WEEK’S END TOONS ~~ THE NEW AXIS OF EVIL AND …

Images by Carlos Latuff

Obama, Putin Agree on Syria truce. Do You Trust Them?

Obama, Putin Agree on Syria truce. Do You Trust Them?

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Zika and @WHO, Who Will Win This Olympic Marathon?

Zika and WHO, Who Will Win This Olympic Marathon?

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Matariya Hospital On Strike Protesting Police Brutality Against Doctors.

Matariya Hospital On Strike Protesting Police Brutality Against Doctors.

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.

SUNDAY’S SPOOF ~~ PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKER NEAR DEATH IN ISRAELI JAIL

‘And before I be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be Free’

Image by Carlos Latuff

Despite his critical condition, journalist captive Mohammad al-Qiq refuses to bow.

Despite his critical condition, journalist captive Mohammad al-Qiq refuses to bow.

See the following sites … (Click on links)

#FreeAlQeeq

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#Journalismisnotacrime

NEWS AND ACTIONS THIS COMING WEEK IN HYPOCRISY LAND

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Hypocrisy land news and Actions this coming week:
Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

The Israeli Knesset rejected a bill that calls for equality (after all
all this must remain a state by and for Jews). And a video emerged of
Israeli prime minister Netanyahu praising Israeli Fascist Group Im
Tirtzu which believes in "Jewishness" of Palestine and acts and
supports to effect ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians in favor of
European and other Jewish colonization. The Zionist leaders attacked
Ban Ki Moon for mildly speaking about the need to end the occupation
and let Palestinians live free. The heads of the EU misssions in
Jerusalem issued a report saying that Israel must respect human
rights. They explained that 660 Palestinians are being held without
charge or trial. They also mention Mohammad AlQeeq, a Palestinian
Journalist on hunger strike for 70 days since his illegal detention.
The tragedies around us continue and we sympathize with suffering
people seeking freedom from tyranny and from terrorism (much of it
emanating from the USA through its its "protectorates" like Israel and
Saudi Arabia).

My students struggle to come to class through tear gas and other
challenges of Israeli repression. This past week I gave courses on
research, critical reading, and writing for master students in tourism
and also for diploma students in drug education and prevention at BU.
In good news, more and more people acting on their convictions to
challenge oppression and/or build a better future. For example the
boycott campaign continues to grow around the world (for examples of successes ). 
Do act to promote BDS. in the media work and other actions. We were impressed
with the action of distribution of over 10,000 "spoof" New York Times
(major US newspaper). This biased newspaper not reporting on Israeli
colonialism but parroting Israeli propaganda about terrorism was
taught a good lesson by this action and thousands of New Yorkers
appreciated the gesture (electronic version of spoof here

WEEK’S END SPOOFS OF JULIAN ASSANGE

Images by Carlos Latuff

UN Announces that Assange is Unlawfully Detained  More https://justice4assange.com/

UN Announces that Assange is Unlawfully Detained …  More HERE 

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ISRAEL ‘FEELING HEAT’ OVER SETTLEMENT BUSINESSES

The consequences of Israeli occupation and anti-Palestinian discrimination for Israel’s economy are now coming faster than ever.

In this Nov. 22, 2010, photo, Palestinian women collect scrap timber in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Palestinian advocates contend that multinational companies will need to face "clear legal and moral liabilities" for operating in Israeli settlements. (Associated Press)

In this Nov. 22, 2010, photo, Palestinian women collect scrap timber in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone near the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Palestinian advocates contend that multinational companies will need to face “clear legal and moral liabilities” for operating in Israeli settlements. (Associated Press)

Israel ‘feeling heat’ over settlement businesses: Sam Bahour and Edward E. Thompson (Opinion)

The consequences of Israeli occupation and anti-Palestinian discrimination for Israel’s economy are now coming faster than ever. Like so many previous military occupations, Israel is starting to feel the heat of the international community. However, this heat is not of the political kind that Israel has become accustomed to deflecting, but rather the economic kind that has a mystical way of invoking action from the political echelon. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope the message is arriving loud and clear: It’s time for Israel to end its nearly 50-year occupation and allow Palestinians to live in freedom in an independent state.

The latest thoughtful criticism of Israel’s actions is a 162-page report titled “Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights.” Issued by the reputable, international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), the report documents how settlement businesses facilitate the growth and operations of Israel’s settlement enterprise, an enterprise deemed illegal by every country in the world, except Israel. These settlement businesses depend on and contribute to the Israeli authorities’ unlawful confiscation of Palestinian land and other resources.

Human Rights Watch’s director of the Business and Human Rights Division, Arvind Ganesan, noted that “Settlement businesses unavoidably contribute to Israeli policies that dispossess and harshly discriminate against Palestinians, while profiting from Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and other resources. The only way for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities is to stop working with and in Israeli settlements.”
Speaking of the stone and marble industry, Ganesan said, “Every dollar of stone that settlement businesses extract and sell from the West Bank is a dollar taken from Palestinians. The bottom line is no settlement business should be operating and profiting from land and resources illegally taken from the Palestinian people.”

In light of the clear illegality of doing business with Israeli settlements, multinational companies will need to face clear legal and moral liabilities in continuing to do business as usual. However, for those firms that have been operating in the settlements, there is another option they can pursue to compensate for their past wrongdoings; they can redirect their business investments to the Palestinian economy and become a constructive element in helping Palestinians recover from the real economic damage caused by nearly half a century of military occupation.

Making such investment and business options materialize is exactly why we co-founded Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy (AVPE) as a tax-deductible organization based in Chicago, Illinois. As two Americans, one a retired Chicagoan and the other a Palestinian American from Youngstown, Ohio now based in Ramallah, we have witnessed firsthand the damage on the ground caused by Israel’s deliberate battering of Palestine’s economy. But we also have visited Palestinians’ firms, those keeping their businesses’ doors open despite all odds, and want to connect them to the U.S. market. After a year of operations, AVPE documented serious interest from Palestinian businesspersons interested in linking to American business partners.

Large-scale projects that global firms can surely relate to are taking shape. The first planned Palestinian city, Rawabi, is now witnessing its first tenants taking up residence and offers international high-tech firms the opportunity to locate their operations in the new Rawabi Tech Hub. From Dead Sea products that compete head on with similar products produced in illegal Israeli settlements to olive oil soap and Bethlehem greeting cards, Palestinians have products and services worthy of note.

This new HRW report is actually the second vital criticism that calls into question business as usual for Israel. The first was issued by the European Council on Foreign Relations and titled EU Differentiation and Israeli settlements (July 22, 2015). In this past report, Israeli banks, among other businesses, were a main target, given most have branches in settlements. The Israeli business community took note. With this new HRW report, they will take note again, and all indications are that the reports and actions against illegal business practices will continue until occupation comes to an end.

The World Bank estimated in 2013 that Israeli restrictions in Area C (the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control) cost the Palestinian economy $3.4 billion annually, approximately equal to 33 percent of Palestine’s GDP. Settlement businesses contribute to and benefit from unlawful and discriminatory policies that leave many Palestinians with no alternative but to work in Israel or settlements. As multinationals divest from illegal settlements, redirected economic activity can be a key component to further advance the Palestinian economy, while putting more Palestinians in jobs and giving them hope for a day when they will live in freedom and occupation-free.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian American businessman originally from Youngstown now living in Ramallah, where he is managing partner at Applied Information Management. He is a policy adviser at Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network and chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. Edward E. Thompson, a retired consulting psychologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, is the co-founder and president of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy.

 

Originally found AT

DAILY SPOOFS ~~ ‘BOMBS AWAY’

Images by Carlos Latuff

U.S.-led Coalition Airstrikes on Daesh

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UN Suspends SyriaTalks in Geneva

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DAILY SPOOF ~~ #FabricatedInjustice

Image by Carlos Latuff

Despite total lack of evidence, Israeli court sentences Hares Boys to 15 years in prison

Despite total lack of evidence, Israeli court sentences Hares Boys to 15 years in prison

Full report from Mondoweiss HERE

SPOOFS OF THE DAY ~~ WELCOME TO RIO …

Images by Carlos Latuff

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, Land of @Rio2016 @Olympics, Dengue Fever, Zika Virus, Gentrification and Corruption

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, Land of @Rio2016 @Olympics, Dengue Fever, Zika Virus, Gentrification and Corruption

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Rio de Janeiro, The Olympics, City Of Zika Virus, Dengue Fever!

Rio de Janeiro, The Olympics, City Of Zika Virus, Dengue Fever!

PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS CHOKED BY LAYERS OF CONFUSION

The Israeli occupation seeps into every aspect of life, including our internal affairs. This is not an excuse for our state of affairs, but rather a fact that has always been there and must be understood and taken into consideration as we plan our actions. It is these desired “actions,” or lack thereof, where lack of clarity enters.

Layers of confusion choke internal Palestinian affairs

Sam Bahour (see #PalestinianState for more)
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Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (C) speaks during a meeting with Palestinian journalists in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 23, 2016. / AFP / ABBAS MOMANI

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (C) speaks during a meeting with Palestinian journalists in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 23, 2016. / AFP / ABBAS MOMANI

The starting point to understand today’s reality in Palestine is as crystal clear now as it always has been. Over 4 million Palestinians are approaching their 50th year of living under Israeli military occupation; it should be noted that these Palestinians comprise less than half of all Palestinians worldwide.

The Israeli occupation seeps into every aspect of life, including our internal affairs. This is not an excuse for our state of affairs, but rather a fact that has always been there and must be understood and taken into consideration as we plan our actions. It is these desired “actions,” or lack thereof, where lack of clarity enters.

First, there is President Mahmoud Abbas. Positioned more as a king governing by presidential decree, than president of an operating political system, President Abbas is at a loss as to how to address the multiple fronts imposed upon him.

From Israel, he has no partner with whom to do anything. From the West, he hears repeated statements of how they now “get it,” but he is yet to find them acting to hold Israel accountable. The Arab heartland is so disfigured that he can barely keep up with the states in their domino-style collapse in order to understand their role. From his own street, he is faced with a loss of hope that has turned at times to violence.

The scenario playing out in the streets has the dangerous possibility of spinning out of control. One day President Abbas turns a blind eye to the protests and violence, the next he sends his security forces to quell the protesters, sometimes violently. Onlookers trying to understand the strategy are left with the same sense of loss felt by Palestinians looking for coherent leadership.

Second, there is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian political agency, at least in name. It is there and not there at the same time.

The PLO is alive and well in the international arena. The successful 29 November, 2012 UN General Assembly resolution acknowledged “that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, is entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine”.

The same resolution went on to “Decide[s] to accord to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice.”

Legally, all is in order, but politically, all is a mess.

The PLO Executive Committee consists of 18 members, including the president. Article 14 of the PLO bylaws stipulates that the Palestine National Council (PNC) must convene in the event that one third of the members of the Executive Committee resigns, in order to choose new officers.

In August 2015, President Abbas resigned as head of the PLO Executive Committee. In addition to Abbas’ resignation, Hanan Ashrawi, Ahmad Majdalani, Saeb Erekat, Ghassan al-Shakaa, and Mahmoud Ismail also resigned, thus invoking the need for a session of the PNC – which has not met to strategically define policy since 1988.

President Abbas tried to call for a PNC meeting before the end of 2015 but was forced to postpone the call, given the impression from many, including key figures in his own FATAH party, that the entire episode was a political stunt to gain legitimacy, which had been severely damaged given his term as president had long expired and the PNC is today an empty shell.

Third, there is the Palestinian Authority (PA). Trying to play the role of a government, but lacking the bare minimum resources or real authority to do so, the PA goes through the daily motions of an operating government bureaucracy. Israeli actions and Palestinian disunity have both stripped the PA from its ability to develop into a full-scale government.

Today, it is more of a national non-governmental organization (NGO), forced to align with the donors that keep it alive, than an executive body implementing properly legislated policy.

That said, the PA is not a foreign body, it is part and parcel of our community and, albeit limited, is an important platform that needs a new scope of work. It does not need threats that it will be dismantled, which would only leave our education and health care systems, among others, to our occupiers to manage.

Fourth, Palestinian civil society remains the wild card. Large chunks of civil society have been hijacked by donor agendas. To remain alive and meet payroll, just like the PA itself, this chunk has little to offer in changing the deteriorating status quo. Here I include the majority, if not all, of the political parties that comprise the PLO.

That noted, there is another part of civil society that is more rooted in its communities and can be seen and heard challenging the phenomena of violence, as well as addressing the weaknesses in the political structures. A week does not go by without veteran political players meeting to craft a way forward; their weakness is that the youth are usually meeting separately among themselves.

Fifth, Palestinians living outside of the grip of Israeli occupation. Here again, there are organized into the forced fragments created by Israel. Each fragment has its own challenges, priorities and dynamics. The most exciting of these are the Palestinian citizens of Israel who, although facing extreme conditions from Israel’s right-wing government, are more outspoken and politically organized today than they have ever been.

Yet to be mobilized are the refugee communities and the Palestinian diaspora, two major levers that have the potential to be real game-changers once they enter the political ring.

Last but not least, there is the international community, which has become an integral part of the internal Palestinian reality. As it relates to internal Palestinian politics, the international community is a double-edged sword.

Without donors, the PA collapses and any repairing of the Palestinian political system will move from being in repair mode to reconstruct mode, a shift that should not be taken lightly, as Israel has made it publically clear that any Palestinian agency will be made to surrender on its terms. On the other hand, with donors, Israel gets a free ride to continue its policy of slow ethnic cleansing while all the time paying lip-service to peace.

I envy no one trying to navigate through this reality, but I am also convinced that without an operating political system that can utilize the full capabilities of the Palestinian people, those under occupation and those living free from occupation, no one will succeed in safeguarding our path toward freedom and independence.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently told the Security Council that the wave of attacks in Israel and Palestine was driven by a “profound sense of alienation and despair” among some Palestinians, particularly the young.

He continued, “Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process. As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”

Written FOR

 

TOON FOR THE WEEK’S END ~~ DEFENDING THE OCCUPATION

Image by Carlos Latuff

 Netanyahu responds to Ban Ki-moon’s criticism of the Israeli occupation

Netanyahu responds to Ban Ki-moon’s criticism of the Israeli occupation

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Related FROM

Update: UN’s Ban Rejects Netanyahu’s Criticism: Count on Me to Speak Up

The United Nations says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stands by every word of his criticism of Israeli settlement-building this week and rejects Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment that the remarks justify terrorism….

Ban spoke out again Wednesday, telling a General Assembly committee that the Palestinians “watch as Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, expand and expand.”

The UN chief, who is in the final year of his term, also said that “you can count on me to speak up” to help achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Original:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t like U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s speech to the Security Council criticizing the Israeli occupation on Tuesday.

From the Times of Israel article “Furious Netanyahu slams Ban Ki-moon for ‘stoking’ Palestinian terrorism“:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused the United Nations chief of “stoking terror” after Ban Ki-moon said, in connection with the wave of Palestinian deadly terror attacks, that it was “human nature to react to occupation.”

“There is no justification for terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “The Palestinian terrorists don’t want to build a state; they want to destroy a state, and they say that proudly. They want to murder Jews everywhere and they state that proudly. They don’t murder for peace and they don’t murder for human rights.”

The UN has “lost its neutrality and its moral force, and these statements by the Secretary-General do nothing to improve its situation,” Netanyahu said in a furious video statement. Ban’s remarks, said Netanyahu, “stoke terror.”

MEET A REAL PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN HEROINE

The Case of Rasmea Odeh: A Palestinian Hero

Read all about her case HERE

With updates at #Justice4Rasmea

Image by Carlos Latuff

Cartoon of the Hour: #Justice4Rasmea A Palestinian Hero!

Cartoon of the Hour: #Justice4Rasmea A Palestinian Hero!

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REVOLUTIONARY TOONS ~~ ‘WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN’

BAREFOOT!

Images by Carlos Latuff

It’s Time for Egypt To Throw Another Shoe In The Face Of A Tyrant!

Five years ago …..

Today …

Time to lose the other shoe

Time to lose the other shoe

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Cartoon of the Day: Arab Spring in #Egypt, 5 years on!

Cartoon of the Day: Arab Spring in #Egypt, 5 years on!

#OscarsSoWhite ~~ TOON OF THE HOUR

Image by Carlos Latuff

 Is The Academy Racist? #OscarsSoWhite

Is The Academy Racist? #OscarsSoWhite

RELATED

Will Smith will also boycott the Academy Awards as #OscarsSoWhite backlash grows

Full report HERE

WEEKEND SPOOF ~~ 5 YEARS OF THE ‘ARAB SPRING’

Image by Carlos Latuff

 5th anniversary of Egypt's Jan25 revolution & how it still scares those in power

5th anniversary of Egypt’s Jan25 revolution & how it still scares those in power

SPOOF OF THE DAY ~~ ISRAEL DESTROYS TO BUILD

Israel destroys homes for Bedouins, builds homes for Jews 

Image by Carlos Latuff

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Israel confirmed on Thursday it was planning to appropriate a large tract of fertile land in the occupied West Bank, close to Jordan, a move likely to exacerbate tensions with Western allies and already drawing international condemnation.

The appropriation, covers 154 hectares (380 acres) in the Jordan Valley close to Jericho, an area where Israel already has many settlement farms built on land Palestinians seek for a state. It is the largest land seizure since August 2014.

“Israel is stealing land specially in the Jordan Valley under the pretext it wants to annex it,” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told Reuters. “This should be a reason for a real and effective intervention by the international community to end such a flagrant and grave aggression which kills all chances of peace.”

The United States, whose ambassador angered Israel this week with criticism of its West Bank policy, said it was strongly opposed to any moves that accelerate settlement expansion.

“We believe they’re fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and call into question, frankly, the Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution,” Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Wednesday.

In a development likely to further upset Europe, Israeli forces demolished six structures in the West Bank funded by the EU’s humanitarian arm. The structures were dwellings and latrines for Bedouins living in an area known as E1 – a particularly sensitive zone between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

“This is the third time they demolished my house and every time I rebuilt it, this time also I will rebuild it and I am not leaving here. If we leave they will turn the place into a closed military zone,” said Saleem Jahaleen, whose home was razed.

MIDWEEK SPOOF ~~ IRANIAN MISSILE TESTING

Image by Carlos Latuff

As sanctions end over nuclear program, US socks Iran with new sanctions over missile testing Related post at MONDOWEISS

As sanctions end over nuclear program, US socks Iran with new sanctions over missile testing
Related post at MONDOWEISS

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So True :(

So True :(

EUROPE DROWNING IN AMERICA’S FAILURES

On Monday, January 18, 2016, the monthly meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels is expected to discuss and decide on next steps to be adopted by the EU on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Policy-makers in Israel are worried as they fear an expansion of European efforts to isolate Israel’s settlements

Palestine-Israel: Europe Drowning in America’s Failures

Photo-credit-Kobi-Gideon-GPO

Photo-credit-Kobi-Gideon-GPO

On Monday, January 18, 2016, the monthly meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels is expected to discuss and decide on next steps to be adopted by the EU on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Policy-makers in Israel are worried as they fear an expansion of European efforts to isolate Israel’s settlements.

As it discusses next steps, Europe must recognize that “the US leads” approach to resolving the conflict is doomed to never-ending failure: It affords time for the Israeli settlement enterprise to further entrench itself and makes the two-state solution increasingly impossible to achieve. It is blindingly clear – in light of two decades of failed bilateral negotiations under American auspices – that US leadership of conflict resolution efforts is pointless and counter-productive.

If Europe’s policy is to achieve two states for two peoples, it will have to pursue an independent policy position that circumvents the Americans. Moreover, the substance of European policy will have to be more consequential than policy changes to the EU Guidelines for participation in the Horizon 2020 program that exclude settlements, or requiring that Israeli settlement products be labeled while allowing their trade to continue.

European policy will have to become more punitive and assertive if it is to incentivize Israel to make meaningful concessions for peace. A study undertaken by the European Council on Foreign Relations in July 2015 shows that there is significant opportunity to further isolate Israel’s settlement project by expanding the scope of legal differentiation between Israel and the Occupied Territories in European law, to include re-examining “the integration of the European and Israeli financial sectors, the charitable status within the EU of organizations that support Israel’s settlement enterprise and the validity within the EU of legal documents issued by Israeli authorities in the Occupied Territories.”

If Europe’s influence in this conflict arena is negligible, it is because Europe has relied on the wrong leadership for too long. This tragic, historic mistake has not only cost European taxpayers billions, but has also led to a reality that is the diametric opposite of what European policy-makers intended. After 23 years, reliance on American “leadership” has led to the creation of numerous Palestinian Bantustans, surrounded by an occupying military power that continues to occupy with impunity, bankrolled by European taxpayers: The EU and its member states are by far the largest donors to the Palestinians.  Israel – delighted that another party is willing to subsidize its military occupation – continues to expand and consolidate its settlement enterprise, with the  support of large sections of the American public.

Historically, the US and EU have shared a common objective of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the framework of a two-state solution. However, after the repeated failure of US mediation efforts, and, more recently, the resignation of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Territories, a perverse reality continues to dictate that there is no peace – and no traction towards peace – any time in the near future, or possibly even within our lifetimes.

America supports occupation. Europe inadvertently subsidizes occupation. This regrettable logic is an accurate description of current reality. The US continues to advocate a hands-off, “it’s up to the two parties to decide” approach. As a result, Israel, which has all the power, has little incentive to concede, while the Palestinians, who have no power and are supposedly “protected” under international law are left to their despair.

While commentators have busied themselves picking at the rotting carcass of the so-called peace process and apportioning blame for its failure, few have dared to state the obvious: America is part of the problem, not the solution. Israeli intransigence and blatant violation of international law is fueled by its belief that, no matter what its does, the US will always insulate it from meaningful rebuke. Palestinian desperation is driven by a conviction that America’s overwhelming support to Israel makes negotiations pointless, as Israel has little incentive to concede when showered with so much money, weapons and political support.

To take but one example, in February 2011, the Obama administration vetoed a UN resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal, despite the fact that 130 countries co-sponsored the resolution and it was supported by all other 14 members of the Security Council. Later that year, in May 2011, the US Congress gave Prime Minister Netanyahu 29 standing ovations as he publicly dismissed President Obama’s position that the 1967 borders should be the basis for a final territorial settlement. By contrast, Europeans have moved towards recognition of the State of Palestine. Sweden and the Vatican’s recognition are now official while parliaments in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, France, Luxembourg, along with the European Parliament, have all approved recognition.

In summary, the US gives staunch support for Israel, while the EU tries to clean up the chaos inspired by Israeli excesses and US hypocrisy ad infinitum. Monday’s meeting is an opportunity to examine what the EU can do to change this reality.

It is time for Europe to roll up its sleeves, play power politics, and take on the occupier, without waiting for American leadership to produce results. If the experiences of Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor and South Africa are anything to go by, an occupier or an apartheid regime will only change its ways with a nuanced combination of sanctions, international isolation and, as a last resort, military force.

The EU must rise to the occasion and demonstrate to its constituents that European money and credibility are more important than indulging in American charades of impartiality. It is clear that America has no moral or political qualms with Israel remaining an occupying force. Once Europe finally acknowledges this reality and moves on, it will find the strength and legitimacy to propose policies of its own, in line with its European neighborhood objectives, its own moral standards, and its own laws.

SPOOF OF THE WEEK ~~ ‘THE STATELESS UNION ADDRESS’

Image by Carlos Latuff

‘Crocodile Tears’

See this great Twitter Page @ #SOTO

See this great Twitter Page @ #SOTO

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