ONCE AGAIN, CARLOS LATUFF BRINGS US PRIDE, ADL CITES HIS WORK AS ANTI SEMITIC

These three images were among a selection that the ADL deemed “Anti-Semitic Imagery to Vilify Israel”. Needless to say, we are all proud of Carlos for this honour. (ADL report follows) 
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Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)
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Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran) 
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Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran) 
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Israel’s Gaza Operation in the Arab and Iranian Media: The use of Anti-Semitic Imagery to Vilify Israel (November 2012)

In the days since Israel began its military operation in Gaza targeting Hamas and other organizations responsible for the ongoing rocket and missile attacks against Israel, newspapers across the Arab and Muslim world have published cartoons replete with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic imagery pertaining to the conflict.

The cartoons in this compilation are consistent with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic caricatures regularly appearing in the Arab and Muslim world depicting Jewish and Israeli power over the international community, demonic imagery to stereotype Jews – including big noses, black coats and hats Ð blood libels and animal references Ð snakes and spiders – to sinisterly portray Israel.

Many of the cartoons in this compilation were published on the website of the Fars News Agency, the semi-official Iranian government English-language news agency. Iran, whose leaders have made repeated anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements, is a major supplier of weapons to Hamas and other terrorist organizations involved in attacks against Israel. The Iranian-made long-range Fajr-5 missile is a favorite weapon of Hamas terrorists, and has been used in recent days to target the Israeli civilians in and around Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.

Previous ADL cartoon compilations have highlighted the prevalence of anti-Semitism in the Arab and Iranian media as it relates to the US-Israel relationship.

The following are selected examples of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoons that have appeared in recent days in newspapers across the Arab world, as well as on the website of Iran’s Fars News Agency.


Akhbar al-Khalij, November 16, 2012 (Bahrain) – Caption: “All I want is peace.”


Ruz al-Yusuf, November 19, 2012 (Egypt)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 – Captions: Bibi – “Barak, my dear, thank you for the support.” Obama- “Until these crimes continueÉ” (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Fars, November 19, 2012 (Iran)


Ad-Dustur, November 17, 2012 (Jordan)


Al-Bina, November 20, 2012 (Lebanon) In Arabic: “The Resistance.”


Al-Intiqadh, November 18, 2012 (Lebanon) Ð Headline: “Gaza exposed the origin and the forgery.”


Arab News, November 20, 2012 (Saudi Arabia)


Al-Iqtisqadiyya, November 18, 2012 (Saudi Arabia)

Source

THE WORLD DIDN’T END // SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

 With all the fanfare we saw this past week, including gala parties, the predicted end of the world didn’t happen. 
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But for many it did, not this weekend, but in recent weeks…
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In Gaza,
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In northeastern USA,
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In Connecticut,
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The list is endless…
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Not all by the hands of God either, but of man, His most evil creation.
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So where do we go from here seeing that we just might be around for quite awhile?
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In Gaza …. the siege must end and a Palestinian State must be declared…
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In America … better preparations to avoid future devastations from natural disasters…
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In Connecticut …. recognition of mental illnesses and treatments of same …
Our work is cut out for us …. LET’S DO IT!
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IN GAZA; IT’S JUST A FLESH WOUND

There is no humour at all in the report that follows, but it reminded me of this scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail ..
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With the following attitude, there is no way Gaza can lose in the battles for Freedom that are to come… Truly an inspiration to all of Palestine….
His disability has not deterred Yahia pursuing his dreams. “Life doesn’t stop because of a disability. In the new year I will go back to university. I will join the Education Department again but I don’t know in which field, probably Sharia’ Law or Islamic religion. I am very happy to continue my education.”
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“They can attack our bodies but not our strength.”

19-12-n 

 Yahia Abu Saif (24) sits on his bed in the living room of his family home in Jabaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip.

November’s Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip left around 1,275 Palestinians injured, 98% of whom are civilians. Now that they are recovering from their injuries, some of them are in need of rehabilitation and special facilities. Due to the ongoing illegal closure imposed by Israel, some of the required medical supplies and devices cannot enter the Gaza Strip, causing additional suffering to patients throughout their recovery process.

 

Those who were injured during Israel’s 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip and are in need of long term rehabilitation are also still struggling as a result of the medical shortages. Yahia Abu Saif is one of them. He was severely injured in an Israeli airstrike on 1 January 2009.

 

“I was praying in the mosque that afternoon. When I was on my way out, a bomb hit us. 20 days later I woke up from a coma in Shifa hospital, in Gaza City. My right leg was gone. After 10 days I was transferred to al Wafa rehabilitation center where I stayed for 6 months. I also received medical treatment in Egypt for a few days. I was supposed to be transferred to a hospital in the West Bank or Israel but I was too afraid to go there, having to pass by the army in the border.”

 

“I have shrapnel in my head which has affected the left side of my body. It is very difficult for me to use my left hand, even after a lot of therapy, so I cannot move around in a normal wheelchair. I need an electric one.” Yahia’s normal wheelchair is broken beyond repair and the electric wheelchair doesn’t function either at the moment. “We can’t find the required spare parts to fix the electric wheelchair. So then the only solution is to try and find another wheelchair, but there aren’t any.”

 

Until now Yahia receives physiotherapy from several medical NGOs in the Gaza Strip. One of these NGOs is the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) which provides him with psychosocial support, physiotherapy, technical support and other follow up. Bassam Zaqout, PMRS’s Project Coordinator, underlines the problems caused by the closure: “We face many difficulties in our work. For example, we lack spare parts for machines and devices because they cannot be imported. Usually there is a refusal or a delay in the approval for the supplies that we want to import. It is also difficult to bring wheelchairs into Gaza. Electric wheelchairs especially take a very long time to be imported.”

 

Because he has no functioning electric wheelchair Yahia is mostly bound to his family house in Jabaliya. He spends his days sitting and chatting with friends, going to the mosque, and doing his rehabilitation exercises.

 

Yahia had just started his first year as a student in Al Quds Open University when he got injured. He was studying in the Education Department, aspiring to become a teacher.

 

His disability has not deterred Yahia pursuing his dreams. “Life doesn’t stop because of a disability. In the new year I will go back to university. I will join the Education Department again but I don’t know in which field, probably Sharia’ Law or Islamic religion. I am very happy to continue my education.”

 

Yahia has a clear idea of what he wants and hopes for in his future. “First I want to finish my study, so that I have a basis for the future. After that I hope to get married and have a family. Just like everyone else, I want to live a normal life, just live my life.”

 

The destructive 2008-2009 offensive left permanent marks on the lives of people in the Gaza Strip. Despite his trauma, Yahia is confident that his spirit cannot be broken by war and violence. “In the war they tried to kill us and destroy our lives. They can attack our bodies but not our strength. We lost many things in our life but not our strength.”

 

 

The targeting and severe injuring or killing of a civilian, a protected person, is a war crime, as codified in Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Articles 8(2)(a)(i) and (iii) Article 8 (2)(b)(i) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

 

The ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip constitutes a form of collective punishment of the civilian population living under occupation, which is in contravention of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

 

 

Source

 

NETANYAHU PULLS OUT VICTIM CARD IN THE WAKE OF NEWTON’S TRAGEDY

“We in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter and we know the shock and agony they bring.”
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So true, but at the hands of the IDF and settlers… that was omitted from the sentence.
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Sandy Hook and Netanyahu’s Victimization Philosophy

  Netanyahu identifies Israel with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Netanyahu identifies Israel with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

By Matt Moir*

 

It was intended to be thoughtful and compassionate, but it came across as something far different.

 

In his letter of condolences to President Barack Obama over the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu deliberately referenced Palestinian attacks in Israel.  He didn’t actually write ‘terrorism’ or ‘Hamas’ or something else incendiary because he didn’t have to; the implication was clear.

 

The letter reads:

 

Dear President Obama,

 

I was shocked and horrified by today’s savage massacre of innocent children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

 

We in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter and we know the shock and agony they bring.

 

I want to express my profound grief, and that of all the people in Israel, to the families that lost their loved ones.

 

May you and the American people find the strength to overcome this unspeakable tragedy.

 

With my deepest condolences,

(Signed) Benjamin Netanyahu,
Prime Minister of Israel

 

It would be deeply cynical to suggest that Netanyahu consciously saw a massacre of innocent children as an opportunity to make a political point about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. In fact, there is no doubt that the Prime Minister’s sympathies are genuine.

 

But that’s just the point. The line about Israel having ‘experienced such cruel acts of slaughter’ gives us a telling commentary on the way Netanyahu sees the world, and, more specifically, the way he sees Israel’s relationship with Palestinians.

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu identifies Israel with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with the gunman. According to Netanyahu’s worldview, any violent interaction between Israelis and Palestinians will, without fail, be an example of evil Palestinian terrorists preying upon Israeli innocence.  To wit, even after the formidable Israeli army pounded Gaza City last month, Netanyahu, displaying a stunning nerve, declared that Israel would not be bullied by the Palestinians.

 

It’s this perverse victimization philosophy that drives Israeli foreign policy, and, according to Israel’s hawkish officials, it is what should form the framework of the United States’ national conversation about the Israel-Palestine conflict. According to Netanyahu, however, that framework has begun to crack under the Obama Presidency.

 

Though Obama has repeatedly reaffirmed the ‘special relationship’ the US has with its Middle Eastern partner, the President’s administration has had the temerity to chastise Israel for some of its particularly extreme policy decisions, such as the approval of the construction of thousands of apartment buildings the day after the United Nations voted to upgrade Palestine’s diplomatic status.

 

Netanyahu has found it intolerable that Obama is either unable or unwilling to entirely accept (to the Prime Minister’s standard) the Israeli narrative on Israel-Palestine relations, and has struggled for a way to help the President understand what the Palestinians truly represent.

 

The shooting in Connecticut was his chance, and he took it. In Netanyahu’s mind, comparing the state of Israel to the victims of the Sandy Hook slayings wasn’t a crude and awkward attempt to portray the Palestinian struggle for statehood and dignity as a cold-blooded attack on school children. It was an opportunity to show Obama just how evil the Palestinians really are.

He just couldn’t help himself.

 

-*Matt Moir is a Journalism graduate student and former history teacher in Toronto, Canada. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

 

Written FOR

IS PEACE TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR?

Image by Mike Rivero
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Living under drones in Gaza

Rawan Yaghi

Living under drones is not only life threatening, but unbearably annoying.  At times, drones don’t leave the sky of Gaza for a long period of time, a week or more. It’s like having this huge fly in your room that can’t understand how the glass of the window is blocking its way out. At times, you start swearing at the drone like it’s one of those irritating people that nag all the time. Some people, like my father, who have very sensitive ears have a really hard time dealing with the constant buzz of the two or three drones that are circling their neighborhood. They would try everything to ignore the bee like sound following them everywhere they go. At times like that, getting to sleep becomes the most essential need of the human brain of the one million and a half population trying to cope their ears with the bees flying over their shoulders. During the latest offensive on Gaza, it was hard for anyone to sleep for a whole week. It was nerve breaking. The endless buzz of the drones was accompanied by sudden explosions that would occur every five minutes. Sometimes, more than five explosions would startle you in less than a minute. After seven days of the continuous drones and the piercing bombings and of bad sleeping and sometimes having no electricity, you feel like stuffing your head somewhere under pillows and blankets. That wouldn’t work either. Believe me; I tried. Your body eventually surrenders to its exhaustion and you go to sleep however constantly awoken by the earthquake like effect of the bombs.

However, complaining about the buzz seems ridiculous when you hear about or see drone attacks. When I was thirteen, a drone targeted a small goods truck passing by my home. It was summer. The night before the attack, I had asked my mother if I can sleep in the balcony. She said the mosquitoes will keep sucking my blood until they feel no more thirst. The idea frightened me. In the morning, there was more than mosquitoes to make me look bloodless. I had been sleeping on my parents bed and I had just woken up and gotten out of it.  The explosion was sudden and deafening. Another explosion followed. I screamed and got down on the floor. The window, which was directly above the bed I had been lying on a minute ago smashed into pieces and the pillows were covered with glass. Nothing happened to me, and I don’t remember if I was really scared that day. I remember everyone rushed to the windows to see what was going on so I rushed along. That day, no one was injured. The people in the truck managed to escape. Luckily, it was morning and the children of the neighborhood were still inside. Had it been just a little bit later during the day a lot of children would have been injured. That was a long time ago and it’s nothing compared to the other drone attacks that are conducted here. Drones can attack people standing in the street and their rockets have the ability to shred their bodies into pieces, like the two AbuAmra brothers who were attacked during the recent attacks on Gaza and so many others.

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The other martyr was Nabeel’s brother, Ahmed.

Most recently, drones were used by Israel for a new purpose. They call it “ a warning attack”. They target a house with one or two drone rockets that can partially damage the house and give a period of time, mostly three to five minutes, for the residents of the house and their neighbors to evacuate the house. First of all, a drone rocket can tear bodies to pieces and can make bricks of the roof fall on the people living under it. Meaning, it can never be called a “warning” attack. Second of all, three minutes is barely enough for the residents to run for their lives before the house is leveled to the ground.  In many cases the house, which gets attacked in the middle of the night, is attacked with an F16 war plane while its residents, mostly women and children, are just stepping out of it. The Azzam family in AlZeitoun area is an example.Three people, a young woman and a child and a man were killed in that attack. More than thirty civilians, most of whom being children and women, were injured while running away from the bomb that attacked their house four minutes after it was attacked by a drone rocket. “ What do they want from us?” was the response of a little girl in the hospital that night.

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Five minutes later:
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Other tweets about drone attacks:

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(This article was previously posted on Rawan Yaghi’s blog We Resist)

Source

‘FREEDOM LOVING’ ZIONISTS FUND THE HATRED ON NEW YORK’S SUBWAYS

Geller told me in an e-mail that “many clear-thinking and freedom-loving Jewish groups approve of my work.” 
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Who funds Pamela Geller? In 2010, it was a former Israel Project board member
 Alex Kane

Geller at 9/11 Conference
Pamela Geller speaks at a September 11, 2012 conference (AP Photo/David Karp)

The nation’s leading anti-Muslim blogger and activist is back at it again in the New York City subway system. On December 17, Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs and is the head of Stop Islamization of America and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, had inflammatory ads put up in 50 subway stations at a cost of over $10,000. The ads picture the World Trade Center burning on September 11 and quote a Qu’ran verse–tying the religion of Islam to the terrorist attacks.

And in September, she put up another round of anti-Muslim advertisements at a cost of thousands of dollars. Many of them were altered and defaced by activists.

All of this begs the question: who is paying for Geller’s antics?

Ad
The latest advertisements that went up in the subway December 17.

It remains unclear who exactly is funding the ad buys. In an e-mail to Mondoweiss, Geller said “all the money for the ads comes from supporters’ donations.” On the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s website, a donation button urges readers to “fund the fight.” But the word “supporters” is not exactly revealing. (It’s also worth noting that Geller won a $4 million divorce settlement and $5 million in life insurance.)

Tax records, though, show who partly funded Geller two years ago, when she first made a big name for herself leading the fight against the Park 51 Islamic center in lower Manhattan. These details have not been reported by other media outlets.

A foundation called the Alan and Hope Winters Foundation gave $5,000 to the American Freedom Defense Initiative in 2010, the Geller-led outfit behind the anti-Muslim advertisements. The foundation also gave money to a host of other anti-Muslim outfits that year, including the neoconservative Hudson Institute ($25,000) and David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence ($115,000).

Geller said that the Winters’ money went to her activism around Park 51. But the fact that a big-pocketed foundation gave cash to Geller’s group raises the question as to whether other foundations are likewise funding Geller’s ad buying spree.

Regardless of the answer to that question, the Winters donation is interesting in its own light. Hope Winters was on the board of The Israel Project in 2006 and 2007, according to 990 tax forms reviewed. It is the clearest example yet of how members of the Israel lobby are tied to Geller, a woman who told The New York Times that “a very good guide” to how she sees the world is the “prism of Israel.” Indeed, her last ads read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” And next to those words were the following: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The Israel Project (TIP) is a thoroughly-mainstream and well-connected shop that seeks to put “a more positive public face of Israel” out for everyone to see. TIP works with journalists to inform–or spin– the American public about the region. The group’s influence can be seen in the fact that a number of Senators and Representatives from both parties sit on its “board of advisors.”

Currently, TIP is headed by Josh Block, a former spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. TIP did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

So what’s a former board member with TIP doing funding Geller’s hateful crusade against an Islamic center? Winters did not respond to inquiries relayed to her through an associate who helps handle her foundation’s finances. But it’s not too hard to guess.

TIP’s and Geller’s goals converge when it comes to Israel. They both support hawkish right-wing Israeli governments bent on colonizing the West Bank. They both want aggressive U.S. or Israeli action against Iran. Geller’s whole shtick is to cast Israel as a Western outpost in a sea of Arab and Islamic barbarism–the first line of defense in the “war on terror.” More subtly, TIP sees the Middle East in that way as well.

And TIP has other links to well-known Islamophobes. As the Institute for Policy Studies’ Right Web project notes, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney spoke at a 2007 TIP-organized press conference about the “Iranian threat.” When Gaffney is not pushing for aggressive action against Iran, he’s pontificating about the threat of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. government and how sharia law is slowly taking over. Crazy stuff, but TIP has no problem with it.

The explicit links between Geller and TIP are a sharp contrast to how other mainstream Jewish groups have reacted to her anti-Muslim ad buys. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Jewish Community Relations Council condemned Geller’s September ads, which conflated Muslims and Palestinians with “savages.” But these groups have themselves dabbled in explicit Islamophobia. A Dallas branch of the ADL, for instance, once held a screening for the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.”

Geller told me in an e-mail that “many clear-thinking and freedom-loving Jewish groups approve of my work.” 

While Geller remains a step too far for some groups, like the ADL, she operates within the larger context of Islamophobia that has been aided by Israel lobby groups. Think of her as the tip of the big spear pushed by more mainstream pro-Israel groups. And her links with The Israel Project bring the Geller tip that much closer to the mainstream establishment.

 

Written FOR

FACEBOOK AS A VEHICLE OF HATE

 Evil Facebook

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Israeli celebrity who called on Facebook for Palestinian children to “suffer” quits UNICEF post

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

 

Israeli TV personality Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes has quit as Chair of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF after just months, stating that UNICEF officials wanted to vet her Facebook postings which notoriously included expressing a desire for Palestinian children to “suffer.”

Shalom Nir-Mozes, who is also wife of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, has claimed that Palestinians “have it as part of their DNA to hate us” and publicly urged against a ceasefire during Israel’s November assault on Gaza which killed more than 170 people including three dozen children.

Over several months, Israeli activist Ari Remez organized a Facebook group with more than 200 members whose Hebrew name translates as “Sack Judy from UNICEF” to document, translate and inform UNICEF affiliates around the world of Shalom Nir-Mozes’ hate speech. Remez also used his Twitter feed (@AriRemez) to document Shalom Nir-Mozes’ inflammatory postings.

Earlier this month the Middle East Children’s Alliance issued an action alert urging people to demand that UNICEF remove Shalom Nir-Mozes because of her hateful statements.

UNICEF, which exists to promote the rights and well-being of children, had previously distanced itself from Shalom Nir-Mozes, stating that her lengthy compendium of violent and racist statements “do not reflect the views of UNICEF.” The Israeli Fund for UNICEF is an Israeli nongovernmental organization that raises money for UNICEF and collaborates with the UN body.

Enhancing the prestige of Israel

On Wednesday, Shalom Nir-Mozes announced on her Facebook page that she had quit, bristling at various strictures.

Shalom Nir-Mozes said she had originally accepted the invitation to head the Israeli Fund for UNICEF so she “could contribute even more to the welfare of children in Israel and around the whole world, and to enhance the prestige of Israel around the world.

Trouble with her Facebook posts

But she felt let down by UNICEF as she explained in her statement:

I was sorry to discover very quickly that this was not how things were. UNICEF is a wondrous organization with a very important agenda, but by force of being an institution affiliated with the UN, it put in place bureaucratic, political, and other obstacles that prevented me from promoting the goals I set for myself upon entering the position. It started with my visit to Sderot, when I organized the donation of thousands of toys and treats for the children of the bombarded South during the recent military confrontation.

The organization was entirely unwilling to allow its name to be involved in this move, for political and diplomatic reasons. They also asked me to have my activities vetted by the UNICEF branch in East Jerusalem. It continued when I was asked to let the organization vet the Facebook entries in which I express my views about various issues. The climax was when I heard that in contrast with the rest of the world, where the organization is called UNICEF Colombia or UNICEF Spain, as the case may be, in Israel the organization wanted to call itself The Israeli Fund for UNICEF.

Shalom Nir-Mozes’ full statement, translated by Dena Shunra, is below.

Apparently adhering to the non-political nature of UNICEF and not making statements about how you want some children to suffer, was simply too much of an imposition on a woman – who by her own account – has dedicated her life to the needy.

UNICEF responds

UNICEF Spokesman Peter Smerdon emailed The Electronic Intifada in response to an inquiry:

We understand that Ms. Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes has tendered her resignation as Honorary Chair of the Annual General Assembly of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF [IFU]. We respect the decision made between the IFU and of Ms Shalom Nir-Mozes. Specific enquiries relating to the resignation of Ms. Shalom Nir-Mozes should be addressed to the Board of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF, a legally independent, non-governmental organization.

Statement by Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes

Facebook status posted on 19 December 2012

About two months ago I, was appointed to head the Israeli branch of UNICEF, an organization affiliated with the U.N., whose goal it is to help the children in the world whose life circumstances have brought upon them misery and difficulties.

Many people were surprised that I accepted the organization’s request to lead it, as anyone who knows me, knows that being direct and forthright is part of who I am, and that when something disturbs or touches me, I express my position directly, without diplomatic niceties. A UN-affiliated organization, I was told, would not allow me such a free hand, and would force me to act in a manner that is diplomatic, and has no bite. Despite these warnings, I accepted the organization’s invitation, as the care for needy children has always been an integral part of my very being. As a mother of five children and as chair of the Chom [warmth] Association for many years, whose goal it is to collect food and medications for needy children in Israel, I felt compelled to accept this invitation, through which I believed that I could contribute even more to the welfare of children in Israel and around the whole world, and to enhance the prestige of Israel around the world.

I was sorry to discover very quickly that this was not how things were. UNICEF is a wondrous organization with a very important agenda, but by force of being an institution affiliated with the U.N., it put in place bureaucratic, political, and other obstacles that prevented me from promoting the goals I set for myself upon entering the position. It started with my visit to Sderot, when I organized the donation of thousands of toys and treats for the children of the bombarded South during the recent military confrontation.

The organization was entirely unwilling to allow its name to be involved in this move, for political and diplomatic reasons. They also asked me to have my activities vetted by the UNICEF branch in East Jerusalem. It continued when I was asked to let the organization vet the Facebook entries in which I express my views about various issues. The climax was when I heard that in contrast with the rest of the world, where the organization is called UNICEF Colombia or UNICEF Spain, as the case may be, in Israel the organization wanted to call itself The Israeli Fund for UNICEF.

In recent days, much information was published about the sad situation of Israel’s children, many of whom live below the poverty line and suffer a severe need for the most basic living conditions that a person needs to maintain an appropriate quality of life. I was raised to think that charity begins in one’s hometown. With all of my empathy for promoting awareness of difficulties of the children of the world, wherever they may be, I am a practical person, who – at the end of the day – wants to care for the severe and immediate needs of the thousands of hungry and needy children who live in Israel today. I am less interested in creating a mere change of awareness, while forestalling practical initiatives for donation to children in Israel and attempting to tiptoe through political landmines, which – at the end of the day – castrate any activity that could make a real change in this difficult situation.

To summarize: I came in order to work and donate my time and capacities for the practical promotion of the children’s distress, and I did not feel that in this framework I was given a real opportunity to do so. I have therefore decided, in full cooperation with the organization’s directorship (which on its part found it difficult to contain my independence and my concern for the interests of Israel, in contrast with the organization’s desire to blur out the national aspect of this activity), to resign form my position as chair of UNICEF Israel (or the Israeli Fund for UNICEF, if you like), with the intent of investing my time for acting for the children of Israel, as I have done in recent years. I wish much success to the organization and invite anyone who would like to reach out to the children of Israel to join the Chom association, which is dedicated entirely to the distribution of food and medications to [Israeli] needy families.

 

Written FOR

JERUSALEM’S ROAD TO OBLIVION

s-MIDEAST-ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-large

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There is an expression ‘divide and conquer’, but in Israel they say ‘conquer and divide’. This is not because of the fact that Hebrew is read from right to left, but because that is how zionism operates. First they conquered the homes and lands of the Palestinian people, then they divided them to insure that they remain under occupation. We see evidence of this daily because of the wall of apartheid that has literally cut off all of Palestine from the rest of Israel, and from each other.

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As if that is not bad enough, the newest tactic is to build roads that run through the centre of Palestinian villages cutting off access for the residents from those living on the other side. The following describes what is taking place today in occupied Jerusalem …

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The village residents will not benefit from the new road, whose main beneficiaries will be West Bank settlers from Gush Etzion who will be able to drive to Jerusalem’s center or Tel Aviv without stopping at a single traffic light.

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New Jerusalem highway to cut Arab neighborhood in half

Construction of highway through Beit Safafa is based on plans drawn up 22 years ago, although no detailed plan for the road was submitted and no permits for the bridges above it were issued, according to municipal officials.

By Nir Hasson
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Beit Safafa highway construction
A resident of East Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa overlooking the highway construction works yesterday.Photo by Emil Salman
 

The Jerusalem municipality is constructing a highway running through the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, cutting the pastoral area in the south of the city into two.

The road, passing mere meters away from residents’ homes, will not only ruin their quality of life but will cut many of them off from the mosque, bakery, nursery school and other facilities located a few minutes’ walk away. They will now have to travel a long way via roads, underpasses and bridges to get to the other side of the village.

The highway’s construction is based on plans drawn up 22 years ago, although no detailed plan for the road was submitted and no permits for the bridges above it were issued, according to municipal officials.

The village residents will not benefit from the new road, whose main beneficiaries will be West Bank settlers from Gush Etzion who will be able to drive to Jerusalem’s center or Tel Aviv without stopping at a single traffic light.

Ten days ago Attorney Kais Nasser filed an administrative petition against the municipality and its Moriah development company, demanding to halt the construction work and replan the road. Since he filed the petition the residents say the construction has speeded up.

The road is being built on the basis of a plan from 1990, when the city confiscated the residents’ lands for this purpose. But two later master plans for the Jerusalem district stipulated the city must submit detailed plans to build the road before beginning construction. A detailed plan was made for the road section near the Malha mall and the Gilo neighborhood, but no such plan was submitted for the section going through Beit Safafa.

Consequently, the people whose lives will be forever changed by the new road were not given a chance to submit objections or demand compensation.
The construction in Beit Safafa began although the confiscation process of the lands on which the road is to pass has not been completed, and before building permits have been issued for the bridges. The city maintains the road’s construction was approved in 1990. But since then the city issued building permits to houses built very close to the planned route in violation of planning regulations requiring to remove homes from roads of this size.

Alla Salman, who lives meters away from the planned road says since the petition against the road was filed, the construction in the neighborhood has accelerated. About 50 trucks carrying earth enter and leave the village daily, he says.

The work continues until 7 P.M., forcing people living near the site to suffer constant noise and dust.

All the trees in the small orchard in Salman’s yard will have to be cut and a few meters from his balcony the city plans to build an eight-meter acoustic wall, which the city says is a “concession” to the residents.

Mohamed Salman, the family’s father, aged 77, will no longer be able to walk to the mosque or bakery a few minutes’ walk away, and the neighborhood’s small children will have to walk hundreds of yards further and cross a bridge to get to their nursery school.

“There’ll be a separation wall like in the West Bank, in the middle of Beit Safafa,” says Ala Salman. “It’s a great injustice.”

The city responded that the road is a major project with “a high economic value.” It said the residents will benefit from the road and be able to enter it at either intersection on the village outskirts.

Source

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The above took me back to something that happened almost 30 years ago;

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I was a new immigrant to Israel and had to go to special classes to learn Hebrew. The students were divided into study groups of four to work together on special assignments. In my group, there was a young Palestinian man named Osama. We became close friends which continues until today.

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Our group took turns at working together in each other’s homes. There was some reluctance on the part of the others to go to Osama’s home despite his willingness for us to go there. He constantly referred to his village as “his country”. His home was in Beit Safafa, the village described above.

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Finally, the entire group agreed to visit ‘his country’. It was an eye opener for all of us. Here we were in an Arab village in the heart of Jerusalem, yet we were in a different country, a country called Palestine. We were welcomed into Osama’s home by his loving family and treated with the most delicious Palestinian dishes reserved only for special holidays.

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When I read the above report I wept for Osama’s family and neighbours. It brought to light the need for a Palestinian State which would put an end to the occupation and devastation of ‘THEIR country’.

BEGGING TO DIFFER WITH EGYPTIAN LIBERALS

Whether we like it or not, Israel has been, is and will always be Egypt’s existential enemy. There is a preponderance of evidence corroborating this fact. True, the principled Israeli enmity toward Egypt is strongly connected with Egypt’s historical opposition to Zionism and the creation of Israel in Palestine. Egypt fought several wars with Israel and a gulf of blood and fire still separates the Egyptian people from the Zionist entity.
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Image by Latuff
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I beg to differ with Egyptian liberals
Given that Gaza is Egypt’s first line of defence against Israeli aggression, it should be a priority for President Morsi
Khalid Amayreh
 

During a recent episode of Al-Ittijah Al-Muaakes (The Opposite Direction) on Al Jazeera, an Egyptian liberal lambasted President Mohamed Morsi “for paying ample attention to his comrades in Gaza at the expense of the Egyptian people.”
The guest, who seemed quite exasperated and convulsive, argued that Morsi should have devoted more of his time to tackling the numerous problems facing the Egyptian people.

The self-described liberal’s tirade against the president came in the context of the acrimonious political confrontation following Morsi’s constitutional declaration on 22 November, which drew stringent and widespread reactions from across the Egyptian political arena.

I don’t wish to take sides in the ongoing political crisis. Egyptians of all confessional and political orientations are my brothers and sisters.

The issue here is much more than sentimental. Egypt as a nation sacrificed so much for Palestine and the Egyptian masses proved repeatedly that their national dignity and noble principles were never for sale to the highest bidder.

Nonetheless, my love and infatuation with Egypt and its heroic people don’t spell passivity in any way. Hence this article.

Israel is Egypt’s existential enemy

Whether we like it or not, Israel has been, is and will always be Egypt’s existential enemy. There is a preponderance of evidence corroborating this fact. True, the principled Israeli enmity toward Egypt is strongly connected with Egypt’s historical opposition to Zionism and the creation of Israel in Palestine. Egypt fought several wars with Israel and a gulf of blood and fire still separates the Egyptian people from the Zionist entity.

Yes, the two states reached a peace treaty in 1978. However it is crystal clear that the Camp David treaty, which the Egyptian leadership signed more or less under duress, did very little to put an end to undeclared but definitive Israeli designs against Egypt.

For this reason, most Egyptians consistently refused to “normalise” relations with the Jewish state, causing widespread consternation in Zionist circles, which sought to instigate successive American administrations against Egypt, including the Mubarak regime.

Israel wanted to use the Camp David treaty to strip Egypt of its Arab and Muslim character as well as cause irreparable damage to the collective conscience and consciousness of the Egyptian people. However, thanks to the enduring vigour and strong moral fabric of the Egyptian people, the morbid Israeli designs were a gigantic fiasco.

According to Israel Shahak’s book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, much of Egypt is actually part of Biblical Israel according to some sages of the Talmud. This mythology is taught to Jewish students in hundreds of Talmudic schools (yeshivot) and colleges throughout Israel.

I would have thought that these ideas were no more than mythical hallucinations on the part of some deranged so-called ‘sages’. But when I found out that many otherwise level-headed rabbis kept regurgitating these myths, I began to view the matter differently.

In the final analysis, those who urge their people to follow the example of Joshua in dealing with the Palestinians (murderous ethnic cleansing) are capable of embarking on the unthinkable.

Israel’s enmity towards Egypt is not only based on ancient religious texts, Israel actually carries on its hands large amounts of innocent Egyptian blood. Are we supposed to forget the war crime of the brutal liquidation of thousands of Egyptian prisoners of war in 1948, ’56 and ’67? The bombing of the Abu Zaable factory in 1970, which killed more than 80 workers? Or the bombing of the Bahr El-Bakar School in the Sharqiya province, also in 1970, which killed 46 school kids and injured dozens?

This is just to mention a few examples. The truth of the matter is that Israel’s murderous record vis-à-vis Egypt is so uncontroversial that every living Egyptian has a relative, a son, or spouse that was murdered by Israel.

Even today, 36 years after the conclusion of the Camp David treaty, Israel continues to threaten Egypt. On several occasions, Israeli officials threatened to bomb the Aswan High Dam and incite non-Arab Nile basin countries to disrupt water inflow to the Nile.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdore Lieberman, who wanted to annihilate the Palestinians and throw handcuffed political prisoners into the Dead Sea, called for ruining Egypt economically, politically and even morally. The Egyptian media reported on several occasions the arrest of Israeli agents with instructions to spread the AIDS virus in Egypt, generate chaos, including sectarian conflicts between Muslims and Copts.

More to the point, it is absolutely logical to assume that Israel’s agents are implicated in one way or the other in the current crisis between the Egyptian government and the opposition.

I don’t have hard evidence to prove this impression, but the Hebrew press reported numerous times of late that the Israeli intelligence was heavily involved in manipulating events in the largest and most important Arab country.

And with the January 25 Revolution, it is very likely that Israeli designs against Egypt have become more virulent and daring, given the tumultuous transitional period Egypt is undergoing these days.

First line of defence

Palestine, especially the Gaza Strip, is Egypt’s first line of defence against Israeli hegemony and aggression. A strong Gaza should therefore be viewed as a strategic asset for Egypt and vice versa.

In real terms, this means that a strong Gaza which can repulse or at least deter Israeli aggression will strengthen Egyptian national security. Israel had sought on several occasions to revive old plans to transfer Palestinian refugees to the Sinai Peninsula. However, it was the Palestinian leadership whether in Gaza or Ramallah that resolutely rejected the insidious designs.

In truth, discordance between Egypt and the Palestinians would be a real calamity for both that would only benefit Israel as well as the common enemies of Egypt and Palestine.

Finally, I have a few words to my liberal Egyptian friends. Egypt is the heart of the Arab and Muslim world. As such, Egypt has a historical, religious, moral and political responsibility to stand against Israel, which is the Arabs’ and Muslims’ common enemy. It is true that the Arabs would be left like orphans without Egypt, but it is also true that Egypt would be doomed in many ways without its natural Arab and Islamic extension.

It is lamentable that some of you are yet to imbibe this most axiomatic geopolitical fact.
 

Written FOR

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THE GRINCH THAT WOULD KILL JESUS AND MARY

 SONY DSC
Photo © by Bud Korotzer
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With shame not at all and malice towards all…..
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Oh…. but wait, there was an apology

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How about removing the racist bastards that posted it in the first place!
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Israeli embassy’s Christmas message of hate: Bethlehem Palestinians would “lynch” Jesus and Mary as “Jews”

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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Screenshot from official Facebook page of Israeli embassy in Dublin

“A thought for Christmas…If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians. Just a thought …”

That was the Christmas message posted today, along with a depiction of Jesus and Mary,on the official Facebook page of the Israeli Embassy in Dublin.

The message drew immediate criticism from Gary Spedding, an activist with the cross-community Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, and a student at Queens University Belfast, who demanded that the embassy should “apologize for this vile Christmas message of hate and sectarianism.”

Embedded rich on Twitter

I believe @IsraelinIreland should apologize for this vile Christmas message of hate and sectarianism – facebook.com/photo.php?fbid…

Spedding offers further analysis of the posting on his personal blog.

Israeli attacks on Christians and Christianity

The offensiveness of the message needs no further elaboration, but Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem will find it particularly galling given that it is Israel, with its wall surrounding their city, and other violent manifestations of the occupation, which has done most to strangle the home of the Nativity. Recently, Israeli settlers, with the collusion of Israeli authorities, have stepped up so-called “price tag” attacks on Christian holy sites.

Palestinian Christians living under Israeli rule also face widespread discrimination.

The idea of the modern Israeli settler-state providing “security” to Jesus is even more absurd and offensive given the contempt in which Christianity is held by some Israeli officials. Earlier this year Israeli lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari tore up a copy of the New Testament and, throwing it in the trash, claimed, “This abominable book brought about the murder of millions of Jews.”

For several years, Shimon Gapso, the notoriously racist mayor of the Israeli settlement of “Upper Nazareth” in the Galilee, has banned Christmas trees, calling them a provocation. “Nazareth Illit [Upper Nazareth] is a Jewish city and it will not happen – not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor,” Gapso said.

Finally, the notion that Palestinians would “lynch” Jesus is also a disturbing echo of the anti-Semitic “Jews killed Jesus” canard.

Unhinged

This is not the first time the Israeli embassy in Dublin has been responsible for messages that are even more unhinged than typical Israeli government propaganda.

In June, Nurit Tinari-Modai, the deputy ambassador, made headlines when she proposed a plan to personally smear Palestine solidarity activists – especially Israelis – to “humiliate and shame them” as suffering from psychological and sexual problems and imply that they work for Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

Update: Israel embassy claims hate message unauthorized

Following the outrcy over its hateful Christmas message (see above), the Israeli embassy in Dublin has deleted the message from its Facebook page and posted an apologyclaiming it was unauthorized:

To whom it may concern: An image of Jesus and Mary with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page. We have removed the post in question immediately. Apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Merry Christmas!

There’s something disingenuous and unbelievable about this. First of all, how did someone unauthorized get hold of the password or Facebook account of notoriously “security”-conscious Israeli officials? Perhaps there should be an investigation.

Early comments under the “apology” post indicated skepticism about the explanation.

“ ‘An image was posted without the consent of the administrator’ just doesn’t cut it. Are you running this page from a public cyber cafe?” commented Facebook user Zeeshan Shahid.

But of course the other reason the “apology” lacks credibility is that the social media accounts of the Israeli embassy in Ireland have a history of posting bigoted material.

Earlier this year, for example, the @israelinireland Twitter account made an Islamophobic comment suggesting that real Irish citizens could not be Muslims. “Ah yes… those Saladin O’Sullivans and Faisal O’Farrells… #Irish to the backbone!” the embassy tweeted to Irish Times journalist Mary Fitzgerald who had just published a story “on the fighters from Ireland who have joined the Syrian uprising.”

Embedded rich on Twitter

2 Aug 12

My story on the fighters from Ireland who have joined the Syrian uprisingirishtimes.com/newspaper/worl…

@MaryFitzgerldIT Ah yes… those Saladin O’Sullivans and Faisal O’Farrells…  to the backbone!

And, as mentioned earlier, there is the bizarre plot by deputy ambassador Nurit Tinari-Modai to malign Palestine solidarity activists as sexual deviants.

If today’s Christmas message was unauthorized, what about all the rest of the hate being spewed by Israel’s representatives in Dublin?

 

Written FOR

THE OTHER SIDE OF OCCUPY WALL STREET….

 The side that supports the occupation of Palestine …. Wall Street’s 1% donates million$ to Israel
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New dollar (1)
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Wall Street leaders raise $23M at UJA event

BlackRock President Robert S. Kapito, Saba Capital founder Boaz Weinstein honored for philanthropic leadership during UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street Dinner

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UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street & Financial Services Division raised a record breaking $23 million at The Wall Street Dinner on December 10 at the Hilton New York, surpassing last year by $1 million.

 

 

The Wall Street Dinner continues to be one of New York City’s leading philanthropic events and this year had a record turnout of more than 1,500 financial professionals, prominent business leaders, and philanthropists in attendance.

 

The event honored Robert S. Kapito, president of BlackRock, and Boaz Weinstein, founder of Saba Capital.

 

Robert S. Kapito received the Gustave L. Levy Award. Considered a preeminent honor in the industry, this award recognizes a leader in the Wall Street community for both exceptional professional achievements and an enduring commitment to UJA-Federation.

 

Previous honorees of the Gustave L. Levy Award include Paul J. Taubman, Peter W. May, John A. Paulson, Gary D. Cohn, Richard A. Friedman, Daniel S. Och, Morris W. Offit, Michael Minikes, Leon M. Wagner, and Jeffrey B. Lane.

 

Boaz Weinstein received the Wall Street Young Leadership Award, which recognizes a professional who demonstrates exemplary leadership, steadfast commitment to the community, and continued generosity to UJA-Federation.

 

Previous honorees of the Wall Street Young Leadership Award include Scott L. Shleifer, Michael B. Nierenberg, Marc S. Lipschultz, Jonathan M Harris, Larry Robbins, Scott S. Prince, Alexandra Lebenthal, and Ricky Sandler.

 

Unshakable foundation for community

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg provided the keynote address, acknowledging UJA-Federation of New York and its beneficiary agencies for their work providing relief during the natural disaster that hit New York City.

 

“The support and philanthropic leadership of Wall Street has built an unshakable foundation for our community,” said John S. Ruskay, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York.

 

“Because of the kind of generosity on display in this room tonight, we were able to respond boldly, compassionately, and effectively to two crises on two fronts, Hurricane Sandy in New York and the violence in southern Israel.”

 

 

During The Wall Street Dinner, which took place on the third night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein gave an invocation. Cantor Angela Buchdahl led guests in traditional prayers over the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah, followed by “Maoz Tzur,” a traditional Hanukkah song.

 

“As we celebrate Hanukkah and the great miracle of light, we are also celebrating another miracle that happened this year – the resiliency of our community and the ability to come together and rebuild after the devastation of two crises,” said Jerry W. Levin, president of UJA-Federation of New York.

 

“With funds raised by the Wall Street community, we strengthen our network of nearly 100 agencies reaching 4.5 million people in New York, in Israel, and across the country.”

 

“For nearly 100 years, UJA-Federation has responded effectively to global and local crises,” said Alisa R. Doctoroff, chair of the Board of Directors of UJA-Federation of New York.

“The preparedness of our network agencies, along with the emergency funds, enabled us to respond quickly to urgent needs here in New York and in Israel. Your generosity, your support of our annual campaign and endowment, is what makes it all possible.”

 

A casino-themed Closing Bell After-Party provided an opportunity to engage young Wall Street professionals in the work of UJA-Federation and encourage additional support for the annual campaign.

 

 

 

Source

FROM MY DAILY HATE MAIL …

In my daily ‘Hate Mail Inbox’ I found the following video, simply called ‘Great Hasbara’. I don’t see anything great about hatred, but the zionists seem to have a different opinion …
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Normally I do not share such rubbish with my readers, but I thought you should see for yourself how hateful these ‘chosenites’ can be …
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Here’s a much more pleasant video from ‘our side’, more powerful and meaningful, a message of hope.
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A beautiful song with an inspiring message.
There are many Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs working for peace, and this Middle-Eastern jazzy song should be their hymn!

SUPPORT OF THE ISRAELI RIGHT IS A CHRONIC DISEASE

lieberman_hitler
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Lieberman and Netanyahu represent the worst of extremist governance. They’re hardcore racists. They’re ideologically anti-democratic.

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The following, written by one of Israel’s best known news commentators is a welcome look at the political situation today …
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The Lieberman within me

Op-ed: Yaron London discusses his constant battle with ‘chronic disease’ most Jews have contracted

Yaron London

A little Lieberman lives inside my stomach, lurking like and ulcer – sometimes stings and sometimes itches. It attached itself to me when I learned as a young boy that my grandparents were murdered by their Lithuanian neighbors. I imagined parachuting with Hannah Senesh, fighting alongside the rebels in the ghettos and penetrating Hitler’s bunker and slowly torturing him to death; I destroyed Berlin, poisoned Germany’s wells and rescued all of the survivors and refugees; I invaded Europe and punished the enemies and all those who took part in the massacre or did not listen to the cries of my people. And who among the goyim did listen to the cries? None of them. They are all guilty and should all be mercilessly annihilated.

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When I grew up I discovered that Lieberman is a chronic disease, which almost all Jews have contracted with varying degrees of severity. If it is not treated properly, the disease can turn its carriers into monsters. I learned that not all of the goyim massacred Jews; they did not all shut their ears and many of them helped the Jews. Nearly every survivor owes his or her life to someone, or to a number of people, who risked their lives for them. I learned that no one can entirely resist the tempting sound of boots on the pavement; that communities completely immune to the miserable comfort concealed in the hatred of the foreigner do not exist; and that all nations are selfish to some extent.

I learned that NaziGermany was a unique case, and that the story of the Jews is unique as well, but also that befeir cruelty level to our tragedy: The tragedy of the slaves in Africa; the tragedy of the Native Americans; the tragedy of the Cambodians under the rule of Pol Pot; the tragedy of the people of Rwanda, and so on.

Finally, I examined myself and found out that I do not know for certain how I would have acted had I been a young German during the Nazi regime. Would I have acted like the worst of them, or like the majority, who cooperated by following orders? Would I have left Germany in advance? Would I have secretly helped the Jews or join the few who conspired against the regime and paid with their lives or the lives of their loved ones? This soul-searching helps quell the Lieberman within me, but it requires constant treatment, because Lieberman is stubborn. He is like an ember waiting for the right circumstances and a “strong individual” to ignite it.

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I feel the level of the Lieberman rising in my stomach when we are attacked and when it seems that the world does not comprehend our situation or is unwilling to provide us with all the assistance we ask for. I am frequently overcome by the sense of the Jew who is convinced that everyone is infected with incurable hatred toward Israel. So what do I do? I take a wisdom pill and remind myself that the world’s nations have their own interests, and these interests do not coincide with our interests; I remind myself that we are also hostages of our own interests; this is why we assisted the racist regime in South Africa in exchange for its dubious aid and assisted the Kurds but later abandoned them when they became a burden; this is why we do not go out of our way to help all of the world’s oppressed people and sell arms without being too fussy about the buyer’s character or who his victims are. Because we are victims, eternal victims, and as victims we are clean, even when our hands our dirty.
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This treatment keeps my Lieberman in check, but it does not calm Avigdor Lieberman’s Lieberman, because unlike me, the foreign minister is in love with his Lieberman and nurtures him. He owes his political success to his Lieberman.

Now that Lieberman has resigned and is exempt from the duties of his post, I fear that he will release his inner Lieberman and ignite the Lieberman that lives within hundreds of thousands of voters.

Written FOR

PAMELA GELLER’s NEW ROUND OF HATRED ON THE WALLS

Once again Pamela Geller takes her hatred to the walls of the New York subway system. Despite MTA’s disclaimer, the ads are scheduled to appear today ….
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Anti-Islam Subway Ads By Pamela Geller Feature Exploding World Trade Center, Quote From The Quran (PHOTO)

New York City’s resident Islamophobe is back with yet another anti-Islam subway ad. Pamela Geller‘s latest features a photo of the World Trade Center exploding in flames next to a quote from the Quran that reads, “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers.”

When Geller last bought ad space in the NYC underground, New Yorkers didn’t react too kindly. Nearly all of the signs– which read “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad“– werevandalized.

As a result, The Observer reports Geller doubled her ad buy this time, and that “the new ads will be plastered across at least 50 different locations.”

“I refuse to abridge my free speech so as to appease savages,” she said.

Additionally, Geller’s latest bout of vitriol will come with a MTA disclaimer:

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“A cost of opening our ad space to a variety of viewpoints on matters of public concern is that we cannot readily close that space to certain advertisements on account of their expression of divisive or even venomous messages,” the MTA stated at the time of the “savages” ad. “The answer to distasteful and uncivil speech is more, and more civilized, speech.”

 

Source    

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A new group, Jews Against Islamophobia added the following;

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Jewish Groups Condemn (Yet Again) Ads

Promoting Hate and Anti-Muslim Bigotry:

Call for Unequivocal Repudiation of Islamophobia

 

Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 The Jews Against Islamophobia (JAI) Coalition condemns the latest hate-mongering ads, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), that are scheduled to appear in New York City subway stations today. “New York residents have already demonstrated that we don’t want such ads in our city. In a month when many people gather with their loved ones for Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and other seasonal celebrations, Jews must recommit ourselves anew to standing up against these ads and all forms of Islamophobia,” pledged JAI Coalition member and director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), Marjorie Dove Kent.

 

The ad shows a picture of the World Trade Center in flames, next to a quote from the Koran, and reads: “Soon shall we cast terror into the heart of the unbelievers.”

 

“But, of course, a bigot can play this game of selective quotation with any religion. Find a picture of horrifying violence committed by some Jews or Christians — there are a depressingly large number — and juxtapose it with one of the following quotes from scripture: “I come not to bring peace, but a sword” [Matthew 10:34] or “Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” [Deuteronomy 20:16]),” notes JAI Coalition member Alan Levine.

 

The AFDI ad—which cost about $70,000—is part of a nationwide campaign to demonize Muslim and Arab Americans. In the past six months, AFDI has funded hate ads in Westchester, New York City, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. In each of these cases, a wide range of interfaith and civil rights groups came together to denounce the ads and to stand up for unity and solidarity. The AFDI’s Pamela Geller is co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

 

“Geller’s ads contribute to creating an even more hostile climate than already exists for the Muslim community, many of whom are already living in fear of street harassment, bullying, and other forms of verbal and physical violence,” says JAI Coalition member Jon Moscow. “We all have a responsibility to make sure this does not continue. We call on New Yorkers to respond individually and collectively to repudiate this vicious attempt to divide our city and to strongly condemn these ads.”

 

This anti-Muslim ad campaign takes place in the context of a post-9/11 atmosphere of fear, hate, and bigotry in the United States that targets Muslims, Arabs, Middle Easterners, Sikhs and other South Asians.  “While we find shocking the blatant Islamophobia in the ads and strongly condemn this vicious hate speech, we also condemn ongoing governmental policies of racial and religious profiling,” emphasized director of Jewish Voice for Peace, Rebecca Vilkomerson, whose group is also a member of the JAI Coalition. “For example, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has been engaged in police surveillance of Muslims that has flagrantly violated the community’s civil and human rights. These Islamophobic acts help make possible the hate-filled atmosphere in which people like Geller thrive.” Despite the NYPD commitment of time, money, and personnel to its widespread surveillance and spying program in the Muslim community, it has not, according to the Commanding Officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, generated a single lead or triggered a terrorism investigation.Communities have organized in response to NYPD surveillance and spying, including groups coming together to support City Council bills that would begin to hold the NYPD accountable for these actions.

 

People across New York City are once again joining the Muslim community to oppose these ads and to ensure that the rights of all our communities are fully protected and that no group is subjected to any form of harassment or racism. The JAI Coalition pledges to continue to be part of that movement for justice.

 

RACISM // ISRAEL’S DIRTY DOZEN

Although Israel is a regional superpower, it has the second-highest poverty rate among developed countries. After last year’s Arab uprisings, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets, demanding a higher standard of living. In response, public officials scapegoated the Africans for Israel’s economic problems and launched a racist campaign to expel them.
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The dirty dozen: Israel’s racist ringleaders

David Sheen 
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Israelis chant “Sudanese Back To Sudan” during a right-wing demonstration against African refugees in south Tel Aviv, 30 May 2012.

 (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

Does Israel refuse to grant equal rights to Palestinian citizens of the state because it is based on an ideology of racism towards people who are not Jewish? Or does Israel refuse to grant equal rights to Palestinian citizens because, since some of them are opposed to the Jewish sectarian nature of the state, it prioritizes state security over racial equality?

While this debate has raged for decades, new evidence has come to light which would seem to suggest that the former is more true. Because if Jewish Israelis are only antagonistic to Palestinian citizens because they supposedly represent security risks, then why do they also despise sub-Saharan Africans, with whom they have never had any conflict?

Approximately 60,000 people from sub-Saharan African countries have migrated to Israelin recent years, fleeing persecution and requesting asylum. Instead of providing them with aid or permitting them to support themselves, the Israeli government refuses to grant them any rights, forces them into abject poverty, and seeks to deport the lot of them.

Although Israel is a regional superpower, it has the second-highest poverty rate among developed countries. After last year’s Arab uprisings, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets, demanding a higher standard of living. In response, public officials scapegoated the Africans for Israel’s economic problems and launched a racist campaign to expel them.

If there is to be justice, these leaders must be brought to trial to answer for their crimes. Maybe Israelis will come to their senses, cancel all the laws that discriminate against African asylum-seekers and call for a truth and reconciliation commission. Sadly, that is unlikely to happen in the near future, because the hatred of African asylum-seekers has become so widespread in Israel.

Perhaps the people of Eritrea and Sudan will eventually overthrow their repressive regimes, install democratic governments and charge these Israeli officials in an international court of law.

Until that day comes — if it ever does — it is important to document evidence of the wrongdoing. In fact, this is an easy task. Since these officials are not ashamed of theirracism, it is all a matter of public record. Of those most responsible, these are the top twelve, Israel’s dirty dozen, its axis of racism:

12. Chaim Avitan

In July 2007, there was only a smattering of African asylum-seekers in the country. At that time, a group of approximately 20 genocide survivors from Darfur in western Sudan were legally living and working in an orchard belonging to a moshav, a small agricultural settlement, near the city limits of Hadera.

A proposal to Hadera city council to open the city’s absorption center to these migrants was defeated by the mayor Chaim Avitan. Avitan then forged an eviction order and sent a security team in the middle of the night to rough up the Darfuris, destroy their documents, shove them onto buses and kick them out of town (“Complaint filed against Hadera mayor for expelling refugees,” Ynet, 7 August 2007).

Avitan announced that the city was not “the country’s garbage can,” called upon the government not to grant refugee status to anyone who is not Jewish and stressed that “Hadera will not permit a single Sudanese to enter.”

Hadera is twinned with Big Spring, Texas (5 percent African American), Saint Paul, Minnesota (14 percent African American) and Charlotte, North Carolina (35 percent African American).

11. Benjamin Babayof

In July 2010, dozens of rabbis in Tel Aviv issued a religious edict forbidding Jews from renting apartments to African asylum-seekers. The language of the letter included warnings against inter-racial marriages and references to Biblical passages calling for ethnic cleansing of all non-Jewish people from the “land of Israel.”

This initiative was such a hit that before the year was out, hundreds of leading rabbis from throughout Israel (who also draw their salaries from the public coffers) issued a similar edict applying to the entire country.

The brainchild behind the edict, the man who went from rabbi to rabbi collecting signatures, calling the African presence in Israel an “abomination,” was the Tel Aviv city councilor representing the Shas party, Benjamin Babayof (“South Tel Aviv realtors: we won’t rent to ‘infiltrators,’” The Jerusalem Post, 4 August 2010).

That same year, travel guide publishers Lonely Planet called Tel Aviv the third best city in the world.

Babayof continued his anti-African crusade in February 2012, calling upon the transportation ministry to run segregated bus lines for Africans, or at the very least to prevent them from riding the regular bus lines during rush hour, because “they smell bad.”

South Tel Aviv residents carrying signs reading “Return them now” during a protest calling on the government to deport African asylum-seekers back to their home countries.

 (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

10. Yaakov Asher

Weeks after the original rabbis’ edict was issued, the holy war against African asylum-seekers expanded from Tel Aviv to its environs.

In August 2010, Rabbi Yaakov Asher, the mayor of Tel Aviv satellite city Bnei Brak, met with the minister of public security and the police regional commander to discuss the expulsion of the African population.

When they explained to Asher that there was no legal basis for physically preventing African asylum-seekers from moving to Bnei Brak, Asher’s spokesperson announced that the municipality would use building code infractions by their landlords as an excuse to run the Africans out of town.

When winter came, the municipality followed through on its promise, informing asylum-seekers that they would have to vacate their apartments immediately. When an African man took his legal rental contract down to the city hall and asked to know on what basis he was being evicted, he was told that it was because he was not Jewish.

Many African asylum-seekers did not even receive the courtesy of an eviction notice before their water and electricity were summarily cut off. Without any way to stay warm, the asylum-seekers were frozen out of their flats and sent into the streets in the middle of the winter (“Eritreans say Bnei Brak waging campaign to run them out,” The Jerusalem Post, 1 December 2010).

While he still serves as Bnei Brak mayor, Asher also holds the number seven spot on the United Torah Judaism party list for upcoming elections to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. The party has five seats in the current Knesset.

9. Meir Yitzhak Halevy

In 2007, African asylum-seekers began to move to Eilat at the invitation of the local hospitality industry. They found work washing dishes and performing other menial tasks for low wages.

Since hoteliers expressed satisfaction with this new arrangement, and since tourism is the only significant industry in Eilat, many more African asylum-seekers have since moved to town. They now number about 10,000 residents, approximately 12 percent of the population of Eilat.

In January 2011, Meir Yitzhak Halevi, the mayor of Eilat, said that African asylum-seekers were coming to conquer Eilat and announced that the city was at war with them. The municipality paid for anti-African posters to be plastered across the city and for red flags to be hung throughout the town (“Eilat demands gov’t action against migrant workers,” The Jerusalem Post,” 13 January 2011). In April 2012, Halevi said that all the Africans will be gone within two years’ time.

For years, Halevi refused to allow the children of African asylum-seekers to attend local schools, so they languished in a makeshift activity center run by sympathetic volunteers. It was only after the Israeli high court intervened and declared Eilat’s segregation policy illegal that children of asylum-seekers were permitted to enroll in September 2012.

Eilat is twinned with Los Angeles, California (10 percent African American).

8. Amnon Yitzhak

An immensely popular preacher, Amnon Yitzhak travels all across Israel turning secular and traditional Jews on to fundamentalist Judaism. Eilat is considered to be a secular stronghold, but Yitzhak crossed its cultural divide by infusing his religious message with rabid anti-African racism.

In February 2012 he told an Eilat audience that the dark skin of Sudanese people is a punishment from Yahweh, the god of Judaism. He further compared them to monkeys, saying that if a Jewish woman goes out with a Sudanese man, she will end up in Africa, “climbing trees and eating bananas” (“‘Cancer in our body’: On racial incitement, discrimination and hate crimes against African asylum-seekers in Israel,” Hotline for Migrant Workers, January-June 2012 [PDF]).

Over the past few weeks, Yitzhak founded a new political party, Power To Influence, that is now running for the Knesset. It is too early to estimate how many seats he might garner, but whether from within the Knesset or without, he wields tremendous clout.

7. Ben-Dror Yemini

Instead of using a neutral lexicon to describe African asylum-seekers, most of the Israeli media have uncritically adopted the pejorative language that government officials who are hostile to their presence use to describe them.

But the mainstream journalist who has spread the most lies about African asylum-seekers in order to stoke fears and incite hatred of them is the opinion page editor of the popular daily paper Maariv, Ben-Dror Yemini.

Some Western countries grant refugee status to between 80 percent and 90 percent of East African asylum-seekers. But in December 2011, just before the right-wing-dominated Knesset voted to criminalize asylum-seekers, Yemini provided them with the ideological ammunition to do so by printing the vicious lie that none of them are refugees, only work migrants.

An official Knesset report from May 2012 stated that the proportion of asylum-seekers out of the entire population of Israel is low compared to Western countries. But only days later Yemini published a column saying that Israel would soon have the largest proportion of asylum-seekers of any country in the world.

Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, recently offered Yemini a prominent spot on her Movement Party list for the Knesset elections. Whether he accepts her offer or not, the mere fact that he was invited is a testament to his widespread influence.

Michael Ben-Ari rallies the crowd during a protest against African refugees and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood, 23 May 2012.

 (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

6. Michael Ben-Ari

Although he lives in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, Michael Ben-Ari opened up a parliamentary office in south Tel Aviv, where more than half the Africans in Israel live, in order to mobilize residents opposed to their presence.

While other politicians draw complaints for only visiting the area and surrounding themselves with bodyguards when they finally arrive, the charismatic Ben-Ari confidently leads the community in anti-African street marches. He has also established an anti-African neighborhood watch posse there, earning the admiration of locals.

Ben-Ari has also called for Israeli soldiers to kill in cold blood any African person approaching the border to request political asylum. Ironically, when I interviewed him in the summer of 2010, he admitted that Israel was responsible for mass slaughter in Africa because it exported killing machines to Africa for profit.

Ben-Ari was refused admission to the United States in February 2012 because he was a member of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s now-defunct Kach organization, considered to be a Jewish terrorist group by the State Department.

In the current Knesset, he belongs to National Union, the only party that was too right-wing for the governing coalition. For the upcoming elections, he started a new party called Strength For Israel that is expected to pass the minimum threshold for Knesset representation. Ben-Ari may be an outlier, but he is pulling the entire political spectrum to the right.

5. Miri Regev

On 23 May 2012, a thousand Jewish Israelis ran rampant throughout Tel Aviv for hours, attacking any dark-skinned person — or property of dark-skinned people — they could find. They set off on their campaign of terror after being whipped into a frenzy by members of Knesset.

One of those parliamentarians whose comments were most incendiary was Miri Regev, a lawmaker with the main government party, Likud. She told the assembled crowd that African asylum-seekers were “a cancer in the body” of the nation.

After news of her racist comments and the pogrom that followed it was published the following day, she took to YouTube to make a public apology — but not to Africans for comparing them to cancer, but rather to Israeli cancer victims, for minimizing their suffering by comparing it to Africans (“Israeli MK: I didn’t mean to shame Holocaust by calling African migrants a ‘cancer,” Haaretz, 27 May 2012).

A professional survey conducted just days after the pogrom confirmed that 52 percent of Jewish Israelis identified with Regev’s contention that Africans are akin to cancer, and 33 percent of Jewish Israelis identified with the vigilante violence perpetrated against them.

Although Likud’s list for the forthcoming election must still be combined with that of its coalition partner Yisrael Beiteinu, Regev has already surged into its upper ranks, moving from number 26 to number 13 on the strength of these and other racist statements.

A section of the new detention camp for asylum seekers under construction in the Naqab/Negev Desert near the Egyptian border, 7 November 2012.

 (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

4. Ron Huldai

The day after the pogrom, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai initiated an anti-African “mayors’ letter,” gathering their pledges of support — just as Babayof, the city councilor, had initiated the anti-African “rabbis’ letter” and collected rabbis’ signatures.

The letter, supported by the mayors of Ashdod, Bnei Brak, Ashkelon, Petach Tikvah and Eilat, called for African asylum-seekers to be either imprisoned or deported (“Day after violent anti-African protest, Likud MK calls to ‘distance infiltrators’ immediately,” Haaretz, 24 May 2012).

If there are approximately 25,000 to 30,000 African asylum-seekers in Tel Aviv, then Huldai’s call to round up and remove African asylum-seekers amounts to ethnic cleansing between 6 percent and 8 percent of the city’s population.

Huldai is surely not the only mayor in the world that has called for the ethnic cleansing of a portion of its residents. But he is probably the only mayor to do so the same year that a corporate-sponsored gay organization crowned his town the “best gay city” in the world.

Tel Aviv is twinned with New York City (25 percent African American).

3. Yossi Edelstein

Edelstein’s official title is director of the interior ministry’s Population Administration’s Foreign Workers’ Enforcement Unit, established in 2009. Simply put, he is directly in charge of the Oz unit, the security agents who are tasked with physically harassing and arresting African asylum-seekers.

One would hope that agents of the state given a monopoly on the use of violence would exercise that power very carefully and with as little prejudice as possible. Sadly, it would seem that Oz agents are not instructed to treat African people with the respect that they deserve, but rather, exactly the opposite.

Even when the African people in question are Jewish, they can be subjected to shocking levels of physical and emotional abuse. In October 2010, the Oz unit brutally beat an entire family of African Americans who had converted to Judaism and were living in the country legally, including a seven-months-pregnant woman, her mother and her one-year-old daughter.

While beating them, the Oz officers yelled, “niggers, we don’t need you here!” (“Interior ministry’s Oz police unit accused of beating US immigrants,” Haaretz, 21 October 2010).

Edelstein made clear his true feelings for African asylum-seekers at a briefing for security officers in July 2012. When asked what to do in the event that an African woman begins to disrobe in protest — a not uncommon form of political protest in Africa — Edelstein suggested that the woman should be engaged sexually. The officers charged with carrying out his orders laughed heartily at his response (hear Edelstein and his audience’s laughter in the video embedded in Israel Channel 10’s report on the briefing).

2. Eli Yishai

The highest-ranking government official to spew the most amount of anti-African invective is without doubt Edelstein’s boss, Eli Yishai. Yishai holds the portfolio of interior minister, an immensely powerful position in Israel. Yishai uses this power to implement the Jewish supremacist ideology of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party that he leads.

This attitude was summarized best by the party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef in October 2010, when he said that the sole reason non-Jewish people exist is to serve Jewish people. Yishai does his level best to ensure that the non-Jewish people who come to Israel — to do the dirty work that Israelis aren’t willing to do — leave the country before they find love and start having kids.

If he wanted to, Yishai could grant work permits to African asylum-seekers, allowing them to be self-sustaining. This would quickly dissolve the homeless African population that is a burden to south Tel Aviv and greatly reduce tensions in those run-down neighborhoods that were economically impoverished to begin with.

But instead of giving work to the non-Jewish Africans already in the country, Yishai prefers to import tens of thousands of Southeast Asians every year, which he expels and exchanges for new ones every few years. This revolving door policy ensures that the non-Jewish population is always vulnerable to abuse. It is also very lucrative for Israeli human resource agencies — a laundered term for glorified slave traders.

Yishai does not mince his words. In June 2012, he lamented that African asylum-seekers didn’t understand that “this country belongs to us, to the white man,” and in August 2012, he said, “until I can deport them I’ll lock them up to make their lives miserable.” That month, he also branded African asylum-seekers a threat as severe as nuclear missiles and fabricated a baseless blood libel against them, accusing them of turning synagogues into toilets (“Israel enacts law allowing authorities to detain illegal migrants for up to 3 years,”Haaretz, 3 June 2012).

Benjamin Netanyahu at the Likud party convention in Tel Aviv, 6 May 2012.

 (Yin Dongxun /Xinhua/Zumapress)

1. Benjamin Netanyahu

Ultimately, the person primarily responsible for Israel’s racist war against non-Jewish African asylum-seekers is none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although he has issued tame condemnations of the most egregious examples of anti-African racism, he has also rubber-stamped every draconian measure taken against them.

When hundreds of Israeli rabbis issued a religious edict forbidding Jewish Israelis from renting flats to Africans, Netanyahu criticized the clerics at an insignificant photo-op — a teenage trivia contest — but took no measures against them. Just the opposite: within months, Netanyahu’s government doubled and tripled their salaries.

In December 2011, Netanyahu announced that he would seal Israel’s open border with Egypt — by which Africans cross into Israel — as soon as possible. I contacted his office then to ask if he would balance his efforts to prevent any more African asylum-seekers from reaching Israel with other measures that would improve the lives of those already in the country — like granting them work permits and health benefits, for example.

Netanyahu’s office responded in the negative. He soon followed these words with actions, demonstrating that he does not only want to reduce the amount of Africans entering Israel, but to completely reverse their migration and expel them from the country. Until such time as that is feasible, he has heartily backed all of Yishai’s plans to construct prison camps to hold the African asylum-seekers indefinitely (“Shas’ Deri eyes Arab vote,” Ynet, 6 November 2012).

Netanyahu is likely to win the upcoming national elections and remain prime minister of the country for at least a few more years. There is no hope on the horizon that any political leader capable of forming a majority in the Knesset could see African asylum-seekers as human beings and potential partners — not as existential threats.

 

Written FOR

A MUST WATCH VIDEO ON THE SITUATION IN PALESTINE TODAY

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The following video is an articulate review of the rights and grievances of Palestinians living in Israel and in the Palestinian lands occupied by Israel.
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Roger Waters, speaking on behalf of the Russell Tribunal, delivers a very nicely put speech in front of delegates on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This day also marks an important development in the Palestinians’ bid to statehood as they are now recognized as a non-member observer state. Hopefully the world sees both sides of the story and that both conflicting parties go into negotiations towards a two-state peaceful solution and put an end this long and dragged out conflict. Enough is enough!
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Roger Waters UN Address
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THE NEW YORK TIMES SUCCUMBS TO ZIONISM*

  After the New York Times’ editorial page lashed out at Israel over its construction plans in an area called E-1, the paper issued a correction on Sunday morning, stating that the expansion would neither cut off Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, nor divide the West Bank.
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Correction or zionist LIE?
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NYT retracts claims that E-1 construction plans would divide West Bank

Correction note regarding Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren’s December 1 article clarifies that piece ‘referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state’.

By Chaim Levinson
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The Judea and Samaria Police headquarters in the E1 area near Ma’aleh Adumim. Photo by Emil Salman

After the New York Times’ editorial page lashed out at Israel over its construction plans in an area called E-1, the paper issued a correction on Sunday morning, stating that the expansion would neither cut off Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, nor divide the West Bank.

In an article entitled “Dividing the West Bank, and Deepening a Rift,” published on December 1, Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren wrote that the construction plans would make travel between Ramallah and Bethlehem impossible, and in effect, cut the West Bank in two.

The correction notice in Sunday’s newspaper clarifies that: “The article about Israel’s decision to move forward with planning and zoning for settlements in an area east of Jerusalem known as E1 described imprecisely the effect of such development on access to the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and on the West Bank. Development of E1 would limit access to Ramallah and Bethlehem, leaving narrow corridors far from the Old City and downtown Jerusalem; it would not completely cut off those cities from Jerusalem. It would also create a large block of Israeli settlements in the center of the West Bank; it would not divide the West Bank in two.”

“And because of an editing error, the article referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state. Critics see E1 as a threat to the meaningful contiguity of such a state because it would leave some Palestinian areas connected by roads with few exits or by circuitous routes; the proposed development would not technically make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible,” adds the correction.

Source

IN ISRAEL GUNS DON’T KILL, SETTLERS AND SOLDIERS DO

 Every settler and his mother carries a gun in Israel. Crazed soldiers on leave do as well. The gun is only a part of the problem, the carrier is the one that has to be controlled…
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The same is true in America.
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Here is how Latuff sees the situation in Connecticut…
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THE TRIUMPH OF HAMAS IN THE WEST BANK

One should not think of Hamas as only the representative of Palestine in Gaza, recent events show that they are truly the representatives in all of Palestine …
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  • “Israel is bidding on the losing horse. But we are becoming a power to be reckoned with. The future belongs to us because the truth is on our side”
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Hamas’ triumphant rallies in the West Bank
 Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

For the first time since 2007, tens of thousands of Palestinian Islamists held huge rallies in several parts of the occupied West Bank, marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

The rallies took place in Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarem and Ramallah as the Palestinian Authority (PA) sought to initiate ostensible reconciliation gestures toward Hamas, especially after the “exemplary steadfastness and resilience” displayed by the Islamist movement and other resistance groups in the face of the murderous Israeli aggression on Gaza in mid-November.

It is not certain though if the PA decision to allow Hamas to organize these big celebrations is a one-time gesture or if it signals a real transformation towards the Islamist movement.

The Ramallah regime on many occasions sought to underestimate Hamas’ strength in the West Bank, hence the possibility that the PA is mainly interested in gauging the real strength of Hamas.

It is unlikely though that Hamas’ rallies, despite the huge numbers, represent the group’s real strength and weight in the Palestinian street, as many supporters of Hamas didn’t show up because they didn’t want to reveal their identities to the Israeli security services or, indeed, to the vehemently anti-Hamas security agencies of the PA.

However, it is probably safe to say that the huge attendance at the rallies will be a source of anxiety for both Israel and the PA. Both sides thought that the sustained and systematic repression of Hamas in the West Bank during the past five years would make many erstwhile supporters shun the movement out of fear of arrest or discrimination and exclusion, especially in the job market.

The PA security agencies had fired hundreds of suspected Hamas supporters from their jobs in civil services, including education, health, police and other fields.

A few hundreds of the dismissed school teachers have been reinstated in their jobs, but the security agencies are still reluctant to fully carry out court orders in this regard.

10,000 in Hebron
In Hebron, probably the largest and most heavily populous town in the West Bank, thousands of Hamas’ supporters and sympathizers marched from the el-Haras Mosque to the Ibn Rushd school, about two kilometers away. The marchers held aloft Islamic banners as well as the Palestinian flags.

Hebron is still considered a stronghold for Hamas.

At the school yard, several speakers delivered moving speeches, stressing national unity and reasserting the continuity of the struggle against the Israeli occupation.

Speaking at the rally, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Prof. Aziz Dweik said Hamas was becoming a regional power in its own right and a hard number which no one can ignore.

“Israel is bidding on the losing horse. But we are becoming a power to be reckoned with. The future belongs to us because the truth is on our side”

He also urged the PA government to allow for more human rights and civil liberties.

Dweik said Israeli oppressors had no future in this region, adding that the Zionists were digging their own graves by their hands by indulging in all sorts of crimes against the Palestinian people.

He compared the ultimate fate of Israel with the Abyssinian invaders of Makkah who tried to demolish the Kaaba in the Year of the Elephant in which the Prophet Muhammed was born. The invaders were utterly destroyed by a miraculous divine intervention. The story is mentioned in the Quran in Sura al-Feel, no. 105.

Dweik saluted the martyrs of the Palestinian revolution as well as the political and resistance prisoners, including a dozen lawmakers still languishing in Israeli jails and dungeons without charge or trial.

“You are crowns of glory on our heads.”

During the rallies, Palestinian prime minister in Gaza, Ismael Haniya greeted the huge multitude, saying Gaza and the West Bank had one common destiny.

Dweik for his part thanked Haniya, saying he hoped and prayed that he would “lead us in prayers at the Aqsa Mosque after liberation.”

Nablus, Tulkarem and Ramallah
Numerous thousands of people of all ages, men and women, attended similar rallies in Nablus, Tulkarem and Ramallah despite the tension and apprehension stemming from a possible Israeli retaliation. Unmanned Israeli planes flew over some of the rallies, apparently to photograph them and communicate the message “that we are here.”

Raafat Nasif, an Islamist leader in the Tulkarem region, thanked the Palestinian people for rallying around Hamas despite all the harassment and persecution.

“This huge presence underscores the fact that the people are embracing Hamas and sympathizing with it. We thank the Palestinian people for their generosity, devotion and enduring vigor,” he said.

Nasif said the triumphal renewal of Hamas in the West Bank couldn’t have been possible without the preternatural resilience and steadfastness of the Islamic-national resistance in the Gaza Strip.

In Ramallah, a huge march took place outside the main mosque in al Bireh amid a jungle of Islamic banners and Palestinian flags. Sheikh Jamal Tawil addressed the huge multitude, saying “Hamas is witnessing a rebirth which should be heartening news for our people and our cause.”

He added that no power, local, regional or international can any longer ignore or overlook Hamas.

“With all thanks to the Almighty, we have become a hard number that can’t be ignored or overlooked whether in peace or in war,”

To whom it may concern:
Observers and commentators reacted to the re-launching of Hamas’ activities in the West Bank quite positively.

Israeli commentators expressed their apprehension that the “golden period of calm” in the West Bank was coming to an end, with the high-profile return of Hamas to the West Bank arena.

Lama Khater, a housewife and political commentator, said the triumphal resumption of Hamas activities in the West Bank communicated an unmistakable message to “whom it may concern.”

“The message is that Hamas is an indelible reality, an imposing and outstanding fact of life that no one can ignore.”

She added that the participation of tens of thousands of people exceeded all expectations.

Many Palestinians in the West Bank, including erstwhile Fatah activists, are now giving Hamas the benefit of the doubt as Israel continued to steal Palestinian land, build Jewish colonies and fly in the face of international law and the international community.

“Our people are finding out that the so-called peace process is taking us nowhere. Quite the contrary, it is destroying our cause and eliminating any genuine prospects for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state,” said Ammar Kawasmeh, a Fatah activist from Hebron.

“This is why many people are looking forward to Hamas to rectify the situation.”

CAROLING AGAINST APARTHEID

 Even the Grinch made an appearance…
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Scores of New York activists brought in Christmas early this year with their annual round of carols in front of Apartheid’s representative, Lev Leviev. It was the 6th year that his diamond emporium was targeted by these good folks.
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer 
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The carols were heard load and clear as far away as New Zealand …
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The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which invests money on behalf of New Zealand’s government, announced on December 12 that it is divesting from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s company Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus over their construction of Israeli settlements. The announcement came amidst heightened international criticism of Israeli settlement expansion. The move also follows a 2010 decision by the Norwegian government to divest from Africa Israel, and a 2009 decision by the British government not to do business with the company. The organizations Oxfam America, CARE and UNICEF have also severed ties with Leviev.

The announcement came as Adalah-NY is petitioning the New York City anti-hunger nonprofit City Harvest to publicly disavow Leviev, and is preparing for its sixth annual anti-apartheid caroling protest outside Leviev’s Madison Avenue jewelry store this Saturday. Adalah-NY launched a campaign for the boycott of and divestment from Leviev’s companies in 2007.

The New Zealand fund, which invests $20 billion for the government of New Zealand, announced that it would exclude Africa Israel and Danya Cebus, along with the Israeli companies Elbit Systems Limited and Shikun and Binui because the companies are involved in Israeli settlement construction and building Israel’s wall on Palestinian land in violation of international law. In a press release the New Zealand fund explained, “Africa Israel and its subsidiary Danya Cebus have been excluded because of their involvement in the construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The settlements have been cited as illegal under international law, and the Fund considers the companies’ involvement to be inconsistent with the United Nations Global Compact.”

Hazem Jamjoum from Adalah-NY stated, “We are very heartened to see the growing momentum to boycott and divest from Leviev’s companies. This announcement by New Zealand’s Superannuation Fund is a victory and yet another sign of the growing strength of the worldwide BDS movement which aims to pressure Israel through boycott, divestment and sanctions to respect Palestinian rights. We hope that City Harvest understands the seriousness of the human right issues at stake and follows this fund’s lead.”

Daniel Strum from Adalah-NY and the We Divest National Coordination Committee added: “Both Africa Israel and Elbit Systems Limited are also part of US pension giant TIAA-CREF’s investment portfolio. We strongly urge TIAA-CREF to follow the examples of Norway and New Zealand and divest from these two companies and others that support Israeli human rights violations.”

From 2000-2008, Leviev’s flagship company Africa Israel built homes in the settlements of Har Homa, Maale Adumim (two different projects), Adam, and in Mattityahu East on the land of the West Bank village of Bil’in. In November, 2010 Africa Israel made ambiguous statements, suggesting it would not build more settlements, seemingly as a result of international pressure. However, in June, 2012, Adalah-NY released extensive information showing that a subsidiary of Leviev’s company Africa-Israel is building homes in the settlement of Gilo. Additionally, a separate Leviev-owned company, Leader Management and Development, continues to develop the Zufim settlement on the land of the West Bank village of Jayyous (see documentation). Leviev has also been a major donor to the Land Redemption Fund, an organization dedicated to seizing Palestinian land for Israeli settlement expansion.

Leviev’s companies have also been accused of involvement in human rights abuses and unethical business practices in the diamond industry in Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

A number of media reports have stated that Leviev has hostedfundraisers for City Harvest, leading to two letters (First Letter, Second Letter) and an email campaign calling on City Harvest to publicly disavow Leviev. This Saturday at 1 PM, for the sixth consecutive year, human rights advocates will perform holiday carol parodies calling for the boycott of Leviev outside his Madison Avenue jewelry store.

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