DISRESPECTING APPROVAL RATINGS ….

First watch these videos ….

*

Bottom line is ….. 

Sixty-seven percent disapproval rating.
The handwriting is on the wall.

 

A LOOK AT THE NEWS IN TOONS

Images by Carlos Latuff

USA & Israel are leaving UNESCO! Two toxic governments & warmongering ‘countries’ that shouldn’t be there in the first place!!!

*

Who’s the best mass murder after all?

This one FROM

AMERICAN LEGISLATION IS PROPELLED BY UNFOUNDED ANTI PALESTINIAN PROPAGANDA

The Taylor Force Act is based on smoke and mirrors. I would not lose any sleep if Congress totally stopped funding the Palestinian Authority. It would not make daily life easier under occupation, but maybe it would wake up enough American leaders to see the absurdity of their being dragged around like a flock of sheep by their Israeli herder.

Israeli police officers and Palestinians scuffle during clashes in an east Jerusalem neighborhood in this Sept. 8 file photo after Israeli officials evicted a Palestinian family from their home to make way for Jewish tenants, according to the Associated Press.(Mahmoud Illean, Associated Press)

The sadly misnamed Taylor Force Act is being propelled by unfounded anti-Palestinian propaganda

By Sam Bahour

On March 9, 2016, a 29-year-old American graduate student, Taylor Force, was tragically murdered in the Israeli city of Jaffa. Mr. Force was killed by a 22-year-old Palestinian named Bashar Masalha. There is no way for anyone to know what this crime’s motivation was because Israeli security personnel shot dead the perpetrator on the scene.

In any other place on earth, the victim would be mourned, the perpetrator condemned, prayers would be sent to both families, and life would go on. But not in Israel, where in minutes Israeli leaders blamed the Palestinian leadership for the incident, which took place under total Israeli security, legal and national jurisdiction.

More than a year and a half later, new U.S. legislation is in Congress. The legislation aims to cut U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority if it does not stop paying annual stipends to the families of those either killed by Israeli security forces or imprisoned in Israel.

With so much happening stateside, one would think that the U.S. Congress had its hands full this fall, and could, just for a moment, leave the Palestinians alone. We could only be so lucky. Rather, Congress is at it again, attempting to punish the people who have been struggling under Israeli military occupation for 50 years and counting.

The new piece of legislation, sadly named The Taylor Force Act, advanced through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this summer. Additionally, it has just been included in the U.S. foreign operations budget measure slated for a vote in December. Embedding the measure into a broader legislative package is aimed at giving it a second path to passage.

By naming the bill The Taylor Force Act, the presumption is that Congress has bought–hook, line and sinker–the Israeli propaganda that the Palestinian Authority was somehow responsible for the death of Mr. Force, albeit the substance of the bill is about something totally different. Such a presumption is not only utterly false, but after being made so many times by Congress, it smells like the witch hunt against Palestinians that it is.

U.S. legislators will not hear both sides of this story. No mention will be made in the argument on the Hill about this murder taking place inside Israel, where Israel is 100 percent responsible for security. The Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction, whatsoever, in Jaffa. Additionally, no hint will be made of Israel’s 50-year military occupation of neighboring Palestinians.

Although the specific Act addresses a single Palestinian Authority financial line item whose amount is unclear in general, the magnitude of U.S. tax dollars being dumped into the conflicting parties is many times ignored.

Israel has been receiving U.S. financial assistance since its founding in 1948.

“Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” according to a 2016 Congressional Research Service report. The total military and financial aid to Israel exceeds $3 billion annually, the largest recipient in the planned $25.4 billion U.S. foreign assistance budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority came into existence in 1994. It, too, has received U.S. financial assistance since its inception, today receiving less than $400 million annually, excluding U.S. funds going to support the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is not part of the Palestinian Authority’s jurisdiction.

Inside the Washington, D.C., beltway, Palestinians can’t win no matter what they do. They simply don’t have the funds, political clout, organizing ability, leadership and lobbying savvy to make a dent in the U.S. Congress.

As an American, born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, I wish to ask the Palestinian leadership a simple question. Do you really need the U.S. funds? Of course, having more funds is always desirable, but in this case the funds are so small in the bigger picture, wouldn’t it make more sense to kindly ask the U.S. Congress to keep its money, all of it?

Given the blind battering of the Palestinian Authority by both sides of the congressional aisle, and given the fact that U.S. funds to Palestinians come with so many strings attached, wouldn’t it make sound political and public relations sense to relieve yourselves from all the negative publicity every few years?

The Taylor Force Act is based on smoke and mirrors. I would not lose any sleep if Congress totally stopped funding the Palestinian Authority. It would not make daily life easier under occupation, but maybe it would wake up enough American leaders to see the absurdity of their being dragged around like a flock of sheep by their Israeli herder.

Sadly, this legislation is carrying Mr. Taylor Force’s name. Instead of him resting in peace, there are those who are taking joy in being able to drag his memory through this political debate. I don’t.

Originally written FOR

PHOTOS ~~ WHY ARE EYES CLOSED WHEN IT COMES TO PUERTO RICO?

Open your eyes and your hearts

Since hurricane Maria destroyed much of Puerto Rico living conditions there are critical.  People have lost everything and now they are without water, without fuel to run generators, without medicine, and without electricity – which they will not get back for many months.  Supposedly there is food on the docks that cannot be distributed.  The response of the Trump Administration has been very slow yet there is much that can be done to alleviate the situation by using the National Guard and the military with their planes, helicopters, and vehicles to distribute the essentials.

10% of the people in NYC are either from Puerto Rico or have family there.  The Puerto Rican people are American citizens.  Because they see little being done the people in NY have reached out to their neighbors and collections of canned food, diapers, batteries, and other necessities are being gathered in homes all over the city.  They are then being brought to fire houses from which they will be transported to Puerto Rico.

Collecting aid in New York …

Photos © by Bud Korotzer Report by Chippy Dee

*

*

*

*

*

 

BROWN-NOSING THE ISRAEL LOBBY

First you must read this post from yesterday (Click on link)

SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER

Silencing the freedom of speech of legitimate boycott supporters has occurred in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and more recently in Cologne.

*
In the front line of those “brown-nosing” politicians are the members of the Social Party, the Christian Democratic Party, and of course, the Green philo-Semite politician Volker Beck who fervently wants to be the future leader of the campaign against “Anti-Semitism” which will be supported by his friends in the pro-Israel lobby.

*

The Systematic Brown-Nosing of the Israel Lobby!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi

*

Now that we are in the final run-up to one of the most boring and dirty election campaigns in Germany, fired by Islamophobic “nationalist” slogans by the AFD politician Gauland and copied by numerous other party campaigners, we should re-evaluate the reality of Germany.
Yes, Muslims and Islam are part of Germany, but so is freedom of opinion and Basic Law!
*
In reality, the protection of such freedoms of opinion by Basic Law, has been suspended by the pro-Israel lobby with by politicians from all parties brown-nosing Israel when the subject concerns the illegal occupation and settlement policies of the Netanyahu regime.
*
It is not Anti-Semitic to support the legitimate Palestinian struggle for freedom or to claim the right to boycott the “Jewish State” because it is a legitimate form of legal and non-violent resistance by that civil society with the BDS campaign — founded 12 years ago — being an important movement increasingly backed by people all over the world. (1)
*
The reason why the “Jewish State”, its supporters, and brown-nosing friends strongly oppose BDS is because they more than anything else fear this peaceful and powerful movement which represents the truth. So while they spend their Shekels and US-dollars in counter campaigns,  the truth remains the truth, facts remain irrefutable, and money alone cannot forever quash the irrefutable truth.
*
Following the total failure of all so-called “peace negotiations” which only served to increase the suffering, displacement, denigration, and sorrow of the Palestinian people, it is time for everyone to support the boycott of the “Jewish State of Occupation.”
*
When it is about imposing U.S. boycotts against Russia, Iran, Venezuela or Cuba, our politicians couldn’t care less and do not share our concerns. We all know how important and effective the boycott was in Apartheid in South Africa where it is acknowledged by  former activists that the inhumanity of the Apartheid Jewish State is much worse. (2)
*
Silencing the freedom of speech of legitimate boycott supporters has occurred in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and more recently in Cologne.
In the front line of those “brown-nosing” politicians are the members of the Social Party, the Christian Democratic Party, and of course, the Green philo-Semite politician Volker Beck who fervently wants to be the future leader of the campaign against “Anti-Semitism” which will be supported by his friends in the pro-Israel lobby.
*
Do democratic citizens have to tolerate accusations of being  racists or anti-Semites by politicians only because they are legally and ethically struggling for the right of Palestinians to self-determination; because they  condemn the occupation of Palestine which  international law regards as illegal;  and because they do so within the parameters of civil law? The answer must be an emphatic “NO” because Zionism is a racist and inhumane ideology that has been calling for the denigration and displacement of the Palestinian people since the foundation of the State of Israel. Anti-Zionism on the other hand is a democratic and humane response to this form of racism.
*
Can Germans vote for parties and politicians who feel obliged to support campaigns for the “new Anti-Semitism,” which is a philo-Semitism backing Israel’s illegal occupation? Can Germans vote for politicians who remain silent when they see how speakers, journalists, and professors in Germany are prevented from participating in conferences and events, or are banned from speaking about the almost seventy years of illegal occupation of Palestine which began with the  Nakba, or “Catastrophe?” This is not just disrespectful, it is also anti-democratic and unworthy of the so-called “community of values” repeatedly referred to by our politicians.
*
In the meantime, the determined opposition to the alleged anti-Semitism has become an opposition by politicians and pro-Israel lobby to any kind of criticism of Israel.
*
Imagery of the enemy helps to close their own ranks!
*
I would have been happy to see the zeal of German election campaigners in the Social Party, when it was about the exclusion of Tilo Sarrazin from the party after his racist affirmations, and his unbearable and un-scientific books; but unfortunately I missed this zeal. My gloomy forecast is that any “Israel critic“ will be excluded in a blaze of publicity as an alleged anti-Semite, while an Islamophobic racist will not. This is an election campaign in the epoch of islamophobia! (3)
*
I am really concerned by the fact that in the meantime all parties focus on the “distraction” tactic of anti-Semitism. This tactic omits focussing on the real, latent “anti-Semitism” because the concept is used in general terms against critics of Israel. And this is what the pro-Israel lobby wants, because it fully aware that it is not about “anti-Semitism,” but about the legitimate struggle for a Palestine free of illegal Israeli occupation.
*
Is it not surprising that right-wing parties like the AfD in Germany or its “friends” in Austria, Hungary, France, and Belgium feel attached to the racists in the “Jewish Apartheid State.” What is particularly terrifying for me is fact that so many Jewish citizens vote for right-wing parties, and that a Jewish AfD candidate — with a leading position within the Jewish community — was presented in my Bundesland Baden-Wurttemberg which confirmed that all such parties regard  the “Jewish State” is a racist model whose unethical politicians consciously exploit Judaism to commit crimes against humanity! Let us not forget that almost the whole Jewish-Israeli population has voted for this racist state terror regime. Instead of being boycotted by allegedly free and democratic states, Apartheid Israel instead receives many expressions of solidarity, and in particular from Germany!
*
Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Palestine has now also been exported to Myanmar with the supply of Israeli weapons with such activity becoming part of the “war on terror” soundbite that permits the perpetration of all kinds of crime with impunity.
*
Is Israel to become a model? Yes, if Germany wants to be associated with exclusion, displacement, land grabbing, genocide, and even ethnic cleansing. The Israelisation of Germany must be stopped. The “Jewish State” even shows its racist face with regards to the treatment of refugees whilst Jewish citizens from all over the world are “welcome” to the empire “given them by God” to the exclusion of the Palestinian people who are not even allowed the right to return to their old homeland. Has a  German party ever shown any real interest in this?
*
While the alleged “Muslim anti-Semitism” and the danger of Islam are constantly denounced, Judaic extremism remains unpunished.
While demonstrations of Palestinians against the genocide in Gaza are denigrated as anti-Semitic because of shouts like “Baby Murdering Israel”  despite the fact that many innocent and defenceless children are murdered with even whole families being eliminated by the “Jewish defence soldiers.” Meanwhile pro-Israel lobby groups supported by Jewish officials and brown-nosing politicians of all parties express their solidarity with the “Jewish occupiers’ state.” Is this fact compatible with the basic law? Is voting for such politicians and parties morally acceptable?
*
When a couple of days ago in Cologne thousands of Kurds demonstrated for an independent Kurdish State, the PKK claimed having freed Öcalan, Turkey felt affronted and summoned the German ambassador! Imagine the opposite: Thousands of Palestinians – what a wonderful idea – demonstrate in a big German city for the freedom of Palestine, a Palestinian State, and the liberation of Marwan Barghouti, serving multiple life sentences in Israeli prison. What would happen? How would the Netanyahu regime react?
*
If, as was recently the case, the Israel regime interferes in the German election campaign, this is not a problem at all. And even the illegal occupation of Palestine, the propagandistic appearances of Israeli Presidents or, as was recently the case, special interferences by the Israeli President with Chancellor Merkel because of the still pending U-boat supplies.
*
But woe to Turkish politicians if they try to interfere. Then it is a completely different matter . . .
*
If the “Jewish State” as a nuclear power attacks Syria; prepares potentially aggressive manoeuvres against Hezbollah, Lebanon or Syria; and violates the sovereign airspace of those countries, then it is certain that such activities will not be mentioned during German election campaign.
*
However when Russia responds to aggressive NATO manoeuvres directly on its border, this is immediately presented as a threat of war. In the pseudo-duels of German election campaigns no real problems are discussed such as the increase in military expenditures, the delivery of weapons into regions of crisis, and the arming of Kurds in Northern Iraq?
What about Ramstein and the U.S., who have been delivering arms to Syrian Jihadists for years now. The German Federal Government pretended not to know anything about such events, in which U.S. authorities allegedly violated German Law. What kind of government is this if it gives U.S. law precedence over that of Germany by supporting regime changes originating from German territory? (4)
*
The housing shortage, a basic income pension, pensions and fiscal policy are not discussed at all in TV programs with “invited” guests who are chosen to ask a couple of nice questions. Nobody asks about the Turkey bashing, islamophobia, occupation in Palestine, Russia bashing, separation between Church and State, influence of religions on our economic life, like the offer to open shops on Sunday or other matters endangering the “well-being election campaign.”
*
And this way the more than unbearable election campaign of rushing “self-exposers” from  parties goes on, and sometimes it is not far away from the matters of the right-wing party AfD!
*
It would be useful if together we could prevent the AfD of Gauland from entering the German Bundestag! (5)
*
For sure, next Sunday will come wither without surprises, so let us pay attention for whom to vote. Let us penalise the politicians and parties brown-nosing the pro-Israel Lobby!
*
Finally I would like to let Judith Butler speak in my name:
*
“If I have succeeded in showing that one can fall back on the criticism of state violence, the colonial oppression of population groups, the expulsion and expropriation of Jewish sources, then I can show at the same time that a Jewish criticism of Israel is at least possible, if not ethical.”
*
Originally posted AT

SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER

German Election Results ….

*

The only thing Bibi ever got right …

The picture shows a “Hitler moustache” inadvertently cast on the face of Merkel by the pointing finger of the Israeli Prime Minister.
The image was captured by Marc Israel Sellem, a photographer for the Jerusalem Post, who immediately posted the picture on his Facebook page, leading to an avalanche of tweets, comments and Facebook likes and shares.

Related report  follows (Click on link)

Germany’s new Nazis see Israel as role model

Israel and its supporters have made alliances with racists, anti-Semites and Islamophobes all over Europe. (via Flickr)

ANOTHER MIXED BAG OF TOONS AND IMAGES FOR A MIXED UP WORLD

*

Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald

*

Kneeling for LIBERTY

*

Today in American sports… We salute the athletes who took a knee.
Reminiscent of prayer, like in this photo of MLK and Ralph Abernathy, prior to going to jail in Selma, Alabama. Much more will be asked of us in the coming months.

*

Latuff added the following …

With 40 years of soft war against Iran, will Trump finally be the president to send Americans to die in an Israeli war?

*

Waterboarding Liberty

Where your tax dollars go …

*

*

*

Bottom line is …

Whatever you allow the Government to do to others 🤔 it will eventually do to you DUMBASS

KNEE JERK REACTIONS ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD

It started with Colin Kaepernik‘s lone protest …. here is where we are at now!

Steelers will not report to the field for the National Anthem

And protest they did!

To display unity in light of President Donald Trump’s recent comments, the Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in their locker room when the national anthem was played Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Bears locked arms on their sideline.

Related Images …..

*

*

*

Trump Just Endorsed A Boycott Of The NFL

*

*

*

Above images courtesy of ‘The Other 98%’

Two related articles …. MUST READS! (Click on links)

The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump

His comments about NFL players reveal just how divisive and narcissistic the president really is.

MIXED BAG OF TOONS FOR A MIXED UP WORLD

El mundo está loco, loco, loco 

It´s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

All images by Carlos Latuff

North Korea says it will use nukes ONLY in self-defense – will Trump push their button?

*

*

Erdogan at United Nations

*

Temer at the UN … BRAZIL IS NOT FOR SALE!

*

UN Chief Confirms Myanmar Crackdown On Rohingya Is ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

*

Israeli support for Myanmar is the natural alliance of regimes based on ethnic supremacy

Stop Israel from selling weapons to the regime of Myanmar!

Sign petition HERE

REMEMBERING THE MASSACRE AT SABRA AND SHATILLA

The massacre at the Sabra and Shatilla camps is remembered as a notorious chapter in modern Middle Eastern history, clouding the tortured relationships among Israel, the United States, Lebanon and the Palestinians.

Image by Latuff

Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982 was carried out under the watchful eye of Ariel Sharon. #ButcherOfSabraAndShatila

A Preventable Massacre
By SETH ANZISKA
 *
ON the night of Sept. 16, 1982, the Israeli military allowed a right-wing Lebanese militia to enter two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. In the ensuing three-day rampage, the militia, linked to the Maronite Christian Phalange Party, raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 civilians, while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.
 *
Thirty years later, the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila camps is remembered as a notorious chapter in modern Middle Eastern history, clouding the tortured relationships among Israel, the United States, Lebanon and the Palestinians. In 1983, an Israeli investigative commission concluded that Israeli leaders were “indirectly responsible” for the killings and that Ariel Sharon, then the defense minister and later prime minister, bore “personal responsibility” for failing to prevent them.
 *
While Israel’s role in the massacre has been closely examined, America’s actions have never been fully understood. This summer, at the Israel State Archives, I found recently declassified documents that chronicle key conversations between American and Israeli officials before and during the 1982 massacre. The verbatim transcripts reveal that the Israelis misled American diplomats about events in Beirut and bullied them into accepting the spurious claim that thousands of “terrorists” were in the camps. Most troubling, when the United States was in a position to exert strong diplomatic pressure on Israel that could have ended the atrocities, it failed to do so. As a result, Phalange militiamen were able to murder Palestinian civilians, whom America had pledged to protect just weeks earlier.
 *
Israel’s involvement in the Lebanese civil war began in June 1982, when it invaded its northern neighbor. Its goal was to root out the Palestine Liberation Organization, which had set up a state within a state, and to transform Lebanon into a Christian-ruled ally. The Israel Defense Forces soon besieged P.L.O.-controlled areas in the western part of Beirut. Intense Israeli bombardments led to heavy civilian casualties and tested even President Ronald Reagan, who initially backed Israel. In mid-August, as America was negotiating the P.L.O.’s withdrawal from Lebanon, Reagan told Prime Minister Menachem Begin that the bombings “had to stop or our entire future relationship was endangered,” Reagan wrote in his diaries.
 *
The United States agreed to deploy Marines to Lebanon as part of a multinational force to supervise the P.L.O.’s departure, and by Sept. 1, thousands of its fighters — including Yasir Arafat — had left Beirut for various Arab countries. After America negotiated a cease-fire that included written guarantees to protect the Palestinian civilians remaining in the camps from vengeful Lebanese Christians, the Marines departed Beirut, on Sept. 10.
 *
Israel hoped that Lebanon’s newly elected president, Bashir Gemayel, a Maronite, would support an Israeli-Christian alliance. But on Sept. 14, Gemayel was assassinated. Israel reacted by violating the cease-fire agreement. It quickly occupied West Beirut — ostensibly to prevent militia attacks against the Palestinian civilians. “The main order of the day is to keep the peace,” Begin told the American envoy to the Middle East, Morris Draper, on Sept. 15. “Otherwise, there could be pogroms.”
 *
By Sept. 16, the I.D.F. was fully in control of West Beirut, including Sabra and Shatila. In Washington that same day, Under Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger told the Israeli ambassador, Moshe Arens, that “Israel’s credibility has been severely damaged” and that “we appear to some to be the victim of deliberate deception by Israel.” He demanded that Israel withdraw from West Beirut immediately.
 *
In Tel Aviv, Mr. Draper and the American ambassador, Samuel W. Lewis, met with top Israeli officials. Contrary to Prime Minister Begin’s earlier assurances, Defense Minister Sharon said the occupation of West Beirut was justified because there were “2,000 to 3,000 terrorists who remained there.” Mr. Draper disputed this claim; having coordinated the August evacuation, he knew the number was minuscule. Mr. Draper said he was horrified to hear that Mr. Sharon was considering allowing the Phalange militia into West Beirut. Even the I.D.F. chief of staff, Rafael Eitan, acknowledged to the Americans that he feared “a relentless slaughter.”
 *
On the evening of Sept. 16, the Israeli cabinet met and was informed that Phalange fighters were entering the Palestinian camps. Deputy Prime Minister David Levy worried aloud: “I know what the meaning of revenge is for them, what kind of slaughter. Then no one will believe we went in to create order there, and we will bear the blame.” That evening, word of civilian deaths began to filter out to Israeli military officials, politicians and journalists.
 *
At 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir hosted a meeting with Mr. Draper, Mr. Sharon and several Israeli intelligence chiefs. Mr. Shamir, having reportedly heard of a “slaughter” in the camps that morning, did not mention it.
 *
The transcript of the Sept. 17 meeting reveals that the Americans were browbeaten by Mr. Sharon’s false insistence that “terrorists” needed “mopping up.” It also shows how Israel’s refusal to relinquish areas under its control, and its delays in coordinating with the Lebanese National Army, which the Americans wanted to step in, prolonged the slaughter.
 *
Mr. Draper opened the meeting by demanding that the I.D.F. pull back right away. Mr. Sharon exploded, “I just don’t understand, what are you looking for? Do you want the terrorists to stay? Are you afraid that somebody will think that you were in collusion with us? Deny it. We denied it.” Mr. Draper, unmoved, kept pushing for definitive signs of a withdrawal. Mr. Sharon, who knew Phalange forces had already entered the camps, cynically told him, “Nothing will happen. Maybe some more terrorists will be killed. That will be to the benefit of all of us.” Mr. Shamir and Mr. Sharon finally agreed to gradually withdraw once the Lebanese Army started entering the city — but they insisted on waiting 48 hours (until the end of Rosh Hashana, which started that evening).
Continuing his plea for some sign of an Israeli withdrawal, Mr. Draper warned that critics would say, “Sure, the I.D.F. is going to stay in West Beirut and they will let the Lebanese go and kill the Palestinians in the camps.”
 *
Mr. Sharon replied: “So, we’ll kill them. They will not be left there. You are not going to save them. You are not going to save these groups of the international terrorism.”
 *
Mr. Draper responded: “We are not interested in saving any of these people.” Mr. Sharon declared: “If you don’t want the Lebanese to kill them, we will kill them.”
 *
Mr. Draper then caught himself, and backtracked. He reminded the Israelis that the United States had painstakingly facilitated the P.L.O. exit from Beirut “so it wouldn’t be necessary for you to come in.” He added, “You should have stayed out.”
 *
Mr. Sharon exploded again: “When it comes to our security, we have never asked. We will never ask. When it comes to existence and security, it is our own responsibility and we will never give it to anybody to decide for us.” The meeting ended with an agreement to coordinate withdrawal plans after Rosh Hashana.
 *
By allowing the argument to proceed on Mr. Sharon’s terms, Mr. Draper effectively gave Israel cover to let the Phalange fighters remain in the camps. Fuller details of the massacre began to emerge on Sept. 18, when a young American diplomat, Ryan C. Crocker, visited the gruesome scene and reported back to Washington.
 *
Years later, Mr. Draper called the massacre “obscene.” And in an oral history recorded a few years before his death in 2005, he remembered telling Mr. Sharon: “You should be ashamed. The situation is absolutely appalling. They’re killing children! You have the field completely under your control and are therefore responsible for that area.”
 *
On Sept. 18, Reagan pronounced his “outrage and revulsion over the murders.” He said the United States had opposed Israel’s invasion of Beirut, both because “we believed it wrong in principle and for fear that it would provoke further fighting.” Secretary of State George P. Shultz later admitted that “we are partially responsible” because “we took the Israelis and the Lebanese at their word.” He summoned Ambassador Arens. “When you take military control over a city, you’re responsible for what happens,” he told him. “Now we have a massacre.”
 *
But the belated expression of shock and dismay belies the Americans’ failed diplomatic effort during the massacre. The transcript of Mr. Draper’s meeting with the Israelis demonstrates how the United States was unwittingly complicit in the tragedy of Sabra and Shatila.
 *
Ambassador Lewis, now retired, told me that the massacre would have been hard to prevent “unless Reagan had picked up the phone and called Begin and read him the riot act even more clearly than he already did in August — that might have stopped it temporarily.” But “Sharon would have found some other way” for the militiamen to take action, Mr. Lewis added.
 *
Nicholas A. Veliotes, then the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, agreed. “Vintage Sharon,” he said, after I read the transcript to him. “It is his way or the highway.”
 *
The Sabra and Shatila massacre severely undercut America’s influence in the Middle East, and its moral authority plummeted. In the aftermath of the massacre, the United States felt compelled by “guilt” to redeploy the Marines, who ended up without a clear mission, in the midst of a brutal civil war.
 *
On Oct. 23, 1983, the Marine barracks in Beirut were bombed and 241 Marines were killed. The attack led to open warfare with Syrian-backed forces and, soon after, the rapid withdrawal of the Marines to their ships. As Mr. Lewis told me, America left Lebanon “with our tail between our legs.”
 *
The archival record reveals the magnitude of a deception that undermined American efforts to avoid bloodshed. Working with only partial knowledge of the reality on the ground, the United States feebly yielded to false arguments and stalling tactics that allowed a massacre in progress to proceed.
 *
The lesson of the Sabra and Shatila tragedy is clear. Sometimes close allies act contrary to American interests and values. Failing to exert American power to uphold those interests and values can have disastrous consequences: for our allies, for our moral standing and most important, for the innocent people who pay the highest price of all.
 *
Seth Anziska is a doctoral candidate in international history at Columbia University.
 *
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/Sabra-and-Shatila
*

IS PALESTINE DOOMED FOR ETERNITY IN GERMANY?

What happened last Sunday during the so called “Chancellor-Duel” between the CDU chancellor and the Social Democratic challenger Schulz makes me speechless. In fact, the Social Democratic candidate just negatively focussed on Turks and Palestinians.

Palestine, doomed for all eternity? Remarks on the German election and Israel

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

If Schulz becomes Chancellor (what I do not hope), he will claim for the end of the EU accession talks with Turkey. Didn’t Schulz, who is a former President of the EU parliament, know that these so called accession talks were just a Fata Morgana, just as the so called peace talks between the “Jewish State” and the Palestinians are? So what pushed Schulz to take this hardline demeanor? Does he really aim to get votes from far right and far left this way? Of course, this overconfident, now sober alcoholic and former bookseller from Würselen, desperately tries to improve his image to get a couple of percent points more than indicated in the catastrophic poll ratings.

What made  the Social Democratic candidate intolerable and ineligible to me was his statement about young Palestinian men. Asked by Maybritt Illner (ZDF) if “Islam belongs to Germany”, Merkel defended her statement by adding the words “in accordance with the Constitution”. However she invited Muslim scholars to distance themselves more strongly from “Islamic terrorism”.

However, I would have wished to hear this claim from the German Chancellor also towards the “Jewish Zionist occupyiers’ friends” in Germany who always express their solidarity towards the “Judaistic State terror occupying regime”. At this point I would like to ask her this: How is this attack against human dignity compatible with our Basic Law and its article 1? It states:

Article 1: “Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority”.

Article 2: “The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world”.

I have had my doubts since a long time that German politicians acknowledge this and act accordingly, in particular after this extremely suspect TV duel that was prescribed as “obligatory program” on different TV channels. The only alternative was the switch-off button!

So my question is: How is this highest German constitutional principle compatible with the ongoing creeping attempt to undermine many fundamental rights? This applies to the questionable  expulsions, eavesdropping, new  face recognition scanners, restrictions to the right to demonstrate, reduction of freedom of assembly, barriers and blockades at state visits and summits, whose sole purposes  are self-celebration and exclusion of the people, treating it as  a leashed dog with  the slogan “You have to stay outside”.

How about the more than questionable arms supplies, including into crisis areas, and the growing cooperation with dictators and terror regimes, hence  the “Israelization” of Germany?

Now I can come to my main question: How is the basic law principle compatible with the additional passage that the “security of Israel” is part of the “German State Reason”, defended and supported by both candidates?

What I particularly criticise and what I found a brazenness  from the challenger Schulz was that he spoke about the “deep anti-Semitism” of young Palestinian men, to whom we have to tell that this protection of Israel is part of the German state reason.

I found a completely unnecessary derailment of the candidate. Instead, he should have supported the threatened, occupied, and dispossessed Palestinians, who have been mistreated by the Jewish state terrorism for decades (!) now. This obligation towards Palestine and the Palestinians must be on the agenda of a former Social Democratic EU-politician. Instead, Schulz offended a people under occupation. I am asking myself if he was “coached” by the representatives of the Central Council of German Jews and the Israeli Embassy.

And I negatively remember this former EU Parliament President Schulz when on 25 February 2014 I was invited by a friend (who at that time was still a member of the Social Democratic Party) and engaged struggler for the freedom of Palestine to come to the inauguration of the Nakba exposition at the Parliament in Strasbourg. There I heard that Schulz had refused to inaugurate this important and worth seeing exposition about the exodus and displacement of Palestinians in 1948.

This can be said about the so called “solidarity” of the Socialist and Social Democratic fraction in the EU Parliament with occupied Palestine. Once again, the old, a bit changed saying fits for Social Democrats: “Who betrayed the Palestinians: the Social Democrats”!

The Nakba exposition was made possible by the liberal Alde fraction, even if its liberal member, Graf Lambsdorff, vice-president of the European Parliament, is a “declared and unconditional” friend of Israel.

In my opinion, Schulz by denigrating a group of people has disqualified himself as Chancellor candidate!

Chancellor Merkel – I do not support for sure – would never bring off such a flop and shame. She would never have offended so much the weakest, the Palestinians, oppressed by the “Jewish State”, occupied, deprived from their rights and own state, just to get votes.

Schulz started indeed with this defamation without being asked and with no need. And this makes him unattractive for Palestinians, pro-Palestinian activists and for many Turkish voters as eligible alternative to Merkel.

Martin Schulz was made honorary Doctor of Philosophy by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2014…
…but Angela Merkel was awarded this title already in 2007 and was made honorary Doctor of the Tel Aviv University in 2011
*

What we can expect from the Green, left-wing and liberal politicians concerning Palestine, however, is not more promising and leaves me at the ballot box with great perplexity.

What surprised me a lot was that the media accepted without any criticism that the “Central Council” of the Jews in Germany, the newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine and Jerusalem Post interfered in the German election campaign by criticizing “radical Palestinians” in the lists of the Marxist-Leninist Party (MLPD), with the philosemite Green politician Volker Beck in their wave.

Volker Beck even dared to ask why the Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine was not forbidden. The candidates are on the list of the PFLP which is on the “EU terror list” (because Israel requested it?). But fortunately and rightly it is NOT FORBIDDEN in Germany. The MLPD has a list with candidates  of the PFLP. And the MLPD has candidates of at least ten different nationalities and is the ONLY German party supporting the freedom of Palestine and standing for it in its election agenda.(1)

In the meantime, unnoticed by German politics and the German public, the Judaistic reprisals of the Netanyahu regime against Palestinians and Palestine go on. Netanyahu celebrates the 50 years of the occupation of Palestine on stolen Palestinian land in the Judaistic illegal settlement and guarantees to its illegal inhabitants that they have come to remain there forever. In addition, he promised that under his government not a single settlement will be dismantled, and that Jerusalem will forever be the undivided capital of the “Jewish State”. After his return to Jerusalem Billions of Dollars were given for new settlements in the illegally occupied Palestine! (2)

In this context, the Israeli hard-core Zionist and supporter of the occupation, Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, attacks the judges, saying that“Zionism will not lower its head” towards a universal system of individual rights. She proclaimed the new Law supported by her Party Likud and by Netanyahu and accepted by the Parliament, calling Israel a “Nation-State of the Jewish People”, as a „moral and political revolution“. This bill confers the “self-determination right” only to Jews. Arabic is not an official language any more, but is downgraded to a language with special status.

You can imagine what this means to more than 20% Non-Jews, mainly Palestinians with Israeli passports, to the dispossessed Bedouins, and to the few remaining Christians in the “Holy Occupiers’ Land”!

Anyone who until now didn’t want to acknowledge that the “Jewish State” is an Apartheid State, should now be taught better and finally support the boycott measures of the BDS campaign!

Precisely because of the German past, we are not allowed to ignore the injustice of the so called “only” democracy in the Middle East, the ethnocracy of the “Jewish State” committing land robbing, occupation, ethnic cleansing, and a racist judaization. I had other expectations from ALL German political parties: 50 years after the beginning of the second occupation, and 69 years after the foundation of the “Jewish State” at the expense of the displacement and occupation of a people, we have to speak out against this injustice!

I also appeal to German politicians and voters to think about how long this illegal and unbearable situation will be continued with German help.

Palestine,  doomed for all eternity?

Notes

 

Originally posted AT

I GUESS THIS GUY IS NEXT ….. (US AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL)

David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel and a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, said Trump’s reaction to the deadly violence at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va. “wasn’t fine.”

Trump reaction to Charlottesville ‘not fine,’ US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman says

JTA

*

David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel and a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, said Trump’s reaction to the deadly violence at a far-right rally in Charlottesville “wasn’t fine,” but he also faulted the media for being unfair to the president.

Trump is doing a “great job,” Friedman told Israel’s Channel 10 News in an interview. “He’s treated very unfairly in the media; people should give him a chance.”

Asked about the deadly Aug. 12 violence in Charlottesville, when an alleged white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd, killing one person during counterprotests, Friedman said, “These incidents don’t reflect who he is, what the U.S. administration is.”

Pressed by a reporter as to whether Trump’s reaction was “fine,” Friedman said, “I think the reaction wasn’t fine.”

Trump’s first reaction after the attack was to say “many sides” — white supremacists and counterprotesters — were to blame. Two days later he named white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan as responsible, but the following day he said there were “very fine people” on both sides.

“I’d rather talk about Boeing today,” Friedman told the reporter. He was celebrating the arrival of El Al’s first Boeing 787.

 

TODAY’S BRILLIANT TOONS ~~ BLACKS AND WHITES UNITED FOR TRUMP

Brilliant images by Carlos Latuff

#PhoenixRally (Click on link to see details of rally)

*

Are there enough white hoods for all participants of that pro-Trump Phoenix rally?

Make America great again ….. Tell Trump

‘YOU’RE FIRED!’

*

REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE STATUES IS NOT A WHITEWASH OF HISTORY

Columbia University Prof. Eric Foner says Confederate statues only celebrate one side of Southern history — and taking them down does not amount to a whitewash of history as President Trump has suggested.

Statue of Robert E. Lee being removed from Lee Circle in New Orleans this May. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Eric Foner: Confederate Statues Celebrate Only One Side Of History

In a New York Times op-ed, the noted scholar of American history addresses the tweet by Trump that removing Confederate statues tears apart “the history and culture of our great country.”

Foner, who is Jewish, notes that most Confederate statues were erected during times of rampant racism and white supremacist fever like the 1890s, which followed the end of Reconstruction and the 1920s, which was the height of a Ku Klux Klan revival.

To bolster his claim, Foner points out the absence of statues to commemorate James Longstreet, one of General Robert E. Lee’s key lieutenants who later endorsed black male suffrage and fought white supremacists.

 Ultimately, there is a clearly racist rationale and context for the construction of these statues, he says:

 

AN UNBELIEVABLE VIDEO THAT MUST BE WATCHED BY ALL AMERICANS

When President Trump claimed in an unhinged, angry press conference on Aug. 15th that there were “very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, he endorsed a group of neo-Nazis and white supremacists whose stated goal is to create an ethnically cleansed, white-only state.

Latuff adds the following 3 new images

*

*

FED UP WITH GERMAN SILENCE

During this election campaign in Germany, a question is not addressed: How do these parties and their top candidates deal with violations against international law and human rights?Why is Russia subject to sanctions while the “Jewish State” remains unpunished? Why does the annexation of Crimea allegedly oppose to international law, while the illegal occupation of Palestine is not just accepted, but even financially supported?

We are fed up of the silence of the German Election Campaigners about Palestine!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Sicht vom Hochblauen, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

International law and human rights are indivisible and apply to all states. And the “Jewish State” always says to be the “only” democracy in the Middle East. If this is true, international law and human rights shall be the basic foundations of the Jewish State. While the Jewish regime based on State terrorism occupies, oppresses, and expropriates a whole people, after a referendum the population of Crimea decided to remain with Russia, because the Western “community of values”, led by the USA, spent many million Dollar in the name of Eastern NATO expansion for the coup in Ukraine by forcing Russia to act.

Our German political landscape is characterised by a lord of the manor approach when it is about prohibiting the Nakba exhibition or Israel-critical conferences, or when it is about refusing conference rooms. And this is exactly the behaviour of philosemite parties linked to the Israel lobby in our country. If this is the situation, we have to ask these parties (SPD, CDU/CSU, FDP, Grünen and Linke) to make a statement about it.

If you remember the Holocaust, the genocide in the name of Germany and the crimes of the century, then you should also remember and put the Nakba, the forced displacement of the Palestinian people, and its consequences in an indivisible context.

In particular for German citizens, independently from the outcome, displacement and occupation are important subjects. There we have to ask ourselves: Why does this propaganda lie –  according which there has never been a Zionist displacement during and before the Nakba and all has been done “on a voluntary basis” – fall on good soil in Germany? Same thing can be said about the “Jewish occupiers’ regime” which always avoids speaking about the occupation.

In the case of the “Jewish State”, the uncritical lobby work of the parties promotes the distrust against Jewish officials and citizens, who quickly accuse others of anti-Semitism to distract from this lobby work, who refuses the rights of the oppressed, because it expresses its solidarity with the “Jewish Occupiers’ State”, a state characterised by colonialism and historical revisionism, by asking for our unconditional solidarity with these criminals.

The air has become suffocating in the German-speaking countries and in the political circles; and this is not only due to the Diesel fine particulate, but also to the stuffy German politics. If after the end of the war there were the last Nazi officials diffusing this right-wing stuffy politics, today their descendants prefer addressing their hate against Russia. The sanctions against Russia  are strengthened, while justified and peaceful BDS initiatives shall be damned as criminal. Whole cities, from Munich to Frankfort, participate in this undemocratic rally.

The double standards when it is about the “Jewish State” are incredible and incompatible with the German Constitution. Although after a referendum the majority of Crimean citizens decided to remain with Russia, German and European politicians speak about a criminal situation violating international law. And since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 these same politicians and the “world community” of the “Jewish State” have been permitting the violation against international law, human rights, and all values, and since decades Israel has been leaving scorched earth in its wake in occupied Palestine.

At the moment, in front of the EU office in Vienna, activists of the “Women in Black” are protesting against the support of the “Jewish Apartheid State”. Protest actions of this kind are important in the struggle for a free Palestine. (1)

At the end of August, in Berlin a Pop culture festival will be held; it will be financed by the Embassy of the “Jewish State”, the European Union, and the Municipality of Berlin. As soon as threes bands and artists,  Mohammad Abu Hayar of the Syrian Rap Band Mazzaj, the Egyptian band Islam Chipsy, and the Syrian DJ and producer Samer Salem knew about it, they refused their participation, because they did not want to participate in an event pinkwashing Apartheid and racism. Unfortunately, this moral courage cannot be found in German artists, when it is about Palestine! (2)

In the next “Springer” morning Press, the Berlin Senator of Culture, Klaus Lederer, spoke about a “horrifying boycott”. From my point of view, left-wing politicians are absolutely horrifying when they uncritically accept the Illegal occupation of Palestine and criticize Israel critics because they are engaged  for a free Palestine. Lederer added that by sponsoring the artists’ travel expenses the Israeli Embassy even contributed to the “success” of the festival. Can and should you still vote such politicians? For what concerns myself, my answer is “NO”, because I always check whom and what to vote! In 2014, in the newspaper TAZ ,Pascal Beucker called me an “unacceptable Israel hater” because I had written by comment  „Der Tag des Zorns wird kommen“ (The Day of Rage will Come); this comment was uncritically accepted by Lederer. And I felt in the best of company, because Lederer polemicized even Sarah Wagenknecht and called people to dissociate from Ken Jebsen, the alleged “ideologist” of the “new right”. But I prefer dissociating from left-wing politicians and politicians of all parties like Klaus Lederer!  (3) (4)

I deal with this subject and its consequences every week. Sometimes, I am asking myself for which purpose and why I do it. My concern is that the political parties’ landscape has been dissociating more and more from Palestine, by exclusively focussing on the “Jewish State”. The security of Israel, its right to exist, the particular relationship: all these words are always repeated like a litany. However, they do not become true, but remain mendacious lies of the whole political society and their supporters  in the media.

The deep attunement with the “Jewish Occupiers’ State” is an unbearable legal violation and is incompatible with the German constitution; the same applies to the “particular” relation developed over years because of a traumatised sense of guilt, since it created  the new “guilt” of our grand-children’s generation. The real problem is that philosemitism replaced Anti-Semitism, and became a contagious epidemic, infecting all parties and many media. Is there a vaccination against Philosemitism? Indeed, a clear and logic reasoning and a sense of justice should suffice. However, this is not the case because the propaganda brainwashing, promoted by the “Springer” lobby, seems to be part of German education. That adaptation has already replaced moral courage; and this is not astonishing if you think about the so numerous attempts of intimidation.

I have been trying to wake up people for years now, and to ask them to engage for Palestine and the Palestinians. And they attacked me because I used words like Israel lobby, Judaization, ghetto or concentration camp. However, I am gaining more and more supporters on blogs and in newspapers, and I feel confirmed and happy that my engagement is worth the trouble. And I never tried to make money at the expense of Palestinian solidarity, to earn with it, or to make business at the expense of a humiliated and occupied people.

From where do German politicians take their right to criticize the Palestinian people, which – after 69 years of resistance asks for the end of illegal occupation. How can they deny to them the legitimate right for resistance against illegal occupation, while Jewish occupiers are not just given the right to “defend themselves”, but even the occupation right! What can we expect from such politicians who speak about the “Jewish-Christian community of values”, while if it is about Palestinians they talk about terror and crimes, which have nothing to do with their community of values. Muslims become foreign bodies and the concept of an enemy, and this in particular during election campaigns. Let us do the mental experiment of replacing the word Jews with the word Muslims, or Judaism with Islam. This reminds me terrible days of our recent history. This dangerous development should be limited and stopped.

With our vote, we can decide what and who will rule. The voting right is one of the few rights we still have, in this epoch of apathy and lack of perspective.

We should not ignore how parties deal with human rights and regimes. The State terrorism of the Jewish occupiers’ regime to continue with the Judaization of Palestine must be talked about, as it is not a taboo, but should become one of the main election campaign subjects.

Chancellor Merkel has succeeded in brainwashing Germans so to believe in the unconditioned solidarity with the “Jewish State” as German reason of state because of our “particular obligations”. However, this reason of state does not mean that we should not engage to ask to add justice and freedom of the Palestinian people to this German reason of state.

We – and I think also the majority of the other German citizens – ask for information and an open discussion of all democratic parties about how the candidates to be voted will deal with this subject. Also this will be an important criterion of our voting behaviour.

 

Originally posted AT

IMAGES OF THE DAY ~~ THE FACES OF TERRORISM

Need a reminder about fascist politicians in Israel?


And some from the past …


And here is what the future holds ….

Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu’s son: Yair Netanyahu says leftists are more dangerous than neo-Nazis

Echoing Trump, PM’s son claims ‘thugs of Antifa and Black Lives Matter are getting stronger’ while Nazis are a thing of the past

RABBIS IN SUPPORT OF LIFTING BDS TRAVEL BAN

“Boycotts are a legitimate nonviolent tactic that have been used both in our own country and around the world in order to create justice for marginalized and oppressed communities. Whether we support boycott is a controversy for the sake of heaven. It endures because we struggle together and debate how we can create peace, justice, and equality for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Illustrative image of demonstrators outside the offices of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo protesting his executive order calling for New York companies to divest from organizations that support the BDS movement, June 9, 2016. (Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images)

After Jewish Voice of Peace activist barred from boarding flight to Ben Gurion, liberal clergy decry ‘anti-democratic’ law

More than 200 liberal US rabbis want Israel to lift travel ban on BDS leaders

JTA

More than 200 rabbis from the liberal movements of American Judaism signed a letter opposing Israel’s travel ban on leaders of the boycott movement against Israel.

The rabbis signing Wednesday’s letter were responding to an incident last month in which Rabbi Alissa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was prevented from boarding an Israel-bound airplane leaving Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.

Four other people traveling to Israel as part of an interfaith delegation, including two other Jews, a Christian and a Muslim, were also prevented from boarding the flight at the request of the Israeli government.

“We hold diverse opinions on BDS. Even though many of us have substantive differences with Rabbi Wise and other rabbinic colleagues who support the BDS movement in some or all of its forms, we believe that the decision to bar Rabbi Wise from visiting Israel is anti-democratic and desecrates our vision of a diverse Jewish community that holds multiple perspectives,” read the letter, which had been signed by 212 rabbis as of late Wednesday morning.

“Boycotts are a legitimate nonviolent tactic that have been used both in our own country and around the world in order to create justice for marginalized and oppressed communities. Whether we support boycott is a controversy for the sake of heaven. It endures because we struggle together and debate how we can create peace, justice, and equality for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” the letter said.

The signers included Rabbi Sharon Brous, of the independent IKAR congregation in  Los Angeles; Rabbi Amy Eilberg of Los Altos, California, the first women ordained by the Conservative movement; and Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.

In March, the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, amended the Law of Entry to prevent leaders of the BDS movement from being allowed into Israel. The amendment applies to organizations, as well as the leadership and senior activists of those groups, that take consistent and significant action against Israel through BDS and threaten it with material harm.

JVP said at the time of the incident that it was the first time the amendment had been enforced before passengers boarded their flights to Israel and the first time that Israel has denied entry to Jews, including a rabbi, for their support of BDS.

An anti-BDS bill making its way through Congress would expand existing law that bans boycotts imposed by foreign governments to include those imposed by international organizations like the European Union and the United Nations.

TUESDAY’S TOON ~~ NETANYAHU’S WRONGFUL INDICTMENT

Netanyahu may be indicted, but getting him for dirty money is like getting Al Capone for tax evasion!

Image by Carlos Latuff

The Hague still awaits this war criminal

TOON OF THE DAY ~~ 3 EASY WAYS TO ESCALATE TENSION IN JERUSALEM

Image by Carlos Latuff

Want to know what Netanyahu is thinking?

‘The metal detectors are just the first step’: Palestinians say Israeli takeover of Al Aqsa is red line that can’t be crossed

*

East Jerusalem, occupied West Bank — “You have four minutes to leave,” the Israeli police officer yelled aggressively through the megaphone.

The peaceful atmosphere drastically shifted into one of panic within seconds. Girls who were standing on the ledge scrambled to get down to leave, some tripping and falling down over others.

Last Sunday hundreds of Palestinians had lined up in rows inside the Old City’s walls by Lion’s Gate waiting for the late evening prayer. In the hour prior to the beginning of prayer, they occasionally chanted in support of Al Aqsa and the Sheikh delivered his sermon. It was a calm atmosphere where even the officers themselves were standing with relaxed postures, perhaps bored.

However, about ten minutes before the start of the late evening prayer, the mood dramatically changed when the group of officers suddenly straightened their positions and all lowered their visors at the same time.

Once the officer started shouting through the megaphone, panicked voices were heard in the crowd. Some Palestinians started to make their way towards the exit.

Suddenly explosions were heard, causing a stampede towards the exit, but the passageway was too narrow for such a large crowd. A sense of panic and fear ensued as people ran for cover, screaming.

Only a minute had passed from the four-minute deadline, but the officers had already thrown stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd who had been sitting on the ground, waiting to pray. Those who couldn’t make it towards the exit, sought protection behind stone pillars.

This was a typical scene from the Palestinians’ non-violent prayer protests against the Israeli military takeover of Al Aqsa that has so far resulted in the deaths of four Palestinians and over 900 injured within a week.

Palestinians remain alarmed over Israel’s latest unilateral decision to install metal detectors, security cameras, and turnstiles at all the gates leading to the Al Aqsa compound; they see it as an attempt by Israel to change the status quo and eventually gain complete control over Al Aqsa.

Located in occupied East Jerusalem, the Al Aqsa compound, also known as Haram Al Sharif for Muslims and Temple Mount for Jews, is administered by the Jordanian Islamic Waqf. Under a 150-year agreement, only Muslims can pray at the site, while non-Muslims can visit. According to leading rabbis, it is forbidden for any Jew to enter any part of Al Aqsa.

Up until now, Palestinian guards have controlled the entrances to Al Aqsa and who may enter without any metal detectors and security cameras in place.

Palestinians say they’ll continue praying outside of Al Aqsa’s gates in protest until the security measures are removed. Installing them unilaterally without consulting the Islamic Waqf is seen as a way for the Israeli authorities to assert their dominance and control over the site.

Israeli security set up the metal detectors and security cameras after three Palestinians and two Israeli officers were killed in a gun battle at the Al Aqsa Compound on July 14.

“This is just the first step. If we accept these metal detectors it will get even worse. The next step will be to stop people who want to pray from even reaching the Al Aqsa mosque,” Khatija Khiews said, who has been praying outside of Al Aqsa everyday in protest.

“The issue is the occupation itself. The solution is to remove the occupation. It’s the only answer to all of our problems.

“These metal detectors were installed at every gate and we don’t accept to be searched in order to go pray at Al Aqsa. Even if we do go through the metal detectors, we won’t accept to get searched by the police. They shouldn’t even be there,” Khiews said.

Speaking to Mondoweiss from Friday’s prayer at Lion’s Gate, Sheikh Mustafa Tawil fears the latest measure will lead to partitioning the Al Aqsa mosque just like with Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque in 1994.

“Muslims aren’t allowed to pray at the Ibrahimi mosque on Israeli weekends and holidays. The occupiers want to do the same thing to Al Aqsa mosque,” Tawil said.

“We refuse these gates because they were set up by the occupiers to force their control over the mosque. We refuse the Israelis’ sovereignty over the mosque at all. The metal detectors are just the first step in dividing Al Aqsa mosque.”

Jerusalem’s Old City has already started to resemble Hebron’s military ghost town. Many stores remain closed while groups of fully armed officers are positioned at every corner and open space and have barricaded many alleys.

Unraveling of negotiations by Israel

The negotiations reached in 2014 between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan in order to maintain peace at the holy site have been unraveling in the past year, especially in the last month, largely due to a “change of policy on the Israeli side,” according to Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group.

Among the points agreed upon was to bar all Knesset members from entering the site, to limit entrance for religious Jewish groups and to ban provocative Temple activists and to refrain from imposing age-based restrictions for Palestinian Muslims.

However Israel hasn’t adhered to its commitments.

The prayer ban has been relatively lax following the nomination of the new head of the police’s Jerusalem district Yoram Halevy in January 2016. Since then he has changed the police’s conduct towards Temple activists who seek to change the status quo, Zalzberg explained.

On June 29 when Halevy joined Temple activists visiting the site “he received the priestly benediction from an activist in the group.”

Halevy, a senior official in charge of preserving the ban on non-Muslim worship, “in accordance with a more than 150-year old arrangement” participated in the worship, Zalzberg wrote.

In the last month, police have also imposed age restrictions for Muslims twice in order to protect large groups of Temple activists visiting on those days.

Since the attack, MKs called for closing the Al Aqsa compound for Muslims, threatenedwith creating a third “nakba” and to build a synagogue on Al Aqsa compound. Likud, Israel’s ruling party launched a petition to raise the Israeli flag over the Al Aqsa compound.

The rise of Temple movements

Once a radical fringe group in politics and religion, since 2000 Temple movements have gained a respectable position within the mainstream right and benefit from close ties with the State of Israel.

The ultimate goal for Temple activists is to eventually destroy the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock to build the Jewish “Third Temple.” The Temple Institute has a blueprintfor its construction ready.

According to a 2013 report by Israeli research organization Ir Amim, “The movements’ growing momentum and dangerous provocations to change the status quo are not receiving adequate attention, nor is the disturbing connection between these movements and official Israeli institutions.”

The State of Israel directly funds various Temple movement activities. Along with funding Temple organizations, the Ministry of Education disseminates their ideas through the educational system.

“There is a correlation between the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and around it since 2000 and a parallel increase in the activity of Temple organizations,” the report noted.

The current tension could further spike as the ban preventing members of the Knesset from accessing the Al Aqsa compound were lifted on July 23 for a five day trial period in order to test the reaction.

The ban has been in place since October 2015, with the assumption that visits by MKs might spark violence. In 2000, when Likud leader Ariel Sharon visited the holy site accompanied by a 1000 police officers, it helped trigger the second intifada.

Likud MK Yehudah Glick, a leading figure in the Temple movement overturned the ban after petitioning to the High Court. Earlier this month he called for all MKs to ascend to the Temple Mount.

The rise in Temple movements’ prominence has been accompanied with an increase in violent Israeli incursions at Al Aqsa, including detaining and attacking the Al Aqsa guards.

Al Aqsa Compound director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani stated to media that over 700 settlers, “an unprecedented amount” raided the compound for Jerusalem Day last May.

Every year Israel’s far-right settlers parade through Palestinian neighbourhoods, celebrating Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlers call out for the Al Aqsa compound to be destroyed and shout “Mohammad is dead,” “Death to the Arabs” and other statements calling for genocide of Palestinians.

This past April, Jews from the far-right also held a ceremony near Temple Mount for the first time, where they slaughtered a lamb just a few hundred metres away from the mount.

Shimshon Elboi, active in the Temple Mount movement, was quoted in Haaretz saying, “We were privileged to get near the Temple Mount, the proper place. The authorities today are more open and the public is more open.

“Ultimately the government wants to serve the people, and the people want the Temple; the people want to offer sacrifices. At this rate the day isn’t far off – just a few more years – when we’ll be privileged to do sacrifices on the Temple Mount itself,” Elboi said.

Having historic Palestine reduced to the Gaza Strip and bantustans in the West Bank, Palestinians see the military takeover of Al Aqsa as a red line that can’t be crossed.

“This is our mosque and the occupation has to retreat so we can pray five times again in the mosque,” Sheikh Tawil said.

“We are going to keep praying by the gates of the masjid, until they remove the humiliating electronic gates.

“The world should pressure the occupation politically and economically and besiege the occupation until it listens to the UN resolutions and withdraws to the 1967 borders. The world shouldn’t abandon the Palestinians while watching them get killed, arrested, beaten, humiliated for 50 years until now.”

« Older entries