ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN UNITED

The past few weeks saw American Muslims lending a helping hand to repair damages due to vandalism in Jewish cemeteries …

Finally, the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak …

A crowdsourcing campaign by a Jewish federation in Michigan is raising money for a local mosque damaged in an arson attack.

We are one!

Michigan Jews Launch Online Drive For Torched Mosque

A crowdsourcing campaign by a Jewish federation in Michigan is raising money for a local mosque damaged in an arson attack.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor has raised more than $3,000 since the campaign launched Monday on the Crowdrise website. Most of the donations are between $18 and $100, many of them anonymous.

The building housing the Islamic Center of Ypsilanti, which also serves as a mosque, was destroyed in the March 11 fire.

A 16-year-old boy was identified and questioned as a suspect in the arson, as well as the arson a week earlier of a vacant house on the same block. Police do not believe the attack was a hate crime, according to reports.

The teen was released to the custody of his parents pending the filing of charges.

 

PALESTINE HOPED TO BE GREAT AGAIN UNDER TRUMP ~~ IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN

While the US continues to turn a blind eye to settlement expansion, the international community and the EU in particular are left with the responsibility of ensuring that everyday life in the Palestinian enclaves does not collapse. Time for a rethink, argue policy analysts Sam Bahour and Mousa Jiryis

Resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict

Resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict

Expect nothing from Trump

By Sam Bahour and Mousa Jiryis

If Donald Trump′s statements about abandoning the two-state solution are actually true, then a sovereign Palestinian state is no longer consistent with US foreign policy. Indeed, most commentators would be inclined to agree that this era will witness an unprecedented acceleration in settlement building and retroactive licensing of outposts built on private Palestinian land. Donald Trump, it appears, will do nothing to stop or rebuke such a policy, having watered down the tired old US rhetoric of ″settlements are an obstacle to peace″ to settlements ″may not be helpful″ to peace. So their construction can continue, indefinitely.

In light of this reality, Europe must recognise that ″the US leads″ approach to resolving the conflict is doomed to failure. There appears little possibility of the elusive peace happening anytime during Trump′s presidency. Historically, the US-leads approach has typically served to give Israel′s settlement enterprise time and space to further entrench itself, thereby making the realisation of a two-state solution increasingly impossible. It is blindingly clear – in light of two decades of failed negotiations under US auspices – that US leadership of conflict resolution efforts is pointless and counter-productive.

Independent European approach long overdue

If Europe′s policy is to achieve two states for two peoples, it will have to pursue an independent policy position that circumvents the Americans. Europe′s political influence in this arena has long been negligible, given US primacy in conflict resolution.

In short, Europe has relied on the wrong leadership for too long. This tragic, historic mistake has not only cost European taxpayers billions, but has also led to a reality that is the diametric opposite of what European policy-makers intended. After 24 years, reliance on American ″leadership″ has led to the creation of numerous Palestinian Bantustans, surrounded by an occupying military power that continues to occupy with impunity, bankrolled by European taxpayers: the EU and its member states are by far the largest donors to the Palestinians.

Israel – delighted that another party is willing to subsidise its military occupation – continues to expand and consolidate its settlement enterprise, with the support of large sections of the American public and government.

Historically, the US and EU have shared a common objective of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the framework of a two-state solution. With the assumption of Trump to the presidency, the Republicans now control all three branches of US government, with majorities in both the House and Senate. This has coincided with a significant shift to the right in the GOP′s policy to Israel-Palestine. By contrast, Europeans have moved towards recognition of the State of Palestine. Sweden′s recognition is now official while parliaments in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, France, Luxembourg, not to mention the European Parliament, have all approved recognition.

America is part of the problem

America supports occupation. Europe inadvertently subsidises occupation. This regrettable logic is an accurate description of current reality. The Trump administration will do little to antagonise its own party or risk the wrath of Israel′s influential pro-settlement lobby in the US. Trump will continue to advocate a hands-off, ″it′s up to the two parties to decide″ approach. As a result, Israel, which has all the power, has little incentive to concede, while the Palestinians, who have no power, and are supposedly ″protected″ under international law, are left to their despair.

The continuing domination of mediation efforts by the US has created a perverse reality which dictates that there is no peace; and no traction towards peace at any time in the near future. While commentators have busied themselves picking at the rotting carcass of the so-called peace process and apportioning blame for its failure, few have dared to state the obvious: America is part of the problem, not the solution.

Protected by its patron

Israeli intransigence and blatant violation of international law is fuelled by its belief that, no matter what it does, the US will always insulate it from meaningful rebuke. Palestinian desperation is driven by a conviction that America′s overwhelming support to Israel makes negotiations pointless, as Israel has little incentive to concede when it receives so much money, weapons and political support for its settlement project.

In summary, under Trump′s leadership, the US will undoubtedly turn a blind eye to settlement expansion, while the international community and the EU in particular will be left with the responsibility of ensuring that everyday life in the Palestinian enclaves does not collapse, through massive injections of aid monies – a state of affairs inspired by Israeli excesses ad infinitum made possible by US support or indifference.

So what can Europe do? Europe can ′roll up its sleeves′, play power politics and take on the occupier, without waiting for American leadership to produce results. If the experiences of Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor and South Africa are anything to go by, an occupier or an apartheid regime will only change its ways with a nuanced combination of sanctions, international isolation and, as a last resort, military force.

The EU must rise to the occasion and demonstrate to its constituents that European money and credibility are more important than indulging in American charades of impartiality. It is clear that America has no moral or political qualms with Israel remaining an occupying force.

Once Europe finally acknowledges this reality and moves on, it will find the strength and legitimacy to propose policies of its own, in line with its European neighbourhood objectives and its own moral standards.

 

Written FOR

LATEST ROUND OF LAND GRABBING, MUSLIM HATRED AND WALLS

During the radical change in the USA, where after the US presidential election the whole world just looks at decrees and tweets by the narcissistic “national socialist” Trump, the Netanyahu regime masterfully knew how to press ahead with Zionist raids, racist laws, and the Judaisation of Palestine.

Image by Carlos Latuff

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When land grabbing, wall construction, expulsion, and Muslim hatred become reason of state!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

It cannot be said more appropriately than it was expressed by the right-wing Likud Member of Parliament and Minister of Science Ofir Akunis to describe Zionist politics: “Whole Israel is ours, undivided, this is beyond dispute.” (1)
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With the unjust law adopted by the Knesset last week the Zionist State wants retroactively tolegalise 4.000 settlers’ apartments built on stolen Palestinian land. This will pave the way to avoid evacuation of “illegal wild” settlements and outposts. If we consider that in reality all Jewish settlements in Palestine are illegal! In the meantime, the liberal  Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the illegal and just evacuated outposts Amona and Migron was financed by a Netanyahu regime fund of more than 1 million US dollars,”lent” to the extremist Aman Settlers’ Organization! For years, Amana has been one of the most dangerous and active settlers’ movement, developed from the Gush Emunim movement founded in 1978, and is behind the foundations of the “illegal outposts”. This way, the “Jewish State” purposely supports these “wild illegal” settlers. Also the Palestinian shepherds and farmers are regularly attacked and injured by Jewish settlers of the outpost, under the watchful eyes of the “Jewish Defence Army”. No Palestinian is safe from these Judaic extremists (2) (3) (4).
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With this law, the colonisation and annexation of the complete illegally occupied West Bank is definitively initiated as final solution of the Judaisation. And it is also more than beyond belief if the hypocrital community of states, including the USA, criticise the construction of settlements, but do nothing to stop this Zionist plunder. Since Trump’s inauguration as US president, more than 5000 new illegal Jewish settlers’ apartments have already been authorised. And almost every day new settlement units are planned. Apparently before this week’s trip to Washington Netanyahu wants to compete with the real estate mogul Trump to see how far he can go with Trump and Kushner, Bannon and Co. (5)
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The same can be said about the racist “Muezzin Law” rapidly adopted by the Netanyahu regime and openly opposed to Muslims and Islam while discriminating against them. Between 11 PM and 7 AM no muezzin calls from the mosques are allowed. The new provocation shows how it is about religious freedom in the “Jewish State”. However, as the Palestinian-Israeli Deputy Aiman Odeh says: “The muezzin call has been heard for a long time before the racist government of the Netanyahu, and will continue to be heard for a long time”. (6)
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Similar to the provocations of Jewish extremists and Knesset Deputies on the Haram-al- Sharif or the arbitrary prohibition by Jewish occupiers against Palestinian men who were not allowed to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque! (7) (8)
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This racism of the Netanyahu regime and its laws fit seamlessly into the desires of the right-wing populist Geert Wilder who asked for a prohibition of Islam, the Quran and for the shut-down of mosques in the Netherlands. (9)
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Another significant story: At the new inauguration of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes in the Benedictine Abbey in Tabgha at the Genezareth Lake, destroyed by an arson of young Jewish extremists, Christians and Jews met. Cardinal Woelki came from Cologne, and also the President of Israel, Rivlin, was there. A shame that the German ambassador in Israel, von Goetze, thanked the Israeli Authorities for their good protection of the Holy Sites! 
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Five perpetuators were arrested after the murderous attack. Three were released. The costs of the damage was of approximately 1,5 million Euros. The “Jewish State” paid only 370.000 Euros. 400.000 Euros were paid by the Archdiocese in Cologne, and 500.000 came from private donors. It is unbelievable, that no imam was invited because it was not part of the protocol. However, it was exactly the Muslims who provided food to the abbey after the arson, and gave money for the reconstruction! (10)
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And in Berlin the situation is similar. For the election of the new German President before the election there was a “closed” church service in the St. Hedwig Cathedral, but without Jews and Muslims. A protected church service for the Christian political elite; so much for the democratic understanding of Presidential Elections and “Berlin Values”! (11)
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So if today Trump and Netanyahu meet, we have to wonder about the meeting of these two alpha animals.
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For what concerns missing credibility, Trump and Netanyahu are very closed one to another. This makes their politics so dangerous because they recklessly present themselves to achieve their objectives. While Netanyahu’s objectives are well-known (“Eretz Israel”, combined with a bit of corruption and hunger for power), Trump has more diffused, overlapping goals. Between “America First”, self-promotion, megalomania, and his companies and the desire to promote Wall Street, this president is driven between twitter and the attempt to make world politics. And at the moment, as the prize winner and psychiatrist Paul Krugman says, this “mentally ill” president does not seem to really succeed in it. (12)
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Trump’s wall construction at the Mexican border, the ban for citizens from seven Muslim countries, and the isolation of immigrants, are rightly criticised all over the world. Drone attacks against civilians and preventive murders are executed day by day by the USA, the “Jewish State” and many “values alliances”. But for the “Jewish State” the situation is different. Even if Netanyahu constantly rebuilds the illegal Apartheid wall of more than 9 metres high cutting deeply through the illegally occupied Palestinian land, and it was even subterraneously extended to the concentration camp in Gaza, there is not open criticism. Although the “Jewish State” since its foundation has been applying the “Muslim Ban” as state policy, a Muslim/Palestinian is banned from entering the country, violations of the international and human rights laws, the genocide in Gaza and targeted assassinations and attacks against a sovereign state are execused, the “Jewish State” is part of the Christian-Jewish community of values. (13)
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For sure, Netanyahu during his visit will focus on Iran by trying to convince Trump to revoke the nuclear agreement with Iran, in particular after the recent missile test. He will present Iran as the most aggressive and dangerous country and will bring into play his favourite lie, the imminent Holocaust.  Let us hope that he will not succeed! 
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So when Trump and Netanyahu meets on 15 February, we have to be curious how they will deal with matters such as the settlements policy, the provocation of the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, or the dying Gaza, the concentration camp forgotten by the hypocritical world community. It is to be feared that neither Trump nor Netanyahu will care about Palestinians as their ethnic cleansing is being executed with impunity by the Netanyahu regime violating Palestine more and more.
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In fact, all states represented at the UN should have immediately opposed the incredible interference of the incompetent general secretary. Since the UN general secretary Guterres should not depend on the US Trump’s mercy. His proposal to nominate the former Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad as new UN envoy to Libya, as successor of the German Martin Kohler, which is a better choice must not be destroyed! Fayyad  was chosen because of his competency and not as representative of Palestine. And here the US envoy to the UN Haley is wrong. In the meantime it is rumoured that the former Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, against whom in Belgium a warrant was issued because of war crimes, will be compensated with a high UN office for Israel. Incredible! (14) (15)
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While the holocaust is more and more used to justify the politics of the “Jewish State” and to distract from its own racist politics, by committing  crimes and by violating victims, Palestinians and the Nakba are more and more discredited. Norman Finkelstein, himself son of Holocaust victims, and author of the book “The Holocaust-Industry” who at the end of January gave a considerable seminar at the Max Planck Institute in Halle, described this phenomenon in a most peculiar way. And as many Israel critics he is denigrated by the Israel lobby and its Christian-Zionist supporters. In particular by the eternal “green agitators” Volker Beck and the Springer Press. (16) (17)
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The activities of the “Israel lobby and its willing sayanim become more and more bolder. This hasbara trace slashes right through the country, from Hildesheim, Halle, Göttingen, Freiburg and now also against the well-known liberation theologian and Islam expert Farid Esack, as guest professor in Hamburg. And again Volker Beck is at the Israel frontline and defends the occupiers state by protecting it from any critics. I really ask myself why the Green Party has not already initiated a party exclusion procedure against this moraliser, while the percentages in the surveys are continuously going down. In contrast to the punishable drug consumption, the authorisation of sex with minors and paedophelia, Israel critic is still exempt from punishment! (18) (19) (20)
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However, what can you expect from a “Jewish State” whose morality has sunk so deep, that even the dead body of assassinated Palestinians who died resisting the illegal occupation, are used as “negotiation mass” against any Geneva Convention? When has this occupiers’ state complied with any convention, law, or resolution? (21)
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If land grabbing, wall construction, expulsion, and anti-Muslim hatred become state policy, then it is time that the BDS campaign is supported also by the official politics to get justice in a free Palestine!
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P.S. In fact, the high EU representative Federica Mogherini declares that BDS is legal and that the freedom of expression is a precious value. (22
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Written FOR

THE DEAL TO ERASE PALESTINE COMPLETELY

The clearest message from Israel’s new aid package is one delivered to the Palestinians: Washington sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation. It stood up to Netanyahu over the Iran deal but will not risk a damaging clash with Israel and its loyalists in Congress over Palestinian statehood.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Clearest message from new Israel aid package is that US sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation

Clearest message from new Israel aid package is that US sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation

US aid deal gives green light to Israel’s erasure of Palestine

The announcement last week by the United States of the largest military aid package in its history – to Israel – was a win for both sides.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could boast that his lobbying had boosted aid from $3.1 billion to $3.8bn a year – a 22 per cent increase – for a decade starting in 2019.

Netanyahu has presented this as a rebuff to those who accuse him of jeopardising Israeli security interests with his government’s repeated affronts to the White House.

In the past weeks alone, defence minister Avigdor Lieberman has compared last year’s nuclear deal between Washington and Iran with the 1938 Munich pact, which bolstered Hitler; and Netanyahu has implied that US opposition to settlement expansion is the same as support for the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews.

American president Barack Obama, meanwhile, hopes to stifle his own critics who insinuate that he is anti-Israel. The deal should serve as a fillip too for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party’s candidate to succeed Obama in November’s election.

In reality, however, the Obama administration has quietly punished Netanyahu for his misbehaviour. Israeli expectations of a $4.5bn-a-year deal were whittled down after Netanyahu stalled negotiations last year as he sought to recruit Congress to his battle against the Iran deal.

In fact, Israel already receives roughly $3.8bn – if Congress’s assistance on developing missile defence programmes is factored in. Notably, Israel has been forced to promise not to approach Congress for extra funds.

Netanyahu’s agreement to such terms has incensed Israeli loyalists in Congress such as Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had been fighting Netanyahu’s corner to win an even larger aid handout from US taxpayers. He accused the Israeli prime minister on Friday of having “pulled the rug from under us”.

As Ehud Barak, Netanyahu’s former defence minister, also pointed out in a series of TV interviews in Israel, the deal fails to take into account either inflation or the dollar’s depreciation against the shekel.

A bigger blow still is the White House’s demand to phase out a special exemption that allowed Israel to spend nearly 40 per cent of aid locally on weapon and fuel purchases. Israel will soon have to buy all its armaments from the US, ending what amounted to a subsidy to its own arms industry.

Netanyahu preferred to sign the deal now rather than wait till the next president is installed, even though Clinton and her Republican challenger, Donald Trump, are expected to be even more craven towards Israel. That appears to reflect Netanyahu’s fear that the US political environment will be more uncertain after the election and could lead to long delays in an agreement, and apprehension about the implications for Israel of Trump’s general opposition to foreign aid.

Nonetheless, Washington’s renewed military largesse – in the face of almost continual insults – inevitably fuels claims that the Israeli tail is wagging the US dog. Even the New York Times has described the aid package as “too big”.

Since the 1973 war, Israel has received at least $100bn in military aid, with more assistance hidden from view. Back in the 1970s, Washington paid half of Israel’s military budget. Today it still foots a fifth of the bill, despite Israel’s economic success.

But the US expects a return on its massive investment. As the late Israeli politician-general Ariel Sharon once observed, Israel has been a US “aircraft carrier” in the Middle East, acting as the regional bully and carrying out operations that benefit Washington.

Almost no one implicates the US in Israeli attacks that wiped out Iraq and Syria’s nuclear programmes. A nuclear-armed Iraq or Syria, however, would have deterred later US-backed moves at regime overthrow, as well as countering the strategic advantage Israel derives from its own large nuclear arsenal.

In addition, Israel’s US-sponsored military prowess is a triple boon to the US weapons industry, the country’s most powerful lobby. Public funds are siphoned off to let Israel buy goodies from American arms makers. That, in turn, serves as a shop window for other customers and spurs an endless and lucrative game of catch-up in the rest of the Middle East.

The first F-35 fighter jets to arrive in Israel in December – their various components produced in 46 US states – will increase the clamour for the cutting-edge warplane.

Israel is also a “front-line laboratory”, as former Israeli army negotiator Eival Gilady admitted at the weekend, that develops and field-tests new technology Washington can later use itself.

The US is planning to buy back the missile interception system Iron Dome – which neutralises battlefield threats of retaliation – it largely paid for. Israel works closely too with the US in developing cyber­warfare, such as the Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s civilian nuclear programme.

But the clearest message from Israel’s new aid package is one delivered to the Palestinians: Washington sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation. It stood up to Netanyahu over the Iran deal but will not risk a damaging clash with Israel and its loyalists in Congress over Palestinian statehood.

Some believe that Obama signed the aid agreement to win the credibility necessary to overcome his domestic Israel lobby and pull a rabbit from the hat: an initiative, unveiled shortly before he leaves office, that corners Netanyahu into making peace.

Hopes have been raised by an expected meeting at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday. But their first talks in 10 months are planned only to demonstrate the unity necessary to confound critics of the aid deal.

If Obama really wanted to pressure Netanyahu, he would have used the aid agreement as leverage. Now Netanyahu need not fear US financial retaliation, even as he intensifies effective annexation of the West Bank.

Netanyahu has drawn the right lesson from the aid deal – he can act again the Palestinians with continuing impunity and lots of US military hardware.

AMERICAN TAXPAYERS TO PAY MORE IN THE FUTURE TO KEEP APARTHEID ALIVE

As if 30 Billion a year was not enough …..

“This is the single largest pledge of military assistance to any country in U.S. history.”

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$38B Israel Aid Deal Is Political Boon for Benjamin Netanyahu — and Barack Obama

When Yaakov Nagel, Israel’s acting national security adviser, was tasked with heading the team negotiating a new 10-year military aid package with the United States, Prime Minister Netanyahu set forth the guidelines: “If you reach $3.5 billion a year, you’ll get a gold medal,” Nagel recalled Wednesday, hours before signing the agreement in Washington. “If you get $3.3 billion you’ll get a silver medal; and if you get $3.1 billion you’ll get the bronze.”

Nagel brought home something in between silver and gold, finalizing a $38 billion 10-year agreement, made up of $3.3 billion a year in military aid and another $500 million a year for missile defense systems, which was previously handled separately.

But this Olympics-style competition was more than about money. It was also about two world leaders seeking vindication.

One, in Jerusalem, wanted to disprove the notion that he harmed bilateral relations with his country’s greatest ally by picking a fight with its leader.

And the other, soon to leave the White House, was looking for the ultimate seal of approval for his support to the Jewish State. Both ended the race legitimately claiming victory.

“This deal illustrates a simple truth,” Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video message hours after the agreement was signed. “The relationship between Israel and the United States is solid and powerful. It does not mean that we don’t have disputes now and then, but these are disputes you have between family.”

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, the Obama administration’s highest ranking official at the signing ceremony, noted the historic nature of the deal.

“This is the single largest pledge of military assistance to any country in U.S. history,” Rice said. “And that’s not an accident. It’s a reminder of the United States’ unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”

Obama and Netanyahu, reaching the final stretch of their troubled 8-year marriage, now have a document proving that years of personal tensions and deep distrust have not infected the bilateral relationship.

And just like in any Olympic competition, it took a lot of sacrifice to get to the winner’s podium.

For Netanyahu, it meant to some extent turning his back on Republicans in Congress, the Israeli leader’s willing partner in battling the Democratic administration. For Obama, reaching the finish line required bending over backwards in an effort to convince Israel to agree to accept his $38 billion gift.

At the State Department’s Treaty Room on Wednesday afternoon, it was the working-level officials’ moment in the limelight.

Israeli and American national security experts who have been engaged in three years of negotiations trying to iron out the details of the massive aid package, were all on hand to see the deal come to life. Secretary of State John Kerry popped in after the signing for a quick photo op with negotiators. Israel’s ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer, once a political lightening rod for Obama administration officials, sat in the front row, as did his American counterpart Dan Shapiro. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle came to show their support, alongside several Jewish organizational leaders.

The deal, which will go into effect in 2019, is aimed at helping Israel deal with regional threats by using the American aid to purchase advanced U.S. defense equipment. It will replace the current 10-year $30 billion deal, which did not include the missile defense component, funded each year separately by Congress.

The new deals folds missile defense aid into the larger military assistance package, thus assuring Israel a predictable funding source for the program, but at the same time stripping Jerusalem from its ability to use Congress for extra funding beyond the agree upon amount. It also does away with a unique arrangement Israel enjoyed which allowed it to spend a quarter of the American assistance money on purchases within Israel. This benefit will be phased out gradually ending completely in the last year of the agreement.

Israel’s starting point, according to officials involved in the talks, was set at $45 billion, a sum representing Israel’s needs and hopes, rather than a realistically achievable goal. Throughout the lengthy talks, in which, according to Nagel, thousands of slides were presented and every single piece of equipment was discussed, “from the most advanced jets to the last truck,” the final subtotal began to emerge – higher than the previous deal, but less than Israel had wanted.

As negotiations entered the final stretch, it became clear that lack of trust still exists between the Obama administration and Netanyahu’s government. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham offered Israel to push in Congress an extra $300 million in aid, a move seen as unacceptable by the Obama administration which feared the reemergence of the Netanyahu-Congress nexus in attempt to bypass the president.

The administration demanded that Israel make clear it will not seek any further funding from Congress, except for special emergency needs a result of an armed conflict. Netanyahu had to promise Secretary Kerry, in writing, that Israel will adhere to this commitment, and to further commit that if Congress, on its own volition, decides to increase aid to Israel in the next two years, Israel will give back the money. According to Nagel, Netanyahu told Graham, one of his top supporters on Capitol Hill, that given the choice between getting another $300 million from Congress now and securing a deal with Obama for the next decade, he will chose the latter.

But even after having to concede to limiting Congress’s role in aid to Israel and to giving up the possibility of spending aid money in Israel, Netanyahu still had plenty reason for celebration.

Critics of the Israeli prime minister have argued that his insistence on fighting Obama on the Iranian nuclear deal rather than using the moment to leverage Israel’s bargaining power to reach a better aid deal, has cost Israel billions in military assistance. By the time Netanyahu was ready to finalize the deal, they argued, it was already clear that Congress cannot block the agreement and Israel’s position became politically irrelevant. Dermer insists this is not the case. At no point, he said, even at the height of the nuclear deal dispute, did the U.S. indicate it would be willing to be more generous in its aid offer in return for an Israeli retreat.

Netanyahu now gets to show his critics at home that his insistence to fight Obama on the Iranian nuclear deal did not cost Israel its future relationship with America. A $3.8 billion annual check from Uncle Sam will help embolden Netanyahu’s message, as will the symbolic fact that Dermer, the architect of Netanyahu’s 2015 Congress speech, was posing for pictures with Secretary Kerry after the signing ceremony.

Obama has also gained significantly from finalizing the deal before leaving office.

The administration made every effort to drive home the notion that the new Memorandum of Understanding represents a historic measure. Rice called it an “unprecedented commitment to the security of Israel.” Obama, in a statement, said the agreement was “just the most recent reflection of my steadfast commitment to the security of the State of Israel.” Just like Netanyahu, Obama has critics too, accusing him of being unfriendly to Israel in his years in the White House. Now, his legacy is cemented by a signed agreement and a hefty dollar amount he can use to dispel these claims.

US IS FUELING ISRAEL’S CIVIL WAR

Israel is a very special country. Its history is like no other. Maybe that’s why its civil war, which is well underway, is almost indistinguishable to the untrained eye from a stable country. Upon closer inspection, Israel is a powder keg already in the process of the most significant societal and political implosion of its history. While a total meltdown is not inevitable, the US continues to provide the fuel for Israel to continue driving drunk on power.

An Israeli UAV Hermes 500 flies over the Hatzerim air force base in the Negev desert, near the southern  city of Beer Sheva, on June 30, 2016 during an air show at the graduation ceremony of Israeli pilots. / AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ  File photo of an Israeli drone (AFP)

An Israeli UAV Hermes 500 flies over the Hatzerim air force base in the Negev desert, near the southern city of Beer Sheva, on June 30, 2016 during an air show at the graduation ceremony of Israeli pilots. / AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ
File photo of an Israeli drone (AFP)

US should withhold military aid until Israel recognises Palestinian sovereignty

US fueling Israel’s civil war

Sam Bahour

Israel is a very special country. Its history is like no other. Maybe that’s why its civil war, which is well underway, is almost indistinguishable to the untrained eye from a stable country. Upon closer inspection, Israel is a powder keg already in the process of the most significant societal and political implosion of its history. While a total meltdown is not inevitable, the US continues to provide the fuel for Israel to continue driving drunk on power.

On one side of this civil war is the elected government led by Benjamin Netanyahu and a bunch of the most extremist politicians one can find, several illegal settlers themselves. Aligned with the government are a cohort of settlers in the West Bank, which have surpassed their widely acknowledged role as the largest impediment to peace and have become an electoral consistency that is hard to reckon with.  Supporting this camp in Israel are party faithful that in any other country would be called outright racists. You can find some of them at Israeli soccer games chanting “Death to the Arabs.” A few have actually made that chant a reality.

On the other side is everyone else, albeit unable to see themselves on the same political side. In this camp are many Jewish Israelis who voted for Netanyahu, some more than once, and have watched their candidate move Israel to the most isolated position it has ever witnessed. These Israelis do not feel any safer today than they did when Netanyahu first ran for office. Added to this group are the second, third and fourth class Israeli Jewish citizens who traditionally vote Likud, against their best interests, and they make up the bulk of Israel’s poverty-stricken class; they sometimes are referred to as Mizrachi Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and the like. Then there is the 20 percent block of Palestinian citizens of Israel. This Palestinian constituency comprises the third largest elected block in the Knesset, but no other Israeli Jewish party deals with them; thus is the extreme state of racism inherent in the Israeli political system.

These two warring sides are fiercely at each other’s throats to claim the nature of Israeli society. The government has embarked on a tragic course to complete the process started in 1948 when Israel was established, to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its Palestinian Muslim and Christian inhabitants. The other camp, however fragmented, understands that Palestinians are never going to disappear into thin air and seek their government to end the nearly 50-year military occupation so Israel can reenter the community of nations with some sense of normalcy.

We are told to believe, ad infinitum by Israel’s most senior officials and an endless stream of flashy media clips, that Israel is a “light upon nations,” and brought the world high-tech, modern agriculture, and even cherry tomatoes. Israel brags that it is a “start-up nation” and Intel, Microsoft and HP, just to name a few multinationals, have all enthusiastically setup shop in the country. What these exaggerated quips and polished marketing tools do not tell us is that Israel is at a point where it is at war with itself.

The social inequality in Israel has reached epic proportions. As reported in Haaretz in 2015, as of 2013 “Israel remained at the bottom of the OECD rankings for measures of inequality and poverty.” Added to this acute class strata, indigenous Palestinians who make up one-fifth of Israel’s population are dealt out of the Israeli melting pot. Jewish Israelis are divided to the point where physical altercations frequently occur across race divides in the streets of Tel Aviv. Additionally, imported foreign labor, brought to replace the traditional Palestinian labor force from the West Bank and Gaza, are tearing Israel at its already fragile seams.

The “start-up nation” started up because Israel acquired, by the use of brute military force, land and water, the two key ingredients to statehood in the Middle East. Israel thrives because the US has chosen to relieve it from its full financial burden as a nation by granting it over $120 billion since its founding. Furthermore, all of this start-up buzz is a result of research and development spending by the military, without which there would be no start-up sector to speak of. This external budget support frees Israeli funds to do other business.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently negotiating President Obama for a 10-year military aid package to the tune of $40 billion. This new package follows President George W. Bush’s administration’s generous 10-year aid package of $30 billion. Historically, the bulk of these funds have been earmarked for Israel to purchase US weaponry, but the current package under negotiations allows Israel to spend the money in Israel. These monies are Israel’s slush fund. With these funds at its disposal, no wonder Israel can afford to offer multinationals 10 and 20-year tax incentives. In 2014 alone, it was reported that “Intel, the US chip giant, will invest $6bn in the upgrade of its main manufacturing plant in what will be the biggest single investment by a foreign company in the country [Israel]. The company will receive a grant of $300m over five years and will pay a corporate tax rate of only 5% for a 10-year period.” With that kind of financial underwriting, I can make the roof of my house a start-up nation.

Part of that other business that the US indirectly funds allow Israel to pursue its continuation of repressing by military occupation 4.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The US Department of State registers in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – the Human Rights Reports – year in and year out how Israel violates human rights. US human rights attorney Alice Lynd, with the assistance of her husband, Atty. Staughton Lynd, documented these report’s human rights violations in a pamphlet for the Palestine-Israel Working Group of Historians Against the War (HAW). Yet, US policy remains uninformed by these reports. Israel laughs all the way to the bank as they continue to build illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territory and entice multinationals to come to Israel to do business.

Don’t do it President Obama. This is an unwise use of US tax dollars. If for some unorthodox political reason, you must agree to this (which I do not buy into), then make sure today’s fundamentalist, right-wing Israeli government finally walks up to the plate and takes the move that is inevitable, recognising the State of Palestine, not to mention ending their occupation. Actually, the world is awaiting the US to make the same recognition. Better yet, take Israel’s hand and head to the UN Security Council and pass the pending resolution which upgrades Palestine’s status at the UN to a full member state. Later, both countries, Israel and the US, can decide when to extend direct recognition.

If Israel refuses to accept recognising the State of Palestine, the ultimate act to save the rapidly vanishing two-state paradigm, then hold the military aid package and take bold political action before you leave office, grant US direct recognition of Palestine. When the incoming president is faced with the wrath of Israel and the pro-Israeli lobby for this US recognition, the new administration will have a $40 billion card to subdue them. Maybe by then, these funds can be leveraged to get Israel to end their military occupation once and for all.

It’s sad that tax dollars are used in such a fashion, but if that is how the US works, then let it work for peace, not to continue fuelling Israel’s civil war, which will ultimately spill over to yet another armed clash with Palestinians under occupation. As a Palestinian-American, born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, I have an obligation to my two daughters and all Palestinian children, as well as all of Israel’s children too, to speak up before we all end up paying the price, again, for US inaction, or worse.

 

Written FOR

IRONIC TOON ~~ MANDELA HONOURED BY HIS CAPTORS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Same US that now exalts Mandela as hero, was responsible for his imprisionment

Same US that now exalts Mandela as hero, was responsible for his imprisonment

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Nelson Mandela has been honored at his memorial by President Obama and countless other world leaders, but a piece of information about his historic life was largely overlooked during the tributes to the late-South African president: The role of the CIA in his imprisonment. A CIA agent inside the ANC provided the South African apartheid government with the location of Mr. Mandela so they could arrest him decades ago. 

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Related report and photos HERE ….

Former diplomat admits CIA involvement in Nelson Mandela arrest

Revelations from a CIA operative indicate that the American spy agency was behind the arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1962. Mandela was perceived to be a risk to the US due to alleged ties with the Soviet Union.

WEEK’S END IN TOONS ~~ SYRIAN CEASE FARCE

Images by Carlos Latuff

US and Russia talk peace, make war, in Syria

US and Russia talk peace, make war, in Syria

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US, Russia and the Syria cease-fire

US, Russia and the Syria cease-fire

CNN: “U.S. announces ceasefire for Aleppo after talks with Russia” –

A ceasefire is in effect in one of the most war-torn cities in Syria, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday. The United States and Russia concluded arrangements for a cessation of violence in Aleppo and surrounding areas, according to a department statement.

The two countries ended talks Tuesday and are closely monitoring whether the ceasefire sticks. Violence has decreased but continues, according to State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner.

Foreign Policy: “MSF Blasts U.S., Russia, Syria, and Saudi for Hospital Strikes” –

In a stinging rebuke, the president of French medical relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres on Tuesday accused several governments, including the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, of either directly attacking medical workers or participating in coalitions that have done so.

Speaking in a special session of the U.N. Security Council on the protection of health care workers, MSF leader Joanne Liu said four of the council’s five permanent members — Britain, France, Russia, and the United States — “have, to varying degrees, been associated with coalitions responsible for attacks on health structures over the last year.”

Those coalitions, Liu said, were responsible for strikes on medical targets in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria. But the attacks on medical workers reach far beyond those countries, endangering health workers in Iraq, South Sudan, and Somalia. The world, Liu warned, is “facing an epidemic of attacks on health facilities, impeding our ability to do our core work.”

“Stop these attacks!” she urged the council’s big powers. “You … must live up to your extraordinary responsibilities and set an example for all states.”

The council’s meeting took place as medical workers have come under renewed attack in Syria, where [Russian-backed] government aircraft last week bombed a hospital in Aleppo, killing [55] people, including three children and one of the city’s few remaining pediatricians. On Tuesday, [US-backed] rebel rocket fire again struck a hospital and maternity clinic, killing three women, according to the official Syrian Arab News Agency.

FROM

AFTERMATH OF STUPIDITY ~~ ‘LEFTIST’ ARRESTED IN ISRAEL TRYING TO FLEE COUNTRY

Read THIS post first to get a background

Israeli Activist Says He Helps Kill Palestinians Who Sell Land to Jews

A man whose actions must not be condoned! Ezra Nawi. Photo from WIkimedia Commons

A man whose actions must not be condoned!
Ezra Nawi. Photo from WIkimedia Commons

‘Pot calling kettle black’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook Friday that the report “unmasked radicals among us, whose hatred for settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of delivering innocents for torture and execution. Those who encourage murder cannot continue to hide behind the hypocritical pretense of caring for human rights.”

Far-left activist at center of storm arrested trying to leave country

Ezra Nawi, filmed in television expose saying he helps Palestinian authorities find and kill those who sell land to Jews, is stopped at airport

A key figure from a left-wing Israeli group was arrested at Ben-Gurion airport on Monday as he tried to leave the country, days after being filmed in a television investigation that has rocked the halls of power.

Ezra Nawi, a Jewish far-left activist from the Ta’ayush group, is reportedly suspected of conspiracy to commit a crime.

Nawi, a prominent campaigner for Palestinian rights, featured in a television investigation last week in which he was recorded saying that he helps Palestinian authorities find and kill Palestinians who sell land to Jews.

Channel 2 reported Monday that during the afternoon police who were watching the suspect followed him to the airport. Although at first officers assumed he was going to meet incoming travelers, it soon became clear he was trying to leave the country as he tried to check in for a flight.

Police arrested Nawi and took him away for questioning.

Police confirmed they arrested a leftist activist but declined to give his name, though it was carried in several media reports and revealed by two lawmakers not bound by secrecy rules.

A recording of Nawi was aired on Thursday by the investigative television program Uvda, on Israel’s Channel 2.

In it, Nawi is heard speaking about four Palestinian real estate sellers, whom Nawi said mistook him for a Jew interested in buying their property.

“Straight away I give their pictures and phone numbers to the Preventive Security Force,” Nawi is heard saying in reference to the Palestinian Authority’s counterintelligence arm. “The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot.”

The broadcast sparked a political storm, with right-wing politicians and activists pointing to it as proof that left-wing groups are not necessarily interested in human rights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook Friday that the report “unmasked radicals among us, whose hatred for settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of delivering innocents for torture and execution. Those who encourage murder cannot continue to hide behind the hypocritical pretense of caring for human rights.”

In the Palestinian Authority, the penal code calls for capital punishment for anyone convicted of selling land to Jews. This law, which Palestinian officials defended as designed to prevent takeovers by settlers, has not been implemented in Palestinian courts, where sellers of land to Jews are usually sentenced to several years in prison.

A number of murders in recent years have been rumored to be related to the sale of land to Israelis, though the murders have remained unsolved.

Nawi was also documented obtaining information from a Palestinian who believed Nawi was a Jew interested in purchasing land. Nawi is seen saying he intends to give that information to Palestinian security officials as well. According to Uvda, an activist with the human rights group B’Tselem helped Nawi set up the would-be seller in a sting operation in which the seller would be arrested.

The recordings and footage were collected by right-wing activists who secretly recorded Nawi.

 

Source

VIDEO ~~ DID AMERICAN ‘CHARITIES’ FINANCE THE LAST WAR IN GAZA

Were common household items purchased with tax-exempt charitable funds used to help the Israeli army kill Palestinians in Gaza?

The video below provides evidence that equipment likely purchased with tax-deductible US donations was used in Israel’s summer 2014 assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians including 551 children.

In the video, members of the Israeli army’s Golani Brigade preparing to deploy to Gaza during the assault thank donors to an organization called Connections Israel for donations they have made.

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Full report HERE

Was gear bought by US charity used by Israeli army during Gaza attack?

MONDAY’S TOON ~~ THANK YOU MR. SISSI!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Egypt Killing of Mentally Ill Palestinian, With Blessings from Israel.

Egypt Killing of Mentally Ill Palestinian, With Blessings from Israel.

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Related video (in Arabic)

Man caught on film walking naked through Mediterranean sea and crossing into Egyptian territory where he is shot by security forces.

#JeSuisSyrian ~~ IT’S NOT JUST THE EU, NOBODY GIVES A DAMN!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

I was not aware of the following but was truly revolted when I read this;

Syrians flee while Saudi tents sit empty

Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty, air-conditioned tents sitting unused while thousands of Syrian refugees continue to bake in overcrowded camps, but refuses to make them available. The news site TeleSur reports that the 20-square-km tent city of Mina is used just a few days a year to provide beds for Hajj pilgrims and sits empty the rest of the year. It says the tents are laid out neatly, measure eight metres square, are fireproof, include a kitchen and bathroom, and could house three million people. According to the Brookings Institute, the wealthy Arab states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE have not taken a single refugee, while European countries struggle to deal with a flood in the hundreds of thousands.

AFP/GettyTent city in Saudi Arabia: air conditioned tents could hold three million refugees.

AFP/Getty  Tent city in Saudi Arabia: air conditioned tents could hold three million refugees.

Source of above

Israel has a history of contempt for refugees as can be seen in THIS report by Sam Bahour

The Sabra and Shatila massacre is personal

time-1982-cover-sabra-and-shatila

Israeli contempt continues towards the plight of the Syrian refugees;

Israeli leaders delight in Europe’s cruelty toward refugees

As most of the world looks on in horror at Europe’s atrocious response to refugees escaping war and persecution in the Middle East and Africa, some Israeli officials are quietly reveling in the chaos.

Dore Gold, director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, expressed optimism that the refugee influx will shift Europe to the right, making it more sympathetic to Israel’s “security” justification for its ongoing colonization of Palestine.

“Israel always faced the problem in the past that its national security perspective was completely out of sync with how Europeans were viewing the emergence of the European community and the borderless world that was emerging,” the American-born hardliner toldThe Jerusalem Post.

“In the European models that existed 25 or 30 years ago, it is kind of difficult to hear an Israeli argument. But now things may be beginning to change a little,” posited Gold.

“The European perspective is beginning to sound a little bit more like Israel’s perspective on security issues, compared to what it was in the past.”

Echoes of the Holocaust

Images of refugees being corralled in trains, tracked with numbers on their forearms, locked away and fed like zoo animals in overcrowded camps and blocked with razor wire fences from entering Hungary have recalled memories of Europe’s darkest chapter.

All the while, refugees continue to die en masse on perilous journeys to Europe, sometimes drowning on rickety boats by sea and other times suffocating in trucks on the side of highways.

Frequently overlooked is the fact that these deaths are a direct consequence of European border policiesdesigned to make migration as unsafe as possible.

The only thing less acknowledged is the root catalyst.

Rapacious policies advanced by wealthy nations in the increasingly gated Global North have destabilized and fueled the very unrest that has produced the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.

It’s no coincidence that many of the refugees at Europe’s doorstep are fleeing unrest in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan — all countries the US and its allies have directly and indirectly pillaged and destabilized.

Keeping Europe Christian

While there is plenty of blame to go around for the current crisis, Hungary’s actions — coupled with the jingoistic rhetoric of its right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban — have provoked the most widespread revulsion.

Muslim refugees must be kept out of Europe “to keep Europe Christian,” said Orban in an opinion piece urging Germans not to welcome Muslim refugees.

“We shouldn’t forget that the people who are coming here grew up in a different religion and represent a completely different culture,” he insisted. “Most are not Christian, but Muslim. … That is an important question, because Europe and European culture have Christian roots.”

A statement from Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, attributed Hungary’s “callous” and “illegal” treatment of refugees to “the xenophobic and anti-Muslim views that appear to lie at the heart of current Hungarian government policy.”

As it turns out, Orban’s ruling party, Fidesz, is smitten with Israel, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. During a visit to Israel in 2005, Orban reportedly declared, “Likud is our natural ideological partner.”

He has since adopted several Israeli practices.

Inspired by Birthright, a program that sends young American Jews on free trips to Israel in hopes they will immigrate, Orban launched a Hungarian Birthright program for North Americans of Hungarian descent.

Orban also tapped Netanyahu’s former political advisor, Arthur Finkelstein, to help him consolidate power.

Finkelstein is a mud-slinging Republican strategist from the United States who has advised countless rightwing candidates both domestically and abroad. They include the failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney and more recently Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Israel’s proto-fascist party Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home).

In recent years Fidesz has deepened ties with the far right and openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party.

Hungary is joined by Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic in refusing to take non-Christian refugees.

Leaders in Poland are said to be appealing to widespread anti-Muslim sentiment among the populace as election season approaches.

More than half of those polled earlier this month agreed that allowing Arabs and Turks into Poland would be “detrimental” to the country. Some people have even suggested reopening Auschwitz and sending the refugees there, prompting an investigation by Poland’s prosecutor general.

In Warsaw last weekend, thousands of right-wing protesters took to the streets, chanting, “Today refugees, tomorrow terrorists!“ and “Poland, free of Islam!”

To make their point, the rightwing demonstrators used a cartoon originally crafted by pro-Israel propagandists to portray Israeli soldiers as morally superior to Palestinians, who are shown using civilians as human shields. In reality it is Israel that uses Palestinians, including children, as human shields.

(Click HERE to see Twitter links)

Back in Israel, fans of the Maccabi Tel Aviv football team unfurled a giant banner that read, “Refugees not welcome!

Keeping Israel Jewish

As Hungary was making headlines for its racist pledge to build an anti-refugee fence, Netanyahu announced the construction of a wall along the Jordanian border to block a potential influx of Syrian refugees. Once the barrier is completed by the end of 2015, Israel will be entirely walled off.

Israeli officials claim they are helping Syrians by providing them with medical treatment instead of asylum. But this has only involved around 1,500 people, most of them fighters linked to al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria. In any case, patching up the wounded, fighters or not, and then sending them back into a war zone, as Israel has done, does not qualify as asylum.

Of the five states that border Syria, Israel is the only one that has not taken in any Syrian refugees for reasons identical to Hungary’s.

“Israel is a very small country. It has no demographic depth and has no geographic breadth,” Netanyahu has told his cabinet. “We must protect our borders against illegal immigrants and against the perpetrators of terrorism. We cannot allow Israel to be flooded with infiltrators.”

“Demographic depth” refers to Israel’s ideological imperative to maintain its Jewish majority, which was engineered by the premeditated mass expulsion of more than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians by Zionist militias in 1948. In turn, Israel barred Palestinian refugees from returning and labeled those who tried to come back as “infiltrators.”

That is why millions of Palestinians continue to languish in squalid refugee camps scattered across the Middle East nearly 70 years later, making it the longest running refugee crisis in modern history.

As “proud Zionist” Noah Arbit argued in The Jerusalem Post that “absorbing any amount of Syrian refugees will only increase this demographic threat.”

Israel’s refusal to grant asylum to non-Jewish refugees from African states is rooted in the same exclusivist logic.

Openly referred to as “infiltrators” by Israeli government officials, African refugees have, like Palestinians, been labeled a threat because they are not Jewish.

Israel not only denies them asylum, it imprisons and deports them back to the horrors they escaped, where some have since been tortured and even killed.

In 2013, Israel completed construction of a wall along its border with Egypt to block African refugees from entering the country. Hungary and Bulgaria have reportedly expressed interest in buying Israeli equipment for their own borders.

Slamming Netanyahu’s embarrassingly open indifference, Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition Zionist Union, wrote on his Facebook page, “You’ve forgotten what it means to be Jews. Refugees. Persecuted. The prime minister of the Jewish people does not close his heart and the gate when people are fleeing for their lives from persecution, with their babies in their hands.”

It is difficult to take Herzog seriously given his party’s indifference towards Israel’s cruel treatment of African refugees, not to mention its refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return, a policy Herzog’s Labor Party (part of the Zionist Union) instituted.

Zeev Elkin, Israel’s immigration minister, slammed Herzog’s appeal as an “attempt to bring the [Palestinian] ‘right of return’ through the back door. That is not responsible, and it is forbidden that it should happen.”

In the case of Palestinian refugees, the Israeli response is arguably more absurd. Israel is not denying Palestinian refugees asylum but rather their right to return to land from which they were violently expelled.

It’s hard to imagine anyone arguing against the right of Syrians to return to Syria should they choose to do so when the country is no longer engulfed in war. Yet the idea that Palestinians should have the right to return to their homeland is considered by many to be preposterous, even anti-Semitic.

Meanwhile, under Israel’s discriminatory Law of Return, the purpose of which is to boost the Jewish majority, a Jew from anywhere in the world with no connection to the land can immigrate to Israel.

In June, Elkin beseeched French Jews to “come home,” insisting “Anti-Semitism is growing, terrorism is running rampant, and according to reports, ISIS is committing murder in broad daylight.”

“We are prepared to open our arms to the Jews of France,” he said, adding, “This is a national mission of the highest priority.”

A month later, Elkin greeted 221 new Jewish immigrants who left comfortable lives in the United States and Canada to settle in historic Palestine. A total of 4,000 North American Jews are expected in Israel by the end of 2015.

The similarities between European far right and Israeli government policies were best distilled by Arnon Soffer, an Israeli demographer nicknamed the Arab counter due to his compulsive fixation on the “demographic threat” posed by Palestinian babies.

Bizarre paradox

Rejecting calls to accept Syrian refugees, Soffer explained, “We are a very small country … please leave me some space for additional Jews to come.”

He went on to relate Israel’s anti-refugee imperative with Europe’s.

“Europe potentially can open its doors and accept more and more refugees, but if Europe says no, I can understand because they are afraid [of] the Muslims,” said Soffer. “This is a clash of civilizations and it will not happen in Africa or Asia. It will happen in France, Hungary and will eventually reach England and Germany.”

Orban and Netanyahu share a clear affinity for jingoistic saber rattling against Muslims, but the same cannot be said for the response their behavior elicits.

While Orban has been likened to a Nazi, Israeli leaders have been granted special immunity from abiding by the most basic standards of equality, not in spite of the Holocaust but rather because of it. The US State Department has gone so far as to classify as a form of anti-Semitism “comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

This has created a bizarre paradox where the Holocaust is invoked to demand inclusiveness and sympathy for refugees in Europe, while being simultaneously deployed to excuse racist Israeli practices. Indeed, Israel’s existence as an exclusionary settler state is deceptively justified as a necessary response to the world’s indifference to the Nazi genocide of European Jews.

Consequently, language that is being condemned when spoken by European leaders is routinely excused when uttered in reference to Israel and Palestine. When the subject matter is Palestinian refugees, liberal rhetoric on both sides of the Atlantic becomes indistinguishable from sentiments typically relegated to the far right.

Warning about the threat posed by “higher Palestinian population growth and fertility rates,” as Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank did in February, is perfectly acceptable mainstream discourse.

The same goes for describing Palestinian refugees as a “demographic death warrant,” as New York TimesJerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren did this past summer.

Hungary’s Orban would certainly approve.

A scene from Budapest earlier this month; Hungary has responded in a brutal manner to refugees fleeing war. (Michael Gubi/Flickr)

A scene from Budapest earlier this month; Hungary has responded in a brutal manner to refugees fleeing war. (Michael Gubi/Flickr)

My post from last week is a must read …. click on link

REFUGEE CRISIS ISRAELI STYLE ~~ “NONE IS TOO MANY”

IF AMERICANS ONLY KNEW ABOUT THE NEW US ARMS DEAL WITH ISRAEL

title

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II, the United States providing Israel $121 billion as of April 2014, according to a report prepared for the US Congress by the Congressional Research Service, the majority in military assistance.

The Pentagon released documents in February 2015 confirming Israel as a nuclear power, believed to be the the only country in the Middle East holding nuclear weapons.

YET …

The United States said Wednesday it plans to sell thousands of bombs and munitions to Israel in a $1.9 bn deal, officials said Wednesday.

(Sell actually means GIVE when dealing with Israel)

Image by Zapiro in The Times

Image by Zapiro in The Times

US to sell $1.9 bn in bombs and munitions to Israel

The United States said Wednesday it plans to sell thousands of bombs and munitions to Israel in a $1.9 bn deal, officials said Wednesday.

The US State Department informed Congress of the proposed arms sales to Israel, as well as deal with Saudi Arabia, US two allies wary of Washington’s negotiations with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The planned weapons deal with Israel includes 14,500 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), a guidance system attached to bombs allowing Air Force fighter jets direct targetting with GPS assistance, as well as 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 250 medium-range air-to-air missiles, 4,100 glide bombs and 50 BLU-113 “super penetrator” bombs designed to reach underground sites.

The notification to lawmakers of the planned arms sales came after a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz suggested Washington might expand its military aid to Israel as compensation for a possible agreement between Iran and major powers to curtail Tehran’s nuclear work.

Israel, which has sharply criticized US diplomacy with Iran, has reserved the right to take unilateral military action against Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons and the bunker buster munitions could be used to strike at buried nuclear sites.

The Pentagon released documents in February 2015 confirming Israel as a nuclear power, believed to be the the only country in the Middle East holding nuclear weapons.

Israel but has never publicly acknowledged the fact and is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

In Wednesday’s announcement, US officials said the planned sale would “replenish” existing stocks in Israel’s arsenal and would not provide the country with new types of weapons.

“The proposed sale of this equipment will provide Israel the ability to support its self-defense needs,” according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The main contractors in the arms deal are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Ellwood National Forge Company and Raytheon Missile Systems.

The deal comes weeks after Israeli army veterans NGO Breaking the Silence slammed Israel’s last summer’s offense on the Gaza Strip, as members of Israeli forces gave testimony that the military acted excessively with complete disregard for civilian casualties.

Partially in response to Israeli military operations in Gaza, the US put the brakes on a missile transfer to Israel in August 2014. A senior U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal at the time that the decision came in effort to improve oversight over arms shipments to Israel, and was intended to demonstrate that the White House would not give the Israeli military a “blank check” for its operations in Gaza.

The 50 day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in July and August of last year left over 2,200 Palestinians dead, the majority of whom were civilians, and thousands more injured.

In a similar deal, the US also plans to sell around $1.9 billion in weaponry to Saudi Arabia, officials announced jointly with Israel’s arms deal.

The equal value of the Israeli and Saudi arms sales reflected Washington’s commitment to ensure Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the region, officials added.

The United States has agreed $90 billion in arms deals with Saudi Arabia between 2010 and 2014, the main defense firms for the Saudi sale being Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II, the United States providing Israel $121 billion as of April 2014, according to a report prepared for the US Congress by the Congressional Research Service, the majority in military assistance.

Congress must be informed 30 days before the administration can take final steps on a military sale to a foreign government. The sale can go ahead unless lawmakers vote to block or amend the deal.

Source

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ASS KISSERS’ FINAL ~~ NETANYAHU TO FORM NEW GOVERNMENT

After attaining the support of 61 future Knesset members, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has officially won the right to form Israel’s 34th government on Monday.

More powerful than the election itself

More powerful than the election itself

Netanyahu to form next Israeli government

After garnering 61 voices in his favor, sitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be tasked by President Rivlin with gathering factions to form Israel’s 34th government; Yesh Atid to sit in opposition.

After attaining the support of 61 future Knesset members, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has officially won the right to form Israel’s 34th government on Monday.

The incumbent prime minister received the support of 10 seats from Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu, pushing him above the threshold needed to form a coalition.

Earlier on the second day of the nomination process, Yesh Atid informed President Reuven Rivlin that it would not recommend any candidate as prime minister. “We have decided to sit in the opposition,” MK Yael German told Rivlin.

“We will serve the people from the opposition,” stressed the second Yesh Atid representative, MK Meir Cohen. So far, incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received support of 51 MKs, Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog was nominated by 24, while another 24 abstained.

The second round of consultations with the factions began early on Monday in Jerusalem; Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, and Meretz are expected at the President’s Residence over the course of the day. Rivlin will likely officially nominate Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday.

The Likud leader will then have until May 7 to form a coalition.

Several of the factions had appeared before the president on Sunday, with no unexpected surprises in their nominations. The Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Shas, and United Torah Judaism recommended Netanyahu – giving him 51 voices.

The Zionist Union expectedly threw its support behind its leader, Herzog, who thus won 24 voices, which will be joined by Meretz’ five seats. The Joint Arab List has decided to not nominate any candidate for prime minister.

Political sources also stressed on Sunday that a national unity government was out of the question. Both Likud and Zionist Union representatives signaled their intent to continue their rivalry in the Knesset, despite President Rivlin’s attempt to reconcile between the parties.

Source

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My take on the election results can be seen in THIS post

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And Bibi’s comment ….

Read between the lines (fingers)!

Read between the lines (fingers)!

AMERICA’S ONE SIDED JUDICIAL SYSTEM

Cartoon by Nick Hayes, Guardian

Cartoon by Nick Hayes, Guardian

A US jury on Monday ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority to pay more than $218 million for providing material support to terrorists, a victory for Americans suing over attacks in the Jerusalem area more than a decade ago.

LogoBut

Who has been funding the Israeli terrorists responsible for the murders of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Doğan, both American citizens. What about the attack on the USS Liberty?

Both of the above murders and attacks and many more were outrightly funded by the US Government themselves. Where is the judgement against them? Will there ever even be one??

A report on yesterday’s ruling from the NY Times can be read HERE

Palestinian Groups Are Found Liable at Manhattan Terror Trial

Not only is she blind, she's also stupid!

Not only is she blind, she’s also stupid!

TWO MUST SEE VIDEOS ~~ THE ISRAEL YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT

BookMark this post and watch later if you must …. But DO watch them! 

Viewer discretion advised

Israelis torturing non-Jewish children documentary film full length. The still picture shows Palestinian girl Nesreen Hash’hash after being shot in the face by an Israeli soldier.

Israelis torturing non-Jewish children. 2014 Australian documentary film. Viewer discretion.

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And who do you think made that all possible?

Talk by Alison Weir, Executive Director of If Americans Knew, President of the Council for the National Interest, and author of the book “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel” recorded July 30, 2014 at the Common Good Cafe at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle, WA.

TalkingStickTV – Alison Weir – The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

ICONOCLAST OR TRAITOR?

You tell me …

“Just because I was born in the Jewish state doesn’t mean a Jew is better than me,” Haskia recently told The Associated Press in Hebrew. “I sent the children to war, and nobody can tell me that I, Anett, the Arab, am second class.”

Iconoclast Arab

supporter of IDF seeks

Knesset seat

Anett Haskia, a Muslim kibbutznik, is a candidate with the right-wing national religious Jewish Home party
BY ALON BERNSTEIN AND ISAAC SCHARF 

Anett Haskia at her house in Kibbutz Yehiam, Israel, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Dan Balilty)

Anett Haskia at her house in Kibbutz Yehiam, Israel, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Dan Balilty)

 

KIBBUTZ YEHIAM, Israel (AP) — An Arab-Israeli Muslim woman is running for a parliament seat as a member of a hard-line religious Jewish party aligned with the West Bank settler movement and opposed to Palestinian independence.

The bid by iconoclast Anett Haskia, a 45-year-old hairdresser and mother of three, comes after she gave a series of bombastic television interviews in support of Israel’s military this summer during its war against Hamas in Gaza. Now she is the lone Arab vying for a spot on the Jewish Home party’s list ahead of its January primary.

Arab citizens of Israel, who make up 20 percent of the country’s population, strongly identify with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. They generally oppose Israeli military actions, do not serve in the Israeli army and complain of deep-seated discrimination.

Haskia’s children, however, voluntarily enlisted in the Israeli army — including one son who served in an elite unit in Gaza during the summer war.

“Just because I was born in the Jewish state doesn’t mean a Jew is better than me,” Haskia recently told The Associated Press in Hebrew. “I sent the children to war, and nobody can tell me that I, Anett, the Arab, am second class.”

A self-described nonconformist, Haskia opposed her family’s wishes and broke cultural taboos by divorcing her husband and getting a collection of body piercings and tattoos.

Born in the mixed Arab-Jewish town of Akko in northern Israel, she lives with her children on an Israeli kibbutz, a rare Arab in one of Israel’s cooperative living communities. Her organization called Real Voice represents Arab high school graduates who want to serve in the Israeli army or in national service, like volunteering in hospitals. Such activities are required of Israel’s Jewish youth. The Israeli military puts the total of Israeli Arabs serving in its ranks at “several hundred.”

“On one hand they want to be soldiers or to do national service, and on the other hand they are scared of hostile attacks, not only from their families but from society,” Haskia said.

She opposes the Palestinian goal of establishing an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands Israel won in the 1967 war from Jordan, saying it would only prolong the conflict with Israel. She encourages investment in Israel’s Arab community instead.

“Today, I can’t say that the settlements are a blow to Israel, no. The settlements are a blessing for Israel,” she said.

It remains unclear whether Haskia will win a seat in parliament. Opinion polls forecast the Jewish Home winning some 16 seats, which would make it one of the largest factions in the 120-member Knesset. But party officials say competition in the upcoming primary will be fierce, making it difficult for her to secure a place high enough on the party’s list to guarantee a seat.

Haskia says her unorthodox views have cost her some clients, while gaining her some unlikely supporters.

“Those who embrace me, the extremists who used to write me, ‘We hate Arabs’ or ‘We don’t want Arabs,’ today call me their sister,” she said.

ADL DEFENDS FUNDING TO UKRAINIAN NEO NAZIS … HAVING ENEMIES IS KEY TO THEIR SURVIVAL

NEVER!!!

NEVER!!!

The following is a strange turn of events ….

Rep. John Conyers wanted to block U.S. funding to neo-Nazis in Ukraine. But the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center refused to help.

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How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Rep. John Conyers wanted to block U.S. funding to neo-Nazis in Ukraine. But the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center refused to help.

THE COLLATERAL VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

The negation of Palestinian lives has been German policy since the days of Konrad Adenauer [chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963]. In those days Israel had no problem to negotiate on Holocaust reparations with the head of the chancellery, Hans Globke, who was a known Nazi in the Third Reich. This cash flow from Germany went directly to the Israeli occupation machine that has made the Palestinians indirect victims of the Holocaust.

The German chancellor and the Israeli prime minister met with their respective cabinets in Jerusalem in February. (Saeed Qaq / APA images)

The German chancellor and the Israeli prime minister met with their respective cabinets in Jerusalem in February. (Saeed Qaq / APA images)

Germany made Palestinians “indirect victims of Holocaust,” says author Max Blumenthal

When Gaza was attacked during the summer, Angela Merkel promised to “stand by the side of Israel.” The German chancellor has done much more than offer verbal support for Israel’s crimes. Under her leadership, the Berlin government has been equipping Israel with submarines that reportedly carry nuclear weapons.

Some German politicians have tried to muzzle debate about Israel by denouncing its critics as “anti-Semites.” The American journalist Max Blumenthal — author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel — faced such a smear on a recent speaking tour in Germany.

A number of elected politicians alleged that a scheduled talk by Blumenthal and his colleague David Sheen in a Berlin theater would serve “to promote anti-Semitic prejudice.” This was deeply ironic: both Blumenthal and Sheen are themselves Jewish. The politicians denouncing them failed to produce any evidence that they are hostile towards fellow Jews.

Blumenthal spoke to Emran Feroz in Stuttgart.

Emran Feroz: You recently witnessed the destruction caused by Israel in Gaza. What scenes had the most effect on you?

Max Blumenthal: Emergency operations had to be performed in dentist chairs, while the bodies of dead children had to be laid in ice boxes, which were originally designed for ice cream. Those were probably the most shocking testimonies I heard.

EF: Not long after your trip to Gaza, you started using the hashtag #JSIL (Jewish State of Israel in the Levant) on Twitter. Making this kind of comparison between the group Islamic State and Israel is taboo in Germany. Why did you dare to do this?

MB: It is strange that you equate, in Germany, IS with Hamas or describe the entire Palestinian national movement as “heirs of the Nazis,” while there is such an outrage regarding my comparison. It was not a direct one-to-one comparison, but I wanted to point out the hypocrisy behind supporting one religiously exclusive state that forces minorities out of its territory while attacking another.

EF: But by using this hashtag, you must be suggesting that Israel and IS are somehow similar.

MB: Sure, they are. The “Jewish state” has no internationally recognized borders. The same relates to the “Islamic State.”

Both constructs have emerged after the original indigenous population were partly expelled and ethnically cleansed. In the case of Israel it was the Palestinian indigenous population; in the case of the IS [they] are the Christians, Yazidis or Shiite Muslims. Both “countries” rely on a religious exclusivity in the Levant. And both think they represent all Muslims and Jews worldwide and thereby help inspire Islamophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments.

Both the Jewish state and the Islamic State recruit confused young men from around the world as foreign fighters to engage in atrocities. When Israel’s defenders failed to address the comparisons on their merits, they simply attempted to hijack the #JSIL hashtag by declaring it stands for the “Jewish State of Israel Lives.”

EF: IS fighters behead their victims and then spread the videos of the beheadings through YouTube and social media. Do Israeli soldiers also make such videos?

MB: During the last attack on Gaza, the Israeli army killed civilians via drones and Jewish Israeli citizens celebrated the killings on Facebook. Some Israeli citizens gathered on a hill in the border town of Sderot and celebrated the bombing of the military with chips and beer. I find that this is not less macabre and disgusting.

EF: How present is religious extremism inside the Israeli military?

MB: It is very present. A major figure of the last military operation in the Gaza Strip was commander Ofer Winter, who was celebrated as a national hero. Prior to the mission Winter said to his troops, that the Palestinians had sinned against God and therefore all must be punished.

So he declared a literal “holy war” against the Palestinian people. This is not the only way Winter has expressed the religious extremism that is rising in Israeli society. In one instance, an Israeli singer wanted to perform in front of [Winter’s] soldiers. He refused [permission] to do so and said that a woman is not allowed to do that.

EF: Many women are part of the Israeli army. This is celebrated in what are effectively promotional campaigns for Israel. How can there be misogyny in the Israeli military if it has many female members?

MB: What is not mentioned is the fact that it is more likely that these women are assaulted by their male counterparts in the army than by Palestinians. I think that only imperialist feminists argue that women can be emancipated in an army like the Israeli one.

Good examples of this type of feminism are political figures like Samantha Power or Angela Merkel or Tzipi Livni because their peculiar brand of feminism goes hand in hand with the imperialistic interests of the western powers who are so invested in majority Muslim countries, where the population is portrayed as culturally backwards and in need of “liberation.”

EF: During the last attack on Gaza, the family of Ibrahim Kilani — who are German citizens — were killed. His son Ramsis, who lives in Germany, said that up to today nobody has apologized to him. The German government has not called him a single time. How can you explain this behavior?

MB: The behavior of the German government shows not only the lack of interest in the rights of the Palestinians, but also the very lives of them. The life of these people is practically non-existent in Germany. They are the new “un-people.”

The German foreign minister issued condolences for the families of those German citizens killed on an airliner over eastern Ukraine, possibly by Russian separatists. But they’ve said nothing to the Kilani family.

The negation of Palestinian lives has been German policy since the days of Konrad Adenauer [chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963]. In those days Israel had no problem to negotiate on Holocaust reparations with the head of the chancellery, Hans Globke, who was a known Nazi in the Third Reich. This cash flow from Germany went directly to the Israeli occupation machine that has made the Palestinians indirect victims of the Holocaust.

The current bloodshed is a result of this policy and every German should ask himself: how does this policy honor the Holocaust?

EF: Your willingness to make such statements probably explains why some German politicians do not want to see you here in Germany. What happened to you exactly?

MB: Some politicians, such as Volker Beck, a parliamentarian from Germany’s Green Party, had launched a campaign to silence us — me and the journalist David Sheen. The reason for this is the fact that they do not want to know of another version of Judaism and they certainly do not want to hear about the facts on the ground.

Their attitude actually promotes anti-Semitism. It is simply anti-Semitic to equate Zionismwith Judaism and to limit Jewish identity to the narrow confines of Israeli nationalism. For a gentile politician to do it is beyond disgusting.

EF: The Gaza Strip remains destroyed. And, according to some media outlets, a third intifada is going to happen in the occupied West Bank. Is this really the case or is it just scaremongering?

MB: Last year the al-Aqsa mosque [in Jerusalem] was stormed “only” eight times by Israeli soldiers. This year this happened 76 times. Radical religious elements have announced that they want to demolish the mosque to build a Jewish temple. If this happens, the situation will take on global implications that will be approach the apocalyptic.

The whole conflict is taking on a religious dimension, which is devastating for all involved, and, as I said, will promote radicalization around the globe. I think the third intifada actually is at the door.

However, I believe that this word — intifada — does not adequately describe the situation. It is not effective enough to describe what is actually going on. At that time — in the case of the first and second intifadas — this term was appropriate.

Now with so many Palestinian political leaders in prison or dead and such a complex matrix of control imposed on them, a nationwide revolt cannot take place. What we are seeing is creative resistance with limited means occurring on a national level but at sporadic moments.

And it will continue and intensify as long as the status quo is in place. It is that deadly status quo that German foreign policy protects and promotes.

*Emran Feroz is a Germany-based freelance journalist, blogger and activist. He is also the founder of Drone Memorial, a website listing victims of drone attacks. His Twitter account is @Emran_Feroz

IMAGINE HAVING A PRESIDENT THAT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU

Unfortunately Palestine is not alone with that situation …

*

Whose side are you on?

Whose side are you on?

*

As Abbas busies himself with non existent Egyptian promises, the following has been going on in Palestine. Seems he has no interest in any of it. (Click on links to see reports)

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Jerusalem teen shot by Israeli soldier a week ago dies of his wounds

Ma/an Images

Ma/an Images

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Watch: Israeli soldiers arrest 2 young boys in Silwad

(MaanImages/File)

(MaanImages/File)

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Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian near Ramallah

Issa Khaled al-Qatri, 22, was killed by Israeli forces early Wednesday (MaanImages)

Issa Khaled al-Qatri, 22, was killed by Israeli forces early
Wednesday (MaanImages)

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Israeli forces detain, assault Palestinian near Bethlehem

(MaanImages/File)

(MaanImages/File)

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Israeli forces detain 6 Palestinians in West Bank overnight

(MaanImages/File)

(MaanImages/File)

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And the pièce de résistance

Abbas may end unity with Hamas over Gaza governance

A woman waves the national flag as she celebrates the agreement to form a unity government in Gaza on April 23, 2014. (AFP Mahmud Hams)

A woman waves the national flag as she celebrates the agreement
to form a unity government in Gaza on April 23, 2014.
(AFP Mahmud Hams)

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