WHAT NETANYAHU’S ‘APLOLOGY’ MEANS TO THE CHILDREN OF PALESTINE ~~ IN VIDEOS

Netanyahu ‘apologised’ to the ‘Arabs’ in Israel for the racist remarks he made on Election Day.

He was worried that the ‘Arabs were voting in droves’ to unseat him. The following two videos might explain why they wanted him unseated … 

Where is the apology to these children?

This video was shot during a night raid on ten homes in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. B’Tselem does not say who shot the video, but typically the videos it releases are made by Palestinians.

Children terrorized

Masked soldiers enter Palestinian homes in Hebron in dead of night, order residents to wake their children, and photograph the children.

Late at night on 23 Feb. 2015 Israeli troops entered 10 neighbouring apartments in Hebron. They demanded that the children be awakened, asked their names and photographed them. B’Tselem volunteers who live there filmed the incident. The military cannot treat civilians–and certainly not children–as potential criminals. Not only is this policy of entering Palestinian homes by night unjust and terrifying. It illustrates how casually and arbitrarily the lives of Palestinians under occupation are disrupted and their rights violated. B’Tselem calls on the military to discontinue this policy without delay.

 

Read Ali Abunimah’s full report HERE

US DISTRICT COURT BANS PRO PALESTINIAN ADS ON SEATTLE BUSES

A victory for Islamophobes

THIS is allowed

While

County officials in Seattle can prohibit an advertisement criticizing Israeli policies toward Palestinians from appearing on local buses without violating constitutional protections on free speech, a U.S. appeals court said on Wednesday.

Too true to be legal?

Too true to be legal?

Seattle Wins Right To Ban ‘Israeli War Crimes’ Bus Ads

Court Rules No Free Speech Violation at Stake

From Reuters VIA

County officials in Seattle can prohibit an advertisement criticizing Israeli policies toward Palestinians from appearing on local buses without violating constitutional protections on free speech, a U.S. appeals court said on Wednesday.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found that Kings County acted reasonably when it barred the ad, which sparked threats of vandalism and violence that could have endangered passengers.

Neither a Kings County spokesman nor a representative for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation, which challenged the ban, was immediately available for comment.

In 2010, a non-profit group opposed to U.S. support for Israel proposed a bus ad that read: “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK,” along with a website address. The county originally flagged the ad as controversial, but decided it did not violate bus advertising policy and approved it.

After a local news broadcast about the impending ad, officials faced a public furor. Photos depicting dead or injured bus passengers appeared under the door of a transportation authority service center, the ruling said.

The county eventually rejected that ad, along with others proposed by pro-Israel groups. The pro-Palestinian Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign sued, and a judge in a lower court sided with the county.

“Because the county simultaneously rejected all of the proposed ads on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – from opposing viewpoints – no reasonable jury could find that it engaged in viewpoint discrimination,” 9th Circuit Judge Paul Watford wrote on Wednesday.

In dissent, Judge Morgan Christen said that while safety is a concern, “it also may be that the county inappropriately bowed to a ‘heckler’s veto’ and suppressed speech that should have been protected.”

She said the case should have been sent back to the lower court for more fact-finding.

A TRIBUTE TO OUR MEN IN BLUE

maniac-cop-a

Men in Blue

By Tom Karlson

 

spawned under the rebel flag

to destroy the slave hating  antichrist

derail her railroad

poison the drinking gourd

send Harriet and Sojourner to the tobacco field

ball and chain Douglass back to Maryland

patrol and police Robert E Lee’s turf

the men in blue

are reincarnated at reconstructions death

in the north

Chicago and her sister cities

anywhere

that workers organize

anywhere

that immigrants march

anywhere there are scabs

there work  the men in blue

some men in blue

stop and frisk

arrest and arrest and arrest

using executors muscle

keeping the machine spinning

stocking the furnace

of the new Jim Crow

some men in blue

protect and serve

with brain and tongue

when forced to fight

for more pay and less hours

                                                  the militia  comes running

governor and mayor with whip and gun

Pinkerton and National Guard

those men in blue do learn quickly

they have no right to strike

against public safety

anywhere any reason anytime

USA/PALESTINE ~~ STUDENT SOLIDARITY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POND

If you're a victim of oppression, then you are Palestinian as well. 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

If you’re a victim of oppression, then you are Palestinian as well.
‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

In America …. read THIS fantastic book review

IOP_thumb__03148.1412111906.450.800

And in Palestine …

Birzeit students hold solidarity event with Black struggle in US

By Alex Shams

Nearly 100 students at Birzeit University in the central West Bank on Wednesday took part in a solidarity event with the African-American community in the United States in the wake of spiraling rates of deadly police violence there.

Entitled, “Similar Struggles: Racism in Palestine and Abroad,” the event was organized by the Right to Education Campaign at the university and featured lectures from professors as well as a number of students who recently returned from a tour of the United States where they visited Ferguson, Missouri — the site of months of protest against police violence — and met with community organizers across the nation.

Organizers said the activity was one of the “most successful” events organized by the campaign, highlighting how the topic spoke directly to the experiences of Palestinian students.

“Following the uprisings of Black communities across the US, a lot of us here in Palestine began to see the similarities between these communities’ oppression by the militarized state and our own oppression as Palestinians under Israeli colonialism,” organizer Deema al-Saafin told Ma’an in an emailed statement.

She said that the event was part of an effort to “create and sustain solidarity with other struggles,” adding: “We aimed to emphasize that change begins with liberating the mind first, and to build solidarity we need to actively resist derogatory terminology and stereotypes between each other and the way we address other people of color.”

She said the event featured three professors, Ahmad Abu Awad, Rana Barakat, and Hanada Kharama, who addressed racism as an ideology, the institutionalization of racism, and how racism becomes embedded in linguistics, respectively.

In addition, students who took part in the recent Right to Education tour shared their experiences meeting with activists from communities of color in the United States and “how deeply connected our struggles are against the same systems of oppression,” al-Saafin said.

Another organizer, Reema Asia, stressed that the event was important for educating students about struggles faced by their peers abroad: “Through the discussion that took place, the students at the university will have a better understanding of the situation of Black communities not just in America, but around the world. You simply cannot be an ally to a people without having an idea of what it is they are fighting against.”

Al-Saafin told Ma’an that the event was part of the larger effort of building solidarity through knowledge, and that the Right to Education campaign hoped it would help bolster their work to create linkages between the struggles faced by Palestinians and other marginalized communities around the world.

“We hope that this event and those in the future will emphasize the fact that as Palestinians and as students, we have to actively fight injustice everywhere … Our liberation is simply incomplete without the liberation of all oppressed peoples,” she said.

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It’s all ONE STRUGGLE!

Also by Latuff

Also by Latuff

DEMOS IN NEW YORK ‘KEEP ON GOING’ ~~ IN PHOTOS

They just keep going!

Like the bunny, they just ‘keep on going’

Thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets yesterday demanding an end to racist police violence and seeking justice for those who died at the hands of officers who are never held accountable for their illegal actions. 

The crowds of tens of thousands, diverse and overwhelmingly young, were a wonderful representation of New York and they were exuberant and militant in their demands: “No justice, no peace!” rang throughout Washington Square Park which is where they assembled at 2:00 pm on a blustery winter Saturday. The weather proved no deterrent as marchers left the park and headed up Fifth Avenue. “I can’t breathe!” “Hands up, don’t shoot!” were shouted out, echoing the dying words of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, whose deaths ignited the unending protests that have created, what seems to be, a new civil rights movement in our country – or at least a growing awareness by millions that something is terribly wrong with the so-called justice system in these United States and a determination to demand change to right that wrong.

Above commentary by Matt Weinstein.  Click HERE for his photos of the demo.

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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#BlackLivesMatter ~~ IN PHOTOS

MORE BIG DOINGS IN THE BIG APPLE

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“Hands up.  Don’t shoot!”

“I can’t breathe!”

“How do we spell murder?  NYPD!” 

These were the sounds heard in the Times Sq. area last night as over 100 people gathered to protest the killings of unarmed Black people that have been going on for much too long in this country.  A multi-racial, multi-ethnic group of people stood in the cold for 2 hours holding signs, reading the names of victims, and telling their stories to all who would listen.  To further decry the long history of American racism, the names of people lynched, like Emmett Till, were included in the signs and recitation. 

Every night since the New York Grand Jury refused to indict the officer who choked unarmed Staten Island citizen Eric Garner to death there have been marches, die-ins, and occupations in parts of the city by thousands of angry and pained people.  The groups have included everyone from youthful students to seniors, some veterans of the civil rights movement of the 60’s.  But this is not like the civil rights movement – the demonstrators are not asking for laws to be changed.  They are demanding that the government, the police departments, and their fellow citizens conduct themselves in a way to show that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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IN PHOTOS ~~ BIG DOINGS IN THE BIG APPLE ~~ THOUSANDS GATHER AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY

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 Under the NYC night sky at 6:30 pm, 10,000 (police report) people gathered at Foley Square to protest the failure of the Grand Jury to indict the killer policeman of Eric Gardner, a Black resident from Staten Island . The demonstration was called  by the NYC Civil Liberties Union and The Center For Constitutional Rights. The meeting was peaceful, but participants were angry. The meeting represented the wide range of ethnic and racial population in NYC, from the young to oldsters. “BLACK LIFE MATTERS” and “I CAN’T BREATHE” were the refrains which filled Foley Square as well as “NO PEACE WITH OUT JUSTICE” and “HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT” (referring to Ferguson  Mo). Within  hours people spontaneously began to leave the Square to circulate through the city.  Local street protests continued to the wee hours of the morning.  The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges were closed down.  The Holland Tunnel was closed for forty  minutes.  In some streets traffic was blocked and “die-ins” on the streets helped block the traffic. There were masses of police with their patrol cars  and scooters and their  buses to hold arrested demonstrators (200 were arrested).

The tactics used by the demonstrators were very familiar to those who participated in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s.

It is unfortunate that people are still marching for what should have been achieved more  than a half a century ago.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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Two reports from the New York Times (click on photo to see slideshow)

REAWAKENING OF THE INFAMOUS RED SCARE

 

No matter how many times McCarthy's grave gets pissed on he still comes up smelling like a rose.

No matter how many times McCarthy’s grave gets pissed on he still comes up smelling like a rose.

The Cold War has been over for more than 50 years. State sanctioned Islamophobia has replaced the ‘Reds’ as the enemy.

SO, why are they still afraid of a 98 year old Red?

 A 98-year-old retired New Jersey math teacher implicated in a Cold War atomic espionage case lost her bid on Thursday to throw out her conviction, which she called a McCarthy-era injustice.

98-Year-Old Red Scare ‘Spy’ Loses Bid To Clear Name

Miriam Moskowitz Served 2 Years After Conviction

Miriam Moskowitz being led by an FBI agent.

MIRIAMMOSKOWITZ.COM
Miriam Moskowitz being led by an FBI agent.

By Nate Raymond for Reuters VIA

A 98-year-old retired New Jersey math teacher implicated in a Cold War atomic espionage case lost her bid on Thursday to throw out her conviction, which she called a McCarthy-era injustice.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan ruled that Miriam Moskowitz failed to show that recently released records not available to her trial lawyers would not have resulted in her acquittal.

“The error if any is not fundamental,” Hellerstein said. “There’s no showing it would have altered the result.”

Moskowitz called the decision “too bad,” but the Washington Township, New Jersey resident said she would not appeal.

“My 98-year-old life goes on,” she told reporters outside the courtroom. “I am disappointed because it reflects not so much on me but on the prejudice of the McCarthy era.”

Moskowitz had been a secretary when she and former boss Abraham Brothman, a chemical engineer with whom she had an affair, were convicted in Manhattan in 1950 of conspiring to obstruct justice by lying to a grand jury investigating espionage.

Moskowitz served two years in prison after a trial that lawyer Roy Cohn, who later worked for Senator Joseph McCarthy, the leading face of post-war U.S. anti-Communism, called a “dry run” for the government case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

She said recently unsealed records established that a chemist named Harry Gold lied when he testified at her trial that she was present when he and Brothman got their stories straight before speaking with the grand jury.

She said Gold repeatedly told the FBI otherwise but that the defense had not been informed. Gold admitted passing information on the U.S. atomic bomb program to a Soviet diplomat and served about half of a 30-year prison sentence.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan declined comment.

Moskowitz wrote the 2010 book “Phantom Spies, Phantom Justice” about her case.

Her trial judge, Irving Kaufman, also handled the Rosenbergs’ trial. They were executed in 1953 for conspiracy to commit espionage.

EVEN THE ISRAELI SKY HAS BECOME AN ENEMY OF PALESTINE

Police have been flying surveillance balloons over the city’s eastern sector and Old City — the location of its most sensitive holy sites — to monitor protests and move in on them quickly. They say the puffy white balloons, which carry a rotating spherical camera pod, have greatly helped quell the unrest. But the eyes in the sky are unnerving Palestinians.

Our onetime friend in the sky

Our onetime friend in the sky

When I was a youngster we looked forward to the Goodyear Blimp flying over our homes …. it was our friend in the sky.

Today in Israel, it is definitely not the case … our onetime friend is now working for Public Enemy #1, the government. In the name of security it has now become an instrument of espionage and a threat to our privacy, especially that of the Palestinians among us.

Yet another American spies for Israel

Yet another American spies for Israel

An Israeli surveillance blimp hovers over the Dome of the Rock mosque and the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem.

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Here’s what’s happening …

Spy balloons soar above Jerusalem

Police use surveillance blimps to monitor protests, raising concerns about privacy in Israeli capital.

Israeli police are watching from above in their attempts to keep control in Jerusalem in the face of the city’s worst wave of violence in nearly a decade.

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Police have been flying surveillance balloons over the city’s eastern sector and Old City — the location of its most sensitive holy sites — to monitor protests and move in on them quickly. They say the puffy white balloons, which carry a rotating spherical camera pod, have greatly helped quell the unrest. But the eyes in the sky are unnerving Palestinians.

Photo credit: APPhoto credit: AP

“They want to discover everything that’s going on. (They see) who is going, who is coming, who is that person,” said Imad Muna, who works at a local bookstore.

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The Israeli company that makes the Skystar 180 aerostat system says the balloons can stay in the air for 72 hours and carry highly sensitive cameras.

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Rami Shmueli, the CEO of RT LTA Systems Ltd, said his company gives police a “third dimension” in their quest to quell tensions in east Jerusalem, where they have been clashing regularly with masked youths hurling rocks and firebombs.

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“We give them an aerial view of the streets and those people who are throwing stones, we can detect them even if they hide behind buildings or in gardens,” said Shmueli. “When we see them and when we see their activity, we can direct the police forces to their location. And even if they escape we can follow them and make sure that police catch them.”

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Over the past month, 11 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks, including a deadly assault last week on a Jerusalem synagogue that killed five people. Most of the violence has occurred in Jerusalem, along with deadly attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank.

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The violence has been connected in large part to continuing unrest at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site – a hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The Temple Mount, home to the ancient Hebrew temples, is the most sacred site in Judaism. Today, it is the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the gold-topped Dome of the Rock, the third-holiest place in Islam.

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Jews are allowed to visit the site, but under a longstanding arrangement, they are barred from praying there. A growing number of visits by Jewish worshippers – some of whom seek to pray or want to rebuild the Jewish Temple there – has sparked rumors that Israel is plotting to take over the site – a charge Israel denies – and prompted violent riots by Palestinian youths. Israeli crackdowns and restrictions on Muslim access to the site, imposed as a security measure, have further enflamed tensions.

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The helium-filled balloons were successfully used in Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip last summer. While various types of surveillance blimps have been used in the Jerusalem area for years, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a strategic decision was recently made to increase their use as part of a broader effort to use the latest technologies.

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He said police currently have four surveillance balloons deployed over Jerusalem, including one that monitors the Old City and its volatile holy sites, and others over Arab neighborhoods that have experienced unrest. Since the aerial deployment, he said there has been a marked decrease in street violence.

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“It is tremendously important and gives us gives a 360-degree view of what is going on,” Rosenfeld said. “Our units can respond a lot quicker, a lot faster and much more effectively.”

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The Skystar system is currently also deployed in Afghanistan, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, Russia, in various countries in Africa and was used for security at the World Cup in Brazil, the company says.

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The balloons are part of a broad collection of surveillance equipment that includes security cameras throughout the city, including 320 of them in the Old City – as well as undercover units, riot-control forces and intelligence gathering.

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Police have arrested some 1,000 protesters since the summer, when the violence erupted following the killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy by Jewish extremists in a revenge attack for the earlier killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

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Sheik Ikrima Sabri, the imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque, said Palestinians are well accustomed to the aerial surveillance of mass prayers each Friday. But he said the new surveillance over residential areas is a problem.

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“It is practically over the houses. It violates the privacy of people. There are women in the houses and these machines can photograph them,” he said.

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Saleem Mohtaseb, a resident of Shuafat, an Arab neighborhood that has experienced frequent unrest, said the cameras have further frayed people’s nerves. “I asked my wife to close the curtains whenever she sees it in the sky. I know many people who have done the same,” he said.

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Source

WOULD YOU SUPPORT A LAW DECLARING AMERICA TO BE THE LAND OF THE PROTESTANT PEOPLE?

Is this what you want for America?

Is this what you want for America?

If you would oppose such a law had it been proposed in your own country, how can you support it when proposed in another country? If you would have objected to such a law because it would discriminate against you as a member of a religious or ethnic minority, how can you possibly support such a law when it is being put forward in your name, with you as the would-be member of Israel’s Jewish majority?

If America Had Laws Like Israel

By Avital Burg 

Thinkstock

A new proposed bill, supported by senators on both sides of the aisle, will finally define and determine the United States of America as the land of the Protestant People, the largest religious constituency in the U.S. and the group out of which America’s founding fathers and ruling leadership emerged.

The new law aims to anchor Protestant values in the laws of the land, inspired by the spirit of the American Constitution. Furthermore, the bill proceeds to state that the U.S. will continue to uphold a fundamentally democratic character. According to the new law, the United States will be fully committed to the foundations of Freedom, Justice, and Peace, in light of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the same time, the bill suggests, the right to implement a national self-definition will be exclusively reserved for the Protestant People. According to the new bill, Protestant values will serve as inspiration to lawmakers and judges at the different levels of the United States’ legislative and judicial branches. In cases where a court of justice encounters difficulties in ruling over issues that have no readily available answers in the Law, in the Christian Canon, or in logical reasoning, it will then rule according to the principles of freedom, justice, integrity and peace stemming from the Protestant heritage.

In addition, the national emblems of the United States, such as its flag and national anthem, will be drawn directly from the tradition of the Protestant Church, and the official calendar of the U.S. will follow the Protestant liturgical year. Finally, the United States will further act to preserve and entrench the Protestant historical and cultural tradition and to cultivate it in the U.S. and abroad.

Any reader who has gotten this far would probably note that such a law could not be passed or even seriously proposed by the United States legislature. In Israel, however, it could become a fundamental law, on a level equivalent to a constitutional amendment in the United States.

The different clauses listed above are not a free interpretation of the bill or wild projections of what this bill could imply; they are the clauses of the original Hebrew bill, translated into the U.S. political context. I have simply replaced the phrase “the Jewish People” and its associated traits with the “Protestant People” and its associated traits, such as “Protestant values” and “the Christian Canon.”

There are currently close to 8 million people living in Israel, more than 20% of which are Palestinian citizens. After years of de facto discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel in various aspects of daily life, this new law, if passed, will make such discrimination official: Palestinians will become formally, legally, second-class citizens. And this is without even mentioning the Palestinians who still live under the Israeli occupation in the West Bank.

If you would oppose such a law had it been proposed in your own country, how can you support it when proposed in another country? If you would have objected to such a law because it would discriminate against you as a member of a religious or ethnic minority, how can you possibly support such a law when it is being put forward in your name, with you as the would-be member of Israel’s Jewish majority?

IN PHOTOS ~~ HAS MOSSAD INFILTRATED THE US LEGAL SYSTEM?

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Some background info on the case …

A conspiracy to convict …. and it’s not a theory!

The Mossad Connection …

After her conviction this week, Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal group that The Electronic Intifada revealed works closely with the Israeli spy and assassination agency Mossad,claimed responsibility for helping US prosecutors unearth Odeh’s 45-year-old record with the Israeli military court. The Jerusalem Report said on Thursday:

“In trying to defang her defense, the NGO [Shurat HaDin] said that the US attorney’s office ran into heavy red tape trying to get the IDF [Israeli army] Archives Division to supply it, in timely fashion, with documents proving Odeh’s identity and conviction, in Israel’s Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank] courts, for her hand in the bombing. Using its own connections, Shurat HaDin was able to get the relevant documents.”

Read the full report on the Electronic Intifada HERE

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Photos from the demonstration outside the Manhattan Federal Building in New York

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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ISRAELI DEMOCRACY IN ACTION

Image by Bendib

Image by Bendib

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Here’s how it works in ‘The Only Democracy in The Middle East’

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The Israeli 'NO STATE SOLUTION'

The Israeli ‘NO STATE SOLUTION’

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Israel moves to outlaw Palestinian political parties in the Knesset

Jonathan Cook FOR
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Haneen Zoabi argues with Israeli police as she attempts to enter al-Aqsa mosque during a protest outside Jerusalem’s Old City on 15 October. (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

 

The Israeli parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to suspend Haneen Zoabi, a legislator representing the state’s large Palestinian minority, for six months as a campaign to silence political dissent intensified.

The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, voted by 68 to 16 to endorse a decision in late July by its ethics committee to bar Zoabi from the chamber for what it termed “incitement.”

It is the longest suspension in the Knesset’s history and the maximum punishment allowed under Israeli law.

At a press conference, Zoabi denounced her treatment as “political persecution.”

“By distancing me from the Knesset, basically they’re saying they don’t want Arabs, and only want ‘good Arabs.’ We won’t be ‘good Arabs,’” she said.

The Knesset’s confirmation of Zoabi’s suspension comes as she faces a criminal trial for incitement in a separate case and as the Knesset considers stripping her of citizenship.

But Zoabi is not the only Palestinian representative in the firing line. Earlier this year the Knesset raised the threshold for election to the parliament, in what has been widely interpreted as an attempt to exclude all three small parties representing the Palestinian minority. One in five citizens of Israel belong to the minority.

In addition, it emerged last week that a bill is being prepared to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, the only extra-parliamentary party widely supported by Palestinian citizens.

Along with Zoabi, the Islamic Movement’s leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, has been among the most vocal critics of Israeli policies, especially over the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem.

Death threats

Zoabi was originally suspended after legislators from all the main parties expressed outrage at a series of comments from her criticizing both the build-up to Israel’s summer assault on Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” and the 51-day attack itself, which left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians.

In particular, fellow members of Knesset were incensed by a radio interview in which she expressed her disapproval of the kidnapping of three Israeli youths in the occupied West Bank, but refused to denounce those behind it as “terrorists.” The youths were later found murdered.

Zoabi faced a wave of death threats and needed to be assigned a bodyguard for public appearances.

During the Knesset debate on her appeal against the suspension, Zoabi said: “Yes, I crossed the lines of consensus — a warlike, aggressive, racist, populist, chauvinist, arrogant consensus. I must cross those lines. I am no Zionist, and that is within my legal right.”

Under attack

Zoabi, who has come to personify an unofficial political opposition in the Knesset against all the main parties, is under attack on several fronts.

Last week she was informed that the state prosecution service had approved a police recommendation to put her on trial for criminal incitement for “humiliating” two policemen.

She is alleged to have referred to the policemen, who are members of the Palestinian minority, as “collaborators” as she addressed parents of children swept up in mass arrests following protests against the Israeli assault on Gaza over the summer.

Faina Kirschenbaum, the deputy interior minister in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, has also drafted two bills directly targeting Zoabi.

The first would strip someone of the right to stand for the Knesset if they are found to have supported “an act of terrorism,” while the second would strip them of their citizenship.

Because ministers are not allowed to initiate private bills, the task of bringing the measures to the floor of the parliament has been taken up by the Knesset’s Law, Constitution and Justice Committee.

Intentional subversions

Zoabi further infuriated fellow members of Knesset this month when she compared the Israeli army to the Islamic State, the jihadist group that has violently taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq and has become notorious for kidnapping westerners and beheading them.

In an apparently intentional subversion of Netanyahu’s recent comparison of the Islamic State and Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement, Zoabi described an Israeli Air Force pilot as “no less a terrorist than a person who takes a knife and commits a beheading.” She added that “both are armies of murderers, they have no boundaries and no red lines.”

Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, was among those who responded by calling Zoabi a “terrorist.”

“The law must be used to put the terrorist — there is no other word for it — the terrorist Haneen Zoabi in jail for many years,” he told Israel Radio.

A poll this month found that 85 percent of the Israeli Jewish public wanted Zoabi removed from the Knesset.

“There is a great deal of frustration among Israeli politicians and the public at their army’s failure to defeat the Palestinian resistance in Gaza,” said Awad Abdel Fattah, the secretary general of Balad, a political party representing Palestinians in Israel. “At times like this, the atmosphere of repression intensifies domestically.”

Silencing all political dissent

The initiatives against Zoabi are the most visible aspects of a wider campaign to silence all political dissent from the Palestinian minority.

Last week, Lieberman instructed one of his members of Knesset, Alex Miller, to initiate a bill that would outlaw Salah’s Islamic Movement.

The legislation appears to be designed to hold Netanyahu to his word from late May. Then, the Israeli media revealed that the prime minister had created a ministerial team to consider ways to ban the movement.

At the same time, the Israeli security services claimed that Salah’s faction was cooperating closely with Hamas in Jerusalem.

After Israel barred the Palestinian Authority from having any presence in Jerusalem more than a decade ago and expelled Hamas legislators from the city, Salah has become the face of Palestinian political activism in Jerusalem.

Under the campaign slogan “al-Aqsa is in danger,” he has taken a leading role in warning that Israel is incrementally taking control of the most sensitive holy site in the conflict.

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Sheikh Raed Salah in Umm al-Fahm earlier this year. (Omar Sameer / ActiveStills)

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Last month it emerged that the Knesset is to vote on legislation to give Jewish religious extremists greater access to the mosque compound. Already large numbers of Jews, many of them settlers, regularly venture on to esplanade backed by armed Israeli police.

They include Jewish extremists that expressly want to blow up the al-Aqsa mosque so that a replica of a Jewish temple from 2,000 years ago can be built in its place.

Last week, Yehuda Glick, a leader of one of these extremist groups, was shot and wounded in Jerusalem. In response, Israel shut down al-Aqsa for the first time since the outbreak of the second intifada fourteen years ago. Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, called it a “declaration of war.”

According to the text of Lieberman’s bill, the northern wing of the Islamic Movement “subverts the State of Israel’s sovereignty while making cynical use of the institutions and fundamental values of the Jewish and democratic state.”

It also blames the movement for “an eruption of violence and unrest among the Arab minority in Israel, while maintaining close relations with the terrorist organization Hamas.”

Raising the threshold

The attacks on Zoabi and the Islamic Movement come in the wake of legislation in March toraise the electoral threshold — from 2 percent to 3.25 percent — for a party to win representation in the Knesset.

The new threshold is widely seen as having been set to exclude the three Palestinian parties currently in the Knesset from representation. The minority’s vote is split almost evenly between three political streams.

Zoabi’s Balad party emphasizes the need for the Palestinian minority to build its own national institutions, especially in education and culture, to withstand the efforts of Israel’s Zionist institutions to strip Palestinian citizens of their rights and erase their identity. Its chief demand has been for “a state for all its citizens” — equal rights for Jewish and Palestinian citizens.

Balad’s chief rival is the joint Jewish-Arab party of Hadash, whose Communist ideology puts a premium on a shared program of action between Jewish and Arab citizens. However, its Jewish supporters have shrunk to a tiny proportion of the party. It too campaigns for equal rights.

And the final party, Raam-Taal, is a coalition led by prominent Islamic politicians.

The three parties have between them eleven seats in the 120-member Knesset, with one held by a Jewish member of Knesset, Dov Chenin, for Hadash.

Abdel Fattah said his Balad party had been urging the other parties to create a coalition in time for the next general election to overcome the new threshold.

So far it has faced opposition from Hadash, which is worried that an alliance with Balad would damage its image as a joint Jewish-Arab party. A source in Hadash told Israeli dailyHaaretz in late September: “Hadash is not an Arab party, and there’s no reason it should unite with two Arab parties.”

Abdel Fattah said Hadash’s objections were unreasonable given that both Balad and the Islamic faction believed it was important to include Jewish candidates on a unified list. “Eventually they will have to come round to a joint list unless they want to commit political suicide,” he remarked.

Falling turnout

Balad has been under threat at previous general elections. The Central Elections Committee, a body representing the major political parties, has repeatedly voted to ban it from running. Each time the decision has been overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court.

In 2007 the party’s former chairman, Azmi Bishara, was accused of treason while traveling abroad and has been living in exile ever since.

But the representation of all the parties is now in danger from the raised threshold. Over the past thirty years, turnout among Palestinian citizens has dramatically fallen to little more than half of potential voters, as the minority has seen its political demands for equality greeted with a wave of laws entrenching discrimination.

Among the anti-democratic measures passed in recent years are laws that penalize organizations commemorating the Nakba, the Palestinians’ dispossession of their homeland in 1948; that provide a statutory basis to admissions committees, whose function is to prevent Palestinian citizens living on most of Israel’s territory; and that make it impossible for most Palestinian citizens to bring a Palestinian spouse to live with them in Israel.

Uncompromising stance

Last week, Balad MKs boycotted the opening ceremony of the Knesset, following the summer recess, in protest at Zoabi’s treatment.

At a press conference in the parliament, her colleague, Basel Ghattas, warned: “The day is approaching when Arab MKs will think there is no use participating in the political sphere. We are discovering more and more that we are personae non gratae at the Knesset.”

On Facebook, Lieberman responded that he hoped the Arab MKs would “carry out this ‘threat’ as soon as possible.”

The increasingly uncompromising stance towards all the Palestinian minority’s political factions marks a shift in policy, even for the right.

Although no Israeli government coalition has ever included a Palestinian party, and the Nasserist al-Ard movement was banned in the 1960s, Jewish politicians have generally viewed it as safer to keep the Palestinian parties inside the Knesset.

Analyst Uzi Baram observed in Haaretz that even Menachem Begin, a former hardline prime minister from Netanyahu’s Likud party, believed it would be unwise to raise the threshold to keep out Arab parties. If they were excluded, Baram wrote, it was feared “they would resort to non-parliamentary actions.”

“Paving the way toward fascism”

Zoabi petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court against her suspension from the Knesset in early October. However, the judges suggested she first use an arcane appeal procedure before the Knesset’s full plenum to demonstrate she had exhausted all available channels for lifting the suspension.

Israeli legal scholars have noted the irregularities in the ethics committee’s decision to impose a record-long suspension on Zoabi. The committee’s task is to regulate parliament members’ behavior inside the Knesset, not political speech outside it.

Aeyal Gross, a constitutional law professor at Tel Aviv University, warned that the Knesset’s treatment of Zoabi was “paving the way towards fascism and tyranny.”

Gross noted the extreme severity of the committee’s punishment of Zoabi, contrasting it with that of another MK, Aryeh Eldad. In 2008 he called for Ehud Olmert, the prime minister at the time, to be sentenced to death for suggesting that parts of the occupied territories become a Palestinian state.

Eldad was suspended for just one day, even though it was a clear example of incitement to violence in a country where a former prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered by a right-wing extremist, citing similar justification for his actions.

Tyranny of the majority

The Supreme Court, which has shifted rightwards in recent years, may not be sympathetic to Zoabi’s appeal against her suspension.

In September the court jailed Said Nafaa, a former MK from her Balad party, for one year after he was convicted of visiting Syria in 2007 with a delegation of Druze clerics and meeting a Palestinian faction leader in Syria.

The crime of making contact with a foreign agent is the only one in Israeli law in which the defendant must prove their innocence.

The court may also be wary of making unpopular rulings at a time when it is under concerted attack from the Israeli right for being too liberal.

Ayelet Shaked, of the settler Jewish Home party, which is in the government coalition, has introduced a bill that would allow a simple majority of the Knesset to vote to override Supreme Court rulings.

Human rights lawyers warned that the bill would further erode already limited protections for minority rights.

Debbie Gild-Hayo, a lawyer with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, warned thatprotections for minorities from the tyranny of the majority would be in severe jeopardy as a result. “These proposals wish to break down the checks and balances that are fundamental to democracy,” she said.

Zoabi remained defiant. She noted that, while she was being hounded, the legal authorities had ignored genocidal remarks made by Jewish politicians against Palestinians during the summer attack on Gaza.

“They’re putting me on trial over a trivial, meaningless matter, while ministers and MKs who incited to racism and incited to violence and even to murder aren’t being investigated, even after complaints were filed against them.”

She added: “If I am indicted, I’ll turn the hearings into the most political trial in Israel’s history.”

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All of the above summed up in one sentence …(by one who should be sentenced ;)

quote-and-israel-is-not-only-our-ally-it-is-a-beacon-of-what-democracy-can-and-should-mean-if-the-hillary-clinton-220053

DOES AIPAC RULE OVER AND ABOVE THE US SUPREME COURT?

Image by Bendib

Image by Bendib

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For a decade an American/Israeli family has fought the United States government for the ‘right’ to have their Jerusalem born son’s US Passport listing ISRAEL as his birthplace. Meanwhile, US citizens of Palestinian heritage cannot ask for a passport stating they were born in PALESTINE. 

For that same decade, the US government has maintained that While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that. Most, including the United States, maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. … that is until yesterday when the Supreme court reached a decision on the matter. (see report below)

Possible compromise would allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list ‘Israel’ as their place of birth, but passport will include disclaimer saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

In reality, that very same Supreme Court should consider doing away with duel citizenship, and stop issuing Passports to non citizens. As it stands now, these people either have or will have the right to vote in US elections.

Obviously, it is in the interest of AIPAC and its affiliates to make sure that never reaches the Court itself.

If Israel goes down, America goes with it

If Israel goes down, America goes with it

Supreme Court divided on Jerusalem passport case

Possible compromise would allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list ‘Israel’ as their place of birth, but passport will include disclaimer saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

News Agencies VIA

WASHINGTON – The US Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Monday as it considered whether Congress overstepped its authority in passing a law designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports.

Congress passed the law in 2002 but the government has never enforced it. Seeking to remain neutral on the hotly contested issue of sovereignty over a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, the State Department allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, with no country name included.

The parents of a Jerusalem-born 12-year-old boy, US citizen Menachem Zivotofsky, have waged a long court battle to have his passport state he was born in Israel.

At issue is the longstanding US policy that the president, not Congress, has sole authority to provide American recognition of who controls Jerusalem, a city claimed both by Israelis and Palestinians.

Twelve-year-old Menachem and his parents sat through the hour-long argument that seemed to split the court along ideological lines. The liberal justices on the nine-member court appeared willing to accept the Obama administration’s argument that changing the wording on passports would damage the American role as a broker of peace in the Middle East and undermine the president’s credibility.

The conservative justices were more skeptical of the argument put forth by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., and were more sympathetic to the parents, Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky. They seemed open to the argument by Alyza Lewin, the family’s lawyer, that the passport language would not change US policy toward Jerusalem.

Justice Antonin Scalia readily agreed with Lewin. “This is not recognition. It just has an effect on the State Department’s desire to make nice with the Palestinians,” Scalia said.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the court’s swing vote in close decisions, is likely to again find himself in that role.

Kennedy signaled some support for the government, saying if the case rests on the determination that the law indicates recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, the State Department “should be given deference.”

However, he also indicated a possible compromise in which the law is enforced but the government adds disclaimers in passports saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Verrilli doubted such a disclaimer would be effective. He called the status of Jerusalem among the most vexing issues in the region.

The State Department maintains the law violates the US Constitution’s separation of executive and legislative powers. It says a loss for the government in the case would be seen around the world as a reversal of US policy that could cause “irreversible damage” to America’s ability to influence the region’s peace process.

That argument appeared to gain traction with the liberal justices, including the court’s three Jewish members: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Kagan said Jerusalem’s status is so contentious that any development, no matter how minor, “is a big deal” in the Middle East.

“Right now, Jerusalem is a tinder box because of the status of and access to a particular holy site,” Kagan said.

Kagan likened the statute to a “very selective vanity plate law,” referring to customized car license plates. She noted that Jerusalem-born US citizens of Palestinian heritage cannot ask for a passport stating they were born in Palestine.

Of the conservative justices, Antonin Scalia seemed most supportive of the family, saying foreign policy concerns should not be taken into account when deciding whether Congress had authority to pass the law.

“If it is within Congress’s power, what difference does it make whether it antagonizes foreign countries?” Scalia said.

While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that. Most, including the United States, maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Two years ago, the justices rejected lower court decisions that called the matter a political issue that should be resolved by Congress and the president without the help of the courts.

The federal appeals court in Washington then struck down the law as an unconstitutional intrusion by Congress on the president’s authority over foreign affairs.

Congress and the White House have argued for decades over support for Israel’s position on Jerusalem.

In 1995, Congress essentially adopted the Israeli position, saying the US should recognize a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In 2002, lawmakers passed new provisions urging the president to take steps to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to have their place of birth listed as Israel.

President George W. Bush signed the 2002 provisions into law but noted that “US policy regarding Jerusalem has not changed.” President Barack Obama has taken the same stance.

A ruling is due by the end of June.

The case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, US Supreme Court, 13-628.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Presented here is a report about the harassment of a Palestinian/American WHO LIVES IN THE UNITED STATES ….. obviously AIPAC or the ADL couldn’t care less …. but hopefully you do.

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Free Rasmea Odeh, political prisoner

By Angela Davis*

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Rasmea Odeh is fighting for her citizenship and for her freedom. She is scheduled to appear in federal court in Detroit today on charges of “unlawful procurement of naturalization.”

As her supporters emphasize, her arrest and prosecution are politically motivated and are clearly designed to disrupt the Chicago Palestine human rights community.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 22, 2013, Homeland Security agents arrested the 67-year-old Odeh, an American of Palestinian origin, at her home in the suburbs of Chicago.

On the same morning she was indicted in federal court, based on responses to questions posed on a 10-year-old naturalization application. Odeh has been an American citizen for the last decade.

Only now, when the Chicago activist community has effectively raised awareness of Israel’s apartheid system and its violation of international laws, have immigration authorities decided to challenge her status as a citizen. In light of success of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign, this case reeks of political payback.

Federal authorities allege that Odeh did not disclose her arrest in Palestine 45 years ago by an Israeli military court, an institution that has a long record of human rights violations.

At that time of her arrest, Odeh was forced into a confession while being subjected to physical and sexual torture, some of it perpetrated in front of her now deceased father.

Odeh never committed a crime, and her arrest and conviction by an Israeli military court was unlawful.

Odeh is not the only Chicago activist who has been targeted in the recent period. In 2010 anti-war activists — several from the Chicago area — were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury about their support of Palestinians and Colombians.

It is revealing that Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas, who is leading the investigation of the 23 activists, was in the courtroom on the morning Odeh was arrested, actively consulting with the assistant U.S. attorney who presented her case.

Jonas has an even longer history of targeting Palestinians. He was the prosecutor in the case of the Holy Land Five, who were the heads of the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. before 9/11. He succeeded in getting inordinately long prison sentences for the five men, who provided charity to children in Gaza.

The conviction of the Holy Land Five was based on “secret evidence,” withheld from the defense and on the testimony of Israeli witnesses in disguise.

Targeting 67-year-old Odeh at this point, 10 years after she received her citizenship, appears to be retaliation for the growing successes of the Palestine solidarity movement. Her case is being tried in federal court instead of immigration court, where such cases are normally heard.

She faces 10 years in prison as well as the revocation of her citizenship and deportation.

For decades, Odeh has been an upright and contributing member of her community.

She has worked with the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network, an advocacy and social service agency, supervising programs and coordinating its Arab Women’s Committee, a 600-member group that actively defends civil liberties and immigrant rights.

Targeting a person who has been such an active proponent for positive change is a serious setback for civil rights and militates against democracy and justice.

The time has come for progressive people to demand that Barry Jonas and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Chicago and Detroit cease their witch hunts of the Palestine solidarity communities and end political prosecutions, which undermine the constitutionally protected right to dissent.

As a person with first-hand knowledge of the devastation wrought by politically motivated prosecutions — during the era of COINTELPRO, I was falsely charged with three capital offenses — I see Rasmea Odeh’s case as a continuation of the embarrassing history of decades of suppression of social justice activists in the U.S.

The courts are being used to retaliate against Palestinian activism. As many people in Chicago and Detroit once joined the call to “Free Angela Davis,” I hope they will now join the campaign to “Free Rasmea Odeh.”

*Angela Davis is a renowned activist and distinguished professor emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz.

 

Written FOR

ROLLING ALONG WITH THE OCCUPATION

The term apartheid does fit Israel

Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

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The usual business of occupation is indeed unequal separation. Itʼs separation between the citizens of the occupying country and the residents of the territory being occupied. Separate buses might be the bitter icing on an even more bitter cake. But thereʼs little new here. The business of occupation rolls along, as usual.

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Separate Buses? That’s How Occupation Rolls.

By Mira Sucharov FOR

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Getty Images

As of next month, Israel will operate separate buses for Palestinian residents of the West Bank returning from jobs as day laborers in Israel, thanks to political pressure from West Bank settlers who donʼt want to ride on the same buses as “Arabs.” The question is: Should we care?

Settler leaders claim that the move was due to aggressive and uncouth behavior by Palestinian passengers, coupled with an overall concern for Jewish passengersʼ security. According to a report in Haaretz, one settler told a meeting of a Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, convened by MK Motti Yogev of the Jewish Home party, about having been sexually assaulted by a Palestinian rider. Another complained that his pregnant wife was not given a seat by Arab passengers. Others were worried that Palestinians on buses could lead to hijackings, or worse. But IDF officials insisted they did not see the Palestinian presence on board these buses as a security threat.

In a democracy, of course, an official report of sexual assault should result in an investigation and possibly individual charges being laid. An informal report — as this one was — might lead a municipality to intensify its safety and surveillance measures. But to collectively deny an entire ethnic group the right to travel on some buses would be collective punishment, rightly considered prejudicial.

Israelʼs rule in the West Bank, however, is far from democratic. Palestinian residents of the West Bank arenʼt Israeli citizens, which means that the normal democratic channels arenʼt open to them from the get-go.

Under the terms of the Oslo agreement, it is true that the Palestinian Authority rules over part of the West Bank (Area A). The rest is controlled either jointly (Area B) or fully (Area C) by Israel. And while most Palestinians reside in Areas A and B, Area C comprises over 60% of the West Bankʼs territory, and includes nearly 300,000 Palestinian residents.

Within the areas controlled by Israel, there is a system of roads dotted with checkpoints. Most roads are accessible to both Israeli citizens (including settlers) and Palestinian residents. But 65 kilometers of West Bank roads are accessible only to Israelis. (Whether this means “Jewish-only” roads is a matter of debate. Technically, Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have equal access. But in practice, given that some roads are intended for settler access, and settlers are Jews, some roads are de facto Jewish-only.)

As for the checkpoints — 99 fixed checkpoints as of February, plus hundreds of “flying checkpoints” — they control who gets to cross over the Green Line into Israel proper, thus helping keep Israelis secure. But, along with physical obstructions put in place by the military administration, they also restrict travel within the West Bank by subjecting Palestinians to humiliating searches and long lines. Add to this the so-called separation barrier snaking around the settlements, and Palestinian freedom of movement — even within the West Bank — is curtailed by a foreign power.

So about those separate buses: Should we care?

For my part, as someone who is concerned with human rights for both Palestinians and Israelis, I would say this: not really. The buses are simply a function of the overall system of occupation that inherently denies the Palestinians the basic human right of being ruled by the entity that represents them.

Recall that a Palestinian caught throwing stones will be tried in Israeli military court. An Israeli caught throwing stones will be tried in Israeli civil court. Add to this that neither court — military or civil — contains officials representing the regime that Palestinians have elected, and we have an overall situation that is fundamentally unacceptable from a moral, political and ethical standpoint. (Itʼs worth noting that the Palestinian Authority is also to blame for not having held elections since 2006, partly owing to the Fatah-Hamas split.)

Itʼs no wonder that BʼTselem, the Israeli human rights watchdog organization, issued a 2014 report called “47 Years of Temporary Occupation.” Accordingly, the current head of the organization, Hagai El-Ad, told me in an interview last month that he is seeking to challenge the view of the occupation, in the minds of Israelis, as constituting nothing more than “business as usual.”

The usual business of occupation is indeed unequal separation. Itʼs separation between the citizens of the occupying country and the residents of the territory being occupied. Separate buses might be the bitter icing on an even more bitter cake. But thereʼs little new here. The business of occupation rolls along, as usual.

WHO SAID ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE?

If this doesn’t prove they were
right, nothing will!

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Among the reasons given for keeping the Palestinians off Israeli buses is lack of room on the buses for Jewish residents of the West Bank, and Jewish women passengers saying they have been harassed by the Palestinian laborers.

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We sang that same song on the buses of the US South 50 years ago ...

We sang that same song on the buses of the US South 50 years ago …

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New Guidelines Prevent Palestinian Workers From Riding Israeli Buses

Harassment of Jewish Women Passengers Cited as Reason

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

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New guidelines issued by Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon will prevent Palestinian workers from riding on Israeli public transportation in the West Bank.

Under the new guidelines announced Sunday, all Palestinian workers must return to the West Bank through one crossing, the Eyal crossing located near Kalkilya in central Israel, and continue to their homes from there. Very few Israeli buses reach that area of the West Bank. Palestinian workers are not allowed to stay overnight in Israel.

The guidelines will go into effect next month, according to Haaretz. Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank reportedly is exploring other options to provide the Palestinian workers with appropriate transportation.

Jewish residents of the West Bank and their local governments have waged a vociferous campaign over the last few years in order to prevent Palestinians who work in Israel to use Israeli public transportation in the West Bank.

Among the reasons given for keeping the Palestinians off Israeli buses is lack of room on the buses for Jewish residents of the West Bank, and Jewish women passengers saying they have been harassed by the Palestinian laborers.

Unnamed security sources told Israeli media that the new guidelines are not being put into place to keep Palestinians off Israeli buses, but to make tracking their entering and exiting Israel easier.

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As reported in the Palestinian Press

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Palestinians barred from Israeli West Bank buses

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An Israeli army officer looks over a bus transporting Palestinians
into Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing in Israel
(AFP/File David Buimovitch)
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Palestinians will be effectively banned from riding the same buses as Israeli settlers in the West Bank, local media said Sunday, with a rights group slamming the plan as “racial segregation.”Hundreds of Palestinians travel each day to work in Israel from the occupied West Bank, mainly in the construction business, using a single crossing point at Eyal where they present travel permits.Currently they are allowed to return to the West Bank on the same buses as Israeli settlers.But a new measure announced by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, due to go into effect next month, will require them to again check in at the Eyal crossing point, the Haaretz daily reported.

The workers would have to find separate transportation from that point on.

The directive in effect “bans Palestinian workers from traveling on Israeli-run public transportation in the West Bank,” said Haaretz.

The defense minister was not immediately available for comment.

Israeli settlers in the West Bank have called for years for Palestinians to be banned from public transport there, arguing their presence poses a security risk.

But Haaretz reported that the bus ban contradicted the view of the Israeli army, which does not see Palestinian commuters on Israeli transport as a threat, since the workers go through security vetting before receiving their travel permits.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem accused Yaalon of making a racially motivated decision.

“It is time to stop hiding behind technical arrangements … and admit this military procedure is thinly veiled pandering to the demand for racial segregation on buses,” a group statement said.

Last year, the group criticized the Israeli government for its decision to launch separate bus lines for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

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The settlers themselves are surprised we are calling the above apartheid …

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Left-wing screams apartheid over new security edict for Palestinian laborers

Program would require Palestinian workers from the West Bank to head home at night through same IDF manned passageway through which they entered; new edict makes use of Israeli buses cumbersome.

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Qalandiya check-point

Israeli border policemen control Palestinian worshippers at Qalandiya check-point at the outskirts of Jerusalem. (photo credit:REUTERS)

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Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s new security edict could soon prevent Palestinian laborers, who cross the security barrier to work in Israeli communities, from returning home aboard the country’s public bus lines.

The security program, which has yet to be put in place, would require the laborers to head home at night through the same IDF checkpoints from which they entered, security sources told The Jerusalem Post Sunday morning.

Technically speaking, Palestinians can continue to use Israeli buses on either side of the barrier, but the edict makes this very cumbersome.

There is no start date for the security edict, which is likely to begin with a pilot program at the Eyal crossing in Samaria, security sources said.

As work to construct the West Bank security barrier advances, the IDF’s Central Command is examining ways of supervising the transit of Palestinians and has drawn up proposals that entail them Palestinians leaving and returning through the same crossings, the source explained.

Israeli left-wing politicians and activists immediately attacked the decision, calling it tantamount to apartheid because it prevented Palestinians from using Israeli public transportation lines.

“This is an official governmental stamp on a policy of apartheid in the territories.

Separating Jews and Palestinians only deepens Israel’s status as a pariah state,” Meretz party head Zehava Gal-On said in a prepared statement.

“Not only has Defense Minister Ya’alon destroyed our relationship with the US, he is destroying our relationship with the entire world,” she charged.

Gal-On was referring to Ya’alon’s trip to Washington last week in which he was denied high-level meetings with US officials as payback for once having referred to US Secretary of State John Kerry as “messianic” and “obsessive” in his drive to restart peace talks.

Settlers, especially the Samaria Regional Council and the Samaria Citizens Committee, have long lobbied to keep West Bank Palestinians off Israeli buses, claiming they pose a danger to passengers. As such, they hailed the new edit as a victory.

But a security source clarified that it had nothing to do with public buses.

“This does not touch upon public transport,” the source said.

The source stressed that the matter was “security-based” and that the goal was to “supervise the entrance into and exit out of Israeli territory, thereby decreasing the chance of terrorist attacks inside Israel.”

Another security source said the decision had been taken “solely due to security considerations and would not prevent Palestinians from going out to work or making a living.”

“No one is preventing Palestinians from continuing to work in Israeli territory and heading to where they wish,” the source explained. “On the contrary.”

The source explained that “Palestinians authorized to enter Israel will do so through a single passage in order to prevent a situation in which Palestinians stay in Israel illegally instead of returning to their homes,” something that could increase the chances for terrorist attacks.

“This is a mechanism that is supposed to minimize the presence of Palestinians in Israel illegally yet allow Palestinian workers to continue to work inside of Israeli territory,” she source continued. “It is something that every sovereign country does to defend itself.”

But Sarit Michaeli of the rights group B’Tselem told The Jerusalem Post West Bank Palestinians who arrive in Israeli cities and towns to work must pass a rigorous security check before receiving a permit, so it is hard to imagine that they pose a threat.

“I think that it is very disingenuous to speak about it as a security issue,” Michaeli said.

I AM NO LONGER ACCEPTING THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE

I AM CHANGING THE THINGS I CANNOT ACCEPT!
Free yourselves from all evils of society

Free yourselves from all evils of society

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As a society, we have been duped by the powers that be. We were told to chant the following …

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

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Yet, the President of the United States promised CHANGE …. and yes, he kept his promise. Things have changed from bad to worse!

Are we expected to accept that?

I SAY NO!

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Now that we are finally awake, let's get out of bed and get to work!

Now that we are finally awake, let’s get out of bed and get to work!

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Acceptance of what Obama calls CHANGE is complicity with the evils within those changes!

Let’s start with the erosion of our Academic Freedom …. students are no longer allowed or encouraged to think … or even hear opinions contrary to those of the Administration. The human brain has become as redundant as the appendix.

Black Americans have become mere targets for trigger happy police officers, especially the youth.

Muslim Americans have been classified as terrorists and are racially profiled in every aspect of their lives.

New wars are being waged throughout the world targeting self created enemies … soldiers are dying for no reason at all yet they continue to follow orders, truly ‘Waste Deep In The Big Muddy’ …

Attempts to change any of the above leads to arrests, loss of jobs, or even worse, loss of lives.

BUT IT MUST BE DONE!

The American nation has become a nation of Sheeple being led to slaughter.

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sheeple_copy-s720x216-224041

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The outdated Serenity Prayer presented above has allowed the Administration to destroy the very fibers of our society. They have treated us as if we were all addicted to a substance  dangerous to our health … and yes we were, a substance we know as Capitalism! Don’t allow that substance to become fascism …. an evil even harder to cure.

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It can be nipped in its bud!

It can be nipped in its bud!

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Stop following that asshole in front of you! Become the CHANGE that will give us something to really be thankful for this coming Thanksgiving!

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION FOUND IN HONG KONG

THE UMBRELLA REVOLUTION
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Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Hong Kong govt says umbrellas are Kung Fu weapons of mass destruction

Hong Kong govt says umbrellas are Kung Fu weapons of mass destruction

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hong-kong-protests-altagreer

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Weapon of Mass Destruction in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

The Umbrella Revolution has also been labeled as “Color Revolution” backed up by foreign forces, in particular, the United State. Pro-Beijing law makers passed a motion on October 10 demanding an investigation of the mobilization of the massive sit-in action under the Legislative Council(Powers and Privileges) Ordinance.

In response to the smear campaign, DDED HK, created a video that imitates the China Central Television’s news report on the students’ use of mass destruction weapon – umbrellas and birthday song – in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution.

In the video, the umbrellas that protected the protesters from police pepper spray and tear gas were depicted as parachutes and ray guns. The birthday song, which was sang by the sit-in protesters, when they were surrounded and bombarded by the anti-occupation groups, was depicted as the most evil weapon.

 

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WHY WAS MY DAUGHTER’S WEDDING SEEN AS A SECURITY THREAT TO ISRAEL?

Palestine-99542987592_xlarge

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 Yes, I would like to receive an honest and convincing answer to my frustrating question.

My daughter and her fianceי have never been involved in any wrong doing or security violations. However, Israel is so notorious for invoking the security mantra to justify denying Palestinians their basic rights. 

One Civil Administration official in Hebron told me that “if your daughter wanted to join her husband in Gaza, she would have to sign documents, wavering her right to return to the West Bank. In other words, she would have to willfully accept eternal deportation.

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What does preventing a wedding have to do with Israeli security?
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

Yes, I would like to receive an honest and convincing answer to my frustrating question. What does preventing a Hebron fiancיe from being wed to her Gaza fiancי have to do with Israeli security? Does it constitute a security risk? Does it compromise Israeli security in any real manner?

In recent months, I have left no stone unturned in order to obtain a real answer to my question from Israeli officials, but to no avail. Yes, I heard all sorts of prevarication and mendacious justifications and pretexts to justify the unjustifiable.

My daughter Azhar, 19, was engaged to Abdullah Abu Allaban, 23, from Jabalya in the Gaza Strip last year. Their marriage certificate was officiated at the Islamic Sharia court in Dura near Hebron where we live. Ever since, she has been trying in vain to travel the 30 mile-distance from Hebron to Gaza to join her husband. (It is like the distance between Oklahoma City and Norman).

We contacted the civil administration of the Israeli occupation and army and were told to contact the Palestinian Authority (PA) liaison office. However, when we did, we were told that the PA had no authority or power over these matters.  At the Israeli liaison office, a young female soldier told us rather sarcastically to “see Mahmoud Abbas, perhaps he could help you,” Mahmoud Abbas is the helpless chief of the helpless entity known as the Palestinian Authority. He is always at Israel’s beck and call.

My daughter and her fiancי have never been involved in any wrong doing or security violations. However, Israel is so notorious for invoking the security mantra to justify denying Palestinians their basic rights.

One Civil Administration official in Hebron told me that “if your daughter wanted to join her husband in Gaza, she would have to sign documents, wavering her right to return to the West Bank. In other words, she would have to willfully accept eternal deportation.

This is not fair by any standard of civility. Where else in the world does this gross injustice happen? Even the most rogue states don’t do this. Why must traveling a 30-mile distance from Hebron to Gaza lead to eternal banishment from one’s homeland?

The Israeli army authorities would deny that they are preventing a fiancיe in the West Bank from joining her fiancי in Gaza. They would argue that the couple could always travel abroad for the marriage ceremony and consummation and then return to occupied Palestine

This is partly true, but it usually involves a lot of problems, mainly stemming from the unkind treatment meted out to Palestinians by neighboring Arab authorities especially in Jordan and Egypt. Moreover, the traveler would have to incur a lot of extra expenses.

As a journalist who has been covering the bitter conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for more than 30 years, I have long become aware of Israel’s real goals behind this illogical policy of denying Palestinians the sort of things that other people around the world take for granted.

Israel simply doesn’t want us to be around. Israel wants a land without people and is always seeking an opportune time to get rid of us.  But, we won’t give Israel this opportunity, no matter what.

Israel also manipulates humanitarian issues such as this one in order to recruit informers and agents for its security agencies so that they would inform on their communities, friends and neighbors, thus corroding the Palestinian society from within.

The Israeli intelligence didn’t ask me, either implicitly or explicitly, to “cooperate” with them in exchange for permitting my daughter and me to travel to Gaza. Perhaps they knew that my profile wouldn’t allow this sort of thing to happen.   

But it is really sad that the very people who call themselves “the chosen people” and “light upon the nations” would ask the father or mother of a child afflicted with cancer, who need to have a travel permit to take the child to hospital in either Israel or the West Bank for medical treatment, to either “cooperate with us” or have your child dead in a few days or weeks.

Israel, for the sake of argument, may have some “legitimate security” concerns if it allowed Palestinians to commute freely between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But Israel also employs meticulous security measures that make it virtually impossible for Palestinians traveling through Israel checkpoints and roadblocks to indulge in any foul play.

Hence, the only remaining explanation for the draconian Israeli measures is that Israel is interested first and foremost in frustrating, harassing and tormenting the Palestinians in the hope that the latter would contemplate leaving their ancestral homeland for good in order to have a normal life in exile.

WOULD ROSA PARKS FLY ON EL AL?

 

*Rosa Parks

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An online petition launched Sunday is calling on the airline to provide a small section of gender-segregated seats for an extra fee. In two days, the petition garnered more than 1,500 signatures.

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El Al Grapples With Gender Segregation Furor

Should Airline Allow Ultra-Orthodox Men To Sit Apart?

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WIKIMEDIA
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By Ben Sales

 

For approximately a half hour at the beginning of her El Al Israel Airlines flight last week from New York to Tel Aviv, Elana Sztokman watched as the haredi Orthodox man seated next to her rushed up and down the aisle searching for someone willing to switch seats so he wouldn’t have to sit beside her.

On the same route several hours later, another El Al flight was delayed as haredi men stood in the aisles refusing to sit next to women.

After takeoff, the men resumed their protest until other seats were found for them. A passenger on the flight told the Israeli website Ynet that the trip was “an 11-hour nightmare.”

Israel’s national airline has long had to contend with haredi Orthodox Jews insisting on gender separation in the skies. But the two recent incidents – Sztokman’s story went viral after she wrote about it in the online magazine Tablet – have prompted calls for El Al to resolve the ongoing issue.

Some have suggested that the airline insist that strictly observant passengers sit in their assigned seats. Others say the airline should create gender-segregated sections, so seat maps would not have to be reconfigured on the spot.

“What offends me is the premise that sitting next to me is a problem,” said Sztokman, author of the recent book “The War on Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalism and the Women Fighting for Freedom.” “I’m a person first and foremost.”

Sztokman, who has faced similar situations on past El Al flights, said she has written the airline to complain several times but has not heard back.

In a statement responding to an inquiry from JTA, El Al made no mention of the Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 incidents, but said that the airline’s staffers “are trying their best to respond to every request of any of the passengers.”

An online petition launched Sunday is calling on the airline to provide a small section of gender-segregated seats for an extra fee. In two days, the petition garnered more than 1,500 signatures.

“I do think El Al has a responsibility to make its passengers feel safe and prevent this type of thing from happening,” the petition’s author, Sharon Shapiro of Chicago, told JTA. “I don’t think women should be harassed or feel bad or guilty if they can’t change seats. I don’t think men who feel it’s a halachic [Jewish legal] mandate that they can’t sit next to women should be put in a position that they have to nudge and ask.”

Special sections or flights for haredi passengers have been suggested before but never implemented. In a controversial move, some Israeli bus companies separated seating for women and men on several lines in 2010. In 2011, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that forcing such segregation is illegal.

“If they rent the whole plane, El Al can run empty planes,” said Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, a Reform Jewish group. “But you can’t make people move because of their gender.”

Hoffman’s organization challenged El Al two years ago on gender segregation when an American woman, Debra Ryder, was forced to switch seats after a man refused to sit next to her. A lawyer for Hoffman’s group, Orly Erez-Litkhovsky, demanded that Ryder be compensated approximately $14,000 as a result.

El Al rejected the payment demand but said it would revisit its guidelines for flight attendants in terms of having them ask passengers to move or telling people to stay in their seats.

The man who was assigned a seat next to Sztokman’s eventually switched with another passenger. Sztokman said she hopes public outcry in the wake of the incident – including outcry from haredi Orthodox – will push El Al to take action.

“I hope this helps people within the haredi world think twice about whether this is the culture they want, and I hope this encourages women in Israel to speak more,” Sztokman said. “We have to speak more. We can’t just sit down and keep taking it.”

HERE’S HOW PALESTINIANS WILL LIVE IN A ONE STATE SOLUTION

Annexation of West Bank=One State Solution

Annexation of West Bank=One State Solution

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A must read for anyone who still supports that ‘solution …

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The norms proper to a true democracy obligate the state to take steps to promote equality of opportunity and implement a policy of narrowing the gaps in land allocations. Instead, it has responded with a series of laws, including the one allowing small communities to set up admissions committees, that send the following unequivocal message: This is a Jewish state; Arabs out.

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Israel’s discriminatory housing message: This is a Jewish state; Arabs out

Both the Israeli establishment and the greater public have completely disregarded the dire statistics about the the Arab community’s housing shortage.

By Jack Khoury FOR

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Adel Kaadan

Adel Kaadan outside his home in the town of Katzir, which challenged his right to live there because he is Arab.Photo by Moran Mayan / Jini

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Every time the issue of Arabs living in small rural Jewish communities arises, the same question arises: Would Arabs be willing to let Jews live in their small rural communities? The goal of this question is to throw the ball back into the Arabs’ court and portray them as the bad guys, who don’t want Jews in their villages, and therefore have no right to demand to live in equivalent Jewish communities.

But the people who raise this claim ignore several important facts in an attempt to justify a fundamentally racist and discriminatory policy.

First, all the Arab villages – without exception – existed even before the state was established, and the vast majority of their houses were built on privately owned land that the owners inherited from their forebears, not on land provided by the state. Most of the rural Jewish communities, in contrast, were built on state land based on terms set by the state, and according to the High Court of Justice’s precedent-setting ruling in the Kaadan case in 2000, the state cannot discriminate in allocating land on the basis of a person’s ethnic or national background.

Second, Arab citizens of Israel currently own only about five percent of the country’s land, because most of what was once Arab-owned land has been expropriated over the years since 1948 via a series of draconian laws and decisions. In contrast, the regional councils where most of the Jewish communities in question are located control about 70 percent of the country’s land.

The fact that Arabs are barred from living in these areas due to their ethnicity, while almost any Jewish citizen who meets the relevant socioeconomic criteria can live there, means that Jews have considerably more options than Arabs when it comes to choosing a place to live.

Both the Israeli establishment and the greater public have completely disregarded the dire statistics about the the Arab community’s housing shortage, which stems from blatant discrimination in the allocation of land, the expansion of existing communities’ jurisdictions and the approval of master plans. There is an urgent need for tens of thousands of houses for young Arab couples. “Where will we build our house and raise our children?” has become the problem that keeps such couples awake at night, and the options available to them are steadily shrinking.

Every young couple, even an Arab couple, is entitled to aspire to a decent standard of living in every area of life. But instead of enjoying their rights as citizens, striving to realize this aspiration and being able to talk about fair allocations of land and equality of opportunity, Arab citizens feel they are being pushed further and further into a corner. Arabs are searching for any possible solution, including the option of living in small Jewish communities, not out of a desire for separatism, but out of a desire to integrate.

The norms proper to a true democracy obligate the state to take steps to promote equality of opportunity and implement a policy of narrowing the gaps in land allocations. Instead, it has responded with a series of laws, including the one allowing small communities to set up admissions committees, that send the following unequivocal message: This is a Jewish state; Arabs out.

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