PHOTO ESSAY ~~ CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM WALK FOR PEACE ON 9/11

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New Yorkers united against racism, FOR Peace and Answers …
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It was a sight to behold … one group marching from Brooklyn across the bridge, meeting up with another group from Manhattan. All united for progress!
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Our wandering photographer was there to catch this all on film….
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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WHY PALESTINE MUST BE FREE ~~ A VIDEO ROUNDUP

First a look at the occupier…
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What the Palestinians have to face every day of their lives…
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With reinforced hatred from America…
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Palestine WAS and WILL BE AGAIN
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STAND WITH PALESTINE!
URGE YOUR GOVERNMENT TO VOTE FOR STATEHOOD!!
HELP FILL OUT THE MAP!!!

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click on map to enlarge

PANIC OVER CHILDREN’S DRAWINGS

See the children’s drawings that terrified the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay

by Seham

gaza kids 6
 
gaza kids 5
 
gaza kids 4
 
gaza kids 3
 
gaza kids 2
 
gaza kids 1
 
gaza kids 0
 

To view the rest of the images, visit MECA’s Facebook page. Click here to let MOCHA know what you think about their censorship of Palestinian children’s voices by sending them a letter. Here’s the the Jewish Federation of the East Bay gloating over the cancelled exhibit on Twitter:

jfedtweet

(h/t Youth Against Normalization)

 

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If you missed the following, it’s a must read …

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The Children Lose, Again

by Abby Zimet

 

 

A California museum has cancelled an exhibit of art by Palestinian kids in Gaza, reportedly after pressure from pro-Israel groups in the Bay Area. The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland had been working for months with the Middle East Children’s Alliance on the project, “A Child’s View of Gaza,” set to open in two weeks. Does it really need to be said: Kids shouldn’t have to pay for the appalling cruelty and stupidity of adults. Look at this art.

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“The only winners here are those who spend millions of dollars censoring any criticism of Israel and silencing the voices of children who live every day under military siege and occupation.” – Barbara Lubin of MECA.

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Also see THIS report

ISRAEL: DEFENSE OR OFFENCE?

The despicable mantra the leaders of  America, Britain and   Canada, to mention a few states, kept invoking was that ” Israel has the right to defend itself.”
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Israel’s hell has begun
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

The latest dignity-inspiring reflexes against Israel by the Turkish government and Egyptian protestors is undoubtedly a heartening,   good news for hundreds of millions of people around the world who over many decades watched rather helplessly   a manifestly criminal Israel torment, humiliate and  murder innocent  Arabs and  Muslims in the tens of thousands.

Indeed, since its misbegotten birth in 1948, Israel has never wasted an opportunity to brutalize and savage ordinary Arabs and Muslims. Israeli  forces, who constantly had a qualitative edge over Arab armies combined, thanks to unlimited Western, especially American support, bombed with utter apathy  schools, hospitals, homes, apartment buildings and mosques.

In April, 1970, this writer vividly remembers how at least 30 Egyptian school children were mercilessly massacred when American-supplied Israeli warplanes bombarded their Bahr el Baqar primary school in the eastern province of al-Sharqiyya. Israel never apologized for the carnage.

Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese and especially Palestinian civilians were murdered rather callously by Israel for purposes having  to  do with creating deterrence or as a disproportionate  response  to  legitimate acts of resistance against a manifestly racist, colonialist occupying power.

In 2006, the Israeli air force dropped 2-3 million cluster bomblets over Lebanon, enough  to  kill or maim 2-3 million Lebanese civilians. This would be tantamount to the perpetration of at least half a holocaust.!!

In 2008-09, Israeli launched an all-out Nazi-like blitzkrieg against the virtually defenseless Gaza Strip, murdering and maiming thousands of innocent civilians whose only crime was their being non-members of the Chosen people or Master race.

Interestingly, the whoring leaders of the so-called “free-world” watched the genocidal massacres progress day after day after day, without patting an eyelash, as if the people being murdered and incinerated were insects, not human beings.

The despicable mantra the leaders of  America, Britain and   Canada, to mention a few states, kept invoking was that ” Israel has the right to defend itself.”

Needless to say, the horrible Nazi-like massacres created a lot of rage, indignation and frustration in the hearts and minds of Muslims and others around the world. But the anger was mostly passive and frozen because the masses were tightly controlled by their tyrants who, too, were controlled and enslaved by their masters in Washington and London and other western capitals.

I believe this brief historical background is necessary to make sense of the current anti-Israeli sentiments in Turkey and across the Arab world.

The matter is  very simple. Arabs and Muslims won’t forgive Zionist Jews for their genocidal crimes-which never really stopped, just as Jews won’t forgive the Nazis for their crimes against Jews in the course of the Second World War. In the final analysis, for most Arabs and Muslims,  the Zionists represent the Nazis of our time.

The Zionists murdered our children, destroyed our homes, obliterated our towns, demolished our houses of worship, and then expelled the bulk of our people to the four winds.

Then the Zionists had the audacity to ask for peace.  Well, how could a child-killer dare ask for  peace  with the child’s father without paying for his crime, even without uttering a word of apology or remorse? How could a thief dare demand peace with his  victims and their relatives and descendants  without first returning the stolen goods to rightful owners?

Peoples and  nations may of  course reach reconciliation and put painful memories and legitimate  grievances behind them. However, true and durable reconciliation requires certain conditions such as a sincere admission of guilt on the part of the aggressor, true goodwill toward the victims and their descendants, a real apology as well as compensation and indemnification.

Unfortunately, Israel never agreed to utter the word mea culpa let alone reach true reconciliation with Arabs and Muslims.

Now it seems it has become too late for any reconciliation to be reached.  It is really sad that we have reached this point. But Israel has only herself to blame. Her phenomenal  arrogance,  brazen  insolence and might-is-right  approach to  her neighbors  made any prospect  of  peace  not only unlikely but virtually impossible.

Some Arab leaders effectively groveled at Israel feet appealing for peace, peace with a nutshell of honor and dignity to save face. However, instead of relating positively to these overtures, Israel rebuffed them contemptuously, arguing that “you can’t achieve by peace what you failed to achieve by war.”

PLO leaders,  to give just one  example,  took unprecedented steps to appease Israel by arresting, persecuting and even murdering their own people in order to demonstrate their goodwill and desire for peace.

However, instead of meeting Arab leaderships half the way, Israel humiliated these leaders often in the most draconian Talmudic manners. Just consider how Israeli army bulldozers were demolishing Yasser Arafat’s  Ramallah headquarters while the ailing  late Palestinian leader was  agonizing inside,  appealing  and  imploring an unhearing world to come to his rescue.

The Zionists didn’t (and still don’t know) that such pivotal moments would become  indelible marks in the minds of millions of people and would replenish the already swelled inventory of hatred and indignation against Zio-Nazism.

Now whether the action comes from Ankara or occurring in the streets of Cairo, even opposite the illegitimate Israeli embassy in Cairo (how could it be legitimate when Israel is still occupying al-Aqsa Mosque and burning Muslim houses of worship all over occupied Palestine?)

Indeed. How could that den of espionage and  corruption  be legitimate  when  Israel  is still  besieging and starving 1.7 million Gazans for the sole purpose of  breaking their will to be free and independent from Jewish tyranny?

Again, the new reality in the Middle East is of Israel ‘s own making and Israel has only herself to blame. The Arab and Muslim masses (and increasingly their governments) are no longer willing to tolerate violent Jewish fascism and terrorism as represented by the likes of Benyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and their ilk.  The old days are gone for good. In a world where everything can be denied, there are forces undeniable, and on earth where nothing is sure, we have our certainties.

And this is only the beginning because ultimately the anti-Israeli tsunami, now beginning  to form while Israel  is  still  basking  in  its arrogance and megalomania,  will not stop at a symbolic measure here and there,  such as storming the Israeli embassy in Cairo or expelling  the  Israeli ambassador to Turkey.

Much more is coming up, because Israel’s hell-time has begun.

ANOTHER LOOK AT ‘ZIONISM IS RACISM’

The Israeli government has objected to the meeting, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) on racism, primarily on the grounds that it may single out Israel for criticism for its discriminatory practices against Palestinians.
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Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to dominate UN racism conference
By Thalif Deen
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The September meeting is the third review conference of the Durban Declaration; the second was held in Geneva in 2009. (Jean-Marc Ferré/ UN Photo)

 

UNITED NATIONS – A high-level UN meeting on racism, scheduled to take place later this month, looks set to be dominated by questions relating to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Expressing fears that the meeting might turn out to be anti-Israel, several Western states, including Canada, Germany, the United States, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Australia, have indicated they will not participate.

The boycott is the result of an intense campaign by Israel, which has branded the meeting “anti-Semitic” even before it could get off the ground.

Still, an overwhelming majority of the UN’s 193 member states — along with dozens of human rights activists and organizations — are expected to actively participate in the meeting, scheduled to take place on 22 September during the 66th session of the UN’s General Assembly.

The Israeli government has objected to the meeting, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) on racism, primarily on the grounds that it may single out Israel for criticism for its discriminatory practices against Palestinians.

A mass pro-Israel rally against the high-level meeting and efforts by the Palestinian Authority to secure international recognition of a Palestinian state is to take place outside the United Nations on 21 September.

Joseph E. Macmanus, acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the US State Department, has said that the United States will not participate in what he called “the Durban Commemoration” meeting.

Last December, the US voted against the resolution establishing this event because “the Durban process included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and we did not want to see that commemorated,” he said.

Right-wing governments back Israel

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies in the Department of History at Columbia University, said it is not surprising that Israel should have been supported by the governments of Italy, the Netherlands, Canada and the Czech Republic, all of them right-wing and all hostile to Palestinian aspirations, in opposing an effort to commemorate a landmark event in the global struggle against racism.

“The incessant effort to smear the Durban conference by Israel and its allies is intended to distract attention from the systematic legalized discrimination which is inherent not only in the 44-year old occupation of the territories seized in 1967, but also in Israel’s treatment of 20 percent of its own citizens who constitute the Arab minority,” he added.

The upcoming meeting, also called Durban III, is the third review conference of the Durban Declaration, the second (Durban II) being held in Geneva in 2009.

Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s deputy representative at its office at the United Nations, said, “We of course hope all governments will take part in Durban III and renew their efforts to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action [DDPA].”

She said true conviction in combating racism requires governments to be there, to stand up for what’s right, and to reject forcefully what’s objectionable.

“Governments need to demonstrate that, in spite of any political controversy around the commemoration, they’ll remain committed to combating racism, including commitment to the DDPA,” she declared.

Special hostility for Israel?

Chris Toensing, executive director and editor of the Washington-based Middle East Report, said that Israel’s objection, as usual, will be that Israel is singled out for criticism in the Durban Declaration in a way that smacks of special hostility for Israel among the drafters and, by extension, the UN General Assembly.

He said Israel will not dispute the specific charge in the declaration, namely that Palestinians are under “foreign occupation” and therefore are denied many basic national and human rights.

“So the objection is a diversionary tactic meant to shift attention away from Israel’s policies,” he said.

That said, he pointed out, it is true the declaration does not name another specific location of race-based discrimination in the contemporary world.

At the least, the drafters made a tactical error here, if their intent was to help the Palestinian cause, because Israel’s objection is technically sound, he added.

The Holocaust is the only specific example of genocide listed in the declaration, appearing after enslavement of Africans and colonialism as historical evils that the declaration seeks to redress.

“Though one might argue that the Holocaust, in scale and mechanisation, should indeed be considered sui generis, in the context of the declaration, the mention of the Holocaust appears to be an attempt to ‘balance’ the mention of Palestinian suffering,” said Toensing.

By the same token, he argued, it is not clear why anti-Semitism or Islamophobia should be given specific mention, when there are so many other specific types of racial-religious prejudice in today’s world.

In a letter to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Macmanus of the State Department said: “We share your concern about the Durban commemoration’s timing and venue as just days earlier, we will have held solemn ten-year memorials for those murdered in the September 11 terrorist attacks.”

In 2009, after working to try to achieve a positive, constructive outcome in the Durban Review Conference [Durban II], “we withdrew from participating because the conference reaffirmed the original 2001 Durban Declaration, which unfairly singled out Israel and included language inconsistent with US traditions of robust free speech.”

 

Source

PALESTINE; THE UPROOTED NATION

Israel policies of divide and rule, based on classical colonial principles, are not limited to its occupied populations. The adoption of the Prawer plan by the Israeli government has shown that Israel uses this mechanism of control to subjugate all non-Jewish inhabitants under its control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea regardless of the status of their citizenship.
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Israel approves plan to uproot 30,000 Bedouins

By Joseph Dana

The approval of the ‘Prawer Plan’ concerning Bedouins in the Negev desert demonstrates that Israel’s principle of divide and rule, which has been perfected in the West Bank and Gaza, also applies to citizens of Israel living inside 1948 boundaries.

A Bedouin in the village of Al Arakib after it was destroyed by Israeli forces. Photo by activestills.org

Bedouin resident in the village of Al Arakib after it was destroyed by Israeli forces (Photo: Activestills)

 

Perhaps the most violent component of Israel’s control over non-Jewish inhabitants since the founding of the state has been the (unequal) distribution and allocation of resources. In Area C of the West Bank, the area designated for full Israeli military and civilian control by the Oslo accords which makes up the majority of land in the occupied territories, Israel has demonstrated its ability to control the Palestinians of the West Bank through the allocation of resources such as water, electricity and building permits. In the West Bank village of Susya, for example, Palestinians are forced to purchase water at rates close to 10 times higher than an Israeli living in Tel Aviv. Their wells are destroyed by Israel’s civilian administration due to lack of permits which are almost impossible to obtain and many living structures are deemed illegally built and subject to demolition.

The deprivation of resources leaves Palestinians helpless in the face of bureaucratic measures which even Kafka could not have imagined. The point of this system is clear, make Palestinian life in area C villages so unbearable that they their only option is to move into cities in Area A, under Palestinian Authority control. The unclaimed land is then expropriated by Israel using out of date Ottoman laws. This amounts to an effective use of the classic colonial practice of divide and rule given the fragmented nature of Area A cities in the West Bank and the settlements which form almost natural barrier between them.

Interestingly, this is not just happening to West Bank Palestinians. Something similar is taking place to non-Jewish citizens inside Israeli territory. This morning, Israel authorized the controversial “Prawer Plan” concerning the resettlement of Bedouins in the Negev Desert.

Authored by Ehud Prawer, head of the Policy Planning Department at the Prime Minister’s Office, the report contradicts an earlier report on how to resolve settlement issues in the Negev desert. The first report, penned by former Justice Eliezer Goldberg, demanded that Israel make every attempt to respect Bedouins living in the Negev, noting in particular the need to allow them to remain in their villages and homes.

The Prawer report, which has been criticized by the Israeli civil liberties outfit, the  Association of Civil Rights in Israel, has proposed that as many as 30,000 Bedouins be removed from their homes and villages, against their will and for little reason. Removal has been approved by the government according to a report in today’s edition of Haaretz (Hebrew).

The decision to evacuate as many as 30,000 Bedouins and relocate them to large Bedouin towns such as Rahat has been called by some a “declaration of war on the Bedouin.” It is actually a long time coming if the experience of the Bedouin village of al Arakib is any indication. The village has been destroyed almost 30 times by Israel in an effort to make way for a new Jewish National Fund forest in its place.

During the height of the hopeful J14 tent protests this summer, demands for better Bedouin rights could be heard filling conversations even in the heart of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild boulevard tent encampment. However, hope has taken a backseat in recent days as many of the tent protesters’ demands for Bedouin rights have been dropped, ignored or simply disappeared.

Israel policies of divide and rule, based on classical colonial principles, are not limited to its occupied populations. The adoption of the Prawer plan by the Israeli government has shown that Israel uses this mechanism of control to subjugate all non-Jewish inhabitants under its control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea regardless of the status of their citizenship.

 

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FOR GAZANS, EVERY DAY IS 9/11

Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them ten years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?

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Ten years ago today America was attacked. Civilians died. Ten years later it is still making headline news….
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Gaza is attacked every day. Civilians die every day. It never makes headline news in the West. It’s as if it never happens…. BUT IT DOES.
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A pro Palestinian blogger posted the following this morning, it says it all!

Dear America, your 9/11 is our 24/7.

Sincerely, Palestine.

That’s the entire post, short and very much to the point.
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The plight of those in Gaza and the rest of Palestine is not only omitted in the media, it is hidden from the eyes of the Western population altogether. Palestine, Gaza in particular, simply does not exist.
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The suffering of the children, in particular, is hidden from the public eye as can be seen in the following which was sent to me this morning by;
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The Children Lose, Again

by Abby Zimet

A California museum has cancelled an exhibit of art by Palestinian kids in Gaza, reportedly after pressure from pro-Israel groups in the Bay Area. The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland had been working for months with the Middle East Children’s Alliance on the project, “A Child’s View of Gaza,” set to open in two weeks. Does it really need to be said: Kids shouldn’t have to pay for the appalling cruelty and stupidity of adults. Look at this art.

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“The only winners here are those who spend millions of dollars censoring any criticism of Israel and silencing the voices of children who live every day under military siege and occupation.” – Barbara Lubin of MECA.

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Also see THIS report

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Why does America refuse to admit that others are victim to the same forces of hatred and terrorism that attacked them ten years ago today? Worse yet, why does America continue to hide the fact that it is they who are orchestrating those very forces?

The photos in THIS link speak volumes about that hatred… DON’T click on the link if you are weak at heart, they will make you sick!

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Again, why does America refuse to publicise those photos? They represent the reality that Gazans have to live with every day of their lives. For Gazans, every day is 9/11.

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Here is Carlos Latuff’s take on 9/11

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AN AMERICAN-PALESTINIAN REFLECTION ON 9/11

Ten years after September 11, 2001, we still have the choice of continuing the same policies that lead to war and conflict or to insist on human rights and hold violators accountable.
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An American-Palestinian Reflection on 9/11

By  Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

September brings back memories of atrocities ranging from the massacres of Palestinians in Jordan September 1970, to the CIA’s involvement in the coup that installed General Pinochet in Chile (9/11/73), to the massacre of Sabra and Shatila on 15 September 1982, and to the attacks of 11 September 2001 on the US (my second home).  These tragedies are demonstrably intertwined beyond the coincidences of date and they each claimed the lives of hundreds of civilian victims.   I was with my late father during the first two of these four events and his pain at hearing and seeing the news of these events on TV remains etched in my memory.  In Mid September 1970 and after some Palestinian groups acted in ways that threatened his Hashemite rule in Jordan, King Hussain declared martial law and sent his tanks to the refugee camps.  Routing the PLO out of Jordan meant “collateral damage” (the term Israel and the US use) of  massacres of hundreds of Palestinians.  Horrific stories of atrocities are recorded.  Two years later, a CIA-led coup d’état against the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende succeeded to place a right-wing dictator by the name of Pinochet in power.  It was on September 11, 1973, that the government was toppled and Allende was assassinated.  The US-supported reign of terror that followed against the Chilean people left thousands of murdered.  Thousands were tortured and thousands disappeared.

Ten years later, the US-supported Israeli army invaded Lebanon June 1982 to route the PLO out of Lebanon.  The invading army pounded cities and refugee camps and killed thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.  Under a deal arranged by Israel’s patrons in Washington, the PLO was forced out of Lebanon on 1 Sept. 1982 in exchange for promises that refugees would not be harmed.  US promises were not kept and Israel was given US weapons and diplomatic cover to commit further acts of violence.   A ruthless General known to Israelis as the bulldozer (because nothing stood in his way) commanded Israel’s invading army.  On 11 September 1982 he announced that the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila had 2000 “terrorists” and unleashed mercenaries to do his ghastly deed.   The 150 Phalangist killers who went into the camps on September 15 not only received Israeli salaries and weapons but a direct Green light (the camp was surrounded by Israeli soldiers, and Israeli floodlights allowed continuation of the massacre throughout the night).  For 40 hours straight, women were machine-gunned, children’s throats were slit, and elderly men were hacked to death.  Estimates of the number of victims ranged from 750 (Israeli figure) to 2500 (Red Cross figure).  

I was living near New York on 11 September 2001.  The horror was felt first because for many of us, friends and relatives were in New York City and we were very worried for them and for the country as a whole. The attacks also killed many Arabs and Muslims.  Immediately, the Zionist strategy was developed and implemented to blame Arabs and Muslims and use the attacks to bolster Israeli colonial activities.  Some 2000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces in the two years that followed the attack (and the Palestinian groups killed over 500 Israelis in retaliation).   Later, the commission of inquiry into the events hid many facts; the most important of which is what any crime investigator asks about– the real motive of the crime.  US policy in support of apartheid Israel was (and to a large extent continues to be) a taboo subject.  But the official attempts to stifle discussion and force the US public to be consumers rather than citizens largely failed. (Bush’s speech after the events told citizens to simply go shopping and leave things to him and his government).  People actually had a gut feeling that there are things they are not being told and they looked for sources of information.

Our activism before 2001 for Palestinian human rights meant that we were in the spotlight (both in the negative and positive sense) after the attacks.  Just in the six months after the horrific attacks, I gave over 40 lectures and interviewed and appeared in media over 50 times.  More than any other time in my life in the US, I experienced directly both the goodness of the US public and the treachery and meanness of those who only cared for Israel.  In my upcoming book about my life in the US, I devote some pages to describe these things.  Both the kindness and curiosity of average US citizens and the attacks carried on us by those in the political Zionist camp.  We were subjected to email spams, computer hacking, mail fraud, FBI investigations that came from Zionist sources, physical and verbal attacks, and to deluge of letters calling us names (from terrorists to anti-Semites) sent to media, politicians, and even our academic colleagues.  Not only did we weather that but we got strengthened in our resolve and much of it backfired on the aggressors and gained us even more sympathy among the American public. 

Here we are 10 years after 11 September 2001 and we still have choices.  Thanks to US/Israeli miscalculations and stupidity, Iran is stronger than ever as a regional power.  The dictatorial governments of the friends of Israel are toppled by popular revolt (Egypt, Tunisia) or about to be toppled (Yemen).  Others in the so-called “moderate” camp have been weakened or had to reassess their positions (Jordan, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah).  And while the US policy tried to balance things by working to remove dictators who are less friendly to it (Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria), the outcome is far from certain (and people there may still get to decide). 

But there are also other changes related to the stupidity of US/Israeli policies after 11 September 2001.  Israeli forces executed nine Turkish citizens (one of them also US citizen) in a humanitarian ship in international waters and Israel refused to apologize. Turkey now expelled the Zionist ambassador and cut trade and military ties with Israel.  Egyptian activists managed to enter the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and the staff had to flee with the ambassador on his way to Tel Aviv.  The carrot and stick approach with the Palestinian authority was used successfully in the past to force compliance with US and Israeli demands.  Now it seems to have begun to fail.  David Hale and Tony Blair failed to get their way as spokespersons for Israeli policy to force a retreat in the issue of going to the UN to recognize a Palestinian state in the 22% of historic Palestine that was occupied in 1967.  They are now trying to get a language that abrogates Palestinian rights (especially the right of return).

Thus, at the 10th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, questions abound about how Israel and neocons took US policy in the past 10 years in directions that strengthened adversaries, promoted war, wrecked the American economy, and destroyed the sympathy and solidarity shown by people around the world to the US.  Ten years after September 11, 2001, we still have the choice of continuing the same policies that lead to war and conflict or to insist on human rights and hold violators accountable.

On this sad anniversary, the US government can no longer afford to remain a vassal and occupied country whose congress stands obediently to applause a war criminal like Netanyahu.  People shake their heads as they see 81 US Congressmen and Congresswomen take a propaganda trip to Israel during their August recess instead of spending the time dealing with the economic destruction in their own districts caused in part by the lobby that paid for their trip.  People wonder how a proud country like the US could allow Israel to get away with attacking a US ship in international waters killing 28 US servicemen.  How could this government then appoint lobbyists for Israel as US ambassadors to Israel (e.g. Martin Indyk) and US envoys to the Middle East (e.g. Dennis Ross)? Is it any wonder that we now learn that previous US Secretary of Defense Bill Gates had big differences on issues of policy? Many US officials now speak out while still in office not just after they leave office. It is urgent and critical.

On this sad anniversary, there are a lot of “what if” scenarios being discussed and healthy reflections around the world.  For example, what if the US and Israel obeyed international law? What if we did not illegally invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan? What if Israel was forced to comply with UN resolutions on withdrawal from illegally occupied areas and forced to allow the ethnically-cleansed Palestinians to return to their homes and lands? In short what if we did not send the message that might makes right but rather that rights make things right? Would that not have been the most rational response to extremists whether they are wearing Turbans or wearing Kippas or wearing crosses?

On the anniversary of 9/11: Robert Fisk writes that “For 10 years, we’ve lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question”

Arundhati Roy on September 11

ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT GROWTH CONTINUES AS PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD APPEARS IMMINENT

The announcement of plans for new settlement construction follows verbal US, European, Russian, and Turkish condemnation of an approved plan announced 10 days ago to construct 930 houses in Har Homah settlement in Jabal Abu Ghoneim, south of East Jerusalem. Sources inside Israel confirm that the Ministry of Housing has decided to build 7,000 new units in the wake of widespread protests in Israel due to high housing prices.
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Israel’s Response to Statehood Bid: More Settlements

Sources inside Israel confirm that the Ministry of Housing has decided to build 7,000 new units in the wake of widespread protests in Israel due to high housing prices. (Photo: AP – Alessio Romenzi)

 

The Israeli government is speeding up the pace of settlement construction ahead of the Palestinian Authority’s upcoming bid for statehood at the UN.

Ramallah — Israeli occupation authorities are speeding up their plans to expand construction in the occupied Palestinian territories. Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved on Monday the construction of 277 additional housing units in Neuman neighborhood in the settlement of Ariel, north of the West Bank. These units are part of a plan to build 430 additional settlement units. According to Haaretz newspaper, the housing units were previously approved, but the designated land had not been presented to the investors. Following Barak’s announcement, the settlement administration can allocate the plots for construction that is expected to end in three and a half years. According to the plan, 100 housing units will be reserved for settlers who were relocated from the Nitzarim settlement in Gaza Strip.

Since its formation in March 2009, Benjamin Netenyahu’s government has approved 492 settlement units in different regions of the West Bank, in addition to 500 units in the settlement of Itamar. Last Thursday, Interior Minister Eliyahu Yishai approved a plan to build 1,600 houses in the Ramat Shlomo settlement, north of occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli sources indicate that in the next few days, Yishai will approve the construction of 2,000 houses in Givat HaMatos settlement south of East Jerusalem and 700 houses in Givat Zeev settlement north of East Jerusalem. Israel’s Ministry of Interior approved 7,000 housing units in Haifa alone. More plans for settlement construction in other areas are expected to be ratified soon.

The announcement of plans for new settlement construction follows verbal US, European, Russian, and Turkish condemnation of an approved plan announced 10 days ago to construct 930 houses in Har Homah settlement in Jabal Abu Ghoneim, south of East Jerusalem. Sources inside Israel confirm that the Ministry of Housing has decided to build 7,000 new units in the wake of widespread protests in Israel due to high housing prices.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in turn strongly condemned Israel’s decision to build hundreds of settlement units in Ariel settlement, north of the West Bank. Nabil Abu Rudaina, the PA’s spokesperson, calls it “an Israeli attempt to obstruct and destroy what is left of any effort to revive the peace process. Once again, these Israeli settlements only reinforce our determination to go to the UN and the Security Council to request membership for the state of Palestine in order to halt these Israeli measures.”

Politburo member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, MP Qais Abdul Karim, indicates that “the current right-wing extremist Israeli government is in a race against time and is trying to establish facts on the ground by expanding settlement construction everywhere, particularly in Jerusalem.” According to Karim, the occupation government is actively working to change the demographics of Jerusalem by removing the Palestinian Arab presence in the city. He says that the Israeli government is “exporting its internal crisis at the expense of the Palestinian people by expanding settlements.”

This article is translated from the Arabic Edition.

 

Source via Uruknet

COLOUR ME VICIOUS

And, he has even echoed the vile logic of CiF’s Slavoj Zizek that modern Zionists have come to resemble old style fascists, in an essay published at the viciously anti-Israel site, DesertPeace.
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Had me a good chuckle this morning when I noticed a few visits from the CIF WATCH WITCH.. They refer to this site as “viciously anti-Israeli”.
Ummm….
The definition of vicious according to THIS on-line dictionary is;
1. Having the nature of vice; evil, immoral, or depraved.
2. Given to vice, immorality, or depravity.
3. Spiteful; malicious: vicious gossip.
4. Disposed to or characterized by violent or destructive behavior. See Synonyms at cruel.
5. Marked by an aggressive disposition; savage. Used chiefly of animals.
6. Severe or intense; fierce: a vicious storm.
7. Faulty, imperfect, or otherwise impaired by defects or a defect: a forced, vicious style of prose.
8. Impure; foul.
Sounds like a definition of the State of Israel to me, not DesertPeace…
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But, if you want to join in the chuckle with me, here’s the piece that appeared on their VICIOUS site;
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The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland reconciles with the anti-Zionist left

 by Adam Levick

The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland has evidently fully recovered from his jarring experience with vicious anti-Zionists at a debate on BDS in London with participants (including Omar Barghouti) who seek the end of the Jewish state.

According to The JC’s report on the debate, Freedland’s attempts to refute accusations that Israel is an “apartheid” state and that, therefore, BDS was a moral imperative were both repeatedly shouted down by pro-Palestinian activists, which led an evidently shaken Freedland to tell the audience:

“Tonight has been hugely revealing. I thought my disagreement with the boycott movement was because I want to see the end of occupation and you want to see the end of occupation and it was an argument about tactics.

“What has come through loud and clear is your motivation is not actually just the end of occupation but it’s with Israel itself – you have a fundamental problem with it.”

Just how revealing was Freedland’s jarring experience with rabid anti-Zionists? Well, not so jarring that he’s in any more predisposed to take on anti-Zionist such as Joseph Dana.

Joseph Dana, an American-Israeli, is a vocal BDS activist and proponent of the one-state solution, that is, the end of the Jewish state – a position which has endeared him to such vicious anti-Zionists as Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss. (In fact, Dana is a judge at something at Mondoweiss called the Mondo Awards – no doubt an award in great anti-Zionist achievements – a panel which includes Omar Barghouti)

Dana once wrote, “Why anyone, Jew or Arab, would want to see this [Israeli] state continue in its present form is really beyond comprehension.” 

And, he has even echoed the vile logic of CiF’s Slavoj Zizek that modern Zionists have come to resemble old style fascists, in an essay published at the viciously anti-Israel site, DesertPeace.

Recently, Jonathan Freedland Tweeted the following to his friend Joseph Dana (who Tweets under “ibnezra”)

The article Freedland links to, in Ha’aretz, reports on a group of settlers who vandalized an Israeli Army base as part of a “price tag” for the IDF’s recent demolishing of an outpost in Migron.  While the destructive actions of the settlers are of course indefensible, the shallow implication of Freedland’s Tweet encouraged me to respond in kind.

My reply

Beyond the Tweet itself (which was, interestingly, re-Tweeted by Seumas Milne), it’s dispiriting to say the least that Freedland has apparently learned nothing from his encounter with the anti-Zionist crowd in London.

In an essay about his experiences at the debate, published at the Zionist Left site, Engage, Freedland wrote the following:

“What [the debate] confirmed out loud was that the hard core of boycott campaigners do not merely object to the post-1967 occupation- even if that dominates their public rhetoric – but to Israel as Israel.”

Speakers from the floor repeatedly returned to the alleged ills of pre-1967 Israel and of Zionism itself. Indeed, Naomi Foyle, the activist who had acted as a “volunteer consultant” to the South Bank in organising the debate, later blogged a concise response to my claim that the boycott campaign was anti-Israel rather than anti-occupation: “Damn right.”

By finding common cause with one-state solution proponents who vilify Israel and her supporters at every opportunity, such as Joseph Dana, it’s clear Freedland – like many who maintain soft support for Zionism yet don’t want to get their hands dirty in the fight – is not willing to sacrifice alienating those in his progressive political circles for the sake of Israel’s survival.

While I’m a big believer in the idea of “Big Tent Zionism”, the key word in that phrase is, of course, “Zionism”.

Viciously written FOR

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ THIS IS GAZA

This is Gaza…. – in pictures

 

A man walks past murals depicting martyrs on August 22, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

A horse and cart drives past murals depicting martyrs on August 22, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza

Also Christians suffer Israeli Siege and occupation. Worshippers take part in a service at the Greel Orthodox Church on August 22, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. siege and occupation. Worshippers take part in a service at the Greel Orthodox Church on August 22, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

Israeli Crimes against Christianity in Palestine

Worshippers take part in a service at the Greel Orthodox Church on August 22, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

 Christianity in Palestine – in beautiful pictures

Palestinians unload food at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) warehouses at the Beach refugee camp on August 18, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. 1.2 of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are registered with the UNRWA and dependant on food aid due to the Israeli siege, the world… sustaining the occupation and the needs

Palestinians unload food at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) warehouses at the Beach refugee camp on August 18, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. The same sacks of food, which are brought in Palestine now for 63 years, still coming in. Palestiine does not want aid, it wants independance and human rights. Universal for anyone but not in Palestine.

When wil the UN bring Human Rights?

A palestinian boy sifts through a rubbish dump for items of value and recylclable plastic on August 18, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. Children helping their families to earn a little money by collecting garbage. 45% of Gaza is unemployed. The GDP of Palestine is about $2900/year per capita while in Israel $29,800 per capita

While he should be able to sit in school and learn for his future, this Palestinian boy sifts through a rubbish dump for items of value and recylclable plastic on August 18, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. Even highly educated people in Gaza earn a living collecting even rubble, facing death by Israeli snipers. Many have been killed this way as you can see in the video “Gaza’s rubble collectors in Danger”

Gaza’s Rubble collectors in Dangervideo

Palestinian women walk along the road at night during one of the frequent power cuts across Gaza City on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. Power cuts are causing many deaths, especially among the sick dependant on electricity like dialysis patients, or hotse dependant on breathing aids. Israel is preventing fuel or materials for repairs of the sole electricity plant so daily cuts are common.

Deaths & diseases due to cuts on Electricity and Water

A view of the beach front on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. A beautiful scene, but the reality is that the nice skyline is 24/7 filled with drones, F16’s or flying weaponry heading to Gaza.

Drones: Israel  murders people in Gaza by remote control “Israel’s video game killing technology

A mourner reads the Quran as he attends the funeral of Palestinian Saad al-Majdalali who was shot by border guards after venturing too close to the Israeli fortifications on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. In 2008-2009, in an operation called “Cast Lead” (*), Palestine lost over 1400 people, massacred. And even today, the (silenced) genocide(**) on Palestine goes on. Almost every day(***), Palestine buries it’s marytrs.

 The Album:  Operation Cast LeadAll Israeli Massacres on Palestine |  The Martyrs of Occupation 2011

No children have witnessed more funerals than Gaza’s children. Two young boys look on as mourners attend the funeral of Palestinian Saad al-Majdalali who was shot by border guards after venturing too close to the Israeli fortifications on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

Gaza Under Attack – in pictures

Children play in the alleyways of Beach Refugee Camp refugee camp on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. Children are indiscriminately targeted as well, in world’s largest open air prison, as well as in the West Bank of Palestine. Read more in the Special Topic “Children”

Imagine.. This would be your Child…   Children of Palestine – in pictures | Children of Palestine – Special Topic

And this is where they play. Everywhere in Gaza, the scars of violence are visible. A wall in a play area is riddled with bullet holes in the former Israeli settlement of Khan Yunes on August 17, 2011 in Khan Yunes, Gaza. Over 20.000 homes were damaged or completely demolished during operation Cast Lead. But on almost daily basis the devastation goes on.

Operation Cast Lead | The Devastation – in pictures

Children play in the alleyways of Beach Refugee Camp refugee camp on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. Estimated 4,7 MILLION Palestinians, refugees and their descendants live outside of Palestine.

Palestinian Refugees – in pictures

A young Palestinian girl makes her way home on the back of a donkey cart following a day of retaliatory attacks between Israel and Gaza on August 19, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. No one knows if she will be able to ride the donkey cart tomorrow.. the day after tomorrow… for occupation forces targeting the most dense populated area in the world, where civilians and children sleep. Gaza is under unforeseen and indiscriminate attacks all the time.

Boys ride their horse and cart past the former Israeli settlement of Khan Yunes on August 17, 2011 in Khan Yunes, Gaza.

Donkeys are tethered amongst rubbish alongside Beach Road on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

A Palestinian family “relax” in the harbour of Gaza on August 19, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

Fisherman resort to using rods as their trawlers are harbour bound due to the threat of Israeli missiles on August 19, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. Gaza Fishermen are daily under attack by Israel Navy vessels, arrested, their ships attacked and demolished and basicly restricted to handing a rod to catch fish for Israel is not obeying the Maritime Law. Since the Bertini Agreement, it allows the fishermen only to go 3 Miles off shore, but even inside these 3 Nautical miles it attacks and makes earning a life impossible.

Category | Israeli Attacks on Fishermen

While life goes on… on the Souk traders sell ramadan cakes in the market of Gaza City on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

Another shopkeeper tends to his stall in the market of Gaza City on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza.

A resistance fighter from the Popular Resistance Committees military wing. For Palestine has a right to defend it’s people, it’s land, it’s future. For a better understanding of the resistance of Palestine, please read about the history: “The Eagle of Palestine”

The Eagle of Palestine

Palestinian Right of Self-Defense

Palestinian women shake hands as they take part in the weekly ‘sit in’ at the headquarters of the Red Cross in Gaza, protesting for more access to visit relatives imprisoned in Israeli jails on August 22, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. Israel does deny the prisoners, men, women and even children detained by Israel, as well as the relatives the right to visit. And more. Every human right is violated from visiting until denial of medical treatment, even torture to death.

A Whole Nation behind bars | Palestine’s Prisoners – special topic

Mourners pray as they attend the funeral of Palestinian Saad al-Majdalali who was shot by border guards after venturing too close to the Israeli fortifications on August 17, 2011 in Gaza City, Gaza. So remains the prayer, to which all Palestinians resort, in hope for a change and the world to wake up and end this ongoing nightmare on Palestine. Worshipers in the Mosque, mourning about their lost ones, just like their Christian Palestinian brothers mourns their martyrs in the churches of Gaza.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.

 

Sent By Ayman Quader, Gaza

Posted AT

FEAR OF PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD

Recognition of a Palestinian state could, in theory, lead to Israeli officials being dragged repeatedly before the International Criminal Court in the Hague for claims regarding its settlement policies in the West Bank, legal experts say.

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According to the statute of the court, the direct or indirect transfer of an occupier’s population into occupied territory constitutes a war crime.

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Another issue is whether the newly minted “Palestine” could make claims regarding incidents that occurred before it was recognized as a state. The court has jurisdiction only for claims made by UN member states.ore it was recognized as a state.
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Palestinian Freedom Fighter by ~PaLiLinz

Israelis could face trial in The Hague if Palestinian statehood recognized at UN, experts warn

According to the statute of the court, the direct or indirect transfer of an occupier’s population into occupied territory constitutes a war crime.

Recognition of a Palestinian state could, in theory, lead to Israeli officials being dragged repeatedly before the International Criminal Court in the Hague for claims regarding its settlement policies in the West Bank, legal experts say.

According to the statute of the court, the direct or indirect transfer of an occupier’s population into occupied territory constitutes a war crime.

“The jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in the Hague is a complementary jurisdiction, meaning that the court will not intervene in cases when a war crime complaint is being investigated by Israel and those responsible are prosecuted,” explained Prof. Robbie Sabel, a former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry and an expert in international law.

“But in instances in which Israel is not conducting a war crime investigation and is not trying to ascertain the guilt of the accused, the court may get involved,” he said.
“The settlements are a prime example of this, since in theory one could say that we are talking about a war crime, that Israel is not investigating it and not bringing those responsible to justice. Thus, the court could get involved and investigate.”

Sabel isn’t convinced, however, that the Palestinians will use this tool very often, if at all.
“Interestingly, except for Jordan, no neighboring Arab state [has accepted the court’s jurisdiction],” he said. “Why hasn’t Syria joined? Syria could have joined and asked that an investigation be opened against Israel for settling the Golan. The reason is that if Syria joined, it would also be exposed to having its officials being tried for war crimes.

“It could be that the Palestinians will get caught up in the issue of the settlements, but at the same time, any Palestinian that, say, shot at Israeli civilians would also be subject to the court’s jurisdiction. Undoubtedly Israel could come up with a long list of terrorists that harmed Israelis and were never tried by the Palestinian Authority and turn it over to the court for handling.”

Another issue is whether the newly minted “Palestine” could make claims regarding incidents that occurred before it was recognized as a state. The court has jurisdiction only for claims made by UN member states.

Attorney Nick Kaufman and Prof. Daphne Richmond-Barak, both international law experts who have worked with the International Criminal Court, believe the Palestinians will certainly try. They may even ask the court to investigate incidents that occurred before 2002, which is when the court began operating, even though as a rule, such claims are not accepted, says Richmond-Barak. “The chances that Israelis will find themselves in court in the Hague will be much greater after September,” she said.

Kaufman, meanwhile, petitioned the ICC this week on behalf of the Regavim advocacy group, which asked the court to reject the request by the Palestinians in 2009 to investigate events pertaining to Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

Regavim argues that the Palestinian intention to declare a state and ask for its recognition now proves that at the time they filed their request with the court, they were not a state. The court thus has no authority to respond to their request and must reject it out of hand, Regavim says.

Meanwhile, attorneys Limor Yehuda and Anne Sucio, of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, issued a position paper yesterday on the possible ramifications of the recognition of a Palestinian state on civil rights in the territories.

Yehuda disagrees with what she called the “impassioned” approach to the legal changes, including the possible involvement of the ICC.

“You must remember that Palestinian ratification of the Rome Statute [which created the ICC] will obligate them to uphold human rights − for example, to refrain from torture and avoid firing on Israeli civilians,” she said. “It is liable to increase both sides’ commitment to human rights.”

Source

BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON A ‘WHISTLE BLOWER’

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I was shocked beyond belief yesterday when I read in the New York Times that a so-called ‘progressive’ blogger is the one apparently responsible for blowing the whistle on a so called whistle blower.
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Adding to my shock was the fact that Shamai Leibowitz was ever employed by the FBI in any position. He has been an activist for many years in Israel, has been outspoken for Palestinian rights and is one of the most respected lawyers here. He is the grandson of a known leftist, Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Surely the FBI was aware of his background before they hired him as a translator.
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Leibowitz’s ‘involvement’ in any wrongdoings was brought to light just over a year ago when he was arrested…
A former contract linguist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation was sentenced to 20 months in prison Monday for leaking classified documents to an internet blogger, the US Justice Department said.
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Leibowitz acknowledged handing over five FBI documents concerning US communication intelligence activities to the blogger, who was not identified. The blogger then published information from the documents.
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The above is taken from THIS Ynet report.
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I have said dozens of times on this site NOT TO TRUST ANYONE YOU MEET ON THE INTERNET. There are many out there who are not who you might think they are. Leibowitz, himself said at his sentencing  that it was “a one-time mistake that happened to me when I worked at the F.B.I. and saw things which I considered were violation of the law, and I should not have told a reporter about it.”
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He definitely should not have told this particular ‘reporter’ about it. Richard Silverstein seems to have a tendency to talk (type) before he thinks. When he published the information on his blog that Leibowitz handed over to him was he aware of the fact that this could lead to a prison term for Leibowitz?
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Mr. Silverstein took the blog posts he had written based on Mr. Leibowitz’s material off his site after the criminal investigation two years ago. But he was able to retrieve three posts from April 2009 from his computer and provided them to The New York Times.
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Why would Silverstein retrieve those deleted posts and hand them over to the Times? The only answer I can come up with is that he enjoys being in the limelight, even if it might mean a prison term for a so-called ‘friend’. I occasionally glance at Silverstein’s Blog, he is an ‘Internet Opportunist’ in the true sense of the word. In Yiddish terminology, he is nothing more than a Yenta, far from actually being a ‘reporter’ as he claims to be. In his own words FROM: I am a progressive (critical) Zionist. I support a two state solution to the conflict involving Israeli withdrawal roughly to pre-67 borders (with some adjustments) and an internationally guaranteed peace agreement with the Palestinians.  Progressive zionist??? That’s a new one to me…
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Bottom line in this is what I have maintained for years … DO NOT TRUST ANYONE YOU MEET ON THE INTERNET.
Richard Silverstein, for one, has proven that he himself is not to be trusted.
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Kudos to Shamai Leibowitz for his years of dedication to Peace and Justice!

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And a BIG SHAME ON YOU RICHARD SILVERSTEIN for trying to ‘cash in’ on his good work!
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Needless to say, the zioright is also ‘cashing in’ on this situation as can be seen HERE.

BLOGOLEAKS ~~ WIKI’S COMPETITION?

The Blogesphere is making headlines in the Western Media these days… in connection with the following ….
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Peter Dejong/Associated Press Shamai K. Leibowitz in 2002. He leaked secret transcripts.
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Leak Offers Look at Efforts by U.S. to Spy on Israel

WASHINGTON — When Shamai K. Leibowitz, an F.B.I. translator, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year for leaking classified information to a blogger, prosecutors revealed little about the case. They identified the blogger in court papers only as “Recipient A.” After Mr. Leibowitz pleaded guilty, even the judge said he did not know exactly what Mr. Leibowitz had disclosed.

“All I know is that it’s a serious case,” Judge Alexander Williams Jr., of United States District Court in Maryland, said at the sentencing in May 2010. “I don’t know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea.”

Now the reason for the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s first prosecution for leaking information to the news media seems clear: Mr. Leibowitz, a contract Hebrew translator, passed on secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Those overheard by the eavesdroppers included American supporters of Israel and at least one member of Congress, according to the blogger, Richard Silverstein.

In his first interview about the case, Mr. Silverstein offered a rare glimpse of American spying on a close ally.

He said he had burned the secret documents in his Seattle backyard after Mr. Leibowitz came under investigation in mid-2009, but he recalled that there were about 200 pages of verbatim records of telephone calls and what seemed to be embassy conversations. He said that in one transcript, Israeli officials discussed their worry that their exchanges might be monitored.

Mr. Leibowitz, who declined to comment for this article, released the documents because of concerns about Israel’s aggressive efforts to influence Congress and public opinion, and fears that Israel might strike nuclear facilities in Iran, a move he saw as potentially disastrous, according to Mr. Silverstein.

While the American government routinely eavesdrops on some embassies inside the United States, intelligence collection against allies is always politically delicate, especially one as close as Israel.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation listens in on foreign embassies and officials in the United States chiefly to track foreign spies, though any intelligence it obtains on other matters is passed on to the C.I.A. and other agencies. The intercepts are carried out by the F.B.I.’s Operational Technology Division, based in Quantico, Va., according to Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence writer who describes the bureau’s monitoring in a book, “Intel Wars,” scheduled for publication in January. Translators like Mr. Leibowitz work at an F.B.I. office in Calverton, Md.

Former counterintelligence officials describe Israeli intelligence operations in the United States as quite extensive, ranking just below those of China and Russia, and F.B.I. counterintelligence agents have long kept an eye on Israeli spying.

For most eavesdropping on embassies, federal law requires the F.B.I. to obtain an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret at a federal courthouse in Washington. If an American visiting or calling an embassy turns up on a recording, the F.B.I. is required by law to remove the American’s name from intelligence reports, substituting the words “U.S. person.” But raw transcripts would not necessarily have undergone such editing, called “minimization.”

Mr. Silverstein’s account could not be fully corroborated, but it fits the publicly known facts about the case. Spokesmen for the F.B.I., the Justice Department and the Israeli Embassy declined to comment on either eavesdropping on the embassy or Mr. Leibowitz’s crime. He admitted disclosing “classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States,” standard language for the interception of phone calls, e-mails and other messages by the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency, which generally focuses on international communications.

Mr. Leibowitz, now in a Federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house in Maryland, is prohibited by his plea agreement from discussing anything he learned at the F.B.I. Two lawyers who represented Mr. Leibowitz, Cary M. Feldman and Robert C. Bonsib, also would not comment.

Mr. Silverstein, 59, writes a blog called Tikun Olam, named after a Hebrew phrase that he said means “repairing the world.” The blog gives a liberal perspective on Israel and Israeli-American relations. He said he had decided to speak out to make clear that Mr. Leibowitz, though charged under the Espionage Act, was acting out of noble motives. The Espionage Act has been used by the Justice Department in nearly all prosecutions of government employees for disclosing classified information to the news media, including the record-setting five such cases under President Obama.

Mr. Silverstein said he got to know Mr. Leibowitz, a lawyer with a history of political activism, after noticing that he, too, had a liberal-minded blog, called Pursuing Justice. The men shared a concern about repercussions from a possible Israeli airstrike on nuclear facilities in Iran. From his F.B.I. work from January to August of 2009, Mr. Leibowitz also believed that Israeli diplomats’ efforts to influence Congress and shape American public opinion were excessive and improper, Mr. Silverstein said.

“I see him as an American patriot and a whistle-blower, and I’d like his actions to be seen in that context,” Mr. Silverstein said. “What really concerned Shamai at the time was the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, which he thought would be damaging to both Israel and the United States.”

Mr. Silverstein took the blog posts he had written based on Mr. Leibowitz’s material off his site after the criminal investigation two years ago. But he was able to retrieve three posts from April 2009 from his computer and provided them to The New York Times.

The blog posts make no reference to eavesdropping, but describe information from “a confidential source,” wording Mr. Silverstein said was his attempt to disguise the material’s origin.

One post reports that the Israeli Embassy provided “regular written briefings” on Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza to President Obama in the weeks between his election and inauguration. Another describes calls involving Israeli officials in Jerusalem, Chicago and Washington to discuss the views of members of Congress on Israel. A third describes a call between an unnamed Jewish activist in Minnesota and the Israeli Embassy about an embassy official’s meeting with Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, who was planning an official trip to Gaza.

Mr. Silverstein said he remembered that embassy officials talked about drafting opinion articles to be published under the names of American supporters. He said the transcripts also included a three-way conversation between a congressman from Texas, an American supporter of the congressman and an embassy official; Mr. Silverstein said he could not recall any of the names.

At his sentencing, Mr. Leibowitz described what he had done as “a one-time mistake that happened to me when I worked at the F.B.I. and saw things which I considered were violation of the law, and I should not have told a reporter about it.”

That was a reference to Israeli diplomats’ attempts to influence Congress, Mr. Silverstein said, though nothing Mr. Leibowitz described to him appeared to be beyond the bounds of ordinary lobbying.

Mr. Leibowitz, 40, the father of 6-year-old twins at the time of sentencing, seems an unlikely choice for an F.B.I. translation job. He was born in Israel to a family prominent in academic circles. He practiced law in Israel for several years, representing several controversial clients, including Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader convicted of directing terrorist attacks on Israelis, who Mr. Leibowitz once said reminded him of Moses.

In 2004, Mr. Leibowitz moved to Silver Spring, Md., outside Washington, where he was a leader in his synagogue. Mr. Silverstein said Mr. Leibowitz holds dual American and Israeli citizenship.

In court, Mr. Leibowitz expressed anguish about the impact of the case on his marriage and family, which he said was “destitute.” He expressed particular sorrow about leaving his children. “At the formative time of their life, when they’re 6 years old and they’re just finishing first grade, I’ll be absent from their life, and that is the most terrible thing about this case,” he said.

While treated as highly classified by the F.B.I., the fact that the United States spies on Israel is taken for granted by experts on intelligence. “We started spying on Israel even before the state of Israel was formally founded in 1948, and Israel has always spied on us,” said Mr. Aid, the author. “Israeli intercepts have always been one of the most sensitive categories,” designated with the code word Gamma to indicate their protected status, he said.

Douglas M. Bloomfield, an American columnist for several Jewish publications, said that when he worked in the 1980s for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group, he assumed that communications with the embassy were not private.

“I am not surprised at all to learn that the F.B.I. was listening to the Israelis,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a wise use of resources because I don’t see Israel as a threat to American security.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 7, 2011

An article on Tuesday about a leak prosecution involving the disclosure of transcripts of F.B.I. eavesdropping on the Israeli Embassy in Washington gave an outdated location for the secret court that approves such wiretaps. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court moved to the federal courthouse in Washington in 2009; it is no longer at the Justice Department.

Source

TOON AND VIDEO OF THE DAY ~~ THE DAY THE MIDDLE CLASS DIED

Image by Bendib
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click on image to enlarge
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Don’t ask me why, but when I saw the above cartoon it reminded me of the following song…. Enjoy!
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PALESTINE’S PRE DECLARATION OF INDEPENENCE

Some 20 political parties and social movements from both sides of the Green Line issued an historic declaration in support of the social protests currently rocking Israel and their necessary linkage to the struggle against Israel’s occupation and colonial policies.
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Historic Declaration by Palestinians, Israelis in Support of Israeli Social Protest, Anti-Colonial Struggle

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Some 20 political parties and social movements from both sides of the Green Line issued an historic declaration in support of the social protests currently rocking Israel and their necessary linkage to the struggle against Israel’s occupation and colonial policies.

Together for putting an end to occupation and racism, in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to attain their national rights and against national and social oppression

Even in light of the encouraging developments in the Middle East, the wave of social protests and the awakening of the peoples’ struggles for freedoms and the right to live in dignity, the Palestinian people still live under the yoke of the Israeli occupation, despite their persistent and ongoing struggle for freedom. The international community, for its part, demonstrates its helplessness and does not lend a hand to support the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice.

The protest movements and the winds of change blowing in the Arab world have aroused excitement throughout the world amongst freedom seekers, encouraging many to adopt the model of popular struggle. These protest movements have had a deep impact on various groups in Israel, amongst both Jews and Palestinians, and made an important contribution to the rise of the popular protest movement within Israel for social justice.

Moved by our aspiration to attain a just and fair peace in the region, a peace that is truly essential for the peoples of the region and can assist in promoting the struggle for justice and progress for everyone, we – Palestinian and Israeli social and political forces, representatives of women’s associations and young people from both sides of the Green Line – emphasise the need for a joint struggle, with the goal of liberating the peoples of the region from colonialism and hegemony, particularly that of Zionism, halting the occupation and Israeli military aggression and supporting the just struggle of the Palestinian people for fulfillment of its right for self-determination in accordance with the decisions of the international community.

We look forward to the liberation of all the region’s peoples from dictatorship, ruling tyranny and from all forms of national, social and economic oppression. Therefore, we the signatories on this document, emphasise:

1. We support the Palestinian September initiative in the United Nations, the body which carries responsibility for laying the foundations of peace internationally, in order to demand full membership for Palestine in the UN and recognition of a Palestinian state in the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to strengthen the efforts to end the occupation of the Palestinian people’s lands, with preservation of the right of the Palestinian people to oppose the occupation and the right of return of the refugees in accordance with United Nations Resolution 194. In this context, we emphasise that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, deriving its legitimacy both from the Palestinian people in the homeland and exile and from the recognition it received from the Arab League and the United Nations.

The UN initiative is a legitimate step. The United Nations must fulfill its responsibility to realize its responsibility to establish peace and justice on the international level. This is a step that strengthens the rights of the Palestinian people and in no way represents a threat to Israel, despite the great efforts of the Israeli government to present this step to the Israeli people as a declaration of war or harming the legitimacy of the existence of Israel.

2. We understand that one of the primary reasons for the social and economic distress of citizens in Israel, in addition to the capitalist economic policies, is the continuation of the occupation and excessive security budgets, which Israel’s government seeks to justify as needed for defending the security of the settlements on the one hand and the state borders on the other. We therefore believe that an end to the occupation and establishment of a fair and just peace are essential for a life of peace and welfare.

We welcome the participation and integration of the Palestinian population in Israel in the social protest. This is an important opportunity to present before various groups within Israeli society the distresses of the Palestinians and the injustices caused to them, so that these groups can take responsibility in the struggle against the marginalizing policies and ongoing discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, for putting an ending to confiscation of lands and full equality, and an end to the occupation of the Palestinian lands that were occupied in 1967.

We warn again the familiar attempts by the occupation government to evade the crises and its internal crises and the pressure of the protest waves through the politics of fear which point to an external threat: Whether by presenting the Palestinian appeal to the UN as a “danger” or by military actions, as we have witnessed in the past few days in light of the harsh escalation in bloodletting of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

3. We recognize the right of the Palestinian people, living under occupation, to make use of all the legitimate forms of resistance in accordance with international norms for removing of the occupiers from its land and for self determination. In this context, we emphasise the importance of the joint popular struggle of Palestinians and Israelis. A popular joint struggle is one of the central guiding principles in the struggle against the occupation, the settlements, racism, colonialism, against policies of exclusion, weakening, impoverishment, and racist separation within Israel.

September 2011

Signed: Political parties, social organizations and young women and men Palestinian and Israeli activists (in alphabetical order)

Association of Palestinian Democratic Youth (Palestine)

Association of Progressive Students (Palestine)

Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Palestine)

Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Israel)

Democratic Teachers’ Union (Palestine)

Democratic Union of Professionals in Palestine (Palestine)

Democratic Women’s Movement in Israel (Israel)

Israeli Communist Party (Israel)

National Campaign for Return of the Bodies of Arab and Palestinian Martyrs Captured by the Israeli Government (Palestine)

Palestinian People’s Party (Palestine)

Popular Campaign for the Boycott of Israeli Products (Palestine)

Progressive Workers’ Union (Palestine)

Tarabut-Hithabrut – Arab-Jewish Movement for Social and Political Change (Israel)

The Alternative Information Center (Palestine/Israel)

Union of Palestinian Farmers’ Unions (Palestine)

Union of One World for Justice (Palestine)

Union of Palestinian Working Women (Palestine)

Workers’ Unity Bloc (Palestine)

 
 
 
Reported at Uruknet

EGYPT BUILDS A WALL AROUND APARTHEID

The wall, about two meters high, consists of prefabricated cement slabs that are being installed around the building that houses the Israeli embassy overlooking a bridge in Cairo.
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5egx230.jpg

CAIRO  — The Egyptian authorities are erecting a wall around the Israeli embassy in Cairo as relations between the two neighbors who signed a peace treaty in 1979 are at a delicate phase.

The wall, about two meters high, consists of prefabricated cement slabs that are being installed around the building that houses the Israeli embassy overlooking a bridge in Cairo.

Part of the wall has been painted with Egypt’s national colors: black, white and red.

Outraged Egyptians last month staged huge protests outside the embassy and called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador over the border deaths of Egyptian policemen killed as Israel hunted militants.

Egypt has asked Israel for an official apology and demanded a probe into the deaths of the five policemen.

During one of the anti-Israeli protests, an Egyptian man scaled the building housing the mission, removed Israel’s Star of David flag and replaced it with Egypt’s colors, as the crowds cheered him on.

Egyptian officials quoted by the local media have meanwhile stressed that the wall being erected around the embassy was aimed at protecting residents of nearby buildings.

Ali Abdel Rahman, the governor of Giza district where the embassy is located, told Al-Gumhuriyya newspaper the wall “has nothing to do with the protection of the Israeli embassy” but is for the protection of private citizens.

Egyptian opposition party Al Wafd said Sunday that a private contractor had begun to build a security wall around the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

Egypt is the first Arab nation to have signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Source via Uruknet

TWEETING FOR APARTHEID

Delete Apartheid … Don’t Tweet it!
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Martha Stewart tweets her way around Israel

On Tourism Ministry-funded trip, media personality is expected to support Dead Sea candidacy to win Wonders of Nature competition.

 
 

Media personality Martha Stewart arrived in Israel last Thursday for a trip funded by the Tourism Ministry, and has been tweeting her way around the country.

Stewart’s travel itinerary includes trips to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, Masada, and the Dead Sea. She is expected to support the Dead Sea’s candidacy to win in the international New 7 Wonders of Nature competition.

Stewart has been posting tweets about her adventures in Israel, such as eating dinner at the market in Jerusalem, attending a Shabbat meal for 160 guests, and visiting a dairy farm with “award winning cheese.”
“Don’t get excited. I am on a serious tour of ancient history. No more. No less,”  she jokingly posted on Sunday afternoon.

She also posted a photo of “giant medjool dates,” which she said were “served with excellent cappuccino on the road from Tiberius to Jerusalem” on Sunday afternoon.

TWO WRONGS SUPPORT THE ISRAELI RIGHT

In addition to the gross human rights violations inherent in illegal Israeli settlement expansion, US taxpayers simply cannot afford to build homes and walls in illegal Israeli settlements while record numbers of Americans are losing their homes, and unmet domestic needs in the US are at an all time high.
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How US “charities” break tax laws to fund Israeli settlements

By Mike Coogan*

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In addition to providing $3 billion in annual military aid to Israel, Americans are subsidizing the construction of Israel’s illegal settlements. (Anne Paq / ActiveStills )

In spite of US government statements about its displeasure with the expansion of Israeli settlements, US based organizations are abusing the 501(C)3 section of US tax codes to provide billions in subsidies to do exactly that.

There are hundreds of these tax-exempt, so-called charities funneling money to illegal Israeli settlements, often with the names no more creative than “American Friends of name an Israeli settlement.”

One such organization, American Friends of Ariel Inc., paints a picture of how these US based front groups collect tax-deductible donations, and use them to build and expand illegal Israeli settlements, and in some cases, purchase weapons for the settlers within them. In many cases, including that of American Friends of Ariel Inc., the organization does not make substantial efforts to disguise the fact that the US based tax exempt entity is nothing more than a shell organization being used to transfer money abroad.

For example, the president of American Friends of Ariel, Ron Nachman, also happens to be the longtime mayor of Ariel. The sole programmatic function of American Friends of Ariel is to transfer funds to a non-exempt organization based in Ariel called the Ariel Development Fund, also controlled by Nachman, which describes itself simply as the “fundraising arm of the city of Ariel.” Under Ron Nachman’s leadership, American Friends of Ariel transferred more than $5 million to the Ariel Development Fund over the last several years.

It is worth noting that much of the funding for American Friends of Ariel has come from Christian Zionist groups, and in general, these groups have played an increasingly dominant role in the financial and political support for the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise.

Devastating impact

The work of American Friends of Ariel Inc., and the many tax-exempt organizations like it, is having a devastating impact on local Palestinian communities. A recent report by the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs, covered by the Ma’an News Agency, described the “alarming trends of forced displacement of Palestinians in Area C” as a result of settlement expansion, and found that “more demolitions have taken place so far in 2011 than in all of 2009 and 2010 combined” (“UN: Marked increase in forced displacement of Palestinians,” 21 July 2011).

In addition to the gross human rights violations inherent in illegal Israeli settlement expansion, US taxpayers simply cannot afford to build homes and walls in illegal Israeli settlements while record numbers of Americans are losing their homes, and unmet domestic needs in the US are at an all time high.

American Friends of Ariel, and the vast number of organizations like it, not only violate Palestinian human rights, they violate US laws. American Friends of Ariel Inc. flouts US laws in two ways.

The first has to do with the structure of the organization, and the fact that most of these tax exempt 501(c)3 organizations are simply shells that transfer money to non-exempt organizations abroad, and the second deals with the exempt purposes set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department.

The rule concerning the use of tax exempt entities as conduit organizations is clear, and states that “the code would be nullified if contributions inevitably committed to a foreign organization were held to be deductible solely because, in the course of transmittal to a foreign organization, they came to rest momentarily in a qualifying domestic organization” (Section 170(c)(2)(A)). That is exactly the case with American Friends of Ariel Inc., and hundreds of organizations like it, a fact which is abundantly clear upon review of their publicly available 990 tax forms.

Exacerbating poverty and neighborhood tensions

The second major legal violation occurs because these organizations fundamentally violate the purpose for which charities can be organized, namely to provide “relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.”

Illegal Israeli settlements, mostly built on expropriated land and operated with stolen resources, exacerbate poverty and systematically create an underprivileged class of people. Race-based colonies inherently increase neighborhood tensions, and they effectively annex occupied Palestinian land through a system of apartheid infrastructure that has been detrimental to Palestinian communities across the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

The raison d’etre of illegal Israeli settlements is rooted in institutionalized discrimination, and therefore technically violates IRS regulations on a daily basis in the same way that Bob Jones University violated those same regulations barring discrimination (Bob Jones University v United States).

In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled that the IRS had the authority to revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because they openly discriminated against interracially married individuals. The court ruled that such behavior was “wholly incompatible with the concepts underlying tax exemption,” and clarified by stating that “whatever may be the rationale for such private schools’ policies, racial discrimination in education is contrary to public policy.” Fundamental human rights like equality are not confined by jurisdiction, and organizations operating abroad are similarly bound to respect and uphold them.

The numerous and flagrant violations of the tax-exempt purposes set forth by the IRS and Treasury department should be reason enough to revoke the tax-exempt status of these organizations. It is hard to imagine the US playing any constructive role as an “honest broker” when in addition to providing $3 billion in annual military aid to Israel, Americans are also being forced to subsidize the construction and expansion of the same illegal settlements that our government is politely telling Israel are very unhelpful.

Because of the US government’s unwillingness to equally enforce the law, or use the proverbial stick instead of just carrots, money that would otherwise be going into our national treasury to pay down the debt or build affordable housing in the US, is instead being used to construct and defend Jewish-only colonies in the occupied West Bank.

*Mike Coogan is a member of Virginians for Middle East Peace.

 

Written FOR

KRISTALLNACHT RELIVED // THREE REPORTS


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Settlers Burn A Mosque Near Nablus


by Saed Bannoura
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A group of extremist Israeli settlers broke, on Monday at dawn, into a mosque in Qasra village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and torched it after destroying its property and writing anti-Arab slogans on its walls.

File - Mosque Burnt By Settlers Near Ramallah

File – Mosque Burnt By Settlers Near Ramallah


The Maan News Agency reported that the settler broke into Al Nourein mosque after breaking it windows, and burnt tires inside the mosque. The fire spread in the mosque consuming most of its property.

Ghassan Douglas, in charge of the settlements file at the Palestinian Authority in the northern part of the West Bank, stated that this is not the first attack against mosques in the West Bank, and called on the Quartet Committee (The United States, The European Union, the United Nations and Russia) to intervene and stop the escalating attacks.

In related news, dozens of settlers hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles driving near the Yitzhar settlement, on the Nablus- Huwwara road; damage to several vehicles and a local bus was reported.

The settlers are carrying ongoing attacks against the Palestinians under the so-called “Price Tag”, as they blame the Palestinians for any Israeli evacuation of illegal settlement outposts.

On Monday at dawn, Israeli soldiers demolished three structures at the Migron illegal outpost, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Earlier in June this year, settlers of the Alei Ayin illegal outpost torched a mosque in Al-Mughayyir village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, after burning tires and throwing them in the mosque causing serious damages.

Last year, the settlers burnt several copies of the Quran while desecrating two mosques near Bethlehem and Nablus.

Source

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Army Surrounds Bethlehem Village, Uproots Olive Trees


by Saed Bannoura
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Local sources reported Monday that Israeli soldiers are currently surrounding the Al Walaja Village, near Bethlehem, and are uprooting dozens of Olive trees in order to construct a section of the illegal Annexation Wall in the area.

File - Soldiers Attacking Villagers In Al Walaja

File – Soldiers Attacking Villagers In Al Walaja


The soldiers, heavily deployed in the area, declared the village a “closed military zone”, and are preventing anybody from entering or leaving it.

Recently, the Israeli High Court authorized the army to resume the construction of the Wall on village lands in Al Walaja under the pretext that “the damage causing by the construction is relatively acceptable comparing to its security benefits”, according to the court.

Adel Al Atrash, deputy head of the Al Walaja Village Council, stated that the army uprooted, so far, more than 50 trees in the area.

Meanwhile the European Union stated that it is concerned about the serious humanitarian implications the Wall is having on the residents of Al Walaja.

On Monday at noon, settlers of the Beitar Illit illegal settlement, south west of Bethlehem, flooded with sewage water Palestinian olive orchards that belong to residents of Nahhalin village, near Bethlehem.

Osama Shakarna, head of the Nahhalin Village Council, stated that the settlers flooded more than 40 Dunams planted with more than 2500 Olive.

The sewage water reached Ein Fares natural spring used by the shepherd as the source of water for their herds.

Source

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Meanwhile, zioterrorists abroad call for reinforcements….

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JDL’s “Travel Agency” call for a “Zionist Militant Rampage Trip”

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Above the screenprint of the official announcement as seen on the “Ligue Défense Juive” weblog, inviting Militants with experience to enforce the upcoming and apparently self-forfilling prophecy of a violent crack down in the west bank on Palestinians. Translation:

“The JDL is organizing 19 to 25 September, a trip
solidarity with our Israeli brothers living on the land of our ancestors
Judea and Samaria.

This trip is for militants with military experience: The aim of this expedition is to lend a hand to our brothers face the aggression
Palestinian occupants and thus enhance the security features of
Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria.

Source

Taken FROM

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