WHY ISRAELIS SHOULD JOIN THE BOYCOTT FROM WITHIN

P4_PampersBottom1

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You are not only supporting apartheid, you are supporting the criminal price gouging of foreign companies.

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Procter and Gamble (P&G) reduced the contents of a bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo by 20-33%. The company, which used to marketing the brand in a 750 ml bottle, halted its marketing of this bottle, and began marketing two different bottles: 500 ml and 600 ml. The new bottles are very similar to the old ones, giving the misleading impression that the price was reduced.

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Food cos raise prices by shrinking packages

supermarket  picture: thinkstock*

Prices of some items have shot up by double-digit percentages.

Food producers and importers have diminished the size of their packages in order to conceal price hikes and give consumers the misleading impression that prices have fallen, a “Globes” survey has revealed. In some cases, the smaller packages have raised the price to the consumer by double-digit percentages. In other cases, retailers say that consumers bought the product because they did not notice the change in quantity, and believed that the price had fallen.The Neto ME Holdings Ltd. (TASE;NTO) group, which owns the Williger brand, cut the amount of tuna in a four-pack from 160 grams to 140 grams in each can – a 12.5% reduction. The company took advantage of the reduction in the amount of tuna to conceal a 7% price hike. The previous retail price was NIS 15.40 before VAT for 640 grams (4 times 160 grams), while the new retail price is NIS 14.40 before VAT for 560 grams (4 times 140 grams). The price for the retailers therefore jumped 6.9%. The Williger packaging displays the words “lower weight package” in small letters, but the fact that the price rose together with the reduced weight did not appear.

Procter and Gamble (P&G) reduced the contents of a bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo by 20-33%. The company, which used to marketing the brand in a 750 ml bottle, halted its marketing of this bottle, and began marketing two different bottles: 500 ml and 600 ml. The new bottles are very similar to the old ones, giving the misleading impression that the price was reduced. In addition, while the quantity in the bottle is 33.3% less, the retail price has dropped by only 31.2%, constituting a concealed 2.1% price hike for the retailer, rolled over on to the consumer. A retailer said, “The company retained the same container shape. I estimate that only 5-10% of the consumers noticed that the amount in the container was smaller.”

Procter and Gamble used the same trick in other brands: Pantene and Fairy. The amount of shampoo and softener in a Pantene bottle dropped 20%: from 750 ml to 600 ml. The price to the retailer was cut by the same proportion. A retailer said, “They changed the Pantene bottle, giving the consumer the impression that it was a new container. The consumer didn’t know that they reduced the amount.” The amount of Fairy dish detergent was reduced from 750 ml to 650 ml, a 13.5% reduction, while the price to the retailer was cut in the same proportion. Someone buying the Fairy brand in a smaller container now, however, may not notice that the quantity has been reduced.

Behind the reduction in container sizes lies the companies’ wish to overcome the price barrier, given the drop in consumption. The same retailer told “Globes,” “The price is important in sales. The companies realized that the consumer has barriers: a NIS 10 barrier, a NIS 20 barrier. In order to adapt themselves to the demand and the consumer’s ability to pay, they adapted the container. Making the product smaller is not unfair, as long as the price is cut by the same proportion. The problem here is that no one tells the consumer, and consumers don’t notice it. They think they’re buying at a cheaper price.”

Misleading packaging

The method of raising prices by reducing the container size, or misleading the consumer the same way, is unfortunately not new. As recently revealed in “Globes,” Unilever also reduced the amount of Krembo in a package of Krembo Strauss by 20%, thereby raising the consumer price by 27-30%. Krembo Strauss is the leading brand in the category, and is responsible for almost all its sales. Despite its name, the brand is now fully owned by Unilever, which acquired ownership of the Strauss ice cream company that also owns the Krembo brand.

It appears that this is not a new method for Unilever. Just before the cottage cheese boycott, the company reduced the amount of Deli Pecan breakfast cereal in a package from 450 grams to 400 grams, an 11% reduction. The price to the retailer was cut by only 5%, meaning that the price to the retailers by weight to the retailer was 10% higher.

Furthermore, in December 2012, Unilever raised its price to the retailer back up to NIS 19.80, completing a 12.5% price hike. No less grave is the fact that Unilever did not reduce the package size at all, and 400 grams of Deli Pecan breakfast cereal are still being sold in exactly the same package in which the 500 grams of Branflakes are sold – a misleading package likely to make the consumer think that exactly the same amount is being sold.

Responses

The Neto Group said in response, “Williger is indeed offering a new and cheaper product in a smaller container in response to the global trend and consumer preferences. The drop in the price to the retailer reflects the relative proportion of tuna as a raw material, including elements in making the final product, such as manufacturing, packaging, employee wages, transportation, etc.”

Procter and Gamble said in response, “Over the past year, some of the containers of these products were changed. As required by law, the change in the package size was clearly marked on the container for several months.”

Unilever said in response, “The largest Krembo package with 40 units was replaced by two new packages with 20 units and 32 units in order to expand the variety of the family-sized packages for consumer convenience. The change in the number of units is clearly marked on the packages. In any case, the final consumer price is determined by the retailers.”

 

Source

IN ISRAEL, THE THEME IS ‘ACCEPTANCE OF THE OTHER’ … UNLESS THEY ARE SEPHARDIC JEWS

Helen Thomas was wrong, we are not ALL from Poland ;)

Helen Thomas was wrong, we are not ALL from Poland ;)

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A nice and impressive conference, organized by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, is taking place Sunday and Monday under a promising banner, “From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other.”

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Israeli academia is not accepting of the other

Op-ed: When academic conference is held under banner of ‘Accepting the Other,’ but only has Ashkenazi participants, it’s not rejection – it’s a disgrace

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A nice and impressive conference, organized by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, is taking place Sunday and Monday under a promising banner, “From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other.”

Every civilized society, at any point in time, is in need of self-examination over manifestations of hatred, incitement and exclusion within it. “The other,” regardless of who that is, is worthy of acceptance (as long as he wants to be accepted, and that isn’t always the case). Not in order to be discussed, not in order to provide for academic chairs and researchers who will receive funds on his behalf.

The other is worthy of acceptance as a partner, not only as an image one looks at through an academic microscope.

The other will be perpetuated as “the other” as long as he remains solely an object of research. Because the other usually wants to be a partner. He wants to be not only part of the labor market, but also part of the elite. In fact, he usually doesn’t want to be “the other,” but there are those who take the trouble to leave him out. Sometimes unintentionally; sometimes willfully.

When all of the Bank of Israel’s bills feature Ashkenazi figures, the state is nurturing the rejection of the other. It’s a symbolic matter. But symbols are part of the issue. And when an academic conference is held under the advanced banner of “Accepting the Other,” but all – or nearly all – of its Jewish participants are Ashkenazim, it’s not just a rejection of the other. It’s a disgrace.

Not every conference and not every panel have to be based on a complete reflection of the Israeli diversity. A cardiologists’ conference can be dominated by men of Bulgarian descent. Their ethnic origin is irrelevant. But a conference about the status of women, in which the overwhelming number of participants or all participants are men, is a conference perpetuating the oppression of women. There is no chance that this will happen in any civilized country. And if it does, there will be a huge uproar.

But lo and behold, the most prestigious academic body in Israel, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, organizes a conference about the other which is characterized mainly by an exclusion of the other.

It’s not just about the ethnic origin issue. It’s possible that a very small minority of the participants are of Sephardic decent. The problem is also about opinion and outlook and a school of thought.

Can the organizers explain the absence of professors like Nissim Mizrachi, the chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University, or Yossi Yonah, who has written many publications about multiculturalism and racism and the exclusion of the other, or Meir Buzaglo, or Yossi Dahan, or Henriette Dahan Kalev, or Pnina Motzafi-Haller, and many others whose work focuses on these exact fields?

It should be mentioned that I strongly disagree with some of the names I mentioned. But that’s not important. There is no need to agree with them about everything. It’s clear that they have something to say. Some of them have experienced rejection and integration themselves. They have engaged in this issue more than others. The things they have to say, which are sometimes irritating, are challenging things.

They can’t be left out of the discussion, even though they – they too – are not nice. Whoever excludes them from the discourse because he doesn’t like their opinions is violating the basic idea of academic thought.

The problem is that the Academy of Sciences has been infected with a disease which characterizes a major part of the humanities and social sciences departments in Israel. There is no real openness. There is no willingness to listen to the other. Entire conferences are dominated by participants who share the exact same opinion.

Sometimes the academic staff in a certain department or institution is dominated by lecturers whose opinions range from radical left to even more radical left. Here and there, although much less, we see panels of rightists with rightists. It’s boring. It’s banal. It’s definitely not academic.

The conference’s organizers may have had good intentions, but the result is the exact opposite.

 

See my Previous Post

DOES THE NEW ISRAELI PRESIDENT ACTUALLY HAVE A SOUL?

The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session on Sunday of a conference on From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other.

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President Rivlin: Time to admit that Israel is a sick society that needs treatment
By GREER FAY CASHMAN FOR

Rivlin was speaking at the opening session of a conference entitled “From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other,” on the escalation of tensions between Jews and Arabs.

israel

Reuven Rivlin at ceremony for new road dedicated to Shamir. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session on Sunday of a conference on From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other.

Both Rivlin and Prof. Ruth Arnon, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which organized the conference at its premises on the capital’s Jabotinsky Street, spoke of the painful and bloody summer, and the resultant resurgence of animosity between Arabs and Jews that had escalated to new heights.

Referring to the mutual expressions of hatred and incitement, Arnon said that Jews, who in the Diaspora had been exposed to anti-Semitism and persecution, should be more sensitive to the dangers of incitement. “But are we?” she asked.

Rivlin wondered aloud whether Jews and Arabs had abandoned the secret of dialogue.

With regard to Jews he said: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse?” In Rivlin’s eyes, the academy has a vital task to reduce violence in Israeli society by encouraging dialogue and the study of different cultures and languages with the aim of promoting mutual understanding, so that there can be civilized meetings between the sectors of society.

He urged the academy to take on this challenge and to eradicate the violence that threatens to scar Israel’s image.

Education Minister Shai Piron was confident that differences can be overcome and cited his own family as an example. He grew up in a home in which his father was Sephardi and politically right wing, whereas his mother was Ashkenazi and left wing. And yet, he never detected any antagonism. He did not realize until he was an adult and went out into the world, the extent to which differences can cause havoc, he said.

The Education Ministry is starting a heritage project whereby Jewish and Arab youth, both religious and secular, will study side by side and learn each other’s traditions, Piron said.

Holocaust studies professor Yehuda Bauer of the Hebrew University said that racism based on color is marginal in Israel. Racism in Israel is generally of a nationalist nature, he said. He was most concerned about religious racism and incitement that usually emanates from extremist fringe elements, because these people are often the most violent and most dangerous, he declared.

The most difficult task confronting the academy, Bauer said, out was how to define incitement in relation to freedom of speech. He cautioned that freedom of speech must never be sacrificed on the altar of incitement. His own definition of incitement was when an individual or a group, through speech or written material, harms and humiliates another individual or group, sparking others to engage in physical or psychological violence against them and even going so far as to kill them.

DID ELIE WEISEL LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE HOLOCAUST?

IF SO, WHY IS HE SUPPORTING A NEW ONE??
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TO ANYONE!

TO ANYONE!

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Of all the organizations in Israel, he chose Elad, the most controversial, a group with no truth, grace or compassion. It’s all too clear why they chose him as chairman, but not at all clear why he agreed.

Wiesel has garnered enormous respect from the Jewish people and Gentile nations for surviving and becoming a mouthpiece for Holocaust victims. How about sharing some of that respect? Won’t you reconsider, identify with them and sign their cursed blessings?

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Elie Wiesel hides ethnic cleansing behind a prayer shawl

This ostensible messenger of peace supports an organization that evicts Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.

By Yossi Sarid FOR
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Obama Wiesel

President Barack Obama hugging Elie Wiesel. Photo by Reuters
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Much have I learned from gossip columns, which for reasons of propriety are also called “social columns.” Without them how would we know who’s going with whom and for what gain?

Before turning to the news pages, cast an eye on the yellow stuff. It will help you understand how the system works.

The special ads – not those intended to sell chocolate pudding – also provide important information and develop your awareness. According to the numbers, under 10 percent of readers look at them, but that’s a mistake to be corrected.

So last Friday, this paper of all papers carried an ad in Hebrew blessing the “dozens of new families joining the Jewish community in the City of David.” According to the ad, “We salute the Zionist action of those involved; we all share the challenge of strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem. With you we’ll receive the pilgrims who visit over the holiday.”

This is followed by the signatures of people linked to settler group Elad. Some of the names are unfamiliar, but some are astonishing. After all, this organization is notorious for making trouble in the City of Eternal Peace.

I wasn’t surprised to see singer Yehoram Gaon’s name, for example. He sees a flag in every rag and takes every broomstick for a flagpole.

But what are former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, former police chief Shlomo Aharonishki and former Hadassah University Hospital chief Shlomo Mor-Yosef doing there? What’s a former director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ilan Cohen, doing there? Maybe they should explain why they’re willing to sponsor people who evict people and take over their homes?

As they say in Isaiah 5:8, “Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.”

And who’s their chairman? You’ll never guess. Not casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, not Jewish organization leader Malcolm Hoenlein. Not even U.S. businessman Irving Moskowitz and his wife Cherna.

It’s somebody identified more than anyone with the memory of the Holocaust — a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom — Elie Wiesel. The Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo wrote: “Wiesel is a messenger to mankind; his message is one of peace, atonement and human dignity.”

This is a man expected to show special sensitivity to the suffering of the other, whether in Romania’s Sighetu Marmației, where he’s from, or Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood. This is the man who portrays himself as a friend of Barack Obama, but who lends a hand to those who insult the president publicly.

Before every meeting in Washington, these people prepare another invasion in Jerusalem, sabotaging others’ laborious efforts. Maybe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew why he offered Wiesel Israel’s presidency at the time, but we didn’t.

He’s the man who declared he was keeping himself out of Israeli politics, anointing himself with pure olive oil. Every time he was asked to respond to some injustice in our midst, reminiscent of some injustice far away, he evaded the question.

He of all people burst into one house after another, houses bought in shady deals, fit for the night to be carried out before the sheets and coffee cups have cooled. He of all people is hiding creeping ethnic cleansing behind a prayer shawl.

Of all the organizations in Israel, he chose Elad, the most controversial, a group with no truth, grace or compassion. It’s all too clear why they chose him as chairman, but not at all clear why he agreed.

Wiesel has garnered enormous respect from the Jewish people and Gentile nations for surviving and becoming a mouthpiece for Holocaust victims. How about sharing some of that respect? Won’t you reconsider, identify with them and sign their cursed blessings?

BENEFITS OF BEING A PALESTINIAN IN JERUSALEM

In Jerusalem, however, the majority of Palestinians are not Israeli citizens but residents of Jerusalem who fell under Israeli military occupation in 1967 but unlike West Bank Palestinians were given permanent residency cards entitling them to certain benefits.

Read the report below to see one of those ‘benefits’ …

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Young Palestinian ‘beaten by Jewish mob’ in Jerusalem hotel

(MaanImages)
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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A mob of Jewish men assaulted a young Palestinian on Friday evening while he was working at a hotel in Jerusalem in an attack apparently motivated by racial hate, the victim’s father told Ma’an.

Faysal Azzam told Ma’an that 11 “extremist” Jews yelling racial epithets attacked his son Muhammad, 20, at his place of work at the Rimonim Shalom Hotel in West Jerusalem.

The attackers tried to strangle the young Palestinian man, he said, and as a result the youth suffered bruises and cuts in the face and hands.

He was also left bleeding from his nose and mouth, his father added.

Azzam said that before the “extremists” attacked his son, they insulted him and shouted racist curses against Arabs.

After verbally assaulting him, they attacked him with steel bars and tried to strangle him using a piece of rope, Azzam added.

The attack took place on the 8th floor, he said, adding that his son was rescued by security guards who heard his screams from the fourth floor.

The victim was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment.

“It wasn’t just an attack, but rather a murder attempt by spiteful extremists. The signs of (attempted) strangulation are clear on his neck,” Azzam said.

The father said that Israeli police had summoned his son for questioning and he had filed a complaint against the attackers.

Cities across Israel have witnessed a string of attacks against Palestinians since early summer, as a “price tag” crime wave that targeted Palestinians inside Israel for perceived slights against Jewish settlements in the West Bank has evolved into recurring mob attacks and anti-Arab rallies.

Over the summer, Palestinian passerby have been repeatedly assaulted in majority-Jewish West Jerusalem, while right-wing Jewish campaigns to prevent mixing among Jews and Arabs have held numerous rallies and covered public areas in anti-Arab fliers.

Although the majority of Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of the State of Israel, some Palestinians managed to remain in their villages and their descendants today make up around 20 percent of Israel’s population.

In Jerusalem, however, the majority of Palestinians are not Israeli citizens but residents of Jerusalem who fell under Israeli military occupation in 1967 but unlike West Bank Palestinians were given permanent residency cards entitling them to certain benefits.

EU TO WAGE DIPLOMATIC WAR AGAINST ISRAEL

Sweden recognized “Palestine” on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, and on Monday the UK followed suit in a non-binding vote – now “frustrated” European officials reveal that they are ready to take their diplomatic war on Israel to the next stage.

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Hopefully this is the first stop on the road to the Hague

Hopefully this is the first stop on the road to the Hague

 

EU mulls ‘blacklisting’ settlers convicted of crimes

European diplomats consider new measures in response to ‘high level of frustration’ over West Bank settlement enterprise.

Reuters VIA

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European officials are looking at new ways to press Israel to halt its building of settlements on land the Palestinians want for a state, as frustration over West Bank construction reaches a new high, European diplomats say.

The discussions are at an early stage, but officials say the European Union may look at “blacklisting” Jewish settlers convicted of crimes from the EU and could examine the fine print of a free-trade agreement, although there is no talk of sanctions.

The measure being considered by the European Commission is to draw up a list of Israeli settlers who have been convicted of crimes and ban them from entering the EU, one official said.

“The paperwork has been done but it is frozen for now,” said the official. “It is basically a blacklist of violent settlers who have been accused of or convicted of crimes. It would prevent them from travelling to Europe.”

Such a step would probably only affect 100 to 200 people, and it might prove complicated to impose since some of those likely to be blacklisted also have European passports, but it would send a strong message that the EU means business, he said.

A series of steps by Israel in recent weeks, including the seizure of 1,000 acres of land near the Palestinian town of Bethlehem and plans to build 2,600 settler homes near Jerusalem, has angered the European Union, the United States and the United Nations, fuelling calls for a response.

Israel has regularly said its settlements are legal and an Israeli government official told Reuters on Tuesday Europe would be better off putting pressure on the Palestinians to live up to their obligations and recognize the legitimacy of Israel.

The EU has already imposed restrictions on loans to Israeli scientific institutions that operate in the West Bank and is moving ahead with plans to label products made in Jewish settlements.

“No one is talking about imposing trade sanctions on Israel,” said one EU country’s ambassador to Israel. “But there is a very high level of frustration and there are many instruments at our disposal to make that frustration clear.”

Another senior diplomat described Europe’s patience as “wearing thin”, with political sentiment shifting.

That shift was partly reflected in Sweden’s decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state this month and a non-binding vote in the British parliament on the same issue on Monday.

EU foreign ministers meet in Luxembourg on October 20, though it was not yet clear whether Israel will be discussed.

While many of the EU’s 28 member states have expressed concerns about Israel’s settlement policies, the country also has many staunch EU defenders. It is far from certain that there would be unanimous support for action against Israel.

An Israeli official said Europe was misguided. “By focusing only on one issue and only on Israel, they are not doing the Palestinians a favor and they are definitely not playing as productive a role as they could do in peace talks,” he said.

“Europe could be much more productive in its engagement if its messages to the Palestinians were that it’s time for them to fundamentally accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

European diplomats and other officials mentioned several areas where the bloc could bring pressure to bear, including by strictly applying regulations contained in the Association Agreement signed between the EU and Israel in 1995.

That agreement sets out a very specific framework for free trade in goods, services and capital, presaging everything on “respect for human rights and democratic principles”.

Article 83 of the agreement makes clear that it only applies to the territory of the state of Israel, which one official said raised questions about how you deal, for example, with Israeli banks which operate on occupied land that the EU does not consider to be part of the state of Israel.

“I’m not saying we should stop dealing with Israeli banks, but it’s an issue that has been raised and some would say we need to look at it in more detail,” said the ambassador.

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RELATED …. from my ziocrap file

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EU Officials Weighing ‘Settler Travel Ban’ to Press Israel

European diplomats looking at ways to subvert trade agreement and bank cooperation as ‘diplomatic war’ on Israel ratchets up a level.
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EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Reuters

NO PEACE WITH PALESTINE IF THERE IS A PALESTINE

Israel warned Tuesday that a vote by the British parliament in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.

They said the same last week when Sweden’s Parliament voted the same ….

Israel obviously likes things as they are …. Occupation strengthens the prospects of peace according to ziologic. It maters not what the rest of the world has to say. Occupation  = 30 BILLION DOLLAR$ a  year  … no way are they prepared to give that up!

2014 is almost over and WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN!

'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Israel says UK Palestine vote undermines peace prospects
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Israel warned Tuesday that a vote by the British parliament in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.”Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace,” said a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry.Late Monday, British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.The resolution was welcomed by the Palestinians.

“It will enhance the European voices calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine and will create the right environment for the international community to grant the Palestinian people legal parity and rights,” senior Palestine Liberation Official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, said that although the vote was not binding on the British government it was significant.

“I think that this vote is a sign of shifting public opinion in the UK and indeed beyond,” he said in an interview Tuesday morning with Israeli public radio.

The debate in the House of Commons came after the Swedish government announced it would recognize a Palestinian state — it would be the first EU member in Western Europe to do so — drawing anger from Israel.

It follows the collapse of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, and this year’s conflict in Gaza in which more than 2,000 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis were killed, mostly soldiers.

“The conflict in the summer over Gaza had a big impact on British public opinion and has affected Israel’s standing,” Gould said.

“Announcements on settlements since the summer have also had an impact and so although this vote won’t affect government policy I think it is right to be concerned about what it signifies in terms of the direction of public opinion.”

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have recognized Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date from the Soviet era.

Britain abstained in 2012 from a vote in the United Nations on giving the Palestinians the rank of observer state, which was granted over the objections of the United States and Israel.

FROM
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A PALESTINE WITHOUT WALLS!  OCCUPATION!! = PEACE!!! By Latuff

A PALESTINE WITHOUT
WALLS!
OCCUPATION!!
= PEACE!!!
By Latuff

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Related post from Mondoweiss … (Click on link to read)

AN ORWELLIAN LOOK AT THE ISRAELI ARMY

Do you remember the book and/or movie by George Orwell called Animal Farm? If not, watch the following before you proceed with the rest of this post …

The above was Orwell’s view of life in the Soviet Union during the Stalin era. (I must admit that the pig has a strong resemblance to one of the former leaders, Nikita Khrushchev.)

paul-schutzer-nikita-khrushchev-during-press-conference-from-balcony-of-soviet-united-nations-headquarters

paul-schutzer-nikita-khrushchev-during-press-conference-from-balcony-of-soviet-united-nations-headquarters

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Now, back to the IDF ….

Certain segments of the ultra orthodox community view those that serve in the Israeli army as pigs, an insult needless to say to any Jew who follows the laws of Kashrut ( laws concerning Kosher food).

This is how they are depicted

img537532

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Why then was it a surprise that Hamas tweeted the above poster?

While many Israelis were outraged by a recent anti-IDF poster campaign by hareidi extremists in which religious soldiers were portrayed as pigs, the campaign has received an enthusiastic endorsement from another group of anti-Zionists: Hamas.

On Saturday morning, a Hamas-aligned Twitter account retweeted the image, which showed a “pig” in an IDF uniform wearing a skullcap and peyot (sidecurls), waving a copy of the Talmud while hareidi children mocked his appearance. (FROM)

See the Twitter Page HERE

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Below you can see what the people of Gaza saw during the recent Israeli blitzkrieg. How could they not view these people as pigs?

So why the fuss? If the sandal fits, wear it!

BIBI FACES THE NATION AND LIES THROUGH HIS TEETH

I’m not sure if this man is stupid or does he think everyone else is ….

Watch the following and decide for yourself.

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For a pretty clear picture of the truth in these matters …. read THIS from the archives. It’s very informative.

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A LONG BUT MUST READ, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE JEWISH

WHY WAS MY DAUGHTER’S WEDDING SEEN AS A SECURITY THREAT TO ISRAEL?

Palestine-99542987592_xlarge

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 Yes, I would like to receive an honest and convincing answer to my frustrating question.

My daughter and her fianceי have never been involved in any wrong doing or security violations. However, Israel is so notorious for invoking the security mantra to justify denying Palestinians their basic rights. 

One Civil Administration official in Hebron told me that “if your daughter wanted to join her husband in Gaza, she would have to sign documents, wavering her right to return to the West Bank. In other words, she would have to willfully accept eternal deportation.

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What does preventing a wedding have to do with Israeli security?
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

Yes, I would like to receive an honest and convincing answer to my frustrating question. What does preventing a Hebron fiancיe from being wed to her Gaza fiancי have to do with Israeli security? Does it constitute a security risk? Does it compromise Israeli security in any real manner?

In recent months, I have left no stone unturned in order to obtain a real answer to my question from Israeli officials, but to no avail. Yes, I heard all sorts of prevarication and mendacious justifications and pretexts to justify the unjustifiable.

My daughter Azhar, 19, was engaged to Abdullah Abu Allaban, 23, from Jabalya in the Gaza Strip last year. Their marriage certificate was officiated at the Islamic Sharia court in Dura near Hebron where we live. Ever since, she has been trying in vain to travel the 30 mile-distance from Hebron to Gaza to join her husband. (It is like the distance between Oklahoma City and Norman).

We contacted the civil administration of the Israeli occupation and army and were told to contact the Palestinian Authority (PA) liaison office. However, when we did, we were told that the PA had no authority or power over these matters.  At the Israeli liaison office, a young female soldier told us rather sarcastically to “see Mahmoud Abbas, perhaps he could help you,” Mahmoud Abbas is the helpless chief of the helpless entity known as the Palestinian Authority. He is always at Israel’s beck and call.

My daughter and her fiancי have never been involved in any wrong doing or security violations. However, Israel is so notorious for invoking the security mantra to justify denying Palestinians their basic rights.

One Civil Administration official in Hebron told me that “if your daughter wanted to join her husband in Gaza, she would have to sign documents, wavering her right to return to the West Bank. In other words, she would have to willfully accept eternal deportation.

This is not fair by any standard of civility. Where else in the world does this gross injustice happen? Even the most rogue states don’t do this. Why must traveling a 30-mile distance from Hebron to Gaza lead to eternal banishment from one’s homeland?

The Israeli army authorities would deny that they are preventing a fiancיe in the West Bank from joining her fiancי in Gaza. They would argue that the couple could always travel abroad for the marriage ceremony and consummation and then return to occupied Palestine

This is partly true, but it usually involves a lot of problems, mainly stemming from the unkind treatment meted out to Palestinians by neighboring Arab authorities especially in Jordan and Egypt. Moreover, the traveler would have to incur a lot of extra expenses.

As a journalist who has been covering the bitter conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for more than 30 years, I have long become aware of Israel’s real goals behind this illogical policy of denying Palestinians the sort of things that other people around the world take for granted.

Israel simply doesn’t want us to be around. Israel wants a land without people and is always seeking an opportune time to get rid of us.  But, we won’t give Israel this opportunity, no matter what.

Israel also manipulates humanitarian issues such as this one in order to recruit informers and agents for its security agencies so that they would inform on their communities, friends and neighbors, thus corroding the Palestinian society from within.

The Israeli intelligence didn’t ask me, either implicitly or explicitly, to “cooperate” with them in exchange for permitting my daughter and me to travel to Gaza. Perhaps they knew that my profile wouldn’t allow this sort of thing to happen.   

But it is really sad that the very people who call themselves “the chosen people” and “light upon the nations” would ask the father or mother of a child afflicted with cancer, who need to have a travel permit to take the child to hospital in either Israel or the West Bank for medical treatment, to either “cooperate with us” or have your child dead in a few days or weeks.

Israel, for the sake of argument, may have some “legitimate security” concerns if it allowed Palestinians to commute freely between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But Israel also employs meticulous security measures that make it virtually impossible for Palestinians traveling through Israel checkpoints and roadblocks to indulge in any foul play.

Hence, the only remaining explanation for the draconian Israeli measures is that Israel is interested first and foremost in frustrating, harassing and tormenting the Palestinians in the hope that the latter would contemplate leaving their ancestral homeland for good in order to have a normal life in exile.

SELF INFLICTED ANTI SEMITISM

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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

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

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

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

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The following made headline news in the Israeli press ….

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

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NY Jew assaulted outside Maccabi TA game in Brooklyn

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

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

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

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Brooklyn (Photo: AP)

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Brooklyn (Photo: AP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jewish Voice for Peace Says ‘Horrified’ by Attack

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DIRECT ACTION FRONT FOR PALESTINE

By Gabe Friedman

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

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

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

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Leonard Petlakh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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ISRAEL ORDERED TO COMPENSATE GAZA FAMILY OVER DEADLY ATTACK THAT KILLED 23

 

*A Jerusalem court has ordered the State of Israel to compensate a family in Gaza  after finding it directly responsible for attacks that killed 23 members of the same family.

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it_aint_necessarily_so_t

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WHOA ___________________________

That didn’t happen at all ….

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Here’s what did ….

Obviously, Israeli lives are worth more than Palestinian ones …

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Israeli Weights and Measures 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

Two Weights, Two Measures ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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PA ordered to compensate Israeli family over deadly attack


Palestinian Authority transferred weapons, money used by terrorists who carried out attack that killed 3 members of the same family in 2001.
AFP
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Jerusalem court has ordered the Palestinian Authority to compensate an Israeli family after finding it indirectly responsible for an attack that killed three of its members.

The decision from September 22 states that the PA had transferred weapons and money used by the terrorists who carried out an attack on a highway which killed the three Israelis in 2001.

Yaniv and Sharon Ben-Shalom were returning home from Jerusalem, where they spent Shabbat with Sharon’s parents to their home in Ofarim with their two daughters – Efrat, 20 months old, and Shahar, 8 months old – and with Sharon’s brother.

Palestinians opened fire from a passing vehicle, killing Sharon and Yaniv. Sharon’s brother Doron Sviri was fatally wounded by a shot to the head, and died the following day.

The PA knew of the potential dangers of using the arms and did not warn the users, so it therefore “owes damages to those who were hurt”, read the ruling, distributed on Sunday.

The district court added that popular Fatah leader Marwan Barghuti, serving multiple life sentences for his role in attacks on Israelis, “knew about the attack and was briefed on it after it was carried out”.

A spokeswoman for the court said the trial, which began in 2009, was still ongoing and the judge had yet to decide on the amount of damages the PA would be ordered to pay.

Other courts in Israel have in the past ruled that the PA pay damages to Israelis, but according to Haaretz newspaper the PA tends to reach out-of-court settlements with plaintiffs.

There was no immediate reaction on Monday from the Palestinian Authority to the latest ruling.

HOLIDAYS IN ISRAEL ~~ A TIME TO LOVE OR TO HATE

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Preparations are underway to usher in a week long holiday in Israel. It is called Succot, or The Feast of the Tabernacles. We eat all of our meals in little booths and the ceilings are usually made of tree branches, allowing the sky to be visible. It is a reminder of the 40 years we roamed in the desert and dwelled in such structures. It is actually quite a fun holiday and a very community oriented one, it is one of my favourites.
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A non Jewish visitor to Jerusalem this week might get the impression that the entire city stands in solidarity with the homeless Palestinians illegally evicted from their homes by settlers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Tents have appeared (actually booths) in preparation of the Festival
.
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Family homes were STOLEN, many families have been living in makeshift tents for over five years…. and neither the Municipality of Jerusalem nor the Palestinian Authority gives a damn. As winter approaches, a new meaning is given to the term ‘settlement freeze’ as these homeless literally freeze in their abodes. Sheikh Jarrah is no longer headline news, but the problems there remain the same.
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I had some flashbacks this morning to my Succot celebrations in Brooklyn as a child, they were much different than here. Here there is a Jewish community and an Arab community. In the neighbourhood I grew up in, there was a Eastern European Jewish Community (Ashkenazi) and a community made up of Spanish Jews and Jews from Northern Africa (Sephardi). Both communities had their own traditions and practices, but basically both were members of the same religion. One of the major differences between the two communities at the time were language, the Ashkenazi Jews spoke Yiddish; a language with Germanic roots, while the Sephardi Jews spoke a language called Ladino; a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish.
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What I remembered this morning was the following; The Synagogue of the Sephardi community was situated very close to the home of my grandparents. They used to build a large enough booth to accommodate their entire congregation. As a child, I used to help them with the preparations. I remembered my grandmother screaming at me from her window to get away from them, not to play with their kids…. I could never understand why. It seemed that part of her ghetto mentality was to distrust anyone that was in any way different. These people were different than we were, as mentioned; they spoke a different language and, for the most part, had darker skins than the Ashkenazi Jews. The younger generation, like myself did not see these differences as our common language was English and skin colour was never an issue with me or my immediate family. I therefore could never understand my grandmother’s logic, or lack of…. So I secretly maintained my friendships with the kids there.
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Today, I started thinking about prejudice, why it exists, how to overcome it…. It seems to exist because of ignorance and fear, two very real factors. How to overcome it? Learn about each other and the fear factor will be eliminated. Very simple! It worked in my case.Things are different today, in Israel at least. The Jewish community celebrates together. We have a common language, Hebrew. There are still some remnants of the old world prejudice, but for the most part it’s gone. Now to overcome the prejudices between the Jewish and Arab communities here. My way is to open my booth, as well as my home, to ALL members of the community, both Arab and Jew.  It’s the only way to guarantee an end to the hatred… live together! So, instead of fearing the differences of the others, my philosophy is to say
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VIVA LA DIFFERENCE!
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Let us all live together as neighbours and brothers.Shalom-Salaam!

GAZANS STILL WAITING FOR THE LIGHTS TO COME ON

blind-to-gaza

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Israel has the capacity to stop power interruptions today. Sympathetic nations have the influence to insist that Israel does this. If international leadership cannot agree that providing electricity to the people of Gaza — a very achievable goal — should be an immediate priority, how can we possibly imagine that the larger political issues can be resolved anytime soon?

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Why must Gaza wait in the dark?

Separating Gaza’s electricity supply from the political conflict is a step long overdue.

By Sam Bahour FOR

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Gaza aftermath, Gaza city, 6.9.2014

 

When I asked my colleague in Gaza about her biggest dream, her answer made an impression on me: “I dream of what life would be like with 24-hour electricity.” This was the answer of a single, mid-career, western educated, professional woman who lives in the more affluent part of Gaza City. Her response suggests the depth of despair among Palestinians throughout Gaza.

Day-to-day life in Gaza between Israeli attacks is unworthy news for Western mainstream media. As a result, few people are aware that electricity in Gaza is a luxury, with blackouts lasting 16-18 hours—every day. This bitter reality has warped people’s lives for years now, as they must plan their daily activities around the four-six hours when they anticipate electricity, even if that means waking up to put laundry in the washing machine in the middle of the night.

Smoke and flames rise from Gaza

 

Contrary to common belief, the severe under supply of electricity in Gaza is not new, and not a result of the latest military aggression. Gaza has not had uninterrupted electricity since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. In an attempt to compensate for the Israeli disruption of Gaza’s power supply, the Palestinians established their first power generation plant in 2004. Ever since, Israel has regularly limited the supply of electricity and industrial fuel needed to operate this only power plant in Gaza. Israel’s ability to deny families in Gaza the energy they need is nothing less than collective punishment of Palestinians—an entire community is made to pay for the acts of a few.

Separating Gaza’s electricity supply from the political conflict is a step long overdue. Access to electricity—a basic necessity that much of the world, including Israeli citizens can take for granted—should not be conditional upon outcomes of future negotiations. Continued darkness in Gaza serves no one.

During Israel’s military aggression on Gaza this past summer, Israel again bombed the sole power plant in Gaza. (Israel bombed the same plant on June 28, 2006.)  In a July 29, 2014 article about the latest destruction, the Guardian quoted Amnesty International which stated, “the crippling of the power station amounted to collective punishment of Palestinians.” Amnesty went on to note that, “the strike on the plant will worsen already severe problems with Gaza’s water supply, sewage treatment and power supplies to medical facilities.”

On September 14, 2014, less than 50 days after the Israeli strike on the plant and less than a month after the cessation of fighting, the Middle East Monitor reported that the CEO of the Gaza Electricity Company, Walid Sayel, announced that Gaza’s power plant was ready to resume operating, pending fuel supply. “The Turkish minister of energy,” the item continued, “had said that his country is ready to send a floating 100 megawatt power plant to Gaza after obtaining the necessary permits [from Israel].” As Palestinians in Gaza try to move on, none of the players involved in the latest debacle, foremost among them Israel, is being held accountable.

The barrier is not simply being without fuel for the power plant. The issue is much more complex and calculated. If Turkey were serious about helping, their floating power station would already be in Gaza’s territorial waters even if they had to face down the Israeli navy and risk an international incident to bring electricity to Gaza. If the Palestinian Authority were serious, we would not have to witness the CEO of a Palestinian power plant begging for the funds needed to get the power plant running. And most importantly, Israel has the capacity to provide Gaza with continuous electricity immediately. According to international law, as the occupying power, Israel has sole responsibility to remedy this issue immediately.

To the governments and leaders who just returned to Cairo for another round of ceasefire negotiations with no timeline or end in sight, I challenge them to first focus on this basic and humane step: Give the people of Gaza access to electricity. It would be a basic step in easing the stresses of life in Gaza where loved ones can’t check in with one another when cell phones can’t get charged, email and Skype calls are not predictable, and having back-up generators for hospitals is literally a matter of life and death.

As what was intended to be a five-year peace process crawls into its third decade, an entire generation of Palestinian children in Gaza who were born in the early 1990s are now turning 16, 18, 20 years old. Their generation has never known a time that didn’t require candles to be able to study after dark due to intermittent electricity.

Israel has the capacity to stop power interruptions today. Sympathetic nations have the influence to insist that Israel does this. If international leadership cannot agree that providing electricity to the people of Gaza — a very achievable goal — should be an immediate priority, how can we possibly imagine that the larger political issues can be resolved anytime soon?

EID AL- ADHA MUBARAK

thanks-to-muslimvillage

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As one side of the wall fasts on Saturday, those on the other side will feast.  

To all of my Muslim family and friends, EID MUBARAK! May your prayers for Peace and Justice become a reality in the coming year.

To my Jewish friends and family, may you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

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A sampling of the wonderful date filled Eid cookies prepared by my family

WOULD ROSA PARKS FLY ON EL AL?

 

*Rosa Parks

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An online petition launched Sunday is calling on the airline to provide a small section of gender-segregated seats for an extra fee. In two days, the petition garnered more than 1,500 signatures.

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El Al Grapples With Gender Segregation Furor

Should Airline Allow Ultra-Orthodox Men To Sit Apart?

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WIKIMEDIA
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By Ben Sales

 

For approximately a half hour at the beginning of her El Al Israel Airlines flight last week from New York to Tel Aviv, Elana Sztokman watched as the haredi Orthodox man seated next to her rushed up and down the aisle searching for someone willing to switch seats so he wouldn’t have to sit beside her.

On the same route several hours later, another El Al flight was delayed as haredi men stood in the aisles refusing to sit next to women.

After takeoff, the men resumed their protest until other seats were found for them. A passenger on the flight told the Israeli website Ynet that the trip was “an 11-hour nightmare.”

Israel’s national airline has long had to contend with haredi Orthodox Jews insisting on gender separation in the skies. But the two recent incidents – Sztokman’s story went viral after she wrote about it in the online magazine Tablet – have prompted calls for El Al to resolve the ongoing issue.

Some have suggested that the airline insist that strictly observant passengers sit in their assigned seats. Others say the airline should create gender-segregated sections, so seat maps would not have to be reconfigured on the spot.

“What offends me is the premise that sitting next to me is a problem,” said Sztokman, author of the recent book “The War on Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalism and the Women Fighting for Freedom.” “I’m a person first and foremost.”

Sztokman, who has faced similar situations on past El Al flights, said she has written the airline to complain several times but has not heard back.

In a statement responding to an inquiry from JTA, El Al made no mention of the Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 incidents, but said that the airline’s staffers “are trying their best to respond to every request of any of the passengers.”

An online petition launched Sunday is calling on the airline to provide a small section of gender-segregated seats for an extra fee. In two days, the petition garnered more than 1,500 signatures.

“I do think El Al has a responsibility to make its passengers feel safe and prevent this type of thing from happening,” the petition’s author, Sharon Shapiro of Chicago, told JTA. “I don’t think women should be harassed or feel bad or guilty if they can’t change seats. I don’t think men who feel it’s a halachic [Jewish legal] mandate that they can’t sit next to women should be put in a position that they have to nudge and ask.”

Special sections or flights for haredi passengers have been suggested before but never implemented. In a controversial move, some Israeli bus companies separated seating for women and men on several lines in 2010. In 2011, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that forcing such segregation is illegal.

“If they rent the whole plane, El Al can run empty planes,” said Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, a Reform Jewish group. “But you can’t make people move because of their gender.”

Hoffman’s organization challenged El Al two years ago on gender segregation when an American woman, Debra Ryder, was forced to switch seats after a man refused to sit next to her. A lawyer for Hoffman’s group, Orly Erez-Litkhovsky, demanded that Ryder be compensated approximately $14,000 as a result.

El Al rejected the payment demand but said it would revisit its guidelines for flight attendants in terms of having them ask passengers to move or telling people to stay in their seats.

The man who was assigned a seat next to Sztokman’s eventually switched with another passenger. Sztokman said she hopes public outcry in the wake of the incident – including outcry from haredi Orthodox – will push El Al to take action.

“I hope this helps people within the haredi world think twice about whether this is the culture they want, and I hope this encourages women in Israel to speak more,” Sztokman said. “We have to speak more. We can’t just sit down and keep taking it.”

LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM

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I listened to Netanyahu utter the following words at the UN …

“I stand here before you today ashamed and mortified. I’m ashamed and mortified by the outcome of the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza. Ashamed and mortified by the alarming number of civilians my country killed, ashamed and mortified by the scope of devastation its unrestrained army spread. The Israeli army made a certain effort to reduce injury to civilians, but I know that this was no more than conscience-soothing measures, if any conscience still remains in Israel, and the rest is propaganda tricks.

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But alas …

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It’s all a daydream


Benjamin Netanyahu should have told the UN General Assembly that he regrets Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip and genuinely seeks a two-state solution. Of course, it didn’t happen.
By Gideon Levy

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Israeli soldiers look toward the Gaza Strip from Israel, August 3, 2014. Photo by Reuters
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This is what Benjamin Netanyahu should have said in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly this week:

“I stand here before you today ashamed and mortified. I’m ashamed and mortified by the outcome of the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza. Ashamed and mortified by the alarming number of civilians my country killed, ashamed and mortified by the scope of devastation its unrestrained army spread. The Israeli army made a certain effort to reduce injury to civilians, but I know that this was no more than conscience-soothing measures, if any conscience still remains in Israel, and the rest is propaganda tricks.

“The results rest before you – 2,200 bodies – and they speak for themselves. They should torment every decent Israeli, they torment me as well. From this podium I’d like to bow my head, express sorrow and apologize to the residents of Gaza for what we have done to them. My country will contribute as much as it can to compensate them.

“We launched this attack after we detected a golden opportunity – the abduction and murder of three teens in the West Bank – to wreak revenge on Hamas and sabotage the Palestinian reconciliation government, which threatened to advance an agreement with Israel. Hamas fell into the trap we laid for it and in retaliation to our harsh steps against its people in the West Bank, it began firing rockets at Israel. We responded in the language we love most when dealing with the Palestinians – the language of military power, killing and destruction. By so doing we also proved to the world that we don’t give a damn about it and have no reason to do so. The world grumbles and Israel conquers and kills.

“If anyone thought that after the Goldstone report there won’t be another wild operation in Gaza, we proved that not only will there be one, but it will be more brutal than its predecessor. Why should we listen to the world? The United States is deep in our pocket – there isn’t another state in the world that can disregard it as we can – and all the rest doesn’t matter. Public opinion? International law? They’re mere anti-Semitism.

“But all these are matters of the past. In the morning after the war in Gaza, Israel, myself included, awoke to new insights. Suddenly we understood that force and aggression aren’t advancing the state anywhere. We realized that Israel cannot live by the sword forever – there’s no historical precedent for that. Even Israel’s seemingly unlimited power has limitations and we cannot wipe Gaza out or remove the Palestinians. We realized too that the dozens of Israeli fatalities had died for nothing, that Israel had achieved nothing and that in another war it will pay an immeasurably higher price.

“The morning after the terrible war I realized what I had never understood before – that the only way to ensure my state’s future is to make an effort to integrate it into the problematic space it is located in, rather than turn its back on it, as Israel has done so far. I understood that precisely because of the upheavals in this region we must find a solution to the Palestinian problem, the mother of all problems, before it’s too late. I realized that if there’s still a chance for the two-state solution, which I committed myself to but never meant, this is the last opportunity.

“From this stage I now call on the representatives of the reconciliation government to enter into quick negotiations with Israel. Everything has already been discussed to excess and all we need to reach an agreement is to decide. Israel, for its part, will undertake to end the occupation completely within an agreed time frame. On the eve of opening the negotiations it will free thousands of Palestinian prisoners, to prove to the Palestinian people that it has truly changed direction. At the same time I propose to the Palestinian government to hold a joint Israeli-Palestinian referendum, to determine whether we’re going for a two-state solution within the 1967 borders, or a solution of one egalitarian democracy, a state whose citizens all have equal rights.”

All this never happened – and won’t happen. It’s all a daydream. Instead we got another propaganda-filled, hollow, patronizing speech. The obsequious advisors cheered, the Adelsons invited the Netanyahus to dinner and Israel remained, of course, intransigent.

ATONING FOR THE UNFORGIVABLE

This Friday at sunset Pius Jews will literally pound their chests as they ask their Creator to forgive their sins of the past year. On the Hebrew calendar it will be Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement. 

Watch this short clip to see what Nelson Mandela had to say about forgiveness …

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“Forgiveness liberates the soul, Forgiveness is Freedom.”

A few questions arise from that; does a serial child killer even have a soul? Would a loving God forgive him for those sins?

Does one who denies the Freedom of an entire nation be granted Freedom by that same God?

Somehow, I think not. Sins which are in total violation of the Ten Commandments themselves are surely not forgivable.

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'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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The pounding of the chest cannot forgive the sin of the pounding of civilians, including women and children. It cannot forgive the sin of destroying the homes and workplaces of thousands of people. No, this Day of Atonement will be different, there will be no forgiveness!

For those out there that declared LOUD AND CLEAR that those crimes were not committed in your name, may you be Blessed and inscribed in the Book of Life. There are many of you and your numbers are growing with each passing day. 

As for the others, Hell is too cold a place for you!

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