CELTIC FANS URGE ROD STEWART NOT TO PLAY FOR APARTHEID

SCOTTISH SOCCER FANS URGE ROD STEWART TO CANCEL TEL AVIV GIG
The legendary British musician is slated to rock Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon on June 14
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Image by Carlos Latuff
 Celtic fans calling on Rod Stewart to support BDS and cancel his concert in Israel.

Celtic fans calling on Rod Stewart to support BDS and cancel his concert in Israel.

Fans of a UK soccer team have urged legendary rock musician and singer Rod Stewart to cancel his anticipated concert in Israel scheduled for June of this year.
“Dear Rod! We are shocked at your recent decision to breach the international cultural boycott of Israel and appeal to you to reconsider your decision,” begins a petition posted by admirers of Scottish soccer club Celtic F.C. to the website change.org.
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“As a life-long Celtic fan you must be well aware of the special affinity our fans have with the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom. Israel openly uses culture as a form of propaganda to justify its illegal occupation of Palestine,” adds the stated appeal.

Stewart announced his intention to play in Israel in a recorded statement filmed late last year, saying “I’m looking forward to performing in Tel Aviv,” adding “I’ll be playing your favorite hits, with a few surprises too.”

The 72-year-old musician last performed in Israel in 2010 at the Ramat Gan stadium.

The petition also includes a message of support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement, which aims to socially and economically undermine the Jewish state as a way to affect political change.

“Just as South African anti-apartheid activists called for an international boycott which led to the downfall of the apartheid regime, Palestinians are asking for a boycott of Israel as part of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions campaign,” the petition reads.

“As Celtic fans we support the Palestinian-led BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality. Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity!,” the plea adds.

Stewart has yet to respond for comment to the petition.

The legendary British musician is still expected to rock Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon on June 14, 2017.

Source

#NotMyPresident ~~ ON WALLS

Philosophically and morally, I find walls repugnant. Some who support them
say you have to be realistic and accept our divisive human nature and look
to protect "our country". But history tells us that nationalism and
protectionism lead to catastrophe.

8e619f2d6a15c3ca99daf87ad4529dfaON WALLS

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD


Donald Trump in explaining how effective “the wall” between Mexico and the
US would be said to “ask Israel”. This is one liar asking us to ask another
liar! The facts are very clear:

-After most of the residents were ethnically cleansed, a temporary wall of
fences was built around remaining 3500 Palestinians in Al-Majdal to starve
them until they agreed to leave ‘voluntarily’ in 1951 (long after the end
of the 1948 war).  The city was renamed Ashqelon
-The wall around Gaza was completed before even the first Palestinian
suicide bombings started and it was a clear failure. Hundreds of tunnels
were dug underneath and used to transport everything from people to camels
to cars.
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-The wall in the West Bank was less than 25% complete when Hamas made a
political decision to stop bombings and run for elections in 2006.  Hamas
held to its end of this even though they were not allowed to govern after
being elected.
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-The International Court of Justice ruled the wall illegal since it is
built in the occupied areas (just like the Israeli colonies are illegal and
subject to 4th Geneva convention)
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-Even today in 2017, the wall is actually less than 70% complete; nearly
10,000 Palestinians cross to the Israeli side without Israeli permission to
work DAILY and so any person interested in doing violence could do it
-The wall zigzags in ways clearly intended to capture maximum agricultural
lands and natural resources instead of being more secure straighter lines
in most of its currently built course. (what Zionists call ‘maximum
geography with minimum demography’)
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-The Israeli wall was slated to cost $2.5 billion and be finished in three
years and here we are 14 years later and it cost $8 billion and is not even
finished yet! Imagine the US wall (expected to cost $15-20 billion but will
cost 3-4 times more). US taxpayers are already burdened with $20 trillion
public debt (roughly $60,000 for each of us)
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-There are Palestinians on both sides of the wall (hundreds of thousands on
the so called "Israeli side"). There are also Israelis on both sides of it.
Thus, it cannot be a security issue.
- See also

From The Sunday Times

From The Sunday Times



Philosophically and morally, I find walls repugnant. Some who support them
say you have to be realistic and accept our divisive human nature and look
to protect "our country". But history tells us that nationalism and
protectionism lead to catastrophe. You cannot have it both ways: think of
your-self as morally superior while also thinking of 'countries' and
'nations' as fighting in a zero sum game. Actually the competition itself
maybe the only zero-sum when you are thinking of sates. The latest spat
created by Trump with Mexico will hurt both countries. Trump and his
Zionist handlers are also trying to prop-up India (as a balance to Islamic
countries); see appointment of the only Indian-American in Trump's cabinet
(Nikki Haley, ardent Israeli apologist). This will surely also backfire
hurting India, USA, and Islamic countries (opening more roads to Daesh and
its like minded terror groups to recruit).  It is exactly like when
Zionists pushed for the US war on Iraq that damaged Iraq but also damaged
the US ($3 trillion cost and thousands of American lives) and Israel
(because removing Saddam strengthened Lebanon, Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran).
China will come out a winner because it is working to keep good relations
with everyone.

#NotMyPresident ~~ NO BAN, NO WALL! ~~ IN PHOTOS

Image by Latuff

Trump's Muslim ban

Trump’s Muslim ban

 

   NO BAN, NO WALL,  NEW YORK IS FOR ALL

          SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT CLEAR, REFUGEES ARE WELCOME HERE

          DON’T GIVE IN TO RACIST FEAR, IMMIGRANTS ARE WELCOME HERE

 

These words were chanted frequently the evening of January 25th at a rally organized by CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) in Washington Square Park in NYC and attended by many thousands.  This was a response to Trump’s executive orders that called for a wall to keep out Mexicans, closing our doors to Syrian refugees, and a suspension of visitors from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan & Somilia.  People spoke from many organizations, all expressing outrage.  One said his family was on a ship filled with Jews escaping Hitler and they were not allowed to enter the US.  The ship went from port-to-port never being allowed in anywhere.  It had to return to Germany where many perished.

Several speakers were part of the NYC government.  They all urged resistance and said that they would not allow anything to happen to the population here.  NYC has been declared a “Sanctuary City” meaning that they will not allow  families to be torn apart or children to be left without parents.  City personnel will not arrest or detain residents for Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The only thing the federal government can do is retaliate by withholding federal funds from the city.

It was a beautiful clear, balmy winter night.  The park was filled to capacity with a very mixed group of people.  The podium was placed under the iconic arch and the voices of the speakers sometimes echoed.  The speeches were both emphatic and militant.  Immigrants are on the firing line in this administration.  At one point everyone raised their arm and made a pledge to support their foreign born friends and neighbors.  It is hoped that some went home feeling less alone, less vulnerable.

On his Facebook page Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect wrote,

“As President Trump prepares orders to wall out Mexicans and shut out refugees from America, today marks one of the most hateful days in our nation’s history, Donald Trump is retracting the promise of freedom to an extent we have not seen from a president since Franklin Roosevelt forced Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II.   Today the Statue of Liberty weeps over President Trump’s discrimination.”

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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Finally some Judicial Justice

Total madness going on here.  Thousands are demonstrating at airports all over the country and people who were cleared to come into the US are being put on planes to go back to where they came from.  And the vicious moron says it is working “nicely”.  A judge in Brooklyn just signed an order to stop the deportations.  Demo tomorrow @ Battery Park, where it should be freezing by the water, and then a march to border control offices at the new WTC. Everyone’s adrenaline is pumping non-stop.

(Click on link to see NYT Report)

Judge Blocks Trump Order on Refugees Amid Chaos and Outcry Worldwide

#NotMyPresident ~~ A NATIONAL SOCIALIST AS MESSIAH OF JEWISH OCCUPIERS

With Trump as the new US president in the White House, a Messiah for the illegal Jewish occupation politics of judaization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, a freezing and unpredictable tweeting business man with a horrifying cabinet of the worst kind is at the top of the US administration.

trump-und-israel-promosaik

Trump, a National-Socialist as Messiah of Jewish Occupiers and Third-Position Populists!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

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When I hear “America First”, a dread rises up in my soul, and I remember dark, past times. It sounds fatal and reminds me “Deutschland über alles”! Were it not the US corporate bosses and politicians who with the slogan “America First” opposed to a military intervention against Hitler and Nazi Germany? By blaming the US  Jews for wanting to take USA into war? They saw an alleged danger coming from the Jews as bigger than the danger coming from Nazi Germany. Now Trump, who stands for politics in plain language, doesn’t see any problem in “America First”, and stands for this more than controversial term. This way he seamlessly integrates into the past, as it said in the book, even published in German in 2015 entitled “Great Again!” Also this title reminds me of “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler. “How I will save Amerika”. However, it seems that the book published in 2000 and entitled “The America We Deserve” matches much better with Trump. Sarcastically speaking, do we deserve Trump or Netanyahu? How can it be that such a National-Socialist was elected? And precisely by a clientele who in the end despises Trump, who surrounds himself with a group of Jewish spin doctors and billionaires. While saying that he is struggling against the lobbies he builds upon the financial Wall Street lobby, the Israel lobby, the army lobby, the oil lobby, and other like-minded people. His awkward, more than inflammatory inaugural speech reminded of his dirty election campaign. Which small group does he mean when he talked about a small group profiting from the government in Washington, at the expense of the people he just wants to give back the power to? Does he mean himself, a more than controversial real estate speculator who until today refuses to disclose his tax return? (1)

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If he wants to make the people “the rulers of the nation again”, it is not in the interest of the people to be governed by a gang of billionaires. When Trump talks about a historical movement the world has never seen before, this fatally reminds me the sayings of the German movement who governed a “Thousand years’ reign” for 12 years until the bitter end. Hitler too was democratically elected! When Trump speaks about a massacre, ending thanks to him on 20 January, the Trump massacre to be expected is even more unforeseeable and more than frightening. He wants to support the “Jewish State”, build walls, block refugees, and give travel bans to Muslims. While he considers himself in a war against the media, the war against Islam has already started. His “Jewish-Christian-Zionist-Evangelical” worldview is as small as his vocabulary. Instead of presenting a presentable program, he prefers the war against the press, against Muslims and all “enemies” who do not share his ideology. Also Hitler attracted his people with highways and jobs. Buy American, and Hire American hire, as illuminating example for ALL! Also the “Jewish State” which sees itself as the “light of the nations” and on the path to “Great Israel” follows this maxim! If Trump wants to form alliances to wipe out the “radical Islamic” terrorism, then these are sentences which neither match with an inaugural speech nor with a democratic politician. These sentences are to be understood as a declaration of war against the Muslim world. This speech was a unique demagogic battle cry of a National Socialist under the motto “America is absolutely unstoppable”! (2)

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It is totally unmasking if you go to the website of the White House. There you can finally understand Trump’s true goals. There he clearly talks about a police state, all structured according to different political sections. Read here:

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It is worth to visit the new website of the White House to check the National Socialist New Trump World! A horror vision!

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If we look at Netanyahu it sounds logical: a nationalist Jewish society being at the moral deep point in its occupiers’ status needs a Führer like Netanyahu and his regime. But the US-Americans who live in a society which is unimaginable for us, and where more than 48 millions must live in mobile homes, or have no health insurance and no sufficient basic income, are of course susceptible for supposed saviours like the reckless billionaire Trump. But the US-Americans had to choose between Cinton and Trump, it means between plague and cholera. The situation which is arisen in the meantime is only a joy for the “Jewish State” which had been waiting for Trump in such a yearning way. However, also Clinton’s election would have not caused any disadvantage to the “Jewish State”. One day after Trump’s investiture, the building authorisation for 566 new apartments in the illegally annexed East-Jerusalem was announced. And it was said that this was just the beginning as there were already plans for other 11.000 Jewish settlers’ apartments waiting for authorisation.

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In the meantime, the planned annexion of the settlement block Maale Adumim in the illegally occupied Westbank, not far from Jerusalem, where approximately 40.000 Jewish settlers live, was put on ice until Netanyahu’s announced visit to his friend Trump in Washington. At the moment, approximately 430.000 illegal Jewish settlers live in the occupied West Bank, and more than 200.000 illegal Jewish settlers in the annexed East-Jerusalem. On Monday Trump and Netanyahu talked on the phone. Trump reassured his unlimited support to his friend Netanyahu,  and invited him to the White House for February, after that Trump and Netanyahu agreed on their estimation about the dangers coming from Iran. They announced to struggle together against Iran and the nuclear deal agreed during the Obama administration. In addition, Netanyahu and Trump decided in a “warm-hearted” phone call to work for their common vision for “peace and stability”. They also demonstrated this will with the announcement of negotiations about the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, into the “undivided” capital of a “Jewish State”. A crossing of the red line, an affront against the UN, the international community, and in particular against Palestinians and Muslim states, which claim East  Jerusalem with the Haram-al-Sharif as the capital of a Palestinian State. A violation against all diplomatic practices and international law. All this is in the sense of both Fuehrers, Netanyahu and Trump! (4)

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Netanyahu thanked Trump for his friendship and his challenge against “Islamic extremism”. Since the first fears come true, this struggle means a carte blanche in the struggle against Palestinian resistance fighters. It is the hour of the hardliners, who see an opportunity, like the Education Minister and leader of the settlers’ party Bennett who directly tweeted that for the first time since 50 years there was the choice between “sovereignty or Palestine”. Netanyahu already had made the proposal to annex Maale Adumim in the illegally occupied West Bank as the beginning of a new era!

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With Trump as the new US president in the White House, a Messiah for the illegal Jewish occupation politics of judaization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, a freezing and unpredictable tweeting business man with a horrifying cabinet of the worst kind is at the top of the US administration. According to Forbes, his cabinet has a worth of $4,5 billion, the future Minister of Agriculture and veterans not yet included. Also Trump with its 3,7 billion and his wealthy advisers are not included. Part of the Cabinet are the designated Minister of Commerce and hedge fonds manager Wilbur Ross, with a property of approximately $2,5 billion, the Minister of Education Betsy De Vos, with a property of approximately $5 billion, Rex Tillerson, nominated State Secretary and for years the chief of the oil group Exxon Mobil, with a property of $325 billion and particularly spicy, Steven Mnuchin, the nominated Treasure Secretary and previous hedge fonds manager at Goldman Sachs  with a property of approximately $300 million ! (5)

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The left fans and supporters of this president should think about if they really want to be among  more than obscure Third Position populist supporters! Nobody should say they knew nothing about it!

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Originally posted AT

#NotMyPresident ~~ IN TOONS // IS THIS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR?

Images by Carlos Latuff

Will Trump drop da bomb in East Jerusalem?

Will Trump drop da bomb in East Jerusalem?

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Trump's Muslim ban

Trump’s Muslim ban

From OTHER SOURCES

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon

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Chan Lowe Copyright 2017 Tribune Content Agency

Chan Lowe Copyright 2017 Tribune Content Agency

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John Darkow Copyright 2017 Cagle Cartoons

John Darkow Copyright 2017 Cagle Cartoons

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Steve Benson Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate

Steve Benson Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate

More HERE

TIMELY TOON ~~ ISRAEL GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM TRUMP TO EXPAND SETTLEMENTS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel approves 2,500 West Bank settlement homes, signaling new approach under Trump.

Israel approves 2,500 West Bank settlement homes, signaling new approach under Trump.

Mum’s the word so far …..

(Click on link to see report)

Marking New Era, Trump Administration Avoids Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion

#NotMyPresident ~~ FIGHTBACK CONTINUES

ABOUT 500+ PEOPLE SHOWED UP IN A DRENCHING RAIN TO DEMAND NYS U.S. SENATORS VOTE DOWN TRUMP’S PROJECTED CABINET

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Later today ….

Action Alert:

The moment we’ve been bracing for is here. Multiple news outlets are reporting that President Trump will sign an executive order tomorrow (Wednesday), restricting entry to the US from  majority Muslim countries.  As a city of immigrants, we cannot stay silent in the face of such hate. We ask you to gather tomorrow(Wednesday) night, to show President Trump that all New Yorkers stand with our Muslim neighbors.  Together, we will form a beacon of light against the coming darkness

WHAT: CAIR-NY Holds Rally to Oppose Executive Orders on Muslim Immigration
WHEN: Wednesday, January 25, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Washington Square Park Arch

IN PHOTOS ~~ FREEDOM DENIED TO STUDENTS AT FORDHAM UNIVERSITY

Fordham flunks a free speech test

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Fordham flunks a free speech test 

BY AHMAD AWAD

This month, Fordham University, my alma mater, denied students on campus the chance to form a student group to support Palestinian rights.

We thought we’d go through the same application process as any other student group. Instead, we were subject to a protracted 13-month review process.

We were eventually approved by the student government and started preparing for our inaugural event — only to learn that Dean of Students Keith Eldredge implemented a rarely used veto power to ban the group from campus

I was still a student when the application to form the group, Students for Justice in Palestine, was first submitted. The process included repeated meetings with administrators; questioning around Gov. Cuomo’s widely criticized executive order against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; and numerous administrative hurdles.

All of this drained my time and energy and had a serious impact on my studies. I graduated and was never given a chance to advocate for what I believe in on my campus. Now, current and future students won’t have that chance, either.

Advocating for the basic rights of Palestinians is more than just a conviction for me, it is an integral part of my identity. My mother’s father was a Polish survivor of Nazi labor camps, and my father’s parents were born in Palestine prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948. These two histories of oppression taught me to value human dignity and to fight injustice wherever I see it.

My relatives in the West Bank have been forced to live under Israeli military rule for decades now, with no ability to control even the most basic aspects of their lives. The Israeli government controls the borders, which means that even though my grandparents — one of whom is a U.S. veteran — were born there, they are now prohibited from living in their birthplace. They can only obtain a visitor’s visa for three months a year, if they’re lucky.

When I travel to Palestine to visit my relatives, I am routinely discriminated against and threatened by Israeli soldiers at checkpoints simply because I am Palestinian.

It’s only natural that I wanted to establish Students for Justice in Palestine — an organization that exists on over 170 campuses nationwide — at Fordham.

I was devastated to discover that Fordham would prohibit SJP — and, even worse, do so not because of any bad behavior, but simply because of what it represents on paper. This decision violates the free speech and academic freedom the university guarantees under Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act in addition to its own values as an institution “committed to research and education that assist in the alleviation of poverty, the promotion of justice, the protection of human rights and respect for the environment.”

This experience has underscored how difficult it is to talk about Palestinian freedom in America without facing serious suppression. In recent years, students and faculty who choose to speak critically of Israeli policies have faced increasing pushback, a problem that has been widely documented by constitutional and civil rights attorneys. In the first half of 2016 alone, there were 171 such incidents of suppression across the country.

Despite these obstacles, support for Palestinian rights has grown over the years as more Americans have become aware of the oppression facing Palestinians. Recent polls found that 60% of Democrats and 46% of all Americans support sanctions or stronger action against Israel for building settlements on Palestinian land, and that sympathy for Palestinians among millennials has tripled since 2006.

Fordham and other institutions can try to shut down this growing social justice movement, but they won’t succeed in silencing people who feel a moral imperative to create a better world.

The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who called on the U.S. government and consumers to boycott and divest from the apartheid regime in South Africa, once said, “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” Despite Fordham’s wishes otherwise, I won’t give up this fight. I will continue to stand up for what is right until freedom rings. I will not die.

My request of Fordham is a very modest one: Let Students for Justice in Palestine live.

Awad is a recent Fordham graduate.

#NotMyPresident ~~ WOMEN UNITED FOR JUSTICE (PHOTO ESSAY)

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Demos in New York and Washington D.C.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

Lots of women are wearing pink hats they are calling "pussy hats" because Trump has referred to women as pussies - kind of an 'in your face' gesture.

Lots of women are wearing pink hats they are calling “pussy hats” because Trump has referred to women as pussies – kind of an ‘in your face’ gesture.

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The statue of Eleanore Roosevelt on Riverside Drive was given a 'pussy hat' - a recognition that she would be marching with us if she could.

The statue of Eleanor Roosevelt on Riverside Drive was given a ‘pussy hat’ – a recognition that she would be marching with us if she could.

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Washington - love having Harriet Tubman in there (she is going on the $20 bill)

Washington – love having Harriet Tubman in there (she is going on the $20 bill)

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More Photos © by Matt Weinstein HERE

AMERICA WELCOMES TRUMP (NOT) ~~ IN TOONS AND PHOTOS

Surely NOT my President!

Images by Carlos Latuff

The Inaugural Speech

The Inaugural Speech

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Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

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Fair thee well!

Fair thee well!

SOME PICTURES FROM THE FT. WORTH WOMEN’S MARCH

Photos © by Jim Rivers

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And in the Big Apple ….

On January 19th Inauguration Day Eve, 25,000 NYC citizens gathered at an anti-Trump rally near his International Hotel at Columbus Circle. The mass of people stretched for blocks along Central Park West. There were many speakers from the entertainment industry (Robert DeNiro,Michael Moore, Cher, Alec Baldwin, Sally Field, Cynthia Nixon, Mark Ruffalo,and many others).  Mayor DeBlasio of NYC declared NY an Immigrants Sanctuary City. All the speeches were very militant stressing that working together there would be total resistance to Trump’s hate filled policies against so many groups in society.  All present took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. The evening ended with 25,000 people singing This Land Is Your Land.

Photos and commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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Photos of the Big March in Washington to follow soon ….

MORE FAKE MEDIA NEWS AND SOME DOWNRIGHT LIES

Again we were witnesses to a notorious staged farce last weekend in Paris with ringing declarations about the so called “Middle East Peace Conference”.

Pack of Trump-Lies!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

More than 72 statesmen, diplomats, and representatives of different organisations met to debate the two-state solution, a solution which has never been feasible because nobody really wanted it and because of the non-existent peace process.

Neither Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu nor Palestinian President Abbas or a Trump representative sat at the table, so in practise people debated in their own circle. Although President Hollande praised the two-state solution as the objective of the international community, in the end he was left empty-handed, and as the final communiqué was written only with considerable difficulty, it was not worth the paper it is written on. They were embarrassingly intent on not upsetting the new Trump administration thereby confirming our worst fears. (1)

And as has been the case for decades, again Israelis and Palestinians were invited to renew their engagement for a “two-state solution” and to renounce unilateral steps which would prejudice the result of direct negotiations.

“Unilateral steps” are the uninhibited Israeli settlement activity on the occupied Palestinian land with its land grab to judaizise Palestine. The whole world wants the “two-state solution” as emphasized by French Foreign Minister Ayrault, and confirmed by German Foreign Minister Steinmeier who even warned against the possible consequences which in the end would even endanger Israel’s security! However, the “international community” failed to implement its “will” because its whole interest is only concerned with the “Jewish State” and its security which serves to strengthen the occupation regime. It is no secret that the Israelis do not want peace, but all of Palestine without a Palestinian population.

The constantly repeated assertion that only the two parties concerned can find a peaceful solution is also a false conclusion. However, there have been ongoing negotiations for decades, and what did they achieve? On one hand, the “Jewish occupation state” is stronger than ever and spreading like an octopus. The economic contacts which should be extended refer to Palestinians and Israelis, but ultimately only helps the “Jewish State” which becomes more and more powerful, while the occupied Palestinians without rights become weaker and weaker. In fact, Netanyahu was right when he said that the conference was useless. He has even won because the Conference in Paris was not a platform for new UN resolutions, and this was what the Netanyahu regime was afraid of before the conference.

This final communiqué lacked bite and proposals for a solution so that the only alternative is the continuation of the wide-ranging boycott against the “Jewish State”, as long as this does not stop the illegal occupation of Palestine and does not withdraw behind the frontiers of 1967 and it does not become a state with internationally recognised frontiers and does not violate the legal right of return of the expelled Palestinians to their homeland, as recognised by international law.

Nothing of all this can and could be expected, therefore Netanyahu, awaiting for Trump, speaks of the last gasp of the conference and even puts it at one and the same level with the Islamist terrorism by comparing the statesmen having gathered there with its motivation. His conclusion is that they would destroy all hopes for peace.

Although the whole community of states gathered in Paris denounces the construction of settlements as the main conflict point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it does not renounce to the criticism towards the Palestinian “terrorist” attacks. This is so mendacious, because again people try to put the two parties at one level and so the cause is confused with the effect. The cause of the Palestinian resistance is the illegal occupation and dispossession, and the effect is the legitimate resistance against that. Of course, Netanyahu and his regime have a completely different perspective. They defame this legitimate resistance against the permanent construction of settlements on the stolen land, the decades-long occupation, the daily reprisals and the hopelessness as Palestinian “terrorism”.

Netanyahu, who feels strengthened by Trump, Kushner, and Friedman, is feverishly awaiting for the inauguration of Trump on 20 January, because he thinks that with the new president a new era will begin, which will be a calendar of the superlatives.  Already an unexpected boom of settlement construction, as we can already notice, involves the “Jewish State”, looking forward to a new chapter in the “eternally undivided capital Jerusalem” after a possible relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump did not only personally invite Netanyahu to this ceremony, but he also invited twenty of the most infamous settlers’ leaders. What a sign and what a provocation! As you can imagine, all this was organised by the Trump whisperers Kushner and Friedman. In his inaugural speech, Trump will also explicitly talk about Israel. So it will be really interesting. However, we should not be afraid of “tomorrow, which will be different from today and is very near”, and of which Netanyahu spins yarns.

There have been enough negotiations, and again without any tangible results. The collective responsibility Ayrault talks about and which should promote negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is no more than a useless sentence. Netanyahu’s refusal to come to Paris was symbolic, but why were the Palestinians denied participation at the conference? Why was the hypocritical community of states not able to recognise that there is a Palestine which must finally become a free and independent state and this is the collective responsibility towards Palestinians.

However, it is not the two-state solution which has been obsolete since a long time. Since decades, Palestine has been judaized without any restriction, and this was possible thanks to this hypocritical community of states. It has been done absolutely nothing against the Zionist ideology that requires a Jewish state: Eretz Israel. As a consequence, the occupied Palestinians have been living until now under the illegal occupation, in a region full of settlements, without any chance to get a viable, connected state on their territory.

All of this was not even mentioned. The Jewish occupiers were simply allowed to carry on as they please. What do submissive reproaches against the settlement politics help, if Israel gets more and more military aid in absurd amounts and the “Jewish State” continues its aggression wars and the Gaza genocide by always presenting them as “self-defence”, so that Western politicians from Merkel to Obama show solidarity with the Jewish State again and again. And what an eyewash when we always talk about the “moderate” Palestinians, if it is about the collaborateur Abbas, while the democratically elected Hamas government in the Gaza Strip is demonised as terrorist. Under these conditions there will never be peace. And probably this peace is also not desired. The “Jewish State” is an important ally of the so called alliance against terrorism. German ministers and politicians of the Social, Green, and Christian-Democratic Party are zealously trying to imitate Israeli methods. They talk without any restrictions about the uninhibited administrative detention for suspects and “endangerers” according to the Israel model where this method has been applied for a long time against innocent Palestinians. Did we not have this in the past? At that time it was called protective detention to protect us from these agitators! So I cannot agree with the goodwill of some left-wing people who evaluate Trump only from Putin’s point of view although even in this direction there are only contradictions. (2)

Trump and Co. will learn us to fear, from the beginning commercial war, racism, wall construction, and Israel politics, and also by his “out of the Nato”, since this does not concern the Nato itself but only wants that the defence costs we have to carry have to amount at least 2% of the GDP. And all this is in the sense of Merkel, the eulogized “leader”. (3)

Between lies and Trump the world seems to hover between shock and euphoria.

 

Written FOR

TODAY’S TOON ~~ DOUBLE STANDARDS FOR SYRIA AND YEMEN

Image by Carlos Latuff

    So It Goes Double Standards


So It Goes
Double Standards

 

THE TWO -STATE SOLUTION’S SILVER BULLET

If the international community cannot come to recognize the State of Palestine before Trump takes office, the State of Palestine may ultimately be reconstituted from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

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The Two-State Solution’s Silver Bullet

By Sam Bahour

If the international community, led by the U.S., is serious about preserving the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the upcoming French-hosted international peace conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reframe the way forward. Recognizing the State of Palestine would politically contribute to ending Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. This single act may be the silver bullet to save the two-state solution.

Such an act would acknowledge the asymmetric balance of power on the ground and finally acknowledge in law—prior to a peace agreement—that the international community envisions the end-game ultimately being two states. This could serve as a platform for future actions to engage both parties to act in their internationally-aligned strategic interests. Anything less, or muddying the waters by including this move in a basket of other issues, would likely further delay a real Middle East Peace Process.

In Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remarks on Middle East Peace he took pride that “The United States recognized Israel seven minutes after its creation” in 1948. This recognition of Israel happened without Israel having a defined eastern border, a supposed prerequisite for statehood. Is it too much to ask the U.S. to support the recognition of the State of Palestine in the same fashion, without a defined western border?” This is exactly what the Palestinian’s request for full UN membership to the UN Security Council in 2011 stated, recognition with Palestine’s western border being “on the basis of the pre-1967 borders,” which is “in accordance with the relevant [UN] resolutions,” along with the need to “resume and accelerate” negotiations of our shared border with Israel.

When the U.S. threatened to veto the 2011 application for full UN membership, the Palestinians, in a strategic move, requested that it be sent to a UN Security Council committee for further deliberations pending a more opportune timing. The following year, on 29 November 2012, a General Assembly resolution was passed that “Decide[d] to accord to Palestine non-member observer State status” and “Expresse[d] the hope that the Security Council will consider favourably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations.” The majority of the world’s countries have unilaterally recognized the State of Palestine and 138 countries upgraded Palestine’s UN status when they voted in favor of Resolution 67/19.

Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s total rejection of the international community’s efforts to attempt to save the two-state solution, France is preparing to receive some 70 countries on January 15 to convene an international Middle East Peace Conference which aims to preserve the two-state paradigm. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed France’s effort, but for the average Palestinian the news of yet another conference on Middle East peace is like making a groundbreaking announcement that Starbucks sells coffee.

Those living under the daily brunt of Israeli military occupation are right to be skeptical. There is a long list of failed peace efforts all the way from UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine (November 29, 1947), Count Folke Bernadotte proposals (1947-1948), UN Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967), the Rogers Plan (1969), UN Security Council Resolution 338 (October 22, 1973), the Reagan Plan (Sept. 1, 1982), the Oslo Accords (1993), Wye River Memorandum (October 23, 1998), Camp David 2000 Summit (2000), The Clinton Parameters (December 23, 2000), the Taba summit (January 2001), the Tenet Plan (June 13, 2001), the Arab Peace Initiative (March 28, 2002), the Road Map for Peace (April 30, 2003), the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit of 2005 (February 8, 2005), the Kerry Principles for Middle East Peace (December 29, 2016) to name just the main efforts and, sadly, the list seems likely to grow.

To avoid being added to the above list, the upcoming international conference should collectively take the single act of backing a UN Security Council resolution recognizing Palestine. Once Palestine and Israel are both recognized, the countries of the world could start to apply international conventions, treaties and understandings—just as they apply to all bordering states around the world—to the daily hurdles (from movement and trade to the use of airspace and electromagnetic spectrum) facing Palestinian existence under Israeli military occupation—as well as differentiating their own dealings with pre-1967 Israel and its illegal settlement enterprise.

The President of the Arab American Institute, James J. Zogby, recently wrote of Kerry’s end of year speech, “To some, especially Palestinians, this may seem like ‘too little, too late.’ But as someone who has been a part of the effort to create an American debate on Israeli policies, Kerry’s intervention is welcome, validating, and empowering. He laid down markers that should help liberals and progressives define a policy agenda on the Israel-Palestine conflict—exactly what we need as we enter the challenges of the Trump era.”

Given the upcoming “Trump era,” the recognition by the international community of the State of Palestine before it is too late could do much more than “laying down markers.” Such a move could be used to finally hold Israel accountable and levy serious costs—political, economic and otherwise—on Israel to bring it in line with international law and UN resolutions, not to mention common sense.

If the two-state paradigm fails, Palestinians and Israelis will not vanish into thin air. While Secretary Kerry’s 2014 nine-month thrust to restart negotiations was collapsing, the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna undertook a serious intellectual exercise with Palestinian, Israeli Jewish and European intellectuals, politicians and activists, to contribute to re-examining the current strategies and paradigms, proposing and exploring new perspectives, visionary discourses and alternatives to partition. A volume was produced along with the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, titled, Rethinking the Politics of Israel/Palestine – Partition and its Alternatives, which proposes out-of-the-box thinking on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In politics no vacuums exist and this effort reflected just that fact.

If the upcoming January gathering of states fails, the French could just sing C’est la vie as Netanyahu laughs all the way to the next settlement in the West Bank, but yet another generation of Palestinians and Israelis on the ground will pay the ultimate price for their failure.

Originally written FOR

A version of this article was first published in French at Le Monde.fr.

HARD TO STAY HUMAN IN A SEA OF HATE

An international world order that does not see the centrality or
urgency for the Palestinian issue and is complicit in the crime.

humans_respect_humans_by_rbeloniojr-d4y9ceu

SAY HUMAN/MENSCH BLIEBEN!

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

11 homes were demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities in one day
in the village of Qalanswe (occupied in 1948). The pace of home demolitions 
accelerated recently and are expected to accelerate more as Israel 
violates human rights and international law with
international impunity. Donald Trump will follow on the heels of Obama in
giving a green light for further ethnic cleansing. The conditions for
revolution are there just like they were in 1936 and 1987:

1) Political factional leadership disconnected from the people’s needs or
thoughts and the natives who dislike the existing political factions and
want serious change.

2) Most people have given up on political structures and the so called
“peace process” (an industry of talk and profit for elites).

3) A colonizer-occupier so self-assured that they have things under
“control” they actually do things like killing unarmed demonstrators or
demoliting homes or collective punishment. Israel just decided to deport
from Jerusalem 12 family members of a Palestinians who killed four soldiers
who illegally occupy East Jerusalem (International law recognizes such acts
as legitimate forms of resistance). This cockiness can accelerate the
arrival of uprisings.

4)  An international world order that does not see the centrality or
urgency for the Palestinian issue and is complicit in the crime (even
projecting Israeli flags on state buildings in Europe last week and
instituting laws that attack freedom of speech).

These conditions were present before every one of the uprisings (1881,
1904, 1912, 1921, 1929, 1936, etc). In South Africa under apartheid there
was also 14 or 15 uprisings before apartheid ended. Let us hope that this
coming one in Palestine will be the last. Netanyahu just sent his jets
attacking Syria (a violation of International law). Obama dropped 26,000
bombs in 2016 on seven countries.  We do not expect Trump to do any better!
Local leaders also do not give us chance for optimism. Abbas believes in
talking and the King of “Saudi Arabia” believes in bombing hospitals and
schools in Yemen to serve Israeli interests and keep his throne.  And as
JFK once said: once you make a peaceful revolution impossible you make a
violent revolution inevitable. It is time to think globally and act locally.

Aِِcting locally, we at the Palestine Museum of Natural History and
Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability are working hard. 
It has been another busy and productive week for us
locally. Two manuscripts were accepted for publication. We received good
news on one grant and submitted two more grant proposals. Israel gave a
permission to Prof. Zuhair Amr from Jordan to come spend two weeks with us
in Bethlehem  working on research (on land snails, shrews, geckos and
,more). The video of my denial of entry to Jerusalem revceived 5000 views
on facebook and over 2000 views on youtube (https://youtu.be/r0IIvCaxaKo).
We attended a workshop on Palestine Future (trends to 2030) and agreed to
take some action plans. We formed a committee to prepare for a national
network of museums. We received and rejected two offers of large funding
that required us to collaborate with Israeli institutions (violating BDS
rules). Even though our financial situation is difficult, our motto in the
museum continues to be RESPECT (for one self, for others, for nature).

The coming week promises even more: we are expecting more volunteers (local
and internationals), we expect three international delegations (visitors),
we expect to make two field trips, and to finish two more research
manuscripts. Please join us because we are the people we have been waiting
for! In other words change comes from us working together.
A poem about life by Mazin Qumsiyeh in English and German

‘James Bond’ of Philanthropy gives away the last of his fortune. “His name
does not appear in gilded letters, chiseled marble or other forms of
writing anywhere on the 1,000 buildings across five continents that $2.7
billion of his money paid for”

Stay Human/ Mensch Bleiben

ZIONIST OCCUPATION TAKES ITS TOLLS

When  an occupation becomes an Israeli right, Palestinian resistance becomes an essential obligation! 

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Zionist Occupation and Expulsion Take Their Tolls!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, translated by Milena Rampoldi,  edited by author William Hanna
*
Netanyahu and his regime reacted with customary “outrage” to the attack in Jerusalem where Netanyahu with immediate instinctiveness appeared centre stage to invent a connection between the Islamic State and the Palestinian perpetrator, Fadi al Hanbar, a 28-year-old father from Dschaba, an illegally occupied part of East Jerusalem. It is absolutely mysterious how Netanyahu arrived at this conclusion without any apparent evidence: especially since the Israeli-Palestinian problem is not due to the Islamic State, but to the decades-long illegal occupation of Palestine and the expulsion of Palestinians.
*
Was this young Palestinian “attacker” not himself a victim? He had been just released from an Israeli prison, where – of course – he was detained as a “terrorist suspect” rather than a brave “resistance fighter” as was the case for those Europeans who during the Second World War fought against Nazi occupations. Currently more than 6,000 Palestinians are detained indefinitely and without trial in Israeli prisons under Administrative Detention Orders. Almost all Palestinian families at one time or another had family members who were detained or are still being detained without knowing when or if they will ever be released. Men and women, old and young, are brutally tortured and kept in unacceptable, inhumane conditions that contravene the Geneva Convention. The Apartheid regime illegally occupying Palestine does not hesitate to use its infamous secret services Shin Bet and Mossad – along with their renowned superpower ally – perpetrate murderous crimes on a global scale. Extra-judicial executions by the “Jewish Defence Forces”; barbaric attacks by illegal Jewish settlers; and targeted killings by Mossad are carried out with impunity everywhere because the “Jewish State” has granted itself the licence to kill.
*
Should there be astonishment at such attacks and explicitly against soldiers who were ironically on a bus tour through Jerusalem. Furthermore, these officer cadets have been trained to go to places where they are particularly needed, and where they have to execute reprisals and operations against Palestinians. In the occupied East Jerusalem the atmosphere is tense with Palestinians fearing that after January 20 – when Trump is inaugurated as U.S. President – matters will only get worse. Will Trump for example make good on his statement that under his presidency – with help of David Friedman, the orthodox Jew, right-wing settlement supporter, and the future U.S. ambassador to the “Jewish State” – the U.S. embassy would be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem thereby violating international law? This would be a provocation of the worst kind, cemented by the illegitimate claim of Jewish Zionist-fascist hardliners and their illusion of an “eternal and undivided Jerusalem” as capital of the “Jewish State”.  
*
How can the Palestinians be blamed? They have for decades been forced to live under brutal conditions and are now faced with the threat of extremist Jews with Netanyahu regime support of having a new Jewish Temple built on Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), the Islamic holy site (“the Noble Sanctuary”) where the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock have stood for over 1,300 years. Directly after the recent attack, the Netanyahu regime decided to arrest the IS followers in the “Jewish State” without due legal process under the notorious Administrative Detention Orders that had for decades been routinely used against “troublesome” Palestinians whose illegal detention without trial has been condemned by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, B`Tselem, and Human Rights Watch to no avail while the international community with its core “values” maintained a cowardly silence!
*
Five family members of the attacker have already been arrested, his house scheduled for destruction, and his body due to be buried in secret without being returned to his family whose applications for reunification with the inhabitants in the Gaza Strip have been refused by the Security Cabinet.
*
Ethnic detention and illegal house demolitions – injustices tolerated by Western state communities – with even Germany always insisting on responsibility for remembrance of the past as justification for a “Jewish State,” failing to meet the responsibilities of the present for universal justice and human rights.
*
Rather than continually promoting the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine, Merkel and Steinmeier should instead denounce the fascist crimes against humanity and stop the colonial terrorist zeal of their “Jewish friends”. There are no protests from Germany, the U.S. or the EU, who while expressing condolences for the attack on Israel, regard justified Palestinian resistance to persecution as being acts of terrorism.
*
Because of this blatant double standard injustice there will never be peace. Only when the hypocritical “community of values” under “Christian-Jewish” leadership begins to perceive the illegal occupation as the main cause of legitimate Palestinian resistance, will there be tranquillity.
*
Why should this resistance against the illegal occupation of Palestine be considered as an act of terrorism as compared with resistance to Nazi Germany’s terror! The application of double standards is always inadvisable because it will only fail at a political level. While Netanyahu – who is bogged down in the quagmire of a brutal occupation – is constantly looking for any opportunity to divert responsibility away from himself, the community of states should resist participation in, and support for this denigrating game.  
*
This is a Zionist regime of a country drowning in a moral swamp – where a soldier’s cold- blood murder of an injured Palestinian lying on the ground – is celebrated by the majority of the population with even Netanyahu recognising him as a hero and brave opponent of terrorism. By reacting in this manner, Israel’s Zionist regime has forfeited any right to claims of being a democracy. Incomprehensibly, the military court has just condemned the soldier to only Second Degree murder and not to assassination. A further outrageous injustice would be if this murderer-soldier Azaria, was to be pardoned!
*
Despite what Netanyahu and Western politicians want us to believe, this attack had absolutely nothing to do with Paris, Nice, Berlin, or anywhere else. The fact is that in the decades-long illegally occupied Palestinian Territories the injustice of the occupation has created a fertile ground for such resistance attacks by a hapless, denigrated, and desperate people, who have absolutely nothing to lose.  
*
Meanwhile Netanyahu simply pursues self-serving policies that retain his power base by directing attention towards Iran, the Hezbollah, and Hamas. Furthermore he stokes the fire in Syria by supporting the terrorists of al-Nusra and taking the opportunity to reconnect with ISIS – which does not even operate in the “Jewish State” – so as to delegitimise the Palestinians and portray himself as the hero supporting the war against terrorism.
*
This infamous conduct becomes even more so when Western politicians like French Prime Minister Hollande officially authorise targeted killings with drone attacks in Africa and the Middle East since 2013. On the list containing 17 names of those to be killed, 13 are still pending! Welcome to the club of those who have the licence to kill! With such policies, conscientiously supported by Germany and other Western alliance partners who promote such bombing, the real reason behind the “War on Terror” becomes apparent.
*
This is not a Clash of Civilizations between the saviour “Judaeo-Christian values” and extremist Islamic terror, as they would have us believe, but a deliberate attempt to “Zionise” Western democracies into accepting the illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. To this end, the Brandenberg Gate was illuminated in the flag colours of the Star of David which is a symbol of Israel’s illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine!

*

When such an occupation becomes an Israeli right, Palestinian resistance becomes an essential obligation! 
*
Originally written FOR
*
Image by Carlos Latuff
In the first week of 2017 Israel demolished the homes of 151 Palestinians

In the first week of 2017 Israel demolished the homes of 151 Palestinians

WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ELECTION MEDDLING

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Meddling in Elections
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

"For many years I have felt that the situation in the Middle East was very
nearly hopeless.  The fundamental problem for us is that we have lost our
freedom of action in the Middle East and are committed to policies that
promote neither our own national interest nor the cause of peace.  AIPAC
(the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and its allied
organizations have effective working control of the electoral process.
They can elect or defeat nearly any congressman or senator that they wish,
with their money and coordinated organization" Senator William Fulbright

Just so that we do not forget who really meddles in US elections and US
politics all the time

AIPAC role in US elections


AIPAC is not the only group though it is the most visible that influences
US elections to serve Israeli (not American interests). Here is a partial
listing

We have to remember that it was Israel which pushed for the war on Iraq and
damaged US Politicians who opposed the war (e.g. the Israel lobby boasts of
its influence to get rid of US congress people like Paul Findley and
Cynthia McKinney). See

 And look at The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

And then there are the billionaire Zionists like Sheldon Adelson who all
contending republicans for president court.

And who can forget that a Jewish lawyer by the name of Harry Katz talked to
head of AIPAC in 1991 and that the head of AIPAC boasted about theiur
negotiations” with Bill Clinton for support but only if the Zionists get
key cabinet positions (secretary of state and as his national security
adviser)

And can we forget that Prime Minister Netanyahu discarded protocol, snubbed
President Obama and addressed AIPAC’s US Congress in March 2015 interfering
directly in US Policy that was interested in best deal for the US (with
Iran). Thankfully, they did not succeed then to change Obama’s discourse so
they now ensured to have a successor who will annul the deal


Just last week, an Israeli diplomat was caught on tape boasting about
meddling in British elections and politics.


For more on politics, elections etc, see this chapter from my book “Sharing
the Land of Canaan” 

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. So please share these links to
show who really meddles in democratic elections. (Someone ought to write a
book)

Stay human
 

“NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU!”

Here is what happened  in video and why even this short encounter reveals at least six violations of International law.

NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

January 7th is Christmas for my family (Eastern Christian traditions). After we had our large gathering of a few hundred members of the Qumsiyeh clan, and paying visits to my sisters and the older people in my family, I tried unsuccessfully to visit Jerusalem (both with my US passport and with my Palestinian ID). The idea was to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and have dinner in Jerusalem.

I used to be a high school teacher in Jerusalem. Bethlehem is only 4 miles away and is a suburb of Jerusalem. The economies were/are inter-dependent and for five thousand years were inseparable. That is until Israel decided to separate us after they signed the Oslo agreements in 1994 (one of many reasons why these sell-out agreements entrenched apartheid and colonization). I am not allowed to enter Jerusalem on my American passport because I am a Palestinian who does not get a visitor visa on my US passport (I hold green card resident ID in my own country). Most Palestinians are not allowed to their own city of Jerusalem except with special permits. On occasions (like Muslim and Christian holidays, Palestinians above a certain age (males over 55) are allowed. In this case they claimed that Shabak (Israel Internal Security) said that even if I was above 55 I am not allowed and that if I try to come through again I would be jailed (lack of due process not withstanding). While I was questioned, the bus from Bethlehem had left and we were forced to then walk back in the cold weather.

The Israeli policies of separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem and denying us entry are violations of International law and many are considered war crimes. Here are the violations that these soldiers and the Israeli government are guilty of based on International law:

1) Israel’s changes to borders of the municipality of Jerusalem to include parts of Bethlehem (illegal for occupiers, several UN resolutions),

2) Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem (both West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem are not Israeli per the UN resolutions that Israel itself agreed to implement when they became members of the UN),

3) Israel’s establishment of 23 Jewish only settlements/colonies in Bethlehem is a war crime and the fact that such Jewish settlers cross over without requiring tasrih (permit) is racist,

4) Israel cannot prevent freedom of movement between one occupied town (Bethlehem) and another occupied town (Jerusalem),

5) Building walls and fences inside the 1967 occupied areas is also illegal (International Criminal Court Ruling 2004),

6) That the “shabak” can give direction to prevent people like me from crossing simply because we advocate non-violent resistance (I wrote a book on the subject) is contrary to both local law (supposed freedom of speech, due process) and International law (e.g. violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

These colonization tactics are nothing short of state terrorism. This indignity was a disappointment in Christmas but we have the peace of Christmas in our hearts and the silver lining is that this provides another motivation for us to redouble our efforts to end the ongoing crimes against humanity. Others suffer and even get injured, jailed or tortured so we are still grateful. May 2017 bring us closer to ending this nightmare of apartheid, close to return of Palestinian refugees, closer to justice, and closer to peace.

Stay Human!

original

THE FÜHRER’S BELL TOLLS FOR THEE

Has it not been a long time since Palestine disappeared from the agenda of the international community of states which always gives so much importance to compliance with the international law? What did Kerry achieve in the end with his embittered speech? Like all its predecessors, the Obama Administration is facing the ruins of mistaken politics towards its precious favourite ally Israel.

Image by Carlos Latuff

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When the Führer’s bell tolls!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi, edited by author William Hanna.
*
The sad reality of many of my articles over the years seems to have become a definitive, sad certainty. The mantra of the two-state-solution and the slogan “two states for two peoples” now appear to be an impossibility. Following the last speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the Middle-East,  Netanyahu’s distant echo from Jerusalem could be heard: “Israel does not need instructions from outside for peace.”  And the right-wing minister of education Bennet of the Settler Party said: “On 20 January Palestine will be taken off the agenda.” Trump sent his regards to the Jewish Führer who was already wishfully waiting for them. Netanyahu was even personally invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Trump as U.S. President in Washington. Following Trump’s election, Netanyahu work towards the the final stage of the Zionist land grab, but will he pursue Bennett’s proposal and start annexation of all the occupied West Bank?
*
Has it not been a long time since Palestine disappeared from the agenda of the international community of states which always gives so much importance to compliance with the international law? What did Kerry achieve in the end with his embittered speech? Like all its predecessors, the Obama Administration is facing the ruins of mistaken politics towards its precious favourite ally Israel.
*
In his speech, Kerry passionately advocated the two-state solution by criticising Israel heavily, but this last appeal seems more than helpless, after years of failed attempts to stop the illegal Jewish occupation in Palestine. Neither his statement that “Israel is driven by an extremist element,” nor that Israel does not want peace, but the land, is new, because Zionism’s main aim — grabbing land for “Eretz Israel” — has been known since the foundation of the state. And who made all this possible? Among others, the billions of U.S. dollars in aid have made the “Jewish State” what it is today. Kerry’s proposals for the demarcation and separation of Jerusalem are old hat, but were never accepted by Israeli governments. So this “Kerry Ketchup” speech has come too late and will ultimately remain inconsequential.
*
The “Jewish State” was fed to a right-wing fascist regime which presents itself as the “only Democracy in the Middle East” and Western stronghold against Muslim terrorists (the Arabic world), so that it can go on violating international law with its illegal occupation of Palestine. Time and and again we are faced with the deception of a “Jewish State” that is Jewish and democratic. A“Jewish State” based on Judaic Torah Laws, a “Great Israel” belonging to the “elected Jewish people” and having an indestructible pact with God until eternity. With such a “divine” argument, they feel they are without competitors and  immune to all political arguments.
*
The infamous Likud (UN) culture minister Miri Regev has already proposed that Kerry divides Washington instead of Jerusalem and stressed that “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and has been the capital of Israel for 3000 years, and it will remain so for the next 3000 years.” This is the minister who tries to bring Israeli artists to their senses by a quasi-ban on employment if they refuse to perform in illegal settlements, and carries out the kind of cultural censorship that is known only in dictatorships. Regev shows us precisely the way of this ominous politics that rushes a free Palestine into disaster. In the meantime, the Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked and the Minister for Public Security, Gilad Erdan, would like to introduce a new law to be able to delete “rabble-rousing” posts on Facebook, youtube and other social media to silence negative criticism. The implication being that it is not the illegal occupation of Palestine — which does not exist according to Israeli politicians — and the hopelessness and denigration of the Palestinian youth that is responsible for the resistance movement of the Palestinians, but the “murderous incitement” on the internet. And the Zionist world view is exactly that simple. In the end, Shaked is the expert for hate-based posts on Facebook with a recent claim to  not only kill the Palestinian “terrorists,” but also their mothers so as to prevent them having more small snakes!
*
And despite such a horrible statement, the German Minister of Justice Maas (of the German Socialist Party) organises a conference in a cosy agreement with Shaked on the  the subject of “Democracy and Constitutional State!”
*
Apart from many such racist statements, Shaked’s sentiments were shared by the settler rabbis whose spokesmen designated Kerry as the “worst” ever U.S. Secretary of State, and accused the Obama Administration of “having planted a knife into the back” of Israel, its closest ally. However, there is no need to discuss that, because it is the “Jewish dog” that bites the U.S. master’s hand. The Obama administration has again increased arms and financial support to the Jewish State!
*
By its ultra-religious nationalism the “Jewish State” became a “God State”: outbraving all “enemies” in the world; being always right when it says that human rights violations and the illegal occupation of Palestine do not exist;  and justifying its crimes against humanity with beliefs in being the elected people and the holocaust, which means that all divine and earthly values are on its side.
*
With decades of illegal occupation in Palestine, these Jewish fundamentalists have maintained the denial of a two-state solution which is already buried. Netanyahu and many of his predecessors were helped by the time-factor and the more than reticent critics of the “community of values” who were easy to cope with. They always knew that those critics were worthless because Germany has always repeated its solidarity with the Jewish State because of its “particular” relationship. So if the German Minister for Foreign Affairs Steinmeier, in agreement with Chancellor Merkel, had positively judged Kerry’s speech and criticised settlement policies, we could only shake our head in the face of such hypocrisy.
*
How long will Netanyahu despite of all these disputes be able to pride himself in relying upon Merkel and Berlin as the most important European partner? In fact, in Germany we have experienced the replacement of anti-Semitism by a  wave of philo-Semitism  led by Merkel and politicians of virtually all parties. United in the struggle against “Islamic terrorism” which causes a racist atmosphere never experienced before, as was witnessed in the New Year’s Eve in Cologne. This new kind of precautionary attempt to avoid crimes should make us more than concerned. Today it is the term “Nafri” used by German police officers to talk about Northern-African chronic offenders, showing a “basic aggressiveness,” tomorrow it will be the enemy of the state, like for example critics of Israel. So if Merkel in her New Year speech speaks about a new German Führung (leadership) in Europe, we will have to ask ourselves where it will lead? The orations peppered with increasing racist aggressiveness of right-wing politicians from CDU/CSU to AfD should be of serious  concern for us.
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Do we want to take the leadership in military operations and in the so called war on terror and renounce our freedom to get so called security? Is this our desired result of our “Christian-Jewish guiding culture”? No, thanks! It is enough with the German reason of state for the security of Israel, it is enough with political sermons from Gauck to Merkel, among others. Yes, we will not renounce to our freedom. And it is worth fighting for this in 2017, if the bell of the Führer tolls.
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Written FOR

A SPEECH ON PALESTINE/ISRAEL AWAITING PRESIDENT OBAMA

SECRETARY KERRY: “There are other countries in the UN who believe it is our job to dictate the terms of a solution in the Security Council. Others want us to simply recognize a Palestinian state, absent an agreement. But I want to make clear today, these are not the choices that we will make.”

QUESTION: Will the U.S. allow others to make these choices?

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014.

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA
President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014.

A speech on Palestine-Israel awaiting President Obama

By Sam Bahour FOR

I hesitated before weighing in on the flurry of activity taking place around Israel and Palestine after the U.S. seems to have finally decided to act. I felt that all that needs to be said has been written and rewritten ad infinitum, including by me. That now at the eleventh hour the U.S. seems to be waking up to the reality Israel has created on the ground with unfettered U.S. support over seven decades, struck me at first as anticlimactic. But on deeper reflection and seeing the continuous flow of commentary, I notice that no one has yet mentioned one important and potentially game-changing way of framing this latest development.

During the past two years, U.S. government officials have been meeting with everyone willing to meet with them to explore what the Obama Administration can do, given the dangerous state of affairs in the Israeli militarily occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Jerusalem-based U.S. Consulate staff, Washington D.C.-based State Department staff, researchers with the Congressional Research Service, numerous Inside the Beltway think tank experts, and many more were dispatched to Palestine and Israel to gain insights on possible ways forward.

Three possible options were floated: having the Administration take UN action at the Security Council against Israeli settlement building; making a policy speech which lays outs the Administration’s understanding of the parameters for a resolution of the conflict; or recognizing the State of Palestine, as over 130 countries have already done. I repeatedly made the case for the recognition of Palestine, which I believe is the only policy action possible at this late hour that would have irrevocably binding legal ramifications, not to mention being a real step forward to preserve the two-state solution.

I want to believe—with zero expectations—that President Obama did not choose one of these options, but rather all three. What we have witnessed thus far with the unanimous passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 against Israeli settlements and Secretary of State John Kerry’s policy speech about preserving the two-state scenario may be only two acts of a three-act Greek tragedy playing out on the global political theater. The only remaining act is that of recognizing the State of Palestine, something Secretary Kerry explicitly stated was not a choice that the U.S. would make. The question that begs for an answer is, will the U.S. allow the international community collectively to make such a decision, as they allowed it to unanimously stand against Israel’s settlement enterprise?

Given the uproar Secretary Kerry’s rather mundane but still bold and courageous speech has generated, I’d like to suggest that President Obama deliver the following sequel, much more concise and honest, before January 15, when France will host over 70 counties in a conference to discuss Palestine and Israel.

Ladies and Gentleman,

I stand before you today, only a few days after I instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to present my Administration’s outright disgust concerning the Palestine-Israel conflict. I had hoped that Secretary Kerry’s personal commitment, exhaustive experience, mastery of the diplomatic lexicon, and utter frustration would serve to clear the air about exactly where the U.S. stands on this issue. Evidently, we failed to achieve the desired clarity. So, please allow me to present my Administration’s outgoing message, unfettered by diplomatic jargon. Prime Minister Netanyahu, please take notes.

Secretary Kerry said we needed to engage in an “honest, clear-eyed conversation about the uncomfortable truths and difficult choices.” He was absolutely correct, but then tactfully went on to present known truths and choices we already know Israel refuses. That was misleading. Let me explain, point by point:

“The two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy.” Of course it is! You did not need Secretary Kerry to tell you that, we have been saying it from day one of my Administration, not to mention it being said by every single prior Administration. As the U.S. has been talking the talk of two states, however, we have continued to fund, arm and diplomatically cover Israeli actions which brought us to where we are today. The U.S. is part of the problem. All the while, Israeli leaders have said over and over again that they have zero appetite for a Palestinian state to emerge between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Even the Israeli Prime Minister’s Likud party platform rejects a two-state solution. Thank God the media is not giving attention to theCNN interview by Jake Tapper with prominent settler Minister Naftali Bennett immediately following Secretary Kerry’s speech. The U.S. can no longer pretend to be deaf, dumb and blind as the region collapses into utter mayhem.

“The truth is that trends on the ground […] are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality…” Although this is totally true, what we avoided saying outright was that the Palestinians, albeit weak from the standpoint of their internal political affairs, are making tremendous strides on creating their state. The majority of the world’s countries have recognized the State of Palestine and 138 countries upgraded the Palestinians status at the UN with a UN General Assembly resolution that passed on November 29, 2012. I’ve read this UN resolution a thousand times; it is 100% aligned with long-standing U.S. policy: two states based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem being the capital of both Israel and Palestine. When the U.S. voted “No” to this resolution we found ourselves in the company of only eight other countries: Israel, Czech Republic, Canada, Panama and the tiny states of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Micronesia. For the world’s superpower to stand under the spotlight of world attention alongside these microscopic Pacific Island states is insane and cannot continue. To persist in blocking Palestine from its rightful place among the community of nations is becoming extremely embarrassing. In a local paper in D.C. over a year ago, the case for recognition was made jointly by an Israeli Jew, an American Jew and a Palestinian American. The State of Palestine has become a positive, forward-looking rallying call and I feel we are missing the boat by acquiescing to Israeli intransigence.

“No one thinking seriously about peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to that peace.” We tried to shift all the attention to the settlements, but it’s not working. The international community is seeing right through us. Israel is a colonial project, par excellence, and no screaming about illegal settlements is going to change that. Israel, I’ve always assumed we’ve supported you for this long because our own history is just like yours, but your native Palestinian population refuses to buckle in the face of your brute force. Native Americans being regulated to impoverished reservations worked for us once upon a time, but your modern day equivalent in the form of Palestinian Bantustans, infamously called Areas A in the Oslo Accords, is clearly failing.

Israel, Secretary Kerry lied. It’s not a choice about Israel being “Jewish” or “democratic,” because you are neither and never have been. This is about your sheer existence, plain and simple. You definitely do not operate on central virtues and principles in Jewish ethics, such as “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others.” (Talmud) or what Rabbi Simeon ben Gamaliel taught: “The world rests on three things: justice, truth, and peace” (Avot 1:18) or the three passages in the Book of Genesis telling us that all people are made “B’tzelem Elohim” (in the divine image) and hence the humanity in all people—including Palestinians—must be valued equally.

Likewise, your democracy is highly flawed. One only needs to read our annual State Department Human Rights Reports to see that we have already acknowledged, on the record, your institutional and structured discrimination against your Christian, Muslim, and Druze citizens who make up nearly 20% of your population.

So what Secretary Kerry said in his speech, and our abstention to the UN Security Council resolution against settlements, are not outgoing expressions of frustration, but a last-ditch effort to save Israel from itself. I hope that Secretary Kerry’s and my words here become inputs to the upcoming French-sponsored international conference to be held in January. We had to state our opinions now, Israel, because thanks to your pro-Israel lobby in the U.S., our domestic political system has been hijacked on this issue, so in this case we can’t act in our strategic interests in the proper venues.

Lastly, Israel, we do not appreciate your ferocious attacks after we have stood by you more thoroughly and reliably than any other Administration in the history of your existence. As Henry Siegman, the former head of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America, so pointedly wrote, “If there has been a betrayal in this latest chapter of America’s relations with Israel, it is [you] Netanyahu who has betrayed [me].”

God bless the United States for Israel, oops, I mean, of America.

Back to reality. The Palestinian leadership first submitted their bid for full membership in the UN to the Security Council in 2011. When the U.S. threatened to veto the request if it came to a vote, the Palestinians strategically requested that it be sent to a UN Security Council committee for further deliberations pending a more opportune timing. This is where it currently resides. If the international conference planned for mid-January in France can acknowledge that there is nothing further to be gained by making yet another statement about the threat of losing the two-state paradigm or the risk posed by illegal Israeli settlements, the only serious political act would be to produce a second UN Security Council resolution to recognize the State of Palestine. This one is easy since it’s already in committee. The U.S. can abstain, or better yet vote in the affirmative. This is what would preserve the two-state solution; otherwise, we can fasten our seatbelts as Maestro Trump steps onto to the stage, picks up the baton, and perhaps unrolls a version of Zionism in its rawest form.

IMAGES FOR THE END OF THE YEAR

Images by Carlos Latuff

A world in flames ...

A world in flames …

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Farewell Carrie Fisher :(

Farewell Carrie Fisher 😦

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