ISRAEL WINS WORLD’S UNPOPULARITY CONTEST

US is only western country with favorable views of Israel

 

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Yup …. the results are in as reported by BBC News …
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The persistent association of Israel with the world’s most negatively viewed countries will come as a disappointment to Israeli government and other hasbara officials who have invested millions of dollars in recent years to greenwash and pinkwash Israel as an enlightened, democratic and technological “Western” country.
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Israel one of world’s most unpopular countries and it’s getting worse: BBC survey

 by Ali Abunimah
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 Israel is not only one of the world’s most negatively viewed countries, but its reputation is deteriorating, according to the BBC World Service’s latest global survey.

The US is now the only Western country that holds favorable views of Israel and in some European countries, including Germany, positive views of Israel are in the single digits.

The 2013 Country Ratings Poll, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA for the BBC among 26,299 people around the world between December 2012 and April 2013 found that:

Iran is once again the most negatively viewed country, with negative ratings climbing four points to 59%. Most people also give negative ratings to Pakistan (56%, up five points), North Korea (55%, up three points) and Israel (52%, up one point).

The persistent association of Israel with the world’s most negatively viewed countries will come as a disappointment to Israeli government and other hasbara officials who have invested millions of dollars in recent years to greenwash and pinkwash Israel as an enlightened, democratic and technological “Western” country.

US is only western country with favorable views of Israel

And the news only gets worse. Here are some of the highlights from the BBC poll:

  • On average, in the 22 tracking countries surveyed both in 2012 and 2013, 52 per cent of respondents had negative views of Israel’s influence in the world, an increase of two points from last year.
  • Out of the 25 countries polled in 2013, 20 lean negative, three lean positive, and two are divided.
  • The United States is the only Western country surveyed holding favorable views of Israel, and the only country in the survey with a majority of positive ratings (51%, stable).
  • Views of Israel in Canada and in Australia remain entrenched in negative territory with respectively 57 and 69 per cent of unfavourable views.
  • In the EU countries surveyed, views of Israeli influence are all strongly negative and have either hardened further or remained stable.
  • The United Kingdom is the most unfavorable country towards Israel in the EU with 72 per cent of Britons holding negative ratings.
  • The UK is followed by Spain (70% negative) where views have deteriorated due to a loss of positive ratings, now at just 4 per cent (down from 12%).
  • Positive views have dropped eight points in Germany over the past year, down to 8 per cent in 2013 while negative inclinations have remained stable at 67 per cent.
  • In France, the picture is stable with 21 per cent giving positive views (vs 63% negative) France is the EU country with the highest proportion of favourable ratings.
  • Newly asked countries Poland and Greece have negative pluralities of 44 and 46 per cent respectively, while just 15 per cent lean positively towards Israel in both countries.

Also see from last year: “Israel’s popularity sinks even lower in 2012, new BBC global survey confirms.”

 

 

Written FOR

IN DEFENSE OF THE TRUTH REGARDING PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE

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Gideon Levy is no stranger to these pages. His writings in HaAretz have been a direct blow against the occupation and all other moves to discredit or destroy the Palestinian people. He has been showered with praises for his views, THIS being one of the best essays written about him.

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Amira Hass, Levy’s co-worker and fellow journalist is another who writes the truth and as Levy often gets in ‘hot water’ over it. This week the hot water boiled over into a full-scale storm because of THIS opinion piece that appeared in HaAretz.

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Levy comes to her defense in the following ….

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Hass, like me, is against violence. I take the liberty to write that out of deep conviction. Who wants to see children killed by rocks, citizens torn apart by an improvised explosive device, or teenagers who have been shot?

But resistance to violence must be direct, comprehensive and fair. It must include the resistance to the occupier’s violence. There is no need to count the dead and wounded, the physically and mentally disabled − of both nations − to recognize that the greater, and inherent, violence is that of the occupier.

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The inner syntax of the storm

Coming to Amira Hass’ defense after her controversial op-ed on Palestinian stone-throwing, Gideon Levy argues that the criticism against Hass laid bare the hypocrisy, or the ignorance, of large swaths of Israeli public opinion.

By Gideon Levy
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The storm that was unleashed by Amira Hass’ important opinion piece,“The inner syntax of Palestinian stone-throwing,” was a welcome one. It laid bare at once the hypocrisy, or the ignorance, of large swaths of Israeli public opinion.

Hypocrisy, because the up-in-arms crowd ignores the original, fundamental, institutionalized and methodical violence of the very fact of the occupation and its mechanisms. Ignorance, because the implication is that the impassioned naysayers might not know just how cruel is the military tyranny in the territories.

In addition, those who accused Hass so furiously of “crossing lines” and “inciting murder” did not read her piece all the way through. It contains not incitement to murder, but rather a straight-on, fair and courageous apprehension of the Palestinian liberation struggle that is absent from the Israeli dialogue.

If there is any preaching in her commentary, it is mainly devoted to the nonviolent struggle against the occupation, in the form of calling for documentation, going out to work pilfered lands, and overcoming the fear of interrogations. Even the act of taking up the stone is justified only as an inevitable refuge.

The commentary was published a few days after Jews read from the Haggadah, which tells the story of a different people’s freedom struggle, a struggle that included much more terrible calamities than rocks thrown at the deniers of liberty. Generations of Jews read this text in awe and wonder, telling it to their children. But they are not willing to apply the same basic rule − the same internal justice, according to which resistance, including violent resistance, is the birthright and duty of every vanquished nation, as Hass wrote − to everyone, and not just the Jews.

Rooted deep in the Israeli experience is the idea that what is permitted to the Jewish people is prohibited to others. But there is no need to go back as far as the time of Pharaoh. Ever since then, human history has been paved with freedom struggles against foreign rulers, struggles that earned the respect of history, and that were, in the main, violent, often more violent than the Palestinian struggle. The slogan “We’ve had enough of you, occupiers” is not exclusive to Arabic; it has been voiced down through history in nearly every language, including modern Hebrew.

Hass, like me, is against violence. I take the liberty to write that out of deep conviction. Who wants to see children killed by rocks, citizens torn apart by an improvised explosive device, or teenagers who have been shot?

But resistance to violence must be direct, comprehensive and fair. It must include the resistance to the occupier’s violence. There is no need to count the dead and wounded, the physically and mentally disabled − of both nations − to recognize that the greater, and inherent, violence is that of the occupier.

Palestinian rocks and IEDs have caused great losses to both peoples. The only way to end them is to end the occupation. Unfortunately, that will not happen on its own. In 46 years of occupation, Israel has proved it cannot be forced to stop its evil actions through acts of good.

Now we must ask Hass’ detractors: What do you expect? What are you, patriots and supposed opposers of violence, offering the Palestinians? Do you honestly think they will bow their heads in submission and obedience for another 46 years? Is there an historical precedent for such behavior?

And even if they were to do so, what would happen? Their fight would only be further forgotten. That is the lesson Israel taught them − the hard way.

A stone can indeed be lethal. So can a rubber-tipped bullet, a tear gas grenade, live fire, bombs and shells. The fact that these latter weapons are used by Israel does not dull their violence. The claim that Israel uses them solely for self-defense is just as ridiculous as the claim, also voiced in the heat of emotion, that Israel is the victim of this entire bloody story and that the occupation was in fact imposed (!‏) on it.

Such is the way of self-righteousness, distorted morals and lies, elements of the inner syntax of the Hass storm.

MEDIA OPENS ITS PAGES TO THE BDS MOVEMENT

 NY-Daily-News-logo
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Daily News – OpinionThe BDS movement explained

Why I’ve boycotted Israel

By Omar Barghouti / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

In many media reports on the recent panel held at Brooklyn College on the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, BDS was subjected to relentless vilification and unfounded allegations.

This was yet another ruthless campaign to demonize and shut down all criticism of Israel. Following congressional Israel-centered bullying of secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel, it is further evidence of the rise of a new McCarthyism — one that uses unconditional allegiance to Israel as the litmus test of loyalty.

Indeed, suppressed in all media coverage of the Brooklyn College controversy were Palestinian voices — like mine — who can best explain why Palestinians have embarked on this nonviolent, rights-based struggle for our rights, and how it is deeply inspired by the South African anti-apartheid and the U.S. civil rights movements.

Despite the intimidation campaign waged against it, Brooklyn College — with support from civil libertarians and influential liberal voices — upheld academic freedom and allowed the BDS event on Feb. 7 to proceed.

Mayor Bloomberg indirectly compared attempts by politicians to impose their agenda on the college to North Korea’s despotic policies. Ironically, in a 2012 BBC poll of world public opinion, Israel ranked third among the countries with the most negative influence in the world, competing with North Korea. As many now recognize, BDS has played a considerable role in exposing Israeli policies and, as a result, engendering this steady erosion of Israel’s international standing.

The BDS call was launched on July 9, 2005, by an alliance of more than 170 Palestinian parties, unions, refugee networks, NGOs and grassroots associations. They asked international civil society organizations and people of conscience to “impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”

Specifically, BDS calls for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967; an end to what even the U.S. State Department slams as Israel’s “institutional, legal and societal discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens; and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands from which they were forcibly displaced.

Our opponents call us “Jew haters.” That is a lie and a slander. BDS advocates equal rights for all and consistently opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. In fact, many progressive Jewish activists, intellectuals, students, feminists and others participate in and sometimes lead BDS campaigns in Western countries. The increasing impact of Israeli supporters of BDS has led the Knesset to pass a draconian anti-boycott law banning advocacy of any boycott against Israel or its complicit institutions.

Calling the boycott of Israel anti-Semitic is itself an anti-Semitic statement, as it reduces all Jews to a monolith that is absolutely equivalent to the state of Israel, is entirely represented by Israel and holds collective responsibility for Israel’s policies.

If boycott is “withdrawing . . . cooperation from an evil system,” as Martin Luther King Jr. teaches us, BDS fundamentally calls on all peace-loving U.S. citizens to fulfill their profound moral obligation to desist from complicity in Israel’s system of oppression against the Palestinian people, which takes the form of occupation, colonization and apartheid. Given the billions of dollars lavished by the U.S. on Israel annually, American taxpayers are effectively subsidizing Israel’s human rights violations.

Building on its global ascendance, the BDS movement is spreading across the U.S., especially on campuses and in churches. Multi-million-dollar campaigns by Israel’s foreign ministry to counter BDS by “rebranding” through art, science and cynically using LGBT rights to “pinkwash” Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights have failed to stem the tide.

Without increasing international pressure and accountability, Israel will carry on with total impunity its brutal and illegal blockade of Gaza; its untamed construction of illegal settlements and wall in the occupied West Bank; its strategy of “Judaization” in Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Jordan Valley and the Naqab (Negev), its adoption of new racist laws and its denial of refugees’ rights.

Israel and its lobby groups often try to delegitimize the Palestinian quest for equality by portraying the nonviolent BDS emphasis on equal rights and the right of return as aiming to “destroy Israel.” If equality and justice would destroy Israel, what does that say about Israel? Did equality and justice destroy South Africa? Alabama?

As the first edition of McCarthyism was defeated through the industrious and creative toils of brave, principled defenders of freedom and human rights, so will this new McCarthyism.

Barghouti is the co-founder of the BDS movement and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. He is the author of “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights.”

JERUSALEM POST JOINS THE FRENZIE OF CREATING ANTI SEMITISM

 A favourite trick of the international zionist movement is the pulling out of the victim or holocaust card whenever they feel it will win friends for them ….
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It’s an old trick as can be seen in this video …
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But, do you see anything anti Semitic with this cartoon in question? The JP obviously does
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‘Sunday Times’ mocks Holocaust with Israel cartoon
On Holocaust Memorial Day, British weekly publishes cartoon depicting big-nosed Netanyahu paving wall with Palestinian blood, limbs.
'Sunday Times' anti-Semitic cartoon
‘Sunday Times’ anti-Semitic cartoon Photo: Courtesy
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The Sunday Times marked Holocaust Memorial Day in a less-than-traditional manner, running a virulently anti-Israel cartoon depicting a big-nosed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paving a wall with the blood and limbs of writhing Palestinians.

The cartoon included a caption beneath the image entitled “Israeli elections- will cementing peace continue?” Drawn by Gerald Scarfe, the cartoon appeared in the national paper on Sunday.

For a larger version of the cartoon, click here

“This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset,” said European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor. “This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”

“Amazingly, as this cartoon was published days after the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, underwent fully democratic elections, as others in the Middle East were being butchered by the tens of thousands, the Sunday Timesfocuses its imagination solely on the Jewish State.  This contravenes many of the criteria laid out in EUMC’s Working Definition of Antisemitism and is part of a worrying trend to legitimize the growing assault on Israel by opinion-shapers.”

British anti-Semitism has made headlines throughout the week after Liberal Democrat MP David Ward accused “the Jews” of inflicting violence on Palestinians on a daily basis,” and questioned how they could do this so soon after their “liberation from the death camps.”

He issued something of a backtrack on Saturday evening, in response to condemnation from his party and a huge backlash on social media. “I was trying to make clear that everybody needs to learn the lessons of the Holocaust,” the MP posted on his website.

“I recognize of course the deep sensitivities of these issues at all times, and particularly on occasions of commemoration such as this weekend [Holocaust Memorial Day],” he said.

He added that his criticisms of Israel “remain as strong as ever.”

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton paid a special tribute to Holocaust survivors on Sunday, in a statement released on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Ashton said that the survivors of the Holocaust “remind us of this tragedy that we must never forget.”

‘THE ONLY WINTER WONDERLAND IN THE MIDDLE EAST’

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Jerusalemites woke up this morning to find their city covered in snow. Just a few days past the Orthodox Christmas, the song ‘Dreaming of a white Christmas’ came to life …
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Snowstorm made the headline news in all of Israel’s media …. much more pleasant than reading about wars.
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Enjoy the photos and videos …. ‘Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!’
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From HaAretz
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From Jerusalem Post
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From Arutz 7
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From Ynet
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THE NEW YORK TIMES SUCCUMBS TO ZIONISM*

  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.
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Correction or zionist LIE?
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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
E1
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.

Source

FROM GAZA; YOU READ ABOUT THIS, BUT NOT THAT

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It’s no longer a question of reading ‘between the lines’, it’s a question of reading the TRUTH!
Ask yourself one question; is selective reporting not the same as lying?
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The headlines are full of ….
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From Ynet

Rocket hits Netivot home’s yard 

Nighttime lull ends when rocket hits private home’s yard; Nine people suffer panic attacks, house sustains damage. IAF strikes Gaza terror hubs overnight

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From HaAretz

Gaza rocket hits yard of Israeli house, as violence enters third day

The hit left no casualties, but 10 people were suffering from shock after the incident; three houses were damaged by shrapnel from the rocket.

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Grad rocket slams into Netivot building; 9 suffer shock

Unofficial ceasefire by Palestinian Islamic Jihad is broken by rocket-fire, Israeli Air Force strikes; renewed violence comes after 100 rockets fired over the weekend.

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All of the above were headline ‘news’ articles ….
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No mention of the following ….
It’s no longer a question of reading ‘between the lines’, it’s a question of reading the TRUTH!
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7 Palestinians, including 3 children, killed and 52 injured as Israeli attack on Gaza continues

by Annie Robbins and Adam Horowitz
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Relatives of Matar Abu Al-Atta, killed the day before by an Israeli military attack, mourn during his funeral in the al-Shoja’iya neighborhood east of Gaza City , November 11, 2012.
(Photo: Anne Paq/
Activestills.org)
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Funerals in Gaza as Israel announces it may be escalating this madness. As per usual mainstream narrative Israel acts ‘in response’, but who started this latest round of violence and when?

This summary from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights gives details on all that have been killed so far, and clarifies that this recent round of violence began when 13-year-old Ahmed Younis Khader Abu Daqqa was killed on Thursday:

Over the past 72 hours, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have escalated their aerial and ground attacks against the Gaza Strip. Five Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, have been killed, and 52 others, including 6 women and 12 children, have been wounded. Four of these deaths and 38 of the injuries resulted from an Israeli attack on a football playground in al-Shoja’iya neighborhood east of Gaza City. Additionally, 2 members of the Palestinian resistance were killed, and some civilian facilities were destroyed or damaged.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 15:30 on Saturday, 10 November 2012, Israeli military vehicles stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired an artillery shell at a number of Palestinian children who were playing football at al-Mentar Hill east of al-Shoja’iya neighborhood, which is east of Gaza City and nearly 1,500 meters away from the border. As a result, 2 children were instantly killed:

1- Mohammed Ussama Hassan Harara (16); and

2- Ahmed Mustafa Khaled Harara (17).

Following this attack, a number of Palestinian civilians, who were in the consolation house of the Harara family, rushed to the area, where the IOF immediately fired another 3 shells. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians were instantly killed:

1- Ahmed Kamel Al- Dirdissawi (18); and

2- Matar ‘Emad ‘Abdul Rahman Abu al-‘Ata (19).

Additionally, 38 civilians, including 8 children, were wounded; the wounding of 10 of these civilians was described by medical crews as being serious.

Earlier, on Thursday evening, 08 November 2012, the IOF killed a Palestinian child during an incursion in the ‘Abassan village, east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 16:30 on Thursday, as a result of the indiscriminate shooting by IOF military vehicles that had moved into the ‘Abassan village, 13-year-old Ahmed Younis Khader Abu Daqqa was seriously wounded by a bullet to the abdomen. At the time he was shot, Ahmed had been playing football with his friends in front of his family’s house, located nearly 1,200 meters away from the area where the IOF were present. He was evacuated to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis, but he was pronounced dead 15 minutes later.

Ma’an News reported on Abu Daqqa’s death on November 8th:

Hamid Younis Abu Daqqa died after Israeli forces targeted houses and farms east of Khan Younis, according to Ashraf al-Qidra, a medical spokesman in Gaza.

Medics said the boy was hit by machine gun fire, either from Israeli helicopters or tanks that took part in the incident.

Israeli military vehicles briefly penetrated the southern Gaza Strip earlier Thursday morning, leading to clashes with Palestinian militants.

The Popular Resistance Committees said its gunmen had confronted an Israeli force of four tanks and a bulldozer involved in a short-range incursion beyond Israel’s border fence with the Gaza Strip.

“Terrorists opened fire at IDF (Israeli army) soldiers while they were performing routine activity adjacent to the security fence,” an Israeli military spokeswoman said in Jerusalem. She said reports of Palestinians injuries were being checked.

Routine activity with tanks and bulldozers inside of Gaza? Just because Israel calls it ‘routine’ doesn’t justify they initiated this madness. Why did Israel invade Gaza at dawn on Thursday with eight tanks and four bulldozers?

The Palestine News Network (PNN) reported that eight Israeli tanks and four armored military bulldozers invaded, on Thursday at dawn, Abasan town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and fired smoke bombs and rounds of live ammunition.

Abu Daqqa’s funeral was Friday the ninth:

abudaqqa
Funeral of Hamid Younis Abu Daqqa, shot the day before by the Israeli army with a machine gun from an helicopter, in ‘Abassan al Kabira, east of Khan Yunis, gaza Strip, November 9, 2012. (Photo: Anne Paq/
Activestills.org)
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And now there are reports that Israel may escalate as Hamas joins Gaza clasheswith a possible ground invasion into Gaza. We will continue to update the story as more information becomes available.

Written FOR

IS THE RIGHT WING RUNNING OUT OF HEROES?

 It was a pleasant surprise (almost an insult) that one of New York’s most right wing media outlets chose my personal hero as one of their own …. Have a look…..
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Want a hero? Look to Pete Seeger

The singer, New York born and bred, has a legacy of optimism and activism

BY PETER DREIER* / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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Pete Seeger, seen here in 2009.

ASTRID STAWIARZ/GETTY IMAGES

Pete Seeger, seen here in 2009.

To everything, there is a season, according to Pete Seeger’s song, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

This is the season for New Yorkers and all Americans to honor Seeger.

Now 93, the Manhattan-born troubadour has devoted his life to educating Americans and the world about peace, social justice, the environment and our country’s musical tradition.

Why not at least name a city public school after the man?

His legacy begins, of course, with music. The hundreds of songs Seeger has written orpopularized as a member of The Weavers and as a solo artist have sent powerful messages of tolerance and hope.

Seeger turned “We Shall Overcome” into a civil rights standard and a global anthem for human rights. He popularized his friend Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” now our unofficial national anthem.

His anti-war tunes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and “If I Had a Hammer,” helped inspire the 1950s battle against nuclear weapons and the 1960s movement against the Vietnam War. He also introduced millions of Americans to songs from other cultures, like “Wimoweh” and “Guantanamera.”

But Seeger’s activism extends far beyond the guitar and concert hall. In addition to being a World War II veteran, Seeger has been on the front lines of every major social justice crusade during his lifetime: labor unions and migrant workers in the 1930s and 1940s, the banning of nuclear weapons and opposition to the Cold War in the 1950s, civil rights and the anti-war movement in the 1960s, opposition to South African apartheid in the 1970s and, always, human rights throughout the world.

He’s seen his share of controversy. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Seeger was blacklisted for his left-wing views. Commercial television and radio networks banned Seeger and his songs.

But in response to being blacklisted, Seeger parlayed his talents into doing good. He taught guitar and banjo, played for schools and at summer camps and recorded albums for children.

During those years, Seeger planted many seeds. The youngsters who heard him became political activists and spread the gospel of folk and protest music. That’s how, more than anyone else, Seeger catalyzed the folk music revival that inspired the careers of performers like Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, Phil Ochs and Joan Baez — and later Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello.

Seeger has always had a special relationship with New York. Born in Manhattan in 1919, he lived in the city from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. He then moved to Beacon, an hour up the Hudson River, where he built his own log cabin house, where he’s lived ever since.

And that’s where another major strand of his legacy has taken root: environmental stewardship. In 1966, Seeger launched the nonprofit Clearwater project, dedicated to cleaning up the Hudson River. The effort, at first written off as simplistic and naive, helped inspire the environmental movement. The Hudson, once filled with oil pollution, sewage and toxic chemicals is now swimmable.

Through unrelenting optimism, Seeger endured and overcame the controversies triggered by his activism. Yes, he has gotten honors — a Kennedy Center Award from former President Bill Clinton — and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But the city of his birth, the state that has been his home for nearly a century, has yet to honor him in a manner befitting his tremendous influence.

Before Pete Seeger’s fingers can strum no longer, let’s pay respect to his life and legacy. Begin by naming a public school after him. In fact, a committee of civic leaders should nominate Seeger for the Nobel Peace Prize, recognizing his role in bringing the world closer together.

*Dreier teaches politics at Occidental College and is author of “The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame.”

THE INVISABLE ISLAMOPHOBE

 He just doesn’t exist! Believe it or don’t! Like 9/11, Israel had nothing to do with it 😉
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Anti-Islam Film’s Jewish Tie Crumbles

Film’s Creator Claims Israeli ‘Producer’ Doesn’t Exist

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Plot Thickens: Initial reports identified the maker of the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ as an Israeli living in California. That story is falling apart.
YOUTUBE
Plot Thickens: Initial reports identified the maker of the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ as an Israeli living in California. That story is falling apart.

WASHINGTON — An alleged tie between Jews and a film that sparked violence in the Arab world by insulting the prophet Mohammed, put Jewish activists on alert following the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans during riots against the film.

Jewish activists feared a widely reported role of Jews in funding and producing the film, which contains crude attacks on Islam, could stain the community as a whole as anti-Muslim.

But a search for a person presenting himself as responsible for the film who said his name was “Sam Bacile” led to a dead end. Eventually, another man involved in making the movie admitted Bacile’s name was a pseudonym and said that the alleged producer of the film is not Israeli and is probably not Jewish.

The claim that Jewish money was behind the film also lost ground as the partner, California Christian anti-Muslim activist Steve Klein, stated the movie was a low-budget project which he himself described as a “bad fifth grade production.”

An actress who appears in the film said she was duped and never knew it was about Islam or the prophet Mohammed.

Read the rest at the SOURCE
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Wait….. there’s more
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He doesn’t exist BUT…
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Report: Anti-Islam film director a convicted felon

ABC News says Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, is a convicted drug manufacturer who claims film’s funding came from wife’s family in Egypt

 
That report can be read HERE
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HaAretz adds its two Shekels to the madness …
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It wasn’t the Jews this time

False reports that an Israeli made the film that sparked the violence across the Middle East raises questions, and emphasizes some uncomfortable facts.

A screenshot of the film
A screenshot of the film ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ which incited an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that left 4 dead. Photo by Screenshot
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On Wednesday afternoon a collective sigh of relief could be heard in cyberspace. Enterprising reporters from half a dozen newspapers and websites had finally done the research and reached a conclusion: It wasn’t the Jews.

The shadowy “Israeli-American real estate developer” who had supposedly received $5 million from “100 Jewish donors” to produce a movie portraying the Prophet Mohammed as a violent and stupid child-molestor was actually a convicted scammer from California belonging to another faith with a grievance against Islam – the Coptic Christian Orthodox Church.

So far, all those who have been identified in helping him produce and distribute the movie are not Jewish either. So there you have it, another blood libel against the Jews exposed in less than 24 hours, thanks to the power of the Internet.

We are left with a long list of factual and moral question marks. Who translated the film to Arabic and made sure that it would be seen by at least 1,000 times more Muslims than the number of Americans who had watched it a couple of months ago in a nearly-empty California movie theater? And why? Was it simply out of journalistic interest, was it for the purposes of rabble-rousing? Or was this all the work of Al-Qaida or another terrorist organization interested in creating a diversion that would enable it to carry out the fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi?

And what of the movie’s producers? Why did they add inflammatory anti-Islamist remarks to the soundtrack? Were they trying to make money out of it or use it to raise funds for anti-Islamic activity in America? Are they connected to a wider network? And in a democracy, should we stand up and defend their right to disseminate whatever stupid and offensive material they produce?

The answer to the last question I hope is clear: we limit freedom of speech at our peril.

Salman Rushdie was protected by the British government and defended by a large part of the cultural establishment in the west when the Iranian regime issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death over the blasphemous “Satanic Verses” (though there were those who would claim to be democrats who, to their shame, placed the blame on Rushdie ).

Taking potshots at the prophet

The shyster Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, AKA Sam Bacile, has every much right as celebrated prize-winning author Rushdie – setting aside for a moment the comparative merits of either man’s artistic output – to take potshots at the prophet.

There is another question which should be asked of those media organizations, originally the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal, that swallowed Bacile’s story of Israeli citizenship and Jewish backing: Why were you so quick to run his version when reporting such a highly sensitive story, without first performing some elementary corroboration? The moment it was out there, the Jewish and Israeli angles were reproduced on 10,000 websites and established as facts. But there is a wider issue at play here than journalistic practice and ethics. (To their credit, AP and the WSJ made major efforts, after their initial reports, to pick apart Nakoula/Bacile’s story and to set the record straight. )

What if Sam Bacile’s real name was Shmuel Berkowitz, originally of Herzliya, Israel? What if he had received funding from a neo-conservative foundation bankrolled by Jewish billionaires? And let’s be honest now – for the few hours during which this was the accepted version, we either believed it, or if we harbored doubts, we at least thought it could be true.

The straight and simple answer should be that it doesn’t matter. Rushdie, Nakoula and Berkowitz – Muslim, Christian and Jew – should all enjoy the same rights to sling mud at Mohammed, Jesus or Woody Allen. But it never is that simple. Rushdie was forced into hiding for a decade and will forever be looking over his shoulder, until his last day. The Copts in Egypt certainly didn’t need this, as the second-oldest religious community in Egypt struggles to hold on to their precarious existence under the new Muslim Brotherhood administration. And as for us Jews, many of us haven’t abandoned the shtetl mentality of fear of being held to account for what one tribe-member may or not have done. A fear that is often justified.

There is another Jewish dimension at play. While AP is a fully respectable organization and no one in their right mind would even begin to accuse the Wall Street Journal of even a hint of Judeophobia, there were Jewish readers who felt there was something sinister about the way the first reports seemed perhaps to emphasize the “Israeli-American” angle. Not that there was anything in it; that is just the way our brains are wired – we immediately spot the Jew in every picture, and then start asking why he is there? Why has he been made to stand out?

And another uncomfortable fact. Jewish filmmakers have been heavily involved in producing the films “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West” and “The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America.” And prominent Jewish philanthropists have financed some of these films’ production and distribution costs. What the far-right views as necessary, truth-telling documentaries and the far-left regards as Islamophobic racism, can be seen by the rest of us as highly selective takes on reality – a neocon version of Michael Moore’s films, just without the buffoonery. Whether or not you agree with all or some or none of the content of these movies, a pattern has been established in which Jews have voluntarily placed themselves at the front line of the propaganda battle with Islam. That’s why it was so easy to believe that the producer of “The Innocence of Muslims” was Jewish and Israeli.

Why should we be concerned here? Whether or not Jews or Israelis are involved or at fault, they usually get the blame anyway. The last time an embassy was attacked in Cairo was following the death of Egyptian soldiers in a border attack carried out by Islamic Jihad. That didn’t prevent the mob from sacking Israel’s embassy. And if Jews think, rightly or wrongly, that radical Islam is an existential threat to the west, why should they keep silent? Surely that would be a capitulation to anti-Semitism.

But those Jews who have taken it upon themselves to uncover the “true face” of Islam have created the paradigm by which this war, with no clear battle lines, is increasingly being seen. Eleven years ago, the western world stood by the United States in its defense of democracy and freedom; much of that struggle has now been marginalized to a great degree. No longer is it the west defending its values and freedoms from Islamic fundamentalism. It is now Jews against Muslims, Israelis versus Arabs and brave Netanyahu taking on Iran single-handedly.

The self-appointed warriors against “Islamofascism” have every right to fight their fight. But their shrill daily cries of wolf, their willingness to embrace some of the darkest elements of Christian fundamentalism and European nationalism – as long as they share the same cause – have hugely contributed to the situation where decent people can shrug and turn away.

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Carlos Latuff’s take on the film…
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HAS THE GUARDIAN GONE MAD?

 Perhaps in hope of appeasing the satanic CIF Watch, the Guardian has hired a new team member that openly incited Israel to murder Americans taking part in future humanitarian flotillas to Gaza.
The Guardian has traditionally been a more or less honest source of news, that obviously is no longer the case.

New Guardian team member openly incited Israel to murder Alice Walker and others

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 
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In a sad sign of its deterioration, The Guardian has hired a new contributor who openly called on the Israeli army to kill Americans sailing to Gaza, including Pulitzer prize-winning author Alice Walker and Kindertransport refugee Hedy Epstein.

In a statement on its website the newspaper says:

Today the Guardian announced the addition of Josh Treviño to their editorial team. Formerly of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Treviño will be the newest Correspondent for the Guardian’s growing US politics team through his column “On Politics & Persuasion” which launches on Monday, August 20.

“We are pleased to have Josh join the Guardian,” said Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of the Guardian US. “He brings an important perspective our readers look for on issues concerning US politics,” added Gibson.

Calls for murder

Apparently, one of those “perspectives” is that those who disagree with Treviño should be brutally murdered.

In June 2011, as several dozen Americans, including Walker and Epsteinattempted to set sail from Greece to Gaza, to break Israel’s blockade along with boats from other countries, Treviño tweeted, “Dear IDF: If you end upshooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.”

Written FOR

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Related

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The Guardian responds …

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Josh Trevino is not a correspondent for the Guardian. He is a freelance writer on contract to write opinion pieces. His articles will appear on the Guardian’s Comment is Free section of the site (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/us-edition) along with articles from many other freelance writers.

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Full report HERE

NEW YORK TIMES HAS A PROBLEM FITTING IN THE FACTS TO PRINT

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



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

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So, tell us all again, New YorK
Times, just who is inciting the murder of whose children?
(Above courtesy of What Really Happened)
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Yesterday I posted a letter to the Editor of  the New York Times disputing the ad which appeared in their pages…
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HOW MUCH FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS THERE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES?

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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.

FEMALE WORKERS DECLARED ‘NOT KOSHER’ ON THURSDAY NIGHTS

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The above toon is a reminder of the last campaign against women by certain sections of the ultra orthodox community in Israel. Now,less than a week after International Women’s Day, anti-womanhood has taken on a new dimension in Jerusalem. Women will have their working hours cut back at certain eateries to satisfy the whims of the same section of that community.
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Un’f’n’believable but true … read about it in THIS HaAretz report;
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Jerusalem eatery cuts back on female help to meet kashrut restraints

Haredi-owned restaurant to stop employing waitresses on nights when yeshiva boys patronize it; owner blames jealous competitors for kashrut supervisors’ strictness.

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A Haredi-owned Jerusalem restaurant will be restricting the working hours of waitresses in order to receive the strict mehadrin kashrut certificate.

The veteran eatery, Heimische Essen, in Rehavia, will cease employing waitresses on Thursday nights, a favorite time for yeshiva boys to patronize the eatery.

Waitresses at the restaurant, which serves Eastern European specialties to a variety of people, are modestly dressed, although some of them are not Orthodox.

According to the owner, Haim Safrin, zealots, “who are jealous of the place’s success,” pressured the kashrut supervisors of the strict Agudat Israel high religious court, known as the Badatz, to stop waitresses from working on Thursday nights.

The Badatz is a private body which grants kashrut certificates and supervision over and above that provided by the Chief Rabbinate. The demand for waitress-free Thursday nights is unusual, but it is not unusual for bodies granting kashrut certificates, including the state-run Chief Rabbinate, to withdraw or threaten to withdraw a certificate for reasons that have nothing directly to do with food, such as the religious or spiritual affiliation of the owners or event halls that hold weddings for gay couples.

Be Free Israel, a group that advocates religious freedom and pluralism, called for a boycott of the restaurant, and says it plans to demonstrate in front of it tomorrow night.

Safrin, who says he has many non-religious and non-Jewish patrons, says the Badatz’s instruction is not the end of the matter and he wants to find a compromise. “At most, we can move shifts,” he said.

Safrin says the people who complained are mainly Hassidic young men who want to be served by a man. Safrin said that the Badatz’s initial demand was harsher, “but I explained to them that more than 60 percent of my patrons are women, and everyone had to be served. My area is also modern Haredi, not extreme.”

Safrin said the Badatz responded that he was right, but wanted to “give it a few weeks to check it out.” He said that although he had received the instruction three weeks ago, waitresses continued to work on Thursday nights.

He said the boycott Be Free Israel has declared is not based on the facts. “My right as the restaurant’s owner is to do anything I want.”

He also said he had insisted on continuing to employ waitresses, and on the continued employment of the eatery’s only Arab waiter. “Sometimes Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir come in,” Safrin said, referring to two extreme-right wing figures. “They say ‘get rid of the Arab, why do you emply Arabs.’ I told them I wouldn’t get rid of the Arab and that’s what will be with the waitresses.”

This story is by:

  • Yair Ettinger

ZIONISM’S ATTEMPT TO TURN LIES INTO TRUTH

My response to the critics of BDS
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 One example of the lies they spread….
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The Boycott Movement, Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week in particular, seems to have certain sections of the zionist community literally chasing their tails to get attention these days …
Lets start with a report from HaAretz which appeared a week ago; its main claim was that although BDS activists have convinced many to cancel performances here, the movement has not been able to exert the economic pressure on Israel it wishes to achieve. I posted my own response to that ridiculous claim in THIS post.
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Today a new report appears in HaAretz claiming that The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is mounting its annual Israeli Apartheid Week. Yet this year, there is something different – people have begun telling the truth about BDS.
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What is interesting is the main source they use as the ‘truth teller’….
The door was opened by author and lecturer Norman Finkelstein. Earlier this month, Finkelstein, one of Israel’s harshest critics, rocked the BDS movement with a critique devastating in its candor.
 

Finkelstein said he loathed the movement’s duplicity and disingenuousness in hiding the fact that a large part of its membership “wants to eliminate Israel.”
“I support the BDS,” Finkelstein said, but “it will never reach a broad public until and unless they’re explicit in their goal. And their goal has to include the recognition of Israel, or it’s a nonstarter.”

Instead, he said, the movement insists that it’s “agnostic” on whether or not Israel should exist. “No, you’re not agnostic! You don’t want it! Then just say it! But (BDS leaders) know full well, that if you say it, you don’t have a prayer of reaching a broad public … And frankly, you know what, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t reach a broad public, because you’re dishonest.”

Though BDS constantly claims successes, “it’s a cult, where the guru says ‘We have all these victories’ and everyone nods their head,” Finkelstein said. “People promote it as if it’s proven itself and we’re on the … verge of a victory of some sort. It’s just sheer nonsense. It’s a cult. And I, personally, I’m tired of it.”*

In the case of Norman Finkelstein, there too I posted my response in THIS post. Finkelstein  ends his tirade with the words “I’m tired of it.” So are we! We are tired of the lone voices from the ‘Ivory Towers’ trying to dictate to the activists what is right and what is wrong. It’s not only Finkelsein that is guilty of this behaviour, Noam Chomsky, as well, has been playing at that game for years. In both cases, as ‘friends’ of the Pro Palestinian Movements. Friends do not act or speak like they do. We expect this from the Dershowitzes and others connected with the ADL, but when this nonsense comes from supposed friends, all it does is give amunition to the enemy as can be seen in the two HaAretz reports linked. Do read the second link and see for yourself the weakness of those who dare accuse BDS of dishonesty. Their only defence is dishonesty on their own part.*

Here you can see and hear the truth about the BDS Movement and what it is doing in Israel…
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RACISM WILL DESTROY ISRAEL, NOT IRANIAN NUKES

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Israel is self destructing. The hatred, the settlement expansions, the racism, the ‘price tags’ are all part and parcel of the enemy. Iran is not the enemy, it is merely the one to point fingers at for the moment.
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If the truth is to known, the real enemy of Israel is the United States as it is they that support all of the self destructing policies.
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Just today, the following reports appeared in the Israeli press…
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From Ynet…
   Jerusalem: Racist graffiti daubed at Jewish-Arab school

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From HaAretz…*
Israel bars Al-Quds University doctors from practicing in East Jerusalem
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From the Jerusalem Post…
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(Defamation of hatred is criminal)
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From the American Jewish press…
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The Forward…*

Building Barriers to Two-State Solution

The Jewish Week…
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(Attempting to justify the unjustifiable)
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The Godfather of hatred himself, Alan Dershowitz
had his feathers ruffled early last week…
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From Arutz Sheva…*
Alan Dershowitz speaks at U. Penn, in efforts to counter BDS; becomes target of Max Blumenthal’s undue slander
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To condemn hatred is to slander???
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Here is what Blumenthal had to say…*

Max Blumenthal | Torture, violence advocate to keynote anti-BDS event

Alan Dershowitz, supporter of bulldozing Palestinian towns and torturing criminal suspects, is coming to campus

ISRAELI HARASSMENT CONTINUES TO THE GRAVE

Palestinians carry the body of Mustafa Tamimi during his funeral in Nabi Saleh Photo: REUTERS
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One would think murder would be the final act of terrorism and harassment…. not so when it comes to Israeli army’s attitudes… It was reported in the British Daily Telegraph that the murder of Mustafa Tamimi was a source of mockery among some IDF officers …

You can read the report HERE

Israeli military spokesman accused of mocking dead Palestinian protester

The Israeli army was at the centre of controversy on Sunday after a senior military spokesman was accused of mocking a dead Palestinian protester on the social networking website Twitter.

Ynet didn’t seem too thrilled about the foreign coverage and tried to whitewash their reporting…. Their views can be seen HERE

 

British media storm: IDF officer ‘mocks’ protestor’s death

 UK’s Telegraph reports that IDF officer ‘mocks’ death of Palestinian protester on Twitter with his use of word ‘fail’; IDF says sources with a vested interest focused on isolated tweets rather than entire timeline

*The harassment doesn’t end there, it continues to the funeral itself …

IDF fires tear gas, beats mourners after Tamimi funeral

By Mya Guarnieri

On Sunday morning, thousands of mourners lined Ramallah’s streets for the funeral procession of Mustafa Tamimi, a 28-year-old Palestinian who was killed by the Israeli army this weekend. The procession continued to Nabi Saleh, where hundreds attended Tamimi’s burial. The army reportedly fired tear gas on some of the mourners, beat unarmed demonstrators, and arrested seven activists

Mourners carry Mustafa Tamimi’s body through Ramallah (photo: Activestills)

Hundreds of mourners proceeded to Nabi Saleh, Tamimi’s village and the place he was shot by a tear gas canister during the weekly demonstration against the Israeli occupation and the illegal settlement encroaching on Nabi Saleh’s land. Tamimi was shot in the face at close range on Friday and died of the injuries Saturday morning.

Mustafa Tamimi’s funeral procession (photo: Activestills)

Those attending the funeral in Nabi Saleh reported that the Israeli army gathered on the hills nearby. They also said that an armored military jeep used to shoot tear gas–a “tear gas jeep” as Abir Kopty put it–was waiting at the entrance of the village when the funeral procession arrived.

When the mourners shouted at the soldiers for killing Tamimi, soldiers cursed them.

After Tamimi’s burial, local youth headed in the direction of the spring that belongs to the village but has been appropriated by the neighboring settlement, Halamish. The army fired tear gas and skunk water on the unarmed demonstrators.

Soldiers and protesters clash in Nabi Saleh Sunday (photo: Activestills)

“In Palestine, even anger is not allowed,” Abir Kopty remarked on Twitter.

Fearful of violent clashes with the Israeli army, some residents of Nabi Saleh called on the youth to stop the protest. They attempted to go on with their demonstration, however, and witnesses on the ground in Nabi Saleh said that soldiers beat a protester to the point that an ambulance was needed.

After an ambulance arrived, Diana Alzeer reported on Twitter that the army continued to beat the unarmed demonstrators.  Emilie Baujard, a French journalist, reported that seven protesters were arrested. Leehee Rothschild noted that several Israelis were among those detained.

Several witnesses said that soldiers attempted to choke Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, who was evacuated to the hospital.

Abir Kopty and other witnesses reported that of the seven who were arrested, three were Israeli, one was Palestinian, and the rest were internationals.

A mourner confronts a soldier with a poster commemorating Tamimi (photo: Activestills)

Here are a few additional photos that Joseph Dana, who attended the procession in Ramallah, put on his Twitter account, @ibnezra, shared with permission:

Mustafa Tamimi’s body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag and keffiyeh, being carried in Ramallah (photo: Joseph Dana)
A child overcome by grief as Mustafa Tamimi’s body is loaded into a car to be taken to Nabi Saleh, where he will be buried (photo: Joseph Dana)

GOLDSTONE’S LATEST VIEWS DEBUNKED IN THE JEWISH PRESS

Judge Richard Goldstone continues his long march towards insuring that his name no longer be synonymous with self-hating, Israel-bashing Jew. He has written to argue — from his vantage point of having been a judge in apartheid-era South Africa — that the attempt to label the situation in Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians as a form of “apartheid” is pernicious and destructive and just plain inaccurate.
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Yesterday I gave my 2 cents about Richard Goldstone’s latest attempt to find favour in the zionist community…
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Today, the Jewish Daily Forward debunked his claims as well.
I don’t agree 100% with their views, but they certainly are welcome.
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Another Goldstone Inaccuracy

By Gal Beckerman

getty images

With his New York Times op-ed today, Judge Richard Goldstone continues his long march towards insuring that his name no longer be synonymous with self-hating, Israel-bashing Jew. He has written to argue — from his vantage point of having been a judge in apartheid-era South Africa — that the attempt to label the situation in Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians as a form of “apartheid” is pernicious and destructive and just plain inaccurate.

He tries to debunk what the headline refers to as “the apartheid slander,” in a methodical way, by looking first at the situation of Israeli Arabs and then at Palestinians in the occupied territories.

When it comes to the first case, it is airtight. As Goldstone correctly notes, “Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.”

Then he turns to the West Bank and Gaza. Goldstone takes as his benchmark of apartheid a definition from the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

Goldstone writes that “even if Israel acts oppressively towards Palestinians there,” the use of the word “apartheid” to describe Israel’s intentions towards Palestinians is inaccurate. And I agree with him that this word, which comes from a very particular historical context, should not be thrown around as lightly as it has been — and certainly doesn’t capture the complex strategic and defense concerns that make the overwhelming majority of Israelis feel justified in continuing the occupation.

But this does not account for the settlers and their settlements (and the extraordinary government support they have received for decades). Goldstone does not mention any of this — the word “settlement,” so much a part of what makes the occupation feel like apartheid to the Palestinians, appears nowhere in his piece. And it is this politically potent constituency, which would not have a problem with the preferential treatment of a minority at the expense of a majority (in other words, apartheid) that has had an outsized influence on the conflict and is doing its utmost to preclude the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Goldstone is right to say that “Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the West Bank cannot be simplified to a narrative of Jewish discrimination,” but he ignores completely the settlement archipelago and the preferential Jewish roads that connect them; he ignores the daily experience of occupation that Palestinians encounter at checkpoints while Jewish cars zoom past; he ignores the fact that in the West Bank there is water reserved exclusively for Jewish settlers. This is a function of power maintaining a certain status quo. Call it whatever you want, but it is inaccurate — as inaccurate as the phrase “apartheid” — to see the conflict today the way Goldstone describes it, as simply a matter of “hostility and suspicion on both sides.”

ISRAEL AND AMERICA ARE JUST FULL OF SURPRISES TODAY ….

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Now who could have expected these moves? 😉
(click on headline to see reports)
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U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote

White House says approval of Palestine as member of the UN cultural body undermines goal of a comprehensive Mideast peace plan; Germany also says move hinders peace.

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Israel to reconsider cooperation with UNESCO after approval of Palestine membership

After UN cultural agency grants Palestinians full membership earlier Monday, Foreign Ministry issues statement that Israel rejects the decision.

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And the clincher, as predicted yesterday
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Netanyahu: No ceasefire, no negotiations

PM tells Likud faction IDF will continue operations in Gaza Strip as long as terrorists keep launching rockets on south; promises ‘severe response’ if attacks continue

PALESTINE’S OBSESSION WITH ITSELF

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As Palestinian Statehood comes closer to becoming reality, the psychopathic zionists at the Jerusalem Post are trying to figure out why a nation that was erased from the map 64 years ago dares to change the situation.
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Psycho Gal, herself, has the most amusing analysis starting with; In a nutshell, the PA initiative of asking the UNSC, General Assembly to upgrade its status is an act of diplomatic aggression.
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That paragraph starts the dribble of this week’s column. Referring to the Obama administration (which is doing everything in its power to block Statehood) she writes And yet, the Obama administration and the EU have made the establishment of a racist, homophobic Palestinian state the greatest aim of their policies in the Middle East.
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For this the woman gets a salary while the good writers at the Post are out collecting Unemployment Insurance at the moment…
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Her ultimate hope is that Netanyahu will ‘save the day’ next week…… On Thursday, Netanyahu announced that he will address the UN General Assembly in New York next week and put the truth about the Palestinian cause on the table.
Perhaps someone will be moved by his words.
Perhaps not.
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If you want to read her column in its entirety, HERE IT IS
I always think of it as the weekly comic section, hopefully one day we’ll see the likes of a Carlos Latuff in her place editing the comic section.
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Here’s just one example of Latuff’s great work…

IRONY IN GREECE, THE BIRTHPLACE OF DEMOCRACY ~~ TWO TIMELY REPORTS

An AP Report in HaAretz
Greece arrests captain of U.S. ship in Gaza flotilla
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From The New York Times
Dead in the Water?
By PETER CATAPANO

Like they don’t already have enough problems.

A Greek coast guard vessel escorts the
Yiorgos Karahalis/ReutersA Greek coast guard vessel escorted the ship The Audacity of Hope. Greece prevented the boat carrying U.S. activists from sailing as part of a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Greece, the country that is ever revered as the cradle of democracy, philosophy and pretty much the entirety of Western civilization (no oxymoron jokes, please), is having a tough year. A recent economic near-collapse, European bailout, the difficult passage of a raft of unpopular austerity measures and, of course, angry demonstrations, protests and bloody riots in the streets have tested the country’s fortitude. The fact that the world is still forcing its high school kids to read Plato’s “Republic” can hardly be of any solace right now.

Now Greece finds itself squarely in the middle of yet another unwanted international crisis as the home base for the flotilla that has launched a thousand accusations and recriminations, but so far, no actual ships.

The organizers of the group of eight ships now docked in Greek waters, which are carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists from several countries, including dozens of Americans (among them, the novelist Alice Walker), announced plans to sail to Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid in defiance of Israel’s naval blockade there. As of today, they have not. (Two more ships withdrew because of damage, reportedly the work of saboteurs. Last year, nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli forces on a similar mission.) After weeks of an international public relations war involving misinformation, condemnations, ominous warnings, video hoaxes, nautical sabotage and more, Greece announced on Friday that is was prohibiting the boats from sailing. The Coast Guard was forced into action when an American vessel called  The Audacity of Hope left the harbor without permission and had to be turned back. A protest organizer complained that Greece was not within its rights to stop private ships from sailing.
Scott Sayare of The Times reported the latest on Friday, and quoted one activist, who described the situation this way: “It’s like they’ve moved the blockade from Gaza to Greece.”

So with events, for the moment, at a standstill, and poor Greece saddled with another, albeit less ominous problem, we may take a moment to ask essential questions: Is it a “freedom” flotilla, a “peace” flotilla or, as some have called it, a “provocation” flotilla? Who has been telling the truth? And, what is all this really about?

To be honest, no amount of time spent in the blogosphere this week could definitively answer those questions, but the commentary surrounding the events, in its very wild inconsistency, at least gives an inkling of the positions staked out.

At the crux: the pro-Israeli position that the flotilla is engaged in an act of provocation, even aggression, not humanitarian aid, versus the pro-Palestinian position that the blockade is unjustified, if not illegal, and represents a brutal suppression and denial of basic goods to residents of Gaza, to be partly and symbolically addressed by their mission.

At The Daily Beast, Dan Ephron put the situation in the perspective of the age-old message war between the two parties. “In trying to understand the brewing confrontation this time,” he wrote, “it’s helpful to keep one thing in mind: The cargo that activists hope to deliver to Gaza in the coming days is beside the point. Palestinians don’t necessarily need it and Israel is not threatened by it.” He continued:

Like with so many other issues Israeli-Palestinian related, these actions are mainly to score points in the public relations battle. The activists are hoping to put a spotlight on the Gaza blockade by provoking another confrontation on the high seas. Israel wants to deflect attention from the siege policy by depicting the organizers as terrorists and their campaign as a mission to help arm Hamas. In recent days, Israel appears to have pressed even its vaunted spy agencies into the service of obstructing the other side. Flotilla organizers say someone sabotaged two of their ships currently docked in Greece.

For both sides, the uproar created by events like the flotilla operation tend to cloud the more germane issues.

Alice Walker, center, and fellow activists on the
 
 
Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times Alice Walker, center, and fellow activists on the Audacity of Hope.

At his blog on Wednesday, Max Blumenthal took the Israeli military to task for what he said went beyond public relations into the realm of pure misinformation, for ascribing violent intent to the activists, then broadcasting it:

Despite an apparent lack of evidence, the army’s disinformation found its way into top Israeli newspapers through a select group of military correspondents including the Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Katz. Katz reported that flotilla passengers planned to kill Israeli soldiers and that they were bringing “bags of sulfur” to attack the soldiers. … Yedioth Aharanot’s Hanan Greenberg also reported, “IDF fears flotilla activists will try to kill Israeli soldiers.” And Haaretz hyped the claim in Hebrew.

Today, the army’s story was exposed as disinformation. First, Yedioth Aharonot military correspondent Alex Fishman reported, “There is no information that there is going to be a group of radicals on board that will form a hard core of violent resistance against IDF soliders. Nor is there any clear information about live weapons that will be on board the ships.” Then, a group of Israeli government ministers accused the army of “media spin” and “public relations hysteria” for claiming the flotilla passengers planned to attack soldiers with chemical weapons. … Unfortunately, many reporters still accept the army’s claims on trust, while others do not even bother to investigate.

(Perhaps the most bizarre misinformation incident was this video hoax, reported on by The Lede’s Robert Mackey, in which an Israeli actor claims to be a gay activist who was banned from the flotilla.)

Juan Cole at Informed Comment drew a connection between the flotilla activists and the civil rights movement in the United States:

The US State Department shamefully fully supports the blockade and the collective punishment, and is threatening US citizens who participate in the attempt to break the siege of Gaza’s children (40% of residents are children). The Israeli Right wing portrays the blockade as a measure against the Hamas Party, which won the 2006 elections for the Palestine Authority. But blockading 1.5 million civilian noncombatants to get out a few thousand party activists and militiamen is illegal, especially for the Occupying Power (which Israel is, since it controls Gaza’s air and water and prevents Palestinians from entering a wide swathe of their own land). …

Since the blockade is both illegal and evil, and since the world Establishment, including the US government, is enabling it, it is only natural that upstanding Americans and members of other nations want to challenge it. It should be remembered that the Civil Rights movement in the United States was mostly illegal and its activists were frequently jailed, beaten, bitten by police dogs, and sometimes shot down by law enforcement.

It’s not inconceivable that Cole may have gotten an inkling of that connection after reading Alice Walker’s explanation on CNN last week of why she decided to join the action:

Alongside this image of brave followers of Gandhi there is for me an awareness of paying off a debt to the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the South in our time of need. I am especially indebted to Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman who heard our calls for help – our government then as now glacially slow in providing protection to non-violent protestors-and came to stand with us.

They got as far as the truncheons and bullets of a few “good ol’ boys” of Neshoba County, Mississippi and were beaten and shot to death along with James Cheney, a young black man of formidable courage who died with them. So, even though our boat will be called The Audacity of Hope, it will fly the Goodman, Cheney, Schwerner flag in my own heart.

That prompted a direct response from Howard Jacobson, also at CNN: “Human beings are seldom more dangerous than when they are sentimentally overcome by the goodness of their own intentions. That Alice Walker believes it is right to join the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza I do not have the slightest doubt. But beyond associating her decision with Gandhi, Martin Luther King and very nearly, when she talks about the preciousness of children, Jesus Christ, she fails to give a single convincing reason for it.”

How to make it all better? The counterintuitive solution of the week goes to Roi Ben-Yehuda, for his post, “Conflict Resolution Commandos: A Response to the Flotilla,” in which he imagines real life soldiers of peace:

As scholars of conflict resolution, we believe that such situations call for constructive adaptation on the part of those involved. To that end we propose the IDF take initiative and create the first ever Conflict Resolution Commando unit.

Imagine back in 2010 if instead of masked men with guns, trained for intense warfare at sea, boarding a ship in the dead of night, the IDF had dispatched an elite unit of conflict resolution specialists. Could the tragedy at sea been averted? Could it be that new tools must be designed to maximize the possibility of non-destructive outcome to occur? Could it be that a fundamental reframing to many situations could be offered by people willing to die for a cause but not willing to kill for it?

Interesting thought. But it’s not exactly the Hoplite phalanx.

THE WORST AND THE BEST OF THE ISRAELI PRESS

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I know for a fact that my Blog is read at the Jerusalem Post’s Editorial Offices, how else could they attack me as they did two years ago in the following; WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AND DESERT PEACE FEATURED IN TODAY’S JERUSALEM POST
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I can’t complain about their attacks as I expose their morons and psychpaths at least every second week. In fact, when they target me, all it does is increase my readership as can be seen here; JERUSALEM POST BOOSTS MY READERSHIP ~~ THANK YOU
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At the offices of HaAretz it seems some of the staff actually read what I write and seem to get ideas worth writing about from that. I am speaking specifically of one Bradley Burston who obviously read this piece I wrote two weeks ago; EVERY DAY IS HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
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Today he presents a column of his own which he calls For Palestinians, every day is Nakba Day
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It’s worth the read ….. perhaps even one day the folks at the Jerusalem Post might actually read what I write with an open mind, assuming some of them actually have a mind….
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For Palestinians, every day is Nakba Day

We owe Palestinians what we demand of them: recognition of our right to an independent state, and compromise for the sake of a shared future.

By Bradley Burston

As this month began, Israel marked Yom Hashoa, the annual day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust. At the sounding of air-raid sirens, the nation shut down and stood in honor.

Who was it for, this day of remembrance? If you ask those Israelis who lost parents, sisters and brothers, grandparents to the Nazi genocide, if you ask people whose parents survived Auschwitz to somehow raise families and resurrect something of a life, they will likely tell you that Yom Hashoa is not for them.

The survivors and their families don’t need a day like this. For them, every single day is Yom Hashoa.

The commemoration is for the rest of us, those of us fortunate to be able to go about our lives most of the time without thinking about the unfathomable tragedy embodied in the concept of the Shoa and the loss, the grief, the sacrifice that it conferred on its survivors and their descendants.

Exactly a week after Yom Hashoa, the country stunned itself once more, as Yom Hazikaron marked the fallen of the nation’s wars and the victims of terror murders. And once again, the bereaved families invited to official memorial services will tell you that this is not for them. They have no need of a day like this. Their wounds, no matter how old, are still too fresh. For them, every single day is Yom Hazikaron.

This year, a third day of remembrance fell exactly a week later. It was Nakba Day, commemorating the displacement and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from their homes in the 1948 war that established the state of Israel, and the ensuing loss of hundreds of their villages effectively erased by the Jewish state.

It may be fair to assume that Nakba Day is not for the millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendents in Gaza, in West Bank camps, in Lebanon and Syria and Chile and San Francisco. For them, every single day is Nakba Day.

No, Nakba Day is for the rest of us, who go through our lives thinking that we can afford not to give it a second thought. And so it is that Israel’s government – in its zeal to blot out the very concept of the Nakba, in its paralysis in the face of an unprecedented Palestinian drive for statehood, in its inability to anticipate a Facebook-organized mass march past minefields and razor wire and assault-rifle bullets on a northern border – has inadvertently but irrevocably established 2011 as the Year of the Nakba.

And so it was that this month, large numbers of Israelis – many of them for the first time, many of them against their will – found themselves marking Nakba Day.

It’s about time. Just as many Palestinians are now beginning to study the Holocaust and the broader realities of the Mideast conflict, and are studying the challenges of a two state Holy Land based on 1967 lines.

What we stand to learn from the three memorial days, each of them singular but all three intertwined, is that we remain, both Arab and Jew, prisoners of our own narratives. In an understandable drive to forge their national and cultural identities, Israelis and Palestinians have ethnically cleansed their own narratives, expelling and erasing that which is messy, morally indefensible, tactically self-defeating. If there is ever to be a solution to the conflict, we must free ourselves from the narratives that rest in part on the lies we like and the truths we don’t.

There will be those in Israel who will immediately dismiss the Nakba Day march as a stunt, a diversion. Just as there is a new chorus of voices on the right citing the resurgence of interest in the Nakba as proof that Arabs will never make peace with Israel.

But a recent poll of Palestinian public opinion coinciding with Nakba Day, indicates a willingness for compromise and a rejection of violence as a means for ending the conflict. The survey, by pollster Nabil Kukali, shows that more than 60 percent said that to a certain degree they expected a peace agreement with Israel in the coming year, and that nearly 70 percent oppose launching Qassam rockets against Israel.

There will be those who argue that Jews owe Palestinians nothing in connection with the Nakba. Not true. At the very least, on Nakba Day and every other, Jews owe Palestinians what Jews demand of Palestinians:

Acknowledgment and compassion for the depth of their grief, the magnitude of their loss. Respect.

We owe Palestinians an honest recognition of their history. We owe Palestinians an apology. We owe Palestinians admission of wrongful acts committed at a time of terrible events.

We owe Palestinians what we demand of them: recognition of our right to an independent state, and compromise for the sake of a shared future. A just and mutually agreed peace. We owe Palestinians, in short, what we owe ourselves.

 

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