REMEMBERING WHAT ISRAEL WANTS US TO FORGET

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Today, synagogues throughout the world commemorated Shabbat Zachor (Sabbath of Remembrance). On this day the first known enemy of the Hebrews, Amalek, is remembered. On this day as well the combined Hate Lists of the ADL and the Wiesenthal Centre are dug out to confirm that Amalek still lives today.
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Yes, Amalek still lives. There is no doubt in my mind about that, BUT NOT ON THOSE LISTS. Amalek lives right here in Israel. He is remembered every day of the year by Palestinians, but especially this week, the 21st anniversary of the massacre in Hebron by a crazed American zionist.
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The week a mosque was torched in the Occupied West Bank and a Christian Seminary torched right here in Jerusalem. Both incidents the work of crazed settlers.
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He is remembered every day that a Palestinian child is lowered into the grave, yet another victim of Israeli terrorism.
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He is remembered when a family in Gaza visits the graves of loved ones killed by Israeli soldiers.
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How quickly zionism forgets the war crimes committed daily against the Palestinians. How quickly the Western World forgets them as well, mostly due to media blackouts in the zionist controlled press in those countries.
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The fate of those who resist the above atrocities is also remembered …
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Yes, we remember those crimes every day of the year. And yes, we will never forget them or forgive those that committed them.
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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

PALESTINE ~~ STAGE OF A MODERN DAY GREEK TRAGEDY

Life rolls on not in any monotony but in the crazy waves of ups and downs and scenarios reminiscent of ancient Greek tragedies.  We take the punches, resist the evil acts of some, act to help where we can, accept the things we cannot change and try to change those we can.  That is life.

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Greek Tragedies

Mazin Qumsiyah, PhD

Life rolls on not in any monotony but in the crazy waves of ups and downs and scenarios reminiscent of ancient Greek tragedies.  We take the punches, resist the evil acts of some, act to help where we can, accept the things we cannot change and try to change those we can.  That is life.  This week we lost several friends and neighbors (Advocate Judeh Shahwan, Professor Naseer Aruri,  Human Rights activist Kayla Mueller, Ihab Rishmawi) and we mourned atrocities committed in the US, Syria and Iraq .  The racist Zionist Debbie Schlussel wrote that she has no sympathy for our friend Kayla for being “anti-American” (actually anti-Zionist control of American Foreign policy) and called  Kayla other names so obscene to be mentioned here.  A brief on Naseer Aruri just to show you the quality of the many we mourn (all of them are candles in the darkness and remain so even after death; truly inspirational)

We were not surprised that the highest court in the apartheid regime rejected the well-documented evidence of the murder of Rachel Corrie and accepted the fascist soldier’s version that it was an “accident.” Western media ignored this travesty of justice. Time for the international criminal court.  In other news in the last few days, a hate-filled criminal terrorist killed three young Muslim students in North Carolina.  That is where I lived and worked for six years and knew intimately the Muslim and Arab community and I recognized many of the faces of the mourners at the funeral videos.  After significant protest, Mr. Obama made a brief statement but it was not even close to his statement about the Paris killings.  The media was even more hypocritical either ignoring the story or calling the executions as a parking altercation! (yes I know it is unbelievable).  See these videos about this incidence

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We find the mainstream media so distorted, so biased; they are either run by Zionist racists or afraid of backlash from Zionist racists if they tell the truth.  Otherwise how does one explain the discrepancy of extensive almost round-the-clock coverage by American media of the hate crimes committed in Paris but little or no coverage of the crime in North Carolina.  What little coverage they did was distorted claiming the guy killed those three innocent young Muslims because of a “parking space” issue!  How else can we see that a story like the French police catching a Jewish Zionist who was spray painting cars of Jews as a false flag operation to increase emigration of French Jews to Palestine (transformed to the Jewish state of Israel). Why coverage mentioning this is in some obscure website not on mainstream media?  Here is a report mentioning this.

But here is the Times of Israel interested in getting Jews to migrate out of France telling us the police arrested the guy but not saying he is Jewish and that Israel expects 10,000 Jewish French to come join the land thieves.

Such hypocrisy, such lies and countless false flag operations (billions spent on psy-ops to brainwash common people), and such evil forces are all around us.  But then again I think of goodness.  I think of those who organized vigils in Bethlehem and other towns for victims like the Jordanian pilot.

I think of 14-year-old Malak (english Angel) Alkhatib.  She is a true angel who was incarcerated in Israeli gulags (fascist prisons).  She was finally released and the video of her reunion with family and supporters is touching.

THE TEMPEST WE KNOW AS THE OCCUPATION

Every day is Friday the 13th in Palestine

Every day is Friday the 13th in Palestine

The following is from the archives. As the cold winds blow in Jerusalem, the report is as valid today as when it was originally posted.
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Freezing cold winds, rain and threats of snow is what Jerusalem is experiencing today. That’s fine for those living in homes or apartments, but what about those living in tents or on the street? Even worse than the storm itself are the ongoing illegal activities of zionism in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods, Sheik Jarrah in particular. The evictions from private homes continue due to the implementation of lebensraum; Israel’s ‘final solution’ in motion … a policy that is supposedly opposed to by the West and the EU, but still in motion nevertheless.
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For some background on this almost forgotten struggle, I present here a five year old Op-ed from The New York Times; … nothing has changed.
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Not all Israelis agree with this policy. For over a year, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Israelis and Palestinians have been gathering in Sheik Jarrah on Fridays to protest the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes. Israeli courts have deemed these nonviolent demonstrations to be legal, but this has not stopped the police from arresting protesters.

In a cruel historical twist, nearly all of the Palestinians evicted from their homes in Sheik Jarrah in the last year-and-a-half were originally expelled in 1948 from their homes in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbieh. In the wake of the Six-Day War, Israeli courts ruled that some of the houses these Palestinian refugees have lived in since 1948 are actually legally owned by Jewish Israelis, who have claims dating from before Israel’s founding.

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Who Lives in Sheik Jarrah?

By KAI BIRD
Published: April 30, 2010
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AS a boy, I lived in Sheik Jarrah, a wealthy Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Annexed by Israel in 1967 and now the subject of a conflict over property claims, my former home has come to symbolize everything that has gone wrong between the Israelis and Palestinians over the last six decades.

Despite talk of a slowdown in Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor, toured Washington earlier this week and told officials that the expansion into Arab neighborhoods is going ahead at full speed.

As a result, “The battle line in Israel’s war of survival as a Jewish and democratic state now runs through the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem,” writes David Landau, the former editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz. “Is that the line, at last, where Israel’s decline will be halted?” I hope so.

My family lived in Israel from 1956 to 1958, when my father, an American diplomat, was stationed in East Jerusalem. We lived in the Palestinian sector, but every day I crossed through Mandelbaum Gate, the one checkpoint in the divided city, to attend school in an Israeli neighborhood. I thus had the rare privilege of seeing both sides.

At the time Sheik Jarrah was a sleepy suburb, a half-mile north of Damascus Gate. One of my playmates was Dani Bahar, the son of a Muslim Palestinian and a Jewish-German refugee from Nazi Europe. Before the establishment of Israel in 1948, such interfaith marriages were uncommon, but accepted. Another neighbor was Katy Antonius, the widow of George Antonius, an Arab historian who argued that Palestine should become a binational, secular state.

The Sheik Jarrah of my youth is gone; Mandelbaum Gate was razed by Israeli bulldozers right after the Six-Day War in 1967 that united Jerusalem. But the city remains virtually divided. Few Jewish Israelis venture into Sheik Jarrah and the other largely Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, and few Palestinians go to the “New City.”

Today East Jerusalem exudes the palpable feel of a city occupied by a foreign power. And it is, to an extent — although much of the world doesn’t recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to halt the construction of new housing units for Jewish Israelis in the Arab neighborhoods. “Jerusalem is not a settlement,” he recently told an audience in Washington.

Not all Israelis agree with this policy. For over a year, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Israelis and Palestinians have been gathering in Sheik Jarrah on Fridays to protest the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes. Israeli courts have deemed these nonviolent demonstrations to be legal, but this has not stopped the police from arresting protesters.

In a cruel historical twist, nearly all of the Palestinians evicted from their homes in Sheik Jarrah in the last year-and-a-half were originally expelled in 1948 from their homes in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbieh. In the wake of the Six-Day War, Israeli courts ruled that some of the houses these Palestinian refugees have lived in since 1948 are actually legally owned by Jewish Israelis, who have claims dating from before Israel’s founding.

The Palestinians have stubbornly refused to pay any rent to these “absentee” Israeli landlords for nearly 43 years; until recently, their presence was nevertheless tolerated. But under Mr. Netanyahu, a concerted effort has been made to evict these Palestinians and replace them with Israelis.

This poses an interesting question. If Jewish Israelis can claim property in East Jerusalem based on land deeds that predate 1948, why can’t Palestinians with similar deeds reclaim their homes in West Jerusalem?

I have in mind the Kalbians, our neighbors in Sheik Jarrah. Until 1948, Dr. Vicken Kalbian and his family lived in a handsome Jerusalem-stone house on Balfour Street in Talbieh. In the spring, the Haganah, the Zionist militia, sent trucks mounted with loudspeakers through the streets of Talbieh, demanding that all Arab residents leave. The Kalbians decided it might be prudent to comply, but they thought they’d be back in a few weeks.

Nineteen years later, after the Six-Day war, the Kalbians returned to 4 Balfour Street and knocked on the door. A stranger answered. “He was a Jewish Turk,” Dr. Kalbian said, “who had come to Israel in 1948.” The man claimed he had bought the house from the “authorities.”

That year the Kalbians took their property deed to a lawyer who determined that their house was indeed registered with the Israeli Department of Absentee Property. Under Israeli law, they learned, due compensation could have been paid to them — but only if they had not fled to countries then considered “hostile,” like Jordan. Because in 1948 they had ended up in Jordanian-controlled Sheik Jarrah, the Kalbians could neither reclaim their home nor be compensated for their loss.

The Kalbians eventually emigrated to America, but their moral claim to the house on Balfour Street is as strong as any of the deeds held by Israelis to property in Sheik Jarrah.

If Israel wishes to remain largely Jewish and democratic, then it must soon withdraw from all of the occupied territories and negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital. And if not, it should at least let the Kalbians go home again.

Kai Bird is the author of “Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978.”

LOOK THROUGH THE EYES OF A PALESTINIAN TEEN

Israeli filmmaker explores life through the eyes of Palestinian teen

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By Alex Shams
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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The short documentary “Khelil Helwa (Hebron is Beautiful)” follows a young boy from Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood as he goes about his daily life, uncovering the matrix of Israeli military control that defines every aspect of life in the occupied West Bank.For Palestinians, the footage may at first appear somewhat unremarkable, and the scenes of soldiers barking orders and even arresting the film’s 15-year-old star, Awni Abu Shamsiya, are heart-breakingly familiar.But for Israeli-American filmmaker Yuval Orr, it was the hope of showing the footage to Israeli audiences that motivated production.”I want Israelis to see more films that challenge what they think they know, or challenge the moral stance that is very easy to take at a distance,” he told Ma’an during an interview in West Jerusalem.”How many Jewish Israelis really go to Hebron if they’re not soldiers or settlers?”

‘Quiet before the storm’
The film, which was produced as part of the ActiveVision film collective, spans a mere nine-and-a-half minutes but manages to offer a complex and insightful look at daily life in central Hebron through the eyes of one of the city’s own children.”Khelil Helwa” is surprisingly unburdened by statistics, maps, or figures, allowing the potential viewer — particularly if Israeli — to sympathize with Awni’s perspective regardless of their political perspective.And while Orr concedes that this approach risks depoliticizing the inherently political nature of the struggle facing young Palestinians like Awni, he argues that it also opens up other opportunities for outreach.”All of the words that we use to describe the ‘conflict,’ the ‘occupation,’ or the ‘situation’ are extraordinarily flawed, and as hard as you try to remain objective with language, its very difficult,” he told Ma’an.

He said he did not want to “color viewers’ perspectives and allow them to shut down, or be primed for a film they are going to identify with.”

Instead, by allowing the viewer to experience Awni’s life directly and without introduction, he said the the film forces them to confront the humanity they share with the teen.

These concerns also motivated Orr’s decisions on which scenes to include in the film. He told Ma’an that he hesitated at times about whether to depict moments of violence that occurred on camera or to instead focus on the many daily struggles and humiliations that characterize the life of young people in central Hebron.

“It was important for me to have those moments of relative calm where you see the soldiers twirling their whistles at the checkpoint or yawning, because so much of life in Hebron is that. It’s these moments of intense quiet before the storm, and then shit gets crazy.”

“In moments of violence it’s very easy to draw the lines, but it’s more difficult in moments of quiet, where you feel the weight of what it’s like to live there. It becomes very difficult to deny the humanity of this kid,” he told Ma’an. “It’s a struggle to walk that line.”

Hebron is ‘extraordinarily uncomfortable’
Although Orr grew up in the United States, he studied Arabic for years in Egypt and Morocco and speaks Hebrew as well. Part of his family traces their roots in Jerusalem back more than 400 years, and he told Ma’an that he comes from a line of rabbis originally from Morocco and Spain.He admitted that the family’s roots in Palestine are so deep that his grandmother even occasionally admits to considering herself Palestinian, if he “catches her on the right day,” he said, laughing.For Orr, working on the film was part of his own journey back to Israel to confront his relationship to the occupation and the realities of Zionism.He told Ma’an that he was drawn to Hebron because of the uniquely difficult situation there.

The process of making the film itself was also full of difficulties and strange experiences, he said, as filming was frequently blocked by Israeli soldiers who forced him to turn off the camera or demanded to know what he was doing.

Once while following Awni’s journey to school, meanwhile, a Palestinian police officer stopped the filming, concerned about a man following a child with a video camera in an area where Jewish settlers frequently stalk and harass locals.

“There’s something about being in Hebron that’s extraordinarily uncomfortable,” he told Ma’an. “I wanted to personally to face that down, and to force other people to face that down as well.”

“Hebron is the worst of the worst, and the kids who grow up in that environment are the most underprivileged, the most oppressed by the system, the ones who feel the occupation on a daily basis the hardest,” he added.

‘A little spark of hope’
Indeed, Hebron is distinguished from other areas in the West Bank by the existence of Jewish settlements inside the city itself. Israeli authorities have shut down hundreds of Palestinian shops in the last few decades and paved the way for the flight of thousands in order to ensure the security of the few hundred Israeli settlers who have taken over parts of the Old City.One scene in the film tackles one of the most pressing issues facing the area, the system of mass incarceration deployed against local teens by soldiers as punishment for even the most minor offenses.Awni is seen standing on a street in the neighborhood when stopped by soldiers, who accuse him of having harassed a group of male settlers in their 20s who were walking by. The soldiers then grab him and forcibly take him away, in what was the third such arrest in his life.Orr told Ma’an that since he finished filming, Awni has been arrested yet again.

Unlike previous times, when he was put away for a few days and then released after his family paid a large fine, this time, Orr said, he is being charged with throwing stones at a checkpoint. Under a new Israeli law, for Palestinians the charge of throwing stones can mean years of hard jail time.

“It’s a terrible situation and a terrible reality,” Orr told Ma’an. “The film shows exactly how harsh it is to live under occupation, but not even, because there are so many things that will happen to him in a day, in a week, in a month, or in a year that are not in the film. He’ll tell me about a 2 am house raid (by Israeli soldiers), but I’m not capturing that on film.”

“I walk away from the film in amazement that Awni and his entire family are able to hold on to their dignity and to their humanity, in a situation that I think most people born into those circumstances would not be able to. For a 15-year-old kid, he’s incredibly wise, incredibly humane, incredibly brave, and those are also things I take away from the film and hope that others will take away as well.”

With Awni potentially facing years in an Israeli military prison, however, it’s unclear whether the qualities that have helped him persevere and which have made him so strong until now, will manage to survive much longer.

“There’s that little spark of hope that’s there,” Orr told Ma’an. “But then you break it.”

ETHNIC CLEANSING: ISRAEL’S ULTIMATE STRATEGY TOWARD THE PALESTINIANS

The ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish settlements in the West Banks has simply made the establishment of a Palestinian state, one that is worthy of the name, quite impossible.

Ethnic cleansing: Israel’s ultimate strategy toward the Palestinians

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

In a farewell speech, outgoing UN Special Coordinator for the so-called “Middle East peace process” Robert Serry has warned the apartheid state of Israel that continued settlement building in the West Bank was killing any remaining chances for the two-state solution.

Serry said the killing of the two-state solution strategy would transform Israel into a bi-national state.

Israeli leaders, with the exception of some isolated voices, scoffed at Serry’s remarks, with some spokespersons calling these remarks “stale and stupid.”

It is widely believed that Israel has already killed any remaining chances for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, especially one with Jerusalem as its capital.

The ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish settlements in the West Banks has simply made the establishment of a Palestinian state, one that is worthy of the name, quite impossible.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has met virtually all Israeli demands, including putting tens of thousands of Palestinian security personnel in the service of Israeli security whims.

Moreover, Abbas’s Gendarme has killed, tormented and repressed Palestinian citizens on Israel’s behalf. Moreover, PA security agencies seriously violated Palestinians’ human rights and civil liberties in order to receive a certificate of good conduct from Israel and her guardian-ally, the United States.

In fact, on numerous occasions, Abbas humiliated himself and his people by pandering to Israeli insolence and arrogance, in the hope that this would make Israel relent and come to terms with legitimate Palestinian rights.

However, every time Abbas made a concession to Israel, without any Israeli reciprocation, of course, the Israelis would humiliate him even further.

For example, for many weeks now, Israel has adamantly refused to transfer to the PA coffers hundreds of millions of dollars of Palestinian customs’ revenues levied by Israel pursuant to the hapless Paris Protocol of 1994, which effectively enabled Israel to hold the Palestinian economy hostage to Israeli whims and blackmail.

As a result, more than a hundred thousand Palestinians have not received their meager salaries for the third consecutive months, causing a virtual widespread suffering to tens of thousands of Palestinian households.

The Israeli message to Abbas and his people is amply clear: Either you do what we order you to do or else you will suffer, you will starve.

For their part, the Americans know the facts very well. But they feel too week to even rebuke Israel, thanks to the overwhelming domination of the Jewish lobby over the American government, especially Congress.

One Israeli commentator told this writer recently that Binyamin Netanyahu had more clout in Washington D.C. than did Barack Obama.

Ethnic cleansing

A few days ago during an acrimonious Tel Aviv debate involving Israeli intellectuals on the various platforms presented by Israeli political parties contesting the upcoming elections, slated to take place on 17 March, a leftist college professor tried to challenge the mostly right-wing audience on the issue of bi-national statehood. One right-wing leader from a settlement near Hebron in the West Bank responded to the leftist’s remarks. And without patting an eyelash, he said Israel would eventually expel the Arabs.

“We will expel them when the time for that comes. We will never allow the perceived Arab demographic advantage to destroy Zionism. Call this apartheid or even Nazism, I don’t care.”

“Do you think the world would allow you to get away with this,” retorted the leftist.

“The world would be furious initially, but eventually it would come to terms with reality. The world is hypocritical. Eventually, the world would side with the strong, and we are the stronger side in this conflict.”

I believe I wouldn’t exaggerate much if I claimed that the settler leader’s remarks more or less encapsulate the ideology and political program of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Yes, Netanyahu doesn’t spell out his views publicly. But all his actions and behaviors, including the seizure of huge areas of West Bank territory, vindicate the view that Netanyahu and peace are an eternal oxymoron.

As a Palestinian who has been observing Israeli conduct since 1967, I am inclined to believe the above-mentioned settler leader rather than the leftist intellectual.

Yes, the world probably wouldn’t move to rein in Israeli Nazism. Yes, it might issue strong-worded condemnations, but it wouldn’t go any further.

As to the US, the most it would probably do is to call on the two sides to show self-restraint.

IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING THE STOLEN DREAMS ON MLK DAY

There were several marches – the one we went on had about 2,000 people.  Then we went to Grand Central Station where about 200 of us held up the names of unarmed Black citizens, mostly young men, who were killed by the police.  People read about them, who they were, how they died.  After each story people said their name, all together, and raised their fist in the air.  People passing through stopped to listen.  Some family members of those killed were there.  After 3 hours someone read King’s last speech and we repeated it, one line at a time (Occupy style) and then everyone sang We Shall Overcome and Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, Hold On.  Actually, we did the same thing for 24 hours last week.  It is a very powerful experience.

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We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet …

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

Marching through the streets …

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At Grand Central …

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FOR PALESTINIANS, GETTING TO WORK IN ISRAEL IS A JOB IN ITSELF

Just another day. Palestinians on their way to work go through an army checkpoint near Jenin. Photo by AP

Just another day. Palestinians on their way to work go through an army checkpoint near Jenin. Photo by AP

The next time an Israeli with a conscience refrains from buying sneakers or a cellphone made in Asian sweatshops, he or she should remember: The most brutal sweatshop is next to their homes. Just look once at the sad face of the worker building your home; try to imagine what he went through and put yourself in his shoes. He too is a human being.

The plight of the Palestinian laborer

Poverty and unemployment in the West Bank – a direct result of the occupation – drive Palestinian laborers to endure the pain and humiliation of working in Israel.
By Gideon Levy

Israelis see them and they don’t see them. They are on the scaffold of the building going up next to ours. We see them and we don’t see them. We have no idea what they endure and we don’t care. The people who build our homes and pave our roads left their own homes at around 2 A.M. last night. They will return in the evening, after a long, exhausting day of work, nearly 24 hours of hard labor, hard traveling and humiliation. Tonight they will again leave their homes for jobs in Israel. While some Israelis come to work bleary-eyed because their baby woke them up two or three times during the night, these people know no day or night.

They are divided into the lucky and the unlucky. A few tens of thousands have work permits for Israel — 47,350 as of March — and a few tens of thousands sneak in without permits. Those with permits travel this Via Dolorosa each night; those who sneak in will stay at the construction site for two or three weeks, passing long, cold nights in fear of getting caught. They are the illegals. If caught they will be treated like hunted animals. After a few hours of questioning they will be dumped on the other side of the checkpoint, like garbage. Sometimes they will be arrested or fined. They will return. They have no choice. Some pay with their lives for this journey in search of work.

They come to Israel on account of the poverty and unemployment of the West Bank, which are the direct result of the closure and the occupation imposed by Israel. Their working and living conditions are worse even than those of sweatshop workers in the Far East. There once can at least fall asleep at one’s machine, the (miserable) quarters are next to the factory and there are no “illegals.” It is doubtful that Chinese workers are humiliated the way their Palestinian counterparts are, even if the Palestinians are paid much more.

Israel needs them and knows how to exploit their weakness. They pay thousands of shekels to makhers who arrange work permits for them every few months and they are willing to suffer any hardship because they have no choice. Last week they stood tall for a moment: Around 5,000 Palestinians who work in Israel went “on strike” to protest the intolerable conditions at the Irtah (Sha’ar Ephraim) checkpoint, west of Tul Karm, which is being renovated. The next day conditions improved and they returned to work and to humiliation.

But Irtah is not alone. Every crossing has the same terrible overcrowding in narrow, barred passageways that resemble cattle chutes more than they do crossings for people: with shoving, hitting and fainting, the only human contact in the form of the voices, of those who see and are unseen, on the public address system. I saw this with my own eyes at Bethlehem’s Checkpoint 300, and again last week in a disturbing Channel 1 television report last week by Yoram Cohen. “Nobody knows the system like we do,” said Machsom Watch – Women for Human Rights volunteers Rachel, Riki and Amira in their report on the Irtah checkpoint. “The system is to oppress, humiliate and make things worse so that the subjects will be more afraid.”

To reiterate: These are people with work permits, who have passed all the security checks, most of them relatively old.

That’s the way it is night after night, and the ritual of security excusing everything. It is difficult to understand how all this does not explode. How the hatred that accumulates at night does not burst into terrible violence. How they agree, night after night, to endure this — and keep quiet. And how most Israelis do not care.

The next time an Israeli with a conscience refrains from buying sneakers or a cellphone made in Asian sweatshops, he or she should remember: The most brutal sweatshop is next to their homes. Just look once at the sad face of the worker building your home; try to imagine what he went through and put yourself in his shoes. He too is a human being.

LIFE BEFORE DEATH IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK

Don't just remember .... Help stop the madness!

Don’t just remember …. Help stop the madness!

“Here lies my brother”: Short video recalls life of murdered Palestinian teen

The night before he died, Muhammad and his father went up on the roof of their house. The teen pointed toward nearby Birzeit University and told his father that he wanted to study journalism there.

“Through media and journalism,” his father recalls Muhammad saying, “I can send a message to the world that there’s a people here that is carrying out legitimate resistance to the occupation and I can ask the world to help us end the occupation.”

Click HERE to see what you can do to stop the murders

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Click HERE to read Ali Abunimah’s full report on the situation

REMEMBERING THOSE THAT ISRAEL WANTS YOU TO FORGET ABOUT

Take action for Palestinian children killed by Israel

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Defence for Children International–Palestine (DCI-Palestine) has put together a stunning online resource to tell their stories and to encourage people to take action to help call for justice.

Click HERE to see the presentation ….. it’s a must watch.

Less accountability than ever

On 23 November, Israeli prosecutors brought manslaughter charges against the Border Police officer allegedly responsible for shooting Nadim Nuwara.

“The defendant used the blanks magazine so that his live fire, as opposed to rubber-bullet fire, would not be observed,” DCI-Palestine quotes the indictment as saying.

Some Israelis have rallied around the suspect, who has not been officially named, hailing him as a hero and inciting more killings of Palestinians.

No arrests have been made in the killing of Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, however.

And the fact that anyone was charged in Nuwara’s death – albeit for a reduced charge of manslaughter instead of murder – is rare enough.

Since 2000, Israeli forces have killed more than 8,896 Palestinians, DCI-Palestine states. At least 1,895 have been children.

In 2014, Israeli occupation forces killed ten children with live ammunition in the West Bank, including Nuwara and al-Thahir.

Between 2000 and 2013, just 5.2 percent of all investigations resulted in indictments.

And over the past three years, the chances of indictments have become slimmer – down to just 1.4 percent.

Take action

When you reach the end of the timeline on the No More Forgotten Lives website, DCI-Palestine asks you to take part in its Thunderclap – a social media campaign that is easy to join using Twitter or Facebook to draw attention to the killings.

This is a beautifully assembled resource to tell a story no one should ever have to tell.

The goal is to bring a measure of accountability and justice for these two boys, and for all the children whose lives have been stolen by the brutality of Israel’s occupation.

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The above was prepared by Ali Abunima 

IN PALESTINE FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE

THE SETTLEMENTS ARE STRANGLING PALESTINIAN TOURISM

Palestinian officials say the growth of Israeli settlements – there are now 22 around Bethlehem – is steadily strangling access, prompting tourists to stay away.

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The Occupation would even keep Mary and Joseph from entering Bethlehem today

The Occupation would even keep Mary and Joseph from entering Bethlehem today

Israeli settlements squeezing Palestinian tourism, officials say

Palestinian tourism expert says $1.4 billion lost every year, as roads for settlers, border controls and administrative issues seriously hinder local industry.

Reuters

Standing on the monumental hillside south of Bethlehem where King Herod the Great was buried more than 2,000 years ago, Fadi Kattan stretches out his arm to point out the nearby Israeli settlements of Tekoa and Nokdim.

“That’s part of the problem,” says Kattan, a Palestinian tourism expert, explaining the obstacles hindering the growth of the local industry in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Because of the roads Israel builds mainly for Jewish settlers, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lives in Nokdim, Palestinian areas are frequently cut off, making them less accessible to tourists, he says.

Then there is Herodium, a major attraction administered by Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority. The income flows to Israel, not the Palestinians. The same goes for Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, which is also in the West Bank.

Christmas festivities in Bethlehem (Archive photo: Reuters)
Christmas festivities in Bethlehem (Archive photo: Reuters)

Perhaps most challenging, Palestinian tour operators cannot easily tap into the 300 million Arabs living in nearby countries since very few of them can readily visit the West Bank, whose borders are controlled by Israel.

“When you add it all up, the movement and access problems and everything else, we are losing $1.4 billion a year,” says Kattan, estimating that current revenue of $460 million a year would be nearer $1.8 billion if locals had full control.

It is an issue that comes to the fore every year in the run-up to Christmas, when tens of thousands of religious tourists make their way to Bethlehem, other parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem to celebrate the birth, life and death of Jesus.

To highlight the increasing strain Bethlehem and surrounding towns are under, Palestinian officials took a group of foreign journalists on a guided tour of the area this week.

The ruins at Herodium (archive photo)
The ruins at Herodium (archive photo)

Underscoring how sensitive the topic is, the Israeli tourism ministry is taking journalists on its own tour of Nazareth and other Christian towns in Israel on Sunday, and the Israel Project, a pro-Israel lobby, has organised another media tour two days later covering Christian churches.

When it comes to Bethlehem, a city of 25,000 just five miles south of Jerusalem, the critical issue is getting foreign tourists past Israel’s separation wall and checkpoints and convincing them to stay the night.

Many now choose to stay in Jerusalem and make a day trip. Palestinian officials say the growth of Israeli settlements – there are now 22 around Bethlehem – is steadily strangling access, prompting tourists to stay away.

“We can’t have real development in this sector until the occupation ends,” said Rula Ma’aya, the Palestinian minister of tourism, decrying the pressure on overnight stays.

Figures show overnight stays are up 9% this year from last year, but officials say the number remains far below what it should be and the overall revenue is down.

While visitors from Russia, Poland and Italy – the top three – tend to stay the night, Americans, who spend more, are more likely to stay in Jerusalem, with the revenue going to Israel.

“In history, Bethlehem and Jerusalem were always twin cities,” said Ma’aya. “Now, Bethlehem is being isolated.”

#BlackLivesMatter ~~ IN PHOTOS

MORE BIG DOINGS IN THE BIG APPLE

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“Hands up.  Don’t shoot!”

“I can’t breathe!”

“How do we spell murder?  NYPD!” 

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

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

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Commentary by Chippy Dee

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TURMOIL IN JERUSALEM DUE TO THEIR STUPIDITY ( THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT’S)

Nothing more, nothing less!

Nothing more, nothing less!

Almost every conversation in East Jerusalem over the past few weeks has ended with the statement: “They are stupid” – meaning the Israeli government is stupid to behave in such-and-such a way toward Palestinian Jerusalem.

How easy it is to prevent escalation in Jerusalem

Palestinians are generous when they attribute Israel’s policies to the stupidity of its leaders.

Palestinians burn tires during clashes with Israeli border police in East Jerusalem, November 5, 2014. Photo by AP

Palestinians burn tires during clashes with Israeli border police in East Jerusalem, November 5, 2014. Photo by AP

Almost every conversation in East Jerusalem over the past few weeks has ended with the statement: “They are stupid” – meaning the Israeli government is stupid to behave in such-and-such a way toward Palestinian Jerusalem. If they would just make it easier to obtain construction permits, they say, if they would add just a few percentage points to the budget, if they would not beat demonstrators so savagely, if they did not trump up traffic violations, for example, then the clashes would not spread like wildfire.

This is the consecutive third week with no age restriction on people attending Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and everything went quietly. Got that? No humiliations and restrictions, no rioting.

The definition of the government’s actions as stupid is a fairly common act of generosity on the part of Palestinians, the generosity of the native-born. It is the generosity of those who are well planted in the villages and neighborhoods that have turned into slums, sealed ghettos; neighborhoods that are a mixture of wide roads for the Jews, open areas where Palestinian construction is prohibited, kitschy villas and ordinary apartments that cost 400,000 dollars, because the housing shortage is so severe. If you are Palestinian, that is.

Stupidity is beyond the control of the stupid person. The poor fellow was born that way. Stupid people can be replaced and their stupid actions set right. Those who say “this is stupidity” do not say it is malice; those who diagnose stupidity do not say it is a premeditated crime. It is a demonstration of generosity when the words used to describe Israel’s policy in East Jerusalem have run out. How many times can we say apartheid, discrimination, silent transfer, expulsion, racism, exclusion, dispossession, assault, impoverishment, weakening?

Stupidity? Here are a few fundamentals of Israel’s policy in Jabal Mukkaber:

In 1967, the village of A-Sawahra was divided into two parts. One portion remained inside the West Bank, while its western portion (including Jabal Mukkaber) was included within Jerusalem’s borders and annexed to Israel. But the inhabitants continued to be members of the same tribe, marry within the tribe and bury their dead in the same cemetery on the western side.

The settlement of Nof Tzion, on the outskirts of Jabal Mukkaber in East Jerusalem. Photo by Eyal Toueg

The settlement of Nof Tzion, on the outskirts of Jabal Mukkaber in East Jerusalem. Photo by Eyal Toueg

In 1993, traffic restrictions and checkpoints began to divide the eastern portion of the village from its western part. Since 2000 and after the construction of the separation fence, the barrier between members of the tribe and members of the same families has become hermetic.

As the BIMKOM – Planners for Planning Rights nonprofit organization wrote in its survey of East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, Jabal Mukkaber is under the most extreme construction restrictions of all the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Most of the area is off-limits for construction, and in the few places where it is allowed, no building permits are issued. The amount of open areas (not slated for development) set by the plans that apply to the neighborhood is exceptional, even compared to other East Jerusalem neighborhoods. The planned system of roads is so meager that it leaves most of the neighborhood utterly inaccessible.

In the western Sawahra neighborhood, which is close to the separation barrier, only one-quarter of the area is zoned for residential purposes. The housing shortage is so severe that young people are postponing their wedding dates or remaining in their parents’ homes. The areas slated for expropriation from Sawahra for the purpose of paving the eastern ring road, most of whose users will not be from the neighborhood (read: Jews), are larger than the total area of the neighborhood’s roads.

On top of the expropriations carried out in the 1970s for constructing the East Talpiot neighborhood, Nof Tzion, a well-planned, well-kept settlement for Jews only, was built a decade ago in the heart of the neglected half-village of Jabal Mukkaber. The planning goes back to the 1980s. Fifty dunams (some 12 acres) were originally under Jewish ownership. Sixty-five dunams (16 acres) of land were expropriated from Jabal Mukkaber for the large neighborhood, which would be suitable for the waves of immigration from the former Soviet Union. The buildings are six stories high – about 130 percent of construction – while the Palestinians on the other side are allowed only 25 percent, or two floors.

There is no stupidity here. This is a crime of discrimination being committed deliberately, with malice aforethought. It is no invention of Benjamin Netanyahu or Nir Barkat or Naftali Bennett. The intellectual property rights belong to the governments of Labor and the “moderate” Likud.

To say that the Israeli governments are stupid after 50 years – or almost 70 years – of living under their rule is an act of psychological repression, with a bit of hope for redress. The last thing that can be said of the country’s leaders and high officials is that they are stupid. To say that we, the Jews, are stupid is to throw us a last rope of rescue from ourselves and our policies.

Expired tear gas

Residents of Isawiyah and Jabal Mukkaber noticed that the canisters of tear gas that the Israel Police generously have been firing at them to subdue their demonstrations were stamped with the date 2005. Text on the canisters also read that they were suitable for use five years from the date of manufacture. So they fear that the tear gas is even more harmful than usual and will damage their health and that of their children, sick people, elderly people and pregnant women, particularly when it is fired among the residential buildings.

But the Israel Police, in its response to Haaretz, wanted to reassure the worried targets of the tear gas: “The expiration date written on the gas canisters does not refer to the gas that is used, but instead to other parts of the canister.” The police say further that the gas does no harm, but merely causes irritation of the mucous membranes.

DEMONIZATION OF ARABS CONDEMNED BY AMERICAN RABBINICAL COUNCIL

 

Image 'Copyleft' by Latuff

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Latuff

“We cannot countenance a response to terror that resorts to wholesale demonization, advocates for the collective punishment of Israeli Arabs, or calls for the destruction or dismantling of Muslim holy places. Such rhetoric is anathema to the Jewish religious tradition and has no place in civil society. Such rhetoric is wrong and must be repudiated, whether it is voiced by lay leaders, community leaders or rabbis.”

Orthodox Leaders Condemn Rabbi Steven Pruzansky for ‘Demonization’ of Arabs

O.U. Issues Statement After Incendiary Blog Post

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky speaks to women at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N.J.

CONGREGATION BNAI YESHURUN
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky speaks to women at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N.J.

By JTA

A growing chorus of Orthodox leaders are speaking out against anti-Arab rhetoric following racially inflammtory statements by Steven Pruzansky, a prominent Teaneck, New Jersey rabbi.

After last week’s terrorist attack at a Jerusalem synagogue, Pruzansky, the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, wrote a blog post titled “Dealing with Savages” that said Arabs in the Land of Israel are the enemy and advocated their emigration or deportation. He also suggested moving the mosque atop the Temple Mount to Saudi Arabia.

“There is a war for the land of Israel that is being waged, and the Arabs who dwell in the land of Israel are the enemy in that war and must be vanquished,” Pruzansky wrote. The Nov. 21 post, which was subsequently deleted, was first reported by JTA on November 23.

On November 26, the Orthodox Union, of which Pruzansky’s synagogue is a member, issued a press release that that did not name him but said, “We cannot countenance a response to terror that resorts to wholesale demonization, advocates for the collective punishment of Israeli Arabs, or calls for the destruction or dismantling of Muslim holy places. Such rhetoric is anathema to the Jewish religious tradition and has no place in civil society. Such rhetoric is wrong and must be repudiated, whether it is voiced by lay leaders, community leaders or rabbis.”

The O.U. declined to elaborate further on the statement when asked by the Forward if it applied specifically to Pruzansky. But speaking on background, a senior O.U. official told the Forward, “By implication the statement applies to Rabbi Pruzansky’s statement.”

The Orthodox Union had invited Pruzansky to speak at the group’s annual convention next month and placed advertisements in Jewish newspapers heralding his appearance, but Pruzansky recently told organizers he’d be unable to make it.

Pruzansky, whose synagogue has 800 member families and is the largest in Teaneck, also has held prominent positions at the Rabbinical Council of America, where is an executive committee member and a former vice president. Until last month, he also led the RCA’s conversion beit din (rabbinical court) in Bergen County, N.J. The RCA’s executive vice president, Mark Dratch, told JTA that the RCA supports the OU’s statement on Pruzansky.

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, the RCA’s most recent past president and the leader of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, N.J., was one of several rabbis in the Teaneck area who distanced themselves from Pruzansky’s remarks, NorthJersey.com reported.

“Rabbi Pruzansky’s statements reflect the frustration that he feels and that many of us feel as we view the unfolding events in the Middle East,” Goldin was quoted as saying. “However, his conclusions and recommendations certainly do not represent my view nor the view of many others in the Orthodox Jewish community.”

Mohamed El Filali, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was also cited in the report calling on mainstream Jewish leaders to speak out strongly against Jewish extremists.

And T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights group, launched a petition for rabbis and cantors to sign to pledge “using our religious voices to build the world with more love, not to destroy it with more hate.”

Pruzansky long has used his blog and synagogue pulpit not just to criticize Arab violence, but to denounce Israeli leaders he perceives as too timid or misdirected. In 1995, weeks before the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, Pruzansky called Rabin a Judenrat — the term used to describe the Jewish councils that did the Nazis’ bidding during the Holocaust.

Earlier this month, he likened the New York Jewish Week to the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer, prompting a rebuke from the RCA and a condemnatory editorial in the Jewish Week.

In a clarification on his blog after the Nov. 21 post, Pruzansky defended his remarks, saying his views were not outside the mainstream and noting that he had written that Arabs who are nonviolent and accept Israel as a Jewish state are welcome to stay in Israel (so long as they are not related to a terrorist or live in a village from which two or more terrorists have emanated, according to his view).

In an interview Tuesday with the Voice of Israel, Pruzansky said the Temple Mount should be closed to Arabs so they can feel the consequences of “someone in their midst [who] dared to raise a hand against a Jew.”

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

Is this what you want for America?

Is this what you want for America?

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

If America Had Laws Like Israel

By Avital Burg 

Thinkstock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A VIDEO BECOMES A WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION

A sophisticated and compelling analysis of video and other evidence has pinpointed the Israeli occupation soldier who shot and killed seventeen-year-old Nadim Siam Nuwara six months ago.

Video analysis pinpoints Israeli killer of Palestinian teen

ZION’S HOUSE IN TOTAL DISARRAY

First there was this … a realistic picture of zionism …

Ashkelon mayor: No Arab construction workers in kindergartens

Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni announced Wednesday that Arab workers will no longer be allowed on construction sites at kindergartens in the city where shelters are being built, citing the escalating security situation and fear of terrorist attacks. The announcement almost immediately drew fire from MKs, who said it was illegal and racist.

 

Full report HERE

But Bibi’s response was shocking … FROM

speaking-in-tongues1

Netanyahu: No Place in Israel For Discrimination Against Arabs

Netanyahu responds to Ashkelon mayor’s decision to bar Arab workers. Notes ‘Jewish State Law’ equates democracy, Israel’s Jewish character.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded Thursday to Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni’s decision to temporarily freeze the employment of Arab Israeli construction workers building protected rooms in educational institutions in the city.

While doing so, he also called attention to his new draft of the Jewish State Law.

“There is no place for discrimination against Israeli Arabs. We should not generalize an entire population because a small minority of it is violent and belligerent,” Netanyahu stressed.

He added that the vast majority of Israel’s Arab citizens are law abiding, and the state acts only against those who firmly and resolutely violate the law.

“As part of the proposed ‘Jewish State Law’ I am bringing before the Cabinet on Sunday, we will assure the complete equality of all citizens before the law, regardless of religion, race, and gender. This will go hand in hand with ensuring the identity of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu stated.

“There is no contradiction between these two idea, and I will not allow any undermining of these two fundamental principles.”

Minister of Economy, and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett issued a similar response in a speech Thursday morning.

“We are going through a difficult time. There is a wave of attacks, and no one can guarantee that that wave is over…but you have to know 99.9% of Arab citizens are loyal to the State of Israel. It is only a very small majority acting out against.”

“In my job as Economy Minister, I will not permit harm against any employee on the basis of religion or race. Something like that will not happen in Israel,” Bennett emphasized.

 

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THE ISRAELI ‘STINKYFADA’

Videos: Jerusalem Skunk

Israeli police are filmed shooting putrid water intended as a crowd dispersal means at a school in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of at-Tur while there are no visible disturbances taking place. The school shut down for two days after because of the smell.

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In the A-Tur neighborhood, the police shot skunk water at four large schools, forcing the parents of 4,500 students to leave their children at home due to the unbearable smell. “It was this past Friday, at around 5:30 p.m.,” says Khader Abu Sabitan, a member of the parents’ committee in the neighborhood. “I was on the road and saw them pass with their machine, and saw how they began shooting water at the school. I’m telling you – there was nothing there. It is Friday at 5:30 in the evening, and there was no one in the school or on the streets. Nothing. Everyone was home. They went to all four schools in the neighborhood, shot the water, and left.”

Here’s another video taken in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber:

Above from Annie Robbins at Mondoweiss

Read 972+’s full report here.

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

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