THE TEMPLE MOUNT ~~ ISRAEL’S MIGHT, BUT NOT ITS RIGHT

The claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.

Image by Carlos Latuff

The best cartoon to describe the Israeli brutality against unarmed Palestinians…

Temple Mount belongs to Israel……but only by the standard of might, not the standard of right
By Khaled Amayreh  in Occupied East Jerusalem
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An Israeli cabinet minister has repeated the stale Zionist propaganda claim that the “Temple Mount” belongs to Israel. He is correct in a certain sense. Israel has been in control of the Haram al- Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)  as well as the entirety of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the six-Day war of 1967.  This  means that the holy site, which has been an exclusively Muslim place of worship for the past 1400 years, now “belongs” to Israel by the standards of might, not by the standards of right  But right, not might, comes first because right is a constant whereas might is a variable.
 
In fact, the claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.
 
In fact, the historical and even religious claims often cited to prove that the holy  site belongs to Jews are dubious and erroneous.
 
Historical records show that King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites around 1100 BC.  The Jebusites, a Canaanite people believed to be, at least partly, the ancestors of modern-day Palestinians, had been in Jerusalem for some 2000 years.
 
Indeed, for fifty years of intensive excavations, Israeli archeologists  left no stone unturned   underneath  the Islamic shrine, but utterly failed to find  any credible evidence corroborating the gigantic canard that the Aqsa Mosque stands right on top of the Temple of Solomon.
 
 
A few years ago. George Wesley Buchanan, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, published a meticulously researched scholarly monograph titled “What if the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple are NOT under the Dome of the Rock?” http://www.ameu.org/Current-Issue/Current-Issue/2014-Volume-47/In-Search-of-King-Solomons-Temple.aspx
 
 
According to the research, which this writer had the honor to translate into Arabic; archaeologists have discovered no ruins in the Haram area that might have belonged to the temple.
 
 “Instead they have found an image of a soldier on a horse, a brick with the mark of the 10th Roman legion on it, and an image of Mars, the Roman god of war.
 
“They have also found in the an inscription once carved over an arch, honoring Titus, Vespasian, and probably Silva for their leadership in the war of AD 66-72.”
 
 According to the scholarly monograph, published in the Journal “Americans for Middle East Understanding” (AMEU) in 2014, another inscription that was intended to fit on the interior wall of the Haram,  honored Hadrian, the Roman emperor who defeated Bar Kochba in the revolt that ended in 135 AD.
 
  In conclusion, Buchanan  asks the most  central question:  “Is there any evidence that the Haram was ever the Temple Mount?”
 
Here is his answer: (clearly, “No!”).
 
Finally, it is true that Jews were in control of Jerusalem more than 2500 years ago.  But so what?   Most of the cities of the world were then inhabited by peoples unrelated to their current inhabitants.
 
Today, the manifestly pyromaniac Israel government, made up of Talmudic fanatics and Zionist jingoists, is striving to set Jerusalem and the entire region on fire under the rubric of Jewish Messianism and millenarianism.  This madness must be stopped immediately because madness breeds madness and blood breeds more blood.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK ~~ TRUMP’S GOT TALENT

PLAYING WITH FIRE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT OF JERUSALEM

 Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is dealing with latest tensions at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with an odd combination of insolence, recklessness, irresponsibility  and a great deal of shortsightedness.

Israeli soldiers patrol the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

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In Jerusalem Netanyahu is playing with fire 
By Khalid Amayreh
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Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is dealing with latest tensions at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with an odd combination of insolence, recklessness, irresponsibility  and a great deal of shortsightedness.
 
 Indeed, a fleet examination of his behavior following the regrettable shooting at the site last week, caricatures a leader who doesn’t look before he leaps.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t have succumbed, rather unhesitatingly, to the whimsical demands by millenarian Talmudic circles to restrict Muslim access to the holy place. In fact, doing so is a grave provocation to Muslims sensibilities which could cause the gates of hell to open loose.
 
Netanyahu seems to forget the fact that when Israel treads on the most sensitive nerve in Islam, at least in our region, the masses won’t heed calls for calm and self-restraint neither from the PA nor from this or that Arab king or head of state.  Al-Aqsa, after all, is the mother of all issues.  It transcends politics and geography. Don’t you see that this issue is galvanizing the Palestinian street as no other issue would? Even Hamas and Fatah are adopting a concordant discourse in the face of this flagrant Israeli provocation. Certainly, I wouldn’t want to see fanatics and provocateurs take over the stage in order to urge seven million Palestinians to morph into seven million time-bombs or suicide bombers. None the less, the task to defuse the current crisis is not the responsibility of Palestinians alone. Israel, too, if only by being the main player who possesses many vital cards, should make the first step, but without procrastination, deception pr foul-playing.
 
That is why I hope and pray that Netanyahu and his colleagues in the government will immediately return to the status quo ante lest things get out of hand.  I am not making threats, but I know my people very well. For them, there is no other issue under the sun that could provoke them more. I am sure the Shin Beth knows quite well what I am talking about.
 
Israel can always seek and find alternative ways to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the Third Holiest place in Islam. Indeed, smuggling of fire arms into the Aqsa esplanade has been extremely rare. It occurred only once or twice since 1967, and the smuggler was neither Arab nor Muslim.  In fact, there is a fierce opposition among Palestinians to the very idea of smuggling fire-arms into the Haram al-Sharif  since a manifestly stupid feat of this sort would give Israel a long-sought pretext to tamper with the delicate status quo at the site. Hence, the Palestinians would be the main if not sole losers if such a folly were to be allowed to become a phenomenon, God forbid.
 
Some people might correctly argue that Israel will continue to seek pretexts and excuses to change the rules at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
 
Well, I hope insolence and impetuousness will give way to wisdom.  Fanatics from all sides must be reined in because if they are allowed to be in the driver’s seat, they could drive the entire region into the abyss.
 
Tomorrow is Friday when tens of thousands of Muslims will converge at the Aqsa Mosque for the weekly Juma’a congregational prayer. I hope the Israeli authorities will instruct their security personnel to refrain from provoking the worshipers or denying them free access to their holy place. Let them pray peacefully.

GLOBAL SILENCE ON GAZA MUST BE BROKEN

After 10 years of Israeli siege, the United Nations says Gaza is effectively unlivable.

Israel has consigned the people of Gaza to “living in abject poverty under practically inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world,” the human rights group B’Tselem said last month.

Video: Break the silence on Gaza with people power

In recent weeks the situation has deteriorated even further, as Israel has sharply cut the electricity supply, bringing available energy in Gaza to the lowest level ever.

Health, water and sewage treatment systems are breaking down, making life unbearable.

“This is not a natural disaster. This is a policy choice by Israel to do this to 2 million people, and it’s a policy choice the so-called international community are supporting,” I told Aaron Maté of The Real News.

“At best the so-called international community scrambles to do an appeal to various donor governments to patch up, to do palliative care,” for people in Gaza, I told Maté. “What they don’t do is challenge Israel and hold it accountable.”

By refusing to provide people in Gaza with basic health and other services, Israel, as the occupying power, is committing war crimes, I argued.

And it’s happening in silence – even Democracy Now, a flagship progressive outlet, has mentioned the situation only in brief and infrequent headlines.

The humanitarian catastrophe is also the result of collusion between Israel and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Abbas wants to put political pressure on Hamas, which governs the interior of Gaza, by inflicting additional suffering on the 2 million Palestinians who live there.

This pressure has included curtailing medicine supplies to Gaza and refusing medical referrals for hundreds of patients who need urgent treatment outside the territory, leading to more than a dozen deaths.

“It’s up to us to challenge the institutional complicity and silence,” I told Maté. If regime media don’t make noise about Gaza, “people should be demonstrating, holding protests at the UN and Israeli embassies, at Palestinian Authority embassies, because they’re all complicit in this siege.”

Watch the video above.

Image by Latuff

MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ ‘THIS IS PALESTINE’

 

Nothing new here for anyone aware of ground zero in Palestine or has been awake the past 50 years, but footage of some heart-wrenching scenes reminds us all that there are real people behind the daily headlines and statistics.

Shared by Sam Bahour, with thanks

TOLERANCE HAS ITS LIMITS REGARDING THE RIGHTS OF GAY COUPLES IN ISRAEL

Just a year ago Netanyahu uttered the following remarks ….

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Is this the respect and dignity he was talking about?

Israeli government opposes allowing same sex couples to adopt

Government would allow same sex couples to adopt if no hetero-sexual couples can be found to adopt children.

 Israel’s government remains opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country, the state said in response to a Supreme Court petition.

The government did, however, say it would allow common-law couples who have been living together for three years to adopt children in Israel.

The decision to not change its stance on same-sex couples “takes into account the reality of Israeli society and the difficulty entailed with regard to the child being adopted,” the government said in a response to the court, citing Child Welfare Services.

Same-sex couples can be approved for adoption, but they can only adopt children for whom a heterosexual couple cannot be found. The result is that they are generally offered special needs or at-risk children, or older children who cannot be placed.

Many same-sex couples adopt babies from other countries.

The petition to the Supreme Court regarding same-sex and common-law couple adoption was filed by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, together with the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform movement, against the Social Affairs Ministry and the attorney general, according to Haaretz.

FROM JTA

BDS MOM OF THE YEAR

The pro-Palestinian provocateur is under attack after a newspaper alleged that she ‘tricked’ her way into Israel last month. She says she will be ‘heartbroken’ if the authorities ban her from ever returning

Ariel Gold, center, protesting against Airbnb.Madrone Jack of Oakland, CA.

Jewish Mother and BDS Activist: Code Pink’s Ariel Gold vs. Israel’s Travel Ban
Allison Kaplan Sommer
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Ariel Gold is a one-woman example of the contradictions of the Israeli government’s travel ban law, which forbids foreign nationals who call for boycotts of Israel from entering the country.

Outspoken, provocative, pro-Palestinian and an advocate of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, Gold is a professional campaign director for Code Pink, the far-left peace and social justice NGO that works to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations.

She has demonstrated against Israeli policies, disrupted public events and been arrested – in both Israel and the United States – for her protests. She was banned from visiting the Western Wall last year after authorities found her carrying political signs and pamphlets while entering the plaza.

She is currently in Hebron, monitoring the military trial of Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro and publicizing his cause online. At the same time, the 42-year-old mother of two is an active member of her Ithaca, NY Reform synagogue, sends her kids to Jewish summer camp, and her teenage son is on a summer-long Israel program with the Reform movement.

She has Israeli cousins and proudly boasts that her family can trace its lineage back to 16th-century Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the “Shulchan Aruch” (the codification of Jewish religious law), who is buried in Safed.

In a telephone interview from the West Bank city, Gold says she has been “under attack” since last Thursday when Israel Hayom – a widely circulated, pro-Netanyahu newspaper owned by Sheldon Adelson – ran an article charging that her admission into Israel was a “failure,” and that she had “tricked” Israeli authorities by deleting every post from her Facebook page since 2012, “all of which call for a boycott.”

The article was critical of the Israeli government for allowing Gold to slip through the net, and quotes a Public Security Ministry official as promising that Gold will be barred from entering the country in the future.

Gold vehemently denies the newspaper’s charges of deception, saying she “didn’t take down a single post” from her Facebook page, noting that she had merely changed the status of posts from “Public” to “Friends” only.
She says it was “absurd” to believe she had done anything to deliberately deceive the Israeli authorities.

“It’s not hard to see things I’ve done and written about online. You just Google my name. I mean, I publicly disrupted Ashton Kutcher last fall, asking him to use his position on Airbnb to stop it from operating in the settlements – it wasn’t just in Haaretz and the Times of Israel, but it was in People Magazine!”

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Videos of the Kutcher incident are easily found on YouTube, as is the video of a campaign appearance by Chelsea Clinton that Gold disrupted last year, and articles she has written on the Mondoweiss website harshly criticizing Israel and its policies.

“If I was to try to erase my political opinions on Israel and Palestine on the internet, it would take me years,” she joked.

When she was questioned at Ben-Gurion airport in late June, Gold says she was open about what she did and where she worked, noting that the email she gave officials had a Code Pink address.

The security personnel questioning her “didn’t ask me about BDS at all,” she says. “They asked if I supported violent resistance against Israel. And I said I absolutely did not. They asked me where my feelings were, and I told them that I believe in justice and I believe in peace and I believe in nonviolence.”

Had they asked her about boycotting Israel, she says she would have told them she believes “that BDS is a nonviolent approach to bring Israel into accordance with international law and international standards for human rights.”

What she teaches her kids

She has worked at Code Pink for two years, previously volunteering with them as an activist.  Her political activism on the Palestinian issue began during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in late 2008, when she joined Jewish Voice For Peace and became its chapter coordinator, she says.

Gold was raised secular and says she felt she had missed out when she attended her cousins’ Bar and Bat Mitzvot. She connected with her Judaism as a young adult, joining a synagogue and becoming part of a Jewish community, and made a point of sending her own children to Hebrew school and Jewish camp.

“But I also taught my children to think critically, and [to] think critically about the actions of the State of Israel, and that Palestinians [are] deserving of equality and freedom and justice – and I have taken them to protests alongside me since they are toddlers,” she adds, including a 2015 action against AIPAC where she was arrested.

“I felt a lot of love for Israel when I began to explore Judaism. But from the time I heard about the occupation, it was horrible and wrong,” she says, calling her emotions in coming to terms with Israel’s actions toward Palestinians “a grief process.”

Gold says she doesn’t know why Israel Hayom singled her out but speculates she could be under scrutiny because of her work over the past year spearheading Amro’s cause, and advocating for him with the U.S. government.

Amro was indicted by the Israeli army last September for a range of offences, including spitting at a settler, obstructing soldiers and insulting them, and entering closed military zones. His lawyers have argued that his prosecution constitutes political persecution and is intended to stop his activism.

Gold says proudly she was “instrumental” in the lobbying efforts by a coalition of advocacy groups that resulted in a June 28 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, signed by 32 members of Congress, asking him to use his influence with Israel to encourage its government to “reconsider the charges against Mr. Amro, internationally recognized as a principled, nonviolent human rights advocate.”

Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Issa Amro.

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The number of signatures is the highest-ever on a document advocating for a Palestinian cause, Gold adds. She believes it is this political work (which Code Pink has done in coordination with other groups) that is why the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has sent two representatives to monitor Amro’s trial.
But Gold’s social media activity and provocative actions could just as equally have been the reason – she has been posting numerous photographs and videos criticizing Israeli policies during her stay, including an interview with Amro, and the photograph published in the newspaper where she stands in front of a checkpoint holding a sign declaring “This is Apartheid #codepink”

During her time in Hebron, Gold says she has instigated several “lively Jewish debates” with Israel Defense Forces soldiers standing guard. At various points, she notes, she has been told she was restricted to either the areas exclusively for Jews or confined to the areas for Palestinians, depending on whether she was perceived as a Jew or a pro-Palestinian activist.

She says she isn’t angry or hostile with the soldiers. “These are all very young soldiers and I think they are in difficult situations, and I think they are overwhelmed by what they are doing.” She has harsher words for Hebron’s settlers, whom she alleges have followed and harassed her, insulted her and said “I came here to have sex with Arabs.”

The Israel Hayom article reported ominously that the Public Security Ministry was “investigating what should be done about Gold,” adding that she will be prevented from entering the country in the future, in accordance with the travel ban.

Gold says the prospect of being barred from Israel and the territories – and the entire concept of the travel ban – “appalls” her, and she has considered approaching the authorities and asking them not to stop her from entering the country despite her politics.

“It is incredible here,” she says. “I love my friends here and I love the land here. I will be heartbroken if I can’t return.”

Just in case, she adds, she is going to make a point of visiting her relatives and the grave of Rabbi Caro in Safad, since “it may be the last time I see it.”
Approached by Haaretz, a spokesman for Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says Gold’s case is “being investigated.” He said no decision has been made as to whether she can remain or return to Israel.

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Source and more photos and videos HERE

PALESTINE AWAITS THE DEMISE OF ISIS

 

Like many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, I have breathed a sigh of relief, seeing the latest retreats, defeats and setbacks of the so-called Islamic State (IS) both in Iraq and Syria.

The IS, as a group may well soon become part of history, but the idea encapsulated by the IS is likely to live on and on and on, constantly assuming different forms and names.

Nothing but a meat grinder …

Pyrrhic victory 

By Khalid Amayreh

 

Like many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, I have breathed a sigh of relief, seeing the latest retreats, defeats and setbacks of the so-called Islamic State (IS) both in Iraq and Syria. This evil group has inflected gigantic calamities on Muslims, first and foremost, as well as non-Muslims. Moreover, the criminal acts of terror carried out by the group, especially in Europe, has caused irreparable damage to the image of Islam and Muslims, which will take many many years to rectify. Yes, we must come to terms with the fact that IS has been a gargantuan public relations disaster to the religion of Islam which exhorts its followers to “invite to the Way of thy Lord, with wisdom and fair preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.”

 

Having said that, I don’t imply in any way any modicum of support or sympathy for the regimes IS has been fighting in Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi regime, created by the US in 2004 in order to plunge the region in endless violence and turbulence, is shamelessly sectarian. It torments, even murders, its own citizens because they have the |”wrong” religious affiliation. And it has effectively handed Iraq over to Iran on a silver platter. As to the Syrian regime, it is decidedly nefarious. No person with any iota of rectitude would give that regime the benefit of the doubt, if indeed there were any doubts as to the nefariousness of that regime. What else can be said of a regime that has destroyed its own country, virtually completely, murdered close to half a million of its own citizens, even by using deadly chemical weapons, and forced 11-14 million Syrians (70% of the population) out of their homes. And the reason? To extend its lifespan in power a few more years against the will of the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people.

 

Indeed, in the first few months into the Syrian uprising, the thuggish regime of Bashar al-Asad instructed its Gestapo-like Shabbiha thugs to scrawl the following slogan on walls all over Syria: Imma al Asad…Aww Nihreq al Balad ( either Asad stays on, or we will burn down the country.) Well. Thanks to Russia, Iran, Hizbullah as well as western treachery and betrayal of the Syrian people, Asad has made good on his threats. He has remained in power, but Syria has been nearly completely destroyed.

 

I most sincerely believe that it is only the naïve and the hopelessly stupid that are celebrating the demise of the IS.   The IS, as a group may well soon become part of history, but the idea encapsulated by the IS is likely to live on and on and on, constantly assuming different forms and names. This is because IS and other extreme Muslim groups especially in the Middle East are, whether we like it or not, the legitimate daughters of the illegitimate tyrannical Arab regimes and police states.   Don’t you believe anyone who would tell you otherwise?

 

Now, we all know that these manifestly terrorist regimes owe their very existence and survival to foreign powers such as the United States, a superpower which we all know is at Israel’s beck and call. .

 

A few years ago, the Egyptian people elected a democratic government, to replace the autocratic and corrupt regime of long-time dictator Husni Mubarak. However, because the first-ever democratic regime in 7000 years of Egyptian history refused to grovel at Israel’s feet and decided to be responsible to the Egyptian people, first and foremost, not to Washington, London and Paris, the West moved hastily to topple that democratic experiment which would have changed the Arab world and eradicated terrorism. In the process, peaceful protesters were massacred en mass in full view of the capitals of Western democracy, which, instead of calling the spade a spade, chose to play the harlot. Interestingly, they continue to display their shockingly wanton political promiscuity with Muslim peoples everywhere? Have you forgotten the recent failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish democratic regime? Who backed, supported and directed that failed coup d’etat against Erdogan’s popular regime until the very end? Martians or entities from outer space?

 

The West and the entire world must understand that it is not the ineluctable destiny of hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims to languish forever and ever under criminal regimes, such as the Assad of Syria and the Sissi of Egypt. In 1775, Patrick Henry, in a speech he made to the Second Virginia Convention, said: “give me liberty or give me death.” Needless to say, One doesn’t have to be a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or for that matter, an IS terrorist to long for freedom, justice and democracy. When will America, UK, and France understand this most axiomatic matter?

 

In a nutshell, I will say this to the governments and intelligence agencies of Europe and North America. IS could appear again and again, under different names. After all, it is a mere symptom. And the real root-cause, is your hand-made puppet terrorist regimes that persecute, repress, torment and murder every free voice demanding some of the very rights and freedoms that you people take for granted in your countries”

 

 

And, yes, we are not children of a lesser God.

ISRAEL’S FAKE HSTORY

There is no contradiction between a site being Palestinian and Jewish at the same time. But for Netanyahu there is.

The many outraged Israeli politicians are creating fake news, manipulating history in fake ways, and blaming it on UNESCO

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel charges UNESCO with ‘Fake history’

Israel charges UNESCO with ‘Fake history’

“This irrelevant organization promotes FAKE HISTORY”, wrote Israel’s Foreign ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon two days ago concerning UNESCO, after the latter voted on a resolution to include Al-Khalil (Hebron) and the Al-Ibrahimi mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) as Palestinian World Heritage sites.

The blast from Israeli officials didn’t stop there. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the organization “anti-Semitic”, the supposed liberal President Reuven Rivlin said that “UNESCO seems intent on sprouting anti-Jewish lies”, and even Labor’s Merav Michaeli called the resolution “insane”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, faithful to his ways of persuasion, took to twitter and made a video, where he says:

“Yet another delusional decision by UNESCO. This time they’ve decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning not a Jewish one and listed it an endangered site. Not a Jewish site? Who is buried there? Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Leah, our patriarchs and matriarchs.”

Today, Netanyahu resorted to the bible, reading from Genesis 23, which describes Abraham’s purchasing of the Cave of the Patriarchs. Netanyahu did so ostensibly in order to rebuff claims that the site is ‘not Jewish’. 

But pause there.

There’s nothing in the UNESCO resolution that suggests that the site does not have Jewish connection. In fact, UNESCO explicitly affirms the historic importance of the place as “a site of pilgrimage for the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam”. As Orly Noy notes in her article of today titled ‘There’s nothing anti-Semitic about UNESCO’s Hebron vote’:

“I wonder how many of these politicians bothered reading the resolution before they ran to Twitter to trash it.”

Indeed, UNESCO was not disputing religious connections to the place. What seems to have infuriated the Israelis is that it is considered a PALESTINIAN heritage site.

But UNESCO recognized Palestine back in 2011, as have about three-fourths of the United Nations member states. Al-Khalil (Hebron) and the Al-Ibrahimi mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) are in Palestine. What’s the big deal?

As we see from Netanyahu’s words, the idea of the place being a ‘Palestinian site’ is anathema to it being a ‘Jewish site’. But this is just disingenuous. Orly Noy provides a sobering comparison:

“Esther and Mordechai’s Tomb in Hamadan, Iran is recognized by the Iranian authorities as a Jewish site, yet no one would dream of calling it an Israeli site. Just as the Church of the Multiplication in northern Israel is a Christian site, yet is located in Israel and therefore an Israeli site.”

In other words, there is no contradiction between a site being Palestinian and Jewish at the same time. But for Netanyahu there is.

So what does Netanyahu do after he distorts the wording of the resolution? He takes to reading from the bible. This is the same trick that David Ben-Gurion usedwhen the British Peel commission asked him in 1936 about whether he had a deed or contract of sale that gave him the right to take the place of the native Arabs who have lived here for generations: Ben-Gurion picked up a Bible and declared, “This is our deed!” 

And there’s more. Because what is Netanyahu reading? The story about Abraham, who bought the cave for the burial of his wife, Sarah. But Abraham wasn’t ‘Jewish’, really – that term evolved much later. If Abraham is a ‘forefather’ in a spiritual sense, he is the forefather of the three Abrahamic religions, all of which the UNESCO resolution affirms. So, ironically, Netanyahu’s religious preaching, seeking to prove the ‘Jewish connection’ (which UNESCO doesn’t dispute), ends up defeating his attempted point and strengthening UNESCO’s: Yes, the place is important for Jews, but not only for Jews.

The myopic, Jewish-centric ideas that Netanyahu presents betray the exclusivist intents of the Israeli government. It cannot seem to differentiate between state and religion with respect to Israel, and when it comes to Palestine will not accept Palestinian statehood or sovereignty. So it is the Israeli official narrative that is the exclusivist one, not the UNESCO narrative.

The many outraged Israeli politicians are creating fake news, manipulating history in fake ways, and blaming it on UNESCO.  

ISIS; YOUR GIG IS UP! WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE

The West was responsible for the establishment of ISIS.

The United States Created ISIS and continues to Assist in Funding ISIS for Secondary Gain of Maintaining Chaos in The Middle East to Protect Oil Businesses.

Nasrallah: The United States created ISIS

Hezbollah leader welcomes the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, accuses the United States of creating the jihadist group.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday welcomed the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group, but also accused the United States of creating ISIS.

“This is a victory for all Iraqis, for all the people of the region, and all those that combat terrorism, and all those who are threatened by terrorism day and night,” he said in a televised speech, according to the Lebanese Daily Star.

“Freeing Mosul is a great victory for Iraq, Syria, and for all countries in the region and the world,” Nasrallah added.

“There is no doubt that the victory that was announced by Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Mosul is a great victory. Some from the region viewed Daesh as a revolutionary movement of the Arabic Spring, welcomed it, and endorsed it,” the Hezbollah leader continued, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

“Even the countries in the Gulf [Cooperation Council] that endorsed and supported Daesh were pleased because they were eventually threatened,” he added, while praising Iraq for having “provided all its necessary support for Baghdad” in the fight against the organization.

“Iraqis did not wait for anyone, not the Arab League, nor Arab or regional leaders…not the United States, nor anyone,” he said. “They put faith in God, their men, women, and their blood.”

Nasrallah then blasted United States officials who said that it would “take 10 years to tackle Daesh.”

“If all the efforts against Daesh were honest, it would not take years to take out Daesh,” Nasrallah said. “When the United States said it needs 10 years, they had a plan…it was in the interest of American hegemony and Israel.”

He then claimed that the United States created ISIS and gave states in the region the green light to fund and support the group.

This is not the first time that Nasrallah has claimed that the United States created ISIS. Last year, the Hezbollah leader quoted then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statement that President Barack Obama had founded ISIS – and agreed with him.

“The American Presidential candidate is saying this. What he says is based on documents and facts,” Nasrallah stated at the time.

In another speech, Nasrallah claimed that the West was responsible for the establishment of ISIS.

“Friends of the United States in Lebanon, friends of the United States in the region. Your friend the United States and your friend Hillary Clinton said that Saudi Arabia and other countries operating in its name are those who financed the activities of ISIS in the region, helped it, strengthened it and made it easier for it,” he said.

Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and is a supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, has been actively involved in the fighting in the Syrian civil war, and has suffered heavy losses there.

FROM

WHAT WILL ISRAEL DO WITH 7 MILLION PALESTINIANS?

We are thoroughly inured to poverty, pain,  agony, and harsh life,  so no matter what Israel does to us short of physical extermination,  we will remain a thorn in its side until Israel’s comes to terms with our humanity and human rights, including the right to absolute  equality.  After all, Ismael was not a child of a lesser God.

What will Israel do with 7 Million Palestinians?
By Khalid Amayreh
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The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has published the latest data on Palestinian demography in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  According to the published data, the Palestinian population of the occupied Palestinian territories (the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip) has reached 4.95 million. And if we add up the estimated 2 million Palestinians living in Israel proper, the overall number of Palestinians living within mandatory Palestine will be around 7 million.   If not already, the population is expected to reach that figure in a few years.  This is not wishful thinking or day-dreaming. It is reality.
 
Moreover, the estimated seven million people are expected to double their numbers in three or four decades.  Am I dreaming? I don’t think so. After all, people will continue to mate and sire children. Sixty years ago, my late father and late mother started our family.  Now their progeny exceeds a hundred people.
 
I know that the size of the Palestinian population alone will not make Israel budge and reconsider its military occupation and apartheid.  Today’s Israel, especially under the present quasi-fascist government, made up of   extreme nationalists and Talmudic fanatics (Likud and ha-Bayt ha-yehudi- present-day Gush Emunim) is too arrogant, too insolent, too impetuous and too intoxicated by their arrogance of power to really think wisely, even rationally. That is why it is utterly unlikely that the three jingoes (Netanyahu, Bennett, and Lieberman) will soon sober up from their false euphoria and begin to see reality on the ground.
 
Instead, they will continue to profusely  pass provocative racist laws consolidating the “Jewishness” of Israel, mainly at the expense of non-Jewish inhabitants.
 
Needless, to say, these laws are, in the final analysis, self-defeating feats reflecting Israel’s  historical predicament and gigantic failure to reach a just, dignified and durable peace with the Palestinians. In a certain sense, these racist laws, even if passed by an overwhelming majority in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) are also merely a  defensive reflex caricaturing Israel’s fear and uncertainty about the intermediate and fairly distant future.
 
Besides, since when was the consolidation of Jewish culture and roots dependent on the promotion of racism and apartheid as well as on meting oppression and discrimination out to non-Jews.  I strongly believe that Israel is insulting and doing a great disservice to Jewish ethics (the soul of Judaism) by indulging in these repugnant measures against the Palestinians.  These  measures will eventually be proven anti-historical. Indeed, the ancient Prophets of Israel had warned their followers repeatedly against oppressing “the strangers living amongst you for you were strangers yourselves in the land of Egypt”
 
Now, Israel will continue to bury her head in the sand following the proverbial ostrich.   But the denial tactic will take Israel nowhere except perhaps bringing the Jewish state closer to the hour pf truth.
 
I am in no way, out of naïveté.  seeking to underestimate Israel’s ability to do mischief and embark on tormenting the Palestinians even further and further, all in order to make them grovel at Israel’s feet, begging for surrender!  Yes, Israel could do the unthinkable to prevent history from taking its natural course?
 
None the less, the Palestinians won’t and wouldn’t surrender to Israeli brutality and repression, however nefarious this might be. We have learned the lesson of the Nakba.   This means that the vast majority of Palestinians would prefer dying, yes dying, here in Palestine, rather than leaving our ancestral homeland and living in exile..
 
Besides, we are thoroughly inured to poverty, pain,  agony, and harsh life,  so no matter what Israel does to us short of physical extermination,  we will remain a thorn in its side until Israel’s comes to terms with our humanity and human rights, including the right to absolute  equality.  After all, Ismael was not a child of a lesser God.

SPOTLIGHTS ON ANGELA MERKEL

All eyes on Angela Merkel

This week ….

Back in history … lessons from her teacher

 

SUNDAY’S TOON ~~ PUTIN’S LATEST THREAT

Image by Carlos Latuff

Putin Meets Trump. Our Cartoon This Week

ANALYSIS ~~ IS MUSLIM UNITY POSSIBLE?

In the final analysis, Muslims will have to choose between the abyss of sectarianism on the one hand, or the salvation that could only come from following the truly universal Islam based on love, mercy, tolerance and commitment to truth and justice.

Khalid Amayreh

Is a Sunni-Shiite Modus vivendi possible?
By Khalid Amayreh
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I realize that I have to approach this sensitive subject, which is fraught with intense emotions, mutual animosity and suspicions, virulent recriminations,   and many taboos, with utmost caution and discretion.
 
Our beloved Sahabi (companion of the Prophet-s) Imam Ali bin Abe Taleb reportedly said “Try to overcome the harshness of the subject with a kind discourse.”
 
This may not be always possible especially when dealing with ancient,  deep-rooted religious hatreds bequeathed and inherited generation after generation.  However, meaningful efforts to establish a modus viveni or semblance of peaceful coexistence between Shiites and Sunnis must be continued and never given up. Otherwise, both communities would be condemned to a disastrous open-ended confrontation. In such a horrible quagmire, there are absolutely no winner, only losers and for that matter big losers.
 
  Moreover,  it has been crystal-clear for quite sometime that the enemies of Islam, who are fanning the fire of hatred between both communities, are wasting no time exploiting the Shiite-Sunni rift to debilitate and eventually ruin the Muslim world.
 
In fact, any meaningful effort toward de-escalation should not be aimed at making Sunnis and Shiites fall in love with each other. Such a goal, which is theoretically worthwhile,   is probably too illusionary to be even contemplated. It is a dream so distant that cannot be invoked in the realm of reality.  Yet even dreams, realistic or otherwise, are harbored and treasured since  man by nature can not give up the hope for peace with his fellow man especially compatriots and coreligionists.
 
Now, however, our immediate priority as Muslim intellectuals, journalists and opinion-shapers must focus on stopping the bleeding wound, stabilizing the condition of the patient, and inducing his immunity system to reactivate itself as much as possible.  Nothing is easy and nothing can be taken for granted.
 
The first order of business from this writer’s perspective is to study rather honestly and meticulously the real causes of the 1400-old fissure within the body of the Muslim Umma.
 
Again, the solution lies not in converting Shiism to Sunni Islam or converting Sunni Muslims to the Safavi Akhbari Shiism, which is a corruption of true, authentic Shiism. Instead it lies in adopting a new approach toward the “other,” based on mutual respect.
 
Unfortunately, this is not possible right now or in the immediate future since “slandering, cursing, vilifying and hating the “other” is an in-built component of some religious doctrines. Indeed, how can we possibly treat the “other” with any  modicum of true  respect when our views of the “other” is shaped by  ancient religious books that  incite us to “hate him from the depth of our hearts and even constantly  seek the opportune time to harm and even murder him.”
 
 Naturally, this intense hatred and vindictiveness didn’t come from nowhere. It emanated from the notoriously dubious narratives contained in such books as  Beharul Anwar and al-Kafee, to mention just a few sources, which judge the “other” as “Kaffer  (disbeliever), impure, usurper, oppressor, apostate, Nasibi (enemy of the Prophets’ household)  etc, who will rot in hell-fire for eternity.”  These manifestly false Riwayas or Hadith narratives can never be attributed to our great Prophet who was neither a curser nor a maligner. The Prophet, for example, would never have said, that apart fromAli’s supporters (the Shiites), all people are children of adultery!!! This is not the style of the Prophet.
 
Hence, For the sake of peace amongst Muslims, we must no longer hold fast to such cancerous narratives which scholars from both sides know quite well.
 
Moreover, Shiites in particular must put an end, once and for all, to the ancient repulsive  habit of cursing and slandering Sunni Muslims’ symbols including the wives of the Prophet, e.g. Lady Ayesha, and the first three caliphs as well as other Sahaba.  These are the very people who conveyed the Muhammadan message to us. In the final analysis, discrediting the messenger  is discrediting the message.
 
  Indeed, this particular issue of slandering the Sahaba remains the central reason and main cause for the enduring contention between the followers of the two schools.   It is the maker or breaker of any rapprochement between Shiites and Sunnis.
 
True, pronouncements disallowing slandering and badmouthing the Sahaba have been made by prominent religious leaders such as Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenaei.  However. Let us be frank and honest with ourselves. It should be amply clear that  Taqiyaa-inspired statements by this or that leader won’t end the problem. What we need is a meaningful, genuine, and honest departure by religious leaders and Seminaries from ancient doctrines that demonize the “other.”  I can write volumes and volumes in this regard, but I am sure the  Ulema and intellectuals from both sides understand, rather too well, what I am talking about.
 
Unfortunately, there is  now a little hope that the religious leaders, especially In Najaf and Qum, would abandon their ancient texts ….and, therefore,  ancient hatred, which the ignorant fanatics, interestingly enough, consider the “ultimate asset” and defining feature of the Mazhab!!!!  That is why, I cannot allow my self to be overly   optimistic.
 
Let us be honest, we can not await classical religious leaders and clergymen to sound the bill. Indeed, many of these figures are too ignorant, too fanatic and even too cowardly to communicate”unpopular truths” to their respective and often sheepish followers. They are part of the problem. They are the problem.
 
Instead, we need open-minded intellectuals, such as the late Iranian thinker Ali Shariati and the late Egyptian thinker Syed Qutub to be at the forefront to rid the Islamic Umma of both Shiite and Sunni parochialism. In the final analysis, Muslims will have to choose between the abyss of sectarianism on the one hand, or the salvation that could only come from following the truly universal Islam based on love, mercy, tolerance and commitment to truth and justice. 

ISRAEL’S LATEST PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO INCREASE TOURISM

BEX Alert Extraordinaire … Truly pathetic

PHOTO OF THE DAY ~~ PALESTINIAN YOUTH GIVE A ‘WARM WELCOME’ TO INVADING FORCES

FROM

Israeli invading forces receive a ‘warm’ welcome from Palestinian youths.

MIDWEEK TOONS ~~ ISRAEL’S ROLE IN SYRIA

Images by Carlos Latuff

Israel has a finger in every pie!

 

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Israel’s role in Syria

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How Modern Imperialism Creates Famine Around the World

FOR THE 4th ~~ PUERTO RICAN PARODY

This is meant to be funny?

The REAL Puerto Rico

 

FOR THE 4th OF JULY …. PAST JOKES FROM A FORMER WHITE HOUSE CLOWN

His reign wasn’t a laughing matter, but these are definitely funny …

Happy July 4th!

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PHOTOS OF THE DAY ~~ GAY PRIDE FROM HEAVEN ABOVE

For Gay Pride Month, Double rainbow over New York City

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Great way to end Pride Month

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