ON VIDEO ~~ ISLAMOPHOBIC PINKWASHING OF ORLANDO MASACRE

Bibi Netanyahu Statement on the Orlando Terror Attack

“In Orlando, a terrorist walks into a nightclub and murders nearly 50 human beings. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters cut down in cold blood.

They did nothing wrong. They were dancing with friends, they were enjoying music with loved ones.

Why did the terrorist murder them?
Because he was driven by a fanatical hatred.

He targeted the LGBT community because he believed they were evil.

Now, the murderer wasn’t alone.

Regimes and terrorist organizations around the world ruthlessly persecute the LGBT community.

In Syria, ISIS throws gays off rooftops.
In Iran, the regime hangs gays from cranes.

Too many people have remained silent in the face of this awful persecution.

This week’s shooting wasn’t merely an attack on the LGBT community. It was an attack on all of us, on our common values of freedom and diversity and choice.

Radical Islamist terror makes no distinction between shades of infidel.

This week it was gays in Orlando. A few days before that it was Jews in Tel Aviv. Before that it was music fans in Paris; Travelers in Brussels; Yazidis in Iraq; Community workers in San Bernardino; Christians and journalists in Syria.

All of us are targets.

We believe that all people are created in the image of God.

ISIS, by contrast, believes that all people who aren’t just like them deserve to die.

We will not be terrified into submission.
We will fight back. And we will triumph.

Today I ask you to reach out to friends in the LGBT community. Comfort them.
Tell them you stand together, we stand together as one. And that you will always remember the victims.

Tell them they will never be alone, that we are all one family deserving of dignity, deserving of life.

I have no doubt that those who seek to spread hate and fear will be defeated.

Working together we will defeat them even faster.

We need to stand united, resolute in the belief that all people regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their race, regardless of their ethnicity, all people deserve respect, deserve dignity.”

-Bibi Netanyahu

SPOOF OF THE WEEK ~~ ‘THE STATELESS UNION ADDRESS’

Image by Carlos Latuff

‘Crocodile Tears’

See this great Twitter Page @ #SOTO

See this great Twitter Page @ #SOTO

COEXISTENCE IS A THREAT TO FASCISM

Yesterday morning I noticed above our local synagogue the infamous spy balloon. The Palestinian village of Issawiyah borders the neighbourhood I live in and the balloon supposedly was flying to protect the worshipers from its inhabitants. Nothing but the continued policy of promoting the fear factor in the predominantly Jewish communities of Jerusalem.

Photo credit: AP

Photo credit: AP

My question is ….. Where was that balloon last night when a Jewish- Arab kindergarten in Jerusalem was torched by Judeo nazis in an apparent ‘price tag’ move against a terrorist attack in a local synagogue last week. Notice how these types of actions are referred to as ‘price tags’, where if Arabs might be involved it’s a terrorist attack ….

This is the school which was targeted ….

The concept of the school alone is a threat to the agenda of the growing fascist movement in Israel today. Coexistence and fascism CANNOT coexist!

Below is a report of the incident followed by some reactions to it …. BUT, the question remains, WHERE WAS THAT DAMNED BALLOON and why wasn’t the incident stopped before it started?

Jewish-Arab school in J’lem torched in suspected arson

Firefighters contain fire that broke out in school in capital, later find anti-Arab slogans including ‘death to Arabs’ scrawled nearby.

Firefighting teams were dispatched on Saturday to the Hebrew-Arab bilingual school in Jerusalem after a fire broke out in the building. The blaze was located in the premises of the preschool. After extinguishing the fire, the firefighters found anti-Arab slogans including “Death to Arabs”, “Kahane was right” and other phrases against Israeli-Arab coexistence nearby.

Firefighter Arik Abulof said that four firefighting teams arrived at the scene after receiving a report about a fire in the school building. “We spotted thick smoke inside the entire structure. After extinguishing the fire, (the firefighters) found graffiti outside a classroom.” Abulof said that the slogans included: “No to assimilation”, “There’s no coexisting with cancer”, and “Kahane was right.”

'No to assimilation' scrawled across school wall (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)
‘No to assimilation’ scrawled across school wall (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)

Shaanan Street, lead singer of popular Israeli hip hop band Hadag Nahash, whose children go to the school, expressed hope that “whoever did this act would be caught and pay for their actions.”

'Cahane was right' (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)
Kahane was right’ (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)

Shuli Dichter, director of Hand in Hand, an Israeli organization that founded five bilingual schools in Israel, including the school in Jerusalem, said in response: “This is not the first act of harassment against the school and our establishment of civil partnership. Even if they manage to dirty the walls, they won’t be able to destroy our project.”

'Death to Arabs' (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)
‘Death to Arabs’ (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)

“In addition to a harsh condemnation and calls of support, we invite all of the Israeli public to join us in building civil partnership between Arabs and Jews in Israel. We will continue to develop our educational and social establishment in which 1,200 students learn every day, along with 200 teachers and thousands of family members of students who are involved,” Dichter added.

Classroom that was set on fire
Classroom that was set on fire

Hatem Matar, chairperson of the school’s Parent’s Committee said that in contrast to previous incidents, this time the arson was carried out within the school’s premises, and caused the burning down of an entire first grade classroom.

“This act of arson was carried out by abominable creatures. We will open the school as usual tomorrow; we already arranged an alternative classroom. We will explain to the children what happened, come to school and support them. This incident can only benefit for the good, because every time people try to drag us down to negative places, we only grow stronger,” Matar added.

Education Minister Shai Piron said that incident was a “violent, criminal and despicable act that could harm and undermine the foundations of Israeli democracy. The fact that the arson took place in an educational institution that promotes coexistence constitutes a harsh blow to the fabric of relations between Jews and Arabs. The incident is particularly serious considering that the criminals chose to target the soft underbelly of Israeli society, in a preschool where innocent children learn.”

Piron called on the Israeli police to act immediately in order to “bring the despicable criminals to justice.”

 

SOURCE

*

And the reactions ….

*

Police: Fire at Jerusalem bilingual school was set intentionally

An initial investigation of the fire that broke out in a joint Arab-Jewish school in Jerusalem showed that the fire was set intentionally from within the school, Israel Police reported Saturday.

Earlier in the evening, firefighters were called to the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School to put out the fire and prevent its spread to the rest of the school’s facilities.

The fire is now under control and no injuries were reported.

*

Politicians condemn arson at bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school

Classes proceeded as normal at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School, which serves more than 600 Arab and Jewish pupils from throughout Jerusalem, one day after part of the school was set on fire and spray painted with racist graffiti.

The suspected hate crime sparked condemning reactions from lawmakers and Knesset members.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the arson, saying “we cannot let pyromaniacs and violators who take the law into their own hands ruin the routine of our lives.” He added, “we’ll continue to condemn the extremists and do all that it takes to restore the peace to Jerusalem.”

Shai Piron, minister of education, said the lighting of a bilingual school on fire was a hard hit for Israeli-Arab relations. He spoke out against the incident, calling it a “serious, violent act done to undermine the foundations of Israeli democracy,” and called on police to act immediately to bring the perpetrator’s to trial.

A Meretz representative commented, “This is a direct result of the ‘Jewish state’ bill, which gives legitimacy to harming the fabric of relations between Jews and Arabs. It is no coincidence that this violent action was against those who want to establish coexistence and equality.”

Justice minister Tzipi Livni visited the site this morning. Reacting to the vandalism on site calling for “death to Arabs,” Livni said, “we won’t let radicals set coexistence on fire.”

Barkat said that the investigation of the incident, a top priority of the district police force, is underway.

 

FROM

ISRAEL’S POST WAR WINE LIST

download

*

Listed below are Israel’s favourite new wines WHINES

(Click on links to see reports)

*

Israel’s security problems require unique solutions – and a lot of money

*

Israel August Tourism Numbers Take a Sharp Downturn From Last Year

*

Human Rights Watch: Israeli attacks on Gaza UN schools are war crime

Like we didn’t know?

*

After Gaza offensive, West Bank boycott of Israel gains strength

*

Meanwhile, the people in Gaza are still faced with REAL problems …

They don’t whine about them because they know no one is listening

*

Only the living dead ignore the cries of the living

Only the living dead
ignore the cries
of the living

*

Israeli navy forces open fire at Gaza fishermen

*

Israeli bulldozers enter Gaza border area

*

Over 200,000 Palestinian laborers unemployed in Gaza

#OperationCeasefire ~~ LET THE WHINING BEGIN!

Fair Not Unfair

*

The mayor of the beleaguered city said “an absurd situation has been created. All over the world they are talking about the rehabilitation of Gaza, about salaries for Palestinians, about the openings of the border crossings and the transfer of cement to the Strip, but what about the rehabilitation of southern Israel?”

*

Local leaders doubt Netanyahu’s commitment to southern residents

Ashkelon mayor says whole world talking about Gaza reconstruction, but Israeli government is not discussing rehabilitation of southern communities.
Ilana Curiel IN

*

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Be’er Sheva on Thursday to meet with the heads of the local authorities in southern Israel and Gaza-border communities, two days after the start of a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Merhavim Regional Council chief Shai Hajaj said after the meeting that the local leaders were assured the government would provide financial assistance not only to the Gaza-border area, but also to cities and towns up to 40 km from the Strip.

At the meeting, Netanyahu said that “on Sunday we will announce a very generous aid package to Gaza-border residents and later on we will also announce assistance for the entire south.”

*

55304270100098490322no
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Sderot

*

Netanyahu told the local leaders that Hamas received a harsh blow; the southern representatives told Netanyahu that they hope the government follows through on its promises to severely respond to any fire from Gaza.

*

55536330100196490293no
Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with southern leaders (Photo: Haim Zach, GPO)

*

The Merhavim council chief added: “I received the impression that the prime minister received positive feedback on the war’s management during Operation Protective Edge. There was anger towards the cabinet ministers who dallied with the press while soldiers were fighting in the Strip.”

Ashkelon mayor Itamar Shimoni boycotted the event because no concrete plan to rehabilitate the south had been presented. Shimoni said his city suffered major losses during the operation.

*

554436801000100490327no
Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni (Photo: Moti Kimchi)

*

“In our annual budget the Ashkelon municipality had allocated for additional revenue of 150 million shekels by selling 80 property deeds – not one contractor bid on the tenders and now the project is frozen,” he said.

Shimoni stressed that “it’s a significant loss; these funds were allocated to developing the city, but were lost because of the operation. Who will compensate us for that?”

The mayor of the beleaguered city said “an absurd situation has been created. All over the world they are talking about the rehabilitation of Gaza, about salaries for Palestinians, about the openings of the border crossings and the transfer of cement to the Strip, but what about the rehabilitation of southern Israel?”

In a clear indictment of the Netanyahu administration, Shimoni answered the question. “No one is talking about that, and no one is doing anything either.”

Shimoni criticized the administration for turning a blind eye to the needs of southern residents. “The response of the Israeli government to southern residents who have lived under fire for two months must be a wide-reaching rehabilitation of the south. We need national investment in infrastructure, to bridge the gaps, so that we may better prepare the population for the next campaign.”

“Unfortunately, in this country, just the opposite is happening,” he said.

‘MEN OF PEACE’ SHED TEARS OF BLOOD FOR ARIEL SHARON

Ariel Sharon-The War Criminal-is Dead

Bdt8 TJCcAAGHCA 300x198 Ariel Sharon The War Criminal is Dead

*

Yet, at least two recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize had nothing but praise for this war criminal …. As Shimon Peres said, “May he rest in piss”!

That in fact would be too good a fate for him.

*

*

Below, Obama’s full statement, as released by the White House: On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the State of Israel. We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples. We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country.

*

*
The real story ….
*
Palestinians relieved at Sharon’s death, call him “ultimate tormentor”
By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

Palestinians, nearly at all levels, have expressed deep satisfaction at the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the man many Palestinian consider their “ultimate tormentor.”

Sharon died Saturday of a crippling illness that kept him in a state of constant comma for eight years. He was 85.

Palestinian intellectuals and commoners interviewed by this writer said they were quite relieved at the death of the man they said killed so many innocent Palestinians and caused suffering and misery on a large scale.

Sharon is especially reviled for the Sabra and Shatila massacres in 1982, when he, as Defense Minister, enabled Christian militiamen allied with Israel to penetrate the two refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut and butcher hundreds of refugees.

Sharon denied the allegations but the monstrosity of the massacres convinced very few people, even inside Israel, of his innocence.

His visit to the Aqsa Mosque esplanade in October 2000 was seen as the main event triggering the second Palestinian intifada in which thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis lost their lives.

Palestinians also believe that Sharon ordered the assassination by way of poison of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In 2004, Sharon ordered the assassination of Ahmed Yasin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas. A few weeks later, Sharon approved the assassination of Yasin’s successor Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi.

The ostensibly overwhelming hatred the Palestinian public harbors for Sharon seems to have made Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refrain from extending official condolence to the Israeli government.

The PA might also be worried that a formal call of condolence would be used by Hamas as a “propaganda capital” against Abbas and the PA.

Let him rot in hell

While the PA leadership refrained from commenting on Sharon’s death, some Fatah leaders unhesitatingly voiced their deep satisfaction at Sharon’s death.

“Sharon was a bona fide criminal. He is responsible for the murder of so many innocent Palestinians, including Yasser Arafat. We would have hoped to see him dragged to the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court to stand trial for his numerous crimes” said Jebril Rajoub, an outspoken Fatah leader and former head of the Preventive Security agency.

For its part, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, couldn’t hide its pleasure at Sharon’s death.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson, said the Palestinian people were more confident in victory after the death of Sharon.

“Our people are quite happy that this criminal has perished. We are happy because his hands were smeared with the innocent blood of our children. We don’t hate Sharon and other Israeli leaders because they are Jewish. We hate them because they are criminals and murderers.”

Mushir al Masri, another Islamist spokesman, said it was “natural” that Palestinians are happy about Sharon’s death.

“Wouldn’t Jews be happy about the death of a Nazi killer who had killed numerous Jews during the holocaust?”

Ultimate tormentor

Ismael Shindi, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Hebron, described Sharon as “our ultimate tormentor.”

“I know he is looked upon as a celebrated hero by most Israelis and Jews. But for us he was a despicable murderer and criminal. He carried on his hands the blood of so many innocent people. I believe it is unethical and un-conscientious to feel sorry for the death of such a man.”

Shindi added: “I know that gloating over a mortal’s death is inappropriate. But the man we are talking about was not an ordinary criminal. He was our ultimate tormentor and grave-digger and I am not speaking metaphorically.

Predictably, the same feeling is echoed by almost every Palestinian this writer has spoken to.

Like other monotheistic religions, Islam, the religion of the vast majority of Palestinians, discourages people from gloating over the death of other people, even their enemies since all mortals will ultimately die.

However, in Sharon’s case, there is a certain collective feeling among Palestinians in general that the man’s evil transcended reality.

This is the view of Ahmed Yousef, the former political advisor of Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismael Haniya.

“Sharon’s evilness went beyond the pale. It transcended reality. That is why it would be dishonest to say that Palestinians don’t feel relieved by his death.”

Evil incarnate

As mentioned above, the hatred directed at Sharon is by no means confined to any specific segment of the Palestinian public.

Tayseer Masalmeh is a taxi cab driver from the small town of Dura in the southern West Bank.

He says that Palestinians cannot go against nature by pretending that they are not satisfied at Sharon’s death.

“I know that Sharon’s death won’t change things on the ground. I know that his death won’t make Israeli leaders reconsider their oppressive policies and practices against our people. But at least Sharon will meet his maker and be brought face to face with the many thousands of people he cut their lives short. I’m sure he will rot in hell. God wouldn’t be just if he didn’t.”

State of perdition

A similar view was voiced by Walid Suleiman, editor-in-chief of Hebron Times, a tabloid newspaper published in Hebron.

“I think Sharon’s prolonged comma and ultimate death is a sign of God. For us Palestinians, he was a terrifying figure, a sort of fearful golem. He was called the bulldozer for his ruthlessness and viciousness. But eventually he succumbed to death as if he had never existed on this earth. I hope all tyrants and oppressors, Arabs and Jews and others will learn a lesson from Sharon’s life and death, namely that arrogance, insolence and evil don’t pay off.”

Suleiman, a religious Muslim, said he was sure that the eight years Sharon spent in a state of comma before his death was “a state of perdition.”  In Christian and also in Islamic theology, perdition is a state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and unrepentant person passes after death.

Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri doesn’t credit Sharon for withdrawing Israeli occupation troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

“He didn’t do it for the Palestinians’ sake or for peace. He did it because he wanted to have as much Palestinian land as possible with as little population as possible.

“Besides, Israel never really terminated its domination of Gaza borders, waters and airspace.”

Masri doesn’t think there is any qualitative difference between Sharon and other Israeli leaders.

“Sharon would murder us while cursing but people like (Israeli President) Shimon Peres would do the same thing while saying ‘we love you.’ “

*

WHAT ME WORRY?? ~PHOTO COMP

 obamaalfredeneumansuckers
*
I voted for Obombher 😦

grumpycat

*

H/T to Mondoweiss for this

IDF EMBARRASSED BY SOLDIERS’ ABUSE OF FACEBOOK/TWITTER

Code of ethics being drawn up for the most unethical army in the world?
Who are they trying to kid??
*
374980_257060301103904_970299059_n (1)
*

An Israeli soldier has written “there is nothing better than a dead Arab” on his Facebook page, the second IDF soldier to post strongly anti-Arab sentiment on social media in as many months.

“The Arabs are the cancer of this country and must be dealt with,” wrote the soldier, a member of the Israel Defense Forces’ Golani Brigade. “There is nothing better than a dead Arab.”

The soldier also referred to a bus crash in Jordan last week in which Palestinians died. “I’m glad Arabs were killed,” he wrote. “I”ll be happy if not one Arab remains here, and I’m sorry only 14 were killed.”

*

Racy, or just racist? Israel cracks down on social networking in uniform

by Annie Robbins
*

The Israeli military is now drawing up a “social networking code of ethics.” Haaretz says that the reason the soldiers need a code is because of an international story you may have seen: “Female soldiers post racy photos“. Female soldiers posted photographs of themselves disrobed but bearing arms. 

I’m not buying it. I don’t think the nudity is the real reason for the new policy (Heck, Israel could use racy photos to pornwash its image as cruel occupier; it wouldn’t be the first time). I bet the new policy reflects concerns about the unbridled racism that Israeli soldiers have often expressed in social media. 

You may remember that last February a soldier posted an Instagram photo of the crosshairs of his gun on a Palestinian boy’s head. The picture went viral, damaging the country’s image. Then just two months back, Haaretz exposed an Israeli soldier on Facebook, writing, “There’s nothing better than a dead Arab:”

An Israeli soldier has written “there is nothing better than a dead Arab” on his Facebook page, the second IDF soldier to post strongly anti-Arab sentiment on social media in as many months.

“The Arabs are the cancer of this country and must be dealt with,” wrote the soldier, a member of the Israel Defense Forces’ Golani Brigade. “There is nothing better than a dead Arab.”

The soldier also referred to a bus crash in Jordan last week in which Palestinians died. “I’m glad Arabs were killed,” he wrote. “I”ll be happy if not one Arab remains here, and I’m sorry only 14 were killed.”

Also this spring, Ali Abunimah reported on murderous racist statements that Israelis posted on Facebook when asked what should happen to Palestinian boys who were protesting the occupation. A few of those comments were from Israeli soldiers:

Ohad Halevy, another soldier in the Kfir Brigade, simply wrote“Slaughter them!”…. Kfir Infantry Brigade member David Kozolovski justifie[d] violence against Palestinian children.

Abunimah noted previous soldier racism:

In at least one case we know of, an Israeli soldier, Maxim Vinogradov, announced on Facebook his intention to assist in the “annihilation” of Arabs just days before he shot father of two Ziad Jilani in the head as he lay on the ground in Jerusalem in 2010.

And I have no idea if “Kimberly Rothschild” is really an Israeli soldier or if she just really likes Israeli uniforms. Whoever she is, she’s been posting vile tweets and identifying her feed with the Israeli army. Her feed says: “Zionist – anti-Obama – Capitalist – IDF”:

*

Some of the tweets follow:  

931404 139925236202167 1497797950 n
Screenshot posted by Palestina Summer 
*

For an ideology to die; people must die! Its only logical.

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 18, 2013

Just erase them! Everyone! Good or bad it’ll be for the best.

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 27, 2013

Can Muslims really claim to the title of being human? With the things they do, i’d say its very debatable!

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 18, 2013

An old testament bloodbath is coming! Mark my words! Best you take sides now! #tcot

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 18, 2013

Arabs need to Realise their days are numbered! #Israel

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 18, 2013

How do you killpeople who do not exist ? And how do you “occupy” a land given to you by God ? #Israel

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 12, 2013

If killing terrorists is a crime , then I am a f*cking proud criminal ! #IDF

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 12, 2013
She claims to be familiar with occupied territory:

God !! I just saw the hottest “palestinian” man ever !!!! #hebron

— Kimberly Rothschild(@KimbRothschild) May 13, 2013
*
Somehow I think Israel has a lot more to worry about than naughty bits.
Written FOR

FOLLOWING OBAMA’S FOOTSTEPS IN THE SAND

For a few brief moments, Obama spoke the truth about the situation that Palestinians were living under. But they were hollow words, given the fact that it is Obama, on the same trip, who announced the extension well into the future of American military aid to Israel. That speech to Israeli youth, as other analysts have observed, also saw Obama affirm the Zionist narrative of Jewish redemption in the land of Israel, with no mention of how that “redemption” was carried out through the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians who were never allowed to return to their land.
*

My 72 depressing hours on Obama’s trail

by Alex Kane
*
US and Israeli flags
Image via Blog.StandforIsrael.Org

If you ever had a burning desire to see the American-Israeli alliance shine, there wasn’t a better place to be than Jerusalem last week. Spending 72 hours there, on the trail of President Obama’s tour through Israel/Palestine, was more than enough time to appreciate the enormous work ahead of those wishing to shift policy on the conflict in the U.S. Those three days were full of symbolic gestures that testified to the rock-solid U.S.-Israeli alliance—gestures that obscured the dispiriting reality for Palestinians forced to live under the grinding system of control Israel has imposed on them.

Ben-Gurion Airport on day one of Obama’s tour was ground zero for seeing the alliance up close and personal. You couldn’t walk around the place without seeing American and Israeli flags flying together. An Israeli military band blared out the sounds of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, and the Star Spangled Banner. That band also played out a song, “Jerusalem of Gold,” which celebrates the so-called reunification of Jerusalem, a result of the capture of the holy city by Israeli forces following the 1967 war. Nobody, including the American officials gathered there, batted an eye, though.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Congresswoman who as chair of the Democratic National Committee helped lead Obama’s Jewish outreach during the last presidential election, walked alongside Congressman Eliot Engel and greeted the Israeli officials lined up. President Obama did the same, and even shook the hand of Naftali Bennett, the new Israeli cabinet official who wants to annex Area C and further solidify Israeli apartheid.

At that exact moment, it seemed as if nothing could shake the decades-old American posture towards Israel. If the rise of Bennett and other racist, right-wing officials determined to colonize the West Bank doesn’t shake that posture, what can?

The next two days of Obama’s jaunt through Israel/Palestine were full of other depressing moments.

There was the press conference where Obama fawned over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, repeatedly referring to him as “Bibi.”

There was Obama paying homage to Zionist icon Theodor Herzl.

And yes, the much-heralded Obama speech to Israeli youth was the icing on the cake of the tour that showed the world how strong America’s ties to Israel were.

For a few brief moments, Obama spoke the truth about the situation that Palestinians were living under. But they were hollow words, given the fact that it is Obama, on the same trip, who announced the extension well into the future of American military aid to Israel. That speech to Israeli youth, as other analysts have observed, also saw Obama affirm the Zionist narrative of Jewish redemption in the land of Israel, with no mention of how that “redemption” was carried out through the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians who were never allowed to return to their land.

The Jerusalem Convention Center speech should be remembered as the moment where the U.S. president promised unconditional support for Israel no matter what it does; more colonies, more apartheid, more war crimes will be funded by America, no questions asked.

On the other side of the ugly separation wall, the story wasn’t much different. There, a small group of protesters in Ramallah sought to penetrate through the careful choreography of the Obama trip by yelling for the president to go home. Butthey were stopped on a march by walls and walls of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. The Western-trained and financed forces were there to protect the Muqata as the meaningless Obama press conference with PA President Mahmoud Abbas carried on.

The Obama visit to Ramallah was meant to shore up Abbas’ position as the true and legitimate Palestinian leader, no matter what actual people on the ground think. That shoring up is fundamentally about protecting Israel from the wrath of Palestinians who first have to deal with a leadership primarily interested in their self-preservation, rather than a true liberation struggle. The Obama administration understands the need to preserve the Oslo-initiated status quo, where the PA puts down unrest in the West Bank in exchange for Western support. That’s what the millions of dollars in aid recently released to the PA from the U.S. was all about.

This distressing reality is enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand. Day in and day out, Israel further strengthens its hold on the West Bank, and the U.S. just sits back and nods. The PA carries on with empty talk and continued lip-service to negotiations that has only got the Palestinians more settlements.

But of course, the answer is not to bury your head in the sand, though that’s the easy thing to do. It is Palestinians who suffer from the status quo every day, and they have not yet given up. It remains the responsibility of the Americans who fund the conflict, and who are the main reason why Israeli apartheid can continue to exist, to speak up and say enough.

The odds are stacked against those wishing to see a shift in American policy towards Israel. Despite those odds, though, calls for justice for Palestine should continue to ring out. Perhaps eventually, those calls can create a deafening ring that is impossible to ignore. Until then, it remains imperative to continue to at least try and expose the toxic system Israel has created, and the American support than enables that system to carry on without any costs.

 

 

Written FOR

NETANYAHU PULLS OUT VICTIM CARD IN THE WAKE OF NEWTON’S TRAGEDY

“We in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter and we know the shock and agony they bring.”
*
So true, but at the hands of the IDF and settlers… that was omitted from the sentence.
*

Sandy Hook and Netanyahu’s Victimization Philosophy

  Netanyahu identifies Israel with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Netanyahu identifies Israel with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

By Matt Moir*

 

It was intended to be thoughtful and compassionate, but it came across as something far different.

 

In his letter of condolences to President Barack Obama over the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu deliberately referenced Palestinian attacks in Israel.  He didn’t actually write ‘terrorism’ or ‘Hamas’ or something else incendiary because he didn’t have to; the implication was clear.

 

The letter reads:

 

Dear President Obama,

 

I was shocked and horrified by today’s savage massacre of innocent children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

 

We in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter and we know the shock and agony they bring.

 

I want to express my profound grief, and that of all the people in Israel, to the families that lost their loved ones.

 

May you and the American people find the strength to overcome this unspeakable tragedy.

 

With my deepest condolences,

(Signed) Benjamin Netanyahu,
Prime Minister of Israel

 

It would be deeply cynical to suggest that Netanyahu consciously saw a massacre of innocent children as an opportunity to make a political point about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. In fact, there is no doubt that the Prime Minister’s sympathies are genuine.

 

But that’s just the point. The line about Israel having ‘experienced such cruel acts of slaughter’ gives us a telling commentary on the way Netanyahu sees the world, and, more specifically, the way he sees Israel’s relationship with Palestinians.

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu identifies Israel with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with the gunman. According to Netanyahu’s worldview, any violent interaction between Israelis and Palestinians will, without fail, be an example of evil Palestinian terrorists preying upon Israeli innocence.  To wit, even after the formidable Israeli army pounded Gaza City last month, Netanyahu, displaying a stunning nerve, declared that Israel would not be bullied by the Palestinians.

 

It’s this perverse victimization philosophy that drives Israeli foreign policy, and, according to Israel’s hawkish officials, it is what should form the framework of the United States’ national conversation about the Israel-Palestine conflict. According to Netanyahu, however, that framework has begun to crack under the Obama Presidency.

 

Though Obama has repeatedly reaffirmed the ‘special relationship’ the US has with its Middle Eastern partner, the President’s administration has had the temerity to chastise Israel for some of its particularly extreme policy decisions, such as the approval of the construction of thousands of apartment buildings the day after the United Nations voted to upgrade Palestine’s diplomatic status.

 

Netanyahu has found it intolerable that Obama is either unable or unwilling to entirely accept (to the Prime Minister’s standard) the Israeli narrative on Israel-Palestine relations, and has struggled for a way to help the President understand what the Palestinians truly represent.

 

The shooting in Connecticut was his chance, and he took it. In Netanyahu’s mind, comparing the state of Israel to the victims of the Sandy Hook slayings wasn’t a crude and awkward attempt to portray the Palestinian struggle for statehood and dignity as a cold-blooded attack on school children. It was an opportunity to show Obama just how evil the Palestinians really are.

He just couldn’t help himself.

 

-*Matt Moir is a Journalism graduate student and former history teacher in Toronto, Canada. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

 

Written FOR