RECENTLY DISCOVERED NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINTING

This is a Norman Rockwell painting called Murder in Mississippi. It depicts the final moments in the lives of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan 53 years ago this summer for registering people to vote. That’s not ancient history. It’s not even history. It’s current events.

Harry Belafonte These Three Are On My Mind

EYEWITNESS TO ISRAELI TERROR

Eyewitness onboard boat to Gaza says Israeli forces beat passengers and stole thousands of dollars, antibiotics during raid

Dr. Swee Ang is a medical doctor and was a passenger onboard the al-Awda, a ship headed to Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla. The Israeli navy commandeered the vessel on July 29, 2018.

The last leg of the journey of al-Awda (the boat of return) was scheduled to reach Gaza on 29 July 2018. We were on target to reach Gaza that evening. There are 22 on board including crew with $15,000 of antibiotics and bandages for Gaza. At 12.31 p.m. we received a missed call from a number beginning with +81… Mikkel was steering the boat at that time. The phone rang again with the message that we were trespassing into Israeli waters. Mikkel replied that we were in International waters and had right of innocent passage according to maritime laws. The accusation of trespassing was repeated again and again with Mikkel repeating the message that we were sailing in international waters. This carried on for about half an hour, while al-Awda was 42 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza.

Dr. Swee Ang. (Photo: Blizard Institute
Queen Mary University of London)

Prior to the beginning of this last leg, we had spent two days learning non-violent actions and had prepared ourselves in anticipation of Israeli invasion of our boat. Vulnerable individuals especially those with medical conditions were to sit at the rear of the top deck with their hands on the deck table. The leader of this group was Gerd, a 75-year-old elite Norwegian athlete and she had the help of Lucia, a Spanish nurse in her group.

The people who were to provide non-violent barrier to the Israelis coming on deck and taking over the boat formed three rows – two rows of threes and the third row of two persons blocking the wheel house door to protect the wheel house for as long as possible. There were runners between the wheel house and the rear of the deck. The leader of the boat Zohar and I were at the two ends of the toilets corridor where we looked out at the horizon and inform all of any sightings of armed boats. I laughed at Zohar and said we are the Toilet Brigade, but I think Zohar did not find it very funny. It was probably bad taste under the circumstances. I also would be able to help as a runner and will have accessibility to all parts of the deck in view of being the doctor on board.

Soon we saw at least three large Israeli warships on the horizon with five or more speed boats (Zodiacs) zooming towards us. As the Zodiacs approached I saw that they carried soldiers with machine guns and there was on board the boats large machine guns mounted on a stand pointing at our boat. From my lookout point the first Israeli soldier climbed on board to the cabin level and climbed up the boat ladder to the top deck. His face was masked with a white cloth and following him were many others, all masked. They were all armed with machine guns and small cameras on their chests.

They immediately made to the wheel house overcoming the first row by twisting the arms of the participants, lifting Sarah up and throwing her away. Joergen the chef was large to be manhandled so he was tasered before being lifted up. They attacked the second row by picking on Emelia the Spanish nurse and removed her thus breaking the line. They then approach the door of the wheel house and tasered Charlie the first mate and Mike Treen who were obstructing their entry to the wheel house. Charlie was beaten up as well. Mike did not give way with being tasered in his lower limbs so he was tasered in his neck and face. Later on I saw bleeding on the left side of Mike’s face. He was semi-conscious when I examined him.

They broke into the wheel house by cutting the lock, forced the engine to be switched off and took down the Palestine flag before taking down the Norwegian flag and trampling on it.

They then cleared all people from the front half of the boat around the wheel house and moved them by force and coercion, throwing them to the rear of the deck. All were forced to sit on the floor at the back, except Gerd, Lucy and the vulnerable people who were seated around the table on wooden benches around her. Israeli soldiers then formed a line sealing off people from the back and preventing them from coming to the front of the boat again.

As we entered the back of the deck we were all body searched and ordered to surrender our mobile phones or else they will take it by force. This part of search and confiscation was under the command of a woman soldier. Apart from mobile phones – medicines and wallets were also removed. No one as of today (4 August 2018) got our mobile phones back.

I went to examine Mike and Charlie. Charlie had recovered consciousness and his wrists were tied together with plastic cable ties. Mike was bleeding from the side of his face, still not fully conscious. His hands were very tightly tied together with cable ties and the circulation to his fingers was cut off and his fingers and palm were beginning to swell. At this stage the entire people seated on the floor shouted demanding that the cable ties be cut. It was about half an hour later before the ties were finally cut off from both of them.

Around this time Charlie the first mate received the Norwegian flag. He was visibly upset telling all of us that the Norwegian flag had been trampled on. Charlie reacted more to the trampling of the Norwegian flag than to his own being beaten and tasered.

The soldiers then started asking for the captain of the boat. The boys then started to reply that they were all the captain. Eventually the Israelis figured out that Herman was the captain and demanded to take him to the wheel house. Herman asked for someone to come with him, and I offered to do so. But as we approached the wheel house, I was pushed away and Herman forced into the wheel house on his own. Divina, the well known Swedish singer, had meanwhile broken free from the back and went to the front to look through the window of the wheel house. She started to shout and cry “Stop –stop they are beating Herman, they are hurting him”.  We could not see what Divina saw, but knew that it was something very disturbing. Later on, when Divina and I were sharing a prison cell, she told me they were throwing Herman against the wall of the wheel house and punching his chest. Divina was forcibly removed and her neck was twisted by the soldiers who took her back to the rear of the deck.

I was pushed back to the rear of the boat again. After a while the boat engine started. I was told later by Gerd who was able to hear Herman tell the story to the Norwegian Consul in prison that the Israelis wanted Herman to start the engine, and threatened to kill him if he would not do so. But what they did not understand was that with this boat, once the engine stopped it can only be restarted manually in the engine room in the cabin level below. Arne the engineer refused to restart the engine, so the Israelis brought Herman down and hit him in front of Arne making it clear that they will continue to hit Herman if Arne would not start the engine. Arne is 70 years old, and when he saw Herman’s face went ash color, he gave in and started the engine manually. Gerd broke into tears when she was narrating this part of the story. The Israelis then took charge of the boat and drove it to Ashdod.

Once the boat was on course, the Israeli soldiers brought Herman to the medical desk. I looked at Herman and saw that he was in great pain, silent but conscious, breathing spontaneously but shallow breathing. The Israeli Army doctor was trying to persuade Herman to take some medicine for pain. Herman was refusing the medicine. The Israeli doctor explained to me that what he was offering Herman was not army medicine but his personal medicine. He gave me the medicine from his hand so that I could check it. It was a small brown glass bottle and I figured that it was some kind of liquid morphine preparation probably the equivalent of Oramorph or Fentanyl. I asked Herman to take it and the doctor asked him to take 12 drops after which Herman was carried off and slumped on a mattress at the back of the deck. He was watched over by people around him and fell asleep. From my station I saw he was breathing better.

With Herman settled I concentrated on Larry Commodore, the Native American leader and an environmental activist. He had been voted Chief of his tribe twice. Larry has labile asthma and with the stress all around my fear was that he might get a nasty attack, and needed adrenaline injection. I was taking Larry through deep breathing exercises. However Larry was not heading for an asthmatic attack, but was engaging an Israeli who covered his face with a black cloth in conversation. This man was obviously in charge.

I asked for the Israeli man with black mask his name and he called himself Field Marshall Ro…..Larry misheard him and jumped to conclusion that he called himself Field Marshall Rommel and shouted how can he an Israeli take a Nazi name. Field Marshall objected and introduced himself as Field Marshall ? Ronan. As I spelt out Ronan he quickly corrected me that his name is Ronen, and he Field Marshall Ronen was in charge.

The Israeli soldiers all wore body cameras and were filming us all the time. A box of sandwiches and pears were brought on deck for us. None of us took any of their food as we had decided we do not accept Israeli hypocrisy and charity. Our chef Joergen had already prepared high calorie high protein delicious brownie with nuts and chocolate, wrapped up in tin foil to be consume when captured, as we know it was going to be a long day and night. Joergen called it food for the journey. Unfortunately when I needed it most, the Israelis took away my food and threw it away. They just told me ”It is forbidden” I had nothing to eat for 24 hours, refusing Israeli Army food and had no food of my own.

As we sailed towards Israel we could see the coast of Gaza in total darkness. There were three drilling rigs in the northern sea of Gaza. The brightly burning oil flames contrasted with the total darkness the owners of the fuel were forced to live in. Just off the shore of Gaza are the largest deposit of natural gas ever discovered and the natural gas belonging to the Palestinians were already being siphoned off by Israel.

As we approached Israel, Zohar our boat leader suggested that we should start saying goodbye to each other. We were probably two to three hours from Ashdod. We thanked our boat leader, our captain, the crew, our dear chef, and encouraged each other that we will continue to do all we can to free Gaza and also bring justice to Palestine. Herman our Captain, who managed to sit up now, gave a most moving talk and some of us were in tears.

We knew that in Ashdod there will be the Israeli media and film crews. We will not enter Ashdod as a people who had lost hope as we were taken captive. So we came off the boat chanting “Free Free Palestine” all the way as we came off. Mike Treen the union man had by then recovered from his heavy tasering and led the chanting with his mega-voice and we filled the night sky of Israel with Free Free Palestine as we approached. We did this the whole way down the boat into Ashdod.

We came directly into a closed military zone in Ashdod. It was a sealed off area with many stations. It was specially prepared for the 22 of us. It began with a security x-ray area. I did not realize they retained my money belt as I came out of the x-ray station. The next station was strip search, and it was when I was gathering up my belongings after being stripped when I realized my money belt was no longer with me. I knew I had about a couple hundred Euros and they were trying to steal it. I demanded its return and refused to leave the station until it was produced. I was shouting for the first time. I was glad I did that as some other people were parted from their cash. The journalist from Al Jazeera, Abdu,l had all his credit cards and $1,800 taken from him, as well as his watch, satellite phone, his personal mobile, his ID. He thought his possessions were kept with his passport but when he was released for deportation he learnt bitterly that he only got his passport back. All cash and valuables were never found. They simply vanished.

We were passed from station to station in this closed military zone, stripped searched several times, possessions taken away until in the end all we had was the clothes we were wearing with nothing else except a wrist band with a number on it.  All shoe laces were removed as well. Some of us were given receipts for items taken away, but I had no receipts for anything. We were photographed several times and saw two doctors. At this point I learnt that Larry was pushed down the gangway and injured his foot and sent off to Israeli hospital for check-up. His blood was on the floor.

I was cold and hungry, wearing only one teeshirt and pants by the time they were through with me. My food was taken away; water was taken away, all belongings including reading glasses taken away. My bladder was about to explode but I am not allowed to go to the toilet. In this state I was brought out to two vehicles – Black Maria painted gray. On the ground next to it were a great heap of rucksacks and suit cases. I found mine and was horrified that they had broken into my baggage and took almost everything from it – all clothes clean and dirty, my camera, my second mobile, my books, my Bible, all the medicines I brought for the participants and myself, my toiletries. The suitcase was partially broken. My rucksacks was completely empty too. I got back two empty cases except for two dirty large man size teeshirts which obviously belonged to someone else. They also left my Freedom Flotilla T-shirt. I figured out that they did not steal the Flotilla tee as they thought no Israeli would want to wear that tee in Israel. They had not met Zohar and Yonatan who were proudly wearing theirs. That was a shock as I was not expecting the Israeli Army to be petty thieves as well. So what had become the glorious Israeli Army of the Six Day War which the world so admired?

I was still not allowed to go to the toilet, but was pushed into the Maria van, joined by Lucia the Spanish nurse and after some wait taken to Givon Prison. I could feel myself shivering uncontrollably on the journey.

The first thing our guards did in Givon Prison was to order me to go to the toilet to relieve myself. It was interesting to see that they knew I needed to go desperately but had prevented me for hours to! By the time we were re-x-rayed and searched again it must be about 5 to 6 a.m.. Lucia and I were then put in a cell where Gerd, Divina, Sarah and Emelia were already asleep. There were three double decker bunk beds – all rusty and dusty.

Divina did not get the proper dose of her medicines; Lucia was refused her own medicine and given an Israeli substitute which she refused to take. Divina and Emelia went straight on to hunger strike. The jailers were very hostile using simple things like refusal of toilet paper and constant slamming of the prison iron door, keeping the light of the cell permanently on, and forcing us to drink rusty water from the tap, screaming and shouting at us constantly to vent their anger at us.

The guards addressed me as “China” and treated me with utter contempt. On the morning of 30 July 2018, the British Vice Consul visited me. Some kind person had called them about my whereabouts. That was a blessing as after that I was called “England” and there was a massive improvement in the way England was treated compared to the way China was treated. It crossed my mind that “Palestine” would be trampled over, and probably killed.

Charlie Andreasson@Andreasson_C

We failed, we never reached Gaza. Once again Israel showed its ugly face and by force boarded our ship on international waters and stole our private belongings like watches, money, credit cards, driving licenses, etc. Once again we got to know what it’s like to be Palestinians

At 6.30 a.m. 31 July 2018, we heard Larry yelling from the men’s cell across the corridor that he needed a doctor. He was obviously in great pain and crying. We women responded by asking the wardens to allow me to go across to see Larry as I might be able to help. We shouted “We have a doctor” and used our metal spoons to hit the iron cell gate get their attention. They lied and said their doctor will be over in an hour. We did not believe them and started again. The doctor actually turned up at 4 p.m., about 10 hours later and Larry was sent straight to hospital.

Meanwhile to punish the women for supporting Larry’s demand, they brought hand cuffs for Sarah and took Divina and me to another cell to separate us from the rest. We were told we were not going to be allowed out for our 30 minutes fresh air break and a drink of clean water in the yard. I heard Gerd saying “Big deal”

Suddenly Divina was taken out with me to the courtyard and Divina given four cigarettes at which point she broke down and cried. Divina had worked long hours at the wheel house steering the boat. She had seen what happened to Herman. The prison had refused to give her one of her medicines and given her only half the dose of the other. She was still on hunger strike to protest our kidnapping in international waters. It was heart-breaking to see Divina cry. One of the wardens who called himself Michael started talking to us about how he will have to protect his family against those who want to drive the Israelis out. And how the Palestinians did not want to live in peace…and it was not Israel’s fault. But things suddenly changed with the arrival of an Israeli Judge and we were all treated with some decency even though he only saw a few of us personally. His job was to tell us that a tribunal will be convened the following day and each prisoner had been allocated a time to appear, and we must have our lawyer with us when we appear.

Divina by the end of the day became very giddy and very unwell so I persuaded her to come out of hunger strike, and also she agreed to sign a deportation order. Shortly after that possibly at 6 p.m. since we had no watches and mobile phones, we were told Lucia, Joergen, Herman, Arne, Abdul from Al Jazeera and I would be deported within 24 hours and we would be taken to be imprisoned in the deportation prison in Ramle near Ben-Gurion airport immediately to wait there. It was going to be the same Ramle Prison from which I was deported in 2014. I saw the same five strong old palm trees still standing up proud and tall. They are the only survivors of the Palestinian village destroyed in 1948.

When we arrived at Ramle prison Abdul found to his horror that he his money, his credit cards, his watch, his satellite phone, his own mobile phone, his  ID card were all missing – he was entirely destitute. We had a whip round and raised around a hundred Euros as a contribution towards his taxi fare from the airport to home. How can the Israeli Army be so corrupt and heartless to rob someone of everything?

Conclusion:

We, the six women on board al-Awda had learnt that they tried to completely humiliate and dehumanize us in every way possible. We were also shocked at the behaviour of the Israeli Army especially petty theft and their treatment of international women prisoners. Men jailors regularly entered the women’s cell without giving us decent notice to put our clothes on.

They also tried to remind us of our vulnerability at every stage. We know they would have preferred to kill us but of course the publicity incurred in so doing might be unfavourable to the international image of Israel.

If we were Palestinians it would be much worse with physical assaults and probably loss of lives. The situation is therefore dire for the Palestinians.

As to international waters, it looks as though there is no such thing for the Israeli Navy. They can hijack and abduct boats and persons in international water and get away with it. They acted as though they own the Mediterranean Sea. They can abduct any boat and kidnap any passengers, put them in prison and criminalise them.

We cannot accept this. We have to speak up, stand up against this lawlessness, oppression and brutality. We were completely unarmed. Our only crime according to them is we are friends of the Palestinians and wanted to bring medical aid to them. We wanted to brave the military blockade to do this. This is not a crime. In the week we were sailing to Gaza, they had shot dead seven Palestinians and wounded more than 90 with life bullets in Gaza. They had further shut down fuel and food to Gaza. Two million Palestinians in Gaza live without clean water, with only two to four hours of electricity, in homes destroyed by Israeli bombs, in a prison blockaded by land, air and sea for 12 years. The hospitals of Gaza since the 30 March had treated more than 9,071 wounded persons, 4,348 shot by live fire from a hundred Israeli snipers while they were mounting peaceful demonstrations inside the borders of Gaza on their own land. Most of the gun-shot wounds were to the lower limbs and with depleted treatment facilities the limbs will suffer amputation. In this period more than 164 Palestinians had been shot dead by the same snipers, including medics and journalists, children and women. The chronic military blockade of Gaza has depleted the hospitals of all surgical and medical supplies. This massive attack on an unarmed Freedom Flotilla bringing friends and some medical relief is an attempt to crush all hope for Gaza. As I write I learnt that our sister Flotilla, Freedom, has also been kidnapped by the Israeli Navy while in international waters.

BUT we will not stop, we must continue to be strong to bring hope and justice to the Palestinians and be prepared to pay the price, and to be worthy of the Palestinians. As long as I survive I will exist to resist.  To do less will be a crime.

PIRACY … OVER AND OVER AGAIN … WESTERN SILENCE OVER AND OVER AGAIN

On Friday Israel attacked a Swedish yacht, in int’l waters exercising right of ‘innocent passage’ taking medical supplies to Gaza. All 12 people aboard kidnapped & illegally detained in Israel. Demand they be released to continue their journey.

Image by Latuff

Still little news of 12 people attacked & detained. Read account of 69yr old UK doctor, founder of re her similar experience when Israeli navy last week attacked . Their dehumanising experiences highlight what Palestinians face daily.

UPDATE ...

A second Gaza Flotilla boat named Freedom was hijacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) navy in international waters.  Freedom is sailing under a Swedish flag and its passengers and crew are from a number of nations. 

The whereabouts of the kidnapped participants is unknown.

Many boats in the past have been captured, however this should not be seen as normal. It is still violent and illegal. 

With your support the Freedom Flotilla will continue until the blockade ends and Palestinians of Gaza regain their full freedom of movement. Some people are doubling the size of their checks and sending them in for next year.

If you want to take action to protect the members of Freemom and future boats, you can contact the United Nations or the respective government officials from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/news/sos-just-future-for-palestine

 

Here’s an eyewitness account of the last hijacking …

The psychotic tenderness of being boarded by the Israeli navy at sea

 Yonatan Shapira

Yonatan Shapira was aboard the Al Awda boat in the Gaza Freedom flotilla when it was stopped in international waters by Israeli sailors three days ago and all on board arrested. His Facebook report in Hebrew was translated by Ofer Neiman, with the headline, “Israeli citizen and Palestine solidarity activist Yonatan Shapira on Israel’s dirty attack on the peaceful Gaza flotilla: יונתן שפירא מדווח מהמשט – עברית להלן” That translation follows.

So just as the IDF Spokesperson said: “The overtaking of the Al-Awda ship was carried out without violence and without exceptional events”.

And indeed, everything was as usual –

They slammed Herman the captain’s head against the wall again and again while threatening to take him to the ship’s belly and finish him off when no one is watching.

A fist in the face of Arne Birge the old mechanic.

And the finest tradition: Electric shocks. This time we wore life vests of the type that covers the chest well. But don’t worry, the brave naval commando combatants just electrocuted [Tasered] Charlie, the first officer, in his head. And more electric shocks to Juergen the cook and to 60 year old Mike, a chair of a trade union and a human rights activist from New Zealand.

But at the same time, things were done with a kind of psychotic tenderness.

Like in a strange play, soldiers (men and women) with weapons and vests packed with munitions and personal cameras, but wearing white shirts with the national flag embroidered in a shiny blue color and wearing white masks on their faces. Last time it was all-black.

And let’s keep in mind: Had we been Gazan fishermen or children approaching the Gaza fence, they could have simply put a bullet in the head of each of us and that’s it.

The IDF Attorney unit has also confirmed that that there’s no need for an investigation.

A MESSAGE FROM ROGER WATERS

No updates available yet on the fate of those ‘captured’ by the Israeli pirates

Gaza bound with cargo of medicine. Godspeed our hearts are with you.

You MUST join the protests to end the illegal siege on Gaza!

2nd GROUP OF YOUNG JEWS REALISE WHAT ‘BIRTHRIGHT’ REALLY MEANS

Another group of young American Jews just walked off their Birthright trip, to meet with a Palestinian family and see the reality of the Occupation for themselves, a reality Birthright actively hides

8 left-wing activists stage 2nd Birthright walkout in less than a month

Participants affiliated with IfNotNow leave trip four days early to meet with Palestinian family whose home is slated for demolition in East Jerusalem

Birthright has refused to show us the truth about the occupation’s impact on Palestinians, instead asking us to visit a site operated by a far-right settlement organization. We’ve decided instead to go meet with the Sumarin family, a family that has lived in East Jerusalem under threat of eviction for years to learn from them and hear their story.

More HERE on FacBook page

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And HERE on Twitter

I C E NOT WELCOME IN NEW YORK

Waiting for global warming to melt  I C E

New York City played host to the biggest ever gathering of homeland security officials and private security corporations. They will be coming from all over the country to plot how they can place even more of our hermanxs in cages and concentration camps — and how they can continue to profit at all of our expense.

Say it loud, and say it clear: ICE is not welcome here!

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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IN PHOTOS ~~ THE FEARLESS WOMEN OF WALL STREET

Our group wanted to do something in solidarity with the Gaza Women’s March yesterday so decided to spend a few hours with the Fearless Girl statue – our Ahed – at Bowling Green because there are so many tourists there – maximum exposure.  We do this once or twice a month and there is always a very positive reaction.    

Some people respond to the little statue very affectionately with hugs, yesterday she got a kiss (from an adult).  It seems we actually manage to create the Ahed connection among some visitors.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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ROGER WATERS PLAYS MUNICH DESPITE MUNICIPAL OPPOSITION

Roger Waters plays Munich despite mayor’s effort to stop concert over his support for BDS

I believe all people, all of us, all of our brothers and sisters, all of our fragile globe, whatever their ethnicity or religion or nationality, deserve the same basic human rights under the law,” Roger Waters told the crowd at a Munich concert last week. 

Waters performed in Munich following a campaign to cancel his concert backed by the city’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, who accused Waters of anti-Semitism. An attorney for Waters asked Reiter to retract his statement, according to the Jerusalem Post, and Waters addressed the row himself from the stage at Munich’s Olympic Hall and later posted to social media. The musician explained that the mayor was championing a petition that alleged Waters is anti-Semitic because he endorses the Palestinian movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

Munich passed a law last year that prohibits the use of public facilities to persons who support the BDS movement.

Here’s the video of Waters in Munich:

Dieter Reiter, the Mayor of Munich, has issued a press release denouncing me as anti-Semitic.

The Mayor claims I make increasingly hateful anti-Semitic remarks.

I stand for human rights...

MONTH OF PRIDE FOR BDS

First, they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Now this;

Argentina’s Soccer Association cancels the friendly soccer match between Argentina and “Israel”, planned to be held in occupied Jerusalem soon, in response to BDS 

Image by Carlos Latuff

Argentina cancels football friendly with Israel in Jerusalem

The match was expected to be played at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem which was once home to a Palestinian village.

Argentina‘s national football team has cancelled an upcoming friendly match with Israel, Argentine news sources reported.

Argentinian sports website Minutouno reported on Tuesday that Saturday’s game in Jerusalem had been “suspended” amid an “escalation of violence, threats and criticism” directed at captain ‘Leo’ Messi.

Argentina, a major contender to win the World Cupthis summer, has made four previous pre-World Cup visits to Israel since 1986.

The fixture between the two teams was set to be played in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium on June 9, which is built on land that was once a Palestinian village that was destroyed in 1948.

Israeli media reported that in light of this latest development, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to his Argentinian counterpart Mauricio Macri by telephone.

The ambassador of Palestine in Argentina, Husni Abdel Wahed, had expressed his opposition to the friendly.

“This match would be similar to us celebrating … the occupation of Malvinas,” he told Radio Cooperativa on Tuesday, referring to the Falkland Islands.

Abdel Wahed went on to say that the match was part of the celebrations of Israel’s 70th anniversary since its establishment in 1948, after hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their villages and lands by Zionist paramilitaries.

“For us, it is unacceptable to hold this game in Jerusalem because it is occupied territory, and it is painful to see that the team, which has the love and support of so many Palestinians and Arab citizens, support the violation of international law,” he said.

‘Nothing friendly about military occupation ‘

Last month, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement launched a campaign urging Argentina to pull out of the fixture.

“There is nothing ‘friendly’ about military occupation and apartheid,” the movement said, which calls for an end to the occupation of Palestine, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and equal rights for Palestinians citizens of Israel.

“Don’t play Israel until Palestinians’ human rights are respected.”

BDS criticised the fixture as “political”, and accused Israeli officials of using it to cover up attacks on Palestinians “on and off the field”.

As part of the campaign, Mohammed Khalil, a Palestinian footballer, directed a message towards Argentina’s beloved forward Lionel Messi.

“I call on the Argentinian team and especially captain Lionel Messi – because he is very popular in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip – to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and to boycott the scheduled game with Israel, which is occupying our land,” Khalil said.

Khalil was shot by Israeli snipers on March 30, during the first Friday protests of Palestinians demonstrating east of Gaza, demanding their right to return.

He was shot in both of his legs, and one of his kneecaps had to be removed, putting an end to his footballing career.

Earlier this week, the head of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) Jibril Rajoub slammed the friendly as being opposite “a game of peace”.

“The Israeli government is trying to give it political significance by insisting it be held in Jerusalem,” Rajoub said.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS REMEMBER THE NAKBA

70 Years and counting ….

Nakba Day, 70 years, memorial demo, 5/18,  at Times Sq. NYC . According to Al Jezeera 800 people attended.


Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Related report from Al Jazeera (Click on link)

Far away from Gaza, a showdown in NYC’s Times Square

Hundreds protest in New York City in solidarity with Palestinians after another week of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip.

NEW VIDEO …. BDS, NOW MORE THAN EVER

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IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ IN GAZA THE BIRDS FLY FREE

Palestinian protesters free pigeons with messages across the fence in Gaza.

Photo By Yasser Fathi a freelance photographer from Gaza

JEWS ON THE MARCH FOR GAZA ~~ LIVE BROADCAST

Jewish Voice for Peace-New York City headed to Senator Chuck Schumer’s office telling him to break his silence on Gaza. Palestinians should be free!!

WEEK 4 OF THE GREAT MARCH IN GAZA ~~ ON VIDEO

Nice overview of the Great Return March in Gaza

Palestinians continue their 4th week of protest at the Israeli border with Gaza. Four people were killed.

HOW TO PISS OFF THE FAR RIGHT IN ISRAEL

DesertPeace and Associates congratulates David Grossman on his receipt of the Israel Prize for 2018

While people can think and say what they like, not everyone deserves to be awarded the Israel Prize. It is not surprising when a Leftist writer rages against Israel at every opportunity and speaks disparagingly about Israel’s moral bankruptcy all over the world, but if a Rightest government in Israel  awards and praises him for it, that’s even more tragic.

David Grossman speaking at the Alternative Memorial Day event in Tel Aviv, April 17, 2018. credit Ofer Vaknin

Anti-Israel Prize

While people can think and say what they like, not everyone deserves to be awarded the Israel Prize.

This year, the Israel Prize for Literature was awarded to David Grossman, one of the heralded novelists of the Left, who has a long reputation for speaking out against the “occupation” of Palestinian land, against the “settlers’ and the “settlements”, and against the ideological decay and dying morality of the Israeli majority.

In the past, after the Gaza War, Grossman demanded an inquiry to investigate the IDF, Tzahal, which led to the infamous anti-Israel Goldstone Report. After the Flotilla Affair, he accused the IDF of acting like a “brigade of pirates.” When Tzahal was sent to clean out terrorist havens in Judea and Samaria, Grossman drove off to assist Palestinians with their olive harvest.

On Memorial Day, as a bereaved father whose son, sadly, was killed in the Second Lebanon War, he spoke in Tel Aviv at a controversial gathering of Arabs and Israelis who had lost children in battle. Among the Arabs were family members of terrorists. The Israel Defense Minister attempted to thwart the event, calling it a blatant affront to the feelings of the country on the Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers and terror victims, but the Supreme Court insisted that the gathering be allowed.

Here are some excerpts from Grossman’s speech, as reported by the newspaper, Haaretz:

“Finally, we have come home. But when Israel occupies and oppresses another nation, for 51 years, and creates an apartheid reality in the occupied territories — it becomes a lot less of a home.

“And when Minister of Defense Lieberman decides to prevent peace-loving Palestinians from attending a gathering like ours, Israel is less of a home.

“When Israeli snipers kill dozens of Palestinian protesters, most of them civilians — Israel is less of a home.

“And when the Israeli government attempts to improvise questionable deals with Uganda and Rwanda, and is willing to endanger the lives of thousands of asylum seekers and expel them to the unknown — to me, it is less of a home.

“And when the Prime Minister defames and incites against human rights organizations, and when he is looking for ways to enact laws that bypass the High Court of Justice, and when democracy and the courts are constantly challenged, Israel becomes even a little less of a home —for everyone… It is a dysfunctional home.

“The people and organizations who are here today, Especially the Family Forum and Combatants for Peace, and many more like them, are perhaps the ones who contribute most to making Israel a home, in the fullest sense of the word.”

While people can think and say what they like, not everyone deserves to be awarded the Israel Prize. It is not surprising when a Leftist writer rages against Israel at every opportunity and speaks disparagingly about Israel’s moral bankruptcy all over the world, but if a Rightest government in Israel  awards and praises him for it, that’s even more tragic. Announcing that Grossman was this year’s recipient, Israel’s Education Minister, Naftali Bennet, declared:

“In his novels, books, essays, documentary writing, in his extensive creations for children, he presented a series of masterpieces that excel in rich imagination, deep wisdom, human sensitivity, a poignant moral stand and a unique and resonant language.”

Bennett defended giving the Israel Prize to a writer known for his opposition to the “settlements” and his support for European boycotts of products produced by the settlers, saying he has no regrets over his decision to award Grossman the acclaimed award.

The Israel Prize committee stated: “Since the early 1980s, David Grossman has taken his place at the center of Israeli culture, and he is one of the most profound, moving and influential voices in our literature… David Grossman is one of the most famous, admired and beloved Israeli writers in the world.”

Grossman is beloved around the world because of his unquestionable literary talent, but does this love also stem from his harsh and never-ending criticism of Israel?

Fortunately, we have the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism, which awards its prizes on a far healthier basis, to builders of the Nation and not to its detractors.

Here is Grossman’s speech (Click on link)

‘Israel Is a Fortress, but Not Yet a Home’: David Grossman’s Memorial Day Speech to Bereaved Israelis and Palestinians

HOW CAN I SUPPORT THAT?

URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT for all young Jews!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile in New York …..

THESE ARE   FOTOS FRM THE ANTI-ADELSTEIN & ANTI- ZIONIST BIRTHRIGHT PROGRAM EVENT ON 4/15.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Related article ~~ Click on post

Dozens of American Jews arrested protesting Gaza violence

From Boston to San Francisco, young activists from IfNotNow demonstrate outside the offices of prominent Jewish institutions and senators, demanding they condemn Israel’s violence against Gaza protesters.

IN PHOTOS ~~ MULTI DEMOS IN NEW YORK

 DEMO @ UNION SQ. IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE RIGHT OF RETURN MARCH

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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And another demo against ‘Agent Orange’

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THE HIGHEST FLAG IN THE WORLD

Jarah, a 22-year-old Palestine refugee cancer survivor and amputee, climbs Mount Everest Base Camp to save his UNRWA school in Jordan

When he was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 15, he didn’t give up.

When his right leg was amputated, he didn’t give up.

When 9 of the 11 climbers were medevaced, he didn’t give up.

When it dropped to -14 Celsius and he couldn’t feel his face, he didn’t give up.
Jarah reached Everest Base Camp on Saturday, April 14 because he never gave up.

And to mark 17,500 steps up Mt. Everest, he raised a flag.

He raised a flag to help refugees like him have the chance to get a quality UNRWA education.

He raised a flag to show fellow cancer survivors and amputees that nothing is impossible.

He raised a flag to show solidarity with 5 million Palestine refugees.

Weather permitting, Jarah will be climbing down the mountain over the course of the next week.

For live updates, follow #MyFirstStep as well as his personal posts on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

 

Show Jarah that you’re willing to take your own step to save his UNRWA school and others like it.

IN THE MIDST OF THE HORRORS, GAZA’S CHILDREN TRY TO LIVE A HAPPY LIFE VIA CINEMA

This is a message of gratitude and appreciation for making this initiative real. Without your generous donations, we wouldn’t be able to reach many of children across the Gaza Strip, and offer them some moments of peace, dialogue, and entertainment. We are determined to continue in this track, this time with more commitment and enthusiasm. We always appreciate your input and feedback. If you wish to know more, please contact us on info@gazachildrencinema.org.

Yours Sincerely, 
Ayman Qwaider and Mohammed Al-Rozzi
For Gaza Children Cinema Team

Gaza Children Cinema – Update March 2018

In a local library in Rafah, South of the Gaza Strip, children are busy working on a white cardboard. They are creating their cinema’s box office. Others are allocating number stickers to the seats. Another group of children are in charge of distributing popcorn in preparation of a film screening. Children then line up to get their tickets before entering the screening venue; they stay quite as their eyes gaze at the screen; but once the movie ends, they are eager to talk about what they just saw and reflect on their first cinema experience. Some talk, some sing, some dance and some draw.

This is only a brief scenario of one of the 160 screenings we have managed to implement across the Gaza Strip in 2017 thanks to your generous donations. Below is an update of some of the major outcomes of the cinema’s Project activities last year.

Gaza Children Cinema:
The idea was to create a peaceful, creative space where kids could be just kids—a space where a child can live a joyful moments while surviving the bitter reality of siege loss, hardship and war. The result was the Gaza Children’s Cinema, a project was born out of a desire to create a safe haven for children, and it is evidence of the magic of cinema—of how film can relieve suffering and provide light to literally one of the darkest places in the World.

The Cinema in 2017:
In 2016 and early 2017, we managed to raise 7800 AU$ through our online fundraiser page and through other fundraising events in support of the Gaza Children Cinema project.

In April 2017, we partnered with the Tamer Institute for Community Education, Gaza, in order to facilitate the implementation of the cinema screenings and to allow the initiative to be led by the local community, especially young volunteers. This partnership was important for building on the existing community resources in reaching more children. We did not want to re-invent the wheel, no one does want!

Besides targeting marginalised areas for the screenings, we have successfully managed to engage libraries and to promote regular screening within library settings across the Gaza Strip.

In preparation of the screenings, the Tamer Institute held two training workshops for the librarians and the young volunteers from Tamer Institute. The workshops focused on brainstorming the best ways to make the screening a successful enjoyable experience for the kids, the choice of the films and training the librarians to use arts as a tool of expression for the children to reflect on their inner thoughts and emotions.

About 160 cinema screenings were held with the children throughout 2017. We have managed to reach out to hundreds of children each month through organizing several screenings at several locations. The screenings were held across the Gaza Strip in Gaza, Rafah, Khan Younis, Maghazi Refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, amongst many other locations.

Gaza Children Cinema activities have been carried out across the Gaza Strip including border areas, marginalised children communities and refugee camps.

We have seen children join the cinema sessions with their parents in inclusive and entertaining settings. With the support of Gaza Children Cinema volunteer team, these children had the opportunity to engage into stimulating and interactive discussion prior and after the film screenings.

In September, and as part of our attempts to reach the most marginalized children in the most remote areas, we launched a call for proposals for initiatives around cinema and children. To our surprise, we received about twenty proposals from grassroots community groups. This has assured us that the impact of the Gaza Children Cinema is invaluable and is growing.

This project has been fully funded by charitable fundraiser events that we have voluntarily carried out here in Perth, Australia. Either through food stall markets, various movie screenings or an online fundraiser page, we have managed to raise enough funds to keep this initiative going and growing. And today we are hoping to raise funds to sustain this project for another year.

Here are some photos from 2017 and early 2018 screenings:

A photo of children watching a movie screening in a Library in Khan Younis, South of the Gaza Strip.

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A photo of a cinema workshop, where we try to take the student through an imaginative cinema experience. The children here are performing buying their tickets to enter the movie screening.

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“What would a cinema theatre look like??” a photo of children in a pre-screening workshop on cinema in Rafah, South of Gaza. The children are watching photos of cinema theatre and imagining what would the cinema look like. Most of these children would have never experienced a real cinema setting.

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A photo of children creating a movie poster for the movie they are going to watch. This workshop was held in the Red Crescent library in Gaza City. And it shows part of the activities Children engage in before or after each screening.

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A photo of children creating a movie poster for the movie they are going to watch. This workshop was held in the Red Crescent library in Gaza City. And it shows part of the activities Children engage in before or after each screening.

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During a cinema workshop with the children aged (12-15) implemented in Atfalona Society for Deaf Children. This picture is for the children while they are standing in a line to take the cinema tickets.

 

IN PHOTOS ~~ THE FEARLESS GIRL ON WALL STREET (AND MORE)

There is a statue in lower Manhattan called Fearless Girl, she stands facing the Wall Street Bull with a stance and facial expression of total defiance.  A small group organized by Samidoun, which represents Palestinian political prisoners, decided go there with signs calling for the freedom of Ahed Tamimi, a teenager in prison in Palestine/Israel.  When they arrived there they put a keffeyeh on the little statue.  That act seemed to have sent an electric shock through the crowd.  Suddenly everyone wanted to pose with Fearless Girl, some held Free Ahed Free Palestine posters.  Most of the people there were tourists who were much more familiar with what was going on in Palestine/Israel than most Americans are.  Parents were heard explaining to their children who Ahed was.  During the 2 hours there only 2 people objected to the Keffeyeh on the statue.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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New Yorkers who support justice for the Palestinian people have been very occupied over the past weeks, despite bone chilling weather most of the time has been spent on the streets.  Many of the people participating were there because they saw 30,000  people on a symbolic march of return to their land, nonviolent and  unarmed,  demonstrating for their freedom on their own land, on the Gaza side of the barrier, while Israeli military trained snipers, under no threat, and as their own families celebrated their freedom at Passover sedars, looked through their scopes, took aim and fired.  They deliberately assassinated one person after another leaving 31 murdered and over 1,000 injured.  A coalition of many groups called for a demonstration at Union Sq. on Friday, April 6th.  As the large plaza in the park filled with hundreds of people someone cried out, she had just received a call from Gaza telling her that her old friend, photojournalist Yassir Murtaja, wearing a clearly labeled vest with the word PRESS marked on it, had been murdered.  There was an outpouring of grief and anger and a memorial was planned for Murtaja and the other slain Palestinians.

Two days later, on another freezing night, about 90 people gathered at the same place for a chance to memorialize the Gaza dead and to share the enormous sadness and the even more enormous rage.  People came with candles to light the darkness and some brought flowers.  There were silent moments to think about the horrors we had witnessed on television and on our computer screens.  And yet more moments to fully understand that Israel had shown the world that they were fascists.  They had shown  their true ugly face.  All left with a determination to work even harder for boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

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Most Israel supporters are quiet now, the voices of the apologists for Israel have been shamed into silence for the moment.  Netanyahu and the settler/colonials born in Russia and Brooklyn are in control.

UNION SQ. MEMORIAL FOR YASSIR MURTAJA > 4/8/18

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