SPINNING FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The ‘Peace Talks’ failed …..

Oslo was a joke ….

But, a new toy just might be the solution we were waiting for …

As of this weekend, just about every kid in Israel has one of these

“It started as a way of promoting peace.”

Lets hope it works!

Fidget spinner was invented to stop Palestinian kids from throwing rocks at Israelis

ISRAELI STYLE ‘POLICE RIDE ALONG’ ~~ TEACHING 5th GRADERS TO KILL

As can be seen in this short video, the Israeli educational system has reached a new low …

Using a dummy, police officers used active fire to demonstrate how to take down an assailant armed with a knife and then verify that the assailant was dead.

Israeli Police Show 5th Graders How To Kill Palestinian Attackers

Israeli police taught elementary school students how to kill Palestinian terrorists as part of an event on Monday highlighting police-community relations in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Hasharon.

Using a dummy, police officers used active fire to demonstrate how to take down an assailant armed with a knife and then verify that the assailant was dead. Hundreds of fifth graders sat and watched the enactment.

“Has someone there lost his mind? It’s simply stupidity for its own sake, this demonstration of fire,” a parent told Haaretz. “Can’t you bring a traffic cop to demonstrate how he gives a ticket to an offender – they have to see how to dismantle magazines?”

The Israel Police defended the event in Ramat Hasharon. “We regret that there are those who choose to present in a biased manner a positive and empowering event connecting the police and the community,” the agency said in a statement.

The police have run into trouble recently due to graphic demonstrations of violent situations in front of children. Police put up a booth on Independence Day in a West Bank settlement earlier this month where children could have fake stab and shrapnel wounds painted onto their bodies.

Here’s a sampling of what else is taught in some Israeli schools …

Teaching Hatred to Jewish Children at Jewish Religious School

SUPPORT THE HUNGER STRIKE BY BOYCOTTING PIZZA HUT

An image shared by Palestinians on Facebook to promote the boycott of Pizza Hut for its alleged Facebook post, with imagery of a prisoner and an Israeli watchtower emblazoned on the chain’s famous logo.

Pizza Hut runs ad mocking hunger strike leader Barghouti

Pizza Hut’s franchise in Israel on Monday released an ad poking fun at Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti following the recent release of video footage showing him secretly eating a candy bar and cookies in his prison cell.

The ad drew widespread criticism from Palestinians and a call to boycott the chain, which issued a quick apology.

In the ad, which it posted on its Facebook page and later deleted, the pizza chain put a banner in Hebrew over a screenshot from a clip released by the Israel Prisons Service on Sunday of Barghouti eating. It read, “Barghouti, if you are already going to break the hunger strike, isn’t pizza better?”

The ad also included a photoshopped Pizza Hut box on the floor of the prison cell, as well as a piece of pizza in the sink.

In response to the ad, a large number of Palestinians called for a boycott of the pizza chain on social media.

From

Click HERE to see related video

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I hope you’re now aware that the Boycott Pizza Hut campaign isn’t as “funny” as your advertisement!

 

CONGRATULATIONS NORTH KOREA!

These people vote ….. that’s why we are in the mess we are in!

BEX ALERT ~~~ FAKE NEWS ABOUT FAKE NEWS

Yesterday, I made the following statement in THIS post …..

Zion’s mantra has always been “If the truth is hard to swallow, LIE!”

Here is proof of the pudding …


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Related report from +972 (Click on link)

Hamas’ new charter reveals a willingness to change

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Here’s another truth showing who the REAL terrorists are n Syria …

Image by Carlos Latuff

ISRAEL’S NATION-STATE BILL IS A CORNERSTONE FOR APARTHEID

The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid in the entire Land of Israel.

The nation-state bill must not be allowed to pass.


Israeli ministers back nation-state bill delisting Arabic as official language

A Cornerstone of Apartheid

Israel’s ‘nation-state’ law must be stopped – the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among all its citizens in law

The nation-state bill, which the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved unanimously on Sunday, is a bad bill. Nobody denies that Israel, as the bill says, “is the national home of the Jewish people,” or that “the right to the realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

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The Jewish people’s right to national revival in the Land of Israel was recognized back in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and approved by the League of Nations Mandate in 1922. On November 29, 1947, this right was reaffirmed and recognized by the UN General Assembly as well.

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“We … hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” reads the Declaration of Independence. Similarly, the state’s Basic Laws define Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. And aside from all this, just last week, Israel celebrated the 69th anniversary of its independence.

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Nevertheless, this bill is bad, because the only legitimate way to ensure the state’s Jewishness is for Israel to be a democracy that grants full equality to all its citizens, but which also has a Jewish majority. Any situation in which Jews were a minority in Israel, and the state’s Jewishness was maintained solely via discriminatory laws and a regime that enforced them against the majority’s will, would be undemocratic, and in any event would certainly not be viable over the long run.
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The only explanation for why Israel is advancing this bill is the millions of Palestinians whom it keeps under its control in territories that it fantasizes about annexing. Because Israel is interested in applying its sovereignty to the land but isn’t interested in annexing the Palestinians who live there as equal citizens in a single state, it is forced to create the legal infrastructure for segregating Jews from Arabs and preserving the Jews’ legal supremacy. The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid in the entire Land of Israel.
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The nation-state law is fundamentally antithetical to democracy, as it seeks to enshrine the rule of a Jewish minority over an imagined Arab majority. This is a fearful and aggressive move by a people that sees itself as a minority and is preparing to maintain control over an apartheid state that contains a Palestinian majority living under its rule. Yet even before that point is reached, the law discriminates against members of Israel’s Arab minority and legally labels them as second-class citizens.

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The nation-state bill must not be allowed to pass. The only way to preserve the national home of the Jewish people is to separate peacefully from the occupied territories and liberate the Palestinian people. And the only way to preserve a democratic Israel is to enshrine equality among its citizens in law, in line with the promise of the Declaration of Independence: “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
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The above is the lead EDITORIAL in today’s HaAretz.

ISRAEL via YOUTUBE TRIES TO UNDERMINE PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKE

Zion’s mantra has always been “If the truth is hard to swallow, LIE!”

Following is their latest attempt, via YouTube, to undermine the heroic hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners and their leader, Marwan Barghouti.

What I see in the following video could be any man, anyplace, at any time going to the bathroom in what looks like a prison cell …..

BUT

Here is how the zionists describe the following ….

Arch-terrorist and mass-murderer Marwan Barghouti, who has led a hunger strike by jailed terrorists held in Israeli prisons, has been eating in secret while maintaining the pretenses of his own hunger strike, footage released Sunday reveals.

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Here is the reality of the hunger strike via the pen of Carlos Latuff ….

Day 22: Palestinian Prisoners Striking for Dignity and Freedom

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Today is the 22nd day, their bodies started to digest itself 6 days ago, now they can’t stand on their feet

Which of the above is the TRUTH? (Which has always been zion’s greatest enemy)

As can seen in this image, zion has ALWAYS hated the truth.

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Here is what the wife of Marwan Barghouti had to say about the situation … (FROM)

Barghouti’s wife: ‘Recordings of Marwan breaking the strike are fake’
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‘Fabricated,’ ‘despicable,’ and a ‘low point’ for Israel were the terms employed by Fadwa Barghouti—the wife of Marwan Barghouti—to describe recordings released by the Israel Prison Service allegedly showing her husband breaking his hunger strike in secret; says act is a sign of the beginning of Israel’s downfall.

Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of Marwan Barghouti, claimed on Sunday that the recordings of her husband secretly breaking his hunger strike, filmed and released by the Israel Prison Service (IPS), are fabricated and fake.

Marwan Barghouti was recorded on security cameras in his cell secretly breaking his hunger strike by eating, among other things, cookies and salted snacks.

Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Barghouti denounced the publication of the video as a “low” act by Israel that teaches about “the defeat of the occupation” in dealing with the hunger strike and was proof of the “weakness” that Israel is demonstrating against the prisoners’ determination.

“The prisoners are familiar with Israel’s lies and games and the video they released signals the beginning of its fall,” said Fadwa, adding that the Palestinian people are likely to pick up on these “despicable” methods after 70 years of oppression.

She summarized by saying that this video will only strengthen the prisoners’ resolve to continue the strike.

The footage of Marwan breaking the strike was presented by Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan during a press conference.

Erdan claimed that the prisoners’ conditions, over which they allegedly launched their hunger strike, were not the real reasons behind it.

“The Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike has nothing to do with their prison conditions, and everything to do with the political interest of Marwan Barghouti,” said Erdan during the press conference on Sunday, as the strike reached its 21st day. “Barghouti is a murderer and hypocrite who urged his fellow prisoners to strike and suffer while he ate behind their back.”

It is not the first time Barghouti has been caught red-handed sneaking a snack in the midst of a hunger strike. In 2004, Barghouti was filmed secretly breaking his strike, which was also launched by security prisoners.

ABBAS/TRUMP AND THE END OF A FREE PALESTINE

Oppressors and enablers of oppressors use the same language. Clinton used
it 20 years ago for Arafat. This is the usual carrot and stick approach.
                                        Images by Carlos Latuff

Trump praises Abbas following White House meeting

 

ABBAS, TRUMP AND MORE

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas both accomplished what they wanted to
accomplish from the meeting at the White House. I could only think of the
statements of Martin Luther King Jr and of Edward Said as I watched the
theater unfold in DC. Just a reminder of what MLK Jr said 50 years ago as
leaders of South Vietnam trashed leaders of North Vietnam: Their questions
hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the
violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken
clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own
government.  This was one of his most analytical and important speeches
which should still be read carefully today (full text at). 

Little changed in those 50 years since then and Trump (like Obama and
other presidents before him) gave green light to his military to bomb poor
neighborhoods around the world (killing hundreds of civilians mostly
children in Mosul alone) while hosting compliant leaders and speaking of
“peace” (like fucking for virginity!?). Excuse my language. Let me step
back into analytical mode. In meeting with Abbas, Trump wanted to get the
aura of working for a peace process so that when he goes to Saudi Arabia
and Israel later this month they can be more comfortable increasing the
wars on Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran (the remaining axis of rebel states
in an otherwise US/Israel dominated Middle East). This public relations
ploy worked historically. Trump and his advisors praised Abbas for the
continued close security cooperation with Israel (the main function for
keeping the Palestinian Authority in the past 24 years). Trump said that
cooperation between “Palestinians” (the PA) and Israel is “working
beautifully” and encouraged further emasculation of any potential future
leverage for the Palestinians (I cringe when I hear terms like “incitement”
used for native people who want their rights back).

Oppressors and enablers of oppressors use the same language. Clinton used
it 20 years ago for Arafat. This is the usual carrot and stick approach.
Trump asked Abbas to stop the verbal acrobatics of appearing to support
“terrorists” (resistance) pushing him strongly in private and nudging him
gently in public. Husam Zomlot (PLO representative in Washington) tried his
best to facilitate and get some productive outcome but the decks are
stacked and the PLO has long been stripped by the PA of its original role
as a “Palestine Liberation Organization” (it neither reflects all of
Palestine nor Liberation and no longer an organization but a club). It
cannot apply any pressure since it has been stripped of all such cards and
there is little prospect of democratizing it now (I hope I am wrong).
Abbas got what he came for: appearing “presidential” and relevant to the
future, international visibility, and most importantly continuation of the
status quo that guarantees continued “financial support” that allows the
system to go on.

When u r fighting a brutal occupation, u don’t beg your oppressors to recognize a tiny state 4 you on your own land.

 

A FREE PALESTINES’ RIGHT TO EXIST

Once again  Netanyahu has terrifically succeeded in distracting from Zionist crimes when he kept the public in suspense  by announcing his refusal to meet German foreign minister Gabriel. Nobody speaks about the crimes human rights groups have exposed in the “Jewish State”. And foreign minister Gabriel was absolutely right when he decided to meet them. 

Right to exist for a Free Palestine!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

While the media were full of articles about Netanyahu and Gabriel, the hunger strike started on 17 April with an actual participation of about 1800 Palestinian detainees got lost. The Palestinian detainees protest against the actual practices of the „Jewish State“ like solitary confinement, torture, mistreatments, negligences in medical aid, the refusal of internationally guaranteed rights, including the right to a fair trial. Many of these hunger striking detainees were transferred to solitary confinement. And they are deprived from their right to be visited by their families and to get in touch with their lawyers. “Currently the state of Israel holds more than 7150 Palestinian political prisoners of which approximately 6300 are male political prisoners, 300 male children and approximately 56 females (including 13 female children) as well as an estimated 500 Palestinians in administrative detention (including 2 children), held for indefinite periods without charge or trial.Israeli military courts in which Palestinians are tried have a 99.7% conviction rate.”(Source: ECCP). According to Amnesty International these court proceedings for Palestinians do not meet international standards for fair trial.

Another matter for the media would be the following: Just on the Holocaust commemoration day and at the beginning of the celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, the Day of Independence and the 69th year of the „Jewish Apartheid State“ and the celebration of Yom Hazikaron, the commemoration day for the killed IDF soldiers and the (Jewish!) victims of terrorism, the construction of 15.000 new residential units in illegally occupied Jerusalem was announced, and because of these „celebrations“ the Palestinians territories were closed down. Of course, you have to fear protests when  you have loaded so much guilt onto yourself as the „Jewish Occupation State“ did! (2)

Between the Holocaust Commemoration Day, days before the celebrations of the soldiers‘ commemoration day and the coming 69th Independence Day, the world only speaks about the sensitivities of a prime minister, juggling between corruption charges and right-wing politics.

It is indeed appalling  that Germany still applies special standards when criticism against the „Jewish State“ is at stake! This philosemitic action is an anti-Semite crime ostracizing Jewish citizens by considering them as „special“. In this vision, Jews are always seen as victims because of the Nazi past and are never seen as perpetrators. And we have to counter this  misguided policy!

After a 50-year occupation of Palestine and 70 years after the Nakba we must not remain silent any more in front of this injustice! It is about a „second guilt“ we are loading onto us!

The antidemocratic Transparency Law adopted last summer by the Netanyahu regime against human rights groups like B`Tselem, Breaking the Silence and Zochrot opposes to messengers of unbeloved truth. As we already know there is nothing Zionists fear more than the truth.

In fact, the truth about the violations against human rights committed by the „Jewish Defence Forces“ are so horrifying that for the government it would be difficult to bear, if they became public. „Breaking the Silence“ was founded in 2004 by former ID soldiers to reveal the numerous violations and crimes committed by the IDF in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. Hatred struck against them when in 2009 after brutal testimonies about the attacks against Gaza a smear campaign of an incredible degree was started.

In the meantime, the „settlers‘ king“ and „Minister of Education“ in the „Jewish State“, Naftali Bennett, the Minister of „Justice“ Ayelet Shaked, and the Minister of Culture Miri Regev, began their war against this NGO by using all means. This organisation was banned from the schools. They were denied to access to all institutions of the army. They are insulted as “moles“, “runner-down of their own country“, and as „traitors“ paid with foreign money to defame the „Jewish State“. However, this law  only affects „left-wing“ organizations helped by foreign aid, while right-wing organizations like „Im Tirtzu“ openly offer financial support to murderous Israeli soldiers and their families, and start hatred and smear campaigns against the liberal NGOs, and make fascism fashionable in Israel. (3)

Gabriel did the typical things a foreign minister does: a meeting with human rights groups, an important factor in Israel because they are a light in the fascist and Zionist obscurity. On his/her journey to Israel, every German politician should not just obligatorily visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, but should also recognize the reality of the illegal occupation of Palestine and openly talk about and criticize it.

Netanyahu staged such a domestic show to strengthen his power among corruption affairs and political rivals. So he used every mean to stage a scandal. And then he piled the fire up with the accusation that Gabriel had just met with the „enemies of Israel“ one day after the Holocaust memorial day. And so the worm was turned! Gabriel answered that on journeys abroad it was a good democratic practice to meet with critical organizations. And in this case, he knew that not just Chancellor Merkel was there to support him.

It is about time to start a rethink in German policy. The Holocaust memorial day should give a clear signal to allow crimes against humanity „never again“.

Since years, indeed decades, the German foreign policy has omitted to behave „normally“ when it was about criticising Israel. And this criticism should be obligatory if a “Jewish State”  defining itself the “only” democracy in the Middle East, commits illegal occupation, ethnic cleansing, and judaisation. I am really curious how the future visit to Israel by President Steinmeier will be. It is well-known that Steinmeier has a particularly good relationship with the Jewish friends. Both parties repeat all the time how “special”  their relation is. And this is exactly the reason why President Steinmeier should have his doubts about this democracy.

Chancellor Merkel expressed her solidarity with the Israeli aggressions, because they were conducted for “self-defence”, and she ordered to include the security of Israel into the German reason of state. And up to now, she has been talking about the mantra of the “two-state-solution”.

When Chancellor Merkel cancelled the governmental consultations with the Israeli cabinet, primarily because of timetabling reasons during the election year, even if, as it was expressed by governmental circles in Berlin, it was more because of the continuous settlement politics violating international law, Netanyahu had to find a tit-for-tat response. And there was no better chance than targeting German foreign minister Gabriel.

How long can and will the German government  continue this „special“ relationship to the “Jewish Apartheid State”?

In fact, in Israel people fear that Germany could stop its unlimited blind support to Israel. However, this would be an important step to achieve a “normal” relationship.

Unfortunately, this pipe dream seems to me more than ulikely. The Netanyahu regime still tries to instrumentalize the Holocaust for its own interests. And this still works out in Germany. The Israel lobby and the Central Council of Jews in Germany still instrumentalise Anti-Semitism for their interest, and start targeted campaigns to detract from the Israeli occupation crimes. In German policy for too long it has been accepted that in the meantime also in Germany this lobby work has assumed alarming shapes by denigrating all critics of Israel.

If in the “storming” battle organ of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine, which declares that the “ethics of the preventive attack” as Jewish tradition is admissible as preventive self-defence strategy, then this Judaist ethics is all-day life in the “Jewish State”. In the meantime, the Netanyahu regime does not even conceal from military attacks against sovereign states like Syria, Lebanon, or wherever, and the hypocrite community of values accepts it… what to say about this “Jewish ethics” of the “11th Comandment”: Israel is allowed to do everything“! (4) (4a)

Therefore we have to oppose to the Israelisation of Germany!

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany has just said in an interview: “The new anti-Semitism is the anti-Semite Israel criticism”. In addition, there is the blow against Muslim immigrants carrying the gene of “Muslim anti-Semitism”. And so the Zionist poison soup is cooked. Schuster could not help but support the Israeli policy of Netanyahu in Germany when he accused Gabriel for not having met the organizations suggested by the Netanyahu regime.

Why all what comes from Jewish organizations is accepted without any critics? When will a representative of the government ask the Central Council or other lobby organisations the right questions? When will these representatives distance themselves from the illegal occupation policy of the “Jewish State”? Why are Jewish citizens treated differently from others? If German Turks engage for Erdogan, then all fill with indignation, but if German Jewish citizens, who have only a German passport, engage for Netanyahu, this is accepted without any criticism, or considered as normal because of their past. How can it be that young German Jews want to engage as volunteers in the “Jewish Defence Forces” to openly fight there, and to stabilise the illegal occupation or to attack sovereign states declared as “enemies”? Please note that it is about German citizens acting this way. If this does not raise questions? I was surprised when the former “Bundeswehr Professor” Wolffsohn in an interview attacked the Bundeswehr for being right-wing, after the abolition of the compulsory military service and when he explained how before his assignment he was asked about his contacts with communists, but not about his voluntary service in the IDF; finally, it would have been a logical questions to check his loyalty towards the German State. However, what is normal in these relationships?

Is it normal that a German minister of Interior writes 10 points for a German leading culture, by using the slogan: “We are not the Burka”, by asking for strange things, like shaking hands, open face, and of course, the commitment to the “special” relationship and to the existence right of Israel. This minister of Interior is a very heavy charge for all democrats in Germany, and has very few supporters, like the CDU talk show speaker Bosbach and the CDU number two Klöckner…

However, it seems to me that this more than embarrassing and inadequate advance is just a deviation manoeuvre from the right-wing trends in the Bundeswehr and the incredible case of the German Bundeswehr wing commander Franco A. who impersonated a Syrian refugees without any knowledge of the Arabic language. (5)

After all these mishaps and embarrassing incidents in the Bundeswehr, the German “war minister” Ursula von der Leyen should draw the conclusions …

When German President Steinmeier sees democracy in danger, and calls the Germans for more engagement, he should ask himself what democracy means to him and what is dangerous to democracy. Do the arbitrary actions of the Chancellor in all issues like the reason of state for the security of Israel, the existence right for a state without borders, the obstruction of the right for freedom of expression are democratic, when it is about the criticism against the “Jewish State” and 80 events like conferences, meeting, and expositions are cancelled or hampered by the municipalities or by Church institutions, when they critically deal with the Palestinian policy of the “Jewish State” or when the words occupation and BDS support are mentioned? Is this a democracy? It is alarming when 72 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, also Jewish speakers are denied to speak. If this is not anti-Semitism! Weapon sales and presents to the “Jewish State”, always new military operations for the Bundeswehr, the arbitrary refugee policy, visa freedom for the Ukraine, and sanctions against Russia, while Turkey has been stalled for decades with wrong promises. The claim for a German role as leader in Europe, under the leadership of a EU commission and a President who had been involved into a tax avoidance scandal in Luxembourg, a EU, which has become a luxury retreat of broken down politicians, the massive financial aid to Greece, the support of banks at charge of the tax payers, the training of German soldiers in Israel, the training of Saudi soldiers in Germany, a more than questionable anti-terror alliance, refugee deals of questionable kind, abolition of the compulsory military service, energy revolution, foreign policy according to despotic ruling, domestic policy at charge of Muslims, and leading culture ideas of the most anti-democratic type, all this decided in an arbitrary way, without asking us with a popular referendum. Yes, Mr Steinmeier, this creates democratic frustration, and does not promote democracy.

Therefore, I would like to conclude the present article with a quotation from the Jewish sociologist Judith Butler who expresses so well what impresses me and what I support from the deepest of my heart:

Butler opposes to the equation between Jewishness and Zionism to declare the anti-Zionist resistance as Jewish obligation:

“So, though one needs to contest the hegemonic control Zionism exercises over Jewishness, one needs, equally, to contest the colonial subjugation Zionism has implied for the Palestinian people.”

The “dismantling of political Zionism” is the prerequisite for coexistence. A new post-Zionist era could be the basis for a time after the occupation – and for Butler, not just Gaza and the West Bank are considered as occupied, but whole Israel because she considers also the foundation of the State of Israel as illegal.

In the end, I would like to accentuate that I will recognise only the existence right for a Free Palestine on an equal footing, for all its citizens, ethnical groups, and religions. And for what concerns this point, I fully agree with the new Hamas Charter. (6)

 

Written FOR

IN PHOTOS ~~ MAY DAY IN NEW YORK

What was thought of as a forgotten day came to life once again in New York’s Union Square Park …. May Day still lives in the hearts of working men!

Image by Hugo Gellert

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Palestine was remembered

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Monday, May 1st was the 131st anniversary of the first May Day. A Holiday born in the United States of America, but officially celebrated in most countries EXCEPT the United States.

The Brief Origins of May Day

Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as “American” as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.

In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Jack London’s The Iron Heel. As early as the 1860’s, working people agitated to shorten the workday without a cut in pay, but it wasn’t until the late 1880’s that organized labor was able to garner enough strength to declare the 8-hour workday. This proclamation was without consent of employers, yet demanded by many of the working class.

At this time, socialism was a new and attractive idea to working people, many of whom were drawn to its ideology of working class control over the production and distribution of all goods and services. Workers had seen first-hand that Capitalism benefited only their bosses, trading workers’ lives for profit. Thousands of men, women and children were dying needlessly every year in the workplace, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some industries, and little hope but death of rising out of their destitution. Socialism offered another option.

A variety of socialist organizations sprung up throughout the later half of the 19th century, ranging from political parties to choir groups. In fact, many socialists were elected into governmental office by their constituency. But again, many of these socialists were ham-strung by the political process which was so evidently controlled by big business and the bi-partisan political machine. Tens of thousands of socialists broke ranks from their parties, rebuffed the entire political process, which was seen as nothing more than protection for the wealthy, and created anarchist groups throughout the country. Literally thousands of working people embraced the ideals of anarchism, which sought to put an end to all hierarchical structures (including government), emphasized worker controlled industry, and valued direct action over the bureaucratic political process. It is inaccurate to say that labor unions were “taken over” by anarchists and socialists, but rather anarchists and socialist made up the labor unions.

At its national convention in Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which later became the American Federation of Labor), proclaimed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.” The following year, the FOTLU, backed by many Knights of Labor locals, reiterated their proclamation stating that it would be supported by strikes and demonstrations. At first, most radicals and anarchists regarded this demand as too reformist, failing to strike “at the root of the evil.” A year before the Haymarket Massacre, Samuel Fielden pointed out in the anarchist newspaper, The Alarm, that “whether a man works eight hours a day or ten hours a day, he is still a slave.”

Despite the misgivings of many of the anarchists, an estimated quarter million workers in the Chicago area became directly involved in the crusade to implement the eight hour work day, including the Trades and Labor Assembly, the Socialistic Labor Party and local Knights of Labor. As more and more of the workforce mobilized against the employers, these radicals conceded to fight for the 8-hour day, realizing that “the tide of opinion and determination of most wage-workers was set in this direction.” With the involvement of the anarchists, there seemed to be an infusion of greater issues than the 8-hour day. There grew a sense of a greater social revolution beyond the more immediate gains of shortened hours, but a drastic change in the economic structure of capitalism.

In a proclamation printed just before May 1, 1886, one publisher appealed to working people with this plea:

  • Workingmen to Arms!
  • War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.
  • The wage system is the only cause of the World’s misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE.
  • One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS!
  • MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.

Not surprisingly the entire city was prepared for mass bloodshed, reminiscent of the railroad strike a decade earlier when police and soldiers gunned down hundreds of striking workers. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public’s eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.

The names of many – Albert Parsons, Johann Most, August Spies and Louis Lingg – became household words in Chicago and throughout the country. Parades, bands and tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets exemplified the workers’ strength and unity, yet didn’t become violent as the newspapers and authorities predicted.

More and more workers continued to walk off their jobs until the numbers swelled to nearly 100,000, yet peace prevailed. It was not until two days later, May 3, 1886, that violence broke out at the McCormick Reaper Works between police and strikers.

For six months, armed Pinkerton agents and the police harassed and beat locked-out steelworkers as they picketed. Most of these workers belonged to the “anarchist-dominated” Metal Workers’ Union. During a speech near the McCormick plant, some two hundred demonstrators joined the steelworkers on the picket line. Beatings with police clubs escalated into rock throwing by the strikers which the police responded to with gunfire. At least two strikers were killed and an unknown number were wounded.

Full of rage, a public meeting was called by some of the anarchists for the following day in Haymarket Square to discuss the police brutality. Due to bad weather and short notice, only about 3000 of the tens of thousands of people showed up from the day before. This affair included families with children and the mayor of Chicago himself. Later, the mayor would testify that the crowd remained calm and orderly and that speaker August Spies made “no suggestion… for immediate use of force or violence toward any person…”

As the speech wound down, two detectives rushed to the main body of police, reporting that a speaker was using inflammatory language, inciting the police to march on the speakers’ wagon. As the police began to disperse the already thinning crowd, a bomb was thrown into the police ranks. No one knows who threw the bomb, but speculations varied from blaming any one of the anarchists, to an agent provocateur working for the police.

Enraged, the police fired into the crowd. The exact number of civilians killed or wounded was never determined, but an estimated seven or eight civilians died, and up to forty were wounded. One officer died immediately and another seven died in the following weeks. Later evidence indicated that only one of the police deaths could be attributed to the bomb and that all the other police fatalities had or could have had been due to their own indiscriminate gun fire. Aside from the bomb thrower, who was never identified, it was the police, not the anarchists, who perpetrated the violence.

Eight anarchists – Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg – were arrested and convicted of murder, though only three were even present at Haymarket and those three were in full view of all when the bombing occurred. The jury in their trial was comprised of business leaders in a gross mockery of justice similar to the Sacco-Vanzetti case thirty years later, or the trials of AIM and Black Panther members in the seventies. The entire world watched as these eight organizers were convicted, not for their actions, of which all of were innocent, but for their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher were hung to death. Louis Lingg, in his final protest of the state’s claim of authority and punishment, took his own life the night before with an explosive device in his mouth.

The remaining organizers, Fielden, Neebe and Schwab, were pardoned six years later by Governor Altgeld, who publicly lambasted the judge on a travesty of justice. Immediately after the Haymarket Massacre, big business and government conducted what some say was the very first “Red Scare” in this country. Spun by mainstream media, anarchism became synonymous with bomb throwing and socialism became un-American. The common image of an anarchist became a bearded, eastern European immigrant with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other.

Today we see tens of thousands of activists embracing the ideals of the Haymarket Martyrs and those who established May Day as an International Workers’ Day. Ironically, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but rarely is it recognized in this country where it began.

Over one hundred years have passed since that first May Day. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the US government tried to curb the celebration and further wipe it from the public’s memory by establishing “Law and Order Day” on May 1. We can draw many parallels between the events of 1886 and today. We still have locked out steelworkers struggling for justice. We still have voices of freedom behind bars as in the cases of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier. We still had the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the streets of a major city to proclaim “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” at the WTO and FTAA demonstrations.

Words stronger than any I could write are engraved on the Haymarket Monument:

THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.

Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we’ll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

FROM

FALSE FLAGS WERE THE ONLY ONES FLYING ON ISRAEL’S DAY OF INDEPENDENCE

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 Israel was in for a big surprise on it’s 69th birthday….. no one was in ‘celebration mode’… or mood. The failed ‘Peace Talks’, the economic situation, the recent scandals among high government officials could be part of the reason. The ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine is probably the main factor, people on both sides of the wall are sick and tired of the needless killing.
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In years gone by blue and white flags were visible everywhere…. on private cars, on windows and terraces….everywhere. I always thought of it as an ‘in your face’ demonstration against the people of Palestine that did NOT have a national day (or nation) to fly their flag. This year, hardly a flag is flying. Yesterday, while strolling through my neighbourhood, I counted three cars that had flags attached to their windows. In the past everyone that purchased an Israeli newspaper on Friday received a large Israeli flag as a gift, compliments of one of the major banks here….. this year this was not to be.
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As we sped off to a family BBQ on the other side of town the roads were empty and we arrived at our destination in record time. There wasn’t the usual holiday traffic jam,  just another Sunday in the middle of the week. Certainly a good excuse to be with family, but not in celebration of any special holiday.
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THIS article from the New York Times articulates a bit on the mood in Israel and the possible reasons for it. It is dated, but still valid. The attitude of many Jews living outside of Israel is “We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.” That quote is taken from a letter that appeared in The Guardian a few years ago.
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Hopefully, very soon, the flags will once again fly, two of them side by side, as our two nations celebrate their independence TOGETHER.

 

REMEMBERING PALESTINE ON ISRAEL’S DAY OF REMEMBRANCE ~~ IN TOONS

As Israel commemorates its fallen soldiers today, and its day of Independence tomorrow, we mourn the death of a wonderful nation.

Images by Carlos Latuff

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Today’s reality of the Nakba

The video about the new novel by author William Hanna entitled Ezekiel’s Temple Prophesy
For the interview see

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IN PHOTOS ~~ WEEKLY SUPPORT FOR PALESTINE IN NEW YORK

A WEEKLY EVENT WE HOLD AT UNION SQ. IT’S CALLED SAMIDOUN[FREENALL POLITICAL PRISONERS]. THIS WEEK IT WAS GEARED TO THE HUNGER STRIKERS.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Our very own Carlos Latuff was there in spirit

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