FEMINISM AND APARTHEID

Historically, some women, including the richest and most prominent, have identified themselves with a feminism that ignores race and class, and thus ignores most women, who are directly impacted by poverty, racism, war and occupation, and environmental devastation in the industrial and non-industrial world. Such feminists celebrate the women who have broken the glass ceiling and moved into the 1%. For them, feminism means the right of women to be equal to men in managing capitalism with its exploitation, occupation, racism and underlying it all, sexism.

Drawing by Rana Bishara, 2015: ‘RIP Martyrs, Nour and Baby Rahaf- Gaza’

Confronting apartheid has everything to do with feminism

Rabab Abdulhadi, Suzanne Adely, Angela Davis & Selma James

Attacking the International Women’s Strike on March 8, supporters of Israel argued that the decolonization of Palestine has no place in feminism and further asked if there is a place for Zionists in the feminist movement. We turn the question around and ask if the occupation of Palestine, the bombings of Gaza, the apartheid that applies two separate and unequal systems to Israel’s relationship to Palestinians–can be compatible with feminism? While Israel’s apologists were posing such questions, the Israeli army, as reported by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, was busy shutting down two events in Jerusalem marking International Women’s Day.

Had Zionists who call themselves feminists understood the International Women’s Strike (IWS) as reflective of an indivisible sense of justice, they would have readily realized that the IWS call cannot tolerate racism. An inclusive feminism has rightfully rejected the Zionist justification of Israel’s violation of the rights of millions of Palestinian women and girls, both refugees and those living under barbaric occupation and siege.

Historically, some women, including the richest and most prominent, have identified themselves with a feminism that ignores race and class, and thus ignores most women, who are directly impacted by poverty, racism, war and occupation, and environmental devastation in the industrial and non-industrial world. Such feminists celebrate the women who have broken the glass ceiling and moved into the 1%. For them, feminism means the right of women to be equal to men in managing capitalism with its exploitation, occupation, racism and underlying it all, sexism.

At its root, feminism is a movement demanding liberation for women. The struggle for women’s rights under the banner of feminism cannot meaningfully exist without addressing and working to eliminate oppression rooted in racism, colonialism and capitalism. This is the case for women in many countries who support the feminism of the 99%. In other words, grassroots women are not merely the backdrop but the central concern of their movement. Accordingly, the platform of the International Women’s Strike lifted up many of the most crucial issues undermining women’s survival around the world: an end to gender violence, reproductive justice for all, labor rights, social programs, and an end to environmental degradation—in short, an anti-racist and anti-imperialist agenda.

In this new climate, what is happening to Palestinian women is not a detail but a vital question. As a result, Rasmea Odeh was one of the women invited to be part of the leadership of the U.S. strike.

Rasmea Odeh is a Chicago-based Palestinian community leader who has diligently and persistently fought for the empowerment of Arab immigrant women by providing leadership development and English language services, as well as alleviating the isolation experienced by newly arrived immigrant families.

Ms. Odeh was subjected to torture and sexual assault for resisting colonization and occupation. Her life story embodies the experience of all women who have survived racist state violence. The false accusations against Ms. Odeh, repeated by self-identified Zionists are malicious and intended to criminalize Ms. Odeh and her supporters. This has the effect of legitimizing the use of torture against political prisoners as a means to coerce information to justify their imprisonment.

What has happened to Ms. Odeh at the hands of Israel is replicated all over the globe by repressive and imperialist governments. The feminism of the 99% which is now emerging rejects this persecution and torture, wherever it takes place.

Zionist feminism is an oxymoron. It may have had a shared legacy with white-women-only feminism but it does not reflect the conviction of today’s activists who refuse to stand by the notion of justice for some of us while denying justice to others. We reject Zionism and Zionist feminism. A growing number of women are recognizing that the feminism that does not confront capitalism, racism, and colonialism will not lead to liberation, just as there is no liberation possible without confronting sexism. Any way forward must overcome the voices of selective feminism that defend systems of oppression and try to silence our voices.

Rabab Abdulhadi is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies and the Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative, at the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University. She is the co-editor of the award-winning anthology, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging and her work has appeared in dozens of journals on gender and justice (Syracuse University Press) and co-founder and editorial board member of the Islamophobia Studies Journal. Abdulhadi is co-chair of Feminists for Justice in Palestine, the interest group that initiated and organized that NWSA campaign for BDS in 2015.

Suzanne Adely is a global labor human rights lawyer and activist. She is a member of the International Women’s Strike (IWS) U.S. Planning Committee, co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild International Committee, bureau member of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and an organizer with the US Palestine Community Network and the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. 

Angela Davis emerged as a prominent activist in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party. She co-founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex and was a professor (now retired) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in its History of Consciousness Department and a former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department.

Selma James is an activist, political thinker, and writer. She is the founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign and helped launch the Global Women’s Strike. She is the author of numerous publications, including, most recently, Sex, Race and Class — The Perspective of Winning: A Selection of Writings 1952-2011. While married to and involved in political work with the late C.L.R. James, Selma wrote her seminal 1952 essay, “A Woman’s Place.” 

FROM

THE VEIL OF APARTHEID

Apartheid has been considered in the annals of the United Nations and world public opinion to be second only to genocide in the hierarchy of criminality”,

And

Genocide and apartheid are the only two international crimes, the commission of which States have a duty to prevent.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Apartheid wears a veil

A report commissioned by the UN agency ESCWA (Economic and Social Comission for Western Asia), released Wednesday, concluded unequivocally that Israel practices Apartheid policy. It saw official daylight for two days.

The spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted “#UN #ESCWA has issued today a ‘Der Stürmer’ like report, NOT endorsed by @UNSG. Friendly advice- dont read it without anti nausea pills….” He was referring to the Nazi propaganda outlet, Der Stürmer.

The report, authored by Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton and former UN Special Rapporteur, as well as Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, was taken down, under harsh pressure from Israel and USA, by order of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Under-Secretary General Rima Khalaf, who also heads the Beirut-based ESCWA, refused to remove the report and resigned in protest. “I resigned because it is my duty not to conceal a clear crime, and I stand by all the conclusions of the report,” said Khalaf. Fortunately, the report is available by many outlets who have saved it and reproduced it, including here.

Let me first address the ‘Nazi’ comparison.

Now, I admit I have not read Der Stürmer, and have no special intention of doing so. What I can say, nonetheless, is that I have read every word and footnote of the 74-page report. If ‘anti-nausea’ pills were necessary, as Emmanuel Nahshon suggests, it would only have been to quell the nausea arising from the reality which this report describes – in a remarkably lucid manner.

It would appear, that the typical ‘Nazi’ and ‘anti-Semitic’ accusations are a smoke-screen to avoid discussion about the actual issues brought forth in the report. The synthesis of the report is not merely an innovative intellectual exercise. As Nelson Mandela noted, the issue of Palestine is “the greatest moral issue of our time”. Had the report regarded a long-past historical event (as for example Apartheid in South Africa), the hyperbole accusations would no doubt be put aside, in light of the grave issues addressed. Yet it is precisely because the crime is current and ongoing, that every effort is made to shoot it down by those involved. As the report notes in its Conclusions (p. 50):

[T]he situation addressed in the report is ongoing. Many investigations of crimes against humanity have concerned past behaviour or events, such as civil wars involving genocides, which have formally concluded. In such cases, the international community faces no particular pressure to act in a timely way to terminate an ongoing crime prior to investigating the legal facts of culpability. In the case of Israel-Palestine, any delay compounds the crime by prolonging the subjugation of Palestinians to the active practice of apartheid by Israel. Prompt action is accordingly imperative to avert further human suffering and end a crime against humanity that is being committed now.”

That urgency means, that even if one is unconvinced that the crime of Apartheid applies in full to Israel, it is important to give this report time, rather than dismiss it as ‘propaganda’. If indeed the hat fits, then the implications are grave. As further noted in the same page (footnote 90):

[A]partheid has been considered in the annals of the United Nations and world public opinion to be second only to genocide in the hierarchy of criminality”,

And

Genocide and apartheid are the only two international crimes, the commission of which States have a duty to prevent.

Those who take such matters seriously, would thus do well to read the report in its entirety. I would nonetheless like to offer my appraisal as to why this report is so crucial.

The report is arguably a ground-breaking one, in that it cuts across all the formations which serve not only the fragmentation of Palestinians (in four domains – citizens, East Jerusalemites, occupied and refugees), but also the obfuscation of the discussion about Israel’s overall policy – of Apartheid. As noted in page 30:

By developing discrete bodies of law, termed “domains” in this report, for each territory and their Palestinian populations, Israel has both effected and veiled a comprehensive policy of apartheid directed at the whole Palestinian people. [my emphasis].

The notion of Israel applying Apartheid policy has already been brought forth by Virginia Tilley in a study from 2009 for the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC), at the request of the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The study was coordinated, co-authored and edited by Tilley under the title Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A Reassessment of Israel’s Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under International Law. But this sort of comprehensive appraisal has not featured yet in any comprehensive UN report.

The methodical comparison to the 1973 Apartheid convention provides a ‘checklist’ that is satisfied almost completely on all points. Nonetheless, as noted in p. 17:

[A] check-list method alone — such as looking for the “inhuman acts” mentioned in the Apartheid Convention — would be a misreading of the [Apartheid] Convention’s intention. In article II, it explicitly establishes that such acts are illustrative, not mandatory, and are crimes of apartheid only if they serve the overarching purpose of racial domination. Hence, such acts can be considered crimes of apartheid only after the existence of an “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination” has been conclusively established.

Thus, the report seeks to establish two main issues concerning Israeli Apartheid policy: overarching purpose and intention.

The notion of ‘purpose’ comes from the Apartheid convention, as cited in p. 17:

For the purpose of the present Convention, the term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of (emphasis added) establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them  (article II).

The notion of ‘intent’ comes from the Rome Statute, (article 7 (2) (h), cited same page):

“The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1 [i.e., “when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack”], committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention [my emphasis] of maintaining that regime.

Purpose and Intention are obviously two very crucial words. In customary criminal law, it is intention that can mark the difference between murder and unintentional manslaughter; It is purpose that can mark the difference between a rogue massacre and genocide.

The report also qualifies (footnote 20, p. 17) that

“former special rapporteurs John Dugard and Richard Falk highlighted the problem of determining when “features of apartheid” signify that an apartheid regime is operating, which would constitute a matter that might be referred to the ICJ. For both rapporteurs, the question arose with regard to the legality of the Israeli occupation. Mr. Dugard described “road apartheid” in the occupied Palestinian territory and noted that the Israeli occupation has “features” or “elements” of apartheid. However, whether Israel is constituted as an apartheid regime remained for Mr. Dugard a question still to be legally determined (A/62/275). Mr. Falk adopted a similar position (A/HRC/25/67, p. 21).”

The report was thus set to determine whether there is a systematic, overarching, purposeful and intentional Israeli policy of Apartheid – one which goes beyond partial appraisals of it in this or that territory.

While acknowledging the different domains of Israeli policy vis-á-vis Palestinians (again: citizens, East-Jerusalem ‘residents’, occupied and refugees), the report regards them as part of a whole. While Palestinians in domain 1 (citizens) are no doubt under the least oppressive circumstances of the four, still, systematic discrimination against them exists – on an established racial basis. Besides the myriad of racist laws applying to them, there is the basic notion, that they are those who did not flee the Nakba of 1948. In the section titled ‘Demographic engineering’ (p. 31), the report notes that

“the first general policy of Israel has been one of demographic engineering, in order to establish and maintain an overwhelming Jewish majority in Israel. As in any racial democracy, such a majority allows the trappings of democracy — democratic elections, a strong legislature — without threatening any loss of hegemony by the dominant racial group.”

Theoretically, one could attempt to argue that Palestinians citizens of Israel could have enjoyed completely equal rights (as Israeli apologists misleadingly do, regularly), and still the Apartheid policy could hold – in that Israel could be using them as an ‘alibi’ or ‘aberration’ to the overwhelming majority of Palestinians upon which it practices more overt and tangible Apartheid. But Israel goes way beyond that, and the report provides examples of how Apartheid applies also for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The report also goes to a considerable extent to exclude partial, euphemistic or generalist appraisals of ‘Apartheid’, such as (p. 13):

  1. Defining only regimes consistent with the apartheid regime in South Africa as being apartheid, so that, by definition, digressions from South African practices preclude any charge of apartheid.

  2. Treating discrete practices considered to have qualities of apartheid, such as the so-called “apartheid wall” (“separation fence” or “separation barrier” in official Israeli discourse), as signifying that a State has established a comprehensive apartheid regime.

  3. Defining apartheid as the outcome of anonymous structural global forces, such as global corporate influences or neoliberalism, as enforced by Bretton Woods institutions.

  4. Defining apartheid as the aggregate body of private racist practices by the dominant society as a whole, whereby State involvement is a contingent tool for enforcing a draconian social system based on racial hierarchy, discrimination and segregation.

  5. Treating apartheid as pertaining only to Palestinian citizens of Israel, or only to Palestinians in the occupied territory, or excluding Palestinian refugees and involuntary exiles living outside territory under Israeli control.

Hence the question applied, is whether ‘Grand Apartheid’, that is, an overarching Apartheid, is applicable to Israel, in a singular and absolute sense.

One could summate and analyze much more, but the report is available for all to read. The report concludes (final page),

“on the basis of overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid”.

This is no light notion. Apartheid is a crime against humanity – as mentioned, second only to Genocide.

If the scholarly integrity of this conclusion is to be criticized, it should follow a serious, detailed and scholarly review. The tarnish campaign by Israel and USA has so far not even addressed the critical issues brought forth by the report. It would appear that the intent is to bury it altogether, and avoid the discussion.

While the report reads cogently like a book, it was not meant as a book. It was meant as a tool for political action. Although its official path through the UN appears to have been blocked, it should serve as an important tool for study, appraisal and activism.

The discussion is now in the open, whether Israel and its patrons like it or not.

‘HOW DARE THEY CONDEMN OUR APARTHEID!’

The report, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY WITH APARTHEID!

Israel fumes as UN board slams its ‘apartheid, racial domination’ over Palestinians

Jerusalem’s envoy urges UN chief to reject ‘biased and deceitful’ report by Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on Wednesday after the commission released a report accusing Israel of establishing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

The report, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

The Beirut-based commission slammed Israel’s Law of Return, “conferring on Jews worldwide the right to enter Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship regardless of their countries of origin and whether or not they can show links to Israel-Palestine, while withholding any comparable right from Palestinians, including those with documented ancestral homes in the country,” as a policy of “demographic engineering” meant to uphold Israel’s status as the Jewish state.

The report further accuses Israel of “practices” that have fragmented Palestinians, arguing that it is the “principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

“This fragmentation operates to stabilize the Israeli regime of racial domination over the Palestinians and to weaken the will and capacity of the Palestinian people to mount a unified and effective resistance,” the report reads.

Danny Danon, Israel’s UN envoy, hit back at the report, saying the “attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie.”

“It comes as no surprise that an organization headed by an individual who has called for boycotts against Israel, and compared our democracy to the most terrible regimes of the twentieth century, would publish such a report. We call on the Secretary General to disassociate the UN from this biased and deceitful report,” he said in reference to ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005.

At a press conference accompanying the release of the report, Falk said the document and its findings “come after 50 years of frustrated diplomacy that failed to find a way to liberate the Palestinian people from oppression and denial of rights.”

Tilley said “it has become entirely clear that we’re longer talking about risk of apartheid but practice of apartheid.”

“There is an urgency for a response as Palestinians are currently suffering from this regime,” she said.

FROM

Related Post (Click on link)

US demands UN pull report accusing Israel of apartheid

Envoy Nikki Haley says Washington outraged by publication; Sec-Gen Guterres distances self from it; Israel slams it as ‘despicable’

ANTI APARTHEID VIDEO GONE VIRAL

Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid in Palestine

*
‘Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn’t really bother us’ — Israeli comedian says in closing act

The Israeli comedian Assaf Harel and the host of the show “Good Night With Asaf Harel,” used the monologue of his series finale on Monday to dive into a speech where he said Israel had reached a state of “apartheid” long ago.

“Ever since the right-wing took power, more and more voices are warning of apartheid. Are you kidding? Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages,” Harel said.

More HERE

TODAY’S TOON ~~ FRATERNAL TWINS

Is United States under Trump becoming a twin apartheid country of Israel?

On the same day Trump signs the new Muslim Ban, Israel passes law banning BDS supporters

ISRAEL BANS BDS SUPPORTERS AS TRUMP SIGNS MUSLIM BAN 2.0

Israel passed a bill barring foreign supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights or supporters of boycotting settlements from entering the country.

 

BANKSY WELCOMES YOU TO THE WALL IN BETHLEHEM

‘The Walled Off Hotel’ in Bethlehem, with a view of the separation barrier, will officially open March 11th and comes complete with dozens of pieces of art work by British artist Banksy; artist is known for politically-charged work and has visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in the past.

FROM

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Welcome To The ‘Wall,’ Banksy Style

Under an army watchtower and across the street from the concrete wall Israel has built in parts of the occupied West Bank, street artist Banksy has opened a guesthouse in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

In the revered birth town of Jesus, the Walled Off hotel stands three storeys high. Its bedroom walls and hallways are decorated with the mysterious artist’s stencil graffiti work — one shows an Israeli soldier and masked Palestinian youth having a pillow fight, and a statue of a chimpanzee bell-boy stands at the entrance, clothes falling out of the suitcase he holds.

The hotel, converted from a pottery workshop, has been styled to resemble “an English gentlemen’s club from colonial times,” a statement from the artist said, in acknowledgement of the historical role Britain played in the Middle East.

But the decor has been spiced up with statues choking on tear gas, cherubs hanging from the ceiling, their faces covered by oxygen masks and oil paintings of refugee life jackets washed ashore.

The hotel was set up in secrecy over the last 14 months — Israeli military authorities in the West Bank did not immediately respond when asked if they had been aware in advance.

Banksy, whose real name is not known, described his guesthouse as having the worst view of any hotel in the world: Every room overlooks the barrier which is a symbol of oppression for the Palestinians.

Israel began building it in 2002 at the height of a Palestinian uprising in which Israeli cities were rocked by frequent Palestinian suicide bombings.

Palestinians dub it an “apartheid wall” and an Israeli attempt to grab land in the West Bank, which they want along with Gaza and East Jerusalem, for a future state.

The Banksy statement said the hotel “offers a warm welcome to people from all sides of the conflict and across the world” and was financed by the artist.

Gentle music from a self-playing pianola fills the candle-lit dining room where a framed painting of Jesus looks up at three warplanes, stenciled on the wallpaper above.

The hotel also has its own art gallery and an exhibition dedicated solely to the wall, which features contributions from Palestinians and Israelis.

The Walled Off is Banksy’s biggest project since the 2015 “Dismaland” theme park at the English seaside, where staff carried balloons proclaiming “I’m an imbecile” and model boats full of refugees floated in a pond.

—Reuters

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Dominic Evans)

CELTIC FANS URGE ROD STEWART NOT TO PLAY FOR APARTHEID

SCOTTISH SOCCER FANS URGE ROD STEWART TO CANCEL TEL AVIV GIG
The legendary British musician is slated to rock Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon on June 14
*
Image by Carlos Latuff
 Celtic fans calling on Rod Stewart to support BDS and cancel his concert in Israel.

Celtic fans calling on Rod Stewart to support BDS and cancel his concert in Israel.

Fans of a UK soccer team have urged legendary rock musician and singer Rod Stewart to cancel his anticipated concert in Israel scheduled for June of this year.
“Dear Rod! We are shocked at your recent decision to breach the international cultural boycott of Israel and appeal to you to reconsider your decision,” begins a petition posted by admirers of Scottish soccer club Celtic F.C. to the website change.org.
*
“As a life-long Celtic fan you must be well aware of the special affinity our fans have with the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom. Israel openly uses culture as a form of propaganda to justify its illegal occupation of Palestine,” adds the stated appeal.

Stewart announced his intention to play in Israel in a recorded statement filmed late last year, saying “I’m looking forward to performing in Tel Aviv,” adding “I’ll be playing your favorite hits, with a few surprises too.”

The 72-year-old musician last performed in Israel in 2010 at the Ramat Gan stadium.

The petition also includes a message of support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement, which aims to socially and economically undermine the Jewish state as a way to affect political change.

“Just as South African anti-apartheid activists called for an international boycott which led to the downfall of the apartheid regime, Palestinians are asking for a boycott of Israel as part of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions campaign,” the petition reads.

“As Celtic fans we support the Palestinian-led BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality. Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity!,” the plea adds.

Stewart has yet to respond for comment to the petition.

The legendary British musician is still expected to rock Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon on June 14, 2017.

Source

#NotMyPresident ~~ ON WALLS

Philosophically and morally, I find walls repugnant. Some who support them
say you have to be realistic and accept our divisive human nature and look
to protect "our country". But history tells us that nationalism and
protectionism lead to catastrophe.

8e619f2d6a15c3ca99daf87ad4529dfaON WALLS

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD


Donald Trump in explaining how effective “the wall” between Mexico and the
US would be said to “ask Israel”. This is one liar asking us to ask another
liar! The facts are very clear:

-After most of the residents were ethnically cleansed, a temporary wall of
fences was built around remaining 3500 Palestinians in Al-Majdal to starve
them until they agreed to leave ‘voluntarily’ in 1951 (long after the end
of the 1948 war).  The city was renamed Ashqelon
-The wall around Gaza was completed before even the first Palestinian
suicide bombings started and it was a clear failure. Hundreds of tunnels
were dug underneath and used to transport everything from people to camels
to cars.
*
-The wall in the West Bank was less than 25% complete when Hamas made a
political decision to stop bombings and run for elections in 2006.  Hamas
held to its end of this even though they were not allowed to govern after
being elected.
*
-The International Court of Justice ruled the wall illegal since it is
built in the occupied areas (just like the Israeli colonies are illegal and
subject to 4th Geneva convention)
*
-Even today in 2017, the wall is actually less than 70% complete; nearly
10,000 Palestinians cross to the Israeli side without Israeli permission to
work DAILY and so any person interested in doing violence could do it
-The wall zigzags in ways clearly intended to capture maximum agricultural
lands and natural resources instead of being more secure straighter lines
in most of its currently built course. (what Zionists call ‘maximum
geography with minimum demography’)
*
-The Israeli wall was slated to cost $2.5 billion and be finished in three
years and here we are 14 years later and it cost $8 billion and is not even
finished yet! Imagine the US wall (expected to cost $15-20 billion but will
cost 3-4 times more). US taxpayers are already burdened with $20 trillion
public debt (roughly $60,000 for each of us)
*
-There are Palestinians on both sides of the wall (hundreds of thousands on
the so called "Israeli side"). There are also Israelis on both sides of it.
Thus, it cannot be a security issue.
- See also

From The Sunday Times

From The Sunday Times



Philosophically and morally, I find walls repugnant. Some who support them
say you have to be realistic and accept our divisive human nature and look
to protect "our country". But history tells us that nationalism and
protectionism lead to catastrophe. You cannot have it both ways: think of
your-self as morally superior while also thinking of 'countries' and
'nations' as fighting in a zero sum game. Actually the competition itself
maybe the only zero-sum when you are thinking of sates. The latest spat
created by Trump with Mexico will hurt both countries. Trump and his
Zionist handlers are also trying to prop-up India (as a balance to Islamic
countries); see appointment of the only Indian-American in Trump's cabinet
(Nikki Haley, ardent Israeli apologist). This will surely also backfire
hurting India, USA, and Islamic countries (opening more roads to Daesh and
its like minded terror groups to recruit).  It is exactly like when
Zionists pushed for the US war on Iraq that damaged Iraq but also damaged
the US ($3 trillion cost and thousands of American lives) and Israel
(because removing Saddam strengthened Lebanon, Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran).
China will come out a winner because it is working to keep good relations
with everyone.

ISRAELI MEDIA LIED ABOUT COLDPLAY’S CONCERTS

Yesterday I joyfully posted that Coldplay was planning two concerts in Israel and Palestine, billed as two Peace Concerts …..

It was not true according to the group.

On Monday, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported that the band would play two concerts in Israel, on November 3 and 4, 2017 that would be marketed as “human rights concerts” which will be dedicated to messages of peace and unity.

On Tuesday, however, a representative for the band said the report was not true.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay denies it plans to perform in Israel

Popular British rock band denies reports it is planning two “peace concerts” in Israel.

Popular British rock band Coldplay on Tuesday denied reports that it was planning two “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs this coming November, JTA reported.

On Monday, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported that the band would play two concerts in Israel, on November 3 and 4, 2017 that would be marketed as “human rights concerts” which will be dedicated to messages of peace and unity.

In addition, Channel 2 said, the audience at the two concerts will be comprised of both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, with tickets for the shows to be sold in the Palestinian Authority as well as in Israel.

On Tuesday, however, a representative for the band said the report was not true.

Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, recently visited Israel and reportedly discussed the possibility of the band coming for a performance in Israel for the first time ever.

Coldplay’s refusal to come to Israel has over the years produced rumors that its members do not want to come to Israel for political reasons, but Israeli producers stressed during Martin’s visit that the band vehemently denied the rumors in private conversations.

In fact, in 2016 Coldplay collaborated with Israeli directors Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia who directed the award-winning video clip for the song Up&Up.

 

FROM

COLDPLAY TO PLAY BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

The British rock band Coldplay will play two “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinians.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay singer Chris Martin

Coldplay to Play 2 Israeli-Palestinian Peace Concerts in West Bank

The British rock band Coldplay will play two “peace concerts” for Israelis and Palestinians.

The concerts, set for Nov. 3 and 4, will be performed at an outdoor location north of the Dead Sea, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Monday.

The shows will aim to promote human rights and bring people together, The Times of Israel reported. The tickets — 50,000 for each concert — will be sold in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Coldplay, which has sold over 80 millions records worldwide, will arrive in Israel two weeks before the shows and record a song with Israeli and Palestinian artists.

Few artists have attempted similar Middle East peace-themed concerts on this scale. Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman, played a concert in the Israeli Jewish-Muslim coexistence village Neve Shalom in 2006. He has since become a leading proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Leonard Cohen made a failed attempt to play a concert in the Palestinian territories in 2009 while touring in Israel.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin is currently the artistic director for the Global Citizen Festival, which is run by the Global Poverty Project, an organization devoted to ending extreme poverty by 2030.

Two of Coldplay’s recent musicvideos were directed by Israelis.

From Coldplay’s FaceBook Page

The band fronted by Chris Martin has come under fire after posting a link to a “Freedom for Palestine” video by the band OneWorld on their Facebook page.

The song, which contains the controversial lyrics: “No matter your faith or your community/ this is a crime against humanity” and “Enough illegal occupation/ violence and racial segregation,” calls for people to rally in support of Palestine. As the chorus goes, “We are the people/ this is our time/ stand up, sing out/ for Palestine.”

LOUIS ARMSTRONG SINGS FOR PALESTINE

Not really, but it’s fitting …..

Don’t Fence Me In Louis Armstrong & His All Stars

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By Banksy

By Banksy

#InIsrael ~~ DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION APARTHEID

Israel jails Palestinian journalists and threatens to revoke permits of international journalists, including Australia’s Antony Loewenstein, pictured in 2014, over unfavorable coverage. (Claudio Accheri)

antony-loewenstein

Israel threatens to expel reporter who asked apartheid question

Israel is threatening to expel an Australian journalist in Jerusalem, accusing him of being a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The threat against Antony Loewenstein comes after the freelance journalist asked a question about Israeli apartheid at a press conference given by former government minister Yair Lapid, and after a campaign against him by the anti-Palestinian group HonestReporting.

“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office, told The Jerusalem Post. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.”

Speaking to The Electronic Intifada, Loewenstein, who has won recognition for his reporting from South Sudan and Afghanistan, dismissed any suggestion he had misrepresented himself.

“I am an accredited freelance journalist which is how I presented my work to the Israeli government in March, which they accepted,” Loewenstein said. “I’m not here associated with any organization. I’m here as a freelancer, officially, so there’s been no misrepresentation by me, ever.”

Loewenstein has written about the region for more than a decade, including the bestselling book My Israel Question.

Growing crackdown

The effective threat to expel Loewenstein comes a week after the Committee to Protect Journalists revealed that this year Israel remained among the world’s worst jailers of reporters – all of those in its cells are Palestinians.

And earlier this month, Israel detained and expelled Isabel Phiri, associate general secretary of the World Council of Churches, claiming she too supports BDS.

Last week, Israel’s Shin Bet secret police barred entry to two leaders of a British Muslim humanitarian aid group, citing “security reasons.” The two officials from Muslim Hands were invited to the country by the Abraham Fund Initiatives, which the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz describes as “a nonprofit group that promotes coexistence, cooperation and equality between Jews and Muslims.”

In August, Israel’s public security and interior ministries set up a joint task force to deny entry to or expel foreign activists allegedly affiliated with organizations that support BDS.

This is part of a broader crackdown, whose primary targets are Palestinians.

On Friday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that it has been receiving a “worryingly high number of complaints” about Israel violating basic rights of Palestinian human rights activists.

It said that human rights defenders living under Israeli occupation “face daily violations of some of the most fundamental protections afforded by international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

The UN said peaceful protest and opposition to the occupation is effectively outlawed.

Anatomy of a smear

Loewenstein became a target after he asked a challenging question at a press conference last week to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party that was formerly part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

“You talked before about the idea that since Oslo, Israel has done little or nothing wrong, but the truth is that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the occupation,” Loewenstein began, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Pointing to the large number of Israeli settlers now in the occupied West Bank, Loewenstein continued: “Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, where you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during apartheid?”

In response, Lapid attacked The Guardian, claiming that it and other publications are encouraging Palestinians to be intransigent.

From there, HonestReporting, a pro-Israel group whose managing editor once worked in the Israeli army spokesperson’s unit, launched a campaign against Loewenstein.

It called him “an anti-Israel activist” and implied he had obtained his official Israeli press card and membership in the Foreign Press Association under false pretenses.

“Loewenstein is clearly incapable of reporting on Israel in a fair and objective manner,” HonestReporting asserted.

“Did Loewenstein gain his official press card by claiming to be a Guardian writer?” the group asked, effectively making an allegation without any basis.

HonestReporting took its campaign to The Guardian directly, complaining to the newspaper that “hiring Loewenstein was the equivalent of hiring a corporate lobbyist to be the newspaper’s business correspondent.”

This apparently elicited the desired response: The Guardian threw Loewenstein under the bus – presumably without speaking to him first.

According to The Jerusalem Post, The Guardian’s head of international news, Jamie Wilson, said that Loewenstein was contracted to write comment pieces for Guardian Australia and remains an occasional comment contributor but he “is not a news correspondent for The Guardian in Israel.”

And The Guardian’s correspondent in Jerusalem, Peter Beaumont, emailed HonestReporting that he had never heard of Loewenstein.

The Guardian’s distancing itself from Loewenstein is a welcome development,” HonestReporting’s managing editor Simon Plosker said, adding that the Foreign Press Association should revoke Loewenstein’s membership and the Israeli Government Press Office should cancel his accreditation.

Loewenstein told The Electronic Intifada that he identifies himself accurately as a freelancer and author of several books, who contributes to many publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times and Newsweek Middle East.

Loewenstein noted that in the tight-knit world of foreign correspondents in Israel, it would be impossible to get away with misrepresentation: “It’s a pretty small place.”

But the smear did its job and now Loewenstein is a target for government expulsion for asking a challenging question of an Israeli leader.

In February, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Israel’s intimidation of the international media, including threats to revoke the credentials of reporters who published headlines it didn’t like.

“It is virtually impossible to work as a reporter in Israel and the occupied territories without a press card,” the group’s executive director Robert Mahoney said. “The threat of withdrawing accreditation is a heavy handed approach at stifling unwelcome coverage.”

MAKE UP YOUR MIND ROBERT DE NIRO!

First there was this …..

94996cb9ef22f3e039ae719c1e9f276e

Now this …..

American Friends of the IDF (FIDF) held last night an event in Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel to honor IDF soldiers. Some 1,200 arrived from the US and Israel.

Those in attendance included Oscar-winning movie star Robert De Niro and media personality Larry King, the movie star, bodybuilder and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, actress Joanna Krupa, and actor Gerard Butler.

Robert De Niro, Larry King, and Haim Saban with soldiers (AJR Photography)

Robert De Niro, Larry King, and Haim Saban with soldiers (AJR Photography)

Hollywood salutes IDF soldiers

Hollywood stars came to show support for IDF soldiers at annual FIDF gala event in Los Angeles.

Full report HERE

MAKE UP YOUR MIND ROBERT DE NIRO!

And this is Hollywood as we know it today …

Images by Carlos Latuff

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IN PHOTOS ~~ CONCRETE APARTHEID

TIMES SQ. NYC: PROTEST ISRAELI HYJACK OF WOMAN'S PEACE BOAT TO GAZA IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS (PIRACY) Photo © by Bud Korotzer

TIMES SQ. NYC: PROTEST ISRAELI HIJACK OF WOMAN’S PEACE BOAT TO GAZA IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS (PIRACY)
Photo © by Bud Korotzer

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Instead, this is what we get …
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Construction on the Gaza border barrier

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Construction underway on the IDF’s largest ever project ever—a subterranean concrete barrier.
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The barrier project is comprised of three components: the construction of a concrete barrier reaching several stories underground, the construction of a barrier several stories tall along the length of the border, and equipping both with a wide range of defensive technologies.
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Building the border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

Building the border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Construction on the border with Gaza (Photo: Roee Idan)

Construction on the border with Gaza (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Construction workers building the Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

Construction workers building the Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Cement being poured into the underground Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

Cement being poured into the underground Gaza border barrier (Photo: Roee Idan)

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Full report and video HERE

IN PHOTOS ~~ PROTEST AGAINST APARTHEID

What was still is ....

What was still is ….

Be sure not to miss this post from yesterday (Click on link)

TRANSFORMATION OF A SELF HATING JEW TO A TERRORIST

PROTESTING THE JEWISH NATIONAL FUND CONVENTION @ THE NYC HILTON HOTEL

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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GAZA’S UNDERGROUND SIEGE

Do you see a similarity? … as history repeats itself
Famous photo taken in the Warsaw Ghetto

Famous photo taken in the Warsaw Ghetto

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Photo that Israel does not want you to see .... child being harassed by ziocop in Gaza Ghetto

Photo that Israel does not want you to see …. child being harassed by ziocop in Gaza Ghetto

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The Warsaw Ghetto in 1940, the year of its construction. The Nazis herded and confined more than 400,000 Jews into a small area of the city.

The Warsaw Ghetto in 1940, the year of its construction. The Nazis herded and confined more than 400,000 Jews into a small area of the city.

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The nazis never went as far as this ….

Building starts on underground Gaza barrier

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With a budget of NIS2 billion, work has begun on constructing an above and below ground barrier on the border with Gaza; work has started primarily in the Gaza border communities; government promises that there is a budget for the project.
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Israel is planning to build a massive concrete wall which will extend below ground along the Gaza Strip border, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper has revealed. The barrier is aimed at combating the threat posed by Hamas tunnels crossing into the country from Gaza.
The wall, which will stretch along the 96km (60 mile) border around the Gaza Strip, will extend several dozen meters below the ground, and will also be present above the ground. It is estimated to cost US$568 million.

The costly plan – aimed at tackling Hamas terror tunnels – was cleared for publication by Israel’s military censor, according to Ynet, a website affiliated with Yedioth Ahronoth.The wall will be the third defense system of its kind to be erected along the border.

The first 60km (37 mile) barrier was constructed in 1994, following the Oslo Accords. The second was built following Israel’s decision to disengage from Gaza in 2005. However, neither system proved successful in combating the threat of attack tunnels.

Israel’s plan comes after two Hamas tunnels spanning from Gaza to Israel were discovered in April and May. Hamas has confirmed it is building tunnels, and residents in southern Israel communities bordering Gaza have reported hearing digging sounds under their homes, i24 reported.

Hamas has previously used tunnels to avoid or carry out attacks, store weapons, and enter Israel. It says, however, that the tunnels are needed to defend against Israeli fire.

In February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to build barriers to “defend ourselves against wild beasts.”

“We are preparing a multi-year project to encircle Israel with a security fence, to defend ourselves in the Middle East as it is now, and as it is expected to be,” Netanyahu said in a statement at the time.

“At the end, in the State of Israel, as I see it, there will be a fence that spans it all,” he added. “I’ll be told, ‘This is what you want, to protect the villa?’ The answer is yes. Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers? The answer is yes. In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the wild beasts.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy reported in March that Israel is building an ‘Underground Iron Dome,’ a system that could detect and destroy cross-border tunnels. The government has spent more than $250 million on the project since 2004, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV station.

The Thursday report comes just one day after a senior Defense Ministry official said that Israel has “no desire to rule over Gaza, and as long as there is no alternative government there, we have no business being there…but on the other hand, we cannot conduct a constant war of attrition.”

“Therefore the next conflict has to be the last conflict in terms of Hamas ruling the Strip. We are not looking for an adventure, but a confrontation with Hamas is inevitable. It is an ongoing and growing threat and we need to be prepared for it,” he added.

ISRAELI APARTHEID CAUGHT ON VIDEO

For those who still might have doubts ……

Israeli soldier assaults child playing on Jews-only road

In September 2012, Israeli security forces put up a chain-link fence along al-Ibrahimi Street in Hebron, separating the paved road from a narrow, rough walkway. Since then, B’Tselem has twice documented security forces denying Palestinians access to the paved road, despite official claims that there is no such prohibition. On 25 July 2016, B’Tselem volunteer Raed Abu Ramileh filmed a Border Police officer seizing the bicycle of 8-year-old Anwar Burqan and throwing it in the bushes for riding it down the paved road, which is reserved for settlers.

 

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The separation and discrimination between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank does not involve public transport only. This video features footage of Border Police officers stating that one side of a newly erected fence is for Jews, the other for Arabs.

The separation principle is an official policy of the Israeli military separating Jews and Moslems in the city of Hebron. The policy is implemented primarily through severe restrictions on Palestinian travel and movement in downtown Hebron, where most Israeli settlement outposts are located. Some of the main roads in the area are completely off limits to Palestinians, and many roads bar any and all Palestinian vehicles. Israel’s strict restrictions have made the lives of Palestinians in downtown Hebron intolerable, forcing many to leave their homes and jobs.

On 23 September 2012 Israeli security forces laid out a chain-link fence, dividing the road lengthwise. On one side of the fence is a paved road and on the other, a narrow pedestrian passageway. Since the fence was erected, Israeli security forces have not allowed Palestinians to walk on the road. Instead they direct Palestinians to the narrow passageway, which is unpaved, rough and ends in a small staircase. The passage is completely impassible by wheelchair and is very difficult to navigate with a baby carriage, pushcart or bicycle.

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The military resumed its segregation on the main street of a-Salaimeh neighborhood, in force from Sep. 2012 to Mar. 2013 when it was abandoned following to the airing of footage by B’Tselem. The military again bans Palestinians from the main part of the street, directing them to a narrow side road. This is part of the military’s overall policy of severe restrictions on Palestinian movement in downtown Hebron, implemented ever since the 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs perpetrated by settler Baruch Goldstein.

 

 

Full report by Ali Abunimah HERE

JUSTIFICATION FOR ISRAELI RACISM AND APARTHEID

First read THIS post from yesterday

“In Arab culture, it is customary to bring lunch or dinner to the pool and when, usually, when it’s crowded, mess is left behind. My Jewish residents don’t make a mess and don’t leave trash behind.”

Aftermath of a Palestinian picnic

Aftermath of a Palestinian picnic

Did Israel Lawmaker Just Call for Swimming Pool Apartheid?

An Israeli mayor from the Galilee apologized for causing offense by saying that he does not want Arabs to use swimming pools of predominantly-Jewish towns and cities.

Speaking on the Kol Rega radio station Thursday, Motti Dotan, head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, said: “I don’t hate Arabs, but I don’t want them at my pools. I don’t go to their pools, either.”

His statement, published prominently by Haaretz and other media, provoked outrage and accusations of racism against Dotan, a member of the Likud party and a board member of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.

In Thursday’s radio interview, he ascribed his opinion to “cultural differences” and not racism. He cited different dress norms. In an interview for 103FM, he said: “I apologize if anyone was offended by what I said.”

Dotan noted that no Jews swim at an Arab-owned private pool near Kibbutz Beit Rimon, one of several Jewish communities and towns represented by his council. Neighboring Arab towns and villages are represented by a different regional council. But he also said “no one checks bathers at the entrance” to pools and that Arabs are free to enter any of them.

In the 103FM interview, he said Arab bathers tend to leave a mess behind them.

“In Arab culture, it is customary to bring lunch or dinner to the pool and when, usually, when it’s crowded, mess is left behind. My Jewish residents don’t make a mess and don’t leave trash behind,” he said.

“If [Arabs] would behave according to our norms, then I’d have no problem. But that doesn’t happen, so I generalize,” he said in the Kol Rega injterview. “When Jewish men and women will feel comfortable in an Arab town, then I will be happy to have them over. But until that happens, I don’t want them.”

Yousef Jabareen a Knesset member with the Joint Arab List party slammed Dotan’s comments, telling Haaretz: “In addition to being morally unacceptable, they constitute a criminal offense, and I am contacting the attorney general to open a criminal investigation.”

In a statement, the Abraham Fund Initiatives, a nonprofit that promotes coexistence between Israeli Jews and Arabs, quipped: “Motti Dotan .., isn’t a racist. He simply doesn’t want dirty Arabs in his pool. For his part, he promises not to go to ‘their’ pools (the imaginary pools existing in all of the Arab communities in the Lower Galilee).”

In April, a right-wing Knesset member was slammed for saying Arab and Jewish mothers in Israel’s maternity wards should be placed in separate rooms. In a Twitter post, Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home party said, “It’s natural that my wife wouldn’t want to lie down [in a bed] next to a woman who just gave birth to a baby who might want to murder her baby twenty years from now.”

Smotrich added that “Arabs are my enemies and that’s why I don’t enjoy being next to them.”

Soon after their posting, the tweets were criticized by party leader Naftali Bennett.

The leader of a local Israeli government council said Thursday that he doesn’t want to see Arabs using public swimming pools in his locality.

“I don’t hate Arabs, but I don’t want them at my pools,” Lower Galilee Regional Council head Motti Dotanhe told a radio station. “I don’t go to their pools, either.”

WHY IS THIS RACIST THEY ASK …

Can anyone answer this?

‘I don’t want to see Arabs in our swimming pools’

Galilee council head stirs controversy defending limitations on pool use in Jewish towns. ‘Why is it racist?’

How quickly they forget

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Lower Galilee Regional Council head Motti Dotan stirred up controversy on Thursday after he defended the practice of barring access to local swimming pools to non-residents, which some claim is used to prevent Arabs from using facilities in Jewish communities.

The former Labor member turned Likudnik said he “didn’t want to see them in our pools”, rejecting suggestions the desire for separation was rooted in racism.

Speaking to Kol Rega on Thursday, Dotan insisted he bears no malice towards Israel’s Arab population, but recognizes there are different cultural norms.

“I don’t hate Arabs,” said Dotan, “but I don’t want to see them in our pools.”

“I don’t go to their pools,” he added, saying that there is a clear difference between the two cultures. “Why is that racist?”

“If they would behave according to our norms, then I’d have no problem. But that doesn’t happen, so I generalize. When Jewish men and women will feel comfortable in an Arab town, then I will be happy to have them over. But until that happens, I don’t want them.”

 

FROM

#InIsrael ~~ UPGRADING APARTHEID

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

WHY NOT TODAY ???

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

Israel Announces $77M Plan to Improve Palestinian Checkpoint Conditions

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

Moshe Kahlon and Moshe Yaalon, who is expected to be replaced as defense chief by Avigdor Liberman as part of a shakeup in the governing coalition, said the plan would make checkpoints, which tens of thousands of Palestinians go through in order to reach jobs in Israel, more efficient and secure, the Times of Israel reported Thursday.

The program is expected to cost $77 million.

Yaalon said in a statement that the program will decrease the wait times for Palestinians at crossings between “30 to 50 percent” and increase the amount of goods that can be transferred by “approximately 30 percent.”

Last month Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, a member of the Jewish Home party who in 2012 was named by a settler group as the second-most right-wing member of the Knesset, surprised many when he criticized the “shameful” conditions at the checkpoints.

Ariel, a former leader of the Yesha Council settlers advocacy group and longtime supporter of settlement construction, noted that West Bank Palestinians are often forced to wait at checkpoints for hours without shade, water or other shelter from harsh weather conditions.

Ariel also called for a new port in Gaza, which has been subject to an Israeli naval blockade since 2006, when Hamas won control of Gaza.

According to the Times of Israel, Yaalon is said to be under current consideration for the post of foreign minister.

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