BDS GAINING MOMENTUM IN EUROPE

Despite Israel’s denials (and fears) the BDS Movement is gaining momentum in Europe

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LONDON — A branch of Sainsbury’s grocery store removed kosher products from its shelves, it said, to prevent anti-Israel demonstrations. The Tricycle Theater in north London, after hosting a Jewish film festival for eight years, demanded to vet the content of any film made with arts funding from the Israeli government. George Galloway, a member of Parliament known for his vehement criticism of Israel, declared Bradford, England, an “Israel-free zone.”

Mr. Galloway, in comments being investigated by the police, said, “We don’t want any Israeli goods; we don’t want any Israeli services; we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or college; we don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford.”

The war in Gaza and its aftermath have inflamed opinion in Europe and, experts and analysts say, are likely to increase support for the movement to boycott, disinvest from and sanction Israel, known as BDS.

“We entered this war in Gaza with the perception that the Israeli government is not interested in reaching peace with the Palestinians,” said Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli analyst at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, a private university. “Now, after the casualties and the destruction, I’m very worried about the impact this could have on Israel. It could make it very easy for the BDS campaign to isolate Israel and call for more boycotts.”

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Demonstrators in London this month protesting Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip. Emotions are running high.CreditJustin Tallis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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Gilead Sher and Einav Yogev, in a paper for the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, warn that Gaza means Israel pays “a much heavier price in public opinion and in erosion of support for its positions in negotiations with the Palestinians.”

Along with reports of “familiar anti-Semitic attacks on Jews,” they said, “the movement to boycott Israel is expanding politically and among the public.”

Daniel Levy of the European Council on Foreign Relations points to the debate over halting arms exports to Israel, which has been given new momentum in Britain and Spain by the asymmetry of the Gaza war.

“You’re beginning to see the translation of public sympathy into something politically meaningful,” he said. He noted two tracks — the governmental one, which distinguishes between Israel and the occupied territories, and the social one of academic, commercial and artistic boycotts.

But for all the new attention around the BDS movement, the economic impact has been small, experts say. The European Union, which has been looked to for leadership on the issue, does not support the idea.

Instead, the Europeans are drawing a legal distinction between Israel within its 1967 boundaries and Israeli towns and settlements that are beyond them in occupied land. Brussels regards all Israelis living beyond the 1967 lines, including those in East Jerusalem, as settlers living in illegal communities whose status can be regulated only through a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians.

In matters such as scientific cooperation, funding for research, import duties and labeling requirements, Brussels has sought a strong relationship with pre-1967 Israel, while demanding a different status for institutions and products from beyond the Green Line, the armistice lines that ended the 1967 fighting but did not fix borders or create a Palestinian state.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said before the Gaza conflict that “there is no boycott” of Israel by the European Union, citing trade and scientific cooperation. “The European Union defends the right of existence of Israel with all its means,” he said. “The view that the Europeans are against Israel, I repeat it, is wrong.”

Some members of the 28-nation European Union are closer to Israel than others, but the bloc is united on Israel within its 1967 boundaries.

“Our relationship with Israel is close and one of the best we have in the region, but only with Israel in its 1967 lines unless there is a peace agreement,” said a senior European Union official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in keeping with diplomatic protocol. “We are clear, however, that what came under Israeli control in 1967 is not a part of Israel, so the settlements are illegal under international law and not helpful in the peace process.”

To that end, the European Union has demanded that all products produced by Israelis beyond the 1967 lines be labeled differently, and they are excluded from the duty-free trade agreement the bloc has with Israel proper. Goods from settlements are imported, but under different labels and tariffs. “There is no question of a boycott,” the European official said.

In an agreement last December on scientific exchanges and funding, known as Horizon 2020, Brussels insisted, despite fierce opposition from the Israeli government, on keeping Israeli institutions in the West Bank, like Ariel University, out of the deal. Since European funding is so important to Israeli academic institutions, the Israeli government gave in, attaching a legally meaningless appendix opposing the distinctions.

While some Israeli companies label goods produced in the West Bank as Israeli, the Europeans have tried to crack down, insisting that permits have a physical address attached and not simply an Israeli post office box. Goods can be labeled “West Bank” or as coming from a particular place, but cannot say “Made in Israel.”

The European Union has gone considerably further than the United States, declaring that Israeli settlements over the Green Line are “illegal” under international law; the United States simply calls them “illegitimate” and “obstacles to peace.”

Israel says its settlement activity is consistent with international law, although it accepts that some settlements are built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land and says that all will be resolved as part of a final deal with the Palestinians.

The United States also has no regulations requiring separate labeling of products from Israeli-occupied land.

The recent fuss over SodaStream and one of its spokeswomen, the actress Scarlett Johansson, was indicative of the passions raised. Oxfam insisted she quit SodaStream, which has a factory in the large West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, or quit her work with Oxfam; Ms. Johansson chose to quit Oxfam. SodaStream defended itself by citing the number of jobs it was providing for Palestinians, who were being paid the same wages as Israeli workers.

The debate was indicative of shifting attitudes. During the period around the Oslo Accords, in the early 1990s, when peace seemed close and economic cooperation between Israel and the new, interim Palestinian Authority was considered an important part of a future relationship built on mutual dependency and confidence, factories in occupied territory were praised.

With the failure of Oslo to produce a Palestinian state, the tone has changed, and companies once seen by many as in the forefront of economic cooperation are now being seen by some as colonial occupiers undermining a future Palestinian state.

But the interconnection of Israel with the settlements is difficult to untie — every major Israeli bank has a branch in the settlements.

Some countries, like Britain, have gone further. Britain issued voluntary labeling guidelines in December 2009 “to enable consumers to make a more fully informed decision concerning the products they buy,” according to the UK Trade and Investment agency, because “we understand the concerns of people who do not wish to purchase goods exported from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

More troubling to Israel, in December the agency warned companies and citizens to be “aware of the potential reputational implications” of investments in settlement areas. “We do not encourage or offer support to such activities,” it said.

But even these concerns should be distinguished from the organized BDS campaign against the state of Israel itself. Begun in 2005, the campaign is supposed to last, the Palestinian BDS National Committee says, until Israel “complies with international law and Palestinian rights.”

Its three goals are “the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Arab land and dismantling the Wall,” “full equality” for “Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel,” and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Israelis see the first two as compatible with two states, but the third as the end of the Jewish state.

Then there is the associated effort at an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, which has attracted well-known figures like Stephen Hawking and Sinead O’Connor. Others defend artistic freedom or the unifying nature of culture, or believe, as the writer Ian McEwan said, “If I only went to countries I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed.”

#OperationForeverThreat ~~ THE IMMINENT ATTACK ON IRAN THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

Still, the persistent false narrative that military strikes by either the United States or Israel may follow any potential failure to reach a deal continues to be repeated in the press. Of course, the fact that any such attack would be unequivocally illegal under international law is rarely noted in these assessments.

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The Forever Threat: The Imminent Attack on Iran That Will Never Happen

Compiled by Nima Shirazi AT

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“Israel has drawn up plans for a combined air and ground attack on Iranian nuclear installations if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran’s atomic program…”

- Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005

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Last month, amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, accomplished lunatic Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas, took to the House floor and called for Iran to be attacked.

After insisting it is “time to cut off every dime of American money going to anyone who has any kind of relationship with Hamas or those killing in the Middle East, and especially in Israel,” Gohmert added, “It is time to bomb Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It is time for the United States, if we are not going to stop Iran’s nukes, then let Israel do it. A friend will not put another friend in this kind of jeopardy.”

Never mind that Iran has no “nukes” for anyone to “stop,” since it’s not actually making any and never has made or acquired any. Never mind that Iran has beenconsistently complying with the prescriptions of the multilateral deal agreed to last November by Iran and six world powers. Never mind that a number of recent articles in widely-read media outlets have addressed the myriad falsehoods and mythsresponsible for the past three decades of fear-mongering and propaganda about Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Still, the persistent false narrative that military strikes by either the United States or Israel may follow any potential failure to reach a deal continues to be repeated in the press. Of course, the fact that any such attack would be unequivocally illegal under international law is rarely noted in these assessments.

Pronouncements that Iran is close to having a nuclear bomb, or close to being bombed, are ubiquitous in the media. Threats against Iran – by both the United Statesand Israel – have been made for decades, despite routine Iranian dismissal of such rhetoric as mere bluster.

The frequency of such threats – always reported with fever-pitched alacrity by a dutiful and prostrate press – is alarming.

Not only is an American or Israeli attack on Iran always just around the bend – regardless of the state of diplomacy or intelligence assessments – but the media consistently provides fantasy scenarios by which its audience can imagine, replete with maps and graphics, just how such war crimes would take place.

Over twenty years ago, a report in the Independent (UK) published on June 23, 1994 revealed that the Pentagon had inked a deal to provide Israel with advanced F-15I fighter jets, designed to “enable the Israelis to carry out strikes deep into Iraq and Iran without refuelling.”

Three years later, on December 9, 1997, a The Times of London headline screamed, “Israel steps up plans for air attacks on Iran.” The article, written by Christopher Walker, reported on the myriad “options” Israel had in confronting what it deemed “Iran’s Russian-backed missile and nuclear weapon programme.”

Such reports have been published ever since. Of course, neither the United States nor Israel will attack Iran, regardless of the success or failure of negotiations, but such reports (often the result of strategically timed “leaks” by anonymous government officials) serve to not only to intentionally torpedo diplomacy but also mislead the public  into believing the absurdly false narrative surrounding the Iranian nuclear program; that is, either Iran must be bombed or it will acquire a nuclear arsenal. This is nonsense.

Below are some of the constant headlines we’ve seen over the past dozen years promoting such propaganda. When will this madness – this pathological obsession with the false necessity of dropping bombs and the righteous inevitability of killing people – stop?

The Times of London, November 5, 2002:

AFP, October 11, 2003:

The Scotsman, November 22, 2003:

New York Daily News, November 23, 2003:

The New York Times, August 21, 2004:

Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2004:

The Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2005:

The Independent, January 27, 2005:

Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005:

Associated Press, December 4, 2005:

The Straits Times, December 17, 2005:

Associated Press, January 22, 2006:

Fox News, June 4, 2006:

The Telegraph, February 24, 2007:

Associated Press, March 21, 2007:

Newsweek, December 19, 2007:

The Daily Star (Lebanon), May 30, 2008:

USA Today, June 6, 2008:

The Telegraph, June 7, 2008:

The Age, June 9, 2008:

Fox News, June 20, 2008:

The Telegraph, June 23, 2008:


ABC News, July 1, 2008:

Ha’aretz, July 2, 2008:

AFP, July 30, 2008:

Associated Press, August 7, 2008:

CBS News, August 7, 2008:

Wired, April 2, 2009:

Salon, April 14, 2009:

The Times of London, April 18, 2009:

The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2009:

The Washington Post, July 2, 2009:

CBS News, July 27, 2009:

Los Angeles Times, August 30, 2009:

Talking Points Memo, August 31, 2009:


Fox News, September 21, 2009:

Huffington Post, September 28, 2009:

Ynet, October 9, 2009:

The Washington Times, October 22, 2009:

Ha’aretz, November 6, 2009:

The New York Times, December 23, 2009:

Newsmax, April 2, 2010:


The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2010:

AFP, June 12, 2010:

TIME, July 15, 2010:

The Weekly Standard, July 26, 2010:


Christian Science Monitor, August 12, 2010:

The Spectator (UK), August 12, 2010:


Christian Science Monitor, August 13, 2010:

The Weekly Standard, August 14, 2010:

The Week, August 17, 2010:

New York Daily News, August 17, 2010:

The Atlantic, August 18, 2010:

Newsmax, September 2, 2010:

The Atlantic, November 28, 2010:

AFP, November 29, 2010:

The Australian, November 30, 2010:

The Washington Times, December 3, 2010:

The Australian, January 13, 2011:

Associated Press, May 30, 2011:

Ha’aretz, September 28, 2011:

Associated Press, November 2, 2011:

The Daily Beast, November 2, 2011:

The Guardian, November 2, 2011:

The Telegraph, November 6, 2011:

Reuters, November 9, 2011:

Arutz Sheva, November 10, 2011:


Chicago Tribune, November 13, 2011:

Arutz Sheva, December 1, 2011:

The New York Times, January 25, 2012:

Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012:

The Washington Post, February 2, 2012:

Reuters, February 3, 2012:

Foreign Affairs, February 23, 2012:

Congressional Research Service, March 27, 2012:


CNN, March 30, 2012:

Salon/GlobalPost, May 9, 2012:


The Telegraph, May 17, 2012:

CBN News, May 24, 2012:


The Blaze, July 8, 2012:

Reuters, August 10, 2012:

The Times of Israel, August 11, 2012:

The Daily Mail, August 21, 2012:

The Jewish Chronicle, August 27, 2012:

Forbes, September 30, 2012:

National Journal, October 9, 2012:


The Telegraph, October 9, 2012:

Voice of America, December 19, 2012:


The New York Times, January 26, 2013:

The Times of Israel, March 14, 2013:

Newsmax, April 13, 2013:

The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2013:

Ha’aretz, May 3, 2013:

The Times of Israel, May 9, 2013:

Al Jazeera English, July 17, 2013:

The Atlantic, August 1, 2013:


Washington Examiner
, September 18, 2013:


Gatestone Institute, October 7, 2013:

Financial Times, November 17, 2013:

CNN, November 19, 2013:

The Times of London, November 26, 2013:

Defense News, December 4, 2013:


CBS News, December 6, 2013:


ThinkProgress, January 2, 2014:

Foreign Affairs, January 7, 2014:

Ha’aretz, March 19, 2014:

Associated Press, March 21, 2014:

The National Interest, April 16, 2014:

Iran Times, May 16, 2014:


Defense News
, June 8, 2014:

Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), June 12, 2014:

The Raw Story, July 23, 2014:

 

#OperationCeasefire ~~ LET THE WHINING BEGIN!

Fair Not Unfair

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The mayor of the beleaguered city said “an absurd situation has been created. All over the world they are talking about the rehabilitation of Gaza, about salaries for Palestinians, about the openings of the border crossings and the transfer of cement to the Strip, but what about the rehabilitation of southern Israel?”

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Local leaders doubt Netanyahu’s commitment to southern residents

Ashkelon mayor says whole world talking about Gaza reconstruction, but Israeli government is not discussing rehabilitation of southern communities.
Ilana Curiel IN

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Be’er Sheva on Thursday to meet with the heads of the local authorities in southern Israel and Gaza-border communities, two days after the start of a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Merhavim Regional Council chief Shai Hajaj said after the meeting that the local leaders were assured the government would provide financial assistance not only to the Gaza-border area, but also to cities and towns up to 40 km from the Strip.

At the meeting, Netanyahu said that “on Sunday we will announce a very generous aid package to Gaza-border residents and later on we will also announce assistance for the entire south.”

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Sderot

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Netanyahu told the local leaders that Hamas received a harsh blow; the southern representatives told Netanyahu that they hope the government follows through on its promises to severely respond to any fire from Gaza.

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Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with southern leaders (Photo: Haim Zach, GPO)

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The Merhavim council chief added: “I received the impression that the prime minister received positive feedback on the war’s management during Operation Protective Edge. There was anger towards the cabinet ministers who dallied with the press while soldiers were fighting in the Strip.”

Ashkelon mayor Itamar Shimoni boycotted the event because no concrete plan to rehabilitate the south had been presented. Shimoni said his city suffered major losses during the operation.

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Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni (Photo: Moti Kimchi)

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“In our annual budget the Ashkelon municipality had allocated for additional revenue of 150 million shekels by selling 80 property deeds – not one contractor bid on the tenders and now the project is frozen,” he said.

Shimoni stressed that “it’s a significant loss; these funds were allocated to developing the city, but were lost because of the operation. Who will compensate us for that?”

The mayor of the beleaguered city said “an absurd situation has been created. All over the world they are talking about the rehabilitation of Gaza, about salaries for Palestinians, about the openings of the border crossings and the transfer of cement to the Strip, but what about the rehabilitation of southern Israel?”

In a clear indictment of the Netanyahu administration, Shimoni answered the question. “No one is talking about that, and no one is doing anything either.”

Shimoni criticized the administration for turning a blind eye to the needs of southern residents. “The response of the Israeli government to southern residents who have lived under fire for two months must be a wide-reaching rehabilitation of the south. We need national investment in infrastructure, to bridge the gaps, so that we may better prepare the population for the next campaign.”

“Unfortunately, in this country, just the opposite is happening,” he said.

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG, BAD BOYCOTT?

Obviously, Israel is!

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bds-z

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With the Gaza ‘conflict’ seemingly on hold for the time being, Israel can now once again concentrate on their ‘other’ enemy …. HUMANITY.

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Staying away from McDonald’s, IBM, Estee Lauder, Soda Stream, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, Siemens, Danone, Kimberly-Clark, Intel, Timberland, Caterpillar, Victoria’s Secret, Revlon and many other companies blacklisted by the organizers of boycott is not really possible for the ordinary consumer.

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OH YES IT IS!

AND IT’S OBVIOUSLY WORKING!

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Who’s afraid of the big, bad boycott?

Anyone seriously seeking to boycott Israeli products would have a hard time finding a real target on supermarket and drugstore shelves.
Adam Reuter IN
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Let’s start with the conclusion: Israeli exports are not affected by the present economic boycott, nor will they be affected in the future. This is not because certain European consumer groups and the like are not trying – it is because the unique nature of Israel’s exports simply does not allow for it. It’s a logical concept on paper, but simply does not hold water in reality.

The most obvious example of how the boycott concept is unsustainable is Israel’s trade relations with Turkey. In 2010, after Cast Lead, and the Mavi Marmara incident in particular, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who is now trying to change the laws in his country in order to become something akin to a sultan) demanded a boycott of Israel at every opportunity.

And lo and behold – just the opposite has happened. Trade relations with Turkey, both exports and imports, have jumped dramatically and are now at the highest level – and almost 100% rise since 2009, long before the Mavi Marmara.
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Anti-Israel protest in Madrid, August 2014 (Photo: AFP)

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No interest in Gaza
Israel’s exports are driven by thousands of companies of all kinds, with the most diverse ownership and in a wide variety of markets, albeit with a low international profile. There is no Israeli company that is considered a global brand, and hence could be used as a clear indicator.

Many Israeli companies operate in niche areas, as an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or as subsidiaries of foreign multinationals.

In addition, Israeli exports are almost never sold to the end consumer. In fact, this is the case for about 95 percent of Israel’s exports, almost all of which are involved in business-to-business (B2B) trade with the large international corporations who are only interested in the best product or service at the most competitive price.

With all due respect to what is happening there, the attacks in Gaza are not a consideration in the cold world of business, nor is really of any interest.

Tough task
Staying away from McDonald’s, IBM, Estee Lauder, Soda Stream, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, Siemens, Danone, Kimberly-Clark, Intel, Timberland, Caterpillar, Victoria’s Secret, Revlon and many other companies blacklisted by the organizers of boycott is not really possible for the ordinary consumer.

An exploration of the websites of these companies reveals the names of very few Israeli exporters, and a multitude of huge multinationals. Israel boycotters will struggle to find products in the supermarket or drugstore, given the sheer number of massive international companies that do business with Israel.

Some of Israel’s farmers who export to Europe are in the boycotters’ crosshairs, yet agricultural produce only constitutes about 2 percent of Israeli exports. They are now experiencing some difficulties, but know from experience that life will return to normal once the conflict is over.

It may be possible to reduce the existing damage somewhat by diverting goods to Russia, which is currently boycotting the entry of agricultural products from Europe.

Most of the impact is felt in the factories of Ariel and Ma’aleh Adumim, both viewed as problematic by in the EU due to their location beyond the Green Line.

It is extremely unfortunate that these companies are forced to endure such censure, but the scope of their activity, in relation to Israel’s overall exports, is minute, and does not constitute even one thousandth of Israel’s total GDP. Looking at it on the macroeconomic level, the damage of boycotting these factories is negligible to the overall Israeli economy.

It’s time to calm down and free ourselves of this blind hysteria that is being promulgated, most likely for some political end or other.

#OperationCeasefire ~~ THE ‘VICTORY’ ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

The actual victory is that the madness seems finally over!

Be sure to read THIS post from yesterday.

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Haniyeh hails Palestinian resistance ‘victory’ in massive Gaza rally

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Palestinians flash the sign of victory atop a vehicle, as people celebrate
a deal reached between Hamas and Israel for a long-term end to fighting
in the Gaza Strip, Aug. 26, 2014, in Gaza City (AFP Mahmud Hams)
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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh greeted thousands of Palestinians in a central Gaza square on Wednesday in a massive victory rally following the signing of a long-term ceasefire that concluded 50 days of intense conflict with Israel.

The speech followed the release of polls earlier in the day showing widespread belief in Gaza that the Palestinian military resistance had increased its deterrence capacity and overwhelming support for the firing of rockets into Israel.

In his speech, Haniyeh hailed the people of Gaza and the resistance forces for their steadfastness in the fight against Israel, which claimed the lives of more than 2,100 Palestinians — the overwhelming majority of whom were civilians — and left 64 Israeli soldiers dead, in addition to six civilians in Israel.

“Those whose blood was spilled and the martyrs were the fuel of this victory,” Haniyeh said during the rally, emphasizing to the crowd of thousands that the resistance had been preparing for the battle for years.

“It is not possible to express this victory with words and speeches,” he added.

“The victory is beyond the limits of time and place. This battle is a war that lacks a precedent in the history of conflict with the enemy,” he said, stressing that the group was preparing for the “ultimate battle” for the liberation of Palestine.

“The war began with fire on Haifa and ended with fire on Haifa,” he told the crowd, highlighting the fact that Hamas had managed to fight throughout the seven-week Israeli assault and emerged with its military strength intact.

“The Palestinians who couldn’t celebrate Eid al-Fitr because of the fighting and because they were on the battlefield, today celebrate the celebration of victory.”

Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida also gave a speech in Gaza on Wednesday night, arguing that the conflict had shown the need to “completely revise the methods of national struggle.”

“Negotiations are not enough with these occupiers,” he told a large crowd gathered in Gaza City’s eastern Shujaiyya neighborhood, which was devastated during the Israeli ground assault.

“Resistance unified the people, and that is our big achievement,” he added. “We will not return to divisions or disputes.”

“The resistance forced the ceasefire out of its enemy and did not allow them any strategic or tactical achievements,” he continued. “It crushed its pride that has been fabricated for decades through media outlets, and laboratories of psychological warfare.”

He also stressed that his was not a “victory speech,” adding: “Our appointment with the victory speech will be in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem). This is merely an inevitable step along the way.”

Hamas has hailed the conflict with Israel as a victory for the group and the Palestinian resistance more broadly, stressing that Gaza is coming out of the battle having gained concessions from Israel while Israel has not managed to dent its military power.

Israeli authorities said at the beginning of the assault that their goals were to end rocket fire and later added the destruction of tunnels underneath Gaza that it said would be used to launch attacks into Israel.

Although the Israeli government says it destroyed all the tunnels, Palestinian militant groups dispute this. Rocket fire, meanwhile, continued into Israel until the final moments of the conflict.

The long-term ceasefire agreement, meanwhile, promises a gradual easing of the Israeli-imposed economic blockade of Gaza, which Israel has maintained with Egyptian support since 2007.

Although the Palestinian delegation team stressed the need for the re-opening of the airport and seaport in Gaza, these demands will be discussed further in a new round of talks next month.

Israel’s primary demand — for a disarmament of Gaza militant groups — has not been realized.

(AFP/Diane Desobeau)

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Strong belief in increased deterrence

The speeches come hours after an opinions poll released by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion showed a widespread belief in Gaza the deterrence capacity of the Palestinian resistance groups following the conflict.

More than 75 percent of Palestinians surveyed in the poll, which was conducted from August 14-19 among 1,000 adult respondents across Gaza, thought that as a result of the conflict Palestinian militant groups had an increased deterrence capability.

This belief was reinforced by a tremendous rise in support for the firing of rockets into Israel, which the poll showed was supported by an overwhelming 88.9 percent of respondents, a nearly 100 percent increase over a Jan. 2013 poll which showed only 49 percent support.

Israel’s military strategy toward Gaza has relied on the use of massive military force to cow the population at large and diminish support for Hamas, but the poll results suggest that the Palestinian population has instead rallied around the armed resistance groups.

Despite the heavy civilian casualties suffered in Gaza — the UN estimates that 70 percent of the more than 2,100 dead have been civilians — many Palestinians were surprised by the effectiveness of Hamas fighting capabilities during the seven-week long conflict.

The Israeli military suffered its highest casualty rate since it attempted to invade Lebanon in 2006, while Hamas launched cross-border raids targeting military sites in addition to firing rockets into distant cities like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa on a regular basis.

The poll also showed mild support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s performance during the operation, with 54 percent saying they approved while more than 38 percent expressing disapproval.

Although Abbas was criticized for failing to act in the early weeks of the bombardment, the PA’s involvement in indirect long-term negotiations with Israel in Cairo provides a possible explanation for the general approval.

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency, which offered refuge to around 485,000 Palestinians displaced by the fighting, also enjoyed widespread approval, with more than 71 percent saying the agency had done a “good” job.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, however, came out of the conflict with extremely low levels of approval, with nearly 65 percent rating his performance negative, 17 percent positive, and 13.5 percent “balanced.”

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall …
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Netanyahu: Hamas won none of its demands in Gaza truce

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on August 24, 2014 at the
Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv (AFP/File Gali Tibbon)
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JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Hamas had achieved none of its demands in a truce ending 50 days of deadly conflict in Gaza.

“Hamas was hit hard and got none of its demands,” Netanyahu said at a news conference in Jerusalem, his first comments since the ceasefire went into effect on Tuesday evening.

“Hamas wanted a port and airport in Gaza, the liberation of Palestinian prisoners, the mediation of Qatar and Turkey and the payment of salaries for its employees.

“But it got nothing.”

The seven-week conflict claimed the lives of at least 2,140 Palestinians, more than 70 percent of them civilians according to the United Nations, and 64 soldiers and six civilians on the Israeli side.

“Hamas has not suffered such a defeat since its creation. We destroyed attack tunnels, killed nearly 1,000 enemy combatants, including senior officials in the movement, destroyed thousands of rockets and hundreds of command posts,” Netanyahu said.

Both sides’ guns fell silent on Tuesday, with Israel agreeing to ease restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza, and allow fishing boats up to six nautical miles offshore.

The sides have yet to agree on other issues, such as the freeing of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in exchange for militants handing over the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in the fighting.

Negotiations are also yet to take place on Hamas’ key demand for a Gaza seaport and airport.

“We have agreed to help reconstruct the territory for humanitarian reasons, but only under our control,” Netanyahu said.

“It’s still too early to know if the calm has returned in the long term,” he warned.

“We won’t tolerate any firing on Israel, and our response will be even stronger.”

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So, WHO WON?

#OperationCeasefire ~~ THE WAR THAT WILL GO DOWN IN THE ANUS OF HISTORY

NO, it’s not a typo!

20071108174408!Anus

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Some wars are recorded in the annals of history, the last Israeli incursion into Gaza will definitely go down in its anus.

Both sides claim victory, yet there is no victor.

Gaza lost over 2,000 innocent civilians including over 250 children. Neighbourhoods, schools, hospitals were totally destroyed by Israel’s indiscriminate bombings. Israel (re)gained complete control of the Strip by giving legitimacy to the illegitimate Mahmoud Abbas.

Where I come from, THAT IS NOT A VICTORY!

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Israel, on the other hand, lost 65 of its soldiers, 2 innocent civilians including a four-year old child.

Israel lost whatever International prestige it might have had by its actions. Tens of thousands of Jews throughout the world demonstrated daily against the atrocities committed by them. Even the likes of Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky woke up briefly from their comas to speak their piece. So called investigations are under way via the United Nations which will surely end with a condemnation of Israeli actions.

That too IS NOT A VICTORY!

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Gideon Levy hits the nail on the head with his column in HaAretz today

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This was the most brutal war Israel has ever waged, and it ended on Tuesday exactly where it started. En route, it inflicted countless wounds. Those of the Palestinians bleed more, but those of the Israelis are deeper. The 50-day war ended with no victors, but only Gaza celebrated last night, and with some degree of justice.

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Lessons from the futile Gaza war

Over the past 50 days, Gaza has told Netanyahu that Israel can no longer live by the sword.
By Gideon Levy

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Israel Defense Forces soldiers train near the border with the Gaza Strip, Aug. 19, 2014.

Israel Defense Forces soldiers train near the border with the Gaza Strip, Aug. 19, 2014. Photo by Ilan Assayag

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This was the most brutal war Israel has ever waged, and it ended on Tuesday exactly where it started. En route, it inflicted countless wounds. Those of the Palestinians bleed more, but those of the Israelis are deeper. The 50-day war ended with no victors, but only Gaza celebrated last night, and with some degree of justice.

There was no justice in this war; both sides committed war crimes. Nevertheless, its first lesson must not be forgotten: the limits of (military) power. Our smart bombs and our hundreds of planes didn’t help us. They didn’t win the war, and couldn’t have won it. The brilliant Palestinian analyst Mouin Rabbani wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday, “When an army reaches the point of destroying apartment buildings as if it were a municipal engineer, it can no longer be considered a serious army.”

Hamas grew stronger, despite Israeli propagandists’ pathetic attempts to deny this. And (decimated) Gaza also grew stronger: Its fate, at least for a time, will now preoccupy Israel and the world; had it not been for its rockets, nobody would have bothered with it.

Gaza paid with much blood. Israel also bled, though less. But Israel’s debit sheet also includes a further decline in its international standing, and even worse, open wounds to its weakening democratic regime, which won’t heal quickly. Hamas has become a representative organization, even to Israel, and an exemplar of steadfast resistance, at least to its own people.

But the test of this war is still before us. This useless war might yet produce benefits, if wars ever can produce benefits, if Israel learns its lessons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lost popular support in this war, will deserve history’s admiration: Unlike his colleagues, he at least knew when to end this horror, and he did so last night, displaying impressive leadership. Perhaps he’ll learn that he not only has the power to end wars, but to turn over a new leaf.

Israel can win this war only by complying with its enemy’s just demands: truly opening Gaza to the world and beginning negotiations over the future of the occupied territories. No more “understandings” that will quickly bring the next “operation,” but a new approach to Gaza, Hamas and the entire Palestinian people. No more photo ops with Mahmoud Abbas, but serious negotiations aimed at making peace with the Palestinian unity government.

It’s doubtful Netanyahu either can or wants to do this. But over the past 50 days, the Western and Arab worlds have both told him this is the only way; there is no other. Over the past 50 days, Gaza has told him Israel can no longer live eternally by the sword.

Over the last 50 days, cemeteries filled with bodies and hospitals overflowed with wounded. Rubble piled up and hatred and fear overflowed their banks on both sides. But this cloud could yet have a silver lining: Perhaps Israel, for the first time in its history, will fundamentally change its approach.

It sounds ridiculous now. But how is it possible to end this cursed war without at least envisioning hope?

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE LITTLE DOLLS OF GAZA’S DEAD CHILDREN

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Although they have only finished about 1/3 of our representations of the children murdered in Gaza the Granny Peace Brigade brought them to a demonstration organized by Jews Say No at the subway station on W. 96th St. and Broadway yesterday.  Jews Say No does this regularly in an effort to engage with the community and discuss what is happening in Israel/Palestine.  The reaction to the Gaza children representations was very strong.  Many people gave the Grannies a thumbs-up or came over to speak saying they were glad to see them there.  Several others were very passionate in their condemnation, screaming, calling the Grannies ignorant and anti-semites, and accusing them of pandering to people’s feelings.  For the most part the demonstrators didn’t respond to the attacks.  When there is one representation for each murdered child they will be taken to public places around the city and displayed.

As a sidenote, Palestinian children throughout Israel and the West Bank have been sending their ‘Eid Gifts’ to help the ‘little people’ still suffering in Gaza’s hospitals.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer … Commentary by Chippy Dee

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#OperationCeasefire … ABBAS WINS, PALESTINE LOSES

THE LATEST …

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Abbas announces Israel-Gaza ceasefire
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(MaanImages)
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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday declared a long-term ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.In a short televised address, Abbas said the agreement would go into effect at 7 p.m.For his part, deputy chief of Hamas’ politburo Mousa Abu Marzouq wrote on his Twitter account that “talks have ended. We have reached understandings crowning our people’s steadfastness and our resistance’s triumph. We are awaiting a statement setting the zero point and end to the aggression.”

A well-placed Palestinian source confirmed that Gaza border crossings would be open in tandem with an extended ceasefire.

The source explained that Egypt would issue a statement calling for a comprehensive and mutual ceasefire together with opening Gaza’s crossings for the entry of construction material.

The Gaza fishing zone will also be increased.

In addition, the source said, Israel has pledged to stop targeted assassinations against Palestinian resistance activists and faction leaders.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that a round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would start in Cairo a month later to discuss unresolved issues.

Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have accepted the newly reached ceasefire agreement which Israel also accepted, the source highlighted.

Spokesman of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees Abu Mujahid also told Ma’an that a permanent ceasefire agreement would go into effect this evening.

He said the agreement would be based on the 2012 truce and would include opening Gaza crossing points permanently.

He said opening crossings would mean an end to the Gaza siege, reconstruction of the enclave, removing the “no-go zone” and enlarging the Gaza fishing zone.

Israel’s Channel 10 TV quoted Israeli officials as saying they agreed to a ceasefire.

SO MUCH FOR THE ONE STATE SOLUTION

Let’s start with only one official language 
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Current Israeli law borrows from legislation from the British Mandate period, under which the government and local authorities must publish all announcements and forms in Arabic. The new bill would annul this stipulation, as well as the use of Arabic at government ministries and in the courts.

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Right-wing MKs aim to make Hebrew Israel’s only official language

The legislators say such a law would ‘foster mutual trust in society and preserve the values of democracy.’

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Road sign to Yitzhar settlement. Arabic blackened, "revenge" sprayed in Hebrew instead.

Road sign to Yitzhar settlement. Arabic blackened, “revenge” sprayed in Hebrew instead. Photo by Adar Cohen
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Knesset members from Yisrael Beiteinu, Likud and Habayit Hayehudi are pushing a bill to make Hebrew the only official language of the State of Israel.

Current Israeli law borrows from legislation from the British Mandate period, under which the government and local authorities must publish all announcements and forms in Arabic. The new bill would annul this stipulation, as well as the use of Arabic at government ministries and in the courts.

According to the bill, highway signs would still have Arabic, “and everyone has the freedom to use other languages in the private and public domains, to nurture them and teach them.”

The bill was initiated by MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beiteinu) and has been signed by two members of his party — David Rotem and Hamad Amar. High-profile right-wing MKs Moshe Feiglin (Likud) and Orit Strock (Habayit Hayehudi) are also on board.

“In most countries around the world the language of the country is the language spoken by the majority of the population. Therefore, in the State of Israel the Hebrew language has the status of the language of the country, which should be enshrined in legislation,” the MKs said in a statement.

They said such a law would “contribute to social solidarity” and help “build the collective identity necessary for fostering mutual trust in society and preserving the values of democracy.”

ISRAELI WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ~~ THE SCALE OF INJUSTICE

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Don’t miss THIS post

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Then watch this brilliant speech

NEVER AGAIN MEANS JUST THAT! ~~ HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS CONDEMN ISRAEL’S ACTIONS IN GAZA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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In a statement, the network said the letter was written in response to an ad campaign in which Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize laureate, compares the murder of children during the Holocaust to Hamas’ actions in Gaza.

“We are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history in these pages to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water,” the letter reads.

It concludes: “’Never again’ must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE.”

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40 Holocaust Survivors Condemn Israel for Gaza War (Signatories below)

Four Generations Say: ‘Never Again for Anyone’

By JTA

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Some 40 Jewish Holocaust survivors and more than 200 direct descendants of survivors signed a public letter condemning Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

“As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine,” reads the letter, which was published Saturday in The New York Times as an advertisement. “We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and Western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation. Genocide begins with the silence of the world.”

The signatories come from 26 countries representing four generations of survivors.

About 50 other relatives of survivors also signed the letter, which was sponsored by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. The network calls for the “liberation of the Palestinian people and land,” as well as “an end to U.S. economic and military dominance in the region, in which Israel plays a crucial part.”

In a statement, the network said the letter was written in response to an ad campaign in which Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize laureate, compares the murder of children during the Holocaust to Hamas’ actions in Gaza.

“We are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history in these pages to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water,” the letter reads.

It concludes: “’Never again’ must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE.”

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The signatories …

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Jewish survivors and descendents of survivors of Nazi genocide unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza

Survivors

  1. Hajo Meyer, survivor of Auschwitz, The Netherlands.
  2. Henri Wajnblum, survivor and son of a victim of Auschwitz from Lodz, Poland. Lives in Belgium.
  3. Renate Bridenthal, child refugee from Hitler, granddaughter of Auschwitz victim, United States.
  4. Marianka Ehrlich Ross, survivor of Nazi ethnic cleansing in Vienna, Austria. Now lives in United States.
  5. Irena Klepfisz, child survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland. Now lives in United States.
  6. Karen Pomer, granddaughter of member of Dutch resistance and survivor of Bergen Belsen. Now lives in the United States.
  7. Hedy Epstein, her parents & other family members were deported to Camp de Gurs & subsequently all perished in Auschwitz. Now lives in United States.
  8. Lillian Rosengarten, survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, United States.
  9. Suzanne Weiss, survived in hiding in France, and daughter of a mother who was murdered in Auschwitz. Now lives in Canada.
  10. H. Richard Leuchtag, survivor, United States.
  11. Ervin Somogyi, survivor and son of survivors, United States.
  12. Ilse Hadda, survivor on Kindertransport to England. Now lives in United States.
  13. Jacques Glaser, survivor, France.
  14. Norbert Hirschhorn, refugee of Nazi genocide and grandson of three grandparents who died in the Shoah, London.
  15. Eva Naylor, surivor, New Zealand.
  16. Suzanne Ross, child refugee from Nazi occupation in Belgium, two thirds of family perished in the Lodz Ghetto, in Auschwitz, and other Camps, United States.
  17. Bernard Swierszcz, Polish survivor, lost relatives in Majdanek concentration camp. Now lives in the United States.
  18. Joseph Klinkov, hidden child in Poland, still lives in Poland.
  19. Nicole Milner, survivor from Belgium. Now lives in United States.
  20. Hedi Saraf, child survivor and daughter of survivor of Dachau, United States.
  21. Michael Rice, child survivor and son and grandson of survivor, aunt died in Auschwitz and cousin in concentration camp, ALL 14 remaining Jewish children in my Dutch boarding school were murdered in concentration camps, United States.
  22. Barbara Roose, survivor from Germany, half-sister killed in Auschwitz, United States.
  23. Sonia Herzbrun, survivor of Nazi genocide, France.
  24. Ivan Huber, survivor with my parents, but 3 of 4 grandparents murdered, United States.
  25. Altman Janina, survivor of Janowski concentration camp, Lvov. Lives in Israel.
  26. Leibu Strul Zalman, survivor from Vaslui Romania. Lives in Jerusalem, Palestine.
  27. Miriam Almeleh, survivor, United States.
  28. George Bartenieff, child survivor from Germany and son of survivors, United States.
  29. Margarete Liebstaedter, survivor, hidden by Christian people in Holland. Lives in Belgium.
  30. Edith Bell, survivor of Westerbork, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Kurzbach. Lives in United States.
  31. Janine Euvrard, survivor, France.
  32. Harry Halbreich, survivor, German.
  33. Ruth Kupferschmidt, survivor, spent five years hiding, The Netherlands.

Children of survivors

  1. Liliana Kaczerginski, daughter of Vilna ghetto resistance fighter and granddaughter of murdered in Ponary woods, Lithuania. Now lives in France.
  2. Jean-Claude Meyer, son of Marcel, shot as a hostage by the Nazis, whose sister and parents died in Auschwitz. Now lives in France.
  3. Chava Finkler, daughter of survivor of Starachovice labour camp, Poland. Now lives in Canada.
  4. Micah Bazant, child of a survivor of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  5. Sylvia Schwarz, daughter and granddaughter of survivors and granddaughter of victims of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  6. Margot Goldstein, daughter and granddaughter of survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  7. Ellen Schwarz Wasfi, daughter of survivors from Vienna, Austria. Now lives in United States.
  8. Lisa Kosowski, daughter of survivor and granddaughter of Auschwitz victims, United States.
  9. Daniel Strum, son of a refugee from Vienna, who, with his parents were forced to flee in 1939, his maternal grand-parents were lost, United States.
  10. Bruce Ballin, son of survivors, some relatives of parents died in camps, one relative beheaded for being in the Baum Resistance Group, United States.
  11. Rachel Duell, daughter of survivors from Germany and Poland, United States.
  12. Tom Mayer, son of survivor and grandson of victims, United States.
  13. Alex Nissen, daughter of survivors who escaped but lost family in the Holocaust, United States.
  14. Mark Aleshnick, son of survivor who lost most of her family in Nazi genocide, United States.
  15. Prof. Haim Bresheeth, son of two survivors of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, London.
  16. Todd Michael Edelman, son and grandson of survivors and great-grandson of victims of the Nazi genocide in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, United States.
  17. Tim Naylor, son of survivor, New Zealand.
  18. Victor Nepomnyashchy, son and grandson of survivors and grandson and relative of many victims, United States.
  19. Tanya Ury, daughter of parents who fled Nazi Germany, granddaughter, great granddaugher and niece of survivors and those who died in concentration camps, Germany.
  20. Rachel Giora, daughter of Polish Jews who fled Poland, Israel.
  21. Jane Hirschmann, daughter of survivors, United States.
  22. Jenny Heinz, daughter of survivor, United States.
  23. Jaap Hamburger, son of survivors and grandchild of 4 grandparents murdered in Auschwitz, The Netherlands.
  24. Elsa Auerbach, daughter of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, United States.
  25. Julian Clegg, son and grandson of Austrian refugees, relative of Austrian and Hungarian concentration camp victims, Taiwan.
  26. David Mizner, son of a survivor, relative of people who died in the Holocaust, United States.
  27. Jeffrey J. Westcott, son and grandson of Holocaust survivors from Germany, United States.
  28. Susan K. Jacoby, daughter of parents who were refugees from Nazi Germany, granddaughter of survivor of Buchenwald, United States.
  29. Audrey Bomse, daughter of a survivor of Nazi ethnic cleansing in Vienna, lives in United States.
  30. Daniel Gottschalk, son and grandson of refugees from the Holocaust, relative to various family members who died in the Holocaust, United States.
  31. Barbara Grossman, daughter of survivors, granddaughter of Holocaust victims, United States.
  32. Abraham Weizfeld PhD, son of survivorswho escaped Warsaw (Jewish Bundist) and Lublin ghettos, Canada.
  33. David Rohrlich, son of refugees from Vienna, grandson of victim, United States.
  34. Walter Ballin, son of holocaust survivors, United States.
  35. Fritzi Ross, daughter of survivor, granddaughter of Dachau survivor Hugo Rosenbaum, great-granddaughter and great-niece of victims, United States.
  36. Reuben Roth, son of survivors who fled from Poland in 1939, Canada.
  37. Tony Iltis, father fled from Czechoslovakia and grandmother murdered in Auschwitz, Australia.
  38. Anne Hudes, daughter and granddaughter of survivors from Vienna, Austria, great-granddaughter of victims who perished in Auschwitz, United States.
  39. Mateo Nube, son of survivor from Berlin, Germany. Lives in United States.
  40. John Mifsud, son of survivors from Malta, United States.
  41. Mike Okrent, son of two holocaust / concentration camp survivors, United States.
  42. Susan Bailey, daughter of survivor and niece of victims, UK.
  43. Brenda Lewis, child of Kindertransport survivor, parent’s family died in Auschwitz and Terezin. Lives in Canada.
  44. Patricia Rincon-Mautner, daughter of survivor and granddaughter of survivor, Colombia.
  45. Barak Michèle, daughter and grand-daughter of a survivor, many members of family were killed in Auschwitz or Bessarabia. Lives in Germany.
  46. Jessica Blatt, daughter of child refugee survivor, both grandparents’ entire families killed in Poland. Lives in United States
  47. Maia Ettinger, daughter & granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  48. Ammiel Alcalay, child of survivors from then Yugoslavia. Lives in United States.
  49. Julie Deborah Kosowski, daughter of hidden child survivor, grandparents did not return from Auschwitz, United States.
  50. Julia Shpirt, daughter of survivor, United States.
  51. Ruben Rosenberg Colorni, grandson and son of survivors, The Netherlands.
  52. Victor Ginsburgh, son of survivors, Belgium.
  53. Arianne Sved, daughter of a survivor and granddaughter of victim, Spain.
  54. Rolf Verleger, son of survivors, father survived Auschwitz, mother survived deportation from Berlin to Estonia, other family did not survive. Lives in Germany.
  55. Euvrard Janine, daughter of survivors, France.
  56. H. Fleishon, daughter of survivors, United States.
  57. Barbara Meyer, daughter of survivor in Polish concentration camps. Lives in Italy.
  58. Susan Heuman, child of survivors and granddaughter of two grandparents murdered in a forest in Minsk. Lives in United States.
  59. Rami Heled, son of survivors, all grandparents and family killed by the Germans in Treblinka, Oswiecim and Russia. Lives in Israel.
  60. Eitan Altman, son of survivor, France.
  61. Jorge Sved, son of survivor and grandson of victim, United Kingdom
  62. Maria Kruczkowska, daughter of Lea Horowicz who survived the holocaust in Poland. Lives in Poland.
  63. Sarah Lanzman, daughter of survivor of Auschwitz, United States.
  64. Cheryl W, daughter, granddaughter and nieces of survivors, grandfather was a member of the Dutch Underground (Eindhoven). Lives in Australia.
  65. Chris Holmquist, son of survivor, UK.
  66. Beverly Stuart, daughter and granddaughter of survivors from Romania and Poland. Lives in United States.
  67. Peter Truskier, son and grandson of survivors, United States.
  68. Karen Bermann, daughter of a child refugee from Vienna. Lives in United States.
  69. Rebecca Weston, daughter and granddaughter of survivor, Spain.
  70. Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky, daughter of Holocaust survivors, London, UK.
  71. Marion Geller, daughter and granddaughter of those who escaped, great-granddaughter and relative of many who died in the camps, UK.
  72. Susan Slyomovics, daughter and granddaughter of survivors of Auschwitz, Plaszow, Markleeberg and Ghetto Mateszalka, United States.
  73. Helga Fischer Mankovitz, daughter, niece and cousin of refugees who fled from Austria, niece of victim who perished, Canada.
  74. Steinberg, daughter of survivors and grand daughter of victim killed in Auschwitz as well as all his family of Poland, France.
  75. Michael Wischnia, son of survivors and relative of many who perished, United States.
  76. Arthur Graaff, son of decorated Dutch resistance member and nazi victim, The Netherlands.
  77. Johanna Haan, daughter and granddaughter of victims in the Netherlands. Lives in the Netherlands.
  78. Aron Ben Miriam, son of and nephew of survivors from Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Salzwedel, Lodz ghetto. Lives in United States.

Grandchildren of survivors

  1. Raphael Cohen, grandson of Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  2. Emma Rubin, granddaughter of a survivor of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  3. Alex Safron, grandson of a survivor of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  4. Danielle Feris, grandchild of a Polish grandmother whose whole family died in the Nazi Holocaust, United States.
  5. Jesse Strauss, grandson of Polish survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  6. Anna Baltzer, granddaughter of survivors whose family members perished in Auschwitz (others were members of the Belgian Resistance), United States.
  7. Abigail Harms, granddaughter of Holocaust survivor from Austria, Now lives in United States.
  8. Tessa Strauss, granddaughter of Polish Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  9. Caroline Picker, granddaughter of survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  10. Amalle Dublon, grandchild and great-grandchild of survivors of the Nazi holocaust, United States.
  11. Antonie Kaufmann Churg, 3rd cousin of Ann Frank and grand-daughter of NON-survivors, United States.
  12. Aliza Shvarts, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  13. Linda Mamoun, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  14. Abby Okrent, granddaughter of survivors of the Auschwitz, Dachau, Stuttgart, and the Lodz Ghetto, United States.
  15. Ted Auerbach, grandson of survivor whose whole family died in the Holocaust, United States.
  16. Beth Bruch, grandchild of German Jews who fled to US and great-grandchild of Nazi holocaust survivor, United States.
  17. Bob Wilson, grandson of a survivor, United States.
  18. Katharine Wallerstein, granddaughter of survivors and relative of many who perished, United States.
  19. Sylvia Finzi, granddaughter and niece of Holocaust victims murdered in Auschwitz, London and Berlin. Now lives in London.
  20. Esteban Schmelz, grandson of KZ-Theresienstadt victim, Mexico City.
  21. Françoise Basch, grand daughter of Victor and Ilona Basch murdered by the Gestapo and the French Milice, France.
  22. Gabriel Alkon, grandson of Holocaust survivors, Untied States.
  23. Nirit Ben-Ari, grandchild of Polish grandparents from both sides whose entire family was killed in the Nazi Holocaust, United States.
  24. Heike Schotten, granddaughter of refugees from Nazi Germany who escaped the genocide, United States.
  25. Ike af Carlstèn, grandson of survivor, Norway.
  26. Elias Lazarus, grandson of Holocaust refugees from Dresden, United States and Australia.
  27. Laura Mandelberg, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, United States.
  28. Josh Ruebner, grandson of Nazi Holocaust survivors, United States.
  29. Shirley Feldman, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  30. Nuno Cesar Ferreira, grandson of survivor, Brazil.
  31. Andrea Land, granddaugher of survivors who fled programs in Poland, all European relatives died in German and Polish concentration camps, United States.
  32. Sarah Goldman, granddaughter of survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  33. Baruch Wolski, grandson of survivors, Austria.
  34. Frank Amahran, grandson of survivor, United States.
  35. Eve Spangler, granddaughter of Holocaust NON-survivor, United States.
  36. Gil Medovoy, grandchild of Fela Hornstein who lost her enitre family in Poland during the Nazi genocide, United States.
  37. Michael Hoffman, grandson of survivors, rest of family killed in Poland during Holocaust, live in El Salvador.
  38. Sarah Hogarth, granddaughter of a survivor whose entire family was killed at Auschwitz, United States.
  39. Tibby Brooks, granddaughter, niece, and cousin of victims of Nazis in Ukraine. Lives in United States.
  40. Dan Berger, grandson of survivor, United States.
  41. Dani Baurer, granddaughter of Baruch Pollack, survivor of Auschwitz. Lives in United States.
  42. Talia Baurer, granddaughter of a survivor, United States.
  43. Evan Cofsky, grandson of survivor, UK.
  44. Annie Sicherman, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  45. Anna Heyman, granddaughter of survivors, UK.
  46. Maya Ober, granddaughter of survivor and relative of deceased in Teresienstadt and Auschwitz, Tel Aviv.
  47. Anne Haan, granddaughter of Joseph Slagter, survivor of Auschwitz. Lives in The Netherlands.
  48. Oliver Ginsberg, grandson of victim, Germany.
  49. Alexia Zdral, granddaughter of Polish survivors, United States.
  50. Mitchel Bollag, grandson of Stanislaus Eisner, who was living in Czechoslovakia before being sent to a concentration camp. United States.
  51. Vivienne Porzsolt, granddaughter of victims of Nazi genocide, Australia.
  52. Lisa Nessan, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  53. Kally Alexandrou, granddaughter of survivors, Australia.
  54. Laura Ostrow, granddaughter of survivors, United States
  55. Anette Jacobson, granddaughter of relatives killed, town of Kamen Kashirsk, Poland. Lives in United States.
  56. Tamar Yaron (Teresa Werner), granddaughter and niece of victims of the Nazi genocide in Poland, Israel.
  57. Antonio Roman-Alcalá, grandson of survivor, United States.
  58. Jeremy Luban, grandson of survivor, United States.
  59. Heather West, granddaughter of survivors and relative of other victims, United States.
  60. Jeff Ethan Au Green, grandson of survivor who escaped from a Nazi work camp and hid in the Polish-Ukranian forest, United States.
  61. Noa Shaindlinger, granddaughter of four holocaust survivors, Canada.
  62. Merilyn Moos, granddaughter, cousin and niece murdered victims, UK.
  63. Ruth Tenne, granddaughter and relative of those who perished in Warsaw Ghetto, London.
  64. Craig Berman, grandson of Holocaust survivors, UK.
  65. Nell Hirschmann-Levy, granddaughter of survivors from Germany. Lives in United States.
  66. Osha Neumann, grandson of Gertrud Neumann who died in Theresienstadt. Lives in United States.
  67. Georg Frankl, Grandson of survivor Ernst-Immo Frankl who survived German work camp. Lives in Germany.
  68. Julian Drix, grandson of two survivors from Poland, including survivor and escapee from liquidated Janowska concentration camp in Lwow, Poland. Lives in United States.
  69. Katrina Mayer, grandson and relative of victims, UK.
  70. Avigail Abarbanel, granddaughter of survivors, Scotland.
  71. Denni Turp, granddaughter of Michael Prooth, survivor, UK.
  72. Fenya Fischler, granddaughter of survivors, UK.
  73. Yakira Teitel, granddaughter of German Jewish refugees, great-granddaughter of survivor, United States.
  74. Sarah, granddaughter of survivor, the Netherlands.
  75. Susan Koppelman, granddaughter of survivor, United States
  76. Hana Umeda, granddaughter of survivor, Warsaw.
  77. Jordan Silverstein, grandson of two survivors, Canada.
  78. Daniela Petuchowski, granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  79. Aaron Lerner, grandson of survivors, United States.
  80. Judith Bernstein, granddaughter of Holocaust victims in Auschwitz, Germany.
  81. Samantha Wischnia, granddaughter and great niece of survivors from Poland, United States.
  82. Elizabeth Wischnia, granddaughter and grand niece of three holocaust survivors, great aunt worked for Schindler, United States.
  83. Daniel Waterman, grandson of survivor, The Netherlands.
  84. Elana Baurer, granddaughter of survivor, United States.
  85. Pablo Roman-Alcala, grandson of participant in the kindertransport and survivor, Germany.

Great grandchildren of survivors

  1. Natalie Rothman, great granddaughter of Holocaust victims in Warsaw. Now lives in Canada.
  2. Yotam Amit, great-grandson of Polish Jew who fled Poland, United States.
  3. Daniel Boyarin, great grandson of victims of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  4. Maria Luban, great-granddaughter of survivors of the Holocaust, United States.
  5. Mimi Erlich, great-granddaughter of Holocaust victim, United States.
  6. Olivia Kraus, great-grandaughter of victims, granddaughter and daughter of family that fled Austria and Czechoslovakia. Lives in United States.
  7. Emily (Chisefsky) Alma, great granddaughter and great grandniece of victims in Bialystok, Poland, United States.
  8. Inbal Amin, great-granddaughter of a mother and son that escaped and related to plenty that didn’t, United States.
  9. Matteo Luban, great-granddaughter of survivors, United States.
  10. Saira Weiner, greatgranddaughter and niece of those murdered in the Holocaust, granddaughter of survivors, UK.
  11. Andrea Isaak, great-granddaughter of survivor, Canada.

Other relatives of survivors

  1. Terri Ginsberg, niece of a survivor of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  2. Nathan Pollack, relative of Holocaust survivors and victims, United States.
  3. Marcy Winograd, relative of victims, United States.
  4. Rabbi Borukh Goldberg, relative of many victims, United States.
  5. Martin Davidson, great-nephew of victims who lived in the Netherlands, Spain.
  6. Miriam Pickens, relative of survivors, United States.
  7. Dorothy Werner, spouse of survivor, United States.
  8. Hyman and Hazel Rochman, relatives of Holocaust victims, United States.
  9. Rich Siegel, cousin of victims who were rounded up and shot in town square of Czestochowa, Poland. Lives in United States.
  10. Ignacio Israel Cruz-Lara, relative of survivor, Mexico.
  11. Debra Stuckgold, relative of survivors, United States.
  12. Joel Kovel, relatives killed at Babi Yar, United States.
  13. Carol Krauthamer Smith, niece of survivors of the Nazi genocide, United States.
  14. Chandra Ahuva Hauptman, relatives from grandfather’s family died in Lodz ghetto, one survivor cousin and many deceased from Auschwitz, United States.
  15. Shelly Weiss, relative of Holocaust victims, United States.
  16. Carol Sanders, niece and cousin of victims of Holocaust in Poland, United States.
  17. Sandra Rosen, great-niece and cousin of survivors, United States.
  18. Raquel Hiller, relative of victims in Poland. Now lives in Mexico.
  19. Alex Kantrowitz, most of father’s family murdered Nesvizh, Belarus 1941. Lives in United States.
  20. Michael Steven Smith, many relatives were killed in Hungary. Lives in United States.
  21. Linda Moore, relative of survivors and victims, United States.
  22. Juliet VanEenwyk, niece and cousin of Hungarian survivors, United States.
  23. Anya Achtenberg, grand niece, niece, cousin of victims tortured and murdered in Ukraine. Lives in United States.
  24. Betsy Wolf-Graves, great niece of uncle who shot himself as he was about to be arrested by Nazis, United States.
  25. Abecassis Pierre, grand-uncle died in concentration camp, France.
  26. Robert Rosenthal, great-nephew and cousin of survivors from Poland. Lives in United States.
  27. Régine Bohar, relative of victims sent to Auschwitz, Canada.
  28. Denise Rickles, relative of survivors and victims in Poland. Lives in United States.
  29. Louis Hirsch, relative of victims, United States.
  30. Concepción Marcos, relative of victim, Spain.
  31. George Sved, relative of victim, Spain.
  32. Judith Berlowitz, relative of victims and survivors, United States.
  33. Rebecca Sturgeon, descendant of Holocaust survivor from Amsterdam. Lives in UK.
  34. Justin Levy, relative of victims and survivors, Ireland.
  35. Sam Semoff, relative of survivors and victims, UK.
  36. Leah Brown Klein, daughter-in-law of survivors Miki and Etu Fixler Klein, United States
  37. Karen Malpede, spouse of hidden child who then fled Germany. Lives in United States
  38. Michel Euvrard, husband of survivor, France.
  39. Walter Ebmeyer, grandnephew of three Auschwitz victims and one survivor now living in Jerusalem, United States.
  40. Garrett Wright, relative of victims and survivors, United States.

 

THE HATRED WE CALL OUR OWN

no-to-hatred
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“For me, personally, Arabs are something I can’t look at and can’t stand,” a 10th-grade girl from a high school in the central part of the country says in abominable Hebrew. “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice. I’m ready to kill someone with my hands, and it’s an Arab. In my education I learned that … their education is to be terrorists, and there is no belief in them. I live in an area of Arabs, and every day I see these Ishmaelites, who pass by the [bus] station and whistle. I wish them death.”
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Israeli Teens Gripped by Virulent Racism

Book Details Spread of Anti-Arab Hatred in Schools

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HAARETZ

By Or Kashti

 

(Haaretz)  (VIA)— “For me, personally, Arabs are something I can’t look at and can’t stand,” a 10th-grade girl from a high school in the central part of the country says in abominable Hebrew. “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice. I’m ready to kill someone with my hands, and it’s an Arab. In my education I learned that … their education is to be terrorists, and there is no belief in them. I live in an area of Arabs, and every day I see these Ishmaelites, who pass by the [bus] station and whistle. I wish them death.”

The student’s comments appear in a chapter devoted to ethnicity and racism among youth from a forthcoming book, “Scenes from School Life” (in Hebrew) by Idan Yaron and Yoram Harpaz. The book is based on anthropological observations made by Dr. Yaron, a sociologist, over the course of three years in a six-year, secular high school in the Israeli heartland – “the most average school we could find,” says Harpaz, a professor of education.

The book is nothing short of a page-turner, especially now, following the overt displays of racism and hatred of the Other that have been revealed in the country in the past month or so. Maybe “revealed” isn’t the right word, as it suggests surprise at the intensity of the phenomenon. But Yaron’s descriptions of what he saw at the school show that such hatred is a basic everyday element among youth, and a key component of their identity. Yaron portrays the hatred without rose-colored glasses or any attempt to present it as a sign of social “unity.” What he observed is unfiltered hatred. One conclusion that arises from the text is how little the education system is able – or wants – to deal with the racism problem.

Not all educators are indifferent or ineffective. There are, of course, teachers and others in the realm of education who adopt a different approach, who dare to try and take on the system. But they are a minority. The system’s internal logic operates differently.

Much of the chapter on racism revolves around the Bible lessons in a ninth-grade class, whose theme was revenge. “The class starts, and the students’ suggestions of examples of revenge are written on the blackboard,” the teacher told Yaron. A student named Yoav “insists that revenge is an important emotion. He utilizes the material being studied to hammer home his semi-covert message: All the Arabs should be killed. The class goes into an uproar. Five students agree with Yoav and say openly: The Arabs should be killed.”

One student relates that he heard in the synagogue on Shabbat that “Aravim zeh erev rav” [“Arabs are a rabble,” in a play on words], and also Amalek, and there is a commandment to kill them all,” a reference to the prototypical biblical enemy of the Children of Israel. Another student says he would take revenge on anyone who murdered his family, but would not kill them all.

“Some of the other students are outraged by this [softer stance],” the teacher reported. “The student then makes it clear that he has no love for Arabs and that he is not a leftist.”

Another student, Michal, says she is shocked by what she is hearing. She believes that the desire for revenge will only foment a cycle of blood; not all Arabs are bad, she adds, and certainly they don’t all deserve to die. “People who decree the fate of others so easily are not worthy of life,” she says.

Yoav himself claims to have heard Michal say: “Too bad you weren’t killed in a terrorist attack.”

“The students all start shouting,” the teacher says, according to Yaron. “Some are personally insulted, others are up in arms, and Michal finds herself alone and absorbing all the fire – ‘Arab lover,’ ‘leftist.’ I try to calm things down. The class is too distraught to move on to the biblical story. The bell rings. I let them out and suggest that they be more tolerant of one another.”

In the corridor during the break, the teacher notices that a crowd has gathered from all the ninth-grade classes. They have formed a human chain and are taunting Michal: “Fie, fie, fie, the Arabs will die.” The teacher: “I contemplated for five seconds whether to respond or keep going down the corridor. Finally I dispersed the gathering and insisted that Michal accompany me to the teachers’ room. She was in a state of shock, reeling under the insult, with tears to come instantly.”

Six students are suspended for two days. The teacher reports on his conversation with Michal: “She continues to be laconic. This is what always happens, she says. The opinions are racist, and her only regret is speaking out. I just want to hug her and say I’m sorry I put her through this trauma. I envy her courage to say aloud things that I sometimes am incapable of saying.”

Leftists as ‘Israel-haters’

In his research, Yaron spoke with Michal and Yoav, with other students in the class and with the homeroom teacher and the principal. The multiplicity of versions of the goings-on that emerge suggest a deep conflict and a lack of trust between the educators and the pupils. Each world functions separately, with the adults exercising little if any influence on the youngsters. It’s hard to believe that the suspension, or the punishment inflicted on some of the students – for example, to prepare a presentation for the ninth-grade classes on the subject of racism – changed anyone’s opinion.

The same goes for the principal’s unequivocal declaration that, “There will be no racist comments in our school.” Even the essay Michal was asked to write on the subject was soon forgotten. “The intention was to launch an educational program, but in the meantime it was postponed,” the homeroom teacher admits.

A year later, however, the incident itself was still remembered in the school. The same student who told Yaron that she won’t think twice if she gets the opportunity “to shoot one of them” when she serves in the army, also said, “As soon as I heard about the quarrel with that leftist girl [Michal], I was ready to throw a brick at her head and kill her. In my opinion, all the leftists are Israel-haters. I personally find it very painful. Those people have no place in our country – both the Arabs and the leftists.”

Anyone who imagines this as a local, passing outburst is wrong. As was the case with the girl from the ORT network vocational school who alleged earlier this year that her teacher had expressed “left-wing views” in the classroom – in this case too a student related that he cursed and shouted at a teacher who “justified the Arabs.” The students say that workshops to combat racism, which are run by an outside organization, leave little impression. “Racism is part of our life, no matter how much people say it’s bad,” a student said.

In the concluding discussion in just one such workshop, the moderator asked the students how they thought racism might eradicated. “Thin out the Arabs,” was the immediate reply. “I want you to leave here with the knowledge that the phenomenon exists, for you to be self-critical, and then maybe you will prevent it,” the moderator said. To which one student shot back, “If we’re not racist, that makes us leftists.”

The moderator, in a tone of despair: “I’d like it if you took at least something small from this workshop.” A student responds to the challenge: “That everyone should live the way he wants, that if he thinks he’s racist, let him think what he wants, and that’s all.”

As an adjunct of racism and hatred, ethnic identities – Mizrahi (Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries) and Ashkenazi – are also flourishing. Yoav believes that there is “discrimination between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim. We were severely punished for the incident [with Michal], but if it were the other way around, that wouldn’t have happened.” Yoav later told Yaron that he found the common saying, “What’s this, an [open-air] market?” offensive, because his whole family works in the local produce market.

“Our business has existed since the state was established,” he said. “I am proud of my father, who is a man of the market. What are they trying to say, that my father isn’t cultured? When people say something about ‘Arabs,’ it’s considered a generalization, but when they say ‘market,’ that’s alright. When people say ‘market,’ they are actually talking about Mizrahim. We need to change the prejudices about the market and about the Mizrahim. People say I am a racist, but it’s just the opposite.”

“There is no discussion about the topic of racism in the school and there probably will not be,” the principal admits. “We are not prepared for the deep, long-term process that’s necessary. Even though I am constantly aware of the problem, it is far from being dealt with. It stems in the first place from the home, the community and the society, and it’s hard for us to cope with it. You have to remember that another reason it’s hard to deal with the problem is that it also exists among the teachers. Issues such as ‘human dignity’ or ‘humanism’ are in any case considered left-wing, and anyone who addresses them is considered tainted.”

Threat of noise

Prof. Yoram Harpaz is a senior lecturer at Beit Berl Teachers College and the editor of Hed Hahinuch, a major educational journal. Recalling the recent promise of Education Minister Shay Piron that classes in the first two weeks of the coming school year will be devoted to “emotional and social aspects of the summer’s events,” including “manifestations of racism and incitement,” Harpaz observes that schools in their present format “are incapable of dealing with the racist personality and identity.”

He adds: “The schools are not geared for this. They can only impart basic knowledge and skills, hold examinations on them and grade the students. In fact, they have a hard time doing even that. In classes of 40 students, with a strict curriculum and exams that have to be held, it is impossible to engage in values-based education.”

Yaron, a senior lecturer in sociology at Ashkelon Academic College, emphasizes how important teachers and the principal (and the education system in general) feel it is to stick to the curriculum and the lessons schedule – two islands of quiet amid a risk-laden reality.

“Doing this makes it possible for the teachers not to enter a dynamic sphere, which obligates openness and is liable to open a Pandora’s box, too,” he notes. “The greatest threat to the teacher is that there will be noise – that someone will complain, that an argument will break out, etc. That danger looms especially large in subjects that interest young people, such as sexuality, ethnicity, violence and racism. Teachers lack the tools to cope with these issues, so they are outsourced, which only emasculates educational personnel even more.”

The demand for quiet in the schools is not only an instrumental matter, deriving from the difficulty of keeping order in the classroom. There is also an ideological aspect involved. In general, there is a whole series of subjects that are not recommended for discussion in schools, such as the Nakba (or “catastrophe,” the term used by Palestinians to denote the establishment of the State of Israel), human rights and the morality of Israeli army operations. This was one of the reasons for the warnings issued by Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev during the fighting in the Gaza Strip about “extreme and offensive remarks.”

Harpaz: “In Israel, the most political country there is, political education has not been developed as a discipline in which high-school students are taught how to think critically about political attitudes, or the fact that those attitudes are always dependent on a particular viewpoint and on vested interests.”

What, then, can be done? According to Harpaz, the solution will not be found in discussions between the homeroom teacher and the students. Nor is a condemnation, however late, by the education minister sufficient. A more radical change is needed.

“Values and outlooks are acquired in a lengthy process of identification with ‘significant others,’ such as teachers,” Harpaz explains. “This means that every aspect of the schools – patterns of teaching, evaluation methods, curricula, the physical structure and the cultural climate – has to change in the direction of becoming far more dialogical and democratic.”

And he has one more recommendation: not to flee from political and moral dilemmas, or from possible criticism. “Our leaders are so fearful of criticism, but they don’t understand that critical education is what generates close ties and caring. We get angry at those we love.”

IMAGINE IF TORONTO WAS BOMBED LIKE GAZA

In his compelling new video Gazonto, Canadian filmmaker John Greyson reimagines Israel’s massive bombardment of the Israeli-occupied and besieged Gaza Strip as if it were an attack on his home city Toronto.

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Short film “Gazonto” by John Greyson imagines Toronto bombed like Gaza

 

THE COLLATERAL CHILDREN

Image  ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Mother Palestine mourns the death of Her children

mother-palestine-mourns-the-death-of-gaza-children-slaughtered-by-israel-middle-east-monitor

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Photo © by Bud Korotzer
SONY DSC

In the civilised world we were led to believe that children are our most precious assets. In a society ravaged by hatred children are merely moving creatures that can be killed by either side.

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Four year old Daniel Tregerman killed on Friday while running for shelter from a rocket fired from Gaza to Israel

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gazaNOVEMBER
One of the 478 children killed by Israeli forces in Gaza in the past month

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And the difference according to zion …

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The difference between children

It is human that the killing of an Israeli boy, a child of ours, would arouse greater identification than the death of some other child. What is incomprehensible is the Israeli response to the killing of their children.

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Palestinian mourners cry at Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital after an explosion killed at least seven children in a public playground in the beachfront Shati refugee camp on July 28, 2014. Photo by AFP
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After the first child, nobody batted an eye; after the 50th not even a slight tremor was felt in a plane’s wing; after the 100th, they stopped counting; after the 200th, they blamed Hamas. After the 300th child they blamed the parents. After the 400th child, they invented excuses; after (the first) 478 children nobody cares.

Then came our first child and Israel went into shock. And indeed, the heart weeps at the picture of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, killed Friday evening in his home in Sha’ar Hanegev. A beautiful child, who once had his picture taken in an Argentinean soccer team shirt, blue and white, number 10. And whose heart would not be broken at the sight of this photo, and who would not weep at how he was criminally killed. “Hey Leo Messi, look at that boy,” a Facebook post read, “you were his hero.”

Suddenly death has a face and dreamy blue eyes and light hair. A tiny body that will never grow. Suddenly the death of a little boy has meaning, suddenly it is shocking. It is human, understandable and moving. It is also human that the killing of an Israeli boy, a child of ours, would arouse greater identification than the death of some other child. What is incomprehensible is the Israeli response to the killing of their children.

In a world where there is some good, children would be left out of the cruel game called war. In a world where there is some good, it would be impossible to understand the total, almost monstrous unfeelingness in the face of the killing of hundreds of children – not ours, but by us. Imagine them standing in a row: 478 children, in a graduating class of death. Imagine them wearing Messi shirts – some of those children wore them once too, before they died; they also admired him, just like our Daniel from a kibbutz. But nobody looks at them; their faces are not seen, no one is shocked at their deaths. No one writes about them: “Hey Messi, look at that boy.” Hey, Israel, look at their children.

An iron wall of denial and inhumanness protects the Israelis from the shameful work of their hands in Gaza. And indeed, these numbers are hard to digest. Of the hundreds of men killed one could say that they were “involved”; of the hundreds of women that they were “human shields.” As for a small number of children, one could claim that the most moral army in the world did not intend it. But what shall we say about almost 500 children killed? That the Israel Defense Forces did not intend it, 478 times? That Hamas hid behind all of them? That this legitimized killing them?

Hamas might have hidden behind some of those children but now Israel is hiding behind Daniel Tragerman. His fate is already being used to cover all of the sins of the IDF in Gaza.

The radio yesterday already talked about “murder.” The prime minister already called the killing “terror,” while hundreds of Gaza’s children in their new graves are not victims of murder or terror. Israel had to kill them. And after all, who are Fadi and Ali and Islaam and Razek, Mahmoud, Ahmed and Hamoudi – in the face of our one and only Daniel.

We must admit the truth: Palestinian children in Israel are considered like insects. This is a horrific statement, but there is no other way to describe the mood in Israel in the summer of 2014. When for six weeks hundreds of children are destroyed; their bodies buried in rubble, piling up on morgues, sometimes even in vegetable refrigeration rooms for lack of other space; when their horrified parents carry the bodies of their toddlers as a matter of course; their funerals coming and going, 478 times – even the most unfeeling of Israelis would not allow themselves to be so uncaring.

Something here has to rise up and scream: Enough. All the excuses and all the explanations will not help – there is no such thing as a child that is allowed to be killed and a child that is not. There are only children killed for nothing, hundreds of children whose fate touches no one in Israel, and one child, just one, around whose death the people unite in mourning.

A LETTER FROM THE WEST BANK ~~ WE ARE ONE WITH GAZA

TO LIVE NOW

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

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Some of the volunteers for the Palestine Museum of Natural History, Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine

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I have not written much lately and this email maybe personal and hard. Our days start early and end very late. Our nights are also occasionally interrupted by calls from friends in Gaza or others who need some support. In the past 48 hours, over 100 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli occupation forces. Many of those are in Rafah. Sometimes I feel guilty that I am affected more by those I know than those who die that I did not know. For example, I cried after I hung-up the phone with Islam, a friend in Rafah who has four children and they can’t sleep and their house shook and windows shattered as missiles rained on homes nearby. I cried because I know him and his handicapped son and his dilemma at whether to try to carry his son and run to the street or not. But then I cried some more thinking of the many innocents who got killed and injured and who I dd not personally know and did not cry for them earlier. Islam and his family will be traumatized for life. Hundreds of thousands will be even more traumatized. I can’t even imagine a life of a girl who lost all her family members and carries emotional and physical scars for life.

Sometimes I think I carry scars too. Perhaps I cope because I am so lucky to have positive things to do daily to keep me from thinking too much. I am lucky because I can help others. I am lucky that I am surrounded by dozens of young volunteers that show us what life could be like in the future. Volunteers passing out fliers about boycotts, volunteers reclaiming agricultural lands, volunteers helping us build a natural history museum in Palestine, volunteers helping other volunteers cope with a difficult life, volunteers giving time and money to needy children, and volunteers doing media work (that should have been done by paid professionals). Aida refugee camp where some of those volunteers live is really unlivable because of daily dumping of toxic gas and toxic stink water by the Israeli occupation forces. Its health impact is dramatic and far worse than respiratory illnesses.

People ask me about politics and claim it is too complex. I say it is simple and predictable. For thousands of years we had a struggle between wealthy greedy people who employ others to shoot and injure poor people so that they wealthy people get richer. It was like that at the time of Jesus and it is like that today. Some (minority) who get offered a chance will join forces of repression and go with the flow of power. Others (also a minority) lead an active life that helps change things for the better for a lot of people. The majority in the middle remain apathetic. More people need to see the truth and act on it. It is not too difficult even for those who were on the side of repression to change. Yonatan Shapira former Israeli Air Force captain became a refusnik and BDS activist and once wrote: “Most of my family came from Poland and many of my relatives were killed in the death camps during the Holocaust. When I walk in what was left from the Warsaw Ghetto I can’t stop thinking about the people of Gaza who are not only locked in an open air prison but are also being bombarded by fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones, flown by people whom I used to serve with. I am also thinking about the delegations of young Israelis that are coming to see the history of our people but also are subjected to militaristic and nationalistic brainwashing on a daily basis. Maybe if they see what we wrote here today they will remember that oppression is oppression, occupation is occupation, and crimes against humanity are crimes against humanity, whether they have been committed here in Warsaw or in Gaza”. I only add resistance is resistance’ Warsaw ghetto residents also dug tunnels and were also called terrorists by their tormentors.

In my 2004 book “Sharing the land of Canaan” I wrote:
“Palestinians were subjected to cruel and unreasonable treatment over so many years that many begin to doubt that justice is possible and many certainly believe coexistence impossible. Similarly, since many Israelis have been feeling embattled and attacked that many also feel that coexistence is impossible. A defeatist attitude develops and envelops not only Palestinians and Israelis but also may of their supporters. But either the societies coexist as peaceful human beings or they will perish as rival primate societies.…..A sense of hopelessness and desperation leaves many looking for “crumbs” of both material and psychological “food”. This is especially stressful when combined with the deep commitment by many to historical myths of grandeur or glory. I am not going to spend much time on the history of the Jewish, Arabic and Islamic civilizations (volumes have been written on these). Suffice it to say that our psychological profile is one that contrasts our existing condition with the perceived greatness of our ancestors and our prophets. We thus assume ourselves as a privileged group but this immediately contrasts with what we observe to be the destitute present situation as described throughout this book. This is especially true for the Palestinian people who are dispossessed. We can address the bigger issues of why 1.3 billion Muslims or 300 million Arabs (Muslims and Christians) have so little to say in the direction of world economies and social and cultural developments so dominated now by the US as a sole remaining power. But perhaps this too can be resolved slowly once the knot of friction in Israel/Palestine is resolved. Imagine the example set if this one place in the world, previously an example of violence, endemic hatred and tribalism, can transcend all this to build a truly shining example of coexistence and non-violence. Imagine the billions of dollars spent on armaments going to desalinate seawater, to build high tech industries, and truly harness the great minds of the inhabitants (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) for positive developments.…….Perhaps we need to teach children to value themselves, value teamwork, respect others and defend the rights of minorities. This is not as simple as it seems. Adults perhaps need to learn to accept, in a very positive fashion, views that are foreign to them. In other words, someone who speaks his views regarding issues should be listened to and respected regardless of how sacred the holy “cows” may be.”

I end with a quote from Howard Zinn (You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A personal history of our times, p. 208): “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

New Facebook page 

Sincerely

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Bethlehem University
Director, Palestine Museum of Natural History

AMERICA IS QUICK TO ACCUSE, BUT SLOW TO PROSECUTE

j'accuse_01_0

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The US Government is usually silent when one of its citizens is either savagely beaten or even murdered by the Israeli establishment.

BUT ….

Finally they are talking about this;

BUT AGAIN ….

Let’s see what they do about it.

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US accuses Israel of targeting Abu Khdeir’s family

State Department says concerned ‘members of the Khdeir family appeared to be singled out for arrest’ by Israel, after 2 cousins arrested.

From

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The United States on Wednesday charged Israel had targeted members of a Palestinian family whose teenaged son, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was kidnapped and killed in July along with two cousins, who are US citizens.

Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in East Jerusalem plunged to a new low on July 2 when 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was snatched from an East Jerusalem street and later found burned alive.

Israeli police arrested six suspects and on July 17 charged three, freeing the others.

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Mohammad Abu Khdeir, kidnapped and murdered.
Mohammad Abu Khdeir, kidnapped and murdered.

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The death of the Palestinian teen – thought likely in retaliation for the abduction and killing of three Israeli yeshiva students in late June – sparked rioting and helped unleash the conflict under way in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

Three days after his death, on July 5, the United States slammed Israel’s arrest of a 15-year-old cousin, Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, a US citizen. He said he was beaten in detention and has since been freed and returned to Florida.

Tariq Abu Khdeir after being released from Israeli detention (Photo: Reuters)
Tariq Abu Khdeir after being released from Israeli detention (Photo: Reuters)

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On July 28, another cousin of Abu Khdeir, also American, was arrested in Israel as well, the State Department said Wednesday.

Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf identified him as “Mohammed Abu Khdeir,” which would mean his name is the same as his murdered cousin’s.

“We can confirm that Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a US citizen, was arrested on July 28. The US consulate general in Jerusalem is providing consular assistance. A consular official visited him on August 14. The consulate is also in contact with Mr. Khdeir’s family and his lawyer,” Harf said.

Yet “we are concerned that the US consulate general in Jerusalem was not notified of his arrest by the government of Israel.

And “we are also concerned about the fact that members of the Khdeir family appeared to be singled out for arrest by the Israeli authorities,” Harf added.

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BhO7W1

#OperationFailedCeasefire ~~ WHY ISRAEL FAILED TO ACHIEVE ITS GOALS THROUGH TERROR

With the end of the ceasefire and the failure of permanent truce negotiations mediated by Egypt, Israel resumed its full-scale massacre in Gaza, killing 22 people on Wednesday.

Why did the truce talks break down? I discussed this question on Al Jazeera English on Wednesday evening, explaining that Israel rejected far-reaching and generous Palestinian offers.

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Video: “Israel has failed to achieve its goals through terror,” says Ali Abunimah

#OperationStopTheBoat ~~UPDATE

LATEST UPDATE

zion triumphs as the boat is unloaded…. they are gloating in their media.

Breaking News: #BlocktheBoat #EpicFail as ZIM Unloads

Longshoremen pulled a fast on anti-Israel picketers and are unloading the Zim ship that was blocked from unloading last week.
Report HERE
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A cargo ship left the Port of Oakland for Los Angeles on Tuesday, days after activists protesting Israel’s military actions in Gaza began a waterfront demonstration that blocked the vessel’s unloading.

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Ship Targeted by Protesters Leaves Oakland for L.A.

The protesters, organizing under the motto “Block the Boat,” first converged at the International Container Terminal on Saturday, a day before the Piraeus arrived at the port.
Henry K. Lee 
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Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters march towards the Port of Oakland to attempt a blockade of the Israeli cargo ship Zim, which was scheduled to dock at the port in Oakland, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.
Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

A cargo ship left the Port of Oakland for Los Angeles on Tuesday, days after activists protesting Israel’s military actions in Gaza began a waterfront demonstration that blocked the vessel’s unloading.

Online ship tracking databases showed the Piraeus leaving the port about 3 p.m., assisted by a pair of tugboats. The destination was listed as Los Angeles.

The ship began maneuvering away from the port hours after Israel’s consul general to the Pacific Northwest in San Francisco said it would “eventually leave” if longshore workers continued to refuse to unload it.

The Piraeus, which is managed by Israel’s largest shipping firm, doesn’t travel to Israel and instead navigates between the United States, the Caribbean and Asia, said Consul General Andy David.

“They chose a symbol, perhaps, and they’re trying to portray it as hurting the Israeli government, but they’re really causing damage to the people who live here, and to me this is exactly the definition of political terrorism,” David said of pro-Palestinian protesters who demonstrated outside the Port of Oakland. “They’re trying to achieve a goal, but they don’t care about the innocent people hurt along the way.”

The protesters, organizing under the motto “Block the Boat,” first converged at the International Container Terminal on Saturday, a day before the Piraeus arrived at the port.

Longshore workers responsible for unloading the vessel refused to do so, not because they are taking sides in the fight between Israel and Hamas, but because they would not work “under armed police escort – not with our experience with the police in this community,” said Melvin MacKay, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10.

Only when officers “dispersed” at 9 p.m. Monday did longshore workers agree to enter the container terminal, said union spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent. Those who declined to work on the ship were released, she said.

Sargent said the demonstrators were outnumbered 5-1 by Oakland police and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies.

Union officials said longshore workers have been concerned about port safety during demonstrations since several people protesting the Iraq war were injured in a 2003 port rally. Oakland police fired nonlethal projectiles, including wood bullets and bean bags, without provocation and without allowing protesters a chance to disperse.

The protests over the Piraeus were peaceful.

The Piraeus is managed by Israel’s largest shipping firm, Zim Integrated Shipping Services. David said Zim is 32 percent owned by Israeli shareholders, and that the rest is owned by various international interests, including banks and other shipping companies.

San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Kurtis Alexander contributed to this report.

Henry K. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer

Source

ANTI SEMITISM DOES NOT HELP THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!

zionism-is-not-judaism

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In recent weeks there has been an increase of anti Semitic events throughout Europe, possibly in retaliation for the genocide taking place in Gaza. All that is accomplished by these random acts is the alienation of many Jews of conscious that do not support zionism or the crimes committed in the region. Internationally, more Jews are joining the struggle for a Just and Lasting Peace between Israel and Palestine, as well as adding their names to the growing BDS Movement.

zionism has nothing to do with Judaism and not all Jews are zionists! The attacks are just plain wrong and are aimed at the wrong people. Rather than brutality, much more would be accomplished if these angry people joined the ranks of the daily demonstrations against the Israeli government that are taking place internationally.

Studies suggest antisemitism may indeed be mounting. A 2012 survey by the EU’s by the Fundamental Rights agency of some 6,000 Jews in eight European countries – between them, home to 90% of Europe’s Jewish population – found 66% of respondents felt antisemitism in Europe was on the rise; 76% said antisemitism had increased in their country over the past five years. In the 12 months after the survey, nearly half said they worried about being verbally insulted or attacked in public because they were Jewish. (FROM)

The most recent incident took place in Sweden just a few days ago. It received page one coverage throughout the zionist media, not as a news item but rather as a confirmation to their readers that this was in connection to supporting Israel. Both those media outlets and the attackers themselves are JUST PLAIN WRONG! The only ones benefiting by such actions are the zionists themselves, surely not the Pro Palestinian Movements. The burning of Jewish owned shops or synagogues in Paris will not rebuild the shops and mosques destroyed in Gaza, nor will those actions garner sympathy from people who have not yet sided with us. Once again, it’s only the zionists that benefit from this. In fact, I will go even further by saying that the vast majority of these ‘anti Semitic’ incidents are actually propaganda hoaxes by Israel’s supporters.

The latest incident is reported HERE, from the ziopress itself …. (click on link to see report)

Swedish Jewish Woman Savagely Beaten for Wearing Star of David

Jewish mother of four brutally attacked by Muslim gang who noticed her Star of David necklace.
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This short video shows the difference between Jews and zionists.
Just remember who benefits by random anti Semitic attacks.
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ZIONISM’S ORIGINAL SIN RELIVED

Gaza is being punished because Gaza is a constant reminder to Israel and the world of the original sin of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of a so-called Jewish state. Even though Palestinian resistance has never presented a military threat to Israel, it has always been portrayed as an existential threat to the state.

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Gaza reminds us of Zionism’s original sin

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Palestinians recover belongings from the Khuzaa neighborhood of Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on 3 August following bombardment by Israeli forces. (Basel Yazouri / ActiveStills)

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The morning after Lailat al-Qadr, the death toll in Gaza was approaching its first thousand.

Al-Qadr — the night before the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan — is believed to be the night when the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. I spent this special night with friends in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah after participating in the “48K March” for Gaza.

The march began in Ramallah and went to Qalandiya checkpoint. What began as a peaceful event with families bringing their children and even babies in strollers, ended with young Palestinians with gunshot wounds being rushed in ambulances to the local hospital.

Qalandiya crossing was fortified and air-tight, and the Israeli soldiers stationed on top were shooting live ammunition at the crowd.

As the ambulances were speeding through the crowd, I couldn’t help but wonder why there is no hospital between Qalandiya and Ramallah, a good distance which includes the municipalities of Jerusalem, al-Bireh and Ramallah.

The following night I was scheduled to leave Palestine to return to the United States. But Israeli forces sealed all the roads from Ramallah to Jerusalem for the night, and they were likely to be sealed the following day as well.

At the crack of dawn, when things had quietened down, my friend Samer drove me to a checkpoint that he suspected would be open. It was open, albeit for Israelis only, and from there I made my way back to Jerusalem.

That evening, as I was preparing to leave for Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, people around me were trying to calm me down. “Don’t aggravate them, cooperate and they will be nice,” they said. “Why go through all this unnecessary inconvenience?”

They were talking about the “Smiling Gestapo,” Israeli security officers at Tel Aviv airport that go by the squeaky clean name of the Airport Security Division.

Non-cooperation and resistance

Listening to this, I was reminded of Jewish communities under the Nazi regime who believed that if they cooperated and showed they were good citizens then all would be well. But the road from cooperation to the concentration camps and then the gas chambers was a direct one.

The policies of racist discrimination and humiliation at Ben Gurion airport, and the policies of ethnic cleansing and murder of Palestinians in Gaza, emanate from the same Zionist ideology.

As we have seen over the past seven decades, cooperation and laying low do not make things ok.

Cooperation with the Israeli authorities might lead to short-term relief but it also validates Israel’s “right” to terrorize and humiliate Palestinians with our consent, “we” being all people of conscience. Whether we are Palestinian or not, the call of the hour is non-cooperation and resistance against injustice.

Today, Israel and its supporters lay the blame for the violence in Gaza on Hamas. But Israel did not start its assaults on the Gaza Strip when Hamas was established in the late 1980s. Israel began attacking Gaza when the Strip was populated with the first generation refugees in the early 1950s.

Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, are not faced with an option to resist and be killed or live in peace. They are presented with the options of being killed standing up and fighting or being killed sleeping in their beds.

“Sea of hatred”

Gaza is being punished because Gaza is a constant reminder to Israel and the world of the original sin of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of a so-called Jewish state. Even though Palestinian resistance has never presented a military threat to Israel, it has always been portrayed as an existential threat to the state.

Moshe Dayan, the famed Israeli general with the eyepatch, described this in a speech in April 1956. He spoke in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, an Israeli settlement on the boundary of the Gaza Strip where Israeli tanks park each time there is a ground invasion of Gaza.

“Beyond the furrow of this border, there surges a sea of hatred and revenge,” Dayan saidthen. Ironically, when six months later Israel had occupied Gaza and my father was appointed its military governor, he said that he saw “no hatred or desire for vengeance but a people eager to live and work together for a better future.”

Still, today, Israeli commanders and politicians say pretty much the same: Israel is destined to live by the sword and must strike Gaza whenever possible. Never mind the fact that Palestinians have never posed a military challenge, much less a threat to Israel.

After all, Palestinians have never possessed as much as a tank, a warship or a fighter jet, not to say a regular army.

So why the fear? Why the constant, six-decade-long campaign against Gaza? Because Palestinians in Gaza, more so than anywhere else, pose a threat to Israel’s legitimacy.

Israel is an illegitimate creation brought about by a union between racism and colonialism. The refugees who make up the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip are a constant reminder of this.

They are a reminder of the crime of ethnic cleansing upon which Israel was established. The poverty, lack of resources and lack of freedom stand in stark contrast to the abundance, freedom and power that exist in Israel and that rightfully belongs to Palestinians.

Generous offer

Back at Ben Gurion airport that night, I was told that if I cooperate and plead with the shift supervisor it would make the security screening go faster. When I declined this generous offer, I was told they “did not like my attitude.”

They proceeded to paste a sticker with the same bar code on my luggage and give me the same treatment Palestinians receive.

As I write these words, the number of Palestinians murdered by Israel in Gaza has exceeded two thousand. Ending the insufferable, brutal and racist regime that was created by the Zionists in Palestine is the call of our time.

Criticizing Palestinian resistance is unconscionable. Israel must be subjected to boycott, divestment and sanctions. Israeli diplomats must be sent home in shame. Israeli leaders, and Israeli commanders traveling abroad, must fear prosecution.

And these measures are to be combined with disobedience, non-cooperation and uncompromising resistance. This and only this will show mothers, fathers and children in Gaza that the world cares and that “never again” is more than an empty promise.

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