FRANCE’S NEW DEMOCRACY ~~ #BurkiniBan

If it is OK for a man to wear it, why is it illegal for a woman to wear it?

If it is OK for a man to wear it, why is it illegal for a woman to wear it?

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This is what it used to be like ...

This is what it used to be like …

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This is what it is like today ...

This is what it is like today … (By Latuff)

Related (Click on link)

#BurkiniBan

Meanwhile in Canada ….

Justin Trudeau rules out burkini ban in Canada

Canadian PM defends individual freedoms and says Canadians value ‘acceptance, openness, friendship, understanding’

Justin Trudeau bemoaned instances where governments preach tolerance but act to undermine individual rights. Photograph: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

Justin Trudeau bemoaned instances where governments preach tolerance but act to undermine individual rights. Photograph: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, has defended individual rights and freedoms when asked about a controversy in France over a burkini ban.

“We should be past tolerance in Canada,” Trudeau said after meeting with his ministers to plan the government’s legislative agenda.

The prime minister dismissed the idea of a burkini ban in Canada.

“In Canada, can we speak of acceptance, openness, friendship, understanding? It is about where we are going and what we are going through every day in our diverse and rich communities,” he said.

Some lawmakers in Canada’s Quebec province have called for outlawing “burkinis” – body-concealing Islamic swimsuits – following bans in at least 15 towns in France’s southeast.

They include the French Riviera resort town of Nice, the target of a jihadist attack on July 14, with the proponents citing the need to prevent public disorder.

Trudeau called for “the respect of individual rights and choices.”

This, he said, should be “at the top of public discourse and debate”.

Trudeau bemoaned instances where governments preached tolerance but acted to undermine individual rights, saying with irony: “Tolerating someone means accepting their right to exist on the condition that they don’t disturb us too, too much.”

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THE REAL MEANING OF ISRAELI ‘COUNTERTERRORISM’

THE REAL VICTIMS

Every year, the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. For 25 Years, our lawyers have defended thousands of these children in the Israeli military court system. This is Osama’s story.

Israeli “counterterrorism” means abuse and torture of children

This brief video illustrates the fear instilled in young Palestinians, mostly boys, arrested by Israeli occupation forces, often during night raids.

Produced by Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), it features 14-year-old Osama, who was taken from his home in the West Bank during a raid at 3am one night.

“It was the worst feeling to be far away from family and friends,” Osama says. He spent four months in an Israeli prison for allegedly throwing stones.

In a report released at the end of July, Human Rights Watch lists Israel among six countries that have adopted far-reaching “counterterrorism” policies that have led to sweeping arrests of children.

Israel joins Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria as governments Human Rights Watch describes as “trampling on children’s rights in a misguided and counterproductive response to conflict-related violence.”

“The indefinite detention and torture of children needs to stop,” said Jo Becker, the organization’s director of children rights advocacy.

Not a week goes by when about a dozen to as many as 38 Palestinian children from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are arrested.

In June, Israel extended administrative detention orders for seven children.

Solitary confinement as coercion

Israel appear to be increasing the use of solitary confinement against Palestinian child detainees to pressure them during interrogations. One 16-year-old boy spent 22 days in isolation.

“The practice of using solitary confinement on children, for any duration, is a clear violation of international law, as it amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and in some cases, torture,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP.

Israel doesn’t use solitary confinement for disciplinary, protective or medical reasons, according to DCIP’s documentation, but as an interrogation tool.

Children are confined in cells that barely fit a mattress while they undergo lengthy interrogations during which Israeli authorities attempt to extract confessions or more information on other people, according to DCIP.

“The cell was closed tightly and had no windows, except two ventilations gaps,” 17-year-old Rami K. told DCIP.

“The walls were gray, which hurt my eyes, and the surface was coarse, so I could not lean on them. The cell had a sink and a toilet, but the toilet had a nasty smell. The lights were on the entire time.”

Rami was held for 16 days in isolation while being interrogated. The interrogation was drawn out over hours, during which his wrists and ankles were bound to a metal chair.

Blaming Palestinian culture

Israel defended its treatment of children earlier this month, following criticism by several countries at the United Nations Security Council.

Amit Heumann, the legal adviser to Israel’s UN mission, blamed Palestinians for Israel’s treatment of them.

“It is the responsibility of leaders everywhere to protect children at all costs, to protect them from the ravages of war and to shelter them in a protective environment, where children can thrive,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the Palestinians are failing at this most critical responsibility.”

“Instead of nourishing their youth with the dreams of a bright future, Palestinian children are fed a steady diet of hatred for Israel and glorification of violence in the lessons they learn in school, in the sermons they hear in the mosque and in the streets that are named after terrorists.”

Such debunked claims that “incitement” – rather than the reality of Israel’s military occupation – are to blame for violence, have long been a staple of Israeli government propaganda.

In its report, Human Rights Watch criticizes Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children under its occupation regime in the West Bank, where 500 to 700 children are brought before military tribunals annually, and an average of 220 children are held in prison each month.

But the line between Israeli civil and military law regarding children has become increasingly difficult to discern since violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces escalated in October 2015.

Last week, the Israeli parliament passed a new law allowing the imprisonment of children as young as 12.

Israel’s military regime in the occupied West Bank has always allowed the detention of 12-year-old Palestinians.

According to DCIP’s statistics, of the 440 Palestinian children in Israeli prison in February, 104 were between the ages of 12 and 15. This represents a four-fold increase from the number of young teens in prison prior to October 2015.

And though the law ostensibly applies to Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel alike, it was explicitly created to target Palestinians.

Imprisoning 12 and 13-year-olds will be permitted in cases where the child is convicted of so-called terrorism, a charge that almost exclusively applies to Palestinians.

“This law was born of necessity,” said Likud lawmaker Anat Berko, who proposed the measure. “We have been experiencing a wave of terror for quite some time. A society is allowed to protect itself. To those who are murdered with a knife in the heart it does not matter if the child is 12 or 15.”

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel warns that the Israeli parliament may soon allow life sentences for children under 14.

This is the latest amendment to Israel’s penal code that expands the criminal culpability of Palestinian children in order to allow harsher penalties.

Last year, the Israeli parliament imposed mandatory minimum sentencing and extended the maximum sentence on people who throw stones at traffic.

Israel also revived administrative detention against Palestinian children ostensibly living under Israeli civil law in the last year.

ISRAELI APARTHEID CAUGHT ON VIDEO

For those who still might have doubts ……

Israeli soldier assaults child playing on Jews-only road

In September 2012, Israeli security forces put up a chain-link fence along al-Ibrahimi Street in Hebron, separating the paved road from a narrow, rough walkway. Since then, B’Tselem has twice documented security forces denying Palestinians access to the paved road, despite official claims that there is no such prohibition. On 25 July 2016, B’Tselem volunteer Raed Abu Ramileh filmed a Border Police officer seizing the bicycle of 8-year-old Anwar Burqan and throwing it in the bushes for riding it down the paved road, which is reserved for settlers.

 

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The separation and discrimination between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank does not involve public transport only. This video features footage of Border Police officers stating that one side of a newly erected fence is for Jews, the other for Arabs.

The separation principle is an official policy of the Israeli military separating Jews and Moslems in the city of Hebron. The policy is implemented primarily through severe restrictions on Palestinian travel and movement in downtown Hebron, where most Israeli settlement outposts are located. Some of the main roads in the area are completely off limits to Palestinians, and many roads bar any and all Palestinian vehicles. Israel’s strict restrictions have made the lives of Palestinians in downtown Hebron intolerable, forcing many to leave their homes and jobs.

On 23 September 2012 Israeli security forces laid out a chain-link fence, dividing the road lengthwise. On one side of the fence is a paved road and on the other, a narrow pedestrian passageway. Since the fence was erected, Israeli security forces have not allowed Palestinians to walk on the road. Instead they direct Palestinians to the narrow passageway, which is unpaved, rough and ends in a small staircase. The passage is completely impassible by wheelchair and is very difficult to navigate with a baby carriage, pushcart or bicycle.

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The military resumed its segregation on the main street of a-Salaimeh neighborhood, in force from Sep. 2012 to Mar. 2013 when it was abandoned following to the airing of footage by B’Tselem. The military again bans Palestinians from the main part of the street, directing them to a narrow side road. This is part of the military’s overall policy of severe restrictions on Palestinian movement in downtown Hebron, implemented ever since the 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs perpetrated by settler Baruch Goldstein.

 

 

Full report by Ali Abunimah HERE

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORK LIVES MATTER

stop-the-hate-because-all-lives-matter

On August 1st several hundred New Yorkers, Black and white, occupied New York’s City Hall Park. They demanded an end to police brutality and killings and an end to police occupation of Black communities. Among the many speakers two were Palestinians who represented Students For Justice In Palestine. They spoke of the unity between the Black freedom struggle and the struggle of the Palestinians to end the occupation of their homeland. They reminded the people there that with the killing in Ferguson the Palestinians sent a message of unity and instructions on how to deal with the tear gas being used against the Black protesters by the police.

   Photos and commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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MEET THE ISRAELI RABBI WHO HATES BOTH GAYS AND WOMEN

Morgan Freeman hit the nail on the head with the following Tweet …

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The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime.

On the qustion of Gays … “Gays and lesbians should be treated with love and support, but they are sick or deformed.” (SEE THIS POST)

One can only wonder what Freud would say about this man …

Eyal Karim (Handout/Reuters)

Eyal Karim (Handout/Reuters)

Meet the Israeli army’s misogynist chief rabbi

The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime.

The elevation of Colonel Eyal Karim to the rank of brigadier general and the position of chief rabbi was thrown into question after his past controversial statements were reported by Israeli media. After holding a private meeting with Karim, however, Israel’s chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot publicly proclaimed that he would support the appointment.

Once he is military chief rabbi, Karim will be responsible for making decisions with regards to religious matters in the armed forces. Karim currently serves as the second-highest ranking religious official in the Israeli army. His nomination to the top post has received the support of the State of Israel’s two chief rabbis and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Comments Karim made in 2003 when he was a civilian resurfaced after his appointment. In a column called “Ask the Rabbi” at Kipa.co.il, a popular Hebrew-language website catering to religious Jews, Karim responded to a number of anonymous letters inquiring about specificities of Jewish religious law, including a question about rape in times of war.

“Is it allowed nowadays for an IDF [Israeli army] soldier, for example, to rape girls during battle, or is such a thing forbidden?” Karim was asked. He answered: “Even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime … the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge.”

Karim’s comments first attracted notice in 2012, when dissident Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz first published them in English at +972 Magazine. Gurvitz says that when he asked the military to comment on Karim’s statements, he was rebuked by an army spokesperson and told that his query “disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion.”

Public retraction

The day after Gurvitz’ article appeared on +972, Karim published a letter at Kipa, reported by Gurvitz, attempting to walk back his 2003 religious ruling sanctioning rape: “It is clear that in our times … this ruling is certainly not to be acted on.”

The military seemed to be satisfied with Karim’s disavowal of his previous edict; he continued to serve as the army’s second-highest religious official for the next four years. But the announcement that he was to be promoted to army chief rabbi elicited another round of outrage, as well as a more thorough examination of his previously published opinions.

In his Kipa column, Karim has promoted burning Christian bibles, killing wounded “terrorists” and torturing captives, stating: “Terrorists should not be treated as human beings, because they are animals.”

In one of his responses, Karim called for the transformation of the state into a Jewish monarchy and a genocide against the people of “Amalek.” The Amalek people mentioned in the Torah are not known to have any modern-day descendants, but some rabbis attribute their bloodline to Israel’s current enemies, dooming them to a divinely commanded death sentence.

Karim also ruled that the court testimony of females cannot be relied upon, because of their supposedly “sentimental” nature. He also ruled that Jewish men in the Israeli army may not serve under the command of a woman, as this would require them to gaze upon her.

Karim’s tenure as the second-highest-ranking religious official in the military did not pass without controversy.

In 2013, he produced a booklet for Israeli soldiers which effectively asserts that Jewish supremacy was divinely ordained and that this would always overrule the laws of democracy. The booklet states: “The concept that non-Jews have equal rights with Jews in Israel goes against the opinion of the Torah, and the state’s representatives have no authority to act against the Torah’s will.” The army later apologized for the book’s contents.

When Karim’s impending appointment was made public this month and the rabbi began to draw renewed criticism for his past comments, his detractors were again accused of “anti-Semitism” — and even of fabricating a “blood libel” — in an op-ed by columnist Dror Eydar in Israel Hayom, the highest-circulation newspaper in the country.

Threats of rape as instrument of oppression

Karim’s defenders insist that his comments on rape were misunderstood and that he couldn’t possibly have permitted sexual assaults against Palestinian women. But threats of rape have been wielded by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians.

In June 2014, Bar-Ilan University professor Mordechai Kedar publicly suggested that Israeli forces dissuade Palestinians from taking up arms by threatening the rape of their female relatives. The military seems to have quickly adopted Kedar’s doctrine; Palestinians taken captive that same summer during Isreal’s assault on Gaza say they were threatened with the rape of their wives.

Earlier this year, a lawyer representing Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq said that while Israel detained al-Qiq for months without charge, his captors threatened to rape him, his wife and their children unless he confessed to crimes. Al-Qiq was only released after refusing food for 94 days.

Actual sexual assaults of Palestinian men, women and children by Israeli soldiers are not unheard of. During the early years of the state, soldier sex attacks on Palestinians were common enough that they were a source of consternation for Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. At a government meeting in 1951, speaking about army attacks on Palestinians, he declared, “I know some of the crimes, and I must say the situation is frightening in two areas: acts of murder and acts of rape.”

In recent years, Amira Hass, correspondent for the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, and the Israeli investigative journalist who goes by the pseudonym Eishton have reported on incidents in which Israeli soldiers allegedlyraped and sexually assaulted Palestinian females. And testimonies obtained by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel show that Palestinian men and boys held in Israeli custody have also been subjected to sexual threats and sexual abuse.

Sexual violence common

Recent high-profile cases reveal the pervasiveness of rape culture in Israel.

In April, an Israeli investigative news program revealed that the late Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi was a serial rapist and sexual predator during his decorated army service, in which he reached the rank of general.

Last week, a currently serving brigadier general who had been slated for promotion was indicted for rape and sexual assault against multiple female soldiers. The following day, his former commander told Israeli army radio that the accused rapist is a “hero” and cited the Torah in defense of his alleged actions.

Admittedly, the Israeli army is taking steps to stem the rate of sex assaults, or at least those occurring within its ranks. Until just four months ago, victims of sex attacks in the army would have to shell out for their own legal costs, while alleged attackers would have all their legal fees paid for. Under a new policy, the army will pay the legal fees of both accused and accuser.

In February, the army chief’s advisor on women’s affairs sent a letter to all Israeli soldiers calling upon them tostop printing out regalia that includes images and messages that objectify women and make light of rape.

The army also makes mandatory for all incoming draftees an instructional workshop on the topic of sexual assault. However, after ultra-Orthodox soldiers angrily objected to the sexual content of the workshop, the army buckled and granted exemptions to religious troops.

Meanwhile, Israel’s police force in recent years has seen a massive epidemic of sex crime allegations against top cops. In May, the Times of Israel reported:

“The past few years have seen a string of sexual misconduct cases involving top police officers, many of whom were forced to retire due to the allegations against them. In all, about half of the Israel Police’s major generals — the highest rank below that of the police commissioner — have been accused of such abuse, and many of them have stepped down.”

In 2013, after Nisso Shaham, the Jerusalem chief of police, was indicted for sexual harassment against several women, mainly subordinates, he protested that it was unfair to try him for these crimes. He argued that his behaviors were “in keeping with the conventional norms accepted by the police” and that they were “routine and common”.

Instead of combatting sexism in the police force, the top brass seems to be trying to sweep the problem of misogyny under the rug.

Roni Alsheikh, national police commissioner and former deputy head of Israel’s domestic spy agency the Shin Bet, recently reinstated a top police commander accused of sexual harassment and planned to promote another commander found guilty of harassment (that officer declined the appointment after Alsheikh’s announcement provoked outcry). Alsheikh also announced — on International Women’s Day, no less — that the force would no longer investigate allegations of sex crimes, unless accusers were willing to reveal their identities.

Rape culture

Rape culture is perpetuated by the country’s political class. Dozens of demonstrators recently gathered in Tel Aviv to protest plans to grant early release to Moshe Katsav, the former Israeli president currently serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of rape and other offenses. Katsav has often smeared his victims in the press, and has yet to either admit his guilt or express remorse for his actions.

The case of another politician from Kiryat Malachi, Katsav’s hometown, provides sobering evidence of the nearly free pass that rapists are often accorded in Israeli society. After mayor Motti Malka was charged with multiple rapes, along with his son, his deputy mayor and four other men, he reached a plea deal with police that saw him serve no jail time at all.

In the end, Malka was not even forced to pay a monetary fine because the Kiryat Malachi city council had previously purchased a policy for “sexual harassment insurance.” Just weeks later, the council invited Malka to attend the city’s official celebration of International Women’s Day.

The army is hardly the only sector of Israeli society from which sexual assaults emanate. But rape culture in the military is especially disconcerting, as its soldiers have access to deadly weapons and the license to use them. And now its chief rabbi is a man who once gave Jewish soldiers sanction to rape Palestinian women until he was shamed into retracting it.

IN PHOTOS ~~ PALESTINIAN LIVES MATTER

New Yorkers took to the streets yesterday in front of the Israeli Consulate to demand Freedom for Bilal Kayed and all other (7,000) Palestinians held in illegal administrative  detention.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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ISRAEL HAS BECOME THE GLOBAL TREND-SETTER FOR RACIAL PROFILING

Republican Donald Trump said on Sunday the United States should consider more racial profiling in law enforcement, after urging harsher policies following last week’s mass shooting in Orlando.

“You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully. And you know, I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense,” he added.

Trump. "You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully." (Photo: AP)

Trump. “You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully.” (Photo: AP)

Donald Trump Says America Needs More Racial Profiling — Like Israel

Republican Donald Trump said on Sunday the United States should consider more racial profiling in law enforcement, after urging harsher policies following last week’s mass shooting in Orlando.

“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” Trump said when asked on CBS whether he supported more profiling of Muslims in America.

“You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully. And you know, I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense,” he added.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has drawn criticism from many in his party for his comments on American Muslims after the Orlando attack, in which a U.S. born Muslim man killed 49 people at a gay nightclub.

Trump also reiterated his support for more scrutiny of mosques, saying that could resemble a controversial New York City surveillance program that has been shut down.

“If you go to France right now, they’re doing it in France. In fact, in some instances they’re closing down mosques.”

Police in France closed some mosques shortly after gunmen aligned with Islamic State militants killed 130 people in Paris in a series of attacks on Nov. 13.

The Orlando gunman, Omar Mateen, expressed support for Islamic State, but officials believe he was “self-radicalized.”

Trump has drawn criticism from many in his Republican Party for calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. He also has called for a suspension of immigration from countries with “a proven history of terrorism.”

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has said the comments show Trump is unfit to be president.

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Trump but has said a Muslim ban is not in U.S. interests. In excerpts of an NBC interview released on Friday, Ryan said Republicans weighing whether to vote for Trump should follow their “conscience.”

Trump brushed off the criticism on Sunday and said he would put up his own money for his campaign if needed. “It would be nice if the Republicans stuck together,” Trump said in an ABC interview. “I can win, one way or another.”—Reuters

Is this the ultimate goal?

Image by Bendib

Image by Bendib

BROKEN PROMISES IN THE ‘PROMISED LAND’

Broken_promises_broken_dreams
Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
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PROMISED LAND
by Ahlam Shalhout

I was taken to a foreign land.
A land believed to be full of promise.
I was told it bore fruits with the sweetest of nectar.
Its soil so rich with olive branches of peace.
Where the streets were paved with golden orange groves.

The nectar though sweet to my tongue
Brought tears to my bowels.
The peace bearing olives were pressed
To make oil of bullfights. Ole!
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The Israeli minister of Environment joined the previous defense minister to
quit the Zionist regime’s government because it is becoming more extreme.
With the addition of bar bouncer colonial settler Avigdor Lieberman (has a
house in an illegal colony here in Bethlehem), the fascist government is
now in good shape to take Israel to the next inevitable stage along. The
same trend-line that Nazi Germany took step-wise in the 1930s. It is no
wonder that so many more people are now drawing parallels between the two
regimes with similar exclusivist ideologies (Nazism and Zionism). Thousands
of Israeli Jews from Israel Shahak to Israeli General and Deputy Chief of
Staff Yair Golan have already made the comparison to the consternation of
the Zionist leadership. Ken |Livingstone's truthful statement taht JHitler
supported Zionism early on is well supported by facts (see my own writing
on the subject with quotes here. 

Pioneers to draw parallel of actions of Nazis and Zionists and speak out
for justice for the native Palestinians were Holocaust survivors both
inside “Israel” (like Shahak and Davis) and outside like Hajo Meyer and
Hedy Epstein. Hedy just passed away and I knew her for almost 20 years as
one of the most principled dedicated and hardworking individuals. I
hesitated to ask her to join our wheels of justice bus tour in 2002 because
of her age (then in her 80s) but she did not hesitate in accepting and she
was just marvelous. She spoke out with authority and knowledge about the
ethnic cleansing and the massacres committed in Palestine by Zionists. She
also joined the boats trying to break the siege on Gaza. When she was in
her late 80s she was strip searched and poked by Israeli security forces at
Lod (renamed “Ben Gurion”) Airport. Please browse her website here to know
more about this remarkable woman.

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

WEEK’S END SPOOFS OF JULIAN ASSANGE

Images by Carlos Latuff

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

UN Announces that Assange is Unlawfully Detained …  More HERE 

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DAILY SPOOF ~~ #FabricatedInjustice

Image by Carlos Latuff

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

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

Full report from Mondoweiss HERE

#WarOnTerror ~~ FINALLY THEY CAME FOR ME!

Zionist organization releases video portraying human rights activists as aiding terrorists; activist says he fears being targeted for violence.

Is history repeating itself?

Is history repeating itself?

Right-wing group: leftist activists are ‘implants’

A new video released Tuesday by the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization portrayed four Israeli leftist human rights activists as aiding terrorists, leading one of them to submit a formal complaint to police. The video brands these individuals “implants,” claiming that while Israel fights against terrorism, these individuals fight against their own country.

One of the “implants” in the video is Yishai Menuhin, director general of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), who is presented as someone who will protect terrorists from being interrogated by the Shin Bet. Menuhin complained to police following release of the video, arguing that it “crossed the line of freedom of speech into incitement.”

“They aren’t attacking the organization, they spoke of me personally and used a warped picture, accusing me of someone who protects or permits terrorists to attack us without fear,” said Dr. Menuhin.

“I’m afraid that I’ll be physically attacked following the video,” he added.

Another leftist activist in the video is Avner Gvaryahu from the Breaking the Silence organization, whom the video describes as responsible for calling soldiers who foil terror attack war criminals.

The other two activists are lawyers Sigi Ben Ari of the Center for the Defence of the Individual (“Hamoked”), and Hagai El-Ad, director general of B’Tselem.

Israel’s Channel 10 news reported that media consultant Moshe Klughaft, a close adviser to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, was behind the video.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked recently published a memo aiming to deal with incitement on social networks. She argued that the incitement translates to murder in the streets. The memo was targeting internet incitement by Palestinians against Jews, but is supposed to be enforced on everyone.

After Hagai Amir, brother of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir, was recently arrested for an apparently incendiary Facebook post, Shaked announced an increase in enforcement of legal action on those who publish inciting materials.

Over three months of frequent terror attacks, Shaked has proposed that the law be amended so that those accused of incitement will be subject to the maximum sentence of five years in prison – even without proof that their expressions create a real possibility for violence or terrorism.

Alon Shwartzer, head of Im Tirtzu’s policy department, told Ynet that the video is not incitement. “You need to take the video beyond the personal level, and it’s all detailed in our report,” he said. “These are the heads of organizations who work against the soldiers of the IDF and against Israel’s citizens, and work to delegitimize the state of Israel and weaken it abroad. Everything we said is based on facts and research and we don’t see it as a problem or incitement. The public needs to see and judge who makes the blood of Israel’s soldiers and civilians fair game.”

 

Source

 

More reports here …. (Click on links)

Right-wing NGO ‘Outs’ Four Left-wing Activists for ‘Protecting Terrorists’ in Video Clip 

A Witch Hunt Against Israeli Rights Advocates

ISRAELI INJUSTICE THAT YOU WON’T READ ABOUT IN THE WEST ….

Hares Boys

Five Palestinian teenagers are facing life imprisonment for a crime that never happened. A settler car accident labels them as “terrorists”. Fight for justice for the Hares Boys!

Image by Latuff

SENTENCE ANNOUNCED: 15 YEARS IN PRISON +NIS150,000 'FINE'

SENTENCE ANNOUNCED: 15 YEARS IN PRISON +NIS150,000 ‘FINE’

Five Palestinian Teens Blackmailed Into Accepting 15 Years Prison Term and Exorbitant ‘Fines’ for a Crime That Never Happened

It is with great sadness and anger that we hereby inform you of the outcome of the Hares Boys case: the five teenagers are being sentenced to 15 years in prison and are to pay a total of NIS 150,000 (~US $39,000 or €35,000) to the Israeli authorities. Failure to provide the exorbitant sum would, it is implied, result in more years of prison added to the boys’ sentences.

Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf, and Tamer Souf have been kept in prison for 2 years and 8 months and are now being sentenced for a crime that never happened.

The five teenagers (16-17 years old at the time) from the village of Hares (Salfit governorate, West Bank, occupied Palestine) were kidnapped from their homes by the Israeli army in March 2013. The teens were accused of throwing stones at illegal settler cars, one of which drove under a truck that was parked along Route 5 near the village of Hares. The driver’s children were injured during the accident and one of them died two years later after pneumonia complications. The boys denied throwing stones but were forced to sign ‘confessions’ following torturous interrogations at the hands of Israeli secret services. There was never any evidence of the boys’ guilt but it is sadly a reality in the Israeli military court system that does not comply with due process and convicts Palestinians at a 99.7% rate.

After almost 3 years of routine hearings at Israeli military courts, where the boys were initially accused of ‘attempted murder’, they were told on 26 November 2015 that they are now being charged with manslaughter and are being sentenced to prison terms of 15 years, provided their families pay ‘fines’ of NIS 30,000 [US $7,750 or € 7,100] each by the deadline of 28 January 2016. Failure to pay the amount requested by the Israeli military court would, it is understood, result in each boy’s sentence being prolonged, possibly to at least 25 years in prison.

There is no other way to describe this situation the five teens and their families have endured other than as criminal activity on behalf of the Israeli system of ‘justice’. Pressing the families to agree to a court ‘deal’ and threatening them with harsher sentences if they don’t accept is nothing less than extortion. Demanding that families pay large sums of money as a ‘fine’ or a ‘compensation’ to the occupying power is nothing less than a demand for ransom.

On behalf of the Free the Hares Boys campaign we condemn such acts of injustice committed by the Israeli military court.

We invite local and international human rights organizations, the world’s democratic government institutions and people of conscience to stand up to this injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation and to demand justice for the Hares Boys. Please consider contacting your country’s diplomatic representatives in Tel Aviv or occupied Jerusalem; the Israeli Ministry of Justice; your local politicians; asking them to intervene and condemn such injustice and disrespect for the rule of law. Organize events in your community to highlight the Hares Boys case and the situation of hundreds of other Palestinian children who are being kept in occupation prisons.

Do not stay silent in the face of what is not right.

FROM

More HERE

#WarOnIslam ~~ DONALD TRUMP JOINS IN

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There are Catholic churches where it is known that young boys are assaulted by their priests ….

There are synagogues where money laundering and organ sales are taking place ….

No Presidential candidate has made an issue of the above or threatened to shut down such establishments

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Trump ‘would consider’ closing down some mosques

Republican presidential candidate says he would consider closing some mosques with radical leadership if elected president.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday he would consider closing some mosques in America with radical leadership because of the Paris attacks if he were elected president.

“I would hate to do it, but it’s something that you’re going to have to strongly consider,” he was quoted by The Associated Press as having said in an interview.

Trump and his rivals have been working to articulate how they would respond to Friday’s attacks, claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), which killed 129 people and left hundreds wounded.

Trump, who has been pushing for a more aggressive response, also said Americans must reassess some of their civil liberties in response to growing threats from ISIS.

“We have to be much tougher,” he said in another interview, according toAP. “We are going to have to give up certain privileges that we’ve always had.”

“Surveillance took a big turn over the last 48 hours,” he added. “48 hours ago everybody was saying, ‘Well we want our freedoms, we don’t want this to happen.’ And now, all of sudden, people are saying, ‘Hey listen, you can listen to my phone conversations.’”

That surveillance should include intelligence-gathering in and around mosques, said Trump.

“Well you’re going to have to watch and study the mosques because a lot of talk is going on at the mosques,” he stated.

He also criticized President Barack Obama for not moving earlier to destroy the ISIS sites that France bombed over the weekend. He said the U.S. should be going more aggressively after the group’s oil and financing and pressing other countries to intensify their fighting against the radicals.

Trump’s comments came as the governors of several American states spoke out against Obama’s plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. in 2016. At least one of the terrorists behind the attacks in Paris apparently entered Europe via Greece as a Syrian “refugee”.

The move, which began with Alabama and Michigan, quickly spread to other states, and by Monday evening, the governors of 24 states announced they would refuse refugees.

Source

THE EQUALITY THAT PALESTINIANS ‘ENJOY’

Listen to (read) these words carefully ….

       Now read about the equality that Palestinians enjoy in Israel (click on links)

Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians in southern Gaza

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Israeli settlers chop down 70 olive trees in Salfit, Nablus

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MK Ghattas: The Flotilla is peaceful, let them remove my immunity

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‘No other choice’: For Palestinians, full-scale BDS remains a wish

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Deputy interior minister to Arab MK: Israel is doing you a favor by giving you citizenship

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Just a few examples … but they should give you a pretty good idea of what a zio BEX Alert is

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ISRAELI ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE THE TRUTH

The truth has become the greatest enemy of Israel ….

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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

JEWISH MORAL FAILURE EXTRAORDINAIRE

Many who read THIS POST shuddered.

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The BDS Blacklist Is a Jewish Moral Failure

I, like many others, read the Forward’s report on the website Canary Mission today — and shuddered.

This organization documents, on its website, the names and photographs of pro-Palestinian activists around the country with links to their personal details, social media profiles, and print-out profiles for activists. The database, as stated on the webpage, “was created to expose individuals and groups that are anti-Freedom, anti-American and anti-Semitic in order to protect the public and our democratic values.” Organizers are not listed, but the public is invited to submit “a sourced profile of someone involved in anti-Semitic and/or anti-Israel activities” for [anonymous] publication. Mondoweiss and Jewish Voice for Peace are listed as equivalent to Hamas; many students’ LinkedIn profiles are attached in a probable effort to prevent their employment.

So what do we make of a website that has literally created a publically available BDS blacklist?

My reaction is threefold: 1) it is wrong, 2) it is scary, and 3) who is next, and what can we expect?

First, this website is a disgusting perversion of Jewish values. The Jewish canon teaches us two things that I think are particularly important. One is “thou shalt not humiliate” – and that includes respecting people’s dignity, which is paramount to any political cause. In addition, there is something far more basic here, and appropriate for the recent holiday of Shavuot: “thou shalt not lie.” A distorted profile with the intent of harm is definitely not mindful of the truth, and certainly not of dignity. Just because someone disagrees with you does not make this site appropriate – and imagine the outcry if Students for Justice in Palestine had made a similar blacklist of pro-Israel activists! Those who advocate for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions are fellow human beings, too – and commands on human dignity apply to all.

Second, what sort of tendencies in the Jewish community have allowed for the creation of a website that major Jewish organizations have refused to condemn? I have not yet seen a major organization come out to condemn the website – though individual bloggers like Professor Rebecca Lesses have. Nor have many organizations similarly condemned Pamela Geller’s racist diatribes, or even the constant buzz of Islamophobia and racism present in many synagogues across the country. Even the relatively moderate, anti-BDS, Zionist J Street is considered “too far” in some circles. I ask: Do “standing with Israel” and supporting a Jewish state really eclipse everything else, to the point that other moral stands are pushed aside? This blacklist seems to indicate that a communal conversation on red lines of acceptable behavior is sorely needed. There certainly must be forms of advocacy that do not rely on threats and blackmail.

Finally, who’s next? If a blacklist site is now acceptable in parts of the Jewish community, what more should we expect to see? Is there going to be some sort of communal checklist for who can and cannot work for Jewish organizations? If we are as far as a blacklist that seems to have a strong following, then I would not be surprised to see copycats or other “expository” sites chasing after those who dissent to the Israel dogma. More immediately, who else might end up on the site? I could see J Street, many of the writers of the Forward, and even myself profiled on this site simply for choosing to not toe the party line. It is our duty to castigate this site for what it is – a wrong-headed perversion of Jewish values – before the situation gets even more extreme.

‘THERE’S A MAN GOIN ROUND TAKING NAMES’

A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret.

Shadowy Web Site Creates Blacklist of Pro-Palestinian Activists

Josh Nathan-Kazis FOR

A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret.

“It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female narrator intones in a slick video posted to the website’s YouTube account.

Called Canary Mission, the site has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates, alongside those of well-known activists like Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Some of the students are active in Students for Justice in Palestine; others were involved in recent pro-BDS resolutions at campuses in California. Many of them have relatively thin activist résumés.

“The focus on young people and students is an effort to try to tell people that there will be a price for you taking a political position,” said Ali Abunimah, founder of the pro-Palestinian website The Electronic Intifada. “It’s an effort to punish and deter people from standing up for what they believe.”

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, defended the tactic as a way of forcing people to understand the seriousness of their political stands.

“Factually documenting who one’s adversaries are and making this information available is a perfectly legitimate undertaking,” Pipes wrote in an email. “Collecting information on students has particular value because it signals them that attacking Israel is serious business, not some inconsequential game, and that their actions can damage both Israel and their future careers.”

Despite its dedication to documenting the identities of pro-Palestinian activists, Canary Mission seems to have gone to great lengths to keep the identities of its own members and backers well hidden. There are no names of Canary Mission staff members, volunteers, donors or allies on the site.

The Web domain is registered in a way that hides its ownership. Though the site says that Canary Mission “is a non-profit organization,” no group called Canary Mission is currently registered with the IRS as eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, and the website indicates no fiscal sponsor through which it can accept donations. The group’s MailChimp account identifies its ZIP code as 10458, a corner of the Bronx that includes Fordham University.

A person named Joanna responded via email to a request for comment from the group, agreeing to an interview but then not calling this reporter over two days. Joanna also did not respond to a list of questions submitted about the group.

A handful of right-wing pro-Israel groups that focus on campuses said they had no relationship with Canary Mission, including the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Pipes’s Middle East Forum, the AMCHA Initiative and StandWithUs.

When asked whether his group had supported Canary Mission, Charles Jacobs, who runs Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a far-right group that purports to expose extremism on campus, said he had no comment. Jacobs is the founder of The David Project, which, under his leadership, produced a 2004 documentary titled “Columbia Unbecoming” that depicted Columbia’s Middle East studies department as unfriendly to Jewish students.

Distributing lists of activists and their activities is not an entirely uncommon tactic in the Middle East debate, on the left or the right. A website called Masada2000, now offline, maintained what it called the “Self-Hating and/or Israel Threatening” list of Jews whose views it considered unacceptable. In early 2014, the anti-Zionist blog Mondoweiss uncovered a password-protected website maintained by StandWithUs that contained backgrounders on pro-Palestinian speakers on the campus circuit. On the left, the website for Right Web, a program backed by the Institute for Policy Studies, profiles hawkish pro-Israel groups and activists.

The individual dossiers on the Canary Mission’s site are lengthy and detailed, and include videos and photographs of the activists. In the case of some current students, the site lists their majors. There are links to Facebook pages, Twitter pages and LinkedIn profiles, and lengthy descriptions of pro-Palestinian student groups and movements to which these students have alleged links.

“I think it’s creepy and I think it’s McCarthyist,” said Max Geller, an SJP member who is profiled on the site. “This is not a badge of honor. This is scary.”

Geller said that some of what is written about him on the site is untrue, and that he has contacted an attorney.

Names and faces

Names and faces

SEPARATE ~~ BUT NOT EQUAL

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

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Decades of neglect leave East Jerusalem mired in poverty, violence

By: Charlie Hoyle FOR

Decades of chronic under-funding, discriminatory planning rights, and unequal access to services have left the Palestinian community in Jerusalem mired in poverty, according to statistics published by a civil rights group, with youths subject to increased police brutality and arrests since last summer’s demonstrations in the city.

Statistics released this week by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel paint a devastating picture of neglect, urban blight and underdevelopment in East Jerusalem, the historic heart of Palestinian life, all a result of nearly five decades of Israeli policies, with over 75 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line compared to the national Israeli average of 21.8 percent.

The group released the statistics —taken from the Jerusalem Municipality, Israeli Police, the Central Bureau of Statistics, and other official agencies — to coincide with Jerusalem Day, a largely right-wing Israeli national holiday to celebrate the “liberation” and “reunification” of the city following what is internationally recognized as the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

For Palestinians, the day is a painful reminder of their historic loss, displacement, and on going marginalization.

Despite having lived under Israeli rule for 48 years, Palestinians are classified as permanent residents, not citizens, and lack political representation at a national level. The community largely chooses to boycott local municipal elections — in 2013 around 1 percent of Palestinians voted — and are essentially political orphans, with no Israeli or Palestinian political body representing their interests.

The result is recurring neglect of the 300,200 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who form 36.8 percent of the city’s total population.

“These (Palestinian neighborhoods) are places where roads haven’t been repaired for years, where schools haven’t been built, where there is crime and garbage. In that sense you do wonder what the municipality thinks is the future (for East Jerusalem),”Ronit Sela,Director of ACRI’s Human Rights in East Jerusalem Project, told Ma’an.

In terms of public services, 36 percent of Palestinian households are not connected to the water network,43 percent of the classrooms in the municipal system are defined as inadequate, and there is a shortage of 30 kilometers of sewage pipes in Palestinian neighborhoods.

There are only eight post offices in East Jerusalem, compared to 40 in West Jerusalem. Furthermore, Palestinians can access only 9 infant healthcare centers in the city compared to 26 for Israelis, and poverty rates for children are 53 percent higher for Palestinian children, with 8,501 defined as “at risk.”

The dropout rate for Palestinian students in East Jerusalem in 12th grade — where students are 18 years old — is 33 percent, nearly 24 times higher than the dropout rate in the Hebrew education system, which stands at 1.4 percent, and despite forming 36.8 percent of the population — and paying residential and commercial taxes — only 10-13 percent of the overall municipal budget is invested in East Jerusalem,according to rights group Ir Amim.

“Palestinians in Jerusalem suffer first and foremost from the fact there is an on going conflict and Israeli authorities control every aspect of their lives,” Sela says.

Social workers in East Jerusalem say that the myriad of social and political problems can often affect individual Palestinian families directly, with many suffering from having one son in prison and another dropping out of school without qualifications, amid a backdrop of economic marginalization.

“East Jerusalem is not a tiny piece of land or territory, but Israeli policies have been to limit the space where Palestinians can reside, to limit the space where Palestinians can have commercial life or industry and, with the separation barrier, fragment the areas where Palestinians are living and where the center of the community is,” Sela says.

Police brutality, arbitrary law enforcement
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Alongside chronic poverty and economic marginalization, one of the major changes since ACRI’s 2014 report on East Jerusalem are the increasingly draconian police and municipal measures introduced against Palestinians following months of clashes following the murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir last July by Israeli extremists.
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In the second half of 2014, ACRI reported that over 1,184 Palestinians were detained in East Jerusalem, including 406 children, with indictments submitted against 338 of those arrested.
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“Police violence is harsher and the state prosecution is asking for minors to be put under arrest for longer periods of time even before indictments. They keep them in prison custody for longer,” Sela says.
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Around 314 of the 338 Palestinians served with indictments — including 122 children — have been imprisoned since their detention as the charges for “disruption of public order” and riot-related offenses are processed, which adds up to months in jail before a sentence has even been passed.
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Israeli police forces have also provided the Jerusalem municipality with the names of hundreds of suspects wanted for alleged involvement in the demonstrations in order to increase enforcement measures against them, ACRI says, essentially a way of blacklisting Palestinian residents in civilian life.
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Some of the enforcement measures are childishly arbitrary, with ACRI reporting one example of municipal inspectors issuing a fine for the negligible offense of littering the streets with sunflower seeds.
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Other measures, however, are much more serious, with municipal officers issuing demolition orders and fines to Palestinian businesses and homes.
The Hagihon water company, theTax Authority and the National Insurance Institute are also all involved in enforcing arbitrary measures against Palestinian suspects, which were described by ACRI as “collective punishment” and the “abuse of the municipality’s enforcement powers.”
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In addition to the mass arrests — the largest number in East Jerusalem since the Second Intifada — police tactics have become notably more aggressive since last summer’s demonstrations, with the increased use of black sponge-tipped bullets since the summer, a harder, heavier, and more dangerous variant of the blue sponge-tipped bullet, which had been used almost exclusively before last year’s unrest.
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Use of the black variety of the bullets has been responsible for the loss of vision in at least one eye of five Palestinian children during the end of 2014, the youngest of whom was six-years-old.
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One youth, 16-year-old Muhammad Abd Al-Majid Sunuqrut, was killed in September after being struck with the riot control measure in East Jerusalem, which is used almost exclusively against Palestinians.
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ACRI also reported that at least three journalists clearly identified as media workers were hit in the head, face and shoulder by sponge bullets during demonstrations, in contravention against orders prohibiting aiming at the upper body, or children.
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The police tactic has also caused arm fractures, jaw fractures and internal injuries such as spleen tears, with one 30-year-old Palestinian born blind since childhood in one eye left completely blind after being shot with a sponge-tipped bullet.
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Directives for use of the more dangerous black bullet were only drafted in January 2015 after a request from ACRI, a full six months after their regular use against Palestinians.
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Israeli police also regularly used “Skunk” water in Palestinian neighborhoods, spraying the putrid-smelling liquid into houses, restaurants, and cars, with many residents having to temporarily evacuate their homes until the smell subsides.
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In October and November, Israeli forces blocked the main entrances to three major Palestinian neighborhoods — almost unthinkable in the West Jerusalem neighborhoods of Rehavia or the German Colony — restricting the movement of 50,000 Palestinians.
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In April, Israeli police then used cement blocks to seal the neighborhood of al-Tur following clashes, preventing the movement of residents and hindering crucial services such as ambulances and school buses.
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Struggling to stay in the city
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Alongside chronic poverty and punitive police and municipality tactics looms the constant threat of displacement, with Palestinians struggling to remain in the city amid legislation which prohibits planning and building, and punishes violations with eviction and demolitions.
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In 2014, 98 structures were demolished and 208 Palestinians were forcibly displaced, ACRI says.Since 2004, over 2,115 Palestinians have been left homeless by demolitions in East Jerusalem.
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Around 20,000 houses — accounting for 39 percent of East Jerusalem homes — lack a building permit and therefore could be issued a demolition order by the municipality at any point, leaving Palestinian families vulnerable and unable to plan for the future.
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The residency status of 107 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem was also revoked in 2014, adding to the 14,309 since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the city, meaning Palestinians whose families date back centuries in the city are no longer allowed to return.
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Despite five decades of Israeli polices designed to slowly displace Palestinians in Jerusalem, the community forms nearly 40 percent of the city’s population,leaving it unclear as to what the municipality, and indeed the government, has planned, considering that it will unlikely ever concede political control of the Old City.
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In 2014, Israel’s government approved for the first time in history a five year plan for East Jerusalem with a budget of 300 million shekels ($78 million).
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However, a third of the budget was to be allocated to “security,” with the remaining 200 million not nearly enough to reverse decades of deliberate neglect.
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“In order for real and meaningful changes to transpire, a fundamental change of attitude must take place among Israeli authorities,” ACRI said in the report.
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“They need to see the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem as human beings whose dignity must be maintained, whose lives must be protected and whose human rights must be promoted, even as the conflict continues to bleed on the streets of Jerusalem.”

A TRAGIC TALE OF LIFE AND DEATH UNDER THE OCCUPATION

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

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

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

A tragically unexceptional story of life and death under occupation

By Sam Bahour

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

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

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

Mughira Barghouty

Mughira Barghouty

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Mughira,” Sawsan replied.

“Where have you visited outside of Jordan?”

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

“And Israel?” the official smirkingly added.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a way to live, and die.

*** EDITOR’S NOTE ***

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

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

Written FOR

Hebrew Version 

 

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