MIXED BAG OF TOONS FOR A MIXED UP WORLD

El mundo está loco, loco, loco 

It´s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

All images by Carlos Latuff

North Korea says it will use nukes ONLY in self-defense – will Trump push their button?

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Erdogan at United Nations

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Temer at the UN … BRAZIL IS NOT FOR SALE!

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UN Chief Confirms Myanmar Crackdown On Rohingya Is ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

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Israeli support for Myanmar is the natural alliance of regimes based on ethnic supremacy

Stop Israel from selling weapons to the regime of Myanmar!

Sign petition HERE

IN PHOTOS ~~ SUPPORT FOR ‘THE DREAMERS’ CONTINUES TO GROW

  On Sept 9th, once again,  4,000 DACA demonstrators flooded  New York City’s Columbus Circle across from Trump’s International Hotel.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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#NeverForget ~~ 911 IN TOONS

In memory of all the innocent victims …

A timely quote …

“In the 80’s they used to blame Russians for everything. Now they blame the Muslims. In the near future they will blame both”

Images by Carlos Latuff

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Chile also remembers

Chile also remembers (Click on link)

IS PALESTINE DOOMED FOR ETERNITY IN GERMANY?

What happened last Sunday during the so called “Chancellor-Duel” between the CDU chancellor and the Social Democratic challenger Schulz makes me speechless. In fact, the Social Democratic candidate just negatively focussed on Turks and Palestinians.

Palestine, doomed for all eternity? Remarks on the German election and Israel

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

If Schulz becomes Chancellor (what I do not hope), he will claim for the end of the EU accession talks with Turkey. Didn’t Schulz, who is a former President of the EU parliament, know that these so called accession talks were just a Fata Morgana, just as the so called peace talks between the “Jewish State” and the Palestinians are? So what pushed Schulz to take this hardline demeanor? Does he really aim to get votes from far right and far left this way? Of course, this overconfident, now sober alcoholic and former bookseller from Würselen, desperately tries to improve his image to get a couple of percent points more than indicated in the catastrophic poll ratings.

What made  the Social Democratic candidate intolerable and ineligible to me was his statement about young Palestinian men. Asked by Maybritt Illner (ZDF) if “Islam belongs to Germany”, Merkel defended her statement by adding the words “in accordance with the Constitution”. However she invited Muslim scholars to distance themselves more strongly from “Islamic terrorism”.

However, I would have wished to hear this claim from the German Chancellor also towards the “Jewish Zionist occupyiers’ friends” in Germany who always express their solidarity towards the “Judaistic State terror occupying regime”. At this point I would like to ask her this: How is this attack against human dignity compatible with our Basic Law and its article 1? It states:

Article 1: “Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority”.

Article 2: “The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world”.

I have had my doubts since a long time that German politicians acknowledge this and act accordingly, in particular after this extremely suspect TV duel that was prescribed as “obligatory program” on different TV channels. The only alternative was the switch-off button!

So my question is: How is this highest German constitutional principle compatible with the ongoing creeping attempt to undermine many fundamental rights? This applies to the questionable  expulsions, eavesdropping, new  face recognition scanners, restrictions to the right to demonstrate, reduction of freedom of assembly, barriers and blockades at state visits and summits, whose sole purposes  are self-celebration and exclusion of the people, treating it as  a leashed dog with  the slogan “You have to stay outside”.

How about the more than questionable arms supplies, including into crisis areas, and the growing cooperation with dictators and terror regimes, hence  the “Israelization” of Germany?

Now I can come to my main question: How is the basic law principle compatible with the additional passage that the “security of Israel” is part of the “German State Reason”, defended and supported by both candidates?

What I particularly criticise and what I found a brazenness  from the challenger Schulz was that he spoke about the “deep anti-Semitism” of young Palestinian men, to whom we have to tell that this protection of Israel is part of the German state reason.

I found a completely unnecessary derailment of the candidate. Instead, he should have supported the threatened, occupied, and dispossessed Palestinians, who have been mistreated by the Jewish state terrorism for decades (!) now. This obligation towards Palestine and the Palestinians must be on the agenda of a former Social Democratic EU-politician. Instead, Schulz offended a people under occupation. I am asking myself if he was “coached” by the representatives of the Central Council of German Jews and the Israeli Embassy.

And I negatively remember this former EU Parliament President Schulz when on 25 February 2014 I was invited by a friend (who at that time was still a member of the Social Democratic Party) and engaged struggler for the freedom of Palestine to come to the inauguration of the Nakba exposition at the Parliament in Strasbourg. There I heard that Schulz had refused to inaugurate this important and worth seeing exposition about the exodus and displacement of Palestinians in 1948.

This can be said about the so called “solidarity” of the Socialist and Social Democratic fraction in the EU Parliament with occupied Palestine. Once again, the old, a bit changed saying fits for Social Democrats: “Who betrayed the Palestinians: the Social Democrats”!

The Nakba exposition was made possible by the liberal Alde fraction, even if its liberal member, Graf Lambsdorff, vice-president of the European Parliament, is a “declared and unconditional” friend of Israel.

In my opinion, Schulz by denigrating a group of people has disqualified himself as Chancellor candidate!

Chancellor Merkel – I do not support for sure – would never bring off such a flop and shame. She would never have offended so much the weakest, the Palestinians, oppressed by the “Jewish State”, occupied, deprived from their rights and own state, just to get votes.

Schulz started indeed with this defamation without being asked and with no need. And this makes him unattractive for Palestinians, pro-Palestinian activists and for many Turkish voters as eligible alternative to Merkel.

Martin Schulz was made honorary Doctor of Philosophy by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2014…
…but Angela Merkel was awarded this title already in 2007 and was made honorary Doctor of the Tel Aviv University in 2011
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What we can expect from the Green, left-wing and liberal politicians concerning Palestine, however, is not more promising and leaves me at the ballot box with great perplexity.

What surprised me a lot was that the media accepted without any criticism that the “Central Council” of the Jews in Germany, the newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine and Jerusalem Post interfered in the German election campaign by criticizing “radical Palestinians” in the lists of the Marxist-Leninist Party (MLPD), with the philosemite Green politician Volker Beck in their wave.

Volker Beck even dared to ask why the Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine was not forbidden. The candidates are on the list of the PFLP which is on the “EU terror list” (because Israel requested it?). But fortunately and rightly it is NOT FORBIDDEN in Germany. The MLPD has a list with candidates  of the PFLP. And the MLPD has candidates of at least ten different nationalities and is the ONLY German party supporting the freedom of Palestine and standing for it in its election agenda.(1)

In the meantime, unnoticed by German politics and the German public, the Judaistic reprisals of the Netanyahu regime against Palestinians and Palestine go on. Netanyahu celebrates the 50 years of the occupation of Palestine on stolen Palestinian land in the Judaistic illegal settlement and guarantees to its illegal inhabitants that they have come to remain there forever. In addition, he promised that under his government not a single settlement will be dismantled, and that Jerusalem will forever be the undivided capital of the “Jewish State”. After his return to Jerusalem Billions of Dollars were given for new settlements in the illegally occupied Palestine! (2)

In this context, the Israeli hard-core Zionist and supporter of the occupation, Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, attacks the judges, saying that“Zionism will not lower its head” towards a universal system of individual rights. She proclaimed the new Law supported by her Party Likud and by Netanyahu and accepted by the Parliament, calling Israel a “Nation-State of the Jewish People”, as a „moral and political revolution“. This bill confers the “self-determination right” only to Jews. Arabic is not an official language any more, but is downgraded to a language with special status.

You can imagine what this means to more than 20% Non-Jews, mainly Palestinians with Israeli passports, to the dispossessed Bedouins, and to the few remaining Christians in the “Holy Occupiers’ Land”!

Anyone who until now didn’t want to acknowledge that the “Jewish State” is an Apartheid State, should now be taught better and finally support the boycott measures of the BDS campaign!

Precisely because of the German past, we are not allowed to ignore the injustice of the so called “only” democracy in the Middle East, the ethnocracy of the “Jewish State” committing land robbing, occupation, ethnic cleansing, and a racist judaization. I had other expectations from ALL German political parties: 50 years after the beginning of the second occupation, and 69 years after the foundation of the “Jewish State” at the expense of the displacement and occupation of a people, we have to speak out against this injustice!

I also appeal to German politicians and voters to think about how long this illegal and unbearable situation will be continued with German help.

Palestine,  doomed for all eternity?

Notes

 

Originally posted AT

TOON OF THE DAY ~~ NETANYAHU’S IMPENDING ‘WELCOME’ IN ARGENTINA

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to visit three Latin American countries next week, as a part of his ongoing effort to boldly go where none of his predecessors has gone before.

Will the war criminal  be well received by the people of ?

Image by Carlos Latuff

Is the REAL purpose of the visit to learn how to make people disappear?

Here is the latest on that subject …

Latuff holds up sign …

From the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY)

SOLIDARITY DECLARATION FOR THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE ARGENTINIAN YOUNG SANTIAGO MALDONADO

Since August 1st the Argentinian young Santiago Maldonado is disappeared. According to witnesses, Santiago was caught by the Argentinian National Gendarmerie while he was taking part in a manifestation in favors of the rights of the Mapuche community in the south of Argentina.

In spite of the media manipulation to reduce the importance of this serious fact, the Argentinian people claim the alive appearance of Santiago from the first moment, bearing the aggressive escalation in mind against the social protests and the freedom of expression that again the Argentinian people suffers.

The World Federation of Democratic Youths condemns Santiago Maldonado`s disappearance. In this way it adds also to the claim for a serious judgment that allows come to the material and intellectual culprits of the disappearance.

We demand the respect of the rights of the young persons and all the people to demonstrating and to express without exposing their physical integrity and their life. 40 years ago, Latin America suffered an imperialistic plan that during decades systematized the death and disappearance of hundreds of thousands of valuable young persons who were fighting to reach a just and inclusive society for the whole of the peoples of America.

It`s because of this recent history that we call the youth of the world to condemn the forced disappearance of young and people and to claim the alive appearance of Santiago Maldonado.

Santiago Maldonado, alive was taken, alive we want him!

On Behalf of WFDY
The HQ of WFDY
Moscow, September 2017

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM PALESTINE TO HELP YOU BE HOPEFUL IN BAD TIMES

To be hopeful in bad times
Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD


Simple facts that you can get documents for by searching

-The reasons we have high incidence of hurricanes, floods, and other
catastrophe is man made climate change
-The reason we are not doing much about climate change is that there are
greedy individuals who profit from the trends
-We have wars to distract us from the inequalities and injustices and to
make money for a few already very rich people
-There are no just wars. There are understandable and justified resistance
of native people to colonialism
- North Korea watched what the US did in places like Libya (after Libya
ended its nuclear program), in Syria and in Iraq. North Korea learned from
its own history (US committed near genocide in the 1950s) and from these
other attacks and acted in its best interests.
-Israel is not an asset to the US or to any other country but a liability.
It is a country that supported genocide and brutal dictatorships from South
America in the 1970s to Saudi Arabia and Burma/Myanmar today.
-A world Zionist network created Israel and supports it at the cost of
millions of native Arab rights
-An axis of resistance against US and Zionist imperialism does exist and
does have the support of most of the people (e.g. see growth of BDS
movement and public surveys)
-An axis of collaboration, lies, deceit, and murder does exist and has the
support of most of the regimes in the Arab world (e.g. Saudi Arabia,
Emirates, Egypt) as well as regimes in Western countries (US, Britain,
Australia, France)
-Demography has shifted around the world and thus most regimes move to
assert more government controls and less democracy. The best tool for
governments is to use perceived threats (previously communism, now Islam
and terrorism). False flag operations have thus gone dramatically up.
-For people to act is no longer a luxury but an existential need to protect
our species.The last two decades showed that the schemes of the rich and
powerful can delay freedom and damage sustainability. Yet, we the people
can and do succeed. People do make a difference. If you think on all
positive things in human history, they all happened by people acting
positively and challenging status quo or rising up to help those in need.

Apathy is an enemy of progress, action works. We are hopeful because as
Howard Zinn once wrote (and I quoted it in my book “Sharing the Land of
Canaan” in 2004):

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on
the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of
compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in
this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it
destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and
places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this
gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this
spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in
however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.
The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we
think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us,
is itself a marvelous victory.”

Israel Justice Minister Shaked said the truth loud and clear: Zionism
contradicts human rights, and thus is indeed an ultranationalist,
colonialist and perhaps racist movement


GAZA: 1 MILLION CHILDREN SUFFERING IN 'UNLIVABLE' CONDITIONS
One million Palestinian children are living in dire and deteriorating
conditions due to ongoing power shortages, with many celebrating Eid in the
dark.


As Violence Intensifies, Israel Continues to Arm Myanmar’s Military Junta



Issa Amro, persecuted by Israel, is arrested by PA

ACTION: Free Issa from PA arrest!


 

REVERSING ISRAEL’S DIVIDE AND CONQUER TACTICS

Palestinians are 12 million in number, and stuck in institutional paralysis. The nearly 25-year-old Oslo Peace Process successfully, and sadly, facilitated Israel’s strategic desire to utilize the age-old divide and conquer strategy to reduce Palestinians to disparate fragments, each with their own challenge to merely survive.

Palestinian youths force open a gate in the Israeli separation wall, built on land belonging to the village of Bil’in, which leads to the Israeli settlement of Modi’in Ilit, also built on village land, February 17, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

How Palestinians can reverse Israel’s divide and conquer tactics

Oslo allowed Israel to reduce Palestinians to disparate fragments, each with their own challenge to merely survive. It’s time to reset that reality and view the Palestinians for what they are — physically fragmented, politically divided, but a whole people.

By Sam Bahour

Most veteran observers, including Israeli security authorities and Palestinian leadership, were dumbfounded by recent events in Jerusalem, where tens of thousands of Palestinians mobilized non-violently in response to the Israeli closure of the Old City and placement of metal detectors at the entrance of the Dome of Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. What was the secret ingredient that made such a mass action take place and be a successful example in Palestinian non-violent resistance to the 50 years of Israeli military occupation? How did it happen so spontaneously, non-violently and with seemingly no leadership?

A new report by the group, titled, Relations Between Palestinians Across the Green Line (Arabic here, English translation forthcoming), in the works for over two years, may hold the answer to some of these questions. For months, a group of dedicated Palestinian analysts, activists, intellectuals and politicians working with the Palestine Strategy Group (PSG) have been meeting to explore an angle of the Palestinians reality that is many times ignored—the relationship between the Palestinians living inside Israel, today coined as Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Transcending artificial boundaries

The report identifies Jerusalem as a place where, paradoxically, the boundaries of Israel and Palestine collapse — a site for joint work, cooperation and struggle against Israel’s colonial policies. Many political leaders (Palestinian members of Knesset, as well as Jerusalemites, Fatah members, Hamas-affiliated academics, etc.) who were part of the group that produced the report testified to the existing, nascent cooperation and possibility and need to further develop it.

Even beyond the recent developments in Jerusalem, there are also indications of grassroots and bottom-up engagements transcending conventional and formal realms of political engagement elsewhere. The cross-border mobilization and cooperation to address the Prawer Plan, for instance, a 2011 Israeli government plan to forcibly relocate some 40,000 Bedouin citizens living in dozens of villages in Israel’s Negev desert, was identified as additional proof to this growing phenomenon of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line finding common ground.

The PSG report starts with stating an obvious, but no less bold, fact that “Fifty years after the Israeli occupation and forced annexation of Palestinians under Israel’s discriminatory ruling regime, political projects associated with ending the occupation and attaining full citizenship have ended in stalemate.”

That statement is not groundbreaking in and of itself. When coupled with the following realization, however, it provides more than just food for thought — it also sheds light on this rather invisible phenomenon which has the potential to rejuvenate the entire Palestinian national liberation movement. The report continues: “In light of different political projects, national cohesion among the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line is a key tool to create a unified, collective umbrella that allows networking, empowerment and development. While it does not abolish political specificities, this umbrella will seek to integrate political projects. Every component of these projects will support the other with a view to realizing respective demands, including ending the occupation of the 1967 territory, return of the refugees, full citizenship, and individual and collective equality inside the Green Line.”

A new Palestinian agency?

The strategy presented is premised on two hypotheses. First, is the need to maintain a clear distinction between the national and the political realms. That means an inclusive Palestinian national project that brings together all Palestinian people — those under occupation in the (New) State of Palestine, those in Israel, and those refugees and diaspora abroad. Secondly, discrepant political interests and perceptions of Palestinian groups need to be viewed as complementary, rather than contradictory to one another. Doing so means embracing diversity, transforming it from a source of divisions into a foundation for rebuilding a national project.

It is important to emphasize that support, networking and joint action of Palestinians across the Green Line have always been in place. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Palestinian party leaders inside Israel have acted in concert and coordinated with and supported each other on innumerable occasions. However, coordination always took place beyond any institutional frameworks. Oftentimes, the report notes, “collaboration was arbitrary, individual [and not] bona fide.” Today, this cross-border cooperation is not only targeted, collective and authentic, but has within it the seeds of a new type of Palestinian leadership.

In this context, namely the lack of institutional networking, PSG discussants proposed several potential options to institutionalize relations between Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. A major thrust of the report entertains the “creating an inclusive, apolitical framework for all Palestinians.”

Palestinians are 12 million in number, and stuck in institutional paralysis. The nearly 25-year-old Oslo Peace Process successfully, and sadly, facilitated Israel’s strategic desire to utilize the age-old divide and conquer strategy to reduce Palestinians to disparate fragments, each with their own challenge to merely survive. It’s time to reset that reality and view the Palestinians for what they are, physically fragmented, politically divided, but a whole people nonetheless, from Ramallah to Santiago.

Sam Bahour is a Secretariat member of the Palestine Strategy Groupand policy adviser to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He blogs at www.epalestine.com. @SamBahour. The PSG report was implemented in cooperation with the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) and the Oxford Research Group (ORG). It was supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority (2015-2017) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (2016-2017).  This latest report is the most recent of a series of important and influential documents the PSG has issued since its founding in 2008.

 

Originally appeared AT

IRONIC PHOTOS OF THE WEEK ~~ ILLEGALS AGAINST ‘ILLEGALS’

The illegal, OUTLAWED JDL demonstrates against ‘illegal immigrants’

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 MASSIVE DEMO @ COLUMBUS CIRCLE .

THE “DREAMERS” ARE THE YOUTH WHICH WERE PROMISED STAYING IN THE U.S. UNDER THE OBAMA DACA LEGISLATION WHICH IS NOW UNDER THREAT FROM TRUMP.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Related report (Click on link)

Paul Ryan Says Trump Should Not End Protections For Dreamers

The House speaker has tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program through Congress.

FRIDAY’S TOON ~~ THE OCCUPATION IS FOREVER!

Or Not!!!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Netanyahu promises West Bank will be occupied Israel “forever”

THE KOREAN CRISIS IN TOONS

Reports say that North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan. This is bad news!

Next two images by Carlos Latuff

Both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un should stop fueling the flames that may turn Korean Peninsula in a sea of fire! Please STOP

THIS is certainly not the way to stop WW 111

IN PHOTOS ~~ THOUSANDS STAND (KNEEL) IN SUPPORT OF NFL PLAYER’S RIGHT TO DISSENT

White players kneeling during anthem a nightmare for NFL

(click on link to view video)

Political sports writer Dave Zirin speaks at the New York City rally in support of Colin Kaepernick’s protests during the National Anthem.

www.espn.com/video/clip?id=20437731

On Wednesday August 23rd, people gathered at the offices of the National Football League [NFL| in Manhattan NYC.  By some accounts 3-4 thousand people attended. The rally was in support of quarterback, Colin Kaepernick who refused to stand for the Star Spangled Banner prior to the beginning of the football game but instead choose to kneel rather than pay homage to the flag that represents the racism which is so prevalent against the Black population in the United States, especially in the murder of Black people by police, a crime that goes unpunished. As a result of his doing  this Kaepernick has not been picked as a team player on any of the NFL football teams for the coming season.  At this point many other players are also ‘taking the knee’, including young people on college and high school teams.

The rally included a broad array of many civic and community activist organizations, the   speakers demanding that Kaepernick be given the opportunity to play.  If not a boycott of the games and the sponsors of the NFL was demanded. The speakers did not limit the issue to Kaepernick but discussed the broader struggle against white supremacy which projected itself so violently in Charlottesville with fascists parading with torches and proclaiming, “You [Blacks] will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us”. One  of the many speakers was Dave Zirin [sports commentator for the Nation Magazine] who spoke of the Palestinian struggle to great applause as he pointed to the fascist/Zionist Jewish Defense League  across the street demonstrating against this rally. Another speaker was Linda Sarsaur, who is one of the organizers of the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration, a Palestinian activist in America who is subjected to the Islamaphobia so prevalent in the United States. She noted in her speech “if you are not ready to put your life on the line for freedom then take the word out of your mouth”. 

The rally ended with everyone holding the hands of the people next to them as a minister said a prayer asking for justice.  Several important issues were addressed at this event – Colin Kaepernick’s punishment for exercising his 1st amendment right to freedom of speech, the racism increasingly prevalent, and the power of money, in this case in the hands of the team owners, to do whatever they want in disregard of the people.  Certainly a fact of life in all areas in the USA today.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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Also see THIS report from The Nation

THE DILEMMA FACING ANTI ZIONIST JEWS IN GERMANY TODAY

For me and many activists, there is only one humanist agenda: we have to work for the dismantlement of Zionism. This is a Jewish and democratic obligation. So we can build up a free Palestine, without Jewish occupation.

Who can a Jewish Anti-Zionist vote for in the German election?

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi

It shakes me to experience such hypocrisy when it is about Palestine in the election programs of the German parties. No party dares to publicly support the dispossessed and occupied people of Palestine. Yes, I totally agree with Judith Butler when she says that being Anti-Zionist is an obligation, as long as the objective of dismantling political Zionism will not be reached.

This obligation should be the new Jewish ethic. If I think about myself, I know only one and indivisible ethic: it is the ethic focussing on humanism and human rights, without considering if it is Jewish, Christian, Islamic or atheist/secularist. All the existing ethics are violated in the “Jewish State” and ignored by the occupying power. A peaceful cohabitation was never wanted by the Zionist intruders, and this refusal is manifested by their deeds. Thenakba, the dispossession of more than 700.000 original inhabitants of Palestine, was promoted and organised according to schedule by the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which is still going on today, without any hindrance by the hypocritical community of states.

The Jewish intruders, who deliberately followed their objective to found a  “Jewish State” for the persecuted Jews from Europe, are guilty of acting in the exactly same racist way they had experienced before. They talk about a land free from “Arabs” and are not even able to pronounce the name “Palestinians” because in their loud Zionist propaganda there is no Palestinian people. So they colonised Palestine as absolute rulers and occupiers. Finally, they became the perpetrators, instead of being the victims. They started to feel better and better in this role. It is important to them to feel sublime, superior to others, on the path to the final objective of the Judaisation of Palestine within Eretz Israel!

This political Zionism, formally asking for the oppression, destruction, and dispossession of local inhabitants, makes an equal cohabitation impossible, because this was never neither wanted nor planned.

However, for me and many activists, there is only one humanist agenda: we have to work for the dismantlement of Zionism. This is a Jewish and democratic obligation. So we can build up a free Palestine, without Jewish occupation.

I also expressly agree with Judith Butler when she says that not only the West Bank and Gaza, but the whole of Israel and the foundation of the State of Israel are illegal. Only by dismantling political Zionism we can overcome this injustice. As long as the “Jewish State” is a Jewish national state treating Palestinians as second-class citizens and as long as there is no division between state and religion, and Judaism is instrumental in illegally occupy the Palestinian people, and manipulated for foreign politics, there will never be peace in Palestine, in the region, and in the world. (1)

Therefore it is essential that Jewish people deal with Anti-Zionism, and oppose the supporters (“Sayanim”) of Zionism like “saloon” Zionists and “Christian-Jewish” Zionists. The strength of anti-Zionism lies in the facts we represent, while Zionism employs untrue arguments based on unhistorical facts. All historians opposed to these arguments like Ilan Pappe, Shlomo Sand, Moshe Zuckermann, Norman Finkelstein, and their colleagues are called Parias, Anti-Semites.

It is a fact that the continuously repeated and false self-representation as the “only” democracy in the Middle East – which every politically informed person is so tired to listen to – which is so hypocritical like the whole Zionist State structure of the “Jewish State” is a scientific product of propaganda. And this structure tries to democratically legitimate its positions and does it with increasing sophistication while the legal resistance of the occupied people against their occupiers is defamed as terrorism and as illegal action. However, only the Jewish occupation of Palestine is illegal, and this is something the descendants of the Holocaust victims should remember.

The victims do not have the right to become perpetrators, because it is illegal. So the “Jewish State” and its ethnic cleansing policy has no justification at all!

This policy is based on the exclusion of critics of the “Jewish State” and its inhuman illegal violations of international law as Anti-Semites, and Jews hater, by inventing new terms to describe them. (Jewish) citizens who are active with organisations like Breaking the Silence, B`Tselem, Zochrot, or other human rights groups are defamed and persecuted. In particular, BDS supporters have become the new enemy worldwide. Instead, this so important and successful movement should be supported unconditionally! While the “Jewish State” in the meantime supports a worldwide “war campaign” of millions against BDS, and travel bans for BDS supporters, this movement is becoming stronger because it is a civil society overcoming the defamation by the Israel lobby through campaigns like “Do not buy from Jews” and does not stop its struggle for a free Palestine.

All this motivates me to pursue my objective without intimidation. We should not be discouraged from our brave struggle by demonization, double standards, and delegitimization. As long as the political Zionism of oppression and occupation exists, Anti-Zionism is an obligation.

There is no party in Germany pursuing this objective of a free Palestine. On the contrary, the “Jewish State” is equated with our values and awarded with the reason of state for its security. It is totally beyond me because this position is not consistent with our constitution. While the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine is negated, and this is considered as consistent with “our” values by all parties, injustice is promoted even if this injustice has absolutely nothing to do with exactly these democratic values.

When I read a paper about the election campaign 2017, in which there are “Jewish positions” about the federal election campaign 2017 and I look at the people who signed it I ask myself how this is possible. Is this Germany 2017? Is this consistent with my and our values?

No, it is not. And they speak about a “liberal democratic defining culture”.

Paragraph 4  

Here Israel is defined as “spiritual homeland” for the Jews and the German citizens; the document mentions the “special” relationship between Germany and the “democratic Jewish State” of Israel, based on history and linked by the community of values of “both” democracies, characterised by similar social, economic subjects and subjects related to security policy. This is something I cannot agree with.

Germany expects a solidary support towards Israel in the “peace process” (which peace process, the one avoided by the “Jewish occupiers‘ state”?) and the understanding that the Palestinian desire for self-determination must not cause “other” threats for Israel (however, who threats whom here?!). And there is more: “Radical Islamic”  groups and Iran are defamed as the greatest threat for Israel and the free world, and nobody opposes to it. (However, in contrast to the “Jewish State”, Iran has not started any war, and also did not threat anyone with nuclear weapons!) In my opinion the time has come to oppose to the “Jewish Apartheid State” with harshness and sanctions to put an end to illegal occupation!

Paragraph 5 about how to deal with “political Islam”

This paragraph shakes me a lot, as it talks about “political Islam” and the  increasing influence of Islamic unions and associations associating religion with “politics” and whose values are not compatible with our constitution. (However, for me personally, the Central Council of Jews and other international Jewish lobbyist organisations in Germany are more threating, because they call for an unconditional solidarity with the “Jewish occupiers‘ state” and misuse religion for this objective. Quotation: In this case, the state has to  establish stricter criteria for collaboration and promotion. Organisations, unions, and mosques which do not unconditionally support democracy and human rights, should be prohibited, closed, and or prosecuted. International treaties can be concluded only according to strict requirements. Financial and directive influence of foreign governments on German organisations and groups of people are to be prohibited. End of quotation. (Let us turn these whole sentences and put Jewish and Israel instead; what about these requirements then?)

Paragraph 6 “avoiding collateral damages”

Here these “Jewish supporters” assume that a person can have only one citizenship, except from ONE exception, the Jews, because the Jews have historical relations to several countries. So it is advisable for them to be “German-Israeli” citizens. (There you go: a non-kosher exception for Jewish citizens when it is about Israel. If this does not promote a parallel society!)

Paragraph about “Anti-Semitism”

But the real big bang is exactly my critical point. Quotation: “Israel criticism characterised by double standard, “Anti-Zionism” and the BDS movement are the old wine of hate in the new bottles. There must not be room left to it.”

End of quotation. (Here the equation of the terms Anti-Semitism, BDS movement, and Anti-Zionism. This is un untrue statement pursuing the aim to stop all kind of criticism against Israel and promoting the end of all democratic opinion expression. The knockout argument.) (2)

No, we do not want any guiding culture calling for a “Jewish-Christian” solidarity with the occupiers‘ crimes of the “Jewish State” and promoting hatred against Islam by marginalizing Muslims! Jewish positions of this kind are not consistent with the German constitution and with “our/my values”!

As a consequence, as “Jewish Anti-Zionist”, and as German citizen with one passport, I cannot vote for any party supporting such (“Jewish”) positions of this “initiative of values”!

(1) http://werteinitiative.de/wahl2017/ (“Inititiative of values, Positions of Jewish Germans on the federal election”)

(2) http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/israel-juedische-kritik-am-zionismus.1310.de.html?dram:article_id=270869

 

Evelyn Hecht-Galinski (b. 1949, in Berlin) is a Jewish-German activist and publicist, an outspoken critic of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians and a member of the group European Jews for a Just Peace. She is a daughter of late Heinz Galinski, a former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

 

Originally posted AT

TODAY’S BRILLIANT TOONS ~~ BLACKS AND WHITES UNITED FOR TRUMP

Brilliant images by Carlos Latuff

#PhoenixRally (Click on link to see details of rally)

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Are there enough white hoods for all participants of that pro-Trump Phoenix rally?

Make America great again ….. Tell Trump

‘YOU’RE FIRED!’

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NEVER TOO LATE TO STOP THE HATE ~~ IN PROSE

Stop the racism, stop the hate Start with your heart ­ never too late —————

Image by Enrique Lavin

Trump’s total eclipse of decency in cartoons

Stop the Hate by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh
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 Stop the racism, stop the hate Start with your heart ­ never too late At a world in turmoil we sadly wonder Our duty and responsibility we ponder Through experience we know Life is the energy good or bad that flow Until our death when we are no more And only our deeds tell our lore Some of us were taught at schools To remember the golden rules Not only that we do to others what we hope for ourselves But that there is a price or a prize for acts themselves That everything we do we get back A good or a bad deed even a smile or a crack “God give them what they wish for me” actually, what I do comes back to me what I did yesterday comes back to me today You cannot make war for peace and security Any more than you can have sex for virginity Stop the racism, stop the hate Start with your heart ­ never too late Positive energy begets positive Selfish thought begets negative Choose Justice, kindness, and humanism not Cruelty, greed, and racism You can’t take money to your grave Only bad deeds and good deeds left to save Let this simple fact not get blurred Save a child, a plant, a friend, or a bird Worry about your spirit, Of all pollution do clear it The tranquil is not the hawk but the dove You cannot conquer the hate except by the love Take a deep breath in and gently breathe out Meditate and you will find that winning route Ponder how the soft conquers the hard And why the evil deeds are marred The roads of the wise like the water steams Low and soft but stones dissipate in the way like dreams The key is time which is patience realized The door is kindness we must have utilized Stop the racism, stop the hate Start with your heart ­ never too late —————

FED UP WITH GERMAN SILENCE

During this election campaign in Germany, a question is not addressed: How do these parties and their top candidates deal with violations against international law and human rights?Why is Russia subject to sanctions while the “Jewish State” remains unpunished? Why does the annexation of Crimea allegedly oppose to international law, while the illegal occupation of Palestine is not just accepted, but even financially supported?

We are fed up of the silence of the German Election Campaigners about Palestine!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Sicht vom Hochblauen, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

International law and human rights are indivisible and apply to all states. And the “Jewish State” always says to be the “only” democracy in the Middle East. If this is true, international law and human rights shall be the basic foundations of the Jewish State. While the Jewish regime based on State terrorism occupies, oppresses, and expropriates a whole people, after a referendum the population of Crimea decided to remain with Russia, because the Western “community of values”, led by the USA, spent many million Dollar in the name of Eastern NATO expansion for the coup in Ukraine by forcing Russia to act.

Our German political landscape is characterised by a lord of the manor approach when it is about prohibiting the Nakba exhibition or Israel-critical conferences, or when it is about refusing conference rooms. And this is exactly the behaviour of philosemite parties linked to the Israel lobby in our country. If this is the situation, we have to ask these parties (SPD, CDU/CSU, FDP, Grünen and Linke) to make a statement about it.

If you remember the Holocaust, the genocide in the name of Germany and the crimes of the century, then you should also remember and put the Nakba, the forced displacement of the Palestinian people, and its consequences in an indivisible context.

In particular for German citizens, independently from the outcome, displacement and occupation are important subjects. There we have to ask ourselves: Why does this propaganda lie –  according which there has never been a Zionist displacement during and before the Nakba and all has been done “on a voluntary basis” – fall on good soil in Germany? Same thing can be said about the “Jewish occupiers’ regime” which always avoids speaking about the occupation.

In the case of the “Jewish State”, the uncritical lobby work of the parties promotes the distrust against Jewish officials and citizens, who quickly accuse others of anti-Semitism to distract from this lobby work, who refuses the rights of the oppressed, because it expresses its solidarity with the “Jewish Occupiers’ State”, a state characterised by colonialism and historical revisionism, by asking for our unconditional solidarity with these criminals.

The air has become suffocating in the German-speaking countries and in the political circles; and this is not only due to the Diesel fine particulate, but also to the stuffy German politics. If after the end of the war there were the last Nazi officials diffusing this right-wing stuffy politics, today their descendants prefer addressing their hate against Russia. The sanctions against Russia  are strengthened, while justified and peaceful BDS initiatives shall be damned as criminal. Whole cities, from Munich to Frankfort, participate in this undemocratic rally.

The double standards when it is about the “Jewish State” are incredible and incompatible with the German Constitution. Although after a referendum the majority of Crimean citizens decided to remain with Russia, German and European politicians speak about a criminal situation violating international law. And since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 these same politicians and the “world community” of the “Jewish State” have been permitting the violation against international law, human rights, and all values, and since decades Israel has been leaving scorched earth in its wake in occupied Palestine.

At the moment, in front of the EU office in Vienna, activists of the “Women in Black” are protesting against the support of the “Jewish Apartheid State”. Protest actions of this kind are important in the struggle for a free Palestine. (1)

At the end of August, in Berlin a Pop culture festival will be held; it will be financed by the Embassy of the “Jewish State”, the European Union, and the Municipality of Berlin. As soon as threes bands and artists,  Mohammad Abu Hayar of the Syrian Rap Band Mazzaj, the Egyptian band Islam Chipsy, and the Syrian DJ and producer Samer Salem knew about it, they refused their participation, because they did not want to participate in an event pinkwashing Apartheid and racism. Unfortunately, this moral courage cannot be found in German artists, when it is about Palestine! (2)

In the next “Springer” morning Press, the Berlin Senator of Culture, Klaus Lederer, spoke about a “horrifying boycott”. From my point of view, left-wing politicians are absolutely horrifying when they uncritically accept the Illegal occupation of Palestine and criticize Israel critics because they are engaged  for a free Palestine. Lederer added that by sponsoring the artists’ travel expenses the Israeli Embassy even contributed to the “success” of the festival. Can and should you still vote such politicians? For what concerns myself, my answer is “NO”, because I always check whom and what to vote! In 2014, in the newspaper TAZ ,Pascal Beucker called me an “unacceptable Israel hater” because I had written by comment  „Der Tag des Zorns wird kommen“ (The Day of Rage will Come); this comment was uncritically accepted by Lederer. And I felt in the best of company, because Lederer polemicized even Sarah Wagenknecht and called people to dissociate from Ken Jebsen, the alleged “ideologist” of the “new right”. But I prefer dissociating from left-wing politicians and politicians of all parties like Klaus Lederer!  (3) (4)

I deal with this subject and its consequences every week. Sometimes, I am asking myself for which purpose and why I do it. My concern is that the political parties’ landscape has been dissociating more and more from Palestine, by exclusively focussing on the “Jewish State”. The security of Israel, its right to exist, the particular relationship: all these words are always repeated like a litany. However, they do not become true, but remain mendacious lies of the whole political society and their supporters  in the media.

The deep attunement with the “Jewish Occupiers’ State” is an unbearable legal violation and is incompatible with the German constitution; the same applies to the “particular” relation developed over years because of a traumatised sense of guilt, since it created  the new “guilt” of our grand-children’s generation. The real problem is that philosemitism replaced Anti-Semitism, and became a contagious epidemic, infecting all parties and many media. Is there a vaccination against Philosemitism? Indeed, a clear and logic reasoning and a sense of justice should suffice. However, this is not the case because the propaganda brainwashing, promoted by the “Springer” lobby, seems to be part of German education. That adaptation has already replaced moral courage; and this is not astonishing if you think about the so numerous attempts of intimidation.

I have been trying to wake up people for years now, and to ask them to engage for Palestine and the Palestinians. And they attacked me because I used words like Israel lobby, Judaization, ghetto or concentration camp. However, I am gaining more and more supporters on blogs and in newspapers, and I feel confirmed and happy that my engagement is worth the trouble. And I never tried to make money at the expense of Palestinian solidarity, to earn with it, or to make business at the expense of a humiliated and occupied people.

From where do German politicians take their right to criticize the Palestinian people, which – after 69 years of resistance asks for the end of illegal occupation. How can they deny to them the legitimate right for resistance against illegal occupation, while Jewish occupiers are not just given the right to “defend themselves”, but even the occupation right! What can we expect from such politicians who speak about the “Jewish-Christian community of values”, while if it is about Palestinians they talk about terror and crimes, which have nothing to do with their community of values. Muslims become foreign bodies and the concept of an enemy, and this in particular during election campaigns. Let us do the mental experiment of replacing the word Jews with the word Muslims, or Judaism with Islam. This reminds me terrible days of our recent history. This dangerous development should be limited and stopped.

With our vote, we can decide what and who will rule. The voting right is one of the few rights we still have, in this epoch of apathy and lack of perspective.

We should not ignore how parties deal with human rights and regimes. The State terrorism of the Jewish occupiers’ regime to continue with the Judaization of Palestine must be talked about, as it is not a taboo, but should become one of the main election campaign subjects.

Chancellor Merkel has succeeded in brainwashing Germans so to believe in the unconditioned solidarity with the “Jewish State” as German reason of state because of our “particular obligations”. However, this reason of state does not mean that we should not engage to ask to add justice and freedom of the Palestinian people to this German reason of state.

We – and I think also the majority of the other German citizens – ask for information and an open discussion of all democratic parties about how the candidates to be voted will deal with this subject. Also this will be an important criterion of our voting behaviour.

 

Originally posted AT

TOONS (AND PHOTOS) ~~ THE LATEST IN WMD’s AND ‘SELECTIVE RACISM’

CharlottesvilleParis,London and now Barcelona. Sad days when cars, trucks, vans became weapons of mass destruction.

Images by Carlos Latuff

The hate and violence continues …..

When it comes to challenging racist ideology, US politicians make an exception for Zionism

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORKERS MARCH AGAINST HATE

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Surely there IS enough love to go around!

SOME QUESTIONS FOR U.S. CITIZENS

Many readers asked me (also as a US citizen) to comment in this blog on what is going on in race relations in the USA.

Questions to US citizens

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Many readers asked me (also as a US citizen) to comment in this blog on what is going on in race relations in the USA. I will briefly say that the politicians who criticize Trump (both republicans and democrats) are hypocritical. These same politicians who criticize Trump and his racist minions never challenged hate directed at Muslims and Arabs in general. The white nationalists and supremacists who are calling for ethnic cleansing and for hate are no different than the Zionists that they adore and fund and who do far more violence and atrocities. The hypocrisy in the US is more blatant and sickening than the thugs that caused the mayhem in Charlottesville. But what worries us more is that the distractions can allow us to slide more into a nuclear world war (please watch news related to Iran and North Korea).

There are also credible reports of Zionist thugs infiltrating both camps (‘left’ and ‘right’) to entice violence. I remember how Zionists tried to infiltrate one of our demonstrations in Connecticut posing as neo-Nazis to incite violence and mayhem. And we all know now how FBI agents infiltrated civil rights groups doing the same things in the 1960s. If US citizens do not wake-up to where the real danger comes from (the elites profiting from all of this), the society will be torn apart by petty hatreds that only serve the policies of ‘divide and conquer’ that are being implemented in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. Arabs in those countries are waking up to that but after much destruction. I hope fellow US citizens wake up to this early on.

The daughter of US ‘Ambassador’ to Israel (the “Jewish State”) has moved here to Palestine as a new colonial settler. Like any Jew in the world she and her father were considered nationals of the state even though born in the US with no connection to this land other than religious [mythologies]. They can become citizens upon demand. Colonial Zionists call those new colonists ‘olim’ referring to ‘those rising up’ as if being a Jew in Poland or America is being in the gutters. For committed Zionists moving here it this is just a formality because their betrayal of their own countries and allegiance to a foreign power is their trademark. Just observe the rhetoric of those in the US who support the billions of tax-payer money going to support the largest terrorist organization in the world called the Israeli army. Watch their rhetoric on Iran!

Friedman and his daughter supported and will continue to support ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and endless wars. The question for Jews around the world: until when will you allow Zionists to tar your community and your religion? When is the price of racism/‘Jewish nationalism’ considered too high? (today 7 million of us Palestinians are refugees or displaced people thanks to Zionists like Friedman and his daughter). The questions for all US citizens: how will you challenge ALL racism and bigotry? What will you do to work for justice, human rights, and equality? How would you justify working against ‘white nationalism’ or ‘pan-Islamic nationalism’ (ISIS) but not against ‘Jewish nationalism’?

IN PHOTOS ~~ ONLY IN AMERIKA ARE TERRORISTS PROTECTED BY THE POLICE

The OUTLAWED JDL freely demonstrates in NY with police protection

On Monday, 8/14, there was a massive demonstration at Trump Towers – thousands participated. It was in protest of his policy on N. Korea as well as his statement which equated the anti-fascists in Charlottesville with the Nazi, white supremist, Klu Klux Klan and anti-Semitic marchers.  At the same time a demonstration was taking place at Union Sq. organized by Samidoun in solidarity with Rosmea Udeh.   When Samidoun arrived they were met by an equal number of JDL who came to counter-protest the Samidoun demonstration.

The two opposing lines moved closer and closer yelling and shouting at each other until they were virtually nose-to-nose. The NYC police acted quickly and moved in separating the two lines and kept a constant presence there. Samidoun  then began marching in a circle shouting, “From Charlottesville to Palestine, racist murder is a crime.”

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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SPOTLIGHT ON SAM BAHOUR IN THE JERUSALEM POST

Sam Bahour is eager to open up the discussion concerning the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. But is there anyone to engage in the conversation?

Sam Bahour. (photo credit:TOMER ZMORA)

LISTENING
CLOSELY
Sam Bahour is eager to open up the
discussion concerning the IsraeliPalestinian
conflict. But is there anyone to
engage in the conversation? And why do
some members of the younger Palestinian
generation prefer talking of civil rights
rather than statehood?

NATAN ODENHEIMER  .. From Jerusalem Post Magazine

‘Why do you think Israelis want to hear you speak?”
I ask American-born Palestinian businessman
Sam Bahour in a Ramallah cafe.
“I’m a public figure, so when people come
to hear me, they know what’s on the menu,”
he replies. “There are all kinds of audiences. Some want to hear me
firsthand, others to challenge me, which many do, or to reinforce how
they argue against me outside, so they could say ‘I tried. I heard the
other side but I cannot change my opinion.’”
MANY SEE Bahour as a controversial figure. Perhaps this is because
alongside his business commitments he spends much time and energy
in “narrating,” as he puts it, to Israelis and American Jews the Palestinian
angle of the history and present of the conflict.
Bahour was born to a “very nationalistic family” in Youngstown, Ohio.
His parents, both originally from El-Bireh, raised him to know the
names and histories of their neighbors in Palestine better than that of
those living next door. During his college years, he became involved
with the Palestinian student movement, which was the PLO’s student
organ, and became a leader in the movement. After the Oslo Accords
were signed, he followed his wife back to Ramallah to work in business
development, hoping that the agreement would open the door for new
opportunities.
In the past 24 years Bahour co-founded Paltel, a telecommunication
company and the largest private-sector employer in the West Bank, served
on the board and as the treasure of Bir Zeit university, was a director of The
Arab Islamic Bank, and published opinion pieces in the Washington Post,
the Guardian and +972. Currently, he runs his own company, Applied
Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development
and focusing on information technology and start-ups.
In 2013, J Street U chapter at Brandeis University invited him to speak,
which some students found offensive since Bahour is a supporter of the
BDS movement and criticizes Israeli policy harshly.
Following the Brandeis event, a Committee for Accuracy in Middle
East Reporting in America (CAMERA) contributor, Ariella Charny,
published a blogpost titled “The Failures of Sam Bahour,” discrediting
him as an anti-peace activist.
But despite the many online descriptions of Bahour as a peace opposer
and Israel smearer, he didn’t blink before agreeing to an interview with
The Jerusalem Post, something that isn’t trivial in the current political
atmosphere. He believes that these sort of conversations – the kind that
is difficult to engage in – are key for moving forward.
“We as Palestinians,” he said, “failed in history in addressing Israelis
directly. We always thought that as long as we have an open door to the
US, an open door to Russia or the European Union, we can resolve the
conflict through a third party. I think it’s important but it’s impossible to
[resolve the conflict] without addressing the Israelis directly. I encourage
my people to do that in Hebrew as often as possible. Ultimately, this
dispute is no longer about Israel-Palestine. It’s about Israel itself.”
TWO EVENTS shaped Bahour’s political consciousness and fixated him
on what he sees as the Palestinian cause. The first was learning about the
Sabra and Shatilla massacre committed by Lebanese Christian militias
following the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. When the photos started
coming out, Bahour, who was a college student at the time, organized a
demonstration against Israel on campus.
“I’m aware of the fact that more than one party was responsible.
However, without Israel’s invasion of Lebanon it probably would not
have happened. I blame Israel and all else who were involved.
“I asked myself then,” he says, “how could that take place? That was
before Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria – these were supposed to be tragic events
that stop the world from spinning, but they didn’t.”
The second event was the eruption of the First Intifada. “I was about
to exit university in the year 1987-8 and already politically engaged. I
couldn’t just sit still at home. I visited Palestine many times before, but
my main activity on those visits mainly involved sitting on my aunt’s
balcony stuffing myself with food. That year was the first time I came
on a political tour. Understanding where the United States sits in this
reality, a superpower supporting Israel, made this conflict doubly
personal as an American and a Palestinian.”
Bahour returned to Youngstown to work in software development,
but made room in his schedule for leading group visits to Palestine.
Slowly, the intifada was fading, and around this time Bahour married
Abeer Barghouty from Deir Ghassana, who followed him to Ohio. “In 1993,” Bahour recalls, “the Oslo Accords were signed – no one expected
it. I read the agreement, and I became furious. I was against it.
“What kindled my anger was that the Palestinian side started the
process by recognizing Israel, and in return Israel recognized the
Palestinian Liberation Organization. This lopsidedness didn’t make
sense. It’s like the US would recognize the People’s Republic of China
and in response the PRC would recognize the Republican Party. It was a
bad agreement, but at least it was dated. That was the good thing about
it. We thought, ‘We have already been under occupation for 30-35 years,
what’s five more years?’
“I advocated – spoke and wrote – against the agreement. Then, one
time, I came back home and my wife told me, ‘What’s wrong with you?
The whole world is applauding this agreement through history. You are
the only person disliking it.’ She convinced me to reread the agreement
with a business eye, not a political one. She had a hidden agenda, of
course. She wanted to go back home. We just had our first child and this
Ohio thing didn’t work for her.”
Bahour gave the agreement another chance.
“There was an annex about every part of life, land, Areas A, B and C,
water, patrols, police – you name it, it was there. I came across Annex
No. 36, the Telecommunication annex, and the first paragraph was
great. I couldn’t have written it better myself. It said that Palestinians
have the right to build, operate and maintain separate and independent
networks. Long story short – this brought me back to Palestine. My
wife came back home, I relocated and got hired by a group of investors
that were negotiating with the Palestinian Authority to create the first
telecommunication company, Paltel.”
Life back home
However, when Bahour started working on Paltel, he read the rest
of the annex, and discovered clauses that limited the operation of the
telecommunication company taking its baby steps. “The annex said
that if we want frequencies and wavelengths allocated to us, we should
come back to the Israeli side and they alone will decide if it’s allowed.
Or, for instance, when we wanted to connect two Area As together, we
need to cross Area C, which is 62% of the West Bank, and every time we
wanted to do that we needed to get Israeli approval.
“You want to import equipment? You must jump through three Israeli
hoops, a hoop of customs, a hoop of standards and a hoop of security.
This slowed down our development process a great deal. So ultimately
the conclusion I reached over that year or so is that the political
lopsidedness of the agreement was translated into all of the sectors
setting them up for failure. It’s similar to me telling you you are welcome
to leave this cafe any time you want but I don’t tell you I sealed all the
doors and windows, and that there is no actual way,” he explains.
“Having said that, we did the best we could do within these limitations.
We built the largest private-sector company in Palestine, providing a
fixed-line network, a mobile network, and a telecommunication network.
It’s not separate and independent in the full sense of the word, but it’s
the best we could do. It also became very successful financially. Even too
successful financially, and that’s why I left. I felt like they [the directors
of Paltel] were making too much profit from an occupied people. Then
again, when I think back, I’m not sure the private sector, anywhere,
should be expected to [do] more than what it’s expected to do, which is
to hire people, create value and profit. I came with an illusion that the
private sector is part and parcel of the National Liberation Movement. It
was a mistake on my part.”
BAHOUR LEFT and opened his own consulting firm. The next year, he
was hired to put up the first shopping center in the Palestinian territories
(in Ramallah) called the Plaza Shopping Center.
During the Second Intifada, a lot of the clashes were very close to
the construction site and building the shopping center didn’t take 18
months as planned, but turned into a five-year challenge. Despite the
hardships, today the shopping center chain already has nine branches.
Bahour argues that the pace of the Palestinian economy’s growth is
limited by Israel and that if Israel eased restrictions on the economy,
even without solving the political crisis, the economy could grow
much more. “When my Israeli friends, especially those who are in the
supermarket business, visit, they are surprised by what we did here. I tell
them yes, it’s a ‘wow,’ but if it wasn’t for the boot of occupation on our
neck, we would have had branch number 50 by now.”
What do you mean?
“For instance, we aren’t able to have the frequencies we want, to be
able to put 3G on your smartphones. So every Palestinian smartphone is a dumb phone. It’s 2017 and Israel still refuses to
release the 3G frequencies. I’m almost embarrassed to
talk about it. I was in Denmark the other month and
they have signs there for 5G ‘coming soon,’ and we are
still begging for 3G.
“Israel, in my opinion, has full responsibility, not
over everything, but over the strategic economic
resources: water, frequencies, air spaces and borders.
For example, the Oslo Accords said we can make
bilateral agreements with any country as long as the
country has trade relations with Israel. Yet, we also
need to bring it to the Israeli side, not for approval,
but for acknowledging it, because they control the
border. We made nine agreements, and not one of
these agreements was recognized by Israel. Another
example is that Israel allows private companies to dig
marble on Palestinian land, which could have been a
resource used for stimulating Palestinian economy.”
You say that you spend almost 20% of your
time in speaking and engaging with American
Jews and Israelis. What’s the most important
thing for you to tell American Jews?
“Many of those I speak with are rabbinical students
that are here for studies or work in mainstream
organizations, and I show them what I know and
allow them to make the calculations of what that
means. Our people have a tendency to exaggerate the
reality to make their point. So if there are six soldiers
outside my house I put on that there are 600 to make
an impression, but at that point I lose my confidence
with my audience, so for me it’s important to lay out
the reality as we experience it,” he explains frankly.
“I do that comfortably because I know enough
about Judaism to understand that social justice is
a pillar of the religion and I think that this pillar
can be invoked if people would be better educated.
What I have seen in the last 15 years is that people
open their eyes and minds as I’m speaking to them.
It doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t happen at
once, but I can see a process taking place, and given
the number of people who come after the talks or the
engagements asking how to get involved, I know it’s
ringing somewhere.”
These discussions mostly take place in the West
Bank; among them are independent groups visiting,
some are organized thorough J Street, Encounter
Programs, Extend and other organizations.
Asked about the reactions he’s been getting in his
discussion, he replies: “At first, many American Jews
think that what I tell them accounts only for my
experiences or my opinion and that it doesn’t reflect
a broader community. So they try to limit my added value as a personal opinion, not of a community at
large. The second reaction is becoming pissed off at
their own establishment. These are grown people,
leaders in their community, and they are shocked.
They ask themselves, ‘How come I do not know the
entire story taking place on the other side of the
wall?’ Then comes the hard process of observing what
they learned without becoming ostracized in their
community. I think it’s a tiptoe act and I don’t envy
them for having to do it, because I know how hard it
is when you know something and want to act, but you
also don’t want to lose your roots and ability to work
within your community, and I think this gives people
a lot of pain.”
When did you find yourself in such a situation?
“There is a romanticism about Palestine that the
Palestinians over time created which has little to do
with the reality here. Let’s take, for example, the PLO
and PLO leadership. It was revered and upheld over the
years. But when you sit face to face with PLO operatives
and PA representatives and ministers and so forth you
start to see them for what they are. Some good, some
bad, like every government. Some competent, some
not. But definitely not an institutional body ready to
engage in the big struggle facing us. That was a wakeup
call for me. I encourage people not to romanticize
it, but also not to lose hope, to understand the reality,
each in its own way.”
What is your take on your Israeli audience?
“They are always the hardest ones. They come with
a very predefined notion of right and wrong. They
come with a possibly inherent racism or superiority
over Palestinians. They come rattling off very expired
thoughts, talking points that are 15 and 20 years old.”
Like what?
“They ask, ‘Who are you as a Palestinian?’ I thought
we were past that. That people understood we exist.
They go back to ‘God gave me this land’ so they put me
in a corner. What am I supposed to do? Defend God?…
The terrorism blocks them from seeing anything. To
evaluate anything. Two Israelis die, and suddenly the
entire 50 years of struggle becomes unthinkable.”
What is it that Palestinians want and Israelis
don’t understand?
“We desire the exact same things that every single
Israeli citizen desires when he wakes up: work, safety,
marriage, love, having a house, a car, a mobile phone,
tech, education for his children – Palestinians are no
better and no less than other people.“ What I don’t get is how the Israeli Knesset can both
tell its people that Gaza has nothing to do with Israel,
that it is not occupied, and at the same time maintain
the population registry; they register every newborn
child and issue them ID numbers.”
You think that Israelis are stuck in Oslo?
“I think the Israelis are stuck in Zionism. Zionism
was meant to create a state. That state was created,
and it turned out to be a very strong state. What they
should have done is put this ideology in the museum
and cherish it. Instead they took Zionism and rolled it
into all the institutions of the state.
“Fast forward to 2017, when Israel looks in the mirror
it doesn’t see Israel. They see a reflection of Zionism
and it’s very difficult for them to decide now – Are they
a state for their citizens? Are they a state among the
member states of the world (which means that there
are rules of how to act; having an occupation is not
one of those)? Or do they want to remain true to their
ideology which is exclusive by definition, and they
have to face that fall-out if they do.
“The current government doesn’t recognize this as
occupation. So I ask every Israeli I come across, if it’s
not occupation, then what is it? If it’s occupation,
it must end. Fifty years is far too long for temporary
occupation. If it’s not occupation, then I’m a subject,
in Ramallah, of the Israeli jurisdiction between the
Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River… I think
that they need to be wary: the next generation of
Palestinians may not beat their head against the wall
of statehood. My daughter may say, ‘You know what,
Israel? Congratulations. You win. You get it all. You get
the West Bank, west Jerusalem, east Jerusalem, you get
the water, we will throw in Gaza for free, and you know
what else you get? Us. And you know what more? We
heard there is free health care in Israel. Where do we
pick up our medical cards?’ If the next generation
drops the bid for statehood, what they will convert it
into is a bid for civil rights.”
This approach is becoming popular?
“There is a whole generation that speaks in this
language. I would encourage them not to do that.
Not because I don’t want civil rights, but because this
will force us into a one-state reality, but it’s not going
to be like Ohio and Pennsylvania, but like white and
black South Africa. We have 138 countries that said
yes to Palestine, nine that said no, of them, the only
two important ones are Israel and the US. We are
close to statehood. If we fail, we will not disappear or
vanish. We will convert our struggle into a civil rights
movement. If we do that, the game is over.”

HISTORY OF WESTERN TERROR IN TOONS

REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI AND PALESTINE

Images by Carlos Latuff

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Hiroshima  before the U.S. destroyed it

Palestine before the US/Israel destroyed it

 

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