THE MUSIC CONTINUES DESPITE IT ALL! GAZA WILL CONTINUE TO SING TILL IT IS FREE!!

‘When Israeli forces destroyed the cultural centre, they thought they would also destroy our dreams’

ZIONISM DECLARED NOT KOSHER

Badatz to winery: ‘Remove Zionist label’

Beit Din Tzedek, or Badatz, the ultra-Orthodox body that grants kosher certificates and serves the Haredi community, told Psagot Winery to remove its kosher certificate from its labels celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary. As the wine labels, which featured a big number ’70’ had already been printed, the winery complied by covering up Badatz’s kosher seal with a sticker.

I spoke to one of the owners of the winery in question …. here is what he said;

“Good for sales — people have seen that article and because of it want to buy full cases of wine! 🙂 “

Here is a picture of the bottle of wine causing the friction..

either Eida or Israel, but not both on your wine

The latest kashrut brouhaha with the Eida Hachareidis is a report on Channel 11 News (Kan) is regarding a winery that put out a line of wine marketed with the celebratory symbols for Israel’s 70th birthday.  The Eida has told Psagot Winery that they must either cover up the Zionist symbols on the labels of the bottles, or must cover up the Eida hechsher.
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What a conflict! They want to market to a community that will only rely on the Eida hechsher and not any of the other hechshers available, but they also want to market their wine to people who will buy it as part of a celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday! And the Eida will only allow it to be one or the other, not both.
It is also possible that the Eida was simply embarrassed to have its logo on a bottle for a company that could not even spell the worth “birthday” correctly for a major marketing campaign taking advantage of Israel’s 70th birthday!

The Eida always claims that the kashrut division is independent of the rest of the activities of the Eida and is “kashrus neto” with no involvement in the anti-State activities of the Eida. An incident like this shows that this is not true – they are giving an ultimatum that it is either a symbol of the State of Israel or it is the logo of the Eida, but the two cannot reside on the same bottle side by side.

Being that this is purely a marketing issue, companies feel that having the Eida hechsher will bring them a lot more business, people need to make it known to the companies that the Eida hechsher will expose them to an entirely new market, but it will close them off from other markets.. If the Eida says it can only be one or the other, who can blame them for choosing Eida if there are no ramifications?

FROM

IMAGES OF THE DAY ….. ‘IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO, THE THINGS THAT YOU’RE LIABLE TO READ IN THE BIBLE’ ~~(THE WESTERN PRESS)

Israeli air forces pounded the Gaza Strip overnight, targeting over 100 sites in the besieged coastal enclave. The Israeli army said in a statement that forces struck 150 “terror targets.”

Images by Carlos Latuff

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What isn’t reported in the Western press ….

Israeli air forces pummel Gaza, killing pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old daughter 

Three Palestinians were killed during pre dawn Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip Thursday. Among the dead were a woman, who was nine months pregnant, and her 18-month-old daughter.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza identified the pregnant woman as 23-year-old Inas Khamash, and her 18-month-old daughter as Bayan Khamash.

The two were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit their home in the Jaafari area of central Gaza. Khamash’s husband, Muhammad, was severely injured during the strike.

While some local media outlets were reporting that Muhammad succumbed to his wounds early Thursday afternoon, the Gaza Ministry of Health has maintained that he is still in critical condition and being treated in the ICU.

The third slain Palestinian, reportedly a Hamas fighter, was killed in an airstrike in northern Gaza. He was identified as 30-year-old Ali al-Ghandour.

The health ministry added that around 12 Palestinians were injured, two critically, and were transferred to the hospital for treatment.

Israeli air forces pounded the Gaza Strip overnight, targeting over 100 sites in the besieged coastal enclave. The Israeli army said in a statement that forces struck 150 “terror targets.”

In a statement on Twitter, the army said the strikes were “conducted in response to the rockets launched from Gaza at Israel throughout the night,” adding that 180 rockets — at least 30 of which were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system — were fired from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media outlets reported that 11 Israelis were injured in the town of Sderot. One woman was reported to be in serious condition, while nine others were taken to the hospital. Thirteen other Israelis were reportedly treated for “shock.”

An Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss that they could not confirm the number of Israelis reportedly injured.

The Israeli army said they held Hamas “fully responsible” for the escalation in violence, and that it was “determined to secure the safety of Israelis, is on high alert, & prepared for a variety of scenarios.”

“Hamas is responsible & bears the consequences for the ongoing events,” the army said on Twitter.

The army’s rhetoric has been echoed by Israeli politicians and government bodies over the course of Thursday, with the Foreign Ministry saying that Israel was “defending itself from from Hamas’ aggression.”

The US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt released the following statement on Twitter: “Hamas regime again is launching rockets at Israeli communities.  Another night of terror & families huddling in fear as Israel defends itself. This is the Hamas regime’s choice. Hamas is subjecting people to the terrifying conditions of war again.”

Neither Greenblatt, the foreign ministry, nor the army made any mention of the killing of Inas Khimash and her daughter Bayan.

Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement that it was Israel who was responsible for the violence, and that “in the event of continued aggression, shelling and killing of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the resistance will not be silent. It’s duty to respond and break the occupation.”

On Twitter, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri echoed similar sentiments, and called on the international community to “shoulder its responsibilities towards Israel’s aggression and siege.”

Thursday’s events are the latest in a series of severe flare ups over the past few months in Gaza, leading many local and international officials to speculate that another large-scale Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory could be imminent.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted an unnamed senior Israeli commander as saying that the military is “nearing launching an operation in the Gaza Strip” if the current situation persists.

The official told Haaretz that Hamas “will pay the price for its violations in the last four months,” seemingly referring to the ongoing Great March of Return protests that began on March 30th, over which time Israeli forces have killed at least 160 Palestinians and injured 17,000 more.

“Hamas must go back to the understandings after the [2014 Gaza war], and if it doesn’t, it will understand the hard way,” Haaretz quoted the officer as saying.

With fears of a new Israeli onslaught on the horizon, reports have emerged of the UN scrambling to negotiate a ceasefire.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, said in a statement issued on early Thursday that he was “deeply alarmed by the recent escalation of violence.”

“For months I have been warning that the humanitarian, security and political crisis in Gaza risk a devastating conflict that nobody wants. The UN has engaged with Egypt and all concerned parties in an unprecedented effort to avoid such a development,” he said.

Mladenov added that “if the current escalation however is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people.”

The Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million Palestinians, over 70% of which are refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes in present-day Israel when the state was established in 1948.

A more than decade-long Israeli air, land, and sea blockade has crippled Gaza’s economy, which boasts one of the highest unemployment rates in the world at 44 percent, leaving an estimated 80 percent of the territory’s population dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Gaza has often been compared to an “open air prison,” and in 2015, the UN warned that the it could become “unlivable” by 2020 if nothing was done to improve the situation.

URGENT APPEAL FROM THE CHILDREN IN GAZA

‘When Israeli forces destroyed the cultural centre, they thought they would also destroy our dreams’

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BREAKING NEWS…
This is difficult to write. Gaza Children’s Cinema team is mourning the destruction of the Said Al-Mishal Cultural Center which was levelled to the ground yesterday after Israeli fighter jets struck the five-story building with 10 rockets. The second largest cultural centre in Gaza was a venue for theatre and music performance in the besieged and isolated Gaza Strip. This cultural centre was one of the main places where Gaza Children Cinema team organised movie screening for children. The Said Al-Mishal Cultural Center provided spaces of entertainment and joy for generations of children and young people in Gaza; it is in total ruins now.

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Dear Gaza Children Cinema friends and supporters,

First and foremost, we would like to repeatedly extend our sincere gratitude for your kind and generous support to our Gaza education community-based initiative: Gaza Children Cinema.

We have been silent in the last few months but invariably busy with organising fundraising events to extend the wonderful momentum of the project to further reach to children communities in Gaza. We also have been minutely working with our partner in Gaza, Tamer Institute for Community Education to plan for the second phase of cinema workshops implementation across the enclave Gaza Strip.

Children in Gaza need our help and support to heal. Please consider contributing to Gaza Children Cinema to provide spaces of fun, creatively temporary escapism through basic human engagement: watching a movie in a safe environment.

According to a recent study by Gaza-based university professors of psychological health, Dr Jamil Tahrawi and Dr Sanaa Abu-Dagga, “Drawings of Palestinian Children after the War on Gaza,” 82.3 percent of 445 children surveyed have drawn images related to war. These include: fighter planes, destroyed homes and mosques, Israeli rockets and missiles, dead Palestinians, various military vehicles, and fighters. The drawings showed fear, terror, and sadness over the those killed and wounded. The study is available in Arabic here.

But there is still hope. Dr. Tahrawi explained that art could be used as a bridge to a better future and that despite the gruesome content of many of the children’s pictures the drawings could help the children overcome their grief and move on.

“The children can relieve their stress by expressing their feelings instead of repressing them. I was surprised at the bright and cheerful colors used by certain children. I expected them all to use bleak colors such as black and brown. But the rainbow of colors is proof of their resilience,” according to Dr. Tahrawi.

“If they are given the chance and the same opportunities as other children they can overcome Gaza’s tragic history and circumstances. Unfortunately we don’t have sufficient people qualified in art therapy in Gaza,” added Tahrawi.

You can help in a number of ways, and all are greatly appreciated:

  • By sharing this update with your networks, you will increase the coverage of the work done by ‘Gaza Children Cinema,’
  • By donating via the crowdfunding link earlier in this page. Even the smallest contribution helps, and
  • By sharing contributing any special skills, time, energy or resources you may have. Please  feel free to get in touch!  Your input can help make the world a better place for some children who need it
Gaza’s children need consistent and age appropriate  interventions, in order to grow and flourish, is an environment of such severe ongoing conflict. Ahmed Ashour, the team leader of Gaza Children Cinema in Gaza, indicated that the impact of cinema sessions on children as “beyond description” and that children are always waiting for more screenings.

Through Gaza Children Cinema sessions, children are encouraged to draw their feelings and tell stories in images. Children are also encouraged to play out their experiences in supervised play sessions. These approaches enable the children to find ways to externalise the trauma, rather than letting it fester like an internal time bomb.

Thank you so much for making this initiative real.

Yours sincerely,
Ayman Qwaider

Here’s how YOU can help ….. Click HERE

RECENTLY DISCOVERED NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINTING

This is a Norman Rockwell painting called Murder in Mississippi. It depicts the final moments in the lives of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan 53 years ago this summer for registering people to vote. That’s not ancient history. It’s not even history. It’s current events.

Harry Belafonte These Three Are On My Mind

EYEWITNESS TO ISRAELI TERROR

Eyewitness onboard boat to Gaza says Israeli forces beat passengers and stole thousands of dollars, antibiotics during raid

Dr. Swee Ang is a medical doctor and was a passenger onboard the al-Awda, a ship headed to Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla. The Israeli navy commandeered the vessel on July 29, 2018.

The last leg of the journey of al-Awda (the boat of return) was scheduled to reach Gaza on 29 July 2018. We were on target to reach Gaza that evening. There are 22 on board including crew with $15,000 of antibiotics and bandages for Gaza. At 12.31 p.m. we received a missed call from a number beginning with +81… Mikkel was steering the boat at that time. The phone rang again with the message that we were trespassing into Israeli waters. Mikkel replied that we were in International waters and had right of innocent passage according to maritime laws. The accusation of trespassing was repeated again and again with Mikkel repeating the message that we were sailing in international waters. This carried on for about half an hour, while al-Awda was 42 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza.

Dr. Swee Ang. (Photo: Blizard Institute
Queen Mary University of London)

Prior to the beginning of this last leg, we had spent two days learning non-violent actions and had prepared ourselves in anticipation of Israeli invasion of our boat. Vulnerable individuals especially those with medical conditions were to sit at the rear of the top deck with their hands on the deck table. The leader of this group was Gerd, a 75-year-old elite Norwegian athlete and she had the help of Lucia, a Spanish nurse in her group.

The people who were to provide non-violent barrier to the Israelis coming on deck and taking over the boat formed three rows – two rows of threes and the third row of two persons blocking the wheel house door to protect the wheel house for as long as possible. There were runners between the wheel house and the rear of the deck. The leader of the boat Zohar and I were at the two ends of the toilets corridor where we looked out at the horizon and inform all of any sightings of armed boats. I laughed at Zohar and said we are the Toilet Brigade, but I think Zohar did not find it very funny. It was probably bad taste under the circumstances. I also would be able to help as a runner and will have accessibility to all parts of the deck in view of being the doctor on board.

Soon we saw at least three large Israeli warships on the horizon with five or more speed boats (Zodiacs) zooming towards us. As the Zodiacs approached I saw that they carried soldiers with machine guns and there was on board the boats large machine guns mounted on a stand pointing at our boat. From my lookout point the first Israeli soldier climbed on board to the cabin level and climbed up the boat ladder to the top deck. His face was masked with a white cloth and following him were many others, all masked. They were all armed with machine guns and small cameras on their chests.

They immediately made to the wheel house overcoming the first row by twisting the arms of the participants, lifting Sarah up and throwing her away. Joergen the chef was large to be manhandled so he was tasered before being lifted up. They attacked the second row by picking on Emelia the Spanish nurse and removed her thus breaking the line. They then approach the door of the wheel house and tasered Charlie the first mate and Mike Treen who were obstructing their entry to the wheel house. Charlie was beaten up as well. Mike did not give way with being tasered in his lower limbs so he was tasered in his neck and face. Later on I saw bleeding on the left side of Mike’s face. He was semi-conscious when I examined him.

They broke into the wheel house by cutting the lock, forced the engine to be switched off and took down the Palestine flag before taking down the Norwegian flag and trampling on it.

They then cleared all people from the front half of the boat around the wheel house and moved them by force and coercion, throwing them to the rear of the deck. All were forced to sit on the floor at the back, except Gerd, Lucy and the vulnerable people who were seated around the table on wooden benches around her. Israeli soldiers then formed a line sealing off people from the back and preventing them from coming to the front of the boat again.

As we entered the back of the deck we were all body searched and ordered to surrender our mobile phones or else they will take it by force. This part of search and confiscation was under the command of a woman soldier. Apart from mobile phones – medicines and wallets were also removed. No one as of today (4 August 2018) got our mobile phones back.

I went to examine Mike and Charlie. Charlie had recovered consciousness and his wrists were tied together with plastic cable ties. Mike was bleeding from the side of his face, still not fully conscious. His hands were very tightly tied together with cable ties and the circulation to his fingers was cut off and his fingers and palm were beginning to swell. At this stage the entire people seated on the floor shouted demanding that the cable ties be cut. It was about half an hour later before the ties were finally cut off from both of them.

Around this time Charlie the first mate received the Norwegian flag. He was visibly upset telling all of us that the Norwegian flag had been trampled on. Charlie reacted more to the trampling of the Norwegian flag than to his own being beaten and tasered.

The soldiers then started asking for the captain of the boat. The boys then started to reply that they were all the captain. Eventually the Israelis figured out that Herman was the captain and demanded to take him to the wheel house. Herman asked for someone to come with him, and I offered to do so. But as we approached the wheel house, I was pushed away and Herman forced into the wheel house on his own. Divina, the well known Swedish singer, had meanwhile broken free from the back and went to the front to look through the window of the wheel house. She started to shout and cry “Stop –stop they are beating Herman, they are hurting him”.  We could not see what Divina saw, but knew that it was something very disturbing. Later on, when Divina and I were sharing a prison cell, she told me they were throwing Herman against the wall of the wheel house and punching his chest. Divina was forcibly removed and her neck was twisted by the soldiers who took her back to the rear of the deck.

I was pushed back to the rear of the boat again. After a while the boat engine started. I was told later by Gerd who was able to hear Herman tell the story to the Norwegian Consul in prison that the Israelis wanted Herman to start the engine, and threatened to kill him if he would not do so. But what they did not understand was that with this boat, once the engine stopped it can only be restarted manually in the engine room in the cabin level below. Arne the engineer refused to restart the engine, so the Israelis brought Herman down and hit him in front of Arne making it clear that they will continue to hit Herman if Arne would not start the engine. Arne is 70 years old, and when he saw Herman’s face went ash color, he gave in and started the engine manually. Gerd broke into tears when she was narrating this part of the story. The Israelis then took charge of the boat and drove it to Ashdod.

Once the boat was on course, the Israeli soldiers brought Herman to the medical desk. I looked at Herman and saw that he was in great pain, silent but conscious, breathing spontaneously but shallow breathing. The Israeli Army doctor was trying to persuade Herman to take some medicine for pain. Herman was refusing the medicine. The Israeli doctor explained to me that what he was offering Herman was not army medicine but his personal medicine. He gave me the medicine from his hand so that I could check it. It was a small brown glass bottle and I figured that it was some kind of liquid morphine preparation probably the equivalent of Oramorph or Fentanyl. I asked Herman to take it and the doctor asked him to take 12 drops after which Herman was carried off and slumped on a mattress at the back of the deck. He was watched over by people around him and fell asleep. From my station I saw he was breathing better.

With Herman settled I concentrated on Larry Commodore, the Native American leader and an environmental activist. He had been voted Chief of his tribe twice. Larry has labile asthma and with the stress all around my fear was that he might get a nasty attack, and needed adrenaline injection. I was taking Larry through deep breathing exercises. However Larry was not heading for an asthmatic attack, but was engaging an Israeli who covered his face with a black cloth in conversation. This man was obviously in charge.

I asked for the Israeli man with black mask his name and he called himself Field Marshall Ro…..Larry misheard him and jumped to conclusion that he called himself Field Marshall Rommel and shouted how can he an Israeli take a Nazi name. Field Marshall objected and introduced himself as Field Marshall ? Ronan. As I spelt out Ronan he quickly corrected me that his name is Ronen, and he Field Marshall Ronen was in charge.

The Israeli soldiers all wore body cameras and were filming us all the time. A box of sandwiches and pears were brought on deck for us. None of us took any of their food as we had decided we do not accept Israeli hypocrisy and charity. Our chef Joergen had already prepared high calorie high protein delicious brownie with nuts and chocolate, wrapped up in tin foil to be consume when captured, as we know it was going to be a long day and night. Joergen called it food for the journey. Unfortunately when I needed it most, the Israelis took away my food and threw it away. They just told me ”It is forbidden” I had nothing to eat for 24 hours, refusing Israeli Army food and had no food of my own.

As we sailed towards Israel we could see the coast of Gaza in total darkness. There were three drilling rigs in the northern sea of Gaza. The brightly burning oil flames contrasted with the total darkness the owners of the fuel were forced to live in. Just off the shore of Gaza are the largest deposit of natural gas ever discovered and the natural gas belonging to the Palestinians were already being siphoned off by Israel.

As we approached Israel, Zohar our boat leader suggested that we should start saying goodbye to each other. We were probably two to three hours from Ashdod. We thanked our boat leader, our captain, the crew, our dear chef, and encouraged each other that we will continue to do all we can to free Gaza and also bring justice to Palestine. Herman our Captain, who managed to sit up now, gave a most moving talk and some of us were in tears.

We knew that in Ashdod there will be the Israeli media and film crews. We will not enter Ashdod as a people who had lost hope as we were taken captive. So we came off the boat chanting “Free Free Palestine” all the way as we came off. Mike Treen the union man had by then recovered from his heavy tasering and led the chanting with his mega-voice and we filled the night sky of Israel with Free Free Palestine as we approached. We did this the whole way down the boat into Ashdod.

We came directly into a closed military zone in Ashdod. It was a sealed off area with many stations. It was specially prepared for the 22 of us. It began with a security x-ray area. I did not realize they retained my money belt as I came out of the x-ray station. The next station was strip search, and it was when I was gathering up my belongings after being stripped when I realized my money belt was no longer with me. I knew I had about a couple hundred Euros and they were trying to steal it. I demanded its return and refused to leave the station until it was produced. I was shouting for the first time. I was glad I did that as some other people were parted from their cash. The journalist from Al Jazeera, Abdu,l had all his credit cards and $1,800 taken from him, as well as his watch, satellite phone, his personal mobile, his ID. He thought his possessions were kept with his passport but when he was released for deportation he learnt bitterly that he only got his passport back. All cash and valuables were never found. They simply vanished.

We were passed from station to station in this closed military zone, stripped searched several times, possessions taken away until in the end all we had was the clothes we were wearing with nothing else except a wrist band with a number on it.  All shoe laces were removed as well. Some of us were given receipts for items taken away, but I had no receipts for anything. We were photographed several times and saw two doctors. At this point I learnt that Larry was pushed down the gangway and injured his foot and sent off to Israeli hospital for check-up. His blood was on the floor.

I was cold and hungry, wearing only one teeshirt and pants by the time they were through with me. My food was taken away; water was taken away, all belongings including reading glasses taken away. My bladder was about to explode but I am not allowed to go to the toilet. In this state I was brought out to two vehicles – Black Maria painted gray. On the ground next to it were a great heap of rucksacks and suit cases. I found mine and was horrified that they had broken into my baggage and took almost everything from it – all clothes clean and dirty, my camera, my second mobile, my books, my Bible, all the medicines I brought for the participants and myself, my toiletries. The suitcase was partially broken. My rucksacks was completely empty too. I got back two empty cases except for two dirty large man size teeshirts which obviously belonged to someone else. They also left my Freedom Flotilla T-shirt. I figured out that they did not steal the Flotilla tee as they thought no Israeli would want to wear that tee in Israel. They had not met Zohar and Yonatan who were proudly wearing theirs. That was a shock as I was not expecting the Israeli Army to be petty thieves as well. So what had become the glorious Israeli Army of the Six Day War which the world so admired?

I was still not allowed to go to the toilet, but was pushed into the Maria van, joined by Lucia the Spanish nurse and after some wait taken to Givon Prison. I could feel myself shivering uncontrollably on the journey.

The first thing our guards did in Givon Prison was to order me to go to the toilet to relieve myself. It was interesting to see that they knew I needed to go desperately but had prevented me for hours to! By the time we were re-x-rayed and searched again it must be about 5 to 6 a.m.. Lucia and I were then put in a cell where Gerd, Divina, Sarah and Emelia were already asleep. There were three double decker bunk beds – all rusty and dusty.

Divina did not get the proper dose of her medicines; Lucia was refused her own medicine and given an Israeli substitute which she refused to take. Divina and Emelia went straight on to hunger strike. The jailers were very hostile using simple things like refusal of toilet paper and constant slamming of the prison iron door, keeping the light of the cell permanently on, and forcing us to drink rusty water from the tap, screaming and shouting at us constantly to vent their anger at us.

The guards addressed me as “China” and treated me with utter contempt. On the morning of 30 July 2018, the British Vice Consul visited me. Some kind person had called them about my whereabouts. That was a blessing as after that I was called “England” and there was a massive improvement in the way England was treated compared to the way China was treated. It crossed my mind that “Palestine” would be trampled over, and probably killed.

Charlie Andreasson@Andreasson_C

We failed, we never reached Gaza. Once again Israel showed its ugly face and by force boarded our ship on international waters and stole our private belongings like watches, money, credit cards, driving licenses, etc. Once again we got to know what it’s like to be Palestinians

At 6.30 a.m. 31 July 2018, we heard Larry yelling from the men’s cell across the corridor that he needed a doctor. He was obviously in great pain and crying. We women responded by asking the wardens to allow me to go across to see Larry as I might be able to help. We shouted “We have a doctor” and used our metal spoons to hit the iron cell gate get their attention. They lied and said their doctor will be over in an hour. We did not believe them and started again. The doctor actually turned up at 4 p.m., about 10 hours later and Larry was sent straight to hospital.

Meanwhile to punish the women for supporting Larry’s demand, they brought hand cuffs for Sarah and took Divina and me to another cell to separate us from the rest. We were told we were not going to be allowed out for our 30 minutes fresh air break and a drink of clean water in the yard. I heard Gerd saying “Big deal”

Suddenly Divina was taken out with me to the courtyard and Divina given four cigarettes at which point she broke down and cried. Divina had worked long hours at the wheel house steering the boat. She had seen what happened to Herman. The prison had refused to give her one of her medicines and given her only half the dose of the other. She was still on hunger strike to protest our kidnapping in international waters. It was heart-breaking to see Divina cry. One of the wardens who called himself Michael started talking to us about how he will have to protect his family against those who want to drive the Israelis out. And how the Palestinians did not want to live in peace…and it was not Israel’s fault. But things suddenly changed with the arrival of an Israeli Judge and we were all treated with some decency even though he only saw a few of us personally. His job was to tell us that a tribunal will be convened the following day and each prisoner had been allocated a time to appear, and we must have our lawyer with us when we appear.

Divina by the end of the day became very giddy and very unwell so I persuaded her to come out of hunger strike, and also she agreed to sign a deportation order. Shortly after that possibly at 6 p.m. since we had no watches and mobile phones, we were told Lucia, Joergen, Herman, Arne, Abdul from Al Jazeera and I would be deported within 24 hours and we would be taken to be imprisoned in the deportation prison in Ramle near Ben-Gurion airport immediately to wait there. It was going to be the same Ramle Prison from which I was deported in 2014. I saw the same five strong old palm trees still standing up proud and tall. They are the only survivors of the Palestinian village destroyed in 1948.

When we arrived at Ramle prison Abdul found to his horror that he his money, his credit cards, his watch, his satellite phone, his own mobile phone, his  ID card were all missing – he was entirely destitute. We had a whip round and raised around a hundred Euros as a contribution towards his taxi fare from the airport to home. How can the Israeli Army be so corrupt and heartless to rob someone of everything?

Conclusion:

We, the six women on board al-Awda had learnt that they tried to completely humiliate and dehumanize us in every way possible. We were also shocked at the behaviour of the Israeli Army especially petty theft and their treatment of international women prisoners. Men jailors regularly entered the women’s cell without giving us decent notice to put our clothes on.

They also tried to remind us of our vulnerability at every stage. We know they would have preferred to kill us but of course the publicity incurred in so doing might be unfavourable to the international image of Israel.

If we were Palestinians it would be much worse with physical assaults and probably loss of lives. The situation is therefore dire for the Palestinians.

As to international waters, it looks as though there is no such thing for the Israeli Navy. They can hijack and abduct boats and persons in international water and get away with it. They acted as though they own the Mediterranean Sea. They can abduct any boat and kidnap any passengers, put them in prison and criminalise them.

We cannot accept this. We have to speak up, stand up against this lawlessness, oppression and brutality. We were completely unarmed. Our only crime according to them is we are friends of the Palestinians and wanted to bring medical aid to them. We wanted to brave the military blockade to do this. This is not a crime. In the week we were sailing to Gaza, they had shot dead seven Palestinians and wounded more than 90 with life bullets in Gaza. They had further shut down fuel and food to Gaza. Two million Palestinians in Gaza live without clean water, with only two to four hours of electricity, in homes destroyed by Israeli bombs, in a prison blockaded by land, air and sea for 12 years. The hospitals of Gaza since the 30 March had treated more than 9,071 wounded persons, 4,348 shot by live fire from a hundred Israeli snipers while they were mounting peaceful demonstrations inside the borders of Gaza on their own land. Most of the gun-shot wounds were to the lower limbs and with depleted treatment facilities the limbs will suffer amputation. In this period more than 164 Palestinians had been shot dead by the same snipers, including medics and journalists, children and women. The chronic military blockade of Gaza has depleted the hospitals of all surgical and medical supplies. This massive attack on an unarmed Freedom Flotilla bringing friends and some medical relief is an attempt to crush all hope for Gaza. As I write I learnt that our sister Flotilla, Freedom, has also been kidnapped by the Israeli Navy while in international waters.

BUT we will not stop, we must continue to be strong to bring hope and justice to the Palestinians and be prepared to pay the price, and to be worthy of the Palestinians. As long as I survive I will exist to resist.  To do less will be a crime.

REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA

“I AM BECOME DEATH THE DESTROYER OF WORLD” 

By Tom Karlson

 

August 6th nineteen and forty-five
Enola Gay flies high
8:15
bombs away, Little Boy

8:16 one hundred fifty-thousand dead, vaporized
two hundred-thousand Hibakusha,
zombies stagger down streetless streets
silhouetting their dead friends, family
a cityless city
called Hiroshima

on a standing wall an image of
a man, a woman, burned into the brick’s retina

the little haberdasher is not done
“using the bomb is no great decision”

August 9th,
he orders Bockscar to drop Fat Man,
ninety thousand exterminated, vaporized
Hiroshima and Nagasaki will sing no more

Eisenhower “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

MacArthur “…no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

“Albert Einstein…President Roosevelt would have forbidden the atomic bombing of Hiroshima had he been alive and that it was probably carried out to end the Pacific war before Russia could participate.”

THE NEW UNTOUCHABLES ~~ THE KOSHER NOSTRA

As the ‘illegal’ roundup continues, there is one group that seems to be completely untouchable …

 An Israeli man who owns kiosks in shopping malls in seven states was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in jail for illegally employing Israeli nationals to sell Dead Sea beauty products.

Yet this criminal activity continues …. and the Feds turn a blind eye to it

Illustrative photo of an Israeli salesman demonstrating a beauty product at an American mall. (Creative Commons via JTA)

 

More info in the following …. (Click on links)

Dead Sea products mall kiosk owner sentenced to jail for illegally employing Israelis 

(related)

PHONY Israeli Owned Locksmith Compnanies Operating in the US

And from my archives ...

ISRAELI? >>> NO GREEN CARD?? >>> NO PROBLEM!

 

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!

 

THE CHANGING TIDE IN THE JEWISH DIASPORA

 

 

ISRAEL WORRIED ABOUT ITS IMAGE ABROAD

HILLARIOUS VIDEO ABOUT A BOAT THAT WASN’T HIJACKED BY ISRAELI FORCES

Still funny years after it was made

PIRACY … OVER AND OVER AGAIN … WESTERN SILENCE OVER AND OVER AGAIN

On Friday Israel attacked a Swedish yacht, in int’l waters exercising right of ‘innocent passage’ taking medical supplies to Gaza. All 12 people aboard kidnapped & illegally detained in Israel. Demand they be released to continue their journey.

Image by Latuff

Still little news of 12 people attacked & detained. Read account of 69yr old UK doctor, founder of re her similar experience when Israeli navy last week attacked . Their dehumanising experiences highlight what Palestinians face daily.

UPDATE ...

A second Gaza Flotilla boat named Freedom was hijacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) navy in international waters.  Freedom is sailing under a Swedish flag and its passengers and crew are from a number of nations. 

The whereabouts of the kidnapped participants is unknown.

Many boats in the past have been captured, however this should not be seen as normal. It is still violent and illegal. 

With your support the Freedom Flotilla will continue until the blockade ends and Palestinians of Gaza regain their full freedom of movement. Some people are doubling the size of their checks and sending them in for next year.

If you want to take action to protect the members of Freemom and future boats, you can contact the United Nations or the respective government officials from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/news/sos-just-future-for-palestine

 

Here’s an eyewitness account of the last hijacking …

The psychotic tenderness of being boarded by the Israeli navy at sea

 Yonatan Shapira

Yonatan Shapira was aboard the Al Awda boat in the Gaza Freedom flotilla when it was stopped in international waters by Israeli sailors three days ago and all on board arrested. His Facebook report in Hebrew was translated by Ofer Neiman, with the headline, “Israeli citizen and Palestine solidarity activist Yonatan Shapira on Israel’s dirty attack on the peaceful Gaza flotilla: יונתן שפירא מדווח מהמשט – עברית להלן” That translation follows.

So just as the IDF Spokesperson said: “The overtaking of the Al-Awda ship was carried out without violence and without exceptional events”.

And indeed, everything was as usual –

They slammed Herman the captain’s head against the wall again and again while threatening to take him to the ship’s belly and finish him off when no one is watching.

A fist in the face of Arne Birge the old mechanic.

And the finest tradition: Electric shocks. This time we wore life vests of the type that covers the chest well. But don’t worry, the brave naval commando combatants just electrocuted [Tasered] Charlie, the first officer, in his head. And more electric shocks to Juergen the cook and to 60 year old Mike, a chair of a trade union and a human rights activist from New Zealand.

But at the same time, things were done with a kind of psychotic tenderness.

Like in a strange play, soldiers (men and women) with weapons and vests packed with munitions and personal cameras, but wearing white shirts with the national flag embroidered in a shiny blue color and wearing white masks on their faces. Last time it was all-black.

And let’s keep in mind: Had we been Gazan fishermen or children approaching the Gaza fence, they could have simply put a bullet in the head of each of us and that’s it.

The IDF Attorney unit has also confirmed that that there’s no need for an investigation.

PHOTO OF THE DAY … ONLY IN GAZA

Family reunion 😦

PIRACY AND TORTURE

UNBELIEVABLE THAT THE WEST ALLOWS THIS TORTURE TO CONTINUE

 Many people on the Al Awda were beat up and tasered when the IDF fascists boarded the boat.  The doctor on board had 2 ribs broken.  This remains a very dangerous voyage taken by our brave allies out of love for the people of Gaza and love of justice.

Read the instructions at the end of this post to see what YOU can do.

 

last group photo sent from Al Awda (The Return).

Two people from Al Awda (The Return) have been released, but most of the crew and participants are still in unlawful detention at Givon prison in Israel. We are still gravely concerned for their safety and well-being as we had no contact with most of them as of 14:00 CESTtoday. We continue to demand that our boat and the medical supplies on board reach their rightful recipients, Palestinian civil society in Gaza.

Although the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) claim that the capture of our vessel happened ‘without exceptional incident’, eye-witness Zohar Chamberlain Regev reports that at the time of boarding: “People on board were tasered and hit by masked IOF soldiers. We did not get our passports or belongings before we got off the boat. Do not believe reports of peaceful interception.” We urgently need to know the details of who was injured and how seriously, and what treatment they are receiving, if any. A military attack on a civilian vessel is a violent act and a violation of international law. Taking 22 people from international waters to a country which is not their destination constitutes an act of kidnapping, which is also unlawful under the international Convention of the Law of Sea.

From the time we lost contact around 13:15 local time on Sunday, we know that the IOF blocked all communication signals, including satellite phones. We are very concerned about this violation of journalists’ right to report freely and we remain gravely concerned about their ability to keep their professional equipment and their storage media. As Australian journalist Chris Graham recently observed “Bad things happen when good people stay silent, as history well records. But horrendous things happen when media are prevented from scrutinizing the actions of a state.”

Two of our participants, Zohar Chamberlain Regev and Yonatan Shapira, Israeli citizens, have been charged with attempting to enter Gaza and conspiracy to commit a crime, and were released on bail last night.  Boat leader, Zohar Chamberlain Regev, reports seeing blood on the deck of the Al Awda as the last participants were being dragged off the ship.

In comparison with the violence routinely directed at Palestinian civilians, including at fishers from Gaza, and the violent capture of Palestinian fishing boats, yesterday’s seizure and kidnapping may not be the most serious of Israeli crimes. What these violents acts have in common is that there is no accountability demanded by other governments and Israel continues to enjoy total impunity.

We call on national governments, civil society and international organizations to demand that Israeli authorities immediately release our boat so that we can deliver our much-needed medical supplies on

Al Awda and the fishing boat itself to the rightful recipients in Gaza. Detailed specification of our exact cargo on board are available on request.

Israel’s capture of the lead boat in this Gaza-bound flotilla may seem like a predictable outcome to some, but that doesn’t make it any less violent nor any less illegal. Our second boat

Freedom will follow Al Awda within a day or two, and the Freedom Flotilla will continue until the blockade ends and Palestinians of Gaza regain their full freedom of movement.

Details about detainees still in prison, including their last videos and personal statements, can be found on our website and Facebook pages.

 

https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/news/2-released-but-most-participants-in-still-in-prison-grave-concern-for-safety-and-cargo

 also: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/posts/2089230181108643

and here: https://twitter.com/GazaFFlotilla/status/1023927626719748096

 

Call/email/tweet for release of US participant Joe Meadors

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State

Tel: +1 202 647 4000 (ask for Israel & Palestine desk, and American Citizen Services, and/or Operations Center

Email: pompeom@state.gov

Website: http://state.gov

Twitter: @SecPompeo

 

Also call:

US Embassy in Israel

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

14 David Flusser

Jerusalem 9378322, Israel

Phone: 02-630-4000 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)

@usembassyjlm

 

Branch Office Tel Aviv

71 HaYarkon Street

Tel Aviv 6343229, Israel

Phone: 03-519-7575 (ask for Ambassador, American Citizen Services and/or Duty Officer)

 

FUNNIEST VIDEO OF THE DAY ~~ MY MOM’S CRAZIEST STORY

MY MOM HAS NO BOMB!

Security is desired by everyone. But it’s high time we stop treating everyone as if they’re terrorists, not humans. Under the name of security, governments can do whatever they want (water boarding, Guantánamo, torture, etc). But sometimes they go too far and it’s the job of people like us to know when things are too far or not. 

Similarly, under the name of security, millions are given a sub-human treatment. I’ve always had the mindset that it’s possible to treat people as humans and still keep the world secure. If you don’t think it’s possible, then that’s a whole bigger issue!

Plus, this is a funny video not an angry one 

A PALESTINIAN ICON … AHED TAMIMI

Ahed Tamimi is free, but she hasn’t forgotten the other 5,000 Palestinians still trapped inside Israeli prisons. AJ+ spoke to Ahed about life inside an Israeli prison.

Insightful and wise beyond her years.

IMAGE OF THE FIRST TASTE OF FREEDOM

Our dear heroine’s first taste of freedom …

A bittersweet moment in reality ….

After eight months in Israeli prison, 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi returned home on Sunday morning to a hero’s welcome in her village of Nabi Saleh, in the central occupied West Bank. Arm in arm with her father Bassem and mother Nariman, who was also released on Sunday along with her daughter, the teenager broke down in tears as she was embraced by her younger brothers, extended family, and fellow residents of Nabi Saleh.

 

 

FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS FROM PALESTINE ~~ AHED TAMIMI FREE AT LAST

 

Jail bars won’t silence the truth! Ahed Tamimi is FREE

Images by Latuff

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has been released from Israeli custody following eight months of incarceration. The renowned teen became a significant figure of the Palestinian resistance after standing up to Israeli forces.

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From Yahoo ….

Palestinian teenager jailed for slapping soldiers leaves prison

 Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi left prison Sunday after an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers, an episode captured on video that made her a symbol of resistance for Palestinians, a prison service spokesman said.

Assaf Librati told AFP Tamimi, 17, and her mother, who was also jailed over the incident, were being driven by Israeli authorities from a prison inside Israel to a checkpoint leading to the occupied West Bank, where they live.

“They just left the prison,” Librati said.

Israeli authorities provided conflicting information on which checkpoint they were being taken to.

They were first expected to arrive at a checkpoint near the Palestinian city of Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank, but there were later indications they would be taken to a crossing at Rantis.

Both Tamimi and her mother were sentenced to eight months in an Israeli military court following a plea deal over the December incident which the family said took place in their yard in Nabi Saleh in the West Bank.

Video of it went viral, leading Palestinians to view her as a hero standing up to Israel’s occupation.

Her now-familiar image has been painted on Israel’s separation wall cutting off the West Bank. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has praised her and social media has been flooded with support.

But for Israelis, Tamimi is being used by her activist family as a pawn in staged provocations.

They point to a series of previous such incidents involving her, with older pictures of her confronting soldiers widely shared online.

Many Israelis also praised the restraint of the soldiers, who remained calm throughout, though others said her actions merited a tougher response.

– Embassy protests –

Tamimi was arrested in the early hours of December 19, four days after the incident. She was 16 at the time.

Her mother Nariman was also arrested, as was her cousin Nour, who was freed in March.

Israel’s military said the soldiers were in the area on the day of the incident to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.

The video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

Ahed Tamimi is the most aggressive of the two in the video.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.

They then move backwards after Nariman Tamimi becomes involved.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Relatives say that a member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.

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Ahed’s first statement upon release …..

 “My freedom is incomplete without the freedom of other detainees who stood beside me and supported me throughout my detention and I hope they will be freed soon.”

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Followed by a press conference

NOW IT’S ILLEGAL TO BEAUTIFY APARTHEID

The irony continues …..

First read THIS post

Palestinian officials said Israeli border police arrested the two artists who crafted the large painting, now on display at a separation barrier in Bethlehem

Artists painting a mural depicting Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi. AFP

Israel Arrests Italian Artists Who Painted a West Bank Mural of Ahed Tamimi

Israeli border police on Saturday arrested two Italian graffiti artists who were painting a mural of a jailed Palestinian teenager, Ahed Tamimi, on the Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem in the West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.

Tamimi, now 17, was sent to prison for assault after being filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier late last year, when she was 16. She is due to be released on Sunday.

Tamimi became a heroine to Palestinians after the Dec. 15 incident outside her home in the village of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral.

An Israeli police spokesman did not return a call for comment.

The Palestine Liberation Organization said on Twitter that Israeli forces had arrested the two Italian artists and a Palestinian who was with them.

 

SOURCE

BEAUTIFYING APARTHEID

The mural appeared on the separation wall in Bethlehem just days before the 17-year-old activist is due to be released.

Italian artist Jorit Agoch paints Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi on the Israeli separation wall, July 25, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

New Mural of Palestinian Ahed Tamimi Painted on Occupation Wall

An unknown artist has painted a mural of Palestinian resistance icon Ahed Tamimi on the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem, just as her father said she might be released on Sunday after almost eight months of unjust imprisonment.

Media outlets had speculated about the artist’s identity, some describing him as Palestinian, but he has since come out as Italian street artist Agostino Chirwin. Also known as ‘Jorit Agoch,’ he has a reputation for hyper realistic murals of activists, politicians and other campaigners.

While painting the 13-foot mural, Chirwin obscured his identity by keeping a black cloth wrapped around his head.

Ahed Tamimi’s portrait was painted next to a mural of dead Palestinian nurse Razan Al-Najar, in Bethlehem. July 25, 2018. Photo | Reuters

Ahmad Arabi, an activist from the Popular Resistance committee in Bethlehem, said the mural was part of the preparations to celebrate Tamimi’s release.

Tamimi, 17, recently told Egyptian news outlet Al-Ahram Gate she had completed her high-school diploma in prison and that she was getting ready to apply to the Law or Political Science faculty.

The streets of Bethlehem, Nabih Saleh, the West Bank and occupied Palestine in general are readying to welcome Tamimi, who was sentenced to eight months in prison after a video of her slapping and yelling at an Israeli soldier who had entered the family home went viral.

Agoch is known for his disctinctive, hyperrealistic murals. July 25, 2018. Photo | Reuters

Tamimi’s 15-year-old cousin, Mohammed Tamimi, had been shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet a day before. Tamimi was charged with aggravated assault, obstructing the work of soldiers, and incitement on January 2.

“The Israeli authorities usually do not inform the detainee or his family of the date of release, but I think she will get a decision” to reduce her detention by 21 days, said Bassem Tamimi, her father.

 

Source

ONE SMALL STEP FOR PALESTINE, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND!

“They’re still denying we are a state, we walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”

The Palestinian flag is raised outside UN Headquarters in New York during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly on September 30, 2015 (Raphael Ahren)

In first, ‘Palestine’ to head bloc of 134 nations at UN

Palestinians to preside over the Group of 77, largest’s coalition of developing nations; Israeli envoy laments it will become ‘a platform for spreading lies and incitement’

The “State of Palestine” will reportedly preside next year over the largest bloc of developing nations at the United Nations.

Palestine — which is not a member state of the UN but has observer state status — was chosen to head the so-called Group of 77, a consortium now consisting of 134 nations that often speaks in one voice at the UN General Assembly, starting January 1, 2019, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

“We will be negotiating on behalf of 135 countries,” Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told the paper, including his own delegation in the count.

The group was originally founded in 1964 with 77 countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Thailand and India. Over the years it has grown to include countries such as South Africa, Qatar, Cuba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Singapore, and Angola. It represents some 80 percent of the world’s population.

Egypt currently holds the group’s presidency until December 31.

The Foreign Ministry in Israel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon expressed misgivings about the move.

“The goal of the Group of 77 originally was to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations,” he told The Times of Israel. “It is unfortunate that it will now become a platform for spreading lies and incitement. This will not promote the G-77’s goals, and encourages the Palestinians to not engage in negotiations for peace.”

The UN General Assembly in 2012 voted overwhelmingly in favor of granting Palestine “non-state observer status.” Three years later, the GA also voted to allow the Palestinian flag to be raised outside the UN’s iconic building on New York’s East River.

Israel and the US were among the few countries opposing these moves, arguing that unilateral moves ostensibly advancing Palestinian statehood were counterproductive to efforts to reach a lasting peace agreement.

Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador, hailed the fact that his delegation will soon preside over one of the largest blocs as a diplomatic success.

“They’re still denying we are a state,” Mansour said, referring to Israel and the US. “We walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”

IN IMAGES … THE SADDEST SIGNS OF OUR TIME

All sad, but unfortunately true

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