to Union Square Park, led by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra playing We Shall Overcome.

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Commentary by and Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Another demo took place at Grand Central Station

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A VIEW FROM JERUSALEM: PRESENTING THE NEWS IN THE FORM OF A NOVEL

 IN DEFENSE OF INSANITY
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One can say many things about the lack of journalistic integrity at the Jerusalem Post, but one cannot say that much of the ‘news’ presented in their pages is anything close to the truth. It is often said that the truth can be seen in articles if one reads ‘in-between the lines’, not so in the JP.
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One of their regular columnists is a Jerusalem based novelist named Naomi Ragen. Her views are quite right of centre as would be expected in a regular at that paper, but her latest piece of dribble is nothing but a work of fiction, not even attempting to present the facts concerning the incidents she speaks of.
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She starts her tirade with The recent YouTube video showing Lt.- Col. Shalom Eisner, deputy commander of the Beka’a Brigade, striking an aggressive ISM foreign national in the mouth with the clip of his rifle, has made waves all over the world. As usual, as in the Mohammed al-Dura incident, the pictures, taken out of context and played without explanation, are hard to for those who love Israel to combat. After all, no one wants to attempt to justify the killing of a child (even though in the al-Dura case, it was staged and completely false) or the violent attack on a handsome blond Danish “peace activist.”
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The camera lied??? Here’s a clip of that same soldier attacking 5, not 1, peace activists… a video obviously not a part of her column…
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Read my post dealing with this HERE
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The right has been complaining recently about the use of video cameras at demonstrations where soldier’s violent actions are recorded for the world to see. Now their tactic is to try and discredit the videos as nothing but lies, by using lies as proof. A good example is THIS report from Ynet News…  

The inflated camera threat

Op-ed: Good news for Israel – in the past foes aimed guns at us; today they aim iPhones

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Back to the JP…the heading of Ragen’s article is Consider this: Duoes, dummies and useful idiots , but if you read the following paragraph from it you can clearly see who the dummy and useful idiot is…
When I first looked into this, what interested me was who these young people are who are willing to drop everything, hop onto a plane and fly to a country they have no connection with to attack IDF soldiers and risk Israeli lives on the roads. After all, they looked normal, like young people everywhere, filled with the same eager idealism that fuels the Occupy Wall Streeters and DCers, and Arab Springers. What is it that motivates them? What are they trying to accomplish? And so I did a little check on the organizers of the “Welcome to Palestine Campaign.”
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And what did she find?
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The Al-Awda Center in Beit Sahour, another campaign organizer, describes itself as “a broad-based, non-partisan, democratic, and charitable organization of grassroots activists and students committed to comprehensive public education on the rights of all Palestinian refugees….”However, according to the Anti-Defamation League, Al-Awda – The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is actually a grassroots organization that opposes Israel’s right to exist, is responsible for coordinating numerous rallies, demonstrations and events to condemn Israel and its policies.The village of Beit Sahour, known for harboring dozens of Bethlehem-area gunmen, including senior Hamas, Tanzim, and Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade terrorists, was infamously involved in the violent siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002, imprisoning 49 clergy and 45 unarmed civilians. In 2011, a terrorist cell was discovered in the village and its members put on trial for attempted murder, production of weapons and weapons trade, military training, throwing Molotov cocktails, attacking a Border Police vehicle… shall I go on, oh peaceful activists? OF COURSE, the part played by these organizations in the Welcome to Palestine provocation is minor compared to that of the International Solidarity Movement. So brush your golden locks out of your ears and eyes, Mr.starry-eyed Danish ISM activist, and listen up.Calling itself a “non-violent human rights organization that opposes terrorism and supports a two-state solution,” ISM openly incites violence and supports “armed struggle” against Israeli “occupation,” defined by ISM spokesman Raphael Cohen in 2003 as “The Zionist presence in Palestine.”
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The above according to the Anti-Defamation League …. that’s journalism??
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It’s pretty sad to see a newspaper staffed with Psycho Gals, Duoes, dummies and useful idiots, but I guess their readership prefers a poorly written novel to the truth over their morning coffee.
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Her column can be read HERE if you have the stomach for it.

DISPUTING GOLDSTONE’S LIES ~~ THE TRUTH ABOUT ‘CAST LEAD’ AND GAZA TODAY

Mads Gilbert, eyewitness to ‘Cast Lead’, says Gaza remains besieged and ‘shattered’

By Alex Kane
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  Two years ago, Dr. Mads Gilbert (left) told me that his experience in Gaza during Israel’s assault in 2009 was the “most horrific experience” of his life, a grim honor previously held by Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which Gilbert also witnessed. Gilbert spent over two weeks as one of the only foreign doctors in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, and worked at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Currently a professor of medicine at the University of North Norway, Gilbert is the co-author of the book Eyes in Gaza, which chronicles what he witnessed during the Israeli assault and invasion.

Today, Gilbert says Gaza remains in ruins, betrayed by the international community. The blockade of Gaza remains, and Israeli air strikes continue to kill civilians.

Gilbert, who is known for his deeply personal and riveting presentations on the Gaza Strip, recently concluded a speaking tour in the United States.

I caught up with Gilbert before his talk at Columbia University. We discussed his recent impressions of Gaza, the decision by the International Criminal Court to reject a probe into war crimes committed during Cast Lead, and much more.

Alex Kane: So, what brings you back to New York?

Mads Gilbert: Actually, it’s my sixth invited speaking tour on Gaza since Operation Cast Lead. This time, it’s a speaking tour of ten days to Washington, obviously New York, up north, to Madison and a number of universities. The tour is organized by Jennifer Loewenstein and the Carol Chomsky Memorial Foundation. So they are the ones that invited me, actually. So I think it’s interesting that I’ve been here six times on speaking tours, speaking at a large number of universities, in church groups, at the Sabeel conference, and so forth, and I’ve been twice to Canada on a week-long stretch of tours and twice to the UK on week-long speaking tours. So it amounts to, all together, ten speaking tours on Gaza.

AK: And have you been back to Gaza since your time spent during Cast Lead?

MG: Yes. In fact in August 2009, with the manuscript for the families to review and to review the pictures. And I was back in January. I came the same route in and out as I did during Operation Cast Lead. So I traveled in through Rafah on New Year’s Eve, to follow the footsteps of the mission during Operation Cast Lead, and went up to Shifa Hospital, met with my colleagues, did some clinical work, had meetings, gave lectures, and most importantly, met many of the patients that I had treated.

AK: What are your most recent impressions of Gaza?

MG: My impressions as of 2012–that’s what I’m going to speak about tonight. The human rights abuses of the Israeli government, of the Israeli army, continues.

There is widespread lack of human security, ongoing killings, military attacks, week by week people are getting killed and injured. The siege is as brutal as it has been, resulting in lack of everything, from construction materials, to power–the power cuts are more extensive than they have been in a long time because of the lack of diesel and gasoline to fuel the generators. The lack of solid waste trucks makes it almost impossible to collect the solid waste. In Gaza City, they have contracted 280 donkey cart drivers to manually handle the solid waste. Many of the sewage cleaning installations are not working because they lack spare parts and maintenance, so sewage is pumped into the Mediterranean. And of course there is widespread deficiencies in nutrition. The malnutrition is well documented, and it causes anemia and stunting in children, not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank, but it’s more pronounced in Gaza.

The people of Gaza maintain their dignity and their humanity, I would say. I was well received with great hospitality. People don’t weep, they don’t beg, they don’t complain, but of course life is exceedingly difficult. Many are so tired and sick of the siege and the ongoing bombing, and they really want to see an end to that. Also, they want to see Palestinian unity. Many of the patients that participated in the treatment, they need follow-up, they need rehabilitation. Some of them need surgery. And of course the health care system in Gaza is quite overburdened by the number of people needing medical support, and the siege takes its tool on equipment, maintenance, spare parts, everything you can imagine. So, taken all together, the situation has not become easier. The attacks continue, but the people will not give up. The 600 tunnels are the lifelines of the influx of goods and animals to Gaza. The smuggler economy will increase the level of costs for all types of goods, so there is increasing poverty, and more and more people are living under the line as extreme poverty as defined by the UN.

AK: And obviously you’ve spent a lot of time dealing with the victims of Israeli airstrikes. Recently, there was a decision by the International Criminal Court that essentially said there will not be a war crimes tribunal for Operation Cast Lead. What’s your response to that?

MG: I very much regret the decision by the ICC. I’m saddened, and in fact, quite provoked by it, because I think the ICC had a golden opportunity to tell the world, and to tell Israel, that they are not exempt from international law and the laws of war. As it now stands, because of the lack of formalities–that is, an international recognition of Palestine as a state–they use this as an excuse to let Israel off the hook, which I very much regret because it sends a signal to the superpowers and the military forces of the world that, you can get away with it.

And Israel always gets away with its war crimes, which is really demoralizing, because the types of warfare that Israel is waging, with siege and collective punishment, with starvation and with the destruction of civilian infrastructure in occupied territories is really taking us back to medieval times, yet they claim to be one of the most moral armies in the world. And this contradiction does not fit together. So the only thing we could have hoped for was that all the reports on the table–the Goldstone report, the Arab League fact finding mission, the B’Tselem report (PDF), the Amnesty International report and our book–should have served as strong testimonies and documentation sources that there was no way that the ICC could not open a case against Israel. As it now stands, nobody will be held responsible for 1,400 killed and 5,400 injured, and nobody is accountable for the ongoing siege of Gaza. And this, of course, is a heavy burden of responsibility for President Obama and your government.

AK: When you recently went back to Gaza, did you speak with some of the patients you saw during Cast Lead?

MG: Yes.

AK: And, in general, have they been treated? Have they been rehabilitated in Gaza?

MG: Some of them have. Some of them were evacuated out of Gaza during January 2009, like Samar ‘Abd Rabbo, the little girl who was shot in the back by Israeli forces, her two sisters being killed on the spot. She’s in Brussels for rehabilitation, paralyzed from the nipples down. Other children are staying behind in Gaza, obviously needing rehabilitation.

As I said, the condition of the health care system is that of certain insufficiencies due to the siege and the lack of capacity. And you have to remember the Israelis bombed health institutions, and due to the lack of building material, few of these institutions have been properly constructed. So the total capacity is reduced. So I would say that, one thing is the physical rehabilitation, which the Palestinians are taking good care of, as much as they can. The other thing is the psychological rehabilitation, and the psychosocial rehabilitation, and we know from a large body of studies that the trauma of war, and the trauma of losses, individual losses, collective losses, can be efficiently healed if the victims are respected on their own strategy of coping–that they are listened to, and that they have the potential to talk about their experience and the narrative. And the third factor, that life is brought back to normality as soon as possible. So the siege serves today as a continuous, “do not return to normality” situation, in particular for the youngsters and the children in Gaza.

This is a double punishment: you had the attack, the onslaught, the killing, the maiming, the amputations–and now they are denied the right to return to normal life because of the siege and the ongoing bombing and lack of reconstruction. By “going back to normal life,” I mean normal schooling, normal kindergarten, normal studies. And we have to remember, the Palestinians are now 1.6 million people [in Gaza], it remains that 60%, approximately, are 18 and below, and the average age is 17.6 years. So this lack of psychosocial and psychological rehabilitation may be one of the most devastating effects of the very deliberate, very cynical, very in detail, planned siege of Gaza.

AK: And when you talk to some of the people injured from the events of Cast Lead, do they think about the ICC? What are those conversations like?

MG: There’s not much hope–a lot of disappointment, and a lot of quite relevant criticism of the West and the US. I think the overall impression is that the Palestinians in Gaza and in the West Bank and in the diaspora–I just came back from Beirut, visiting the camps–they have a feeling that, quote on quote, they have no human rights. They feel excluded from the global community covered by human rights regulations. They feel overlooked by the European and Western powers with regards to their just human rights. And they have little confidence in us in the North because they have been betrayed so many times, and they have seen so many times that Israel, the occupying power, is precisely getting away with their war crimes and all their apartheid tactics and policies against the Palestinian people. So my impression is that they do feel quite betrayed by those who call themselves democratic states, like the United States.

However, being a solidarity worker, it is encouraging that so many people around the world continue their solidarity work and actions. And they feel very strongly about that. They say, that is the light, those are the stars on the dark night over Gaza. The light from the solidarity movement, be it in the United States, Canada or Norway, and boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, the demonstrations and all the good people trying to come to their assistance.

And when you talk to Palestinians like my old colleagues at Shifa Hospital, they actually sum up Cast Lead as probably most the most brutal and extensive attack since the Nakba in 1948. And so it is provocative and heartbreaking to see that Gaza remains in ruins: shattered, destroyed and not rebuilt.

This all comes together in the new Dahiya doctrine in Israel, which they formulated during the invasion of Lebanon in 2006. And this Dahiya doctrine simply is a deliberate use of extremely excessive force in order to destroy as much infrastructure and kill as many as possible in any location, village, city, neighborhood, from where shots are fired against Israel or Israeli troops, in order to deter the population. But not so much the population as the Palestinian leaders.

Actually, Israeli officials have said, “we will bomb Gaza decades into the past.” And they will make reconstruction so painful that any Palestinian leader will think twice before they try to shoot at Israel. Now, this strategy, the Dahiya doctrine–we precisely document it in the book–is precisely what we saw and are seeing in Gaza, because the denial of reconstruction is part of the collective punishment, which at the end of the day, has the goal of breaking the backbone of the resistance, of the national resistance, of the willingness to confront the occupation, of the willingness to say, “we will not yield, we will not surrender” to the occupier.

So I think there is a twist on the occupation brutality through this Dahiya doctrine for the last six years.

AK: What do you make routine flare-ups of violence, which last time occurred with Israel assassinating the leader of the Popular Resistance Committee? What kind of effect does it have on the people of Gaza?

MG: Well, to take the latter first, for the people of Gaza it means no return to human security, and human security is a very important precondition for health. So, as a medical doctor, in the construct of human security, I include the right not to be killed, not to be threatened, not to be frightened. And all of these elements are used by the Israeli occupation forces to intimidate and to keep the population insecure. So these flare-ups are extremely destructive to the civilian population in particular, all these families with children.

We have to go back to 2008 to recall that the ceasefire from July 2008 until the 4th of November 2008, was 100% effective. Nobody got killed on either side. And this truce was brokered by Egypt, between the Hamas government in Gaza and the Israeli government. And that is an important truth, that political solutions are hand. You can trust the Palestinians, they can control the shooting of rockets and mortars. You can trust the Israelis when they want to be trusted, that they will not attack during the truce. Why did that truce break down? Well, as we all know, on the 4th of November 2008, when your president was elected and all the attention in the world was directed towards the United States, Israeli commanders went into southern Gaza and killed a number of Hamas officials, on purpose breaking the truce. And of course, the Palestinians were shooting back, because they have to defend themselves, and this was the excuse and the explanation for why the attack started on the 27th of December. But in fact Israel had been planning Operation Cast Lead. They say so themselves.

So I think this shows us two things. Political solutions are at hand, if Israel wants it. Number two, they don’t want it. If Israel had wanted to negotiate some sort of solution with the Palestinians, including the leadership of Hamas, they would have succeeded. I think the current Israeli government, and current political parties in charge, are very cynical about the expansion of Israel. They have their plan to expand, expand, expand, and they try all the time to have their actions go just under the radar of the international community’s outcry, the international isolation radar. So, for example, the lack of food in Gaza, happens so that there will not be a starvation disaster in Gaza, but just hunger. They attack regularly with great precision, not more than the US can tolerate, but enough to intimidate, kill and maim Palestinians in Gaza.

AK: Is there anything else you want to add for readers?

MG: Number one: don’t give up. The Palestinians teach us not to give up. Travel to occupied Palestine, see their situation on the ground. Just by going to the occupied West Bank, any American who is in doubt will immediately understand what the apartheid regime is all about.

And our most important obligation is to do our homework politically. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is getting stronger and stronger every day, particularly in the US. Work through local communities, be active, read, study and organize. Organize BDS campaigns. And inform, educate and teach other people.

I think the tides are changing in the United States. Ten years ago, it would have been unheard of that I would have been invited six times, and twice to Canada. I have full houses. Zionists are there, Campus Watch, Hillel, but they are remarkably soft spoken. I think they are miscalculating the American public. Now, you are betrayed by your media, because you’re not given the truth. That’s why I find it so important to inform and to lecture. By sending people to the occupied West Bank and also to Gaza and to the diaspora, young people in the United States will be committed to the cause of Palestine, which is also our cause, because without an end to the occupation of Palestine, there will be no peace in the Middle East. And if there is no peace in the Middle East, there is no peace in the world. This is the mother of all wars currently. And the double standards of the West have to be uncovered by us, on moral grounds, political grounds, historical grounds, and simply, our subjective interest in not spending all these billions of taxpayer money on Israeli weapons and on the occupation.

I told the grandfather of Jumana Samouni I was going to the US when I was in Gaza. I said, “what do you want me to tell the US?” He said, “tell them your tax money is killing us.” That’s the bottom line. You have a responsibility here in the US.

 

Written FOR

PROFILES IN COURAGE ~~ ISRAELI TEENS REFUSE TO SERVE IN ARMY

 Israeli teens enter jail rather than take part in army crimes against Palestinians
Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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On Monday, Israeli teenager, Noam Gur, began an initial ten-day prison sentence because she publicly refused to serve in the Israeli army. A second teen, Alon Gurman, presented himself at the military base in order to refuse service, along with Gur, but according to a tweet from Gur was sent home without being jailed.

@GNoam
Noam They are afraid! Alon just got a 21 profile so he free and going home. Even thought he told the mental office his refusal is political.
Apr 16 via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

In a short video produced by Jillian Kestler d’Amours for the Alternative Information Center, Gur explained – at the gate of the military camp where she is serving her sentence – why she has chosen to resist conscription:

I’m in prison because Israel is committing crimes. Israel has been committing crimes since Israel was established… It committed crimes since 1948, when the Nakba occurred. People were banned away from coming here, which is a crime that Israel is still committing, not allowing them to come back… Israel is committing crimes when its occupying and killing people, not allowing them to have any kind of human rights, it takes land and water resources. It’s committing crimes in the siege of Gaza. Concluding all of that, it makes sense that I would not want to serve this country.

“I don’t want to be silent”

In an interview with The Electronic Intifada last month when she first announced her intention to refuse, Gur explained the importance of doing so publicly, rather than just seeking to avoid conscription quietly as many other Israelis do:

Noam Gur: Ten years ago, there was a huge movement of refuseniks and in the last two or three years, it’s kind of disappeared. I’m the only refusenik this year, so for me it was trying to let people know that it still exists, first of all.

Second of all, I don’t want to be silent. I feel like [since] high school, we’ve always been silent. We always let our criticism be known only in small circles. The world doesn’t know, Palestinians don’t know. I don’t know if it will change anything, but I can only try. I feel better with myself knowing that I tried to make even the smallest change.

Noam Gur “in solitary confinement”

Noam Gur tweeted all the way into the military base where she’d begin her imprisonment.

@GNoam
Noam We made it. Can hear the prisoners inside. Shit.
Apr 17 via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

@GNoam
Noam Guess what we are doing? Right, waiting! http://t.co/z1JxExYq
Apr 17 via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

@GNoam
Noam Last twit. Im inside the base. Love and peace and comfy beds to all.
Apr 17 via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

However, a supporter continues to tweet updates using Gur’s account. They latest update was that Gur had refused to wear a uniform and thus had been placed in solitary confinement:

@GNoam
Noam Refuser @GNoam in prison, refusing military uniforms & so in solitary confinement. #refusing2occupy.4 support letters shministim@gmail.com
Apr 17 via TweetCaster for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Written FOR

MORE REASONS TO SUPPORT GUNTER GRASS

 The Anti-Defamation League run by Abe Foxman on a $100 million dollar annual budget is dedicated to smearing the names of those whose views it opposes, and suppressing free speech.
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Comments by any Western intellectual claiming, as did Grass, that it is Israel, not Iran, which is a threat to world peace would have evoked criticism and condemnation. The fact that they were made by a German raises the decibel level dramatically. And the fact that they were made by an individual who for decades concealed that he volunteered to serve in the Waffen SS, the German killing machine of Jews during World War II, brings the reaction to still another level.

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Words from Abe Foxman …. not me.
Words that fit into the mentality and dishonesty of one of the most hateful individuals in the United States.
Words that prove Gunter Grass is correct in his assessment of Israel being a threat to world peace.
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See for yourself, first the poem and then the hate that follows…
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What must be said
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Why have I been silent, silent for so long?,
Our generals have gamed it out,
Confident the west will survive.
We people have not even been considered.

What is this right to “preventive war”?
A war that could erase the Iranian people.
Dominated by it’s neighbor, pulsing with righteousness
Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.

Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by it’s name?,
Israel and it’s ever increasing nuclear arsenal,
Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.

We all know these things
Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:
anti-Semitic
hateful
worse

Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call is “business”, “reparation” take your pick,
As we deliver yet another submarine.
As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.
I say what must be said.

Why did I stay silent until now?
Because I’m German, of course.
I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out
I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right
To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.

Why did I wait to say it until now?
And write these words with the last of my ink?
Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?
Because it is true and it must be said,
Tomorrow will be too late.

We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders
Through the weapons we have sold
We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy
No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.

It must be said. I won’t be silent
I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;
Please shed the silence with me,
The consequences are all too predictable.
It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.

It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.
And we too, will survive.

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After reading and hearing the words to the controversial poem, can you honestly say there is anything any Semitic about it? Below is what Foxman sees, hopefully none of my readers will… From the title alone you can see the defamation spread by the man paid (quite well I must add) to fight it.

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What Gunter Grass Really Said

Nobel Laureate Accused Israel of Planning Genocide

Grotesque Inversion: Gunter Grass’s effort to blame Israel for defending itself against the Iranian nuclear threat is a massive distortion of the facts.
getty images   Grotesque Inversion: Gunter Grass’s effort to blame Israel for defending itself against the Iranian nuclear threat is a massive distortion of the facts.

By Abraham Foxman

German Nobel Prize writer Gunter Grass’s publication of the poem “What Must Be Said” touches on a host of issues surrounding the Holocaust, German-Israel relations, anti-Semitism and Iran’s threat to Israel and the entire Middle East.

Comments by any Western intellectual claiming, as did Grass, that it is Israel, not Iran, which is a threat to world peace would have evoked criticism and condemnation. The fact that they were made by a German raises the decibel level dramatically. And the fact that they were made by an individual who for decades concealed that he volunteered to serve in the Waffen SS, the German killing machine of Jews during World War II, brings the reaction to still another level.

Let’s be clear: If it were not Grass, but any public figure in the West who offered the substance of Grass’s poem — that Israel, by threatening to use military force against Iran’s nuclear facilities, is, rather than Iran itself, a threat to world peace — that individual would deserve severe condemnation.

Iranian leaders say openly that Israel should not exist, and the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, repeatedly asserts that Israel will disappear in the years ahead.

This is the regime most closely associated with international terrorism — the bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish community headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, are among the most notable examples. To have such a regime in possession of nuclear weapons would present the greatest danger facing civilization since the advent of the nuclear age.

Of course, Grass is not just any intellectual or public figure. He is a leading German writer, and he is an individual whose late admission that he was a member of the SS puts him in a special situation. To pre-empt the expected reaction, Grass erects a straw man by saying that he wanted to say what he said for some time but did not because he knew he would be accused of anti-Semitism. But now, he says, in moralistic tones, he has to speak no matter the consequences.

What is so stark about this episode is not that a German cannot ever criticize Israeli policies; indeed, criticisms surface in many instances. Rather, it is the complete absence of empathy by this German writer with the people of Israel facing a terrible dilemma — what to do in the face of an existential threat to the Jewish state more than 70 years after the Holocaust? To me, this is the great sin committed here.

German atonement for the murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust does not mean that the Germans have to agree with everything Israel or Jews do and say in the world today. It should mean, if it has any validity at all, that there should be recognition that the Jewish people may be in special danger and under a unique threat, and that Germans need to experience and identify with that threat in a way that others in the world might not.

But Grass goes even further than lack of empathy. He converts an Israeli defensive option into one that he describes as a project to destroy the Iranian people. Whatever one thinks of an Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, to see that as trying to destroy Iran is an inversion so grotesque that it must be labeled as an effort to equate Israel with the Nazi regime. In other words, it is anti-Semitism.

One may never know what was going on in Grass’s head and heart these many decades. But there it is, surfacing again for all to see. Fortunately, some German leaders have stepped forward to condemn Grass for his anti-Israel screed. Now, it is important to hear the voices of more German political leaders, who need to speak out and make clear that this type of rhetoric is beyond the bounds of decency.

This was published at the Forward..
Comments should be directed to their site regarding this piece.

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