‘KOSHER LUST’ AND RABBINICAL CENSORSHIP

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Last night Columbia University staged a debate about the conflict at which I was repeatedly stopped from videotaping by the organizer, Shmuley Boteach, the rightwing rabbi and self-promoter (who used the debate to push his book about sex in marriage, Kosher Lust).

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Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate

TURKEY GOING ALL THE WAY TO DESTROY FREEDOM

Image ‘CopyLeft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Turkey defends YouTube ban

After company refused to take down problematic recordings, Turkish FM defends move to block service, citing need to defend national security.

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Full AP Report HERE

 

CONFESSIONS OF A TYRANT

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Words of the ‘Sultan’ who never lies ….

“I cannot understand how sensible people still defend Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. They run all kinds of lies.”

Erdogan Defends Twitter Ban

Turkey’s Prime Minister confirms he gave the orders to shut down Twitter, claims the site was breaking Turkey’s laws.
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Turkey’s Prime Minister confirmed on Sunday that he was the one who gave theorders to shut down Twitter in the country, reports The Associated Press (AP).

Speaking at a campaign event in Istanbul ahead of March 30 municipal elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had given the order because Twitter was not obeying Turkey’s laws.

Previously, the Turkish government said that the telecommunications authority had blocked Twitter on court orders. However, the move came shortly after Erdogan threatened to “rip out the roots” of the website.

Erdogan said Twitter was applying double standards, shutting down accounts when the U.S. or the U.K demand it, but defending freedom when Turkey, Ukraine or Egypt have concerns.

“This isn’t a banana republic!” he declared, according to AP.

At the same rally, Erdogan launched a blistering attack on social media websites, according to the AFP news agency.

“I cannot understand how sensible people still defend Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. They run all kinds of lies,” he declared.

“Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have to respect the Turkish republic’s laws,” he added.

Just two weeks ago, Erdogan threatened that his government could ban websites such as YouTube and Facebook after a raft of online leaks added momentum to a spiraling corruption scandal.

Recordings that were leaked include an apparent discussion between Erdogan and his son about hiding money, as well as others in which he appears to be interfering in business deals, court cases and media coverage.

Some of the most damaging information has come from a Twitter accountunder the name Haramzadeler (“Sons of Thieves”), which appears to have access to a huge trove of secret documents and police wiretaps linked to the investigation. Erdogan has dismissed most of the recordings as “vile” fakes concocted by his rivals.

“If the U.S. president’s phone recordings go online, will Twitter, YouTube and Facebook say it is freedom?” he said Sunday, according to AFP.

Erdogan, who has been in power for 11 years, said he was obliged to act to counter “any attack threatening my country’s security.”

“If Twitter acts honestly, we are ready to support it. If YouTube acts honestly, we are ready to give every support. If Facebook gives up immoralities… it will receive support,” he added.

Many Turkish Twitter users were able to get on the site despite the ban, using the Google DNS service. However, on Saturday it was reported that Turkey had banned that service as well.

Turkey’s ban of Twitter was met with harsh criticism by the United States on Friday, with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying the order to prevent Turks from accessing the site was “contrary to Turkey’s own expressed desire to be a model of democracy.”

The White House also condemned the ban, with spokesman Jay Carney telling reporters, “The United States is deeply concerned that the Turkish government has blocked its citizens access to basic communication tools.”

 

Source

TIMELY TOONS — KILLING TWITTER WAS A DUMB MOVE IN TURKEY

Images ‘Copyleft’ By Carlos Latuff

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Yesterday’s Image

Related Post

THE VIDEO AIPAC IS TRYING TO HIDE FROM YOU

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Isn’t it bad enough that AIPAC controls Congress? Now they want to control YouTube as well …

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Is AIPAC trying to stop you from seeing this video?

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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YouTube shut down the account that posted the original video. A new copy of the video should has appeared online and is viewable above. CODEPINK tweeted the new instance of the video:

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See Tweets at SOURCE

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Original post

The anti-war campaign group CODEPINK says the powerful Israel lobby organizationAIPAC is threatening to sue it over this video clip, a satirical version of an AIPAC policy conference promotional video.

“On 25 February, an AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] member called a CODEPINK staffer threatening legal action in response to a controversial video clip that he alleges was made by the peace group CODEPINK,” a CODEPINK press release states.

The video features real footage from AIPAC conferences interspersed with images of Israeli abuses of Palestinian rights, and voiceovers from supposed conference-goers.

One of the voices says “It’s exciting to see so many people together who understand that sometimes you have to violate other people’s human rights if you want to take their land.”

CODEPINK does not say if it made the video but the group’s co-founder Medea Benjamin commented:

It is absurd for AIPAC to threaten legal action over such an obviously satirical video. It is interesting that they are reacting so strongly to the clip, though. Perhaps it’s because the content is really an accurate reflection of AIPAC’s dangerous foreign policies. AIPAC does, in fact, advocate for bombing countries such as Iran and Syria; it fails to condemn Israel’s continued building of settlements and its human rights abuses against Palestinians; and it lobbies Congress to send billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel to continue the occupation of Palestine. … What are they trying to hide by silencing this video?”

CODEPINK spearheads annual protests at AIPAC’s policy conference. The Electronic Intifada sent an inquiry to AIPAC’s media office and this post will be updated if a response is received.

WHAT THE NEW YORK TIMES DIDN’T SEE ‘FIT TO PRINT’

Not fit to print

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Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blementhal, helps us to understand why.

Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it.

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Watch the video on Israeli racism The New York Times didn’t want you to see

 Ali Abunimah
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Regular readers of The Electronic Intifada are familiar with the shocking and escalating racism in Israel against people from countries in Africa.

Our extensive coverage of the incitement and attacks on Africans, thanks in large part to the work of David Sheen, demonstrates that this phenomenon is not marginal, but is incited by Israel’s top political leadership.

When Israeli government ministers incite angry mobs, calling Africans “cancer,” they are simply expressing another face of the racism that Palestinians have always experienced.

Solicited, then rejected by The New York Times

Yet rarely does this knowledge make it into mainstream media.

The example of the video above, Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blumenthal, helps us to understand why.

Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it:

I was asked to submit something by The New York Times op docs, a new section on the website that published short video documentaries. I am known for short video documentaries about the right wing in the US, and extremism in Israel. They solicited a video from me, and when I didn’t produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it. So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.

We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv, and interviews with human rights activists. I thought it was a well-done documentary about a situation very few Americans were familiar with. We included analysis. We tailored it to their style, and of course it was rejected without an explanation after being solicited. I sent it to some other major websites and they have not even responded to me, when they had often solicited articles from me in the past.

Eventually, The Nation – which has also typically been quite timid in airing criticism of Israel – agreed to publish it.

While some of the footage in the video has already appeared on The Electronic Intifada, Sheen’s commentary is a good primer for those unfamiliar with the topic.

There is also a previously unseen interview with Michael Ben-Ari, one of Israel’s most notorious anti-African racists and a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Ben-Ari also has a long history of inciting racism and hatred against Palestinians andChristians.

In the same Consortium News interview Blumenthal, author of the bestselling and widely promoted 2009 book Republican Gomorrah, also spoke about the difficulty he has had getting any mainstream media attention for his new book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

Just like this video, Blumenthal’s new book offers an unflinching look at the racist reality of Israel that America’s establishment media simply does not have the guts to confront.

Written FOR

ALICE WALKER PAYS THE PRICE FOR DARING TO SPEAK THE TRUTH

In recent years, Walker has become increasingly outspoken in her support of Palestinian rights, sometimes likening Israel’s abuses to the Jim Crow racist system she grew up with in the southern United States.
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Alice Walker disinvited from University of Michigan over ‘Israel comments’

 Ali Abunimah 
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Alice Walker speaks in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

 (Lazar Simeonov /TEDxRamallah)

*World-renowned American author Alice Walker has been disinvited from giving a speech at the University of Michigan because a donor objects to her views on Israel, the agent negotiating the contract was told.

Walker, the Pultizer Prize winning author of The Color Purpleposted on her blog an excerpt of a letter from the agent informing her that the invitation to keynote the 50th anniversary celebration of the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan had been withdrawn.

The agent wrote:

I’m saddened to write this because I’m a proponent of free speech and have been brought up to allow everyone to have their say. But I also realize that there are other considerations that institutions are faced with. This afternoon I was contacted by the University of Michigan instructing me to withdraw their invitation due to the removal of funding from the donors, because of their interpretation of Ms. Walker’s comments regarding Israel. They are not willing to fund this program and the university/Women’s center do not have the resources to finance this on their own. They are deeply regretful but I wanted to let you know immediately either way. I hope you can appreciate the fact that I’m uncomfortable even having to send this email in the first place. Hopefully we can work together again down the road. Thanks for understanding. I wish things had turned out differently.

Calling the withdrawn invitation “Censorship by Purse String,” Walker wrote, “Such behavior, as evidenced by the donors, teaches us our weakness, which should eventually (and soon) show us our strength: women must be in control of our own finances. Not just in the family, but in the schools, work force, and everywhere else. Until we control this part of our lives, our very choices, in any and every area, can be denied us.”

Walker is listed as one of the speakers represented by the American Program Bureau agency.

Alice Walker not “optimum choice”

Gloria D. Thomas, director of the Center for the Education of Women, acknowledged that Walker had been disinvited, but said that the matter was a “misunderstanding.” In an email to The Electronic Intifada, Thomas wrote:

The [Walker’s] blog was a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding. As director of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW), I decided to withdraw our invitation because I didn’t think Ms. Walker would be our optimum choice for our 50th anniversary. 

Our 50th anniversary funding is assured. All donations, for this and other events, are accepted with no provisos or prohibitions regarding free speech. In fact, in a conversation with one of Ms. Walker’s friends/representatives, I indicated that I would be willing to speak with other units around campus to serve as a possible co-sponsor for a lecture by Ms. Walker in the near future.

Asked if a speaker had been chosen to replace Walker, Thomas wrote, “No contract has been signed yet. This information will be made available on our website once the contract is confirmed.”

Walker: supporter of Palestinian rights

In recent years, Walker has become increasingly outspoken in her support of Palestinian rights, sometimes likening Israel’s abuses to the Jim Crow racist system she grew up with in the southern United States.

Walker has written about her visit to Gaza, and participated in the June 2011 solidarity flotilla that attempted to reach the territory besieged by Israel, which led to her beingdemonized by the Israeli army.

Her position on boycott has also been deliberately distorted by Israeli media.

Walker has campaigned for other artists, most recently Alicia Keys, to respect the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

In her letter to Keys, Walker wrote:

I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own.

Could Walker, one of the most celebrated figures in American letters, now be paying the price of refusing to be silent about Palestine?

 

 

Written FOR

AL JAZEERA; UNCENSORING THE CENSORS

Just two days ago THIS was posted regarding Al Jazeera caving to zionist pressure and censoring an article written by a noted Columbia University professor. Today, we are pleased to report that the decision has been reversed.
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Ehab Al Shihabi (right), with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has promoted himself as the public face of Al Jazeera America. (Source: Al Jazeera America)

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  • Al Jazeera restores Massad’s article and denies political pressure.
  • Massad expresses disappointment in network’s actions.*

Al Jazeera roiled by US manager’s decision to censor Joseph Massad article

 by Ali Abunimah 
  • Al Jazeera restores Massad’s article and denies political pressure.
  • Massad expresses disappointment in network’s actions.
  • The Electronic Intifada reveals the political and commercial fears that motivated top manager Ehab Al Shihabi’s move to remove article.
  • Azmi Bishara condemns “cowardly” decision.

Days after a top Al Jazeera executive ordered the removal of an op-ed critical of Zionism by Joseph Massad, the article was today restored to the network’s English-language website.

Imad Musa, the head of Al Jazeera English Online, also posted a statement on the Editor’s Blog denying that Al Jazeera had “succumbed to various pressures, and censored its own pages” when it removed the article.

The about-face follows a growing uproar inside and outside Al Jazeera over the article’s removal, amid fears for editorial independence and freedom of speech as the Qatar-based network prepares to launch Al Jazeera America.

Musa’s statement claims that “After publication, many questions arose about the article’s content. In addition, the article was deemed to be similar in argument to Massad’s previous column, ‘Zionism, anti-Semitism and colonialism,’ published on these pages in December.”

However, Musa acknowledges that “We should have handled this better, and we have learned lessons that will enable us to maintain the highest standards of journalistic integrity.”

Massad “heartened” by reaction

Massad, who has written for the Al Jazeera English website for two years, welcomed the restoration of his article, but expressed disappointment in Al Jazeera’s statement in a response sent to The Electronic Intifada:

I am heartened to know that there has been a huge and widespread upheaval among Al Jazeera journalists and staffers against this arbitrary decision, which flew in the face of professional journalistic standards and the freedom of expression. Their opposition along with the reaction and outrage expressed by the general public internationally in the last two days clearly tipped the balance against the peremptory power of the profit-seeking executives and has put the latter on notice.

While the restoration of my article is a triumph against the political commissars of Al Jazeera, the statement that Al Jazeera issued, which contained no apology, falls short of being a triumph for all those who insist on maintaining Al Jazeera’s independence and critical edge from American media restrictions. I am saddened that their principled stance has yet to fully triumph in this important fight.

Political decision made by “higher ups”

Massad rejected Al Jazeera’s claim that the article had been removed due to its similarity to a previous article, and said he had been given the same line by Imad Musa, who telephoned Massad from Doha last night.

“I quickly disabused him of it, explaining that while ‘The Last of the Semites’ was related to the article I published last December,” Massad wrote, “it was a different article altogether and had a different frame and a different set of arguments and facts.”

Massad said the excuse was “a damage control move that refuses to take responsibility for Al Jazeera’s submission to American Zionist dictates.”

Massad recounts his conversation with Musa:

I explained that since he was the new Head of Al Jazeera Online (he told me that he had been appointed in this new position ten days ago), he could restore the article and issue the apology immediately and not have to wait till the next day. He explained that the matter was “more complicated than that.” I retorted: “Are you or are you not the Head of Al Jazeera Online?” He murmured embarrassingly that the matter was not in his hands. I responded by reaffirming to him that indeed it was not and that the matter was not up to him but to the higher ups who made the decision for political reasons.

Musa did not respond to an email from The Electronic Intifada requesting comment.

The debacle unfolds

Speaking with multiple sources over the course of several days, The Electronic Intifada has been able to piece together and corroborate key elements of what happened and these inquiries confirm that politics and commercial interests were indeed at play.

As Massad explained in a statement in Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar, he filed “The Last of the Semites” after a request from his editor to submit a piece for Nakba Day – the annual 15 May commemoration of Israel’s ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine.

Massad’s article, based on a lecture he gave in Stuttgart, Germany on 10 May, was published on 14 May. The entire conference, including Massad’s speech, was carried on the network’s live channel Al Jazeera Mubasher. Mhamed Krichen, one of Al Jazeera’s star anchors, participated on two panels at the conference, including one with Massad.

But in the days after Massad’s article appeared, as The Electronic Intifada previously reported, there was a more than usually intense outcry from high-profile Zionist commentators including The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who grossly distorted Massad’s article and escalated their defamation and slurs against him.

Suddenly, on 19 May, the article disappeared from Al Jazeera’s main English website, and hours later from its mobile site. What happened?

Fear that op-ed would hurt Al Jazeera America launch

The person who got spooked by the volume of criticism was Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director for international operations of Al Jazeera America, and the man in charge of launching the network’s high-profile, high-risk US venture.

Al Shihabi, a Palestinian American, demanded that the article be taken down, and, by several accounts, management in Doha acquiesced.

A career management consultant with no journalistic background and no formal editorial role, Al Shihabi’s intervention was unusual to say the least. But Al Shihabi’s power in the company has grown tremendously in recent years, along with criticism that he is accountable to no one.

Massad wrote in Al-Akhbar that when he saw that his article had been removed, he called one of the two editors with whom he normally works.

That editor was also initially unaware that the article had been removed, and when he got back to Massad after looking into it, could only confirm that it had been “pulled by management.”

Al Shihabi did not respond to an email from The Electronic Intifada requesting comment.

Political repurcussions

Al Shihabi’s reason for wanting Massad silenced was fear of the political repurcussions for Al Jazeera America.

He conveyed his concerns that the intensified criticism could jeopardize his efforts to launch the channel including winning cable distribution deals needed to get the channel into American living rooms.

It will be the voice of Main Street,” Al Shihabi recently said of the nascent US-based Al Jazeera offshoot.

Clearly, in Al Shihabi’s eyes, Massad’s searing, well-researched criticism of Zionism was not going to fly in the American mainstream.

Al Shihabi has positioned himself as the face of Al Jazeera America, barnstorming US campuses and other locations, often promoting pictures of himself on the company blog.

Yet, the huge embarrassment Al Shihabi’s intervention to remove Massad’s article has caused the network suggests a serious lack of judgment.

Breaking into American market

Al Shihabi certainly knew that Al Jazeera, which has cleverly used the Internet to reach primary audiences, has had a hard time getting its English-language channels carried by US cable distributors.

It has often faced politically-motivated and racist opposition and accusations that the channel promotes “terrorism” because of its Arab and Qatari background and willingness to air viewpoints routinely suppressed in mainstream American media.

In January, Al Jazeera bought Current TV, a cable network founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, which instantly enabled it to expand its reach to 40 million American homes from just 4.7 million before the deal.

Soon after, the deal was criticized by former long-time Washington Post media commentator and CNN host Howard Kurtz, who also pointed out that the network has been called “anti-American” and a “fount” of “anti-Israel propaganda.”

The vast majority of the criticism of Al Jazeera’s US expansion plans has indeed come from extreme Islamophobic and pro-Israel sources.

Just weeks ago, The New York Post reported that Al Jazeera was in talks to buy more cable networks – a move that is likely only to generate more opposition.

Perhaps hoping to head off such resistance, Ehab Al Shihabi, an intensely political operator, has sought to cozy up to key players in the US establishment, such as his recent,high-profile meeting with influential Democratic Party power-broker and Chicago MayorRahm Emanuel. Emanuel, President Obama’s first White House chief of staff, has been, as the son of a member of the Zionist terrorist gang, the Irgun, a hardline supporter of Israel.

Breakdown of editorial control

Clearly, the normal editorial controls had been circumvented in order for Massad’s article to be removed. The breakdown in accountability demonstrated by this incident has caused soul-searching among Al Jazeera staffers.

Several journalists on several continents spoke of a widespread sense that the blunder damaged the reputation of the whole network, especially in light of persistent criticism that Al Jazeera’s legendary independence, particularly of its Arabic channel, has been sacrificed to the interests of Qatar’s foreign policy.

Al Shihabi, an unaccountable senior manager, ordering the deletion of an article without telling either the author or the editors who commissioned it, seemed to confirm the worst expectations.

“Cowardly” decision

Azmi Bishara, the Palestinian political leader and academic and one of Al Jazeera’s most prominent commentators, forcefully condemned the network’s action as “cowardly and opportunistic.”

In a statement on his Facebook page hours before Massad’s article was restored, Bishara said that the deletion of Massad’s article followed false accusations of anti-Semitism by “Zionist” and “racist” individuals.

Relating the move to the planned launch of Al Jazeera America, Bishara added, “If the price of Al Jazeera’s entry into the United States means its submission to Zionist dictates, then this means that America will be moving into Al Jazeera and not the reverse.”

Given that even Massad’s university, Columbia, had eventually stood up to similar false and disproven accusations and campaigns, Bishara noted that Al Jazeera had been “even less vigilant than Columbia in defending the rights of an Arab professor to express his opinion. Shame on you.”

Massad echoed this theme in his statement, noting that “the attempt to censor my article is the price that Al Jazeera, or at least Ehab Al Shihabi and other upper management executives, are willing to pay in order to enter the US media market.”

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald added his own searing indictment of the network earlier today:

No media outlet can possibly do something like this without publicly accounting for what happened and expect to retain credibility. How can you demand transparency and accountability from others when you refuse to provide any yourself? Refusing to comment on secret actions of this significance is the province of corrupt politicians, not journalists. It’s behavior that journalists should be condemning, not emulating.

Restoring credibility?

What Bishara has said publicly, many present and former Al Jazeera staffers have been saying privately. Yet many Al Jazeera journalists are determined to retain the respect that the network has enjoyed for being willing to take on stories and offer voices – especially on Palestine – that no other network of its size would touch.

The restoration of Massad’s article, they must hope, will be a first step towards regaining Al Jazeera’s reputation as a place where free discussion of Palestine, Zionism and Israel are still permitted, even if it doesn’t always sell on Main Street. But there’s no doubt the damage has been great.

Joseph Massad’s statement in full

I am heartened to know that there has been a huge and widespread upheaval among Al Jazeera journalists and staffers against this arbitrary decision, which flew in the face of professional journalistic standards and the freedom of expression. Their opposition along with the reaction and outrage expressed by the general public internationally in the last two days clearly tipped the balance against the peremptory power of the profit-seeking executives and has put the latter on notice.

While the restoration of my article is a triumph against the political commissars of Al Jazeera, the statement that Al Jazeera issued, which contained no apology, falls short of being a triumph for all those who insist on maintaining Al Jazeera’s independence and critical edge from American media restrictions. I am saddened that their principled stance has yet to fully triumph in this important fight.

It seems to me that the attempt to censor my article is the price that Al Jazeera, or at least Ehab Al Shihabi and other upper management executives, are willing to pay in order to enter the US media market. This means that Al Shihabi and other executives at Al Jazeera see no problem in sacrificing Al Jazeera’s freedom of expression and subjecting it to the severe restrictions of the American mainstream media on the question of US foreign policy in the Middle East and on the question of Israel, thus eliminating in the process Al Jazeera’s critical coverage of both. Clearly, American Zionist pressure, placed on Al Shihabi and on Al Jazeera, is intended to impart to Al Jazeera the mediocre standards of mainstream American journalism and its commitment to severe censorship of views critical of US policy and of Israeli colonialism. When Oscar Wilde was asked in 1882 upon entering the US if he had anything to declare to the customs authorities of New York, he responded: “I have nothing to declare but my genius;” Not only is Al Jazeera having to declare its journalistic independence as a foreign taxable commodity, but it is also surrendering it at the US border altogether.

As for the line that someone made a mistake and removed my article because it resembled the one I had published last December, this line was tried on me on the phone when the new Head of Al Jazeera online Imad Musa called me yesterday evening to discuss the matter. Mr. Musa used that line as an opening bid but I quickly disabused him of it, explaining that while “The Last of the Semites” was related to the article I published last December titled “Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and Colonialism,” it was a different article altogether and had a different frame and a different set of arguments and facts. I also informed him that I had a very good idea how this decision had been taken and that Al Shihabi was the man behind the ban. He offered to arrange a meeting in New York between Al Shihabi and me, but I quickly told him that we could not ponder any such meetings until after Al Jazeera restored my article and issued a public apology. I also informed him that I do not meet with people who coordinate with the likes of Rahm Emanuel.

After making a few phone calls, Mr. Musa called me back to assure me that I would be pleased with what Al Jazeera would do tomorrow (i.e. today). I explained that since he was the new Head of Al Jazeera Online (he told me that he had been appointed in this new position ten days ago), he could restore the article and issue the apology immediately and not have to wait till the next day. He explained that the matter was “more complicated than that.” I retorted: “Are you or are you not the Head of Al Jazeera Online?” He murmured embarrassingly that the matter was not in his hands. I responded by reaffirming to him that indeed it was not and that the matter was not up to him but to the higher ups who made the decision for political reasons.

At any rate, Mr. Musa never called back today, though he issued a statement on the Al Jazeera website this afternoon which does not contain an apology to the readers or to me. There are no expressions of regret either, or any acknowledgment of the motivations for the censorship. Musa repeats the shameful excuse that the reason why the article was pulled was due to its alleged similarity with the December article. I find this to be a damage control move that refuses to take responsibility for Al Jazeera’s submission to American Zionist dictates.

 

Written FOR

AL JAZEERA CAVES TO ZIONIST PRESSURE AND CENSORS ARTICLE BY NOTED COLUMBIA U. PROFESSOR

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In an unprecedented act of political censorship Al Jazeera English has deleted an article by noted Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad after coming under intense criticism from Zionists in recent days.

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Al Jazeera management orders Joseph Massad article pulled in act of pro-Israel censorship

 Ali Abunimah
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In an unprecedented act of political censorship Al Jazeera English has deleted an article by noted Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad after coming under intense criticism from Zionists in recent days.

Massad told The Electronic Intifada that he had “received confirmation” from his editor at Al Jazeera English that “management pulled the article.” The Electronic Intifada was able to independently confirm that the article was pulled.

The piece, “The Last of the Semites,” published on 14 May, was taken down from the main Al Jazeera English site this morning – the link now redirects to Al Jazeera’s main page. It has also disappeared from Massad’s personal page on the Al Jazeera website.

The article had been one of the most viewed and emailed articles on the site and had been tweeted hundreds of times.

Al Jazeera has yet to offer any public explanation for its action.

Intense criticism

Since its publication, the article generated intense criticism from Zionist extremists,including a columnist in the virulently anti-Palestinian Jerusalem Post, and condemnation on Twitter from President Barack Obama’s favorite Israel lobby gatekeeper and former Israeli prison guard Jeffrey Goldberg:

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on Twitter

Congratulations, al Jazeera: You’ve just posted one of the most anti-Jewish screeds in recent memory: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/201351275829430527.html 

The last of the Semites

It is Israel’s claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all.

Al Jazeera English @AJEnglish

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John Podhoretz, editor of the neoconservative anti-Palestinian Zionist magazineCommentary tweeted about Massad, “Congratulations, donors to Columbia University, for paying this monstrous fuckhead’s salary!”

The backlash has been so intense precisely because Massad goes to the core of Israel’s claim to represent Jews and to cast its critics as anti-Semites by showing that indeed it is Israel and Zionism that partake of the same anti-Semitism that targeted European Jews.

In doing so, Massad pulls the rug from under Zionists and Israel lobbyists by demonstrating that they are the anti-Semites and taking away the most formidable weapon they wield against critics of Israel: the accusation that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

By neutralizing this ideological weapon that Israel has used so effectively in the Western media to cover up its colonization of Palestine, Massad’s pro-Jewish position and strenuous attack on Zionist anti-Semitism is clearly understood by Israel lobby figures such as Goldberg as a complete obliteration of their ideological arsenal.

Zionism and anti-Semitism: two sides of the same coin

Goldberg’s claim that Massad’s article is an “anti-Jewish screed” could not be further from the truth.

Massad has long argued – convincingly – that Zionism and anti-Semitism are two sides of the same coin. It is a theme he develops with great erudition in his 2006 book The Persistence of the Palestinian Question, and one to which he returns in his latest article, “The Last of the Semites,” published on Al Jazeera on 14 May, which opens thus:

Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the “Jewish Question.” What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the “solution” to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.

Last December, in another piece for Al Jazeera, Massad explained how “Zionist leaders consciously recognized that state anti-Semitism was essential to their colonial project,” in Palestine, a recognition epitomized by the notorious Transfer Agreement Zionist leaders signed with the Nazi government of Germany in 1933.

A theme that Massad develops in his latest piece is that European, and especially Germany’s, support for Israel after 1948, is no break with the anti-Semitic past:

West Germany’s alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s.

The “The Last of the Semites” was based on a lecture Massad gave at a conference in Stuttgart (PDF), Germany, to a largely German audience, just last week:

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Censorship

Although Qatar-based Al Jazeera receives much criticism, and often deserved for reflecting Qatar’s foreign policy, the censorship of Massad’s article for political reasons is unprecedented because the English-language website had, until now, enjoyed complete editorial independence.

It is well understood that Al Jazeera’s red lines have always been criticism of Qatar or its Emir, and yet, Massad has even published several articles on Al Jazeera English that harshly criticized both Qatari foreign policy (See herehere and hereand the Emir himself without ever being censored.

And Massad has written plenty of articles that have enraged Zionists.

This indicates, without doubt, that the decision to remove Massad’s article today was taken at the highest level.

But why would this happen now?

One reasonable interpretation would be that the removal of Massad’s article reflects a tightening of the editorial line as the network launches its new channel, Al Jazeera America, which will rely – for access to cable systems, and “mainstream” credibility – on forging good relations with US elites.

An illustration of what this process might look like was on display when Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of Al Jazeera’s international operations and the official responsible for setting up Al Jazeera America, recently visited Chicago – which will be home to a major Al Jazeera bureau.

While in the city, Al Shihabi struck up a cozy relationship with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff.

Emanuel, a major powerbroker in America’s ruling Democratic Party, is, of course, also notorious for his hardline pro-Israel positions.

It is unknown if Al Shihabi had anything directly to do with the removal of Massad’s article – that decision would almost certainly have been taken at an even higher level in Doha – but his dalliance with Emanuel is a good indicator of who Al Jazeera is out to impress.

Until late Sunday, Massad’s piece could still be read in full on Al Jazeera’s mobile site, but by late evening, that too had disappeared.

Here is a PDF image of the censored article.

The Last of the Semites – Joseph Massad – Al Jazeera English

 

Written FOR

IS CENSORSHIP OF RACISM A THREAT TO FREE SPEECH?

“Our job is not to be absolute civil libertarians. We do believe in free speech, but we also believe there are limits to that… Our mission statement says we will always take a strong stand against racism and bigotry in all of its forms, and that’s part of this.”

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Leftist Jewish Groups Want Synagogue To Cancel Speech by Pamela Geller

Are Groups Flip-Flopping on Free Speech?

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Scrapped?: Conservative blogger Pamela Geller, left, protests the cancellation of a planned speech at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles last year. Leftist activists want a Long Island synagogue to cancel her appearance there this month.

GETTY IMAGES
Scrapped?: Conservative blogger Pamela Geller, left, protests the cancellation of a planned speech at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles last year. Leftist activists want a Long Island synagogue to cancel her appearance there this month.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

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Leftist Jewish groups are calling on a Long Island synagogue to cancel a speech by an outspoken Jewish blogger known for her outspoken anti-Muslim views — raising questions about a double standard on free expression.

New York activist groups Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Jews Say No! announced their opposition to a speech set for April 14 by Pamela Geller, an activist known for her extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric, at the Modern Orthodox Great Neck Synagogue.

In an email sent to JVP activists on April 3, the organization called on members to contact the Great Neck Synagogue and ask it to cancel the event. Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP’s executive director, told the Forward on April 4 that at least 50 people had contacted Great Neck Synagogue at the group’s behest.

“Our hope is that the synagogue will cancel her appearance,” Vilkomerson said. “The kind of venom that she spews against Islam is completely inappropriate for a synagogue.”

Geller, in response to the campaign against her event, criticized the leftist groups as insufficiently Jewish.

“Jewish history is plagued with these quislings, who are willing tools serving as the public face for supremacists and annihilationists,” she wrote in an email to the Forward. “The left uses these Jews to defame and destroy a Jew who is truly standing up for Israel and for the principles of freedom and human rights that the Jewish State represents. It’s inexcusable.”

The campaign comes weeks after some of the same leftist Jewish groups organized against efforts to cancel a panel on the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement at Brooklyn College. One of the groups also opposed a decision by the LGBT Community Center in New York to block an appearance by a pro-BDS scholar.

One gay community activist, who opposed the BDS ban at the LGBT Community Center, slammed the leftist Jewish groups for their apparent free expression flip-flop.

“I’m startled [the leftist Jewish groups] didn’t learn any lessons from the controversies of two months ago at the Gay Center and at Brooklyn College,” said Bill Dobbs, a longtime gay activist. “They’ve lost the moral high ground.”

Vilkomerson said that JVP’s call for the cancellation of the event was not evidence of a double standard.

“We’re not the ACLU,” Vilkomerson said. “Our job is not to be absolute civil libertarians. We do believe in free speech, but we also believe there are limits to that… Our mission statement says we will always take a strong stand against racism and bigotry in all of its forms, and that’s part of this.”

JVP was a co-sponsor of a February 7 panel at Brooklyn College on the BDS movement featuring U.C. Berkeley professor Judith Butler and Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti. The event drew condemnation, including from some elected officials. One group of legislators went so far as to threaten the funding of Brooklyn College, a publicly-funded institution.

All three of the sponsors of the campaign against Geller’s Great Neck Synagogue speech made statements in defense of the Brooklyn College event.

“A group of City Council members has even threatened to cut college funding if the event is not cancelled, or the political science department does not withdraw its sponsorship. This abuse of power evokes the purges and repressions of the McCarthy era,” wrote JFREJ, one of the three activist groups, in a February statement. “We as JFREJ position ourselves as watchdogs for justice here in New York City and we feel mandated to speak out against this attempt to silence political viewpoints.”

Speaking on April 4, JFREJ executive director Marjorie Dove Kent said that the elected officials’ effort to block the Brooklyn College event was different than the activist groups’ efforts to block Geller’s speech. “Free speech is a first amendment right. So it’s a right that only the government can violate,” Dove Kent said. “It’s one thing to open one’s synagogue for a dialogue reflecting different political viewpoints, it’s another to invite in someone who spews racist hatred.”

A local news website in Great Neck reported that one local official had asked a local interfaith organization to oppose Geller’s talk. Dove-Kent said that her organization had not determined whether or not to cooperate with that effort.

JVP, for its part, was actively critical of the LGBT Center’s decision to bar a talk by Sarah Schulman, a College of Staten Island professor who backs the BDS movement. The LGBT Center later reversed its decision.

Members of JVP and Jews Say No! were also involved in a recent dispute over a panel indirectly about the BDS movement that was retroactively canceled by the rabbi of the synagogue where it was supposed to take place. The event was eventually rescheduled, and is set to take place at a different synagogue this week.

Source

DENIAL OF WOMEN WHO PERISHED IN THE HOLOCAUST

With all the holocaust denial we read and hear about, here’s a new twist  from a section of the Jewish ultra orthodox camp. Censoring of photos seems to have become acceptable among them since they cut Hillary Clinton out of photos last year…
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Hillary Before …
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Hillary After …
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Now this …
The original …
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Where are the two women in the photo? …
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I just have two questions for those who are committing this assault on women’s dignity. First, how exactly is it that you are honoring the memory of a dead woman — murdered by the Nazis — by implying that her appearance serves as an inappropriate sexual temptation to men? And are you going to continue with this horrendous practice until you have totally erased women out of recorded Jewish history — past, present and future?
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Even Women of Holocaust Get Blurred

By Renee Ghert-Zand

The Sisterhood has covered Haredi exclusion of women from the Israeli public sphere for some time now. When it comes to the removal of women’s images from public view, we’ve seen the disappearance of women from advertisements; the photoshopping of female leaders like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out of news photos; the blurring of women’s and girls’ faces on memorial notices and even the erasing of a pair of women’s shoes from an innocuous photo of a family’s shoe drawer.

But now this practice has reached a high — or, rather low — point with the blurring out of the face of a woman in a Holocaust-era photo. Ynet reported that the Haredi newspaper “Bakehillah” (In the community) censored the face of Matilda Goldfinger, the woman who appears to the left of the little boy wearing a yellow star with his hands raised in the iconic photo documenting the final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto in May 1943, following the Jewish uprising there that began on the first night of Passover that year. Goldfinger’s daughter Henka (Hannah) was killed moments after the photograph was taken.

The paper ran the photo with a story profiling Aryeh Ludwig Simonson, who is one of the five men who claim to be the boy in the iconic photo (historical researchers have been unable to definitively identify the boy). Simonson is a retired former El-Al employee living in London.

In response to inquiries from Ynet, Avraham Dov Greenboim, editor of “Bakehillah,” said the blurring of the woman’s face was appropriate, given that the article was focused on the little boy. “In addition, we honor the memory of victims of the Holocaust, and we also respect our readers and only put in front of them what they need and want to see,” he said. The paper, along with other Haredi publications, operate under the watchful eye of a “spiritual commission” that ensures “modesty.”

I didn’t think the modesty police could stoop any lower than erasing the face of a female terror victim, but now they have done just that with the blurring of the face of a woman who was the victim of terror on a genocidal scale.

I just have two questions for those who are committing this assault on women’s dignity. First, how exactly is it that you are honoring the memory of a dead woman — murdered by the Nazis — by implying that her appearance serves as an inappropriate sexual temptation to men? And are you going to continue with this horrendous practice until you have totally erased women out of recorded Jewish history — past, present and future?

Report FROM

THE GREATEST THREAT TO ISRAEL

120312_talkcmmntillus_p233
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Wars?
Palestinian Statehood??
Terrorist Attacks???
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Rule them all out!
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The greatest threat to the ‘only Democracy in the Middle East’ is Democracy itself!!
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And just how is this manifested?
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Last week I posted about an election ad put out by Hanin Zoabi’s Party, Balad. It was amusing, yet it carried a serious message, too serious it seems for it to be allowed to be aired publicly….
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Banned Balad election ad has Israel’s racist politicians dancing to Arab rhythm

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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Balad, a party representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, has released an election ad that shows some of Israel’s most notoriously racist politicians, including recently resigned foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, dancing to an Arabic rhythm.

The ad was banned from radio and television broadcast by Israel’s election commission.

Balad – also knows as al-tajammu or the National Democratic Assembly, currently has three members in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and was founded by the now exiled Palestinian intellectual Azmi Bishara in the mid-1990s.

Last month Israel’s election commission forbade one of its members, Haneen Zoabi, from running for re-election in the 22 January national election, a ban that was later overturned by the Israeli high court.

Behind the gag a serious message

At the beginning of the ad, an animated Lieberman puts forward one of his notorious loyalty laws, including the requirement that Palestinian citizens sing the Israeli national anthem “Hatikva.”

Palestinian citizens of Israel generally do not identify with “Hatikva” because it is an explicitly Zionist and Jewish supremacist song that contains the words:

As long as in the heart, within,
A Jewish soul still yearns,
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
An eye still gazes toward Zion …

But, the cartoon Lieberman says, “I have become convinced of the need to change the anthem a bit so that the Arabs can learn it and sing it.”

The gag is that the altered version Lieberman and other right-wing politicians perform is simply the same Zionist lyrics to an Arab beat. The result is quite catchy and hilarious.

Justifying the ban on broadcasting the ad, election commission chair and high court judge Elyakim Rubinstein said, according to Times of Israel that “the Arab party’s campaign ad ridiculed the national anthem and that insulting national icons is unacceptable in election campaigns.” However the ad does not alter any of the lyrics of the anthem. It only puts them to a typically Arab tune and rhythm. It does however ridicule Israeli politicians.

Rising abstention rates among Palestinian citizens of Israel

At the end of the ad, the narrator says “Are you done laughing?” and makes the argument that for Palestinian citizens of Israel the upcoming election is no joke.

The ad urges Palestinian citizens of Israel to vote so that Balad can act as a defense against racist laws and loyalty oaths of the kind Lieberman and his ilk push. The turnout rate among the 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, which once peaked at over 90 percent, fell to just 53 percent in the 2009 election.

The plummeting turnout perhaps reflects a growing sense that there is no way for Palestinian citizens of Israel to push back the rising tide of racism and incitement within an Israeli political system that is rigged against them.

Other ads by Balad can be seen on the party’s YouTube channel.

 

Written FOR

FACEBOOK UNFRIENDING TRUTH ACTIVISTS

 unfriend
FaceBook has literally launched a cyberwar against Truth Activists. They are obviously succumbing to zionist pressure to do this as most of those ‘unfriended’ are friends of Palestine.
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I just received the following from Michael Rivero of What Really Happened;
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Social Fixer is telling me I am no longer FB friends with the following people:You are no longer friends with:
Michael F Rivero 11 min ago (account inactive)
Anthony J Hilder 11 min ago (account inactive)
William Lewis 11 min ago (account inactive)
Richard Gage 11 min ago (account inactive)
William Rodriguez 11 min ago (account inactive)
Infowar Artist 11 min ago (account inactive)
Weare Change 11 min ago (account inactive)
Wacboston At Twitterr 11 min ago (account inactive)
Michael Murphy Tmp 11 min ago (account inactive)
Robert M Bowman 11 min ago (account inactive)
Peter Dale Scott 11 min ago (account inactive)
Jason Infowars 11 min ago (account inactive)
Mike Skuthan 11 min ago (account inactive)
Packy Savvenas 11 min ago (account inactive)

Some of these people, like Rivero, Gage, Bowman, Peter Dale Scott, William Rodriguez are prominent 9/11 truthers and bloggers.

Click HERE to see the comments.
My name is not on the list as I am not on FaceBook. I have given my reasons for this many times…
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Our message will continue to ring out for Peace and Justice VERY LOUDLY!
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As I said when banned from Blogger and Kos; “They can ban us, but they cannot silence us!”
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Kudos to Rivero and his site for doing this daily … He is an inspiration to all of us!

IDF CRACKING DOWN ON BLOGGERS ‘WHO TALK TOO MUCH’

The facts that the blogger was twice summoned for questioning, that law enforcement authorities took such drastic steps to locate him, and that threats were made against him, are worrisome. Even if the actions of the military and civilian police in this affair stemmed from genuine security concerns, it nonetheless appears that some figure of authority lost perspective and took steps that damaged democratic values of free speech, and freedom of the press.
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Israel’s most sought-after anonymous blogger has won his battle with the IDF

Eishton was put under investigation over his bid to gather data on the rate of suicides in the Israel Defense Forces; three weeks later, he has emerged the victor.

By Barak Ravid
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cemetery - Archive:  Tess Scheflan / Jini - June 21 2011
The military cemetery at Mount Herzl. Photo by Archive: Tess Scheflan / Jini

Almost three weeks after the anonymous blogger “Eishton” was summoned for questioning by the police and military police, it appears that the episode is drawing to a close. As should have been clear from the start, Eishton is not a crime suspect. No indictment is expected against him, nor is there likely to be an indictment submitted against anyone connected to the blog’s report on suicides in the Israel Defense Forces.

The facts that the blogger was twice summoned for questioning, that law enforcement authorities took such drastic steps to locate him, and that threats were made against him, are worrisome. Even if the actions of the military and civilian police in this affair stemmed from genuine security concerns, it nonetheless appears that some figure of authority lost perspective and took steps that damaged democratic values of free speech, and freedom of the press.

That said, some bright spots can be gleaned in the affair. First, suicides in the IDF are once again a topic of public discourse. That the blogger was summoned for interrogation actually gave credence to allegations leveled in his report. In this respect, Eishton is the victor, and deserves credit. One can dispute his claims and findings, but the fact that the established media became engaged with the blog, even belatedly, forced authorities to respond.

That the IDF decided Wednesday to take advantage of a briefing given by its chief medical officer to reporters and provide data about the scope of suicides was no accident. The IDF claims that the number of suicides has decreased, from an annual average of 29 between 2002 and 2006, to an annual average of 22 between 2007 and 2011.

That trend is to be welcomed, but the number remains high. In addition, the precise number of soldiers who committed suicide remains unclear, since in some cases deaths may not be classified as such due to pressures exerted by family relations. Demonstrating sensitivity toward bereaved families is a laudable goal, but the need for transparency is no less worthy a consideration.

Incidentally, in the middle of the last decade, when the IDF started to deal much more seriously with this issue, its mobilization came as a response to newspaper reports written by Maariv’s Amir Rapaport, and my colleague Amos Harel in Haaretz. At the time, the IDF changed its procedures, and prohibited soldiers from taking rifles home with them on weekend furloughs.

The second bright spot is that the affair ultimately is likely to contribute to freedom of the press, and to strengthen the status of bloggers. The affair made clear that in Israel in 2012, a journalist is not solely someone who has a license issued by the government press office.

The defense establishment has yet to digest the changes which have occurred in the media world. It has yet to assimilate the fact that bodies such as WikiLeaks and Anonymous, alongside independent bloggers, are players which rank with the traditional media, and are sometimes even more important than it.

The affair showed that the security system’s monopoly on information is dwindling. Most of the information utilized by Eishton was accessible on the internet. On the other hand, the affair illustrated that Israel’s power structure does not fully heed democratic values such as transparency and public disclosure. The defense ministry continues, for instance, to withhold disclosure of the list of 126 fatalities in 2012.

The Eishton blogger also has to draw conclusions. Possibly, had he not made public copies of original documents that reached him, he would not have become embroiled with authorities. Even though the investigation against him was unjust, more prudent conduct on his part could have brought the affair to a close on its first day. In addition, it can be hoped that Eishton will forgo his cloak of anonymity. Should he do so, the credibility of his investigations will only be enhanced.

 

 

Written FOR

THE NEW YORK TIMES SUCCUMBS TO ZIONISM*

  After the New York Times’ editorial page lashed out at Israel over its construction plans in an area called E-1, the paper issued a correction on Sunday morning, stating that the expansion would neither cut off Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, nor divide the West Bank.
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Correction or zionist LIE?
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NYT retracts claims that E-1 construction plans would divide West Bank

Correction note regarding Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren’s December 1 article clarifies that piece ‘referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state’.

By Chaim Levinson
E1
The Judea and Samaria Police headquarters in the E1 area near Ma’aleh Adumim. Photo by Emil Salman

After the New York Times’ editorial page lashed out at Israel over its construction plans in an area called E-1, the paper issued a correction on Sunday morning, stating that the expansion would neither cut off Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, nor divide the West Bank.

In an article entitled “Dividing the West Bank, and Deepening a Rift,” published on December 1, Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren wrote that the construction plans would make travel between Ramallah and Bethlehem impossible, and in effect, cut the West Bank in two.

The correction notice in Sunday’s newspaper clarifies that: “The article about Israel’s decision to move forward with planning and zoning for settlements in an area east of Jerusalem known as E1 described imprecisely the effect of such development on access to the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and on the West Bank. Development of E1 would limit access to Ramallah and Bethlehem, leaving narrow corridors far from the Old City and downtown Jerusalem; it would not completely cut off those cities from Jerusalem. It would also create a large block of Israeli settlements in the center of the West Bank; it would not divide the West Bank in two.”

“And because of an editing error, the article referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state. Critics see E1 as a threat to the meaningful contiguity of such a state because it would leave some Palestinian areas connected by roads with few exits or by circuitous routes; the proposed development would not technically make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible,” adds the correction.

Source

FREE SPEECH AND HATE SPEECH

hate-speech-is-not-free-speech
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In a nutshell, free speech, though not an absolute value in itself, is a positive value and ought to be protected and defended; but hate, malicious and vulgar speech is a negative value that ultimately leads to bloodshed and war.
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My response to America’s fanatical libertarians
Just as American libertarians insist that no other value should be more paramount than freedom of speech, Americans should understand that other peoples have equally paramount values
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Khalid Amayreh 
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In some recent internet articles, a number of American writers criticised and ridiculed me for arguing that Muslims have a legitimate right not to be offended by Islamophobes and other provocateurs just as Americans have a constitutional right to free speech, including the right to offend and despise others.

One writer argued that there was no such right not to be offended. Claiming “no one has the right to a world in which he is never despised,” the writer went as far as arguing that attacking free speech was even a greater blasphemy than a slur on the divine.

Furthermore, the writer went on, saying that “Amayreh doesn’t truly comprehend American core values when he says that ‘in the final analysis, a Muslim’s right not to be offended and insulted overrides a scoundrel’s rightto malign Muslims’ religious symbols.’ “

A second writer urged President Obama to refute my defence of Muslims’ rights not to be offended.

Well, Americans seem to have a world of their own just as we have a world of our own. Moreover, many Americans seem to harbour a certain subconscious conviction that non-Americans should unreservedly adopt, or subject themselves to, American values. That was the tacit message communicated ad nauseam by numerous Hollywood movies for many decades.

This condescending perception, often encapsulated in the Yankee slogan, “The American way,” is a natural symptom of American cultural imperialism and megalomania. 

Americans constitute a mere five per cent of humanity, and as such have no right to impose their values on the rest of humanity, however logical and rational these values may sound. There are other peoples in this world, including some 1.6 billion Muslims who adore and love their religion and Prophet.

I know freedom of speech is a sacred value in the United States and many other countries. However, just as American libertarians insist that no other value should be more paramount than this value, we expect the same Americans to understand that other peoples in other parts of the world have equally paramount values, including religious values.

In Matthew 5:29, it is said that “and if thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out, and cast it away from you.”

This biblical quotation should demonstrate that my argument about the right not to be offended is not far fetched and inherently incompatible with Western thinking.

Jesus never really maligned the religious symbols of other people. And the Quran urges Muslims not to “insult those whom they (disbelievers) worship, idols besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge” (Al-Anaam,108).

Interestingly, blasphemy laws appeared in Western societies long before they appeared in the lands of Islam.

But all this talk may be virtually inconsequential to self-absorbed libertarians who think they are correct and everyone else is wrong.

According to America’s fanatical libertarians, Americans have an inherent and absolute right to free speech, which conceivably includes hate speech, incitement to murder, defamation and besmirching people’s images and reputation. 

Yet, we see American culture and media have a zero tolerance for critics of Israel and Zionism, particularly in the American arena, which really draws a huge question mark over Americans’ commitment to true freedom of speech.

I am not an advocate of hate speech even under the rubric of free speech. Hate speech could easily lead to mass murder and genocide. We should all remember that before there were Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen and Treblinka, there was Mein Kampf as well venomous anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda.

Needless to say, it was this virulent propaganda that desensitised Europe and much of the Western world to the systematic extermination of European Jewry and others.

In my humble opinion, free speech that is likely to lead to the loss of life is not worth protecting and defending. In the final analysis, a human being’s right to life is more important than a human being’s right to absolute, vulgar hate speech.

Yes, the two rights need not always be in a state of conflict. However, when a purported right has the potential of decimating the other more natural right, the right to life, there should be no question as to where our attention should be focused.

And as we all know, the matter is not merely academic, as recent events in parts of the Middle East have demonstrated.

There are, of course, those who claim that hate speech wouldn’t have to lead to bloodshed. Well, this might be true if the rest of the world adopted the American value system and believed in the First Amendment as God-incarnate. But to the chagrin of our American friends, the world is too diverse to adopt the American way and adhere to the American Constitution as the ultimate religion of mankind.

This shouldn’t mean though that the world is doomed to everlasting cultural confrontations. Conflicting cultural values need not evolve into wars of cultures or even worse, religious wars. A certain compromise solution ought to be found whereby a delicate balance is struck between the world’s various value systems, including the right to free speech versus the right not to be offended by hate speech.

In the final analysis, we have to give due consideration to the magical word: Respect. I realise how difficult it would be to legislate “respect” among heterogeneous communities let alone among diverse cultures.

Nonetheless, the present situation between Islam and the West where one group of people must be offended and insulted on the grounds that another group of people has an allegedly absolute right to free speech cannot be maintained. The global village has become too small to allow fanatical and unbridled American libertarianism to demean and insult other cultures.

In a nutshell, free speech, though not an absolute value in itself, is a positive value and ought to be protected and defended; but hate, malicious and vulgar speech is a negative value that ultimately leads to bloodshed and war.

 

WHAT THE ZIONISTS HID FROM YOU IN THE NEWS LAST WEEK ….

The favourite game of the zionists is called ‘hiding the truth’….. especially in cases where it hurts them. They lie about the facts and more recently just hide behind death masks to protect their image.
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You were shown video clip after video clip of rockets fired from Gaza,
BUT
What you didn’t see in the western mainstream media about Gaza
was actual footage of what happened
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Here we see footage of what Israeli zionists actually believe (also hidden from the Western viewer)
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Also hidden from the Western eye were the protests that took place against the Israeli atrocities..
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Vas sent us this short video
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Our Associate and photographer Bud Korotzer was offline as a result of Sandy’s havoc … he finally got back last night. Here are a few photos he took at the demos in New York. Despite their own suffering caused by the storm, New Yorkers still came out by the hundreds to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza.
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THE SONG THAT ROCKED THE FOUNDATIONS OF ZION

 
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Excerpts of translation  … (found at Jerusalem Post Blogs)
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To learn to kill
is a matter of momentum
you start small and afterwards, it comesYou patrol all night
in the Casba of Shchem
Hey, what here is ours
and what is yoursAt the beginning just an exercise
a rifle butt smashing on a door
Shocked children
Unnerved family

And after, the closure
This is already danger
Death lies in ambush
Behind every corner

He cocks the rifle
The arm shakes
The finger stiffens
Close on the trigger

The heart goes wild
Beating nervously
He knows next time
It’ll be easier

They are not a man or a woman
They are but objects, just a shadow
To learn to kill
Is a matter of habit

To learn to fear
Is a matter of momentum
You start small
And afterwards it comes…

We are but a small group
And they so many
A small state
Eaten by enemiesIn their hearts only hate
An evil urge and darkness
To learn to fear
Is a matter of habitTo learn cruelty
Is a matter of momentum

It starts small and afterwards comes…
The cousin (the Arab) is an animal
Already used to seeing blood
He does not feel the suffering
Is not humanIn field uniform and a skin rash
Exhaustion and regular action
From idiocy to evil
The path is shortOnly for us, only for us
Is the Land of Israel
To learn cruelty
Is a matter of habit

…Come home, child
Come home
Home
Home

To learn to love
Is a matter of softness
With a careful step
In a cloud of grace

To be for just a minute
Just now, only today,
On the other side
Of that checkpoint

But our hearts are hard
And the skin so thick
Deaf and blind
In the bubble of the present

In amazement we’ll see
The falling angel
To be a caring human
Is a matter of habit…

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This song is banned by IDF order

By imposing censorship on the song, Army Radio proved that every word is true, and chose to conceal the truth, to whitewash the reality and to pat ourselves on the back.

By Uri Blau

About two weeks ago, during one of the holiday meals, I happened to sit next to a young Jerusalemite who has been serving in the Border Police for the past year. Between courses we talked about his service in the Arab villages around the capital. He spoke about his inspections of the Arabs he encounters, about tying them in tight plastic restraints “so it will hurt them,” about the fact that he doesn’t allow the Palestinians he detains to go to urinate, about his friends who were arrested after it was discovered they had stolen money from Palestinians without legal permits to be in Israel, and other similar stories of heroism.

It was impossible to bridge the gap between the pleasant holiday atmosphere and the guy’s descriptions. It was also clear that none of those present wanted to hear or think about what he was telling us. When I asked him why he behaves that way, he explained that in the past the senior commanders gave almost unquestioned support to the activities of the fighters, but today there are stricter limitations on them. Shooting incidents are investigated, he said, so we have to find another way to cause them to be afraid of us, to understand who’s in charge, who’s the boss.

I have known that soldier since he was a boy. I also know his siblings and his parents, and I can assume that the process of dehumanization he describes so offhandedly, he underwent during his military service.

A few week ago singer Izhar Ashdot released the title song of his new album, “Inyan Shel Hergel (A Matter of Habit ) written by his wife, Alona Kimhi. Ashdot sings what the border policeman told us: “To learn to kill is a matter of momentum, you start small and later it comes… First it’s only a drill, a rifle barrel bangs the door, children in shock, family in panic… The heart goes crazy, beats wildly, he knows – from now on it will be easier. They’re not a man, not a woman, they’re only an object, only a shadow. To learn to kill is a matter of habit… To learn cruelty is a matter of momentum, it starts out small and later it comes. Every boy is a man, eager for victories. Hands behind your head, legs apart.”

On Sunday, Yaron Dekel, the head of Army Radio, decided to prevent the song from being played on the station. “Due to the content of the song, which demonstrates scorn for Israel Defense Forces soldiers, the chief of Army Radio decided that there is no room on Army Radio to openly celebrate a song that condemns and scorns IDF soldiers and those who sacrificed their lives in defense of the country,” announced Army Radio.

Under Dekel’s baton, the Army Radio station introduced a new slogan to its broadcasts: “What’s happening now.” Until this week the slogan sounded simply hollow, but the censorship of Ashdot’s song proved that it is also the opposite of the way Army Radio operates. In his decision, Dekel did exactly what the public wishes, as reflected in the responses to the song’s banning. What’s happening now is that many people don’t want to know, don’t want to hear and don’t want to think about what’s being done in their name and what happens to their children when they don a uniform and are transformed from boys into an occupying force.

But Dekel is a journalist rather than Army Radio’s public relations agent. He is supposed to report to his listeners what’s happening on every patrol by soldiers and at every checkpoint manned by Border Police. “Our heart is already coarse and our skin is so thick, deaf and blind in the bubble of the present,” sings Ashdot. By imposing censorship on the song, Dekel proved that every word is true, and chose to conceal the truth, to whitewash the reality and to pat ourselves on the back. That’s a mistake and it reinforces an image of what’s happening that is definitely not what’s happening now.

Source

ISLAMOPHOBIA ON THE BIG SCREEN

To censor or not to censor?  That is the question facing YouTube …
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YouTube Blocks Anti-Islam Movie in Egypt, Libya

Afghan Officials Also Move Against ‘Innocence of Muslims’

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By Reuters

 YouTube, the video website owned by Google Inc, said on Wednesday it would not remove a film clip mocking the Islamic Prophet Muhammad that has been blamed for anti-U.S. protests in Egypt and Libya, but it has blocked access to it in those countries.

The clip, based on a longer film, depicts the prophet as a fraud and philanderer and has been blamed for sparking violence at U.S. embassies in Cairo and Benghazi. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed in an attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi on Tuesday.

“This video – which is widely available on the Web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,” Google said in a statement. “However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries. Our hearts are with the families of the people murdered in yesterday’s attack in Libya.”

The 14-minute clip is a trailer for a film called the “Innocence of Muslims,” produced by a man who described himself as a California-based Israeli Jew named Sam Bacile.

Google has generally adopted a hands-off approach to political speech, although its “community guidelines” prohibit “hate speech,” including speech that attacks or demeans a group based on religion.

“We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions,” Google said in its statement. “This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere.”

In the past, Google has selectively filtered videos that violate local laws.

On Wednesday, Afghanistan’s general director of Information Technology at the Ministry of Communications, Aimal Marjan, told Reuters, “We have been told to shut down YouTube to the Afghan public until the video is taken down.”

Source

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And who do you think produced the movie?
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Israeli filmmaker in hiding after anti-Islam movie sparks deadly Libya, Egypt protests

Film by Sam Bacile, who self-identifies as an Israeli Jew, led to protests at the U.S. consulate in Libya and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo; one American staffer killed in clashes.

By The Associated Press
Read the report HERE

‘THE TRUTH MIGHT SET YOU FREE // YOUR IMPOSED SILENCE WILL KEEP YOU ENSLAVED’

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On 2 August 2012, Mr. Ghaith received a phone call from Israeli intelligence representatives requesting that he present himself immediately to Moskobiyyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem. Upon presenting himself the following day, Mr. Ghaith was ordered to sign an order banning him from travelling abroad. The ban, which is signed by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, will remain in place until 31 January 2013. The order claims that Mr. Ghaith constitutes a threat to “state security,” although no evidence is given to support such claim.
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Deeming him “threat to state security,” Israel bans Addameer founder from travel abroad

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

In a move that can only be seen as retaliation for the organization’s effectiveness in challenging Israeli abuses, Israel has imposed an international travel ban on Abdullatif Ghaith, the chair and one of the founders of AddameerPrisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

Over recent months, as Palestinian prisoners have staged a wave of hunger strikes forcing Israel to make concessions toward their rights, Addameer has played a key role visiting, liaising with and supporting the prisoners and getting information out to the world.

Ghaith, 71, is a prominent human rights defender, activist, and is himself a former “administrative detainee” held repeatedly by Israeli occupation forces without charge or trial.

The travel ban is reminiscent of the practices of apartheid South Africa and other police states.

This is not the first time Israel has targeted prominent Palestinian human rights defenders in this way. For more than six years, Israel has banned Shawan Jabarin, the head of Al-Haq, from traveling abroad, similarly without providing any evidence.

Summoned by intelligence and banned

In a joint statement, Palestinian human rights groups condemned the Israeli move and described what happened:

On 2 August 2012, Mr. Ghaith received a phone call from Israeli intelligence representatives requesting that he present himself immediately to Moskobiyyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem. Upon presenting himself the following day, Mr. Ghaith was ordered to sign an order banning him from travelling abroad. The ban, which is signed by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, will remain in place until 31 January 2013. The order claims that Mr. Ghaith constitutes a threat to “state security,” although no evidence is given to support such claim.

This is not the first time Mr. Ghaith has been targeted by Israel for his human rights activism. The current order banning him from travelling abroad is in addition to an existing ban that prevents him from entering the West Bank (as defined by Israel). This West Bank ban originally came into effect on 10 October 2011 for a duration of six months, although it was subsequently extended for an additional six months in April 2012 and is now due to expire in September 2012. Furthermore, since becoming Chairperson of Addameer, Mr. Ghaith has been held without charge or trial in Israeli prison under administrative detention on three separate occasions, lasting for six months on each occasion. Hismost recent administrative detention lasted from June 2004 to January 2005.

Will call for EU action be ignored?

In their statement, Palestinian human rights groups call on the “international community” to intervene and demand that Israel lift this abusive ban. They direct their call in particular at “the European Union, especially the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to act in accordance with its decision to ‘throw its full weight behind advocates of liberty, democracy and human rights throughout the world.’”

Indeed one can imagine strong statements from the EU’s High RepresentativeCatherine Ashton if any country other than Israel were treating human rights defenders in this manner.

But Ashton has been enthusiastically complicit in Israeli human rights crimes,defending its use of administrative detention and meeting and warmly welcoming Israeli officials responsible for these crimes, while the EU itself recently rewarded Israel for its abuses with an upgrade in relations.

It is Palestinians themselves – with international solidarity activism behind them – who will undoubtedly have to continue to raise pressure.

The travel ban on Ghaith must be seen as a sign of the success of the prisoners in putting pressure on Israel through their heroic hunger strikes and other actions, and it underscores the continued importance of prisoners and the Palestinian groups, such as Addameer, that help to shine light on their struggle.

Joint statement

Yet another Palestinian civil society leader targeted by Israel: Addameer Chairperson Abdullatif Ghaith receives ban from leaving the country

9 August 2012
Joint Statement

As organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations (PCHRO), expresses its utmost dismay at the recent Israeli decision to ban Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association Chairperson Abdullatif Ghaith from travelling abroad. Mr. Ghaith, a 71-year-old East Jerusalem resident, is one of the founders of Addameer and has been serving on its Board for the past 20 years. He is also a well-known public figure resulting from his long history of human rights activism in Jerusalem and the rest of the OPT, in addition to his prominent political activism including his run for Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006.

On 2 August 2012, Mr. Ghaith received a phone call from Israeli intelligence representatives requesting that he present himself immediately to Moskobiyyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem. Upon presenting himself the following day, Mr. Ghaith was ordered to sign an order banning him from travelling abroad. The ban, which is signed by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, will remain in place until 31 January 2013. The order claims that Mr. Ghaith constitutes a threat to “state security”, although no evidence is given to support such claim.

This is not the first time Mr. Ghaith has been targeted by Israel for his human rights activism. The current order banning him from travelling abroad is in addition to an existing ban that prevents him from entering the West Bank (as defined by Israel). This West Bank ban originally came into effect on 10 October 2011 for a duration of six months, although it was subsequently extended for an additional six months in April 2012 and is now due to expire in September 2012. Furthermore, since becoming Chairperson of Addameer, Mr. Ghaith has been held without charge or trial in Israeli prison under administrative detention on three separate occasions, lasting for six months on each occasion. His most recent administrative detention lasted from June 2004 to January 2005.

The continued targeting of Mr. Ghaith cannot be viewed in isolation but must rather be viewed within a much broader context of a systematic attempt by Israel to suppress Palestinian civil society and stifle Palestinian development, while strengthening Israel’s occupation. Evidence of this repression can be seen in the increasing number of Palestinian civil society organizations that have been ordered to close, particularly in East Jerusalem, and the targeting of human rights defenders throughout the OPT. Other prominent members of Palestinian civil society have also been targeted in the same manner by Israel, such as the director of human rights organization Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, who has been banned from travelling abroad since 2006, with two exceptions this year in which his travel was highly restricted.

Human rights defenders are formally defined as persons who work, peacefully, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mr. Ghaith’s life’s work on behalf of political prisoners–inspired by his own experience as a prisoner–clearly falls within the category of a human rights defender, in that his activities are peaceful in nature and aimed at the promotion of human rights. According to Mr. Ghaith, “Israel considers every activity that tackles Israeli violations of human rights as a threat to state security. Israel wants its occupation to proceed without any accountability. This is not an issue of an individual; it involves all Palestinians.”

The PCHRO strongly condemns the travel ban imposed on Mr. Ghaith and continued Israeli attempts to silence Palestinian civil society. The ban on Mr. Ghaith not only violates his fundamental human rights, namely his right to freedom of movement, but also disregards the special protections afforded to him as a human rights defender according to the United Nations General Assembly Declaration on human rights defenders.

The PCHRO therefore calls on the international community to intervene immediately with the Israeli authorities to lift all bans restricting Mr. Ghaith’s freedom of movement so that he may continue to carry out his human rights work unimpeded. In particular, the PCHRO calls on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders to intervene with Israel and raise the case of Mr. Ghaith and other Palestinian human rights defenders, such as Mr. Jabarin. The PCHRO also urges the European Union, especially the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to act in accordance with its decision to “throw its full weight behind advocates of liberty, democracy and human rights throughout the world” by consistently bringing up with Israel its continued infringements of the special protections afforded to Palestinian human rights defenders, as well as calling for the lifting of the travel bans imposed on Mr. Ghaith and Mr. Jabarin.

The Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organisations and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel:

Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association
Sahar Francis, General Director

Aldameer Association for Human Rights
Khalil Abu Shammala, General Director

Al-Haq
Shawan Jabarin, General Director

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Issam Younis, General Director

Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
Najwa Darwish, General Director

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section
Rifat Kassis, General Director

Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy
Shawqi Issa, General Director

Hurryyat – Centre for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights
Helmi Al-araj, General Director

Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights
Issam Aruri, General Director

Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
Iyad Barghouti, General Director

Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling Maha Abu Dayyeh, General Director

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