NEWS NOT FIT TO PRINT

The New York Times is not alone in misleading the public.

Palestinians seek safety from Israeli occupation forces firing tear gas and other weapons at worshippers in the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, 27 July. (ActiveStills)

New York Times ignores Israeli calls for ethnic cleansing

New York Times headline on 24 July is representative of why there is continued American ignorance regarding Palestinian efforts to secure their freedom.

“Mosque crisis and Jordan attack raise fears of escalating violence in Israel,” it declares.

Written by Isabel Kershner, the text places the violence “in and around East Jerusalem.” Yet the headline tells a false story, since, as the UN Security Council recently affirmed, East Jerusalem is part of the West Bank territory Israel occupied in 1967 – and therefore not part of an expanded Israel.

New York Times news quiz takes a similar approach, referring in its headline to “Israel violence” – rather than “West Bank violence.” The quiz itself poses this question: “Deadly violence erupted in and around Jerusalem and in the West Bank on Friday when Israel placed metal detectors at entrances to what sacred site?”

The newspaper’s headline writers would be hard pressed to present matters in a more misleading manner.

The seven Palestinians and three Israelis killed since last Friday – after Israel installed metal detectors at the entrances to the al-Aqsa mosque compound – were all slain in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the Gaza Strip.

Just as misleading, Kershner referred Wednesday to “Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem” with no mention of the fact that this is occupied territory or that the UN Security Council and all governments in the world reject Israel’s unilateral claim to have annexed the city.

(She did, however, note the world’s rejection of the annexation in an article published today.)

Basic geography remains an ongoing issue for the editors of a newspaper that presents itself as a powerful check on fake news.

Laundering Israeli land theft

In another recent article – effectively a PR piece for the Israeli army – the newspaper also apparently awards part of Syria to Israel: “This week, the Israeli military revealed the scope of the humanitarian aid project, which it calls Operation Good Neighbor and which began in June 2016 along the Israeli-Syrian boundary on the Golan Heights.”

This suggests that this is a border between Israel and Syria. It isn’t. It is a ceasefire line entirely within the occupied Golan Heights, which is Syrian territory. Again, Israel’s 1981 annexation of the territory, which it also occupied in 1967, was declared by the UN Security Council to be “null and void.”

Yet a caption accompanying the article refers to the “Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.”

At one point Kershner does mention that “Israel captured” the Golan Heights “from Syria in the 1967 war.”

The article also states: “The humanitarian effort is likely to burnish the reputation of the Israeli military, which is usually viewed as an occupying force and formidable war machine.”

This is the only mention of occupation and it presents it not as a fact, but merely as a perspective held by people who don’t like Israel and whose view ought presumably to be viewed with suspicion.

Kershner refers elsewhere to the “Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.”

All of this suggests that instead of reporting the facts about the international status of the territory, The New York Times seeks to launder and support Israel’s claims with deceptive language that explicitly omits references to occupation.

This puts into perspective Kershner’s use of the term “Israeli-annexed” to describe occupied East Jerusalem. Similarly misleading language about the West Bank can be anticipated. In fact, it’s already occurring.

“Brazen”

Most outlets have reduced their analysis of recent events to the past two weeks – starting with the killing on 14 July of two occupation police officers by three Palestinian citizens of Israel outside al-Aqsa mosque. All three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces.

Lost or downplayed is 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank involving massive violence and discrimination against Palestinians. Media have largely ignored the constant threats and promises made by Israeli leaders and government-backed groups to take over the al-Aqsa mosque compound and replace the Muslim holy sites with a Jewish temple.

Kershner referred repeatedly in her articles to the “brazen” Palestinian attack outside al-Aqsa mosque.

She did not refer to the “brazen” Israeli theft of Palestinian land over decades, not only since 1967, but since the Nakba of 1948 when most Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homeland.

Violence in the eyes of too many journalists begins when Palestinians initiate it, and everything Israel does is presented as a “response.”

Whitewashing Israeli violence

Closely following the Israeli official line that Palestinian “incitement” – rather than the pervasive brutality of Israel’s occupation – is to blame for violence, Kershner stressed in the aftermath of the 14 July shootings, that the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas had “whipped up emotions.”

She all but ignores the nonviolent character of the mass Palestinian resistance in East Jerusalem – though she did recognize it grudgingly on 27 July.

“Moreover, the Palestinian civil disobedience campaign was coupled with bloodshed – three Israelis were stabbed to death and four Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces – and the decision to remove the remaining metal railings and scaffolding occurred under the threat of further violence,” according to Kershner.

She was referring to Israel’s decision to remove the metal detectors and other installations it placed at entrances to al-Aqsa that Palestinians see as another step in Israel’s plan to eventually seize total control over the compound.

Kershner managed to emphasize violence by Palestinians while whitewashing Israel’s. Occupation forces are described as providing “security.” And as journalists habitually do, she attributed the Palestinian deaths to vague “clashes,” rather than to the fact that Israel routinely chooses to attack civilians in an occupied territory with live fire and other weapons that in the last two weeks have injured more than 1,000 people.

And she has ignored very real incitement from senior Israeli leaders.

Ignoring calls for ethnic cleansing

Not mentioned by The New York Times was the threat by Tzachi Hanegbi, a senior minister in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of a “third Nakba” against Palestinians – a reference to Israel’s previous bouts of mass ethnic cleansing in 1948 and 1967.

“You’ve been warned,” Hanegbi told Palestinians in a post on Facebook last week.

Similarly, readers of the newspaper of record would find no reference to the open calls for collective punishment and atrocities by Oren Hazan, a lawmaker from Netanyahu’s Likud party.

“It’s time to expel the families of terrorists,” Hazan said.

Hazan said he did not want to sound “too extreme,” adding, “if it was up to me, I’d enter the terrorist’s home last night, take him and his family with him and execute them all … A quick and simple execution.”

“The land of Israel is for the people of Israel and not for Ishmael,” he concluded.

Hazan has previously promised that if he becomes prime minister he will replace the al-Aqsa mosque with a Jewish temple.

It is perhaps his prime ministerial ambitions that are driving the current incumbent Netanyahu to echo Hazan’s demands for deadly revenge. This, of course, is not the first time the prime minister has voiced such violent sentiments.

Yet those who get their news from The New York Times will be misled into thinking that it is just Palestinian leaders who have “whipped up emotions.”

CNN and AP

The New York Times is not alone in misleading the public.

CNN’s Abeer Salman and Oren Liebermann wrote about a Christian man, Nidal Aboud, who joined Muslims praying outside al-Aqsa mosque: “He is urging all Christians to unite with Muslims against what he says is blatant unfairness, and even urged Jews to stand against Israeli occupation.”

The “even” leaps out here. Why should it be a surprise to anyone that Palestinians urge Jews to stand against the Israeli occupation? It’s as if CNN is surprised that Jews would stand for equal rights and an end to the oppression endured by Palestinians.

Meanwhile, in an article about five interfaith activists prohibited by Israel from traveling from Dulles Airport to Tel Aviv this week, Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press gives more credence to biased descriptions of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement than to what the movement itself says it seeks to achieve.

“Supporters of BDS … say they are using nonviolent means to promote the Palestinian independence efforts,” Zoll states. She provides a brief reference to ending the occupation, but says nothing about equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, two of the fundamental goals of the BDS movement.

But she gives prominence to Israel’s claims that BDS “masks a more far-reaching aim to delegitimize or destroy the Jewish state.”

Faithfully reproducing Israeli government talking points, Zoll asserts that “Some critics accuse the BDS movement of anti-Semitism because it singles out Israel for boycott while overlooking the Palestinian part in the conflict and ignoring countries with poor human rights records.”

Claims of singling out Israel in a Palestinian-led movement are as absurd as claims of South African anti-apartheid activists – and their allies – singling out the apartheid South African government.

Nor does Zoll balance the criticism of unnamed critics by pointing out that the Palestinian leaders of the BDS movement explicitly oppose all forms of racism and bigotry, including anti-Semitism.

By giving more space to the anti-BDS position of those who oppose equal rights for Palestinians, the AP – like The New York Times – launders Israel’s political positions as neutral and uncontroversial descriptions.

Activists moving on Palestinian rights

I first met Rick Ufford-Chase, one of the interfaith activists denied permission to board the Dulles flight, in 1990. He is now with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and was moderator of the 216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). We met in Arizona when he was focused on labor and human rights violations against Mexicans and Central Americans.

Israel is presumably concerned that its violations of Palestinian rights are now attracting the attention of American activists who, like Ufford-Chase, have in the course of their lives addressed human rights violations in Central America, Mexico, the US and South Africa – many of them participating in boycotts along the way.

Activists who started with the Nestlé boycottCalifornia table grape boycott and South Africa apartheid boycott are now holding Israel to the same standard as other major rights abusers.

Israel and its surrogates are deploying false accusations of anti-Semitism and other smears in an effort to silence those raising the alarm about Israel’s racist “two-tier system” for Palestinians and Israelis.

Israel is also being helped in its effort to stave off justice by journalists who continue to present a grotesquely false picture where Israel – which has imposed a system of apartheid on millions of Palestinians – is the victim and Palestinians are to blame for the ongoing strife.

 

WONDERFUL TOON TO START THE WEEK ~~ ISRAEL’S BITTER DEFEAT

Image by Carlos Latuff

Palestinian victory on the Temple Mount

zions initial response …..

Israel bars men under 50 from Jerusalem Old City prayers

Israeli police said they were barring men under 50 from entering Jerusalem’s Old City for Friday Muslim prayers as tensions rose over new security measures at a supersensitive holy site.

“Entry to the Old City and Temple Mount will be limited to men aged 50 and over. Women of all ages will be permitted,” a police statement said.

Tensions have risen after Israeli police installed metal detectors at entrances to the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following an attack nearby that killed two policemen.

The move angered Palestinian and other Muslims who saw it as Israel asserting further control over the site.

Palestinians have been refusing to enter the compound since then, and hundreds have been holding prayers outside, with clashes occasionally breaking out with Israeli police.

The main weekly prayers on Fridays draw the largest number of worshippers, and speculation had been mounting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might order the metal detectors removed before this week’s prayers.

But after consultations with security chiefs and members of the security cabinet, Netanyahu decided not to remove them.

An Israeli official said the security cabinet “has given police the au thority to make any decision to ensure free access to holy sites while maintaining security and public order.”

Source

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More Toons from the Arab Press …

Cartoon published in Saudi Arabia’s Al Watan newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

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Cartoon published in London’s Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

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Cartoon published in Jordan’s Al-Rad newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

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Cartoon published in Arab language social media, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

 

A PALESTINIAN VOICE FROM THE PAST

Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence.

My friends and colleagues, thank you for your noble act of solidarity. Thank you for your brave initiative to break the psychological siege inflicted upon us. Thank you for resisting the invitation to dance on our graves. Know that we are still here; that we still live.

Mahmoud Darwish APA images

Welcome: A letter from Mahmoud Darwish

The renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was the first writer that the Palestine Festival of Literature approached with a request to be a Founding Patron. He accepted. He was due to speak at PalFest’s inaugural event in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah in May 2008 but medical reasons prevented him from attending. He sent a letter instead. Darwish passed away three months later in August.

The English translation of his 2008 letter features as the opening piece of  This Is Not a Bordera newly published collection of essays, diaries and poems marking a decade of PalFest. Darwish’s letter appears online here for the first time.

Dear Friends,

I regret that I cannot be here today, to receive you personally.

Welcome to this sorrowing land, whose literary image is so much more beautiful than its present reality. Your courageous visit of solidarity is more than just a passing greeting to a people deprived of freedom and of a normal life; it is an expression of what Palestine has come to mean to the living human conscience that you represent. It is an expression of the writer’s awareness of his role: a role directly engaged with issues of justice and freedom. The search for truth, which is one of a writer’s duties, takes on – in this land – the form of a confrontation with the lies and the usurpation that besiege Palestine’s contemporary history; with the attempts to erase our people from the memory of history and from the map of this place.

We are now in the 60th year of the Nakba. There are now those who are dancing on the graves of our dead, and who consider our Nakba their festival. But the Nakba is not a memory; it is an ongoing uprooting, filling Palestinians with dread for their very existence. The Nakba continues because the occupation continues. And the continued occupation means a continued war. This war that Israel wages against us is not a war to defend its existence, but a war to obliterate ours.

The conflict is not between two “existences,” as the Israeli discourse claims. The Arabs have unanimously offered Israel a collective peace proposal in return for Israel’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right to an independent state. But Israel refuses.

Dear friends, in your visit here you will see the naked truth. Yesterday, we celebrated the end of apartheid in South Africa. Today, you see apartheid blossoming here most efficiently. Yesterday, we celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, you see the wall rising again, coiling itself like a giant snake around our necks. A wall – not to separate Palestinians from Israelis, but to separate Palestinians from themselves, and from any view of the horizon. Not to separate history from myth, but to weld together history and myth with a racist ingenuity.

Life here, as you see, is not a given, it’s a daily miracle. Military barriers separate everything from everything. And everything – even the landscape – is temporary and vulnerable. Life here is less than life, it is an approaching death. And how ironic that the stepping up of oppression, of closures, of settlement expansion, of daily killings that have become routine – that all this takes place in the context of what is called the “peace process;” a process revolving in an empty circle, threatening to kill the very idea of peace in our suffering hearts.

Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence. Here, on this slice of historic Palestine, two generations of Palestinians have been born and raised under occupation. They have never known another – normal – life. Their memories are filled with images of hell. They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope.

In this difficult condition of history, Palestinian writers live. Nothing distinguishes them from their countrymen – nothing except one thing: that writers try to gather the fragments of this life and of this place in a literary text; a text they try to make whole.

I have spoken before of how difficult it is to be Palestinian, and how difficult it is for a Palestinian to be a writer or a poet. On the one hand you have to be true to your reality, and on the other you have to be faithful to your literary profession. In this zone of tension between the long “State of Emergency” and between his literary imagination, the language of the poet moves. He has to use the word to resist the military occupation. And he has to resist – on behalf of the word – the danger of the banal and the repetitive. How can he achieve literary freedom in such slavish conditions? And how can he preserve the literariness of literature in such brutal times?

The questions are difficult. But each poet or writer has their own way of writing themselves and their reality. The one historic condition does not produce the one text – or even similar texts, for the writing selves are many and different. Palestinian literature does not fit into ready-made molds.

Being Palestinian is not a slogan, it is not a profession. The Palestinian is a human being, a tormented human being who has daily questions, national and existential, who has a love story, who contemplates a flower and a window open to the unknown. Who has a metaphysical fear, and an inner world utterly resistant to occupation.

A literature born of a defined reality is able to create a reality that transcends reality – an alternative, imagined reality. Not a search for a myth of happiness to flee from a brutal history, but an attempt to make history less mythological, to place the myth in its proper, metaphorical place, and to transform us from victims of history, into partners in humanizing history.

My friends and colleagues, thank you for your noble act of solidarity. Thank you for your brave initiative to break the psychological siege inflicted upon us. Thank you for resisting the invitation to dance on our graves. Know that we are still here; that we still live.

8 May 2008

IN VIDEOS ~~ REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA AND PALESTINE

Hiroshima  before the U.S. destroyed it

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Palestine before the US/Israel destroyed it

TOON OF THE DAY ~~ 3 EASY WAYS TO ESCALATE TENSION IN JERUSALEM

Image by Carlos Latuff

Want to know what Netanyahu is thinking?

‘The metal detectors are just the first step’: Palestinians say Israeli takeover of Al Aqsa is red line that can’t be crossed

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East Jerusalem, occupied West Bank — “You have four minutes to leave,” the Israeli police officer yelled aggressively through the megaphone.

The peaceful atmosphere drastically shifted into one of panic within seconds. Girls who were standing on the ledge scrambled to get down to leave, some tripping and falling down over others.

Last Sunday hundreds of Palestinians had lined up in rows inside the Old City’s walls by Lion’s Gate waiting for the late evening prayer. In the hour prior to the beginning of prayer, they occasionally chanted in support of Al Aqsa and the Sheikh delivered his sermon. It was a calm atmosphere where even the officers themselves were standing with relaxed postures, perhaps bored.

However, about ten minutes before the start of the late evening prayer, the mood dramatically changed when the group of officers suddenly straightened their positions and all lowered their visors at the same time.

Once the officer started shouting through the megaphone, panicked voices were heard in the crowd. Some Palestinians started to make their way towards the exit.

Suddenly explosions were heard, causing a stampede towards the exit, but the passageway was too narrow for such a large crowd. A sense of panic and fear ensued as people ran for cover, screaming.

Only a minute had passed from the four-minute deadline, but the officers had already thrown stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd who had been sitting on the ground, waiting to pray. Those who couldn’t make it towards the exit, sought protection behind stone pillars.

This was a typical scene from the Palestinians’ non-violent prayer protests against the Israeli military takeover of Al Aqsa that has so far resulted in the deaths of four Palestinians and over 900 injured within a week.

Palestinians remain alarmed over Israel’s latest unilateral decision to install metal detectors, security cameras, and turnstiles at all the gates leading to the Al Aqsa compound; they see it as an attempt by Israel to change the status quo and eventually gain complete control over Al Aqsa.

Located in occupied East Jerusalem, the Al Aqsa compound, also known as Haram Al Sharif for Muslims and Temple Mount for Jews, is administered by the Jordanian Islamic Waqf. Under a 150-year agreement, only Muslims can pray at the site, while non-Muslims can visit. According to leading rabbis, it is forbidden for any Jew to enter any part of Al Aqsa.

Up until now, Palestinian guards have controlled the entrances to Al Aqsa and who may enter without any metal detectors and security cameras in place.

Palestinians say they’ll continue praying outside of Al Aqsa’s gates in protest until the security measures are removed. Installing them unilaterally without consulting the Islamic Waqf is seen as a way for the Israeli authorities to assert their dominance and control over the site.

Israeli security set up the metal detectors and security cameras after three Palestinians and two Israeli officers were killed in a gun battle at the Al Aqsa Compound on July 14.

“This is just the first step. If we accept these metal detectors it will get even worse. The next step will be to stop people who want to pray from even reaching the Al Aqsa mosque,” Khatija Khiews said, who has been praying outside of Al Aqsa everyday in protest.

“The issue is the occupation itself. The solution is to remove the occupation. It’s the only answer to all of our problems.

“These metal detectors were installed at every gate and we don’t accept to be searched in order to go pray at Al Aqsa. Even if we do go through the metal detectors, we won’t accept to get searched by the police. They shouldn’t even be there,” Khiews said.

Speaking to Mondoweiss from Friday’s prayer at Lion’s Gate, Sheikh Mustafa Tawil fears the latest measure will lead to partitioning the Al Aqsa mosque just like with Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque in 1994.

“Muslims aren’t allowed to pray at the Ibrahimi mosque on Israeli weekends and holidays. The occupiers want to do the same thing to Al Aqsa mosque,” Tawil said.

“We refuse these gates because they were set up by the occupiers to force their control over the mosque. We refuse the Israelis’ sovereignty over the mosque at all. The metal detectors are just the first step in dividing Al Aqsa mosque.”

Jerusalem’s Old City has already started to resemble Hebron’s military ghost town. Many stores remain closed while groups of fully armed officers are positioned at every corner and open space and have barricaded many alleys.

Unraveling of negotiations by Israel

The negotiations reached in 2014 between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan in order to maintain peace at the holy site have been unraveling in the past year, especially in the last month, largely due to a “change of policy on the Israeli side,” according to Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group.

Among the points agreed upon was to bar all Knesset members from entering the site, to limit entrance for religious Jewish groups and to ban provocative Temple activists and to refrain from imposing age-based restrictions for Palestinian Muslims.

However Israel hasn’t adhered to its commitments.

The prayer ban has been relatively lax following the nomination of the new head of the police’s Jerusalem district Yoram Halevy in January 2016. Since then he has changed the police’s conduct towards Temple activists who seek to change the status quo, Zalzberg explained.

On June 29 when Halevy joined Temple activists visiting the site “he received the priestly benediction from an activist in the group.”

Halevy, a senior official in charge of preserving the ban on non-Muslim worship, “in accordance with a more than 150-year old arrangement” participated in the worship, Zalzberg wrote.

In the last month, police have also imposed age restrictions for Muslims twice in order to protect large groups of Temple activists visiting on those days.

Since the attack, MKs called for closing the Al Aqsa compound for Muslims, threatenedwith creating a third “nakba” and to build a synagogue on Al Aqsa compound. Likud, Israel’s ruling party launched a petition to raise the Israeli flag over the Al Aqsa compound.

The rise of Temple movements

Once a radical fringe group in politics and religion, since 2000 Temple movements have gained a respectable position within the mainstream right and benefit from close ties with the State of Israel.

The ultimate goal for Temple activists is to eventually destroy the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock to build the Jewish “Third Temple.” The Temple Institute has a blueprintfor its construction ready.

According to a 2013 report by Israeli research organization Ir Amim, “The movements’ growing momentum and dangerous provocations to change the status quo are not receiving adequate attention, nor is the disturbing connection between these movements and official Israeli institutions.”

The State of Israel directly funds various Temple movement activities. Along with funding Temple organizations, the Ministry of Education disseminates their ideas through the educational system.

“There is a correlation between the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and around it since 2000 and a parallel increase in the activity of Temple organizations,” the report noted.

The current tension could further spike as the ban preventing members of the Knesset from accessing the Al Aqsa compound were lifted on July 23 for a five day trial period in order to test the reaction.

The ban has been in place since October 2015, with the assumption that visits by MKs might spark violence. In 2000, when Likud leader Ariel Sharon visited the holy site accompanied by a 1000 police officers, it helped trigger the second intifada.

Likud MK Yehudah Glick, a leading figure in the Temple movement overturned the ban after petitioning to the High Court. Earlier this month he called for all MKs to ascend to the Temple Mount.

The rise in Temple movements’ prominence has been accompanied with an increase in violent Israeli incursions at Al Aqsa, including detaining and attacking the Al Aqsa guards.

Al Aqsa Compound director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani stated to media that over 700 settlers, “an unprecedented amount” raided the compound for Jerusalem Day last May.

Every year Israel’s far-right settlers parade through Palestinian neighbourhoods, celebrating Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlers call out for the Al Aqsa compound to be destroyed and shout “Mohammad is dead,” “Death to the Arabs” and other statements calling for genocide of Palestinians.

This past April, Jews from the far-right also held a ceremony near Temple Mount for the first time, where they slaughtered a lamb just a few hundred metres away from the mount.

Shimshon Elboi, active in the Temple Mount movement, was quoted in Haaretz saying, “We were privileged to get near the Temple Mount, the proper place. The authorities today are more open and the public is more open.

“Ultimately the government wants to serve the people, and the people want the Temple; the people want to offer sacrifices. At this rate the day isn’t far off – just a few more years – when we’ll be privileged to do sacrifices on the Temple Mount itself,” Elboi said.

Having historic Palestine reduced to the Gaza Strip and bantustans in the West Bank, Palestinians see the military takeover of Al Aqsa as a red line that can’t be crossed.

“This is our mosque and the occupation has to retreat so we can pray five times again in the mosque,” Sheikh Tawil said.

“We are going to keep praying by the gates of the masjid, until they remove the humiliating electronic gates.

“The world should pressure the occupation politically and economically and besiege the occupation until it listens to the UN resolutions and withdraws to the 1967 borders. The world shouldn’t abandon the Palestinians while watching them get killed, arrested, beaten, humiliated for 50 years until now.”

AM I WORSE THAN A NAZI? ~~ ONE ‘RABBI’ THINKS SO

Boteach says that the lesson of the Holocaust is that we have to be on guard at the first signs of genocide. But he doesn’t mention taking action against current genocidal emergencies in Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, the Central African Republic, Syria, Myanmar, and Yemen. In nearly all of those places Muslims are the targets.

Shmuley Boteach at Auschwitz Birkenau, from his twitter feed

Boteach likens Jews pushing for Palestinian state to Jews who helped Nazis

The headline and deck of this article by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at Tablet are incredible.

Hitler’s Secret Weapon Was Coercing Jews to Destroy Themselves

Will we do it again?

When Hannah Arendt wrote about Jewish leaders who collaborated with the Nazis in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), she was pilloried by establishment Jews for blaming the Jews for their own destruction. Or as Arendt said, an “organized campaign… by certain interest groups” to say that “I allegedly had claimed that the Jews had murdered themselves.”

But this is unlikely to happen to Rabbi Shmuley, even though he goes well beyond Arendt’s criticism of the “leadership” toward a general description of Jews’ roles as accomplices.

The Nazis, I have come to understand, would eradicate the Jewish nation by always holding out the possibility that, against most of the evidence, some might still live. The Jews were led to believe that if they just cooperated, their children would survive…

At almost every step of the way, the Jews were forced into cooperating with the very plans drawn up to exterminate them. The Jews, the Germans thought, could provide the manpower the Nazis lacked only if they could be persuaded that if they went along with the program they would be put to productive work.

The Nazis forced the Jews to create their own self-administering councils, Judenrats, in the ghettos. When visiting the Lodz Ghetto, I stood at the exact spot where Chaim Rumkowski gave his notorious “Give Me Your Children” speech in September of 1942. As chairman of the Lodz Judenrat, Rumkowski had decided to turn the ghetto into a factory, believing that only by being useful to the Nazis could its inhabitants be spared…

In the camps themselves, the Jews were forced into Sonderkommando units, where Jewish inmates were put to work disposing of the millions of bodies left lifeless in the gas chambers. They too were threatened with constant death, yet were twinned with a chance at life so long as they complied with the Nazi program.

Boteach has an axe to grind: Jews are now collaborating in the destruction of Israel. Even Jews who support a Palestinian state!

With Iran calling for a second Holocaust in the state of Israel—threatening constantly as they do to raze Israeli cities to the ground and wipe Israel off the map—Israel must react to its threats before they can be realized. Genocidal rhetoric in our time must be something that is resisted completely. In Rwanda too, the Hutus called the Tutsis “cockroaches” well before launching their genocide campaign.

So too with regard to Hamas and even the Palestinian Authority. We cannot cede land for a Palestinian State in the hope of demographic survival when in doing so we might find ourselves in a three-front war from Gaza, Judea, and Samaria in the West Bank, and Lebanon aimed at Israel’s annihilation. Israel simply cannot afford even the slightest risk of being deceived into walking toward its own demise, all in the promise of peace by those who speak openly of a new genocide of the Jews.

Boteach says that the lesson of the Holocaust is that we have to be on guard at the first signs of genocide. But he doesn’t mention taking action against current genocidal emergencies in Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, the Central African Republic, Syria, Myanmar, and Yemen. In nearly all of those places Muslims are the targets.

In addition, it is funny that Boteach thinks he has singlehandedly discovered how the Germans got away with genocide– “I believe this journey has given me a clue. The Nazis, I have come to understand…”– when his insight about Jewish collaboration is one that many historians have documented before.

ISRAEL’S HISTORY OF UNBELIEVABLE CHILD ABDUCTIONS

How it started ….

For 60 years, the establishment, media and courts have colluded to hide the truth about this ugly affair that dismantles the Zionist story we like to tell ourselves.

How it continues ….

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Related history ….

Time for Israel to Admit: The Yemenite Children Were Systematically Kidnapped

Yael Tzadok

If the issue of the missing Yemenite Jewish children did not involve an ethnic as well as a criminal angle, it would have been resolved a long time ago. But who will dare admit that many Jewish children were abducted from their parents by other Jews, in a phenomenon with racist overtones, right after the Holocaust? Thus, the story is buried deep underground, evidence is destroyed and the public is lied to for over 60 years.

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There were abductions of Yemenite Jewish children, and these were deliberate and systematic. One can learn about them first of all from the testimonies of the parents. Anyone disbelieving them should examine the filters through which they allow reality to permeate their consciousness. I immediately believed these parents when I first interviewed them in 1994 on Israel Radio. Their testimonies were clear and incisive, unless you believe that Yemenite Jews are chronic fantasizers. That would dovetail with statements such as “we established this state and you should be grateful that we’ve brought you here,” which I’ve been hearing lately.

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When a woman gives birth to a healthy baby who is shown to her, and right after that a doctor comes in and tells her that since she “pressed too hard” the baby was stillborn, one doesn’t need a high school diploma to realize that the baby was kidnapped. When 40 babies are sent together from the Atlit transit camp to Jerusalem for “immunization” and they never return, any reasonable person understands that what happened was not “immunization.” If three Yiddish speakers arrive at the baby dorms at the Ein Shemer camp in the evening hours, after most staff members and mothers have gone, and collect babies from their cribs before disappearing forever, even a Yemenite speaker can understand that something is rotten.

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There are many more such testimonies. One can add to these reports by Knesset members in the 1950s and 1960s, telling of sales of children for money and a “black market for children.” There are also the words of Justice Shneur Zalman Cheshin in that period, describing fictitious adoption papers that were granted by wily ruses. One realizes that this was a covert and comprehensive scheme.

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It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound today. It’s hard to convey the depth of racism toward immigrants from Yemen felt by leaders of the Jewish community, among them, David Ben-Gurion himself, as well as various administrators who dealt directly with immigration and absorption of newcomers. Horrified caregivers and nurses reported that Yemenites don’t feed their children unless there are leftovers after the adults finish eating; that they give them coffee (their coffee was made from the caffeine-free husks of coffee beans, laced with cinnamon and ginger, but nurses heard ‘coffee’ and passed out); that Yemenites don’t really care if they have one child more or two less. Thus you get “moral legitimization” for transferring babies from “unfit” parents to those who are fit, as if people who considered themselves gods were handling babies as if they were playing Lego.

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The media were overall sympathetic to the establishment, gleefully disseminating the same racist message, as if the state’s leaders, doctors, nurses and heads of the medical establishment all sprang out of the same ideological womb, with a common heart beating in all of them. The media thereby legitimized the removal of these children from their parents.

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One could of course argue that all the committees set up to examine the issue determined that none of this really happened. Let’s ignore the first two, in 1967 and 1988, irrelevant committees that had no authority, and focus on the state commission of inquiry. Never has there been a commission of inquiry in Israel which has gone to such great lengths to pursue a clear objective of not finding anything. Paradoxically and woefully, it revealed numerous findings that pointed to systematic and deliberate abductions. However, the commission made great efforts to ignore these findings, submitting an embarrassing and shameful report in 2001, limping along with excuses and meanderings only for the purpose of absolving the state from any responsibility for the affair, while avoiding greatly shaming it.

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Behind the scenes of this commission there was an apparatus meant to conceal evidence, one which would do honor to any totalitarian state: Archives were destroyed, documents were falsified, witnesses reported that they had been threatened and important testimonies were heard behind closed doors. Aside from a handful of journalists, such as Ehud Ein-Gil from Haaretz and Kalman Liebskind from Makor Rishon, no one bothered reading the commission’s report, let alone examining its veracity.

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Thus, the families were thrice betrayed: Once by the powerful, violent and arrogant establishment of the 1950s, then, by the courts and finally, by the media. Three power hubs, which in a democracy are supposed to sustain a system of checks and balances, instead embraced each other in a hug, unparalleled in the annals of the state, and which only Yemenite immigrants who had “arrived from the Middle Ages” could have generated. Human rights groups and enlightened fighters for the liberty and welfare of Palestinians, foreign workers, and virtually anything that moves joined in the arrogance of power brokers, suffering from a blind spot that has persisted for over 60 years.

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This affair is not a “Yemenite Jews affair” but a black stain on the blue and white flag. It reflects collective guilt and a comprehensive and ongoing moral failure.

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This is what needs to be done now: Expose the entire truth, analyze it, understand it, mourn it and cry out over it. Ultimately, forgiveness may follow. This will be painful. The kidnapping affair dismantles the Zionist story we like telling ourselves, of the miraculous State of Israel, moral and gracious. The continued whitewashing of the affair shatters everything we believe we are today.

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The writer is a journalist and a member of Achim Vekayamim, a forum for families of kidnapped children.

 

IN PHOTOS ~~ SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIANS ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT

With the increasing intensity of conflict at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Zionist state and the deaths of three Palestinians the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) of New Jersey  called for a protest street demonstration at the cross roads of the world: New York City’s Times Square.

Here where hundreds and hundreds  of people pass  every hour about five hundred people took to the street to shout their anger and demand a free Palestine. Older people and younger ones, mothers with their children in strollers carried the Palestinian colors.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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THE TEMPLE MOUNT ~~ ISRAEL’S MIGHT, BUT NOT ITS RIGHT

The claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.

Image by Carlos Latuff

The best cartoon to describe the Israeli brutality against unarmed Palestinians…

Temple Mount belongs to Israel……but only by the standard of might, not the standard of right
By Khaled Amayreh  in Occupied East Jerusalem
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An Israeli cabinet minister has repeated the stale Zionist propaganda claim that the “Temple Mount” belongs to Israel. He is correct in a certain sense. Israel has been in control of the Haram al- Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)  as well as the entirety of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the six-Day war of 1967.  This  means that the holy site, which has been an exclusively Muslim place of worship for the past 1400 years, now “belongs” to Israel by the standards of might, not by the standards of right  But right, not might, comes first because right is a constant whereas might is a variable.
 
In fact, the claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.
 
In fact, the historical and even religious claims often cited to prove that the holy  site belongs to Jews are dubious and erroneous.
 
Historical records show that King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites around 1100 BC.  The Jebusites, a Canaanite people believed to be, at least partly, the ancestors of modern-day Palestinians, had been in Jerusalem for some 2000 years.
 
Indeed, for fifty years of intensive excavations, Israeli archeologists  left no stone unturned   underneath  the Islamic shrine, but utterly failed to find  any credible evidence corroborating the gigantic canard that the Aqsa Mosque stands right on top of the Temple of Solomon.
 
 
A few years ago. George Wesley Buchanan, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, published a meticulously researched scholarly monograph titled “What if the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple are NOT under the Dome of the Rock?” http://www.ameu.org/Current-Issue/Current-Issue/2014-Volume-47/In-Search-of-King-Solomons-Temple.aspx
 
 
According to the research, which this writer had the honor to translate into Arabic; archaeologists have discovered no ruins in the Haram area that might have belonged to the temple.
 
 “Instead they have found an image of a soldier on a horse, a brick with the mark of the 10th Roman legion on it, and an image of Mars, the Roman god of war.
 
“They have also found in the an inscription once carved over an arch, honoring Titus, Vespasian, and probably Silva for their leadership in the war of AD 66-72.”
 
 According to the scholarly monograph, published in the Journal “Americans for Middle East Understanding” (AMEU) in 2014, another inscription that was intended to fit on the interior wall of the Haram,  honored Hadrian, the Roman emperor who defeated Bar Kochba in the revolt that ended in 135 AD.
 
  In conclusion, Buchanan  asks the most  central question:  “Is there any evidence that the Haram was ever the Temple Mount?”
 
Here is his answer: (clearly, “No!”).
 
Finally, it is true that Jews were in control of Jerusalem more than 2500 years ago.  But so what?   Most of the cities of the world were then inhabited by peoples unrelated to their current inhabitants.
 
Today, the manifestly pyromaniac Israel government, made up of Talmudic fanatics and Zionist jingoists, is striving to set Jerusalem and the entire region on fire under the rubric of Jewish Messianism and millenarianism.  This madness must be stopped immediately because madness breeds madness and blood breeds more blood.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK ~~ TRUMP’S GOT TALENT

PLAYING WITH FIRE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT OF JERUSALEM

 Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is dealing with latest tensions at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with an odd combination of insolence, recklessness, irresponsibility  and a great deal of shortsightedness.

Israeli soldiers patrol the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

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In Jerusalem Netanyahu is playing with fire 
By Khalid Amayreh
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Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is dealing with latest tensions at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with an odd combination of insolence, recklessness, irresponsibility  and a great deal of shortsightedness.
 
 Indeed, a fleet examination of his behavior following the regrettable shooting at the site last week, caricatures a leader who doesn’t look before he leaps.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t have succumbed, rather unhesitatingly, to the whimsical demands by millenarian Talmudic circles to restrict Muslim access to the holy place. In fact, doing so is a grave provocation to Muslims sensibilities which could cause the gates of hell to open loose.
 
Netanyahu seems to forget the fact that when Israel treads on the most sensitive nerve in Islam, at least in our region, the masses won’t heed calls for calm and self-restraint neither from the PA nor from this or that Arab king or head of state.  Al-Aqsa, after all, is the mother of all issues.  It transcends politics and geography. Don’t you see that this issue is galvanizing the Palestinian street as no other issue would? Even Hamas and Fatah are adopting a concordant discourse in the face of this flagrant Israeli provocation. Certainly, I wouldn’t want to see fanatics and provocateurs take over the stage in order to urge seven million Palestinians to morph into seven million time-bombs or suicide bombers. None the less, the task to defuse the current crisis is not the responsibility of Palestinians alone. Israel, too, if only by being the main player who possesses many vital cards, should make the first step, but without procrastination, deception pr foul-playing.
 
That is why I hope and pray that Netanyahu and his colleagues in the government will immediately return to the status quo ante lest things get out of hand.  I am not making threats, but I know my people very well. For them, there is no other issue under the sun that could provoke them more. I am sure the Shin Beth knows quite well what I am talking about.
 
Israel can always seek and find alternative ways to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the Third Holiest place in Islam. Indeed, smuggling of fire arms into the Aqsa esplanade has been extremely rare. It occurred only once or twice since 1967, and the smuggler was neither Arab nor Muslim.  In fact, there is a fierce opposition among Palestinians to the very idea of smuggling fire-arms into the Haram al-Sharif  since a manifestly stupid feat of this sort would give Israel a long-sought pretext to tamper with the delicate status quo at the site. Hence, the Palestinians would be the main if not sole losers if such a folly were to be allowed to become a phenomenon, God forbid.
 
Some people might correctly argue that Israel will continue to seek pretexts and excuses to change the rules at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
 
Well, I hope insolence and impetuousness will give way to wisdom.  Fanatics from all sides must be reined in because if they are allowed to be in the driver’s seat, they could drive the entire region into the abyss.
 
Tomorrow is Friday when tens of thousands of Muslims will converge at the Aqsa Mosque for the weekly Juma’a congregational prayer. I hope the Israeli authorities will instruct their security personnel to refrain from provoking the worshipers or denying them free access to their holy place. Let them pray peacefully.

GLOBAL SILENCE ON GAZA MUST BE BROKEN

After 10 years of Israeli siege, the United Nations says Gaza is effectively unlivable.

Israel has consigned the people of Gaza to “living in abject poverty under practically inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world,” the human rights group B’Tselem said last month.

Video: Break the silence on Gaza with people power

In recent weeks the situation has deteriorated even further, as Israel has sharply cut the electricity supply, bringing available energy in Gaza to the lowest level ever.

Health, water and sewage treatment systems are breaking down, making life unbearable.

“This is not a natural disaster. This is a policy choice by Israel to do this to 2 million people, and it’s a policy choice the so-called international community are supporting,” I told Aaron Maté of The Real News.

“At best the so-called international community scrambles to do an appeal to various donor governments to patch up, to do palliative care,” for people in Gaza, I told Maté. “What they don’t do is challenge Israel and hold it accountable.”

By refusing to provide people in Gaza with basic health and other services, Israel, as the occupying power, is committing war crimes, I argued.

And it’s happening in silence – even Democracy Now, a flagship progressive outlet, has mentioned the situation only in brief and infrequent headlines.

The humanitarian catastrophe is also the result of collusion between Israel and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Abbas wants to put political pressure on Hamas, which governs the interior of Gaza, by inflicting additional suffering on the 2 million Palestinians who live there.

This pressure has included curtailing medicine supplies to Gaza and refusing medical referrals for hundreds of patients who need urgent treatment outside the territory, leading to more than a dozen deaths.

“It’s up to us to challenge the institutional complicity and silence,” I told Maté. If regime media don’t make noise about Gaza, “people should be demonstrating, holding protests at the UN and Israeli embassies, at Palestinian Authority embassies, because they’re all complicit in this siege.”

Watch the video above.

Image by Latuff

MUST SEE VIDEO ~~ ‘THIS IS PALESTINE’

 

Nothing new here for anyone aware of ground zero in Palestine or has been awake the past 50 years, but footage of some heart-wrenching scenes reminds us all that there are real people behind the daily headlines and statistics.

Shared by Sam Bahour, with thanks

TOLERANCE HAS ITS LIMITS REGARDING THE RIGHTS OF GAY COUPLES IN ISRAEL

Just a year ago Netanyahu uttered the following remarks ….

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Is this the respect and dignity he was talking about?

Israeli government opposes allowing same sex couples to adopt

Government would allow same sex couples to adopt if no hetero-sexual couples can be found to adopt children.

 Israel’s government remains opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country, the state said in response to a Supreme Court petition.

The government did, however, say it would allow common-law couples who have been living together for three years to adopt children in Israel.

The decision to not change its stance on same-sex couples “takes into account the reality of Israeli society and the difficulty entailed with regard to the child being adopted,” the government said in a response to the court, citing Child Welfare Services.

Same-sex couples can be approved for adoption, but they can only adopt children for whom a heterosexual couple cannot be found. The result is that they are generally offered special needs or at-risk children, or older children who cannot be placed.

Many same-sex couples adopt babies from other countries.

The petition to the Supreme Court regarding same-sex and common-law couple adoption was filed by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, together with the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform movement, against the Social Affairs Ministry and the attorney general, according to Haaretz.

FROM JTA

BDS MOM OF THE YEAR

The pro-Palestinian provocateur is under attack after a newspaper alleged that she ‘tricked’ her way into Israel last month. She says she will be ‘heartbroken’ if the authorities ban her from ever returning

Ariel Gold, center, protesting against Airbnb.Madrone Jack of Oakland, CA.

Jewish Mother and BDS Activist: Code Pink’s Ariel Gold vs. Israel’s Travel Ban
Allison Kaplan Sommer
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Ariel Gold is a one-woman example of the contradictions of the Israeli government’s travel ban law, which forbids foreign nationals who call for boycotts of Israel from entering the country.

Outspoken, provocative, pro-Palestinian and an advocate of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, Gold is a professional campaign director for Code Pink, the far-left peace and social justice NGO that works to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations.

She has demonstrated against Israeli policies, disrupted public events and been arrested – in both Israel and the United States – for her protests. She was banned from visiting the Western Wall last year after authorities found her carrying political signs and pamphlets while entering the plaza.

She is currently in Hebron, monitoring the military trial of Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro and publicizing his cause online. At the same time, the 42-year-old mother of two is an active member of her Ithaca, NY Reform synagogue, sends her kids to Jewish summer camp, and her teenage son is on a summer-long Israel program with the Reform movement.

She has Israeli cousins and proudly boasts that her family can trace its lineage back to 16th-century Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the “Shulchan Aruch” (the codification of Jewish religious law), who is buried in Safed.

In a telephone interview from the West Bank city, Gold says she has been “under attack” since last Thursday when Israel Hayom – a widely circulated, pro-Netanyahu newspaper owned by Sheldon Adelson – ran an article charging that her admission into Israel was a “failure,” and that she had “tricked” Israeli authorities by deleting every post from her Facebook page since 2012, “all of which call for a boycott.”

The article was critical of the Israeli government for allowing Gold to slip through the net, and quotes a Public Security Ministry official as promising that Gold will be barred from entering the country in the future.

Gold vehemently denies the newspaper’s charges of deception, saying she “didn’t take down a single post” from her Facebook page, noting that she had merely changed the status of posts from “Public” to “Friends” only.
She says it was “absurd” to believe she had done anything to deliberately deceive the Israeli authorities.

“It’s not hard to see things I’ve done and written about online. You just Google my name. I mean, I publicly disrupted Ashton Kutcher last fall, asking him to use his position on Airbnb to stop it from operating in the settlements – it wasn’t just in Haaretz and the Times of Israel, but it was in People Magazine!”

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Videos of the Kutcher incident are easily found on YouTube, as is the video of a campaign appearance by Chelsea Clinton that Gold disrupted last year, and articles she has written on the Mondoweiss website harshly criticizing Israel and its policies.

“If I was to try to erase my political opinions on Israel and Palestine on the internet, it would take me years,” she joked.

When she was questioned at Ben-Gurion airport in late June, Gold says she was open about what she did and where she worked, noting that the email she gave officials had a Code Pink address.

The security personnel questioning her “didn’t ask me about BDS at all,” she says. “They asked if I supported violent resistance against Israel. And I said I absolutely did not. They asked me where my feelings were, and I told them that I believe in justice and I believe in peace and I believe in nonviolence.”

Had they asked her about boycotting Israel, she says she would have told them she believes “that BDS is a nonviolent approach to bring Israel into accordance with international law and international standards for human rights.”

What she teaches her kids

She has worked at Code Pink for two years, previously volunteering with them as an activist.  Her political activism on the Palestinian issue began during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in late 2008, when she joined Jewish Voice For Peace and became its chapter coordinator, she says.

Gold was raised secular and says she felt she had missed out when she attended her cousins’ Bar and Bat Mitzvot. She connected with her Judaism as a young adult, joining a synagogue and becoming part of a Jewish community, and made a point of sending her own children to Hebrew school and Jewish camp.

“But I also taught my children to think critically, and [to] think critically about the actions of the State of Israel, and that Palestinians [are] deserving of equality and freedom and justice – and I have taken them to protests alongside me since they are toddlers,” she adds, including a 2015 action against AIPAC where she was arrested.

“I felt a lot of love for Israel when I began to explore Judaism. But from the time I heard about the occupation, it was horrible and wrong,” she says, calling her emotions in coming to terms with Israel’s actions toward Palestinians “a grief process.”

Gold says she doesn’t know why Israel Hayom singled her out but speculates she could be under scrutiny because of her work over the past year spearheading Amro’s cause, and advocating for him with the U.S. government.

Amro was indicted by the Israeli army last September for a range of offences, including spitting at a settler, obstructing soldiers and insulting them, and entering closed military zones. His lawyers have argued that his prosecution constitutes political persecution and is intended to stop his activism.

Gold says proudly she was “instrumental” in the lobbying efforts by a coalition of advocacy groups that resulted in a June 28 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, signed by 32 members of Congress, asking him to use his influence with Israel to encourage its government to “reconsider the charges against Mr. Amro, internationally recognized as a principled, nonviolent human rights advocate.”

Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Issa Amro.

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The number of signatures is the highest-ever on a document advocating for a Palestinian cause, Gold adds. She believes it is this political work (which Code Pink has done in coordination with other groups) that is why the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has sent two representatives to monitor Amro’s trial.
But Gold’s social media activity and provocative actions could just as equally have been the reason – she has been posting numerous photographs and videos criticizing Israeli policies during her stay, including an interview with Amro, and the photograph published in the newspaper where she stands in front of a checkpoint holding a sign declaring “This is Apartheid #codepink”

During her time in Hebron, Gold says she has instigated several “lively Jewish debates” with Israel Defense Forces soldiers standing guard. At various points, she notes, she has been told she was restricted to either the areas exclusively for Jews or confined to the areas for Palestinians, depending on whether she was perceived as a Jew or a pro-Palestinian activist.

She says she isn’t angry or hostile with the soldiers. “These are all very young soldiers and I think they are in difficult situations, and I think they are overwhelmed by what they are doing.” She has harsher words for Hebron’s settlers, whom she alleges have followed and harassed her, insulted her and said “I came here to have sex with Arabs.”

The Israel Hayom article reported ominously that the Public Security Ministry was “investigating what should be done about Gold,” adding that she will be prevented from entering the country in the future, in accordance with the travel ban.

Gold says the prospect of being barred from Israel and the territories – and the entire concept of the travel ban – “appalls” her, and she has considered approaching the authorities and asking them not to stop her from entering the country despite her politics.

“It is incredible here,” she says. “I love my friends here and I love the land here. I will be heartbroken if I can’t return.”

Just in case, she adds, she is going to make a point of visiting her relatives and the grave of Rabbi Caro in Safad, since “it may be the last time I see it.”
Approached by Haaretz, a spokesman for Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says Gold’s case is “being investigated.” He said no decision has been made as to whether she can remain or return to Israel.

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Source and more photos and videos HERE

PALESTINE AWAITS THE DEMISE OF ISIS

 

Like many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, I have breathed a sigh of relief, seeing the latest retreats, defeats and setbacks of the so-called Islamic State (IS) both in Iraq and Syria.

The IS, as a group may well soon become part of history, but the idea encapsulated by the IS is likely to live on and on and on, constantly assuming different forms and names.

Nothing but a meat grinder …

Pyrrhic victory 

By Khalid Amayreh

 

Like many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, I have breathed a sigh of relief, seeing the latest retreats, defeats and setbacks of the so-called Islamic State (IS) both in Iraq and Syria. This evil group has inflected gigantic calamities on Muslims, first and foremost, as well as non-Muslims. Moreover, the criminal acts of terror carried out by the group, especially in Europe, has caused irreparable damage to the image of Islam and Muslims, which will take many many years to rectify. Yes, we must come to terms with the fact that IS has been a gargantuan public relations disaster to the religion of Islam which exhorts its followers to “invite to the Way of thy Lord, with wisdom and fair preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.”

 

Having said that, I don’t imply in any way any modicum of support or sympathy for the regimes IS has been fighting in Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi regime, created by the US in 2004 in order to plunge the region in endless violence and turbulence, is shamelessly sectarian. It torments, even murders, its own citizens because they have the |”wrong” religious affiliation. And it has effectively handed Iraq over to Iran on a silver platter. As to the Syrian regime, it is decidedly nefarious. No person with any iota of rectitude would give that regime the benefit of the doubt, if indeed there were any doubts as to the nefariousness of that regime. What else can be said of a regime that has destroyed its own country, virtually completely, murdered close to half a million of its own citizens, even by using deadly chemical weapons, and forced 11-14 million Syrians (70% of the population) out of their homes. And the reason? To extend its lifespan in power a few more years against the will of the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people.

 

Indeed, in the first few months into the Syrian uprising, the thuggish regime of Bashar al-Asad instructed its Gestapo-like Shabbiha thugs to scrawl the following slogan on walls all over Syria: Imma al Asad…Aww Nihreq al Balad ( either Asad stays on, or we will burn down the country.) Well. Thanks to Russia, Iran, Hizbullah as well as western treachery and betrayal of the Syrian people, Asad has made good on his threats. He has remained in power, but Syria has been nearly completely destroyed.

 

I most sincerely believe that it is only the naïve and the hopelessly stupid that are celebrating the demise of the IS.   The IS, as a group may well soon become part of history, but the idea encapsulated by the IS is likely to live on and on and on, constantly assuming different forms and names. This is because IS and other extreme Muslim groups especially in the Middle East are, whether we like it or not, the legitimate daughters of the illegitimate tyrannical Arab regimes and police states.   Don’t you believe anyone who would tell you otherwise?

 

Now, we all know that these manifestly terrorist regimes owe their very existence and survival to foreign powers such as the United States, a superpower which we all know is at Israel’s beck and call. .

 

A few years ago, the Egyptian people elected a democratic government, to replace the autocratic and corrupt regime of long-time dictator Husni Mubarak. However, because the first-ever democratic regime in 7000 years of Egyptian history refused to grovel at Israel’s feet and decided to be responsible to the Egyptian people, first and foremost, not to Washington, London and Paris, the West moved hastily to topple that democratic experiment which would have changed the Arab world and eradicated terrorism. In the process, peaceful protesters were massacred en mass in full view of the capitals of Western democracy, which, instead of calling the spade a spade, chose to play the harlot. Interestingly, they continue to display their shockingly wanton political promiscuity with Muslim peoples everywhere? Have you forgotten the recent failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish democratic regime? Who backed, supported and directed that failed coup d’etat against Erdogan’s popular regime until the very end? Martians or entities from outer space?

 

The West and the entire world must understand that it is not the ineluctable destiny of hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims to languish forever and ever under criminal regimes, such as the Assad of Syria and the Sissi of Egypt. In 1775, Patrick Henry, in a speech he made to the Second Virginia Convention, said: “give me liberty or give me death.” Needless to say, One doesn’t have to be a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or for that matter, an IS terrorist to long for freedom, justice and democracy. When will America, UK, and France understand this most axiomatic matter?

 

In a nutshell, I will say this to the governments and intelligence agencies of Europe and North America. IS could appear again and again, under different names. After all, it is a mere symptom. And the real root-cause, is your hand-made puppet terrorist regimes that persecute, repress, torment and murder every free voice demanding some of the very rights and freedoms that you people take for granted in your countries”

 

 

And, yes, we are not children of a lesser God.

ISRAEL’S FAKE HSTORY

There is no contradiction between a site being Palestinian and Jewish at the same time. But for Netanyahu there is.

The many outraged Israeli politicians are creating fake news, manipulating history in fake ways, and blaming it on UNESCO

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel charges UNESCO with ‘Fake history’

Israel charges UNESCO with ‘Fake history’

“This irrelevant organization promotes FAKE HISTORY”, wrote Israel’s Foreign ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon two days ago concerning UNESCO, after the latter voted on a resolution to include Al-Khalil (Hebron) and the Al-Ibrahimi mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) as Palestinian World Heritage sites.

The blast from Israeli officials didn’t stop there. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the organization “anti-Semitic”, the supposed liberal President Reuven Rivlin said that “UNESCO seems intent on sprouting anti-Jewish lies”, and even Labor’s Merav Michaeli called the resolution “insane”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, faithful to his ways of persuasion, took to twitter and made a video, where he says:

“Yet another delusional decision by UNESCO. This time they’ve decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning not a Jewish one and listed it an endangered site. Not a Jewish site? Who is buried there? Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Leah, our patriarchs and matriarchs.”

Today, Netanyahu resorted to the bible, reading from Genesis 23, which describes Abraham’s purchasing of the Cave of the Patriarchs. Netanyahu did so ostensibly in order to rebuff claims that the site is ‘not Jewish’. 

But pause there.

There’s nothing in the UNESCO resolution that suggests that the site does not have Jewish connection. In fact, UNESCO explicitly affirms the historic importance of the place as “a site of pilgrimage for the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam”. As Orly Noy notes in her article of today titled ‘There’s nothing anti-Semitic about UNESCO’s Hebron vote’:

“I wonder how many of these politicians bothered reading the resolution before they ran to Twitter to trash it.”

Indeed, UNESCO was not disputing religious connections to the place. What seems to have infuriated the Israelis is that it is considered a PALESTINIAN heritage site.

But UNESCO recognized Palestine back in 2011, as have about three-fourths of the United Nations member states. Al-Khalil (Hebron) and the Al-Ibrahimi mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) are in Palestine. What’s the big deal?

As we see from Netanyahu’s words, the idea of the place being a ‘Palestinian site’ is anathema to it being a ‘Jewish site’. But this is just disingenuous. Orly Noy provides a sobering comparison:

“Esther and Mordechai’s Tomb in Hamadan, Iran is recognized by the Iranian authorities as a Jewish site, yet no one would dream of calling it an Israeli site. Just as the Church of the Multiplication in northern Israel is a Christian site, yet is located in Israel and therefore an Israeli site.”

In other words, there is no contradiction between a site being Palestinian and Jewish at the same time. But for Netanyahu there is.

So what does Netanyahu do after he distorts the wording of the resolution? He takes to reading from the bible. This is the same trick that David Ben-Gurion usedwhen the British Peel commission asked him in 1936 about whether he had a deed or contract of sale that gave him the right to take the place of the native Arabs who have lived here for generations: Ben-Gurion picked up a Bible and declared, “This is our deed!” 

And there’s more. Because what is Netanyahu reading? The story about Abraham, who bought the cave for the burial of his wife, Sarah. But Abraham wasn’t ‘Jewish’, really – that term evolved much later. If Abraham is a ‘forefather’ in a spiritual sense, he is the forefather of the three Abrahamic religions, all of which the UNESCO resolution affirms. So, ironically, Netanyahu’s religious preaching, seeking to prove the ‘Jewish connection’ (which UNESCO doesn’t dispute), ends up defeating his attempted point and strengthening UNESCO’s: Yes, the place is important for Jews, but not only for Jews.

The myopic, Jewish-centric ideas that Netanyahu presents betray the exclusivist intents of the Israeli government. It cannot seem to differentiate between state and religion with respect to Israel, and when it comes to Palestine will not accept Palestinian statehood or sovereignty. So it is the Israeli official narrative that is the exclusivist one, not the UNESCO narrative.

The many outraged Israeli politicians are creating fake news, manipulating history in fake ways, and blaming it on UNESCO.  

ISIS; YOUR GIG IS UP! WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE

The West was responsible for the establishment of ISIS.

The United States Created ISIS and continues to Assist in Funding ISIS for Secondary Gain of Maintaining Chaos in The Middle East to Protect Oil Businesses.

Nasrallah: The United States created ISIS

Hezbollah leader welcomes the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, accuses the United States of creating the jihadist group.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday welcomed the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group, but also accused the United States of creating ISIS.

“This is a victory for all Iraqis, for all the people of the region, and all those that combat terrorism, and all those who are threatened by terrorism day and night,” he said in a televised speech, according to the Lebanese Daily Star.

“Freeing Mosul is a great victory for Iraq, Syria, and for all countries in the region and the world,” Nasrallah added.

“There is no doubt that the victory that was announced by Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Mosul is a great victory. Some from the region viewed Daesh as a revolutionary movement of the Arabic Spring, welcomed it, and endorsed it,” the Hezbollah leader continued, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

“Even the countries in the Gulf [Cooperation Council] that endorsed and supported Daesh were pleased because they were eventually threatened,” he added, while praising Iraq for having “provided all its necessary support for Baghdad” in the fight against the organization.

“Iraqis did not wait for anyone, not the Arab League, nor Arab or regional leaders…not the United States, nor anyone,” he said. “They put faith in God, their men, women, and their blood.”

Nasrallah then blasted United States officials who said that it would “take 10 years to tackle Daesh.”

“If all the efforts against Daesh were honest, it would not take years to take out Daesh,” Nasrallah said. “When the United States said it needs 10 years, they had a plan…it was in the interest of American hegemony and Israel.”

He then claimed that the United States created ISIS and gave states in the region the green light to fund and support the group.

This is not the first time that Nasrallah has claimed that the United States created ISIS. Last year, the Hezbollah leader quoted then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statement that President Barack Obama had founded ISIS – and agreed with him.

“The American Presidential candidate is saying this. What he says is based on documents and facts,” Nasrallah stated at the time.

In another speech, Nasrallah claimed that the West was responsible for the establishment of ISIS.

“Friends of the United States in Lebanon, friends of the United States in the region. Your friend the United States and your friend Hillary Clinton said that Saudi Arabia and other countries operating in its name are those who financed the activities of ISIS in the region, helped it, strengthened it and made it easier for it,” he said.

Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and is a supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, has been actively involved in the fighting in the Syrian civil war, and has suffered heavy losses there.

FROM

WHAT WILL ISRAEL DO WITH 7 MILLION PALESTINIANS?

We are thoroughly inured to poverty, pain,  agony, and harsh life,  so no matter what Israel does to us short of physical extermination,  we will remain a thorn in its side until Israel’s comes to terms with our humanity and human rights, including the right to absolute  equality.  After all, Ismael was not a child of a lesser God.

What will Israel do with 7 Million Palestinians?
By Khalid Amayreh
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The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has published the latest data on Palestinian demography in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  According to the published data, the Palestinian population of the occupied Palestinian territories (the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip) has reached 4.95 million. And if we add up the estimated 2 million Palestinians living in Israel proper, the overall number of Palestinians living within mandatory Palestine will be around 7 million.   If not already, the population is expected to reach that figure in a few years.  This is not wishful thinking or day-dreaming. It is reality.
 
Moreover, the estimated seven million people are expected to double their numbers in three or four decades.  Am I dreaming? I don’t think so. After all, people will continue to mate and sire children. Sixty years ago, my late father and late mother started our family.  Now their progeny exceeds a hundred people.
 
I know that the size of the Palestinian population alone will not make Israel budge and reconsider its military occupation and apartheid.  Today’s Israel, especially under the present quasi-fascist government, made up of   extreme nationalists and Talmudic fanatics (Likud and ha-Bayt ha-yehudi- present-day Gush Emunim) is too arrogant, too insolent, too impetuous and too intoxicated by their arrogance of power to really think wisely, even rationally. That is why it is utterly unlikely that the three jingoes (Netanyahu, Bennett, and Lieberman) will soon sober up from their false euphoria and begin to see reality on the ground.
 
Instead, they will continue to profusely  pass provocative racist laws consolidating the “Jewishness” of Israel, mainly at the expense of non-Jewish inhabitants.
 
Needless, to say, these laws are, in the final analysis, self-defeating feats reflecting Israel’s  historical predicament and gigantic failure to reach a just, dignified and durable peace with the Palestinians. In a certain sense, these racist laws, even if passed by an overwhelming majority in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) are also merely a  defensive reflex caricaturing Israel’s fear and uncertainty about the intermediate and fairly distant future.
 
Besides, since when was the consolidation of Jewish culture and roots dependent on the promotion of racism and apartheid as well as on meting oppression and discrimination out to non-Jews.  I strongly believe that Israel is insulting and doing a great disservice to Jewish ethics (the soul of Judaism) by indulging in these repugnant measures against the Palestinians.  These  measures will eventually be proven anti-historical. Indeed, the ancient Prophets of Israel had warned their followers repeatedly against oppressing “the strangers living amongst you for you were strangers yourselves in the land of Egypt”
 
Now, Israel will continue to bury her head in the sand following the proverbial ostrich.   But the denial tactic will take Israel nowhere except perhaps bringing the Jewish state closer to the hour pf truth.
 
I am in no way, out of naïveté.  seeking to underestimate Israel’s ability to do mischief and embark on tormenting the Palestinians even further and further, all in order to make them grovel at Israel’s feet, begging for surrender!  Yes, Israel could do the unthinkable to prevent history from taking its natural course?
 
None the less, the Palestinians won’t and wouldn’t surrender to Israeli brutality and repression, however nefarious this might be. We have learned the lesson of the Nakba.   This means that the vast majority of Palestinians would prefer dying, yes dying, here in Palestine, rather than leaving our ancestral homeland and living in exile..
 
Besides, we are thoroughly inured to poverty, pain,  agony, and harsh life,  so no matter what Israel does to us short of physical extermination,  we will remain a thorn in its side until Israel’s comes to terms with our humanity and human rights, including the right to absolute  equality.  After all, Ismael was not a child of a lesser God.

SPOTLIGHTS ON ANGELA MERKEL

All eyes on Angela Merkel

This week ….

Back in history … lessons from her teacher

 

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