‘J STREET’ SHOWS ITS TRUE COLOURS

TrueColors

They claim to be leftist, they claim to be pro-peace….. but the reality is they are zionists in sheep’s clothing. They are controlled by the same evil forces that run most other zionist organisations. They dare not ‘rock the boat’ regarding  US foreign policies.

The following Report is what I base my claim on…..

Poet booted from J Street meet for comparing Guantanamo to Auschwitz

Five days ahead of the leftist pro-Israeli lobby J Street’s first National Conference in Washington, D.C., the controversies continue to mount. The Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren refuses to attend the conference, despite the open letter issued by the organization’s Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami; but over the weekend the lobby took one more step to appease critics.

The poetry session, featuring three artists – Kevin Coval, Tracy Soren and Josh Healey, scheduled as part of the “Culture as a Tool for Change” track, was canceled. Apparently, the event was nixed following a reminder by a conservative blogger that Healey, a Jewish activist and poet, compared Guantanamo prison to Auschwitz.

J-Street’s Ben-Ami issued the following explanation: “As a matter of principle, J Street respects the dissenting voice that poetry can represent in society and politics. We acknowledge that expression and language are used differently in the arts and artistic expression when compared to their use in political argumentation. Nevertheless, as J Street is critical of the use and abuse of Holocaust imagery and metaphors by politicians and pundits on the right, it would be inappropriate for us to feature poets at our Conference whose poetry has used such imagery in the past and might also be offensive to some conference participants.”


Source

ISRAEL, PAST AND PRESENT…… A MUST SEE IF YOU WANT A FUTURE

us-israel-special-relationship-and-palestine

The following three videos are a must see….. especially for Americans that support Israel with blinders on their eyes.

The first is a documentary which shows the true history of the State….


The second shows the arrogant attitude of its leadership towards the rest of the world….


These trends will continue if the world does not stop them NOW!


Thanks Brian

The following is an example of what Americans are blindly supporting…..

I went to a protest against Senator Mike Huckabee, who [was] here in Jerusalem to support the Israeli settler cause in occupied Palestine and particularly in Sheikh Jarrah. On the way down from the protest, we came across a young woman who asked us where the protest was in Hebrew. We told her we did not speak Hebrew, and she asked us again in English, after which we gave her the directions. She asked us where we were coming from, and we said that we were coming from the Peace Now protest, which is against settlements. Immediately her face changed. She asked us if we were Jewish. When we said no, she asked us why we were in her country. She said that we had no right to be here, and that this country was only for the Jews, who were given this land by God. My friend asked her if she thought God would distinguish amongst people of different religions. She said yes, because she was part of the “Chosen People”. In this video, one of my other friends ask her if this justifies the murder of tens of thousands of Arabs (referring to the massacre that took place with the creation of the State of Israel). You can hear her assert that yes, it does. Not only that, she says that she loves that Arabs are killed. Then she tells us to get off her land, and threatens to break our camera. Her words weren’t empty.

Unfortunately, the footage ends when she jumped on me ( I was holding the camera ). She hit us all and would not let us leave. We did not want to react, because we were afraid of being accused by her of attack instead of self-defense (settlers are often favoured by the police in Israel). So, we waited (I was a bit scared, not gonna lie) until police showed up and saw that she was the one attacking us. They told us to leave right away, and told the settler to go away. What is interesting is that if a Palestinian would have attacked us in the same way and the police would have seen, the Palestinian without a doubt would have been arrested and imprisoned. It is a bit windy, so it might be hard to understand her clearly. Listen closely and you should be able to make out what she is saying.



Thanks to the Peoples Voice for this one

PROFILE IN COURAGE ~~ BILL MOYERS TALKS WITH RICHARD GOLDSTONE

Bill Moyers talks with Justice Richard Goldstone

Judge Richard Goldstone, photo by Robin Holland
The UN Human Rights Council released a report on the recent fighting between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. While concluding that both Israel’s military and Hamas likely committed war crimes during the fighting, the report was particularly harsh in its condemnation of Israel’s actions, saying they were “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.” A political firestorm ensued, and some of the criticism was aimed at the head of the investigative mission, Judge Richard Goldstone.

Goldstone joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to discuss the report, his critics and why he believes international humanitarian law is an important part of the peace process.

Born and raised in South Africa, Goldstone came to prominence investigating the vicious behavior of white security forces during apartheid. In 1994, the UN named him chief prosecutor of its International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He investigated ethnic cleansing in the Balkans — the deadliest violence in Europe since the second World War. That same year, he was asked to prosecute genocide in Rwanda, where almost a million people had been slaughtered. Judge Goldstone went on to uncover Nazi war criminals hiding in Argentina, and to lead an independent inquiry into war crimes in Kosovo.

The Conflict

In April, Goldstone agreed to lead a fact-finding mission investigating the conflict in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said they attacked Gaza in response to years of Hamas militants and other Palestinian groups launching thousands of crude rockets from Gaza into southern Israeli towns. In December 2008, Israel launched their military action.

During 22 days of fighting, more than 1,200 Palestinians died. Three Israeli civilians were killed and ten soldiers, four of them the result of friendly fire. When Israeli forces withdrew, the UN Human Rights Council called for an investigation, citing concerns about the destruction of not just military targets, but thousands of homes, as well as hospitals, schools and mosques. Goldstone agreed to lead it, but only after demanding an expansion of the mission’s mandate to also include a look into Hamas’ actions — and not just Israel’s — something the original mandate neglected to do.

The report and its critics

Judge Richard Goldstone at a UN public hearing, photo courtesy the UNOver the next several months, Judge Goldstone and his team interviewed hundreds of witnesses in Gaza, reviewed satellite images, videos, and other eyewitness accounts. Goldstone’s team received no cooperation from the Israeli government, who argued that the mission was biased from the beginning. In September, he submitted a 574-page report, focusing on 36 particular case studies. The report accused both the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas of war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.

The report generated intense criticism. Writing in the JERUSALEM POST, Gerald Steinberg accused Goldstone of running a “kangaroo court,” arguing that in Goldstone’s press conference and in the report, “the language of human rights and international law are misused as weapons in the political war to isolate and demonize Israel.”

Other critics accused Goldstone of denying Israel’s right to defend itself. Israeli president Shimon Peres argued that “the report legitimizes terrorist activity, the pursuit of murder and death. The report disregards the duty and right of self defense, held by every sovereign state as enshrined in the UN Charter.”

Goldstone tells Bill Moyers that he certainly believes in Israel’s right of self-defense and disagrees with these general criticisms, but welcomes specific criticisms of the report, “I certainly would welcome learning where we went wrong, […] if we made mistakes, and those are pointed out, I would be the first person to admit it.”

Goldstone says he stands by the report, and by its recommendations, “Our main recommendation is to urge both sides to look at themselves. To have their own internal investigations to judge what each did. To have a criminal investigation and to prosecute and punish the people responsible.”

For Judge Goldstone, these are not merely symbolic acts. Truth telling, he believes, is the only thing capable of laying the groundwork for lasting peace:

It’s been my experience, and in the countries in which I’ve been involved — and many in which I haven’t been involved — that in the aftermath of serious human rights violations, you cannot get enduring peace if you leave rancor and calls for revenge in the victim population. What victims need is acknowledgement. They need official acknowledgement of their victimization. And whether that’s done by truth and reconciliation commissions, as we did in South Africa, or through domestic prosecutions or international prosecutions, that official truth-telling is an essential building brick to lasting peace.

Richard Goldstone
Richard J. Goldstone was born October 26, 1938. After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA LLB cum laude in 1962 he practiced as an Advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. In 1976, he was appointed Senior Counsel and in 1980 was made Judge of the Transvaal Supreme Court. In 1989, he was appointed judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. From July 1994 to October 2003 he was a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Since the spring of 2004, Justice Goldstone has been teaching as a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School, NYU Law School, Fordham Law School and Georgetown Law School.

Justice Goldstone is a member of the boards of Physicians for Human Rights, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and the Center for Economic and Social Rights. He is a director of the American Arbitration Association. He chairs the advisory boards of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation and the Brandeis University Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. In April 2004, he was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Independent International Committee, chaired by Paul Volcker, to investigate the Iraq Oil for Food program. He is co-chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. He chaired a UN Committee to advise the United Nations on appropriate steps to preserve the archives and legacy of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. His most recent appointment is to lead the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza established by the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

From 1991 to 1994, he served as Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry regarding Public Violence and Intimidation that came to be known as the Goldstone Commission. He was the Chairperson of the Standing Advisory Committee of Company Law from 1984 to 2004. From August 15, 1994 to September 1996 he served as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. During 1998 he was the chairperson of a high level group of international experts that met in Valencia, Spain, and drafted a Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities for the director general of UNESCO (the Valencia Declaration). From August 1999 until December 2001, he was the chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo. In December 2001 he was appointed as the co-chairperson of the International Task Force on Terrorism which was established by the International Bar Association. He is a director of the American Arbitration Association. From 1999 to 2003, he served as a member of the International Group of Advisers of the International Committee of the Red Cross. From 1985 to 2000, Justice Goldstone was national president of the National Institute of Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NICRO).

From 1995 to 2007 he was the chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. The many awards he has received locally and internationally include the International Human Rights Award of the American Bar Association (1994) and honorary doctorates of law from universities in South Africa, Europe, North America and Israel. He is an honorary bencher of the Inner Temple, London, an honorary fellow of St Johns College, Cambridge, an honorary member of the Association of the Bar of New York, and a fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University. He is a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a member of the faculty of the Salzburg Seminar since 1996. In October 2006 he shared with Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights. In May, 2007 he received the Richard E. Neustadt Award from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In January 2007 he received the World Peace Through Law Award from the Whitney Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies at International Law at Washington University in St. Louis. In May 2009, he will receive the International Justice Award of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

He is the author of FOR HUMANITY: REFLECTIONS OF A WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR (2001, Yale University Press), and the co-author of INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL INSTITUTIONS: THE ARCHITECTURE OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AT HOME AND ABROAD (2008, Routledge).

Guest photos by Robin Holland.


Don’t miss these two videos of the interview…..

ABBAS SAYS ELECTIONS DECREE ‘IRREVOCABLE’…. BUT PALESTINIANS SAY HE IS

Image By Arzeh

Abbas says elections decree irrevocable
 
 
Ramallah Facing criticism from the Hamas movement and others, President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Saturday that elections would be held as scheduled.
 
 “The decision is irrevocable,” he said, speaking in Ramallah at the opening session of the PLO’s central committee.

Abbas issued a presidential decree late Thursday night, setting the date for the next round of Palestinian legislative and presidential elections for 24 January 2010. Hamas wants the date moved back six months.

“This decision came after conciliation efforts failed and Hamas foot-dragging,” he explained, slamming the Islamic movement for rejecting “Egypt’s proposal to end the division constitutionally.”

But the president vowed to nevertheless continue reconciliation efforts.

Abbas also said he hoped to restart peace talks with Israel, and confirmed reports that “bilateral American contacts are ongoing, since Israeli and Palestinian parties have failed to narrow the gab between their stances on resuming these negotiations.”

In any case, the president reiterated his rejection of certain “Israeli proposals,” including a suggestion that a Palestinian state be declared with temporary borders. Abbas reiterated his main demand, that Israel roll back settlement activities in the Palestinian territories.

“This isn’t a Palestinian precondition, rather an Israeli commitment to the Road Map peace plan,” he noted.

The central council was expected to hold two day sessions on a number of issues, including reconciliation and elections, as well as Richard Goldstone’s report on the Gaza assault, what the council termed Israeli violations in East Jerusalem, and reforms within the PLO, itself.

Saturday’s meeting was entitled, “Jerusalem is the capital of the independent Palestinian state.”

 

Source

DUBYA DEFENDS HIS ‘PERSONAL SALVATION’ AS CANADIANS PROTEST

Shoes fly as Bush tells audience, ‘I did not sell my soul’

By John Byrne

edmonton

A day after an effigy of the Grim Reaper stalked his speech in Edmonton, Canada, former President George W. Bush was on the defensive over his personal salvation.

Speaking to a $400-a-seat crowd in Montreal, Bush told the roughly 1,000 attendees that his presidential decisionmaking was principled and moral.

“I am confident that I made decisions based on principle, that I made calls as best I could, and I did not sell my soul,” Bush said.

Outside his speech, the scene was anything but calm. A throng of protesters burned a flaming effigy of the former president, who’s taken his stump speech on the road across Canada. He’ll speak in three Canadian cities over a period of as many days.

Did he have regrets? an audience member asked.

“I spend a lot of time thinking about Katrina, and whether I could have sent in the federal troops right away, even though it was against the law,” Bush replied. He added he regretted the “Mission Accomplished” banner that accompanied him during a speech on an aircraft carrier after the early stages of his invasion of Iraq.

Protesters outside had more concrete opinions. A protest organizer encouraged Bush opponents to bring old shoes, in reference to an Iraqi who threw a shoe at the President during a speech late in his presidency.

Speaking to the Vancouver Sun, an immigration lawyer who was among the protesters said Bush was responsible for numerous deaths in the Middle East.

Bush is culpable for “cynically causing a war that is responsible for so many deaths and so much destruction,” lawyer William Sloan was quoted as saying.

“He set back international law into the 1700s,” Sloan added, “violating every convention possible and seeming to revel in it.”

Five protesters were reported to have been arrested.

In Edmonton, where Bush spoke earlier this week, a protester toted a representation of the Grim Reaper, which boasted a sign saying, “GWB I am your biggest fan” and “Thanks for 8 great years.”

The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, where Bush spoke in Montreal, is also known for a popular peace anthem: John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.”

 
 
Source via Uruknet


ISRAELI PRESIDENT BEATS THE ADL TO THE PUNCH

 Usually it’s Foxman that puts his foot in his mouth and makes a fool of himself (and alot of Jews in the process)…. Israel’s President Shimon Peres beat him to it today with statements about the Goldstone Commission Report…. 
 
Can we call this a mega case of ‘sour grapes’, that Israel’s own brand of terrorism has finally been condemned? 
 
Read on HERE 

Peres: Israel has no chance in UN

 President Shimon Peres called the Goldstone Commission’s report “a great victory for terror,” saying a “built-in majority against Israel” in the United Nations means the Jewish state has “no chance to win” support on any single issue.
President Shimon Peres.

President Shimon Peres.
Photo: AP [file]
 

In an interview with Newsweek published on Saturday, Peres said, “Never before did any terrorist organization gain such recognition, in the most unfair way,” referring to the UN-commissioned report on Operation Cast Lead, which accuses both Hamas and Israel of committing war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.

THE PALESTINIAN DILEMMA

While Fatah looks to use Palestinian elections as a means to destroy Hamas, it is the Israeli occupation that ultimately uses elections to control the Palestinian struggle, writes Khalid Amayreh


 

 
A Palestinian boy throws stones at an Israeli army watchtower at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah

Reeling from the so-called “Goldstone scandal”, Fatah has been waging a fresh war of words against Hamas, accusing the Islamic movement of sabotaging chances for Palestinian reconciliation.

The decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to seek to defer the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the Goldstone Report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip, which nonetheless the PA successfully reversed, created an unprecedented storm of criticism among Palestinians at home and in the Diaspora.

Seizing the moment, Hamas castigated the PA leadership, accusing it of colluding with Israel against Palestinian national interests and arguing that the PA was no longer fit to represent the Palestinian people and cause.

This week, Fatah leaders and spokespersons sought to settle scores with Hamas, accusing the Islamic group of hindering and thwarting Egyptian-mediated reconciliation efforts.

Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan, a member of Fatah’s Executive Committee, spearheaded verbal attacks against Hamas. During tours of the West Bank, Dahlan charged that Hamas was “hostage to the Muslim Brotherhood” in Jordan and Egypt and that as such the group was subservient to foreign powers.

A pivotal figure in the Fatah-Hamas standoff, Dahlan also warned that Fatah would organise general and presidential elections in the West Bank with or without Hamas’s consent. Hamas official Ahmed Youssef dismissed Dahlan’s remarks as “futile rhetoric”.

“I think our brothers in Fatah should put an end to these verbal theatrics and stop fabricating accusations against Hamas,” Youssef told Al-Ahram Weekly. He added that Hamas was awaiting clarifications with regard to some aspects of the reconciliation document. “We want to know if the international community, including the Quartet, will accept the agreement once it is signed. We also want to know if the upcoming elections will be fair and free and accepted by the international community.”

Asked if Hamas was worried about possible unilateral elections in the West Bank, Youssef warned that such a step would consolidate the division between Gaza and the West Bank. “I think such statements by Abbas and Dahlan are merely balloon tests. It is a kind of pressure tactic on Hamas, and Hamas is not going to be intimidated by these silly games.”

Youssef added that any elections organised by Fatah in the West Bank would be boycotted by a large segment of the Palestinian people. “Besides, there is no Arab or international consensus supporting such a step,” said Youssef. “If Abbas decided to unilaterally organise elections in the West Bank, such elections would be more of a referendum on Fatah than true Palestinian elections.”

Meanwhile, Moussa Abu Marzouq, deputy head of the Hamas politburo, was quoted as saying in interview Tuesday, 20 October, that Abbas “won’t be able to hold elections in the West Bank alone, and all that we hear in this regard is nothing more than psychological pressure on Hamas. If he decided to go ahead with elections, then we will have our choices that we will declare in due time.”

Abu Marzouq said Hamas would sign the reconciliation document forthwith if certain terms and stipulations dropped from the document were reincorporated into it.

Meanwhile, the stipulation on Hamas that it recognise Israel and accept to honour past agreements — particularly the Oslo Accords — reached between Israel and the Palestinians has resurfaced as a supposed precondition for Hamas’s participation in elections.

However, Palestinian writer Hani Al-Masri dismisses the thought of excluding Hamas as both destructive and impractical. He pointed out that the fact of Israeli occupation and the absence of Palestinian sovereignty make Palestinian national unity a sine qua non condition for the organisation of successful elections.

Moreover, Al-Masri argues that in the light of the bitter experience of the 2006 elections, Hamas has the right to demand that the outcome of the upcoming elections be respected not only by Fatah but also by Israel and the international community.

“For these reasons, it is essential that national unity and national reconciliation precede the organisation of elections. The elections are, after all, by no means a magical wand that would solve the problems of the Palestinian people in one fell swoop.”

In addition to disagreements over whether elections should precede or follow national reconciliation, Hamas and Fatah also differ on the purpose and goals of elections. Hamas views elections as part of an overall resistance platform aimed at wresting freedom and liberation from Israel. Fatah appears to view elections as a means to re-impose its hegemony over the Palestinian masses.

Some Fatah leaders, who view Hamas as a strategic enemy whose danger supersedes that of Israel, would like to use the elections as a means to avenge the ousting by Hamas of Fatah militias in Gaza in 2007. What seems to be forgotten is that the storm between Fatah and Hamas is all taking place under Israeli military occupation.

Indeed, according to Al-Masri says, holding elections under Israeli occupation is a heresy “of our own making” that was supposed to be a one-time event pursuant the Oslo Accords and would lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state. But via Oslo process Israel continued to control nearly all aspects of Palestinian life while stealing more Palestinian land for Jewish-only settlement expansion.

Hence many ordinary Palestinians, as well as intellectuals, are beginning to question the logic of holding elections if these elections are not going to contribute to ending the Israeli occupation. Since Israel has the final say in matters pertaining to the elections, it is unlikely to tolerate the participation of Hamas and other Palestinian factions whose main goal is ending the occupation.

This is the crux of the Palestinian dilemma.

WHO’S PULLING ABBAS’ STRINGS

puppet_strings

OK…. let’s get this straight now….

Last week it was reported that Netanyahu and Obama ‘settled the issue of settlements’… Today’s reports are that Abbas is calling for new elections… Is one of his strings tangled? Abbas has best decide which side he’s on at this point, either that of the zionist government that has kept him in his job or the people of Palestine that despise him and never elected him as their leader in the first place. Why is he taking such a chance and rocking the boat by calling for new elections?
 
 
 
Has Netanyahu finally decided he wants to get rid of Abbas?
or
Has Obama made that decision??
 
Just who is pulling Abbas’s strings?

 

 

 
 
The following is taken from THIS report….  
 
 

 

 Abbas calls Palestinian elections for January

 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Friday for presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 24, in a bid to regain dominance of the badly divided Palestinian movement and sideline his Islamist rivals, Hamas.

An official of the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah, in the West Bank, said Abbas, 76, would lead his Fatah movement in the ballot, called after the rival factions failed to reach a unity deal in Egyptian-brokered talks.

The Western-backed president issued a decree calling for the vote to be held in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas. The Islamist movement has threatened to defy any unilateral election call by Abbas.

  
The president’s secular Fatah faction was unable to reach a unity deal with the Islamist group despite more than a year of negotiations and the two movements remain bitter rivals.

Hamas officials said Abbas’s election call strikes a blow to reconciliation efforts. But an official close to Abbas said there was still time to avoid an open clash.

  
Following the announcement, U.S. President Barack Obama made “a very important” call on Friday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, reaffirming his commitment to a Palestinian state, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said.

He said in a statement that Obama and Abbas discussed “all issues related to the peace process and the difficulties facing it.”

He said Abbas expressed “his commitment for a peace process with clear terms of reference that would lead to an independent Palestinian state along with a halt to settlements.”

Abu Rudeineh said the call “was very important for the future of the peace process and the region,” without giving any more details.

Abbas later received a call from US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the two discussed “efforts to revive the peace process,” according to an official unattributed statement.

PROTESTS FOLLOW ISRAELI WAR CRIMINAL OLMERT WHEREVER HE GOES….

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Protesters shut down Olmert’s speech in San Francisco….. hopefully this trend will continue wherever he goes. 
 
 
Read the report, including video HERE….
 

 

San Francisco protestors call Olmert ‘war criminal’

 

 

 Pro-Palestinian demonstrators disrupt former prime minister’s speech, week after similar incident in Chicago. Woman identified as a Jew shouts at him, ‘No more genocide in my name’

PALESTINIAN BEATEN FOR SAYING “YOU ARE A TERRORIST, GO HOME!” TO TONY BLAIR

Palestinian who tells Blair “you are a terrorist, go home” is beaten for his outburst.

"I think I was reflecting the feelings and views of the vast majority of Muslims. After all this is the man whose policies led to the destruction of two sovereign Muslim countries and caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. He is more than a war criminal. He is satanic." “I think I was reflecting the feelings and views of the vast majority of Muslims. After all this is the man whose policies led to the destruction of two sovereign Muslim countries and caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. He is more than a war criminal. He is satanic.”

From Khalid Amayreh in al-Khalil, occupied West Bank


Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, had an unpleasant experience Tuesday, October 20th, when during a visit to the ancient Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, a young Palestinian worshiper shouted at him “you are a terrorist, you are not welcomed in Palestine.”

The mosque, the most ancient in occupied Palestine, was the site of a 1994 massacre when an Israeli settler terrorist from the nearby colony of Kiryat Arba, murdered  29 Muslim worshipers as they were praying at dawn during the holy month of Ramadan.

Blair, the special Quartet envoy to the Middle East, was touring the southern West Bank town as part of his efforts to reactivate the Palestinian economy, effectively paralyzed by stringent Israeli restrictions.

However, his efforts seem to have so far achieved no concrete results on the arduous road of Palestinian independence from the enduring Israeli military occupation.

Nonetheless, Blair’s failure to make any real progress in Palestine doesn’t seem to be the main source of the nearly universal anger at him among Arabs and Muslims. The pivotal role he played in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and his close collaboration with the Bush administration earned him widespread indignation amongst Muslims all over the world.

“You are a terrorist, you are not welcomed in Palestine, go home, you are a war criminal,” shouted Ali Hasan Hamdan, a young communications engineer from a small hamlet called Khursa, located 15 kilometers south west of Hebron.

The young engineer, 23, was praying when Blair and his entourage, which included several Palestinian officials, entered the Mosque. He says he had not pre-planned his verbal protest as he didn’t know beforehand that Blair was coming to the Mosque.

“It was a spontaneous reaction to seeing this war criminal enter the Holy place. I didn’t do it as a Palestinian nationalist, but rather as a Muslim who has been deeply offended by the huge crimes that Blair committed against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine,” Hamdan intimated to this writer.

Hamdan was immediately subdued by Blair’s Palestinian guards who dragged him to a corner inside the Mosque before taking him to the offices of the local Preventive Security headquarters where he was badly beaten.

During the fracas, Blair maintained his composure telling Palestinian security officials and reporters that the man had the right to protest.

“You know, he’s made his protest, and that was fair enough.”

However, the Quartet envoy remarked that what happened was an individual behavior and didn’t reflect the views of the whole Palestinian population.

But Hamdan strongly disagrees.

“I think I was reflecting the feelings and views of the vast majority of Muslims. After all this is the man whose policies led to the destruction of two sovereign Muslim countries and caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. He is more than a war criminal. He is satanic.”

Hamdan says that had he been allowed to speak further, he would have made Blair angrier.

“I wanted to tell him that the Islamic Umma (worldwide community) is waking up and that Muslims will be soon emancipated from enslavement to West. I wanted to tell him that Arab and Muslim regimes didn’t represent the Muslim masses and that Muslims were seething with anger toward criminal western powers such as Britain and the United States. I wanted to tell him that sooner or later Muslims will reinstitute the political authority of Islam and re-establish the Caliphate.”

Hamdan, said that his outburst against Blair was not particularly motivated by the former British prime minister’s pro-Israeli stance.

“I think he is one of the most evil tormentors of Muslims in our time. He played a key role in the American-led invasion, occupation and destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. And in Palestine it is amply clear that he is conspiring and conniving with Israel against the Palestinians.”

“What has he done for the Palestinians? Nothing.”

When Hamdan was dragged to the Preventive Security building nearly three kilometers from the Ibrahimi mosque, he was asked to sign a pledge stating that he wouldn’t indulge in such behavior again.

“Four officers ganged up on me, beating me savagely on the head and on my hands. I know the identity of three of them. They told me that if I didn’t cooperate with them, they would let me bleed a pool of blood.”

“They told me that what I did insulted and embarrassed the Palestinian Authority. I retorted by telling them that I didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, which made them very angry.”

After five hours of threats, beating and verbal abuse, Hamdan was released, apparently following intervention by local notables.

During the interview, I asked Hamdan if he didn’t fear for his life when he booed Blair, he said he didn’t think about it.

“We are Muslims, and as a Muslim, I believe that one’s life expires only when God decides.”

Widely despised

Blair, who travels in the West Bank, in a bullet-and-bomb proof Jeep provided by the United Nations, normally avoids holding press conferences, probably in order to avoid being asked embarrassing questions pertaining to his erstwhile alliance with the Bush administration.

Several months ago, during a visit to the Hebron City Hall, this journalist asked him how he thought future Arab and Muslim generations would view him in light of his role in the American-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Noticing that the question was a little “fishy,” Blair said he apologized for not answering the question because he didn’t have enough time for a detailed answer.

Blair had refrained from speaking up against Israel ‘s genocidal invasions of Lebanon in 2006 and the Gaza Strip in winter.

He also has been reluctant to challenge Israel on the settlement-expansion issue, perhaps in order to keep his good-paying job for as long as possible.

I asked a Palestinian shopkeeper, not far from the Ibrahimi Mosque where Blair was visiting, what he thought of the “British guest.”

The elderly man, after a moment of silence, said the following:

“We have to constantly remember that it was Blair’s country that gave our homeland to the Jews on a silver platter. That was the original sin.”

“As to Blair, I think he has more Muslim blood on his hands since Hulagu and Gengiz Khan. He is an evil man.”

AMIRA HASS WINS LIFETIME ACHIEVMENT AWARD

International Women’s Media Foundation Honors Israeli Journalist Amira Hass with 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations!  Mazal Tov!!  Mabrook!!!





‘PROTECTING’ JEWISH YOUTH IN SOUTH AFRICA FROM THE TRUTH

How South African Jews ‘protected’ their youth from the Shministim

It is not surprising that the same quarrels among Jews that we see here in the US are also at play in other parts of the world. Take for example South Africa, the land that gave us the word Apartheid.

Check out this cartoon, that appeared in the Mail and Guardian last week…

thought control

Before anyone goes running to the hills, shouting ‘Anti-Semitism,’ let’s clarify… the cartoon was drawn by South African leading cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (aka “Zapiro”), who is Jewish and whose kids go to the Herzliah school depicted in the cartoon.

What’s going on here?

I’ve already reported on the cold shoulder that the institutional Jewish community gave the three Shministim — young Israeli concientous objectors — as they visited South Africa.

Here’s how the event organizers, Open Shuhada Street, describe the welcome the Shministim got there.

The Shministim were called cowards and traitors. Their Jewish identity was questioned. Someone shouted “They should be lynched”, another shouted “Knock some sense into them.”

And here’s the local Jewish weekly describing the event (South African Jewish Report, Oct 16, p.5):

Despite repeated appeals for calm and respectful debate which fell largely on deaf ears, there were frequent interjections from hecklers who disagreed vociferously with the speakers’ stance.

After the stormy meeting, this reporter was approached by an aggressive young individual who demanded that photographs taken of him be deleted “immediately, before I smash your camera against the wall”. Security was tight and the two speakers were escorted from the hall through a side entrance after angry audience members mobbed them following the formalities.

In a letter to the Jewish Board of Deputies, the tour organizers call things by their name:

We consider these incidents antisemitic because the hatred reserved for Jews who criticise Israel is more intense than the ill-feeling towards others who do so, and because Jews who criticise Israel are sometimes blamed for all subsequent criticism of Israel. They were in our view directed against Jews for being Jews. Their vehemence was exacerbated by the belief by these right-wing elements in the community that the Jewish members of Open Shuhada Street and the Shministim are traitors.

They further explain how this environment of verbal and physical hostility was not only condoned, but encouraged:

Before the meeting, David Hersch, a senior office bearer in the South African Zionist Federation, sent out a widely circulated email … It all but directly called for a disruption of the Albow centre meeting. In it he stated, “Fanatics just get stronger in their beliefs and agenda the more they are opposed and confronted, but oppose them and let them know they cannot operate with impunity we all must.”

David Hersch’s complaint about the ‘fanatics’ in the Jewish community are ironic given the fanatic tone of his email. It turns out that he published the names, work numbers, home numbers, and cell phone numbers of the members of the Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist Council, and asked anyone who would listen,

Phone all these people, not just one. Make sure you speak to them and voice your concerns and opinions. If they do not take your calls or call you back, then they have no right to sit on these bodies as representatives of our fine community and should be replaced or voted off…

Why should they be voted off?

Let me spell out their treason: they issued a public statement to the media condemning the Shministim, but that was not enough. They made sure that no Shministim talk took place in any Jewish school in South Africa, but that was not enough.

Their opposition to the Shministim was not ferocious enough, according to Hersch.

Whatever you do, never give your cell phone number to this fanatic guy, David Hersch!

As I mentioned, the Shmnistim held a meeting with 60 young people at a cafe opposite the 1,800-student Herzlia School, since they were barred from speaking at the school.

Here’s the opinion of Daniel Shalem, a 12th grader in a Johannesburg Jewish school. I reprint almost in full the letter to the editor he sent to the South African Jewish Report — the country’s Jewish weekly.

Please read it and judge by yourself whether South African Jewish youth needed to be protected from the message of the Shministim…

Although I disagree with their refusal to join the Israeli army, I went to the discussion with an open mind (hoping that others would do the same) in order to give them a chance to explain their side.

I was interested in hearing their views because I have been predominantly exposed to a one-sided view of the Israeli conflict regarding its occupation, because I grew up in an Israeli home in which I was exposed predominantly to one side of the conflict.

In addition, I attend King David (Linksfield) High School. A school is a place in which one should be encouraged to learn about academia as well as the world. But how can I formulate opinions about matters in the world when I only hear one side?

The school refused the Shministim permission to present their argument to us. How dangerous is that!

The danger is evident when people formulate uninformed opinions due to the fact that they have only been exposed to one side. I realised this at the Jabula discussion.

We struggled to hear one another on a very basic level. We could not even engage in a constructive discussion. The reason I was shocked during the discussion is because people started attacking the Shministim on a personal level.

They had no interest in what these Shministim had to say. They had no interest in listening to their journey and experiences. They had no interest in hearing about their experience in jail or the atrocities they have witnessed at the tender age of 20.

It is almost as if those being opposed to them, came to the discussion with the sole intention of attacking the Shministim.

I find that we have one idea drilled into our heads and the thought of an opposing idea being valid is simply an impossibility.

I was unaware of how far away from peace we are. Never mind the conflict in Israel, we have our own conflict here, in South Africa: and lack of respect for one another. This is the first challenge.

The Shministim came here with many goals: to learn but also to teach. They taught me the true meaning of the concept of listening to both sides before reaching conclusions.

They also taught me about the conflict. Things are occurring in this conflict that would shock every single human being with a conscience. Yet they occur on a daily basis.

The Shministim believe that all we need to do to begin preventing these atrocities and paving the way forward is to listen to the other side. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is – we cannot even listen to
each other in a small room in the Jabula Centre in Sandringham!

It must be reminded that I disagree with many aspects of the Shministim’s struggle. However, I agree with others. This allows me to formulate a more informed opinion. This is what constructive discussion is about.

Last word to the Shministim themselves. This is the speech they gave at the Ashley Kriel Memorial lecture at the University of the Western Cape. The lecture is given in memory of the murdered 21 year old anti-apartheid activist who was a model for youth struggle and principled resistance. Here are the Shministim in their own words.

– Sydney Levy

Source

LOSS OF LOVE FOR ISRAEL REVISITED

love lost

Love Is Not Blindness

By Jay Michaelson

Since the publication of “How I’m Losing My Love for Israel,” a personal essay describing my fatigue as a liberal Zionist, the most disturbing responses have not been the vitriolic e-mails or online comments, nor the thoughtful and well-reasoned replies from the likes of Daniel Gordis and Jonathan Sarna. Rather, I have been most troubled by the statements of many Jewish professionals — rabbis, federation leaders, nonprofit directors — who have told me, “Thank you for saying what I cannot.”

Why is it that they cannot say what I said? Because they fear for their jobs, or fear their organizations would be harmed if they expressed their opinion? And what opinion is that, which they and I share? Is it hatred of Israel? Support for the terrorists of Hamas? No. It is *ambivalence.

Remarkably, and disturbingly, this American Jewish McCarthyism has reached such a paranoid pitch that my colleagues in the Jewish world fear even to express ambivalence, uncertainty or reservation regarding the State of Israel. We fear that we might endanger relationships with members, donors, supporters and friends for expressing uncertainty. This is outrageous, and it has shocked me in the weeks since the column was published.

And to be clear, losing love does not mean lacking it. My colleagues and I continue to love Israel, support it and defend it against its enemies. What has changed is that they, and I, are increasingly of the opinion that Israel does not deserve the kind of love — unconditional, unwavering — that many in our community demand. This is so, not because we are unfaithful, but because our lover has become abusive.

For example, if, as Gordis writes, “Only justice matters. Only the future matters,” then we must ask some hard questions. What is the “justice” of expanding settlements? What kind of “future” do such policies augur for building a secure Israel and a viable Palestine? Those of us who question such actions don’t lack love of the Land of Israel or the State of Israel. But we are tired of having our love abused, yoked to violence and demanded of us as some kind of loyalty oath to the Jewish people. There is such a thing as too much forgiveness.

Nor is our concern because, as Gordis and Sarna both suggested, our love is somehow immature — it’s precisely because it is mature. Mature love does not mean total acceptance. It does not demand that we never visit the territories to see firsthand what is happening on the ground, or that we never fear for the demographic extinction of liberal Israel, or never criticize its growing wealth gap. We’re not naïve about the fact that many in the Arab world seek Israel’s destruction, by increments if not all at once. On the contrary, we want Israel to survive, to thrive, and not to sell its ethical and political birthrights for the porridges of territory and a dream that can never come to pass.

Fortunately, I think the American Jewish community is at a tipping point on these issues. The very ambivalence I described in my essay is the foundation of a new political movement, which coincidentally is about to hold its first conference in Washington. And I think one reason my little personal essay struck such a chord is that, between J Street, President Obama and these shifts in the American Jewish community, there’s an understanding that the tide has begun to turn.

Many find these changes fearful, which, I think, is why so many people responded with fear to what I had to say. But if you love Israel, you should celebrate these developments. Fewer and fewer people — especially American Jews under 40 — feel the reflexive, unquestioning loyalty that an older generation did. If their only choices were blind acceptance or outright opposition, they might just walk away. J Street and organizations like it represent a third way — and that is a very good thing for Israel.

Indeed, the more you love Israel, the more you should fear the loyalty oaths some American Jews demand. Such all-or-nothing binarism will drive our children away in droves. It will fail to convince anyone not already converted. And it will further marginalize the Jewish state, further remove it from dialogue, engagement and international cooperation. The all-or-nothing crowd in America is really just the flipside of the boycott-Israel crowd in Europe. Both oversimplify a complex situation, both see Israel and Palestine in terms of black and white, and in so doing, both are hurting the Jewish state.

If there is one thing I wish I’d done differently in my essay, it is that I should have mentioned exhaustion last, rather than first. It’s not that I’m exhausted, and therefore rue the loss of Israeli values, critique American Jewish myth-making and question my own Zionist education. It’s the other way around. I loathe the company we Zionists are forced to keep: ethnocentrists, know-nothings, warmongers and worse; that angry pseudo-majority whose Disney-fied myths eclipse the region’s messy realities, who dehumanize Arabs and furiously lob the words “antisemitism” and “Holocaust” like rhetorical hand grenades. What they love is not what I love.

Yet I feel tainted by the association. Perhaps I would put up with the tiring defense of yet another Israeli trespass, the eclipse of the Israel I love by one I hardly recognize, and the companionship of those I mistrust if I didn’t mistrust myself as well. I, too, love Israel; I, too, was raised on its myths — and thus I am obligated to second-guess how I reflect upon its policies. Precisely because I hold love in my heart, I question my opinions, pause before jumping to conclusions, and doubt my intuitions of certainty.

It is this introspection, or perhaps its results, that has caused such a stir. Admittedly, it is less romantic than the swell of “Hatikvah,” less useful for advertising or propaganda. Yet sometimes true love looks very different from romance, and sometimes “yes” is not what a lover needs to hear.

Jay Michaelson’s column, “The Polymath,” is published monthly in the Forward’s Arts & Culture section. He is the author, most recently, of “Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism” (Trumpeter).


Read responses from Miriam Shaviv, Gadi Taub, Jonathan Tobin and Steven Zipperstein to the issues raised by Michaelson’s original essay, “How I’m Losing My Love for Israel,” here.

Source

FLASHBACK ~~RAMBLINGS AND REFLECTIONS ABOUT OLIVE TREES AND JEWISH GRANDMOTHERS

Image by Abonoon

Ramblings and Reflections…

Following in the footsteps of his ‘Peace Partner’, Ehud Olmert, the former President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, has finally decided to do something.

Olmert thinks the Occupied Lands of Palestine, including East Jerusalem should be handed over to the Palestinians…. a thought he came up with after stepping down as Prime Minister….
Abbas ordered the planting of 7 million olive trees in response to settler attacks. Those settler attacks have been going on for over 40 years!!!!
Where has he been?

Same for the occupied lands… over 40 years of occupation!!!!

Where has Olmert been??
When Abbas first raised the issue of planting the trees he said he was willing to pay for them himself…. interesting that he has that much money to spare while ‘his’ people are literally starving to death.

Brings to mind a little blue and white box that my grandmother had, on it was written Palestinian National Fund.. she was always putting her spare change into that box. She explained to me that it was to go to the new ‘Jewish Homeland’, to be used to plant trees….
Today we see decendents of my grandmother’s generation in Israel destroying the very trees that were there, in some cases for centuries. Aside from that, they make it virtually impossible for the Palestinian farmers to harvest the crops from those trees that remain. These acts are most upsetting as many of these same ‘people’ are decendents of holocaust survivors committing the same crimes today that the nazis committed 60 years ago.

Somehow, I don’t think the grandmothers of yesteryear would be too happy with the situation today…. many came to America from war torn areas in Europe… it was not in their wildest dreams for those horrors to continue in their name. All I can say is that THEY ARE NOT BEING DONE IN MY NAME!


The above was originally posted one year ago today….

THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF CRIMINALS


Criminals shouldn’t be allowed to investigate themselves

By Khalid Amayreh

22_child-victims-gaza0109_300_0.jpg

In its rabid efforts to whitewash the Goldstone report, Israel is likely to carry out another disingenuous probe into its genocidal onslaught against the Gaza Strip nearly ten months ago.

The report, compiled by South African judge Richard Goldstone, himself a Jew, accused Israel of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians.

As many as 1400 Palestinians, mostly non-combatants including more than 330 children, were killed during the 22-day campaign which some historians and intellectuals compared to the allied saturation bombing of the German city of Dresden at the close of the Second World War.

Israel has already conducted a number of “investigations” into the Gaza blitzkrieg which exonerated the Israeli army of any wrongdoing.

However, nearly everyone familiar with patterns of Israeli behavior realizes that investigations by Israel into crimes committed by Israel didn’t have an iota of credibility.

In the final analysis, criminals, especially war criminals, are unlikely to indict themselves by admitting guilt.

Hence, it is a foregone conclusion that any new probe by Israel of its pornographic crimes in Gaza would be a repetition of past investigations.

Moreover, an inquiry by the Israeli army, or the Israeli justice system, into the Gaza crimes would be very much like a probe by the Gestapo into crimes perpetrated by the Wehrmacht or SS forces.

The analogy is justified to a great extent. After all, the entire Israeli political and military class consists of nefarious war criminals and Nazi-like racists who advocate genocide and mass murder.

In fact, it is very difficult for any Israeli Jew to reach a high position in either the military or political hierarchies if he doesn’t have his hands fully stained with Palestinian blood.

This explains the morbid infatuation of the bulk of the Israeli Jewish public with Israeli war criminals. The more these war criminals excel in blood-letting, the more respect and admiration they receive from society.

For example, Israel elected Ariel Sharon, the certified war criminal twice as Prime Minster.

The “hero” of many genocidal massacres, such as the 1982- Sabra and Shatilla carnage, was often given the esteemed epithet of “Melich Yisrael” or “King of Israel.”

In 1998, Ehud Barak, the current Israeli defense minister who oversaw the genocidal campaign against the Gaza Strip, sought during his election campaign to impress voters by giving a graphic description of how he assassinated three Palestinian leaders in Beirut several years earlier.

In short, we are talking about a breed of war criminals and murderous thugs who really differ very little from Nazi leaders and commanders. After all, both practiced the “no-holds-barred doctrine.” The Nazis implemented that doctrine in Europe, and the Zionists in Palestine and Lebanon .

Apart from that, there is an entire history of Zionist whitewashing of Israeli crimes which shows that Israel itself is a huge crime against humanity.

When the massacre of Dir Yasin was carried out, an initial Israeli police report claimed that “an Arab was injured.” Similarly, an Israeli probe into the Kfar Qassem massacre in the mid 1950s blamed the victims for “violating the curfew.”

This pattern of blaming the victims continues to this day. A few weeks ago, an Israeli court acquitted Jewish terrorist settlers who ganged up on elderly Palestinian peasants and shepherds in the southern Hebron hills, beating them savagely, using clubs and other objects.

The perpetrators, who had been caught on camera attacking the helpless Palestinians, were exonerated of any wrong doing.

Well, perhaps the Jewish judge is insisting that all Palestinians ought to have special cameras that see through the masks worn by Jewish settlers when attacking their Palestinian victims.

There is no doubt that Israel has been embarrassed by the Goldstone report. This explains the perplexity of Israeli leaders’ and spokespersons’ behavior.

This week, Israeli Prime Minister made two remarks which underscored this pattern of psychotic behavior.

First, he demanded that the world stop relying on and buying oil from Muslim countries, saying that western dependence on oil was encouraging “terror.” Well, one would have to be a psychiatrist to analyze the mental sickness of a leader who can’t bring himself to see reality as it is.

Second, Netanyahu reportedly has authorized an inter-ministerial committee to press the international community to amend the laws of war, conceivably in order to allow the Israeli army to commit genocide with impunity.

One Israeli writer argued that “if the Americans and Russians and Chinese can commit war crimes with impunity, why can’t Israel do the same.”

In other words, what Israeli leaders are effectively saying is that the peoples of the world ought to recognize “Jewish Nazism” as a legitimate fact of life. What else would explain the offensive demands of amending the laws of war to suit Israel’s criminal behavior?

This means that it is only a matter of time before another Israeli official, a minister, or army general, or even a Prime Minister, will argue that since Nazi Germany carried out a holocaust against Jews, Jews are perfectly justified in carrying out a holocaust against the Palestinians.!

In another related feat reflecting Israeli frustration over the Goldstone report, the Israeli government is now studying the possibility of suing Hamas for “terror and war crimes” against Israel.

Well, it seems that the depravity and brutal ugliness of Zionist leaders have no limits. True, Hamas, like any other national liberation movement, is not faultless. However, whatever Hamas and other Palestinian factions have done in the context of their legitimate resistance against the Nazi-like Israeli occupation ought to be considered in the context of decades of harsh repression meted out by Israel to the Palestinian people.

After all, Israel stole Palestine from its rightful owners, demolished their homes, destroyed their farms, murdered untold thousands of civilians in numerous grisly massacres, and expelled the bulk of the Palestinians from their ancestral homeland to the four corners of the world.

I know that Israeli criminality against the Palestinian people don’t always justify certain acts of violence and terror by the victims. However, there is no doubt that terror, repression and oppression, which transcends reality, always makes violence inevitable. In brief, those to whom evil is done do evil in return.

Hence, it is morally axiomatic that violence carried out by people defending themselves, their country and their honor and dignity against an overwhelming onslaught by foreign invaders shouldn’t be equated with the violence and terror of their tormentors and gravediggers.

Indeed, if a foreign colonialist occupation is an act of rape, and it undoubtedly is, then a rape victim’s resistance, even if it involves violence, shouldn’t be placed on the same moral footing with the violence and aggression of the attacker.

Otherwise, every person defending himself against oppression and assault ought to be criminalized.

True, one is always sorry for the death of innocent people, irrespective of their race and faith.

However, Israel must bear full responsibility for forcing the Palestinians to choose between national demise and violent struggle for freedom and justice.

ISRAEL’S RESPONSE TO UN; OPERATION CAST LEAD WAS NOT A WAR!

cast lead

How’s this for Chutzpah?
Not only do Israelis rewrite history, they are now trying to change the present and the future.

Israel wants law of war changed after damning UN Gaza report

By Ron Bousso

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his government on Tuesday to draw up proposals to amend the international laws of war after a damning UN report on its war in Gaza.

The security cabinet did not, however, discuss calls made by ministers for an internal investigation into the 22-day offensive at the turn of the year that killed some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, an official told AFP.

“The prime minister instructed the relevant government bodies to examine a worldwide campaign to amend the international laws of war to adapt them to the spread of global terrorism,” his office said in a statement.

Israel was dealt a heavy diplomatic blow with the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of the report that accused both Israel and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip of war crimes.

Israel’s closest allies, the United States, Britain and France urged it to investigate war crime allegations raised by the fact-finding missions headed by Richard Goldstone, a former international war crimes prosecutor.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak backed Netanyahu’s call for a diplomatic campaign, saying that Israel should propose changes in the international laws of war “in order to facilitate the war on terrorism,” an official quoted him as saying.

“It is in the interest of anyone fighting terrorism. We must give the IDF (Israeli army) the full backing to have the freedom of action,” Barak said.

Netanyahu dismissed the Goldstone report on the Gaza war and vowed that Israel would not give up its right of self-defence.

“We are struggling to delegitimise the ongoing attempts to delegitimise Israel… We must persistently fight this lie, which is being spread by the Goldstone report,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying.

“I want to make it clear: no one will weaken our ability and right to defend our children, citizens and communities.”

Meanwhile, hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, reiterating Israel’s stance that peace talks with the Palestinians could not progress amid international support for the Goldstone report.

Lieberman said Palestinian support for the report “raises real questions about the true intentions of the Palestinians: Is it the establishment of a Palestinian state or the destruction of the State of Israel?” he said according to a statement from his office.

Goldstone, the respected South African jurist who led the UN fact-finding team, recommended that the conclusions of the report be forwarded to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court at The Hague if the two sides fail to conduct credible investigations into the conflict within six months.

Israel has slammed it as a “diplomatic farce” and warned that it risked sinking the stalled Middle East peace process.

Goldstone, who has faced a storm of personal attacks inside Israel since the report’s publication, dismissed the argument and urged the Jewish state to comply with the recommendation to investigate the war.

“It’s a shallow, utterly false allegation,” Goldstone said during a meeting with a group of rabbis in the United States, remarks aired on Monday by Israeli public radio.

“What peace process are they talking about? There isn’t one. The Israeli foreign minister doesn’t want one,” Goldstone said.

Source

JERUSALEM JUDGE: “WITHOUT ORDER, THERE CAN BE NO DEMOCRACY”

Those were the words of a Jerusalem  Magistrate Court Judge after sentencing Ezra Nawi to one month in prison.

Ezra’s crimes? Read below…..

"We Are All Ezra Nawi" Ezra Nawi has been sentenced to 30 days in prison and a fine of 750,000 NIS after a long court battle stemming from the accusation that he assaulted two border officers. Ezra is a close friend and his story has been documented on this website extensively. In response to his verdict, Ezra argued that “the court has been permitting the occupation. The punishment doesn’t scare me, and neither does the judge.” The most important and difficult aspect of the sentence is that the judge also sentenced him to 6 months in prison if he violates law in the occupied territories in the next 3 years. This is worst than the 30-days he got, as most of Ezra’s work in the occupied territories is about protest and nonviolently opposing the occupation, which in many cases translates to violation of law according to the Israeli legal system. None of the media outlets are reporting this important detail.  This was taken from….

3684183380_5b1cace8f0

From a report in HaAretz…

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Wednesday sentenced left-wing activist Ezra Nawi to one month in prison, after convicting him of assaulting police officers during the 2007 evacuation of illegal Palestinian caravans in the southern Hebron Hills.

“Ideology is ideology, but this trial is not about ideology,” said Judge Eilata Ziskind. “Wild behavior from the right or the left is inconceivable, even if the goal is to help the weak. Without order, there can be no democracy.”

THE OLIVE TREE ~~ NOT JUST AN ORDINARY TREE

mq

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

My mother says I should have worn long sleeves for the Palestinian olive trees sometimes do not want to part with their fruits without a bit of resistance.  But somehow I feel the few minor scratches are a badge of honor and the least I owe our beloved trees. The whole year, we look forward to these days. My sister, wife, mother, and I harvested the olive trees sometimes silently, sometimes talking about mundane things, and rarely speaking of things of consequence.  But thoughts are another story.  My thoughts wonder to the Palestinians who lost their olive groves to the colonial settlement activity (over 1 million trees have been uprooted).  The picture of the old women hugging her tree that was being cut by the Israeli occupiers flashes through my mind (see photo below*).  I am reminded of my deceased father during such time. I feel at peace with the sorrow and anger overwhelmed by emotions of gratitude and serenity under the old olive trees. The olive harvest is after all a ritual that borders on an act of worship (and maybe it is).  The stimulation of our senses during the harvest is hard to describe.  It is not just the invigorating smells of the olive leaves and whiffs of olive oil but the shape and feel of each olive as our hands comb the tree like a mother combing her daughters hair, the sight of beloved ones tending the same tree before moving to the next.  We smile and greet neighbors who stop by to say hello or comment on the production this year (it is actually a poor year since last year was really good and these things alternate).  The mechanics of the harvest and the post-harvest work become routine for anyone who has done it once.  Old carpets or sheets are spread under the tree.  Olives are dropped onto those (never by hitting the tree!). The gathered olives are separated from leaves and any remaining stems removed (on a “sidr”/tray that is inclined).  They are kept aired out on mats in a dry place while big healthy olives are picked for pickling. The pickling involves cracking the olives and submerging them in water containing salt, lemon juice, pieces f lemons, and some lemon leaves.  The remaining olives are taken to the press where olive oil is produced.  In the old days, we had a stone press with an animal (donkey or mule) rotating two large circular stones placed in a hollowed stone shaped like a cake pan.  Now the modern presses (made in Turkey) do the operation in no time at all.

It is hard to describe to non-Palestinians what the olive tree means to us.  We could tell of the practical things but that would be like saying our spouses mean a lot to us because of .. (and then list all the things they do).  Of course these things are important but not the whole picture and we could never do justice that way to people or other living things we love.  But just like listing what people do helps others visualize their character, so it is with the beloved olive tree.  Palestinians over the past 5000 years have cultivated olive trees and derived great benefit from these wonderful hardy trees:

1)  The olive (Zeitoon) was pickled (rsees) and eaten and perhaps it is the only food that is found in all three meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Its nutritional value is credited with significant health benefits.

2)  The olive oil (Zeit) is THE oil in Palestine.  It is highly nutritious and used in dozens of recipes.  The main and most common folkloric recipe going back over 3000 years is Zeit u Zaatar (also sometimes called Zeit u Dukka); the bread is dipped in olive oil then in a thyme based powder (that includes sesame seeds and spices).  Thyme and Sesame and many other plans were ofcourse first domesticated and used right here in Palestine (the left wing of the fertile crescent).  Olive oil was used in Palestine more extensively in the past in oil lamps, in protection of hair and skin, as a lubricant, as an insecticide, and much more.

3)  The olive pits (and less so olive wood pieces) are used to make “prayer beads” that were used by both Palestinian Christians and Muslims for hundreds of years.  The simple act of running fingers through these beads sometimes meditating in the process while concentrating on that feeling gives us a sense of tranquility and peace (much needed considering the circumstances of Palestine over the ages).

4)  The olive wood is used to make artifacts that locals sell to pilgrims as souvenirs from the Holy Land or keep at their homes.  This is true for all monotheistic traditions. Here in Bethlehem, our ancestors made a living of this as artisans for generations (my own family relied on this and agriculture as far back as we can trace to the 16th century).

5)  The herds of sheep and goats rely on olive leaves and branches trimmed during this season for a significant part of their annual diet.

6)  The wood was used (less so recently) as firewood.  It is a hardy wood that generates much heat per unit kilogram than any other wood I know.  The glass smelters in Hebreon (famous for ist stained glass artistry) used olive wood derived coals as a main energy source.

7)  The olive trees gave our people shelter from the strong sun and inspired poets, lovers, painters, and prophets across the ages.

8) Even the left over material after the production of oil is recycled for energy source.

Here are a few pictures taken by my wife of our harvest, pickling and squeezing of olives to get our yearly supply of these trees:

http://picasaweb.google.com/jchangcpa/2009OliveHarvest?authkey=Gv1sRgCLvr8Mf57Ya5Zg&feat=directlink#

Olive production is always high in one year low in the next**. Last year was high, this year was low and next year (Inshallah) it will be higher barring further destruction by Israel as happened in Gaza recently. In the meantime, we still enjoy our olives and hope that you will come visit us in Palestine so that we can serve you some of the fantastic dishes that include olives or their products and we can do it under the olive trees.  I also noted this interesting story of a Palestinian in China proving again that you can take Palestinians outside of Palestine but you cannot take Palestine outside of Palestinians:

China’s first olive harvest strikes oil

http://www.olives101.com/2006/05/24/chinas-first-olive-harvest-strikes-oil/

The Olive tree: a folkloric briefing from Bethlehem University

http://library.bethlehem.edu/e-turathuna/OliveTree/

Photo above is of Mahfoutha Shtaya, 65 year old who “inspired us when she stood up to Israeli soldiers and settlers in 2004 when they were uprooting hundreds of olive trees in her village-the source of her community’s livelihood. Alone and defenseless, she clung to one of the few trees left standing. Her action spoke out powerfully against the wanton destruction and its disastrous effects for an already suffering people” http://www.opendemocracy.net/blog/5050?page=7

** Olive Oil production in West Bank and Gaza in tons showing yearly cyclical change with higher production in even years:

1988       31100

1989       1690

1990       27500

1991       570

1992       33700

1993       525

1994       18000

1995       8628

1996       24953

1997       5500

1998       22000

1999       3800

2000       30000

2001       6686

2002       31784

2003       11300

2004       30232

IRANITOON ~~ THE NUCLEAR THREAT FROM IRAN?

Who is the REAL threat?
Image by Bendib

Click on image to enlarge

PEACE COULD IMPAIR THE POLICIES OF ISRAEL…..

According to the following…..

Amb. Michael Oren rejects J Street conference invite

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER

Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Oren has decided not to attend the J Street conference being held next week, the Israeli embassy said Tuesday.

Israeli Ambassador to the US...

Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.
Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski

Instead a lower-level member of the embassy staff will be sent to watch and report on the event.

“In response to the question about J Street’s invitation to participate in its conference, the Embassy of Israel has been privately communicating its concerns over certain policies of the organization that may impair the interests of Israel,” the embassy said in a statement. “Accordingly, the embassy will send an observer to the conference and will follow its proceedings with interest.”

The embassy’s move stands in contrast to the White House, which will be sending one of its highest officials, National Security Advisor, Gen. James Jones, to deliver the keynote address on Tuesday.

Source

« Older entries Newer entries »