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 …

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Whose side are you on?

Whose side are you on?

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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)

DENIALS FROM THE NILE

What Authority??

What Authority??

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The alleged master plan that was reported yesterday regarding an Egyptian proposal to ‘give’ Palestine the Sinai Peninsula was denied today. The plan would have permanently divided and conquered Palestine, making it impossible for the creation of a United Palestinian State.

It’s no wonder that Israeli government ministers welcomed the idea on Monday.

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Here is what is reported today ….

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Palestinian, Egyptian Officials Deny

Reports of Sinai Offer For State

Israel Government Ministers Welcomed Idea

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

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Palestinian and Egyptian officials both denied reports that Egypt offered to the Palestinian Authority part of the Sinai Peninsula for annexation by Gaza to form a Palestinian state.

According to the media reports that circulated Monday, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi offered P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas 1,600 square kilometers (approximately 620 square miles) located on the border in return for the Palestinian Authority waiving its demands for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh on Monday denied the reports, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Abbas also was reported as saying that an unnamed senior Egyptian official offered to settle Palestinian refugees on land adjacent to Gaza.

“We will not accept any offer that doesn’t achieve the Palestinian people’s aspirations and goals to gain freedom and independence and establish an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Rudeineh said, according to Wafa.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry denied the offer was made and added that the initiative was actually presented in the past by ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

The Palestinians asserted that the plan was once floated by a former head of the Israeli National Security Council in order to deal with the Palestinian issue.

Israeli government ministers welcomed the idea on Monday.

SISI BACKWARDS IS ISIS

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Israeli politicians responded enthusiastically Monday to reports that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was willing to give Palestinians land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza for a state.

It obviously does not matter what the Palestinians want …

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Israeli politicians praise Sisi plan to give Palestinians land for a state in Sinai
By LAHAV HARKOV

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Abbas reportedly rejected plan that would expand Gaza to five times its current size and give PA autonomy in West Bank cities; Yesh Atid’s Peri, Bayit Yehudi’s Shaked say proposal worth exploring.

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Sisi and Abu-Mazen. (photo credit:REUTERS)

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Israeli politicians responded enthusiastically Monday to reports that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was willing to give Palestinians land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza for a state.

Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, a former Shin Bet chief, said he’s surprised by Sisi’s generosity, calling the proposal “worth discussing seriously.”

On Monday, Army Radio reported that Sisi had offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 1,600 square kilometers in Sinai to expand the Gaza Strip to five times its current size. According to the plan, the territory would serve as a Palestinian state under the complete control of the PA.

The new territory, composed of Gaza together with the extra land in Sinai, would be a demilitarized state that would serve as a home to which Palestinian refugees could return.

In addition to the “Greater Gaza State,” the cities currently in the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank would be under the autonomous rule of the PA. In exchange, Abbas would give up claims to a state within the pre-1967 lines.

The proposal, which was reported previously in the Arab media last week as having been offered by a senior Egyptian official, but not specifically Sisi, was rejected outright by Abbas.

Peri asked several questions arising from the Egyptian proposal in an interview with Army Radio: “What will happen to Judea and Samaria? What will be with Jerusalem? The idea that major cities in Judea and Samaria will have autonomy is vague; everyone can understand it in a different way.”

Still, the Yesh Atid minister said, “there are elements that are worth discussing despite Abbas’ refusal.”

“This could solve problems that weren’t given a response in talks between Israel and the Palestinians so far,” he added.

Peri also pointed out that Sisi’s initiative suits Egyptian interests, since there are problems with terrorism in the Sinai.

Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked said that the Egyptian president “discerned what the Israeli Left refuses to understand for decades.”

“The solution to the Palestinian problem,” she added, “must be regional and cannot fall on Israel’s shoulders alone.”

Shaked called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to meet with Sisi and examine whether the initiative is possible.

According to Monday’s Army Radio report, Netanyahu has already been updated on the details of the Egyptian proposal, as have US government sources who have expressed support for the idea.

WHAT THE WAR IN GAZA COST THE US TAXPAYER

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NO FUNDS TO ISRAEL = NO WAR

NO WAR = POSSIBLE PEACE

POSSIBLE PEACE = ZIONISM’S GREATEST ENEMY

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They make it sound like it was their own money that was spent on the slaughter ….

“The direct cost of the operation stands at more than $9 billion,” the defense minister said, adding that dealing with terror is “expensive,” and that even if the “defense budget would be tripled it would still not be a waste of money.”

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Ya’alon: It’s ‘expensive’ to fight terror, Gaza op cost $9b.

At cost of $100,000 per interceptor, defense minister says Iron Dome is expensive, but prevented greater economic losses

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Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon commented on the defense budget and the cost of Operation Protective Edge during Calcalist’s Economic Forum Tuesday, and said that though military expenses are high, the expense is required to deal with the new form of terror threats Israel is faced with.

“The direct cost of the operation stands at more than $9 billion,” the defense minister said, adding that dealing with terror is “expensive,” and that even if the “defense budget would be tripled it would still not be a waste of money.”

He further claimed that the Iron Dome missile defense system saved Israel from being forced to take over Gaza and allowed life in Israel to continue as normal, thus minimizing the economic cost of the war. “Each Iron Dome interceptor is $100,000. In economic terms it’s worthwhile, but obviously this is still expensive.”

Ya’alon also responded to what he described as “ministers who claim that the treats on Israel have decreased.”

According to Ya’alon, “though the claim that there are no longer conventional military threats is mostly true – there is peace with Egypt, peace with Jordan, Syria is busy with infighting, and no Iraqi forces mounting – but nonetheless, regional developments forces us to deal with terror groups with state-like abilities – and dealing with this challenge is expensive.”

Ya’alon stressed that military intelligence was the key and also the most expensive in this regard. “What holds back our ability give better intelligence is money. The enemy also knows how to use technology and this forces us to deal with that as well. ”

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also spoke at the conference, and said the army needs to be more efficient if it wants more money. Spinning a famous quote from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett quipped: “If they grow efficient, they’ll get funds. If they don’t, they won’t get money.” (Netanyahu said once of the Palestinians: “If they give, they’ll get.”)

Bennett seemed to reference both the army in general and soldiers themselves, saying soldiers should get benefits and assistance on the basis of the level of their sacrifice.

Bennett lamented the fact that “a soldier wounded in a car crash gets the same treatment as a soldier wounded in London. Soldiers at the home front should not get the same benefits as combat soldiers.”

 

Source

THOSE ‘DANCING ISRAELIS’ ARE AT IT AGAIN

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Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro claimed on Monday that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was behind the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group,AFP reports.

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Fidel Castro Claims Mossad is Behind the Islamic State

Former Cuban leader claims U.S. Senator McCain collaborated with the Mossad to create the Islamic State terrorist group.
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Former Cuban president Fidel Castro

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro Reuters
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Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro claimed on Monday that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was behind the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group,AFP reports.

Castro’s claims were made in a column published in Cuban media in which he lashed out at the United States and Europe and accused them of war-mongering. He also compared the NATO military alliance’s representatives to the Nazi SS.

Castro also attacked U.S. Senator John McCain over United States policy in the Middle East, calling him “Israel’s most unconditional ally.”

He singled out McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, saying he had supported Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency and “participated together with that service in the creation of the Islamic State, which today controls a considerable and vital portion of Iraq and reportedly one-third of Syria as well.”

He accused the West of “cynicism” and said the trait had become “a symbol of imperialist policy,” according to AFP.

Turning to NATO, Castro said the alliance’s representatives were reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s feared SS.

“Many people are astonished when they hear the statements made by some European spokesmen for NATO when they speak with the style and face of the Nazi SS,” he charged.

“Adolf Hitler’s greed-based empire went down in history with no more glory than the encouragement provided to NATO’s aggressive and bourgeois governments, which makes them the laughing stock of Europe and the world,” added Castro.

Last month, Castro compared Israel’s military operation in Gaza to a “disgusting form of fascism”.

He later signed an international manifesto “supporting Palestine” and demanding that Israel respect UN resolutions and withdraw from “Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

Several other famous anti-Israel activists, including Bolivian President Evo Morales, Argentine artist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Cuban dancer Alicia Alonso and American writer Alice Walker, were also among the signatories.

Communist Cuba broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973 after the YomKippur War.

 

Found AT

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING?

Global public opinion has shifted decisively in favour of justice for the Palestinians. What’s needed is to turn that into unrelenting pressure for an end to support for occupation, an arms embargo and sanctions, from above and below. The horror of Gaza is a crime made in Washington and London, as well as Jerusalem.

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Gaza is a crime made in Washington as well as Jerusalem

The carnage unleashed on the Palestinians is part of a decades-old routine that depends on western support
By Seumas Milne IN
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MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS CONFLICT
An Israeli army flare illuminating Gaza on 3 August. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

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Global revulsion at the mind-numbing carnage of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza seems finally to have spurred some of the western political class to speak out. The resignation of Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, inprotest against her government’s “morally indefensible” stance, emboldened Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, to demand the suspension of arms export licences to Israel.

Last week it was Ed Miliband who condemned Israel’s invasion and the prime minister’s “silence on the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians”. Even the United States administration denounced its strategic protege’s“disgraceful” bombardment of a school, while Barack Obama described Palestinian suffering as “ heartbreaking” – as if he had nothing to do with it.

Now that Israelis and Palestinians have arrived in Cairo to turn the ceasefire into something more long-lasting, perhaps it feels safer to take a stand. But a month of indiscriminate brutality in which 1,875 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed is still presented, grotesquely, as a war of Israeli self-defence – rather than as a decades-long confrontation between occupier and occupied, in which western governments stand resolutely on the side of the occupier.

And while the overwhelming majority of Palestinian dead are civilians – 430 of them children – and 64 of the Israeli dead are soldiers, it is Hamas that is branded terrorist, rather than the Israeli armed forces armed with the most sophisticated targeting technology in the world.

It’s only necessary to consider for a moment what the reaction would have been if the death toll had been the other way round to realise how loaded are the scales of western moral outrage and selective the appetite for action. And it’s only by ignoring the entire history of the conflict that it can be portrayed as the result of some wearisome ancient ethnic hatred.

This week’s centenary of the outbreak of the first world war should help. David Cameron claims it was fought for freedom. In reality, it was a savage industrial slaughter perpetrated by a gang of imperial powers to carve up territories, markets and resources.

Far from defending democracy or the rights of small nations, Britain and France ended the war divvying up the defeated German and Ottoman empires between them, from Iraq to Palestine. A century on, we’re still living with the consequences.

In my own family, both my grandmothers lost brothers in the 1914-18 war. One was George Mackay Clark, who fought with the Royal Scots in Gallipoli and the campaign to conquer Palestine. He was killed in November 1917, just outside Gaza.

Ten days earlier, a British foreign secretary had signed the Balfour declaration, which on behalf of one people promised to a second the land of a third. Palestine would be a “home for the Jewish people” provided that nothing would prejudice the rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities”, as the Palestinians were described.

So began its full-scale colonisation by mainly European settlers – something that could have happened only under colonial rule – which three decades later would lead to the establishment of Israel and the dispossession or expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people.

Four Arab-Israeli wars on, the 44% of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian majority under the 1947 UN partition plan had been entirely occupied by Israel – and the Palestinians were fighting a guerrilla war for self-determination and the refugees’ right of return.

The other day I came across a copy of Newsweek magazine from March 1978, with a picture of an Israeli tank on the cover under the headline “Israel strikes back”. Then it was south Lebanon that Israel was punishing, not Gaza – and the “terrorists” of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation, not Hamas, that its forces were targeting.

Israel staged an even larger-scale invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and occupied the south for another 18 years. Since the Oslo agreement of the early 1990s failed to produce the Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza it was supposed to, Israel has colonised, bombed and reinvaded the Palestinian territories it illegally occupies (along with Syria and Lebanon) time and again: in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2012.

The justification is always the same: the security of the occupier must be upheld against the resistance of the occupied and blockaded population. And at every stage Israel has had the military, financial and diplomatic support of the west, the US above all.

Despite the hand-wringing, that backing has been unwavering throughout the past month’s devastation of Gaza. Not only is Israel’s right of “self-defence” in a territory it illegally controls upheld, while the same right is denied to the Palestinians, but the US, whose military aid to Israel runs to $3bn a year, has been re-supplying it with weapons as its troops and aircraft pulverised and massacred their way through an impoverished territory from which its captive people are unable to escape.

Europe is in the same game. Britain has licensed the sale of a startling£8bn worth of military or dual-use equipment since 2010, and £42m of direct arms sales – including parts for drones and tanks used in the destruction of Gaza.

But a month on, Israel has failed to achieve its objectives. It has “mown the lawn”, as Israel’s military likes to describe its campaigns of destruction and bloodletting. But Hamas has been strengthened by its defiance and military performance; itsrate of rocket fire was barely reduced by Israel’s attacks; and the united front with other Palestinian groups Israel is so keen to destroy has been shored up by the campaign.

If the Palestinians are going to break out of their current subjection, that will have to go further. For the rest of the world it’s the outrageous big-power backing for Israel’s 47-year illegal occupation, colonisation and denial of Palestinian rights – while orchestrating an endless phoney peace process that simply allows the land grab to continue – that has to be challenged and dismantled.

Global public opinion has shifted decisively in favour of justice for the Palestinians. What’s needed is to turn that into unrelenting pressure for an end to support for occupation, an arms embargo and sanctions, from above and below. The horror of Gaza is a crime made in Washington and London, as well as Jerusalem.

 

WITH DERSHOWITZ’s RETIREMENT, ISRAEL FOUND A NEW LAWYER

You’ll never guess who ….

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Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton

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REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOU VOTE FOR A US PRESIDENT!

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Israel’s new lawyer: Hillary Clinton

She sees the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Bibi’s eyes, which could be the reason she gets so much wrong.

By Peter Beinart IN
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Clinton and Netanyahu.

Hillary Clinton during a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo by GPO
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Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton. In her interview on Sunday with Jeffrey Goldberg, Clinton offered the most articulate, sophisticated, passionate defense of Netanyahu’s conduct I’ve heard from a government official on either side of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, important chunks of it aren’t true.

Let’s take her claims in turn.

In his first term, Netanyahu moved towards a Palestinian state

Clinton began her defense of Bibi by noting that in his first term, in the late 1990s, he had “give[n] up territory” and “moved in that direction [towards a Palestinian state], as hard as it was.”

That’s extremely generous. It’s true that in 1997, Bibi withdrew Israeli troops from most of the West Bank city of Hebron (though they can reenter any time Israel wants) and the following year signed the Wye River Accords, under which Israel was supposed to hand over 13 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (though Bibi’s government fell before it could do so).

What Clinton leaves out is that Bibi only agreed to these withdrawals to forestall the far larger ones envisioned under the Oslo Accords he inherited from Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. In 1993, when Oslo was signed, Bibi publicly compared it to Neville Chamberlain’s surrender of the Sudetenland to Adolf Hitler.

He accepted Oslo in the 1996 election campaign only because he couldn’t repudiate a process endorsed by the Israeli center and championed by the United States. So Bibi sabotaged Oslo by accelerating settlement growth and minimizing the amount of land Israel relinquished. “Before I took office,” he later boasted, “the conception was to give away everything except for two percent [of West Bank] while I turned everything around and gave just two percent to [full control] of the Palestinian Authority.” Or as he told settlers after leaving office, “I stopped the Oslo Accords.”

The Clinton administration officials who dealt with Bibi in his first term understood this all too well. “Neither President Clinton nor Secretary [Madeleine] Albright believed that Bibi had any real interest in pursuing peace,” writes Dennis Ross in The Missing Peace. Ross’ deputy, Aaron Miller, adds in his memoir that, “all of us saw Bibi as a kind of speed bump that would have to be negotiated along the way until a new Israeli prime minister came along who was more serious about peace.”

That’s a far cry from what Hillary told Goldberg. Then again, Ross and Miller aren’t running for president.

Bibi agreed to a settlement freeze but Abbas wouldn’t negotiate

Fast-forwarding to the Obama years, Clinton claims that, “I got Netanyahu to agree to the unprecedented settlement freeze… It took me nine months to get Abbas into the negotiations even after we delivered on the settlement freeze.”

What’s striking, again, is what Clinton leaves out. The settlement freeze was indeed, unprecedented. Unfortunately, it didn’t actually freeze settlement growth. It’s not just that, as Clinton admits, the “freeze” exempted East Jerusalem. Even more importantly, it exempted buildings on which construction had all ready begun. This loophole proved crucial because, as the Israeli press reported at the time, settlers spent the months preceding the “freeze” feverishly breaking ground on new construction, on which they continued to build during the ten month “freeze,” before breaking new ground once it expired. As a result, according to Peace Now, there was more new settlement construction in 2010 – the year of the freeze – than in 2008. As Obama administration envoy George Mitchell admitted to Palestinian negotiator Saab Erekat, the Obama administration had wanted a freeze that truly stopped settlement growth but “we failed.”

Clinton’s claim that Abbas refused to negotiate until the last minute is disingenuous too. In fact, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met repeatedly during the “freeze.” In January 2010, just over a month after it began, veteran Israeli columnist Ben Caspit reported that, “In the past weeks, Israeli representatives, including Netanyahu, have repeatedly rejected official documents that their Palestinian counterparts have tried to submit to them, with details of the Palestinian positions on all the core issues. The Israeli representatives are completely unwilling to discuss, read or touch these documents, not to speak of submitting an equivalent Israeli document with the Israeli positions.”

While reporting my book, The Crisis of Zionism, I heard four different Obama officials confirm this account. During the settlement “freeze,” the Palestinians submitted to Netanyahu and his aides the same positions they had submitted to Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert. These included a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with a 1.9 percent land swap for territory inside Israel proper, Israeli control of all the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, international troops in the Jordan Valley and the return of 150,000 Palestinian refugees over ten years. The Netanyahu government, by contrast, steadfastly refused to discuss the parameters of a Palestinian state.

In her interview with Goldberg, Clinton never mentions that.

Netanyahu’s views on Palestinian statehood resembled Ehud Barak’s.

Given the evidence that during her time as secretary of state, Bibi refused to discuss territory, Clinton’s claim that “I saw Netanyahu move from being against the two-state solution to…considering all kinds of Barak-like options” is bizarre. Whatever you think of Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in July 2000, it was a detailed offer. Netanyahu, by contrast, refused put forward a territorial proposal not merely during Clinton’s term, but during John Kerry’s far more aggressive effort to broker a deal. During the Kerry negotiations, according to Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, Netanyahu “flatly refused to present a map or even to discuss the subject theoretically…throughout the nine months of the talks Netanyahu did not give the slightest hint about the scale of the territorial concessions he would be willing to make.”

It’s too bad Goldberg didn’t press Clinton on what kind of “Barak-like options” she heard Netanyahu propose, because the best reporting we have suggests he offered no territorial “options” at all.

Netanyahu is right to demand indefinite control of the West Bank

Most remarkable of all, Clinton tells Goldberg that, “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have security [control over the West Bank].” What makes this statement so remarkable is that earlier in the interview, Hillary praised the Clinton parametersoutlined by her husband in December 2000. Those parameters permit Israeli troops to remain in the Jordan Valley, along the West Bank’s border with Jordan, for three years. Later in the interview, Clinton claims that she convinced Abbas to agree to allow Israeli troops to remain for “six, seven, eight years” and that she “got Netanyahu to go from forever to 2025” as a date for their withdrawal. Even this, from a Palestinian perspective, represents painful backsliding from the position outlined by Hillary’s husband. But as Hillary must know, Bibi three weeks ago said that in light of regional developments, “there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” Which is to say that, as of now, Bibi’s position really does seem to be “forever.” Yet rather than challenge that stance, Clinton endorses it.

Why does Clinton again and again endorse Netanyahu’s view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even when it contradicts long-standing American positions? Because she’s so willing to see the world through his eyes. Notice how she begins her statement about security control of the West Bank: “If I were the prime minister of Israel.” There’s nothing wrong with that. U.S. officials should understand, and empathize with, Israeli leaders, even right-wing ones. But what’s missing from Clinton’s interview is any willingness to do the same for Palestinians. If it’s so easy to understand why some Israelis might want perpetual military control of the West Bank, why can’t Clinton understand why Palestinians – after living for almost fifty years under a foreign army – might not want it to indefinitely patrol their supposedly independent state.

One of the hallmarks of Barack Obama’s statements about Israel and Palestine, going back to his 2008 presidential campaign, has been his insistence on giving voice to the fears and aspirations of both sides. Writing about his trip to Israel in The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that, “I talked to Jews who’d lost parents in the Holocaust and brothers in suicide bombings; I heard Palestinians talk of the indignities of checkpoints and reminisce about the land they had lost.” In Jerusalem last March, he spoke movingly, and in detail about the Jewish story, but also asked Israelis to “put yourself in their [the Palestinians] shoes. Look at the world through their eyes.” In her interview with Goldberg, that’s exactly what Clinton does not do. Her interpretations of recent Israeli-Palestinian history reflect from a deep imbalance: a willingness to see reality through Israeli eyes and an almost total refusal to do the same for Palestinians.

“For far too long,” wrote Aaron Miller in 2005, “many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations.” From the beginning, Barack Obama has tried to avoid that. Although he hasn’t brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace, he has tried to make good on his campaign promise to“hold up a mirror” to both sides. In Hillary Clinton, by contrast, at least judging from her interview on Sunay, Israel has yet another lawyer. And a very good one at that.

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Bibi just might need a good lawyer soon …. Read THIS Ynet report.

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HillaryforPrison2016

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