This is seen as the latest evidence of Israel’s attempts to silence anyone who criticises its army or politicians.

Israel journalist facing trial for calling soldiers who beat Palestinians ‘animals’

An Israeli journalist who called Israeli army soldiers “animals” for beating a Palestinian father and son in custody is to face trial.

Oshrat Kotler, a journalist with Israel’s Channel 13, is to face trial on charges of incitement, incrimination of suspects, failure to grant a right of reply and more after she called several soldiers accused of beating two Palestinians in custody “human animals”, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Speaking on the channel’s news programme in February, Kotler said:

When you send your children to the [Israeli] army, they are kids. You send them to the [occupied Palestinian] territories, and they come back as human animals. This is the result of the occupation.

Her comments allegedly prompted complaints from thousands of viewers, as well as complaints to Israel’s Press Council, an independent body established to safeguard press freedoms and outline journalism ethics. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also responded to Kotler’s comments, saying her words “deserve every condemnation” and that he is “proud of the [Israeli army] soldiers and loves them very much.”

She now faces trial and will appear at a court hearing, though it is unclear when she will be summoned.

The Israeli soldiers to whom Kotler referred were last week convicted of aggravated assault and aggravated battery for beating a 50-year-old Palestinian and his 15-year-old son who were detained in custody. The soldiers were suspected of beating the father and son as revenge for a December attack on members of their battalion, since both sets of soldiers belong to the same unit – the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion of the Kfir Brigade, which is stationed in northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Details of the brutal beating emerged during February’s court proceedings, with the 15-year-old boy telling the court: “I was lying on my back, with hands cuffed behind my back and a blindfold over my eyes. I was kicked by four soldiers – who used their hands, feet and the barrels of their M16 rifles – in the face, chest, abdomen, legs, and testicles […] I couldn’t open my left eye and my mouth was filled with blood.”

Despite the severity of the crimes and the Netzah Yehuda battalion’s history of anti-Palestinian violence, the soldiers reached a plea bargain and will serve only 190 days in prison. They were sentenced yesterday by an Israeli military court.

The bid to take Kotler to court will be seen as the latest evidence of Israel’s attempts to silence anyone who criticises its army or politicians. Journalists in particular have come under attack, with Netanyahu slamming the “left-wing media” for conspiring against him and the country’s interests ahead of the upcoming election on 9 April.

Netanyahu drew criticism in January when a billboard appeared outside Tel Aviv showing a number of prominent journalists who have been critical of his premiership with the words “they will not decide”. The four journalists had been closely covering the corruption scandal in which Netanyahu has long been embroiled, and it was thought his Likud party was behind the campaign to discredit them. Netanyahu’s rivals lambasted the move, with head of the Yesh Atid party and Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) co-leader Yair Lapid labelling the move incitement.

Netanyahu has also tried to side-step the mainstream media by creating his own TV channel, dubbed Likud TV. Launching the channel on his official Facebook page with the slogan “we’re throwing the ‘fake’ out of the news,” Netanyahu said that “whoever the media praises is bad for Likud and usually whoever it crucifies is good for Likud”.

Commentators were quick to point out the similarity between Netanyahu’s campaign and that of US President Donald Trump, noting that Likud TV “seems to follow the model of [Trump’s] Real News Update” ahead of the US elections due to be held in 2020. Trump has championed the “fake news” narrative, labelling journalists the “enemy of the people” and taking aim at some of America’s biggest news outlets.

Journalist Oshrat Kotler [Wikipedia]



Israel jails Palestinian journalists and threatens to revoke permits of international journalists, including Australia’s Antony Loewenstein, pictured in 2014, over unfavorable coverage. (Claudio Accheri)


Israel threatens to expel reporter who asked apartheid question

Israel is threatening to expel an Australian journalist in Jerusalem, accusing him of being a supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The threat against Antony Loewenstein comes after the freelance journalist asked a question about Israeli apartheid at a press conference given by former government minister Yair Lapid, and after a campaign against him by the anti-Palestinian group HonestReporting.

“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office, told The Jerusalem Post. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.”

Speaking to The Electronic Intifada, Loewenstein, who has won recognition for his reporting from South Sudan and Afghanistan, dismissed any suggestion he had misrepresented himself.

“I am an accredited freelance journalist which is how I presented my work to the Israeli government in March, which they accepted,” Loewenstein said. “I’m not here associated with any organization. I’m here as a freelancer, officially, so there’s been no misrepresentation by me, ever.”

Loewenstein has written about the region for more than a decade, including the bestselling book My Israel Question.

Growing crackdown

The effective threat to expel Loewenstein comes a week after the Committee to Protect Journalists revealed that this year Israel remained among the world’s worst jailers of reporters – all of those in its cells are Palestinians.

And earlier this month, Israel detained and expelled Isabel Phiri, associate general secretary of the World Council of Churches, claiming she too supports BDS.

Last week, Israel’s Shin Bet secret police barred entry to two leaders of a British Muslim humanitarian aid group, citing “security reasons.” The two officials from Muslim Hands were invited to the country by the Abraham Fund Initiatives, which the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz describes as “a nonprofit group that promotes coexistence, cooperation and equality between Jews and Muslims.”

In August, Israel’s public security and interior ministries set up a joint task force to deny entry to or expel foreign activists allegedly affiliated with organizations that support BDS.

This is part of a broader crackdown, whose primary targets are Palestinians.

On Friday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that it has been receiving a “worryingly high number of complaints” about Israel violating basic rights of Palestinian human rights activists.

It said that human rights defenders living under Israeli occupation “face daily violations of some of the most fundamental protections afforded by international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

The UN said peaceful protest and opposition to the occupation is effectively outlawed.

Anatomy of a smear

Loewenstein became a target after he asked a challenging question at a press conference last week to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party that was formerly part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

“You talked before about the idea that since Oslo, Israel has done little or nothing wrong, but the truth is that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the occupation,” Loewenstein began, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Pointing to the large number of Israeli settlers now in the occupied West Bank, Loewenstein continued: “Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, where you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during apartheid?”

In response, Lapid attacked The Guardian, claiming that it and other publications are encouraging Palestinians to be intransigent.

From there, HonestReporting, a pro-Israel group whose managing editor once worked in the Israeli army spokesperson’s unit, launched a campaign against Loewenstein.

It called him “an anti-Israel activist” and implied he had obtained his official Israeli press card and membership in the Foreign Press Association under false pretenses.

“Loewenstein is clearly incapable of reporting on Israel in a fair and objective manner,” HonestReporting asserted.

“Did Loewenstein gain his official press card by claiming to be a Guardian writer?” the group asked, effectively making an allegation without any basis.

HonestReporting took its campaign to The Guardian directly, complaining to the newspaper that “hiring Loewenstein was the equivalent of hiring a corporate lobbyist to be the newspaper’s business correspondent.”

This apparently elicited the desired response: The Guardian threw Loewenstein under the bus – presumably without speaking to him first.

According to The Jerusalem Post, The Guardian’s head of international news, Jamie Wilson, said that Loewenstein was contracted to write comment pieces for Guardian Australia and remains an occasional comment contributor but he “is not a news correspondent for The Guardian in Israel.”

And The Guardian’s correspondent in Jerusalem, Peter Beaumont, emailed HonestReporting that he had never heard of Loewenstein.

The Guardian’s distancing itself from Loewenstein is a welcome development,” HonestReporting’s managing editor Simon Plosker said, adding that the Foreign Press Association should revoke Loewenstein’s membership and the Israeli Government Press Office should cancel his accreditation.

Loewenstein told The Electronic Intifada that he identifies himself accurately as a freelancer and author of several books, who contributes to many publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times and Newsweek Middle East.

Loewenstein noted that in the tight-knit world of foreign correspondents in Israel, it would be impossible to get away with misrepresentation: “It’s a pretty small place.”

But the smear did its job and now Loewenstein is a target for government expulsion for asking a challenging question of an Israeli leader.

In February, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Israel’s intimidation of the international media, including threats to revoke the credentials of reporters who published headlines it didn’t like.

“It is virtually impossible to work as a reporter in Israel and the occupied territories without a press card,” the group’s executive director Robert Mahoney said. “The threat of withdrawing accreditation is a heavy handed approach at stifling unwelcome coverage.”


Israel’s military and domestic intelligence agency wasted no time implementing a decision by the cabinet last Thursday to sharply intensify the crackdown on Palestinian media.

Before dawn on Friday, agents from the Shin Bet, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, raided the Ramallah offices of Palestine Today, confiscating the TV station’s equipment before ordering it closed until further notice.

An employee at Palestine Today inspects damage at the offices of the TV channel, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, after Israeli forces raided them on 11 March, seizing equipment and ordering their closure. (Shadi Hatem APA images)

An employee at Palestine Today inspects damage at the offices of the TV channel, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, after Israeli forces raided them on 11 March, seizing equipment and ordering their closure. (Shadi Hatem APA images)

Israel intensifies crackdown on media

Israel’s military and domestic intelligence agency wasted no time implementing a decision by the cabinet last Thursday to sharply intensify the crackdown on Palestinian media.

Before dawn on Friday, agents from the Shin Bet, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, raided the Ramallah offices of Palestine Today, confiscating the TV station’s equipment before ordering it closed until futher notice.

During the raid, the soldiers briefly detained two of the station’s journalists, Muhammad Amro and Shbeib Shbeib.

A few miles away, soldiers arrested the director of the news station, Farouq Alayat, from his home in Birzeit. Elayyat is still in Israeli custody.

Correspondent Ibrahim Jaradat was arrested on Sunday at an Israeli military checkpoint.

Israeli occupation forces declared the channel to be an illegal organization that the army was closing on the basis of emergency laws introduced by Palestine’s British colonial rulers in 1945.

The army said it had heard the station airing “inciting broadcasts” and the Shin Bet said that “incitement to terrorism serves the interests of terrorist organizations.”

The army furthermore claimed the outlet was part of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian political party that Israel has outlawed.

On Friday, the army also shut down the TransMedia Production Company, which provides technical services for the channel.

The move came after Israel’s cabinet convened on Thursday to approve a series of measures against Palestinians, including shutting down media outlets.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) sharply condemned the closures.

“We cannot tolerate these continuous attacks from Israeli authorities to muzzle Palestinian press,” the group’s president Jim Boumelha said. He added that accusations of incitement and the closure of media offices must not occur without due process.

“We call on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression to investigate violations of press freedom in Palestine without delay,” Boumelha said.

The IFJ’s Palestine branch, the Palestinian Journalist Union, said that since 2016 Israel has committed more than 40 violations against journalists and media organizations.

In response to the IFJ statement, a body representing Israeli journalists attacked the world’s largest journalism trade union.

Haim Shibi, a member of the foreign relations committee of the National Federation of Israeli Journalists,accused Boumelha of “turning the IFJ into a clear anti-Israel propaganda tool, continually portraying the IDF [Israeli army] as an army that hunts journalists, targets them and kills them.”

Chilling trend

In early February, Foreign Press Association secretary Gila Sugarman said that there has been an increase in physical violence against journalists and their equipment by Israeli forces in the last two years.

Reporters Without Borders listed Israel as the second most lethal country in the world for journalists after Syria at the end of 2014.

In November, Israel shut down three Palestinian radio stations in Hebron for six-month periods, also claiming they were engaged in “incitement.”

A growing number of Palestinian journalists are being jailed or charged with incitement.

Prisoners rights group Addameer has documented that seven Palestinian journalists have been arrested since the beginning of 2016.

Five of those remain in custody: Samer Abu Aisha, Mujahid al-Saadi, Sami Al-Saai, Farouq Alayat and Ibrahim Jaradat. In total, 22 Palestinian journalists are being held in Israeli prisons, according to Addameer.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also runs Israel’s communications ministry, reportedly called French President François Hollande to request that he halt the French satellite company Eutelsat from broadcasting al-Aqsa TV, a Hamas-affiliated channel.

The next day, Eutelsat announced it would no longer air the station.

And while Palestinians have felt the brunt of Israel’s crackdown on the media, Israeli and foreign press are not immune.

And journalists at Israel’s largest online news platform, Walla, have reported that stories are designed and changed to keep the prime minister happy due to the company’s business interests.

Last month, members of the Foreign Press Association were twice summoned before Israel’s parliament to be questioned about alleged bias.

In early February, several Israeli politicians suggested that members of the press who showed alleged bias against Israel should enjoy fewer rights.

Yisrael Eichler, a member of the Knesset and a former journalist, said that “objective reporters should be given freedom of action, but reporters who “take a side in the conflict” should be given less access.

Lawmaker Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, said, “We cannot ignore the fact that the press takes an active, one-sided and tendentious stance in covering the conflict, and therefore, it is part of the game.”


Image by Carlos Latuff

The latest from Turkey HERE

The latest from Turkey HERE

Related report ….. (Click on link) 

Turkish authorities seize newspaper close to cleric Gulen – state media

Zaman, the country’s highest-selling paper, was taken over by the government on Friday. It is considered critical towards Turkish President Erdogan.



'We won't allow the truth to set you free!'

‘We won’t allow the truth to set you free!’

The Israeli coordination with Google and YouTube has very serious implications, and many journalists have spoken out in opposition, saying it is a direct assault on the Freedom of the Press.


Israel To Coordinate With Google, YouTube, To Censor Palestinian Videos Of Conflict

By Saed Bannoura

The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, held meetings this week with representatives of YouTube and Google, to find ways of cooperating to censor Palestinian videos from occupied Palestine, videos she dubbed as “inciting violence and terrorism.”

Israeli daily Maariv said Hotovely will be working with Google and YouTube officials in a joint mechanism that will be in charge of “monitoring and preventing” any publication of materials deemed by Tel Aviv to be “inflammatory.”

Hotovely announced in a Hebrew-only press release that she met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, at Google’s Silicon Valley Offices.

Hotovely said that she received a comprehensive review mechanism for companies to monitor the films that allegedly incite violence, claiming that the supposed ‘incitement videos’ drive young children to go out and stab: “The attacks daily in Israel are the result of youths and children incited by the education system and the social networks, this is a daily war of incitement.”

She said that Google agreed to strengthen the bilateral relations with Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and build a mechanism of “collaborative work” that would make both parties partners in monitoring the published materials and censoring them.

The Israeli move comes amidst escalating tension in occupied Palestine, and a large number of videos, including those showing Israeli soldiers and officers killing Palestinians execution-style after injuring them, and many videos that in general highlight the suffering of the Palestinian people, living under the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The Israeli coordination with Google and YouTube has very serious implications, and many journalists have spoken out in opposition, saying it is a direct assault on the Freedom of the Press.

All foreign journalists who report in the Occupied Territories are required to register with the Israeli military, and any footage that they film is required to go through the Israeli Military Censor’s office before it can be released.

With the recent advances in technology, many Palestinians and other civilians have been able to post videos uncensored online.

The Israeli government has frequently voiced its discontent with this development, and have worked to find ways to continue to censor videos coming out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.




I must view with utter contempt the claim that the Paris incident was an attack against press freedom and freedom of expression. We all know that the attack was actually a revenge for France’s military aggression against Muslims. Calling it an attack on press freedom and western liberalism is therefore childish and stupid.

I am against the Paris incident,

but France

is not innocent

By Khalid Amayreh

To begin with, I unhesitatingly condemn the attack on the Charlie Hebdo Satirical weekly magazine in Paris. I believe it is always wrong and unforgivable to kill innocent people. Moreover, this sort of actions, besides being morally wrong, also harms French and other Western Muslims enormously

True, the act of mocking the Prophet of Islam is not a cause worth defending. It did hurt the feelings of hundreds of millions around the world.

However, murdering people is not exactly the right response to the French magazine’s blasphemy. In the final analysis, one can’t fight a crime by committing a greater crime. It is also never sufficient to have a rightful cause to respond in an uncalculated manner. It is never enough to be right; one has to be wise as well, especially in this complex world.

I realize that many writers are under an immense pressure to go with the flow, namely denounce “the evil terrorists” while expressing empathy and solidarity with France. I do sympathize with the families of the victims, but I admit I have no sympathy with the French government. In the final analysis, one must be faithful to one’s conscience and intellectual honesty and France is never innocent especially in its approach to Muslims, past and present.

In fact, I dare claim that French behavior has made this terrorist act inevitable, however outrageous it may be.

France, after all, has been murdering Muslims in droves since time immemorial.

France killed at least two million Muslims in North Africa and a third million in Sub-Saharan Africa. France, which is now complaining about beheadings by IS, beheaded thousands of Moroccans between 1920-and WWII.

In recent months, France effectively enabled barbarian Christians to carry out a shocking ethnic cleansing genocide in Central Africa.

About two decades ago, France collaborated with the Algerian military to decapitate the country’s nascent democracy, triggering a protracted reign of terror that claimed hundreds of thousands of innocent Algerians. Unfortunately, this reign of terror is yet to come to an end.

In the mid-1950s, France gave Israel the Dimona atomic reactor which enable the Nazi-like Zionist entity to manufacture numerous nuclear bombs and warheads and therefore hold the entire Middle East hostage as well as pursue a policy based on lebensraum vis-à-vis the Palestinians and other peoples of the Middle East.

Indeed, it was mainly French weapons that enabled Israel to occupy the rest of Palestine as well as the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula in 1967.

Now, as I write these words, French warplanes are raining death on Muslims in Syria and Iraq, while allowing murderous Iran-backed militias to annihilate Muslims villages.

Despite all this evil legacy, the vast majority (99%) of   Muslims are still against terror in the name of Islam or in any other name.

Today, Muslims are more or less the premier victims of terror and mass murder. They are being murdered every hour, every day, every week and all year long because they want to be free.

They are being murdered in Palestine, Myanmar, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. And when some stray Muslims carry out a terrorist act here or there out of desperation, the entire west loses its composure, ignores its own mega terror against Muslims, and starts making its usual hypocritical outcries, very much like Binyamin Netanyahu does, when he calls Palestinian freedom-fighters “terrorists and murderers”, while forgetting what his own shitty country did and is doing to them.

Do not get me wrong. I am against all acts of violence and terror, especially those targeting innocent people.

However, it is an expression of utter hypocrisy and dishonesty for the French and other westerners to claim a higher moral-ground in comparison to al-Qaeda or IS, or indeed mainstream Muslims.

Nay, you have been far more evil and diabolical. You have destroyed nations and killed millions.

The Americans, who murdered 15 million native Americans in north America and called the genocide “Manifest Destiny” didn’t content themselves with murdering two million Iraqis, they saturated the Iraqi environment with depleted uranium that will continue to kill Iraqis, young and old, and even the yet-to-be be born, for 50,000 years to come.

So, please! We have had enough of your hypocrisy and mendacity.

A final word; I must view with utter contempt the claim that the Paris incident was an attack against press freedom and freedom of expression. We all know that the attack was actually a revenge for France’s military aggression against Muslims. Calling it an attack on press freedom and western liberalism is therefore childish and stupid.

Besides, since when did the West really care about human rights and civil liberties, including press freedom.

Doesn’t the West, with all its strength, stand behind states that deny their people even the most elementary human rights and freedoms?

Even in the West itself, we are very familiar with the scandalous double standards related to this false mantra.

Thus, mocking the Prophet of Islam is considered part of the sacred traditions of press freedom.

However, questioning the authenticity of Holocaust narratives or criticizing Israel’s Nazi-like crimes against the helpless Palestinians is an expression of virulent anti-Semitism, the practitioner of which must be hounded like pariahs, imprisoned or forced to resign from his job.

Well, there are always people on the Muslim side who would argue rather convincingly that if the West has the right to be enslaved by the Golem of Anti-Semitism, Muslims worldwide likewise have at least an equal right to defend their religious symbols.

Well, how about mutual respect?


Unless your name is Gideon Levy ;)

Unless your name is Gideon Levy 😉

They say that the truth will set you free …. but that’s the last thing Israel wants for the Palestinians ….

They let us go in the evening. The Israeli Police’s APC brought us back to the checkpoint. The case awaits a decision. Another decision is obvious: We will keep on covering the occupation.

False arrests won’t stop us covering Israel’s occupation

The allegations against us: violating an emergency order and insulting a soldier. The law books contain no statutes about insulting a journalist.

Palestinian drivers wait in their cars next to the separation barrier

Palestinian drivers wait in their cars next to the separation barrier, ahead of crossing through the Qalandia checkpoint. February 9, 2014. Photo by AFP

On Monday of this week we drove to the village of Artah, south of Tul Karm, to report yet another story of the evil of the occupation, this one particularly infuriating and sad. The photographer Alex Levac and I were in Artah, intending to return home to Tel Aviv. The soldiers at Checkpoint 407 were surprised to see Israeli Jews leaving from the direction of Tul Karm. We showed our press cards and told them that we had been accustomed to going everywhere in the West Bank for more than 25 years.

Thus began an episode in the theater of the absurd that lasted until evening. The Israeli army and the Israel Police kept us in custody for about the next nine hours. The soldiers confiscated our car keys and identity documents lest we run for our lives. We were not allowed to get out of the car, even for a moment. One insolent soldier was insulted on account of nothing and the police were summoned on account of nothing. The police did not even ask us what had happened – and just like that, we were “detained.”

We were put inside a “Caracal” – an armored, reinforced metal monster with barred windows – and we drove for about an hour to the Ariel police station. There we were questioned and fingerprinted. Mug shots were taken of us for the criminals’ photo album, and we were subjected to humiliation. On the way there, I thought about the Palestinian children whom these police arrest and place in this same metal monster and what they endure. The police officers said we were being “detained” – a euphemism for arrest. When we asked to go to the bathroom, the duty officer barked: Not without an escort. The detective said we were endangering national security.

The police station in Ariel is a place to see. There is a photograph of a rabbi on the wall of the interrogation room, and a thick-bearded man walked freely around the station, offering Hanukkah donuts to the police officers and asking if they had put on tefillin that day.

The allegations: violating an emergency order and insulting a soldier. The law books contain no statutes about insulting a journalist. Even as we were on our way to Ariel, we heard the false accusation that came from the army, and then the official statement of the Judea and Samaria District Police: We had spat at the soldiers. First the “murdering” pilots (which I never wrote), and now the “spitting libel” (I never spat on them). If we were suspected of having spat at soldiers, it is easy to imagine the intolerable ease with which the soldiers could say, falsely, that a Palestinian had pulled a knife at a checkpoint or threatened them a moment before they shot him dead.

This could have been a negligible story if it did not signal the ill wind that is blowing in the Israel Police and in the army: journalists are a nuisance (in the best case) and a hostile element (in any other case). Israeli press cards from years ago bore the following sentence: “The Israel Police is asked to assist the bearer of this card.”

It never occurs to the police in the territories to assist journalists; they usually try to sabotage their work, with the army beside them. Even the sanctimonious concern that IDF Spokesman’s Office personnel express for journalists’ safety – the explanation given for why any entry into Area A must be coordinated with that office – is flawed by a basic lack of understanding. Some professions are dangerous, and journalism is not doing its job by “coordinating” with the authorities. The authorities’ intention is clear: to close the West Bank to scrutiny, or at least to make it hard for journalists to work there. Gaza has been closed to Israeli journalists for about eight years – a scandal in itself – and journalists bow their heads in surrender. That must not be allowed to happen in the West Bank too, even if only a tiny group of people still shows the slightest interest in what goes on there.

They let us go in the evening. The Israeli Police’s APC brought us back to the checkpoint. The case awaits a decision. Another decision is obvious: We will keep on covering the occupation.

Here’s an example of the reporting Israel wants silenced …

If you want to see apartheid in action, here’s the place. There’s no need to elaborate. Here are Jews opposite Palestinians, landowners opposite trespassers. Apartheid in a nutshell.

Jews vs. Palestinians, landowners vs. trespassers

Israeli security forces have descended over and over again on Ali Moussa’s family compound in the West Bank and demolished the houses he built. Across the way the settlement of Efrat expands, unchecked.

Ali Moussa

Ali Moussa. Photo by Alex Levac

The numbers speak for themselves: four demolitions, six razed houses, one husband, two wives, 17 children, 17 grandchildren.

The story behind the numbers: Ali Moussa, a farmer who lives in the West Bank, has clung stubbornly to his land for more than 30 years. Repeatedly, forces of the Civil Administration, Israel’s governing body in the occupied territories, have demolished the houses Moussa has built. Repeatedly, he has rebuilt them. His applications for a construction permit have been ignored, but this is his home, this is his family’s land.

The compound of Moussa’s ramshackle dwellings lies on a hill overlooking the valley through which Highway 60, linking Jerusalem and Bethlehem and Hebron, passes. On the hill across the valley rise the homes that are part of one of the unchecked expansions of the settlement of Efrat. They are a lot less legal than Moussa’s houses – the land does not legally belong to the settlers – but they, of course, are not under threat of demolition at the hands of the Civil Administration. Those dwellings are inhabited by Jews.

If you want to see apartheid in action, here’s the place. There’s no need to elaborate. Here are Jews opposite Palestinians, landowners opposite trespassers. Apartheid in a nutshell.

A short drive from Jerusalem reveals a scene of squalor that seems to have come out of a different time and place. The repeated demolitions force Moussa to rebuild his hovels with the cheapest materials he can find so that he can house his extended family – until it’s all tumbled down again by the Israel Defense Forces.

It makes for a pitiful sight: eight children huddling in one room whose tin roof is leaking and where bone-chilling cold prevails even on a sunny, late-fall day. Mildewed walls through which rain drips in, bare rooms without closets, without beds, only a stack of mattresses, and sacks to hold the clothes.

Kittens and children prowl about aimlessly outside; the women’s clothes are tattered. Five shacks plus a heap of ruins from the last house that was demolished, and pervasive neglect. Welcome to the compound of the Moussa family on the edge of the village of Al-Khader, outside Bethlehem. Next to the latest pile of ruins is a column of gray bricks, awaiting the next demolition and the rebuilding that will inevitably follow.

Farmer Moussa is 61, and he has 17 children – the eldest 37, the youngest six months old – by two wives, as well as 17 grandchildren, most of whom live here. He has always made a living from his land, but part of it has been plundered over time for the nearby settlements and for construction of the separation barrier. And the security barrier has prevented his access to another area, in which he has olive groves.

Moussa sold his flock of sheep some time ago to finance his obsessive rebuilding efforts. To date, they’ve cost him between 300,000 and 400,000 shekels ($75,000 – $100,000), he says, adding that the Civil Administration has offered him alternative land and compensation if he’ll leave. What did he tell them? He’s surprised at the question. He didn’t consider the offer for a second, he says.

Moussa has been living here since 1982. There was a different atmosphere in the territories when he built his first house in the compound – the only one that still stands intact and has never been demolished. The government agreed to the project, at least tacitly, back then. But things change. The first demolition came in 1995 – the house he had built for a married son. At the time, the authorities cited security reasons: There was an IDF post in the valley below, where the pillbox that overlooks Highway 60 now stands, just a few hundred meters from the house.

Moussa married his second wife in 2000 and built her a house. It too was swiftly demolished. In addition, the army tore down a house that he had built for his second son and his new family. The official reason: It was illegal.

He explains that he spent 30,000 shekels ($7,500) on building plans, which he submitted to the Civil Administration at its request – he displays the maps – but nothing came of them. There was a third round of demolition in 2011, and a fourth last June 14. The heap of ruins remaining at present comes from that most recently razed dwelling, belonging to Moussa’s second wife and their eight children.

In recent months, that dwelling has been rebuilt near the original one, in the form of a shack of 170 square meters, made of bricks and tin. It is still standing, at least for now. Additinally, a humanitarian aid association donated a tin hut, where they can store clothes, household utensils and furniture from all the structures that have been destroyed.

At his lawyers’ advice, Moussa builds each new house a few meters from previous ones. Indeed, one can see the remnants of a concrete pillar from the first house that was demolished in the compound, between the shacks, like a denuded monument.

Moussa’s story is also documented in a sheaf of documents that he keeps with him: no fewer than a dozen demolition and stop-work orders, issued over the years. For example, there’s a “stop-work order” from 2012 and a “final stop-work and demolition order” issued a few months later. There’s a demolition order for a “25-square-meter concrete surface,” another for “two cisterns and a lean-to,” another for “an electricity line and cable.”

One document is High Court of Justice decision No. 8902/06: an interim injunction issued by Justice Elyakim Rubinstein on November 23, 2006, to stop the demolitions, which notes: “This injunction shall not apply in the event of the need for demolition for urgent combat purposes and salient security reasons.” Justice Rubinstein did not bother to specify the security reasons or, more importantly, whose security he had in mind.

The spokesperson of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories offered this response to a query from Haaretz: “The structures in question were built in an illegal manner, without a building permit, on an archaeological site called ‘Abu Sud,’ and for that reason they were demolished. Furthermore, the structures were rebuilt upon the ruins, even as the matter was under consideration by the High Court of Justice, which is a gross violation of the law. The requests for a building permit were rejected, and an appeal to Supreme Court was also turned down. It should be noted that the owner was offered the opportunity to rebuild within the planned area of Al-Khader, the adjacent village, but the owner rejected the offer and instead illicitly continued to build [at the original location].”

We make our way through the compound. Four shacks belong to Moussa’s immediate family – his two wives and two of his sons and their families – and another, in the back, is inhabited by relatives, members of the family of Ismail Moussa. A makeshift water tower, an electricity pole and the shacks, each crowded with women and children.

A television is on in one of the hovels, tuned to Israel’s Channel 10, with simultaneous translation into Arabic provided by the local Bethlehem channel. The program: “Kahane Lives: The Life and Death of the Extremist Right-wing Leader.” The family was watching.


A graphic video showing the killing of journalist Ramy Ryan in Gaza and an attack on an ambulance and rescue workers by Israeli air strikes has surfaced online. Warning: This six-minute video is very graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

You do not have to understand Arabic to hear the anger in their voices …

The video uploaded onto YouTube by Abu Shaar shows two ambulances arriving urgently on the scene where Ramy Ryan is seen covering the situation. About 15 seconds into the video, the first missile strikes the ambulance. Fourteen seconds later, the second missile strikes.

For several seconds, all we see is smoke with residents yelling for help, “Ya Allah” (Oh God) followed by “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and “La Ilaha Illa Allah” (There is no god but God), both common cries of desperation.

At 0:40 seconds, the third strike. 0:55, the fourth strike. 1:09, the fifth. The cameraman stands up and we see a dozen men lying on the ground, all seemingly injured and trying to escape towards the walls to take refuge. 1:20, the sixth strike. 1:32, the seventh. 1:47, the eighth. 1:57, the ninth. At 2:00 the cameraman moves again and crawls towards the injured men on his left. 2:07, the tenth strike. 2:20, the cameraman moves toward another injured man who’s yelling “Ya Allah, Ya Mohammad”. At 2:40, he captures another man unconscious or dead. At 2:50, he takes cover with a group of injured men. The old man at 3:00 is saying “I can’t. I can’t,” while limping. A 3:27, we hear another missile.

At 3:50, we see Ramy Ryan on the floor, lying over a pool of blood. He’s dead. A man is telling us “Look, look. A journalist. Look.” while showing us Ramy Ryan’s “Press” insignia. The man then tells us angrily, “show the United Nations! Show the world! Show the Red Cross! Show the Arab traitors! They are all traitors!”

The missiles have stopped and panic breaks. We hear people mourning their dead. From 4:20 onwards, the cameraman shoots the aftermaths of the Israeli strikes.

* A photo of journalist Ramy Ryan, from Susan's Facebook page. *



Not only is zion silencing the reporters, look what else they are blacking out from the Western Media?


Jews Stage Massive Anti-War Protests In Tel Aviv, New York and Elsewhere

Opposing Israeli Policy Does Not Make One a “Self-Hating Jew”

A huge anti-war protest is being held tonight by Jews in Tel Aviv:

Embedded image permalink

(Jews and Palestinians have been holding anti-war protests throughout Israel, but the mainstream media has refused to cover them.)


Jews also protested the Gaza war in New York City  yesterday:

Not in Our Name: New Yorkers rally against Israeli war in Gaza in lower Manhattan. Anti-war protests have also been held in other cities throughout the world. Indeed, many Jews oppose Israeli treatment of the Palestinians:

Postscript: Many devoutly religious Jews oppose Zionism.  So opposing an Israeli policy does not make anti-Semitic … or a “self-hating Jew“. And we salute Israelis protesting against the war, especially since dissent may subject them to death threats. (From)


Why is the Press so afraid to report these events?





Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Here are the steps taken ….. as seen by Carlos Latuff



Al-Jazeera Gaza offices evacuated after direct hit by Israeli fire

Israel denies deliberate targeting of TV station, but staff claim that ‘two very precise shots’ were fired
Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building in Gaza

Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building after it came under fire in Gaza. Photograph: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Rex Features

Israel‘s army has denied targeting the Gaza offices of al-Jazeera TV after the network’s correspondents reported that the building had come under fire on Tuesday.

Staff in Gaza said their 11th floor bureau was hit by two Israeli bullets as a crew was preparing to broadcast live from the balcony. “Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building,” said Stefanie Dekker. “We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.” Al-Jazeera aired footage of their staff standing outside the building.

A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said no warning shots had been fired but could not confirm or deny whether there had been indirect damage to the building from firing at nearby military targets, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The incident came a day after Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for al-Jazeera to be banned.

Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Al-Jazeera “has abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organisation and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies, and encouragement to the terrorists,” he said.

“All the big networks operate in Israel, some of them are not exactly pro-Zionist, and yet as a democratic state we allow them to operate here. In the case of al-Jazeera it is not an issue of freedom of the media but of a terrorist wing that currently fights against Israel.”

A statement posted on the al-Jazeera website said: “Al-Jazeera network considers statements made against it by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a direct incitement. (It) considers (his) comments as a very serious matter. Israel is accountable for the safety of al-Jazeera teams working in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

Al-Jazeera also reported that Israel’s communications minister, Gilad Erdan, has asked Israeli cable and satellite providers to stop airing al-Jazeera, calling it an “enemy” broadcaster. The request is not mandatory.

Al-Jazeera said: “Our journalists have been doing an outstanding job in reporting to our mass audience in the region what is happening on the ground. A threat to one is a threat to all, and this is a dark sign for all journalists operating in the territory. Journalists must be protected while doing their job of giving the public information they have the right to know, helping them understand what is going on. Journalism is not a crime!”

Al-Jazeera has often come under fire in war zones and been banned, at different times, from almost every country in the Middle East. Its most recent troubles have been in Egypt, where three journalists working for al-Jazeera English were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.


As Thanksgiving approaches, we reflect on what we were once thankful for …





The British government essentially forced the newspaper to destroy the hard drives that contained files that the National Security Agency whistleblower gave them. 
Miranda’s Detention ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

British government forced Guardian to smash hard drives with Snowden files

Alex Kane 
The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (Photo: Francesco Alesi/Flickr)

Two officers from the British intelligence agency GCHQ oversaw the destruction of hard drives at The Guardian newspaper’s office last month in an effort to stop the paper from reporting on the documents that Edward Snowden gave them. The incident was reported Monday night by The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger.

The British government essentially forced the newspaper to destroy the hard drives that contained files that the National Security Agency whistleblower gave them. 

The Guardian‘s Julian Borger explained the reasoning behind the newspaper’s actions:

The Guardian’s lawyers believed the government might either seek an injunction under the law of confidence, a catch-all statute that covers any unauthorised possession of confidential material, or start criminal proceedings under the Official Secrets Act.

Either brought with it the risk that the Guardian’s reporting would be frozen everywhere and that the newspaper would be forced to hand over material.

“I explained to British authorities that there were other copies in America and Brazil so they wouldn’t be achieving anything,” Rusbridger said. “But once it was obvious that they would be going to law I preferred to destroy our copy rather than hand it back to them or allow the courts to freeze our reporting.”

Any such surrender would have represented a betrayal of the source, Edward Snowden, Rusbridger believed. The files could ultimately have been used in the American whistleblower’s prosecution. 

In the column that first broke the news, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger described various attempts at intimidation that the British government made before Rusbridger agreed to finally destroy the hard drives.

Two months ago, a senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister called Rusbridger and demanded that the paper return or destroy documents exposing the National Security Agency’s surveillance. A month later, Rusbridger received another phone call from the government. “ You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back,” the official allegedly said.

More meetings with British government officials occurred, with an official telling Rusbridger, “you’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”

After The Guardian continued to hold steadfast, the government took an action described by Glenn Greenwald as “thuggish.”

“And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents,” writes Rusbridger.

The account in The Guardian was published after Greenwald’s husband David Miranda, a Brazilian citizen, was detained in Britain for 9 hours under a UK anti-terrorism law after crossing through Heathrow airport on his way back from meeting Laura Poitras, Greenwald’s reporting companion, in Berlin. Miranda was questioned about his partner’s reporting and threatened with jail. Rusbridger vowed that the detention–and seizure of documents Miranda was carrying–would not deter The Guardian.

“We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won’t do it in London,” wrote Rusbridger. “The seizure of Miranda’s laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work.”

Outrage has erupted in Britain over Miranda’s detention. The British Labour Party has demanded a review of the anti-terrorism law used to hold Greenwald’s partner. The law has disproportionately targeted Muslims. 

And Miranda’s lawyers have said they are planning to take legal action against the British government for his detention.

While The Guardian editor vowed to press on despite the destruction of the files and Miranda’s detention, he closed out his column with a warning:

We are not there yet, but it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources. Most reporting – indeed, most human life in 2013 – leaves too much of a digital fingerprint. Those colleagues who denigrate Snowden or say reporters should trust the state to know best (many of them in the UK, oddly, on the right) may one day have a cruel awakening. One day it will be their reporting, their cause, under attack.

 Written FOR


Just two days ago THIS was posted regarding Al Jazeera caving to zionist pressure and censoring an article written by a noted Columbia University professor. Today, we are pleased to report that the decision has been reversed.

Ehab Al Shihabi (right), with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has promoted himself as the public face of Al Jazeera America. (Source: Al Jazeera America)


  • Al Jazeera restores Massad’s article and denies political pressure.
  • Massad expresses disappointment in network’s actions.*

Al Jazeera roiled by US manager’s decision to censor Joseph Massad article

 by Ali Abunimah 
  • Al Jazeera restores Massad’s article and denies political pressure.
  • Massad expresses disappointment in network’s actions.
  • The Electronic Intifada reveals the political and commercial fears that motivated top manager Ehab Al Shihabi’s move to remove article.
  • Azmi Bishara condemns “cowardly” decision.

Days after a top Al Jazeera executive ordered the removal of an op-ed critical of Zionism by Joseph Massad, the article was today restored to the network’s English-language website.

Imad Musa, the head of Al Jazeera English Online, also posted a statement on the Editor’s Blog denying that Al Jazeera had “succumbed to various pressures, and censored its own pages” when it removed the article.

The about-face follows a growing uproar inside and outside Al Jazeera over the article’s removal, amid fears for editorial independence and freedom of speech as the Qatar-based network prepares to launch Al Jazeera America.

Musa’s statement claims that “After publication, many questions arose about the article’s content. In addition, the article was deemed to be similar in argument to Massad’s previous column, ‘Zionism, anti-Semitism and colonialism,’ published on these pages in December.”

However, Musa acknowledges that “We should have handled this better, and we have learned lessons that will enable us to maintain the highest standards of journalistic integrity.”

Massad “heartened” by reaction

Massad, who has written for the Al Jazeera English website for two years, welcomed the restoration of his article, but expressed disappointment in Al Jazeera’s statement in a response sent to The Electronic Intifada:

I am heartened to know that there has been a huge and widespread upheaval among Al Jazeera journalists and staffers against this arbitrary decision, which flew in the face of professional journalistic standards and the freedom of expression. Their opposition along with the reaction and outrage expressed by the general public internationally in the last two days clearly tipped the balance against the peremptory power of the profit-seeking executives and has put the latter on notice.

While the restoration of my article is a triumph against the political commissars of Al Jazeera, the statement that Al Jazeera issued, which contained no apology, falls short of being a triumph for all those who insist on maintaining Al Jazeera’s independence and critical edge from American media restrictions. I am saddened that their principled stance has yet to fully triumph in this important fight.

Political decision made by “higher ups”

Massad rejected Al Jazeera’s claim that the article had been removed due to its similarity to a previous article, and said he had been given the same line by Imad Musa, who telephoned Massad from Doha last night.

“I quickly disabused him of it, explaining that while ‘The Last of the Semites’ was related to the article I published last December,” Massad wrote, “it was a different article altogether and had a different frame and a different set of arguments and facts.”

Massad said the excuse was “a damage control move that refuses to take responsibility for Al Jazeera’s submission to American Zionist dictates.”

Massad recounts his conversation with Musa:

I explained that since he was the new Head of Al Jazeera Online (he told me that he had been appointed in this new position ten days ago), he could restore the article and issue the apology immediately and not have to wait till the next day. He explained that the matter was “more complicated than that.” I retorted: “Are you or are you not the Head of Al Jazeera Online?” He murmured embarrassingly that the matter was not in his hands. I responded by reaffirming to him that indeed it was not and that the matter was not up to him but to the higher ups who made the decision for political reasons.

Musa did not respond to an email from The Electronic Intifada requesting comment.

The debacle unfolds

Speaking with multiple sources over the course of several days, The Electronic Intifada has been able to piece together and corroborate key elements of what happened and these inquiries confirm that politics and commercial interests were indeed at play.

As Massad explained in a statement in Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar, he filed “The Last of the Semites” after a request from his editor to submit a piece for Nakba Day – the annual 15 May commemoration of Israel’s ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine.

Massad’s article, based on a lecture he gave in Stuttgart, Germany on 10 May, was published on 14 May. The entire conference, including Massad’s speech, was carried on the network’s live channel Al Jazeera Mubasher. Mhamed Krichen, one of Al Jazeera’s star anchors, participated on two panels at the conference, including one with Massad.

But in the days after Massad’s article appeared, as The Electronic Intifada previously reported, there was a more than usually intense outcry from high-profile Zionist commentators including The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who grossly distorted Massad’s article and escalated their defamation and slurs against him.

Suddenly, on 19 May, the article disappeared from Al Jazeera’s main English website, and hours later from its mobile site. What happened?

Fear that op-ed would hurt Al Jazeera America launch

The person who got spooked by the volume of criticism was Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director for international operations of Al Jazeera America, and the man in charge of launching the network’s high-profile, high-risk US venture.

Al Shihabi, a Palestinian American, demanded that the article be taken down, and, by several accounts, management in Doha acquiesced.

A career management consultant with no journalistic background and no formal editorial role, Al Shihabi’s intervention was unusual to say the least. But Al Shihabi’s power in the company has grown tremendously in recent years, along with criticism that he is accountable to no one.

Massad wrote in Al-Akhbar that when he saw that his article had been removed, he called one of the two editors with whom he normally works.

That editor was also initially unaware that the article had been removed, and when he got back to Massad after looking into it, could only confirm that it had been “pulled by management.”

Al Shihabi did not respond to an email from The Electronic Intifada requesting comment.

Political repurcussions

Al Shihabi’s reason for wanting Massad silenced was fear of the political repurcussions for Al Jazeera America.

He conveyed his concerns that the intensified criticism could jeopardize his efforts to launch the channel including winning cable distribution deals needed to get the channel into American living rooms.

It will be the voice of Main Street,” Al Shihabi recently said of the nascent US-based Al Jazeera offshoot.

Clearly, in Al Shihabi’s eyes, Massad’s searing, well-researched criticism of Zionism was not going to fly in the American mainstream.

Al Shihabi has positioned himself as the face of Al Jazeera America, barnstorming US campuses and other locations, often promoting pictures of himself on the company blog.

Yet, the huge embarrassment Al Shihabi’s intervention to remove Massad’s article has caused the network suggests a serious lack of judgment.

Breaking into American market

Al Shihabi certainly knew that Al Jazeera, which has cleverly used the Internet to reach primary audiences, has had a hard time getting its English-language channels carried by US cable distributors.

It has often faced politically-motivated and racist opposition and accusations that the channel promotes “terrorism” because of its Arab and Qatari background and willingness to air viewpoints routinely suppressed in mainstream American media.

In January, Al Jazeera bought Current TV, a cable network founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, which instantly enabled it to expand its reach to 40 million American homes from just 4.7 million before the deal.

Soon after, the deal was criticized by former long-time Washington Post media commentator and CNN host Howard Kurtz, who also pointed out that the network has been called “anti-American” and a “fount” of “anti-Israel propaganda.”

The vast majority of the criticism of Al Jazeera’s US expansion plans has indeed come from extreme Islamophobic and pro-Israel sources.

Just weeks ago, The New York Post reported that Al Jazeera was in talks to buy more cable networks – a move that is likely only to generate more opposition.

Perhaps hoping to head off such resistance, Ehab Al Shihabi, an intensely political operator, has sought to cozy up to key players in the US establishment, such as his recent,high-profile meeting with influential Democratic Party power-broker and Chicago MayorRahm Emanuel. Emanuel, President Obama’s first White House chief of staff, has been, as the son of a member of the Zionist terrorist gang, the Irgun, a hardline supporter of Israel.

Breakdown of editorial control

Clearly, the normal editorial controls had been circumvented in order for Massad’s article to be removed. The breakdown in accountability demonstrated by this incident has caused soul-searching among Al Jazeera staffers.

Several journalists on several continents spoke of a widespread sense that the blunder damaged the reputation of the whole network, especially in light of persistent criticism that Al Jazeera’s legendary independence, particularly of its Arabic channel, has been sacrificed to the interests of Qatar’s foreign policy.

Al Shihabi, an unaccountable senior manager, ordering the deletion of an article without telling either the author or the editors who commissioned it, seemed to confirm the worst expectations.

“Cowardly” decision

Azmi Bishara, the Palestinian political leader and academic and one of Al Jazeera’s most prominent commentators, forcefully condemned the network’s action as “cowardly and opportunistic.”

In a statement on his Facebook page hours before Massad’s article was restored, Bishara said that the deletion of Massad’s article followed false accusations of anti-Semitism by “Zionist” and “racist” individuals.

Relating the move to the planned launch of Al Jazeera America, Bishara added, “If the price of Al Jazeera’s entry into the United States means its submission to Zionist dictates, then this means that America will be moving into Al Jazeera and not the reverse.”

Given that even Massad’s university, Columbia, had eventually stood up to similar false and disproven accusations and campaigns, Bishara noted that Al Jazeera had been “even less vigilant than Columbia in defending the rights of an Arab professor to express his opinion. Shame on you.”

Massad echoed this theme in his statement, noting that “the attempt to censor my article is the price that Al Jazeera, or at least Ehab Al Shihabi and other upper management executives, are willing to pay in order to enter the US media market.”

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald added his own searing indictment of the network earlier today:

No media outlet can possibly do something like this without publicly accounting for what happened and expect to retain credibility. How can you demand transparency and accountability from others when you refuse to provide any yourself? Refusing to comment on secret actions of this significance is the province of corrupt politicians, not journalists. It’s behavior that journalists should be condemning, not emulating.

Restoring credibility?

What Bishara has said publicly, many present and former Al Jazeera staffers have been saying privately. Yet many Al Jazeera journalists are determined to retain the respect that the network has enjoyed for being willing to take on stories and offer voices – especially on Palestine – that no other network of its size would touch.

The restoration of Massad’s article, they must hope, will be a first step towards regaining Al Jazeera’s reputation as a place where free discussion of Palestine, Zionism and Israel are still permitted, even if it doesn’t always sell on Main Street. But there’s no doubt the damage has been great.

Joseph Massad’s statement in full

I am heartened to know that there has been a huge and widespread upheaval among Al Jazeera journalists and staffers against this arbitrary decision, which flew in the face of professional journalistic standards and the freedom of expression. Their opposition along with the reaction and outrage expressed by the general public internationally in the last two days clearly tipped the balance against the peremptory power of the profit-seeking executives and has put the latter on notice.

While the restoration of my article is a triumph against the political commissars of Al Jazeera, the statement that Al Jazeera issued, which contained no apology, falls short of being a triumph for all those who insist on maintaining Al Jazeera’s independence and critical edge from American media restrictions. I am saddened that their principled stance has yet to fully triumph in this important fight.

It seems to me that the attempt to censor my article is the price that Al Jazeera, or at least Ehab Al Shihabi and other upper management executives, are willing to pay in order to enter the US media market. This means that Al Shihabi and other executives at Al Jazeera see no problem in sacrificing Al Jazeera’s freedom of expression and subjecting it to the severe restrictions of the American mainstream media on the question of US foreign policy in the Middle East and on the question of Israel, thus eliminating in the process Al Jazeera’s critical coverage of both. Clearly, American Zionist pressure, placed on Al Shihabi and on Al Jazeera, is intended to impart to Al Jazeera the mediocre standards of mainstream American journalism and its commitment to severe censorship of views critical of US policy and of Israeli colonialism. When Oscar Wilde was asked in 1882 upon entering the US if he had anything to declare to the customs authorities of New York, he responded: “I have nothing to declare but my genius;” Not only is Al Jazeera having to declare its journalistic independence as a foreign taxable commodity, but it is also surrendering it at the US border altogether.

As for the line that someone made a mistake and removed my article because it resembled the one I had published last December, this line was tried on me on the phone when the new Head of Al Jazeera online Imad Musa called me yesterday evening to discuss the matter. Mr. Musa used that line as an opening bid but I quickly disabused him of it, explaining that while “The Last of the Semites” was related to the article I published last December titled “Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and Colonialism,” it was a different article altogether and had a different frame and a different set of arguments and facts. I also informed him that I had a very good idea how this decision had been taken and that Al Shihabi was the man behind the ban. He offered to arrange a meeting in New York between Al Shihabi and me, but I quickly told him that we could not ponder any such meetings until after Al Jazeera restored my article and issued a public apology. I also informed him that I do not meet with people who coordinate with the likes of Rahm Emanuel.

After making a few phone calls, Mr. Musa called me back to assure me that I would be pleased with what Al Jazeera would do tomorrow (i.e. today). I explained that since he was the new Head of Al Jazeera Online (he told me that he had been appointed in this new position ten days ago), he could restore the article and issue the apology immediately and not have to wait till the next day. He explained that the matter was “more complicated than that.” I retorted: “Are you or are you not the Head of Al Jazeera Online?” He murmured embarrassingly that the matter was not in his hands. I responded by reaffirming to him that indeed it was not and that the matter was not up to him but to the higher ups who made the decision for political reasons.

At any rate, Mr. Musa never called back today, though he issued a statement on the Al Jazeera website this afternoon which does not contain an apology to the readers or to me. There are no expressions of regret either, or any acknowledgment of the motivations for the censorship. Musa repeats the shameful excuse that the reason why the article was pulled was due to its alleged similarity with the December article. I find this to be a damage control move that refuses to take responsibility for Al Jazeera’s submission to American Zionist dictates.


Written FOR


  After the New York Times’ editorial page lashed out at Israel over its construction plans in an area called E-1, the paper issued a correction on Sunday morning, stating that the expansion would neither cut off Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, nor divide the West Bank.
Correction or zionist LIE?


NYT retracts claims that E-1 construction plans would divide West Bank

Correction note regarding Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren’s December 1 article clarifies that piece ‘referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state’.

By Chaim Levinson
The Judea and Samaria Police headquarters in the E1 area near Ma’aleh Adumim. Photo by Emil Salman

After the New York Times’ editorial page lashed out at Israel over its construction plans in an area called E-1, the paper issued a correction on Sunday morning, stating that the expansion would neither cut off Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, nor divide the West Bank.

In an article entitled “Dividing the West Bank, and Deepening a Rift,” published on December 1, Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren wrote that the construction plans would make travel between Ramallah and Bethlehem impossible, and in effect, cut the West Bank in two.

The correction notice in Sunday’s newspaper clarifies that: “The article about Israel’s decision to move forward with planning and zoning for settlements in an area east of Jerusalem known as E1 described imprecisely the effect of such development on access to the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and on the West Bank. Development of E1 would limit access to Ramallah and Bethlehem, leaving narrow corridors far from the Old City and downtown Jerusalem; it would not completely cut off those cities from Jerusalem. It would also create a large block of Israeli settlements in the center of the West Bank; it would not divide the West Bank in two.”

“And because of an editing error, the article referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state. Critics see E1 as a threat to the meaningful contiguity of such a state because it would leave some Palestinian areas connected by roads with few exits or by circuitous routes; the proposed development would not technically make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible,” adds the correction.



 As the crimes of the Israeli army are documented on camera, the IDF seems to have found a new target, the cameramen themselves ….
no photos

Reuters: IDF soldiers beat our cameramen in Hebron

News agency claims two of its photographers assaulted by troops who accused them of working for B’Tselem






The Reuters news agency is claiming that IDF soldiers punched two of its cameramen and forced them to strip in the street, before letting off a tear gas canister in front of them. One of the photographers reportedly required hospital treatment.



“The regional brigade commander was ordered to open an investigation,” Israeli Defense Forces spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said in an email.



Yousri Al Jamal and Ma’amoun Wazwaz said a foot patrol stopped them as they were driving to a nearby checkpoint where a Palestinian teenager had been shot dead by an Israeli border guard.


According to the report, their car was clearly marked ‘TV’ and both were wearing blue flak jackets with ‘Press’ emblazoned on the front.


The two claim that the soldiers forced them to leave the vehicle and punched them, striking them with the butts of their guns. The troops accused them of working for an Israeli NGO,B’Tselem, which documents human rights violations in the West Bank, the Reuters cameramen said.


The soldiers did not let the men produce their official ID papers and forced them to strip down to their underwear, making them kneel on the road with their hands behind their heads, the cameramen claim.


According to the report, two other Palestinian journalists working for local news organizations, including a satellite television station affiliated to Hamas, were also stopped and forced to the ground.


The photographers further claimed that one of the soldiers then dropped a tear gas canister between the men and the IDF patrol ran away. The four journalists scrambled clear and Jamal and Wazwaz got to their car, which had rapidly filled up with tear gas.


They tried to drive away, but said they only got around 200 meters before they had to stop and exit the vehicle because of the choking gas. The soldiers then fired more tear gas in their direction.


Wazwaz was taken to hospital by ambulance and released later the same night.


The cameramen claim that the soldiers took two gas masks and a video camera from their car. The undamaged camera was later found abandoned further up the road.


“We deplore the mistreatment of our journalists and have registered our extreme dismay with the Israeli military authorities,” said Stephen J. Adler, editor-in-chief of Reuters News.



Censorship? Haaretz deletes Amira Hass article on surging settler violence

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 



Original post

Israel’s Haaretz has mysteriously deleted a powerful article by Amira Hass headlined “The anti-Semitism that goes unreported,” about an unchecked upsurge in violence against Palestinians by Israeli settlers.

This is at least the second notable act of apparent censorship by Haaretz in recent months. In December, as we reported, the newspaper expunged from its website an article by David Sheen on a horrifying anti-African rally in Tel Aviv.

Hass’ article, originally published on 18 July, likened the alarming increase in settler attacks to the period leading up to the 1994 settler massacre of Palestinians in Hebron:

For the human rights organization Al-Haq, the escalation is reminiscent of what happened in 1993-1994, when they warned that the increasing violence, combined with the authorities’ failure to take action, would lead to mass casualties. And then Dr. Baruch Goldstein of Kiryat Arba came along and gunned down 29 Muslim worshipers at the Ibrahim Mosque.

Hass is one of Haaretz’s best known writers, renowned internationally for documenting Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Article disappears

The Hebrew version of Hass’ article still appears on the newspaper’s Hebrew language website. It is the English version that is gone.

An image of the now deleted English version can still be seen via Google Cache (above).

However, the original url for the article now redirects to an unrelated page:

search of Haaretz archive for articles by Amira Hass indicates that as of today, her most recent article was from 16 July. The 18 July article is nowhere to be found.

Ironically the url originally leading to Hass’ article now links to one by a man subtitled “Women, don’t be suckers; The protest’s female voice is not being heard.” Hass is one ofHaaretz’s few prominent female writers, and apparently her voice cannot be heard.

Full text of censored article

Luckily, The Electronic Intifada captured the text of the article Haaretz didn’t want you to read. Here it is in full:

Amira Hass: The anti-Semitism that goes unreported

18 July 2012
By Amira Hass, Haaretz – 18 July 2012
Tens of thousands of people live in the shadow of terror

Here’s a statistic that you won’t see in research on anti-Semitism, no matter how meticulous the study is. In the first six months of the year, 154 anti-Semitic assaults have been recorded, 45 of them around one village alone. Some fear that last year’s record high of 411 attacks – significantly more than the 312 attacks in 2010 and 168 in 2009 – could be broken this year.

Fifty-eight incidents were recorded in June alone, including stone-throwing targeting farmers and shepherds, shattered windows, arson, damaged water pipes and water-storage facilities, uprooted fruit trees and one damaged house of worship. The assailants are sometimes masked, sometimes not; sometimes they attack surreptitiously, sometimes in the light of day.

There were two violent attacks a day, in separate venues, on July 13, 14 and 15. The words “death” and “revenge” have been scrawled in various areas; a more original message promises that “We will yet slaughter.”

It’s no accident that the diligent anti-Semitism researchers have left out this data. That’s because they don’t see it as relevant, since the Semites who were attacked live in villages with names like Jalud, Mughayer and At-Tuwani, Yanun and Beitilu. The daily dose of terrorizing (otherwise known as terrorism ) that is inflicted on these Semites isn’t compiled into a neat statistical report, nor is it noticed by most of the Jewish population in Israel and around the world – even though the incidents resemble the stories told by our grandparents.

The day our grandparents feared was Sunday, the Christian Sabbath; the Semites, who are not of interest to the researchers monitoring anti-Semitism, fear Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Our grandparents knew that the order-enforcement authorities wouldn’t intervene to help a Jewish family under attack; we know that the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police, the Civil Administration, the Border Police and the courts all stand on the sidelines, closing their eyes, softballing investigations, ignoring evidence, downplaying the severity of the acts, protecting the attackers, and giving a boost to those progromtchiks.The hands behind these attacks belong to Israeli Jews who violate international law by living in the West Bank. But the aims and goals behind the attacks are the flesh and blood of the Israeli non-occupation. This systemic violence is part of the existing order. It complements and facilitates the violence of the regime, and what the representatives – the brigade commanders, the battalion commanders, the generals and the Civil Administration officers – are doing while “bearing the burden” of military service.

They are grabbing as much land as possible, using pretexts and tricks made kosher by the High Court of Justice; they are confining the natives to densely populated reservations. That is the essence of the tremendous success known as Area C: a deliberate thinning of the Palestinian population in about 62 percent of the West Bank, as preparation for formal annexation.

Day after day, tens of thousands of people live in the shadow of terror. Will there be an attack today on the homes at the edge of the village? Will we be able to get to the well, to the orchard, to the wheat field? Will our children get to school okay, or make it to their cousins’ house unharmed? How many olive trees were damaged overnight?

In exceptional cases, when there is luck to be had, a video camera operated by B’Tselem volunteers documents an incident and pierces the armor of willful ignorance donned by the citizens of the only democracy in the Middle East. When there is no camera, the matter is of negligible importance, because after all, you can’t believe the Palestinians. But this routine of escalating violence is very real, even if it is underreported.

For the human rights organization Al-Haq, the escalation is reminiscent of what happened in 1993-1994, when they warned that the increasing violence, combined with the authorities’ failure to take action, would lead to mass casualties. And then Dr. Baruch Goldstein of Kiryat Arba came along and gunned down 29 Muslim worshipers at the Ibrahim Mosque. The massacre set the stage for a consistent Israeli policy of emptying the Old City of Hebron of its Palestinian residents, with the assistance of Israeli Jewish pogromtchiks. Is there someone among the country’s decision-makers and decision-implementers who is hoping for a second round?


Update: 21 July 2012

As of today, the deleted article has been restored to the Haaretz website, at a new url:


Written FOR


 It’s not only the New York Times that deems what is fit to print, HaAretz in Israel seems to be doing the same as of late.
Gideon Levy wrote a piece about the Gunter Grass controversy, it was published in Hebrew and English, then suddenly disappeared from the English pages… It was rescued, so to speak, by the folks over at Jews Sans Frontieres
Here it is in its entirety:

Israelis can be angry with Gunter Grass, but they must listen to him
After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to the condemnation of these great people.

By Gideon Levy

The harsh, and in some parts infuriating, poem by Gunter Grass of course immediately sparked a wave of vilifications against it and mainly against its author. Grass indeed went a few steps too far (and too mendaciously ) – Israel will not destroy the Iranian people – and for that he will be punished, in his own country and in Israel. But in precisely the same way the poem’s nine stanzas lost a sense of proportion in terms of their judgment of Israel, so too the angry responses to it suffer from exaggeration. Tom Segev wrote in Haaretz: “Unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently confided in him, his opinion is vacuous.” (“More pathetic than anti-Semitic,” April 5 ). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Grass’ Nazi past, and Israeli embassies in Germany went so far as to state, ridiculously, that the poem signified “anti-Semitism in the best European tradition of blood libels before Passover.”

It is doubtful that Grass intended his poem to be published on the eve of Passover. It contains no blood libel. In fact, it is the branding of it as anti-Semitic that is a matter of tradition – all criticism of Israel is immediately thus labeled. Grass’ Nazi past, his joining the Waffen SS as a youth, does not warrant shutting him up some 70 years later, and his opinion is far from vacuous. According to Segev, anyone who is not a nuclear scientist, an Israeli prime minister or an Iranian president must keep silent on the stormiest issue in Israel and the world today. That is a flawed approach.

Grass’ “What Must Be Said” does contain things that must be said. It can and should be said that Israel’s policy is endangering world peace. His position against Israeli nuclear power is also legitimate. He can also oppose supplying submarines to Israel without his past immediately being pulled out as a counterclaim. But Grass exaggerated, unnecessarily and in a way that damaged his own position. Perhaps it is his advanced age and his ambition to attract a last round of attention, and perhaps the words came forth all at once like a cascade, after decades during which it was almost impossible to criticize Israel in Germany.

That’s the way it is when all criticism of Israel is considered illegitimate and improper and is stopped up inside for years. In the end it erupts in an extreme form. Grass’ poem was published only a few weeks after another prominent German, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, wrote that there is an apartheid regime in Hebron. He also aroused angry responses. Therefore it is better to listen to the statements and, especially, finally, to lift the prohibition against criticizing Israel in Germany.

Israel has many friends in Germany, more than in most European countries. Some of them support us blindly, some have justified guilt feelings and some are true, critical friends of Israel. There are, of course, anti-Semites in Germany and the demand that Germany never forget is also justified. But a situation in which any German who dares criticize Israel is instantly accused of anti-Semitism is intolerable.

Some years ago, after a critical article of mine was published in the German daily Die Welt, one of its editors told me: “No journalist of ours could write an article like that.” I was never again invited to write for that paper. For years, any journalist who joined the huge German media outlet Axel Springer had to sign a pledge never to write anything that casts aspersions on Israel’s right to exist. That is an unhealthy situation that ended with an eruption of exaggerated criticism like Grass’.

Grass is not alone. No less of a major figure, the great author Jose de Sousa Saramago opened the floodgates in his later years when, after a visit to the occupied territories, he compared what was going on there to Auschwitz. Like Grass, Saramago went too far, but his remarks about the Israelis should have been heeded: “Living under the shadow of the Holocaust and expecting forgiveness for everything they will do in the name of their suffering seems coarse. They have learned nothing from the suffering of their parents and their grandparents.”


 Perhaps they need a little nudge…
Last Thursday I posted Ali Abunimah’s essay….
New York Times ad accuses BDS movement, college professors of inciting murder of Jewish children
The post can be seen HERE
Now, have a look at the following… (NOT FOR THE WEAK AT HEART)

Kindly look at all of these Palestinian children.

And just so they don’t feel left out, here are some Jewish kids.

So, tell us all again, New YorK
Times, just who is inciting the murder of whose children?
(Above courtesy of What Really Happened)
Yesterday I posted a letter to the Editor of  the New York Times disputing the ad which appeared in their pages…


As far as I can tell, the letter has not been published by the Times, but the photos presented above definitely show whose children are being slaughtered by whom.


Posted below is a response to the advert which appeared on the Pages of The New York Times (See THIS post) …. also see this hateful video to know what we are dealing with. Presented is a letter sent to the Editor at the Times. Let’s see if it is fit for them to print, or would they prefer to get it in the form of an ad with a check enclosed …
Just how much Freedom of the Press is there?

US-Based Professors Respond to NYT Ad Accusing Professors and BDS Movement of Inciting Murder of Jewish Children

Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
[New York Times building in New York City. Image by wallyg from Flickr.]
[New York Times building in New York City. Image by wallyg from Flickr.]

[The following letter to the editor was submitted on 28 April, 2012 to the New York Times in response to an advertisement paid for by the David Horowtiz Freedom Center that appeared in the Op Ed section of the 24 April, 2012 edition of the NYT. It was also reproduced here. The advertisement is posted below, after the list of signatories to the letter.]

To the Editor:

We are professors who teach in universities across this country. We are appalled at the advertisement by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (Op-Ed page, April 24, 2012) which compares the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) to the Holocaust and ancient blood libels. It also asks that professors who support it be “publicly shamed and condemned.” It grossly distorts the statements of such professors, which are publicly available online and can be verified.

The Horowitz Center’s advertisement seeks to shut down informed debate. Free speech and thought was a crucial right at stake in 1930s Germany and it remains so today. The discussion that took place at the University of Pennsylvania did not use any objectionable language, and included many Jewish participants, including rabbis. Your readers can hear for themselves what was said at It is Horowitz who uses the language of hatred and bigotry. Even those of us who do not support BDS are alarmed at your carrying an advertisement that misinforms and names individuals who do not have the money that Horowtiz has to defend themselves through his chosen medium.

We hope you will publish this letter to make this point.

1. Ania Loomba, University of Pennsylvania
2. Ajay Skaria, University of Minnesota
3. Amy Lang, Syracuse University
4. Andreas Huyssen, Columbia University
5. Anjali Arondekar, University of California, Santa Cruz
6. Ann Pellegrini, NYU
7. Antonio Feros
University of Pennsylvania
8. Boris Gasparov, Columbia University
9. Brian Boyd, Columbia University
10. Bruce Robbins, Columbia University
11. Cesare Cesarino, University of Minnesota
12. Charles Bernstein, University of Pennsylvania
13. Crystal Bartolovich, Syracuse University
14. Daniel Richter, University of Pennsylvania
15. David Delgado Shorter, UCLA
16. David Eng, University of Pennsylvania
17. David Kazanjian University of Pennsylvania
18. David Lloyd, University of Southern California
19. David Pellow, University of Minnesota
20. David Shorter, UCLA
21. Elizabeth Bernstein, Columbia University
22. Ellen Kennedy, University of Pennsylvania
23. Farah Godrej, University of California, Riverside
24. Gary Fields, University of California, San Diego
25. Gillian Hart, University of California, Berkeley
26. Heather Love, University of Pennsylvania
27. Homay King, Bryn Mawr College
28. Howard Winant, University of California, Santa Barbara
29. Indrani Chatterjee, Rutgers University
30. James English, University of Pennsylvania
31. James Schamus, Columbia University
32. Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University
33. Jean Howard, Columbia University
34. Jean Lave, University of California, Berkeley
35. Jennifer Wenzel, University of Michigan
36. Jigna Desai, University of Minnesota
37. Jim Holstun, SUNY, Buffalo
38. Joel Beinin, Stanford University
39. Joel Wainwright, Ohio State University
40. John Mowitt, University of Minnesota
41. Joseph Slaughter, Cornell University
42. Josephine Park, University of Pennsylvania
43. Josie Saldaña, NYU
44. Judith Frank, Amherst College
45. Judith Surkis, Columbia University and the Institute for Advanced Study
46. Kaja Silverman, University of Pennsylvania
47. Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School
48. Kathleen A. McHugh, UCLA
49. Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania
50. Keya Ganguly University of Minnesota
51. Lucy San Pablo Burns, UCLA
52. Manan Desai, Syracuse University
53. Margo Todd, University of Pennsylvania
54. Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University
55. Mark Levine, University of California, Irvine
56. Max Cavitch, University of Pennsylvania
57. Mayanthi L. Fernando, University of California, Santa Cruz
58. Melissa Sanchez, University of Pennsylvania
59. Michael Gamer, University of Pennsylvania
60. Michael Rothberg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
61. Michelle Clayton, UCLA
62. Najam Haider, Barnard College
63. Nancy Bentley, University of Pennsylvania
64. Natalie Melas, Cornell University
65. Nguyen-vo Thu-huong, UCLA
66. Nikhil Pal Singh, NYU
67. Page Fortna, Columbia University
68. Patricia Morton, University of California, Riverside
69. Persis Karim, San Jose State University
70. Piya Chatterjee, University of California, Riverside.
71. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University
72. Raka Ray, University of California, Berkeley
73. Saadia Toor, City University of New York
74. Saba Mahmood, University of California, Berkeley
75. Sabina Sawhney, Hofstra University
76. Sheldon Pollock, Columbia University
77. Shelley Feldman, Cornell University
78. Shu-mei Shih, UCLA
79. Simona Sawhney, University of Minnesota
80. Steve Hahn, University of Pennsylvania
81. Susan Edmunds, Syracuse University
82. Suvir Kaul, University of Pennsylvania
83. Taher Herzallah, University of California, Riverside
84. Tariq Thachil, Yale University
85. Timothy Brennan, University of Minnesota
86. Toni Bowers, University of Pennsylvania
87. Toorjo Ghose, University of Pennsylvania
88. Tsitsi Jaji, University of Pennsylvania
89. Vijay Prashad, Trinity College
90. Viranjini Munasinghe, Cornell University
91. Warren Breckman, University of Pennsylvania
92. Zachary Lesser, University of Pennsylvania
93. Rei Terada, UC Irvine
94. Ravi Palat, Binghamton University
95. Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania
96. Gregory Mann, Columbia University
97. Qadri Ismail, Univerisity of Minnesota
98. Nik Heynen, University of Georgia
99. Shefali Chandra, Washington University St. Louis
100. Jason McGrath, University of Minnesota
101. Ismail Poonawala, UCLA
102. Zohreh Sullivan, UIUC
103. Richard Dienst, Rutgers University
104. Charles E. Butterworth, University of Maryland
105. Gabriel Piterberg, Professor of History, UCLA
106. Jennifer Olmsted, Drew University
107. Katherine C. King, University of California at Los Angeles
108. Dina Rizk Khoury, George Washington University
109. Sondra Hale, Los Angeles (UCLA)
110. Caren Kaplan, Professor, UC Davis
111. Carole S. Vance, Columbia University
112. Karen Brodkin, Professor Emerita, UCLA
113. Lee Zimmerman, Hofstra University
114. Louise Fortmann, UC Berkeley
115. David Klein, California State University, Northridge
116. Barrie Thorne, University of California, Berkeley
117. Ahlam Muhtaseb, California State University, San Bernardino
118. Neil Smith, CUNY
119. Carole H. Browner, UCLA
120. Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas
121. Guy Pollio, Nassau Community College
122. Mona Mehdy, Univ of Texas at Austin
123. Snehal Shingavi, University of Texas, Austin
124. Tim Corrigan, University of Pennsylvania
125. Paul Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania
126. Michael Goldman, University of Minnesota
127. Huma Dar, UC Berkeley
128. Zachary Lockman, New York University
129. Rebecca L. Stein, Duke University
130. Dohra Ahmad, St. John’s University
131. Richard Falk, UCSB
132. Sondra Hale, UCLA
133. Gayatri Gopinath, NYU
134. Shane Minkin, Swarthmore College
135. Lisa Duggan, NYU
136. Hatem Bazian, UC Berkeley
137. Jed Esty, University of Pennsylvania
138. Christopher L. Chiappari, St. Olaf College
139. Aniruddha Das, Columbia University
140. Thomas Pepper, University of Minnesota
141. Helen Scott, University of Vermont
142. Gayatri Chakravoty Spivak, Columbia University
143. Lisa Hajjar UCSB
144. Stephanie McCurry, University of Pennsylvania
145. S. Shankar, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
146. Cindi Katz, CUNY.
147. Nada Elia, Antioch University – Seattle
148. Grace Kao, University of Pennsylvania
149. Nancy Scheper-Hughes, UC Berkeley
150. Bruce Braun, University of Minnesota
151. Katie Kane, University of Montana

Original advertisement by David Horowitz Freedom Center appearing in 24 April, 2012 issue of New York Times:

[Image from]




The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been trying to muzzle press freedom and freedom of expression under the rubric of “upholding the rule of law”.

Fettering the press in Ramallah

By Khalid Amayreh
Frustrated with the dead end in the supposed peace process with Israel, Palestinian Authority leaders are getting increasingly edgy about criticism, writes Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been trying to muzzle press freedom and freedom of expression under the rubric of “upholding the rule of law”.Several Palestinian journalists have been interrogated and imprisoned of late in connection with articles they wrote or opinions they voiced about leading PA figures, including President Mahmoud Abbas.

One of the highlighted cases is that of Youssef Shayeb who has been put in jail since mid-March following an article he penned mid-January exposing alleged financial and administrative corruption plaguing the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) diplomatic mission in Paris.

In the article, which was published in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad, Shayeb alleged that members of the Palestinian mission in Paris were involved in financial mismanagement, illegal security operations and espionage for the benefit of unnamed foreign intelligence organisations. Shayeb quoted detailed testimony from anonymous sources that he refused to disclose.

Initially, the Ramallah Magistrates Court decided to remand Shayeb for 48 hours pending further interrogation. This led him to declare a hunger strike in protest at “this flagrant treatment”.

The Palestinian press law, which is yet to be complete and take a final form, prevents the executive authority — via the security agencies — from questioning or interrogating or harassing journalists over matters pertaining to their professional work. However, the PA security apparatus has more or less failed to uphold the rule of law in this regard, often justifying its encroachment and abuse by citing security considerations.

According to Shayeb’s wife, Badeia, the interrogation of her husband centred on the identity of his sources, although the Palestinian press law, in its fourth clause, grants journalists the right to keep their sources anonymous.

“The attorney-general has no right to demand that a given journalist disclose his or her sources unless there is a court order to this effect.”

The attorney general’s office, however, argued that the interrogation of Shayeb and his subsequent detention was legal, “because no one, including journalists, has the right to defame, libel and smear the reputation of people without indicting evidence.”

The office said it was duty bound to address formal complaints by those whose names were mentioned in the investigative article, including PA Foreign Minister Riyadh Maliki, the Palestinian ambassador to France, and his deputy.

Ahmed Al-Mughni, the attorney-general, told reporters in Ramallah this week that Shayeb was charged with defamation and libel as well as perjury in violation of the law.

The continued arrest of Shayeb generated protests by Palestinian journalists who called on Abbas to free the man. However, sources at Abbas’s office pointed out that the president couldn’t and wouldn’t interfere with the work of the judiciary.

On Sunday, 2 April, the Magistrates Court decided to release Shayeb on bail, set at $7000. However, Shayeb is still in jail, apparently due to the intervention of “powerful people” within the PA regime.

Another less publicised case involving PA encroachment on freedom of expression has been that of journalist Ismat Abdel-Khaleq who has been in jail for over a week over “insulting and ridiculing” PA Chairman Abbas on her Facebook page.

The female journalist was transferred to hospital on Monday, 3 April, following deterioration in her health. She has been remanded for 15 days for further investigation.

According to Nehad Abu Gohsh, a Journalists’ Union spokesman, Abdel-Khaleq has been interrogated by the Preventive Security Services. Abdel-Khaleq reportedly argued that the controversial content on her Facebook page was not hers, but comments added by others.

The attorney-general charged the journalist with verbally abusing high-ranking government officials, a charge many journalists are worried will muzzle press freedom and seriously undermine the ability of the press to carry out its function as a watchdog over the government.

The increasingly draconian PA approach to press freedom and other civil liberties is raising many eyebrows in the occupied West Bank. One PA official intimated to Al-Ahram Weekly that the Ramallah regime is feeling increasingly insecure due to the political dead end facing the peace process with Israel.

A visibly frustrated Abbas has been saying he will send a “decisive letter” to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, warning — even threatening — that the Palestinians would soon abandon the two-state solution strategy if Israel continued to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

In an article published this week, Fatah’s leading figure in the occupied territories, Ahmed Qurei argued that it was pointless and irresponsible to continue pursuing a peace process that is void of any real content.

He called the peace process, among other things, a mirage, a great deception and a big lie, pointing to ongoing Israeli efforts to de-Arabise and de-Islamicise the demographic and cultural identity of occupied East Jerusalem.

The PLO hopes to establish a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. However, intensive and ubiquitous expansion of Jewish colonies throughout the West Bank, especially in Jerusalem, has rendered this Palestinian hope unrealistic.

Written FOR


We Can’t Say This

Thanks to Israel’s new anti-boycott law, the boundaries of legitimate political expression have become suffocatingly tight. And this editorial may get us into trouble

We could get in trouble for this. Not in New York City, where this editorial is being written, because legitimate comment is protected under the First Amendment. But our editorials, along with many other stories and columns in the Forward, also appear every Sunday in the English edition of the Haaretz newspaper in Israel. And now, with a new anti-boycott law approved by the Knesset and due to take effect in less than 90 days, the boundaries of free speech and legitimate expression have grown unpredictably and suffocatingly tight.

So, for example, if we say something like: We can understand why reasonable people could advocate a boycott of products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank because those settlements are deemed illegal under international law and because a boycott is a peaceful way of expressing a moral concern — well, if we say something like that, we could be sued and held liable in civil court. And that court could award financial recompense to the plaintiff not according to actual damage done to his income if, for instance, we suggested that people refrain from buying his oranges or his facial cream, but according to what he thinks he might lose in the future.

Unpack this for a moment. We didn’t boycott, we just expressed sympathy in a way that could be seen as advocacy without taking the leap from speech to action. We didn’t target a product manufactured in Tel Aviv or Hadera or within the undisputed borders of Israel, or in any way seek to delegitimize the state. We surely didn’t advocate violence or express a destructive opinion about Israel or its government and leaders.

We simply said that promoting a boycott of goods from the occupied West Bank could be a legitimate form of political protest by those who love Israel and therefore wish to see her survive as a democratic Jewish state with borders that allow for a viable Palestinian state next door.

But it could get us in trouble.

Which is why we have stricken the potentially offending words. Just in case.

It may be that when the Israeli Supreme Court hears the inevitable legal challenge to the anti-boycott law, it will rule it unconstitutional and prove, again, that a democratic system of checks and balances exists in the Israeli polity. It may be that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who stayed away from the impassioned Knesset debate on the bill, even though it was sponsored by a member of his own party — will signal his displeasure and work to get it repealed.

This, however, may all be wishful thinking. The Israeli government has to answer to its own people before it answers to Diaspora Jews, and the inability of a weak political opposition and a tepid public response to stop this disturbing new law could mean that it is actually what Israel wants. It may think putting limits on free speech and outlawing calls for boycott are the best way to counter its growing diplomatic isolation. After all, Israel is not the only country in its neighborhood to use drastic measures to curtail political protest, and the prospect of a civil case for damages contained in this new law is far more palatable than the punishments meted out by ruthless leaders elsewhere in the region.

Yet, comparing Israel to its struggling neighbors sets such a low standard of democratic performance that it hardly seems worth the trouble. The threat of “delegitimization” — real in some instances, overblown in many others — should be countered with forceful, positive action to solve real problems, not silence them. No attempt to threaten or censor can hide the fact that, for 44 years, Israel has ruled another people with its own legitimate, national aspirations, and it is in everyone’s interests, including those of the United States, to negotiate an end to this impasse.

The fear and frustration that prompted this new law are to be acknowledged, but they cannot justify such a dangerous move. Some boycotts are ruthless and discriminatory, true, but in other circumstances, a boycott can be a legitimate use of non-violent protest to achieve a worthy goal. A boycott of West Bank products could fall into the first category. It could also be seen as a noble attempt to effect change.

But we can’t say that.

An Editorial in The Forward


The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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