TURKEY BANS MY BLOG …. WHAT AN HONOUR!

I received the following email this morning … (in part)

A Turkish authority has issued an order to block your WordPress.com site: https://desertpeace.wordpress.com/

As a result of this order, your site is now inaccessible for Internet visitors originating from Turkey. They will instead see a message explaining why the content was blocked.

Visitors from outside of Turkey are not affected.

The banning of DesertPeace follows the banning of Carlos Latuff’s  Twitter account in Turkey…

Here are some reasons why Turkish officials deemed the ban necessary …

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There are many more examples, but the above will give you a good idea.

THE DELUSIONAL POTUS IN IMAGES

“I think they like me a lot in the UK.” – Donald Trump, before his London visit.

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I C E NOT WELCOME IN NEW YORK

Waiting for global warming to melt  I C E

New York City played host to the biggest ever gathering of homeland security officials and private security corporations. They will be coming from all over the country to plot how they can place even more of our hermanxs in cages and concentration camps — and how they can continue to profit at all of our expense.

Say it loud, and say it clear: ICE is not welcome here!

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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PITY THE POOR DOUCH-BAG

Norman Finkelstein offers his support for Alan Dershowitz as he has become a social refugee in elite resorts across the Northeast due to his support for the Trump Administration.

Alan Dershowitz, on the run, on vacation, by Katie Miranda.

First they came for Alan Dershowitz

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First they came for me in Martha’s Vineyard,
But I was in Nantucket.
Then they came for me in Nantucket,
But I was in Cape Cod.
Then they came for me in Cape Cod,
But I was in Bar Harbor.
Then they came for me in Bar Harbor,
But I was in the Hamptons.
Then they came for me in the Hamptons,
But I was in … Coney Island.
Coney Island!
I no longer cared what befell me.

[For reference.] 

Not quite the same ….

IN ISRAEL GENOCIDE IS A MEANS OF SURVIVAL

You’re just not supposed to say it too overtly. The liberals, and especially the goyim, may start getting the wrong ideas.

Speaker at Israeli gov’t conference promotes genocide against Arabs and non-Jews

A week ago, the Israeli Ministry of Education held a conference in Jerusalem for the state’s religious education sector (Ynet reports, Hebrew, English here). Education Minister Naftali Bennett was also present. The theme was “speaking about the values of the Jewish family in 2018, about education to healthy sexuality, modesty, feminism, values and Zionism.”

On the stage was an aging terrorist, Moshe Zar, a former founding member of the Jewish-terrorist movement “Jewish Underground” (in 1980’s), who said the following:

“I am known for saying ‘Build a house, it’s like you wiped out a hundred Arabs. Build a settlement, it’s like you wiped out tens of thousands of goyim [‘non-Jews’]’. That’s the truth”.

His words were applauded by a considerable number of the public, including the settler standing beside him, Yael Shevach, the widow of rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was murdered in January on a road in the occupied West Bank outside the settlement he lived in.

Israeli journalist David Sheen has provided the video with subtitles here.

The immediate context within the conference was about settlement in “Judea, Samaria and Gaza”. After a video was screened, Zar told about an attack that had occurred in a settlement and said that construction of the settlements is “our sweet revenge”.

“Our revenge, the revenge of all of us, will be only in the settlement of Eretz Israel” [the land of Israel]. 

Of course, when such genocidal euphemism comes out in mainstream press, you have to do some damage control. Thus, the Ministry of Education issued a statement distancing itself from Zar’s expressions:

“The Ministry of Education and head of the state-religious education condemn decisively Moshe Zar’s egregious words, which were said on his behalf alone. We are speaking of an unfitting expression which does not reflect the spirit and policy of the Ministry of Education, which acts a lot to promote all of the sectors in the Israeli society, including the Arab sector.”

Notice a few things here, which make this statement highly questionable:

First, state-religious education is exclusively Jewish. The claim of promoting other ‘sectors’ does not relate to the state-religious education sector itself. And this is the eighth consecutive year the education ministry held this conference. Second, how could the ministry not know of Zar’s ideology? He is known for it – he literally boasts of it (“I am known for saying”…). In the ’80s, he was part of “a terrorist group that planted bombs in the cars of Arab mayors and plotted to destroy the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem,” per the NYT. After the killing of his son Gilad in 2001 (who was a security officer of the Israeli settler Samaria Regional Council) by Palestinian militants, Moshe Zar vowed that he would establish six settlements in his son’s memory (a settlement for each letter in his name in the Hebrew spelling). Rabbi Raziel Shevach was murdered outside a settlement that Zar established in 2002 – Havat Gilad. In 2015, Zar expressed some regret for his past terrorist activities and objected to the ‘tag price’ revenge terrorism attacks, but nonetheless remained an avid proponent of the settlement enterprise. Even if the Ministry viewed Zar as a kind of ‘moderate settler’ who was no longer an ‘active terrorist’, still, they could not claim to not have known about his ideology, in which he replaced the bomb with the settlement, as it were. (Let it nonetheless be noted that Zar was buying up private Palestinian land for settlement since 1979, that is, simultaneously with his terrorist activity).

Then Zar issued his own statement to Ynet, clarifying that he was merely ‘misunderstood’:

“Of course I referred with my words only to Arab terrorists who killed my son Gilad and the rabbi Raziel Shevach and many thousands of Jews. I live with Arabs in co-existence from my birth, out of the belief that in mutuality it is possible to live in peace.”    

This one is disingenuous on several levels. First of all, Zar did not refer merely to Arab ‘terrorists’. To suggest that this is naturally to be understood (“of course”) is like suggesting that the category, Arabs, equals terrorists. Second, he did not merely say Arabs, he added to it “goyim” (non-Jews). This added notion, which appears very calculated and even meticulously self-cited, brings this way beyond the mere tit-for-tat supposed context. It is very clearly a Judeo-centric notion of ‘Judaization of the land’ with genocidal undertones. 

And then there is of course Zar’s claim that since his birth (1938) he lives in ‘co-existence’ with ‘Arabs’. Zar was not only a member of the Jewish Underground, he was also a member of Ariel Sharon’s Unit 101 which committed the notiorious Qibya Massacre in 1953. Some ‘co-existence’ that is.

So this is, once again, one of those somewhat uncomfortable slips of the tongue, in which someone says something that is just a touch too overt, and you have to do damage control and tell people to move on. Like when Education Minister Bennett said that he “killed many Arabs and there’s no problem with that”.  

But notice what Zar was really saying, even in the conservative, watered down interpretation: Israeli settler-colonization of what Zionists consider ‘Eretz Israel’, is a form of bureaucratic genocidal “sweet revenge”.

You’re just not supposed to say it too overtly. The liberals, and especially the goyim, may start getting the wrong ideas.  

PINKWASHING THE OCCUPATION

Scene from the 2016 Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade. 

 

On June 8, when some 250,000 people attended the pride march in Tel Aviv, just some 44 miles away Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip faced Israeli snipers. For LGBTQ Palestinians, Tel Aviv’s pride week is a source of pain and anger each year. Pride is “used as a tool to normalize and justify occupation,” 20-year-old Omar told Mondoweiss. “Israelis oppress Palestinians, Palestinian women, Palestinian children, LGBT Palestinians. Anyone who is not Israeli Jewish, they oppress.”

LGBTQ Palestinians: Israel uses Pride celebrations to ‘normalize and justify occupation’

When Ali*, a member of the LGBTQ community in occupied East Jerusalem, saw images from Tel Aviv’s pride week inundating his social media earlier this month, he felt angered.

“I feel used when I see all of these people flooding the streets of Tel Aviv. It’s irritating seeing all of these fellow queers who share some of my experiences being used by Israel to pinkwash settler colonialism,” the 22-year-old said.

The term “pinkwashing” is used by activists to describe Israel’s practice of promoting itself as a “gay haven” in the Middle East in order to distract attention from its human rights abuses, which have defined its 70-year-long colonization of historic Palestine and more than half-century occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

On June 8, when some 250,000 people attended the pride march in Tel Aviv, just some 44 miles away Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip faced Israeli snipers.

Depending on which news channel you decided to turn on, you could be faced with images of colorful outfits and rainbow flags overflowing the streets of Tel Aviv, or injured Palestinians being rushed to an ambulance after being shot by the Israeli army.

During the pride march in Tel Aviv, Israel simultaneously shot dead at least four unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, including a 15-year-old. The small Palestinian territory has been held under a devastating Israeli air, land, and sea blockade for more than a decade.

Since the Great March of Return began in Gaza on March 30 to demand the right of Palestinians to return to their lands and homes they were expelled from during the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, Israeli snipers have killed at least 131 protesters and have injured tens of thousands.

For LGBTQ Palestinians, Tel Aviv’s pride week is a source of pain and anger each year.

Pride is “used as a tool to normalize and justify occupation,” 20-year-old Omar told Mondoweiss. “Israelis oppress Palestinians, Palestinian women, Palestinian children, LGBT Palestinians. Anyone who is not Israeli Jewish, they oppress.”

“You cannot be accepting to one minority while oppressing so many other minorities, including a minority you allegedly say you advocate for and support,” said Omar, who is also a resident of East Jerusalem.

‘I see daily violence’

LGBTQ Palestinians have long pointed out that their experiences under Israeli occupation do not differ from other Palestinians, despite Israel attempting to paint its image as a haven for LGBTQ peoples.

“To Israel, you are just Palestinian. It doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a man, straight or queer. You’re Palestinian so you will be subjected to all forms of oppression and discrimination and violence that Israel subjects all Palestinians to,” Omar said.

Israel occupied and subsequently annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, a move which was not recognized by the international community until US President Donald Trump’s official recognition of the city as Israel’s capital last year.

Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem do not hold citizenship in Israel or the Palestinian territory and instead were issued temporary Jerusalem residency IDs, which can be revoked by the Israeli state for a variety of reasons.

Israel has expelled nearly 15,000 Palestinians from the city since 1967, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), while hundreds have been evicted from their homes owing to the Israeli settler movement.

While Palestinians in East Jerusalem are subject to Israeli civil law — as opposed to Israeli military law like Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — they face routine discrimination and violence by Israeli forces.

In East Jerusalem, Palestinians are constantly subjected to harassment and arrest. As of April, 432 Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem were being held in Israeli prison, according to Palestinian prisoners’ right group Addameer.

“I see daily violence here,” Ali said. “When you walk on the streets, everywhere I go I see an [Israeli] settler with a rifle over the shoulder, or I see soldiers and policemen.”

‘If they see you have darker skin or if they see that you are wearing something with Arabic writing on it — or even if you have an Arabic tattoo. If they see any signs that you are Palestinian, they will stop you, search you and interrogate you.”

According to Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the youth are the main target of harassment and arrest by Israeli forces, particularly since the 2015 uprising in which many young Palestinians carried out lone-wolf attacks on Israelis, resulting in hundreds of Palestinians being killed as Israel was accused of practicing a “shoot-to-kill” policy.

“Everything is militarized in East Jerusalem,” Ali told Mondoweiss. “It’s violent and they wonder why the youth are sad and they have all this anger within them.”

Palestinians have to constantly fear for their safety, as one wrong move could result in prison or even death.

“If we plan for a picnic, we cannot even bring a knife to cut the vegetables and fruit,” Ali explained. “If the soldiers stop you, no matter how much time you would spend explaining to them that the knife is being used to cut vegetables, they will not believe you.”

“You will always be viewed as a potential terrorist.”

But Tel Aviv’s pride is part of Israel’s entertainment industry, meant to distract people from its routine violation of Palestinian rights, Ali said. “When they are dancing at pride, they are not seeing the everyday violence we [Palestinians] are subjected to.”

“All of these things are used to create this idea that Israel is introducing the world to Israeli culture,” Ali told Mondoweiss. “It’s mainstreaming Israeli entertainment in order to attract people to the state.”

In 2005, Israel launched “Brand Israel” — a marketing strategy meant to “rebrand the country’s image to appear relevant and modern.” Much of this strategy has been focused on promoting cultural events and entertainment in order to recreate Israel as a destination having “a productive, vibrant and cutting-edge culture,” according to American writer Sarah Schulman.

An intricate part of this rebranding was promoting Israel as a “world gay destination” and improving “Israel’s image through the gay community in Israel.”

‘I felt totally invalidated’

Omar was shocked to see many of his favorite drag entertainers from the United States performing at Tel Aviv’s pride and tweeting their support for the event.

“I felt totally invalidated,” he said “You’re celebrating queerness and being different among people who are either war criminals or complicit in war crimes through their silence.”

“How can you stand against [LGBTQ] oppression, and yet still go and subject other people to it? They are complicit in homophobia. They are complicit in hatred. They are complicit in the slaughter of their LGBTQ brothers and sisters and what have you in between,” Omar explained.

According to Omar, this dissonance is aimed at confusing the identities of LGBTQ Palestinians.

“I am privileged enough to be educated and aware. But Israeli pride is designed to make Palestinian queers question their identity. They are told, by Israel, that they have to choose between being gay and being Palestinian,” Omar said.

In actuality, however, LGBTQ individuals have existed in the Middle East since the birth of the Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian identities, Omar said.

“If you dig through fables or poetry from thousands of years ago, homosexuality is present. It’s there,” he told Mondoweiss.

“Historically we have always been rich in representation. I don’t know about acceptance, but that doesn’t mean that people were not living their homosexual/queer lives.”

According to Ali, if Israel does care about a Palestinian’s sexuality, it is only to use that information against the individual.

This at times plays out in the form of Israel attempting to coerce Palestinians into being collaborators and informants by threatening to shame LGBTQ Palestinians within their communities.

“Sometimes if you go to a protest, they [Israel] will try and shame you. If the army has access to information where they know you are queer, then they will threaten to tell everyone about your sexual identity,” he said.

“They don’t care about anyone’s identity, unless it can be used in their favor,” he added.

Israel’s practice of blackmailing Palestinians on the basis of their sexuality is just one of a myriad of techniques Israel uses to coerce Palestinians into providing information to Israeli authorities, according to al-Qaws, a Palestinian LGBTQ grassroots organization.

The Israeli army often extorts Palestinians “on the basis of their lack of access to healthcare, disrupted freedom of movement, exposure of marital infidelities, finances, drug use, or anything else,” the group has noted.

‘Freedom means no fear’

Omar tells Mondoweiss that Israel’s use of pinkwashing emboldens attempts to silence Palestinians who criticize Israel’s colonization of historic Palestine.

“Whenever we mention Palestinians undergoing ethnic cleansing or violence under the occupation, Israelis, Zionists, or white Americans mention homophobia in Palestine to counter it.”

But “there’s just as much homophobia in the Jewish community as there is in Palestine, or Lebanon, or Jordan — and even in the United States,” Omar said.

“Toxic masculinity is not unique to Palestine or the Palestinian society. It’s almost a universal queer experience, especially in conservative areas.”

For Omar, navigating the traditional society of East Jerusalem and the older Palestinian generations, while also being forced to maneuver through the violence of Israel’s occupation is particularly difficult.

“It’s really hard for you to feel safe if you’re a feminine man because on one hand your identity is misunderstood or misrepresented in your own community. And, on the other hand, you’re oppressed, you’re targeted by Israel. They want you killed in Israeli society.”

“It’s a struggle,” Omar continued. “But do I feel safer in Israeli places? No. Not as a Palestinian and not as a queer person.”

For Omar and Ali, pride events are far from their ideas of freedom.

“Freedom to me means no fear,” Omar said. “It’s being able to live and act the way I would normally act without fearing for my life.”

“For Palestinians, we don’t know when it is safe for us to be ourselves. Under Israel’s occupation, how can we exist without possibly dying at any moment?”

In a similar vein, Ali says he can “be free without pride.”

“Pride started as a protest. Now it’s more of a capitalist venture. It lost its essence,” he said. “I don’t feel like this is what I want or that this is what symbolizes freedom.”

The most important issue for Ali is feeling accepted inside his own community. “I don’t want to put myself off from my own society. I want to be part of my society,” he said.

“I want to be safe from Israel or any other authority in historic Palestine that is oppressing me for being who I am. This is freedom — being safe and empowered and being a part of this society and staying where I am without dealing with harassment and threats.”

As Omar watched the parties and dancing unfold in Tel Aviv, while facing the daily violence of occupation in his home of East Jerusalem and witnessing the continued Israeli massacre in Gaza, one question continued to come to his mind.

“I want to ask these people: What are you so proud of? Is it the bloodshed, the injustice, the ethnic cleansing? What are you so proud of?”

*The names of the interviewees have been changed to protect their identities.

WATCHING THE ISRAELI ‘LEFT’ GO RIGHT

His anti-intermarriage stance is shared within the Zionist community: notably by Dennis Ross, former White House negotiator who co-chairs the Jewish People Policy Institute.

Israeli left leader says intermarriage by U.S. Jews is ‘actual plague’ and he vows to find ‘a solution’

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Isaac Herzog is the outgoing leader of the Israeli political “left,” the Zionist Camp coalition, and the new chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which seeks to strengthen bonds between Jews worldwide. In an interview on Israeli TV (for which David Sheen provided translation), he describes intermarriage between American Jews and non-Jews as a “plague” for which he seeks to find a “solution”.

“I’ll tell you a personal story. Last summer I traveled [with my wife] to the USA for a vacation. I graduated from a Jewish school in New York. And we went to meet friends. I have a ton of friends in the U.S.A. And I encountered something that I called an actual plague. I saw my friends’ children married or coupled with non-Jewish partners! And the parents beat their breasts and ask questions, and are suffering. Listen, it’s every [Jewish] family in the U.S.A.! And we are talking about millions. And I said there must be a campaign, a solution. We have to rack our brains to figure out how to solve this great challenge.

Herzog is an expert on love. He has warned that his party must not be seen as “Arab-lovers.”

The intermarriage rate among American Jews is 58 percent, but 71 percent among the non-Orthodox.

The young are making these choices voluntarily. Herzog’s breast-beating, suffering friends are surely in the more traditional, religiously-identified Jewish community. Herzog attended the Ramaz school in New York when his father served here as an Israeli diplomat. He went on to Cornell and NYU. Among less-strongly-identified U.S. Jews, there is wide acceptance of intermarriage, because Jews are mixing freely with non-Jews at schools and jobs, and in neighborhoods.

Herzog is a regular at J Street, the liberal Zionist pro-Israel lobby group; and

His anti-intermarriage stance is shared within the Zionist community: notably by Dennis Ross, former White House negotiator who co-chairs the Jewish People Policy Institute.

 

‘SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING IS EASY’ …. FOR SOME

Enjoy

Not so easy for some …..

Images by Carlos Latuff

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According to the country currently housing migrant children in cages, the body responsible for upholding international standards for human rights, the UN Human Rights Council, is no longer “worthy of its name.”

VIDEO ~~ ROBERT DE NIRO’S UNBLEEPED SPEECH

‘It’s no longer dump Trump’ …..

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The above reminds me of a joke from yesteryear ….

American: I live in a free country. I can say anything I want to, I can even call President Kennedy a moron!
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Soviet: My country is free as well. I can also call President Kennedy a moron!
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IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ ‘ZIOLOGIC’ … or ILLOGIC

Ain’t this the truth ….


Here’s an image of ‘ziotruth’
By latuff

IN ISRAEL ~~ YOU CRITICIZE, YOU GO!

“This is yet another alarming sign of the country’s increasing intolerance of critical voices”

Image by Carlos Latuff

Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, has been ordered out of Israel after the country accused him of supporting a boycott of the country.

Human Rights Watch Director Decries Expulsion From Israel as Attempt to ‘Muzzle Dissent’

“Barring access to those documenting human rights abuses won’t hide Israel’s mass violations carried out in the context of more than 50 years of occupation.”

Human rights campaigners stood in solidarity on Wednesday with Omar Shakir, the director of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) work in Israel and Palestine, after Israel announced that Shakir would be expelled from the country within 14 days.

Despite claims by the Israeli Interior Ministry that Shakir had violated the country’s anti-boycott laws, Shakir argued that the deportation order was part of Israel’s efforts to “muzzle dissent” regarding its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and other human rights violations.

Breaking: Israel has ordered me deported after compiling 7-pg intel dossier on me. 1st time in history Israel orders official out. Year ago it denied work permit before reversing, accusing us of ‘propaganda’. Now its BDS. Real aim to muzzle dissent.

Fifteen Israeli human rights groups including the Coalition of Women for Peace and the Human Rights Defenders Fund spoke out in support of Shakir, calling on Israel to “end the occupation”—rather than trying to hide it by removing critics.

“Israel is trying to keep both its own citizens and the world from seeing what it is doing,” the groups’ joint letter states. “Neither closing the borders to human rights groups and activists nor other Israeli measures against organizations critical of the occupation will deter us—or them—from reporting human rights violations in areas under Israeli control.”

The Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that Shakir was being ordered to leave Israel due to his support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement urging backers to withdraw all economic support for Israel to protest the occupation and other abuses.

While Shakir said Tuesday, “I have not called for any form of boycott of Israel during my time at Human Rights Watch,” a statement from his organization argues that even trying to ban ban participation in such non-violent actions remains “contrary to Israel’s obligation to uphold the rights to freedom of expression and to non-discrimination on grounds of political opinion.”

“This is yet another alarming sign of the country’s increasing intolerance of critical voices,” added Magdalena Mughrabi of Amnesty International. “The Israeli authorities must immediately stop their ongoing harassment of human rights defenders. Barring access to those documenting human rights abuses won’t hide Israel’s mass violations carried out in the context of more than 50 years of occupation. Israel must repeal laws that arbitrarily restrict human rights advocacy, including criticism of human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law that it has committed.”

Shakir, a U.S. citizen, was previously barred from Israel last year when the country refused to grant him a work permit. He was later given a one-year work visa after Shakir himself drew comparisons between the Israeli denialand a host of other countries that showhostility towards human rights observers.

WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP

                  Image by Carlos Latuff

Avenging the Iran Deal means speaking plainly about Netanyahu’s influence in our politics. In the wreckage lies the outline of a strategy. Resisting Trump means resisting Israel.


          Compiled and written by Mazin Qumsiyeh
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An Israeli newspaper (Haaretz) had an opinion piece titled "Trump Tells
World to Drop Dead as Netanyahu Dictates His Nixing of Iran Deal." But it
is not just Netanyahu, it is the whole Zionist establishment that took the
decision to challenge a deal agreed to by much of the world and continue to
try to start new wars and sacrificing gullible gentiles on the alter of
Zionism. Most of the world now understands the ramifications. Israel has
nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, violates
international law, invades other countries. Israel is still illegally
occupying the Syrian Golan and colonizing Palestine.  It violates
international law with impunity and engages in war crimes and crimes
against humanity. But its attack on Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, and Yemen (by
proxy) will now escalate to direct confrontation with Iran. Israel hopes
Trump will provide all needed military cover even at risk of WWIII.
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The much maligned Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party scored significant wins in
British elections. The media, heavily infested with supporters of the
Colonial settler Israeli regime, spun this win negatively even after they
failed in all their desperate attempts to stop British voters choosing what
is best for them instead of what is best for greedy Zionists.
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The much maligned resistance axis similarly scored significant wins in
Lebanese elections. This despite over one billion dumped by the Saudi
regime to prop-up Israel friendly candidates like Saad AlHariri. The Saudi
operated media like Al-Arabiya do everything they can to hide the crimes
against humanity in places like Yemen and Palestine to normalize the
apartheid regime occupying Palestine while continuing to try and villify
anyone who stands up against US and Israeli imperialism in Western Asia.
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In Syria, there are desperate US/Israeli attempts to keep the war going.
Russia, Iran, China and others are taking control and insist on ending the
war. Trump is set to do what his Zionist handlers want him to do: confront
Iran and cancel the deal on May 12. This sets the stage for a law of the
jungle (but jungles are very nice compared to human greed an war). Oil
prices are set to sky rocket and the global economy to nose-dive.
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Here in Palestine, we had dispensed with elections all together! No
elections were held for 12 years for the so called "Palestinian authority".
And the Palestine National Council has now moved to become more a
cheerleader club for the current 82 year old elder Mahmoud Abbas. The
latter is forced to apologize to "the Jewish people" (see Shlomo Sands'
book "The invention of the Jewish people") but has never apologized to the
12.5 million disheartend Palestinians for the treachery otherwise known as
"the Oslo Accords".
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Article by Gideon Levy: Dear Occupiers, Sorry if We Hurt Your Feelings: Not
one Israeli statesman today intends to apologize for the Nakba – not for
the ethnic cleansing, nor for the exiling. But Abbas had no choice but to
apologize for his Holocaust remark.
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As the US moves its Embassy to Jerusalem against International  law,  take
a moment to remember the US Servicemen killed by the deliberate attack of
Israel on their ship in international waters.
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Israel offended Japan's prime minister by serving him dessert in a shoe,
something 'despised' by Japanese people
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Palestinian female poet sentenced to jail for a poem urging resistance to
colonization/
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For Palestinians Under Israeli Occupation, Regard for India Runs Deep:
Palestine has been under Israeli military occupation for decades. The
author, who spent three months at the beginning of 2018 in the West Bank,
writes about his experiences.

#IsraelAt70 ~~ NUKES ARE US!

This guy on CNN just asked Netanyahu straight up if he has nukes!

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The Iran Deal has been canceled, what is going to happen now?

ISRAEL AT 70 ~~ A DARKNESS UNTO THE NATIONS

Israel was founded on the infamous fallacy of “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Israel’s attempt to persuade the world that this was a valid premise for statehood has been a colossal failure, even among a growing number of Jews worldwide. Given the fact that historical [British-mandated] Palestine was inhabited prior to Israel’s creation, Israel has gone to great lengths, at huge costs, to bury this racist fallacy.

Artwork by Sliman Mansour.

Israel at 70

A Darkness unto the Nations

Several years ago, the late Polish mathematician from Youngstown State University (my alma mater in Ohio), Dr. Zbigniew Piotrowski, walked up to me at the Youngstown Arab-American Community Center and shared a bold observation after I delivered a talk on the Palestinians’ desire for freedom and independence. He said the silver lining of the WWII tragedy, and in particular the Jewish loss thereof, was that the world reset how it operates; post-WWII, international law became the order of the day to avert a repeat of history. It was as if all the nations of the world pressed the reset button and rebooted with this new operating system, one that obligated all states to respect a set of collective rules and regulations. Dr. Piotrowski rightly questioned how Israel, which claims to be built on Jewish values, could be so utterly disrespectful of this new reference point.

U.S. Letter of Recognition of the State of Israel, with the words “Jewish state” crossed out by President Truman.

 

This disrespect was exemplified by one of Israel’s founding ministers of education and culture, Professor Ben-Zion Dinur (1954), when he boldly claimed: “In our country there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don’t agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force.”ii With this theme as the explicit backdrop of the newly established state, it is no wonder that Israel, 70 years later, has had little chance of being a normal member of the community of nations, let alone a light unto anything.
Individual Israeli achievements in fields such as science and technology are impressive. However, for all modern intents and purposes, the State of Israel, as a state-building model, is a failed experiment – ideologically, religiously, politically, socially, and, if US-favored-nation status were removed, possibly economically as well. Without immediate and decisive intervention from the international community to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression towards Palestinians, Israel’s intransigence and US-equipped regional hegemony will not only fuel another generation of Palestinians willing to sacrifice their lives to achieve their freedom and independence but will also further jeopardize Israel’s future as a state.

Israel was founded on the infamous fallacy of “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Israel’s attempt to persuade the world that this was a valid premise for statehood has been a colossal failure, even among a growing number of Jews worldwide. Given the fact that historical [British-mandated] Palestine was inhabited prior to Israel’s creation, Israel has gone to great lengths, at huge costs, to bury this racist fallacy.

It was totally in the hands of Israel – the occupying power – at the time of the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, as it is today, to end the military occupation of the Palestinian territory and start the bitter process of reconciliation.

The lead-up to the establishment of Israel witnessed the expulsion of well over half the indigenous Palestinian population by May 1948, not to mention the scores murdered in the process. Ever since, Israel has assumed a policy of structural discrimination, political imprisonment, torture, deportations, beatings, collective punishment, political assassinations, settlement building, economic dominance – the list is endless; and measures were intensified after the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in 1967. This “empty” land that was filled with Palestinians overwhelmingly complicated the efforts to implant a Western state in the midst of the Middle East.

Since its inception, Israel has arrogantly refused to address the most crucial prerequisite of its establishment as a conventional state: accepting the Palestinians – those people who just happened to be inconveniently living in that “empty” land. As a matter of fact, Israel’s membership in the UN was pre-conditioned on respecting past UN resolutions, including the one calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return home, as well as the one calling for Israel to define its borders.iii

To date, Israel has respected neither, to its own detriment.

After nearly seven decades of conflict, and after two decades of explicit Palestinian political recognition of Israel on part of their lands, Israel continues to choose to sustain the conflict. The Palestinians, those who were forcefully expelled from their homes in 1948, 1967, and more recently, have ever since been living in squalid refugee camps throughout the region. Those Palestinians who did not flee Israel proper in 1948 are today fourth-class Israeli citizens. The Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem who have lived under Israeli military occupation for 50 years, and counting, will continue to haunt the international community until justice is served and the Israeli occupation is ended, in its entirety.

As recently reported in the Associated Press,vi Israel’s leading demographics expert, Sergio Della Pergola, a demographer at Hebrew University, defended Israeli military figures indicating that the number of Arabs will soon equal that of Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Thus, any Israeli illusion that Palestinians will one day vanish into thin air is merely a hallucination of a people driving drunk on power.

Today, Israel seems more determined than ever to forcefully prove the original fallacy of its statehood – an Israel with expandable, unilaterally defined borders and a Jewish-only population. Twelve Israeli prime ministers before Netanyahu, six of them after the signing of the Oslo agreements, all failed. If Israel cannot produce a leader to move the country from a rogue state to a member state of the Middle East, no one but Jewish-Israeli citizens themselves will be to blame for the consequences, no matter how severe.

It should be no surprise that the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin rushed to sign the infamous Oslo Peace Accords after calculating the historic ramifications of the political earthquake that took place when the late Palestinian representative, Yasser Arafat, politically recognized the State of Israel. Rabin paid for that signature with his life, which was taken by one of his own citizens, a fanatic Jewish student. This was as close as Israel has ever been to overcoming its never-ending birth pangs.

Every step of the way, the United States has rewarded Israel as it further entrenched its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territory. Israel has been propped up financially, politically, and diplomatically by every single US administration at the expense of US taxpayers. The entire US political system has been fully obedient to the far-reaching Israeli lobby and narrow electoral and commercial interests. What started as a US strategic ally in one of the most sensitive spots in the world during a Cold War that marred common sense has rapidly digressed into a liability in an age of globalization that the United States alone is spearheading.

Today, on the 70th remembrance of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), Israel must choose between continuing an illegal occupation and preserving itself as a state. To think that both can peacefully co-exist is utter ignorance of history and human development. Also, for Israel to believe that the United States will always be willing to jeopardize its own strategic interests for the sake of fulfilling an Israeli illusion of Palestinian submission is a miscalculation to the nth degree.


i Truman: Timeline, Truman Library Institute, available at http://www.trumanlibraryinstitute.org/truman/timeline/.
ii Cited in Jeff Halper, “Palestinian displacement: a case apart? – The message of the bulldozers,” Forced Migration Review, FMR 26, August 2006, available at http://www.fmreview.org/palestine/halper.html.
iii https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/0B3AB8D2A7C0273D8525694B00726D1Band https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/83E8C29DB812A4E9852560E50067A5AC.
iv Aron Heller/AP, “Israeli demographer: Arabs nearly equal Jews in Holy Land,” Los Angeles Times, March 29, 2018, available at http://www.latimes.com/sns-bc-ml–israel-palestinians-20180327-story.html.

 

Originally posted AT

CELEBRATING THE DISPLACEMENT

There is no empathy at all for the last victims of the Holocaust, the Palestinians

The renegaded victims of the Christian-Zionist jubilee celebrations

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

Greetings for the 70th anniversary of the “Jewish State”, based on the displacement of 750.000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948, during the Nakba (catastrophe). All famous politicians celebrate this anniversary of the foundation of the “Jewish State”. Nobody says one word about the Nakba, the catastrophe which supported by us in the West caused the occupation of Palestinians living imprisoned without any rights. One-thousand famous politicians and “Friends of Israel”, from Steinmeier to Maas, did not renounce to their celebration, while the renegaded victims, the Palestinians, had to “stay outside alone”. (1)

There is no empathy at all for the last victims of the Holocaust, the Palestinians

German Chancellor Merkel and foreign minister Maas fall over themselves with declarations of friendship and gratulations. What is particularly questionable is the fact that Merkel in an interview for the Israeli channel Ten explicitly talks to people of “Jewish origin” or Jews in Germany by offering them the guarantee to do all for their safety. The fact that synagogues, schools, kindergarten and Jewish institutions must be guarded worries her a lot. (2) There is no empathy for the last victims of the Holocaust, the Palestinians, during these Christian-Zionist joyful celebrations.

However, two positive signals came from Merkel. Before her journey to Trump she engaged for the maintenance of the nuclear deal with Iran, criticised by Trump and Netanyahu, by saying: “In our opinion having an agreement is better than having no agreement at all.” In addition, Germany will not follow the USA and relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem., as long as the status of Jerusalem will not be definitively clarified.

Why does Merkel not give her welcoming speech at the 70thanniversary of the foundation of the “Jewish State” to the Jüdische Allgemeine, the “storming organ” of the Central Council of German Jews? Why not to the Israel ambassador? However, when it is about Turkey, Ditib is criticised as the religious organ linked to Turkish Government. This argument does not apply to the Central Council as corporation under public law, when it constantly acts as German representative of the “Jewish State” in Germany. Here horrifying double standards are created because there is no equal treatment of Jewish and non-Jewish organisations. It is enough with the “particular” relationship to the “Jewish State” and the German citizens of Jewish faith. Exactly this unequal treatment causes prejudices resulting in Anti-Semitism. However, this is exactly what the Netanyahu regime wants to continue to commit its crimes unpunished and without being criticised.

Almost as an aside, Merkel criticises the construction of settlements by the Jewish State because it would not simplify the Two-State-Solution. According to Merkel, Germany wants the “Jewish Democratic State” of Israel next to a “viable” Palestinian State. And this is so implausible as all her politics is.

However, in one and the same sentence of her welcoming speech, Chancellor Merkel adds “that knowing the responsibility and bearing in mind our common values, we will shape our future for mutual benefit”.

How can this “Christian-Zionist” chancellor so uncritically celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of the Jewish State in “joy and thankfulness” because the Jewish State reached out its hands for reconciliation, without referring back to the missing “reconciliation” with the Palestinians? Again, the Palestinians are not an issue. And it was also not an issue during the “reconciliation visit” of “Auschwitz Minister” Maas in Israel. This autumn, Merkel is planning to visit the Jewish State with her cabinet. It is easy to imagine how this visit will look like and which results will be achieved: more armaments and U-boat gifts for the purpose of “self-defence”.

Israel’s objective: the final solution at the expense of the Palestinians

How can we talk about common values with a “Jewish occupiers’ and Apartheid State”, a state without constitution, without clear borders and aiming at the complete implementation of the final solution of the Zionist reason of state at the expense of the Palestinians.

Merkel also moans about “new types of Antisemitism” by refugees or people of “Arabic origin”. In reality, the Chancellor should know very well that these people are not motivated by Antisemitism, but by the absolutely understandable rage against the crimes of the Netanyahu regime. These crimes climaxed again at the Gazan border where thousands of Palestinians started their “March of Return” which will continue until the Nakba commemoration day on 15 May.

This “March of Return” is a pleading call for help addressed to the international public not to forget the Palestinians and their legal right to return. The result up to now: dozens of people assassinated, including children and a press photographer, Jasser Murtaja, wearing the jacket with the inscription “Press”, and who according to war minister Lieberman was working with a drone and became a safety risk. His version was not even confirmed by the army.

Murtaja was an independent reporter who worked for the production company Ain-Media which was even financially supported by the US agency USAID. All is checked with extreme precision. He had nothing to do with Hamas, but was engaged for truthful reporting. He will enter the history of the Palestinian history as “martyr of truth”.

Merkel did not even comment the massacre in Gaza by the Netanyahu’ state terrorism regime. As always, she just focussed on the proper “right for defence”.

Reason of State: support of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine

Of course, we have to ask ourselves the following question: What will Merkel do for Palestine, if she massively and unconditionally supports the disrespectful politics of the “Jewish State” with arms and U boat supplies by following the Merkel formula of the German reason of state for the security of the “Jewish State”. However, this “security” means the support of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine.

Since March 2010, the commemoration of this catastrophe in the “Jewish State” has been made punishable. What began with the so called “Nakba” law and continued with the “Anti-boycott” law, the “muzzle” law for the media and many other fascist laws, has only one goal of silencing and hiding the truth. However, the truth cannot be hidden for ever, even if Zionists do not fear anything more than the truth.

We should all fear a “Jewish State” led by politicians like Netanyahu who use the seventy hour of “independence celebrations” to express this threat: the “Jewish State” has become an “emerging world power” whose light will defeat the “darkness” of its enemies. “In another 70 years, you’ll find here a country that is 70 times stronger, because what we’ve done until today is just the beginning!”

We saw this “Jewish Occupiers’ State” celebrating this anniversary with the wings of “David Star” air force flying over the illegally occupied Palestine. Also two nuclear weapons-capable  U boats and corvettes, the planes F15 and F16 and the recently purchased stealth aircraft F35 participated to this horrifying and enormous power demonstration in Tel Aviv (greetings from Merkel!). Combat aircraft and transport planes from Canada, Italy, Great Britain, Greek, Poland, and Austria were also involved in this “Zionist peace message”.

Oppose to war, oppression, and perpetual occupation!

When Netanyahu thanked President Trump again for his historical decision to recognise “Jerusalem as our capital” and for the relocation of the most powerful country of the world to Jerusalem, one got a foretaste on what the future will bring: war, oppression, and perpetual occupation.

This emerging world power is a threat to world peace. Too bad that Günter Grass cannot be there today to write another poem for these “celebrations”.

This Wednesday in Berlin and other German cities a big rally of the “Christian-Zionist” hypocrites will be organised based on the slogan „Berlin trägt Kippa“ (Berlin wearing kippa). We should change this mendacious fake rally based on defamations to a symbolic action based on the slogan “Berlin wearing hijab” to oppose to Islam and foreigners’ hatred and to struggle for the freedom of Palestine. (3)

The renegaded victims of the Christian-Zionist joyful celebrations must not be left alone. We should give them our voice. We should claim for the existence right of a free Palestinian State as German reason of state, because 70 years occupation of Palestine have been more than enough.

And we commemorate the Nakba and celebrate the prospects for a free Palestine, “From the River to the Sea”.

Foot Notes:

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/70-jahre-unabhaengigkeit-1000-gaeste-feiern-israels-geburtstag-in-berlin/21195152.html

https://www.suedtirolnews.it/video/merkel-beklagt-neue-formen-des-antisemitismus

https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/berlin/-berlin-traegt-kippa–berliner-zur-solidaritaets-aktion-am-mittwoch-aufgerufen-30057842

 

Originally posted AT

KUDOS TO TWITTER

Twitter temporarily suspended the account of Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich after he posted on the weekend that a Palestinian teenager who slapped an Israeli soldier should have been shot in the kneecap.

“In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” Smotrich said.

They are calling her the ‘fearless girl’.

Jewish Home MK says jailed Palestinian teen ‘deserved a bullet’ in the kneecap

Bezalel Smotrich says he is ‘very sad’ Ahed Tamimi is only in an Israeli jail and wasn’t maimed by the soldiers she slapped

Jewish Home lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday said he was “very sad” that a Palestinian teen protester who was filmed slapping Israeli soldiers was jailed and not shot, saying Ahed Tamimi deserved a bullet to the kneecap, “at the very least.”

Responding to a tweet from ex-Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal, Smotrich lamented that IDF troops did not maim the 17-year-old in the December 2017 incident.

“I am actually very sad that she is under arrest, Yinon,” Smotrich tweeted at Magal, who had expressed satisfaction Tamimi was still behind bars four months after her arrest.

“In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” Smotrich said.

Smotrich has a history of making controversial remarks, including encouraging draft-dodging in protest of the IDF’s “radical feminist” agenda; comparing the evacuation of an illegal settlement outpost to a “brutal rape,” and claiming that “illiterate” Arabs are granted university admission thanks to affirmative action.

He has also called himself a “proud homophobe,” and was involved in organizing an anti-gay “Beast Parade” in Jerusalem, in response to the city’s annual Gay Pride parade.

Tamimi is currently serving an eight-month prison term — the result of a plea deal — for slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers outside her West Bank home in mid-December.

Under the terms of the deal, Tamimi confessed to aggravated assault of an IDF soldier, incitement to violence and disrupting soldiers on two other occasions. The 17-year-old was also filmed encouraging attacks against Israelis, including stabbing attacks.

In her version of the incident, Tamimi told a military court in the West Bank, the same soldiers featured in the video had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour prior to the filmed encounter.

Tamimi’s arrest and prosecution by Israel has garnered international attention. It has also touched on broader issues, such as the detention of Palestinian minors by Israeli — currently 356 — and the debate on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel’s rule over millions of Palestinians.

Earlier this month, the IDF said the Justice Ministry was investigating a video released by Tamimi’s family that shows an Israeli interrogator threatening the teen with the arrest of her relatives if she refused to cooperate.

The interrogator, who at times moved within centimeters of the Tamimi’s face, also commented on the teen’s body, fair skin, and “eyes of an angel.”

FALSE FLAGS OVER SYRIA

Trump and his partners in (war) crimes UK/France decided to raise the body count in war-torn Syria, striking Damascus and guaranteeing that this long, savage imperialist conflict will remain claiming Syrian lives.

Images by Carlos Latuff

Report by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Today was the day that International inspectors arrived to examine the
unproven claim by the US/Israeli backed terrorist rebels that chemical
weapons were used in Ghouta (‘white helmets’ were known previously to have
manufactured media events**). Today at 3 AM the US, UK, and France attacked
targets in Syria with >103 missiles (71 of them were shot down by Syrian
air defenses, old Soviet Era weapons). Russia, China, Bolivia, and Iran
condemned the attack as a violation of the UN Charter and Russia is now
considering supplying Syria and “other countries” (perhaps Iran and
Lebanon?) with S-300 and other advanced air defense systems. Originally
Russia said it will target missiles and their launch facilities which could
have led to WWIII. It seems there was some sort of “understanding”: 1)
US/UK/France target unused fields and facilities with no damage for
domestic propaganda purposes (to appear tough and satisfy the
Israel/Zionist lobbies who have been pushing for war like they did in Iraq,
Yemen, and Libya and now pushing for war on Iran), 2) Russia and Syria also
get a propaganda “win” having shot most of the missiles using “old” Soviet
era weapons and Syria gets to get more advanced weapons.

They lied to us about Yugoslavia, about Ukraine, about Iraq, about Libya
and now they lie about Syria and Iran.   If these lies continue, World War
is the price not just bankruptcy of US taxpayers (already $21 trillion in
debt) and millions of lives lost.
Recent report of Chinese analysts being examined by Evgeniy Satanovskiy -
Russian leading expert in the field of Middle East. British and American
forces have been destroyed on a large scale in the Ghouta region, with the
22nd regiment of the SAS, those surviving the pinpoint Russian bombing,
that is, having to flee on buses in disguise. This is the reason for
skripal plan and the chemical weapons false flag.
We have no sympathy for the US, UK France Israeli governments’ position.
These are governments that have used chemical weapons (e.g. agent orange in
Vietnam, White Phosphorous in Gaza, last week nerve agents in Gaza) These
are hypocritical governments that fount International law (e.g. supporting
colonial occupation of the Syrian Golan and of Palestine) and support
brutal regimes (e.g. “Saudi” Arabia and Apartheid “Israel”). While that
does not mean we support any other governments (Syria, Turkey, Iran etc),
we do support justice and human rights and oppose tyranny.

Trump and his partners in (war) crimes UK/France decided to rise the body count in war-torn Syria, striking Damascus and guaranteeing that this long, savage imperialist conflict will remain claiming Syrian lives

*

Note from Russia’s Embassy in the U.S. about Syria
“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that SUCH ACTIONS WILL NOT BE LEFT WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES.
All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”

ISRAEL REACTS TO ITS GREATEST THREAT … POPULAR RESISTANCE IN PALESTINE

BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS POST

Israel’s way of silencing journalists ….. MURDER THEM

This Gazan journalist was killed by Israeli forces. Human rights organizations say it was a “deliberate attack.”

*

This is about the people finding expression outside the confines of factional interests; a new strategy. This time, the world must listen.

A demonstrator with a Palestinian flag looks on during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, in the southern Gaza. | Photo: Reuters

 By: Ramzy Baroud 

Why did Israel kill many unarmed Gaza protesters and wound over 2,000 on Friday, March 30 and on the following days, when they clearly posed no threat to Israeli soldiers?

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers, many of them snipers, were deployed to the deadly buffer zone that the Israeli army has created between besieged Gaza and Israel, as tens of thousands of Palestinian families held mass rallies at the border.

“Yesterday we saw 30,000 people,” tweeted the Israeli army on March 31. “We arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”

The tweet, which was captured by the Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, was soon deleted. The Israeli army must have realized that killing children and bragging about it on social media is too cruel, even for them.

Palestinian popular mobilization deeply concerns Israel, partly because it is a PR nightmare. By killing and wounding this number of Palestinians, Israel had hoped that the masses would retreat, the protests would subside and, eventually, end. This was not the case, of course.

But there is more to Israeli fear. The power of the Palestinian people, when united beyond factional allegiances, is immense. It disrupts Israel’s political and military tactics entirely, and places Tel Aviv wholly on the defensive.

Israel killed those Palestinians precisely to avoid this nightmarish scenario. Since the cold-blooded murder of innocent people did not go unnoticed, it is important that we dig deeper into the social and political context that led tens of thousands of Palestinians to camp and rally at the border.

Gaza is being suffocated. Israel’s decade-long blockade, combined with Arab neglect and a prolonged feud between Palestinian factions, have all served to drive Palestinians to the brink of starvation and political despair. Something has to give.

Last week’s act of mass mobilization was not just about underscoring the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees (as enshrined in international law), nor about  commemorating Land Day, an event that has united all Palestinians since the bloody protests of 1976. The protest was about reclaiming the agenda, transcending political infighting and giving voice back to the people.

There are many historical similarities between this act of mobilization and the context that preceded the First Intifada (or ‘uprising’) of 1987. At the time, Arab governments in the region had relegated the Palestinian cause to the status of ‘someone else’s problem’.

By the end of 1982, having already been exiled to Lebanon, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) along with thousands of Palestinian fighters, were pushed even further away to Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and various other countries. This geographic isolation left the traditional leadership of Palestine irrelevant to what was happening on the ground.

In that moment of utter hopelessness, something snapped. In December 1987, people (mostly children and teenagers) took to the streets, in a largely non-violent mobilization that lasted over six years, culminating in the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993.

Today, the Palestinian leadership is in a similar state of increasing irrelevance. Isolated, again, by geography (Fatah holding the West Bank, Hamas Gaza), but also by ideological division.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah is rapidly losing its credibility among Palestinians, thanks to long-standing accusations of corruption, with calls for the PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to resign (his mandate having technically expired in 2009). Last December, U.S. President Donald Trump compounded the isolation of the PA, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in defiance of international law and U.N. consensus. Many see this act as the precursor designed to further marginalize the PA.

Hamas – originally a grassroots movement born out of the refugee camps in Gaza during the First Intifada – is now similarly weakened by political isolation.

Recently, there seemed to be a ray of hope. After several failed initiatives towards reconciliation with Fatah, a deal was signed between both rival parties in Cairo last October.

Alas, like previous attempts, it began to falter almost immediately. The first hurdle came on March 13, when the convoy of PA Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, was the target of an apparent assassination attempt. Hamdallah was en-route to Gaza through an Israeli border crossing. The PA quickly blamed Hamas for the attack which the latter vehemently denied. Palestinian politics went back to square one.

But then, last week happened. As thousands of Palestinians walked peacefully into the deadly ‘buffer zone’ along the Gaza border into the sights of Israeli snipers, their intention was clear: to be seen by the world as ordinary citizens, to show themselves as ordinary human beings, people who, until now, have been made invisible behind the politicians.

Gazans pitched tents, socialized and waved Palestinian flags – not the banners of the various factions. Families gathered, children played, even circus clowns entertained. It was a rare moment of unity.

The Israeli army’s response, using the latest technology in exploding bullets, was predictable. By shooting dead 15 unarmed protesters and wounding 773 people on the first day alone, the aim was to discipline the Palestinians.

Condemnations of this massacre flooded in from respected figures around the world, like Pope Francis and Human Rights Watch. This glimmer of attention may have provided Palestinians with an opportunity to elevate the injustice of the siege up the global political agenda, but is, sadly, of little consolation to the families of the dead.

Aware of the international spotlight, Fatah immediately took credit for this spontaneous act of popular resistance. Deputy Chairman, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, said that the protesters mobilized to support the PA “in the face of pressure and conspiracies concocted against our cause,” undoubtedly referring to Trump’s strategy of isolation towards the Fatah-dominated PA.

But this is not the reality. This is about the people finding expression outside the confines of factional interests; a new strategy. This time, the world must listen.

Video: Palestinians explain why they are risking their lives by joining Gaza protests

THE MINISTER OF AUSCHWITZ

I have seldom been so disgusted by the political unilaterality of this traumatised  foreign minster.

The Auschwitz Minister

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi

 

Full of disgust I think of this “total” new beginning the FAZ referred to by talking about this Auschwitz Minister Maas. I have seldom been so disgusted by the political unilaterality of this traumatised foreign minster. So, I feel forced to write about him again; about this minister grew like his suits. “The Auschwitz Minister” was the first minister (for justice) celebrating “Chanukkah” in his ministry – imagine in whose company – and who will also celebrate Pessac which this year coincides with Christian Easter after his return from the “Holy Land”. I am asking myself now when this philosemite minister will convert, let himself be circumcised and celebrate his Bar Mizwa in the ministry with Charlotte Knobloch as honour guest?

Before starting his flight to the “Jewish State” he emphasized his connection with Israel. As expected by a minister who entered politics “because of Auschwitz”, after his arrival to the “Jewish State”, he had nothing more urgent to do than re-visit the Holocaust Memorial Place Yad Vashem, accompanied by the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch.

Deir Yasin: levelled to the ground in 1948

Does this minister not know that Deir Yasin is within the range of vision of Yad Vashem? This village cleansed and levelled to the ground by Zionists in 1948 is well-known for the numerous and well-documented massacres against the Palestinian civil population, a crime against humanity unpunished until today and trigger of the “nakba”, the catastrophe. Like for our government, for sure, also for the Auschwitz and “hanger-on” minister this does not matter. (1)(2)(3)

In addition to Knobloch, two “particular” journalists, one of the Bild newspaper owned by the Zionist Springer and one of the Jüdische Allgemeine, the “storming” central organ of the Central Council of Jews, were part of his illustrious entourage. This is the expression of press diversity.

This choice says it all about this “new beginning”. Heiko Maas is the Foreign Minister who strikes a smarming note towards the Jewish occupiers’ regime as it is his personal mission.

My question is: How personal can official foreign politics be? Is the politician of the Social Party the right one for this job? He explains his Auschwitz statements to about 30 Holocaust survivors in Israel and cares about his own family history during the Nazi regime. However, even if he looked for resistance fighters, he just found hangers-on. Therefore, he began to care about the contribution he could make so that this will never happen again.

However, if for Maas the Shoah is a reminder and mission to engage for human rights and tolerance and to oppose to any kind of Antisemitism and racism, he does not do justice to this mission and is more than hypocrite.

“Hanger-on” of the Zionist state terror regime

He is himself a “hanger-on” of the politics of the Zionist state terror regime violating international law. Instead of standing for the Palestinian people and opposing to the illegal occupation of Palestine, our foreign minister pays courts to Israel. As German foreign minister he will go down in history, as during his first visit to the “Jewish State” he did not even mention the term “settlement politics”! It is unbearable to look at how he smarms over Netanyahu: when it comes to the dangerous politics about the nuclear agreement with Iran he just mentions that there are “different conceptions”. This confirms our best fears.

Maas does not raise his voice for the liberation of Ahed Tamimi, one of many children and young people arbitrarily imprisoned by the Zionist regime. He does not raise his voice for the journalists and other innocent Palestinians who struggle for the freedom of Palestine.

What a shameful “new beginning”!

His hypocrisy is also reflected in his double standards: Russia is punished for its alleged participation to the poison attack against a double agent, while the “Jewish State” which has been violating international law for decades now is justified. What a shameful “new beginning”! Instead, Maas should check how his family acted during the war against Russia and how many of the 27 million Russian citizens the Mass hanger-on are responsible for!

In the coalition contract it is stated that the actual Israeli settlement policy opposes to the applicable international law and must not be supported because it complicates the two-state solution. However, we have to ask ourselves how this is compatible with the German reason of State for the “security of the Jewish State” and the resulting consequences.

“Complicated” is a totally inadequate term for this severe violation of international law making the foundation of the State of Palestine impossible: the illegal occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967, the continuous land grabbing by the settlements, the annexation of East-Jerusalem, and the recognition of Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” by US president Trump, and the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem announced for the 15 May, emphasise the Jewish claim for whole Jerusalem.

A Outrageous Provocation

What will minister Maas do against this outrageous provocation? Almost nothing, I would say, if we consider that he is already preparing the celebrations for the 70thanniversary of the “Jewish State”, instead of commemorating the 70th anniversary of the nakba, the catastrophe, coinciding with the foundation of the state of Israel. Instead, the commemoration of the nakba would be the overdue German new beginning. Finally, Maas’ words written into the guest book of Yad Vashem “The commemoration should never end” should also apply to the nakba, the catastrophe of the Palestinian people beginning in 1948 and so closely connected with the Holocaust without which it could not even exist.

The foreign minister also paid a short visit to Palestinian president Abbas in Ramallah, planned for his 83rd birthday. Instead of empathy, he brought a KaDeWe gift hamper with “Spree” gherkins and “German” fine foods. Maas did not have anything else to do than asking his Palestinian colleague Raid Malki in a rapid and more than unkind press conference to “invite” the Palestinians not to burn all bridges (to the occupation) in this “difficult” time and to request Palestinian “availability” to talk to the United States (as unilateral mediator!). For sure, this Abbas-“Vichy” government will listen to these impossible claims. (At the moment!) it refuses the “unique” mediator, after that it had recognised Jerusalem as Israeli capital. However, the Abbas regime feels committed to conduct direct negotiations with Israel and to continue to fight against terrorism and to aim at a “multinational mechanism” of political accompaniment – a woolly formulation by Malki. The whole thing sounds like the fake word “autonomous region” German media use to hide the occupation of Palestine, opposing to international law.

Maas will not see anything of the misery in the illegally occupied regions, starting from the concentration camp in Gaza. Maas will meet with a pseudo-opposition. He will not meet NGO like Breaking the Silence or B`Tselem criticizing the military occupation and violations against human rights in the illegally occupied Palestinian regions. For sure, Maas will not attract Netanyahu’s irritation like his predecessor Gabriel he met on Monday afternoon after Netanyahu and his wife Sara had been interrogated again about corruption allegations.

The continuity of hypocrisy

Despite the stuck peace process Maas also adheres to the mantra of the so-called two-state solution, although it is well-known that Netanyahu has always refused it by saying that the continuity of his Middle East policy applies. For me this means the continuity of hypocrisy applies!

Has he not asked himself why in view of the aggressive illegal settlement politics which reached its record high in 2017 with Trump this Monday a new illegal settlement, Amichai, was inaugurated? What a Chuzpe!

To show his “engagement”, on Sunday Maas planted a tree in the Aminadav forest of the Jewish Nation Fond. That speaks for itself: This organisation collects donations for colonialism and Apartheid in the infamous blue Keren Kayemeth Leisrael can, the symbol of “green”-washing of displacement and expropriation in Palestine by the Jewish National Fond. I remember very well when the actual German President Steinmeier planted his tree when he was foreign minister. What an awful tradition! (4)

The jubilation accompanying the guest who can be easily “manipulated”

In an SWR interview, Moshe Zimmerman stated that Maas is the symbol of an uncritical policy Netanyahu will love. Maas is also a good friend of Ayelet Shaked, the right-wing Israeli minister of justice. In a video before the meeting between Maas and Netanyahu the two assured one another an unlimited friendship. Netanyahu emphasized the friendship with Maas, “reaching our heart” and his statement about the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, for the security (!) and focussed on the fact that the “Jewish State” is the “only” free democracy in the Middle East. Netanyahu was simply happy about this guest who was so easy to “manipulate”. Maas announced to have plenty of topics on the agenda: the exchange with the civil society, the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the State of Israel, and the constant support to Israel, despite of the different opinions about the deal with Iran and the to-state solution. At that moment, the male friendship with the “Auschwitz Minister” was sealed and continued even without the camera. (5)

In fact, also the treatment of black refugees in the “Jewish State” is a crime. More than 20.000 Israelis demonstrated against this practice, and in the end the Supreme Court opposed to this expulsion practice. (6)

See the article I wrote in 2013 about Pessac, entitled “We were refugees in Egypt”, which is unfortunately still relevant. (7)

In this sense, I wish all readers and friends Happy Easter / Pessac. Again, this year in occasion of these celebrations our Palestinian friends under occupation will be “closed off”. This year also the 30th of March, on which three important data coincided on one day – what a symbolism! The Good Friday, the first Seder evening of the Pessac celebration, the Land Day, in remembrance of the massive Zionist land grabbing in Galilea in 1976, with many victims and injured Palestinians. We should think about it when we celebrate the festive seasons and memorial days in freedom and peace.

Deir Yassin by Erich Fried

Ich habe gelesen

vom Palästinenserdorf Deir Yassin

Zweihundertvierundfünfzig

fast nur Frauen und Kinder und Alte

die ermordet wurden

von den Einheiten Léchi und Etzil

unter Joschua Zetler

und Mordechai Ra´anán

Aber es fällt mir schwer

mir ein Bild zu machen

Und ich will mir ein Bild machen

um es nicht zu vergessen

um es im Kopf zu haben

dort wo es hingehört

Wohin gehört Deir Yassin

in meinem Kopf?

Es gehört zu Guernica

und zum Warschauer Ghetto

Es gehört zu Lidice

und zu Oradour

Es gehört zu My Lai

und zu Bin-Du-Ong in Vietnam

Wenn ich das Bild

des jüdischen Jungen sehe

der vergeblich die Hände hochhob

Am Ende des Warschauer Ghettos

dann brennen mich meine Augen

Ich habe die Bilder der Kinder

von Deir Yassin nicht gesehen

ich weiß nicht einmal

ob Israels Krieger

das Fotografieren erlaubten

Waren das andere Kinder?

Ich glaube nicht

Ich glaube die Bilder aus Warschau

und die brennenden Hütten in Vietnam

stellen mein Bild zusammen

von Deir Yassin

Wir Juden sind groß

so groß wie die größten Völker

Wir haben Marx und Heine

und Freud und Einstein

Wir haben Meir-Har-Zion

den großen Arabertöter

und Mordechai Ra´anán

und Joschua Zetler

die Sieger von Deir Yassin

die jeden Vergleich bestehen

Foot Notes:

1 http://zochrot.org/en/booklet/50834

2 http://www.themen.palaestina-heute.de/Deir_Yassin/deir_yassin.html

3 http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/the-symbol-of-nakba-deir-yassin-remembered/

4 http://www.taz.de/!5069433/

5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8YsOU4SEh8

6 http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2018-03/israel-tel-aviv-demonstration-abschiebung-afrikaner-migranten

7 http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=19316

 

 

 

Originally posted AT

IN PHOTOS ~~ TIME TO END THE ENDLESS WARS

 

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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