When my son was about three years old he had an imaginary friend. This was not a cause for alarm as it seemed to be the norm with children his age. In fact, we often played along with his fantasy, setting a place at the dinner table for ‘Ghostie’.

We sometimes see adults ‘playing’ at the same game, only then it is not the norm…. I speak specifically of the United States government and groups such as the ADL. The former would have us believe that there actually is a group known as Al Quaida and that they are a part of a world terrorist network. THIS report is typical of the hysteria which is being distributed in the Western press.

Jewish extremist groups would have us believe that there is an anti-Semite lurking under every Jewish bed in the United States. Following is their solution to this….

To put it bluntly,President Obama hasn’t been the most beloved leader of the United States by sections of the Jewish community abroad. Remember the video ‘Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem’? It was banned by YouTube for portraying too true a picture of zionism….. but you can still see it HERE.

Combining the overactive imaginations pictured above, I go back to the title of this post, ‘False Flags That Go Bump In The Night’ ….


WHY A FABRICATED ‘TERROR ATTACK’ just days before the US election??


What Really Happened dealt with this issue and came up with some thought provoking material…..


Obama’s “scare the Americans into voting Democratic” plan is already in trouble. The official story on Friday October 29th was that an unnamed ally issued a warning for British authorities to be on the lookout for a suspicious package sent from Yemen to Great Britain on a UPS flight. A search of the UPS flighty on the ground in Britain yielded a package containing a printer toner cartridge sprayed with a white substance that looks like plastic Christmas tree snow.

To make the “toner cartridge of death” look even scarier, a circuit board was attached to the outside with wires. Careful analysis of the card itself suggests it is a circuit card from a TV set, most likely the tuner, circa 1980s

Note carefully there is no battery to power this object, nor were any detonators found.

The initial reports of the toner cartridge reported no explosives were found in it.

Of course, Obama claimed exactly the opposite, which left the BBC struggling to placate the President while not allowing themselves to look like they were changing the original story to do it!

But the story gets better! The original claim was that the suspicious package originated in Yemen and flew to Britain on an aircraft owned by UPS, and the media showed us all the video of a UPS aircraft being stopped and searched on the runway in Britain.

But there is a problem. There are no UPS aircraft flying in and out of Yemen!

UPS own website (from before the so-called terror incident) does not list Yemen as one of their service regions.

A PDF file (which includes the history of the document from weeks ago) listing of all the international airports the UPS aircraft fleet flies to does not list Yemen as a destination!

In short, there was not and could not be a UPS aircraft flying out of Yemen.

UPS uses a subcontractor, Sun Tours, to handle shipping in and out of Yemen. Sun Tours sends their shipments via Yemenia Air, and Yemenia Air’s Cargo Director reports there were no shipments sent through Yemen to Chicago for the 48 hours prior to the “discovery” of the toner cartridge in Britain.

A second claim that a flight from Dubais carried packages from Yemen has been refuted by the United Arab Emirates Civil Aviation Authority.

In short a toner cartridge that cannot explode shows up on a UPS jet which could not have come from Yemen, and Obama pounds it for all its worth trying to save the Democrats next Tuesday. Frankly I think Americans should be outraged not that Obama tried such a stunt, but that after all the times Bush was caught using terror scares for political gain that Obama thinks you are all stupid enough to fall for it again! If tonight’s polls are accurate, you weren’t and you didn’t and Obama may have just screwed his own party to the point where they are all praying for Diebold to save them!

Bottom line is the UPS Website has confirmed that it does NOT do business in Yemen!
Do the ‘actual terrorists’ involved in this bogus ‘attack’ really believe that the world at large would have swallowed their BS before examining the facts? I’m not one into conspiracy theories, but this does not look like a theory to me at all! It’s pure unadulterated BS!


More than two thousand years ago, the frenzied multitude rejected Jesus because they thought he was going to rob them of their “chosen people” status and equate them with the rest of mankind. Today, 2000 years later, under the same chosen people rubric, Palestinian villagers, Christians and Muslims alike, are still being chased, assaulted, and hunted down “because they don’t belong”.

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Were “the chosen people” picked for their virtues or vices?

By Khalid Amayreh


The recent Vatican synod on the deteriorating situation in Palestine-Israel did the right thing by pointing out that Israel ought to discontinue the use of the controversial concept of “the chosen people” to torment and dispossess the Palestinians. Perhaps the Roman Catholic hierarchy has woken up to the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinian Arab Christians are forced to leave their ancestral homeland as a result of the brutality and oppression stemming from the ongoing Israeli occupation.

In its conclusions and recommendations, the synod repudiated the fact that Israel never stops misusing the Bible to justify oppressive and repressive policies against virtually helpless Palestinians. It also explained that for purely moral reasons, Christians around the world cannot speak of “the promised land” as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people; in Christian beliefs, it is in Christ that all men and women of all countries and races become the chosen people.

On the face of it, the latest good news from Rome represents a step towards the reassertion of moral Christianity at the expense of Zionist (or “Zionised”) Christianity. The formulation of a western Christian, especially Roman Catholic, stance on the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of the Zionists is welcome. However, it probably has more to do with reasserting Christianity’s moral identity than with making any serious effort to challenge the Israeli regime, which under Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing leadership is drifting through unbridled jingoism towards fascism.

None the less, the Vatican should be commended for demonstrating that political Zionism, which has enslaved nations and governments, will not find Christianity such easy prey. Not only that, but it is showing that the Roman Catholic Church, at least, is not about to morph into a political pawn in the service of the Israeli state’s territorial ambitions. It is reassuring that the Vatican appears not to be ready to align itself with Israel’s unrelenting dehumanisation of and brutality against Palestinians, Muslims and Christians alike, whose only crime is that they are not part of a “holy tribe”.

Even so, it is true to say that Zionism has made much progress in turning erstwhile good-hearted Christians into fanatical Zionists, ready to support human rights violations by right-wing Jewish settlers and their supporters in Israeli society. So-called Christian Zionists seem to have lost any real link to genuine Christianity and the message of Jesus in their rush to support Zionist Israel and its policies which any human being with any degree of honesty would find morally repugnant and criminally unacceptable. Indeed, some supposedly Christian leaders give enthusiastic support to decidedly un-Christian acts by Israel, such as extrajudicial killings, ethnic cleansing and systematic persecution, in order to create space in the Holy Land for Jewish immigrants; the Nazis had a similar policy, called lebensraum, intended to provide living space for “ethnic Germans”.

In the face of a powerful Israel lobby, such Christian leaders of Western states make do with half-hearted appeals for “balance” and “restraint” when they know as much as anyone that the situation in the Israel-Palestine conflict is far from a conflict between equals. There worthless statements have failed to save even one Palestinian farmer’s olive grove from being destroyed by Israeli settlers. Or one Palestinian family’s home from being bulldozed and the family expelled.

It is true that some courageous Christians have stood up for human rights and the rule of international law and faced the opprobrium of their fellows in the process. But their voices are usually lost in the increasing Israeli hasbara (propaganda) which turns black into white and the Big Lie of Zionism into accepted truth.

It is imperative that we encourage Christians to show their commitment to true Christian values and morality by denouncing Israel’s illegal policies in the West Bank and the growing phenomenon of using biblical and Talmudic injunctions to dehumanize Gentiles. The remarks by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that the raison d’être of Gentiles is to serve Jews, was ignored by the US media; it took a reader of the New York Times to point this out. Thus the Zionists’ “servants” across North America were spared from having to respond in a way which might have been unfavourable to Israel. Rabbi Yosef is the spiritual head of the Shas Party, one of Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners.

More than two thousand years ago, the frenzied multitude rejected Jesus because they thought he was going to rob them of their “chosen people” status and equate them with the rest of mankind. Today, 2000 years later, under the same chosen people rubric, Palestinian villagers, Christians and Muslims alike, are still being chased, assaulted, and hunted down “because they don’t belong”.

When Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai, he received the Ten Commandments, described as a light upon humanity. The Neturei Karta Movement of Orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist: “One of the basics of Judaism is that we are a people in exile due to Divine decree. Accordingly, we are opposed to the ideology of Zionism, a recent innovation, which seeks to force the end of exile. Our banishment from the Holy Land will end miraculously at a time when all mankind will unite in the brotherly service of the Creator. In addition to condemning the central heresy of Zionism, we also reject its policy of aggression against all peoples. Today this cruelty manifests itself primarily in the brutal treatment of the Palestinian people. We proclaim that this inhuman policy is in violation of the Torah.”

Unfortunately, Zionism has not only inflicted death and destruction on Palestinians it has also killed the sense of morality and joint humanity among Israelis so that they condone the killings, land confiscation and lies carried out in their name by their government. Orthodox Jewry is clear: “[Zionism’s] essential goal was and is to change the nature of the Jewish people from that of a religious entity to a political movement. From Zionism’s inception the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people stood in staunch opposition to it.” If only religious Christians around the world would take the time to reflect on this message, their desire to support Israel may be diminished. Perhaps the Vatican already has.





The Harper government is sponsoring a conference of the ‘Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism’ (ICCA) – the CPCCA’s international counterpart – in Ottawa on November 8 and 9. The CPCCA and ICCA have an agenda to attack free speech and to silence legitimate criticism of Israel by falsely conflating this with anti-Semitism.

Independent Jewish Voices is deeply concerned about the threat to free speech and civil liberties posed by the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism'(CPCCA). It is legitimate and ethically necessary for Canadians of conscience to criticize Israeli human rights abuses and to support non-violent remedies.


The Harper government has already slashed funding to NGOs that dared to express support for Palestinian rights, brutally attacked and abused G20 demonstrators, barred British MP George Galloway from entering Canada because of his aid to the people of Gaza, and attacked CUPE, CUPW, and Israeli Apartheid Week activities. The list doesn’t end there.

The CPCCA, with Minister of Censorship and Deportation Jason Kenney as one of its driving forces, aims to entrench these attacks on free speech in the federal parliament.

The CPCCA held hearings this past year to try to paint a veneer of credibility on its transparent intention to attack free speech in Canada.  It ignored many critical submissions, including those from Independent Jewish Voices. Even the CPCCA witnesses from Canadian universities and the police confirmed that
there is no rise in anti-Semitism and called on the CPCCA to respect free speech.

The ICCA conference is intended to distract from this embarrassing result.  At a cost of over $451,280 in federal funds, the ICCA conference is closed to the public and the media, and makes no pretence of unbiased research.


1. Raise your voices for a day of action for free speech on Monday, November 8. Organize locally – get in touch with the nearest IJV chapter, human rights groups, free speech advocates and Palestine solidarity coalitions. Local events for the day of action could include press conferences, protests, teach-ins, or other creative ideas to build the movement to defend free speech.  IJV will release a 10 minute video on Nov. 8, which will be posted on YouTube and the IJV web site. Feel free to use it in your events.

Please let us know what actions you’ve taken:  Contact  Independent Jewish Voices at ijv@magma.ca

2. Contact your MP and the federal party leaders and demand they reject any
attempts to silence or criminalize legitimate criticism of Israel, and to stand
up for the principle of free speech in Canada.

3.  Contact university presidents and human rights offices in your city and ask them also to issue a statement affirming the right of students and faculty to free speech.

4. Sign our anti-CPCCA at http://ijvcanada.org/sign-signez-petition-cpcca-hearings/ which will be released to the press and all MPs on Nov. 8.

5. Send a photo to ijv@magma.ca of yourself holding an anti-CPCCA sign (perhaps with duct tape over your mouth) or a sign saying “I support free speech.”  We will post it on line with a title “The is what Democracy looks like.”

6. Donate to IJV to help fund our campaign for free speech:
Please send donations to IJV,  P.O. Box 23088, Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2.

For more information visit Independent Jewish Voices at


Ten years ago today a Palestinian child, aged 12 was killed by Israeli sniper fire. Literally adding insult to injury, the zionists claimed that this incident was ‘staged’ by the Palestinians as a publicity stunt. One often wonders how low the zionist can sink, this was truly one of the lowest levels ever.

Mohamed al-Durrah would have been 22 years old now, perhaps entering his second or third year at university or preparing for marriage, but he was murdered at 12…

Mohamed is not the only one…. From the start of the second Intifada in September 2000 until the end of this September, Israel has killed 1859 – one thousand eight hundred fifty nine – children   under the age of 18.
Mohamed al-Durrah: In Memoriam 

By Agustin Velloso

September 30th, 2010 was the tenth anniversary of Muhammad al-Durrah’s killing by an Israeli army sniper 

There have been thousands of Palestinian victims at the hands of Zionists like this little boy, martyred at the age of 12, some younger (even in their mothers’ wombs), some older (even while in bed), and all of them deserve to be remembered.

However, Muhammad al-Durrah’s murder took place on the second day of the 2nd Intifada and can be seen, during these days of yes/no peace talks and no more Intifadas, as the crux of the Palestinian plight ten years later.

No matter how many peace talks are held, no matter what the international community “contribution” is, or what the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah says and promises, Zionism keeps on killing, maiming, stealing… in short, practicing slow motion genocide in Gaza and ethnic cleansing in the West Bank.
How many more Muhammad al-Durrahs will face his fate in the next ten years?

From the start of the second Intifada in September 2000 until the end of this September, Israel has killed 1859 – one thousand eight hundred fifty nine – children   under the age of 18.

Even if they number in the thousands more in the future, they will only be missed by their families and friends.

The rest of the world, if the news manages to reach them, will only know what the wikipedias and other Imperialist/pro-Zionist media tell them:
What they are calling the “Muhammad al-Durrah’s incident”, i.e., “being caught in a crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian security forces”, excuses the IDF: “An IDF investigation in October 2000 concluded the IDF had probably not shot the al-Durrahs”, or better yet: “the scene had been staged by Palestinian protesters”, not to mention that “for the Israeli and Jewish communities the Palestinian allegations were a modern day blood libel, the ancient anti-Semitic association of Jews with child sacrifice”.

Thanks to U.S. friendship, Israel continues to pour salt on the wound.

Let us hope that resistance turns the tables before this continues another ten years.


The Israeli Tourist Ministry recently invited the rescued Chilean miners to visit the ‘Holy Land’….. if they accept the invite they might still be able to smell the smoke from today’s hate fire…..

Israeli settlers burn church in Jerusalem

by Saed Bannoura
A hundred year old church was burned Friday by right-wing Israeli settlers, who broke a number of windows of the church and hurled Molotov cocktails inside.

Church in Jerusalem (photo from Ivarfjeld)

Church in Jerusalem (photo from Ivarfjeld)

The damage to the church was substantial, with burn damage throughout the first floor of the building.

The church was built in Jerusalem in 1897, and housed the Palestinian Bible College until 1947, when parishioners were pushed out by Jewish armed gangs during the violence accompanying the creation of the state of Israel.

Christians make up 2% of the population of both Israel and the Palestinian Territories – the number used to be around 15%, but many Christians from the Holy Land have emigrated due to the harsh conditions of the Israeli occupation, and discrimination against them by the Israeli state.

This is not the first time that Israeli right-wingers have destroyed churches and church property – a number of Chrisitan churches were destroyed during the second initfada (uprising) that began in 2000, and many more were destroyed by Israeli forces during the 1948 and 67 wars.

In 2006, an Israeli couple tried to firebomb an ancient church in Nazareth, the city where Chrisitans believe that Jesus Christ lived 2000 years ago. An Israeli court which tried the case failed to convict the couple of any charges.

A leader in the church attacked on Friday, Zachariah al-Mashriqi, told reporters that the attack on the church was a clear attempt to provoke Palestinians to respond in anger. He urged Palestinian Christians to respond to the attack with virtue and patience.

Al-Mashriqi urged the Israeli government to act responsibly and condemn the attack, and work on investigating the attack to find out who was involved and actually file charges in the case. He asked the Israeli government to protect holy sites in the city of Jerusalem, as these sites come under increasing attack by Israeli settlers.  




A later report from Ma’an News Agency can be read HERE


Photos © by Bud Korotzer

Some later joined in at the Boycott Demo…..









Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s behaviour suggests he concurs with far-right coalition partners who advocate racist policies against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular. The approval by Netanyahu recently of racist laws obliging non- Jews aspiring to become Israeli citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish state” and his conspicuous reluctance to condemn near daily acts of terror and vandalism by Jewish settlers against Palestinian villagers and farmers is telling of the attitude of his government overall.

Israel devours East Jerusalem

Regardless of the opinions of foes or allies, Israel is pressing ahead with inflammatory colonisation projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, writes Khalid Amayreh

Dismissing the international community, including its guardian-ally, the United States, Israel has approved a wide-ranging plan to obliterate the remaining vestiges of the traditional Arab-Islamic identity of East Jerusalem.

Sponsored by the quasi-fascist group known as the National Union, the plan would see the demolition of hundreds of Arab homes, establishing extensive infrastructure for Jewish settlers mainly at the expense of native Palestinian inhabitants, and building huge bridges for the purpose of achieving “demographic Jewish contiguity”.

According to Israeli sources, the plan includes the demolition of parts of the historic wall around the Old City and the building of a new gate in “Jewish style”. The Great Wall of Jerusalem was built by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1542, and was meant to protect the city against hostile armies.

In addition to launching a war of demolition on the ground, Israel is also planning to carry out extensive excavations beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Muslim Waqf (religious endowment) officials contend would make the collapse of Islamic holy sites in the area “nearly certainly inevitable”.

Cracks have already been observed at the two main Muslim shrines at the Haram Al-Sharif esplanade: Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock mosques. Haram Al-Sharif, or the “Noble Sanctuary”, is considered the third holiest Islamic shrine after the Sacred Mosque of Mecca and The Prophet Mosque in Medina, both in Saudi Arabia.

The latest Israeli provocation, which coincides with a markedly accelerated pace of Jewish settlement expansion activities, appears aimed at killing any opportunity for the creation of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also illustrates and accentuates the disregard with which the current Israeli government views international concerns, the Obama administration and the European Union.

Furthermore, Israel appears hell-bent on taking advantage of upcoming US congressional elections, realising that the Democratic US administration is not able to pressure Israel, since any pressure on Israel would be utilised by the Republicans to further weaken its already weak position. Hence, it is likely that Israel will have its way despite occasional innocuous and largely disingenuous statements from Washington about the continued relevance of the peace process.

If the United States itself is at loss as to how to force Israel to save the already floundering peace process from what seems inevitable looming collapse, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership in Ramallah sounds even more desperate, helpless and hopeless. In private conversations, high-level PA officials are admitting that the prospect of establishing a Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 is more remote than ever.

One high-ranking official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, sounded frustrated and desperate: “I think we are lying to our own people, first and foremost, by telling them that there is a genuine peace process and that it is still possible to create a genuine Palestinian state. That possibility is dead — just dead. And if we can no longer make a distinction between the dead and the living, it means we have got a real problem.”

The one-time PA negotiator opined: “Efforts to keep the so-called peace process alive have more to do with a propensity to daydream than with objective realities on the ground. But in the final analysis, daydreaming represents optimal frustration, despair and helplessness.”

Watching its horizons constantly narrowed by Israeli governments that keep devouring the remaining parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem while complaining about Palestinian “extremism and terror,” the PA leadership is trapped, issuing the same tired statements about Israeli violations of international law, as if these violations were new phenomena. “This is proof that the Israeli government selected settlements instead of peace,” said Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Ereikat.

Voicing his outrage at new Judaisation plans in Jerusalem, Ereikat pointed out that the plan was another phase of the attempt to claim Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, though the city is classified as “occupied territory” according to relevant UN resolutions, international law and the Geneva Conventions. He reiterated that Israel was undermining the efficacy of the UN system, the very authority through which it was created.

“Instead, Israel works diligently to pressure its allies to oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. It is time for Israel to stop its blatant disregard of international law and international consensus. It is also time for the international community to hold Israel accountable for its disregard for international law.”

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s behaviour suggests he concurs with far-right coalition partners who advocate racist policies against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular. The approval by Netanyahu recently of racist laws obliging non- Jews aspiring to become Israeli citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish state” and his conspicuous reluctance to condemn near daily acts of terror and vandalism by Jewish settlers against Palestinian villagers and farmers is telling of the attitude of his government overall.

Speaking during a special Yitzhak Rabin memorial session in the Knesset 20 October, Netanyahu resorted to prevarications, repeating the propagandistic mantra that the Palestinians would have to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and that non-Jews in Israel — especially the two-million strong Arab community — would have to settle for inherently inferior status.

While Netanyahu is silent about the intended consequences of declaring Israel a “Jewish state,” his less sophisticated allies — the so- called “transferists” (those who advocate ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in both Israel proper and the West Bank) — say openly that “Jewish state” means one thing: the prospective deportation of non-Jews from “the land of Israel”. As to Israel being a “Jewish and democratic state,” the former cancels out the latter.

Despite the manifestly racist consequences of declaring Israel a “Jewish state”, the idea is gaining popularity among Jewish Israelis. Followers and supporters of slain racist Rabbi Meir Kahana have been celebrating “the vindication” of his ideas. Kahana advocated the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians — even genocide. In the early 1970s, he wrote a book entitled They Must Go.

Marking 20 years since his assassination in New York in 1990, Kahana followers crowded into the hallway of the Ramada Hotel in West Jerusalem Tuesday night, 26 October. One his followers, convicted terrorist Baruch Marzel, remarked that “You can see a true awakening to Rav Kahana, because every year it’s growing; every year more and more people are joining us.”

“We’ve gone mainstream,” event organiser and prominent right-wing activist Itamar Ben- Gvir told The Jerusalem Post. “You can even see this in the Knesset. Kadima and even the Labour Party are adopting the beliefs of Kahana.”

The crowd chanted “The nation of Kahana lives” and “Kahana was right” and cheered wildly at videos of Kahana’s old speeches when he made statements like “Send the Arabs away!”



Written FOR


Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

One democratic state gains momentum and more

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Israeli authorities are relieved that Wikileaks showed US documents proving not only that US soldiers killed civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan but that they also participated and condoned other severe violations of international law (including engaging in torture and other crimes against humanity).  So the circle is now complete, the Israel-first lobby had pushed for the war on Iraq to align US and Israeli interests and actions.  The idea that Americans having to kill and torture Arabs in an illegal invasion and occupation might now understand better Israel’s perpetual behavior of killing, displacing, and torturing Arabs.  But I think this gamble is beginning to unravel.  The US public was of course against the war on Iraq and over 70% believe it was not in the US interest.  But even elites in the US including military and industrial leaders have now started to see Israel and the US wars for Israel as a strategic liability rather than a strategic asset. But much more needs to be done by civil society (including with the growing boycotts, ivestments and  sanctions movement) to drive home the point. In the meantime, Israeli government officials still engage are aggressively pursuing their racist policies from attacking demonstrators in Um Al-Faham (including Haneen Zoubi), to attacking Catholic Bishops correctly stating that notions of ‘chosenness” should not be used to justify oppression and occupation, to attacking UNESCO (for a balanced report on Israel’s attempts to change the character of Muslim and other religious sites under occupation).  Fanatical Zionists have also gone off the deep end by pairing with racist rightwing politicians in Europe and America. They think the more divisions the better.  An already divided Arab world will be fragmented even more if these demagogues get their way (whether splitting South Sudan or reigniting a civil war in Lebanon).  People with common decency must stand against those sawing divisions and mayhem.

Video: My speech delivered via YouTube to the conference for One Democratic State held in Texas
(which follows on similar conferences held around the world)”

Great events: -Watch what happens when two members of the Israeli war machine (AKA IDF) try to speak in an American campus

-Watch how a stall for “Israeli products” is shut down by BDS activists in Brisbane

-Bishops at Meeting Urge Israel to End Its Occupation of Palestinian Territories

Bulldozer driver insists he did not see Rachel Corrie: Israeli behind crush death testifies from behind a screen The injustice of allowing anonymous testimony of a murderer from behind a screen is appalling.  It is to be added to hundreds of other instances of Israel’s abuse of basic decency and human rights. But on good news, there seems to be a delay in delivery of armored bulldozers from the US (Caterpillar company) to Israel.  Act now to push for total sanctions.

Invitation from OPGAI: United in Struggle Against the Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism  Education as a Tool for Building, Interaction and Freedom’ Conference (Within the activities of the World Education Forum
Request: My book on “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of hope and empowerment” will be out in two weeks from Pluto Press.  We are looking for film-makers or aspiring film-makers to take existing large archives of photographs and video footage of popular and nonviolent resistance from the past 130 years to make a short documentary to accompany the book.  Contact me at mazin@qumsiyeh.org




I remember the weekend editions of newspapers in the United States, especially the comic sections in most papers.

In lieu of a comic section the Jerusalem Post has Carolyn Glick as a co editor, which guarantees at least one column worth a  good chuckle.

Today was no different with her analysis of the upcoming American election, truly an amusing viewpoint from our resident psychopath herself….

The section dealing with her fears of a free Palestine follow, at the end is a link to the entire rant.

Israel must craft policies that maximize its advantage on Capitol Hill and minimize its vulnerability to the White House

To date, Obama’s demands on Israel have focused on blocking construction and delegitimizing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. And as far as he is concerned, Israel’s response to his demands to date has been unsatisfactory. In light of this, at a minimum we can expect that in the immediate aftermath of next Tuesday’s elections, Obama will deliberately provoke a new crisis in US relations with Israel over Jewish building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.But of course, this isn’t his only option. Indeed, he has nearly unlimited options for making life unpleasant for Israel. Obama doesn’t even have to be the one to provoke the next crisis. He can simply take advantage of crises that the Palestinians provoke. 

THE PALESTINIANS are threatening to provoke two such crises in the next several months. First, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to ask the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring all Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines illegal and requiring the expulsion of the 450,000 Israeli Jews who live in them.

Second, the PA’s unelected Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is threatening to declare independence without a treaty with Israel next summer.

Simply by not opposing these deeply aggressive initiatives against Israel, Obama can cause Israel enormous harm.

Other outlets for pressure include stepping up harassment of pro-Israel groups in the US, holding up the transfer of arms to Israel, pressing for the IDF to end its counterterror operations in Judea and Samaria, and expanding US financial and military support for the Palestinian army. All of these moves will doubtless be employed to varying degrees in the next two years.

This onslaught on Israel will be implemented against the backdrop of a dynamic regional strategic environment. The evolving threats that Israel faces include among other things, Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear arsenal, and Iran’s takeover of Lebanon, Gaza and Syria. Israel also faces the likelihood that instability and fanaticism will engulf Egypt after President Hosni Mubarak dies and that Jordan will be destabilized after US forces vacate Iraq.

Over the next two years, Israel will be required to contend with these developing threats in profound ways. And over the next two years, all of Israel’s actions aimed at mitigating these threats will need to be taken with the certain knowledge that the country will be in and out of crises with the Obama administration throughout. Whatever military actions Israel will be required to take will have to be timed to coincide with lulls in Obama-provoked crises.

The one good thing about the challenge Obama presents to Israel is that it is a clear cut challenge. The Scott Brown precedent coupled with Obama’s track record on Israel demonstrate that Obama will not modify his anti-Israel agenda to align with political realities at home, and there is nothing that Israel can do that will neutralize Obama’s hostility.

By the same token, the massive support Israel enjoys among the incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives is a significant resource. True, the Republicans will not enjoy the same power to check presidential power in foreign affairs as they will have in domestic policy. But their control over the House of Representatives will enable them to shape public perceptions of international affairs and mitigate administration pressure on Israel by opening up new outlets for discourse and defunding administration initiatives.

Against this backdrop, Israel must craft policies that maximize its advantage on Capitol Hill and minimize its vulnerability to the White House. Specifically, Israel should adopt three basic policy lines. First, Israel should request that US military assistance to the IDF be appropriated as part of the Defense Department’s budget instead of the State Department’s foreign aid budget where it is now allocated.

This change is important for two reasons. First, US military assistance to Israel is not welfare. Like US military assistance to South Korea, which is part of the Pentagon’s budget, US military assistance to Israel is a normal aspect of routine relations between the US and its strategic allies. Israel is one of the US’s most important strategic allies and it should be treated like the US’s other allies are treated and not placed in the same basket as impoverished states in Africa.

Second, this move is supported by the Republicans. Rep. Eric Cantor, who will likely be elected Republican Majority Leader, has already stated his interest in moving military assistance to Israel to the Pentagon budget. The Republicans wish to move aid to Israel to the Pentagon’s budget because that assistance is the most popular item on the US foreign aid budget. Not wishing to harm Israel, Republicans have been forced to approve the foreign aid budget despite the fact that it includes aid to countries like Sudan and Yemen that they do not wish to support.

When the government announces its request, it should make clear that in light of Israel’s economic prosperity, Israel intends to end its receipt of military assistance from the US within five years. Given the Republicans’ commitment to fiscal responsibility, this is a politically sensible move. More importantly, it is a strategically critical move. Obama’s hostility demonstrates clearly that Israel must not be dependent on US resupply of military platforms in time of war.

The second policy direction Israel must adopt involves stepping up its efforts to discredit and check the Palestinian political war against it. Today the Palestinians are escalating their bid to delegitimize Israel by expanding their offensive against Israel in international organizations like the UN and the International Criminal Court and by expanding their operations in states like Britain that are hostile to Israel.

Israel must move aggressively to discredit all groups and individuals that participate in these actions, and cooperate with its allies who share its aim of weakening them. For instance, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is expected to be elected chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, has been seeking to curtail US funding to UN organizations like UNRWA whose leaders support Hamas and whose organizational goal is Israel’s destruction.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ministers must lead the charge discrediting groups like UNRWA, the ICC and the UN Human Rights Council. Since the Obama administration seeks to empower all of these organizations, at a minimum, such an Israeli policy will embolden Obama’s political opponents to block his policies by curtailing US funding of these bodies.


The Palestinians’ threats to declare independence and define Israeli communities as illegal are clear attempts on their part to shape the post-peace process international landscape. Given their diplomatic strength and Israel’s diplomatic weakness, it is reasonable for the Palestinians to act as they are. 

But two can play this game.

ISRAEL IS not without options. These options are rooted in its military control on the ground, Netanyahu’s political strength at home, and popular support for Israel in the US.

Israel should prepare its own unilateral actions aimed at shaping the post-Oslo international agenda. It should implement these actions the moment the Palestinians carry through on their threats. For instance, the day the UN Security Council votes on a resolution to declare Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem illegal, Israel should announce it is applying Israeli law to either all of Judea and Samaria, or to the large Israeli population centers and to the Jordan Valley.

If properly timed and orchestrated, such a move by Israel could fundamentally reshape the international discourse on the Middle East in Israel’s favor. Certainly it will empower Israel’s allies in the US and throughout the world to rally to its side.

The challenge that Washington now poses to Israel is not unprecedented. Indeed for Netanyahu it is familiar.

During his first tenure as prime minister, Netanyahu faced a similar predicament with the Clinton administration. In October 1998, thenpresident Bill Clinton was about to be impeached. The Republicans stood poised to expand their control over the House of Representatives. Paralyzed domestically, Clinton turned to Israel. He placed enormous pressure on Netanyahu to agree to further land concessions to Yasser Arafat in Judea and Samaria. In what became the Wye Memorandum, Clinton forced Netanyahu to agree to massive concessions in exchange for which Clinton agreed to free Jonathan Pollard from prison.


At the time, Israel’s allies in Washington enjoined Netanyahu not to succumb to Clinton’s pressure. They argued that in his weakened state, Clinton had limited capacity to harm Netanyahu. Moreover, they warned that by caving to his pressure, Netanyahu would strengthen Clinton and guarantee that he would double down on Israel. 

In the event, Netanyahu spurned Israel’s allies and bent to Clinton’s will. For his part, Clinton reneged on his pledge to release Pollard.

Netanyahu’s rightist coalition partners were appalled by his behavior. They bolted his coalition in protest and his government fell. Rather than stand by Netanyahu for his concessions, Clinton and the Israeli Left joined hands to defeat him in the 1999 elections.

The lesson Netanyahu learned from this experience was that he cannot trust the political Right to stand by him. While not unreasonable, this was not the main lesson from his experience. The larger point is that Netanyahu must not delude himself into believing that by falling into the arms of the Left he will win its support.

The post-election Obama administration will make the lives of Israel’s leaders unpleasant. But Netanyahu and his ministers are not powerless in the grip of circumstances. They have powerful allies and supporters in Washington and the confidence of the Israeli people. These are formidable assets.


The rest can be read HERE


Echoing the words of hate spoken a week ago by a klan of Israeli rabbis, the former chief rabbi himself, Ovadia Yosef, endorsed the very words,  ‘It is forbidden to sell a home or land to a non-Jew’….  you can see the Neanderthal logic that prompted this in the following post; SATANIC VERSES DISGUISED AS JUDAISM

…. selling or renting to someone who is not Jewish will ruin relations within the neighborhood, because the resident will disturb the lives of those living next to him.

Usually this modern day racist waits until Saturday evening to present his latest trivia, this must be a pressing issue as the statements were issued on a Thursday morning…..


Rabbi Ovadia : Selling homes to non-Jews prohibited

Shas spiritual leader says selling homes, land to non-Jews goes against Jewish law

Selling a house or land in Israel to anyone who is not Jewish is forbidden, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said during a Thursday morning halacha lesson.

The rabbi cited the halacha as saying that the property should be sold to a Jewish buyer, even if he offers a lesser amount for it.

Dozens of students, Shas leaders among them, attended the lesson in the rabbi’s Jerusalem home.

“The words were perceived by those who were present as normal discussion of the halacha, and not within a context of current events,” said one student who did not want to be identified. He added that the rabbi spoke of a known and accepted law of the halacha, one that no one disputes. It should not be perceived as a reinforcement of a recent ban on selling property to Arabs declared by Safed rabbis, he said.

The rabbis from Safed signed a public statement that declared that under no circumstances should a home or a piece of land in Israel be sold to anyone who is not Jewish. The statement caused a violent clash to break out between Jewish and Arab students in the north Israeli city.

The rabbis cited the same law of the halacha as a reason for the ban. Another reason they listed was that selling or renting to someone who is not Jewish will ruin relations within the neighborhood, because the resident will disturb the lives of those living next to him.


Enjoy the following……



Protest/Counter-Protest Demonstrators rally outside Ricky’s NYC in Brooklyn Heights on October 26. At left, activists hold signs supporting a boycott of Ahava. At right, an opponent of the boycott. Photo  SHULAMIT SEIDLER-FELDER  


Price of Beauty: Boycotts and ‘Buycotts’

By Joy Resmovits

The Middle East conflict has inflamed college campuses, bedeviled political campaigns and sparked street demonstrations. But cosmetics stores are the latest, and perhaps least likely, sites so far to bear witness to the sprawling nature of this ever deepening dispute.

At Ricky’s NYC in Brooklyn Heights — part of a self-described “edgy, ultra-hip” chain of New York costume and beauty supply stores — protesters banged drums, blew trumpets and marched around with fright masks in front of display windows stocked with bright colored packages of lotions and potions on October 26. The protesters were dramatizing their contention that the store’s Ahava beauty products add an ugly dimension to its offerings. Led by the groups CodePink and Brooklyn for Peace, some 40 demonstrators condemned the Israeli company and the store because Ahava’s products are manufactured at a settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

No Love Here: Protestors oppose Ahava products at a beauty store in Brooklyn.  


No Love Here: Protestors oppose Ahava products at a beauty store in Brooklyn.

The anti-Ahava campaign has been going on for more than a year. But at Ricky’s and elsewhere, counter-protesters have now emerged. About 15 of them made a point of buying Ahava products from the store. Then, clustered right next to the anti-Israel group, they chanted slogans such as “Not one inch!” Some carried signs claiming that there was “no such thing as Palestinian people.” As the anti-Israel protesters chanted “Ahava’s a beauty cream killing Palestine’s hopes and dreams,” a gaggle of girls shrieked the words of the Shema prayer in an effort to drown them out.

It’s boycott versus “buycott” in the latest twist to the Israel-Palestinian dispute. But here, shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer have replaced territories, terrorism and occupation as the focus of contention.

CodePink, a left-wing activist women’s group, launched its “Stolen Beauty” campaign to highlight Ahava’s production of ointments made from Dead Sea minerals on the site of the Israeli West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem. The campaign is part of the larger international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestine movement that mirrors the language of divestment campaigns that targeted apartheid-era South Africa. Since the campaign’s start, Costco has quietly removed Ahava from its shelves, and the United Kingdom’s trading standards office has launched an investigation into the company’s labeling practices.

But last July, when protesters targeted the Ulta cosmetics store in Silver Spring, Maryland, the local Jewish community relations council organized an Ahava buycott that “cleaned the shelves out,” as one pro-Israel organizer boasted to the Jerusalem Post. Plans are now afoot in London for counter-protests in front of the Ahava store in Covent Garden in November.

“I expected a big pushback from pro-Israel protestors, but we really did not have any for the first year until Brooklyn for Peace got involved,” said Nancy Kricorian, CodePink’s New York City coordinator and originator of the campaign. “Taking it to Brooklyn [this summer] was like putting a red flag before a bull.” Seven rabbis signed onto a letter in the Brooklyn newspapers against the boycott.

Boycotters assert that Ahava violates international law by locating its production facility in a settlement on the occupied West Bank that is itself considered illegal — a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention — by almost the entire international community. Buycotters, bolstered by organizations such as StandWithUs, Hadassah and Jewish community relations councils in several cities, argue that the land in question has been uninhabited by Palestinians and lies in a part of the West Bank designated as “Area ‘C’” in the 1993 Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinians. While other West Bank areas are under full or partial Palestinian control, Area ‘C’ remains exclusively under Israeli military jurisdiction under the terms of the accords.

In response to questions from the Forward, Ahava released a statement saying, “We continued to be pleased with our sales and the enthusiastic response of retailers and consumers. Boycott efforts based on false claims by fringe political groups designed to grab headlines and consumers are unfortunate and illegal.”

The company declined to further comment or explain how the boycotts are illegal; how its bottom line has been affected by the boycott and subsequent investigations, and why it chose to locate its plant on the West Bank.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik of Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights, one of the rabbis who signed the anti-boycott letter, attended the counter-protest with some congregants. “I buy Ahava,” he said. “These protests don’t advance the cause of peace one iota. The whole settlement issue has to be negotiated. These protestors have already reached a conclusion without going through the process.”

The escalation of both the boycott campaign and opposition to it come as supporters of Israel increasingly point to BDS as part of an effort to “delegitimize” Israel. On October 26, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Jewish Federations of North America announced the creation of the Israel Action Network to actively combat BDS campaigns. The initiative, with an initial budget of $6 million, will have seven paid staffers working out of JCPA’s main office in New York, plus a staffer in Jerusalem and one in Washington. Some will be tasked with responding immediately to BDS actions as they occur, others with planning strategies for the long term.

“The delegitimization movement aims to create an equation between Israel, South Africa, apartheid, colonial power, and deserving to be punished through the use of boycotts and sanctions,” said JCPA’s senior vice president, Martin Raffel, who will oversee the network. “We see our job as projecting a more accurate, fair and balanced picture.” He expects to formally launch the initiative in January.

Rabbi Andy Bachman of Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim, who signed the anti-boycott letter, said BDS is never just a boycott, noting that even the dovish group J Street keeps its distance from the movement. “All the BDS groups, none of them really recognize the two-state solution,” he said. “I believe really strongly in a two-state solution and feel like all diplomatic channels of mature and responsible adults are working toward that. [BDS] is an attempt to chip away at Israel’s image and establish Israel as a pariah state. …So many of the [BDS] member groups are for the ultimate eradication of Israel as a Jewish democratic state.”

Many Israel supporters see a two-state solution to the conflict as crucial to ensuring Israel’s future as a democratic state with a strong Jewish majority.

Naomi Allen, an activist on the board of Brooklyn for Peace, said that for her group, it’s just about the settlements, not Israel as a whole. “We adopted a position in favor of boycotting Israeli products from the settlements and the occupied West Bank this May,” she said. “There was already an Ahava boycott going on, so we decided to extend it to Brooklyn, where there’s a couple of outlets that sell Ahava.”

Kricorian likewise claims she is often mistakenly painted as an Israel delegitimizer. “I’m for human rights and international law. How is that delegitimizing Israel?” she asked. She declined to state her position on a two-state solution. “It doesn’t matter how many states it is. It’s not our place to decide.”

A representative of Ricky’s NYC declined to comment. But Hindy Poupko, director of Israel and international affairs for the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York — which sent a 15,000-signature letter to Ricky’s CEO Dominick Costello asking him to keep selling Ahava — said Ricky’s assured her that the store won’t take Ahava off its shelves. “They’re not convincing the unconvinced,” Poupko said of the anti-Ahava activists. “They’re talking to themselves.”



The march was organised by far-right settlers allied to Kach, a movement that demands the expulsion of Palestinians from both Israel and the occupied territories. The movement was formally outlawed in 1994, but has continued to flourish openly among some settler groups.

Protest met with rubber bullets: Israeli police shoot ‘hated’ Arab legislator in back 

By Jonathan Cook

Israeli police injured two Arab legislators on Wedensay in violent clashes provoked by Jewish rightwing extremists staging a march through the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

Haneen Zoubi, a parliament member who has become a national hate figure in Israel and received hundreds of death threats since her participation in an aid flotilla to Gaza in the summer, was among those hurt.

Ms Zoubi reported being hit in the back and neck by rubber bullets as she fled the area when police opened fire. In an interview, she said she believed she had been specifically targeted by police snipers after they identified her.

Police denied her claims, saying they had used only tear gas and stun grenades.

Some 1,500 police were reported to have faced off with hundreds of Arab and Jewish demonstrators in the town.

Shimon Koren, the northern police commander, admitted special paramilitary forces had been used against the Arab counter-demonstration, as well as an undercover unit more usually deployed at Palestinian protests in the West Bank.

An officer disguised as an Arab demonstrator, from the so-called “mistarvim unit”, was among the injured, apparently after police fired a stun grenade at him by mistake.

Ms Zoubi harshly criticised the police violence. “The police proved that they are a far more dangerous threat to me and other Arab citizens than the fascist group that came to Umm al-Fahm,” she said.

The march was organised by far-right settlers allied to Kach, a movement that demands the expulsion of Palestinians from both Israel and the occupied territories. The movement was formally outlawed in 1994, but has continued to flourish openly among some settler groups.

The organisers said they were demanding the banning of the Islamic Movement, which has its headquarters in Umm al-Fahm.

The Islamic Movement’s leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, has angered Israeli officials by heading a campaign in Jerusalem’s Old City to highlight what he says is an attempted Israeli takeover of the Haram al-Sharif compound that includes the al-Aqsa mosque.

He was also on the Mavi Marmara aid ship to Gaza in May, and claimed at the time that Israeli commandos had tried to assassinate him. Nine passengers were killed, some of them by close-range shots to their heads.

The sheikh is currently serving a three-month jail sentence over clashes with the Israeli security forces close to the al-Aqsa mosque.

Michael Ben Ari, a former Kach member and now an MP with the rightwing National Union party, who attended the march, said Israel must not be a “stupid democracy and let people who want to destroy us have a voice”.

Baruch Marzel, one of the march organisers, told Israel Radio: “If the Kach Party was outlawed, then the Islamic Movement deserves to be outlawed 1,000 times over.”

On hearing of Ms Zoubi’s injuries, he added: “It was worth going to Umm el-Fahm. She is our enemy.”

Afu Aghbaria, an Arab MP with the joint Jewish-Arab Communist party, was also hurt. He said he had been hit in the leg.

Arab leaders said the clash had been triggered by undercover police who began thowing stones from among the demonstrators — a tactic that the unit has been caught on film using at protests in the West Bank.

Mohammed Zeidan, head of the Higher Follow-Up Committee, the main political body for Israel’s Arab citizens, who comprise a fifth of the total population, condemned the police actions.

“Racism is no longer found only in documents or on the margins, like with Marzel, but has become a phenomenon among decision-makers and carried out on the ground. What happened today in Umm al-Fahm is a menacing escalation.”

The committee demanded a state investigation into what it called “exaggerated violence” by the police.

Police said nine Arab demonstrators had been arrested for stone-throwing.

Four police officers were reported to be lightly injured. The far-right marchers were escorted away by police, unharmed.

Ms Zoubi, a first-term MP, shot to notoriety this summer after she was among the first passengers to be released following Israel’s violent takeover of the Mavi Marmara.

Ms Zoubi contradicted the Israeli account that the nine passengers had been killed by commandos defending themselves, accusing the navy of opening fire on the ship before any commandos had boarded. She also claimed several passengers had been allowed to bleed to death.

She was provided with a body guard for several weeks after receiving a spate of deaths threats and general villification in the parliament.

The Israeli police have been criticised in the past for lying about the strong-arm methods used to quell protests by the country’s Arab citizens.

A state commission of inquiry found in 2003 that the police had used live ammunition and rubber bullets, in violation of its own regulations, to suppress solidarity demonstrations inside Israel at the start of the second intifada.

Thirteen Arab citizens were killed and hundreds injured in a few days of clashes in 2000. Police had falsely claimed that the deaths had been caused by “friendly fire” from among the demonstrators.

A recently parliamentary report revealed that there were only 382 Muslims in Israel’s 21,000-strong national police force – or less than 2 per cent.

The establishment of the undercover “mistarvim” unit against the country’s Arab population caused outrage among civil rights groups when it was first revealed last year.

The far-right march in Umm al-Fahm was timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary this week of the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who founded Kach. At a commemoration service in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel told hundreds who attended that the government was allowing the Palestinians to “establish an Ishmael state in Israel”.



Americans now have all the evidence they need for a reasonable and morally-sound conclusion, that Zionism produces a cruelty and truculence that they bankroll with their taxes and legitimize with either silence or consent.  As a result, I am not arguing that Americans should reassess their level of support for Israel.  I am arguing that Americans should oppose Zionism altogether.  Perhaps in this way we might begin the long and difficult process of redeeming our own nation of its imperial sins.

Image by Bendib

Four Reasons Why Americans Should Oppose Zionism

by Steven Salaita*

Israel has been subject to some bad publicity recently.  In 2008-09, it launched a brutal military campaign in the Gaza Strip that killed over 400 Palestinian children.  In May, 2010, bumbling Israeli commandos murdered nine nonviolence activists on the relief flotilla Mavi Marmara.  It only got worse for Israel when it was revealed that soldiers stole and sold personal items such as laptops from the ship.  Last week, former Israeli soldier Eden Abergil posted photos onto Facebook showing her preening in front of blindfolded and despondent Palestinian prisoners, in some instances mocking those prisoners with sexual undertones.  The photos were part of an album entitled “IDF—the best time of my life.”

While Abergil’s pictures may not seem as abhorrent as the Gaza and Mavi Marmara brutality—Abergil, for her part, described her behavior as nonviolent and free of contempt—all three actions are intimately connected.  First of all, we must dispel the notion that Abergil’s photos are nonviolent.  As with the Abu Ghraib debacle, a sexualized and coercive humiliation is being visited on the bodies of powerless, colonized, and incarcerated subjects, which by any reasonable principle is a basal form of violence; there is also the obvious physical violence of Palestinians being bound and blindfolded, presumably in or on their way to prisons nobody will confuse with the Mandarin Oriental.

More important, these recent episodes merely extend an age-old list of Israeli crimes and indignities that illuminate a depravity in the Zionist enterprise itself.  What is noteworthy about Israel’s three recent escapades is that more and more people are starting to pay attention to its crimes and indignities.  In so doing, more and more people are questioning the origin and meaning of Zionism—that is, the very idea of a legally ethnocentric Israel.

I would like to address this piece to those who have undertaken such questioning or to those who are prepared to initiate it.  I would urge you not to limit your critique of Israel only to its errors of judgment or its perceived excesses; it is more productive to challenge the ideology and practice of Zionism itself.  There is no noble origin or beautiful ideal to which the wayward Jewish state must return; such yearnings are often duplicitous mythmaking or romanticized nostalgia.  Zionists always intended to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, a strategy they carried out and continue to pursue with horrifying efficiency.

Likewise, Zionism was always a colonialist movement, one that relied on the notions of divine entitlement and civilizational superiority that justified previous settlement projects in South Africa, Algeria, and North America.  Zionism, by virtue of its exclusionary outlook and ethnocentric model of citizenship, is on its own a purveyor of fundamental violence.  The bad PR to which Israel sometimes is subject today is a reflection of changed media dynamics, not a worsening of Israel’s behavior.

The 2008-09 Gaza invasion, the attack on the Mavi Marmara, and Abergil’s Facebook photos aren’t anomalous or extraordinary.  They are the invariable result of a Zionist ideology that cannot help but view Palestinian Muslims and Christians as subhuman, no matter how ardently its liberal champions assert that Zionism is a liberation movement.  Zionism has the unfortunate effect of proclaiming that one group of people should have access to certain rights from which another group of people is excluded.  There is nothing defensible in this proposition.

Here, then, are four reasons why Americans (and all other humans regardless of race or religion) should oppose Zionism:

1. Zionism is unethical and immoral:  Because Zionists claim access to land and legal rights that directly obviate the same access to an indigenous community, it operates from within an idea of belonging that is cruel and archaic.  Israel bases its primary criterion for citizenship on religious identity.  Imagine having your religion on your driver’s license.  And imagine having limited access to freeways, farmland, family, education, employment, and foreign travel because the religion by which the state has chosen to identify you is legally marginalized.  Such is the daily reality of the Palestinian people.

2. Zionism is racist:  This claim isn’t the same as saying that all Zionists are racist.  I would make a distinction between the categories of “Zionist” and “Zionism.”  However, inherent in the practice of Zionism is a reliance on racialist judgments about who can fully participate in the benefits and practices of a national community.  Many Zionists view themselves merely as supporting freedom and safety for Jewish people.  I would suggest that people who identify themselves as Zionist look more closely at the ideology they support.  Such freedom and safety, both of which are in fact mythologies, come at the direct expense of people confined to Bantustans and refugee camps.

3. Zionism contravenes the geopolitical interests of the United States:  Many Americans have heard former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert boast that he once pulled George W. Bush off the dais while Bush was giving a speech, or more recently current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing that “America is something that can be easily moved.”  Israel costs the United States billions of dollars in direct aid and in bribe money to Jordan and Egypt for their docility.  Israel also is the main reason for disgruntlement about American foreign policy in the Arab and Muslim Worlds.  I raise this point with some hesitation because I believe all citizens of the United States should challenge and not celebrate American geopolitical interests.  I would also point out that Zionism’s narrative of salvation and redemption resonates deeply among Americans because of the United States’ origin and continued presence as a nation of settler colonists.  In the end, America itself needs to be decolonized and the vast sums of money that support the imperial projects Israel so brazenly exemplifies need to be directed toward the well-being of those who pay the government its taxes.

4. Zionism is fundamentally incompatible with democracy:  Israel, as a result, is undemocratic and will be as long as it uses religious identity as the operating criterion of citizenship.  We hear much in the United States about Islam being incompatible with democracy, a belief that is historically untrue and that elides the massive military and monetary support the United States provides to the assortment of dictators and plutocrats that rule much of the Arab World.  Neoconservative and mainstream commentators both evoke Israel in opposition to Islam as a symbol of democratic achievement, but in reality Israel performs one of the most barbaric forms of oppression today in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (and discriminates against the Palestinian citizens of Israel).

The alternative media engendered by new technology have allowed more people to witness the unremitting violence that has been Israel’s stock in trade for decades.  Many consumers of this information and these images believe that Israel is guilty of excess when a simpler explanation exists:  Israel is acting out the requisites of an exclusionary and inherently violent ideology.

These days all it takes is a little braggadocio from an ex-soldier such as Eden Abergil to so perfectly symbolize the callousness of Zionist colonization.  Ten years ago, the Israeli government’s lies about the IDF killings aboard the Mavi Marmara would have been unchallenged by gruesome cell phone footage.  Nobody these days could have stopped the images of white phosphorous exploding and spreading over the Gaza Strip from being aired; Israelis themselves were foolish enough to capture Jewish children writing messages on soon-to-be-launched missiles.

Americans now have all the evidence they need for a reasonable and morally-sound conclusion, that Zionism produces a cruelty and truculence that they bankroll with their taxes and legitimize with either silence or consent.  As a result, I am not arguing that Americans should reassess their level of support for Israel.  I am arguing that Americans should oppose Zionism altogether.  Perhaps in this way we might begin the long and difficult process of redeeming our own nation of its imperial sins.

*I teach English at Virginia Tech and write about Arab Americans, Indigenous peoples, race and ethnicity, and literature. I live with my beloved wife and nutty orange tabby–his most eminent, Le Tigre–in Blacksburg, Virginia.


Also posted AT


$6 million is apparently needed to attempt to halt the BDS movement, that means something.  But all the money in the world can’t stop the movement for Palestinian justice.

How Much Money is Needed to Stop the BDS Movement?

by Alex Kane

$6 million dollars:  enough to combat a largely grassroots, bottom-up and growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel?  That’s what the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are hoping.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:

The Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are launching a multimillion-dollar joint initiative to combat anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns.

The JFNA and the rest of the Jewish federation system have agreed to invest $6 million over the next three years in the new initiative, which is being called the Israel Action Network. The federations will be working in conjunction with JCPA, an umbrella organization bringing together local Jewish community relations councils across North America.

The BDS movement–whose demands are based on international law–is clearly scaring Israel and the Jewish establishment, who have labeled the movement “the second most dangerous threat to Israel, after Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

The article also reports that the new anti-BDS initiative sprung from the urging of the Israeli government, which “has been advocating for this, especially over the past six months or eight months,” as Jerry Silverman, the head of the Jewish Federation of North America, told JTA.

It appears that the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are following the recommendations of the Reut Institute, an Israeli think tank with close ties to the Israeli government, who called on the Israeli government to “sabotage” and “attack” the BDS movement in a February 2010 report.

The investment of a large amount of money to combat what is essentially impossible to combat as long as Israel continually flouts international law is a recognition of the powerful effect the BDS movement is having.  Members of the Israeli Knesset certainly see BDS as a threat, having introduced a bill that would make it illegal for Israelis to “launch or incite” a boycott against Israel.

When $6 million is apparently needed to attempt to halt the BDS movement, that means something.  But all the money in the world can’t stop the movement for Palestinian justice.  Couldn’t someone tell that to the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs?  Their money would be better spent on something else.





Makhoul, an Israeli citizen, was detained by authorities during a nighttime raid on his home in May. He and his lawyers maintain that the charges against him are political, and that he was tortured while in prison. Makhoul was also banned from seeing a lawyer for the first 12 days of his detention.

Ameer Makhoul accepts plea bargain

By Jared Malsin

Ameer Makhoul, the Palestinian-Israeli dissident from Haifa, accepted a plea deal on Wednesday. I spoke with his lawyer and filed this report for Ma’an:

GAZA  — Ameer Makhoul, the Palestinian activist from Haifa, accepted a plea bargain on Wednesday, confessing to espionage charges leveled by the Israeli state.

Makhoul, an Israeli citizen, was detained by authorities during a nighttime raid on his home in May. He and his lawyers maintain that the charges against him are political, and that he was tortured while in prison. Makhoul was also banned from seeing a lawyer for the first 12 days of his detention.

The charges include conspiring to assist an enemy, contact with a foreign agent and spying for Hezbollah.

Orna Kohn, one of Makhoul’s lawyers from the legal rights group Adalah, said Makhoul decided to accept the plea deal after consultation with his defense team.

Under the deal, she said, the content of the indictment was reduced. The state is asking for 10 years imprisonment, while the defense is asking for seven, Kohn added.

Kohn said the decision to accept the deal was made after taking into consideration “the political climate now and the legal situation under Israeli law with so-called security charges, and given the history of rulings in Israeli courts dealing with such charges.”

Kohn said she met Makhoul earlier on Wednesday. Asked about his condition, she said, “He’s well. He’s hopeful the court will rule for the minimal number of years.”

“He understands his chances of being acquitted are slim,” she added. She said the charges against him “in any other country should not have been basis for indictment.”

A hearing is set for 5 December, when the court will decide whether to accept the plea deal reached between the prosecution and the defense.

Makhoul is the director of Ittijah, the Union of Arab Community-Based Organizations, and also chaired the High Arab Monitoring Committee’s panel on defending Arab citizens’ freedoms. He was arrested in May along with Omar Saeed, an activist with the Balad party.

The plea bargain was agreed upon in the Haifa District Court after being submitted on Tuesday.

A representative for the prosecution told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “The plea bargain was approved by the highest ranking levels of prosecution, including the state prosecutor. Most importantly Makhoul, who claimed he was being politically persecuted at the beginning of this, now stands in front of the court and admits to the charges attributed to him.”



As Israel fires on activists, BDS movement claims victories

A home in Nabi Saleh village is occupied by Israeli soldiers, 22 October 2010. (ActiveStills


At least fifteen Palestinians were injured in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on Friday, 22 October, when Israeli forces opened fire at a demonstration against the wall and ongoing land confiscation. 

Villagers “marched alongside Israeli and international supporters towards the village lands, where Israel is building the wall,” the Palestinian News Network (PNN) reported. “Soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at them, injuring 15 civilians, one critically. Troops also fired tear gas into homes, burning three houses. Soldiers took a fourth house and told the owner they would use it as a military post for 45 days” (“Fifteen injured, Three Homes Burned In Nabi Saleh Village,” 22 October 2010).


That same day, in the village of al-Masara near Bethlehem, one international activist was wounded and two others were arrested by Israeli soldiers during a similar weekly protest against the planned construction of the wall. “Israeli soldiers stopped the protesters near the local school and used tear gas and sound bombs to force them back. A French activist sustained head injuries from a tear gas bomb and soldiers arrested two other internationals,” according to PNN. (“One Injured, Two Arrested, During Wall Protest Near Bethlehem,” 22 October 2010).


Elsewhere in the occupied West Bank, PNN reported that three Palestinian youths were injured that same day by Israeli-fired tear gas canisters during a protest in the village of Bilin. Villagers have waged regular, nonviolent demonstrations for several years against the encroaching Israeli wall and the nearby settlement colonies. Eight-year-old Lamma Abu Rahma, 17-year-old Muhammad al-Khatib and 17-year-old Ahmad Burnat were hit in the legs and feet by the tear gas grenades. (“Three Civilians Injured During Weekly Bil’in Anti Wall Protest,” 22 October 2010).


In related news, EU representatives and consuls general in Jerusalem released a statement on 20 October condemning the imprisonment of Abdallah Abu Rahme, a leader of the nonviolent resistance movement in Bilin who was recently sentenced by a military court to one year in Israeli prison. “The EU considers Abdallah Abu Rahme a human rights defender who has protested in a peaceful manner against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his village of Bilin,” said the statement. “The EU considers the route of the barrier where it is built on Palestinian land to be illegal. The EU supports the key role of human rights defenders in promoting and furthering of human rights” (“EU Representatives Regret Israeli Military Court Sentence,” 20 October 2010).


Meanwhile, around the globe, solidarity activists accelerated efforts to hold Israel accountable for its repressive policies, as well as corporations that profit from Israel’s human rights abuses.


The Irish government has officially refused to grant weapons manufacturer Israel Military Industries a contract to supply 10 million bullets to the Irish Defense Forces, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) confirmed. Organizers had waged a seven-month campaign of lobbying, letter-writing and protesting outside the constituency offices of Ireland’s defense minister Tony Killeen.

In an 11 October press release, the IPSC National Chairperson Freda Hughes stated “We commend the Irish government’s actions in this instance. For the Irish government to have bought bullets from Israel — the same bullets that have been used to murder thousands of Palestinians over the past decade — would have given succor to that rogue state, and given the impression that it can do what it likes to the Palestinian people and not suffer any consequences. The IPSC is proud of our campaign around this issue, and have no doubt that it played a role, albeit unacknowledged, in bringing about this decision” (“Victory as Palestine campaigners welcome Government scrapping of ‘Israeli bullets’ deal, warn against future deals,” 11 October 2010).



On 6 October, student activists in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh were able to shut down a career fair at Edinburgh University in protest of the inclusion of a major weapons manufacturer, BAE Systems, which produces and sells arms and equipment to the Israeli military. According to a press release issued by Edinburgh University Students for Justice In Palestine, a dozen students entered the career fair, holding the Palestinian flag and banners that read “BAE – Blatant Absence of Ethics” and “BAE sells – Israel kills” (“Students Shut Down Careers Fair in Protest,” 7 October 2010).


“Upon being asked to leave by security, the students held a ‘die-in’ in front of the stall, to symbolize all the people killed by BAE’s weapons,” the press release stated.

“BAE Systems is the world’s second-largest arms producer,” the the students’ statement added. “It makes fighter aircraft, armored vehicles, artillery systems, missiles, munitions and much more. In 2008, company sales exceeded £18.5 (USD $29) billion, with about 95 percent of these being for military use. BAE has been under investigation for corruption and was, as a result, forced earlier this year to pay a £30 (USD $40) million fine in the UK and one of $400 million in the US. BAE’s arms are sold indiscriminately around the world, with military customers in over 100 countries. These countries include Israel.”


In Norway, a petition calling for a widespread institutional cultural and academic boycott of Israel has quickly gathered a hundred signatories, following major divestment actions by the Norwegian government (“Call for an academic and cultural boycott of the state of Israel“). Norway’s state sovereign wealth fund — which is the third-largest in the world, holding more than $300 billion — recently moved to divest from both Elbit Systems and Africa Israel. The two Israeli corporations are deeply involved with the construction of Israel’s wall and the ongoing settlement industry in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international law.


The Norwegian petition, drafted by academics and activists in support of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, has been signed by academics, writers, musicians, cultural workers and sports figures, including Egil “Drillo” Olsen, the coach of the Norwegian national soccer team. Following the Israeli commando raid and deadly attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla in May, a national public opinion poll found that approximately 40 percent of all Norwegians had already begun to boycott Israeli products or were in favor of doing so.


After a broad-based grassroots campaign in the town of Cigales, a town in Spain’s Valladolid province, the city council voted to remove bottled water produced by the Israeli company Eden Springs Ltd. from all municipal buildings.

In a press release, activists with the Platform for Solidarity with Palestine-Valladolid stated that with this decision, “the City Council joins the international movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel. The City Council of Cigales has taken this decision after a strong mobilization of its [residents], including demonstrations, signature event and public awareness campaigns” (“El Ayuntamiento de Cigales retira la marca israelí de agua embotellada Eden de sus dependencias,” 21 October 2010).


Activists say that this is the third successful boycott campaign against Eden products this year in the Valladolid province. In June, teachers and workers at a nursing school at the University of Valladolid pressured the administration to remove Eden water from vending machines; and the City Council of Villanueva de Duero, a nearby town, removed Eden from its municipal buildings as well.


The Asia to Gaza Caravan, a group of approximately five hundred activists from seventeen different Asian countries, plans to gather in New Delhi, India, on 1 December. Activists intend to march through 18 cities in Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt in an effort to pressure Israel to lift the siege and blockade on Gaza.

Organized by Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine, activists will be carrying humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, with the march culminating at the Rafah crossing into southern Gaza.

According to the campaign’s website (www.asiatogaza.net), organizers say that the caravan will coordinate with existing and new solidarity groups during the march. “The aim of this campaign is to build a diverse and inclusive Asian solidarity for the Palestinians and against the blockade that denies the Palestinians their rights,” state the organizers on the website.




The fifth Viva Palestina convoy arrives in Gaza, 22 October 2010. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills


EgyptIn Egypt, more than three hundred activists affiliated with the “Viva Palestina” organization arrived in the port town of al-Arish with humanitarian aid — including more than $5 million worth of medical equipment and food supplies, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz (“Viva Palestina Activists Deliver Tons of Aid to Gaza Strip,” 21 October 2010). 


United States 

At Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the university’s undergraduate council, representing 6,700 undergraduate students, voted on 18 October to approve a bill calling on Harvard President Drew Faust “to establish a commission of concerned faculty, students and administrators to investigate” their decision to honor Martin Peretz. The council also “fully condemned” Harvard’s decision to accept a $650,000 fund for undergraduate social studies research named after Peretz.

Martin Peretz, a former Harvard professor, is the editor-in-chief of the Washington DC-based New Republic magazine, and recently wrote in an op-ed that “Muslim life is cheap,” and that Muslims should not be afforded free speech rights under the US Constitution. Peretz has also opined that Palestinians are “unfit” to govern their own country, and that Arabs in general are “genetically” predisposed to violence.

Peretz also wrote that many African-Americans “are afflicted by cultural deficiencies” and that “in the ghetto a lot of mothers don’t appreciate the importance of schooling.” He also claimed that “Latin societ[ies]” exhibit “characteristic deficiencies” such as “congenital corruption” and “near-tropical work habits.”


Protesting Peretz’ honoring by the university, more than four hundred students and faculty signed a letter written by student organizations including the Harvard Islamic Society, the Black Students Association, Latinas Unidas, the Society of Arab Students and the Progressive Jewish Alliance. “Such an invitation lends legitimacy and respectability to views that can only be described as abhorrent and racist in their implication that the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution should be withheld from certain citizens based on their religious affiliation,” the organizations stated (“Student Letter Criticizes Marty Peretz,” The Harvard Crimson, 20 September 2010). 

The bill gained the support of both the university student president and vice president, and passed two council committees before reaching the student union floor and passing by a wide margin: 26-7, with four abstentions.


And finally, Palestine solidarity activists and groups convened last weekend in Montreal, Canada, for the BDS Conferénce Montréal. The conference, organizers state on the website bdsquebec.org, “aim[ed] to regain the momentum of the international BDS campaign in Quebec, and bring together organizations that stand in solidarity with the plight of Palestinians. Through a collaborative approach, organizations can work together to start building a popular BDS movement in order to educate and inform the Canadian public.” Community and international activists, such as Omar Barghouti, coordinator of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the Palestinian Boycott National Committee, and members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions presented panel discussions and workshops over the weekend to hundreds of attendants.




Let me start off by apologising for the crudeness of the heading and some of the language used in the text itself, but there is not a civil or genteel way to deal with the topic at hand, that being racism.

I was awakened at 4:02 AM by the call to prayer from the mosque down the hill from my home today. It reminded me of a telephone call I received at 2 A.M. on this very day twenty years ago. The call was short and sweet, from a dear friend in London…. it went as follows; “You will have a grave to piss on tomorrow”. You will understand the significance of that call when you read further into this post…..

The McCarthy era was techniclly over but it seemed to have given some a justification to carry on with fascist and racist activities. One in particular justified his actions by claiming he was acting in the name of the Jewish people. One that was called meir kahane, the vilest most dangerous individual that graced our planet since hitler himself.

In the late 1950s to early 1960s Kahane led a life of secrecy. His strong anti-Communist views landed him a position as a consultant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). His assignment was to infiltrate the right-wing John Birch Society and report his findings back to the FBI. For this position Kahane took on the false name Michael King and spent nearly two and a half years posing as a Christian, learning all he could about the John Birch Society. (From) ….. So you can see he received his ‘training’ from the best….

Soon afterwards he founded the Jewish Defense League. The group was started to serve as an ‘escort service’ for Jews having to walk through predominantly Black neighbourhoods in Brooklyn on their way to their synagagues on Friday nights. In reality it was a group of stormtroopng thugs that terrorised those neighbourhoods with weekly pogroms.

I had my first personal encounter with kahane in 1960 when I was taking part in a Civil Rights demonstration at the construction site of the Brooklyn Downstate Medical Centre. My involvement led to me being arrested. As I was being dragged off to the ‘paddy wagon’ kahane himself was standing there cheering the police on. This resulted in a personal vendetta against the bastard, one that lasted till the day he was murdered.

From that day on I did everything in my power to disrupt and try to stop any activity sponsored by him. I was part of  a group that removed posters put up by his goons, disrupted his meetings and did everything in our power to keep his message silent. In many cases we were successful. His message was not limited to being anti Black, it soon expanded, in true McCarthyite fashion to anti communism and anti Sovietism.

He carried his hatred with him when he immigrated to Israel where he founded the (soon to be outlawed) Kach Party. He was successful in winning a seat in the Knesset in 1984. By then, I was also in Israel, continuing my protests against him and his group.

The last time I saw him was at a street rally held in Jerusalem. We had enough people with us which made it impossible for him to speak. When it was over he approached me, pointed his index finger at me and said “after I get rid of the Arabs I’m coming after you”. My response was “you won’t be getting rid of anyone, and I’ll piss on your grave before you get me”! (Hence the phonecall from London mentioned earlier).

This morning at 4:02 the cries of ‘Allah hu Akbar, Allah hu Akbar’ (God is great) were music to my ears…. music that he wasn’t around to enjoy. Unfortunately his ideas live on, but they too will soon be relegated to the same waste bin of history where he rots away.

So join me today, and everyday, print out the image presented above, tape it to your toilet tank and


Even as the Direct ‘Peace Talks’ were taking place in Washington last month between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, demolition talks were taking place in the backrooms of the Jerusalem municipality. Following are the results…..

Israel Hands 231 Orders Targeting Arab Homes In Jerusalem

by Saed Bannoura

Local sources in Jerusalem reported Monday that the Israeli Authorities handed 231 demolition orders on Monday targeting Arab and Palestinian homes in several neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Protest - Palestine-Info
Jerusalem Protest – Palestine-Info

The orders target homes in Shu’fat, Silwan, Al Bustan, Beit Hanina, Al Esawiyya, Wadi Al Dam, and the Al Ras area in Wadi Al Joz, and other neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.

Several Palestinians were wounded on Sunday during clashes that took place while the Israeli police was handing orders for the demolition of Palestinian homes in Silwan and Al Bustan neighborhoods, south of the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Undercover forces of the Israeli army also invaded East Jerusalem and clashed with local residents.

Also on Monday, hundreds of residents protested near Bab Al Amoud in East Jerusalem, and expressed their rejection to the Israeli polices against the Palestinians, their homes and the holy sites in the city.

They also carried pictures of elected Hamas legislators in Jerusalem, who have been protesting at the Red Cross in Jerusalem since last July, after an Israeli court decided to revoke their identity cards and ordered their expulsion from the city.

Source via Uruknet


“Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel,” Archbishop Tutu said in his statement.

Tutu Urges South African Opera Company Not to Perform in Israel

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Bernd Weissbrod/European Pressphoto Agency Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, has urged an opera company there not to perform in Israel, invoking South Africa’s long struggle against apartheid in criticizing Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, The Associated Press reported. The Cape Town Opera is scheduled to perform “Porgy and Bess” at the Tel Aviv Opera House beginning on Nov. 12. But Archbishop Tutu, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who retired from his official duties earlier this month, said in a statement that the tour should be postponed “until both Israeli and Palestinian opera lovers of the region have equal opportunity and unfettered access to attend performances.”

“Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel,” Archbishop Tutu said in his statement. He added that it would be “unconscionable” for the opera company to perform “Porgy and Bess,” which he said has a “universal message of nondiscrimination.”

Hanna Munitz, general director of the Israeli Opera, said in a statement that the intent of the collaboration between the companies “is culture and art, and definitely not politics,” adding: “Both houses relate to culture as a bridge, the aim of which is to be above any political dispute. Furthermore, the fact of the matter is that very big performance companies arrive in Israel from abroad all the time.”



Image by Bendib

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