SHARON’S GAZA LEGACY LIVES ON

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Unlike some Bloggers, I never claimed nor considered myself to be a journalist. I constantly aggregate articles and posts from other sources, especially those from the Palestinian Press, Progressive Jewish  and other Websites. This, needless to say is aggravating to many on-line zionists, which in a small way makes me feel that my mission was accomplished.

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However, I do on occasion write my own articles, the following is just one of them …

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THE LEGACY LIVES ON
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On the Hebrew Calendar, it was nine years ago today that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon forcibly expelled the Jewish Settlers who were living in Gaza. This was a move that angered the right in Israel, they saw it as a sellout, as a defeat to their occupation of lands that did not belong to them. Some on the left saw the move as a positive one which would eventually lead to self rule in Palestine. In actuality, it was the beginning of the end to Sharon’s political reign. 

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Hell literally froze over that day as far as the settlers were concerned …

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I saw the move as an attempt to make the entire Strip Judenfrei, which would allow Israel to attack at any time without harming any Jewish residents. Perhaps that was a minority opinion, but I was proven correct just four years later when the first war in Gaza began, a war that saw over 1,400 Palestinian fatalities.

Two years later we witnessed an entire blockade of the area. This would not have been possible with the continued settlement of Jewish people. This blockade in itself started the flow of Humanitarian Aid Flotillas which also resulted in the deaths of many people.

Nor would it have been possible to continue the ethnic cleansing and genocidal policies which resulted in the second war which started 30 days ago today, a war that so far has resulted in the deaths of over 1800 Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians including women and children.

For them I mourn today, not for the displaced settlers.

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THE FIRST WORDS OF A 2 YEAR OLD CHILD IN GAZA

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This is one of the saddest emails I ever received from a dear friend in Gaza …

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My little sister -2 years old- knows how to say “Dababa” which means military tank, and F16 fighter jet as well.

There is no Eid in Gaza, streets are still full of blood and it smells death in every corner. 

I am very worried for my family.
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THIS IS SO WRONG!
ONLY YOU CAN MAKE IT RIGHT!!

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REMEMBERING LOVE IN TIME OF CRISIS

As the madness continues, we must remember those that opposed it before it even started. Juliano Mer-Khamis was one of those …. For him, for his mother, STOP THE MADNESS NOW!
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Portrait of Juliano Mer-Khamis
Portrait of Juliano Mer-Khamis
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It matters not to me who actually pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Juliano. In reality, he was killed by the occupation that he so despised. An occupation that is responsible for the creation of monsters on both sides of the wall, monsters so full of hatred and venom that any one of them could be the guilty party. A part of all of us was murdered that afternoon in Jenin by that monster.
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Juliano was the embodiment of the anti occupation. He could not hate Jews because he was one. He could not hate Palestinians because he was one. He was genetically designed to love. But, obviously he was hated by some for being one or the other. It is sad that a man such as this did not live to see his dreams become a reality. Two nations sitting side by each in PEACE. It will happen dear Comrade…. this we promise you.
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Juliano and I shared a special bond, his parents were Communists as were mine, as are my son’s, as were his. This unique background establishes a very special relationship. This is a concept that can only be felt  by those who grew up in similar circumstances. I am not implying that we were a part of an exclusive fraternal order, but am saying that unless one actually wore the proverbial ‘red diaper’, one could not share the sentiments that I am speaking of. His death affected me personally as if a close member of my family died. In the terms I spoke of, in fact, Juliano was my brother.
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Juliano Mer-Khamis was mourned on both sides of the wall, in the two nations that he so proudly belonged to.  If you haven’t watched the following video, you must. You will get a good idea what a special man Juliano was, what a special woman his mother Arna was, and the love that both had for their people. You will see how evil the occupation is and how good those that oppose it are. It’s truly a special video about a special situation.
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HOSTILITIES FROM BOTH SIDES MUST END NOW!

Today the war in Gaza enters its eighteenth day. The eighteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is CHAI …. meaning LIFE. NOW is the time to give it meaning!

Millions of Jews throughout the world wear this symbol around their neck …. it MUST become a reality, not just a symbol.

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Call it a ceasefire, call it a truce …. call it whatever you want! JUST DO IT NOW! There is NO justification for either side to target innocent civilians, especially children. The West and the rest of the world are watching …. doing NOTHING. It must be done from here!

END THE MADNESS NOW!!

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Here a rocket from Gaza hits near a school in Sderot ….

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Here is the Israeli response ….

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Here is DesertPeace’s response to WHAT CAN AND SHOULD BE

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It CAN …. It WILL be done! We have NO OTHER CHOICE!

WHO AND WHY I AM WHO I AM

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I went rambling through the archives on this Blog today and wanted to give you all a pretty good picture of who I am …. So be sure to click on all of the links and then you might have a better understanding of WHO AND WHY I AM WHO I AM.

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A post from yesterday began with ….

Growing up in my Jewish family, it was a given that Jews supported civil rights, opposed the Vietnam War and believed in education, science and progress. This didn’t make it easy to be a teenager in a small working-class town in central Pennsylvania, an area not known for either diversity or liberal views at the time. Israel was a distant place where survivors of the brutal European Holocaust struggled to live in peace, occasionally beset by terrorists and attacking armies from the surrounding countries.

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Except for the part about growing up in Pennsylvania, I could have written those opening lines. In an open letter that I wrote to Neil Sedaka four years ago, asking him to cancel an upcoming concert in Israel, you can read a bit about my own personal background. (The letter was ignored)

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I am thankful that there are many of us, Jews that oppose the ethnic cleansing and genocidal policies sanction by  the State of Israel. Most are no longer silent, they are quite vocal and active in their beliefs as can be seen in THIS post.

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THIS link will take you to a post from the archives that is long, but it is a must read for anyone who is Jewish. It explains the Arab position on many problems still facing us today. It could be an eyeopener for many who refuse to look at the ‘other side’.

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For the non Jew to speak out against Israel, there could be ugly consequences. The truth hurts, especially if it is muttered by an ‘outsider’ as in the case of Helen Thomas. The truth has always been the greatest enemy of zionism.

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Yes, Jews suffered …. but that does not give them licence to inflict suffering on others. NEVER AGAIN means just that! NEVER AGAIN …. to ANYONE. There are others today with identifying tattoos on their arms as well …

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As can be seen in THIS post, not all Palestinians agree with my own personal beliefs. There are various opinions, but hopefully we will all be able to live together as family. I can’t think of one Jewish family I know where all of the members are in agreement (on anything).

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So, why do I Blog? Why open myself up to attacks? THIS POST  might explain that. 

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There are many people who might wonder why all Jews don’t come to live in Israel … THIS post might explain why. As for those that do live in Israel, there are the GOOD as well as the bad …. never forget that. This is also recognised by many a Palestinian …. one example can be found HERE. Some might wonder why I myself live here … THIS should explain that.

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Bottom line is that PEACE IS POSSIBLE. It is not a distant dream that will never be. Living in Israel for 30 years has only strengthened my convictions about that. HERE’S a glimpse of my own neighbourhood in Jerusalem. 

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I will end this by posting a thread that I wrote eight years ago …. it is as valid now as it was then.

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A MESSAGE TO MY FELLOW JEWS

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IF YOU LOVE ISRAEL SPEAK UP FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE!

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I have often said that it is very difficult to remain objective towards something when the subjective circumstances seem to be stronger.

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The case of Israel and Jews is one of the cases that comes to mind. Many Jews outside of Israel support Israel blindly. The attitude is very similar to the American attitude during the Vietnam War… “My country right or wrong”..

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That concept alone is wrong. If you really love something than you let it know when it is wrong… this is not happening in the case of Israel. If you really love Israel then you must treat it as you would treat your own child. Not to do so will only make a very bad situation that much worse. As a result, Israel will think it has a ‘green light’ to pursue its policies of occupation, apartheid and most recently, brutal aggression towards its neighbours. Since the war started in Lebanon, the aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza has not subsided. Do not let our brothers in Palestine think we have forgotten them..

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If you support these policies and actions, then you do not love Israel as you claim you do. You are, in effect, helping Israel self destruct.
In order to survive and flourish, Israel needs peace. There is no other way. The Torah is the Law that governs the lives of observant Jews. Rabbi Hillel said the following regarding the Torah…

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. 
That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary.”

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Answer the following questions….

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DO YOU BELIEVE THAT…
*Peace in the Middle East will only come about with mutual recognition and respect and must be seen as just by both sides.

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*Peace requires the end of illegal occupation and settlement.

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*Violence against civilians is unacceptable.

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*Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza are breeding hatred and resentment.

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*It is crucial that Jews speak out for Palestinians’ human rights.

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*The values of Israeli society have been corrupted by the Israeli State’s human-rights abuses.

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*A lasting peace must be seen as just by both sides.

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*Britain, the EU, the USA, Russia and the UN must be persuaded to implement UN resolutions on Palestine.

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If you answered yes to all or most of the above questions then you must act on the situation. To remain silent is to be as guilty as the government of Israel is. To remain silent is to witness the very destruction of the State of Israel… from within. 

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Show your support for justice by speaking out against the wall of apartheid.
Speak out against the occupation of Palestine.

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Boycott Israeli goods until Israel becomes a State worthy of your support.

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Show that you truly love Israel and fight for PEACE and JUSTICE… nothing else will do!

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE 101

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Last night I posted a short piece about sirens sounding in Jerusalem …. I mentioned that Just moments ago sirens sounded throughout the Jerusalem area. In its greatest display of psychological warfare, Israel wants us all to be very afraid ….Most of us are at what Israel’s next move will be.

Today it became obvious that the government is failing in its attempt to instill the fear it had hoped to. Schools were open, transportation ran as scheduled, all shops were open for business.

In my own neighbourhood which is usually very peaceful it was ‘business as usual’ throughout the community shopping centre. All of the local eateries were full of customers enjoying a non scorching day. Palestinians were stocking up at the Supermarket in preparation for their ‘Iftar’, the meal eaten at the end of a fast. Everything looked normal and not a word was heard about the sirens of the night before.

Another glorious failure for zion.

As is said above, 

DON’T FALL FOR IT!

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HaAretz posted this just over an hour ago …

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: Thousands of Israelis have received an SMS in Haaretz’s name alleging that rockets have struck Haifa. This message was not from Haaretz. (Haaretz)

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Another ‘weapon’ used in psychological warfare. Obviously some people have way too much time on their hands.

 

MOTHERS NOT BLINDED BY RAMPANT HATRED AND MURDER

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Back in the turbulent days of the 60’s, it was women, mothers in particular that were the most vocal and active force in the struggle to end the war in Vietnam. Organisations such as Women’s Strike For Peace demonstrated daily in every major city of the US. The group started at the height of the Cold War and was instrumental in getting the United States and the Soviet Union to sign a test ban treaty.

Going back a decade, it again was women and mothers that were at the forefront to end segregation in the Southern Public Schools.

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And on Public Transportation as well ….

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Today the situation in Israel/Palestine is horrendous. Murders and kidnappings on both sides of the wall have created a situation totally unbearable for all parties involved. Again, it is the grieving mothers that could be a force in ending this madness, I have always maintained that Peace must come from the people, from their hearts. Decades of negotiations by corrupt government officials on both sides have lead and will continue to lead nowhere. HERE is just one example of a real Peace Process in action … A former classmate of mine penned the Following where she speaks of the anguish of being a Peacenik, but never giving up  hope.

Also from the grassroots, a Book written by a dear friend. A must read for anyone who wishes to see the Peace we speak of.

‘No More Enemies’ is available from Amazon

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And now, what could be the beginning of a new hope for a new day FROM

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Asked why they had come, one Palestinian said, “Things will only get better when we learn to cope with each other’s pain and stop getting angry at each other. Our task is to give strength to the family and also to take a step toward my nation’s liberation. We believe that the way to our liberation is through the hearts of Jews.”

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Families of Slain Israeli and Palestinian Teens Turn to Each Other for Comfort

Rachel Fraenkel Touches Hearts With Open Door Policy

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Open Door Policy: Rachel Fraenkel, the bereaved mother of murdered Israeli-American teenager Naftali Fraenkel, welcomes visitors in her home.

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Open Door Policy: Rachel Fraenkel, the bereaved mother of murdered Israeli-American teenager Naftali Fraenkel, welcomes visitors in her home.

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The families of murdered Israeli teen Naftali Fraenkel and murdered Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir are drawing comfort from an unexpected source: each other.

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat took to Facebook on Sunday to write about an “emotional and special telephone conversation between two families that have lost their sons.” He said that during his visit to the Fraenkel family home, he had a chance to speak to Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammed’s father, and express pain at the “barbaric” murder of his son.

Barkat then suggested that Abu Khdeir speak to Yishai Fraenkel, the uncle of Naftali Fraenkel who recently told the press that “the life of an Arab is equally precious to that of a Jew. Blood is blood, and murder is murder, whether that murder is Jewish or Arab.” The two men took Barkat’s advice and comforted one another by telephone.

In a separate visit organized by Rabbi Rafi Ostroff, chair of the religious council of Gush Etzion, Palestinians from the Hebron area showed up at the door of the Fraenkel family, looking to comfort the bereaved.

Asked why they had come, one Palestinian said, “Things will only get better when we learn to cope with each other’s pain and stop getting angry at each other. Our task is to give strength to the family and also to take a step toward my nation’s liberation. We believe that the way to our liberation is through the hearts of Jews.”

He later said that the visit went very well from his perspective. “They received us very, very nicely. The mother [Rachel Fraenkel] was incredible.”

“I see before me a Jewish family who has lost a son opening the door to me,” he added. “That’s not obvious. It touched my heart and my nation.”

The Palestinian visitors also mentioned an initiative spearheaded by Jews and Muslims to transform July 15, the Jewish fast day known as 17 Tammuz, into a joint fast day for people of both religions who wish to express their desire to end violence in the region.

WHITEWASHING ISRAELI TERROR BY PINKWASHING

Relatives and friends of Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, carry his body to
the mosque during his funeral in Shufat, in Israeli-annexed East
Jerusalem on July 4, 2014 (AFP Ahmad Gharabli)
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zionist fabricated rumors about a murdered Palestinian youth have caused even more anguish to his mourning family. Withing hours of his brutal murder (burnt alive) the lies appeared throughout  the Social Media pages in an attempt to whitewash the FACT that this brutal act was an act of zionist terrorism….

In the hours after his death, rumours appeared on Twitter that Mohammed had been killed by fellow Palestinians as part of a criminal gang feud or by his own relatives in a so-called honour killing amid unsubstantiated suggestions that he was gay. His family have dismissed such assertions out of hand and insist that he had no criminal connections or history of being in trouble. (From)

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A Report of the horror from Ma’an New Agency (Make note of the last sentence in the report, the whitewashing continues via police reports)

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Official: Autopsy shows Palestinian youth burnt alive

BETHLEHEM  — A preliminary autopsy report shows that 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by his kidnappers, a senior Palestinian official said late Friday.

Attorney General Muhammad Abd al-Ghani Uweili told Ma’an Abu Khdeir’s autopsy showed soot in the victim’s lungs and respiratory tract, indicating he was alive and breathing while he was being burnt.

Abu Khdeir also had a head injury, but died from complications as a result of being burnt, Uweili said.

A final autopsy will be released later, he added.

The autopsy was conducted at Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Israel in the presence of Palestinian coroner Dr. Sabir al-Aloul, the director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at al-Quds University.

Palestinians say right-wing Israelis kidnapped and killed Abu Khdeir, whose body was found early Wednesday in a forest near West Jerusalem.

The murder is thought to be a revenge attack in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens, who were buried the day before.

Israeli police say the circumstances behind Abu Khdeir’s killing remain unclear.

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zionist Blogger gone mad!
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The following is a segment of his ridiculous post
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Immolation is a righteous form of martyrdom in Jewish tradition.  Rabbi Hanina ben Teradion, tradition tells us, was murdered by the Romans for teaching Torah in violation of an edict.  His punishment was to be wrapped in a sacred Torah scroll and burnt alive. The devilishly clever Romans soaked wool in water and covered his heart to prolong his agony. The trick didn’t work since, with his dying breath, he told his students in wonder that he saw the letters of the scroll flying up to heaven.
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THERE IS NOTHING SACRED OR RIGHTEOUS  ABOUT ANY TYPE OF MURDER IN JEWISH TRADITION ….. “THOU SHALT NOT KILL!” …. THAT IS WHAT IS SACRED!!
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Obviously the zionists see Judaism differently than the Jews do!
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!!
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IN MEMORIAM; JULY 4th, 1776

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July 4th should be a day of celebration… a day of joy. Today, it is merely another day on the calendar. The United States is no longer the proud independent country it was meant to be. Even worse, it has become the country that has been instrumental in the denial of independence to other nations, just to name a few….
Palestine
Afghanistan
Iran
Iraq
There are more….. many more.
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What once was the example that the world looked to for guidance has become one of the most feared entities among the nations…. feared both from the outside and from within.
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We have watched with great pain the withering away of constitutional rights guaranteed to its citizens. We have watched with the same pain its citizens stripped of health care and education so billions can be spent on illegal wars and support to illegal nations.
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What happened to the America that we all once loved and admired?
Is there anyone there who can promise CHANGE and actually mean it??
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THAT PERSON MUST BE FOUND QUICKLY.
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Celebrate what was…… and hopefully what will be again soon….
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PRICE TAG WARFARE

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Ramadan is usually a quiet, peaceful month …. this year is different. My own neighbourhood in Northern Jerusalem resonated with the sounds of war all day yesterday. Helicopters circled the area all through the day and night, ambulance and police sirens shrieked without end. All was a reminder of the 2nd Intifada …

The Palestinian village (and Refugee Camp) of Shuafat is located at the bottom of the hill from where I live. It was there that a 16 year old youth was kidnapped and brutally murdered.

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Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, 16

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The incitement to this horror started immediately after the bodies of the three Israeli teenagers were found. *

In this video, the latest of several, a group of Israelis can be seen marching through Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening singing a sing including the lyrics “Give the IDF [Israeli army] a chance to win, fuck the Arabs” and “I hate all Arabs.” 

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After days of relentless incitement for “revenge” by Israeli leaders and Israeli lynch mobs shouting “Death to the Arabs,” it is feared that the worst has happened.

While on his way to early morning prayers today in eastern occupied Jerusalem, Muhammad Abu Khudair, 16, was kidnapped, his family reported. His badly burned body was later found by police in a wooded area and positively identified.

Israeli police suspect that the crime may have been committed in revenge for the killings of three Israeli teens whose bodies were found in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

When we see a headline like this Suspected revenge killing of Palestinian teen comes after intense incitement … we realise that the above is more than a ‘revenge killing’, this is outright Price Tag Warfare!

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Ma’an News Agency ran the following two reports about the above incident and what followed …

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Palestinian teen abducted, killed in suspected revenge attack
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170 Palestinians injured in East Jerusalem clashes

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The madness continued outside of Jerusalem as well, in the city of Hebron. The city where our common Father Abraham is buried with his family. Surely this would make them all roll over in Their graves as they watch man’s inhumanity towards man … in this case all members of the same family.
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WHY???
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This post from the archives shows what should and could be. Although Elul is still two months away this year, we should not wait that long for the Peace to come ….
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As a dear Comrade from Canada used to say; “Enough is enough and too much is plenty!”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA ! – BONNE FÊTE CANADA

Rambling down Memory Lane…….

July 1st has always been a special day for me. Forty seven years ago today I left the United States and applied for Landed Immigrant Status in Canada. My wife and I picked this date as it was a National Holiday and we figured there would be less security at the Toronto Airport…. and less questions. It was a special day in Canada, it was the 100th anniversary of Confederation.
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My suspicions proved correct…. there was only a handful of security personnel on duty and I was asked only two questions…
“How long do you plan on staying in Canada?”…. to which I responded “Forever!”*
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The second question was “Are you a subversive?”…. to which I responded quite naively “What does that mean?”
“Do you consider yourself a threat to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second or any one of her heirs?” (pronounced ‘hairs’ when I verbalise this story)…. to which I responded “Definitely not!”
“Welcome to Canada! Here is your Landed Immigrant Status Card!” (Let it be known that in no way did I consider the Royal Family ‘Divine’ in any way, but I did not feel I was a threat to their existence.)

Little did that Immigration Officer know, but in the United States I WAS considered a subversive…. in fact, I carried with me a ten page document of allegations against me from Army ‘Intelligence’ which ended with the words “Your entrance into any branch of the Armed Forces at any time would be detrimental to the security of our nation.” How much more of a ‘subversive’ can one hope to be?
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It would be ‘safe’ to say that I owe my life to the FBI. The document I mentioned above was full of information provided by them. Their ‘planted’ informants knew the exact date and time that I joined the Communist Party of the United States. They knew every move I made during all my years of activity.
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On my 18th birthday I registered with the Draft Board. We had to do that by law in those days. A few years later I received my order to report for my physical examination. I will never forget the short, burly man in charge that day…. Sgt. Randazzo. His face and voice haunts me to this day. The day I had to report was like a mini High School Reunion. Almost every male in my graduation class was present that day. We were lined up and were asked if we were interested in volunteering for the Marines. As this was a sure way to be sent to Viet Nam, there wasn’t a single volunteer. Randazzo then proceeded to pick every third person in line to serve in the Marines. But…… immediately before that an announcement was made…. “Anyone that was ever arrested, please go to Room 101.” Off I went….. which meant that poor Michael, who was standing next to me, was picked to be a Marine…. it should have been me, but I was being interrogated instead. Needless to say, Michael does not speak to me to this day.
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If you move the ‘timer’ to 9:10 on the following video, you will get a pretty good idea what that interrogation was like….

A few months later I received my 4F. At first I was given ten days to deny the allegations in the document I received…. non compliance earned me my 4F. The rest is history…..
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Moving on…. here we were in a new country, a country with totally different values and definitions than the one we had just left. But, I felt that we were still not ‘home free’…. our new government might discover our past and deport us, so we prepared for this by purchasing a framed photograph of Her Majesty and hanging it in the hallway of our new apartment. If the Royal Mounted Police ever came to ‘visit’ it would be the first thing they saw. We had two new statuses that we did not want to lose…. Landed Immigrant and NON Subversive!
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My political activities continued throughout my years in Canada, including running in elections for both the Federal Parliament and the Province of Ontario…. on the ticket of the Communist Party of Canada. This Party was/is legal, so my status of Non Subversive did not change.
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The Mounties never came and we were never deported. Canada was a totally different world than the one we had just came from… that was in 1967. Things are a bit different today, unfortunately. Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party hacks have ‘bridged the gap’ between the two countries. Canada today is as close to a 51st State of the United States as Israel is…. this makes me very sad. Hopefully things will change and Canada can once again pride itself for being the country represented as ‘”The true North, proud and free!” As long as the Tories remain in power that will not be the case.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA ! – BONNE FÊTE CANADA
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Also see

ISRAEL IS AT WAR …

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… Therefore, the three missing Israeli teenagers should be considered to be Prisoners of War …. as should the hundreds of innocent Palestinians languishing in Israeli Military Prisons.

As such, they have certain rights

Rights (From)

Under the Third Geneva Convention, prisoners of war (POW) must be:

  • Treated humanely with respect for their persons and their honor
  • Able to inform their next of kin and the International Committee of the Red Cross of their capture
  • Allowed to communicate regularly with relatives and receive packages
  • Given adequate food, clothing, housing, and medical attention
  • Paid for work done and not forced to do work that is dangerous, unhealthy, or degrading
  • Released quickly after conflicts end
  • Not compelled to give any information except for name, age, rank, and service number

In addition, if wounded or sick on the battlefield, the prisoner will receive help from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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The collective punishment inflicted on the Palestine people before and after the abduction of the three youth has been tantamount to a declaration of war against Palestine. As stated above, they must be Released quickly after conflicts end.

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In other words, the ball is in Israel’s court, so to speak. If Israel wants to see a just end to the abduction, it must make moves to end the conflict and the occupation.

An eye for an eye will only leave many people on both sides blind.

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MIND CONTROL AND THE MEDIA

Just who is doing the telling?

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Frightening as it may seem, we do not have the free will to think. Our thoughts are controlled by the mass media in ways that are not even realised by us.

This was the case during the Cold War, especially in regard to the Rosenberg Case which I wrote about yesterday.

Today I want us to take a look at how the media controlled our minds  then, and how it continues to this very day …

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Is the Rosenberg Case closed?

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THINK WHILE IT'S STILL LEGAL

ISRAELI TERROR ENTERS ITS SEVENTH DAY

The view from zion …

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In its quest to find three Israeli teenagers Israel has literally turned Palestine upside down. The timing could not have been more perfect as the main goal was to put a halt to the conciliatory moves of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas has given his full cooperation to the Israeli government, once again proving where his loyalties lie.For this he was highly praised by his fellow zionist leaders.

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President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash 90)

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There was no comment from Abbas regarding THIS and other recent actions by the Israelis. For his role in helping to enforce the continuing division of Palestine and his continued cooperation with zion he was duly condemned by the leadership of Hamas. Netanyahu expects this to be the end of whatever unity government the Palestinians had hoped for. As far as he is concerned, the whole operation should now be called Operation Mission Accomplished rather than Operation Brother’s Keeper.

ENOUGH OF THIS MADNESS!

Now is the time to initiate a true Operation Brother’s Keeper and finally recognise that we ARE ALL brothers, Israelis and Palestinians. If this doesn’t happen there will be no end in sight to the madness on both side of the wall.

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#STOP ISRAELI TERRORISM

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Perhaps if I start my own Hashtag, some attention might be brought to the newest round of collective punishment and atrocities carried out by the Israeli government, all in response to the disappearance of three Israeli teens presumably kidnapped.

Israel has been appealing to every nation in the world to justify their actions …. actions that will surely guarantee that these boys will never see their families ever again.

Hate begats hate! That is exactly what we are witnessing. Innocents on both sides of the wall will suffer. No family should go through the anguish of not knowing where their child is. No family should go through the anguish of burying their child. There is anguish on both sides of that infamous wall.

Individual Israelis have launched their own counter campaigns to bring the teens home. Their FaceBook and Twitter pages and videos are going viral on the Net …

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Here are just a few links of the most recent actions by Israel …

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 West Bank operation delivers a strategic blow to Hamas

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IDF Re-Arrests 50 Terrorists Freed in Shalit Deal

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Israel detains 40 Palestinians as search for teens continues

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Those are the reports that the International Community views … BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS ??

Does anyone get to see this??

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Help us get that video viral as well …. let the world see what is really going on. Join forces with my Hashtag to #STOP ISRAELI TERRORISM!

#ISRAELI HASHTAG OF THE DAY

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#BringBackOurBoys twitter page

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The first time I noticed a ‘hashtag’ I had no idea what I was looking at …. it was for #OccupyWallStreet. The # seemed to have been appearing on more and more sites but I never gave it much notice until today.

Let’s start with the question; What is a hashtag? According to WikipediaA hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the number sign (“#“). It is a form of metadata tag. Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as TwitterFacebookGoogle+ or Instagram may be tagged by putting “#” before them, either as they appear in a sentence, (e.g., “New artists announced for #SXSW2014MusicFestival”) or appended to it.

Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it. A hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can therefore not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms.

Because of its widespread use, was added in dictionary Oxford in June 2014, defined as: hashtag n. (on social media web sites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself, when used in this way.

Lately, it seems a new hashtag appears almost daily on the Net … the latest one from Israel is #BringOurBoysHome. A quick glance at the site gives one the impression that it is nothing more than just another zionist hate site. A closer look confirms that.

HaAretz had an interesting piece about that particular hashtag in today’s edition …

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When I ask friends who are hashtagging why they do it, they say that it eases the frustration of knowing that there is nothing they can really do, and this gives them the feeling they are doing something besides pray. They find comfort in that – and in the symbolism, like wearing an armband or a T-shirt or a bracelet. They know it trivializes and simplifies. But it helps them. One friend active in hashtaggery said, “those of us using it feel a sense of solidarity with others using it.”

 

#BringOurBoysHome: Is a hashtag really the best response to a kidnapping?

If hashtags don’t help the victims, who are we using them for?

By Allison Kaplan Sommer
A young man attends a mass prayer service at the Western Wall.

A young man attends a mass prayer service at the Western Wall for the release of three kidnapped Israeli teens, June 15, 2014. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
Twitter

Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky embraces the #BringBackOurBoys hashtag campaign.Photo by Twitter
Facebook

Twitter campaign #BringBackOurBoys has a growing Facebook presence. Photo by Facebook

There’s nothing like a good hashtag when big news breaks. The social media tool is indispensable when it comes to aggregating coverage and commentary on any particular topic from around the globe into one convenient spot. Hashtags allow you to closely keep track of everything that is being said and published in real time – moment by moment – and truly watch a story unfold.

But there are hashtags, and then there are hashtag campaigns. The big international campaigns that really made a splash were #StopKony in 2012 and this year’s #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which thrust the issue of the kidnapped Nigerian girls from the back pages of the newspapers into the spotlight.

Both campaigns made Americans aware of struggles in Africa that hadn’t been covered by the media. They were also part of a phenomenon that has sparked something of a backlash against hashtag “slacktivism” in the United States, with charges that they simplify and sentimentalize complex situations. But that appears to be why they work. An article detailing an academic paper on the phenomenon showed that the more simplistic these campaigns are, the more they succeed in going viral and producing moral outrage.

After reading these pieces, I remembered how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict didn’t really lend itself to hashtags. It is just too terribly complicated to reduce to three or four words, though there have been attempts - such as before and during Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, when hashtags like #StoptheRockets were used to call attention to the plight of southern Israel.

Hashtags now seem to be a new part of the crisis routine. Seconds after military censorship on the news of the kidnapping of three yeshiva students in the West Bank public on the fateful Friday June 13, hashtag campaigns were launched. There were a few versions at first, but finally, one, #BringBackOurBoys, became the dominant hashtag. It was, clearly, a twist on #BringBackOurGirls.

Ido Daniel, one of the activists who launched it, said, “We based it on the campaign calling to bring the Nigerian girls back home. We thought this was a similar story, a terror organization kidnapping kids, and wanted to clear any misunderstanding regarding who is the attacker and who is the defender. Those boys were on their way home from school and someone abducted them.”

Predictably, some in the Israel-advocacy community quickly gravitated to the hashtag and began sending in pictures and links carrying the hashtag, in the style of previous hashtag campaigns. Across Israel and the US, folks began snapping selfies holding up pieces of paper reading #BringBackOurBoys, or going one step further and scrawling the hashtags over various body parts. Many organizations adopted it, most notably the Israel Defense Forces, who began using it on Facebook and Twitter. The campaign probably could have done without that bear hug. The moment the hashtag was pushed by the IDF, the campaign no longer appeared to the world like a grassroots cry of pain and concern from the Israeli public, but like government propaganda, and blurred the message that these were civilian teenagers, not soldiers, since the military was calling them “our boys.”

In addition, the IDF’s adoption of the hashtag was like waving a red flag in front of pro-Palestinian activists, who rapidly “hijacked” the hashtag, loading it up with pictures of dead and injured children from their side, and laying out their plight. The Palestinians, for their part, launched their own social media campaigns, changing their Facebook profiles, posting pictures of themselves holding up three fingers to represent the three kidnapped Israelis. Very quickly, things descended into the regularly scheduled one-upsmanship that anyone who follows the conflict online is familiar with.

The whole exercise left me feeling rather sick to my stomach, and wondering why the idea of a hashtag has made me so uncomfortable in this particular situation – and whether hashtags are really the right way for those who are worried about the three Israeli young men to take action.

It is true that they call attention to a news story that is getting buried in the mainstream international media. Israel-advocacy activists say this is because Israelis are the victims, not the victimizers – just wait until Israel strikes back in some way, they grimly predict. But there are less nefarious reasons. The kidnapping is heavily overshadowed by unfolding events in Iraq and Ukraine. The major geopolitical shifts in these two big stories have the potential to affect the average European and American’s lives to a far greater extent than the boys in distress in Israel.

So yes, a hashtag campaign may marginally increase awareness of the story. But is “calling attention” and “raising awareness” really the same as doing something? By papering the Internet with these hashtags, are Israelis and their supporters doing something to change the situation?

Television writer Shonda Rhimes got to the heart of the matter in her recent speech at Dartmouth College’s commencement. “A hashtag is not helping. #yesallwomen #takebackthenight #notallmen #bringbackourgirls #StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething. Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing on your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show.”

Even if you take the effort really seriously, the #BringBackOurBoys hashtag is far too vague to be truly meaningful. Because really, WHO are we telling to bring them back? Hamas? I have a feeling they don’t have too many pro-Israel Facebook friends. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders? The Israeli government? And, at what price – at the price of negotiating with terrorists, releasing prisoners with blood on their hands?

Hashtags are the expression of a lovely pie-in-the-sky wish that they will somehow be magically ‘brought’ back – dodging all the messy complicated questions. That’s why – as the research shows – we like them.

For me, the justifications for the hashtags that makes the most sense are those that are honest about the fact that using them helps the person tapping on the computer it more than the cause it advocates.

When I ask friends who are hashtagging why they do it, they say that it eases the frustration of knowing that there is nothing they can really do, and this gives them the feeling they are doing something besides pray. They find comfort in that – and in the symbolism, like wearing an armband or a T-shirt or a bracelet. They know it trivializes and simplifies. But it helps them. One friend active in hashtaggery said, “those of us using it feel a sense of solidarity with others using it.”

Perhaps there is value in the solidarity and in helping people feeling less alone. But let’s not fool ourselves. As media critic Howard Kurtz has said, the Internet “is much better at enlightenment than enforcement.”

Much as we would like, nothing we do online is actually going to get the boys home any faster – just as it hasn’t solved any of the fundamental problems in the conflict that has brought us to this unfortunate point.

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A related report can be read HERE

Hashtags are the 21st-century digital yellow ribbons

 

ANGUISH ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE

From a FaceBook campaign …

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As Israelis gather in prayer for the safe return of the three young students who apparently were kidnapped the world garners sympathy for the suffering of those involved. This site issued AN APPEAL FOR REASON AND SANITY which points to the dangers and suffering which will involve more innocent people as a result of this tragic incident. If you read the post you will see exactly what those dangers are. 

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Strength in Numbers: Thousands of Jews gather for a mass prayer for the release of three Jewish teenagers believed to be kidnapped in the West Bank.
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The Obama administration on Sunday joined Israel in implicating the militant group Hamas in connection with the kidnapping of three Israeli teens and called the move a “despicable terrorist act.”

The teens, including one who holds US citizenship, disappeared late Thursday apparently while hitchhiking in the country’s West Bank region. FROM

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 June 15, 2014. Israeli soldiers patrol during a military operation to search for three missing teenagers outside the West Bank city of Hebron.AP

It is too often forgotten or overlooked what is going on at the other side of the wall ….

Here’s a look at one Palestinian family whose son was murdered in cold blood by Israel. The events were reported globally, including video footage of the incident, but there was no outcry, neither in Israel nor on the other side of the pond ….

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Before my child was killed I was so happy to watch him grow up into a strong young boy. He helped me with everything, he was such a loving son, and he was so sweet to his mother and sister. He never walked into the house without giving us all hugs and kisses. He filled the house with laughter and happiness all the time. I based so much hope on him. Beautiful, innocent, amazing and well-behaved.

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“My dearly loved Nadim was murdered in cold blood by Israeli soldiers”

Daniel Nuwara holds a portrait of his slain brother, Nadim.

One month ago, 17-year-old Nadim Nuwara was fatally shot in cold blood by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank town of Beitunia.

“My dream of seeing my little son a grown man by my side will never come true. His death came too soon,” Nadim’s father Siam Nuwara says.

But with no justice system available for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, Nuwara has launched a public campaign and petition called “No Visas for Killers” to urge the US and Europe not to allow Nadim’s killers to travel into their territory.

There are already more than 20,000 signatures on the petition.

This brutal end to a young life was caught on security cameras and by CNN, along with the fatal shooting of Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, 16, and the serious wounding of 15-year-old Muhammad al-Azzeh.

Siam Nuwara took the agonizing decision for his son’s body be exhumed for an autopsy that proved beyond doubt that the teen was killed with live ammunition.

Human Rights Watch has called the shootings an “apparent war crime.”

Siam Nuwara mourns over his son Nadim, shot in the chest by an Israeli sniper on 15 May. (Yotam RonenActiveStills)

 

Siam Nuwara’s explanation of his campaign is moving and tough to read, and worth reading in full. Like the voices of so many other parents of children murdered by Israeli forces, his must be heard:

My dearly loved Nadim was murdered in cold blood by Israeli soldiers. He was only 17. My dream of seeing my little son a grown man by my side will never come true. His death came too soon.

But his killing was caught on security cameras for the whole world to see. Watching how my son was killed is so painful – you see Israeli soldiers joking and laughing as if they were making a hunting bet while firing at prey, and then they shoot. The film is extremely painful to watch, but could bring justice.

Before my child was killed I was so happy to watch him grow up into a strong young boy. He helped me with everything, he was such a loving son, and he was so sweet to his mother and sister. He never walked into the house without giving us all hugs and kisses. He filled the house with laughter and happiness all the time. I based so much hope on him. Beautiful, innocent, amazing and well-behaved.

But suddenly, in minutes, time stood still in the hospital fridge at 2:30 AM as I dressed him for the last time. I looked at him with such sorrow. I couldn’t believe my little angel was dead. The next day I had to lay him in his grave and the pain was unbearable. My heart ached for my wife, daughter and little baby boy, Nadim’s youngest brother, who was crying “I want Nadim!”

I was lost and couldn’t believe that my son, the love of life, my little boy with the most beautiful smile in the world, the athlete, the sweet animal lover won’t be by my side ever again. I never expected that I would ever walk into the house, his room, and not find him there.

It has been a month since my boy was killed. Now I am suffering more than ever because we have to take his little body out of the grave for an autopsy to show the truth of what happened to him because Israel denies that he was killed by a live bullet, even though I found the bullet in his blood-drenched school backpack that he was wearing when he was shot.

I want justice, I believe in justice, and I will pursue justice for my son with all that I have left. I write today in the hope that all the people in the world who believe in the goodness of humanity and who believe in justice will help me achieve it. But I also know that the Israeli system is not just. Israeli soldiers have killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, but in the last 14 years only six soldiers have been charged with wrongdoing, and the toughest sentence imposed on any of them was seven and a half months in jail.

The soldier and commanders who murdered my son may never be imprisoned for their crime. But my friends have told me that countries around the world ban those responsible for violence from entering their countries. I don’t want my son to be another number, and I want to make sure no family suffers like ours is suffering now. If you help me we could make sure those who killed my son are banned from Europe and the US until we can push for real justice.

I plead for your help in this. I want to make sure the criminals who killed the joy of my life know that they cannot go on murdering children. And I need you on my side to ensure that humanity prevails.

With hope and determination,

Siam Nowarah [also spelled Nuwara]

APPEAL FOR REASON AND SANITY

update008

See updates of Israeli actions at bottom of this post

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BIGLeft to right: Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-Ad Shayer

*Three Israeli teenagers seem to have been kidnapped Thursday evening. The government was very quick to declare this the work of a ‘terrorist organisation’. They further stated that it was a direct result of the recent cooperation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. It was obviously motivated by forces opposed to the reconciliation efforts …. as far as the Israeli government is concerned, it is working right into their own plans of disrupting whatever possible unity can come out of said reconciliation. 

Thousands of armed Israeli troops are at the moment roaming through Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank. There is a danger that scores of innocent Palestinians will be killed by these soldiers.

We appeal to whoever is responsible for this madness to release the boys so they can return safely to their families. The concept of ‘an eye for an eye’ will only lead to the blindness of many an innocent victim.

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UPDATES …

This just in from Ynet …

IDF preparing for siege of Hebron

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From the Jerusalem Post … 
IDF arrests 80 Hamas members in West Bank in response to kidnapping

Hamas Responds … 

Hamas denies accusations that it kidnapped settler youths 

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From IsraelNationalNews … 

Large-scale crackdown on terrorists continues as IDF sweeps Judea and Samaria looking for three missing yeshiva students.

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From HaAretz … 

IAF strikes eight Gaza targets overnight; extensive Israeli operations indicate investigation into three teens’ kidnapping is focusing on Hamas.

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From YnetNews …

IDF continues combing the West Bank in search for the missing teens; among those arrested is senior Hamas activist Hassan Yousef, other members of the Palestinian Parliament.

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The zionists are having a heyday over this …

From the zionist Blogesphere …

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From Richard Silverstein …

Palestinians Militants Kidnap Three Israeli Teenagers

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From the Elder of zion … 

The kidnapping is a casus belli

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The LIES from Harry’s Place … 

Electronic Intifada contributor gloats over kidnappings in Israel

Response from EI Editor on Twitter 

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From Israel Cool … 

Reaction Of Palestinians And Supporters To Kidnapping Of Three Israeli Boys 

 

IN DEFENSE OF UGLY OLD MEN

According to the sick ‘logic’ of our resident “Psycho Gal‘ the man portrayed in the photo below should never have been elected the 16th President of the United States …

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Abraham_Lincoln_O-116_by_Gardner,_1865-crop
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Here is her latest …

Mahmoud Abbas must be great at cards.

The PLO chief has no real assets to speak of.

He’s physically unattractive. He has zero charisma. He’s old.

And no matter how hard he tries, Abbas can’t do much of anything to dampen public support for Hamas or raise public support for himself. By many accounts, if elections are ever held, Hamas would win them in a walk.

As for money, beyond the PLO’s slush fund, all Abbas has is what outsiders give him. He is completely dependent on the Americans, the Israelis, the Europeans and the Gulf states. Without them, he would have nothing to buy people’s loyalty with.

If the money ever stops coming in, he’ll go broke and lose power immediately.

Militarily, if Israel ever stops lending military support to Abbas’s forces, it will be a matter of weeks, or perhaps days, before Abbas will be forced to surrender to Hamas.

And yet today Abbas is sitting pretty on the top of the volcano that is Arab politics, dictating terms for people with real power while playing mind-boggling radical politics.

And he’s winning big.

Her entire piece of dribble can be seen HERE

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The above coming from someone that must be great at something as well to land the job of Deputy Managing Editor of the once prestigious Jerusalem Post. Surely it wasn’t for her journalistic abilities. ;)

She too has zero charisma, is not attractive at all, and is fat …

Her own fellow travelers shun her publicly …

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And let’s not forget her trips abroad to raise funds for her own extremist activities …

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If the money ever stops coming in, Israel and its extremist supporters will go broke and lose power immediately.

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She could have been honest to her aging Anglo readership by telling the truth about our dear Abu Mazen …

The truth which will reveal why Hamas and most other Palestinians despise the man …

First, the fact that he opposes the Right of Return by Palestinian refugees …

Second, his outright support of the illegal Jewish settlers …

And let us not forget his planned trip to the Vatican tomorrow morning wth Israel’s ‘other’ old man Shimon Peres, making him the perfect replacement for Israel’s 10th President, an esteemed honour for any old, lifelong zionist.

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Abbas-the-Settler

THE FORGOTTEN LESSONS OF THE TORAH

ten commandments

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Tonight at sundown the  Festival of Shavuot will begin. This being the last in the yearly cycle of Holy Days on the Hebrew calendar.

Shavuot traditionally commemorates the giving of the Torah to the Hebrew nation at Mt. Sinai.

Included in this were The Ten Commandment, the basic Code of Law to live by …

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  The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

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Whatever happened to Number 6,8 and 10???

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Where is it written that it is OK to murder?

Where is it written that it is OK to steal (the lands not owned by you)??

And Commandment Number 10 ???

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The Torah has been usurped by a handful of extremists and rewritten to comply with their sick agenda * …. (Don’t miss the report at the end of this post)

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Max Blumenthal wrote the following …

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How To Kill Goyim And Influence People: Leading Israeli Rabbis Defend Manual for For Killing Non-Jews

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When I went into the Jewish religious book emporium, Pomeranz, in central Jerusalem to inquire about the availability of a book called Torat Ha’Melech, or the King’s Torah, a commotion immediately ensued. “Are you sure you want it?” the owner, M. Pomeranz, asked me half-jokingly. “The Shabak [Israel’s internal security service] is going to want a word with you if you do.” As customers stopped browsing and began to stare in my direction, Pomeranz pointed to a security camera affixed to a wall. “See that?” he told me. “It goes straight to the Shabak!”

As soon as it was published late last year,Torat Ha’Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when an Israeli tabloid panned the book’s contents as “230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew.” According to the book’s author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, “Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and should be killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder,” Shapira insisted. Citing Jewish law as his source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) he declared: “There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

In January, Shapira was briefly detained by the Israeli police, while two leading rabbis who endorsed the book, Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, were summoned to interrogations by the Shabak. However, the rabbis refused to appear at the interrogations, essentially thumbing their noses at the state and its laws. And the government did nothing. The episode raised grave questions about the willingness of the Israeli government to confront the ferociously racist swathe of the country’s rabbinate. “Something like this has never happened before, even though it seems as if everything possible has already happened,” Israeli commentator Yossi Sarid remarked with astonishment. “Two rabbis [were] summoned to a police investigation, and announc[ed] that they will not go. Even settlers are kind enough to turn up.”

In response to the rabbis’ public rebuke of the state’s legal system, the Israeli Attorney General and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept silent. Indeed, since the publication of Torat Ha’Melech, Netanyahu has strenuously avoided criticizing its contents or the author’s leading supporters. Like so many prime ministers before him, he has been cowed into submission by Israel’s religious nationalist community. But Netanyahu appears to be particularly impotent. His weakness stems from the fact that the religious nationalist right figures prominently in his governing coalition and comprises a substantial portion of his political base. For Netanyahu, a confrontation with the rabid rabbis could amount to political suicide, or could force him into an alliance with centrist forces who do not share his commitment to the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.

On August 18, a pantheon of Israel’s top fundamentalist rabbis flaunted their political power during an ad hoc congress they convened at Jerusalem’s Ramada Renaissance hotel. Before an audience of 250 supporters including the far-right Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, the rabbis declared in the name of the Holy Torah that would not submit to any attempt by the government to regulate their political activities — even and especially if those activities included inciting terrorist attacks against non-Jews. As one wizened rabbi after another rose up to inveigh against the government’s investigation of Torat Ha’Melech until his voice grew hoarse, the gathering degenerated into calls for murdering not just non-Jews, but secular Jews as well.

“The obligation to sacrifice your life is above all others when fighting those who wish to destroy the authority of the Torah,” bellowed Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of the yeshiva in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. “It is not only true against non-Jews who are trying to destroy it but against Jewish people from any side.”

The government-funded terror academy

The disturbing philosophy expressed in Torat Ha’Melech emerged from the fevered atmosphere of a settlement called Yitzhar located in the northern West Bank near the Palestinian city of Nablus. Shapira leads the settlement’s Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, holding sway over a small army of fanatics who are eager to lash out at the Palestinians tending to their crops and livestock in the valleys below them. One of Shapira’s followers, anAmerican immigrant named Jack Teitel, has confessed to murdering two innocent Palestinians and attempting to the kill the liberal Israeli historian Ze’ev Sternhell with a mail bomb. Teitel is suspected of many more murders, including an attack on a Tel Aviv gay community center.

Despite its apparent role as a terror training institute, Od Yosef Chai has raked in nearly fifty thousand dollars from the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs since 2007, while the Ministry of Education has pumped over 250 thousand dollars into the yeshiva’s coffers between 2006 and 2007. The yeshiva has also benefited handsomely from donations from a tax-exempt American non-profit called the Central Fund of Israel. Located inside the Marcus Brothers Textiles store in midtown Manhattan, the Central Fund transferred at least thirty thousand to Od Yosef Chai between 2007 and 2008.

Though he does not name “the enemy” in the pages of his book, Shapira’s longstanding connection to terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians exposes the true identity of his targets. In 2006, Shapira was briefly held by Israeli police for urging his supporters to murder all Palestinians over the age of 13. Two years later, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, he signed a rabbinical letter in support of Israeli Jews who had brutally assaulted two Arab youths on the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. That same year, Shapira was arrested under suspicion that he helped orchestrate a rocket attack against a Palestinian village near Nablus. Though he was released, Shapira’s name arose in connection with another act of terror, when in January, the Israeli police raided his settlement seeking the vandals who set fire to a nearby mosque. After arresting ten settlers, the Shabak held five of Shapira’s confederates under suspicion of arson.

Friends in high places

Despite his longstanding involvement in terrorism, or perhaps because of it, Shapira counts Israel’s leading fundamentalist rabbis among his supporters. His most well-known backer is Dov Lior the leader of the Shavei-Hevron yeshiva at Kiryat Arba, a radical Jewish settlement near the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron and a hotbed of Jewish terrorism. Lior has vigorously endorsed Torat Ha’Melech, calling it “very relevant, especially in this time.”

Lior’s enthusiasm for Shapira’s tract stems from his own eliminationist attitude toward non-Jews. For example, while Lior served as the IDF’s top rabbi, he instructed soldiers: “There is no such thing as civilians in wartime… A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail!” Indeed, there are only a few non-Jews whose lives Lior would demand to be spared. They are captured Palestinian militants who, as he once suggested, could be used as subjects for live human medical experiments.

Otherwise, Lior appears content to watch Palestinians perish as they did at the muzzle of Dr. Baruch Goldstein’s machine gun in 1994. Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians and wounded 150 in a shooting spree while they prayed in Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs mosque, was a compatriot and neighbor of Lior in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Goldstein’s funeral, Lior celebrated the massacre as an act carried out “to sanctify the holy name of God.” He then extolled Goldstein as “a righteous man.” Thanks to Lior’s efforts, a shrine to Goldstein was constructed in center of Kiryat Arba so that locals could celebrate the killer’s deeds and pass his legacy down to future generations.

Though Lior’s inflammatory statements resulted in his being barred from running for election to the Supreme Rabbinical Council, according to journalist Daniel Estrin, the rabbi remains “a respected figure among many mainstream ZIonists.” By extension, he maintains considerable influence among religious elements in the IDF. In 2008, when the IDF’s chief rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Ronski, brought a group of military intelligence officers to Hebron for a special tour, he concluded the day with a private meeting with Lior, who was allowed to revel the officers with his views on modern warfare — “no such thing as civilians in wartime.”

Besides Lior, Torat Ha’Melech has earned support from another nationally prominent fundamentalist rabbi: Yaakov Yosef. Yosef is the leader of the Hazon Yaakov Yeshiva in Jerusalem and a former member of Knesset. Perhaps more significantly, he is the son of Ovadiah Yosef, the former chief rabbi of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas Party that forms a key segment of Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

Yaakov Yosef has brought his influence to bear in defense of Torat Ha’Melech, insisting at the August 18 convention in Jerusalem that the book was no different than the Hagadah that all Jews read from on the holiday of Passover. The Hagadah contains passages about killing non-Jews and so does the Bible, Yosef reminded his audience. “Does anyone want to change the Bible?” he asked.

Bibi buckles

Only days before direct negotiations in Washington between Israel and the Palestinian Authority planned for early September, Yaakov Yosef’s 89-year-old father, Ovadiah delivered his weekly sermon. With characteristic vitriol, he  declared: “All these evil people should perish from this world… God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

The remarks have sparked an international furor and earned a stern rebuke from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. “While the PLO is ready to resume negotiations in seriousness and good faith,” Erekat remarked, “a member of the Israeli government is calling for our destruction.”

Palestinian Israeli member of Knesset Jamal Zehalka subsequently demanded that the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein put Yosef on trial for incitement. “If, heaven forbid, a Muslim spiritual leader were to make anti-Jewish comments of this sort,” Zehalka said, “he would be arrested immediately.”

Here was a perfect opportunity for Netanyahu to demonstrate sincerity about negotiations by  shedding an extremist ally in the name of securing peace. All he had to do was forcefully reject Yosef’s genocidal comments — a feat made all the easier by the White House’s condemnation of the rabbi. But the Israeli Prime Minister ducked for political cover instead, issuing a canned statement through his office. “Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s remarks do not reflect Netanyahu’s views,” the statement read, “nor do they reflect the position of the Israeli government.”

Thus on the eve of peace negotiations, Bibi chose political expediency over condemning the murderous oath of a coalition partner.

*

To my many readers of good faith who celebrate the Torah as it was meant to be,
A very Happy Shavuot!*

*From HaAretz

*

A boy emerges from a known opening in the separation barrier in order to pick herbs, and is shot to death. Little girls return from school walking through a settlers’ orchard, and are detained for hours by Judea and Samaria District police after the owner of the estate complained that a few cherries were picked. A security guard at a border crossing kills a judge as a result of an angry exchange, and suddenly it turns out that the cameras weren’t working. When the cameras work from the Palestinian side, we questions quality of the film instead of asking how two boys were killed at a demonstration.

*

Not neo-Nazis, Judeo-Nazis

Amos Oz got it wrong again. Bloodcurdling bureaucracy and the banality of evil, here in the land of milk and honey.

By Uri Misgav
*
Anti-Christian graffiti on Jerusalem church

‘Price tag, King David is for the Jews, Jesus is garbage’ graffiti on Jerusalem church, May 9, 2014.Photo by AFP
*

Amos Oz got it wrong again. It’s not neo-Nazis. It’s Judeo-Nazis. Scions of a unique group which Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prophesized so well immediately after the great victory of 1967. Racism, murderousness and profound hatred originating in a religious-messianic worldview that is fueled by the occupation and settlement enterprise.

Of course at this stage, they’re on the margins. But history has proven that the question is how the center responds to the margins. In the wake of the most recent outbreaks of Kristallnacht-inspired rioting, the settler right hastened to label the rioters disdainfully as “graffiti-scribbling youth.” In the buses, more and more stickers are cropping up in Hebrew and Arabic with the warning: “Don’t even dare think about a Jewish woman!” Posters and articles warn not only against “assimilation” but also against Arab employment and housing. Behind this perception there are people, arbiters of halakha or Jewish religious law, organizations, and political movements. Is anyone bothering to investigate, to arrest, to judge? Israel will never be the Germany of 1942, but there is a moral obligation to prevent it from becoming like the Germany of 1932.

Nazism began as a marginal and disturbed ideology that at a certain stage suited the interests of Prussian militarism, the political right and wealthy businessmen, who were horrified at the blossoming of socialism. At first they snickered in secret at the Nazis, afterwards they aspired to exploit them for their own purposes, in the end it was too late.

In the state of the Jewish people it’s already too late. There is no place where we can take the shame and the terror. The center is apathetic. The left is defeated and afraid, in despair, emigrating, fighting among itself, just as in Germany of the early 1930s. Meanwhile generations of Israelis, incited and consumed with hatred, are flooding the public space, and there is nobody to confront them.

Salvation won’t come from the Tzavta theater. They don’t give a damn about Amos Oz. They’re on YouTube with David the Nahal soldier and on Facebook, where one Israeli, a retired Israel Defense Forces employee, suggested collecting Oz’s books and using them as fuel for the Lag Ba’omer bonfire.

The big story is the atmosphere. Thirty years ago the entire country was in an uproar when Shin Bet security service agents killed two terrorists who were captured during a bus hijacking. Today anything goes. When there’s no border there are no limits. That is the price of the occupation and the rite of victimization.

A boy emerges from a known opening in the separation barrier in order to pick herbs, and is shot to death. Little girls return from school walking through a settlers’ orchard, and are detained for hours by Judea and Samaria District police after the owner of the estate complained that a few cherries were picked. A security guard at a border crossing kills a judge as a result of an angry exchange, and suddenly it turns out that the cameras weren’t working. When the cameras work from the Palestinian side, we questions quality of the film instead of asking how two boys were killed at a demonstration.

Only the accursed poetics works overtime. For example, when it turns out that a soldier from the well-oiled IDF “communications division” decided to join the firing at demonstrators for the fun of it. Or when an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, one of the “living witnesses” that the government is so eager to have accompany trips to the extermination camps, slips and is seriously injured at the end of a visit to the Majdanek camp. The Education Ministry rejects all responsibility, responding to a lawsuit by saying she “freely chose to join the trip to Poland… and if the supposed accident really did take place, it happened due to the negligence of the plaintiff, who didn’t pay attention to where she was going.” Here you have it, bloodcurdling bureaucracy and the banality of evil, here in the land of milk and honey.

 

 

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