ZIO’S HATE LIST FOR 2013

Anti-zionism is not anti-semitism why is this so hard to understand
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Waters, one of Israel’s harshest critics and a leading BDS activist, “serially slanders Israel as an apartheid state, compares it to Nazi Germany and denies that the Iranian regime poses any threat to the Jewish state,” SWC explained.
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How quickly they forget …..
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And this …
zionism-is-not-judaism
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Khamenei, Waters top 2013 anti-Semites list
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Simon Wiesenthal Center gives two first slots on its top-10 list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs to Iranian supreme leader Khamenei, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters ranks fourth for ‘using his status as a musician to denigrate Judaism’*

The leaders of Iran and Turkey and musician Roger Waters top the 2013 “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs” list released Monday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a Jewish human rights organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

The first place was given to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to SWC, even as the world’s top diplomats celebrated the Iranian nuclear deal, few leaders condemned Khamenei for his “unabated public slurs and genocidal threats against the Jewish state.”

Referring to Israel as the “rabid dog in the region,” he added that “its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.” On the eve of Iranian elections, Khamenei declared, “Zionists” were the real power in the United States.

Second on the list of anti-Semites this year is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In response to anti-government demonstrations earlier in the year in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, Erdogan, blamed the public’s expressions of dissent on the so-called “interest rate lobby” – a term defined by his deputy as “the Jewish Diaspora.”

Later, Erdogan also intimated that the Egyptian military’s ouster of Mohammed Morsi was instigated by Israel.

The third place goes to UN special rapporteur Richard Falk, who accused Israel of “genocidal intentions.”

Khamenei. 'Israel the rabid dog in the region' (Photo: AFP/ Khamenei.ir)
Khamenei. ‘Israel the rabid dog in the region’ (Photo: AFP/ Khamenei.ir)
 
Turkey's Erdogan. 'Interest rate lobby' (Photo: EPA)
Turkey’s Erdogan. ‘Interest rate lobby’ (Photo: EPA)
 

The fourth place is shared by the American Studies Association(ASA), which voted in favor of an academic boycott of Israel and former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters.

According to SWC, “The whole Arab world is going up in flames and the ASA has voted to malign the only true, free society left on the map of the Middle East. This is an act of infamy; not only attacking Israeli academic institutions – but Jews everywhere.”

Waters, one of Israel’s harshest critics and a leading BDS activist, “serially slanders Israel as an apartheid state, compares it to Nazi Germany and denies that the Iranian regime poses any threat to the Jewish state,” SWC explained.

“At a time of resurgent anti-Semitic hate crimes in Europe, Waters used his status as a musician to denigrate Judaism when he affixed a Jewish star on a floating pig during his summer concert tour across the continent.”

The list also includes the United Church of Canada for endorsing the boycott of Israel; Hungarian extreme right-wing party Jobbik, which “continues to promote its hatred of Jews” after its deputy leader called for a registry of all Jews in Hungary as a security measure last year; and Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, the Arab “face” of L’Oreal who serves as a judge on “Arabs Got Talent,” the wildly popular version of “American Idol,” who chose Adolf Hitler as one of the famous persons who could create the “ideal man” due to his “persuasive” speaking ability.

Also on the list is the Pine Bush School District in upstate New York for failing to protect its Jewish students against anti-Semitic slurs and physical abuse.

Source

DESERTPEACE’S YEAR IN REVIEW

Here is the Annual Report prepared by WordPress for this Blog. Thanks to all of our readers and friends for making 2013 the success that it was.

Here’s to 2014 …. with best wishes for good health and Peace!

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 640,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 27 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Special thanks go to …..

The top referring sites in 2013 were:

  1. whatreallyhappened.com
  2. facebook.com
  3. twitter.com
  4. smoking-mirrors.com
  5. reddit.com

GESTURES THAT ROCKED THE ZIOWORLD (OR DIDN’T)

Britain’s Football Association said Saturday it was considering punishing Anelka, who plays for the West Bromwich Albion soccer team, for performing, during a match, the quenelle – a quasi-Nazi salute which representatives of France’s Jewish community have termed anti-Semitic.
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The following courtesy of What Really Happened
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Some even whined when this garden gnome had his hand raised …
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But not a word was muttered when this guy did it ….
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Or this guy …
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Or when an entire nation did it … In the 1930s, American children were taught to use that salute to pledge allegiance to the US flag!
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So why all the fuss today?

VANUNU RESENTENCED TO ‘LIFE IN ISRAEL’ FOR WHISTLE BLOWING

Image by Bendib

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The borders of the state are his prison bars …..

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He is prohibited from leaving Israel, including travel over the Green Line, from communicating with foreigners and from conducting online communications without written permission.
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Court restricts nuclear whistleblower Vanunu’s movement for seventh time

He’s still collecting classified information and planning to disseminate it, High Court rules.

By Revital Hovel
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Mordechai Vanunu in court.
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Mordechai Vanunu in court, 2010. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu will have to spend another year in Israel, following the dismissal Sunday by the High Court of Justice of his petition against the extension of restrictions on his movement and behavior.

It was the seventh time the restrictions have been extended, since they were imposed when Vanunu was released from prison in 2004. The country’s security agencies and attorney general argued in favor of the restrictions.

Vanunu served 18 years in prison for revealing classified information about Israel’s nuclear program, garnered during his employment at the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona.

He is prohibited from leaving Israel, including travel over the Green Line, from communicating with foreigners and from conducting online communications without written permission. He is also prohibited from revealing any classified information that came to his attention during his work in DImona, including information that he had previously revealed. In 2007 he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for violating the restrictions.

In his latest petition, filed by attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard, Vanunu argued that a considerable amount of time had passed since he had worked in the Dimona center and committed the offenses for which he was convicted, and that not enough weight was being given to this passage of time. Vanunu also claimed that information about Israel’s nuclear capabilities published since his release “immeasurably exceeds” what he could add today. He added that the restrictions imposed on him represent a disproportionate violation of several fundamental rights, and constitute additional punishment even though he has served his sentence.

The state countered through lawyers Dan Eldad and Aner Helman that Vanunu still possesses unpublished classified information and that he is trying to get the information published. To this end, the state’s lawyers presented classified material that was not made public.

In the decision, written by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis on behalf of himself and justices Miriam Naor and Isaac Amit, the court said that “after examining the extensive material submitted to the court, we are convinced that there is no reason to intervene in the decision of the respondents to extend the validity of the orders for another year.”

Grunis added, “One cannot say that the orders constitute a means of punishment, as claimed by the petitioner. The orders were designed to prevent future dissemination of classified information. In recent years, the court has examined several times the necessity of the orders, and has been convinced, time after time, that they are needed to protect national security.”

Grunis said that from the privileged material shown to the justices it emerges that Vanunu “is still collecting classified information and has not backed down from his plans to disseminate the information.”

 

 

Source

FORGING A UNITED FRONT BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM IN THE ARAB WORLD

 
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Christians and Muslims lived generally peacefully and even amicably for many centuries. Christian-Muslim unity more or less survived the Crusades’ era and the creation of the Zionist state of Israel, especially the unlimited support and backing of that criminal entity by western Christian powers
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Christian Arabs must not embrace tyrannical anti-Islam regimes

 

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Jerusalem

 

 

I know I have to exercise extreme caution when dealing with this sensitive issue of Christian citizens in the Arab world. The ugly head of sectarianism would always rise if we didn’t take the necessary precautions to keep buried underground. I say “keep it buried underground,” not crush it into oblivion because as long as there are religions and sects there will always be sectarianism. Hence, the best and utmost we can do and hope for  is to seek common grounds and common denominators based on human rights, civil liberties as  the concept of equal citizenship. 

Unfortunately, efforts to keep the ugly head of the ghoul of sectarianism at bay are not always successful especially in states that utilize sectarianism to prevent democracy and perpetuate sectarian tyranny and despotism. 

Unfortunately, there is a trend in the media, especially the secular media, to blame Islamists for tampering with the sectarian equation. Rarely have we heard criticisms directed at the Christian communities or their respective leaderships for generating negative anti-Christian impressions among the majority Muslim population. 

Take Syria for an example. For sixty years, the country has been languishing under the murderous boots of the heretical Alawite sect, which used the Baath party as a ladder to reach the helm of power. 

The Baathist fascism practiced and promoted by the Assad family penetrated every aspect of the Syrian state, government and society. I am sure Syrians know much more than I do about the evils of the Assad Dynasty rule, a rule that continues to dispatch Syrians to their graves by the hundreds per day. 

Unfortunately, Christians in Syria, or most of them, sided decidedly with the terrorist regime of Bashar Assad against the vast majority of the Syrian people who rose up for freedom. 

I believe Christians who decided to join the Assad boat must be treated like criminal terrorists, just like other people joining that nefarious regime, including “nominal Muslims.” 

Christians joining the ranks of Bashar Assad are terrorists and criminals not because they are Christian, but rather because they are involved in crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nazi-like regime against its own people. 

As mentioned, the same descriptions apply to everyone joining ranks with the Assad regime. 

  The Copts 

Many Egyptian Christians have also been making the same historical blunder of siding with the coup-makers who usurped the collective will of the Egyptian people. 

The Sisi junta has murdered thousands of innocent Egyptians. It has tortured and maltreated political opponents and rounded up tens of thousands of people. 

Needless to say, this is the hallmark of fascism. 

It is unacceptable that Christians in Egypt or elsewhere in the Arab world insist on imposing secularism on a predominantly Muslim people. Secularism may be part of Christianity, but it is not part of Islam.  

Let me make this perfectly clear. Christians in the Arab world have every right to demand equality as citizens. But they don’t have the right to impose secularism as a new religion on Muslims. Similarly, Christians have no right to insist that belief in godless secularism is sine-qua-non for participation in political life. 

Don’t tell me secularism is good. In the Arab world, especially in Egypt, Syria and Algeria, secularism means vehement hostility to Islam. 

Muslims, like the followers of any other conceivable religion, have a full natural right to take part in political life and form political parties based on their Islamic convictions and ideals. It is unacceptable that, for example, Communists have a right to form political parties based on their Marxist-Leninist convictions and liberals have a similar right to do the same thing based on their liberal convictions while Muslims are denied that right.  This is not only hostility to Islam; it is also hostility to democracy and human rights. 

Some Christian pundits might argue that Communism and liberalism are political philosophies whereas Islam is a religion.  Well, with all due respect, Christians have no right to define Islam for Muslims just as Muslims have no right to define Christianity for Christians. 

 This ought to be treated an axiomatic matter that shouldn’t be even raised in public were it not for the ongoing dark embrace between some influential Christian circles and the tyrannical gangs in Cairo and Damascus. 

More to the point, there are Christian political parties ruling in many countries such as Germany, so why is it that of all peoples in the world, Muslims are barred from taking part in political life unless they are willing to effectively renounce their faith? 

We won’t renounce our faith and we won’t renounce our right to participate in political life even if we have to shed our blood for it. 

I am sure that Christians of good-will understand Muslim concerns in this regard.  Unfortunately, not all Christians harbor good-will toward Muslims. These people include, inter alia, the Coptic Church of Egypt.  In the past few years, especially ever since the ousting of Egyptian tyrant Husni Mubarak, this particular Church has lost no opportunity displaying its venomous vindictiveness and sullen hostility to Islam and the Islamists.    The print and electronic media associated with the Church never stopped even for minute inciting hatred against Islamists. The declared target is the Muslim Brotherhood, but the real target is Islam, the Prophet of Islam and the holy scriptures of Islam. 

Indeed, we would exaggerate very little if we said that the Coptic Church and many of its followers bear much of the moral responsibility for the genocidal massacres of the Islamists at the hands of the murderous Sisi gang. The Church actually never sought to distance itself from the perpetrators of the hideous crimes which should make condemnation of the Church acquire an added legitimacy. 

Christians and Muslims lived generally peacefully and even amicably for many centuries. Christian-Muslim unity more or less survived the Crusades’ era and the creation of the Zionist state of Israel, especially the unlimited support and backing of that criminal entity by western Christian powers. 

Now, there is a third formidable challenge waiting to test the tenacity and durability of Christian-Muslim relations. And that is the slow and arduous transformation into democracy in the Arab world. Unfortunately, the tidings don’t look very good. 

Let me be clear. Christians, like all citizens, have the right to take part in political life. They have the right to form or join the political party of their choice. But they absolutely have no right to demand the exclusion of Islam-based parties from the political game. 

 Needless to say, that would be the ultimate game-changer that would rock the boat of coexistence between Muslims and Christians in this part of the world. 

 

 

 

‘IN CASE OF PEACE’, THERE WILL BE NO PALESTINE

Slowly but surely ….. the land theft continues .

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“There is no divide between settlement and security. The Jordan Valley is consensus for the citizens of Israel. Never mind – let them know the Jordan Valley will be Israeli under any final agreement.”

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Ministerial committee approves annexing Jordan Valley

Eight ministers support bill proposing that Israel annex Jordan Valley, so that it remains within Israeli sovereignty even if peace accord is reached with Palestinians. Several ministers appeal, say will block legislative process

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The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved Sunday a bill, proposed by MK Miri Regev, to annex the Jordan Valley, thereby ensuring that the region remains within Israeli sovereignty even if an agreement is reached with the Palestinians.

The bill was supported by eight ministers from the Likud, Yisrael Beitenu, and Habayit Hayehudi.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said: “There is no divide between settlement and security. The Jordan Valley is consensus for the citizens of Israel. Never mind – let them know the Jordan Valley will be Israeli under any final agreement.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, and Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri have appealed the bill, which therefore might not undergo legislation.

Minister Livni said during the meeting: “I have no respect for the proposal and its backers who are weakening themselves. By supporting this bill you are essentially giving up on the government’s authority to make decisions on important issues.”

The justice minister added she was surprised that bills regarding tax benefits are postponed to allow further debates, and “a proposal that is meant to harm Israeli interests” is approved so quickly.

“The government is tying its hands and the hands of the prime minister,” she said. “A profound debate must be held on such issues. You can’t ratify such populist proposals… which cause great damage to the State ofIsrael and render it isolated in the world.”

Minister Peri said that the bill was provocative and “proposed in order to gain publicity, and nothing else.”

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the approval of the bill is destroying US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to advance the peace process.

Source

HATE ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA CONTINUES DESPITE ‘REPRIMANDS’

Perhaps prison is the only solution for these hateful soldiers ….

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Only months after he was supposedly “reprimanded” for his conduct on social media, Israeli army Golani Brigade soldier Osher Maman is again publicly disseminating racist and violent material including outright calls to murder Palestinians.

*The response to the ‘reprimand….
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Showing the “pretty face of the IDF”: An image of himself Osher Maman posted this week. (Instagram)

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“Reprimanded” Israeli soldier still posting violent, racist material on Instagram

Posted to Osher Maman’s Instagram account: flag of the violent anti-Arab group Kach. (Instagram)

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He’s back.

Only months after he was supposedly “reprimanded” for his conduct on social media, Israeli army Golani Brigade soldier Osher Maman is again publicly disseminating racist and violent material including outright calls to murder Palestinians.

This comes as Israel has launched yet another effort to control its soldiers’ often embarrassing online image.

Maman’s latest antics include the posting the above image to his account on the photosharing website Instagram. It shows a man – apparently Maman himself attempting to disguise his identity – holding the flag of the racist anti-Palestinian organization Kach (also known as Kahane Chai).

Kach is banned even in Israel and is considered a “terrorist” organization by the United States, Canada and the European Union. The flag is also used by the Kahanist anti-Arab group the Jewish Defense League (JDL).

In comments accompanying the photo, Maman indicates his awareness and approval of the symbol, identifying it as belonging to the JDL.

Stoned, naked, (and still) armed and dangerous

Last February, in “Stoned, naked, armed and dangerous: more disturbing images from an Israeli soldier’s Instagram,” I exposed Maman – a troubled Florida youth who tried to turn his life around by joining the Israeli army – posting pictures of himself naked, using drugs and misusing weapons.

Maman also expressed deeply racist and even genocidal views towards Palestinians and Arabs, tweeting at one point, “Just took an Arab out… Whataa feeling.”

This led the Israeli army to “reprimand” him. Yet Maman’s recidivism indicates at the very least that despite its efforts to stop soldiers posting embarrassing material revealing their true feelings about the Palestinians they rule by military force, the Israeli army is unable or unwilling to do so.

Call to murder

Incitement to kill Palestinians, even if prison is the consequence. (Facebook)

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On 13 November, Maman also shared the above image on his Facebook page which includes outright incitement to murder Palestinians. In Hebrew it states:

Soldier! Stones and Molotov cocktails can kill you! Do you feel a threat to your life? Raise your weapon and give the murderer a bullet in the head. You may go to prison, but at least you’ll be alive.

In addition to inciting killings of Palestinians, this message gives the false impression that Israeli soldiers are likely to pay a price for murder. There’s little evidence of that, as Israeli soldiers who murder Palestinians enjoy near total impunity.

Maman shared this image from a Facebook group with the Hebrew name “I’m Jewish and proud,” in which other racist and violent material is passed around by people presenting as soldiers, members of the Israeli police, or their supporters.

For example, another item posted in that group (though not shared by Maman) is this photo apparently showing a group of Israeli soldiers burning Palestinian flags. It received almost 4,000 “Likes” and dozens of approving, frequently racist, comments.

Israeli soldiers burn Palestinian flags. (Facebook)

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Failed efforts to control social media use

Last February’s revelations about Maman, as well as a number of other embarrassing incidents exposed by The Electronic Intifada, led the Israeli army to launch a campaign to convince its members to stop posting damaging material to social media accounts.

It included a YouTube video telling soldiers “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,” the video adds.

The message did not get through to Maman and to many other Israeli army members who continue to reveal their true sentiments online.

“Selfie squad”

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This week The Guardian reported that “Having suffered a PR battering from viral video clips showing its soldiers in an unflattering light, the Israel Defence Forces are firing back with a combat camera unit trained to show their version of the story.”

Dubbed the “selfie squad” by the newspaper, the soldiers in this special unit are trained to “film, edit and broadcast from the battlefield.”

It is clear that the purpose is PR and propaganda. “My main mission is to film. I think the job of anyone recording what happens is much more important than any fighter,” one member of the unit told The Guardian.

“There are lots of cameras on the other side. They show us apparently acting in an unfair way to civilians, to our enemies. We are here to explain and to document for the entire world that we don’t use force for bad.”

Welcoming propaganda

Bizarrely Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reportedly “welcomed the new unit.”

“More documentation is a very positive thing,” B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said. “There are a lot of arguments about the facts of various incidents. The problem is that the army doesn’t release this footage and when it does, it releases very heavily edited sequences.”

But as Michaeli surely knows, the problem is rarely a lack of evidence. Even when there is plenty of evidence and documentation of incidents, the problem is systematic impunity and lack of accountability.

Israeli top brass are deluded if they think that they can successfully present their occupation troops as anything other than what they are: foot soldiers in a systematic colonization effort which requires enormous amounts of violence and humiliation in an attempt to suppress Palestinian resistance to land theft for the benefit of Jewish settlers.

Rather than helping Israel’s image, the army’s attempt to co-opt and control its soldiers’ social media use will only generate the suspicion that every artifact created online by army-age Israeli youth is part of an official hasbara – propaganda – war.

While, say, French or American youths can make “selfies” without worrying that their images are going to be taken to represent their nation, young Jewish Israelis will no longer have this option. Their images are now politicized, militarized and instrumentalized by their army.   As for troubled and homicidally inclined Florida youth Osher Maman, he and others like him may be off message, but they are too often the true, and not-so-pretty face of the “IDF.”

A record of online hatred

Some of The Electronic Intifada’s most-read posts documented the torrent of violent hatred spewed online by Maman and his comrades in arms:

Written FOR

CAUGHT ON VIDEO ~~ ISRAELI SOLDIERS TAKE AIM AT PALESTINIAN VILLAGERS

This video shows Israeli occupation forces shooting Palestinian woman Manal Tamimi with a rubber-coated steel bullet at close range.
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Video: Israeli soldier fires at Palestinian woman at close range

LATUFF’S SPOOF OF THE DAY

American Studies Association BDS Campaign Attacked by Conference of Presidents …

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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

american-studies-association-under-attack-over-bds-campaign

BOYCOTTING FROM WITHIN IN ISRAEL

Truly a show of International Solidarity

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At least 150 Israeli academics and authors, and another 150 American and British television and film professionals, also threw their support behind the boycott.
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Three Israeli Actors Refuse to Star in West Bank Performance

 

Three Israeli stage actors asked to be excused from performing in a play staged at a cultural center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

The cast members, employees of the Cameri and Beit Lessin theaters, will be replaced by understudies for the performances of the acclaimed play “Best Friends” taking place in Ariel in the northern West Bank, the theaters said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

The Cameri said in its statement that is respects the political views of its employees.

“The theater does not force its actors to perform in Ariel. Those who are not interested are replaced by their colleagues. The Cameri Theater chose to allow its actors to exercise their freedom of expression and follow their conscience,” the statement said.

The Ariel cultural center, which cost more than $10 million, was built with public funds and inaugurated in November 2010. More than 50 Israeli theater professionals signed a petition in advance of its opening saying that they would not perform in the Ariel center. At least 150 Israeli academics and authors, and another 150 American and British television and film professionals, also threw their support behind the boycott.

Several major Israeli theaters have staged productions at the Ariel center. Ariel is one of the largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

SEE ISRAEL’S ‘PEACE PROCESS’ IN ACTION ~~ LIVE FROM GAZA

Are these two jokers whispering about Peace? OR PIECES??
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010 (Photo: AP)
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The ‘enemies’ were targeted

The body of three-years-old Palestinian girl Hala Bhairi, who medics said was killed by shrapnel during an Israeli air strike on the Bureij facility, lies at a hospital morgue in the central Gaza Strip

The body of three-year-old Palestinian girl Hala Bhairi, who medics said was killed by shrapnel during an Israeli air strike on the Bureij facility, lies at a hospital morgue in the central Gaza Strip December 24, 2013. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
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PALESTIANS-ISRAEL-CONFLICT
The brother of killed three-year-old Palestinian girl Hala Abu Sabikha, lies on a hospital trolley in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on December 24, 2013. (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
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Can you believe this man? Would you buy a used car from him??
See above to see the Peace he speaks of ….
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The devil does speak with forked tongue
https://i2.wp.com/lemallah.org/images/netanyahu_bibi_snake.gif

BRINGING BETHLEHEM TO LONDON ~~ WALL AND ALL

St. James’ Church in central London unveiled an eight-meter-high replica of the Israeli-built concrete wall that entirely surrounds the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
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London church blocks its facade with replica of Israeli wall around Bethlehem

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ XMAS EVE MURDER IN GAZA

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

4-year-old-palestinian-girl-killed-in-xmas-eve-israeli-retaliatory-air-strike*

Israel heralds in the Season of Peace with the murder of a 2 year old girl in Gaza ….

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A girl, whom they estimated was two-years-old, was killed by shrapnel during the Israeli strike on the Bureij facility, Gaza hospital officials said.

CHRISTMAS APPEAL FROM GAZA TO POPE FRANCIS

https://desertpeace.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/0b7b9-gaza1-743448.jpg
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There is no world leader other than yourself who possesses the moral strength, the political freedom and the spiritual imperative to help Gaza. There is none of global influence to whom the Gazans can turn except Your Holiness.
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Gaza calling: A Christmas appeal to Pope Francis

The author calls on Pope Francis to mingle with his flock and help alleviate the suffering of Gazans.

Vacy Vlazna
Palestinian Christian boys hold candles during a service in the Saint Porfirios church in Gaza City on Christmas day [Reuters]
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Your Holiness, Pope Francis,

At Christmas, as you say, we contemplate “the faithfulness and tenderness” of Boundless Love. This holiday also embraces the season of refugees recalling The Holy Family’s flight to Egypt  to escape Herod’s massacre of the innocents. Their journey from Bethlehem meant passing through Gaza, which, since 1948, is itself in a wretched refugee limbo. Families in Gaza have no escape. Its borders are hermetically sealed and bound by Israel and Egypt. Gaza needs your help. 

In December, in desperation, a campaign was launched appealing to you to give a helping hand to release the suffering people of Gaza from the genocidal strangulation of Israel’s seven-year blockade.

There is no world leader other than yourself who possesses the moral strength, the political freedom and the spiritual imperative to help Gaza. There is none of global influence to whom the Gazans can turn except Your Holiness. 

Through your words and actions, we see the same star that heralded the advent of Gandhi, of Mandela, of Jesus. Its light – the spiritual simplicity of love for the human family, for the oppressed, for the poor – is again penetrating human hearts and consciences. 

It shone bright when you went to Lampedusa, the refugee purgatory, drawing the world’s attention to the “globalisation of indifference”.

We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of ‘suffering with’: The globalisation of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! …We are accustomed to the suffering of others, it doesn’t concern us, it’s none of our business. …Herod sowed death in order to defend his own well-being, his own soap bubble. And this continues to repeat itself.” (Lampedusa Homile)

Today’s Israeli Herods have systematically made Gaza a hell on earth by imposing a blockade in violation of international law that has made Gaza an open air concentration camp imprisoning 1.7 million innocent people, half of whom are children. 

As the world makes merry this festive season, the people of Gaza have deliberately, cruelly, been deprived of fuel by Israel for two months: They suffer in freezing temperatures, with no electricity, no light, no heat, scarcity of food, no essential services. When the waste water treatment plant stopped functioning sewage flooded the streets. Then kicking families while they are down so low, Israel opened dams east of Gaza drowning hope and the last vestiges of normal life.

Imagine, truly, if this Christmas you were in Gaza, suffering with Gazan families, and you have no place to run, can’t get medical help for your hungry and cold children, can’t  cook, clean their clothes, keep them dry, warm, safe and happy. 

Meanwhile the Christian kings of the “free world”, Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Hollande, Abbott will attend Christmas mass under a blaze of cameras and their own sinful hypocrisy in full knowledge that the Gaza humanitarian disaster, unlike the Philippines, is man-made. Herod-made. Nor will they lift a finger to bring the gifts of justice, compassion and love to Gaza’s immiserated manger.

Speaking of “manger”, doesn’t it strike you as bizarre and un-Christ-like that Christians have for decades, overlooked, ignored or tolerated the sacrilege that Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Divine Child, is in illegal occupied territory and surrounded by the illegal annexation/apartheid wall enforced by the Israeli military?

And speaking of Palestine’s military occupier, unconscionably, Israeli Herods sow death to raise the profits of Israel’s armament juggernaut. In his recent shocking documentary, The Lab, Yotam Feldman exposes how Palestinians have been dehumanised as sacrificial guinea pigs:

“I think the main product Israelis are selling, especially in the last decade, is experience… the testing of the products, the experience is the main thing they [customers] are coming to buy. They want the missile that was shot in the last operation in Gaza or the rifle that was used in the last West Bank incursion.”

Inevitably, profits soared in 2009-10 after surgical strikes by F16s, attack helicopters drones, and phosphorous bombs slaughtered 1,400 Gazans, one-third of whom were children, and again in November 2012 – business as usual for the Western Caesars of Profit who have swept with their wars and political subterfuge through the Middle East like locust plagues devastating the lives of our Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iran. 

The blockade of Gaza is the crime of the 21st century and is integral to Israel’s 65 years of war crimes, crimes against humanity, apartheid policies, state terrorism and illegal colonisation perpetrated against the indigenous people of Palestine. Gaza/Palestine is also the great lament in the sacred heart of humanity. 

The blood and weeping never dry up in the Gazan soul. It is crying out. Will you respond? Please.

In your Lampedusa homily, you pose two questions that call our spirit to live in solidarity with the poor, with the oppressed, “Adam, where are you?” “Where is the blood of your brother?” These questions are versions of the quintessential question, Who am I? 

And in this instance who is Pope Francis? Whose shoes do you step into – The Fisherman’s or Caesar’s?

The signs of your papacy are hope-filled.

The 1968 film, The Shoes of the Fisherman, based on Morris West’s novel, portrays a spiritually pragmatic pope of profound compassion who sells off the Vatican’s treasures to alleviate the lethal poverty of Communist China. 

The film also drew inspiration from the Archbishop of Venice, the beloved Albino Luciani,  who later became, for a shimmer of time and light, Pope John Paul I. Over the years, Luciani had condemned “the hypocrisy of the Vatican treasures”. (White Light, Dark Night, Lucien Gregoire)

Of Luciani and Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), Gregoire writes, 

“During the 20 years they served as bishop and cardinal, each of their countries suffered from an immense orphan problem – about two million in each  country. During that time Wojtyla built and dedicated 53 churches and not a single orphanage. Luciani, on the other hand, built and dedicated f4 orphanages and not a single church.” 

Like Luciani, you, Pope Francis, mingle with your flock and criticise the “idolatry of money” and the “new tyranny” of capitalism.

Gandhi fasted and marched with humility for justice. Mandela, with humility, sacrificed 27 years for justice. So when you see the glittering lights of the Christmas tree in St Peter’s Square, may you reflect on the wretched darkness in Gaza and know that peace on earth doesn’t exist without peace in Gaza and all of Palestine. Peace for Palestinians is your and our business.

Gaza doesn’t need Vatican treasures; it needs liberation to live fully and humanely.

We, who respect justice and human dignity, have just lost the presence of Mandela but, Insh’Allah and God Willing, we have gained you, Pope Francis.

Dr Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was the Human Rights Adviser to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.  

Written FOR

EDWARD SNOWDEN’S ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

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“Asking is always cheaper than spying”.
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Edward Snowden’s alternative Christmas message

NSA whistelblower Edward Snowden has broadcast a Christmas message to the world. This is the first time he has made a public statement and it was aired as the ‘Alternative Christmas Message’ on the UK’s Channel 4 network. In the 1 minute 43 second video, Snowden spoke about the erosion of privacy in the world and that there was a “concert of governments” that has created a worldwide surveillance network. He goes on to state that a child born in today’s society will never know anything about privacy and that this was what writer George Orwell warned us about. He calls for both the public and government to work together in order to restore privacy, end mass surveillance, and find that perfect balance: “Asking is always cheaper than spying”.

WHAT THE WESTERN PRESS OMITS ABOUT LIFE IN PALESTINE

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This past week the Western Media ran story after story about rock throwing incidents throughout Israel allegedly involving Palestinians. The victim card has been used to its fullest extent.

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What that press seems to overlook is the constant struggle of the Palestinians to stay alive while at the same time living in constant fear. Below, caught on video is what the West never gets to see or hear about.

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Children too frightened to sleep or woken by the sounds of rampaging settlers. Molotov cocktails through living room windows. Settlers firing guns, protected by soldiers. Hateful slogans daubed on walls. Settler children throwing rocks.

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New video highlights settler terror against Palestinian families

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Children too frightened to sleep or woken by the sounds of rampaging settlers. Molotov cocktails through living room windows. Settlers firing guns, protected by soldiers. Hateful slogans daubed on walls. Settler children throwing rocks.

These are some of the daily experiences Palestinian children and parents describe in this new short documentary Living in Fear: In the shadow of Israeli settlements, from Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-PS).

The video focuses on attacks by settlers from Yitzhar, a colony established in 1983 on lands stolen from surrounding villages in the northern occupied West Bank.

The attacks are frequent and ongoing as the settlers seize more land.

In 2011 alone, UN OCHA recorded 70 attacks by Yizhar settlers, “the largest figure recorded from a single settlement” that year.

Why is this happening? “They want us to leave our homes. That’s what they want,” says one mother.

Here’s DCI-PS’s description with more information:

The Jewish settlement of Yitzhar is described by The New York Times as “an extremist bastion on the hilltops commanding the Palestinian city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.” Its roughly 1,000 radical Jewish settlers terrorize 20,000 Palestinians from the surrounding villages of Burin, Madama, Asira al-Qibliya, Urif, Einabus and Huwara.

“Multiple times they would reach as far as our doorstep,” says Um Majdi from Asira al-Qibliya. “Some of them throw rocks at us, others set fires, and some write hate slogans on the walls. We’re in a stressed psychological state.”

Yitzhar settlers are responsible for hate crimes, termed “price tag” attacks, targeting Palestinians in retaliation for actions, including those initiated by the Israeli government, against Jewish settlements in the West Bank. They have also repeatedly attacked the US-funded water project in Asira al-Qibliya.

Settlements like Yitzhar continue to expand in the West Bank with Israeli government support. There are approximately 650,000 settlers living in over 200 settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“The idea behind the Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank is very clear,” says Dror Etkes, the director of Israeli organization Kerem Navot, which studies land use in the West Bank. “To marginalize the Palestinian community, which is about 90 percent of the population, still today, to certain enclaves … in order to leave as much as possible vacant land for the development of the Israeli settlements.”

Settlements have a profound impact on the lives of Palestinians throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Apart from the loss of land taken for the settlements and their related infrastructure, settler violence, such as beatings, shootings and destruction of property are a common occurrence in the lives of Palestinians, including children.

“Sometimes I dream that they shoot at us,” says 12-year-old Roa’a Abu Majdi. “They take us, along with the neighbors’ kids, and throw us in a hole.”

The Israeli authorities have consistently failed to prevent settler attacks against Palestinians and to take adequate law enforcement measures against settlers who commit these crimes. Israeli soldiers often turn a blind eye and fail to intervene in confrontations. DCI-Palestine has also documented cases where soldiers actively participate in civilian attacks by settlers.

Produced by DCI-Palestine – Edited and Directed by Dima Abu Ghoush – Production Management by Collage Production.

 

Written FOR

 

EVEN THE US CALLS ISRAEL’S MOTIVES ‘CHUTZPAH’ IN THE POLLARD AFFAIR

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First read THIS ….
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Former US official: Demand to free Pollard is Israeli ‘chutzpah’

Israel is hypocritical asking to stop US spying on country but to release its own spy, says former US Homeland Security officer Stewart Baker*

Officials: Pollard release to be part of peace negotiations

PM Netanyahu will include release of Israeli spy from American prison as part of talks with Palestinians, according to Israeli officials. Ministers push for spy’s release after disclosure of US tapping on Israel

Following the exposure of US surveillance on top Israeli leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  is expected to demand the release of Jonathan Pollard, who has been jailed in US prison for nearly three decades, from American prison as part of negotiation efforts with the Palestinians, Israeli officials estimated.

“With regard to things published in the past few days, I have asked for an examination of the matter,” Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks, in a clear reference to the alleged espionage.

According to undisclosed Israeli officials, Netanyahu’s demand for the release of the Israeli spy through the platform of peace talks with the Palestinians could be executed in one of two ways: A release of the Israeli spy as part of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement pushed by the Americans for next month, or through a deal aimed at releasing Arab-Israeli prisoners.

PM Netanyahu meets with Israeli spy’s wife Esther Pollard (Video: PMO)

Documents leaked on Friday by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ had in 2009 targeted an email address listed as belonging to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and monitored emails of senior defense officials.

“In the close ties between Israel  and the United States, there are things that must not be done and that are not acceptable to us,” Netanyahu said, speaking during a Likud party faction meeting.

On Sunday, several Israeli cabinet members and lawmakers said disclosure of US spying on Israel was an opportunity to press Washington to free jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. Netanyahu informed Likud party members on Monday that he had met with Pollard’s wife Ester “and updated her on our unceasing efforts to free Jonathan.”

Pollard was sentenced to a life term in 1987 in the United States for spying for Israel. A succession of US presidents have spurned Israeli calls for his pardon.

Source

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See my post from yesterday dealing with this HERE

FELIZ NAVIDAD FROM BETHLEHEM

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If Mary and Joseph tried to enter Bethlehem today …

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And from Jerusalem itself ….. One Big Humbug!
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Israel’s Knesset Speaker Nixes Christmas Tree

Rejects Holiday Request From Christian Lawmaker

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Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said it would be inappropriate to place a Christmas tree on prominent display in the Knesset following a request from a Christian lawmaker.

Edelstein suggested in a statement released Sunday that Hanna Swaid of the Israeli-Arab Hadash party, who is Christian, place a Christmas tree in his office or in the party’s faction room.

“I do not believe it appropriate to order the erection of a Christmas tree as you requested,” Edelstein wrote. Swaid on Sunday told Israeli media that he was disappointed in Edelstein’s response.

“The public space does not only belong to the Jewish majority. It should show other groups,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

Swaid had sent a letter to the speaker at the end of last week requesting that he place a Christmas tree at the entrance to the Knesset or in a “visible place.” He said it would be “a gesture toward Christian members of Knesset and citizens of Israel, and a symbol of [Israel’s] ties to the Christian world.”

Also on Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres visited the Franciscan Catholic Church in Ramla in honor of Christmas. He was welcomed by children in Santa hats singing Christmas songs in English, Arabic and Hebrew.

“It is a special occasion for us to be able to celebrate Christmas all together — we all pray to the same Lord and we all pray for the same thing — for the Lord to provide peace to us all and in particular that the young girls and boys will now know anymore wars and hatred,” Peres said in his greeting.

Leaders of several Christian denominations attended the event and each delivered a holiday greeting.

From

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To all of our loyal readers who will be celebrating this year, A Very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2014.

May we finally see Peace be ushered in throughout the world!

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My Christmas Cactus
My Christmas Cactus 2007

DON’T LET BAD SANTA GET HIS CLAWS ON YOU

More on NSA’S latest attempt to destroy America …

 

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Click HERE to see more and to do something about it. The bad Santa must be stopped in his tracks!

IT’S OK FOR POLLARD TO SPY ON AMERICA, BUT …

It’s a NO NO for the US to do the same to Israel!

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In what appeared to be an attempt to calm the clamor, Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had constantly sought Pollard’s release and did not need any “special occasion” to discuss his case with Washington: “I just met with Esther Pollard and updated her on our unceasing efforts to free Jonathan.”
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PM: US spying on Israel unacceptable

Netanyahu slams reports regarding NSA’s interception of Israeli prime ministers’ emails, saying ‘In the close ties between Israel and the United States, there are things that must not be done and that are not acceptable to us’

Reuters

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Prime Minister Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commenting on allegations the United States had spied on Israel’s leaders, said on Monday such activity was unacceptable and had no place in the allies’ close relationship.

Documents leaked on Friday by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ had in 2009 targeted an email address listed as belonging to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and monitored emails of senior defense officials.

Reports also said that spy organizations rented an apartment next to then Defense Minister Israel intended to ask Washington for clarifications.

“In the close ties between Israel and the United States, there are things that must not be done and that are not acceptable to us,” Netanyahu said, speaking during a Likud party faction meeting.

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PM meets with Pollard's wife, slams US spying (Photo: Kobe Gideon, GPO)
PM meets with Pollard’s wife, slams US spying (Photo: Kobe Gideon, GPO)
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On Sunday, several Israeli cabinet members and lawmakers said disclosure of US spying on Israel was an opportunity to press Washington to free jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard was sentenced to a life term in 1987 in the United States for spying for Israel. A succession of US presidents have spurned Israeli calls for his pardon.

In what appeared to be an attempt to calm the clamor, Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had constantly sought Pollard’s release and did not need any “special occasion” to discuss his case with Washington: “I just met with Esther Pollard and updated her on our unceasing efforts to free Jonathan.”

Netanyahu added, “He should have been released long ago. This is understood by everyone here and I believe is understood by a growing number of people in the United States.”

Israeli officials have played down the importance of any information the United States may have gleaned from its alleged espionage activities.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel had always assumed that even its allies spied on it. A statement issued by Olmert’s office, said the reports, if accurate, referred to a public email address and that chances that any security or intelligence damage had been caused were minuscule.

From

 

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