ISRAEL’S ILLEGAL NUMBERS GAME

I never really understood the ‘numbers game‘ in the States, but the following one is pretty easy to understand ….

NEW IMAGE ~~ ISRAEL GOT NO TALENT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got low scores at the UN for his speech attacking Iran and pointing to secret nuclear sites. When will he get voted off the show?

Image by Carlos Latuff

Last year’s ‘entry’ …

This year’s ‘entry’ (same old, same old)

RELATED …

Trump channels Netanyahu at the U.N., as his top policy-makers meet with Iran-war-mongers

As you surely know, Donald Trump channeled Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly. He mentioned Iran 14 times (compared to 0 for Russia and 4 for Israel) and all but called for regime change. Iran’s “brutal regime” was financing the destruction of Syria, its leaders “sow chaos, death and destruction,” its “corrupt dictatorship” should be isolated by the world.

This sly appeal was right out of the Netanyahu script:

[W]e ask all nations to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.

The media made a lot of Trump’s sovereignty doctrine–  nationalism and “patriotism” over “globalism” and multilateralism–  but even those remarks had a pro-Israel cast. Trump was talking about the US rejection of two Israel-bugaboos, the UN Human Rights Council and International Criminal Court.

As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority…. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy….America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism…

There is an obvious reason Trump is parroting Netanyahu. Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam are the largest funders of Republicans, ponying up $55 million for the midterm elections. Trump needs Sheldon Adelson now more than ever, and Adelson has a simple agenda, Israel. Adelson backs Netanyahu, pushed the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, opposes negotiations with Palestinians, and called on President Obama to nuke Iran. Adelson wanted Trump to tear up the Iran deal, and he did.

The New York Times ran a good piece on Adelson’s influence last week, saying Sheldon and wife Miriam “have emerged as the biggest and potentially most influential contributors to Republicans in the midterm season,” and that the Adelsons have gotten “their most cherished priorities” from the “unflinchingly pro-Israel” Trump administration. The Times even ran a letter saying the Adelsons bought the presidency.

But it is disappointing that no one in the mainstream press is connecting the Trump administration’s theatrical anti-Iran push in New York yesterday with the rightwing Israel lobby, which seeks a war with Iran.

The agenda is clear. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, addressed an Adelson shop, the organization United Against Nuclear Iran, in NY yesterday, and it was a war party at the Westin Grand Central Hotel. Bolton issued a bellicose warning to Iran to great applause: “If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.” As Eli Clifton and Derek Davison reported ahead of time:

According to the organization’s guest list, in attendance will be virtually every prominent official both in the United States and overseas who has pushed for a military confrontation with Iran—a veritable who’s who of warmongers…

Those guests included leading officials from countries that want a war with Iran: Yossi Cohen, director of the Israeli Mossad; ambassadors from Bahrain and the UAE; and the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. Not to mention American hawks Dennis Ross and Joe Lieberman (the UANI chair), and a French one, Bernard Henri-Levy.

Bolton and Pompeo address warmongers at the Westin Grand Central Hotel, UANI conference.

Like Trump and the Republicans, UANI has been funded by Adelson. “Sheldon and Miriam Adelson… contributed $500,000 in 2013,” Clifton reports–  the same year Adelson called on Obama to nuke Iran.

UANI’s biggest funder is Thomas Kaplan, a billionaire investor who supports liberal and Jewish causes, such as wildlife conservation and the 92d Street Y. Five years ago, Kaplan introduced Benjamin Netanyahu at the 92d Street Y in fulsome terms –hailing the prime minister as the leader of “our people.”

It is… with great humility that we welcome the prime minister of Israel. On his shoulders rests the heavy decisions of  not only making a just peace, but confronting a fanatical regime that threatens his people, our people. We are inspired by your leadership, sustained by your faith, and truly honored by your presence.

UANI is closely aligned with Israel. Its board includes Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad director, and Irwin Cotler, the Canadian parliamentarian who is obsessed with BDS. Its contracts include $700,000 to Israeli consulting groups.

And you wonder why the media can’t touch the Israel lobby story; they’d have to talk about national interest, dual loyalty, whatever you want to call it. Sheldon Adelson once said he wished he’d served in the Israeli army, not the American one. Or as Obama said when he was trying to get the Iran deal through, only one country in the world was against it, Israel, and he’d be abrogating his constitutional duty if he didn’t work for the deal.

I recognize that Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees — disagrees strongly… I believe he is wrong.  I believe the facts support this deal.  I believe they are in America’s interest and Israel’s interest.  And as President of the United States, it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.  I do not believe that would be the right thing to do for the United States.  I do not believe it would be the right thing to do for Israel.

Obama said the only alternative to the deal was war.

And Trump owes war-mongering Adelson everything; and he tore up the Iran deal. And the media “has largely supported Trump’s fictitious view” of the deal.

That’s the real issue here. Trump has surrounded himself with warmongers. Though yesterday he tweeted that he is sure that Iranian president Hasan Rouhani is an “absolutely lovely man,” his militant speech at the U.N. was scripted; and the script is what we all have to worry about. Once again neoconservatives are scheming for the invasion of a sovereign country in the Middle East, and it would be helpful if the press described the agenda.

TOON FOR TODAY ~~ WHO’S NEXT?

Who’s next on Netanyahu’s & Donald Trump’s list of targets to undermine Palestine’s struggle for freedom?

Image by Carlos Latuff

NETANYAHU WELCOMES THE UNWELCOME

“The president of the Philippines isn’t a wanted guest here, and his visit is a shameful diplomatic stain.”

Duterte in Israel: Holocaust, Rape Excuses and Weapons

Duterte in Israel: Holocaust, Rape Excuses and Weapons

Everything the Phillipines’ president has done in his Israel visit so far – and he still has one day to go

Haaretz

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Israel sparked headlines before it even began, and those expecting him to keep causing commotion during the trip were not disappointed.

Here are five highlights – or what some would call lowpoints – of the controversial leader’s four days in Israel, plus Haaretz’s must-read Editorial and a bonus at the end.

1. Defending rape

After landing in Israel on Sunday, Duterte addressed an audience of Filipinos at an event in Jerusalem, where he defended remarks about rape he made a week earlier.

According to a foreign reporter who was at the event, the president listed “democracy and freedom of expression” as justifications for his statement that “if there are many beautiful women, there will be many rape cases as well.”

2. ‘Passion for peace’

The next day, Duterte met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “May we continue to be blessed with a strong relationship,” Duterte said after the meeting.

“We share the same passion for peace. We share the same passion for human beings. But we also share the same passion of not allowing a family to be destroyed by those who [have] corrupt ideologies… In this sense, Israel can expect any help that the Philippines can extend.”

Later that day, Duterte layed a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum – a visit that some criticized as inappropriate given that in 2016, Duterte compared his crackdown on drug dealers and users to the Holocaust.

“Critics compare me to Hitler’s cousin,” he said two years ago. “Hitler massacred 3 million Jews… there’s 3 million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

4. ‘The devil himself’

On Tuesday, Duterte met President Reuven Rivlin and told him that he was encouraging his military to purchase Israeli equipment.

While protesters outside called Duterte a dictator and a criminal, Rivlin brought up his counterpart’s visit to Yad Vashem. “I have to emphasize that the whole of humanity, not just the Jewish world and the free world, felt that Hitler represents the devil himself,” Rivlin said, without mentioning the 2016 incident.

5. Secret stops

Duterte’s public schedule contains no mention of events related to arms transactions, despite the fact that several such events are expected to be on the president’s itinerary, including the display of advanced weapons and equipment.

The sale of Israeli-made weapons to the Duterte regime has come up against public criticism as a result of the human rights violations in the Philippines, and as a result of comments by Duterte that have sparked outrage.

6. A Hitler admirer at Yad Vashem

“The president of the Philippines isn’t a wanted guest here, and his visit is a shameful diplomatic stain.”

SWAN SONG OF McCAIN

 

Image by Latuff

John McCain proved on several occasions that he was always willing to stoop to new lows in his support of US militarism and empire, whether it was standing on stage with Neo-Nazis in Ukraine or taking candid photos with terrorists in Syria.

Swan Song of McCain

By Thomas Karlson

                               I

when the son of US royalty kicks the bucket

they pull out all the stops

honeyed words to ease him into the ground

sanctimonious phrases to sanitize the stench

of four score and one going south

 

“McCnasty”plows through high school

finishing at the bottom

off to the Academy, the Naval Academy

the admirals, grandpa and daddy, grease his way

graduates fifth from class bottom

 

off to pilot school

riding high on a Skyhawk in that great illegal war

flying 23 missions, bombing farms and factories

shot down, rescued, imprisoned six years

 

next, marriage, adultery, remarriage and Congress

a Ragan man all the way

war, tax relief all the way

Keating’s boy he’s one of the 5

                             II

Goldwater retires and in steps the man

no King remembrance is his stand

backs the contras and Pinochet too

bomb Yugoslavia right on cue

 

to end discrimination for gays, he votes nay

same sex marriage, no he did say

billions for Israel that Palestinian paradise

bombs for the Saudis was his sage advice

Libya, Syria he schemed to destroy

terror and Isis for this he deployed

voting against torture, he praises Guantanamo Bay

keep it open forever the American way

 

and for the presidency he did run

with reality show Sarah, that Alaskan bum

bomb, bomb, bomb Iran he sings at a rally

looses to Obama at the final tally

 

and then the Trump years began

he votes with 45 again and again

but flies from the hospital for the deciding vote

finally “the maverick” gives us hope

that even McCain has a little soul

 

THE NEW UNTOUCHABLES ~~ THE KOSHER NOSTRA

As the ‘illegal’ roundup continues, there is one group that seems to be completely untouchable …

 An Israeli man who owns kiosks in shopping malls in seven states was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in jail for illegally employing Israeli nationals to sell Dead Sea beauty products.

Yet this criminal activity continues …. and the Feds turn a blind eye to it

Illustrative photo of an Israeli salesman demonstrating a beauty product at an American mall. (Creative Commons via JTA)

 

More info in the following …. (Click on links)

Dead Sea products mall kiosk owner sentenced to jail for illegally employing Israelis 

(related)

PHONY Israeli Owned Locksmith Compnanies Operating in the US

And from my archives ...

ISRAELI? >>> NO GREEN CARD?? >>> NO PROBLEM!

 

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!

 

THE CHANGING TIDE IN THE JEWISH DIASPORA

 

 

ISRAEL WORRIED ABOUT ITS IMAGE ABROAD

‘HUSH’ IS THE NEW LAW IN ISRAEL

Israel can now ban critics of the occupation from giving presentations to school children, according to a law passed Monday night by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Known as the“Breaking the Silence” law.

Image by Latuff

Israeli law bans former soldiers and critics of the occupation from speaking in schools

Israel can now ban critics of the occupation from giving presentations to school children, according to a law passed Monday night by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Known as the“Breaking the Silence” law, the bill passed with a majority of 43 votes in favor and 24 against.

The bill was submitted by the right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s party and states individuals and groups that seek to “inflict harm upon IDF soldiers” are barred from entering educational institutions “when this activity is of a nature that undermines state education goals, or is such that endeavors to inflict harm upon IDF soldiers who are a consensus in Israeli society.”

The legislation specifically targets the the left-wing Israeli group Breaking the Silence (the organization’s name was in the official working title of the bill) which collects and publishes testimony from former Israeli army soldiers about the military’s human rights abuses against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The group regularly conducts tours inside the West Bank city of Hebron as well as lectures in Israeli schools.

One of the law’s clauses expands the reach to prohibit persons or groups who “initiate legal proceedings outside Israel against IDF soldiers for an action carried out in the course of their military duty.”

Haaretz reported lawmakers added this section in an eleventh hour amendment. It impacts people like Hagai El-Ad, the director of the left-wing Israeli NGO B’Tselem, which was the subject of previous legislation to strip human rights groups of the tax-exempt status. 

In 2016 El-Ad asked members of the UN Security Council to sanction Israel for its settlement activity. Because of that speech, El-Ad will likely be prohibited under the new law from giving lectures inside Israeli educational institutions.

B’Tselem spokesperson Amit Gilutz told Mondoweiss he plans on ignoring the law. Gilutz said he is “certain all of our outreach activities to the Israeli public will continue regardless of this or another law. It is our basic duty.”

In a joint statement released by B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, El-Ad responded,

“Control over the Palestinians requires control over Israel’s perceptions. Controlling Palestinians involves incessant violence, and the attempts to address Israeli opposition to this violence requires oppressing those who oppose and labeling them ‘enemies from within’,” El-Ad said. “When the occupation will finally end, this piece of legislation will not be worthy even of a footnote.”

In protest of the law members of Breaking the Silence took to the Knesset on Tuesday where they held a lecture for Israeli students. Ynet reported from event, quoting from Ido Even-Paz, the Breaking the Silence activist who led the session, “[T]he Breaking the Silence Law is only the harbinger of the actions being taken to silence opposing voices,” adding that “similar laws that will pass in the future will only raise the barrier against anyone who dares to resist. Now it requires us to be brave and fight.”

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 …

*

*

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.

*

*


*

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

*

*

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

*

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’

*

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

*

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’ …..

8*

*

*

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!
*
Soviet: My country is free as well. I can also call President Kennedy a moron!
*

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
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.
*
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".
*
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.
*

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.
 *
Israel offended Japan's prime minister by serving him dessert in a shoe,
something 'despised' by Japanese people
*

Palestinian female poet sentenced to jail for a poem urging resistance to
colonization/
*
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!

*


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

« Older entries