BEWARE THE ARMCHAIR GENERAL

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In the world of activism, there are both ‘on the ground’ activists and armchair generals. The latter, who are not involved in any way are usually the most critical and cynical. We find these people in the Pro Palestine Movements, the Anti War Movements, Occupy Wall Street and every other people’s movement that is working for real change in society. In recent times we have seen these people conduct their ‘activism’ on the Social Networks, ie: FaceBook. We see people ‘leading’ the struggle to free Palestine from their comfortable homes in Italy or California. From their ‘sitting down’ positions, all they are doing is ‘pissing against the wind’. The following is a perfect example of this …
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PISSING AGAINST THE WIND
By Malcom Lagauche
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(Here’s a column I wrote five years ago discussing my involvement and disassociation with leftist groups in San Diego. On paper, they sound good. In practice, however, they are useless, at times even making the point for the political right better than the right could do themselves.)

In my last column, I took the “peace” movement in the U.S. to task. For some, this may be tantamount to heresy, but let me go back to the last decade and describe a few incidents that altered my views on the subject.

In 1991, I was the editor of a weekly newspaper in Alpine, California called the East County Weekly. The publication was not political as it mostly reported on county and local events. However, many good stories emerged during my editorship about corruption, deceit, attempts to stifle whistleblowers, etc.

Until this time, I had never been involved with political groups. That was about to change.

Shortly after the barbaric 1991 attack on Iraq, I discovered there was a chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party in San Diego County. The entity said it was a “socialist” party and its platform was excellent: universal healthcare, non-military intervention in foreign countries, a livable minimum wage, the legalization of marijuana, etc.

I joined the party and became a member of the governing board. Within a few meetings, I was confused. When the subject of Iraq came up at meetings, two Jewish members would excuse themselves and leave the room. Then, in 1992, Ron Daniels, a former campaign manager for Jesse Jackson, became the Peace and Freedom Party’s candidate for president.

Daniels visited San Diego and I arranged for him to speak to a group of Iraqi-Americans and state his views on Iraq. Little did I know he knew nothing about Iraq. Before his speech, I talked to him and realized his knowledge of Iraq was almost nil. Later on, I discovered that he once told the press that if he was elected president, he may order the assassination of Saddam Hussein.

Despite this fiasco, I and a few colleagues, decided to keep working with the party. We assumed we could change things for the better from within. Again, I was wrong.

For the next year or so, the party meetings were useless. Most members arrived an hour or so late and chatted about the “old days.”


In 1995, I helped a few African-Americans organize the first “Black Reparations Awareness Day” in San Diego. It was a success. About 80 people attended and heard astute speeches and statements. Since this time, there has been an annual Black Reparations Awareness Day event in San Diego.

Not one member of the Peace and Freedom Party attended the premier event. Then, a few weeks later, I received the organization’s newsletter. In it, the Peace and Freedom Party said it sponsored the Black Reparations event.

Finally, things came to an end. At a meeting, I proposed the dismissal of the group’s treasurer because he had not attended a meeting in over a year. I stated that if the party was going to be worthwhile, there were some things that had to be taken seriously. My motion passed, despite the grumbling of a few old-timers.

At the next meeting, I was shocked because the hall was full. I did not know 90% of those in attendance. We were told that a new item had been added to the agenda: a re-vote on the treasurer’s status. When the vote came, the few dozen new attendees looked at the chairperson in an attempt to see how to vote. The original vote was reversed and the treasurer was re-instated. There is an American statement for something like this: “They came out of the woodwork.” In this case, some looked like they came out of the grave.

I then realized that I had wasted about three years of my life working with a corrupt and useless entity. After the vote, I and a few comrades, without speaking to each other, got up and left the building. The exit was spontaneous.

Since those days, the Peace and Freedom Party has lost its automatic ballot status in California. The only members left today are some of the original members when the party was founded in 1967. They had chased away any new groups who wanted to make the party more dynamic and relevant.

Along the way, I met various other peace-oriented groups. They were identical to the Peace and Freedom Party in their actions.

I once attended a meeting at the house of a member of the Communist Party USA. The house was in a gated neighborhood and worth about a million dollars in today’s money. Inside were expensive pieces of art. Those in attendance mostly spoke of their stock market investments while sipping their cocktails.

Then there was a Cuban-American friendship group, an organization that opposed the U.S. embargo against Cuba. They would not attend any rallies held to oppose the Iraqi embargo because of “the way women were treated in Iraq.” They assured me that “all the women wear veils.” Also, it was not allowed to mention Fidel Castro’s name.

Other peace organizations were of the same ilk. I tried to get them involved with opposing the Iraqi embargo, but was told, “We won’t touch that.”

In 1993, I began to publish a newspaper called The Alternative. The periodical allowed a forum for those whose positions were not present in the mainstream media.

After a few issues, I approached the owner of the Better World Galleria in San Diego and asked her if I could hold a monthly press conference in her venue. She quickly consented and for the next couple of years, we held some very meaningful meetings at the art gallery.

We also contacted the mainstream press and most of our conferences were reported. Although our messages were different from those of their newspapers, we presented a product that interested them.

The picture with this article came from a press conference we held on the Cuba embargo. While I spoke, I mentioned that the U.S. criticized Cuba for sending troops to Angola and Grenada, but the U.S. never states how many countries house a U.S. military presence. I then held up a piece of paper with the names of 52 U.S. clients. It was the old-style computer paper that was in a roll. When I held the piece up and let it fall, those in attendance got a good laugh.

But, those were the good old days. In less than a decade from my appearance, the U.S. had a military presence in more than 140 countries.

The monthly news conferences were well-attended. But, absent were any members of the Peace and Freedom Party or from the local peace activist groups. Word came back to me that some groups told their members not to attend any conference put on by The Alternative or to read the newspaper. An overused word at the meetings of these groups is “fascism.” Despite their supposed hatred of fascism, the leadership of many groups practiced fascist methods.

In early 1997, the Better World Galleria changed hands. The open-minded owner was losing money because of her generous attitude about groups using her venue. We lost a valuable place to address the public. At the same time, I was becoming worn out with attempting to get messages to the public. Those who should have been our prime supporters were in fact our worst detractors. I was pissing against the wind.

In 2001, I received a call from a close Iraqi-American friend. He said there would be a demonstration against the Iraqi embargo in San Diego and he wanted to know when to pick me up to attend.

“Who’s running it?” I asked. When he told me, I said, “No. I’m not going.” He was very upset with me. “For years, I’ve gone to everything you’ve organized, whether it be about marijuana, racism, Iraq, religion. Everything. I’m upset that you won’t support me.”

I asked him if I had ever been wrong about any political matter and he said, “No.” I then told him to take my words into consideration.

A few days later, he called and said, “You were right.” I laughed and asked him what made him come to that conclusion. He said, “Just before the demonstration was to start, I pulled out my Iraqi flag. A few people came running over to me and said, ‘Put that thing away right now. We’ll have none of that here.’”

I had learned my lesson about the milquetoast peace groups earlier. My friend learned his on a Sunday in 2001.  

Written FOR

‘A WOMAN’S PLACE IS IN THE HOME’

Or … at the back of the bus, on the other side of the street …. only in ‘The Only Democracy in the Middle East ;)
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Elsewhere, there are no limits…..
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A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women’s place, and “not the domain of social activity,” thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.
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Leading Israeli religious Zionist rabbi: A woman’s place is in the home

Leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would ‘harm the quality of life of the nation.’

By Chaim Levinson
Rabbi Zvi Tau
Rabbi Zvi Tau Photo by Michael Yaacovson
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A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women’s place, and “not the domain of social activity,” thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.

Rabbi Zvi Tau, president of Har Hamor Yeshiva and a leader of the more extreme orthodox trend among the national-Zionist public, wrote the treatise for internal use. The leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would “harm the quality of life of the nation.”

Austria-born Tau was for many years a student of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, and one of the heads of the Merkaz Harav, religious-Zionism’s most prestigious yeshiva. In 1997 he turned his back on the yeshiva and created the Har Hamor yeshiva, but is still considered one of the leading rabbis of the movement and a notable supporter of the concept of nationalism, which considers the state of Israel holy and opposes refusal to follow orders in the IDF.

Tau publicly supported former President Moshe Katzav, who was imprisoned for rape, and called on him, at the time, to refuse to resign.

Two months ago Tau wrote, for internal use, a treatise called “who created me as he willed,” a quote from the prayer said by women every morning dealing with the proper place of women according to the Torah. Tau’s position is radical, often more than orthodox concepts.

Tau writes that men and women have different roles. Indeed,it seems that the woman is discriminated against but it isn’t so, he writes. Women, according to Tau, have more emotional power, while men are more cerebral. This division is needed because of the world’s limitations, since it is unable to contain full realization of both emotion and mind. Women, due to nature’s needs, were not meant to occupy themselves with “the depths of science and morals,” but rather with carrying, giving birth to, feeding and raising children. Rabbi Tau claims that this is woman’s “natural vocation, and God created within her the necessary talents and an inner orientation for these issues,” which negate the possibility of “commiting oneself to the depths of science.”

Tau adds that the worldwide trend of allowing women equal education, and striving for equality, can only guarantee short-term profits. In the long run this trend “will harm the quality of life of the nation and society, since the true female character will not be realized and will be missed by the world. Society and the nation should rather be built on perfecting the special attributes imprinted in women.”

Tau continues to explain that children born to couples including women who devote themselves to their career will be “weak and flaccid.”

So what can women do? Rabbi Tau answers: “Home is the natural habitat for women to express their special tendency … not the domain of social activity. At home, without the bustle … is where a woman can fully live her life.”

Source

A HISTORY OF JULY IN PALESTINE ~~ 1919 TO YESTERDAY

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It happened in July

Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
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3 July 1919: Syrian Arab Congress (attended by 15 delegates from Palestine) emphasizes Arab Unity and rejection of colonialism.
 
July 1920: The World Zionist Organization meeting in London establishes a new financial arm to raise money called Keren Hayesod.  Since then donations were collected from Jews around the world to help dispossess the native Palestinians to transform Palestine to a Jewish state.
 
13-14 July 1922: General strike throughout Palestine opposing the British occupation and the Zionist project.
 
14 July 1920: France demanded that King Faisal in Damascus end conscription and surrender his garrisons to French troops. He was forced to concede against the wishes of his people, but the French still betrayed him and forced him out of Damascus
 
24 July 1922: The League of Nations voted to approve the British Mandate of Palestine formalizing complicity of Western powers in the rape of Palestine.
 
22 July 1946: A Jewish Zionist underground group blow-up the King David hotel in Jerusalem housing also the British civil administration.  The bomb killed 28 British, 41 Christians and Muslim Palestinians, 17 Jewish Palestinians, and 5 others while injuring over 200. This was in a string of terrorist attacks from underground forces whose leaders later became Israeli Prime ministers (Shamir, Begin etc).
 
9 July 1948: Start of Israeli operations labeled Dani and Dekel that broke the truce and continued the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages and towns.
 
24 July 48: Ijzim massacre by Zionist forces and the ethnic cleansing of the village. (and click on pictures)
 
31 July 1951: Israeli High Court of Justice, ordered the Israeli military to allow the villagers of Iqrith to return to their village.  To this day this order has not been implemented because Israel did not want to set a precedent of villagers allowed to return (even if these are technically not refugees).
 
July 26, 1956: Despite imperialist and Zionist threats, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal.
 
6 July 1958: Palestinian conferences were held simultaneously in Nazarethand Akka and were attended by about 120 Palestinians (40 others were placed under house arrest, preventing their participation). This heralded the beginning of organized political structures among Palestinians in the 1948 areas after the Nakba.
 
July 16, 1958: American Marines landed in Lebanon
 
July 18, 1958:  Iraqi people overthrow the British installed Hashemite dynasty
 
15 July 1963: General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) founded inJerusalem
 
July 25, 1967: Israel conducts a census of the occupied territories it just conquered (WB, Gaza, Golan, Sinai). All people outside (students studying, those who left because of eh attack, business people, others) are denied return. 300,000 new refugees were thus created to add to millions created earlier.
 
July 1968: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked an El-Al airplane. The new PLO under leadership of Fatah denounced the action.
 
 July 11, 1970: Attempted assassination of Dr. Wadi Haddad, PFLP commander in Beirut injring his wife and son.
 
July 23, 1970: President of Egypt Jamal Abdul Nasser accepted the Rogers proposals for peace in the Middle East.
 
July 1971: Hashemite monarchy in Jordan drives the last of the Palestinian guerrilla fighters from Jordan and consolidates its grip on power in this country, home to the largest population of Palestinian refugees,
 
July 1971: The first Socialist Republic was declared in Sudan but quickly crushed by dictators  Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Moamar Qaddafi of Libya.  They restored Numeiry to power and instigated a communist/socialist  witch-hunt in the three countries.
 
8 July 1972: Famous Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani murdered by an Israeli car bomb in Beirut
 
30 July 1973 Aref Al-Aref dies. He is a famous Palestinian leader (including mayor of Jerusalem) and intellectual
 
5 July 1974: Palestinian leader in the 1930s, Haj Amin Al-Hussaini died in Beirut
 
11 July to 6 August 1975: Hunger strike among Palestinian political prisoners that heralded significant changes and set a precedent for mass protest in Israeli jails; a form of popular unarmed resistance among hundreds of others (see Mazin Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment, Pluto Press, 2011)
 
July 1977, President Jimmy Carter tried to convince the newly elected Likud leader, Menachem Begin, to freeze settlement activity as part of the peace agreements with Egypt.  Instead, Begin allocated Ariel Sharon to the task of drafting a program for accelerated settlement activity.
 
31 July 1985: The Israeli Knesset amended the Basic Law on elections by adding that “A list of candidates shall not participate in Knesset elections if any of the following is expressed or implied in its purpose or deeds: 1) Denial of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, 2) Denial of the democratic character of the State, 3) Incitement to racism”.  This effectively bars any party that promotes changing Israel to a secular and democratic state of its citizens from running in the elections.
 
July 1987: Assassination of cartoonist Naji Al Ali (of Handala fame) in London by the Israeli Mossad.
 
7 July 1988: First major raid on Beit Sahour because of its tax-revolt during the intifada
 
30 July 1988: During the peak of the intifada (uprising of 1987-1991), King Hussein of Jordan reluctantly ends the “unity” between Jordan and the West Bank and declares that the PLO is responsible for that territory under Israeli occupation.
 
14 July 1992: In the New York Times, Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli Prime Minister (and terrorist) states: “The Jewish State cannot exist without a special ideological content.  We cannot exist for long like any other state whose main interests is to insure the welfare of its citizens.” 
 
July 2000: Camp David Summit brought on by US President Clinton and Israeli PM Ehud Barak to force Arafat to accept apartheid as a final settlement.
 
9 July 2004: International Court of Justice rules that the apartheid wall and Jewish settlements inside the West Bank including in Jerusalem are illegal per international law and must be dismantled.
 
9 July 2005: Palestinian Civil Society Call to Action that includes call for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel
 
July 2006: Israel war on the civilian population of Lebanon destroying many villages and damaging infrastructure. US vetoes a UNSC resolution to stop the aggression (the sole no vote at the Security Council).
 
July 2010: Israeli government under Netanyahu orders that archives that were to be declassified after 50 years will remain sealed for another 20 years.  These attempts at hiding dirty secrets including war crimes and crimes against humanity of Israel’s formative years continue.
 
July 2010: Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian village in the Jordan valley (Al-Farasiya), demolish other homes in other towns, and kills and injures many Palestinians in a familiar ritual of occupation and colonization done with western (especially US) support.
 
July 2012: In pre-election maneuvering, US President Obama and the US congress decides to give more of US taxpayer’s money to Israel and his main Republican Challenger declares illegally occupied Jerusalem as “capital of Israel”. Both Republican and Democratic parties to receive each >$100 million in donations from Zionists (a cheap investment considering billions that go to Israel yearly). Meanwhile Israeli forces cap the month with more home demolitions and murder of Palestinians.

OCCUPY NUKES ON HIROSHIMA DAY, AUGUST 6th

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THE ‘JEWISH 99%’

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As another U.S. election approaches, there has been much talk on the Net about  the Jewish influence in its outcome. We constantly hear that ‘the Jews control the media’, the Jews control Hollywood’, the Jews control the banks’ …. etc, etc… 
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‘The Jews’ ????
All of them ?????
What about me?????? I am the son of two immigrant Working Class Jews. I worked all my life as well …. where are my dividends from ‘all we own’? I have no influence over the media, the banks or Hollywood ….. I was never a property owner or an investor in the Stock Market, so what’s all this talk about ‘The Jews’? 
You include me when you use that term.
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OK, let’s get this straight, there are Jews and there are Jews! Most, like any other people make up 99% of their population …. the rest that are singled out in the headlines are merely 1%. Let’s not condemn an entire people for that. Let’s also not assume that all Jews are zionists. That is also not the case…..
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‘The Jews’ I grew up with were involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60′s. Many took part in the Freedom Rides, some sacrificed their lives doing this. “The Jews’ I grew up with were activists in the Peace Movement. Many of ‘The Jews’ I grew up with continue to be a part of those struggles. They do not control the media, Hollywood or the banks.
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As the image above states, ‘We are the 99%, we will no longer remain silent’! Perhaps we can start by giving a new name to the 1% rather than referring to them as ‘The Jews’. Perhaps we can refer to them as the ‘Dregs of zion’ (DOZ). It’s much more acceptable and more politically correct than condemning the majority.
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An interesting, sarcastic piece recently appeared on an Israeli Blogsite called The Times of Israel, it is definitely worth reading and deals with much of what I said above …
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Jews DO control the media
By Manny Friedman
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We Jews are a funny breed. We love to brag about every Jewish actor. Sometimes we even pretend an actor is Jewish just because we like him enough that we think he deserves to be on our team. We brag about Jewish authors, Jewish politicians, Jewish directors. Every time someone mentions any movie or book or piece of art, we inevitably say something like, “Did you know that he was Jewish?” That’s just how we roll.

We’re a driven group, and not just in regards to the art world. We have, for example, AIPAC, which  was essentially constructed just to drive agenda in Washington DC. And it succeeds admirably. And we brag about it. Again, it’s just what we do.

But the funny part is when any anti-Semite or anti-Israel person starts to spout stuff like, “The Jews control the media!” and “The Jews control Washington!”

Suddenly we’re up in arms. We create huge campaigns to take these people down. We do what we can to put them out of work. We publish articles. We’ve created entire organizations that exist just to tell everyone that the Jews don’t control nothin’. No, we don’t control the media, we don’t have any more sway in DC than anyone else. No, no, no, we swear: We’re just like everybody else!

Does anyone else (who’s not a bigot) see the irony of this?

Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. Wedo control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene. Just about every movie or TV show, whether it be “Tropic Thunder” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is rife with actors, directors, and writers who are Jewish. Did you know that all eight major film studios are run by Jews?

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good. (photo credit: CC BY-SA Angela George/Wikimedia Commons)

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good. (photo credit: CC BY-SA Angela George/Wikimedia Commons)

But that’s not all. We also control the ads that go on those TV shows.

And let’s not forget AIPAC, every anti-Semite’s favorite punching bag. We’re talking an organization that’s practically the equivalent of the Elders of Zion. I’ll never forget when I was involved in Israeli advocacy in college and being at one of the many AIPAC conventions. A man literally stood in front of us and told us that their whole goal was to only work with top-50 school graduate students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government. Here I am, an idealistic little kid that goes to a bottom 50 school (ASU) who wants to do some grassroots advocacy, and these guys are literally talking about infiltrating the government. Intense.

Now, I know what everyone will say. That everyone tries to lobby. Every minority group and every majority group. That every group has some successful actors and directors. But that’s a far call from saying that we run Hollywood and Madison Avenue. That the Mel Gibsons of the world are right in saying we’re deliberately using our power to take over the world. That we’ve got some crazy conspiracy going down.

Okay. Fine. So some of that is kooky talk.

But let’s look at it a bit deeper.

Maybe it’s true: everyone lobbies. Maybe it’s true there are actors of every ethnicity out there. But come on. We’re the ones who are bragging about this stuff all the time. Can’t we admit that we’re incredibly successful? Can’t we say it to the world?

I’ll give my theory for why Jews don’t want to talk about their control of the media.

First of all, as much as Jews like to admit that so many of them are successful, and that so many of them have accomplished so much, they hate to admit that it has to do with they’re being Jewish. Maybe they’ll admit that it has something to do with the Jewish experience. But how many Jews will admit that there is somethinginherently a part of every single one of them that helps them to accomplish amazing things?

The ADL chairman, Abe Foxman, was interviewed in a great article about the subject and he said that he “would prefer people say that many executives in the industry ‘happen to be Jewish.’” This just about sums up the party line.

The truth is, the anti-Semites got it right. We Jews have something planted in each one of us that makes us completely different from every group in the world. We’re talking about a group of people that just got put in death camps, endured pogroms, their whole families decimated. And then they came to America, the one place that ever really let them have as much power as they wanted, and suddenly they’re taking over. Please don’t tell me that any other group in the world has ever done that. Only the Jews. And we’ve done it before. That’s why the Jews were enslaved in Egypt. We were too successful. Go look at the Torah — it’s right there. And we did it in Germany too.

This ability to succeed, this inner drive, comes not from the years of education or any other sort of conditional factors, but because of the inner spark within each Jew.

Now, the reason groups like the ADL and AIPAC hate admitting this is because, first of all, they are secular organizations. Their whole agenda is to prove that every Jew is the same as every other person in the world. I cannot imagine a more outlandish agenda. No, we’re different. We’re special.

And clearly, that whole thing about big Jewish noses was totally blown out of proportion. (illustrative photo: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

And clearly, that whole thing about big Jewish noses was totally blown out of proportion. (illustrative photo: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

Of course, people hate when anyone says this. They assume that if you’re saying that Jews are special, it somehow implies that they’re better.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what the word “better” even means. What I do know is that being special simply means a person has a responsibility to do good.

I think that’s the real reason most Jews are so afraid to admit that there’s something inherently powerful and good about them. Not because they’re afraid of being special. But because they’re afraid of being responsible. It means that they’re suddenly culpable when they create dirty TV shows that sully the spiritual atmosphere of the world. It means that things can’t just be created for the sake of amusement or fun or even “art.”

Suddenly, we can’t screw up the world.

The interesting thing is that Jews have done so much for the world in so many other ways. They’ve moved forward civil rights; they’ve helped save lives in Darfur, Haiti and just about everywhere else.

But that’s not enough. Fixing the world physically is only half the battle.

Our larger battle, the harder battle, is elevating the world spiritually. And this is what the people that fight with every inch of their soul to prove that Jews are just the same as everyone else are afraid of. It means that we can no longer just “express ourselves.” We’ll have to start thinking about the things we create and the way we act. It means we’ll have to start working together. It means we’ll have to hold one other, and ourselves, to a higher standard.

The time has come, though. We no longer have to change our names. We no longer have to blend in like chameleons. We own a whole freaking country.

Instead, we can be proud of who we are, and simultaneously aware of our huge responsibility — and opportunity.

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This article was written under an assumed name. 

A LONG AWAITED FOR STUDY OF HOW THE NYPD ABUSED BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS AT OWS

Study: NYPD Abused Basic Human Rights at Occupy Protests

US police show epidemic suppression of protests

- Common Dreams staff

The NYPD ‘consistently violated basic rights’ during the Occupy Wall Street protests and showed a ‘shocking level of impunity’, when dealing with protesters, according to a new study (pdf), published on Wednesday.

Protesters screamed in pain after police cornered them and sprayed them with pepper spray at an Occupy Wall Street Protest (Photo/Jefferson Siegel)

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The report, by the Global Justice Clinic at New York University’s School of Law and the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic at Fordham Law School, conducted over an eight month period,examined hours of video footage, documents, press reports, and conducted extensive interviews with protestors and witnesses from the Occupy protests and encampments. The findings paint a disturbing portrait: authorities across the US will now suppress protest at all cost, even if protests are lawful, peaceful, and of no threat to the general public.

The study details the increasingly common practices of “excessive police use of force against protesters, bystanders, journalists, and legal observers; constant obstructions of media freedoms, including arrests of journalists; unjustified and sometimes violent closure of public space, dispersal of peaceful assemblies, and corralling and trapping protesters en masse,” the report states.

“Pervasive surveillance of peaceful political activity, arbitrary and selective rule enforcement, and restrictions on independent protest monitoring also raise serious concerns. The government has also failed to make transparent critical policies concerning law enforcement activities.”

The report is the first section of a several part series covering police response to Occupy protests in cities around the US, revealing a national epidemic abusive of power.

Sarah Knuckey, at NYU School of Law, told the Guardian: “All the case studies we collected show the police are violating basic rights consistently, and the level of impunity is shocking”.

“Many interviewees cried while speaking about their interaction with the police – they still carried a sense of trauma.”

The report lists a total of 130 incidents of excessive or unwarranted force by New York police.

The authors of the report are using the research as a basis of written complaints made Thursday to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the NYPD, the state department of justice and the United Nations.

The report claims the NYPD has also violated international human rights law, stating:

“Full respect for assembly and expression rights is necessary for democratic participation, the exchange of ideas, and for securing positive social reform. The rights are guaranteed in
international law binding upon the United States. Yet U.S. authorities have engaged in persistent breaches of protest rights since the start of Occupy Wall Street.”

 

Written FOR

ROMNEY: TROLLING FOR THE ‘JEWISH VOTE’ IN ISRAEL

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Romney’s campaign is based on a vigorous attack on Obama’s attitude concerning Israel, with an eye on Jewish voters in swing states, such as Florida.
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Arriving in Israel, Mitt Romney eyes Jewish votes ahead of U.S. elections

Romney to meet with Netanyahu, Barak, Lieberman, Peres, and Israeli opposition leaders in Jerusalem.

By Barak Ravid
Mitt Romney in Israel - AP - 28.7.2012
Mitt Romney and wife Ann arriving in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, July 28,   Photo by AP2012.
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Three months before the presidential elections, and in the midst of an aggressive campaign against President Barak Obama, Republican hopeful Mitt Romneyarrived in Israel hoping to swerve Jewish voters to support his candidacy.

Romney’s campaign is based on a vigorous attack on Obama’s attitude concerning Israel, with an eye on Jewish voters in swing states, such as Florida.

Meanwhile these efforts have fallen rather flat: according to a recent Gallup poll, 68 percent of American Jews still support Obama, compared to 72-74 percent four years ago.

Still, Romney can probably count on the support of his host in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Aaron Miller, who served in the Clinton administration, wrote a few days ago in Foreign Policy, that when Netanyahu will blow out the candles on his birthday cake, two weeks before the elections, he will wish for a decisive Romney victory.

Obama and his campaign managers are doing their best to check Romney’s criticism, claiming that as opposed to the Republican candidate, the administration’s deeds, not words, strengthen the alliance with Israel.

During the weekend, Obama signed a bill to increase security cooperation with
Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quick to publicly thank the president, but
Netanyahu kept his silence. Only in respond to Haaretz’s query, Netanyahu’s office said that “the prime minister thanks the U.S. administration and is expected to send a thank you note to the president.”

Netanyahu vehemently denies that he is interfering in U.S. politics, but as he himself is fond of saying: if it walks and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Netanyahu’s close associates, such as his political advisor Ron Dermer, are firm supporters of the Republicans. Some of Netanyahu’s strongest backers – Casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson for one – are among Romney’s campaign largest donors.

The U.S. media has reported several times that Adelson has pledged to donate no less than $100 million to Romney’s campaign to oust Obama. The New York Times reported that Adelson will visit Israel at the same time as Romney, and one can assume that the two will find time to meet.

Romney visit will last slightly longer than 24 hours, but he will be well received by Netanyahu, who will do his best to make the visit politically successful. The two will meet in the morning at the prime minister’s office, and briefly meet the press, before meeting again in the evening for dinner at the prime minister’s residence with their wives.

One small anecdote can reflect the importance Netanyahu attaches to the visit’s success. Until a week ago, Romney was planning to hold, in the very same evening a fundraising event at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. But then he was told that the event was due to begin before the end of the Tisha B’Av fast, commemorating the destruction of both temples.

Romney and his team found themselves in an embarrassing situation. At first they postponed the beginning of the dinner until after sunset, but that still wasn’t enough to quell the criticism. The prime minister’s office came to their rescue offering a solution – instead of a fundraising event, Romney and his wife will join the Netanyahus for an after-fast dinner. Netanyahu, by the way, has no intention of fasting, but his office said that in such a symbolic evening he could explain to Romney the dangers facing Israel. The fundraising event, incidentally, costing some $50,000 will still take place, but only on Monday morning.

Source

NEW YORKERS DEMONSTRATE FOR A LIVABLE MINIMUM WAGE

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New York was once again the scene of a mass demonstration against the 1%. 1,000 + people (various unions and community organizations) joined at Herald Sq NYC demanding the minimum wage of $7.25 be increased to meet the rising cost of living in NYC. From Herald Sq the  participants marched South on Broadway with horns blaring and drums thundering, to Union Sq to hold a rally and then march to Irving Place  to join the locked out Con-Ed workers in a show of solidarity with them. Many churches participated and conducted exorcisms in front of stores that pay minimum wage.
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Commentary by and Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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My favourite photo

RACISM AND IGNORANCE ARE WITHOUT NATIONAL BOUNDARIES

Racism and ignorance know no nationality
By Nima Shirazi
Iranian government officials often make bigoted, ignorant statements – but so do many in Israel and the US
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Ehud Barak reportedly described the Shia concept of taqiyya as giving leaders ‘permission to lie’ [GALLO/GETTY]
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In late June, when Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi spouted anti-Semitic comments at a Tehran forum marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, his offensive rhetoric was rightfully ridiculed and condemned. Rahimi declared his belief that the Talmud, the central holy scripture of Judaism, “teaches [Jews] how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother”, and also to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews”. Jews, according to Rahimi, “think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them”.

Midway through his speech, Rahimi decided to distinguish between Jews who “honestly follow the prophet Moses” and the Zionists who are “the main elements of the international drugs trade”.

“While the Zionists utilise the narcotics to devastate other societies,” Rahimi stated, “they safeguard their own society against such drugs” – noting incorrectly that “you cannot find a single addict among the Zionists. They do not exist”.

Commentary such as this should be called out for what it is: racist, ignorant, and appalling. Yet, Rahimi’s tirade was also disingenuously elevated to the level of an Iranian government official statement, and used as “proof” that the Iranian government was not merely vehemently anti-Zionist, but venomously anti-Semitic.

So if the bigoted comments of government officials are evidence of a country’s inherent backwardness and barbarism, one must wonder what all those who were so offended by Rahimi’s comments about the holy scripture and belief system of the Jewish people have to say about the comments and actions on July 17 of Israeli Knesset Minister and Meir Kahane devotee Michael Ben Ari.

‘The King’s Torah’

After all Knesset members received a new edition of the New Testament, gifts from of a Christian Israeli publisher, Ben Ari (who is also leading thestaggeringly racist pogroms against Africans living in Israel) reacted bytearing the Bible to shreds and throwing it in the trash, making sure to have the episode photographed. He then proudly sent the pictures to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv .

Ben Ari was quoted as declaring: “This abominable book [the New Testament] brought about the murder of millions of Jews in the Inquisition and autos-da-fé.” He added: “This is a provocation by church missionaries and there is no doubt that this book and those who sent it belong in the garbage can of history.”

The Jewish Daily Forward, in its report on the incident, appropriately asked: “Does one dare imagine what the reaction would be from Jews if a non-Jewish Knesset member, or perhaps a politician in another country, publicly destroyed and disposed of a volume of Talmud?”

For all the condemnations of Rahimi’s statement regarding Jewish doctrine, it seems that no one has attempted to trace the comment back to its possible (and, I stress, possible) origin in the much publicised writings of Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, an Israeli settler who lives in the illegal West Bank colony of Yitzhar near Nablus, whose ultra-fundamentalist Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva has received a massive amount of funding from the Israeli government.

In November 2009, Shapira published The King’s Torah, which - according to Ha’aretz - “describes how it is possible to kill non-Jews according to halakha (Jewish religious law)”. Ma’ariv reported that “the book contains no fewer than 230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guide for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew” and states that, as non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature”, attacks against them curb “evil inclination”.

Shapira’s book lists hundreds of sources from the Bible and religious law, as well as quotes from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, one of the fathers of religious Zionism, and Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli, a dean of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the stronghold of national-religious Zionism located in Jerusalem.

According to Shapira and his co-author Rabbi Yossi Elitzur: “In any situation in which a non-Jew’s presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created … When a non-Jew assists a murderer of Jews and causes the death of one, he may be killed, and in any case where a non-Jew’s presence causes danger to Jews, the non-Jew may be killed…”

Even innocent civilians and children are determined to be legitimate targets for murder. “One must consider killing even babies,” the book says, “because of the future danger that will be caused if they are allowed to grow up to be as wicked as their parents.”

Recently, an investigation into allegations of racism, bigotry and calls to violence found within The King’s Torah was officially closed.

Islamophobia has also reached high levels within the US government.

Asleep to the danger

In October 2009, US congressmen Sue Myrick (Republican-North Carolina), Paul Broun (Republican-Georgia), John Shadegg (Republican-Arizona) and Trent Franks (Republican-Arizona) issued a call for a federal investigation into the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for placing interns in the Committees on the Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security. The call was triggered by a book named Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamise America, by Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islamic activist who posed as an intern for CAIR in an attempt to prove that the group is trying to infiltrate Congress.

Myrick also wrote the forward to Gaubatz’s book, in which she avers that radical Muslim terror agents live among us and are “carrying out their subversive plan”. She continues: “America is asleep to the danger that confronts us. Since the 1960s there has been a concerted effort on the part of radical Islamists to infiltrate our major institutions.”

Myrick writes of “their secret plot to take over the United States from within”, establish “an impressive infrastructure of support”, and “to infiltrate all areas of our society” in order to replace the constitution with “Sharia law”. She urges government officials “to stop hiding behind political correctness and keep the American people informed” about “the threat to our sovereignty and our way of life”, concluding: “We Americans must wake up before it is too late!”

When asked about potential “domestic security threats” back in 2003, Myrick replied: “Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country.”

In 2011 in Yorba Linda, California, an US-Muslim group held a fundraising event for relief work in the US, attended by local families and their young children. Outside, an appalling anti-Muslim protest raged. Among the speakers addressing the crowd were California Congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller and Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly.

Pauly described the Muslim charity event as “pure, unadulterated evil” and after boasting that her son was serving in the Marine Corps, said: “As a matter of fact, I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”

Royce told the rabid, hateful crowd: “I’m gonna say this too, a big part of the problem that we face today, is that our children have been taught in schools that every idea is right, that no one should criticise others’ positions no matter how odious, and what do they call that? They call that ‘multiculturalism’. And it has paralysed too many of our fellow citizens to make the critical judgment we need to make to prosper as a society.” One need only think about where Anders Breivik’s views on “multiculturalism” led him to see how dangerous this sort of talk actually is.

Miller, who said he was there to support the protest and hand out American flags, told those gathered: “I am proud of you, I’m proud of what you’re doing, I’m proud of this country and what we believe in, and let’s not let people who disagree with us destroy it.”

Net of suspicion

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Inside Story Americas – The US military’s ‘anti-Islam classes’

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The country Miller is so proud of is the one in which Peter King holds congressional hearings encouraging racial profiling, inciting Islamophobia, and promoting vicious stereotypes of an already targeted, terrorised, and tormented minority community. It’s the nation that reacts to theperceived threat of Muslim-American terrorism “by casting a wide net of suspicion over entire communities based solely on their religious beliefs, race, or national origin” and conductssecret, illegal surveillance of those communities.

It’s where the “future leaders” of the most powerful and aggressive military on the planet have been taught “that a ‘total war’ against the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims would be necessary to protect America from Islamic terrorists” and that “using the lessons of ‘Hiroshima’ to wipe out whole cities at once” and “targeting the ‘civilian population wherever necessary’” may be required. It’s a country whose secretary of defence hand-delivered to the former president a daily report of critical, classified military intelligencewith cover sheets featuring Biblical quotes to emphasise the Crusades-like effort of US soldiers in the Middle East.

Iranian Vice-President Rahimi’s comments about the Talmud are unacceptable. So are Ben Ari and Shapira’s interpretations of both the Torah and New Testament. The same goes for Binyamin Netanyahu’s incessant repetition that the Iranian government is inherently “irrational” due to its faith, and Ehud Barak’s misunderstanding of the Shia concept of taqiyya, which he erroneously described to CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour in an April interview as “a kind of permission, from heaven, to the leader to lie [and] mislead partners as long as it’s needed in order to reach the objective, the political objectives of the movement, the group or the tribe or the clan or the nation”.

So next time the media overreacts to something blurted out by some Iranian official, let’s make sure to remember that Iranians certainly have no monopoly on ignorance. There’s plenty to go around.

Written at the request of AlJazeera …… Our Blogging Community has officially gone Global.

FAILURES OF THE SO-CALLED ZIONIST LEFT DOCUMENTED AND QUESTIONED

An Israeli activist claims that the demonstrations (which have now apparently died down) did achieve a pause in the evictions, but that the settlers occupying the al-Kurd home remain. The wider, unmentioned, reality is that Israeli evictions in other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem (and, in fact, all over Palestine) continue unabated.
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New documentary inadvertently demonstrates failures of Zionist left
Asa Winstanley *
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Official trailer of film appears at end of this post…
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Muhammed al-Kurd in Sheikh Jarrah.

 (Emily Smith / Just Vision)

My Neighborhood is a new documentary from the creators of the film Budrus.

The story told is that of Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem from which Palestinian families are being evicted to make way for right-wing Israeli colonists.

The story is ostensibly told from the perspective of Mohammed al-Kurd, a Palestinian teen whose house is divided into two so that settlers can move in (with the backing of the Israeli courts). “I hate them,” Mohammed says of the settlers. “I hate them for a reason, because they are making our life the worst life in the world.”

But then, three weeks after the eviction, hope arrives in the form of “good” Israelis protesting against the settlers, waving banners in Hebrew, chanting and banging drums. We see the start of the demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah, which reinvigorated the Zionist left in Israel for a time.

Mohammed is skeptical of the Israelis at first, but soon warms to them. “I learned about something called right and left and that opinions differ within societies,” he tells the filmmakers. By the end, he has decided he wants to be a lawyer and use the courts to remove them from his home.

But this film is deeply problematic for several reasons.

Beyond the fact that Palestinians are being kicked out, we learn little of their story. There is very little in the way of context or history. The viewer learns almost nothing about Palestinian struggle in East Jerusalem.

The film is really about something else: what American-Israeli journalist Joseph Dana once called the “fight to save the Zionist soul” (“One year in, the Sheikh Jarrah movement faces its biggest challenge – Zionism,” Mondoweiss, 9 August 2010).

Palestinians bypassed

Aside from Mohammed, we hear very little from Palestinians, and a whole lot from Israeli activists. At a key point in the film, one of these activists says, “we came up with the idea of holding marches” against the evictions.

Was this an initiative of the Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, or did these Zionist liberals just decide to swoop in and “save” them from the nasty settlers? As this activist has it, it seems to have all been the idea of the heroic Zionist liberals. But we simply don’t know, because the film does not explain it.

The same activist also says that “our struggle is not against the settlers … it’s against the state.” At this point, it becomes crystal clear the film is fundamentally about an internal Israeli debate. The few Palestinians featured in this film are little more than ciphers.

We meet the parents of that same activist, and learn about their relationship with their children and how they were scared to join the demonstrations at first.

Although they claim to be non-political, we learn they moved from the US and the Netherlands to settle in occupied Palestine. Apart from the artificial and entirely arbitrary green line (Israel’s internationally-recognized armistice line with the occupied West Bank), one might ask: what really makes them so different from the religious/right-wing settlers they denounce? And actually, it’s not even clarified in the film whether these activists live in “East Jerusalem” or not.

At the London launch of this film which I attended, the co-director, Brazilian filmmaker Julia Bacha, said that Israeli activists are “very afraid” of opening up the issue of the Palestinians kicked out of their homes during the 1948 Nakba, the systematic ethnic cleansing that led to Israel’s establishment.

This is because the al-Kurd family were originally from Haifa, but were kicked out by sectarian Zionist militias in 1948, and resettled in East Jerusalem.

Sham solidarity

This film is a good example of what law student and activist Budour Hassan once described as “the sham solidarity of Israel’s Zionist left.”

Maybe the Palestinians in East Jerusalem love being swamped by hordes of young liberal Israelis banging drums in their front yard. But we simply can’t know because the Israelis in the film are too are busy explaining their feelings.

Bacha’s earlier film Budrus was also problematic in similar ways, but at least you could learn about Palestinian stories and struggles, and at least it succeeded as a film in itself, even if it did overly pander to American liberal sensibilities. My Neighborhood has all the negative aspects of Budrus, magnified but with few of the redeeming features.

The film ends on a sour note. An Israeli activist claims that the demonstrations (which have now apparently died down) did achieve a pause in the evictions, but that the settlers occupying the al-Kurd home remain. The wider, unmentioned, reality is that Israeli evictions in other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem (and, in fact, all over Palestine) continue unabated.

The activist doesn’t mention this because of the film’s exclusive focus on Sheikh Jarrah. At another point in the film one settler described his takeover of the al-Kurd home as “the continuation of the Jewish-Zionist project.” Some right-wing Zionists still maintain a sense of perspective that liberal Zionists lack, it seems.

*Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist from London who has lived and reported from occupied Palestine.

 

Written For

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RAMADAN PRAYERS FORBIDDEN IN ISRAEL

 
Witnesses: Police raid Al-Aqsa, arrest Imam
Worshipers poured into al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s
Old City for the first Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan.
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BETHLEHEM  — Israeli police raided the Haram al-Sharif compound late Wednesday, forcing worshipers performing late night prayers to leave, official news agency Wafa reported.

Witnesses said the Imam leading the prayers was arrested, while the compound was closed until dawn. Young men faced restrictions on entering Al-Aqsa to pray on Thursday morning, they added.

Meanwhile, a Mosque guard told Ma’an that more than twenty settlers entered the grounds of the Haram al-Sharif overnight Wednesday, accompanied by Israeli forces.

Nearly 100,000 Muslim worshippers poured into al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City for the first Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan, an Israeli police spokesman said.

Jews revere the compound as the site of their Biblical Temple. Surviving foundations of its Western Wall are now a focus of prayer.

Reported AT

DIVESTMENT IS THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU CAN MAKE TO FREE PALESTINE

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Nearly two decades ago, I had a dream. I thought the historic tragedy that befell the Palestinian people was about to end. As such, I refused to be an observer to the historic events that were unfolding; instead, I chose to employ my U.S. education and work experience to contribute to building a new reality on the ground — to build an economy that could serve the new and emerging state of Palestine.

My dream has become a nightmare, one that is being sustained, and financially underwritten, by many people around the world who should know better.
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Palestine’s Investments Require Divestment

By Sam Bahour

Nearly two decades ago, I had a dream. I thought the historic tragedy that befell the Palestinian people was about to end. As such, I refused to be an observer to the historic events that were unfolding; instead, I chose to employ my U.S. education and work experience to contribute to building a new reality on the ground — to build an economy that could serve the new and emerging state of Palestine.

My dream has become a nightmare, one that is being sustained, and financially underwritten, by many people around the world who should know better.

Soon after the Palestinians and Israelis signed their first-ever agreement, the Oslo Accords, in 1993, I relocated with my family from the comfort zone of Youngstown, Ohio, my hometown, to the birthplace of my father in Al-Bireh, a Palestinian city 10 miles north of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

Before departing to the Holy Land, I read the Oslo Accords carefully, very carefully. I walked into the Middle East’s powder keg knowing very well that the five-year “interim” agreement that the parties had signed on the White House lawn did not end Israel’s prolonged military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. However, the agreement did open new opportunities, economic and otherwise. Yet even those still required Israeli unilateral decision making to make them real.

Over the years, not only has Israel prohibited the emergence of a new Palestinian economy — it structurally and systematically has made certain that even the buds of such a productive economy would never see the light of day. Anyone who scratches the surface of all the political spin can see for themselves what the World Bank reported and now continues to repeat: that Israel’s “apparatus of control” has “become more sophisticated and effective in its ability to interfere in and affect every aspect of Palestinian life, including job opportunities, work, and earnings…[turning] the West Bank into a fragmented set of social and economic islands or enclaves cut off from one another.” The International Monetary Fund and the European Union are speaking in the same vein. And embargoed Gaza is in far worse shape than the West Bank.

Given that so many respected international organizations and analysts see reality for what it is, the question is what is being done about it.

Earlier this month, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) held its 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The gathering received international news coverage due to one of the topics on the agenda: the recommendation that the church divest from three U.S. firms (Caterpillar, Inc., Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard). These firms were singled out because of their direct involvement and profiteering from Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinians.

Although the Presbyterian commissioners narrowly decided not to divest, 333 to 331, with two abstentions, the church’s General Assembly did vote to encourage “positive investment” in the occupied Palestinian territory. Many who understand the dire state of affairs in Palestine may be disappointed that the divestment recommendation did not pass. I view the debate differently. The educational value of having this significant church engage on the issue was invaluable. I have no doubt that in the near future, a vote to divest from these three firms, and maybe others benefiting from this prolonged occupation, will be forthcoming.

What troubles me is that during the debate, the Israel lobby’s tactic of “positive investment” was heavily pushed. Through extreme pressure on the church’s General Assembly commissioners, a case was successfully made to “invest in Palestine” rather than to divest from American companies profiting from the violent Israeli military occupation of Palestinians. Those pushing “positive investment” and those voting for it seem unaware that for six years the Presbyterians have backed investment. The reality is that they have not been able to find safe investments since they’re jeopardized by heavy-handed Israeli enforcement of the occupation which severely threatens profit-making.

As a Palestinian-American businessman, I can confidently proclaim that any serious investment in Palestine will need a parallel effort to hold Israel accountable if “positive investment” is to have any chance of success.

I do not belittle “positive investment.” On the contrary, my staff and I work unstintingly to create and support businesses in Palestine. However, I’ve been here long enough to understand that Israel will not let us build a real economy, so every job we create is really a means to nonviolently resist this occupation and give hope to a Palestinian family in order for that family to remain in Palestine and not emigrate. A Palestinian with no other options will try to build something here, but an outside businessperson with other options is going to look at the risks and give very serious consideration to investing elsewhere.

Investment is threatened as the Israeli military, directed by the Israeli government, micro-manages every aspect of the Palestinian economy. That micro-management applies to the telecommunications sector as much as it applies to newly-created private equity funds. The extremely polished bluff of establishing “economic peace” is simply unrealistic for people living under military occupation. It’s also impossible.

Some argue that well-intentioned Presbyterians — and others — should invest in Palestine instead of divesting from Israel. Divestment, they claim, is too negative. Nothing could be further from the truth. Divestment is a highly mature, time-tested, non-violent method to resist injustice. There is no reason it cannot be paired with investment. That noted, the Israeli occupation is making sustainable investment in Palestine nearly impossible.

Last year the World Bank acknowledged that Palestinian economic “growth has been unsustainable, driven primarily by donor aid rather than a rebounding private sector, which remains stifled by Israeli restrictions on access to natural resources and markets.”

In a perfected Orwellian move, pro-Israeli lobbyists publicly promote investment in Palestine, but simultaneously turn a blind eye to the systematic Israeli polices strangling the Palestinian economy. Investment in Palestine — without divestment from the Israeli occupation — only continues to underwrite the status quo of military occupation. For investment to be successful, occupation must be dismantled and control passed to Palestinians.

Palestinian civil society and Palestinians — Christians and Muslims alike — have urged everyone interested in seeing peace with justice to divest from the occupation. We struggle to remain hopeful while a cement wall as high as 24 feet snakes through our homeland. After all, we don’t want a more beautiful prison to live in. We want the prison walls dividing Palestinians from Palestinians to come down, and that won’t happen unless economic pressure is placed on Israel to end the occupation.

 

 

Written FOR

SICKEST REPORT IN MONTHS

Tour group operators reportedly said they would begin including watching the Syrian clashes on their tours, according to the report.
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Israeli tourists flock to Golan Heights to watch Syrians in battle

 

Israelis look from an Israeli army post near the village of Buqaata in the occupied Golan Heights at the nearby Syrian village of Jebata al-Khashab. (AFP)
Israelis look from an Israeli army post near the village of Buqaata in the occupied Golan Heights at the nearby Syrian village of Jebata al-Khashab. (AFP)

By AL ARABIYA

Israeli tourists are flocking to vantage points in the Golan Heights to take a glimpse of ongoing battle in Syrian, the Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.

The report got a lot of attention following the visit of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Golan Heights to personally witness the escalating battle in the war-torn neighboring country. Local TV channels aired images of the minister watching the shelling of Jobata al-Khashab across the Syrian border.

According to the Israeli newspaper, an increasing number of Israelis could be seen, carrying binoculars and cameras, visiting the Golan Heights to watch the ongoing clashes.

The war-watchers had to content themselves with listening to the sound of explosions and exchange of gunfire, which were more common reported by Hurriyet Daily News.

Tour group operators reportedly said they would begin including watching the Syrian clashes on their tours, according to the report.

An Israeli police allegedly said that the force is doing its best to keep the watchers away from sensitive army installations along the border.

 

Written FOR

HOW TO MAKE THE PALESTINIANS DISAPPEAR

Ignore them or continue to deny their existence and they’ll go away …….
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The above is representative of the ‘thinking’ of many Israelis and zionists abroad. Denial of the existence of Palestine and Palestinians has been their greatest ‘defense’ against reality. The phrase ‘A land without a people for a people without a land’ has been the mantra of zionism since its inception.
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We see this phrase put into action almost on a daily basis here in Israel, but especially this particular month of Ramadan. This Holy Month started almost a week ago yet there has been little or no mention of it in the Israeli press. It just doesn’t exist. In all fairness, the President of Israel took just over a minute of his time to put the following on YouTube;
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Click on the following links to see how sincere the President’s greeting was (sic) …
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http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/un-committee-against-torture-releases-list-issues-israel
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http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/akram-rikhawi-ends-102-day-hunger-strike-israel-agrees-early-release
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http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=506983
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All of the above are news clips from the past day or two. Do they give the impression that Israel is prepared to extend a hand of friendship to the Palestinians, now or ever? Israel will continue to kill and attempt to destroy what is left of the Palestinian nation, after all, they don’t even exist, right?
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WRONG!
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They do exist and they will be free one day soon. Ignoring them or wishing them away is definitely not a route on the ‘Roadmap To Peace’. A realistic route must be found and we must have Peace or the entire region will become a land without people, ANY PEOPLE!
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Ramadan Kareem!

RACIAL CLEANSING HAS BECOME THE NORM IN ISRAEL

While this kind of racism is considered normal in Israel, to put this in an American context, let’s recall that the United States also has a long history of violently and legally enforced racial segregation of urban areas whose legacy can be seen in cities all over the country.
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Built-in racism: Israeli real estate article lauds “desirable” Arab-free neighborhood

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 
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“Acre’s Ramchal neighborhood: one of the few that is not mixed.” That’s the stunning headline in an article in the real estate section of Israel’s Ynet, the website of mass circulation Yediot Ahronot.

Before describing the charms of the area – ample public services, kindergartens, parks and tennis courts – the piece, by Adina Hacham – CEO of a real-estate brokerage called Anglo-Saxon – begins:

Acre’s Ramchal neighborhood is one of the newer and more desired neighborhoods in the mixed [ethnicity] port city. The neighborhood was populated about a decade ago and is one of the few neighborhoods in the city that is not mixed, and whose residents are almost entirely Jews. Want to go live in the northern beach town?

The readers comments posted under the article mostly amplify the open racism of the article itself, with very few exceptions.

This is what’s called “racial steering” and it is illegal in the US

While this kind of racism is considered normal in Israel, to put this in an American context, let’s recall that the United States also has a long history of violently and legally enforced racial segregation of urban areas whose legacy can be seen in cities all over the country.

However, the Civil Rights laws of the 1960s put an end to any form of legal segregation.

If you’ve tried to buy a house in the United States, you may know that realtors are prohibited from providing you with any information about the racial or ethnic makeup of a neighborhood you may be interested in moving to.

This is to prevent what is called “racial steering” – the attempt to maintain the specific racial (or ethnic or religious) makeup of a neighborhood, or to deliberately change it, by discouraging some people from – or encouraging others to – live there.

The protections against discrimination in the sale and rental of housing in the United States are contained in the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which also makes it illegal for people selling or renting out properties to:

Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap.

US authorities routinely prosecute allegations of racial steering.

Housing racism not only not prohibited in Israel, it’s policy

In Israel, by contrast, the state itself – as well as its agents such as the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency – aim to “Judaize” vast areas at the expense of the Palestinian population. Meanwhile, hundreds of rabbis whose salaries are paid by the government, have issued widely disseminated public calls on Jews to refuse to sell or rent homes to Palestinians and other non-Jews.

The ethnic cleansing of Acre

 

Harbor walls and St. John’s church in Acre.

(Almog / Wikimedia Commons)

Acre – Akka in Arabic – is an ancient northern Palestine port, most of whose Palestinian population was ethnically-cleansed by Zionist militias during 1948. As the Palestinian population from surrounding villages and the major city of Haifa were forced out, many came to Acre and were forced to flee by sea to exile in Lebanon.

In April 1948, Zionist militias targed Acre itself. “The first wave of departures from Acre was triggered specifically by Jewish mortar harassment of the town in the last week of April, which produced the feeling that Acre was next on the list,” writes Benny Morris in The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949 (p.107).

Weeks of Zionist attacks forced the city to surrender by mid-May. By that time, only a few thousand of the city’s 13,000 Palestinian population remained.

“Mixed city”

After 1948, Israel settled mostly poor Jews from Arab countries in what were then seen as undesirable urban slums – the homes of Palestinians forced out. But as Jews became wealthier and moved to suburbs, Palestinian citizens of Israel moved back into inner city areas. Today, the city’s population is approximately 27 percent Palestinian.

In recent years, Israeli settlers from the West Bank have moved to Acre founding “religious” schools and stirring up violence, with the explicit goal of “reclaiming” Acre for Jews only.

As I wrote in a 2008 article:

Yeshiva Hesder-Akko, founded in 2001, is a pro-settler national religious school in the midst of a now majority Arab neighborhood called Wolfson. Over the years, many of the area’s Jewish residents had become more affluent and moved out, and poorer Arabs moved in. This hesder-yeshiva, a school for Israeli Jewish men who combine military service with religious study, often attracting strict adherents of the militant settler movement, is run by Yossi Stern, a rabbi from the militant West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh. Stern, who is also on the Acre city council, told The Washington Post last year that he and his associates were working on projects designed to “attract Jews to Acre,” including a 350-unit housing complex designated for Jewish military families, and another yeshiva (Scott Wilson, “Israel’s Arab Citizens, Isolation and Exclusion,” 20 December 2007). The Washington Post also reported that Palestinian residents and leaders consider these efforts to be part of a systematic assault on their presence in the city using tactics long deployed against Palestinians in the West Bank. Some accuse Acre’s Likud mayor of supporting the efforts.

Yeshiva Hesder-Akko’s own website states that “[f]rom a luxuriant Jewish neighborhood it [Wolfson] has turned into a decrepit Arab neighborhood.” The school’s purpose is “to try to return and strengthen the Jewish character of the city.” Although the city was “almost lost” to Jews, the site states that “The long awaited salvation has begun.

This ethnic cleansing is now tidied up and packaged for Israel’s real estate buyers by Ynet, who are invited to consider a “desirable” new neighborhood, desirable because it is a place cleansed of non-Jews.

With thanks to Dena Shunra for translation.

 

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THE ISRAELI/AMERICAN CAMPAIGN TO DEMONIZE IRAN

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 The Insanity of Anti-Iran Propaganda

Nima Shirazi // [with two updates]

A demonization propaganda campaign is now in full swing with regard to the recent tragic terrorist bombing in the coastal Bulgarian town of Burgas that targeted Israeli tourists. Such propaganda is a matter of life and death and establishes disgusting falsehoods as facts that race around the internet and the world, forever defining the narrative, obscuring the truth, and perpetuating pervasive mythologies that permeate our already skewed discourse on the issues of Iran, Israel, U.S. foreign policy and, now, the Burgas bus bombing.

The Times of Israel, the same “news” outfit that was quick to identify former Guantanamo detainee Mehdi Ghezali as the bomber based on half-baked Bulgarian media reports (a claim immediately denied by all intelligence agencies involved in the case) is back at it, this time with a report declaring that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has revealed (and reveled in) Iran’s culpability for the attack in Bulgaria.

The Times opens its piece with what could not be mistaken for anything other than what it presents as a clear statement of fact: “Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gloated publicly on Thursday over the deaths of Israelis in a terror bombing in Bulgaria, and hinted that Iran was responsible for the attack.” Claiming that, just hours after the attack itself, “Ahmadinejad described the attack as ‘a response’ to Israeli ‘blows against Iran,’” the report continues:

“The bitter enemies of the Iranian people and the Islamic Revolution have recruited most of their forces in order to harm us,” he said in a speech reported by Israel’s Channel 2 TV. “They have indeed succeeded in inflicting blows upon us more than once, but have been rewarded with a far stronger response.”

He added: “The enemy believes it can achieve its aims in a long, persistent struggle against the Iranian people, but in the end it will not. We are working to ensure that.”

Ahmadinejad’s speech was interpreted in Israel as asserting that the Burgas bombing was a revenge attack for the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists, for which Iran has repeatedly blamed Israel.

This report spread like wildfire around the internet, from right-wing sites like The Blaze and Commentary to progressive outlets like Paul Woodward’s War in Context.

But it’s a lie.

Ahmadinejad’s speech, delivered in commemoration of World Mosque Day, has absolutely nothing to do with the bus bombing in Bulgaria. The quotes cherry-picked and bizarrely analyzed by the Israeli media have nothing to do with boasting or bragging about the attack.

The speech, typical of Ahmadinejad, states clearly that, in the face of Western aggression and efforts to impose hegemony over Iran and its rights, the Islamic Republic will stand firm and not back down. This is even evident in the English language report on the speech itself, available on Ahmadinejad’s own website.

“I assure the Iranian people that the government will not retreat even one iota from their rights, principles and values against the declining materialistic powers,” Ahmadinejad said, “even if the enemies mobilize their past and future capabilities and get accompanied by certain parties inside the country.”

The key part of the speech twisted and bastardized by the Israeli press actually states that “the main enemies of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution have waged a major battle and mobilized their utmost power and capability but the Iranian government strongly resists against them. The enemy deals a blow to the Iranian nations step by step; but, in return, it receives a stronger, heavier blow.”

The Iranian president is so obviously talking about the campaign to abrogate Iran’s nuclear rights (Ahmadinejad said that “the hegemonic system opposes the Iranian nation only because of the high speed of its progress in various sectors such as industries, science and technology”) and Iran’s steadfastness in the face of economic pressure and ever-mounting sanctions and threats that to allege this has anything to do with Burgas is not only amazingly dishonest and grotesque, but also dangerous.

The critical paragraph of Ahmadinejad’s speech (a small portion of the whole, which mostly praises the importance of mosques as constructive cultural centers of society) can be read below both in the original Farsi along with an alternate translation:

دكتر احمدي‌نژاد در بخش ديگري از سخنان خود با بيان اينکه امروز دولت درگير يک نبرد سنگين و تمام عيار است، خاطرنشان کرد: امروز دشمنان اصلي ملت، فرهنگ، آرمانها، انقلاب اسلامي و موجوديت ايران، همه توان خود را بسيج کرده اند تا از حرکت سريع و رو به پيشرفت ملت ايران جلوگيري کنند و دولت نيز با همه توان و به صورت شبانه روزي و لحظه اي روياروي آنها ايستاده است. دشمنان با تسلط بر همه مراکز اقتصاد و قدرت در دنيا به صورت شبانه روزي و لحظه اي عليه جمهوري اسلامي اقدام مي کنند و دولت نيز پا به پاي آنها به مقابله برخاسته و اگر هر ضربه اي وارد کنند، ضربه اي دريافت مي کنند كه معمولاً ضربه دريافتي آنها سنگينتر از ضربه اي است که وارد کرده اند.

Dr. Ahmadi Nejad in another section of his remarks (words) mentioning that today the (Iranian) Government is involved in a heavy and all encompassing struggle reminded that: today the main enemies of the people, culture, ideals,the Islamic revolution and the Iranian existence have mobilized all their abilities (powers) to prevent the fast movement towards progress of the Iranian nation, and the Government (Iranian) also with all of its power, day and night and every moment is standing in front of them. The enemies with domination over all the centers of economy and power in the world day and night and every moment are acting against the Islamic Republic and the Government (Iranian) also has risen in front of them (standing in front of them, against them) and if they deliver a blow they will receive a blow which usually the blow they receive will be heavier than the blow they have delivered.

(translation by Ahmad Shirazi)

[An additional, more fluid, less literal, translation has been appended below]

The use of this quote, and the false presentation of it as having anything to do with the Burgas attack, may set a new low in the warmongering campaign that Israel is waging against Iran.

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UPDATE:

July 22, 2012 - Here is yet another translation of the relevant part of Ahmadinejad’s speech, generously provided by professional translator Mehrdad Shahabi:

Referring to the fact that the government is today engaged in a heavy full-scale struggle, Dr. Ahmadinejad in another part of his speech pointed out that, “Today, the main enemies of the Iranian nation, its culture and ideals, its Islamic Revolution and the nation’s very existence have mobilized all their possibilities to impede the Iranian nation’s swift progress. In response, doing its utmost, the government, has stood up to them round the clock, day and night.

Dominating the world’s economic and power centres, the enemies have been acting against the Islamic Republic round the clock, day and night. The government, for its part, has stood up to them in every step they take. For every blow delivered, they will receive a counter-blow, which is usually heavier than the blow delivered.”

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UPDATE II:

July 22, 2012 - The Times of Israel has retracted its bogus Ahmadinejad “gloating” story and issued a corrective article entitled, “Ahmadinejad was talking about sanctions, not Burgas, in his speech last Thursday, says Persian expert.”

The expert cited is Bahman Kalbasi, correspondent for BBC Persian.

Yesterday, on Twitter, Kalbasi confirmed my debunking of the Times article, liking to my own post and writing “Nima at @WideAsleepNima correctly articulates the mistranslation by @TimesofIsrael : wideasleepinamerica.com/2012/07/the-in…

 
The retraction explains that while “Ahmadinejad’s speech was widely interpreted in Israel as asserting that the Burgas bombing was a revenge attack for the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists…Kalbasi said such interpretations reflect a mistranslation, and that the speech contains no word or phrase that indicates Ahmadinejad was talking about the bombing. The relevant section of the speech relates to western sanctions on Iran and Iran’s response, he said, rather than to the Burgas bombing as on ostensible response to the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists.”

The article concludes:

“He was talking about growing international and economic pressure on Iran, and assuring his constituency that their government will stand up for them and fight back,” said Kalbasi, noting that Thursday’s speech is carried on Ahmadinejad’s website.

Glad that’s finally cleared up.
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THE BEST RAMADAN PRESENT WE COULD HAVE HOPED FOR…..

Hopefully soon we will be reading about the end of the occupation!
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Gaza Blockade Over? Egypt Opens Border to Palestinians

 

Free Entry, No Permits Required

by Jason Ditz
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Five years of full-scale blockade of the Gaza Strip may have finally come to an end in the wee hours of Monday morning, with Egyptian officials announcing that they are opening the border unilaterally and completely to all Palestinians, including those stuck in the strip.

Officials say that all Palestinians can enter Egypt at will now, without permits or visas, and that this will include not only those in Gaza, but Palestinians entering Egypt by plane from elsewhere and means a de facto opening of the Gaza border. Indeed the first travelers entering Egypt without this restriction were seven Palestinians who arrived by plane.

The move comes just a week and a half after the Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that he was “confident” Egypt’s President Mursi would fully open the Gaza border to trade. This opening seems even more than anyone had hoped.

Israeli officials have yet to respond to the news, but will presumably be extremely hostile to the change, as it will undermine their long-standing strategy of keeping Gazans in a state of constant siege.

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CON ED WORKERS: ‘IF WE GO OUT, SO DO THE LIGHTS’!

 
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New York’s Union Square was the scene of one of the largest protest demonstrations in years… Many militant speeches and many Unions, all in support of the locked out Con Ed Workers. Also present were representatives of Occupy Wall Street, showing their solidarity with the 99%.
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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ZIONISTS BEWARE!

The man you train to kill just might turn on you one day …
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Yesterday I posted about a zionist summer school that specialises in shooting lessons….
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Here is just one of the possible ‘graduates’ of such a school … Don’t miss Latuff’s observations below.
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‘Batman’ Shooter Worked at Jewish Summer Camp

Suspect James Holmes Worked at Camp Max Straus in Calif.

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Victims Mourn: Friends and relatives mourn the victims of the ‘Batman’ massacre in Colorado.
GETTY IMAGES
Victims Mourn: Friends and relatives mourn the victims of the ‘Batman’ massacre in Colorado.

By JTA

 The alleged shooter who killed 12 in a crowded Colorado movie theater worked at a Jewish summer camp for underprivileged children.

James Holmes spent a summer working as a counselor for Camp Max Straus in Glendale, Calif., which is run by Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Holmes, 24, is suspected of setting off a smoke bomb late Thursday night in a midnight screening in Aurora, Colo. of the new Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” and then opening fire on the crowd, killing 12 and injuring dozens. He was arrested early Friday morning.

In a statement to The Los Angeles Times, Randy Schwab, chief executive of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and director of Camp Max Straus, said of Holmes: “His role was to ensure that these children had a wonderful camp experience by helping them learn confidence, self-esteem and how to work in small teams to effect positive outcomes,” he said. In a later e-mail, he added: “That summer provided the kids a wonderful camp experience without incident.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to President Obama on Saturday, expressing his condolences and those of the Israeli people to the families of the Americans who were murdered in the Aurora movie theater.

“All Israelis stand alongside the American people in mourning over this terrible tragedy which claimed the lives of so many. We well understand the pain and loss that you are experiencing,” Netanyahu wrote.

Reported AT

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All images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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 American gun culture in a nutshell – #theatershooting

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ZIONIST ‘SUMMER SCHOOL’

Learn to shoot before you buy that gun…..
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Watch this video before you read what is posted below…..
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  • American Tourists Flock to Israeli Settlement Shooting School

  • - Common Dreams staff

In an Israeli West Bank settlement bloc known as Gush Etzion, American tourists are flocking to Caliber 3 shooting school, a training camp for Israeli ‘security professionals including soldiers and bodyguards’, which has recently opened its services to Israeli and American civilians. The company says it offers “the values of Zionism with the excitement and enjoyment of shooting which makes the activity more meaningful.”

The company offers a two-hour “tourist course”, in which travelers and families take turns shooting at photos of men wearing the keffiyeh scarf worn by Palestinians.

The school was set up in 2002 and opened its doors to tourists roughly three years ago.

The Caliber 3 website promotes the experience as a “special encounter that can not be experienced anywhere else except on the battlefield.”

“It’s a fun experience for the whole family,” Rachel Frogel, a young mother holding a baby in her arms, told Agence France-Press at the Caliber 3 school.

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American tourists are seen training with wooden guns as they participate in an introductory course to handle firearms at the Caliber 3 shooting range. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

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