There are many Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs working for peace, and this Middle-Eastern jazzy song should be their hymn!
There are many Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs working for peace, and this Middle-Eastern jazzy song should be their hymn!
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.
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.
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
All of the above via URUKNET
Existence is Resistance and Artists Against Apartheid along with other organizations came together to offer Free Israeli Water for the Israeli Jazz Festival :)
Code Pink Activist Medea Benjamin speaks out against civilian casualties and human rights violations before John Brennan.
Be sure not to miss THIS Photo Essay posted yesterday
Sent by a reader, Vas.
With much appreciation.
IDF soldiers release attack dog on unarmed Palestinian protesters (video)
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.
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.
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.
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.
And let’s not forget these attitudes…
Perhaps this Oren guy should take a daytrip to the illegal settlements (including Jerusalem) to see the reality he seems ignorant of.
Hummus and falafel are already “Israeli.” Now they’re coming for Palestine’s olive oil too
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.
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.”
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.
Newt Gingrich: Palestinians are an ‘invented’ people
U.S. Republican presidential candidate differs with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich thrust himself into controversy on Friday by declaring that the Palestinians are an “invented” people who want to destroy Israel.
The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives predictably sided with Israel in its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians but took it a step further in an interview with the Jewish Channel.
The cable station posted online its interview with Gingrich, who has risen to the top of Republican polls with voting to start early next year to pick a nominee to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.
Gingrich differed with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.
“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire” until the early 20th century, Gingrich said.
“I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it’s tragic,” he said.
Gingrich along with other Republican candidates are seeking to attract Jewish support by vowing to bolster U.S. ties with Israel if elected.
Gingrich said the Hamas militant group, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinians’ governing body, the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, represent “an enormous desire to destroy Israel.”
The U.S. government has sought to encourage the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel but has labeled Hamas as a terrorist group.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has long forsworn violence against Israel as a means to secure an independent state, pinning his hopes first on negotiations and more recently on a unilateral bid for statehood via the United Nations.
Gingrich said he would be willing to consider granting clemency to Jonathan Jay Pollard, who has been serving a life prison term since 1987 for passing U.S. secrets to Israel. Successive U.S. presidents have refused Israeli entreaties to free him.
“If we can get to a point where I’m satisfied that there’s no national security threat, and if he’s in fact served within the range of people who’ve had a similar problem, then I’d be inclined to consider clemency,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich sharply criticized the Obama administration’s approach to Middle East diplomacy, saying it is “so out of touch with reality that it would be like taking your child to the zoo and explaining that a lion was a bunny rabbit.”
The story of Palestine and its people is one that will go down in history. In fact it has already started to do just that. One might say that the victor is the one that writes history. The victor in this case will inevitably be justice, and justice is at the core of the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism and oppression. And as in every episode in history, everyone will be mentioned according to their positions, and more importantly their deeds with respect to each story.
In the day of solidarity, let us remember that.
The students had gathered around an area that had earlier housed their tents. What an ominous threat to the community! Beware of students protesting in the quad instead of throwing a kegger party in a dorm!
The police had already removed the tents. All that remained of Occupy Davis was a banner hanging from a tree that read “Save Public Education.” How dare they call for such a radical agenda on a campus in the California University system? The students sitting across the campus walkway chanted the subversive line: “Don’t shoot students.” How is this a threat to riot-clad police?
Perhaps the really subversive, supposedly “threatening,” act was in the simple interlocking of their arms.
Last week The San Francisco Chronicle quoted UC Berkley Police Capt. Margo Bennett:
“The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence. I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest.”
In fact, Captain Bennett thought that it was okay to use batons to push back the Berkeley crowd, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the UC Davis police took it one step further and used pepper-spray to pry apart those threatening arms.
In Berkeley and in Davis, the goal was to break up Occupy encampments. In Berkeley, the police were trying to get to tents. In Davis, the tents were already gone. In both cases one wonders what exactly is so threatening about students camping on the quad? What is so “violent” about sitting with arms joined together?
Wait … they might just learn something! But it’s a lesson plan not approved by the Board of Regents.
Apparently, it would be better to force them back into their frat houses and sorority houses so they can get drunk before returning to their corporate-funded classrooms on Monday morning. We can’t have them learning about the effects of corporate greed all weekend, out in the open air of the campus commons. That must be why they moved in at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. What would the town pubs do if the students were camping on the quad instead of doing shots ’til they passed out?
All kidding aside, the scary thing is some of my sarcasm is probably not far from the truth. But the real effect of Friday’s police action at UC Davis is that this coming Monday at noon the students will be back, likely in much larger numbers. The pepper-spray fired by the police on Friday further fanned the flames of the revolution. When will they learn the relationship between cause and effect?
Watch the end of this video if you have any doubts about the outcome.