MIDEAST ‘PEACE’ PLAN SAME TIMELINE AS A PREGNANCY

Seems we heard this song before 😦
*
The major “final-status” issues to be resolved include borders, the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem.
*

John Kerry Sets 9-Month Timeline for Peace

Negotiators Will Meet in Two Weeks in Region

*

GETTY IMAGES 

By Reuters

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Tuesday gave themselves about nine months to try to reach an agreement on ending their conflict of more than six decades in U.S.-brokered peace talks.

The two sides held their first peace negotiations in nearly three years in Washington on Monday and Tuesday, a diplomatic victory for Secretary of State John Kerry, but one that foreign policy analysts believe has low chances of success.

Flanked by the chief negotiators for both sides, Kerry said he was well aware of the doubts but described the initial talks, which appear to have focused on process rather than substance, as “constructive and positive.”

Speaking after the meetings, which included a session at the White House with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as talks between the two sides without U.S. officials present, Kerry said he believed peace was possible despite the obstacles.

“We have had constructive and positive meetings,” he said, as Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat stood at his side, noting that all so-called final-status issues to end the conflict were on the table.

“While I understand the skepticism, I don’t share it,” Kerry said. “We cannot pass along to another generation the responsibility of ending a conflict that is in our power to resolve in our time. They should not be expected to bear that burden, and we should not leave it to them.”

The talks will go to a second round by the middle of August.

The resumption of negotiations is a rare moment of good news in the Middle East for the Obama administration, which has struggled to formulate a policy to try to end the civil war in Syria or to facilitate a democratic transition in Egypt.

Kerry, who has prodded, coaxed and cajoled the two sides to resume negotiations in a flurry of visits to the Middle East during his less than six months in office, urged the Israelis and Palestinians to embrace “reasonable, principled compromise.”

However, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas struck a sour note on Monday, saying that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.

“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands,” Abbas said in a briefing to mostly Egyptian journalists.

The United States is seeking to broker an agreement on a two-state solution, in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new Palestinian state created in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, lands occupied by the Israelis since the 1967 war. The last direct negotiations collapsed in late 2010 over Israel’s construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied territory.

The major “final-status” issues to be resolved include borders, the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem.

DEEP DOUBTS

Foreign policy experts voiced deep doubts about the odds of success for the peace talks, the latest in a long series of U.S. brokered efforts that have failed, including former President Bill Clinton’s 2000 Camp David push.

“The initial indicators are not overly encouraging: that U.S. Secretary of State Kerry had to invest so much time and effort just to get Israelis and Palestinians to agree to meet suggests that he may want the talks more than them,” said Rob Danin, an analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“So far, what the parties have mainly agreed to is a process, not to a deal,” he said in an opinion piece for CNN.

Kerry said Israel had agreed to take unspecified steps to ease the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank, which is ruled by a Palestinian Authority dominated by Abbas’ Fatah faction, and the Gaza Strip, where the Islamist Hamas group holds sway.

Among the many obstacles to any agreement are split opinions within both the Israeli and Palestinian publics.

Resuming talks is unpopular among some of Abbas’ supporters in Fatah, let alone Hamas, which has condemned the effort. The politics are also difficult for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with some of his coalition partners opposed to creating a Palestinian state.

Livni, the chief Israeli negotiator, sought to cast the talks in a positive light. “We are hopeful, but we cannot be naive. We cannot afford it in our region,” she said.

“It’s going to be hard, with ups and downs. But I can assure you that … in these negotiations, it’s not our intention to argue about the past, but to create solutions and make decisions for the future.”

Erekat said it was time to end the conflict. “Palestinians have suffered enough, and no one benefits more from the success of this endeavor more than Palestinians,” he said. “It’s time for the Palestinian people to have an independent, sovereign state of their own.”

Source

FINDERS KEEPERS?? BEST NOT TO LOSE YOUR SMARTPHONE IN ISRAEL

Yet another ruling from the dark ages regarding lost property …..

*

kosher-phones300-300x300

*

The new halachic ruling, issued by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, states that banned cellular phone are not considered a property which, if lost, must be returned to its owner according to the Torah.

*

Rabbi: No need to return lost smartphone
Halachic ruling issued by Rabbi Karelitz says because advanced cellular phone is ‘not kosher,’ there is no obligation to give it back to its owner*An innovative halachic ruling issued recently states that there is no need to return a lost “non-kosher” phone to its owner.

The ruling was given following an incident which took place in a bakery in the central city of Bnei Brak, when a saleswoman refused to return a smartphone to its owner. The case sparked a halachic debate on social networks on whether the saleswoman had violated the “thou shalt not steal” commandment.

The new halachic ruling, issued by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, states that banned cellular phone are not considered a property which, if lost, must be returned to its owner according to the Torah.

Meanwhile, a new court on communication affairs was established in the ultra-Orthodox sector at the initiative of Refael Meir, the brother of haredi journalist Yedidia Meir. The court will headed by five leading rabbis, who will issue rulings on the use of cellular phones and the Internet.

The decision to set up the new institution was made during a meeting held at the home of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the leaders of the haredi Ashkenazi public.

The court will also run a PR campaign against haredi websites which rabbis have ordered their followers to boycott. Some of these websites have been taken down as a result of the boycott calls, yet many other websites have been launched recently.

Source

AMERICAN JEWS DIVIDED OVER PAMELA GELLER’S HATRED

Never invite those who promote hatred of other religious and ethnic groups in the guise of advancing Jewish interests and values.
*

Pamela Geller’s Intolerance Crosses Red Line on Bimah

Synagogues Shouldn’t Apologize for Silencing Hatred

Hatemongers Not Welcome: Pamela Geller has spawned headlines by winning invitations — then cancellations — from synagogues. No one should apologize for refusing a platform to her brand of anti-Islam hatred, writes Eric Yoffie.
GETTY IMAGES
Hatemongers Not Welcome: Pamela Geller has spawned headlines by winning invitations — then cancellations — from synagogues. No one should apologize for refusing a platform to her brand of anti-Islam hatred, writes Eric Yoffie.

The recent decisions by a synagogue in Great Neck and another outside of Toronto to cancel appearances by anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller — both were rescheduled at other venues — have made headlines in the Jewish press and raised interesting questions for the Jewish community.

There are important issues at stake here. They are not new, but they are not going away. So let’s think through, yet again, who it is that we want speaking at our synagogues — and Federations and JCCs.

My first observation: Diversity of views should be welcome. Debate should be promoted and controversy encouraged. A synagogue that shuts down discussion whenever a wealthy donor is offended may appease the donor but will ultimately drive away its own members and lose its standing in the community. Synagogues are expected to challenge accepted thinking and to shake things up, at least a bit.

My second observation: Synagogues must have red lines. A synagogue bima is not an open forum; it is a platform used by a Jewish religious institution to promote Jewish values and strengthen the Jewish people and the Jewish state. There are people who should never be invited to speak there and things that should not be said there.

With that in mind, it is important to note that refusing to host a speaker at a synagogue does not raise freedom of speech issues of any kind. Americans have an absolute right, guaranteed by the constitution, to express themselves openly and freely, from any street corner or soapbox. But they are not entitled to demand that a voluntary religious organization provide them with an audience; synagogues—and churches and mosques—have no obligation to host a speaker who expresses ideas that they find abhorrent and that contradict their most fundamental religious principles.

(A synagogue, in this respect, is very different from a university. Universities have red lines too, but they are far more expansive. Americans expect universities to be a place where the broadest possible spectrum of views is expressed, and—as we saw recently at Brooklyn College—it is almost always counterproductive for Jewish communal groups to oppose university speakers or one-time programs, no matter how offensive.)

Each synagogue, of course, must define its own red lines and decide how they will apply in any given case. This is never easy, and different synagogues will come to different conclusions.

When asked for my counsel, I suggest the following broad guidelines:

Remember that the task of the synagogue is to promote Jewish religious tradition and Jewish well-being. At the same time, as noted above, don’t be afraid of strong views and of those who dissent from what may appear to be the communal consensus.

Never invite those who promote hatred of other religious and ethnic groups in the guise of advancing Jewish interests and values.

Don’t be afraid of a diversity of views on Israel, but make your expectations clear: Invite those with a firm commitment to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; who, when criticisms are offered, will offer them with love and respect; and who are sensitive to Israel’s security needs and oppose terrorism against Israelis and Jews—indeed, who oppose terrorism in all forms and at all times.

And how do I apply these standards to current realities? To offer a few prominent examples:

Pamela Geller has no place in an American synagogue. She is a bigot and purveyor of hate.

BDS speakers have no place in American synagogues. They do not simply oppose Israeli policies; they oppose Israel’s very existence.

Peter Beinart and speakers from J Street should be welcomed. I have had my differences with Mr. Beinart and with J Street. At the same time, I agree with much of what they have to say, and I have always seen them as part of the Jewish family and the pro-Israel community. What is relevant here is that they meet the above criteria, and their voices are entitled to be heard.

I no longer oppose appearances in synagogues and Jewish settings by speakers for Christians United for Israel, a pro-Israel Christian group founded by Reverend John Hagee. Years ago, CUFI was a source of anti-Muslim sentiment; while their approach to Israel is very different from my own, the anti-Islam message has disappeared, and they too meet the criteria that I have set out.

Others in the Jewish community might offer different criteria or might apply them in a different way, but this much is clear: When deciding to whom we open our doors, we need a consistent, principled approach. Any synagogue or Jewish institution that does not have such a policy should develop one.

This opinion piece first appeared in the Jerusalem Post

Rabbi Eric Yoffie is the former leader of the Union for Reform Jewry. He writes on his ericyoffie.com website

Source

*
Related (the other side of the fence)
Don’t Ban Pamela Geller — It’s Not Jewish Way (Click HERE to read)

50 YEARS AFTER ‘THE DREAM’, THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES

*

WHITE SKIN AMERICA
By Tom Karlson
*

That White Skin

Another man gone done

He could not stand his ground                

Another man gone

Ah those riflin’

Standin’ your ground

Hoodie baitin’

Black skin huntin’

Legal lynchin’

Terrorizin’

White skinned privileged motherfucker

Judged prosecuted defended juried

Tag teamin’

three card Monty playin’

Strange fruit swingin’

*

A shot to the heart

The dead man’s on trial

The shooter whines

Feared for his life

*

The heads talk

And talk of

Post racial America

A black presidented America

A beyond reasonable doubt America

*

Not a murmur

Of a million stop and frisks

A thousand legal lynchings

The 21st century Jim Crowed prison complex

And never not ever

0f white skin privileged America

*

Another man done gone

He could not stand his ground

Another man done gone

Another man done gone

THE BORN AND BRED NON CITIZENS OF JERUSALEM

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
aa-Israeli-apartheid-illustration
*
Israel classifies Jerusalem natives as noncitizens
 

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM  — The Israeli ministry of interior has come up with a new plan to expel the Palestinian natives of occupied Jerusalem from their city through classifying them as “noncitizens,” lawyer Ahmed Roweidi revealed. Roweidi stated on Tuesday that the Israeli interior ministry started to specify periods for the residence of the natives in Jerusalem and classified them as noncitizens who are susceptible to deportation anytime. Roweidi described this new measure as a prelude to a new ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Palestinian natives in the holy city. He affirmed that a number of Jerusalemite citizens went lately to the Israeli occupation authority to renew their IDs and noticed that the word “resident” was added into the new cards with an expiry date for their residence in the holy city.
*
The response …
*
Jerusalemite groups: The natives of Jerusalem are citizens, not residents

 

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, The higher Islamic commission and the council of awqaf and Islamic affairs in occupied Jerusalem said that the Palestinian natives of Jerusalem are citizens and can never be residents.

This came in a statement released on Saturday by the two Jerusalemite institutions in response to a recent Israeli measure classifying the Palestinian natives of Jerusalem as residents and not citizens in new IDs issued by the interior ministry.

The new Israeli IDs given to the Palestinians in Jerusalem do not only identify them as residents, but also they are provided with an expiry date for their residence in their holy city.

The higher Islamic commission and the council of awqaf and Islamic affairs condemned the Israeli measure as racist and urged the Palestinians in the holy city to uphold their legitimate rights, protect their homes and property and defend their holy sites.

They highlighted that the Palestinians in the holy city are its native citizens and their citizenship cannot be decided by the Israeli occupation regime, for they are deeply rooted in their city.

 

 

Both reports FROM

PALESTINIAN ‘SMART PHONES’ NOT VERY SMART

For the past seven years, Israel has refused to grant the Palestinian Authority electromagnetic spectrum for 3G service that it exclusively controls despite provisions in the 1993 Oslo Accords that appear to obligate Israel to provide this. The restriction has relegated the Palestinians to 2G, even as Israel prepares to launch 4G for its own citizens.
*

Palestinians Suffer in Cell Phone Dark Ages — and Point Finger of Blame at Israel

In Facebook Age, Politics Takes Back Seat to Connectivity

*
Cell phones are ubiquitous in the West Bank. But Israeli rules prevent providers from offering even 3G service, angering tech-savvy Palestinians.
GETTY IMAGES
Cell phones are ubiquitous in the West Bank. But Israeli rules prevent providers from offering even 3G service, angering tech-savvy Palestinians.

By Ben Lynfield

*

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — At the upscale November Café, near Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s house, the conversation and atmosphere are relaxed, and state-of-the-art smart phones rest on tables as their young owners sip cappuccino or fruit juice.

But despite the veneer of normalcy, the pinch of Israel’s 45-year-old occupation of the West Bank is palpable here. For one thing, the smart phones are limited in what they can do. They can’t provide email or Internet via Palestinian companies because Israel prevents these firms from offering 3G services. This has frozen the Palestinian telecommunications sector in a bygone era technologically.

“I am waiting, like many others here, holding smart phones without 3G,” photographer Noor Khatib, 33, told the Forward. Khatib, who shoots for a company that is part of Paltel, the biggest Palestinian telecommunications firm, explained that he preferred to forgo 3G rather than turn to an Israeli company for this service.

For the past seven years, Israel has refused to grant the Palestinian Authority electromagnetic spectrum for 3G service that it exclusively controls despite provisions in the 1993 Oslo Accords that appear to obligate Israel to provide this. The restriction has relegated the Palestinians to 2G, even as Israel prepares to launch 4G for its own citizens.

Israel’s Ministry of Communication says it cannot at present grant any spectrum to the Palestinians, because none is available. As soon as such frequencies will be available, “they will be assigned… to the Palestinians,” said Yechiel Shabi, spokesman for the ministry.

But enabling Palestinian 3G seems far from a priority for Israel. In 2011, the ministry granted frequency spectrum to two Israeli companies, Golan Telecom and Hot Mobile, rather than to the Palestinian firms, and a year later, as those two companies launched 3G, the ministry told the Palestinian firms that no frequencies were left; they would have to rent spectrum from Israeli firms.

The Israeli veto on Palestinian firms seeking to offer 3G leaves the Palestinian companies far behind even the standards of the region: Algeria and Iraq are the only other two countries in the Middle East to lack 3G. Palestinians see Israel’s policies on the frequencies as reflecting a larger Israeli approach that stunts their economic development.

But in this case, protectionist profit making may also be a factor. Palestinian mobile operators say that they are losing tens of millions of dollars a year because they cannot provide 3G, while their potential customers are forced to turn to the Israeli companies providing this service to West Bank Palestinians. Estimates are that between 300,000 and 500,000 West Bankers have Israeli SIM cards that originate in Jerusalem, giving them access to 3G.

This captive market for Israel is not what was envisioned in the Oslo Agreement. The agreement, which both sides agree remains in effect, says that the electromagnetic spectrum is to be shared and that Palestinian frequency requests are to be granted within a month of their submission to a joint committee.

“Israel is acting in bad faith to keep the pressure on our economy, and it’s acting in favor of Israeli companies,” Suleiman Zuhairi, the P.A. deputy minister of telecommunications, told the Forward in an interview in his Ramallah offices. Zuhairi dismissed Israel’s proposal that the Palestinians rent frequencies from Israeli companies as “impossible.”

“The frequencies are a Palestinian right,” he said. “Why should I rent my atmosphere in Ramallah from an Israeli company?”

According to Zuhairi, the Israeli companies providing 3G to Palestinians do so “illegally,” without Palestinian authorization explicitly stipulated as a requirement in the Oslo Agreement. Shabi, the Israeli spokesman, rejected this, saying that the Israeli operators act “in accordance with the agreements between Israel and the Palestinian side.”

The actual text of the Oslo Agreement seems to favor Zuhairi’s argument. Under the agreement, Israel is empowered to offer telecom services only to settlements and military locations in “Area ‘C,’” the mostly rural part of the West Bank that is still under full Israeli military control. The agreement has no provision for Israel operating telecom services in Palestinian Authority areas ‘A’ and ‘B,’ the more heavily populated Palestinian self-rule zones where the Israeli companies have amassed their Palestinian West Bank market.

The Oslo Agreement also says that “operators and providers of services, presently and in the future in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, shall be required to obtain the necessary approvals from the Palestinian side.” But in practice this approval has never been sought or given.

No one interviewed in the cafe admitted to using 3G from an Israeli company. A spokeswoman for Partner Communications, the company that owns the major cell phone provider Orange, said she did not have statistics on how many Palestinians in the West Bank are using the company’s services.

“For many persons here, it’s a moral obligation not to use the Israeli telecom providers, but some people have no choice if they are businessmen or need Internet access on their smart phones,” Khatib said.

“We all need 3G,” added architect Sara Khasib, 23, who is also waiting for Palestinian providers to offer it. “It is not comfortable to need to send an email and to have to go back to the office to send it.”

Wadee Shalash, a journalist, said that 3G would make a big difference in terms of Palestinians being able to be in touch with relatives abroad, since Skype is of poor quality due to low Internet speed in the West Bank, and there are smart phone applications for free phone calls.

Fayez Husseini, CEO of Wataniya Telecom, which was given frequencies for 2G six years ago by Israel after a three-year delay, said that because Israel is holding back on 3G frequencies, it “cripples what we can do.”

“As long as they have 3G and the Palestinian operators don’t, they have a strategic advantage, a very clear differentiator. When it comes to patriotism, you can only push it that much,” he said. He estimated that his firm’s inability to provide 3G lost it $40 million to $50 million a year. Paltel CEO Ammar Aker says his company loses $80 million to $100 million in revenues a year because it lacks 3G.

Meanwhile, when it comes to domestic economic policy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preaches the virtues of deregulation and touts Israel as a world hub of cutting-edge technology. Last December, Netanyahu proclaimed a “revolution in the field of fiber optics” whose goal was to “enable every home in Israel to hook up to fast Internet, of 100 mega, super-fast, and to do this at low prices.”

Fast Internet in every Israeli home, Netanyahu vowed, would wipe out differences between center areas like Tel Aviv and development towns in the periphery. “We are paving fast electric highways in order to enable this link and to cancel the existing technological gap,” he said.

Many Palestinians view Israel’s restrictions on electromagnetic frequencies as part of an overall policy in which Israel deprives the Palestinians of their share of the territory’s natural resources. This includes access to water and to land for building in the zone designated under the Oslo Agreement as Area C, which constitutes the majority of the West Bank and remains under full Israeli control.

“They are monopolizing our resources and keeping our economy in a situation in which it is unable to grow or to create jobs, or to get more taxes for the authority,” said Samir Abdullah, director general of the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, in Ramallah.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, dismissed this allegation. “On the contrary, the Israeli government understands that economic growth and greater prosperity in the West Bank is a vital ingredient as we move forward in peace.”


Source

HELEN THOMAS: INTEGRITY TILL THE END

Helen had great integrity and believed the media was important to protect and preserve democracy. “Let the people know the facts and the country will be safe,” she would say, quoting Abraham Lincoln.
*

Helen Thomas: defender of democracy

Rosemarie M. Esber* 
*

Woman writes on notepad as man sits on desk

 Helen Thomas at a White House press conference with President Gerald Ford, 1976.

 (Marion S. Trikosko / Library of Congress)

*

Helen Thomas’ life was a relentless search for the truth, without fear or favor. It was her calling, profession and duty.

She loved being a journalist, and she strived daily to deliver accurate news to the American people. “If your mother says she loves you,” she was fond of saying, “get a second opinion.”

Helen burned with outrage at injustice. As the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, she was at the receiving end of racism and discrimination growing up in Detroit.

The memory of slurs hurled at her as a child still stung. She decried the racism and segregation she found in Washington, DC in the 1940s, arriving as a young ambitious reporter.

But she was gratified to eventually witness the civil rights transformation, covering Martin Luther King Jr’s march on Washington, and thrilling to Marion Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial.

She pushed fearlessly into the male-dominated press corps, enlisting Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to help advance women in journalism and government. Unpretentious, Helen encouraged young journalists and supported their careers, remaining approachable with a common touch.

She admired the first ladies as women of character and thought they all served the country well — sometimes better than their husbands.

“Unnecessary war”

Helen questioned ten presidents during her career. They didn’t like it. She didn’t care. When she was moved to the back of the White House pressroom and her questions ignored, she remained tenacious in seeking the truth. She minced no words.

Operation Iraqi Freedom, she wrote in her book Watchdogs of Democracy, was “an unnecessary war that has cost thousands of lives of innocent civilians, American and foreign military, and journalists,” noting that the alleged “weapons of mass destruction were never discovered.”

On television, challenging the president of the United States — the most powerful man in the world — Helen seemed ten feet tall to me. In reality, she was petite. “How tall are you, Helen?” I asked one day. “Five foot three — and a half,” she exclaimed.

“How then did you learn to ask such big questions?” I queried. “I ask big,” she replied, “for the American people.”

Integrity

Helen had great integrity and believed the media was important to protect and preserve democracy. “Let the people know the facts and the country will be safe,” she would say, quoting Abraham Lincoln.

She found the current media’s lack of fight against “the manipulation of government officials who play the fear card” astounding. She lamented that so many “reporters became stenographers instead of interrogators.” Passionately anti-injustice, Helen believed she had to speak for those who had no voice.

For Helen, that meant speaking out about the Middle East conflict. Ironically for someone who had defended the freedom of the press all her life, furor over her poorly worded comments forced her to retire.

In time, however, her critics will find that Helen correctly evaluated the injustice of the conflict, and not because she was biased, but because she was an excellent journalist and had verified the facts.

She knew that Israeli forces expelled the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinians from their homeland during the Nakba — catastrophe — of 1948, and later the 1967 war. She remained outraged at Israel’s ongoing oppression of the Palestinians.

As the dean of the White House press corps, “Thank you, Mr. President,” was Helen’s signature close to presidential press conferences for so many years. America has lost a national treasure, a vigilant watchdog of democracy, a truth seeker, and a proud patriot. Thank you, Ms. Helen Thomas.

You will be well remembered by your profession, by this nation, and throughout the world for your courageous stand for truth and justice. You have fought the good fight, and you have finished the race.

*Rosemarie M. Esber is co-producing a documentary of Helen Thomas’ life.

Editorial AT

ATTEMPTS TO DISCREDIT BDS MOVEMENT BACKFIRE AT ZION

tumblr_mbcakxxsPk1qjbru2o1_1280
*
LIES, LIES, AND THEN SOME MORE!
*
The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel celebrates the increasing number of international artists who are cancelling performances in Israel. Accompanying this success are allegations that artists receive threats that lead them to cancel their performances. To counter these charges, USACBI wants to be clear about the work we do, and how we do it.
*

No evidence of “threats” that prompted The Animals’ Eric Burdon to cancel Israel gig

 Ali Abunimah
*
*

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Eric Burdon, former lead vocalist of the 1960s British band The Animals, has canceled a scheduled performance in Israel amid claims of “threats” to his life.

But no evidence has emerged to substantiate the claims of threats, or accusations by a Jewish Agency propagandist that activists in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement made them.

Claim of “threats”

“We are under increasing pressure, including many threatening emails that we are receiving on a daily basis. I wouldn’t want to put Eric in any danger,” his manager, Marianna Burdon, wrote in a letter to Israeli members of Tislam, the band Burdon was scheduled to perform with, Haaretz reported on 23 July.

Burdon is currently on tour promoting his recent solo album Til Your River Runs Dry. The Animals’ best-known songs include hit singles “The House of the Rising Sun,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “We Gotta Get out of This Place.”

Burdon’s song “Monterey” (see video above) is an ode to the legendary 1967 music festival in Monterey, California, which is remembered for some of the earliest major American appearances by iconic artists of the era, including Hugh Masekela, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who and Ravi Shankar.

While other Israeli media, such as The Times of Israel website, have also reported that Burdon “caved to threats,” no details of the alleged threats have come to light.

The Independent reported, “The nature of the threats is unclear, but according to Israel Radio … Mr Burdon was not willing to risk his life to come to Israel.”

According to the blog Kadaitcha, Burdon’s cancelation came after an advocacy campaign by activists, including the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Don’t Play Apartheid Israel.

No information from Burdon’s camp

The Electronic Intifada reached Elizabeth Freund, Burdon’s New York based press agent, by telephone this morning to ask about the nature of the threats and whether they had been reported to any law enforcement agency.

Freund told The Electronic Intifada she had no information and referred further inquiries to Burdon’s “management.” Freund said that she would forward The Electronic Intifada’s emailed inquiry to Burdon’s manager.

Two additional emails sent to Marianna Burdon, at an address posted on Eric Burdon’s official website, have received no response.

Jewish Agency operative’s accusations against “BDS” activists

As Kadaitcha noted, Israeli propagandists have been quick to seize on the story.

In a series of tweets Avi Mayer, a propaganda operative for the Jewish Agency, directly accused BDS activists of making the threats.

The Jewish Agency is an Israeli-government sponsored organization that implements discriminatory policies to promote Zionist colonization of Palestinian land.

One of Mayer’s tweets stated: “#BDS thugs threaten 72-year-old. // @EricBurdon of The Animals cancels concert in Israel, citing threats” and links to the Haaretz story which does not support his claim.

Mayer repeated the accusations in other tweets: (See tweets in LINK)

But Mayer offered absolutely no evidence to back up his claims that anyone associated with the BDS movement or any known Palestine solidarity organization had anything to do with the alleged threats.

Israel has an interest in representing the BDS movement as working by threats, as more and more artists take principled stances and voluntarily heed Palestinians’ call to refuse to perform in Israel.

Just last week, for example, acclaimed Indian-American director Mira Nair joined a growing list of cultural figures that includes Roger Waters and Alice Walker, endorsing the cultural boycott of Israel.

Nair explained that she would not travel to the country until “apartheid” had ended.

Boycott activists respond

USACBI, the US campaign for the cultural and academic of Israel, has forcefully rejected any suggestion that it uses threats in its work:

The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel celebrates the increasing number of international artists who are cancelling performances in Israel. Accompanying this success are allegations that artists receive threats that lead them to cancel their performances. To counter these charges, USACBI wants to be clear about the work we do, and how we do it.

The statement adds that, along with its allies, including PACBI, USACBI “contacts artists scheduled to perform in Israel. We actively appeal to these artists and inform them about the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. We make sure these artists know that boycotts and divestment initiatives are non-violent strategies of global solidarity.”

“Although we and our allies urge artists not to cross the international picket line by performing in Israel, and although we make sustained efforts to educate performers about the reason for boycott, we have not and never will issue any threats against anyone who does not heed the boycott call,” the statement adds.

USACBI called the reports of threats against Burdon “vague and unsubstantiated” and added: “We do not know if they are made up by media hostile to the BDS strategy, or by artists and/or their agents, or if they are inflated reports of remarks made by individuals who do not represent the movement.”

Written FOR

CAN A PIG BE A ZIONIST?

 
*
If the beast was a kosher one would the fuss be the same?
Interesting that the other symbols on the balloon are completely ignored … the symbols of well-known fascist regimes, logos of two corporations, and a Star of David.
*
The Weisenthal Centre was, of course, one of the first to jump on the badwagon of hate … Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has taken the hammer to British rock musician and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters after a giant pig shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David was released into the sky at a July 18th concert in Belgium.
*
“With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters  is an open hater of Jews,”
*
Open hater of Jews???? For being against the occupation????
Why not open hater of Americans for being against the use of drones against innocent civilians …
or an open hater of South Africans for opposing the apartheid regeme of their past.
*
The ADL surprised us all with the following  … Another Jewish watchdog, the Anti Defamation League which criticized Waters in 2010 for “using imagery long associated with stereotypes about Jews and money as part of a segment of his 2010-2011 ‘The Wall Live’ Tour,” said that Waters’ pig was old news and in context was not anti-Semitic.“This is the same thing he’s been doing for years,” said Todd Gutnick, Director of Media Relations. “We believe there’s no anti-Semitic intent here in the use of the Star of David symbol.”

*

No anti-Semitic intent!

For once the ADL hit it right on the head!!

*

The Israeli media sees it differently as can be read in THIS report.

*

Also see my post from last night HERE.

*

Enjoy the following …. take note what it means to be a pig, than ask yourself if that is not the same meaning as being a zionist 😉

IF YOU BOYCOTT ISRAEL ~~ BE PREPARED TO HAVE EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE WATCHED ….

 zion is watching you 😉  (Even the pigs are laughing at this nonsense)
*
pig-laughing
*
Anti-Semitic display at Roger Waters concert

Pig-shaped balloon with Star of David alongside fascist symbols released during British musician’s concert in Belgium. ‘I really love his music,’ says Israeli viewer, ‘but this time he crossed the line’

*

On Saturday night, Israelis were among those who attended a British musician and former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters’ concert in Belgium. Even as Waters is a known activist pushing for the boycott of Israel, Israelis were still amazed to see that the show included a blatantly anti-Semitic display.

Toward its end, a black balloon in the shape of a wild pig was released to the sky, on it a Star of David, in the company of symbols of dictatorial organizations and regimes from around the world. 

(note the final words of the last sentence)

*

silly report can be read HERE

WATCH IT LIVE AS CHILD ARRESTS CONTINUE IN PALESTINE

The city of Hebron has experienced a wave of child arrests during the last weeks, often violating Israeli military law stating that children under the age of 12 cannot be arrested, as in the case of 5-year-old Wadia. Though both Ahmed and Mohammed are 13, Palestinians complain that this law, giving Israeli occupation forces the right to arrest children from the age of 12, is only ever enforced for their children and not for settler children. On Sunday night in Hebron this proved true, as settler children attacked internationals by throwing a stone on the scene before the eyes of Israeli soldiers without consequences.
*

Video – Wave of child arrests intensifies in Hebron

On the evening of Sunday, July 14, in the old city of Hebron two Palestinian children named Mohammed and Ahmed, both aged 13 years old, were arrested. Though joining a wave of child arrests in Hebron during the last weeks, the arrests of the two boys stand out because of the massive number of soldiers and police actively participating.

Abu Karam Maswathi, blindfolded and hadcuffed with his son, surrpunded by soldiers (Photo by ISM)

5-year-old Wadia arrested with his father, also blindfolded, by Israeli focers in Hebron (Photo by ISM)

*

The first boy, 13 year old Mohammed, was taken from his family home in the Israeli controlled H2 area of Hebron, home to 31,000 Palestinian people and approximately 500 illegal Israeli settlers. Allegedly the arrest was made because Mohammed threw a stone at Israeli soldiers patrolling the streets, though no evidence of this has been made public to international observers who witnessed soldiers invading Mohammed’s home and leading him away to Beit Romano Military base. The second boy, named Ahmed and also 13 years old, was taken from one of Hebron’s market streets, situated in H1, an area that is supposed to be controlled fully by Palestinian police forces. Sidestepping this agreement, the soldiers invaded H1, grabbed Ahmed and brought him with them back into H2, claiming he had thrown a tomato at a nearby settlement.

Both individual arrests were carried out by more than five Israeli soldiers, but as events rolled the number progressed to more than 30 heavily armed members of the occupying forces. The arrest of Ahmed led to outcries in the market, with Ahmed’s mother demanding the soldiers on the wall separating the two areas to give back her son. The soldiers responded by sending more than 30 soldiers to the wall, bringing with them both live ammunition and several teargas grenades, threatening to shoot these into the mass of assembled people gathered on the other side of the wall. The situation escalated as armed settlers joined the soldiers, harassing international observers.

Finally, an hour later, a visibly shaken Ahmed was taken through the mass of settlers and military personnel and released back into H1 to his waiting family. Mohammed had to endure further dehumanizing punishment as he was taken to the Police station outside Ibrihimi Mosque. This was where an Israeli police officer lied to internationals present, stating the boy would be released and that those present could “trust him”; in fact Mohammed was transferred to Qiryat Arba police station and held until his family could make their way there to pay a fine of 500 NIS for his release.

The city of Hebron has experienced a wave of child arrests during the last weeks, often violating Israeli military law stating that children under the age of 12 cannot be arrested, as in the case of 5-year-old Wadia[i]. Though both Ahmed and Mohammed are 13, Palestinians complain that this law, giving Israeli occupation forces the right to arrest children from the age of 12, is only ever enforced for their children and not for settler children. On Sunday night in Hebron this proved true, as settler children attacked internationals by throwing a stone on the scene before the eyes of Israeli soldiers without consequences.

*

Source

FIRST LEARN TO KILL ~~ THEN MOVE TO ISRAEL

ku-medium

*

Jews should learn to fight, shoot guns, and memorize the teachings of Meir Kahane. That’s the message of this 1990s recruitment video from the JDL.

*

Jewish Defense League Recruitment Video

*

*

The Jewish Defense League (JDL) is a Jewish religious-political militant organization whose stated goal is to “protect Jews from antisemitism by whatever means necessary”. 

*

Bear in mind that the JDL has been declared a terrorist organisation in the United States, yet they operate freely.

UNCLE MOISHE’S OCCUPATION

Uncle-Tom-Cabin
*
Just as Slavery was good for the Blacks in the Southern United States, the occupation is good for the Palestinians in the West Bank.
*
That is the sick logic of the settlers in response to the European Union’s Boycott of settlement products …
*
“We work with the Palestinians. There’s nothing more beautiful than that and there’s nothing which contributes more to peace. We start the peace from the bottom. Our products should be marketed as peace products.”
*
Settlements businesses voice concern over Dutch ban

Major Dutch retailers’ announcement of settlement products ban may bring boycott wave, but Israeli businessmen in West Bank claim their factories contribute to peace

*

If you have the stomach for it, you can read the sick report HERE.

 

NETHERLANDS PUTS THE EU BOYCOTT INTO ACTION

thumb
*
It’s not just words …. it’s actually happening 🙂
*
Netherlands: Retailers ban goods from settlements

Dutch media reports 2 of country’s largest retail chains announce they will not sell more products originating beyond Green Line. Foreign Ministry: ‘Boycott is tainted with hypocrisy, prejudice’

*

Following the European Union announcement regarding official guidelines prohibiting the funding of Israeli bodies and actions beyond the Green Line, it was reported Monday in the Netherlands that at least two large retail chains in the country have stopped selling goods produced in Israeli settlements. A third chain assured its customers that the sources of its products are unrelated to the settlements.

*

According to Dutch news website Trouw, the two chains that announced they will not be selling products originating in settlements are Aldi and Hoogvlit. The chains are particularly popular in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The third chain that makes a distinction between Israeli products is Jambo.

*

מחרימה. רשת ALDI

Aldi branch in Holland

*

חרם על מוצרים בהתנחלויות. הדיווח באתר ההולנדי

Report on Dutch Trouw website

*

גם מחרימה. רשת HOOGVLIET (צילום: M.M.Minderhoud)

Hoogvliet, bans products from settlements (Photo: M.M.Minderhoud)

*

In a research conducted by Trouw with several supermarkets in Holland, several Aldi and Hoogvlit representatives confirmed the ban. Aldi even demanded its suppliers to not supply products from the settlements anymore. The chain’s spokesperson commented that Aldi is not interested in its products “being part of public discourse in any way.”

*

Full report HERE

THE LANGUAGE OF POWER AND OTHER ISSUES

rhetoric-words-politics-1348800099
*
Prepared by Nima Shirazi
*
As expected, the dog whistles of war have began blowing again. And they’re as shrill as ever, regurgitating the same old talking points we’ve heard for decades now.  Whether from Obama’s pick for the next US Ambassador to the United Nations, a megalomaniacal, obsessed Israeli Prime Minister, or a delisted terrorist cult with deep pockets and well-connected friends, the media amplifies unfounded allegations as fact and fails, as usual, to challenge long-established narratives that lead inevitably to a misinformed and fearful public and the potential for unspeakable violence.

Below are links to a number of my recent posts on these (and some other) issues.

The Language of Power:

Obama’s “Humanitarian Hawk” & Israel’s New Gladiator at the UN
July 18, 2013

In her first appearance before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Samantha Power, Obama’s pick for next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, made clear that she will spend her time in the role much as her predecessor Susan Rice did: acting as Israel’s consummate defender, fear-mongering about Iran, and opposing any move to champion Palestinian human rights or self-determination.

In her confirmation hearing yesterday, Power revealed her adherence to AIPAC talking points, essentially working her way down the tried and true list of boilerplate phrases. Perhaps her most disturbing comments, however, were about Iran. She claimed that the Islamic Republic’s “continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to international peace and security,” echoing precisely George W. Bush’s own UN Ambassador, perennial Iran hawk John Bolton, who in 2006, insisted to the UN Security Council that Iran, by “continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons…constituted a direct threat to international peace and security.”

 
[Read more]

July 16, 2013

In a renewed propaganda blitz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS‘ Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” that Iran is getting “closer and closer to the bomb,” and resurrected a number of embarrassing phrases including “red line,” “credible military threat” and something about ticking clocks.

Netanyahu has been leading the charge against Iran since the mid-1990s, warning of weapons programs that don’t exist and calling for sanctions and explicit military threats. His talking points since then literally have not changed and are identical to those he used to encourage the United States to invade Iraq a decade ago.

Here’s a reminder of why the Israeli Prime Minister’s CBS interview may actually have been a rerun…

On January 11, 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu told a nearly empty Knesset hearing that “within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb, without having to import either the technology or the material.”  His solution to this crisis? “[The nuclear threat] must be uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S. It necessitates economic sanctions on Iran,” he declared.

Fourteen years later, then-Prime Ministerial candidate Benjamin Netanyahu told an American Congressional delegation that Israeli “experts” determined Iranian nuclear weapons capability “was probably only one or two years away.”

 
[Read more]

July 13, 2013

Embracing its recent removal from the U.S. State Department’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranianterror cult with deep pockets and close ties to the Washington establishment, is attempting to ramp up the fear-mongering and propaganda over Iran’s nuclear program following last month’s election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani as the Islamic Republic’s next president.

In April 2013, the group opened an office in Washington DC and officially registeredas a lobbying organization the following month.

Now, a Reuters article from July 11, 2013 reported the MEK and its affiliate organizations such as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) claim to have “obtained reliable information on a new and completely secret site designated for [Iran’s] nuclear project,” despite providing no credible evidence to back up the allegation.

 
[Read more]

Relax, Iran Isn’t Going to Withdraw from the NPT

July 11, 2013

An article in The Cairo Review by Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former ambassador who served as spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team from 2003 to 2005 under Hassan Rouhani, outlines five options for addressing the stand-off between the United States and Iran over the latter’s uranium enrichment and nuclear energy program.  The most striking option Mousavian floats is that Iran could potentially “[w]ithdraw from the NPT and all WMD treaties” and merely “substitute the treaties with the supreme leader’s religious fatwa banning all WMDs.”

“This move,” Mousavian writes, “will relieve Iran of its treaty obligations, which have been used by the West to place further sanctions on Tehran,” adding, “Withdrawing from the NPT has become an increasingly attractive option within the decision-making circles of the country,” because, he argues, “since the 1979 Revolution, the NPT has proven more harmful than beneficial for Iran.”

This argument, surprisingly coming from such a consistently reasoned and rationaldiplomat like Mousavian, doesn’t actually make much sense.  In fact, while it’s essentially the same suggestion that various Iranian parliamentarians have been making for a decade now out of frustration with Western duplicity and arrogance, Iranian policy towards the NPT has been consistent: as a charter member of the treaty, Iran abides by its tenets and will continue to do so.

 
[Read more]

*****
Nima Blogs AT
 

SOLDIERS DESECRATE THE MEMORY OF RACHEL CORRIE

Israeli soldiers had a “fun” time making what they called “Rachel Corrie pancakes.”

*

Israeli soldiers have depraved “fun” making “Rachel Corrie pancakes”

Ali Abunimah 

*

Israeli soldiers had a “fun” time making what they called “Rachel Corrie pancakes.”

Photos of the event were posted on the Facebook page of the “Heritage House,” a settlement in occupied East Jerusalem that houses so-called “lone soldiers,” men recruited from overseas to join the Israeli occupation forces.

Nesim Pesarel, one of the “Heritage House” residents, seen in a photo from his personal Facebook page.

Above the photos of young men, some in Israeli army fatigues or apparently carrying guns, is the caption “Afternoon of ‘rachel corrie’ Pancakes and fun!”

Rachel Corrie is the young American woman murdered by an Israeli soldier who crushed her to death with a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family home in the occupied Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003.

The depraved joke that these men were presumably making is a play on the English idiom “flat as a pancake.” Their celebration and joking about Rachel Corrie’s death is utterly vile and reflects the culture of dehumanization inculcated into Israeli soldiers.

Ben Packer, the director and rabbi of “Heritage House,” hit back at some negative comments about the images, posting this response:

In honor of the all the hate messages from the anti-Israel/Jewish crowd, one of our supporters has pledged $5 towards Israeli settlements (maybe for additional bulldozers) for each additional comment. keep’em coming anti-semites! We love our Israeli soldiers and will not back down in the face of those who attempt to endanger them!

Packer added, “Anti-Israel activists are all in a tizzy about these pictures! makes them even funnier!!!”

The page also appeals for donations “to support our guests and ‘lone soldiers.’” Residents of the “Heritage House” settlement also take part in colonization activities in other parts of the occupied West Bank, including Hebron.

*

Alex Winston is the “den mother” of The Heritage House men’s dormitory. Alex Winston is a member of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade.

Nesim Pasarel (right with weapon) and Jonathan Leibovits (seated)

 

(Update: The gallery was removed shortly after the publication of this post.)

The true face of the “IDF”

In recent months, The Electronic Intifada has highlighted incidents of Israeli soldiers using social media to advocate brutal violence, and acts of sadistic torture and murder of children.

The Electronic Intifada also revealed images soldiers posted on the photo-sharing site Instagram of nudity, drug use and violence and most notoriously of a Palestinian child seen through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.

This week, the army began investigating a video posted online of Israeli soldiers frying a small bird alive, an act that had no purpose but gratuitous animal cruelty.

Israeli army attempts to halt social media scandals

The “Rachel Corrie pancakes” photos provide yet another window into the Israeli army’s culture of violence and come just as the occupation forces have tried to staunch the flow of embarrassing incidents on social media that have hurt its propaganda efforts.

The campaign, which includes this YouTube video, urges soldiers to “improve their image online.” 

*
*

The voiceover in the video commands:

Soldier! Improve your appearance! Always remember: You are the face of the IDF. So improve your appearance – online!

The IDF is glad to invite you to get connected, share, love, tweet, respond, and show the pretty face of the IDF.

So go into the official pages and send us pictures, videoclips, and stories. The IDF on the Internet. One army, everybody’s face.

The “lone soldiers” at the Heritage House settler-colony have clearly not got the message.

With thanks to Dena Shunra for assistance with research and translation and Benjamin Doherty for assistance with research.

Written FOR

HELEN THOMAS: SHE DIED AS SHE LIVED, WITH HONOUR

The immortal words that ended her long career …
*

*

After the interview spread on the Internet, her comments were criticized by the White House, the White House Correspondents’ Association, the co-author of one of her books and the agency that handled her speaking engagements, among others. Shortly after, she announced her retirement, two months short of her 90th birthday.

*

From the archives …. How the Lobby silenced the ugly truth ….
*

HELEN THOMAS; AN APPRECIATION

*
A name emerged this week on all newswires, that of  Rabbi David Nessenoff. He was the man representing a group called Rabbilive. It was he that set up Helen Thomas, a set up that has been resounding throughout the world as anti Semitism. A set up that embarassed Thomas enough to resign from her position as White House Press Correspondent.
 *
The representatives of the Jewish Lobby jumped on the bandwagon ready to lynch this woman for saying what she did. Today, most likely fearing a backlash from AIPAC and other zionist terrorist organisations, President Obama climbed the bandwagon as well.
*
It was at that point that I decided to come to the defense of a woman that has done her job well for decades. A woman that must be applauded for her past activities. But, in this particular case, she should have been more prepared for the set up. Her words were misinterpreted and for the most part taken out of context, a normal exercise of the zionists.
*
When asked, ‘where should they [the Jews] go’, Thomas replied, ‘go home, Poland, Germany, and America, and everywhere else.’
*
That simply became ‘go home to Poland and Germany’.
*
The reality is….
Meir Kahane … Brooklyn
Baruch Goldstein … Brooklyn
Baruch Marzel … Brooklyn
Mike Guzovsky … American born
Yaakov Tytell … American born
*
There are more, many more. And none came from Poland or Germany. (except for a handful of Knesset members)
 *
HERE you can read what the likes of the above advocate and why they should leave Palestine.
I tried to find some information about Rabbilive every link led to results about Helen Thomas, nothing else. They obviously had an agenda to discredit Ms. Thomas, probably because she is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants to the United States. They are the ones that should be out on the street, not Helen Thomas.
 *
My Son the CrazyComposer wrote a brilliant piece about this fiasco. What follows is taken from it, but his piece can be read HERE in full.
 *
A tremendous amount has been made over the words uttered by Helen Thomas recently, words spoken on May 27th, interestingly enough four days before the attack by the Israeli Defence Forces against a flotilla of unarmed civilians bringing humanitarian aid to besieged refugees in Gaza. Nine innocent and unarmed civilians wereslaughtered by the defenders of the Zionist state, but it’s not okay to criticize them, is that what we are hearing? I listened to what Helen Thomas said and listened carefully; she understands history and is more than capable of reporting her stories without bias.
*

When asked if she had anything to say about Israel she said, ‘tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.’ When asked if she had ‘anything better’ to say, Thomas continued, ‘remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land; it’s not German [sic], it’s not Poland.’ Having heard this answer Rabbi Nesenoff, the man conducting and filming the interview, proceeded to ask a loaded question that indicated he fully understood that Thomas was discussing contemporary immigrants, not Jews who had been born Israel.

When asked, ‘where should they [the Jews] go’, Thomas replied, ‘go home, Poland, Germany, and America, and everywhere else.’

*

An Obit from the New York Times appears here
*

VIDEO DEBATE ON EU’s POSITION ON APARTHEID

Photo © by Bud Korotzer
SONY DSC
*
What will new EU guidelines that ban funding of Israeli institutions operating inside the occupied Palestinian territories really mean?
*

Watch: Ali Abunimah, Guardian’s Ian Black and Israeli settler debate EU settlement rule

 Ali Abunimah
*
*
What will new EU guidelines that ban funding of Israeli institutions operating inside the occupied Palestinian territories really mean?

Ali Abunimah appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story on 17 July to discuss the question along with the Guardian’s Ian Black and Yishai Fleisher, an Israeli settler living in an illegal colony in eastern occupied Jerusalem.

“The settlements are war crimes, people who aid and abet the settlements are and should be treated as war criminals. In that context, this European move is very small, very little and very late,” Abunimah said.

“When I listen to the settler speak about biblical claims, biblical justifications to steal other people’s land and property,” Abunimah said of Fleisher, “I’m reminded … that at one point in humanity’s dark history, white slave owners used the bible to justify owning other human beings.”

Black argued that the EU’s “clear intention is to say that there is a difference between the State of Israel and the territories it has occupied since June 1967.”

He added that the EU move was designed to “raise awareness … that internationally the situation is untenable” and that the cost of the status quo for Israel is rising.

Black emphasized that the EU move came partly as a response to “the call from below, from ordinary citizens” in Europe for settlement goods to be labeled and for “boycott, divestment and sanctions” on Israel. “I think we’re seeing the European Union respond to that.”

Fleisher, who admitted to living in an area of eastern occupied Jerusalem being actively ethnically cleansed by settlers, claimed that the decision “delegitimizes” the European Union.

Also see:

Written FOR

WHY IS THE NEW YORK TIMES SO AFRAID OF ISRAEL?

I wonder if the resort to timid and euphemistic language is a form of reflexive self-censorship to avoid the bullying wrath of the anti-Palestinian lobby that hounds any journalist too willing to state unadulterated facts.
*

Why is New York Times reporting on Israeli settlements so timid?

 Ali Abunimah 
*

Israeli settlements under construction near Jerusalem, occupied West Bank.

 (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

*

The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren reported today on the EU decision to ban cooperation or financing agreements with Israel unless they explicitly exclude Israeli settler institutions in the occupied West Bank.

Rudoren quoted several Israeli ministers including:

Zeev Elkin, the deputy foreign minister, [who] said that it was inappropriate for one side to stipulate terms of bilateral agreements in advance, and that the move would “impede Israeli organizations as a whole, and not only in the territories.”

And Uri Ariel,

the pro-settlement housing minister, [who] went further, saying the move was racist and “reminiscent of boycotts of the Jews in Europe over 66 years ago.”

Rudoren failed to mention the fact that Elkin is himself a proud settler, squatting on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.

While she called Ariel “pro-settlement,” she also omitted to mention that Ariel too is a settler who has personally helped establish several illegal colonies on occupied Palestinian land.

(For some quotes from Ariel, Elkin and other Israeli ministers that reveal the extremism behind their support for the settlements, see this new fact sheet from the Institute for Middle East Understanding).

Obscuring illegality of settlements

These omissions weren’t the only problems with Rudoren’s report. She writes that the EU announcement reflects “the increasing tension between Israel and Europe over Jewish settlements in the West Bank that world leaders have long considered illegal.”

While this is a little better than we might have seen from the Times in the past, why can’t Rudoren just say clearly that the settlements have been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice, the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly and almost every government in the world, repeatedly and consistently, for decades?

It is only Israel that disputes this. Rudoren could even cite, say, Security Council resolution 465, which declared that:

all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War …

In other words, the settlements aren’t just illegal, they are war crimes. And those who build them are war criminals.

I wonder if the resort to timid and euphemistic language is a form of reflexive self-censorship to avoid the bullying wrath of the anti-Palestinian lobby that hounds any journalist too willing to state unadulterated facts.

Excluding Palestinian voices

What does the EU measure really mean? It is very limited – as Rudoren notes, it binds only the EU’s central executive, and not its 28 member states individually.

It was striking that the only Palestinian voice Rudoren included was a brief quote fromHanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Ashrawi lauded the measure as “a qualitative shift that will have a positive impact on the chances of peace.”

But is it really anything substantively new? Does it really advance Palestinian rights? Is it the first step toward more vigorous EU action, or is it the culmination of decades of European talk amounting to very little action? Is it a canny move to head off demands for more effective measures, such as banning EU trade with settlements?

Those questions are likely to be debated in coming weeks, especially by Palestinians. But Rudoren was really only interested in what Israelis think. In addition to Israeli ministers Elkin and Levy, she quoted:

Surely Rudoren could find some additional Palestinian voices if she tried.

Written FOR

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ NEW YORKERS MARCH FOR TRAYVON

 This week thousands of angry New Yorkers marched through the streets ….
*
SONY DSC
*
*
Photos © by Bud Korotzer
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC
*
SONY DSC

« Older entries