Now presenting Part 3 ……

Removed third intifada page regains 27,000 fans in first day

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, The organizers of the third Palestinian intifada page on Facebook have gained over 27,000 fans in one day after the Facebook administration removed the page in response to official calls in Israel.

The page now includes opening statements condemning the Facebook administration and founder Mark Zuckerberg after they responded to pressure from Israel to close the page calling the Palestinians to take to the streets for a third intifada against Israel on May 15, which marks the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

Facebook said it removed the page, which picked up a fan base of 350,000 in less than a month, claiming that it ”incites and contains calls for the use of violence against Jews.”

Israeli minister Yuli Eidelstein wrote the site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg calling for the page’s removal.

According to the Israeli daily Yediot Ahranot, the fear of a popular Palestinian revolution similar to what happened in the past, as popular uprisings continue in several Arab countries, has increased after the emergence of the page.


Looks like without FaceBook there would be no changes in the Arab world 😉

Image by Khalil Bendib

click on image to enlarge


Land Day: What it Means and Why it’s Important

By Yousef


Today, March 30th, marks Land Day or Youm Al Ard in Arabic. Perhaps more than May 15th, when the Nakba is often marked, or June 5th, when the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is marked, Land Day is symbolic of the totality of the Palestinian struggle. It’s a day that refugees, who dwell in dismal camps dreaming of return, internally displaced or marginalized Palestinians in Israel and Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza are bound together in commemoration of what the Palestinian struggle is all about: a people’s desire to live free on their native land.

So what precisely is Land Day? An info brief here, which is worth reading in its entirety, explains:

On 29 February 1976, the Israeli government announced that it planned to confiscate 21,000 dunum (5,500 acres) of Arab-owned land in order to create eight Jewish industrial centers. While government officials claimed that this expropriation was necessary in order to develop the region of Galilee, Israel’s Palestinian citizenry perceived it as another attempt by Israel to geographically marginalize the state’s Arab community and strip it of its agricultural livelihood. Their fears were later confirmed when Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture declared the plan’s primary purpose to be the creation of a Jewish majority in the Arab Galilee.

Having experienced institutionalized discrimination since the Jewish state’s inception, the Palestinians of Israel decided to challenge this latest measure. Almost immediately after the announcement of land expropriation was made, community leaders met in an attempt to organize and communicate a unified message of objection. To deliver this message, a public demonstration was planned at the Knesset. Rather than risk a violent encounter with Israeli police, community leaders decided to cancel the protest and, instead, encourage members of their community to remain indoors making their objections known through a general strike.

Anticipating Palestinian repudiation of the measure, Israeli authorities imposed a curfew on the lower Galilee on the evening of 29 March 1976. The following morning, Israeli police and military forces entered the striking Arab villages, a move which provoked some Arab youth into a stone-throwing demonstration. To the protestors’ dismay, Israeli forces responded with live ammunition, indiscriminately opening fire upon the unarmed protestors. By the day’s end, six residents of Sakhnin, Arabeh, Kufr Kana and Taibeh were killed, 96 others were injured and 300 arrested.

Israeli authorities eventually confiscated the land in question under the guise of ‘security.’ The territory was later converted to Jewish settlements and an Israeli military training camp. The events of 30 March 1976 have not been forgotten in the minds and hearts of the Palestinian people. To this day, Palestinians, whether Israeli citizens or not, annually mark March 30 as ‘Land Day’ to demonstrate their connection to the land and to honor the memory of those who died defending Palestinian rights to the land.

Things haven’t gotten much easier for Palestinian citizens of Israel and we are holding an event on the challenges they face in particular next week which you can attend in DC or watch live from anywhere in the world.

But it’s not only Palestinians who are marking Land Day this year. Palestine solidarity activists in the United States and around the world are working to bring attention to the BDS movement on this day. The YouTube video below shows how one such group in New York decided to do just that by breaking out into a flashmob dance, reworking the lyrics to a popular Journey song, in the middle of Grand Central Station last night.

Oh yeah, the Israeli military marked Land Day as well.



Needless to say, the zionists in general are distressed with this existing page on FB. They have demanded it’s removal, the ‘Muslims’ have threatened ‘Boycott’ if it’s removed…. it’s turning into a full-scale Web-war….. a modern version of Pac Man.

Facebook removes page calling for a ‘Third Palestinian Intifada’

In the original page, Palestinians are urged to take to the streets after Friday prayers on May 15 and begin an uprising in the vein of the first two popular uprisings.

The Facebook page calling for a third Palestinian intifada was taken down on Tuesday, after widespread calls for it to be removed.

On the original page, Palestinians are urged  to take to the streets after Friday prayers on May 15 and begin an uprising in the vein of the first two popular uprisings. “Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews,” reads the call. The page had more than 340,000 fans.

Although the page was removed, a new page already exists in its place with the same name of “Third Palestinian Intifada.”

The Anti Defamation League had filed an official complaint against Facebook for allowing the page to remain up.

In addition, Minister Yuli Edelstein wrote a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, warning that the page includes calls to kill Jews and to liberate Jerusalem through violence.

The page incites to violence and violates Facebook content regulations, wrote Edelstein.

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said about the page “We should not be so naïve to believe that a campaign for a ‘Third Intifada’ does not portend renewed violence, especially in the current climate that has seen a dramatic increase in rocket attacks from Gaza, the brutal murder of the Fogel family in the West Bank, and a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem.”

Facebook has not released an official response to the Israeli government’s request or the ADL statement.




Four questions arise from the following report and video….

1. How long does Israel intend to keep Gaza under siege?
2. How long does Israel intend to keep Abbas ‘in charge’ of the Palestinian Authority??

A third question might be….
3. Is this proposed plan meant to expand the prison operations that exist today?
4. Is this meant to become a new vacation spot for rich Israelis? If so, where is Mr. Rourke and Tattoo?

Israel studies plan to build island off Gaza Strip

JERUSALEM  — Israel is studying plans to create an artificial island along the Gaza Strip with sea and air ports to be controlled by the Palestinian Authority, an Israeli television channel reported Tuesday.

The project, under development for three months by Transport Minister Yaakov Katz, proposes building a man-made island four kilometers long and two kilometers wide, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported.

The area where the island would be is currently under a tight military sea blockade. Israeli warships patrol along the coast, firing on fishing boats that leave the enforced three-nautical-mile fishing zone, unilaterally declared by Israel in 2009.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly backs the plan for the island, which would also contain a tourist area, a marina, hotels and a desalination plant for sea water, the report said. It would be linked to Gaza by a four-kilometer bridge.

It is estimated the project will cost $5-$10 billion and take six to 10 years to complete, the channel reported.

The coastal enclave has been under a strict blockade, and construction materials for some 6,000 homes destroyed by Israeli warplanes during the 2008-9 Israeli offensive Operation Cast Lead have been prohibited from entering the area. Construction is only permitted by international aid groups, who say they have been waiting for the entry of 70,000 tons of material since 2007.

The project’s backers in the government would like to see the island managed by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority — freezing out Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party have been at loggerheads since the early 1990s. Tensions boiled over in 2007, when the enmity erupted into bloodshed that saw Hamas kick their rivals out of Gaza.

Since then, Gaza has been effectively cut off from the West Bank, which is under the control of Fatah, and the coastal enclave has been under an Israeli naval blockade.

Translation of above…..

First Publication: Artificial island for final disengagement from Gaza

In recent months the Government formulated an idea put forward by senior officials and it won wide support. According to plan, an area off the coast of the Gaza Strip will be drained for sea and air ports to be set up – hopefully separating the area completely. The unusual move is being coordinated with the Palestinian Authority while Hamas is out of the picture.

Is the solution to the complex situation with Gaza in the sea? Israel recently developed a secret plan designed to bring a definitive disengagement from Gaza. In what initially may sound bizarre, the establishment of an artificial island off the coast of Gaza is being promoted seriously and with determination seriously by state officials.

Transport Minister Israel Katz conceived the idea with the knowledge of Prime Minister Netanyahu and enthusiastic support of President Shimon Peres. Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan was mentioned as one of those involved. According to the prepared possible model, an island will be formed in the sea within 4.5 kilometers from the shores of Gaza which will container 8000 dunam connected to the Gaza Strip by a bridge, similar to the bridge now serving the power stations in Hadera and Ashkelon.

The island would have a sea port, airport, along with logistical areas, tourist areas and hotels, facilities, electricity, water and more. All these are designed to allow the Gaza Strip access to the outside world without any Israeli involvement, without this causing security risks while allowing for a release from the effects of the blockade.

This policy can continue the closure of the Gaza Strip, while control of the island – which would be a demilitarized zone – will be transferred to international forces such as NATO, to monitor the movement of people from Gaza.

Hamas out of bounds

Access to the island will be possible only through the bridge to be erected, and it would be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority with no Hamas involvement in the project. So far the project has received much interest and support. It has an estimated cost of 5-10 billion dollars. Establishment of the island with its facilities is expected to take between half a decade and a decade.

The planning of the project has been assigned to a planning team of experts who have been working on it already for three months, and it is waiting now for the green light from the prime minister. Among other things, it will be possible to take the island territory into account in the territorial exchange agreement negotiated in the permanent status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In the absence of a political initiative on the horizon, it appears the project is a fresh breeze from the Netanyahu government.



As part of the Global BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Day of Action commemorating Land Day, Adalah-NY: the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel surprised commuters in New York’s Grand Central Station with a song and dance. They performed to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, but with a little twist to remind people to boycott Israel.

BDS Flash Mob in Grand Central Station, NYC


First, from our Associate Khalid Amayreh who states that Non-Islamic democracy is impossible in the Arab world …

Non-Islamic democracy is impossible in the Arab world
By Khalid Amayreh

Many westerners are quite gloomy about the prospects of democracy in the Arab world, following the historic revolutions that have taken (and are taking) place in  several Arab countries. They are worried  that true democracy in Arab lands might bring to power Islamic democrats who would  seek to reconcile human rights, civil  liberties with the Islamic rulings. In other words, they dread seeing the Islamization of democracy.

Some of  these  critics  are quite ignorant  of the truth about the Arab world and  Islam,  and  with a good  reason.  Decades of anti-Islam incitement, spearheaded by Zionist circles, more or less succeeded in tarnishing the image  of Islam in many western countries, portraying  it  as tyrannical and anti-democratic.

Others are quite malicious. They know that the re-adoption of Islam, even  the reinstitution  of the Islamic  political authority,  is  the “natural  way” for  Muslim people. After all, Islam has always been the soul of Arabs, and  asking  them to abandon Islam, in favor of imported western  ideas and ideals,  would be  tantamount to  asking them to abandon their human and cultural identity.

Many, probably most, westerners seem to  lament the demise  of  despicable  tyrants such as Hosni Mubarak, Zeinulabedin Bin Ali. Some are expressing consternation about the imminent downfall of Muammar  Qaddafi, the eccentric  Libyan dictator who has impoverished and murdered his people in  order to appease his megalomaniac tendencies.

There is of course a clear and large amount  of hypocrisy  in  the Western approach toward reforms in the Muslim world.  The  West, which is not a monolithic power, backed  and shielded Arab dictators for years, fearing that true democracy in the Arab world  would bring to the forefront  a new breed of elected leaders who are more or less unfriendly to western, especially American interests in this part  of the world.

Nonetheless, western hypocrisy goes much deeper. For while  people  anywhere in the world  should have the natural right to choose their  leaders freely, Muslims are not supposed to  choose leaders who are viewed as opposed to Zionist Nazism or American imperialism.

There is also  conspicuous moral and logical inconsistency in American and even European stand  on Arab and Israeli democracy.  According  to this inherently duplicitous  western view, it is  perfectly fine  if Jews in Israel elect Nazi-like parties  such as  Habayt Hayuhedi (the Jewish home), Shas, National Union, and politicians like Avigdor Liberman and Benyamin Netanyahu, that adopt clear-cut fascist formulas.  On the other hand, however, Muslims must be constantly warned against Islamic parties  whose political formulas are actually very much similar to those of Christian  democratic  parties  in West.

We are not denying the fact that there are some extremist  Islamic  groups, such as al-Qaeda that should be fought relentlessly as long  as they behave the way they do.

However, viewing  a billion and a half  Muslims with different cultures and ways of thinking, as carbon copies of  a tiny, fanatical group is  both illogical and unfair.

Yes, the west may encourage Arabs and Muslims to show genuine concern for human rights and civil liberties. This kind of interference is innocuous and harmless. But we  Muslims don’t like to be told to refrain from electing Islamic parties. After all, we are Muslims, and telling us to not  elect Islamic  parties is  tantamount  to telling us to give  up Islam itself and adopt another religion.

It should be clear to all that Arabs, like everyone else, have the right to elect their governments and leaders freely  according to their conscience. Moreover, for the sake of  mutual understanding and  constructive future relations between a democratic  west  and a democratic  Arab  world, the former would have to give up  some  of its  cultural arrogance and  accept the timeless truism that people may thoughtfully and sincerely hold different  views and  lead different ways of life.

After all, God created us different when He could have created us identical.

I said that whether the West likes it or not, Islam has always been  and continues to be  the zeitgeist (spirit  of the times) throughout the Arab world. Hence, it  is an expression of intransigence or perhaps  ill  will  on the part  of some western circles to warn Muslims in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia against electing parties with an  Islamic agenda.

The Muslims of Egypt have the right to elect a Muslim democratic party just as Christians in Germany have the right to elect a Christian democratic party.

As I mentioned above, there is a heavy legacy of misunderstandings, rumors and canards about Islam in the west, some dating back to the  ancient hostilities between Islam and the west while many of the recent  misunderstandings have been disseminated by Zionist circles,  especially through the media over which Zionist  lobbies have quite an influence.

While Muslims are not obliged to imitate or copy certain western aspects of  democracy, there is nothing wrong in having learning and borrowing from  the rich and long western experience of democracy.

Having said that, however,   it should be sufficiently clear that Muslims are under no  obligation to   copy or adopt anything that is incompatible with the principles  of our  faith.

Written FOR


An Op-Ed in today’s Ynet….

Arab democracy a fantasy

Op-ed: Social structure of Arab societies, clout of Islamists make true democracy unlikely


TO BOYCOTT or not to boycott? That is the question that growing numbers of American Jews on the left wing of the pro-Israel community have reluctantly and uneasily begun to ask themselves in recent months.

The Boycott Debate: No Longer Taboo in Progressive Pro-Israel Circles

Dov Waxman* and Mairav Zonszein**

TO BOYCOTT or not to boycott? That is the question that growing numbers of American Jews on the left wing of the pro-Israel community have reluctantly and uneasily begun to ask themselves in recent months. After initially categorically rejecting the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (or BDS, as it has become known)—a movement launched in 2005 by a coalition of Palestinian civil society groups that’s now a global campaign—progressive pro-Israel groups and individuals are now starting to reconsider and revise their position. They are not—at least not yet—embracing BDS, but they are for the first time giving it serious consideration and debating it merits.

The clearest sign yet of this new willingness to discuss what was previously off-limits occurred during a recent conference organized by J Street, the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby group. Holding its second annual conference in the cavernous Washington Convention Center (also the site of the yearly conference of AIPAC, J Street’s much larger and richer rival), J Street included a panel session entitled “Who is Afraid of the BDS?” Among the speakers was Rebecca Vilkomerson, the director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization that advocates the boycott of companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and has been labeled by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the top ten anti-Israel groups in the United States. Her inclusion was noteworthy in itself, but what made the panel even more remarkable was the fact that it was conducted in a calm, reasonable manner, free of diatribes and invectives. In other words, it was completely different from the way in which discussions of BDS usually take place in the American-Jewish community. Instead of assailing the legitimacy of BDS in principle, the discussion focused on the efficacy of BDS—can it help promote an end to the Israeli occupation and a two-state solution? The large audience that packed the room (people were even queuing outside to get in) listened calmly and intently and asked the panel earnest questions.

To hold a rational and civil debate on a topic that until now has been hugely inflammatory for American Jews and Israelis is quite an achievement for J Street. Even more commendable is the fact that it took place despite fierce criticism of J Street for including JVP—an organization that is shunned and vilified by the mainstream American-Jewish community— in its program. Contrary to the accusations of its critics, by allowing BDS to be debated at its conference, J Street did not embrace these controversial tactics (it continues to oppose BDS). Rather, J Street has asserted that BDS is a subject that cannot and should not be ignored by the American-Jewish community. By upholding the values of freedom of speech and inclusive dialogue, J Street is insisting that grappling with the pros and cons of BDS does not in itself delegitimize Israel or deem one to be an anti-Zionist. As such, J Street is helping to break the BDS taboo in the American-Jewish community in general and among progressive pro-Israel activists in particular.
THE BDS taboo is only the latest in a long line of Israel-related taboos that have been broken by American Jews. For a long time, negotiating with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and recognizing the right of Palestinian statehood were taboos that only radical left-wing Jewish activists were willing to openly advocate. In 1976, for instance, members of Breira, an organization that called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, met with representatives of the PLO, considered at the time a terrorist organization. Breira was condemned and ostracized by the organized American-Jewish community and forced to disband in 1977. Despite its brief existence and rapid demise, Breira helped pave the way for other Jewish organizations to promote “land for peace” and to insist that Israel end its occupation. The erosion of the BDS taboo has come about for several reasons. The first is the widespread disillusionment among American Jews with the “Israel right or wrong” approach propagated by the mainstream Jewish establishment. Peter Beinart’s much-discussed article in the New York Review of Books gave powerful voice to this disillusionment. Beinart urged his American-Jewish contemporaries to openly challenge Israeli policies and actions that conflicted with their own liberal beliefs. A similar call for American-Jewish dissent was issued during the Second Intifada in a collection of essays written by American-Jewish writers and intellectuals entitled Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. In their opening essay, the editors stressed the “centuries-old Jewish traditions of lively dispute and rigorous, unapologetic skeptical inquiry.” These are merely two examples over the past decade of growing public opposition to what is regarded as the attempt by the American-Jewish establishment to stifle open Jewish criticism of Israel and silence those who refuse to toe the mainstream line.

The most significant example of this trend is the establishment of J Street itself, as an alternative to AIPAC and as a political home for Americans Jews who do not question Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but oppose its occupation of Palestinian territories. J Street has tried to redefine the meaning of being “pro-Israel,” and, at least judging by its growing membership—it now boasts nearly 200,000 members—it has succeeded in doing so. With such a large base of support, J Street cannot simply be written off as a marginal movement among American Jews.

The second reason for the lifting of the BDS taboo is the widening gap between the liberal political views and attitudes of American Jews and increasingly illiberal Israeli policies and rhetoric. The Avigdor Lieberman, Eli Yishai, and Bibi Netanyahu trinity in Israel’s government, which encourages further settlement construction, continues to employ rabbis who call on Israeli Jews not to rent or sell property to Palestinian citizens of Israel, and pushes forward anti-democratic bills (such as the loyalty oath and the investigation into NGOs critical of Israel’s occupation), challenges American-Jewish ideals. There is a growing sentiment in the American-Jewish community that Israel is on a downward spiral that endangers its standing in the international community and threatens its democratic character.

Finally, progressive American Jews are frustrated with the paralysis of the peace process and disappointed with the Obama administration’s failure to advance it. After almost two decades of fitful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, a resolution to the conflict still does not appear to be in sight. If anything, it seems to be receding further into the distant future, if not disappearing altogether. Few once-ardent American-Jewish supporters of the peace process now hold out much hope for it.

Nor do many progressive American Jews believe any longer that President Obama can deliver a peace agreement. The high hopes that President Obama initially raised about his desire and determination to swiftly resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have now been transformed into bitter criticisms of his administration’s inept handling of the conflict and especially its vacillating treatment of Israel—from confronting the Netanyahu government over its settlement building to capitulating to it. Having dropped its demand that Israel end all settlement construction as a condition for negotiations and vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council that condemned this settlement activity as illegal (which is, after all, the official position of the U.S. government), the Obama administration has so far demonstrated an unwillingness to really pressure the Netanyahu government, especially when Congress opposes such pressure. In fact, the Obama administration has preferred to try to bribe Israel (for example, last September offering it twenty fighter jets worth $3 billion if Israel extended the West Bank settlement freeze for only ninety days), rather than cajole it. But this too has achieved few if any results.

Fading faith in the peace process, in the United States’ ability to act as an honest broker in it, and in Israel’s willingness to compromise in order to make peace (reinforced by the recently leaked “Palestine Papers,” which revealed that major Palestinian concessions were still not enough to satisfy Israeli negotiators) have created a new political space in which once inconceivable ideas are gaining currency. American-Jewish “doves” are considering what other options exist to peacefully end the occupation, bring about a two-state solution, and “save Israel from itself.” For better or for worse, the only option that appears to be available is BDS. These combined tactics promise to gradually raise the economic cost of the occupation for Israel, thereby supposedly making the status quo increasingly intolerable for Israelis.

It is out of a deep sense of anguish and despair that left-wing pro-Israel activists are starting to assess the possibility of BDS as a means of essentially coercing Israel to end its self-defeating, forty-four-year-old occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. While advocates of the global BDS movement praise it as a means of direct, grassroots action and proclaim its nonviolent nature, for most members of the left-wing pro-Israel community these positive attributes do not outweigh the many negative aspects of the BDS campaign. Put simply, BDS is widely regarded as both unfair and unhelpful.

However critical American-Jewish “doves” are of Israeli policies and actions, by and large they do not think it is fair to punish Israeli society as a whole, as BDS seeks to do. Israeli Jews may be politically complacent and apathetic when it comes to the occupation, but for the most part they do not support it—they just don’t believe it can be ended any time soon, at least not without jeopardizing their own security. Most Israelis still favor a two-state solution and a withdrawal to some negotiated version of the 1967 lines, and they are not opposed to a Palestinian state, as long as it doesn’t threaten them. Targeting them with sanctions and boycotting their businesses, therefore, seems fundamentally misplaced and unethical, as it would penalize the innocent along with the guilty.

By appearing to lay the blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exclusively on Israel, BDS is also seen as one-sided by many progressive American Jews. While Israel is by no means blameless, according to this view, neither are the Palestinians, especially Hamas and its supporters. To identify Israel as the aggressor and the sole perpetrator of human rights violations is historically inaccurate and morally simplistic.

Finally, the global BDS movement is believed to be unfair because it singles out Israel for pariah status. Israel is by no means the worst violator of international law and human rights, so why just pick on it? Why not target Sudan, Iran, or any number of other states that repress and brutalize their citizens? Or other countries that occupy the territory of others, such as China in Tibet and Russia in Georgia?

Coupled with these criticisms of BDS as essentially unfair is a more practical assessment of its effectiveness. Most left-wing pro-Israel activists are highly skeptical that BDS will actually work. In fact, they tend to believe that it will be politically counterproductive because it deeply alienates Israelis and feeds into a suspicious and defensive Israeli mentality summed up by the popular Israeli expression, “The whole world is against us.” This only reinforces right-wing Jewish nationalism in Israel and weakens what is left of its peace camp. Even for left-wing American and Israeli Jews, BDS is highly controversial and polarizing. As such, it serves to divide and thus debilitate the one group of people who can steer Israel in a better direction.

Perhaps the single biggest problem that BDS poses for progressive American Jews is that it is widely perceived as being anti-Israel, not just anti-occupation. That is, the BDS movement is seen as aimed at delegitimizing Israel as a Jewish state. Nor is this perception wholly inaccurate. Although the global BDS movement is very broad and diverse, many of the activist groups associated with it openly express hostility to Israel as a Jewish state, and many BDS advocates are “one-staters”—supporters of a single, binational state in Israel/Palestine rather than a two-state solution. More specifically, the BDS movement supports the right of return for Palestinian refugees to Israel proper—something that is a red line for pro-Israel supporters since they see it as tantamount to the destruction of a Jewish state.

The fact that BDS generally fails to make a clear distinction between Israel and the occupied territories is something that troubles American Jews who support Israel but are against the occupation. For them, it is imperative to distinguish between Israel within the Green Line—which is seen as legitimate—and Israeli rule beyond it—which is deemed illegitimate. By blurring this distinction, intentionally or not, BDS makes a resolution of the conflict harder, not easier, to achieve.
WHAT, THEN, are progressive American Jews to do? If the peace process is a waste of time, and BDS is unfair and unhelpful, is there another alternative? Indeed there is: a selective boycott against settlement products, not Israeli products or people in general. This is already being practiced by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and several Israeli peace organizations, such as Gush Shalom and the Coalition of Women for Peace, both of which actively advocate the boycott of settlement products and companies that profit from operating in the West Bank. Left-wing American-Jewish groups like the New Israel Fund and Meretz USA have also recently expressed support for such a boycott. A boycott of settlement goods is aimed at anything that is produced in the occupied territories, not just goods actually made in Israeli settlements. This includes a wide variety of agricultural produce (such as fruits and flowers) and manufactured goods (such as plastics, textiles, cosmetics, food, and wine) that are made in factories located in large Israeli industrial zones within the occupied territories. While most of these products are purchased locally by Israelis and Palestinians, some are exported abroad (Israeli wine from the West Bank and Golan Heights and skin-care products from the Dead Sea inside the West Bank, for example, have a large international market). Although it would target only a small fraction of the goods Israel exports—an estimated 2 or 3 percent—a boycott of these goods still has an economic impact. In particular, by penalizing Israeli companies now operating in the territories, a boycott of their goods encourages them to relocate their production inside the Green Line, as some have reportedly already done due to the boycott. In practice, however, it can be difficult to boycott only goods produced in the territories, since they are not clearly labeled and companies operating in the territories are permitted to have marketing addresses within Israel. A labeling campaign, such as the one that has been conducted in Europe in recent years, is one remedy for this.

A more focused and limited boycott of products made in West Bank settlements has many advantages. It combines BDS’ appeal of direct consumer activism with commitment to a two-state solution as the only acceptable outcome to the conflict. It underlines the fact the settlements are not in Israel, and hence that boycotting their products is not the same as boycotting Israeli goods produced inside the Green Line. While it will certainly not hit Israeli pockets in the way that across-the-board BDS intends to do, it will not alienate Israelis in the same way either. It also has a much greater chance of gaining broad support among Americans and Europeans, who are unwilling to boycott and sanction Israel as a state.

Whether growing numbers of progressive American Jews support this “third way,” however, depends on their willingness to reject the hard line against all boycotts taken by Israel and much of the American-Jewish establishment. Major American-Jewish organizations frequently depict any boycott, however limited, as being anti-Israel, if not anti-Semitic. The Knesset recently passed the first reading of a bill to impose a hefty fine on Israeli citizens and a ten-year ban on entering the country against foreign nationals who call for or engage in any type of boycott against Israel, including its settlements in the West Bank. But these pressure tactics are unlikely to succeed if Israel continues its settlement activity and the peace process remains all but dead. As long as Israel’s occupation drags on, boycotts of one form or another are bound to grow.

*Dov Waxman is an associate professor of political science at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


**Mairav Zonszein is an Israeli-American journalist based in Jerusalem and a writer and editor at





The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.


Imagine If…

Struck smiles as he is charged with torturing a Palestinian youth

If a 15-year-old African-American minor was abducted by a 28 year white man – after chasing the youth down in an open field in an ATV; if the man had stripped the youth and beat him with the butt of a rifle; if all this happened after the same white man slapped the youth and killed the newborn puppy of the black youth in a separate incident; if such a heinous, racially motivated crime occurred in the United States – reminiscent of the darkest times of Jim Crow – the American people would react with complete disgust, anger and bewilderment that such racist cruelty could still exist. Presumably, the man would be thrown in jail for a long time:

  • Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A felony and brings a punishment of up to 30 years in prison
  • Aggravated battery is a class B felony and can result in a fine of $20,000 and probation or up to 10 years in prison. Elevated aggravated assault would earn up to 40 years in prison and a fine of $50,000
  • Intent to cause grievous bodily harm brings a prison sentence of between 6-30  years, a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five year probation
  • Three counts of assault – a class D felony – would land the man in prison for three years and slap him with a $30,000 fine.

All told the maximum sentence could be somewhere around 100 years in prison and a fine of over $100,000. Now imagine that the youth woke up woke up – after being beaten unconscious – and found himself naked, bound, injured and alone in the middle of a field. Presumably, such disgusting, racially motivated crimes would be harshly punished in the United States. As a democracy that holds equality as a core principle, such crimes would be universally condemned and the perpetrator would likely face the maximum sentence.

Now flash to Israel, where a 28 year old settler named Zvi Struck was convicted of this exact crime. In an initial confrontation, Struck slapped the 15-year-old Palestinian victim and killed the boy’s baby goat by kicking the animal. In a subsequent confrontation – on Palestinian land – Struck chased down the boy from the village of Kusra in his All-Terrain Vehicle and kidnapped him, beat him and left him unconscious and tied up in a field. The judge in the case noted that Struck undoubtedly harmed the 15-year-old in a “grievous manner” and that he “reviewed the medical records and the difficult photographs that were taken of the complainant immediately after the event, and I cannot avoid expressing disgust and deep shock over the signs of terrible trauma that the minor suffered.”

After being convicted of these crimes, Struck requested a lenient sentence from the judge because the man who kidnapped, beat and tortured a 15-year-old Palestinian claimed to be a “law-abiding citizen with no prior convictions.” The judge after being overwhelmed by the physical evidence pointing at Struck handed down a sentence – not of 100 years in prison and not a $100,000 fine – of 18 months imprisonment, 1 year of probation and a fine of 50,000 NIS ($14,100).

In the United States, such a crime would be met with a public outcry demanding justice for the assaulted and tortured boy. The criminal responsible would see his face and name rightfully tarnished for years behind the bars of an unforgiving jail cell. In the United States, 18 months in prison is hardly fair for one of the charges that Struck was charged with, much less all four. But Struck did not commit his racially motivated crimes in the United States. He is a settler in Palestine, convicted by Israeli courts that rarely convict settlers of any crimes. Yesh Din, an Israeli Human Rights Organization, recently reported that 90% of complaints filed by Palestinians against Israeli citizens are dismissed. In this context, it is a miracle that Struck was convicted at all.

Unfortunately, Struck is not the only case. Settler violence is common and unlimited. Moreover, this sort of settler terrorism is not only granted general immunity by the Israeli courts (Struck’s rare case aside), but it is committed under the watchful eyes of the Israeli military and is becoming increasingly popular among Israelis. In a Ynet-Gersher survey, 46% of the 504 Israelis polled supported settler terrorism under the guise of ‘price tag violence;’ only 33% said that such terror was never acceptable.

Imagine if this happened in your town and you saw the perpetrator that tortured a youth smiling in the paper. What would your reaction be, knowing that this smiling, smug terrorist would soon be released back into the community? If it was your son that was kidnapped and tortured, and you saw this man smiling in the courtroom, would you consider 18 months in prison to be an appropriate sentence?

Photo from Ynet

Posted by Chris AT


“Munther Fahmy’s deportation is not only an infringement of the human right to settlement, but to freedom of speech. Israel presents itself in the international media as a democratic nation, using its cultural and intellectual cachet to drive tourism to the country. This deportation tarnishes and undermines that image.”

A Fixture of Jerusalem Literary Life, Threatened with Deportation

Posted by Mary Hawthorne


The other day, I received an unusual petition, addressed to the interior minister of Israel (Eli Yishai, who is also the head of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Shas Party), in behalf of a man named Munther Fahmi, who is threatened with deportation. The thing that made it unusual was that (a) the deportee in question was not a political prisoner or militant or agitator but instead the founder and manager of a civilized Jerusalem bookstore, and (b) there was no stated reason for the deportation.

Fahmi runs the Bookshop at the American Colony Hotel, in Jerusalem; he is a fixture of Jerusalem literary life, and the Bookshop is considered one of the region’s best. It naturally caters to an élite foreign intelligentsia —in its hundred-and-twenty-year-old history, the hotel been host to numerous celebrity guests, from Winston Churchill and Laurence of Arabia to Graham Greene and Joan Baez—as an article on Fahmi’s plight, which appeared the other day in Haaretz, suggests. But the shop is also beloved by the local population. Fahmi is a friend and partner of the recently formed Palestine Festival of Literature, which brings local, regional, and international writers and artists to Palestinian audiences, and whose participants have included Suad Amiry, Claire Messud, Najwan Darwish, and Esther Freud, among many others. He also stocks one of the largest collections of books on Middle East history and politics. It is not a stretch to say that Fahmi’s Bookshop is a mainstay of Jerusalem cultural outreach.


On the face of it, Fahmi’s predicament appears to be a bureaucratic one, of the tedious, maddening, Michael Kohlhaas variety. Fahmi, who is Palestinian, was born in Jerusalem in 1954, and lived there until he was twenty-one, when he moved to the United States. After twenty years in the U.S., during which time he married an American and acquired a U.S. passport, he returned to Israel, following the signing of the Oslo Accords. But on his arrival at the airport in Tel Aviv, Fahmi claims he was told that his permanent-resident I.D.—after the 1967 war, all Arabs living in East Jerusalem who did not apply for citizenship were given permanent-resident I.D. cards—was no longer valid, and that he could return to his native city only on a tourist visa, using his American passport, which is what he has been doing for more than fifteen years. (Residency rights are revoked by the Israeli government in the event of a prolonged absence, or when a resident acquires a foreign passport; Israeli citizens, by contrast, may leave the country for any period without relinquishing citizenship or any of their rights.) Two years ago, Fahmi says, authorities began making his visa applications more difficult, and last month the interior ministry informed him that his visa, which expires on April 3rd, would no longer be renewed. Fahmi has gone through legal and other channels to reinstate his residency rights, but these efforts have so far been to no avail. As for signatures in support of his petition, he has already received hundreds, many of them attached to comments expressing outrage at the prospect of the shop’s closing and at the injustice of Fahmi’s prospective deportation:

“Munther Fahmy’s deportation is not only an infringement of the human right to settlement, but to freedom of speech. Israel presents itself in the international media as a democratic nation, using its cultural and intellectual cachet to drive tourism to the country. This deportation tarnishes and undermines that image.”

“Munther Fahmi is a central part of East Jerusalem’s cultural life. The idea that he could be deported from the city is both preposterous and evil. I personally and Zed Books will do all in our power to help and support him and this campaign.”

“this is part and parcel of israel’s colonization of east jerusalem as well as the project of erasing palestinian history. i fervently hope munther fahmy and this vital bookstore remain in their rightful place: jerusalem.”

But it remains unclear what effect, if any, this support will have on Fahmi’s fate in the face of Israel’s juggernaut shift to the right and its expansion into East Jerusalem. David Remnick recently asked Amos Schocken how he would feel if the embattled Haaretz folded or if he had to sell it to an owner with different principles. Schocken replied, “If we weren’t around, it would be . . . sad.”

(Bottom image via Albabblog.) 



In an attempt to show the world how much Israelis suffer at the hands of Palestinian terrorism, zionists have launched a Pity Fest in New York to demonstrate their ‘plight’. Their pathetic display are a bomb shelters which were set up in Washington Square Park. (with the approval of New York’s City Fathers, see below*)

Needless to say, those that are REALLY suffering from terrorism never have their stories told. Click HERE to get just a sampling of it. New Yorkers of conscience were at the scene to show who the real victims are.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer



*This is truly obscene and surreal–the Israelis constant attacks and murders of Palestinians every day, the  Gaza massacre that killed over 1400 innocent people(over 350 children) in the Israel-controlled  ghetto, targeted assassinations, torture, imprisonment of children under 16, the murder of Rachel Corrie, the murders of s of 9 peace activists, including a 19 year old American citizen on an aid ship in international waters, and this is what the administration of NYC gives a permit for???

Bomb Shelters Going Up In Washington Square

Preview of The Bomb Shelter

If you spot some bomb shelters and hear sirens in Washington Square Park tomorrow don’t panic, but take a moment to immerse yourself in the new multi-media installation, titled The Bomb Shelter. It’s meant to connect New Yorkers to what Israelis went through last week during the bombing of a Jerusalem bus stop and repeated rocket strikes.

A periodic siren will sound and participating park goers will have 15 seconds to get from where they are in Washington Square to the shelter—the same length of time that those facing rocket attacks in Israel have to reach safety. As they rush into the shelter amidst the sound of blasts, immersive video continues the heart pounding experience as an actual Qassam rocket barrage hitting Sderot unfolds around them—all from the perspective of being in the crowd suffering through the attack.

The shelters were designed by some of New York’s top graffiti artists, including COPE2, SKI, 2ESAE and KA, and the exhibit is sponsored by the Birthright Israel Alumni Community. The executive director Rebecca Sugar says, “After so many years, it becomes easy for Americans to just read past the headlines. We hope this will help people better understand what it is like to live under terror and renew their passion to see it end.”
Below is what the zios handed out….. click on image to enlarge




And though settler violence is considered a matter of controversy in Israeli society, a new poll shows that a staggering number of Israelis support the pogroms meted out by fanatical settlers against defenseless Palestinians.

46% of Jewish Israelis support settler “price tag” terror, Congress blames Palestinians for incitement

Posted by Max Blumenthal

The police investigation into the Itamar murders remains under a gag order. No individual Palestinian has been accused or even named as a suspect by the police. However, the resident of the neighboring Palestinian village Awarta, who have suffered for years from settler pogroms, are being collectively blamed and punished. According to a report by three International Solidarity Movement volunteers living under curfew in Awarta, Israeli soldiers and settlers have rampaged through the village in recent days, seeking murder suspects and the satisfaction that comes with retributive violence.

The soldiers reportedly destroyed property, stole money, defecated on the floors of homes, and blindfolded and beat residents, leaving one 28-year-old man so badly injured he had to be smuggled to a hospital in Nablus. Afterwards, approximately 300 masked settlers descended on the town and attacked its residents, breaking the arms of two men.

”Why do you have to punish all this people?” an ISM activist asked one of the soldiers. ”We have to punish these people so they will understand,” the soldier reportedly replied.

Jewish settlers from East Jerusalem filmed themselves humiliating a local Palestinian man, or, as they called it, “lower[ing] the confidence of Palestinians in the neighborhood].”

The one-two punch of settler “price tag” attacks carried out under the watch of the army and with the encouragement of state-funded religious nationalist rabbis is common all over the West Bank. Most Jewish Israelis view the army with reverence, and are reluctant to criticize its conduct under any circumstance. And though settler violence is considered a matter of controversy in Israeli society, a new poll shows that a staggering number of Israelis support the pogroms meted out by fanatical settlers against defenseless Palestinians.

A new Ynet-Gesher survey of 504 Jewish Israeli adults revealed that 46 percent of Israelis support settler “price tag” terror. Only 33 percent of those polled believed that price tag attacks were “never justified.” A sectoral breakdown shows that  a wide majority of religious nationalist and ultra-Orthodox respondents support the attacks: 56 percent of “traditional” types, 70 percent of those identifying as Orthodox, and 71 percent of the religious nationalists declared price tag violence to be justified. The most remarkable finding, in my opinion, is that 36 percent of secular respondents support settler terror. Even though 56 percent are against the practice, this is a remarkably high number for a population segment that lives primarily inside the Green Line. (The poll results and Ynet article detailing its contents are only in Hebrew at the moment).

68 percent of all of those polled stated their belief that rabbis had the power to stop price tag attacks (for fairly obvious reasons, this opinion is shared by only a minority of religious nationalist settlers). In Safed, a mixed city in Northern Israel that is home to Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, local Orthodox youth have staged a string of vigilante attacks on Palestinian-Israeli residents. The attacks include the stabbing of a Palestinian Christian man, the torching of Palestinian cars after a Jewish-Arab dialogue meeting, and a wave of racist vandalism. The violence follows Eliyahu’s declaration that the “seducing” of Jewish girls by Arab men was “a form of war” and his drafting of a letter forbidding renting property to Arabs. (55% of Jewish Israelis support the content of Eliyahu’s letter).

Above: Settlers assault Palestinian girls on their way to school in occupied Hebron

Eliyahu recently admitted that the Shin Bet beseeched him to speak out against price tag terror after the Itamar murders. “I told [the Shin Bet agent], if you expect me to stop someone engaging in ‘price tags,’ you’re mistaken,” Eliyahu said. “I don’t work for you. But I want to tell you that unless the government takes action, the public will feel a need to take action. And if you don’t act, even if I stand with my arms wide open, I won’t be able to stop those who would act.”

While taxpayer funded rabbis like Eliyahu (he is literally a state employee) incite with impunity against Palestinians, and cheer on the terror attacks that flow from their words, letters are circulating through the US Congress condemning the Palestinian Authority for incitement. One of the letters, co-authored by Senators Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) — Kirk is arguably AIPAC’s greatest tool in Congress — demanded that the Palestinian Authority “stop allowing the incitement that leads to such crimes [as the one committed in Itamar].” Though no individual Palestinian has been named as a suspect in the crime and the PA has condemned the murders, top lawmakers like Gilibrand and Kirk have already convicted every Palestinian, providing congressional cover for more destructive raids, vandalism, and price tag terror.

Posted AT


False Flags seem to be the ‘in thing’ of the month. Be it  ‘terror attacks’,   FaceBook pages or newspaper advertisements put out by the likes of David Horowitz.

However, they lack the credibility factor which might make them appear to be realistic …. the latest attempt being a full page advert titled ‘Wall of Lies’. It was meant to show lies regarding beliefs on the subject of Palestine, but it backfired showing instead what liars the zionists themselves are.

Israel gets more criticism for their propaganda and lies

A full-page advertisement titled “Wall of Lies” regarding beliefs on the subject of Palestine placed in last week’s (March 15) issue of the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s student newspaper, The Michigan Journal, has been met with strong criticism from students, faculty and staff.

The advertisement, which has been linked to the Sherman Oaks, CA-based David Horowitz Freedom Center, shows graphics of a wall with ten separate descriptions of “lies” told about the Israel-Palestine conflict and contains strong messages of anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim nature.

The ad has been published at other colleges including UCLA and Boston University as a response to “Israeli Apartheid Week,” a movement  held in March each year that has been growing in recent years across the country to spotlight the gross injustices committed against the illegally occupied (by international law) Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Michigan Journal’s editorial in its March 22 issue in response to concerns about the ad noted that the viewpoints expressed do not represent their viewpoints and that the newspaper welcomes Letters to the Editor and columns in response (sent to The editorial also said that the “disappointment is understandable and respected” over the content of the ad.

Michigan-Dearborn Vice Chancellor Stanley E. Henderson also wrote a response column to the ad.

“Intolerance is a cancer; it sucks the vitality, the glow, even the life out of good people as surely as a tumor,” he said in the opening paragraph before later calling the ad intolerant.

“A one-sided view such as the “Wall of Lies” ad does not present a path for peace in the Middle East and it does not represent the core values of our campus,” he added.
Imad Hamad of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said that he has received calls concerning the ads.

“A few people have expressed great concern over these ads…in this case people need to know the source and knowing the source speaks for itself, (Mr. Horowitz) has offered nothing but bigotry and hate towards Muslims and Arabs and this is what he lives on and survives on,” he said.

“Events like the latest unfortunate (Muslim “radicalization”) hearings conducted by Peter King open the door wide for such voices to become more aggressive, as well as laws like Michigan’s Arizona-style immigration bill.”

Hamad said that the current wave of Arab uprisings has drawn the attention away from further bombings in occupied Palestine in recent days as well and said that the growing pro-Palestine movement, especially in academia, is important for spreading awareness due to lack of media coverage.

“The pro-peace movement in America is trying to showcase injustices impacting Palestinians and that’s why it’s necessary and important,” he said.

ASU President Mahde Abdallah said concerns on campus remain over the printing, however, especially with the ad coming just three days before his group’s annual “Empowering the Youth” dinner.

“I feel like the responses pretty much just covered for the university’s lack of organization to go over what’s being printed,” he said.

Abdallah said that the University took a stronger stance against newspaper columnist and pioneering former White House correspondent (and Arab American) Helen Thomas’ comments against Zionism than it did against the printing of the ad by Horowitz.

He added that the ASU is planning to publish its own response to the ad in the near future, however.

“What was printed is hate speech, false and not recognized as true, and we’re planning our response to it” he said.

Posted At

More of Horowitz’s hatred and lies can be seen by clicking on the links at THIS site.


Let me start by saying that I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of FaceBook, Twitter or any other site that opens the doors of privacy to every pervert on the Internet. When Zuckerberg first brought FB on the scene it was almost amusing to get emails from close friends of over 50 years requesting me to ‘be their friend’…. what have we been all these years? I need an Internet site to reinforce our friendship?

Some might go as far as to say that an entire generation has become literally dependent on the likes of FaceBook to ‘fulfill’ their daily lives up to and including their sexual desires. Because of that, can we say then that FaceBook is potentially a porno site as well? Yes, you can control who ‘enters’ your domain, but I feel it best in the world of reality to conduct certain aspects of your private life exactly as it says…. PRIVATELY.

Now we have situations develop where ‘revolutions’ are being fought on the Net. Political change will occur from activities on the streets, on campus, in Trade Unions ….. NOT from your comfortable armchair onto your laptop…. something seems to be missing if ‘revolutions’ are fought in that manner. It’s almost amusing to witness someone sitting in Italy or Vienna attempting to ‘lead’ the ‘revolution’ in Palestine. Some of these people actually believe they are doing just that. Now we see a situation where a group declaring itself spokespeople for ALL Muslims setting up a ‘Third Intifada’ ‘Fan Page’ on FaceBook ….. literally feeding the sick egos of the extreme zioright.
Needless to say, the zionists in general are distressed with this existing page on FB. They have demanded it’s removal, the ‘Muslims’ have threatened ‘Boycott’ if it’s removed…. it’s turning into a full-scale Web-war….. a modern version of Pac Man.

Here is what was reported in HaAretz today regarding this…..

ADL slams Facebook for refusing to remove ‘third Intifada’ fan page

Page, which has over 308,395 fans, is dedicated to encourage a third Intifada in Israel, and warns that if Facebook removes the page ‘all Muslims will boycott Facebook forever.’

The Anti Defamation League filed Friday an official complaint against Facebook for refusing to remove the Facebook fan page called the Third Palestinian Intifada.

“This Facebook page constitutes an appalling abuse of technology to promote terrorist violence,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

“Although the managers of this group claim to be calling for peaceful demonstrations, the Third Intifada pages include calls for followers to build on the previous two intifadas. We should not be so naïve to believe that a campaign for a ‘Third Intifada’ does not portend renewed violence, especially in the current climate that has seen a dramatic increase in rocket attacks from Gaza, the brutal murder of the Fogel family in the West Bank, and a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem.”

The fan page, which has over 308,395 fans, is dedicated to encourage the outbreak a third Intifada in Israel, and warns that if Facebook removes the page “all Muslims will boycott Facebook forever.”

“We are disappointed that Facebook has rejected our request to remove this site, which is in clear violation of their terms of service,” the ADL said in a statement.

“We are especially disappointed in this case because in the past there has often been understanding and sensitivity from Facebook when we have brought violations of its own rules to its attention. We urge Facebook to reconsider its decision and remove this site, which by its very title incites violence,” the statement added.


If you read THIS post by Alex Kane, you will see that Israel is the one that must be watched at this point… not Palestine; Is another ‘Cast Lead’ in the offing?

Talk of a Third Intifada is at this point a mere distraction from Israel’s plans


‘Discriminatory policies are one thing but when you have discriminatory laws, this is apartheid.’

The Nakba Law deepens apartheid in Israel

The ‘Nakba law’ is yet another piece of racist and discriminatory legislation which will directly target the Palestinian minority in Israel. In essence, the law stifles freedom of expression and will punish this sector of society for commemorating the most traumatic event in their recent collective history, the Nakba.

On March 22nd, the Knesset voted 37-25 in favour of the so-called ‘Nakba-Law’, or Amendment 39, a bill which has been in the works since 2009. Initiated by MK Alex Miller of the far-right political party, Yisrael Beiteinu, the law calls for—amongst other things—the reduction of state funding to groups that participate in activities that contradict the character of the state as ‘Jewish and democratic’ or that grieve Israel’s Independence day.

According to experts, the law is undeniably vague in its wording, thus leaving it open to abuse. Sawsan Zaher of Adalah, the legal centre for Arab minority rights in Israel, believes the bill threatens a broad swath of government-funded institutions. Organizations at risk include research institutions that are found to be challenging the definition of the Israeli state as Jewish and democratic; educational institutions, such as bilingual schools, which hold events acknowledging the shared history of Jews and Arabs; and state-funded community organizations, such as theatres showing plays about the Nakba.

One cannot escape the fact that the law clearly targets freedom of expression, a basic human right and an essential requirement for a meaningful democracy. ‘You are sanctioned because of your political thoughts,’ Zaher says. ‘You can have your money so long as your political attitude aligns with the ideology of the right-wing government.’

With this in consideration, one is led to understand the intention of the bill to curb dissident voices within Israeli society.

The decision to sanction those who are involved in acknowledging the Nakba because it undermines Israel’s Independence Day is a clear indicator of the extent to which Palestinians living within Israel are afforded second class citizenship. For Zaher, this unequal treatment of Israel’s citizens can be seen in plain sight, ‘It would be seen as completely unacceptable to deny Jews the right to acknowledge the trauma of the holocaust, now they are trying to deny the trauma of the Palestinian people.’

The law states that it is the Minister for Finance who will be authorized to decrease the budget for those who are found to be involved in activities that are seen as a violation of its terms. For many like Zaher, this bill further affirms Israel’s undemocratic character. Zaher highlights the fact that ‘it is a legal matter and so should be the responsibility of the judicial authorities. This is a breach of constitutional rights and an infringement on the separation of powers.’

In Zaher’s view, this law is but one element of an ongoing policy of discrimination aimed at the Palestinian minority being carried out by the Israeli government. ‘It is an undemocratic law which is part of a chain of racist legislation that serves to target the Palestinian minority and decrease their rights she asserts. ‘The Palestinian citizens of Israel are viewed by the state as the enemy, no democratic state views its own citizens this way,’ she continues. This is given weight if one looks at the stream of racist and discriminatory legislation which has been set forth by Netanyahu’s government since its coming to power.

For the right-wing coalition currently in power, the Palestinian minority and its contesting narrative serves as a substantial thorn in the side of their political agenda, the aim of which is to bolster the Jewish character of the Israeli state. The ‘Nakba law’ is therefore another crude attempt to further this objective. Zaher contends that this stifling of freedom of expression for only one sector of society is not the action of a democratic government. ‘Discriminatory policies are one thing but when you have discriminatory laws, this is apartheid.’



Marking 100 Years Of The Triangle Fire
By Matthew Weinstein

Today marked the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire – a traumatic event in which 146 workers, mostly young women, died. Many of them jumped to their death, unable to flee the 11th floor sweatshop where the door had been locked to prevent organizers from entering. These were the days before American workers enjoyed the protection of unions; the days of dangerous working conditions, child labor, intolerably long hours and six-day work weeks for miserable pay.

The workers died because of the sickening greed of their bosses and the malfeasance of local officials who looked the other way. The bosses never paid for the murder of these workers but in the months and years that followed, American unionism took off and laws protecting workers and improving their conditions were established.

Today, on a bitingly cold March day, thousands jammed into Washington Street to listen to stirring speeches. The passion and emotion of the crowd was palpable. The expressions on people’s faces showed they understood that all that which was gained with the death of those martyrs one hundred years ago is now under attack as Corporate America and their Republican shills try to turn our country back to the time when they could treat workers as a tool to maximize profit without regard for their safety or, indeed, their very lives. The Triangle Shirtwaist workers will never be forgotten and they live in our hearts and minds today, one hundred years later. –

For the Photo Essay, go to THIS location.

As part of the ongoing events this week commemorating the Triangle Fire tragedy, the New York City Labor Chorus held performances at the site of the disaster in lower Manhattan.

The New York Times wrote about this HERE

From left, Tom Karlson, Ricky Eisenberg and Paul Kopelman singing bass.
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times


The Jerusalem Post has once again lowered its journalistic integrity by publishing yet another one of Psycho Gal’s rants. This week she really takes the cake in achieving this low level status for the paper by saying that…

What are we to make of the fact that no one has taken credit for Wednesday’s bombing in Jerusalem?

Wednesday bombing was not a stand-alone event. It was part and parcel of the new Palestinian terror war that is just coming into view. As Israel considers how to contend with the emerging onslaught, it is important to notice how it differs from its predecessors. On a military level, the tactics the Palestinians have so far adopted are an interesting blend of state-of-the-art missile attacks with old fashioned knife and bomb-in-the- briefcase attacks.

The diverse tactics demonstrate that this war is a combination of Iranian-proxy war and local terror pick-up cells. The attacks are also notable for their geographic dispersion and for the absence thus far of suicide attacks.

So, her ‘logic’ seems to be if no one has taken credit for Wednesday’s bombing, ALL Palestinians must be guilty. At least, that is what I read into this.


She concludes this week’s rant with…

The Palestinians recognize that they don’t need to pretend to be good to get Europe to support them. After the people of Europe have been brainwashed by their media and intimidated by the Muslim communities, they have developed a Pavlovian response regarding Israel whereby every mention of Israel makes them hate it more. It doesn’t matter the story is about the massacre of Israeli children or the bombing of synagogues and nursery schools. They know that Israel is the guilty party and expect the governments to punish it.

What the Palestinian silence on who committed what atrocity tells us is that in this new terror war, the Palestinians believe they cannot lose. With Europe in tow, Fatah and Hamas feel free to join their forces and advance both militarily and politically.

As of this posting, her column does not yet appear on the Post’s Website, but I did find it HERE …. just in case anyone wants to read the entire rant.


The zionists seem more distressed by foreign reports dealing with Wednesday’s ‘terror attack’ than by the attack itself. How can they continue with their ‘victim status’ if the western press doesn’t play along with them? Surely Foxman will come forth with a condemnation regarding this situation shortly. How else can he continue at his job if he doesn’t expose such blatant anti-Semitism?


Today they continue ‘kvetching‘ as can be seen in the following report from Ynet….

Terror in J’lem? ‘Palestinian strike,’ Reuters says  

Reuters shies away from characterizing Jerusalem bombing as terror attack, referring to it as ‘Palestinian strike.’ Responding to Ynet inquiry, news agency says ‘it is not up to Reuters to say who carried out attack’

In covering Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem the Reuters news agency was loath to declare a Palestinian terrorist group was behind the bombing.

“Police said it was a ‘terrorist attack’ – Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike,” Reuters reported Wednesday. Many foreign media outlets based their reports on Reuters which described the incident as a “Palestinian strike.”

Among them was Sky News, which later corrected its report, as well as Yahoo News and Swiss Info. CNN was also careful not to place responsibility for the attack on the Palestinians. A report about Israel’s complaint to the Security Council following the attack stated that Israel had described the explosion as a terror attack.

Reuters’ report of Wednesday attack

Earlier this month, Israel demanded an apology from CNN over its coverage of the terrorist attack in Itamar claiming it was “tendentious and deceptive.” A CNN website report avoided describing the event as a terror attack, noting that the Israel Defense Forces consider it an act of terrorism.

Reuters told Ynet in response: “It is not up to Reuters to say who carried out an attack. We always need to quote the authorities, such as the police. On Wednesday, Israeli police used the Hebrew word “peegooa”, without specifically mentioning the Palestinians – but in the local context it is clear that this is who they were referring to. We spelt that out to an international audience to clarify precisely who was being blamed.

“We were certainly not trying to give a judgment value. We were simply seeking to present the facts, with all the correct attribution.

“We have used the same approach for years. This is not a policy we apply only to the Middle East conflict. It is a policy which we use across the globe in all situations.”


Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

The Top 7 Terms that Distort Israel/Palestine

By Yousef

Words matter

Especially since words create representations of what we hold to be “real.” For writing on Palestine this is particularly important.

Unless we are present in and around events in Palestine our only connection to them is through representation of those events in writing in newspapers, newscast, blogs or magazines. The following is a list of some of the often-occurring words or phrases in mainstream English-language media which distort our understanding of the situation in Palestine. We’ve become so accustomed to hearing these words, we often fail to question their meaning, validity and appropriateness. In a world of “wall-to-wall text,” these words/phrases are most responsible for a distorted representation of the situation in Palestine.

1. The “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

Recent Example: “If there was a moment when the world did not want to be reminded of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in such violent terms, then it is now.” –BBC 

Why it’s problematic: How often do we see this? Is there conflict between Israelis and Palestinians? Sure. But to describe the situation between them as the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” creates an impression of symmetry where one does not exist. This is not like the Russo-Japanese war or the Spanish-American war. But because many English language readers are conditioned to understand this structure as indicative of two states at war, hearing “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” creates the impression that both sides are states and somehow equal in capacity and power. Of course this is not the case. The relationship between Israel and Palestine is occupation. One, Israel, occupies the other, Palestine. It’s not the other way around. One, Israel, is an advanced state with a significant army and nuclear weapons. The other is a group of stateless people and refugees, with improvised weapons and small arms, at best.

Suggested substitute term: The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

2. “Settlements”/”Settlers”

Recent Example: “Last year he attempted to kick-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and picked a fight with Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, over Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.” – The Economist

Why it’s problematic: For Palestinians, few things are more unsettling than Israeli settlements, but you wouldn’t really know it from this term. It’s so peaceful and passive. The West Bank is not the American Wild West as depicted in some John Wayne movie. The native inhabitants of the land were already settled in the territory long before the occupation (more like the actual Native Americans). When a foreign country occupies someone’s land and begins transferring its civilian population into that land, we call it colonialism and we call the population centers they establish colonies. Israeli settlements, or colonies as they should be called, are an extension of a system of violence called occupation. Their presence usurps the native population’s land, dominates its natural resources, and the security infrastructure around them debilitates the native population’s movement. Calling them settlements obscures the violent reality they support and are mutually supported by, and it fits into an Israeli narrative that seeks to persuade Americans that the expansion of these “settlements” is the natural growth of peaceful neighborhoods like in any American city.

Suggested substitute term: Colonies/Colonists.

3. “East Jerusalem”

Recent Example: “President Obama and top aides have repeatedly called for a full freeze on new construction in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as their future capital.” – The National Journal

Why it’s Problematic: I’ve discussed this in detail here and a proper grasp of the geography is necessary to understand why this term is so problematic. In short, Israel unilaterally and illegally expanded the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem into occupied territory after 1967. So what the Israelis call “East Jerusalem,” the rest of the world calls occupied territory — except most of the English language media, which is not supposed to take sides. However, by adopting the term “East Jerusalem” to talk about occupied parts of the West Bank, our supposedly unbiased media is uncritically repeating the Israeli narrative about one of the most intensely sensitive issues between Israel and the Palestinians. This term creates the impression that East Jerusalem, like North Chicago or Boston’s Southie, is just another part of a city and no different than other parts except for its geographic location. But the difference between the parts of Jerusalem on either side of the green line is their legal status under international law and that is a big deal. By using this term, the space is created for Israeli officials to talk about settlement expansion in that area as a “zoning issue,” like building in any American city, when building there is in fact no different under international law than anywhere else in occupied territory. It’s all illegal.

Suggested Substitute: Occupied Jerusalem

4. “Tit-for-tat violence”

Recent Example: “In Gaza, militants and the Israeli Defense Forces have exchanged in tit-for-tat violence, with militant groups firing more than 60 rockets into Israel over the past week.” – The Miami Herald

Why it’s Problematic: Like other terms on this list, the main problem with this is that it takes violence out of context and creates the illusion that somehow the violence is even. If an adult punches an infant in the face and the infant strikes back we call that child abuse, not tit-for-tat violence. There is no equivalence in force between Israeli power and attacks and Palestinian violence. Israelis dominate Palestinians militarily in every category, and even when there are Palestinian reprisals for Israelis violence, they take place in the context of a 44-year system of violence called occupation. The Israeli strike which led to the most recent escalation in Gaza took place on March 16th when Israel launched an aerial strike with fighter jets and bombs, killing two Palestinians and injuring another, in response to 1 homemade rocket that the IDF stated caused “no damages or injuries.”

Suggested Substitute: Stop using this one all together

5. The “cycle of violence”

Recent Example: “Ten people have been killed in the cycle of violence, and some on both sides fear a new war could erupt unless it is contained.” – Reuters

Why it’s Problematic: There goes that cycle of violence, spiraling out of control again. This term, like its cousin “tit-for-tat violence” features many of the same flaws. It creates an illusion of parity between the sides when one doesn’t exist. But this has a different quality that is also problematic. While “tit-for-tat violence” seems to be dyadic in nature, the “cycle of violence” is circular in nature. It’s a never-ending roundabout that has no beginning or end like something Gene Wilder would’ve sang about in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original). Where it stops, no one knows. What it is, is lazy journalism, unable to grapple with the context and complexity, and afraid to offend any sensitivities. If we were to graph Israel/Palestine violence over time, it would most certainly be linear not circular. Remember, the occupation is a system of violence that has been ongoing for 44 years. Reprisal violence or “flare ups” (another inappropriate term) merely exist in the context of that system of violence. Just because the media ignores the vast majority of violence that is systematic in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory doesn’t make reprisal violence exist in a vacuum.

Suggested Substitute: Stop using this one all together

6. “Relative calm”

Recent Example: “The relative calm in the south of the past several years ended on Saturday when Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, fired dozens of mortar shells at Israel, violating an informal cease-fire.” New York Times

Why it’s Problematic: I went into detail about the problems with this term here, it’s simply inaccurate. But the main question we need to ask when we read the term “relative calm” describing a period were numerous Palestinians, but no Israelis, were killed is: relative to what exactly? When using language like “relative calm” this should be in comparison to something. So what is it in comparison to? Since no context is ever given when using this term, one can only assume that the calm was relative to the norm. So if that is the case, it simply means our media has accepted the regular violence of the Israeli occupation against Palestinians to be the norm, and has completely abandoned questioning it because the only thing that seems to pique a journalist’s interest is Israeli casualties, not Palestinian ones.

Suggested Substitute: A detailed enumeration of casualties to create context.

7. Gaza “Rockets”, “Missiles” & “Mortars”

Recent Example: “Police said Gaza militants fired 10 rockets and mortars toward Israel Thursday, including two rockets that landed north of the city of Ashdod — a first since Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers reached an unofficial truce following a three-week war that ended in January 2009.” – AP

Why it’s Problematic: Set aside for a moment the fact that rockets and missiles may not be the best term to use to describe largely homemade projectiles. Does it ever seem to anyone else that we get detailed descriptions of the entire Palestinian arsenal, from our media, including number, type, range, and origin, but rarely ever hear anything of the same sort about the much larger and much more destructive Israeli arsenal? When was the last time you read about the range of missiles fired from American-made, Israeli-piloted Apache helicopters? How about the fact that Israel has fired, at minimum, 8 projectiles into Gaza for each one that comes into Israel? I have no objection to the media covering hostilities or projectiles coming from Gaza, but to be accurate and fair, there must be a candid discussion, in the same nature, of the projectiles coming from the other direction, and include their number, origin, their frequency and the number of casualties they create. Doing otherwise, as the media routinely does, creates the impression that Palestinians have this vast and powerful arsenal to an audience that is largely ignorant of the context and geography where this violence is taking place.

Suggested Substitute: A candid discussion of the Israeli arsenal used on Gaza each time Palestinian weapons are mentioned coming out of Gaza


Image by Khalil Bendib

click on image to enlarge


Tragedy once again struck out in the streets of Jerusalem yesterday afternoon. An explosive device went off near a crowded bus terminal killing one person and wounding over thirty others.

As soon as the press arrived at the scene organised mobs gathered to chant ‘Maved l’Aravim’ (death to Arabs), the battle cry of the very wrong right. This coming just a day after Israel did, in fact, kill a number of civilians in Gaza.

As in the attack in Itamar two weeks ago, there are no suspects and there have been no arrests, but the zionists have entered a collective plea of guilt to the entire nation of Palestine. Without investigation, the ‘verdict’ is in.

Radical elements opposed to a sane solution in the Palestinian camp feed this insanity by often ‘claiming responsibility’ just for the heck of it. In most cases there is no basis for this, in fact the claims often come from non existent groups obviously for no other reason but to support the claims of the zionists themselves.

An eye for an eye? At this stage all that does is leave everyone blind. That’s exactly the situation we are in today, two peoples plodding along and literally bumping into each other. This is a situation that can and will lead to nowhere. The killing must stop, the terrorism must stop and a Peace Process MUST begin. There is no other solution.

I have often stated on this Blog that the Western Press ignores the situation in Palestine. The Lobby and their ilk in the United States continues to pull out the ‘victim card’ when it comes to events in Israel, thereby making sure that their side gets maximum press coverage. Ironically, this is not enough to satisfy those that seem to thrive on the ‘victim’ status. See that in this short YouTube presentation….

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