DAILY SPOOF ~~ ISRAEL’S DOUBLE EDGED EVIL

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

Book Review ~~ THE IDEA OF ISRAEL: A HISTORY OF POWER AND KNOWLEDGE

If you are an Israeli and are a product of the Israeli education system, especially under the age of 40, read this book.

If you are a Jewish-American and have been blindly consuming your institutional, mainstream “idea of Israel,” read this book.

If you are a U.S. lawmaker, writing the annual checks to Israel and playing jack-in-the-box every time the Israeli prime minister speaks in the Congress, read this book.

If you are a Palestinian who thinks Israelis are not worth engaging because they all know the history, read this book.

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On THE IDEA OF ISRAEL

By Sam Bahour

This book will go down in history as a monumental recording of the Israeli History Industry for generations to come. At its core, the book is a snapshot into a decade of inner Israeli dynamics, from 1990 to 2000, when the basic assumptions that Israel propagated for decades about how the ‘miracle’ of Israel came into being started to be challenged. The history of how this decade was reached is as fascinating as how horrific has been its aftermath.

Except for its last chapter, this book is not for everyone. Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, takes the reader through the maze of knowledge creation in Israel and how that journey has interacted with power. The invaluable intellectual contribution and framing that Professor Pappe provides cannot be overstated. He documents for all serious researchers who follow how the dust (or more like blood) of Israel’s foundational moment has yet to settle. The events in and around 1948 that led to the creation of Israel and the colossal loss of Palestine were such a historic tragedy that even the well-oiled Israeli and Zionist public relations machines have been unable get traction to settle the historic account.

In today’s messy and distracted world, those who write (or for that matter, make films and movies, produce theater and art, compose music, write poetry, and the like) frequently have a moment when they question the value of their creative works. Well, Professor Pappe makes it abundantly clear where all these creative works fall in the bigger picture and why it is of utmost importance that we never lose sight that every progressive act of creativity which speaks truth to power is a data point towards rectifying the injustices of the world. When the injustice is the source of a nation’s creation, the process of correction is excruciatingly slow, but inevitable if strategically addressed.

The last chapter of The Idea of Israel is titled, “Brand Israel 2013”. This is a brief but shockingly telling account of how much money and brain power Israel is willing to dump into a bottomless bucket while trying to force feed a fabrication into mainstream knowledge. The notion of actually correcting the historic mistakes, any of them, is not even considered.

As I noted above, the book is not for everyone;

If you are an Israeli and are a product of the Israeli education system, especially under the age of 40, read this book.

If you are a Jewish-American and have been blindly consuming your institutional, mainstream “idea of Israel,” read this book.

If you are a U.S. lawmaker, writing the annual checks to Israel and playing jack-in-the-box every time the Israeli prime minister speaks in the Congress, read this book.

If you are a Palestinian who thinks Israelis are not worth engaging because they all know the history, read this book.

My hat is off, again, to Professor and friend, Ilan Pappe, for an invaluable contribution to peace with justice.

Happy purposeful reading.

The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge

By Ilan Pappe

Publisher: Verso (January 2014)

http://www.versobooks.com/books/1117-the-idea-of-israel

TOON ~~ ISRAEL HAS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT

The Billion$ will continue to flow in …..
Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

TIMELY TOON ~~ NETANYAHU’S REACTION TO IRAN DEAL

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

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THE LATEST LATUFF SPOOFS

Carlos comes to New York ….

My “Palestinian Mandela” cartoon in a pro-Palestine demo in NYC. Photos: Bud Korotzer

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Tracking Israeli war crimes

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Bella Ciao Omar Sharif

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HAMAS AND THE MISSING ISRAELIS

First read the background in THIS post ….

The reason for Israel’s silence until now …
 
The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.
 
And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

Hamas: No free information on missing Israelis

By Khalid Amayreh

Israel has finally officially acknowledged that two Israelis were being held in the Gaza Strip, presumably in Hamas’s custody.Israel had hoped that Hamas would disclose information on the matter, which would help Israel repatriate the two men in return for a non-costly price or at no price at all.But Hamas has acted smartly by remaining tight-lipped on the matter for the past 12 months.

Hamas should continue this wise policy as giving free information of any kind to Israel would be self-defeating and immensely harmful for the Palestinian cause, especially the cause of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and resistance detainees languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps.

It is likely that Israel will ask third-parties to pressure Hamas to release specific information on the missing Israelis as a “humanitarian gesture.”

Israel could ask the Ramallah regime and/or the Sissi regime to exert pressure on Hamas to release the missing soldiers.

Hamas should firmly reject such deceptive tactics.

More to the point, Israel is not expected to pursue this matter with the same vigor and persistence it pursued the Shalit affair.

The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.

And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

But non-action by the Israeli government would embarrass the Zionist regime and expose its racist nature. In fact, we have already witnessed the Ethiopian Jewish community, which was subjected to a humiliating conversion process at the hands of the High Rabbinate in Israel, openly accuse the Israeli regime of racism vis-à-vis the black Ethiopians. (Talmudic authorities consider black Africans virtual animals).

Moreover, hundreds of Ethiopians recently took to the streets in protest against widespread racism against black Ethiopians by official Israeli institutions, prompting Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to repudiate racism.

It is imperative that Hamas exercise patience and resilience in dealing with this matter of the missing Israelis. Israel, in dealing with us, adopts Real Police in its most callous forms. It withholds medical care from Palestinian prisoners. It often flagrantly re-arrests prisoners released in the context of international agreements such as the Shalit deal.

It keeps Palestinian prisoners in prison despite the expiration of their jail terms. It keeps extending the imprisonment of “administrative detainees” for many months and years, without charge or trial.

Indeed, numerous Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails don’t actually know why they are in prison.

For these and many other reasons, Hamas must deal with Israel on the basis of reciprocity.

Finally, it should be made abundantly clear that any perceived intransigence on Hamas’s is not a goal in itself.

Hamas, indeed the entire Palestinian people, have many scores to settle with Israel. Israel is continuing to blockade Gaza, open fire on fishermen, prevent Palestinians from traveling through the Beit Hanoon border crossing, prevent the free flow of goods and services between Gaza and the West Bank, and bar Gazans from having their own seaport and airport.

Israel is also deliberately impeding the reconstruction of Gaza where 100,000 homes were destroyed and damaged during the Nazi-like Israeli blitz last year.

These are indisputable rights not excessive demands made by the Palestinians.

That is why, every asset available to the Palestinians ought to be utilized to expedite these legitimate Palestinian interests.

IN PHOTOS ~~ INTERNATIONAL AL QUDS DAY IN TIMES SQUARE

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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IN PHOTOS ~~ GAZA REMEMBERED ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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Adding insult to injury

Adding insult to injury

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SPOOF ~~ ISRAEL ‘CELEBRATES’ THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE WAR IN GAZA

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

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YET ANOTHER GAZA FLOTILLA SPOOF

Another spoof by Latuff

Another spoof by Latuff

Yesterday’s Spoof

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Spoof by Latuff

SPOOF ON ISRAELI PIRACY

 

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

Israel seizes activist flotilla headed to Gaza

Naval special forces take control of ship, which carried 20 activists including MK Basel Ghattas, without violence.

 

Full report HERE

ISRAELI TREASON AGAINST HUMANITY

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

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Israel murdered, maimed thousands of Palestinian civilians, knowingly and deliberately

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
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A report issued Sunday by the Israeli occupation army on last year’s genocidal blitz in the Gaza Strip claimed that Israeli forces didn’t intentionally target Palestinian civilians.

The report, issued belatedly and scandalously fraught with half-truths, selective data taken out of context and containing a preponderance of sheer lies, seems to be intended to counter growing international convictions that Israel did commit real war crimes and crimes against humanity during its 50-day devastating aggression on Gaza last summer.

However, it seems that Israel’s task of exonerating itself of manifestly damning charges related to war crimes is not going to be easy.

Indeed, the irrefutable facts available to the UN, the Red Cross and other neutral third parties should be sufficient to condemn and convict Israel as a murderous state.

There are also thousands of testimonies by on-the-ground eyewitness who have presented credible and honest narratives of the atrocities which killed and maimed thousands of civilians including hundreds of children.

It is really hard to believe that thousands of civilians were killed inadvertently or by mistake or as a result of collateral damage. Believing such claims would be an insult to human intelligence.

True, Israel is constantly shielded from international condemnation, especially punishment, by the United States, Israel’s ultimate guardian-ally, as well as the governments of Western Europe.

But in this age of open skies and internet, it is imperative for all honest men and women around the world, irrespective of their religion or race, to expose the brutal ugliness of this criminal entity called Israel. This is the very least humanity should do on behalf of the helpless victims.

This is very crucial because Israel is convinced it is above the laws of man and God and unbounded by the international norms.

And should the world, God forbid, continue to fail to call the spade a spade, especially when the proverbial implement is seen in the hands of our grave-diggers, and I am not speaking metaphorically, it should be a foregone conclusion that Israel could or probably would eventually embark on the unthinkable vis-à-vis its helpless victims.

I don’t know for sure how the unthinkable would be played out on the ground. However, 67 years of the Israeli experience should be more than sufficient to invoke and remember Stalin and his Gulags, Hitler and his concentration camps, Pol Pot and his genocidal crimes and Bashar El-Assad and his sectarian massacres.

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

Israel calculates that apart from a brief outburst of half-hearted denunciations and some vociferous demonstrations in some western capitals, the world powers, particularly the US, would just “let it pass” and probably content with issuing indifferent calls on “all sides to exercise self-restraint.”

I really don’t know if the macabre Israeli calculations are accurate or not. However, from our bitter experience with the West especially since the Second World War, Israel seems ostensibly correct in its prognosis of western moral bankruptcy.

Indeed, a West that is looking on rather passively as Assad with active support from the Russians, the Iranians and Hizbullah is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, is decidedly unlikely to experience an awakening of moral conscience if and when the Israeli death machine gangs up on the Palestinians.

Genocidal Israelis

Israel is not Denmark or Sweden or even Britain. There is a definitely genocidal mindset in Israel which millions of Europeans and North Americans cannot easily detect due to many years of sustained brain-washing by Zionist-influenced or Zionist controlled media in the West.

Several years ago, an Israeli settler leader named Daniela Weiss from a colony in the northern West Bank delivered a hair-raising speech to dozens of fanatical Gush Emunim settlers in Hebron.

In her brief tirade, the gung ho settler leader told the fanatical multitude that the best way to deal with the Palestinians was the Joshua’s way, an allusion to Biblical massacres carried out by Biblical Israelites against indigenous Canaanite tribes.

The speech, met with loud cheers, didn’t raise many eyebrows in Israel, neither in the media nor in the government.

Hence, the claim that Israelis or Jews wouldn’t allow the government of Israel to resort to genocide against the Palestinian is based more on wishful thinking than on any convincing arguments.

Today, the Palestinian people owe their survival as a people to the good-will of the international community.

But the continuity of this good-will cannot be taken for granted. This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

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IS IT TOO LATE FOR A JUST PEACE IN PALESTINE?

Expecting Netanyahu to work for peace would be very much like expecting a ship to sail on land. This is because Netanyahu and peace are an eternal oxymoron.

Is it too late for just peace in Palestine?

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine
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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues to adopt brazen mendacity and dishonesty as his modus operandi vis-à-vis the rest of the world.

In fact, one would exaggerate very little by saying that Netanyahu is probably the most dishonest political figure in Israel ever since the racist Jewish entity came into being in Palestine 67 years ago.

In the past two weeks, Netanyahu made a plethora of statements voicing his desire for the resumption of the moribund peace process with the weak Palestinian Authority.

This is of course not the first time Netanyahu makes such statements.

Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have been making all sorts of mendacious statements expressing an ostensible desire for peace with the Palestinians.

However, these statements were always proven to be utterly false, which shows that Netanyahu is not just an ordinary liar, but rather a malicious one par excellence.

Just ask any European leader who has dealt with Netanyahu how he views the Israeli premier and if he thinks he has any credibility. The answer would be a clarion “No.”

Indeed, how can we possibly trust a man who voices a desire for peace with the Palestinians while doing everything in his ability to kill any remaining prospects for peace?

In fact, expecting Netanyahu to work for peace would be very much like expecting a ship to sail on land. This is because Netanyahu and peace are an eternal oxymoron.

There is no doubt that a country that has built hundreds of colonies on land that belongs to another people and transferred hundreds of thousands of its citizens to live on land that belongs not to them doesn’t have genuine peace on its agenda.

This is the truth Netanyahu is trying to conceal or blur by way of making all sorts of theatrical statements especially when meeting with visiting foreign dignitaries.

Unfortunately, many or most of these dignitaries, especially from Europe and North America, lack the moral courage to tell Netanyahu “you are a liar” either explicitly or implicitly.

But Netanyahu is a big liar in his own right.  What else can be said of a leader who claims to be working for peace while actually killing it with all strength and determination?

Red herrings

In his firewall of defense against  growing international awareness that Netanyahu and peace contradict each other, the Israeli premier, a visionless politician who thinks a more aggressive hasbara discourse can make up for  political wisdom, Netanyahu has been claiming that the international BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions) against Israel is actually making peace more distant.

Given Netanyahu’s malicious character, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Israeli prime minister knows deep in his mind that he is lying and that the BDS campaign and other forms of protest against Israel are mere reactions to Israeli recalcitrance and criminal persecution and oppression of  the largely unprotected Palestinians under Israel’s military occupation.

Yes, he knows it, but, since he views malicious dishonesty as an expression of political skill and cleverness, he just goes on and on, lying and lying and lying.

The fanatics in his quarter, who are undoubtedly numerous, would rather innately hail him and praise his genius in defense of Israel. But this is a shortsighted perception, utterly devoid of wisdom.

This is because, Netanyahu’s impetuousness, recklessness and recalcitrance, which also reflect the collective mindset of many Israelis, probably a majority, is what will eventually take Israel to the abyss.

But by then, it would be too late. It is very much like a heavily intoxicated driver making a fatal traffic accident under the influence of alcohol.

As a Palestinian, I am ambivalent about the course Netanyahu and his equally self-absorbed colleagues in government are taking.

And just as the proverbial drunk driver who would refuse to heed warnings against driving under the influence of alcohol, Netanyahu, Bennett, Shaked, etc., are in no mood to listen to a word of advice and reproach.

In the final analysis, megalomaniac arrogance has more or less the same influence on mental sanity. It often leads to fatal consequences.

I don’t know for sure if there is still any real chance for a dignified and lasting peace in Palestine/Israel. But whatever chances there may still be are vanishing very rapidly before our eyes.

In light of the grim realities on the ground, this view should actually be considered an overly auspicious perception rather than an expression of doom and gloom because otherwise the vast majority of serious observers and experts would  strongly deny the existence of any real chance for peace in this part of the word. Is it too late? I hope not.

But my hope may be proven too illusive to be realistic.

 

THE UN WAS RIGHT! ISRAEL DOES NOT ABUSE CHILDREN, IT JUST MURDERS THEM!

See THIS report first …..

Israel doesn’t abuse children, it just murders them

By Khalid Amayreh
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Throughout its unglamorous history, the UN issued many scandalous reports and adopted many scandalous resolutions reflecting lack of justice and absence of moral honesty.This ever-existing symptom also reflected western hegemony over the international organization.

However, none of these reports and resolutions seems more scandalous than this week’s report which kept Israel off the List of Shame, which includes states and entities that abuse children.

This particular report is manifestly scandalous precisely because Israel is probably one of the most obscene abusers of children under the sun.

Indeed, there are a few countries in this world that can be compared to Israel in this respect.

At the top of the list of shame sits the Nazi-like Syrian regime of Bashar el-Assad which habitually and routinely murders children (and other civilians) in large numbers, either by dropping crude barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods and crowded streets or using deadly chemical agents against heavily populated areas.

To be sure, Israel uses neither crude barrel bombs nor chemical weapons to annihilate Palestinian children. Instead, the Jewish state achieves the same results by using huge laser guided bombs and missiles to destroy residential multi-story buildings, packed with civilians, including children.

Needless to say, the ultimate result of such barbarity is a little Auschwitz.

Exterminating from high altitudes is, of course, Israel’s preferred way of murdering Palestinian children and casting shock and awe in their hearts.

But it is by no means the only way. In its last year’s blitzkrieg in Gaza, Israel obliterated entire neighborhoods, such as Shujaiyya, utterly annihilating everything, including human, building and plant.

According to eyewitnesses, the scene at the bombed-out neighborhood very much looked as if borrowed from the German city of Dresden in 1945.

Killing knowingly is killing deliberately

In its last year’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, Israel murdered at least 500 Palestinian children, in addition to hundreds of other civilians, including many entire families.

In earlier rounds of aggression, Israel had murdered and maimed hundreds of children.

Israel has a long history of premeditatedly murdering Palestinian children. In light, one would exaggerate little by saying that Israel boasts the highest per capita rate of child-killers in the world.

Israel readily acknowledges that it kills Palestinian children knowingly.

A few years ago, this writer spoke with an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who said that “Yes, we do know that Palestinian children are being killed as a result of our military activities, but we don’t do it deliberately.”

But this is a sheer lie, because in the final analysis killing knowingly is killing deliberately.

Indeed, mistakes in wars do occur and innocent civilians get killed. However, mistakes happen a few times not hundreds of times because in this case killing civilians becomes de facto policy.

This has always been and continues to be Israel’s policy. They kill the innocent civilians first and then, only then, the Israeli foreign ministry and other mouthpieces of Israeli hasbara (propaganda) get busy justifying the Nazi-like atrocities, mainly by concocting every conceivable lie and inventing fabulous narratives that have absolutely no iota of truth.

This reminds me of routine communiqués issued by the Israeli security forces during the first Palestinian intifada which started in December of 1987.  Then the Israeli army spokesman would issue statements like this following the murder of Palestinian boys in the streets of the West Bank.

“IDF soldiers fired into the air to disperse Palestinian rioters. Palestinian sources reported five youths killed.” The wording of the Israeli army statements made many foreign observers, utterly affronted by the brutal ugliness of Israeli dishonesty, wonders if Palestinian boys had wings and could fly.

Moral bankruptcy

The clarion failure of the UN to condemn brazen Israeli criminality and brash violation of international law underscores the moral bankruptcy of the world body.

Consequently, more states and peoples will lose confidence in the ability and willingness of the UN to foster peace and justice throughout the world. Unfortunately, this is becoming more evident as time passes.

Eventually, this could transform our world into a real jungle, an unmistakable portent signaling ultimate self-destruction.

 

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF PALESTINE TODAY?

DOCUMENTED FACTS THAT YOU WON’T FIND IN THE WESTERN MEDIA

Palestinian territories الأراضي الفلسطينية From Wikipedia

Palestinian territories
الأراضي الفلسطينية
From Wikipedia


...........Status of Palestine in 2015
.....................Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Some of this information is from a summary issued by the Negotiations
Affairs Department (an independent group advising Palestinian negotiators):

- It has been 67 years since the occupation of 78% of Palestine in 1948

- It has been 48 years since the occupation of the other 22% of Palestine
(WB and Gaza) that started 1967

- Today there are 12.5 million Palestinians 7.2 million of us are
refugees/displaced people (six million from the ethnic cleansing of
1948-1950, 843,737 from 1967 Naksa, and 345,217 internal displacement
within the green line, 57,669 internally displaced in 1967 areas.

- UNRWA has 5.4 million registered refugees and has established and
operates in 59 official refugee camps (17 unofficial camps).

-Camps are unstable. As an example 162,000 used to inhabit Yarmuk Camp in
Syria, most of them were displaced in the last three years and 1093 were
killed or died of starvation in the besieged camp. A camp Imam gave a fatwa
allowing the consumption of dog, cat, and donkey meet. Desperate
Palestinians are also drowining in the Mediterranean Sea and dying in
places like Gaza and Syria, when they run out of options. Malnutrition,
birth defects, cancer, and other health issues are skyrocketing.

-When the Balfour declaration was issued in 1917, there were some 850,000
Palestinians only 7% of us were Jewish-Palestinians (and most Jews were
also opposed to Zionism).

 - Roughly 6.5 million Palestinians still live in Palestine though they are
restricted to use 8.7% of the land (Qumsiyeh calculation) and have no
sovereignity even in those remaining areas.

-roughly 6.5 million Israeli Jews live in historic Palestine, vast majority
of them immigrants or children of immigrants. They have access to 91.3% of
the land and have physical sovereignity over 100% of it.

-Some 1500-1800 new Jewish Israeli NGOs are registered every year. Some 100
new Palestinian NGOs are registered every year. In total historic Palestine
has the highest number of NGOs per population size of any place on earth.
Many if not a majority of these NGOs (Israeli and Palestinian) increase
corruption and graft and help sustain the status quo of apartheid and
racism. A virtual industry of foreign aid is built around “peace” and
“development” but actually entrench the apartheid system.

-By contrast, millions of good people with very limited resources do
amazing work to help Palestine move forward. They include cadres of
volunteers, the International solidarity movement, student bodies around
the world, Palestine solidarity groups and more.

-In its ongoing policy of using citizens of Gaza as laboratory test
subjects for new weapon development, Israel killed in its attack in Summer
2014 on Gaza 2147 Palestinians. Most of those were civilians including 531
children and 302 women. The Israeli assault also left 11,231 injured
including 3258 Palestinian children

-Israeli Jewish public voted in the most right wing government in Israeli
history including ministers now serving that support ethnic cleansing and
massacring civilians.

- There is increasing public support in Western countries for human rights
of Palestinains and also for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to
help end racism and ethnic cleansing

- By contrast, thanks to massive lobby efforts and media control,
politicians in Western Countries are acting as Israel’s henchmen including
in efforts to combat BDS (and even suppressing free speech)

- There is increasing awareness of Western government hypocrisy/double
standard  in regards to application of International humanitarian law and
UN resolutions. This itself drives extremism and notions of “might makes
right”. Even among elites in power, they now realize that it is an
impossible mission to claim to fight spread of a religious state in Syria
and Iraq (ISIS) while maintaining a racist expanding religious state in
Palestine (Jewish State of Israel)

Bottom line: There is lots of suffering that started with Zionist
colonization and exacerbated with Arab leader betrayal but the Palestinian
cause remains strong thanks to people resistance around the world. Together
we are charting path to freedom and dignity against all odds. Key question
is what each of us is doing personally to help or hurt (looking in the
mirror).
 

IN PHOTOS ~~ VETERANS FOR PEACE ON MEMORIAL DAY

On Memorial day weekend the Veterans For Peace held their annual  event at Battery Park NYC in front of the massive World War II memorial  remembering those killed in the war. Attending were the family and friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, veterans of WWII, veterans of  The Korean War, Iraq and Afghanistan. Participants came to the mike and spoke of those family members and friends killed in war. Chippy Dee, a Desertpeace associate, also memorialized the Palestinians: adults and children murdered by the Zionist Attack Force (also known as the IDF). As each speaker finished they threw a rose into the waters of the Hudson river. At the end of the memorial event the sad musical notes  of “taps” sounded in the park.

Photos  and Commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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SPOOF ON BLAIR’S ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’

Image 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Related post FROM

Tony Blair Steps Down as Mideast Mediator

Reuters

Former British prime minister Tony Blair will step down as representative of the Quartet of Middle East powerbrokers at the end of June, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

Blair wrote to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday that he would step down from the role he has held since 2007. “(His) decision …will come into effect at the end of next month,” a source close to the Quartet said.

No comment was immediately available from Blair’s office in London.

NAKED FACTS OF NETANYAHU’S ‘PEACE PROCESS’

The killing by Israel of the peace process and whatever hopes for peace that process may have entailed is a damning proof that Israel doesn’t want peace.
Peace or pieces?

Peace or pieces?

The futility of counting on Netanyahu for peace

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
It is really hard to give renewed European efforts to revive the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinians the benefit of the doubt.

But, even if we did, these efforts would hardly be proven more than just a mere regurgitation of past failed efforts.

The naked facts on the ground in Occupied Palestine underscore a completely grim outlook. Israel has more or less killed any remaining chances for a viable Palestinian state, the centerpiece of the proposed two-state solution.

Israel is relentlessly continuing to make facts on the ground, ensuring the irreversibility of present realities. But the irreversibility of present realities also means that Israel, whether we like it or not, is becoming a bi-national state de fact, at least, with as many as 50% of the population between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean (an area ruled or controlled by Israel) being non-Jews.

This non-Jewish population is expected to grow even further in proportion to the number of Jews in years and decades to come. This is a matter of science, not rhetoric or propaganda.

For its part, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to make little “victories” on the international arena. But we all know these symbolic achievements won’t make any difference in the final analysis.

This is because the two-state strategy has effectively expired thanks to the ubiquitous Jewish settlement expansion.

Which means it is now too late for the establishment of a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel, with a combination of pressure and inducements,  is likely to try to bully or cajole the weak PA to content itself with a diminutive “state” encompassing truncated Bantustans, cut off from each other by Jewish settlements, and isolated from the rest of the world.

However, such an imposed “solution” wouldn’t be utterly rejected by the bulk of Palestinians, and its advocates would probably be shot like stray dogs in the streets of the West Bank for their perceived treason and perfidy.

Moreover, the exclusion of the paramount right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees uprooted from their ancestral homeland in 1948, along with the religiously sensitive subject Jerusalem, from such a settlement would likely make it doomed from day one.

Furthermore, the phenomenon of Mahmoud Abbas is unlikely to repeat itself on the Palestinian arena for many years to come.

Fascist government

Israel today has probably the most extremist right-wing government ever since the creation of the Jewish state in Palestine in 1948.

This government is made up of the gurus of Jewish fascism, who reject the principle of peace with utter contempt. Indeed, for these fanatics, peace is a sign of weakness and tantamount to the destruction the Jewish people.

Just listen to the shockingly recalcitrant remarks made by Israeli cabinet ministers these days and compare these remarks with the Nazi discourse prior and during the Second World War.

This is more than nationalist extremism. This is odious fascism, pure and simple.

This should sound alarm bells everywhere. The collective mindset permeating in Israel today more or less resembles the collective mindset which prevailed in Nazi Germany in the few years preceding the Second World War.

Don’t tell me Jews are not capable of doing the unthinkable. You bet they are.

In the final analysis, when Jews, or anyone else, think, behave and act like the Nazi thought, behaved and acted, they become Nazi, pure and simple.

Similarly, we have to remind ourselves and others that the holocaust actually started long before Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen and Dachau.

It started much earlier with Mein Kamph, the anti-Jewish laws, and then Kristalnacht, the sort of stuff we hear morning and evening these days from the mouths of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the holocaust.

No peace strategy

The truth of the matter is that Israel has no peace strategy.  Israel only has a strategy for aborting peace not making it.

The killing by Israel of the peace process and whatever hopes for peace that process may have entailed is a damning proof that Israel doesn’t want peace.

I know and the world knows that the international community knows this fact too well, but this international community is either too cowardly or too dishonest to call the spade a spade, especially when the matter concerns Israel, the world’s most spoilt child.

Yes, Israeli officials and spokesmen, along with the shipyard dogs of Israeli hasbara, would fill the ether with all sorts of arguments justifying Israeli policies, including the Lebensraum policy in the West Bank.

But any person with a modicum or honesty and rectitude knows deep in the bottom of his or heart that these arguments are dishonest, malicious and mendacious.

More to the point, Israel has been given a thousand chances and a thousand opportunities to walk in the path of peace but to no avail.

In fact, the PA reduced  itself into a Palestinian judenrat in the service of Israeli whims as Palestinian security agencies did everything imaginable to persecute, suppress, repress and torment Palestinian voices raised against the enduring Israeli occupation, all in order to receive a certificate of good conduct from Israel.

But Israel wouldn’t reciprocate and instead continued to relate to the PA with utter disregard and utter contempt.

When the number-2 figure in the new Israeli government, Naftali Bennett was asked a few weeks ago what he would tell PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas if he met him, Bennett, with characteristic Jewish arrogance, said: “I would ask him to make me a cup of coffee.”

Bennett’s remark is by no means an unrepresentative anecdote. It actually encapsulates mainstream thinking within the Israeli political-military establishment, which makes the realization of peace virtually impossible.

THE ‘OTHER’ DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Israel shares its ‘special status’ with Egypt

El-Sisi's Scales of Justice by Latuff

El-Sisi’s Scales of Justice by Latuff

 

Related ….

US ‘deeply concerned’ by Morsi death sentence in Egypt

The United States expressed “deep concern” Sunday after an Egyptian court sentenced deposed president Muhammad Morsi and more than 100 others to death for their role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.

“We have consistently spoken out against the practice of mass trials and sentences, which are conducted in a manner that is inconsistent with Egypt’s international obligations and the rule of law,” a State Department official said.

Noting that they were preliminary sentences, the official added: “We continue to stress the need for due process and individualized judicial processes for all Egyptians in the interests of justice.

“Many of those sentenced on Saturday were tried in absentia. The court will pronounce its final decision on June 2, since under Egyptian law, death sentences are referred to the mufti, the government’s interpreter of Islamic law, who plays an advisory role.

Defendants can still appeal even after the mufti’s recommendation.

Morsi, elected president in 2012, ruled for only a year before mass protests spurred the military to overthrow him in July 2013.

He was among dozens of Muslim Brotherhood leaders detained amid a crackdown that left hundreds of Morsi supporters dead.

Morsi, sitting in a caged dock in the blue uniform of convicts having already been sentenced to 20 years for inciting violence, raised his fists defiantly when the verdict was read.

Hours after the ruling, gunmen shot dead two judges, a prosecutor and their driver in the strife-torn Sinai Peninsula, in the first such attack on the judiciary in the region.

The US State Department official said they had been “senselessly murdered.”

“We reiterate our steadfast commitment to Egypt’s security,” the official added.

 

From

More from Latuff

Collective death sentence

Collective death sentence

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Sisi's Way: on Egypt's prisons

Sisi’s Way: on Egypt’s prisons

A TRAGIC TALE OF LIFE AND DEATH UNDER THE OCCUPATION

Three decades ago the Israeli military government canceled my sister-in-law’s Palestinian residency because she studied abroad for ‘too long.’ Now, Israel is denying her one last visit with her dying father. But my family will not allow her case, like thousands before it, to be buried in silence.

An Israeli soldier locks a border fence. (Illustrative photo by Shutterstock.com)

An Israeli soldier locks a border fence. (Illustrative photo by Shutterstock.com)

A tragically unexceptional story of life and death under occupation

By Sam Bahour

If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?

If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
~Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

My father-in-law, Mughira Barghouty, is dying. At age 91, his health has severely deteriorated over the last six months. He has three daughters: Sawsan, Serene and my wife, Abeer. Serene and Abeer  live in Ramallah and have become full-time caregivers to their now bedridden father. Sawsan lives in Amman, Jordan. Of late, Mughira has repeated a single request: to touch his daughter Sawsan’s hand one last time. It was about to happen on the last day of April. Sawsan got all the way to the Israel border crossing, Israeli tourist visa in hand, but she was denied entry and told to go back to Amman. The family is crushed, but not surprised.

Mughira Barghouty

Mughira Barghouty

We live one floor above my in-laws, thus the bulk of calls for assistance come to my wife first. The calls are sometimes frantic, from my mother-in-law who notifies us that Mughira has fallen while trying to get out of bed. We rush downstairs, many times in the middle of the night, to deal with the situation. At other times, the calls range from mundane daily needs to assistance using the bathroom. The end of life is difficult to watch. Its ending is similar to its beginning — messy, chaotic, and fully dependent.

In such situations, the family’s main goal is to comfort their loved one. In our culture, if there is any possibility whatsoever to care for the dying person in their own home, this is the preferred option. The home truly does have a much more comprehensive meaning than in the West — and we are all engaged in a collective comforting exercise. Several months back, understanding that his health was failing, Mughira made a simple request: he wants to touch the hand of his third daughter, who lives in Amman, to bid her farewell. We immediately passed on the message to Sawsan.

Sawsan acted without delay. As a Jordanian citizen, she applied for an Israeli tourist visa — the only way a Palestinian citizen of Jordan can reach Palestine. This is done through certified travel agent. The process goes like this: you apply, pay a 50 JD (U.S. $70) application fee, then you wait, and wait, and wait some more. Eventually you get a call from the travel agent when the answer comes back: you either have approval, meaning an Israeli Interior Ministry tourist visa, or you are denied and have to start all over again. If you are one of the lucky ones and get approval, you must pay an additional 70 JD (US $100) fee and place a 20,000-30,000 JD (about US $28,000-42,000) bond (to guarantee you will not overstay the visa period) and you must travel the following day. Throughout the entire waiting period, you must be ready to travel on 24 hours’ notice.

Sawsan’s first application was submitted on September 23, 2014. She was notified it was denied in December 2014. So she started all over again, submitting a second application on March 2, 2015, paying the 50 JD (US $70) application fee again. She was notified on April 29, 2015 that her Israeli tourist visa was issued. She packed her bags in a hurry and headed out the following morning to the Jordan Border Crossing (near the city of Bisan, which Israel calls Beit She’an) to Israel (90 km from Amman) with a group in the travel agent’s bus.

At the Israeli border, which she has crossed numerous times before, she approached the border control window and submitted her passport and Israeli Interior Ministry-issued tourist visa.

“What’s your father’s name?” the border control official asked.

“Mughira,” Sawsan replied.

“Where have you visited outside of Jordan?”

“UK,” Sawsan answered. Sawsan’s son, Laith, graduated with a Masters in water engineering in December 2013 from Birmingham University and both parents traveled to attend the graduation ceremony of their only child.

“And Israel?” the official smirkingly added.

Sawsan (right), her son Laith (center) and husband Khaled (left) in the UK for Laith’s Master’s degree graduation ceremony, 2013.

Sawsan (right), her son Laith (center) and husband Khaled (left) in the UK for Laith’s Master’s degree graduation ceremony, 2013.

Sawsan shook her head in agreement, but found the question odd since she is a Palestinian, born in Ramallah, and has travelled many times over this same crossing.

The official instructed her to sit and wait. Meanwhile, the busload of people with whom she was travelling sat waiting her exit so they could continue on. Sawsan become anxious. Group after group, all of which arrived after her, one from Thailand and two from India, breezed through border control. Eventually an Israeli official came and advised Sawsan that she was being denied entry into Israel. Her bus was told to continue on to Israel without her.

The Israeli official brought her two copies of a form written in Hebrew and English; she is fluent in neither. The states two reasons for the denial of entry: 1) “Prevention of illegal immigration considerations”; and, 2) “Public security or public safety or public order considerations.” Despite her protests that she could not read the documents, she signed. Five hours after arriving at the crossing, she was escorted to a bus and sent back to Jordan.

Sawsan called home to Ramallah to inform her mother and sisters. The shock, anger and sadness that ensued is the same that can be found in nearly every Palestinian home at one time or another. After all, dispossession, occupation, and systemic discriminating is the hallmark of the pain Israel has applied to Palestinian society for 70 years, ripping it apart, family member by family member.

One may ask, why is Sawsan applying for a tourist visa at all? She was born in Ramallah and was issued an Israeli residency ID number at birth. When she turned 16 Israel issued her an ID card. But Sawsan’s case, like that of so many others, has a not-so-exceptional twist. Sawsan exited the West Bank in September 1977 to go and study in Latin America. At the time, Palestinians had to surrender their IDs upon exiting the West Bank and were given an Israeli “exit permit.” To renew the “exit permit” one had to physically return every 12 months.

Sawsan’s mother was able to get her three separate renewals, the maximum allowed without physically returning; the last was valid through September 1983. She didn’t make it back in time, and ultimately ended up getting married in Amman. That a Palestinian could lose their residency status in their birthplace is routine practice of the Israeli occupation.

She didn’t reenter the West Bank again until 1987, when Israel issued her a permit to visit based on the Jordanian citizenship she had since acquired. Most recently she visited Palestine with her husband, on a tourist visa, in 2011.

Under the 1994 Israel-Jordanian peace treaty Israeli citizens do not need to request a visa in advance in order to visit Jordan. They just show up at the border crossing, similar to the one where Sawsan was denied entry, buy a visa on the spot and enter Jordan. I have yet to hear of an Israeli citizen denied entry by Jordan.

After the Oslo Accords in 1993, Sawsan hoped she could get her Israeli-issued Palestinian ID reinstated, which would allow her to visit Palestine as she wished, without having to applying a visa every time. She applied for ID reinstatement through the Palestinian Authority, which liaises with Israeli officials, in 1999. Sixteen years later, she has yet to receive any response.

Sawsan wants to know why Israel is still holding her ID hostage after all these years. She wants her residency status back so that she can visit her birthplace and family. She is aware that she may not have the chance to bid her father farewell, but she wants to ensure she can spend more time with her aging mother.

Politicians and diplomats clearly are at a loss on how to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, how to address the right of return of five million Palestinian refugees. But is it so hard to get the Israelis to return the ID of a retired West Bank Palestinian mother who was born in Ramallah? We are committed to not let this be just another case, like the thousands before it, that is buried in silence. We have hired an Israeli lawyer to take up her case.

Mughira is an uncommon name in our society. It comes from Mughira ibn Shu’ba who was one of the more prominent companions of Prophet Muhammad. He belonged to the tribe of Thaqif of Ta’if. Mughira ibn Shu’ba was one of the last companions to see the Prophet before his death. It’s ironic that our Mughira will not be able to see his daughter, who lives two hours away, before his death, because an Israeli border control official has decided so.

What a way to live, and die.

*** EDITOR’S NOTE ***

The Israeli Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority responded to +972: “Mrs. Barghouti filed a request to enter Israel a number of months ago, which was rejected by the Israeli mission in Jordan. Despite the refusal, she later requested to enter Israel as part of a tourist group. A tourist group approval is a group visa and not individual, and when it was discovered that she was actually trying to get around the embassy’s decision — she was denied entry. If she wants to bypass the mission’s decision she should appear there again and file a new application. Or an appeal.”

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israel’s military government that controls the Palestinian population registry, wrote about the application to restore her identity card: “Our inquiry found that the Palestinian Authority did not file a request on Ms. Barghouti’s behalf. If and when a request is filed via the Palestinian Authority, it will be examined in accordance with the regulations.”

Written FOR

Hebrew Version 

 

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