THURSDAY’S TOONS ~~ ISRAEL TO FENCE ITSELF IN

Images by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu plans fortress Israel to protect against ‘wild beasts’

Netanyahu plans fortress Israel to protect against ‘wild beasts’

Related from HaAretz

Netanyahu: We’ll Surround Israel With Fences ‘To Defend Ourselves Against Wild Beasts’
The government is preparing a multi-year plan to surround Israel with security barriers, prime minister says.’ In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves.’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a tour to the construction site of a barrier on the eastern border on Tuesday that he wishes to surround the country with fences and barriers “to defend ourselves against wild beasts” that surround Israel.

“At the end, in the State of Israel, as I see it, there will be a fence that spans it all,” said Netanyahu. “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.”

Netanyahu added that the government is preparing a multi-year plan to surround all of Israel with security barriers, as well as a plan to close the breaches in the separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank.

The other fence …

Erdogan-Merkel Deal on Refugees

Erdogan-Merkel Deal on Refugees

MR. APARTHEID LOCKS HIS DOORS RATHER THAN FACE THE MUSIC

More photos can be seen HERE

More photos can be seen HERE

On the spot observation by Chippy Dee

Our Leviev Valentine’s event was yesterday – we shut him down again – they were supposedly closed for inventory (on a Saturday?). Again there were some crazies carrying on, screaming, grabbing someones phone and throwing it.  The NYPD was there and refused to arrest him because the phone was still working.  All of us ‘law & order types’ were chanting, “Arrest him!” but they didn’t.  Of course if that was a Black kid he’d be at Sing-Sing by now or on a coroner’s gurney. 

See the ugly face of zionism here …

Some background on why we demonstrate FROM

Love Under Apartheid at Leviev in New York City, Valentine’s 2016

A week before Valentine’s Day, as couples in many countries prepare to celebrate their love for one another, at our protest at Leviev diamonds in New York City we remembered that Palestinians do not have the freedom to love whomever they choose due to Israel’s apartheid policies. We celebrated through the stories below the many Palestinians who dare to defy apartheid with love. Leviev, by building Israel settlements, contributes to Israel’s apartheid program. For more information see

Palestinians — whether living in Israel as Israeli citizens or in Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza, live under Israeli rule. Israel assigns separate ID cards to the Palestinians living in each area, and each ID card carries a different status and different rights. While this impacts Palestinians in many ways, one of the most intrusive and harmful results is the separation of loved ones.

Palestinians do not have the freedom to love whomever they choose because multiple Israeli policies prevent them from doing so. For instance, if someone from the West Bank fell in love with someone from Gaza, they could not be together, because one carries an Israeli government-issued “West Bank only” ID and the other a “Gaza only” ID. This is despite the fact that both the West Bank and Gaza Strip are designated as Palestinian territories.

The Israeli Citizenship Law, which was enacted in 2003, prevents Palestinian citizens of Israel from marrying the spouse of their choice. This law affects thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and many couples have been forced to leave the country as a result, leaving behind their homes and their families.

Here are a couple of stories from the Love Under Apartheid campaign:

Taiseer and Lana, affected by Israeli Citizenship Law

Taiseer is a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the city of Akka and his wife Lana is a Palestinian from the city of Jenin. Taiseer is an anthropologist and Lana is a librarian. Though they were already married, once the Citizenship Law was put in place, Lana was placed in a new legal category. She lives constantly in fear that she could be separated from her husband and their three young children.

Taiseer says: “We have the right to love and live just like any other people in the world. We are not any less than any people who choose whom, how or where they love.”  

Lina, affected by Military Order 1650 

Lina’s parents met while they were college students in the West Bank in the 1980’s. They fell in love, got married and had children. Lina’s mother has a West Bank ID and her father is a British citizen and originally from Gaza. In the 1980’s, Palestinians were more free to live and travel between the Palestinian territories, but in 2009, Israeli Military Order 1650 changed everything. One day while traveling for his work as a journalist, Lina’s father was stopped at checkpoint, arrested by soldiers and deported to Gaza, without a chance to say goodbye to his family.

Lina says: “One day we found our family split right in the middle…for my parents not to see each other…it was really emotional watching the effects on them…My dad would send me text messages at the most random hours of the day. I knew he was unable to sleep, thinking ‘I had my family with me, I had a job, I had a house, and overnight that completely changed.'”

These stories offer just a glimpse into life under Israeli policies. Palestinians are forced to adjust their lives every time a new policy is in place, every time a border shifts around them. These couples and families don’t break the law, the law breaks them. Still, despite these obstacles, Palestinians choose to love, and choose to fight for their rights every day.

DON’T BUY APARTHEID FOR YOUR VALENTINE

Valentine’s Protest at Leviev NYC

Saturday, February 6
1-2:30

“A Diamond Is Forever” but Apartheid Has to End!

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Join Adalah-NY in front of occupation-profiteer Lev Leviev’s diamond store in NYC to demand Leviev stop taking Palestinians’ land, rights, and lives!

This Valentine’s shopping season join us in supporting Palestinians as they shake off Leviev’s practices of hate.

There’ll be parodies, signs, chanting!

For two years in a row, Leviev’s store has been closed for our December Anti-Apartheid Holiday Carols protest. Come out to see if we can shut him down right before Valentine’s Day as well!

RSVP on Facebook

Adalah-NY’s campaign to boycott Leviev is part of the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Event Location:

Leviev NYC

700 Madison Ave Between 62nd and 63rd Sts

New York , NY

 

BAD FOR THE GOOSE BUT NOT FOR THE GANDER? ~~ THE TWO SIDES OF APARTHEID

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Without hesitation, we condemned every statement made by Israeli elected officials and prominent rabbis who stated it is unlawful for Jews to rent or sell property to Arabs in Israel.

How then could we be silent when a so-called Left wing activist plays the same ‘game’ and acts like a total ‘Schmuck‘ on the other side of the wall? 

We can’t!

How can we condemn those Israeli officials who advocate not selling property to an Arab and be expected to remain silent when  the Palestinian Authority decrees it illegal to sell property to a Jew? If the PA made it clear that the sales are forbidden to prevent the creation of or the expansion of illegal settlements, we would agree with it. But, it doesn’t, so we can’t! Two wrongs definitely make a right!

What is bad for the goose is also bad for the gander!

Ezra Nawi was wrong for his statements. Hate is wrong! Apartheid is wrong! Nothing can justify either, no matter who is spreading it.

DesertPeace without hesitation condemns the actions and words of Ezra, a man who in the past received support from the entire Movement when he was incarcerated by the Israeli Authorities for his activities. He owes it to all of us to be on the side of Justice … on BOTH sides of the wall.

 

The following has gone viral in the Israeli press and on the Web internationally. The purpose being to defame the entire Left for the actions of one outspoken individual. From those sources we do not expect better, from Ezra Nawi we do.

A man whose actions must not be condoned! Ezra Nawi. Photo from WIkimedia Commons

A man whose actions must not be condoned!
Ezra Nawi. Photo from WIkimedia Commons

Israeli Activist Says He Helps Kill Palestinians Who Sell Land to Jews

A prominent Israeli campaigner for Palestinian rights was recorded saying that he helps Palestinian authorities find and kill Palestinians who sell land to Jews.

The recording was aired Thursday by the television program Uvda of Israel’s Channel 2. In it, Ezra Nawi, a Jewish far-left activist from the Ta’ayush group, is heard speaking about four Palestinian real-estate sellers, whom Nawi said mistook him for a Jew interested in buying their property.

“Straight away I give their pictures and phone numbers to the Preventive Security Force,” Nawi is heard saying in reference to the Palestinian Authority’s counterintelligence arm. “The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot.”

In the Palestinian Authority, the penal code reserves capital punishment for anyone convicted of selling land to Jews. This law, which Palestinian officials defended as designed to prevent takeovers by settlers, has not been implemented in Palestinian courts, where sellers of land to Jews are usually sentenced to several years in prison. However, in recent years several Palestinian have been murdered for selling land. Their murders have remained unsolved.

Nawi was also documented obtaining information from a Palestinian who believed Nawi was a Jew interested in purchasing land. Nawi is seen saying he intends to give that information to Palestinian security officials as well. According to Uvda, an activist with the human rights group B’Tselem helped Nawi set up the would-be seller in a sting operation in which the seller would be arrested.

The recordings and footage were collected by right-wing activists who secretly recorded Nawi.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook Friday that the report “unmasked radicals among us, whose hatred for settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of delivering innocents for torture and execution. Those who encourage murder cannot continue to hide behind the hypocritical pretense of caring for human rights.”

2016 ~~ THE YEAR THE WALL WILL FALL!

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Happy New Year from Carlos Latuff

Happy New Year from Carlos Latuff

IN PHOTOS ~~ AN EARLY CHRISTMAS FOR APARTHEID

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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And The Queen of Apartheid herself …

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STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH ~~ ‘ISRAEL COULD BECOME AN APARTHEID STATE’

It already is one …. but the following is a good warning nevertheless

South Africa’s last white president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Frederik Willem de Klerk urges Israelis not to follow the same path as his own country, because that could would lead to the abyss.

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De Klerk: Without two-state solution, Israel could turn into apartheid state

Frederik Willem de Klerk, 79, South Africa’s last white president and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, visited Israel this week. He was a guest at an anti-racism conference organized by the Berl Katznelson Foundation. I met him in Tel Aviv the next day. “I don’t give one-on-one interviews anymore,” he told me. Eventually, he relented, and I can see why. Using polite, carefully crafted words, he sought to tell the Israelis: Don’t follow the same path as my country, South Africa, because that road would lead you into the abyss.

Is Israel an apartheid state?

“I don’t think so,” he said. “But if the two-state solution is not implemented, and if, in such a situation, the Jews have special rights while the Palestinians live as second-class citizens, Israel will become an apartheid state.”

What do you mean?

“The essence of apartheid is racial discrimination,” he said. “We didn’t invent it: All of the colonial powers led such regimes. In 1948, we turned the policy that was already being implemented on the ground into law. That was stage one. In the second stage, John Vorster, the prime minister during the 70s, tried to address the de-colonization process. He gave independence to nine black districts. It was a wish, a fiction – the world refused to recognize it.

“In the third stage, we tried to give both blacks and Indians partial political rights and divide the land. That stage was also unsuccessful: The offered land was divided into enclaves and too small; the blacks didn’t regard independence as a solution. And then came the fourth stage: One state. At that point, it was the only logical solution.”

Did the international boycott and the economic sanctions against South Africa play a part in reaching the agreement?

De Klerk opposes the boycott against Israel. He is convinced the boycott against his own country did not have any significant impact.

“The sanctions cost us 1.5 percent of growth per year,” he said. “We could have lasted like that for 10-15 years more.

“It wasn’t the boycott that determined what would happen, but our conscience. The only solution that was morally defendable was to begin negotiations and reach a constitution that completely eradicates the apartheid regime and recognize the different sectors in the population and minorities’ rights.”

De Klerk is not eager to talk about it, but the agreement that was reached is far from perfect. The whites went from being a privileged minority to a minority that is being discriminated against. The government is plagued with corruption; there’s no personal sense of security; there is no law.

What can we learn from your experience?

“As an outsider, it seems to me that the window of opportunity for the two-state solution is about to close. You might miss this chance.”

In the interim period after the end of the apartheid regime, I visited South Africa twice. It seems the young white people are leaving, en mass.

“It’s true,” he said. “Many have left – some 800,000. Half of them left because they wanted to experience the world, and half because they didn’t want to live under a black government. They emigrated to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Britain.”

How is it that you of all people, who represented the right wing in a right wing white party, led to the agreement with the African National Congress?

He smiled. “They voted for me because they thought I was the most conservative of all candidates. They were wrong about me.

“A leader’s job is not to follow opinion polls. Leadership requires taking an initiative, a vision, a true aspiration to improve the situation, and the ability to convince your voters that the change in the status quo will benefit them in the long-run. That’s what I did on the white side, and that’s what Mandela did on the black side. We both did it while facing harsh criticism from our camps.

“When I put the agreement to a referendum in 1992, nearly 70 percent of the white population voted in favor. The third that voted against it is angry with me to this very day.”

The director of the Berl Katznelson Foundation, Doron Elhanani, told de Klerk about Marwan Barghouti.

Can Barghouti, like Mandela, make decisions from prison that no one else dares make on the outside?

“I don’t know anything about the man,” de Klerk said. “The lesson we learned many years ago, before we freed Mandela, was that you have to negotiate with whoever has the support of the majority.”

How much of a role did the international community play in reaching your agreement?

“In our case,” he said, “a very small role. Your situation is different, because the conflict was on the international agenda from the beginning. The world can bridge and help, but the decision is primarily yours.”

 

Source

 

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid. Image by Latuff

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid.
Image by Latuff

A MUST WATCH MOVIE IF YOU WANT TO SEE APARTHEID IN ACTION

Last night our local cable company aired one of the most brilliant movies I ever saw; A Dry White Season.

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It takes place in Soweto in the year 1979, but in actuality it could be taking  place in any occupied city in the West Bank TODAY …. the similarities are unbelievable.

It’s a MUST WATCH for anyone who wants to see what apartheid really is, but unfortunately it is no longer available on YouTube (I wonder why ;) )

I was able to find the following two trailers …. but you MUST get a DVD of the movie and see it in its entirety. If anyone reading this finds the full movie online, please add a link in the comments … thanks 

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THE ISRAELI SOLUTION ~~ CONCRETE APARTHEID

Netanyahu officially divides Jerusalem Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu officially divides Jerusalem
Image by Carlos Latuff

SEPARATION RATHER THAN NEGOTIATION

Dividing Jerusalem: Concrete walls separate Jewish, Arab neighborhoods

Police set up temporary wall in East Talpiot in effort to stop barrage of Molotov cocktails from nearby Jabel Mukaber.

Police set up a tall concrete wall at a small area of the East Talpiot (Armon HaNetziv) neighborhood in Jerusalem on Sunday in an effort to stop the constant barrage of Molotov cocktails being thrown from the nearby Jabel Mukaber.

The six concrete slabs were erected at an area known as “The balcony,” where a house has been bombarded with dozens of firebombs over the past year.

The new wall is meant to be a temporary construction, with writing on it indicating it is “a temporary mobile police barrier.” It did not prevent pedestrians from leaving or entering.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the barrier would remain “for as long as needed” and that it could be lengthened based on security needs.

The Zionist Union, the biggest party in the opposition, slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying: “Netanyahu officially split Jerusalem today, and proved that strong speeches were one thing, and actions were a completely different matter.”

“Netanyahu, who warned that ‘if Herzog and Livni were in charge, we’d need armored vehicles to travel to the Western Wall,’ has led to a situation in which Jerusalem was divided on his watch, Jews are afraid to go to the Western Wall, and police and soldiers are securing main streets and malls,” a statement from the Zionist Union went on to say.

“Netanyahu has lost the ability to maintain the security of the citizens of Israel and to keep Jerusalem united and safe – and he must go home.”

East Talpiot has been the focus of the ongoing wave of terrorism and violence and has suffered several attacks and attempted attacks.

The most serious of the attacks was on Wednesday when two terrorists boarded bus 78 and started shooting and stabbing everyone on board. Two men were murdered: Alon Goberberg and 78-years-old Haviv Haim, who lives in the neighborhood, and whose wife Shoshana is still hospitalized in serious condition. One of the terrorists was killed and the other wounded.

In another attack, a 16-year-old from Jabel Mukaber stabbed a Border Policeman asking for identification. The policeman was lightly wounded.

In light of the recent wave of violence, with most of the terrorists coming from East Jerusalem and quite a few of them from Jabel Mukaber, Israel’s Security Cabinet authorized the Israel Police to impose a partial closure at flashpoints in the capital.

The Cabinet also authorized deploying more troops to the city – including increasing and expanding the police’s operational capabilities and recruiting 300 additional security guards for public transportation.

In addition, more police and IDF forces were deployed to major cities and roads, and more troops were sent to sensitive spots on the West Bank separation border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also instructed the Defense Ministry to work on plans to complete the separation barrier, particularly in sensitive areas like southern Mount Hebron.

Source

YET ANOTHER NOBEL PRIZE RECIPIENT DEFENDS ISRAELI APARTHEID

The anti BDS campaign is grasping at straws if they find it necessary to dig up support offered them over a year ago

During a visit to Israel last year, De Klerk said that categorizing Israel as an apartheid state was “unfair.”

In an interview with Channel 2, the former president said that in contrast to the racial segregation in South Africa, “you have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights,” and “you don’t have discriminatory laws against them, I mean not letting them swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state.”

De Klerk and Nelson Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Price in 1993. (Photo: AFP)

De Klerk and Nelson Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Price in 1993. (Photo: AFP)

De Klerk: ‘Odious’ to compare Israel to apartheid South Africa

The former South African president who helped end apartheid says sanctions against Israel would be “counterproductive.”

F.W. De Klerk told Israel Radio Sunday that comparisons between apartheid South Africa and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians are “odious,” and that he prefers “dialogue and negotiation as a way to get governments to change their attitudes.”

Those who support boycotting Israeli goods or goods made in West Bank settlements often point to a similar campaign credited with having undermined white rule in South Africa. Israel rejects the comparison, and says the boycotts are aimed at delegitimizing its very existence.

De Klerk was the last president under apartheid and, along with Nelson Mandela, ended its systematic racial discrimination.

He says the sanctions against South Africa “hurt the people they were intended to help.”

Many in South Africa compare Israel’s presence in the West Bank to apartheid-era South Africa, a charge Israel rejects, resulting in an increasingly strained relationship between the two countries.

During a visit to Israel last year, De Klerk said that categorizing Israel as an apartheid state was “unfair.”

In an interview with Channel 2, the former president said that in contrast to the racial segregation in South Africa, “you have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights,” and “you don’t have discriminatory laws against them, I mean not letting them swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state.”

The former president has also been an advocate of the two-state solution, and in an interview with the Oxford University newspaper in 2014, he said that both Israelis and Palestinians “need to take certain initiatives,” including the recognition of Israel and the establishment of viable borders for a future Palestinian state.

“I’m not saying it’s the right solution for Israel, but there will come in Israel a turning point where if the main obstacles of the moment which exist for a successful two-state solution are not removed, the two-state solution will become impossible,” he said.

“So, as an outsider I would say, believing that a two-state solution might be the best one, you’ll have to move fast, see the window of opportunity, jump through it — it might close.”

Relations between Jerusalem and Pretoria have been frosty for years and further deteriorated after last year’s Operation Protective Edge, when the African National Congress issued a statement comparing Israel’s actions to those of Nazi Germany and accusing Jerusalem of turning the Palestinian territories into “permanent death camps.”

Source

This is what should have been said!

This is what should have been said!

TODAY’S BDS BEX ALERTS

The anti BDS campaign continues in today’s Israeli press …. never before has Israel seemed as desperate as it is now to justify their policies of Apartheid and Occupation.

Click on the links below to see the reports

From the greatest BS'er of the all

From the greatest BS’er of them all

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Israeli left must battle BDS

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Israel to allocate NIS 100 million for BDS

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Netanyahu tells Jpost Conference: Iran, BDS emerging as threats to Israel on world stage

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This is their latest video

PATHETIC!

Gideon Levy has a positive take on the Boycott in today’s HaAretz

For the sins of occupation, boycotts are a light punishment

Orange or SodaStream, academic or artistic boycott, the penalties will grow worse the longer Israel persists in settling, exploiting and stealing Palestinian land.

What are you defending? What are you fighting for? Over what are Israelis entrenching themselves now, with the assaults of the nationalist politicians and the populist media fulminating against the world. Why are they patriotically covering up the orange flags of Orange with the blue-and-white national flag? Has anybody asked why? Why is the boycott starting to gnaw at Israel now, and is this all worth it?

As usual, there are questions that are not even asked. Soul-searching, after all, is a clear sign of weakness. And so an explanation has been invented that absolves us of responsibility: The boycott fell out of the sky, an unavoidable force majeure of Israel hatred, and the only way to fight it is to fight right back at them. Israel always has an abundance of fitting (and sometimes violent) Zionist responses, but it’s always about the outcome, never about the reasons. That’s how was with terror, that’s how it was with the position of the world that Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog, of all Israeli ultranationalists, rushed to label with the ridiculous name “terror of a new kind” (referring to thestatements by Orange SA CEO Stephane Richard). Never give in. That’s fine, but why? We are fighting the boycott, but why did it break out?

Israel is now defending the preservation of the status quo. It is fighting against the whole world to preserve its advanced school of brutality and cruelty, in which it is educating generations of young people to act brutishly toward human beings, old people and children, to tyrannize them, to bark at them, to crush and humiliate them, only because they are Palestinians.

Israel is defending the continuation of apartheid in the occupied territories, in which two peoples live, one of them without any rights. It is defending its entire system of justification for this — a combination of Bible stories, messianism and victimhood, accompanied by lies. It is defending “united Jerusalem,” which is nothing but a territorial monster where separation also exists. It is fighting for its right to destroy the Gaza Strip for as long as it cares to do so, to maintain it as a ghetto and to be the warden of the biggest prison in the world.

The Israelis are fighting for their right to persist in settling, exploiting and stealing land; to continue breaking international law that prohibits settlement, to continue to thumb its nose at the whole world, which does not recognize any settlements. They are now defending their right to shoot children who throw stones and helpless fishermen pursuing the crumbs of a livelihood in the sea off the coast of Gaza, their right to continue snatching people from their beds in the middle of the night in the West Bank; they are fighting for the right to detain hundreds of people without trial, to hold political prisoners, to abuse them.

That is what they are protecting, that is what they are fighting for — for an area that most of them have not been to for years, and don’t care what happens there, for conduct that is shameful even to some of them. These are the sins and this is the punishment. Does anyone think that Israel can go on without being punished? Without being ostracized? And to tell the truth, doesn’t Israel deserve to be punished? Hasn’t the world been unbelievably tolerant so far?

Orange or SodaStream, academic boycott or artistic boycott, these are light punishments. The penalties will grow worse the longer Israel avoids drawing the necessary conclusions. As opposed to attempts by Israel and the Jewish establishment to divert the discussion, at its heart is not anti-Semitism. At its heart is the occupation. That is the source of the delegitimization.

The nation can fight against the position of the whole world. It can stand up for its rights (which are not its rights) and think that it is fighting for its survival. But do the Israelis know what they are defending now? What they are not willing to surrender? Is all this worth it to them? That discussion has not even begun here.

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SEPARATE ~~ BUT NOT EQUAL

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

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Decades of neglect leave East Jerusalem mired in poverty, violence

By: Charlie Hoyle FOR

Decades of chronic under-funding, discriminatory planning rights, and unequal access to services have left the Palestinian community in Jerusalem mired in poverty, according to statistics published by a civil rights group, with youths subject to increased police brutality and arrests since last summer’s demonstrations in the city.

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

The group released the statistics —taken from the Jerusalem Municipality, Israeli Police, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and other official agencies — to coincide with Jerusalem Day, a largely right-wing Israeli national holiday to celebrate the “liberation” and “reunification” of the city following what is internationally recognized as the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

For Palestinians, the day is a painful reminder of their historic loss, displacement, and on going marginalization.

Despite having lived under Israeli rule for 48 years, Palestinians are classified as permanent residents, not citizens, and lack political representation at a national level. The community largely chooses to boycott local municipal elections — in 2013 around 1 percent of Palestinians voted — and are essentially political orphans, with no Israeli or Palestinian political body representing their interests.

The result is recurring neglect of the 300,200 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who form 36.8 percent of the city’s total population.

“These (Palestinian neighborhoods) are places where roads haven’t been repaired for years, where schools haven’t been built, where there is crime and garbage. In that sense you do wonder what the municipality thinks is the future (for East Jerusalem),”Ronit Sela,Director of ACRI’s Human Rights in East Jerusalem Project, told Ma’an.

In terms of public services, 36 percent of Palestinian households are not connected to the water network,43 percent of the classrooms in the municipal system are defined as inadequate, and there is a shortage of 30 kilometers of sewage pipes in Palestinian neighborhoods.

There are only eight post offices in East Jerusalem, compared to 40 in West Jerusalem. Furthermore, Palestinians can access only 9 infant healthcare centers in the city compared to 26 for Israelis, and poverty rates for children are 53 percent higher for Palestinian children, with 8,501 defined as “at risk.”

The dropout rate for Palestinian students in East Jerusalem in 12th grade — where students are 18 years old — is 33 percent, nearly 24 times higher than the dropout rate in the Hebrew education system, which stands at 1.4 percent, and despite forming 36.8 percent of the population — and paying residential and commercial taxes — only 10-13 percent of the overall municipal budget is invested in East Jerusalem,according to rights group Ir Amim.

“Palestinians in Jerusalem suffer first and foremost from the fact there is an on going conflict and Israeli authorities control every aspect of their lives,” Sela says.

Social workers in East Jerusalem say that the myriad of social and political problems can often affect individual Palestinian families directly, with many suffering from having one son in prison and another dropping out of school without qualifications, amid a backdrop of economic marginalization.

“East Jerusalem is not a tiny piece of land or territory, but Israeli policies have been to limit the space where Palestinians can reside, to limit the space where Palestinians can have commercial life or industry and, with the separation barrier, fragment the areas where Palestinians are living and where the center of the community is,” Sela says.

Police brutality, arbitrary law enforcement
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Alongside chronic poverty and economic marginalization, one of the major changes since ACRI’s 2014 report on East Jerusalem are the increasingly draconian police and municipal measures introduced against Palestinians following months of clashes following the murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir last July by Israeli extremists.
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In the second half of 2014, ACRI reported that over 1,184 Palestinians were detained in East Jerusalem, including 406 children, with indictments submitted against 338 of those arrested.
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“Police violence is harsher and the state prosecution is asking for minors to be put under arrest for longer periods of time even before indictments. They keep them in prison custody for longer,” Sela says.
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Around 314 of the 338 Palestinians served with indictments — including 122 children — have been imprisoned since their detention as the charges for “disruption of public order” and riot-related offenses are processed, which adds up to months in jail before a sentence has even been passed.
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Israeli police forces have also provided the Jerusalem municipality with the names of hundreds of suspects wanted for alleged involvement in the demonstrations in order to increase enforcement measures against them, ACRI says, essentially a way of blacklisting Palestinian residents in civilian life.
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Some of the enforcement measures are childishly arbitrary, with ACRI reporting one example of municipal inspectors issuing a fine for the negligible offense of littering the streets with sunflower seeds.
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Other measures, however, are much more serious, with municipal officers issuing demolition orders and fines to Palestinian businesses and homes.
The Hagihon water company, theTax Authority and the National Insurance Institute are also all involved in enforcing arbitrary measures against Palestinian suspects, which were described by ACRI as “collective punishment” and the “abuse of the municipality’s enforcement powers.”
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In addition to the mass arrests — the largest number in East Jerusalem since the Second Intifada — police tactics have become notably more aggressive since last summer’s demonstrations, with the increased use of black sponge-tipped bullets since the summer, a harder, heavier, and more dangerous variant of the blue sponge-tipped bullet, which had been used almost exclusively before last year’s unrest.
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Use of the black variety of the bullets has been responsible for the loss of vision in at least one eye of five Palestinian children during the end of 2014, the youngest of whom was six-years-old.
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One youth, 16-year-old Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut, was killed in September after being struck with the riot control measure in East Jerusalem, which is used almost exclusively against Palestinians.
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ACRI also reported that at least three journalists clearly identified as media workers were hit in the head, face and shoulder by sponge bullets during demonstrations, in contravention against orders prohibiting aiming at the upper body, or children.
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The police tactic has also caused arm fractures, jaw fractures and internal injuries such as spleen tears, with one 30-year-old Palestinian born blind since childhood in one eye left completely blind after being shot with a sponge-tipped bullet.
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Directives for use of the more dangerous black bullet were only drafted in January 2015 after a request from ACRI, a full six months after their regular use against Palestinians.
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Israeli police also regularly used “Skunk” water in Palestinian neighborhoods, spraying the putrid-smelling liquid into houses, restaurants, and cars, with many residents having to temporarily evacuate their homes until the smell subsides.
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In October and November, Israeli forces blocked the main entrances to three major Palestinian neighborhoods — almost unthinkable in the West Jerusalem neighborhoods of Rehavia or the German Colony — restricting the movement of 50,000 Palestinians.
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In April, Israeli police then used cement blocks to seal the neighborhood of al-Tur following clashes, preventing the movement of residents and hindering crucial services such as ambulances and school buses.
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Struggling to stay in the city
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Alongside chronic poverty and punitive police and municipality tactics looms the constant threat of displacement, with Palestinians struggling to remain in the city amid legislation which prohibits planning and building, and punishes violations with eviction and demolitions.
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In 2014, 98 structures were demolished and 208 Palestinians were forcibly displaced, ACRI says.Since 2004, over 2,115 Palestinians have been left homeless by demolitions in East Jerusalem.
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Around 20,000 houses — accounting for 39 percent of East Jerusalem homes — lack a building permit and therefore could be issued a demolition order by the municipality at any point, leaving Palestinian families vulnerable and unable to plan for the future.
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The residency status of 107 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem was also revoked in 2014, adding to the 14,309 since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the city, meaning Palestinians whose families date back centuries in the city are no longer allowed to return.
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Despite five decades of Israeli polices designed to slowly displace Palestinians in Jerusalem, the community forms nearly 40 percent of the city’s population,leaving it unclear as to what the municipality, and indeed the government, has planned, considering that it will unlikely ever concede political control of the Old City.
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In 2014, Israel’s government approved for the first time in history a five year plan for East Jerusalem with a budget of 300 million shekels ($78 million).
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However, a third of the budget was to be allocated to “security,” with the remaining 200 million not nearly enough to reverse decades of deliberate neglect.
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“In order for real and meaningful changes to transpire, a fundamental change of attitude must take place among Israeli authorities,” ACRI said in the report.
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“They need to see the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem as human beings whose dignity must be maintained, whose lives must be protected and whose human rights must be promoted, even as the conflict continues to bleed on the streets of Jerusalem.”

APARTHEID UPDATED ~~ AND REVISED

Defense Ministry decides on separate transport for Arab workers and Jewish residents, to combat overload and friction.

See reversal of decision below

Bus in Samaria (illustration).Hezki Ezra

Bus in Samaria (illustration).Hezki Ezra

Leftist Anger as Arab Workers Banned from Judea-Samaria Buses

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) congratulated Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon Wednesday after the minister announced that Jews and Arabs would go back to riding separate public buses to and from Judea and Samaria, and within these territories.

The decision, two years ago, to allow Arabs on the buses that served Jews “created a situation in which tens of thousands of Palestinian laborers, including thousands of illegal infiltrators, filled the bus lines, and made it impossible for the residents of Judea and Samaria communities who require public transport to return to their homes.”

The policy also brought about a situation rife with sexual harassment, theft, and a feeling of insecurity, charged Yogev – and mostly, great overcrowding that made it impossible for people to go from and to their homes.

Yogev acused opponents of the latest decision of “hypocrisy, lies and irresponsibility.”

Labor leader MK Yitzhak Herzog attacked Yaalon’s decision and said that separation between Arabs and Jews on public transport is “an unnecessary humiliation and a stain on the faces of the state and its citizens. Unneeded fuel on the fire of hatred toward Israel worldwide.”

“This is another mistake by a prime minister who assists and surrenders to a woeful decision that has nothing to do with state security. It would bebest to avoid, at this time, steps that cause unnecessary damage to the reputation and image of the state of Israel, at such a sensitive time,” he added.

 

 

Source

animated-update-image-0024

Israel cancels controversial travel ban for Palestinians after Left screams apartheid

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu have agreed to suspend a controversial pilot program, which in its execution, would have prevented Palestinian workers from traveling home on Israeli buses in the West Bank after working in Israel.

Under the edict of the three-month pilot program, Palestinians were not banned from traveling on Israeli buses.

But the program would have mandated that many Palestinians who live in the West Bank and who enter Israel in the morning through passages in the security barrier, would have to return home through those same crossings, which lack Israeli bus lines.

The pilot program would not have effected all Palestinians and was limited to four checkpoints in the center of the country.

At present Palestinians who enter Israel through those passageways take Israeli buses homes, because they allow for easier travel routes.

The impact of the program which would have separated Palestinians from Israelis on a number of central West Bank Israeli bus lines, had drawn sharp protests from Left-wing politicians and activists.

“This is what apartheid looks like,” Meretz Party head Zahava Gal-On said in response. “No there is no other polite definition that would fall more pleasantly on one’s ears.”

“Separate bus lines for Palestinians and Jews proves that democracy and occupation can not co-exist,” she said.

The Defense Ministry had already said in October that it would execute such a program, but until Wednesday, had taken no action on the matter. It did so following complaints by the Samaria Regional Council and its local community leaders who had argued the Palestinians on the buses presented a security threat to the passengers.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who heads the Zionist Union party, said, “the separation of Palestinians and Israelis from public bus lines is an unnecessary humiliation. It is also a stain on the face of the state of Israel and its citizens.”

He added that at “this sensitive time it would be better to avoid steps which tarnish Israel’s name and reputation.”

“It only adds fat to the fire of hate against Israel in the world,” Herzog said. “This is yet another mistake by the prime minister who lent his hand to this unfortunate decision, which has no bearing on the country’s security.”

MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union) said the implementation was “chilling” and “there was no explanation that can erase its stain on Israel.”

“Dealing with security challenges is hard, but such blatant segregation between Jews and Arabs breaches all international moral norms and will cause the state great damage,” she added.

 

Source

WHY ALL THE FUSS ABOUT BDS?

Boycotts are certainly not a new tool used to fight injustices or to show solidarity with a given Movement ….

My son was almost ten years old when he tasted his first grape …. here’s why;

We supported the strikers of Southern California, led by Cesar Chavez, when the grape workers called for a boycott …

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In September 1965, a collaboration of Filipino and Latino farm workers against the deleterious policies of Californian grape growers initiated one of the organization’s largest boycotts. Protest support reached unprecedented heights as laborers received aid across the country. Commercial establishments, including the Trans-World Airlines, withheld the sale of “California’s poison grapes,” raising worldwide attention to the urgency of farm labor rights. (FROM)

We boycotted grapes and other products imported from Chile during the years of the fascist coup in that country, a coup established and protected by the US Government.

boycott-chile

We boycotted all fruit imported from Israel because of the occupation, also supported by the US Government.

boycott jaffa

And, last but not least, we boycotted all goods imported from the apartheid regime in South Africa.

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In most of the above, our International efforts helped Justice finally prevail. All except the boycott of Israeli goods. But finally this Movement is taking on great proportions. So great are they that the greatest supporter of Human Rights violations in Israel and Palestine, again the US Government, is doing everything in its power to crush BDS.

As much as they would like to, the US cannot stop the clocks of progress. BDS WILL WIN and the occupation will end! Nothing and no one can stop that!!

But why all the fuss about this particular boycott?

Israel, as well, has new legislation in an attempt to stop the growth of the Movement.

They as well cannot stop the clocks of progress.

apartheid-anywhere-is-apartheid-everywhere
And in Israel itself …

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WILL NEW SETTLEMENTS REPLACE THE WALL OF APARTHEID?

wall_must_fall

The city would cover 14,000 dunams (3,500 acres) of the Jerusalem Hills, encompassing the existing small towns of Tsur Hadassah and Mevo Beitar with 20,000 new housing units, just inside the Green Line dividing “Israel proper” from the West Bank.

Planners eye Jerusalem Hills as site for new city of 100,000

Israel Lands Authority plans town to be called Bat Harim, but Jerusalem municipality, greens aim to stop it.

By Nimrod Bousso IN
A construction site in Tsur Hadassah. Photo by Eyal Toueg

A construction site in Tsur Hadassah. Photo by Eyal Toueg

Jerusalem could be getting a giant satellite city in what is today verdant, rolling countryside.

The city would cover 14,000 dunams (3,500 acres) of the Jerusalem Hills, encompassing the existing small towns of Tsur Hadassah and Mevo Beitar with 20,000 new housing units, just inside the Green Line dividing “Israel proper” from the West Bank.

Plans for the proposed city of Bat Harim, which could one day be home to 100,000 people, are due to get their first hearing at a meeting of the Israel Lands Authority Council on Sunday.

But long before the first ground is broken, opposition to the planned city has already been quietly coalescing. The ILA and the Interior Ministry’s Planning Administration favor the idea, but the Jerusalem municipality, which is supposed to take over the area, is opposed.

The area is now under the jurisdiction of Yehuda Regional Council, but plans call for putting the area under the jurisdiction of Jerusalem, even though the capital lies two kilometers northeast of the region.

The area’s existing residents are fighting the idea as well. The Yehuda Regional Council, which would lose control of the area, is leading the battle, backed by residents of Tsur Hadassah and Mevo Beitar, who are loathe to give up their quiet small-town life for decades of construction and urban sprawl.

As it is, even while plans for Bat Harim are just getting started, plans have been approved to build 2,500 homes in Tsur Hadassah, which would double its population and turn the Jerusalem suburb into a small city in its own right.

Plans for about 1,000 of those units were presented a few months ago to a special committee created to speed building approvals to alleviating Israel’s housing crunch. There are also plans for 1,400 homes in Mevo Beitar.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who apparently has not been party to the plans, made known his opposition in a letter to Interior Minister Gilad Erdan and the director general of the ministry, Shuki Amrani, a month ago.

“I was disappointed and surprised to discover in recent months that the Finance Ministry, Housing Ministry, ILA and National Planning and Building Council have been advancing … in an aggressive way – irresponsibly and without coordinating with the Jerusalem municipality – a massive building program in the environs of Jerusalem and its metropolitan area,” he wrote, referring for Bat Harim.

Barkat said that after a slowdown last year in housing starts in Jerusalem, the pace had been recovering and there was no reason for officials to be looking for places outside the city to start massive building projects.

Barkat expressed concern that Bat Harim would destroy the green belt that now surrounds most of Jerusalem and undermine his efforts to keep people from leaving the city because of the high cost of housing and lack of jobs.

“We are talking about erecting a new neighborhood [Bat Harim] that would attract quality population away from Jerusalem and undermine our efforts to strengthen neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s unacceptable that outside forces that don’t understand the national strategy for Israel’s capital are operating over the head of Jerusalem’s mayor.”

In fact, an earlier plan for a new city back in 1999 was ultimately rejected in favor of increasing population density in Jerusalem. A city spokesman said Barket had not yet decided what he would do next to block Bat Harim.

The Interior Ministry had not responded by press time to the report of Barkat’s letter. But the ILA, Environmental Protection Ministry and the Society for the Protecting of Nature in Israel are attacking the plans as an unnecessary assault on open countryside, even as there is plenty of undeveloped land inside Jerusalem still available for development.

The SPNI, which estimates that Jerusalem still has land available to build 100,000 housing units, launched a campaign in February to stop the plans and is organizing a rally outside ILA Council meeting on Sunday.

“Expanding Jerusalem westward by developing an area unconnected geographically from the city will require huge infrastructure investment,” David Leffler, the Environmental Protection Ministry’s director general, said in a letter to Erdan and Amrani last week, calling on them to abandon the plan entirely.

For its part, the ILA says it has little choice but to open up new areas for development to meet the area’s housing needs. It estimates that the Jerusalem area needs 2,500 new homes to be built every year, or 50,000 over the next two decades.

“The solution is the p’nui u’vinui program [enlarging existing buildings] and urban renewal, and also through new cities,” the ILA said in a statement to TheMarker, saying the area slotted for Bat Harim is one of “relatively low environmental sensitivity.”

Despite the opposition, the ILA in October budgeted 1 million shekels ($250,000) for initial planning for Bat Harim by an outside architectural firm. Its proposals will be presented at Sunday’s meeting.

The SPNI contends that the entire process violates the law, noting that planning authorities have in the recent past rejected any attempt to develop the area. The decision to build a new city can only be made by the government, it contends.

“We are amazed that such an ambitious and significant planning undertaking can get underway solely because of an internal decision taken by the ILA,” said SPNI’s attorney Tal Tsafrir.

WHAT DOES JON STEWART’S REPLACEMENT THINK OF ISRAEL?

Noah’s own origins also trigger interest on this topic, since many critics compare Israel’s policies to those of apartheid South Africa. Noah lived through the late years of apartheid as child. Although he has not commented directly on the Israel-Palestinian relationship so far, a couple of his past posts on social media indicate he probably won’t be appearing at next year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

Trevor Noah   Getty Images

Trevor Noah Getty Images

Noah’s own origins also trigger interest on this topic, since many critics compare Israel’s policies to those of apartheid South Africa. Noah lived through the late years of apartheid as child. Although he has not commented directly on the Israel-Palestinian relationship so far, a couple of his past posts on social media indicate he probably won’t be appearing at next year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

Watch Noah discuss his biracial family and childhood in South Africa in the video below from his standup special at the Apollo Theatre in London.

What Does Trevor Noah Think About Israel?

By Gabe Friedman

Many late-night comedy fans had the same reaction Monday morning when it was announced that Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old South African standup comedian who is relatively unknown in the United States, will replace Jon Stewart as the next host of “The Daily Show”: Who exactly is this guy?

Viewers had been calling on Comedy Central to appoint someone well-known like Tina Fey or the fan-favorite “Daily Show” correspondent Jessica Williams to succeed Stewart (overall, the insistence on having a female host in the male-dominated world of late-night comedy was also a constant).

However, some hard-core “Daily Show” fans may recall Noah’s three memorable appearances as a correspondent on the show starting in December of last year, in which he skewered American (and more generally Western) views and stereotypes of Africa.

Noah, born to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father (when interracial relationships were illegal in apartheid South Africa), is already a star in his home country, where he has filmed several standup specials. In 2012 and 2013 he became the first South African comedian to perform on “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” respectively, and in 2012 he was the subject of a documentary called “You Laugh But It’s True.”

Amid all of the anticipation surrounding Noah’s surprise appointment, fans are already keenly interested in his views on the hot-button political topics that Stewart has never been afraid to address – especially the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

This interest in his Middle East views is of course mainly due to the fact that Jon Stewart was (and has been) one of the only mainstream American comedians to harshly critique Israel’s stance towards the Palestinians. Even HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher, one of this era’s most outspoken and unapologetically liberal comics, is usually seen as more pro-Israel than Stewart (and has even been pegged by some as anti-Muslim because of his views on Muslim extremists). Meanwhile former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, who will travel to Israel in June to host the Genesis Prize award ceremony for the second consecutive year, recently told the Associated Press, “It seems like [Israel has] the worst PR in the world,” adding “I don’t understand how Israel is the bad guy here. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

But Noah’s own origins also trigger interest on this topic, since many critics compare Israel’s policies to those of apartheid South Africa. Noah lived through the late years of apartheid as child. Although he has not commented directly on the Israel-Palestinian relationship so far, a couple of his past posts on social media indicate he probably won’t be appearing at next year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

Lastly, “The Nightly Show,” hosted by black comic Larry Wilmore (the show that has replaced “The Colbert Report” in Comedy Central’s coveted 11:30 pm slot), has introduced a new level of social critique to late-night television. Wilmore has made race relations between blacks and whites in the U.S. one of his primary topics.

Naturally, people will now wonder whether Noah will focus as candidly on race and related social issues on “The Daily Show.” Based on his prior “Daily Show” appearances and his standup routines, it seems like Noah is more than willing to do so.

Click HERE to see Twitter links

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The Israeli right wing press is already replacing the word Israel with Jews …

Click on link

(Note in Twitter links above that the word ‘Jew’ never appears)

What Does Jon Stewart’s Replacement Think of Jews?

Trevor Noah, who replaces Jon Stewart as daily Show host, is facing outrage over tweets about rich Jews, pugnacious Israel.

#JeSuisAnti-Apartheid

Paris university shuts down Israeli apartheid event featuring Max Blumenthal

Author Max Blumenthal banned by zion

Author Max Blumenthal banned by zion

In the current context, to ban such a conference amounts to aligning with the policy of exploiting the reaction to the attacks of last January 7 and January 9 in order to install permanently a version of freedom of expression with variable rules. We can still read “We are Charlie” on huge posters on the walls of the university. Doesn’t this mean the university is showing support for a controversial newspaper ? Should we understand that controversy is not legitimate unless it is consistent with the dominant ideology ? 

The following news statements about an event set for tomorrow night in Paris at a university founded in 1969 as an experimental center on social issues were issued today by the French Palestinian solidarity organization AURDIP (Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine) and the Collectif Palestine at the university.

AURDIP COMMUNIQUÉ – We have just learned that, once again, the presidency of the University Paris 8/Saint-Denis decided, at the last moment, to ban a conference, this one entitled Israel apartheid is real [featuring Max Blumenthal and Bilal Afandi]. The conference intended to shed light on Israel’s apartheid policy toward the Palestinian people, a policy that AURDIP itself has constantly condemned. As a collective of academics, we are outraged by this attack on academic freedom, the freedom of expression, and the freedom of open debate. As defenders of human rights and the respect of international law, we wish to express our deep dismay at the complicit silence that the administration of the University Paris 8 aims to force upon its students and faculty. We demand that the president of this university reverse a decision that can only exacerbate tensions while pretending to calm them.

Press Release of the Collectif Palestine Paris 8
Stop censorship at the University !

Once again the president of Université Paris 8-Saint Denis has flouted the principle of freedom of expression, by banning a conference organized by the collective Palestine Paris 8, in partnership with other organizations supporting the Palestinian people, just two days before the intended date. The goal of the conference is to condemn the apartheid policies of the state of Israel toward Palestinians. Among the invited speakers are Bilal Afandi, a young Palestinian activist; Max Blumenthal, a journalist from the United States, and a speaker from the BDS campaign.

The presidency’s motivation in censoring this event have never been clear. Expressing itself by means of the Maison de l’étudiant [house of students], which it uses to control student initiative, the university presidency has alternatively pointed to the absence of an available auditorium, the presence of a “controversial” speaker (Max Blumenthal, whose writings are nevertheless published in numerous outlets in the United States), publicity that “doesn’t meet norms,” the risk of disorder… Apart from this bureaucratic censorship, the presidency has not hesitated to use more direct means of repression, including sending university personnel to tear down our posters announcing the event.

In the current context, to ban such a conference amounts to aligning with the policy of exploiting the reaction to the attacks of last January 7 and January 9 in order to install permanently a version of freedom of expression with variable rules. We can still read “We are Charlie” on huge posters on the walls of the university. Doesn’t this mean the university is showing support for a controversial newspaper ? Should we understand that controversy is not legitimate unless it is consistent with the dominant ideology ?

Thus, according to the presidency, freedom of expression ends where there is the slightest risk of undermining the politics of the state of Israel at the level of the university. Still worse, this conference had the audacity to be listed as an activity of Israeli Apartheid Week — an international week of struggle and reflection against the apartheid policies of Israel, which is organized in numerous other universities in the world, notably in England, the United States, Palestine, South Africa, and several Latin American countries. Since 2012 (when the president decided to close the university in order to ban a meeting), pressure and censorship have become systematic when apartheid in Palestine is in question.

But we will not allow ourselves to be tamed by the presidency of the University of Saint-Denis, wallowing in its goals of normalization (whether they be in the domains of security, austerity, bureaucracy, or ideology) And since it prefers to yield to pressure and to accept the arguments of the defenders of Israeli policies, we will take responsibility on our side. We therefore intend to go ahead with this conference and we are calling for massive participation in a rally in front of Building D of the university, starting at 6 PM, to assert our right to speak about “controversial” subjects, our right to express our solidarity toward the Palestinian people, our right to self-organization and to independence of the student movement.

 

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THE ZIONISATION OF MLK? …. NOT QUITE!

Based on this one quote …

Best they look at the whole picture to see the truth …

King canceled a planned trip to Israel in September 1967 in part because of political misgivings over the annexation of Jerusalem. He reportedly told his aides in a telephone call:

[“I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab.  I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…  Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up…  I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed”]

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Wall picture from NYC2Palestine on Facebook

Wall picture from NYC2Palestine on Facebook

On MLK Day, lots of folks are talking Palestine

It’s nighttime now on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the day has not gone by without a lot of folks talking and thinking about Palestine.

USA Today has a big piece on how King’s legacy is being carried on today in the U.S. by leaders of #BlackLivesMatter, including Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders (which was founded after the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012). Reporter Rick Hampson notes one of King’s strengths, and Agnew’s:

  • The internationalist. His ability to elicit support from abroad – and shame Americans with segregation’s inherent contradictions — resonates with Agnew, who recently traveled to Palestine with other activists.

Dream Defenders lately held an action in Nazareth.

Speaking of King’s internationalism, Jamil Dakwar writes:

“If you wonder what #MLK’s position on #BDS would be read this newly found 1964 London speech.”

BDS is of course the international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel. Dakwar links to this speech reported on DemocracyNow today in which King addressed racial injustice at home and abroad in 1964 and called for boycotting South Africa:

Our responsibility—our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity: We can join in the one form of nonviolent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa, the action which African leaders have appealed for, in a massive movement for economic sanctions. In a world living under the appalling shadow of nuclear weapons, do we not recognize the need to perfect the use of economic pressures? Why is trade regarded by all nations and all ideologies as sacred? Why does our government and your government in Britain refuse to intervene effectively now, as if only when there is a bloodbath in South Africa—or a Korea or a Vietnam—will they recognize a crisis? If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil, if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny that we find there, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.

Electronic Intifada reported that speech excerpt some years ago, as well as a letter that King wrote in 1962 along with Albert Lutuli, a leader of the African National Congress. Key sentence:

The apartheid republic is a reality today only because the peoples and governments of the world have been unwilling to place her in quarantine.

Israeli supporters are promoting the fact that King also said nice things about Israel– calling it one of the outposts of democracy in the world (youtube clip here). Avi Mayer also tweets this photo of MLK Street in central Jerusalem.

MLK Street in Jerusalem

But Dakwar is surely on target here. King was martyred when Israel was still Plucky Israel in the eyes of the west, before the occupation took real form. And it is the treatment of Palestinians under occupation that has driven the BDS movement in the west. There’s no question that if King were alive today, he would be in lines with that movement. Besides, think of how far America has come since King’s death. Diversity is today widely celebrated, and some establishment institutions are actually fostering diversity.

[Update: King canceled a planned trip to Israel in September 1967 in part because of political misgivings over the annexation of Jerusalem. He reportedly told his aides in a telephone call:

[“I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab.  I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt…  Most of it [the pilgrimage] would be Jerusalem and they [the Israelis] have annexed Jerusalem, and any way you say it they don’t plan to give it up…  I frankly have to admit that my instincts – and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right – I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed”]

Brooklyn for Peace urges folks to support negotiations with Iran– “Dr. King knew that war abroad means misery at home”– and is pressing activists to get on the campaign to pressure that NY City delegation to Israel not to go. From NYC2Palestine’s Facebook page:

Join us on Thursday, Jan 22nd at 1pm in City Hall Park to tell New York City Council members – Don’t Tour Apartheid Israel!

New Yorkers are outraged by 15 New York City Council members’ decision to take an all-expenses-paid propagandatour of Israel, organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council and United Jewish Appeal in February 2015.

Multiple social justice groups and organizations participating in a press conference on the steps of City Hall this past Monday told the New York City Council: #DontTourApartheid. We, the people of NYC, need to do the same.

Also, on Fresh Air today, Eric Foner spoke of the importance of solidarity to the antislavery movement, whites and blacks joining together. What was a difficult thing that was to achieve in the 1850s:

You know, the barriers between black and white were far higher than they are today. And overcoming that in order to work in a collaborative way, cooperating with each other in a, I think, noble cause of trying to assist people who were escaping from slavery and trying to undermine the institution of slavery and, eventually, bring about its abolition. And I – you know, I think on Martin Luther King Day, it should lead us to remember that the civil rights movement had antecedents in our history. It had, you know – that this was a great social movement of the mid-19th century and that these are the things that inspire me in American history – the struggle of people to make this a better country. To me, that’s what genuine patriotism is.

Of course Martin Luther King built that sort of coalition with considerable care in the 1960s, and today we should be thankful for the transformative coalition that we and so many others are building across racial and religious and national lines to free Palestinians (and Israelis), and lift a glass to MLK.

Thanks to Annie Robbins, Allison Deger and Alex Kane.

ISRAELI JOURNALISTS WHO REFUSE TO BE SILENCED

Unless your name is Gideon Levy ;)

Unless your name is Gideon Levy ;)

They say that the truth will set you free …. but that’s the last thing Israel wants for the Palestinians ….

They let us go in the evening. The Israeli Police’s APC brought us back to the checkpoint. The case awaits a decision. Another decision is obvious: We will keep on covering the occupation.

False arrests won’t stop us covering Israel’s occupation

The allegations against us: violating an emergency order and insulting a soldier. The law books contain no statutes about insulting a journalist.

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Palestinian drivers wait in their cars next to the separation barrier

Palestinian drivers wait in their cars next to the separation barrier, ahead of crossing through the Qalandia checkpoint. February 9, 2014. Photo by AFP

On Monday of this week we drove to the village of Artah, south of Tul Karm, to report yet another story of the evil of the occupation, this one particularly infuriating and sad. The photographer Alex Levac and I were in Artah, intending to return home to Tel Aviv. The soldiers at Checkpoint 407 were surprised to see Israeli Jews leaving from the direction of Tul Karm. We showed our press cards and told them that we had been accustomed to going everywhere in the West Bank for more than 25 years.

Thus began an episode in the theater of the absurd that lasted until evening. The Israeli army and the Israel Police kept us in custody for about the next nine hours. The soldiers confiscated our car keys and identity documents lest we run for our lives. We were not allowed to get out of the car, even for a moment. One insolent soldier was insulted on account of nothing and the police were summoned on account of nothing. The police did not even ask us what had happened – and just like that, we were “detained.”

We were put inside a “Caracal” – an armored, reinforced metal monster with barred windows – and we drove for about an hour to the Ariel police station. There we were questioned and fingerprinted. Mug shots were taken of us for the criminals’ photo album, and we were subjected to humiliation. On the way there, I thought about the Palestinian children whom these police arrest and place in this same metal monster and what they endure. The police officers said we were being “detained” – a euphemism for arrest. When we asked to go to the bathroom, the duty officer barked: Not without an escort. The detective said we were endangering national security.

The police station in Ariel is a place to see. There is a photograph of a rabbi on the wall of the interrogation room, and a thick-bearded man walked freely around the station, offering Hanukkah donuts to the police officers and asking if they had put on tefillin that day.

The allegations: violating an emergency order and insulting a soldier. The law books contain no statutes about insulting a journalist. Even as we were on our way to Ariel, we heard the false accusation that came from the army, and then the official statement of the Judea and Samaria District Police: We had spat at the soldiers. First the “murdering” pilots (which I never wrote), and now the “spitting libel” (I never spat on them). If we were suspected of having spat at soldiers, it is easy to imagine the intolerable ease with which the soldiers could say, falsely, that a Palestinian had pulled a knife at a checkpoint or threatened them a moment before they shot him dead.

This could have been a negligible story if it did not signal the ill wind that is blowing in the Israel Police and in the army: journalists are a nuisance (in the best case) and a hostile element (in any other case). Israeli press cards from years ago bore the following sentence: “The Israel Police is asked to assist the bearer of this card.”

It never occurs to the police in the territories to assist journalists; they usually try to sabotage their work, with the army beside them. Even the sanctimonious concern that IDF Spokesman’s Office personnel express for journalists’ safety – the explanation given for why any entry into Area A must be coordinated with that office – is flawed by a basic lack of understanding. Some professions are dangerous, and journalism is not doing its job by “coordinating” with the authorities. The authorities’ intention is clear: to close the West Bank to scrutiny, or at least to make it hard for journalists to work there. Gaza has been closed to Israeli journalists for about eight years – a scandal in itself – and journalists bow their heads in surrender. That must not be allowed to happen in the West Bank too, even if only a tiny group of people still shows the slightest interest in what goes on there.

They let us go in the evening. The Israeli Police’s APC brought us back to the checkpoint. The case awaits a decision. Another decision is obvious: We will keep on covering the occupation.

Here’s an example of the reporting Israel wants silenced …

If you want to see apartheid in action, here’s the place. There’s no need to elaborate. Here are Jews opposite Palestinians, landowners opposite trespassers. Apartheid in a nutshell.

Jews vs. Palestinians, landowners vs. trespassers

Israeli security forces have descended over and over again on Ali Moussa’s family compound in the West Bank and demolished the houses he built. Across the way the settlement of Efrat expands, unchecked.

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Ali Moussa

Ali Moussa. Photo by Alex Levac

The numbers speak for themselves: four demolitions, six razed houses, one husband, two wives, 17 children, 17 grandchildren.

The story behind the numbers: Ali Moussa, a farmer who lives in the West Bank, has clung stubbornly to his land for more than 30 years. Repeatedly, forces of the Civil Administration, Israel’s governing body in the occupied territories, have demolished the houses Moussa has built. Repeatedly, he has rebuilt them. His applications for a construction permit have been ignored, but this is his home, this is his family’s land.

The compound of Moussa’s ramshackle dwellings lies on a hill overlooking the valley through which Highway 60, linking Jerusalem and Bethlehem and Hebron, passes. On the hill across the valley rise the homes that are part of one of the unchecked expansions of the settlement of Efrat. They are a lot less legal than Moussa’s houses – the land does not legally belong to the settlers – but they, of course, are not under threat of demolition at the hands of the Civil Administration. Those dwellings are inhabited by Jews.

If you want to see apartheid in action, here’s the place. There’s no need to elaborate. Here are Jews opposite Palestinians, landowners opposite trespassers. Apartheid in a nutshell.

A short drive from Jerusalem reveals a scene of squalor that seems to have come out of a different time and place. The repeated demolitions force Moussa to rebuild his hovels with the cheapest materials he can find so that he can house his extended family – until it’s all tumbled down again by the Israel Defense Forces.

It makes for a pitiful sight: eight children huddling in one room whose tin roof is leaking and where bone-chilling cold prevails even on a sunny, late-fall day. Mildewed walls through which rain drips in, bare rooms without closets, without beds, only a stack of mattresses, and sacks to hold the clothes.

Kittens and children prowl about aimlessly outside; the women’s clothes are tattered. Five shacks plus a heap of ruins from the last house that was demolished, and pervasive neglect. Welcome to the compound of the Moussa family on the edge of the village of Al-Khader, outside Bethlehem. Next to the latest pile of ruins is a column of gray bricks, awaiting the next demolition and the rebuilding that will inevitably follow.

Farmer Moussa is 61, and he has 17 children – the eldest 37, the youngest six months old – by two wives, as well as 17 grandchildren, most of whom live here. He has always made a living from his land, but part of it has been plundered over time for the nearby settlements and for construction of the separation barrier. And the security barrier has prevented his access to another area, in which he has olive groves.

Moussa sold his flock of sheep some time ago to finance his obsessive rebuilding efforts. To date, they’ve cost him between 300,000 and 400,000 shekels ($75,000 – $100,000), he says, adding that the Civil Administration has offered him alternative land and compensation if he’ll leave. What did he tell them? He’s surprised at the question. He didn’t consider the offer for a second, he says.

Moussa has been living here since 1982. There was a different atmosphere in the territories when he built his first house in the compound – the only one that still stands intact and has never been demolished. The government agreed to the project, at least tacitly, back then. But things change. The first demolition came in 1995 – the house he had built for a married son. At the time, the authorities cited security reasons: There was an IDF post in the valley below, where the pillbox that overlooks Highway 60 now stands, just a few hundred meters from the house.

Moussa married his second wife in 2000 and built her a house. It too was swiftly demolished. In addition, the army tore down a house that he had built for his second son and his new family. The official reason: It was illegal.

He explains that he spent 30,000 shekels ($7,500) on building plans, which he submitted to the Civil Administration at its request – he displays the maps – but nothing came of them. There was a third round of demolition in 2011, and a fourth last June 14. The heap of ruins remaining at present comes from that most recently razed dwelling, belonging to Moussa’s second wife and their eight children.

In recent months, that dwelling has been rebuilt near the original one, in the form of a shack of 170 square meters, made of bricks and tin. It is still standing, at least for now. Additinally, a humanitarian aid association donated a tin hut, where they can store clothes, household utensils and furniture from all the structures that have been destroyed.

At his lawyers’ advice, Moussa builds each new house a few meters from previous ones. Indeed, one can see the remnants of a concrete pillar from the first house that was demolished in the compound, between the shacks, like a denuded monument.

Moussa’s story is also documented in a sheaf of documents that he keeps with him: no fewer than a dozen demolition and stop-work orders, issued over the years. For example, there’s a “stop-work order” from 2012 and a “final stop-work and demolition order” issued a few months later. There’s a demolition order for a “25-square-meter concrete surface,” another for “two cisterns and a lean-to,” another for “an electricity line and cable.”

One document is High Court of Justice decision No. 8902/06: an interim injunction issued by Justice Elyakim Rubinstein on November 23, 2006, to stop the demolitions, which notes: “This injunction shall not apply in the event of the need for demolition for urgent combat purposes and salient security reasons.” Justice Rubinstein did not bother to specify the security reasons or, more importantly, whose security he had in mind.

The spokesperson of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories offered this response to a query from Haaretz: “The structures in question were built in an illegal manner, without a building permit, on an archaeological site called ‘Abu Sud,’ and for that reason they were demolished. Furthermore, the structures were rebuilt upon the ruins, even as the matter was under consideration by the High Court of Justice, which is a gross violation of the law. The requests for a building permit were rejected, and an appeal to Supreme Court was also turned down. It should be noted that the owner was offered the opportunity to rebuild within the planned area of Al-Khader, the adjacent village, but the owner rejected the offer and instead illicitly continued to build [at the original location].”

We make our way through the compound. Four shacks belong to Moussa’s immediate family – his two wives and two of his sons and their families – and another, in the back, is inhabited by relatives, members of the family of Ismail Moussa. A makeshift water tower, an electricity pole and the shacks, each crowded with women and children.

A television is on in one of the hovels, tuned to Israel’s Channel 10, with simultaneous translation into Arabic provided by the local Bethlehem channel. The program: “Kahane Lives: The Life and Death of the Extremist Right-wing Leader.” The family was watching.

IN PHOTOS ~~ SILENCING THE SONGS AND DANCE OF APARTHEID

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Anti-Apartheid Dance and Songs Meet Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company in Protest at Brooklyn Academy of Music

On busy Lafayette Avenue outside Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 80 New Yorkers gathered last night to dance and sing in protest of Batsheva Dance Company’s performances in BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival (photos). Batsheva’s appearance is part of the “Brand Israel” initiativedesigned to distract from the facts of Israel’s ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, and its denial of rights to Palestinians the world over. The demonstration was organized by Adalah-NY and endorsed by 15 other local human rights organizations including the BDS Arts Coalition, Brooklyn For Peace, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the Ya-Ya Network.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs touts Batsheva as “perhaps the best known global ambassador of Israeli culture.” Batsheva is funded in part by that government office as well as by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. While Batsheva artistic director Ohad Naharin has criticized Israeli abuses of Palestinians, Batsheva Dance Company continues in its role as a prominent cultural ambassador of the Israeli state.

The demonstration began with a dabke (traditional Palestinian dance) lesson led by Adalah-NY member Riham Barghouti, with musical accompaniment by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra followed by songs from Dave Lippman. Chants highlighted the disconnect between the Batsheva dancers’ virtuosity and their company’s political role, including, “Their range of motion cannot hide / Their support for apartheid” and “Batsheva gets no ovation / Ambassador for occupation!”

Protester Carlos Pareja, an independent media maker, said, “I support drawing attention to the abuses against the Palestinian people. We can’t have only the ‘nice’ face of Israel, which is what we often see here.” Barghouti echoed that point, telling the crowd, “Today, only a few months after the most brutal of all Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip—which killed over 2100 Palestinians including 500 children and leveled whole neighborhoods, leading Amnesty International and others to accuse Israel of war crimes—yet again BAM has invited the Israeli dance company Batsheva to whitewash Israel’s crimes.”

Interactions with Brooklynites were mostly positive, as curious people tookflyers and asked questions about the activities. Passersby and BAM ticket holders alike stood and watched the high-energy Freedom Debka Group and the Columbia Palestinian Dabke Brigade, two Palestinian dance troupes. The protest ended with two moving dances by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl, a Mexica danza group, who offered “dance and prayers for dignity and solidarity” with Palestinians during their performance. Dancer Karen Lopez explained afterward, “We are indigenous people who have been displaced and seen our traditions threatened with destruction. We are always there in solidarity and resistance with other displaced peoples, including Palestinians.”

Wednesday night’s protest is part of the global movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. The Palestinian civil society call for BDS includes boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions complicit in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights. Adalah-NY is also organizing a protest next Tuesday, November 18, at the concert of the Touré-Raichel Collective, which features another premiere Israeli “cultural ambassador,” musician Idan Raichel.

More photos from the protest can be found here.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Adalah-NY

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