HAMAS IS NOT IN A POSITION OF POWER TO WAGE WAR AGAIN

20140723-224607-81967409

*

It looks like the Ceasefire has come to an end ….

Hamas has legitimate demands for it to have continued, but they are dealing with a most stubborn entity which is backed by US unlimited funding.

Hamas’ original Demands

*

First a video dealing with those demands…

*

1. Return of IDF tank positions so that farmers can work their lands

2. Freeing of all prisoners arrested since June 23 (when 3 Israeli teens were killed by Hamas operatives), and improving the conditions of those currently in prison.

3. Lifting of Israel’s naval blockade around Gaza along with the complete opening of the land border crossings.

4. Establishment of an international airport and seaport in Gaza.

5. Expansion of Gaza fishing zone by six miles.

6. Open the Israel-Gaza Rafah border crossing permanently under UN supervision, instead of under Israel’s watch.

7. 10 year truce with Israel along with the deployment of an international observer force on the border.

8. Israel must never enter Gaza under any circumstances and protect Palestinian Muslim worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

9. Israel must refrain from interfering with the newly created unity Palestinian  government between Fatah and Hamas.

10. Rehabilitation of Gaza Industrial Zones and allowance for Gaza to create a border protection force.

All of the above are legitimate!

All, or most of the above, will not be met by Israel.

BUT

There are forces within Gaza that are working in the interests of Israel at the moment as they once again began firing rockets into Israel this morning.

THE RESULT

*

THIS IS WHAT IS CONTINUING

*

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

*

Here is the Israeli response ….

*

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

enfant-juif-et-arabe2

*

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

*

ENOUGH ALREADY!

FROM BOTH SIDES!!

*

Dr. Mads Gilbert adds the following thoughts

Dr. Mads Gilbert: Solidarity with Gaza! If no siege, no tunnels! – If no occupation, no rockets!

*

Dr. Mads Gilbert from Tromsø, Norway (Twin City with Gaza City), was working at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza during the last Israeli onslaugt on Gaza. When he returned from Gaza to his home-town Tromsø on July 31 2014, he went straight from the airport to give this spontaneous speech at a large solidarity demonstration for Gaza held at the same time. The regional newspaper “Nordlys” (“Northern Light”) streamed the demonstration and featured Dr. Mads’ speech on their web-site. They have donated the video. It was transcribed and subtitled in English through a solidarity effort by Norwegian film and video professionals. The video can be shared and used for non-commercial purposes.

Friends of Gaza posted this on YouTube.

 

FROM GAZA WITH PAIN AND DIGNITY

Forcing people out of their homes is a crime against humanity let alone bombing those who remain. But CNN and other western media run by Zionists interview colonizer leaders like Netanyahu who is a habitual liar and do not interview representatives of the victims or the resistance.

*

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

*

It is hard not to cry watching the unfolding horror in Gaza, children with heads blown off, pregnant woman with body torn by a shell, babies with missing limbs, targeting of playing children, targeting hospitals, targeting ambulances, and even a handicap center killing two handicap children.  Israeli forces then ratcheted up their attacks committing large scale massacres in places like Shujaia and Beit Hanoun. 80% of the victims are elderly, women and Children (over 110 children so far). Though mainstream western media self-sensors to comply with the Zionist lobby, the truth is coming out and the videos and pictures are horrific. Our friends in Gaza issue desperate calls to us. Israel cannot absolve itself by saying we asked people to evacuate (110,000 are homeless already). Forcing people out of their homes is a crime against humanity let alone bombing those who remain. But CNN and other western media run by Zionists interview colonizer leaders like Netanyahu who is a habitual liar and do not interview representatives of the victims or the resistance.

Gaza is very heavily populated thanks to the ethnic cleansing done to create the racist colonial state of Israel. Two thirds of the people are refugees denied their basic rights including right to return to their homes and lands. Israel tries to dehumanize its victims while blaming the few people who resist as “the problem.” Unfortunately as I stated repeatedly before, colonization and ethnic cleansing are the violence, and resistance is actually part of the remedy. I repeatedly explained that Zionism lost and Zionists will get very violent here before they finally give up privilege based on racist ideology. They refused to abide by basic human norms and insisted that through money and military might they could achieve their goal of a racist ethnocentric chauvinistic state. I always held the hope that the elites among them will be able to step back and avoid this suicidal path. If only they admit the folly of their ways, and ask their victims for forgiveness. I always thought it is possible and is the only way to peace here. I always feared though the Zionist strategy would lead to a lose lose scenario. In this case, they will lose more since there are some hundreds of millions of Arabs and only at best 2-3 million Zionists. Many Jews did see this folly and became anti-Zionist or post-Zionists. But Zionists were influential and powerful and intimidated and silenced millions including some Arabs and Muslims (look at our “leaders” like Abbas and Sisi). The Egyptian government even denied medical relief convoys from entering Gaza. Spoiled Zionists used to privilege on the expense of others are acting mad since they can’t get their way to silence their victims. They decided to go all out and having failed to stop the resistance decided to take on civilians.

For those of us who have been through this many times, we feel there is something different this time suggesting that it maybe indeed the last Zionist tantrum. It is hard to imagine what else Netenyahu and his racist gang can try. They have tried to destroy Gaza and Lebanon before but in every round, the resistance only grows stronger. They even went into this bizarre idea that they can succeed to mobilize the world against Political Islam by training and funding killers through Arab regime puppets and sent them to kill people (christians, Shia, democrats, etc) to simply say “look they are horrible”. Instead of intimidating everyone, the obvious and now exposed game creates a backlash and awaken a lot of people to join the ever spreading wave of real resistance aimed at justice which is the only route to peace. Zionists are unleashing the only tool they have (their military) and whipping up even more frenzied racism among their people (e.g. Israelis cheering the slaughter in Gaza). Another sign of the endgame is the scurrying of western puppets around the world capitals to try and show their people that we are “doing something.” I think that explains Abbas in Cairo and Istanbul and his calling for a three day mourning period for the victims of last massacre while still working overtime to undermine resistance. Another massacre was committed and his police force prevented demonstrators in the West Bank and his spokesman tried to act as if Israel and Gaza are two children querreling and he is the grown-up. Our choice is certainly not between Western created Israel (and Arab puppets) and Western created fanatics beheading fellow Muslims and forcing Christians to flee for their lives! The steadfastness of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza is creating a ripple effect that could end this theater of the absurd for good. Maybe that is why both sides of Western creations are acting desperately (killing, butchering, and trying so hard to create fitna/division!). Maybe that is why we need not despair but instead focus on building some positive and credible movement for peace with justice. We need more actions for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). We need more demonstrations. We need more movement against quisling and weak “leaders”. We need to force mainstream media to stop their compliance. We need to ridicule and embarrass politicians who support racism and apartheid. We need to support the Palestinian people in their Sumud (resistance and resilience). But that is tomorrow.. today we need all to work to end the horrific slaughter of Gaza civilians by a fascist government. All of us need to turn off our computers and our TVs and go down to the streets (after we tell others to join us !)
*

Mads with a patient in Gaza
*

Below is a letter from Dr. Mads Gilbert, a physician working in Gaza.

Dearest friends -

Last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.
The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24hrs shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!
Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world” (sic!).
My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian “sumud” gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace – but we cannot afford that, nor can they.
Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes,cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away…to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa last 24 hrs. enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterdays hospitals.But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormous resolute.
And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flows, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!
An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made and paid in and by US.
Mr. Obama – do you have a heart?
I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe.
I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.
Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.
But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another “dahyia” onslaught on Gaza.
The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death.
Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.MadsGaza, Occupied Palestine
Mads Gilbert MD PhD
Professor and Clinical Head
Clinic of Emergency Medicine
University Hospital of North Norway

GAZA ~~ A MESSAGE FROM THE ENEMY

Image by Pat Oliphant

PatOliphantAntiZionistCartoon

*

It’s 1948 all over again … this opinion is from the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Knesset Member, and head of the Manhigut Yehudit (“Jewish Leadership”) faction of Israel’s governing Likud party. Here he outlines the ‘final solution’ for Gaza.

And you thought Hamas was the enemy?

Think again!

*

Op-Ed: My Outline for a Solution in Gaza

Clear and concise, the steps towards achieving quiet in Gaza.
*

Attack – Attack the entire ‘target bank’ throughout Gaza with the IDF’s maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal. All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. It is enough that we are hitting exact targets and that we gave them advance warning.

Siege – Parallel to the above, a total siege on Gaza. Nothing will enter the area. Israel, however, will allow exit from Gaza. (Civilians may go to Sinai,fighters may surrender to IDF forces).

Defense – Any place from which Israel or Israel’s forces were attacked will be immediately attacked with full force and no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’.

Conquer – After the IDF completes the “softening” of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.

Elimination- The GSS and IDF will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.

Sovereignty – Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.

According to polls, most of the Arabs in Gaza wish to leave. Those who were not involved in anti-Israel activity will be offered a generous international emigration package. Those who choose to remain will receive permanent resident status. After a number of years of living in Israel and becoming accustomed to it, contingent on appropriate legislation in the Knesset and the authorization of the Minister of Interior, those who personally accept upon themselves Israel’s rule, substance and way of life of the Jewish State in its Land, will be offered Israeli citizenship.

AFTERMATH OF THE ‘HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE’

Three children from a single family were killed when an Israeli air strike hit their home in the Sabra section of Gaza City on Thursday evening.

*

Israel ends “humanitarian ceasefire” with new massacre of Gaza children

The bodies of Fulla Tariq Shuhaibar, Jihad Issam Shuhaibar and Wasim Issam Shuhaibar lay in a morgue at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on 17 July.  (Mohammed Asad / APA images)

*

Four children were killed when Israel resumed its heavy bombardment of the occupied Gaza Strip after the expiry on Thursday afternoon of a five-hour “humanitarian ceasefire” requested by the United Nations.

Another child died of injuries sustained in earlier Israeli attacks.

By Thursday evening in Gaza, at least fourteen Palestinians had been killed in Israeli attacks before and after the brief ceasefire, bringing the total to 237 fatalities since Israel’s round-the-clock assault began on 7 July, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

The number of children killed has risen to 53, including four young boys from the Baker family slaughtered by Israeli shelling in front of international media as they played on a beach on Wednesday.

Defence for Children International Palestine, which documents the deaths of children, said the toll from Israel’s current campaign “is now at its highest since Israel’s December 2008 military incursion, Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in the deaths of 352 children.”

*

A medic with the Palestine Red Crescent Society carries an injured child to a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah following an Israeli air strike before a five-hour ceasefire went into effect on 17 July.  (Eyad Al Baba / APA images)

*

More than 1,770 people have been injured, straining Gaza’s health services which facesevere shortages of medications and supplies.

Almost eighty percent of the dead are civilians, and almost half of the injured are women and children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Three children from single family killed

Three children from a single family were killed when an Israeli air strike hit their home in the Sabra section of Gaza City on Thursday evening.

The children were named as Fulla Tariq Shuhaibar, Jihad Issam Shuhaibar and Wasim Issam Shuhaibar, all young children whose ages were not specified.

A video uploaded to YouTube shows the dead children lying in a medical facility while a distraught medical official denounces their killings as a “crime.”

“Every day there is a massacre,” the official says.

*

*

In a separate incident, Rahaf Khalil Jbour, aged four, was killed in an Israeli air attack on her neighborhood of al-Manara in Khan Younis.

Also on Thursday, Yasin al-Humeidi, aged four, died of injuries he suffered in an earlier air attack on Gaza City.

Among those killed on Thursday were 71-year-old Zaynab al-Abadla of Khan Younis and 67-year-old Muhammad Abdulrahman Hassouna of Rafah.

Destruction of homes continues

Israel has also continued its systematic destruction of civilian homes.

By the end of 16 July, Israel had destroyed or severely damaged 1,660 residential buildings, making 9,900 people homeless, OCHA reported.

*

After a five-hour ceasefire went into effect, Palestinians collect belongings in a Gaza City building damaged in an Israeli air strike, 17 July.  (Ezz Zanoon / APA images)

*

Another 22,600 are seeking shelter in UN-run schools, having fled from Israeli shelling or threats of attack, principally in the northern and eastern sectors of the Gaza Strip.

Nine hundred thousand people – half the population of Gaza – are “without water supply due to inability to repair or operate infrastructure,” OCHA said.

Human Rights Watch said this week that Israeli air attacks it investigated “have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war.”

The group called on Israel to “end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property.”

Ceasefire?

Intense ceasefire negotiations are ongoing in Cairo, and earlier today there were premature reports that a ceasefire had been reached.

However the clearest sign that there was no agreement could be seen in the tweets of journalists and residents of Gaza who testified that the Israeli campaign of terror continues.

In a worrying development late Thursday in Gaza, The Electronic Intifada contributor Joe Catron reported that a heavy attack had begun on or near al-Wafa hospital, which had previously been threatened by Israel.

Catron had previously been at the hospital himself, along with other international activists, from where he spoke to The Electronic Intifada on Tuesday.

DOWNSIZING OF PALESTINE IS THE MAIN GOAL OF THE BLITZKRIEG IN GAZA

The Zionist strategy of branding its brutal policies as an ad hoc response to this or that Palestinian action is as old as the Zionist presence in Palestine itself. It was used repeatedly as a justification for implementing the Zionist vision of a future Palestine that has in it very few, if any, native Palestinians.

*

Israel’s incremental genocide in the Gaza ghetto

Ilan Pappe Writing FOR
*
A mother hugs her adolescent son in a bombed-out living room

In Gaza, the implementation of the Zionist vision takes its most inhuman form.  (Ezz Zanoun / APA images)

*

In a September 2006 article for The Electronic Intifada, I defined the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an incremental genocide.

Israel’s present assault on Gaza alas indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action — then and now — within a wider historical context.

This context should be insisted upon, since the Israeli propaganda machine attempts again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine.

The context

The Zionist strategy of branding its brutal policies as an ad hoc response to this or that Palestinian action is as old as the Zionist presence in Palestine itself. It was used repeatedly as a justification for implementing the Zionist vision of a future Palestine that has in it very few, if any, native Palestinians.

The means for achieving this goal changed with the years, but the formula has remained the same: whatever the Zionist vision of a Jewish State might be, it can only materialize without any significant number of Palestinians in it. And nowadays the vision is of an Israel stretching over almost the whole of historic Palestine where millions of Palestinians still live.

The present genocidal wave has, like all the previous ones, also a more immediate background. It has been born out of an attempt to foil the Palestinian decision to form aunity government that even the United States could not object to.

The collapse of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s desperate “peace” initiative legitimized the Palestinian appeal to international organizations to stop the occupation. At the same time, Palestinians gained wide international blessing for the cautious attempt represented by the unity government to strategize once again a coordinated policy among the various Palestinian groups and agendas.

Ever since June 1967, Israel searched for a way to keep the territories it occupied that year without incorporating their indigenous Palestinian population into its rights-bearing citizenry. All the while it participated in a “peace process” charade to cover up or buy time for its unilateral colonization policies on the ground.

With the decades, Israel differentiated between areas it wished to control directly and those it would manage indirectly, with the aim in the long run of downsizing the Palestinian population to a minimum with, among other means, ethnic cleansing and economic and geographic strangulation.

The geopolitical location of the West Bank creates the impression in Israel, at least, that it is possible to achieve this without anticipating a third uprising or too much international condemnation.

The Gaza Strip, due to its unique geopolitical location, did not lend itself that easily to such a strategy. Ever since 1994, and even more so when Ariel Sharon came to power as prime minister in the early 2000s, the strategy there was to ghettoize Gaza and somehow hope that the people there — 1.8 million as of today — would be dropped into eternal oblivion.

But the Ghetto proved to be rebellious and unwilling to live under conditions of strangulation, isolation, starvation and economic collapse. So resending it to oblivion necessitates the continuation of genocidal policies.

The pretext

On 15 May, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian youths in the West Bank town of Beitunia, their cold-blooded slayings by a sniper’s bullet captured on video. Their names — Nadim Nuwara and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir — were added to a long list of such killings in recent months and years.

The killing of three Israeli teenagers, two of them minors, abducted in the occupied West Bank in June, was perhaps in reprisal for killings of Palestinian children. But for all the depredations of the oppressive occupation, it provided the pretext first and foremost for destroying the delicate unity in the West Bank but also for the implementation of the old dream of wiping out Hamas from Gaza so that the Ghetto could be quiet again.

Since 1994, even before the rise of Hamas to power in the Gaza Strip, the very particular geopolitical location of the Strip made it clear that any collective punitive action, such as the one inflicted now, could only be an operation of massive killings and destruction. In other words, of a continued genocide.

This recognition never inhibited the generals who give the orders to bomb the people from the air, the sea and the ground. Downsizing the number of Palestinians all over historic Palestine is still the Zionist vision. In Gaza, its implementation takes its most inhuman form.

The particular timing of this wave is determined, as in the past, by additional considerations. The domestic social unrest of 2011 is still simmering and for a while there was a public demand to cut military expenditures and move money from the inflated “defense” budget to social services. The army branded this possibility as suicidal.

There is nothing like a military operation to stifle any voices calling on the government to cut its military expenses.

Typical hallmarks of the previous stages in this incremental genocide reappear in this wave as well. One can witness again consensual Israeli Jewish support for the massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip, without one significant voice of dissent. In Tel Aviv, the few who dared to demonstrate against it were beaten by Jewish hooligans, while the police stood by and watched.

Academia, as always, becomes part of the machinery. The prestigious private university, the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya has established “a civilian headquarters” where students volunteer to serve as mouthpieces in the propaganda campaign abroad.

The media is loyally recruited, showing no pictures of the human catastrophe Israel has wreaked and informing its public that this time, “the world understands us and is behind us.”

That statement is valid to a point as the political elites in the West continue to provide the old immunity to the “Jewish state.” However, the media have not provided Israel with quite the level of legitimacy it was seeking for its criminal policies.

Obvious exceptions included French media, especially France 24 and the BBC, that continue to shamefully parrot Israeli propaganda.

This is not surprising, since pro-Israel lobby groups continue to work tirelessly to press Israel’s case in France and the rest of Europe as they do in the United States.

The way forward

Whether it is burning alive a Palestinian youth from Jerusalem, or the fatal shooting of two others, just for the fun of it in Beitunia, or slaying whole families in Gaza, these are all acts that can only be perpetrated if the victim is dehumanized.

I will concede that all over the Middle East there are now horrific cases where dehumanization has reaped unimaginable horrors as it does in Gaza today. But there is one crucial difference between these cases and the Israeli brutality: the former are condemned as barbarous and inhuman worldwide, while those committed by Israel are still publicly licensed and approved by the president of the United States, the leaders of the EU and Israel’s other friends in the world.

The only chance for a successful struggle against Zionism in Palestine is the one based on a human and civil rights agenda that does not differentiate between one violation and the other and yet identifies clearly the victim and the victimizers.

Those who commit atrocities in the Arab world against oppressed minorities and helpless communities, as well as the Israelis who commit these crimes against the Palestinian people, should all be judged by the same moral and ethical standards. They are all war criminals, though in the case of Palestine they have been at work longer than anyone else.

It does not really matter what the religious identity is of the people who commit the atrocities or in the name of which religion they purport to speak. Whether they call themselves jihadists, Judaists or Zionists, they should be treated in the same way.

A world that would stop employing double standards in its dealings with Israel is a world that could be far more effective in its response to war crimes elsewhere in the world.

Cessation of the incremental genocide in Gaza and the restitution of the basic human and civil rights of Palestinians wherever they are, including the right of return, is the only way to open a new vista for a productive international intervention in the Middle East as a whole.

THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH

In the Jewish state, there is no remnant of the biblical injunction to treat the minority or the stranger with justice. There are no more Jews left who marched with Martin Luther King or who sat in jail with Nelson Mandela. The Jewish state, which Israel insists the Palestinians recognize, must first recognize itself. At the end of the day, at the end of a terrible week, it seems that a Jewish state means a racist, nationalistic state, meant for Jews only.

*

Our wretched Jewish state

Now we know: In the Jewish state, there is pity and humane feelings only for Jews, rights only for the Chosen People. The Jewish state is only for Jews.

By Gideon Levy FOR
*
A price tag attack in Beit Hanina, northeast Jerusalem. June 24, 2013.

A price tag attack in Beit Hanina, northeast Jerusalem. June 24, 2013. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
*
The youths of the Jewish state are attacking Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, just like gentile youths used to attack Jews in the streets of Europe. The Israelis of the Jewish state are rampaging on social networks, displaying hatred and a lust for revenge, unprecedented in its diabolic scope. Some unknown people from the Jewish state, purely based on his ethnicity. These are the children of the nationalistic and racist generation – Netanyahu’s offspring.

For five years now, they have been hearing nothing but incitement, scaremongering and supremacy over Arabs from this generation’s true instructor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Not one humane word, no commiseration or equal treatment.

They grew up with the provocative demand for recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state,” and they drew the inevitable conclusions. Even before any delineation of what a “Jewish state” means – will it be a state that dons tefillin (phylacteries), kisses mezuzot (doorpost fixtures with prayer scrolls), sanctifies charms, closes down on the Sabbath and keeps strict kashrut laws? – the penny has dropped for the masses.

The mob was the first to internalize its true significance: a Jewish state is one in which there is room only for Jews. The fate of Africans is to be sent to the Holot detention center in the Negev, while that of Palestinians is to suffer from pogroms. That’s how it works in a Jewish state: only this way can it be Jewish.

In the Jewish state-in-the-making, there is no room even for an Arab who strives his utmost to be a good Arab, such as the writer Sayed Kashua. In a Jewish state, the chairman of the Knesset plenary session, MK Ruth Calderon (from Yesh Atid – the “center” of the political map, needless to say), cuts off Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al), who has just returned all shaken up from a visit to the family of the murdered Arab boy from Shoafat, impudently preaching to him that he must also refer to the three murdered Jewish teens (even after he did just that).

In a Jewish state, the High Court of Justice approves the demolition of a murder suspect’s family home even before his conviction. A Jewish state legislates racist and nationalist laws.

The media in the Jewish state wallows in the murder of three yeshiva students, while almost entirely ignoring the fates of several Palestinian youths of the same age who have been killed by army fire over the last few months, usually for no reason.

No one was punished for these acts – in the Jewish state there is one law for Jews and another for Arabs, whose lives are cheap. There is no hint of abiding by international laws and conventions. In the Jewish state, there is pity and humane feelings only for Jews, rights only for the Chosen People. The Jewish state is only for Jews.

The new generation growing in its shadow is a dangerous one, both to itself and its surroundings. Netanyahu is its education minister; the militaristic and nationalist media serves as its pedagogic epic poem; the education system that takes it to Auschwitz and Hebron serves as its guide.

The new sabra (native-born Israeli) is a novel species, prickly both on the outside and the inside. He has never met his Palestinian counterpart, but knows everything about him – the sabra knows he is a wild animal, intent only on killing him; that he is a monster, a terrorist.

He knows that Israel has no partner for peace, since this is what he’s heard countless times from Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. From Yair Lapid he’s heard that they are “Zoabis” – referring dismissively to MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad).

Being left wing or a seeker of justice in the Jewish state is deemed a crime, civil society is considered treacherous, true democracy an evil. In a Jewish state – dreamed of not only by the right wing but also by the supposed center-left, including Tzipi Livni and Lapid – democracy is blurred.

It’s not the skinheads that are the Jewish state’s main problem, it’s the sanctimonious eye-rollers, the thugs, the extreme right wing and the settlers. It’s not the margins but the mainstream, which is partly very nationalistic and partly indifferent.

In the Jewish state, there is no remnant of the biblical injunction to treat the minority or the stranger with justice. There are no more Jews left who marched with Martin Luther King or who sat in jail with Nelson Mandela. The Jewish state, which Israel insists the Palestinians recognize, must first recognize itself. At the end of the day, at the end of a terrible week, it seems that a Jewish state means a racist, nationalistic state, meant for Jews only.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sam Bahour Writes on Open Democracy

*

Israel’s self constructed image is crumbling

July 3, 2014. Palestinians inspect damages following overnight Israeli air strike, in Gaza City. Nine Palestinians were wounded. Demotix/Yazan Majdi. All rights reserved.

 

The reignited cycle of violence in Palestine and Israel provides the Israeli government with exactly what it has been begging for months for, violence. However, for once, Israel may be facing a new fact of life—as the sole military power in the conflict, it has the full ability to start a widespread campaign of violence, but it may no longer be the party who single-handedly decides how it ends. This particular round of violence has the potential to surprisingly end with political progress towards peace.

If this new, heartbreaking round of violence is what finally brings an end to the 46 years of Israeli military occupation, then the 11 Israelis and Palestinians who so brutally lost their lives this past two weeks would not have died in vain.

I refer not of the usual violence that the world has become numb to, such as 46 years of military occupation of Palestinians and their lands, nor the cries of desperation from Gaza that are stupidly expressed by misguided militants launching unguided, homemade-like projectiles indiscriminately into Israeli cities, but rather an escalation in violence that allows Israel to open the only playbook it knows in managing the conflict, one based on more violence.

This sad round of yet more Palestinian-Israeli violence is creating a nightmare scenario for the Israeli government. The extremist parts of the Jewish Israeli community and Jewish diaspora, particularly American Jews, are being seen in the open and across social media venues calling for Israel to ‘Kill all the Arabs’ and ‘Bomb Gaza into a parking lot’. Worse yet, Jewish Israelis are suspected of perpetrating a horrendous hate crime in Jerusalem, the murder, mutilation, and burning of a 16 year old Palestinian Jerusalemite who was walking home from morning prayers. The world is getting a peek into the Israel that Palestinians have been complaining about forever.

Shockingly, to the west, some of the violent outbursts coming out of Israel are being made by senior Israeli officials, including current ministers. Assuming the situation on the ground settles down, the damage done to Israel’s manufactured image of being a society aligned with western values has already been permanently disfigured, even given that the majority of Israelis, like the majority of Palestinians, deplore all the recent senseless killings. The current moment is possibly creating an opening for political progress if the international community acts expeditiously.

Maybe for the first time since Jewish terrorists in 1946 planted explosives in the King David Hotel, killing 91 and wounding 46 persons, and a Jewish religious student in 1995 assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in a public square in Tel Aviv, extremist elements within the Jewish Israeli society are being seen in the light that the Palestinians have been pointing out for decades. These Israelis are not only threatening Palestinians, but are now a threat to Israel’s future, no less a threat than violent Palestinian voices are to Palestine being able to realize its freedom and independence.

As the US’s latest efforts, spearheaded by Secretary of State John Kerry, slammed into a cement wall (figuratively and literally), President Obama put the entire Palestinian-Israeli issue on ‘pause’ until a path forward could be charted out. At least this is what the public has been led to believe. Reality on the ground does not corroborate the words emanating from the White House any more than the justification Israel is touting regarding the wanton actions they are engaged in with their campaign of collectively punishing an entire society based on an unsubstantiated assumption that two individual Palestinians may have murdered three of their citizens.

Israeli violence in Palestine is the norm. This has been true for over six decades. Until the key international actor in this conflict, the US, upholds its obligations under international law, no one should expect anything but more blood and tears. The US is no longer believable when it pretends that it is shocked by the deteriorating events on the ground. You can’t support the acquisition of land by force, fund and arm a state’s military occupation, cover-up diplomatically and politically for the state for over six decades, ignore dozens of UN resolutions condemning the actions of that state, and then turn around and be surprised that events are spiralling out of control.

Israeli citizens, Jewish and otherwise, as well as Christian and Muslim Palestinians in Palestine deserve a better global governance leader.

IN MEMORIAM; JULY 4th, 1776

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

ISRAEL IS AT WAR …

stop-israeli-terrorism

*

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

As such, they have certain rights

Rights (From)

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

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

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

*

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

*

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

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

*

btn_eye_eye_2751

 

RENEWED ISRAELI AGGRESSION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RECENT KIDNAPPINGS

What is happening in Palestine is not about three missing youth but rather power, control, propaganda, and colonization. By only choosing to look at the three missing youth, we become blinded to the larger picture and context of what is happening in Palestine. So let us examine the events leading up to last week.
*
 

This is not about 3 settlers

*
An elderly Palestinian man sits near Israeli soldiers taking part
in a search operation for three Israeli teenagers, on June 18,
2014 in the West Bank village of Tapuah. (AFP/Hazem Bader)
By Rachelle Friesen*

*

More than 300 Palestinians have been arrested and detained by the Israeli military since last Thursday — including over 50 that were released in the Gilad Shalit deal — in clear violation of the agreement.

Over 750 homes in the Hebron area alone have been “searched” and invaded. On Thursday night, Birzeit University was targeted and searched.

The streets of the West Bank are crawling with 18-20-year-old Israelis armed with machine guns, and all rights have been suspended as the soldiers enter, search, arrest, and beat as they like.

In addition, a few days ago a 21-year-old was killed by the military, while on Friday two youths were shot dead in home raids. On Sunday, two more Palestinians were shot dead. Meanwhile, Gaza, which has been under siege since 2007, is experiencing daily airstrikes.

Israel claims that this is all a response to three Israeli youth going missing last week, in an apparent kidnapping. Even if you choose to believe that this is the reason for the above, it is an extreme response which is collectively punishing all of the Palestinian people.

In addition, one might question why in the media the youth who were “illegal” Israeli settlers are called “kidnapped” in their disappearance, while Palestinians who are taken are referred to as “arrested” — but that is a discussion for another time.

What is happening in Palestine is not about three missing youth but rather power, control, propaganda, and colonization. By only choosing to look at the three missing youth, we become blinded to the larger picture and context of what is happening in Palestine. So let us examine the events leading up to last week.

This past year peace negotiations fell through as Israel walked away from the table when Hamas and Fatah signed a unity agreement. Although Israel claims that the issue was that they cannot “negotiate” with a terrorist organization, their continual construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank reveals their commitment to peace and international law. Settlement expansion actually reached new records in 2013 and by March 2014 the rate of expansion was already surpassing 2013.

After Hamas and Fatah signed the unity agreement and formed a new government, Mahmoud Abbas reiterated that the PA was still committed to nonviolence and would still recognize the state of Israel.

By backing the deal, Hamas was no longer a “militant” group outside the PA seeking the destruction of Israel. The siege on Gaza was previously “justified” by Israel because of Hamas’ rule in Gaza, yet with this new government committed to nonviolence and control over all Palestinian territory, the siege could no longer be justified to the broader international community.

Suddenly, the reason behind the siege is revealed. It is not about stopping terrorism or hurting Hamas, rather it is about power and control. With the unity agreement, Israel looks like a war criminal.

Before last week, over 125 Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. They are protesting being held without charge or trial. The strike has continued for nearly 60 days and has been gaining momentum and attention in international media. To be held without trial or charge is in clear contradiction to international law.

The prisoners through their mass nonviolent action and sacrifice are drawing attention to the daily realities of Palestinian life. With the current incursions in the West Bank, however, few international media outlets are talking about the hunger strike. Negative attention has been diverted.

On May 15, two Palestinian youth were shot and killed with live ammunition. Local security cameras caught the images of the youth shot in the back, posing no life threatening risk to any Israeli media personnel. Meanwhile, CNN caught the soldier fire the shots at the youth. Human Rights Watch is saying the killings could amount to war crimes.

Israel’s public image has taken a beating the past few months as the international community is starting to become aware of the apartheid system and colonization of Palestine. These recent kidnappings have been an opportunity to shift its image again, from aggressor back to victim. Yet while the Israel cries out victim while sending hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers to invade homes, one can only speculate what the response is actually about.

Firstly, this action could be an attempt to force a divide within the ranks of the newly-formed government. Through the raids in the West Bank, Israel has repeatedly targeted homes and building of Hamas and accused Hamas of being behind the abductions, even though there is no proof as to who is actually behind the disappearances. With Hamas members being targeted, it could weaken the newly-formed government, thus causing a divide that could once again delegitimize the PA at the international level and “justify” the siege on Gaza.

Secondly, this could be an attempt or preparation to completely re-occupy the West Bank. Israel could be using this as an opportunity to re-navigate Area A and re-assert its control. Such a mass military response and invasion, begins to look like a fact-finding mission where soldiers begin to navigate the lay of the land and assess what the local response to an invasion currently looks like.

Thirdly, it sends a strong message that despite prevailing notions of international law and signed past agreement, Israel is in control and will continue to exert its control and dominance throughout all of Palestine. It is a reminder that from the Galilee to Eilat, Palestine is under Israeli control and Israel experiences full impunity from the international community.

The future of Palestine is uncertain. However, what is clear is that this is not about three settlers going missing. Rather this is the continuation of the prevailing reality on the ground, a reality of colonization that is enforced by a brutal military offered full impunity by the international community.

This past week has made public both the power and brutality of Israel, and also how the international community is completely silent to what is happening. This is not about three settlers going missing, but rather about the continued racism and colonization of Palestine with the support of the international community.

Despite the vocal or silent support of Israel, it is up to us the masses to express our condemnation and hold Israel accountable. It is up to the people to speak to truth about what is happening and reveal the larger picture of oppression.

The victory of the divestment campaign in the Presbyterian Church (USA) on Friday shows us that this possible.

It is up to us, however, to push forward the boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel on all levels in every country, and show the Israeli public that we refuse to tolerate the crimes being perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

*Rachelle Friesen is a Palestine solidarity activist based in Canada

ALL OF PALESTINE HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED

All of Palestinian society is a kidnapped society. Like many of the Israelis who performed “significant service” in the army, many of the readers of this column, or their children, entered the home of a Palestinian family in the middle of the night by surprise, with violence, and simply took away the father, brother or uncle, with determination and insensitivity. That is kidnapping, and it happens every day. And what about their administrative detainees?

*

4124272954

Separation barrier in Jerusalem with Dome of the Rock in background Photo by Alex Levac

*

The Palestinians: A kidnapped society

We are incapable of understanding the suffering of a society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us.

By Avraham Burg (FOR)
*

Our hearts are in pain over those three teenage boys whose identities we did not even know a moment ago, but who now belong to all of us. Each of them looks like my own son, the son of every one of my friends and their friends.

Like many people, I hope with all my heart that the moment will come when we see them alive among us, and that all this tension dissipates into blissful relief. I hope, with real trembling, but I cannot and do not want to ignore the silenced truth that surrounds their kidnapping.

Those three boys are truly unfortunate. They are unfortunate because of the trap of fear in which they have been captured, the uncertainty and the fact that their lives are in great danger. Our hearts are in pain, and go out to them and their families because of how, in a single moment, they had to step into the glare of publicity. And these teenagers are unfortunate because of the lie in which they have lived their lives — lives of supposed normalcy that were built upon the foundations of that greatest of Israeli injustices: the occupation.

Now let us turn from their wretchedness to our own. For us, a dramatic or traumatic event is always a very clear, refined and transparent moment. All the plans and failures, the fears and hopes, burst out.

Here are Israel’s shallow prime minister and the bumbling police, the masses who cling to futile prayers and not to a moment of human peace. Here are the country’s hypocritical chief rabbis, who just a month ago demanded promises from the pope regarding the future of the Jewish people, but in their daily lives remain silent about the fate of the people who are our neighbors, trampled beneath the pressure of occupation and racism under the leadership of rabbis who receive exorbitant salaries and benefits.

Suddenly everything erupts, is expressed in its very essence, emerging from the darkness into the sunlight. This is precisely the moment to examine intentions — because, as said, everything is out in the open.

First, Netanyahu’s hollowness. Not much needs to be said about it. After all, he is the one who guided all the Israeli-Palestinians talks into the tight corner of the prisoner release issue. He is also the one who, with his own words, violated Israel’s commitment to release the last group of Palestinian prisoners. He is also the one who maneuvered the Palestinian Authority into the corner of unifying with Hamas.

So what exactly is he complaining about, with his dramatic and schmaltzy comments and gestures? His immediate, conditioned, unconsidered response shows that he was just waiting for this moment, if only to say “I told you so.” And now that he has, the real question surfaces: What exactly is he telling us? The painful answer: Nothing at all.

Israel’s left wing, too, which is supposedly dignified, has become the gaping mouth of the carp stuffed with some sort of gray substance, lying on the Passover seder plate of the gluttonous right wing. The latter, too, are embroiled in a disgraceful fight over a piece of the pie of legitimacy that belongs to the sticky consensus.

How can it be that not one of them has gotten up and said: Everyone who is on the other side of this black line bears the responsibility. It is not pleasant, but it is the truth. And it is never pleasant, after all.

Before there is a kidnapping — why talk? Nobody is listening anyway because things are quiet. And the moment they kidnap, we must not talk (as the executive director of Peace Now said), since our kidnapped ones are gone. And once it all ends (in what could be, God forbid, a personal tragedy or a collective tragedy that nobody cares about), why should we talk? Everybody is busy once again with Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, the FIFA World Cup or the next scandal.

So this is also a pure moment of insulation. Not the insulation of homes which we are used to, but the insulation of hearts. Few people on the right and the left – except for Gideon LevyUri Misgav and a few other cautious and frightened commentators – are trying to grasp the deep roots of the kidnapping.

We absolve ourselves by saying, “They handed out sweets” after hearing about the kidnapping. Their happiness makes us glad, since the happier they are over our suffering, the more exempt we are from taking an interest in them and their suffering. But there is no way around it: This is a sort of happiness that demands deeper study and understanding.

All of Palestinian society is a kidnapped society. Like many of the Israelis who performed “significant service” in the army, many of the readers of this column, or their children, entered the home of a Palestinian family in the middle of the night by surprise, with violence, and simply took away the father, brother or uncle, with determination and insensitivity. That is kidnapping, and it happens every day. And what about their administrative detainees?

What is all this if not one big official, evil and unjust kidnapping that we all participate in and never pay the price for? That is the fate of tens of thousands of detainees and others under arrest, who stayed, or are staying, in Israel’s prisons – quite a few of them for no good reason, falsely imprisoned on false pretexts. The vast majority of them have been exposed to the appendages of military justice, and none of us cares a whit.

All these things have turned the topic of the prisoners into the main subject in the lives of the occupied society. There is not a single household without a detainee or prisoner. So why is it so difficult to understand their joy and our pain, fears and worry notwithstanding? It was, and can still be, otherwise.

However, as long as the Israeli government shuts all the gates of freedom, flees from all real negotiations that could solve the conflict, refuses to make good-will gestures, lies and blatantly violates its own commitments – violence is all that remains for them.

It has already been proven any number of times that kidnapping sets one free. It seems once again that Israel understands nothing but violence. What does that say about us? This response of ours — which ranges between “They deserve it” and “They are all terrorists,” to “I am following orders” and “I did not know what was going on” — says more about us than it does about them.

Despite the enormous and inspiring success of Breaking the Silence (an NGO that collects testimony from soldiers who’ve served in the West Bank), our own total silence is still the loudest thing around us. We are willing to go out of our minds over one odd and troublesome Pollard, a lone kidnap victim or three kidnap victims, but we are incapable of understanding the suffering of a whole society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us.

This, too, needs to be said and heard during this moment of clarity — and as loudly as possible.

 

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

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.

 

DEMOLISHED DREAMS ~~ THREE HOUSES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL (VIDEO)

Short documentary about life in Jerusalem on the other side of the wall

 

 

*

The short documentary ‘3 Houses’ was filmed in Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada, Jerusalem neighborhoods that were cut off from the rest of the city when the Separation Barrier was built in 2002. Since then, these neighborhoods and the tens of thousands of people who live there have been utterly neglected by the Jerusalem municipality. In 2013, the desperate situation in this no-man’s-land was even further exacerbated when the municipality announced its intent to demolish the homes of thousands of residents.

CREDITS:
Directed and Edited by Omri Shenhar
Producers Ronit Sela and Marc Grey
Cinematographers Hanna Abu Saada and Issa Qumsiya
Sound recording by Shiraz Rashmawi
Sound design by Yuval Shenhar
Music by Yehezkel Raz
Additional instrumentation Gilad Weiss
Online editor Ron Lindenbaum
Finished at Edit Post Production Studios, Tel Aviv
Produced by The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Produced with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv

For further information about ACRI and its work in East Jerusalem, visit us online at
acri.org.il/en/category/east-jerusalem/

Donate to help ACRI support Human Rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories: tinyurl.com/lnjuf6g

POWER AND PUNISHMENT REPLACES HEBREW AS ISRAEL’S OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

willtopower

*

At the same time, the entire approach to Israel must be changed. As long as it does not pay the price of the occupation and its citizens go unpunished, they will have no reason to end it, or even to deal with it. The occupation is deep inside the Israeli closet. There is no one to out it, the overwhelming majority want it to remain inside. For this reason, only punitive measures will remind us of its existence. Yes, I mean boycotts and sanctions, which are greatly preferable to bloodshed.

This is the truth, even if it’s bitter. America and Europe have kowtowed to Israel enough. Unfortunately, to no effect. From now on, the world must speak a different language and perhaps it will be understood. After all, Israel has proved, more than once, that the language of power and punishment is its main language.

*

International kowtowing to Israel must end now

The Americans and Europeans have tried being the voice of reason and failed. Now they must speak to Israel in the language it understands best (hint: it’s not Hebrew.)

By Gideon Levy (FOR)
*
Israeli settlers of Yitzhar in confrontation with Palestinians

Israeli settlers of Yitzhar take position during a confrontation with Palestinians over an area in Burin village in the West Bank, January 14, 2014. Photo by AP
*

If there is a world, let it appear immediately. For now, there’s the sense of an ending of the international intervention in Israel. The Americans folded, the Europeans gave up, the Israelis rejoice and the Palestinians are lost. “Sleep now high road / ending comes, Sleep thou king / here comes the clown” (“Shir Eres” [Lullaby], by Natan Alterman, translated by Avigail Caspi-Lebovic).

Occasionally some pope or foreign minister makes a visit (Norway’s FM was here last week), pays loose lip service in favor of peace and against terror and the settlements, and then disappears again. On the high road ending comes, and the king has been replaced by the clown. But even this waning is a statement, and idleness is action: They leave the conflict to the sighs of the Palestinians and the occupation in the hands of Israel, which is sure to perpetuate it and to ground it even more firmly. For that reason, the world’s withdrawal is unacceptable: The international community does not have the option to leave the status quo as is, even if that is Israel’s most fervent wish.

The current situation is not acceptable in the 21st century. It is easy to empathize with the United States for giving up, with Europe for tiring. How much longer can the same road be trodden? How many times can the same futile proposals be read out to deaf ears.

After a brief recovery from the American failure, the time has come for a new way, one that has never been tried before. Both the message and the medium must change, to a message of civil rights and the medium of punishment. The previous route included sycophancy toward Israel, one carrot after another in order to please it. It was a resounding failure. It only gave Israel an incentive to further entrench its policy of disinheritance.

The message also failed spectacularly: The two-state solution has given up the ghost. The world tried to bring it to life using charm. The proposals came thick and fast, amazing in their resemblance to each other – from the Rogers Plan to the shuttle diplomacy of John Kerry – and each one only collected dust in some drawer. Israel always said no, only its excuses and conditions changing: an end to terror here, recognition of its being a Jewish state there.

In the meantime, the number of settlements in the West Bank grew threefold and fourfold, and the brutality of the occupation increased to the point where soldiers now shoot demonstrators out of nothing but boredom.

The world cannot lend its hand to this. It is unacceptable, in the 21st century, for a state that purports to be a permanent member of the free world to keep another nation deprived of rights. It is unthinkable, simply unthinkable, for millions of Palestinians to continue to live in these conditions. It is unthinkable for a democratic state to continue to oppress them in this way. It is unthinkable that the world stands by and allows it to happen.

The two-state discussion must now become a discussion of rights: Dear Israelis, you wanted an occupation and the settlements – knock yourselves out! Remain in Yitzhar, dig yourselves into the mountainside and build to your hearts’ desire in Itamar. But you absolutely must grant full rights to the Palestinians living alongside, exactly the same rights that you enjoy.

Equal rights for all; one person, one vote – that should be the message of the international community. After all, what could Israel say to this new message? That there cannot be equal rights because the Jews are the chosen people? That it would endanger security? The excuses would quickly run out, and the naked truth would come to light: that in this land, only Jews have rights. Such a message cannot go unchallenged.

At the same time, the entire approach to Israel must be changed. As long as it does not pay the price of the occupation and its citizens go unpunished, they will have no reason to end it, or even to deal with it. The occupation is deep inside the Israeli closet. There is no one to out it, the overwhelming majority want it to remain inside. For this reason, only punitive measures will remind us of its existence. Yes, I mean boycotts and sanctions, which are greatly preferable to bloodshed.

This is the truth, even if it’s bitter. America and Europe have kowtowed to Israel enough. Unfortunately, to no effect. From now on, the world must speak a different language and perhaps it will be understood. After all, Israel has proved, more than once, that the language of power and punishment is its main language.

PHOTOS OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN ‘GREETING’ THE POPE

natale palestina

*

What would Jesus say about apartheid?

*
pc1

*

pc2

*

pc3

*

pc4

*

pc5

*

Source and more photos AT

EXILED MEXICAN ACTIVISTS STAND IN SUPPORT WITH VICTIMS OF TERROR

ON MAY 20TH  THE ZAPATISTA MOVEMENT IN NYC HELD A DEMONSTRATION IN UNION SQ TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY OF THE MEXICAN GOV’T.

*

Photos © by Bud Korotzer (Report follows)

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

Related Report FROM

*

Palestinian activists condemn lethal attack on “Zapatista brothers and sisters”

Subcomandante Marcos in La Realidad, Chiapas in 1999.  (Cesar Bojorquez / Flickr)

A group of Palestinian activists, writers and educators issued a statement last week condemning a lethal attack on a Zapatista community in Chiapas, southern Mexico.

The paramilitary attack on the village of La Realidad left one teacher dead, an autonomous school and clinic destroyed and fifteen Zapatista activists wounded, the statement says.

Sent to The Electronic Intifada, the statement draws an explicit parallel between Palestinian and Mexican indigenous struggles: “we understand that our brothers and sisters in Chiapas are struggling against a Nakba in a fight not just for themselves, but for all of humanity.”

The Nakba is the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948, which began when Zionist militias expelled some 750,000 Palestinians from their land.

Chiapas state is home to the Zapatistas (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional), a mostly indigenous Maya liberation movement that has enjoyed global grassroots support since it rose up against the Mexican government in 1994.

The movement became iconic within the global anti-capitalist movement of the late 1990s, with the masked image of spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos smoking his pipe becoming famous the world over.

As Jimmy Johnson and Linda Quiquivix reported for The Electronic Intifada last year, the Mexican state and Israel have worked together on security coordination at the level of police, prisons and technology. Mexico has also bought Israeli weaponry.

Israeli personnel were sent into Chiapas in response to the 1994 Zapatista uprising for the purpose of “providing training to Mexican military and police forces.”

Nakba

The statement characterizes the attack as “only the latest orchestration by the Mexican government at the service of neoliberalism, continuing the further theft of Mexico and the final expulsion of the country’s indigenous people from their land.”

It draws parallels to the European colonization of the Americas with the European Zionist colonization of Palestine, stating: “the world that began to be built on October 12, 1492 is the one that made possible May 15, 1948, and it has all been catastrophic for humanity.”

The Zapatistas are “a dignified threat to this new face of colonialism” and so “we call on all dignified Palestinian organizations, communities, collectives, and individuals in struggle to denounce these attacks against the Zapatistas as an attack on us all.”

The statement concludes by quoting words of solidarity that Subcomandante Marcos issued in 2009 during Israel’s brutal “Cast Lead” massacre in the Gaza Strip, which left over 1,400 Palestinians dead.

The full statement is published below in English for the first time, and has also been published in Spanish and in Arabic.

Full statement

“The Nakba in Chiapas: Words from afar in the black room of death”

Not far from here
in a place called Gaza
in Palestine, in the Middle East
right here next to us,
the Israeli government’s
heavily trained and armed military
continues its march
of death and destruction.

– Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos Chiapas, Mexico

May 15, 2014

To the family of Compañero Galeano
To all the wounded
To the Junta de Buen Gobierno in La Realidad
To the Juntas de Buen Gobierno
To the Sixth
To Palestinians in Palestine and the shatat

Over the past several days, we have been hearing the news coming out of Chiapas, Mexico, and our hearts are heavy. It reports on a recent paramilitary attack against our indigenous Zapatista brothers and sisters on May 2nd in the community of La Realidad. The attack left their autonomous school and clinic destroyed, fifteen Zapatista compañeros wounded, and Galeano, a teacher in the Zapatistas’ Little School, brutally murdered.

We understand that this was not a confrontation between two armed groups, but an attack by armed paramilitaries against unarmed Zapatista civilians. We also understand that the attack was only the latest orchestration by the Mexican government at the service of neoliberalism, continuing the further theft of Mexico and the final expulsion of the country’s indigenous people from their land once and for all. The Zapatistas are a dignified threat to this new face of colonialism, and those ruling from above know it.

The tactic has become one of the Mexican government’s favorite over the past twenty years: arm, fund, and organize paramilitary groups whose members come from other indigenous communities in Chiapas to then fabricate the lie that these are intra-community conflicts. The mainstream media then doesn’t have to work too hard in its manipulations. In this case, the paramilitary group the government sent in to attack our Zapatista brothers and sisters goes by the name of CIOAC-Histórica, and it was assisted by the Green Ecological Party (PVE) and the National Action Party (PAN) – two political bodies in Mexico currently helping manage the further plunder and destruction of the country.

So in listening to the news coming out of Chiapas, what we understand above all, is that while the names may change, the death and destruction remains the same.

“The underground rivers that crisscross the world can change their geography, but they sing the same song.”

Neoliberalism, colonialism, occupation…

We did not have the honor of knowing Compañero Galeano, but we think that maybe we did not need to. We are hearing that he lived for us, and that he fell while fighting for us. What else is left to know? Galeano was our brother, our father, our friend… Galeano was our teacher.

What Galeano taught is what Zapatista men, women, youth, and elderly teach every day: That the world that began to be built on October 12, 1492 is the one that made possible May 15, 1948, and it has all been catastrophic for humanity. This is a world that requires the annihilation of those of us who refuse to live by its designs, and the only way for us to win this fight, the Zapatistas teach us, is by creating the world anew and together. The world anew, as they say, “where many worlds fit.”

So today, on this May 15, on this 66th year of our catastrophe, of our “Nakba” as we call it in Arabic, we understand that our brothers and sisters in Chiapas are struggling against a Nakba in a fight not just for themselves, but for all of humanity. And so we stand with them in dignified rage, reflecting on how the crime against us in Palestine is one that many more around the world continue to experience 500 years on.

We gather our voices today in strong condemnation of the murder of Compañero Galeano, the attack on La Realidad, and all aggressions against our Zapatista brothers and sisters in Chiapas. And we call on all dignified Palestinian organizations, communities, collectives, and individuals in struggle to denounce these attacks against the Zapatistas as an attack on us all.  While we know that our words cannot bring back Galeano’s body, and that they may not heal the wounds of the injured, what we do know, what we can in fact say is true, is what Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos once took the time to say to us:

words from afar
might not stop a bomb
but it is as if a crack
were opened
in the black room of death
and a tiny ray of light
slips in

From Palestine and the shatat, from below and to the left:

Collectives

  • Palestinian alumni of the Little School’s first grade course, “Freedom according to the Zapatistas”
  • Palestinian Youth Movement – U.S. Branch

Individuals

  • Amal Eqeiq
  • Shadi Rohana
  • Ahmad Nimer
  • Salma AbuAyyash
  • Hazem AlNamla
  • Hazem Jamjoum
  • Ahmad Lahham
  • Faris Giacaman-Taraki
  • Yara Kayyali Abbas
  • Nada Elia
  • Remi Kanazi
  • Murad Odeh
  • Boikutt
  • Randa Wahbe
  • Wassim
  • Thayer Hastings
  • Isshaq AlBarbary
  • Mezna Qato
  • Natasha Aruri
  • Dena Qaddumi
  • Budour Hassan
  • Shireen Akram-Boshar
  • Linah Alsaafin
  • Vivien Sansour
  • Nura Alkhalili
  • Deema Alsaafin
  • Omar Jabary Salamanca
  • Annemarie Jacir
  • Will Youmans
  • Raya Ziada
  • Alaa Hijaz
  • Lucy Garbett
  • Hala Turjman

ISRAEL VERY QUICK TO WHITE WASH AND DENY ITS LATEST WAR CRIMES

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
whitewashing-war-crimes

*

In record time, the IDF via the Israeli media has denied the FACT that they intentionally murdered two Palestinian youths last week …. WHICH WAS CAPTURED ON VIDEO.

*

The video in question ...

*

*

Their claim is as follows …

Responding to the new video, the IDF Spokesperson Unit said, “On Thursday, an illegal and violent disturbance occurred in Beitunia. The said video is edited in a tendentious manner and does not reflect the level of violence that occurred at the disturbance.”

The military added that an initial check of the incident and interviews of security personnel who dealt with it found that “no live fire” was used. At the same time, the military prosecution has ordered Military Police to launch a limited investigation into the incident.

*

It seems  that “no live fire” can also kill …. as it has done in the past ….

*

1o year old Abir Aramin was killed by a rubber bullet almost 8 years ago … just one of many.

ph_2179_7912

*

Initial Report from The Jerusalem Post

*


IDF: Video showing soldiers killing unarmed Palestinians ‘edited in a tendentious manner’

Defense for Children Palestine releases alleged footage of incident in which 2 teens were killed by IDF soldiers in Nakba Day protest.

*

The IDF rejected Palestinian claims that video footage released by a rights group Tuesday shows “the deliberate execution” of two Palestinian teens by Israeli soldiers last week.

The video clip, which was obtained by Defense for Children Palestine, shows two youths being shot during what appeared to be a lull in clashes between rock-throwing demonstrators and soldiers near the Ofer Prison in Beitunia, not far from Ramallah.

Responding to the new video, the IDF Spokesperson Unit said, “On Thursday, an illegal and violent disturbance occurred in Beitunia. The said video is edited in a tendentious manner and does not reflect the level of violence that occurred at the disturbance.”

The military added that an initial check of the incident and interviews of security personnel who dealt with it found that “no live fire” was used. At the same time, the military prosecution has ordered Military Police to launch a limited investigation into the incident.

The Palestine Liberation Organization condemned what it called “the deliberate execution” of the Palestinians teens.

“The images captured on video show unlawful killings where neither child presented a direct and immediate threat to life at the time of their shooting,” said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. “These acts by Israeli soldiers may amount to war crimes, and the Israeli authorities must conduct serious, impartial, and thorough investigations to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”

Hanan Ashrawi, who serves as a member of the PLO Executive Committee, released a statement on Tuesday condemning “the deliberate execution of two Palestinian teenagers (Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh and Nadeem Siam Nawara) who were fatally shot with live ammunition outside Ofer Prison last week.  Both boys were unarmed and posed no direct or immediate threat.”

“Israel’s use of excessive and indiscriminate violence and live ammunition at non-violent Palestinian demonstrations constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law.”

“Last week’s killings are part of a deliberate policy of escalation and of violence targeting Palestinian children.  Israel’s actions, in addition, are in direct violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which Israel ratified in 1991.”

“We call on the United Nations, the European Union, and other members of the international community to take immediate action and adopt the necessary punitive measures and initiatives required to hold Israel accountable for the extrajudicial killing of Palestinian civilians, and for its use of live ammunition on Palestinian civilians, among other violations of international and humanitarian law,” concluded Dr. Ashrawi.

Last week, military sources said rubber bullets had been fired in the course of a riot involving 150 Palestinians who had gathered to mark “Nakba Day.” The rioters hurled Molotov cocktails, burning tires and rocks at soldiers and Border Police officers.

“The rioting was very serious,” an army source stated. “This was a very aggressive attack on security personnel,” the source added.

*

A Reuters Report via Ynet can be read HERE

*

Is THIS too much for a child to ask for?

ISRAELI MURDERS CAPTURED ON VIDEO

“The images captured on video show unlawful killings where neither child presented a direct and immediate threat to life at the time of their shooting,” said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. “These acts by Israeli soldiers may amount to war crimes, and the Israeli authorities must conduct serious, impartial, and thorough investigations to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”

*

*

Video shows unprovoked, cold-blooded killing of Palestinian boys by Israeli forces

This shocking video shows the unprovoked, cold-blooded killings of two Palestinian teenagers, 17-year-old Nadim Siam Nuwara, and 16-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu al-Thahir on 15 May near Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank city of Beitunia.

Both boys were fatally shot with live ammunition. The video was obtained by Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine) which sent the following description to The Electronic Intifada:

The CCTV footage was captured by cameras mounted on the building where the incident took place, which is owned by Fakher Zayed.

“The images captured on video show unlawful killings where neither child presented a direct and immediate threat to life at the time of their shooting,” said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. “These acts by Israeli soldiers may amount to war crimes, and the Israeli authorities must conduct serious, impartial, and thorough investigations to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”

Nadim Siam Nuwara, 17, sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Muhammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu al-Thahir, 16, sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the back.

The boys were participating in a demonstration near Ofer military prison to mark Nakba Day and express solidarity with hunger striking prisoners currently held in administrative detention by Israel. The demonstration reportedly began peacefully and then turned violent when Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian youth.

The deaths on Thursday raise the number of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in 2014 to four, according to data collected by DCI-Palestine. Over 1,400 Palestinian children have been killed as a result of Israeli military and settler presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2000.

The Israeli military’s own regulations dictate that live ammunition must be used “only under circumstances of real mortal danger,” but the regulations are not enforced and frequently ignored by Israeli soldiers, according to research by DCI-Palestine.

Read more on the killings on DCI-Palestine’s website.

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.

IN ISRAEL ~~ ANOTHER CASE OF ‘BECAUSE WE CAN’

*

Why did his commanders send a soldier with a record of violence to bully Palestinians in Hebron?

Why do soldiers bark obscenities at Palestinians?

*

Why do Israeli soldiers bully Palestinians?

The violent behavior of the soldier videotaped aiming his rifle at a Palestinian teen, setting off a storm in the media, especially the social media — was not exceptional.

By Amira Hass  Source
 *
From the Facebook page 'I stand with David Hanahlawi '
*
Soldiers holding up signs saying ‘We also stand with David Hanahlawi (Hebrew slang for a Nahal soldier).’Photo by From the Facebook page ‘I stand with David Hanahlawi ‘

*

The violent and bullying behavior of David Adamov — the soldier who was videotaped aiming his rifle at a Palestinian teen, setting off a storm in the media, especially the social media — was not exceptional. What was exceptional was that the Israeli public initially believed he was sent to military prison because of his violence toward Palestinians.

By what authority did Adamov and his fellow soldiers detain several Palestinians for two hours at a military checkpoint whose entire purpose is to ensure that members of the Chosen People can march proudly down Shuhada Street and that Palestinians are kept away? This incident predated that of the now-famous video. To this question, too, the IDF Spokesperson declined to respond. In any event, soldiers (and employees of civilian contractors) detain Palestinians freely at every checkpoint and roadblock.

The robbery of the Palestinians’ time by the Israeli authorities – at every level, both military and civilian – is an integral part of the Israeli domination regime.

Why do soldiers bark obscenities at Palestinians? I didn’t ask the IDF Spokesperson this question. Since I first began covering the occupation, nearly a quarter-century ago, I have learned that soldiers must do so in order to overcome the cognitive dissonance in which they operate. After all, 18 and 20-year-olds can think and feel, in short, be responsible for their actions – and here I part ways with the military experts, obviously. Clearly, 18- and 20-year-olds know the Palestinians are human beings just like us. The trash talk and humiliation builds up the dehumanization, until the soldiers are convinced that the Palestinian is different. Commanders don’t want to stop this, because only then can the soldiers fully carry out their mission: to prevent the Palestinian from walking down the street where he lives, to prevent him from living on the street where he and his parents were born, to destroy the livelihoods of many thousands of people.

Humiliation of the Palestinians by every level of the civilian and military apparatus is an inseparable part of building a nation of overlords.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit also chose not to respond to questions concerning the arrest of Saddam Abu Sneinah, the youth from the video who was holding prayer beads, and who Adamov said was holding brass knuckles and supposedly threatening him, the poor guy. Threatened? In a settler area, in front of a checkpoint manned by armed soldiers? Next to a military camp? Chief of Staff Benny Gantz – With soldiers who are so weak, insecure and delusional, you should be very worried.

Soldiers beat Abu Sneinah when they arrested him. The IDF Spokesperson did not deny or respond to this assertion. Because it’s the norm. Soldiers beat handcuffed Palestinian detainees. It’s part of the dehumanization, of the routine violence. It’s gone on for 47 years (the occupation), for 66 years (the State of Israel), and we’re not done yet. Nor did the IDF Spokesperson issue a response when asked whether the fact that such beatings are the norm meant the commanders support the beating of detainees. The soldiers kept Abu Sneinah handcuffed and blindfolded for an entire night, on a concrete floor with no mattress. The IDF Spokesperson did not deny or respond when asked if this was torture. The IDF Spokesperson did not identify either the commander who ordered Abu Sneinah’s arrest or the commander who was responsible for the atrocious conditions in which he was kept. The IDF Spokesperson also did not respond when asked why, when Abu Sneinah was released, after 24 hours, he was rearrested by different soldiers at the checkpoint near Shuhada Street. He was held for another hour, and the heroic soldiers beat him some more.

There was no point asking the IDF Spokesperson why the soldiers don’t speak Arabic. The center operated by Youth Against Settlements — that’s the organization that published the videos of the encounter between Adamov and Abu Sneinah — has a Hebrew class for Palestinian children from Hebron’s Old City. So they can understand what the soldiers are saying, so they’ll remember that despite their job, the soldiers are human beings, with hearts and minds. “How are you?” one of the “youths” asked a soldier in Hebrew a few days after the Adamov incident. “Praise God,” answered the soldier, leading some settler children to shout at him: “Why are you talking to an Arab?”

“You son of a bitch, as soon as I get a chance, I’ll shoot you,” a soldier named Effi told Issa Amro, one of the founders of Youth Against Settlements. “Keep your ugly mouth shut,” another soldier told Amro. On the orders of a Russian-accented civilian — a woman — the soldiers raided the organization’s center, ostensibly in search of rock-throwers.

One can understand the soldiers and the way they talk to the Palestinians: The curses, the derogatory language, help the armed Israelis to pretend to be superior and righteous. It’s hard for them to confront the courage, nobility, determination and restraint with which the older Palestinian activists receive them. It’s hard for them, and others like them, when they are confronted with the courage, nobility, determination and restraint with which the vast majority of Palestinians continues to bear our violent and brutal presence, in the confident knowledge that it will end.

A RIGHTEOUS ISRAELI SPEAKS OF A NEW NATIONAL HERO

From the pen of Uri Avnery

uriavnery

*

A National Hero


If it is true that every nation gets the national heroes it deserves, it was a rather worrying spectacle.

THE VIDEO clip that turned David Adamov from an anonymous soldier into a national figure was taken with a Palestinian camera in Hebron.

Such video cameras have become the bane of the Israeli army. They have been widely distributed to young Palestinians throughout the occupied territories by Israeli peace organizations, especially B’Tselem.

The clip starts with the scene in Hebron. In the middle of Shuhada street stands a solitary soldier with a green beret and a rifle. He looks like any soldier, with the short beard now in vogue among Israeli youngsters.

Some kind of discussion develops between the soldier and elderly Palestinians in the street. But the camera turns to a Palestinian teenager, unarmed, who approaches the soldier, pushing his face very close to him and touching his shoulder with his hand.

The soldier reacts angrily, swinging his rifle. At this moment, another teenager enters the frame and passes the soldier from behind.

The soldier, obviously feeling threatened, swings around and cocks his rifle, ready to shoot. Threatening both teenagers, he tries to kick one, all the time uttering a stream of foul language. Then he notices the photographer, orders him to to stop filming and curses his mother in the most vulgar terms. End.

THIS CLIP was shown that evening on all three main Israeli TV channels.

*

*

For those of us who know the reality in the West Bank, there was nothing special about it. Scenes like this happen all the time. If the soldier does not kill anyone, it’s just routine. If he does kill, the army announces that an investigation has been opened. Generally that is the last anyone hears of it.

What was special is that the whole scene was photographed and broadcast. Army orders forbid soldiers to behave like this when photographers are present, and especially to threaten the cameramen. Painful experience has taught the army that such clips, if broadcast abroad, can seriously undermine Israeli propaganda (officially called “explaining”).

Even more unusual was the announcement of the Army Spokesman that same evening, that the soldier had been judged by his superiors and sent to army prison for 28 days.

ALL HELL broke loose. The social media sprang into action. Hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of soldiers declared their solidarity with the soldier who became known as “David Nahlawi”.

(“Nahal” is an army unit founded originally by David Ben-Gurion to further his idea of combining army service with “pioneering” agricultural work. Hence the green beret. The idea is as dead as Ben-Gurion himself, and the unit is now an ordinary infantry brigade. The ending “awi” is Arabic adopted by Hebrew slang.)

Many soldiers, including officers, flooded the internet with photos of themselves hiding their faces behind self-made signs saying “I am David Nahlawi”. Some did not even bother to hide their faces.

After 24 hours the number of pro-David “likes” passed a hundred thousand, most of them posted by soldiers. It was the first military mass rebellion in the annals of the Israeli army. In some armies, it would be called a mutiny, punishable by death.

Faced by a totally new situation, for which it was quite unprepared, the army lost control. It published a statement coming close to an apology.

The Army Spokesman, it appeared, had been mistaken. David was not sentenced to prison for threatening to kill Palestinians (perish the thought!), but for something that happened a few hours before the incident: David had beaten up his direct commander and another soldier. The Hebron incident had not yet been investigated, and therefore David had not yet been judged for it.

There was another correction. In the first day after the clip was shown, the news spread that one of the Palestinian youths had been carrying a knuckle-duster, a clear proof of his aggressive intention and of the danger the soldier found himself in. Then the media carried a correction: an analysis of the clip showed that there was no knuckle-duster or any other weapon. It was just a string of Muslim prayer-beads.

THE INCIDENT raises a number of questions, each more serious than the other.

The first and obvious one: why did the army send a lone soldier to guard a street crossing in the middle of Hebron on his own, a town where supreme tension rules even on the quietest of days?

Hebron is clustered around the “Tombs of the Patriarchs” which harbor the (false) graves of Abraham and Sarah, which, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, are holy to both Jews and Muslims. 160,000 Muslims daily confront the few hundred fanatical Jews and Jewesses who have settled there, and who openly declare that their aim is to bring about the expulsion of all Muslims from the entire city.

Hebron is Apartheid City. The main street where the incident took place (appropriately called in Arabic “martyr’s street”) is closed to Arabs. Incidents can break out any time.

So why did the local military send a lone 19-old soldier to guard a street there?

Any soldier, even a normal one, sent to do guard duty alone in a dangerous place, may easily panic. In the clip David definitely looks frightened.

But David is not an ordinary soldier. According to the army itself, just a few hours before he was sent to this post, he attacked his superior and a comrade, beating them up in what sounds like a hysterical rampage. A few hours later, after already being sentenced to prison, he was sent out on this lonely task.

It is not the sane judgment of Private David that is in doubt, but the sanity of the officer who ordered him there.

THE WHOLE situation goes far beyond the dimensions of a local incident, which happily ended without victims.

It shows the reality of the occupation, in which a population of millions of human beings is living without defense and rights, completely dependent upon the mercies of every single soldier.

This Israeli army is no worse than any other. It is a mirror of its society, composed of the humane and the sadists, the sane and the mentally disturbed, rightists and leftists, Ashkenazi and Oriental. Judging from his family name (Adamov) David Nahlawi seems to be of Bukharan origin, the Oriental side of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Suheib Abu-Najma, the 15-year old Arab boy involved who looks even younger, was lucky. A Palestinian of any age, walking in any street, cannot be sure what kind of soldier he will come across, and what his mood may be. His life may depend on it.

That is the essence of occupation.

BUT THE significance of the incident goes far, far beyond these lessons. It is revolutionary – in the original sense.

For the first time in the history of Israel, and perhaps of the world, the internet is providing the basis for a rebellion of the soldiers against the army.

One may consider the mutiny on the battleship Potemkin in Odessa, 1905, or the uprising of the Petrograd garrison of February 1917, in order to compare it to the totally different situation in today’s world of the internet. Now, in less than 24 hours, hundreds of thousands of soldiers can openly defy the army command, turning the army into an empty vessel.

Once this has been shown, the mutinous capabilities of the social media are unlimited. It puts an end to the sacred assumption that the army obeys the civilian elected authority. It also puts an end to the assumption that a military coup can only be carried out by a junta of senior officers, the “colonels”. Now simple soldiers, incited by some rabble-rousers, can do it.

Binyamin Netanyahu was left, literally, speechless (something very unusual for him). So was Moshe Ya’alon, the Defense Minister, a former incompetent Chief of Staff. So was the present Chief of Staff, Benny Ganz, who in this crisis was shown to be helpless.

In the specific situation of Israel, this is extremely dangerous. Of course, it is easy to imagine a Potemkin-like situation, where the simple soldiers rise up against the brass in the name of equality, but that is sheer fantasy. With the army rank and file composed of teenagers, who are indoctrinated from the age of three in the spirit of Jewish victimhood and superiority (both), such a rebellion, if it occurs, is bound to be right-wing, perhaps even fascist.

Until this week, such a rebellion seemed impossible. When Ariel Sharon deployed the army in 2005 to evict a few thousand settlers from the Gaza Strip, no soldier dared to refuse. Now, with the capabilities of the social media, the story could end quite differently. The next time the army is ordered to remove a settlement, there may be mass refusal carried by the internet.

THERE IS a message in this for every army in the world.

A new historical era has begun. Any army can rebel by internet.

Army prisoner David Adamov can be proud of himself.

 

Written FOR

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,135 other followers