PHOTOS OF ‘DIE-IN’ AND MARCH FOR GAZA IN NEW YORK

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The demonstrators made a short tour of financial institutions in midtown Manhattan that are supporting Israeli policies financially and aiding in colonization.  The demonstrators stopped at 2 banks and walked through the diamond district where many were glad to have a heavy police escort since the business owners appeared to become
agitated and threatening.  In front of one of the banks 6 people performed an act of civil disobedience by having a die-in after spraying the bank and street with fake blood.  Using passive resistance, the police were forced to lift  and carry them to the police van to arrest them.
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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The Die-In and arrests …
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And the march …
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In the afternoon several thousand people of every age, race, and ethnicity
converged on Times Sq. for a rally against the Gaza massacre.  Families came
with their flags, posters, and beautiful children.  After the rally everyone
marched across busy 42nd St. to the Israeli Consulate. They got considerable
support from people standing aside to watch the marchers pass.
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Diamond merchants seem to have a problem with the marchers … I guess zionism is their BEST FRIEND
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THE LATEST GAZA SPOOFS

Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

No Happy Eid in Gaza today

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The bird of Prey is always faster than the bird of Peace

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EVERY NUMBER HAS A NAME IN GAZA

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Afraid that the names of those slaughtered by Israel would get lost in the staggering statistics of death, two women have set up the website Humanize Palestine (humanizepalestine.com) as an online memorial to Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.

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Not just numbers: online memorial publishes names, faces of Palestinians killed in Gaza

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Asem Khalil Abed Ammar

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Qassem Talal Hamdan, 23, was killed on 13 July 2014 in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. An engineering student, his “dream was to be a successful engineer to build and develop his country.”

Iman Khalil Abed Ammar was just nine years old. She was killed on 20 July in the Shujaiya massacre along with her brothers, four-year-old Asem and thirteen-year-old Ibrahim.

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Qassem Talal Hamdan

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Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Elzowidi, 23, and Mohammad Khalid Jamil Elzowidi, 20, were among five members of their family killed on 19 July when Israel bombed their house in Beit Hanoun.

These are the names of just six of the more than 1,000 Palestinians known to have been killed in almost three weeks of relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday, during a twelve-hour “humanitarian truce,” the full extent of the mass destruction Israel has inflicted was revealed as people were able to re-enter neighborhoods such as Shujaiya, and dozens more bodies were pulled from under the rubble. Many people are still missing.

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Iman Khalil Abed Ammar

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Afraid that the names of those slaughtered by Israel would get lost in the staggering statistics of death, two women have set up the website Humanize Palestine (humanizepalestine.com) as an online memorial to Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.

Bayan Abusneineh and Dana Saifan are both recent graduates of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and have both been active in Students for Justice in Palestine.

I spoke with Abusneineh, who told me that she and Saifan got the idea to start the project after seeing many graphic images of the bodies of Palestinians who had died violent deaths circulating through social media.

“Initially when everything was happening it was necessary for people to see these graphic images, to know the reality of what is going in Gaza,” Abusneineh explained. “But then I started thinking about those three Israeli settler youths who were kidnapped – their faces were everywhere. Generally, when Israelis are killed, their bodies are not shown. You only see smiling faces, and that creates empathy.”

Abusneineh said that Humanize Palestine was intended to serve first and foremost “as a reminder and memorial for our own community. People were already making an effort to put names out there, and we saw them sharing some of the images of friends and relatives when they were alive, so our project is another way to bring them together.”

But she also says she hopes that people outside the Palestinian community will “see it and understand better who Palestinians are. This is how they lived. This is how their lives were ended.”

I asked Abusneineh how she and Saifan verify the images, names and other information they publish on the site, and she talked about the process: “We started just compiling images about a week ago on a Google document and we realized we could make something bigger. We started going through Twitter, Tumblr, trying to get verification. People were sharing pictures of family members and we got into contact with them as well.”

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Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Elzowidi (left) and Mohammad Khalid Jamil Elzowidi

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“When we find someone circulating information, we try to find multiple pictures of the person matched to a name,” she explained. “We check to see if the name is on a list of casualties on a credible website. If we can’t find a match, we don’t use the image. We also try our best to match information up with stories published in the media. There have been a lot we didn’t use.”

Still the effort is not perfect, Abusneineh acknowledges, which is why she thinks it is crucial to see Humanize Palestine as a community effort. Several people have helped to refine, correct and track down information, and there is now an email address on the site for people to send in submissions.

“We’ve had a lot of people contribute pictures saying these are my cousins, this is their picture and this is what happened to them, and we’re hoping to put those up too.” Others have even sent in art work and poetry.

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Mustafa Abd El Hadi Abu Mur and Khaled Abd El Hadi Abu Mur

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The website also includes Palestinians who may have been combatants, such as brothers Mustafa Abd El Hadi Abu Mur, 20, and Khaled Abd El Hadi Abu Mur, 23 who, the site says, “died together in Rafah in defense of their nation.”

Abusneineh acknowledges that the site is a lot of work, but she sees value in it becoming a permanent memorial if the community effort can be built and maintained.

Although she agreed to speak to The Electronic Intifada in order to explain the goals of Humanize Palestine, Abusneineh says that she and Saifan have not put their own names on the website itself, “because we want the focus to be entirely on the people whose lives we write about.”

The website features not only Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza, but victims of Israeli army and settler attacks in the occupied West Bank as well.

“We don’t want it just to be when a huge massacre happens. People still die every day because of the occupation. So we hope to continue,” she says.

All images courtesy of Humanize Palestine.

HUMANITARIAN FUNERALS IN GAZA

The humanitarian cease-fire was meant, above all, to allow for the removal of bodies trapped under bombed homes in residential areas adjacent to the border with Israel. Around 150 bodies were extricated yesterday, bringing the number of Palestinians killed in the past two-plus weeks of fighting past the thousand mark. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, of the 928 fatalities who had been identified by name as of 10 A.M. yesterday, 764 were civilians, and they included 215 children and 118 women.

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Some 150 bodies recovered in Gaza as death toll exceeds 1,000

Palestinian sources say seven members of medical teams have been killed by IDF in past two weeks.

By Amira Hass IN
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A Palestinian woman pauses amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun.

A Palestinian woman pauses amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun, July 26, 2014. Photo by AFP
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Accompanied by the stench of raw sewage, rotting garbage, animal carcasses and human bodies buried under rubble, hundreds of thousands of Gazans yesterday left their homes and temporary refuges and returned to what two weeks ago were bustling neighborhoods and towns.

The humanitarian cease-fire was meant, above all, to allow for the removal of bodies trapped under bombed homes in residential areas adjacent to the border with Israel. Around 150 bodies were extricated yesterday, bringing the number of Palestinians killed in the past two-plus weeks of fighting past the thousand mark. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, of the 928 fatalities who had been identified by name as of 10 A.M. yesterday, 764 were civilians, and they included 215 children and 118 women.

For two weeks, the Israel Defense Forces barred Palestinian rescue teams from reaching wounded Palestinians or searching the ruins of destroyed homes for possible survivors if Israeli infantry units were operating nearby. Seven members of emergency medical teams were killed by the IDF in the past two weeks while trying to reach the wounded. Two were killed on Friday, in Beit Hanun and in eastern Khan Yunis. In an unknown number of incidents, EMT teams turned back after being shot at by Israeli soldiers. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that even yesterday, during the cease-fire, EMT crews were stopped from entering Kaft Huza’a, east of Khan Yunis, where dozens of civilians were killed by the IDF late Tuesday night or early Wednesday. It’s not known how many people are still buried under the rubble, whether dead or injured.

In the day preceding the humanitarian cease-fire, 75 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire or air attacks in the Gaza Strip, 52 of them civilians. According to the Palestinian human rights center, 18 of these were children and eight were women.

In a single air strike, about five hours before the cease-fire went into effect, 20 members of Samir Hussein Muhammed al-Najar’s family died when a bomber fired a missile at the two-story building, including 11 children and five women, including Samir, 58, Ra’aliya, 56, and their children Majd, 19, Kifah, 24 and Samr, 26; relatives Amir, 2, Islam 3, and Amira, eight months; and Riham, 25 and pregnant.

In one of the bombing runs on the night between Thursday and Friday, Husam Yassin, 15, a grandson of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, was killed.

At 7 P.M. Friday, an IDF shell hit a hospital in Beit Hanun. Hospital staff, civilians and two volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement were in the building.

They reported that Israeli soldiers had been seen outside the building and that exchanges of gunfire had been heard in the area. As a result of gunfire in the vicinity of the hospital, most of the patients had been evacuated previously. The firing on the hospital continued until Friday night.

“It was absolute chaos, the army shelled the hospital. There are two patients on the second floor and we think they’re all right but we can’t move them easily because they’re bedridden. I’m bleeding from my head because of an injury, and another person was also wounded. People are scared,” a Swedish volunteer at the hospital said. The hospital was not evacuated until yesterday morning, when the humanitarian cease-fire went into effect.

During the night between Thursday and Friday, IDF fire hit the a-Dura children’s hospital in Gaza City. A 1-year-old infant in the pediatric intensive care unit was killed and 30 other patients were injured. They were evacuated to Shifa Hospital.

A Beit Hanun man who was among the thousands who fled their homes in the middle of last week returned home yesterday morning, like thousands of others, hoping to at least take a few changes of clothing for himself, his wife and his family, who was staying with friends in Jabalya.

“It was as if a tsunami had hit,” he said. “I couldn’t even tell what was our home and what was the neighbors’. And when I did figure it out, I discovered that there was nothing to take. All the furniture and the clothing was burned or still burning. The house was half-destroyed. All our savings, for decades, gone.”

Shujaiyeh, which had about 100,00 Palestinian inhabitants, not refugees, had turned into “a ghost town,” said a woman who went to see the destruction. “Residential buildings had not only been destroyed in bombing raids but also ground into gravel, sand, piles of dirt. I’ve seen destroyed homes in my life. Usually you can tell where the buildings were, even where the walls had been. This was different. You can’t tell where a building used to be, how many buildings were there before the bombardments. A few buildings are still standing, others totally disappeared.”

INFOGRAPHIC ~~ISRAEL/PALESTINE … WHO DUNNIT?

CeaseFire

 

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While both the Israeli military and Palestinian resistance factions violated the terms of the ceasefire, a close examination shows that Israeli violations were more frequent and far more deadly.

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Infographic: Who violates ceasefires more, Israelis or Palestinians? 

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Ali Abunimah

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The United States and other governments have harshly blamed Hamas for the ongoing slaughter in Gaza because they refused a unilateral “ceasefire” declared by Israel on 14 July through its Egyptian proxy.

But as dozens of prominent figures in Gaza civil society write, “Hamas represented the sentiment of the vast majority of residents when it rejected the unilateral ceasefire proposed by Egypt and Israel without consulting anyone in Gaza.”

“We share the broadly held public sentiment that it is unacceptable to merely return to the status quo” of devastating Israeli siege on Gaza, the civil society leaders said. “To do so would mean a return to a living death.”

To put the situation in context, Visualizing Palestine (visualizingpalestine.org) created this infographic that charts the routine violations of the last Egyptian-brokered ceasefire from 22 November 2012 until 7 July 2014.

Israeli violations lethal and most frequent

While both the Israeli military and Palestinian resistance factions violated the terms of the ceasefire, a close examination shows that Israeli violations were more frequent and far more deadly.

Out of Israel’s 191 violations, 10 percent resulted in death and 42 percent in injuries or detentions; while out of the 75 Palestinian violations, just four percent resulted in injuries and none in death.

This new graphic complements the earlier one created in February by Ben White and Rachele Richards for Al Jazeera that covered the first three months of the November 2012 ceasefire.

During that period, zero rockets and two mortar shells came out of Gaza. In the same period, Israel attacked Palestinians in Gaza dozens of times, killing four and injuring 91.

No one in Gaza would want the current bloodbath to continue for another minute, but it is imperative that any ceasefire agreement actually be enforced – especially on the party with the tendency to most frequently and lethally violate the terms of previous agreements: Israel.

This is the first of two graphics to be released on the situation in Gaza by Visualizing Palestine. Visualizing Palestine has provided a file with the raw data used to create this infographic.

As of Thursday evening, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported that 797 Palestinians have now been killed, and more than 5,100 injured during the sixteen consecutive days of Israel’s attacks.

More than one hundred Palestinians were killed on Thursday alone, as Israel attacked multiple areas of the Gaza Strip, including a United Nations-run school in Beit Hanoun where Palestinians had sought refuge.

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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SEX AND THE SINGLE ISRAELI SOLDIER

What’s a ‘nice Jewish girl’ doing in a place like this?

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A new Facebook page showcases a new way for Israeli women to support the troops — by stripping down practically to their birthday suit.

“Standing With the IDF” calls on Israel women to raise morale (so to speak) by uploading sexy pictures of the their bodies, upon which uplifting messages have been scrawled. The page’s intro is pretty self-explanatory: “You keep us safe from above, and we will watch you from below!”

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Much too rude to post ….. so click HERE at your own risk.

(It seems that the page has been taken down …. Sorry)

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Here’ just one example of what you will find …

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Thank goodness there are women with healthier outlooks ….

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Ending Zionism is a feminist issue

Nada Elia IN
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Israel denies Palestinian women their basic right to freedom of movement. (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

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As Israel’s assault on the besieged Palestinian population in Gaza approaches its third week, we continue to hear about the “disproportionate number” of women and children victims. This expression begs the question: what is a proportionate number of women and children killed in a genocide?

As Jadaliyya’s Maya Mikdashi asks in her op-ed titled “Can Palestinian men be victims?”, if a significant majority of the killed were adult men, would Israel’s crimes be lesser?

A different analysis of gendered violence is necessary: one that recognizes that no “proportions” are acceptable because all deaths should be mourned, while providing the tools for a differential understanding of the manifestations of violence.

Rape calls

The feminist network INCITE! Women and Trans People of Color Against Violence has always understood that state violence is both racialized and gendered.

Zionism is a prime example of that; it is a racist ideology grounded in the privileging of one ethno-religious group over all others.

When a state views a population — its dispossessed, disenfranchised and occupied indigenous population — as a ”demographic threat,” that view is fundamentally both racist and gendered.

Racist population control relies specifically on violence against women. So it is not surprising that Mordechai Kedar, an Israeli military intelligence officer turned academic, would matter-of-factly suggest this week that “raping the wives and mothers of Palestinian combatants” would deter attacks by Hamas militants.

Similarly, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked did not attempt to present the murder of Palestinian children and their mothers as unfortunate, disproportionate “collateral damage” — she openly called for it by asserting that Palestinian women must be killed too, because they give birth to “little snakes.”

This comment reflects an Israeli infrastructure designed to sustain high rates of miscarriages by blocking basic resources such as water and medical supplies, forcing women in labor to wait at military checkpoints on their way to a hospital, and generally creating inhumane and unlivable conditions for Palestinians.

This latest murderous attack on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has not only taken the lives of hundreds of Palestinians, but it has also increased miscarriages, pre-term labor and stillbirths.

Ethiopian-Israeli women, most of them Jewish, have also been subject to mandatory contraceptive injections without their consent.

Ending Zionism is a feminist and a reproductive justice issue.

Liberating women?

Of course, gendered violence as a tool for settler-colonialism is not a new strategy; settler-colonialism, patriarchy and official hypocrisy usually go hand in hand.

Nineteenth-century France claimed to be liberating Algerian women even as it torched entire villages and towns. The proverbial colonial white man would have us believe that he was acting on the selfless impulse to save brown women from brown men, even as the colonial power he served impoverished entire countries.

Algerian women were certainly no better off as result of French colonialism; in fact, their circumstances deteriorated significantly.

The George W. Bush administration gave itself a pat on the back for supposedly liberating women in Afghanistan from the Taliban. Yet we see throughout history, and not just inAfghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Algeria or Palestine, that wars have never liberated women and gender nonconforming people of color.

New brand of hypocrisy

Today, Israel has developed a new brand of this hypocrisy, as it claims that it is more civilized than the Palestinian people because it is supposedly a more “gay-friendly” country. This is pinkwashing, Israel’s attempt to distract from its ongoing human rights violations by pointing to its supposedly better gay rights record.

But that record, once again, is racist.

Any Jewish citizen of Israel can and must serve in the Israeli occupation forces, but these are the murderous forces engaging in the genocide of the Palestinian people.

Does it make for a more moral army if some of its killer soldiers are openly gay? Stop to think of who the purveyor of the greater violence is. Who is denying Palestinian women, children, gays, lesbians, trans people and straight men their most basic rights — freedom of movement, safety, shelter, food, a home, life? One has to acknowledge that the guilty party is “civilized” Israel, not Palestinian heteropatriarchy.

War — militarism — is a hyper-masculinist activity that glorifies and rewards all violence, including gendered violence, and a soldier trained in violence cannot put that violence aside when he or she gets home.

All of Israeli society is trained in violence. And violence is not a pair of combat boots one can leave at the door; violence becomes second nature (unless it was first nature, in which case it is further aggravated) and the entire community that engages in warfare is a more violent community — not just at the war front.

Joint struggle

This is what we are witnessing today, as we have observed it again and again every time Israel escalates its assault on the Palestinian people.

As for Palestinians, there are no battlefronts, no “war zones.” All of historic Palestine is the battlefront as mobs of Israelis take to the streets in violent rampages.

This realization has always been at the very core of INCITE’s analysis. We understand that in situations of settler-colonialism, indigenous women, trans people and gender non-conforming people bear the brunt of a nexus of racism and sexism. We are engaging in a joint struggle, from India to the Arab world to South West Asia, to Africa and the Americas, for the dignity and full sovereignty of indigenous people.

This is why INCITE! endorsed, in 2010, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and remains committed to the grassroots struggle against state-sponsored violence against the entire Palestinian people.

Nada Elia served on the Steering Collective of INCITE! Women and Trans People of Color Against Violence when it endorsed boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and is currently serving on the organizing collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).

‘SHOOTING’ AGAINST THE OCCUPATION

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Anti-war demonstrations during wartime are not unusual in Israel. They rarely bring out more than a few hundred people, as did this one. It was an event that most Israeli news outlets deemed not important enough to cover, especially when Hamas’s rockets were flying all over the country. But Oren Ziv was there with his camera.

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Full report HERE

PHOTOS ~~ THOUSANDS PARICIPATE IN COALITION MARCH FOR PEACE IN NEW YORK

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The demonstration and march, organized by a coalition of groups supporting justice in Palestine, began at Foley Sq. where the names of children murdered in Gaza were read.  Some in the crowd of approximately 2,000 were weeping.  Led by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra the mile and 1/2 march weaving west through the busy streets of lower Manhattan to the shore of the Hudson began.  It was a noisy chanting group carrying Palestinian flags and signs demanding an end to the U.S. funding of Israel, an end to the occupation, and a cease to the slaughter by Israel in Gaza.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Also see THIS report from the Forward

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Not in Our Name: New Yorkers rally against Israeli war in Gaza in lower Manhattan.

MARTYNA STAROSTA
Not in Our Name: New Yorkers rally against Israeli war in Gaza in lower Manhattan.

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!

THE WAR IS MAKING ‘CRIMINALS’ OF ALL OF US

Jewish Activists Arrested in Sit in at Friends of Israel Defense Forces NYC Office

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Following is a letter I received this morning from The Jewish Voice of Peace

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Dear Steve,

Yesterday, I was part of a delegation of activists from Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! who took over the Friends of the IDF headquarters in New York.  Until we were arrested, we read the names and ages of the dead and sang songs of mourning, often with our voices breaking and tears rolling down our faces. We stood there for an hour, reading the names steadily, and still did not read them all.

As I was taken out in handcuffs to face a sea of about 30 police officers, I asked a staff member of the Friends of the IDF standing nearby, “Did you hear the names we read? Did you see that we read them for an hour and didn’t reach the end? Is this what you support? Are these the Jewish values you grew up with?”

As Jews, so many of us have been brought up on stories of our families’ lives hanging in the balance based on the courage of someone who had the choice to speak up or remain silent.

We are in that kind of moment now. And that is why I, and so many other people like me, are taking action. And why we need you to stand up with us.

Over 600 people in Gaza killed in the last three weeks. Thousands of homes destroyed, another 4,000 people wounded. US tax dollars have helped pay for that army, and Israel claims to act in the name of all the Jews the world over.

But you can do something about it. We all must do something about it.

Click here to send a message to President Obama and Congress demanding they withdraw support for Israel’s unacceptable, intolerable actions.

The glimmer of hope I have in these very dark days comes from you – our members, supporters, and allies who are standing up, all over the world.

In Washington, D.C., Jewish Voice for Peace members, alongside members of CodePink, interrupted a Christians United for Israel conference while Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer was speaking. Despite being violently attacked, they continued their protest.

In Boston, over a thousand people, JVP’ers and a large coalition of allied organizations rallied in front of the state house and blocked traffic for several hours.

In Chicago, five activists from JVP and AFSC were arrested protesting at Hewlett Packard, and in the Bay Area JVP’ers conducted a die-in at HP to protest its profiting from Israel’s war crimes. Seattle members did the same at Boeing.

I could go on and on:  protests in Ithaca; Portland, OR; Portland, ME; St. Louis, Jersey City. There are more places than I can count, and more to come.  Everywhere we—you—are getting our pro-peace, pro-justice, pro-equality message out. We are taking a stand.

All over the world, you’ve signed Open Letters, gone to rallies, contacted elected officials, written Letters to the Editor, shared educational materials, and dared difficult conversations with your family and friends.

But the attack continues. The siege continues. We’re going to have to continue to step it up.

I hope you’ll join us in action, as long as it takes. Click here for a listing of actions nationwide JVP is participating in.

It is our shared responsibility to end this bloodshed. And I know we can.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Vilkomerson
Executive Director

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And here you can see a debate between Ali Abunimah and J.J. Goldberg, editor-at-large and columnist at the newspaper The Jewish Daily Forward. The topic, needless to say is the war on Gaza …..

PHOTO OF ONE OF THE SADDEST THINGS THE GOD OF ABRAHAM EVER WITNESSED

So sad when a Father has to watch His children act this way ….

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Photo: Twitter Screenshot

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Astronaut sees rocket fire from space: ‘My saddest photo yet’

Image taken hundreds of miles from earth captures IDF strikes on Gaza, rockets launched from Strip fly over Israel.

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According to Gerst, the photo that was taken from more than 200 miles from earth documents Israel and Gaza during an evening of rocket attacks and aerial strikes. The dark part at the top of the picture is the Mediterranean Sea.

Source

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And Latuff’s latest spoof ….. One child killed every hour

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Jewish Law is not necessarily God’s Law

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Rabbi Lior: Jewish law permits destruction of Gaza to bring safety to Israel

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Senior national religious leader and Chief Municipal Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron Rabbi Dov Lior published a letter this week saying that according to Jewish law it would be permitted to destroy the entire Gaza strip to bring peace to southern Israel.

Lior said that he had received questions about whether it is permitted according to Jewish law to harm a civilian population not directly involved with the combatants.

“At a time of war it is permitted for the people who are attacked to punish the enemy population with measures such as blocking supplies or electricity and to shell the entire area according to the considerations of the minister of the army and not to needlessly endanger soldiers but rather to take crushing warning steps to exterminate the enemy,” Lior wrote.

Addressing the current hostilities with Hamas, the rabbi continued “In the case of Gaza, it would be permitted for the Minister of Defense to even order the destruction of all of Gaza so that the south will no longer suffer  and to prevent injury to our people who have been suffering for so long from the enemies surrounding us.”

Lior added that “talk of humanism and consideration are as nothing when weighed against saving our brothers in the south and across the country and the restoration of quiet to our land.”

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On condemned Lior’s comments and called on the Attorney General to open an investigation into him for incitement.

“The racist comments of Rabbi Dov Lior have for some time not been protected by freedom of speech. We’re talking about a man who praises mass murder, stands behind those who murder innocents and took part in the incitement that led to the murder of a prime minister,” said Gal-On in reference to Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin who was assassinated in a politically motivated murder.

“These type of comments are not made in a vacuum but are rather an inseparable part of the dangerous and tempestuous atmosphere prevailing in Israeli society in recent weeks,” said Gal-On.

 

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TAKE A LOOK AT THE ‘TERRORISTS’ THAT ISRAEL IS BOMBING

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Shuja’iyah: Land of the Brave

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When we say “Crimes Against Humanity” – what “humanity” are we talking about?Here is the humanity of the Gaza Strip in Palestine. It features footage mostly of my family in the summer of 2013.It is juxtaposed against a stark call for help by a journalist during the Shuja’iyah massacre in Gaza in July 2014.

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Taken from THIS appeal from The War Resisters League

HOW TO SILENCE THE PRESS IN GAZA

Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Here are the steps taken ….. as seen by Carlos Latuff

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Al-Jazeera Gaza offices evacuated after direct hit by Israeli fire

Israel denies deliberate targeting of TV station, but staff claim that ‘two very precise shots’ were fired
Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building in Gaza

Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building after it came under fire in Gaza. Photograph: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Rex Features
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Israel‘s army has denied targeting the Gaza offices of al-Jazeera TV after the network’s correspondents reported that the building had come under fire on Tuesday.

Staff in Gaza said their 11th floor bureau was hit by two Israeli bullets as a crew was preparing to broadcast live from the balcony. “Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building,” said Stefanie Dekker. “We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.” Al-Jazeera aired footage of their staff standing outside the building.

A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said no warning shots had been fired but could not confirm or deny whether there had been indirect damage to the building from firing at nearby military targets, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The incident came a day after Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for al-Jazeera to be banned.

Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Al-Jazeera “has abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organisation and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies, and encouragement to the terrorists,” he said.

“All the big networks operate in Israel, some of them are not exactly pro-Zionist, and yet as a democratic state we allow them to operate here. In the case of al-Jazeera it is not an issue of freedom of the media but of a terrorist wing that currently fights against Israel.”

A statement posted on the al-Jazeera website said: “Al-Jazeera network considers statements made against it by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a direct incitement. (It) considers (his) comments as a very serious matter. Israel is accountable for the safety of al-Jazeera teams working in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

Al-Jazeera also reported that Israel’s communications minister, Gilad Erdan, has asked Israeli cable and satellite providers to stop airing al-Jazeera, calling it an “enemy” broadcaster. The request is not mandatory.

Al-Jazeera said: “Our journalists have been doing an outstanding job in reporting to our mass audience in the region what is happening on the ground. A threat to one is a threat to all, and this is a dark sign for all journalists operating in the territory. Journalists must be protected while doing their job of giving the public information they have the right to know, helping them understand what is going on. Journalism is not a crime!”

Al-Jazeera has often come under fire in war zones and been banned, at different times, from almost every country in the Middle East. Its most recent troubles have been in Egypt, where three journalists working for al-Jazeera English were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.

WHO WILL PROTECT ISRAEL’S PURSE STRINGS

Gaza is losing lives, Israel is losing money ….

Oy Vey!

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US and European Airlines Suspend Flights to Israel

Rocket strike near airport leads American flight agency to temporarily ban travel to Ben-Gurion Airport.
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American airlines temporarily halted flights to and from Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport Tuesday following a rocket strike in the area. According to some reports, the change is due to a decision from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
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Today alone …..
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Over 80 flights canceled Wednesday (Photo: Reuters)
Over 80 flights canceled Wednesday (Photo: Reuters)
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Meanwhile, the world stands with Palestine
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AS THE WAR EFFORT GROWS, SO DOES THE JEWISH OPPOSITION TO IT ~~ IN PHOTOS

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They say .. “The little boys who were blown-up by the IDF while playing soccer on the beach were there to hide a missile launcher so their blood is really on Hamas’ hands.”

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We say .. “Not another nickel, not another dime.  No more money for Israel’s crimes” and “Jews stand with Gaza.  End the occupation”.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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The home of the Friends of the IDF in NYC

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And their best friends …

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Watch here as they arrest 9 of the activists …. warning them in advance, not unlike the IDF that warns Gazans that their home will soon be bombed … (From Alex Kane at Mondoweiss)

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And the friends of humanity …

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IDENTIFYING WITH THE CHILD VICTIMS OF GAZA

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There is a brand of Judaism that declares, “It happened to us, so it shouldn’t happen to us again.” This is what I see too much of right now. Yet I’m not giving up on the idea that suffering can create fair-mindedness and justice. My version of Judaism — shared by more and more Jews — goes like this: “it happened to us, so it should never happen to anyone, ever. Especially not at our hands.”

To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza, who only yearned to run around outside and be free. It will hurt tremendously, but it might free you, too.

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Those Boys on Gaza Beach Remind Me of My Brother

By Sarah Seltzer FOR

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Sarah Seltzer with her twin brother as children.

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I have a twin brother who, as a kid, frequently ran around outside with a ball and his friends — usually in New York’s parks. Woe to the teachers at our Jewish day school who denied them gym or recess: they acted up extra-rambunctiously when they were cooped up. One of the cardinal lessons of my childhood was this: If you don’t let kids run around, everyone suffers. So that, in part, explains why the boys on the beach in Gaza proved my breaking point — boys who had been shut in for over a week and just wanted to kick a ball around, for a blessed few hours, and feel the air.

I was no fan of Israel’s actions in Operation Protective Edge up until that moment — in fact I was appalled by what I read in the Forward and elsewhere — but when I saw the footage of those lanky boys running on the beach, and their parents’ stricken faces when they learned their boys had fallen at the hands of Israeli shelling, I totally lost it.

They could be my family. They are my family. I see myself, my loved ones in them. So that’s what I keep saying to people when they bring up Operation Protective Edge — those boys reminded me of my brother and his pals, and sometimes me, running around with them, trying to get a good kick or two in. Some might say it is naive, and small, of me to reduce this conflict to miniscule, selfish dimensions rather than use the broad social strokes that many on both sides encourage in online discourse: this is about colonialism, imperialism, say some. This is about terrorism, say others.

Personal hatred, prejudice, antipathy and the thirst for vengeance — these common human feelings are the fuel that feeds the massive machines of terror, occupation and imperialism. And at the moment, it seems to me that a lot of the organized Jewish community — with clear exceptions — is as warped by antipathy and alienation, in the same way our leaders have long accused the Palestinians of being warped. “They don’t see us as human,” I’ve been told. But based on the Facebook posts I’m seeing, many of us don’t see them as human, either. Many of my timeline buddies are not even allowing a window, a second to mourn, so quick are they to pin the blame anywhere but at Israel’s feet. “I’m sorry for the loss of life, but…” they say. Why, why do we have to insert that “but”?

Perhaps the issue is this: to accept that Israel is utterly in the wrong here, that her government faced a moral test and flunked it with flying colors, is to accept something profoundly sad about our warped species: oppression doesn’t necessarily breed compassion. And by extension, Jews are not chosen. We are not chosen for anything except being another flawed people in a world of flawed peoples, unable to wield massive power without using that power toward brutal ends (just like everyone else, no worse but no better).

Maybe it’s easier for me, a girl who went to Israel at 16 and felt a sense of homecoming, to swallow this bitter pill after watching progressives tear each other down for a decade. Feminists can be racist. Queer people can be transphobic. Those who have been barred from spaces often feel justified excluding others. No formula exists that compels those who have suffered to be noble.

There is a brand of Judaism that declares, “It happened to us, so it shouldn’t happen to us again.” This is what I see too much of right now. Yet I’m not giving up on the idea that suffering can create fair-mindedness and justice. My version of Judaism — shared by more and more Jews — goes like this: “it happened to us, so it should never happen to anyone, ever. Especially not at our hands.”

To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza, who only yearned to run around outside and be free. It will hurt tremendously, but it might free you, too.

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website

 

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!

ANOTHER SANE JEWISH VOICE IN AN INSANE WORLD

This kneejerk labeling of critics of Israel as “anti-Semitic” (or in my case, a “self-hating Jew”) made me even more firm in my conviction that it was the special obligation of U.S. Jews to stand against racism in Israel. As more of us demanded equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine, it became harder to smear supporters of Palestine as “anti-Semitic.”

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Ellen Davidson (center) participates in a vigil for Palestinian rights. Photo: Carl Strock

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This Jew can’t support Israel

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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.

When I went to college, naturally, I became active in the late-1970s campus movement for divestment from South Africa. Somewhere along the line, I realized that Israel was the only country in the world that violated the international arms embargo on the apartheid state, and that Israel was on the wrong side of all the struggles for freedom and national liberation I supported, that it backed dictatorships in Guatemala, Chile, Brazil and elsewhere.

The more I learned about Israel, the more I realized that what I had been taught growing up was a lie. But I also discovered that, even in the progressive movements in the 1980s, the issue was contentious. I spent my twenties working at the Guardian radical newsweekly, a paper that staunchly supported Palestinian rights; periodically we would lose a significant segment of our readership due to our alleged “anti-Semitism,” and we would receive occasional bomb threats from the Jewish Defense League, a nasty organization whose members would physically attack participants in pro-Palestine demonstrations.

This kneejerk labeling of critics of Israel as “anti-Semitic” (or in my case, a “self-hating Jew”) made me even more firm in my conviction that it was the special obligation of U.S. Jews to stand against racism in Israel. As more of us demanded equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine, it became harder to smear supporters of Palestine as “anti-Semitic.” The needle on this debate has moved considerably since the 1980s, when just to say the word “Palestinian” was considered inflammatory, even in some left circles.

These days, as Israelis rampage through the streets of Jerusalem calling for killing all Arabs and Gaza is once again bombarded in a storm of collective punishment, the racist underpinnings of the Jewish state become harder to ignore. This is drawing larger numbers of people into pro-Palestinian protests on the streets of this country.

Indeed, at a July 13 vigil I attended in Woodstock, New York, there were many faces I had never seen before. But not everything has changed. A hostile group of tourists walked by and began berating us for our stance. “You should try talking to some Jews,” said one man. “We are Jews,” two of us answered simultaneously. “Then you’re fucked up,” he snapped.

In the past decade, I have made a point of traveling to Israel/Palestine, so that I can both show my solidarity in person and bring back firsthand accounts of the conditions in the occupied territories and within the formal borders of Israel. I have never encountered anything but warm welcome from the Palestinians I encountered.

When I return, every time I speak as a Jew of personally seeing demolished Palestinian houses, military checkpoints, the concrete wall separating communities from their farmland, the overcrowded refugee camps built as temporary solutions 60 years ago, I like to think that it widens the crack that has been opening up in the U.S. Jewish community, leaving just a little more space for honest discussion of what is being done in our name.

PHOTOS OF THE CARNAGE IN GAZA

The latest massacre brings to more than 420 the number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, now entering its second week. More than 3,000 people have been injured and tens of thousands have fled their homes, with many seeking shelter in UN-run schools.
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Massacre in Shujaiya: Dozens killed as Israel shells eastern Gaza City – photos

A Palestinian boy wounded by Israeli shelling, receives treatment at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, 20 July.(Ali Jadallah / APA images)
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Dozens of men, women and children were killed in the early hours of Sunday as Israel indiscriminately shelled the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya.

Some sixty bodies have already been removed from the rubble of homes and apartment buildings, and the number of injured is more than two hundred, Palestinian health ministry spokesman Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra told local media.

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Smoke rises after an Israeli missile hit the Shujaiya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, 20 July.   (Ashraf Amra / APA images)
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But the true death toll could be even higher. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it coordinated a two-hour “humanitarian truce” to allow the rescue of the injured and the removal of bodies.

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Palestinian medics carries the body of girl killed during Israeli shelling, outside al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, 20 July.  (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

 

The latest massacre brings to more than 420 the number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, now entering its second week. More than 3,000 people have been injured and tens of thousands have fled their homes, with many seeking shelter in UN-run schools.

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Palestinians flee the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City during heavy Israeli shelling on 20 July. (Ezz al-Zanoun / APA images)

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Gaza is a small territory, home to 1.8 million people, and no place in the territory has been safe from Israeli land, sea and air attacks. Egypt’s military dictatorship, closely allied with Israel, has kept the Rafah crossing tightly sealed.

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The bodies of Palestinians lie on the ground of al-Shifa hospital morgue in Gaza City on 20 July following a massacre in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiyeh. (Mohammed Asad / APA images)

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Eyewitnesses to aftermath

Some journalists entered Shujaiya during the pause in the Israeli attack and tweeted images of what they saw. Others tweeted images from in or near Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital.

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Medics at al-Shifa hospital mourn their colleague who was targeted and killed in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya neighbourhood earlier in the day on 20 July. (Anne Paq / ActiveStills)

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NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin posted these images on his Instagram account today from the morgue at Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, where many of the massacre victims have been brought:

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