COLLATERAL DAMAGE OF THE BDS MOVEMENT

Their work is done .... time to move on

Their work is done …. time to move on

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Originally I was going to headline this post A SMALL STEP FOR MAN, A GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND …. AN EVEN GREATER LEAP FOR THE BDS MOVEMENT.

BUT

I must say that when we call for a boycott of companies situated in the Occupied West Bank we are calling for a boycott of the occupation itself. It is not our intention to put these companies out of business, just to get them out of lands that do not belong to them or Israel.

SO

In reality, the workers of SodaStream are victims of Collateral Damage in our ongoing war against the occupation. The workers of the plant involved, both Israeli and Palestinian have our sincerest wishes that they will soon find suitable employment elsewhere … they were certainly not our target.

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Leah, a Jewish worker, and Nidaa, a Palestinian from Jericho, at the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim. Photograph: Heidi Levine/Sipa/Rex.

Leah, a Jewish worker, and Nidaa, a Palestinian from Jericho, at the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim. Photograph: Heidi Levine/Sipa/Rex.

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SodaStream gives the following reason for the closure of their plant; Sales of SodaStream’s soda machines have been weak in the United States as consumers in the company’s biggest market opt for healthier drinks such as juices and teas over sodas.

No mention of the fact that their company has been the number one target of the BDS Movement over the past year or so. Obviously consumers in the United States are opting against the occupation which is definitely unhealthy!

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Similar protests to these were held throughout the world on a regular basis

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Below is a Reuters Report on the situation. You will notice that there is no mention the role that our Movement played in their decision. They are obviously proud losers, when in reality the workers involved are the true losers. There is also no mention of them in the report.

Despite the outcome of this, our efforts will continue globally to boycott the occupation until it ends!

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SodaStream Will Shut West Bank Factory

Onetime Start-Up Nation Star Cuts Costs Amid Financial Woes

By Reuters

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SodaStream, the Israeli at-home soda machine maker, is closing its controversial West Bank factory as part of a cost-cutting campaign amid poor financial results.

The beverage machine maker cut its 2014 revenue and profit forecasts after reporting a sharp drop in third-quarter earnings and said it would restructure to spur a return to growth.

Sales of SodaStream’s soda machines have been weak in the United States as consumers in the company’s biggest market opt for healthier drinks such as juices and teas over sodas.

“Our third quarter performance was pressured by challenging selling conditions for soda makers and flavors primarily in the U.S.,” Chief Executive Daniel Birnbaum said, adding that performance outside the United States was mixed.

Birnbaum announced a “comprehensive growth plan” meant to return SodaStream to profitable growth.

As part of that plan, the company said it would be shutting down and relocating operations from two facilities into a new plant. It would also discontinue certain beverage makers and flavors at a cost of about $20 million to the company.

The financial impact of those two moves will be spread out from the fourth quarter into 2015.

“We are fully committed to getting the company back on track,” Birnbaum said.

It was reported in July that SodaStream was in talks with an investment firm to be taken private in a deal valuing the company at $828 million.

SodaStream’s shares received a boost last week when it said it would sell some PepsiCo Inc brands such as Pepsi Homemade, that are not sold in stores in a limited test.

SodaStream said third-quarter revenue was $125.9 million, down from $144.6 million a year earlier. net profit was $9.5 million versus $16.4 million a year earlier.

The company lowered its forecast for all of 2014, saying revenue was expected to decrease about 9 percent from $562.7 million in 2013, and profit was expected to drop about 42 percent from $42.0 million in 2013. Previously the company had forecast a 5 percent drop in both revenue and profit from 2013.

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Related post from the JTA

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Boycott Israel Activists Claim Credit for SodaStream Factory Closing

Company Points to Fizzling Profits in Cost-Cutting Move

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

The Israeli firm SodaStream, which has been a target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, is closing its West Bank factory — and anti-Israel activists claimed credit for forcing the move.

The company, which makes home soft drink machines, made the announcement about its Maale Adumim facility on Wednesday. It also said that its third quarter sales had dropped 9 percent.

SodaStream said that closing the West Bank factory would result in a $9 million savings in production costs. A second factory in the Galilee also will be closed.

CEO Daniel Birnbaum said in September that the decision to shut down the West Bank factory would be based solely on economics.

The operations from the two plants are slated to be relocated by the end of 2015 to a new facility in Lehavim, a Negev community near Beersheba in Israel’s South. The company will receive a government subsidy for its operations in the new plant. The Lehavim plant is expected to employ a significant number of Bedouin Arabs.

Birnbaum told The Associated Press that the company is working with the Israeli government to secure work permits for its Palestinian employees from the Maale Adumim factory so that they can work in the new plant.

The company also has a plant in Ashkelon and 20 others around the world. There are currently about 1,100 employees in the Maale Adumim plant, including 850 who are Arab-Israelis or Palestinians.

SodaStream was at the center of controversy following the signing of actress Scarlett Johansson as a spokeswoman and the ensuing furor over its West Bank factory. Johansson resigned as a global ambassador for Oxfam over her position with SodaStream.

“We have witnessed a tremendous growth in boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts this year to pressure Israel to ends its denial of Palestinian rights,” Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 groups, said in a statement. “Today’s news is just the latest sign that these global BDS campaigns are having an impact on changing the behavior of companies that profit from Israeli occupation and apartheid.”

Kudaimi said that SodaStream would remain a target of boycott efforts since its factory is close to Rahat, a planned township in the Negev desert for Bedouins, “thus still implicating the company in Israel’s displacement policies.”

I AM NO LONGER ACCEPTING THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE

I AM CHANGING THE THINGS I CANNOT ACCEPT!
Free yourselves from all evils of society

Free yourselves from all evils of society

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As a society, we have been duped by the powers that be. We were told to chant the following …

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

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Yet, the President of the United States promised CHANGE …. and yes, he kept his promise. Things have changed from bad to worse!

Are we expected to accept that?

I SAY NO!

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Now that we are finally awake, let's get out of bed and get to work!

Now that we are finally awake, let’s get out of bed and get to work!

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Acceptance of what Obama calls CHANGE is complicity with the evils within those changes!

Let’s start with the erosion of our Academic Freedom …. students are no longer allowed or encouraged to think … or even hear opinions contrary to those of the Administration. The human brain has become as redundant as the appendix.

Black Americans have become mere targets for trigger happy police officers, especially the youth.

Muslim Americans have been classified as terrorists and are racially profiled in every aspect of their lives.

New wars are being waged throughout the world targeting self created enemies … soldiers are dying for no reason at all yet they continue to follow orders, truly ‘Waste Deep In The Big Muddy’ …

Attempts to change any of the above leads to arrests, loss of jobs, or even worse, loss of lives.

BUT IT MUST BE DONE!

The American nation has become a nation of Sheeple being led to slaughter.

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The outdated Serenity Prayer presented above has allowed the Administration to destroy the very fibers of our society. They have treated us as if we were all addicted to a substance  dangerous to our health … and yes we were, a substance we know as Capitalism! Don’t allow that substance to become fascism …. an evil even harder to cure.

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It can be nipped in its bud!

It can be nipped in its bud!

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Stop following that asshole in front of you! Become the CHANGE that will give us something to really be thankful for this coming Thanksgiving!

REMEMBERING CHE AND VITTORIO, MARTYRS EXTRAORDINAIRE

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Forty seven years ago this month Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was murdered by the CIA in Bolivia. 

Below is a heartbreaking letter from the mother of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian in Gaza murdered by similar forces of hatred just over three years ago. Imagine the letter having been penned by the mother of Che …

Both live on in the hearts of all who work for Social Justice throughout the world …

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“Don’t cry for me if I die, do what I was doing and I will live on in you.” –
Che Guevara
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A letter from Vittorio’s mother

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One has to die to become a hero, to hit the headlines and to have TV crews around the house, but does one have to die to stay human? I recall Vittorio in the Christmas of 2005, detained and incarcerated in the Ben Gurion Airport, the scars left by the handcuffs that cut his wrists, the denial of any contact with the consulate, the farcical process. And I recall Easter that same year, when just across the Allenby Bridge at the Jordanian border the Israeli police blocked his entrance in the country, put him on a bus and, seven against one (one of the seven was a policewoman), they beat him up “with skill”, without leaving any external marks, like the real professionals they are, then hurling him to the ground and throwing at his face, as a last scar to add to the others, the hair they had ripped off him with their machines.

Vittorio was unwanted in Israel. Too subversive, for having joined his friend Gabriele one year earlier and demonstrated along with the women and men of the village of Budrus against the Wall of Shame, teaching them the lyrics and singing together our most beautiful partisan song ‘O bella ciao, ciao…’. (see below)

Back then no TV crew came by, not even when in the Fall of 2008 a commando attacked in Palestinian waters off Rafah the fishing boat he had boarded. Vittorio was incarcerated in Ramle and soon after sent back home with nothing but the clothes on his body. Nevertheless, I cannot but be thankful to the press and television that have approached us with composure, that have ‘besieged’ our home with restraint, without excesses and that have given me the chance to talk about Vittorio and about his ideals and the choices he made.

This lost child of mine is more alive than ever before, like the grain that has fallen to the ground and died to bring forth a plentiful harvest. I see it and hear it already in the words of his friends, above all the younger among them, some closer, some from afar. Through Vittorio, they have known and understood, and now even more, how one can give ‘Utopia’ a meaning, like the thirst for justice and peace, how fraternity and solidarity still stand and how, as Vittorio used to say, ‘Palestine can also be found at your doorsteps’. We were a long way from Vittorio, but now we are closer than ever, with his living presence magnified at every passing hour, like a wind from Gaza, from his beloved Mediterranean, blowing fierily to deliver the message of his hope and of his love for those without a voice, for the weak and the oppressed, passing the baton.

Stay human. – Restiamo umani.

The above is a translation of the letter written by egidia beretta arrigoni, mother of vittorio arrigoni, translated by Sebastiao Nascimento

Bella Ciao Vitto
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Scenes in Gaza after Vittorio’s murder…..
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Honoured by Carlos Latuff

Honoured by Carlos Latuff

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As was Che on the 40th Anniversary of his martyrdom

As was Che on the 40th Anniversary of his martyrdom

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION FOUND IN HONG KONG

THE UMBRELLA REVOLUTION
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Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Hong Kong govt says umbrellas are Kung Fu weapons of mass destruction

Hong Kong govt says umbrellas are Kung Fu weapons of mass destruction

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Weapon of Mass Destruction in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

The Umbrella Revolution has also been labeled as “Color Revolution” backed up by foreign forces, in particular, the United State. Pro-Beijing law makers passed a motion on October 10 demanding an investigation of the mobilization of the massive sit-in action under the Legislative Council(Powers and Privileges) Ordinance.

In response to the smear campaign, DDED HK, created a video that imitates the China Central Television’s news report on the students’ use of mass destruction weapon – umbrellas and birthday song – in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution.

In the video, the umbrellas that protected the protesters from police pepper spray and tear gas were depicted as parachutes and ray guns. The birthday song, which was sang by the sit-in protesters, when they were surrounded and bombarded by the anti-occupation groups, was depicted as the most evil weapon.

 

Source

JEWISH RECOMMITMENT AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA

While many of us have been concerned about, and appalled by the recent Islamophobic ads on NYC subways and buses and have responded to them in a number of different ways, we also recognize that Islamophobia extends far beyond those ads.

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Jews Recommit to Standing Against Islamophobia

by: Donna Nevel and Elly Bulkin FOR

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While many of us have been concerned about, and appalled by the recent Islamophobic ads on NYC subways and buses and have responded to them in a number of different ways, we also recognize that Islamophobia extends far beyond those ads.

As part of our commitment to challenging Islamophobia in all its forms and to bringing these issues to the forefront within the Jewish community, the coalition we are part of, Jews Against Islamophobia (Jews Say No!, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice), wanted to make visible the many manifestations of Islamophobia that we oppose and that we are committed to challenging. We created a short video that highlights the multiple ways Islamophobia is promoted – through police surveillance of the Muslim community, government institutions and policies, and the media as well as through Islamophobic ads in public spaces and demanding that Muslims pass a litmus test declaring their loyalty to the State of Israel before being considered an “acceptable” partner.

Some of us from Jews Against Islamophobia have also been part of initiating a new national network, J-NAI (Jewish Voice for Peace Network Against Islamophobia) that we hope will provide support and resources for those interested in organizing against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, and in making the connections between Islamophobia and Israel politics.You can learn more about these efforts at JVP.org/JNAI

We join our partners and allies from the Muslim community and from other communities who are organizing against Islamophobia and for justice and dignity for all our communities.

#FergusonOctober COMES TO MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Tory Russell, who has been on the ground in Ferguson from the start, said, “What were saying is No Justice, No Peace. You can’t go on with life as usual until justice is served. We are fighting all across St. Louis and this is not a game to us.”

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#FergusonOctober Comes to Monday Night Football

Black lives matter

“Rams Fans Know Black Lives Matter On and Off the Field” (Photo: Benjamin Boyd)

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The tradition is as longstanding as it is powerful: fans and even players disrupting sporting events in the name of a greater cause. Sometimes when this takes place, it’s iconic, other times it’s forgotten. This is usually dependent on the power and breadth of the movements off the field that animate these extraordinary actions.

We saw it most famously perhaps when John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists at the 1968 Olympics. It helped change the world when the people of Australia and New Zealand fans stormed the grounds when Apartheid South Africa’s storied Springbok rugby team took the field. It continues today when people protest the Israeli basketball tour of the NBA preseason in the shadow of the Gaza war or when NFL players in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown raise their hands as they leave the tunnel.

That tradition continued last night when, as a part of #FergusonOctober, fifty people in the upper deck of the St. Louis Rams-San Francisco 49ers game unfurled a banner saying “Black Lives Matter On And Off The Field” and held a protest right in the middle of Monday Night Football.

An NFL stadium is a place of constant security, surveillance and inspection. Getting inside the White House with a knife seems like an easier task than entering an NFL arena for a protest. Yet in St. Louis, they did it and sent a strong message that this was not a time for games.

Stadium protester Shannon Wilson said, “We chanted in protest to tell the world that Rams fans know that black lives matter. Some Rams fans who sat in front of us ignored us at first. When our cries for our lives grew louder, some men began to dance as if to imitate monkeys, and shouted, verbatim, ‘Shut the f*** up you monkeys.’ I guess some Rams fans don’t know that Black lives matter.”

Charles Modiano, who helped organize the action, said:

Sorry to inconvenience the 3rd quarter, but the wild cheering of African-American athletes who can run fast, and the death and disrespect of Mike Brown simply cannot be separated from each other. Black lives must matter on AND off the field. We witnessed many hateful, hostile, and nearly violent responses from fans inside and outside the stadium. But we witnessed many Rams fans – including many white fans — who joined our protest in solidarity after initial hesitance. It’s almost like they needed permission to show their justifiable outrage. Last week the St. Louis Symphony protesters asked ‘What side are you on, my friends. That’s the question. There are six witnesses, no police incident report, still no arrest, and Mike Browns in every town. This is real basic. There can be no fence-sitting here. Dismantling the Blue Wall of Silence also includes ending white walls of silence.

Thousands were protesting at St. Louis University, Walmart, at the Ferguson police Department, and other places. And that was just one day.

As one stadium protester who requested anonymity told me, “Tonight was a major success. Our message was clear – black lives matter and that means that police violence is an issue no one can ignore, even during Monday night football. Our movement is growing every day and while ESPN chose not to air our major action, we know that many in our country stand with us. We are waiting for our leaders to act.”

Yes, it’s true that ESPN ignored the happenings in the stands. But it was picked up by mainstream channels like The Sporting News and SB Nation as well as the highly trafficked rebel sports site Deadspin.

At a rally this weekend, Montague Simmons, from the Organization for Black Struggle, told a crowd: “They didn’t value Black lives then, they don’t value Black lives now…. If this moment is gonna be all that it can be, we got to make the cost of Black life too high for them to take it.” Actions like last night are a critical part of that process.

Protestor Darnell Moore said, “While waking around the stadium with several dozen others chanting ‘Mike Brown’ and ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ some fans willfully ignored us or shouted irately because their game was interrupted.”

This was a brave action that went down last night. As long as some people in the United States cannot escape the fear of police violence, the escapism of sports is a bubble well worth popping.

Tory Russell, who has been on the ground in Ferguson from the start, said, “What were saying is No Justice, No Peace. You can’t go on with life as usual until justice is served. We are fighting all across St. Louis and this is not a game to us.”

RABBIS JOIN THE STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE IN FERGUSON

American Handala By Mike Flugennock

American Handala
By Mike Flugennock

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Outside the Ferguson police station, under a steady rain, the rabbis were asking the cops to repent.

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20 Rabbis Join Rallies in Ferguson as Anger Keeps Building

Protests Against Racism Back on Streets of St. Louis Suburb

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Stop the Hate: Rabbi Mordechai Leibling addresses protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, where anti-racism protests are still roiling the St. Louis suburb.

PHILIP DEITCH
Stop the Hate: Rabbi Mordechai Leibling addresses protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, where anti-racism protests are still roiling the St. Louis suburb.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Outside the Ferguson police station, under a steady rain, the rabbis were asking the cops to repent.

“We repent for the sins of our community, not only for the things we personally did,” Rabbi Jill Jacobs told one officer. “I asked him if he would join me in repenting, and he didn’t really respond.”

Two months after the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, the protest movement in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb shows no sign of ending. A grand jury has yet to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, for shooting the unarmed black teen. And in early October, a St. Louis police officer shot another black teen to death under unclear circumstances, giving the movement new energy.

Rabbis from outside of the St. Louis area have stayed away from the protests in Ferguson, leaving them to local leaders and activists. But that changed October 12, when 20 rabbis joined dozens of clergy members for a series of actions protesting what they see as a pattern of police impunity.

The goal was to get arrested.

“It was clear they didn’t want to arrest clergy,” said Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah, a rabbinic social justice group, of police at the October 13 protest outside of the Ferguson police station.

Some clergy did go to jail, though all of the rabbis remained free. Rabbi Susan Talve, the spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, who has been a regular presence at the Ferguson protests, was driving to prison to visit a group of arrested ministers when she was reached by the Forward.

“I want my sisters to know I’m here,” Talve said.

Talve’s synagogue is near Ferguson. One 16-year-old black congregant lives in the town.

“He just wants to go to school,” she said of the teenager. “He also doesn’t want to be afraid that when he walks on the street at night, that he’s going to be provoked, profiled and harassed because of the color of his skin.”

Talve said that Jacobs and others had been asking her how to support the Ferguson protest movement since the beginning, but that she had waited for an appropriate moment to invite them to come in. The civil disobedience at the police station was part of a series of events called Ferguson October meant to draw national attention to the ongoing protests.

Jacobs said that she and her colleagues from outside of the area felt that they, too, had a role in countering the discrimination in Ferguson. “We know what it’s like to be singled out because of our religion, because of the way we look, so we have an obligation to stand with other people in the same situation,” Jacobs said. “It’s incredibly important to break out of this us/them dynamic. This is about the Jewish community and every community.”

Outside the police station, activists chanted while some confronted the officers.

“We had clergy of all faiths going up to the police officers and asking them to repent for their part in the system that led to the death of Michael Brown,” Jacobs said.

Some Christian clergy offered to take confession. Jacobs said that she spoke to two unflinching riot police who would not engage with her. Talve spoke to a Catholic officer who did not accept her premise.

“He said he didn’t have anything to be sorry for, to repent for,” Talve said. “I said, I’m sure you’re a good man, you’re doing holy work… but we’re all part of the system.”

The protest was designed as a civil disobedience action, but the unwillingness of the officers meant that the rabbis stayed out of jail. “They wouldn’t arrest me,” Talve said. “We tried.”

CNN reported that 43 people were arrested outside the police station, including Cornel West, the academic and activist.

The weekend was not without tension among the activists. At a rally on the evening of October 12, local youth leaders protested when speakers from outside Ferguson were given priority, calling for their own chance to speak.

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE WORLD STANDS WITH PALESTINE IN HARLEM

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On Saturday evening, October 11th, a meeting was held at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Community Center in Harlem, NYC.  It was formerly the Audubon and the conference took place in the ballroom, almost sacred ground because it is where Malcolm was assassinated.  It began with a very good buffet dinner and the music of an excellent Latino band.  Tables were set up around the side of the large room selling beautiful handmade Palestinian goods, Mumia T-shirts and giving out information.   The theme of the evening was solidarity among oppressed peoples and the interconnections between the various peoples struggles.  It was also pointed out that ultimately we are all fighting the same enemy, capitalism. The teargas being used on the Palestinian people is the same teargas that is being used on the people of Ferguson, MO.  Nancy Mansour from Existence is Resistance spoke describing what is happening in Palestine including huge demonstrations on the West Bank that were never reported here where the IDF shot into the crowd. Another one of the speakers, Bassem Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, had just arrived from Palestine to speak to the crowd at the meeting. He described the struggle there as well as his years in Israeli prisons, the torture he endured there, and the deaths of people in his family at the hands of the IDF. Everyone was brought up to date by Johanna Fernandez on the struggle to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and Mumia addressed the people, by phone, and answered questions followed by applause and cheers from all present. We learned what was happening in the Puerto Rican community from former Young Lord Carlito Rovira, and there was excellent analysis of the current political situation in the US by Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report.  He pointed out that the Black Caucus in Congress went along with the militarization of the police who direct their attacks on Black urban communities. The audience of about 200+ people were very enthusiastic, eager to hear more.  Some speakers spoke through skype because they couldn’t make the trip.  Remi Kanazi was supposed to appear but he too spoke via skype because he was in Ferguson, MO in solidarity with the protestors there.  There are many from the Palestinian justice community in Ferguson supporting the fight against racism there. 

This meeting was a result of months of preparation by people from different organizations who recognized there was a common enemy and that we would have much greater strength working together.  That, in itself, is a revolutionary concept. It was made clear by many speakers who made the point that solidarity was not just about feeling good being together – solidarity is self defense.  Activists chant, “The people, united, will never be defeated”.   Efforts are now being made to unite them.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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On sale were shirts MADE IN PALESTINE

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Meanwhile, 

UNARMED CIVILIANS IN THE STREETS OF FERGUSON

The struggle continues at home and abroad

It is our duty to fight for our freedom…

“…It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains…”

Said 62 times for the 62 days that have happened since Mike Brown’s death – 62 days still lacking justice and a policing system that refuses to honor the inherent value and dignity of all lives equally.

SELF INFLICTED ANTI SEMITISM

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

The zionist Thought Police have mastered the art of "linguistic warfare" and have buried many with their Orwellian weaponry.

The zionist Thought Police
have mastered the art of
“linguistic warfare” and have
buried many with their
Orwellian weaponry.

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The event reported in yesterday’s post seems to have rocked the foundations of zion. The last thing Israel wants is to be publicly criticized, especially by American Jews. Even worse is when those very same Jews endorse the BDS Movement.

As always, Israel’s only defense is to lie about the situation and to use their latest tactic of artificial anti Semitism as is reported below …

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The following made headline news in the Israeli press ….

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Pro-Palestinian protesters chanted anti-Semitic statements in the arena when there was a call for donations to the IDF before the game. Other protesters also tried to disrupt the game by unfurling Palestinian flags on the court – they were removed by security.

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NY Jew assaulted outside Maccabi TA game in Brooklyn

Local community leader beaten by pro-Palestinian protesters after Israeli basketball champions lose to Brooklyn Nets.
Ynetnews
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Leonard Petlakh, a local Jewish leader in New York City, was assaulted by pro-Palestinian protesters at the Barclays Center on Wednesday.

Petlakh, a 42-year-old who runs one of the largest sports centers in the community, was rushed to the hospital with a broken nose and required eight stitches.

He was beaten by the demonstrators in front of his children, 10 and 14, who were accompanying him to cheer on Maccabi Tel Aviv in their loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Brooklyn (Photo: AP)

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Brooklyn (Photo: AP)

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According to the Jewish Daily Forward, Petlakh was upset that his sons witnessed the violence, but said that he hoped “it sends a strong message to them to stand up for their values as proud Americans and as those who will eventually volunteer to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters chanted anti-Semitic statements in the arena when there was a call for donations to the IDF before the game. Other protesters also tried to disrupt the game by unfurling Palestinian flags on the court – they were removed by security.

The incidents continued after the game, when Petlakh was assaulted. The Jewish leader filed a complaint with the police, which has launched a hate-crime investigation, and called for increased police presence at sporting events connected to Israel.

According to American media outlets, the incident was captured on closed-circuit cameras and the police is reviewing the footage.

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The American zionist Jewish Daily Forward had a slightly different report …. a wee bit more believable

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Pro-Palestinian Group Condemns Beating of Jewish Leader at Brooklyn Nets Game Protest

Jewish Voice for Peace Says ‘Horrified’ by Attack

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DIRECT ACTION FRONT FOR PALESTINE

By Gabe Friedman

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A pro-Palestinian organization expressed ‘horror’ at the attack on Jewish leader Leonard Petlakh during a demonstration after a Nets basketball game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Tuesday night — and called for an investigation into the incident.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which supports Palestinian causes and often criticizes Israel, was one of the primary organizers of the protest, which slammed the Nets for holding a fundraiser with a group that supports the Israeli miltary.

It said the protest ended after the start of the exhibition game between the Brooklyn Nets and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Petlakh, director of the KIngs Bay Y, a Jewish community group, was punched in the face after the game while leaving the arena and suffered a cut that required eight stitches.

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Leonard Petlakh

Leonard Petlakh
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“If something happened after the game, which would have been several hours after the protest ended, it had nothing to do with us or the demonstration,” said JVP New York member Pam Sporn.

“(We) express our horror at the injuries that Mr. Petlakh suffered,” the group added in a press release. “We hope to know soon the full details of what happened.”

About 100 protestors, JVP and several other organizations, such as Adalah New York and Direct Action Front for Palestine, demonstrated outside the Barclays Center because the Nets were holding a fundraiser for Friends of the IDF.

As the JVP press release explains, these organizations expressed the view that “honoring the IDF only a few weeks after Israel’s attack on Gaza has ended contradicts our values as Jewish New Yorkers.”

Petlakh, 42, says he was attacked by demonstrators holding Palestinian flags as he walked out of the arena with his sons, ages 14 and 10, and a group of friends.

Police are investigating the attack. A police spokesman said Thursday that no arrests have been made.

IN PHOTOS ~~ APARTHEID AND WAR ARE NOT GAMES! BOYCOTT ISRAEL ON THE COURTS!!

When activists arrived at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to protest a Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces fundraiser that was coupled with an exhibition game between the Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, the police were waiting with a message of their own. As the night unfolded, this message spoke volumes. Protesters would not be allowed on the expansive plaza that unfolds from the front of the Barclays Center all the way to the Atlantic Yards subway entrance. Instead, they would have to be in a fenced-off pen on the narrow strip of sidewalk to the side of the arena. Yes, an outdoor space built with public funds was deemed a privatized, no-free-speech zone, enforced by armed public employees, otherwise known as the police.

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‘Israel’s War On Gaza Is Not A Game’: Scenes From the NBA Preseason Protest

IN PHOTOS ~~ VIGIL IN NEW YORK TO STOP ARMS TO ISRAEL

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(As a preface, yesterday Mondoweiss posted a letter by Alan Levine written to Schumer & Gillibrand urging them to follow the Leahy law which states that countries who use arms against a people in a way that violates international law and creates war crimes will no longer receive arms or $ for arms from the US.  

On Monday, October 6th, Jewish Voice for Peace NY and Jews Say No, with the support of several other organizations that support justice for Palestinians, held an 8 hour demonstration in front of the offices of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand at 780 3rd Avenue.  Demonstrators came and went in the course of the day but there were always between 50 and 80 people there.  Palestinian food was served to the demonstrators and people passing by, many having questions to ask or just wanting to chat a bit. It was explained that welcoming with food was part of a strong Palestinian tradition.  Informational leaflets were also distributed.  Most participants carried signs throughout the day created by We Will Not Be Silent. 

There was also an educational/cultural program.  People read Palestinian poetry, songs were sung accompanied by a guitar, there was a humorous skit about a trip to Israel and another about a news conference for a newly reformed Senator Schumer,  a reading of the Carol Churchill play, 7 Jewish Children, by some very talented actors (done twice) and a concert from the Rude Mechanical Orchestra.  Another participant read a  list of some of the horrible conditions that Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza are forced to live with, all imposed by Israel because of the occupation. 

At one point the Granny Peace Brigade came with some of the representations that they made of the 519 children murdered by Israel in Gaza this summer.  The people present held up each figure, read their name and age, and noted that they were murdered by Israel, some noting that this was done with the active support of the 2 New York senators and U.S. taxpayer funds.  Some people were brought to tears because the action felt very much like a funeral.  One of the participants noted, “These children are all our children and our grandchildren.” 

The 8 hours passed very quickly.  Many strangers in the street stopped to read the signs and leaflets and to listen to the presentations.  It is hoped that as people learn what Israel is doing they will urge Congress not to give Israel $8.7 million a day and a carte blanc to kill and destroy at will.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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IT STARTED AT WOOLWORTH’S IN 1960 …. AND NOW IT CONTINUES

That's me under the third 'O'

That’s me under the third ‘O’

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For many of us who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement’s early days, Woolworth’s was our first ‘battle ground’ Every week for over a year picket lines were set up in front of every Woolworth Store north of the Mason Dixon Line. We called for a boycott of the chain because of their discriminatory policies in the South.

We eventually won that ‘battle’ and the video below became history.

My own involvement …

I was considered a ‘normal’ kid while growing up in New York …. BUT one day in 1960 everything changed….
I was walking on the main street in my neighbourhood when I spotted a picket line in front of the local Woolworths. They were handing out leaflets calling for a boycott of the chain. Reason being that Blacks in the Southern states were denied service at their lunch counters.
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Picketers protesting the F.W. Woolworth store’s policy on lunch counter segregation NY,NY 1960
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I joined the protesters and continued on with them for the next year or so …. we finally won as Woolworths reversed their policy. But, one thing led to another and it certainly was not the end of the struggle.
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Unlike the title of James Dean’ movie, we were rebels WITH a cause …

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And today the ‘battle’ continues in South Africa …. they too will be victorious!

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South African Woolworth’s Chain Battles BDS Protests

Anti-Israel Activists Vow To Step Up Campaign

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 By JTA
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Woolworths of South Africa said it may take the BDS lobby to court for threatening its staff and customers.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has held more than 40 protests at Woolworths stores throughout the country in recent weeks.

“Our employees, of all faiths and cultures, are telling us that they are feeling increasingly threatened by the protests,” spokesman Babs Dlamini told the South African daily The Times on Sunday. “What’s more, the families of our employees have reported being abused and sworn at by BDS. “If this continues we will consider taking further precautions, including legal action against the individuals involved.”

It is not known if the protests have hurt Woolworths sales.

BDS reportedly plans to continue to pressure the company, Woolworths Holdings Limited, until its annual general meeting on Nov. 26.

Dlamini told the Times that Woolworths was not sure why it was being targeted because “more than 95 percent of our food is sourced locally [and] the government continues to authorize trade with Israel.”

BDS activist Mohammed Desai told the Times that the movement knows there are other companies in South Africa with ties to Israel, but said: “For now, Woolworths is our target. They are making a grave mistake by ignoring us and if we go to all those retailers our campaign will be diluted.”

In South Africa, BDS has received support from the African National Congress’ Youth League, and the Times reported that the movement has lobbied influential ANC supporters to put pressure on one of Woolworths’ largest shareholders, the Government Employees Pension Fund, which holds 17.2 percent of the shares.

Woolworths, one of the largest companies in South Africa, is not related to the U.S. chain F. W. Woolworth Company.

A RABBINICAL LAMENTATION OF THE SEASON FOR THE PEOPLE OF GAZA

Lamenting for Gaza

Lamenting for Gaza

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The following was written days before the Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av: a day of mourning for the calamities that have befallen the Jewish people over the centuries. Among other things, the traditional Tisha B’Av liturgy includes the chanting Biblical book of  Lamentations.

Given the profoundly tragic events currently unfolding in Gaza, I offer this reworking of the first chapter of Lamentations.  I share it with the hope that on this day of mourning we might also mourn the mounting dead in Gaza  along with what Israel has become.

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A LAMENTATION FOR GAZA

By Rabbi Brant Rosen

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Gaza weeps alone.
Bombs falling without end
her cheeks wet with tears.
A widow abandoned
imprisoned on all sides
with none willing to save her.

We who once knew oppression
have become the oppressors.
Those who have been pursued
are now the pursuers.
We have uprooted families
from their homes, we have
driven them deep into
this desolate place,
this narrow strip of exile.

All along the roads there is mourning.
The teeming marketplaces
have been bombed into emptiness.
The only sounds we hear
are cries of pain
sirens blaring
drones buzzing
bitterness echoing
into the black vacuum
of homes destroyed
and dreams denied.

We have become Gaza’s master
leveling neighborhoods
with the mere touch of a button
for her transgression of resistance.
Her children are born into captivity
they know us only as occupiers
enemies to be feared
and hated.

We have lost all
that once was precious to us.
This fatal attachment to our own might
has become our downfall.
This idolatrous veneration of the land
has sent us wandering into
a wilderness of our own making.

We have robbed Gaza of
her deepest dignity
plunged her into sorrow and darkness.
Her people crowd into refugee camps
held captive by fences and buffer zones
gunboats, mortar rounds
and Apache missles.

We sing of Jerusalem,
to “a free people in their own land”
but our song has become a mockery.
How can we sing a song of freedom
imprisoned inside behind walls we have built
with our own fear and dread?

Here we sit clinging to our illusions
of comfort and security
while we unleash hell on earth
on the other side of the border.
We sit on hillsides and cheer
as our explosions light up the sky
while far below, whole neighborhoods
are reduced to rubble.

For these things I weep:
for the toxic fear we have unleashed
from the dark place of our hearts
for the endless grief
we are inflicting
on the people of Gaza.

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Brant Rosen recently resigned* as the rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Illinois. He is a former president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and is the co-founder and co-chairperson of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council. He has served on the boards of numerous national and local organizations, including Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Brit Tzedek v Shalom, and Hands of Peace. He is an activist for peace, social justice, and human rights, and he has travelled to the former Soviet Union,Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Iran as part of peace delegations. In 2009, he co-founded the Jewish Fast for Gaza, or Ta’anit Tzedek with Rabbi Brian Walt. Rosen is also an active environmentalist. Under his leadership, his synagogue, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, built their new building with an environmentally sustainable design in 2008, becoming the first house of worship to ever receive a Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. He was the recipient of Chicago Magazine‘s Green Award for his environmental leadership in 2009. In 2008, Rosen was named one of the Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis in America byNewsweek magazine. In 2009 he was awarded the Partner in Justice Award byAvodah: The Jewish Service Corps and he received the Inspiration for Hope Award by the American Friends Service Committee in 2010 for his social justice activism in the Middle East.Rosen is a native of Los Angeles, CA. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

*  Rosen: However, if I’m going to be fully honest, I must also be ready to admit that my decision to leave JRC is being motivated by both a push and a pull. I must also be ready to admit that for some years now I’ve been going down a path that has slowly been pulling me away from the congregational rabbinate and toward a rabbinate more directly defined by social justice activism.

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The above poem originally appeared on Rabbi Rosen’s Blog, SHALOM RAV

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Rabbi Brant Rosen, Personification of the Yiddish word, MENTCH*

Rabbi Brant Rosen, Personification of the Yiddish word, MENTCH*

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* Definition of MENTCH

WE SHALL NOT BE DE-CLIMATIZED (VIDEO)

Posted by  Dave Lippman

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We marched, and will march again, and then will lie down in front of the liars, and stand up to the climate-killing profiteers. And on we go, learning more about the science and how to drop it, and how to build movements. And here’s the lyric:

Chorus:
We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

Oil and coal destroy the earth
We shall not be moved
We’re gonna fight for all we’re worth
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

The 1% steals everything
We shall not be moved
Economic justice we will bring
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

They’re fracking here, they’re drilling there
We shall not be moved
To benefit some billionaire
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

Oil war hawks are swarming
We shall not be moved
Bringing global warming
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

Fossil fuel pollution
We shall not be moved
Clean energy solution
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the water,
We shall not be moved

WATCH HOW THE OCCUPATION TURNED AN AMERICAN TEEN INTO A PALESTINIAN ACTIVIST

Photo of Tariq provided by the Abukhdeir family

Photo of Tariq provided by the Abukhdeir family

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Until recently, Tariq Abu Khudair  was a ‘happy go lucky’ American teenager. Watch and listen to the following account as to how the brutality of the occupation changed his life…

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Transcript

Tariq Abukhdeir: Thank you for having me tonight. Good evening. I’m happy to be back in the US – safe – and when I went overseas I had a tough time.

And actually when I arrived in Palestine the Israelis kept me in the airport for ten hours. At that time I was confused so I thought about it a little bit. I thought about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. As we speak right now, the Palestinian people are suffering.

I visited Palestine for six weeks and what happened to me was just a small taste of what they go through every single day. And the Palestinians do not have rights and when I went over there I forgot that I had freedom. I wish, now that I’m back, that they have the same freedom I have. I appreciate freedom more now that I’m back in the US.

I’m just an average kid. I was born in Baltimore and I moved to Tampa when I was eleven. I’m fifteen and I’m in tenth grade right now – I started school already.

Now, about my cousin Muhammad Abu Khudair. He was my first friend that I made when I went to Palestine this year – because I hadn’t been to Palestine for eleven years. So right when I went there I saw him with all my cousins. We became friends on the spot. We went out every day – we had so much fun. We stayed up all night.

So one night during the month of Ramadan, I passed by him and I said “Hi” to him. I was on the way to the bakery to buy some food. I came by and I drove off and I came back and I saw the cops were exactly where he was sitting. And I asked – there was only one of my cousins that was there – and I asked him “What happened?”

He told me that they kidnapped Muhammad and that, right when he told me that, so many things went through my mind. I was thinking, is he going to come back alive, what are they going to do to him, is he saying anything, can anybody hear him?

So at that point I got a call, the same second that I was told that he was kidnapped – and it was my cousin and he said “What are you doing at 4:30 AM outside?”

And I’m like “Bro, Muhammad just got kidnapped.” So then all my cousins, all of Shuafat came down, and they were like, “Where is he? We need to know where he is right now.” And we were talking to the cops. And the cops asked me, “Were you the last person to see him?” And I said “Yes. All I saw – and he was just sitting there in front of his house and I drove off and I came back and I saw you guys.”

So later on, a couple of hours later, we found out that he was killed. I found out first and I didn’t want to tell anyone. I just sat by myself and my cousins were like, “Why are you sad? He’s going to be back. He’s going to come back. We have to be positive.”

And I’m telling them “I hope so. God’s will.” And I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “Is this true?” I don’t want to think about it in a bad way but did he really get stabbed and burned alive? Could that really happen? Could someone actually do that to another person? And I was scared for his life.

And then, he was stabbed and burned alive and finally everyone knew when they announced it in the mosque. And when they announced it in the mosque everyone just dropped. They were like, “Is it true? We don’t even know how someone could to that to someone else.”

And to even make it worse, they began to fire rubber-coated metal bullets at us, at everyone. They even were firing at my mother, at my aunts and uncles that were inside their houses. They were shooting at every house. And it was so sad and inhumane that they could do that when we lost someone in our family. We’re the ones – my mom is still grieving and my cousin’s mom, my aunt, is still grieving over her son’s death. When he was murdered we thought to ourselves that we tried our best to think he was going to come back, until we found out everything.

To make it worse, later that day, I was on the side of the street when there were some protestors in front of me and there were the IDF [Israeli army] firing rubber bullets at them. And that’s when I was on the side and I’m thinking to myself, “Is this really happening in front of me? Are they really firing rubber bullets to the whole city, to my family?

It made me think how could this happen right in front of me? And then I heard Israeli soldiers behind me, and then I’m thinking they’re going to run by me. They’re just going to shoot like the rest of the soldiers did. They began to run after me. That’s when I panicked. And everyone began to scream and panic too and then they ran. And I began to run too and I panicked because I didn’t know what to do. And that’s when they stuck to me. Three of them were running after me, one person.

And that’s when I jumped the fence on my left and I was at a dead end. It was not actually a dead end but there was like a little ten-foot drop in front of me which everyone jumped. I was going to jump it because I was scared and so many things were running through my mind. So when I was about to jump it, they tackled me and punched me and zip tied me. So I couldn’t make any movements.

I was zip-tied and leg-cuffed and beaten, punched and kicked in the face until I was unconscious. And even when I went unconscious they kept punching and kicking me like I was a punching bag. And I woke up blindfolded in jail. I woke up like I thought I was in the same place, I felt like I was in my cousin’s place, God rest his soul. I’m like, “Where am I? Are they going to kill me? Am I going to live through this?” And I’m bleeding down my neck, and I’m bleeding down every part of my body and I feel like my face is a bubble because of how much it hurt.

After being six hours in jail – they took me to jail – they finally took me to a doctor. And when I went to that doctor I went unconscious again and when I woke up I saw my dad and my uncle in front of me. They said “you might come back home with us tonight, or you might go to jail.”

I thought to myself “why would I go to jail? They beat me up!”

And later on I began to drink and eat and while I was drinking and eating the soldier came up to me to go get dressed. I’m going back to jail. And I’m like – I couldn’t say anything.

So I went to the bathroom and I changed back into my clothes, the same clothes – I was in a gown in the hospital. I had to change back into the same clothes that had all my blood on it, and my ripped shirt.

I went back to the jail and I saw all my cousins in jail and it was so sad. It’s inhumane like how you can just take a bunch of kids for no reason and beat them. I saw my one cousin sitting next to me and his whole shoulder is dislocated and his whole shoulder is bleeding. And I’m looking at myself like how, how is this happening to me? How’s it happening to all the Palestinians? How do they live through this?

I stayed in jail for four days. Actually on the second day I was in jail they said I went to a court date. I went to the court, sat in a jail cell inside the court. I didn’t even get to go to my court date. They just tortured us. They put us in a cell inside the court. Nine people in a closed cell and it was so small. We had to stand, we couldn’t sit down. For six hours we kept standing in that cell. We couldn’t do anything until one by one, [I] was called.

So that’s when I returned to jail. Two days later I had another court date. The same thing happened. I went to the jail cell, stayed there for a couple of hours and finally I got out and there was a bunch of media in front of me. I was getting a bunch of questions. Right when I walked into the courtroom I saw my parents. My face lit up. I was so happy. So many things running through my mind. I’m finally going home. I’m finally going home. I’ll think about everything when I’m going home.

Then the judge told me I’m going to be on house arrest. Usually when I think about house arrest I’m like, “house arrest, I don’t know what that is.” Until she told me that I’m not allowed to go back to my city where my parents are staying – you’re supposed to stay away from your family. Why should I stay away from my family? They’re like trying to torture me.

So they did all this with no charges. That’s what they do to all the Palestinian people – with no charges filed. So on the day I left Palestine they attacked all my cousins, the rest of them. They took half my cousins when I was there and then they took the rest when I left – the night I left.

They waited for me to leave and then they took my cousins, ransacked my house that I was staying in. They took my fifty-year-old uncle. He got back from work and they took him. He works every day from eleven in the morning to six in the morning the next day and they took him. He was so tired.

And I really want to thank everyone that supported me and it’s sad that my cousins are still being persecuted. And the three cousins that were arrested with me – their names are Karim, Muhammad and Mahmoud – they’re still in jail because they’re not American and they didn’t have a video that showed the brutality of the Israelis.

Now, I think all people should be treated equal, no matter who they are or where they come from. We were all created equal and we all deserve to have our rights and I feel my cousins should have the same rights that Israel gives the Israelis.

And giving Palestinians the same rights is a key to peace in the Middle East. I pray one day my cousins can feel safe to play outside and have fun. And I don’t want them to feel scared when they’re outside trying to play with their other cousins. It’s inhumane, I can’t explain it. It’s really sad. Thank you.

** Suha Abukhdeir**: Thank you. Good evening everyone. I want to thank the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation for having us here tonight. We’re honored to be here. My name is Suha Abukhdeir. I’m the mother of Tariq Abukhdeir.

I cannot begin to describe the pain of seeing my beloved son held in an Israeli prison without charges, denied medical care and suffering from a brutal beating given to him by the Israeli police.

When I first heard about the vicious beating he faced at the hands of the Israeli police and saw his bloody and swollen face and his unconscious body in the hospital, I feared for his life and I didn’t know if he was going to survive.

I could not bear to watch the video of his beating. What if he was screaming for help and I could not be there for him? When I arrived at the hospital, when I found out about him being in jail and then taken to the hospital, I found an Israeli policeman at the hospital door.

And I asked him if I can go in and see my son. He refused at first. After my husband had pleaded with him he finally allowed me but proceeding to say, “You cannot get near him, you cannot touch him and you cannot speak to him.”

So I proceeded to go to the hospital room and I looked over and all I could see is this helpless body laying there – he had a distorted face. I did not recognize him. I didn’t know if he was alive, what had happened exactly. So I told my husband, “Please, don’t leave him” – because he was handcuffed to the hospital bed.

I felt like since he was handcuffed to the hospital bed that the same people that brought him to the hospital could take him right back. So I was afraid.

The next morning, we got a call from the American consul Josh Wagner and he told us that he had made an appointment for all of us to go see Tariq in jail. I found out before [consular official] Josh Wagner called that they took Tariq back to jail and I couldn’t believe it.

I knew he was on antibiotics so the first thought I had was “Are they really going to give him his antibiotics? Are they really going to take care of him? Are they going to feed him?”

And especially after seeing the condition he was in, I couldn’t bear to think he was in a jail cell when he should have stayed in the hospital. So the next morning we went with Josh Wagner to the jailhouse. So when we proceeded and told the Israeli police that Josh Wagner had an appointment to see Tariq today. They said no one was going to see any prisoners and that was it and they closed the prison doors in our face.

Josh Wagner could not believe it. He told them, “I am not going to leave here until I see him because I made an appointment with you guys and I’m going to stay until I see him.

He proceeded to call the US embassy and the Israeli embassy back and forth for three hours until finally they agreed to let him in alone. So he got in – before he got in I told him, “Please Josh, can you just let me know of his condition. Ask him, is he eating, are they giving him his medications because the medications are in Hebrew and obviously he can’t read Hebrew.” These are the same people that beat him that now are caring for him.

I’m grateful to be back in America safe with my son but I know Palestinians go through what my son faced every day. Tariq was not able to grieve his cousin’s death or attend his cousin Muhammad’s funeral as a result of the beating Israeli police had given him that same day his cousin was brutally murdered by the Israeli extremists.

Instead of the police protecting us they taunted us, telling us that Muhammad was just the first to be killed and that 300 Palestinians would be killed for the three teenagers who were killed.

My son and family have been very traumatized by this whole experience. Our cousins are still in jail and the only reason Tariq is out is because he is an American citizen and his beating was caught on tape.

While some of the Israeli officials tried to justify the vicious beating my son received by smearing his name, my son has never been charged with any crime. Nothing, nothing can justify restraining the hands of a fifteen-year-old child and beating him unconscious. Although as Americans we enjoy great freedom in America, in Jerusalem we felt worse than second-class citizens because the Israeli government treated us differently because we had a different religion and ethnicity.

Like my Palestinian cousins I felt that my family had no rights. My son was viciously attacked while in custody. He was in jail for four days. We were forced to pay a $1,000 bond and my son faced nine days of house arrest away from his family – although he committed no crime and faced no charges.

When we left to America, Israeli police raided the family home where we were staying and arrested the males there. They’re still being held today without any charges. The Israeli police involved in the beating of my son must be held accountable so that no other mother must go through the pain that I went through.

My son still suffers from body aches and pains and headaches, not to mention the emotional trauma he must now struggle through. I just pray that America and the world can have the same sympathy for the countless children who are wrongfully arrested or even killed by Israel who do not carry a US passport like my son Tariq.

None of this would have happened if the Israeli government valued the life of my son Tariq and other Palestinian Muslim and Christian children in the same way they value the lives of Israeli children. Thank you.

 

More HERE

IN PHOTOS ~~ CLIMATE CHANGE; PUTTING THE BLAME ON WALL STREET

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Monday, the day after the big climate march, was the day that climate activists chose to have a demonstration, including acts of civil disobedience, against Wall Street.  The people were demonstrating there with full understanding that unregulated, rapacious capitalism was the cause of the destruction of the earth and Wall Street is the epicenter of these destructive corporations.  The action was named, FLOOD WALL ST.  The plan was to meet at Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, wear blue (representing water), walk to Wall St. and have a massive sit-in there.  On the bus going down Broadway we could see very many police on the streets in the area, particularly on Wall St., they were clearly prepared for an invasion.  

When we reached Battery Park, beautiful under sunny skies with a bit of fall chill in the air, we found well over 1,000 people there carrying signs and banners, singing, playing musical instruments and yes, wearing blue, except for those in polar bear or mermaid costumes.  Spirits were high but the mood was also serious, ‘we aren’t going to let anyone destroy our home’.  All the signs and chants spoke of capitalism as the enemy.  The crowd had people of all ages and races, including Native Americans.  At noon they started walking towards Wall St. along Broadway which is very narrow at it’s southern end.  When they reached Wall St. they stopped without turning onto it.  The entire street was filled with demonstrators and the area was brought to a stand-still.  Tourist buses were stuck and the people onboard applauded the demonstrators and waved to them.  Eventually a path was cleared for them to pass out of the area.  Many people sat down and sang.  Some made speeches.  One young man climbed to the top of a telephone booth and when the police asked him to get down he said he was doing civil disobedience up there.  He was a Wobbly, a member of the International Workers of the World, and described the beautiful kind of world he wanted to  live in.  At one point a balloon burst and many people put their hands up and started chanting, “Don’t shoot.  It was just a balloon”. 

The police gathered around the Bull representing Wall St. that stands at Bowling Green, guarding it as if it was made of gold.  Many of them were congenial and talking to the demonstrators, some joking and laughing.  In contrast to them were the officers wearing white shirts, the supervisors, who were clearly not amused.  They conferred a lot and spoke on phones.  By the time we left in the mid-afternoon there was barely a cop in sight and many demonstrators had left with the exception of 100+ sitting on the ground in the middle of Broadway.  We hoped the NYPD, instructed by New York’s new liberal mayor, would just wait it out. But that was not to be.  We later learned that at about 8PM those sitting-in were all arrested. 

The demonstration was somewhat different from the big climate march the day before.  These folks knew exactly who was guilty of creating global warming and, in a sense, were stating upfront, we aren’t going to let you get murder our children and grandchildren,  we will fight you with all our strength which will continue to grow.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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Chris Hedges was there .... His report can be read HERE

Chris Hedges was there …. His report can be read HERE

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The threat of Arctic melting

The threat of Arctic melting

PHOTOS OF NEW YORK IN ACTION TO SAVE THE PLANET ~~ ‘THERE IS NO PLANET B’

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets on Sunday in what was billed as a People’s Climate March. Police estimated there were 600,000 marchers present, many more than the 100,000 which was expected.

Related report below

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Related Report FROM

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Climate March Shatters Record

By Andrew Restuccia

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l Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined a larger-than-expected throng of activists, scientists, students and elected officials who took to New York City’s streets Sunday for a massive march meant to sound the alarm about climate change.

Organizers initially estimated that the march had drawn 310,000 people, then raised that estimate to nearly 400,000 — far exceeding their projections of 100,000 attendees and making the procession through midtown Manhattan by far the largest climate-related protest in history. New York police did not offer their own crowd count.

Participants waved flags, pounded on drums and carried signs that said “No More Climate Change” and “Climate Action Now,” while police blocked traffic along Central Park West from 59th Street to 86th Street.

The scene turned a bit chaotic when Gore, Moon, scientist Jane Goodall and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the march around 12:45 p.m., with police, security officers and arms-linked volunteers holding back the crowd while photographers clicked away. After a moment of silence, the crowd erupted in cheers.

Others taking part in Sunday’s protest included Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) as well as former Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

Participants said they were trying to send a message to elected officials that tackling climate change, an issue that has often taken a back seat in Washington, should be a top priority.

“It shows we have power,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “It’s a diverse coalition. It’s broad and it’s growing in strength and it’s growing in diversity. And it’s increasingly impatient at the rate of progress.”

But it wasn’t making an immediate splash on national TV — “Meet the Press” didn’t mention the march, while CNN, Fox and MSNBC were focusing on issues like the NFL, the fight against ISIL, Friday’s White House intruder and the November elections.

The march comes just two days before more than 120 world leaders and other high-ranking officials, including President Barack Obama, are slated to descend on New York City for a United Nations climate change summit. Countries are working toward reaching an international climate change accord at the end of 2015 that would go into effect in 2020.

De Blasio said he hoped this week’s events would mark a “turning point moment” for the climate cause, but conceded that that’s far from certain.

“Summits sometimes spark great change — rallies, protests sometimes spark great change. Sometimes they don’t,” de Blasio said. He added, “My sense is that the energy you’re seeing on the streets, the numbers that have amassed here and in other cities around the world suggest something bigger is going on.”

The march was organized by more than 1,500 groups and spearheaded by 350.org, the same upstart climate activist group that has turned the proposed Keystone XL pipeline into a political quagmire for President Barack Obama. Activists mounted a massive effort to spread the word and attract the public, distributed more than 1 million flyers around New York City and chartered nearly 500 buses to bring people from around the country.

Organizers said they held more than 2,000 climate-focused events in 162 countries, and Twitter’s feeds on Sunday included photos from marches in cities like London, Berlin, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Melbourne, Australia. The Associated Press said 40,000 people attended the London protest, including musician Peter Gabriel and actress Emma Thompson.

But the New York City march was the centerpiece.

Mary Francis, carrying a sign proclaiming herself an “angry granny,” said she came to the march from Oklahoma.

“This is a problem that my generation has created,” said Francis, 72. “My parents didn’t know about this problem. But my generation knows and we have to do what we can to fix what we can.”

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer called the protest “a message to our dysfunctional federal government that we’re not going to be pushed out of our planet.”

While several polls have painted climate change as a marginal priority for most voters, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer predicted Sunday that the mass demonstration will show that it’s “a first-tier political issue, that the ability to sweep this under the rug is over.”

And Obama is one person surely paying attention, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said before the march kicked off.

“You don’t get to be president of the United States by ignoring huge outpourings of public sentiment,” McKibben said.

 

#FloodWallStreet … SAVE THE WORLD!

(Image Courtesy of Flood Wall Street)

(Image Courtesy of Flood Wall Street)

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What does climate change have to do with capitalism? According to “Flood Wall Street” organizers, who are part of a mass people’s response to the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, the answer is simple: Everything.

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Aiming at Roots of Climate Chaos,

‘Flood Wall Street’ Targets Capitalism

Itself

Ahead of UN summit, organizers of direct action say the planetary crisis of global warming ‘is a result of an economic system that is based on endless extraction, endless growth, and ceaseless exploitation of the earth and people.’

by Sarah Lazare, staff writer for
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What does climate change have to do with capitalism? According to “Flood Wall Street” organizers, who are part of a mass people’s response to the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, the answer is simple: Everything.

To illustrate this, thousands of people on Monday, September 22 will bring the climate crisis to the doorsteps of the financial institutions underpinning the capitalist economic system by “flooding” New York’s Wall Street district with a mass sit-in of people donning blue and bearing a 300-foot banner that reads “Capitalism = Climate Chaos. Flood Wall Street.”

Organizers of the protest told Common Dreams that 400 people from across the country have already committed to risking arrest in the direct action and they expect that number to grow. Many more, they say, will attend the protest as supporters of the civil disobedience. “It’s going to be a sea of blue evocative of Hurricane Sandy that’s going to flood the financial district,” organizer Michael Premo told Common Dreams.

This action is targeting capitalism itself because “the climate crisis fundamentally is a result of an economic system that is based on endless extraction, endless growth, and ceaseless exploitation of the earth and people,” explained Premo. “A lot of the small incremental changes that have been touted over the last decade as addressing the situation are just band-aids. If there is any hope of building  a more ecologically sustainable and socially equitable economy, we have to start at the root.”

Monday’s direct action will kick off with a 9:00 am demonstration in Battery Park, which will include music from New York City radical marching band the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, to be followed by speakers including Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and leaders from the Climate Justice Alliance. Protesters will then march to the New York Stock Exchange, where the direct action will take place at noon. The organizers of the protest do not hail from a single group but constitute a network of “Occupy Wall Street veterans, student divestment activists, housing activists, artists and more,” according to a press statement.

The protest is a response to a recent call to action from Climate Justice Alliance, a global coalition of indigenous peoples, people of color, and poor and working class communities bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. “From Mesa to Mountaintop, from Hood to Holler—join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy,” reads the statement from the group.

“We are flooding Wall Street to stop its financing of planetary destruction, and make way for living economies that benefit people and planet,” said Michael Leon Guerrero of the Climate Justice Alliance. “Communities that are first and most impacted by storms, floods and droughts are also on the frontlines of fighting the dig, burn, dump economy causing climate change.”

But these communities are not invited to the UN summit of government representatives, corporations, financial institutions, and select civil society organizations that will take place at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 23rd. Last week a global coalition of social movement organizations, including La Via Campesina and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, slammed the “corporate takeover” and “false promises” of the meeting.

Grassroots creative actions and events will take place outside UN meeting’s closed doors. Flood Wall Street will come the day after the People’s Climate March, which is expected to bring out historic numbers. A People’s Climate Justice Summit is one of many activities planned as part of a week of action in New York. While a multitude of organizations, bringing a vast array of political visions, will participate in the week of actions, Flood Wall Street organizers say groups and people among them are seeking to push the conversation towards a critique of capitalism. Meanwhile, people across the world, from Mexico to Egypt to South Africa, plan simultaneous demonstrations and actions.

“The world is at stake,” said Vida James, a social worker and one of the many organizers behind Flood Wall Street, in an interview with Common Dreams. “This action is part of a larger global community that is taking direct action against climate change. We are part of a tapestry of communities all over the world fighting for change, risking arrest and security.”

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Take the Pledge (Click HERE)

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Pledge to #FloodWallStreet

Join the flood on September 22 starting at 9 am. The economy of the 1% is destroying the planet, flooding our homes, and wrecking our communities. After the People’s Climate March, wearing blue, we will bring the crisis to its cause with a mass sit-in at the heart of capital.

Yes! I will #FloodWallStreet

I will join the sea of bodies disrupting business as usual (and risk arrest).
I will support those participating in the sit-in.

SALAITA BREAKS THE SILENCE ON HIS SILENCING

Steven Salaita broke his silence today for the first time since administrators at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) fired him from a tenured position in the American Indian Studies program more than a month ago.

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Breaking silence, Salaita calls on Univ.

of Illinois to rescind his firing over

Gaza tweets

‘THOSE DANCING ISRAELIS’ AT GAZA GROUND ZERO

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The Palestinian cause is one of the most just causes in history. What we need o do is change ourselves first and move towards more actions.

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Gaza Ground Zero

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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According to the United Nations, the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, in its latest assault on the people of Gaza, the occupation forces killed 2170 and injured 10900 human beings (about 80% of them civilians, >519 children killed, 2114 children injured).

Israel was using the media distraction it created with slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza (while shouting “hamas, hamas”) to hide the intensification of its ethnic cleansing policies in the occupied West Bank. For example, Israel announced one of the largest expropriation ordesr of Palestinian lands to expand its illegal Gush Etzion complex of colonies. 3799 dunums of land (1000 acres) are to be taken from the villagers of Husan, Nahhalin, and Wadi Fukin.

The latest “ceasefire” arrangement between the resistance factions and Israel are closer to resistance demands than Israeli demands. A majority of Israeli citizens supported the genocide in Gaza and they wanted even more mayhem. Polls also reveal that many do not buy their government propaganda that the Israeli military won. But in wars there are no winners but only losers and worse losers. Gaza was devastated because the Israeli military was unable to find or attack resistance forces and vented its frustration on civilians. But politicians have a ways of twisting things to their advantage. Even Mahmoud Abbas joined the fray to adopt the Israeli myth that the ceasefire agreed to in the end was the same as the ceasefire offered in the beginning. But Israel has just violated the cease fire by attacking fisherman off the coast of Gaza. Alas, we are in for a long struggle and I urge people to intensify the BDS movement against the apartheid regime of Israel. I get interviewed a lot and speak to visiting internationals regularly. The Palestinian cause is one of the most just causes in history. What we need o do is change ourselves first and move towards more actions (especially by us Palestinians but also by global activists).

Drones have been flying over Bethlehem in the past few days. A prelude to Gazafication of our ghetto? Drones are a core part of Israel’s military occupation and ethnic cleansing strategy. Londoners have been doing great actions including taking over the roof of a British drone supplier.

Australian copycat action, also targeting Elbit: Palestine protesters occupy roof of Port Melbourne factory

For more actions from the London group

Powerful virtual tour of Gaza ground zero. (click to go through panoramic views from different locations)

“Civil resistance and conflict transformation: Transitions from armed to nonviolent struggle“ has just been released! I have a chapter in it on Palestine struggle (colonial anti-colonial and tactics of the resistance)

ARIJ reports and maps (in Arabic and Hebrew) of the recent orders affecting villagers (Nahhalin, Husan, Wadi Fukin, AlKhader)

A Common Dreams investigation has discovered thousands of anti-Semitic comments over the past two years were posted by proxies who support Israel. One included posting comments by a screen name, “JewishProgressive,” whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that HE had written under many other screen names. One proxy commentator posted inflammatory comments under sixty names and a host of identities/ Black, White and Jewish!!!

Scholars at Risk Network: Occupation attack on Palestinian Universities (another reason to boycott)

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