HOW PALESTINIANS DON’T CELEBRATE PASSOVER

Historically, Passover is a holiday that Hebron settlers regularly exploit for expansionist purposes. In 1969, a small group of settlers led by a hard-line rabbi established the first illegal settlement in the city without the Israeli government’s permission. The settlement in a hotel in Hebron was evacuated, but the settlers moved to a former military base nearby and established what became the Kiryat Arba settlement. The move was carried out with the agreement of the Israeli government, which at the time was led by the Labor Party.

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Not a happy Passover for Hebron’s Palestinians

by Allison Deger and Alex Kane
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Palestinian youth stops in front of road closure to Shuhada Street in Hebron.

Hundreds of Israelis traveled over the Green Line to observe Passover in Hebron this week at a carnival-like event as Israeli officials closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Palestinians in the West Bank’s largest city.

Since at least the mid-1990s, settlers and religious Jews have flocked to the Herodian-era site around the Cave of the Patriarchs for the holy week, which ordinarily is partitioned by religion between Jews and Muslims—or Israelis and Palestinians. But on Wednesday and Thursday, with an increased border police presence, the tombs of the monotheistic forefathers and mothers were only opened to the busloads of Jewish tourists.

The contrasts between the Palestinian and Israeli Jewish areas were stark. While most Palestinians closed up shop in Hebron’s Old City due to the threat of settler harassment, Israeli Jews marked Passover by dancing in the streets, surrounded by high-flying Israeli flags and armed soldiers.

The annual occasion was also marked by clashes between soldiers and Palestinians.Ma’an News reported that a twelve-year old was in “critical condition” after Israeli soldiers fired a rubber bullet in his head during the clashes. Hebron residents told us that the clashes began after the settlers made their way through a Palestinian area. 

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Nawal Slemiah at Women in Hebron shop.

“If the mosque is closed nobody will come,” said Nawal Slemiah, the founder of Women in Hebron, an embroidery collective. “Last year when they came, more that 8,000 people”–Israelis–walked through the Palestinian neighborhoods of Hebron. Most shops closed this year to avoid the possibility of tensions with the Israelis, but each year Slemiah keeps the women’s collective open. “They took things from outside,” she said, explaining the scene last year. “Some of them they steal things.”

Slemiah’s shop in the historic district of Hebron is full of hand-made Palestinian embroidery garments. Outside the door frame of her one-room shop are two racks of brightly colored taubes, or traditional Palestinian dresses. There is a particular pattern of stitching for each Palestinian city. Slemiah showed us a black and a whitetaube with big flowers over the breast of the dress, indicating the design of Hebron. She said that last year, when Israelis marched through the old city, they dumped her dresses on the ground and stomped on them.

A short walk from Slemiah’s store is Hebron’s Bab al-Zawiya neighborhood. This year it was the site where Israelis marched through Palestinian streets adjacent to Shuhada Street, a downtown road that is closed off to most Palestinians by a checkpoint at its entrance and exit. The march set off the clashes that injured the 12-year-old Palestinian boy. The injury, along with the economic impact that settler harassment has on Palestinian shops, is only the latest example of the hardships Palestinians face in Hebron.

Shuhada Street used to be the central market for Hebron’s Palestinians. But that all changed as a result of the 1994 massacre in the Ibrahimi Mosque, when Baruch Goldstein, a militant Israeli-American, killed 29 Palestinian worshipers. In response to that act, the Israeli military imposed restrictions on Palestinian movement, and forbade Palestinian traffic on parts of the main street. The restrictions on Palestinian movement were made worse by the Israeli military after the Second Intifada, and led to severe economic deterioration in the city. B’Tselem reports that “304 shops and warehouses along Shuhada Street closed down” since these restrictions were imposed. “Most of the properties on or adjacent to Shuhada Street, including homes and businesses, had been abandoned or had been closed by military order,” the Israeli human rights group stated in 2011.

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Israeli Passover party in front of Cave of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Mosque.

 

Unlike the desolate Palestinian area of Hebron, during Passover the plaza in front of the Cave of the Patriarchs couldn’t have been a happier scene. Inside of H2, we walked past scores of border police and Israeli security, as a Hebraicized version of Akon’s “Right Now”bumped from two speakers mounted to roof racks on a van. Once we reached the festivities, mostly religious Israelis enjoyed popcorn and pastel cotton candy swirled up by an Orthodox youth. Others who belong to the Na Nach movement, a Hasidic sect known for dancing like in the time of King David to bring on the era of the messiah, bounced to boom boxes. Brief discussions with some of the festival-goers revealed that some of them had come from outside Hebron. Tour buses lined up outside the festival to take people home, with most of the destination signs reading “Yerushalayim” in Hebrew.

Historically, Passover is a holiday that Hebron settlers regularly exploit for expansionist purposes. In 1969, a small group of settlers led by a hard-line rabbi established the first illegal settlement in the city without the Israeli government’s permission. The settlement in a hotel in Hebron was evacuated, but the settlers moved to a former military base nearby and established what became the Kiryat Arba settlement. The move was carried out with the agreement of the Israeli government, which at the time was led by the Labor Party.

Last year, in an action also timed to Passover, settlers again tried to establish a new colony without the permission of the Israeli government. This time, they were evacuated and no new settlement was established in Hebron. Shortly after the Hebron evacuation, though, new construction in Jerusalem-area settlements was announced.

Settler activity in Hebron around the Jewish holiday of Passover is so routine that many Palestinians in the area expect harassment—and are also familiar with the traditional Passover greeting.

“In English I don’t know how to say…” contemplated Mohammed, a teenage unofficial tour guide who regularly stops by the Women in Hebron store. With a smile on his face he continued, “‘happy holidays,’ ‘chag sameach.’”

All photographs were taken by Allison Deger.

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FOLLOWING OBAMA’S FOOTSTEPS IN THE SAND

For a few brief moments, Obama spoke the truth about the situation that Palestinians were living under. But they were hollow words, given the fact that it is Obama, on the same trip, who announced the extension well into the future of American military aid to Israel. That speech to Israeli youth, as other analysts have observed, also saw Obama affirm the Zionist narrative of Jewish redemption in the land of Israel, with no mention of how that “redemption” was carried out through the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians who were never allowed to return to their land.
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My 72 depressing hours on Obama’s trail

by Alex Kane
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US and Israeli flags
Image via Blog.StandforIsrael.Org

If you ever had a burning desire to see the American-Israeli alliance shine, there wasn’t a better place to be than Jerusalem last week. Spending 72 hours there, on the trail of President Obama’s tour through Israel/Palestine, was more than enough time to appreciate the enormous work ahead of those wishing to shift policy on the conflict in the U.S. Those three days were full of symbolic gestures that testified to the rock-solid U.S.-Israeli alliance—gestures that obscured the dispiriting reality for Palestinians forced to live under the grinding system of control Israel has imposed on them.

Ben-Gurion Airport on day one of Obama’s tour was ground zero for seeing the alliance up close and personal. You couldn’t walk around the place without seeing American and Israeli flags flying together. An Israeli military band blared out the sounds of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, and the Star Spangled Banner. That band also played out a song, “Jerusalem of Gold,” which celebrates the so-called reunification of Jerusalem, a result of the capture of the holy city by Israeli forces following the 1967 war. Nobody, including the American officials gathered there, batted an eye, though.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Congresswoman who as chair of the Democratic National Committee helped lead Obama’s Jewish outreach during the last presidential election, walked alongside Congressman Eliot Engel and greeted the Israeli officials lined up. President Obama did the same, and even shook the hand of Naftali Bennett, the new Israeli cabinet official who wants to annex Area C and further solidify Israeli apartheid.

At that exact moment, it seemed as if nothing could shake the decades-old American posture towards Israel. If the rise of Bennett and other racist, right-wing officials determined to colonize the West Bank doesn’t shake that posture, what can?

The next two days of Obama’s jaunt through Israel/Palestine were full of other depressing moments.

There was the press conference where Obama fawned over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, repeatedly referring to him as “Bibi.”

There was Obama paying homage to Zionist icon Theodor Herzl.

And yes, the much-heralded Obama speech to Israeli youth was the icing on the cake of the tour that showed the world how strong America’s ties to Israel were.

For a few brief moments, Obama spoke the truth about the situation that Palestinians were living under. But they were hollow words, given the fact that it is Obama, on the same trip, who announced the extension well into the future of American military aid to Israel. That speech to Israeli youth, as other analysts have observed, also saw Obama affirm the Zionist narrative of Jewish redemption in the land of Israel, with no mention of how that “redemption” was carried out through the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians who were never allowed to return to their land.

The Jerusalem Convention Center speech should be remembered as the moment where the U.S. president promised unconditional support for Israel no matter what it does; more colonies, more apartheid, more war crimes will be funded by America, no questions asked.

On the other side of the ugly separation wall, the story wasn’t much different. There, a small group of protesters in Ramallah sought to penetrate through the careful choreography of the Obama trip by yelling for the president to go home. Butthey were stopped on a march by walls and walls of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. The Western-trained and financed forces were there to protect the Muqata as the meaningless Obama press conference with PA President Mahmoud Abbas carried on.

The Obama visit to Ramallah was meant to shore up Abbas’ position as the true and legitimate Palestinian leader, no matter what actual people on the ground think. That shoring up is fundamentally about protecting Israel from the wrath of Palestinians who first have to deal with a leadership primarily interested in their self-preservation, rather than a true liberation struggle. The Obama administration understands the need to preserve the Oslo-initiated status quo, where the PA puts down unrest in the West Bank in exchange for Western support. That’s what the millions of dollars in aid recently released to the PA from the U.S. was all about.

This distressing reality is enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand. Day in and day out, Israel further strengthens its hold on the West Bank, and the U.S. just sits back and nods. The PA carries on with empty talk and continued lip-service to negotiations that has only got the Palestinians more settlements.

But of course, the answer is not to bury your head in the sand, though that’s the easy thing to do. It is Palestinians who suffer from the status quo every day, and they have not yet given up. It remains the responsibility of the Americans who fund the conflict, and who are the main reason why Israeli apartheid can continue to exist, to speak up and say enough.

The odds are stacked against those wishing to see a shift in American policy towards Israel. Despite those odds, though, calls for justice for Palestine should continue to ring out. Perhaps eventually, those calls can create a deafening ring that is impossible to ignore. Until then, it remains imperative to continue to at least try and expose the toxic system Israel has created, and the American support than enables that system to carry on without any costs.

 

 

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IT’S ILLEGAL TO BE A CHILD IN PALESTINE

Aged eight, wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, and placed in Israeli custody

27 Palestinian children never made it to school this week; IDF troops lay in ambush for them on the streets of Hebron.

By Gideon Levy and Alex Levac
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Ahmed Abu Rimaileh
Ahmed Abu Rimaileh. The 8-year-old admits he cried when he was arrested.
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We couldn’t help ourselves: The sight of the young, newly released detainee drove us into a paroxysm of laughter. But the laughter quickly morphed into sad embarrassment. The detainee was a boy of 8, in second grade. When we met him this week, on the streets of Hebron, he was on his way to his grandfather’s home. He wore a red sweatshirt emblazoned with an image of Mickey Mouse, and he had a shy smile. His mom had sent him to take something to Grandpa. Eight-year-old Ahmed Abu Rimaileh was not the youngest of the children, schoolbags on their backs, that Israel Defense Forces soldiers took into custody early on Wednesday, last week: His friend, Abdel Rahim, who was arrested with him, is only 7, and in first grade.

Twenty-seven Palestinian children never made it to school on that particular day. IDF troops lay in ambush for them from the early morning hours on the streets of the Hebron neighborhoods that are under the army’s control, and arrested them indiscriminately. Only after they were in custody did the Israeli security forces examine the video footage they had in their possession, to see which of the youngsters had thrown stones at Checkpoint No. 160 earlier that morning, which separates their neighborhood from the settlers’ quarter of the city. It was here, a few weeks ago, that IDF soldiers shot and killed a teenager, Mohammed Suleima, who was holding a pistol-shaped lighter.

Most of the young children were released within a few hours. The older ones were kept in detention for a few days, before being released on bail. One adult, who tried forcefully to prevent the arrest of a colleague’s son, was brought to trial this week.

The fact that 18 of the children were under the age of 12, the age of criminal responsibility according to the 1971 Israeli Youth Law (Adjudication, Punishment and Methods of Treatment ), was apparently of no interest to the IDF, the Israel Police or the Border Police. Nor was the severe report issued just two weeks earlier by the United Nations Children’s Fund, which condemned Israel for arresting some 7,000 Palestinian children in the past decade.

“Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized,” the UNICEF report stated, and added, “In no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts.”

The Youth Law forbids the arrest of children under the age of 12. It also appears that the provision stipulating that older children must not be interrogated without the presence of their parents and their lawyer does not apply to Palestinian children.

A volunteer from the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian activist group, who documented with a video camera the operation in which the children were arrested, forwarded the footage to B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, and B’Tselem gave it to us. (The video can be viewed on the B’Tselem website and on YouTube.) One soldier is seen spitting crudely on the ground, another actually carries the schoolbag of his little detainee – as though he were a babysitter who had come to escort the child home from school. The amateur photographer from the ISM was deported from Israel that same day, after she also had the temerity to take part in a demonstration in Hebron against the visit of President Barack Obama.

Indeed, the mass arrest of the youngsters took place on March 20, the day Obama arrived in Israel, and the day before he made his remarks about Palestinian children in Jerusalem. “Put yourselves in the Palestinians’ shoes,” the president told the Israelis.

From early that same morning, Palestinian residents of Hebron noticed dozens of Israeli soldiers taking up positions in the streets and on rooftops in the neighborhood. One frightened resident called B’Tselem fieldworker Manal al-Jaabari, to ask what was going on.

Divided by age

For his part, Ahmed Abu Rimaileh woke up at 7 that morning and, with the NIS 2 he received from his mother as pocket money, set out for school; sometimes he gets NIS 1.5, sometimes 2. He attends the Hadija Elementary School down the street. Adjacent to it are three other schools that are part of an educational complex, which is located a few hundred meters from the checkpoint.

His father, Yakub, is a construction worker. His mother, Hala, is now sitting with us in their home. On the way to school, Ahmed says he stopped at the corner grocery store and bought a packet of cookies for NIS 1, and kept the other shekel for recess. As he was about to leave the store, he relates, seven or eight other children suddenly came running in, some his age, some older. Hard on their heels were soldiers, who arrested all the children in the store.

One soldier ordered Ahmed to put the cookies in his schoolbag before grabbing him by the shoulder and hauling him toward the checkpoint. Ahmed says he was very scared. He also admits that he cried, though only a little. At the checkpoint, he and all the other detained youngsters were thrust into an army vehicle – 27 children in one vehicle, some sitting, some standing, according to Ahmed’s description.

There were three soldiers with them in the vehicle. Some of the children were crying, and the soldiers told them to be quiet. One child was hit, Ahmed says. They were all taken to the nearby Israeli police station, next to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where they were told to sit on the ground, in a closed courtyard. The children above age 12 were separated from the younger ones and taken to the police station in Kiryat Arba and afterward to Ofer Prison, north of Jerusalem.

Ahmed Burkan, 13, was not released until the evening. Malik Srahana, also 13, was held in custody for three days at Ofer Prison before being released on NIS 2,000 bail. B’Tselem fieldworker Musa Abu Hashhash, who met with him immediately after his release, says the teenager showed signs of trauma.

According to a report transmitted by the International Red Cross to B’Tselem, 18 of the detained children were under the age of 12. They were kept in the courtyard, with a policeman guarding them for almost two hours. No one offered them food or water.

Children asked to go to the bathroom but were forbidden to do so, Ahmed recalls. The policeman asked who among them had thrown stones, but no one confessed. He then asked if they knew which children had thrown the stones and they named two of the older ones, who had been arrested and separated from them.

After a time, three jeeps arrived and took the younger group to Checkpoint 56, next to the settler neighborhood of Tel Rumeida. There the children were met by three Palestinian police “security coordination” jeeps, which took them to their police station. The Palestinian police gave them food and asked all those who had thrown stones to raise their hand. All the hands went up.

The parents were called to come to the station to collect the children. Ahmed’s parents and those of four other youngsters did not show up. Those five children were driven home in a car of the Palestinian Ministry of Education. Their worried parents were waiting for them.

Hala says she is not angry at her son. She only asked him not to cry the next time he is arrested by soldiers. “We are used to it,” she says, adding that her son had a dream about the arrest that night.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office provided the following statement in response to a query from Haaretz: “Last Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Palestinian minors threw stones at a force that was manning the checkpoint in Hebron. An IDF force that waited in ambush close to the site caught the stone-throwers in action. The Palestinian minors were detained on the spot, and seven of them, who are above the age of 12, were taken for interrogation by the Israel Police. As the Israel Police interrogated the minors, the question about the non-presence of a parent/lawyer during the interrogation should be addressed to them.”

The day after the incident, Ahmed did not want to go to school, but was persuaded by his parents to do so. For one day he was a hero among the children: Ahmed, the released detainee. He did not enter the classroom that day, staying instead in the principal’s office. He wants to be a doctor when he grows up, like a few others in his extended family, he tells us. His mother says he is a good student and a good boy.

Ahmed has seven brothers and sisters. The five boys sleep in one room, on two beds and on mattresses on the floor. There is an old computer in the room, which is turned off; they do not have an Internet connection. Out in the street a young peddler, of the same age as Ahmed, can be heard hawking his wares. After school the boy sells halabi, a sweet homemade pastry oozing with oil, for half a shekel.

PLO JOINS ‘J STREET’ IN UNDERMINING BDS MOVEMENT

 J-Street, a Zionist lobby group that explicitly opposes BDS and rights for all Palestinians, and indeed does have a narrow political agenda of preserving Israel as a racist state with a guaranteed Jewish majority at the expense of the rights of Palestinian refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel.
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PLO launches online platform to attack BDS right after sabotaging UN vote on settlements

 Ali Abunimah 

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) today launched a new online forum whose main priority appears to be to undermine the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

This came just days after the PLO sabotaged a UN Human Rights Council resolution that could have hastened international action against Israel for its continued illegal colonization of Palestinian land.

New “Engage” forum launched with attacks on BDS movement

The PLO delegation in Washington launched “Engage,” an online blog hosted on its official website.

Two of the first three posts are attacks on the increasingly successful BDS movement. In “Connecting the Dots on American campuses,” Samer Anabtawi, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, claimed that the Palestinian solidarity movement on campuses is “heavily fragmented” and needed to be unified in a broad network. (Note: Shortly after the publication of this post, the PLO Delegation deleted Anabtawi’s article from its website. Here’s a screenshot of the deleted article).

What is standing in the way of this unification? Anabtawi singled out Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) whose national organizing and support for BDS has made it an increasingly important factor in the struggle.

For many, “Students for Justice in Palestine” might as well be the network they need. However we cannot deny that today’s student movements for Palestine lack an essential element to political engagement in the U.S.: an appeal to a broad base of audiences. The Palestinian network needs to couch its objectives in a rhetoric that resonates with young Americans who cherish liberal values of democracy, individual rights, freedom of speech, and equality.

After this backhanded claim that SJP is out of touch with mainstream values, Anabtawi presses his attack:

To remain true to its causes, the network should refrain from creating a laundry list of policies and political beliefs that its member groups and activists are encouraged to adhere to;

In other words, principles are bad; abandon them. So what does Anabtawi think should happen instead?

rather the network should aim at fostering a healthy debate on how to advance the Palestinian cause. For instance, instead of instructing chapters to support BDS campaigns against Israel, our cause must encourage discussions on the efficacy and morality of BDS and whether BDS is the most effective tool. By doing so, the network would expand beyond a narrow political agenda,allowing it to engage a broader audience.

Anabtawi speaks of SJP as if it is a national organization with chapters who follow “instructions.” In fact, each SJP is autonomously and locally organized, and only in the past two years has a national umbrella been formed. No one “instructs” SJPs or other Palestinian solidarity groups to support BDS.

Anabtawi accuses Students for Justice in Palestine of having a “narrow political agenda,” when in fact the points of unity adopted at the first National Students for Justice in Palestine conference in October 2011 embrace the rights of the entire Palestinian people.

And contrary to his claims, SJP has been very successful at making important new allies for the Palestinian cause. Thanks to the work by SJP activists with their Chican@ and Latino comrades, MEChA, the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions last year.

This year’s MEChA conference, attended by SJP representatives, deepened the commitment to joint solidarity work.

Anabtawi even proposes that Palestinians ally themselves with J-Street, a Zionist lobby group that explicitly opposes BDS and rights for all Palestinians, and indeed does have a narrow political agenda of preserving Israel as a racist state with a guaranteed Jewish majority at the expense of the rights of Palestinian refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Anabtawi was an “Intern at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Palestine,” a relevant institutional affiliation not disclosed in the blog post.

In the second piece, “BDS Role in Palestinian Economy,” Laila Ikram poses the question of whether “abandoning BDS” is the way for Palestinians to go, before proposing that divestment be “researched” in order to be adopted alongside “positive investment.” Encouraging “positive investment,” it turns out, is the very strategy used by the Israel lobby to undermine and derail divestment efforts.

Of course this is not the first effort by the Palestinian Authority to undermine BDS. In 2010, Salam Fayyad, the externally-imposed Palestinian Authority “prime minister,” launched a call on Palestinians to boycott goods from Israeli settlements.

While this brief campaign grabbed headlines, it was actually an attempt to undermine BDS more broadly because while calling for a boycott of settlements goods onlyPA officials were assuring Israel of their desire to maintain expand econonomic ties with Israel in defiance of the Palestinian BDS call.

PLO cave in leads to “missed opportunity” for Palestinian rights

On 22 March, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a weak resolution on a recent report about Israeli settlements. The resolution was condemned by a coalition of Palestinian human rights groups as a “missed opportunity.”

The human rights groups blamed the “influence of European States in dictating that a stronger, more detailed resolution would not have received consensus support at the Council.”

But this failure was entirely the fault of the PLO delegation, which is effectively a puppet of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

As The Electronic Intifada exclusively reported last week, the PLO delegation had the support and opportunity to present a stronger resolution that would undoubtedly have gained a majority and could have led to concrete international action against Israel. But the PLO apparently refused to do so in order to appease its international sponsors.

Start from scratch?

Although the venerable name of the PLO has cachet, and the idea of the PLO still commands the loyalty of millions of Palestinians, in practice this body long ago lost any legitimacy or representativeness among Palestinians.

Its loss of legitimacy is so severe that in a recent analysis for The Electronic Intifada, Osamah Khalil proposed that Palestinians should abandon it altogether and start from scratch.

The latest antics at the UN and with the “Engage” forum can only bolster those who agree with Khalil.

This post was expanded and updated after initial publication.

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FIRST THEY KILLED JESUS, NOW THEY STOMP ON HIM

4163-nailed to the cross_edited.630w.tn

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Contrary to the belief of some of the ignorant among us, it was not the Jews that killed Jesus. It was hatred and jealousy…
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Below is a poem I wrote about 30 years ago…
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The Nazarene

 

The Passover is once again upon us and

We reflect on the years gone by;

Of the tribulations of the people

And the heroes of the ages.

 

The traditional feast, the Seder, has

Been with us for thousands of years.

For most it has always been a joyous meal,

But for one it became the Last Supper.

 

So cruel they were to you as they

Nailed you to the cross on the hill

Treating you like a common criminal

Rather than the great man that you were.

 

You felt no malice towards your betrayers,

Instead you asked your god to forgive them

For the crime they committed against you

And those who were close to you.

 

Two thousand years have passed since

That shameful day and each year

The crime is reenacted by those

Who usurp your name.

 

You taught love and tolerance

But most of that message is ignored.

Instead there have been wars in your name,

Something, I am sure you would oppose.

 

Where are your powers today, when they are

Needed to cleanse the earth of its hatred?

The very ones who slew you sanctified

Your name and continue to slay.

 

Is there no way you can show them

How to change their ways and to live

As you would have wanted them to

Instead of the way they are?

 

Great temples have been built in

Your honor on every continent

But the message is lacking

One of your basic teachings – Love.

 

Oh, great one that you were

You must show them the way

Before there are more, like yourself,

Nailed to the cross for refusing to hate.

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And in today’s news …..

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Florida Professor In Hot Water Over Stomp on ‘Jesus’ Exercise

Instructed Students To Step on Paper With Name On It

A Florida university has come under fire over a professor’s controversial classroom assignment that asked his students to write “Jesus” on a sheet of paper and then to step on it.

The incident earlier this month at the Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, has prompted the school to issue an apology and led to a call from Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott for an investigation.

“I am deeply disappointed in the recent actions of Florida Atlantic University faculty that raises significant questions over students’ rights and the lessons being taught in our classrooms,” Scott wrote in a letter to the head of Florida’s state university board on Tuesday.

The classroom exercise was conducted as part of a course on intercultural communication at the public university.

It called for students to write the words “Jesus” in big letters on a piece of paper, place it on the floor and then to step on the paper. Students were then asked to describe how they felt.

School officials said the instructor told students they could choose whether to participate in the exercise, which was based on an example in a study guide to a course textbook and intended to provoke a discussion of cultural symbols.

In a recent statement, Florida Atlantic University said it will no longer use the exercise after it sparked criticism from some students.

“It was insensitive and unacceptable. Based on the offensive nature of the exercise, we will not use it again and have issued an apology to the community,” the statement said.

In his letter, Scott said he wanted more than just an apology from the school.

“The professor’s lesson was offensive, and even intolerant, to Christians and those of all faiths who deserve to be respected as Americans entitled to religious freedom,” he wrote.

“I’m requesting a report of the incident, how it was handled and a statement of the university’s policies to ensure this type of ‘lesson’ will not occur again,” Scott added.

Source

TOON OF THE DAY ~~ THE ISRAELI RAMBO

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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JON STEWART TAKES A POKE AT OBAMA’S FAILED VISIT TO ISRAEL

Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show returned after two weeks off the air by poking fun at the outcome of President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Israel and the West Bank, and lamenting the failures of past U.S. presidents in the peace process.

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We are f***ing powerless: Jon Stewart takes aim at Obama’s Israel visit

 The Daily Show’s take on the outcomes of U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Israel and the West Bank, and the failures of past American presidents on peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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A screen shot of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.
A screen shot of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.
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Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show returned after two weeks off the air by poking fun at the outcome of President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Israel and the West Bank, and lamenting the failures of past U.S. presidents in the peace process. 

Stewart mocked Obama’s Jerusalem speech, in which the president combined what Stewart described as “a stunning declaration of American support for Israel’s right to exist,” with a call for recognition of “the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, right to justice.”

“An American president sketching out a path to an Israeli state, to a Palestinian state, why did no one think of this sooner?” Stewart quipped.

He went on to show footage of former U.S. presidents making similar assertions, including Geroge W. Bush Jr. in 2007, Bill Clinton in 1998 and George W Bush Sr. in 1991, before shouting out “We are f***ng powerless,” and pulling out a one dollar bill with a talking George Washington also repeating the two-state message.

“The point is this: Talk is cheap, and we have done that for years, so call me when there is actually some diplomatic progress,” Stewart said, before lambasting Obama’s big success of the trip – brokering the reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, “two countries nobody knew were fighting.”

“Gee, I can’t wait to see what happens with the Bosnia and Denmark situation.”

Stewart rounded off the clip by going to Senior Middle East Correspondent Aasif Mandvi, who filled him in on the mood in the West Bank after the breakthrough in the peace talks – between Israel and Turkey. 

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Barack Atah Adonai

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Click HERE to watch video

UNCLE SAM’S NEW IMAGE

The War Businessman
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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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TIMELY TOON OF THE DAY ~~ A WELL DESERVED AWARD FOR OBAMA

Image by Bendib

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FOUR QUESTIONS THE ZIONISTS DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ON PASSOVER

pesach four questions.pdf

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FOUR QUESTIONS… 

 

A Passover Seder is a service held at home

as part of the Passover celebration of liberation,

to share the Passover story together in order

to recognize peoples’ right to freedom.

 

During the evening, as part of the Passover

Seder, four questions are asked, traditionally

by the youngest child, to teach the next

generation to question as a way to learn.

 

The idea of Passover is also about becoming

free personally from our internal

constraints. Asking questions makes manifest

that quest and shows our courage to exercise

our freedom.

 

On Passover we learn that when people

without their freedom question authority, they

are at great risk.

 

It is therefore essential for those with privilege

to question, to wonder aloud. We ask these

four questions on behalf of people in struggle

for their liberation and right to freedom.

 

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How can a Jewish State be a democracy?

 

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Can the Jewish people know true liberation while a “Jewish” state deprives the Palestinian people of their freedom?

 

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How can we pass over the occupation of Palestine while we tell the story of the liberation of the Jewish people?

 

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When you say “next year in Jerusalem” who is it that you imagine has a right to return?

 

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WE WILL NOT BE SILENT is an artist/activist collective that has been in existence

since 2006. Through the creative use of

language embodied on shirts and at times emboldened on signs held up in public spaces,

we respond to current social justice issues, encouraging creative, direct public-actions

where many people can participate.

NEW ON FACEBOOK ~~ WAYS TO ABUSE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

Simple advice for how to deal with a Palestinian child:
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I’d break every one of his bones
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More violence is needed. Where are the clubs to break their legs?
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Put him on his knees and shoot a bullet into his mouth.
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Israeli corporal Ari Ben Reuven says: “break every bone” of crying Palestinian boy seized on way to school

by Ali Abunimah
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The Electronic Intifada has captured even more horrifyingly racist and violent statements by Israeli soldiers on Facebook targeting Palestinian children as part of our effort to document this widespread phenomenon.

On the day US President Barack Obama arrived for his Israel visit last week, Israeli occupation forces in Hebron violently seized and detained dozens of Palestinian children, some aged as young as eight, on their way to school.

The harrowing video, above, of the Israeli army attack on the children went viral on YouTube.

B’Tselem, the Israeli organization that documents and criticizes some of Israel’s human rights abuses and which posted the video, condemned the mass arrest of the children as “unlawful” and said that some of the children had been taken to interrogation centers wheresevere and systematic abuses, including holding children in solitary confinement and harsh interrogation without parents or lawyers present is the norm.

In previous cases, Palestinian children have testified that under such conditions they have been forced to confess by Israeli interrogators to false charges of throwing rocks or molotov cocktails and pressed to inform on friends and family.

“A bullet in his mouth”

Givati Brigade’s Yoni Gordon thinks Palestinian child should be put on his knees and shot in the mouth (Source).

When the video of the children’s arrest was posted on the popular Israeli Facebook page “We are all in favor of death to terrorists,” a hotbed of racist incitement, it provided an opportunity for dozens of Israelis, once again, to express horrifyingly violent views (Screenshot of all the comments in context).

Some of those posting comments were Israeli soldiers. Here are a few that indicate the mindset of these soldiers:

Kfir Brigade’s Oren Degani, seen with a child, thinks Palestinian children are “little shits” (Source).

Oren Degani whose Facebook profile contains information suggesting he is a member of the “Black Scorpions” unit of the Israeli army’s Kfir Brigade, clearly believes the Palestinian children deserve such treatment and that they are all presumed guilty. He wrote under the video:

They pretend to be innocent saints who did nothing. I know this from my reserve duty. They throw a firebomb and when you catch them they cry and swear on Muhammad that they didn’t do anything … little shits.

Corporal Ari Ben Reuven’s profile image includes the motto “The road to peace is paved with telescopic gunsights” and “Let the army mow [them] down! (Source).

Ari Ben Reuven, whose Facebook profile indicates he is a corporal in the Israeli army was even more blunt:

I’d break every one of his bones

Ron Shwartz had a similar reaction and observed:

More violence is needed. Where are the clubs to break their legs?

Yoni Gordon, a member of the Givati Brigade had simple advice for how to deal with a Palestinian child:

Put him on his knees and shoot a bullet into his mouth.

 

Avisaf Hillel (center) misses his army days of abusing Palestinian children (Source).

Avisaf Hillel, whose Facebook profile says he attends “Ariel University,” a settler institution in the occupied West Bank, and is a die-hard supporter of Israel’s Beitar Jerusalemfootball club whose fans are notorious for their racist mob rampages, looked back fondly and with a touch of sarcasm on his time in the army when he was mistreating Palestinian children:

How I miss those days!!! But during my time in regular military service, they couldn’t get a peep out of their mouth!! We took care of them real well!!

Jewish Agency’s social media propagandist Avi Mayer also defends child abuse

Another of those defending and justifying the soldiers’ brutality seen in the video was the Jewish Agency’s social media propandist Avi Mayer – himself an American volunteer in the Israeli army.

In a series of tweets, Mayer, a former Israeli army spokesman, suggested that accusations leveled against the children by the Israeli occupation army should be taken as incontrovertible truth that the children were criminals who deserved such shocking treatment and that Palestinian children should be viewed as guilty until proven innocent of whatever the Israeli army accuses them.

Not surprisingly, Mayer has absolutely refused to criticize the Israeli army’s routine, documented abuses of children or the horrifying statements of his comrades in arms.

With thanks to Dena Shunra for additional research.

 

Written FOR

IMAGE OF THE DECADE

The legacy lives on …. NO CHANGE!
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AMERICA’S FIRST BLIND PRESIDENT

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He came ….
He chose not to see ….
Nothing changed!
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BF3u5ezCUAALooM
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Obama, thank you for supporting our Apartheid state*

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President Obama thank you for supporting and protecting our Apartheid state. And a special thank to the American people for donating over the years more than 230 Billion Dollars of your tax money for enabling our military and Jewish superiority in the Holy Land. Yes We Can Not Do It Without You!
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Message from the Israeli soldiers …
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Our Remi Kanazi tried to tell Obama the problems, but he is deaf as well as blind ….
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A Palestinian-American looks at the failed visit …
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Obama fails in the Mideast
By Sam Bahour

As I watched President Barack Obama’s helicopter pass above my home, just before landing at the Palestinian Presidential Compound next to Ramallah, I just shook my head in disappointment, first as an American, then as a Palestinian. I thought: “Another U.S. president, on another high fanfare visit, carrying the same, failed political messages.”

It was difficult to follow Obama’s visit on TV. In normal practice when dignitaries come to town, Israel disrupts the satellite signals that feed our televisions. Nevertheless, I was able to tune in to a single Arabic channel, broadcast from Lebanon, that was unaffected by this.

Peeling away all the protocols, red carpets, formalities and artificial photo opportunities, I focused on what was coined “the policy speech.” President Obama gave it in Israel at a conference center to an audience of Israeli students. The president crafted a message directly to Israeli citizens, bypassing the right-wing Israeli prime minister who, until today, continues to build illegal, Jewish-only settlements, despite America’s and the world’s disapproval.

Clear message

The message to Israel was clear: there is no better ally to Israel than the U.S. He went on and on about how Israel will always be backed by the U.S., no matter what. Militarism won the day.

To Palestinians, and the majority of the world, that message no longer makes sense. Why support Israel as a military occupier that continues to build Jewish-only settlements? Why support Israel when it (as the U.S. State Department has documented) structurally discriminates against non-Jews, both Christian and Muslim, inside Israel? Why support Israel when it refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes? In short, if Israel has become a rogue state and is moving (as Israeli leaders have acknowledged) toward a form of apartheid, why should the U.S. be there to fund it, arm it, use its veto to protect it from the United Nations, diplomatically cover for it, and do business with it?

Given that Israel is costing U.S. taxpayers over $3 billion annually and has put the U.S. in a weaker position in the Middle East because of its intransigence, it is past due that every American demand of their government to withdraw its resources and political clout from entities that are moving the region away from peace, instead of closer to it.

Larger message

Just before Air Force One landed at Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel, President Obama’s limousine, the armored vehicle known as “The Beast,” broke down after being wrongly filled with diesel instead of gasoline. A new one was flown in and no disruptions to the schedule occurred. Nevertheless, perhaps this limousine ordeal carried a larger message: whether “The Beast” or a global superpower, it is crucial that issues are filled with accurate and appropriate substances, otherwise, sooner rather than later, they will start with a sputter and end with a total breakdown.

The U.S. has filled the peace process, for the last 20 years, with Israeli-designed falsehoods, only to bring us to a total breakdown today. I was hoping (but not holding my breath) that President Obama would shift gears on this trip and come with a message to the Israelis that the world’s superpower is now going to fill the process with accountability. That did not happen, and will not, until average Americans say, “Enough is enough.”

Sam Bahour describes himself as a Palestinian-American business consultant from Youngstown living in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine

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Written FOR

ISRAELI HATE REACHES NEW HEIGHTS ON FACEBOOK

“May you die garbage Arabs, amen!”

This is only a small selection of therepresentative and typical comments posted under the picture of the three boys in the tent.

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“Castrate them!” “Burn them!” “Bullet in the head!”: Facebook Israelis react to photo of Palestinian kids

 Ali Abunimah 
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An image of three Palestinian boys sparked an outpouring of violent and sadistic fantasies after it was reposted to an Israeli Facebook page (Original source and screenshot of context).

 (Shadi Hatem)

Having regularly documented the horrifying racism and violent fantasies frequently expressed by Israelis on Facebook or Instagram, I thought I had seen everything.

But this may be the worst yet. On Wednesday, the picture above of three Palestinian boys in a tent was posted on a popular Facebook page titled in Hebrew “We are all in favor of death to terrorists.” Under the picture is the following caption:

Arab boys in the illegal Arab outpost established near Maale Adumim. What should the Israeli army do to them?

This is an apparent reference to the peaceful “Bab al-Shams” encampment established by Palestinians near Jerusalem to protest Israel’s plans to seize more land for settlements. The protest was timed to coincide with the visit of US President Barack Obama.

“Run the tent over with a truck/Merkava tank/a bus/ whatever it takes to crush and kill these children,” suggested Facebook user Lidor Swisa.

As of Friday there were almost 200 comments under the post offering suggestions of what the Israeli army should do – the vast majority fantasizing extreme sadistic violence and murder.

What makes this even more than usually disturbing is many of the Israeli commentators appear to be high school students themselves – perhaps only a year or two from mandatory army service when they will be empowered to carry out their fantasies.

Soldiers and adults join in the virtual pogrom

Kfir Brigade sergeant Ohad Halevy believes Palestinian children peacefully protesting should be “slaughtered” (Source).

But others, such as Shlomo Levi, are clearly already army-age adults. His suggestion?

“I’d have thrown nerve gas into the tent and closed it and made them breath it until the end”

Kfir Infantry Brigade member David Kozolovski justifies violence against Palestinian children (Source).

David Kozolovski wrote, “To all those comparing Jews to Nazis, Jews did not try to kill German civilians,” thereby justifying the orgy of violent fantasies against the children.

Kozolovski’s profile pictures on Facebook include images of him in his Israeli army uniform bearing the insignia of the Kfir Infantry Brigade.

Ohad Halevy, another soldier in the Kfir Brigade simply wrote “Slaughter them!” of the three children in the photo.

“May you die garbage Arabs, amen!”

This is only a small selection of therepresentative and typical comments posted under the picture of the three boys in the tent.

A minority of users objected to these pervasive comments. Lilach Lilush, said, “Excuse me … I disagree… what do you mean ‘eliminate?’ What are we, an arm of Hamas or Hizballah? We are more enlightened. We should just return them safely where they came from.”

Even in her objection Lilush could not but stereotype Arabs as monsters compared to “enlightened” Israelis. But still, hers was a very rare sentiment amid the frenzy of bloodlust that sees the three Palestinian boys in the picture as legitimate targets for extreme violence.

Widespread incitement and racism

Again, I stress as in my previous posts, that this horrifying racism and sadism towards Arabs seems to be pervasive among Israelis who use social media and reflects the much broader phenomenon of escalating racism in Israel against Palestinians and Africans.

Haaretz noted, for instance, in a recent article that racist incitement by Israeli public figures doubled in 2012. It also reported on how the kind of crude and shocking racism seen in these comments is common among Israeli schoolchildren in Jerusalem.

Nurit Peled-Elhanan has also documented in her recent book the pervasive anti-Arab racism and stereotypes that Israeli children are exposed to at school which may contribute to this horrifying phenomenon.

It is also notable that the “We are all in favor of death to terrorists” Facebook group has more than 41,000 “Likes” and images of Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis deemed traitorous “leftists” are frequently posted attracting similarly vile comments.

In his speech in Jerusalem this week, President Obama also observed that “Israelis are so active on social media that every day seemed to bring a different Facebook campaign about where I should give this speech.”

The violence is not just virtual

In at least one case we know of, an Israeli soldier, Maxim Vinogradov, announced on Facebook his intention to assist in the “annihilation” of Arabs just days before he went out and shot father of two Ziad Jilani at a checkpoint in Jerusalem for no known reason in 2010.

An example of the Israeli army’s routine brutality against children was on display on the very day Obama landed when dozens of children as young as eight were abused and kidnapped by Israeli soldiers as they were on their way to school in Hebron  a harrowing scene caught on video.

 

Written FOR

OBAMA IS A BIGGER OBSTACLE TO PEACE THAN THE SETTLEMENTS ARE

As long as President Obama turns his head away from the expansion of the illegal settlements, as long as he sanctions 30 Billion dollars a year in ‘aid’ to Israel, he remains the biggest obstacle to peace in the region.
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“For these reasons we can’t welcome the president, and we can’t consider him a peacemaker just because he got a Nobel prize for peace — he didn’t bring any peace during his presidency.”
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Obama downplays settlements as main obstacle to peace

 

US President Barack Obama and President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands
at a news conference in Ramallah, March 21. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
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RAMALLAH  — US President Barack Obama on Thursday downplayed continued Israeli settlement building as an obstacle to the peace process, and he called on the Palestinians to resume talks.In a joint news conference in Ramallah, Obama said both sides should overcome their respective concerns about one another’s commitment to the peace process.

“That’s not to say settlements aren’t important, that’s to say if we resolve the (main) problems, then settlements will be resolved,” Obama said, referring to the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate while Israel continues to build on Palestinian land.

“If to begin the conversation we have to get everything right from the outset … then we’re never going to get to the broader issue, which is how do you structure a state of Palestine,” Obama said.

President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking directly after Obama, responded defiantly that the Palestinian position on settlements had not changed.

“It isn’t just our perception that settlements are illegal. It is a global perspective. Everybody views settlements not only as a hurdle, but more than a hurdle to a two-state solution,” he said.

“We are asking for nothing outside the international legitimacy. It is the responsibility of the Israeli government to halt settlement activities so we can at least speak.”

He added: “We hope that the Israeli government understands this. We hope they listen to the many opinions inside Israel itself speaking of the illegality of settlements.”

Neither side directly referenced a report in The New York Times on Thursday suggesting Abbas would ask Obama for help securing an unannounced settlement freeze from Israel’s prime minister.

But Abbas said that during his meeting with Obama, “We spoke about (settlements) with Mr President (Obama) and we clarified our point of view about how we can reach a solution.”

He also said that “We never gave up our vision, whether now or previously.”

But Abbas described the meeting with Obama as positive, saying he left the room with “renewed confidence that the United States … will help remove obstacles to achieving a just peace.

In Obama’s opening remarks in Ramallah, the president said that the United States was “deeply committed to the creation of an independent sovereign state of Palestine.”

He praised Abbas’ work along with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to build the necessary institutions for a Palestinian state and acknowledged the peaceful, popular resistance against Israel’s wall.

“I think of the villages that hold peaceful protests because they understand the importance of nonviolence,” Obama said.

He also condemned Hamas’ refusal to renounce violence and the firing of rockets from Gaza hours earlier, and said “some people” opposed an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal because “they benefit from the current conflict.”

Obama was to remain in Ramallah for the afternoon to meet with Palestinian young people at a youth center in Al-Bireh, a Palestinian town near Ramallah.

He was scheduled to speak in Jerusalem Thursday evening and visit Bethlehem on Friday before ending his three-day visit to the region with a visit to the Jordanian capital and Petra.

Palestinian analysts had not predicted any progress from the visit.

Muhammad Jadallah, a Palestinian leader in Jerusalem, told Ma’an that “We are a nation that welcomes all visitors but it looks like the Palestinians are not satisfied with Mr Obama’s visit.”

“They don’t respect him, and he is the worst US president. He used the (UN Security Council) veto to help the settlements and used it again against the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“For these reasons we can’t welcome the president, and we can’t consider him a peacemaker just because he got a Nobel prize for peace — he didn’t bring any peace during his presidency.”

He added: “After every visit of a US president to our land, we watch peace slip further away.”

Source
Source

PALESTINIANS TO OBAMA: ‘YANKEE GO HOME!’


obama-go-home-copia
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On Thursday morning, about an hour before U.S. President Barack Obama began his very short visit in Ramallah, scores of Palestinians took to the streets to protest the visit and what they see as the United States’ unwavering support for Israeli policies.
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Palestinian-American: A new strategy is needed for Palestinian advocacy in U.S. 

Sam Bahour, who voted for Obama, explains why he has no expectations for the president’s visit and why the Palestinian strategy in the United States has it all wrong. 
By Amira Hass

On Thursday morning, about an hour before U.S. President Barack Obama began his very short visit in Ramallah, scores of Palestinians took to the streets to protest the visit and what they see as the United States’ unwavering support for Israeli policies.

The demonstration was initiated by the Palestinian Nationalist and Islamic Forces, a shorthand for the organizations in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (including Fatah) and outside it, which represents a wall-to-wall coalition of functionaries who hope to attract rank and file citizens as well.

This was a permitted demonstration – the Palestinian leadership wanted it to take place so Obama would understand that it’s the public who is pressuring them not to return to sterile negotiations without so much as a halt in Israeli settlement construction. Among the demonstrators were some Palestinians who hold an American passport, as in similar demonstrations earlier this week, out of the several thousands of Palestinian Americans who currently live in the West Bank.

Sam Bahour, a business consultant, was born in the United States and came back to live in his father’s home town, al Bireh, about 20 years ago. Without being identified with a specific political organization, he is outspoken and very involved in public life, both politically and economically. He said he has no expectations of the visit by the president he elected (for domestic American reasons, not Palestinian ones).

There is almost nobody who still thinks that the United States can be a fair mediator, concludes Bahour. In Bahour’s opinion, the only group excited about the visit is the narrow Palestinian leadership (Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and about 10 of his associates).

“At best he’ll prop up the PA for a couple more years by showing that they are state-like,” Bahour said. “This is, I think, part of the U.S. agenda for meeting with the PA.  I don’t have much faith that it can result in anything other than giving the PA some credibility that a U.S. president has approached them and allowed them to sustain themselves longer, when all the facts on the ground and all the economic indicators show that the PA is basically  in a collapse mode.”

In his opinion, the PLO leadership and later the PA failed for decades to read the political map in the United States.

“The PA leadership views the U.S. presidents like they view presidents of the Arab world: that the president is everything. In the United States, the president is not everything, but rather one component of a very complicated political system. The PA leadership has never really invested proper thought in the United States to be able to understand the influence of that complicated system. The leadership thinks that all politics in the United States happens in Washington, whereas we know that Washington is reflecting the pressures that constituencies on the ground in various communities put on their representatives.

“The PLO has always appointed a weak representative in the United States because it thinks that for direct contact with the White House, it doesn’t need any kind of on-the-ground apparatus or organization. Someone who is strong, [they think] he could influence a power base that will disrupt this connection between the White House and the Muqata [PA headquarters]. The reality is just the opposite. As we learn from AIPAC [America's pro-Israel lobby], to influence Washington we have to do hard work on the ground in all 50 states.”

This approach is particularly necessary on the Palestinian issue, says Bahour, because instead of being a foreign policy issue, it is hijacked by Congress.

“Any administration, Republican or Democratic, any president, doesn’t have the leverage or leeway that they should have on a foreign relations issue. This issue in the United States is a domestic issue. I think it only applies to us – any other foreign affairs issue is a foreign affairs issue, where the administration has its leeway.  The arms industry is probably the body behind hijacking the Congress more than anybody else. Maybe equal to AIPAC. [We do not need to] compete with AIPAC , we should be able to enter the minorities community, the churches, the Arab-Americans, the education system. That is a powerful base to start to influence congressmen at the local level. The average American, if presented with the facts of this conflict, has no alternative but to be supportive of the Palestinians.”

Source

THREAT TO OBAMA’S LIFE AVERTED IN OCCUPIED WEST BANK

 
Americans can rest easy today, any threat against the life of their President has been averted.
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Watch the video below to see for yourself …
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Video: As Obama lands, Israeli soldiers violently arrest Palestinian 8-year-olds on their way to school

 by Ali Abunimah
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Video posted by the Israeli organization B’Tselem shows Israeli occupation forces, armed and financed by the United States, violently arresting Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron today as US President Barack Obama arrived for a visit to Israel.

The video shows harrowing scenes of young children clinging to parents as heavily-armed Israeli occupiers drag them away.

According to B’Tselem:

B’Tselem this morning urgently contacted the Army’s Legal Advisor for Judea and Samaria, demanding his emergency intervention regarding the detention of numerous children, including some as young as 8 to 10 years old, by the Israeli military this morning in Hebron. Preliminary information received this morning indicates that Soldiers detained or arrested over twenty minors on their way to school. About ten of them were released. The video was filmed by an international activist.

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IMAGE SHOWING OBAMA’S REAL REASON FOR VISITING ISRAEL ….

 Why now??
Simple explanation (explained below)
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‘Pesach Goy’ buys Israel’s chametz
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Read THIS for details …

WELCOME MR. PRESIDENT

Presented below are two posts which originally appeared a week ago …. in case you missed them, you can get a pretty good idea what awaits Mr. Obama on the streets of Jerusalem … and what we can expect from his visit.

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obama to jerusalem
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President Obama is due to arrive on a whirlwind visit to Jerusalem today … is the following the ‘welcome’ that awaits him from many of his own citizens? …..
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Oops …. the video I wanted to present here was removed by YouTube (surprise, surprise) but has been saved on the site of What Really Happened …. You can watch it by clicking HERE. Before you watch it, bear in mind that it contains shocking rude and racist language.
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YouTube has a policy of banning any video on their site that does not show a favourable view of zionism, obviously we do not adhere to that policy.
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Keep in mind that there was not one Palestinian in that video which leads to the following question; despite the animosity shown to President Obama by zionists, what will he do for the Palestinians while visiting here? 
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 OBAMA’S VISIT TO ISRAEL PROMISES NO CHANGE
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yes-you-can-300x252 sheikh jarrah
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President Obama will be arriving in Israel for a whirlwind tour today. Below you will find a video of where he will be making stops ….
… But more importantly is where he won’t be making stops;
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He won’t be stopping at Sheikh Jarrah to take part in the weekly demonstration in support of families evicted from their homes by illegal settlers.
He won’t be stopping at Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday to see the restrictions put on Muslims who want to pray there.
He won’t be stopping at Bil’in on Friday to see the weekly protest against the wall of apartheid.
He won’t be visiting families of children massacred by the occupation forces.
He won’t be visiting Gaza to see the devastation there resulting from Israel’s attacks.
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No, there appears to be no interest in the results of US Tax Dollars being poured into the country used to destroy the little that is left of Palestine.
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Yes, this will be a visit that promises NO CHANGE to the region.
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Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes previews the President’s trip to Israel, The West Bank and Jordan
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The new mantra…
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NO WE WON’T!

 

OBAMA’S MESSAGE TO PALESTINE ~~ NO CHANGE!

Obama won’t bring peace to Palestine

Miko Peled 
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US President Barack Obama at the Israel lobby group AIPAC’s conference in 2011.

 (AIPAC)

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If US President Barack Obama wanted to move the Palestine/Israel issue along, he would need to demand that Israel free thousands of political prisoners it holds in violation of international law, end its violations of Palestinian human rights, lift the siege on Gaza or at the very least end the indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians.

However, because the fear that retribution by Israel’s lobby will be swift and painful, none of these things will be said — much less demanded — even though they are well-documented and widely known. And so, President Obama’s planned trip to Israel will not offer any solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict.

The Israeli-Palestinian issue is, politically, a toxic wasteland that no US president in his right mind would want to clean up. It has become a vicious cycle of deceit and double standards, and it will contaminate any US politician who tries to clean it up. One may trust that President Obama, being fully aware of this, will avoid getting involved with this issue in his second term, just as he did in his first term.

Even if he does visit the West Bank city of Ramallah during his planned visit, there can be little doubt that Barack Obama will continue to stand behind Israel and place his real efforts elsewhere. It’s the cost of doing business.

Blank check

The official US stance on the Israeli-Palestinian issue is that it needs to be resolved within the framework of a two-state solution but without the US pressuring the parties to reach a resolution. The pressures placed upon politicians in the US by the Israel lobby have created a reality in which criticizing Israel constitutes political suicide.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, the Torquemada of the Israel lobby, stated recently on the satirical television program The Colbert Report that: “there are not many issues for which there is bipartisan support, the support for Israel is a true bipartisan issue” (“Obama’s Israel trip – Michael Oren,” 5 March 2013).

“Support for Israel” means a blank check. Understandably, Oren takes pride in this because it is an accomplishment for which his inquisition-style lobby has worked tirelessly. So much so, that the only vote on this issue that is acceptable in Washington is a vote that is aligned with Israel.

Reckless and destructive

The price of doing business in US politics is to applaud, encourage and pay for Israel to do whatever it wants, regardless how reckless and destructive it may be, and to ignore the plight of the Palestinians. This was true before the last Israeli elections, and now with the results of the Israeli elections clearly showing that Israelis have no interest in resolving the Palestinian issue, the president would have to go against Israeli electorate as well as the Israel lobby in the US, and all this to accomplish something no American president would even dare to articulate: peace and justice for Palestinians.

The naïve hope that Obama’s second term in office will be different than his first on this issue is just that, naïve. A just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian question will not come from an American president, nor will it come from an Israeli prime minister. The resolution of the conflict will come as a result of the fall of the Zionist state, not unlike the fall of theapartheid regime in South Africa.

No substance at all

As student groups, churches, trade unions, civil society organizations and the movement calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel increase their pressure, Western governments who are now complicit in Israel’s crimes will inevitably be forced to halt their support for Israel.

This, along with the ongoing pressure from popular Palestinian resistance, disobedience and defiance of the laws that allow the Zionist occupation of Palestine to function, will bring about a democracy in Palestine, in place of the Zionist state.

But this will not come about of its own accord. People who care about Palestinians and Israelis and who care about justice and peace need to act vigorously and demand a democracy with full equal rights in Palestine/Israel. As for the president’s planned visit, we may expect, and we will surely see no substance at all.

Miko Peled is the author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.

Source

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