Daily News – OpinionThe BDS movement explained

Why I’ve boycotted Israel

By Omar Barghouti / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

In many media reports on the recent panel held at Brooklyn College on the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, BDS was subjected to relentless vilification and unfounded allegations.

This was yet another ruthless campaign to demonize and shut down all criticism of Israel. Following congressional Israel-centered bullying of secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel, it is further evidence of the rise of a new McCarthyism — one that uses unconditional allegiance to Israel as the litmus test of loyalty.

Indeed, suppressed in all media coverage of the Brooklyn College controversy were Palestinian voices — like mine — who can best explain why Palestinians have embarked on this nonviolent, rights-based struggle for our rights, and how it is deeply inspired by the South African anti-apartheid and the U.S. civil rights movements.

Despite the intimidation campaign waged against it, Brooklyn College — with support from civil libertarians and influential liberal voices — upheld academic freedom and allowed the BDS event on Feb. 7 to proceed.

Mayor Bloomberg indirectly compared attempts by politicians to impose their agenda on the college to North Korea’s despotic policies. Ironically, in a 2012 BBC poll of world public opinion, Israel ranked third among the countries with the most negative influence in the world, competing with North Korea. As many now recognize, BDS has played a considerable role in exposing Israeli policies and, as a result, engendering this steady erosion of Israel’s international standing.

The BDS call was launched on July 9, 2005, by an alliance of more than 170 Palestinian parties, unions, refugee networks, NGOs and grassroots associations. They asked international civil society organizations and people of conscience to “impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”

Specifically, BDS calls for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967; an end to what even the U.S. State Department slams as Israel’s “institutional, legal and societal discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens; and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands from which they were forcibly displaced.

Our opponents call us “Jew haters.” That is a lie and a slander. BDS advocates equal rights for all and consistently opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. In fact, many progressive Jewish activists, intellectuals, students, feminists and others participate in and sometimes lead BDS campaigns in Western countries. The increasing impact of Israeli supporters of BDS has led the Knesset to pass a draconian anti-boycott law banning advocacy of any boycott against Israel or its complicit institutions.

Calling the boycott of Israel anti-Semitic is itself an anti-Semitic statement, as it reduces all Jews to a monolith that is absolutely equivalent to the state of Israel, is entirely represented by Israel and holds collective responsibility for Israel’s policies.

If boycott is “withdrawing . . . cooperation from an evil system,” as Martin Luther King Jr. teaches us, BDS fundamentally calls on all peace-loving U.S. citizens to fulfill their profound moral obligation to desist from complicity in Israel’s system of oppression against the Palestinian people, which takes the form of occupation, colonization and apartheid. Given the billions of dollars lavished by the U.S. on Israel annually, American taxpayers are effectively subsidizing Israel’s human rights violations.

Building on its global ascendance, the BDS movement is spreading across the U.S., especially on campuses and in churches. Multi-million-dollar campaigns by Israel’s foreign ministry to counter BDS by “rebranding” through art, science and cynically using LGBT rights to “pinkwash” Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights have failed to stem the tide.

Without increasing international pressure and accountability, Israel will carry on with total impunity its brutal and illegal blockade of Gaza; its untamed construction of illegal settlements and wall in the occupied West Bank; its strategy of “Judaization” in Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Jordan Valley and the Naqab (Negev), its adoption of new racist laws and its denial of refugees’ rights.

Israel and its lobby groups often try to delegitimize the Palestinian quest for equality by portraying the nonviolent BDS emphasis on equal rights and the right of return as aiming to “destroy Israel.” If equality and justice would destroy Israel, what does that say about Israel? Did equality and justice destroy South Africa? Alabama?

As the first edition of McCarthyism was defeated through the industrious and creative toils of brave, principled defenders of freedom and human rights, so will this new McCarthyism.

Barghouti is the co-founder of the BDS movement and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. He is the author of “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights.”


A Holocaust survivor who truly lived the mantra Never Again
 Stéphane Hessel, whose pamphlet Indignez-Vous! sold 4.5m copies in 35 countries
Stéphane Hessel, whose pamphlet Indignez-Vous! sold 4.5m copies in 35 countries. The French president, François Hollande, said of Hessel: ‘He leaves us a lesson, which is to never accept any injustice.’ Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty


Stéphane Hessel, writer and inspiration behind Occupy movement, dies at 95

Hessel, resistance fighter, diplomat, writer of Time for Outrage! and co-author of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, dies
By Kim Willsher for The Guardian

The story of the French author Stéphane Hessel’s long and extraordinary life reads like a Boy’s Own adventure.

From his childhood in Berlin and then Paris, where he was brought up by his writer and translator father, journalist mother and her lover in an unusual ménage à trois, to his worldwide celebrity at the age of 93, when a political pamphlet he wrote became a bestselling publishing sensation and inspired global protest and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

And then there was everything in between: his escape from two Nazi concentration camps where he had been tortured and sentenced to death, his escapades with the French resistance and his hand in drawing up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, just a week after his last big interview was published, Hessel’s long and extraordinary life came to an end. He was 95 years old, but as one French magazine remarked: “Stéphane Hessel, dead? It’s hard to believe. He seemed to have become eternal, the grand and handsome old man.”

Le Point magazine added that the man with an “old-fashioned politeness and elegance from another age” had “danced” with the best part of a century.

“When one is received by the world in television studios, when one writes bestsellers, when one has baptised an international mobilisation movement, does one still die?” the magazine asked.

In 2010, when most people are winding down and after a long career as a diplomat, Hessel’s life took yet another dramatic turn when his 48-page pamphlet Indignez-Vous!, sold 4.5m copies in 35 countries. It was translated into English as Time for Outrage.

The work was originally written as a speech to commemorate the resistance to Hitler’s occupation of France during the second world war. It served as a rallying cry for those appalled by the gap between the world’s rich and poor.

Hessel said afterwards he aimed to imbue French youth with the same passion and fervour as had existed in the resistance. He compared the 21st-century struggle against what he described as the “international dictatorship of the financial markets” to his generation’s struggle against oppression as a young man during the war.

His wife, Christiane Hessel-Chabry, told France’s AFP news agency on Wednesday, that the writer had died overnight. No other details were given.

The French president, François Hollande, said Hessel was an “a huge figure whose exceptional life was devoted to the defence of human dignity”.

“It was in pursuit of his values that he engaged in the resistance,” he added, concluding: “He leaves us a lesson, which is to never accept any injustice.”

The French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, also paid tribute to Hessel, whom he described as “a man who was engaged” and who was the incarnation of the “resistance spirit”.

“For all generations he was a source of inspiration, but also a reference. At 95 years, he epitomised the faith in the future of a new century,” Ayrault said.

As a committed European and supporter of the left, he was behind the Socialist François Hollande’s successful presidential election bid last year. On Wednesday after news of his death broke, French politicians lined up to express their admiration, respect and sadness.

Hessel was born into a Jewish family in Berlin in 1917, the son of a journalist and a writer. The family moved to France when Hessel was eight and he took French nationality in the late 1930s, having passed his baccalauréat at the young age of 15.

His parents’ unusual living arrangement was said to have inspired the celebrated François Truffaut film Jules et Jim.

The young Hessel refused to follow Marshal Philippe Pétain’s collaborationist Vichy government and fled to London, where he joined General Charles de Gaulle’s resistance fighters. As a prominent figure in the resistance, he was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and deported to Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps, where he suffered waterboarding torture. He escaped being executed at Buchenwald by exchanging identities with a prisoner who had died of typhus, and later escaped from Dora during a transfer to the Bergen-Belsen death camp. After fleeing his German guards, he met advancing American troops.

After the war, he worked with the US first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, in editing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Time for Outrage! argued that the French needed to become as outraged now as his fellow fighters had been during the war. He was highly critical of France’s treatment of illegal immigrants, and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and passionate about the environment, a free press and France’s welfare system. His call was for peaceful, non-violent insurrection.

During the eurozone crisis, one of the names given to the protests against austerity programmes and corruption in Spain was Los Indignados, taken from the title of Hessel’s work. These protests, along with the Arab spring uprisings, inspired protests in other countries and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States.

“The global protest movement does not resemble the Communist movement, which declared that the world had to be overturned according to its viewpoint,” Hessel said in an interview a year ago.

“This is not an ideological revolution. It is driven by an authentic desire to get what you need. From this point of view, the present generation is not asking governments to disappear but to change the way they deal with people’s needs.”


On Occupy Wall Street

From Democracy Now



As the Occupy Wall Street movement expands across the United States, drawing inspiration from the Arab Spring and the protests in Spain, Democracy Now! spoke with former French Resistance fighter, Stéphane Hessel, whose pamphlet-length book, Time for Outrage, helped inspire some of these uprisings. His book has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 10 languages, with several more planned. Hessel, 93 years old, has occupied many positions in his life: immigrant, French Resistance fighter, concentration camp survivor, diplomat, advocate and author. He joined the French Resistance during World War II, was caught by the Gestapo and sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. He escaped during transfer to Bergen-Belsen and later helped draft the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then became an honorary “Ambassador of France,” appointed to special government missions. He has since been a fierce advocate of the Palestinians. Democracy Now!’s Juan Gonzalez interviewed Hessel earlier this month. 

“You must find the things that you will not accept, that will outrage you. And these things, you must be able to fight against nonviolently, peacefully, but determinedly,” Hessel says, noting his support for the Occupy Wall Street encampment. “They’re there determined to see that their values are to be respected.”

Speaking at the Russell Tribunal in New York City this past October
Photo © by Bud Korotzer
Palestine loses a friend and supporter …
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine mourns the passing of Stéphane Hessel

Stéphane Hessel, author of the bestseller « Time for outrage »,
French ambassador, human rights’ advocate and great philosopher, died
last night at the age of 95.

The Russell Tribunal on palestine (RToP) mourns the passing of its
honorary president and huge supporter.

Pierre Galand, RToP general coordinator says :
« The Tribunal has always ben his project, and he was its soul as he
has always inspired us with his ideas and supported us with concrete
gestures. He would have participated in the last session of the
Tribunal, in Brussels on 16 and 17 March, but now that he’s passed
away we will pay him the tribute he deserves. With his death, we loss
a last eye-witness of the drafting of the Human Rights’ declaration.
If the World loses a great personality and a distinguished
intellectual and activist, at a personal level, I will miss him as a
comrade and a friend ». 

In all sessions of the RToP held in Barcelona, London, Cape Town and
New York, Hessel has denounced the outragious  complicity of third
parties in the continuous violation of the Palestinian people’s rights
and the failure by Israel to comply with the international law. He’s
also called on individuals and organisations around the World to put
pressure on the international community so that politicians and
decision-makers adopt all possible measures to reach peace in the
Middle East and enforce the existing sanctions on those countries
which don’t comply with UN resolutions.

On 18 February 2013, Stéphane Hessel gave a last interview on his
involvement in the RToP. The interview will be published in a book by
the French publisher Editions de L’Herne, due out in mid March. You
can read the interview at this link (French only).


For some reason, the Jewish festival of Purim signals the beginning of a day of terror against Palestinians. Following are photos of this year’s ‘festivities’ …

Photos: Settlers mock Palestinian hunger strikers and Israeli soldiers dress up as Palestinian fighters

 by Ali Abunimah

In a screenshot, anti-Arab activist Itamar Ben-Gvir (right) impersonates a Palestinian prisoner, as the man next to him wears a “Kach” T-shirt.

Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron celebrated the Jewish festival of Purim by mocking Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for their rights in Israel’s jails.

Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier has posted images online of himself and his comrades dressed up as Palestinian resistance fighters and as Gilad Shalit, the occupation soldier captured by Hamas fighters in 2006 and held as a prisoner of war in Gaza for five years.

Hebron parade mocks Palestinian prisoners, glorifies banned violent, racist group


A video of the Purim parade in Hebron was posted on YouTube, as Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have intesified protests in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners after the death of Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody and amid the ongoing struggles of hunger strikers.

In the video, Israeli far-right anti-Arab activist Itamar Ben-Gvir is dressed up as a “Palestinian prisoner” and has this brief exchange of words:

Ben-Gvir: If we don’t get more kibbeh, there will be an Intifada. More kibbeh. We want more kibbeh.

Off-screen voice: But how many tires do you have to burn? How many tires?

Ben-Gvir: Don’t worry about it. Only kibbeh!

As Ben-Gvir speaks, a man standing next to him is wearing a T-shirt bearing the name and logo of Kach, the violent anti-Arab organization founded by Meir Kahane that is even banned in Israel. Kach and its offshoot Kahane Chai have been designated as “foreign terrorist organizations” by the US State Department since 1997.

Ben-Gvir has been arrested dozens of times by Israeli authorities on charges of rioting, destruction of property, possessing propaganda for a terrorist organization, and with incitement to racism and support of a terrorist organization.

But while Ben-Gvir roams free, many of the Palestinian prisoners he mocks have been held for extended periods without charge or trial.

Ben-Gvir is a former aide to Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari who has led anti-African pogroms in the streets of Tel Aviv.

In the rest of the 10-minute long video, Israeli settlers, some drinking heavily from bottles of wines and spirits, can be seen dancing and reveling through the streets of occupied Hebron, which are devoid of Palestinians, as Israeli occupation soldiers provide an escort.

Israeli soldiers dress up as Palestinian fighters and Gilad Shalit

Israeli occupation soldiers dressed as Palestinian fighters surround a man with a paper on his chest that says “Gilad Shalit captured again” (Source).

Meanwhile Israeli soldier Idan Levi posted these images to Instagram which show him and members of his unit dressed up as Palestinian resistance fighters. The man in the middle of the photo above has a sign on his chest that says “Gilad Shalit – captured again.”

Israeli occupation soldiers dressed as Palestinian resistance fighters (Source).

Levi is a member of the 51st Battalion of the Golani brigade. As part of the occupation army, the Golani brigade has invaded Palestinian cities and terrorized Palestinian communities for years, although the unit suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Lebanese resistance during Israel’s disastrous 2006 invasion of Lebanon.

Golani brigade member Idan Levi (right) with a comrade dressed up as Palestinian resistance fighters (Source).

In one image, Levi appears in a T-shirt of the football team Beitar Jerusalem whose ultra-racist fans are notorious for violent rampages and chanting “Death to the Arabs.”

Israeli occupation soldier Idan Levi in a T-shirt of the notoriously racist Beitar Jerusalem football team (Source).

Idan Levi holding a banner with the symbol of the 51st Battalion of the Golani brigade (Source).

With thanks to Dena Shunra.


Written FOR


Israel decides who is allowed into Palestine. Palestine has no say in the matter. Does Abbas care? Does Obama ?? Hopefully you do.
An American citizen who teaches English in Ramallah was denied entry to Israel at Ben-Gurion International Airport Tuesday, even though she has a valid one-year multiple-entrance visa.

Israel denies entry to American teacher working in West Bank

After failing to satisfactorily answer security questions, the American daughter of Palestinians was turned away from Israel en route to her job teaching English in Ramallah.

By Amira Hass
Nour Joudah, 25, has twice failed to enter Israel.
Nour Joudah, 25, has twice failed to enter Israel.

An American citizen who teaches English in Ramallah was denied entry to Israel at Ben-Gurion International Airport Tuesday, even though she has a valid one-year multiple-entrance visa.

The Shin Bet security service said in a statement she was turned her away for refusing to cooperate under questioning on security issues.

Nour Joudah, 25, is the daughter of Palestinians who became naturalized citizens of the United States. Her father, a retired history professor, was born in Ashdod. She has visited the country several times, both with her parents and without them. She teaches full-time at the West Bank City of Ramallah’s Friends School, which is run by the Quakers (Friends United Meeting), a Christian religious order headquartered in Indiana.

In August 2012, Joudah received a three-month entrance visa after reporting the purpose of her arrival – to teach and live in Ramallah. In September, she received a visa from the Interior Ministry that allowed her multiple entrances and exits from the country for a year. Her request for the visa was submitted through USAID, the American international aid agency.

Joudah went to Amman for Christmas, and when she returned in early January, she was refused entry at the Allenby Crossing. When inquiries were made on her behalf by attorney Emily Schaeffer, the Border Crossing Administration representative said the decision was made for security reasons, but did not elaborate.

While Schaeffer was preparing an appeal, Joudah contacted U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents the district of Texas where Joudah’s parents live. Jackson Lee contacted the Israeli Embassy in Washington, which suggested that Joudah try to re-enter through Ben-Gurion airport to give the authorities a chance to reconsider their position.

After landing at the airport on Monday, she was questioned twice, once for half an hour and once for 20 minutes, and then held in custody for several more hours. On Monday evening, she was told that she was being refused entry and would be put on a plane back to Amman Tuesday morning.

Joudah told Haaretz that at the airport, investigators from the Shin Bet Security Service asked her many questions they would have known the answers to since they were covered in her request for the year-long visa and during her questioning at Allenby, including the names of her relatives in the country, the reason she was coming and previous places she had taught.

She was also asked if she knew any prisoners, a question she had not answered previously. When she said she did not, the Shin Bet members asked her whether she knew anyone who had a relative in prison. She answered that it was possible but that she does not ask everyone she meets whether they have a relative in prison.

They asked her if she had written any articles while she was here. She answered that she had, but a simple Google search, she told Haaretz, would have turned up the two articles she had written for a local American paper.

According to Joudah, toward the end of her questioning, she was asked to provide information about people she had met in Ramallah between August and December 2012. She replied that she does not record details about every person she meets and that she would not give information about her friends and acquaintances – Palestinians or foreign citizens – in any case.

Joudah noted that a USAID representative, who had helped coordinate her visa, came from Tel Aviv to the airport and sat with her for several hours. She said he was also questioned.

In response to a request for comment, the Shin Bet said in a statement, “An American citizen whose family comes from the Gaza Strip was refused entry on Jan. 5 after failing to cooperate under questioning on security-related matters. After it was made clear to all involved that if she cooperated her entry would be considered, she returned on Feb. 25 for additional questioning. On this occasion too she refused to cooperate to the extent required, and her entry was refused.”

On Monday, Schaeffer submitted an urgent appeal to cancel the denial of entry or to at least allow Joudah to respond to whatever claims were being made against her. But Central District Court Judge Avraham Yaakov denied the petition, saying the administrative procedures had not yet been fully utilized. Schaeffer said her appeal to the Interior Ministry against the denial of entry had been submitted more than two weeks ago and that although the ministry had promised a preliminary answer by Feb. 24, this promise was not kept.


Written FOR




Michelle Obama presents best picture Oscar to ‘Argo’


As seen by Carlos Latuff ….
michele-obama-oscar-iran (1)
Full report HERE

Argo’s Oscar and the failure of truth
 Nima Shirazi

One year ago, after his breathtakingly beautiful Iranian drama, A Separation, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, writer/director Asghar Farhadi delivered the best acceptance speech of the night.

“[A]t the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians,” he said, Iran was finally being honored for “her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.” Farhadi dedicated the Oscar “to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

Such grace and eloquence will surely not be on display this Sunday, when Ben Affleck, flanked by his co-producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov, takes home the evening’s top prize, the Best Picture Oscar, for his critically-acclaimed and heavily decorated paean to the CIA and American innocence, Argo.

Over the past 12 months, rarely a week – let alone month – went by without new predictions of an ever-imminent Iranian nuclear weapon and ever-looming threats of an American or Israeli military attack. Come October 2012, into the fray marched Argo, a decontextualized, ahistorical “true story” of Orientalist proportion, subjecting audiences to two hours of American victimization and bearded barbarians, culminating in popped champagne corks and rippling stars-and-stripes celepating our heroism and triumph and their frustration and defeat.

Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir aptly described the film as “a propaganda fable,” explaining asothershave that essentially none of its edge-of-your-seat thrills or most memorable moments ever happened. O’Hehir sums up:

The Americans never resisted the idea of playing a film crew, which is the source of much agitation in the movie. (In fact, the “house guests” chose that cover story themselves, from a group of three options the CIA had prepared.) They were not almost lynched by a mob of crazy Iranians in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, because they never went there. There was no last-minute cancellation, and then un-cancellation, of the group’s tickets by the Carter administration. (The wife of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor had personally gone to the airport and purchased tickets ahead of time, for three different outbound flights.) The group underwent no interrogation at the airport about their imaginary movie, nor were they detained at the gate while a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard telephoned their phony office back in Burbank. There was no last-second chase on the runway of Mehrabad Airport, with wild-eyed, bearded militants with Kalashnikovs trying to shoot out the tires of a Swissair jet.

One of the actual hostages, Mark Lijek, noted that the CIA’s fake movie “cover story was never tested and in some ways proved irrelevant to the escape.” The departure of the six Americans from Tehran was actually mundane and uneventful.  “If asked, we were going to say we were leaving Iran to return when it was safer,” Lijek recalled, “But no one ever asked!…The truth is the immigration officers barely looked at us and we were processed out in the regular way. We got on the flight to Zurich and then we were taken to the US ambassador’s residence in Berne. It was that straightforward.”

Furthermore, Jimmy Carter has even acknowledged that “90% of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian [while] the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA…Ben Affleck’s character in the film was only in Tehran a day and a half and the real hero in my opinion was Ken Taylor, who was the Canadian ambassador who orchestrated the entire process.”

Taylor himself recently remarked that “Argo” provides a myopic representation of both Iranians and their revolution, ignoring their “more hospitable side and an intent that they were looking for some degree of justice and hope and that it all wasn’t just a violent demonstration for nothing.”

“The amusing side, Taylor said, “is the script writer in Hollywood had no idea what he’s talking about.”

O’Hehir perfectly articulates the film’s true crime, its deliberate exploitation of “its basis in history and its mode of detailed realism to create something that is entirely mythological.” Not only is it “a trite cavalcade of action-movie clichés and expository dialogue,” but “[i]t’s also a propaganda movie in the truest sense, one that claims to be innocent of all ideology.”

Such an assessment is confirmed by Ben Affleck’s own comments about the film. In describing Argo to Bill O’Reilly, Affleck boasted, “You know, it was such a great story. For one thing, it’s a thriller. It’s actually comedy with the Hollywood satire. It’s a complicated CIA movie, it’s a political movie. And it’s all true.”  He told Rolling Stone that, when conceiving his directorial approach, he knew he “absolutely had to preserve the central integrity and truth of the story.” “It’s OK to embellish, it’s OK to compress, as long as you don’t fundamentally change the nature of the story and of what happened,” Affleck has remarked, even going so far as to tell reporters at Argo‘s BFI London Film Festival premier, “This movie is about this story that took place, and it’s true, and I go to pains to contextualize it and to try to be even-handed in a way that just means we’re taking a cold, hard look at the facts.” In an interview with The Huffington Post, Affleck went so far as to say, “I tried to make a movie that is absolutely just factual. And that’s another reason why I tried to be as true to the story as possible — because I didn’t want it to be used by either side. I didn’t want it to be politicized internationally or domestically in a partisan way. I just wanted to tell a story that was about the facts as I understood them.”
For Affleck, these facts apparently don’t include understanding why the American Embassy in Tehran was overrun and occupied on November 4, 1979.  “There was no rhyme or reason to this action,” Affleck has insisted, claiming that the takeover “wasn’t about us,” that is, the American government (despite the fact that his own film is introduced by a fleeting – though frequently inaccurate [1] – review of American complicity in the Shah’s dictatorship). Wrong, Ben.  One reason was the fear of another CIA-engineered coup d’etat like the one perpetrated in 1953 from the very same Embassy. Another reason was the admission of the deposed Shah into the United States for medical treatment and asylum rather than extradition to Iran to face charge and trial for his quarter century of crimes against the Iranian people, bankrolled and supported by the U.S. government.  One doesn’t have to agree with the reasons, of course, but they certainly existed. Just as George H.W. Bush once bellowed after a U.S. Navy warship blew an Iranian passenger airliner out of the sky over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 Iranian civilians, “I’ll never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”  Affleck appears inclined to agree.
If nothing else, Argo is an exercise in American exceptionalism – perhaps the most dangerous fiction that permeates our entire society and sense of identity.  It reinvents history in order to mine a tale of triumph from an unmitigated defeat.  The hostage crisis, which lasted 444 days and destroyed an American presidency, was a failure and an embarrassment for Americans.  The United States government and media has spent the last three decades tirelessly exacting revenge on Iran for what happened. Argo recasts revolutionary Iranians as the hapless victims of American cunning and deception.  White Americans are hunted, harried and, ultimately courageous and free.  Iranians are maniacal, menacing and, in the end, infantile and foolish.  The fanatical fundamentalists fail while America wins. USA -1, Iran – 0. 
Yet, Argo obscures the unfortunate truth that, as those six diplomats were boarding a plane bound for Switzerland on January 28, 1980, their 52 compatriots would have to wait an entire year before making it home, not as the result of a daring rescue attempt, but after a diplomatic agreement was reached. Reflecting on the most troubled episodes in American history is a time-honored cinematic tradition. There’s a reason why the best Vietnam movies are full of pain, anger, anguish and war crimes.  By contrast, Argo is American catharsis porn; pure Hollywood hubris.  It is pro-American propaganda devoid of introspection, pathos or humility and meant to assuage our hurt feelings.  In Argo, no lessons are learned by revisiting the consequences of America’s support for the Pahlavi monarchy or its creation and training of SAVAK, the Shah’s vicious secret police. On June 11, 1979, months before the hostage crisis began, the New York Times published an article by writer and historian A.J. Langguth which recounted revelations relayed by a former American intelligence official regarding the CIA’s close relationship with SAVAK.  The agency had “sent an operative to teach interrogation methods to SAVAK” including “instructions in torture, and the techniques were copied from the Nazis.”  Langguth wrestled with the news, trying to figure out why this had not been widely reported in the media.  He came to the following conclusion:

We – and I mean we as Americans – don’t believe it. We can read the accusations, even examine the evidence and find it irrefutable. But, in our hearts, we cannot believe that Americans have gone apoad to spread the use of torture. We can believe that public officials with reputations for pilliance can be arrogant, blind or stupid. Anything but evil. And when the cumulative proof becomes overwhelming that our representatives in the C.I.A. or the Agency for International Development police program did in fact teach torture, we excuse ourselves by vilifying the individual men.

Similarly, at a time when the CIA is waging an illegal, immoral, unregulated and alwaysexpanding drone execution program, the previous administration’s CIAkidnappersandtorturers are protected from prosecution by the currentadministration, and leaked State Department cables reveal orders for U.S. diplomats to spy on United Nations officials, it is surreal that such homage is being paid to that very same organization by the so-called liberals of the Tinsel Town elite.

Upon winning his Best Director Golden Globe last month, Ben Affleck obsequiously praised the “clandestine service as well as the foreign service that is making sacrifices on behalf of the American people everyday [and] our troops serving over seas, I want to thank them very much,” a statement echoed almost identically by co-producer Grant Heslov when Argo later won Best Drama.

This comes as no surprise, considering Affleck had previously described Argo as “a tribute” to the “extraordinary, honorable people at the CIA” during an interview on Fox News.

The relationship between Hollywood and the military and intelligence arms of the U.S. government have long been cozy. “When the CIA or the Pentagon says, ‘We’ll help you, if you play ball with us,’ that’s favoring one form of speech over another. It becomes propaganda,” David Robb, author of Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies told The Los Angeles Times. “The danger for filmmakers is that their product — entertainment and information — ends up being government spin.”

Awarding Argo the Best Picture Oscar is like Barack Obama winning a Nobel Peace Prize: an undeserved accolade fawningly bestowed upon a dubious recipient based on a transparent fiction; an award for what never was and never would be and a decision so willfully naïve and grotesque it discredits whatever relevance and prestige the proceedings might still have had.*

So this Sunday night, when Argo has won that coveted golden statuette, it will be clear that we have yet again been blinded by the heavy dust of politics and our American mantra of hostility and resentment will continue to inform our decisions, dragging us closer and closer to the abyss.

***** ***** *****

* Yes, in this analogy, the equivalent of Henry Kissinger is obviously 2004’s dismal “Crash.”


1 The introduction of Argo is a dazzingly sloppy few minutes of caricatured history of Iran, full of Orientalist images of violent ancient Persians (harems and all), which gets many basic facts wrong. In fact, it is shocking this intro made it to release as written and recorded.

Here are some of the problems:

1. The voice over narration says, “In 1950, the people of Iran elected Mohammad Mossadegh, the secular democrat, Prime Minister. He nationalized pitish and U.S. petroleum holdings, returning Iran’s oil to its people.”

Mossadegh was elected to the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) in 1944. He did not become Prime Minister until April 1951 and was not “elected by the people of Iran.” Rather, he was appointed to the position by the representatives of the Majlis.

Also, the United States did not have petroleum interests in Iran at the time.

2. After piefly describing the 1953 coup, the narrator says Britain and the United States “installed Reza Pahlavi as Shah.”

Wow. First, the Shah’s name was not Reza Pahlavi. That is his father’s (and son’s) name. Furthermore, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was not installed as Shah since had already been Shah of Iran since September 1941, after pitain and the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Iran and forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi.

During the coup in 1953, the Shah fled to Baghdad, then Rome. After Mossadegh had been forced out, the Shah returned to the Peacock Throne.

This is not difficult information to come by, and yet the screenwriter and director of Argo didn’t bother looking it up. And guess what? Ben Affleck actually majored in Middle East Studies in college. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t graduate.

The rest of the brief intro, while mentioning the torture of SAVAK, glosses over the causes of the revolution, but lingers on the violence that followed.  As it ends, the words “Based on a True Story” appear on the screen. The first live action moment we see in Argo is of an American flag being burned.

Such is Affleck’s insistence that Argo is “not a political movie.”

Still, as Kevin B. Lee wrote in Slate last month, “This opening may very well be the reason why critics have given the film credit for being insightful and progressive—because nothing that follows comes close, and the rest of the movie actually undoes what this opening achieves.”

 He continues, 

Instead of keeping its eye on the big picture of revolutionary Iran, the film settles into a retrograde “white Americans in peril” storyline. It recasts those oppressed Iranians as a raging, zombie-like horde, the same dark-faced demons from countless other movies— still a surefire dramatic device for instilling fear in an American audience. After the opening makes a big fuss about how Iranians were victimized for decades, the film marginalizes them from their own story, shunting them into the role of villains. Yet this irony is overshadowed by a larger one: The heroes of the film, the CIA, helped create this mess in the first place. And their triumph is executed through one more ruse at the expense of the ever-dupable Iranians to cap off three decades of deception and manipulation.

And brilliantly concludes,

Looking at the runaway success of this film, it seems as if critics and audiences alike lack the historical knowledge to recognize a self-serving perversion of an unflattering past, or the cultural acumen to see the utterly ersatz nature of the enterprise: A cast of stock characters and situations, and a series of increasingly contrived narrow escapes from third world mobs who, predictably, are never quite smart enough to catch up with the Americans. We can delight all we like in this cinematic recycling act, but the fact remains that we are no longer living in a world where we can get away with films like this—not if we want to be in a position to deal with a world that is rising to meet us. The movies we endorse need to rise to the occasion of reflecting a new global reality, using a newer set of storytelling tools than this reheated excuse for a historical geopolitical thriller.
This post originally appeared on Nima Shirazi’s website Wide Asleep in America on Saturday, Febuary 23, 2013 (i.e. the day before the Academy Awards)



Definition of ATROPHY …. (FROM)

Decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue; also : arrested development or loss of a part or organ incidental to the normal development or life of an animal or plant
Here are the manifestations of the above …. as seen on YouTube via FaceBook ….

 Israeli mob celebrates savage beating of Palestinian man, shouts racist slogans

Full report by Ali Abunimah can be read HERE regarding the above incident.


Instead of engaging in self examination of their wrongdoings, zionists have decided to concentrate on those opposed to it. Who is a better target for them than our very own Carlos Latuff?
Here is their latest round of attacks from a site called The Coordination Forum For Countering AntiSemitism. Apparently these groups have the time and resources to spread their evil on the Net rather than attempting to rectify their ways.
The more exposure Carlos’ works get, the louder our message becomes. Listing him on hate lists only strengthens our cause. For this we are grateful.

Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff utilizes “Judeophobic stereotypes” in his attacks on Israel

Carlos LatuffCarlos Latuff

Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff was listed by The Simon Wiesenthal Center as No. 3 in its 2012 Top Ten Antisemitic/Anti-Israel Slurs for “slandering Prime Minister of Israel [Binyamin] Netanyahu. The cartoon shows Netanyahu profiting politically by squeezing votes out of the body of a dead Arab child in Gaza (the attack was carried out within 2 months from the elections in Israel).

According to the Wiesenthal center, during the November 2012 conflict instigated by Hamas against the Jewish state, the Brazilian cartoonist slandered Israel and her Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for doing what every world leader would do against the onslaught of rocket attacks targeting innocent civilians.

Latuff responded mockingly to his inclusion in the list by the Simon Wiesenthal Center by tweeting his “Thanks to Rabbi Marvin Hier and @simonwiesenthal for the award for my toons on #Gaza slaughter.” Latuff attached a cartoon depicting himself being “awarded” a third-place medal by Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Wiesenthal Center.

In the cartoon (shown above) an aggravated Hier presents a beaming Latuff with a medal that says “3rd” as Latuff sits on a chair drawing an airplane indiscriminately bombing Gaza. Hanging above Hier’s right ear are two lightning bolts that Petra Marquardt-Bigman, a historian and blogger for The Jerusalem Post, noted are the symbol of the SS – an elite Nazi unit.

Latuff won second prize in the International Holocaust Cartoon Competition hosted in Iran in 2006 under the auspices of the Iranian regime. Submissions mocked the Holocaust, inverted it, or denied it happened.

Latuff’s award-winning cartoon (see above) shows a man against the backdrop of the Israeli security fence but given the appearance of a Nazi concentration camp. Instead of wearing the Nazi required Star of David for Jews, he is wearing a red patch the shape of an Islamic crescent. Latuff’s entry was described as “Holocaust inversion,” a “motif” of antisemitism, by Manfred Gerstenfeld.

Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian freelance political cartoonist with an impressively large portfolio of work – much of which openly express antisemitic themes. Although Latuff claims to be only anti-Zionist, his cartoons have drawn criticism and allegations of uninhibited utilization of “judeophobic stereotypes.”

Latuff is of Lebanese Christian ancestry; in his own words he said he has “Arab roots.” He claims this Arab background had no relevance to his work and clearly it is his Leftist beliefs that influence his work but many of the antisemitic themes in his work appear to come from the Arab world. Since 1990 he has worked for a Leftist trade union (workers) press, Vapt-Vupt, the journal of the Workers’ Syndicate of the Federal Fluminense University (in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro).

In his antisemitism he joins other Arab Christians in their attacks on Israel such as Mark Glenn of Lebanese Christian descent who created an antisemitic website “the Ugly Truth,” and Mauricio Abu-Ghosh Parham and Daniel J. Jadue of Palestinian Christian descent who are predominant in much of the anti-Israel activity in Chile.

Latuff’s works have been posted mostly by himself on Indymedia websites and private blogs. However, some of them have been picked up and featured in magazines such as the Brazilian edition of Mad, Le Monde Diplomatique, and the The Toronto Star. In addition, a few of his works were published on Arab websites and publications.

Joel Kotek a professor at Belgium’s Free University of Brussels, in his book Cartoons and Extremism: Israel and the Jews in Arab and Western Media (Vallentine Mitchell, 2009) calls Latuff “the contemporary Drumont of the internet.” (Edouard Drumont was the founder of the French Antisemitic League of France and the publisher of La Libre Parole, a magazine that printed numerous classically antisemitic cartoons during the years of the Dreyfus Affair). Latuff is one of the more prolific anti-Semitic cartoonists on the web, with a staggering amount of work dedicated to advancing explicitly antisemitic political imagery.

Themes of Latuff’s cartoons



Zoomorphism describes the attribution of animal forms or symbols to characterize a human being. In a classical antisemitic stereotype, Jews are drawn with horrific physical characteristics. According to Dr. Joel Kotek: “To abuse one’s adversaries, one dehumanizes them by turning them into animals. In Nazi and Soviet caricatures, the Jew is often depicted as a spider or an octopus, perceived as an evil animal.”

Jews, or Israel, may be pictured as savage beasts and its leaders as demons, devils, and vampires. Jews are all drawn with large noses and small eyes. In many cartoons, Israelis are shown with yarmulkes (Kipot), despite the majority not wearing a yarmulke.

Latuff makes frequent use of the Jews as beast theme.

In the above cartoon, Latuff makes fun of the Israeli charge that its citizens have been targeted by rockets fired from Gaza. Yes, rockets are fired from Gaza but they are without explosives – of course, this is not so – while the Israeli reaction is overproportionate. Israelis, however, are shown as being religious though the targeted areas in Israel were primarily non-religious communities, which also had many children not shown in the cartoon.


The bestiality of Israeli leaders reached a high point in Latuff’s drawings of Ariel Sharon, previously Prime Minister of Israel from February 2001 to January 2006. The top two cartoons show Sharon as a devil and as a monster. The bottom two cartoons show Sharon as a pig and as anti-Christ. The bottom two cartoons also show the USA showering money on the war criminal Sharon.

In their 2003 Annual Report, the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism noted that Latuff’s “portrayal of [former] Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is reminiscent of the anti-Semitic caricatures…in Julius Streicher’s [Nazi publication] Der Sturmer.”


The cartoon above represented a commentary on the May 30, 2010 flotilla of six ships incident off the coast of Gaza. It combines both the cartoonist’s frequent claim that Israel has become a Nazi-like state (Note the Jewish Magen David on the Israeli flag is morphed into a swastika) and imagery portraying the Jewish state as a beast, with its tentacles wrapped around the flotilla – which is emblazoned with the word freedom.

Next to the flotilla cartoon, for comparison, is a Nazi antisemitic cartoon from about 1938 in which an octopus with a Star of David over its head encompasses the world with its tentacles.

In the cartoon above drawn a week after Latuff drew Israel as an octopus, he now makes Israel into a shark. The cartoon was based on the interception by Israeli Defence Forces of the1,200 cargo ship Rachel Corrie on June 5, 2010. The ship was purchased by the Free Gaza Movement in Ireland and attempted to break the Gaza blockade. The vessel was brought to Ashdod harbor with none of its passengers harmed.

Associations between Israelis/Jews and Oppressors in other societies

In Latuff’s “We are all Palestinians” cartoon series, various well-known oppressed groups in history and elsewhere in the world now are shown stating “I am Palestinian.” If you are a victim of oppression anywhere, then you are Palestinian as well.




The cartoons include African-Americans after U.S. Civil War, Tibetans under Chinese rule, South-African black people in apartheid days, South-Vietnamese civilians during Vietnam War, Native Americans facing U.S. Cavalry, and Natives from Chiapas facing Mexican troops.

Association of Israel with South African apartheid

Latuff makes use of the evil history of South African apartheid to claim that Israel is resorting to the same method. Apartheid (“the status of being apart”) was a system of racial segregation enforced through legislation by the National Party governments, who were the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, of South Africa, under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained.

Apartheid compelled Black South Africans to live in separate places defined by race, prohibited marriage and sexual relations between persons of different races, provided for segregation of municipal grounds creating, among other things, separate beaches, buses, hospitals, schools and universities.

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is clearly not an apartheid situation. Israeli Arabs are not segregated and have full civil rights. Those Arabs who live in the areas of the Palestinian Authority have established their own State institutions.

These two cartoons above show how Latuff links Israel to South African apartheid.

In the cartoon above, the State of Israel is shown as a park bench that is only for Jews. This, however, is not in any way accurate since 21% of the country’s population is made up of Israeli Arabs and they include 12 members of the Israel parliament and a Supreme Court Justice. Israeli Arabs are also employed in significant proportions as medical staff in every major Israeli hospital, some serve as soldiers in the Israeli army, and they are well represented as members of the Legal and Judicial professions. There are no segregated parks or other public facilities.

Holocaust inversion

The last cartoon drawn in 2002 for the series “We are all Palestinians” shows a scene from the Nazi-era Warsaw Ghetto, where a Jewish boy says “I am Palestinian.” The figure of the devastated Jewish child is transformed into a different one. Now the Palestinians are the ghetto-child whose fate is in the hands of oppressors who clearly intend his extinction.

The cartoon abuses, polemically, sensationally and luridly, the suffering of the Jewish people in the holocaust to cast the Jews as the evil incarnated in the Middle East. The ghetto wardens of today are not the Nazis anymore, but the Israelis.

For the purpose of holocaust reversal, all means seem justifiable to defame the Jews. The “Jews” are the “Germans” of the Middle East, the murderous invaders who attack as well – and foremost – children. Their only goal is the total extermination of the Palestinian people.

This puts an end to any possible dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis. No communication is possible between the mutely murderous black wall and the helpless child. The only solution is a demolition of the wall and as the wall stands for Israel = Jewry, when all is said and done, the cartoon stands for the extermination of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.


Latuff repeats the Warsaw ghetto image in 2008 from the infamous photograph of the little boy who is threatened by an SS-man armed with a gun. Hardly any other picture from any ghetto has the same symbolic and emotional impact. This time he makes the cartoon into a closer representation of the original holocaust picture with Israeli soldiers replacing the Nazis and one soldier with a look of pleasure as he terrorizes a Palestinian child.

Latuff again uses the Holocaust as a backdrop for his attack on Jews for this cartoon published on Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2009. He shows a Jew embedded on the wire of a concentration camp with a Palestinian next to him. He makes fun of the slogan that Jews use after the holocaust that they would “never again” allow a holocaust to occur by putting “over again!” below the Palestinian.

In 2010, Latuff again draws a cartoon based on the holocaust by making the Palestinians into the Jews of today. The cartoon shows Palestinians being deported into the Gaza ghetto.

The Blood Libel and Infanticide


Latuff makes frequent use of the blood libel antisemitic theme and particularly involving infanticide. The blood-libel motif originated in the twelfth century in Christian England. It alleges that the Jews have a non-existent Jewish religious law that commands them to kill non-Jews. In today’s Arab world this staple image of unbridled hatred has mutated into the alleged quest for Palestinian blood. The blood libel sees Jews not only as murderers, but murderers who prefer to target children.

In the Latuff cartoon above we see the bloody Jews ready to cut off Palestinian heads. The blood libel also has Jews eating body parts.

The Latuff cartoon at the beginning of this article showed Netanyahu squeezing dead Palestinian babies for ballots. This was not the first time he used this theme as in 2009 he drew a similar cartoon but with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cradling a dead Palestinian baby. Latuff suggests Israeli leaders kill Palestinian children because it is popular among the Israeli public and helps Israeli politicians get elected.

The Latuff cartoon above was posted under the title “Gaza Holocaust Has Begun.” While the theme of the cartoon is child murder, the title corresponds to the Israel-as-Nazi theme.

Latuff’s cartoon entitled “Baby Killer Zombies” manages to make the Jews into both baby killers but also into the beastly zombies. Their helmet is inscribed with “born to kill” so as to let us know that Jews are genetically killers. And we have the count of babies killed on the rifle illustrated by infant pacifiers implying that the killing of infants is the objective of the Israeli soldier.

Continuing the infanticide theme, Latuff in this 2012 cartoon shows Israel killing infants in Gaza and Prime Minister Netanyahu stamping terrorist on the bodies in order to justify their killing as being actually a war against terror.

Israel as a Nazi State


Latuff has drawn a large number of images comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. He shares this emblematic set-up of the Israelis = Nazis symbol with many within the Arab world who have used this topos since the foundation of Israel in 1948. It is published regularly in Arab newspapers.

Adam Levick, managing editor of CiF Watch, a blog that combats antisemitism, describes Latuff’s Nazi State cartoons as advancing “the narrative that Israel is a unique and immutable evil in the world. His work includes imagery clearly indicating moral equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany, which he has explicitly acknowledged to be his view.”

‘Just following orders’ shows Nazi SS members compared to Israeli soldiers described as “born to kill.” Text in the shape of a Nazi swastika says: “Israeli soldiers are just following orders”

The above is a Latuff cartoon comparing the war in Gaza with the genocide of Jews by the Nazis. After what he calls Israeli collective punishment in Gaza, he claims that the next logical step for the Jews is to build gas chambers to exterminate the Palestinians.

In another Latuff cartoon, he makes sure there is no doubt that the Jewish state has morphed into the new Nazi Germany by showing the tracks of the Israeli tank shaped like swastikas. The Israelis are outfitted in Nazi uniforms.

Again we see Israeli soldiers dressed in Nazi uniforms using flame throwers against mosques and with the USA preventing the UN from taking any action against the killings.

Dual Loyalty and conspiratorial notions of Jewish control


Latuff makes use of the antisemitic theme that Jews have secret control of world leaders through their desire for world domination. Jews are said to already control banks, the stock exchange, politicians, and the media

Latuff in the cartoon above claims that the powerful Israel lobby has the power to silence or to discredit anyone criticizing Israel.

In this cartoon, Jewish control over the American government leads to a shift in the blame for Israeli “war crimes” on the presumably innocent [terrorist group] Hamas.

In the cartoon above, Israel is shown controlling Greece. On Friday July 1, 2011, the Greek government announced that it was prohibiting the departure from Greek ports of any ships, Greek or foreign, for Gaza. In the cartoon, Prime-Minister Netanyahu of Israel is shown throwing dog biscuits to reward Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou who was in office from October 6, 2009 to November 11, 2011, for this decision. Greece is presumably succumbing to Israel and its wealthy powerful lobbies.



A campaign is being waged by Latuff against any action that might be taken against the nuclearization of [peace loving] Iran. He sees such military action as being driven by Jewish power to influence US policy by shaping the debate on this issue.

In the cartoon above it is Jewish influence represented by the lobby group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) that has built a wall with an Israel flag to prevent those from being heard by the US Congress who object to the bombing of Iran.


In the two cartoons above, Latuff is showing Israel’s control over the USA as leading to an attack on Iran.


In the two cartoons above Latuff shows Jewish influence on not just the USA but the entire Western bloc of countries. It is Israel that is planning a nuclear attack on [peaceful] Iran and using the questionable assertion (as Latuff apparently sees it) that the Nazis killed six million Jews as justification to remove the threat to the Jewish State.

Mother Palestine


Another favorite theme of Latuff is mother Palestine. Mother Palestine is an elderly but defiant grandmotherly woman. She is a sympathetic figure for the Palestinians in contrast to the Israeli Nazis. She is not particularly loveable but defiantly faces down the Nazi Israelis and the lies of their leaders.

In the cartoon above, Mother Palestine takes on the image of a holocaust survivor with a concentration camp number tattooed onto her arm. But the tattoo number is 1948 with blood coming out of it to symbolize the catastrophe (Nakba) that the Palestinians supposedly suffered with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Here Mother Palestine sits skeptically to hear the proposal of Prime-Minister Netanyahu to have two states for two peoples. And of course in the picture we also have cheering both President Obama and a religious settler with his automatic rifle.

h President Obama and a religious settler with his automatic rifle.


These two cartoons show a militant Mother Palestine who attacks Israeli army vehicles and tramples Israeli tanks. The second cartoon was for the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe) on May 15, 2011.

In this cartoon from 2012, Latuff shows Mother Palestine spanking ‘President’ of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas. He is charged with garnering the support of the United Nations but not from the people of his own nation. In particular, this is an attack on Abbas saying that he personally will not take advantage of the Right of Return of displaced Palestinians. The key in the hand of Mother Palestine is the symbol of the Palestinian demand to reoccupy the present State of Israel.


Yesterday, synagogues throughout the world commemorated Shabbat Zachor (Sabbath of Remembrance). On that day the first known enemy of the Hebrews, Amalek, is remembered. On that day as well the combined Hate Lists of the ADL and the Wiesenthal Centre are dug out to confirm that Amalek still lives today.
Yes, Amalek still lives. There is no doubt in my mind about that, BUT NOT ON THOSE LISTS. Amalek lives right here in Israel. He is remembered every day of the year by Palestinians, but especially today, the 19th anniversary of the massacre in Hebron by a crazed American zionist.
thumb hebron
He is remembered every day that a Palestinian child is lowered into the grave, yet another victim of Israeli terrorism.
He is remembered when a family in Gaza visits the graves of loved ones killed by Israeli soldiers.

gaza graves

How quickly zionism forgets the war crimes committed daily against the Palestinians. How quickly the Western World forgets them as well, mostly due to media blackouts in the zionist controlled press in those countries.
The fate of those who resist the above atrocities is also remembered …
Yes, we remember those crimes every day of the year. And yes, we will never forget them or forgive those that committed them.


 Since The Electronic Intifada revealed the shocking Instagram photos posted by Israeli soldiers Mor Ostrovski and Osher Maman, even more disturbing images have come to light. Some of the ones below were found by Israeli blogger “Zeatu” and others by The Electronic Intifada.

“Oops…one less Arab”: Even more disturbing Instagram images from the Israeli army

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

Two Palestinians seen in the crosshairs of a gun sight. Posted by Israeli army Kfir Brigade member Eliya Hatan on 4 November 2012 (Source).

Since The Electronic Intifada revealed the shocking Instagram photos posted by Israeli soldiers Mor Ostrovski and Osher Maman, even more disturbing images have come to light. Some of the ones below were found by Israeli blogger “Zeatu” and others by The Electronic Intifada.

Images from “ybaruch”

Instagram user “ybaruch” describes himself as “Retired Operations Sergeant at the Israeli army, now just a student” and gives his age as 21. He says that all the 144 images images posted to his account are his. Many of the images in his account indicate that “ybaruch” took part in frequent night raids and armed attacks on Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.

A Palestinian man blindfolded and bound can be seen during a night raid in a photo posted by “ybaruch” on 10 July 2012. Location unknown (Source).

Although it is impossible to know the location of the incident in the photo above, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights records that during the week of 5-11 July 2012, Israeli occupation forces carried out “at least 63 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, [Israeli occupation forces] arrested 26 Palestinians, including 7 children.” The blindfolded and bound man in the image may have been one of those captured.

An Israeli soldier plays a “card game” with confiscated Palestinian identity cards in the occupied West Bank. Posted by “ybaruch” 18 October 2012 (Source).

This image is particularly disturbing. Palestinians face long delays at the hundreds of Israeli military checkpoints throughout the occupied West Bank, often held, humiliated or turned back by teenage Israeli soldiers. Playing a “card game” with Palestinian ID’s shows the power Israeli soldiers exercise over Palestinians and the contempt in which the soldiers hold those over whom they rule.

Instagram image posted by “ybaruch” on 15 June 2012 is tagged with the location Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank. The caption says “This is how we break into a house.” (Source)

This image shows occupation soldiers prying open the door of a house in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarm. Israeli occupation forces carry out hundreds of night raids every year, seizing Palestinians from their beds.

The caption reads “Oops … one less Arab. Let’s see if he’ll try to escape from us again.” Posted by “ybaruch” on 17 May 2012. Location unknown. (Source)

The t-shirt says “My first bullet, his last breath.” Posted by “ybaruch” (Source).

Self-portrait? Posted by “ybaruch” (Source).

Images from Eliya Hatan

Israeli soldier and Instagram user Eliya Hatan gives his age as 19, and according to his Facebook page he is a member of the Kfir Brigade. The image at the top of this post comes from Eliya Hatan’s account. It shows two Palestinian men, perhaps laborers, seen through a gunsight and recalls the notorious photo of the child in the sniper’s gunsightposted by Mor Ostrovski.

A Star of David formed out of bullets. Posted by Israeli soldier Eliya Hatan (Source).

Israeli occupation soldier Eliya Hatan (Source).

Images from “dk_1988_”

Instagram user “dk_1988_” gives his age as 24. Several of the 105 images posted to his account indicate that he is a member of the Israeli “Border Guard” a paramilitary unit responsible for regular violence against Palestinian civilians under occupation.

Palestinian men with their hands up. Posted 12 October 2012 by Israeli border guard “dk_1988_” (Source). 

Member of the Israeli “border guard” and apparent owner of Instagram account “dk_1988_” (Source).

Images from Ofir Binder

A finger makes an obscene gesture toward a Palestinian flag with the words “Hamas Patrol” written on it in Hebrew and a Fatah flag. Posted by Ofir Binder on 4 August 2012 (Source).

A man holds a flame to the corner of a Fatah flag in an image posted by Ofir Binder on 2 August 2012 (Source).

An image posted by Ofir Binder on 29 September 2012 shows a sleeping Israeli army comrade through a gunsight. The tags reveal fantasies of violence (Source).

Israeli occupation soldier and Instagram user Ofir Binder

Written FOR


Where is this outrage when Israeli soldiers drop bombs on Palestinian babies, use Palestinian civilians as human shields and massacre entire families?

Why has an Israeli Soldier’s Instagram Photo Sparked More Outrage than Israeli War Crimes?

by Rania Khalek

The Instagram photo posted by an Israeli soldier showing what appears to be a Palestinian child in the crosshairs of his rifle has sparked outrage, as it should. Ali Abunimah was the first to report on this at the Electronic Intifada and it has since gone viral with major news outletspicking up the story.


Instagram photo posted by 20-year-old Israeli sniper, Mor Ostrovski. (Source: Electronic Intifada)


This photo is not only disgusting but it’s also symbolic of the callousness with which Israel views Palestinian lives. Still, I find it unsettling that this picture has elicited far more outrage than the routine killing of unarmed Palestinian civilians ever has.

Where was this outrage last month when Israeli soldiers shot dead four unarmed Palestinians, among them children, inunder a week?

Where is this outrage when Israeli soldiers drop bombs on Palestinian babies, use Palestinian civilians as human shields and massacre entire families?

This picture is not, as some would like to believe, the product of one bad apple among many good soldiers. It’s the product of decades of dehumanization that is inherent in military occupation. Just ask Breaking the Silence, a group of former Israeli soldiers committed to shedding light of the routine abuse of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers. “This is what occupation looks like. This is what military control over a civilian population looks like,” wrote one member of the organization in a Facebook comment about the Instagram photo.

Yes, this photo should certainly spark outrage but so should the war crimes that precipitated it. In fact, I would argue that anyone surprised by the photo is absolutely clueless about what occupation and dominance over another people means.

I recall a similar uproar in response to American soldiers keeping body parts of Afghans they murdered as trophies. The same type of controversy erupted when a video surfaced showing US soldiers urinating on Afghan corpses. Meanwhile, just last week a NATO airstrike killed 10 Afghan civilians, including five women and four children, and barely anyone noticed.

As David Swanson observed on Twitter, “It’s not the murder we’re supposed to oppose but the photography, urination, mutilation, and inappropriate flag use.”


Written FOR


Jim Crow in Palestine: parallels between US and Israeli racism

Curtis Bell *

There are no shortage of parallels between oppression of blacks in the Jim Crow South and Israel’s present-day oppression of Palestinians.

 (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama does a good job of showing what blacks endured before the civil rights victories of the 1960s. I visited there last fall and was especially struck by one particular image — a 1926 map of the small and isolated patches of Birmingham where city zoning regulations allowed blacks to live.

What struck me was the similarity of this map to maps of the isolated patches of the West Bank including East Jerusalem where Palestinians are allowed to live. The map then made me think about other similarities between the oppression of blacks in the Jim Crow South and Israel’s present-day oppression of Palestinians.

The methods for keeping blacks within their enclaves in Birmingham were more direct and brutal than the redlining agreements among banks and realtors that maintained a de factosegregation in the North. Municipal zoning laws in Birmingham prevented sales to blacks outside designated areas, and if a black person somehow acquired a house outside the designated area, even if just across the street, the house would be blown up.

Similarly, the Israeli legal system keeps Palestinians within restricted areas of East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank. Palestinians living outside those areas have been evicted and their homes destroyed or occupied by Jewish settlers. Eighteen thousand Palestinian homes have been destroyed by Israel since 1967, according to theIsraeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

The black areas and white areas of Birmingham were very different physically. The black areas often lacked municipal amenities or services such as street lighting, paved streets, sidewalks, garbage collection and sewers that the white areas had. Similarly, the Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem often lack these same basic facilities and services, and the differences between Palestinian areas and those reserved for Israeli settlers are clear to all.

Arbitrary arrests

Suppression of the human rights of blacks in the South was maintained by both “legal” and extralegal means. State and municipal Jim Crow laws restricted residence, use of public facilities, use of public transport, interracial marriage and other aspects of life in the South. White courts and police forces enforced these laws and the whole system of segregation. Arbitrary arrests under vagrancy laws yielded large numbers of black prisoners (who were often forced to do hard labor). Nonviolent civil rights marches and protests were met with police and state National Guard violence.

Similarly, Israeli control over the lives of Palestinians is maintained by a system of laws, courts, police and Israeli military that discriminates against Palestinians. Laws restrict where Palestinians can live, where they can travel, what roads they can travel on, and whether they can live with their spouse in another part of the country. Permits to travel from the West Bank to East Jerusalem for work are tightly controlled and dependent on “good” behavior.

Administrative detentions” have led to the indefinite incarceration of thousands of Palestinians without trials. The Israeli military meets unarmed protests against theseparation wall and the taking of Palestinian land with violence.

Black compliance with the system of segregation in the South was ensured by extralegal as well as legal means, including economic threats, harassment of various sorts, and extreme violence. More than 5,000 lynchings were recorded between 1882 and 1959, and many beatings and killings went unrecorded. Violence against blacks increased as the civil rights movement grew in strength during the 1950s and 1960s. In one year alone 30 black homes and churches were bombed in Birmingham. The white-controlled legal system only rarely prosecuted white-on-black violence.

Daily violence

Similarly, harassment and violence against Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank including East Jerusalem occurs almost every day. The settlers try to force Palestinians off their land or to leave the region entirely. The settlers threaten or attack children on their way to school and shepherds in the fields. Palestinian land, wells and olive groves are occupied. The Israeli military protects the settlers, and the Israeli legal system only rarely prosecutes settler harassment or violence.

Blacks in the Jim Crow South had no control over the governments that oppressed them and denied them their share of common resources. The 15th Amendment of 1870 gave blacks the right to vote, but that right was progressively taken away in Southern states following the failure of reconstruction. Discriminatory registration procedures were introduced and were enforced by violence. As late as the 1960s, many counties in the South, even those with black majorities, had no registered black voters. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally changed that.

Similarly, the four million or so Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have no say in the government that in fact controls them. They cannot vote in the Israeli elections.

Palestinians did vote for a virtually powerless Palestinian government in 2006 in which a majority of seats in the parliament went to Hamas, a political party. The Hamas legislators were immediately arrested and jailed by Israel. Many were kept in prison for more than five years and the elected parliament has never been able to meet. Even if the parliament could meet, it would have only limited control over limited enclaves of the West Bank. Israel controls the water, electricity, borders, airspace, exports and imports of the enclaves, and the Israeli military enters the enclaves and arrests Palestinians at will.

Nonviolent methods such as marches, boycotts and direct actions are a critical tool for the success of any human rights movement, such as the American civil rights movement, that confronts a power structure with a monopoly on physical force. The civil rights movement in the United States maintained the practice of nonviolence to a heroic degree over many years, even in the face of violent repression from the Southern white power structure. Participants aroused the conscience of the rest of the nation and the world.

Tactics of resistance

Similar methods are now of central importance for the Palestinian rights movement. Protest marches against the separation wall, “Freedom Rides” on Israeli-only public transit, and “camp-ins” on land illegally expropriated for Israeli settlements are becoming common now in Palestine. Internationally, boycotts of all sorts and divestment from companies that maintain and profit from the occupation of Palestinian land are taking hold.

The blacks in the American civil rights movement made their appeal to the federal government for redress of wrongs committed at the lower levels of state and local governments. The federal government was already formally committed to the rights of blacks through the 14th and 15th amendments as well as various Supreme Court decisions. They also had authority and power over local governments.

The aroused conscience of the nation and of the world finally forced the United States federal government to act. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson could not continue to present the United States to the world as the land of freedom and democracy when its own citizens were being beaten for asserting their freedom and their right to vote.

Here too there are parallels between the civil rights movement in the American South and today’s movement for Palestinian rights. Israel cannot indefinitely present itself as a law-abiding, humane and democratic state when it denies the human rights of the four million or so Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

The federal government of the United States shares responsibility for the continuing denial of Palestinian human rights, just as for many decades it shared responsibility for the denial of human rights to blacks in the Jim Crow South by not enforcing federal law. Now, and for many decades, United States diplomatic support has allowed Israel to violate international law with impunity.

The United States has blocked United Nations sanctions against Israel for such violations of international law as the occupation of Palestinian land, the colonization of the West Bank by placing settlers on that land, and the annexation of East Jerusalem, the historic home of Christian and Muslim Palestinians.

America breaks own law

In addition, the United States federal government provides about $3 billion in military aid to Israel every year, and may be violating its own laws in doing so, as pointed out by a recent letter to Congress from 15 leaders of major American Christian churches (“Religious leaders ask Congress to condition military aid to Israel on human rights compliance,” Presbyterian Church USA, 5 October 2012).

The letter urged an “investigation into possible violations by Israel of the US Foreign Assistance Act and the US Arms Export Control Act, which respectively prohibit assistance to any country which engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations and limit the use of US weapons to ‘internal security’ or ‘legitimate self-defense.’” The letter cited evidence for human rights violations on the part of Israel and for Israel’s use of US arms against Palestinian civilians.

The tactics for resisting segregation brought significant changes for blacks in the South. Hopefully, with commitment and perseverance, similar methods may someday accomplish the same for Palestinians.

*Curtis Bell is a peace activist in Portland, Oregon. He is a member of the board of Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, an organization that works for Palestinian rights within the Unitarian Universalist denomination.

Written FOR


More outrage for smoking joints in uniform than for killing a Palestinian …
The current outrage has to do with a Golani Brigade soldier who posted pictures of himself on Instagram, smoking what he says are joints, while in uniform. The soldier uploaded a second photograph of a bound Palestinian prisoner, and also boasted on Twitter of having killed a Palestinian.

Drugs, guns, and bound Palestinians: An Israeli soldier’s photo album

Days after a Golani Brigade soldier posted a photograph of a Palestinian boy in the crosshairs of his rifle, a new scandal emerges surrounding an Israeli soldier’s online photos.

By Oded Yaron
Golani soldier
Golani Brigade soldier apparently smoking a joint with his weapon. Photo by Screenshot

Israel Defense Forces soldiers’ social-media activity is once again creating a storm on the Internet, just days after a soldier who posted a photograph of a Palestinian boy in the crosshairs of his sniper’s rifle drew harsh criticism.

The current outrage has to do with a Golani Brigade soldier who posted pictures of himself on Instagram, smoking what he says are joints, while in uniform. The soldier uploaded a second photograph of a bound Palestinian prisoner, and also boasted on Twitter of having killed a Palestinian.

Electronic Intifada first reported on the soldier’s photographs and apparently spent time rummaging through the photos he posted online. The site posted a number of his pictures, including one of him half-naked and holding a weapon. The soldier has since blocked his accounts on Instagram and Facebook.

Among the other photos included in Electronic Intifada’s report were two with English captions reading “Keep calm and kill people in your mind” and “Keep calm and take over Gaza.” Another picture shows a map of the Gaza Strip with the caption “Soon to be a giant theme park!!”

The report also included the soldier’s response to an Arab user’s comment on Facebook, in which he wrote, “For all I care you can comment all my pictures, you’re just a f–king Arab pile of s–t, you even smell like it….”

The IDF Spokesperson responded: “This is a grave incident, which does not represent the IDF. Our investigation of the incident is ongoing and disciplinary action will be taken in its wake. The IDF will continue to act to prevent incidents of this sort, which are not in line with the IDF’s values.”

This incident was reported after Electronic Intifada and other news sites around the world last weekend posted an Instagram photo of what appears to be a Palestinian boy in the crosshairs of a sniper’s rifle.

“This is what occupation looks like,” representatives of Breaking the Silence, a group of IDF combat veterans who aim to raise public awareness of what happens in the territories, said on the group’s Facebook page. “This is what military control over a civilian population looks like.”

More photos from the Golani soldier's account.
More photos from the Golani soldier’s account.Screenshot found at Source below


The advocacy group said the image shows that not much has changed in the decade since a similar photograph taken by a soldier was displayed in the organization’s first public exhibit in 2003.

“There, too, an Israeli soldier aimed a weapon at a boy and took a picture with his camera as a memento, a gesture of an endless feeling of power that is connected to control over another people,” read the Breaking the Silence Facebook page. “Ten years have passed. The devices and the applications have changed; the ways in which pictures are shared has changed. The feeling of excessive power and the clear contempt for human life and human dignity have remained.”

The soldier, whose actions “are not in accordance with the spirit of the IDF or its values,” according to the army, has since deleted his Instagram account.




During the first four years of the first intifada 75 Palestinians were killed by Israeli undercover agents or civilian disguised soldiers. Of 29 cases in 1991 none of the victims had been engaged in combat, eleven were taking part in non-violent demonstrations at the time of the shooting whilst 14 were carrying out normal daily activities.  
Profiling Israel‘s undercover Mistaarvim unit

By Jessica Purkiss 

Israeli undercover agents arresting a Palestinian boy suspected of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers during a protest in the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo by Lazar Simeonov.

At the beginning of the year 2013, the operation of undercover Israeli agents within the West Bank came to light once again. On January 1, soldiers dressed as vegetable vendors arrested Murad Bani Odeh, a member of the Islamic Jihad political party in the West Bank village of Tamoun, south of Jenin.

Ynet news reported that Muhammad Basharat, the local village council head said that the soldiers entered the village in a van bearing a Palestinian license plate, adding that the men inside it did not arouse anyone’s suspicion. Israeli media reported that the soldiers were part of Israel’s Mistaarvim, or ‘Arabized’ elite undercover unit.

Little is known about the internal operations of the Israeli undercover units.  The group ‘Mistaarvim’ in Hebrew or “Musta’rabeen” in Arabic is an undercover unit whose members serve in various sections of the Israeli army. Translated from Hebrew it literally means ‘Arab pretenders.’

The Mistaarvim are an elite branch of a supposed ‘counter-terrorism’ unit who impersonate Palestinians and infiltrate West Bank communities in an attempt to find information that may be of interest to the Israeli government. Members are indistinguishable amongst Palestinian communities, as they dress the same way Palestinians do, speak Arabic in the local dialect, and drive cars with Palestinian licensed number plates. According to a study by the Palestinian Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC), disguises include stage props such as crutches and fake babies, with members undergoing extensive training on cultural habits to help them blend in successfully.

Information on the Mistaarvim unit is heavily guarded. In 1988 three journalists had their press cards removed from them after writing pieces on the existence of undercover squads operating in the West Bank. The military censor office filed a police complaint against Paul Taylor, chief correspondent for Reuters, Andrew Whitley of the Financial Times.and Steve Weizman, a Reuters reporter.

According to Saleh Abdel Jawad, a professor at the Department of History and Political Science, the Mistaarvim consists of four selective units, two of which belong to the Israeli army; the Duvdevan (Hebrew for cherry) which work in the West Bank, and the second Shamshon (Samson) in the Gaza Strip. The third unit belongs to the border police and the fourth operates strictly in the Jerusalem area belonging to the Israeli police.

During demonstrations supposedly Palestinian protestors have turned out to be part of the undercover unit. In May 2011, on Nakba Day, Palestinians took part in a march to the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, West Bank. At some point during confrontations with Israeli soldiers, members of the Mistaarvim unit who were disguised as Palestinian protestors produced handguns and made several arrests. During a demonstration in 2010 in the Palestinian town of Umm al-Fahm in the 1948 territories, an officer from the Mistaarvim unit was wounded by a stun grenade fired by an Israeli policeman whilst impersonating a Palestinian demonstrator.

Extra-judicial assassinations

Aside from arresting Palestinians, the undercover units have been known to carry out extra-judicial assassinations. Haaretz noted that undercover units such as Mistaarvim had been dubbed as a “hit unit” by media. This term was rejected by the unit’s former soldiers and commanding officers. 

However, Shimon Somech, a commander of the Mistaarvim from 1942-1946admitted that assassination was part of the unit’s activities. 

“In essence we did not engage in eliminating people. Maybe there were isolated instances where members of the unit were asked to eliminate someone,” he said.

For example in 2008 soldiers disguised as Palestinians executed four Palestinians in Bethlehem, West Bank. 

“These men were fighters, but they were not in a combat situation at the time. They were sitting in a car, waiting for their dinner. The Israeli special forces drove up, disguised as Palestinian civilians, and opened fire without warning,” said Jared Malsin, a journalist from Ma’an news agency who had met with the men hours before their killing. 

“It was the moral equivalent of a team of Palestinians, disguised as Israelis, driving an Israeli car into Tel Aviv and gunning down four off-duty Israeli soldiers,” he said.

The official ‘mission’ of the unit to capture wanted Palestinians was altered after the outbreak of the second intifada. The changes gave the army “a broader license to liquidate Palestinian terrorists” and allowed the army “to act against known terrorists even if they are not on the verge of committing a major attack,” a policy reportedly sanctioned by then Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein according to an Haaretz article.  Subsequently this translated to the extra-judicial killing of many Palestinians involved in resistance activities.

The unit has conducted numerous extra-judicial assassinations; among them was the infamous annihilation of the preeminent Black Panthers (Fahad al Aswad) group during the first Intifada. Undercover agents dressed up as peasant women entered the Yasmineh quarter of the Old City in Nablus, where they executed the leaders of the group, a paramilitary wing of Fatah.  

PHRIC first recorded the ambush and killing of targeted Palestinians by undercover units in Gaza in 1986 and 1987, where Islamic Jihad activists were killed. This method was supposedly secretly adopted as a policy in the first months of the first Intifada, under the authority of the then Minister of Defence Yitzhak Rabin.

 During the first four years of the first intifada 75 Palestinians were killed by Israeli undercover agents or civilian disguised soldiers. Of 29 cases in 1991 none of the victims had been engaged in combat, eleven were taking part in non-violent demonstrations at the time of the shooting whilst 14 were carrying out normal daily activities. 

Whilst such methods had been in practice long ago in the West Bank and Gaza, it wasn’t until 2009 that Israel publically admitted the use of ‘Mistaarvim’ inside Israel, or the ’48 territories itself. It was the first public admission that the Israeli police were using such units and had been for two years in their own country. It caused outrage demonstrating a dangerous practice of racial profiling where the Arab communities of Israel were targeted because of their ethnicity.  

However Haaretz newspaper revealed in 1998 that the Israeli secret police, the Shin Bet, had operated a number of Mistaarvim inside Israel shortly after the state was created, placing them within Palestinian communities. The unit was disbanded in 1959 after several members of the unit married local Arab women in order to maintain their cover. 

How their existence violates International law and Israeli law

The killing of the four Islamic Jihad members in 2008 is considered to be an act of extrajudicial assassination, illegal under Article Three of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Customary international law prohibits political or extra-judicial killings by governments; no circumstances can be invoked to justify arbitrary restrictions on the right to life. Executing someone without a trial violates the principles of due process. In the 29 cases observed by PHRIC no warning was given nor was any effort to apprehend the victim before shooting.

Referring to Israel’s Law of War Booklet (1986), the Report on the Practice of Israel states: “As a basic policy, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] prohibits the resort to perfidy to kill, injure or capture an adversary.” Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states that it is forbidden to “adopt the disguise of a non-combatant civilian. Where no clear picture emerges from the battle front as to who is a civilian and who is a disguised combatant, civilians are liable to get hurt.” The Manual on the Laws of War gave the following example of perfidy: “it is forbidden to single out a specific person on the adversary’s side and request his death (whether by dispatching an assassin or by offering an award for his liquidation.”  Injuring or killing a person while breaching the prohibition on perfidy is also war crime under international criminal law. Clearly as well as violating internationally accepted norms, the use of units such as Mistaarvim violates Israel’s own military rules.



A statement said that the honour recognised Obama’s “unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens”.
Barack Obama to receive Israel’s presidential medal of distinction

President who is often criticised over Israel policy set to be honoured during March visit to the Middle East
By Matt Williams


Netanyahu obama israel
Barack Obama meets Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the United Nations. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Barack Obama will receive one of Israel‘s most prestigious honours during his upcoming visit to the Middle East. On Monday, the office of the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, announced that Obama will be given the presidential medal of distinction in March.

A statement said that the honour recognised Obama’s “unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens”.

Obama’s political opponents have complained constantly that he has attempted to distance the US from its traditional support of Israel. In the lead up to the presidential election last year the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, accused Obama of “repeated efforts” to “throw Israel under the bus”. Obama’s pick for defence secretary has also been criticised, due to comments allegedly made by Chuck Hagel regarding the power of the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington.

Obama’s White House has always maintained its support for Israel, but the president has had a tense relationship with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, particularly regarding West Bank settlements and the lack of a peace process with the Palestinians.

Peres and the committee behind the award noted Obama’s overall friendship and backing of the Iron Dome missile defence system. Obama’s visit to Israel will be his first as president.





 Repost this wherever possible! Help the Cause by making it go global and viral!!
This video was made on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, whose sovereignty never ceded.

This video was made by the following BDS supporters:

Camera: Fabio Cavadini

Lighting and Sound: Amanda King

Music (oud and daf): Mohamed Youssef

Music recordist: Ritchie Belkner

Music composer: Osloob of Katibeh 5

Video editor: Adrian Warburton

Produced by: Rihab Charida and Aamer Rahman

Thanks to Salwa El-Shaikh, Jason De Santolo, Stephen Dobson, Frank Deveson, Sally Hanna Osborne and Theo Fatseas.

Video in order of appearance:

Mutulu “M1” Olugbala

Peter Manning

Milan Ring

Lowkey (Kareem Denis)

Tuva El-Shaikh

Kerrie McGrath

Fatima Mawas

Awate Suleiman

Antony Loewenstein

Anika Moeen

Aamer Rahman

Originally posted AT


The camera seems to have become the greatest tool in combating evil. Even when the photos are taken by the enemy themselves, they can be used to help our cause by exposing the dangers of zionism …
Will this guy become the new ‘Prisoner X’ ?

Star of David formed with guns. Source


Stoned, naked, armed and dangerous: more disturbing images from an Israeli soldier’s Instagram

 by Ali Abunimah 

Golani Brigade soldier Osher Maman, who came from a troubled youth in Florida, posts photos of himself breaking Israeli military law and playing with weapons in irresponsible ways. Source

As Mor Ostrovski’s now infamous Instagram image of a Palestinian child in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle generated disgust around the world, the Israeli army claimed that the photograph was “a severe incident which doesn’t accord with the IDF’s spirit and values.”

It is understandable that an occupation army that markets itself as the “most moral army in the world” would attempt such damage control.

Those who follow matters closely know that the photograph was an apt symbol for the Israeli army’s contempt for the lives of Palestinian children, as well as for the total impunitysoldiers accused of crimes against Palestinian civilians enjoy. Even in terms of “misuse” of social media, it was no isolated incident.

Israeli soldiers’ use of social media has given a unique insight into an “army” that functions more like a rabble – with soldiers misusing weapons, breaking laws, and expressing violent and extreme views and posting images of themselves doing it online.

From troubled Florida youth to the Israeli army

Gun play Source

A case in point is Osher Maman, another 20-year-old Israeli soldier currently enlisted in the “elite” Golani Brigade.

Maman’s Instagram account currently includes 549 images which show, among other things, images of him mishandling weapons and breaking military laws. The earliest date from April 2012 and the most recent from today. An illustrative selection – with tags where he included them – are used throughout this post. Maman also expresses deeply racist and even genocidal views towards Palestinians and Arabs.

Maman, who grew up in Naples, Florida after his family left Israel a decade ago, made the news in 2006 when as a 14-year-old he brought a BB gun given to him by his parents to school and used it to threaten two girls.

Maman also has an adult criminal history with records of arrests in February 2011 and inMay 2011 for “trespassing on school grounds.”


Osher Maman’s Facebook page, which features many of the same images that can be seen on his Instagram account but also goes back earlier, identifies him as a former student of Barron Collier High School in Naples, Florida, and uses the nickname “Eazybaby” which resembles the name of his Instagram account eazybaby310.

An Osher Maman was a member of the graduating high school class of 2010 according to the Naples Daily News on 5 June 2010.

Maman’s Facebook bio says: “From israel to Miami to the I.D.F Kik: eazybaby310 An active assassin/hitman” and identifies himself as a member of Barak, the 12th Battalion of the supposedly “elite” Golani brigade. This is corroborated by many images he has posted of weapons, uniforms and other military paraphernalia bearing the insignia of this battaltion.

Maman wrote a message on Facebook on 13 August 2011:

im leaving to the israeli army this monday, just wanted to say.. fuck the police, fuck barron collier high school and all the staff, fuck all the judges, fuck all you little hater faggots that blow up my fb and phone talking shit, fuck the bitches that cheated on me, fuck the virus i just got on my computer and whoever created it, fuck you fuck you fuck you, whos next…

One year later, Maman celebrated the anniversary of his move in another Facebook status:

So one year ago i moved here to join the army… Im not gonna make up some bullshit glorious story to break your heart… I just did it to beat up terrorists and shit… Happy one year anniversary Mmmmmffffffckasss!!!

Not exactly a boy scout

An image he posted of its insignia indicates that Maman was recruited directly from the United States via “Garin Tzabar” a program that recruits Jews and Israelis from overseas into the army. Maman identifies himself as a Garin Tzabar member on his Google Plus account.

A comment made on a website dedicated to Garin Tzabar, from the Facebook account of Maman’s mother, Batya Sabag, a social media consultant in Naples, Florida, also identifies her son as a graduate of the program.

One of the requirements of the Garin Tzabar program is a “Certificate of Good Conduct (proof of no prior criminal record).”

This military recruitment program for the Israeli occupation army is run by the Israel Scouts.

According to an image posted by Maman, on 5 April 2012 his military service had begun 138 days previously (which would be November 2011) and will end on 19 November 2014.

A montage posted by Osher Mamam features a blindfolded and bound Palestinian prisoner, weapons, and tags that reveal fantasies of violence. Source

Misuse of weapons

Obscene Source

When Maman was arrested and charged in the BB gun incident – classified by authorities as a weapon, not a toy, his father, Zion Maman, told media that “the culture in Israel has a more relaxed view about toy guns.”

Basic rule of gun safety: don’t put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot. Source

That relaxed view extends to real guns, mortars, grenades and all sorts of other heavy weapons that Osher Maman is seen handling, sometimes naked, and using as toys and props in disturbing images he posted online.

These images suggest that the Israeli army exercises little control or discipline over weapons.

Star of David formed with guns. Source

This gun appears to be loaded and it’s definitely not a toy. Source

Does the Israeli army just leave mortar shells lying around for use as Instagram props? Source

More weapons for Osher Maman to play with. Source

Playing God? Note the caption Osher Maman has attached to this image of what might be the controller of remote weapon system. Source

Maman posts images of himself breaking military law

A criminal offense under Israeli military law, Golani brigade soldier Osher Maman smokes marijuana in his uniform. Source

Images posted on Maman’s Instagram account show him smoking marijuana in uniform and on duty, in direct contravention of Israeli army order “33.011 – Use of Drugs – procedures for report, detention, and initiating a military police investigation.”

Osher Maman with a joint while on duty. Source

Military order 33.011 states that the use of drugs, including hashish, “constitutes a criminal offense and harms the army, so this order does not leave room for the commanders’ discretion.” It adds that, “All soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are prohibited from possessing drugs, taking them, or trading in them.”

Osher Maman shows off his stash. Possession is a criminal offense under army law. Source

What does it mean that the Israeli army recruits a soldier, with a dubious history, who is stupid enough to post images of himself committing more criminal offenses?

Is this a man who should be handling – playing with – lethal weapons in any circumstances? Or does it mean that this Most Moral Army so lacks discipline that soldiers like Maman can break the law without fear of consequences?

A lust for violence and genocidal hatred of Arabs

Osher Maman freely expresses his deep, even genocidal hatred of Palestinians and his desire to see them oppressed and killed. Responding to a comment on one of his images, for example, Maman told the commenter

Lmao for all I care you can comment all my pictures, you’re still a fucking Arab pile of shit, you even smell like it. You’re never going to win over israel (the chosen people) bc you’re a bunch of slaves, shit I probably am the slave master of some Arab who’s related to you… An you all will stay trapped in gaza and every little shittt village that you Palestinians have inside of israel. And you will continue to go to our jails and to have your houses broken in to. Basically your life will be shit until you all die, so go ahead and have fun commenting on my pictures of that’s going to make your death a little better…

Note the horrifying tags Israeli soldier Osher Maman, who took a BB gun to school as a teen and used it to threaten two girls, has attached to this image. Source

In addition to the endless stream of photos of himself and his buddies posing with guns, Maman shares images and slogans glorifying violence, especially, of course, against Palestinians.

Over a map of Gaza, the Hebrew slogan says “Soon to be a giant theme park.” Source

Osher Maman is not a “rotten apple.” He, along with Mor Ostrovski – the author of the infamous photo of the boy in the crosshairs – is another symbol of the occupation army under whose arbitrary and dictatorial rule Palestinians have been forced to live for decades.

It is soldiers just like these who whine to the Israeli media that they can’t be more brutal and violent against Palestinians because cameras are watching them.

It is soldiers just like these who are responsible, though never punished or held to account, for the killings of Palestinian children like Samir AwadSalih al-Amarin and Muhammad al-Salaymeh, young men like Mustafa Tamimi and Rushdi Tamimi and young women likeLubna Hanash among so many thousands more.

With thanks to Benjamin Doherty for research and to Dena Shunra for research, translation and analysis.

Written FOR


Several hundred mixed-race Peruvian converts, also known as the “Jews of the Amazon,” are not being granted permission to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return, despite meeting all the requirements for eligibility, Jewish Agency and Conservative Movement leaders charge.


Peruvian converts denied permission to immigrate to Israel

Jewish Agency and Conservative movement leaders decry the Ministry of Interior’s continuing refusal to allow ‘the Jews of the Amazon’ to join relatives in Israel.

By Judy Maltz
The Amazon River near Iquitos city where 284 Peruvian converts, descendants of Moroccan Jews, are waiting to immigrate to Israel. Photo by Reuters

Several hundred mixed-race Peruvian converts, also known as the “Jews of the Amazon,” are not being granted permission to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return, despite meeting all the requirements for eligibility, Jewish Agency and Conservative Movement leaders charge.

Jack Corcos, director of the Jewish Agency unit that approves eligibility for immigration, told a gathering in Jerusalem today that he did not understand the Ministry of Interior’s ongoing refusal to approve the requests by the converts to move to Israel. “There is no reason they should be waiting any longer,” he said during a session held by the Jewish Agency Board of Governors. “The whole story is very odd.”

Asked why the Ministry of Interior was holding up approval of these immigration requests, spokeswoman Sabine Haddad responded: “A discussion on the issue was held last week with the Jewish Agency and relevant parties from the Population and Immigration Authority. The issue awaits a decision of the senior echelon.”

The group of 284 Peruvians, who come from Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest, were converted to Judaism by a Conservative rabbinical court in August 2011 after they had engaged in Jewish studies for five years. They are the descendants of Moroccan Jews who arrived in the Amazon in the 19thcentury seeking employment in the rubber industry, and who married and had children with local women.

If the Ministry of Interior ultimately decides to reject their citizenship applications, senior officials in the Jewish organizational world warn it could seriously undermine relations between the government of Israel and the world Conservative Movement.  “I can tell you that the Conservative movement leadership will not take this in stride,” said one such official. “As far as they see it, it’s an act of contempt – a total disregard for the validity of their conversions.”

Yizhar Hess, the director of the Conservative movement in Israel, who participated in this morning’s session, told Haaretz: “Hundreds of Jews are waiting today in Peru to immigrate to Israel, and their only sin is that they are Conservative.”

Most, though not all, of the Peruvian converts have declared their intention to move to Israel. The plan was for them to come gradually in several separate groups.

Hundreds of members of the Iquitos community have already immigrated to Israel in two separate waves — one in 2001 and the other in 2005. Unlike the current group, many of whose members are their relatives, they encountered no problems whatsoever in the process. Most of them live today in the city of Ramle, which is prepared to absorb the remaining members of the community. The Ministry of Interior spokeswoman did not respond to a question about why the applications of the current group were being held up, while those of the previous groups were approved promptly.

Under current immigration procedures, individuals who are not born Jewish are expected to spend nine months as active members of their local Jewish communities after they have completed the conversion process – regardless of what type of conversion they have undergone — before moving to Israel. During this time, their applications are reviewed by the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry of Interior, which does not have its own emissaries abroad, typically relies on recommendations from the Jewish Agency about the validity of conversions performed abroad.

The Jewish Agency last year notified the Ministry of Interior that it had determined the conversions performed on this group of 284 Peruvians fulfilled all the necessary criteria to make them eligible for immigrating to Israel under the Law of Return.

Based on this recommendation, they should have been able to immigrate to Israel in May 2012.

But, as Corcos reported to the Jewish Agency gathering this morning, Interior Ministry officials suddenly informed him that bringing this large a group to Israel required a special cabinet decision. When Jewish Agency officials consulted with their legal advisers, they were told that a cabinet decision is only required when the group members have not yet been converted, but rather, plan to convert in Israel, as in the case of the Falashmura from Ethiopia.

Haddad did not respond to a question about why Ministry of Interior officials insist that a cabinet decision is required for the Peruvian group to come to Israel, when Jewish Agency legal advisers have determined otherwise.

Rabbi Andrew Sacks, director of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly in Israel, was invited by Jewish Agency officials to participate in last week’s meeting with Ministry of Interior representatives because of his connections to the rabbis who performed the conversions in Peru. But as he sat down, he was asked by the Interior Ministry officials to leave the room, prompting an angry response from the Jewish Agency officials present. As Sacks stormed out of the room, he charged that the case of the Peruvians was “another example of racism in the Interior Ministry.”

Following the meeting, Sacks told Haaretz that based on his experience with converts, “when they are people of color, they are guaranteed to run into a roadblock and obfuscation in their attempts to make aliyah.” The ministry spokeswoman also declined to respond to this accusation.  




Read THIS report first …
What Hansen’s camera left out was a story of a family that was at home, many of its members just watching television one November evening before they met their doom. Nur Hijazi, 18, relayed to HRW the events of that fateful night. “Mohamed and Sohaib were with my father in another room. The rest of the family was in another room watching TV. At 7:30, I saw the whole place turn red and suddenly the whole house collapsed on our heads.”

Award-Winning Photo Shares
Human Tragedy of Gaza War

Paul Hansen of Sweden, a photographer working for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter,
poses holding his picture that won the World Press Photo of the year for 2012, at Dagens Nyheter’s
office in Stockholm Feb. 15, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix)
By: Dalia Hatuqa*  

On the evening of Nov. 19, a bomb dropped by an Israeli aircraft struck the Jabalya refugee camp home of the Hijazi family, tearing it down and killing Fouad Hijazi and two of his infant sons. This horror story was one of many told by neighbors and loved ones, and documented by Human Rights Watch (HRW) (among other groups) in the aftermath of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza last year. In addition to crushing Fouad and his two sons — Mohamed, 4, and 2-year-old Sohaib — the bomb that leveled the two-story cinderblock house wounded Fouad’s wife, Amna, and the rest of their children.

The aftermath of this tragedy was documented by Swedish photographer Paul Hansen, who captured the funeral procession taking the two toddlers to their burial site. The picture, which shows weeping men holding the children shrouded in white cloth with nothing showing but their listless faces, earned Hansen the 2012 World Press Photo award. Hansen’s picture, one of the many searing images of the eight-day war in Gaza, was taken just one day after the Hijazis were killed, as their bodies were marched through the neighborhood to the cemetery and as their mother lay in an intensive care unit, unable to receive or be consoled by mourners and now homeless.

A staff photographer for Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Hansen submitted the image as just one of more than 103,000 photos sent by 5,666 photographers from 124 countries. Awards in nine themed categories were given to 54 photographers from 32 countries under what is widely known as one of the most prestigious prizes in photojournalism.

Hansen’s picture is telling: Out of last year’s 165 Palestinians killed throughout Israel’s “Operation Pillar of Defense,” at least 33 were children, according to numbers provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. During the November onslaught, “several Israeli missiles and a bomb struck civilians and civilian objects, such as houses and farm groves, without any apparent military objective,” said Human Rights Watch, which determined earlier this week that these air strikes were in violation of the laws of war.

Cameras did not capture many of the deaths during that time. Of these, HRW mentions “three men in a truck carrying tomatoes in Deir al-Balah and a science teacher who was sitting in his front yard with his 3-year-old son on his lap, talking to an acquaintance — only the toddler survived, but was seriously wounded.” Israeli-manned drone attacks also killed a 79-year-old man and his 14-year-old granddaughter in the family’s olive grove in Abasan, and a young woman in her backyard in the town of Khuza’a.

On Nov. 18, an attack on a Gaza City house led to the death of 12 people, the single largest number of Palestinians killed in a single incident throughout the war. One day before the Hijazi family tragedy struck, an Israeli bomb leveled the three-story house of the Dalu family, killing ten of its members and two neighbors. Of the family, one man, five women, four children, a grandson and grandmother who lived next door were killed, according to HRW. The strike only spared a 16-year-old, who survived the attack, in addition to the head of the household and his son, who had gone out to buy food.

Gaza was still reeling from this tragedy (the bodies of two of the victims — Yara and Mohamed Al Dalu — were not recovered until Nov. 22) when the Hijazi family was struck. The harrowing retrieval of the bodies of Fouad, Mohamed and Sohaib Hijazi was captured on video. According to HRW, no one knew why their home was targeted. A neighbor was quoted as saying no shooting was ever heard in the neighborhood, and according to the group, the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center stated that the three victims were “non-involved” civilians.

The rights group’s field investigations of the incident found no evidence of any military objectives at the time of the attack. Under international law, individuals who deliberately order or take part in attacks which target civilians or civilian infrastructure — whether intentional or unintentional — are responsible for war crimes. 

Labels by Israeli authorities aside, the human loss captured by Hansen’s camera is striking. The body of the father of two can barely be seen in a stretcher behind the grieving men carrying the dead toddlers. What Hansen’s camera left out was a story of a family that was at home, many of its members just watching television one November evening before they met their doom. Nur Hijazi, 18, relayed to HRW the events of that fateful night. “Mohamed and Sohaib were with my father in another room. The rest of the family was in another room watching TV. At 7:30, I saw the whole place turn red and suddenly the whole house collapsed on our heads.”

*Dalia Hatuqa is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor‘s Palestine Pulse. A print and broadcast journalist specializing in the Middle East, she is based in the West Bank city of Ramallah and writes for several publications about politics, the economy, culture, art and design.

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There is a word in Yiddish, it’s YENTA. Alan Dershowitz fits the definition to a Tee. Time for the old geezer to SHUT UP! The choice of a new Pope is definitely not his business!
The irony is that Dershowitz himself has been the Defense Councel for sexual offenders in the Jewish community for years.
Dershowitz: Contender for papacy is anti-Semite
Harvard professor says Honduran Cardinal Maradiaga has blamed Jews for scandal surrounding sexual misconduct of priests.
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga arrives to attend a Mass at the Vatican, 2005
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga arrives to attend a Mass at the Vatican, 2005 Photo: REUTERS

In a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that one of the leading candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI is an anti-Semite.

Responding to a list published last week after the resignation of Benedict, which identified Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras as a possible successor to the current pope, Dershowitz wrote:  “He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media — which they, of course, control, he said — to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are ‘protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.'”

Maradiaga, in a May 2002 interview with the Italian-Catholic publication “30 Giorni,” claimed Jews influenced the media to exploit the current controversy regarding sexual abuse by Catholic priests in order to divert attention from the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

At the time, the Anti-Defamation League expressed public outrage at the cardinal’s comments. In a later conversation with Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, Maradiaga apologized and said he never meant for his remarks to be taken as perpetuating an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish control of the media, and promised never to say it again.

“The Vatican has rightly called anti-Semitism a sin, and yet an unrepentant sinner is on the short list to become the leader of the Catholic Church,” Dershowitz insists in his letter to the editor. “If that were to occur, all of the good work by recent popes in building bridges between the Catholic Church and the Jews would be endangered. This should not be allowed to happen.” 

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