PALESTINIAN VIEWS ON THE ISRAELI KIDNAPPINGS

download__1_

*

Most Palestinians are not euphoric about the kidnapping. However, nearly 99% of the people this writer has been talking to squarely blamed Israel for the kidnapping.
*
Unbearable oppression forces Palestinians to kidnap Israelis

By Khalid Amayreh in al-Khalil

The ostensible kidnapping of three Israeli settlers in the southern West Bank this week, presumably at the hands of Palestinian militants, seems to have driven the Israeli political-security establishment over the edge.

Perplexed, even hysterical, reactions by Israeli political leaders and army commanders were noted in the past few days.

Tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers were deployed in several parts of the West Bank in a seemingly futile effort to locate the kidnapped young soldiers.

The crème de la crème of the Israeli intelligence community as well as the best technology money could buy are being employed in a race against time to find the kidnapped settlers, but so far to no avail.

The Israeli army has also rounded up as many as 80 Palestinian community leaders associated with the “Islamic current,” especially Hamas. The detainees include university professors, lawmakers and religious leaders.

More arrests are expected in the next few days.

Indiscriminate punishment has always been Israel’s most favored means to react to actions carried out by resistance elements.

Israeli planners think rather wrongly that tormenting the Palestinian masses would create deterrence against resistance activities or at least make the Palestinian masses resent the resistance. However, the experience of several decades of resistance and repression suggests that the resistance is always exonerated in the sight of the people.

To conceal their obvious security and intelligence failure, the Israeli government has blamed Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas for the incident. Abbas, who expressed absolute willingness to cooperate with the Israeli army to find the kidnapped individuals, rejected Israeli charges. He reminded them that the incident occurred in area-C, which falls under full Israeli security control.

Draconian oppression:

Most Palestinians are not euphoric about the kidnapping. However, nearly 99% of the people this writer has been talking to squarely blamed Israel for the kidnapping.

Muhammad is a college student, a sophomore, at the University of Hebron. He says that while the kidnapping incident has not driven him into a state of ecstasy, he perfectly understood the legitimacy of the kidnapping.

“The Israelis treat us like animals. They arrest and incarcerate our youngsters and leaders for many years without charge or trial. This is unacceptable; people anywhere under the sun are entitled to justice and fair treatment.”

Hind, a senior majoring in sociology, agrees.

“I would like to address the conscience of each Israeli: Wouldn’t you be driven over the edge if a foreign country or your own country kept you languishing in jail for ten or 12 years without charge or trial, even without you knowing why you are being held.”

A few weeks ago, a college lecturer in Hebron who had served 7 years in so-called “administrative detention” intimated to this writer that he once appealed to an Israeli judge to let him know why he was being in jail.

“I told him I needed to know what violation of the law I did commit so that I wouldn’t do it again. But the judge looked at me in a cynical manner and said: Ahmed, I am not going to give you the privilege of knowing why you are here.”

I don’t know how the current kidnapping incident will end up. But the prospects already look ominous and bleak.

The Israelis are thoroughly intoxicated by their arrogance of power. They are unlikely to resort to reason and logic and start viewing Palestinians as equal human beings.

On the other hand, this is a matter of life or death for hundreds of Palestinian captives unfairly kept in Israeli jails.

Moreover, the Palestinians have nothing to lose. Our people have been through it all, from creation to destruction.

An old woman from the town of Dura reacted to Israeli threats following the incident, saying “whatever falls from the sky will fall on earth. We won’t be intimidated by their threats and their terror.”


Khalid Amayreh is a veteran journalist living in occupied Palestine.

 

APPEAL FOR REASON AND SANITY

update008

See updates of Israeli actions at bottom of this post

*

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

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

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

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

*

UPDATES …

This just in from Ynet …

IDF preparing for siege of Hebron

*

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

Hamas Responds … 

Hamas denies accusations that it kidnapped settler youths 

*

From IsraelNationalNews … 

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

*

From HaAretz … 

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

*

From YnetNews …

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

*

btn_eye_eye_2751

*

The zionists are having a heyday over this …

From the zionist Blogesphere …

*

From Richard Silverstein …

Palestinians Militants Kidnap Three Israeli Teenagers

*

From the Elder of zion … 

The kidnapping is a casus belli

*

The LIES from Harry’s Place … 

Electronic Intifada contributor gloats over kidnappings in Israel

Response from EI Editor on Twitter 

*

From Israel Cool … 

Reaction Of Palestinians And Supporters To Kidnapping Of Three Israeli Boys 

 

DESPITE DENIALS, AUTOPSY PROVES THAT ISRAEL IS A MURDEROUS STATE

Initial report of the shootings can be read HERE

Report of Israel’s denial can be read HERE

*

The funeral of one of the victims …

1866732354

The killing of Nadim Nuwara, who was 15 at the time of his death, has been a source of controversy, as Palestinian medical sources and eyewitnesses have said that Israeli soldiers shot him while Israeli security sources have disputed the claim, despite the existence of a video footage showing the incident from a number of angles. 

The autopsy — which was performed by a team of specialists led by the head of the institute, Saber al-Aloul, with the presence of Danish, Portuguese, American, and two Israeli doctors — concluded that the Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli forces.

*

Autopsy concludes Nakba Day victim killed by Israeli bullets
*
A vigil held in Ramallah on May 17 after the death of Nadim Nuwara.
*
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An autopsy ordered on the body of a Palestinian teenager killed during Nakba Day demonstrations last month concluded that his death was caused by an Israeli bullet, a source close to the matter told Ma’an.The killing of Nadim Nuwara, who was 15 at the time of his death, has been a source of controversy, as Palestinian medical sources and eyewitnesses have said that Israeli soldiers shot him while Israeli security sources have disputed the claim, despite the existence of a video footage showing the incident from a number of angles.Nuwara’s body was exhumed on Wednesday and an autopsy was performed at the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine, the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.The autopsy — which was performed by a team of specialists led by the head of the institute, Saber al-Aloul, with the presence of Danish, Portuguese, American, and two Israeli doctors — concluded that the Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli forces.

The source added that the exhumed body was in a good condition and had not decomposed yet, so doctors had no difficulties in locating the places where the bullet entered and exited the body, and even found fragments of it remaining in the body.

Samples of the bullet fragments and the body was taken for testing in order to prepare a report that will be published in the coming days.

Nadim Nuwara was killed alongside Muhammad Audah Abu al-Thahir, 17, as they participated in protests to mark the 66th anniversary of the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” when Zionist militias expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in what became Israel in 1948.

The protests took place near the Ofer Detention Center near Ramallah and became part of an international controversy over Israel’s army’s regular use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters.

*

Additional REPORT from Human Rights Watch

 

ENDING THE OCCUPATION, HOUSE BY HOUSE, VILLAGE BY VILLAGE

occupation_position_paper_slider_eng

*

They confront the soldiers, who try to give orders to the villagers, but instead the villagers order the soldiers out of the house. At one point, when a women pushes a soldier to get him out of the house, the soldier turns around and appears to threaten her with his weapon.

*

*

Video: Palestinian villagers expel Israeli soldiers from West Bank home

This video shows villagers in Silwad, east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, expelling a group of Israeli soldiers from a home they occupied.

In the video, a group of community members – women and men – knock on the door. A distressed woman answers and says the soldiers had come into the house and confiscated the family’s telephones and keys.

The villagers then search the house and find the heavily armed occupation soldiers in a bedroom.

They confront the soldiers, who try to give orders to the villagers, but instead the villagers order the soldiers out of the house. At one point, when a women pushes a soldier to get him out of the house, the soldier turns around and appears to threaten her with his weapon.

Wattan TV reports that the video was shot by journalist Muath Mishal, who gave this account of the incident: relatives of the elderly couple living in the house had attempted to reach the family by telephone.

When they were unable to do so, they became worried and suspicious that soldiers had entered the house. That is when they went over and liberated the house from Israeli occupation, as the video shows. According to Mishal, the soldiers had entered the house on Thursday night.

The video has been widely circulated on social media and Palestinian websites, includingQuds News Network and Donia Alwatan.

THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO OF THE POPE AT THE WALL OF APARTHEID

In an effort to resist the Bethlehem Municipality’s efforts to beautify a section of the Apartheid Wall where Pope Francis was scheduled to pass, Local activists from Aida Refugee Camp gathered to paint slogans both against Israeli occupation and welcoming His Holiness, on the eve of his arrival, on May 24th 2014.  

*

*

Palestinian Refugees Welcome The Pope: The story behind the iconic photo at the Separation Wall

POPE VISITS THE WARSAW GHETTO DURING TRIP TO PALESTINE

Latuff’s spoof of the Pope at the Warsaw Bethlehem Ghetto Wall …

pope-prays-beside-graffiti-comparing-bethlehem-to-warsaw-ghetto-altagreer

*

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD, adds the following from Bethlehem …

*

The Pope at the Wall

The children of Al-Rowwad from Aida Refugee Camp delivered a message to the Pope when he stopped to pray at the apartheid and annexation wall. They emphasized prisoners plight and the right to return home. This impromptu stop was in my opinion the most memorable part of the Pontiff’s visit to Bethlehem. The Pope recognized “The State of Palestine” (Google just did it too!) and also met with refugee children at Dheisheh and shared food with some family members who each had a story to tell him about horrific suffering under Israel’s colonial occupation. Christians and Muslims here were all genuinely touched by the visit of this more humble Pope and his gestures of understanding and solidarity. But most said they wished he would use his influence more to pressure the Zionist regime. The Western Zionist dominated media tried to hide things including the Pope’s gestures of solidarity with us but social media was prominent and the story could not be ignored. See pictures here
*
The Pope later went on to Tel Aviv to be was sandwiched between two Zionist Polish liars who continue to build walls of hate and destruction: Persky (aka Peres) and Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu). The Pope had to listen as both atheists said that God gave this land to the Jews and that Israel was “the land of the Jewish people” and is a “democracy that guarantees freedom of religion”! Unfortunately, the Pope is also forced to lay a wreath at the tomb of Theodore Herzl (in addition to the obligatory stops at “Yad Vashem” and Herod’s retaining wall). Herzl is another atheist who is “credited” with organizing a world-wide Zionist movement that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths (not counting those crimes committed by its subservient armies like the US army killing Iraqis etc). It is a movement that has created millions of refugees and continues to commit crimes against humanity as it consolidates an apartheid system here while money laundering billions of illicit financial gains money. Israel continues to demolish homes and lands.  Just to welcome the Pope: Israel murdered Palestinian youth, imprisoned many, destroyed over 1500 trees in the Land of the Nassar family (called Tent of Nations) and more. Israeli Jewish “activists” even distributed flyers calling for destruction of Churches (claiming Christians worship idols according to Jewish law), and some sprayed graffiti on Churches that “Mary is a Cow” and “Jesus: a son of a Whore”!
*
Who are these Zionist leaders that brilliantly brainwashed Jews to support racist Zionism and pressured some Gentiles to do the same?
*
Shimon Peres was born as Shimon Perski in Vishniva, Poland (now Belarus). He and his parents came to Palestine in 1934 (under British rule). He joined the underground terrorist group the Haganah, and served as a chief of its manpower division in the 1940s and participated in the ethnic cleansing of 1948-1949. He is the architect of Israel’s nuclear program. Appointed in 1953 as director general of the ministry of defense, he immediately started exploring the nuclear development.  In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Israel developed its nuclear program primarily with the help of France while maintaining the Peres doctrine of “ambiguity.”  The US and Britain and other countries looked the other way. He is known as a slick politician able to lie with ease claiming wanting peace but rejecting any responsibility for his ethnic cleansing of Palestine and rejecting the rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands. He was awarded (with Rabin and Arafat) the Nobel Peace Prize for their disastrous Oslo accords. Many Nobel committee members later signed a letter regretting their awarding Perski the Nobel Peace Prize (based on his actions as member of the Sharon government during its war crimes spree).
*
Benyamin Mileikowsky (aka Netanyahu) was born to Benzion Mileikowsky (later changed names to Netanyahu), a polish immigrant. His Americanized father became secretary to terrorist leader Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky (aka Zeev Jabotinsky) founder of “revisionist” Zionism and supported groups like Irgun terrorist organization during the mandate in Palestine. His son continues to idolize these early Jewish terrorists. Both Benjamin and his brother served in units of the Israeli forces responsible for assassinations on foreign lands (in violations of international law) and committed war crimes. Benjamin Miliekowsky (Netanyahu) is known both among Israelis and globally as a consummate liar who refused to accept the Oslo accords (even though they were partial to Israel) and has gotten rich off of his political activities. Here is a video of him thinking the camera was off explaining his true contributions during his first stint as Israeli prime minister in the 1990s.

*

*
see also this
*
This is after all the same terrorist who gave a speech to dozens of
Likud Party members in Eilat in which he admitted this is his strategy. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (15 July 2001): “…giving his audience a bit of advice on how to deal with foreign interviewers (Netanyahu said):’Always, irrespective of whether you’re right or not, you must always present your side as right.’ In 2011, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, described Netanyahu as a liar in a private exchange with US President Barack Obama at the G20 summit (it was inadvertently broadcast to journalists). “I cannot stand him. He’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama. The US president Obama responded by saying: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day.”
*.

Other Zionist leaders have even more interesting backgrounds. See
*
But in very good news, and inspite of sending in legions of professional
propaganda men to DePaul University, the students there voted to support Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions.
*
The BDS campaign must grow. Other forms of resistance must grow. Injustice must end. Join the struggle.

*

pope-prays-beside-graffiti-comparing-bethlehem-to-warsaw-ghetto-altagreer-arabic

 

 

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ POPE PRAYS AT WEST BANK’S ‘WESTERN WALL’

In an image likely to become one of the most emblematic of his trip to the holy land, Francis rested his forehead against the concrete structure that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and prayed silently as a child holding a Palestinian flag looked on.
*
Hello Palestine: Pope Francis prays at Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem.

GETTY IMAGES Hello Palestine: Pope Francis prays at Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem.
*

Pope Francis Endorses ‘Palestine’ on Surprise Visit to Israeli West Bank Wall

Pontiff Speaks of Peace Below Anti-Israel Graffiti

*

 

(Reuters) — Pope Francis made a surprise stop on Sunday at the wall Palestinians abhor as a symbol of Israeli oppression, and later invited presidents from both sides of the divide to the Vatican to pray for peace.

In an image likely to become one of the most emblematic of his trip to the holy land, Francis rested his forehead against the concrete structure that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and prayed silently as a child holding a Palestinian flag looked on.

He stood at a spot where someone had sprayed in red paint “Free Palestine”. Above his head was graffiti in broken English reading: “Bethlehem look like Warsaw Ghetto”, comparing the Palestinians’ plight with that of the Jews under the Nazis.

Such imagery seemed likely to cause unease among Israel’s leaders, who say the barrier, erected 10 years ago during a spate of Palestinian suicide bombings, is needed to secure its security. Palestinians see it as a bid by Israel to partition off territory and grab land they want for their future state.

On the second leg of a three-day trip to the Middle East, Francis delighted his Palestinian hosts by referring to the “state of Palestine”, giving support for their bid for full statehood recognition in the face of a paralyzed peace process.

But, speaking at the birthplace of Jesus in the Palestinian-run city of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, he made clear that a negotiated accord was needed, calling on leaders from both sides to overcome their myriad divisions.

Francis invited the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to come to the Vatican to pray for an end to the enduring conflict, just a month after the collapse of U.S.-backed peace talks.

“In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace,” the Pope said at an open-air Mass in Bethlehem.

Peres and Abbas both accepted the invitation, their respective staff said. Palestinian official Hana Amira said the encounter would take place on June 6, just under two months before the veteran Israeli leader leaves office.

But it seemed unlikely that Peres would receive any mandate from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to negotiate with Abbas on renewing direct talks.

Netanyahu has said Israel would not consider resuming the negotiations unless Abbas reneged on a unity pact with Hamas, one of its most bitter enemies which rules in Gaza. Abbas has said a new government envisaged by the accord would be committed to peace.

 

Source

 

 

EVEN CNN REFUTES ISRAELI DENIAL OF RECENT WEST BANK MURDERS

FINALLY! Israeli lies get mass media coverage!!

Nuwarah-1_2917593b

 

Mohammed Udeh lies on the ground after being shot by Israeli forces  Photo: ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images

*

*

The original video …

*

Related Report from Mondoweiss

ISRAEL WINS THE ‘TORTURE THE CHILDREN’ AWARD

The following video is so revolting that viewer discretion is advised by the producers …

*

Last December, the advocacy group the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) revealed that Israeli authorities had locked Palestinian children in outdoor cages during a severe winter storm.

*

Children describe torture in Israeli solitary confinement

*

Israeli occupation forces try to arrest a Palestinian during a demonstration against the separation wall built in the West Bank village of al-Maasara, 9 November 2012.   (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)
*
A rising proportion of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli occupation forces are subjected to solitary confinement, harsh interrogations and ill-treatment amounting to torture, according to a report published today by Defence for Children International-Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine).

“In 21.4 percent of cases recorded by DCI-Palestine in 2013, children detained in the Israeli military detention system reported undergoing solitary confinement as part of the interrogation process. This represents an increase of two percent from 2012,” a press release accompanying the report states.

DCI-Palestine collected 98 sworn affidavits from Palestinian children aged 12 to 17 in 2013. The disturbing findings in the report are based on 40 solitary confinement cases documented in 2013.

Night arrests

In the vast majority of cases (34 out of 40), children are arrested from their beds. “Children report that heavily armed Israeli soldiers arrest them in violent circumstances during night raids on their family homes,” the report says.

The children “are often woken up by the sound of Israeli soldiers banging on the front door before a family member opens the door or the soldiers force their way in, storming the home.”

Then, the occupation soldiers “gather all the occupants of the house, regardless of their age, in one room or outside and then demand identification. Generally, the entire home will be searched during the raid. Once a child’s identity has been verified from his identification card, his family will be informed that he must accompany the soldiers.”

Blindfolded

Children or their parents are almost never informed of the accusations and, the report says, this moment “is most likely the last time the family will see their child until he appears in a military court following an unknown period of solitary confinement and interrogation.”

“Once the soldiers have identified the child, his hands will be tied with plastic cords, most likely behind his back, and he will be blindfolded and led to a military vehicle.”

More than half of the children reported some form of physical violence during the arrest and transfer to interrogation facilities, including Petah Tikva detention center, Kishon detention center (also known as Al-Jalame) near Haifa, or Shikma prison near Ashkelon.

These facilities are under control of the Israel Prison Service and/or the Shin Bet secret police. Al-Jalame is among several Israeli facilities equipped by the international incarceration profiteering firm G4S.

“Foul smelling”

On average, children spent 10 days in solitary confinement, but children have been held for up to 29 days in isolation. Children held at Kishon described being locked in a small, windowless cell lit 24 hours a day by a dim bulb.

There they slept on a concrete bed, on the floor, or on a thin mattress they often described as “dirty” and “foul smelling.” Cell walls are grey “with sharp or rough protrusions that are painful to lean against.”

Forcing confessions

While being deprived of legal counsel, family contact and almost never being informed of their rights, including the right to remain silent, children are subjected to prolonged interrogations, abuse and violence amounting to torture.

Most children are accused of stone-throwing, “an offense that can potentially lead to a sentence of up to 20 years depending on a child’s age.” But the accusation may be a pretext to coerce children into providing information useful in Israel’s effort to suppress any form of resistance to occupation.

“The interrogation techniques are generally mentally and physically coercive, frequently incorporating a mix of intimidation, threats and physical violence with a clear purpose of obtaining a confession,” DCI-Palestine states. “Shouting and intimidation are regularly used to elicit confessions, incriminating statements, and information on neighbors or family members.”

During interrogations, “children report being forced to sit in a low metal chair secured to the floor with their hands and feet cuffed to the chair, often for several hours.” In 31 out of 40 cases, children reported being subjected to such “position abuse,” the most frequent form being that the child is shackled to a chair in a painful position for long periods of time.

Role of informants

After experiencing horrifying abuses and days of solitary confinement, children are psychologically vulnerable. Israeli interrogators take advantage of this by the use of informants. DCI-Palestine describes the technique Israel uses, based on the children’s accounts:

Following many days held in isolation and subject to prolonged interrogation sessions, a child will be informed that the interrogation is over and that they will be transferred to a prison cell.

Once the child arrives in a typical prison cell, an adult prisoner warmly welcomes him, often bringing warm food, a pack of cigarettes, or other items. The adult prisoner attempts to gain the child’s trust by sharing information about the child’s family or members of his community. Children report being warned not to talk to anyone but this specific individual regarding their interrogation. Often, the adult prisoner will either ask a child about the interrogation and what questions were asked, or offer to alert others on the outside if he shares information.

After a day or two, the child is ushered back to interrogation where he is often confronted with an audio recording or statements he made to the adult prisoner informant. During interrogation, the child realizes for the first time that the adult prisoner is an informant collaborating with Israeli intelligence officers, and the child’s interaction with this individual was part of the interrogation process.

After being confronted with this reality, children generally provide a confession without access to counsel to allegations made against them during the interrogation.

Impunity

DCI-Palestine’s report was submitted to a number of UN bodies and includes an analysis of how Israel’s mistreatment of children and increasing use of solitary confinement amount to grave violations of international law, including conventions on torture.

“The practice of using solitary confinement on children in Israeli detention facilities must be recognized as a form of torture and be stopped immediately,” the report states.

But it also notes the total impunity that has ensured that Israel’s abuses have continued unchecked.

During 2013, DCI-Palestine reports that it filed 15 complaints with Israeli authorities concerning ill-treatment and torture of ten children while in Israeli military detention.

But, the report states, “not a single indictment has been issued against a perpetrator, and in many cases it is unclear if an investigation has been initiated.”

Mounting evidence

The latest report from DCI-Palestine adds to a mountain of evidence about Israel’s systematic abuse and killings of Palestinian children, including earlier reports from DCI-PalestineB’TselemHuman Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Last December, the advocacy group the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) revealed that Israeli authorities had locked Palestinian children in outdoor cages during a severe winter storm.

HELP BURST SODASTREAM’S BUBBLE

picket

*

Click HERE to see a brilliant presentation from the Jewish Voice For Peace

KERRY MIGHT BE RIGHT .. IT’S NOT APARTHEID, IT’S WORSE THAN THAT!

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
*
Israeli bulldozers demolish mosque, 3 houses near Nablus
(MaanImages/File)
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday demolished a mosque and three houses in a Palestinian village south of Nablus, an official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that over 20 Israeli military vehicles entered Khirbet al-Tawil near the town of Aqraba early Tuesday morning.

Bulldozers immediately began demolishing a mosque and three houses belonging to Osama Anas, Anwar Sidqi Hani, and Muhammad Hani.

The structures were demolished under the pretext that they were built without permits, Daghlas said.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Israel destroyed more than 663 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2013, displacing 1,101 people, according to UNOCHA. Some 250 people have been displaced since the beginning of 2014.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

TRY A FREE SCOOP OF THE OCCUPATION AT BEN & JERRY’S

Your ice cream is free today – Palestine is not!

*

BDS activists leaflet Ben & Jerry’s shops on commercial ties to Israeli settlements

Activists in Bradfort, CT (Photo via Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel)

Activists in Bradfort, CT (Photo via Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel)
The second annual Free Cone Day leafleting action at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops on Tuesday, April 8, organized by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (www.vtjp.org), was a great success.

Solidarity activists in at least 12 states (CA, CO, CT, NY, MA, MN, NC, NH, OR, NH, VT, and WA) distributed thousands of leaflets prepared by VTJP on Ben & Jerry’s commercial ties to illegal, Jewish-only settlements.

Additionally, 335 e-mails were sent to the company’s CEO, Jostein Solheim, on April 8, and in the two weeks leading up to FCD, more than 500 messages were e-mailed to him.

Your ice cream is free today – Palestine is not!

VTJP is still compiling reports on this year’s FCD action, and, in due course, we’ll post on our website [www.vtjp.org/icecream] a comprehensive summary of what transpired on April 8.

Here’s a sampling of what we’ve learned so far:

In San Jose, California, nearly 1,100 leaflets were handed out, and one of the activists shared an observation common to those who leafleted everywhere: “Most of the customers were pleasant, and many were interested to hear the information and take a leaflet.”

At least 1,000 more leaflets found their way into the hands of people at four scoop shops in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco.  There, as in San Jose, most encounters with the public were friendly and, according to one of the activists, “Many were ignorant of the situation in [Israel-Palestine], so it was a wonderful opportunity for education.”

Our compatriots with the New England Palestine Education Network and Veterans for Peace in Manchester, New Hampshire, told us many people are surprised to learn that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is being sold in Israeli settlements.  VTJP activists have had the same experience frequently.

In Denver, a student activist was grateful for the opportunity to talk with people in his community about the Ben & Jerry’s campaign and the Israeli occupation generally.  He also appreciated the exposure this action generated for the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Colorado.

Members of Upper Hudson Peace Action’s Palestinian Rights Committee leafleted outside a cone shop in Albany, New York, and held a sign that read: “Ben & Jerry’s: Yes in Albany. No in Illegal Israeli Settlements.”  They spoke with the shop manager, who was polite, said he knew why they were there, and invited them in for a free cone.

In Portland, Oregon, twelve volunteers from the local chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace, Portland Palestine Coalition, Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, and Americans United for Equal Palestinian Rights passed out hundreds of leaflets and only two were dropped on the ground.

Jewish Voice for Peace activists in Tacoma, Washington, noted that not only were folks “willing to take the info, but the overwhelming majority left with leaflet still in hand!” The action also provided a great opportunity to reach a lot of young people.

In Vermont, there was leafleting at the two scoop shops in Burlington, including the one at the University of Vermont, and at the company’s factory in Waterbury.  Members of VTJP’s BDS committee spoke with CEO Jostein Solheim and Rob Michalak, the head of the company’s Global Mission Office, when they dropped in at the scoop shop in downtown Burlington.

The Ben & Jerry’s Campaign is Growing!

The FCD action this year saw many more activists, groups and scoop shops involved.  Moreover, since last September, 220 organizations around the world have signed VTJP’s letter [http://www.vtjp.org/icecream/internatletter.php] urging the company to stop doing business with Israeli settlements.  We respectfully ask organizations that have not done so to consider adding their names to the letter.

What began as a conversation in 2011 between a small band of activists in Vermont on how to contribute locally to the international BDS movement has grown into something much bigger than we could have imagined, and inspires us to keep organizing and engaging Ben & Jerry’s.

VTJP is one year into this campaign, and there is still much work to be done.

IT LOOKS LIKE STARBUCKS IS ADDING A NEW INGREDIENT TO ITS LATTE ~~ PALESTINIAN BLOOD

Here’s a new one to add to your list …

*

Starbucks to buy a share of SodaStream

 Written by Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Starbucks is to offer SodaStream a 30 percent premium on its market price with the purchase of 10 percent of its shares

Despite the ongoing campaign to boycott SodaStream due to its production plant in Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone, Starbucks is in advanced talks to acquire 10 percent of SodaStream at a company value of $1.1 billion, reports Globe, the Israeli economic newspaper. The newspaper adds that sources close to the deal say that an official announcement will be made soon.

Globes states that Starbucks’ offer reflects a 30 percent premium on SodaStream market price, with the total value of SodaStream’s issued shares at $850 million.

Market sources have previously believed that SodaStream was seeking a partner, like the partnership between Coca-Cola Company and coffee machine maker Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The two companies plan to launch a home soda maker machine next year, which would make carbonated beverages from Coca-Cola syrups.

February’s acquisition of 10 percent of Green Mountain by Coca-Cola for $1.25 billion sent SodaStream’s share price tumbling amid market fears of Coca-Cola’s massive entry into the home beverages maker market.

Some months earlier, the Israeli maker of home soda machines hired Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson as the company’s global brand ambassador in the hope of boosting its earnings in financial markets.

However, amid growing criticism of businesses profiting from the Israeli occupation, SodaStream shares were in freefall in the first quarter of 2014.

SodaStream is a company registered in the Netherlands and Israel and its main production site is in Mishor Edomin, the industrial park of Ma’aleh Adumim, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

A report by Who Profits, entitled ‘SodaStream: A Case Study for Corporate Activity in Illegal Israeli Settlements’, details that the violations perpetrated by the company include its location on expropriated land, its treatment of Palestinian workers, and its mislabeling of products.

Mishor Adumim is one of 17 industrial parks that Israel has established in the occupied Palestinian territories in order to benefit Israeli settlements. The Industrial Park is located on 30,000 dunams of expropriated Palestinian land. The settlement of Ma’ale Adumim directly benefits from SodaStream through the taxes the company pays to the municipality, which directly support the development of infrastructure and services in the settlement.

If Starbucks does purchase a share in SodaStream it will become accomplice to the company’s policies and a likely target for boycott.

 

 

PALESTINIAN KIDS CAUGHT ON VIDEO ‘PLAYING HOOKY’ ON THEIR WAY TO SCHOOL

A bit different than the way we did it ….

*

As Rami walked away towards his school, three Israeli soldiers burst out of an alleyway, grabbed his arm, and detained him in the street.

*

*

At approximately 7 am this morning, Rami Rajabi, a six-year-old child, was 20 meters away from checkpoint 29 when he threw several pebbles in al-Khalil (Hebron).

As Rami walked away towards his school, three Israeli soldiers burst out of an alleyway, grabbed his arm, and detained him in the street.

After approximately 20 minutes of pressure from locals and activists, the child was released and was taken home by a friend of his family.

EARTH DAY Vs. THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION IN NEW YORK

*

On Earth Day, Activists Ask Zabar’s to Stop Selling Israeli Occupation Profiteer SodaStream

On Earth Day, 70 human rights activists gathered on New York City’s Upper West Side outside the iconic Zabar’s store, demanding that SodaStream home carbonation devices be removed from the shelves because they are made in an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank (photos; video). The demonstration was coordinated by the NYC Coalition Against SodaStream, which is made up of Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace NYC Chapter (JVP), Jews Say No!, and Park Slope Food Coop Members for BDS.
In early April, the coalition began a series of actions at Zabar’s to raise awareness about SodaStream, after the store’s management did not respond to activists’ requests for a meeting. Over 1200 people so far have signed a petition asking Zabar’s to stop selling SodaStream, with 130 signatures collected this evening alone. On the busy Broadway sidewalk, people handed out postcards including to several Zabar’s workers encouraged petition-signing, and blew bubbles. Signs and chants played on Zabar’s high standing among food-lovers, such as “Bagels, lox, and a schmear! But get that SodaStream outta here!” One sign, based on a graphic by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), addressed the issue of labor and political repression by pointing out that the number of Palestinians employed by SodaStream is 500, while the number of West Bank Palestinians  denied basic rights by occupation SodaStream helps sustain  is 2.6 million. With guitar accompaniment, activists sang “Soda Streamin'” to the tune of “California Dreamin'”: “Don’t buy oppression any more / Take settlements away / No more SodaStreamin’ / No more apartheid days.”

Adalah-NY’s Riham Barghouti explained that shoppers’ purchases of SodaStream products enables the continuation of the Israeli occupation and devastation of Palestinian land. “SodaStream’s main factory is built on an illegal Israeli settlement. And despite its greenwashed image as a supporter of environmental causes, SodaStream is actually helping to destroy Palestine’s environment through uprooting of olive trees, depletion of water resources, and the confiscation and pollution of the land,” she told the crowd. Donna Nevel of Jews Say No! spoke as a neighborhood resident, saying, “For those of us on the Upper West Side, Zabar’s has been an important institution in our community. We want to continue to love and support it. Zabar’s, do the right thing and stop selling SodaStream.”
Today’s demonstration comes on the heels of the environmental organization Earth Day Network’s decision to end its partnership with SodaStream in response to criticism on human rights grounds. In an earlier development, the actor Scarlett Johansson had been a longtime Ofxam Ambassador until her position as a Global Brand Ambassador for SodaStream led to widespread protests and, ultimately, the breaking of ties between her and Oxfam in January.


 

Some photos from the event …

Credit: Bud Korotzer

dsc04325

*

dsc-0020

*

dsc-0021

For a photo gallery of the demo, click HERE

EARTH DAY CONFRONTS THE OCCUPATION

“The Earth Day Network is rightfully following the path of Oxfam by disassociating itself from SodaStream, a company that produces its water carbonating devices in an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian territory. Jewish Voice for Peace will continue campaigning against SodaStream in Seattle, New York, DC, Minneapolis, Boston, Portland ,and other cities across the U.S. to remind consumers that buying products manufactured in stolen land is neither ethical nor sustainable,” said Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace.

*

*

Earth Day Network dumps SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson

*

A previous version of the Earth Day Network website showed SodaStream logo.

The Earth Day Network, which promotes the annual Earth Day environmental consciousness initiative, has cut ties to a campaign launched by Israeli occupation profiteer SodaStream and endorsed by its spokesmodel Scarlett Johansson.

The screenshot above shows the SodaStream logo as it appeared previously on the Earth Day Network’s official sponsor page. On the current version of the page, the SodaStream logo is gone.

Here’s the press release from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:


Earth Day Network Cuts Ties with SodaStream After Palestinian Rights Groups Decry Greenwashing Campaign

21 April, Washington, DC – On the eve of Earth Day, groups working for Palestinian rights globally are celebrating Earth Day Network’s decision to end its partnership with SodaStream, whose main production factory is located in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Earlier this month, SodaStream, which markets its home carbonating devices as a green alternative to bottled beverages, announced the launch of an awareness-raising campaigncentered around the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Several articles reported that this “Secret Continent” campaign was developed with Earth Day Network (EDN), which works with more than 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the environmental movement.

Groups in the United States and abroad mobilized opposition to this partnership between EDN and SodaStream due to the company’s complicity in Israel’s military occupation, including the destruction that Israeli settlements have caused to the Palestinian environment.

In response, EDN’s logo has been removed from the Secret Continent website and EDNno longer lists SodaStream as a sponsor.

“This Secret Continent campaign is a clear example of SodaStream attempting to greenwash its complicity in Israel’s occupation through a public relations stunt. SodaStream appeals to customers by marketing itself as environmentally friendly, but a product manufactured in an illegal settlement on occupied land cannot be ‘green.’ We applaud Earth Day Network for listening to the thousands of concerned individuals who contacted them and sending the message that companies profiting from human rights abuses have no place in the global environmental movement,” said Ramah Kudaimi of theUS Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

PENGON, the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network, added: “We are happy to see that Earth Day Network cut ties with the Israeli settlement manufacturer SodaStream. Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise are not environmentally friendly. On the contrary, they are based on the pillage of our land and deplete and pollute our water resources. Over the last 40 years, Israeli occupation has cut hundreds of thousands of trees to make space for their colonization. We call on all environmental organizations and activists to stand with us against the Israeli occupation and its systematic large scale destruction of our land.”

This is the second major controversy this year involving SodaStream’s settlement factory. In January Oxfam International came under fire to drop Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson as a Global Ambassador after she became a Global Brand Ambassador for SodaStream. After an international campaign, Johansson resigned from her role with Oxfam.

“The Earth Day Network is rightfully following the path of Oxfam by disassociating itself from SodaStream, a company that produces its water carbonating devices in an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian territory. Jewish Voice for Peace will continue campaigning against SodaStream in Seattle, New York, DC, Minneapolis, Boston, Portland ,and other cities across the U.S. to remind consumers that buying products manufactured in stolen land is neither ethical nor sustainable,” said Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Since the 2005 call from more than 170 Palestinian civil society groups for the international community to engage in boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns targeting institutions and corporations complicit in Israel’s oppressive policies towards Palestinians, activists across the globe have been organizing under the slogan “Occupation is Not Green” to convince stores and consumers to boycott SodaStream.

“We congratulate Earth Day Network on doing the right thing by ending its collaboration with SodaStream. After the media firestorm surrounding SodaStream, Scarlett Johansson, and Oxfam, and now this dissolved partnership with Earth Day Network, SodaStream is going to have difficulty finding reputable individuals and groups to help whitewash and greenwash its ugly occupation profiteering,” said Nancy Kricorian of CODEPINK: Women for Peace.

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign in the occupied West Bank, added: “We thank the Earth Day Network for having canceled its cooperation with SodaStream and are grateful to all those people around the world that continue mobilizing to ensure the truth about SodaStream is no secret anymore.”

“While the illegal Wall and the settlements rob Palestinians of their land and resources and lock them up into economically and socially unsustainable enclaves, companies such as SodaStream ensure profitability of the Israeli settlement enterprise by exploiting Palestinian workers who are left without workers’ rights and without any viable alternative to make a living.”

Following a recent visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, Friends of the Earth International chairperson Jagoda Munic condemned what she referred to as the “less visible forms of occupation,” which include toxic waste-dumping, the expropriation and diversion of fresh water sources, and the development of polluting industries close to Palestinian towns.

She called these Israeli governmental policies “truly shocking” and went on to say: “Palestine stands as an example of the link between environmental injustice and social and political injustice.

RACING FOR FREEDOM THROUGH THE WALLS OF PALESTINE

Graffiti transformed the lower part of the wall into a spray paint script: “More bridges, fewer walls”; “Make hummus not walls” and, “In my previous life, I was the Berlin Wall. The beer was better there.” The wall’s humor and wit dulled my sadness. I ran on.
*

She Runs: The author warms up in Bethlehem before the race.

PHILLIP SMITH
She Runs: The author warms up in Bethlehem before the race.

*

My Race Through Walls in Palestine Marathon

Journalist Discovers West Bank Race Is ‘Run for Freedom’

Race Day: As many as 3,200 runners took part in the second annual Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem on April 11.

PHILLIP SMITH
Race Day: As many as 3,200 runners took part in the second annual Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem on April 11.

By Tania Hass FOR

*

“Getting out of Jerusalem isn’t tough,” said Tiviet Nguyen, the Vietnamese Israeli who sat behind me on the crowded bus full of Palestinian men. “The challenge is getting back in. But there’s a whole industry of taxis taking Israelis back from the West Bank. We’ll be fine.”

Like me, Nguyen and her husband, Moshe Saraf, were headed to Bethlehem to participate in the second annual Palestine Marathon. Unlike me — I’m a Canadian tourist — they are Israelis, and it’s illegal for them to be there without a permit. But since Nguyen is involved with an organization that links Israelis and Palestinians, she’s familiar with the trip home.

I, on the other hand, was a little nervous about our destination. This was my first time in the West Bank. I’d been to Israel before, but this would be the first time I’d be seeing the separation barrier. Safety was also on my mind. I swallowed my fear, and asked Nguyen about her thoughts on peace.

“Peace begins on a ground level,” she said.

“If the people’s mentality changes,” Saraf added, “the government’s motives won’t matter.”

“You know,” Nguyen said, “just being here is a political declaration.”

I had made the trip so that I could witness and report what I saw. But as a Jewish journalist, the task was a little loaded. I was there to understand those on the other side of the wall.

My journey started three weeks earlier, when I joined a press trip to run the half at the Jerusalem Marathon. We toured the country and ate incredible food. Then we strapped on our sneakers and ran the hilly course, which passed Israeli highlights like the Knesset, the Zion Gate and Mount Scopus. More than 25,000 runners from 54 nations participated. Many of them raised funds for projects and charities. During my 13-miles race, I met runners from many different backgrounds, including a settler, Christians and Orthodox Jewish women. But I didn’t meet any Palestinian or Palestinian-Israeli runners. I felt like I was missing part of the region’s running story. So here I was, set to run the same distance. This time, I’d be the minority in unfamiliar territory.

The first Palestine Marathon launched last year, weeks after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency canceled the Gaza Marathon when Hamas banned women from running. In 2013, 650 runners participated. By the time I collected my registration package in April, 3,200 runners were expected.

Days before the race, news agencies reported on the Gaza-based Olympian who was barred from participating. The Olympian was among a group of runners denied travel permits out of the Hamas-ruled territory by Israel. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization because of the hundreds of Israelis killed by its attacks. As a result, most of the population cannot travel beyond Gaza’s borders.

It’s restrictions like those that led a Danish aid worker to come up with the marathon idea. “The idea came to me one day, as I was waiting in a checkpoint. Palestinians’ inability to move was what struck me the most,” said marathon co-founder Signe Fischer, who works for the Danish foreign ministry. She also co-founded the Right to Movement organization.

Fischer teamed up with Palestinian organizations and municipalities and created the first marathon with a focus on free movement for all people.

In an ironic turn of events last year, Fischer had to ask two Israelis to withdraw the night before the race. She and her co-organizers cited the Jewish runners’ safety as a concern. Israelis are not legally allowed in Palestinian-controlled areas without a special permit. Tears were shed as Fischer said, “It hurts to call someone and say you can’t run…. Now I know what it feels like to be an anti-Semite.”

A documentary film crew caught this scene and others leading up to last year’s race. I watched the film the night before the race, in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, in the shadow of the Church of the Nativity and the city’s only mosque. When the movie finished, runners scattered in the cool air to find warm beds. We were due back in the square — the race’s start and finish point — in a few hours. I needed to find Fadi Asiwat.

Asiwat was a 24-year old swimming coach and my home stay host. We met on a Facebook page for runners in East Jerusalem. When I posted to the page, asking about good places to stay, he offered a room. He was also running the half marathon the next morning.

As we drove to his home, Asiwat told me that before the wall, the drive to Bethlehem was less than 10 minutes. Twenty-five minutes into our ride, we crossed to East Jerusalem from the West Bank with a nod from the checkpoint guards. Asiwat said my fair skin and blue eyes probably helped us avoid a time-consuming check.

As we descended into the Jabal Al-Mukaber valley, Asiwat pointed out Jewish settlements and Arab villages facing each other on different sides of the hill. I asked if he had any Jewish friends. “I work with Jewish people at the pool where I lifeguard. I say hello to people on the street. We’re decent to each other,” he said. When I asked him if he’d mind if Israelis ran in the race, he was hesitant. “Yes, it’s about sports,” he said. “But every Palestinian has hurt in their heart. It would be hard.”

In my room, a fruit basket and a bowl of nuts awaited.

“Arab hospitality. You are always welcome,” Asiwat said, And with that, he wished me a good night.

The next morning, Manger Square was bursting with energy. Top 40 hits played loudly, as Danish girls in tank tops warmed up alongside women in hijabs. Young Palestinian men danced in a circle, shaking their shoulders in unison. Runners smoked cigarettes while stretching.

“Why are you here?” I asked the runners around me.

“It’s empowering to see so many women here,” said Niralee Shah, 24, an Indian woman who works at a technology company in Ramallah. “It’s really exciting.”

“The world sees us as terrorists, but we love peace, nature, animals,” said Musa Abo Sbaeh, 37, a social worker. “It’s also about freedom. I’ve never been to the sea. I don’t leave my house after 10 p.m. — I’m too scared of the Israeli police. So today I run for freedom.”

Soon all the runners were ushered to the starting area. A horn blasted. We took off. My motto for running the Jerusalem half marathon was “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.” Applying the motto once again, I slipped into a gentle stride.

The route first ran through the Aida refugee camp, which was established around 1950 by Palestinians from the Jerusalem and Hebron areas. Today, Aida is home to more than 4,700 people. UNRWA reports that it is severely overcrowded.

It is here that I first came face to face with the wall. Israelis call it the “security fence” and say it has resulted in fewer suicide bomb attacks. Palestinians call it the “apartheid wall” because of the impact it has had on their day-to-day lives. Regardless of its name, it’s imposing. With 26 feet of gray concrete, its purpose is unequivocal: to keep people contained and controlled. As I rounded a corner, an even taller tower loomed. At its top, small dark openings were visible. They were just the right size for the tip of an automatic weapon to follow, aim and fire. Immediately I was hit with sadness. I understand the Israeli desire for freedom from attacks, but I also was beginning to understand what it’s like to live under the physical threat of violence — and restriction — every day. It fosters a climate of distrust.

Graffiti transformed the lower part of the wall into a spray paint script: “More bridges, fewer walls”; “Make hummus not walls” and, “In my previous life, I was the Berlin Wall. The beer was better there.” The wall’s humor and wit dulled my sadness. I ran on.

After a loop through the Aida camp, we took a long stretch along Hebron Road. Young boys trailed me on their bicycles, yelling, “Yalla! Yalla!” I ran past a donkey munching on hay, men drinking tea, and fields of olive and fig trees. Groups of children extended their arms for high-fives. In the South, we passed another refugee camp. Dheisheh was initially built as a temporary shelter during the 1948 war. Today, multiple generations know it as their only home.

The six mile mark was in al-Khader, where the wall divides portions of farmland. Farmers were left unable to access parts of their land without a permit. Protests are ongoing. During the run, Palestinian boy scouts handed out orange slices. I rounded the turning point and headed to the finish line. Once I crossed, I collected my olive wood medal and stood shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of other runners.

“The race shouldn’t be political, it should be more about healthy bodies,” said Frank D’hondt, a Belgian who works for UN-Habitat, an urban planning agency. “With all the eating and smoking, poor health is becoming a problem here. Occupation affects your ability to reach your potential.”

I reflected on the race, stretching while inhaling the cigarette smoke. After watching some more celebratory dances, I headed home.

On the way back to Israeli territory, I followed Palestinian men and women weaving through metal detectors and turnstiles at the more extensive checkpoint. After a brief interview with an Israeli guard, I was on the bus back to Jerusalem.

Soon I’d be having Passover dinner with my cousins in Jerusalem. These are relatives who served in the Israel Defense Forces, who build houses with safe rooms. In a few days, we would be gathering around the table to tell the story of enslavement and freedom. Freedom would be on my mind. So would walls — for what they protect and what they conceal. It’s about my family on one side, and the people I met on the other. And my freedom to see it all with the worn-out soles of my sneakers.

Tania Haas is a freelance journalist travelling the world and reporting on what she sees (and eats). Her work has been featured in Bloomberg News, CTV News Channel, The New York Times and USA Today. 

 

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

 

SODASTREAM GOES FLAT DUE TO BOYCOTT

Screen-shot-2014-02-03-at-2.33.53-PM

*

Good news from Omar Barghouti

SodaStream share price drops 14% in first quarter 2014

*

So much for the Scarlett “charm,” SodaStream’s millions spent on propaganda and PR, and its lies about BDS not affecting its performance…. This may go down as one of the worst corporate PR campaign of all times!

 

As the article below mentions, “SodaStream surely didn’t want customers debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while brewing up carbonated canisters of cherry cola. Although the West Bank factory has existed for years, the Johansson deal pushed it further into the spotlight.”

 

Corporations operating in Israel’s illegal colonies or otherwise profiting from Israel’s occupation and violations of international law are starting to pay a much heavier price for their complicity in human rights violations. This is now an indisputable fact.

 

Are G4S, CAT, Volvo, Hyundai, Ahava, Mekorot, Mehadrim, Israeli banks and the rest of complicit companies getting the message?

 

Omar

 

 

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/02/3-consumer-stocks-investors-returned-in-the-first.aspx

 

SodaStream’s (NASDAQ: SODA  ) 14% share price drop came from a new competitor and a public relations disaster.

SodaStream’s competition brews as controversy bubbles 


SodaStream hired Avengers star Scarlett Johansson as the company’s first celebrity spokesperson and the actress starred in a cheeky “banned from airing” Superbowl commercial. However, the partnership took a complicated turn in the press after Johansson’s role as an ambassador for Oxfam — a global poverty and human rights charity — led to questions about SodaStream’s large factory in the controversial West Bank. Johansson stepped down from Oxfam and stayed with SodaStream.

Personal political beliefs aside, SodaStream surely didn’t want customers debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while brewing up carbonated canisters of cherry cola. Although the West Bank factory has existed for years, the Johansson deal pushed it further into the spotlight.

ANOTHER SODASTREAM SPOOF AD

Artists in Finland have produced this clever and funny one-minute spoof ad for SodaStream.

*

“SodaScream – Bubble trouble,” as the ad is called, takes aim (pun intended!) at the company that manufactures fizzy-drink machines in the illegal Israeli colony of Maaleh Adumim in the occupied West Bank.

Earlier this year, Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson was at the center of a media storm over her endorsement deal with the company.

She later resigned from her position as global ambassador for the charity Oxfam, which declared that her deal with the occupation profiteer SodaStream was “incompatible” with her humanitarian role.

The video’s makers have set up a website – SodaScream.com that provides brief, clear explanations of why SodaStream’s activities are problematic and urges people to contact the company.

 

FROM

ABBAS’ VICTORIOUS FAILURE

As Abbas celebrates what he sees as a victory for his people, the truth is that Netanyahu has other plans …

*

Netanyahu’s map of ‘Israel’ annexes West Bank, leaves out Gaza

Phil Weiss and Alex Kane FOR
*
Netanyahu promotionof Israel

Netanyahu promotion of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announced a video celebrating the accomplishments of his first year in office on his twitter feed on March 18

So what have we been up to? the frantic narrator asks. Mostly civil and economic improvements.

It’s all a big joke to Bibi ….. worthy of a cartoon

 

But a couple of times in the video the illustrator makes an image of one state of Israel and Palestine, in which the West Bank is annexed and Gaza is purposely cut out. First at :23. The screenshot above is from 1:40 or so. No Green Line. A divot where Gaza used to be. What’s he telling us?

And in all the feverish description of accomplishments, not a word about peace talks or Palestinians. The usual fearful talk about Iran and the borders.

« Older entries Newer entries »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,169 other followers