TAKING BACK PALESTINE’S STREETS WITH THE HELP OF GRAFFITI

“I am not under the illusion that our street art or the unarmed demonstrations are going to end the occupation tomorrow morning. None of these things isolated from the rest of it is going to end the occupation. But they build a system of resistance. They are all part of a larger web of popular  resistance.”
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Taking back Palestine’s streets: exclusive interview with underground Jerusalem graffiti artist

Maath Musleh *

“There’s no voice greater than the voice of the intifada” (Image courtesy of the artist)

Graffiti has been a tool of the Palestinian liberation struggle for decades; during the first intifada in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Palestinians painted graffiti on all the walls as a means of protesting the occupation. Graffiti artists were met with brutal suppression if caught.

Young Palestinians are carrying on the legacy of art as a form of resistance today. On 12 January, an unknown group penetrated the heavily-fortified heart of West Jerusalem overnight and painted graffiti bearing political messages on walls, doors, construction sites and other surfaces. Most of the paintings pictured a woman’s face masked with a kuffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian checkered scarf. Below some of the images was the word “revolt” in Arabic.

The group hit the walls of Jerusalem again five days later, and issued an anonymous statement vowing to carry on their action to send messages to the Israeli and Palestinian communities.

In the following weeks, other groups took up the spray can torch in various cities including Haifa and Jaffa.

And in June, the Jerusalem activists took a daring step by painting graffiti on the doors and walls of governmental buildings as well as the doorways of Israeli houses in Jerusalem and Palestinian houses occupied since the ethnic cleansing of 1948. They sent the same messages calling upon Palestinians in general, and Palestinian women in particular, to revolt. They also painted “Remember Gaza” across the wall of one of the buildings in big letters.

Underground graffiti artist speaks out

A member of the group, a confident young Palestinian feminist activist who operates under the pseudonym “Laila,” spoke to The Electronic Intifada on condition of anonymity. Laila has been active in street art in Palestine before the creation of the anonymous Jerusalem group, focusing on painting both the walls of West and East Jerusalem.

“Some of the street art I have done was in what has now become West Jerusalem in Jewish-dominated areas,” said Laila. “Some other stuff I have done is in East Jerusalem where messages have been more about feminist messages to [Palestinian] women, mostly to wake up and not be drowned out by the patriarchal nature of our society.”

The Jerusalem graffiti group started operating since the beginning of this year.

“We are a group of Palestinian youth, both men and women, active on the ground in the popular resistance movement,” explained Laila, adding that there is a mix of backgrounds and perspectives within the group. “We cannot be categorized into one unique box; we are quite diverse,” she said. “What bring us together is our activism and our deep desire to continue the resistance movement and to be active as much as possible.”

The members of the group met during demonstrations taking place in Palestine. In the past year, they have been actively participating in the popular resistance in the West Bank and prisoners’ hunger strike solidarity actions. Although they have not known each other for very long, they managed to build a level of trust amongst each other. “I think each one of us realizes there is a lot of trust within the other person,” said Laila.

For the time being, the group has no plans to expand. “First we have to work small and focused until we are able to mobilize more people,” said Laila.

“This is Palestine and we’re still here”

According to Laila, the group’s street art activism in West Jerusalem aims to mark the streets with the existence of the Palestinian people and make Israelis feel uncomfortable.

“We want to remind them these were Palestinian neighborhoods, this is Palestine and we are still here,” said Laila. “It is kind of taking back our streets and not allowing the status quo to continue.

“I am not under the illusion that our street art or the unarmed demonstrations are going to end the occupation tomorrow morning. None of these things isolated from the rest of it is going to end the occupation. But they build a system of resistance. They are all part of a larger web of popular resistance.”

The Jerusalem group has so far undertaken three actions this year, all carrying similar messages. Laila said, “The three actions were in different parts of the city [Jerusalem]. We wanted to take the same message and spread it around the city. Some of the paintings were painted over within 48 hours. We wanted to make it a point: by repainting them … even if you do, the problem will not go away and we are still here.”

It is still too early to know if the work of this group will expand into different areas or using different tools. “We are planning. There will be something new in the coming weeks, so stay tuned,” Laila said.

Laila does not think of her activism as just a means to end occupation; she hopes that her work could encourage change within Palestinian society.

“The end goal is also to create a different society and a different way in which we function in it,” said Laila. “For example, when I think about the role of women within the popular resistance movement, I think about the fact that it is important that women also have an equal role within creating a new Palestinian society. Will they be part of the leadership? Will they be part of the action? Will they be part of building the structures and institutions of the society?”

Support of unarmed resistance

The unarmed popular resistance that has mushroomed in recent years in opposition to Israel’s wall and settlement colonies in the occupied West Bank has been hit with the arrows of criticism, accused as inefficient and helping to sustain the status quo. The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee organizes weekly demonstrations against the occupation in several West Bank villages. These demonstrations have not yet produced tangible changes on ground, critics say.

“Since the 1930s, the Palestinians have used multiple strategies and tactics that are all categorized as nonviolent resistance such as strikes, hunger strikes and marches,” said Laila. “For instance, the nonviolent tactics of the first intifada succeeded in mobilizing thousands of people out in the streets.

“The [nonviolent] tactic itself can bring a lot more people together. It allows higher levels of participation in oppose to the armed resistance.”

Laila believes that the unarmed resistance is the way to end the occupation. “I do not want to speak for anybody else in the group because we might not agree on this point,” said Laila. “But I think that unarmed resistance is going to be a lot more strategic and influential.”

And yet even unarmed protest, during which youths sometimes throw rocks at the army, is construed in the international media as violent. Laila believes that this characterization is unfair because the young Palestinians throwing stones at the fourth strongest army in the world are met with live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets.

Laila finds a double standard in the Western media. “I think the Egyptian revolution is a great example,” she said. “We saw protesters throwing stones at the army and the police, and yet the media painted it as a nonviolent revolution.”

Some have also criticized the participation of Israeli activists in the Palestinian popular resistance.

“It is important that the strategies and tactics are directed by the Palestinians,” said Laila. “But we are also talking about many Israeli activists who are anti-government and who come in full solidarity. They support the full rights of the Palestinians and justice.”

Future of Palestine

As for the future of Palestine, Laila believes that a two-state solution is impossible. According to her, the idea of a Jewish state has damaged the morality of Jewish Israeli society.

“I want to destroy the current structure and oppression inflicted by the state, not the people,” said Laila.

“There are so many Jews who want to go back to Syria because that is their homeland,” she added. “They want to go back to Tunisia or Morocco because that is where they are originally from. I know Israeli Jews who cried when they saw the bombing of Baghdad in 2003 because that is their home city.”

The graffiti activist believes that all Palestinians in exile have the right to choose whether they want to return to their homeland or be compensated. She believes that the right of return might not be easy but it is not impractical as many Zionists claim. It is a right, she says.

“I do not think anyone will be left homeless; there are a lot of structures,” said Laila. “Instead of thinking about destroying the settlements the day the occupation ends, we should think about how we can use these structures. There are also Palestinian Nakba houses [property depopulated in the 1948 ethnic cleansing] that are standing completely empty and nobody uses them. Why should their owners not have the right to come back?”

Laila is not interested in sending messages of co-existence through her graffiti art. “This is the only place in the world that I know of where reconciliation and dialogue programs and messages of co-existence have existed before actual oppression has ended,” she said. “It is impossible to tell somebody [to] learn to co-exist before their sense of oppression has ended.”

It is Israeli society which needs to reconcile with history, according to Laila. “The Israeli society will suffer an identity crisis before they start realizing what the occupation meant here for all of those years,” she said.

“I do not talk just about the occupation in 1967,” she added. “My village was not impacted in 1967; it was impacted in 1948. My village was occupied in 1948.”

As for the Palestinians, following the so-called Arab Spring, many Palestinian youth groups emerged. Nonetheless, mobilization seems to be slow. Many analysts ask the same question: “When is the Palestinian spring?”

Laila believes that Palestinian society needs more time to prepare for the next phase of their liberation movement. “If it [the revolution] happened tomorrow morning, it would be a disaster,” Laila said. “What we are doing today is preparing. It is utterly important to be ready for the day when it comes.”

*Maath Musleh is a Palestinian journalist and blogger based in Jerusalem currently seeking a master’s degree in political journalism from City University in London.

Written FOR

“BLOOD LIBEL AGAINST ISRAEL MUST STOP”

  Or…. Israel’s lies and brutal occupation must be stopped!
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“120 countries heard blood libel against Israel in Tehran today, and kept quiet,” Netanyahu said. “This silence must stop and for this reason I will go to the UN to tell the truth about the terror regime of Iran which poses the greatest threat to world peace.”
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BUT, BUT, BUT …..
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In his speech, Khamenei denounced what he said was Israel’s brutal suppression of Palestinian rights.

“Even now after 65 years the same kind of crimes marks the treatment of Palestinians remaining in the occupied territories by the ferocious Zionist wolves,” Khamenei was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying, adding that Israel commits “new crimes one after the other and create new crises for the region.”

The Supreme Leader added that the “Zionist regime, which has carried out assassinations and caused conflicts and crimes for decades by waging disastrous wars, killing people, occupying Arab territories and organizing state terror in the region and in the world, labels the Palestinian people as ‘terrorists,’ the people who have stood up to fight for their rights.”

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Libel?  Sounds pretty true to me.
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Netanyahu to deliver speech on Iran at UN General Assembly

PM to go to New York next month for 3-day visit; Netanyahu: I will go to the UN to tell the truth about the terror regime of Iran.

By Barak Ravid
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N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - AP - Sept. 21, 2012.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 21, 2011. 
Photo by AP
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will give a speech about the threat of Iran’s nuclear program in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York next month, the prime minister’s office said Thursday.

According to the statement, Netanyahu will arrive in New York on September 27 for a three-day visit and deliver his speech that same day, during a special gathering in which various state leaders will also speak.

Thus far, a meeting between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, who will also take part in the General Assembly event, has not been scheduled, but officials believe such a meeting will be set in the coming weeks.

Netanyahu on Thursday condemned a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who launched a venomous attack against Israel in a speech inaugurating the Non-Aligned Movement conference on Thursday.

“120 countries heard blood libel against Israel in Tehran today, and kept quiet,” Netanyahu said. “This silence must stop and for this reason I will go to the UN to tell the truth about the terror regime of Iran which poses the greatest threat to world peace.”

In his speech, Khamenei denounced what he said was Israel’s brutal suppression of Palestinian rights.

“Even now after 65 years the same kind of crimes marks the treatment of Palestinians remaining in the occupied territories by the ferocious Zionist wolves,” Khamenei was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying, adding that Israel commits “new crimes one after the other and create new crises for the region.”

The Supreme Leader added that the “Zionist regime, which has carried out assassinations and caused conflicts and crimes for decades by waging disastrous wars, killing people, occupying Arab territories and organizing state terror in the region and in the world, labels the Palestinian people as ‘terrorists,’ the people who have stood up to fight for their rights.”

Written FOR

A REMINDER THAT RACHEL CORRIE WAS NOT ALONE

They died so Palestine can live!
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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Such occasions make us cry but also because we start to remember others: the first three that came to my mind were Vittorio Arrigoni, Bassem and Jawaher Aburahma, then to be followed by a flood of faces and names.  When will this injustice end and the murders stop?

Rachel Corrie

Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh PhD
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It is hard to believe that we lost Rachel Corrie in March 2003.  Our pain makes it feel like only yesterday especially when this week a consistently biased lying Israeli judge justified his unjust verdict exonerating her killers by vilifying the International Solidarity Movement (see links below). As a Palestinian who happens to also hold a US passport and most importantly as a human being, I found the silence of the Obama administration on the murder of a US citizen particularly revealing.   Such occasions make us cry but also because we start to remember others: the first three that came to my mind were Vittorio Arrigoni, Bassem and Jawaher Aburahma, then to be followed by a flood of faces and names.  When will this injustice end and the murders stop?
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As for hundreds of years, colossal injustices must be and are answered by people. Not just in the case of Rachel but the tens of thousands of civilians murdered since the beginning of the Zionist invasion of Palestine. In a short while we commemorate the massacres of Sabra and Shatila where over 1300 Palestinian refugees and Lebanese were brutally murdered by mercenaries of the Israeli state in 1982 (see).  In the subsequent 30 years, with US direct and indirect support, the killing spree continues and the ethnic cleansing continues.  7 million of us are now refugees or displaced people.  In the middle of this darkness always come bright lights like Rachel and thousands of others.Rachel lived her ideals and taught us to live based on these ideals.   In our last fleeting thought before we die, we never consider that we should have worked for more money or more power but we do think that the good that we do in life must have meant something.  Rachel reminded us of this.  Rachel’s good deeds and memory will live long after her killers and the Israeli judge die in obscurity. Her memory will live long after apartheid ends in Palestine and we have return and freedom.  In that future, Muslims, Christians, Jews and others will join hands and hearts to remember this young girl and all the other martyrs along the way to equality and justice.

A poem I wrote March 16, 2008
Of humanity

People get shot, Rachel spoke
I am afraid, she wrote
Want to Dance
I can’t believe
and so many of her remain
in the world
in her words
in our hearts
But today, with a lump in my throat
what paces in my thought
That strange phrase from a holy book
“they plan but God is the best of planners”
Nervously I ask it to slow down
explain yourself to a refugee spirit
what do you plan for the wretched souls
Why Rachel
Or Hurndall
Why Hiam and Marwa?
Why Faris and Al-Durra?
And who is this divine?
In us all?
Do I learn something on this fifth anniversary
of death of another innocent
Is it misery and pain?
Love and action?
Questions or answers?
Or will all I am left with is that smell of the air of Palestine
and the soil, that soaked soil
that Rachel’s last breath took in
to give us the Spring
of our understanding.

 Rachel’s mother: Clearing the Israeli army in this murder is a bad day for :my family, for human rights, and for humanity”
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Video shows it was cold blooded murder

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Jewish Voices for Peace deplores verdict
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Worthewhile rereading Rachel’s letters

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What has become of our nation? Netanyahu regime has destroyed our livelihood, dreams, values and future; turned Israel into racist, violent state by Yael Gvirtz

DESPITE THE VERDICT, RACHEL CORRIE WAS MURDERED BY ISRAEL!

 And that my friends is a FACT!!
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Two days ago, a Haifa court ruled that Corrie was responsible for her own death. That was a sad day for justice and for international law, and as her parents said; it should also be a sad day for Israel. It is the IDF’s duty, we must recall, among other things, to defend civilians in an occupied area. Even if the driver of the bulldozer and the soldier sitting next to him did not see Corrie, and did not deliberately run over her, as the court found, the IDF did not do enough to prevent her being killed.

Behold, Rachel, behold

The message from the Rachel Corrie verdict is clear: Israel doesn’t want people of conscience at a time when it is doing mischief. They are risking their lives.

By Gideon Levy
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The spring of 2003 was an atrocious spring. An intifada was raging in the streets of Israel; explosives were going off next to the Gaza-Egyptian border, along the Philadelphi Route, and in Rafah, bulldozers mowed down hundreds of Palestinian homes, many of them belonging to innocent people. A few months earlier, a young American woman had arrived in Rafah from Olympia, Washington.

Rachel Corrie had met a youth of Palestinian origin at her school and through him was exposed to the suffering of his people. At the age of 23, she decided to take some action. She joined the International Solidarity Movement and left for Gaza. During her first few weeks she witnessed the acts of the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza, reported them to her family and friends, and decided to act as a human shield.

At that same time, two British citizens also arrived in Gaza – Tom Hurndall, another peace activist, and James Miller, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who came to make a film about what was happening in Gaza. He called it “Death in Gaza.” Within a number of weeks, all three of them had been killed by the IDF.

Corrie was run over trying to save a house, with her own body, while a bulldozer tried to “expose” it. Miller was killed by a sniper when he came out of a house holding a white flag. After the first shot hit him, he still managed to shout out to the soldiers, “We are British journalists” – as can clearly be heard in the video filmed there in the dark; and then, in response, a second sniper shot was fired and killed him. Hurndall was killed while trying to serve as a human shield for a group of children that had entered an area where there was shoting. A British jury established that Miller had been murdered intentionally, but only the soldier who killed Hurndall was tried and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment, then released after six years. No one was tried for the killings of Corrie and Miller.

These three international activists were courageous people of conscience which any moral society would be proud of – shining examples of young people who are involved and care. While their friends spent their time at parties and doing nothing especially important, they came to the site of a humanitarian disaster. They did not endanger the soldiers of the IDF in any way but the army didn’t want them there. They got in the way of the army, in their attempt to prevent war crimes with their own bodies and to document them with their cameras. For those very same reasons that the IDF did not want them there, they had to be there.

Two days ago, a Haifa court ruled that Corrie was responsible for her own death. That was a sad day for justice and for international law, and as her parents said; it should also be a sad day for Israel. It is the IDF’s duty, we must recall, among other things, to defend civilians in an occupied area. Even if the driver of the bulldozer and the soldier sitting next to him did not see Corrie, and did not deliberately run over her, as the court found, the IDF did not do enough to prevent her being killed.

The spirit of the commander that could be sensed then (and now ) indicated that those volunteers must be chased away from the area. This ill wind also blew this week during the court ruling; its chill made its way to the solidarity movement and in this way indirectly sanctioned the killings.

Corrie has become an international icon. It’s a shame there aren’t more Israeli youngsters like her. Her organization is not pro-Israel – far from that – its members are often dogmatic but that is their prerogative. The least that can be expected from Israel after she was killed, intentionally or by accident, was to bring those involved to trial, at least for negligence, to apologize and to pay compensation. In the case of Miller, perhaps the most obvious case of intentional killing, Israel paid a huge sum in compensation but, as was said, no one was brought to trial.

This week, the judge in Haifa added his verdict to a long and embarrassing list of court rulings aimed at sanctioning almost every kind of improper act committed by the IDF. The message is clear: Israel doesn’t want people of conscience at a time when it is doing mischief. They are risking their lives.

And the message to the soldiers is: It is permitted to kill them; nothing bad will happen to you. When the IDF acts in this way, it is perhaps possible to understand it, but when the judicial system sanctions this, it is depravity. Behold, Rachel, behold – your death was not in vain. It at least revealed , once again, that the Israeli judicial system is a partner to the foul deeds.

Written FOR

From Vas …

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THE SILENCE HAS BEEN BROKEN ON PALESTINIAN CHILD ABUSE … BY FORMER ISRAELI SOLDIERS

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Former Israeli soldiers disclose routine mistreatment of Palestinian children

Booklet of testimonies of former Israeli soldiers describes beatings, intimidation and humiliation of children
By Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem
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More than 30 former Israeli soldiers have disclosed their experiences of the treatment of Palestinian children during military operations and arrests, pointing to a pattern of abuse.

A booklet of testimonies, published by Breaking the Silence, an organisation of former Israeli soldiers dedicated to publicising the day-to-day actions of the army in the occupied territories, contains descriptions of beatings, intimidation, humiliation, verbal abuse, night-time arrests and injury. Most of the children had been suspected of stone-throwing.

The witness statements were gathered to show the “common reality” of acts of violence by soldiers towards Palestinians, including children, in the West Bank, said Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence. “Sadly enough this is the moral consequence of prolonged occupation of the Palestinian people,” he said.

One former soldier describes serving in Hebron in 2010: “You never know their names, you never talk with them, they always cry, shit in their pants … There are those annoying moments when you’re on an arrest mission, and there’s no room in the police station, so you just take the kid back with you, blindfold him, put him in a room and wait for the police to come and pick him up in the morning. He sits there like a dog …”

Children frequently soiled themselves, according to the testimonies. “I remember hearing him shitting his pants … I also remember some other time when someone pissed in his pants. I just became so indifferent to it, I couldn’t care less. I heard him do it, I witnessed his embarrassment. I also smelled it. But I didn’t care,” said another.

Another soldier describes an incident in Qalqiliya in 2007 in which a boy was arrested for throwing stones. “At the end of the day, something has to make these kids stop throwing stones on the road because they can kill,” he said.

“That specific kid who actually lay there on the ground, begging for his life, was actually nine years oldI mean, a kid has to beg for his life? A loaded gun is pointed at him and he has to plead for mercy? This is something that scars him for life. But I think if we hadn’t entered the village at that point, then stones would be thrown the next day and perhaps the next time someone would be wounded or killed as a result.”

Some of the statements illustrate the disjunction between the Israeli military and Palestinians. One soldier said: “You put up a checkpoint out of boredom, sit there for a few hours and then continue on. Once I saw kids passing, and one of the guys, a reservist who spoke Arabic, wanted to ask them what they study. He didn’t mean it in any bad way. Then I saw how the kid nearly peed his pants as the guy tried to kid with him, how the two worlds are simply disconnected. The guy was kidding and the kid was scared to death.”

Most of the soldiers have given testimonies anonymously. One, who spoke to the Guardian, said he had been given no guidance during his training for military service on how to deal with minors. He said children were sometimes arrested and interrogated, not because they were suspected of an offence, but to try to elicit information about older family members or neighbours.

He had given a witness statement to Breaking the Silence because “I thought that people who don’t see this on an everyday basis should know what’s going on.” He said many Israelis were unwilling to acknowledge the reality of the military occupation in the West Bank. “It’s very easy [for the Israeli public] to be completely detached. It’s a hard thing to handle – stuff like that being done in your name.”

According to Gerard Horton of Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCI) the testimonies confirm a pattern of behaviour uncovered by his organisation’s research into the treatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli security forces.

DCI and other human rights organisations say Palestinian children are routinely arrested at night, handcuffed, blindfolded, mistreated and denied access to their parents or a lawyer.

“For years credible reports of human rights abuses against children living under Israeli military occupation have emerged,” he said. “These latest testimonies from young soldiers given the task of enforcing the occupation provide further evidence of its deeply corrosive effects on all. The testimonies lay bare the day-to-day reality of the occupation. These are not isolated incidents or a question of ‘a few bad apples’. This is the natural and foreseeable consequence of government policy.”

A spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces said that Breaking the Silence had declined to provide the IDF with testimonies ahead of publication so they could be verified and investigated.

He said its true intention was “to generate negative publicity regarding the IDF and its soldiers. The IDF has in the past, and continues to, call upon the organisation to immediately convey complaints or suspicions of improper conduct to the relevant authorities. In line with the IDF’s ethical commitments, any such incidents will be thoroughly investigated.”

 

Written FOR

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BREAKING THE SILENCE
Children and Youth -
Soldiers’ Testimonies 2005-2011

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To view PDF Document click HERE

STILL FEELING THE HATE ON THE STREETS OF JERUSALEM (ON VIDEO)

 STILL
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“I saw the whole beating, it’s a good thing that they beat the Arabs…”
 
Just days after a mob of Jewish Israelis beat and injured three Palestinian youth, one nearly to death, Israel’s Ynet news website conducted interviews in central Jerusalem’s Kikar Hahatulot [Cat Square], just a few hundred feet from the site of what was dubbed by Israeli police a “lynching.” The video is reminiscent of a controversial 2009 videomade by Jewish-American journalist/author Max Blumenthal and American-Israeli journalist Joseph Dana titled “Feeling the hate in Jerusalem.”

A roughly translated English-captioned version of the original video report is embedded below, along with a transcript courtesy of Shunra Media and the IMEU.

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0:07 So were you there last week?

Yes, yes, the beating

And?

It was nothing important, there was this one Arab, cursed parents and so forth, it was entirely inappropriate. And the state is entirely not ok. We have so many lynches done against us here, and the government doesn’t care at all. Gee, that guy who got beaten up deserved it. He cursed parents!

0:22 Were you here last week?

I was here last week, during the beating, I saw the whole beating, it’s a good thing that they beat the Arabs, [bleeped over the word death] to the Arabs, they should all die! [exits, camera right]

0:37 [Caption: Nissim, jewelry seller, Cat
Square]
If he were educated like a human being, he would not have said such a thing to any person.

Why not?

Because you’re drunk!

I’m not drunk!

Here’s the smell from your mouth! You’re drunk! If there were policemen here and they’d see you, they’d arrest you, because you’re drunk and you’re not allowed to drink. Full stop.

I’m not allowed to drink? Here, see my ID, bro.

There are Arabs who go to the army, you [idiot]. Respect that!

They’re Druze!

Not Druze – there are Bedouins, who are Arabs, there are Druze, who are also Arabs.

1:02 I had just finished working, I left my job, two-three minutes later, on Yoel Salomon Street some three-four people jumped me, [slammed] a glass bottle into my head, in my neck, my ear was cut here, behind it., I got hit with something sharp here, I don’t know what it was, maybe a screwdriver, [needed] stitches…

Do you continue going around this area?

The truth is that it’s very dangerous to go around here, because all kinds of [?] most of the time there are problems, almost every weekend.

1:28 They’re not supposed to be here in the country.

Not supposed to!

They should really leave here!

[pan to crowd]

Where do you bring this from?

That’s what they instill in us, where I come from.

Where do you come from?

I come from the Territories. Some people would say it’s racist [shrugs] but I don’t think so. That’s what has to be done.

1:46 I was there, it happened, like, right in front of my eyes. It was really horrifying, those kids need an education and so forth. It was really disgusting, like, they ran and sang a song that was, like, really disgusting about the Arabs, all over town, and then the came to Kikar Zion [Zion Square] and then some Arab dared to say, like, something back to them and – to curse them back, because they were singing, like, Arabs are construction workers, and so on, and so on, and it was really not ok, like.
2:17 Those children, they don’t have a mother, they don’t have a father, they don’t have anyone in the country to come and talk to them. They come, they drink, they do whatever they like. A person walks by, they go – some twenty of them – “Arab, son of a whore; Jew, has a soul.” They chase him and beat him up. Why? WHY? These guys are educated to hate and to hit. And in my opinion, they are terrorists.
2:42 [crowd chants]
I hate all the Arabs.

[policeman comes in, shakes his fist:]
go home!

Reported AT
 

RACHEL CORRIE: VICTIM OF ‘AN ACCIDENTAL MURDER’

 In a ruling read out to the court, judge Oded Gershon called Corrie’s death a “regrettable accident”, but said the state was not responsible because the incident had occurred during what he termed a war-time situation.
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Israeli court: U.S. activist Rachel Corrie’s death was an accident

Family of Corrie, who was crushed by an IDF bulldozer during a pro-Palestinian protest in Gaza in 2003, filed lawsuit in Haifa accusing Israel of intentionally killing their 23-year-old daughter.

By Jack Khoury and Reuters
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Rachel Corrie - AP
U.S. activist Rachel Corrie, who died in 2003 in Gaza after being crushed by an IDF bulldozer. Photo by AP
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The Haifa District Court rejected on Tuesday accusations that Israel was at fault over the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.

Corrie’s family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter, launching a civil case in the northern Israeli city of Haifa after a military investigation had cleared the army of wrong-doing.

In a ruling read out to the court, judge Oded Gershon called Corrie’s death a “regrettable accident”, but said the state was not responsible because the incident had occurred during what he termed a war-time situation.

At the time of her death, during a Palestinian uprising, Corrie was protesting against Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

“I reject the suit,” the judge said. “There is no justification to demand the state pay any damages.”

He added that the soldiers had done their utmost to keep people away from the site. “She (Corrie) did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done.”

Corrie’s death made her a symbol of the uprising, and while her family battled through the courts to establish who was responsible for her killing, her story was dramatized on stage in a dozen countries and told in the book “Let Me Stand Alone.”

“I am hurt,” Corrie’s mother, Cindy, told reporters after the verdict was read.
Corrie came from Olympic, Washington and was a volunteer with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.

Senior U.S. officials criticized the original military investigation into the case, saying it had been neither thorough nor credible. But the judge said the inquiry had been appropriate and pinned no blame on the army.

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Rachel Corrie’s family outside the Haifa District Court.   Photo by Abdullah Shama
Written FOR
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From BBC News
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IT TAKES MORE THAN A DREAM TO CHANGE THE WORLD

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Forty nine years ago today we all shared a dream with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The main message of it was; ( speech on YouTube at end of post)
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
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Forty nine years later we are still far from free. The dream has turned into a nightmare! Instead of men joining hands we see ….
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Needless to say, the above was NOT a part of the dream. But, the dream can still become a reality if we all do our bit to make it so.
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The marches continue, the Peoples’ Movements continue to grow. All efforts must continue until WE ARE FREE AT LAST!
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Kudos to the Occupy Wall Street Movement for helping bring that day closer.
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‘DEEP IN MY HEART, I DO BELIEVE, WE SHALL OVERCOME ONE DAY.’

OCCUPIED PALESTINE DECLARED A ‘NO ENTRY ZONE’

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Since Friday, around 100 activists have arrived in Jordan, with the intention of crossing the Israeli-controlled border with the West Bank on Sunday.
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‘Welcome to Palestine’ group denied entry into West Bank
Activists pictured during a protest at Brussels national airport in April.
Some 1,200 people throughout Europe had bought plane tickets for an
April 15 visit to the West Bank as part of a campaign called “Welcome
to Palestine”. (Reuters/Sebastien Pirlet)
 
BETHLEHEM — Dozens of foreign peace activists were denied entry into the West Bank by Israeli authorities at the Allenby Bridge crossing on Sunday evening, organizers of the third ‘Welcome to Palestine’ initiative said.“The Welcome to Palestine Campaign decries the Israeli denial of entry via the Allenby Bridge to over 100 internationals who wanted to visit us in the occupied Palestinian Territories,” organizers said in a statement.

The group of around 100 activists had finished passport checks at the Jordanian side of the Allenby crossing but were denied entry at the first Israeli checkpoint and told to return to where they had come from, a spokesman for WTP told Ma’an.

No explanation was provided by Israeli crossing authorities as to why the group was denied entry, but the delegation will try to enter the West Bank again on Monday, the spokesman added.

“The denial of entry today at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan shows that the previous policies of siege and isolation continue,” organizers said.

“We thus will continue to initiate more Welcome to Palestine campaigns. We insist on the freedom of entry. As Israel persists in these unjust policies, it is only fair to ask all countries to reciprocate by denying Israelis entry to these countries.”

Since Friday, around 100 activists have arrived in Jordan, with the intention of crossing the Israeli-controlled border with the West Bank on Sunday.

Pro-Palestinian international activists smile in Amman, as they head towards
King Hussein Bridge at the border between Jordan and Israel,
August 26, 2012.(Reuters/Ali Jarekji)
 

The group included French, British, German and American supporters, campaigners told Ma’an.

Political figures were due to greet the delegation in Bethlehem and the group was then scheduled to spend five days visiting Jerusalem, refugee camps, the Negev and villages in Hebron that are struggling against Israel’s separation wall.

Welcome to Palestine had previously organized two “flytillas,” when foreigners stated their intention to visit Palestine on entry to Israeli airport Ben Gurion, drawing Israel to deny entry to many of the passengers and distribute blacklists to airlines.

 

Pro-Palestinian international activists wave a Palestinian flag and perform a dance
in Amman, before heading to King Hussein Bridge at the border between
Jordan and Israel, August 26, 2012. (Reuters/Ali Jarekji)
Source

PALESTINIAN CHILD ABUSE (BY ISRAELI SOLDIERS) CAUGHT ON VIDEO

 Tear-gas, as well as a foul liquid called “The Skunk”, which is shot from a water cannon, is often used inside the built up area of the village, or even directly pointed into houses, in a way that allows no refuge for the uninvolved residents of the village, including children and the elderly. The interior of at least one house caught fire and was severely damaged after soldiers shot a tear-gas projectile through its windows.
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Video: Israeli soldiers attack children in Nabi Saleh and forcibly separate them from their detained mother 

  

Army held six detainees over eight hours, raided houses in the village, injuring several residents and using live ammunition.

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Pictures: see hereherehere, and here Media contact: Abir Kopty
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During the weekly demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh, yesterday, Friday, dedicated to support the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, some of the villagers of Nabi Saleh, along with other activists managed to get to the entrance of village’s spring “Alqaws” which was taken over by the settlers three years ago. Soldiers forcibly prevented them to approach the spring at the same time settlers were swimming in.

Soldiers detained three Palestinian women, one Israeli activist and one American journalist. Among the detainees was Nariman Tamimi (36), a resident of the village and a Popular Resistance activist. Her Daughter, A’hd Tamimi (11) and two nephews, Marah (11) and Wiaam (11), were attacked brutally by soldiers preventing them from reaching the spring, and separating them from Nariman during her detention.

Soldiers arrest Nariman Tamimi as her children try to de-arrest her (Photo courtesy of Oren Ziv – Activestills.org)

After the arrests, the army raided the village, sprayed “skunk” water and threw stun grenades and tear gas at houses, and used live ammunition through the clashes with the residents. During the raids on the houses, several residents were injured, including: Azmi Tamimi (70), injured in his finger from a rubber bullet shot from point blank range, Martyr Mustafa Tamimi’s grandmother (90), injured in her leg from two rubber bullets, as she sat at her house door, Halla Tamimi (48), injured from a stun grenade thrown into her house and Ahmed Shaker (11), injured in his chin from rubber-coated steel bullet, in addition to several injuries from rubber-coated steel bullets. During the raid, the army arrested another Israeli activist from one of the houses.

The six detainees were held for more than eight hours, in violation of the law, which only permits holding detainees for a maximum of three hours (or six hours in extreme cases), before they are arrested. At 9pm, soldiers put detainees on an army vehicle and drove them for an hour though different settlements roads then drove back to Nabi Saleh entrance where they were dropped off and released.

Israel soldiers holding back Nariman Tamimi’s children as she is being arrested (Photo Courtesy of Oren Ziv – Activestills.org

Background

Late in 2009, settlers began gradually taking over Ein al-Qaws (the Bow Spring), which rests on lands belonging to Bashir Tamimi, the head of the Nabi Saleh village council. The settlers, abetted by the army, erected a shed over the spring, renamed it Maayan Meir, after a late settler, and began driving away Palestinians who came to use the spring by force – at times throwing stones or even pointing guns at them, threatening to shoot.

While residents of Nabi Saleh have already endured decades of continuous land grab and expulsion to allow for the ever continuing expansion of the Halamish settlement, the takeover of the spring served as the last straw that lead to the beginning of the village’s grassroots protest campaign of weekly demonstrations in demand for the return of their lands.

Protest in the tiny village enjoys the regular support of Palestinians from surrounding areas, as well as that of Israeli and international activists. Demonstrations in Nabi Saleh are also unique in the level of women participation in them, and the role they hold in all their aspects, including organizing. Such participation, which often also includes the participation of children reflects the village’s commitment to a truly popular grassroots mobilization, encompassing all segments of the community.

The response of the Israeli military to the protests has been especially brutal and includes regularly laying complete siege on village every Friday, accompanied by the declaration of the entire village, including the built up area, as a closed military zone. Prior and during the demonstrations themselves, the army often completely occupies the village, in effect enforcing an undeclared curfew. Military nighttime raids and arrest operations are also a common tactic in the army’s strategy of intimidation, often targeting minors.

In order to prevent the villagers and their supporters from exercising their fundamental right to demonstrate and march to their lands, soldiers regularly use disproportional force against the unarmed protesters. The means utilized by the army to hinder demonstrations include, but are not limited to, the use of tear-gas projectiles, banned high-velocity tear-gas projectiles, rubber-coated bullets and, at times, even live ammunition. The use of banned 0.22″ munitions by snipers has also been recorded in Nabi Saleh.

The use of such practices have already brought about the death of Mustafa Tamimi and caused countless injuries, several of them serious, including those of children – the most serious of which is that of 14 year-old Ehab Barghouthi, who was shot in the head with a rubber-coated bullet from short range on March 5th, 2010 and laid comatose in the hospital for three weeks. Due to the wide-spread nature of the disproportionate use of force, the phenomenon cannot be attributed to the behavior of individual soldiers, and should be viewed as the execution of policy.

Tear-gas, as well as a foul liquid called “The Skunk”, which is shot from a water cannon, is often used inside the built up area of the village, or even directly pointed into houses, in a way that allows no refuge for the uninvolved residents of the village, including children and the elderly. The interior of at least one house caught fire and was severely damaged after soldiers shot a tear-gas projectile through its windows.

Since December 2009, when protest in the village was sparked, hundreds of demonstration-related injuries caused by disproportionate military violence have been recorded in Nabi Saleh.

Between January 2010 to date, the Israeli Army has carried more than 100 arrests of people detained for 24 hours or more on suspicions related to protest in the village of Nabi Saleh, including those of women and of children as young as 11 years old. Dozens more were detained for shorter periods. Two of the village’s protest leaders – Bassem and Naji Tamimi – arrested on protest-organizing related charges, were recognized by the European Union as human rights defenders. Bassem Tamimi was also declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

Source

THE GUARDIAN CLEANS HOUSE AND DUMPS TREVINO

 Without protests it would not have happened …
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Guardian dumps Joshua Treviño

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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Citing his failure to disclose a major conflict of interest, The Guardian has dumped Joshua Treviño, nine days after it announced it had hired him as a columnist.

The announcement came as outrage from Guardian readers continued to grow over his history of incitement and hate speech directed against Palestinian solidarity activists, Muslims and others.

In a joint statement with Treviño, The Guardian said:

Joshua Treviño wrote a piece for the Guardian on February 28, 2011 titled “Peter King has hearings, but is he listening?” The Guardian recently learned that shortly before writing this article the author was a consultant for an agency that had Malaysian business interests and that he ran a website called Malaysia Matters. In keeping with the Guardian’s editorial code this should have been disclosed.

“Under our guidelines, the relationship between Joshua and the agency should have been disclosed before the piece was published in order to give full clarity to our readers,” said Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief, Guardian US.”

I vigorously affirm that nothing unethical was done and I have been open with the Guardian in this matter. Nevertheless, the Guardian’s guidelines are necessarily broad, and I agree that they must be respected as such,” said Joshua Treviño.

We have therefore mutually agreed to go our separate ways and wish each other the best of luck.

I had raised the issue of Treviño’s conflicts of interest in my 18 August Al Jazeera article “What’s gone wrong at The Guardian:

According to The Guardian’s own editorial code, journalists and commentators must disclose outside work and organisational affiliations that could pose a conflict of interest. Treviño, as has been disclosed, works as a paid consultant to Republican candidates for elected office. But there’s much more readers deserve to know.

In July 2011, Treviño was caught in a curious controversy where a website in Malaysia accused him and another US blogger of running a website named Malaysia Matters, allegedly secretly paid for by Malaysia’s prime minister and another politician in order to improve their image. Treviño told reporter Ben Smith, then of Politico, that the story was “completely false”. But Smith stated that Treviño “misdirected” him.

While Smith was unable to get to the bottom of the murky financial arrangements behind Malaysia Matters, he revealed that, in 2008, Treviño had approached a number of prominent US bloggers, “offering them a free ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ Malaysian junket, paid for, he [Treviño] said in an email at the time, by business interests associated with Malaysian politics.”

When challenged on this rather odd activity for a journalist, Treviño wrote to Smith: “I also offer people paid trips to Israel” – as if that were the most normal thing in the world for a blogger to do.

Do Treviño’s new bosses at The Guardian know this? Do they know on whose behalf Treviño – a former member of the advisory board of Act for Israel – is writing? And more importantly, are they planning to tell their readers?

There is more information from Sarawak Report whose investigations were key to revealing Treviño’s Malaysian connections.

The Guardian has done the right thing. It may have cited the conflict of interest in order to save face, but that reason was certainly enough to call into question the decision to hire Treviño. Treviño’s dishonesty was also on display in hismendacious “clarification” of his tweets calling for violence and gloating over the deaths of unarmed civilians, which The Guardian has yet to correct. That is pending business.

But everyone who contacted The Guardian to express their views on its disastrous judgment should be pleased with this outcome. The Guardian should reflect deeply on this debacle and work to rebuild readers’ trust.

Full Coverage

Written FOR

JERUSALEM POLICE INITIATE THEIR OWN LYNCHINGS

 

Police violence against Jerusalem’s Palestinian citizens increases

The Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories said on Thursday that Israeli police violence against Jerusalem’s Palestinian citizens is increasing. B’Tselem confirmed that it has documented dozens of incidents in which police officers used excessive violence.

Commenting on the assault on Talal al-Sayyad by Israeli police using electric-stun guns, B’Tselem said that such attacks are classified as increasing and deliberate violence by the Israeli police. “Israeli police spray huge amounts of pepper gas at the faces and eyes of Jerusalem citizens and they also use stun guns which are only supposed to be used against dangerous persons,” added the human rights group in a written statement.

B’Tselem has documented many attacks and filed complaints with the authorities but has faced “official Israeli inaction regarding investigations against police officers”.

Talal al-Sayyad was attacked by Israeli police using stun guns, which caused a neurological spasm, when he tried to protect some children from attack by officers using the same weapon in a park in west Jerusalem.

Source

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Related report on the growing violence against Palestinians …

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Double Take / A night on the town

After the beating of Arab youth in Zion Square this month, a nighttime stroll in downtown Jerusalem reveals the tension simmering under the lively pub scene in the city center.

By Joel Greenberg
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Youth in Jerusalem’s Zion Square at night, where a vibrant bar scene and rising racial tensions have led to recent violent confrontations.  Photo by Emil Salman
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The security men in khaki vests had the Arab youth pinned to the sidewalk, twisting one of his arms behind him as he screamed that he was in pain.

It was a late summer night on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road, nearly a week after the pummeling of a young Arab by a group of Jewish teenagers a few blocks away in Zion Square, an attack police called an attempted lynch.

This time it was the security guards assigned to Jerusalem’s light rail system who were holding an Arab down, saying that he had resisted a security check before boarding the train. The youth, who was held on the pavement for more than half an hour as Israelis and tourists strolled wordlessly by, said from his lock-hold that when he objected to a search, he was wrestled to the ground though he had offered no physical resistance.

An Arab man from the Old City was outraged by the sight of the youth being held so long on the sidewalk, in full view off passing pedestrians.

“Is this how you treat a human being in front of everybody like that?” he thundered at the security men. “What kind of democracy is this?”  A Jewish onlooker said the security men were doing the right thing, telling me “they would do the same to you if you refused to be checked.”

Eventually, police officers showed up, handcuffed the young man, and took him away. The onlookers dispersed, and the street slipped back into its normal rhythm – a last blast of summer downtown, with people jamming cafes, restaurants and pubs late into the night. 

Under the throbbing nightlife, however, a menacing current has erupted in episodes of violence, sometimes fueled by alcohol and often stoked by the festering conflict with the Palestinians.

In the noisy alley outside Zolly’s pub, where he works, Ahmad Kamal, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, said that a day earlier he had been cursed and beaten by a group of Jewish youths who assaulted him on his way home from work in the wee hours of the morning. Complaints about such attacks to the police, he said, were usually not followed up.

Yasser Julani, who works at a neighboring restaurant, showed a scar on his neck he said was caused when he was cut by a bottle fragment in an assault by Jewish youths. “There’s racism between Jews and Arabs because of the situation,” he said. “But the Jews I work with are like brothers.” On the night of the beating in Zion Square, he recalled, the mob, which chanted “Death to Arabs,” was driven away from the area of his restaurant by both Arab and Jewish workers.

Ahmad Shweiki from Silwan, who was walking back from a night downtown with a friend, said he wasn’t afraid to go out, but sometimes carried a personal tear-gas canister in case of trouble. 

Yossi Milman, a young Israeli who said he was a regular in the bar zone near Zion Square, said the violence was often provoked by what he described as indecent passes by Arab youths at Israeli girls. “They see things here they don’t see in their villages, and they have a hard time controlling themselves,” he said. “They harass girls, touching them, and people come to help.”

A similar motive was cited in the recent beating in Zion Square, which police said followed a complaint by a Jewish girl that she had been harassed by an Arab.

But the violence is not only between Arabs and Jews. Several weeks ago, a young Israeli was badly beaten by other Israelis when he came to the aid of his brother, who was jumped by a group after he objected to their attempt to board a taxi ahead of him.

The tensions have not deterred Palestinians from East Jerusalem and those with permits from the West Bank from visiting the downtown area in the western part of the city. A few blocks away from the incident near the light rail station, Ismail Abu Ajra from Bethlehem sat on a bench with friends after an evening out and some shopping downtown.  They were enjoying a rare visit thanks to Israeli entry permits issued in large numbers this year for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “It’s more alive here,” he said. 

Down the street, at Zion Square, a group strummed electric guitars. They were black-garbed ultra-Orthodox Jews, newly religious men who had clearly played much rock-and-roll in a previous life. One bearded player with sunglasses and sidecurls picked a tune, a cigarette wedged between his fingers sliding across the frets. The song was the Pink Floyd hit: “Wish you were here.”

Written FOR

IRANOPHOBIA AND THE CANCEROUS TUMOR CALLED ZIONISM

 In the 1820s, former president John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson that “slavery is a cancer to be isolated.”  On October 16, 1854, in an stridently abolitionist speech in Peoria, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln likened the Constitution’s vague references to slavery to a “cancer,” hidden away, which an “afflicted man…dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time.”
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Iranian Rhetoric and the History of the Cancer Analogy

By Nima Shirazi

 

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.,
April 16, 1963

“If we become just and moral, I do not know where we will end up.”
– Shmuel Dayan,
Member of the Knesset, 1950

The rhetoric used in recentspeeches by top Iranian officials has garnered much attention in the mainstream media.  In addition to the outrage expressed over the statement that the Israeli governmental system and guiding Zionist ideology is an “insult to humanity,” comments that the “Zionist regime” is a “cancerous tumor” have also met fierce condemnation.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has compiled a list of recent reported statements made by Iranian officials.  National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told the press that the United States government “strongly condemn[s] the latest series of offensive and reprehensible comments by senior Iranian officials that are aimed at Israel,” adding, “The entire international community should condemn this hateful and divisive rhetoric.”

Rabbi David Wolpe took to the pages of The Los Angeles Times to specifically condemn the cancer analogy.  Wolpe incidentally did so by presenting a litany of outrageous statements of his own.  He writes that the “state of Israel” is 3000 years old, thus absurdly conflating an ancientBiblicalminoritycommunity with a modern, settler-colonial nation-state.  He insists Israel is notexpansionist, a claim that doesn’tstand up to even the most cursory awareness of basic facts, the historical record and current aggressive Israeli policy.

Wolpe also states that the cancer analogy “leads inevitably, inexorably, to the prospect of genocide,” which he obviously follows up by invoking the Holocaust and asserting that “Iran eagerly pursues nuclear weapons,” thereby ignoring the consistent conclusions of U.S. intelligence and IAEA inspections.  He concludes by suggesting that, were Israel not to maintain such a destructive military capability, segregationist occupation infrastructure, rampant legal discrimination, and a two-tiered justice system, the result would be the “wholesale slaughter” of Jewish Israelis, presumably by vengeful Arab hordes.

Such a characterization recalls the ludicrous fears that beset the vast majority of white South Africans just years before Apartheid ended, many of whom were consumed by “physical dread” at the prospect of equality and their loss of racial dominance and superiority and foresaw a future full of “violence, total collapse, expulsion and flight.”  Even in 1987, as Apartheid was becoming increasingly untenable, about 75% of white South Africans feared that their “physical safety…would be threatened” as a result of “black rule.”  Nearly 73%, including over 85% of Afrikaners, believed “white women would be molested by blacks.”  Incidentally, as recently pointed out in Ha’aretz, in 1987, “Israel was the only Western nation that upheld diplomatic ties with South Africa” and was one of the last countries to join the international boycott campaign.

Southern whites in the antebellum United States nurtured the same irrational apprehension, fearful that the violent and successful 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti would be replicated across the Gulf of Mexico, especially in states like South Carolina where slaves outnumbered whites two to one.  Following emancipation, and in reaction to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, southern states enacted “black codes” restricting the voting, land ownership, and speech of former slaves.  Whites feared that their loss of racial dominance and an enslaved labor force would not only ruin the southern economy, but also that the newly-freed black population would seek revenge on their masters and rape white women; this led to numerous race riots and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan that same year.

In April 1868, Alabama newspaper editor Ryland Randolph praised the Klan for opposing what he called the “galling despotism” of the federal government over the southern states, which he “deemed a fungus growth of military tyranny” with the goal of “degrad[ing] the white man by the establishment of negro supremacy.”

Forrest G. Wood writes in Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction:

Although white men certainly feared for their jobs and income, they were more alarmed by the threat to their physical safety that the “savage African” presented…Pointing to the absence of an advanced (by Western standards) African civilization, extremists described the Negroes as primitive, barbaric, and cruel…Freedom, the white supremacist now asserted, would stimulate the black man’s worst passions, leading him to crimes of arson, murder, and rape.

Newspapers often deliberately published grossly exaggerated or wholly fictitious stories of criminal acts and violence committed by blacks, stoking even more fear in the racist white population.  For these white supremacists, rape was “the most frightful crime which negroes commit against white people” and the accusation of sexual assault (or even consensual interracial relationships) was a surefire way to spark a lynch mob.

Just this past Spring, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that many Israeli women have been raped by African migrants and refugees, “but do not complain out of fear of being stigmatized as having contracted AIDS,” insisting that “most of the African infiltrators are criminals.”   At an anti-African rally, Tel Aviv resident Carmela Rosner held a sign that read: “They rape girls and elderly women, murder, steal, stab, burglarize. We’re afraid to leave home.”

Yishai said that Africans, “along with the Palestinians, will bring a quick end to the Zionist dream,” while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the growing population of African immigrants “threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” as well as “the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity.”  Palestinians in Israel along with their actual and potential offspring are regularly referred to as a “demographic threat” and a “demographic bomb,” a racist construction that exposes the discriminatory and supremacist nature of Zionism itself.

Due to such incitement against minority communities, pogroms, race riots, and violence against non-Jews have become commonplace.

The Israeli Education Ministry is currently attempting to overturn a district court ruling that “migrant children…be fully integrated in the municipal school system and not be taught in a separate school.”  The state appeal in favor of segregation claims that the education of Israeli children will suffer if done alongside the children of African immigrants.  Meanwhile, extremist Jewish groups continue to try to “rescue” Jewish Israeli girls who date Palestinian men and threaten Palestinians with violence if they flirt with Jews.

In 2008, a Jewish Israeli woman filed a police report after discovering that a man she had just had consensual sex with was Palestinian and not Jewish, as she had assumed.  After spending two years under house arrest, an Israeli court convicted the man of “rape by deception” and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.  A former senior Justice Ministry official was quoted as saying, “In the context of Israeli society, you can see that some women would feel very strongly that they had been violated by someone who says he is Jewish but is not.”

This is to be expected, as The Palestine Center‘s Yousef Munayyer explains: “An ideology that seeks to build a society around a certain type of people defined by ethnicity or religion is inevitably going to feature racism, supremacy and oppression—especially when the vast majority of native inhabitants where such an ideology is implemented are unwelcomed.”

Unsurprisingly, commentators who routinely denounce cancer analogies when they come from Iranian officials blatantly avoid addressing the use of the identical rhetoric by Israelis themselves when referring to the growingpresence of non-Jewish communities within areas controlled by Israel.  When IDF chief Moshe Ya’alon referred to Palestinian babies as “cancerous manifestations” and Likud Knesset member Miri Regev called African migrants and refugeesa cancer in our body,” they were silent.

While calling the government and founding ideology of a state a “cancerous tumor” is certainly not a nice thing to say and supporters of that state’s policies have every reason to take offense to such a description, it is quite obviously a political statement.  Iranian rhetoric attacks a political entity, namely the “Zionist regime“, which systematically discriminates against and oppresses people based solely on their ancestry and religious affiliation.  In contrast, Ya’alon and Regev’s statements employ the cancer analogy to defend the concept of ethnic-religious exclusivity and have everything to do with people, whether Palestinian or African, who somehow – just by being born – threaten the continued dominance of a deliberately demographically engineered and maintained state.

To be sure, regardless of its intended target, this kind of rhetoric is purposefully harsh and often gratuitous.  Yet, like Ahmadinejad’s “insult to humanity” line, the cancer analogy is neither new nor original.  While Iranian officials have been employing it since 2000, it has long been wielded for the express purpose of condemning a political system or ideology one vehemently opposes.

In the 1820s, former president John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson that “slavery is a cancer to be isolated.”  On October 16, 1854, in an stridently abolitionist speech in Peoria, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln likened the Constitution’s vague references to slavery to a “cancer,” hidden away, which an “afflicted man…dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death; with the promise, nevertheless, that the cutting may begin at the end of a given time.”

A New York Times article from September 8, 1863 quoted then-Tennessee Governor Andrew Johnson as telling a Nashville crowd in late August, “Slavery is a cancer on our society, and the scalpel of the statesman should be used not simply to pare away the exterior and leave the roots to propagate the disease anew, but to remove it altogether.”  Johnson endorsed the “total eradication” of slavery from Tennessee.

In the final chapter of the first volume of Das Kapital (1867), entitled “The Modern Theory of Colonization,” Karl Marx excoriated British politician Edward Gibbon Wakefield for his efforts “to heal the anti-capitalistic cancer of the colonies.”

The 1968 platform of Bermuda’s first political party, the Progressive Labor Party, proclaimed, “No government can be either responsible or democratic while under the rule of another country, ” adding, “Colonialism is a cancer.”

A February 23, 1962 article in Time Magazine profiled U.S. General Paul Donal Harkins, the commander of a newly created U.S. Military Assistance Command in South Vietnam, which is described as “the first step in a more broadly based anti-Communist campaign.”  Harkins is quoted early in the piece as defining his mission as “doing all we can to support the South Vietnamese efforts to eradicate the cancer of Communism.”

In early June 1983, just a few months after Ronald Reagan delivered his “Evil Empire” speech in which he declared his belief that “Communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written,” Illinois Representative Henry Hyde told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that, because “Communism is a cancer,” Congress should support covert action and assistance to Contras and anti-Sandinista forces in Latin America in an effort to “fight for freedom.”

Hamas reportedly used “Communism is a cancer inside the nation’s body and we will cut it out” as a political slogan in opposition to Fatah soon after its establishment in the late 1980s.

Perhaps most applicable, however, are the comments made by South African Reverend Allan Boesak who, in 1983, formed the United Democratic Front, a legal umbrella organization for hundreds of anti-Apartheid groups.  In his opening address to the UDF, Boesak stated:

Apartheid is a cancer on the body politic of the world. A scourge on our society and on all human kind. Apartheid exists only because of economic greed and political oppression maintained by both systemic and physical violence and a false sense of racial superiority. So many have been forced into exile. So many have been thrown into jail. Too many of our children have been shot down mercilessly on the streets of our nation.

In the same speech, Boesak called Apartheid “a thoroughly evil system” that “can never be modernized or modified, it must be totally eradicated” and, in 1985, denounced the white South Africans who continued to support Apartheid as the “spiritual children of Adolf Hitler.”

In 1988, Jim Murray echoed Boesak in the Los Angeles Times, writing that “apartheid is a cancer on the world body politic–to say nothing of its soul. You combat it the best way you can.”

Just as many others, including numerous Israelis, have described the state of Israel as practicing Apartheid, Boesak himself has endorsed such a comparison, and has gone even further.

In a November 2011 interview, Boesak reaffirmed his statement that the oppression of and discrimination against Palestinians by Israel is “in its practical manifestation even worse than South African apartheid,” adding, “It is worse, not in the sense that apartheid was not an absolutely terrifying system in South Africa, but in the ways in which the Israelis have taken the apartheid system and perfected it, so to speak; sharpened it.”

He cited the physical barriers, travel and employment restrictions, and the “two separate justice systems” for Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank as examples of why “in many ways the Israeli system is worse.”  He offered his wholehearted support for the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions to impel Israel to comply with international law.

When asked whether Palestinians could ever be expected to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State,” Boesak replied:

They can’t. There is no such thing as a specifically Jewish state. You can’t proclaim a Jewish state over the heads and the bodies and the memories of the people who are the ancient people who live there. That is Palestinian land we are talking about. Most of the Jews who are there come from Europe and elsewhere and have no claim on that land and we mustn’t allow it to happen to the Palestinians what happened to my ancestors who were the original people in this land (South Africa) but now there are hardly enough of them to be counted in the census. That is Palestinian land and that should be the point of departure in every political discussion.

Similarly, official Iranian state policy maintains that the international community must “allow the Palestinian nation to decide its own future, to have the right to self-determination for itself” and that in “the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the fundamental principles enshrined in it…Jewish Palestinians, Muslim Palestinians and Christian Palestinians [must] determine their own fate themselves through a free referendum.  Whatever they choose as a nation, everybody should accept and respect.”

Hysteria over Iranian phraseology (rhetoric with a long political history) relies solely on the presumption – repeated ad nauseum by politicians and the press – that the nation’s leadership has threatened to attack Israel militarily and wipe it off the map.  But Iran has never made such threats.  Quite the contrary.

Speaking to Wolf Blitzer in April 2006, Iran’s representative to the IAEA, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh directly addressed claims that Iran seeks the physical destruction of Israel (whatever that means).  Blitzer asked, “Should there be a state of Israel?,” to which Soltanieh replied, “If Israel is a synonym and will give the indication of Zionist mentality, no.  But if you are going to conclude that we have said the people there have to be removed or they have to be massacred, this is a fabricated, unfortunate selective approach to what the mentality and policy of Islamic Republic of Iran is.”

In a June 2006 letter to The Washington Post, a spokesman for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations wrote, “Iran’s position is very clear: We have not threatened to use force nor have we used force against any country or government in the past 250 years. We’ve never done that in the past, and we’ll never do it in the future,” adding, “We wonder whether Israel or the United States can make the same statement.”

The letter also noted that, the same month, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that “We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state.”

In October 2006, President Ahmadinejad stated, “Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine and Iran is not a threat to any country…We are not a threat to anybody; even our solution to the Zionist regime is a referendum.”  The following year, Ahmadinejad was asked by the Associated Press whether Iran “would ever make a first strike against Israel.” He replied, “Iran will not attack any country,” and insisted Iran has “always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one” and has no interest in territorial expansion, something Israel could never seriously claim.

In a 2008 CNN interview with Larry King, Ahmadinejad stated bluntly that “we don’t have a problem with the Jewish people,” and added, with specific reference to Israel, “We are opposed to the idea that the people who live there should be thrown into the sea or be burnt.”

The same year, at a news conference during the D8 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Ahmadinejad told reporters that because he believes the Zionist enterprise of ethnic cleansing and colonization is “inherently doomed” to failure, “there is no need for Iranians to take action” to hasten the inevitable political outcome in Palestine.  He also assured the press, “You should not be concerned about a new war.”

He also made his position clear in an NPR interview, saying, “Let me create an analogy here — where exactly is the Soviet Union today? It did disappear — but exactly how? It was through the vote of its own people. So therefore in Palestine too we must allow the people, the Palestinians, to determine their own future.”

During an October 2011 interview, Ahmadinejad told Al Jazeera that Iran “will never enter any war against the U.S. or against any other country. This is our policy…We have never attacked anybody. Why should we do that? Why should we start a war?”

This past July, Mohammad Khazaee, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said, “We will react if there is any provocative act from the other side.  We will not initiate any provocative steps.”

Officialassessments by both Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, Director of Defense Intelligence Agency have affirmed that “Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict or launch a preemptive attack.”

The alarmism that inevitably follows boilerplate speeches by Iranian officials serves an agenda of decontextualized demonization that paints the Islamic Republic as a genocidal, eliminationist aggressor and Israel as a victim, just one spinning centrifuge away from eradication.  In fact, it is Israel that consistentlythreatensIran with an illegalmilitaryassault, not the other way around.

But it is not a military attack that actually threatens the future of Israel, it is exactly the kind of struggleundertaken by those like Allen Boesak, who courageouslystoodagainst an unjust system of ethnocentrism and supremacy and prevailed.

Were Israel to finally respect international law, put an end to decades of racism, occupation and Apartheid, and begin to consider each and every human being as equal and worthy of the same human rights and dignity, freedom of movement and opportunity, it would no longer be subject to the harsh analogies that have for so long been directed at the most oppressive and inhumane ideologies the world has ever known.

Written FOR

WHAT AND WHEN TO TWEET FOR PALESTINE

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 Let’s TREND tonight! Welcome to Palestine 3 Mission

Dear tweeps,

The Welcome to Palestine Mission 3 will start its activities in Palestine (the West Bank) tomorrow, Sunday. In case the activists will be denied access to West Bank (as might actually happen), they will have extensive visits to the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan.

 

In this respect, these are few themes to tweet about on twitter:

1) the freedom of movement for Palestinian in/outside the occupied west bank.

2) the right of Palestinian people to receive international visitors without any constraints  (even prisoners have the right to receive visitors).

3) One of the core objectives of welcome to Palestine mission is to assist schoolchildren to peruse their new schooling year.

4) the daily life of Palestinian under the Israel system of injustice which suffocates their daily life.                    

5) in case the activists will be denied entering the west bank (as might actually happen), they will conduct intensive visit to the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. Therefore, we need to underpin the issue of the Palestinian refugees in our twitter campaign.

 

For more details, check this the campaign’s website:

Www.airflotilla2.Wordpress.com (English)

http://palestinejn.org/ (English & Arabic)

http://bienvenuepalestine.com/ 

(Needed information:

Timing: 10 pm Palestine time.  (3 P.M. EST)

 

Trending Palestine Team

Welcome to Palestine 3 Mission

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Yesterday’s post about the arrivals …

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FLOTILLA 3 ACTIVISTS ARRIVE IN AMMAN

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 Welcome to Palestine: Delegates arrive in Amman

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The delegates of the International Welcome to Palestine Mission began arriving in Amman, Jordan today. The activists are arriving from several European countries and North America.

More than a hundred activists, aged 9 to 82 years, are participating in the Welcome to Palestine International Mission. The volunteers are determined to arrive to the West Bank (Occupied Palestinian Territories) through Allenby Bridge – which connects Jordan and the West Bank – to reach their final destination in Bethlehem.

The Welcome to Palestine Mission emphasizes the importance of the right of passage to and the right of movement within Palestine and to express solidarity with the Palestinian schoolchildren as they are set to begin the new school year.

Meanwhile, our friends are getting acquainted with Jordan, a country with a large number of Palestinian refugees driven from their homes by Israel since 1948.

Welcome to Palestine Mission

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Follow the activists on Twitter

Tweet your messages of support.

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My personal message to the activists:

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#Airflotilla3 / A Message of Support from Occupied Jerusalem to Welcome to

Palestine Mission

Humanitarian Israelis welcome the initiatives of the activists planning to come to the Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Only by constant struggle against the Israeli government will all of Palestine be free one day. On that day, Israelis will also become free of being the occupiers. 

International Solidarity helped to destroy the apartheid system in South Africa … it will certainly help in Israel/Palestine as well.

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The best way to open the doors to Democracy and Freedom in Palestine is to get your own governments to recognise the evils of Apartheid. The West Bank MUST be liberated from the evil yoke of zionism.
Thanks to all of you for doing your part.

Shalom-Saalam to all the participants.
Steve Amsel, Occupied Jerusalem

The Website

FLOTILLA 3 ACTIVISTS ARRIVE IN AMMAN

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 Welcome to Palestine: Delegates arrive in Amman


Image

The delegates of the International Welcome to Palestine Mission began arriving in Amman, Jordan today. The activists are arriving from several European countries and North America.

More than a hundred activists, aged 9 to 82 years, are participating in the Welcome to Palestine International Mission. The volunteers are determined to arrive to the West Bank (Occupied Palestinian Territories) through Allenby Bridge – which connects Jordan and the West Bank – to reach their final destination in Bethlehem.

The Welcome to Palestine Mission emphasizes the importance of the right of passage to and the right of movement within Palestine and to express solidarity with the Palestinian schoolchildren as they are set to begin the new school year.

Meanwhile, our friends are getting acquainted with Jordan, a country with a large number of Palestinian refugees driven from their homes by Israel since 1948.

Welcome to Palestine Mission

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Follow the activists on Twitter

Tweet your messages of support.

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My personal message to the activists:

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#Airflotilla3 / A Message of Support from Occupied Jerusalem to Welcome to Palestine Mission


Humanitarian Israelis welcome the initiatives of the activists planning to come to the Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Only by constant struggle against the Israeli government will all of Palestine be free one day. On that day, Israelis will also become free of being the occupiers. 

International Solidarity helped to destroy the apartheid system in South Africa … it will certainly help in Israel/Palestine as well.

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The best way to open the doors to Democracy and Freedom in Palestine is to get your own governments to recognise the evils of Apartheid. The West Bank MUST be liberated from the evil yoke of zionism.
Thanks to all of you for doing your part.

Shalom-Saalam to all the participants.
Steve Amsel, Occupied Jerusalem

The Website

 

POSTER WAR OF HATE FOLLOWS LYNCHING IN JERUSALEM

 If you are thinking of visiting Jerusalem malls or the pedestrian street [Midrechov] with the intention of dating Jewish girls – this isn’t the place for you.
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Prior to the posters …..
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In the mall …
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In the streets …
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 The news of an attempted mob lynching in Jerusalem’s Zion Square is trickling into Western news sources. It has been translated from angst-filled Hebrew-language Facebook pages written by eyewitnesses, stunned and harassed first responders, and translations gleaned from Haaretz via Mondoweiss, IMEU and others. The lack of outrage, and coverage, is almost as disturbing as the street level racial violence that showed itself in the heart of Israel, rolling in from the Wild West/West Bank where this is more common.
Full report HERE
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Poster calls on Arab men to keep out of Jerusalem, away from Jewish girls
By Haggai Matar

Following the recent lynch-style attack on Palestinian youths in Jerusalem, racist extremists are starting a campaign calling on Arab men to keep out of popular Jerusalem hangouts and avoid dating Jewish girls – for their own good.

The new racist poster, written in both Hebrew and Arabic by the extremist Kahana-style NGO “Lehava,” has been circulating in Facebook in recent hours and is gaining hundreds of “likes” and “shares.” The poster, which is aimed at young Palestinian men, comes in the aftermath of the attempted lynch in central Jerusalem, and warns that visiting popular areas in the city, like big malls and the pedestrian area off of Zion Square could lead to more similar attacks.

The poster fits into a growing trend of narrating anti-Arab racism as a means to “protect our daughters” – a form of discourse promoted by politicians and ministersalso in relation to African asylum seekers.

The poster reads the following:

 

Dear Arab guy:

 

We don’t want you to get hurt!

 

Our daughters are valuable to us,

 

and just as you would not want a Jew to date your sister

 

we unwilling are also unwilling for an Arab to date a girl from among our people.

Just as you would do anything to stop a Jew from dating your sister – so do we!

If you are thinking of visiting Jerusalem malls or the pedestrian street [Midrechov] with the intention of dating Jewish girls – this isn’t the place for you.

You may walk around in your own village freely and find girlfriends there, not here!

Last week an Arab who thought he might find Jewish girls got hurt.

We don’t wish for you to get hurt,

 

So respect our daughters’ honor

 

As we mind it dearly!

 

Lehava organization    o.leava@gmail.com

Many comments on the picture thread on Facebook show great enthusiasm for the text, and some people have already volunteered to help hang it up around Jerusalem.

However, other comments were much more critical, and some have compared its content to Nazi agendas. At least two mock posters have already been made in response, one translating the text into German and aiming it at Jewish men:

The other, by Israeli artist Zoya Cherkassky, calling on Jewish men to mind their own business and not meddle in women’s decisions on whom to date.

Update: The Jerusalem based NGO Ir Amim has filed a complaint to police against Lehava, accusing it in incitement to racism and violence. In addition, according to the complaint the poster suggests that anyone not abiding to its terms is likely to be physically assaulted, and is thus to be considered an illegal threat.

Read also:
The holy war against Arab-Jewish relations and the Jerusalem lynch
What is the link between Eli Yishai and Jerusalem ‘lynch’?
Attacks on Palestinians highlight history of lax enforcement on Jewish extremists

Written FOR

U.S.: ISRAELI PROBE INTO RACHEL CORRIE’S MURDER WAS BOGUS

Israel’s investigation into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie was not satisfactory, and wasn’t as thorough, credible or transparent as it should have been, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the Corrie family this week.
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U.S.: Israeli probe into Rachel Corrie’s death wasn’t ‘credible’

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro tells Corrie family that Israel’s investigation into their daughter’s death was unsatisfactory; family is in Israel awaiting verdict in civil suit against Israeli government.

By Amira Hass
Craig and Cindy Corrie in Washington in 2003, with photographs of their daughter, Rachel.
Craig and Cindy Corrie in Washington in 2003, with photographs of their daughter, Rachel.   Photo by AP
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Israel’s investigation into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie was not satisfactory, and wasn’t as thorough, credible or transparent as it should have been, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the Corrie family this week.

The bereaved family − parents Craig and Cindy, and sister Sarah − are in Israel awaiting the verdict in the civil suit they had filed two years ago against the State of Israel over their daughter’s death. The ruling by the Haifa District Court is expected on Tuesday.

The U.S. government’s position is not new to the Corries, but their attorneys said that hearing it only a few days before the verdict was “important and encouraging,” because it signals to the Corrie family that the U.S. government will continue to demand a full accounting from Israel about their daughter’s killing, regardless of how Judge Oded Gershon rules.

 In 2002 Rachel Corrie joined a group of International Solidarity Movement activists who had been living among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, in areas that were subject to Israel Defense Forces incursions and attacks.

In Rafah, where Corrie spent the last few weeks of her life, the activists wanted to demonstrate against the systematic destruction of Palestinian homes for what the IDF called operational purposes.

On the afternoon of March 16, 2003, an IDF Caterpillar bulldozer crushed Corrie to death, when she and her friends were standing in front of it to prevent what they believed was the planned demolition of two occupied homes.

The IDF claimed that Corrie’s death was an accident, and that the driver of the bulldozer never saw her.

In 2005, after the military prosecutor closed the file, the family filed a civil suit against the Israeli government, accusing it of being responsible for Corrie’s death and for not conducting a full and credible investigation. The state responded that the IDF bulldozer driver had never seen Corrie, that she should not have been in a battle zone, and that the Military Police investigation had not found any violations of the law.

In May 2011, when Shapiro was questioned by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee before his appointment as ambassador to Israel, he repeated the administration’s position regarding the Israeli investigation.

Sen. John Kerry asked Shapiro what steps the embassy, under his administration, would take that would be in keeping with the remarks of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. On June 30, 2010 Crowley had said, “We continue to stress to the government of Israel at the highest levels, to continue a thorough, transparent and credible investigation of the circumstances concerning [Corrie’s] death.”

Shapiro responded: “For seven years, we have pressed the government of Israel at the highest levels to conduct a thorough, transparent and credible investigation of the circumstances of her death. The government of Israel has responded that it considers this case closed and does not plan on reinvestigating the incident.”

Shapiro then noted that the case had gone to court in March 2010 and said, “We hope this venue will finally provide [the Corries] with the answers they seek. We will continue to work with and assist the Corrie family as appropriate.”

 

Written FOR

CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

Zionism, the main cause …
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The lies that are spread daily …
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Effects …
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In America: 
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In occupied Palestine:
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THE GUARDIAN: IN DEFENSE OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

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Guardian offers bizarre new defense for hiring Islamophobic murder-inciter Joshua Treviño

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla — well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Gaza flotilla, on which I salute the IDF for doing the right thing, the right way.

The Guardian is offering a bizarre new defense for its decision to hire Joshua Treviño, an extremist Islamophobic ideologue who openly, repeatedly and gleefully incited murder and celebrated the deaths of unarmed civilian Palestine solidarity activists.

Because Treviño’s brand of extremism, hatred and incitement is “ascendant,” an editor claimed, the Guardian is somehow obligated to give it a platform.

At the same time, The Guardian continues to refuse to correct Treviño’s blatant lie that he never made such statements, despite a growing mountain of uncontradicted evidence to the contrary.

In this post I take you through Treviño’s shocking incitement to murder and how he lied about it in The Guardian and provide you with information if you want towrite to the editors.

The Guardian: a platform for extremism?

On 20 August, the Guardian published Treviño’s first branded column about the debate over Medicare in the United States. However, almost two hundred reader comments to date focused almost entirely on Treviño’s history of racist and violent statements.

Today, Matt WellsThe Guardian’s New York-based blogs editor, made the following statement in the comments section of Treviño’s 20 August article:

I completely understand the strong reaction against Josh [Treviño]. Much of what he has said in the past on Twitter and elsewhere is tasteless, to say the very least. But we have taken Josh on to write about the Republican side of the US presidential campaign because he represents a strand of thinking in the GOP that is in the ascendancy. Whatever we think about it, the Republican party has taken a significant lurch to the right in recent years and we should try and understand why that is, and what’s going on there. Josh is well placed to articulate that.

Who else deserves a column?

This is utterly bizarre reasoning. It is also true that extreme Islamophobia of the kind that inspired mass killer Anders Breivik “is in the ascendancy” in many parts of Europe. Indeed, many of Treviño’s columns have appeared in thevirulently Islamophobic Brussels Journal.

Does this require the Guardian to provide Pamela Geller or Geert Wilders with columns and to arrange media bookings for them in the name of helping us to “understand” their views? What about David Duke? If his brand of racism and anti-Semitism finds itself “in the ascendancy” can we expect to find Mr. Duke joining the team too?

For many years it was thought Osama Bin Laden style jihadism was “in the ascendancy” in many countries. I don’t recall the Guardian offering a branded column and a media-booking service to any members of Al-Qaida.

Surely when extremism of any kind is “in the ascendancy” you report about it using people who are genuinely knowledgeable, rather than providing its proponents a privileged platform and a media booking service.

Has The Guardian noticed that Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian extremism are central to US electoral debates and campaigns? Thus writing about “the Republican side of the US presidential campaign” is not separate from these issues and Treviño’s hateful and violent views are not irrelevant to them.

Treviño’s experience

Notwithstanding his violent hate speech, the claim that Treviño has something valuable to offer is not particularly convincing. He is a marginal figure with little influence or following. He has never been part on any significant conservative or right-wing platform – except for the website he co-founded – in the United States.

His known experience as a political consultant was primarily to work for the campaign of Chuck DeVore, a right-wing California state assemblyman who came third in his 2010 bid for the Republican nomination for a US Senate seat from California.

Treviño has not disclosed all his consulting clients – a major problem for someone who is supposed to be helping readers understand as Wells claims, and a possible violation of the Guardian’s editorial code related to conflicts of interest.

And while he’s sometimes described as a “Bush speechwriter,” according to his own Linkedin profile, Treviño was a speechwriter for the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, not for the president. He was hardly at the center of anything.

There are many more informed and influential conservative commentators in the United States who at least come without Treviño’s history of violent hate speech.

Refusing to correct a lie

As I detailed in a post yesterdayThe Guardian has ignored requests to issue a correction to a blatantly false statement Treviño made in a “clarification” theGuardian published on 16 August after the initial outcry over a June 2011 tweet in which he wrote:

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

In his “clarification,” Treviño claimed:

any reading of my tweet of 25 June 2011 that holds that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.

However, this is simply a lie, and one that Guardian editors have continued tospread in Treviño’s defense. There are numerous examples of tweets by Treviño in which “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings.” Here are a few:

Incitement to murder and hate speech

You can find many more examples at Topsy.

Write to The Guardian and demand correction of Treviño’s falsehoods

The Guardian’s editors have so far been unresponsive to requests that they correct the blatant falsehood in Joshua Treviño’s “clarification,” detailed above, that he never “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings.”

Here are the people to write to should you wish to add your voice:

Feel free to send a copy of your letter to me atfeedback@electronicintifada.net

Note: Guardian email addresses are public information.

More  

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There’s more …..
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How The Guardian’s Joshua Treviño injected anti-Muslim hate into 2010 California senate race

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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The growing outrage over The Guardian’s hiring of Joshua Treviño as a columnist has focused on his tweets inciting Israel to murder American citizens aboard a flotilla to Gaza in June 2011 and his celebration of the killing of passengers aboard the flotilla a year earlier.

What has escaped scrutiny — until today — is Treviño’s record as a political consultant. This is important because The Guardian has justified its hiring of Treviño on the basis of his experience.

Treviño evidently used his position as communications director for California Senate candidate Chuck DeVore to disseminate his personal message of hate, vilification of Muslims, and support for the Israeli killings of civilians on the flotilla.

DeVore, then a California State Assemblyman, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican party nomination for the United States Senate in 2010.

This role, once again, flatly contradicts Treviño’s claim published in theGuardian that any reading of one of his controversial tweets “that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.”

Israeli-government sponsored rally

On 6 June 2010 — a week after the attack on the flotilla — DeVore spoke at an Israeli-government sponsored rally outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles. Treviño posted a video of his candidate’s speech on his Vimeo account.

Even by the standards of an American politician, DeVore’s speech was vitriolic. It never mentioned the word “Palestinians” but focused exclusively on “Israel’s enemies” who were always described in vague terms as “Islamists” and directly compared to Nazis.

Although the words came out of DeVore’s mouth and he is politically and morally responsible for them, they were undoubtedly written by Treviño himself.

For DeVore, the only people in Gaza are “terrorists” and any support or solidarity with 1.6 million people there — half of them children — was support for a “terrorist” enemy.

“Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies,” DeVore declared to loud cheers, “They hate Israel for the same reason they hate America…. They hate the free society, they hate the religious liberty and they hate people who will not bow down to their oppression.”

DeVore claimed that the battle between Israel and America and their common “enemies” is the battle between “civilization” and “barbarism,” the same message that has recently emerged in the form of Islamophobic hate-ads on public transport in San Francisco placed by notorious anti-Muslim inciters Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

DeVore “unequivocally” endorsed Israel’s attack on the flotilla. “There is only one thing about the Gaza flotilla that contributed to peace,” DeVore said, “and that is when the IDF stopped it dead in the water.”

DeVore’s hate-speech and Treviño’s tweets

The following excerpts are transcribed from the video of DeVore’s speech, and although offensive it is important that they be quoted at length. The blockquoted text are DeVore’s words at the 6 June 2010 rally. The tweets in between are Treviño’s from the days preceding the rally.

They are juxtaposed this way to show that the tweets make many of the same points and sometimes even use the same words or phrases that DeVore used days later:

Make no mistake, defending Israel is defending America. If Israel disappeared tomorrow, who believes that the terrorists would disband? Who believes that the target would not simply shift from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles?

Why do I support Israel despite not being Jewish, nor Israeli? Because the people coming for it are coming for me next. 

Let us say this unequivocally and unashamedly and emphatically, what Israel did to the Gaza flotilla was right, it was legal and it was moral. It is never wrong to blockade a terror state. It is never wrong to defend your existence. It is never wrong to starve a movement that thinks theHolocaust was simply a good start.

Let me be clear: even if the worst reports of Israeli actions on the are true — and I doubt that — Israel is still right.

Let’s not forget:  sought to open supply lines to Hamas, an entity that thinks the Holocaust was a good start.

The fight between Israel and Hamas is the fight between civilizationand barbarism. It’s as simple as that. Our grandfathers left their homes and families to travel half-way around the world to defend freedom and it was on this day 66 years ago that they landed at Normandy beach in their righteous quest to destroy the Third Reich. If this generation of Americans does not fight Islamists who seek to complete the Third Reich’s work we dishonor the memory and sacrifice of our grandfathers.

 also makes clear that murderous Jew-hatred in the West did not die with the Third Reich. It merely evolved.

Our very identity as Americans compels us to stand with Israel and against Israel’s enemies. America stands against Israel’s enemies for the same reason it stood against Nazism, Fascism and Communism.

I say clearly that the enemies of Israel are just as genocidal, just as tyrannical and just as savage as those defeated movements. The defenders of the Gaza flotilla say it was a humanitarian mission. They say they were peace activists. They lie!

If you support the , you support supplying Hamas. If you support supplying Hamas, you support genocide. Simple as that.

What humanitarian mission opens sea lanes to terrorists, to Hamas? What peace activists lynch Israeli soldiers? What humanitarian mission refuses to cooperate with lawful authorities? What peace activists chant about Muhammad’s massacre of a Jewish tribe?

If you’re defending the  effort to open sea lanes to Hamas, no, you don’t: RT @ebertchicago: I support Israel.

The Gaza flotilla was not about peace. It was about war! It was about establishing a supply route to Hamas. It was about supporting theeradication of the Jewish state. It was about seeking and gettingcombat with young Israeli men who earnestly desire peace.

Said it before and I’ll say it again: the  wasn’t about humanitarian aid. It was about opening a maritime conduit to Hamas.

Again, I would feel better about  supporters if it wasn’t so clear they think the eradication of Judaism is a valid policy option.

Defenders of the  cannot avoid the emerging truth that its participants sought, prepared for, and initiated violence.

The Gaza flotilla is in short the greatest international fraud since the plight of the Sudeten Germans. There is only one thing about the Gaza flotilla that contributed to peace, and that is when the IDF stopped it dead in the water.

 proves that the busybodies who worried about justice for the Sudetendeutsche are still with us.

And indicating that Treviño had electoral politics, rather than merely a selfless concern for the well-being of Israel at heart, he tweeted:

While  is hot, I’m going to remind you that @chuckdevore is the only  candidate who’s always stood strong for Israel.

These are Treviño’s words

There can be little doubt that the words DeVore uttered at the Israeli consulate rally were penned by Treviño.

According to Treviño’s Linkedin profile, Treviño worked as Communications Director for the DeVore for California campaign from March 2009 to June 2010.

Treviño was “Responsible for all media” and messaging for the campaign. Among his self-proclaimed achievements was that he:

Created and conveyed public narratives that highlighted the candidate’s manifest strengths — in particular his qualities of leadership, integrity, intellectual power and civic-mindedness — in media and journalism.

From 2001-2005, Treviño worked as a speechwriter, and then communications director for the US Secretary of State for Health and Human Services.

Tweets as tests of political message

Treviño also boasts about how he “leveraged new media” for the DeVore campaign. This casts his tweets in a new light. Perhaps he was simply testing a political message.

The Guardian claims that Treviño’s political work qualifies him to be an informed commentator on its pages.

In a 15 August press release (note The Guardian was caught doctoring parts of the release after it was published), Janine Gibson, Editor in Chief of Guardian US, said that Treviño “brings an important perspective our readers look for on issues concerning US politics.”

The release quoted Treviño himself claiming, “My background in communications and activism has given me insight into what works and what doesn’t in the digital age.”

Contrary to any claim that Treviño’s tweets are in the past and no longer relevant, they are actually central to the political experience that is to inform his column.

Why won’t the Guardian correct this lie?

Meanwhile, The Guardian continues to ignore requests to issue a correction to a blatantly false statement Treviño made in his “clarification” the Guardianpublished on 16 August after the initial outcry over a June 2011 tweet in which he wrote:

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

In his “clarification,” Treviño claimed:

any reading of my tweet of 25 June 2011 that holds that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.

It is now amply clear this is a lie. In recent days, even more vile tweets from Treviño have come to light in which Treviño gloated about and celebrated Israel’s violent attack on the Mavi Marmara on 31 May 2010 and his mockery of the 9 unarmed civilians who were shot dead.

He tweeted, for example that Furkan Dogan, an American teenager “deserved” to die. Yasir Tineh has compiled even more examples.

After viewing this video of DeVore’s speech, can there be any doubt that Treviño not only “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings,” but used his role with the candidate to push his extremist views to an even wider audience?

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MOST TRUTHFUL IMAGE OF THE YEAR

No commentary necessary…it’s all been said already
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