IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY 2017

Cloudy or sunny, winter will last at least 4 more years :(

Cloudy or sunny, winter will last at least 4 more years 😦

“NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU!”

Here is what happened  in video and why even this short encounter reveals at least six violations of International law.

NO CHRISTMAS IN JERUSALEM FOR YOU

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

January 7th is Christmas for my family (Eastern Christian traditions). After we had our large gathering of a few hundred members of the Qumsiyeh clan, and paying visits to my sisters and the older people in my family, I tried unsuccessfully to visit Jerusalem (both with my US passport and with my Palestinian ID). The idea was to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and have dinner in Jerusalem.

I used to be a high school teacher in Jerusalem. Bethlehem is only 4 miles away and is a suburb of Jerusalem. The economies were/are inter-dependent and for five thousand years were inseparable. That is until Israel decided to separate us after they signed the Oslo agreements in 1994 (one of many reasons why these sell-out agreements entrenched apartheid and colonization). I am not allowed to enter Jerusalem on my American passport because I am a Palestinian who does not get a visitor visa on my US passport (I hold green card resident ID in my own country). Most Palestinians are not allowed to their own city of Jerusalem except with special permits. On occasions (like Muslim and Christian holidays, Palestinians above a certain age (males over 55) are allowed. In this case they claimed that Shabak (Israel Internal Security) said that even if I was above 55 I am not allowed and that if I try to come through again I would be jailed (lack of due process not withstanding). While I was questioned, the bus from Bethlehem had left and we were forced to then walk back in the cold weather.

The Israeli policies of separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem and denying us entry are violations of International law and many are considered war crimes. Here are the violations that these soldiers and the Israeli government are guilty of based on International law:

1) Israel’s changes to borders of the municipality of Jerusalem to include parts of Bethlehem (illegal for occupiers, several UN resolutions),

2) Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem (both West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem are not Israeli per the UN resolutions that Israel itself agreed to implement when they became members of the UN),

3) Israel’s establishment of 23 Jewish only settlements/colonies in Bethlehem is a war crime and the fact that such Jewish settlers cross over without requiring tasrih (permit) is racist,

4) Israel cannot prevent freedom of movement between one occupied town (Bethlehem) and another occupied town (Jerusalem),

5) Building walls and fences inside the 1967 occupied areas is also illegal (International Criminal Court Ruling 2004),

6) That the “shabak” can give direction to prevent people like me from crossing simply because we advocate non-violent resistance (I wrote a book on the subject) is contrary to both local law (supposed freedom of speech, due process) and International law (e.g. violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

These colonization tactics are nothing short of state terrorism. This indignity was a disappointment in Christmas but we have the peace of Christmas in our hearts and the silver lining is that this provides another motivation for us to redouble our efforts to end the ongoing crimes against humanity. Others suffer and even get injured, jailed or tortured so we are still grateful. May 2017 bring us closer to ending this nightmare of apartheid, close to return of Palestinian refugees, closer to justice, and closer to peace.

Stay Human!

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IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ XMAS HERE AND THERE

Merry Christmas world! Do you know that around 1,000 Children in Gaza were left Disabled in 2014

Merry Christmas world! Do you know that around 1,000 Children in Gaza were left Disabled in 2014

Feliz Navidad!

FROM ALL OF US TO ALL OF YOU …

It’s not every year that the calendar twains meet … this year is special. DesertPeace and Associates hope that it will really be a special year finally bringing Peace to Earth …. We can hope!

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Wishing all of our readers, friends and families the Happiest, Merriest Chrismakah!

 

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Enjoy

GIVING THANKS FOR THE ORIGINAL SIN

“I suppose I should be ashamed to say that I take the western view of the Indian. I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indian is the dead Indian, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

Teddy Roosevelt

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Thanks Giving

 © By Tom Karlson

That original sin

Our original sin

Not a talking snake sin

No Adam or Eve sin

 

This original sin

This first holocaust sin

This First Nation

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Long gone sin

200 languages silenced sin

This good, drunk, dead, jailed, Indian sin

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310 million All-Americans

Sit at the table eating

Corn, sweet potatoes, turkey

Watching football

Giving thanks

BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUME OF THE YEAR ~~ THE JUSLIMS

Nope, it’s not Clinton or Trump …. it’s the Juslims 🙂

My daughter is Jewish. Her best pal is Muslim. For Halloween they created a superhero team: The Juslims. I've rarely been more proud. Truly.

My daughter is Jewish. Her best pal is Muslim. For Halloween they created a superhero team: The Juslims. I’ve rarely been more proud. Truly.

Related report ….

My kid, her friend and their Muslim-Jewish Halloween costume

This is my daughter on the right, and her pal on the left.

My daughter is being raised Jewish.

Her pal is being raised Muslim.

For Halloween, they recently decided to be the Juslims. This was not a political statement or a social statement or a stance on the presidential election. They weren’t doing it in the name of religious pride or America’s diversity or equality for all.

Nope, they decided to be the Juslims simply because it was funny.

And, as the above Tweet seems to gain more and more re-tweets and likes by the minute (23,000. 36,000), I hope the point isn’t lost. My daughter and her pal are, simply, friends. They talk about music and clothes and scary movies and boys and school. They are two people who moved to Southern California in the same month two years ago, and they share a bond. That’s it. That’s all. No deep religious debates. No conflicts over prayer or the meaning behind ancient texts.

Hell, the same goes for me and the wife and the parents of my daughter’s friend. We’ve formed a similar bond, also over geography and interests and having children of the same age. Not only is there no mistrust or conflict over religion—there’s not even the hint of mistrust or conflict. We’re all just people, trying to work our way through this world.

Despite what we’ve been hearing late in the national dialogue, there need not be this division based upon skin color, based upon place of birth, based upon … trivial bullshit.

We’re all just people.

We’re all Juslims.

 

FROM

AT WALMART ~~ NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T

The Israeli soldier costume Walmart pulled last year was back on sale this Halloween till we asked why. Then, like a ghost, it vanished…

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Gazan writer and editor Refaat Alareer commented to the Electronic Intifada in the following terms: “I am sure my orphan niece and nephew would be terrorized seeing the kid wearing the Israeli khaki uniform which is the reason for the death of their beloved dad.” Alareer’s family lost several members during the summer 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza. Potential online customers slammed Walmart in the review section for the costume. “Your little one can now go to his friend’s house, and take over their bedroom, and all of their toys and claim that God has given him/her the right to take it,” commented one.

Walmart retailed the costume, supplied by the New Jersey company Wholesale Halloween Costume, whose own product description says: “Defend your Jewish heritage proudly by wearing the Israeli Soldier Boy’s Costume! The Israeli Defense Forces have a mission to protect the land and the people of Israel from outside threats with low casualties, and to avoid waging war if at all possible.”

IN PHOTOS ~~ DECOLONIZING COLUMBUS DAY

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Columbus Day Oct 10, 2016 NYC

On this day the U.S. “celebrates” Columbus’s venture to the Western hemisphere in 1492. NYC celebrated with a parade down 5th Avenue, but there was another event taking place this day at the American Museum of Natural History. It was a peaceful “ANTI-COLUMBUS DAY TOUR” at the Museum.  It did not receive the publicity of the parade, but three hundred+ people came to the museum to protest the racist nature of Columbus’s venture and the ravaging of the indigenous peoples of the Americas in the centuries to come.

The participants demanded the Museum be “DECOLONIZED” and Columbus Day be renamed “INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY”. They also demanded the removal of the  equestrian statue of the racist President Theodore Roosevelt fronting the main entrance to the museum. They demanded that artifacts of the indigenous peoples be returned to them.

The museum’s administration had been alerted to this event and did not place obstacles. The tour visited various exhibits and speakers were critical of the museum remaining “frozen in time, bound by nineteenth-century racial classifications that designated human populations as ‘primitive’ or ‘civilized’…”.

At the end of the tour participants gathered in front of the Roosevelt statue as the statue was completely covered to emphasize their demand to remove the statue.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer ~~ Commentary by Chippy Dee

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More of the leaflets …

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CAN WE FORGIVE THE UNFORGIVABLE?

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The High Holy Days is the traditional Jewish period for making peace with one’s neighbor. It is a time for forgiveness and starting a new page in relationships with each other.

But, how are we to forgive what is unforgivable. How are we expected to forgive a group of Jewish extremists who maim and kill, even burn to death innocent Palestinian children?

How are we to forgive Palestinian extremists who open fire at innocent civilians waiting for a train in Jerusalem??

Extremism is unforgivable!

Murder is unforgivable!!

Piracy is unforgivable!!!

All stemming from apartheid which is the root cause of these sins.

On this, the eve of the holiest day on the Hebrew calendar, Jews throughout the world will begin the Holiday with the chanting of Kol Nidre

Both Jews and Muslims pound their chest when begging their God for forgiveness ….

In both cases it is meaningless if the sins are repeated as soon as the prayers are over.

It is time for a REAL forgiveness …. a time for a REAL Peace, based on understanding and love.

It is time to end the madness that is destroying the world!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ~~ SHANA TOVA

To my family and friends and all good Jews of conscience …

Shana Tova! Happy New Year!!

May we realise a world at Peace in the coming year for all of humanity!!!

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EID AL- ADHA MUBARAK

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 To all of my Muslim family and friends, EID MUBARAK! May your prayers for Peace and Justice become a reality in the coming year.

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A sampling of the wonderful date filled Eid cookies prepared by my family … ENJOY THE TASTE OF PALESTINIAN FREEDOM!

A LABOUR DAY GIFT FOR YOU!

ENJOY!!

EID AL-FITRE MUBARAK

To all of my Muslim

readers, Family and

Friends..

Eid al-Fitre Mubarak!
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The Glorious Holy Month of Ramadan will be coming to an end tonight at sundown … ushering in the wonderful feast days of Eid-al-Fitr. A time for joyous celebrations with families, a time to feel completely renewed and refreshed.

That’s how it’s spelled out in the books…

Unfortunately in Palestine the book is written differently… families are divided, family members are denied entry to join in the celebrations, families are mourning their loved ones killed by Israeli forces.
It’s time for all to celebrate! It’s time for all families to be together!

Damn those that won’t let this be!!

Let us hope that soon the situation will be different and we can all be together… secure in our own Homeland…. secure with a Right of Return… and THE RIGHT TO STAY!
In the meantime…. AL-EID-MUBARAK!!! Make the best of it and try to enjoy.

Never give up the dream and hope that all will be good one day… 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA ! – BONNE FÊTE DU CANADA

Rambling down Memory Lane…….

July 1st has always been a special day for me. Forty nine years ago today I left the United States and applied for Landed Immigrant Status in Canada. My wife and I picked this date as it was a National Holiday and we figured there would be less security at the Toronto Airport…. and less questions. It was a special day in Canada, it was the 100th anniversary of Confederation.
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My suspicions proved correct…. there was only a handful of security personnel on duty and I was asked only two questions…
“How long do you plan on staying in Canada?”…. to which I responded “Forever!”
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The second question was “Are you a subversive?”…. to which I responded quite naively “What does that mean?”
“Do you consider yourself a threat to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second or any one of her heirs?” (pronounced ‘hairs’ when I verbalise this story)…. to which I responded “Definitely not!”
“Welcome to Canada! Here is your Landed Immigrant Status Card!” (Let it be known that in no way did I consider the Royal Family ‘Divine’ in any way, but I did not feel I was a threat to their existence.)

Little did that Immigration Officer know, but in the United States I WAS considered a subversive…. in fact, I carried with me a ten page document of allegations against me from Army ‘Intelligence’ which ended with the words “Your entrance into any branch of the Armed Forces at any time would be detrimental to the security of our nation.” How much more of a ‘subversive’ can one hope to be?
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It would be ‘safe’ to say that I owe my life to the FBI. The document I mentioned above was full of information provided by them. Their ‘planted’ informants knew the exact date and time that I joined the Communist Party of the United States. They knew every move I made during all my years of activity.
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On my 18th birthday I registered with the Draft Board. We had to do that by law in those days. A few years later I received my order to report for my physical examination. I will never forget the short, burly man in charge that day…. Sgt. Randazzo. His face and voice haunts me to this day. The day I had to report was like a mini High School Reunion. Almost every male in my graduation class was present that day. We were lined up and were asked if we were interested in volunteering for the Marines. As this was a sure way to be sent to Viet Nam, there wasn’t a single volunteer. Randazzo then proceeded to pick every third person in line to serve in the Marines. But…… immediately before that an announcement was made…. “Anyone that was ever arrested, please go to Room 101.” Off I went….. which meant that poor Michael, who was standing next to me, was picked to be a Marine…. it should have been me, but I was being interrogated instead. Needless to say, Michael does not speak to me to this day.
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If you move the ‘timer’ to 10:05 on the following video, you will get a pretty good idea what that interrogation was like….
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A few months later I received my 4F. At first I was given ten days to deny the allegations in the document I received…. non compliance earned me my 4F. The rest is history…..
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Moving on…. here we were in a new country, a country with totally different values and definitions than the one we had just left. But, I felt that we were still not ‘home free’…. our new government might discover our past and deport us, so we prepared for this by purchasing a framed photograph of Her Majesty and hanging it in the hallway of our new apartment. If the Royal Mounted Police ever came to ‘visit’ it would be the first thing they saw. We had two new statuses that we did not want to lose…. Landed Immigrant and NON Subversive!
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My political activities continued throughout my years in Canada, including running in elections for both the Federal Parliament and the Province of Ontario…. on the ticket of the Communist Party of Canada. This Party was/is legal, so my status of Non Subversive did not change.
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The Mounties never came and we were never deported. Canada was a totally different world than the one we had just came from… that was in 1967. Today Canada is once again a very hopeful nation. The Torries are history and hopefully Justin Trudeau will once again make it The True North Proud and Free.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA ! – BONNE FÊTE DU CANADA

RAMADAN KAREEM

To all of our Muslim readers, family and friends …
May this year’s Ramadan usher in a new era of Peace and Hope ….
Ramadan Kareem!
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Ramadan Kareem

 

MOTHER’S DAY IN TOONS

Images by Carlos Latuff

In Palestine ….

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In Gaza ….

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In Syria ….

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In Turkey ….

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In Brazil …. (and Palestine)

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A MAY DAY OFFERING

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Happy Holiday and enjoy!

The Billy Bragg version of the international socialist anthem.

And a poem by Tom Karlson …

The Forgotten

in Texas,

independent, slave loving Texas

was born Lucy Gonzalez

Mexican, African, Indian

mothered and fathered by the whip and chain

freed by the Great Emancipator at eleven

a slave of Gathings for one thousand  nights

liberated again by

former Confederate Captain Albert Parsons

they married

the KKK forced husband and wife to Chicago

where they worked and organized for the 8 hour day

May 4th, 1886 Lucy and Albert were at the Haymarket

protesting a police shooting the day before and

demanding eight hours of work ,eight hours of sleep, eight hours of play

police charged the crowd

a dynamite bomb was thrown

sending seven police and four workers

to the promised land

Albert and seven labor leaders were executed

Lucy fought and won    

full exoneration

the  eight hour work day arrives

carried in by an army of

wobblies, socialists, communists, and trade unionists

 

Lucy Parsons gave her long life to

labor rights civil rights and women’s rights

she died in1942, 89 years old

Lucy Parsons, Presente

May Day lives

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A POEM FOR THE SEASON ~~ A QUESTION YOUR CHILD WILL ASK FOR PASSOVER

First, let me wish all of my Jewish readers, family and friends a Happy and Kosher Passover.

Photo:Marko Djurica/Reuters

Photo:Marko Djurica/Reuters

“Your Child Will Ask”

By Rabbi Brant Rosen

Your child will ask
why do we observe this festival?

And you will answer
it is because of what God did for us
when we were set free from the land of Egypt.

Your child will ask
were we set free from the land of Egypt
that we might hold tightly
to the pain of our enslavement
with a mighty hand?

And you will answer
we were set free from Egypt
that we might release our pain
by reaching with an outstretched arm
to all who struggle for freedom.

Your child will ask
were we set free from the land of Egypt
because we are God’s chosen people?

And you will answer
we were set free from the land of Egypt
so that we will finally come to learn
all who are oppressed
are God’s chosen.

Your child will ask
were we set free from the land of Egypt
that we might conquer and settle
a land inhabited by others?

And you will answer
we were set free from the land of Egypt
that we might open wide the doors
to proclaim:

Let all who are dispossessed return home.
Let all who wander find welcome at the table.
Let all who hunger for liberation
come and eat.

Rabbi Rosen blogs at Shalom Rav

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Now enjoy the following ….

How Passover would be reported in today’s media

ISRAEL NEEDS A GOOD CLEANSING

Not this kind ….
Image by Carlos Latuff
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Jewish mothers used to go into a cleaning frenzy a week or so before the Festival of Passover. All traces of leaven (chametz) had to be removed from the home before the onset of the holiday.
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Modern folk have determined that dust is not chametz, so there is less madness involved in the cleaning process, but Israel has added a new dimension to the situation; Arabs must be removed as well as the leaven.
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CLEANSING THE LAND OF BREAD AND ARABS

My maternal grandmother was a simple Shtetel Jew. She came from a place not much different than the small town portrayed in Fiddler on The Roof.
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Traditionally the womenfolk from those areas were uneducated in matters of anything other than home making and child raising, while the menfolk studied their Holy Books for hours on end. Life was simple for them, and they themselves were basically a very simple folk.
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I remember my grandmother going through the frenzie of cleaning the house this time of year…. the traditional Passover cleaning. All traces of leaven had to be removed from the home before the start of the Holiday. To her, that process included the removal of any trace of dust or smears on the window panes. The house sparkled when she was finished. Most of our non Jewish neighbours were going through the same process, but simply called it ’spring cleaning’, ridding the house of all unwanted matter, including broken furniture and junk.
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I remember asking my grandmother why she was going through such a frenzie…. her answer was simple and to the point…. “If a Jew eats bread during Passover he will die!” That was what she was taught, that’s what she taught us….
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In Israel today, things are not much different than life in the Shtetel when it comes to Passover preparations. But today there is a growing number of non observant Jews as well as a growing number of non Jews. This is a threat to the lifestyle of the self imposed Shtetel Jew living here today.
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Christian Pilgrims from abroad, as well as local Christians are denied access to their Holy Sites. Where is the uproar against this?
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Where is the uproar against the Neanderthal rabbis that have recently called for the expulsion or the genocide of the Palestinians? WHERE??? As in previous years, the Palestinians living on the ‘other side’ of the great wall of apartheid will be sealed in for the duration of the Holiday (8 days), literally making the State of Israel Arabrein for that period of time. Where is the uproar against this? WHERE???
Israel does need a cleansing… a good one; not only of bread during the Holiday season but also of hatred. Both are violations of the Holy Teachings.
The above is a repost from the archives

WHEN EASTER MEETS ESTHER

It’s not every year that these two wonderful Holidays meet on the same calendar …

So,

To all of our Jewish readers, family and friends,

A VERY HAPPY PURIM!

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And to our Christian readers, family and friends,

A VERY HAPPY EASTER!!

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