THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS ASSURES A VICTORY FOR APARTHEID IN ISREAL

Around 100 members of the next Knesset will be supporters of apartheid. This has no precedent in any democracy. A hundred out of 120 legislators, an absolute of absolute majorities, one that supports maintaining the current situation, which is apartheid.

The Hadash-Balad-United Arab List is the closest to advocating a one-state solution, the only left solution

Elections 2019: Who will Israel choose?

Israel Is Voting Apartheid

There will be one certain result from Tuesday’s election: Around 100 members of the next Knesset will be supporters of apartheid. This has no precedent in any democracy. A hundred out of 120 legislators, an absolute of absolute majorities, one that supports maintaining the current situation, which is apartheid.

With such a majority, it will be possible in the next Knesset to officially declare Israel an apartheid state. With such support for apartheid and considering the durability of the occupation, no propaganda will be able to refute the simple truth: Nearly all Israelis want the apartheid to continue. In the height of chutzpah, they call this democracy, even though more than 4 million people who live alongside them and under their control have no right to vote in the election.

Of course, no one is talking about this, but in no other regime around the world is there one community next to another where the residents of one,  referred to as a West Bank settlement, have the right to vote, while the residents of the other, a Palestinian village, don’t. This is apartheid in all its splendor, whose existence nearly all the country’s Jewish citizens want to continue.

A hundred Knesset members will be elected from slates referred to as either right-wing, left-wing or centrist, but what they have in common surpasses any difference: None intend to end the occupation. The right wing proudly says so, while the center-left resorts to futile illusions to obscure the picture, listing proposals for a “regional conference” or “secure separation.” The difference between the two groupings is negligible. In unison, the right and left are singing “say yes to apartheid.”

As a result, this election is so unimportant, so far from crucial. So let’s cut the hysteria and the pathos over the outcome. Neither civil war nor even a rift is in the offing. The people are more united than ever, casting their vote for apartheid. Whatever Tuesday’s results may be, the country of the occupier will remain the country of the occupier. Nothing defines it better than all the other marginal issues, including the Zehut party’s campaign to legalize marijuana.

So there’s no reason to hold our breath over Tuesday’s results. The election is lost in advance. For the country’s Jews, it will shape the tone, the level of democracy, the rule of law, the corruption in which they live, but it won’t do a thing to change Israel’s basic essence as a colonialist country.

The far right wants the annexation of the West Bank, a step that would make permanent in law a situation that has long been permanent in practice. Such a step would present a tempting advantage. It would finally rip off Israel’s mask of democracy and might finally generate opposition both in the country and abroad.

But no person of conscience can vote for the fascist right wing, which includes people who advocate the expulsion of the Palestinians or the construction of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount, the destruction of the mosques there, or who even dream about extermination. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegedly more moderate Likud party wishes only to maintain the current situation, meaning undeclared apartheid.

The center-left seeks to engage in deception, with not a word about an end to the occupation from either Kahol Lavan or Labor, or even about lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Benny Gantz’s party has ambitious plans for a regional conference, making history, and “deepening the process of separation from the Palestinians along with uncompromisingly maintaining … the Israeli army’s freedom of action everywhere.”

It has been a long time since such a document whitewashing the occupation has been written in all its disgrace. And the Labor Party isn’t lagging behind. The most daring step it’s proposing is a referendum on the refugee camps around Jerusalem in which only Israel’s would vote, of course.

And that comes on top of well-worn declarations about settlement blocs, Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and a halt to settlement construction outside the blocs, meaning continuing settlement construction with full force. “Paths toward separation,” this party, the self-righteous founder of the settlement enterprise, calls it. Paths toward deception.

Peace? Withdrawal? Dismantling settlements? Don’t make the Zionist left laugh. Not much is left, two and a half tickets, the fringe: Meretz and Hadash-Ta’al, which support a two-state solution — that faltering train that has already left the station — and Balad-United Arab List, which is closest to advocating a one-state solution, the only solution left.

Vote apartheid.

THE WALLS CAME A TUMBLING DOWN IN PALESTINE

Mightier than Joshua

A part of the separation barrier in the Shoafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem collapsed on Wednesday due to stormy weather.

Jerusalem Separation Barrier Falls After Storm, Residents Celebrate

Residents of Shoafat refugee camp celebrated the incident, which happened in the same area last year and in 2013

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APARTHEID CAUGHT ON VIDEO

A trip down Israel’s new Apartheid Road

Last month, Israel opened what has been dubbed by locals and activists as the ‘Apartheid Road’. The four-lane highway features two separate roads divided by a concrete wall – one for Israeli settlers and the other for Palestinians.While the Israeli lane allows settlers quick and easy access to the center of Jerusalem, the Palestinian lane is designed to separate Palestinians off through an underpass, diverging to different areas of the West Bank. Despite Israeli claims that the road “eases traffic congestion” for both Palestinians and Israelis, locals maintain that it is just another step by authorities to further divide the occupied Palestinian territory.

Video by: Yumna Patel

Saleh Zghari

Ahmad al-Bazz

 

Source

BLOCKING APARTHEID

While the Israeli lane allows settlers quick and easy access to the center of Jerusalem, the Palestinian lane is designed to separate Palestinians off through an underpass, diverging to different areas of the West Bank.

Protesters blockade the entrance to the ‘Apartheid Road’ in the West Bank on January 23, 2019 (Photo: PSCC, Facebook)

‘No to Apartheid’: Palestinian activists blockade entrance to Israel’s new ‘Apartheid Road’

Yumna Patel 

Over a dozen Palestinian activists, along with Israeli and international supporters, blockaded the entrance to Israel’s new ‘Apartheid Road’ in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

The group of activists closed the gates to the newly opened road and formed a human chain, raising banners in Arabic, English, and Hebrew saying “No to Apartheid” and “No to Annexation.”

Israeli forces arrived to the scene, which is located adjacent to an Israeli military base, shortly after the activists closed the road and attempted to forcibly remove them.

Two protesters were arrested and at least four others were injured. One of the detained protesters was identified as Ibrahim Musalem, from the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Palestinian activist Munther Amira, who participated in the protest, said “any shame the [Israeli] Occupation may have had of its apartheid policies is now completely gone with this road. We must not and will not allow for their plan of ethnic cleansing in the outskirts of Jerusalem.”

Israeli authorities opened the ‘Apartheid Road’ or ‘Eastern Ring Road’ earlier this monthto widespread Palestinian and international criticisms.

The four-lane highway features two separate road divided by a concrete wall – one for Israeli settlers and the other for Palestinians.

While the Israeli lane allows settlers quick and easy access to the center of Jerusalem, the Palestinian lane is designed to separate Palestinians off through an underpass, diverging to different areas of the West Bank.

In a statement regarding the protest, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) criticized Israel’s plans to expand the road to the south, saying it would “further entrench the two separate and unequal systems of transportation in the West Bank.”

The road is a key infrastructural part of implementing Israel’s ‘Greater Jerusalem’ or ‘E1’ plan, which seeks the de facto annexation of the three settlement blocs adjacent to Jerusalem city – Gush Etzion to the South, Ma’ale Adumim/E-1 to the east and Givat Ze’ev to the north.

If implemented, the southern West Bank would be completely cut off from the north, making a future contiguous Palestinian state nearly impossible.

More photos at SOURCE 

WHEN APARTHEID IS NOT ENOUGH RACISM MUST BE INTENSIFIED

One of the most dangerous aspects about regimes of colonial oppression is that they strive to occupy the mind of the oppressed, not just their land.

Defying Racism: A Palestinian musician’s ordeal at Ben Gurion Airport

I left our family home on Monday January 7, 2019, at 9:30 am to be at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, at 10:30 am to catch my 12:45 pm flight to Amsterdam, where I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree in music.

Before packing my suitcase the night before, I made a packing list to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I managed to cross everything off the list and be at the airport on time. But there was one thing I forgot to write down… one very important detail that I simply forgot to think about… I am Palestinian!

Like all Palestinians carrying Israeli citizenship and living under Israel’s regime of apartheid, I always have a bad feeling about going to the airport, and this time was no exception. The flu I caught a night before did not help either. My mother, who drove me to the airport, was really worried about a military checkpoint on the way that could make me miss my flight, but we got “lucky” this time.

A colonial military occupation, brutalizing you for so many years, can really mess up your expectations. Crossing a military roadblock starts giving you this strange feeling of achievement. Your basic human rights become a privilege rather than the norm, and that becomes the new norm.

One of the most dangerous aspects about regimes of colonial oppression is that they strive to occupy the mind of the oppressed, not just their land.

We arrived at the airport, and I was trying to convince my mother not to wait for me to finish the dehumanizing “security” check like she always does. While I always love to see her face at a distance, behind the thick glass, waiving her reassuring hand, I really hate to see her angrily but helplessly observe the racist Israeli security officials trying to humiliate me just because of who I am—a Palestinian. I begged her to leave, but she insisted: “I can’t just leave you in this horrible place. You never know what happens.” She was right!

My Arabic name on my passport immediately gave away my identity, inviting their “royal” treatment. When the security officer asked me whether I spoke Hebrew and I said no, her anger was visible. When she asked me what I was doing in Amsterdam and I answered that I was studying jazz, she could no longer contain her racist vibes. How could I so bluntly destroy her bigoted stereotype of “Arab women”? She told me I had to undergo an intrusive “body search.”

I immediately accused her of racism, of racial profiling and of being vengeful against me because of who I am and what I do. She shouted back that she was doing her job. I reminded her that many unspeakable crimes in history have been perpetrated under that immoral excuse.

She took her revenge by claiming that my laptop did not pass her security check and therefore cannot go with me on the plane. This is despite the fact that she asked me to open it and turn it on, which I did successfully. She said they would send it by mail to my address in Amsterdam. I laughed at her audacity and objected strongly. I know from my own experience, and from other Palestinians’ experiences, that leaving your laptop with Ben Gurion airport security invariably means it will be hacked, damaged or “lost.”

I told her that I cannot travel without my laptop as all my music and lecture notes are on it and without that I cannot go to any of my classes.

Her supervisor supported her vindictive decision, so I was forced to miss my flight. I took my laptop and walked out to where my mother was anxiously waiting. She greeted me with the warmest of hugs and a few tears and said, “Don’t worry about a thing, we’ll find a solution. I am so proud of you!”

The next day, she drove me to the land crossing with Jordan. After spending a lovely night with family in Amman, enjoying my great-aunt’s famous white cheese and spinach pies, I traveled through the welcoming Amman airport and arrived in Amsterdam safe, with my laptop and with my dignity intact.

As furious as I am at the Israeli security officer’s ugly racism and vengefulness, I felt slightly bad for her. Despite her best efforts to humiliate me, I shall go on resisting her state’s racism and apartheid with my music, and one day I may actually make a difference in my people’s struggle for liberation. She, however, will continue to search Palestinians’ underwear, to lie about our laptops not passing security checks, and to be an insignificant tool of a system of racist oppression.

As I was about to get out of the airport, I raised my voice to make sure my finale reaches as many people in the airport as possible. “You know what is very close to Amsterdam? The Hague. One day, you and your leaders will be prosecuted for crimes at the International Criminal Court there.”

She remained silent and looked down, and I walked out with a smile, my head held up high, and saw mama’s hand still waiving.

APARTHEID BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL APARTHEID

Israel opened a new road in the central occupied West Bank on Thursday with an eight-meter wall separating Palestinian and Israeli traffic, leading many to deem the route “Apartheid Road.”

Image by Latuff

Israel’s new ‘Apartheid Road’ separates Palestinian and Israeli drivers with 8-meter wall

 Yumna Patel

Israel opened a new road in the central occupied West Bank on Thursday with an eight-meter wall separating Palestinian and Israeli traffic, leading many to deem the route “Apartheid Road.”

The road connects the illegal Geva Binyamin Settlement, southeast of Ramallah, to Route 1, a major highway that runs through the West Bank and into Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.

The new 5-kilometer Route 4370, also known as the “Easter Ring Route” is a four lane route: two lanes for Israeli settlers travelling from the West Bank into Jerusalem, and two lanes circumventing around the borders of Jerusalem for Palestinians with West Bank IDs.

The Israeli-accessible portion of the road is currently only operating between 5am and noon, but will be fully opened as of January 10th, Israeli media reported.

While Israeli media have reported that Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs or Israeli citizenship would be allowed to use the Israeli-side of the road to travel from Jerusalem to the West Bank, heightened security and a new checkpoint along the road have led to speculation that Palestinians, no matter what ID they carry, will be subject to discrimination by Israeli border police who man the checkpoint.

There are dozens of segregated and settler-only roads across the occupied Palestinian territory, but Route 4370 is the first of its kind to have a wall — half concrete, half fence — separating Palestinians from Israelis.

Israeli authorities have said the road is meant to ease traffic congestion at the Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem, and have even claimed the road offers “a solution for all populations, Israeli and Palestinian.”

Israel’s Public Security Minister called he road “an example of the ability to create a shared life between Israelis and Palestinians, while dealing with the existing security challenges.”

Palestinian officials and activists on the other hand have condemned the road as an example of Israeli apartheid and racism against Palestinians.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry slammed the new road as “emphasizing Israel’s approach aiming to undermine prospects for geographical and demographic contiguity of the West Bank.”

The Times of Israel quoted PA Transportation Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Hamdan as saying that “all roads in the State of Palestine should be accessible to Palestinians. This new road is absolutely unacceptable and embodies barefaced discrimination against the Palestinian people.”

Years in the making

The ‘Apartheid Road’ has been years in the making, and according to rights groups, and is about much more than just easing traffic for settlers traveling to Jerusalem.

The road is a key infrastructural part of implementing Israel’s ‘Greater Jerusalem’ or ‘E1’ plan, which seeks the de facto annexation of the three settlement blocs adjacent to Jerusalem city – Gush Etzion to the South, Ma’ale Adumim/E-1 to the east and Givat Ze’ev to the north.

If implemented, the southern West Bank would be completely cut off from the north, making a future contiguous Palestinian state nearly impossible. It would essentially see the Israeli municipal boundaries of Jerusalem extend to the boundaries of Jericho.

Palestinian cartographer Khalil al-Tafakji warned Palestinian media outlets that opening the new road serves as a “prelude to displacing Palestinians from the area and starting settlement construction in the so-called E1 corridor”.

Israeli NGO Ir Amim said in a press release that the road was the “brainchild” of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and was designed to “solve the dilemma of E-1 splitting the West Bank into northern and southern enclaves by using road infrastructure to preserve a semblance of contiguity between Ramallah and Bethlehem.”

By allowing Palestinians to still navigate between Ramallah and Bethlehem — in a very indirect manner —  while diverting them from both the E-1 area and Jerusalem, the road eliminates a significant Palestinian presence.

Ir Amim says the opening of the road should be cause for “heightened vigilance,” and that while routing Palestinian traffic away from Jerusalem and E-1, the new road also “affords two key benefits for Israelis: 1) expediting traffic flow to Jerusalem for settlers from the Ramallah area and 2) enabling expansion of the settlement bloc around Ramallah.”

“While legislative initiatives like the Greater Jerusalem Bill and other plans designed to redraw the boundaries of the city may be stalled, infrastructure projects have already proven an effective tool for increasing connectivity between the blocs and the city, not only by solidifying physical linkages but also by eroding the boundaries of the city in the Israeli public consciousness,” the group said.

BIRTHRIGHT GIVES YOUNG JEWS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT

Three young Jews were reportedly kicked off their free trip to Israel sponsored by the pro-Israel Birthright program today because they asked questions about the separation wall Israel has erected on occupied Palestinian territory.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Three young Jews are kicked off ‘Birthright’ trip for asking questions about separation wall in Palestine

Philip Weiss

Three young Jews were reportedly kicked off their free trip to Israel sponsored by the pro-Israel Birthright program today because they asked questions about the separation wall Israel has erected on occupied Palestinian territory.

A video of the young people as they leave the trip has been posted by one of them on her Facebook page. Shira Leah reports that she and two others were kicked off Birthright, “because when we drove past the border separation wall between Israel and the West Bank (which our tour guide had ignored all 4 times we drove past it), we tried to ask questions about it and didn’t accept his answer that the entire conflict is caused by crazy violent Palestinians.”

In the accompanying video, young people are heard to discuss signing a waiver to end their trip with a Birthright official in a tense conversation.

That official says to a young man: “I was more than willing to have a conversation with you… Then you came at me with the nineteen-year-old’s feeling this way and that way…. The program is designed and going to stay as is. With you being allowed to ask questions.”

The young man says he only asked two questions and he is being kicked off for who he is.

I asked two questions and that’s it… [Evidently] my views in my head are incompatible with the trip. Because I am progressive and because I don’t like Netanyahu and Trump and border walls. Because I have those thoughts in my head, I can’t be here?…. What rule did I break?… This has been really stressful and honestly slightly traumatic to be screamed at and kicked off… I asked two questions, and I said I was disappointed in the way–

The official then says: “The reason we can’t have you here is because of the agenda of an outside program that we believe you are affiliated with.”

That’s a reference to the young Jewish group IfNotNow’s efforts to disrupt Birthright trips. At that link, IfNotNow posts the latest Birthright agreement, which limits the free speech of participants.

Shira Leah says on her Facebook page: “I am devastated by Trump’s policies of family separation, detention of children, and building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border because it goes against all of the values I was taught growing up n my Jewish community, where my mom was the Rabbi. It is unfathomable that I would be asked to stay silent when we see the same thing happening in Israel. Clearly this is a bribe, not a gift. #NoSuchThingAsAFreeTrip #NotJustAFreeTrip”

Birthright has come under great pressure from IfNotNow since last summer when nearly a dozen young Jews walked off Birthright trips, and IfNotNow encouraged more to do so, and the organization, funded by Democrat Haim Saban and Republican Sheldon Adelson among others, pushed back.

Nonetheless, reports are that participation in the free trip for Jews under 26 has fallen off this winter.

Batya Ungar-Sargon of the Forward writes:

A new clause in the  contract participants sign includes a ban on “any attempt to.. hijack a discussion or create an unwarranted provocation violate Taglit-Birthright’s founding principles.” Who the hell would want to go on such a trip?

WELCOME TO CHANUKAH APARTHEID

During the holiday of Hanukkah, the town of Afula’s municipal park will be off limits to Arabs. The park was already closed Nov. 24 to visitors from nearby villages. Only the Jewish residents of Afula were allowed to enjoy time with their families in this public space. This Hanukkah will be the first holiday in which access to the park is limited to Jews.

If any European, Arab, African or Indian leader had to publicly announce that a nation should be for their people only, and that a war would result with anyone who disagreed, these same Zionist extremists and their fellow Jewish Supremacists in the media would relentlessly attack and denigrate them.

Israeli mayor swears to keep his city Jewish

During the holiday of Hanukkah, the town of Afula’s municipal park will be off limits to Arabs. The park was already closed Nov. 24 to visitors from nearby villages. Only the Jewish residents of Afula were allowed to enjoy time with their families in this public space. This Hanukkah will be the first holiday in which access to the park is limited to Jews.

Racist phenomena such as this did not start in Afula with the passing of the Nationality Law, anchoring the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. It is the nature of laws like this one to have a particular impact on regions that already lean in a certain direction and are encouraged to continue following this path by the establishment. Afula, known as the “Capital of the Valley,” was first founded in 1925 to provide services for the Jewish agricultural settlements that had been established in the Jezreel Valley in the early 20th century. There are also several Arab villages in the region, such as Nein and Sulam, and it is close to the West Bank and to Arab towns and villages across the Green Line. Terrorist attacks in Afula over the past few decades tended to originate across the Green Line. As such, they did little to foster any warm feelings between the people of Afula and their Palestinian neighbors.

When Israeli Arabs, who could not find housing in the neighboring villages, turned to Afula, they often encountered hostility and rejection. In 2015, a tender for 45 housing units in Afula was released, with all of the units going to Arabs. Local residents appealed to the District Court in Nazareth, which eventually overturned the tender, claiming that prices had been coordinated among the participants. In August 2017, the Supreme Court overturned the District Court’s ruling. The incident, in which the tender’s results were invalidated, only to be restored, exacerbated tensions between the Jewish population and local Arabs, whether they already lived in the city or wanted to join them there.

When tensions related to security abated, so did tensions between the communities. The city’s residents were wise and pragmatic, dancing between the raindrops. They expressed understanding for the concerns of Afula’s Jewish population, trying to ease tensions between the sides. It wasn’t easy. I had quite a few discussions with them over the past few years and can testify as to how difficult the situation was for them. It was obvious back then that anyone who brought as much as a match to the city could end up lighting a major fire.

The mayoral elections Oct. 30 revolved around questions pertaining to the local Arab population. Avi Alkabetz, who already served briefly as mayor several years earlier, made no effort to hide the fact that he was promoting a decidedly anti-Arab agenda. He knew exactly what he was doing, too. Preventing Arabs from living in Afula and banning Arabs access to the park that he built as mayor were just about the only issues in his election campaign.

Throughout his campaign, there were already several violent clashes between Jews and Arabs over residency rights. When a Jewish resident dared to sell his apartment to an Arab last June, demonstrations immediately erupted against him. He soon announced that he withdrew from the sale, but that was not enough to placate the angry mob. They demanded that he appear in public to prove that he had pulled out of the contract. Only then did the demonstrators ease up on him.

Last September, just three months after that incident and in the heat of the election campaign, an Israeli Arab, who had purchased an apartment in the town, had “Death to the Arabs!” spray-painted on his door. It was just a few weeks after the Nationality Law had passed. It was soon learned that the 25-year-old Arab had served in the Israel Defense Forces’ Givati Brigade, participated in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and upon his release, decided that he wanted to live in Afula’s Givat HaMoreh neighborhood. But Afula believes that all Arabs are equal. It refused to discriminate against one but not the other.

Upon his re-election as mayor, Alkabetz swore in the members of his town’s city council from his coalition, but also from the opposition. According to the law, the oath of office that they take includes a declaration of loyalty to the State of Israel and a commitment to fulfill their duties on the city council in good faith. But Alkabetz wanted more, and demanded that they add to the oath by committing to preserve Afula’s Jewish character. Whenever anyone raised an eyebrow, the old-new mayor explained that there is nothing wrong with adding to the official oath as established by law.

I was sworn into the Knesset on five separate occasions. On three other occasions, I took the oath of office as a member of the government. In some cases, there were Knesset members — mainly from the ultra-Orthodox and Arab factions — who requested to add a word or two to the formula prescribed by law. In each case, the speaker of the Knesset announced that no one may add or remove a word from the official oath, and that anyone who failed to swear the oath of office as determined by law would be prevented from assuming office. A reasonable interpretation and application of the law could overturn the aforementioned innovation introduced by Alkabetz. However, when the town of Afula was asked about this by the Haaretz newspaper, it responded that adding words to a legally binding oath would not impinge on the legal commitment of the city council members. As if to bolster its position, the city then added that this legal position has the support of the Ministry of Interior. The newspaper then asked for the opinion of jurists. Some responded that the passing of the Nationality Law may be sufficient backing for this additional declaration, even though there was no basis for it before the law was passed.

Do you understand what’s going on? The Interior Ministry is currently headed by a convicted felon, who is about to go back to court to face charges of fraud, violation of trust and money laundering. Yet he is providing moral support to a mayor who was elected to his position after inciting against the Arab population and waging a racist campaign against them. And the sun continues to shine, as if this is the way of the world.

Feigning innocence, Alkabetz said that he is absolutely shocked to hear himself described as a racist. In a conversation with Al-Monitor he said that quite a few Arabs work for the city, and that relations with them are good. On the other hand, he continued, Jews should not sell apartments to Arabs, because that could alter the Jewish character of the city. As for closing the park to Arab citizens, this is not the slightest bit racist either, he argued, since Jews, who do not live in Afula, will not have access to the park on Sabbaths and holidays either. Everyone will be required to show ID upon entering the park, and if they are not residents of Afula, they will be asked to leave.

When the Netanyahu government first passed the Nationality Law, its spokespeople argued that there was nothing new in it. It was simply a collection of clauses from existing laws intended to highlight the Jewish character of the country and the special relationship that the Jewish people have with it. There was no reason for the outcry, or so it was said, since the law did nothing more than reflect the existing situation, in terms of the official language and other matters. To anyone who didn’t realize what the law was about and to all those who helped to get it passed, it should now be quite obvious what the law really means.

Image by Carlos Latuff

NOW IT’S ILLEGAL TO BEAUTIFY APARTHEID

The irony continues …..

First read THIS post

Palestinian officials said Israeli border police arrested the two artists who crafted the large painting, now on display at a separation barrier in Bethlehem

Artists painting a mural depicting Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi. AFP

Israel Arrests Italian Artists Who Painted a West Bank Mural of Ahed Tamimi

Israeli border police on Saturday arrested two Italian graffiti artists who were painting a mural of a jailed Palestinian teenager, Ahed Tamimi, on the Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem in the West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.

Tamimi, now 17, was sent to prison for assault after being filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier late last year, when she was 16. She is due to be released on Sunday.

Tamimi became a heroine to Palestinians after the Dec. 15 incident outside her home in the village of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral.

An Israeli police spokesman did not return a call for comment.

The Palestine Liberation Organization said on Twitter that Israeli forces had arrested the two Italian artists and a Palestinian who was with them.

 

SOURCE

‘LIBERAL’ ZIONISM IN DEFENSE OF APARTHEID

I have always maintained that there is no such thing as a ‘liberal zionist’ …. Here’s proof of that.

But the truth is, the Nation State bill is not overturning the applecart. In fact, it’s reaffirming some of the key ideas that always lay at the heart of the Zionist project, bringing about the correct balance of “Jewish” and “democratic” that has always been the secret sauce that makes Israel work.

Watch this short video prepared by Rabbi Brant Rosen

On the Fallacy of “Liberal Zionism”

Everything You’ve Heard About Israel’s Nation State Bill Is Wrong

Israel’s new Nation State Law, which passed last week with the aim of affirming the country’s Jewish character, has come under considerable fire.

The new legislation is made up of mostly symbolic declarations that reaffirm the symbolism, calendar, and meaning of the “Jewish State.”

And it took about eleven seconds before critics went ballistic.

Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of Knesset and the former aide to PLO leader Yasser Arafat, declared “with shock and sorrow the death of democracy.” He was joined in his condemnation by other opposition members who shouted “Apartheid!” as they tore up the law defiantly. The chief legal counsel of ACRI, the Israeli equivalent of the ACLU, agreed. “This is a racist law,” he pronounced.

Nor was the umbrage limited to Israeli activists. The New York Times published no fewer than four different pieces, each more critical than the last.

While the Times stopped short of calling the bill racist, one of its pieces opened with an outright falsity, claiming that the law declared that “only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country”— when in fact the law explicitly says “national self-determination,” something entirely different from individual freedoms (more on that later).

In its main coverage of the new legislation, New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief David Halbfinger gestured towards a different, widespread criticism of the bill, casting the bill as just another step in Israel’s inexorable march into darkness.

“Wrapping up its business before a long summer recess, the right-wing, religious coalition that rules Israel’s Parliament moved aggressively this week to push through its polarizing agenda, piling up points at the expense of its already weakened foes,” he wrote.

But the truth is, the Nation State bill is not overturning the applecart. In fact, it’s reaffirming some of the key ideas that always lay at the heart of the Zionist project, bringing about the correct balance of “Jewish” and “democratic” that has always been the secret sauce that makes Israel work.

And a closer look at the criticism the bill has engendered will reveal it to be nothing more than prefabricated outrage from Israeli opposition parties, American Jewish liberals, and the usual chorus of anti-Zionists and anti-Semites.

To be sure, each of these groups have different core interests and each believes different things. But all have become totally reflexive in their rejection of anything coming out of the current government. It is, in fact, hard to imagine that in the current political climate, there could have been any version of the Nation State bill coming from this government that would not have set off alarms.

Before diving in, a note about who this article is for, and who it’s not for. If you have been vociferously denouncing the law but have not read it yet (it’s a quick read); if you believe it doesn’t matter what’s in the law because its passage by a Right-Wing Israeli Government qualifies it for your fury; if you are receiving a salary or other compensation to criticize Israel; or if you simply despise Israel—this piece is not for you.

But if you’re a fair-minded person who’s troubled by the noise surrounding the law, or if you’ve read it but don’t understand why it needed to be passed, I have a lot to tell you.

o, what’s actually in the law? When you look more closely, it’s really not very controversial — or at least, it shouldn’t be.

Most mundanely, it ratifies the Hebrew calendar as the official holiday schedule of the State of Israel and it establishes Independence Day, Memorial Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day as holidays, too. It also reaffirms Israel’s special connection to diaspora Jewry. None of this is new.

Among its more talked-about provisions, however, was the clause about the Hebrew language, which for the first time was made into Israel’s sole official language, a status it has shared with Arabic up til now.

Critics have said that in the new bill, Arabic has been “demoted.” And at a highly abstract level, they are right.

And yet, the law is careful to clarify that the Arabic language will not only be granted “special status,” but also that “this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.”

Now, the primacy of Hebrew in the Jewish State is an obvious matter, and has been since Israel’s inception. It is the language of public discourse, of Knesset deliberations (including speeches of Arab members of Knesset), of the nightly news, of the culture, of the courts, of university classes, and of the laws themselves. Ratifying this is something quite ordinary, which democratic countries like Spain and France have done long ago.

Furthermore, the clarifying clause makes it impossible for the demotion of Arabic to be anything other than symbolic. To turn this into “the end of democracy” is nonsense.

Similarly offensive to critics was the clause according to which “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

This, too, is almost synonymous with the very idea of a Jewish state. What could a right of “national” self-determination to non-Jewish communities inside Israel possibly mean other than ending the Jewish state as such?

More to the point, what democratic country on earth offers national self-determination to twenty percent of its citizens? With few and minor exceptions, the U.S. gives no minorities any such right. In Israel, such a right is something the Jewish majority has never granted and never promised, and never could have or should have, since day one.

This clause is not a violation of democratic principle, much less “racist” or “Apartheid,” so long as individual rights continue to be guaranteed. And they are, through the other Basic Laws that make up Israel’s constitutional reality.

Similarly baffling were objections to the law’s determination that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.” No doubt, in the context of today’s politics, anything about Jerusalem smells like jumping on the Trump-Bibi bandwagon.

Yet there is nothing at all new in it. The hope that some may have of internationalizing the Western Wall or dismantling the sprawling urban neighborhoods of Gilo and Pisgat Ze’ev has never been more than a fantasy.

At the same time—and this is crucial—the law does not define Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, thereby leaving fully open the possibility that, when the geopolitical time is right, major Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem like Isawiyyeh, Silwan, or Jabel Mukkaber could become part of a future Palestinian State by simply redefining the city’s map.

What many in the West fail to understand is the role that Jerusalem has played in Israel’s self-definition since well before the Six Day War that led to the city’s unification under Israeli rule. There’s a reason why the IDF risked a lot to take the strategically unimportant eastern Jerusalem in 1967, and why Jerusalem, but not the West Bank, was effectively annexed in 1980.

Naomi Shemer’s song “Jerusalem of Gold”—one of the most iconic songs in Israeli history—became popular before the city was reunified. Regardless of international recognition, and in the face of global disregard, Israel declared Jerusalem its capital within two years of its independence, and has insisted on it ever since.

Finally, critics were angered by the bill’s declaration that “Jewish settlement” be “a national value” that the state will continue to promote.

Once again, distilling reality from projected fear is crucial here. The word being translated as “settlement” is hityashvut, which to any Israeli ear refers more to the Galilee and the Negev and the history of building new Jewish communities a century ago across the country than it does to the West Bank.

Yes, it is true that a major coalition partner, The Jewish Home, would love to claim a victory for the settlers of Judea and Samaria; that’s politics. But it’s the courts, not the politicians, who will interpret the law; and there is nothing in the phrasing that even hints at the West Bank; historically charged terms such as “in the Land of Israel” are nowhere to be found.

Again, you can decide that Jews should never have been encouraged to settle in their historic homeland, and the idea of a place on earth that continues to encourage it—even offering them citizenship and financial benefits for doing so—is something you can’t live with.

But then you really shouldn’t call yourself a Zionist, or even a supporter of Israel, in any meaningful sense. Building a Jewish homeland—through sovereignty, through culture, and through settlement—has always been the core purpose of the country. Should it really not appear in its Basic Laws?

Nor does anything in the law make Israel unusual for a European-style democracy. France, a country that granted equal rights to all a century before America freed its slaves, nonetheless has a single national language. The United Kingdom has an established church, as well as a hereditary monarchy. Germany will put you in prison if you deny the Holocaust.

Limits on pristine and abstract rights, especially the right to feel equally central to the narrative of the democracy in which you live, are acceptable because they are limited, and because people are complicated and human, with a real history that inevitably influences the core principles of their social contract.

Even democracies have a right to enshrine in law the things that make them unique.

To suggest that Israel alone shouldn’t be allowed to is self-evidently absurd, and smells a lot more like political noise-making than honest criticism.

It’s true that Israel’s Nation State law was passed by a right-leaning national government. But a much more meaningful way to look at it is in its historical and constitutional context.

This law has been in the works at least since the early 2000s, a time when two major forces arose that threatened the Zionist project as it was historically understood. The first was the rise of “post-Zionism,” a small but passionate intellectual-political movement that explicitly repudiated the idea of a “Jewish state” and sought to transform the country into a “state of all its citizens” by stripping it of any connection to Jewish history, peoplehood, or symbolism.

The second, more important factor was the “constitutional revolution” led by then-Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, which recognized earlier Basic Laws as having constitutional status, and which culminated in the passing of two new Basic Laws (Basic Law Human Dignity and Liberty, and Basic Law: Freedom of Employment) that established the core rights of Israeli citizens, Jewish or not.

These basic laws were not at all a bad thing. The fact is, Israel is both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy, and basic freedoms must be protected for all.

But defenders of Zionism correctly noted that such laws would have to be balanced with similar protections of Israel’s flag and anthem and the original vision of the country as not just a refuge for oppressed Jews but also as the embodiment of the aspirations of the Jewish people.

Much of what we see in the law is the direct result of the big debates that happened back then—debates I was directly involved in.

The bottom line is that Israel is the Jewish State, and this law tells us what that means, just as other Basic Laws tell us what goes into its democratic foundations.

You can freely dislike the idea of an ethnically or historically based democracy for a specific people. But know that it’s not fascism, it’s not the rise of ethno-national-populist-alt-right-MAGA-Bannonism. That’s just a category error—one that a lot of people really want you to make right now.

Israel’s Nation state bill reflects rather, the constitutional reality of nearly every European democracy, and European democracy has always been a little different from American democracy.

If you have any interest in understanding what’s really a fascinating and historic development in a country far away, the one I actually live in, tune out the noise.

ISRAEL IS OFFICIALLY DIVIDED BY LAW

The ‘Only Democracy’ in the Middle East has changed its tune officially

Image by Latuff


 

Israel's nation-state law

THREE AGAINST TWO MILLION …. AND YET THEY ARE WINNING

In a Washington Post article on Thursday 19 July, President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner, US Zionist Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and special Mideast adviser Jason Greenblatt, another ardent Zionist,  sought to overlook Israel’s  real crimes against humanity inflicted repeatedly  on  some two million helpless Palestinians languishing under a Nazi-like siege imposed and maintained by Israel.

 

Image by Marina Grechanik.

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Khalid Amayreh responds to the Three Zionist shapers of  Trump’s Palestine policy 
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In a Washington Post article on Thursday 19 July, President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner, US Zionist Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and special Mideast adviser Jason Greenblatt, another ardent Zionist,  sought to overlook Israel’s  real crimes against humanity inflicted repeatedly  on  some two million helpless Palestinians languishing under a Nazi-like siege imposed and maintained by Israel.
 
The three Zionist supremacists, whose loyalty is first and foremost to international Zionism and only second to   Donald Trump,  accused the Palestinian Islamic Resistance group, Hamas, of producing “misery for the people of Gaza”, saying that unless Hamas unilaterally recognized Israel, abided by previous agreements and renounced resistance to Israeli aggression “there is no good option.” The trio, who ostensibly adopt the political views of the Israeli far right, including the Jewish settlement movement, offered to give humanitarian aid to Palestinians in return for recognizing Israel and terminating all forms of resistance to the Israeli occupation army.
 
 The 11-year draconian siege is apparently meant to punish Gazans for electing Hamas which refuses to recognize Israel for religious and moral reasons.
 
This writer is thoroughly familiar with a long list of US diplomats and peace envoys to the Middle East  ever since William Rogers who initiated the Rogers’ peace plan  in the late 1960s, which Israel rejected. But frankly I have never  been affronted by such brazenly and fanatically one-sided diplomats who so shamelessly adopt the manifestly fascist views of the Israeli right while pretending to maintain a semblance of neutrality between Israel and her enduring victims.
 
 The trio seem, at least from this writer’s vantage point, so lacking in rectitude and scandalously ignorant of the basic issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict We are talking about a group of  ideological fanatics who tend to think  the 100-year conflict began yesterday. For example, they miserably fail to understand that the almost desperate but determined Palestinian resistance to unmitigated Israeli oppression is made inevitable by incessant Israeli aggression as well as concerted efforts to subjugate and humiliate one of the most ancient peoples of the Middle East whose only “crime” is its resilient quest for freedom and independence..  Kushner, Greenblat and Freidman simply don’t know that the Palestinians are putting up a last-ditch defense for their very survival in the face of powerful and immensely callous Zionist movement which succeeded in having the US government at its beck and call.
  
Kushner and Grerenblat, it is manifestly clear, are accustomed to dealing with corrupt Arab despots who have little moral credibility  and who  virtually view America as their God on Earth. Well, Gentlemen, I have some news for you:  There are Arabs of a different mantle who are not eager to be America’s puppets or agents.
 
The three morally bankrupt Zionist officials urged Hamas to recognize Israel just like other Arab countries in the region did. Well, since when were these undemocratic and grossly dictatorial entities a role model for the Palestinian people to adopt, emulate or imitate?
 
Moreover, the three Jewish-American diplomats conveniently forgot to tell us which Israel they were asking us to recognize? Is it Israel according to the UN partition plan of 1947? Is it Israel with the pre-`1967? Is it Israel with Jerusalem and the Haram Sharif? Or, indeed, is it Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates?
 
More to the point, the three Zionist fanatics shamelessly demanded that Hamas  ought to recognize Israel, even  in the absence of  a reciprocal Israeli recognition of a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian  state with East Jerusalem as its capital!
 
As we all remember, the PLO did recognize Israel in the context of the hapless Oslo Agreement. And we saw and endured (actually continue to endure) the bitter harvest of that scandal called the Oslo Accords. Hence the question: Must we repeat  the same blunder to appease and  please Israel firsters?
 
The PLO gave Israel everything the Zionist state demanded. It gave Israel  a free  and solemn recognition, it gave up legitimate armed resistance which is perfectly lawful under international law. It gave up our national honor and dignity, all in order to demonstrate our good will and sincere commitment to peace. And what did we get from Israel in return? Well, we got  150 new colonies, and a police state without a state called the Palestinian Authority.. 
 
As to Israel itself, it has been growing bolder and bolder in denying us our most  basic rights as human beings living in our ancestral homeland.
 
It would be misleading to think that the Nazificaion of Israel has been consummated and completed with the adoption by the Israeli Knesset  of the so-called Nationality Bill into a law.  Nay! Much is still coming up, and just as the Nuremburg laws in Nazi Germany were only a stage, the Nationality Law will be proven sooner or later  a mere small detail in the Nazification of Israel.  I am not a Prophet of doom and gloom, but the writing is on the wall and I would be utterly foolish to pretend that I am just having a nightmare.
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Mazin Qumsiyeh adds ….
de facto and now de jure racism/apartheid
 Finally, the Israeli Knesset puts it into words/law and is now de jure as
well as de facto racist/apartheid "Jewish nation-state" . The new "law"
violates international treaties and norms (including the 1976 International
Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid).
But on the bright side no one can now defend Israel as a "democracy" since
it is now not by practice alone but by clearly worded "law" that it is an
apartheid racist state for and by the Jewish people (imagine if a similar
law about "whites" or "christians" was instituted in any other country). 
See the following links

israel-adopts-racist-jewish-nation-state-law

israels-nation-state-law-apartheid-is-a-process/

israel-passes-controversial-nation-state-bill

Images by Latuff

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IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ ISRAEL AT 70

Celebrating 70 years of… oppression and apartheid?

IT’S OFFICIAL ~~ ‘ISRAEL IS THE WORST APARTHEID REGIME EVER’

“The settlements I saw here [in the West Bank] reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely.

Palestinians are being subjected to the worst version of apartheid.”

Image by Latuff

SOURCE

PHOTOS OF THE DAY ~~ APARTHEID LOVE FEST

Mural believed to be the work of Australian graffiti artist Lushsux; with face hidden by headdress, man identifying himself as Lushsux says he hopes his painting would draw attention to Palestinians stuck in ‘an indoor prison.’

(Photo: Reuters)

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(Photo: Reuters)

Full report here (Click on link)

 Trump and Netanyahu share a kiss on West Bank wall mural

UN BLACKLISTS THE OCCUPATION

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights al-Hussein warns Israeli firms of their inclusion in ‘blacklist’ of companies operating in West Bank, east J’lem, Jordan Valley; list includes prominent companies such as Bezeq, Hot, Ahava, Cellcom, Bank Hapoalim and others; Bezeq CEO scorns ‘entirely anti-Israeli propaganda.’

130 Israeli companies, 60 int’l corporations on UN ‘blacklist’

Itamar Eichner

In the past few weeks, 130 Israeli companies and 60 international corporations operating in Israel received warning letters from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein cautioning them of their impending inclusion in a “blacklist” of companies active beyond the Green Line in “violation of international law and UN resolutions.”

Ynet has gained access to part of the list, which is set to be published in late December and cites 25 well-known Israeli companies. The companies operate in different sectors—some in food manufacturing, others in services, pharmaceuticals and even high-tech—but have one thing in common: they all operate in settlements, east Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.

Among the companies in the commissioner’s sights are Ahava, Dor Alon, Amisragas, Angel Bakeries, Arison Investments, Ashdar, Clal Industries, Café Café, Cellcom, Danya Cebus, Electra, HP, Hot, the Israel Aerospace Industries, Matrix Systems, Motorola, Nesher, Partner, Paz, Rami Levy, Remax, Housing & Construction (Shikun Binui), Shufersal, Sonol and Trima.

The above companies are joined by the 12 companies already published on Channel 2 News including Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq and Bezeq International, Coca Cola, Africa Israel, Teva, IDB, Egged, Mekorot, Netafim and Elbit Systems.

The “Washington Post” published American companies will also be appearing on the list, including Caterpillar, Tripadvisor and Airbnb.

Some of the companies to be included on the list are still considering their response, but others are already fighting back with the claim their inclusion on the list may cause them financial harm and tarnish their brand, and are therefore looking into filing suits against the Commissioner and the UN’s Human Rights Council that called for the list’s preparation in the first place.

The companies claim the list’s creation was politically motivated and point to the fact that the commissioner constructed no such lists pertaining to other regions of conflict—such as the Crimean Peninsula and Western Sahara—as proof.

Both Israel and the US have been working behind the scenes in the past few weeks to prevent the list’s publication, but it appears it may be presented with a fait accompli. Despite the fact the list carries no operational or legal ramifications, the symbolic move nevertheless caused concern among the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials due to the fact it may provide a serious boost to BDS efforts, deter foreign investors and convince foreign companies operating in Israel to reduce their operations.

“It may cause large investment firms or pension funds carrying stocks of various Israeli companies to divest in them because they, in turn, operate in the settlements. It may lead to a snowball effect that will greatly harm the Israeli economy eventually,” said a senior Israeli official.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates the Human Rights Commissioner received most of his information about the Israeli firms from Israeli non-profits operating in the settlements and investigating business activities beyond the Green Line.

AIPAC goes to war

In an effort to scuttle the move, the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobby has been working in the US on promoting rapid legislation in Congress determining any company divesting its business dealings from Israel will be considered to have “capitulated” to the Arab boycott, and would thus be in violation of American law.

The Human Rights Council’s efforts to isolate Israel—executed through the office of the commissioner—have largely been facilitated by what Israel frequently slams as the UN body’s years-long anti-Israeli majority which has a long record of a bias slant.

Bezeq CEO Stella Handler published a Facebook post 12 days ago in which she made public the overture she received from the UN’s Human Rights Commissioner. After the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted her, Handler took the post down.

“Here’s something the UN’s Human Rights Council doesn’t want you know: we’ve received a message from Special Assistant to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mohammad Ali Alnsour. Alnsour communicated to us that Bezeq was to be included on a list of Israeli companies operating in the West Bank. He asked us to keep that information confidential and to not publically comment on it,” Handler’s Facebook post said.

“Before we get started, here’s some background about the UN’s Human Rights Council. Since it was founded in 2006, it published 68 decisions denouncing Israel, making up 50 percent of the total resolutions pertaining to specific countries the council has made. Not North Korea, not Syria, not Sudan and not Yemen were afforded such attention,” the post continued.

“We will not be cooperating with a move that’s entirely anti-Israeli propaganda. Despite the council’s attempts to harm Israel by harming Bezeq, we give you our solemn commitment to keep focused on what we do best: providing all of Israel’s citizens with quality service, to provide our employees with a fair workplace and to manufacture profits for our shareholders. That is our role as Israel’s communications infrastructures company,” Handler concluded.

FRIDAY’S TOON ~~ THE OCCUPATION IS FOREVER!

Or Not!!!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu promises West Bank will be occupied Israel “forever”

NYT JUSTIFIES APARTHEID IN ISRAEL ~~ ‘WALLS ARE US!’

Omitted is a racist quote early last year from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his determination to build walls all around Israel, though some of this construction would clearly be on occupied Palestinian territory.

Likening Palestinians to animals, Netanyahu stated, “In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.”

The Times is just echoing the sentiments of Trump who has called Israel’s separation barrier a success while discussing his plan to erect a wall across the US-Mexico border.

New York Times distorts reality of Israel’s walls

Isabel Kershner, writing in The New York Times, recently misrepresented the reality of Israeli-built walls and the fact that it is Palestinians enclosed by them and not Israelis.

Establishing that she spends far too much time in an Israeli milieu and too little in occupied Palestinian territory, she flips reality by penning, “Challenged by hostile forces on most of its fronts, Israel is already pretty much walled in.”

Yet it is Israel itself which has chosen to build walls. The people to describe as “walled in” are Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians are the ones being forcibly enclosed within bantustans as part of a comprehensive system of apartheid – not Israelis.

Throughout the article, Kershner repeatedly omits vital information about an underground wall Israel is building to further obstruct Palestinian egress from the tightly blockaded Gaza Strip.

Omissions

Israel has peace agreements with both Egypt and Jordan – and security arrangements with the Palestinian Authority to police its own people under Israeli occupation.

Even on its frontline in the occupied Golan Heights with Syria, where a devastating civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people, Israel funds Syrian armed opposition groups to maintain a buffer zone controlled by “friendly forces.”

Yet these facts are excluded in Kershner’s decision to present a tough neighborhood spin with Israel “challenged by hostile forces on most of its fronts.”

Most of those fronts – beyond those where the Israeli government has signed peace agreements with other states – are occupied territory held by Israel for over 50 years.

Treating occupied people as “hostile” is akin to the moral equivalency offered by US President Donald Trump in equating anti-fascists and anti-racists with Nazis and white supremacists.

How else are people under an oppressive military occupation that deprives them of their most basic rights, while systematically colonizing their land, supposed to feel about their occupiers?

Yet Kershner dismissively employs the term “hostile forces,” undercutting millions of occupied people calling for equal rights and a return to stolen homes and properties.

Also omitted is a racist quote early last year from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his determination to build walls all around Israel, though some of this construction would clearly be on occupied Palestinian territory.

Likening Palestinians to animals, Netanyahu stated, “In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.”

Israel’s wall with Egypt, though readers won’t learn it in this article from Kershner, was built in significant partto keep out African migrants and refugees, principally from Eritrea and Sudan, fleeing war and other perils.

Netanyahu himself admitted as much.

President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea 🇮🇱🇺🇸

TIMELY TOONS ~~ RADIOHEAD HEADING TO PLAY APARTHEID

A message to Radiohead – Performing in Israel is supporting apartheid!

Images by Carlos Latuff

Dear Thom Yorke will you play in Israel where Palestinian children are tortured in prisons?

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Dear Thom Yorke playing in Israel is backing a regime that systematically oppress/deny Palestinians in Gaza/West Bank the most basic rights

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International support of BDS …

Radiohead concert disrupted over Tel Aviv visit

British BDS protesters disrupt concert by Rdiohead band over upcoming concert in Tel Aviv.

From JTA

British protesters disrupted the band Radiohead’s performance at a festival in Britain over its upcoming performance in Tel Aviv.

Some waved Palestinian flags and raised a banner reading “Israel is an apartheid state. Radiohead, don’t play there,” the London-based website Jewish News reported. Some members of the audience shouted “free Palestine,” as well.

Radiohead performed as the headliner at the Glastonbury Festival in South West England on Friday.

The band was greeted with applause as it took the stage, according to the report.

Dozens of high-profile artists had signed a letter sent to Radiohead in February urging the band to cancel its July performance in Tel Aviv. Earlier this month, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke said the letter was “offensive” and called out its signees for assuming the band is not informed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

IN VIDEOS ~~ DENIAL AND REALITY OF ISRAELI APARTHEID

First the denial …..

Now the reality …..

Thousands of Palestinian workers queue at this Israeli military checkpoint before dawn each day.

Video by Ahmad Al-Bazz, Haidi Motola and Anne Paq/Activestills.org

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