Cold and wet. That describes the weather in Jerusalem today.

Cold and wet. That describes the situation of the scores of Palestinian families living on the streets of occupied East Jerusalem, homeless because of illegal demolitions or evictions.
Homeless because they are Palestinians living in a land occupied by illegal settlers, no other reason.

The occupiers justify their actions in many ways…. “The homes were built without permits” is their favourite reason.
“This Jewish family claims the property belongs to them” …. another lie used recently.
So, the ILLEGAL occupiers claim that the Palestinians are in the wrong…..

As Americans prepare to sit down with their families this coming Thanksgiving, prayers will not be said for these suffering people….. suffering because THEIR TAX DOLLARS are financing these atrocities.

We too want to be thankful…. but how can we with the following horrors taking place right in front of our eyes?

Israeli authorities have demolished five Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem, saying they were built illegally without permits.But Palestinians say Israeli authorities have made it nearly impossible to obtain such permits.


Human rights groups have accused Israel of using the demolitions to tighten its hold on the occupied territory, despite international calls to halt the practice.



Only in Israel is it politically correct to be a racist. Racism is the norm…

Be it against Palestinians, Ethiopians, foreign workers, it is accepted, albeit ‘outlawed by legislation’, but accepted.

The following piece touches on just one aspect of this horror….

Shocking levels of racism are commonly accepted in Israel

by Yaniv Reich

Is Israel unique in having serious social problems with racism, particularly with anti-Arab racism? Of course not. Just about every country in the world has racist undercurrents that occasionally bubble to the surface. But in what other ostensibly Western, democratic societies would the team captain of a professional sports need to apologize publicly to the team’s fans for daring express the sentiment, at an anti-violence conference, that he wanted an Arab player on the team? More importantly, how could society accept this?

Yediot Ahronot reports:

Beitar Jerusalem captain Aviram Baruchyan met Thursday evening with fans belonging to the “La Familia” organization and apologized for saying that he would like to see an Arab play in the football team.

The fans told him they were hurt by the remark he made about 10 days ago at an anti-violence conference.

Baruchyan said at the end of Thursday’s meeting, “The most painful thing is that I unfortunately hurt Beitar’s fans, and I understood that I hurt them very much. It’s important for me that the players know and that everyone knows that I am with them through thick and thin, and I don’t care what other people think or write.

“However,” he added, “it’s important for me to stress that I’m not the one who decides on these things, but if at the moment the fans don’t want it, there won’t be an Arab player in Beitar.”

A useful contrast can be found in European football’s effort to stamp out racist chanting by some fans at competitions. This incident says much, of course, not just about the racist fans “hurt by the remark”, but also about the institutional environment of professional sports, civic life, and Israeli attitudes that allow occupation to continue almost entirely unchallenged .




No elections soon

Continuing in disarray, the Palestinian arena appears locked between warring factions, delayed elections and a moribund peace process with Israel, writes Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

Having discovered — rather belatedly — the futility of open- ended peace talks with Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership is contemplating taking a number of unspecified measures to “safeguard vital Palestinian national interests”. These measures could include dismantling the PA, a unilateral declaration of statehood, and halting security coordination with Israel.

Last week, the Independent Elections Committee announced that elections in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem couldn’t be held on 24 January, the date designated by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The committee, headed by two university professors, justified its recommendations by citing the “exceptional circumstances” in the Gaza Strip and also Israel’s refusal to allow elections to take place in East Jerusalem.

Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, refused to receive the committee in its official capacity, arguing that holding elections in the occupied territories in the absence of national reconciliation would be a recipe for disaster. Other Palestinian factions have also voiced their reservations about holding elections on the designated date on the grounds that such elections would divert Palestinian attention away from “real challenges”, namely the continued Israeli occupation and the struggle for independence and statehood.

It is also likely that the Election Committee’s negative decision may have been influenced by the PA president’s announcement earlier in November that he would not seek another term in office due to mounting disenchantment with the stalled peace process and the Obama administration’s failure to pressure Israel into halting settlement expansion let alone ending the 42-year-old occupation of Palestinian territories. Some observers argue that Abbas’s decision not to seek a second term as president has significantly reduced the relevance of the elections.

Fatah, which has been urging Abbas to reconsider his decision, has not chosen — and is unlikely to choose — a successor to Abbas, given the deepening crisis facing the PA as a result of the collapsing peace process with Israel and also Hamas’s adamant attitude with regard to elections. Abbas has not yet indicated if he would still order elections to be organised in the West Bank on the designated date of 24 January, or postpone elections until more favourable circumstances emerge.

Some Fatah leaders, such as Mohamed Dahlan, said his group had a “bank of ideas” on how to deal with the current crisis. Some of these ideas would have the people of the Gaza Strip take part in elections by way of casting votes by phone or by electronic mail. It is clear that such ideas are impractical and reflect Fatah’s frustration with Hamas. Hamas has indicated that if it is pushed to the corner it could take a number of counter-measures, such as organising its own elections in the Gaza Strip or perhaps creating an alternative Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in cooperation with Diaspora Palestinians.

There are widespread feeling in the occupied territories that the elections issue no longer tops Palestinian concerns amid talk that the PLO might resort to dismantling the PA and the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Earlier this week, the head of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), Salim Zaanoun, said the Central Committee of the PLO, the organisation’s highest-ranking decision-making body, would hold an important meeting in the middle of December in order to take “decisive decisions” to protect “Palestinian legitimacy” and “the Palestinian political polity” in light of Hamas’s refusal to allow elections to take place in the Gaza Strip.

Zaanoun said the PLO Central Committee would become “the legislature” in lieu of the “tentative legislative council”. He argued that the Central Committee was the body that created the PA during a meeting in Tunis in 1994 and that the PA was the legitimate son of the PLO.

Aziz Duweik, speaker of the PLC, denounced Zaanoun’s remarks as “representing a coup against democracy”. “I think what he said was illegal and incorrect. The Legislative Council is its own master and no one can abolish it and replace it by any other body.” Duweik added that, “an unelected body can’t overrule and replace an elected body.”

Other Hamas leaders accused the Fatah leadership of employing every conceivable trick to weaken Hamas, with Ahmed Bahr, deputy speaker of the PLC, describing Fatah’s efforts to snatch the council from Hamas’s hands as “a form of piracy”.

Hamas won a landslide victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections. However, Fatah, embittered by its loss, continued to plot against Hamas in the hope of recovering its erstwhile predominance in the Palestinian arena. The showdown between Fatah and Hamas is likely to continue. Hamas has scoffed at PA plans to declare statehood, arguing that a statehood declaration had already been made in Algiers more than 20 years ago and that another declaration would not be taken seriously by the international community.

Moreover, Hamas argues that “a state in the air”, or one “on paper”, wouldn’t do the Palestinians and their just cause any good and that liberation from the Israeli occupation has to precede statehood.

Most observers in occupied Palestine agree that the latest PA-PLO threats to declare statehood are more an expression of frustration and disillusionment with a chronically fruitless peace process than a desire to revert to the pre-Oslo Accords era. According to Palestinian columnist Hani Al-Masri, another declaration of statehood while the Palestinian people are still languishing under Israeli occupation wouldn’t serve the national cause and might even exacerbate prevailing frustration.

“Statehood is the result of ending the occupation. It can’t be its cause,” Al-Masri said.

Nonetheless, a statehood declaration, backed by international support, especially from Western powers, such as the US and EU, and coupled with the restoration of Palestinian national unity, would enable the Palestinians to make a significant leap towards freedom and independence from the Israeli occupation. But initial US and EU reactions to Palestinian plans to unilaterally declare statehood are discouraging — some say predictably.


Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos © by Bud Korotzer

On Saturday, November 21st, Alan Dershowitz was appearing at the 92nd Street Y in N.Y.C. to debate a person representing the new lobby, J Street, on the subject of what the future policies of Israel should be. Dershowitz supports Israel’s most aggressive policies. Aware of that, members of the N.Y. group, Jews Say No, gathered outside the Y with signs and leaflets that said “No, not in our name!” and indicated opposition to the ongoing siege of Gaza, the separation wall, the settlements, and the occupation. People carried placards that read:
Am I really a self hating Jew if I criticize the Israeli government’s unethical and inhumane policies?
Does Israel’s security really depend on illegal occupation and siege?

What Jewish law permits the killing of 1400 Gazan citizens?

Is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people consistent with the long Jewish tradition of social justice?

Doesn’t the Holocaust teach us that it must never happen to anyone again?

They also handed out copies of Justice Gladstone’s letter to the U.S. Congress regarding his report about Israel’s war crimes.

When Dershowitz arrived he told those gathered that they should come inside and hear what he had to say. People said that they had already read and heard what he had to say, that’s why they were there.

When those attending the event arrived some read the signs with a look of astonishment, obviously not realizing that there was an alternate view within the Jewish community, and a few, very few, expressed agreement. Overwhelmingly, from where this reporter was standing, the response was hostile. A few used profanity but most made comments like, “Shame on you”, “Sure, you want them to kill 6 million more of us”, or simply, “Stupid.”

Several people passing by asked to meet with members of the group to discuss the issues and learn more about Jews Say No.

JSN will continue to gather in public areas with their signs and leaflets to express an ethical voice from within the Jewish community.


Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos © by Bud Korotzer

“Don’t rent to racists, it’s an error.
Just say no to settler terror.”

Scores of human rights activists gathered in N.Y.C. outside the Park Avenue offices of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to demand that he intervene to stop the Mets from renting their facility at Citi Field to the Hebron Fund. That group planned to do a fundraiser at the Caesars Club, right above the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The protesters pointed out that renting the space to a racist group would taint the Mets commitment to diversity and offend the memory of Jackie Robinson. The demonstration was organized by Adalah-NY, CodePink, Jews Against the Occupation NYC, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Jews Say No, and Jewish Voice for Peace. The protest came after 2600 emails were sent to the Mets and countless phone calls were made. Jay Horowitz, V.P. for Media Relations for the team, told one caller that the Mets were being “bombarded” with phone calls.

On November 3rd a fully documented letter was sent to Fred Wilpon, Chairman of the Board of the New York Mets, explaining why the Mets shouldn’t rent their space to the Hebron Fund. It was signed by 11 groups from both Israel and the U.S. that work for human rights, peace, and justice in the Middle East. The letter explained exactly what the Hebron Fund is. It said that by renting to the Hebron Fund the Mets were helping Hebron’s Jewish settlers, described worldwide as violent racists, ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homes in Hebron, a West Bank city on Palestinian territory. Their goal is to drive Palestinians out of the historic old district of the city. A few years ago, Baruch Goldstein, a settler from the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement, killed 29 unarmed Palestinians praying in a Hebron mosque, and wounded 125. Goldstein’s tomb is a pilgrimage site for settlers.

The Hebron Fund is challenging Obama’s position against settlement expansion by saying, on their website, “Join us in support of Hebron and in protest of today’s building freeze….” Also on their website, they say that, “The Hebron Fund has raised more than $10 million for Hebron’s settlers from 2000 to 2008.”

The Hebron settlement is illegal. It violates international law according to the UN, the International Court of Justice, and Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that “The occupying Power shall not deport of transfer parts of it’s own civilian population in the territory it occupies.”

According to the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, and the Association for Human Rights in Israel (ACRI) Hebron “settler attacks include physical assault, including beatings, at times with clubs, stone throwing, hurling of refuse, sand, water, chlorine, empty bottles and other objects, occasionally using sharp objects, destruction of shops and doors, shattering of windows, thefts, cutting of fruit trees, destruction of merchants stands, and verbal insults.” A November 2008 report by the organization, Defense for Children International – Palestine Section, states that in Hebron, “Settler children routinely verbally harass, chase, hit and throw stones at the Palestinian school children. Their parents and other adults engage in similar behavior.” There are very many records of physical attacks by Hebron’s Jewish settlers against indigenous Palestinians. A U.S. non-profit, Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT), said that “Graffiti such as ‘Die Arab Sand-Niggers!’ is often sprayed on Palestinian houses by Israeli settlers.”

On it’s website, if you click on the symbol that says, ‘Give to the Hebron Fund’, you will be taken to the donation page which states, “Keep Hebron Jewish for the Jewish people!”

The Mets claim that it is a business decision.

Demonstrators holding up signs, chanting, and singing original songs in the street, attracted the attention of people passing by. Leaflets were distributed explaining why they were there. Some people were interested enough to come over and ask questions.

Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace, reports that the settlers of Hebron, aware of the protest being made by email, phone and letters, described those protesting as “infectious bacteria”, “germs… eating away at the Mets front office.” They were, interestingly, paraphrasing Nazi terminology. In 1938, Der Stuenmer, “Jews are pests and disseminators of disease. In whatever country they spread themselves they produce the same effects as are produced in the human body by germs.” Or, in a Nazi children’s book in the German Propaganda Archive, “Bacteria…appear not only in the form of the tiniest of living creatures but also in human form. They are the Jews!”


Report: Shalit deal to be executed Friday

Hamas sources tell Saudi network al-Arabiya prisoner exchange with Israel to take place on first day of Eid al-Adha holiday; 450 Palestinians prisoners to be released to Gaza, West Bank in return for kidnapped soldier’s transfer to Egypt

Read the report HERE



By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Today over 150 Palestinians and internationals participated in an activity to reclaim and plant olive trees on a threatened hill in an area called Um Salamuna.  Um Salamuna already lost significant amount of its land to colonial Jewish-only settlements like Efrata and Migdal Oz. The wall that includes the settlements has not been completed in this area and is slated to zig-zag to capture the hill we worked on to add it to the colonial settlement area that is already stolen.  The village is one of over 20 villages and towns in the Bethlehem area that lost land to these illegal colonial settlements.  In total the Bethlehem district had already been shrunk to about 20% of its original size.  This 20% is a concentration camp with few openings (that could be closed at whim by the colonial occupiers) but 97% of its residents (including me) are not even allowed into occupied Jerusalem (a mere five miles away).  On my way out of the area, I stopped by to take some pictures (see ) and talk with some of the occupation soldiers.  Most would not talk to me.  A black (Ethiopian) soldier exchanged a few words with me before his officer came and ordered me not to talk to him or other soldiers (lest they get a glimpse of the war crimes they are engaged in!).  I think these grass-root Palestinian activities are critical but they have to be far better organized, planned, and managed.  There were no instructions and many of the volunteers did not know what to do.  Representatives of the PA (Palestinian authority who a friend jokes as standing Public Announcement) spent much of their time talking to the media.  I urged them to speak to the people assembled and to organize better/bigger activities and most importantly to participate themselves (and their security staff) in planting and in clearing the land of the rocks etc.

Many Palestinians want the PA to develop real influence instead of fictional authority under occupation (and we are here talking about both the West Bank and Gaza).  They have lots of resources at their disposal: most of all people they could mobilize to organize and resist.  Our options are not really restricted to endless useless negotiations or shooting home-made rockets.   It is time I believe for many more activities like at Um Salamuna and far better organized activities to build, grow, reclaim land, resist military orders, topple down walls, and remove barricades (and those are just few examples of hundreds of actions that could be done). It is time to real change in Palestine.  People are ready for it.  They are just looking for direction, for real heroic leadership, a leadership of actions not words, a leadership of substance not image, of rough calloused hands not suits.  Many people I talk to here say that if the West Bank Authority under Fatah and the Gaza Authority under Hamas will not or cannot provide this kind of leadership then others should step forward.  The inability of Hamas and Fatah to even agree on a modality of pluralistic representation under occupation or to even lay out a clear program to achieve what they all say are Palestinian constants (“thawabet” including and especially rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands), this suggests they are not stepping up to the plate and the only other alternatives (leftist groups) are also divided and bickering. Could this period be similar to the period of 1933-1935 when a similar situation occurred and then came the general strike and revolution of 1936-1939 to change the political landscape or maybe 1983-1986? Perhaps those of us of all political factions and backgrounds, independents, and all humans with a living conscience who see the injustice should start mobilizing and working more. ولا يغير الله ما بقوم حتى يغيروا ما بأنفسهم

Walls & Water: Ripple Effects of the Occupation by Flora Fair
The West Bank town of Bethlehem begins to cool at dusk, and the streets surge with people enjoying the mild evening air. Down the hill from Manger Street, the city’s main drag, a small crowd lingers in the fading sunlight outside the Bethlehem Hotel — a popular spot for Western tourists. Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a biologist and professor at Bethlehem University, leaves the hotel after giving a lecture about the Israeli occupation. Qumsiyeh drives through the hillsides of Bethlehem into the neighboring village of Beit Sahour. As American ‘80s music plays on the car radio, he points to different areas and explains them: a new Israeli settlement, an Arab village without any sign indicating its location, a road used only by Palestinians, another meant only for Israelis…. More at
Please give an example (even hypothetical) of using a combination of three things from those three chapters to study a particular genetic condition: Chapter 18 On Genetic testing in individuals and populations: Chapter 19 On functional genomics; and Chapter 20 on Genetic manipulation

B’Tselem: Wastewater from settlements pollutes Palestinain town of Salfit
Bantustans and the unilateral declaration of statehood by Virginia Tilley
“The irony is indeed that, through this maneuver, the PA is seizing — even declaring as a right — precisely the same dead-end formula that the African National Congress (ANC) fought so bitterly for decades because the ANC leadership rightly saw it as disastrous. That formula can be summed up in one word: Bantustan.”

Action 1: [This is one of hundreds of thousands of properties “grabbed” by the logic of mmight=right; the continuing ethnic cleansing to create the racist ideological state] Why is Israel laying claim to an Arab home in Jaffa?
Write to the Israeli company at and

Action 2: Build an email list of politicians, media people, and average people in your area and send them regular issues and statements about the continuing racism and ethnic cleansing. Participate and spread the word to them and othesr on the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement ( The more we expose the truth, the closer the inevitable day of freedom will come and in doing so you would be saving human lives and livelihoods. And you are always welcome to come visit us in Palestine.


There are two sides to every situation involving Israel and Palestine….. Just last night the following took place in Gaza…. events that won’t be headline news in the corporate media…..

Hamas announced Saturday evening that it has reached an agreement with other militant groups in Gaza to stop firing rockets at southern Israeli towns to prevent retaliatory attacks.

“We have agreed with the factions that nobody carries out any action involving rockets for now,” Fathi Hammad, Hamas’ interior minister, was quoted as saying by the Chinese news agency Xinhua. Hamas has mostly refrained from firing rockets since January when Israel ended a three week offensive in Gaza, code-named Operation Cast Lead, aimed at stopping almost daily cross-border attacks.

Above taken from THIS report….

Here is the response from Israel….. sent to me by Ayman Quader….

-Two Palestinians have been injured in the north of the Gaza Strip, Jabalia camp. The Israeli F16 warplane has targeted a factory with one rocket, this attack has created great fear on the people of north of the Gaza.

-Four Palestinians have been injured due to the attack on the tunnel area between Rafah City and Egypt. This addition to the clear voice of the F16 warplane in different districts of the Gaza Strip

-Another Israeli air raid in middle of the Gaza Strip, near Deir Al Balah causing no injuries.

This occurred just ONE HOUR after Hamas made their announcement.

What is strange about all of the above is that Hamas is STILL listed as a terrorist organisation as far as the United States is concerned….. and Israel isn’t.




Israelis in Florida fall victim to fraud scheme

Jewish lawyer Scott Rothstein suspected of running Ponzi scheme to tune of $1 billion. FBI holds press conference, asks victims of deceit to contact agency

Click here to read about it….

Poor Israelis….. when will they ever learn ;)

One has to wonder how many of those Israelis are involved in their own personal schemes of screwing the American public….. such as the following….

The locksmith ripoffs are REAL!!!

These counterfeit locksmiths are real. They are nationwide and spreading like cockroaches. I am The Vice President of the Illinois Indiana Locksmith Association and have bee tracking these gypse type ripoffs for more then two years. They have been impersonating locksmiths all over the country. It is so large and almost Mind boggling how widespread these phonys are. The are in every major city in the US. there are many of these companys springing up all over the nation and they are all some how related to each other. The common denominator is that they all appear to be Israeli run. Most of the employees are here on tourist visas. There have been some in Texas that were arrested for acting as locksmiths without a license and it was found out their visas were expired and they were deported.

They are not small individual locksmiths but rather large organized crime type outfits.

The actual people who come out to homes to do the dirty work are employees that have been trained to ripoff the consumer. The actions and mo of all the individuals seem the same. They are taught to rip off the consumer by the big dog scum that run these outfits. There general scam is to quote a service call price of usually 55.00 and then up the charge when they get there. they routinely will drill house locks and actually charge you extra to destroy the locks so they can rip you off some more by selling you a 5.00 crap lock for 100.00 or even 200.00. they use bait and switch pricing.

Verizon has deleted almost 100,000 phony locksmith listings from there online directory in the past year. They have also about a week or two ago actually separated there advertising from the phone company portion of the business. The new company is now called idearc. I can only assume this is a logical action to avoid the possible liability of what is going on.

If you want to do a test go to and search for locksmith and choose a city and or state. Example if you search locksmith and Pensylvania the first 1000 listings and even more are all two different scam locksmith companys. The addresses are all fraudulent. Try Miami florida, las angelas ca, and many other large citys you will see the same thing.

These phony companys are raking in millions each year. One of the new york companys it has been said they are making 20 million a year.

Read the rest on Robin’s Blog….






Apathy, as Mahmoud Abbas abandons an irrelevant presidency
By Daoud Kuttab

A political leader’s decision not to seek re-election usually triggers fervent discussion about potential heirs. Yet, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ withdrawal from the presidential election scheduled for January 24, 2010, has produced nothing of the kind in Palestine – not because of a dearth of leadership or a reluctance to mention possible successors, but because the presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has become irrelevant.

Abbas’ withdrawal comes at a time when Palestinian frustration with the political process has rendered suspect the entire rationale behind the PA, established in the mid-1990s, following the Oslo Accords. The main component of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) agreement with Israel was a five-year interim period during which talks were expected to lead to an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Sixteen years later, it has become clear that the Israelis have made no effort to come to terms with Palestinian national aspirations – and that no effective effort has been made to convince them. The number of illegal Jewish settlers in Palestinian areas has doubled, leaving Palestinians increasingly convinced that negotiations are a waste of time. Many recall the preferred strategy of the former Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir: “I would have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years, and in the meantime we would have reached a half-million people in the West Bank.”

Initially, the five-year interim agreement called for the election of a Palestinian Legislative Council and an executive leader whom the Israelis wanted to call a “chairman,” spurning the word “president.” Because Arabic makes no distinction between chairman and president, the Israelis accepted use of the Arabic word rayyes in the official English text.

Palestinian refugees in exile and other Palestinians living in the diaspora were not allowed to vote. East Jerusalem Palestinians were allowed to vote only at the post office or at booths outside the city limits.

Abbas’ withdrawal merely confirms the obvious. Another such election in the near future, including the one set for January, is unlikely to occur, mainly owing to the continuing rift between the PLO and the Hamas Movement, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Hamas participated in the 2006 legislative elections, which followed Israel’s military withdrawal from Gaza. But for years Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups have rejected the Oslo process, on the grounds that free elections under Israeli occupation would be absurd. Hamas has the power to stymie the vote and has indicated that it would do so.

Moreover, Abbas has not given up his positions as head of the PLO and leader of its biggest faction, Fatah, which remains in control in the West Bank. Abbas cannot resign from his post for the foreseeable future, lest the Hamas-backed speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council take over. At the same time, no PLO official is likely to seek the presidency without Abbas’ approval, which he will withhold until a new mechanism for ending the occupation is found.

The PLO will likely gain much from Abbas’ decision, because it de-emphasizes the status of the PA president and raises the profile of his post as chairman of the PLO’s executive committee. That shift, in turn, clears the way for a generational change in leadership – and, more importantly, a transition to post-Oslo politics.

The PLO’s old guard – men like Yasser Arafat and Abbas, who led the liberation organization from exile and returned home with the Oslo Accords – have dominated the Palestinian political landscape up to now. After they depart the scene, Palestinian leaders who were born under occupation and spent time in Israeli prisons will most likely fill the vacuum.

The most prominent such figure is Marwan Barghouti, the leader of the student movement at Bir Zeit University in the 1980s and one of the main organizers of the First Intifada, resulting in his deportation by Israel in the late 1980s. In 2002, he was arrested and sentenced to a long prison term on charges that he led the Second Intifada, which had begun two years earlier, and ordered some of its military attacks.

Despite being imprisoned, Barghouti was recently elected to Fatah’s central council, and a number of others who spent time in Israeli prisons will join him. One is Jibril Rajoub, imprisoned for 19 years and deported in the First Intifada, only to return to lead one of the security services after the PA was established. Another is Mahmoud Dahlan, also an ex-prisoner and former security official, although the loss of Gaza to Hamas, for which many Palestinians hold him partly responsible, has dimmed his leadership prospects.

Finally, there is Nasser al-Qudwa, the former PLO representative to the United Nations. Qudwa is a dark-horse candidate to succeed Abbas – a possible compromise figure who has never been directly involved in security or military activities. For many Palestinians, Qudwa, a soft-spoken, multi-lingual nationalist (and Arafat’s nephew), presents an acceptable face for Palestine both locally and internationally.

The coming months will reveal whether we are, indeed, witnessing the dawn of the post-Oslo era in Palestinian politics, and whether a new leader, with new supporters, will be required to revive the Palestinian cause. Whoever emerges on top will have to present an effective strategy to end four decades of military occupation and bring about a truly independent state that a majority of Palestinians can embrace.



Mourning uprooted olive trees in West Bank villages
By Gideon Levy

The old tractor sputtered up the hill, its engine seemingly about to expire, but its big wheels bumping across the rocky terrain. We stood in the back, swaying wildly, holding on for dear life. On the hilltop loomed the big antenna of the settlement of Yitzhar, whose houses lay on the other side of the hill. The very knowledge of their presence inspired dread. It was a glorious sunny day, the spectacular valley sprawling below. The houses of the Palestinian village of Burin lie in this valley, which lies between two hills: on one stands Yitzhar; on the other, Har Bracha, outside Nablus.


Burin is caught between a rock and hard place, between Har Bracha and Yitzhar. We have visited Burin often, most recently after settlers burned down some of its homes. Settlers once stole a horse from a villager, torched fields, demolished a home in the village and uprooted olive trees. We have frequently documented the uprooting of olive trees: Less than a month ago, in this space, we told the story of the beautiful vineyard belonging to the agriculture teacher Mohammed Abu Awad from the village of Mureir, whose 300 trees were felled by intruders – probably from the illegal outpost of Adei Ad – using buzz saws.

Here, clues left by the criminals suggest that they used handsaws and ripped out the crowns of the trees with their hands, one crown after another, one branch after another, rending and wounding the trees. In Mureir, the agriculture teacher wrapped the stumps in sacks, giving them the look of figures in shrouds. Here, in Burin, the stumps remain where they were hurled on the ground, stacks of dead wood, branches withering, until finally the farmer will use them as firewood to heat the village’s clay ovens, the tabuns.

But the feeling is the same, the affront is the same and so is the grief. In October, the farmer Abu Awad said about the ruins of his vineyard in Mureir: “What must you feel if you plant and tend and then it’s all cut down? What must I feel? If I had been there, I’d have told them, cut off my hands, but don’t cut down my trees – What did the tree do to them, for them to treat it like this?” (Haaretz Magazine, October 16)


And now the farmer Ibrahim Imran tells us in Burin: “These trees are like my children.” Hands or children, the grief of those who tend their olive groves is searing and deeply moving. The inability of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and of the officers of the Israel Police to protect the groves of these farmers, to protect their property and their honor, is the inability of all of us.

We stood on the rear fender of the tractor as it clambered its way up the hill. Standing with us was Ruth Kedar, an activist from Machsom Watch, which monitors checkpoints, and Yesh Din (Volunteers for Human Rights). She has crisscrossed the territories in her private car for years, documenting wrongs and injustice. Her husband, retired colonel Paul Kedar, is also active in Yesh Din. It’s worth lingering over his riveting biography: Paul Kedar comes from a Revisionist family; his father was one of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s secretaries. He himself was one of the founders of the Israel Air Force and later served as air attache in Paris during the period of the Sinai Campaign. He has been in the Mossad and served as consul general in New York, among other state posts. He was a friend of Moshe Dayan and Shimon Peres. He too now devotes his time to documenting the occupation and struggling against its abuses. The Kedars, now in their eighties, will soon receive the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and deservedly so.

Above the noise of the tractor, one of the Palestinian farmers tells us that he heard that his neighbor, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, from Yitzhar, has permitted the killing of all non-Jews. Indeed, Shapira, head of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar (named for the biblical Joseph), recently published a book, “The King’s Torah,” in which he states that it is permissible to kill every gentile who constitutes a threat to the Jewish people, even if he is a child or an infant.

When Imran arrived to work his land early Thursday morning, he was appalled. It was, he says, “the height of frustration,” and adds: “After God, I rely only on my olive trees. These trees are no less than 70 years old. My great-great-grandfather planted them.”

Imran called everyone he could think of – the District Coordinations Offices, the International Red Cross, B’Tselem and Yesh Din – and also filed a complaint with the Israel Police at Ariel. Investigators came to the grove and took fingerprints, he says, but he has yet to receive confirmation of having submitted a report. Yesh Din is now handling his complaint.

An IDF jeep suddenly arrives to see what’s going on – just the kind of jeep that rarely shows up when the settlers go on a rampage.

A spokesman for the Shai (Samaria-Judea) District of the police stated in response: “On November 12, a resident of Burin complained that he noticed that 90 olive trees on his land had been chopped down. The damage was documented by the criminal investigations department at the site, and trackers scoured the area to find footprints. Testimonies were taken from two locals: the owner of the land and his worker. The police are conducting additional investigative activities, among them locating suspects and witnesses. The Samaria District police are also operating on the intelligence plane.”



Tribute to terror leader Kahane planned by Israeli legislators
Jonathan Cook

A plan by right-wing legislators in Israel to commemorate the anniversary this month of the death of Meir Kahane, whose banned anti-Arab movement is classified as a terrorist organization, risks further damaging the prospects for talks between Israel and the Palestinians, US officials have warned.

A move to stage the commemoration in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is being led by Michael Ben-Ari, who was elected this year and is the first self-declared former member of Kahane’s party, Kach, to become a legislator since the movement was banned 15 years ago.

The US Embassy, in Tel Aviv, has sent a series of e-mails to Reuven Rivlin, the parliamentary speaker, asking that he intervene to block the event.

According to US officials, pressure is being exerted on behalf of George Mitchell, the US President Barack Obama’s envoy to the region, who is concerned that it will add to his troubles as Israeli and Palestinian leaders clash over a possible move by the Palestinians to issue a unilateral declaration of statehood.

Some Israeli legislators have warned that Ben-Ari and his supporters are gaining a stronger foothold in parliament, in an indication of the country’s increasing lurch rightwards.

“Ben-Ari and the advisers he has brought with him are unabashed representatives for Kach and Kahane’s ideas,” said Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator and the deputy speaker. “What we have is in effect a terrorist cell in the parliament.”

Kahane, a US rabbi who emigrated to Israel in the early 1970s, advocated the expulsion of all Arabs from “Greater Israel,” an area that the far right believes encompasses not only Israel but also the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and parts of neighboring Arab states.

Kahane was elected to parliament in 1984 but was barred from standing again four years later. He was assassinated by an Egyptian-American in New York in November 1990.

In 1994 Kach was declared a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States after Baruch Goldstein, a supporter, went on an armed rampage through the Ibrahimi mosque in the Palestinian city of Hebron, killing 29 worshippers and injuring 150.

Despite the ban, Kach is still active in many West Bank settlements, especially in and around Hebron, where shrines to Kahane and Goldstein regularly attract large numbers of devotees.

Ben-Ari, one of four members of the National Union elected to the 120-seat parliament, has included as his parliamentary advisers two former Kach activists, Baruch Marzel and Itimar Ben Gvir, who are leaders of the far-right Jewish National Front. Ben-Ari has never disavowed his support for Kahane, telling The Jerusalem Post newspaper this month that Kahane “dedicated his whole life to Israel … He was a great man and a great leader.”

This month Ben-Ari was the voice on an advertisement on the Israeli radio station Reshet Bet to promote a public memorial service for Kahane held by his family. It was also reported that for the first time posters had been placed in many central areas of Jerusalem publicizing the event and declaring “We all know now — Meir Kahane was right.”

The United States has expressed more concern, however, at a commemoration being planned in parliament.

Michael Perlstein, the second secretary at the US Embassy, is reported to have e-mailed Rivlin several times, asking whether the commemoration was likely to be approved. According to e-mails leaked to the Israeli media, he added: “This is something Senator Mitchell and his team are following with some concern.”

An embassy spokesman reiterated those concerns last week: “To stir up controversy at the same time that we are trying to get people back to the [negotiating] table, is not productive of that effort. It is only natural that Senator Mitchell would be paying attention to that — and the US government as well.”

Rivlin has reassured the United States that he has refused Ben-Ari permission to stage a commemoration but has also admitted that it would be difficult for him to stop a “stunt” by Kahane supporters in the chamber.

“We are talking about a provocation,” Rivlin told the Haaretz newspaper. “The man [Kahane] and his outlawed movement cannot be separated. This is an attempt to bring the Kach movement into the Knesset through the back door.”

Last week, Ben-Ari appealed against the speaker’s decision to the House Committee, which rules on issues of parliamentary procedure. Rivlin has said he will abide by the committee’s decision.

Its chairman, Yariv Levine of the ruling Likud Party, said he was not happy with Rivlin’s refusal and is reported to be working with the speaker and Ben-Ari to find a solution.

Ben-Ari responded angrily to the US concern: “I was elected to the Knesset by citizens of the independent state of Israel. The flagrant involvement of Mitchell has crossed a red line and it testifies to the bowed head of the Knesset speaker that is turning the Knesset into a dish rag.”

Ben-Ari is probably not the only former member of Kach in parliament. Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister and leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, the third largest in parliament, is believed to have joined Kach when he first arrived in Israel in the 1970s. His membership was revealed in February by Yossi Dayan, the movement’s former secretary general.

Last week Ben-Ari had to cancel a trip to the United States, his first overseas visit, after he was refused a US visa. He had intended to speak to American Jewish groups to encourage emigration to Israel.

To date, the only authorized parliamentary commemorations are for Yitzhak Rabin, the prime minister assassinated by a right-wing Jew in 1995, and for Rehavam Zeevi, a former general and leader of a far-right anti-Arab party, who was assassinated by Palestinian gunmen in 2001.



Photos © by Bud Korotzer










Also read THIS report by Stephen Lendman


Zionist propaganda body seeks volunteers to distort Wikipedia input on Middle East

by Khalid Amayreh

A Zionist hasbara (propaganda) body based in North America is trying to recruit “volunteers” whose main job is to distort the input of the internet’s most visited websites in Israel’s favor.

Propaganda efforts are reportedly focused on popular sites such as Wikipedia, the huge on-line encyclopedia which can be edited by anyone

CAMERA, which calls itself a “committee for accuracy in Middle East reporting in America,” already has a team of dozens of paid Jewish propagandists who regularly and often scandalously distort basic data pertaining to such themes as Israeli apartheid, Zionism and its ideological similarity to Nazism, Israeli state terror and ill-treatment of Palestinians as well as other issues related to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Recently CAMERA sent a circular to potential Zionist propagandists, asking them to help ensure a pro-Israeli bias in the internet.

“The idea behind Wikipedia is that if thousands of well-meaning and informed volunteers collaborate on an online encyclopedia, the result would be more accurate, up-to-date and inclusive than any print encyclopedia could possibly be.”

The circular went on: “CAMERA seeks 10 volunteers to help us keep Israel-related entries on Wikipedia from becoming tainted by anti-Israel editors. All it takes to be an effective volunteer is a basic comfort level with computers. Call or email me, and I will train you on how to become a volunteer Wikipedia editor.”

Reputed for its notoriously mendacious and inaccurate input, CAMERA has consistently sought to exonerate the Israeli occupation forces of war crimes committed against innocent civilians especially in the Gaza Strip.

Acting as a propaganda mouthpiece for the Israeli occupation army, the group, relying on questionable and often concocted statements by Israeli army spokespersons, argued on many occasions that the widespread killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army occurred by mistake and that measures were often taken to minimize civilian casualties.

Earlier this year, the Israeli army carried out a virtually genocidal onslaught against the nearly totally unprotected Gaza Strip, killing and maiming thousands of innocent civilians, including hundreds of children.

Moreover, a sustained aerial bombing by the Israeli air force destroyed more than six thousand Palestinian homes and hundreds of public buildings including more than a hundred mosques.

CAMERA, whose staff includes former Israeli Shine Beth’ officials, attacked the recently-published Goldstone report, accusing the former South African Judge, who is Jewish, of reporting “inaccurate information.”

The Goldstone report, based on meticulously authenticated data obtained first-hand testimonies from victims, accused the Israeli forces of knowingly and deliberately committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 21-day onslaught.

The data contained in the Goldstone report were corroborated by testimonies made by Israeli soldiers who took part in the winter onslaught.

Israel, apparently fearing international condemnation, had refused to cooperate with the Goldstone commission.



Intro by Chippy Dee

This was a dark day for this country – a very strong defender of the people, Lynne Stewart, entered prison – a lawyer and activist.  Charles Barron accompanied her.  It was one of the saddest sights I’ve seen.  Before entering she told the crowd of about 200 that she loved them and then said today was the anniversary of the execution of Joe Hill and reminded us of some of his final words – “Don’t mourn.  Organize.”   This may be just the beginning.

Terror Trial Lawyer Begins Prison Sentence

Surrounded by supporters, disbarred civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart surrendered to U.S. marshals Thursday to begin her prison sentence.On Tuesday, a federal appeals court judge upheld her conviction and ordered the 70-year-old to begin serving her 28-month sentence.


Stewart was found guilty in 2005 of helping a client who was convicted in a plot to blow up city landmarks to communicate with fellow extremists.

Before heading to prison, a defiant Stewart said she was in good spirits.

“It’s very hard to feel downhearted today. I know there will be other day’s but I can take whatever they dish out. I am part of a movement, I am part of a left movement a mass movement and I am not going to back off ever,” Stewart said.

The judge who ruled on the case is deciding whether to change her sentence after an appeals court suggested it may be too lenient.

Click HERE to see video


Settler Rabbi publishes “The complete guide to killing non-Jews” — UPDATED

Didi Remez


The ultra-fundamentalist Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar is infamous for its involvement in settler violence against Palestinians. Memorably, one of the students fired a homemade “Kassam” rocket at the neighboring village of Burin in June 2008. This morning, Maariv reports that the Yeshiva’s dean has just published on the proscribed dos and don’ts (mainly the former) regarding the killing of gentiles. Here are some choice excerpts.

“In any situation in which a non-Jew’s presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created…When a non-Jew assists a murderer of Jews and causes the death of one, he may be killed, and in any case where a non-Jew’s presence causes danger to Jews, the non-Jew may be killed…The [Din Rodef] dispensation applies even when the pursuer is not threatening to kill directly, but only indirectly…Even a civilian who assists combat fighters is considered a pursuer and may be killed. Anyone who assists the army of the wicked in any way is strengthening murderers and is considered a pursuer. A civilian who encourages the war gives the king and his soldiers the strength to continue. Therefore, any citizen of the state that opposes us who encourages the combat soldiers or expresses satisfaction over their actions is considered a pursuer and may be killed. Also, anyone who weakens our own state by word or similar action is considered a pursuer…Hindrances—babies are found many times in this situation. They block the way to rescue by their presence and do so completely by force. Nevertheless, they may be killed because their presence aids murder. There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”…In a chapter entitled “Deliberate harm to innocents,” the book explains that war is directled mainly against the pursuers, but those who belong to the enemy nation are also considered the enemy because they are assisting murderers.

A full translation of the Maariv article can be read after the jump.


The complete guide to killing non-Jews

Roi Sharon, Maariv, November 9 2009 [page 2 with front page teaser]

When is it permissible to kill non-Jews? The book Torat ha-Melekh [The King’s Teaching], which was just published, was written by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the dean of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in the community of Yitzhar near Nablus, together with another rabbi from the yeshiva, Yossi Elitzur. The book contains no fewer than 230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guide for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew.

Although the book is not being distributed by the leading book companies, it has already received warm recommendations from right-wing elements, including recommendations from important rabbis such as Yitzhak Ginsburg, Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, that were printed at the beginning of the book. The book is being distributed via the Internet and through the yeshiva, and at this stage the introductory price is NIS 30 per copy. At the memorial ceremony that was held over the weekend in Jerusalem for Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was killed nineteen years ago, copies of the book were sold.

Throughout the book, the authors deal with in-depth theoretical questions in Jewish religious law regarding the killing of non-Jews. The words “Arabs” and “Palestinians” are not mentioned even indirectly, and the authors are careful to avoid making explicit statements in favor of an individual taking the law into his own hands. The book includes hundreds of sources from the Bible and religious law. The book includes quotes from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, one of the fathers of religious Zionism, and from Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli, one of the deans of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the stronghold of national-religious Zionism that is located in Jerusalem.

The book opens with a prohibition against killing non-Jews and justifies it, among other things, on the grounds of preventing hostility and any desecration of God’s name. But very quickly, the authors move from prohibition to permission, to the various dispensations for harming non-Jews, with the central reason being their obligation to uphold the seven Noahide laws, which every human being on earth must follow. Among these commandments are prohibitions on theft, bloodshed and idolatry. [The seven Noahide laws prohibit idolatry, murder, theft, illicit sexual relations, blasphemy and eating the flesh of a live animal, and require societies to institute just laws and law courts]

“When we approach a non-Jew who has violated the seven Noahide laws and kill him out of concern for upholding these seven laws, no prohibition has been violated,” states the book, which emphasizes that killing is forbidden unless it is done in obedience to a court ruling. But later on, the authors limit the prohibition, noting that it applies only to a “proper system that deals with non-Jews who violate the seven Noahide commandments.”

The book includes another conclusion that explains when a non-Jew may be killed even if he is not an enemy of the Jews. “In any situation in which a non-Jew’s presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created,” the authors state. “When a non-Jew assists a murderer of Jews and causes the death of one, he may be killed, and in any case where a non-Jew’s presence causes danger to Jews, the non-Jew may be killed.”

One of the dispensations for killing non-Jews, according to religious law, applies in a case of din rodef [the law of the “pursuer,” according to which one who is pursuing another with murderous intent may be killed extrajudicially] even when the pursuer is a civilian. “The dispensation applies even when the pursuer is not threatening to kill directly, but only indirectly,” the book states. “Even a civilian who assists combat fighters is considered a pursuer and may be killed. Anyone who assists the army of the wicked in any way is strengthening murderers and is considered a pursuer. A civilian who encourages the war gives the king and his soldiers the strength to continue. Therefore, any citizen of the state that opposes us who encourages the combat soldiers or expresses satisfaction over their actions is considered a pursuer and may be killed. Also, anyone who weakens our own state by word or similar action is considered a pursuer.”

Rabbis Shapira and Elitzur determine that children may also be harmed because they are “hindrances.” The rabbis write as follows: “Hindrances—babies are found many times in this situation. They block the way to rescue by their presence and do so completely by force. Nevertheless, they may be killed because their presence aids murder. There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

In addition, the children of the leader may be harmed in order to apply pressure to him. If attacking the children of a wicked ruler will influence him not to behave wickedly, they may be harmed. “It is better to kill the pursuers than to kill others,” the authors state.

In a chapter entitled “Deliberate harm to innocents,” the book explains that war is directly mainly against the pursuers, but those who belong to the enemy nation are also considered the enemy because they are assisting murderers.

Retaliation also has a place and purpose in this book by Rabbis Shapira and Elitzur. “In order to defeat the enemy, we must behave toward them in a spirit of retaliation and measure for measure,” they state. “Retaliation is absolutely necessary in order to render such wickedness not worthwhile. Therefore, sometimes we do cruel deeds in order to create the proper balance of terror.”

In one of the footnotes, the two rabbis write in such a way that appears to permit individuals to act on their own, outside of any decision by the government or the army.

“A decision by the nation is not necessary to permit shedding the blood of the evil kingdom,” the rabbis write. “Even individuals from the nation being attacked may harm them.”

Unlike books of religious law that are published by yeshivas, this time the rabbis added a chapter containing the book’s conclusions. Each of the six chapters is summarized into main points of several lines, which state, among other things: “In religious law, we have found that non-Jews are generally suspected of shedding Jewish blood, and in war, this suspicion becomes a great deal stronger. One must consider killing even babies, who have not violated the seven Noahide laws, because of the future danger that will be caused if they are allowed to grow up to be as wicked as their parents.”

Even though the authors are careful, as stated, to use the term “non-Jews,” there are certainly those who could interpret the nationality of the “non-Jews” who are liable to endanger the Jewish people. This is strengthened by the leaflet “The Jewish Voice,” which is published on the Internet from Yitzhar, which comments on the book: “It is superfluous to note that nowhere in the book is it written that the statements are directly only to the ancient non-Jews.” The leaflet’s editors did not omit a stinging remark directed at the GSS, who will certainly take the trouble to get themselves a copy. “The editors suggest to the GSS that they award the prize for Israel’s security to the authors,” the leaflet states, “who gave the detectives the option of reading the summarized conclusions without any need for in-depth study of the entire book.”

One student of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar explained, from his point of view, where Rabbis Shapira and Elitzur got the courage to speak so freely on a subject such as the killing of non-Jews. “The rabbis aren’t afraid of prosecution because in that case, Maimonides [Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, 1135–1204] and Nahmanides [Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, 1194–1270] would have to stand trial too, and anyway, this is research on religious law,” the yeshiva student said. “In a Jewish state, nobody sits in jail for studying Torah.”


  • November 12 2009 Glenn Greenwald has a good comparative analysis of Muslim, Christian and Jewish fundamentalist terror and Jim Sleeper blasts critics of the Ft. Hood massacre who choose to ignore Jewish fundamentalist terror.
  • November 13, 2009 –  JJ Goldberg points out that you can’t tell all Rabbis by the company they keep, Richard Silverstein sees the connection between this publication and the Jewish terrorist Jack Teitel and MJ Rosenberg blasts Krauthammer for selectively attaching religion to terrorism.
  • November 14, 2009 Ori Nir provides a useful catalog of Jewish terrorist activity 1978. I would argue that the he should have included the many incidents over the past few years, some of which have resulted in loss of life, that settlers have used the Price Tagtactic — violent attacks on Palestinians aimed at to deterring the IDF. This is is terrorism in the narrow definition of the term.
  • November 15, 2009 – Brig. Gen. Avichai Rontzki, IDF Chief Rabbi and a resident of the West Bank settlement of Itamar told settler soldiers last Thursday that troops who show mercy to enemy will be damned.’ Lara Friedman provides a comprehensive backgrounder on Ronztki and his fundamentalist influence on the IDF.  Richard Silverstein draws parallels in religious motivation between recently apprehended settler terrorist Jack Teitel and Nidal Malik Hasan, the instigator of the Ft. Hood massacre.
  • November 16, 2009 Avrum Burg on how this kind of Judaism inspires murder: “”Just go to a synagogue on Sabbath eve.  Go in and pick up the weekly Parasha [Torah portion] commentary pages, read them and you will see that Teitel is not alone.  Teitel is just one of an entire plantation of bad weed.  Some of those pages are actually financed by the state, through the Ministry of Religious Affairs.  The racist lore, as taught by the rabbis of Hebron and Bet El, is everywhere.  In the end, someone gets up and does the deed.  We tend to ignore this, but horrible things happen there.  It is in the air.  I know those people.  Some of them are my relatives.  They do terrible things and we fail to notice.”
Taken from URUKNET



PA police arrest journalist


Suubmitted by Khalid Amayreh

Al-Khalil (Hebron), Occupied West Bank

Palestinian Authority (PA) police have arrested Walid Suleiman, a Hebron-based journalist on suspicion of “inciting against the PA” and “undermining vital Palestinian interests.”

His family said the Preventive Security Force (PSF) summoned Suleiman for what was to be a “brief interrogation” on his activities, including public lectures on Islam and current affairs.

However, upon his arrival at the PSF headquarters in downtown Hebron, Suleiman was arrested until “a further notice.”

Suleiman had been arrested twice by the PA security apparatus on concocted charges pertaining to his outspoken criticisms of PA conduct.

A few years ago, the PA closed down the offices of the bimonthly paper, the Hebron Times, which Suleiman owned and edited.

The tabloid, now published in electronic form,  can be accessed through the following link:

The draconian measure was part of the PA clampdown on free press as demanded by the Bush administration.

The PA security apparatus lately resumed a campaign against the non-conformist press, arresting three journalists working for the Gaza-based al-Aqsa Television.

Suleiman, 46,  had been a globe-trotter who toured more than 100 countries on foot.

Suleiman’s brother, Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh, described the arrest as “a stupid measure aimed at muzzling freedom of speech and expression.”

“I think the PA is still living in the 1950s and 1960s. It seems they haven’t heard of the internet and the global village.”

Amayreh himself had been detained and ill-treated by the PA for criticizing the PA.



By Khalid Amayreh

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is a manifestly fascist-minded demagogue who thinks that everything Jewish  must override everything non-Jewish, regardless of all considerations.

He is also a first-class liar who believes  that lying to the world, including  Jews,  is the first line of defense against growing opposition  to  genocidal Israeli criminality.

Indeed, like Nazi Germany, which waged war on Europe and killed or  caused the death of millions in the name of self-defense, Israel is  doing the same thing by threatening and attacking its neighbors, especially the helpless Palestinians who have been trying for decades to rid themselves of the Nazi-like Israeli occupation of their country.

There is no doubt that Netanyahu is a true pathological liar. Falsifying reality is simply an inherent and conspicuous character of the notorious bigot.

Netanyahu claimed this week that nuclear-armed Israel is the world’s most threatened county.

He was quoted by the Ha’aretz newspaper  as saying that “ Israel  is facing enemies  who don’t conceal their intentions, who first attack us physically and then attack our right to self-defense.”

But Is Israel really a threatened country?

Obviously, the claim is a big lie because Israel is actually a threatening, not a  threatened country. Israel, which possesses a huge stockpile of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, has been attacking other countries from day-1 of its hateful existence.

Indeed, Israel has been trying relentlessly to annihilate the national existence of another people, the Palestinians, by  arrogating their land, demolishing their homes and towns, and expelling them from their ancestral homeland.

Harsh ethnic cleansing, which takes a variety of aspects, has always been and continues to be Israel ’s modus operandi in treating the Palestinians. Israel is probably the only country in this world that thrives on murder, theft and lies, a country that murders children on their way to school and then cries out “self-defense! Holocaust! terror.!

In his monologue of lies, Netanyahu also claimed that Palestinian “rocket attacks” on Israeli settlements were not experienced by any other country since German attacks on Britain during WWII.

Well, if the term “pornographic lies” has any meaning, it is people like  Netanyahu and his colleagues who  give it meaning.

After all, no honest person under the sun can compare the extremely primitive projectiles fired by desperate Palestinians resistance fighters on Israeli settlements, with the German raids and rocket attacks against London and other British cities.

Indeed, while the German missile and other attacks on British cities killed thousands of Britons,  eight years of Palestinian rocket firing on Israel  killed less than ten Israeli settlers. In other words, more people would die in a single traffic accident in Israel than they would in eight years of  Palestinian “rocket attacks”.

More to the point, a single attack by Israeli fighter-bombers, e.g. F-16s and F-15s, would  cause more death and devastation than all Palestinian rockets would in many years.

This is exactly what happened during the past ten years. Israeli aerial and artillery attacks on Palestinian population centers killed thousands of innocent Palestinians. Thousands others were maimed and badly injured.  In fact, it is amply safe to state that for every Israeli settler killed by Palestinian “rockets,” a thousand Palestinians, mostly children, women and other innocent civilians, were killed by the Jewish Wehrmacht, deceptively known as “Israeli Defense Forces.”

This massive Israeli criminality culminated in the virtual genocide  in Gaza last winter, when hundreds of Israeli war planes, the state-of-the-art of the American technology of death,  rained bombs, depleted uranium and white phosphorus, on unprotected Palestinian towns.

The pornographic killings in Gaza   proved to be far more satanic and diabolic  than many of the crimes committed by the Nazis. The Nazis attacked a super-power at least by that era’s standards and bombed well-protected towns, Whereas the Nazis of our time, the Israelis, rained death on totally unprotected refugees who had absolutely no means of defense or  protection  against the virtual genocide.

Actually, what Israel did to Gaza and Gazans in December and January can be compared to the extermination of Germany’s real or perceived enemies during the War.

In both cases, innocent and helpless people were mercilessly  murdered  en mass for political or ideological reasons. Hence, the appropriateness of the term “Nazis of our time.”

Like Netanyahu is doing today, many Nazi leaders and ideologues tried to rationalize and justify their evil acts by claiming that Germany, the motherland, was facing mortal threats and the German nation was faced with either of two choices, destroying the enemies using a no-holds-barred approach, or be destroyed itself.

But Israel is using the same Nazi arguments very lightly, not to repulse any real threats, but rather to justify real crimes against humanity being committed against the captive Palestinians.

Otherwise, how can people of any semblance of rectitude buy the big lie that a country that possesses  more 300 nuclear heads, and has one of the strongest armies in the world, and above that controls the government of the world’s only superpower,  is threatened more than any other state in the world?

It is, of course, unlikely that Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders think in their hearts that they are not lying. They do know they are lying. This is quite natural for a state that is based on lies and myths such as the claims that Palestine didn’t exist and the Palestinians were not a distinctive nation and that Israel didn’t expel the native Palestinians to the four corners of the globe.

In light, it is very important that the peoples of the world, men and women who value honesty and justice, be constantly on the alert to confront and refute Zionist hasbara lies with the same aggressiveness and resolve with which they confront Zionist crimes.

In short, Israel must not be allowed to translate its pornographic lies into a license to commit a holocaust against the Palestinian people and other peoples of the Middle East.

The Zionists are capable of doing the unthinkable. They behave as the way the Nazis behaved because they possess the same mindset. The only difference lies in name, place and circumstances.


By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Many years ago my son had two pet hamsters who took turns running on a metal exercise wheel without of course getting anywhere (but occasionally we would let them run free in a room in the home).  I was reminded of those two hamsters this week because politicians occasionally do the same running around without going anywhere by only verbally (thus only exercising their speech muscles). The Israeli regime just decided to continue violating International law by building 900 new units in the Jewish only colony of Gilo near us here in Bethlehem.  The Bethlehem district has lost nearly 80% of its areas to Israel and the remaining 20% (the concentration camp) is now very crowded with half of the population in the district being refugees or displaced Palestinians.  Yet politicians ranging from German Chancellor to French foreign minister to British Prime Minister to the US president took turns repeating meaningless words about this action “delaying” or “harming” the “peace process” (as if there is a peace process or any possibility of a fair negotiations between the 4th strongest army in the world and an occupied colonized people). Ariel Sharon who is just as alive as the peace process used to pronounce it the “piss process”. In the 1970s and 1980s European and North American leaders used to accurately describe settlements/colonies are ILLEGAL (Israel is violating International law by building in the occupied areas) yet do nothing about them (actually in many cases fund them and support them).  Now they are “not helpful” “unilateral” and “they delay”…

There are actually numerous UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR, those not vetoed by the US) that clearly articulate their illegality.  If Israel was forced to comply with just half of the 35 UNSCR that it currently violating, we would have peace a long time ago.  Here is just one UNSCR:

The Security Council, Having heard the statement of the Permanent Representative of Jordan and other statements made before the Council, Stressing the urgent need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, Affirming once more that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 1/ is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem,

1. Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

2. Strongly deplores the failure of Israel to abide by Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967, 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968 and 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971 and the consensus statement by the President of the Security Council on 11 November 1976 2/ and General Assembly resolutions 2253 (ES-V) and 2254 (ES-V) of 4 and 14 July 1967, 32/5 of 28 October 1977 and 33/113 of 18 December 1978;

3. Calls once more upon Israel, as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories…  (UNSC resolution 446)

Yet, half a million colonial settlers were transferred to the occupied territories without any sanctions applied on Israel (thanks to the US veto power used at the behest of a foreign policy hijacked by the Israel-first lobby in Washington).   Politicians regurgitate utter feeble ridiculous statements about the “peace process” being harmed.  It is like standing over a rotting corpse with bones showing and saying to the murderer that the current actions make the chance of revival of the victim more difficult.

But what most irritates us here in Palestine is the collaborative Arab regimes and certain Palestinian self-appointed “leaders” whose spinning wheel also squeaks without going anywhere.  They think the only way to maintain their privileged positions is to coddle up the US/Israeli policies while trying to maintain some legitimacy with their people by “condemning” or “deploring” Israeli actions on the ground that also “harm” the “peace process”.  Most do not understand or even read history.  They do not believe in their people or in the power of social movements to change history even when some of them come from backgrounds of social movements that did change history (e.g. the uprisings of 1987-1991 which was like the 1936 uprising transformational). And if we look at other countries, we see such social movements that made history (e.g. in the US getting the women’s right to vote, ending the war on Vietnam, ending US support for Apartheid South Africa, civil rights movement, etc). As the ebbs and flows of activism go, we now see beginnings of new energy and movements precisely as the last attempts to prolong the failing track of Oslo (it was bound to fail because it was not based on International law or human rights but on the dominant regime’s needs for subduing the resistance of the natives without giving them back their rights).

Below are links to some informative articles about the Israel lobby buying US congress, Israel’s forgery, an open letter from a friend in Gaza to Obama, and a great article by Ali Abunimah on the one-state solution.  I also added a brief letter from a friend who, like me, relocated to Palestine (I found it inspiring)

Congressmen Denouncing U.N. Inquiry Receive Handsome Donations from Pro-Israel Lobby

Israel forgery of “Iran shipment of Weapons to Hizballah”

Open letter from Dr. Haidar Eid of Gaza to the President of the US

Israeli Jews and the one-state solution, by Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 10 November 2009

A letter of a friend who now lives in Palestine.  I connect so much to what he says and with his permission, I am sharing it

To Dina from Rajai Masri

I  never felt so fulfilled as I do now, Dina.  Not at all in terms of material gratifications or narrow personal achievements.  It is, very truly, being in the midst of our people, living their aspirations and frustrations, but, foremost, trying to improve their lot, extremely minuscule an effort, yet, being able to do that.  You just can not imagine, other things being equal, how beautiful our youth are, and how in need they are for  role models to guide them with sincerity and selfless devotion.  Nearly every one here helps support a larger family that undoubtedly lost a son or a daughter or a few.  These young men look so healthy, so proud and so human.  They are so solid despite that all they know, knew and have experienced is personal suffering and deprivation.

The other day, Dina, driving to Jerusalem, on a Friday, I had the Radio listening to a program called Maraseel,  (Messages).  It broadcasts every Friday afternoon where families of Palestinian prisoners convey messages to their incarcerated beloved ones in Israeli jails.  Listened to scores of aggrieved mothers, so brave and inspiring convey news to their beloved imprisoned children.  So many, Wallahi, so many of these mothers have more than one child (son or a daughter) in Israeli Jails at the same time.  Here is a mother sending her greetings to a son in Ofar prison and another message to two other sons in Al-Naqab, or Asqalan, or Majido Prison.  The number of prisons, Dina, mentioned during that short broadcast counts in scores.

What’s heart wrenching, Dina, and what reduce us the Afandis, so called privileged Arabs, Palestinians and world humanists, to the size of the newt, is how removed and ambivalent we are of the sufferings and poverty of these families often left without a bread earner who is either in prison or is martyred.  Here is a mother telling her son, or sons, that she sent them money to purchase their ration of cigarettes.  Another telling her son or sons of money sent to them to purchase some of their consumer needs.  Another mother speaks of buying her son clothes that she sent him.  One mother, Dina, assuaging the bereavement of a son who is just sentenced to 12 years, to never mind, be strong and confident.  Another, telling her son that the lawyers now have a date for his trial.  Another mother tells, and it was the early days of this month, November, that her visitation permit (issued by the Israeli Occupation authority in Beit Eil that the mother has to travel and endure the hardships of qualifying and obtaining such permit)  excludes the whole month of November.  That’s only a sample of the much more stories of what one hears.

As to the so-called the expatriate Palestinian investors, mostly the tycoons whose avarice knows no bounds and total lack of patriotism know no limit, they are syphoning the Occupied Territories of desperately needed funds that help create genuinely productive employment and jobs that help the steadfastness of the people under occupation.  These tycoons engage in speculative transactions that literary impoverished the little guys, and had huge funds repatriated as profits outside Palestine to only inflate their already huge wealth and that of other so-called expatriate Palestinian investors.  I have many specific stories to tell with exact numbers and figures.

The people here are so creative, Dina, managing to do with the little, with the meagre of existence.  All this, Dina, while maintaining an incredible high spirit and incredible determination.  They stand to still give more and sacrifice endlessly.  Left alone to face one of the mightiest and harshest occupying power, their confidence render them truly great heroes, a model that one day Historians will recall their epic steadfastness and incredible dignity in an another Illiad that are very well deserving off.

As to the rest of the Arab countries, just Do Not Stab the occupied Palestinians in the back.  No support needed, just stop conspiring to defeat the Palestinians’ spirit of steadfastness. As the international movement of BDS (Boycott, Divest and impose Sanctions) is building up, the Arab countries, foremost the so-called moderates, ought to cease clandestine normalization with Occupation force.  So sadly that its under the gaze, rather the active instigation, of these countries that the once all powerful Arab Boycott Office in Damascus was bribed, corrupted and rendered non-functional.

ACTIONS: For people in NY: Join on Wednesday Nov 21 to tell Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to Cancel the Event! Tell the Mets & Major League Baseball Not to Support Violent, Israeli Racist Settlers.
For people elsewhere: Do similar actions, write to media and ploliticians and ask them to stop squeaking and start acting.  Join the Boycotts, sanctions and divestment movement:


The rabbinical ‘sages’ of Israel have done it again….

A woman belongs in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant! If she wraps herself in a prayer shawl and prays at the Western Wall she is STUPID! And these idiots had mothers? One really has to wonder about that…..

Last week Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Israel’s chief Sephardi rabbi, said during his weekly sermon that the women in the feminist movement are “stupid” and act the way they do out of a selfish desire for equality, not “for heavens’ sake.”

Rabbi Ovadia also said about the groups’ custom to pray at the Western Wall that “there are stupid women who come to the Western Wall, put on a tallit (prayer shawl), and pray,” and added that they should be condemned.

The above was taken from the following report….

Police arrest woman for wearing prayer shawl at Western Wall

Police on Wednesday arrested a woman who was praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, due to the fact that she was wrapped in a prayer shawl (tallit).

The woman was visiting the site with the religious women’s group “Women of the Wall” to take part in the monthly Rosh Hodesh prayer.

Police were called to the area after the group asked to read a prayer aloud.

Police said they arrested the women in the wake of a High Court ruling, which states that the public visiting the Western Wall is obligated to dress in accordance with the sites’ dress code.

Chairman of the women’s group, Anat Hoffman, responded by saying that this is the first time in the history of Israel that a woman has been arrested because she wrapped herself in a talit and read from the Torah.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, associate director of Israel’s reform movement, said that all over the world women are entitled to wear the tallit, and only in the land of the Jews are they excluded from the social custom and even arrested for praying.

“Israeli police should be ashamed of themselves,” Kariv said.

Last week Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Israel’s chief Sephardi rabbi, said during his weekly sermon that the women in the feminist movement are “stupid” and act the way they do out of a selfish desire for equality, not “for heavens’ sake.”

Rabbi Ovadia also said about the groups’ custom to pray at the Western Wall that “there are stupid women who come to the Western Wall, put on a tallit (prayer shawl), and pray,” and added that they should be condemned.



Will Palestine Be Declared A State?
Crossing the Rubicon

By Khalid Amayreh

Frustrated by a chronically deadlocked peace process, under its rubric Israel continues to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Al-Quds, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is now seriously considering unilaterally declaring statehood on territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war.

Earlier this month, PA Chairman Mahmud Abbas announced that he would not seek a second term in office as a president of the self-rule authority.

Citing Israel’s adamant refusal to freeze Jewish settlement expansion, and the American failure to pressure Israel in this regard, Abbas said he would take a number of unspecified measures to save the vital interests of the Palestinian people.

Last week, Abbas’ aide, Chief Palestinian negotiator Sa’eb Erakat, declared that 18 years of protracted negotiations with Israel produced no results.

Erakat said the Palestinians have been fed up with Israeli prevarications and stalling tactics.

“We have reached a decision to go to the UN Security Council to ask for recognition of an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital within June-1967 borders,” Erakat said.

“We are going to seek support from EU countries, Russia and other countries.”

Persistent Despair

Recently, the Palestinian propensity to seek formal international recognition of a Palestinian state on the basis of the armistice lines of June 4, 1967, has become more pronounced after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Israeli settlement policy.

During her visit to occupied Palestine two weeks ago, Clinton described Israeli “concessions” pertaining to settlements as unprecedented. She also added that a total stoppage of settlement construction was never a sine-qua-non for the continuation of the peace process.

Her remarks infuriated Palestinians, including the normally calm Abbas, who responded by declaring his intention not to take part in the upcoming elections of 2010.

A number of Abbas’ aides went as far as saying that Abbas might order the dismantling of the PA itself.

The challenges facing the PA are further complicated by the difficulty of holding elections, due to Hamas’ opposition.

Hamas, which won a landslide victory in the 2006 elections, said it would not allow elections to take place in the Gaza Strip, arguing that organizing elections in the absence of national reconciliation would be a prescription for a national disaster.

Hamas has been accusing the Fateh-controlled PA of seeking to utilize the planned elections to destroy Hamas politically, probably in collusion with the United States and certain Arab regimes.

The Muslim group, which Israel has been trying to eliminate by military, economic, and other means, argued that it would be virtually impossible to hold free and fair elections under the police-state atmosphere now in place in the West Bank.

Along the same lines, the independent elections committee in Ramallah, which had been instructed to prepare for the ballots, declared last week that it would not be able to carry out its task due to Hamas’ opposition and also to Israel’s refusal to hold elections in Al-Quds, which the Jewish state considers part of its “eternal and undivided capital.”

Several Obstacles

Palestinian officials have indicated that the PA would not be too hasty in their steps toward a declaration of statehood.

In 1988, the PLO declared statehood, but the decision remained a largely symbolic feat with little effect, if any, on the ground as Israel moved to block and scuttle any expression of Palestinian sovereignty.

“We are going to prepare for this well, and to hold political and diplomatic talks. We want the UN Security Council to discuss this matter only after we have been given assurances,” said Nimr Hammad, chief political advisor to Abbas.

However, no matter how cautious and meticulous the PA will be in seeking UN endorsement of a Palestinian state, it seems that the mission will be an arduous uphill battle.

Indeed, in the absence of massive international backing, including vigorous and meaningful Arab and Muslim support, the goal of enlisting Western, especially American backing for the statehood scheme, may prove to be very illusive.

More to the point, in the absence of true Palestinian national unity, the continued showdown between Hamas and Fateh could corrode any real prospects toward achieving Palestinian statehood and ending the Israeli military occupation that started in 1967.

Israel and, to a lesser extent, the Obama administration have already reacted negatively to Palestinian plans to unilaterally declare statehood.

The extremist Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has already threatened to take “unilateral steps if the PA took unilateral ones”.

Israel’s Actions

“Any unilateral attempts by the PA will unravel the existing agreements between us, and could entail unilateral steps by Israel,” Netanyahu told a high-level gathering of Israeli and American policy makers at the Saban Forum in occupied Al-Quds on November 15.

True to character, Netanyahu resorted to red-herring tactics, alluding to the Iranian “threat” and saying that economic development would expedite peace with Palestinians.

The Israeli premier, who a few months ago indicated in a speech in Tel Aviv that any prospective Palestinian entity would have to be effectively controlled by Israel, did not spell out what steps and countermeasures he would take in response to a unilateral statehood declaration by the PA leadership.

However, Israeli commentators have pointed out that Israel could take “draconian measures” to foil the prospective Palestinian plan.

Israel could scuttle the PA financially by blocking money transfer, especially from donor countries.

Israel could assert its control of area “C” which encompasses nearly two thirds of the West Bank, enforce more Judaizing measures in Al-Quds, and assert its “divine and historical right to all of the land of Israel” — Mandate Palestine which extends from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan.

Israel could also embark on a massive campaign of home demolitions and land seizure in the West Bank and East Al-Quds, as well as disarming Palestinian security forces trained and funded by the United States.

Eventually, Israel might also re-impose its direct military occupation of all towns and population centers run by the PA, and reinstitute the erstwhile direct military regime known as “the civil administration”.

Palestinian leaders seem to be well aware of potential Israeli reactions.

Muhammed Dahlan, a member of the Fateh’s executive committee, said that the PA leadership had a “bank of ideas” as to how to outmaneuver Israelis.

In any case, it is highly unlikely that even a successful statehood declaration, enjoyed by strong international backing, would allow the Palestinians to retrieve their legitimate rights from Israel’s extremely parsimonious hands.

One Palestinian official in Ramallah, who opted for anonymity, termed the contemplated statehood declaration as merely “the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end”.

The cardinal issues of Al-Quds, refugees, and settlements, along with other important issues such as the control over water resources, would require a long and painful struggle that might last for decades.

“Hence, the statehood declaration would only be a station on the long road to freedom and independence. It will not be a consummation of anything,” The source added.

Hamas, too, is giving the cold shoulder.

Salah Al-Bardawell, a Hamas official based in the Gaza Strip, described the contemplated statehood declaration as “a desperate reaction by Fateh to the faltering peace process”.

“This move is not a meaningful declaration. It simply aims at escaping the benefits of resistance against the occupation,” he said.

“Instead of threatening to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state to be established in the air, we should work on liberating the occupied territories and end the current internal [Palestinian] division,” He added.

Declaring a state “in the air on 20 per cent of the Palestinian land, which would be rejected by the world, is not the solution,” he argued.

“Rather, Palestinians should focus on liberating their country first and then establish statehood.”


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