HAPPY NEW YEAR ~~ SHANA TOVA 5778

May this Rosh HaShana usher in a year of peace and progress for all of humanity.
A year without wars or walls!
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DesertPeace and Associates wishes all of our Jewish readers and friends the best for the New Year!
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Shana Tova!
A Gut Yohr!!
                       Happy New Year!!!                           
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Shana Metukah!
A Zis Yohr!!
                                  A Sweet Year!!!                                   
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Shana Im Briyut!
A Gezint Yohr!!
A Healthy Year!!!
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Shana Im Shalom!
A Yohr Mit Shalom!!
A Year of PEACE!!!

 Enjoy

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Updated version of dipping your apple in honey …

EID AL- ADHA MUBARAK

thanks-to-muslimvillage

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

Eid-ul-adha-Mubarak-Islamic-Wallpaper

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

FOR THE 4th OF JULY …. PAST JOKES FROM A FORMER WHITE HOUSE CLOWN

His reign wasn’t a laughing matter, but these are definitely funny …

Happy July 4th!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA ! – BONNE FÊTE CANADA

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA ! – BONNE FÊTE CANADA

Rambling down Memory Lane…….

July 1st has always been a special day for me. Fifty 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 7:50 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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Fifty years later there is once again hope that Canada will become the Free North Proud and Free that it once was. The Tories’ reign of terror has finally ended. Let us hope we never see a repeat of it. Never say never!
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA ! – BONNE FÊTE CANADA

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.
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That’s how it’s spelled out in the books…
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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.
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It’s time for all to celebrate! It’s time for all families to be together!
Damn those that won’t let this be!!
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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!
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In the meantime…. AL-EID-MUBARAK!!! Make the best of it and try to enjoy.
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Never give up the dream and hope that all will be good one day...

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE RAMADAN IN GAZA

Video: Ramadan in Gaza

Ramadan, a time of worship and joy for Muslims around the globe, is mixed with sadness in Gaza.

During Ramadan three years ago, Israel launched a massive military offensive that would last 51 days and claim more than 2,200 Palestinian lives.

The many families in Gaza who lost loved ones during that offensive, and the ones that came before it, feel little joy in their absence.

Successive Israeli military offensives, and a decade of blockade, have destroyed Gaza’s economy, further clouding Ramadan.

But Palestinians in Gaza try to carry on with Ramadan traditions – sharing meals with family and visiting neighbors after a long day of fasting, enjoying qatayif sweets and and carob and tamarind drinks.

Video by Ruwaida Amer for The Electronic Intifada.

RAMADAN MUBARAK 2017

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!

EVERY DAY IS MOTHER’S DAY IN PALESTINE ~~ TOONS OF THE DAY

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

from Carlos Latuff

Steadfastness, courage and resistance.. this is Mother’s Day in Palestine.

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Mrs. Zarefa, Marka/Shnillar refugee camp, Jordan, 2009, the woman that inspired me to create Mother Palestine.

IN PHOTOS ~~ MAY DAY IN NEW YORK

What was thought of as a forgotten day came to life once again in New York’s Union Square Park …. May Day still lives in the hearts of working men!

Image by Hugo Gellert

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Palestine was remembered

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Monday, May 1st was the 131st anniversary of the first May Day. A Holiday born in the United States of America, but officially celebrated in most countries EXCEPT the United States.

The Brief Origins of May Day

Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as “American” as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.

In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Jack London’s The Iron Heel. As early as the 1860’s, working people agitated to shorten the workday without a cut in pay, but it wasn’t until the late 1880’s that organized labor was able to garner enough strength to declare the 8-hour workday. This proclamation was without consent of employers, yet demanded by many of the working class.

At this time, socialism was a new and attractive idea to working people, many of whom were drawn to its ideology of working class control over the production and distribution of all goods and services. Workers had seen first-hand that Capitalism benefited only their bosses, trading workers’ lives for profit. Thousands of men, women and children were dying needlessly every year in the workplace, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some industries, and little hope but death of rising out of their destitution. Socialism offered another option.

A variety of socialist organizations sprung up throughout the later half of the 19th century, ranging from political parties to choir groups. In fact, many socialists were elected into governmental office by their constituency. But again, many of these socialists were ham-strung by the political process which was so evidently controlled by big business and the bi-partisan political machine. Tens of thousands of socialists broke ranks from their parties, rebuffed the entire political process, which was seen as nothing more than protection for the wealthy, and created anarchist groups throughout the country. Literally thousands of working people embraced the ideals of anarchism, which sought to put an end to all hierarchical structures (including government), emphasized worker controlled industry, and valued direct action over the bureaucratic political process. It is inaccurate to say that labor unions were “taken over” by anarchists and socialists, but rather anarchists and socialist made up the labor unions.

At its national convention in Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which later became the American Federation of Labor), proclaimed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.” The following year, the FOTLU, backed by many Knights of Labor locals, reiterated their proclamation stating that it would be supported by strikes and demonstrations. At first, most radicals and anarchists regarded this demand as too reformist, failing to strike “at the root of the evil.” A year before the Haymarket Massacre, Samuel Fielden pointed out in the anarchist newspaper, The Alarm, that “whether a man works eight hours a day or ten hours a day, he is still a slave.”

Despite the misgivings of many of the anarchists, an estimated quarter million workers in the Chicago area became directly involved in the crusade to implement the eight hour work day, including the Trades and Labor Assembly, the Socialistic Labor Party and local Knights of Labor. As more and more of the workforce mobilized against the employers, these radicals conceded to fight for the 8-hour day, realizing that “the tide of opinion and determination of most wage-workers was set in this direction.” With the involvement of the anarchists, there seemed to be an infusion of greater issues than the 8-hour day. There grew a sense of a greater social revolution beyond the more immediate gains of shortened hours, but a drastic change in the economic structure of capitalism.

In a proclamation printed just before May 1, 1886, one publisher appealed to working people with this plea:

  • Workingmen to Arms!
  • War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.
  • The wage system is the only cause of the World’s misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE.
  • One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS!
  • MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.

Not surprisingly the entire city was prepared for mass bloodshed, reminiscent of the railroad strike a decade earlier when police and soldiers gunned down hundreds of striking workers. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public’s eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.

The names of many – Albert Parsons, Johann Most, August Spies and Louis Lingg – became household words in Chicago and throughout the country. Parades, bands and tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets exemplified the workers’ strength and unity, yet didn’t become violent as the newspapers and authorities predicted.

More and more workers continued to walk off their jobs until the numbers swelled to nearly 100,000, yet peace prevailed. It was not until two days later, May 3, 1886, that violence broke out at the McCormick Reaper Works between police and strikers.

For six months, armed Pinkerton agents and the police harassed and beat locked-out steelworkers as they picketed. Most of these workers belonged to the “anarchist-dominated” Metal Workers’ Union. During a speech near the McCormick plant, some two hundred demonstrators joined the steelworkers on the picket line. Beatings with police clubs escalated into rock throwing by the strikers which the police responded to with gunfire. At least two strikers were killed and an unknown number were wounded.

Full of rage, a public meeting was called by some of the anarchists for the following day in Haymarket Square to discuss the police brutality. Due to bad weather and short notice, only about 3000 of the tens of thousands of people showed up from the day before. This affair included families with children and the mayor of Chicago himself. Later, the mayor would testify that the crowd remained calm and orderly and that speaker August Spies made “no suggestion… for immediate use of force or violence toward any person…”

As the speech wound down, two detectives rushed to the main body of police, reporting that a speaker was using inflammatory language, inciting the police to march on the speakers’ wagon. As the police began to disperse the already thinning crowd, a bomb was thrown into the police ranks. No one knows who threw the bomb, but speculations varied from blaming any one of the anarchists, to an agent provocateur working for the police.

Enraged, the police fired into the crowd. The exact number of civilians killed or wounded was never determined, but an estimated seven or eight civilians died, and up to forty were wounded. One officer died immediately and another seven died in the following weeks. Later evidence indicated that only one of the police deaths could be attributed to the bomb and that all the other police fatalities had or could have had been due to their own indiscriminate gun fire. Aside from the bomb thrower, who was never identified, it was the police, not the anarchists, who perpetrated the violence.

Eight anarchists – Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg – were arrested and convicted of murder, though only three were even present at Haymarket and those three were in full view of all when the bombing occurred. The jury in their trial was comprised of business leaders in a gross mockery of justice similar to the Sacco-Vanzetti case thirty years later, or the trials of AIM and Black Panther members in the seventies. The entire world watched as these eight organizers were convicted, not for their actions, of which all of were innocent, but for their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher were hung to death. Louis Lingg, in his final protest of the state’s claim of authority and punishment, took his own life the night before with an explosive device in his mouth.

The remaining organizers, Fielden, Neebe and Schwab, were pardoned six years later by Governor Altgeld, who publicly lambasted the judge on a travesty of justice. Immediately after the Haymarket Massacre, big business and government conducted what some say was the very first “Red Scare” in this country. Spun by mainstream media, anarchism became synonymous with bomb throwing and socialism became un-American. The common image of an anarchist became a bearded, eastern European immigrant with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other.

Today we see tens of thousands of activists embracing the ideals of the Haymarket Martyrs and those who established May Day as an International Workers’ Day. Ironically, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but rarely is it recognized in this country where it began.

Over one hundred years have passed since that first May Day. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the US government tried to curb the celebration and further wipe it from the public’s memory by establishing “Law and Order Day” on May 1. We can draw many parallels between the events of 1886 and today. We still have locked out steelworkers struggling for justice. We still have voices of freedom behind bars as in the cases of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier. We still had the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the streets of a major city to proclaim “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” at the WTO and FTAA demonstrations.

Words stronger than any I could write are engraved on the Haymarket Monument:

THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.

Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we’ll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

FROM

FALSE FLAGS WERE THE ONLY ONES FLYING ON ISRAEL’S DAY OF INDEPENDENCE

israeli-flag
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 Israel was in for a big surprise on it’s 69th birthday….. no one was in ‘celebration mode’… or mood. The failed ‘Peace Talks’, the economic situation, the recent scandals among high government officials could be part of the reason. The ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine is probably the main factor, people on both sides of the wall are sick and tired of the needless killing.
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In years gone by blue and white flags were visible everywhere…. on private cars, on windows and terraces….everywhere. I always thought of it as an ‘in your face’ demonstration against the people of Palestine that did NOT have a national day (or nation) to fly their flag. This year, hardly a flag is flying. Yesterday, while strolling through my neighbourhood, I counted three cars that had flags attached to their windows. In the past everyone that purchased an Israeli newspaper on Friday received a large Israeli flag as a gift, compliments of one of the major banks here….. this year this was not to be.
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As we sped off to a family BBQ on the other side of town the roads were empty and we arrived at our destination in record time. There wasn’t the usual holiday traffic jam,  just another Sunday in the middle of the week. Certainly a good excuse to be with family, but not in celebration of any special holiday.
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THIS article from the New York Times articulates a bit on the mood in Israel and the possible reasons for it. It is dated, but still valid. The attitude of many Jews living outside of Israel is “We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.” That quote is taken from a letter that appeared in The Guardian a few years ago.
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Hopefully, very soon, the flags will once again fly, two of them side by side, as our two nations celebrate their independence TOGETHER.

 

PASSOVER ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

Young Jews are trying to find their way to accommodate their budding radicalism with their Judaism. The following video is of a Passover Seder held in the streets of New York …. sponsored by 

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Image by Pete Pasho

HAPPY EASTER

To all of our true Christian readers, family and friends ….

A most joyous Easter Sunday.

May His message of love and peace drown out the sounds of the bombs we are hearing about daily.


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‘Wanted Poster’ from before His murder

Image by Art Young


To this very day they continue to kill the family of Jesus ….

(Click on link)

 KILLING THE FAMILY OF JESUS

A CRITICAL LOOK AT PASSOVER

How can you celebrate a festival if you look at the occupation, the continuous land grabbing and oppression in Palestine by the descendants of Jewish refugees from Egypt?

Before the “Salvation of Zion”, the “Geulat Zion”, there is the “Salvation of Palestine” from illegal Zionist Occupation!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

In times of Islam hatred and of a philosemite Anti-Semitism, the beloved “Matzo Balls,” a wonderful Jewish traditional dish, gets stuck in my throat. How can you celebrate a festival if you look at the occupation, the continuous land grabbing and oppression in Palestine by the descendants of Jewish refugees from Egypt? Who can you say “Next year in Jerusalem” at the end of the supplications?

What does this mean? In which Jerusalem? In the Jerusalem under continuous Jewish occupation and Judaisation? No, I cannot and do not want to accept this! Without any doubt, it is important to transmit traditions, but a tradition denying the occupation, land grabbing, and humiliation at the expense of an occupied people, is a crime.

This well-known supplication about Jerusalem is the beginning of a religious, Zionist “tradition.” And from the beginning, already before the Holocaust, without taking the losses into consideration, this Zionist tradition pursued the goal to conquer a “Jewish State” for a “people without land, and a land without people”. This Zionist idea of Herzl will be celebrated in autumn with Netanyahu being invited to Basle. Yes, exactly to Basle! I am asking myself how this “Occupiers’ King Bibi” can be invited to Basle. Has he emigrated to Switzerland? Imagine the scenario of “Erdogan being invited to Germany.” How much greater would the agitation be than about the Turkish election campaign appearances?

Next Monday evening, Jewish citizens all over the world will sit on one table to celebrate the first Seder Evening of the Pessach festival, by commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. And at this moment, hundred thousands of illegally occupied Palestinians, trapped in their reservations, will involuntarily think about their exodus. Four years ago I wrote a comment about the Pessach festival in Palestine.

In 2013 I wrote “we were refugees in Egypt”; and at that time, Netanyahu praised the “success” of the almost concluded barrier construction to Egypt, by roaring: “There is no other Western country which was able to stop the mass immigration of illegal migrants. And we have ensured that no ‘infiltrant’ can reach the Israeli cities.” Infiltrant!

What about it in 2017? The “Jewish State” drove forward in the ethnical cleansing and judaisation on such a massive scale that it is just a matter of time before all Palestine will be “Muslim-free.” In the meantime, there are other walls to Gaza and prisons for black refugees, and there is US-president Trump planning a giant wall construction to keep out Mexican refugees. And it was him who ordered a “Muslim travel ban,” which has no equal. He falls seamlessly into the ranks of the Zionist racist wall and separation politics against Muslims, refugees, and foreigners. This “Christian-Jewish” alliance will put the fear of God into us!

The “Jewish State” upheld as model for the integration of refugees, and whose security and oppression measures are considered exemplary, surpasses anything you have seen before. In the end, the alleged “unique democracy” in the Middle East signed the International Convention of Refugees, obliging it to comply with international legal standards. However, where there is no claimant against this manifest racism, there is no judge. All this is just a paper waste, a ridiculous paper tiger for the Jewish Apartheid State, this ethnocracy only for Jews!

These Western value hypocrites do not only support this Jewish occupier and Apartheid State, but they even think about imitating its internationally criticized actions. No, this israelization of Germany must be stopped!

It is not enough that the Israel lobby prevents us from our freedom of speech and opinion because we critically talk about Israel’s unjust policies. The German authorities even deny the German constitution because they kowtow to the dictates of the Israel lobby. The reason of state for the safety of Israel is opposed to all democratic traditions. How can you stand up for the safety of an Apartheid and occupier state and be guilty of such a perversion of justice? How can this be, if we have a German Merkel government coalition always speaking about values and human rights, showing them to other governments, while spurning them.

If Chancellor Merkel and other politicians continuously speak about the “Two State Solution” we have to ask ourselves: Do you really believe in what you are saying, or has this well-worn phrase become a battle cry, just showing the indifferent helplessness of a mistaken and cowardly politics toward the “Jewish State” because of the “special” relationship the Netanyahu regime brutally profits from to play the eternal victim, surrounded by terror? How long will this game go on? What must happen to change the minds of people? The Holocaust justifies all means to create an “unholy” home for Jews at the expense of Palestinians, the native population. Zionism knows only one final goal: a judaistic ethnocracy, just for Jews. Nobody cares about the refugees convention or the nakba, the catastrophe of Palestinians. In this Zionist world view, there is definitively no place for “native people” or “infiltrants.”

This idea fatally fits in with the efforts of the agitators of the Christian Democratic Party, from Jens Spahn to the “Burka delegate” Julia Klöckner, to engage for an Islam Law which would not be compatible with our constitution! Should we ask for another delegate in the CDU, engaging for “homosexuals?”

Since 2013, in the country of the Holocaust victims the arbitrariness against Palestinians and unwelcome refugees /“infiltrants” has been so strengthened that all human rights violations and crimes against international law are justified in the context of war against terror and in the “anti-terror” alliance.

Some days ago, for the first time, more than two decades after the negotiations of Oslo and their signature in 1993, the Netanyahu regime announced the construction of a new settlement, and the increased extension of existing ones. This Chutzpah dimension of a new, unlimited indifference is possible knowing that the hypocrite Western community of values will just critizise a bit, and then be silent for ever. And so the myth of the helpless and threatened state will be maintained.

After this announcement, Netanyahu confirmed his “desire for peace” and affirmed that he will prevent the construction of “unauthorised” settlements. In the meantime, in the illegally occupied West Bank, more than two thousand new settlers‘ residential units were authorised, and ninety hectares of Palestinian land were declared as “public” Israeli land. However, all this was completely ignored, like the dispossession of Bedouins, the murder, and the air strikes.

The fact that all settlements are illegal, is ignored thanks to the Hasbara propaganda and all the lies of the Israel lobby. Even US-President Obama had passed a UN resolution without the usual veto confirming according to international right that all settlements are illegal. After all the “pro-Israel” gifts, it was like an farewell present. As expected, his successor Trump opposed to this definition. His deputy Mike Pence has announced that Trump is already working on the future relocation of the US ambassador Friedman from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to officially work from there.

And it goes into the same direction, that the UN report written by the two experts Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley which clearly proves why Israel is an Apartheid State and a regime deliberately backing the division (hafrada) of Palestinian groups. With these intrigues, the Zionist regime always gains the advantage of unlimited power.

It is an abject and shameful tragedy that ironically the new UN general secretary and former leader of the Portuguese socialists, Antonio Guterres, folded to the massive pressure of the Israel lobby and was forced to take distance from the report and also insisted on the cancellation of the report from the list of documents of the UN commission. This blackmailing caused the withdrawal of the UN secretary member, the executive secretary, and former Jordan minister Rima Khalaf, a brave woman refusing this arbitrariness. When Guterres hypocritically opposes to the settlement construction, he has to ask himself, if he is not co-responsible, and he should think about resigning!

For this reason, my past desire is more actual than ever before for the coming Pessach celebration. It does not suffice to do Holocaust politics, to polemicize with the Torah in the hand, to pray the Haggadah, and at the same time to continue to occupy Palestine, to grab land, to dispossess people, and to deny own wars and crimes. The Apartheid Wall must fall. And the illegal occupation must be ended immediately. I call for all diaspora Jews to face the truth and to stop this injustice, instead of blindly supporting the “Jewish State” which just feels strengthened and confirmed to go on with this terrible politics.

My after-dinner speech for the future Seder evening will be: “Next year, in a free, democratic State of Palestine”, since before the “salvation of Zion,” the “Geulat Zion,” there is the “salvation of Palestine” from the illegal Zionist occupation! Since only this is the real “Geulat Zion,” the “salvation of Zion” for a Free Palestine.

 

 

Originally posted AT

OBAMA WAS A BETTER JEW THAN TRUMP EVER WILL BE

The annual White House Passover seder, started by former president Barack Obama, does not seem to be happening this year.

Pres. Obamsky?

Is Trump Ending The White House Passover Seder Tradition?

Well, maybe there’s one short-lived Passover tradition, after all.

Jews have been celebrating the spring festival, which commemorates their exodus from Egypt, for thousands of years. Some of the details, like the commandment to eat only unleavened bread, are even in the Bible.) And the ritual meal, called a seder, draws on the practice of the Greek symposium, in which participants would relax and discuss intellectual topics.

The annual White House Passover seder, started by former president Barack Obama, does not seem to be happening this year.

Donald Trump, as far as Jewish activists close to the administration know, does not plan to host a seder for Passover, which begins next Monday evening. The White House did not respond to inquires of the Forward regarding the possibility of President Trump holding a seder.

White House Passover seders are a fairly new tradition. They began after Obama’s impromptu campaign trail seder organized by Jewish staffers during the 2008 presidential race. That meal evolved into an eight-year tradition in which the First Family hosted a small gathering made up of family friends, White House aides and participants of the original campaign seder. Under Obama, the White House Passover seder included reading from the Maxwell House haggadah and Jewish traditional fare prepared based on family recipes and by visiting chefs. When the president was out of town, the seder was postponed to accommodate his schedule.

While the White House seder became a regular feature of Obama’s presidency, the event was always seen as an intimate get-together, leaving the main stage for the annual Hanukkah reception, a decades-old White House tradition.

Although Trump does not seem to be inclined to host his own seder at the White House, the President may choose to attend the traditional meal celebrating the liberation of ancient Israelites from Egyptian bondage with his daughter and son-in-law. 

It wasn’t just Passover that Obama celebrated …..

GETTING READY FOR EASTER ~~ HOW TO PREPARE THE EGGS

Another one too funny not to share ….

SARAH SILVERMAN ~~ ‘THE OCCUPATION IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER’

OR …. WHY IS THIS NIGHT PASSOVER DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER NIGHTS PASSOVERS?

Comedian Sarah Silverman spoke out against Israel’s military occupation in a new Passover Haggadah timed with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel conquered the West Bank.

As millions of Jews gather around their Passover seder tables next week to commemorate the liberation of their forbearers from slavery in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago, many will be pondering the relevance of this story for modern times.

Silverman writes: “Of all people, Jews know the bitterness of being oppressed – and not being in our own country. That’s what makes the occupation all so ironic.”

“The Jubilee Haggadah,” released as part of a new Israel-Diaspora initiative called Save Israel, Stop Occupation, March 2017. Credit Irit Hemmo/ Michal Sahar Studio

Sarah Silverman Condemns Occupation in Passover Haggadah

From Trump to refugees to police brutality – how are this year’s new Haggadahs different from others? In a word: politics.

Judy Maltz

As millions of Jews gather around their Passover seder tables next week to commemorate the liberation of their forbearers from slavery in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago, many will be pondering the relevance of this story for modern times.

They need not rack their brains too hard.
From the recent U.S. crackdown on immigrants and refugees, to the soon-to-be-marked 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians, the daily news cycle offers a plethora of oppression-themed topics to draw from at the holiday meal.

To help those seeking to incorporate contemporary political and social issues into their seder-table conversations, several progressive Jewish organizations have recently published updated versions of the Passover Haggadah – the book read at the meal, which relates the story of the ancient Israelite Exodus from Egypt – as well as special supplements and inserts.

Some address big global themes, like refugee rights and hunger, while others make do with purely local matters – police brutality in Chicago being a case in point.

To mark the 50th year of the Israeli occupation, a new Israel-Diaspora initiative called Save Israel, Stop Occupation has just released “The Jubilee Haggadah,” which features contributions from 30 prominent artists, activists, rabbis and scholars. Among them are Jewish-American comedian Sarah Silverman, Israeli author Amos Oz and Israeli singer Achinoam (“Noa”) Nini. Jessica Montell, who spearheaded the new initiative, says her inspiration was the biblical commandment to return all land to its original owners in the jubilee year.

“It seems natural to link the jubilee mitzvah with the festival of freedom and to use the story told in the Haggadah to help explain why the occupation must end,” she says.

The printing of the English version of “The Jubilee Haggadah” was made possible by the New Israel Fund.

In her comments in the book, Silverman writes: “Of all people, Jews know the bitterness of being oppressed – and not being in our own country. That’s what makes the occupation all so ironic.”

The excerpt from Oz is culled from a column he penned (for the now-defunct Davar newspaper) in August 1967 – two months after the Six-Day War, which marked the beginning of Israel’s occupation, in which he warned: “I have fears about the kinds of seeds we will sow in the near future in the hearts of the occupied. Even more, I have fears about the seeds that will be implanted in the hearts of the occupiers.” Oz was one of the first prominent Israelis to speak out against the occupation.

The introduction to “The Jubilee Haggadah” calls for an immediate end to Israel’s oppressive control over the lives of Palestinians. “Our world was sustained with the justified establishment of the State of Israel, yet this very event compels us to pursue justice for our neighbors as well,” it reads. “The Palestinian people yearn for their own escape from bondage. In the 50th year of Israel’s rule over them we must raise our voices and cry out for freedom.”

HIAS, the Jewish-American organization that has helped refugees from all over the world for 130 years, has produced a new Haggadah supplement that incorporates the personal stories of some of the thousands of newcomers it has helped resettle in the United States in recent years. The supplement includes a special new introduction to the seder that is meant to be read out loud by the person leading the ceremony.

“As we step into this historical experience, we cannot help but draw to mind the 65 million displaced people and refugees around the world today fleeing violence and persecution, searching for protection,” the suggested text reads. “Like our ancestors, today’s refugees experience displacement, uncertainty, lack of resources, and the complete disruption of their lives.”
HIAS’ new introduction to the Haggadah points a finger at the new Trump administration. “In the United States, in particular, we have experienced a devastating closing of doors to refugees,” it says. Aside from readings, the HIAS supplement also suggests interactive activities and offers a guide for those interested in advocating for refugees.

Every year, Mazon (the Hebrew word for “food”), a Jewish organization that fights world hunger, proposes a fifth question to add to the traditional Four Questions (“Ma Nishtana”) that appear in the Haggadah and are typically recited by the youngest participant at the seder meal. This fifth question addresses concerns about the new U.S. administration’s proposed cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It reads as follows: “On all other nights we ask, ‘How can I help feed the hungry?’ Tonight we ask, ‘How can we protect the precious safety net that supports those who are hungry?’”

Bina, a Tel Aviv-based institution that promotes social change and operates several secular yeshivas, has created new downloadable and printable Hebrew Haggadah bookmarks that provide a modern twist on key themes in the traditional seder readings. Each bookmark includes new texts that can be added and interactive activities designed to engage children. One of the bookmarks, which addresses the theme of “For you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” urges Israelis to treat the strangers among them kindly – whether they be migrant workers, refugees, asylum seekers, converts or immigrants.

“Our sages claimed that feeling alien is part of our DNA as a nation,” it says. “This can be interpreted as an expression of our obligation to always keep an eye on the strangers and the weak in our midst and to come to their assistance.”

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a Chicago-based nonprofit that fights anti-Semitism and poverty, this year created an updated version of the classic Haggadah song,“Dayeinu” (“It would have sufficed for us”) that addresses police brutality, a well-known problem in this large Midwestern city. Here’s how it begins: “If Chicago Police officers did not use force 10 times as often against black people as compared to white people – Dayeinu!

“If more than one in six officers was able to articulate the Chicago Police Department’s use of force policy properly – Dayeinu!
“If more than $500 million in Chicago taxpayer money had not had to be spent on lawsuit settlements for police misconduct since 2004 – Dayeinu!”
And here’s how it ends: “All the more so will our cause for gratitude, celebration, praise, relief, and song be manifold when all police protocols are structures to maximize accountability to the public it serves. Helleluyah!”

Meanwhile, In Israel today …..

Click on link to read post from the archives

CLEANSING THE LAND OF BREAD AND ARABS

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

To the men out there too!

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Honouring Palestinian Women by Latuff

Palestinian Women – One for All, All for One

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A funny look at the day ….

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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!

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