IMAGINE IF TORONTO WAS BOMBED LIKE GAZA

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

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

 

IN PHOTOS ~~ MARCH FOR JUSTICE IN STATEN ISLAND

 

"Do we actually have to say this?"*

Thousands marched in Staten Island today. They were protesting police brutality and abuse. They were demanding justice for the victims of that abuse. Eric Garner was placed in an illegal choke hold by a NYPD office several weeks ago. His crime? Selling illegal cigarettes. Despite his protestations and his repeated plea of “I can’t breathe,” despite the fact that he was already subdued, despite the fact that he was surround by cops, the officer continued to choke Mr. Garner. The result? Eric Garner died on the sidewalk, a victim, like so many others, of out-of-control police brutality. These police crimes are then followed by a disturbing lack of transparency and a failure of the justice system to indict, try and convict. Victims are invariably people of color.
The time has come for civilian control of the police forces and an end to the militarization of police departments around the country. The sight of tanks and long rifles being aimed at American citizens in American towns like Ferguson, Missouri by a police department in camouflage and armed with military weapons should frighten and anger everybody.

The thousands marching in Staten Island today were saying “Enough!” and demanding that democratic control of police become a reality.

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Photos and commentary © By Matt Weinstein

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""I can't breathe.""

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"Complaints about police abuse."

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"In front of the site of Eric Garner's murder by police."

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"The group, Picture The Homeless."

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"Javier and Danny."

THE COLLATERAL CHILDREN

Image  ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Mother Palestine mourns the death of Her children

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

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

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

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And the difference according to zion …

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The difference between children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FERGUSON AND GAZA … THE CONNECTION ~~ IN PHOTOS

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Late Wednesday afternoon many thousands of people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a strong show of solidarity with Gaza and with Ferguson, Missouri where the police appear to be at war with the residents of that city.  The people of Gaza have reached out to the people of Ferguson pointing out that they both may be afflicted by teargas manufactured by the same American company.  At about 6:30 the marchers began across the bridge starting at the Brooklyn side.  There was a sea of Palestinian flags for as far as the eye could see and shouts of “Free, Free Palestine”.  The marchers were of every age, race, and ethnicity and many carried signs declaring their solidarity with Palestine and saying that the U.S. government did not speak for them in supporting what Israel was doing by sending money and arms to Israel.  Their chant was, “Not another nickle, not another dime.  No more money for Israel’s crimes”.  At one point people noticed that a gigantic banner with the colors of the Palestinian flag had been attached and was flying off the Manhattan Bridge (a marvelous act of civil disobedience), located a short distance from the Brooklyn Bridge.  In the red section it said GAZA  In Our Hearts and the other colors carried the words, BOYCOTT DIVEST SANCTIONS.  Marchers saw the banner, clearly enjoying it and pointing it out to others which drew the attention of the police.  They notified other cops and we could soon see red lights flashing on the Manhattan Bridge while the beautiful banner was being removed.  But it was there for about 20 minutes, enough time to lift the spirits of the marchers. 

 

By the time everyone finished walking across the bridge night had fallen.  It was dark. Everyone walked to Police Plaza in front of the central police headquarters where people spoke in small groups or listened to speakers.  We met a young woman from France, a tourist, who was very excited at having come upon the march and joined it.  She said they had bigger marches for Palestine in Paris but she was here now and very pleased that she was able to join in.   People were generally excited by the number of people who had marched, those numbers keep growing.  There was a militancy in the crowd  along with a disgust that Israel was once again committing genocide with impunity.  But mixed in with that there was a hint of, as was well said by Fanny Lou Hamer, a great hero of the civil rights movement, we’re ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’.  We must put all our energy into the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions and win this fight.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer … Commentary by Chippy Dee

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LAST NITE WHILE WORKING ON THE BKLYN BRIDGE MARCH FOTOS  I HEARD LOUD VOICES & CHANTING  “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT” COMING FRM THE STREET 10 FLOORS BELOW.

THE CHANTS CAME FROM A MASS OF PEOPLE W/ HANDS UP & DEMONSTRATING THRU LOWER EAST SIDE MANHATTAN STREETS (IT APPEARS THERE WAS A LARGE MEETING IN SUPPORT OF FERGUSON ELSE WHERE,  IN ADDITION TO THE GAZA BKLYN BRIDGE  MARCH).

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

TO LIVE NOW

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Facebook page 

Sincerely

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

AMERICA IS QUICK TO ACCUSE, BUT SLOW TO PROSECUTE

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

BUT ….

Finally they are talking about this;

BUT AGAIN ….

Let’s see what they do about it.

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US accuses Israel of targeting Abu Khdeir’s family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#OperationStopTheBoat ~~UPDATE

LATEST UPDATE

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

Breaking News: #BlocktheBoat #EpicFail as ZIM Unloads

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

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Ship Targeted by Protesters Leaves Oakland for L.A.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The protests over the Piraeus were peaceful.

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

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

Henry K. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer

Source

ANTI SEMITISM DOES NOT HELP THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!

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

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

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

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

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

Swedish Jewish Woman Savagely Beaten for Wearing Star of David

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

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

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Gaza reminds us of Zionism’s original sin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Non-cooperation and resistance

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sea of hatred”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generous offer

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

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

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

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

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

A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR THAT LIVES THE MANTRA “NEVER AGAIN”

This video tells the story of a German victim of holocaust who has spent most of her life trying to stop the genocide committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in the last 6 decades.

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IT DOESN’T END WITH THAT ….

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Holocaust survivor arrested in Missouri protests

By JACOB RYAN, MAYA SHWAYDER IN

Hedy Epstein, also a fierce critic of Israel: This is how I’m entering my 10th decade of life!

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Hedy Epstein

Hedy Epstein Photo: REUTERS
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New York- Hedy Epstein, 90, and eight others were arrested for “failing to disperse” during protests taking place in downtown St. Louis on Monday.They were arrested for “failure to disperse” when they marched on, and held a small rally in front of a building where the office of Gov. Jay Nixon and many of his staff are located.

The protesters had demanded to speak to the governor or his representative about the conflict in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, by a police officer, and the governor’s decision to call in the National Guard to deal with the subsequent protests and looting.

Police and security would not let them in the building. When the nine protesters refused to leave, they were arrested, taken to the police station, booked, and then released.

“We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90,” Epstein said when she was arrested.

She was ordered to appear in court on October 21, she told The Jerusalem Post.

“This is how I’m entering my 10th decade of life!” Epstein, who turned 90 last week, joked.

The German-born Epstein is known for her fervent activism and speaking out about national and international events.

She lives in Missouri and in 2001 started the St. Louis chapter of Women in Black, an antiwar movement organization that was founded in Jerusalem in 1988, during the second intifada, but has spread to other countries and to causes other than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Epstein has been a vocal advocate for the Free Gaza Movement.

According to her website, she has participated in several demonstrations “in opposition to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, the 25-foot-high cement wall, and the demolition of Palestinian homes and olive orchards.” Epstein joined the failed Gaza Freedom March in 2010, trying to take a bus from Cairo to the Gaza Strip.

Epstein has won various accolades for her activism over the past decade, notably the 2005 Imagine Life Education through Media Award and the 2008 American Friends Service Committee’s Inspiration for Hope Award.

Born in born in Freiburg, in southwestern Germany, and raised in nearby Kippenheim, Epstein was eight years old when Adolf Hitler was sworn in as chancellor. In 1939, she was sent to England as part of the Kindertransport, which eventually moved 10,000 mostly Jewish children to safety. Her parents both died in concentration camps. After the war, she went back to Germany to work for the American government, including for the Nuremberg Doctors Trial, and finally immigrated to America in 1948.

Epstein told the Post that her parents were anti-Zionists, although she never had a chance to ask why they did not support a Jewish state.

“As young child, I didn’t really understand what that [anti-Zionism] is, and my parents were looking to go anywhere they could, but weren’t willing to go to Palestine,” Epstein said. “They did not wish to live in a country that was run by Jews and for Jews only.”

After arriving in the US in May 1948, the same month Israel was founded, she noted, Epstein said she remained fairly insulated from Israeli issues until 1982, when she heard about the massacres in the Sabra neighborhood and the adjacent Shatilla refugee camp in Beirut. She went to the West Bank for the first time in 2003, for several months, and said that she was stopped at Ben-Gurion Airport in January 2004 when she was trying to leave the country.

“I was accused of being a security threat and a terrorist,” Epstein recounted. “And I was stripped searched and internally searched.”

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From The New York Times: Another report of a man that ‘lives the mantra’ …

Resisting Nazis, He Saw Need for Israel. Now He Is Its Critic.

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‘HALLMARK CARDS’ TO GAZA

Not Quite …

The female gunners can be seen scrawling birthday greetings to friends and such messages as “To Adi, Good luck with the new job!” on the mortar shells before blasting them into Gaza.

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In this video, Israeli soldiers and mystics can be seen dancing and singing to bless M107 artillery shells before they are fired into Gaza:

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And here you can see where those mortar shells came from …

Remnants of a Mark 82 unguided missile, made in USA by General Dynamics, sold to Israel to kill farmers in Rafah:

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The staggering amount of weapons Israel has used to inflict so much indiscriminate harm underscores the urgency of calls for an arms embargo on Israel. It also highlights that Israel, an undeclared possessor of nuclear weapons, must urgently be brought under international control and monitoring.

But it is important not to lose sight of the big picture: no claim of “self-defense” could ever justify dropping this much explosives so indiscriminately and so deliberately on a captive civilian population.

Those who justify it as “self-defense” are complicit in mass murder.

It is also a mistake to look for a “military” explanation for Israel’s actions.

This massacre, this dropping of what plausibly approximates to a “small” atomic bomb on Gaza, can only be explained in political terms. As I have argued previously, it is the price of maintaining a “Jewish state” in Palestine.

 

See Ali Abunima’s full report HERE

#Ferguson ~~ LATUFF’S LATEST SPOOFS

“No more pigs in our community!” …  A quote from the Black Panthers

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Stand with the people of Ferguson

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#OperationCeasefire ~~ YOU SAY YES, I SAY NO

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But, at least say SOMETHING! Is it YES or NO??

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Click on links to see conflicting reports

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Israel coordinated with US on gradual end of Gaza blockade

Sources in Jerusalem claim Israel, America secretly agreed on steps to ease humanitarian hardship in Gaza by opening crossings.

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Israeli Official Denies Agreement to Lift Gaza Blockade

Official involved in ongoing Cairo talks says reports made of significant breakthrough by Palestinian delegation false.
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THE WHOLE WORLD IS WAITING FOR AN ANSWER!

A RABBINICAL DISCOURSE AGAINST PEACE

PEACE NOW OR PEACE NO?

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The ‘Peacenik said … (Let us all breathe freely)

There is no military solution that will bring an end to the suffering of the residents of the south, to the terrible fear they live with, and there’s no military solution to the inhuman anguish of the Palestinians in Gaza. In plain words: until there is a resolution to the feelings of suffocation of the people of Gaza, we in Israel will not be able to breathe freely. We won’t breathe through both our lungs.

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The Rabbi responded … (Might makes right)

But you chose to go down a different path, and found yourself forced to utter these words of self-delusion: “You are many. We are many, many more than we thought, than we believed.” What a pity.

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An Israeli Novelist’s Cry for Peace. A Rabbi’s Reply

By J.J. Goldberg FOR

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WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Rabbi Yuval Sherlow
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Novelist David Grossman spoke Saturday night at a peace rally at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, sponsored by the Peace Now movement and the Meretz and Hadash parties, among others. It was attended by an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people, which the left considered an impressive show of force and the right mocked as a failure. Grossman’s speech, an eloquent cri de coeur of Israel’s increasingly isolated antiwar left, was reprinted in Hebrew on Sunday on Ynet.co.il, the Hebrew-language website of Yediot Ahronot. (Thanks to Gary Brenner for urging me to translate it.)

Also appearing Sunday on Ynet was a reply to Grossman by Rabbi Yuval Sherlow, dean of the Hesder yeshiva of Petah Tikvah. Sherlow is one of the most liberal voices in Israeli Orthodoxy. He’s spoken out bravely within his community in favor of tolerance of gays, greater recognition of non-Orthodox Judaism — including Reform conversion — and open, sympathetic dialogue between right and left. In this “Letter to David Grossman” he warmly chides the novelist for preaching to the converted (no, not that kind) and failing to find a language that can bridge the gap dividing left and right. Remarkably, he concedes many of Grossman’s sharpest critiques, but insists that Grossman fails to acknowledge “the other sides of the coin” — the still-vital humanity within the Israeli public, the implacability often facing Israel from its enemies — and so alienates a large audience that Sherlow wishes the novelist could reach.

They’re both well worth reading for their insight into the current mood in Israel. The translations are mine, and as usual are as literal as I can make them. Let me know if you spot mistakes.

David Grossman: ‘We Are Collaborators of Despair’

You are many. We are many, many more than we thought, than we believed.

I stood here in this square two days ago, at the demonstration in support of the residents of the south. I stood here at the demonstration in support of the residents of the south the day before yesterday. I wanted to be with them, to listen to them as they told of their hard lives. There were many speakers here, and most of them spoke fitting, heartfelt words, and they all said basically the same thing: It can’t go on like this.

I listened to them, and to others who bitterly said things like “Let the IDF win” and “Let the IDF mow them down” and “The time has come to eliminate Hamas,” and I thought, these are sophisticated, experienced people, the sort who know that in the current circumstances this wish of theirs won’t come true, and everything that’s happened in this war testifies to that. But nobody is showing them another way or offering hope for a better future, and there’s nothing left for them but to shout over and over in ever-growing despair, like so many of us: Let the IDF win.

There are no images of victory in this war, not for either side. There are no images of victory, only visions of destruction and death and indescribable suffering. Every image from this miserable battlefield is in the end an image of a profound defeat of two peoples who have hardly learned to speak to one another, even after a century of conflict, in any language but violence. In the current circumstances, under the existing limits — the limits of force, of morality, of international pressure — there is no military solution to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

There is no military solution that will bring an end to the suffering of the residents of the south, to the terrible fear they live with, and there’s no military solution to the inhuman anguish of the Palestinians in Gaza. In plain words: until there is a resolution to the feelings of suffocation of the people of Gaza, we in Israel will not be able to breathe freely. We won’t breathe through both our lungs.

Therefore, in the negotiations that will begin again tomorrow in Cairo, and after Israel insists, as it must, on the security demands necessary for the people of Sderot and Nahal Oz to live secure, peaceful lives, and after Israel demands that Hamas commit itself to ending its violent attacks, and its preparations for future attacks, after all this Israel will have to offer proposals to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip that are greater and more significant than the sum of their parts. Not another limited, local, narrow cease-fire agreement but a framework for a change in relations between the sides — a big, far-sighted, generous plan that contains proposals for a genuine improvement in the lives of the resident of Gaza, for reviving their hopes for a better future and granting them a feeling of self-respect and human dignity.

Of course it’s possible to bargain over every little paragraph in an agreement, over ten trucks fewer or more passing through the fence, over another kilometer or two of permitted fishing zones for Gaza’s fishermen. But what must change this time, after this war, is the spirit of things. To my mind this is one of the main reasons we’ve come and gathered here this evening. To remind those who negotiate in our name with the Palestinians in Cairo that even if the people of Gaza are enemies today, they will always be our neighbors, and that is the spirit of things. We will always live beside one another, and this fact has meaning, because my neighbor’s downfall is not necessarily my victory, and my neighbor’s welfare is in the end my welfare.

But above all we have gathered here this evening to voice a demand that the central provision in the agreement they are trying to draft in Cairo will say the following: that after the cease-fire is stabilized, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as represented by the Palestinian unity government, will open direct talks whose goal is to bring peace between the two peoples.

That’s how it has to be, without hesitation, without stammering, without grieving, perhaps without clear, sharp declarations of intention by the two sides. Because if after a war like this, after its terrors, after its results, Israel does not initiate such a step, there will be only one explanation: that Israel prefers the certainty of repeated wars over the risks involved in the compromises that bring peace. And we will know that Israel’s current leader is not prepared, does not dare to go down the path of peace because he is afraid to pay the price, especially the price of withdrawing from the West Bank and evacuating the settlements.

Friends, this moment of decision might come tomorrow, or perhaps the day after, or perhaps in a month, but it could be that we will suddenly discover that it is very near and it will be a sort of acid test that will tell us in the clearest fashion whether or not Israel is trying with all its might to reach peace or whether it chooses another war. Eighty-two thousand reserve soldiers took part in this war. Some of them may even be with us this evening as civilians. Again and again we have heard them say to the cameras and microphones, we’ll meet again in another year, two years tops.

These statements of theirs are nothing less than heartbreaking. It is clear to these young people, with a sort of horrifying certainty, that sooner or later they will be drawn back into this inferno. It is terrible, terrible to hear young people with their whole lives before them, people who were brave enough to enter booby-trapped houses and terror tunnels, to hear how they are ready to accept as a sort of decree from heaven that their lives are only theirs on loan until the next payment due date.

It is no less terrible to see how so many Israelis make do in intentional, considered passivity with a government that for years has done almost nothing genuine to solve the conflict. How is it, tell me, how is it that we, the children and citizens of a state that in every other area of its life is enterprising, creative and daring, pathbreaking, how is that we agree, in this most fateful area of our existence, to be collaborators in despair and failure?

Dear friends, the time has come to wake up. This war has exposed perhaps more sharply than ever the dangerous processes befalling Israel because of despair, because of fear, because of the feeling that there is no way out. The time has come for us to wake up and understand that while we slept, things were happening here. Chauvinism, fanaticism and racism have erupted shamelessly, all at once. They have swiftly succeeded in imposing a dictatorship of fear on broad sectors of our public domain.

Not one word of condemnation has come from the mouth of the prime minister nor from any senior minister. It will be very difficult to rein in these forces of darkness. They are already here. I suspect, too, that all those leaders have drawn a certain strange satisfaction from seeing the left take it on the chin, and they don’t understand that this foul wave will be very difficult to control, because it will turn against them when it decides that they have suddenly become too moderate.

These fascistic forces are joined by other forces that both nourish them and draw nourishment from them. Huge social gaps, bitterness over poverty and years of discrimination, corruption and greed in high places.

Friends, all these things, all these things create an atmosphere of disintegration of the bonds that should maintain a healthy society. All these things are tunnels burrowing under Israel’s fragile democracy. These are precisely the phenomena and processes that are likely very soon, much sooner than we think, to turn Israel from a progressive state with its face toward the future into an extremist, militant, xenophobic, ingrown pariah cult.

I want to say something here to those who have spent the last month or so boasting about our nation’s inner strength. Our nation’s inner strength means, among other things, understanding that Arab citizens of Israel are at present in severe, intolerable distress. They see their people killed and wounded by the thousands, sometimes their own family members. Sometimes the person shooting at their family members is the son of their employer or of a person who works alongside them. And anyone who exults that we Jewish Israelis are the most humane nation, the most sensitive to the troubles of other humans, should please explain to me how it is that we insist on preventing Arab citizens of Israel, doctors and nurses who care for us in our hospitals, social workers and garage mechanics and students and cooks and artists and construction workers, those with whom we live and with whom we will live, how we refuse to permit them at least the right to cry out.

Is our nation’s resolve so weakened that it has no room for these human expressions of anger and grief? Friends, you who have come in your numbers to this square and the even greater numbers at home, of every point of view, every party, every religious orientation, you whose lives are bound up and intertwined with the life of the state of Israel, you in whose eyes, I hope — as in mine — this is the most meaningful place to live and raise children.

And you, perhaps, who belong to today’s ruling political majority, but who feel that a great mistake is taking shape here on a historic scale — all of you who see how we are, by our own hands, by our inaction, we are losing our home, losing it to the fanaticism and internecine hatred that leave us paralyzed in a fifty-year deadlock that prevents us from saving ourselves — I am speaking to you. The alarm sounded in our ears by this last war tells us to forge new partnerships that break the deadlock and raise us up past the narrow self interests of our quarreling camps.

I believe, and with this I will conclude, that there is still a critical mass of people here, people of the broad Israeli mainstream, people from the right and the left, religious and secular, Jews and Arabs, people from every community and class, people who are disgusted with violence and extremism, people with the wisdom of life and of compromise, people from Tel Aviv and Ofra and Ashkelon and Jerusalem and Sakhnin and Be’er Sheva, people who are still capable of uniting, intelligently and without illusions, around three or four points of agreement. For example, that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people and that it is a democratic state, all of whose citizens have absolutely equal rights, and that it will make every effort to resolve the conflict with its neighbors. Three or four points that are the heart of the matter, a sort of test by which every Israeli citizen can define for himself where he stands and to which camp he belongs.

If this evening produces such a call and it lands on attentive ears, and if it gathers strength and mobilizes people, then perhaps, perhaps, even the leaders of this country will begin to reposition themselves along these new lines. This is the choice before us after this last war. This is the choice, this is our hope. Thank you and good evening.


Yuval Sherlow, Letter to David: This is How You Missed the Israeli Public

To David Grossman, greetings,

Who did you want to speak to last night? If you wanted to speak to the few thousand people who think like you and thus to fix in place the framework that you are addressing, you succeeded. That’s how your words sounded, in fact — fixed in place, unequivocal, without reconsideration, without doubts. A typical rally speech. A speech that demands of others what it won’t consider from itself: rethinking its path.

But if you were thinking of speaking to the broader public, or at least to those who are willing to listen to your words and reexamine their own opinions — you didn’t succeed. You missed an opportunity.

What was it in your words that created the great barrier to their reception? First, one could point to the broad expanse that wasn’t present. You spoke about difficulties and despair. They appeared many times in your remarks, and from your point of view, rightly so. But you didn’t speak at all about the solidarity and great spirit of this nation that have appeared in the difficult days we’re going through. You didn’t speak about the deep sense of partnership that has appeared within the divided and quarreling people of Israel.

You spoke, apparently correctly, about the fact that there is no military solution to the terrible conflict between these two peoples — at least none that is visible on the horizon. But you weren’t willing to examine other options. You repeated the familiar mantras about sitting down and talking peace, while completely ignoring the experience we’ve acquired in the last few years.

You spoke of a perfect symmetry of pain and suffering between us and Gaza, but you weren’t willing to raise the more complex challenge of the ethics of war, of justice, of the fact that one side of the conflict includes a group that has written our destruction on its banner.

You spoke quite justly of the fact that “my neighbor’s downfall is not necessarily my victory, and my neighbor’s welfare is in the end my welfare,” but you took no note of the fact that this sentence is spoken only on one side of the border, not on both sides. Indeed, no one would willingly live under siege, but you didn’t speak about the use Hamas makes of the resources it has acquired in the last few years — where the money goes, and toward what goals.

But the most important thing you missed is something I’m not sure you can see: something that was missing in the words you directed inward, toward your own people. I noted at the outset your decision not to acknowledge the spirit, the strength, the devotion and solidarity. I don’t think for a moment that you didn’t feel them. But you chose not to take note of them as part of the overall equation.

Note how many words you devoted to despair, hatred, division and the inroads of fascism, and how much you ignored the fact that there are other phenomena at work, trends that are building a new house that can yet arise from the dichotomy within which you live. In so doing, you closed my ears — and the ears of many others, I’m sure — from hearing your words. I can listen only to someone who sees a rich picture, not one-dimensional, not fanatical, not extreme.

Not only that, but you continue to live in your dichotomous world. You continue to speak in a language of “only one answer,” which is to say, anyone who thinks like you is a lover of peace, and anyone who doesn’t “prefers the certainty of repeated wars.” Those who believe that following your path is in fact the surest guarantee of repeated wars, and on ever-worsening terms, count for nothing in your book.

This dichotomy turns into fatalism: “People who were brave enough to enter booby-trapped houses and terror tunnels, to hear how they are ready to accept as a sort of decree from heaven that their lives are only theirs on loan until the next payment due date.” Your ears are closed to the other possibilities: These precious boys are lovers of life and lovers of peace. They don’t accept anything as decreed from heaven. They just think differently from you.

And the dichotomy continues in your telling of the left “taking it on the chin.” The world is somehow divided in two: One side of the equation is “chauvinism, fanaticism and racism” erupting “shamelessly, all at once,” swiftly managing “to impose a dictatorship of fear on broad sectors of our public domain.” The other side is you.

One side is accused (quite justifiably, if your facts are correct) that “not one word of condemnation has come from the mouth of the prime minister nor from any senior minister.” The other side, of course, is clean of hand and pure of heart, and we have heard its voice raised in protest against the spokesmen of the right and its legal representatives.

I don’t want to get into self-pity and questions of who started it and whether or not it’s symmetrical. I only want to point out the ugly world of black and white within which street-rally rhetoric traps you.

It was your final passage that could — and should — have taken you to a different place. You said, and rightly so: “I believe that there is still a critical mass of people here, people of the broad Israeli mainstream, people from the right and the left, religious and secular, Jews and Arabs … people from Tel Aviv and Ofra and Ashkelon and Jerusalem and Sakhnin and Be’er Sheva, people who are still capable of uniting, intelligently and without illusions, around three or four points of agreement. For example, that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people and that it is a democratic state, all of whose citizens have absolutely equal rights, and that it will make every effort to resolve the conflict with its neighbors. … a sort of test by which every Israeli citizen can define for himself where he stands and to which camp he belongs.”

But your words once again were incomplete. If only you had added the other sides of the coin — the readiness to stand forcefully and with determination on our Zionist stance and our relationship with the Land of Israel; the true situation of the enemies that surround us, “intelligently and without illusions”; as well as the national mobilization on behalf of the peripheries, in the fullest sense — then you would have broken through the boundaries of the narrow public to which you spoke.

Then, too, you would have found allies and partners in the struggle for freedom of expression and honest public discourse, for sensitivity toward the complex and difficult situation of the Arab community in the state of Israel; in the struggle to redeem those who have been harmed by official corruption and public rigidity as they search for ways to stop the terrible bloodshed plaguing our region, and to restore the word “peace” to its proper status — instead of the political manipulations for which it is exploited today.

But you chose to go down a different path, and found yourself forced to utter these words of self-delusion: “You are many. We are many, many more than we thought, than we believed.” What a pity.

#FergusonUnderFire ~~ 90 YEAR OLD HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR ARRESTED

FERGUSON UNDER FIRE …

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Hedy Epstein, 90-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor, Arrested During Michael Brown Protest

SHOCKING REPORT IN THE NYT ABOUT ISRAELI ORGAN TRAFFICKING

Where did zion go wrong to get one of its most ardent supporters to turn against them?

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Report: Israelis key players in ‘cash for kidneys’ black market


NYT says Israelis play ‘disproportionate role’ in global organ trade, with brokers arranging kidney transplants at cost of more than $100,000.
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Israelis have a “disproportionate role” in the seamy world of international organ-trafficking, according to a comprehensive New York Times investigative report on global organ trade.

Two years ago, the report states, the family of Ophira Dorin, a 36-year-old Israeli woman with kidney disease, began looking for a way to bypass the long waiting list for an organ and soon came found three Israeli organ brokers whose reach purportedly extends to Central America.

It wasn’t an easy task, the report said, but Dorin’s mother, who works in a hospital, managed to make a contact with the three brokers, whom the Times names as Yaakov “Koby” Dayan, a businessman in his late fifties who takes an interest in real estate and marketing; Avigad Sandler, a 65-year-old insurance agent who was an IDF officer; and 30-year-old Boris Volfman, an emigrant from Ukraine and Avigad’s protégé, who runs his own transplant tourism agency.

All three are active operators in Israel’s underground kidney market, according to the Times.

For years, the three had paired Israeli patients with donors from abroad, according to the report. They claim that their activities were legal and that their involvement in the organ transplants was strictly indirect. According to the New York Times report, the prominence of Israelis in the global organ trade can be attributed at least partly to an unavailability of organs for transplantation, as a result of Jewish law prohibitions.

“When someone needs an organ transplant, they’ll do everything in their power,” the report cites Meir Broder, a legal adviser to Israel’s Ministry of Health, as saying.

From 2009 to 2012, the brokers sent numerous patients to Costa Rica. The NYT tracked them down and even reached the brokers, some of whom live in Ramat Gan in central Israel. There is no official information on the number of the transplant recipients, but the NYT counted 11, including six Israelis, who made their way to Costa Rica to receive organs from locals. The same three Israeli brokers also assisted people from other countries. One of the cases has been solved by the police, and the money was returned to the patient, in this case an American. Two other Israelis brought their donors with them from Israel. Dayan assisted four patients – including Ophira.

‘A third of the cost than in the US’
Dorin told the New York Times that she was asked to pay $200,000 in cash to Sandler for a flight to Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, she came into contact with Volfman, who asked for only $150,000. However, both Sandler and Volfman were arrested in Israel shortly after due to a suspicion of involvement in organ trade.

Later on Dorin met with Dayan, who asked for $175,00 for the entire procedure. $18,500 of the sum was paid to a 37-year-old local unemployed man, for his kidney. While Ophira questioned the legality of the procedure that Dayan had presented to her, she stated that she felt that she didn’t have a choice: “my condition was critical,” the report quoted her as saying. “I didn’t feel very good, and my condition was getting worse. Even if I knew it was illegal, I don’t think I would have done anything different. It’s important to understand that these people, although greedy, do save lives.”

In 2008, an international committee formulated the “Declaration of Istanbul”, that asserted that organ trade violates the “the principles of equity, justice and respect for human dignity and should be prohibited.” However, organ transplantations usually pass under countries’ radars due to a lack in clear laws on the issue and an insufficiency of cooperation between the countries regarding extraditions.

In Costa Rica, many gave into the temptation of making fast money – not only poverty-stricken people, but physicians as well. According to the NYT, “Physicians have a financial incentive to treat foreign patients because of the country’s dual public-private medical system. Specialists like nephrologists and transplant surgeons are required to work at state-run hospitals, where they make perhaps $7,000 a month. But they can earn more by working after hours at private hospitals that cater to patients with means. There, doctors are paid by the case, so the more transplants they perform, the more they make.”

One of the physicians involved in the incident is Dr. Francisco José Mora Palma, the chief of nephrology at a San José hospital, to whom the payments were transferred, and who also paid the kidney donors. One of the doctors explained to the NYT that in the US, a kidney transplant costs $250,000, while in Costa Rica, “it would cost more or less a third part, including the hotel and the ticket for the planes.” Soon, a rumor began spreading around the San José Hospital about the large profits one can make from organ donations.

Dayan reportedly made use of the services of dummy corporations through which he routed $30 million from 1997 to 2007, mainly from transplant brokering. He collaborated exclusively with the senior doctor at a San José hospital, Dr. Mora, for Israeli patients. When tracked down by the NYT, Dayan confirmed that he knew the doctor, but denied that he had sent patients to Costa Rica. He said that the Dr. Mora himself had been involved in connecting Costa Rican donors with Israeli patients. “We help people, but I don’t want to talk about it,” he told the NYT.

The first to suspect criminal activity was a nurse at the public hospital in Costa Rica where Mora worked, the Times said. She reportedly noticed that the equipment the hospital used for surgery was different than that used for transplants. The suspicions of hospital staff in the US were aroused several months later, when an Israeli patient came to them in serious condition, after undergoing a kidney transplant in Costa Rica.

The alert in Costa Rica regarding illegal organ trade was heightened when a young Costa Rican couple who arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport caught the attention of airport staff – a series of questions revealed that they had came to Israel to sell a kidney, saying that Dr. Mora had sent them. The NYT stated that the couple did not know why they had been sent to Israel instead of the procedure being performed in Costa Rica as usual, but that they were in desperate need of the money. After their intentions were exposed, the couple were deported, without the money they had expected to collect.

‘He said it was legal’
A month after the airport incident, in April 2013, the director of the hospital in San José informed Dr. Mora that he was not approving any more transplants, the report said. Shortly after, a man arrived at the director’s home demanding an explanation, and spouting verbal abuse. The NYT names him as Adi Vladlen Lishinski, a 30-year-old Israeli with a criminal record, who also goes by the name of Damien Goldstein. An acquaintance of Lishinski, car salesman Carlos Zúñiga Forero, told the newspaper that Lishinski had openly admitted that he “makes a living selling organs” and that “he said it was legal because the people sign some papers”.

Forero further explained that Lishinski had hoped to establish a transplant tourism agency, and was looking for a local partner.

In November 2012, Lishinski set up an agency under the name D & B Medical Treatment Solutions, the report said. A notary who had been employed by Lishinski understood only after a certain period of time that he had been misled. The NYT quoted the notary as saying that Lishinski called him “a coward. I responded that as an attorney I have the right to choose what risks to take.”

At the end of that month, Lishinski arrived in Israel and was arrested. The NYT learned that he was an old acquaintance of Volfman, and that the two had met as teenagers at a program for juveniles in northern Israel. Volfman confirmed to the NYT that he was Lishinski’s business partner, but denied that Lishinski had been working for him in Costa Rica.

Volfman was arrested for a short period of time in 2012. Avigad Sandler, one of the other Israeli organ brokers, was also arrested in April on suspicion of trafficking in organs.

In 2007, Volfman pleaded guilty in the kidnapping of a man who he had used to break into databases of hospitals and look for patients in need of a kidney transplant. Several months after his release from prison, he established his own transplant agency. Within a year and a half, the agency arranged for 15 transplants, the report said. Volfman told the paper that his agency was only an intermediary between medical centers and patients.

Patients such as Ophira described Volfman as “self-confident, earnest and smoothly reassuring.” Volfman had sold his own kidney in Columbia, as a young man, the report said. He told the NYT that he had worked with Sandler and even accompanied patients to Sri Lanka, but denied any involvement in the organ trade.

Fate of the brokers
In June 2013, Costa Rica police arrested Dr. Mora. He was jailed for four months, and later retired from his job.

His acquaintances told the New York Times that Dr. Mora had said “they did the kidney transplants to save lives.” Following his arrest, more people who were involved in the process were also taken into custody, the report stated. Some of them are doctors due to be prosecuted this month. Most of the transplants were carried out at Hospital La Católica, whose employees had not responded to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the regulations in Costa Rica have been tightened and it was decided that doctors taking part in such illegal proceedings would be charged. In addition, a national waiting list system for organ transplants was established.

In Israel, there are no charges against Sandler or Volfman, but the investigation is ongoing. In 2008, Sandler was suspected of involvement in a trafficking network in Kosovo. Attempts to contact him were unsuccessful, the NYT said.

Several months ago, one of Volfman’s associates was arrested. The “primary suspect”, whom the NYT surmises is Volfman, is apparently out of Israel, and, the police told the paper, “has no intention of coming back.”

It was further reported that similar cases are being investigated in Turkey. Meir Arenfeld of the Israel Police said that the brokers were not deterred by the prior arrests.

“We see a pattern of behavior that is repeating itself,” he said.

 

 

Source

DOES ISRAEL WANT HAMAS ABOVE OR BELOW GROUND?

Where do the U.S. and Israel want Hamas: as part of a transparent political system, or in underground tunnels?

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Palestinian unity is no substitute for a viable political system

Where do the U.S. and Israel want Hamas: as part of a transparent political system, or in underground tunnels?

By Sam Bahour

Palestinian “unity,” reconciling tensions between Hamas and Fatah, is being revered as the foundation that can extract Gaza from the misery wrought upon it byyet another brutal Israeli military onslaught. The devastation from what Israel called “Operation Protective Edge” is overwhelming: nearly 2,000 Palestinians dead, over 10,000 wounded and paralyzed, and a third of the 1.8 million people in Gaza homeless. Added to this human tragedy is the rabid destruction of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. Palestinian political “unity” requires an operating political system, which is something that Israel dismantled long ago with official Palestinian acquiescence. Anyone seriously wanting to see Palestinians survive this latest Israeli attack should support the reemergence of a fully operating Palestinian political system, rather than just the replacement of a pair of failed political monopolies with a reconciled but leaderless political duopoly.

File photo of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: PPO/Thaer Ghanaim - Handout)

If this newly founded Palestinian “unity” was cemented in a strategic political agreement and emerged from a unified political system that was representative in nature, one may have hope. But it was not. It is a unity of Fatah and Hamas, two non-representative political entities, one more militant today than the other, but both equally squeezed into a political corner that not only challenges their strategies to end the nearly five decades of Israeli military occupation, but also casts doubt on their political legitimacy.

On June 3, 2014—more than a week before three Israeli teenagers from the Gush Etzion settlement in the West Bank were reported kidnapped and murdered—I made the following comments on the Middle East Eye website and on my Facebook wall regarding the unity agreement reached in Cairo on April 23, 2014:

 

Palestinians have finally created what has been coined as a “unity government” after nearly eight years of paralysing division between the two largest political parties, Fatah and Hamas. This step is extremely overdue, but should be welcomed nevertheless for what it is: a baby step in the right direction, finally accepting government for what it is, a branch of politics and not some technocratic institute.

The Palestinian political spectrum is much more colourful than the bipolar duopoly that this new government depicts. If Palestinian decision-makers are serious about reconstituting an operating Palestinian political system, then no time should be wasted in passing a political party law so new political groupings, mainly youth groups, can organise politically, and then subsequently be allowed to enter elections for all levels of Palestinian governance—starting with the PLO and ending with the Palestinian Legislative Council.

In the meantime, US and Israeli threats against the government because Hamas has joined it are strategically misplaced. One must ask, where does the US and Israel want Hamas to be: in a transparent political system, or in underground trenches? Regardless, the Palestinian government is not any other country’s business unless, that is, they allow Palestinians to choose the Israelis we accept to lead Israel.

On July 3, 2014, the Israeli Air Force conducted 15 air strikes in Gaza supposedly directed at Hamas targets in response to a rocket attack from Palestinian militants. The subsequent bombardment of Gaza during July cut short the unified government’s efforts to take serious steps forward to solidify the unity agreement.

In a fury to stop the mass killing and destruction that came with the latest aggression against Palestinians in Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attempted to leverage the still-fresh unity agreement. Abbas appointed a “unity delegation” to negotiate with Israel indirectly, given that Hamas refuses to negotiate directly, for a permanent ceasefire.

Negotiating a ceasefire agreement was not planned to be the first act of the unity government, but Israel successfully disrupted any planned unification of the Palestinian political system by imposing the latest humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Instead of beginning organizational tasks such as reunifying ministries, integrating Gaza’s security personnel into the national security institutions, merging two legal systems, and holding national elections, the “unity government” effort morphed into a “unity delegation” to deal with the ceasefire. There is a huge difference between a unity government based on a unified political system and a “unified delegation” focused solely on saving what remains of the Gaza Strip.

Given the horrific carnage in Gaza, few in the West will even recall that the Israeli government lashed out against any unification of the Palestinians, threatened to cut funding, and took punitive measures to further entrench their state of military control over the West Bank. A very plausible argument can be made that massive destruction of Gaza and rampaging in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were all orchestrated to ensure Palestinians remain divided and Hamas continue to be perceived as a legitimate threat to Israel, providing the perfect justification for not ending the Israeli occupation.

Members of the Al Kaferna family stand in their flat which was destroyed by Israeli strikes in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, August 4, 2014. They went back to quickly salvage a few of their belongings during a short ceasefire. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

With the ceasefire being the centerpiece of “unity,” I posted these remarks in the Middle East Eye on August 8, 2014:

 

The sheer use of the word “ceasefire” is insulting. It depicts an artificial symmetry that the Palestinians have fell for, even though reality on the ground is totally contrary.

For a fragile, non-representative, Palestinian unity delegation to be engaged in “ceasefire” negotiations with their military occupier (it means little if done directly or through intermediaries) sets up Palestinians for an Oslo-like phase, where, no matter what is agreed, the Palestinian side will be signing away rights that have been stripped from them by Israel for decades.

These rights, first among them protection, should be secured by Third States under their obligations toward the Fourth Geneva Convention, without the need for “resistance” or “ceasefire” talks.

A “ceasefire” simply reinforces the false impression that there is some hint of symmetry between Palestine and Israel. There is not! Furthermore, to be conducting these “ceasefire” talks [in Cairo,] the capital of a country that participates in the siege of the Gaza Strip, should be an embarrassment to every member of the Palestinian negotiating team, first among them Hamas.

After all the dead are buried in Gaza and the mourning process comes to a close, politically we will be exactly where we were two months prior to this tragedy: living the illusion of unity in the absence of a legitimate political system. Meanwhile, the reality of military occupation keeps us physically and politically fragmented, led by unelected leaders, and sustained more than ever by foreign donors who have their own agendas. These are the ingredients for yet another round of violence.

 

Written FOR

THE UN SAT AND WATCHED, PHOTOGRAPHED THE CARNAGE IN GAZA, AND DID NOTHING!

Suddenly they publicise the photos after close to 2,000 died …

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108-page report with high-resolution satellite photos captures extent of destruction in Gaza, to be used by UN committee on Operation Protective Edge.

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WHY NOT SOONER?
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UN releases Gaza Crisis Atlas documenting damage to Strip

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The United Nations released the Gaza Crisis Atlas on Sunday, showing the physical damage wrought on the Strip during IDF Operation Protective Edge using satellite imagery. The 108-page document will be used by a UN investigatory committee on the conflict.

The Atlas overlays a grid over Gaza, dividing it into smaller parcels – with each one receiving a detailed page noting the locations of schools, mosques, and public buildings on high-resolution satellite footage.

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Destruction in Gaza City suburb of Shuja’iyeh

The small red dots represent locations that were damaged during the operation, while a red explosion marks the hospitals and power plants that were damaged.

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The UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which released the document, explained that the damage assessment was based on analysis of satellite photos starting on August 1 and the previous month.

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The images were provided by UNOSAT, an organization created in cooperation with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

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A statement released along with the Atlas said it was a central tool to help humanitarian organizations – or anyone working in Gaza – as well any person who wanted to better understand the consequences of the recent conflict.

The satellite photos clearly show the massive destruction to neighborhoods like Shuja’iyeh, one of the focal points of conflict during the fighting.

 

Source of above

UPDATES ON BLOCKING THE BOAT FOR GAZA

THE EFFORTS ARE WORKING!

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See last night’s post, then see updates on Facebook below …

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UPDATES HERE
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SUPPORT ACTIONS IN NEW YORK YESTERDAY
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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