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
*
 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

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

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

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

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

*

 

*

*

Hiroshima  before the U.S. destroyed it

Palestine before the US/Israel destroyed it

 

TUESDAY’S TOON ~~ NETANYAHU’S WRONGFUL INDICTMENT

Netanyahu may be indicted, but getting him for dirty money is like getting Al Capone for tax evasion!

Image by Carlos Latuff

The Hague still awaits this war criminal

IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI 72 YEARS LATER

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

SILENCE IS AS DEADLY AS GUNS

The Palestinian cry for freedom and justice must not remain unheard, because silence is an accomplice!

Source Graphic / Copyright: urfingus / 123RF Lizenzfreie Bilder reworked by anonym

Silence is an accomplice

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

While the judaization of Palestine continues untroubled, the illegal occupation of Palestine is maintained, and the Haram al-Sharif and al-Aqsa mosque are deprived of all rights because of the Netanyahu regime, and politicians of the extreme right, from Lieberman to Bennett, already talk about the “transfer” of Palestinian citizens, by mentally sending more and more Israeli citizens to the illegally occupied West Bank, the Federal Republic of Germany is silent on all Jewish crimes.

After Chancellor Merkel’s visit to the Wagner Opera in Bayreuth, where this year a Jewish producer explicitly exposed Wagner as an Anti-Semite in a tasteless and more than questionable orchestration, the whole federal government disappeared on a silent vacation.

It is apparent that Merkel never names the “barbaric crimes” committed by the Jewish occupiers, when there are Palestinian victims, but it silences on these crimes, and what is even worse, she assures her solidarity to the occupiers‘ regime by support its alleged “self-defence”! The successors of the “Christian Fascists” became “Christian Zionist” and silence on the Zionist state terrorism. The wonderful poem by Erich Fried entitled “The Successors” and quoted at the end of this article perfectly fits in this picture.

It is utterly unbelievable that German politicians always declare solidarity with the Jewish occupiers while the legitimate struggle for freedom of the Palestinians is gelidly ignored. Is there another people than the Palestinian we should feel more empathy for as Germans? I do not think there is. In fact, after the Holocaust we abandoned this unspeakable suffering people. Again and again, Germany feels closely connected with the destiny of the “Jewish State”. However, this link should be interrupted in case of human rights and international law violations. And these violations began with the foundation of the State in 1948 and even before. How often do we have to repeat this to be heard? Apparently not often and loudly enough, because nothing changes, and if something changes, it is only to the detriment of Palestine and its illegally occupied population.

While politics is silent in alliance with the “Jewish State” and its “safety needs”, the responsibility for the Palestinian people is declined with payments to the Palestinian Authority cooperating with Israel. And this is an incredible defeat. Since all German payments should be made by the “Jewish State” of occupiers instead.

While the Netanyahu regime oppresses the illegally occupied West Bank supported by the Abbas Authority, and takes its freedom, dignity, and interrupts water and electricity, Germany and Europe continue to finance the illegal occupation. We submissively accept Palestinian property, paid by European tax payers, being deliberately destroyed by the occupiers, who are assured that things will go on this way, like a perpetuum mobile!

It is precisely Germany which on July 20 celebrated the resistance of a couple of questionable aristocratic officers and always stresses on the importance of moral courage and resistance against terror and occupiers’ regimes.

And this happens while Jewish occupiers immediately oppress any Palestinian – legitimate – resistance with irritant gas, stinking gas, rubber bullets and snipers, as it actually happens at the Haram al-Sharif. The planned detectors and cameras were disassembled, and for this purpose Netanyahu deployed masses of occupation police and soldiers who insulted Muslim religious freedom, and only Palestinian men over 50 and women were allowed to pray on the site, according to the occupiers’ will, and then the worm turned. When the Abbas Authority and the Fatah Party proclaimed the “Day of Rage”, it was as mendacious as the whole authority is. Abbas and Fatah fear the outbreak of a new Intifada, exactly like the Jewish occupiers-friends do. Even if this rage causes many victims on the Palestinian side, because of the unequal power of the Jewish potentates, it is an absolutely understandable rage against this hopeless life, and cannot be contained. What do these young Palestinians have to fear in this bleak life under Israeli and even under Palestinian reprisals? At least with the sacrifice of their lives they want to do something against their lack of freedom of decades of occupation, and they want to struggle for the liberation of Palestine.

Even Haram al-Sharif which is the most important Muslim sanctuary after Makkah and Medina is instrumentalised once again by Jewish occupiers by wrongly representing it as Jewish symbol. For sure there was a second Jewish temple on the “Temple Month” (Haram-al-Sharif), but it is completely improbably that there was a first one. And if right-wing politicians like Bennett and Glick plan the construction of a third temple, this surpasses provocation and conscious misleading of the global public.

Also the “Jewish Wailing Wall” in the illegally occupied Jerusalem is just a former delimitation wall, instrumentalised in the 19th century as Jewish symbol. Between 1928 and 1929 a rancorous struggle for the interpretational jurisdiction broke out; and this struggle caused heavy struggles with more than 250 victims. The Palestinian, Muslim local population always feared the judaization of its holy sites – and it was right! At that time, there was the British mandate which clearly defined the status quo as it had to be: the whole area, including the “Wailing Wall” belonged to the Muslims and was attributed to them. Also the decision of the UNESCO in 2016 defined the Haram al-Sharif as Muslim and recognised only the reality of history, and 2017, in its Jerusalem Resolution, the UNESCO finally defined the city as what it is: an occupied city. In fact, there is only one problem in Palestine, and in particular at Haram al-Sharif, and this problem is the illegal Jewish occupation; and almost nobody talks about it so that this main problem falls into oblivion.

The truth cannot be concealed for ever by lies of extremist rabbis and “Israeli Arabists” like  Mordechai Kedar who repeatedly assert that the Muslim claim for Haram-al-Sharif is a “falsification of history”. Since it is absolutely clear who falsifies history here. In this context I would like to recommend to read the book by Israel Finkelstein and Neil A. Silberman entitled “The Bible Unearthed”! (1)

This book objectively and knowledgeably dispels Jewish myths. Another book which is absolutely worth reading is Nell A. Silberman’s “David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition”! (2)

We must put an end to the instrumentalization of Judaism by the Jewish occupiers and their Sayanim abroad to guarantee their eternal claim for whole Palestine. First the displacement, then the ethnic cleansing, and in the end the occupation. What will complete the final solution of Judaization? The final displacement and “transfer”?

Netanyahu claims for the death penalty for Palestinian resistance fighters while the Jewish “Defence” Army undisturbedly executes extrajudicial death sentences, and for Jewish murderer-soldiers and terrorists unbelievably “light” sentences are passed. Let us remember the murderer-soldier Azaria who shot death a Palestinian defencelessly lying on the ground. For this guy Netanyahu and colleagues asked for “grace”, while innocent Palestinians are often imprisoned for their whole life in the illegal Jewish administrative detention without charge. If this is the reality, there is something absolutely wrong in the “Jewish State”, the so called “only” democracy in the Middle East, which cannot be called democratic because it does not even try to cover up its crimes. Why should they do it? They are pumped up with weapons, financial support of billions, and from everywhere people declare their solidarity with their crimes.

If the new Israeli heroes like Gideon Levy say that they are murderers who only know and want one thing which is “killing Arabs”, and if more than 85% of the citizens in the “Jewish State” support these criminal and murderous expansion politics, then decades of Jewish-Zionist brain washing have reached their goal. (3)

The “Jewish State” is a closed and arrogant society with no relation to law and democracy. This is a particularly negative status quo, which was made possible thanks to the hypocritical community of states because of an eternal victim status after the Holocaust. This is the actual problem: When Anti-Semites become Philosemites and when Israel criticism or BDS supporters are denigrated as haters of Jews and Anti-Semites, then this is a crime against humanity because again Jewish citizens are marginalised and delegitimised. And this is something we cannot longer tolerate. Since not our defamers are right, but the ones who actively work for law, justice, and freedom in Palestine.

If the Western alliance struggles against terrorism (even if the majority of this terrorism is caused by this alliance which is responsible for it), but is blind when it is about the Jewish occupiers’ state terrorism, then something goes really wrong.

This alliance and the “Jewish State” are very fast when it is about boycotting and denigrating other states, like it is the case of present-day Iran. However, when it is about such an important boycott like the one against the “Jewish State”, the eternal boycotter of the Palestinian people (without freedom and land) draws the card of Anti-Semitism. Is the Jewish occupiers’ regime not the only one and the last one depriving a people of its rights under the benevolent protection of the international community, and whose aggressions cannot be surpassed?

The Netanyahu regime of occupiers rightly fears the BDS campaign and declares its war against its international supporters. BDS supporters like the “Jewish Voice for Peace”, “American Muslims for Palestine”, and several Christian and Jewish groups, supporters, and activists are denied entry to the “Jewish State”. If we look at the example of South Africa, we will understand how important civil society pressure is, when politicians completely fail.

The Palestinian cry for freedom and justice must not remain unheard, because silence is an accomplice!

Die Nachfolger

Weil christliche Faschisten
zu Hitlers Zeit in Europa
Juden getötet haben
bewaffnen im Libanon heute
Zionisten die Falangisten
die so christlich sind
und so faschistisch
wie damals die Judenmörder

Weil faschistische Mörder
Juden vertrieben haben
sollen jetzt faschistische Mörder
die Palästinenser
die unschuldig waren
am Tod der Juden Europas
so ermorden wie damals
die Juden ermordet wurden

Weil es Juden und Linke gibt
die das Wahnsinn nennen
und den Mördern nicht helfen wollen
bezeichnen die Zionisten
diese Linken als Nazis
und die antifaschistischen Juden
als „jüdische Antisemiten“
und „Verräter am eigenen Blut“

Erich Fried

PALESTINE IS NOT A PIZZA PIE! ~~ TOON FOR THE DAY

My beloved Palestinians, please don’t be fooled, Israel removed metal detectors from al-Aqsa but land grabbing in East Jerusalem continues!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel won’t stop stealing land until it swallows

WONDERFUL TOON TO START THE WEEK ~~ ISRAEL’S BITTER DEFEAT

Image by Carlos Latuff

Palestinian victory on the Temple Mount

zions initial response …..

Israel bars men under 50 from Jerusalem Old City prayers

Israeli police said they were barring men under 50 from entering Jerusalem’s Old City for Friday Muslim prayers as tensions rose over new security measures at a supersensitive holy site.

“Entry to the Old City and Temple Mount will be limited to men aged 50 and over. Women of all ages will be permitted,” a police statement said.

Tensions have risen after Israeli police installed metal detectors at entrances to the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following an attack nearby that killed two policemen.

The move angered Palestinian and other Muslims who saw it as Israel asserting further control over the site.

Palestinians have been refusing to enter the compound since then, and hundreds have been holding prayers outside, with clashes occasionally breaking out with Israeli police.

The main weekly prayers on Fridays draw the largest number of worshippers, and speculation had been mounting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might order the metal detectors removed before this week’s prayers.

But after consultations with security chiefs and members of the security cabinet, Netanyahu decided not to remove them.

An Israeli official said the security cabinet “has given police the au thority to make any decision to ensure free access to holy sites while maintaining security and public order.”

Source

*

More Toons from the Arab Press …

Cartoon published in Saudi Arabia’s Al Watan newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

*

Cartoon published in London’s Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

*

Cartoon published in Jordan’s Al-Rad newspaper, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

*

Cartoon published in Arab language social media, July 28, 2017. (Screenshot)

 

TOON OF THE DAY ~~ 3 EASY WAYS TO ESCALATE TENSION IN JERUSALEM

Image by Carlos Latuff

Want to know what Netanyahu is thinking?

‘The metal detectors are just the first step’: Palestinians say Israeli takeover of Al Aqsa is red line that can’t be crossed

*

East Jerusalem, occupied West Bank — “You have four minutes to leave,” the Israeli police officer yelled aggressively through the megaphone.

The peaceful atmosphere drastically shifted into one of panic within seconds. Girls who were standing on the ledge scrambled to get down to leave, some tripping and falling down over others.

Last Sunday hundreds of Palestinians had lined up in rows inside the Old City’s walls by Lion’s Gate waiting for the late evening prayer. In the hour prior to the beginning of prayer, they occasionally chanted in support of Al Aqsa and the Sheikh delivered his sermon. It was a calm atmosphere where even the officers themselves were standing with relaxed postures, perhaps bored.

However, about ten minutes before the start of the late evening prayer, the mood dramatically changed when the group of officers suddenly straightened their positions and all lowered their visors at the same time.

Once the officer started shouting through the megaphone, panicked voices were heard in the crowd. Some Palestinians started to make their way towards the exit.

Suddenly explosions were heard, causing a stampede towards the exit, but the passageway was too narrow for such a large crowd. A sense of panic and fear ensued as people ran for cover, screaming.

Only a minute had passed from the four-minute deadline, but the officers had already thrown stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd who had been sitting on the ground, waiting to pray. Those who couldn’t make it towards the exit, sought protection behind stone pillars.

This was a typical scene from the Palestinians’ non-violent prayer protests against the Israeli military takeover of Al Aqsa that has so far resulted in the deaths of four Palestinians and over 900 injured within a week.

Palestinians remain alarmed over Israel’s latest unilateral decision to install metal detectors, security cameras, and turnstiles at all the gates leading to the Al Aqsa compound; they see it as an attempt by Israel to change the status quo and eventually gain complete control over Al Aqsa.

Located in occupied East Jerusalem, the Al Aqsa compound, also known as Haram Al Sharif for Muslims and Temple Mount for Jews, is administered by the Jordanian Islamic Waqf. Under a 150-year agreement, only Muslims can pray at the site, while non-Muslims can visit. According to leading rabbis, it is forbidden for any Jew to enter any part of Al Aqsa.

Up until now, Palestinian guards have controlled the entrances to Al Aqsa and who may enter without any metal detectors and security cameras in place.

Palestinians say they’ll continue praying outside of Al Aqsa’s gates in protest until the security measures are removed. Installing them unilaterally without consulting the Islamic Waqf is seen as a way for the Israeli authorities to assert their dominance and control over the site.

Israeli security set up the metal detectors and security cameras after three Palestinians and two Israeli officers were killed in a gun battle at the Al Aqsa Compound on July 14.

“This is just the first step. If we accept these metal detectors it will get even worse. The next step will be to stop people who want to pray from even reaching the Al Aqsa mosque,” Khatija Khiews said, who has been praying outside of Al Aqsa everyday in protest.

“The issue is the occupation itself. The solution is to remove the occupation. It’s the only answer to all of our problems.

“These metal detectors were installed at every gate and we don’t accept to be searched in order to go pray at Al Aqsa. Even if we do go through the metal detectors, we won’t accept to get searched by the police. They shouldn’t even be there,” Khiews said.

Speaking to Mondoweiss from Friday’s prayer at Lion’s Gate, Sheikh Mustafa Tawil fears the latest measure will lead to partitioning the Al Aqsa mosque just like with Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque in 1994.

“Muslims aren’t allowed to pray at the Ibrahimi mosque on Israeli weekends and holidays. The occupiers want to do the same thing to Al Aqsa mosque,” Tawil said.

“We refuse these gates because they were set up by the occupiers to force their control over the mosque. We refuse the Israelis’ sovereignty over the mosque at all. The metal detectors are just the first step in dividing Al Aqsa mosque.”

Jerusalem’s Old City has already started to resemble Hebron’s military ghost town. Many stores remain closed while groups of fully armed officers are positioned at every corner and open space and have barricaded many alleys.

Unraveling of negotiations by Israel

The negotiations reached in 2014 between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan in order to maintain peace at the holy site have been unraveling in the past year, especially in the last month, largely due to a “change of policy on the Israeli side,” according to Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group.

Among the points agreed upon was to bar all Knesset members from entering the site, to limit entrance for religious Jewish groups and to ban provocative Temple activists and to refrain from imposing age-based restrictions for Palestinian Muslims.

However Israel hasn’t adhered to its commitments.

The prayer ban has been relatively lax following the nomination of the new head of the police’s Jerusalem district Yoram Halevy in January 2016. Since then he has changed the police’s conduct towards Temple activists who seek to change the status quo, Zalzberg explained.

On June 29 when Halevy joined Temple activists visiting the site “he received the priestly benediction from an activist in the group.”

Halevy, a senior official in charge of preserving the ban on non-Muslim worship, “in accordance with a more than 150-year old arrangement” participated in the worship, Zalzberg wrote.

In the last month, police have also imposed age restrictions for Muslims twice in order to protect large groups of Temple activists visiting on those days.

Since the attack, MKs called for closing the Al Aqsa compound for Muslims, threatenedwith creating a third “nakba” and to build a synagogue on Al Aqsa compound. Likud, Israel’s ruling party launched a petition to raise the Israeli flag over the Al Aqsa compound.

The rise of Temple movements

Once a radical fringe group in politics and religion, since 2000 Temple movements have gained a respectable position within the mainstream right and benefit from close ties with the State of Israel.

The ultimate goal for Temple activists is to eventually destroy the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock to build the Jewish “Third Temple.” The Temple Institute has a blueprintfor its construction ready.

According to a 2013 report by Israeli research organization Ir Amim, “The movements’ growing momentum and dangerous provocations to change the status quo are not receiving adequate attention, nor is the disturbing connection between these movements and official Israeli institutions.”

The State of Israel directly funds various Temple movement activities. Along with funding Temple organizations, the Ministry of Education disseminates their ideas through the educational system.

“There is a correlation between the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and around it since 2000 and a parallel increase in the activity of Temple organizations,” the report noted.

The current tension could further spike as the ban preventing members of the Knesset from accessing the Al Aqsa compound were lifted on July 23 for a five day trial period in order to test the reaction.

The ban has been in place since October 2015, with the assumption that visits by MKs might spark violence. In 2000, when Likud leader Ariel Sharon visited the holy site accompanied by a 1000 police officers, it helped trigger the second intifada.

Likud MK Yehudah Glick, a leading figure in the Temple movement overturned the ban after petitioning to the High Court. Earlier this month he called for all MKs to ascend to the Temple Mount.

The rise in Temple movements’ prominence has been accompanied with an increase in violent Israeli incursions at Al Aqsa, including detaining and attacking the Al Aqsa guards.

Al Aqsa Compound director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani stated to media that over 700 settlers, “an unprecedented amount” raided the compound for Jerusalem Day last May.

Every year Israel’s far-right settlers parade through Palestinian neighbourhoods, celebrating Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlers call out for the Al Aqsa compound to be destroyed and shout “Mohammad is dead,” “Death to the Arabs” and other statements calling for genocide of Palestinians.

This past April, Jews from the far-right also held a ceremony near Temple Mount for the first time, where they slaughtered a lamb just a few hundred metres away from the mount.

Shimshon Elboi, active in the Temple Mount movement, was quoted in Haaretz saying, “We were privileged to get near the Temple Mount, the proper place. The authorities today are more open and the public is more open.

“Ultimately the government wants to serve the people, and the people want the Temple; the people want to offer sacrifices. At this rate the day isn’t far off – just a few more years – when we’ll be privileged to do sacrifices on the Temple Mount itself,” Elboi said.

Having historic Palestine reduced to the Gaza Strip and bantustans in the West Bank, Palestinians see the military takeover of Al Aqsa as a red line that can’t be crossed.

“This is our mosque and the occupation has to retreat so we can pray five times again in the mosque,” Sheikh Tawil said.

“We are going to keep praying by the gates of the masjid, until they remove the humiliating electronic gates.

“The world should pressure the occupation politically and economically and besiege the occupation until it listens to the UN resolutions and withdraws to the 1967 borders. The world shouldn’t abandon the Palestinians while watching them get killed, arrested, beaten, humiliated for 50 years until now.”

IN PHOTOS ~~ SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIANS ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT

With the increasing intensity of conflict at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Zionist state and the deaths of three Palestinians the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) of New Jersey  called for a protest street demonstration at the cross roads of the world: New York City’s Times Square.

Here where hundreds and hundreds  of people pass  every hour about five hundred people took to the street to shout their anger and demand a free Palestine. Older people and younger ones, mothers with their children in strollers carried the Palestinian colors.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

 

THE TEMPLE MOUNT ~~ ISRAEL’S MIGHT, BUT NOT ITS RIGHT

The claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.

Image by Carlos Latuff

The best cartoon to describe the Israeli brutality against unarmed Palestinians…

Temple Mount belongs to Israel……but only by the standard of might, not the standard of right
By Khaled Amayreh  in Occupied East Jerusalem
*
An Israeli cabinet minister has repeated the stale Zionist propaganda claim that the “Temple Mount” belongs to Israel. He is correct in a certain sense. Israel has been in control of the Haram al- Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)  as well as the entirety of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the six-Day war of 1967.  This  means that the holy site, which has been an exclusively Muslim place of worship for the past 1400 years, now “belongs” to Israel by the standards of might, not by the standards of right  But right, not might, comes first because right is a constant whereas might is a variable.
 
In fact, the claim that the Haram al-Sharif belongs to Israel has as much legitimacy as a rapist’s claim that the body of his victim belongs to him.
 
In fact, the historical and even religious claims often cited to prove that the holy  site belongs to Jews are dubious and erroneous.
 
Historical records show that King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites around 1100 BC.  The Jebusites, a Canaanite people believed to be, at least partly, the ancestors of modern-day Palestinians, had been in Jerusalem for some 2000 years.
 
Indeed, for fifty years of intensive excavations, Israeli archeologists  left no stone unturned   underneath  the Islamic shrine, but utterly failed to find  any credible evidence corroborating the gigantic canard that the Aqsa Mosque stands right on top of the Temple of Solomon.
 
 
A few years ago. George Wesley Buchanan, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, published a meticulously researched scholarly monograph titled “What if the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple are NOT under the Dome of the Rock?” http://www.ameu.org/Current-Issue/Current-Issue/2014-Volume-47/In-Search-of-King-Solomons-Temple.aspx
 
 
According to the research, which this writer had the honor to translate into Arabic; archaeologists have discovered no ruins in the Haram area that might have belonged to the temple.
 
 “Instead they have found an image of a soldier on a horse, a brick with the mark of the 10th Roman legion on it, and an image of Mars, the Roman god of war.
 
“They have also found in the an inscription once carved over an arch, honoring Titus, Vespasian, and probably Silva for their leadership in the war of AD 66-72.”
 
 According to the scholarly monograph, published in the Journal “Americans for Middle East Understanding” (AMEU) in 2014, another inscription that was intended to fit on the interior wall of the Haram,  honored Hadrian, the Roman emperor who defeated Bar Kochba in the revolt that ended in 135 AD.
 
  In conclusion, Buchanan  asks the most  central question:  “Is there any evidence that the Haram was ever the Temple Mount?”
 
Here is his answer: (clearly, “No!”).
 
Finally, it is true that Jews were in control of Jerusalem more than 2500 years ago.  But so what?   Most of the cities of the world were then inhabited by peoples unrelated to their current inhabitants.
 
Today, the manifestly pyromaniac Israel government, made up of Talmudic fanatics and Zionist jingoists, is striving to set Jerusalem and the entire region on fire under the rubric of Jewish Messianism and millenarianism.  This madness must be stopped immediately because madness breeds madness and blood breeds more blood.

PLAYING WITH FIRE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT OF JERUSALEM

 Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is dealing with latest tensions at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with an odd combination of insolence, recklessness, irresponsibility  and a great deal of shortsightedness.

Israeli soldiers patrol the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

*
In Jerusalem Netanyahu is playing with fire 
By Khalid Amayreh
*
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is dealing with latest tensions at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem with an odd combination of insolence, recklessness, irresponsibility  and a great deal of shortsightedness.
 
 Indeed, a fleet examination of his behavior following the regrettable shooting at the site last week, caricatures a leader who doesn’t look before he leaps.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t have succumbed, rather unhesitatingly, to the whimsical demands by millenarian Talmudic circles to restrict Muslim access to the holy place. In fact, doing so is a grave provocation to Muslims sensibilities which could cause the gates of hell to open loose.
 
Netanyahu seems to forget the fact that when Israel treads on the most sensitive nerve in Islam, at least in our region, the masses won’t heed calls for calm and self-restraint neither from the PA nor from this or that Arab king or head of state.  Al-Aqsa, after all, is the mother of all issues.  It transcends politics and geography. Don’t you see that this issue is galvanizing the Palestinian street as no other issue would? Even Hamas and Fatah are adopting a concordant discourse in the face of this flagrant Israeli provocation. Certainly, I wouldn’t want to see fanatics and provocateurs take over the stage in order to urge seven million Palestinians to morph into seven million time-bombs or suicide bombers. None the less, the task to defuse the current crisis is not the responsibility of Palestinians alone. Israel, too, if only by being the main player who possesses many vital cards, should make the first step, but without procrastination, deception pr foul-playing.
 
That is why I hope and pray that Netanyahu and his colleagues in the government will immediately return to the status quo ante lest things get out of hand.  I am not making threats, but I know my people very well. For them, there is no other issue under the sun that could provoke them more. I am sure the Shin Beth knows quite well what I am talking about.
 
Israel can always seek and find alternative ways to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the Third Holiest place in Islam. Indeed, smuggling of fire arms into the Aqsa esplanade has been extremely rare. It occurred only once or twice since 1967, and the smuggler was neither Arab nor Muslim.  In fact, there is a fierce opposition among Palestinians to the very idea of smuggling fire-arms into the Haram al-Sharif  since a manifestly stupid feat of this sort would give Israel a long-sought pretext to tamper with the delicate status quo at the site. Hence, the Palestinians would be the main if not sole losers if such a folly were to be allowed to become a phenomenon, God forbid.
 
Some people might correctly argue that Israel will continue to seek pretexts and excuses to change the rules at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
 
Well, I hope insolence and impetuousness will give way to wisdom.  Fanatics from all sides must be reined in because if they are allowed to be in the driver’s seat, they could drive the entire region into the abyss.
 
Tomorrow is Friday when tens of thousands of Muslims will converge at the Aqsa Mosque for the weekly Juma’a congregational prayer. I hope the Israeli authorities will instruct their security personnel to refrain from provoking the worshipers or denying them free access to their holy place. Let them pray peacefully.

PALESTINE AWAITS THE DEMISE OF ISIS

 

Like many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, I have breathed a sigh of relief, seeing the latest retreats, defeats and setbacks of the so-called Islamic State (IS) both in Iraq and Syria.

The IS, as a group may well soon become part of history, but the idea encapsulated by the IS is likely to live on and on and on, constantly assuming different forms and names.

Nothing but a meat grinder …

Pyrrhic victory 

By Khalid Amayreh

 

Like many Muslims and non-Muslims alike, I have breathed a sigh of relief, seeing the latest retreats, defeats and setbacks of the so-called Islamic State (IS) both in Iraq and Syria. This evil group has inflected gigantic calamities on Muslims, first and foremost, as well as non-Muslims. Moreover, the criminal acts of terror carried out by the group, especially in Europe, has caused irreparable damage to the image of Islam and Muslims, which will take many many years to rectify. Yes, we must come to terms with the fact that IS has been a gargantuan public relations disaster to the religion of Islam which exhorts its followers to “invite to the Way of thy Lord, with wisdom and fair preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.”

 

Having said that, I don’t imply in any way any modicum of support or sympathy for the regimes IS has been fighting in Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi regime, created by the US in 2004 in order to plunge the region in endless violence and turbulence, is shamelessly sectarian. It torments, even murders, its own citizens because they have the |”wrong” religious affiliation. And it has effectively handed Iraq over to Iran on a silver platter. As to the Syrian regime, it is decidedly nefarious. No person with any iota of rectitude would give that regime the benefit of the doubt, if indeed there were any doubts as to the nefariousness of that regime. What else can be said of a regime that has destroyed its own country, virtually completely, murdered close to half a million of its own citizens, even by using deadly chemical weapons, and forced 11-14 million Syrians (70% of the population) out of their homes. And the reason? To extend its lifespan in power a few more years against the will of the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people.

 

Indeed, in the first few months into the Syrian uprising, the thuggish regime of Bashar al-Asad instructed its Gestapo-like Shabbiha thugs to scrawl the following slogan on walls all over Syria: Imma al Asad…Aww Nihreq al Balad ( either Asad stays on, or we will burn down the country.) Well. Thanks to Russia, Iran, Hizbullah as well as western treachery and betrayal of the Syrian people, Asad has made good on his threats. He has remained in power, but Syria has been nearly completely destroyed.

 

I most sincerely believe that it is only the naïve and the hopelessly stupid that are celebrating the demise of the IS.   The IS, as a group may well soon become part of history, but the idea encapsulated by the IS is likely to live on and on and on, constantly assuming different forms and names. This is because IS and other extreme Muslim groups especially in the Middle East are, whether we like it or not, the legitimate daughters of the illegitimate tyrannical Arab regimes and police states.   Don’t you believe anyone who would tell you otherwise?

 

Now, we all know that these manifestly terrorist regimes owe their very existence and survival to foreign powers such as the United States, a superpower which we all know is at Israel’s beck and call. .

 

A few years ago, the Egyptian people elected a democratic government, to replace the autocratic and corrupt regime of long-time dictator Husni Mubarak. However, because the first-ever democratic regime in 7000 years of Egyptian history refused to grovel at Israel’s feet and decided to be responsible to the Egyptian people, first and foremost, not to Washington, London and Paris, the West moved hastily to topple that democratic experiment which would have changed the Arab world and eradicated terrorism. In the process, peaceful protesters were massacred en mass in full view of the capitals of Western democracy, which, instead of calling the spade a spade, chose to play the harlot. Interestingly, they continue to display their shockingly wanton political promiscuity with Muslim peoples everywhere? Have you forgotten the recent failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish democratic regime? Who backed, supported and directed that failed coup d’etat against Erdogan’s popular regime until the very end? Martians or entities from outer space?

 

The West and the entire world must understand that it is not the ineluctable destiny of hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims to languish forever and ever under criminal regimes, such as the Assad of Syria and the Sissi of Egypt. In 1775, Patrick Henry, in a speech he made to the Second Virginia Convention, said: “give me liberty or give me death.” Needless to say, One doesn’t have to be a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or for that matter, an IS terrorist to long for freedom, justice and democracy. When will America, UK, and France understand this most axiomatic matter?

 

In a nutshell, I will say this to the governments and intelligence agencies of Europe and North America. IS could appear again and again, under different names. After all, it is a mere symptom. And the real root-cause, is your hand-made puppet terrorist regimes that persecute, repress, torment and murder every free voice demanding some of the very rights and freedoms that you people take for granted in your countries”

 

 

And, yes, we are not children of a lesser God.

WHAT WILL ISRAEL DO WITH 7 MILLION PALESTINIANS?

We are thoroughly inured to poverty, pain,  agony, and harsh life,  so no matter what Israel does to us short of physical extermination,  we will remain a thorn in its side until Israel’s comes to terms with our humanity and human rights, including the right to absolute  equality.  After all, Ismael was not a child of a lesser God.

What will Israel do with 7 Million Palestinians?
By Khalid Amayreh
 *
The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has published the latest data on Palestinian demography in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  According to the published data, the Palestinian population of the occupied Palestinian territories (the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip) has reached 4.95 million. And if we add up the estimated 2 million Palestinians living in Israel proper, the overall number of Palestinians living within mandatory Palestine will be around 7 million.   If not already, the population is expected to reach that figure in a few years.  This is not wishful thinking or day-dreaming. It is reality.
 
Moreover, the estimated seven million people are expected to double their numbers in three or four decades.  Am I dreaming? I don’t think so. After all, people will continue to mate and sire children. Sixty years ago, my late father and late mother started our family.  Now their progeny exceeds a hundred people.
 
I know that the size of the Palestinian population alone will not make Israel budge and reconsider its military occupation and apartheid.  Today’s Israel, especially under the present quasi-fascist government, made up of   extreme nationalists and Talmudic fanatics (Likud and ha-Bayt ha-yehudi- present-day Gush Emunim) is too arrogant, too insolent, too impetuous and too intoxicated by their arrogance of power to really think wisely, even rationally. That is why it is utterly unlikely that the three jingoes (Netanyahu, Bennett, and Lieberman) will soon sober up from their false euphoria and begin to see reality on the ground.
 
Instead, they will continue to profusely  pass provocative racist laws consolidating the “Jewishness” of Israel, mainly at the expense of non-Jewish inhabitants.
 
Needless, to say, these laws are, in the final analysis, self-defeating feats reflecting Israel’s  historical predicament and gigantic failure to reach a just, dignified and durable peace with the Palestinians. In a certain sense, these racist laws, even if passed by an overwhelming majority in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) are also merely a  defensive reflex caricaturing Israel’s fear and uncertainty about the intermediate and fairly distant future.
 
Besides, since when was the consolidation of Jewish culture and roots dependent on the promotion of racism and apartheid as well as on meting oppression and discrimination out to non-Jews.  I strongly believe that Israel is insulting and doing a great disservice to Jewish ethics (the soul of Judaism) by indulging in these repugnant measures against the Palestinians.  These  measures will eventually be proven anti-historical. Indeed, the ancient Prophets of Israel had warned their followers repeatedly against oppressing “the strangers living amongst you for you were strangers yourselves in the land of Egypt”
 
Now, Israel will continue to bury her head in the sand following the proverbial ostrich.   But the denial tactic will take Israel nowhere except perhaps bringing the Jewish state closer to the hour pf truth.
 
I am in no way, out of naïveté.  seeking to underestimate Israel’s ability to do mischief and embark on tormenting the Palestinians even further and further, all in order to make them grovel at Israel’s feet, begging for surrender!  Yes, Israel could do the unthinkable to prevent history from taking its natural course?
 
None the less, the Palestinians won’t and wouldn’t surrender to Israeli brutality and repression, however nefarious this might be. We have learned the lesson of the Nakba.   This means that the vast majority of Palestinians would prefer dying, yes dying, here in Palestine, rather than leaving our ancestral homeland and living in exile..
 
Besides, we are thoroughly inured to poverty, pain,  agony, and harsh life,  so no matter what Israel does to us short of physical extermination,  we will remain a thorn in its side until Israel’s comes to terms with our humanity and human rights, including the right to absolute  equality.  After all, Ismael was not a child of a lesser God.

SUNDAY’S TOON ~~ PUTIN’S LATEST THREAT

Image by Carlos Latuff

Putin Meets Trump. Our Cartoon This Week

ANALYSIS ~~ IS MUSLIM UNITY POSSIBLE?

In the final analysis, Muslims will have to choose between the abyss of sectarianism on the one hand, or the salvation that could only come from following the truly universal Islam based on love, mercy, tolerance and commitment to truth and justice.

Khalid Amayreh

Is a Sunni-Shiite Modus vivendi possible?
By Khalid Amayreh
*
I realize that I have to approach this sensitive subject, which is fraught with intense emotions, mutual animosity and suspicions, virulent recriminations,   and many taboos, with utmost caution and discretion.
 
Our beloved Sahabi (companion of the Prophet-s) Imam Ali bin Abe Taleb reportedly said “Try to overcome the harshness of the subject with a kind discourse.”
 
This may not be always possible especially when dealing with ancient,  deep-rooted religious hatreds bequeathed and inherited generation after generation.  However, meaningful efforts to establish a modus viveni or semblance of peaceful coexistence between Shiites and Sunnis must be continued and never given up. Otherwise, both communities would be condemned to a disastrous open-ended confrontation. In such a horrible quagmire, there are absolutely no winner, only losers and for that matter big losers.
 
  Moreover,  it has been crystal-clear for quite sometime that the enemies of Islam, who are fanning the fire of hatred between both communities, are wasting no time exploiting the Shiite-Sunni rift to debilitate and eventually ruin the Muslim world.
 
In fact, any meaningful effort toward de-escalation should not be aimed at making Sunnis and Shiites fall in love with each other. Such a goal, which is theoretically worthwhile,   is probably too illusionary to be even contemplated. It is a dream so distant that cannot be invoked in the realm of reality.  Yet even dreams, realistic or otherwise, are harbored and treasured since  man by nature can not give up the hope for peace with his fellow man especially compatriots and coreligionists.
 
Now, however, our immediate priority as Muslim intellectuals, journalists and opinion-shapers must focus on stopping the bleeding wound, stabilizing the condition of the patient, and inducing his immunity system to reactivate itself as much as possible.  Nothing is easy and nothing can be taken for granted.
 
The first order of business from this writer’s perspective is to study rather honestly and meticulously the real causes of the 1400-old fissure within the body of the Muslim Umma.
 
Again, the solution lies not in converting Shiism to Sunni Islam or converting Sunni Muslims to the Safavi Akhbari Shiism, which is a corruption of true, authentic Shiism. Instead it lies in adopting a new approach toward the “other,” based on mutual respect.
 
Unfortunately, this is not possible right now or in the immediate future since “slandering, cursing, vilifying and hating the “other” is an in-built component of some religious doctrines. Indeed, how can we possibly treat the “other” with any  modicum of true  respect when our views of the “other” is shaped by  ancient religious books that  incite us to “hate him from the depth of our hearts and even constantly  seek the opportune time to harm and even murder him.”
 
 Naturally, this intense hatred and vindictiveness didn’t come from nowhere. It emanated from the notoriously dubious narratives contained in such books as  Beharul Anwar and al-Kafee, to mention just a few sources, which judge the “other” as “Kaffer  (disbeliever), impure, usurper, oppressor, apostate, Nasibi (enemy of the Prophets’ household)  etc, who will rot in hell-fire for eternity.”  These manifestly false Riwayas or Hadith narratives can never be attributed to our great Prophet who was neither a curser nor a maligner. The Prophet, for example, would never have said, that apart fromAli’s supporters (the Shiites), all people are children of adultery!!! This is not the style of the Prophet.
 
Hence, For the sake of peace amongst Muslims, we must no longer hold fast to such cancerous narratives which scholars from both sides know quite well.
 
Moreover, Shiites in particular must put an end, once and for all, to the ancient repulsive  habit of cursing and slandering Sunni Muslims’ symbols including the wives of the Prophet, e.g. Lady Ayesha, and the first three caliphs as well as other Sahaba.  These are the very people who conveyed the Muhammadan message to us. In the final analysis, discrediting the messenger  is discrediting the message.
 
  Indeed, this particular issue of slandering the Sahaba remains the central reason and main cause for the enduring contention between the followers of the two schools.   It is the maker or breaker of any rapprochement between Shiites and Sunnis.
 
True, pronouncements disallowing slandering and badmouthing the Sahaba have been made by prominent religious leaders such as Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenaei.  However. Let us be frank and honest with ourselves. It should be amply clear that  Taqiyaa-inspired statements by this or that leader won’t end the problem. What we need is a meaningful, genuine, and honest departure by religious leaders and Seminaries from ancient doctrines that demonize the “other.”  I can write volumes and volumes in this regard, but I am sure the  Ulema and intellectuals from both sides understand, rather too well, what I am talking about.
 
Unfortunately, there is  now a little hope that the religious leaders, especially In Najaf and Qum, would abandon their ancient texts ….and, therefore,  ancient hatred, which the ignorant fanatics, interestingly enough, consider the “ultimate asset” and defining feature of the Mazhab!!!!  That is why, I cannot allow my self to be overly   optimistic.
 
Let us be honest, we can not await classical religious leaders and clergymen to sound the bill. Indeed, many of these figures are too ignorant, too fanatic and even too cowardly to communicate”unpopular truths” to their respective and often sheepish followers. They are part of the problem. They are the problem.
 
Instead, we need open-minded intellectuals, such as the late Iranian thinker Ali Shariati and the late Egyptian thinker Syed Qutub to be at the forefront to rid the Islamic Umma of both Shiite and Sunni parochialism. In the final analysis, Muslims will have to choose between the abyss of sectarianism on the one hand, or the salvation that could only come from following the truly universal Islam based on love, mercy, tolerance and commitment to truth and justice. 

« Older entries Newer entries »