BOYCOTTS; DO THEY DIVIDE OR CONQUER?

If boycott calls are heeded and complicit Israeli cultural entities have their international events cancelled, the message gets through to Israel that it can not carry on with “business as usual” while killing and dispossessing Palestinians, and defying their right to return.
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Disruption of Israeli theater group in London, as BDS proves a win-win strategy

Submitted by Asa Winstanley

Activists unfurl a banner against Habima inside the Globe theater  (Tony Greenstein)

Israel’s national theater company performed The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe in London yesterday and Monday. But Habima’s presence was fiercely contested for months in advance, and both performances were disrupted by Palestine solidarity activists in the audience.

Around 15 activists managed to protest, mostly silently, during the Monday show. They were removed by heavy-handed security guards, apparently hired by the venue especially to protect the Israeli company.

Campaigners working as part of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement argued that Habima’s strong links to the Israeli state and its policies of colonising Palestinian land meant it should be boycotted.

The Palestine solidairty demonstration outside the theater  (Asa Winstanley / The Electronic Intifada)

Habima as a company is funded by the Israeli state has actively worked to help combat a boycott of illegal West Bank settlements by some Israeli actors.

The campaign won wide support in the UK’s dramatic community, including famous names like Emma Thompson and Alexei Sayle.

Activists inside were joined outside the venue by a protest of about 60 Palestine solidarity activists waving flags and banners, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). Flyers explaining their opposition to the state-supported Israeli theater group were handed out to passers-by along the busy Thames riverside walkway.

In the theater’s entrance lobby I saw that airport-style metal-detector arches had been set up. A member of Globe staff told me they were brought in purely for those two days.

A Globe staff member explains the meaning of “enhanced security” (Asa Winstanley / The Electronic Intifada)

Accounts from inside the Globe

Three activists from Brighton PSC, who I spoke to just after being ejected by security, gave me their account of what happened. They said they had managed to thwart security and sneak in a Palestinian flag and a banner reading “Israel apartheid: leave the stage”. The message was clear to both the audience and the Israeli actors: “The actors looked at us,” one activist said.

At the start of the performance, Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe’s artistic director made an announcement asking members of the audience not to take matters into their own hands, and that security would deal with any disruption. “If you say anything, you will be helping them,” Dromgoole warned, according to one activist I spoke to.

Despite that, mobile phone videos from inside show that there were pro-Israeli-apartheid activists inside the audience spitting insults at the peaceful protesters, chomping at the bit to take matters into their own hands, and allegedly assaulting one protester.

The Zionist counter-demonstration at its peak  (Asa Winstanley / The Electronic Intifada)

A Zionist counter-demonstration held outside the Globe had dispersed soon after the play started (although not before singing God Save the Queen, the British national anthem). Some donned jackets and entered the theatre itself. The Zionist Federation (ZF) and StandWithUs wanted to make their point of support for Israeli apartheid clear.

One Palestine solidarity activist was arrested “on suspicion of assault on a security guard” a police spokesperson told the Press Association. He is understood to have been charged and released on bail.

In a detailed insider’s account posted on his blog, activist Tony Greenstein responded that: “Given the assaults by the security goons on other protestors, the fact that one protestor has been detained on suspicion of attacking a goon is ludicrous.”

Israel treats culture and political propaganda as indivisible

According to Jews For Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG), the second performance last night was disrupted by “almost 20 peaceful protesters [who] brought their message of opposition to Israeli apartheid, colonisation and settlement into the auditorium”. This forced the production to pause several times, said J-BIG.

The group also said that security was “little less heavy handed” than Monday, and that this may have been a deliberate decision after the draconian “enhanced security” measures caused something of a backlash by UK theatre critics in their reviews of the opening night.

On EI, Ben White exposed an Israeli Embassy attempt to support Habima. An embassy circular suggested using the hashtag #loveculture, because it “won’t be taken at first glance as a political statement.”

Outside the venue, the ZF handed out a flyer pleading with the reader to “stand up to oppose those who wish to hijack artistic and cultural work for their own political aims”. It did not mention either the embassy campaign, or the £10,000 the Israeli government put into Habima’s London performances.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, cultural working group coordinator of the Boycott Israel Network (BIN) said in a press release: “This is proof positive that as far as the Israeli state is concerned, culture and political propaganda are indivisible”.

Boycott of complicit Israeli cultural events is a wining strategy

Campaign supporters such as filmmaker Ken Loach and actors David Calder and Miriam Margolyes say Habima uses its art to normalise an unacceptable situation. Their complicity “makes a mockery of their claim to freedom in their work,” says Loach.

The performances went ahead, but not with out serious opposition. And not without BDS and the reality of Israeli war crimes, apartheid and colonialism being discussed and debated in UK newspapers for months in advance.

This is why BDS is a win-win strategy.

If boycott calls are heeded and complicit Israeli cultural entities have their international events cancelled, the message gets through to Israel that it can not carry on with “business as usual” while killing and dispossessing Palestinians, and defying their right to return.

If boycott calls are defied by venues like the Globe, then the heat and light generated around the BDS campaign still forces the Palestinian call to boycott issue onto the public agenda. Every UK venue considering hosting a complicit Israeli cultural ambassador will realistically have to factor in the cost of such “enhanced security” measure as the Globe took.

Every review by theater critics of the Habima performance I have read mentions the BDS campaign, the disruptions inside the Globe or both, often very sympathetically (even from those opposed to the boycott in some cases — J-BIG has collected a list of reviews). That would not have happened without BDS.

This is why Israel is worried enough about BDS to have held special hearings in the Knesset last week to discuss the UK as an “anti-Israel hub”. The Israeli parliamentary committee flew in British Zionist leaders especially for the occasion, to consult on strategies to combat BDS —  or “delegitimization” as they term it.they term it.

Written FOR

TWO YEARS LATER: ISRAEL STILL RUBBING SALT ON THE VICTIM’S WOUNDS

This page is a tribute and memorial for the  Shuhada (Martyrs)  The Freedom Flotilla Mavi Marmara who were savagly massacred in International Waters by Israeli Occupation Forces and sacrificed their lives while on  a  peaceful mission to Gaza. To support and show solidarity for their brothers and sisters in Gaza and Palestine.


We won’t forget the shuhada of the The  Mavi Marmara Massacre | May 31, 2010


Shaheed Ibrahim Bilgen -  Shaheed  Ali HaydarBengi – Shaheed  Cevdet Kiliçlar - Shaheed Çetin Topçuoglu -  Shaheed  Necdet Yildirim -  Shaheed  Fahri Yaldiz - Shaheed  Cengiz Songür -  Shaheed  Cengiz Akyüz -  Shaheed Furkan Dogan


انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

‘Inna Lillahi wa ‘Inna ‘Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar

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new video allegedly filmed … key word is allegedly
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Why would Turkey lie about this?? And why would Israel ALLEGEDLY offer compensation to the victim’s families if they weren’t guilty of the murders??

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New footage shows post-raid Marmara ship

Turkish news agency releases video clip showing passengers, bodies aboard Gaza-bound flotilla

Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency on Wednesday released a new video allegedly filmed aboard the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara vessel shortly after it was raided by IDF  commandos in May 2010.

The reportedly never-before-seen footage shows the passengers sitting and sleeping aboard the ship, as wells as what appear to be the bodies of some of the nine people killed in the raid, wrapped in Palestinian and Turkish flags.

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On Monday a Turkish court formally pressed charges

against members of the IDF for the killing of nine Turkish nationals aboard the ship, which was travelling to Gaza with the purpose of breaking Israel’s maritime blockade of the region.

The court in Istanbul voted unanimously to approve an indictment against Israel’s former military chief Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, along with the heads of its navy, air force and military intelligence, the Anadolu Agency said. They face nine consecutive life terms in prison for “inciting to kill monstrously, and by torturing,” the agency added.

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Above in parenthesis from THIS report

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United Nation Reports  help Israel’s attempts to whitewash their criminal acts…. as does one of zionism’s most vocal supporters, The New York Times;

Report Finds Naval Blockade by Israel Legal but Faults Raid

UNITED NATIONS — A long-awaited United Nations review of Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish-based flotilla in which nine passengers were killed has found that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is both legal and appropriate. But it said that the way Israeli forces boarded the vessels trying to break that blockade 15 months ago was excessive and unreasonable.

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One day the world will wipe away the sleep in their eyes and will finally see the truth… a very ugly truth indeed.

REMEMBERING PEACE ON MEMORIAL DAY

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One would think that on a day to honor the U.S. war dead there would also be an accompanying national call for Peace and an end to war and occupation.*
Instead, on Memorial Day in the U.S. there is a clamor of national chauvinism and ‘gung ho’ militarism. In NYC the U.S. Navy sails up the Hudson River. docks, and some open their doors to the public while military aircraft flew overhead. All in all, it was a great propaganda display to convince Americans to support military growth.
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Notwithstanding this national war paean, there were groups throughout the country which presented an alternative meaning to Memorial Day: Remembering the war dead and the need for Peace NOW. *

In NYC, the ‘Veterans for Peace’, which includes veterans of Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and families and friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (who fought against Franco’s fascists) met to commemorate those lost in the many wars, including WW 2.* 

Participants in this event spoke about the heroes they knew, called out their names as each was followed by the group responding “Presente”, at the same time the speaker threw a rose into the bay in memory.

As one looked behind the assembled group into the great NYC Bay, one could see in the distance the Statue of Liberty holding up Her lamp of Liberty on this day, in remembrance

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Photos and above text © by Bud Korotzer

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 Memorial Days

By Tom Karlson

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they sang and prayed,

naming that day in May,

257 Union men captured, starved

mass-graved, bodies twisted,

joined at hip arm and head, this

Charleston South Carolina

Babi Yar Confederate style burial

re-interred with honor and memory

by 10,000 Freedmen

in 1866 that first day of mourning

the first Memorial Day

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today we are at Jones beach

it is Memorial Day

we are fifty souls

remembering our dead, the dead

hundreds of Long Islanders

thousands of North Americans

a million Iraqis and Afghanis

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families stroll past

some look, others visionless

all have come to eat, drink,

and salute that insatiable war-beast

they watch the Blue Angles

spin, flip, dive, and swoop,

aging chicken hawks

beg boys and girls to sign up for

the navy, the marines, the air force

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I am also remembering other Memorial Days

2010,

the Turkish flotilla

bringing aid to Gaza

the Israeli attack,

nine dead

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1937,

steelworkers are on  strike at Little Steel,

families march

police-guards-scabs open fire

ten dead

thirty shot

one hundred clubbed

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let us remember our Memorial Days

 

PROTEST VIDEO GOING VIRAL

Protest in Montreal against the rise of tuition fees in Quebec and the newlaw 78.
Every evening at 8pm people meet in the street with their pots and pans and make all the noise they can.
A big thank you to the band Avec pas d’casque and their record label Grosse Boîte.
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Casseroles – Montréal, 24 Mai 2012

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Manifestation à Montréal contre la hausse des frais de scolarité et la loi 78.
Les gens se retrouvent à des coins de rues pour faire le plus de bruit possible à l’aide de casseroles.
Un grand merci à Avec pas d’casque et Grosse Boîte pour la musique!
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Montreal Pots And Pans Video Of Protest Against Bill 78 Goes Viral

The Huffington Post Canada  |  By Michael Bolen 

A video of protesters banging pots and pans on Quebec streets is going viral on social networks.

Posted on Friday afternoon, the beautiful black and white film shows protesters of all ages taking to the streets to protest the emergency law Bill 78. The Vimeo video quickly began showing up all over Twitter and Facebook.

Bill 78 is being called a draconian attempt to quell massive student protests that have taken over Quebec streets for more than 100 days. The bill limits the ability to protest by requiring groups to get police approval for demonstrations and restricting where they can take place, among other provisions.

People took up the percussive protest Thursday night in several towns and cities including Sorel, Longueuil, Chambly, Repentigny, Trois-Rivieres and even in Abitibi — several hundred kilometres away from the hot spot of Montreal.

They were still loudest in Montreal, where a chorus of metallic clanks rang out in neighbourhoods around the city, spilling into the main demonstrations and sounding like aluminum symphonies.

The pots-and-pans protest has its roots in Chile, where people have used it for years as an effective, peaceful tool to express civil disobedience. The noisy cacerolazo tradition actually predates the Pinochet regime in Chile, but has endured there and spread to other countries as a method of showing popular defiance.

Thursday’s protest in Montreal was immediately declared illegal by police, who said it violated a municipal bylaw because they hadn’t been informed of the route. They allowed it to continue as long as it remained peaceful.

Usually the nightly street demonstrations, which have gone on for a month, have a couple of vigorous drummers to speed them along their route. At the very least, someone clangs a cow bell.

But in the last few days, the pots and pans protest — dubbed the casseroles by observers — have acted like an alarm clock for the regular evening march, sounding at 8 p.m. on the nose in advance of the march’s start.

With files from The Canadian Press.

POTS & PANS PROTEST, MAY 24-25

1 of 33 (see more photos by clicking on source below)


Source

ET TU PALESTINIAN PUNDIT?

AN ATTACK ON CARLOS LATUFF IS AN ATTACK ON PALESTINE ITSELF
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 The only reason he made a name for himself is because he supported Palestinians and leftists gravitated towards him because there was a void. I was shocked when I saw those words on one of the sidelinks of my Blog. CHUTZPAH coming from a Blogger who for years used Carlos’ works on his own site. Carlos is more than just a cartoonist, he is an activist in his own right. Whatever ‘void’ Pundit speaks of is in his mind, not in the arena of activism.
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Suddenly, there is a disagreement with Carlos’ decision not to support both Bashar and the so called “opposition” in Syria. The vicious attack that resulted can and will be used by the zionists themselves as ‘proof’ that “even Palestinians disagree with Latuff”.
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Syrians caught in a crossfire! – HoulaMassacre

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Pundit claims that He is obviously influenced by “anti imperialists” who have proven to be very dogmatic, close minded and incapable of separating the revolution from its supporters. A strange claim considering the fact that Carlos’ works are and have been an integral part of every major demonstration throughout the word INCLUDING PALESTINE.
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Pundit’s attack is but one more added to those of the zionists and their supporters, including Israel’s Likud Party.
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So Mr.Pundit, if these are the forces you wish to be associated with, continue with your attacks. If not, there is a way for you to delete what was posted.  As for myself, I am proud to be associated with Carlos Latuff. The following short video says it all…
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If anyone wants to read what Pundit had to say, HERE it is. Hopefully he will come to his senses and delete the post shortly.

ISRAEL’S SILENT OFFER TO SILENCE FAMILIES OF MAVI MARMARA VICTIMS

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Admission of guilt or whitewash?
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According to sources in the Turkish foreign ministry who spoke to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israel had not presented the offer to them directly. The source said that the principle of damages was accepted by Turkey but the obstacle was Israel’s admission of guilt which Turkey insists upon.

“Israel is opposed to declaring publicly that it apologises and Turkey is not prepared to accept a wording of regret that does not include taking responsibility, that is required in an expression of apology,” the sources said.

Mark Regev, the spokesman for Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, declined to comment.

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The following report appeared in the Guardian a few days ago as well as THIS IBA News Bulletin which appeared on their Internet site.
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Israel offers compensation to Mavi Marmara flotilla raid victims

£4m paid to Jewish foundation in Turkey, which will distribute the money to the victims and their families
By Conal Urquhart and agencies

 

The Israeli government has offered £4m in compensation to the families of Turkish activists killed by Israeli commandos who stormed a ship taking part in an aid flotilla in May 2010, according to a lawyer representing the victims.

Ramzan Ariturk said the money would have been paid to a Jewish foundation in Turkey for distribution and would be followed by a statement of “regret” for the raid by the Israeli government on the Mavi Marmara, which was bound for the Gaza Strip.

The lawyer, one of several representing 465 victims and relatives of the dead and injured on board the Mavi Marmara, said that the Israeli government had made a proposal to him through an intermediary foreign ambassador in Ankara.

Turkey cooled diplomatic relations with Israel after nine of its citizens were shot dead by Israeli commandos who landed on the Mavi Marmara to prevent its passage to Gaza. Protesters on the ship repelled the first wave of lightly armed commandos, but then the Israeli soldiers used lethal force against the unarmed passengers to end their resistance.

Ariturk said he told the ambassador a month ago that he did not think the offer was appropriate or moral. “I also discussed the issue with the victims and their friends and they also stated that they could not accept this,” he said.

He declined to disclose the nationality of the intermediary or the name of the Jewish organisation that would distribute the compensation but said the Turkish foreign ministry agreed with his decision, saying Israel should have contacted it directly.

According to sources in the Turkish foreign ministry who spoke to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israel had not presented the offer to them directly. The source said that the principle of damages was accepted by Turkey but the obstacle was Israel’s admission of guilt which Turkey insists upon.

“Israel is opposed to declaring publicly that it apologises and Turkey is not prepared to accept a wording of regret that does not include taking responsibility, that is required in an expression of apology,” the sources said.

Mark Regev, the spokesman for Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, declined to comment.

On Wednesday an Istanbul prosecutor submitted an indictment seeking life sentences for four former Israeli military commanders in connection with the raid, including the chief of general staff at the time.

The United Nations report on the raid last September concluded that Israel had used unreasonable force but that its blockade of Gaza was legal.

IN ISRAEL TODAY, IT’S WORSE THAN RACISM

The enemy?
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Israel has been a racist state since its creation. That is a fact of life. How could a state that is led by zionists, for zionists not be?  Zionism is racism! PERIOD!!
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Regarding the racism it was founded on, Israel today has embarked on a higher level of racism. It has brought back to life Kristallnacht and all the hatred that went with it…
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Israelis must shun racism, not African migrants

I am as afraid to live in the Israel of 2012 as any right-minded German should have been in 1938, or as any right-minded American should have been in the 1960s.

By Aliyana Traison *

Migrant protest - Moti Milrod - May 23, 2012
Demonstrators in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood smash car windows during anti-migrant protest.Photo by Moti Milrod

I live in south Tel Aviv. I live in Little Africa. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in this city. It is an oasis of multi-ethnicity in an otherwise insular and homogenous society, where one is just as likely to hear Tigrinya as Hebrew, where African lilts accent English rather than American or British twangs.

In my part of Tel Aviv, some of the veteran residents, themselves long-ostracized by the so-called Israeli elite, have begun to take the law into their own hands to rid the country of African “infiltrators.”

What began this year as a series of ugly protests that would have made any proponent of human tolerance cringe in discomfort if not outright disgust, has grown increasingly violent over the last few months, culminating this week in a full blown lynch reminiscent of the early days of Nazism and the Civil Rights movements, complete with burning cars and looted stores. It was a pogrom in every sense of the word that we as Jews would understand.

The racism that has engulfed Israeli society cannot be ignored, lest we wish to destroy ourselves. History has taught us what becomes of society that dismisses such actions as the work of a marginal handful; what becomes of a society that refuses to recognize hate by its name.

Nobody was killed in the May 23 riots in south Tel Aviv. No innocent African refugee or migrant has yet been killed in Tel Aviv by an Israeli civilian, but how are we to prevent that nightmare from becoming a reality?

The fabric of Israeli society is woven of vast and diverse ethnic groups, descendants of all corners of the world. The language of Israeli society is accented by dozens of dialects, accents, historical memory. Israeli society is by nature the ingathering of the exiles, a microcosm of multiculturalism within a single people.

But to Israeli society, a wider sense of multiculturalism – outside of Jewish culture – is a foreign concept. Non-Jews in Israel have suffered from discrimination since the founding of the country. And while it may seem obvious by now that Jews comes in all shapes and colors, in practice, many citizens of the Jewish state have yet to accept that.

When the first Jews from Arab nations began trickling into Israel, they were momentarily embraced as long-lost Jewish brothers, and then promptly disregarded as primitive low-class refugees. When the first Ethiopians began arriving in Israel, they were momentarily embraced as long-lost Jewish brothers, and then promptly shunted into the fringes of society, the new target of racism. When the Soviet “refuseniks” were trapped behind the Iron Curtain, they were momentarily embraced as long-lost Jewish brothers, but once they arrived found themselves fighting to belong.

I am not afraid to live alone in my neighborhood. When I came to Tel Aviv seven years ago, well before the migrants and refugees began moving en masse in to this neighborhood, I was afraid to walk these streets. It was a street filled with drunks and addicts, with dodgy characters, where just because of my size and gender, I was an immediate and natural target.

Seven years later, the real-estate inflation in the north of the city has given legitimacy to the street where I now live. Now there are cafes, art galleries, sushi bars and a music school, alongside Eritrean restaurants and stores. Now my street it is livable. Now there are young people, families – and yes, many of them are black. My street feels safe. It is home. I am not afraid to walk alone down the street at night.

I am afraid, however, to live alone in a hateful society. I am afraid to live alone in a country where my government supports discrimination and racism. I am afraid to live in a state founded precisely as a refuge for the survivors of extermination, which now condones the “distancing” of anyone who is not the same: anyone who is not Jewish; anyone whose skin is darker; anyone who has no other home, no other refuge, no other place to have an income and a comfortable life.

I am as afraid to live in the Israel of 2012 as any right-minded German should have been in 1938, or as any right-minded American should have been in the 1960s.

I am afraid that the hate of a marginal handful, encouraged by lawmakers and policy, will be accepted as the norm in this society so fearful of the other.

I am afraid what will happen if more people do not speak out against this racism.

I am afraid that it may be too late.

*Aliyana Traison is Deputy Editor of Haaretz.com.

Source

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Related……

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How I survived a Tel Aviv mob attack

By Haggai Matar

Last night I had to flee a raging mob not too far from my home in south Tel Aviv. After long speeches of incitement by right-wing parliamentarians, the masses stormed after me and a fellow journalist, and then turned on African asylum seekers, their businesses and their homes. This is how it happened.

Crowd setting fire on the main road of Hatikva (Activestills)

It started out as a fairly quiet demonstration – or demonstrations, to be precise. One small demonstration took place in Shapira, my neighborhood, where several weeks ago an Israeli young man threw Molotov cocktails into asylum seekers’ homes. The dominant discourse here was, as is typical of the neighborhood, more moderate, and focused on blaming the government (and not the asylum seekers) for local hardships in south Tel Aviv.

On my way to the central right-wing demonstration in Hatikva neighborhood, a five minute bike ride to the east, I ran into several dozen demonstrators walking in the opposite direction. It turns out that these were J14 activists from all over the city, who wanted to make a point of the importance of finding solutions to benefit both veteran Israeli communities, struggling to make a living and fearing a rise in crime, and the masses of African asylum seekers who have no jobs and nowhere to go but these parts of the city. They felt unwelcome at the central demonstration and decided to split and form this march.

The central demonstration was organized mostly by Likud activists, which was somewhat strange to begin with, as the protest was officially aimed at the Likud led government. It started out quite peacefully, and a group of us journalists and photographers was standing on the side, somewhat bored and discussing plans for the weekend. On the stage, local residents told stories of attacks they experienced by African asylum seekers, while MKs from the Likud and parties further to the right were placing the blame for all the neighborhoods’ hardships on the asylum seekers and “the left.” The crowd was growing uneasy, but none of us thought that this would turn into anything big.

Clashes with police in Hatikva. 17 were arrested (Activestills)

And then it happened

It all started with one woman who came at me out of nowhere, and started screaming: “You throw stones at soldiers! Shame on you! Get the hell out of here!” I tried to say that I have never thrown stones at anybody in my life, but she was not exactly in the mood for dialogue. “You lie! I see you every week on television throwing stones at soldiers and calling them Nazis!”

From this point on everything happened extremely fast. The one woman turned into two, then a group of ten people, which kept on growing. I tried to explain that this was a misunderstanding, that I never attacked any soldier, that I am a resident of Shapira and a journalist covering the protest. But I was talking to myself. Nobody was listening.

Only four seconds or so must have passed before similar charges were leveled at my colleague, Ilan Lior of Ha’aretz, who was standing next to me. “You too throw stones at soldiers! I drive a bus and every week I see you attacking checkpoints!”  someone yelled. A hand from the crowd grabbed Ilan’s notepad and threw it in the air. Ilan was trying to say that he was never in the occupied territories and that it’s all a misunderstanding, but he too was talking to himself. Nobody was listening.

At this point, about six Border Police officers showed up and tried to stand between the growing mob and the two of us. I hoped this would help, but soon enough an older woman broke through and leaped towards me, beating my chest, back and hands. I started retreating, knowing that I wouldn’t stand a fighting chance against the masses if I tried to stop her. I lost sight of Ilan. He was sucked into the crowd. I had an open road behind me, I could escape. I feared for Ilan. I feared for myself.

I knew no one would come to my aid. Faced with the angry mob and seeing more people coming from behind me and looking for action – I chose flight. A speaker on the central stage was saying how Daphni Leef and her J14 friends were actually the cause of all “our” problems. I was standing near a police car, wondering how I would get my bike back from the demonstration area, when I heard the loudspeakers announcing that “Haggai Matar is here, and he and his mother are traitors who should be kicked out of the country.” This was really time to split and go home.

Mob charging the bridge (Activestills)

And then the mob began to charge forward

I was walking back towards my part of town when I heard a massive cry, looked back, and was horrified to see the mass – about 1,000 people strong – racing forward in my direction, screaming “Sudanese to Sudan!” Later, I would find out that Ilan managed to escape the crowd around him, that 20 people started to chase him, and that the 20 soon turned into this horde I was seeing. Ilan was grabbed by policemen who possibly saved his life when they tossed him into a police car and got out of there.

I kept on running and reached the Hagana Bridge, separating the greater part of Tel Aviv from its eastern neighborhoods. It is also the bridge separating Hatikva from Shapira, Neve Sha’anan and LevinskyPark, where dozens and hundreds of asylum seekers sleep at nights. Right now this bridge was – like in old times – the last line of defense between the mob and the area most densely populated by foreigners.

Fortunately, the police realized this, and was successful in stopping the human flow on the bridge. Unfortunately, this was not the end. A car packed with Africans was caught in the crowd, its windows shattered, its riders threatened and saved by police. Seeing this from afar I decided it was time to go home, but reports kept flowing in: the mob turned back into Hatikva and attacked asylum seekers’ businesses and homes, looted at least one store, and attacked random black people on the streets. Seventeen were arrested, but the attacks went on for hours. An Activestills photographer present on the scene later told me that the pictures he took tell only a small portion of the story. He was threatened not to take pictures of looters, and saw so many stones thrown at houses and people beaten (mostly quite lightly) on the streets – that he couldn’t possibly take pictures of it all.

Click HERE

 

Morning is now up, broken windows of shops and houses need mending, and the peace is somewhat restored. At the end of the day, we must remember that most of the people in our southern neighborhoods largely live together in peace. Many try to bridge gaps and find solutions. Many on both sides know that their enemy is not the asylum seekers or the local Israeli population but the government – which is both creating this impossibly flammable situation and throwing burning matches into it. But this is not the end of the story. It is only the beginning.

African woman and her child in Hatikva after the riot (Activestills)

Written FOR

GAYWATCH ISRAEL

 For some …..
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Shaul Gonen, an activist with the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, who specializes in requests for temporary legal status for Palestinian partners in gay Palestinian-Israeli couples, says the sensitive position of gay people in Palestinian society puts them at risk of blackmail by both Israeli and Palestinian intelligence agencies. “The Shin Bet tries to draft almost every gay Palestinian that gets arrested.”
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Shin Bet grills gay couple on suspicion that Israeli got Palestinian into country illegally

Couple detained while touring Old City of Jerusalem because Palestinian’s one-day permit cited Makassed Hospital as his destination.

By Amira Hass
Illustration: A Shin Bet officer with an eye witness at a crime scene.
Illustration: A Shin Bet officer with an eye witness at a crime scene. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

The Shin Bet questioned an Israeli and a Palestinian, who are a gay couple, after the police detained them in Jerusalem on suspicion that the Palestinian had entered Israel illegally with the help of his partner. About two weeks ago, S., a Palestinian, came to Jerusalem after receiving a one-day permit to enter Israel to undergo cardiological tests at Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem. Because S., from Ramallah, had not been to Jerusalem since childhood, he and his Israeli partner, G., decided to tour the Old City and had then planned to go to Tel Aviv for a visit.

G. met S., his partner for the past two years, outside the Qalandiyah checkpoint and they drove to the Karta parking garage near the Jaffa Gate.

“I wasn’t in Jerusalem for more than 20 minutes, S. told Haaretz, “when a group of policemen near Jaffa Gate detained us.” S. was asked to show his permit and, because it cited Makassed Hospital as his destination, the pair was taken to a nearby police station.

The two men, in their twenties, said they were very nervous. The fact that the police had found an empty Israel Defense Forces tear gas canister in G.’s car added to their stress. G. said he had taken the canister when he went on one occasion to the village of Nabi Salah, where weekly demonstrations against the occupation take place.

The police showed S., whom they interrogated separately from his partner, the canister and said they had found “a bomb in the car.”

“They knew very well what it was,” G. said, referring to the canister, “and used it to scare S. He didn’t know anything and had nothing to do with it.”

The police told S. that he was “not allowed to be one meter away from Makassed,” and that his presence was therefore illegal. S. told the police about his relationship with G. and that they usually met in Ramallah.

At one point, the police gave S. a phone and an unidentified man on the line asked him in Arabic how he was and what he was planning on studying and showed knowledge of the shops in his neighborhood. S. told Haaretz said that when he asked the man who he was, the man answered: “I am Alon, in charge of the Ramallah area. We have something to talk about. I will get you out [of detention] and you’ll come to a meeting.” The man was a Shin Bet security services agent.

S. says he hesitated but eventually went to the meeting with the agent three days later. S. told Haaretz that, after being asked all sorts of personal questions, Alon suggested that S. might inform the Shin Bet when he “hears about a demonstration, about people, where they’re going, who’s got a mind to protest, who helps kids who throw stones, who’s religious, who throws stones at soldiers.” When S. said he had hesitated before coming to the meeting because it was not an official Shin Bet summons, Alon said to him: “You want something official? I’ll give it to you. Then you’ll see what kind of problems I’ll make for you with the Palestinian Authority.”

S. told Haaretz that Alon ordered him not to tell anyone about the meeting or its content.

G. was summoned for a talk with a Shin Bet operative named Shavit at the Dizengoff police station in Tel Aviv. According to G., Shavit asked him general questions and said: “We want to get to know you.” The matter of G.’s sexual orientation did not come up.

Shaul Gonen, an activist with the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, who specializes in requests for temporary legal status for Palestinian partners in gay Palestinian-Israeli couples, says the sensitive position of gay people in Palestinian society puts them at risk of blackmail by both Israeli and Palestinian intelligence agencies. “The Shin Bet tries to draft almost every gay Palestinian that gets arrested,” he told Haaretz.

The Jerusalem Police said: “Under questioning the Israeli said he had picked up his Palestinian friend in the morning at the Qalandiyah checkpoint ‘to take him to Tel Aviv because it was the first time he had received a permit and it was his dream to go to Tel Aviv.’ He also said he did not know that the permit given to the Palestinian was for a visit to Makassed Hospital.”

The police also said the Palestinian said the Israeli was his partner and was going to take him around Jerusalem before driving to Tel Aviv. They said they had complied with the men’s request for legal representation and called in a lawyer from the Public Defender’s Office. When the interrogation was over, the police said they gave the Palestinian man’s information to the Civil Administration liaison unit and the Israeli man was released, but that police will recommend charging him with transporting a person illegally in Israel.

The police stressed that S.’s permit was only to go to the hospital “and not to tour the country.”

The police did not reply to Haaretz’s question as to whether it informs the Shin Bet of details of every illegal sojourner that it detains.

Source

THE DREAM OF PALESTINE DEFERRED

Submitted by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
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Langston Hughes wrote a poem, “Lenox Avenue Mural”in the 1930s:

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What happens to a dream deferred?
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Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore-

And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Our situation in Palestine is very dire indeed.  Millions of Palestinians squeezed uinto concentration areas and money pours in to a few of them to keep the lid on the rest of us.    Among Palestinisns and Israelis, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (though the disparity of money allocation is still 10:1 in favor of Israeli Jews over the indigenous Palestinians).  But it is also not just an economic issue: the issue is racism.  Zionism, bult on notions of privilage and chosenness cannot help but spread racism.  The pogroms in Tel Aviv against Africans is just a
small manifestation of the kind of pogroms and ethnic cleansing done against the native Palestinians. And it continues to be done.  Even as Zionists celebrated occupying Jerusalem, studies show Israeli policies succeeded in creating the highest levels of poverty among Palestinians of Jerusalem. And the disastrous affects of the Oslo agreements continue to be felt throughout the occupied areas.  Settlement building and destruction of lives and livelihood continue.

There is a process of slow transfer from most of the West Bank to the ghettops otherwise designated area A.  The Palestinian “Authority” continues to have a charade of a “government” (appointing new “ministers” recently) while under occupation. And while talking for years about “reconciliation” and the need to revive the “peace” process (it is a process so the quotes are correctly placed only on “peace”). No consultation with people and no strategy of liberation is presented.  An Israeli general once quipped to his fellow criminals” “once we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do is run around like drugged roaches in a bottle.”  Sharon used to call it with his thick English accent: the “piss process” and his right hand man Dov Weisglass correctly identified the purpose: to ensure there will never be a Palestinian state and to never discuss Palestinian rights.  The only efficiency worth noting today for the PA is its ability to suppress any “friction” via the security cooperation with the Israeli army.  Acts of armed and non-violent resistance are both successfully suppressed. The PA meticulously adheres to its obligations under Oslo (as subcontractors for the occupation) while Israel regularly invades area A that is nominally under PA “control” (the 12% of the WB or 2% of historic Palestine).  Meanwhile, money and resources
are taken from Palestinian lands and people to enrich the coffers of
Israeli billionairs (including land developers) and the Israeli military. A profitable occupation indeed! The Palestinian dream of living in freedom and dignity is deferred yet again as the Zionist dominated media works feverishly to talk about Iran and other issues.  Israeli authorities continue to think of ways to direct anger towards anything and anyone other than Zionism (the primary cause of instability in this part of the world).   Billions of dollars keep moving and millions become poorer.


IN MEMORY OF MEMORIAL DAY

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  Memorial Days

By Tom Karlson

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they sang and prayed,

naming that day in May,

257 Union men captured, starved

mass-graved, bodies twisted,

joined at hip arm and head, this

Charleston South Carolina

Babi Yar Confederate style burial

re-interred with honor and memory

by 10,000 Freedmen

in 1866 that first day of mourning

the first Memorial Day

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today we are at Jones beach

it is Memorial Day

we are fifty souls

remembering our dead, the dead

hundreds of Long Islanders

thousands of North Americans

a million Iraqis and Afghanis

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families stroll past

some look, others visionless

all have come to eat, drink,

and salute that insatiable war-beast

they watch the Blue Angles

spin, flip, dive, and swoop,

aging chicken hawks

beg boys and girls to sign up for

the navy, the marines, the air force

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I am also remembering other Memorial Days

2010,

the Turkish flotilla

bringing aid to Gaza

the Israeli attack,

nine dead

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1937,

steelworkers are on  strike at Little Steel,

families march

police-guards-scabs open fire

ten dead

thirty shot

one hundred clubbed

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let us remember our Memorial Days

MONTREAL RISING

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Occupons l’éducation – 100e journée de grève étudiante / Occupy Education – 100th Consecutive Day of Student Strikes

This is what happens when the SPVM tell you to move and you don’t move fast enough. On May 22, 2012, Tuesday evening, after 10 pm, riot police formed a line across along Ste. Catherine Street to disperse a crowd eastward, between Metcalfe and McGill College. Midway on the north side of Sainte-Catherine, a man was trying to remove a couple of bicycles locked to a parking meter when he was tackled to the ground and held by at least four riot police officers for not complying with the order to disperse. All he did was to try to tell them he wanted to take his bikes. The man struggled for at least two minutes as the officers tried to handcuff him as he lay on the sidewalk. I don’t what happened afterwards because the police managed to move and block people from continuing to witness the event.

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After almost 10 minutes, the police continued eastward on Sainte Catherine and I returned to the scene of the altercation. I was told to mind my step because of the blood on the sidewalk. I noticed an Urgences Sante EMS vehicle and crossed to the south side of the street. The man was being tended to by two EMS technicians. A SPVM riot police officer was also talking to the man who was in handcuffs.

*

About two minutes later, the officer removed the handcuffs and the man was man allowed to leave. He took his two bicycles, one of which had a child seat attached in the rear, and left the scene. The sequence of these 15 photos took place between 10:20 pm to 10:24 pm according to the date/time stamp on the photos.

100th Consectutive Day of Student Strikes May 22, 2012, Montréal, Québec, Canada. ©Copyright John Jantak

100e jour consécutif de grève des étudiants le 22 mai 2012, Montréal, Québec, Canada. © Copyright John Jantak

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Mouvement Historique
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Montreal Rising!
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This is Montreal
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Montreal Spring
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All of the above submitted by VAS
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More photos HERE and HERE

HATRED AND MURDER OF ‘GOYIM’ LEGALISED IN ISRAEL

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Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book “The King’s Torah” that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.

Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs.

“It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” he wrote, adding: “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments – because we care about the commandments – there is nothing wrong with the murder.”  (FROM)

BUT …

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AG reluctant to prosecute ‘King’s Torah’ authors

Attorney General unlikely to indict rabbis who penned controversial book, which claims that in certain situations it is permissible to kill non-Jews

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Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein will most likely decline to indict the authors of The “King’s Torah,” a book that claims that in certain situations it is permissible to kill non-Jews, Ynet learned on Thursday. The book stirred controversy for stating that it is permissible to kill a non-Jew if his presence endangers Jewish life. Some rabbis within the religious community supported the statements while others hinted that the statements were dangerous.

Police launched an investigation into the matter and authors Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur were investigated over suspected incitement to violence and racism.

Other rabbis investigated in connection with the affair included Rabbi Dov Lior, Yitzhak Ginsberg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef who expressed their support for the book.

Over the last two months the State Prosecutor’s Office examined whether there was room to indict the book’s authors, something which could create a major furor within the Zionist-religious community.

The prosecutor’s office was of the opinion that indictment would be problematic as it is hard to prove that the authors intended to act with violence, and in a case like this, intent must be proven.

The decision is within Weinstein’s purview and at the moment it is likely that he will decide not to file indictments.

In addition to the police investigation in the matter, a petition to indict the rabbis was also presented by the Reform movement.

Source

SOME THINGS IN ISRAEL ARE JUSTIFIABLE

One in particular is the Boycott of settlement products
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Recent events in Denmark and South Africa regarding the Israeli Boycott have renewed discussions in Israel itself… Below is the latest from Gideon Levy as well as a short video as to what the Boycott means and why. There is another video at the end of the post.
*
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Yes, the new South Africa can teach Israel a lesson in the war against racism; and yes, Israel can teach the world a lesson in racism. It has once again been proven that Israel’s chutzpah knows no bounds: Israel, of all countries, accuses South Africa, of all countries, of being racist. Is there anything more ridiculous?

Boycotting the settlements is justified

Labeling products from the settlements should have been an obvious move a long time ago, as a guide to the intelligent and involved consumer.

By Gideon Levy
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Ahava products.
Ahava products.

I don’t buy merchandise that comes from the settlements and I never will. To my way of thinking, those are stolen goods and, like any other goods that have been stolen, I try not to buy them. Now perhaps the South Africans and the Danes also will not buy them; meanwhile their governments have merely requested that products from the settlements be marked so as not to deceive their customers. Just as there was no need in the past to label merchandise from the British colonies as British products, so there is no need to mark products from Israel’s colonies as Israeli. Anyone who wants to support the Israeli colonial enterprise can buy them; those who are opposed can boycott them. As simple as that, and as necessary.

Israel, which boycotts Turkey’s beaches and Hamas, should have been the first to understand that. Instead we have heard heart-rending cries and angry rebukes. Not yet to the Danes, who are nice, but to the South Africans, who are less nice in our eyes. The decision was labeled “a step with racist characteristics” by the Foreign Ministry spokesman, referring to the country that waged the most courageous war against racism in the history of mankind.

Yes, the new South Africa can teach Israel a lesson in the war against racism; and yes, Israel can teach the world a lesson in racism. It has once again been proven that Israel’s chutzpah knows no bounds: Israel, of all countries, accuses South Africa, of all countries, of being racist. Is there anything more ridiculous?

It was not by chance that the South African ambassador to Israel, Ismail Coovadia, seemed both amused and embarrassed at a reception for Cameroon’s independence day, when the foreign ministry launched a ridiculous search for him, according to reports, after he failed to respond to its summons for what was described in advance as a rebuke. It is not difficult to imagine how many such reprimands Israeli ambassadors in different parts of the world deserve to be summoned to, if labeling produce from the settlements is a reason for rebuke and accusations of racism on the part of the Israeli government, which is so purely non-racist.

Labeling products from the settlements should have been an obvious move a long time ago, as a guide to the intelligent and involved consumer. A boycott of settlement products should also have taken place a long time ago, as a compass for law-abiding citizens. We are not referring only to a political or moral position; this is a question of upholding international law. A product produced in the settlements is an illegal product, just like the settlements themselves. Just as there is a growing public of consumers in the world who will not buy products made in sweatshops in southeast Asia nor “blood diamonds” from Africa because of their source and the conditions under which they are produced, so it can be anticipated that there are consumers who will boycott products produced in occupied territory through the exploitation of cheap Palestinian manpower whose opportunities to work are in the settlements.

The self-righteous, sanctimonious protests of Israeli factory-owners and farmers in the occupied territories who say they care so much about their Palestinian workers, who claim a boycott could endanger their employees’ sources of income, are a cynical attempt to mislead people. Had the settlements and the occupying forces been removed, and the lands on which these enterprises arose been returned to their owners, they would have had much more dignified sources of income.

A boycott of goods from the settlements is a justified boycott, and there is no other way to define it. Labeling these products is the minimum demand that every government in the world should make, as a service to its citizens.

Moreover, it is actually a lack of such labeling that can lead to a wholesale boycott of all blue-and-white products. After all, how can a Danish or South African consumer know whether the avocado he is buying did not grow on Palestinian soil?

Those who want to buy illegal products should buy Bagel & Bagel items, toilets made by Lipsky, cosmetics manufactured by Ahava, mushrooms from Tekoa, or wine from the Psagot or Golan Heights wineries. Those who want to bolster the settlement enterprise and reinforce it can buy these products and enjoy them.

But those who want to make a minimal act of protest against this sinful enterprise are invited to boycott it and refrain from buying from it. For my part, I shall continue to read the fine print on every product. The citizens of the world also have this right.

This right? This duty.

Source

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PERVERT IN DISTRESS ~~ WHERE IS ALAN DERSHOWITZ?

‘MONSTER’ CAGED: Michael Sabo (above) is sentenced to prison by Justice Vincent DelGiudice in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday.
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Michael Sabo, a 38-year-old father of four, confessed to sexually abusing two children. He was sentenced Monday after agreeing to a plea bargain.
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Where’s the Dersh?  the case in question is right up his alley yet he isn’t mentioned….
Could it be that this perv is not as wealthy as the others??
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Brooklyn man sentenced for sexually abusing ultra-Orthodox children

Many families refuse to come forward because of the ‘intimidation they thought they would endure as part of the Orthodox Jewish community,’ says prosecutor.

ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn - Nir Kafri - 29012012
Members of Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community. Photo by Nir Kafri

A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 20 years to life for sexually abusing children in his Orthodox Jewish community.

Michael Sabo, a 38-year-old father of four, confessed to sexually abusing two children. He was sentenced Monday after agreeing to a plea bargain.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said it had evidence of seven additional victims.

The case has been cited as an example of the difficulties facing prosecutors in convincing abuse victims from the close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to come forward.

Many families refused to come forward because of the “intimidation they thought they would endure as part of the Orthodox Jewish community,” prosecutor Kevin O’Donnell told the New York Daily News.

Before the trial was set to begin, the father of one of Sabo’s victims was confronted at his synagogue and warned not to take the stand, according to reports.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has refused to release the names of accused molesters from Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community. He has been criticized for trying to curry favor with that constituency, which has supported him in past elections.

Hynes has defended his actions by citing the insularity of the community and the need to protect sex-abuse victims from intimidation.

Source

Related

ISRAEL STILL TRYING TO JUSTIFY THE UNJUSTIFIABLE (IN MONOLOGUE)

Or .. NO WAR WITH IRAN COULD COST US LOT$ OF MONEY :(
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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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No war with Iran???
BUT, BUT, BUT, ….. we were so close to getting our way. Damn Iranians had to go and agree to inspections! Damn them to hell…. we want a war …. and we want America to pay for it!
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Hmmm, hows about we figure out how much that war would have cost and Uncle Sam can send us that money so we can add to OUR nuclear stockpile… that seems to be the only fair thing to do.
*
Meanwhile, rumblings from the Defense Minister….
*
*
“It appears that the Iranians are trying to reach a ‘technical agreement’ which will create the impression of progress in the talks in order to remove some of the pressure before the [P5+1] talks tomorrow in Baghdad, as well as to put off the intensification of sanctions,” Barak said. “Israel believes that Iran should be set a clear bar, so that there is no ‘window or crack’ which the Iranians can [creep] through to advance their military nuclear program.”

Barak said that if Iran is allowed to retain even a symbolic amount of uranium, it must be under “tight supervision.”

“The requirements of the world powers must be clear and unequivocal.”

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The above in parenthesis came from THIS report.

*
(Back to the monologue)
*
Just look what those damn activists have already cost us when they occupied AIPAC two months ago ….
*

*
*
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Damn! We need that money!! We have an occupation to support, settlements to build, kids to kill!!! It all takes money …. YOUR tax dollar$ America.
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Damn! It’s all so confusing. Who is the anti Semite behind all this? I thought Wolf Blitzer was our pal … here he is totally adding confusion to the issue…
*

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Ya’just don’t know who to trust these days :( ….. Are we the only nuclear threat in the region now? That status alone also costs money…
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JEWS AGAINST THE INTERNET AND ….. ZIONISM

 
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A rabbi named Yechiel Meir Katz had drawn an implicit historical parallel in his address earlier in the evening between the rejection of Zionism by the Orthodox and the need to reject the Internet.

Another speaker, Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, underlined the point, citing Communism and Zionism as historical challenges the Jewish people had been forced overcome.

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*

On the Train Back to Williamsburg

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

*
*

On the G train home from the ultra-Orthodox rally at Citifield last night, I talked Zionism with a passel of Hasidim headed for Williamsburg.

A rabbi named Yechiel Meir Katz had drawn an implicit historical parallel in his address earlier in the evening between the rejection of Zionism by the Orthodox and the need to reject the Internet.

Another speaker, Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, underlined the point, citing Communism and Zionism as historical challenges the Jewish people had been forced overcome.

On the subway headed from Citifield to Williamsburg, I asked a group of mostly Satmar Hasids about the comparison between Zionism and the Internet.

“Everyone who has a Jewish heart knows Zionism is against Judaism,” said one, speaking from the back of the small crowd that had gathered around me.

The sentiment isn’t rare among the Satmar, who remain among the most anti-Zionist of the ultra-Orthodox groups.

What was rare, at least for me, was to have a conversation with a Satmar Hasid about these sorts of controversial ideas.

Though it was the exhortations against the use of the internet by a handful of rabbis on the JumboTron at the that drew headlines, the real action at the anti-Internet rally was in the stairwells and the subways, where ultra-Orthodox of all stripes mixed and chatted with each other, and with me.

As I reported this morning, organizers did their best to keep the press away from the event. No tickets were provided to reporters. I bought mine in the parking lot from a Skver Hasid with an extra. My seat in the right field nosebleeds was in the middle of a crowd of Skver Hasids, many of them from the upstate enclave of New Square, which is dominated by the sect.

Even among Hasidic sects, the Skver are known for their insularity. So I was surprised at the gregariousness of some of the Skver, and in their interest in me. Most hadn’t heard of the Forward, but some asked to be quoted, and one 18-year-old even asked to have his photo taken and used in the paper. (My editors haven’t chosen to run it yet.)

The Skver showed me what they called their “kosher phones,” cell phones without photo or texting capabilities. One of the young Skver men, a 23-year-old from Williamsburg named Don Stern, had a Bluetooth headset in his ear hooked up to his kosher phone. He said that he didn’t know how to play baseball.

It’s impossible to talk to one or two Hasids at once. Gaggles invariably form around reporters interviewing Hasidic men in public places as other Hasids crowd around, pushing their heads over each other.

On the subway home, I asked a Satmar sitting next to me what he had thought of the rally. He referred me to a Satmar across the aisle, and soon enough half the subway car had formed a circle around us.

Getting their names was next to impossible. This had been a problem the entire day. On the G train on the way to Citifield, a young Bobov Hasid traveling from Boro Park with his father and brother told me his name was Ben Zion Halberstam. I wrote it down, then noticed everyone was laughing. He had given me the name of a former Bobov rebbe.

With the Satmars on the G train to Williamsburg, I asked about the contentious dispute between the followers of Aaron Teitelbaum and Zalman Leib Teitelbuam, the two brothers with dueling claims to the leadership of the sect. Zalman had attended the rally, scowling seriously on the dais; his brother had stayed away. The men said that some of them were followers of Aaron and others of Zalman, and they had no personal problem with each other. I went around the circle, asking who was with which group.

The men also gave me a primer on the fine distinctions between the hats favored by the Satmar Hasids and the hats worn by the small Klausenburg sect.

The conversation about Zionism ended quickly. As the Satmar in the back of the crowd said that Zionism was against Judaism, others told him to be quiet, perhaps understanding better how the quote would sound to secular ears.

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

THE ONGOING KOSHER JIHAD

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As we approach the second anniversary of the attack on the Mavi Marmara, we can see that Israel’s attitudes towards its own terrorism has not changed one iota. We can see this in the events just over the past few days.
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We saw this attitude from the very beginning as the maniacal right saw this terrorism as a form of humour, turning it into a Kosher Jihad. Two videos produced exhibit this sickness and contempt for the world, both edited by the Jerusalem Post’s Psycho Gal.
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Believe me, I’m not being mean when I refer to Caroline Glick as a psycho …. it’s a FACT! Take a look at THIS video if you doubt me. If you are still not convinced, click on other videos listed in the right sidebar of the site.
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Both videos presented below violate all copyright laws, yet YouTube allows them to remain on line. This alone demonstrates YouTube’s support for zionism and the Kosher Jihad I speak of…
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The first…
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And the second, even more despicable
*
Strolling through the archives I found the following which is as valid today as it was the day it was written… and yes, life IS too short to waste it on people described in the essay, but also on zionism itself.
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LIFE IS TOO SHORT
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The time has come in my life where I just won’t waste it listening to certain opinions or be with the people that have them… call me close minded if you wish, but you would be way off base.
 *
 *
Case in point
*
I live in a fairly mixed and progressive community in Jerusalem.  Mixed as there are both religious and secular Jews living here as well as hundreds of Palestinians. We have maintained our own level of Peace throughout what have been very turbulent years in the city.
 *
English is the official ‘second language’ in this area which is a big attraction to new immigrants from the States. One such person moved in not too long ago…. one very strange person. He is the type that gets an idea in his head and proceeds to spout it out for the remainder of the week, literally ‘testing the waters’ to see if anyone was in agreement with him. People were tolerant towards him probably out of pity as he was here only with his wife and completely estranged from his children that remained in the States.
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I was one that offered my ear to his ramblings, hardly ever agreeing with them….. BUT last week he crossed the line. He started spouting off about the violence displayed in baseball and how terrible that was….. but ended his rant with “Israel should learn something from that game, we should have bombed all of the ships in the Flotilla and killed them all”! I was beyond words, shocked would be too mild a word to express my feelings at the moment. I simply responded that “this is the end of this conversation” and walked away from him.
 *
Last night he approached me again …. but I cut him off before he started talking by telling him that “whatever friendship we might have had ended last week when you expressed the most outrageous opinion I ever heard”. He was not expecting that from me, but should have as he is aware of my views regarding the situation in general in this country. He silently walked away from me, probably with the hope that I won’t be telling others about his madness.
 *
Simply put, it’s bad enough having to witness the crimes against the Palestinians in this country, crimes that I can (and do) speak out against constantly…. but there is no reason in the world why I should have to listen to certain opinions regarding those crimes. Life is way too short to waste it on one ignorant person, there are others with open minds that one day might work together with us to make a real difference.
 *
Hopefully this person will have learned something about ‘resting his gums’ so to speak. Either that or realise that his views are totally unacceptable in certain areas and leave, in which case not a tear would be shed by anyone in the community.

A WEEKEND IN OCCUPIED CHICAGO

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Submitted by VAS

JUST ONE WEEK IN PALESTINE ~~ REPORTS AND VIDEOS

 The following reports deal with situations of the past week. Can you even think of another nation that suffers this much as the ENTIRE WORLD watches in silence?
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Click on headings to access reports…
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78 percent of Jerusalem Palestinians living in poverty

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WATCH: Settlers shoot Palestinian in head while soldiers stand by

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Palestinians asked to close their shops for Jerusalem Day

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Two Injured As Settlers Attack Nablus Village

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Israeli Plan to Construct 2100 New Settlement Unit

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Nakba Action

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All of the above via URUKNET

STILL WAITING TO HOLD ISRAEL ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MURDERS ON THE MAVI MARMARA

Nine Turkish families, including the parents of an American citizen buried their loved ones two years ago, all victims of Israeli terrorism at sea. May they never be forgotten. May their memory serve as an inspiration for all seeking Justice and Peace throughout the world. May their murderers never be forgiven for their crime against humanity.
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Putting Names To the Faces

Furkan Dogan, 19. Born in the USA with dual Turkish-US citizenship. Student at Kayseri High School, planning to study medicine. Two siblings.


Necdet Yildirim, 32. From Malatya. IHH aid worker. Married with a three-year-old daughter.


Cevdet Kiliçlar, 38. From Kayseri. IHH aid worker, former journalist. Married with two children. You can see some of his photos
at Flickr.

Ali Haydar Bengi, 39. From Diyarbakir. Graduate in Arabic Literature by Al-Azhar University, Cairo. Married with 4 children.

Cengiz Akyüz, 41. From Iskenderun. Married with three children.

Fahri Yaldiz, 43. From Adiyaman. Firefighter. Married with four children.

 

Cengiz Songür, 47. From Izmir. Married with seven children.

 

Çetin Topçuoglu, 54. From Adana. Former taekwondo champion, coach of Turkey’s national taekwondo team. Married with one son. (Link to his Facebook page)



Ibrahim Bilgen, 61. From Siirt. Electrical engineer. Member of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers of Turkey. Married with 6 children.

 

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Literally adding insult to injury, YouTube allowed the following ‘parody’ on its site despite saying it would be removed …. two years later it’s still there.

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Views of our Associate, Mazin Qumsiyeh (from the archives)
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Time to hold Israel accountable

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Israeli government refuses an International probe into its illegal piracy and massacre of Gaza humanitarian aid ships and ‘accidentally distributed a video mocking the humanitarian activists. The Israeli occupation forces admitted doctoring one audiotape from the Mavi Marmara ship. The lies are beginning to crumple with testimonies from survivors (see below). But we will not drop this case because it may yet prove to be the straw that breaks the back of International complicity. Today in Beit Jala, we had a mock coffin, a mock ship, Turkish and international flags and of course the obligatory Israeli tear gas and harassment. One Israeli peace activist, Roni Barkan, was arrested. We are dismayed that Palestinian security in coordination with Israeli security decided to prevent us from going to demonstrate from downtown Beit Jala (or to return to downtown) but we keep going from another location and we show Israeli war criminals that we care about the land and we care about the people of Gaza and we care about the victims of the massacre committed at sea Monday.

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May they never be forgotten: Meet the victims of the Israeli massacre: names, pictures and brief biographies


And here are interviews and reports of the injured and kidnapped that contradict Israeli stories

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(By the way, Israeli forces have stolen passports and belongings from dozens of activists)

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Even in Israel within the green line, there were demonstrations against the massacres, this one in Tel Aviv drew 15-20,000 participants (and right-wing thugs tried to attack 86 year old Uri Avnery after the crowds dispersed)



and watch the Knesset fascists try to stop an Arab member of the Knesset from speaking and then attacking her (Haneen Zuabi has received many death threats and hundreds have signed onto a facebook page calling for her execution; so much for ‘democracy’ in the racist apartheid state)



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The protests MUST continue and grow….

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ACTIONS: Protest at Israeli missions, Israeli government appearances, and write to media, and politicians to demand that Israel be held accountable and end the siege on Gaza. Call the representative to Israel.


Call or send an email to US representatives


Call the White House: 1.202.456.1111, Department of State: 1.202.647.4000


Finally and most importantly, support the call from Palestinian Civil Society for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel




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