DIASPORA PSYCHOSIS ….

…. Or why Palestinians do not have a peace partner

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First, from the Diaspora itself …

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Moving on to Hebron …

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The extremists in our midst …

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All summed up by our very own Psycho Gal …

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Foxman simplifies matters by bringing up the Pollard case …

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And Kerry sees a possible solution?

He is as wacko as all of the above!

VIDEO // SEE DAILY LIFE IN GAZA THROUGH PALESTINIAN EYES

This short Photo Documentary shows the life of the Palestinians through the eyes of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Photos: Ezz Alzaanon from Gaza.

Thanks to everyone who worked to make this little film available for people to see life in Gaza.

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Now, Look Into My Eyes!

WHAT THE WESTERN PRESS OMITS ABOUT LIFE IN PALESTINE

http://www.dci-pal.org/english/publ/research/2008/UASTcover.jpg

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This past week the Western Media ran story after story about rock throwing incidents throughout Israel allegedly involving Palestinians. The victim card has been used to its fullest extent.

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What that press seems to overlook is the constant struggle of the Palestinians to stay alive while at the same time living in constant fear. Below, caught on video is what the West never gets to see or hear about.

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Children too frightened to sleep or woken by the sounds of rampaging settlers. Molotov cocktails through living room windows. Settlers firing guns, protected by soldiers. Hateful slogans daubed on walls. Settler children throwing rocks.

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New video highlights settler terror against Palestinian families

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Children too frightened to sleep or woken by the sounds of rampaging settlers. Molotov cocktails through living room windows. Settlers firing guns, protected by soldiers. Hateful slogans daubed on walls. Settler children throwing rocks.

These are some of the daily experiences Palestinian children and parents describe in this new short documentary Living in Fear: In the shadow of Israeli settlements, from Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS).

The video focuses on attacks by settlers from Yitzhar, a colony established in 1983 on lands stolen from surrounding villages in the northern occupied West Bank.

The attacks are frequent and ongoing as the settlers seize more land.

In 2011 alone, UN OCHA recorded 70 attacks by Yizhar settlers, “the largest figure recorded from a single settlement” that year.

Why is this happening? “They want us to leave our homes. That’s what they want,” says one mother.

Here’s DCI-PS’s description with more information:

The Jewish settlement of Yitzhar is described by The New York Times as “an extremist bastion on the hilltops commanding the Palestinian city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.” Its roughly 1,000 radical Jewish settlers terrorize 20,000 Palestinians from the surrounding villages of Burin, Madama, Asira al-Qibliya, Urif, Einabus and Huwara.

“Multiple times they would reach as far as our doorstep,” says Um Majdi from Asira al-Qibliya. “Some of them throw rocks at us, others set fires, and some write hate slogans on the walls. We’re in a stressed psychological state.”

Yitzhar settlers are responsible for hate crimes, termed “price tag” attacks, targeting Palestinians in retaliation for actions, including those initiated by the Israeli government, against Jewish settlements in the West Bank. They have also repeatedly attacked the US-funded water project in Asira al-Qibliya.

Settlements like Yitzhar continue to expand in the West Bank with Israeli government support. There are approximately 650,000 settlers living in over 200 settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“The idea behind the Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank is very clear,” says Dror Etkes, the director of Israeli organization Kerem Navot, which studies land use in the West Bank. “To marginalize the Palestinian community, which is about 90 percent of the population, still today, to certain enclaves … in order to leave as much as possible vacant land for the development of the Israeli settlements.”

Settlements have a profound impact on the lives of Palestinians throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Apart from the loss of land taken for the settlements and their related infrastructure, settler violence, such as beatings, shootings and destruction of property are a common occurrence in the lives of Palestinians, including children.

“Sometimes I dream that they shoot at us,” says 12-year-old Roa’a Abu Majdi. “They take us, along with the neighbors’ kids, and throw us in a hole.”

The Israeli authorities have consistently failed to prevent settler attacks against Palestinians and to take adequate law enforcement measures against settlers who commit these crimes. Israeli soldiers often turn a blind eye and fail to intervene in confrontations. DCI-Palestine has also documented cases where soldiers actively participate in civilian attacks by settlers.

Produced by DCI-Palestine – Edited and Directed by Dima Abu Ghoush – Production Management by Collage Production.

 

Written FOR

 

VIDEO~~ WELCOME TO APARTHEID LAND 2013

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” Mandela
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Listen!
Listen comrade!
Mandela, help to fight us
against farmers who despise us
Our freedom fighters are already on the road
Hemu! Hemu!  
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We no longer sleep at home.
We sleep in the mountains, in the bitter cold.
Oh, what is this life best people?
Hoyiya! Hoyiya!  
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Get up!
Arise compatriots!
Help, our people will perish!
Javelin calls you to battle,
farmers from killing our people.
Hemu! Hemu!

AMERICA’S FIRST BLIND PRESIDENT

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He came ….
He chose not to see ….
Nothing changed!
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BF3u5ezCUAALooM
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Obama, thank you for supporting our Apartheid state*

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President Obama thank you for supporting and protecting our Apartheid state. And a special thank to the American people for donating over the years more than 230 Billion Dollars of your tax money for enabling our military and Jewish superiority in the Holy Land. Yes We Can Not Do It Without You!
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Message from the Israeli soldiers …
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Our Remi Kanazi tried to tell Obama the problems, but he is deaf as well as blind ….
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A Palestinian-American looks at the failed visit …
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Obama fails in the Mideast
By Sam Bahour

As I watched President Barack Obama’s helicopter pass above my home, just before landing at the Palestinian Presidential Compound next to Ramallah, I just shook my head in disappointment, first as an American, then as a Palestinian. I thought: “Another U.S. president, on another high fanfare visit, carrying the same, failed political messages.”

It was difficult to follow Obama’s visit on TV. In normal practice when dignitaries come to town, Israel disrupts the satellite signals that feed our televisions. Nevertheless, I was able to tune in to a single Arabic channel, broadcast from Lebanon, that was unaffected by this.

Peeling away all the protocols, red carpets, formalities and artificial photo opportunities, I focused on what was coined “the policy speech.” President Obama gave it in Israel at a conference center to an audience of Israeli students. The president crafted a message directly to Israeli citizens, bypassing the right-wing Israeli prime minister who, until today, continues to build illegal, Jewish-only settlements, despite America’s and the world’s disapproval.

Clear message

The message to Israel was clear: there is no better ally to Israel than the U.S. He went on and on about how Israel will always be backed by the U.S., no matter what. Militarism won the day.

To Palestinians, and the majority of the world, that message no longer makes sense. Why support Israel as a military occupier that continues to build Jewish-only settlements? Why support Israel when it (as the U.S. State Department has documented) structurally discriminates against non-Jews, both Christian and Muslim, inside Israel? Why support Israel when it refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes? In short, if Israel has become a rogue state and is moving (as Israeli leaders have acknowledged) toward a form of apartheid, why should the U.S. be there to fund it, arm it, use its veto to protect it from the United Nations, diplomatically cover for it, and do business with it?

Given that Israel is costing U.S. taxpayers over $3 billion annually and has put the U.S. in a weaker position in the Middle East because of its intransigence, it is past due that every American demand of their government to withdraw its resources and political clout from entities that are moving the region away from peace, instead of closer to it.

Larger message

Just before Air Force One landed at Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel, President Obama’s limousine, the armored vehicle known as “The Beast,” broke down after being wrongly filled with diesel instead of gasoline. A new one was flown in and no disruptions to the schedule occurred. Nevertheless, perhaps this limousine ordeal carried a larger message: whether “The Beast” or a global superpower, it is crucial that issues are filled with accurate and appropriate substances, otherwise, sooner rather than later, they will start with a sputter and end with a total breakdown.

The U.S. has filled the peace process, for the last 20 years, with Israeli-designed falsehoods, only to bring us to a total breakdown today. I was hoping (but not holding my breath) that President Obama would shift gears on this trip and come with a message to the Israelis that the world’s superpower is now going to fill the process with accountability. That did not happen, and will not, until average Americans say, “Enough is enough.”

Sam Bahour describes himself as a Palestinian-American business consultant from Youngstown living in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine

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Written FOR

LIVE ON CAMERA ~~ LOVE IN THE TIME OF ISRAELI APARTHEID

Video .. “Love in the Time of Israeli Apartheid”

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Israeli forces on Saturday broke up a wedding procession organized at a West Bank checkpoint to challenge Israeli laws preventing Palestinians in the West Bank and Israelis from marrying.

 

Two buses left from Jaffa and Ramallah to meet at opposite sides of Hizma checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem, for the wedding of Hazim, from Abu Dis and his bride, who is from Nazareth.

 

Both buses were stopped by Israeli forces before reaching the checkpoint and Israeli forces fired sound bombs at guests who had begun singing and dancing on the West Bank side of Hizma, an organizer told Ma’an. “While they were dancing and singing for the groom, Israeli occupation forces started throwing sound bombs and pushing people back. They then fired tear gas, forcing people to run away,” organizer Najwan Berekdar said.

 

Over 200 people participated in the wedding, including founder of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi and Palestinian author Rima Nazzal Kitana.

 

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “100 rioters at Hizma threw stones at security services, who used riot dispersal means, including tear gas, to disperse the riot.”

 

The wedding was organized by the “Love in the Time of Apartheid” campaign, a grassroots initiative set up by Palestinian youth to challenge the Citizenship and Entry into Israel law, which denies residency status in Israel for West Bank Palestinians married to Israeli-Palestinians.”This Israeli law challenges Palestinian national unity and prevents Palestinians from even considering marrying another Palestinian from the other side,” Berekdar says.

 

“It divides Palestinians not only geographically but nationally, socially and culturally and has a severe economic and psychological affect on Palestinian families.

 

“We are calling for international pressure from the UN and civil society groups to put pressure on Israel to revoke this racist law, which interferes with basic human things like choosing a future life partner,” Berekdar says.

 

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel law was enacted by the Israeli Knesset in 2003, and prohibits granting residency or citizenship to Palestinians from the occupied territories who are married to Palestinian citizens of Israel, Adalah says.

 

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website says the temporary order is “security orientated” and enacted after people took advantage of Israeli identity to carry out “terrorist attacks.”

 

Human Rights Watch has said that “the law violates Israel’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which applies not only to race but also to national or ethnic origin.”

 

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2003 called on Israel to revoke the law.

 

Source

 

NEW VIDEO // BOYCOTT APARTHEID ISRAEL

 Repost this wherever possible! Help the Cause by making it go global and viral!!
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This video was made on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, whose sovereignty never ceded.

This video was made by the following BDS supporters:

Camera: Fabio Cavadini

Lighting and Sound: Amanda King

Music (oud and daf): Mohamed Youssef

Music recordist: Ritchie Belkner

Music composer: Osloob of Katibeh 5

Video editor: Adrian Warburton

Produced by: Rihab Charida and Aamer Rahman

Thanks to Salwa El-Shaikh, Jason De Santolo, Stephen Dobson, Frank Deveson, Sally Hanna Osborne and Theo Fatseas.

Video in order of appearance:

Mutulu “M1″ Olugbala

Peter Manning

Milan Ring

Lowkey (Kareem Denis)

Tuva El-Shaikh

Kerrie McGrath

Fatima Mawas

Awate Suleiman

Antony Loewenstein

Anika Moeen

Aamer Rahman

Originally posted AT

THE BEST OF ANTI OCCUPATION SPOOFS

sodastream
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Your chance to vote for your favourite …
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SodaStream’s main production site is in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. The company exploits Palestinian land, resources, and labor. 

Check out the awesome spoofs on SodaStream’s 2013 Super Bowl ad below.  You can vote for your TWO favorites using the ballot found in the link at bottom! Friends, in the name of justice and equality, please use the honor system and don’t vote more than twice. If you cannot see the ballot, make sure JavaScript is enabled in your browser. 

We will announce the winning video at the end of the Super Bowl game. Follow @US_Campaign on Twitter or like us on Facebook to find out the winner!

Sign this petition asking consumers and stores to stop buying and selling its products. Learm more about SodaStream here

Share the videos with your friends on Facebook and your followers on Twitter.

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xplodastream

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Sodastream presents…How to profit from Occupation, Oppression and Apartheid

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I Do Not Like SodaStream

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Shake Soda Stream Off

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Soda Stream

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SodaStream Boycott

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SodaScream

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Priceless

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SodaStream Tastes Like Occupation

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49ers Interrupt Big Game to Say Dump SodaStream

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CLICK HERE to get to the link to vote for your favourite video.

THE MOVIE THAT SHOULD MAKE EVERY DECENT ISRAELI ASHAMED OF BEING ISRAELI (IN FULL)

 A documentary on a Palestinian farmer’s chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army.
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When his fourth son, Gibreel, is born, Emad, a Palestinian villager, gets his first camera. In his village, Bil’in, a separation barrier is being built and the villagers start to resist this decision. For more than five years, Emad films the struggle, which is lead by two of his best friends, alongside filming how Gibreel grows. Very soon it affects his family and his own life. Daily arrests and night raids scare his family; his friends, brothers and him as well are either shot or arrested. One Camera after another is shot at or smashed, each camera tells a part of his story.
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Five Broken Cameras Full Movie
“This documentary should make every decent Israeli ashamed of being an Israeli.”

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A documentary on a Palestinian farmer’s chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army. When his fourth son, Gibreel, is born, Emad, a Palestinian villager, gets his first camera. In his village, Bil’in, a separation barrier is being built and the villagers start to resist this decision. For more than five years, Emad films the struggle, which is lead by two of his best friends, alongside filming how Gibreel grows. Very soon it affects his family and his own life. Daily arrests and night raids scare his family; his friends, brothers and him as well are either shot or arrested. One Camera after another is shot at or smashed, each camera tells a part of his story.

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From Rebel Voices

FROM MY DAILY HATE MAIL …

In my daily ‘Hate Mail Inbox’ I found the following video, simply called ‘Great Hasbara’. I don’t see anything great about hatred, but the zionists seem to have a different opinion …
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Normally I do not share such rubbish with my readers, but I thought you should see for yourself how hateful these ‘chosenites’ can be …
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Here’s a much more pleasant video from ‘our side’, more powerful and meaningful, a message of hope.
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A beautiful song with an inspiring message.
There are many Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs working for peace, and this Middle-Eastern jazzy song should be their hymn!

VOTE OBAMA ~~ LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY

New Obama video, like 2010 pro-Israel ad, uses sleazy sex talk to lure youth support

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

The Obama campaign has released a sleazy video featuring actress and filmmaker Lena Dunham, likening voting for Obama to having sex for the first time.

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Leaning into the camera, using language suggestive of how mass media talk about sex, Dunham says, “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You wanna do it with a great guy. It should be a guy with a beautiful …. someone who really cares about and understands women.”

By the end of the one minute ad, it’s clear Dunham is appealing to youth to use their first time voting to support Obama.

This ploy reminded me of another attempt to liken a political act to sex. In 2010 a Canadian pro-Israel hasbara campaign called “Size Doesn’t Matter” released a video of a couple in bed.

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The man appears to be trying to convince a young woman to engage him in oral sex. “It’s small,” she complains, “I don’t know if I can go there.”

The gag at the end is that he is actually trying to convince her to come with him to Israel.

Another disturbing Israeli hasbara video, “Sex with the Psychologist,” likened criticism of Israel to a sexual assault, while simultaneously presenting the female “victim” in a sexualized manner.

Such ads reduce women from political actors to sexual objects doing men’s bidding, succumbing to the seduction of a powerful politician, supporting an apartheid state. The Obama ad in particular is “creepy,” as @hkubra tweeted, and “demeaning to women by alluding [to] sex as the identifier of transition from ‘girl’ to ‘woman.’”

The “seduction” hides the violence – of Obama’s wars and Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid. Women’s bodies are being used to sell us the candidate responsible for killing so many women, men and children – invisible and unheard. Exposing women’s bodies and exploiting sexuality are his desperate last resort to justify voting for him.

Written FOR

MONTREAL RISING

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Occupons l’éducation – 100e journée de grève étudiante / Occupy Education – 100th Consecutive Day of Student Strikes

This is what happens when the SPVM tell you to move and you don’t move fast enough. On May 22, 2012, Tuesday evening, after 10 pm, riot police formed a line across along Ste. Catherine Street to disperse a crowd eastward, between Metcalfe and McGill College. Midway on the north side of Sainte-Catherine, a man was trying to remove a couple of bicycles locked to a parking meter when he was tackled to the ground and held by at least four riot police officers for not complying with the order to disperse. All he did was to try to tell them he wanted to take his bikes. The man struggled for at least two minutes as the officers tried to handcuff him as he lay on the sidewalk. I don’t what happened afterwards because the police managed to move and block people from continuing to witness the event.

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After almost 10 minutes, the police continued eastward on Sainte Catherine and I returned to the scene of the altercation. I was told to mind my step because of the blood on the sidewalk. I noticed an Urgences Sante EMS vehicle and crossed to the south side of the street. The man was being tended to by two EMS technicians. A SPVM riot police officer was also talking to the man who was in handcuffs.

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About two minutes later, the officer removed the handcuffs and the man was man allowed to leave. He took his two bicycles, one of which had a child seat attached in the rear, and left the scene. The sequence of these 15 photos took place between 10:20 pm to 10:24 pm according to the date/time stamp on the photos.

100th Consectutive Day of Student Strikes May 22, 2012, Montréal, Québec, Canada. ©Copyright John Jantak

100e jour consécutif de grève des étudiants le 22 mai 2012, Montréal, Québec, Canada. © Copyright John Jantak

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Mouvement Historique
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Montreal Rising!
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This is Montreal
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Montreal Spring
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All of the above submitted by VAS
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More photos HERE and HERE

A WEEKEND IN OCCUPIED CHICAGO

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Submitted by VAS

JUST ONE WEEK IN PALESTINE ~~ REPORTS AND VIDEOS

 The following reports deal with situations of the past week. Can you even think of another nation that suffers this much as the ENTIRE WORLD watches in silence?
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Click on headings to access reports…
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78 percent of Jerusalem Palestinians living in poverty

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WATCH: Settlers shoot Palestinian in head while soldiers stand by

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Palestinians asked to close their shops for Jerusalem Day

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Two Injured As Settlers Attack Nablus Village

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Israeli Plan to Construct 2100 New Settlement Unit

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Nakba Action

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All of the above via URUKNET

ACTIONS OF THE WEEK ~~ ISRAELI WATER AND DRONES

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What’s the connection?
Both are call to action!
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Existence is Resistance and Artists Against Apartheid along with other organizations came together to offer Free Israeli Water for the Israeli Jazz Festival :)

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Code Pink Activist Medea Benjamin speaks out against civilian casualties and human rights violations before John Brennan.

MAY DAY’S COMEBACK ~~ THE MUSICAL

Be sure not to miss THIS Photo Essay posted yesterday

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Sent by a reader, Vas.

With much appreciation.

THE ZIONIST DOGS

IDF soldiers release attack dog on unarmed Palestinian protesters (video)

Lisa Goldman

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An attack dog released on unarmed Palestinians by Israeli security forces sank its teeth into the arm of a Palestinian man and refused to release it for several minutes.

Soldiers released an attack dog on unarmed Palestinians at a Friday anti-occupation demonstration in the West Bank village of Kufr Qaddoum, report eyewitnesses that include an AP photographer. According to a report from Jonathan Pollack, a political activist, Border Police officers released an army dog at a group of protesters who were standing several dozen meters away. The dog chased the protesters, then locked his jaw on the arm of one of them – Ahmad Shtawi – sinking his teeth into the man’s arm. The dog refused for several minutes to respond to his handler’s order to release Mr. Shtawi’s arm.

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IDF attack dog refuses to release his grip on Ahmad Shtawi’s arm (photo: PSCC)

Although he was bleeding, in pain and in need of medical attention, soldiers decided to arrest Mr. Shtawi  after the dog finally released his arm. When Morad Shtawi, a member of the village’s popular committee, tried to reason with the commanding officer and convince him to release the wounded man, he was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and pepper sprayed – as documented in the video below.

Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem has called several time for the Israeli army to stop using attack dogs on unarmed Palestinians. In February 2012 a 19 year-old Palestinian was attacked by an IDF dog; B’Tselem reported another five such incidents in 2011.

Source

EIGHT MESSAGES TO THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY FROM ISRAEL

Timely messages for the Easter Season ;)
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It is becoming a common occurrence in Israel to hear about Jews burning churches, spitting on Christian clerics, burning Christian Bibles and intimidating and harassing other Jews who believe in Jesus. Unfortunately this is almost unheard of from the Western media. If it was not for the internet this would be unknown to millions of people around the world.
Here I am presenting one example of the rampant discrimination and xenophobia against Christians that exists in the “Jewish state”. Please feel free to copy and post this video in other sites.
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Yet…
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The following is what the Israeli Ambassador to the US said just a week ago…. (is he dreaming?)
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Israel is only Mideast state safe for Christians, envoy to U.S. says

In Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Oren compares what he calls the current repression of Christians in the Muslim world to the expulsion of Jews from Arab states.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is safe for Christians, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote in an op-ed column for the Wall Street Journal on Friday, comparing what he said was the suppression of Christian communities in Arab states to the twentieth-century expulsion of Jews from these nations.

In his article, Oren cited the continuing violence against Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the burning of Iraqi churches, a Saudi ban on Christian worship and the desecration of the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank as instances indicating a threat to Christianity in the Muslim world, adding that conversion “to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death.”

The Israeli official went on to compare what he called a sweeping action against Christian communities in the Arab world to the expulsion of 800,000 “from Arab countries, mostly following the Six-Day War.”

Ultimately, Oren concludes, the only place in the Middle East where Christians aren’t endangered, but are actually flourishing, is in Israel.

“Since Israel’s founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%,” he added.

Oren concluded the article, in which he cites the exodus of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank and Gaza over increased pressure by Islamist groups such as Hamas, by syaing that the “extinction of the Middle East’s Christian communities is an injustice of historic magnitude.”

“Yet Israel provides an example of how this trend can not only be prevented but reversed. With the respect and appreciation that they receive in the Jewish state, the Christians of Muslim countries could not only survive but thrive,” Oren wrote.


Source

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And let’s not forget these attitudes…

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Perhaps this Oren guy should take a daytrip to the illegal settlements  (including Jerusalem) to see the reality he seems ignorant of.

THE ONLY DEVIANT DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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Israel is gearing up to its 64th birthday celebrations. It is traditional among Jewish people to wish the celebrant ‘ad mea v’esrim’ (until 120).
Does this mean that Palestine has to wait another 56 years to be free?
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Israel prides itself on being ‘the Only Democracy in the Middle East’. There is a Yiddish expression that goes ‘es’redt zich azoi’ (say it enough times and you will believe it). That’s exactly what Israel is doing, as in reality, the ‘Democracy’ that (does not) exists there is  deviant one. A year ago, Israel’s right-wing daily, the Jerusalem Post published an interesting piece they titled ‘Israel’s democratic veneer’. It’s worth reading and can be accessed HERE.
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Interesting to see that even Israel’s ‘right’ have their doubts about it’s Democratic character.
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But, overlooked by them and many others is at whose expense this is at … the following video might help explain that. Listen carefully to the words of Mahmoud Darwash’s poem.
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A Land that was Abducted by Myths
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ISRAEL IS STEALING A NATION’S IDENTITY TO CREATE THEIR OWN

A professionally made YouTube video released by the “Matteh Binyamin Regional Council” – an entity that represents dozens of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank – aims to convince Israelis that Jewish settlers, not Palestinians, are the true caretakers of the region’s olive trees and the historic heirs of its olive culture.
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Hummus and falafel are already “Israeli.” Now they’re coming for Palestine’s olive oil too

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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Zionism’s cultural appropriation of indigenous Palestinian folklore and cuisine – such as hummus, falafel and maftoul – as “Israeli” has long irked Palestinians, especially when these same cultural products are used in international propaganda and marketing efforts which deny Palestinians’ rights and history.

Now, Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are attempting to steal perhaps the most important symbol and source of economic sustenance for rural Palestinians: olive oil and olive culture.

A professionally made YouTube video released by the “Matteh Binyamin Regional Council” – an entity that represents dozens of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank – aims to convince Israelis that Jewish settlers, not Palestinians, are the true caretakers of the region’s olive trees and the historic heirs of its olive culture.

The video is an example of the of the increasingly slick and sophisticated propaganda efforts being aimed at the Israeli population as well as the outside world.

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Synoposis of the settler video

The title of the video is “The miracle of the oil canister and the plate of hummus,” an allusion to the Hannukah myth known as the “Miracle of the Oil.”

The action is a comedy sketch set in what appears to be a restaurant in a Palestinian town within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.

An Israeli is seated at a table eating hummus and olive oil. He is a caricature of a naive liberal and secular Israeli.

He finds the olive oil delicious and asks one of the two Arab waiters (the Arabs are also depicted in a stereotypical fashion as among other things deceptive) how the oil is made.

The Arab waiter tells how oil has been made for “thousands of years.” While he is speaking, the video cuts not to scenes of Palestinians harvesting olives and making oil, but rather to religious settlers wearing skullcaps doing it using modern technology.

The gag is that at the end: the Israeli diner finishes his meal thinking he ate delicious oil made by Palestinians. But then the two waiters go to the kitchen and have a joke about the fact that the oil is made by settlers and they serve it in their restaurant. They reveal the Hebrew label on the bottle which says “Binyamin Oil, Olive Oil, Fine cold-press.”

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A reminder: Israel’s destruction of olive trees and olive culture

Israeli settlers and the Israeli state routinely destroy Palestinian olive trees, and the settlers regularly attack Palestinians attempting to care for their trees or harvest them as The Electronic Intifada has reported. B’Tselem has also documented and filmed the settlers’ regular attacks on Palestinian olive farmers.

But there’s nothing new in this. After Zionists expelled much of the Palestinian population from the country in 1948, they had to decide what to do with olive groves all over the country. As Meron Benvenisti recounts in his book Sacred Landscape (2000):

At first officials responsible for Jewish settlement thought that the production of olive oil might constitute a profitable venture, but it very quickly became clear that the Jewish agricultural sector was not set up to sustain this labor-intensive branch.Only a fraction of the olive groves were cared for and cultivated, whereas the vast majority were neglected. Tens of thousands of dunams of olive trees were uprooted to make room for field crops. (165)

It is in this historic and present-day context that the settlers are now claiming to care for the olive trees.

Settlers cloak themselves in stolen Palestinian culture

At the end of the video, the following messages appear:

To the mountains of Binyamin and Shomron, Hebrew farmers returned, to grow olive trees lovingly as per the traditions of their forefathers, which is thousands of years old.

The olive groves cover 3,000 dunams and the olive presses produce 500 tons of fine olive oil per year.

Who made the video?

As mentioned, the video is “Presented by the Matteh Regional Council,” but toward the end, a logo appears for an online public relations firm called Rogatka. The company’s website states:

Our clients include the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Likud, ‘Latma’ – media watchdog and satire, and others.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is a think tank for Israel’s military establishment and it was there that NGO Monitor, an extreme group that launches defamatory attacks on Israelis, Palestinians, Jews and others who criticize Israel, was founded.

Latma TV is a “satirical” web-based show, run by The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick. But rather than producing satire, it disseminates Islamophobic and racist incitement,including a recent video that spread the lie of a Muslim “rape epidemic” in Norway.

And of course the Likud is the political party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rogatka, it would seem, is one of the key shops pumping out propaganda for Israel (Phan Nguyen has more about Rogatka and who is behind it, on Mondoweiss).

And here’s another interesting connection. One of Rogatka’s clients is the Adelson Center for Strategic Studies in Jerusalem, which was established with a $4.5 million gift from billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson was recently in the news for giving a campaign group linked to US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich a $5 million gift, soon after Gingrich claimed the Palestinians are an “invented people.”

The goal of this particular video – aimed as it is at Israelis – is first to convince the local population that all of the olive trees, like the land, belonged always and only to Jews, perhaps before taking the same campaign internationally. In effect, it is part of a campaign to ‘un-invent’ the Palestinians, to destroy their culture and claim what’s left as “Jewish.”

With thanks to Dena Shunra for providing translation and contributing analysis.

Videos documenting settler attacks on farmers and destruction of olive trees

A couple of reports remind us how settlers really feel about olive trees.

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