ONLY BY VOTING TOMORROW CAN YOU CHOSE THE PICTURE YOU WANT FOR AMERICA

This One OR This One

From the Occupation to #OccupyWallStreet

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It’s so ironic that the Democrats chose Scarlett Johansson of SodaStream fame to act as their spokesperson ….

Here is a letter she sent out to Party members on behalf of the Democratic National Committee;

Friend –

I think you know by now how incredibly high the stakes are on November 4th, especially for women. And if we don’t want to wake up on November 5th and find ourselves on the fast track back in time on women’s rights, it’s critical that Democrats vote.

That starts with you.

Will you take a moment to confirm your polling place, and then forward this email to three of your friends?

http://my.democrats.org/Lookup

If the Republicans take back the Senate, one of the first things they will try to dismantle will be a woman’s right to make her own personal health care decisions. This year, I have been appalled again and again by decisions from the GOP and even the Supreme Court that attack a woman’s right to choose, and this is our chance to take action.

Our votes on Tuesday are all that can stop Republicans from doing even more damage.

So please, even if you remember your polling place, take a moment to confirm that it hasn’t changed, and check that your friends and family have a plan for where and when to vote.

Thanks for stepping up. And if you get your friends to vote, tell them thanks from me!

Scarlett Johansson

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Pretty sickening if you ask me!

Just remember this image when you cast your ballot.

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Enjoy the following …

ISRAELI STYLE PEACE PROCESS UNFOLDS ON THE STREETS OF JERUSALEM

The clashes and arrests across Jerusalem came after days of intense security across the city, where Israeli police have deployed heavily amid four months of tensions between local Palestinians and occupation authorities.

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'Peace or Peaces' by Latuff

‘Peace or Pieces’ by Latuff

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28 injured as clashes rage across Jerusalem overnight
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A Palestinian protestor throws a burning tire during clashes with Israeli
forces at the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem
on Oct. 31, 2014 (AFP Abbas Momani)
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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — At least 28 Palestinians were injured as clashes with Israeli forces continued into the late hours of the night on Friday across Jerusalem, as anger over a series of killings by Israeli police boiled over into the streets of the city’s Palestinian neighborhoods.Clashes broke out in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan, al-Issawiya, al-Tur, and Wadi al-Joz, as hundreds marched and fought pitched battles with security forces in anger over the killing of Mutaz Hijazi, 32, early Thursday, as well as the killing of Abd al-Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, the week before.Both men were suspected by authorities of involvement in violent incidents targeting Israelis. But Palestinians have been outraged by their killings, highlighting that instead of being arrested both were shot dead by police on sight.

An autopsy on Friday revealed that Mutaz Hijazi, 32, was shot 20 times by different officers and left to die on his rooftop, as Israeli police refused to allow locals to reach him — and later forced an ambulance to surrender his body, before returning it to the family late Thursday.

On Friday evening, Israeli forces raided the area around Hijazi’s home al-Thawri neighborhood in Silwan, and locals told Ma’an that soldiers attacked a tent set up by the mourning family where friends and relatives were dropping in to offer condolences.

Israeli forces reportedly fired stun grenades, tear-gas canisters, and rubber-coated steel bullets at mourners gathered at the tent, and several men and women suffered severe tear gas inhalation while many others were injured by rubber-coated bullets.

Activist Jihad Oweida told Ma’an that one mourner, Attiya Shabbaneh, was injured by shrapnel from stun grenades in his face and was taken to al-Maqasid Hospital for treatment.

In the Bir Ayyub neighborhood, Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters at more than 200 Palestinian youths who had gathered to visit the mourning tent set up in Hijazi’s home.

Many suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation and one was injured and received a fracture in his foot. A Palestinian youth identified as Rami Salah was detained by Israeli forces.

An official responsible for ambulance and emergency services at the Palestinian Red Crescent, Amin Abu Ghazaleh, told Ma’an that 28 Palestinians suffered from light injuries, including from rubber-coated steel bullets injuries and tear-gas inhalation, while three were taken to hospitals after they were hit at close range with rubber-coated steel bullets in the head, legs, and stomach.

In the al-Issawiya neighborhood, meanwhile, dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters heavily during clashes that erupted as Israeli forces detained an unidentified Palestinian.

Clashes also erupted in the Sur Baher village, Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, and other neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem.

An Israeli police spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Old City security tight

Also on Friday, Israeli police released the director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Jawad Siyam, along with Yazan Siyam, Muntaser Faraj and Mahmoud Gaith who were all detained Friday on charges of “assaulting” Israeli settlers in September.

It was unclear why the arrests had taken place more than a month after the alleged assault, but some have speculated that the arrests were related to the political nature of the work of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, which focuses on resisting settler encroachment in the neighborhood of Silwan.

The four were released on the condition to pay a 500 shekels bill each, and were sentenced to house arrest until next Monday.

The clashes and arrests across Jerusalem came after days of intense security across the city, where Israeli police have deployed heavily amid four months of tensions between local Palestinians and occupation authorities.

Police, some in riot gear, guarded a series of checkpoints leading from the Old City’s outer gates all the way to the Al-Aqsa compound, an AFP correspondent said.

They checked identity papers of people passing between the barricades, both those on their way to pray and those who worked nearby.

Zuheir Dana, 67, said he was unable to get from his shop to his home.

“I wanted just to get home, which is about 50 meters (yards) away from the Al-Aqsa compound, but police didn’t let me through,” he said.

“It’s been bad every day here since Ramadan,” he added, referring to the Muslim holy month that fell in July.

Markets in the Old City, normally bustling on a Friday morning, were nearly deserted due to the security measures.

The security measures followed the unprecedented complete closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound — the third-holiest site in Islam — for the first time since 1967, which ignited protest across the Arab world and even from the United States.

Palestinian community officials say the wave of unrest gripping the city is fueled by a sense of hopelessness resulting from Israel’s policies in occupied East Jerusalem, which have left many young people with a sense that they have nothing to lose.

The arrests of hundreds over summer for participation in protests against Israel’s massive assault on Gaza — which left nearly 2,200 dead in the tiny coastal enclave — has only added fuel to the fire.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem live within territory Israel has unilaterally annexed, they lack citizenship rights and are instead classified only as “residents” whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.

They face discrimination in all aspects of life including housing, employment, and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel’s separation wall.

East Jerusalem is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory, but Israel occupied it in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never considered legitimate abroad.

 

PHOTO OF SUSPECTED PALESTINIAN TERRORIST

OMG! ….. Just the thought of meeting this guy in a dark alley is giving me goosebumps ;)

'Suspected 2 year old terrorist' (MaanImages)

‘Suspected 2 year old terrorist’ (MaanImages)

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Israeli soldiers attempt to

detain 2-year-old for rock-

throwing

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday attempted to detain two Palestinian children, a two-year-old and a nine-year old, on suspicion of throwing rocks.Israeli soldiers were conducting a raid on the home of the Jaber family in the Silwan neighborhood in order to search for an individual suspected of throwing rocks at them from the roof, the family told Ma’an.When the soldiers ascended to the roof to detain the alleged culprit, however, they found a two-year-old named Mimati Asaad Jaber who was playing with his mother. While they were playing, apparently, a rock had fallen into the street below.

The boy’s grandfather, who was in the house during the raid, said that the boy was only playing and that he did not know there were soldiers in the street below the building when he tossed the stone.

Upon seeing the two-year-old with his mother, however, the Israeli soldiers shifted their attention to a nine-year-old member of the family nearby.

Members of the Jaber family told Ma’an that once Israeli soldiers found out the nine-year-old boy’s name — Izz al-Din al-Qassam, also the name of a famous Palestinian national hero and used by Hamas as the name for its military brigades — they began questioning him.

The Israeli soldiers attempted to detain the nine-year-old boy based on the fact that he had “colored rocks” in his pockets, presumably to throw at soldiers, but when they searched the child they found that the “rocks” were in fact candy.

A new draft law being considered by Israeli lawmakers would lead to charges of up to 20 years, even if it could not be proven that rock-throwers intended to cause damage.

A 2011 report by Israeli rights group B’tselem, meanwhile, noted that around 100 percent of all Palestinian children accused of rock-throwing are convicted, largely because minors are kept in prison for the duration of any trial so the pressure to plea bargain is high.

Military Court Watch estimated that at the beginning of October more than 180 Palestinian children and youths were being held in Israeli prisons, down from 250 in June.

According to a 2013 report by the UN’s Children’s Fund, Israel is the only country in the world where children are systematically tried in military courts and subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”

Over the past decade, Israeli forces have arrested, interrogated, and prosecuted around 7,000 children between 12 and 17, mostly boys, at a rate of “an average of two children each day,” UNICEF said.

 

PARODY ON WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FLIGHT TO ISRAEL

OR ….. THOSE ‘CHICKENSHIT’ HAREDIM

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‘Committed to your spiritual safety’: El Al safety video parody …..

Jewish-American comedy writers Levinson Brothers post satirical in-flight safety video in wake of recent incidents of flight delays due to refusal of Haredi passengers’ to sit next to women.

Ynetnews

“Gentlemen, and unfortunately, ladies,” the announcement featured in a satirical in-flight safety video by Jewish-American comedy writers Stephen and Joel Levinson begins. The parody of El Al’s flight safety video presents guidelines for passengers, following recent cases in which flights were delayed after ultra-orthodox Jewish men refused to take their seats next to women.

In one of the latest of such incidents, which was first published by Ynet, passengers aboard an El Al flight from New York to Israel described their trip as an “11-hour long nightmare” due to disruptions caused by Haredi travelers during the flight.

According to the passengers who were on the plane, their fellow ultra-Orthodox travelers refused to sit next to women prior to the takeoff, which not only delayed the flight, but caused actual chaos to ensue on the plane.

Tablet, the Jewish online magazine that posted the video in question, mentioned the recent cases in which Haredi passengers demanded that secular travelers change seats, and added that “to help the airline better articulate its policies, and to educate passengers on what they might expect on their 11-hour journey to the Holy Land, we turned to our friends the Levinson Brothers, who produced an in-flight safety video El Al could screen as passengers board at JFK airport.”

STORM OVER CARTOON OF BIBI PILOTING PLANE THAT CRASHED INTO TWIN TOWER

As I always say …. if the sandal fits, wear it!

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Biderman insisted his cartoon was fair criticism of Netanyahu, who he claims has damaged relations with the U.S.

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Israeli Cartoonist Stands By 9/11 Image of Benjamin Netanyahu

Amos Biderman Says ‘Never Imagined’ Storm Over Satire

By Forward Staff

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Image by Amos Biderman

Image by Amos Biderman

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Israeli cartoonist Amos Biderman stood by his an explosive work that depicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flying a plane towards the World Trade Center.

Biderman, the political cartoonist for the liberal Haaretz newspaper, said he “never imagined” the harsh reaction to the terror-themed cartoon but pointedly refused to apologize in an article published on its web site.

“It was certainly not my intention to insult or upset anyone,” Biderman told Haaretz. “I wasn’t sufficiently aware of the great sensitivity that 9/11 holds for Americans.”

The article did not quote any Haaretz editors and the work remained on the paper’s web site, suggesting Biderman’s bosses back his explanation.

Biderman insisted his cartoon was fair criticism of Netanyahu, who he claims has damaged relations with the U.S.

“I was mocking Bibi,” he said. “He’s been acting like a bull in a china shop with the United States, which is Israel’s most important strategic asset.”

Biderman noted that he has often grappled with controversial issues in his work — and refuses to censor himself even when he knows many readers may object.

“I have drawn cartoons depicting every war that Israel has fought, including the Yom Kippur War – which I was involved in – where we suffered thousands of casualties. I have used some of Israel’s greatest tragedies as the background for my cartoon(s). .. . I never imagined that by using an image that evoked 9/11 I would cause such a storm.”

WOULD YOU BELIEVE THERE IS NOT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN ISRAEL

BUT ….

Neither is there a fair Judicial System for Palestinians living here …. THEY not only get the death penalty, it is usually for alleged crimes they are not even charged with. Either the police or the army act as the Judge, Jury and executioner in most cases.

See THIS

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Just a few of the latest examples …. from today’s press. (Click on links)

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Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian teenager near Ramallah

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Israeli forces kill Palestinian suspect in Jerusalem shooting 

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Will US demand truth about Israeli killing of Palestinian-American child?

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Still believe that Israel is the ‘only Democratic country in the Middle East’?

 

COLLATERAL DAMAGE OF THE BDS MOVEMENT

Their work is done .... time to move on

Their work is done …. time to move on

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Originally I was going to headline this post A SMALL STEP FOR MAN, A GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND …. AN EVEN GREATER LEAP FOR THE BDS MOVEMENT.

BUT

I must say that when we call for a boycott of companies situated in the Occupied West Bank we are calling for a boycott of the occupation itself. It is not our intention to put these companies out of business, just to get them out of lands that do not belong to them or Israel.

SO

In reality, the workers of SodaStream are victims of Collateral Damage in our ongoing war against the occupation. The workers of the plant involved, both Israeli and Palestinian have our sincerest wishes that they will soon find suitable employment elsewhere … they were certainly not our target.

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Leah, a Jewish worker, and Nidaa, a Palestinian from Jericho, at the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim. Photograph: Heidi Levine/Sipa/Rex.

Leah, a Jewish worker, and Nidaa, a Palestinian from Jericho, at the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim. Photograph: Heidi Levine/Sipa/Rex.

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SodaStream gives the following reason for the closure of their plant; Sales of SodaStream’s soda machines have been weak in the United States as consumers in the company’s biggest market opt for healthier drinks such as juices and teas over sodas.

No mention of the fact that their company has been the number one target of the BDS Movement over the past year or so. Obviously consumers in the United States are opting against the occupation which is definitely unhealthy!

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Similar protests to these were held throughout the world on a regular basis

sodastream_flickr_img

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Below is a Reuters Report on the situation. You will notice that there is no mention the role that our Movement played in their decision. They are obviously proud losers, when in reality the workers involved are the true losers. There is also no mention of them in the report.

Despite the outcome of this, our efforts will continue globally to boycott the occupation until it ends!

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SodaStream Will Shut West Bank Factory

Onetime Start-Up Nation Star Cuts Costs Amid Financial Woes

By Reuters

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SodaStream, the Israeli at-home soda machine maker, is closing its controversial West Bank factory as part of a cost-cutting campaign amid poor financial results.

The beverage machine maker cut its 2014 revenue and profit forecasts after reporting a sharp drop in third-quarter earnings and said it would restructure to spur a return to growth.

Sales of SodaStream’s soda machines have been weak in the United States as consumers in the company’s biggest market opt for healthier drinks such as juices and teas over sodas.

“Our third quarter performance was pressured by challenging selling conditions for soda makers and flavors primarily in the U.S.,” Chief Executive Daniel Birnbaum said, adding that performance outside the United States was mixed.

Birnbaum announced a “comprehensive growth plan” meant to return SodaStream to profitable growth.

As part of that plan, the company said it would be shutting down and relocating operations from two facilities into a new plant. It would also discontinue certain beverage makers and flavors at a cost of about $20 million to the company.

The financial impact of those two moves will be spread out from the fourth quarter into 2015.

“We are fully committed to getting the company back on track,” Birnbaum said.

It was reported in July that SodaStream was in talks with an investment firm to be taken private in a deal valuing the company at $828 million.

SodaStream’s shares received a boost last week when it said it would sell some PepsiCo Inc brands such as Pepsi Homemade, that are not sold in stores in a limited test.

SodaStream said third-quarter revenue was $125.9 million, down from $144.6 million a year earlier. net profit was $9.5 million versus $16.4 million a year earlier.

The company lowered its forecast for all of 2014, saying revenue was expected to decrease about 9 percent from $562.7 million in 2013, and profit was expected to drop about 42 percent from $42.0 million in 2013. Previously the company had forecast a 5 percent drop in both revenue and profit from 2013.

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Related post from the JTA

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Boycott Israel Activists Claim Credit for SodaStream Factory Closing

Company Points to Fizzling Profits in Cost-Cutting Move

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

The Israeli firm SodaStream, which has been a target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, is closing its West Bank factory — and anti-Israel activists claimed credit for forcing the move.

The company, which makes home soft drink machines, made the announcement about its Maale Adumim facility on Wednesday. It also said that its third quarter sales had dropped 9 percent.

SodaStream said that closing the West Bank factory would result in a $9 million savings in production costs. A second factory in the Galilee also will be closed.

CEO Daniel Birnbaum said in September that the decision to shut down the West Bank factory would be based solely on economics.

The operations from the two plants are slated to be relocated by the end of 2015 to a new facility in Lehavim, a Negev community near Beersheba in Israel’s South. The company will receive a government subsidy for its operations in the new plant. The Lehavim plant is expected to employ a significant number of Bedouin Arabs.

Birnbaum told The Associated Press that the company is working with the Israeli government to secure work permits for its Palestinian employees from the Maale Adumim factory so that they can work in the new plant.

The company also has a plant in Ashkelon and 20 others around the world. There are currently about 1,100 employees in the Maale Adumim plant, including 850 who are Arab-Israelis or Palestinians.

SodaStream was at the center of controversy following the signing of actress Scarlett Johansson as a spokeswoman and the ensuing furor over its West Bank factory. Johansson resigned as a global ambassador for Oxfam over her position with SodaStream.

“We have witnessed a tremendous growth in boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts this year to pressure Israel to ends its denial of Palestinian rights,” Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 groups, said in a statement. “Today’s news is just the latest sign that these global BDS campaigns are having an impact on changing the behavior of companies that profit from Israeli occupation and apartheid.”

Kudaimi said that SodaStream would remain a target of boycott efforts since its factory is close to Rahat, a planned township in the Negev desert for Bedouins, “thus still implicating the company in Israel’s displacement policies.”

SPOOF ON SWEDEN’S RECOGNITION OF A PALESTINIAN STATE

Image created by our new Associate Artist, Gianluca Costantini. Other examples of his latest works can be seen if you click on THIS link.

We are proud to welcome Gianluca to our ranks.

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Related report FROM

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Sweden recognizes state of Palestine

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Foreign Minister Margot Wallström made the announcement in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
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“It’s an important step. Some will say that the decision came too early. I’m afraid that it came too late,” she wrote, adding that she “hopes that this will show the way for others.”
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“The aim of Sweden’s recognition is to help reach the goal of Israel and Palestine co-existing side by side in peace.”
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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas hailed the decision, his spokesman said.
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“President Abbas welcomes Sweden’s decision,” Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, adding that the Palestinian leader described the move as “brave and historic”.
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Abu Rudeina claimed the move was linked to months of soaring tensions in occupied east Jerusalem, where Palestinians have clashed almost daily with Israeli police and where Israel has recently pushed ahead with plans to build another 3,600 settler homes, drawing international condemnation.
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“This decision comes as a response to Israeli measures in Jerusalem,” he said.
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Abbas called for other countries to follow Sweden’s lead.
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“All countries of the world that are still hesitant to recognize our right to an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, (should) follow Sweden’s lead,” his spokesman quoted him as saying.
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The UN General Assembly approved the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state in 2012, but the European Union and most western countries do not refer to Palestine as a separate state.
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Sweden’s decision, initially announced by new Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven as he revealed his new centre-left cabinet in early October, has been met with strong criticism.
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Israel’s foreign minister said it was made “in a hurry” and the US warned that it was a “premature move“. Israel has long insisted that the Palestinians can only receive their promised state through direct negotiations and not through other diplomatic channels.
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Phil Carmel from the European Jewish Congress which represents Jews in 40 countries including Sweden told The Local:
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“This is a token move by Sweden’s new government and it is ironic that Sweden recognizes a Palestinian state at a time when even Palestinians can’t agree on what its borders will be.”
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He added: “A key principle of the European Union is to recognize future states based on negotiations and it is very sad that Sweden appears to have cast these negotiations aside and wants to label Palestine as a state before any formal agreement on its borders.”
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There has been intense fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip in recent months, with some of the deadliest violence in years. But there is currently a ceasefire between the two sides.
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Seven EU members have already recognized a Palestinian state — Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so.
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In Thursday’s announcement, Sweden’s foreign minister said that “the government considers that international law criteria for the recognition of a Palestinian state have been fulfilled.”
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Palestinian groups in Sweden have welcomed the decision. Earlier this month, Nael Touqan, Chairman of Palestinian Association of Stockholm told The Local:
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“Sweden has great respect in Europe so we hope this means that other nations will follow its lead,” he added. “This is the only way to pressure Israel”.

GITMO # 2 ~~ TURNING GAZA INTO A SUPER-MAX PRISON

Gaza – Maus Image created by Gianluca Costantini

Gaza – Maus
Image created by Gianluca Costantini

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Roads, schools and the electricity plant to power water and sewerage systems are in ruins. The cold and wet of winter are approaching. Aid agency Oxfam warns that at the current rate of progress it may take 50 years to rebuild Gaza.

Where else in the world apart from the Palestinian territories would the international community stand by idly as so many people suffer – and not from a random act of God but willed by fellow humans?

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How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison

ROLLING ALONG WITH THE OCCUPATION

The term apartheid does fit Israel

Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

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The usual business of occupation is indeed unequal separation. Itʼs separation between the citizens of the occupying country and the residents of the territory being occupied. Separate buses might be the bitter icing on an even more bitter cake. But thereʼs little new here. The business of occupation rolls along, as usual.

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Separate Buses? That’s How Occupation Rolls.

By Mira Sucharov FOR

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Getty Images

As of next month, Israel will operate separate buses for Palestinian residents of the West Bank returning from jobs as day laborers in Israel, thanks to political pressure from West Bank settlers who donʼt want to ride on the same buses as “Arabs.” The question is: Should we care?

Settler leaders claim that the move was due to aggressive and uncouth behavior by Palestinian passengers, coupled with an overall concern for Jewish passengersʼ security. According to a report in Haaretz, one settler told a meeting of a Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, convened by MK Motti Yogev of the Jewish Home party, about having been sexually assaulted by a Palestinian rider. Another complained that his pregnant wife was not given a seat by Arab passengers. Others were worried that Palestinians on buses could lead to hijackings, or worse. But IDF officials insisted they did not see the Palestinian presence on board these buses as a security threat.

In a democracy, of course, an official report of sexual assault should result in an investigation and possibly individual charges being laid. An informal report — as this one was — might lead a municipality to intensify its safety and surveillance measures. But to collectively deny an entire ethnic group the right to travel on some buses would be collective punishment, rightly considered prejudicial.

Israelʼs rule in the West Bank, however, is far from democratic. Palestinian residents of the West Bank arenʼt Israeli citizens, which means that the normal democratic channels arenʼt open to them from the get-go.

Under the terms of the Oslo agreement, it is true that the Palestinian Authority rules over part of the West Bank (Area A). The rest is controlled either jointly (Area B) or fully (Area C) by Israel. And while most Palestinians reside in Areas A and B, Area C comprises over 60% of the West Bankʼs territory, and includes nearly 300,000 Palestinian residents.

Within the areas controlled by Israel, there is a system of roads dotted with checkpoints. Most roads are accessible to both Israeli citizens (including settlers) and Palestinian residents. But 65 kilometers of West Bank roads are accessible only to Israelis. (Whether this means “Jewish-only” roads is a matter of debate. Technically, Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have equal access. But in practice, given that some roads are intended for settler access, and settlers are Jews, some roads are de facto Jewish-only.)

As for the checkpoints — 99 fixed checkpoints as of February, plus hundreds of “flying checkpoints” — they control who gets to cross over the Green Line into Israel proper, thus helping keep Israelis secure. But, along with physical obstructions put in place by the military administration, they also restrict travel within the West Bank by subjecting Palestinians to humiliating searches and long lines. Add to this the so-called separation barrier snaking around the settlements, and Palestinian freedom of movement — even within the West Bank — is curtailed by a foreign power.

So about those separate buses: Should we care?

For my part, as someone who is concerned with human rights for both Palestinians and Israelis, I would say this: not really. The buses are simply a function of the overall system of occupation that inherently denies the Palestinians the basic human right of being ruled by the entity that represents them.

Recall that a Palestinian caught throwing stones will be tried in Israeli military court. An Israeli caught throwing stones will be tried in Israeli civil court. Add to this that neither court — military or civil — contains officials representing the regime that Palestinians have elected, and we have an overall situation that is fundamentally unacceptable from a moral, political and ethical standpoint. (Itʼs worth noting that the Palestinian Authority is also to blame for not having held elections since 2006, partly owing to the Fatah-Hamas split.)

Itʼs no wonder that BʼTselem, the Israeli human rights watchdog organization, issued a 2014 report called “47 Years of Temporary Occupation.” Accordingly, the current head of the organization, Hagai El-Ad, told me in an interview last month that he is seeking to challenge the view of the occupation, in the minds of Israelis, as constituting nothing more than “business as usual.”

The usual business of occupation is indeed unequal separation. Itʼs separation between the citizens of the occupying country and the residents of the territory being occupied. Separate buses might be the bitter icing on an even more bitter cake. But thereʼs little new here. The business of occupation rolls along, as usual.

#SettlementExpansion ~~ SAYING THIS BUT MEANING THAT …

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

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Be sure to read yesterday’s post

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According to the Israeli watchdog group Who Profits, “In October 2010, in an official letter to Who Profits, Africa-Israel stated: ‘Neither the company nor any of its subsidiaries and/or other companies controlled by the company are presently involved in or has any plans for future involvement in development, construction or building of real estate in settlements in the West Bank.’ However, the company soon after received a 78 million shekel contract to construct the C-Jerusalem project in the settlement neighborhood of Gilo in East Jerusalem.”

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Diamond magnate may be lying about Israel settlement pullout, activists warn

Construction site of Africa Israel housing project in the Gilo settlement, occupied east Jerusalem, 28 August 2013. (Ta’ayush)

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The campaign group Adalah-NY has given a skeptical welcome to reports that Africa Israel, the company controlled by diamond magnate Lev Leviev, has pulled out of all its settlement construction activities in the occupied West Bank.

According to a statement from Adalah-NY, Israel’s Ynet reported this week “that representatives from Africa Israel (AI) and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus, targets of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, say they will stop building Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.”

But, the statement warns, “this announcement – undoubtedly the result of seven years of pressure generated by Adalah-NY and allied groups worldwide and a sign of the growing strength of the BDS movement – should be greeted with vigilance because Africa Israel has in the past made similar statements that proved to be untrue.”

Lying to Norway

In 2010, Norway’s government excluded Africa Israel and its subsidiaries from eligibility to be included in the portfolio of a state pension fund because of the firm’s role in settlement construction.

In August 2013, the ban was lifted based on assurances from Africa Israel that these activities had stopped.

But video, photographic and documentary evidence emerged that the company was lying and in January this year, based on this evidence, Norway reimposed the exclusion.

Adalah-NY points to another instance of Africa Israel engaging in deception about its practices. In September 2013, the firm told the UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre that the settlement of Gilo built in the occupied West Bank should not be considered a settlement at all.

“Given Africa Israel’s pattern of falsely representing its settlement construction to the public, and even to the Norwegian government, and AI’s disagreement with international law and the international community over the very definition of a settlement,” Adalah-NY says “careful monitoring and review of Africa Israel’s work over a substantial period of time is required before AI’s statements today are accepted as accurate.”

Ongoing ties to colonization

Additionally, according to occupation watchdog Who Profits, Africa Israel “owns 26 percent of Alon Group, which has a monopoly over gas supply to the Gaza Strip, and controls the Blue Square retail chain, which has branches and offices in multiple settlements throughout the occupied territories.”

And, notes Adalah-NY, Africa Israel chair Lev Leviev is co-owner of a separate settlement company, Leader Management and Development, which “owns and operates the Israeli settlement of Zufim, which has been built upon the expropriated, fertile agricultural land of the Palestinian village of Jayyous, as well as the land of neighboring Palestinian villages.”

Adalah-NY, which began its campaign against Africa Israel’s occupation profiteering in 2007, also states that Leviev’s companies have been “involved in human rights abuses and unethical business practices in the diamond industry in Angola and Namibia.”

A NEW ISRAELI PIN-UP CALENDAR TO DIE FOR ~~ LITERALLY

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The occupation isn’t sexy.

The Gaza war, just recently ended, wasn’t sexy.

And so seeing these women’s limbs draped in ammunition belts, their faces smeared in war paint and their bodies surrounded with guns and knives — it doesn’t feel sexy.

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Israeli Soldiers Create Least Sexy Pin-Up Ever

By Sigal Samuel FOR

MTKL’s Israeli Army Women Calendar

Just a couple of months after the Gaza war, Israel has found a new way “to show the world the beauty of Israel and its people” — via the power of a pin-up calendar featuring real IDF soldiers.

Or, as the creators of the MTKL Israeli Army Women Calendar like to call them, “the chosen amongst the chosen people.”

These chosen women, brought together by two former (male) soldiers who “scoured the ranks of the powerful Israeli army,” would like you to donate $25 to their Indiegogo campaign so that they can not only ship you this calendar, but also create a whole line of clothing and accessories that will blend “the best of military and street into must-have urban fashion.”

MTKL

Their goal is to make $30,000 off the calendars, enabling them to bring their clothing line to production in early 2015. So far they’ve raised about $3700 — which means that a bunch of people are already walking around wearing jewelry “fashioned after the official IDF Dog Tag.”

Scary thought.

I say that because, if you ask me, this fashion line — and the pin-up calendar being used to showcase it — is pretty much the most unsexy thing I can imagine.

It’s not just that this product is the work of two men using a bunch of women’s bodies to make a quick buck. Leave aside for a minute the obvious feminist objections to pin-up calendars writ large — and hone in on this calendar in particular. It doesn’t take long to see that we’re being sold more than your average “male gaze” sexual fantasy. What we’re being sold is an ideology that equates sexiness with militarism, and Israel with both.

There are at least 4 deeply unfortunate things about this:

1) It shows that Israel’s macho culture — a culture that says military violence is a beautiful and even arousing thing — is alive and well.

2) Women are supposed to be grateful to be allowed into this macho culture. The fact that they’re included is a sign of the culture’s progressiveness, of how evolved and “egalitarian” it is (to quote MTKL’s campaign).

3) Plenty of women actually buy into this logic. That includes the international buyers of MTKL’s products (sadly, I have no doubt that their products will sell) and the Israeli models themselves.

4) By buying into this logic, they are — wittingly or unwittingly — working to put a sexy face on the occupation.

But the occupation isn’t sexy.

The Gaza war, just recently ended, wasn’t sexy.

And so seeing these women’s limbs draped in ammunition belts, their faces smeared in war paint and their bodies surrounded with guns and knives — it doesn’t feel sexy.

The MTKL designers may think their calendar will help “to show the world the beauty of Israel and its people” — but I suspect that for an increasing number of people, this insistence on associating Israel with militarism actually does the exact opposite.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER ~~ SO IS PALESTINE!

Blood diamond mogul Leviev says he won’t build beyond the ‘Green Line’ ….. but which side of the line is he talking about?

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Image created by Gianluca Costantini

Image created by Gianluca Costantini

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Africa Israel has come under a boycott since 2008 because of its operations beyond the Green Line. That same year, UNICEF announced it was cutting ties with Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who had sponsored a portion of the UN organization’s activities, because of “his involvement in the building of settlements in the West Bank.”

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Lev Leviev, center, launches a new Africa Israel project (Photo: Courtesy of Africa Israel)
Lev Leviev, center, launches a new Africa Israel project (Photo: Courtesy of Africa Israel)

Business powerhouse Africa Israel: No building beyond Green Line

Sources in company say such investment is not economically viable; move comes after years of boycotts of company due to operations beyond Green Line.

Ofer Petersburg FOR

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Africa Israel Investments staged an event on Sunday to announce a significant expansion of its construction projects in central and West Jerusalem – 935 housing units at an investment of NIS 2.4 billion. The biggest noise, however, came from Oren Hod, CEO of Africa Israel Residences, who surprisingly announced: “We won’t be building beyond the Green Line.”

This change in policy does not apply only to the company’s entrepreneurial arm, Hod’s domain, which hasn’t been significantly active in such areas in any event, but to its executive arm, too, including the Danya Cebus construction firm, which also built for other companies. The decision means that Africa Israel will not participate in new tenders in Pisgat Ze’ev, Har Homa, Gilo and parts of Ramot.

The main reasons behind the Africa Israel decision are believed to be the political and security developments in Jerusalem in recent years, coupled with protests around the world against the company due to construction beyond the Green Line. According to Africa Israel sources, another reason for the decision is that construction in those areas is not economically viable.

Danya Cebus, a subsidiary of Africa Israel, has carried out construction projects in East Jerusalem in the past. Among other places, the company has built in Har Homa, Gilo, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel and Adam, and was also responsible for a huge neighborhood, East Matityahu, in Modi’in Illit.

Africa Israel has come under a boycott since 2008 because of its operations beyond the Green Line. That same year, UNICEF announced it was cutting ties with Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who had sponsored a portion of the UN organization’s activities, because of “his involvement in the building of settlements in the West Bank.”

Also in 2008, Dubai threatened to sever ties with Leviev’s agents in the diamond trade abroad following demonstrations by the pro-Palestinian Adalah organization. And subsequently, following reports that the British Embassy was planning to lease a property from Africa Israel, a columnist in the Guardian newspaper wrote: “Rewarding Leviev with the contract for our new embassy shows that Her Majesty’s government is not serious about stopping Israeli settlements.”

In 2009, BlackRock UK, one of the world’s preeminent asset management firms, sold all its Africa Israel stock, despite having held a large stake in the company. According to reports, the move came as a result of pressure from the three Norwegian banks that market BlackRock funds. In 2012, New Zealand-government investment funds that turn over investments to the tune of some $20 billion joined the boycott.

In 2011, Adalah-New York demanded that the Fashion Institute of Technology, which was staging an exhibition of British designer Daphne Guinness’ clothing at the FIT’s museum in New York, reject funding from the LVD Foundation, headed by Leviev. “We feel confident that you do not wish to tarnish the good name and the good works of the Fashion Institute of Technology by associating yourself with Lev Leviev’s companies’ human rights violations and questionable business practices,” Adalah-NY wrote in its appeal.

Last January, the Norway’s Finance Ministry announced a boycott of the company and its removal from the investment portfolio of its Government Pension Fund Global after the Norwegian Council of Ethics found that Africa Israel is active in East Jerusalem. The pension fund is managed by the Norwegian central bank and is designed to ensure more efficient and equitable utilization of the Norwegian oil money.

“The decision to exclude Africa Israel and Danya Cebus from the fund stems from their contribution to significant violations of human rights in the framework of a war or conflict by means of building settlements in East Jerusalem,” read the Norwegian announcement.

According to a statement at time from the company, “Africa Israel and its subsidiaries operate in Israel and around the world with the purpose of promoting their business activities in accordance with the law in place in every country in which they operate. In light of this, all we can do is express regret for this decision that pertains to Africa Israel and other large Israeli companies, and wonder how it serves the best interests of the citizens of Norway whose money is managed by this fund.”

As mentioned above, in conjunction with its decision to cease construction activities beyond the Green Line, Africa Israel Residences is expanding its investments in the center and west of the city and is looking for additional land reserves, having recently acquired Mapai House on Jaffa Street where it is planning a 170-apartment high-rise at an investment of NIS 380 million.

Among others, the company will also be erecting two high-end projects – at 7 HaRav Kook Street, which will comprise 131 apartments at an investment of NIS 300 million, HaNevi’im Courtyard, where the company will be selling two-room apartments at NIS 1.82 million and three-room apartments at NIS 2.95 million. The company is also currently marketing its Savyonei Arnona project, with the Savyonei Ramat Sharet project to go on the market soon too. Africa Israel is also moving ahead with the planning of its President’s House hotel project, which will include residential and hotel space.

According to Oren Hod, the company is looking for additional projects in the capital as prices have yet to reach their peak level. “In Rishon Lezion West, we are selling for NIS 2.9 million, and the same apartment in Savyonei Arnona is going for NIS 2.4 million.”

 

WHO SAID ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE?

If this doesn’t prove they were
right, nothing will!

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Among the reasons given for keeping the Palestinians off Israeli buses is lack of room on the buses for Jewish residents of the West Bank, and Jewish women passengers saying they have been harassed by the Palestinian laborers.

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We sang that same song on the buses of the US South 50 years ago ...

We sang that same song on the buses of the US South 50 years ago …

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New Guidelines Prevent Palestinian Workers From Riding Israeli Buses

Harassment of Jewish Women Passengers Cited as Reason

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

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New guidelines issued by Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon will prevent Palestinian workers from riding on Israeli public transportation in the West Bank.

Under the new guidelines announced Sunday, all Palestinian workers must return to the West Bank through one crossing, the Eyal crossing located near Kalkilya in central Israel, and continue to their homes from there. Very few Israeli buses reach that area of the West Bank. Palestinian workers are not allowed to stay overnight in Israel.

The guidelines will go into effect next month, according to Haaretz. Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank reportedly is exploring other options to provide the Palestinian workers with appropriate transportation.

Jewish residents of the West Bank and their local governments have waged a vociferous campaign over the last few years in order to prevent Palestinians who work in Israel to use Israeli public transportation in the West Bank.

Among the reasons given for keeping the Palestinians off Israeli buses is lack of room on the buses for Jewish residents of the West Bank, and Jewish women passengers saying they have been harassed by the Palestinian laborers.

Unnamed security sources told Israeli media that the new guidelines are not being put into place to keep Palestinians off Israeli buses, but to make tracking their entering and exiting Israel easier.

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As reported in the Palestinian Press

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Palestinians barred from Israeli West Bank buses

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An Israeli army officer looks over a bus transporting Palestinians
into Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing in Israel
(AFP/File David Buimovitch)
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Palestinians will be effectively banned from riding the same buses as Israeli settlers in the West Bank, local media said Sunday, with a rights group slamming the plan as “racial segregation.”Hundreds of Palestinians travel each day to work in Israel from the occupied West Bank, mainly in the construction business, using a single crossing point at Eyal where they present travel permits.Currently they are allowed to return to the West Bank on the same buses as Israeli settlers.But a new measure announced by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, due to go into effect next month, will require them to again check in at the Eyal crossing point, the Haaretz daily reported.

The workers would have to find separate transportation from that point on.

The directive in effect “bans Palestinian workers from traveling on Israeli-run public transportation in the West Bank,” said Haaretz.

The defense minister was not immediately available for comment.

Israeli settlers in the West Bank have called for years for Palestinians to be banned from public transport there, arguing their presence poses a security risk.

But Haaretz reported that the bus ban contradicted the view of the Israeli army, which does not see Palestinian commuters on Israeli transport as a threat, since the workers go through security vetting before receiving their travel permits.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem accused Yaalon of making a racially motivated decision.

“It is time to stop hiding behind technical arrangements … and admit this military procedure is thinly veiled pandering to the demand for racial segregation on buses,” a group statement said.

Last year, the group criticized the Israeli government for its decision to launch separate bus lines for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

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The settlers themselves are surprised we are calling the above apartheid …

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Left-wing screams apartheid over new security edict for Palestinian laborers

Program would require Palestinian workers from the West Bank to head home at night through same IDF manned passageway through which they entered; new edict makes use of Israeli buses cumbersome.

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Qalandiya check-point

Israeli border policemen control Palestinian worshippers at Qalandiya check-point at the outskirts of Jerusalem. (photo credit:REUTERS)

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Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s new security edict could soon prevent Palestinian laborers, who cross the security barrier to work in Israeli communities, from returning home aboard the country’s public bus lines.

The security program, which has yet to be put in place, would require the laborers to head home at night through the same IDF checkpoints from which they entered, security sources told The Jerusalem Post Sunday morning.

Technically speaking, Palestinians can continue to use Israeli buses on either side of the barrier, but the edict makes this very cumbersome.

There is no start date for the security edict, which is likely to begin with a pilot program at the Eyal crossing in Samaria, security sources said.

As work to construct the West Bank security barrier advances, the IDF’s Central Command is examining ways of supervising the transit of Palestinians and has drawn up proposals that entail them Palestinians leaving and returning through the same crossings, the source explained.

Israeli left-wing politicians and activists immediately attacked the decision, calling it tantamount to apartheid because it prevented Palestinians from using Israeli public transportation lines.

“This is an official governmental stamp on a policy of apartheid in the territories.

Separating Jews and Palestinians only deepens Israel’s status as a pariah state,” Meretz party head Zehava Gal-On said in a prepared statement.

“Not only has Defense Minister Ya’alon destroyed our relationship with the US, he is destroying our relationship with the entire world,” she charged.

Gal-On was referring to Ya’alon’s trip to Washington last week in which he was denied high-level meetings with US officials as payback for once having referred to US Secretary of State John Kerry as “messianic” and “obsessive” in his drive to restart peace talks.

Settlers, especially the Samaria Regional Council and the Samaria Citizens Committee, have long lobbied to keep West Bank Palestinians off Israeli buses, claiming they pose a danger to passengers. As such, they hailed the new edit as a victory.

But a security source clarified that it had nothing to do with public buses.

“This does not touch upon public transport,” the source said.

The source stressed that the matter was “security-based” and that the goal was to “supervise the entrance into and exit out of Israeli territory, thereby decreasing the chance of terrorist attacks inside Israel.”

Another security source said the decision had been taken “solely due to security considerations and would not prevent Palestinians from going out to work or making a living.”

“No one is preventing Palestinians from continuing to work in Israeli territory and heading to where they wish,” the source explained. “On the contrary.”

The source explained that “Palestinians authorized to enter Israel will do so through a single passage in order to prevent a situation in which Palestinians stay in Israel illegally instead of returning to their homes,” something that could increase the chances for terrorist attacks.

“This is a mechanism that is supposed to minimize the presence of Palestinians in Israel illegally yet allow Palestinian workers to continue to work inside of Israeli territory,” she source continued. “It is something that every sovereign country does to defend itself.”

But Sarit Michaeli of the rights group B’Tselem told The Jerusalem Post West Bank Palestinians who arrive in Israeli cities and towns to work must pass a rigorous security check before receiving a permit, so it is hard to imagine that they pose a threat.

“I think that it is very disingenuous to speak about it as a security issue,” Michaeli said.

NO JUSTIFICATION FOR TERROR ON THE STREETS OF JERUSLEM

no_hate_fb_small

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It didn’t start last week when a crazed motorist rammed his car into people waiting for the light rail in Northern Jerusalem. It didn’t start when a three month old Israeli child was killed in that incident. It started over 60 years ago.

Our hearts go out to the family of the dead child, Chaya Zissel Braun, killed that day. Our hearts went out to the families of over 500 Palestinian children in Gaza murdered by Israeli troops. It went out to the families of scores of Palestinian children murdered in the Occupied West Bank either by crazed settlers or Israeli soldiers.

There is NO JUSTIFICATION FOR ACTS OF TERROR AIMED AT INNOCENT CIVILIANS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE WALL!

The last photo of 3 month old Chaya Zissel, taken just hours before she was killed

The last photo of 3 month old Chaya Zissel, taken just hours before she was killed

 

Some of the Gazan children murdered in cold blood

Some of the Gazan children murdered in cold blood

 

A much more desired photo

A much more desired photo

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The hatred continues on the streets, fueling what can only become the rebirth of a new intifada. That was not the solution then, it is certainly not the solution now. We are seeing riots on both sides of the wall in Jerusalem. Crazed Jewish residents literally stopped the train in its tracks the other evening at the station where the attack took place. Residents on their way home from a hard day at work were delayed for hours because of these actions. Is there any sense to that? NO! Who are they aiming their anger at …. do you think they even have an answer to that? NO!

Even the New York Times is under attack for stressing their account of the situation on the extremist Jewish settlers, not on Palestinians. A usual voicepiece for zion seems to have gone astray.

YouTube banned a video of those same idiots, but you can still see it HERE. It was shot a few years ago but the same ‘mentality’ is caught for all to see …

Gideon Levy explains in HaAretz today why the Palestinians have a right to resist ….

BUT NOT TO TARGET INNOCENT CIVILIANS!

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They don’t want Israel to continue tyrannizing them, so they resist. They hurl stones and firebombs. That’s what resistance looks like. Sometimes they act with heinous murderousness, but even that is not as bad as their occupier’s built-in violence.

It’s their right; it’s their duty.

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The Palestinians’ right and duty to resist

Faced with a reality in which Israel is strong and the United States is in its pocket, it is the duty of Palestinians to resist the occupation. The only question relates to the means.

By Gideon Levy

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A Palestinian youth holds a slingshot during clashes with Israeli police in East Jerusalem.

A Palestinian youth holds a slingshot during clashes with Israeli police in a suburb of East Jerusalem, Oct.23, 2014. Photo by AFP

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Imagine you’re the Palestinians. Perhaps residents of East Jerusalem. Forty-seven difficult years are behind you; a big, depressing darkness lies ahead. The Israeli tyranny that dooms your fate declares arrogantly that everything will stay like this forever. Your city will remain under occupation “for ever and ever.” The defense minister, second in importance in the government that subjugates you, says a Palestinian state will never be established.

Imagine you’re Palestinian and your children are in danger. Two days ago, the occupation forces killed another child because “he lit a firebomb.” The words “Death to Arabs” were sprayed near your home. Everywhere you turn, a soldier or Border Police officer may shout at you. Every night, your home may be invaded brutally. You will never be treated like human beings. They’ll destroy, humiliate, intimidate, perhaps even arrest you, possibly without trial.

There are close to 500 administrative detainees, a record number in recent years. If one of your dear ones is arrested, you will have difficulty visiting him. If you succeed, you’ll get half an hour’s conversation through a glass window. If your dear one is an administrative detainee, you will never know when he’ll be released. But these are trivia you grew accustomed to long ago.

Maybe you’ve also grown accustomed to the land theft. At every moment a settler can invade your land, burn your plantation or torch your fields. He will not be brought to trial for this; the soldiers who are supposed to protect you will stand idly by. At any moment, a demolition order or random eviction order may appear. There’s nothing you can do.

Imagine you’re the Palestinians. You can’t leave Gaza and it’s not easy to leave the West Bank, either. The beach, less than an hour’s drive from your West Bank home, is beyond the mountains of darkness. An Israeli can go to Tierra del Fuego, between Argentina and Chile, much more easily than you can go to the beach at Ajami.

There are no dreams, no wishes. Your children have a slim chance of accomplishing anything in life, even if they go to university. All they can look forward to is a life of humiliation and unemployment.

There’s no chance that this situation is about to change anytime soon. Israel is strong, the United States is in its pocket, your leadership is weak (the Palestinian Authority) and isolated (Hamas), and the world is losing interest in your fate. What do you do?

There are two possibilities. The first is to accept, give in, give up. The second is to resist. Whom have we respected more in history? Those who passed their days under the occupation and collaborated with it, or those who struggled for their freedom?

Imagine you’re a Palestinian. You have every right to resist. In fact, it’s your civil duty. No argument there. The occupied people’s right to resist occupation is secured in natural justice, in the morals of history and in international law.

The only restrictions are on the means of resistance. The Palestinians have tried almost all of them, for better and worse – negotiations and terror; with a carrot and with a stick; with a stone and with bombs; in demonstrations and in suicide. All in vain. Are they to despair and give up? This has almost never happened in history, so they’ll continue. Sometimes they’ll use legitimate means, sometimes vile ones. It’s their right to resist.

Now they’re resisting in Jerusalem. They don’t want Israeli rule, or people who set live children on fire. They don’t want armed settlers who invade their apartments in the middle of the night, under the Israeli law’s protection, and evict them. They don’t want a municipality that grants its services according to national affiliation, or judges that sentence their children according to their origin. They also go nuts when the house of a Jewish terrorist is not demolished, while the house of a Palestinian will be torn down.

They don’t want Israel to continue tyrannizing them, so they resist. They hurl stones and firebombs. That’s what resistance looks like. Sometimes they act with heinous murderousness, but even that is not as bad as their occupier’s built-in violence.

It’s their right; it’s their duty.

TIME TO PUT PEPSICO AT THE TOP OF BOYCOTT LIST ‘ON A TEST BASIS’

Soda machine maker SodaStream International Ltd said it would sell some of PepsiCo Inc’s brands through its soda machines on a test basis later this year.

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SodaStream Will Sell Some of PepsiCo’s Brands On a Test Basis

Soda Brands Include Mountain Dew and 7Up

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GETTY IMAGES

By Reuters VIA

Soda machine maker SodaStream International Ltd said it would sell some of PepsiCo Inc’s brands through its soda machines on a test basis later this year.

SodaStream shares surged almost 19 percent to $25.15 in afternoon trading on Friday.

The Israeli company was not currently in talks with Pepsi for a broader agreement, it said in a regulatory filing.

The company did not specify which of PepsiCo’s brands would be part of the test. PepsiCo’s soda brands include Mountain Dew, and 7Up.

The deal was first reported by online newsletter Beverage Digest.

PepsiCo was not immediately available for comment.

WHY CRIME IS ON THE RISE IN AMERICA

It's all our fault!

It’s all our fault!

#BDS ~~ SPOOF ON GOODS THAT KILL

Israeli Goods Kill!

Boycott Now!!

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

#bdsmovement

#bdsmovement

THE ANTI SEMITE WHO WASN’T

Remember this incident a few weeks ago?

The truth finally came out …. it didn’t take long at all.

Truly an interesting turn of events ….

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The alleged attack has received extensive coverage and condemnation. However, new information has emerged that Petlakh may have been involved in a physical assault on a Palestinian-American woman shortly before he claims to have been victimized.

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Claims of anti-Semitism vanish as facts emerge in incident at NY-Tel Aviv game

1888803_282089795319587_406922938146110474_o (1)

Nerdeen Kiswani, right, at a September vigil for Gaza and for victims of police brutality in the US, at the College of Staten Island. (SJP at College of Staten Island)

It has been widely reported that Leonard Petlakh was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack at a pre-season basketball game between the New York Nets and Tel Aviv’s Maccabi Electra.

The alleged attack has received extensive coverage and condemnation. However, new information has emerged that Petlakh may have been involved in a physical assault on a Palestinian-American woman shortly before he claims to have been victimized.

Appearing on a local news broadcast after receiving treatment for a broken nose and a deep gash under his eye, Petlakh told media that his attacker had hit him “because he was Jewish” and had shouted “Free Palestine” before slugging him in the face — in front of his two young sons.

“They’re exhibiting their anger and their hatred; I’m a symbol to them,” Petlakh stated.

Petlakh teaches Jewish history at Hunter College, City University of New York, and is vice president of the American Zionist Movement and executive director of Kings Bay YM-YWHA, a Jewish community center in Brooklyn.

The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit immediately opened an investigation into the incident, while local politicians and political leaders joined in unison to denounce what they accepted was an “anti-Semitic” attack.

And just over a week later, on 16 October, the man suspected of attacking Petlakh, 25-year-old Shawn Schraeder, was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri, and brought back to New York.

No evidence of hate crime

However, by the time Schraeder appeared before a Brooklyn court, the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit had announced that they had completed their investigation and concluded that there was no evidence of anti-Semitism involved in the incident.

The district attorney charged Schraeder with misdemeanor assault. A hate crime is deemed a violent felony offense and carries enhanced sentencing guidelines.

But as Petlakh’s story and face appeared in the news in the days following his attack, Nerdeen Kiswani recognized him from an attack she sustained that night as well. However, her assault has received scant media attention and was not investigated by the police.

Kiswani, a Palestinian-American student at the City University of New York, had been punched in the stomach after someone snatched her Palestinian flag from her hands after the Maccabi-Nets game.

On 21 October, Kiswani and her lawyer, Lamis Deek, held a press conference on the steps of the Brooklyn Borough Hall to publicize their complaint to the NYPD, requesting that it investigate the attack on Kiswani.

Leonard Petlakh, Kiswani alleges, was one of the men in the group who harassed and assailed her.

“It appears that Petlakh and his friends had staged the assault in fact and were taping and plotting their attack on Ms. Kiswani,” a press release states.

Deek told The Electronic Intifada that, “We haven’t specifically asked to investigate it as a hate crime, because I have a problem with the thought police.”

In addition, Deek explained that after learning of the context of the alleged assault on Petlakh, the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit didn’t find his claims of anti-Semitism credible.

“Punched in the stomach”

A short video showing part of the attack on Kiswani was uploaded to YouTube, titled “Anti-Israel provocation at Barclays Center”:

In the video, the camera is focused on Kiswani and a male companion, who are seen from behind. The two are standing watching the game. Kiswani is inconspicuously holding a Palestinian flag by her side. The man standing with Kiswani is Shawn Schraeder (so identified by the description accompanying the video and confirmed by this writer).

The videographer zooms in on Schraeder and Kiswani. Suddenly, a man sneaks up behind Kiswani and grabs her flag and moves out of the camera frame. Kiswani appears startled, then tries to retrieve the flag from him. It is then that she was allegedly hit.

While that is not visible in the video, Kiswani can be heard shouting that she had been assaulted and “punched in the stomach.”

The alleged attack on Petlakh happened several minutes later as he was leaving the stadium.

Double Standards

“Our issue is every news media outlet, the highest echelons, became involved in this case because this guy claimed anti-Semitism,” Deek said.

Meanwhile, Kiswani’s assault was neither reported in the press nor investigated by stadium security or police. On the contrary, Deek said that security threatened to have her removed if she continued to complain about what had happened to her at the hands of Petlakh and his companions.

“They dismissed her, and they kind of demonized her,” Deek said.

“This is the problem we always have, the privileging of Jewish-Zionist voices. He claimed anti-Semitism knowing that his friend had punched a girl,” Deek said.

She also noted the apparent ease with which Schraeder was brought back to New York: “It normally takes months to extradite someone to New York from New Jersey. Meanwhile it took a week to extradite [Schraeder] from Missouri.”

A USA Today investigation from earlier this year found that due to the difficulty of extradition, thousands of people accused of crimes including statutory rape and murder live freely in other states from the ones where they are wanted.

Palestine solidarity protests have been following the Tel Aviv team as they play in the United States. Before the Israeli team played in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier this month an activist organizing a Palestine solidarity protest received an intimidating visit from the FBI.

Before the 7 October game in New York, about a hundred people demonstrated outside in solidarity with Palestinians.

This was in response to the NBA and the fundraising group Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) jointly hosting a “VIP” event honoring 12 Israeli soldiers who had been injured during Israel’s seven-week assault on Gaza this summer.

Protesters denounced the event as a tacit endorsement of the Israeli military’s actions, one which normalized the ongoing occupation and violence against the Palestinian people.

It is not unreasonable to assume that tensions may have been heightened during the game due to the political protests.

But if anything, the visual evidence suggests that the confrontation was a result of an anti-Palestinian provocation, the exact opposite of how the media has portrayed the incident.

EARLY LESSONS ISRAEL LEARNT FROM THE NAZIS

The new Auschwitz 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

The new Auschwitz ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II scarred American history for years to come.

Now, a new research paper argues that Palestinians share a similar traumatic experience. Pointing to a barely discussed chapter in the history of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, the paper highlights a time when the fledgling Jewish state interned more than 6,000 Palestinian citizens without charge in camps across the country.

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Dueling Narratives Emerge On

Palestinian Internment Camps

Were They About Keeping Jews Safe — Or Getting Free Labor?

Legal Or Not? Palestinians labored in the Ijlil POW camp in central Israel, which housed 2,000 prisoners for 11 months in 1948 and 1949.

IDF ARCHIVE
Legal Or Not? Palestinians labored in the Ijlil POW camp in central Israel, which housed 2,000 prisoners for 11 months in 1948 and 1949.

By Nathan Guttman FOR

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The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II scarred American history for years to come.

Now, a new research paper argues that Palestinians share a similar traumatic experience. Pointing to a barely discussed chapter in the history of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, the paper highlights a time when the fledgling Jewish state interned more than 6,000 Palestinian citizens without charge in camps across the country.

The descriptions included in the research paper, which was published in the summer volume of the Journal of Palestine Studies, are chilling: arbitrary arrests of civilians who were jailed in prisons described as “concentration camps” and subjected to torture, hardship, food deprivation and forced labor. The references made in the study to Nazi camps are not coincidental.

“It is amazing to me, and many Europeans, who have seen my evidence,” the study’s co-author Salman Abu Sitta, told the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, “that a forced labor camp was opened in Palestine three years after they were closed in Germany, and [was] run by former prisoners. There were German Jewish guards.”

But just like almost every other episode in the history of the Israeli–Arab conflict, the new study also quickly played into the battle of historic narratives waged between both sides. What Palestinians view as a new revelation of Israeli atrocities that included concentration camps and unlawful internment of innocent civilians is seen by Israelis as no more than a known and acknowledged, if little examined, chapter in Israeli history in which prisoners of war were held in internationally recognized camps under Red Cross supervision, and in accordance with all practices and rules set by the Geneva Convention. The allegations of “torture,” they point out, come not from the Red Cross’s reports but from oral testimonies that Abu Sitta and his co-author, Terry Rempel, gathered from internees many decades after the fact.

“We all know that there were cases of massacre, that there were expulsions and so forth. Why do you need this addition? How does this insignificant chapter help the Arab sense of catastrophe?” asked Alon Kadish, a professor of history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who argued that the new research is merely an attempt to “amplify the calamity” without offering any new facts.

“An easy way to silence a scandal is to say that it’s not new and was investigated in the past,” responded Ariella Azoulay of Brown University, whose book “From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation, 1947–1950” documented some of the camps used by Israel to hold Palestinians during the war. “It was investigated a bit in the past and is known, but that is too little for a crime of this magnitude.”

Abu Sitta is a Palestinian scholar based in London whose research is focused on Palestinian refugees. Rempel is a founding member of BADIL, a resource center on issues relating to rights of Palestinian refugees.

Camp 791: The POW camp in central Israel operated for 11 months between 1948 and 1949.

IDF ARCHIVE
Camp 791: The POW camp in central Israel operated for 11 months between 1948 and 1949.

Their research is based on documents from the Red Cross archives that include reports and correspondence from the organization’s representatives who visited the camps, and on interviews conducted with former detainees. The reports and testimonies paint a troubling picture of innocent civilians thrown into camps in subhuman conditions and forced to work for their captors.

“We had to cut and carry stones all day [in a quarry]. Our daily food was only one potato in the morning and half-dried fish at night. They beat anyone who disobeyed orders,” Marwan Iqab al-Yehiya, a former prisoner, told the authors. He added that detainees were “lined up and ordered to strip naked as a punishment for the escape of two prisoners at night.”

Another inmate, Tewfic Ahmed Jum’a Ghanim, said: “Anyone who refused to work was shot. They said [the person] tried to escape.” According to Ghanim, the Palestinians’ pervasive fear of being shot by their guards led them to alter the basic nature of their own movements. “Those of us who thought [we] were going to be killed walked backward, facing the guards,” he said.

The focus of the study’s research was on the way the Red Cross dealt with the POW situation. The authors conclude that “in the last analysis, Israel was able to ignore with impunity” any complaints the Red Cross raised, “thanks to the diplomatic cover of major Western powers.”

The treatment of Arab civilians concerned Israeli leaders from early days of the nation’s War of Independence, even before statehood was declared on May 14, 1948. In the early months of the war, waged between Jewish and Arab paramilitary groups sharing the land of Palestine under British mandate, both sides, for the most part, did all they could to avoid the burden of prisoners — whether this meant simply killing those they captured or leaving them be if they were judged to be no immediate threat.

But once Israel became a state with an organized military force, it changed its policy for dealing with local Palestinian civilians found in combat zones. Some were expelled, creating one of the most contentious and sensitive chapters of the War of Independence. But in many cases the order was to take all able-bodied men as prisoners, out of fear that if left behind, they’d join the fight against Israeli forces.

The prisoners were held in five camps: Ijlil, near Tel Aviv; Atlit, south of Haifa, and three smaller camps, all in central Israel. The camps were set up in haste, in some cases, such as Atlit, utilizing former British prisons that had been used in the past to confine illegal Jewish immigrants. In other cases, Israel built makeshift tent cities surrounded with barbed wire. In addition, there were several temporary camps in the front lines, used to hold prisoners before they were transferred to the permanent installations.

Treatment of POWs was determined by the highest ranks of Israel’s leadership, including Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. The Israelis were careful to inform the Red Cross whenever Palestinian civilians were imprisoned, and allowed Red Cross officials to visit and document the camps.

In the camps, prisoners were sent to work. Some labored on Jewish farms and factories that had lost their working hands when the war broke out. Others were sent to work building and reinforcing military and government facilities. In principle, going out to labor was voluntary. But most prisoners joined, mainly because it promised them a larger food ration and minimal wages.

At their peak, the camps held, according to Israeli and Red Cross records, 6,300 prisoners. Most were civilians living in villages and towns taken over by Israel. A minority were enemy combatants from Arab countries. On average, most spent less than a year in the camps, which were largely emptied by 1950. But a few prisoners were moved to prisons and held — without charge — for longer, some until 1955.

There is little dispute about these facts. But when it comes to their interpretation, Israelis and Palestinians paint two different pictures. The diverging terminology and context provide opposite stories of what happened to thousands of Palestinian civilians during the war.

Abu Sitta and Rempel, in their study, view the episode as an Israeli attempt to humiliate Palestinians and eventually facilitate ethnic cleansing of the land.

Both authors declined to be interviewed for this article.

Writing in the liberal Haaretz daily, columnist Amira Hass described a “nightmare question” about the role played by Holocaust survivors in allegedly torturing Palestinian POWs. “Whether they were German Jews or not, forcing prisoners to line up naked and using boots on those who fall are part of the family histories of many of us, but from the other side,” she wrote.

For Israelis, however, this historic episode represents an entirely different story.

Aaron J. Klein, an Israeli historian and author, said he was shocked to read the new study. Klein had researched the very same issue in the late 1990s for his master’s thesis at the Hebrew University. A version of it was later published in a collection of works on the War of Independence, edited by Kadish. Klein said the new study adds nothing to the facts already revealed and published in his thesis. He described himself as “disgusted” by the attempt to describe Israeli POW camps as concentration camps. “This is an attempt to enlist another piece of history to the Palestinian narrative, but it isn’t serious,” Klein said.

His reading of the documents from the time paints a picture of an Israeli leadership eager to win international legitimacy by adhering to the Geneva Convention and working with the Red Cross. The civilians arrested by Israel were legally recognized as POWs; their internment conditions were no better or worse than those of all Israeli soldiers at the time, and working outside the camps was seen as beneficial to the inmates. “Whoever reads the reports sees that the Red Cross understood the circumstances and gave Israel, all in all, good grades.”

But much of the firsthand testimony gathered by Abu Sitta and Rempel more than six decades later starkly contradicts Klein’s account of the Red Cross reports.

“We were tortured,” Ibrahim ‘Abd al-Qadir Abu Sayf, a former internee told the researchers. He described a prison room with “a sandy floor to absorb blood and pus.”

“Many had broken teeth, hands and legs,” the ex-prisoner recalled. “Food consisted of one loaf for every 15 people, and one piece of vegetable floating in a big pot. In the early morning we were taken to work. They hit us on our heads to move. If one fell, they hit him with their boots…. Torture sometimes continued at night. More people came. They were picked up like us, in pastures or in lonely places.”

The Israeli researchers argued that it would be a mistake to give oral testimonies recorded 60 years after the events took place the same credibility as Red Cross reports that were documented and prepared in real time.

So why did this episode get lost in the broader picture of the tumultuous days of 1948?

In part, because of shame. As Abu Sitta states, Palestinian detainees felt their experience in the camps paled in comparison with the suffering of their fellow Arabs who lost their homes and, at times, their lives.

Israeli camp guards, according to Klein, were also reluctant to speak of their experience. The guard force was made up primarily of former members of the Irgun and the Stern Gang, two right-wing underground groups. The ruling Haganah leadership sidelined them to noncombat positions as POW guards. “They felt humiliated by not being included in the combat units,” Klein said.

But whether forgotten or not, authors of the new paper believe that the events surrounding the capture and internment of Palestinian noncombatants during the war can serve as an early indication of Israeli behavior, as seen by the Palestinians. “Gaza today,” Abu Sitta said, “is a concentration camp, no different than the past.”

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