TOONS OF THE DAY ~~ WITH TRUMP: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

Images by Carlos Latuff

The message of the Orb

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US and UK Complicity in Saudi War Crimes in Yemen.

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As always, the world turns a blind eye

SUPPORT FOR HUNGER STRIKERS CONTINUES TO GROW

While Trump‘s visit attempted to revive the illusions of “peace in the framework of Pax Americana of the region, the ongoing hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners reminds us that the Israeli occupation regime denies the Palestinians even the most basic human rights.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Day 38: 200 prisoners in Israeli jails join Palestinian hunger strike

Haifa: A demo supporting Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike closed central streets

by in Herak Haifa

(The following article was published in Hebrew on May 23, 2017, in “Local Call” and Haifa ha-Hofshit)

While Trump‘s visit attempted to revive the illusions of “peace” in the framework of Pax Americana of the region, the ongoing hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners reminds us that the Israeli occupation regime denies the Palestinians even the most basic human rights.

A communiqué issued by “the captive movement” (al-Harakah al-Asira), as the prisoners call their resistance movement inside the occupation prisons, on the 20th day of the strike, called for the unification of the struggle on both sides of the Green Line and in the Palestinian Diaspora by a unified action of all the Palestinian patriotic forces, including the follow-up committee that represents Arab citizens of Israel. In a historic precedent, the leaders responded to the prisoners’ initiative, met in Ramallah and declared a general strike by the entire Palestinian people in all areas of the homeland and in exile, set for Monday, May 22, the 36th day of the strike. Indeed, throughout the West Bank, there was great response to the call yesterday, and streets were lined with closed shops and businesses. The strike was also felt, to a lesser extent, in East Jerusalem and Palestinian cities within the Green Line.

The Prisoner’s Square, Haifa

Haifa continues to be a focal point for Palestinian protest activity, in which an expanding stratum of activists emphasizes the unity of the Palestinian struggle beyond the borders dividing the territories occupied since 1967 and those occupied since 1948. However, the struggle also exposes the leadership crisis and the difficulty of giving effective expressing to the frustration, the anger and the desire to struggle. This difficulty is exacerbated because, according to the rules of the game of the “Jewish democracy”, Palestinian public opinion is not a factor to be considered.

The first protest vigil in support of the prisoners’ hunger strike took place in Haifa on the second day of the strike, April 18. It took place in the German Colony, the tourist center of the city, in the square named “The Prisoner’s Square” since October 2011, when a group of activist staged a hunger striker there, under the slogan “Hungry to Freedom”, in solidarity with a previous prisoners’ strike.

The vigil was also meant to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, April 17, which was chosen not coincidentally as the appropriate date to launch the strike. It should be noted here that when we speak in Arabic we don’t use the term “sajeen” (prisoner) but “aseer” that means “captive”. It conveys the view of Palestinian prisoners as prisoners of war – those held by the enemy as a result of their struggle for freedom. Compromising the correct translation is another concession that we inadvertently do to Israeli and Western public opinion, which have difficulty digesting the Palestinian narrative.

The next two protest vigils were held on April 29 and May 9 at the initiative of Herak Haifa. The site chosen by the Herak was a little up the German Colony, on the corner of Allenby Street and HaCarmel Avenue (Ben Gurion), a smaller space at the intersection where more traffic passes. When, a few months ago, Bassel al-A’araj, activist and theoretician of al-Herak al-Shababi in the West Bank, was assassinated by the occupation forces, Herak Haifa decided to name the junction after him. The holding of protest vigils at the junction is also intended to establish the name in the public consciousness.

On Friday, May 19, the Communist youth held another solidarity activity with the prisoners, slightly higher at the German Colony, in the Bahai Circle. They brought water, salt and glasses and offered passers-by to drink salt water as a symbolic show of solidarity with the strikers. The youth movement’s orchestra created another attraction to draw attention to the event.

Taking to the Streets

In the meantime, young activists began to organize, in the spirit of the movement that had halted the Prawer plan, aiming to initiate more united and militant activity. They called for a demonstration on Monday, May 22, even before the Palestinian leaderships on both sides of the Green Line declared the general strike on this day in support of the prisoners’ struggle.

They published an invitation to a Facebook event entitled “Ash-Shaware’a” (to the streets), hosted by 8 activists from different movements, and many activists worked intensely to invite and prepare. There were 254 “attendees” at the FB event and on Monday, before the scheduled hour, “The Prisoner’s Square” was already filled with young people, as well as many veteran activists, from Haifa and the region.

The police also made their preparations, bringing reinforcements, including special anti-riot units, some attack dogs and a special police van to carry potential detainees. In practice, however, the police preferred not to intervene, even when the demonstrators, after about half an hour of shouting slogans in the square, went down to Carmel Avenue, blocked the street and began marching.

Some 200 demonstrators marched on the main street of the German Colony in the direction of Allenby Street, between the crowded cafes and restaurants, providing the iconic images of Haifa with Palestinian flags waving and the Bahai Gardens and the golden Shrine of the Bab in the background. From there the protesters continued on Allenby Street in the direction of Wadi Nisnas, where the police blocked traffic on both sides. The demonstrators marched up al-Jabal Street (“ha-Ziyonut Avenue”), turned to Khuri Street and finally poured into al-Wadi Street, the narrow main street of Wadi Nisnas.

When the demonstrators reached the last intersection inside the Wadi (the valley), they made a small meeting in the middle of the street. The organizers thanked everybody for taking part and asked for their active participation in a pre-determined plan for the continuation of the struggle, including demonstrations, leaflets distribution and a “Day of Rage” on Thursday, June 1.

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ THE NOTE TRUMP LEFT AT THE WESTERN WALL


The real message …..

MY SUBMISSION TO THE MOST ISRAELI VIDEO CONTEST

Contest invites participants to submit ‘most Israeli’ video

Ahead of the 50th year anniversary of the occupation of Jerusalem, zionist organization Im Tirtzu initiated a video contest inviting the Israeli public to submit videos describing what best defines being Israeli.
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According to Im Tirtzu, the goal of the “Hachi Yisraeli” (“Most Israeli”) video contest was to provide an opportunity to the Israeli public to express their love for Israel by presenting the values that they believe best reflect the State of Israel.
Here is our entry ….

“How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?”
― Bertrand Russell

#NotMyPresident ~~ PEACE OR PIECES IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

Images by Carlos Latuff

Irony: Trump said Iran ‘fuels terrorism’ in speeches given in terrorist regimes of Israel & Saudi Arabia

From Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

President Trump was in Saudi Arabia where he  instructed his puppets. Now
he is in apartheid Israel where he will get further instructions from his masters. 
He will do a token visit to Bethlehem Tuesday and desecrate the city of the
Prince of Peace with his entourage of racist Zionists.

Everyone now knows that the US government, Israel, and the Saudi
regime have been the biggest perpetrators of terrorism and genocide in the
world. This is to serve one interest and one interest only: money.  Just to
emphasize this, the US arms industry (owned largely by Zionists) will get
110 billion deal (bribe) from the Saudis. Kushner is very happy as are all
the rich profiteers around Donald Trump. The neoconservatives in Washington
may have some differences among themselves (hence the frenzy by the
establishment media around Russia-Trump connections). But make no mistake
about it, it is a difference as between rival gangsters. Meanwhile the
price of getting the rich richer grows in human lives. Thousands of
civiians are killed in places like Yemen, Gaza, and Syria.

The big problem with Trump’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia: Continued devastation of Yemen

 

IN PHOTOS ~~ DRONES WELCOME TRUMP TO JERUSALEM

How zion views the occupation ……

Events to celebrate the quinquagenary of Jerusalem’s reunification kicked off on Sunday night at an event attended by the president and prime minister. The official semicentennial takes place on Jerusalem Day, observed this year on May 24.

At a ceremony held on the backdrop of the Old City, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked: “Fifty years ago we returned to the heart of our capital and our country, and 50 years ago we did not conquer—we liberated.”

Drones spell out ’50’ above Jerusalem (Photo: Mizmor Productions)

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Drones spell out ‘Jerusalem’ above the capital (Photo: Mizmor Productions)

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Drones form a Star of David above Jerusalem (Photo: Mizmor Productions)

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The Old City (Photo: Mizmor Productions)

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(Photo: Mizmor Productions)

Thank you America for making the occupation a reality!

THANK YOU AMERICA FOR THE OCCUPATION

Israel’s guilty but America made it possible: Thanks to the U.S., we’re celebrating the first 50 years of the occupation – and probably not the last

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian during clashes following a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, West Bank, May 19, 2017. AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS

Thank You, America
Gideon Levy

Thank you, America, for all of the good things that you have showered us with. Thanks for the money, the weapons and the support. Thanks also for the damage, the rot and the denial. Another American president will be arriving in Israel on Monday, one who is different and peculiar compared to his predecessors. But on one score, he won’t be any different. Donald Trump will continue to heap all of these good things upon us.

America will continue to be the senior partner in one of the basest of enterprises in the world at the moment: the Israeli occupation. Trump will provide financing and arms and defend Israel. Thank-you in advance, Mr. President, for all of these good things.

It is thanks to America that we have come this far, that we are celebrating the first 50 years of the occupation, and probably not the last 50. Israel is guilty but America has made it possible. It’s not just the money, the arms and the support. There is something else, something unforgivable overshadowing everything.

In a brilliant essay by the American intellectual Nathan Thrall that appeared last week on the website of Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, (“Israel-Palestine: the real reason there’s no peace”) and that is excerpted from Thrall’s new book “The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine,” the author puts his finger on the root of all of the reasons that there is no peace: The alternative to peace isn’t worth it for Israel.

The country has no rational reason to come to a peace agreement because the price that Israel will have to pay is higher than the cost of the occupation. And when it comes to that, America is a guilty party. The United States and its associate, Europe, are the ones that enable Israel to maintain the occupation at a bargain price.

America hasn’t lifted a finger to render the status quo intolerable for Israel, and as a result, Israel has no incentive to reach a peace agreement. So there won’t be a peace agreement, or even a “deal.” The only way to get to an agreement is by upping the cost of the existing situation, so that the status quo become too costly for Israel. Even the cliché that time has been working against Israel has not stood the test of reality, Thrall states. When the potential threats actually come to pass, Israel will always be able to end the occupation. Until then, it has no reason to rush into things.

America has repeatedly tried the “carrot” approach, without any results. Only on one occasion has an American president applied real pressure – and the results were immediate. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower threatened economic sanctions against Israel unless it withdrew from Sinai, which it did within days. The last time that the United States attempted to apply any kind of pressure was in 1991, when Secretary of State James Baker pushed Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir into agreeing to the Madrid Peace Conference by withholding $10 billion in loan guarantees. Since then, although it’s hard to believe, more than 25 years have passed and the Americans haven’t even made another attempt.

 
On the contrary, the United States is doing everything to make the occupation more comfortable for Israel. It has funded and trained the Palestinian Authority’s security forces – Israel’s security subcontractors. The United States has also defended Israel in the UN Security Council; it has blocked debate on regional nuclear disarmament; and has maintained Israel’s total military superiority. At the same time, the Americans have paid hollow lip service in their criticism of the settlements — “a façade of opposition,” as Thrall calls it — a façade that has become a bulwark of defense for the settlements. With the appearance of being “punitive,” the regular condemnations have let off steam and have taken the place of genuine pressure. And of course, the settlement enterprise has not stopped its advance.

 
Even the artificial distinction between Israel and the settlements, an approach that the United States has led, has freed Israel of its responsibility for the occupation. As a result, one can currently be a liberal, enlightened American (or European) and oppose the occupation and support Israel. The settlements and Israel welcome that and continue on their way.

 
Washington has never attached conditions, amazingly enough, on its financial aid. “Listening to [the Americans] discuss how to devise an end to occupation is like listening to the operator of a bulldozer ask how to demolish a building with a hammer,” Thrall writes. “The former Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan once said: ‘Our American friends offer us money, arms and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice.’”

 
Nothing has changed since and apparently nothing will change in the future. Thank you, America.

 

 

From Ha’Aretz

WHAT AWAITS TRUMP IN JERUSALEM ….

To ‘celebrate’ 50 years of Jerusalem’s illegal occupation, the following was prepared for Trump’s upcoming visit to the area tomorrow …..

Jerusalem Light and Sound Show

THE RIGHT TO DISOBEY INJUSTICE IN OUR NAME

Nobody has the right and obligation to obey, when injustice happens in our name!

Nobody has the right and obligation to obey, when injustice happens in our name!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,. English Translation by Milena Rampoldi
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According to Sascha Stawski, one of the most active representatives of the Israel Lobby and the organizer of “Honestly Concerned” of the so called Israel Day “I like Israel,” in the interview entitled “Jews can also be anti-Semitic” in the Frankfurter Neue Presse, the Court Decision of the Frankfurt District Court for the free opinion expression and the right of the conference must be criticized. In this interview Stawski shows his “democratic” credentials! The most important conference with the motto “50 years of Israeli occupation“ to be held on 9-10 of June at the Ökohaus in Frankfurt-Bockenheim. Stawski really thinks that this Court Decision can be legally challenged. He also tries to accuse the conference and the speakers of anti-Semitism, because they criticise Israel’s illegal occupation policy and support the BDS movement. We have to strongly oppose to this.  In fact, Stawski has organised a counter event with the Israeli lobby “riots.” The protest speakers for this “event” which should be held during the conference in front of the Ökohaus will be the CDU major Uwe Becker, who unsuccessfully (!) tried to avoid the conference, Michael Engelmeier of the German Socialist Party, and the city councillor Jutta Ditfurth, of the ecological left and philo-Semite like Volker Beck of the Green Party! Here the Crème de la Crème of the German party Israel expert will meet to support the “Jewish  occupiers’ Apartheid State!” (2) (3) (4)
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In fact, the members of the Green Party should critically questions how certain protagonists, like Volker Beck with his exaggerated support of the “Jewish State” and other colleagues with their continuous anti-Russian and anti-Turkish hatred have damaged the party with their moralising politics. Such politics clearly show what makes the election results to go south. However, also the Social and the Christian Democratic Party have to think about how long they want to tolerate the illegal violations of international law by the “Jewish State” in the name of “our special” relationship to Israel.
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Will the coming election campaign fill the summer slump between leading culture, burka prohibition, double passport, Turkey and Russia bashing, anti-Semitism? Is a further Israelisation waiting for us? Shackle, facial recognition, flight data authorisation: these are all provisions to foment the fear of terrorism. But in reality they want to start a new Cold War to distract from our own omissions. What has happened to Germany? Lobbyists, US think tanks, and the Israel lobby have the media under control. There is a new, promising and expanding movement “critics of Islam.” However, critics of Israel have no such promising prospects. In fact, they do not exist anymore, because they are denigrated as “haters of Israel” or anti-Semites.
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The EU has just decided to adopt a new resolution against the illegal occupation and settlement policies of the “Jewish State.” But, if this just another empty gesture from a toothless tiger and does not adopt boycott provisions, it will be useless resolution! (5)
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A good start would be a ban of the “Jewish State” from the European Song Context. The “Jewish State” is neither part of Europe nor does the Netanyahu regime meet the criteria of the membership of the European Broadcasting Union EBU. However, the correctness of the EBU raises doubts because it accepted so many expectations. And in the end the ESC became a sad, political farce in the more than corrupt Ukraine! (6) (7)
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What is behind the actual Israel lobby campaign that is always trying to denigrate Muslim refugees and students as anti-Semites and see anti-Semitism everywhere. Nothing is further from my intention than playing down the real anti-Semitism, but we have to oppose to people who lump together anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. This unjustified equation only helps people like Lagodinsky, Volker Beck, Jutta Ditfurth to denigrate Germany as a stronghold of anti-Semitism and to denigrate as anti-Semites all who dare to criticise the “Jewish State” and its illegal occupation politics. And this cannot be! Jews should not have a special status, a special protection, or hypocritical solidarity. Coexistence is only possible on equal terms and without a bad conscience for an injustice the actual generation did not commit!
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With new injustice it will never be possible to hide, silence, tolerate, or what is even worse to show solidarity with it.
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It is true that we all have an important responsibility, but that also involves the German responsibility for Palestinian people and Palestine which is illegally occupied by Jewish settlers. We must not allow German politicians to always try to belittle this injustice with hesitant criticism. These “slimy traces of submission“ wind their way through all parties. However, in the meantime these slimy traces have already become a Tsunami which will hopefully be dangerous for many of Israel’s friends!
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Almost daily we are flooded with articles of this kind, while the crimes of the Jewish Apartheid State are silenced. In the German press, homicides are belittled as self-defence by  “Jewish defence forces,” while Palestinians are always stigmatised as terrorists!
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I say that they are a people who are resisting, who are so in despair and without hope that they do not hesitate to risk their poor lives under occupation with legal resistance. They are deprived of everything, of their property, their land, their culture, and now even of their language. Every memory and commemoration is prohibited to them and has to be eliminated, while the Jewish occupiers regularly celebrate commemoration days and holidays. In the meantime, the hypocrite community of states has accepted this situation so that the Netanyahu can relax and openly dupe German politicians! All this in the name of the “special” relationship among friends.
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However, enough with the special relations and friendships. There is no reason of state for the safety of the “Jewish State,” as long as this Judaisation is written on the bloody Star of David Flag of Israel as being part of its reason of state!
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In this context, the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe by making reference to the Nakba, after detailed researches of Israeli military archives, speaks about “ethnic cleansing,” committed by the Jewish militias. Today, to the narrative maintained by Israel of the “land without people for a people without land” more than 12 million Palestinians are opposed. And 5.49 million of them are refugees registered at UNWRA.
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The UN Resolution 194 (III), article 11, of 11 December 1948 guarantees Palestinian refugees and their offsprings the right of return and the corresponding compensation. However, this resolution has not been adopted up till now. There are still 58 Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, in the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. The situation in the densely populated refugee camps is characterised by poverty, missing infrastructure, and unemployment. The right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland and property, and to get compensation for damages, as agreed in the UN Resolution 194, must not be forgotten, but must be respected, protected and supported.
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The Nakba is not a single event, as it has been maintained up to now.
Even 69 years later, the Palestinian people are oppressed by the Israeli occupation and its mechanisms like expulsion, dispossession, colonisation, apartheid and other, daily violations of human rights. (8)
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Brutal crimes were also committed in Gaza, when the “Jewish defence army” exterminated whole Palestinian families and committed deadly attacks on civilians in the densely populated residential areas with air strikes – always under the pretext of “struggling against terrorism.”  Not even hospital ships or other humanitarian support was sent to the blocked population in Gaza during this dirty “Jewish massacre”! Was this not an omitted assistance beyond any civilised behaviour? Is this the “Christian-Jewish community of values”?
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Walter Herrmann was accused because according to the Court of Cologne he had “allegedly” shown war crimes opposed to international law and humanity in an exposition of images from the “Israeli-Palestinian regions of conflict” by showing dead, heavily injured and bleeding children and young people from Gaza. At that time already I had written to him that it was not Walter Herrmann and the Wailing Wall of Cologne which offended human dignity, but the crimes against international law and humanity committed by the “Jewish Defence Soldiers,” responsible for the murder of thousands of civilians, who killed 450 Palestinian children in Gaza. (9) (10)
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What can we learn from this? If the media show them useful images of the horrors of the war, then it is legitimate, but if it is about photos showing the crimes of the “Jewish Defence Forces,” then this offends youth protection and human dignity, to say nothing of an “unconditioned solidarity” with the Palestinians! (11)
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It is all about the political knockout argument  of the anti-Semitism accusation which in particular in Germany is very successful. With dirty lies and defamations it opposed to ethical people who do not want to be intimidated. And the result is always the same: the pseudo-Zionists are heard, and control the media, while the critics of Israeli politics are pilloried, and not even heard “publicly or legally.”
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However, regarding the “Jewish occupiers’ state” the facts speak for themselves and are undeniable. And this is the reason why the Israel lobby and its supporters avoid dealing with critics who just show them facts! Let us stay on track! There is no “balance” when it is about crimes against international law and humanity. And genocide is a crime to oppose and which must not to be silenced only because it is the “Jewish defence army” is involved.
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This State must not be remunerated with cooperation, youth exchanges, and armament donations.
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And again, we come back to the German “special treatment” when it is about the “Jewish State” and the regime of occupation. In the meantime, the long arm of Netanyahu and the Israel lobby has extended to a media medusa expanding and acting powerfully. In the meantime, philo-Semitism has gained such proportions that every kind of criticism against Israel is interpreted as Jewish hatred so as to gain control of public opinion. A new, additional and profitable field was discovered for the Israel lobby: the Muslim refugees. And they warn us against them because they are “anti-Semites.” What this means and the damage is has caused is clear from the increasing prejudices against Islam and Muslims amongst much of the German population. The creeping poison of prejudices produces its effects, reinforced by politics and media.
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What is presented to German readers about Israel, Russia, Syria, and Turkey, has already become a criminal act of news mutilation. What is recognisable as aggressiveness and war-lustfulness, journalistic trolls, who work according to the politicians’ will. While Erdogan and Putin are the enemy image, Israeli politicians are always welcome.
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Always with the “scissors in the head” and only a very “soft” criticism towards the Jewish occupiers, and never too much, otherwise there is the threat of anti-Semitism accusation or – what is even worse – the expulsion. It is therefore not surprising that German media are losing readers and subscribers. It pains me a lot that things have changed so much because I have known and appreciated the printed media from my childhood. But how did media change? How did my “beloved” Tagesschau changed? We cannot believe in anything, we have to question everything. Political souffleur and lobbyists have radically changed German media. They have the power. And they envoy it and do not mind paying for it.
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While critical voices have no chance when it is about the Jewish State” to be heard by the  main media because the Israel lobby does a good job to avoid it, for supporting voices for the reporting about Russia or Turkey it is increasingly difficult to attract people’s attention.
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Nobody has the right and obligation to obey, when injustice happens in our name!
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Originally appeared AT

GAY PRIDE IN IMAGES ~~ INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA

Today, and every day, I stand with our LGBT community to stop discrimination around the world

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Live and let live.

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Canada leads the way … “Privileged to be part of a generation living in a country where I can be open about who I am, marry who I love.”

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Latuff adds the following ….

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Bottom line is …

Today, I ask all of you to fight hatred, honour love, and defend LGBTQ2 rights as human rights.

DAY 30 OF HUNGER STRIKE FOR DIGNITY AND JUSTICE

Hunger-striking prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — among other demands for basic rights.

Image by Latuff

Day 30 .. more than 1700 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, be with them!

Barghouthi to stop drinking water as Israel fails to respond to hunger strike’s demands

As the mass “Freedom and Dignity” hunger strike in Israeli prisons entered its 30th day on Tuesday, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs announced that leader of the strike Marwan Barghouthi will stop drinking water in response to Israel’s continued refusal to respond to the hunger strikers’ demands.

Participants in the strike, now involving some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners, have been refusing food and vitamins since the strike began on April 17, drinking only a mixture of salt and water as sustenance.

Hunger-striking prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — among other demands for basic rights.

The committee’s statement quoted lawyer Khader Shqeirat as saying that Barghouthi’s decision to escalate measures by refusing water would be “a new turning point in the ongoing open-ended hunger strike.”*

The Israeli government, the statement said, is responsible for leading the prisoners’ along a “tragic and disastrous road” and putting hunger strikers in imminent danger, by taking “a criminal stance regarding the just demands of prisoners.”
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According to the committee, Barghouthi insists on transparently achieving all of the demands made by the hunger-striking prisoners under his leadership, without bargaining or making compromises.
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The committee also called upon the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly to hold an emergency meeting regarding the prisoners’ strike, to oblige the Israeli government to respect prisoners’ rights enshrined under international law, and to call on Israel to end its policy of inflicting a “slow death” on the Palestinian detainees.
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On Monday, reports emerged in Israeli media that Palestinian security officials and officials of Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, were attempting to reach an agreement that would end the hunger strike.
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As Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has previously said the demands would only be addressed once the strike was ended, Palestinian officials warned their Israeli counterparts that such an approach would spark an escalation of popular protests that have been staged daily since the strike began — many of which have erupted into violent clashes.
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Meanwhile, hunger-striking prisoner Karim Yunis, the longest serving Palestinian prisoner, insisted that any legitimate negotiations must include leaders of the strike such as Barghouthi, and rejected reported attempts by Israeli intelligence as “false and futile negotiations aimed at breaking the hunger strike in exchange for empty promises.”
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A statement released Tuesday by the media committee established to support the strike warned that striking detainees have “entered a critical health condition,” marked by chronic vomiting, vision impairment, fainting, and an average weight loss of 20 kilograms.
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“In spite of this, (hunger strikers) sent many messages confirming that they will continue the strike until their demands are achieved,” the statement affirmed.
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The media committee said that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has continued to isolate strike participants from the outside world through the use of solitary confinement and restricting lawyer visits for the majority of detainees — in spite of a recent Israeli Supreme Court decision compelling IPS to lift the ban on lawyer visits, which was imposed since the first day of the strike.
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Hunger-striking prisoners have also been prohibited from receiving family visits outright, and face continuous arbitrary prison transfers in an IPS attempt to break up the strike.
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On Monday, IPS moved 36 hunger-striking prisoners from Ofer prison to a so-called field hospital at Hadarim prison, according to the media committee.
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The committee reiterated concerns about the field clinics — set up by Israel in anticipation of the mass hunger strike to avoid transferring the prisoners civilian hospitals.
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“In these clinics, the role of doctors resembles the role of jailers who offer all kinds of food to the sick detainees and bargain them to provide medical treatment in return for ending the strike,” the statement declared, denouncing the field hospitals as unfit and ill-equipped to provide medical care, and merely just another section for holding and pressuring the detainees to break their strikes.
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The hunger strike’s media committee also reported that the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has called the group working on the cause of Palestine, during its meeting in Jeddah, to launch campaigns to support the Palestinian striking detainees and put pressure on Israel to respond to their demands.
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Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners’ solidarity network Samiduon highlighted that Palestinian circus performer Muhammed Abu Sakha, has been participating in the strike since its first day.
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Abu Sakha has been held without trial or charges since December 2015, which has inspired an international campaign demanding his immediate release.
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Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer reported on Thursday that following the expiration of Abu Sakha’s detention on June 11, the Israel’s Supreme Court decided to limit the extension of his detention to three months, following a successful petition by his lawyer.
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Abu Sakha is among 500 of the 6,300 Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention, according to Addameer.
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THE DEMANDS …

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The Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs reiterated the list of demands of the strike, which were issued by Marwan Barghouthi, who is serving a life sentence in Israeli prison:
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1. Install a public telephone for Palestinian detainees in all prisons and sections in order to communicate with their families.
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2. Visits:
• Resume the second monthly visits for Palestinian prisoners that were halted by the International Committee of the Red Cross last year.
• Ensure the regularity of visits every two weeks without being prevented by any side.
• First- and second-degree relatives shall not be prevented from visiting the detainee.
• Increase the duration of the visit from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
• Allow the detainees to take pictures with their families every three months.
• Establish facilities to comfort the families of detainees.
• Allow children and grandchildren under the age of 16 to visit detainees.
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3. Health care:
• Shut down the so-called Ramla Prison Hospital, because it does not provide the adequate treatment.
• Terminate Israel’s policy of deliberate medical negligence.
• Carry out periodic medical examinations.
• Perform surgeries to a high medical standard.
• Permit specialized physicians from outside the Israeli Prison Service to treat prisoners.
• Release sick detainees, especially those who have disabilities and incurable diseases.
• Medical treatment should not be at the expense of the detainee.
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4. Respond to the needs and demands of Palestinian women detainees, namely the issue of being transported for long hours between Israeli courts and prisons.
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5. Transportation:
• Treat detainees humanely when transporting them.
• Return detainees to prisons after the visiting clinics or courts and not further detain them at crossings.
• Prepare the crossings for human use and provide meals for detainees.
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6. Add satellites channels that suit the needs of detainees.
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7. Install air conditioners in prisons, especially in the Megiddo and Gilboa prisons.
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8. Restore kitchens in all prisons and place them under the supervision of Palestinian detainees.
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9. Allow detainees to have books, newspapers, clothes and food.
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10. End the policy of solitary confinement.
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11. End the policy of administrative detention.
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12. Allow detainees to study at Hebrew Open University.
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13. Allow detainees to have end of high school (tawjihi) exams in an official and agreed manner.
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THE TALLEST MAN IN THE WEST BANK

The tallest man in Ramallah offered to give us a tour of his cage. We would not even have to leave our table at Rukab’s Ice Cream, on Rukab Street; all he needed to do was reach into his pocket.

The Tallest Man in Ramallah

MICHAEL CHABON ROAMS THE WEST BANK WITH SAM BAHOUR

By  Michael Chabon

At nearly two meters—six foot four—Sam Bahour might well have been the tallest man in the whole West Bank, but his cage was constructed so ingeniously that it could fit into a leather billfold.

“Now, what do I mean, ‘my cage?’” He spoke with emphatic patience, like a remedial math instructor, a man well-practiced in keeping his cool. With his large, dignified head, hairless on top and heavy at the jawline, with his deep-set dark eyes and the note of restraint that often crept into his voice, there was something about Sam that reminded me of Edgar Kennedy in the old Hal Roach comedies, the master of the “slow burn.” “‘Sam,’” he said, pretending to be us, his visitors, we innocents abroad, “‘What is this cage you’re talking about? We saw the checkpoints. We saw the separation barrier. Is that what you mean by cage?’”

Some of us laughed; he had us down. What did we know about cages? When we finished our ice cream—a gaudy, sticky business in Ramallah, where the recipe is an Ottoman vestige, intensely colored and thickened with tree gum—we would pile back into our hired bus and return to the liberty we had not earned and were free to squander.

“Yes, that’s part of what I mean,” he said, answering the question he had posed on our behalf. “But there is more than that.”

Sam Bahour took the leather billfold out of the pocket of his dark-blue warm-up jacket and held it up for our inspection. It bulged like a paperback that had fallen into a bathtub. When he dropped it onto the tabletop it landed with a law-book thump. It was a book of evidence, proof that the cage he lived in was neither a metaphor nor simply a matter of four hundred miles of concrete and razor wire.

“In 1994, after Oslo,” Sam said, “my wife and I decided to move back here.” They had been married for a year, at that point, and decided to apply to the Israeli government for residency in Palestine “under a policy they called family reunification.” He flipped open the billfold and took out a passport with a familiar dark blue cover. “As an American citizen, I entered as a tourist, on a three-month visa.”

Sam Bahour was born in Youngstown, in 1964. His mother is a second-generation Ohioan of Lebanese Christian descent; his father immigrated to the United States from the town of Al-Bireh, then under Jordanian control, in 1957. After spending a few unhappy years working for relatives as a traveling salesman in the rural south (“basically a peddler,” in Sam’s words, “selling cheap goods to poor people at like a two hundred percent markup, it really bothered him”) Sam’s father settled in Youngstown, with its sizable Arab population. He bought the first of a series of independent grocery stores he would own and operate over the course of his career, got married, became a citizen, had a couple of kids, worked hard, made good.

A few things Sam said about his father seemed to suggest that though the elder Bahour settled and prospered in Ohio, he did not entirely lose himself in the embrace of his adopted country. When Sam was born his father had named him Bilal, after the most loyal of the Prophet’s Companions. But when non-Muslim neighbors in Youngstown shortened Bilal to “Billy,” Sam’s father—whose name was the American-sounding but authentically Arabic Sami—had his young son’s name legally changed to match his own. The freedom to return home that an American passport would afford, if only for three months at a time, had been among his motivations for marrying Sam’s mother and becoming a naturalized citizen. Some key part of the man—words like heart, mind, and spirit are only idioms, approximations—never left the house on Ma’arif Street where he had been born and raised, in the Al-Bireh neighborhood of Al-Sharafa, which belonged not to the Ottomans, the British, the Hashemites or the Israelis but only to the people who lived in them.

“I was brought up in a household that lived and ate and slept Palestine,” Sam would tell me, a couple of days after our first meeting over ice cream at Rakub’s. “I lived in Youngstown, where I didn’t know most of my neighbors, but I could tell you everybody in my neighborhood here in Ramallah. That’s an odd kind of way to grow up.”

That enchanted blue American passport, part skeleton key, part protective force-field, could work powerful three-month spells, both for Sam’s father and for Sam, once he and his Jerusalem-born wife, Abeer Barghouty, decided to try to make a life in Al-Bireh. For 13 years after his application for a residency card under the Israeli-controlled Family Reunification policy, Sam raised his daughters, built a number of businesses (telecommunications, retail development, consulting), worked for himself and his partners, for his clients and for the future of his half-born country, and lived a Palestinian life, all in tourist-visa tablespoonfuls, 90 days at a time. But in 2006, for reasons that remain mysterious, the magic embedded in his US passport abruptly ran out. Returning to the West Bank from a visa-renewing trip to Jordan, Sam handed over his passport to an Israeli border officer, expecting the routine 90-day rubber stamp. But when the passport was returned to him Sam saw that alongside the stamp, in Arabic, Hebrew and English, the officer had hand-written the words LAST PERMIT. Once this final allotment of 90 days ran out, Sam would no longer have permission to stay in the West Bank or Israel, and when he left—left his home, his family, his business, his community and everything he had worked to build over the past 13 years—he would not be permitted to return.

This is a very long post but definitely worth reading ….

Continue HERE

IN IMAGES ~~ REMEMBERING A PROUD LAND THAT ONCE WAS

Remembering the Nakba

Seventy years on from the Nakba, Palestinians seem to move from one cycle of oppression to another

A Palestinian man walks front of graffiti that reads “Returning” as Palestinians attend “camp of return” to mark refugees’ ties to lands lost in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, during a gathering to mark the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba” (catastrophe). Nakba means “catastrophe” in reference to the birth of the state of Israel 69 years ago in British-mandate Palestine, which led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who either fled or were driven out of their homes during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90

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I didn’t sell my house they stole it ..

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69 yrs later, we are still here, all over the world, keeping our keys & hope that every day passes we are getting closer to return

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To our homes in Palestine, we will return!

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69 yrs of dispossession, forced exile and oppression
We still resist & We Will Return

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Latuff adds the following

Their creation was our Nakba!

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“al-Nakbah” means “catastrophe”. Nakba Day when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled from their homeland

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Free Palestine!

EVERY DAY IS MOTHER’S DAY IN PALESTINE ~~ TOONS OF THE DAY

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

from Carlos Latuff

Steadfastness, courage and resistance.. this is Mother’s Day in Palestine.

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Mrs. Zarefa, Marka/Shnillar refugee camp, Jordan, 2009, the woman that inspired me to create Mother Palestine.

STARVING FOR JUSTICE ~~ THE LATEST IN TOONS

Images by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu can use all methods; torture, solitary confinement,propaganda & fake videos, but will NEVER break the will of a free Palestinian

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Also in Turkey

International support for the strikers growing daily

Xristoforos Triantafillos II holding my toon in a protest in Athens calling for Pizza Hut boycott after mocking Palestinian hunger strikers

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“We are not in search of death. We are looking for real life.”
.Free Palestine from Israeli terrorism.

BOYCOTT FASCISM ~~ DON’T DRINK COCA COLA!

Israel’s Coca-Cola franchisee contributed 50,000 shekels ($13,850) to right-wing group Im Tirtzu in 2015, a document from the Israel Corporations Authority shows.
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Coca-Cola Israel Donated to Left-bashing Group Im Tirtzu

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Im Tirtzu, which led campaigns against marking the Nakba and accused human-rights activists of being ‘moles,’ wanted to cover up the $14,000 donation

Yotam Berger

Israel’s Coca-Cola franchisee contributed 50,000 shekels ($13,850) to right-wing group Im Tirtzu in 2015, a document from the Israel Corporations Authority shows.

The authority refused a request from Im Tirtzu director Matan Peleg to keep confidential the donation by the franchisee, the Central Bottling Company, also known as Coca-Cola Israel. The document was sent two months ago by an accountant for the corporations authority, Regina Halperin.

The existence of the document was first reported by the daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

According to Halperin, since the Central Bottling Company did not send a letter stating why the contribution should be kept confidential, the authority found no reason to make an exception to the policy of the Registrar of Non-Profit Organizations on the matter. The statement by Halperin became public after it was obtained by Uri Zaki, a senior official of the left-wing Meretz party.

Im Tirtzu has led several campaigns that raised an uproar, including one against Israeli Arabs marking the Nakba (Catastrophe), when more than 700,000 Arabs fled or were expelled during Israel’s War of Independence.

Im Tirtzu also accused certain human rights activists of being “moles” or “plants” working against Israel, and lashed out at artists − including writers Amos Oz and David Grossman − for supporting them. In 2013, a judge ruled against Im Tirtzu in a libel case, writing that although Im Tirtzu’s principles did not mirror those of fascism, there were “similarities” between the two.

“A contribution to Im Tirtzu is support for promoting Zionism in Israeli society, protecting Zionist interests and protecting the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces from persecution and defamation,” Im Tirtzu said.

Calling such a donation an investment in the fight against domestic efforts  to delegitimize Israel, Im Tirtzu said it would continue to work against anyone acting against Israeli soldiers or acting “to erase the country’s Jewish and democratic character.”

The Central Bottling Company has not yet answered Haaretz’s request for a response.

SPINNING FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The ‘Peace Talks’ failed …..

Oslo was a joke ….

But, a new toy just might be the solution we were waiting for …

As of this weekend, just about every kid in Israel has one of these

“It started as a way of promoting peace.”

Lets hope it works!

Fidget spinner was invented to stop Palestinian kids from throwing rocks at Israelis

ISRAELI STYLE ‘POLICE RIDE ALONG’ ~~ TEACHING 5th GRADERS TO KILL

As can be seen in this short video, the Israeli educational system has reached a new low …

Using a dummy, police officers used active fire to demonstrate how to take down an assailant armed with a knife and then verify that the assailant was dead.

Israeli Police Show 5th Graders How To Kill Palestinian Attackers

Israeli police taught elementary school students how to kill Palestinian terrorists as part of an event on Monday highlighting police-community relations in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Hasharon.

Using a dummy, police officers used active fire to demonstrate how to take down an assailant armed with a knife and then verify that the assailant was dead. Hundreds of fifth graders sat and watched the enactment.

“Has someone there lost his mind? It’s simply stupidity for its own sake, this demonstration of fire,” a parent told Haaretz. “Can’t you bring a traffic cop to demonstrate how he gives a ticket to an offender – they have to see how to dismantle magazines?”

The Israel Police defended the event in Ramat Hasharon. “We regret that there are those who choose to present in a biased manner a positive and empowering event connecting the police and the community,” the agency said in a statement.

The police have run into trouble recently due to graphic demonstrations of violent situations in front of children. Police put up a booth on Independence Day in a West Bank settlement earlier this month where children could have fake stab and shrapnel wounds painted onto their bodies.

Here’s a sampling of what else is taught in some Israeli schools …

Teaching Hatred to Jewish Children at Jewish Religious School

SUPPORT THE HUNGER STRIKE BY BOYCOTTING PIZZA HUT

An image shared by Palestinians on Facebook to promote the boycott of Pizza Hut for its alleged Facebook post, with imagery of a prisoner and an Israeli watchtower emblazoned on the chain’s famous logo.

Pizza Hut runs ad mocking hunger strike leader Barghouti

Pizza Hut’s franchise in Israel on Monday released an ad poking fun at Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti following the recent release of video footage showing him secretly eating a candy bar and cookies in his prison cell.

The ad drew widespread criticism from Palestinians and a call to boycott the chain, which issued a quick apology.

In the ad, which it posted on its Facebook page and later deleted, the pizza chain put a banner in Hebrew over a screenshot from a clip released by the Israel Prisons Service on Sunday of Barghouti eating. It read, “Barghouti, if you are already going to break the hunger strike, isn’t pizza better?”

The ad also included a photoshopped Pizza Hut box on the floor of the prison cell, as well as a piece of pizza in the sink.

In response to the ad, a large number of Palestinians called for a boycott of the pizza chain on social media.

From

Click HERE to see related video

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I hope you’re now aware that the Boycott Pizza Hut campaign isn’t as “funny” as your advertisement!

 

CONGRATULATIONS NORTH KOREA!

These people vote ….. that’s why we are in the mess we are in!

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