Dershowitz is adamantly against any form of right of return for Palestinian refugees. Finkelstein’s pronouncements on the matter have been ambiguous, but there is enough evidence to suggest his ultimate rejection of it.

Dershowitz and Finkelstein: comrades at heart?

Steven Salaita 

Man walks by mural of hand holding key reading Returning in Arabic

For Palestinian refugees, the result of Finkelstein and Dershowitz’s positions is the same.

 (Abdel Rahim Khatib / APA images)

Over the last decade, one of the more amusing (though least productive) facets of the culture wars around the Israel-Palestine conflict has been the feud between Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein.

Dershowitz, a tireless advocate for Israel, has incurred Finkelstein’s contempt, which includes claims of misrepresentation, pandering and plagiarism. Finkelstein, a longtime critic of Israel, failed to achieve tenure at DePaul University in part because of a campaignspearheaded by Dershowitz, who wrote damning letters to various university officials (including its president). The two have argued voraciously in print and in person, occasionally directing insults at one another.

It seems intuitive, then, that the mortal enemies have little in common. In reality, though, the substance of their feud doesn’t broach the fundamental issues of Israel and Palestine, about which Dershowitz and Finkelstein have articulated similar, sometimes identical, positions — often enough, anyway — so much so that we can rightly claim the two enemies in fact share profound political affinities. Let’s take a look at the evidence:

Opposing one state

Both Dershowitz and Finkelstein are vigorously opposed to the so-called one-state solution, which assumes various incarnations but at base advances the belief that a binational state for Jews, Muslims and Christians is the most just and realistic outcome of the conflict. Both men have spoken in favor of a two-state solution.

Finkelstein has said, “the near-unanimous consensus for the past three decades has been that the Palestinian people do have a right of self-determination, to be exercised in the ‘occupied Palestinian territory,’ which consists of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. I see no cracks in this consensus” (“A debate about the two-state solution with Norman Finkelstein,” Mondoweiss, 6 June 2012).

Dershowitz claims to have supported the two-state solution since 1967, though he usually qualifies his position with fantasies of Arab aggression or anxieties about eternally preserving a Jewish majority in Israel (the reason many liberal Zionists desire two states) (“The case against the left and right one-state solution,” The Huffington Post, 21 March 2012).

In 2011, he co-produced a proposal to end the conflict with Chibli Mallat, the conclusions of which sound remarkably like Finkelstein’s, calling for “two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, [to] live side by side, as expressed in Security Council Resolutions 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008)” and a commitment “to the principle of nonviolence as the privileged means to effect democratic change in the region and beyond” (“A joint proposal on the foundations of a two-state solution,” The National, 27 October 2011).

Dershowitz and Finkelstein both emphasize the preeminence of Jewish opinion.

Dershowitz: “The American Jewish community is much more supportive of a two-state solution. And, the Israeli Jewish community is much more supportive of a two-state solution” (“Alan Dershowitz and Caroline Glick clash on two-state solution,” The Algemeiner, 1 May 2013).

Finkelstein: “There are major regional changes — what’s happening now between Israel and Turkey that’s part of an Arab Spring … there is a changed political configuration now. There are changes in public opinion. There are changes in Jewish opinion” (“Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be two (viable states),” Mondoweiss, 19 October 2011).

Denying right of return

Dershowitz is adamantly against any form of right of return for Palestinian refugees. Finkelstein’s pronouncements on the matter have been ambiguous, but there is enough evidence to suggest his ultimate rejection of it.

A colleague, for instance, was present in 2010 at Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon, when Finkelstein gave a lecture urging residents, some of them refugees for more than 60 years, to disavow their right of return. (This fits a pattern of Finkelstein admonishing Palestinians to be more reasonable and realistic, what Asa Wistanley calls “marginalizing Palestinians from their own struggle.”)

Dershowitz: “For peace to be achieved, pragmatism must be balanced with principle. The right of return should be implemented so as to protect Israel against demographic annihilation without denigrating the Palestinian narrative” (“Palestinians and the ‘right of return’,” The Christian Science Monitor, 16 April 2007).

Finklestein: “For now, Israel will not honor a Palestinian right of return; to ‘demand’ it is the emptiest of gestures” (“Two critiques of Norman Finkelstein,”Mondoweiss, 23 December 2011).

Finkelstein: “If we end the occupation and bring back six million Palestinians and we have equal rights for Arabs and Jews,there’s no Israel.”

Finkelstein argues that he supports the right of return in principle, but “in order to achieve a political settlement of the conflict, the right of return will have to be subject to negotiations,” whereas Dershowitz is opposed to the right in principle. For Palestinian refugees the result is identical.

Bickering with boycott activists

Because of his opposition to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), Finkelstein has alienated a significant portion of his audience (and gained new fans among Zionist hardliners). This alienation hasn’t resulted merely because of his opposition to BDS, but also because of the condescending way he has articulated that opposition.

Dershowitz: “It may be enough to say: ‘The boycotters are wrong’ and leave it at that. But the boycotters are not just adopting bad politics derived from faulty thinking. There is an edge of malice to their campaign. Their desire to hurt, to punish, outstrips their ability even to identify with any precision their targets — all Israeli universities without exception? All academics within those universities? Israeli academics in non-Israeli universities? They cannot say” (“This boycott is not just wrong; it’s anti-semitic,” The Sunday Times, via, 14 June 2007).

Finkelstein: “[BDS advocates] don’t want Israel. They think they’re being very clever. They call it their three tiers … We want the end of the occupation, we want the right of return, and we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever, because they know the result of implementing all three is what? What’s the result? You know and I know what’s the result: there’s no Israel” (“Finkelstein, BDS and the destruction of Israel,” Al Jazeera English, 28 February 2012).

Finkelstein has stated on numerous occasions that BDS is a “cult,” though he has never applied the same term to his utterly sectarian worship of some imaginary “international consensus” that risibly simplifies the complexity of the world’s population.

Disrespect towards Arabs

In communities of decolonization, one’s interactions with the colonized party are as important as the opinions one articulates (indeed, a person’s negative behavior generally foregrounds an insidious agenda). Neither Dershowitz nor Finkelstein practices respect when communicating with Arabs.

For Dershowitz, to whom Arabs are little more than a brown mass of existential danger, unsavory interpersonal behavior is no surprise. We might reasonably hold Finkelstein to a higher standard, however.

I’m thinking of Finkelstein’s tendency to lecture Palestinians about their unrealistic expectations and their need to succumb to the inhibitions of Israeli liberals. In early June at a Left Forum panel, for example, he proclaimed of those unwilling to recognize Israel’s right to exist: “That’s pure unadulterated hypocrisy. And, speaking personally, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. And speaking politically, it won’t go anywhere” (“Norman Finkelstein throws wrench in anti-Israel movement’s claim to a rights-based agenda,” Anti-Defamation League, 21 June 2013).

He also admonished Palestinian attorney Lamis Deek (“Israel is a state. It has the same rights and the same obligations as the 190 other states”) and afterward complained to As’ad Abukhalil for criticizing him on the Angry Arab blog: “It’s useful to think twice before joining in a lynch mob.”

Here Finkelstein sounds a lot like Dershowitz when the latter patronized Palestinian novelist Susan Abulhawa at the 2010 Boston Book Festival (“Trainwreck in Boston: Dershowitz calls a Palestinian novelist a bigot and a Holocaust denier,” Mondoweiss, 17 October 2010). Even the language they use is comparable.

Finkelstein recently went on a bizarre, paranoid rant: “Even lectures have significantly diminished because I’ve had major differences of opinion with elements in the Palestine solidarity movement. And they carry on like a cult, and so when the differences emerged, I was blacklisted, too. That’s just a fact.

“Last year I’d probably say about — I’d say between — about 75 invitations to speak around the United States by what’s called SJP, Students for Justice in Palestine. This year I didn’t receive one. I didn’t receive one. They carry on like a cult. And the guru says, ‘You’re out,’ you’re out” (“Finkelstein disowns ‘silly’ Israel boycott,” The Jewish Chronicle, 16 February 2012).

This sort of behavior is typical of certain members of privileged groups who devote themselves to improving the lot of the oppressed. Anybody who has worked in communities of decolonization knows the type: a person arrives and shows himself ultimately uninterested in achieving liberation, but insists on leading the wretched horde to his vision of an acceptable outcome — one that is invariably “pragmatic” and “realistic,” saturated in the language of objectivity and the common good.

Of course, it is but an unlucky accident that these outcomes always happen to favor the interests of the oppressor. When that person is challenged or marginalized, histrionics ensue.

Finkelstein’s comments about Students for Justice in Palestine reveal a man more interested in nourishing a God-complex than in doing anything to help Palestine.

Patronizing and pedantic

Dershowitz and Finkelstein have differences, too. Finkelstein has never plagiarized or supported torture and Dershowitz has never attempted to lead a march on Gaza he would later deem “sectarian” after the people on whose behalf he purported to march demanded a voice in the planning (“Why I resigned from the Gaza Freedom March coalition,” The Jewish Chronicle, 6 September 2009).

Finkelstein acknowledges evidence of Israel’s brutality in the past and present, whereas Dershowitz more or less blames everything that’s ever gone wrong in the Holy Land on the Arabs. Yet Finkelstein’s positions on the right of return and binationalism indicate an unwillingness to accept moral ownership of the brutality he acknowledges. To say that emphasis on justice isn’t pragmatic is to severely underthink the possibilities of decolonization.

Ultimately, on the issues that matter most, those fundamental to the cessation of the Zionist colonial project, there is little disagreement between Dershowitz and Finkelstein, certainly none of significance. There is also little to distinguish in their patronizing and pedantic tone with Palestinians.

Many advocates of Palestine are rightfully upset with Finkelstein, but if I may offer a suggestion, I would advise that we assign Finkelstein the same status we have long accorded Dershowitz, that of a slightly cogent but mostly curmudgeonly white male who occasionally annoys with outbursts of bluster and disdain.

Just as their feud has taken too much time away from important matters, Finkelstein’s discourse of “international consensus” and “cults” and “pragmatism” is so slovenly that we’re better served challenging more sophisticated opponents of Palestinian aspirations.

Finkelstein can be frustrating because he apparently believes that practicality, realism and reasonableness exist within fixed structures of meaning and have nothing to do with definitional commonplaces and political ethos generated and maintained by the ruling classes. He’s made it clear he’s sticking with that discourse. There’s nothing left to do with Finkelstein but hope he reads the Wikipedia entry on the theory of hegemony.

It’s difficult to say whether the Dershowitz-Finkelstein feud will continue. While the two have much in common politically, they differ in motive, and this difference of motivation will likely keep them at odds. For those who care about Palestinian voices, motivation is less important than actual belief; in this area, Dershowitz and Finkelstein are the PeresNetanyahu tandem of American liberalism.

Let us then leave them to their feuding with the understanding that they have nothing really to resolve beyond the antipathy of competing egos. Passionate interpersonal conflicts, after all, often occur with the people with whom we have most in common.



Written FOR



Pamela Geller Barred From Britain for Anti-Muslim Rally on London Slaying

Controversial Blogger Planned To Speak at Far Right Protest


By Liam Hoare


LONDON — Pamela Geller, the controversial anti-Islam blogger and activist infamous for her staunch criticism and denigration of Islam, has been banned from entering the United Kingdom by Home Secretary Theresa May.

In a two-page letter which Geller uploaded onto her blog, Atlas Shrugs, the Home Office informed Geller that has been “excluded from the UK” on the basis that her “presence here would not be conducive to the public good.” Her previous history indicated to the Home Secretary that Geller may attempt to “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”

Below the letter in her blogpost, Geller reacted to the decision:

In a striking blow against freedom, the British government has banned us from entering the country. Muhammad al-Arifi, who has advocated Jew-hatred, wife-beating, and jihad violence, entered the U.K. recently with no difficulty. In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.

Geller and her co-founder of Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA), Robert Spencer, who has also been banned from entering the UK, had been due to attend and speak at a rally in Woolwich organized by the English Defense League, the far-right movement which purports to share with Geller a mutual concern over the Islamisation of Europe, on Saturday, June 29. “Today is a sad day for freedom of speech,” EDL leader Tommy Robinson stated after Geller announced her ban.

It was in Woolwich that on May 22, the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by two assailants armed with knives and a meat cleaver. One of the suspects, Michael Adebolajo, justified the action by stating that, “The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.” Since the attack, several mosques and Islamic community centers across Britain have been desecrated with graffiti, including swastikas and the letters EDL and NF. On June 23, a small explosive device was left outside a mosque in Walsall, near Birmingham.

In a statement, a Home Office spokesman said: ‘We condemn all those whose behaviors and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form.’

Under British legal provisions introduced in 2005 to combat terrorism and extremism, the Border Agency under the auspices of the Home Office has the power to either deport or deny entry to non-UK citizens who engage in “unacceptable behaviors.” This covers people who use the media or public speech to “foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs, seek to provoke others to terrorist acts, foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts, or foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”

On the basis of Geller’s work with SIOA, Jihad Watch, and Atlas Shrugs, as well as her previous public statements, the Home Secretary personally deemed that if she were to “espouse such views” in the UK, Geller “would be committing unacceptable behaviors and would therefore be behaving in a way that is not conducive to the public good.”



“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” Mandela
Listen comrade!
Mandela, help to fight us
against farmers who despise us
Our freedom fighters are already on the road
Hemu! Hemu!  
We no longer sleep at home.
We sleep in the mountains, in the bitter cold.
Oh, what is this life best people?
Hoyiya! Hoyiya!  
Get up!
Arise compatriots!
Help, our people will perish!
Javelin calls you to battle,
farmers from killing our people.
Hemu! Hemu!


‘YouTube removes video urging Alica Keys to drop Tel Aviv concert’


Video-sharing website pulls clip set to Keys’ song “This Girl is on Fire” calling for Israel boycott; artist claims copyright infringement.


Singer Alicia Keys performs at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 10, 2013.

Singer Alicia Keys performs at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 10, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake

(JTA) — YouTube removed a video calling on Alicia Keys to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv.

Set to Keys’ popular song “This Girl is on Fire,” the video was removed on Monday, according to the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

The video, “Alicia Keys, Come Together with Your Sisters, Boycott Apartheid,” was removed, a notification by YouTube said, due to a copyright infringement claim by “Alicia Keys c/o Ziffren Brittenheim LLP.”

It showed Palestinian performance and visual artist Rana Hamadeh standing on an Israeli military vehicle waving a Palestinian flag.

“It is enough that we face physical and emotional violence and restrictions on our daily lives. But now we are also being silenced on the internet,” Hamadeh said in a statement distributed by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. “I think if Alicia Keys understood the call to boycott, she would agree to honor it.”

Keys affirmed her decision to play in Israel in an interview published last month in The New York Times. She has been under pressure to cancel the July 4 concert.

The appeal to Keys to boycott Israel came first from Alice Walker in an open letter posted on the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s website. Calls also came from Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and numerous pro-Palestinian organizations.


There is no other word to describe America’s threat to Ecuador …
On Wednesday, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the US threatened to deny Ecuador preferential trade status if it accepted Snowden’s application for political asylum after he leaked a trove of classified documents that revealed details about the NSA’s vast surveillance programs in the US and abroad.
Ecuador to US: We Won’t Be ‘Blackmailed’ over Snowden

Vowing not to be bullied, nation cancels trade pact preemptively and offers US human rights training

– Jon Queally*


30-year-old Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who embarrassed the US government by revealing details of vast Internet and phone surveillance programs, has requested asylum from Ecuador.(Photo: *

The clear message from the Ecuadorean government on Thursday is that it would not be bullied or ‘blackmailed’ by the US government over the possible asylum of Edward Snowden.

At a government press conference held in Quito, officials said the US was employing international economic “blackmail” in its attempts to obtain NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but that such threats would not work.

Snowden, who remains inside an airport terminal in Russia, has become a flashpoint between Ecuador and the US after confirmation that the 30 year-old intelligence contractor has sought asylum in the Latin American country.


On Wednesday, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the US threatened to deny Ecuador preferential trade status if it accepted Snowden’s application for political asylum after he leaked a trove of classified documents that revealed details about the NSA’s vast surveillance programs in the US and abroad.

“Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior,” Menendez said in a statement from Washington. “If Snowden is granted asylum in Ecuador, I will lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador’s duty-free access under GSP and will also make sure there is no chance for renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act. Trade preferences are a privilege granted to nations, not a right.”

But on Thursday, Ecuador nullified the US threats—and made it clear it would not be intimidated by the global superpower—by proactively cancelling the trade agreement.

“Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably renounces these preferential customs tariff rights,” government spokesman Fernando Alvarado said at the news conference.

“Ecuador will not accept pressures or threats from anyone, and it does not traffic in its values or allow them to be subjugated to mercantile interests,” he said.

Alvarado, who called threats from the US over trade arrangements a form of “blackmail,” said Ecuador’s government would not only willingly accept the loss of approximately $23 million in trade benefits, but in addition would offer a gift, in the form of an aid package of the same amount, that would be directed to provide human rights training in the United States.

According to reports, Ecuador indicated the money could be used to help the US address its recent problem with torture, illegal executions, and the attacks on the privacy of its citizens.

As Agence France-Presse reports, the trade agreement between Ecuador goes back decades:

The United States is Ecuador’s main trade partner, buying 40 percent of the Andean nation’s exports, or the equivalent of $9 billion per year.

The preferential trade program was set to expire on July 31 unless the US Congress renewed it. The arrangement, which dates back to the early 1990s, originally benefited four Andean nations and Ecuador was the last country still participating in it.

And Reuters adds:

Never shy of taking on the West, the pugnacious Correa last year granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to help him avoid extradition from Great Britain to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sexual assault accusations.

The 50-year-old U.S.-trained economist won a landslide re-election in February on generous state spending to improve infrastructure and health services, and his Alianza Pais party holds a majority in the legislature.

Ecuadorean officials said Washington was unfairly using the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which provides customs benefits in exchange for efforts to fight the drug trade, as a political weapon.

The program was set to expire at the end of this month.



Written FOR


Act Now to Stop the Prawer Plan: A Human Rights Disaster in the Making

The Prawer Plan is an attack on Bedouin People, and on universal human rights

Click here to take a stand!

photo: Oren Ziv/


Late yesterday in Israel, the Knesset approved the first reading of the infamous Prawer Plan – a blueprint for removing 40,000 Bedouin people from their ancestral homeland.This massive violation of human rights just got a big step closer to reality. But it’s not too late to stop it: if we act now, we can make a difference.

So we’re asking you to send a message to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren: we are appalled by the Prawer Plan, and all it represents.

From the years I lived in Israel, I remember visiting “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev that had been destroyed multiple times.I remember children and grandmothers sitting near the rubble of their homes, and especially the young man who had been called to serve in the Israeli Army – on the very day his home had been destroyed.

The Prawer Plan threatens that level of destruction on an unprecedented scale.

It is appalling that transfer based on nothing more than ethnic identity is even under consideration.

And if our government is going to offer unconditional support to Israel, we need to send that message to Ambassador Oren, Israel’s official representative to the U.S.

Click here to send an email now – and stand up for universal human rights and equality.


Send email to ….

Ambassador Michael Oren

Suggested letter;
Dear Ambassador Oren,
The passing of the first reading of the Prawer Plan threatens disaster for the Bedouin people, and is a sad day for all who believe in justice, equality, and human rights.
I urge you to use your influence to warn Knesset members from taking further steps forward, while there is still time to avoid this human rights catastrophe.
Above written by:

Rebecca Vilkomerson
Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace



McDonald’s confirmed to that it did not intend to open in Ariel and said that its refusal to operate in the West Bank “had always been the restaurant chain’s policy,” according to the report.
Report: McDonald’s refuses to open branch in Ariel
“Golden Arches” says move is consistent with its policy.
The McDonald's Golden Arches.
The McDonald’s Golden Arches. Photo: Reuters

McDonald’s Israel has refused an offer to open a branch of its restaurant chain in a mall slated to be built in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, according to a report in the Calcalistnewspaper.

Tzahi Nahmias, the realtor who is marketing the mall’s commercial space, told the paper that McDonald’s refused to open a branch because Ariel is located beyond the Green Line.

McDonald’s confirmed to that it did not intend to open in Ariel and said that its refusal to operate in the West Bank “had always been the restaurant chain’s policy,” according to the report.

Nahmias said that there were other companies other than McDonald’s, that he refused to name, that expressed concerns that opening in the mall would negatively impact their international business.

Rami Levy, Israeli supermarket magnate and one of the entrepreneurs behind the Ariel mall, did not refer specifically to McDonald’s decision but he did tell the paper that businesses that refuse to open in the West Bank also harm the Arab population there.

“I do not accept that companies make business decisions that are informed by political considerations. The mall in Ariel is expected to employ Arab and Jewish workers from the area and to provide services for these populations” Levy said.

“This boycott is superfluous, and it harms the Arab population that it is supposedly trying to protect,” he added.

Israeli artists as well as academics have boycotted the city because of its location beyond the Green Line.

In March, during US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel students from Ariel University were not invited to a speechthat he gave in Jerusalem to Israeli university students.





Victory! United Methodist Conferences, representing thousands of churches, vote to Divest!

by Kathryn Johnson, Interim Director


UMC General Conference Divestment Vigil
United Methodists and allies demonstrate for divestment outside the 2012 General Conference.

Big news! United Methodist annual (regional) conferences in New England, Minnesota, Pacific Northwest and Upper New York voted this month to divest from companies involved with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land including Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, Hewlett Packard, and General Electric. They joined conferences in West Ohio, New York, Northern Illinois, California Nevada and California Pacific which have already taken similar action. This brings the total to nine regional bodies representing thousands of churches nationwide!

Click here to thank the United Methodist conferences for voting to divest!

And that’s not all! At least five other conferences — Virginia, Rocky Mountain, North Central New York, Baltimore Washington, and Detroit — have called on the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits to divest its millions of dollars in holdings in companies that profit from the occupation.  Two more conferences, Susquehanna and Eastern Pennsylvania, established official task forces to examine the issue.


Quakers Stop CAT image

Mennonite Central Committee joined
the Quakers in supporting
divestment this Spring!


Wait — there’s more! In March, the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. unanimously decided that — effective immediately — it will not invest knowingly in companies involved in the Israeli occupation.” They adopted the investment screendeveloped by the American Friends Service Committee, which includes the aforementioned companies and more than two dozen others. And last year, Friends Fiduciary Committee, which handles investments for hundreds of Quaker institutionsdivested from Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Veolia Environment.

These major divestment victories are critical with Israel’s ongoing settlement expansion and ever-worsening attacks on Palestinian men, women, and children. Just yesterday, the Israeli Knesset approved the first reading of the Prawer Plan, a blueprint for displacing 40,000 Bedouins.

Please thank the United Methodist conferences now for saying YES to divestment!

Last year, hundreds of people like you around the world mobilized to support member group, United Methodist Kairos Response, in its efforts to align the church’s words with its actions by divesting. While divestment didn’t pass at General Conference, these recent votes show unequivocally that the tide is turning, church by church, conference by conference, from the ground up. Congratulations to all who have played a role in these efforts!

Are you also part of a faith community and interested in pursuing boycott or divestment? Check out the Interfaith Boycott Coalition and sign the petition “Thirsty for Justice” to be connected with ongoing efforts today!





Ku Klux Kourt Kills King’s Dream Law, Replaces Voting Rights Act With Katherine Harris Acts

By Greg Palast*

Protestors gather outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in Washington, Feb. 27, 2013. The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning, June 25, 2013, announced a vote of 5 to 4 in the Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder case, striking down part of the act. (Photo: Christopher Gregory / The New York Times)
Protestors gather outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in Washington, Feb. 27, 2013. The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning, June 25, 2013, announced a vote of 5 to 4 in the Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder case, striking down part of the act. (Photo: Christopher Gregory / The New York Times)

They might as well have burned a cross on Dr. King’s grave. The Jim Crow majority on the Supreme Court just took away the vote of millions of Hispanic and African-American voters by wiping away Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

When I say “millions” of voters of color will lose their ballots, I’m not kidding. Let’s add it up.

Last year, the GOP Secretary of State of Florida Ken Detzner tried to purge 180,000 Americans, mostly Hispanic Democrats, from the voter rolls. He was attempting to break Katherine Harris’ record.

Detzner claimed that all these brown folk were illegal “aliens.”

But Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act requires that 16 states with a bad history of blocking black and brown voters must “pre-clear” with the US Justice Department any messing around with voter rolls or voting rules. And so Section 4 stopped Detzner from the racist brown-out.  

I’ll admit there were illegal aliens on Florida voter rolls – two of them. Let me repeat that: TWO aliens – one a US Marine serving in Iraq (not yet a citizen); the other an Austrian who registered as a Republican.

We can go from state to state in Dixie and see variations of the Florida purge game.

Yet the 5-to-4 Supreme Court majority ruled, against all evidence, that, “Blatantly discriminatory evasions [of minority voting rights] are rare.” As there’s no more racially bent voting games played in states including Florida, Georgia, Arizona and Alaska (yes, pre-clearance goes WAY north of the Confederacy), then, the justices said, there’s no more reason for pre-clearance.

Whom do they think they’re fooling? The court itself, just last week, ruled that Arizona’s law requiring the showing of citizenship papers was an unconstitutional attack on Hispanic voters. Well, Arizona’s a Section 4 state. 

You’ll love this line from the Ku Klux Kourt majority. They wrote that the “coverage” of Section 4 applies to states where racially bent voting systems are now “eradicated practices.”

“Eradicated?” I assume they didn’t see the lines of black folk in Florida last November. That was the result of the deliberate reduction in the number of polling places and early voting hours in minority areas. Indeed, if the Justice Department, wielding Section 4, didn’t block Florida from half its ballot-box trickery, Obama would have lost that state’s electoral votes.

And that’s really what’s going on here: the problem is not that the court majority is racist. They’re worse: they’re Republicans.

We’ve had Republicans, like the great Earl Warren, who put on the robes and take off their party buttons.

But this crew, beginning with Bush v. Gore, is viciously partisan. They note that “minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels.” And the Republican Supremes mean to put an end to that. See “Obama” and “Florida” above.

And when they say “minority,” they mean “Democrat.”

Because that’s the difference between 1965 and today. When the law was first enacted – based on the personal pleas of Martin Luther King – African-Americans were blocked by politicians who did not like the color of their skin.

But today, it’s the color of minority voters’ ballots – overwhelmingly Democratic blue – which is the issue.

In California – one of the “Old South” states that is singled out for pre-clearance – an astonishing 40 percent of voter registration forms were rejected by the Republican Secretary of State on cockamamie clerical grounds. When civil rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy and I investigated, we learned that the reject pile was overwhelmingly Chicano and Asian – and overwhelmingly Democratic.

How? Jim Crow ain’t gone; he’s moved into cyberspace. The new trick is lynching by laptop: removing voters, as was done in Florida and Arizona (and a dozen other states) by using poisoned databases to pick out “illegal” and “felon” and “inactive” voters – who all happen to be of the Hispanic or African-American persuasion. The GOP, for all the tears of its consultants, knows it can’t rock these votes, so they block these votes.

Despite the racial stench of today’s viciously antidemocratic ruling, the GOP majority knew they were handicapping the next presidential run by a good 6 million votes. (That’s the calculation that RFK and I came up with for racially bent vote loss in 2004 – and the GOP will pick up at least that in the next run.)

And the court knew full well that their ruling today was the same as stuffing several hundred thousand GOP red votes into the ballot boxes for the 2014 Congressional races.

The races have not yet started, but the “Katherine count” has already begun.


It was investigative reporter Greg Palast, for The Guardian and BBC Television who uncovered Katherine Harris’ purge of black voters in 2000. He is also the author of the recent New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal and Election in 9 Easy Steps. His film, Election Files, may be downloaded without charge at

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Why are communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel increasingly the victims of racist vandalism at the hands of Jewish Israelis? Why were cars in Abu Ghosh damaged last week? Why were gravestones in Jaffa desecrated last month? Why was a school in Wahat al-Salam defaced last year?

Israel’s racists step up attacks on Palestinian citizens

David Sheen *

Men stand near wall sprayed-painted with graffiti

Graffiti reading “Arabs out” and “Racism – Assimilation” in Abu Ghosh, 18 June.

 (Jim Hollander /EPA)


Why are communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel increasingly the victims of racist vandalism at the hands of Jewish Israelis? Why were cars in Abu Ghosh damaged last week? Why were gravestones in Jaffa desecrated last month? Why was a school in Wahat al-Salam defaced last year?

Are attacks on these communities reprisals for anti-Semitic attacks that emanate from them? Is it because the sons of Wahat al-Salam crash cars into Jews? Is it because the youth of Jaffa perpetrate terrorist attacks against Israelis? Is it because the residents of Abu Ghosh provide protection to anti-Zionist suicide bombers?

The attacks listed in the first paragraph of this article actually occurred, but the ones listed in the second paragraph are totally false — I just fabricated them. No residents of these communities have been accused of committing crimes motivated by nationalism — or anti-nationalism, for that matter.

Even if any of them had been, it would not justify the collective punishment of these communities. But it would at least provide motives for attacks on these communities, motives that some Israelis might sympathize with: “revenge” for prior attacks on Jews, “intimidation” to prevent future attacks on Jews.

But again, residents of these communities are not suspected of having committed any hate crimes against Jewish Israelis. So what could be the motive for attacking them? In addition to the prescriptive messages spray-painted in previous attacks — “Arabs Out” and “Death to Arabs” — the perpetrators of the most recent acts of vandalism also included another slogan, one that does point to motive: “Racism or Assimilation.”

“Racism or assimilation”

For outsiders unfamiliar with the internal Israeli discourse, this phrase needs to be parsed. The vandals have posited these two nouns — “racism” and “assimilation” — as either-or options for Jewish people living in Israel. Aligning themselves with the first option, the perpetrators are acknowledging that their attacks on Palestinian communities are motivated by racism, and they are calling for more of the same. The other option, the alternative to racism, is the choice that they loathe: assimilation.

What is this creature called assimilation, and why do these self-professed racists hate it so much? Assimilation is simply the process by which individuals, or groups of individuals, adopt ideas from other individuals and groups of individuals. These racists want to prevent Jewish people from adopting ideas of other people because they want all Jewish people to adopt their own ideology: Jewish Dominionism.

Dominionists seek to transform the State of Israel from a democratic ethnocracy into a theocratic ethnocracy. The current government, a relatively secular regime that grants extra privileges to Jewish people on the basis of their ethnicity, is insufficiently Jewish in their opinion. The Dominionists want all affairs of state and all public spaces in Israel to conform to the rules of Orthodox Judaism.

If the Dominionists’ dreams were realized and they were able to forge the face of the state, what would it look like? At the first public conference of the Dominionist “Derech Chaim” movement in March, I listened to the movement’s leaders flesh out their shared vision for the future. They bemoaned the legal obstacles that hinder the accomplishment one of their main objectives: physically separating Jewish citizens from non-Jewish citizens in Israel.


Dominionists do not make up a majority of the Jewish population in Israel; if they did, they would already have turned Israel into a full-fledged theocracy. But their desire to physically separate Jewish people and non-Jewish people into separate areas is shared by the secular segregationists, who do make up a majority of the Jewish population.

Secular segregationists do not want the country to be governed under the strict rules of Orthodox Judaism, but for their own racist reasons they would prefer to not have to see any non-Jewish Arab people as they go about their daily lives. When they seek medical attention at hospitals or recreation at amusement parks, there seems to be an increasing consensus among the majority of Jewish Israelis that religious segregation is a positive phenomenon.

To be sure, there are parts of Israel in which Jewish people and non-Jewish people choose to live close to each other and get along fairly well. They are few and far between, but they exist, and among them are Abu Ghosh, Jaffa and Wahat al-Salam. It is precisely because Jews and Arabs live there in relative peace that these communities are attacked. It is the option of Israelis and Palestinians living in a multicultural environment that the Dominionists want to eliminate.

If the government of Israel not only enabled segregation but also simultaneously enabled groups of Jews, Arabs and others to establish multicultural institutions and heterogenous communities, it could at least claim to be adhering to a libertarian interpretation of the right to equal treatment under the law. But there is only one such Palestinian-Israeli intentional community in the entire country — Wahat al-Salam — and as its first Palestinian resident told me just days before he died last year, it exists not because of the Israeli government’s efforts, but in spite of them.

While (what are likely) disorganized groups of Dominionist hooligans carry out physical attacks on mixed Arab-Jewish communities like Wahat al-Salam, highly organized groups of Dominionist activists move into mixed Arab-Jewish towns across the country with the avowed objective of preventing “assimilation” and eventually driving out the non-Jewish residents (Amy Teibel, “Devout Israeli Jews moving to Arab-Jewish cities,” Associated Press, 4 October 2012). And in the last three years, top Israeli political and religious leaders have stepped up their efforts to segregate areas of the country into Jewish and non-Jewish.

Racist rulings

In 2010, first dozens, and then hundreds, of chief rabbis on the government payroll issued a religious edict forbidding Jews from renting apartments to non-Jewish people. The rabbis justified their racist ruling by citing passages of the Bible which call for ethnic cleansing the land of Israel and implementing complete racial segregation (Deuteronomy 7). Their ruling still stands, and no disciplinary action was ever taken against the rabbis.

In 2011, Israel’s parliament, the Knessetpassed the Communities Acceptance Law, colloquially called the “Kaadan Loophole Law,” because it circumvented the Kaadan case at the high court, which made it illegal to bar a person from purchasing property just because he or she comes from a different culture. The new law granted hundreds of villages in Israel the right to veto home sales on the basis of the buyer’s background.

new government bill currently being debated in the Knesset would permit Israeli businesses to give preferential treatment to people who have served in the army. Although the law would also have a negative impact on some other groups, it is a thinly veiled attempt to sanction discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who, as a rule, do not serve in the military. If the law is enacted, it would essentially extend the legal right to segregate by religion to land developers in any area of the country, including downtown Tel Aviv.

After last week’s embarrassing attack in Abu Ghosh, just as a long list of Hollywood stars were visiting Jerusalem only a couple of kilometers away, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to condemn the attack, saying that it contradicted the values of the Israeli people, and of the Jewish religion (“PM: ‘Price tag’ attacks contradict values of Jewish people and state,” The Jerusalem Post). While that may be true for some Israelis, and for some adherents of Judaism, these racist attacks are clearly in sync with the values of large number of Jewish Israelis, including secular segregationists such as Netanyahu himself, and the Jewish Dominionists that are his power-brokering political partners.

*David Sheen is an independent writer and filmmaker. Born in Toronto, Canada, Sheen now lives in Dimona.

Written FOR


For if we do not rebel, if we do not actively defy corporate power, we will steadily be herded like captive animals into pens where we will be watched, controlled, abused, exploited and finally cast aside when our bodies and our minds are deemed superfluous by the corporate state. It is not enough to interpret the world. We must change it.

The Eternal Rebel: Ronnie Kasrils

By Chris Hedges (about the author) 

Ronnie Kasrils. Screenshot via “Democracy Now!”
What is it that makes a rebel? Why does one willingly step outside society to destroy a system of power, break the law and risk persecution and even death for an ideal? As the state calcifies into corporate totalitarianism, as prominent rebels such as Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are defamed by a bankrupt media and political class and hunted down as criminals, as change through the established mechanisms of reform becomes impossible, as systems of power invert morality to silence and imprison the just, we are going to have to ask hard questions about what we are willing to endure to make a better world. 
For if we do not rebel, if we do not actively defy corporate power, we will steadily be herded like captive animals into pens where we will be watched, controlled, abused, exploited and finally cast aside when our bodies and our minds are deemed superfluous by the corporate state. It is not enough to interpret the world. We must change it.

Rebels at the inception of struggle are vilified. They are few in number. They are ostracized by the wider society. They are left to brood in shadows where the organs of state security track and hunt them like prey. These rebels of history must become our tutors. To discuss the nature of rebellion, I recently met with Ronnie Kasrils, who was a leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress when the group was fighting South Africa’s government and who, from 2004 to 2008, was minister for intelligence services in the ANC government.

Kasrils, white, middle class and Jewish, turned his back on his race and his class to join the African National Congress as a 22-year-old in 1960. A year later he became a member of the South African Communist Party. He was a founding member, along with Nelson Mandela, of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), or Spear of the Nation, the armed wing of the ANC. He served as the commander of the Natal Regional Command and underwent military training in 1964 in Odessa, in the Soviet Union. 

As a leader in the MK, Kasrils carried out sabotage and bombings of state infrastructure and industrial sites. Although a 1983 MK guerrilla attack left 19 civilians dead and a 1986 raid killed three civilians and injured 73 others, Kasrils points out that overall, only a small number of whites died in the struggle while tens of thousands of blacks were slaughtered by the apartheid state.

Kasrils, along with his late wife, Eleanor, lived the shadowy life of an armed revolutionary. In his long liberation campaign he encountered resistance figures ranging from Ernesto “Che” Guevara to Malcolm X. His autobiography, “Armed and Dangerous: My Undercover Struggle Against Apartheid,” is a meditation on the cost and demands of revolutionary discipleship.

Kasrils said the rebel and the revolutionary are driven by an instinctive compassion, concern for others and “standing up for the underdog.” These impulses are often present in children, he said, but they are muted or crushed by the institutions of social control including the family and school. Kasrils, although an atheist, sees the rebel in Jesus Christ, as well as in the thunderous denunciations of evil and oppression by the Hebrew prophets of the Bible. He said that those who endure oppression such as Mandela and rise up to resist are better described as revolutionaries. The rebel, he said, is one who often enjoys certain “liberties” but who is “prepared to give up his class or her class, or tribe.” Rebels turn their backs on their own.

Kasrils in his autobiography writes about a discussion on the nature of the rebel with Jack Simons, a retired university professor who was teaching ANC recruits in Angola and who had been a leader in the South African Communist Party before it was outlawed in 1950. The conversation, Kasrils said, “stunned me.” 


“Unconventional thought is a force for development,” Simons told Kasrils. “It is wrong to suppress it. The likes of you and I were thrown to the lions in Roman times and burnt at the stake in the Middle Ages as heretics.”

“The person who could [have escaped all that and had] a privileged or comfortable life — isn’t that the rebel, the John Browns?” Kasrils asked…

“Why does John Brown raise the flag of rebellion? So, for a rebel, the officer in an army who certainly stands up and says this army is standing for the wrong thing, we want to stand for the freeing of the slaves, I find this the more fascinating area in terms of rebellion, not that I find it more satisfying or important than understanding why the worker stands up against the boss. I mean, that’s the motive force of revolutionary change, not the rebel’s role. Not my role. And I think this is what Jack Simons was saying to me. We would have been burnt at the stake. That’s the dissident factor. I find this on the question of having been Jewish-born but standing for Palestinian rights. There you need such courage to stand up against your tribe. In South Africa I see so many people now who were oppressed before, and now have a chance to advance in life and become ministers or government officials of various kinds and mayors or — through black empowerment — heads of companies, forgetting what their backgrounds were and feeling, ‘Well, now I can give my children a decent home and education, I’m not worried about those without.’ That’s not a rebel.”

It was in post-apartheid South Africa that Kasrils fully realized Simons’ wisdom. Kasril’s relentless quest for not just political but economic justice has turned him into a fierce critic of the two organizations to which he has dedicated himself for 50 years — the African National Congress and the Communist Party. The failure of these two organizations to ameliorate the suffering of the poor, the rampant corruption he says exists within the leadership of the ANC, and the Marikana Massacre last August in which 44 striking miners were gunned down by the South African Police  Service — the most lethal assault on unarmed civilians since the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, the event that prompted Kasrils to join the ANC — have left him alienated, once again, from the centers of power.

“I have to speak up,” he said. “It’s deep within me.”

Kasrils said the ANC’s fatal mistake, which he concedes was partly his fault, was its decision in the transition to power in 1994 to mothball its socialist economic agenda, known as the Freedom Charter. The charter, which had wide popular appeal, demanded the end of the exploitation by the white oligarchic elite that treated black laborers as serfs on farms, in mines and on factory floors. It called for the right to work, freedom of expression, access to decent housing and land for all South Africans and a sharing of South African wealth, especially its mineral resources. Banks, industries and mines were to be nationalized. He and other leaders in the ANC believed they could deal with economic injustice later. They were fearful of defying Western imperialism and, as Kasrils put it, “neoliberal global economy market fundamentals.” But the ANC’s caving in to global pressure to adopt a free market economy has proved to be a disaster. South Africa continues to be one of the most unequal societies on the planet. Whites, although they are less than 10 percent of the nation’s population, earn 7.7 times more on average than their black counterparts. Only a few thousand of the country’s 41 million blacks earn more than $5,000 a year. It is apartheid by another name.

A “true rebel would not have accepted that,” Kasrils said, citing Che Guevara and Simons.

Kasrils became deputy minister of defense in the ANC government in 1994 when Mandela was elected president of South Africa.

“I felt, perhaps as a rebel, that this was something that I could focus on and make a big difference,” he said of his appointment. Kasrils wanted to reform “a white supremacist army into a military that would serve democracy” but in the process, he said, “I took my eye off the ball in terms of the economic factors.”

The forces of global corporate capitalism that have deformed South Africa are harder to define and fight than the palpable evil of white supremacy under apartheid, Kasrils said. The current battle requires “more courage and inner depth” because the enemy is faceless. Kasrils said, however, that we have reached a moment in history that is like 1848 or 1917 or some other seismic turning point. Marx, Engels and Lenin, he said, illuminated the maze the rebels faced in 19th century industrialized society; now, a new maze has to be deciphered. 

“We need something of that nature now,” he said of the light provided by these thinkers. Answers “existed and then petrified.” The onslaught of globalization has “torn apart” the world and created conditions that Kasrils believes replicate those Engels correctly predicted would convulse the early 20th century.

“It’s very similar,” Kasrils said. “The ruthless struggles for ascendancy, the rivalries, the aggressive wars. That huge confusion and tumult of capital, and now finance corporate capitalism.”

He views the rise of the revolutionary force in the Arab Spring, the recent Turkish street protests and the Occupy movement as signals of a new age.

“We see the anger, the rebellious spirit of people not wanting to live in the way we’re being forced to live at present,” he said…

“But the question of how to come together, and the way ahead, and clarifying the enemy, is at present something we’re striving for. There are obviously groups of revolutionaries, rebels and anti-war groups around the world. But what’s lacking is the ability to define what it is that needs to be replaced. [We need] to define that for the vast multitudes, not just for those who are convening movements and protests.”“Rebels are detonators in terms of getting other people to understand what we’re up against and how we should be organized. That’s where the Communist International of Marx, and then later with the 1917 revolution, emerged as a major tool in opposition to imperialism and developed as an anti-imperialist movement.”

What we face through the rise of corporate capitalism is, in essence, the “re-colonization of Africa and the rest of the world,” Kasrils said.

Marx predicted that eventually unfettered, global capitalism would evolve into a revolutionary force, but it would also have within it the seeds of its own destruction. National boundaries helped check capitalist exploitation with government regulation, an adversarial press and labor organizing, but once corporations created global markets, once they could play one country off another, once workers around the globe were in effect disempowered, the barriers to unfettered capitalism were lifted. I asked Kasrils if we had now reached the last stage that Marx wrote about.

“I think it is that,” he said…

“You know we call it today globalism and give it the name of the neoliberal agenda, but that’s exactly what Marx is talking about. Globalism isn’t something that’s just emerged. There’s been the force toward globalism on the basis of the replacement of feudalism into first industrial capital, which was the building up of separate empires. And obviously state powers, and empires, and interfinance capital, and the imperialism that we have today.“The rise under capitalism of Western Europe is directly, as a result of the ability, time and place, to colonize what we call the developing world today: Africa, Asia, Latin America. It’s on that basis that the empires of Europe, and then of America–North America–grow.”

And as nations are re-colonized, the forms of control become more sophisticated. Kasrils said…

“Every single dictatorship builds up the surveillance mechanisms and the control system of its society, of its people. Right throughout history — from ancient times — it becomes absolutely necessary the moment the state based on classes emerges. So the slaves are kept under control. Fear is put into their hearts on a minute-to-minute basis. The sword, the ax, is always over your head, and that applies in modern times where it’s not just the club over your head but it’s also the other threats of losing job, losing profession, of being ruined or being thrown onto the streets.“People fear what they see emerging. It has happened before under McCarthyism, communist witch hunting in Europe, Britain. So, to keep people in line, whether it’s schoolboys under disciple or sailors on the deck of a ship, or the unemployed, or the factory worker, there’s always been that element of fear to control, to reinforce the control through socialization, education and the hegemony of ruling-class thought, prayer, religion and so on. But in history, as Spartacus or any rebel movement shows, and as we’ve seen in the Arab Spring — Tunisia and Egypt are the particular models — the point comes when people lose fear. That emerged very starkly in the police state of [Hosni] Mubarak

“Fear was everywhere. People didn’t dare to speak or to step out of line. The few rebels were always crushed on the torturer’s wheel, their tongues cut out, metaphorically, sometimes actually in reality. So the contradictions of the few ruling the many in terms of injustice brings to my mind the great lines of Shelley, the poet, at the time of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Rise from your slumbers like lions, we are many they are few.’ [Paraphrase.] And, you know, when I read that I was amazed at the similarity in South Africa when in 1976 young people, 12-year-olds, teenagers in the schools, rose against the apartheid police state, with all of the fear factor, including that of the myth of white supremacy, and were prepared to take it on in the streets and were prepared to die, and those who weren’t shot down were prepared to look for the organizational form to fight back and instead of stones to seek guns and bullets. 

“The ANC was the organization that they turned to because it had always been the rebel organization. It had never died, it was always there and always strove to resist. So, fear, as we’ve seen, can keep people in check for many, many years. Decades. And there comes a time when the system breaks, when the weakest link snaps, and people suddenly lose fear and find courage and stand up. And that’s what we’re seeing.”

“I recall in the long, dark years of our struggle against apartheid where we were being hammered, or imprisoned, or we were in exile, and we would always speculate what would start the fire again,” he said…

“And it’s like what’s happened actually as we speak in the square in Istanbul. Quite a small, insignificant square, which was the only parkland with trees in a huge district. And young people and old people wanted to defend this park as one of their lungs. We’re reading about it as we speak and seeing it on our TV screens this very day. “That’s a kind of poetic beauty about rebellion and revolution. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s that dialectic — the drip of water that wears away a stone. What is it? This is where you use the term ‘mystery.’ It’s happening over many, many years. It’s wearing away a chain that’s imprisoning people. It’s melting somehow. It’s breaking the fetters. And that happens suddenly from a trigger like the demand, the protection of the park, and the Turkish despot, [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, saying, ‘No matter what you do or say, the development of the shopping area on your blessed park is going ahead.’ And that’s just one bridge too far.”

“You’ve got to be organized,” he said. “You’ve got to have a program of action. You’ve got to have a strategy about your tactics and who is the enemy, and what are you going to replace the system with.”

Although Kasrils embraced violence against the apartheid state, he is very hesitant about employing violence against the corporate state. But he sees oppression, if finally left unchecked, as justifying the use of force by the rebel. He quoted John F. Kennedy’s dictum: “Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.”

“When you get to a point where it’s impossible to make change in any other way, then violent means comes on the agenda, revolutionary struggles,” Kasrils said…

“I wouldn’t speak for [the] American people. Certainly in a democracy where everybody has the right to vote at every level from national to local, isn’t it then a question of the extent to which you ” use your space and the opportunities of organizing people against particular obstructions, against injustice of whatever form, and electing the people who can do the job?”

“The corporate [state], as you say, they are the unseen force, but behind what?” he asked…

“It’s behind the media, so to propagandize, and subject us to their world through the visual and the printed forms, and the way we’re educated, through the running of governments and getting their hands on the Appalachian minerals, but isn’t there potential? Doesn’t the Occupy movement show that there is energy there that can be tapped, that can be mobilized? That’s the challenge. It’s very, very difficult. I know.”“The fact that we have a bourgeois democracy with the right to vote means that there must be the space to organize. So we’ve got a situation in South Africa where things, I believe, are going wrong, where our ruling party is serving corporate elements and is being bribed and corrupted. It’s not so easy to mobilize people who see their only hope with the ANC and will use their vote for that, but in fact aren’t getting proper service from the ANC. Until there’s a force on the scene in South Africa to do better, people won’t vote otherwise. … I wouldn’t [want to] see a repeat of what the Weathermen did in the late ’60s with the Black Panthers. Look how isolated they were as a result. If you’re going to take up arms as we did, it’s on the basis that in the end you will win, that you will isolate your adversary, and that you will win to your side the vast multitudes of people, not be isolated as so many armed struggles become, not only in Germany with the Baader Meinhof group or the Red Brigades of Italy.”

“This wave of jihadism is absolutely reactionary. … They see certain problems with their culture, with Western domination,” he said. “It goes [to] more than just the culture…

“…it’s all about the domination of the wealth of those countries. They’re using the wrong means here and bringing such incalculable suffering on their people. And I’m not blaming them for drone war, etc., but you’ve got to take this into account. They’re going about it in the absolutely wrong way. So to consider the use of violence in terms of resistance, it’s, in a sense, the highest form of struggle to use weapons when you can’t use any other forms of change. But you have to be so scientific, so clear in your goals and in your strategy and tactics if you want to use this. Otherwise, you’ll be absolutely smashed, and you’ll bring untold harm and devastation onto the heads of people, and a price that you can never pay.”

Kasrils in his autobiography tells of an incident involving a South African death squad led by the notorious killer and former police colonel Eugene de Kock. De Kock was the commanding officer of C1, a counterinsurgency unit of the South African police that in the 1980s and 1990s kidnapped, tortured and murdered hundreds of anti-apartheid activists and ANC leaders. He and his hit squad had recently assassinated three of Kasril’s ANC comrades. Kasrils tracked de Kock, nicknamed “Prime Evil” and now serving a life sentence in South Africa, along with de Kock’s squad of killers, to a hotel. Kasrils organized a group of ANC insurgents to gun down the members of the hit squad there. De Kock and his men had left, however, before Kasrils and his party burst into the room where they had been. I asked Kasrils if he would, should the situation be repeated today, organize an armed group to kill de Kock and his hit men.

“I see this as similar to the French Resistance and the resistance in Europe against the Nazis,” he said. “So, you know there were the battles in the open, but most of the battles were by stealth. I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong in the battle of stealth against power when you are engaged in a war. They had killed, murdered in cold blood, three of our people in Swaziland. You’ve got to take harsh decisions at times, and this is in the context of an ongoing war there. ” I put it within the context of a revolutionary war.” He said, nevertheless, that “when I look back and I meet some of these people who we fought before and I hear from them how they knew someone who died, I wish that that person didn’t have to die.”

“To go up in a war, a revolutionary war, to attack a barracks and blow it up with soldiers inside, you know they’re doing that to you — that’s warfare. Terrorism is the indiscriminate action against the civil population, unarmed people. And there were times there, probably 20, 30, 50, maybe, acts that took place in so many years where you could say that was an act of terror, where a bomb was put in a bar or a restaurant, but we stopped it as soon as that was taking place in the mid-’80s. Some of our elements, our units, did that in a very small-scale way. We came down upon it very quickly.”“To have taken lives that way, I think, is coming down to the unspeakable level of your adversary, which you must not do,” he said. “And you lose the moral high ground in the process.”

He said that the ANC learned to differentiate between the apartheid regime and all other whites, even those whites who voted the apartheid leaders into power and backed their racist ideology.

“When people vote they often aren’t even really clear about why, and they do it out of fear,” he said. “So we were very careful in relation to that. But it was another thing if you were on the track of hit squads, of very vicious people who were taking our lives. You were actually saving lives if you could stop them.”



Written FOR



House demolitions: Zionism’s constant background noise

Hardly a day goes by without the State of Israel demolishing an Arab home between the Jordan River and the sea. The hum of bulldozers is the constant background noise of Zionism. Listen to it for a few moments.

By Idan Landau, translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman


House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 (Photo: Meged Gozani/



When people summarize the Zionist project, with the fanfare of victory or the gloom of defeat, one thing will be certain, they will be puzzled over one strange mystery. How could so many people associate Zionism with creation and construction, and not with regression and destruction. After all, in parallel with the endless construction frenzy, especially beyond the green line, the hum of bulldozers has always been audible: beating, breaking, shattering. Housing projects for new Jewish immigrants were built in record speed. Build-your-own-house neighborhoods, neighborhoods for IDF career officers, commuter suburbs, and luxury residential towers popped up everywhere; and at the very same time, the angel of Zionist history left more and more piles of ruin and devastation behind.

The demolition policy has, of course, been the Arabs’ share. From time to time, the state demolishes a tiny shred of a Jewish outpost in the occupied territories; just going through the motions, while bowing sanctimoniously to the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ). Let no one compare the master race, whose members have the benefit of myriad legal options when building their house, to the enslaved race, whose members are denied access to land, everywhere, by mountains of legal barriers; those who wish and even succeed in building their home on stolen land, to those who wish and fail to build their home on their own private land; those whose house will be protected by the sovereign through a reign of terror imposed on their neighbors, to those who can only dream of having the sovereign’s protection.

And perhaps those analysts in the future will inquire further as to why so few Israelis knew about this devastation at all, even though it took place constantly, week by week. Hardly a day goes by between the Jordan River and the sea, without a demolition of an Arab home by the State of Israel. And they will be baffled by the short Israeli memory, a memory that had forgotten long ago that the foreign British rule had committed the same crimes against us. And the greatest mystery of all will regard those who had known, yet had always assumed that the demolition policy was right, appropriate, legally justified; those who had assumed, with unquestionable simplicity, that half of the population between the river and the sea, which happens to be the Arabic-speaking half, was also delinquent by nature, simply unable to abide by the laws of planning and construction; and not only that, the other half also suffered from such staggering folly and shortsightedness, that it brought those endless demolitions upon itself, impoverishing itself to perdition in the process. After all, would there be anything simpler than lawful planning, and lawful submission of plans, and lawful attainment of permits, followed by construction? In short, is there anything simpler than being Jewish?

Yes, that is what law-abiding Israelis think to themselves, and someone will be perplexed by this as well one day. Let us now put all this perplexity aside, and get back to the dismal reality of rubble and furniture lying upside down. It happens all the time, with hardly any media coverage; reports go through one ear and come out through the other. The hum of bulldozers is the constant background noise of Zionism. Listen to it for a few moments.


The demolition of the el-Arabiyeh family home in Anata exceeds all the terrible things I have seen in my 17 years in Rabbis for Human Rights. The sight of a boy or a girl coming back from school and discovering that their house was demolished is something I would not wish my worst enemies to see.
Rabbi Arik Asherman)

* * *

Excluding bodily and psychological harm, no graver cruelty can be inflicted on people than the demolition of their home. The financial consequence for most people is the loss of most of the capital they had accrued throughout their lives; being pushed back 20-30 years as far as their financial independence is concerned. But the demolition amounts of course to much more than that. It’s a demolition of the personal, intimate space where one’s most precious memories were formed; for a child – it is the space where all her/his intimate memories were formed. Every little detail of the house, seemingly trivial to the outside observer, is loaded with intensive meaning to those living in it. The tree in the backyard, the angle formed by shadows penetrating the room, the cracked door frame, the personal arrangement of clothes or toys. All these are wiped out in a brutal instant when the bulldozer goes over your house, and you are bound to feel disconnected – sheer detachment and floating in an alienating, impersonal space; this word, which has undergone such appalling devaluation in our language – “Trauma” – describes the situation precisely.

* * *

The State of Israel demolishes, time and time again. Here is a sequence of such demolitions, a devastating sequence, from the beginning of the year up to the past few days. It is impossible to document everything. Hundreds of photos, of every single house demolished by the state in the past six months, cannot be uploaded. One must perceive the catastrophe, but it is imperceptible. For now, we will settle for a sample. Hail the demolishing hero.

The State of Israel demolished the house of Rafat Issawi, in order to pressure his brother Samer, who went on hunger strike, Issawiya, East Jerusalem, Jan 4 2013, (photo: Activestills/Shiraz Grinbaum)



The State of Israel demolished four houses and left 36 people homeless, Um el-Kheir, South Hebron Hills, Jan 14 2013, (photo: Activestills/Keren Manor) 


The State of Israel demolished 70 structures and left an unknown number of people homeless, Jan 17 2013, Hamam el-Maleh, Jordan Valley, (photo: Activestills/Ahmed el-Bazz)

The State of Israel demolished 55 structures, leaving 187 people homeless, El-Maita, Jordan Valley Jan 20 2013, (photo: Activestills/Keren Manor)   

The State of Israel demolished two houses and left 30 people homeless, Feb. 5 2013, Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem. (photo: WAFA)

The State of Israel demolished the Abu-Saffa family house, leaving 12 people homeless, Feb 18, Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem. (photo: PNN.)

The State of Israel demolished a restaurant, Beit Jalla, Apr 18 2013. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished parts of the Jaradat family house, a-Tur, East Jerusalem, Apr 24 2013 (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished the Sabah family house and left two parents and five children homeless, Shuafat Refugee Camp, May 20 2013. (photo: Tali Maier/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished 15 structures and left tens of Bedouins homeless in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Atir, Negev (within the 67 borders), Mat 21 2013. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished two apartments belonging to the el-Salaima family, leaving 13 people homeless, Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, May 21 2013. (photo: Lazar Simeonov) 

* * *

In 2011 alone, Israel demolished around 1,000 houses in the Bedouin villages in the Negev. The Ministry of Interior refuses to disclose data for 2012.

In 2012 alone, Israel demolished around 600 buildings throughout the West Bank. As a result, 880 people, more than half of them children, have lost their homes. Around 90 percent of the demolitions were carried out in Area C, and the rest in East Jerusalem.

As of now, more than 400 houses in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem are under the threat of imminent demolition.

Since 1967, Israel has demolished more than 28,000 Palestinian buildings in the Occupied Territories.

37 percent of state owned land on the West Bank has been allotted to Jewish settlements since 1967. Over the same period, just 0.7 percent of this land has been allotted to Palestinians.

Since 1967, East Jerusalem’s Palestinian population has grown by almost 250,000; throughout the same period, only 3,900 building permits have been issued in that part of the city.

Nearly half of East Jerusalem still does not have zoning plans, after 46 years. 35 percent of the planning area has been designated as “open view areas,” on which construction is prohibited. Just 17 percent of Palestinian East Jerusalem is available to residents for housing and construction, and these land resources have been nearly exhausted. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have no legal way of building houses.  

Between 2005 and 2009, the construction of 18,000 housing units in Jerusalem was approved; just 13 percent of them were in Palestinian East Jerusalem.

In most parts of East Jerusalem, building density is restricted to 75 percent. In West Jerusalem, the rate goes up to 150 percent.

180,000 Palestinians who reside in Area C have to settle for just 0.5 percent of this area for legal construction.

In 2009-2010 just 13 out of 776 requests for building permits by Palestinians in Area C were approved, no more than 1.7 percent.

Demolition orders have been issued against the majority of the buildings in the 180-year-old village of Hirbet Susya, home to 250 people, and the same goes for the inhabitants of the Hirbet Dukaikah and Hirbet Zanuta (Hebrew), home to 550 people. The State of Israel intends to wipe out entire villages in Area C.

* * *

And what happens when you demolish the wrong house? Mistakes (by Jews) are paid for (by Arabs), and then you confess (to Jews) and get a warm embrace:


* * *

Your country lies desolate,

   Your cities are burned up with fire.

   Foreigners devour them in your presence,

   And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers




If not … create some!
Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
israels point of view (1)

“Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.*

Alice Walker book deemed ‘anti-Jewish’

Anti-Defamation League accuses Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of comparing Israelis to Nazis in her new book. ‘Walker is revealed as someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,’ Jewish group says

Daniel Koren*

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says Alice Walker, author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning “The Color Purple,” expresses several “fervently anti-Jewish ideas” in her latest novel, “The Cushion in the Road.”

The ADL, an American Jewish organization whose mission is to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all citizens alike,” says the novel dedicates over 80 pages to essays on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which they say is “peppered with explicit comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.”

According to the ADL, the pages, which comprise a dozen essays in a section called “On Palestine,” are brimming with attempts to justify terrorism against Israeli citizens. She also ostracizes the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, comparing it to movie festivals Hitler had established in the days leading up to World War II.

“It amazes me, in these churches, that there is no discussion of the fact that the other behavior we learned about in the Bible stories: The rapes, the murders, the pillaging, the enslavement of the conquered, the confiscation of land, the brutal domination and colonization of all ‘others’ is still front and center in Israel’s behavior today,” Walker writes in The Cushion in the Road.

“It is because I recognize the brutality with which my own multi-branched ancestors have been treated that I can identify the despicable, lawless, cruel, and sadistic behavior that has characterized Israel’s attempts to erase a people, the Palestinians, from their own land.”

‘Sunk to new lows’

Walker is no stranger to anti-Israeli rhetoric: Only last month she wrote an open letter to American R&B singer Alicia Keys, urging her to boycott Israeli “apartheid.”

“It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists,” she wrote in the letter. Keys, however, has yet to succumb to growing pressure to cancel her show, and is set to perform in Tel Aviv on July 4.

Walker also made headlines last year when she refused for her highly acclaimed “The Color Purple” to be translated into Hebrew, telling Israeli publishing house Yedidot Books that the State must change its polices before she would allow it to be published there.

According to the ADL, in her new novel Walker suggests that Israel should no longer exist as a Jewish state.

“Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.

“She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before. Her descriptions of the conflict are so grossly inaccurate and biased that it seems Walker wants the uninformed reader to come away sharing her hate-filled conclusions that Israel is committing the greatest atrocity in the history of the world.”



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What we focus on: o
Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
One can choose to focus on bad news or good news. What we focus on determines our outlook on life.
Good news 1: Over 250 million people watched and anticipated the last episode of the season for the TV show “Arab Idol” and the winner for this season was 23 year old Palestinian Mohammad Assaf from Gaza whose patriotic songs, beautiful voice, and self confidence made millions spend the money to text message their vote.  Assaf, one of millions of Palestinian refugees, was then appointed goodwill ambassador to the world’s youth by the UN agency UNRWA. Last night was a night of celebrations among Palestinians in 1948 areas, in WB and Gaza, and in Exile and indeed among all 350 million Arabs around the world.  The dream of Arasb unity still lives on.
Good news 2: The video about the work we are doing on issues of biodiversity in Palestine is now with English subtitles.  Our work is going great and we just got some exiting new data on some rare animals from interesting and remote areas.  Please watch here and come visit to see what we are doing and volunteer if you can:
Good news 3: Good people standing for principles. ‘I was not a party to, and never will be, to the planting of trees on expropriated and stolen land’: Former South African Ambassador to Israel rejects JNF trees planted in his name.
Good news 4: Protests continue in Turkey, Brazil and around the world against the new world order that favors the rich and powerful. Palestine remains prominent as a key struggle that exposes the hypocrisy of Western Governments who support colonialism, racism, and other violations of human rights here in the Arab world and even in their own countries (e.g. snooping on USA citizens by their own government).  Speaking about democracy and human rights while doing the opposite will not be sustainable.
Good news 5: People here (Israelis and Palestinians) are starting to ask important questions about the limits of a militarized fascist society especially after an Israeli Jewish guard shot an Israeli Jewish man for simply saying God is Great (Allahu Akbar). The trigger happy Apartheid society that feigns democracy may yet change and avoid the catastrophic end seen before in history of similar racist societies.
Good news 6: Demonstrations are spreading inside 1948 occupied areas (inside the green line) against the Israeli government policies of ethnic cleansing and racism.  From the Neqab (Negev) to Jaffa to the Triangle to the Galilee, Palestinians are standing up for their rights.
And perhaps one final good news: most Palestinians now realize the failure of the Oslo leadership and its inability to move forward with the needed reforms or to represent our aspirations for freedom and dignity.  The subcontractors for the occupation are failing both in Gaza and in the West Bank.  The resignation of the last appointed prime minister of WB-A/B (West Bank, areas A and B) shows the futility of trying to save face and not admit to failure of this discourse.  The road is clearer than ever: reconstitute the PLO on democratic grounds and let the people decide how and when to return to a liberation struggle. The people demand no less.
Send us other good news to share.


Stewart also appeared to take a gentle dig at the opposition, who hope demonstrations planned for June 30 can force Mursi from power after just a year in office. It took Americans 100 years before a president was impeached for the first time, Stewart said, “For you guys to do it in one year, it’s very impressive.”

‘Egypt’s Jon Stewart’ Hosts the Real Thing

Funny Man Says Cairo Regime Should ‘Handle a Joke’

By Reuters


Jon Stewart took his politically engaged American satire to Cairo on Friday, appearing on a show hosted by the man known as “Egypt’s Jon Stewart”, who has faced investigation for insulting the president and Islam.

Among barbs aimed at Egypt’s ruling Islamists and others, Stewart praised host Bassem Youssef for taking risks to poke fun. “If your regime is not strong enough to handle a joke,” he said, “then you don’t have a regime.”

Youssef is a cardiologist whose online comedy clips inspired by Stewart’s “Daily Show” won him wild popularity and a prime-time TV show after the 2011 revolution that ended military rule. He paid tribute to his guest as a personal inspiration as the pair traded gags over Stewart’s impressions of a visit to Cairo.

Stewart in turn played down any difficulties his wit created for him in the United States, telling Youssef: “I tell you this, it doesn’t get me into the kind of trouble it gets you into. I get in trouble, but nowhere near what happens to you.”

With Egypt still in ferment and elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi facing off against liberals who fear he plans to smother personal freedoms, Youssef was released on bail after being questioned in March over alleged insults to Mursi and the channel he appears on was threatened with losing its licence.

Criticising such moves, which have also drawn reproaches for Egypt from the U.S. government, Stewart said: “A joke has never shot teargas at a group of people in a park. It’s just talk.

“What Bassem is doing … is showing that satire can still be relevant, that it can carve out space in a country for people to express themselves. Because that’s all democracy is.”

He took aim at Mursi’s controversial decision this week to name a member of a hardline Islamist movement blamed for a massacre of tourists at Luxor in the 1990s as governor of that city. Having been brought into the studio hooded and presented as a “spy”, he spoke a few words in Arabic before saying Egypt’s president had honoured him: “I am now the mayor of Luxor.”

Stewart also appeared to take a gentle dig at the opposition, who hope demonstrations planned for June 30 can force Mursi from power after just a year in office. It took Americans 100 years before a president was impeached for the first time, Stewart said, “For you guys to do it in one year, it’s very impressive.”

Perhaps the biggest laugh in the studio, though, was for a simple crack at Egypt’s perennial traffic chaos: “I know this is an ancient civilisation,” he said. “Have you thought about traffic lights?”



The birthday boy was presented as a man of peace and vision. That’s also nice, but what about the truth? The party thrown by the man of peace was attended by leaders from all over the world, including the presidents of Albania and Rwanda. But who wasn’t there? Not a single Arab statesman. There wasn’t even a single Palestinian, except for the token child who was successfully healed in an Israeli hospital, a generous gift to the thousands of Palestinian children who have been killed or injured by the State of Israel, which is also Peres’ Israel.


President Peres’ evening of lies

All you need are a few Hollywood movie stars and a few former world leaders, and voila! For one night it seemed as if Israel was not merely the most moral nation on earth, but also the most popular. But what about the truth?

By Gideon Levy
Peres, Clinton, Streisand and Netanyahu at J'lem bash, June 2013.
Peres, with former U.S. President Clinton, Barbra Streisand and PM Netanyahu at birthday gala. Photo by Reuters

Tuesday night’s celebration of President Shimon Peres’ birthday was an immoral event. Even if one ignores the flashiness, the lack of taste, the personality cult and the kitsch − all in measures that would have embarrassed even Nicolae Ceaucescu − it was a celebration of lies. The television channels that united to broadcast this fawning performance should have at least warned viewers that it wasn’t suitable for young people, lest their souls be corrupted.

The celebration was immoral because it contained everything except the truth. That was swept under the carpet at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. Lies upon lies, illusions upon illusions, wrapped in the rustling cellophane of Sharon Stone and Bill Clinton at half a million dollars.

We’ll start with the name of the presidential conference, the slogan under which the celebration took place: Facing Tomorrow. A country that has no clue where it’s headed, what will be with it in a decade, what it wants and how it plans to achieve its vague goals, convenes a presidential conference on tomorrow. The “tomorrow” of the conference, like that of its host, consists of nanotechnology, sustainability and brain research.

That’s nice, but before we get too moved by this brilliant vision, we have to remember the more disturbing, existential questions. There is no mention of those. Does this country, which is “facing tomorrow,” want to be religious or secular, Western or Middle Eastern, domineering or just, Jewish or democratic? Does it want to continue the occupation forever, and does it plan to grant civil rights to its subjects? Nobody has a clue. Barbra Streisand singing “People,” and the embarrassing salute by a female army officer, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, of course, are enough to make people forget all those things.

The birthday boy was presented as a man of peace and vision. That’s also nice, but what about the truth? The party thrown by the man of peace was attended by leaders from all over the world, including the presidents of Albania and Rwanda. But who wasn’t there? Not a single Arab statesman. There wasn’t even a single Palestinian, except for the token child who was successfully healed in an Israeli hospital, a generous gift to the thousands of Palestinian children who have been killed or injured by the State of Israel, which is also Peres’ Israel.

Peres said in his speech, “Let us pray together for tomorrow’s peace,” and for a moment actually spoke truth: His contribution to peace indeed consisted of prayers ‏(and speeches‏). He even sang the “Song for Peace” at the rally at which Yitzhak Rabin was murdered, and “Give Peace a Chance” at his birthday party. The man who was present at every decisive junction in the nation’s history bears a heavy responsibility for the state of the nation today. His talent for deception and his artful presentation of the state as seeking peace has been no less detrimental to Israel than the settlement enterprise, for whose launch he is also responsible.

It is those who recalled his longevity and endless tasks, who identified him with the state, saying he is the state, who ought to have taken him to account on the status of our state in its 66th year, when only North Korea and Iran are more hated by the world.

Herein lies another lie: For one night it seemed as if Israel was not merely the most moral nation on earth, but also the most popular. All you need are a few movie stars ‏(American, of course‏) and a few former world leaders to obscure the truth: that Israel is currently boycotted more than almost any other nation. This deception is immoral. So is presenting Peres as the nation’s beloved: Most of those now acting so impressed by his age and intelligence never voted for him in their lives. It’s unethical to lie in prime time.

At the end of the previous century, Peres’ friends convened to celebrate his 75th birthday. The modest party took place in the home of book-loving publisher Ohad Zmora. Peres’ “love of his life,” Sonia, didn’t come, as usual, and on the lawn of Moshav Nir Zvi sat a few intellectuals, writers, and a handful of politicians. Peres was portrayed at the time as a statesman at the end of his road. It remains an unforgettable evening. It was an evening of truth.




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Today, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child  accused Israeli forces of torturing Palestinian children.

Israel is accused of abusing Palestinian children– again
 Annie Robbins


Today, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child  accused Israeli forces of torturing Palestinian children.

The report (pdf)comes within a year of three other reports: a UNICEF report on children in military detention last winter; a British report of a year ago, Children in Military Custody, which gained wide attention for its assertion that Israel was torturing children by holding them “routinely and for substantial periods in solitary confinement;” and this Breaking the Silence report last summer on Israeli soldiers’ abuses of Palestinian children, which included many reports of children getting beaten “to a pulp.” 

Reuters: Palestinian children tortured, used as shields by Israel: U.N.

A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.


“Palestinian children arrested by (Israeli) military and police are systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released,” it said in a report.


“If someone simply wants to magnify their political bias and political bashing of Israel not based on a new report, on work on the ground, but simply recycling old stuff, there is no importance in that,” [Israeli Foreign Ministry] spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

The “old stuff” FM spokesperson Yigal Palmor is referencing is the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) February report Children in Israeli Military Detention, Observations and Recommendations (pdf) on the “widespread, systematic and institutionalized” abuse of Palestinian children held in Israeli custody.

After UNICEF released its report, Israel’s Foreign Ministry claimed in March that it would “study the conclusions and…  work to implement them through ongoing cooperation with UNICEF.”

But that didn’t happen. No; instead, in a bizarre twist, a month later UNICEF attempted to sanitize its own findings at a press conference in Jerusalem. 

No doubt Palmor would much rather deal with UNICEF than with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which issued today’s report, since Israel joined UNICEF’s board this year, and UNICEF’s new Jerusalem bureau chief has been very respectful of Israel.

Back to Reuters:

The U.N. committee [OHCHR] regretted Israel’s “persistent refusal” to respond to requests for information on children in the Palestinian territories and occupied Syrian Golan Heights since the last review in 2002.

Today is a good time to be reminding Israel to stop torturing Palestinian children. It’s World Refugee Day, established by the U.N. in December 2000, nearly 50 years after the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.  It is observed every year on June 20th to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.

Palestinian refugees represent the longest suffering and largest refugee population in the world.



Written FOR


(Photo: Facebook)


‘Fuck it, I Love Israel’ — Artists 4 Israel bombards Ibiza with hasbara condoms

by Max Blumenthal

These are exciting times for an affluent Zionist hipster. This Spring, Craig Dershowitz, the tattooed, 32-year-old founder of Artists 4 Israel, arranged for the distribution of thousands of condoms bearing pro-Israel messages at the Spanish island dance bacchanal known as Ibiza. At the grand opening party at Sankeys, a popular Ibiza techno club, Artists 4 Israel bombarded party people with 1000 condoms reading, “Fuck It, I Love Israel.”

A self-described “highly trained advocated and creative director/writer,” Dershowitz boasts of his organization’s “passionate dedication to creativity, beauty and Israel which, let’s be honest, is one in the same.” Though Artists 4 Israel was his brainchild, it hasreceived plenty of help from the Jewish National Fund, the Israeli para-governmental organization famous forplanting pine forests atop destroyed Palestinian villages, and which is currently engaged in the violent ethnic cleansing of the Bedouin village of Al Araqib.

With a tattoo sleeve on his arm depicting revisionist Zionist godfather Vladimir Jabotinsky, his “favorite Jew,” Dershowitz has become a frequent presence on universities across the country, bringing pro-Israel graffiti artists to campus for the “DTF” tour. Artists 4 Israel fliers distributed at Haverford college explained the connotations of the DTF abbreviation: Israel is struggling to “Defeat the Fanaticism,” demanding, “Terrorists, stop blowing shit up.” At the same time, Israel is a “a land of sexual liberation” that is “Down To Fuck.”


handout back
‘DTF’ tour flyer. (Image: 

A Haverford student described the DTF tour as “an attempt to manipulate students into having a greater hate and fear of the Arab world and a greater love for Israel.” Describing Artists 4 Israel’s presence on campus as “destructive,” the studentwrote, “I feel that the DTF Tour’s visit to Haverford damaged the community. Luckily, students came together to heal those wounds.”

In 2011, Artists 4 Israel attempted to beautify Hebron’s occupied H2 area — a “sterile zone,” according to the Israeli army, with main streets off limits to Palestinian residents. According to Haaretz, Artists 4 Israel graffiti artists painted next to Israel army posts and on the the homes of Palestinians while soldiers stood by and watched. One giant piece portrayed the Temple Mount and read, “May the Temple be built soon in our time.”



In a video posted on Youtube, Dershowitz appeared in the heart of H2 while two graffiti artists in the background adorned a concrete blast wall with an image of the Second Temple. Dershowitz explained that the Hebron project was aimed at increasing international support “for the Jewish people living in its ancestral homeland” — in other words, for colonizing the West Bank. Complaining that some of his artists had been pelted with rocks while in the city, Dershowitz declared, “Their destruction is only furthering our creation.”


Craig Dershowitz (Photo: 
Aish Center)

Artists 4 Israel isn’t Dershowitz’s only claim to fame. He was seen in 2012 on theToday Show begging for donations to help him wage a legal battle to recover “Knuckles,” his pet puggle, from his ex-girlfriend, who took the dog to Los Angeles and refused to give it back. Claiming to have spent $60,000 on the dogfight, Dershowitz hired super-lawyer Sean Dweck to litigate the case in two courts in New York and in California.

Dershowitz even set up a website, “Rescue Knux,” to beg for donations to keep his legal battle going.

“Knuckles is my son and I don’t mean to come off as if he’s more important than a human child, but to me he is,” he pleaded.

“You talk about pleading for money,” Today Show host Ann Curry said to Dershowitz. “You’re asking for people to contribute to your legal bills. Through the internet there are a lot of great charities that people should contribute to. Why do you think they should contribute to you?”

“I’m only asking for small bits,” Dershowitz responded plaintively. “…This is something that with only a small amount, you can make a huge difference.”


Written FOR


Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Demonizing+Islam (1)
It took less than a week to ‘uncover’ this, but the zionists claim to have found the first incident to discredit Iran’s newly elected President. The Jewish Press in Israel has the ‘story’ on their headlines Here and Here…. They came up with this tale in record time. The source cited is a ‘US Paper’ which claims that  Iran’s president-elect was on special government committee that plotted 1994 bombing of Jewish community center that killed 85 people.
Just who is the source? In their own words from ‘About Us’ The Washington Free Beacon, a project of the 501(c)4 Center for American Freedom, is a nonprofit online newspaper that began publication on February 7, 2012. Dedicated to uncovering the stories that the professional left hopes will never see the light of day, the Free Beacon produces in-depth and investigative reporting on a wide range of issues, including public policy, government affairs, international security, and media criticism. Whether it’s exposing cronyism, dissecting the relationship between the progressive movement and the mainstream media, finding out just who is shaping our domestic and foreign policy and why, or highlighting the threats to American security and peace in a dangerous world, the Free Beacon  is committed to serving the public interest by reporting news and information that currently is not being fully covered by other news organizations.
C’mon guys …. surely you can use a reliable source for your misinformation. As a proud segment of ‘the professional left’, DesertPeace takes pride that our reports are not fabricated and definitely do not serve the interests of zionism.
The ‘report’ can be found HERE ….

New Iranian President Tied to 1994 Bombing

85 were killed in bombing of Argentinian Jewish Center
Be sure to see THIS related post.


  First there was this ….. A most admirable quote
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But, then he turns around to celebrate the 90th birthday of that very ‘mad dog’, Shimon Peres, yesterday …. Celebrating the very apartheid he condemned earlier
A few others in attendance ….
Remember them the next time you attend the cinema …
Sharon Stone
Barbra Streisand

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