TIMELY TOON ~~ MURDERING TRAYVON MARTIN TWICE

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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See yesterday’s post

ISRAEL TO EU; ‘WE DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY! IT’S AMERICA THAT FOOTS OUR BILLS!’

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In true arrogance as was expected, the following links give a pretty good idea of what Israel’s response to the EU was regarding non support of illegal settlements. (See yesterday’s post)
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“We will not accept any external edicts on our borders,” Netanyahu said in a scathing response.
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“As the prime minister of Israel, I will not let anyone harm the hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, in the Golan Heights, or in Jerusalem – our united capital,” he said. “The issue of borders will be determined only in direct negotiations between the sides.”

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Netanyahu responds to EU: Israel will not tolerate external edicts on our borders

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 Israel won’t give in to EU pressure

GETTING LOST ON THE WAY TO FREEDOM ~~ TWO POEMS FOR TRAYVON MARTIN

For Trayvon Martin (click)

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So many seem to be lost along the way….

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maya-angelou

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Still I Rise

Maya Angelou

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You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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Langston-Hughes-Quotes-2

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We still have such a long way to go …

Let America be America Again

Langston Hughes
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Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!

Source of both poems

INVESTING IN APARTHEID NOW ILLEGAL IN THE EU

The decree, which will go into effect Friday, will forbid any cooperation, awarding of grants, prizes and funding for any Israeli entity in the specified areas.
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האיחוד האירופי עושה הבדלה. בית אל

Israeli settlement Beit El

EU bans contracts between member states, settlements

New decree restricts any Israeli entity beyond 1967 lines from EU funding, prizes, grants. Housing Minister Ariel: Decision reminiscent of Holocaust

Attila Somfalvi

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The European Union has decreed that contracts between EU member states and Israel must include a clause stating that east Jerusalem and the West Bank are not part of the State of Israel and therefore not part of the contract, it was reported on Tuesday.

The decree, which will go into effect Friday, will forbid any cooperation, awarding of grants, prizes and funding for any Israeli entity in the specified areas.

The EU’s funding, direct and indirect, of Israel bodies which operate in the settlements has long drawn fire from various organizations within the Union. The EU is severely opposed to Israeli construction beyond the 1967 lines, and has acted repeatedly to draw a clear line between Israel and its settlements in the West Bank.

The latest decree resulted from the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusion from December 2012, which stated that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

However, the directive will not harm funding for research institutes, such as the Hebrew University, which employs settlers in their staff. Government ministries which have offices in east Jerusalem, such as the Justice Ministry, will still enjoy the EU’s cooperation as well.

An EU official said on Tuesday that Israel should not be surprised with the directive, as the issue has been repeatedly addressed and forewarned by EU officials.

The new directive, said the official, is in line with opinions in the EU which have been prevalent for several years.

MK Ariel: Decision tainted with racism

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office MK Ofir Akunis said in response that “it’s a wrong and regrettable decision. Such steps – even before the Palestinians announced they are even ready to return to the negotiation table – are pushing the peace talks away, not drawing them closer.

“Let them know even in Europe – Judea and Samaria are not ‘occupied,’ they’re the homeland of the Jewish nation.”

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) said in response to the decree: “This decision is tainted by racism and discrimination against the Jewish people which is reminiscent of the bans against Jews in Europe over 66 years ago,”

Minister Ariel added that “The Israeli government must not, under any condition, by a part of any future agreement which includes a clause that Judea and Samaria are not a part of the sovereign State of Israel.”

The Yesha Council stated that “To our regret, in Tisha B’av Europe has returned to a policy of boycott and segregation against the State of Israel. Europe’s unrestrained support of the Palestinian Authority has turned it into a non-neutral element.

“The Israeli government must instruct the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry to immediately halt all European projects in Judea and Samaria until this unilateral decision is aborted.”

Some in the Israeli Left congratulated the EU’s decree, and accused the government of bringing it upon itself for not pursuing the peace process. “The EU is benefitting Israel by marking the border which the Israeli government failed to mark,” said Meretz Chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On.

“This isn’t a boycott of Israel, but a distinction between Israel and the settlements and the occupation. The decision is the result of the complete impasse in the peace process and continued construction in the settlements and outposts,” she added.

Peace Now said in response that “The EU’s decision sends a clear message: The world doesn’t recognize the settlements and they contradict universal, democratic values. The Israeli government is running a rearguard battle against the international understanding that the Israeli occupation of the territories must end.”

Source

ADL WORKING OVERTIME DURING RAMADAN

Foxman and his ilk have been busy watching Arab TV stations since the onset of Ramadan. Their greatest concern is they must find, or at least create, anti Semitism lest their funds might dwindle. Can you imagine their claim that the networks depict Jews as the enemy of Islam? Foxman himself is living proof of that.
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Anti-Semitic Show Aired to Arab World During Ramadan

Show Depicts Jews as ‘Enemy of Islam’

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

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An anti-Semitic television series is being broadcast throughout the Arab world for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“Khaiber,” which is being shown on the satellite network Dubai TV, the Algerian 3 station and Dream TV, dramatizes the battle between Muslims and the Jews of the town of Khaiber in Arabia and depicts Jews as the enemy of Islam.

Traditional Islam believes the battle ended with the execution of thousands of Jews. Episodes aired to date have revealed classic anti-Semitic motifs, including a Jewish conspiracy to undermine Arabs, as well as depicting Jews as cheap, greedy and immoral, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

“With Syria, Egypt and other countries in the Middle East going through historical upheavals, it is absurd and outrageous that the entertainment of the Ramadan season promotes the Muslim subjugation of caricatured Jews,” Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, said in a statement.

“The uprisings in the Arab and Muslim world have revealed a hunger among much of the Middle East for democracy, accountability and the development of effective civil and pluralistic society. ’Khaiber’ and other productions of its ilk represent the old detrimental approach of promoting Muslim societal unity through focusing hatred on Jews and Israel.”

Other anti-Semitic miniseries have aired in the Arab world during previous Ramadans.

Source

OLIVER STONE ON NSA SPYING

 ‘Do we control the government or does the government control us?’
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Oliver Stone: Don’t Stand By While the NSA’s Surveillance Machine Eats Our Civil Liberties

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU
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After The Guardian and The Washington Post revealed the astonishing scope of some of the NSA’s surveillance activities, some people claimed that Americans wouldn’t care. But Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone doesn’t accept that.

In the video below, produced by the ACLU, Stone discusses the NSA spying program, recalling a disastrous legacy of unchecked government abuse of power. He reflects on the terrible consequences of runaway surveillance during the 1960s and 1970s, when intelligence services exploited fears of external threats to the United States to enjoy a carte blanche for their illegal activities. “We did not pass the Fourth Amendment to protect those with something to hide,” Stone tells us. We passed that amendment “because we know all too well the cost of an unaccountable government.”

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Now is a critical time in our nation’s history for all Americans to stand up for our civil liberties, Stone says – by asking representatives in Congress to roll back the surveillance state.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, have drastically eroded our Fourth Amendment rights. These statutes allow the government to access our most sensitive information without meaningful judicial oversight.

“I won’t stand idly by while our civil liberties are eaten by the NSA surveillance machine,” Stone says. “You shouldn’t either.” You can join Stone and the ACLU in demanding an end to the surveillance state, by signing a petition calling on Congress to repeal these problematic sections of the Patriot Act and the FAA. The time to act is now.

 

 

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Click HERE to sign petition

 

SEX AND APARTHEID

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Pinkwash, Greenwash, Hogwash: Ali Abunimah on Israel’s use of sex and marketing to distract from apartheid

 Ali Abunimah
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On 24 June 2013, I gave a lecture titled “Pinkwash, Greenwash, Hogwash: How Israel uses sex and marketing to distract from apartheid” at the 519 Church St. Community Centre in Toronto, organized by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA).

I’m grateful to the members and supporters of QuAIA who recorded and edited this video of the event, including cutting in clips and images of the examples of pinkwashing that I showed during my presentation.

I also thank Benjamin Doherty who helped me curate many of the multimedia elements of my talk.

Here’s more of The Electronic Intifada’s coverage of pinkwashing. Visit QuAIA’s websiteand follow them on Twitter at @quaiaTO.

Also read this report on the event in Daily Xtra, a prominent LGBTQ publication in Canada: “WorldPride organizers concerned about ‘pinkwashing’” (27 June 2013).

Resources

For ease of reference, here are links to some of the items shown in the video:

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ZIONISTS CONTINUE TO BEAT A DEAD HORSE

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In an attempt to find new venues of anti-Semitism, zionism has created a new one …
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Before the creation of the State of Israel, anti-Semitic attacks, including the use of bigoted tropes such as blood libels, theological accusations, and racist depictions, were directed at the Jewish people. “New anti-Semitism,” a more recent phenomenon, substitutes hatred of the Jew with demonization of Israel.
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Two faces of anti-Semitism

 ‘New anti-Semitism’ substitutes hatred of the Jew with demonization of Israel

Ora Shapiro

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Are we going back in time when Nazi propaganda dehumanized Jews by depicting them as animals? A recently published cartoon by the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung portraying Israel as a monster “Moloch” devouring weaponry is just another confirmation that anti-Semitism is still in vogue, but with a new more dangerous twist.

Before the creation of the State of Israel, anti-Semitic attacks, including the use of bigoted tropes such as blood libels, theological accusations, and racist depictions, were directed at the Jewish people. “New anti-Semitism,” a more recent phenomenon, substitutes hatred of the Jew with demonization of Israel.

This new expression of modern anti-Semitism is well illustrated by a cartoon that recently appeared in the largest German daily broadsheet reviving images of the dark Nazi times. It depicted Israel as a wild, hungry, monster, being served by a woman with a text under the cartoon stating, “Germany is serving. Israel has been given weapons for decades – and partly free of charge. Israel’s enemies think it is a ravenous Moloch…” Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Bavarian daily publishes “incitement articles against Israel.”

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הקריקטורה. "גרמניה מגישה"

Israel as ‘Moloch’ in German daily

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Also Palestinian NGOs, funded by German taxpayer money, claim to promote democracy and human rights, while simultaneously employing both “new antisemitism,” as well as classical antisemitism.

According to a report entitled “Blood Libels & BDS,” published recently by Jerusalem based research organization NGO Monitor, a network of NGOs that claim to promote human rights and humanitarian agendas in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, often resort to anti-Semitic themes and imagery. These organizations employ classical and theological anti-Semitism, at times also using rhetoric that constitutes anti-Semitism “with regard to the State of Israel,” as appears in the EU definition of anti-Semitism.

For example Miftah, a Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO), recently published an article by Nawaf al-Zaru that revived the ancient anti-Semitic blood libel against Jews. He wrote, “Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’…?! Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals…?! Much of the historical stories and tales about Jewish blood rituals in Europe are based on real rituals and are not false as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover …”

Miftah is funded directly by Germany (via Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories) as well as by other European governments. Because these foundations do not have evaluation or monitoring mechanisms in place to control the implementation of projects and ensure that funding is not misappropriated, the governments are often uninformed of how taxpayer money is being used. In private correspondence with the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, they explained that their “cooperation is limited to the implementation of joint workshops in the field of promoting good governance” and that they do not grant “institutional funding.” These rationales are insufficient and allow funders to distance themselves from the anti-Semitic activities of radical organizations like Miftah.

Anti-Semitic cartoons, brochures, claims, whether published in Germany or supported by German tax-payer money, endanger Jews and undermine the special German-Israeli relations. Promoting hate-filled ideologies, systematically demonizing Jews, and denying Israel’s right to exist, runs counter to stated missions of organizations like Miftah, which claim to encourage peace and promote conflict resolution.

Despite the extensive evidence of NGO anti-Semitism, governments nonetheless continue to fund these groups. Officials justify the funding under the pretense that it is intended for distinct “projects” unrelated to the grantee’s wider agenda and expressions of anti-Semitism. However, funders are enablers, and share full responsibility for the activities of their grantees – including promoting hate and intolerance.

The author is a 2012-2013 Israel Research Fellow at NGO-Monitor and a guide at Yad Vashem

 

 

Source

TOSHI SEEGER (WIFE OF PETE) PASSES AT 91

 It is with sadness that I inform my readers of the passing of Toshi Seeger. She was the wife of our dear Brother and Comrade Pete for 70 years.
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Our hearts go out to Pete and family on this tragic loss.
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Toshi Seeger at Clearwater

credit – Clearwater / Econosmith

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An obituary and interview can be found here …..

 Toshi Seeger – R.I.P. – Progressive Organizer, Mother, Filmmaker, Gardener, Wife of Pete Seeger, Veteran Peace and Environmental Activist

 

Bella Ciao dearest Toshi

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BIG BRAVE ISRAELI SOLDIERS ARREST A 5 YEAR OLD PALESTINIAN (VIDEO)

 Any mother would be proud of these soldier boys (sic)
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The father said he tried to persuade the officer not to take the boy to the District Coordination and Liaison Administration. The officer told him he would be arrested as well if he didn’t let the boy go.
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WATCH: IDF soldiers detain five-year-old Palestinian for stone-throwing in Hebron

Video shot by activist from Israeli rights organization B’Tselem shows soldiers circling child; another video shows boy alongside his handcuffed and blindfolded father; army to investigate.

 Gili Cohen
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Screenshot of the B'Tselem video.
Screenshot of the B’Tselem video.
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Israel Defense Forces soldiers earlier this week were videotaped detaining a five-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron, after he allegedly threw a stone at an Israeli car on Tuesday.

The video, shot by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, shows soldiers from the Givati Brigade stationed in the West Bank city detaining Wa’adi Maswada, aged five years and nine months.

In the video, one of the soldiers is heard asking the boy, “Where is Daddy?” Several local residents try to speak to the soldiers and deter them from proceeding with the arrest. One of the soldiers then tells them [in English], “He’s a child, eh?… No, but he threw it.” Another soldier says to the boy and the crowd, “Get over here, don’t set me off.” A Palestinian teenager takes the child by his hand and leads him off to the side. The whole time the 5-year-old can be heard crying.

Six soldiers can be seen gathering around the two, as the teenager stars telling the commanding officer from the Givati Brigade where the child lives. The child is led to a military Jeep, and the officer tells the child, “Climb in with me.” The child starts to flail and tries to run away, still crying, while residents start to gather around. An older person arrives and takes the child’s hand and they climb up together, as the boy continues to weep and is eventually dragged into the Jeep.

According to reports by B’Tselem, the soldiers arrived at the home of the Maswada family together with the boy. The mother was home at the time, according to B’Tselem, and the officer told the mother he was going to turn the child over to Palestinian police, but that they refused to take him before his father, Karem, arrived. Half an hour later the father came home, and the officer told him he was arresting the boy and turning him over to the Palestinian police.

“I asked the officer, ‘Why would you arrest a five-year old?’” the father said in his testimony to B’Tselem. “A soldier standing next to the officer showed me a stone and claimed my son threw it and that it hit the tire of a Jewish settler’s car driving north near the Abed checkpoint.”

The father said he tried to persuade the officer not to take the boy to the District Coordination and Liaison Administration. The officer told him he would be arrested as well if he didn’t let the boy go.

“I went inside and brought Wa’adi out,” the father said. “He was hiding inside, crying.” According to testimony from the family, the two were taken to a military base where they were detained for about half an hour. Afterward the two were brought to the police checkpoint in Hebron.

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Another video shows the father, his eyes covered with a piece of flannel, handcuffed, with the boy standing next to him. At the same time, one of the soldiers pulls out a digital camera and documents the B’Tselem field worker who is filming the events. According to the family, about half an hour later, a lieutenant colonel shows up, apparently from the local District Coordination and Liaison headquarters. Only after he arrives are the father’s blindfold and handcuffs removed, and the officer starts to interrogate the man. Relatives report that a Palestinian liaison officer later arrived accompanied by several policemen. The father and son were handed over and taken to the Palestinian police station. After a brief interrogation they were released.

In a letter to the legal counsel for the Judea and Samaria Division, Jessica Montell, executive director of B’Tselem wrote, “The video shows clearly that this was not the error of a lone soldier but rather conduct that, appallingly, is seen as reasonable by all involved, including senior commanding officers. It is especially astonishing that, at no point during this incident, were any red flags raised: not by the fact that they terrified a 5-year-old, threatened him and his parents about turning them over to the Palestinian police, threatening to arrest the father, which has no legal basis whatsoever, and not his handcuffing or blindfolding in the presence of his young child.”

Two days ago, the website of Hakol Hayehudi reported that a week ago, soldiers handcuffed two Jewish children, aged 10 and 13, using plasticuffs, after the two showed up at a construction site between the village of Assira A-Kabilla and the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar where reservoirs are being dug. According to the website, the soldiers who were securing the location detained the two children for several minutes and released them only after warning them never to come back to the site.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit responded to the report by saying: We regret that B’Tselem has chosen – on a regular basis – to distribute videos of this kind to the media before clarifying the issue with the army first. The incident involved a minor who threw stones at a road in Hebron. IDF soldiers detained the minor, transferred him to his parents and then to Palestinian police for further handling.”

Another army official said the child was not arrested at any point, and that “it is unnecessary to point out that a stone thrown by a minor can harm a person. The military prosecutor is not yet familiar with the incident. It will be investigated by the relevant authorities.”

Regarding the incident in Yitzhar, an IDF official said that forces tried to prevent the youths from acting out in the area where the soldiers were and from damaging their personal equipment. “At no point in time were the youths handcuffed or arrested,” the IDF Spokesperson said.

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PALESTINIAN REFUGEES ~~ BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

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Half of the almost 500,000 registered Palestine refugees have now been displaced from their homes as shelling and fighting continue to encroach on their areas in Syria, and 44,000 refugee homes have been damaged, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, said this week.
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“We have become refugees again,” say Palestinians from Syria now in Gaza

 Ali Abunimah
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As Palestine refugees face an increasingly dire situation in Syria, some have made their way to the Gaza Strip, as Yousef Al-Helou finds in this video report for The Real News.

This route to safety is closed off, at least for now, amid the turmoil in Egypt.

Half of the almost 500,000 registered Palestine refugees have now been displaced from their homes as shelling and fighting continue to encroach on their areas in Syria, and 44,000 refugee homes have been damaged, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, said this week.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, including six in Yarmouk camp near Damascus over the last week, one of whom was the son of an UNRWA staff member.

From Damascus to Gaza, via Egypt

The number of Palestinians who have made it to Gaza is unknown, but Al-Helou cites estimates of around 800 persons.

“We Palestinian refugees have become refugees another time,” Muhammad al-Sheikh, a Palestinian who lived in Syria for 41 years, told Al-Helou. “We were forced to leave our homes due to the destruction and killing in Syria.”

“We know that Gaza often comes under Israeli attacks, so we know that for us the danger is not yet over. But at least we are in our homeland,” al-Sheikh added.

Though all facing the same dangers and dire situation that caused them to flee, Palestinians have strongly divergent views on the situation in Syria, with some opposing and others supporting the uprising against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Al-Helou reported.

Route to Gaza closed off by Egypt upheaval

Al-Sheikh said that refugees typically fly from Damascus to Cairo and then travel by taxi to the Rafah crossing border with Gaza.

But this route appears to be closed off at least for the time being amid the political turmoil in Egypt following the army’s removal of President Muhammad Morsi last week.

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed since the military takeover.

Egypt deports Palestinians

Egyptian authorities have begun deporting and denying entry to even long-time Palestinian residents of Gaza.

Contributor to The Electronic Intifada Yousef Aljamaldeported to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, is among dozens of Palestinians refused entry to Egypt as they tried to return home.

Egypt has also instructed international airlines not to allow Palestinian Authority passport holders to board flights for Cairo leaving many Palestinians stranded abroad.

Dozens more Palestinians are reported stranded at Cairo airport in deplorable conditions as efforts are made to persuade Egypt to reopen Rafah.

New measures restricting entry of Syrians

Today, Egypt expanded the tough restrictions to include Syrians, announcing that Syrian citizens would require advance visas in order to enter Egypt.

The measures came to light last night when Egyptian authorities deported 276 Syrians who had arrived at Cairo airport on scheduled flights from Beirut and Damascus, according to Egypt’s Ahram Online.

Rumors targeting Palestinians and Syrians

These measures come amid rumors and unsubstantiated accusations by Egyptian military brassin the media and on social media, that Hamas specifically and Palestinians generally – and now Syrians – are interfering in Egypt or assisting the Muslim Brotherhood movement of the deposed president.

In recent days, Egyptian officials have again claimed, without evidence, that Palestinians are responsible for attacks on Egyptian security forces in Sinai attributed to militant groups in the area.

Palestinians and Syrians in Egypt are particularly vulnerable populations who need safety and protection. Instead, in this atmosphere, many will now be feeling a heightened sense of danger.

Report: Rafah crossing may partially re-open on Wednesday

Breaking reports say that Egypt has agreed to partially re-open on the Rafah crossing on Wednesday. The main land exit from Gaza has been closed by Egyptian authorities for five days.

Gaza residents will be allowed to return, but only those with medical permits will be allowed by Egypt to leave Gaza, Palestinian authorities in Gaza have said.

Ban on entry remains for Palestinians

Notwithstanding the news about Rafah, Egyptian authorities issued a decree on 9 July announcing that no holders of Palestinian Authority passports or Jordanian passports that lack a national number will be allowed to enter Egypt without prior clearance from the security services. This means that Egypt remains effectively closed to Palestinians who fit those categories.

 

 

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‘GAZA’S ARC’ PREPARING TO SAIL TO EUROPE

“This is a civilian, independent project, whose aim is to raise public awareness to the issue of Gaza’s maritime blockade and the activists have no intention of confronting with the Navy in case it tries to stop the shift.”
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‘Gaza’s Arc’
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Activists to launch flotilla from Gaza to Europe

Gazans, leftwing activists plan to sail in September from Gaza to Europe, carrying local produce; project’s goal is to raise awareness to Gaza naval blockade, organizers say

Ahiya Raved

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Canadian and European activists staying in Gaza are planning to launch a flotilla which will carry Gazan produce and textiles from the strip to Europe. The vessel, currently a fishing boat, is being converted to a cargo ship, and organizers are planning to set sails in the near future.

The project’s goal, the activists say, is to raise public awareness to the strife of the maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Charlie Anderson, a Swedish activist who was on board the Gaza-bound Estelle last year, told Ynet that the group was planning to launch the flotilla in September and that the activists were not concerned that the Israeli Navy would stop the boat.

תעשה את כל הדרך מעזה לאירופה? ספינת הפעילים

Converted to cargo ship

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“If it does,” Anderson said, “it will find it very difficult to explain to the world why it’s stopping a Gaza cargo ship carrying civilian products meant for Europe.”

International activists as well as Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are to take part in the project, which was named “Gaza’s Arc.”

Mahfouz Havriti, one of the Palestinians in the project, stressed that the project’s activists had nothing to do with Gaza’s Hamas government.

“This is a civilian, independent project, whose aim is to raise public awareness to the issue of Gaza’s maritime blockade and the activists have no intention of confronting with the Navy in case it tries to stop the shift.”

This will not be the first time that the Palestinians try to break the naval blockade the Gaza Strip is under. Two months ago, Hamas thwarted a project, run by leftwing activists who initiated the sailing of several fishing boats scheduled to sail from the strip.

Hamas’ foiling of the project was in keeping with understandings reached with Israel following Operation Pillar of Defense .

According to the IDFSpokesperson’s Unit, “The IDF… is pursuing its mission to secure Israeli borders, including Israel’s naval border. We will of course not specify military operations on the matter.”

Source

BETTER NO CHIEF RABBI THAN A RACIST ONE

 criminal_rabbis-11
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Artists say no to Eliyahu as chief rabbi

Israel Prize laureates, artists and intellectuals sign petition claiming ‘racist rabbi who incited against Arabs’ cannot become one of State’s symbols. Habayit Hayehudi party must be removed from government for backing his nomination, they add

Kobi Nachshoni

Dozens of artists and intellectuals, including several Israel Prize Laureates, have issued a manifesto against the nomination of Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu as Israel‘s Sephardic chief rabbi, arguing that he is a racist man who incited against Arabs and contributed to acts of violence against them.
The support voiced by some members of Habayit Hayehudi party for Eliyahu’s nomination is seen by the petition’s signatories as a “black flag.”

Referring in their statement to a series of halachic rulings and responses issued by Rabbi Eliyahu in recent years, the artist determine that “he is the rabbi of incitement from Safed, the one who ruled that apartments must not be sold or rented to Arabs, the one who has been inciting for years against Arabs and non-Jews in general – incitement which led to racist riots in Safed, the one who organized the inciting rabbis’ letters, the one who incites against sexual relations with Arabs.”

‘They want to make him the State’s symbol’

The manifesto was drafted by writer Sefi Rachlevsky and has so far been signed by 30 men and women: Sculptor Micha Ullman, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, author Hanoch Bartov, Prof. David Harel, Cinematheque founder Lia van Leer, graphic designer David Tartakover, photojournalist Alex Levac, actress Hanna Maron, contemporary dancer and choreographer Ohad Naharin, Prof. Gavriel Salomon, sculptor Dani Karavan, composer Arik Shapira and former Knesset Member Yael Dayan.

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חתומה על המכתב. אחינועם ניני (צילום: ירון ברנר)

Singer Achinoam Nini. Signed letter (Photo: Yaron Brener)

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Other signatories include Prof. Rachel Erhard, Prof. Avner Ben-Amos, Prof. Helena Syna Desivilya, Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, artist Yair Garbuz, Prof. Zvi Tauber, Prof. Danny Jacobson, Dr. Shlomo Cohen, Prof. Avner Katz, author Hadara Lazar, conductor Uri Segal, playwright Joshua Sobol, singer Achinoam Nini, artist Izhar Patkin and Prof. David Shulman.

The petition notes that Rabbi Eliyahu had been indicted in the past for incitement to racism, although according to the signatories the State Prosecutor’s Office is usually “weak and paralyzed in the face of the forces of religion.”

This didn’t prevent Housing Minister Uri Ariel from holding a meeting with Safed’s rabbi recently and expressing support for his nomination as Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, they say.

“The housing minister, who is responsible for selling and renting apartments to citizens, supports a person who forbids selling and renting to Arabs!” they argue. “He (the rabbi) who demanded revenge against seculars. He who mocked the ‘moderates’ who will oppose the concentration camps we’ll set up in the future – he is the person who ministers in Israel want to appoint as the State’s symbol.”

‘Treat Habayit Hayehudi like Haider’s party’

The petition also calls on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remove Habayit Hayehudi from his government and boycott the national-religious party.

“It must be treated like we demanded Austria to treat Jörg Haider’s party. It must be treated like the Knesset treated Meir Kahane’s party. Complete denouncement. No contact. Walking out of the Knesset plenum when one of the members of the party supporting incitement to racism speaks.

“Every minute this is not being done is a black stain on the State of Israel. Every moment Habayit Hayehudi party sits in the government is complete contempt toward the victims of racism in Israel, in the world and in the history of the Jewish people, which is filled with victims of racial persecutions.

“Every moment that the leaders of the coalition parties – Benjamin Netanyahu, Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni – cooperate with Minister Ariel and Habayit Hayehudi in the government, makes them responsible and stains them with serious racism. This cooperation make Netanyahu, Lapid and Livni, as well as the members of their parties, worthy of complete denouncement. They are guilty of contempt towards the victims of history’s racial persecutions.”

Rabbi Eliyahu invites intellectuals to meeting

The petition concludes by saying that the question whether Rabbi Eliyahu will be allowed to compete or will be elected is marginal, as “the entire Rabbinate institution is false,” but that his supporters must be censured.

“This isn’t a slip of the tongue, this isn’t even shrapnel in the rear end, it’s an essence – a horrifying essence. The Israeli government is being put to a major test. Whoever fails will be responsible for the most serious delinquency against the memory of the history which led to the State of Israel.”

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גם הוא נגד הרב אליהו. אוהד נהרין  (צילום: ירון ברנר)

Choreographer Ohad Naharin. Signed too (Photo: Yaron Brener)

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Rabbi Eliyahu said in response that he saw his possible election as Israel’s chief rabbi with great respect, and had taken upon himself to respect every man’s way – including criticism from intellectuals.

According to a statement issued on behalf of the rabbi, “Intellectuals supporting tolerance, attentiveness and respect for fellowman should be expected to accept the rabbi’s invitation to meet with him and listen to his views without any mediators and distortions, but in a direct and honorable manner.

“Many of the remarks attributed to the rabbi were never said, and are a radicalized and distorted interpretation. The rabbi is a Jewish and Israeli patriot, who supports the way of Torah and the sanctity of the land.”

‘Perhaps they should condemn Ariel boycott’

Habayit Hayehudi party offered the following statement in response: “The involvement of left-wing intellectuals in the Chief Rabbinate elections is extremely moving. Habayit Hayehudi has only announced its support for Rabbi David Stav as Israel’s chief rabbi.”

The national-religious party invited the petition’s signatories to “draft a letter of support for Rabbi Stav in light of the harsh attackhe is subject to these days. They may also take this opportunity to condemn boycotts against the residents of Ariel like the one we saw last week, and in general we would be happy to suggest some ideas for additional letters, if they’re already at it.”

Eliyahu’s nomination for Sephardic chief rabbi (also known as the “Rishon LeZion”) has been criticized due to racist remarks he allegedly made in the past, including calling on Safed residents not to rent their apartments to Arabs, as one of the initiators of the 2010 “rabbis’ letter.”

The police even launched a criminal investigation into those statements, but eventually decided to drop the case against the rabbi due to “lack of evidence.”

About a week ago, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided tosummon the rabbi for a hearing before making a final decision on the matter, after receiving requests in to disqualify Eliyahu’s candidacy over his past statements.
In closed forums, Weinstein voiced his opinion that Eliyahu’s candidacy was inappropriate in light of the rabbi’s racist statements and the national nature of the position.
Source
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Related article

RAMADAN KAREEM

To all of my Muslim Brothers and Sisters …
May this year’s Ramadan usher in a new era of Peace and Hope!
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Ramadan Kareem!
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ramadan-kareem

PALESTINIANS ARE THE FIRST TO SUFFER UNDER EGYPT’S NEW GOVERNMENT

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff  (Freedom for whom???) 
military-coup-in-egypt-2-english
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The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected PresidentMuhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests.
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Egypt deporting Palestinians trying to return to Gaza

by Ali Abunimah 

A Palestinian woman waits at the closed Rafah crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on 5 July.

 (Eyad Al Baba)

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Palestinians trying to return home to the Gaza Strip via Cairo airport are being deported by Egyptian authorities to the countries they flew in from, at their own expense.

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected PresidentMuhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests.

In recent days, militant groups in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have repeatedly attacked Egyptian army posts and checkpoints.

Yousef M. Aljamal, a writer and occasional Electronic Intifada contributor, was among those deported. Aljamal was returning home to Gaza from New Zealand, where heparticipated in the recent Conference on Palestine in Auckland.

Aljamal tweeted about his deportation from Cairo, back to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, where he had stopped in order to obtain an Egyptian visa.

He reported seeing other Palestinians sent back to Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia and Canada, among other countries.

on Twitter

The Palestinian government in Gaza has appealed to Egyptian authorities to re-open Rafah, citing thousands of Palestinians, including many pilgrims, stranded away from home.

Even before the latest crisis in Egypt, conditions at the crossing have remained difficult and unpredictable, with “Mubarak-era cruelty” remaining the norm.

Anti-Palestinian campaign intensifies in Egypt

The deportation of Palestinians comes as campaigns against Palestinians are intensifying in Egypt.

Anti-Palestinian campaigns in the Egyptian media are not new, as Joseph Massad wrote last August. They have included outlandish claims that shortages of basic supplies including fuel and medicines for Egypt’s 83 million people are caused by supplies being sent to Gaza’s 1.7 million Palestinians.

The volume has however increased amid the ongoing crisis. Rumors circulated by Egyptian media and social media accuse Hamas – without evidence – of sending operatives to support the deposed Muslim Brotherhood government.

Such rumors have led to false accusations and deportations of Palestinians living in Egypt,as the Egyptian journalist Fahmy Howeidy reported in a 7 July article in Egypt’s Shorouk News.

Howeidy concludes his powerful piece with these observations:

Who is the party that is keen to terrorize and humiliate Palestinians and fabricate charges against them in Egypt? And what is its interest in doing this? And why is there no clear political stance to stop these humiliations? My information is that there are elements within the Palestinian security apparatus still working against the government in the Gaza Strip and trying to malign it and bring it down.

There are also elements within the Egyptian security services – whose arms reach into the media – who despise Palestinians and sneer at resistance, and who cannot bear to hear the name of Hamas because of their relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. And these parties have rebounded lately, for well-known reasons. This leads to ask who they represent and to what extent they are connected with the deep state whose elements do not cease for even a day from spreading hatred between Egyptians and Palestinians in violation of all national and ethical norms.

Syrians, as well as Palestinians, have also been targeted by such rumors and campaigns.

As Egypt slips further into political chaos, Palestinians stranded abroad are hoping they can get home without falling victim to the increasingly poisonous atmosphere.

Written FOR

WHAT AMERICA SHOULD BE FOR ME …. BUT ISN’T YET

WAKE UP AMERICA!
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The immortal words of Paul Robeson…
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The original lyrics to this powerful song…Bass Paul Robeson at his best.

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN (1947)

What is America to me?
A name, a map or a flag I see,
A certain word, “Democracy”,
What is America to me?

The house I live in,
The friends that I have found,
The folks beyond the railroad
and the people all around,
The worker and the farmer,
the sailor on the sea,
The men who built this country,
that’s America to me.

The words of old Abe Lincoln,
of Jefferson and Paine,
of Washington and Jackson
and the tasks that still remain.
The little bridge at Concord,
where Freedom’s Fight began,
of Gettysburg and Midway
and the story of Bataan.

The house I live in,
my neighbors White and Black,
the people who just came here
or from generations back,
the town hall and the soapbox,
the torch of Liberty,
a home for all God’s children,
that’s America to me.

The house I live in,
the goodness everywhere,
a land of wealth and beauty
with enough for all to share.
A house that we call “Freedom”,
the home of Liberty,
but especially the people,
that’s America to me. 

But especially the people–that’s
the true America…

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Are these the people he sang about? Still not much change since 1949 …
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ISRAEL’S NEW CHIEF RABBI: WILL IT BE THIS RACIST OR THAT ONE?

b-chiefrabbi-070513

Rabbi Avraham Yosef (left), Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

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Following is a series of quotes from their writings. Quotes of Rabbi Eliyahu were collected with the help of Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Gadi Gvaryahu from “Tag Meir.” The response of Rabbi Yosef were collected from his anthology of response.

On renting apartments to non-Jews

Eliyahu (at a conference in Safed with [former Kach activist] Baruch Marzel, 2010): “If someone rents an apartment to Arabs, this is against halacha. It is permitted by law, I have been to the state attorney’s office. They charged me with racism. Nobody will shut my mouth.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to rent apartments to gentiles, it is forbidden to sell land to them. Question: Immigrants from Russia came to me, totally secular. They seemed like honest people. I don’t know about their Jewishness. Should I rent to them? Answer: In principle the law permits it, but if it is clear that they are not Jewish it is forbidden.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to buy olive oil from a gentile.”

On Arabs:

Eliyahu (Arutz Sheva, 2002): “It is forbidden to sit quietly. We must throw all the Arab students out of Safed College. I say this explicitly—I don’t fear anyone.”

Eliyahu (Questions and Responsa): “It would be worthwhile for someone to come and organize the consumers not to use the services of a hotel that employs Arabs workers. If they attend to the cleanliness of the food the way they attend to the cleanliness of their villages—the condition of the food is difficult … The time has come to speak the truth: Giving employment to enemies brings harsh results.”

On security:

Eliyahu (Questions and Responsa): “You must shout ‘Danger, terrorist’ and aim your weapon at him. By his reaction you can know whether he is a terrorist. One who comes to kill you, even if it is uncertain—hasten to kill him.”

On revenge:

Eliyahu (The Land of Israel Is Ours, 1998): God told us to exact revenge on the gentiles. It was He who brought Pharaoh and his troops to the Red Sea in order to drown them. Not to bring Israel out of Egypt, but to exact revenge.”

On the Supreme Court and the judicial system:

Yosef (Radio Kol Chai, 2010): “Judges cannot be counted in a minyan. It is forbidden to give to them, engage them or include them in any synagogue statement. Ignore their existence, and they will be as empty air. Even if the judge knows how to pray very well, from the moment that he was appointed a judge he disqualified himself from participating in a minyan, not to mention a prayer leader. He has raised a hand against the Torah of Moses.”

Eliyahu (Radio Galei Yisrael, 2010): “This is the most racist court in the state. There is no presence of Sephardim.” (To Galei Tzahal): “Who is the Supreme Court? They will not run the state for us. We will create disturbances so the court will fear us.” (To nrg.com/Maariv online): “For some reason this court is called by the names supreme, high and justice. The lives of soldiers are important in my eyes, but the justices are less important than the lives of gentiles.”

On women:

Yosef (Questions and Responses, 2008): “Is it permissible to elect a woman mayor? The question is one of halacha. A. Whether it is permissible for a woman to be elected to public office. B. Whether it would help in the observance of religion locally. To the best of my knowledge, the woman in Herzliya [Mayor Yael German] does not meet either of the two criteria.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to involve a woman in the zimun [the opening of Birkat Hamazon, the blessing after meals], even if it is for her husband or son. It is forbidden for a woman to cover herself with a shawl. A woman is meant to wear clothes like everyone else wears.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to shake the hand of an aunt. A girl’s hand may be shaken only if she is younger than nine. It is forbidden to shake the hand of a sister—if it is in a public place. It is permitted to hear a girl singing if she is younger than six—on condition that it is not in public. Is it permitted for a kindergarten teacher to speak at a parents’ meeting where men are present? There is no permission for a woman to speak in front of men.”

On democracy and the media:

Eliyahu (With a Jewish Head, 1998): “A revolution is needed. The entire nation is ruled by a very narrow stratum.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to say Hallel [the traditional prayers of thanks] on Independence Day. It is forbidden to shave on Independence Day.”

Eliyahu (With a Jewish Head, 1998): “People who don’t believe in God sit over the communications media and don’t permit anyone who thinks differently to broadcast.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to read newspapers on Shabbat. In practice one may be lenient in the bathroom. The [Haredi] newspaper Yated Ne’eman may not be read at all, even in the bathroom.”

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Accused Racists Leading Field in Chief Rabbi Race

By J.J. Goldberg

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The race for chief rabbi of Israel has been getting ugly since the collapse of a proposed deal between Shas and Jewish Home to elect their respective favorites. The deal would have amended the Chief Rabbinate laws to permit a second term for the incumbent Sephardic chief rabbi, a Shas favorite, and eliminated the age limit to permit the election of a favorite of the hardline, pro-settler of Jewish Home. The deal collapsed over liberal support for a more moderate Ashkenazi contender, as well as opposition to anything that benefits Shas.

The leading candidate for Sephardic chief rabbi is now Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed and son of the late Mordechai Eliyahu, former chief rabbi and longtime spiritual mentor of the National Religious Party. The younger Eliyahu is currently the subject of furious behind-the-scenes politicking by liberals who want to stop his candidacy, led by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Labor Party lawmaker Eitan Cabel. The reason: a long record of extreme racism, including his notorious 2010 dictum forbidding the sale or rental of homes to Arabs.

Livni, whose Justice Ministry would be in charge of Chief Rabbi Eliyahu (since the Sephardic chief rabbi is the head of the rabbinical court system, which is under the Justice Ministry), met with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein last month to look for legal ways to block Eliyahu. Weinstein was dubious about the legal grounds, according to Nahum Barnea in today’s Yediot Ahronot. Barnea quoted Livni as insisting: “This is intolerable. After all, we’re talking about the position of chief rabbi. What will his election do to Israel’s image abroad? He mustn’t be elected.”

Livni wanted to base legal action on an indictment issued against Eliyahu in 2002 on charges of racism after he called for the expulsion of the Arab population of Safed. Weinstein pointed out that the state attorney’s office dropped the charges in 2006 after Eliyahu agreed to apologize, which would undermine the legal grounds for blocking him now.

On Wednesday, however (presumably after Barnea had filed his Friday Supplement column), Haaretz reported that Weinstein had agreed to conduct a legal inquiry if Eliyahu’s name is formally put in nomination.

The Haaretz story linked above includes some of Eliyahu’s most controversial quotes. The Israel Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has put together a longer list of Eliyahu’s most objectionable public statements.

Barnea points out, however, that stopping Eliyahu could be a mixed blessing. His main competition, Barnea reports, is Rabbi Avraham Yosef, a son of the former Sephardic chief rabbi and current Shas party mentor Ovadia Yosef. Though less prominent in the press, Barnea says, Yosef could be considered even more racist—and misogynistic and anti-democratic, to boot—than Eliyahu. In part this is a reflection of their ideological backgrounds: Eliyahu comes from the religious Zionist movement and recognizes the legitimacy of the state and its institutions, while Yosef emerges from a Haredi worldview that’s much more ambivalent on the question. It’s said, though, that Avraham Yosef is considered something of an extremist even within his own family.

To make his case, Barnea put together a list of parallel statements by the two for comparison. Here’s my translation:

Following is a series of quotes from their writings. Quotes of Rabbi Eliyahu were collected with the help of Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Gadi Gvaryahu from “Tag Meir.” The response of Rabbi Yosef were collected from his anthology of response.

On renting apartments to non-Jews

Eliyahu (at a conference in Safed with [former Kach activist] Baruch Marzel, 2010): “If someone rents an apartment to Arabs, this is against halacha. It is permitted by law, I have been to the state attorney’s office. They charged me with racism. Nobody will shut my mouth.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to rent apartments to gentiles, it is forbidden to sell land to them. Question: Immigrants from Russia came to me, totally secular. They seemed like honest people. I don’t know about their Jewishness. Should I rent to them? Answer: In principle the law permits it, but if it is clear that they are not Jewish it is forbidden.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to buy olive oil from a gentile.”

On Arabs:

Eliyahu (Arutz Sheva, 2002): “It is forbidden to sit quietly. We must throw all the Arab students out of Safed College. I say this explicitly—I don’t fear anyone.”

Eliyahu (Questions and Responsa): “It would be worthwhile for someone to come and organize the consumers not to use the services of a hotel that employs Arabs workers. If they attend to the cleanliness of the food the way they attend to the cleanliness of their villages—the condition of the food is difficult … The time has come to speak the truth: Giving employment to enemies brings harsh results.”

On security:

Eliyahu (Questions and Responsa): “You must shout ‘Danger, terrorist’ and aim your weapon at him. By his reaction you can know whether he is a terrorist. One who comes to kill you, even if it is uncertain—hasten to kill him.”

On revenge:

Eliyahu (The Land of Israel Is Ours, 1998): God told us to exact revenge on the gentiles. It was He who brought Pharaoh and his troops to the Red Sea in order to drown them. Not to bring Israel out of Egypt, but to exact revenge.”

On the Supreme Court and the judicial system:

Yosef (Radio Kol Chai, 2010): “Judges cannot be counted in a minyan. It is forbidden to give to them, engage them or include them in any synagogue statement. Ignore their existence, and they will be as empty air. Even if the judge knows how to pray very well, from the moment that he was appointed a judge he disqualified himself from participating in a minyan, not to mention a prayer leader. He has raised a hand against the Torah of Moses.”

Eliyahu (Radio Galei Yisrael, 2010): “This is the most racist court in the state. There is no presence of Sephardim.” (To Galei Tzahal): “Who is the Supreme Court? They will not run the state for us. We will create disturbances so the court will fear us.” (To nrg.com/Maariv online): “For some reason this court is called by the names supreme, high and justice. The lives of soldiers are important in my eyes, but the justices are less important than the lives of gentiles.”

On women:

Yosef (Questions and Responses, 2008): “Is it permissible to elect a woman mayor? The question is one of halacha. A. Whether it is permissible for a woman to be elected to public office. B. Whether it would help in the observance of religion locally. To the best of my knowledge, the woman in Herzliya [Mayor Yael German] does not meet either of the two criteria.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to involve a woman in the zimun [the opening of Birkat Hamazon, the blessing after meals], even if it is for her husband or son. It is forbidden for a woman to cover herself with a shawl. A woman is meant to wear clothes like everyone else wears.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to shake the hand of an aunt. A girl’s hand may be shaken only if she is younger than nine. It is forbidden to shake the hand of a sister—if it is in a public place. It is permitted to hear a girl singing if she is younger than six—on condition that it is not in public. Is it permitted for a kindergarten teacher to speak at a parents’ meeting where men are present? There is no permission for a woman to speak in front of men.”

On democracy and the media:

Eliyahu (With a Jewish Head, 1998): “A revolution is needed. The entire nation is ruled by a very narrow stratum.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to say Hallel [the traditional prayers of thanks] on Independence Day. It is forbidden to shave on Independence Day.”

Eliyahu (With a Jewish Head, 1998): “People who don’t believe in God sit over the communications media and don’t permit anyone who thinks differently to broadcast.”

Yosef: “It is forbidden to read newspapers on Shabbat. In practice one may be lenient in the bathroom. The [Haredi] newspaper Yated Ne’eman may not be read at all, even in the bathroom.”

Friday’s Haaretz has a story by Yair Ettinger reporting that a religious-Zionist website has taken down some comments made by Eliyahu in 2005, railing against the Gaza disengagement, that could further damage his candidacy.

The text attributed to Eliyahu urged revenge against secular Jews, calling on people to bring secular children back into the religious fold. The Kipa website (in Hebrew) first published the comments during the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. A spokesman says the rabbi’s quotes have been taken out of context.

The text appeared in a column called Ask the Rabbi, where rabbis answer questions concerning religious law and offer personal advice. Rabbi Eliyahu frequents such sites.

Ahead of the nomination of a new chief rabbi, his alleged 2005 response was extracted by the information dissemination website 61 – run by Molad, the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, an organization associated with the left.

Eliyahu’s answer was in response to a question by a woman whose friend “had a lot of pent-up anger” after the withdrawal from Gaza. She wanted to know “how to channel his anger in a positive direction.”

The Rabbi of Safed reportedly replied: “Take revenge! Avenge the secularists who have brought this disaster upon us. Avenge the evil associated with this folly. Return them to the bosom of religion, talk incessantly. Restore them and their children to the faith. Do this wisely, with sensitivity and determination.” Shortly after these words appeared on Facebook and Twitter this week, they were removed from Kipa, with no explanation given.

Written FOR

STILL WAITING FOR THE ARAB SPRING IN PALESTINE

 One day the Palestinian people will rise up against their occupiers. I hope this day comes soon.
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One day, Ramallah will rise up

The events at Tahrir Square will surely be replicated one day in Ramallah’s Manara Square. It is hard now to imagine it happening, but it is even more difficult to imagine that it will not.

By Gideon Levy
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Palestinians demonstrating in Ramallah in 2012.
Palestinians demonstrating in Ramallah in 2012. Photo by AP
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One day the Palestinian people will rise up against their occupiers. I hope this day comes soon.

It’s true that this scenario seems unrealistic right now. The Palestinians are still bleeding from the second intifada, which only brought disaster upon them (and the Israelis). They are divided and torn, with no real leadership and lacking a fighting spirit, and the world has tired of their distress. The Israeli occupation seems as strong and established as ever, the settlements are growing, and the military is in complete control, with all the world’s governments silent and indifferent.

On the other hand, it is impossible to imagine that this scenario will not materialize. To our south, the Egyptian people are struggling over the nature of their regime, in a way that can only inspire awe. To the north, the Syrian people are also doing this, albeit in a much crueler fashion. Could it be that only the Palestinian people will forever bow their heads, submissively and obediently, to the Israeli jackboot? Don’t make the minister of history laugh.

The regimes against which most of the Arab nations are rebelling were generally less brutal than the regime of the Israeli occupation. They were also less corrupt, in the broad sense of the word. Most did not take over the lives of their subjects day and night, did not so drastically restrict their movement and freedom, did not systematically abuse and humiliate them in the manner of the Israeli regime. Moreover, they were not foreign regimes.

Therefore, the events at Tahrir Square will surely be replicated one day in Ramallah’s Manara Square. The masses will flood the Unknown Soldier’s Square in Gaza, push into Police Square in Hebron and storm all the checkpoints along their way. It is hard now to imagine it happening, but it is even more difficult to imagine that it will not.

From Jenin to Rafah, they are enviously watching the wonders of Tahrir Square. Can anyone seriously think these scenes and this spirit will not affect Balata? Not sweep through Jabalya? The first is under Israeli rule, while the other is supposedly controlled by Hamas, and yet residents of the two places cannot even meet with each other. How much longer will they accept this?

Yes, it will happen one day. The masses will rise up against the settlements and checkpoints, against the army barracks and the prisons. And at that point, the Israeli Arabs will no longer stand idly by. They are also watching what’s happening at Tahrir Square and also realize they deserve a different regime and a different country.

It seems to happen when you least expect it. No Military Intelligence report will predict it, and no Shin Bet field coordinator will warn about it. The defense minister will act shocked, the prime minister will convene urgent consultations, and the finance minister will post something on Facebook. The president of the United States will call for calm, and who knows, maybe will send a special envoy. The world’s most powerful and especially most moral military will try to restore order, but the new order will assert its control over the army as well.

As with other unjust and evil regimes, which are always destined to fall, this regime also will fall – it’s just not clear when and how. Sometimes these regimes fall in the wake of terrible bloodshed, as in Syria, and sometimes they fall on their own, like a tall tree whose trunk has rotted, as happened in the Soviet Union, South Africa and Eastern Europe. One day it will happen here, too; there is no other way.

It would be best that this day come soon; too bad it hasn’t come yet. The Israeli public, which didn’t know how to end its occupation regime on its own, will also act surprised, and offended. Again they will say that “there’s no partner,” that “they’re like animals,” but no one will take these statements seriously. Israel will again play the victim, but few will be able to identify with it anymore.

Why is it best that this happens soon? Because as time passes, the damage and rage accumulate. Because there is no chance that Israel will end the occupation voluntarily. Because justice cries out for it to happen. Because whether the solution is one state or two, an Israel that isn’t an occupier, that is just and egalitarian, will be a different and infinitely better place to live. 

 

 

Written FOR

TOONS OF MEMORY AND HOPE IN EGYPT

Both images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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(Click Here) …. SCAF; Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
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NELSON MANDELA’S LONG WALK TO FREEDOM

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After 27 years in jail, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl (Cap Town), South Africa. The event was broadcast live all over the world.
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‘I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’
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REMARKS BY NELSON MANDELA IN CAPE TOWN ON 11 FEBRUARY 11, 1990 AFTER HIS RELEASE FROM VICTOR VERSTER

NELSON MANDELA’S ADDRESS TO RALLY IN CAPE TOWN ON HIS RELEASE FROM PRISON

11 February 1990

Friends, comrades and fellow South Africans.

I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.

I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.

On this day of my release, I extend my sincere and warmest gratitude to the millions of my compatriots and those in every corner of the globe who have campaigned tirelessly for my release.

I send special greetings to the people of Cape Town, this city which has been my home for three decades. Your mass marches and other forms of struggle have served as a constant source of strength to all political prisoners.

I salute the African National Congress. It has fulfilled our every expectation in its role as leader of the great march to freedom.

I salute our President, Comrade Oliver Tambo, for leading the ANC even under the most difficult circumstances.

I salute the rank and file members of the ANC. You have sacrificed life and limb in the pursuit of the noble cause of our struggle.

I salute combatants of Umkhonto we Sizwe, like Solomon Mahlangu and Ashley Kriel who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom of all South Africans.

I salute the South African Communist Party for its sterling contribution to the struggle for democracy. You have survived 40 years of unrelenting persecution. The memory of great communists like Moses Kotane, Yusuf Dadoo, Bram Fischer and Moses Mabhida will be cherished for generations to come.

I salute General Secretary Joe Slovo, one of our finest patriots. We are heartened by the fact that the alliance between ourselves and the Party remains as strong as it always was.

I salute the United Democratic Front, the National Education Crisis Committee, the South African Youth Congress, the Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses and COSATU and the many other formations of the Mass Democratic Movement.

I also salute the Black Sash and the National Union of South African Students. We note with pride that you have acted as the conscience of white South Africa. Even during the darkest days in the history of our struggle you held the flag of liberty high. The large-scale mass mobilisation of the past few years is one of the key factors which led to the opening of the final chapter of our struggle.

I extend my greetings to the working class of our country. Your organised strength is the pride of our movement. You remain the most dependable force in the struggle to end exploitation and oppression.

I pay tribute to the many religious communities who carried the campaign for justice forward when the organisations for our people were silenced.

I greet the traditional leaders of our country – many of you continue to walk in the footsteps of great heroes like Hintsa and Sekhukune.

I pay tribute to the endless heroism of youth, you, the young lions. You, the young lions, have energised our entire struggle.

I pay tribute to the mothers and wives and sisters of our nation. You are the rock-hard foundation of our struggle. Apartheid has inflicted more pain on you than on anyone else.

On this occasion, we thank the world community for their great contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. Without your support our struggle would not have reached this advanced stage. The sacrifice of the frontline states will be remembered by South Africans forever.

My salutations would be incomplete without expressing my deep appreciation for the strength given to me during my long and lonely years in prison by my beloved wife and family. I am convinced that your pain and suffering was far greater than my own.

Before I go any further I wish to make the point that I intend making only a few preliminary comments at this stage. I will make a more complete statement only after I have had the opportunity to consult with my comrades.

Today the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. The mass campaign of defiance and other actions of our organisation and people can only culminate in the establishment of democracy. The destruction caused by apartheid on our sub-continent is in- calculable. The fabric of family life of millions of my people has been shattered. Millions are homeless and unemployed. Our economy lies in ruins and our people are embroiled in political strife. Our resort to the armed struggle in 1960 with the formation of the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, was a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid. The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement will be created soon so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle.

I am a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress. I am therefore in full agreement with all of its objectives, strategies and tactics.

The need to unite the people of our country is as important a task now as it always has been. No individual leader is able to take on this enormous task on his own. It is our task as leaders to place our views before our organisation and to allow the democratic structures to decide. On the question of democratic practice, I feel duty bound to make the point that a leader of the movement is a person who has been democratically elected at a national conference. This is a principle which must be upheld without any exceptions.

Today, I wish to report to you that my talks with the government have been aimed at normalising the political situation in the country. We have not as yet begun discussing the basic demands of the struggle. I wish to stress that I myself have at no time entered into negotiations about the future of our country except to insist on a meeting between the ANC and the government.

Mr. De Klerk has gone further than any other Nationalist president in taking real steps to normalise the situation. However, there are further steps as outlined in the Harare Declaration that have to be met before negotiations on the basic demands of our people can begin. I reiterate our call for, inter alia, the immediate ending of the State of Emergency and the freeing of all, and not only some, political prisoners. Only such a normalised situation, which allows for free political activity, can allow us to consult our people in order to obtain a mandate.

The people need to be consulted on who will negotiate and on the content of such negotiations. Negotiations cannot take place above the heads or behind the backs of our people. It is our belief that the future of our country can only be determined by a body which is democratically elected on a non-racial basis. Negotiations on the dismantling of apartheid will have to address the over- whelming demand of our people for a democratic, non-racial and unitary South Africa. There must be an end to white monopoly on political power and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratised.

It must be added that Mr. De Klerk himself is a man of integrity who is acutely aware of the dangers of a public figure not honouring his undertakings. But as an organisation we base our policy and strategy on the harsh reality we are faced with. And this reality is that we are still suffering under the policy of the Nationalist government.

Our struggle has reached a decisive moment. We call on our people to seize this moment so that the process towards democracy is rapid and uninterrupted. We have waited too long for our freedom. We can no longer wait. Now is the time to intensify the struggle on all fronts. To relax our efforts now would be a mistake which generations to come will not be able to forgive. The sight of freedom looming on the horizon should encourage us to redouble our efforts.

It is only through disciplined mass action that our victory can be assured. We call on our white compatriots to join us in the shaping of a new South Africa. The freedom movement is a political home for you too. We call on the international community to continue the campaign to isolate the apartheid regime. To lift sanctions now would be to run the risk of aborting the process towards the complete eradication of apartheid.

Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way. Universal suffrage on a common voters’ role in a united democratic and non-racial South Africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony.

In conclusion I wish to quote my own words during my trial in 1964. They are true today as they were then:

‘I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’

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