SILENCING THE LAMBS …. YET AGAIN

 First there was THIS …..
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Famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson loses his court appeal to try to force the Department of State to grant him a passport. The continued government persecution of Robeson illustrated several interesting points about Cold War America.
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Robeson was seen as a danger because he often interspersed his performances with comments about race relations in the United States. Before and after his performances, he gave numerous interviews condemning segregation and discrimination in America. For some U.S. policymakers, who viewed America’s poor record of race relations as the nation’s “Achilles’ heel” in terms of the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, having a well known African-American denounce segregation and praise the Russians was unacceptable.
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Full report HERE
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Now THIS …..

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS co-founder

 

Israel imposes travel ban on BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti 

Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law.

Barghouti, who lives with his family in Acre, has Israeli permanent residency and requires an Israeli travel document to be able to travel in and out of Palestine/Israel. His immediate reaction was: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace”.

Israel’s decision not to grant a renewal of the travel document on baseless bureaucratic pretenses is being viewed by human rights experts as the first step towards revoking Barghouti’s permanent residency.

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri had threatened as much at a recent anti-BDS conference held in Jerusalem when he disclosed that he was “inclined to fulfill” a request he had received from a far-right Israeli member of parliament to revoke Barghouti’s permanent residency.

The travel ban follows thinly-veiled incitement to physical violence against Barghouti and BDS activists by Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan. Katz called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders, while Erdan described BDS activists and leaders as threats and called for them to “pay the price” for their work, following this with a clarification that he does not mean “physical harm”. Defending “campaigns to hold Israel accountable for human rights and other international law violations”, Amnesty International has expressed its concern for “the safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti” following these threats, “including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights”.

As a leading volunteer with the BDS movement, Barghouti regularly travels internationally to raise awareness about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights and to advocate for BDS as an effective strategy to end Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid. Rooted in a long heritage of Palestinian popular resistance, BDS is also inspired by the global boycott movement that helped to end South Africa’s apartheid regime and by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council has recently affirmed “the right of all individuals to participate in and advocate for boycott, divestment, and sanction actions”, calling on states and businesses to “uphold their related legal responsibilities”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“Having failed to stop the growth of BDS in the mainstream, Israel is now launching a desperate and dangerous global war of repression on the movement. After losing many battles for the hearts and minds at the grassroots level, Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups are pressuring western states to implement patently anti-democratic measures that threaten civil liberties at large”.

“By banning our colleague Omar Barghouti from travelling and threatening him with physical violence, Israel is showing the lengths it will go to in order to stop the spread of the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality”.

The international BDS movement aims to pressure Israel, as South African apartheid was pressured, to comply with international law. It has attracted the support of mainstream unions, churches and political parties across the world and compelled large corporations, including Veolia and Orange, to end their involvement in Israel’s human rights violations.

Prominent artists including Ms. Lauryn Hill and Roger Waters have refused to perform in Tel Aviv; several academic associations in the U.S. and thousands of academics in Europe, South Africa, North America and Latin America have endorsed a comprehensive boycott of Israeli universities. The authors of a recent UN report said that a 46% drop in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014 was partly due to the impact of BDS.

At Israel’s request, governments in the UK, France, Canada and state legislatures in the U.S. are introducing anti-BDS legislation and taking other anti-democratic measures to repress BDS activism. In France, one activist was arrested simply for wearing a BDS t-shirt.

Israel is also using its security services to spy on BDS activists across the world, as repeatedly reported in the Israeli media and by the Associated Press. This espionage is likely to involve monitoring of citizens’ communications in violation of domestic laws.

Journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, known for breaking the NSA surveillance story, has described this well-orchestrated series of draconian measures against the BDS movement as the “greatest threat to free speech in the West”.

Mahmoud Nawajaa added:

“The western governments that are repressing BDS activism at home are giving Israel a green light to continue its violations of international law with impunity. We urge governments, parliaments and human rights organisations to follow Amnesty International’s lead and uphold his rights as a human rights defender under threat”.

Find out more about Israel’s attacks on the BDS movement here.

Source Palestinian BDS National Committee  VIA

EMPTY HEARTED APOLOGY FROM EUROVISION TO PALESTINE

First read the following from yesterday ….

EUROVISION NIXES PALESTINIAN FLAG

Following the leaked flag-policy uproar, the EBU released a statement apologizing for hurting feelings and uploaded a new flag policy, under which the Palestinian flag remains banned.

Original flag policy (screenshot from globearenas.se)

Original flag policy (screenshot from globearenas.se)

Eurovision organizers apologize, change nothing

Following the leak of document that banned the Palestinian flag, amongst others, from the Eurovision Song Contest on May 14, the organizers have apologized and released a revised wording of the policy. However, the new document continues to ban the same flags.

The original firestorm-provoking document was posted on the website of Global Arena, Eurovision 2016’s Stockholm venue. As only the flags of Eurovision-participating countries, UN member states, and the EU, only with rainbow flags, were permitted, all others, particularly those of disputed territories, were banned.

The original firestorm-provoking document was posted on the website of Global Arena, Eurovision 2016’s Stockholm venue. As only the flags of Eurovision-participating countries, UN member states, and the EU, only with rainbow flags, were permitted, all others, particularly those of disputed territories, were banned.

The document included a list of examples, and residents of the Basque Country and Kosovo took umbrage with their flags appearing above the ISIS flag (which was marked as ‘strictly prohibited’). The PLO even wrote to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Eurovision’s organizers, demanding an apology.

On Saturday, a new flag policy was published, this time on Eurovision’s website. This time, it is but one page, and no examples are given. The policy remains unchanged, however, though the wording is now more concise.

The flag policy explains in a preamble that it exists “to ensure the Eurovision Song Contest remains a non-political event.”

 

Source

EUROVISION NIXES PALESTINIAN FLAG

After a document was leaked banning the flags of any non-UN member state, including the Palestinian flag, from the song contest, the PLO has denounced the ‘shameful, totally biased and unacceptable decision.’

Not good enough for Eurovision? The Palestinian flag flies beside the flag of the UN after being raised by  Mahmoud Abbas. [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

Not good enough for Eurovision?
The Palestinian flag flies beside the flag of the UN after being raised by Mahmoud Abbas. [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

 

Palestinians demand apology from Eurovision

The Palestinians demanded an apology on Saturday from the organizers of Eurovision, who are already under fierce criticism after a document leaked forbidding certain flags, such as the Basque and Palestinian ones.

In a letter addressed to Jean-Paul Philippot, the president of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and obtained by AFP, Saeb Erekat, the number two of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), denounced a “shameful, totally biased and unacceptable decision” and demanded “its immediate cancellation.”

Erakat also called on the EBU “to apologize to Palestine and the millions of Palestinians across the world.” He added that the song competition will be held this year in Sweden, the first western country in the European Union to have recognized the state of Palestine.

On Friday already, the organizers had to apologize after the prohibition of the Basque flag caused uproar in Spain. They assured that the document, which also mentioned the flags of Kosovo and Crimea among others, should not have been distributed and that it was just a draft of rules regarding flags.

“The flag policy is not targeting any territory or organization,” a spokesman for the organizers explained.

Only the flags of member states of the United Nations are authorized—Palestine holds there the status of an observer state—, along with the rainbow pride flag and that of the European Union. Regional flags or those of federal states, along with those containing commercial or religious messages, are not permitted.

The document with concrete examples that provoked the polemic has since been removed.

 

Source

THE BELL TOLLS FOR THE 1st AMENDMENT IN CHICAGO

R.I.P.

R.I.P.

ZIONISTS LITERALLY KILL THE 1st AMENDMENT

Despite the Lamar Advertising Company’s policy of defending the 1st Amendment ….

Lamar had written earlier that over its more than 100 years in business, the firm has “developed a strong commitment to supporting the First Amendment right of advertisers who wish to use our medium to promote legal products and services or to convey noncommercial messages such as the one in Chicago.”

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…. A billboard in Chicago calling for a boycott of Israel will be removed following a public outcry.

The billboard in question ....

The billboard in question ….

Company to Remove Chicago Billboard Calling for Israel Boycott

Bella Ciao :(

Bella Ciao😦

A billboard in Chicago calling for a boycott of Israel will be removed following a public outcry.

Lamar Advertising, which leases billboards throughout the country, announced in a Facebook post on Friday that it would remove the billboard “as soon as possible.” Earlier in the day, also in a statement on Facebook, the company said it had received a “large number” of social media comments and hundreds of telephone calls protesting the billboard located on a major highway about five miles from O’Hare Airport.

The billboard sponsored by the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, or SEAMAC, is part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. It reads: “Boycott Israel until Palestinians have equal rights.”

Lamar had written earlier that over its more than 100 years in business, the firm has “developed a strong commitment to supporting the First Amendment right of advertisers who wish to use our medium to promote legal products and services or to convey noncommercial messages such as the one in Chicago.”

“We do not accept or reject copy based upon agreement or disagreement with the views presented. We think SEAMAC has a right to present their views and would also support the right of those who disagree with SEAMAC.”

After saying it would take down the billboard, Lamar said it “tried to contact SEAMAC to discuss these issues but have not received a reply to our telephone and email messages.”

In a post Saturday night on Facebook, SEAMAC said it received one phone call from Lamar Advertising, early in the morning due to the time difference between Seattle and Chicago, and that there were no emails or other attempts by the company to contact the organization.

The group is raising money to put the ad on public buses in several U.S. cities.

Only YOU can get a stay of execution by ….

IDF CLAMPING DOWN ON BLOGGERS

In yet another attempt to silence the truth, Bloggers are now targeted …

i-blog-therefore-i-am

IDF clamps down on web journalists

About 30 bloggers and webmasters receive order to submit articles to the military censor for approval before publication.

Yossi Gurvitz thought he was being pranked. The blogger behind the Facebook page “Friends of George” recently received a message from the military censor demanding that he forward all material before it is published in order to get approval.

The skeptical blogger called the censor and discovered the message was accurate. In the past few days, chief military censor Col. Ariella Ben-Avraham has sent missives to about 30 bloggers and webmasters demanding that they seek approval for articles dealing with “subjects that obligate examination”, such as those dealing with the IDF, in accordance with emergency regulations.

Gurvitz was furious. “I have no intention of meeting this demand,” he wrote. “The meaning of this demand is the eradication of new media in Israel, whose core is the speed of the response. I am examining legal proceedings available to me.”

Sources in the military censor’s office said that its legally-defined authorities “apply to every type of publication relating to national security”. Ben-Avraham told Yedioth Ahronoth: “the censor’s office works to monitor public online pages. It began back under the previous censor. We do not intent to apply the instructions on private profiles, but only public pages that defined themselves as dealing with news.”

It should be noted that the IDF can demand that bloggers submit their posts to the censor, but if they refuse, its ability to delete them is severely limited by the fact that Facebook controls the information. That said, governments around the world occasionally contact Facebook with a request to remove illegal content.

The company considers the requests and does make illegal content unavailable – but only in that country, which in this case means it is of limited use. On the other hand, violating the censor’s rules could lead to legal proceedings.

Source

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In depth report HERE

Israeli dissident ordered to submit Facebook posts to military censor

FACEBOOK JOINS THE CENSORSHIP WAR AGAINST LATUFF

“We were also suspended and got a couple of videos removed over a month ago. The new thing we have noticed is that pictures/videos can now be removed by Facebook even if they follow the so called community standards. This is scary because soon we will not be able to post anything, it seems. So yes we do believe Facebook’s pro-Israel policy is tightening the noose around our freedom of speech.”

Facebook censors cartoon critical of Israel

The Palestine Information Center (PIC), an independent Palestinian news website and network had their Facebook page temporarily suspended for publishing a 2009 cartoon by Brazilian political cartoonist Carlos Latuff. The graphic shows a woman walking and carrying a wounded child in front of an Israeli flag with one of the blue banners of the flag covering her mouth. Latuff’s text issued a warning:  “SHHHHHHHHHH!!! Denouncing Israeli War Crimes Is Anti-Semitism“.

This is not a far flung radical concept since criticism of Israel and/or issues relating to the U.S. relationship to Israel, including criticism or mention of the Israel lobby are continually lambasted as anti-Semitic. The examples are endless, even President Obama was accused of anti Semitism.

Recalling the war crimes committed during those gruesome 22 days in the winter of 2008-2009, when Israel pummeled the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,300 people, including over 300 children — articulated in the Goldstone Report (pdf) released in September 2009 — I asked Latuff if there was a specific incident that prompted him to draw the cartoon in 2009. “Nope, not a specific incident, just to highlight the censorship often found on Internet related to everything critical to Israel”.

Accusations of anti Semitism are, arguably, the very first line of defense by Israel’s ardent defenders. But draw or publish a cartoon about it? Censored on Facebook:

CYc2dawWMAAWmeE

Rami Salaam, an administrator of PIC’s English Facebook page told Mondoweiss “Cartoons are usually targeted by Facebook more than anything else. Maybe because they appeal to people everywhere. Latuff’s cartoons are widely shared on our page and maybe that is why it was removed.”

PIC was not warned or notified prior to the removal of the cartoon. “It just disappeared” according to Salaam. He continued, “When we tried to login we got a message saying that that cartoon was removed because it violates Facebook polices and that our account that posted the cartoon is suspended for 3 days. – The reason for the deletion and suspension is fickle and meaningless because the cartoon is not graphic nor does it incite any kind of violence. The reason given is “We removed the post below because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards.” They also threatened to delete the whole page.”

I asked Salaam if this was an isolated incident and he mentioned PIC was suspended for a day two weeks ago for posting this photograph of “an Orthodox Jew and his daughter both carrying guns.” He sent me this screenshot:

AOUTV0uN

“We were also suspended and got a couple of videos removed over a month ago. The new thing we have noticed is that pictures/videos can now be removed by Facebook even if they follow the so called community standards. This is scary because soon we will not be able to post anything, it seems. So yes we do believe Facebook’s pro-Israel policy is tightening the noose around our freedom of speech.”

Facebook Community Standards can be viewed here.

During her trip to the U.S. in November 2015, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely met with representatives of YouTube and Google to discuss ways her ministry could “cooperate” against “inflammatory material” she claimed was inciting violence and terror attacks. Curiously, recently I searched for current videos of Israeli violence against Palestinians on both Google and Youtube and the only videos readily available dated back to last October, nothing current. Strange.

The only vulgarity about this cartoon is the truth it helps expose. Responding to the news Facebook had removed his cartoon Latuff tweeted “This censorship proves EXACTLY the point of cartoon“. How ironic.

 

VIDEO ~~ CARLOS LATUFF SPEAKS OF HIS BAN IN TURKEY

See THIS first

And today’s toon ….

New Year’s Eve in Turkey

CXTjPK_WEAABCxm

#CensorshipInTurkey ~~ TOON OF THE HOUR

Images by Carlos Latuff

Turkey's Censorship Zone

Turkey’s Censorship Zone

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Erdogan advisor kicking protester cartoon was used by Turkey to make censorship order of Latuff Cartoons

Erdogan advisor kicking protester cartoon was used by Turkey to make censorship order of Latuff Cartoons

Above toon based on this photo

Erdogan advisor kicking protestor cartoon was used by Turkey to make censorship order of Latuff Cartoons

Erdogan advisor kicking protestor cartoon was used by Turkey to make censorship order of Latuff Cartoons

#CensorshipInTurkey ~~ CARLOS LATUFF’S TOONS BLOCKED

Erdogan thinks banning my blog in Turkey will prevent Turks to reach my toons, he can think again! More toons to come!:)

Toon of the day below ….

Turkey has issued an order to block my cartoon page! Erdogan's democracy at best!

Turkey has issued an order to block my cartoon page! Erdogan’s democracy at best!

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Turkey has issued an order to block my cartoon page!

Turkey has issued an order to block my cartoon page!

Important to highlight that my toon page isn’t the only to be blocked in Turkey. Leftist and Kurdish sites are also blocked.

CVqHnJtWcAEwOyh
Toon of the day

Turkey's Democracy Under Erdogan's Rule!

Turkey’s Democracy Under Erdogan’s Rule!

CENSORSHIP AS A WEAPON AGAINST PALESTINE

Incitement does indeed pose a threat to the future of Israelis and Palestinians. But it is to be found in the falsehoods promoted by Netanyahu and his ministers, not the bitter truths being posted on YouTube.

YouTube becomes Israel’s new battleground against Palestinians

YouTube censored

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

Once it fell to politicians and diplomats to solve international conflicts. Now, according to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, responsibility lies with social media.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, headed off to Silicon Valley to meet senior executives at Google and its subsidiary, YouTube, late last month. Her task was to persuade them that, for the sake of peace, they must censor the growing number of Palestinian videos posted on YouTube.

Netanyahu claims these videos spur other Palestinians to carry out attacks, exemplified by the weeks of stabbings and car rammings against Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Snuffing out freedom of expression

After the meeting, the Foreign Ministry issued a press release claiming Google had joined Israel’s “war against incitement”, and would establish a “joint apparatus” to prevent the posting of “inflammatory” videos. Google denied last week that any agreement was reached.

On other fronts of this so-called war, the Israeli army has shut down three West Bank radio stations, accusing them of fomenting unrest. And inside Israel, officials have shut a newspaper and a separate website catering to Israel’s large Palestinian minority.

Meanwhile, Palestinians, including children, are being arrested over their Facebook posts. Others accused by Netanyahu of spreading terror-like incitement include Hamas, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian education system, Palestinian parties in Israel’s parliament and human rights organisations.

There is a deep cynicism at work here.

True, Palestinians are enraged by footage showing their compatriots shot or executed by Israelis, often after they have been disarmed or cornered, or – in the case of two teenage girls last month – badly injured.

But in many cases such videos are posted not by Palestinians but by ordinary Israelis or their government as proof of a supposed Palestinian “barbarism”.

“Concealing Israel’s brutality from the eyes of the world”

Most Palestinian videos are simply a record of their bitter experiences of occupation at the hands of soldiers and settlers. It is these experiences, not the videos, that drive Palestinians to breaking point.

A “war on incitement” waged through YouTube and Facebook won’t change Palestinian suffering. But it may, Netanyahu presumably hopes, conceal Israel’s brutality from the eyes of the world.

Unrest has escalated of late not because of social media but because Palestinians, faced with an Israeli government implacably opposed to ending the occupation, are losing all hope.

Israel’s generals have warned Netanyahu that without a diplomatic process there will be no end to the attacks. Desperate to obscure this obvious truth, the Israeli right needs to blame everything apart from its own uncompromising ideology.

Israel’s battle against “incitement” is not just meant to deflect attention from the right’s failing policies. It is also a form of incitement itself, and it is no surprise the campaign is led by two masters of provocation: Netanyahu and Hotovely.

Israel has accused Palestinians of incitement for suggesting that A-Aqsa, the much-revered mosque in Jerusalem, is under threat, yet Hotovely recently said her “dream” was to see the Israeli flag flying at Al-Aqsa.

There was a reminder, too, of Netanyahu’s own dismal record. An investigation was dropped last month against the prime minister over his warnings, using Israeli terminology for a military emergency, that Palestinian citizens were coming out “in droves” to vote in March’s general election.

A consequence of government-inspired incitement is an ever uglier climate. In many towns, crowds calling “death to the Arabs” barely raise an eyebrow any more.

The justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, has backed a bill to stigmatise Israeli human-rights groups that receive foreign, mostly European, funding. And the culture minister, Miri Regev, demanded that films showing in an Israeli festival about the Nakba, the Palestinians’ mass dispossession in 1948, be vetted for “incitement” and the cinemas showing them threatened with defunding.

Public meetings with groups such as Breaking the Silence, Israeli army veterans who want to shed light on the occupation, are being cancelled under police pressure.

Government-backed fabrications

Netanyahu, meanwhile, is giving a free hand to far right news sites as they make false and pernicious claims.

One, Newsdesk Israel, took a four-year-old video of Palestinians revelling at their acceptance into the United Nations and repackaged it as footage of Palestinians celebrating Islamic State’s massacres in Paris. Another fabricated report suggested Palestinian citizens were proselytising for Islamic State by blasting its songs on their car stereos.

In fact, no target seems too big to avoid the Israeli right’s defamation – not even Europe, Israel’s largest trading partner.

Israeli politicians have misrepresented as a full-blown boycott the European Union’s recent tepid move to label products from illegal West Bank settlements and thereby deny them special customs exemptions reserved for Israeli products. The right argues Israel is being uniquely punished by Europe, when in truth the EU has enforced economic sanctions, not just labelling, against 36 countries.

Incitement does indeed pose a threat to the future of Israelis and Palestinians. But it is to be found in the falsehoods promoted by Netanyahu and his ministers, not the bitter truths being posted on YouTube.

#CensoringTheTruth ~~ ISRAEL,GOOGLE AND YOUTUBE COMBINE FORCES

'We won't allow the truth to set you free!'

‘We won’t allow the truth to set you free!’

The Israeli coordination with Google and YouTube has very serious implications, and many journalists have spoken out in opposition, saying it is a direct assault on the Freedom of the Press.

 

Israel To Coordinate With Google, YouTube, To Censor Palestinian Videos Of Conflict

By Saed Bannoura

The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, held meetings this week with representatives of YouTube and Google, to find ways of cooperating to censor Palestinian videos from occupied Palestine, videos she dubbed as “inciting violence and terrorism.”

Israeli daily Maariv said Hotovely will be working with Google and YouTube officials in a joint mechanism that will be in charge of “monitoring and preventing” any publication of materials deemed by Tel Aviv to be “inflammatory.”

Hotovely announced in a Hebrew-only press release that she met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, at Google’s Silicon Valley Offices.

Hotovely said that she received a comprehensive review mechanism for companies to monitor the films that allegedly incite violence, claiming that the supposed ‘incitement videos’ drive young children to go out and stab: “The attacks daily in Israel are the result of youths and children incited by the education system and the social networks, this is a daily war of incitement.”

She said that Google agreed to strengthen the bilateral relations with Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and build a mechanism of “collaborative work” that would make both parties partners in monitoring the published materials and censoring them.

The Israeli move comes amidst escalating tension in occupied Palestine, and a large number of videos, including those showing Israeli soldiers and officers killing Palestinians execution-style after injuring them, and many videos that in general highlight the suffering of the Palestinian people, living under the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The Israeli coordination with Google and YouTube has very serious implications, and many journalists have spoken out in opposition, saying it is a direct assault on the Freedom of the Press.

All foreign journalists who report in the Occupied Territories are required to register with the Israeli military, and any footage that they film is required to go through the Israeli Military Censor’s office before it can be released.

With the recent advances in technology, many Palestinians and other civilians have been able to post videos uncensored online.

The Israeli government has frequently voiced its discontent with this development, and have worked to find ways to continue to censor videos coming out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Via IMEMC

ISRAELI TERROR GONE VIRAL THEN REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE …

… YouTube removed the video claiming it violated their “terms of service”

Obviously the TRUTH about Israeli terror is a violation 

BUT

One of my faithful readers found it again and sent it to me …. here it is

Thanks Nanette

The video originally appeared on THIS post

BRAVE PALESTINIAN WOMEN STAND UP TO THE OCCUPATION

Another part of the video which appeared on Ma’an

Also found on RINF

MUST READS …..

Yesterday I posted about the smear campaign conducted by the British Media (Click on links)

UK BEX ALERT ~~ BRITISH MEDIA NOMINATES PALESTINIAN ACTIVISTS FOR ACADEMY AWARD

Mondoweiss added two related articles today

 The ‘Pallywood’ smear: Viral images of Palestinian boy’s brutalization brings backlash 

  Meet the teenage girls behind the viral photo from Nabi Saleh

ISRAELI ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE THE TRUTH

The truth has become the greatest enemy of Israel ….

truth-hate-speach

Legislation being proposed by Israel’s new right-wing government threatens to severely limit the work of B’Tselem and scores of other Israeli NGOs that receive millions of dollars each year in donations from foreign governments and foundations.

Human Rights Groups Feel Heat From New Israel Government

 

On a backstreet in Jerusalem sit the sparse offices of B’Tselem, an Israeli organization that has long been a bane of successive governments, tirelessly flagging military abuses in occupied Palestinian territory.

Set up by a group of academics, lawyers and politicians more than 25 years ago, the NGO – whose name means “in the image of” and is a synonym in Hebrew for human dignity – has at times portrayed itself as the conscience of the nation.

But legislation being proposed by Israel’s new right-wing government threatens to severely limit the work of B’Tselem and scores of other Israeli NGOs that receive millions of dollars each year in donations from foreign governments and foundations.

While the legislation is in draft form, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party says she is determined to crack down on those who take foreign money and then criticize Israel, accusing the NGOs of “eroding the legitimacy of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.”

An earlier legislative draft she submitted before rising to cabinet rank after a March election proposed a tax of up to 45 percent on foreign donations unless otherwise approved by a committee of defense and foreign ministry officials.

From the point of view of advocacy groups, the proposals are a dangerous step that would put Israel in a category with the likes of Russia, Turkey and neighboring Egypt, which often struggle to accept internal criticism and have banned some NGOs.

“A super-enormous battle is being waged for the future of our society,” said Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem’s spokeswoman and a veteran activist who has spent years gathering evidence of alleged transgressions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“What we have here are many years of intense efforts to discredit Israel’s human rights community, primarily related to our work exposing human rights violations.”

“ATTACK ON SOVEREIGNTY”

Showing the government is determined to penalize those it believes are tarnishing Israel, Culture Minister Miri Regev said on Wednesday she will cut state funds for artists who are deemed to be overtly sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle.

“Whoever delegitimises the State of Israel will not get budgets from the state,” Regev told Army Radio, promising to withdraw funds from an Israeli Arab actor who had refused to perform in a Jewish settlement built in occupied territory.

Amongst the projects to be hit are a mixed-race children’s theater that the actor, Norman Issa, runs near Tel Aviv. Issa said he felt he was being “extorted” over his political views.

Joshua Sobol, an Israeli playwright, denounced the move. “(Regev) is acting contrary to the policy of generations of Israeli governments,” he told Walla news site.

There are more than 30,000 NGOs registered in Israel, about half of them active. But the focus of frustration for Shaked and her supporters are around 70 whose work focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and which receive funds either from the European Union as a whole, or individual governments, including Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Norway.

NGO Monitor, an Israeli group set up to track the sector, and in its words make it more accountable, maintains a database of foreign funding to NGOs, using figures the organizations themselves are obliged to provide under Israeli law.

The figures show that just over 100 million shekels ($26 million) was donated to 24 of the most active NGOs during 2012-2014, including Breaking the Silence, which collects anonymous testimony from Israeli soldiers; and Adalah, a legal rights organization focused on the Palestinians.

B’Tselem, one of the main recipients, says it was given 13.3 million shekels from U.S. and European donors in that period, accounting for about two thirds of its entire funding.

If Shaked’s bill were to pass, Michaeli reckons B’Tselem could keep operating, albeit with a much reduced budget. Other, smaller NGOs might be forced to shut down.

But it is not so much the potential loss of funding that has NGO advocates alarmed, as the message that such legislation sends, even if it doesn’t secure parliamentary backing.

In a country that has traditionally taken dissent on the chin, the move to clamp down reveals a new, thinner skin, one less accepting of opposing opinion, especially from those regarded as having a left-wing agenda.

“There’s a sense on the Israeli right that progressive or liberal viewpoints are a danger and that something has to be done about it,” said Matt Duss, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington, DC.

“It creates a hostile environment for those who express legitimate criticism and would put Israel in some very bad company.”

It remains unclear how much backing Shaked will get for her bill, but she looks determined to test the waters.

NGO Monitor, which has questioned the accuracy of data gathered by groups like B’Tselem, says it does not support any legislation that would punish the NGO community.

But its head, Gerald Steinberg, accuses B’Tselem and others of waging “a very dangerous form of warfare” against Israel and says legislation is needed to combat “the destructive European policy of funding political NGOs.”

Others see a different objective.

“Members of the government are out to settle scores,” said Duss, mentioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election-day criticism of unspecified left-wing groups that he accused of helping to take Israeli-Arab voters to the polls.

“It’s part of a broader effort to limit the political space, to constrict the freedom of opposing views,” said Duss.—Reuters

WHERE ARE THE WOMEN IN THE NEW ISRAELI GOVERNMENT?

Once again the ultra-‘orthodox’ removed the faces of the women, this time, in Netanyahu’s Cabinet ….

Female ministers? That’s immodest: Ultra-Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim has blurred the faces of the Israeli government’s new female members in the traditional picture at the President’s Residence due to the haredi practice not to publish women’s pictures for “modesty” reasons.

The evolution of censorship: First, only ministers' face blurred (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

The evolution of censorship: First, only ministers’ face blurred (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

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Now, minister's legs blurred too (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

Now, minister’s legs blurred too (Photo: GPO, Behadrei Haredim)

Haredi website censors female ministers from government picture

Behadrei Haredim posts traditional government picture taken at President’s Residence, but blurs faces of Ministers Gila Gamliel, Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev; amended picture censors Minister Regev’s legs as well.

Female ministers? That’s immodest: Ultra-Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim has blurred the faces of the Israeli government’s new female members in the traditional picture at the President’s Residence due to the haredi practice not to publish women’s pictures for “modesty” reasons.

Different organizations slammed the “despicable exclusion,” calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene and work to stop it.

In the picture which was published on the website Tuesday, the faces of Ministers Gila Gamliel, Ayelet Shaked and Miri Regev were blurred in accordance with the norms of most haredi media outlets and of the public domain in the haredi sector. Regev’s legs, by the way, remained exposed – which caused many on social networks to ridicule the website’s modesty norms – but were later blurred as well.

Galia Wolloch, chairwoman of the Na’amat movement, wrote in an appeal to the prime minister that the incident was “a great offense to women and an attempt to exclude them and even make them disappear completely,” and that the new female ministers were being treated “as criminals if not worse.”

According to Wolloch, the blurring of the women is even more offensive in light of the fact that one of those women is the gender equality minister – a role which aims to eradicate gender discrimination cases.

“This is an outrageous and offensive publication, a serious offense to the Israeli government and the presidency, and a serious offense to all women,” Wolloch wrote. “The Israeli government’s female ministers are not criminals and should not have to conceal their faces… Excluding them from the public domain and from the eye of the public is simply intolerable.”

‘Unnecessary vulgarity’

The Na’amat women turned to Netanyahu as the communications minister as well, asking him to ensure that the website would no longer be able to act in a way which offends, excludes and degrades female ministers and women in general in the State of Israel.

They further noted that “a picture issued by the Government Press office must be published in the exact way it was issued, without changing it and without degrading the photographed people.”

Attorney Rabbi Uri Regev, CEO of the Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality association, said in response to the censored picture: “It’s sad that the Behadrei Haredim website has reached the 21st century from a technological perspective, but is still in the Middle Ages when it comes to the exclusion of women. No one demanded that the haredi media outlets publish the government picture. They could have omitted it, like some of them did. Censoring the picture is unnecessary vulgarity.”

Regev added, “It’s unclear why the website, which is so sensitive about the haredi public’s image in issues like the attacks on haredi soldiers, couldn’t have demonstrated the proper sensitivity in this case as too. It’s unclear why the website’s editors think that the haredi representatives in the government can sit with women, cooperate with them and pose for pictures with them – but that the pictures must not be published.”

He offered an answer: “State funds ‘purify’ women.”

The censored picture was shared on many social media groups, where it was condemned and criticized.

The Behadrei Haredim website offered the following response: “‘Behadrei Haredim’ is the biggest haredi website in the world, and we would like to stress the word ‘haredi.’ As such, it does not publish pictures of women on its homepage, unlike other websites which pretend to be haredi. The haredi press has never and will never feature pictures of women. The basic right of freedom of expression does not stop at the entrance to Bnei Brak.”

Source

If only it was that easy to get rid of the ultra right extremists in the government😉

 

 

NEW YORK TIMES ~~ A LETTER NOT FIT TO PRINT

'All the Pro Israeli News that's fit we print'

‘All the Pro Israeli News that’s fit we print’

In line with their pro Israeli, anti Palestinian polices, the New York Times found the response to THIS Editorial unfit to print …

We present it here!

To the Editor:

Re “The Embattled Dream of Palestine” (By The Editorial Board, Dec. 19, 2014):

Readers expect greater accuracy from NYT’s editorials.

To deem Palestinian’s frustration with nearly 50 years of Israeli military occupation as, “resentment of Israeli rule that leads to unrest” is a pale attempt to dilute the horrific reality on the ground. Employing such language outright ignores the fact that, except for Israel (the occupying force) the entire world (U.S. included) has deemed the state of affairs as a “military occupation.”

Likewise, when the Editorial claims that, “successive Israeli governments, including that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have long negotiated on the basis of a two-state solution,” one is led to believe that fact checking has lost its role in journalism. Not only has Prime Minister Netanyahu made multiple, recent public statements defying any notion of a solution based on two states, his party, Likud, has yet to insert its support for two states into its political platform.

Another deep flaw in this piece is stating that Israel “withdrew from Gaza in 2005.” They did nothing of the sort. Even Israel itself did not call it “withdraw,” but rather “Unilateral Disengagement.” The international community has made it clear, over and over, that Gaza today is just as militarily occupied as Ramallah or East Jerusalem.

Sincerely,
Sam Bahour
Policy Advisor, Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network

ZION’S INTERNET WAR

3404484192

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Over the past few years more than 5 million readers have been directed to this Blog via links at What Really Happened. These people are not strangers to what is known as a DOS Attack which renders a particular site ‘unavailable’ for a given time period. For years now, WRH readers have occasionally been denied access to the site because of these attacks. They have not been the only victim of these frequent attacks, other wonderful sites such as Uruknet have also suffered from them. One can show their appreciation to these sites by visiting them frequently and even better, by contributing financially to them. Their continued existence depends on your support. Contributions can be made via these links provided; WRH, Uruknet.

A DDoS attack “is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources,” according to Digital Attack Map, a website sponsored by Google that tracks such attacks. “They target a wide variety of important resources, from banks to news websites, and present a major challenge to making sure people can publish and access important information.”

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ON THE INTERNET!

ON THE INTERNET!

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The latest targets have been Palestinian News sites, which makes it obvious who the attackers are. It was always assumed that these interruptions in service were the work of zionist hackers, but the report below confirms that.

It’s amazing that rather than change the ugly truth about the evils of zionism, their tactic is simply to hide it with these methods ….

IT WON’T WORK!

7bc4c5b87c3fc11f406b3dd9bfc811e4

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Palestine news websites, including EI,

knocked offline by Internet attackers

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The Electronic Intifada was forced offline for more than six hours on Monday by a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

This came days after IMEMC (International Middle East Media Center), another Palestine-focused online publication, was subjected to a similar attack.

A DDoS attack “is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources,” according to Digital Attack Map, a website sponsored by Google that tracks such attacks. “They target a wide variety of important resources, from banks to news websites, and present a major challenge to making sure people can publish and access important information.”

DDoS attacks do not require a breach of a target’s own security but rather assault it from the outside – though they do rely on breaches of security on other people’s computers.

“Attackers build networks of infected computers, known as ‘botnets,’ by spreading malicious software through emails, websites and social media,” says Digital Attack Map.

“Once infected, these machines can be controlled remotely, without their owners’ knowledge, and used like an army to launch an attack against any target.”

There are more than two thousand such attacks observed daily worldwide, says Digital Attack Map, which produces visualizations of DDoS attacks such as the one at the top of this post.

A form of censorship

DDoS attacks are widely seen as a threat to freedom of expression, prompting several initiatives to protect potential targets.

“The Internet is a powerful tool for spreading and expanding ideas. However, websites can be knocked offline easily through a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack – censoring important voices,” says Project Galileo. “Public interest websites that cover political or artistic content are often the target of these attacks.”

Project Galileo is a collaboration between the web services company CloudFlare and more than twenty civil society and Internet freedom groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union “to protect politically and artistically important organizations and journalists against attacks that would otherwise censor their work.”

Project Shield is an initiative with similar goals sponsored by Google.

Despite these efforts, DDoS attacks have proven difficult to prevent and those who launch them are difficult to identify. The Electronic Intifada, like many targets, was taking measures to protect against an attack, and is examining what it can learn from Monday’s incident.

Sometimes, however, Internet companies can be unsupportive. “The IMEMC was recently hit by a denial of service attack. Unfortunately, our previous provider refused to help secure the site, and we were forced to change provider,” editor Saed Bannoura told The Electronic Intifada. “Instead, they blamed the victim, and took our site offline.”

While IMEMC was down, it continued publishing news on its Facebook page.

Massive surge in interest

The DDoS attacks come in the wake of Israel’s summertime massacre in Gaza which saw a surge of interest in Palestine-related news.

Bannoura said IMEMC saw a jump in traffic from “two million hits per month to ten million hits per month” during the Gaza attack.

The Electronic Intifada also saw a massive increase in its readership, with more than 15 million pageviews during the 51 days of the attack on Gaza – a two thousand percent increase over the same period in 2013.

The good news is that independent news organizations are taking an ever more prominent and effective role in circumventing mainstream corporate and public media’s self-censorship on Palestine. The bad news is that this may make them more prominent targets for those who want to silence them.

“As a news website that provides daily updates from occupied Palestine, we face constant threats and harassment, but we will not be intimidated, and will continue to provide factual accurate reports from Palestine,” IMEMC’s Bannoura said.

The Electronic Intifada will, of course, be doing the same.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM Vs FREEDOM

e849fb3347785f96e8cb79d7b61ff2a5.450x364x1

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The silencing of Salaita is thus far more profound than a mere silencing of speech – it is an attack at the very heart of freedom for all people(s). That is why — and how — we must continue to oppose it.

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Free speech vs. freedom

(Jeffrey Putney/Flickr)
By Heike Schotten* FOR

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I am going to use this space once again to talk about the despicable un-hiring of Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois (I wrote about the Salaita case and what I called The Incivility of Palestinians, last month as well).

I am going to do this because, despite the fact that the academic boycott of the University of Illinois continues apace (there is even, it seems, the rise of a progressive Jewish-identified contingentchampioning Salaita), facile comparisons of Salaita’s case and circumstances with those of various unsavory others are also proliferating.These comparisons are so thick-headed, so tin-eared, so ham-fisted, that they nearly defy imagination.

And yet — they are so revealing of American culture in their epistemological and political presuppositions that their clumsiness subsequently fails to impress, confirming rather the ineffable liberal imperialism of the new American way.

The first comparison, drawn by persistent academic freedom leftie John K. Wilson, is between Salaita and University of Illinois adjunct professor of Religion Kenneth Howell. In emails to students as well as in class, Howell disparaged homosexuality as contrary to nature. In the wake of student complaints, Howell’s department chair opted not to rehire him. The U of I’s Board of Trustees overruled the decision, however, saying that students have no right not to be offended.

In this case, it is not Wilson’s comparison that is the problem; he accurately notes the profound hypocrisy at work in the Board’s subsequent un-hiring of Salaita on grounds that his tweets on social media (outside the classroom) were “uncivil” and might make potential or future students uncomfortable (inside the classroom) in the wake of its decision to retain Howell.

Instead, what’s striking about the Howell comparison is how it makes sense of U of I Board member Patrick Fitzgerald’s otherwise totally bizarre comments at the meeting wherein Salaita was voted down.

Fitzgerald prefaced his vote against Salaita by stating that he could not vote to appoint anyone who engaged in hate speech and, choosing a specific example, said he could never approve someone who made homophobic remarks.

But, of course, Salaita was never accused of homophobia, nor does homophobia seem — necessarily — to have any bearing on his case.

The other injudicious association was made by Michelle Goldberg in her now-notorious Nation articlewherein she compares Salaita with infamous Islamophobe Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

In a wince-worthy set of sentences, Goldberg concludes,

The fact is, both Salaita and Hirsi Ali are complicated, inflammatory figures who have, in the face of shocking moral outrages, said outrageous things. They will make some students intensely and understandably uncomfortable — some might even say “triggered.” If you’re going to argue that students have a right not to be so discomfited, then you’d have to take a stand against both of them, which would be a stand in favor of a grimly censorious, anodyne university climate. The alternative is to defend free speech and academic liberty, and not just for those whose views seem righteous.

Leaving aside the ongoing controversies about “trigger warnings” in the American college classroom, what is remarkable about Goldberg’s argument here is her easy ability to equate someone who defends a colonized people in the throes of an ongoing massacre (Salaita) with someone who supports colonization of those same people and defends that ongoing massacre (Hirsi Ali).

(AP/Seth Perlman)

If we recall that Salaita was un-hired on the basis of the incivility of his speech, however, these preposterous comparisons begin to make more sense. They make clear that, as many anti-racist queer studies scholars and activists have argued, being “pro-gay” and “anti-Islam” are not simply acceptable forms of speech in the US but, more trenchantly, they define the very contours of American exceptionalism, civilizationalism, and imperialism.

Indeed, although Trustee Fitzgerald was not on the Board at the time of the Howell decision, it’s no accident that the example of unacceptable hate speech he reached for was homophobia.

As Fitzgerald suggests, defending the lives, existence, and rights of Palestinians is akin to homophobia — it is hate speech. It violates the intensified, post-9/11 patriotic imperative to profess allegiance to the project of pacifying Muslims both at home and abroad.

In that sense, Fitzgerald is right. Championing gay rights — much less making them the litmus test for Islam’s civilization — is part and parcel of this late day American update on the mission civilisatrice.

Standing staunchly on the free speech soapbox, by contrast, Goldberg finesses her equation of Salaita and Hirsi Ali by saying we can’t distinguish between the two on the basis of “whose views seem righteous.”

And yet, it is plainly obvious that we can.

While people like Goldberg may be unclear about such matters, I myself find it not terribly difficult to distinguish between Steven Salaita and Ayaan Hirsi Ali or, for that matter, between Steven Salaita and a homophobic Catholic. I know with which person I want to be in a room, on a committee, designing a curriculum, or evaluating colleagues for personnel decisions. I know which person I’d prefer to have in a classroom and which person I’d want in my own department.

I want the one who is committed to liberation, the one who speaks and thinks and hears with and from those from below, the one who understands that freedom isn’t a matter of choosing from a diversity of options in a “marketplace of ideas” but rather a reaching toward the fulfillment of justice and freedom for all people(s).

It’s also clear which person university administrators, the state, and those in significant positions of power would like in our departments and classrooms. To suggest that these differences are merely matters of opinion or undecidable controversies characterized by two equal sides evacuates them of political content and veils the hierarchies at work in determining which views are deemed “controversial” in the first place.

In his essay for the recent edited volume, The Imperial University, Vijay Prashad writes:

The struggle over “academic freedom,” as it is generally constituted, is more than that of a principle, but it is over ideas. The principle is against the creation of the very social force that would allow our ideas to have cultural valence. That is what makes its defense insufficient.

Vijay Prashad speaking at Occupy Boston in 2011 (Youtube screenshot)

As I argued last month, the un-hiring of Salaita is both an example and a perpetuation of colonialism. This means that, as Prashad makes clear, defending Salaita on the basis of academic freedom alone is not enough, since that very framework is the one which renders equivocal the difference between racism and anti-racism, hate speech and solidarity.

In silencing and exiling Salaita, the neoliberal American university has engaged in one of the most egregious acts of colonial silencing to date, all the more shocking for its unabashed nakedness.

But make no mistake: this is not simply a denial of academic freedom (although it is that). It is also an attack on the very people, forces, movements, and ideas that seek to upend the imperial university and the empire it serves.

This is why the attack on Salaita is an attack on all of us, and not only in the sense of the solidarity statements we put on our signs at marches declaring “We are all Palestinian.”

(Katherine Mukhar)

The attack on Salaita is an attack on all of us in the sense that it is an attack on the great majority who stand outside the halls of power or even, in the case of academia, within them, but in an oppositional stance toward the machinations of those in power.

The silencing of Salaita is thus far more profound than a mere silencing of speech – it is an attack at the very heart of freedom for all people(s). That is why — and how — we must continue to oppose it.

*Heike Schotten is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she teaches political theory, feminist theory, and queer theory (her work is available here). She has been active in the Palestine solidarity movement since 2006.

SALAITA BREAKS THE SILENCE ON HIS SILENCING

Steven Salaita broke his silence today for the first time since administrators at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) fired him from a tenured position in the American Indian Studies program more than a month ago.

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Breaking silence, Salaita calls on Univ.

of Illinois to rescind his firing over

Gaza tweets

SPEAK NOT AND FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE

THE ISRAEL LOBBY’S NEW MANTRA FOR AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES
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Raw power – intimidation, denial of tenure, firings and other kinds of discipline – are being used to try to stop the growth of Palestine solidarity on campus.

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“Civility” is the Israel lobby’s new

weapon against free speech on US

campuses

“Civility” comes in many forms, sometimes wearing a uniform. (Ali Abunimah)

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As I was driving through Indiana en route to Michigan this weekend, I saw this billboard for a local sheriff’s election campaign. There, above the uniformed police officer with his military-style crew cut, is the slogan “Return to Civility.”

It seemed the perfect metaphor for what “civility” has come to mean on US campuses: the forceful policing, at the behest of Israel lobby groups, of any discourse or activism critical of Israel.

In the wake of Israel’s latest Gaza massacre, the civility police are cracking down hard. Most notoriously, administrators and trustees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have used the excuse of “civility” to fire Steven Salaita for his strong criticisms of, among other things, Israel’s slaughter of hundreds of children in Gaza.

But civility crackdowns are now breaking out across the country. Another alarming case involves a student at Ohio University.

Pouring cold water on free speech

Last week Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis challenged the newly elected student senate president Megan Marzec to take the “ice bucket challenge.” This is a stunt where someone pours a bucket of ice water over their head on video to raise awareness of the disease ALS.

It has become a very mainstream activity which allows the participant to appear philanthropic at no political risk (former President George W. Bush took the “challenge,”inadvertently recalling his administration’s use of water-boarding as a form of torture).

But what Marzec did – as Palestinians have done with their own “rubble bucket challenge” – is to subvert the meme.

She made a video in which she pours a bucket of fake blood over her head to protest Israel’s abuse of Palestinians.

“I’m urging you and OU [Ohio University] to divest and cut all ties with academic and other Israeli institutions and businesses,” Marzec says in the 50-second video that she posted on her Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

“This bucket of blood symbolizes the thousands of displaced and murdered Palestinians, atrocities which OU is directly complacent in through cultural and economic support of the Israeli state,” she adds. (The original instance of the video is no longer available but I am including this copy in my post because I believe people should see that it is, contrary to the lurid criticisms, rather tame, polite and indeed civil.)

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Marzec was quickly and swiftly denounced. The Twitter account of the Student Senate tweeted: “On behalf of the student senate, we humbly apologize for the video President Megan Marzec posted.”

The campus group Bobcats for Israel and Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity, called for her resignation.

“In part of the video she promotes the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, which is anti-Semitic,” one student critic told The Cleveland Jewish News.

Marzec herself has reported receiving death threats for her protest. She showed The Athens Post newspaper messages she’d been sent that “ridiculed her as a woman, among other insults,” and said that she’s been subjected to “a whole slew of very vile things.”

But she strongly defended her protest. “It’s clear to me that my video was not anti-Semitic,” she told The Post. “Any reframing of the video is caused by outrage that I am standing in solidarity with oppressed Palestinians.”

More than 600 people have signed an online petition in “solidarity with Megan Marzec’s right of free speech to publicly state her political opinions on the liberation of Palestine.” It also condemns “any attempt to employ threats and/or acts of interpersonal violence to intimidate Ohio University students into silence.”

“Civility”

Enter the president of Ohio University, who has come down not on the side of Palestinians victimized by massive Israeli violence, not on the side of Marzec who was trying to draw attention to that violence, and not against those denigrating and threatening her.

Instead, the university and President McDavis issued a campus-wide call for “civility”that criticized only Marzec.

“Her actions do not reflect the position of Ohio University or President McDavis,” the university statement says. “We recognize the rights of individual students to speak out on matters of public concern and we will continue to do so, but want to be clear that the message shared today by her is not an institutional position or a belief held by President McDavis.”

And then here is the “civility” punchline (emphasis added):

In a university community of our size, there are many issues that merit our attention and dialogue. As stewards of the public trust, we have a responsibility to encourage the free exchange of ideas. For it is through dialogue on conflicting views that we will move toward mutual understanding.

I take great pride in the fact that Ohio University is a community that tackles hard issues head-on. The conflict in Israel and Gaza is no exception. But the manner in which we conduct ourselves as we exercise our right to free speech is of utmost importance.

In my First Year Student Convocation address, I emphasized the idea that we are a University family. As members of a University family, we will not always agree,but we should respect one another. And when we engage in difficult dialogue on issues such as this, we must do so with civility and a deep appreciation for the diverse and resilient international community in which we live.

Who is being protected?

There is much to be said about McDavis’ invocation of the “family” – with all its connotations of patriarchy, hierarchy, privacy, discipline and infantilization as a metaphor – but I will leave that for another day.

There are important unstated assumptions in McDavis’ statement. Notably, he seems to be saying that by criticizing Israeli violence against Palestinians, and urging the institution to end its complicity, Marzec was somehow targeting and injuring a component of the campus community or “family.”

Unless there is a brigade of the Israeli army with particularly sensitive feelings permanently stationed on campus, this cannot be the case.

Rather, the implication seems to be that criticism of Israel and its actions is deemed offensive to Jewish students. This is certainly implied by the intervention of the Jewish fraternity.

But we must always reject the equation of Jewish students with the State of Israel, no matter how often pro-Israel groups and university administrations insist on it.

This is the Israel lobby’s new tactic, as I have argued in my recent book The Battle for Justice in Palestine: to equate criticism of Israel or solidarity with Palestinians with “hate speech,” “hate crimes” or even attacks on an individual such as sexual or racial violence that must be ultimately subject to university or juridical discipline and punishment.

In the case of Salaita, this meant the loss of his job based on libelous and speculative claims that his statements about Israel would mean students in his classroom might be endangered.

In the same vein, when Palestine solidarity groups have distributed mock eviction notices as a tactic to educate peers on campus about Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes, they have usually faced false allegations from Zionist groups that the dorm rooms of Jewish students were “targeted.”

It is in this context that Students for Justice in Palestine at Northeastern University was banned last Spring, an unprecedented act of repression that the administration onlyrescinded after a fierce student campaign and a national outcry. The year before they were banned, Northeastern SJP had been forced to sign a “civility statement,” following an organized walk-out of a talk given by Israeli soldiers.

This is the same basic idea behind the wave of complaints against various universities made by Zionist individuals and organizations under Title VI of the US Civil Rights Act in recent years alleging that campus Palestine solidarity activism was making Jewish students feel “unsafe.”

While the strategy has so far failed at the legal level, it is succeeding with university administrations, who are rushing to issue “civility” statements explicitly or implicitly targeting utterers of speech critical of Israel.

It cannot be mere coincidence that Nicholas Dirks, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, sent an email to the entire campus community last week also calling for “civility.”

Ostensibly marking the 50th anniversary of Berkeley’s famed Free Speech Movement, Dirks said, “we can only exercise our right to free speech insofar as we feel safe and respected in doing so, and this in turn requires that people treat each other with civility.”

What does “civility” mean in this context? Does it mean saying “please,” “thank you,” “sir” and “ma’am” to war criminals? Or does it mean electing a sheriff instead of a professor to run a university to make everyone feel “safe” and secure?

(A similar statement has also just been issued from Penn State University. No particular cause is mentioned as prompting the statement and it does not mention Palestine, but I expect to see more of these.)

Dirks, as I recount in The Battle for Justice in Palestine, was the vice president at Columbia University who, prior to taking his new job at Berkeley, boasted about his role in the witch-hunt against Professor Joseph Massad.

Losing their grip

Zionism is losing its grip. It has lost the substantive debate on the past and future of Palestine in the academy. It no longer has a hold on the hearts and minds of young people the way it did in the years after the 1967 War.

Many of the Jewish students whose “safety” is being invoked to justify the campus crackdowns are joining – and in some cases leading – chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and similar groups.

Key Israel lobby groups, as I explain in the book, see US campuses as the battleground on which the future of US support for Israel will be secured or lost.

Raw power – intimidation, denial of tenure, firings and other kinds of discipline – are being used to try to stop the growth of Palestine solidarity on campus.

Corporatized university administrations across the country are fully complicit in this repression. And this iron fist is being wrapped in the velvet glove of “civility.”

#OccupyFaceBook

truth hate speech

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It’s one thing for an Israeli soldier to post his venom on FaceBook or Instagram …. BUT when a Palestinian speaks his piece, that’s a different story …

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An Israeli court in Petah Tikva extended the detention of Suhaib Zahida, 31, until Sept. 4, after he was arrested on Thursday for creating a page on Facebook called “the Intifada of Hebron” in addition to leading a campaign for the boycott of Israeli products.

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Israel extends detention of Palestinian for Facebook posts

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(MaanImages/file)
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HEBRON (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Friday extended the detention of a Palestinian activist who was detained for political activities on Facebook for a week, a Ma’an reporter said on Saturday.

An Israeli court in Petah Tikva extended the detention of Suhaib Zahida, 31, until Sept. 4, after he was arrested on Thursday for creating a page on Facebook called “the Intifada of Hebron” in addition to leading a campaign for the boycott of Israeli products.

Zahida had previously participated in several nonviolent campaigns opposing the Israeli occupation and was an active member of groups working to oppose the recruitment of Palestinian citizens of Israel to the Israeli military.

Palestinians inside Israel have been previously detained for short periods of time and questioned regarding their political activities on Facebook, but such arrests rarely occur in the West Bank.

In October, Israeli authorities arrested Palestinian citizen of Israel Razi al-Nabulsi, 23, for a week as a result of Facebook posts they argued constituted “incitement.”

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